Saturday, September 24, 2011

Political Digest for September 24, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

House approves stopgap funding, Reid says Senate will block
Excerpt: The House early Friday narrowly approved a stopgap spending measure to keep the federal government running through Nov. 18, as Republican leaders secured the votes of conservatives who had rejected a similar bill a day earlier. The 219-203 vote sets up a confrontation with the Senate, where Democratic leaders have vowed to block the measure in a dispute over federal disaster aid. For Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the vote was little more than a mulligan. After 48 Republicans opposed his bill on Wednesday, he faced a choice: Scrap a spending cut to win over Democrats who had pulled their support for the bill, or persuade dissenting conservatives that the original bill was the best deal they could get. Boehner chose his right flank, adding a sweetener in the form of a $100 million rescission to the loan guarantee program that funded the bankrupt energy company Solyndra.

Us Diplomats Walk Out On Ahmadinejad, Other Nations Follow

Look What Wisconsin Is Saving By Corralling Unions!!!
Excerpt: Ashland School District - saved $378,000 on health insurance; Kimberly School District - saved $821,000 by dropping WEA Trust Insurance; Edgerton School District - dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save at least $500,000; Baraboo School District - dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save at least $660,000; Dodgeland School District - dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save $260,000, Elmbrook School District - changing health care provider, savings estimated at $878,000; …

Gary Johnson gets line of the night in debate
Excerpt: Libertarian-leaning former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson seemed nervous through much of Thursday's GOP debate, but he pulled himself together for one of evening's more memorable lines. "My next-door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration," Johnson joked. The Republican audience laughed and clapped heartily, as did some of the GOP contenders on stage with Johnson. (Funny, but Rush Limbaugh apparently said it first. ~Bob.)

In Rush to Assist Solyndra, U.S. Missed Warning Signs
“Old Gray Lady” throws Obama under the bus. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama’s visit to the Solyndra solar panel factory in California last year was choreographed down to the last detail — the 20-by-30-foot American flags, the corporate banners hung just so, the special lighting, even coffee and doughnuts for the Secret Service detail. “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future,” the president declared in May 2010 to the assembled workers and executives. The start-up business had received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, offered in part to reassert American dominance in solar technology while generating thousands of jobs. But behind the pomp and pageantry, Solyndra was rotting inside, hemorrhaging cash so quickly that within weeks of Mr. Obama’s visit, the company canceled plans to offer shares to the public. Barely a year later, Solyndra has become one of the administration’s most costly fumbles after the company declared bankruptcy, laid off 1,100 workers and was raided by F.B.I. agents seeking evidence of possible fraud. Solyndra’s two top officers are to appear Friday before a House investigative committee where, their lawyers say, they will assert their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Lawmaker pensions inflated by per diem payments
Excerpts: Pensions for Iowa lawmakers may be inflated by thousands of dollars each year because per diem payments are calculated into retirement benefits. That's what an analysis by The Des Moines Register found in a story reported Friday. The decades-old law allows per diem payments to count toward calculations of eligible benefits for lawmakers who participate in the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, or IPERS.

GOP leader: Repeal city pension perk for union officials
Excerpt: His comments came as House Republican Leader Tom Cross announced that he will file a bill that would repeal a 1991 law that allows union leaders from Chicago to reap inflated retirement benefits from ailing city pension funds. The proposed legislation is in response to a joint Tribune/WGN-TV investigation that found at least 23 labor leaders stand to collect approximately $56 million from two city pensions funds.

Union bosses love taxpayers' wallets
Excerpt: What's your pension like? Back then, there was no debate. No official state analysis. And that's the way our politicians like it. And two decades later, some 23 bosses stand to draw $56 million from two weakened City of Chicago pension funds. After I read Grotto's reporting, I was so angry I could hardly see. Desperate people are out of work in Illinois. There are hardworking union people who never got such sweet pensions. There are coal miners in southern Illinois who've watched their fathers spit out pieces of their lungs and live on chicken feed pensions, and then the mines close and there's no work. And there are hardworking nonunion employees who don't have such perks. And taxpayers who are getting squeezed don't have such perks. What do taxpayers get? Some get to lose their homes, and they'll be lucky to have dog food to eat if they live to be old. But the winners will be just fine.

