Friday, November 18, 2011

Political Digest for November 18, 2011

I’ll be out of pocket due to commitments, so there may be no Digest until Tuesday. Sorry, Bob.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Free PDF Copy of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.

Reader Comment on Collapse
After reading ... The Coming Collapse of the American Republic, I had my wife purchase several copies for redistribution. She is about 3/4 through and comments, "It scares the hell out of me." She also said that although she is fairly knowledgeable, as you would expect of my spouse, on these issues your perspective tied things together in a way that illuminated the magnitude of the problem. One of her greatest concerns is the absolute cluelessness of the majority of Americans.

Worth reading: The Imaginarium of Barack Obama by Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Twenty-four months of a Democratic Congress, and over $4 trillion in spending, resulted in 9.1% unemployment and near nonexistent growth. Yet the culprit for the current situation is ten months of a Republican-controlled House that has yet to approve another $500 million of borrowing. In the imaginarium, just a little more of the massive amount that has failed will not fail. But if the Republicans are to be blamed for not wanting to waste the last half-trillion, are the Democrats to be praised for borrowing the first wasted $4 trillion? (Hanson at his ironic best. For those who enjoy such things, below the break in the article is a snippet from Hanson’s on-going project, a new translation from ancient Greek. Ron P.)

Why Does America Defend the Weak and Small by Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: In fact, only the United States seems to have an affinity for protecting tiny, vulnerable countries. (…) All of these people -- Israelis, anti-communist Chinese, Kurds, Greeks and Armenians -- have a few things in common. They have relatively small -- and often shrinking -- populations, aggressive neighbors, few strong allies, many expatriates and refugees in the United States, and a tragic history of persecution and genocide. (Special treat: two different Hanson columns in one day. Ron P.)

Iranian women before & after 1979
Misogyny marches on! ~Bob.

US airstrike kills 27 insurgents in Afghan east
Excerpt: A US air weapons team (typically made up of Apache attack helicopters or Kiowa scouts) killed 27 insurgents after they attacked a patrol in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar.

US Predators kill 18 Taliban fighters in South Waziristan
Excerpt: US Predators struck again in Pakistan's lawless tribal agencies, killing 18 Taliban fighters today in an airstrike carried out by multiple drones in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of South Waziristan.

Want to hear the school’s side first. ~Bob. Excerpt: A middle school in Smyrna, Georgia included in an assignment material that essentially shows 7th grade children that Islamic polygamy is a perfectly legitimate concept and that there is nothing wrong with the strict dress codes used to oppress Muslim women the world over. The material was presented to the 7th graders at Campbell Middle School as part of a discussion of the school’s dress codes, apparently meant to use the ideas of Islamic culture for women’s clothing as some sort of example to compare how the school regulates clothing for its students in Georgia.

Fox News Poll: Gingrich and Romney Top GOP Nominee Picks
Excerpt: Newt Gingrich has catapulted to the front of the race for the 2012 Republican nomination while Herman Cain has lost ground with GOP primary voters. Mitt Romney, once again, is holding steady. … Now the former House speaker is at 23 percent, essentially tied for the lead with Romney, with 22 percent.

28 Arrested in Sit-In Against Criminalization of Homelessness in BudapestHungary
Excerpt: 28 protesters were arrested on November 11 after another attempt by activists to impede passage of a bill in the Hungarian parliament that would criminalize homelessness in Hungary. The bill currently under consideration would increase the fine for homelessness from 50,000 to 150,000 HUF (480 euros or 655 USD) in the case of repeat offenses. (Maybe we could get OWS to Occupy Budapest? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Ohio’s government unions claim to represent simple, positive principles. Good jobs. Workers’ rights. Progress. The reforms in Issue 2 were voted down because union bosses warned dramatically, expensively, and dishonestly how dark Ohio would be with elected officials controlling local governments. If voters realized union power leads to higher taxes, they may not have been as quick to torpedo reform.

Hensarling says GOP is willing to consider new Dem tax proposals
Excerpt: Republicans on Wednesday signaled they would consider higher tax revenues to win a supercommittee deal if Democrats offer deeper cuts to entitlement spending.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), a conservative Republican who is the co-chairman of the deficit supercommittee, walked back a statement he made Tuesday on television, when he said Republicans “have gone as far as we feel we can go” by offering to raise $250 billion in new tax revenues. … He called on Democrats to make an offer that included significant changes to Medicare, Medicaid and overall healthcare spending. “I’m not going to negotiate against myself. That is one offer we have put on the table that they can accept,” Hensarling said.

