Friday, October 7, 2011

Political Digest for October 7, 2011

Free Copy of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.

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.

The Death of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was a brilliant innovator who build a great corporation, created thousands of jobs and enriched the lives of millions. Or, as Obama would call him, a greedy capitalist millionaire who wasn’t paying his fair share. ~Bob.

Nice Steve Jobs Tweet
@delrayser delrayser

Steve Jobs Quote
Quote: "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." ~ Steve Jobs from his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs and American Exceptionalism
Excerpt: Steve Jobs, who died yesterday at the too-young age of 56, was a living refutation of all what liberals constantly tell us about our country -- that we're falling behind others and live now in a "post-American world," as one of Barack Obama's favorite books puts it in its title. As anyone who's ever handled an Apple product or had his life improved by the technological innovations our system has produced in just a decade (that means all of us) will tell you, Jobs and innovators like him epitomize that immeasurable quality the left somehow finds most abject -- American exceptionalism.

Steve Jobs—Another View
Sodahead wants us to think of Steve Jobs as an example of American exceptionalism and their readers seem convinced, as their poll suggests:
But in fact, he is one of the best examples of a corporatist. 91% of his donations were to the democrats, as we see here:
and he also conspicuously supported gay marriage to stay on the good side of the radical Left in Washington. Why would he support the Democrats, who clearly hate free market economics (the source of American exceptionalism) and strongly favor Keynesianism (the ideology that is destroying the world economy)? Because no major corporation can succeed on its own any more and Steve would not have gotten to first base in business without Democrat support. If he had succeeded without government support, that would be real free market capitalism and he would be a standout for exceptionalism. But there is no longer a free market. Corporations -- including radical leftist George Soros, Obamabot Warren Buffet and progressive liberal Bill Gates -- depend on government to pave the way to riches for them. Those who don’t go the way of Gibson Guitar Corporation -- they are regulated out of business or become a target for trumped up legal charges. One hand washes the other. Corrupt government supports corrupt business and vice-versa. There is nothing exceptional about Steve Jobs. He was just another oligarch who knew how to stay on the good side of the corrupt power base. He was the quintessential American corporatist. The REAL examples of American exceptionalism are not the rich guys. They are struggling to survive. --Don Hank (You can comment/vote on this on the SodaHead site, Don reports.)

Out: Palin Won't Run For President in 2012
No surprise to me. She can influence things, make money and not subject her family to the intense vilification of the Obama Civility Brigade. ~Bob. Excerpt: After months, even years of speculation, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is not running for President in 2012 according to the National Journal:  Putting to rest more than three years of speculation about whether she would seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the 2008 vice presidential runner-up announced Wednesday in a letter to supporters that she will not join this cycle’s presidential cast.

Palin For?
Next pres should make Palin head of ATF, Interior or Energy. Thousands of progressives would die of stroke or heart attack. ~Bob.

The Electability of Herman Cain
Excerpt: Editor's note: This is a copy of a column that will be released in The 11th Hour Magazine on Thursday. As most of you have heard by now, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain is now in the top tier of candidates running for the Republican nomination for President. It comes of no surprise to me, but it may shock many of you out there that in the most recent CBS poll just released, Herman has pulled into a tie for the lead with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and has leap-frogged over flash-in-the-pan and former frontrunner Texas Governor Rick Perry. The question most people have as well as the political pundits out there is now is Herman Cain an electable candidate who could run against the Obama juggernaut. I answer most assuredly that he can and here are my reasons, not in any particular order.

Terror at the Beach: Radicals in Russia have been bombing bikini-clad women to enforce Islamic dress codes.
Excerpt: On a clear morning last July, at around 6 a.m., schoolteacher Yelena Abduzhalimova met her colleagues on the central city beach for a round of volleyball. As the ladies changed into their swimsuits, a group of young boys began to warm up for wrestling exercises before their morning classes, right by the volleyball court. Other than the children, the beach was still fairly empty at that hour. Abduzhalimova walked onto the court with her friends and she stepped forward to serve the ball. Instantly, a powerful explosion threw her into the air, flying 10 feet above the ground. She had stepped on a mine hidden in the sand. It was the third explosion on the public beach that season, and one that cost Abduzhalimova her leg above the knee. The bomb was meant as punishment for women wearing swimsuits, she says. Now, she says she wished the Sharia beach had been open back then. “If only the guarded beach for women existed a year ago, I would have my leg now,” Abduzhalimova said, adding it was a lucky chance that she stepped on the mine before a child did. (The next transnational progressive who tells you “all cultures are equally valid” should have to walk this beach with his family. ~Bob)