One-day rehiring nets former Chicago labor leader a $158,000 city pension
Excerpt: Most city workers spend decades in public service to build up modest pensions. But for former labor leader Dennis Gannon, the keys to securing a public pension were one day on the city payroll and some help from the Daley administration. And his city pension is more than modest. It's the highest of any retired union leader: $158,000. That's roughly five times greater than what the typical retired city worker receives. In fact, his pension is so high that it exceeds federal limits and required the city pension fund to file special paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service to give it to him.

Paul Ryan to lead RNC fundraising efforts against President Obama
Excerpt: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will lead GOP efforts to raise the money needed to defeat President Obama, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Friday. The appointment of Ryan to chair the RNC's Presidential Trust could galvanize GOP donors, but could also revive the Democratic argument that Republicans want to gut the federal government. (We either gut the federal government, or the federal government will gut us. ~Bob)

The Texas Story Is Real
Excerpt: Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the Republican presidential nomination race bragging about the job creation record of Texas during his term as his primary pitch to a nation starved for jobs. This triggered a flurry of debate on whether or not Texas is really all Perry claims for it. But while there is certainly nuance in numbers, and Texas doesn't win on every single measure, on the whole it seems indisputable that Texas did very, very well during the 2000s.

Academic Research Suggests That the American Jobs Act Will Produce Few Jobs
Excerpt: On September 8th, 2011, President Obama proposed the $447 billion American Jobs Act (AJA) to a joint session of Congress. The AJA includes more than $250 billion in tax credits and incentives that are intended to induce more hiring and spur more consumer and business spending. The remainder of the package is dedicated to new spending on infrastructure and "make-work" projects. However, a review of the academic literature on these sorts of tax policies suggests that they will have little, if any, impact on spurring job creation or aggregate demand. Indeed, because these temporary tax measures would be offset by some $460 billion in permanent tax increases, the whole package could actually do much more economic harm than good. (Obama doesn’t want the Jobs Act. He wants the political benefit of the bill being defeated. ~Bob.)

Horne issues opinion on tuition, immigrants
Excerpt: Attorney General Tom Horne says Arizona community colleges cannot classify illegal immigrants as in-state students for tuition purposes.

The Latest Obamacare Implosion
Excerpt: Inefficient programs that don't solve problems and are passed against the will of the American people seem to be the Obama Administration's forte. Now their high-minded aspirations of a health care revolution are quickly unraveling as fatal glitches in Obamacare become apparent. Next up for implosion? The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, otherwise known as the "CLASS Act," which creates a government-run long term care insurance program too costly to sustain. At a time when entitlement programs in America have spun out of control, liberal proponents of Obamacare were pushing a new one that had no hope of staying afloat. Now, they are trying hide the fact that they were wrong as another bungling layer of Obamacare is exposed.
Attack on Marines Linked to Seattle Terror Plot
Excerpt: In what may be a new development in a June South Seattle terror plot, state prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against a longtime criminal in Washington state who attempted to run two Marines off the road, and who allegedly had contact with one of the terrorism suspects. According to the charges, Michael D. McCright, who also goes by Mikhial Jihad, swerved at a government-owned sedan on July 12 after noticing the uniform of the Marine staff sergeant driving the car. "His eyes widened and he appeared to become angry," the staff sergeant reported to the police. McCright then quickly pulled in front of the sedan and jammed on his brakes in an effort to cause a collision. The second Marine in the car, a noncommissioned gunnery sergeant, managed to report McCright's license plate to the Washington State Patrol. Both Marines were uninjured in the incident.

What We Learned From Orlando.
Excerpt: Is it really possible that we went through an entire two hours of debate and the subject of the imminent (possible) collapse of the global financial system never arose? Answer: Yes!

