Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Political Digest for November 8, 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.

Still have over 200 unread e-mails and haven’t looked at Twitter in a week, but here goes. ~Bob.

Blog Removed?
Last week, Google’s Spam Filter didn’t remove my blog—so maybe they have fixed the problem? If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get the “blog removed” notice, please check back.

Traveling—will miss posting many days through end of year
I was away at a medical conference we manage over the last weekend, so didn’t post every day. I’m scheduled to be out of town on almost every weekend through the end of the year, business or personal, so will unfortunately not be able to post a digest every day. Sorry. Please check back.

Change isn’t always for the best

An Iranian immigrant’s view of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
At the medical conference we managed last week, I was approached by a doctor. He’s an extremely accomplished surgeon and well-respected researcher, who emigrated (perhaps escaped is a better word) from Iran with his brother, who is now a neurosurgeon. He told me he had read Collapse. “It’s a great book. I agree with 99% of it, and the 1% I disagree with is where you didn’t go far enough. I grew up in a Muslim-Armenian home. The people who believe in a literal interpretation of the Qur’an and follow Shari’a are a threat to freedom, especially the freedom of women.”

Note To Herman Cain: China Already Is A Nuclear Power
Excerpt: Herman Cain is apparently unaware that China conducted its first test of a nuclear device on October 16th… 1964. Though China is estimated to have around 400 nuclear weapons stockpiled, including around 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of targeting the United States, they’re a ratifier of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as one of the five ‘nuclear weapons states’ which also obviously includes the United States.” (This is much more troubling to me than whether Cain made rude remarks or if the NRA paid the lawyers to go away, as happens every day to companies in our society. That concerns his electability; this his fitness to serve. I cannot understand someone announcing for president without having been intensively briefed on national security, international relations and economic issues by experts, and having fielded tough questions on the and hot-button social issues in private, so his/her responses are clear and down pat. ~Bob.)

Romney, seen as most electable, still struggles to break out of pack, poll shows
Excerpt: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a significant advantage over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in only one area — electability — and will approach the next round of candidate debates with several potential liabilities, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Wall Street’s resurgent prosperity frustrates its claims, and Obama’s
Excerpt: President Obama has called people who work on Wall Street “fat-cat bankers,” and his reelection campaign has sought to harness public frustration with Wall Street. Financial executives retort that the president’s pursuit of financial regulations is punitive and that new rules may be “holding us back.” But both sides face an inconvenient fact: During Obama’s tenure, Wall Street has roared back, even as the broader economy has struggled. The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data. (Obama’s plan is to get votes from the “poor” and money from the rich by promising to protect them from each other. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Almost everyone thinks we should insure the uninsured. I don’t recall even a single dissenter. Yet it is precisely when everyone agrees on something that thinking begins to get very sloppy. So let me be the devil’s advocate and challenge the idea. Why do we want to insure the uninsured? Forget about the costs, for a moment. Are there any benefits? What are they? I can think of four candidates. If people are insured: They may get more health care. They may get better care. They will enjoy protection from the financial effects of catastrophic illness. They will be less likely to be free riders on the charity of others. The first three items are “it’s for his own good” benefits and, frankly, the case for them is pretty lame — especially in the context of RomneyCare and ObamaCare. If you expand the demand for health care but do nothing to increase supply, people in the aggregate will not be able to get more care. One person’s gain in care will be offset by someone else’s loss. (At least that ends to be the case, when the principal currency patients use to pay for care is time and not money.) Since the costs of non-price rationing will rise in the process, the whole exercise must make society as a whole worse off.

Policy Makers Should Prepare For Major Uncertainties In Medicaid Enrollment, Costs, And Needs For Physicians Under Health Reform
Excerpt: The Affordable Care Act of 2010 will expand Medicaid to millions of Americans by 2014. How many enroll will greatly affect health care access, demand for clinicians, and the federal budget, yet the precision and validity of enrollment estimates made to date is unknown. We created a simulation model using two nationally representative data sets to determine the range of reasonable projections, estimating eligibility, participation, and population growth using prior research and our data. Our model predicted that the number of additional people enrolling in Medicaid under health reform may vary by more than 10 million, with a base-case estimate of 13.4 million and a possible range of 8.5 million to 22.4 million. Estimated federal spending for new Medicaid enrollees ranged from $34 billion to $98 billion annually, and we projected that 4,500–12,100 new physicians will be needed to care for new enrollees. In the end, Medicaid enrollment will be determined largely by the extent to which federal and state efforts encourage or discourage eligible people from enrolling. Yet our results indicate that policy makers should prepare to handle a broad range of contingencies and uncertainty in Medicaid expansion under health reform.

Weathering Global Warming in Agriculture
Excerpt: Provided it is not a consequence of governmental interference with market forces, cheap food creates far-reaching benefits. People struggling to survive on a dollar or two a day, of whom there are more than two billion around the world, are better able to feed themselves. Diminished food scarcity also leads to increased expenditures on goods and services other than food, thereby accelerating the economic diversification that is an integral feature of development. Moreover, low prices facilitate the savings required for investment and economic growth. Declining food scarcity has helped drive overall economic progress for decades, even as the demand for edible goods has been increasing at a fast clip. Since the middle of the twentieth century, when the population was slightly less than 2.5 billion, human numbers have shot up, surpassing 6.0 billion shortly before 2000 and currently approaching 7.0 billion. Adding to food demand have been pronounced improvements in living standards, especially in China and other Asian nations where much of the population could not afford adequate sustenance little more than a generation ago. Yet food supplies have more than kept pace—mainly thanks to technological advances during and since the Green Revolution that have caused global yields of cereals (which comprise at least 60 percent of the human diet if the grain consumed by livestock is taken into account) to rise by 150 percent since the early 1960s.

