Sunday, September 25, 2011

Political Digest for September 25, 2011

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

Two related articles; the second was worrisome enough that I sought out the first; the first is worrisome enough that I include it here. Ron P.

The Telescope: Iran at our Doorstep, Part I
Excerpt: If this sounds a lot like 1962 and the Cuban Missile Crisis all over again, it is with good reason. But, as Mahjar-Barducci says, there is at least one significant difference. "Back in 1962, thanks to the stern stance adopted by the then Kennedy administration, the crisis was defused. Nowadays, however, we don't not see the same firmness from the present administration. On the contrary, we see a lax attitude, both in language and in deeds, that results in extending hands when our adversaries have no intention of shaking hands with us."

Iran at our Doorstep - Part II, The EMP Threat
Excerpt: …the Iran-Venezuela-Russia alliance currently constructing a military missile base on the extreme northern coast of Venezuela well within reach of many heavily populated U.S. cities. The publicly stated purpose of building the base is to provide the capability for Venezuela to launch missiles at "Iran's enemies." Subsequently on September 4 we published contributing editor Major General Paul Vallely's article summarizing the release by the United Nation's IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) of a "restricted report" regarding Iran's continued nuclear activity. Consistent with the documentation shared on these pages last month, the U.N. nuclear agency said it is "increasingly concerned" by a stream of "extensive and comprehensive" intelligence coming from "many member states" suggesting that Iran continues to work secretly on developing a nuclear payload for a missile and other components of a nuclear weapons program. (…) One of the most damning indictments of the 9/11 Commission's findings was a "failure of imagination." America couldn't imagine that we were vulnerable to a terrorist attack inside our border on the scale of 9/11. Have we allowed our imaginations to fall asleep again?

White House: Civilianize Military Benefits
On Monday, the Obama Administration unveiled its plan to cut the deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years. The proposal includes $27 billion in cuts to the military health care package and a proposal that could be expected to cut even more from the military retirement system.
(Follow the story to the end and there is a hyperlink for a MOAA suggested message to be sent to your elected officials. You do not need to be a MOAA member to use this link and send messages. Thanks in advance for messages sent. – Al P.)

Dmitry Medvedev asks Vladi­mir Putin to run for president of Russia
The Czar is back! ~Bob. Excerpt: Excerpt: Russian President Dmitry A. Medvedev said Saturday he will step aside after one term as president, and called on the ruling United Russia party to endorse Vladimir V. Putin for the post. That makes it almost certain that Putin will return to the presidency, because United Russia, which he built, has a stranglehold on the country’s politics. Medvedev said he intends to continue to work in the government, with a focus on modernization and anti-corruption efforts. Medvedev, who became president in 2008 when Putin had to leave the office because of term limits, always has been seen as Putin’s protégé. Putin became prime minister, and has continued to hold the reins of power here. (I have said this for years...the real power in Russia is Vladimir Putin and HIS United Russia party...look for more confrontation although from a position of consolidated power with teeth...however, Russia's only real exports are arms and has massive infrastructure and transportation issues that could ruin the nation...there is no way to dodge this...I have watched it up close and personal for Russian friends and colleagues rue this coming day of reckoning in the not too distant future... --Wayne.)

Obamacare HHS rule would give government everybody’s health records
Excerpt: It’s been said a thousand times: Congress had to pass President Obama’s health care law in order to find out what’s in it. But, despite the repetitiveness, the level of shock from each new discovery never seems to recede. This time, America is learning about the federal government’s plan to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us. In a proposed rule from Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal government is demanding insurance companies submit detailed health care information about their patients.

Obama Administration Set to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns
Excerpt: Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer: Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere. The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers to treat mild asthma will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products. The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun. But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.