Preventing Bubbles: Regulation versus Monetary Policy
Excerpt: U.S. monetary policy, usually related to the Federal Reserve's indifference to the value of the dollar, has repeatedly caused harmful asset bubbles in the United States and abroad. Policy is again at risk with the Fed's imposition of near-zero interest rates and its decision to conduct large-scale asset purchases (termed "quantitative easing"). Regulatory policy has often been ineffective at identifying or addressing asset bubbles (especially those caused by Fed policy), so reforms should be considered that will help realign Fed's actions with national good, says David Malpass, President of Encima Global LLC. First, the Fed should restrain its preference for an absolutely free-floating exchange rate, as this embraces a highly cyclical economy of regular booms and busts. Instead, the Fed should value and uphold a strong and stable dollar.

Liberal Programs Deserve Blame for Income Inequality: The Congressional Budget Office documents income gains for everyone, not just the wealthy.
Excerpt: Liberals are treating a new Congressional Budget Office study showing that income inequality increased in America over the last three decades as the smoking gun they’d always been looking for—the ultimate indictment of America, capitalism, and apple pie. (Liberals would prefer that everyone live in a Zimbabwe where everyone starves, to having everyone live in America where everyone eats, but Michael Moore and Warren buffet have bigger houses. ~Bob.)

The War Against the Mullahs
Excerpt: As I forecast some time ago, it was only a matter of time until the opposition abandoned its commitment to non-violence…. A French analyst, Jean-Jacques Guillet, understands the situation very well, and has called for a Western policy to intensify the pressure on the Iranian regime in order to bring it down. “If we press the regime strongly,” he said, “there could be an implosion. The real objective these days should be the regime’s implosion, not more talk.”

Israel’s Secret Iran Attack Plan: Electronic Warfare
Excerpt: Whatever Israel ultimately decides to do about Iran’s program, one mission for now is clear. A senior Israeli official told The Daily Beast this month that one important objective of Israel's political strategy on Iran was to persuade Iranian decision makers that a military strike against their nuclear infrastructure was a very real possibility. "The only known way to stop a nuclear program is to have smashing sanctions with a credible military threat. Libya is the best example of this," this official said. (Revealing means, methods, and motivations? This article represents several possibilities. First is the obvious: Daily Beast wants to reveal intelligence to the Iranians. While this is possible, I think it unlikely to be DB’s primary goal, more like a pleasant side effect. Second is that it could’ve been prompted—or even planted—by the Israelis themselves to keep the Iranians unsettled. Again, I judge this unlikely as a primary goal, though from the Israeli viewpoint it might be a desirable side effect. Third, and I believe most likely, is that it simply publicizes information the Israelis judge the Iranians to already have via espionage or other means. Only this last would account for so many insiders revealing what appears to be secure information that could bear on future operations. Or, they are all traitors who ought to be shot by their various governments. Ron P.)

As the world turns ... and the centrifuges whirl in Iran
Excerpt: It wouldn't even be necessary for Teheran to use its new nuke to dominate its neighbors. For it would then have a nuclear umbrella, much like Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, under which to carry out its mischief without fear of reprisal. It might even pass a nuclear device to one of its favorite terrorist outfits -- Hezbollah in Syria, or Hamas in Gaza or some new bunch of crazies organized for just such a purpose.

69% Say Federal Government Lacks Authority To Force Purchase of Health Insurance
Excerpt: As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the health care law, American voters overwhelming reject the notion that the federal government has the authority to force anyone to buy health insurance. 9let’s hope the courts have as good a grasp on what this expansion of unlimited government power means for the future. ~Bob.)

Chu declines to apologize for $535M Solyndra loan guarantee
Energy Secretary Steven Chu rebuffed Republican criticisms and declined to apologize Thursday for approving a $535 million loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, instead stressing that the company’s collapse was “extremely unfortunate.” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) asked Chu at a hearing Thursday whether he should apologize for approving the loan. “Who has to apologize for the half a billion dollars in taxpayer money that’s out the door,” asked Upton. “Well, it is extremely unfortunate what has happened with Solyndra,” Chu said. “Was there incompetence? Was there any influence of a political nature? I would have to say no.” (That’s the problem. They see nothing wrong in blowing half a billion of your grandkids money so Obama could have a Green photo op. ~Bob.)