'German Taliban Mujahideen' leader thought killed in US airstrike
Excerpt: The leader of a terrorist group known as the German Taliban Mujahideen is rumored to have been killed in a US airstrike in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. Gazavat Media, a jihadist propaganda website that caters to Turkish jihadists belonging to the Taifatul Mansura, or the Victorious Sect, posted that Abdul Fettah al Almani, the head of the so-called German Taliban Mujahideen, was killed in a US airstrike. The statement, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, did not give the exact date or location of the strike, and was clear the report is unconfirmed. "Gazavat Media received unconfirmed news that Abdul Fettah al Almani, the leader of the group known as the German Taliban Mujahideen, was martyred. According to the source, the factor that caused the martyrdom of Abdul Fettah Almani was a missile fired from either a helicopter or a drone." "This is the second leader that the German Mujahideen has lost," the source told Gazavat Media.

Police: Man crashes vehicle after driving while masturbating
Why wasn’t he at Occupy Wall Street with the others? ~Bob. Excerpt: A 28-year-old Alexandria man was arrested after police said he crashed his car after exposing himself to a female jogger in Bethesda. Montgomery County police said Edwin L. Morejon pulled up alongside a woman Saturday while she was running on MacArthur Boulevard near Walhonding Road in Glen Echo and asked for directions. As the jogger explained how to get to his destination, she noticed that the man was masturbating, according to police.

Green Jobs Training Program Falls Short, Should Return Funds -- IG
Still, about 14% more than I expected. ~Bob. Excerpt: A $500 million green jobs program at the Department of Labor has so far provided only 15 percent of current participants with jobs, leading the agency's inspector general to recommend that the bulk of the money be returned to the Treasury.

Vermont Edges Toward Single Payer Health Care
You could probably power Swanton, Vermont by State Representative George M. Hall, MD, a Democrat, my Great, Great Grandfather spinning in his grave. ~Bob. Excerpt: Starting now, Vermont begins building a single-payer health system that will move many state residents into a publicly financed insurance program and pay hospitals, doctors and other providers a set fee to care for patients. Proposed by the governor and passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature, the new program will replace the traditional insurance plans currently used in the state and the traditional fee-for-service reimbursements, giving the state a system different from its 49 counterparts and more like its neighbor to the north, Canada.

Occupy Wall Street protests ramp up in New York, elsewhere
Excerpt: The long-running New York protest against economic inequality and perceived Wall Street excesses gained momentum Wednesday as union members joined marchers in Lower Manhattan, while students at several colleges walked out of classes in solidarity and like-minded organizers completed plans to bring the fight to Washington. Since beginning with a few dozen demonstrators in New York on Sept. 17, the Occupy Wall Street protests have not only grown, but have become increasingly organized, offering medical aid, legal help and a newspaper. Protesters gathered in
McPherson Square
in Washington to take part in Occupy DC, a growing movement against corporate greed that started in New York with Occupy Wall Street. The protesters said they do not have a specific goal in mind. A similar protest decrying the “corporate machine” is slated to begin in Washington on Thursday, with organizers advertising a noon concert and rally on Freedom Plaza. “Stop the Machine! Create a New World,” read online fliers calling protesters to bring sleeping bags to 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue , “where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America’s resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation.” (One of their demands is cancellation of all debts. So if it looks like they might win, I’m going to max out my credit card. At the gun store. ~Bob.)

Democratic lawmakers embrace Occupy Wall Street protesters
Excerpt: Democratic lawmakers have begun to embrace the Occupy Wall Street protests as they spread to Washington on Thursday, with some likening the movement to a Tea Party of the left. Several liberal House lawmakers endorsed the protests Wednesday, and the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said they had been inspired by demonstrators who have been arrested by the hundreds in New York City. (Will these Democrats sign a pledge to enact all the OWS demands, thus collapsing the economy? ~Bob.)

