Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Digests

Sorry for no Political Digests Sunday & Monday. Family matters kept me tied up all day Saturday and Sunday, away from my computer. Hope to have time Monday evening to do Tuesday's. ~Bob.

Guest post – Straight Talk

OK, folks. It’s time for some straight talk now about President Barack Obama. Statistically, over 90 percent of all Americans say that they get ALL of their news from television, an already self-described liberal-biased media that will tell you only what THEY want you to know, in place of all of the real news that we all need to make properly informed decisions. Most people in America don’t even read any more.

That is evidenced by the numbers of newspapers, for example – large and small – that are closing their doors today. All that is left today are books, news magazines, and the Internet.

Even book stores are closing, while even the better, time-respected news magazines like Time, U. S. News & World Report, etc. are either drastically down-sizing their content or also closing their doors, too. Right now, that pretty much leaves the Internet.

With that preamble, let’s talk some truth about Barack Obama. And don’t start playing the “race card” with me. It won’t work. Black or white, the man was elected not only by other blacks and liberal Democrats, but, more to the point, by a substantial number of white voters, as well. That fact alone should, more than anything else, trump the race card. The man is an avowed socialist. That’s why he is determined to bankrupt America and transform it into a totally socialist state.

Any number of recent current books or articles that I have read suggests clearly that his philosophy has been ingrained from birth by his father, enhanced by liberal professors at the elite schools of higher learning, and honed to perfection as a “community organizer” in Chicago. He has been blessed with higher intelligence than the average American, and enhanced by incredible oratorical skills. His entire life has been influenced by liberal and socialist leanings, all of which were increased substantially by his student club activities on campus, first at Occidental College and then coalesced with his time at Harvard Law School. He hates America and its capitalist ideals and first made his real intentions known with a slip of the tongue with “Joe the plumber” in a campaign stop just before the election in 2008 when he said “redistribution of wealth” in an impromptu discussion with “Joe,” who also called him on that, as well. The fawning media glossed that over quite nicely, too.

His blueprint for turning America into a socialist country is already becoming clear, and it’s right out of the socialist “rule book.” First, you bankrupt the country by spending more and more borrowed money to create programs that are intended to create the notion with its people that they can’t live without governmental help. Then you work at developing a mob mentality that ultimately leads to martial law enabling him to become a virtual dictator to “calm” the country down. That “groundwork laying” culminates with an all out attack on businesses and wealthier Americans who risk their wealth to create new businesses, which adds to our free economy and substantially results in the hiring of more employees.

He began his plan with the pressing and passage of Obamacare, with the immense help of a totally Democrat-controlled Congress. Basically, no one really knew what was in the plan (remember then-Speaker Pelosi’s comment that “We won’t know what’s in the plan until it’s passed.”) We do know NOW about several other catastrophic features in that plan, which include: taking well over half a billion dollars out of Medicare to switch to Obamacare to make their numbers look better; the much ballyhooed medical cost savings were anything but, resulting in the plan’s costs being almost double what they were before; adding, as yet, many still un-detailed new taxes inside the bill; and insulting our friends, while trying to make friends out of avowed enemies by “buying” them with more borrowed money.

His plan began with the passage of Obamacare, while, at the same time, demonizing the Republicans’ proposed budget cutting plan based on their (“the Republicans balancing the budget on the backs of our senior citizens, children, and middle income households, etc.”) lies; followed by calling in his chits with labor unions by inducing them to develop protest mobs, straight out of the socialist rule book – starting with Wisconsin – to nearly overwhelm state houses with mass demonstrations, threats to governors and legislators; and then rippling across the country in other states, counties, and cities who were having their own budget problems with most of their budget woes coming from overly generous pensions for their teachers and other city and county employees; followed by his world “apology” tour and its pronouncements that America was not a Christian nation whose strength and power had been constantly used to bully or oppose other nations to bend them to its will. His comments have even led to lesser governmental bureaucrats issuing edicts that, for example, would disallow the name of God even in burial services for our returning servicemen who had fallen in service for their country’s call to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has lied – not just misstated or misspoke – to both our citizens and the Congress about numerous issues in America with impunity, while almost never being fact-checked by a supportive national media.
 
We cannot afford to re-elect him in 2012 or we will literally risk seeing the rapid demise of America into a new form of government that will not hold to the U. S. Constitution and the values we have always held dear in America. He has already made his contempt known for the U. S. Constitution by issuing various “Executive Orders,” many of which ignore the legalities of the Constitution or, at least, run over them anyway. If you don’t believe any of this, then I would urge you to Google with the words: “Why is Obama trying to bankrupt America?” There are a number of excellent articles and recent books available on the Internet about Obama’s real intentions. In particular, I would commend to you those articles and books written by Delwyn Lounsbury, with all of these concerns – and others – quite well detailed with supporting facts and figures.

That said, all of us Americans must begin to look further than the evening news to find out as much of the real story about any given issue – especially when it concerns politics – as possible, and that also means READ more about the world, whether it’s through your local newspaper, a favorite news magazine, and/or the Internet. The more we know, the more we can trust ourselves by looking below the surface for the real reason or motivation that compels anyone – in this case, President Obama – to do or not do anything that clearly needs to be resolved NOW. If we can’t draw an intelligent conclusion about issues such as why is the President continually changing the end zone for issues that are so important for all of our citizens and the U. S. economy, then maybe we rightly deserve what we got or what we may lose? If we keep our heads in the sand and do nothing, then we will have proven the words of the great American philosopher of the Sunday comics pages of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Pogo, who said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

 Paul Rendine

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Political Digest for July 30, 2011

Limited posts on weekend due to family commitments.

Debt Limit Debate
Boy, do I wish we had about five more RINOs like Mike Castle in the Senate, giving us a Republican Majority and putting conservatives in control of the committees. Conservatives are now sharply divided, ripping each other over should we take the best deal we can get on the debt and try to win in 2012, or do we hold out until for everything, take the risk the media will allow the left to blame a crash on the GOP, killing chances for conservative control in 2013. When conservatives are blasting each other, Obama has to be smiling. ~Bob.

Quote from the Founder of the Democrat Party
"[W]ith respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age." --Thomas Jefferson
From The Patriot Post www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/

Economy grew only 1.3 pct. in the spring, after nearly stalling out in the winter
So borrow, spend, grow government and print money hasn’t fixed the economy? Who would have guessed? ~Bob. Excerpt: The economy expanded at meager rate of 1.3 percent annual rate in the spring after scarcely growing at all in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday. The combined growth for the first six months of the year was the weakest since the recession ended. The government revised the January-March figures to show just 0.4 percent growth — down sharply from its previous estimate of 1.9 percent. High gas prices and scant income gains have forced consumers to pull back sharply on spending in the spring. Stock futures fell after the report was released. “These numbers are extremely bad,” said Nigel Gault, an economist at IHS Global Insight. “The momentum in the economy is clearly very weak.”

The Debt Ceiling and 2012
Excerpt: [T]he first responsibility of members of Congress as well as grassroots activists should be to do nothing that will impede the election of a Republican president and Republican majority Senate in 2012. If Republicans control the Congress and the presidency after 2012, they will have unlimited opportunities to cut the budget, decrease the debt, change the rules that permit government spending to increase on autopilot, and (one hopes) adopt the kind of pro-business policies that will encourage rather than impede economic growth.  Bill Buckley famously (Did he say anything that wasn't famous?) declared that he would always support the most right-leaning candidate who could win. Similarly, we should support those policies and tactics (not a dirty word) that are most likely to lead to good outcomes for the country.

From NRO Newsletters . . .Morning Jolt . . . with Jim Geraghty (free subscription)
I think a lot of the discussion among conservatives on Thursday can be summarized in one Twitter exchange: Guy Benson: It would be awesome if people on our side would stop angrily questioning each other's motives. John Tabin: WHO'S PAYING YOU TO SAY THAT? (John's kidding.)

Worth reading: The Great Divide
Excerpt: We're in the midst of a great four-year national debate on the size and reach of government, the future of the welfare state, indeed, the nature of the social contract between citizen and state. The distinctive visions of the two parties -- social-democratic versus limited-government -- have underlain every debate on every issue since Barack Obama's inauguration: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, health care reform, financial regulation, deficit spending. Everything. The debt ceiling is but the latest focus of this fundamental divide. The sausage-making may be unsightly, but the problem is not that Washington is broken, that ridiculous ubiquitous cliche. The problem is that these two visions are in competition, and the definitive popular verdict has not yet been rendered. … Given this reality, trying to force the issue -- turn a blocking minority into a governing authority -- is not just counter-constitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice. Consider the Boehner Plan for debt reduction. The Heritage Foundation's advocacy arm calls it "regrettably insufficient." Of course it is. That's what happens when you control only half a branch. But the plan's achievements are significant. It is all cuts, no taxes. It establishes the precedent that debt-ceiling increases must be accompanied by equal spending cuts. And it provides half a year to both negotiate more fundamental reform (tax and entitlement) and keep the issue of debt reduction constantly in the public eye. I am somewhat biased about the Boehner Plan because for weeks I've been arguing (in this column and elsewhere) for precisely such a solution: a two-stage debt-ceiling hike consisting of a half-year extension with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts, followed by intensive negotiations on entitlement and tax reform. It's clean. It's understandable. It's veto proof. (Obama won't dare.) The Republican House should have passed it weeks ago. After all, what is the alternative? The Reid Plan with its purported $2 trillion of debt reduction?

