Thursday, October 6, 2011

Political Digest for October 6, 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.

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 1,100 followers here. Sigh.

Charities I support

“Press on, press on, boys.” --Gen. George Washington, December 26, 1776, to his ragged, cold, exhausted troops on the difficult night march to the battle of Trenton, a time when American independence seemed a hopeless dream. However dark our situation, we can do no less. That is why I devote the time to this blog and to promoting my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic: And what you can do to prevent it. Press on.

Opposition to Obama grows — strongly
Excerpt: Four in 10 Americans “strongly” disapprove of how President Obama is handling job as president in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the highest that number has risen during his time in office and a sign of the hardening opposition to him as he seeks a second term. While the topline numbers are troubling enough, dig deeper into them and the news gets no better for Obama. Forty-three percent of independents — a group the president spent the better part of the last year courting — strongly disapprove of the job he is doing. Forty seven percent of people 65 years of age and older — reliable voters in any election — strongly disapprove of how he is doing his job. Strong opposition to Obama has grown markedly since the start of the year.

The 'Hunger' Hoax By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Twenty years ago, hysteria swept through the media over "hunger in America." Dan Rather opened a CBS Evening News broadcast in 1991 declaring, "one in eight American children is going hungry tonight." Newsweek, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe repeated this statistic, and many others joined the media chorus, with or without that unsubstantiated statistic. When the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Agriculture examined people from a variety of income levels, however, they found no evidence of malnutrition among those in the lowest income brackets. Nor was there any significant difference in the intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from one income level to another. That should have been the end of that hysteria. But the same "hunger in America" theme reappeared years later, when Senator John Edwards was running for Vice President. And others have resurrected that same claim, right up to the present day. Ironically, the one demonstrable nutritional difference between the poor and others is that low-income women tend to be overweight more often than others. That may not seem like much to make a political issue, but politicians and the media have created hysteria over less. The political left has turned obesity among low-income individuals into an argument that low-income people cannot afford nutritious food, and so have to resort to burgers and fries, pizzas and the like, which are more fattening and less healthful. But this attempt to salvage something from the "hunger in America" hoax collapses like a house of cards when you stop and think about it.

Hank Williams Jr. Compares Obama to Hitler.- Fox & Friends
Not exactly. He compared the differences or distance between the parties like the difference or distance between Hitler and a Jewish leader. ~Bob.

Fannie Mae Knew Early of Abuses, Report Says
Excerpt: Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance giant, learned as early as 2003 of extensive foreclosure abuses among the law firms it had hired to remove troubled borrowers from their homes. But the company did little to correct the firms’ practices, according to a report issued Tuesday. Only after news reports in mid-2010 began to describe the dubious practices, like the routine filing of false pleadings in bankruptcy courts, did Fannie Mae’s overseer start to scrutinize the conduct. The report was critical of that overseer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and was prepared by the agency’s inspector general. (These are the folks who created the housing bubble with congressional support and stole the equity in your home. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: If you care a great deal, I’ll give you an account number you can use to make a deposit. [Note to Self: Send this Alert to the folks at Commonwealth. Also to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. CC Uwe Reinhardt as well. You never know what they might do. They certainly talk about this topic a lot.] While you’re thinking about the initial question, here are a few follow-up questions: Do you care whether I have life insurance? What about disability insurance? Homeowner’s insurance? Auto casualty? Auto liability? What about retirement insurance? (A pension or savings plan.) Do you care whether I keep my money at an FDIC-insured institution? Or whether I bought an extended warranty on my car? Or whether I bought travel insurance before taking my scuba diving trip to Palau? (It pays off if you get sick and can’t go.) I’m sure there are busybodies who would like to run everyone else’s life. But society as a whole has taken a more rational approach. We basically don’t care whether people insure to protect their own assets (at least we don’t care enough to make them do so). But we do care about events that could create external costs for other people. Through Social Security, we force people to pay for life insurance benefitting dependent children (who could potentially become wards of the state) but not for a working-age spouse. All but three states force people to have auto liability insurance (covering harm to others) but not casualty insurance (covering one’s own car). We basically don’t care whether people insure their own homes, but we force them to contribute to retirement and disability schemes to prevent their accidental dependency on all the rest of us.