Hezbollah arrests 4 Israeli agents whilst fifth escapes - Sources
Excerpt: Well-informed Lebanese sources have confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that 5 senior Hezbollah members have been uncovered as Israeli agents. The source revealed that 4 of the 5 senior Hezbollah members were detained, whilst a fifth was able to escape. According to another Lebanese source, a senior Hezbollah official has disappeared recently, amidst conflicting information about the reason for his absence. However the Lebanese source confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that this was due to “suspicion of collaborating with Israel.” The source confirmed that the senior Hezbollah official, identified only as “M.S”, had disappeared from his home in Ghobeiry in southern Beirut. The source also revealed that M.S’s parents and wife are unaware of his current location, or whether he left voluntarily or involuntarily.

Michelle Flaunts $42,150 Worth of Diamond Bracelets At NYC Fundraiser
Excerpt: First the trip to Spain, lunching with the royals, then the summer vacations on the Vineyard and now…$42,150 worth of diamonds around just one of Michelle’s wrists A year’s salary for someone who’s employed. Yes, but who cares? Not the President or his First “Lady.” Come and get me, Attack Watch, but this is ostentation not merely squared, but to the nth degree.

Regulatory Commissars: Don't Create Jobs
From The Patriot Post
With all the talk of saving and creating jobs, we find it disturbing that someone has been punished for doing just that. Peter Schiff, president and CEO of EuroPacific Capital, committed the unpardonable offense of hiring more brokers than regulations allow. "In my own business, securities regulations have prohibited me from hiring brokers for more than three years," Schiff testified before Congress. "I was even fined $15,000 expressly for hiring too many brokers in 2008. In the process I incurred more than $500,000 in legal bills to mitigate a more severe regulatory outcome as a result of hiring too many workers. I have also been prohibited from opening up additional offices. I had a major expansion plan that would have resulted in my creating hundreds of additional jobs. Regulations have forced me to put those jobs on hold." Furthermore, says Schiff, "[T]he added cost of security regulations [has] forced me to create an offshore brokerage firm to handle foreign accounts that are now too expensive to handle from the United States. Revenue and jobs that would have been created in the U.S. are now being created abroad instead." As National Review's Andrew McCarthy quipped, "He's in finance. I guess he should have tried solar panels." In related news, the EPA's overzealous regulators will soon cost another 500 workers their jobs. Texas energy company Luminant will be forced to stop generating energy at two of its power plants and shutter three lignite mines, thanks to requirements within the EPA's recently mandated Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in 2012. In a statement, the company said that while it is "launching a significant investment program to reduce emissions across our facilities" it couldn't otherwise comply with the "unrealistic deadline" without eliminating the 500 jobs. Also, it has taken the step of suing the EPA to overturn the edicts.

Return of the Real Obama
Excerpt: In a 2008 debate, Charlie Gibson asked Barack Obama about his support for raising capital gains taxes, given the historical record of government losing net revenue as a result. Obama persevered: "Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness." A most revealing window into our president's political core: To impose a tax that actually impoverishes our communal bank account (the U.S. Treasury) is ridiculous. It is nothing but punitive. It benefits no one -- not the rich, not the poor, not the government. For Obama, however, it brings fairness, which is priceless. Now that he's president, Obama has actually gone and done it. He's just proposed a $1.5 trillion tsunami of tax hikes featuring a "Buffett rule" that, although as yet deliberately still fuzzy, clearly includes raising capital gains taxes. He also insists again upon raising marginal rates on "millionaire" couples making $250,000 or more. But roughly half the income of small businesses (i.e., those filing individual returns) would be hit by this tax increase. Therefore, if we are to believe Obama's own logic that his proposed business tax credits would increase hiring, then surely this tax hike will reduce small-business hiring.