Conservatives, Let's Remember Who Our Political Enemy Is
Excerpt: I hope that as we conservatives traverse these very difficult roads, we will always remember who the political enemy is. Our internecine fighting of late has given President Obama a bit of needed cover for his primary culpability in our nation's budget crisis. Conservatives seem to be evenly divided on whether or not to support House Speaker John Boehner's budgetary plan to avoid a debt ceiling impasse. But the level of vitriol back and forth is increasing, with one side calling the other "crazy" and the other shouting back "RINOs," or Republicans in name only. I believe both sides are acting honorably; they mostly agree on goals and disagree on tactics. But it's a bit more complicated than that. They also differ somewhat in their operating assumptions.

They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling -Obama still has supporters, but theirs is a grim support
Excerpt: The Republican establishment reasserted itself this week, and good thing, too, because the establishment was right. It said Republicans in the House should back and pass the Boehner bill on the debt ceiling because it goes in the right directions, contains spending cuts but not taxes, and is viable. So accept victory, avert crisis, and get it to the Senate. The establishment was being conservative in the Burkean sense: acknowledges reality, respect it, and make the most progress possible within it. This has not always been true of them. They spent the first decade of this century backing things a truly conservative party would not have dreamed of—careless wars, huge spending and, most scandalously, a dreamy and unconservative assumption that it would all work out because life is sweet and the best thing always happens. They were mostly led by men and women who had never been foreclosed on and who assumed good luck, especially unearned good luck, would continue. They were fools, and they lost control of their party when the tea party rose up, rebuking and embarrassing them. Then the tea party saved them by not going third party in 2009-10. And now the establishment has come forward to save the tea party, by inching it away from the cliff and reminding it the true battles are in 2012, and after. Let's hope the tea party takes the opportunity. … But that actually is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics. It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy."

Boehner's Moment of Truth
Excerpt: The speaker has positioned his party to take credit for a bill that averts a crisis.
It isn't easy to turn Washington around on a dime. If nothing else, give Republican House Speaker John Boehner marks for trying. It wasn't a week ago that Mr. Boehner was plodding through White House deliberations, grasping for GOP support, facing the growing likelihood his party would be saddled with either a flawed debt bargain or blame for causing a default. By last night, Mr. Boehner was on the precipice of passing the only workable debt plan in town and shifting responsibility for further debt fallout across the aisle. Whatever the final result, Mr. Boehner's week-long struggle to pull his party behind him is worthy of some study.

Nation’s Health Care Bill To Nearly Double By 2020
So the Government, which is beyond broke, is paying an increasing share of increasing health care costs. Wasn’t it a guy named Obama who said we had to pass “Healthcare Reform” to “bend the cost curve down”? How’s that working out for you? Before costs double, the system will collapse. ~Bob. Excerpt: The federal health law, which will expand coverage to 30 million currently uninsured Americans, will have little effect on the nation's rising health spending in the next decade, a government report said today. The report by the Medicare Office of the Actuary estimated that health spending will grow by an average of 5.8 percent a year through 2020, compared to 5.7 percent without the health overhaul. With that growth, the nation is expected to spend $4.6 trillion on health care in 2020, nearly double the $2.6 trillion spent last year. Health law critics said the report confirmed their concerns. "Most of us understood the health reform law was about expanding coverage not cutting costs," said Joseph Antos, a health policy expert at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute. But White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle said the report showed Americans were getting a good deal. "The bottom line from the report is clear: more Americans will get coverage and save money and health expenditure growth will remain virtually the same," she said on the White House blog.

Fort Hood Targeted for Second Terrorist Attack
Killing Muslims? No. Killing kuffer? Apparently okay under “The religion of Peace.” ~Bob. Excerpt: A U.S. Army private was arrested Wednesday in possession of explosive material which officials fear may have been part of a plan to launch another attack on the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. The serviceman, identified by the FBI as Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo, 21, was taken into custody by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood after the owners of a local ammunition store, Guns Galore, alerted the police to Abdo's "suspicious" behavior in the store. Abdo reportedly told law enforcement that the goal of his planned attack was to "get even." "I would classify it as a terror plot," Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin told reporters in an afternoon briefing. After only one year in the army, Abdo reportedly realized he could not kill fellow Muslims and applied for conscientious objector status, preventing deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. "A Muslim is not allowed to participate in an Islamicly unjust war," he said in an interview with ABC News last August. In a separate statement he said that he did not "believe I can involve myself in an army that wages war against Muslims. I don't believe I could sleep at night if I take part, in any way, in the killing of a Muslim…" Similar sentiments were expressed by Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in November 2009. Hasan had told classmates that he considered himself to be "a Muslim first and an American second" and he was found to have had email interaction with American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

Fort Hood, again
Guess he didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Thanks to a tip from a Texas gun- dealer, Army Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo never had the chance to re-enact the kind of slaughter that wreaked bloody havoc at Fort Hood in 2009. But he came close, officials say. Yesterday, they announced that Abdo, who'd gone AWOL, had been arrested in Killeen, Texas, after being found in possession of firearms, bomb-making materials and extremist Islamic literature. They said he admitted planning an attack on Fort Hood. Shades of 2009, when another Muslim soldier with jihadist material, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, succeeded in murdering 13 people, and wounding 29 others, in a mad shooting spree on the base. Abdo reportedly planned to plant shrapnel-packed bombs at an eatery popular with soldiers -- and shoot any survivors of the blasts.

New Muslim Ft. Hood Suspect Was Recently Featured on…Al Jazeera
Excerpt: Then, he claims he began to question whether Allah would want him taking part in war and whether such an action would be going against “the peace that Islam preaches.

Chaffetz grills ATF Special Agent on gunwalking
Excerpt: Trying to get honest and consistent answers out ATF Special Agent William Newell is difficult at best, but Chaffetz goes after him lock, stock, and barrel with his own admissions on the fact that he was not only aware of the gunwalking, but wrote in a memo that it was intentional at the time. Now he denies it:

Evaluating Federal Social Programs: Finding Out What Works and What Does Not
Actually, all federal social programs accomplish their intended purpose. You just have to understand the goal is to employ more government union workers to vote Democrat and pay dues to contribute to Democrats. They work great for that goal. The stated purpose of the program is only a selling point. ~Bob. Abstract: Federal social programs are rarely evaluated to determine whether they are actually accomplishing their intended purposes. As part of its obligation to spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely, Congress should mandate that experimental evaluations of every federal social program be conducted. The evaluations should be large-scale, multisite studies to guard against mistakenly assuming that a program that works in one location or with one population will automatically work in other situations. Congress should place substantially less emphasis on funding evaluations based on less rigorous types of research designs, because their conclusions are much less reliable. Finally, Congress should exercise strict oversight to ensure that the evaluations are conducted and the results reported in a timely manner.

Spencer and Braswell on Slashdot
Excerpt: “Satellite data from NASA covering 2000 through 2011 cast doubt on current computer models predicting global warming, according to a new study. The data shows that much less heat is retained by carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere than is assumed in current models. ‘There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans,’ said Dr. Roy Spencer, a co-author of the study and research scientist at the University of Alabama.” Note: the press release about the study is somewhat less over the top. (If you have the time and patience to chase through the links, you’ll find the IPCC’s models can’t produce data that match the real world because their assumptions are incorrect. It’s as if you convinced your pocket calculator that 2 X 2 = 5, then used it to calculate the interest on your bank account; your result will be greater than the bank’s calculator will allow you to be paid. Ron P.)

The Forgotten War
Excerpt: Meanwhile, in the real world, after nearly a decade at war, young Americans still are being killed and maimed in Afghanistan and Iraq. We now are engaged in "kinetic military operations" in Libya, Yemen and Pakistan and against pirates off the coast of Somalia. The so-called "Green Revolution" has left in its wake unstable "transitional" governments in Egypt and Tunisia that are vulnerable to radical Islamists. And the portent for trouble doesn't end there. (…) The Obama administration's surreal response to all of this? Ignore what is actually happening on the ground -- particularly Iran's insidious role in these places and events -- and instead talk of nothing but domestic political concerns while making plans to slash U.S. defense spending dramatically. A government official, speaking on background, describes the proposed cuts as "Draconian" and "totally devoid of any strategic reality." Though the O-Team has yet to identify specific reductions in defense and intelligence programs, "the target is to reduce national security expenditures by more than $600 billion." For the record, that is more than one-third larger than the "savings" advocated by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and includes cuts in "every branch of the armed forces and every current and proposed weapons system."