Wife of fallen SEAL hopes to find wedding ring
Excerpt: NORFOLK, Va. — The widow of a Navy SEAL who was among 30 U.S. troops killed in an Afghanistan helicopter crash said Tuesday that she’s lost her husband’s wedding band and is appealing to the public to help find it. Kimberly Vaughn said in a telephone interview from Virginia Beach that she lost her husband’s ring on Saturday while traveling from Deer Park, Texas, to Washington. She had been wearing the ring on her right thumb since Aaron Vaughn died in August.

Marine Widow Eternally Grateful For Ring's Return
Excerpt: Her husband didn’t return from Afghanistan, but his platoon made sure the symbol of their love did. (Wouldn't expect anything less from Marines. The bond of the brotherhood extends to those who love and support Marines. MasterGuns)

Health Care Reform and the Health Care Workforce — The Massachusetts Experience
Excerpt: Most of the difference in health care employment growth occurred in administrative occupations (see table, Growth in Health Care Employment per Capita between 2005–2006 and 2008–2009 for Selected Occupations in Massachusetts and in the Rest of the United States.). From 2005–2006 to 2008–2009, employment per capita in administrative occupations grew by 18.4% in Massachusetts, as compared with 8.0% in the rest of the country (P=0.015). These administrative occupations include management, business and financial operations, and office and administrative support (including medical records and health information technicians). In contrast, employment levels in nonadministrative positions in Massachusetts increased by 9.3% after health care reform, an increase similar to that of 8.6% in the rest of the United States (P=0.796). Workers in this category include physicians and nurses, whose combined employment level increased by only 2.8% in Massachusetts, and people who provide patient care support, such as therapists, technicians, and aides, whose combined employment level increased by 18% in Massachusetts. Although employment growth in patient care support occupations in Massachusetts was not significantly different from that in the rest of the country, it was significantly greater than employment growth for health care professionals in Massachusetts (P=0.022). Employment in “all other occupations,” a category that includes food-services workers and janitors, increased by 7.6% in Massachusetts, a growth rate similar to that in the rest of the country.

A Short History of the Income Tax
Excerpt: Before the modern era, the federal tax system was manifestly unfair by any reasonable standard, grossly biased in favor of the well off. Ironically, attempting to fix that unfairness is what has brought us to the present moment, with a federal tax system that is grotesquely complex, often arbitrary, and corrupted by mutual backscratching between members of Congress and influential lobbyists, says author John Steele Gordon. While America saw its first temporary income tax during the Civil War, it wasn't until 1894 that a federal income tax on the rich became law. The 1894 law was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court, but it was later revived by progressive Republicans and others in the early 1900s. This ultimately led to ratification of the 16th Amendment just as President Taft was leaving office. The new president, Woodrow Wilson, and Congress promptly passed a personal income tax. It kicked in at 1 percent on incomes above $3,000 (a comfortable upper middle-class income at the time) and reached 7 percent on incomes over $500,000. But there were many deductions, bringing the effective tax rates down sharply from the marginal ones -- a feature of the tax system ever since. Unfortunately the corporate income tax, originally intended as only a stopgap measure, was left in place unchanged. As a result, for the last 98 years we have had two completely separate and uncoordinated income taxes. This has had two deeply pernicious effects. One, it allowed the very rich to avoid taxes by playing the two systems against each other -- when the top personal income tax rate soared to 75 percent in World War I, for instance, thousands of the rich simply incorporated their holdings in order to pay the much lower corporate tax rate. The other pernicious consequence of the separate corporate and personal income taxes has been a field day for demagogues and the misguided to claim that the rich are not paying their "fair share."

