Friday, November 4, 2011

Political Digest for November 5, 2011

Just time for a few items, as it’s late &and I have to be up at 5. ~Bob.

Quo Vadis, Herman Cain? By Burt Prelutsky
Excerpt: With one percent of Americans paying most of the income taxes in America, while 47% pay nothing, it figures that Democrats would decide that the fair thing to do is to force the one-percenters to pay even more. That is what liberals refer to as social justice, which they believe is better than just plain old-fashioned justice because it allows them to stack the deck. That, in a nutshell, is not only a good reason to never vote for liberals, but an equally good reason not to play cards with them. Recently, Obama announced that seven out of 10 millionaires to whom he’s spoken — and those are generally the only people to whom he speaks without using a Teleprompter — agreed that they thought it would be a swell thing if they paid income taxes at an even higher rate than they presently pay them. What he failed to mention is why, in that case, they don’t simply write a bigger check. He has also neglected to mention why it is that he doesn’t pay more. What the heck is stopping him? Shouldn’t a leader lead by example?

US names names in detailing cyberespionage By Mark Clayton
Excerpt: Using blunt language, a new report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive singles out China and Russia for cyber economic espionage, saying they are fast-growing threats to US economic and national security. In the past, the US government had largely refrained from naming specific countries as sources of cyberespionage. Not anymore. "Chinese actors are the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage," according to the report, titled "Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace." "Russia's intelligence services are conducting a range of activities to collect economic information and technology from US targets." The report, which was prepared for Congress, in effect puts a government spotlight on threats that had largely gone undeclared until security firms and news media highlighted them over the past two years.

Excerpt: After working in construction for many years in Canada, John Monteith had had enough of unions calling all of the shots and forcing themselves onto employers. So John did some research on the United States, and found that one of the best right-to-work states was North Carolina.
John got in touch with an immigration attorney, and worked with him to emigrate legally to the United States at a cost of $40 thousand of his personal money. Well worth it as far as he was concerned, to have the freedom to run a business without being forced into negotiations and contracts with special interest groups. So he packed up his bags and never looked back.
Excerpt: Quinnipiac has polled the American people about Occupy Wall Street. The numbers are not what Adbusters would have hoped for. Thirty percent overall view them favorably, 39% wish to see the occupation ended. 31% wanted to know when LSU vs. Alabama kicks off.

Excerpt: If there’s one thing about the Marxists controlling today’s unions, it is that they are predictable. If you watch them long enough, the pattern is always the same: Demand the extreme with something attainable in mind as the fallback position.
In labor relations, the making of outrageous demands is a classic negotiating tactic at the bargaining table because union negotiators know company negotiators will only agree to what they are willing to based on business economics. In politics, however, the union tactic is an absolute winner because their prey (politicians, many of whom are bought by unions anyway) always fall for it and, besides, it’s only the taxpayers who are stuck with the tab. One thing though, whether at the bargaining table or in politics, unions always reveal their hidden agenda—eventually.

Border Insecurity: The War in Texas
Excerpt: When presidential candidates casually toss out a talking point about “the need to secure our border,” that bland phrase doesn’t even remotely convey the catastrophic reality of life along the Rio Grande. Our rhetoric needs to catch up. The Texas Department of Agriculture released a fascinating but alarming report late last month entitled Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment. It confirms what rural Texan farmers and ranchers already know: that our fight against narco-terrorism has taken on “the classic trappings of a real war” and that “all of Central and South America have become an interconnected source of violence and terrorism,” with Texas as “operational ground zero.” The fact that the Department of Agriculture is now conducting strategic military assessments instead of crop reports is in itself an eye-opening indication of how serious the war being waged at our southern border has become. Compiled by 4-star General Barry McCaffrey, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and former Commander of all U.S. troops in Central and South America, and Major-General Robert Scales, former Commandant of the U.S. Army War College, the report offers “sobering evidence of cartel criminals gaining ground on Texas soil.”

Getting Away with 9/11
Excerpt: Ten years later, there is still much we don’t know about 9/11. There is shocking evidence that Iran and Hezbollah had a role, and the FBI is still looking for three Qataris who escaped the country. Questions remain surrounding a likely Iraqi intelligence operative and a Saudi family who fled the country shortly before the attacks. Speculation about Iranian and Hezbollah responsibility for 9/11 began to heat up after the 9/11 Commission Report was released in 2004. According to the report, 8 to 10 of the hijackers transited Iran between October 2000 and February 2001 and the Iranian border guards did not stamp their passports. Senior Hezbollah operatives, including the late Imad Mughniyah, were on some of the flights taken by the hijackers during this preparatory stage for the attacks. Iran and Hezbollah are being sued by a team of eight law firms for their involvement in the attacks. Much of the case rests upon the sworn testimonies of two intelligence defectors.