Fast & Furious Hearing Sending Shockwaves towards White House & Eric Holder
excerpt: Thursday, 28 July 2011 20:36The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducted another hearing this week on Fast and Furious -- the operation spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which knowingly put thousands of guns into criminals’ hands. Tuesday’s hearing exposed the anti-gun animus of several people within the Obama Administration, and their answers continued to beg the question: Was Operation Fast and Furious all about drumming up more support for gun control? Gun Owners of America met with three persons from the House committee prior to the hearing. The meeting was “off the record,” so we can’t report on the details. Only to say, GOA brought up a hard-and-fast link between the White House and “Fast and Furious” -- and encouraged committee members to pursue a line of questioning that would publicly expose this connection.

NHS delays operations 'as it waits for patients to die or go private'
Excerpt: Health service trusts are “imposing pain and inconvenience” by making patients wait longer than necessary, in some cases as long as four months, the study found. Executives believe the delays mean some people will remove themselves from lists “either by dying or by paying for their own treatment” claims the report, by an independent watchdog that advises the NHS. (This is the system the Obots worship. ~Bob.)

U.S. accuses Iran of ‘secret deal’ with al Qaeda
Ah, what happened to “resetting” our relationships with the Muslim world? With meeting without preconditions? How’s all that working out for you? ~Bob. Excerpt: The Obama administration accused Iran on Thursday of entering into a "secret deal" with an al Qaeda offshoot that provides money and recruits for attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Treasury Department designated six members of the unit as terrorists subject to U.S. sanctions. The announcement was made despite disagreements in the U.S. intelligence community about the extent of direct links between the Iranian government and al Qaeda, officials said. Most analysts agree there is a murky relationship between the two and at least some cooperation. But Thursday's allegations go further. Treasury said its exposure of the clandestine agreement would disrupt al Qaeda operations by shedding light on Iran's role as a "critical transit point" for money and extremists reaching Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Lawyer Jokes are Hate Speech?
Excerpt: When you criticize lawyers or the legal system, thin-skinned lawyers get indignant. The head of the State Bar of California, Harvey Saferstein, called for a crackdown on jokes at lawyers’ expense: “Comparing jokes against attorneys to hate speech against African-Americans and women, Saferstein said he favors classifying such comments as hate crimes.” Saferstein, a leading liberal lawyer, said that “Crimes against attorneys should rate special penalties — similar to crimes against police, judges and political officeholders — because lawyers are representatives of the court and their work is essential to the country’s justice system.” (His comments came less than a year after the Supreme Court struck down a hate-speech ordinance as a violation of free speech in R.A.V. v. St. Paul.)

Group reports on city litigation costs, urges constraint
Gee, I wonder why government is broke? ~Bob. Excerpt: The city of Chicago may be known as "The City That Works," but one legal group released a study today that said "The City That Settles" would be a more fitting nickname based on the amount of money Chicago spent on litigation last year. Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), which was formed in 2002 with the mission of being the state's legal watchdog group, examined Chicago's lawsuit- related expenses over the past few years and today released its results, as well as a few recommendations, in a study titled, "Chicago: The City That Settles." The 17-page study shows that the city has been hit with 900 lawsuits in the past three years and spent $85 million in 2010 to defend itself against lawsuits. That dollar amount figure, which combines judgments, settlements and costs associated with hiring outside legal counsel, is something I-LAW focused on in its study to bolster its stance that if the city didn't spend so much fighting and settling lawsuits, it could save taxpayer dollars, help the city to close its budget deficit and avoid personnel cuts.

Excerpt: Los Angeles today is a city in secular decline. Its current political leadership seems determined to turn the sprawling capitalist dynamo into a faux New York. But they are more likely to leave behind a dense, government-dominated, bankrupt, dysfunctional, Athens by the Pacific. … The machine that now controls Los Angeles by default consists of an alliance between labor and the political leadership of the Latino community, the area's largest ethnic population. But since politicians serve at the whim of labor interests, they seldom speak up for homeowners and small businesses.

Operation Fast and Furious: Designed to Promote Gun Control
Excerpt: "Internal ATF emails seem to suggest that ATF agents were counseled to highlight a link between criminals and certain semi-automatic weapons in order to bolster a case for a rule like the one the DOJ announced yesterday [Monday]." Townhall has obtained the email which states "Can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same FfL and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks Mark R. Chait Assistant Director Field Operations."

50% Give Obama Poor Marks On Economy
Excerpt: With the debate over the nation’s debt ceiling dragging on and consumer confidence near two-year lows, voters are souring even more on President Obama's handling of economic issues. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 36% of Likely U.S. Voters give the president good or excellent marks when it comes to the economy. But 50% say the president is doing a poor job, up seven points from 43% two weeks ago. (The other 50% are government employees. ~bob.)

Lethal fiasco
Excerpt: Operation Fast and Furious -- the Obama administration's lethal gun-running fiasco -- keeps getting uglier and uglier. In a series of hearings, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley have been systematically dismantling the administration's preposterous claim that no one in the Justice Department -- which oversees the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- knew anything about the so-called gun-tracking operation. In Fast and Furious, ATF officials encouraged "straw buyers" in Arizona -- including two convicted felons who should have been stopped by the FBI -- to purchase more than 2,000 heavy-duty firearms, including AK-47 variants and .50-caliber sniper rifles, and then resell them to the Mexican drug cartels, allegedly to trace and stop crossborder arms trafficking. At least two dead American agents later, the scheme looks set to blow up in Attorney General Eric Holder's face -- and now there's evidence that it might reach all the way to the White House.

Wall St. hypocrites
Excerpt: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and his fellow Wall Street travelers yesterday released a letter warning that unless Congress and the president agree on a budget deal and raise the debt ceiling, the apocalypse will befall us next Tuesday -- when the country, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is scheduled to run out of money. Funny -- anybody recall the last time Wall Street's head honchos were warning about "grave" consequences? It came nearly three years ago, when the heads of the big Wall Street firms were running around Washington begging for a taxpayer bailout of their massive losses from risky trades gone bad -- or else the country would go into something close to a depression. As we're all painfully aware, Washington did indeed bail them out -- saving the likes of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and JP Morgan from imminent collapse. But the country wasn't quite saved from serious economic pain. Even though many of the banks have gone back to making sizable profits, unemployment remains sky high, housing prices severely depressed and economic growth chronically anemic. With that in mind, it's hard to take seriously just about any thing uttered by Blankfein & Co. -- particularly yesterday's noise.

Son's sleep restive
This is an older piece that just came to my inbox. If you wonder why there is no forgiveness in many of us for the left, this is why. ~Bob. Excerpt: "Dear Mr. Dewlen, I'm glad your son was killed. So he was a good soldier, so what? So are many Viet Cong. If he had been a good person, he would have stayed home, gone to school and experienced the joys of youth, but he lacked the courage to stand up for humanity. He was a machine, not a man. ..." Forty years ago today - June 11, 1968 - Al Dewlen's life changed forever. It hurt him in ways that go even beyond the death of an only child. He felt bitterness, frustration, emptiness - an unspeakable pain magnified when strangers mocked his son's death and acquaintances almost ignored it. Forty years ago today, Marine Lt. Michael Dewlen, 24, was killed in Vietnam. His outnumbered battery of the 1st Battalion fought the Viet Cong in hand-to-hand combat in the darkness southeast of Khe Sanh. Before Mike was cut down by a submachine gun, he and four others killed 28 of the enemy, bought enough time for arriving American troops to quell the offensive, and prevented the Viet Cong from capturing some large weapons. … Forty years ago, he was called a baby-killer. "... Just brood on this. Your son is being gored and gouged on by ugly worms, while the rest of us enjoy the beauties of marijuana, sex and alcohol," Sincerely, One Who Gloats … "It let me have my say," said Al Dewlen, 86. "We were being tortured by all circumstances, but I had to do something. I wrote the piece in one afternoon." What Dewlen, a former novelist, wrote was "Report To A Sleeping Son," a poignant piece in which a father figuratively cradles a son in his arm to tell him his death was not in vain among the civil hate of the times. A father who wonders in his own words if his love for country and rigid definition of duty that he passed to his son did not indirectly lead to his death. Ultimately, he told his son, no, that "this country had pledged itself was sufficient for you." The piece was printed in Reader's Digest in early 1969 as well as many newspapers across the country. The Marines warned Dewlen, former city editor and reporter at the Amarillo Times and Globe, that he, as with many families of slain soldiers, would be showered with hate mail.

Saboteur Groups Target Oil Pipline in Tal Kalakh, Homs
Excerpt: HOMS, (SANA) – Saboteur groups targeted on Friday's dawn an oil pipeline near Tal Hosh Dam in Tal Kalakh with an explosive bomb, leaving a hole of 15-meter in diameter and causing oil leak. "At 04:00 am on Friday, some citizens heard an explosion near a pipeline for transporting crude oil to Baniyas", Governor of Homs, Ghassan Abdul-Aal said in a statement to SANA Correspondent. The Governor added that the terrorist and sabotage act targets two vital sectors at the same time as the saboteurs chose a point near Tal Hosh Dam which irrigates large areas of the agricultural lands.