Ann Barnhardt Responds to Death Threat
Excerpt: I'm going to kill you when I find you. Don't think I won't, I know where you and your parents live and I'll need is one phone-call to kil ya'll. ... You don't need to "find" me. My address is
9175 Kornbrust Circle
, Lone Tree, CO 80124. Luckily for you, there are daily DIRECT FLIGHTS from Heathrow to Denver. Here's what you will need to do. After arriving at Denver and passing through customs, you will need to catch the shuttle to the rental car facility. Once in your rental car, take
Pena Boulevard
to I-225 south. Proceed on I-225 south to I-25 south. Proceed south on I-25 to
Lincoln Avenue
which is exit 193. Turn right (west) onto Lincoln. Proceed west to the fourth light, and turn left (south) onto
Ridgegate Boulevard
. Proceed south, through the roundabout to
Kornbrust Drive
. Turn left onto
Kornbrust Drive
and then take an immediate right onto
Kornbrust Circle
. I'm at 9175. Just do me one favor. PLEASE wear body armor. I have some new ammunition that I want to try out, and frankly, close-quarter body shots without armor would feel almost unsporting from my perspective. That and the fact that I'm probably carrying a good 50 I.Q. points on you makes it morally incumbent upon me to spot you a tactical advantage.

Goldwater investigation: E.V. cities use taxpayer dollars for union work ( East of Phoenix)
Excerpt: Three East Valley cities are paying their employees for more than 13,000 hours of union-related activities at taxpayer expense, according to an investigation by the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute. The organization is planning legal action to stop cities from releasing employees for union work, which would wipe out employee protections negotiated over many years. Goldwater researched numerous collective bargaining agreements after learning some Phoenix employees do not perform any government work because they are allowed to focus exclusively on union work.

The Persecution of Music and Musicians in the Islamic World
Shari'a Law, coming after your iPod soon, aided by the NYT. ~Bob. Excerpt: At a recent conference on ethnomusicology held in the U.S., I met an Arab researcher. His paper on traditional Arab music was indecipherable and full of postmodern jargon. After he finished his presentation, he confided to me in private, "We have to be careful what we say about music -- the fundamentalists are everywhere." And they certainly are. The tyrannies that control the Islamic world are at war with music and musicians, and they seem to be winning. Jonas Otterbeck, a Swedish expert on the status of musicians in the Islamic world, writes, "States and local authorities have taken action against heavy metal musicians, female singers, music, videos and public concerts. Islamist and conservative Islamic organizations ... try to disturb and breakup [sic] concerts, demand censorship on recordings, or call for the punishment of individuals for being blasphemous. At times musicians are killed or attacked physically[.]" When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they tried to ban all music based on a Hadith (saying of the Prophet) that states, "Those who listen to music and songs in this world will on the Day of Judgment have molten lead poured into their ears." And so, inspired by the Taliban, a radical Islamic group kidnapped the well-known Algerian Berber singer, Younes Matoub. Before they killed him, he was told, "You are the enemy of and your songs[.]" To insure that this banning or strict state and religious control of the arts is secure from the intrusiveness of new technologies such as satellite TV and the internet, in February 2008, 21 information ministers from Arab countries agreed on new restrictions for satellite TV. Their charter states that broadcasters should not damage "social peace and national unity and public order." Only Qatar abstained, as its autocratic and non-democratic government is home to the notorious Al Jazeera station, staunch enemy of the West, Israel, and liberal democracies.