Bam's Government Loans to Nowhere Bill
Excerpt: President Obama still hasn't learned the classic First Rule of Holes: When you're in one, stop digging. Up to his earlobes in failed stimulus grants and tainted federal loan guarantees, the shoveler in chief tunneled forward this week on his latest Government Loans to Nowhere bill. His willful ignorance is America's abyss. Little noticed in the White House jobs-for-cronies proposal is a provision creating yet another corruption-friendly "government corporation" that would dole out public infrastructure loans and loan guarantees. Because, you know, the government-chartered, political hack-stacked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "public-private partnerships" -- which have incurred an estimated $400 billion in losses while enriching bipartisan Beltway operatives -- worked out so well for American taxpayers. The new monstrosity, dubbed the "American Infrastructure Financing Authority" (AIFA), would "provide direct loans and loan guarantees to facilitate investment in economically viable infrastructure projects of regional or national significance," according to the White House plan.

LightSquared: Putting O’s donors first?
Excerpt: If you thought the half-billion-dollar, stimulus-funded Solyndra solar company bust was a taxpayer nightmare, just wait. On its heels comes yet another alleged pay-for-play racket: LightSquared. The firm is building “a state-of-the-art open-wireless broadband network.” Competition in the industry is a good thing, of course. But military, government and civilian aviation experts have long objected to LightSquared’s potential to interfere with the Global Positioning System satellite network. As the government’s Positioning, Navigation and Timing agency explained: ‘‘The GPS community is concerned because testing has shown that LightSquared’s ground-based transmissions overpower the relatively weak GPS signal from space. Although LightSquared will operate in its own radio band, that band is so close to the GPS signals that most GPS devices pick up the stronger LightSquared signal and become overloaded or jammed.” (Of course—it’s The Chicago Way. ~Bob.)

South Carolina Boeing factory turns sour for Obama
Excerpt: In many ways, Boeing should be a boon to President Barack Obama. In a faltering economy, the aerospace titan opened a $750 million factory in South Carolina and hired thousands of workers to build the world’s most fuel-efficient commercial jet. But instead, it’s become a drag on his job creation agenda and a boon for candidates seeking the GOP presidential nomination. In a case that has become a cause célèbre among Republican lawmakers and 2012 hopefuls, the National Labor Relations Board has accused Boeing of opening its South Carolina shop in a “right-to-work” state to retaliate against union worker strikes at its main manufacturing base in the Seattle area. An Obama appointee is now asking a judge to order Boeing to relocate all 787 Dreamliner production to Washington state — a move that’s feeding the GOP narrative that Obama’s Big Government is meddling with job creation, just as the first plane nears its first commercial flight. “It’s like a lightning rod,” said Gary Chaison, an industrial relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “The Boeing case is so dramatic. All the anti-union forces and all anti-Obama people are coalescing.” At the same time the president was selling his American Jobs Act in the Rose Garden last week, Mitt Romney was visiting Boeing’s South Carolina factory.

Arabs Throw Rocks at 20 Month Old Baby
Only a problem if Jews hurt an Arab baby. ~Bob. Excerpt: Arabs threw rocks at an Israeli car in Samaria, injuring the baby girl in the face.

The Unique Nature of Jew Hatred
Excerpt: As many of the nations of the world align themselves against Israel, this is a good time to be reminded of the unique nature of anti-Semitism, hatred of the Jews because they are Jews. And while few people would claim that the modern state of Israel is flawless in its conduct or that the Jewish people are above moral reproach, it is clear that there is something irrational, even diabolical, about Jew hatred. Consider the evidence in its totality. 1) Anti-Semitism is the longest hatred of all time. Catholic scholar Edward Flannery wrote: “Antisemitism is the longest and deepest hatred of human history. . . . What other hatred has endured some twenty-three centuries and survived a genocide of 6,000,000 of its victims in its twenty-third century of existence only to find itself still intact and rich in potential for many years of life?” Today, Anti-Semitism is at its highest levels since immediately before the Holocaust, equaling, in fact, those pre-Holocaust levels. How can this be?