Come Fly the Union Skies --Ray LaHood shuts down the FAA to preserve a Big Labor advantage..
Excerpt: Americans may be wondering what this week's partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration is all about, given that it doesn't have anything to do with the debt ceiling. We wondered too, but mystery solved: Democrats have furloughed nearly 4,000 FAA employees and 70,000 workers at airport construction projects to preserve a White House indulgence for Big Labor. This episode is another lesson in Washington intrigue. The FAA was last reauthorized in 2007, and it has since been strung along with 20 separate temporary funding measures. Senate Democrats and House Transportation Chairman John Mica, Republican of Florida, have been trying to negotiate a long-term agreement, but the talks stalemated this month. The major jams are over how much to subsidize flights to rural areas and a political favor the Obama Administration did two years ago for airline and railway unions. Labor organizers in those industries used to have to persuade a majority of employees to form a union, a standard that had prevailed since 1934. But in 2010, the National Mediation Board that governs these elections suddenly changed the rules. President Obama assisted this change by appointing to the board the president of a pilot's union and the former president of the Association of Flight Attendants. Now aviation and railway workers who don't vote in a union election are no longer counted as part of the overall work force from which unions must build a majority. In effect, the board counts a nonexistent ballot as a pro-labor vote to organize.

The Media, Absurdity and Knee-Jerk Analysis; Equating the Norway bombing and the Latest Fort Hood Incident.
Excerpt: The latest attempt by a self described, pious member of Islam has brought out the usual bevy of experts not only in psychology, but in religion as well. Typically, these "experts" have little to no actual experience in any religion and show a general distrust, if not disdain for those who do practice one form of religion or another. I have been chided, on occasion for sharing my faith in these kinds of venues and have made attempts to keep this element of my life out of the conversation. But it is difficult at times to investigate what is clearly evil without the ability to contrast. What I can tell you is that it requires an actual study of the specific doctrines of specific belief systems in order to be able to legitimately make claims of any kind about them. Those who would arbitrarily lump all religions together and claim them to be equally motivating for ideological murders, destroy their own credibility.

Breivik and totalitarian democrats
Excerpt: There's an increasingly popular tendency by many to pick and choose which sorts of terrorism are acceptable and which are unacceptable in accordance with the ideological justifications the terrorists give for their actions.

Not a fair comparison. Texas has a huge advantage—Republicans in government. ~Bob. Excerpt: California's smallest businesses - those without employees - were clobbered by the first two years of recession, a new Census Bureau report shows, with more than 80,000 ceasing operations and the survivors' annual incomes dropping by more than $20 billion. The number of California's non-employee businesses hit a high mark of 2.76 million in 2007 but by 2009 had dropped by 82,878, the Census Bureau report, based on Internal Revenue Service data, found. Business receipts declined from $145 billion to $121 billion during the two-year period. … Not all states suffered declines, however, with Texas adding 8,260 small firms between 2008 and 2009. The full report, with state-by-state interactive data, is available here.

In debt fight, Dems reject Republican compromise
Excerpt: House Speaker John Boehner has introduced two bills that would raise the nation's debt ceiling and end the current default crisis. The first, known as "Cut, Cap and Balance," was tabled by Senate Democrats without an up-or-down vote. The second, Boehner's plan to cut more than $900 billion in federal spending and raise the debt ceiling by a slightly smaller amount, could face a similar fate if it first passes the House. For the Tea Party Republicans who make up a significant part of the House GOP caucus, Boehner's proposal is a significant retreat from "Cut, Cap and Balance." Those who support the Boehner proposal, which is formally known as the Budget Control Act, consider it a major compromise -- something they are backing only after being convinced that their first choice could never pass the Senate. Throughout the debt dispute, President Obama has talked a lot about compromise. In his speech to the nation Monday, he used the word six times, saying America "has always been a grand experiment in compromise" but that in Washington lately, "compromise has become a dirty word." Obama's appearance at a University of Maryland town hall a few days before was a virtual seminar on compromise. While Obama preaches the virtues of compromise, his Democratic allies and surrogates are bashing Republicans for rejecting what the White House characterizes as earnest, good-faith efforts to find common ground.

Higher fuel standards mean higher death toll
Dead people have small carbon footprints, and the elites will still have armored limos. This isn’t a bug—it’s a feature! ~Bob. Excerpt: Much as President Obama and other liberals may think natural laws for things like physics and economics don't matter, the reality is they do and nowhere more so than on American highways. The president reportedly has secured agreements from Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Honda and Hyundai to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy fleet average standard to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The new standard will be reviewed in 2018, but that won't change the fact that automakers will immediately have to embark on efforts to lighten and downsize all of their models. Those that can't be made sufficiently small to reach the required fleet average will go the way of the Model T. It is inescapable that more weight means lower fuel economy, so heavier vehicles will have to go. So prepare to say goodbye to sport utility vehicles, pickups and minivans, the very vehicles millions of American families and businesses must rely upon every day. Even when lighter vehicle materials like aluminum and carbon fiber can be used instead of steel, the only SUVs and minivans that will survive will still have to be significantly smaller than at present, and thus far less practical for consumers.

Bing west’s Congressional Testimony on Afghanistan

Good Cartoon

Excerpt: Barack Obama just spoke to the National Council of La Raza. Aside from the fact that he was not bothered by the group’s reactionary racialist brand (imagine media reaction to a “National Council of the Race”), the president was in top demagogic form with his usual rants about the old anonymous bogeymen “they”: Let’s be honest, I need a dance partner here, and the floor is empty . . . I need you to keep building a movement for change outside of Washington, one they can’t stop, one that’s greater than this community . . . Feel free to keep the heat on me and the heat on Democrats. But here’s the thing you should know, the Democrats and your president are with you, don’t get confused about that. Of course, there is nothing to be confused about: When the president entered office, he enjoyed a supermajority in the House and a veto-proof Senate, and could have passed on a strict party-line vote any imaginable immigration bill he had wished, in the manner that he rammed down Obamacare. The truth was that he needed no “dance partner” then, and he knows that perfectly well now. But no matter: the crowd was pleased. So it chanted the same old mantra, “Yes, we can”— in the same manner that his “alligators and moats” and fantasies about the border fence being “basically complete” not long ago were a hit with a similarly uninformed audience that hissed “They’re racist” on cue between the president’s studied pauses.

Illegal alien advocacy group sues Texas police officers
Excerpt: A small Texas city is being sued for discrimination by dozens of Latino day laborers who claim that police are unconstitutionally targeting their free-speech right to express their availability for employment in public areas, even though a state law has long prohibited it, according to a report by a public-interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption cases in civil court. Collectively known as Jornaleros de Las Palmas, or the Day Laborers of Palmas, the men are represented by a powerful open-borders group (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund or MALDEF) that specializes in discrimination lawsuits on behalf of Latinos and illegal immigrants, stated officials at Judicial Watch. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Political Digest for July 29, 2011

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

Uzbek accused of buying machine gun in Ala. to kill Obama
I can’t believe the FBI is wasting time on guys like this when everyone in the Obama Administration knows it is veterans and Christians who are the danger. Sell this “undocumented” member of the “Religion of Peace” the gun and go check out the VFW, for gosh sakes. ~Bob. Excerpt: A 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Uzbekistan was charged today with threatening the life of President Obama after purchasing a machine gun from an undercover federal agent in Alabama. Ulugbek Kodoriov, whose 2009 student visa was revoked last year, allegedly outlined his plan to an FBI informant beginning July 9, according to court documents. In subsequent meetings with the informant, Kodoriov expressed interest in assassination plots that included using explosives and "shooting the president from long distance,'' the court documents stated. While living at a Birmingham motel, Kodoriov allegedly expressed support for Islamic extremists and told the informant that he "did not care if he lost his life killing the president.''

AWOL Soldier Arrested Over Concerns of Second Alleged Plot to Attack Fort Hood
See! See! Sappy Nappy is right. Veterans are dangerous. ~Bob. Excerpt: At least one U.S. military serviceman has been arrested after raising concerns over another alleged plot to attack Fort Hood, Fox News has learned exclusively. Pvt. Nasser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there. Authorities, however, will not say if Abdo is the one who raised security concerns.