E-mails show Energy Department was moving toward second loan for Solyndra
Excerpt: Newly released e-mails show the Obama administration’s Energy Department was poised to give Solyndra a second taxpayer loan of $469 million last year, even as the company’s financial situation grew increasingly dire. The department was still considering providing the second loan guarantee to the solar-panel manufacturer in April and May 2010, at a time when Solyndra’s auditors were already warning that the company was in danger of collapsing. (I see the problem. They are wasting money faster than they can print it. The reckoning is coming. ~Bob.)

Zuhdi Jasser's Counter-Jihad
Excerpt: Shortly after 9/11, many thought it was imperative to teach about and promote the heroes of that deadly day. One such hero whose life and example we can never learn enough about was Rick Rescorla. Originally from England, he came to America and distinguished himself as an Army infantry officer in Vietnam. Later he became head of security at Morgan Stanley, and, after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, he knew the terrorists would go after the Twin Towers again. He warned the authorities continually; moreover, he led regular evacuation drills between 1993 and 2001. On 9/11, he successfully led almost every Morgan Stanley employee out to safety. He himself did not make it. His last known words were, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out." He said those words to another Morgan Stanley employee who had yelled to him that he had to get out too. Rick Rescorla's remains were never found. Rick's life was not wasted; he saved a lot of people. But if the government had listened to him before 9/11, he would have saved even more. Rick was somebody who should have been posted at the top of our intelligence community, but he wasn't. Today, we are still not listening to the most creative and prophetic thinkers among us. One of them is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum on Democracy. He is the intellectual Rick Rescorla of our day. Dr. Jasser, a practicing Muslim, is a physician and former lieutenant commander in the Navy — someone who, like Rick Rescorla, served his country with distinction, and continues to do so both in his medical practice and in his public warnings and teachings about the dangers from radical Islam. One of his efforts has been to confront members of Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who continually denigrate America. Jasser's view is that we should promote the virtues of American freedom and tolerance, which American Muslims enjoy, and should also publicize the way our efforts abroad have given freedom to Muslims in other countries.

ACORN linked to Occupy Wall Street protest, says DC watchdog
Excerpt: A famously corrupt leftist community organization with deep ties to President Barack Obama is largely behind the national movement to “end economic segregation” and social injustice in the United States, according to the blog on a Washington, DC-based watchdog group's web site. Best known as Occupy Wall Street, the rowdy protests have received quite a bit of mainstream media coverage around the world despite the relatively low number of participants. Besides New York, disruptive marches have been held in other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, Chicago and Boston and more are scheduled in the coming days, Judicial Watch's blogger reported Wednesday. (I’m shocked. Shocked, I say. ~Bob.)

What 'Occupy Wall Street' really wants
Excerpt: OK, I haven’t been able to track down a coherent list of demands from the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd, but from what I can tell it would go something like this: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women and transgendered -- and any other human who is able to elude the tyranny of work for a couple of weeks -- are created equal. We gather to be free not of tyranny, but of responsibility and college tuitions. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a government long established and a nation long prosperous be changed for light and transient causes. So let our demands be submitted to a candid world. 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 ... But down with the modern Gilded Age! We demand that a Master of Fine Arts in musical theater writing, with a minor in German, become an immutable human right, because education is crucial and rich people can afford to fund unemployment checks until we find jobs or in perpetuity, whichever comes first. We demand a minimum wage of $10, no ... make it $20. We earned it. And we demand the end of “profiteering,” because there is no better way to end joblessness than stopping the growth of capital. We also demand a maximum wage law, because selfish American dreams need a firm ceiling.

'Furious' mess has Justice in full panic
Excerpt: So now the Fast and Furious affair has reached Stage 2 of the classic Washington scandal: House Republicans have called for a special counsel to investigate Attorney General Eric Holder himself for possible perjury. Justice Department documents indicate that Holder knew of the operation way back in July 2010 -- far earlier than the “in the last few weeks” that he told congressional investigators under oath last May. Memos from Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and others to Holder clearly show the scope, if not the nature, of the disastrous project: “This investigation, initiated in September 2009 . . . involves . . . straw purchasers [who] are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug cartels.”