Cali to Business: Get Out!
Excerpt: Last year, a medical-technology firm called Numira Biosciences, founded in 2005 in Irvine, California, packed its bags and moved to Salt Lake City. The relocation, CEO Michael Beeuwsaert told the Orange County Register, was partly about the Utah destination’s pleasant quality of life and talented workforce. But there was a big “push factor,” too: California’s steepening taxes and ever-thickening snarl of government regulations. “The tipping point was when someone from the Orange County tax [assessor] wanted to see our facility to tax every piece of equipment I had,” Beeuwsaert said. “In Salt Lake City at my first networking event I met the mayor and the president of the Utah Senate, and they asked what they could do to help me. No [elected official] ever asked me that in California.” (Ohio just voted to join the disaster states. Wisconsin may follow. ~Bob.)

Prosecutors drop charges against (Marine) veteran
Excerpt: He had been an inmate there since a police officer shot him in the stomach seven months ago. Since then, the 64-year-old former Marine and Purple Heart recipient has lost a kidney, his home, his business and all his belongings. But Friday he gained his freedom after prosecutors dismissed six felony charges related to an incident at Sturdivant's home where he shot at someone he thought was stealing from him. "I'm numb," Sturdivant said, his gray beard long and his once-salt-and-pepper hair much lighter than when he was arrested on April 8. On that day Sturdivant fired four intermittent shots from his commercial-grade M14 into the dirt to frighten off a man he thought was a thief.

Want to help this Marine?
A Marine buddy of his says contributions can be sent to him at: David L. Sturdivant,
2428 Benjamin Mays Drive, Atlanta GA 30311. I've taken the story at face value as reported in the press. Have not investigated further. ~Bob.

I can see clearly now! by Robert L. Rohrer
Excerpt: November 16, 2011Fascism, from the Latin fascis, to bundle, is to combine government and industry, ergo an entire economy. This has classically resulted in regimes that exalt nation and race above the individual and stands for centralized autocratic governments headed by dictatorial leaders exercising severe economic and social regimentation, with the forcible suppression of any opposition. This was also the principle of the National Socialist German Workers Party, a unique variety of Fascism. The end objective of both Fascism and Nazism was Communism or the elimination of private property. Under a total system of the State owned means of production, all goods are owned in common and available to all as needed in a system of redistribution. The utopian promise is, the State will ultimately wither away and all goods will then be owned and distributed equitably under a principal of the collective. Workers of the world unite -- we all know how this story ends! These useless European ideas have been applied around the planet by dictatorial governments of all stripes. Here in America the words Fascism, Nazism and Communism were far too hyperbolic to catch on, or succeed, so for more than 100 years the American euphemism has been Progressivism. How quaint!

Obama Abandons [the Keystone XL pipeline and] (Private) Labor
Excerpt: Put simply: Why should any [non-union] blue-collar worker who isn't hooked for life to a public budget vote for Barack Obama next year? The Keystone XL pipeline would have created at least 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. Much of this would have been well-paid work for craftsmen, not jobs as hod carriers to repave the Interstate.

U. S. Banks Face Contagion Risk from Europe Debt
Excerpt: U.S. banks face a “serious risk” that their creditworthiness will deteriorate if Europe’s debt crisis deepens and spreads beyond the five most-troubled nations, Fitch Ratings said. “Unless the euro zone debt crisis is resolved in a timely and orderly manner, the broad credit outlook for the U.S. banking industry could worsen,” the New York-based rating company said yesterday in a statement. Even as U.S. banks have “manageable” exposure to stressed European markets, “further contagion poses a serious risk,” Fitch said, without explaining what it meant by contagion.

Will 'New Newt' Prevail? - Doyle McManus
Excerpt: The Republican presidential candidate is having a transformation much like Richard Nixon in 1968, making him more conciliatory and sometimes even bipartisan.

California: The Long Stall - Wendell Cox,
Excerpt: California’s jobs engine broke down well before the financial crisis.