Senate Democrats buck Obama on jobs by changing 'pay-fors'
Huh. Seems all Obama hears from democrats is “No!” ~Bob. Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) on Tuesday further distanced his Democratic Conference from President Obama by nixing a major component of the White House’s jobs plan.
Reid said he would revise parts of the proposal that some Senate Democrats have found unpalatable. The Nevada Democrat announced his new strategy on the same day he blocked a Republican effort to force a vote on Obama’s jobs bill. 

Obama Campaign Says GOP Blocking Jobs Bill--After Reid Blocks Jobs Bill
the Obama Campaign sent out an email today asking supporters to urge Congress to at least vote on the president’s jobs bill almost immediately after Democratic majority leader Harry Reid blocked a vote on the bill in the Senate. On the Senate floor today, Republican leader Mitch McConnell asked for unanimous consent to proceed on voting on the bill. Reid, who has struggled to find enough votes for the bill in the Democratic caucus, objected to the motion and killed the opportunity for a vote. 

Push for President Obama’s jobs bill illustrates the art of beating a dead horse
“Why don’t we just pretend he didn’t die? Just for a bit!” — Larry Wilson in “Weekend at Bernie’s” It might help to think of the American Jobs Act as Elvis. The King made $60 million last year even though he died in 1977. The lesson: Just ’cause something is dead doesn’t mean it can’t be effective.  And so it is with President Obama and his jobs bill. It’s dead as is. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said so. And maybe more importantly, a number of Democratic senators have implied as much. But that will not stop Obama from talking about the jobs bill and nothing else. That’s because the White House hopes the president’s steady drumbeat of “pass the bill” can become a rallying cry for his supporters even if it doesn’t create a single job. (Does “Beating a Dead Horse” make Obama a sadistic necrophiliac who engages in bestiality? ~Bob.)

Electric Bills About To Spike
Today’s lesson in “Slanting the News 101:” the first 9 paragraphs of this story make clear Daily Beast’s implied opinions that a, rate-hikes are bad; b, companies are greedy; and c, a good government wouldn’t allow this to happen. The excerpt is the 10th, 11th, and 12th paragraphs. Ron P. Excerpt: The Beast’s review of regulatory filings found at least 16 utilities covering 6.1 million customers are seeking rate hikes of 5 percent or more. Almost half of those want increases of 10 percent or more. And several more utilities already have received approval for large increases. For instance, close to three million customers in parts of Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia that get their electricity from American Electric Power have seen their rates increase between 48 and 88 percent over the last few years. Those rates are expected to rise an additional 10 to 35 percent in the next three years. The reason? AEP officials are quick to blame environmental regulations that they say are going to cost the company $8 billion in compliance and upgrades.

Indict Eric Holder
Excerpt: A major-league pitcher was indicted for lying to Congress about steroid use. Administration memos show Eric Holder lied about what he knew about Fast and Furious and when he knew it. What's the difference? Somewhere, Scooter Libby must be scratching his head. He was indicted and convicted simply because his recall of when a meeting occurred differed from others. He didn't lie about a gun-running operation that led to the deaths of two American agents and at least 200 Mexicans. But Attorney General Eric Holder did, according to memos obtained by CBS News and Fox News.

Indict Dick Durbin-and Eric Holder too
 Excerpt: Most states have laws on their books that make it illegal to spread statements about a bank in order to undermine confidence in the bank. They do this for the very good reason that when a run on a bank starts through rumor or innuendo and the bank goes belly up- and it happens very quickly- it costs taxpayers money, it costs shareholders money and it costs society as a whole. (Can I volunteer to help bring them in? Can someone make a “citizen’s arrest of a US Senator and/or the US AG? Be fun to try. ~Bob.)