Worth reading: Messiah Complex: The Sequel?
Excerpt: Listening to some establishment Republicans grousing about the field of GOP presidential candidates should serve as a warning. Republicans, if they are not careful, are in danger of catching the same virus that infected Democrats in 2008. That would be a messiah complex, the belief that one man (or woman) can deliver us from our collective economic, social and foreign policy "sins" and bring redemption to a nation from the consequences of too many wrong-headed choices. Perhaps a Republican president with a 60-vote, veto-proof Senate majority and an expanded House majority might be able to revolutionize government, but only if squishy Republicans in both bodies went along, which seems problematic, especially on big issues. Even if they did go along, does anyone believe Congress -- even with a large Republican majority -- would dismantle the Department of Education, as Ronald Reagan called for in 1982? Would Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid finally be restructured in a way that allowed current and soon-to-be retired people to stay on these programs, while offering a market-based, choice alternative to younger workers? Maybe.

Anwar Al-Awlaki's American Journey
Excerpt: It is a paradox of modern times: We are committed to diversity yet have enormous difficulty imagining people who actually are different. Americans and Europeans prize peace and, on that basis, assume peace has become a universal value. The West has lost the will for power and thirst for glory — the very phrases sound archaic — so most of us assume no other nations seek to conquer and dominate. And because we are willing to compromise, we are confident others would settle for a half loaf rather than killing and being killed in pursuit of the whole. Lack of imagination leads to the conclusion that all conflicts can be resolved -- if only we'd explain ourselves better, show others respect, address grievances, and offer more generous concessions. But this conclusion is erroneous. Anwar al-Awlaki — the al-Qaeda cleric and commander killed by a Hellfire missile last week -- provides a vivid example. Awlaki was as American as spinach pie, a poster-child, or so it seemed, for multiculturalism. He was born in New Mexico, the son of a Fulbright scholar who went on to earn his doctorate and serve as Yemen's minister of agriculture and chancellor of two universities.

Excerpt: Almost six months ago, I lost my job. Since that time, I have sent out easily over 250 resumes, many of which were sent to law firms where friends were partners. They have netted me a grand total of three interviews. My friends are telling me that for jobs that pay roughly 75% of what I used to make, they are getting over 150 applications. When I graduated from law school, roughly 95% of my graduating class had real jobs. I ran into a recent graduate the other day and she told me that this year, only about 40% of the most recent graduating class is employed. I have never encountered a market this brutal in any field in which I have worked, and the struggle against complete surrender is a daily endeavor. … So, you know, for people who are frustrated about the current state of the economy, I get it. I don’t really like to talk about any of the stuff I just mentioned above, but I felt compelled when someone pointed out a couple of websites to me today. The first is a list of proposed list of demands for the Occupy Wall Street crowd. The second is called we are the 99 per cent and it is basically the same concept. And after reading these websites, I don’t know whether these people are trying to destroy America, or whether they have already succeeded. I am going to try to suppress the overwhelming urge to mock people who think every United States citizen deserves to be paid $20 an hour for not working, or that Wall Street ought to pay a trillion dollars (which I am told is a figure that is more than twice the total equity of every firm on Wall Street combined) to replant rain forests. Nor will I comment on people who are surprised that they don’t have marketable skills after spending $60,000 on a degree in jazz flute in any economy. While the people who have contributed to these websites are clearly not very good at life skills (or math), there are lots of people who have been legitimately knocked on their keister and now find themselves unable to pay bills they know they owe but simply don’t have the money for.

Muslim clerics roar at Kenyan chief justice
Excerpt: Muslim clerics differed on the move taken by the Kenyan Chief Justice(CJ) Willy Mutunga. Mutunga wants to introduce post of female magistrate in the Khathis court which majority of the Muslim leaders term as disrespect to their faith. "This is a religious institution not a secular one and therefore it must be treated with respect.” said Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi the chairman of National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF).

