Friday, October 28, 2011

Political Digest for October 28, 2011

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, please check back. From time to time, Google’s Spam Filter pulls my blog. They restore it when I appeal, but they don’t seem to have the technical ability to fix the problem. I hate to move to another platform with page views running to 10k a week and over 1,150 followers here.

Charities I support

University Accused of Discriminating Against Muslims
By, Golly, they should have all the rights that Jewish and Christian students get at the King Saud University! ~Bob. Excerpt: The official allegations claim that CUA, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to a press release on This formal complaint also maintains that the new same-sex residence halls are particularly discriminating against female students, which is a new position on the same-sex lawsuit that began last month. Banzhaf claims that the University is denying Muslim students the same benefits that students of other religions are able to enjoy since there is no formal Muslim association sponsored by Catholic University but the Columbus School of Law has an association for Jewish students.

Wisconsin Recall Prospects Dimming
Excerpt: Scott Walker's approval numbers are continuing to improve, making the prospect of recalling him look much tougher for Democrats than it did during the spring. Walker's still not popular- 47% of voters approve of him, compared to 51% who disapprove. But those numbers represent continuing improvement over the course of the year. He hit his lowest point in PPP's polling in May at 43/54. By August he'd improved to 45/53, and now that improvement has continued over the last couple months. Republicans continue to stand pretty uniformly behind Walker, and Democrats pretty uniformly against him. Where the shift is occurring is with independents. In May only 40% approved of him with 56% disapproving. Now those numbers are almost flipped with 52% approving to 44% who disapprove.

Peter Schiff takes on 'The 99%'
Excerpt: Peter Schiff, CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. went to Zuccotti Park and took on
Occupy Wall Street
protesters and MRCTV caught some of the action. Note to OWS: If you're going to try and debate someone as knowledgeable as Peter Schiff on economic matters, arrive with more than recitations and talking points. He'll really make you look bad.

Illinois “borrowing” from Charity Dollars
A recent item in an online report from the Republican Senate Leader in Illinois noted the following use of taxpayer refund dollars. An Illinois taxpayer has the option of designating one of ten listed charities to receive some or all of a refund owed the taxpayer who overpays his/her state income tax. The taxpayer simply checks a box on the re-turn form and says how much should go to the selected charity. The senator’s report says the Quinn administration is “borrowing” those taxpayer refund dollars to pay state bills. The Quinn administration says not to worry, the borrowed money will be repaid. Not to worry? Repay? Illinois has the second worst credit rating of any state, trailing only California, and routinely is six months late or more in paying creditors including not-for-profits. If this gets out, taxpayers may be more inclined to seek a full refund and have the option of making a contribution by check directly. –The Howe and Hutton Report.

Dems seek $1 trillion tax hike, $3 trillion deficit cut from supercommittee
Excerpt: Democrats have proposed more than $1 trillion of tax increases in a $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan that they dropped with a thud onto the negotiating table of Congress’s supercommittee. The plan proposed Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and backed by a majority of Democrats on the panel was presented as a grand bargain that cuts entitlements, stimulates the economy and goes much further than the $1.2 trillion deficit cut required under the August debt-ceiling deal. More than 50 percent of the deficit reduction in the plan would come from tax increases, one source said. 

House Democrats would reject deficit supercommittee Medicare benefit cuts
Excerpt: A group of House liberals is already pushing back after reports emerged Wednesday that fellow Democrats on the supercommittee have proposed hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare benefit cuts. "I don't want to hear Democrats suggesting that we have those types of cuts in Medicare," said Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. "I hope that's not true." Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.Ill.), co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, echoed that warning. "The very idea of reducing benefits … is unacceptable," Schakowsky said. "I'm not against making Medicare more efficient [but] I am absolutely, unequivocally opposed to cutting benefits." On Tuesday, Democrats on the 12-member budget committee presented Republicans with a sweeping proposal that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts and more than $1 trillion in new tax hikes, aides told The Hill. The plan was backed by a majority of the panel's Democrats, the aides said.