Islamist Shebaab push starving Somalis back into famine zone
Excerpt: Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked rebels said yesterday they were moving over 12,000 starving families back into famine zones they had fled, where the UN has warned they will die without help. Draconian aid restrictions imposed by the extremist Shebaab are blamed for turning harsh drought across the Horn of Africa into famine in the areas they control, with 750,000 people at risk of death in coming months, the UN has said. “The mujahedeen fighters, in their bid to help people displaced by drought, started working on plans to send them back home where they will be assisted, God willing,” said Sheik Mahad Abu-Safiya, a senior Shebaab official. The families, estimated to number at least 50,000 people, were “taken back to their homes with packages to feed them for three months,” he added. Witnesses said the packages included rice, maize and cooking oil. However, the Shebaab have refused most international assistance, and blocked people fleeing drought and famine in the Bay and Bakool regions from travelling in search of aid to Mogadishu, where relief efforts are centred. Crowded trucks began moving people late on Wednesday from camps in and around the Shebaab-held town of Baidoa back to their original villages, up to 50km southwest of the town, officials and witnesses said. “The process has started and we have moved the first of the 12,000 displaced families to their original locations,” Mohamed Walid, another Shebaab official, told reporters.
Who's Your Daddy?
Excerpt: For millions of folks, the federal government is now their sugar daddy. According to The Wall Street Journal, 47 percent of people in this country, both citizens and non-citizens, are receiving one or more federal benefits payments. That is the highest entitlement percentage in U.S. history. And that's just the way some in the Democratic Party want it. Get the folks hooked on government benefits, and you'll have their votes for life because those mean Republicans are so full of self-reliance that they'll always oppose federal largesse. From 2007 to 2010, the Democratic-controlled Congress added $5.3 trillion to America's already astronomical debt -- a record spending spree over a three-year period of time. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led the wild ride, with Presidents Bush and Obama signing off on the binge. Now, the USA is approaching bankruptcy, and the Democrats still don't want to rein in spending. They fight cuts every step of the way, offering up phony "take the rich" mantras to deceive the voting public into believing that increasing revenue will dig America out of its well of red ink.

Boatlifters: The unknown story of 9/11
Excerpt: Much has been written and said about September 11, 2001, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, but one story much less known is the one about the band of boats that came together to rescue nearly 500,000 New Yorkers from the World Trade Center site on the day the towers collapsed. It was the largest boatlift ever to have happened – greater than the one at Dunkirk during World War II. Yet somehow a story of such large scale became lost in all the rubble. But a new 10-minute documentary called Boatlift by Eddie Rosenstein captures the boat evacuations that happened on 9/11. The film is part of four new short documentaries that were created for the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. “Boats, usually an afterthought in most New Yorkers minds, were, for the first time in over a century, the only way in or out of lower Manhattan,” says Tom Hanks, the narrator of the film.

Excerpt: As you may or may not know Nogales, Arizona has quickly become the border tunnel capital of North America, as in illegal cross-border tunnel, at least as far as the U.S. government can tell. The latest numbers according to a NORTHCOM Task Force briefing that was apparently secretly leaked over the web just weeks ago, indicate between 1990 and November 2008, 93 cross-border tunnels were discovered, 35 of which were in California, 57 in Arizona, and 1 in Washington State. I’ve been watching this incessantly, tunnels breaching the US-Mexico border have been percolating in the news for the last couple years sometimes at nearly a new story every week – or, a new discovery, rather. At fascinating pace. In addition to a brand new smuggling tunnel found just a few days ago a quarter-mile east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in California – a “3-foot-wide by 3-foot-tall, wood-reinforced channel without lighting or ventilation equipment” believed to connect to a deactivated natural-gas pipe running underneath the boundary – the Border Patrol out of Tucson announced the finding of three more tunnels in Nogales from Dec.-Jan. '08-'09 all tapping into existing storage drains and shared sewage canals, or dipping under the fence.

The Endgame in Afghanistan: How Do We End the Proxy Wars?
Excerpt: When top U.S. military officer Adm. Mike Mullen described the Haqqani Network as a "a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence [spy] agency," to the U.S. Senate on Thursday you could almost hear the ‘I told you so' chorus echoing all the way from Afghanistan. Mullen accused the ISI of fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan, and said that the Pakistani equivalent of the CIA had directly contributed to a series of attacks on U.S. and other targets over the past few years. Just a few weeks ago, Hanif Atmar, the former Afghan Minister of Interior, told me in an interview that if I were really seeking a solution to Afghanistan's problems, I would do well by looking over the border at Pakistan. “I think this is absolutely well understood that the Afghan terrorists with support from ISI and al Qaeda are purposefully and deliberately targeting Afghan politicians, government sites and foreign forces.” What he didn't understand was why the U.S. wasn't doing anything about it. Where are the diplomatic sanctions, he demanded. Why not shut off the aid spigot? What about drones and raids? “If Osama bin Laden could have been targeted in his safe haven, why are these other terrorist groups that are killing innocent Afghans and foreign troops and Afghan troops not targeted in that same safe haven?” he asked. (From TIME...the question is moot...those wars will always be there in an uncivilized populace... --Wayne. How bout we tell Pakistan to knock it off or we supply India with nukes and advanced weapons? ~Bob.)