Boehner's Plan Is Not Perfect, But It Ain't Bad by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Many of us never thought that the Republicans would hold tough long enough to get President Obama and the Democrats to agree to a budget deal that does not include raising income tax rates. But they did — and Speaker of the House John Boehner no doubt desires much of the credit for that. Despite the widespread notion that raising tax rates automatically means collecting more revenue for the government, history says otherwise. As far back as the 1920s, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon pointed out that the government received a very similar amount of revenue from high-income earners at low tax rates as it did at tax rates several times as high. How was that possible? Because high tax rates drive investors into tax shelters, such as tax-exempt bonds. Today, as a result of globalization and electronic transfers of money, "the rich" are even less likely to stand still and be sheared like sheep, when they can easily send their money overseas, to places where tax rates are lower. Money sent overseas creates jobs overseas — and American workers cannot transfer themselves overseas to get those jobs as readily as investors can send their money there. All the overheated political rhetoric about needing to tax "millionaires and billionaires" is not about bringing in more revenue to the government. It is about bringing in more votes for politicians who stir up class warfare with rhetoric.

Obama's 'Balanced' Approach by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Barack Obama's political genius is his ability to say things that will sound good to people who have not followed the issues in any detail -- regardless of how obviously fraudulent what he says may be to those who have. Shameless effrontery can be a huge political asset, especially if uninformed voters outnumber those who are informed. President Obama's big pitch in his Monday night televised talk was that what is needed to deal with the national debt crisis is a "balanced" approach -- not just spending cuts but revenue increases as well. What could sound more reasonable -- especially to those who have not been following what Obama has actually been doing and not doing?

Federal Wildlife Biologist Investigated for Scientific Misconduct in Global Warming Debate
If their science is solid, how come the warmists have to lie and suppress other views so often? ~Bob. Excerpt: A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article. Charles Monnett, an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, or BOEMRE, was told July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending results of an investigation into "integrity issues." But he has not yet been informed by the inspector general's office of specific charges or questions related to the scientific integrity of his work, said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

The Man Without A Plan
Excerpt: President Obama’s been taking a lot of flak lately for not having a plan. First it was about Libya, but now — even more importantly because, as we know, all politics is local (until it’s not) — about the budget. The latest White House porte-parole Jay Carney has consequently been taking all kinds of in-coming himself about “where’s the President’s budget plan,” “why doesn’t he have a plan,” etc. Well, the reason for the latter is simple: because he can’t. The minute the president evinces a budget plan, the game is up. No liberal budget will stand up to scrutiny. There is no money left for deficit spending in our aging society. The welfare state is kaput. It’s gone — probably for generations to come. (…) Plans are dangerous because someone might scrutinize them. Someone might point out that Social Security was enacted in 1935, when life expectancy was 61.7 (It is now 77.9 and increasing), and, if it isn’t overhauled, it’s finished. No, you better stay away from these plans. Better to have vague theories and pronouncements.

Obama administration cancels DHS nuclear detection program
As I say in Collapse, the threats play to one another, the budget threat making it harder to defend against Islamic terrorism, and so on. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Obama administration canceled a $1.2 billion program to install nuclear material detectors at U.S. ports of entry, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to Tuesday's DHS statement to the U.S. Congress, the equipment is unreliable as far as its "technical glitches" that included false positives or false alarms.

Taxes, Patriotism and Common Sense
When I was a 16-year-old, delivering groceries on a bike for $1 per hour and a quarter tip if I was lucky, I was so patriotic I didn’t want to file a return for the small refund I was due. Now, know how they waste billions, I’m not nearly so proud. ~Bob. Excerpt: Am I the last American who’s proud to pay his taxes? As a self-employed citizen, I pay quarterly estimated taxes to our national government. And each time I sign that check, I’m proud. I may no longer serve in uniform, but that check means that I’m a productive citizen engaged in honest work who is still doing his small part for his country. I’m not wealthy. But my wife and I work relentlessly, so we have a good middle-class life. Could I use some of the money I pay in taxes for other purposes? Sure. But paying my income tax is, to me, a small thing for the many benefits I receive—from highways and public order to the national defense. It’s the one duty this great country asks of me. I’m also proud to be one of the taxpayers who carry the burden for the feckless connivers and hand-out addicts at the bottom of society, as well as for the vile tax cheats at the top of the income ladder. I would like to see less partisan waste. And I want fewer loopholes for scoundrels. But my expectations of both political parties are low. So I’ll continue to do my small part for the greatest nation in history. Somebody has to. I do get angry, though. Not about paying my taxes. But that 49 per cent of my fellow citizens pay no income tax at all, thanks to political pandering. And that, last year, I paid more taxes from my middle-class income than General Electric did—after that corporation enjoyed a wildly profitable year.

Mitt Romney’s Fully Documented Liberal Left-Wing Social and Fiscal Record
I don’t think he’s so much liberal, as lacking in any core values, goes with the wind. ~Bob. Excerpt: I find it absurd that so many celebrity “conservatives” such as Hannity, Ingraham, Coulter, Hewitt, Perkins, Bopp, Land, Minnery, Dobson, Sekulow, and “conservative” publications/organizations (Human Events, National Review, Fox News, Salem/Townhall, CPAC, Heritage) continue to promote Romney as a Reagan Conservative when Romney’s actual record shows that he is an across the board liberal.

Up Close And Personal
Excerpt: The marines train their recruits to understand that they might have to "fix bayonets" in combat, and that they must know how to fight with a bayonet, and anything else they can get their hands on, or just with their bare hands. Thus, in type of bayonet training, it's the thought that counts. (Having just read Noble Warrior, an autobiography of MajGen James Livingston, USMC (ret) who received the MOH for an action in Vietnam that included leading a bayonet attack, this is very timely. I've read the Brits attacked in Iraq with Bayonets. ~Bob.)

Egypt’s Simmering Rage
Excerpt: With two months remaining until early parliamentary elections, a new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll shows clearly and unambiguously that the political climate in Egypt is moving in a new direction that is inimical to American and allied interests—notwithstanding the billions of dollars in aid that the United States continues to provide. The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamist group, is poised to win the largest share of the vote in parliamentary elections; the man who appears to have a clear shot at the presidency, Amr Moussa, has made his name criticizing Israel; and a large majority of respondents favor amending or revoking the cornerstone of regional stability, the Camp David Accords. (This article continues below the yellow graphic with the results of the other four questions in the poll. None of them are encouraging. Who could’ve imagined this result? Everybody—and we all said it in print. See, just for example: “Egyptian Revolution...,” in the TOJ of 29 Jan 2011. Ron P.)

Gunwalker: Justice Dept. Inspector General Opens Investigation
Excerpt: Operation Fast and Furious — and other alleged “gunwalker” programs — only ended when whistleblowers came forward from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after a firefight in Rio Rico, Arizona, left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead. NPR – yes, NPR – is now reporting that the Department of Justice inspector general is launching an investigation into whether or not the DOJ illegally retaliated against one of the agents that revealed the gunwalking plot: The Justice Department’s inspector general has opened an investigation into possible retaliation against a whistleblowing agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to two people briefed on the inquiry. Watchdogs are examining whether anyone at the Justice Department improperly released internal correspondence to try to smear ATF agent John Dodson, who told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month that he repeatedly warned supervisors about what he called a reckless law enforcement operation known as “Fast and Furious.” The inspector general is attempting to determine if Obama’s Justice Department leaked one of Dodson’s internal memos to reporters in order to discredit him.

House Panel: al-Shabaab Poses "Direct Threat" to U.S.
Excerpt: More than 40 Somalis living in America and 20 in Canada have traveled to Somalia to join the jihad waged there by the terrorist group al-Shabaab, a House Homeland Security Committee staff report finds. At least 15 of the Americans have died in al-Shabaab violence, but the whereabouts of 21 others remain unknown. Although that violence has been limited so far to Africa, two witnesses who appeared before the committee Wednesday said the United States should consider them, and al-Shabaab, as "a direct threat to the U.S. homeland." Al-Shabaab's recruiting success in the West is unrivaled, said committee chairman Peter King, R-N.Y. "Not al-Qaeda, nor any of its other affiliates, have come close to drawing so many Muslim-Americans and Westerners to jihad," King said in opening remarks.

SF soldiers honored by French government
http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/home/2011/07/sf-soldiers-honored-by-french-government.htmlExcerpt: They are used to their deeds pass as unnoticed as their battlefield movements, but six Special Forces soldiers took the limelight here last night to receive a French military award roughly equivalent to the Silver Star. Special Forces soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group and the 20th Special Forces Group received the French Croix de la Valeur Militaire, roughly analagous to the Silver Star, during a private ceremony at the French ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., July 25, 2011. Five National Guard soldiers and one on active duty were honored with the Croix de la Valeur Militaire – or French Cross of Military Valor -- in a private ceremony at the French ambassador’s residence attended by senior leaders including Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Army chief of staff, and Army Maj. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, deputy director of the Army National Guard.

Rick Perry is not a frontrunner (yet)
Excerpt: A new Gallup poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents finds that if he got into the 2012 presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) would immediately challenge former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s status as the frontrunner. Among announced candidates, Romney dominates the GOP field — relatively speaking — with 27 percent of the vote. But if both Perry and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin were to enter now, Romney and Perry would be basically tied, 17 to 15 percent. That’s only if Palin and Perry got into the race. If it’s just Perry, he gets a still notable 18 percent to Romney’s 23 percent — second-place status, but not first place. 9so Romney gets more Palin voters than Perry? Go figure. Name recognition, I guess. ~Bob.)