Dems increasingly call it a ‘Republican Congress’
Can “Do-Nothing Republican Congress” be far behind? ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly referring to the Congress as “Republican” even though their party controls one-half of the unpopular institution. Obama and his allies have started to deploy the phrase “Republican Congress” in what some experts see as a clear attempt to gain a political advantage. “I’m the first one to acknowledge that the relations between myself and the Republican Congress have not been good over the last several months, but it’s not for lack of effort,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this month. “It has to do with the fact that, you know, they’ve made a decision to follow what is a pretty extreme approach to governance,” he said. 

RAF makes Great Escape, the sequel
Excerpt: A GROUP of Scots RAF officers have recreated one of history’s most famous breakouts which was immortalised by film star Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. Flight Lieutenant Mikey Robertson, who grew up in Stirlingshire, was one of six officers selected to travel to Stalag Luft III PoW camp and re-enact the escape of allied prisoners during the Second World War.

Occupy Wall Street Out!
Excerpt: After weeks of raucous protests and fawning media coverage, the Occupy Wall Street movement finally has worn out its welcome. Since it kicked off in New York last month, OWS has styled itself as a populist campaign. In its own mythology, it represents the voiceless “99 percent” against the ostensibly rich and greedy Wall Street executives in the top “1 percent.” Considering that the top 1 percent already bear the largest share of the country’s tax burden, this class warfare-driven charge never quite stuck. But now the OWS protestors have a bigger problem. As the protests have dragged on, turning city parks and plazas across the country into open sewers and crime havens, the everyday people the protestors claim to champion are turning against them.

A Professor’s Unrequited Love For Qaddafi
Excerpt: Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi paid the ultimate price for speaking “truth to power,” writes Fawzia Afzal-Khan, a professor and university distinguished scholar in the Department of English and director of women and gender studies at New Jersey’s Montclair State University. Her article, published by CounterPunch on October 24th, is entitled “Muammar Gaddafi: In Memoriam.” Khan admits to her unrequited crush on Qaddafi, whom she saw as a teenager living in Pakistan during his visit in 1974 to that country. She swooned at the sight of this “dashing” young man, “tall and handsome in his military uniform,” who “represented hope for the third world against the imperial West –and what a package that hope came in!” She reveled in his “potent mix of revolutionary zeal combining the best of Islamic ideals of economic and social justice with the even headier language and concepts of western socialism.” Thirty-seven years later, Khan – now responsible for teaching our nation’s college-age students at a taxpayer-supported state university – is still under Qaddafi’s spell. Sure he may have had his bad points, Khan admits, but nobody is perfect. And she is not convinced that all those nasty things being said about Qaddafi are true. There is a great deal of “murkiness surrounding his character and contributions to Libya or lack thereof,” writes this “distinguished scholar.” (So, will this leftist vote against the guy who ordered the hit? Ha. ~Bob.)

Daniel Pipes: You’re Gonna Miss Gadaffi
Video interview.

Global Warming – RIP
Excerpt: Corruption within the climate-change industry explains some of the sudden turnoff. "Climategate" -- the unauthorized 2009 release of private emails from the Climatic Research Unit in the United Kingdom -- revealed that many of the world's top climate scientists were knee-deep in manipulating scientific evidence to support preconceived conclusions and personal agendas. Shrill warnings about everything from melting Himalayan glaciers to shrinking polar bear populations turned out not always to be supported by scientific facts. Unfortunately, "green" during the last three years has also become synonymous with Solyndra-style crony capitalism. Common-sense ideas like more windmills, solar panels, retrofitted houses and electric cars have all been in the news lately. But the common themes were depressingly similar: few jobs created and little competitively priced energy produced, but plenty of political donors who landed hundreds of millions of dollars in low-interest loans from the government. (…) We simply don't know positively whether recent human activity has caused the planet to warm up to dangerous levels. But we do know that those who insist it does are sometimes disingenuous, often profit-minded, and nearly always impractical. (It will be difficult to find a better example of Green Political Pollution than the politically connected auto manufacturer-wannabee who took his government backed half-billion dollar loan and will actually make his cars in Finland. That’s sure to save a polar bear or two, perhaps in Canada. Ron P. Well, I still think Solyndra, where we tax payers blew a half billion bucks to get Obama a green Photo Op, is worse. But if Fisker goes under, as seems likely, I may more it to number one. ~Bob.)