Republicans Step Up Pressure on Holder as More Details Surface on 'Fast and Furious'
Excerpt: Congressional Republicans once again are turning up the heat on Attorney General Eric Holder, asking more questions about whether he had a role in the controversial anti-gunrunning operation known as "Fast and Furious." The new inquiry comes from Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Despite recent personnel changes at the Justice Department, Smith told Holder in a letter Friday the department cannot "pin this scandal on a few individuals and expect it to be forgotten." "Fast and Furious was a result of systemic problems at the ATF. Congressional interest will continue until we fully understand who authorized the failed program," Smith said.

American Way
: The Shallow Anti-Americanism of the 'I am Troy Davis' Crowd
Excerpt: We saw “I am Troy Davis” T-shirts being worn as far afield as London, the message being that Davis was somehow plucked randomly from the streets and arbitrarily condemned, perhaps because he was black. Unfortunately, little about the Davis case fits this naïve picture. A jury of seven blacks and five whites found that Davis, who had a street name of “Rah”, standing for “Rough As Hell”, had been pistol-whipping a homeless man in a Burger King car park and had shot MacPhail dead when he intervened. Again and again, courts confirmed the Davis conviction as being on legally solid. Lynchings were carried out by mobs rushing to judgement, dragging their quarry out to string them up from a tree. To describe a two-decade legal process that twice went to the highest court in the land as a “lynching” is to try to strip the word of all meaning.

Ahmadinejad: Good, Bad and Ugly
Excerpt: After viewing a series of online videotaped interviews, we found [Ahmadinejad] to be undeniably dogged, resolute, feisty, and scrappy, but he always winds up seeming less flustered than his interrogators. He tends to ask questions they prove incapable of answering. He displays a refreshing absence of the will to please. He appears to be more of a sincere ideologue than a crafty politician, which is always fatal in politics. His comments on Israel and the Holocaust have earned him worldwide condemnation—or, you know, that’s at least the impression that the, eh, running lapdogs of the filthy satanic bloodsucking Zionist regime would have you believe. But the ideological climate, at least in the West, is absurdly repressive—it’s one where you can’t question specifics about the Holocaust or even allege it is cynically and unfairly being used as a political cudgel without being falsely accused of saying IT NEVER HAPPENED and that no Jew was ever killed in WWII. To even dare challenging the officially sanctioned version is to touch the third rail on the Last Train to Dachau. Still, Ahmadinejad is bold enough to ask uncomfortable questions about it. Why is it unique among historical events in that one can be imprisoned in certain countries merely for questioning it? If 40 to 50 million civilians died in WWII, why are only six million ever remembered?

Michael Faherty, Irish Pensioner, Dies Of Spontaneous Combustion (VIDEO)
Excerpt: Forensic experts said the death had not been caused by a fire in Faherty's fireplace, and that no accelerant had been found, nor was there evidence of foul play. Faherty had been found lying on his back with his head near the fireplace, in the sitting room, but fire fighters said the blaze had not spread from the hearth. Coroner Ciaran McLoughlin, who researched the matter heavily before giving his verdict, said he had never encountered such a case in his 25 years working in the region. (This is the odd news item of the day. Spontaneous human combustion is one of those oddities that no one really believes exist, but that can’t currently be explained and occur often enough to disturbing. I suspect the most common entry on death certificates is something like “suspicious, cause of death undetermined.” Ron P.)