U.S. 'Paid a Price' on Egypt
Excerpt: In a blunt assessment, President Obama’s first national security adviser told a private audience this week that there is a “chasm” between the United States and its Gulf Arab allies that has yet to heal since the White House very publicly ushered Egypt’s president out of power in February. Retired Marine Gen. James Jones, who served as national security adviser in 2009-10, told a private meeting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the United States’ Persian Gulf allies interpret the president’s handling of the Egyptian revolution as a sign that Washington will dump their monarchies or governments if enough demonstrators take to their streets, according to a recording of the speech reviewed by The Daily Beast. “We have paid a price,” Jones said of the decision to call for Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. “Our policy with regard to Mubarak as interpreted by some of our closest Arab allies in the Gulf has not gone over well.” “In their interpretation of our dumping President Mubarak very hastily, [it] answered the question of what we would be likely to do if that happened in their countries. So there is a chasm there that somehow has to be bridged,” he added. (Us, unreliable? We could offer them references. What ever happened to President Whatzizname in South Vietnam? Or, maybe that guy, Shaw or something, in Iran? When our foreign policy is subject to the whim of the moment, CANADA must wonder about us sometimes, and with good reason. Ron P.)

Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Detailing the Cost to Taxpayers for Michelle Obama’s Family Trip to Africa
Excerpt: The passenger manifests confirm the presence of Obama’s daughter’s, Malia and Sasha on the trip. The two girls are listed as “Senior Staff.” The manifests also list Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, and niece and nephew, Leslie and Avery Robinson, as well Mrs. Obama’s makeup and hairstylist (Carl Ray and Johnny Wright). (We took the Granddaughter to Disney in January. Going to deduct her as a business trip as she is also “senior staff.” ~Bob.)

Obama's Terrorist Dilemma
Excerpt: I agree with the Obama administration's decision to kill the American-born al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki. What I can't fathom is why the administration agrees with me. Here's Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta responding to complaints from the ACLU over the "assassination" of an American citizen without due process: "This individual was clearly a terrorist. And yes, he was a citizen, but if you're a terrorist, you're a terrorist. And that means that we have the ability to go after those who would threaten to attack the United States and kill Americans." I agree with that. The Constitution empowers the president to put down insurrection, and what was Awlaki if not an insurrectionist? From the Whiskey Rebellion to the Civil War to World War II, there have been times when presidents legally and constitutionally treated American citizens as enemy combatants. Awlaki hardly seems deserving of special treatment. (If the Constitution allows Obama to order Awlaki to be turned into a red mush smeared over the desert (which as Mr. Goldberg demonstrates it does), why does it forbid us to water board him if captured? I would have great difficulty voting for Ron Paul because of his position on this. As Lincoln said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact, though today’s left would have had Ike read the Nazis their rights before landing in Normandy. ~Bob.)

Runaway Missiles
Excerpt: After FBI agents took custody of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Dec. 25, 2009, they told him he had the right to remain silent. For Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who allegedly helped plan Abdulmutallab's mission, that right was more like an obligation, enforced by Hellfire missiles fired at his car from remotely controlled CIA aircraft in northern Yemen last week. President Obama's policy regarding people linked to terrorism is clear: They are to be treated like criminal defendants with constitutional rights, except when they are treated like enemy soldiers in the heat of battle, subject to summary execution from a distance. Although this flexibility has obvious advantages in waging the never-ending war on terrorism, it threatens to transform the elected executive of a republic into a dictator with the power of life and death over his subjects. That danger may seem theoretical in light of Awlaki's public record of fomenting violence against Americans. Regarding the U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, the month before Abdulmutallab was caught with plastic explosives in his underwear, Awlaki bragged: "Nidal Hasan is a student of mine, and I am proud of this. ... What he did was a heroic act, a wonderful operation. ... I support what he did, and I call upon anyone who calls himself a Muslim, and serves in the U.S. Army, to follow in the footsteps of Nidal Hasan." Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square last year, also cited Awlaki as an inspiration.