High-Speed Rail Goes Off The Track
Excerpt: A new business plan puts the cost of California's planned bullet train at nearly $100 billion. And air travel will still be three times faster. Time to stop this train before it leaves the station. When President Obama talks about how Americans (so he says) have "lost our ambition" to do great things like building the Golden Gate Bridge, we think he may have high-speed rail in mind. He has been talking up fast trains and pushing Congress to fund them ever since he took office. JFK had the space program. Obama has choo-choos. How far we've come. And how much more we could end up spending if the president and other high-speed rail boosters get their way. In California, site of the nation's most ambitious bullet train plan, a new, more honest accounting of costs and timetables has produced a jaw-dropping estimate for a line between San Francisco and the Los Angeles area. This project, originally pegged by the state at $34 billion and later $43 million, is now up to $98.5 billion. (Huh. A Government Project where the estimate of costs has gone up 200% before construction starts. Who would have guessed. We will never know the final cost, because this will not be built. Government is going broke too fast. Unfortunately, it might be started. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: A group of congressional Democrats is pushing on with their efforts to enact a tax on financial transactions, in the face of what they acknowledge are long odds. The financial transactions tax has prominent supporters in Europe, including President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. But the Obama administration has decided against embracing the idea, most recently at a meeting of the Group of 20 nations in France. Meanwhile, Republicans on Capitol Hill remain opposed to tax increases, and banking and financial advocacy groups are also fiercely against the transaction tax. (Businesses pay taxes with their customers’ money. Duh. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Happy Days Aren't Here Again
Excerpt: A Republican challenge is what happened to the party in the years 2000-08. Conservatives, in the Washington Post-ABC poll, did not speak as highly of the Republican Party as they have in the past. Somewhere around 2004 the Republican Party broke in a new way. The GOP had been riven before -- Taft-Eisenhower, Goldwater-Establishment, Reagan-Ford -- and always healed back. But the split that grew after 2004 was different. Trust broke, and in a time not of peace and prosperity but of crisis. Which made the impact deeper. What is called the tea party is the rightward part of the conservative base. They became angry that they had trusted the Republican establishment during a Republican presidency, only to see that establishment run up huge debt, launch foreign wars, contribute to the surveillance state, and refuse to control America's borders. What made the anger deeper is that they were angry at themselves. They felt complicit: They had not rebelled, they had trusted the party: "They're the GOP establishment, they must know what they're doing." What the conservative base had learned by 2008 is: Don't trust the Republican party. Don't trust its establishments. The old loyalty was over. It may or may not come back. The Democrats' challenge? They're living on faded glory, and Mr. Obama has done nothing for the brand. In January 2009 it was bright and shiny. He has murked it up pretty good. The cascade of government-private sector scandals, from Fannie Mae to Solyndra, has dulled the brand further. Party of the working man? Party of the guy who kited the mortgage deals, got bailed out, and left the working man living in his car. (As a state senator, I quickly found out that people hate taxes. They hate government deficits. They hate waste and big spending. But even more, they hate any cuts to programs they depend on or support. Everyone in Washington is saying, “Borrow what you must, tax who you can, but DON’T CUT ME! Don’t touch Medicare, or social security, or education, or government employees, or defense, or green energy or…whatever. Usually several whatevers. ~Bob.)

Political Futures from The Patriot Post
"[R]ight now, the 'anybody but Mitt' crowd to me looks like a mix of Perry fans who can't believe any conservative could seriously support those jokers Cain and Bachmann, Cain fans who can't believe anybody could back that loser Perry and that loon Bachmann, Bachmann fans who can't believe everybody's jumped off the bandwagon of the one true conservative fighter, Newt fans who can't believe everybody makes such a big deal about his marital difficulties, and so on. I'm not sure anybody has much of a second choice right now, much less a potential consensus choice. I exaggerate slightly, but right now, it doesn't seem as if many primary voters see many of the options as 'pretty good.' The field is simply 'their guy' versus a bunch of laughingstocks who deserve to be booed off the stage." --National Review's Jim Geraghty.

Worth Reading: Occupiers, Tea Partiers, and the Tenth Commandment
Excerpt: Occupy Wall Street preaches that the "1 percent" got rich by exploiting the "99 percent." The Tea Party believes that with greater freedom and less government, we could all be more prosperous and productive. One is rooted in envy, the other in self-respect. What distinguishes them, you might say, is the culture of the Tenth Commandment. That distinction is showing up in many ways, not least in the latest police reports.

Environmentalists, like Obama, face political test on Keystone pipeline
Excerpt: Environmentalists battling the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline call the looming White House decision on the project a referendum on President Obama’s commitment to clean energy. But the fate of TransCanada Corp.’s push to build the massive Alberta-to-Texas pipeline is also a crucial test of the green movement’s political clout. Activists calling on Obama to scuttle the project expect thousands of people at a major demonstration outside the White House Sunday afternoon. They’re arriving with a warning: Environmentalists say a federal permit for TransCanada would sap their appetites for door-knocking, political giving and other work on behalf of Obama next year. (Obama has to finesse this somehow. The lefties in his base would be happy to starve half the population to reduce carbon—as long as they weren’t in that half. But the public is figuring out that Obama will always make energy, food, heat and goods much more expensive, and jobs fewer, in obeisance to the Greenies’ chimaeras. ~Bob.)

Eric Holder has a gun problem
Excerpt: Eric Holder has a gun problem. As the chief law enforcement officer Attorney General Eric Holder came out swinging in the first months of the Obama administration as he pushed to reinstate the assault weapons ban, pointing to the rising levels of violence in Mexico and increased presence of U.S. guns south of the border. But nearly two years later assault weapons can still be bought and Holder has found himself at the center of a quagmire involving a botched gun-tracking operation that sent thousands of high-powered firearms to Mexico in the hands of known or suspected straw buyers for drug cartels.