A Congress Gone Mad
Excerpt: There are, of course, legislative and political reasons behind this stalemate. The question, though, is do they make any sense outside of the 202 area code? Does anyone honestly believe a victim of Hurricane Irene floodwaters cares whether or not House and Senate Democrats have found unity in their fight with Republicans over disaster funding? Washington tends toward insularity and always has. It always feels a bit alien and characterized by inordinate navel-gazing, partisan high-fiving, and slow-moving legislative chess matches. But even by these standards, this week’s stalemate appears to have reached a new low of cloakroom craziness—where something that seems justified in the cloakroom (building party unity, scoring legislative points, shielding sacred cows) looks like malpractice to the average taxpayer. Not only is Congress tied in knots over providing $3.6 billion in disaster assistance, it can’t agree to keep the government operating until Nov. 18.  Nov. 18?!?! Congress is supposed to keep the government open for a full year. (Major Garrett (pardon me, but his name sounds like it came out of “Catch 22”) is now firmly ensconced in the MSM. This is about as balanced as we can hope for from the MSM. “Both parties are at fault” he says. He neglects to mention the House passed a full-year budget back in the Spring. He neglects to mention that until this Spring, no House has produced a full-year budget since 2008. He minimizes the Solyndra scandal as an excuse to reduce spending on one of the President’s favored programs. Unfortunately, he also appears to have caught the mood of the (uninformed) general public perfectly. This is going to be a problem for both parties next fall. At the same time, there are a whole bunch of agencies, commissions, and departments I wouldn’t mind seeing “out of business” for a few months (or even forever, for some of them). Ron P.)

Home Invasion Gun Fight
The future? ~Bob

Our floundering ‘federal family’
Excerpt: For two years, there has been one constant: As events have refuted the Obama administration’s certitudes, the administration has retained its insufferable knowingness. It knew that the stimulus would hold unemployment below 8 percent. Oops. Unemployment has been at least 9 percent in 26 of the 30 months since the stimulus was passed. Michael Boskin of Stanford says that, even if one charitably accepts the administration’s self-serving estimate of jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus, each job cost $280,000 — five times America’s median pay. ... Obama’s administration, which is largely innocent of business experience, knew its experts would be wizards at investing taxpayers’ dollars. Oops. After receiving more than half a billion stimulus dollars in loan guarantees, bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra has shed nearly all of its more than 1,100 workers. The economic policy the “federal family” should adopt can be expressed in five one-syllable words: Get. Out. Of. The. Way. Instead, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose department has become a venture capital firm for crony capitalism and costly flops at creating “green jobs,” praises the policy of essentially banishing the incandescent light bulb as “taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.” Better to let the experts in his department and the rest of the federal family waste other people’s money.

Magnetic Invisibility Cloak Proposed By Scientists
Excerpt: The cloak is only conceptual, but if developed, it could open up a host of new medical possibilities. For one, patients with pacemakers or other magnetic implants would be able to undergo MRIs without harm. The concept could also be applied by the military: Ships using the technology could avoid mines designed to detonate when a magnetic field is detected, according to But magnetic invisibility isn't all a bed of roses. It could potentially assist criminals trying to breach security in airports, embassies and other high threat buildings by making it possible for bombs and other weapons to pass through metal detectors undetected, reports Discovery News. (This is a premature announcement. There’s no prototype, even. Theory is a good start, but they have a long way to go before this results in an actual device that can be used. Crichton wrote a pretty good book about time travel based on theoretical actions of sub-atomic particles; he did it more than a decade ago. Seen any ads for time machines lately? I like Harry Potter’s version of the invisibility cloak better, anyway; so what if your feet stick out the bottom? Ron P.)

US Predators kill 6 'militants' in North Waziristan strike
Excerpt: US Predators killed six "militants," including four "foreigners," in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today, ending an 11-day-long lull in attacks. The unmanned, CIA-operated Predators or Reapers fired a pair of missiles at a compound in the village of Khushali Turikhel in the Mir Ali area, Pakistani intelligence officials told AFP. "Two locals and four militants of central Asian origin have been killed," a Pakistani security official told the news agency. The official may be referring to members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or the Turkistan Islamic Party, two al Qaeda-linked groups that are known to be present in the area. The target of the strike has not been disclosed. No senior Taliban or al Qaeda operatives were reported killed in today's strike.