Victory Could Be Ours, If Only We Want It
Excerpt: In the real war, our major enemies are the evil regimes in Iran and Syria, and both are hollow and wobbling, needing only one good push to go over. Syrian soldiers are defecting in significant numbers, while brave, peaceful demonstrators continue to fill the streets despite the likelihood of arrest, torture, and death. The regime is unleashing mass slaughter, as army troops fire blindly into the crowds from a safe distance, a sure sign that Assad has lost control, despite massive Iranian assistance. In Iran, the war of all against all at the highest levels of the regime continues unabated. The latest tumult revolves around the theft of billions of dollars from the major banks, and it is accompanied by strikes at bazaars and factories, explosions in pipelines and refineries, and open warfare along the borders with the Kurds, where, despite the regime’s usual disinformation campaign, Iranian casualties have been significant. Somehow the Kurds are being armed, and they are notoriously good fighters. The defeat of Assad and Khamenei would be a world-changing event, pulling the plug on the ominous strategic alliance that runs from Tehran and Damascus to countries quite close to us, such as Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

Gunwalker: House Wants Special Counsel To Investigate Eric Holder
Excerpt: So far, Holder’s PR defense is that he didn’t understand the following question: “When did you first hear about Operation Fast and Furious?” President Barack Obama now finds himself in a complicated predicament at a time which already marks the low point of public opinion regarding his performance, and as his hopes of re-election fade. If Obama opposes the appointment of a special prosecutor for the perjury investigation (and by extension, Operation Fast and Furious and other alleged gunwalking operations), he immediately saddles his campaign with questions of obstructing a lawful and legitimate call for an independent investigation. Operation Fast and Furious will immediately become a key story for the 2012 campaign, though it has so far been largely ignored by the media. Likewise, President Obama seems to be in danger if he does choose to appoint a special prosecutor. Evidence to date — including direct communications between the ATF special agent running Operation Fast and Furious and White House staffers — seems to indicate that the White House was well aware of these gunwalking operations.

Obama’s Strategy at Odds With His Message
From center-left National Journal. Ron P. Excerpt: President Obama’s reelection is in trouble because of the nation’s troubled economy, but he’s been exacerbating his problems by running a populist campaign at odds with the electoral strategy his advisers have laid out. Not only is his new rhetoric chastising the wealthy to pay their fair share at odds with the president’s well-crafted image of being a post-partisan uniter, but it risks alienating the white-collar professionals that have become an increasingly important part of a winning Democratic coalition. (…) Listen to Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who maxed out to Obama’s 2008 campaign and is a reliable contributor to Democratic candidates and causes. “Someone needs to talk our president down off of this rhetoric about good vs. evil, about two classes and math,” Leonsis wrote on his blog. “Our country was founded on the premise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is anyone happy right now with all of this?” Poring through the polling data, the answer isn’t encouraging for Team Obama. (…) Liberals have long argued that a message calling for the wealthy to pay their fair share is broadly popular—and indeed, most polls show voters support abstract proposals calling for higher taxes on the rich. But it’s rarely worked in practice.

Occupy Wall Street: A Manifesto
Excerpt: First, we are imbued with as many inalienable rights as a few thousand college kids and a gaggle of borderline celebrities can concoct, among them a guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment and immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness—even if that debt was acquired taking on a mortgage with a 4.1 percent interest rate and no money down, which, we admit, is a pretty sweet deal in historical context...(And it gets better from there. MasterGuns)

Is the Postal Service Doomed?
Excerpt: Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat is supposed to stop the United States Postal Service (USPS) from delivering mail, but can it be saved from mounting debt, plummeting volume, and the not-so-slow-motion postal train wreck coming quickly down the road? Last week, the USPS barely avoided default when Congress extended the due date for a $5.5 billion payment due to the U.S. Treasury for retiree health benefits. It lost $8.5 billion last year, and it expects to lose nearly $10 billion more in 2011. From 2006 to 2010, overall USPS mail volume dropped by 20 percent, from 213 billion pieces of mail to 170 billion, all while incurring $20 billion in losses. The future doesn't look so bright, either.

