Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Political Digest for October 31, 2011

Political Digest for October 31, 2011
Robert A. Hall
I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Happy Halloween.

Blog Removed.
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Charities I support

Report: Looted Libyan Missiles End up in Hamas Anti-Aircraft Arsenal
Excerpt: Beyond the commitment to Sharia law in post-Gadhafi Libya, now another unintended consequence is seen in NATO’s intervention on behalf of the rebels. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports Hamas recently smuggled “relatively advanced Russian missiles” looted from Libyan military warehouses into Gaza, upgrading the anti-aircraft capability of the Islamist Palestinian terrorist group: Israel is worried about the presence of the missiles, both because they curb the [Israeli] air force’s almost unlimited freedom of movement over Gaza today, and because of their possible use against civil aviation in [the southern resort] Eilat. Shoulder-fired anti-aicraft missiles have been smuggled into Gaza in recent years at Iran’s initiative. But the fall of Muammar Gadhafi’s regime has enabled Hamas to bring in much higher quality missiles – and in much larger quantities. (I don't agree with those who think Obama planned this outcome because he wants the destruction of Israel. I think he was just too stupid or incompetent to foresee it, as so many of us did. ~Bob.)

AFT Fast and Furious update: Congress seeks Defense Department records
Excerpt: Was a Defense Department organization aware of Operation Fast and Furious? A new letter from Congressional investigators obtained by CBS News asks the provocative question. The letter from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is addressed to the Commander of Joint Task Force North in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Detroit in ruins
Excerpt: Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre's extraordinary photographs documenting the dramatic decline of a major American city. (Unbelievable pictures. Personally, I blame global warming. Detroit's had the advantage of continuous governance by Democrats for decades. What could have gone wrong? ~Bob.)

A Potpourri of Idiocy
Excerpt: In recent weeks, I have come across some news items that prove liberalism isn’t just wrong, but to paraphrase the Munchkins of Oz, it’s morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably, wrong. What’s more, it’s wrong in a great many more places than Washington, D.C. But it is also wrong there, as Rep. Henry Waxman, who has spent well over 30 years representing a predominantly Jewish district here in Los Angeles, proved when he dismissed Robert Turner’s astonishing victory in New York’s 9th congressional district as due solely to the fact that “Jews wanted to protect their wealth.” Well, for one thing, in Obama’s economy, nobody, Jew or Christian, should be insulted for trying to protect whatever money he still has left. For another, Waxman, who owes his political career to wealthy leftwing Jews who have been willing to overlook his appearance and his arrogance, shows himself to be an unmitigated ingrate. How dare he, who has benefitted so greatly from the loyalty of Jewish voters, join the anti-Semites who, throughout history, have spread the libel that Jews are motivated solely by their lust for money? He deserves to be taught a long-overdue lesson by the voters in his L.A. district, but the sad truth is that they, unlike the orthodox Jews of New York’s 9th, are, like Waxman, essentially secular. Their religion is liberalism. Their god is FDR. Their pope is Barack Obama.

Shocking video of Egyptian armored-vehicle "mowing down" Christian civilians
Ah, yes, the wonderful, multicultural, democratic, freedom-loving Arab Spring. ~Bob. Excerpt: Watch this one-minute video and see an armored-vehicle literally run over a handful of Christians for protesting the constant destruction of their churches in Egypt, at the recent Maspero Massacre. Such vehicles were made possible by U.S. military aid, supposedly for the protection of Egyptian "citizens." But apparently the military -- hailed by the Western media as the "savior" of Egypt for ousting Mubarak -- does not see the nation's Christian minorities as "citizens," but dhimmis who have no right to protest -- unsurprisingly so, considering the military, even in Egypt's early black-and-white movies, was known as al-Jihadiyya -- "the wagerer of jihad."

Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House
Excerpt: Beirut Arab news agency al Nashra reported on Saturday November 22, that [White House Muslim envoy] Dalia Mogahed has succeeded in canceling a meeting between the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon and President Barack Obama. Writing in al Nashra, the reporter said “an unnamed US source told the news agency, that those who sought canceling a visit of (the spiritual head of the Maronite Church) Patriarch Beshara Rahi to the White House are Dalia Mujahid (Mogahed), the highest adviser on Arab and Islamic Affairs in the State Department, who is from Egyptian origins. And that,” according to al Nashra, “heeding a request by the higher leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who consider that US Administration must support the Islamist Sunni current facing the Iranian current in the region.”

Afghan Army trainee opens fire on his Australian trainers, murdering three
Excerpt: As I have said many times in the context of many similar incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no reliable way to distinguish a peaceful Muslim from a jihadist. This is yet more fruit of the unwillingness to make even a cursory attempt to take that fact into account.