Forget Wall Street. Go Occupy the Teachers' Unions Headquarters - Andrew J. Rotherham
Excerpt: But when it comes to giving Americans equal opportunity, our schools are demonstrably failing at their task. Today zip codes remain a better predictor of school quality and subsequent opportunities than smarts or hard work. When you think about it, that’s a lot more offensive to our values than a lightly regulated banking system.

Obama Pushing Shooters Off Public Lands
Excerpt: owners who have historically been able to use public lands for target practice would be barred from potentially millions of acres under new rules drafted by the Interior Department, the first major move by the Obama administration to impose limits on firearms. Officials say the administration is concerned about the potential clash between gun owners and encroaching urban populations who like to use same land for hiking and dog walking. "It's not so much a safety issue. It's a social conflict issue," said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with Interior's Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres. He adds that urbanites "freak out" when they hear shooting on public lands. (Chicago urbanites are used to gun fire. All the thugs here are armed, just not the rest of us. ~Bob.)

Quinn’s welfare war
Excerpt: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the leading contender to take over City Hall in 2013, is attacking the core principles of welfare reform. Would a Quinn mayoralty return New York City to its former status as the nation’s dependency capital?
Quinn and her welfare-advocate allies claim that needy New Yorkers forgo food stamps because the city finger-images applicants, a procedure the activists deem “stigmatizing.” Hunger activist Joel Berg has even played the race card, claiming that the requirement raises civil-rights issues because most food-stamp recipients are black or Hispanic.

Why Not "Occupy" a Porta-Potty?
Remember when this happened at the Tea party Rallies? Me neither. ~Bob.

Obama's 'lazy' remark catches fire
Excerpt: A video clip of President Barack Obama calling America “a little bit lazy” is quickly becoming a focus of Republican campaigns, and GOP operatives say it will get plenty of play not only on the presidential battlefield but also in down-ballot congressional races.

What censure? Charles Rangel’s back
Excerpt: Nearly a year after Rep. Charles Rangel was censured on the House floor, his political rehabilitation is almost complete. The dean of the New York delegation will probably never return to his glory days of wielding the gavel on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. And he will never be the fundraising draw that he once was for House Democrats, raising and dispensing hundreds of thousands of dollars to his colleagues. But in the clearest sign yet of his return from political wastelands, several members of the House Democratic leadership, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), headlined a Rangel fundraiser at the Washington restaurant Bistro Bis Wednesday evening.

Union-Backed Occupiers on the March
Excerpt: The sudden eviction of Occupy Wall Street squatters from lower Manhattan hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of organized labor for their increasingly violent anarchist and neo-communist brethren. The occupiers now say they plan to shut down Wall Street on Nov. 17 and occupy the New York subway.
One Occupy Wall Street
supporter was captured on video saying radicals plan to “burn New York City to the ground.”

Netherlands Sliding into the Abyss
Excerpt: For the unfortunate fact is that one set of indicators after another continues to head south. Take a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and produced by Risbo, a research institute at Erasmus University. It shows that of males in the Netherlands’ “Moroccan community” between the ages of 12 and 24, no fewer than 38.7 percent have come to the attention of the police at least once during the last five years in connection with some offense – mostly violent crimes and thefts.

Funny: Why Won’t Al Franken Leave Me Alone?
Excerpt: I used to sympathize with my wife because every day’s mail brought her half a dozen requests from the likes of the RNC, Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris, to send money. She rarely sent any money, but she would faithfully fill out the enclosed questionnaires. No matter how often I would tell her that they weren’t interested in her opinion, only her checkbook, she would labor on. When she was in one of her feistier moods, she would ask me what made me think anyone was interested in my opinion. I blamed such outbursts on her youth. But things have changed.

Jordan: Muslim cuts sister's throat to cleanse family honor
Excerpt: It is no accident or coincidence that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but "the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour 'provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.'" And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that "Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values." Nonetheless, the media drumbeat is constant: honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. And as long as that continues, we will see more and more murders like this one.

5 Year Old Girl Makes a 911 Call You Will Never Forget.
Something cheery for a change. ~Bob.

Occupiers are the Result of Our Socialistic Education System |
Excerpt: Nearly a century ago, progressive socialists set out to take over America. One of the ways they planned to accomplish this was to change the face of the public school system. Led by American psychologist and socialist John Dewey, the foundations of the education system began to change.