U.S. Diplomat Confirms Direct Talks with Egypt's Brotherhood
Please hold my coat while I burn a Copt church and beat up a Jew. ~Bob. Excerpt: American officials have met with members of Egypt's long-banned Muslim Brotherhood, an unnamed senior U.S. diplomat told Reuters. The official did not specify when the meetings took place, but noted that there has been no formal distinction between members of the Brotherhood or its affiliated political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), whose formation was first announced in February. "We have had direct contacts with senior officials of the Freedom and Justice party," the American diplomat said, adding that the administration does not "have a policy that makes a distinction [between the Brotherhood and the FJP], that one or the other is off limits." The latest talks involved "high-level" party members, the official said, in contrast to earlier contacts, which were mostly with Brotherhood-affiliated parliamentarians running as "independents."

Hoyer Says He Backs Obama’s Jobs Bill, But It Has No House Co-Sponsors – Not Even Hoyer
Excerpt: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) today said that he supports President Barack Obama’s $447-billion jobs proposal although he is “not enthusiastic” about the plan’s payroll tax reduction provision. Hoyer, however, is not listed as a co-sponsor of Obama’s job proposal legislation, which was introduced in the House by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) on Sept. 21. The bill, the American Jobs Act, was introduced in the Senate on Sept. 12 by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) but it also has no co-sponsors. At a briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Hoyer said: “What the president’s put together – and, very frankly, I’m supportive of the president’s proposal -- [but] I was not enthusiastic nor am I enthusiastic now about reducing the payroll tax.” (...) Hoyer’s comments were in response to a reporter asking, “What are some sort of tweaks that can be made to bring any hesitant Democrats on board” to support the American Jobs Act? (This should make it difficult for Democrats to use this as a talking point issue. I added emphasis. Ron P.)

ATF Nomination
“If the administration wanted a confirmation hearing, there would have been a confirmation hearing. It is pure speculation, but I don’t think the administration wants a gunbattle over this nomination. First, [Mr. Traver] comes across as almost opposed to the Second Amendment. Second, there is Fast and Furious. I would think the Senate would bring it up at the hearing.” — Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican and a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee for nearly 11 months, the nomination of veteran ATF agent Andrew Traver to become the new permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has little chance of being scheduled for confirmation hearings anytime soon. With ATF embroiled in a growing controversy about an undercover investigation known as "Fast and Furious" — in which hundreds of weapons were "walked" into Mexico — several elected officials, rank-and-file agents and others question whether the Obama administration wants to expose the operation to further public scrutiny.

Video on Al Taqiyya or deception in Islam.

Brotherhood's party warns military of staying in power
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has warned the military council of remaining in power until a new constitution is approved. In a press statement on Tuesday, the party said the council had claimed that the new constitution would be written after it handed over power to a civilian authority, but then said it would stay in power until the constitution is completed, which gives the council a say in the political process. The statement called on the council to remain an “administrator” of the country’s affairs and stay away from politics so as not to adversely affect the military establishment.

The GOP Field
Excerpt: Given the increasingly good GOP prospects in 2012, what's most striking about this field is how many prominent national Republicans chose not to run. Most notable is the absence of those, like Mr. Christie and Congressman Paul Ryan, who have been most engaged in the fiscal and economic debates of the last three years. The field is weaker for their absence, and Mr. Christie's remarks yesterday about the lack of current Presidential leadership showed why so many people wanted him in the race. As for those who are running, Mr. Romney remains the front-runner, a position fortified by his debate performances. (Electing a president is a panacea for positive change. We need Ryan and Christie and Daniels and many others doing the needed, hard, uphill work wherever they serve. We need you and I and everyone we can recruit in this long struggle to save the Republic. ~Bob.)