Ron Paul says friendship best way to deal with Iran
Excerpt: GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul says “offering friendship” to Iran, not sanctions, would be a more fruitful to achieving peace with Tehran. The Texas congressman says fears about Iran’s nuclear program have been “blown out of proportion.” He says tough penalties are a mistake because, as he says was the case in Iraq, they only hurt the local population and still paved a path to war. When asked on “Fox News Sunday” what he would do to deter Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, Paul said “maybe offering friendship to them.” Paul’s remarks put him at odds with both the Bush and Obama administrations; U.S. Policy has relied heavily on sanctions and diplomacy to try to convince Tehran to abandon its atomic program. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful. (I heard him say this yesterday on Chris Wallace's show. Paul continues to be a true and dangerous embarrassment...Don.)

Latest from “the most transparent administration in history.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The White House is not expected to comply with a subpoena issued by House Republicans for documents related to the $535 million loan guarantee to the failed solar firm Solyndra. White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler blasted the GOP on Friday for issuing the subpoena, calling it "unprecedented and unnecessary." And a senior administration official told The Hill on Monday that the White House faces major logistical hurdles in complying with the request, which calls for all internal Solyndra communications. The move would set up a high-profile clash between the White House and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative panel, which voted along party lines to issue the subpoena last week.

Iran Boosts Its Anti-American Bluster Ahead of IAEA Report on Iran Nukes
Excerpt: A nine-year standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear programs may be entering a new and more serious phase, as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prepares to release a report expected to raise the most significant concerns yet about Iranian nuclear activities. According to diplomats, the report – to be released Tuesday -- will include suspicions that Iran has worked on computer models of a nuclear missile warhead, and point to the existence of a large steel container believed to be designed for nuclear weapons-related explosive testing. (Suddenly, Iran is all over the news. Media that haven’t mentioned Iran in months are remembering where the country was stored and dusting it off. Little of this is news to any regular TOJ reader. We may be at peace with Iran, but they’ve been at war with us since 5 Nov 1979. Once again, our thanks to Jimmy Carter, our second worst President. In 2005, we were told Iran was “five years away” from having a working nuclear weapon. Then we found out they were being assisted by the North Koreans. Early last year came the Stuxnet computer virus that messed up their enrichment plans, but that is surely fixed by now. There are hard choices immediately ahead; the incompetent in the White House won’t make them until three weeks or more too late if he follows his normal pattern. The only way to keep a Genii in the bottle is to never let him out to begin with. Ron P.)

Four lily white liberals smear a black man
Excerpt: Just as Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain predicted, he has become the most recent victim of the race-baiting left's high-tech lynching of prominent, conservative black men. Days before the Cain sexual harassment smear emerged from the sewers of liberal trash journalism, MSNBC's Martin Bashir hosted contributor Karen Finney who proclaimed that conservatives only liked Cain because "they think he's a black man who knows his place."  As Bashir actually thanked her on-air for making such an offensive and ignorant remark (far from being a submissive position, conservatives are supporting Cain in his effort to ascend to the highest office in the land), Finney granted, "I know that's harsh, but that's how it sure seems to me." That's an interesting moment of candor since it now sure seems to any American paying attention that Finney and her fellow liberals dislike Cain because they think he's a black man who doesn't know his place. Diversity of thought amongst minorities -- particularly blacks -- is forbidden in the church of liberalism. Having constructed their entire political kingdom on the back of the dollars-for-votes dependency model, self-made black men who stray from the liberal plantation and threaten to carry the empowering message of personal (not government) reliance to throngs of minorities currently under the left's spell of entitlement must be dealt with severely. Destroying them professionally and personally is a small price to pay to keep the plantation thriving.

Both Cain Accusers Longtime Agents Of The Federal Government http://patdollard.com/2011/11/both-cain-accusers-longtime-federal-agents/
Excerpt: Cain has already denounced the two previous allegations of sexual harassment against him as false, and suggested at least one of the women was a poor worker whose job performance was “not up to par.” But an ABC News investigation found that both of the women who received settlements from the NRA are career Federal employees.

A Day in the Life of an Occupy Wall St. Participant
Too true. ~Bob

European Stability Mechanism (ESM) demands unlimited cash from member states
This open robbery of EU citizens had to happen. It was only a matter of time.
The G20 refused to chip in significant cash at Cannes to bail out Greece, and hence the rest of the PIIGS and hence Europe, via the IMF. When voluntary participation fails, strong-arming is the next logical step when you are dealing with dictators. What I don't understand is how the authors of this presentation are only now finding out that the EU is a dictatorship. It has had all the earmarks of one even before it was renamed as EU. That is an extremely slow reaction to years and years of abuse by this unconstitutional empire! I hope Americans are paying attention to the playbook. It is the same one used by the kleptocrats on this side of the pond: when one approach fails, invent a new name for the game and keep stealing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5CZr17HLH5U
Watch Obama and the Fed closely now. And ask your presidential candidate what he or she thinks about bailouts for banks. --Don Hank

Standards don’t exist for Dems
Excerpt: What is all the fuss about Herman Cain, possibly having sexually harassed a couple of women? He is not a sitting president, just one of the many contenders in the GOP primary. There isn’t even a blue dress. Didn’t the mainstream media and liberals enlighten us during President Bill Clinton’s era of indiscretions that this is private behavior and doesn’t affect governing abilities? Even the National Organization for Women buried their collective heads in the sand and never said boo about the $850,000 Paula Jones settlement. So haven’t we matured like the Europeans? The problem is that Cain is a Republican. That’s why Politico has written 90 stories in one week about the pizza mogul. Twelve-plus stories per day seems excessive even for the left-leaning site, but it does prove the point that Republicans are held to a much higher ideal than Democrats by both the media and voters. In Massachusetts, it’s not so much a double standard. It’s that Democrats are held to virtually no standard at all.