A Tale of Two Shale States
Having a job and feeding your family is apparently not part of a good environment. People starve and die, but birds and polar bears are hypothetically saved. Green is the new red. ~Bob. Excerpt: Politicians wringing their hands over how to create more jobs might study the shale boom along the New York and Pennsylvania border. It's a case study in one state embracing economic opportunity, while the other has let environmental politics trump development, says the Wall Street Journal. The Marcellus shale formation offers one of the biggest natural gas opportunities. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell recognized that potential and set up a regulatory framework to encourage and monitor natural gas drilling. More than 2,000 wells have been drilled in the Keystone State since 2008, and gas production surged to 81 billion cubic feet in 2009 from five billion in 2007. A new Manhattan Institute report by Timothy Considine estimates that a typical Marcellus well generates some $2.8 million in direct economic benefits from natural gas company purchases; $1.2 million in indirect benefits from companies engaged along the supply chain; another $1.5 million from workers spending their wages, or landowners spending their royalty payments; plus $2 million in federal, state and local taxes. The state Department of Labor and Industry reports that Marcellus drilling has created 72,000 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011. Then there's New York. The state holds as much as 20 percent of the estimated Marcellus shale reserves, but green activists have raised fears about the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing and convinced politicians to enact what is effectively a moratorium. The Manhattan Institute study shows that a quick end to the moratorium would generate more than $11.4 billion in economic output from 2011 to 2020, 15,000 to 18,000 new jobs, and $1.4 billion in new state and local tax revenue. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to lift New York's moratorium, and the state's recently released draft rules are a step forward. But they must still undergo legal review and a public comment period that could bar New York drilling for the rest of this year, if not longer.

Record Number of U.S. Troops Killed by Iranian Weapons
Excerpt: “We’re seeing a sharp increase in the amount of munitions coming across the border, some manufactured as recently as 2010,” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the top U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said in an interview. “These are highly lethal weapons, and their sheer volume is a major concern.” Buchanan said much of the current weaponry is passing into the country through its formal border crossings with Iran. Current and former American military officers claim that those border crossings are guarded by Iraqi security personnel whose long-standing financial relationships with their Iranian counterparts means they will accept bribes or turn a blind eye in order to allow munitions through. (We may not be at war with the Iranians, but they’ve been at war with us since early November, 1979. Thanks again, Jimmy Carter. Ron P.)

Investor Confidence Falls to a New Two-Year Low
Wonder why people with money, those evil rich folks who fly around in corporate jets and don’t pay their fair share, according to Obama, would be losing confidence in investing in businesses to create jobs? Beats me. ~Bob. Excerpt: Consumer confidence inches up less than a point from the two-year low reached yesterday, while investor confidence falls to its lowest level in two-years.

Voters Expect Debt Ceiling To Be Raised, Doubt Long-Term Spending Will Be Cut
Excerpt: With less than five days left until the federal government could begin defaulting on its debts, voters continue to express unhappiness with both sides of the debt ceiling debate. While most voters continue to believe the debt ceiling will be raised before the government defaults, most don’t think the president and Congressional Republicans will agree on significant long-term spending cuts before the 2012 elections.

The Obama EPA's Brave New Future
Excerpt: Say goodbye to cars and trucks as you know them. Say hello to a brave new future ushered in by the Environmental Protection Agency. It's one where the federal government reshapes a major U.S. industry by administrative fiat, all in pursuit of a policy goal that will cost money, jobs, and lives—all to satisfy the left's environmentalist factions while dishing out taxpayer dollars to an Obama-favored unionized industry. That industry is the auto industry, and the Obama Administration is yet again using the mighty fist of the federal government to recast it in its own image. The Washington Post reports that the Obama Administration and the auto industry have reached agreement on new federal regulations that would raise fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, hitting an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—a 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption compared to today.

Where does money come from?
Good, entertaining explanation of money and markets. ~Bob.

Jacking up your electric bill
And when working stiffs can’t get jobs, feed their families, drive or heat their homes, these liberal statists will blame “the rich.” ~Bob. Excerpt: America faces a European-style debt crisis, but you wouldn’t know it from observing what’s happening on Capitol Hill. At a Senate committee’s request, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday issued an analysis of proposed renewable (RES) and clean-energy standards (CES). The federal government has grown so large that it’s actually studying how to spend money to make electricity more expensive. In fact, it’s a White House priority. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for 80 percent of America’s electricity to come from windmills and solar panels by 2035 as part of his Win the Future (WTF) campaign. That can only happen if federal laws and regulations are used to shut down cheaper sources of power, such as coal. As CBO concluded, “Either an RES or CES would also raise the average cost of generating electricity in the United States because, in the absence of the standard, regulators and generators would generally choose the lowest-cost method of producing electricity.” In a sane world, that would be the end of the story, but it isn’t. Currently, coal provides 45 percent of our power and nuclear 19 percent. Wind accounts for 2 percent, and solar power is so weak it earns an asterisk. That’s not going to change, so federal bureaucrats want to tell private companies they must produce 20 percent or 25 percent of their electricity from inefficient, intermittent sources using a complex scheme of production credits to impose their will on the industry.

As The Kabuki Accelerates
My goodness, we are on the downhill side of the last week before the faux debt ceiling deadline. What's next? In my current fantasy, John Boehner is a genius. He will pass his bill in the House by the skin of his teeth and with no time (or votes) to spare. And that's a good thing! Unless Reid and the Senate Dem can quickly rally, the Boehner bill will be the only game in town and there will be only seconds left on the clock. Can the Senate Dems find the time and the will to pass some other bill, with Boehner publicly fretting that he barely had the votes for his own creation and can't promise Reid any Republican help in the House? Or does Reid send the Boehner bill to the Senate floor and let scared Democrats ally with Republicans to pass it? I bet the latter. At which point Obama has a bill on his desk which he has threatened to veto. But there is even less time on the clock (unless Obama wants to contradict his own rhetoric and admit that Geithner has found an extra week), granny's Social Security checks hang in the balance (unless Obama wants to contradict his own rhetoric and announce his sudden discovery of the trust fund), and Boehner has barely corralled the Republican kamicrazies to get this far. Geez, what's a poor President to do? OK, this may all unravel. But Boehner might be a mastermind.

Jodi And Timothy Burr Sued By Homeowners Association To Remove Sign Supporting Son In Marines
Excerpt: The Gardens of Southgate property owners group in Bossier City, La., filed a lawsuit against Jodi and Timothy Burr this month because the couple has refused to take down a streamer that reads "Our son defends our freedom" and that violates the neighborhood's ban on signs. (…) The controversy is unfolding in an area with many active members of the military and veterans. The town is near Barksdale Air Force Base in northwestern Louisiana, and the homeowners group estimates that at least 25 percent of residents in the subdivision "are military." (…) The homeowners association president T.K. Mastny -- who is also the president of the Republican Women of Bossier -- didn't return calls from The Huffington Post. (The HOA likely wanted to avoid election signs and “out-of-the-home businesses.” Instead, they get to look mean-spirited and waste money on lawyers to enforce a provision of their agreement that might well be struck down—as limiting political speech—by any court hearing the suit even before a jury is chosen. Of course, the 25% or so of the locals who are associated with the military will also find this of interest, when they next consider a new abode. If the Burrs are stubborn, this could take decades to finish. Even if the Burrs lose in court, they may still be able to creatively paint their house to accomplish the same end. Beancounters come in all sizes and shapes as well as in all parties. Ron P.)

How Obama's losing the youth vote
Excerpt: Pew Research's figures for 2011 are not good news for President Obama and the Democrats. The Democratic identification edge has been reduced to 47 percent to 43 percent. That's a 4 point drop for Democrats and a 4 point rise for Republicans since 2008. The Pew analysts note, as if they were analyzing a growth stock, that the Republicans' numbers haven't improved since 2010. But the 2010 numbers yielded a 52 percent to 45 percent GOP lead in the popular vote for the House. If Republicans can maintain that standing in party identification, they should be in fine shape in November 2012, even with higher presidential-year turnout. It's interesting to see which groups have moved most in party identification. (They voted for a cool version of Harry Potter and got the magic of a second-rate Jimmy Carter. ~Bob.)

President of the lie
Excerpt: "I hate to disrespect the president, but he's lying." That was TV commentator Dick Morris last night on Fox's "Hannity," talking about Barack Obama's primetime speech in which the president once again warned Americans their government was on the verge of catastrophic default. "This is total fear tactics, and it's a lie – a big lie!" added Morris. (I recently wrote a column explaining the "big lie" of Aug. 2 default in a way any 8-year-old can understand.) But what I want to focus on here is Morris's qualifier, "I hate to disrespect the president, but …" I sympathize with Morris's personal and professional awkwardness in calling the president of the United States a liar. I've seen my good friend Sean Hannity struggle with this same awkwardness many times: He nails an outright lie the president has told, and may even use the word "lie," but his delivery is usually accompanied by a certain discomfort at having to speak the truth so nakedly. There's a good reason for this reticence and awkwardness.