The Mexican government​'s war on U.S. Border Patrol
Excerpt: Down in Gov. Perry's backyard in west Texas, where they supposedly have the Mexican border under control, another Border Patrol agent has been prosecuted and sentenced to prison for doing his job in arresting drug smugglers. His name is Jesus Diaz, and if you rely on the mainstream media for news of the border region, you have never heard of him. In October of 2008, Diaz, a seven-year veteran of the Border Patrol, was part of a team of border agents who apprehended a small group of young drug smugglers. They had crossed the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas, carrying backpacks filled with marijuana. In questioning one of the apprehended smugglers, officer Diaz allegedly tugged or lifted the young man's handcuffed wrists and caused the smuggler some discomfort. Later that day, while being processed back at the Border Patrol station, the smuggler lodged a complaint with the Mexican consul, which resulted in prosecution of Diaz over a year later by the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. According to the Mexican government's written complaint, the man had been "beaten," yet photos taken at the time showed no bruises, cuts or other signs of abuse. Now, it is important to interject here a bit of information not routinely shared with the public by our enterprising news reporters. Smugglers caught with less than 75 pounds of marijuana are seldom prosecuted by the local U.S. attorneys in border regions because that "small amount," which has a street value in Denver of over $300,000, does not meet their "threshold test." They are simply put back across the border. (It doesn't bother me to learn that one of the most corrupt governments in the world is playing with our heads. It's what they do. But this isn't so much about Mexico as it is about our own traitors in government. Holder is definitely one of the most heinous criminals ever to be appointed by a corrupt president. --Don Hank)

GOP rips Obama’s executive actions to boost economy
Republicans are criticizing a series of steps the White House is taking to energize the economy through executive actions. President Obama launched efforts this week to help those with student loan debt, homeowners with underwater mortgages, veterans struggling to find work and small businesses -- all designed to boost the economy's recovery. His intentions are to show that even if Congress doesn't move his $447 billion jobs package, he's working to help the labor market and promote growth. 
Republicans aren't happy that the president is sidestepping them and invoking his executive powers. The House GOP says they have passed more than 15 economic bills that aren't being considered by the Senate and they question the efforts by the White House to move forward without their input.

The debt fallout: How Social Security went ‘cash negative’ earlier than expected
Excerpt: Last year, as a debate over the runaway national debt gathered steam in Washington, Social Security passed a treacherous milestone. It went “cash negative.” For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades. But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s. Now, Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury. This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion. If the payroll tax break is expanded next year, as President Obama has proposed, Social Security will need an extra $267 billion to pay promised benefits.

Muslim Fanatics Abuse MP At Mosque
It's not PC to threaten Gays, unless done by Muslims, who outrank Gays on the PC scale. Threatening and abusing Jews, who are at the bottom of the scale, is still okay. Especially "Jews" like this one who are not Jewish. ~Bob. Excerpt: Conservative MP Mike Freer was holding an advice surgery in the mosque in Margaret Thatcher’s former constituency of Finchely, north London, when the radicals hurled abuse on Friday afternoon. They screamed at him that as someone who is gay he was “not welcome in a house of Allah”. Mr Freer, who is not Jewish but who is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, said the protesters were “aggressive” and that he had been forced to call Finchley’s Met Police borough commander to complain. It is now understood that Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorist unit is investigating the Muslims Against Crusades group, which has also issued a chilling warning to any MP representing Muslims in Britain. ... In a statement on its website, they have told every MP to remember what happened to Stephen Timms, the former Labour minister who was stabbed while holding an advice surgery in east London last year. His Al Qaeda-inspired attacker, Roshonara Choudhry, 22, was sentenced to life imprisonment and a number of other MPs who were on her target list were offered extra police protection. The Muslims Against Crusades statement reads: “We warn Mike Freer and every other MP in Britain that their presence is no longer welcomed in any Muslim area and that examples such as Stephen Timms should serve as a piercing reminder of this.

Message for OWS
Your alternative lifestyle comes out of somebody else's pocket

Occupy Anthem - I Don't Want To Work!

Why the latest eurozone bail-out is destined to fail within weeks
Excerpt: I want last week's European bail-out to work. My sincere hope is that collective and decisive action by the eurozone's large member states will stabilize global markets, at least for a while, so allowing the global economy to catch its breath. ... " Some say Western governments shouldn't "accept" what the market says. "Who do these trading people think they are," I hear from the lips of the educated but financially-illiterate political elite. Let's be clear – if global bond markets stop lending to a number of large Western economies, we are in the realms of unpaid state wages and pensions, transport chaos and closures of schools and hospitals – sparking the prospect of serious civil unrest. Forgive my intemperate tone, but these are the dangers we face. And I'm afraid the only rational response to Thursday's announcement is that the probability of such undesirable outcomes has just been increased. " (This is what I've predicted in The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. Nothing since I published in May has, alas, changed my mind. ~Bob.)

US is planning buildup in Gulf after Iraq exit
Excerpt: The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.

Fiend attacks 'Occupy' protester in her tent
Excerpt: Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park battened down the hatches yesterday as the early October snow turned their tents into igloos, but the close quarters also made easy pickings for one predator. A sex fiend barged into a woman’s tent and sexually assaulted her at around 6 a.m., said protesters, who chased him from the park. “Pervert! Pervert! Get the f--k out!” said vigilante Occupiers, who never bothered to call the cops. “They were shining flashlights in his face and yelling at him to leave,” said a woman who called herself Leslie, but refused to give her real name. She said that weeks earlier another woman was raped. “We don’t tell anyone,” she said. “We handle it internally. I said too much already." With temperatures in the low 30s and their gas-powered generators confiscated by the FDNY, protesters defiantly braved the cold as the occupation hit the 30-day mark. (You recall all the rapes at Tea Party protests? Me neither. Maybe Whoopi told them is "wasn't rape, rape." ~Bob.)