What is the American Idea?
Excerpt: What is the American idea? That all depends on whom you ask. According to President Barack Obama, it's the notion that the federal government is the answer to America's problems, and that through its intervention--by sheer force of spending--it can create a brighter future for all Americans. There's a different view, though, that has again found its voice in the past year. It's the idea that America is at its best when its people are allowed to be free and produce, not thanks to the government or even in spite of it, but on their own merit and initiative. Yesterday, those two competing visions were on display--the former delivered in Denver by President Obama, and the latter in Washington at The Heritage Foundation by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

A Warning to Oakland PD on Behalf of Occupy Oakland Warning Hysterical Laughing to Occur YouTube
You laugh. Until you look into his eyes….

BREAKING: Homeland Security Adviser Allegedly Leaked Intel to Attack Rick Perry
Excerpt: Earlier today, I received confirmation from a left-leaning media outlet that Elibiary had recently approached them asking to do a story attacking Texas DPS: “Yes, he approached us and gave us some reports marked FOUO [For Official Use Only] that he said showed a pattern of Islamophobia at the department. He emphasized that some of the regional fusion centers were shut down a few years ago after the ACLU complained that they were targeting Muslim civil rights groups and said that this was being directed by [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry. We looked at the reports and they weren’t as he had billed them to us. They seem to be pretty straightforward, nothing remotely resembling Islamophobia that we saw.”

If a man will not work, he shall not eat. --Bible

The modern state no longer has anything but rights; it does not recognize duties any more. –George Bernanos

Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas Committed to Terror
Excerpt: At a time Hamas is vowing to kidnap more Israelis, some Egyptian leaders are pressuring the European Union (EU) to treat Hamas as a partner in settling the Middle East conflict. And as Muslim Brotherhood officials issue increasingly hostile rhetoric toward the Jewish state, senior American officials are reaching out to the group. Egypt believes the recent prisoner swap freeing kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit could be a catalyst for dialogue between Hamas and the EU. Tarek Fahmy, of the Egyptian research groups National Centre for the Study of the Middle East, told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon that Schalit's release gives the West an opportunity to talk with Hamas, and that it has begun to take the group seriously as an Islamic movement associated with the "Arab Spring." Hamas wants to be regarded as a legitimate entity rather than a terror organization, he said, and this convergence of interests could be a basis for discussions with the West. But Hamas has shown no inclination to change its violent behavior. The head of the terror group's military wing, the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, promises to kidnap more Israeli soldiers. "We will continue to abduct Israeli soldiers and officers as long as there are Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails," said Qassem Brigades boss Ahmed Jabari. (It’s not that the Left is surprised by this—it’s that they don’t care. ~Bob.)

Obama’s Target List: While calling for civility, Obama demonizes everyone in sight. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: What with exhaustion, overexposure, and the temptation to comment on just about anything in the news, presidential candidates and presidents alike naturally often slip up. Given their hectic speaking schedules, they frequently mispronounce words (“nucular,” “corpse-man”), engage in the trivial (inflating tires and tuning up cars in lieu of drilling for more oil), and simply get things wrong (57 states). “Bushism” was coined about 2001 to refer to all the various ways that George W. Bush mangled the English language. There are, of course, just as many “Obamaisms,” though they are rarely commensurately lampooned by the media. FDR unfairly and often demonized his political opponents. Truman could be coarsely blunt; Nixon far more so and in paranoid fashion. Jimmy Carter’s beatific façade seemed to hide all sorts of inner mean streaks. But what seems somewhat different from past presidential sermons, malapropisms, and flat-out wrong statements is the tendency of Barack Obama to lecture, talk down to, caricature, or even insult various people and groups — even as no other president in recent memory has reminded the nation so often of the need for civility, unity, and tolerance. After only one year plus of campaigning and three years of governance, there is already a sizable corpus of Obama’s targets. The common theme is less ideology, politics, race, class, or gender than a sense that many groups and people simply don’t measure up to Obama’s high standards. Some are deemed lazy, stupid, greedy, fearful, or clinging; others are too affluent, of questionable ethics, and ill-informed and ill-intentioned — and thus are culpable for our current problems.