GE Moves 115-Year-Old X-Ray Unit's Base to China to Tap Growth
Excerpt: General Electric Co.'s health-care unit, the world's biggest maker of medical-imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing to tap growth in China. “A handful” of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won't be any job cuts, Anne LeGrand, vice president and general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare, said in an interview. The headquarters will move from Waukesha, Wisconsin, amid a broader parent-company plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation” and development centers. (This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year, but paid no taxes; the same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the United States. So let me get this straight. President Obama appointed GE Chairman Jeff Immelt to head his commission on job creation (Job Czar). Immelt is supposed to help create jobs. I guess the President forgot to tell him in which country he was supposed to be creating those jobs!! If this doesn't show you the total lack of leadership of this President, I don't know what does. Please pass this information to others and think about it before you buy another GE product! –Dave,1stLt (LDO) USMC (Retired)

A cause to unite the tea party and the '
Occupy Wall Street
' crowd.
Excerpt: The Occupy Wall Street protesters aren't good at articulating what they want, but one of their demands is "end corporate welfare." Well, welcome aboard. Some of us have been fighting crony capitalism for decades, and it's good to have new allies if liberals have awakened to the dangers of the corporate welfare state. Corporate welfare is the offer of special favors—cash grants, loans, guarantees, bailouts and special tax breaks—to specific industries or firms. The government doesn't track the overall cost of these programs, but in 2008 the Cato Institute made an attempt and came up with $92 billion for fiscal 2006, which is more than the U.S. government spends on homeland security. That annual cost may have doubled to $200 billion in this new era of industry bailouts and subsidies. According to the House Budget Committee, the 2009 stimulus bill alone contained more than $80 billion in "clean energy" subsidies, and tens of billions more went for the auto bailout and cash for clunkers, as well as aid for the mortgage industry through programs to refinance or buy up toxic loans.

Jerry Brown's Canoe Lesson: California unions oppose even modest pension reforms.
Excerpt: Philosopher-Governor Jerry Brown finally unveiled a pension reform plan in late October, and it looks like he based it on his self-coined canoe school of politics. According to the theory, paddling a little to the right and then a little to the left will chart a successful course up the middle. Alas, the prevailing winds in Sacramento blow reforms to the left, if they don't blow them up altogether. California has a roughly $500 billion unfunded pension liability, thanks largely to the legislature's generous payouts to public unions. Last year pensions cost the state about $5 billion, and the annual bill could double in a decade without reform. That's about as much as the state pays for higher education. Retirement costs are squeezing funding for schools, state parks and roads and will ultimately require higher taxes. Mr. Brown is offering a plan to dodge the fiscal catastrophe, but it won't save taxpayers in time.

Good Riddance to a Repeat U.N. Offender: Unesco's Palestine fiasco is only the latest of the agency's offenses.
'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," said philosopher George Santayana. In the case of the United Nations, people who cannot remember the organization's repeated perfidies are condemned to keep being reminded. There was déjà vu for U.N. watchers last week when Unesco, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, admitted the Palestinian Authority as a member, even though it's not a country and therefore ineligible. U.S. law automatically ends funding for any U.N. body that admits the PA, so taxpayers will save $80 million a year by defunding an agency long focused more on politics than on its mission. Founded after World War II, Unesco has been best known since the 1970s for its New World Information Order, a set of recommendations that would regulate journalists and legitimize the suppression of free speech by authoritarian governments.

Iran to Hillary, Obama: "Mind your own business"
Excerpt: Iranian government officials were livid following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interviews with the BBC and Voice of America. The VOA interview was translated into Persian for the Iranian people, according to an intelligence report by Israel's Meir Amit Terrorism Information Center. In essence, the Iranian government told Clinton and President Barack Obama to mind their own business. During the interviews, Clinton stated that the United States will soon create an Internet “virtual embassy” in the Iranian capital of Tehran to provide the people of Iran with information other than the usual radical Islamic propaganda and anti-Israeli, anti-American diatribes.

Excerpt: Every day for the past 35 years, I have religiously read the Wall Street Journal. When I’m on vacation, I have the papers saved and I read them upon my return. I’ve often told people that if they just read the WSJ’s opinion pages, they would be well informed – but not in recent memory have the editors been as wrong as they are with their current position on immigration. The September 24th editorial entitled “The Illegal Immigration Collapse” claims that the Republican presidential debates were distorting the importance of illegal immigration on the American economy. The editors, illustrating their point with a graph, describe how border apprehensions have plummeted over the last eleven years. In fact, they state that apprehensions – of which there were 463,000 in 2010 – are at the lowest level in 40 years. They argue that the decrease is caused more by the weak economy than by improved border security. But they then not only accuse Republicans of shouting that the border isn’t “secure,” but also that, by their definition, the border will never be secure. I have rarely seen the WSJ editors present more fatuous claims and more contradictory arguments. The first problem with their line of reasoning is the assumption that there is a relationship between the number of apprehensions and the number of illegal entries into the country. While there may be a correlation, the editors provide no statistics to back that up.

Sexual Harassment's Legal Morass
Even an employer who avoids trial and prevails on summary judgment will ring up a defense bill of $100,000. Once again, America finds itself gripped by a sexual harassment scandal. And once again the term "sexual harassment" is being thrown around in a way that conveys a misleadingly broad definition. The reported allegations against Herman Cain—that he made sexually suggestive remarks and unwanted sexual advances while he headed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s—are endlessly spoken and written about as constituting sexual harassment. That's far from clear according to the law. Sexual harassment claims in the workplace are governed by the federal antidiscrimination statute Title VII and similar state laws. Title VII protects only employees, holds the employer, not the harasser, liable, and recognizes two types of harassment claims: "quid pro quo" and "hostile environment." The former occurs when job benefits, such as employment, promotion, and salary are made contingent on the provision of sexual favors—or withdrawn because a sexual advance is rejected. While suggestively asking your employee up to your hotel room is a bad idea, without more it's not sexual harassment.