Worth reading: The Regulation Racket
Excerpt: When we hear that tiny smelt shut down a quarter-million acres of the nation’s prime farmland, or Byzantine regulations require years and millions of dollars before a bridge can be built, or oil businesses are paralyzed by filling out tens of thousands of pages in duplicate regulatory forms, conservatives usually shrug over the waste and impediments to productivity while liberals point to the children who will be saved by more fish, quieter afternoons, or less carbon in the air. But the impulse to regulate is far more personal and self-serving. Behind the new regulatory state are millions of academics, lawyers, bureaucrats, organizers, and freelance consultants who first create a new need for the rules, and then magically step in armed with their rare expertise (environmental impact statements, subsidized graduate research showing class/race/gender discrimination, communications in legalese, etc.) to allow the rest of us to “comply” with their own utopian (or rather self-serving) visions. Fifty years ago junior wanted to be a civil engineer or master welder—today an environmental impact statement researcher. The net result is that a guy on a tractor, a welder on a bridge, and a street paver are supporting distant others who are monitoring what he is doing while being far better paid with far less work.

The White House's Advice for Your Rabbi President presses: Preach politics from the pulpit.
Excerpt: The Jewish High Holidays are upon us, so naturally it's time for the White House to feed political talking points to rabbis. As has become its annual practice, the Obama administration on Thursday convened a conference call with several hundred rabbis and Jewish leaders. According to a participant on the call, President Obama promoted his jobs bill—noting that those who have been more blessed should pay their fair share—and briefed the rabbis on U.S. efforts to counter the push for a declaration of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. I was on another such call recently, the purpose of which—according to the Jewish rabbinical group that invited me—was to help listeners "understand the current state of the economy; learn about the impact of the proposed budget cuts on the poor and disenfranchised; consider the consequences of the increasing gap between the rich and poor in America; and, glean homiletic and textual background to help prepare their High Holiday sermons on this timely topic." The agenda of the call organizers was clear. Two speakers, one of whom was a (non-Jewish) Democratic senator, spoke of our country's need for "raising revenue," the new code phrase for tax increases. When I suggested that we separate politics from spirituality, a third participant pushed back, saying "the Torah is a political document." A curious assertion in a crowd that would quickly denounce any invocation of the Bible in political discussions. (you have to understand, in Chicago everything is political. ~Bob.)

Obama Sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs
Excerpt: While publicly pressuring Israel to make deeper concessions to the Palestinians, President Obama has secretly authorized significant new aid to the Israeli military that includes the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs known as bunker busters, Newsweek has learned. In an exclusive story to be published Monday on growing military cooperation between the two allies, U.S. and Israeli officials tell Newsweek that the GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators—potentially useful in any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites—were delivered to Israel in 2009, just several months after Obama took office. The military sale was arranged behind the scenes as Obama’s demands for Israel to stop building settlements in disputed territories were fraying political relations between the two countries in public. (…) In 2007, Bush informed Ehud Olmert, then prime minister, that he would order the bunker busters for delivery in 2009 or 2010. The Israelis wanted them in 2007. Obama finally released the weapons in 2009, according to officials familiar with the still-secret decision. (Unbelievable. Endangering our own and friendly forces FOR NO POSSIBLE GAIN! Why would anyone tell a reporter not only that we sold these but even the exact quantity involved?  This is beyond partisan politics, this is existential. This involves current operational security.  Anyone too stupid to realize the up-coming Middle East war WILL involve us—regardless of if we deny any connection and even actively oppose Israeli self-defense—is too stupid to hold any authority, not even as a Lance Corporal fire-team leader. If this was “unauthorized,” the leaker should simply disappear; if authorized, the “authorizer” should be fired or impeached for idiocy. Ron P. They leaked it to convince Jews BO is pro-Israel. Doesn’t matter who dies if it helps Obama in 2012. NY-9 is the reason for this. ~Bob.)