Detroit: Prospective jurors fear jihad terror retribution in underwear jihadist trial
Excerpt: Don't they know that Islam is a Religion of Peace™? "Live blog: Prospective jurors fear terrorist retribution in accused underwear bomber trial," by David Ashenfelter for the Detroit Free Press, October 5 (thanks to Block Ness): [...] The next prospective juror, who works for a large bank, said he is concerned about serving on the jury because he fears retaliation. He cited a car bombing as an example of retribution. Edmunds tried to assure him that juror names would never be made public. “I wasn’t aware of that, but I also know it’s a public building and we’d come and go every day,” he said. Edmunds told him he’d be escorted in and out of the building by U.S. Marshals through a separate entrance. He said that was somewhat reassuring and would try not to let his fears get in the way of giving the defendant a fair trial.

Stupidest. Protest. Ever.
Excerpt: Even so, I must say the Occupy Wall Street movement may be the most stupid ever to take root in America. Protestors keep complaining about the dearth of media coverage. They should be glad. One day, when they’re sober and showered and trying to get a real job in the Washington they now so detest, they are going to want deniability on this.

Media Silence Is Deafening About Important Gun News
Excerpt: Murder and violent crime rates were supposed to soar after the Supreme Court struck down gun control laws in Chicago and Washington, D.C.  Politicians predicted disaster. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned the day the court made its decision. Chicago’s Mayor Daley predicted that we would "go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets . . . ." The New York Times even editorialized this month about the Supreme Court's "unwise" decision that there is a right for people "to keep guns in the home."  But Armageddon never happened. Newly released data for Chicago shows that, as in Washington, murder and gun crime rates didn't rise after the bans were eliminated -- they plummeted. They have fallen much more than the national crime rate.  Not surprisingly, the national media have been completely silent about this news. One can only imagine the coverage if crime rates had risen. In the first six months of this year, there were 14% fewer murders in Chicago compared to the first six months of last year – back when owning handguns was illegal. It was the largest drop in Chicago’s murder rate since the handgun ban went into effect in 1982. (Though written almost a week ago, this is the first I’ve heard of this article. Once more, leftists are 180 degrees out of phase with reality. But, then again, "gun control" was never really about guns, was it?  Ron P.)

Eric Holder has history of deception, claim critics
Excerpt: GOP lawmakers are calling for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself during his testimony regarding "Operation Fast and Furious." On Monday, House GOP members wrote a letter to the Attorney General requesting a special counsel (a/k/a special prosecutor) be appointed due to the failure of the Obama Administration to provide answers to House committees investigating suspected malfeasance. But this isn't the first time Holder's honesty has come into question. Even before taking office, Holder may have hid information from lawmakers. In the past, Justice Department officials have admitted that when members of the U.S. Senate -- including Judiciary Committee members -- were considering the nomination of Eric Holder as President Obama's attorney general in 2009, he failed to disclose all of the legal briefs he had written or signed from his time in private practice especially those briefs that are pertinent to his current positions and views during the so-called war on terrorism.

Take This Job
Excerpt: Note to President Obama: When Mitch McConnell wants to introduce your jobs bill, it’s not a good sign. The American Jobs Act won’t suffer the ignominy of your 2012 budget—defeated 0-97 on a motion to proceed—but it won’t pass and McConnell, the GOP leader, knows it. That’s why he’s calling Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bluff and seeking a vote now. Whatever becomes of Obama’s jobs bill, there is a far more pressing, far more interesting, and potentially more far-reaching set of jobs issues percolating through Congress and the U.S. economy. What are they? The three free-trade deals Obama just sent to Congress, the China currency bill, and the United Auto Workers negotiations with Ford and Chrysler. While these three issues appear disconnected—satellites in a vast universe of economic activity—they are in fact part of a tight constellation of interlocking and interrelated economic actions that have a greater impact on job creation than any other votes Congress may take. (I’m not sure what role he envisions for Congress in the UAW talks; Ford and Chrysler and both private companies—at least for now. I think he’s correct on the other two, though. Ron P.)
American Jobs Act May Create Unfunded Burden on State
Excerpt: When he visits Las Vegas on Oct. 24, President Barack Obama will continue his nationwide tour urging Congress to pass the Americans Jobs Act, his $450 billion plan to create jobs and stimulate the economy. "Pass this jobs bill, and there will be funding to save the jobs of up to 13,000 North Carolina teachers, cops, and firefighters," Obama said earlier this month to thousands of supporters at North Carolina State University. The president has not, however, shared with voters that his jobs bill as presented would fund many of the proposed jobs for only one year, nor has he explained his plan for how the jobs would be paid for once federal funds run out. A recent White House press release on the impact of the American Jobs Act in Nevada said the measure would help Nevada localities avoid and reverse layoffs, through an influx of $258.3 million to support up to 3,600 educator and first responder (police and firefighter) jobs.