Why Iran might welcome bombing
Excerpt: To bomb or not to bomb? In the entourage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (with echoes in Washington), this is the question. The target would be Iran, which is once again all but accused by the International Atomic Agency of developing an illicit nuclear arsenal. But why should Israel want to bomb Iran? Objectively, they should be strategic allies. Neither wishes to see the Middle East dominated by pan-Arab or Sunni Islamist regimes; both want a region where diversity is accepted as the norm, with enough room for everyone: Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Jews, Persians, Arabs, Israelis, Turks, Copts and Kurds, among others. None of the traditional causes of dispute between nations exists between Iran and Israel. There are no territorial claims and counterclaims, no border conflicts, no rivalry over markets and/or access to resources, no clashes over how one’s kith and kin are treated by the other. Iranians and Israelis have no history of mutual hatred and enmity. Jews have lived in Iran for three millennia; Iran has the second-largest Jewish community in the Middle East, after Israel. And thousands of Israelis of Iranian origin continue to nurture the best sentiments toward Iran.

Our Reckless Meritocracy
Excerpt: Inevitably, pride goeth before a fall. Robert McNamara and the Vietnam-era whiz kids thought they had reduced war to an exact science. Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin thought that they had done the same to global economics. The architects of the Iraq war thought that the American military could liberate the Middle East from the toils of history; the architects of the European Union thought that a common currency could do the same for Europe. And Jon Corzine thought that his investment acumen equipped him to turn a second-tier brokerage firm into the next Goldman Sachs, by leveraging big, betting big and waiting for the payoff. What you see in today’s Republican primary campaign is a reaction to exactly these kinds of follies — a revolt against the ruling class that our meritocracy has forged, and a search for outsiders with thinner résumés but better instincts.

Excerpt: The Planned Parenthood abortion business in yet another state is facing accusations of massive Medicaid fraud related to billing for abortions and birth control — at a time when Congress is launching an investigation. According to pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, a former employee of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has filed a whistleblower’s complaint with the Attorney General of Texas and the U.S. Department of Justice. The PPGC employee alleges that the abortion business engaged in an elaborate Medicaid fraud scheme.

A Satire Draws Fire
Government censorship? Bad. Censorship through Islamist violence? Not so much. ~Bob. Excerpt: Here we go again. Charlie Hebdo, a humor magazine in Paris which had produced a spoof issue “guest edited” by, as The New York Times and other media outlets refer to him, the “Prophet Mohammed,” was firebombed early Wednesday just as the special edition was on its way to the newsstands. Hackers had also disrupted its website with a message in English and Turkish cursing the magazine: “You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be God’s curse upon you!” The magazine had announced the special issue in satirical salute to the “Arab Spring” victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections: “Charlie Hebdo has asked Mohammed to be the special editor-in-chief of its next issue,” the magazine said in a statement. “The prophet of Islam didn’t have to be asked twice and we thank him for it.” It renamed itself Charia Hebdo, a pun on the word “shariah,” for the occasion, and featured an editorial by Mohammed entitled “Halal Aperitif” and a women’s supplement called “Madam Sharia.” On the cover was a cartoon of Mohammed announcing, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”

Pakistan rejects report of unsafe nukes
What could go wrong? ~Bob. Excerpt: Pakistan on Sunday angrily rejected a report that it had been moving its nuclear weapons in unsafe conditions, saying nobody should underestimate its capability to defend itself. Two US magazines reported Friday that Pakistan has begun moving its nuclear weapons in low-security vans on congested roads to hide them from US spy agencies, making the weapons more vulnerable to theft by Islamist militants. The Atlantic and the National Journal, in a joint report citing unnamed sources, wrote that the US raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May at his Pakistani compound reinforced Islamabad's longstanding fears that Washington could try to dismantle the country's nuclear arsenal.

Israel's Peres warns attack on Iran getting 'closer'
Excerpt: Israeli President Shimon Peres warned on Sunday that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely, days before a report by the UN's nuclear watchdog on Iran's nuclear programme is due. "The possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option," Peres told the Israel Hayom daily. "We must stay calm and resist pressure so that we can consider every alternative," he added. "I don't think that any decision has already been made, but there is an impression that Iran is getting closer to nuclear weapons."

Marine Sniper takes out Taliban

Obama proposes $100 billion U.S. loan for IMF
Excerpt: The $100 billion is part of commitments made by Group of 20 countries at a London summit on April 2, which agreed to triple IMF resources to a total of $750 billion to help the IMF respond to crises in emerging market economies as a result of the global financial crisis and economic downturn. The U.S. funding will boost the IMF's so-called New Arrangements to Borrow, or NAB, a facility which allows member countries to provide credit to the IMF to deal with crises that may threaten the stability of the global financial system. Obama said the NAB was "woefully inadequate" to deal with the severe economic and financial crisis. "The deteriorating conditions threaten to worsen the recessions in these countries and could cause currencies to collapse," Obama wrote. (At the G-20 conference at Cannes, the Europeans were smart. They know it is over and Greece will never pay off its debt. Like a patient on life support, it will linger for a few more agonizing weeks, months, maybe even a year, and then give up the ghost--along with billions of European and US dollars. But Obama? Well, he is the "president" of the richest country in the world and has never worked a day in his life, so what are a few billion of your dollars to him? .... The EU knew Greece was not a good risk, but they figured they were big enough to absorb the loss so they took them into the euro zone anyway. After all, it's all about wealth redistribution, the post-Soviet kind, where money flows from the working country to the loading country instead of just from the working citizen's pocket to the loafing citizen's pocket. That's because communism is dead. Yeah, right. Well, they were wrong this time. NO ONE can absorb this one. Seems like only Obama doesn't know that. Don Hank)

US sources: Israel ministers who opposed Iran strike are now for it
Excerpt: American sources told Fox television early Sunday, Nov. 6 that all the senior Israeli ministers who were formerly against attacking Iran's nuclear sites are now for it, having been updated on Iran's clandestine progress toward building a nuclear weapon. This information is due to be borne out when the IAEA publishes its next Iran report Tuesday, Nov. 8. The ministers are said to have changed their minds in the belief that the next round of sanctions will not be tough enough and point to the precedent of Israel's 1981 attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor which was never rebuilt. According to debkafile's Washington sources, the Obama administration attributes the change of heart by those ministers to a conviction that Iran already has a nuclear weapon.