Student debt is a symptom of our lack of economic literacy
Excerpt: One of the failings of our public school systems is the lack of basic economic literacy of so many of our students. I am afraid this has infected our political discourse and policy making to a degree that is frightening and deeply disheartening. One prime example of this, are attempts to ignore basic things like supply and demand when making public policy. In my humble opinion, Democrats are guilty of this more than Republicans but a depressing amount of Republicans follow this path as well. A good example is a hot topic these days: student debt. This is a subject I have some inside knowledge about having acquired far too much student debt in order to achieve an advanced degree from a fancy Ivy League school (fine, a MA from a MAC school, but that is beside the point). This is also a classic example of politicians blindly declaring something a universal good and then making policy that not only ignores economic reality but undermines the economy and harms people (see, housing policy). We blithely declare that everyone should go to college and set up a system that allows anyone breathing to borrow large sums of money with no consequences or connection to reality and wonder why the system doesn’t function. Soon we have millions of people with massive debt and very little to show for it. The sad thing is that these people are now protesting in the streets and asking for what? More hair of the dog that bit them – more government intrusion and less economic reality. And it appears President Obama is happy to oblige them.

Pakistan accused of backing Taliban
Excerpt: And the recent drone attacks in Pakistan have become increasingly effective as intelligence has been withheld from the Pakistanis, claims Mr Riedel. "At the beginning of the drone operations, we gave Pakistan an advance tip-off of where we were going, and every single time the target wasn't there anymore. You didn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to put the dots together."

Taming the Fourth Branch of Government
How did the economy die? Strangled in red tape. ~Bob. Excerpt: Excerpt: In spite of President Obama's public championing of efforts to rein in the regulatory state, federal regulations continue to abound as governmental agencies take on unprecedented amounts of power over policy. Acting increasingly as a fourth branch of government, the influence that these agencies wield subverts the principles of the Constitution by flouting the structure of government that it espouses, thereby damaging the founding principles of American government in addition to harming its economic wellbeing, says Kathleen Hartnett White, director of Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The Federal Register has increased in size from some 11,000 pages in the 1950s to about 80,000 currently -- 3,500 new policies have been adopted in the last three years alone. Additionally, 4,257 new policies are currently in the pipeline to adoption. A 2009 report from the Small Business Administration estimates that the aggregate cost of major regulations alone amounts to $1.75 trillion per year. Furthermore, a number of developments over time have entrenched the clout of the federal agency conglomerate in federal decision-making. First, agencies have slowly been given greater latitude for independent decision-making over the last few decades. This trend is largely due to the increasing number of responsibilities that the federal government takes on. Second, their function is largely informed by broad grants of power from Congress. In principle, the non-delegation doctrine necessitates that the legislative branch maintain control over policy creation. However, precedents that are tested by time and cemented by the judicial branch have allowed Congress to confer upon an executive agency wide-ranging authority, so long as their actions are guided by an explicit (though frequently vague) principle. Finally, individual members of these agencies are increasingly difficult to rein in or circumvent because most are staffed by the civil service -- meaning it is nearly impossible to fire them or replace them.

The Great Green Energy Crack-Up
Excerpt: History — of the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and its former dominions — repeatedly shows that environmental protection is a luxury good. When per-capita income reaches some threshold, the citizenry tire of opaque air and sleazy waters, various agencies and permanent bureaucracies sprout, and, as long as times are good, regulation is good. Our friends in the U.K. and Europe are especially green. Just hop off the plane in London and pick up the papers. Global warming is everywhere, and, for decades, the religion’s been that carbon dioxide reductions are fine, virtuous, and they’re going to make everyone rich. I have a social security system I would like to sell them. This all splatters to a halt when economies go south. And the crash can be especially jarring if greenness is one of the causes. Thanks in no small part to the debacle in Europe, in a very few recent weeks, we have witnessed the great green crack-up.