Elizabeth Warren and liberalism, twisting the ‘social contract’
Excerpt: Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and former Obama administration regulator (for consumer protection), is modern liberalism incarnate. As she seeks the Senate seat Democrats held for 57 years before 2010, when Republican Scott Brown impertinently won it, she clarifies the liberal project and the stakes of contemporary politics. The project is to dilute the concept of individualism, thereby refuting respect for the individual’s zone of sovereignty. The regulatory state, liberalism’s instrument, constantly tries to contract that zone — for the individual’s own good, it says. Warren says: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. ... You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” Warren is (as William F. Buckley described Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith) a pyromaniac in a field of straw men: She refutes propositions no one asserts. Everyone knows that all striving occurs in a social context, so all attainments are conditioned by their context. This does not, however, entail a collectivist political agenda.

An Open Letter to the Self-Proclaimed ’99%’
Excerpt: …[C]ommon themes emerge from the photos posted there — excessive academic credentials that are mostly unrelated to producing anything in the real economy, high personal self-regard, massive personal debt, and shattered dreams. For those whom those terms above describe, and it’s a heavy majority of the 99 percenters, it’s evident that they hold to a certain political world view in which abstract credentials entitle you to a comfortable life, and that the fact that you dream something entitles you to have it. In the real world, neither has ever been true. (…) It’s good and right that the 99 percenters want jobs. It’s worth pointing out that it’s not necessarily the Wall Street bankers who are making things so tough to get jobs. The voters, presumably many among the 99 percenters included, elected someone who promised to “fundamentally transform” America. In order to transform anything at a fundamental level, much must be torn down first. And when the mighty tear anything down, the average person is often the one who ends up getting broken. That is how things have always been, and no weepy Internet photo gallery will change that. No political system will change that. If anything, capitalism makes such destruction less harmful to the average person. (This is an outstanding response to these twerps, but it will accomplish nothing. “Liberal disorder” is almost always chronic though something else usually ends up on the death certificate. The only proven way to prevent liberal disorder is large doses of age-appropriate individual responsibility and authority starting during a child’s formative years (this seems to be effective about 80% of the time). Ron P.)

Democracy's New Discontents
Excerpt: Once upon a time, loud dissent, filibustering in the Senate and gridlock in the House were as democratic as apple pie. A Senator Obama once defended his attempts to block confirmation votes on judicial appointments by alleging, "The Founding Fathers established the filibuster as a means of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority." In 2005, progressives were relieved that a Democratic minority had just gridlocked Congress -- ending recently re-elected President George W. Bush's plan to reform Social Security. Gridlock, in other words, was a helpful constitutional tool when a minority party wanted to block a president's legislative initiatives. A then-cool Senator Obama suggested Bush and his congressional supporters "back off" and "let go of their egos." How about loud opposition to a sitting president? Well, in 2003, Sen. Hillary Clinton unloaded on those she claimed had called for less dissent: "I am sick and tired of people who call you unpatriotic if you debate this administration's policies."
These examples could be multiplied. But they are enough to offer contrast with a suddenly much different attitude toward what was only recently seen as the wonderful complexity of American democracy.

No Comfort for Obama in W.Va.
From center-left National Journal. Ron P. Excerpt: Tomblin’s victory is a testament to both his success in keeping his distance from Obama and his ability to turn out the Democratic base. It’s also an affirmation of the strength of the Manchin political model. He cobbled together a coalition similar to Manchin’s in 2010: Both landed endorsements from the National Rifle Association, the state Chamber of Commerce, and key labor groups en route to defeating a Republican. In other words, it was not a typical Democratic coalition. Tomblin also echoed Manchin’s message: Lean to the middle on social issues, focus on West Virginia matters, and keep the president at arm’s length. With Obama on the ballot in 2012, the third tactic will be even more important for Manchin.