New gaffe: Obama hails America's historic building of 'the Intercontinental Railroad'
Excerpt: "We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad," Barack Obama. That's what the president of the United States flat-out said Thursday during what was supposed to be a photo op to sell his jobs plan next to an allegedly deteriorating highway bridge. A railroad between continents? A railroad from, say, New York City all the way across the Atlantic to France? Now, THAT would be a bridge! It's yet another humorous gaffe by the Harvard graduate, overlooked by most media for whatever reason. Like Obama saying Abraham-Come-Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party. Or Navy corpseman. Or the Austrian language. Fifty-seven states. The president of Canada. Etc. If you talk as much as this guy likes to talk instead of governing, if you believe you are a Real Good Talker as much as this guy does, you're gonna blow a few lines. But this many? No doubt, we'll see a collection of Obama's Best Bombs on 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend, one right after the other. No doubt. Can you imagine the media coverage of such repeated historical ignorance if it had been the last Ivy League alum president who said it?

Solyndra's lobbying not disclosed by Energy under stimulus guidelines
Excerpt: The Energy Department has not disclosed any lobbying by the embattled solar energy company Solyndra, despite its
K Street
firm indicating it had contacted the department regarding the stimulus package. Under a policy first issued by the White House in 2009, federal agencies were required to disclose lobbying for stimulus funds. McBee Strategic Consulting, a lobby firm then under contract with Solyndra, said it had contacted the Energy Department in the first and third quarters of 2009 regarding the Recovery Act, according to records filed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Yet a review by The Hill of the more than 40 lobbyist contact disclosure forms regarding the stimulus posted online by the Energy Department reveals no contact between the department and Solyndra's lobbyists. The discrepancy has been a common problem with the stimulus lobbying disclosure policy. Lobbyists have disclosed under the LDA that they have lobbied on the stimulus thousands of times since 2009, but federal agencies have released records that only detail hundreds of contacts between them and
K Street

Pakistan has a lot of nerve …now they are threatening that we will lose them as an ally!
Excerpt: Before you read the article below from the LA Times in which it is reported that Pakistan is getting all huffy with us, look at this newspaper headline below. I took a picture of that Pakistani newspaper headline on one of my trips to Pakistan with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. You can see from the headline, the USA was bringing them cash to help with theirs floods, earthquakes, starvation, education etc. We were helping their people because their government could not and/or would not (incidentally, our next stop on that trip was Afghanistan and when we landed in Kabul, I logged on only to read in the NYT that the big shot Pakistanis in government don’t pay taxes…so that is one of the reasons that the USA had to pick up the freight and feed their people. They won’t. The Pakistani government is so corrupt that they write the laws to make themselves rich…and meanwhile the Pakistani government poisons the Pakistani people against us. Go figure!) I kept this picture of this headline because not only were we (Americans) being very generous but to top it all, the Pakistani people were resentful to this cash give away. Why were they resentful? Because we wanted to know what they were going to spend it on — we wanted some accountability. They did not want to tell us. Both the USA and India (and no doubt others) know that money into Pakistan can go to financing terrorism that is then inflicted on India and USA. Of course we would like to track the money we give since no one wants to finance the terrorism against himself! The Pakistanis were unglued – and insulted – that we would want to know how the money was going to be spent. (They don't want to be our ally? Fine. They get in line on terrorism, or we arm our ally India with advanced weapons systems, more nukes to follow. ~Bob.)