European leaders agree on plans to shore up banks in effort to contain debt crisis
Excerpt: European leaders moved early Thursday to stem the debt crisis gripping the continent by agreeing to a plan that imposes steep losses on investors holding troubled Greek bonds and boosts the firepower of the region’s bailout fund to at least a trillion dollars. After marathon negotiations that continued well past midnight, European leaders said banks and other major investors in Greek bonds agreed to take losses of up to 50 percent. This concession was meant to help prevent the Greek government from defaulting on bills it cannot pay and avoid an even costlier shock to the European financial system. The losses are much larger than private investors accepted under a deal this summer. Since then, Greece’s economy has steadily eroded, making it even harder for the government to repay its bonds.

True Face of Moderate Leaders by Melanie Phillips
Excerpt: For many years, Professor Sari Nusseibeh has been regarded as the epitome of Palestinian moderation. The urbane president of al Quds university in east Jerusalem, he has been regarded as a "two-state solution" moderate. His actual advocacy of a one-state solution and the swallowing up of Israel has been unaccountably ignored. Yet now he has let down his guard to reveal more starkly what lies beneath this polished veneer. Considering the Israeli government's requirement that the Palestinians must acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state, Nusseibeh declared in an al Jazeera article (in English on its website) that this was inherently "problematic" because of its "legal, religious, historical and social implications". Those problematic implications are that, for Nusseibeh, a Jewish state would necessarily either be a theocracy or practise apartheid -- stripping Israeli Arabs of their civic rights and ethnically cleansing them from Israel, on the basis that in a Jewish state the only people with civic rights would be Jews. His argument is as bizarre as it is disgusting. He appears to regard the idea of Israel as a Jewish state as an outlandish hypothesis which has suddenly been sprung upon the world. But Israel is a Jewish state, just as France is French or America is American. (I have heard Nusseibeh before, most recently in an interview in "Speaking of Faith" ( He always comes off as a humanist and one who respects other religions, including Judaism. One area he carefully avoids is the peoplehood of the Jewish people and its right to a state in its historic homeland. As you can read below, Nusseibeh's legalistic contortions and bizarro interpretation of history makes him the moderate face of the Hamas-Fatah-PLO agenda to replace Israel. And while it seems the Nusseibeh does not argue for extermination, the presence of Jews in Israel certainly seems to be a nasty inconvenience. It is time to revive Menahem Begin's proposal for Palestinian autonomy under Israel's sovereignty. If this will satisfy the Basques and Kurds, not to mention that it works in Lichtenstein, Andorra, Swaziland, etc., the Arabs of Palestine should be left to prosper without the power of an irredentist Islamist-supremacist state. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Housing prices are dropping…and the bottom’s fallen out of the vote-buying market. They are now going cheaper than 100 years ago. ~Bob. Excerpt: Of the many long-term problems the U.S. economy faces, student loans are a big one. Education costs are rising very quickly and incomes aren’t. As a result, students will have to borrow more and more money to obtain university degrees and will have a tougher time paying their loans. President Obama seeks to respond to this question with an executive order in the next part of his “We Can’t Wait” unilateral stimulus effort. While the president’s heart may be in the right place, his effort isn’t like to have much impact.

You can't wait? Neither can we. by David Limbaugh
Excerpt: President Obama couldn't have chosen a more fitting slogan than "We can't wait" to promote his latest legislative elixir for our ailing economy. What could be cleverer than to employ double meaning in aid of doublespeak? CBS News reports that Obama will use the phrase to sell his jobs bill and to justify his plan to take unilateral executive action on the economy. Obama has enlisted the phrase to argue that America can't wait on the private sector to generate economic growth. He can't wait on the people to get up to speed with his superior wisdom or for Congress to rubber-stamp his latest destructive scheme. He will not be denied; he will not be delayed; he will not wait. So he "is going to begin a series of executive branch actions that will not require action from Congress – or the assent of Republicans," including a "major overhaul" of the government's refinance program for federally guaranteed mortgages to assist homeowners who haven't been able to secure refinancing. How many times do we have to go through this song and dance, in which the executive branch arbitrarily alters already existing contracts? How many times will this policy have to fail before Obama quits trying it? This is a perfect scam for Obama. Just as we watch the Occupy Wall Street protesters condemning the banks for actions forced on them by liberals, Obama is again forcing them into similar actions so that the protesters will have something to protest next year.