Barack Obama, the blurry president
Excerpt: Democrats saw him as the next great liberal hero. Independents regarded him as the man who could bring comity back to Washington. And many Republicans saw him a historical figure of major proportions. Obama’s twin slogans of “hope” and “change” allowed partisans of varying stripes to convince themselves that he was the person they — and the country — had long been waiting for. On the verge of his 2012 reelection race, however, Obama’s continued lack of clear definition is hurting his political prospects, according to longtime Democratic pollster Peter Hart.

Excerpt: This entry in Vice President Joe Biden's schedule provides today's dose of irony*:“At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will attend a meeting of the Government Accountability and Transparency Board in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. At 2:30 PM, the Vice President will meet with representatives of the National Sheriffs' Association in the Roosevelt Room. These meetings are closed press.”

REPORT: Gingrich cashed in supporting subsidies for big business - (Will Rahn, Daily Caller)
Excerpt: Since leaving office in 1999, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has spent much of his time convincing conservatives to support government subsidies for large corporations, reports the Washington Examiner. In addition to his work as a “strategic consultant” for government-sponsored mortgage lender Freddie Mac, the Examiner reports that tax filings show Gingrich received money from the ethanol lobby. Green Energy, a lobbying group that works to secure and create government subsidies for the much-criticized ethanol industry, paid the Gingrich Group more than $300,000 as recently as 2009.

The one inequality infographic no one on the Left wants to see
Excerpt: This obvious correlation between immigration and inequality is little remarked upon in the press, for various reasons. One big one is that polite society has decreed that since Equality and Diversity are both Good Things, they must therefore be synonyms rather than what they are: antonyms.

A new special relationship: the United States and Australia - (Michael Weiss, Telegraph UK)
Excerpt: But the news isn’t that [the United States Marines] are pitching their tents on foreign soil; it’s that this development comes with the overwhelming support of both the Canberra political establishment and the Australian people. According to a recent poll conducted by the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think tank, 78 per cent of Australians think a strong alliance with the US makes sense, given the two nations’ shared values; 82 per cent rank such an alliance as “fairly” or “very” important. And so they would, as Australians have fallen on battlefields alongside Americans in every major conflict since the First World War. (Yay! - Kate in LA.)

Occupy a Desk! Fed Up New York Bankers Hold Rival Demonstration Against Occupy Wall Street Protesters - (Daily Mail UK)
Excerpt: But as protesters marched in Manhattan to begin a 'day of action' - in which they are expected to try to paralyse New York's subway system -
two Wall Street
bankers held a demonstration of their own. Derek and John Tabacco, two brothers who work in the financial district, stood next to the Occupy protesters holding up signs reading 'Get a job' and 'Occupy a Desk', before others joined them. (Desk? First Occupy a Shower! ~Bob.)

These States Will Suffer the Most in the Event of an EU Collapse
Excerpt: Some analysts believe that a collapse of the EU will have a calamitous effect on the U.S. economy. But exactly how will that play out, that is, who will get hit the hardest? Although every state would feel the effects of a possible EU collapse, as a halt of billions of dollars in exports to the EU could prove to be disastrous, analysts believe there are some states in particular that will bear the brunt of the burden. As it turns out, Utah, South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Washington state, and West Virginia, all relying heavily on exported commodities, will most likely suffer the worst, according to a new study by Wells Fargo Securities.

Keep Fear Alive -(Noemie Emory, The Weekly Standard)
Excerpt: The tendency of liberals to define the Republican party, the conservative movement, and most recently the Tea Party movement as the latest iteration of the Old South has been persistent, if not always sane. It survived the failure to convince voters that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were political scions of Jefferson Davis, survived the appointment by George W. Bush of two black secretaries of state in succession (and the failure of his base to sulk or burn crosses), survived the Tea -Party’s electoral embrace of blacks, Latinos, and immigrants’ children. But will it survive the sight of the most right-wing branch of the right-wing party (no doubt clinging to God and to guns out of bitterness) not only adopting Col. Allen West as its favorite congressman but cheering itself hoarse for a black man running for president as the “anti-Obama” in 2012?

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