Senate Republicans introduce bill to eliminate budget gimmicks
Excerpt: If only we could all budget our money the way Uncle Sam does. We could justify routine purchases as “emergency” spending. (Five dollars for a caffeine fix at Starbucks? But it’s an emergency!) We could pretend we saved money by not buying something we never planned to buy in the first place — and then spend that money elsewhere. (You always planned to pay college tuition for your kids even after they graduated university, right? Well, don’t — save the money and buy a new car instead!). We could delay payment by ten years for major purchases and pretend we’ll never have to pay for them. (What washer and dryer? You don’t owe money for either in this 10-year enforceable window — so don’t budget for ‘em at all.) But, for some strange reason, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think it should be the other way around: They think Uncle Sam should start budgeting a little more like we do. That’s why, today, they introduced the Honest Budget Act, a bill to eliminate the most outrageous gimmicks Congress uses to justify increased spending.

Iran Develops GPS jammer (Probably sold to them by LightSquared)
Iran Unveils Major Achievements in Electronic Warfare
Excerpt: Iran on Tuesday displayed three of its latest and most important achievements in the field of electronic warfare. The country's achievements were unveiled in a ceremony attended by Khatami-ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Commander General Farzad Esmayeeli. The hi-tech products which went on display included Shahed Electronic Warfare Simulator, an electronic warfare tester of Radar systems called 'Sabah', and a GPS jamming system all designed and produced by Iranian experts inside the country. Electronic warfare is amongst the most crucial elements in air defense and military observers believe that Iran enjoys an excellent capability in electronic warfare technology and in designing and manufacturing electronic warfare systems.

Why the Party of the KKK Hates Herman Cain
Excerpt: During the civil rights movement, every member of the Georgia congressional delegation was a Democrat and every member of the Georgia congressional delegation save one voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The only African Americans elected to Congress from Georgia prior to the civil rights movement were Republicans. When Republican Fletcher Thompson helped break the Democratic stranglehold on the state’s Washington delegation in 1966, he gave an African American a job in his local office. However pedestrian this sounds today, this had never happened in that district. Even as seemingly benign a symbol of the New South as Jimmy Carter won election as governor after his campaign peddled a photo of his opponent with black basketball players to rallying Klansmen and as governor visited the Confederados—descendants of American Southerners who emigrated to Brazil following the Civil War—in 1972.

Excerpt: George Stephanoupolos asked Barack Obama about banks and their new fees. Of course, Obama could not accept any responsibility for that at all. And along the way he said something pretty damn amazing. This: “You don’t have some inherent right just to– you know, get a certain amount of profit. Actually, in the free market, on the supply and demand curve, you do have an inherent right to get a certain amount of profit — that certain amount of profit that you derive from your business practices that draw in the maximum amount of profit possible before customers decide you are charging too much or they are not getting value enough to justify their continued business with you. Barack Obama has spent three years as President punishing those who take risks and taking from those whose risk leads to reward.

Backlash for Pakistan judge who convicted assassin
Excerpt: ISLAMABAD — The judge who sentenced to death the killer of liberal Pakistani politician Salman Taseer on Tuesday failed to show up at work and may be transferred after his courtroom was ransacked, lawyers said. Judge Pervez Ali Shah on Saturday convicted police bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri over the January 4 assassination that exposed huge faultlines in Pakistan. Qadri said he killed Taseer over the politician’s opposition to blasphemy laws which sentence to death those convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed. Qadri’s actions made him a hero in the eyes of religious extremists. On Monday, dozens of furious Islamist lawyers ransacked Shah’s courtroom, smashing windows to protest against the judgement. “After yesterday’s protest and the attack on his office, the judge is not attending his office,” Malik Khalid Jawad, president of the district bar association in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, told AFP.