China building electromagnetic pulse weapons for use against U.S. carriers
The growth of China’s military is one of the topics I explore in Collapse. ~Bob. Excerpt: China's military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday. Portions of a Center study on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons revealed that the arms are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal - weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces. EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii.

Excerpt: In the early morning hours of May 24, an armed burglar wearing a ski mask broke into the offices of Nicira Networks, a Silicon Valley startup housed in one of the countless nondescript buildings along Highway 101. He walked past desks littered with laptops and headed straight toward the cubicle of one of the company’s top engineers. The assailant appeared to know exactly what he wanted, which was a bulky computer that stored Nicira’s source code. He grabbed the one machine and fled. The whole operation lasted five minutes, according to video captured on an employee’s webcam. Palo Alto Police Sergeant Dave Flohr describes the burglary as a run-of-the-mill Silicon Valley computer grab. “There are lots of knuckleheads out there that take what they can and leave,” he says. But two people close to the company say that they, as well as national intelligence investigators now looking into the case, suspect something more sinister: a professional heist performed by someone with ties to China or Russia. The burglar didn’t want a computer he could sell on Craigslist. He wanted Nicira’s ideas.

Excerpt: Reports that China is close to achieving the same spy satellite capabilities as the United States and making advances in its drone and missile technologies are feeding into US theories that Beijing is pursuing a multi-faceted strategy to reshape the dynamics of military power in Asia. However, the Pentagon seems too enamored with the doctrine of "access denial", the belief that China is intent on blocking US access to the region to gain the upper hand in an asymmetrical conflict, that it is failing to take the evolution in Chinese military thinking into account. In July, reports surfaced that advances in China's spy orbiter program in the past 18 months enable it to spy on the same moving target - such as a US aircraft carrier - for up to six hours a day. In the same month, China launched an advanced new communications drone and there were revelations over its anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) program. "China is clearly pursuing a policy of 'access denial' toward pushing the US away from the western Pacific," Joan Johnson-Freese, chair of the National Security Decision Making Department at the US Naval War College, told Asia Times Online. "As part of that, they need to be able to 'see' what's going on, and the improvements in their eye-in-the-sky capabilities will allow them to better do that." (Don’t say I didn’t warn you. ~Bob.)

America's power grid too vulnerable to cyberattack, US report warns
Excerpt: America's power grid remains vulnerable to cyberattack, a result of sluggish implementation of weak computer security standards and insufficient federal oversight, says a tough new report from the US Department of Energy Inspector General. The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), the lead grid-reliability organization for the power industry, has had approved standards in place since January 2008. Power companies were to have fully implemented those "critical infrastructure protection" (CIP) cyberstandards a year ago, but the standards still aren't doing an effective job, the inspector general's audit found.

A Small Business Dies
Excerpt: A small business shutting down has become too frequent a sight in America. Such enterprises are always coming and going, but recently there have been many more going than coming. While the Commerce Department says 552,600 small businesses opened in 2009, more than 721,700 closed or went bankrupt. And 2010 looks like it was even worse. No small business ends for just one reason. But with fewer conventions coming to Washington, a slow economy and people dining out less, it got gradually tougher to keep Furin's doors open. Its fate is a reminder to Washington politicians all along
Pennsylvania Avenue
that their decisions affect real human beings. Statistics are important, but behind every number is a real person. This is worth recalling during the debt-ceiling debate. This latest chapter of Obama-era high drama comes amid high unemployment, anemic growth, exploding deficits and collapsing public confidence. Americans deeply want a change. They've given the president time for his experiment in spending the country's way to prosperity, and they have concluded that his course has failed. In the debt-ceiling debate, Mr. Obama had his best and last moment to restrain federal spending and thereby change the trajectory of his profligate presidency. But he let it pass.

Torture still rampant in post-revolution Egypt, activists say
Excerpt: Egyptian human rights activists say they've documented hundreds of cases of civilians tortured by police and army forces since the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, but that none have yet gone to trial. Under former President Mubarak, the security services were notorious for abuses, but since he left office in February dozens of cases have been filed to the general prosecutor's office accusing police and military authorities of torture and other crimes against anti-government protesters. For activists, that's a sign that the interim military government hasn't reined in the security forces, which were all-powerful during the Mubarak era. The only difference in post-revolution Egypt, they say, is that victims empowered by the uprising are speaking publicly of their brutal experiences.

Sugar Keynes
Excerpt: "By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some....The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner that not one man in a million can diagnose." - John Maynard Keynes Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920

Debunking 6 Myths About Anders Breivik
Excerpt: Anders Behring Breivik was a Fundamentalist Christian. Breivik described himself as not a religious person and mentions praying only once. His plans leading up to the attacks involved multiple visits to prostitutes. In one section of his manifesto he clarifies what he means by Christian. Q: Do I have to believe in God or Jesus in order to become a Justiciar Knight? No, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy. Breivik did call himself a Christian, but meant that in a cultural sense, rather than a theological one. He emphasized that he was not seeking a theocracy, but a secular society. His idea of a Christian Europe had nothing to do with religion. (He also said he was a Darwinist and science must rule over religion. Funny for a “fundamentalist,” as the media describe him. ~Bob.)

New York Times Reader Kills Dozens in Norway
Gotta love the headline. Factual, too. ~Bob. Excerpt: The New York Times wasted no time in jumping to conclusions about Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who staged two deadly attacks in Oslo last weekend, claiming in the first two paragraphs of one story that he was a "gun-loving," "right-wing," "fundamentalist Christian," opposed to "multiculturalism." It may as well have thrown in "Fox News-watching" and "global warming skeptic." This was a big departure from the Times' conclusion-resisting coverage of the Fort Hood shooting suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Despite reports that Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar!" as he gunned down his fellow soldiers at a military medical facility in 2009, only one of seven Times articles on Hasan so much as mentioned that he was a Muslim. Of course, that story ran one year after Hasan's arrest, so by then, I suppose, the cat was out of the bag. In fact, however, Americans who jumped to conclusions about Hasan were right and New York Times reporters who jumped to conclusions about Breivik were wrong. True, in one lone entry on Breivik's gaseous 1,500-page manifesto, "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," he calls himself "Christian." But unfortunately he also uses a great number of other words to describe himself, and these other words make clear that he does not mean "Christian" as most Americans understand the term. (Incidentally, he also cites The New York Times more than a half-dozen times.) Had anyone at the Times actually read Breivik's manifesto, they would have seen that he uses the word "Christian" as a handy moniker to mean "European, non-Islamic" -- not a religious Christian or even a vague monotheist. In fact, at several points in his manifesto, Breivik stresses that he has a beef with Christians for their soft-heartedness. (I suppose that's why the Times is never worried about a "Christian backlash.")

Is the President in Recovery?
Excerpt: President Obama does not care much about deficits -- other than worrying that big debt might matter in his re-election campaign. In his first three budgets, Obama borrowed nearly $5 trillion. Currently, the government is borrowing about 45 percent of everything that it spends. Obama's projected 10-year plan would add nearly $10 trillion to existing U.S. debt. This spring he proposed the largest annual deficit in U.S. peacetime history, which is why his $3.7 trillion budget for 2012 was rejected in the Senate by a 97-0 vote. In other words, under Obama, the government during the last three years has borrowed on average about $4 billion each day. That staggering sum is far in excess of the $1.6 billion per day during the eight-year tenure of George W. Bush, who until Obama's presidency had borrowed more than any peacetime president.

Does Sexual Fare Cause Sexual Violence?
Excerpt: "Pornography is the theory -- rape is the practice," wrote feminist author Robin Morgan. In 1986, a federal commission concurred. Some kinds of pornography, it concluded, are bound to lead to "increased sexual violence." Indianapolis passed a law allowing women to sue producers for sexual assaults caused by material depicting women in "positions of servility or submission or display." The campaign fizzled when the courts said the ordinance was an unconstitutional form of "thought control." Though the Bush administration put new emphasis on prosecuting obscenity, on the grounds that it fosters violence against women, pornography is more available now than ever. That's due in substantial part to the rise of the Internet, where the United States alone has a staggering 244 million web pages featuring erotic fare. One Nielsen survey found that one out of every four users says they visited adult sites in the past month. So in the past two decades, we have essentially conducted a vast experiment on the social consequences of such material. If the supporters of censorship were right, we should be seeing an unparalleled epidemic of sexual assault. But all the evidence indicates they were wrong. As raunch has waxed, rape has waned.