New Book: ‘Confidence Men’ Exposes White House Economic Team
Excerpt: The White House is clamoring to shoot down claims made in a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, which offers stinging insight into the Obama administration’s dysfunctional handling of the economic crisis. Confidence Men, released Tuesday, is an exposé on the bitter rivalries that divided and, at times, paralyzed Obama’s economic team. It paints an unflattering portrait of an inexperienced president who lacks the leadership skills to get his staff in line. The criticism couldn’t have come at a worse time for Obama. Already under increased scrutiny about the administration’s economic policies and the president’s ability to lead, White House officials are pushing back hard against Suskind’s book. In a media blitz this week, administration officials have listed over a half-dozen minor inconsistencies, factual errors, and spelling mistakes. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner even provided an on-camera denial to one of the book’s more shocking claims, and Press Secretary Jay Carney went so far as to accuse Suskind of “lifting” a passage in his book from Wikipedia. (Here is another clue that the Left is slowly leaning toward "firing" Obama and promoting candidate Clinton. Note the repeated comment: "Clinton would never have done this." Unless I miss my guess, the Clinton camp is setting the stage for a Hillary run, and a lot of Democrats are yearning for just that. I never pretended to be a prophet, but I can read road signs, and they're springing up like mushrooms after a rain. The say "Clinton in 2012." We need to be prepared for this because Clinton would be harder to beat than the man more and more people on both sides of the aisle now affectionately call Zero. --Don Hank)

Suspected LulzSec hacker arrested in Sony studio breach
Excerpt: A federal grand jury indictment returned this month and unsealed on Thursday charges Cody Kretsinger, 23, with conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer in connection with the attack in May and June. The nine-page indictment said Kretsinger and co-conspirators obtained confidential information from Sony Pictures' computer systems using an "SQL injection" attack against its website, a technique commonly used by hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and steal information. Kretsinger, who went by the moniker "recursion," helped post information he and his co-conspirators stole from Sony on LulzSec's website and announced the intrusion via the hacking group's Twitter account, the indictment said. LulzSec, an underground group also known as Lulz Security, at the time published the names, birth dates, addresses, e-mails, phone numbers and passwords of thousands of people who had entered contests promoted by Sony.

Gov. Mitch Daniels: Obama 'inhabits a different planet' on economic issues
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said President Obama "inhabits a different planet" when it comes to the understanding of job creation and the economy. "I do believe the president, his life has been so far removed from the world in which jobs and wealth and prosperity are made that he doesn't understand and probably can not understand how damaging his policies are to the economic prospects of the country," Daniels said at a breakfast Friday held by The Christian Science Monitor. "He just inhabits a different planet ... in that respect."

European refineries face 'dramatic' future
Excerpt from editor’s comments in email: Forgive me for trotting out a very old and frequently cited quotation from former Saudi Arabia oil minister Sheik Yamani. He famously said that 'The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.' This quotation came to me as I read today's main story on EER from our correspondent in Brussels, Sonja van Renssen, about a new report from Europia, the European Petroleum Industry Association, published last Tuesday. It presents a dramatic future for European oil refineries. The report concludes that, depending on how demand develops, between 25 and 70 of the 100 existing European refineries will be closed by 2050. These closures are to some extent inevitable of course if Europe is really going to "decarbonise" its energy supply (although I have to confess I sometimes still find it hard to believe that this will really happen!). Yet, as Europia points out, even if the Oil Age will end in Europe, oil will still be around, as Sheik Yamani predicted. It will continue to form an important part of the European economy, particularly in transport, the petrochemical sector and other industries. (A bit like coal, I guess, whose Golden Age is also behind us, but it's still there.) (…) If this happens - if European refining is stifled prematurely - it will have very negative consequences, Europia warns. It will hurt security of supply, undermine the existing oil distribution system, and hurt economic growth. In other words, you might say that Europia is warning us that we should take care that the End of the Oil Age will not take us back into the Stone Age.

Judge questions honesty of Interior Department scientists
Excerpt: Wanger was angered by testimony from the two scientists, Frederick V. Feyrer and Jennifer M. Norris, that he said was "false," "contradictory" and "misleading." He accused the Interior Department of "bad faith" in providing the two scientists as experts, and claimed their testimony was "an attempt to mislead and to deceive the court into accepting not only what is not the best science, it's not science." An Interior Department spokesman defended Norris and Feyrer, telling the New York Times that "we stand behind the consistent and thorough findings by our scientists on these matters and their dedicated use of the best available science." Wanger and the Interior Department scientists cannot both be right. The judge's assessment of their testimony and his conclusion about the agency's conduct in the case raise profoundly serious questions about the integrity and honesty of all the federal officials involved in the delta smelt case. And if the judge is correct in that case, taxpayers should be wondering whether other government scientists have given impeachable testimony on behalf of questionable federal environmental policies.