Too funny, but so sad they are so ignorant. Zero economic education and a huge entitlement mentality. Their teachers must be embarrassed or as ignorant as they are. In my book The Coming Collapse of the American Republic I say that a collapse is 80% likely in the next 20 years. Meeting their demands would make it certain in a year. If it looks like they will win, let me know so I can max out the credit card and get it forgiven. ~Bob

Excerpt: You are not 99 percent of America. I don't mean that in the obvious numerical sense. If 99 percent of Americans had actually joined your march, Manhattan would have flipped over by now. What I mean is that if 99 percent of Americans actually sympathized with your cause, the entire nation's economy would have collapsed long ago -- apparently to the delight of the organizers of this current protest. … Those people you left stuck in traffic have a hard time paying their bills and rents and health insurance and mortgages. They worry about things like finding decent schools for their children to attend and making sure they don't get fired at work, and fixing leaking roofs and chimneys. You know what they don't worry about, ever? Smashing patriarchy and capitalism. So when your organizers go on television and say things like, "It's revolution, not reform!" and they're not joking, those words might give some of these narrow-minded people an unpleasant, October 1917 kind of feeling. (Don’t diss them; they are BO’s peeps! ~Bob.)

Is Mitt Romney Committed to Repealing Obamacare?
Excerpt: Every GOP Presidential candidate is on record favoring the repeal of Obamacare. But Philip Klein and Jeff Anderson have their doubts that one candidate in particular—Mitt Romney—is really committed to that goal. And it’s not merely because of Romney’s Massachusetts history of installing what Tim Pawlenty memorably referred to as “Obamneycare.”

An Average Guy's Take On Saving "2nd Base"
Posted by request from a Marine Colonel. But I wish there was as much “awareness” of pulmonary fibrosis, my disease, which kills as many, probably more people than breast cancer every year, gets probably less than 5% as many research dollars. Breast Cancer research is funded at about 8 times as many dollars per death as lung cancer, for example. ~Bob. Excerpt: Three and a half years ago breast cancer forever changed life for my wife. And for me. Our story shortly. Today begins breast cancer awareness month. The horrible disease, a global epidemic, is a heartless equal opportunity life-changer and killer. Breast cancer cares not about nationality, race, creed, color, age, social status, nor gender. Nor any other variable one can cite. And if you think breast cancer will not touch your life at some point, think again.

Black GOP Candidate Called 'Uncle Tom Ni***r' by Obama Supporter

Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives suffered another major blow late Monday, as the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, announced a plan to lay off roughly 10 percent of its staff through a voluntary buy-out plan. According to the Denver Post, the lab plans to eliminate between 100 and 150 of its 1,350 jobs. The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds. At the time, the Associated Press reported that the stimulus grants included $68 million to build a demonstration model of an energy-efficient office building; $19.2 million for solar, geothermal and fuel cell equipment; $10 million for testing and evaluation of wind technology; and $45 million to research and test drive-train systems for wind turbines. (New folk song: “Your money my friends, is pissed in the wind, your money is pissed in the wind.” ~Bob.)

Gliding On Empty
Excerpt: At the start of the summer, I attended a graduation ceremony in Vermont, for which a bigshot speaker had been flown up from New York. "Your world is changing so fast!" he told them, as is traditional on these occasions. I couldn't see it myself. For one thing, no matter how fast our world changes, college education seems to get slower and slower, judging from the remarkably aged appearance of many of these Green Mountain "youth." But in a broader sense, precisely what is changing so fast? Their first car is no different from my first car. Which was no different from my grandfather's first car. To be sure, they've dispensed with the hand crank and rumble seat and installed a GPS and iPod dock, but essentially it runs on the same technology as a century back. Which are the faster-moving times? The age that invents the internal-combustion engine? Or the age that plugs a Justin Bieber download into it?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Bob, for posting the "...Saving '2nd Base'" link. Appreciated. Perhaps someone reading will be moved to see a doctor. s/f, Andy