Chinese Ministry Saved from Default
Didn’t Obama use Chinese Rail as an example for us? Another socialist fail. ~Bob. Excerpt: Last week, the powerful National Development and Reform Commission saved the country’s Ministry of Railways from default by announcing that the bonds of the troubled agency have “government support.” The announcement followed a decision earlier this month to cut taxes on interest paid on railway bonds. Moreover, the Railways Ministry reached agreement with the central government to force state banks to support its nationwide building program. Reports indicated that some of these financial institutions had previously cut their quota of loans to the debt-ridden ministry. The series of steps saved the country’s railroad-building program, which had been floundering. 

Big difference. City wasn’t worried the Tea Party would turn into a violent, destructive riot if provoked. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Richmond tea party is demanding a refund of about $10,000 from the city, claiming it unfairly charged them for rallies while allowing the Occupy protesters to use the same space for several weeks for free. The political organization is sending the city an invoice for the charges incurred for three rallies held in Kanawha Plaza over the past three years. The Occupy protesters have been camped in the plaza since Oct. 15. Richmond Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens says it’s not fair that her group had to pay fees for permits, portable toilets, police presence and emergency personnel. The group also had to purchase a $1 million insurance policy.

California's Democratic Governor Will Propose Major Public-Employee Pension Cuts
Excerpt: Gov. Jerry Brown will propose sweeping rollbacks to public employee pension benefits in California, including raising the retirement age to 67 for new employees who are not public safety workers and requiring state and local employees to pay more toward their retirement and health care, according to a draft of the plan obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. (I’m confused. Did Moonbeam Brown turn into a mean old Republican? Ron P.)

Tea Parties ≠ Occupiers
Excerpt: The American left has been pining for a liberal balance to the popular Tea Party/grassroots groups since the latter reached numbers sufficient to assure that its collective voice would be heard. But the "movement" the left produced will end badly for the progressive politicians whom, through their ignorance, the Occupiers excuse or ignore. (…) It's ironic that the same media which demonized and slandered Tea Parties for more than two years are now comparing them to the Occupiers in an attempt to legitimize the latter. (The vast majority of Americans have no real understanding of either the Tea Parties or the Occupiers. If the MSM says they’re similar, many people—perhaps even most people—are going to buy it. As with virtually everything else these days, it comes down to basic philosophy: who should be in charge of, and therefore responsible for, your life? The Tea Parties say each individual bears ultimate responsibility for his own life; the Occupiers say “the government”—that’s the leftists—or “nobody”—that’s the anarchists. The leftists take away your individuality and lump you into groups (as in “divide and conquer”) while the anarchists force you into a blood-sport of everyone against everyone else, but neither allow you the dignity of being a responsible adult or the right to be left alone. That, in a nutshell is the difference between left and right. Ron P.)

Rubio from Larry Sabato
Too many anti-Rubio stories to be coincidental. The campaign to stop him from being VP on R ticket is on. (Yes, but from Obama or other GOP VP hopefuls? ~Bob.)

For liberals, income inequality is the new global warming By James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: Liberals think there are lots of ideas that intelligent Americans just aren’t supposed to challenge. If they do, they’ll be labeled “deniers,” intentionally raising a nasty comparison to Holocaust rejectionists. It’s politics at its absolute lowest. Among the unchallengeable dogmata: the Obama stimulus created millions of jobs, Obamacare will save trillions of dollars, Dodd-Frank prevents future bank bailouts, and policy uncertainty isn’t an issue hampering the recovery. And, of course, global warming poses an existential threat to civilization and humanity. Make that an “undeniable” threat. You can now add “income inequality” to the list, thanks to New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait. In a column headlined “The Ideological Fantasies of Inequality Deniers,” Chait writes: “Rising income inequality, like climate change, is an ideologically inconvenient issue for conservatives. … The underlying facts, like the facts of climate change, are stark. Over the last few decades, income growth for most Americans has slowed to a crawl, while income for the very rich has exploded.” In a way, Chait is correct that income inequality really resembled global warming. Both are issues that, to the extent they are even problems, could be fixed though faster economic growth. And both serve as handy excuses for the Left to raise taxes and expand government.