The Problem With Islam
Excerpt: It is difficult for Americans to comprehend the challenge to Western civilization from Islam and Islamist ideology. While our political leaders tell us constantly that we are not at war with Islam, the Obama administration will not acknowledge the fact that we are at war with Islamist ideology. In a slim new volume of four essays, “Islam in our Midst: the Challenge to our Christian Heritage,” Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo examines the roots of Islamist ideology and finds little difference between them and Islam itself as it is currently preached in the Muslim mainstream. And therein lies the problem with Islam. “Politically correct approaches often present a sanitized view of Islam, ignoring its terrorist forms,” Sookhdeo writes. The Obama administration has conscientiously excised words such as “Islamic terrorism,” “Islamist terrorism” and “jihad” from the lexicon of its national security doctrine, “because they are deemed to anger Muslims and increase tensions with the wider Muslim world,” Sookhdeo notes.

Executive Power in Wartime
Excerpt: …[W]hen people today are apprehended in connection with terrorist plots directed at this country—and there have been more than 20 since September 11—most are turned over immediately to law enforcement authorities, informed of their Miranda rights, and treated as routine criminal suspects. What do we lose in this process? With the would-be Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, we lost the chance at information about who had built his bomb. From bombs that have shown up in packages originating in Yemen, it appears that the same bomb maker is still in business, and he is believed to be responsible for a bomb that injured Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the man largely responsible for Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism efforts. Although Guantanamo remains open, the President remains committed to closing it. For example, no new detainees are being brought to Guantanamo. We learned a month or two ago that a man named Warsame was apprehended and was thought to be in possession of valuable intelligence. He was placed aboard a naval vessel and debriefed for two months, after which he was advised of his Miranda rights and brought to the U.S. The administration disdains military tribunals, notwithstanding the fact that they have been used in our history from the Revolutionary War to World War II and are provided for specifically in a statute passed by Congress called the Military Commissions Act. Reply Forward. (A now-dead Justice of the Supreme Court once said “The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact.” This condensed speech by former AG Mukasey highlights the Constitutional justification of Bush-era policies and the costs and consequences of abandoning them. Well worth reading. Ron P.)

If Israel Strikes
Excerpt: Ehud Barak could qualify as an Israeli “dove,” but he is first and foremost a soldier and an Israeli patriot. It’s not so surprising that the hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu should be talking of a military strike against Iran. When Ehud Barak joins this conversation, you know it’s serious. This is a most serious situation. No one knows what might happen if Israel strikes the Iranian nuclear weapons research stations. What is clear is that the efforts of the Obama administration to restrain Iran over the past three years have been an utter failure.

When Innuendo Is Enough To Kill By Wesley Pruden
Excerpt: This was once a serious country with serious newspapers, back in the day when they were edited by serious editors and a man had the right to confront an accuser before she was allowed to destroy his reputation, career and even his life.
Herman Cain doesn’t look like Jack the Ripper, but Scotland Yard never pursued Mr. Ripper with the passion of the newspapers and television networks so hot after Mr. Cain. He may be guilty of whatever it is that he is accused of—so far little more than a wink, a predatory smile, or even a suggestive smirk. Or he may not be guilty. But in the wonderland of Washington journalism, we demand the verdict first and only then the evidence (if any).
“Sexual harassment” has been established as a crime that only the accuser is entitled to define, and then at her lawyer’s convenience. The accused is not necessarily entitled to know who accuses him, or even to know what he is accused of. The crime is so heinous that the mere accusation is enough to convict. Why waste time on evidence?

Obama's Drug Shortage Demagoguery
Excerpt: Federal officials darkly suggest that selfish industry "stockpiling" is endangering Americans' lives. "If we find out that prices are being driven up because shortages are being made worse by manipulations of companies or distributors," the White House further threatened, "agencies will be empowered to stop those practices. And the FDA and the Department of Justice will be investigating any kinds of abuses that would lead to drug shortages." As usual, the underlying reasons for these marketplace conditions are gobsmackingly complicated. As usual, a significant portion of the fault lies with the government -- not evil corporate "abuses." And as usual, Obama's unilaterally imposed "solutions" promise to do more harm than good. There's no question that drug shortages exist and that they have been on the rise. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 246 drugs are now scarce. It's a record. Why? I've rounded up just a few of the reasons: (Stockpiling? In an age that considers “just enough, just in time” to be the best way to manage inventory? Of a product that ages and goes out of date relatively soon? Whoever came up with the idea of stockpiling perishable drugs is probably the same guy who buys up all of today’s newspapers just before tomorrow’s papers are printed in hope of making a profit. After all, the news is only one day old; who will notice? Anyone thinking this wise is invited to try using yesterday’s stock reports to make today’s buying decisions; you will self-correct very quickly. [Side note: In my long career as a convenience store manager, whenever a newspaper announced a price increase, I would post a sign saying something like “Price goes up tomorrow, STOCK UP NOW!” We almost always sold out of newspapers that day. Coincidence? Or was this guy buying the papers?] Ron P.)

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