Is Europe’s Troubled Marriage Doomed?
Excerpt: Welcome to Phase Two of the global financial crisis, whose epicenter lies not in America as in 2008, but in Europe, where it is now engulfing not just individual banks but entire countries. Europe now stands at a juncture so dangerous that it could easily lead to a repeat—or worse—of the earlier Great Recession, when the implosion of America’s subprime real-estate market froze the global banking system, prompted the failure of Lehman Brothers, collapsed world trade, and plunged much of the globe into despair. White House sources tell The Daily Beast that the administration is "very worried." (…) Because it is only a loose confederation of countries and not a strong political union like the United States, Europe had no way to keep spendthrift countries like Greece—mired in corruption—from piling up ever-higher mountains of debt in the belief that their European neighbors would always bail them out. It also has no way to force a rich country like France to fix its shaky banks, which together hold almost $900 billion in southern-country debt. Imagine 27 Barack Obamas and John Boehners trying to get a debt and banking crisis under control. That, in essence, is what the Europeans are facing now. (The still unacknowledged failure of statist deficit spending to stimulate economic growth is clearly on display in the Eurozone. Unfortunately, even if we learn from their mistake, it will still be too late to undo our own problems without pain. If we take on their burdens as well as our own, then we will all swim in the cesspool together. Look closely, Occupiers, that’s what you are really asking for. Ron P.)

Pedophile imam in U.K. gets only two years in prison
Excerpt: The British judge wanted to give the imam a longer sentence, but he couldn't due to a technicality: the crimes happened 27 years ago. Graphic details on the imam's crimes have surfaced, as well as the reason why it took (infidel) justice 27 years to catch up with Ebrahim Yusuf Kazi. Pedophilia is found in all cultures. The pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church was of immense dimensions and in many ways is ongoing. But only in Islam does such behavior have divine sanction, based on Muhammad's consummation of his marriage to Aisha when he was 54 and she was nine. Since he is the supreme example for Muslim behavior, many Muslims find justification for behavior such as that displayed by Ebrahim Yusuf Kazi in Muhammad.

2012 Presidential Race Expected To Be Close, Campaigns ...Brutal
This is a pleasantly even-handed look at the likely future. Ron P. Excerpt: It's virtually certain that the campaign will be a close, grinding affair, markedly different from the 2008 race. It will play out amid widespread economic anxiety and heightened public resentment of government and politicians. Americans who were drawn to the drama of Obama's barrier-breaking battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the up-and-down fortunes of John McCain and Sarah Palin, are likely to see a more partisan contest this time, with Ohio and Florida playing crucial roles as they did in 2000 and 2004. Republicans have their script; they just need to pick the person to deliver it. It will portray Obama as a failed leader who backs away when challenged and who doesn't understand what it takes to create jobs and spur business investment. Obama will highlight his opponent's ties to the tea party and its priorities. He will say Republicans are obsessed with protecting millionaires' tax cuts while the federal debt soars and working people struggle. (...) "You can expect a very negative campaign," he [Terry Holt] said. "In 2008, Barack Obama was peddling hope and change. Now he's peddling fear and poverty."

Lawmakers Aim to Stop Defense Cuts if Debt Panel Fails
Excerpt: “If the joint select committee does not do what it needs to do,” said Representative K. Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, “most of us will move heaven and earth to find an alternative that prevents a sequester from happening.” After listening to dire predictions by the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the effects of automatic cuts, Representative John Garamendi, Democrat of California, was even more blunt. “The sequester will never take place,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.” Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate and a member of the deficit-reduction panel, has repeatedly said he has no intention of letting such cuts occur. Some House members said they were being urged by military contractors and others in their districts to avert such reductions. Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the panel, said the attempt to undo the triggers “reflects a total lack of seriousness.” Adding that such efforts would not be successful, he said they were “the result of people trying to escape the fundamental choices before us, and one of those choices is whether or not we are willing to end special interest tax breaks to pay for defense.” (Let's play chicken, loser dies. I guess when we’re broke, we’ll no longer need protection from potential adversaries, at least in the mind of one Democrat. And they wonder why we call them soft on defense. Maybe they think a few bows and handshakes will get everybody singing Blowin’ in the Wind. I added emphasis. Ron P.)

University of Washington Student Researching Seattle's Trash Bins
Excerpt: When he gets his vegetables home [from the Dumpsters], he'll usually soak them in a sinkful of water to which he adds a half-cup of bleach, then rinse them. Giles has gotten his monthly grocery bill down to $100, but he knows people in the Dumpster-diving community who spend no money on food at all. That kind of dedication to finding food discards is time-consuming, though, and it helps to know the Dumpster dumping schedule in order to do it right, he said. Who else Dumpster-dives? Giles describes a counterculture group: students, punk rockers, left-wing activists and people who can't be pigeonholed into any group at all.

Mark Steyn: Occupiers part of grand alliance against the productive class
Excerpt: I don't "stand with the 99%," and certainly not downwind of them. But I'm all for their "occupation" continuing on its merry way. It usefully clarifies the stakes. At first glance, an alliance of anarchists and government might appear to be somewhat paradoxical. But the formal convergence in Oakland makes explicit the movement's aims: They're anarchists for statism, wild free-spirited youth demanding more and more total government control of every aspect of life – just so long as it respects the fundamental human right to sloth. What's happening in Oakland is a logical exercise in class solidarity: the government class enthusiastically backing the breakdown of civil order is making common cause with the leisured varsity class, the thuggish union class and the criminal class in order to stick it to what's left of the beleaguered productive class. It's a grand alliance of all those societal interests that wish to enjoy in perpetuity a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. Only the criminal class is reasonably upfront about this.

Escopeta Oil Jack-Up Rig Makes Major Cook Inlet Gas Find
Excerpt: An Escopeta Oil jack-up drilling rig has been in Cook Inlet for only three months, but company officials announced Friday that it has discovered about 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- an amount they say could be the inlet’s largest energy discovery in 25 years.