Huh. Assume this is a spoof? ~Bob. Excerpt: A group of several dozen “Occupy Las Vegas” protesters camping on Clark County land located under the final approach to Runway 19 at McCarran International Airport today narrowly missed being injured when a 50 lb. slab of “blue ice” reportedly landed within feet of their tents. According to witnesses, the slab fell to earth seconds after Air Force One passed overhead while landing. Blue ice is the frozen material formed by leaks in commercial aircraft lavatory waste tanks, a mixture of human waste and vivid blue liquid disinfectant that freezes at high altitude.

Excerpt: How about that. A bunch of white guys with guns at a public rally, making noises about violent revolution. Even better: they’re neo-Nazis. (And the weirdo behind the camera appears to be a Ron Paul  supporter. So that’s a nice little bonus.) What’s that? It’s an Occupy rally? Oh. Never mind. Nothing to see here, folks!

Broadband company’s demise puts taxpayers on hook for $74 million loan
Excerpt: As the government prepares Thursday to commit billions of dollars to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas, the biggest-­ever such project has collapsed.
The company Open Range, backed by a commitment of $267 million in loans from the Agriculture Department, filed for bankruptcy this month. Taxpayers are on the hook for $74 million that the upstart hasn’t repaid. And now the company, some analysts and a senior government official are blaming poor judgment and Washington bureaucracy as the reasons Open Range failed.

Iran Rallies in Support of U.S. Protesters, Urges U.N. to Probe Police Response
Excerpt: According to an Iranian Students News Agency report, a declaration read at the protest urged the United Nations and human rights groups to investigate the authorities' response to the protests in U.S. cities and support the demands of "impoverished" American workers. A similar call came Wednesday from a lawmaker who chairs Iran's parliamentary human rights committee. Zohre Elahian said in a statement Wednesday that "scenes of the suppression of U.S. protesters are upsetting" and deserve international condemnation. (They are supported by those other bastions of freedom and individual rights, Venezuela and North Korea. The Syrians and Cubans must have been on a break or out sick. Ron P.)

Massachusetts Senate race will be first major test for Occupy protests
Excerpt: Many Democrats see an opportunity to co-opt its grassroots energy, much the way the Republican Party has done with the Tea Party movement. Yet scattered incidents of arrests and riotous behavior have left most politicians stopping short of endorsing it until a crucial question is answered: Will Occupy Wall Street become, like the Tea Party, a potent force advocating one view of the proper role of government? Or will it be written off as a herd of misguided anarchists, and join other failed social movements in the ash heap of history? For Warren, the movement is an ideological match made in heaven. Warren established her brand in Washington as Democrats’ top watchdog for Wall Street, chairing the congressional panel that oversaw the bank bailout and later creating a new regulatory agency to hold the financial sector accountable to the middle class. (I wonder if the OWS protestors know this? I didn’t. Emphasis added. Ron P.)

Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders
Excerpt: The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday -- because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters. For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad. They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day. (The cooks are the 1%. They need to shut up and keep working. The 99% are entitled to those meals! ~Bob.)

Man Claims Prostitute Turned Into Donkey
I blame global warming. ~Bob. Excerpt: A man caught having sex with a donkey told a court in Zimbabwe the animal was actually a prostitute who turned into a donkey in the night. Sunday Moyo, 28, was found by police officers performing a sex act on the donkey, who was lying on the ground tied to a tree, just after 4:00am local time, a court in Zvishavane, about 185 miles (300 kilometers) south of the capital Harare, heard.

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