Germany Demands "Managed" Greek Default And 50% Bond Haircuts In Exchange For Expanding EFSF, Peripheral "Firewall"
Excerpt: Back on July 21, the same day as the Greek bailout redux hit the tape, we speculated that the biggest weakness in the Second Greek Bailout is that the EFSF would have to be expanded to well over the current E440 billion (which even at its current size has not been fully ratified in Europe, and based on recent events may not be implemented until 2012 thanks to Slovenia and Finland), or about E1.5 trillion (and possibly as much as E3.5 trillion). The reason this is a "problem" is that it would have to come exclusively at the expense of Germany which would have to pledge anywhere between 50% and 133% of its GDP (as France would have long since been downgraded and hence unable to participate in the EFSF at a AAA rating). We also assumed that the debt rollover with a 21% haircut would not be an issue as it should have been a formality: on this we were fatally wrong - the debt rollover plan has imploded and means that the entire Greek bailout has collapsed as some had expected. And now that it is clear that contagion is threatening to sweep through the core, it is back to Germany to prevent the gangrene, no longer contagion, from advancing beyond the PIIGS. However, in order to prevent a full out revolution, Germany's economic elite has said it would agree to an EFSF expansion and hence installation of European firewall, but at a price: a "controlled" default by Greece and 50% haircuts for private bondholders (as German banks have long since offloaded their Greek bonds). This means that "Lehman" is indeed here: just like back in 2008 Paulson et al thought they could contain the adverse effects of a Lehman bankruptcy, while the financial system ground to a halt 4 days later when money market funds broke the buck, so now Greece is somehow expected to remain in the eurozone even as it files bankruptcy. How or why they think the market will buy any of this is beyond stupefying, but we are sure all those armies of lawyers who never have a practical sense of what actually ends up happening in the real world, and who are poring over tomes of EU and EUR charter to see if they can file Greece without expelling it from the Eurozone, certainly has something to do with it.

CNN plays the wrong music and apologizes
Wild, If Fox did this, you'd never hear the end of it. But those racists at CNN....~Bob

U.S. Pressures Europe to Act With Force on Debt Crisis
Give our debt situation, this has to be satire...~Bob. Excerpt: The Obama administration, increasingly alarmed by the spillover effects of Europe’s financial crisis, has begun an intensive lobbying campaign to persuade Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and other leaders to act decisively to stem any contagion from the Greece debt crisis. In phone calls and meetings over the last week, President Obama urged Mrs. Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to take coordinated measures to prevent Greece’s debt woes from spreading to its neighbors. The American pressure will be on display again Friday and this weekend at a gathering of the world’s finance ministers in Washington.

Muslim convenience store owners involved in food stamp fraud all around the country
Excerpt: Khaffak Sahib Ansari, 45, the Muslim owner of a St. Paul market was indicted in Minneapolis Federal Court Wednesday for illegal trafficking of about $3 million in food stamps.
CBS LOCAL - The indictment alleges that between January 2006 and Oct. 7, 2010, Ansari exchanged food stamps for money and ineligible merchandise. The USDA authorized his market to accept food stamps in 1998, and Ansari told authorities that he attended retailer orientation and understood the rules behind food stamps. Every person who receives food stamps gets an electronic card which contains monthly allocated funds that can be used at authorized stores. (Not so much about Islam as that most Muslim immigrants come from corrupt societies where the vast majority do this type thing. Just more opportunity here, especially as they can play the "Islamophobia" card when investigated. ~Bob.)

Another convert who missed reading the "Islam is a religion of Peace" memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Federal prosecutors played tapes on Wednesday of a North Carolina man describing his plans to organize a terrorist attack on the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. The tape of Daniel Patrick Boyd, who pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges in February, was played during the trial of three men accused of plotting terrorist attacks with him. Boyd could be heard on the recording bragging about how easy it would be for him and a team to gain access to the Marine base and kidnap or kill service members and their families. “My father was an officer,” Boyd, who converted to Islam as a teenager, says on the tapes. “What will they say, their hero’s son cutting their head off?” What Boyd didn’t know was that the man he was speaking to, Abdullah Eddarkoui, was a paid informant for the FBI who was wearing a wire.

1 comment:

  1. I served under Colonel Don Myers when he was CO, Recruit Training Regiment, MCRD, Parris Island (and before that when he was XO, 6th Marines)--a fine man, Marine, and leader. They don't come any better.