CERN: Light Speed May Have Been Exceeded By Subatomic Particle
Excerpt: One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity – that nothing can go faster than the speed of light – was rocked Thursday by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories. European researchers said they clocked an oddball type of subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the 186,282 miles per second that has long been considered the cosmic speed limit. The claim was met with skepticism, with one outside physicist calling it the equivalent of saying you have a flying carpet. In fact, the researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. (If this is verified as a “normal space” speed, perhaps Scotty really CAN give us Warp speed. If, instead, it’s found to be transiting through another dimension, and we can puzzle out how it gets there, it could be the key to interstellar travel—before we’ve even set foot on Mars. Most scientists are extremely skeptical, so far. Ron P.)

Wrong way to help the unemployed
Excerpt: In his dogged quest to boost employment, President Obama has searched far and wide for new solutions. One provision in his American Jobs Act may very well have a positive impact on hiring. Just not in America. The section consists of a ban on discrimination against the unemployed. Some companies have posted ads that say those who are out of work need not apply. It sounds like a cruel joke: You don't need a job if you have a job, but unless you have one, you can't get one. But the real joke is thinking that the way to get companies excited about hiring is making them walk through a minefield to do it. Or that employers who shy away from the unemployed are irrational or evil. Or that the policy of a few companies has much to do with the plight of the jobless. This proposal may be interpreted as one more sign that Democrats know little about the realities of running a business. Could be, but they aren't alone. New Jersey actually passed a ban that mandates fines of up to $10,000 for refusing the unemployed, and it was signed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, a conservative darling. (If I have a job and I get a new one, that leaves my job open. Duh. ~Bob.)

Twenty percent, yes. Twenty-five percent, no
Excerpt: It is clear from the way President Obama has been talking about the federal budget recently, and about taxation since he came to office, that all the money that Americans earn belongs to the federal government. The key words in this conversation are "tax expenditures." Obama has lost a lot in tax expenditures, and he wants more of those tax expenditures back. He can spend that money, he believes, more wisely than the citizenry -- that is to say, you and me. He has wiggled and wobbled on the nation's finances over the years. First, he spent money that he did not have. Then he threatened to raise taxes on the rich to pay for it. Then again he spent money that he did not have. Now, he is getting very serious about the budget, which means that the budget deficit is so large you do not even want to think about it. So he is back to taxing the rich again, which eventually means you and me. Obama has announced a strategy to cut the deficit by $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years. He is going to get $1.1 trillion of it back from winding down our war effort.

The Wages of Multiculturalism in the Democratic West
Excerpt: In 2008, Vietnam war veteran Jesse Nieto — a Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base civilian employee and father of one of 16 sailors who died in the 2000 Islamist attack on the USS Cole — was ordered to remove from his vehicle decals that a Marine’s Muslim spouse thought were offensive. The decals referred to Islamic terrorist responsibility for the USS Cole tragedy and the celebrations it prompted in the Muslim world. Although he removed some of the decals, Nieto’s vehicle was subsequently banned from his place of work, as well as all other federal installations, denying him the right to visit his son’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery. The Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on Nieto’s behalf challenging the military’s ban on Nieto’s right to freedom of speech. Fortunately, the judge in the case ruled for the father and astutely observed that stating “Islam is Peace” and “Islam is Love” could be equally perceived as offensive and inflammatory for Nieto, as was the anti-Islamic terrorism message to those complaining about his decals. In this case , the decision affirmed that multiculturalism and political correctness do not justify violating the Constitution. (All cultures are not equal nor are they all equally worthy, especially when the intolerant culture imposes itself on the tolerant one. Multiculturalism is eroding our society from the inside. Cordially, Larry Greenberg.)