Sen Shelby says Soros hypocrite for reforms dodge
Excerpt: Prominent Republican Senator Richard Shelby accused billionaire investor George Soros of hypocrisy on Wednesday for evading new hedge fund regulations he once publicly backed. Soros recently said he would return money to outsider investors and only manage his own family's funds to escape the Securities and Exchange Commission's new hedge fund adviser registration rules. "It appears that Soros talked up financial reform only to sell it short," Shelby told Reuters in a statement. "Don't be surprised to see his fellow Wall Street financiers follow suit. They'll use their political clout and legal muscle to sidestep Dodd-Frank, while their smaller competitors and businesses take the hit." By giving back investors' money -- which is a small slice of the roughly USD 25 billion Soros oversees -- Soros is taking advantage of an exemption in a recently approved SEC rule required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The exemption allows family offices not only to avoid the registration requirements, but also to dodge a greater disclosure burden that requires big fund managers to turn over confidential data to help the SEC police systemic risk.

Dear Yankee ---Eight things you ought to know before you start writing stories about Rick Perry
Excerpt: Here we go again. As you know, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, is contemplating a presidential run, which means that any day now, your boss will be sending you down here to take the measure of the man. Though he managed to avoid the 2012 spotlight longer than any other candidate, Perry, the nation’s longest-serving governor, has lately become, in the words of a recent NPR report, “the eight-hundred-pound gorilla on the sidelines of this race.” The trickle of stories about him has become a stream, and the minute Perry declares his candidacy, that stream will become a flood, a flood that will carry you straight to Austin. I am writing you this note in the hope that it will help you avoid the political and sociological clich├ęs that Texas is subjected to every time one of our politicians seeks the national stage. It’s an experience we’re all too familiar with. A Texan has occupied the White House in 17 of the past 48 years—just over a third of the time. Texas has become an incubator for presidents, as Virginia and Ohio were in America’s distant past. I’ll grant you that the presidents we have sent to Washington, from LBJ to 
George W. Bush, have not always served as the best advertisements for Texas. Nevertheless, we have endured a disproportionate amount of bad writing about our state from journalists who don’t know very much about the place, and I for one can’t bear to suffer through another campaign of it. So please, heed this advice. Rick Perry, as you have no doubt already discovered, is not the easiest man to write about. He is secretive and leery of the media (sometimes to the point of hostility), and he has a strategically valuable knack for being underestimated by his critics. I have been writing about him since the eighties, when he began his career in the Texas Legislature. Along the way I have learned a few things, which I have arranged in this handy list of Eight Points to Keep in Mind When Writing About Rick Perry.

Witnesses to ATF gunrunner operation to name names: 'By the end of this, they'll prove that orders came from the very top'
Excerpt: The Project Gunrunner, or "Operation Fast and Furious," investigation is moving to the next level with hearings set this week in which the border agents who worked in the field while weapons were being dispatched to Mexican drug lords will testify. "This hearing will focus mainly on how Mexican officials and ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) officials stationed in Mexico were kept in the dark on Operation Fast and Furious," said Becca Watkins, a spokeswoman for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Poll: Arab views of Iran plummet in wake of Arab spring
Excerpt: Arab attitudes towards Iran have worsened sharply in recent years, according to a new six-nation poll released by the Arab American Institute Wednesday. Since 2006, Iran’s favorability has plummeted from the 70-90 percent range among Arab countries to a current range of 10-40%, with the average favorability rating at just 27.5%. Of the six countries surveyed – Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – only Lebanon’s, at 63%, has a majority favorability rating. Saudis’ views are the worst, with only 6% viewing Iran favorably. “Their quest for hegemony is one that is very disconcerting in the Arab world. There’s not an interest in seeing Iran in the role that Iran seeks for itself, which is the main power in the Gulf region,” assessed AAI president James Zogby, who conducted the poll.

Do your share to keep the Pretender-In-Chief "deeply offended" by passing this around.
from the e-mail forward: Steve Bridges is the guy who imitated George Bush on the Jay Leno Show. He has now started imitating Obama and REALLY does it well. The Administration has tried to put a stop to Bridges' act because Obama has made it known that he is deeply offended. So do your share to keep the Pretender-In-Chief "deeply offended" by passing this around... There might also be some educational content.

What Power to Tax and Spend?
Excerpt: Notably, most House conservatives, including the Tea Party freshmen, are standing with Boehner, choosing a pragmatic approach until 2012, when they hope to strengthen their numbers in the House and Senate, and retake the presidency. The current budget debate was the first serious consideration of a BBA since it was advocated by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and later passed by the House as part of the Republican Contract with America in 1995. (At that time, it received 300 votes, including 72 Democrats.) Now, as then, Leftist Democrats in the Senate have created a formidable gauntlet to its passage because it would severely undermine their power to redistribute wealth, power that is the only assurance of their perpetual re-election. A BBA would sunset their dynasty. (…) Across the nation, 49 of 50 states have some form of balanced budget requirement. The federal government, however, recognizes no such limitations and for three decades has been spending far more than it takes in. Not only must the debt accumulation be stopped, it must be reversed. To accomplish this reversal, the most pressing question in the current debate is not "which budget plan is better?" Rather, it is "By what authority does the central government collect taxes, and on what items is it authorized to spend those combined taxes and accumulated national debt?" (How voters choose to answer this one question will determine our national future. Ron P. Or if there will be a “national” future? ~Bob.)

14-Year-OlD U.S. Citizen Gets Three Years For Beheading Hostages As Mexican Cartel Hitman
Excerpt: A hitman for a major Mexican drug cartel was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday for offenses including murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. But this assassin is only 14 years old, and the brutality of his crimes — including beheadings – have shocked the world amidst the continuing carnage near the US-Mexico border. Edgar Jimenez, nicknamed “El Ponchis,” (many have said it means “cloak,“ but really it is ”One who likes techno music“) is a U.S. Citizen, born in San Diego. He claims that at age 11 he was kidnapped and soon thereafter became a hitman for the South Pacific Cartel, a notorious drug smuggling syndicate that Mexican police say is responsible for hundreds of murders this year alone. Jimenez’s sentence is the maximum he can receive, as he is under 16 years of age. Mexico has no system for trying juveniles as adults. The murder charges refer to the killing of 4 people whose mutilated bodies were found hanging from a bridge. Jimenez claims he was forced, under threat of death, to carry out heinous acts of torture and murder. At the time of his arrest, Reforma Newspaper quoted Ponchis saying ”When I was 11, they picked me up. They said they would kill me … I’ve killed four people, decapitated them. I felt bad doing it. They made me. They said if I didn’t do it, they would kill me.”

DPS Builds Up Assets Along Border
Excerpt: Standing before a large Texas map that plots drugs, money and weapons seized, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the potential threat posed by Mexican drug cartels extends throughout the state. Col. Steve McCraw said six of the seven major cartels are now operating in Texas with "command and control networks" in major metropolitan areas. McCraw added the Mexican Mafia is San Antonio's biggest challenge. McCraw said many Texas-based criminal gangs were working for the cartels, an indication of their reach beyond the border. Asked whether his agency's heightened role of helping the federal government protect the border amounted to an undeclared war against the cartels, McCraw said, "We don't use that term." Still he said, "The enemy is the cartels. That's our enemy."

Big Green blocks an oil pipeline, sacrificing thousands of jobs
Excerpt: TransCanada's second pipeline, the $7 billion Keystone XL, designed to carry crude oil from tar sands near Hardisty, Alberta to the Gulf Coast is delayed indefinitely. What if there was a way President Obama could create more than 100,000 jobs, reduce the price of gasoline at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil -- all at zero cost to taxpayers? Any sane president would jump at the chance, right? Not Obama. It has been 33 months since TransCanada filed for a permit from the State Department to begin construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. They are still awaiting final agency decision. Normally energy companies do not need to win State Department approval for pipeline construction, but the 1,700-mile Keystone XL project would carry about 700,000 barrels of oil a day -- or 255.5 million barrels a year -- from Alberta, Canada, across the U.S. border, and then south all the way to the Gulf Coast. To put that in perspective, Obama recently released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over a period of 30 days. The Keystone project would also create 7,000 manufacturing jobs, 13,000 construction jobs, and 118,000 spinoff jobs related to the design and management of the pipeline, all in the United States. With unemployment at 9.2 percent, why isn't Obama putting this project on a fast track?

Ice age threat should freeze EPA global warming regs
Excerpt: Rather than spiraling into a global warming meltdown, we may be heading into the next ice age. The U.S. National Solar Observatory, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and astrophysicists across the planet report that the nearly all-time low sunspot activity may result in a sustained cooling period on Earth. The news has sent global warming theory advocates scrambling to discount and explain away the impact on global temperatures. However, the "news" is not really that new. Many reputable scientists have been warning for decades that we are nearing the end of the 11,500-year average period between ice ages. And the last similar crash in sunspot activity coincided with the so-called "Little Ice Age" in the 1600s that lasted nearly a century. Despite increasing evidence that "global warming" climate change is not the unified scientific theory it has been promoted to be, vested interests continue to push for stringent limits on carbon dioxide emissions. (A few degrees decrease would be a LOT worse than the same increase. Why? Food. ~Bob.)