The Churches of Cain and Obama
Excerpt: When Herman Cain began singing "Amazing Grace" at the National Press Club on Monday, some believed he was trying to distract attention from the sexual harassment charges that had surfaced against him. But, as he explained, "My faith is a big part of who Herman Cain is." In fact, though he's decided to campaign on his background in business, Mr. Cain is an ordained minister and deeply religious man. Like President Obama, Mr. Cain belongs to a mostly black congregation with a black pastor. But that is where the similarities end. Stark differences between the political philosophies of these two men may be rooted in their profoundly different theological heritages. The churches both men are (or in the case of Mr. Obama, were) longtime members of are known for liberal activism, but with notable differences in their views of scripture.

Marines Warned: Don't Spit Toward Mecca
Excerpt: Uncle Sam is getting a little weird. Make that a lot weird. Having dumped hundreds of billions of dollars into a sinkhole called Afghanistan -- populated by misogynistic, pederastic, tribalistic and religiously supremacist primitives -- to no avail, he has hit on a new plan for winning those ever-elusive Afghan "hearts and minds." Uncle Sam has decided that the answer lies in the latrine with the U.S. Marine Corps. No kidding. When nature calls, Uncle Sam has decided he wants every U.S. Marine equipped with a map and compass, or some other way of knowing direction. This is to ensure that no U.S. Marine in Afghanistan urinates in the direction of Mecca ever again. Now, there's a winning strategy. It's still OK, of course, to spread baksheesh (payola) indiscriminately, chase jihadis into twisting mountain gorges, clear any road laced with improvised explosives - blow up, even, and bleed all over the place. Just make sure your sense of direction is sharp when it really counts.

Worth reading: Are We Going Bankrupt?
Yup. ~Bob. Excerpt: In an incredible admission of failure, the Obama administration has abandoned the long term care insurance program that was part of Obama Care. The reason: The health reform act had a provision that required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to certify that the program would be solvent for 75 years before the program could be launched. But as the Secretary was forced to admit, the program was anything but solvent. Premiums collected during people’s working years were not going to be saved and invested, the way a private insurer would do. Instead, all funds collected were going to be spent immediately on other Obama Care benefits. In short, the long term care insurance program was designed exactly like a Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. But wait a minute. What if we applied the same 75 year test to Social Security? Or Medicare? Or the disability program? Could any of these programs pass muster? Not on your life. As the Social Security trustees remind us every year in their annual report, these programs have unfunded liabilities totaling tens of trillions of dollars. According to the trustees’ latest accounting, to make it for 75 years Social Security needs an additional $6.5 trillion in the bank right now, earning interest. That is, we’re coming up short by an amount equal to about 43 percent of our annual national income. Medicare is in worse shape. It’s falling short by $22.1 trillion.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 To Narrowly Miss Earth
Excerpt: At its closest point, the space rock will be about 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers) away, which is 0.85 the distance between the moon and the Earth. NASA says that the asteroid will reach this point at 6:28 p.m. EST on Tuesday. (...) An asteroid this size -- which, according to Scientific American is larger than an aircraft carrier -- would cause widespread damage if it were to hit Earth, however. The Associated Press spoke to Jay Melosh, a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University, who said that the asteroid would create a four-mile wide crater 1,700 feet deep. It could cause 70-foot tsunami waves and shake the ground like a magnitude-7 earthquake. Even though the asteroid will be inside the orbit of the moon, NASA said that the space rock's gravitational pull shouldn't have any "detectable effect" on Earth's tectonic plates or tides. (An asteroid or comet about 5 times this size is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. It isn’t so much the size as the speed, and this will approach with a speed of about ten miles per second. At that speed, a snow flake would go straight through a human body. In the event of an impact, all that energy instantly turns to heat creating an almost unimaginable explosion. Ron P.)

The Ally From Hell
Are you having a good day? This’ll ruin it. Ron P. Excerpt: Much of the world, of course, is anxious about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and for good reason: Pakistan is an unstable and violent country located at the epicenter of global jihadism, and it has been the foremost supplier of nuclear technology to such rogue states as Iran and North Korea. It is perfectly sensible to believe that Pakistan might not be the safest place on Earth to warehouse 100 or more nuclear weapons. These weapons are stored on bases and in facilities spread across the country (possibly including one within several miles of Abbottabad, a city that, in addition to having hosted Osama bin Laden, is home to many partisans of the jihadist group Harakat-ul-Mujahideen). Western leaders have stated that a paramount goal of their counterterrorism efforts is to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of jihadists. (…) Pakistan would be an obvious place for a jihadist organization to seek a nuclear weapon or fissile material: it is the only Muslim-majority state, out of the 50 or so in the world, to have successfully developed nuclear weapons; its central government is of limited competence and has serious trouble projecting its authority into many corners of its territory (on occasion it has difficulty maintaining order even in the country’s largest city, Karachi); Pakistan’s military and security services are infiltrated by an unknown number of jihadist sympathizers; and many jihadist organizations are headquartered there already. (…) Nuclear-weapons components are sometimes moved by helicopter and sometimes moved over roads. And instead of moving nuclear material in armored, well-defended convoys, the SPD prefers to move material by subterfuge, in civilian-style vehicles without noticeable defenses, in the regular flow of traffic. According to both Pakistani and American sources, vans with a modest security profile are sometimes the preferred conveyance. And according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, the Pakistanis have begun using this low-security method to transfer not merely the “de-mated” component nuclear parts but “mated” nuclear weapons. Western nuclear experts have feared that Pakistan is building small, “tactical” nuclear weapons for quick deployment on the battlefield. In fact, not only is Pakistan building these devices, it is also now moving them over roads.