Huge Infidel Victory: UC Muslim Students Found Guilty On All Counts of Disrupting Meeting and Shutting Down Free Speech
Excerpt: Justice was served today in a California courtroom. A six-man, six-woman jury found members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, the Muslim Student Union, guilty on all counts of misdemeanor disturbing a public meeting and conspiracy in connection with the Feb. 8, 2010. They deliberately broke the law. They deliberately disrupted and shut down Ambassador to Israel Michael Oren's, speech, knowing full well that they risked arrest. The stealth jihadists use freedom of speech to shut down freedom of speech. There is no freedom of speech under the sharia. Today American law triumphed over the sharia.

Solyndra executives repeatedly invoke the Fifth
Excerpt: Solyndra executives repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment this morning as House lawmakers pressed them to answer questions about the company's financial collapse and any hopes of repaying their $535 million federal loan guarantee. "While I hope to have an opportunity to assist this committee in the future, on the advice of my attorney, I must respectfully decline to answer any questions," Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison told Energy and Commerce oversight subpanel Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who opened the questioning. (Q: Do you know Barack Obama? A: On advice of counsel, I respectfully refuse…~Bob.)

Twitter Joke
Why did the Canadian Geese cross the road? To get American healthcare.

Dead federal retirees paid $120 million yearly, report says
Excerpt: The federal government pays out millions of dollars to dead people each year — including deceased retired federal workers, according to a new report. In the last five years, the Office of Personnel Management has made more than $601 million in payments to dead federal retirees, according to the agency’s inspector general. Total annual payouts range between $100 million and $150 million.

Iran Considering Attacking U.S. Facilities in Mideast
Excerpt: Therefore, the analysis concludes, an America weakened by economic and military crises makes preemptive assaults on U.S. targets all the more inviting. The radicals ruling Iran have long believed that due to internal U.S. problems, America can no longer sustain its activities in the Middle East and is bound to pack up and leave eventually. Now these radicals believe that they could attack American forces in the region, starting a regional war with America, and have a good chance at winning it. They further believe that by initiating such a war, not only will they further influence the Islamic movement in the region, but they will come out as the leaders of this movement worldwide. (It’s difficult to say how seriously to take this. I have a hard time believing the Iranians think we’d simply withdraw quietly if they attacked our bases overseas. The Philippines and Pearl Harbor were “just” overseas bases in December, 1941; the former Axis Powers may have some advice to give the Iranians concerning the outcome of that. Ron P.)


  1. apropos of nothing Bob (aka Little Miss Sunshine) has posted, I'm having severe Perry doubts.

    His statement that those who oppose in state tuition for illegals lack hearts has shaken me.

    The underlyng thesis - that truly "right thinking" people happily spend other people's money to feel good about themselves - is central to Communism Lite known as New Deal Liberalism. Did Gov. Perry misspeak egregiously (which would raise its own set of concerns) or is he just another pol happy to buy votes with the money you and I sweat to earn?

  2. This comment may be a bit late; Bob has reproved me for sending it to him, rather than posting it here so I could be publicly excoriated. (For those in doubt, Bob and I are good friends. Despite our names, we are not related, however.)

    A few days ago the State of Georgia executed a black man convicted of killing a cop. The protests continue, although after twenty years of furious effort, no court was persuaded to set aside the conviction. That, we are told, is proof that "Whitey's System" has it in for black men. No one seems willing to address the obvious question: Is it possible the man was indeed guilty?

    Yet on the same day, Texas executed one of the white men convicted in the brutal dragging death of James Byrd, Jr., a black man. As near as I could tell, there was no fuss, save from Mr. Byrd's family, who asked that clemency be shown. (Thereby showing that they have bigger hearts than I do. Had my father been the victim, I would have petitioned for the right to throw the switch.)

    The contrast is striking - organized, international support for a cop killer who happened to be black, silence regarding a racist who, at the least, deserved what he got. But why the selective outrage?

    Is death appropriate when a white commits the brutal and premeditated murder of a black man, or are black men who kill cops a protected class?