Melee Breaks Out Between Wall Street Protesters and NYPD
Excerpt: Apparently, things are not going well for some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. According to Business Insider, there have been multiple tweets that claim that Wednesday evening’s protests produced “several arrests.” And now there is a video that seems to indicate a rising tension between the protesters and the NYPD. (I understand the protester’s frustration. Who knew it was going to take so long to get all debts forgiven, $1T spent replanting the rain forests, and $20/hour for not working. Personally, I’m willing to make the sacrifice of not working 168 hours a week at $20/hour. Between that $3,360, no mortgage and using the credit cards without having to make payments, I’ll be doing okay. Until the second week, when there is nothing in the stores. ~Bob.)

So Holder ignored not one, not two, not three, but five memos about Fast and Furious?
It was never a comforting thought to think the Attorney General just can’t be bothered to read his weekly briefings, but it was at least plausible to think Eric Holder overlooked one or two memos about the pernicious and fatal Fast and Furious program. But make that five memos and the AG’s incompetence and negligence appear especially gross: Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa today said that Attorney General Eric Holder received at least five weekly memos beginning in July 2010, including four weeks in a row, describing the ill-advised strategy known as Operation Fast and Furious. The memos were to Holder from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center. (He didn’t ignore them. He and his boss were in favor of the program, to drive the “Mexican drug guns come from the US” narrative. ~Bob.)

Government makes us poor
Excerpt: Here's my fantasy: Libertarians are elected to the presidency and to majorities in Congress. What would happen next? Well, if libertarians were "in charge," you'd have more freedom and prosperity. Freedom frightens some people. They say if no one is in charge there would be chaos. That is intuitive, but think about a skating rink. Before rinks were invented, if you proposed an amusement in which people strap blades to their feet and skate around on ice at whatever speeds they wish, you'd have been called crazy. There's got to be speed limits, stoplights, turn signals. But we know that people navigate rinks safely on their own. They create their own order, with only minimal rules. Society would work the same way -- and does to a large extent even today. "Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government," Thomas Paine, the soul of the American Revolution, wrote. "It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. ... Common interest [has] a greater influence than the laws of government," Paine said. If libertarians were "in charge," there would be laws to protect us from foreign enemies and those who would steal from us or injure us. Today, by contrast, under the rule of Democans and Republicrats, we're drowning in rules -- 160,000 pages' worth. Micromanagement kills opportunity and freedom.

Excerpt: Tea Party activists gathered from across the Midwest at the inaugural TeaCon event in Schaumburg yesterday rewarded presidential candidate Herman Cain with an overwhelming margin of victory in a straw poll. Cain, the only presidential candidate to appear at the event, received 77.5% of the votes cast after a rousing speech that was interrupted repeatedly by applause and several standing ovations. Rep. Michele Bachmann provided a video message tailored to this Tea Party audience and came in second with 9.4%. (Maybe there was bad lighting and those “racist” Tea Party folks didn’t notice Cain is black. ~Bob.)

Nine Reasons Why Republicans Ought to Nominate Herman Cain
Excerpt: As a mathematician he would teach the incumbent a thing or two about "simple math." Let us assume that the field bidding to be the Republican standard bearer in 2012 will not expand. Let us assume also that neither New Jersey Governor Chris Christie nor Sarah Palin will throw their hat into the ring. Let us further assume that neither Mike Huckabee nor Paul Ryan is having second thoughts. In which case, Mitt Romney is still the frontrunner. Yet conservatives appear no more prepared to embrace him now than they were in 2008. Rick Perry hasn't proved a viable alternative and Michele Bachmann's fifteen minutes is up. Over the past week or so, with straw poll triumphs in Florida and Illinois, Herman Cain has begun to strike the right chord with Republican voters and has seen his poll numbers rise. So here are nine reasons why Republicans should nominate Herman Cain for President.

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