Populist Socialism On The Rise
Readers may want to adjust the “view” percentage to whatever is comfortable for them. Ron P. Excerpt: Of course, there's a problem with liquidating the assets of the 1 percent (comprised of more celebs and pro athletes than Wall Street bankers), or even the top 25 percent of the so-called rich: Most of their assets are on paper, and the rest of that "wealth" is in the form of small businesses and real property that support the jobs of tens of millions of Americans who actually work for a living -- and take pride in their occupations. Thus, liquidation would result in the collapse of the entire economy, leaving everyone under the same statist tyranny as Obama's 35 Percenters -- equally miserable, equally dependent upon the government, and that much closer to Obama's mandate to implement Democratic Socialism. Fact is, socialist economies always fail. In the inimitable words of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, "Socialist governments ... always run out of other people's money. They then start to nationalize everything." Of course, socialists never let reality intrude upon their classist fantasies of universal equality and happiness. Nineteenth-century historian Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Romney’s involved in massive Ponzi fraud
Need more verification. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Stanford Group ponzi swindle stands second only to the Madoff ponzi scheme as the biggest in history. As revealed in 2009, Allen Stanford swindled over $8 billion from his investors by selling them worthless securities. Stealing $8 billion is something that requires help; you really can’t do it alone. In the case of Allen Stanford he had help from men who now have “extensive financial and political ties to Tagg Romney (Mitt’s son) and Spencer Zwick his chief fundraiser”, according to a new report by Lee Fang posted on a far Leftist website. Solamere a firm financed and founded with $10 million of Mitt Romney’s money and managed by Tagg Romney and Zwick. Solamere is connected to Stanford because three of Allen Stanford’s salesmen Tim Bambauer, who served as a “Managing Director” for Stanford, Deems May (a former NFL player for nine years), and Brandon Phillips who was a salesman for Stanford, joined Tagg Romney to help run Solamere Advisors, a financial products firm. Because these three sold financial products for Stanford, Romney’s promise to repeal Dodd- Frank becomes somewhat suspect and potentially grounds for non stop media attacks on Romney. (This news is all over the internet and apparently, the MSM are licking their chops waiting until Romney's candidacy is announced officially to announce this to the world. Once that happens, with this scandal in his background (even though it is via his son Tagg), it is doubtful that Romney can win the election against anyone. Now, GOP, will you finally start looking for a candidate who can win? Or is losing "what you do"? Don Hank)

VIDEO: Machete-Wielding Attacker Captured by Police Thanks to FACEBOOK
Excerpt: The event, which occurred on September 10, was captured by a surveillance camera and plainly shows the machete wielder and two compatriots attacking other customers at the takeout restaurant. Initially, the video was providing little help to the police. No one who watched the reel was able to identify any of the suspects. Then department’s Cease Fire Unit got the idea of posting the video on its Facebook page. Within days the case was solved.

Goons Occupy
Brawl Street
: Deranged Homeless Man Goes On Rampage in Zuccotti Park
Excerpt: This is the new face of Zuccotti Park! A deranged homeless man who has been squatting among the
Occupy Wall Street
protesters in lower Manhattan went on a violent, early-morning rampage yesterday, cursing incoherently and kicking down tents. The only thing that could stop Jeremy Clinch from his Godzilla-like rampage was a left hook to the face delivered by a paranoid fellow protester who claimed to be an ex-Turkish diplomat -- and charged that his assailant was carrying out a plot hatched by Mayor Bloomberg. (Yeah? So? This is like, everyday LA. Why is this news? - Kate in LA.)

Kissinger Digs Cain's 'Brilliant' Video
Excerpt: But [Henry Kissinger] told Mr. Cain that most [candidates] come in and ask [Kissinger] about what they should say on the Sunday shows. Mr. Cain, he pointed out, asked what he should do when he is president — a different kind of approach for this kind of meeting.”

Kissinger Digs Cain's 'Brilliant' Video
Excerpt: But [Henry Kissinger] told Mr. Cain that most [candidates] come in and ask [Kissinger] about what they should say on the Sunday shows. Mr. Cain, he pointed out, asked what he should do when he is president — a different kind of approach for this kind of meeting.”

The Lawless Heart of OWS: It’s already ugly and will probably get more so.
Even before some of them girded themselves for combat with police, donning masks and wielding black shields emblazoned with skeletons, the “Occupy” protesters in Oakland, Calif., engaged in a willfully destructive act. They shut down the fifth-busiest container port in America. Why would anyone acting in the name of people harmed by the Great Recession interrupt the flow of commerce, especially at a hub employing dockworkers and truckers? It was a symbolic blow against our economic system as such, and by definition a radical act.

Give ’Em Hell, Barry: The new model for Obama: Truman vs. the “do-nothing Congress”
Excerpt: Recently both First Lady Michelle Obama and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis went to the key swing state of Florida to blast the president’s adversaries. For the first lady, Obama’s opponents were concerned only with “the few at the top” and care little for racial, gender, or class justice. For Solis, the sexually derogatory term “tea-bagger” summed up the wave of 2010 that for a while stopped Obama’s attempts to borrow more money in order to stimulate the moribund economy. Apparently Harry Truman’s unforeseen win in 1948 against a “do-nothing Congress” is the new model.

Another Notorious Wall Street Bad Guy Under FBI Investigation
The Patriot Post
Wall Street Journal headlines this week focused on the worst of the worst of Wall Street "1 Percenters," Jon Corzine. As readers recall, he was booted from Goldman Sachs in 1999, but not before pocketing a cool $400 million. The following year he used $62 million of that haul to buy a Democrat seat in the Senate -- the most expensive Senate campaign in history. At the end of his first term, he spent $38 million to buy the New Jersey governorship, which he then lost in November 2009 to Republican Chris Christie. He made his way back to Wall Street, where, this week, he presided over the $41 billion bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings, the eighth largest corporate bankruptcy on record. He resigned Friday morning. By the way, Corzine is an Obama benefactor. That's right, this "man of the people" was said to have been so liberal that he single-handedly drove the Senate to the Left with his support for big government programs such as universal health care and issues such as gun registration, affirmative action and same-sex marriage. He's an alumnus of the Chicago mafia, too, having earned his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and he was on Obama's short list for treasury secretary. We wonder if Obama's red brigade of street urchins know him.

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