National Debt Road

Census Data show income inequality in the U.S. has been flat since 1994
Excerpt: Income inequality has been getting lots of attention lately, and one of the main topics of debate is whether income inequality in the U.S. has been increasing over time. And if income inequality is increasing, has it been accelerating in recent years, or even “exploding” as Jonathan Chait claimed? The Census Bureau has an extensive historical database of statistics on household income and income inequality, and the graphs below were prepared using Census data (Tables E-1 and F-4) to chart the trends in income dispersion over time to help answer those questions.

Managing America’s decline from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Excerpt: President Obama is empowering radical Islam across the Arab world. He is presiding over both the American decline and the rapid advance of our mortal jihadist enemies. From the Middle East to North Africa, the Arab Spring has turned into an Islamist winter. Contrary to the administration’s claims, the popular uprisings have not led to a “rebirth of freedom” – the emergence of liberal democracies in distant Arab lands. Rather, Muslim fundamentalists have used street protests against corrupt, autocratic regimes as a Trojan horse to expand Islamic militancy. In Tunisia, an Islamist party with ideological ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is poised to win national elections. Its goal is to repeal the nation’s secular traditions (inherited from the French empire) and erect a Muslim theocracy. Its platform calls for banning alcohol, forcing women to wear the veil and implementing Shariah law. Non-Muslims and women are to be treated as second-class citizens. (Not sure "managing" is the word. ~Bob.)

Political Digest for October 30, 2011

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, please check back. From time to time, Google’s Spam Filter pulls my blog. They restore it when I appeal, but they don’t seem to have the technical ability to fix the problem. I hate to move to another platform with page views running to 7k a week and over 1,100 followers here. Sigh.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Syrian forces kill 40 as Arab League denounces attack
Excerpt: Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters following Friday afternoon prayers, killing at least 40 civilians, according to activists. After what was one of the bloodiest days in seven months of protests, Arab ministers sent their strongest message yet calling for an end to civilian killings. (...) One activist, Mustafa Osso, told the Associated Press that Syrian forces opened fire on as many as 2,000 people who had gathered to protest. "There was a very fierce reaction to the protests in Homs. There are many injured as well. Hospitals are having a hard time coping with the casualties," he said. It is believed there were at least 170 separate protests across the country.

White House to Review Energy Department Loans
Excerpt: On the defensive over a half-billion-dollar loan to a now-bankrupt solar company, the White House on Friday ordered an independent review of similar loans made by the Energy Department, its latest response to rising criticism over Solyndra Inc. The announcement came as House Republicans prepared for a possible vote next week to subpoena White House documents related to the defunct California company.  White House officials said the review would assess the health of more than two dozen other renewable energy loans and loan guarantees made by the Energy Department program that supported Solyndra. (Sure, they’ll “check’em out” now that they already sent through the more than $4 Billion in loan guarantees they made at the end of September. We all balance the checkbook AFTER we write and mail the checks, don’t we? Ron P.)

GOP politician​s "nuanced" on immigration
Excerpt: Representative Tim Griffin, a Republican freshman from Arkansas with a university in his district, supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign math and science professionals to get legal residency. Representative Bobby Schilling, Republican of Illinois, is resisting intense pressure to support a House bill that would require employers to verify the legal status of their workers because he is concerned that businesses would be unduly burdened. Senator Mike Lee of Utah, one of the most conservative members of the chamber, recently teamed with Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat, on a bill that would provide three-year residential visas to foreign home buyers who invest at least $500,000. While the Republican presidential campaign trail bristles with talk of moats, militarization and electrified fences when it comes to illegal immigration, the view among some Congressional Republicans has become more nuanced and measured. (The closer we get to the election, the more politicians waffle on immigration. With 14 million, or more, Americans unemployed, there's little reason to import even more foreign workers. --jhf)

Still the “GOP Godfather”
Excerpt: A recent Newsmax internal tracking poll recently placed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in first place by a 12-point margin among GOP voters in search of a presidential nominee. While it wasn’t a scientific poll, an aggregate of the national scientific polls have Gingrich in third place and with strong numbers in the early primary states. Remember that Sen. John McCain was in 3rd place during this same week of the 2008 presidential race. Giuliani was in first; Fred Thompson was in second. So, here are four words for Gingrich’s fourth place standing: This is not over. Newt should never ever be underestimated.

We’re Approaching the Tipping Point
Excerpt: Of all the new poll numbers on all sorts of subjects that have come out recently, one number in particular caught my eye. It’s from the latest CBS News/New York Times poll and it tells us that a whopping 66 percent of Americans believe that wealth should be more evenly spread around in this country. Or to put it another way, two-thirds of Americans think that rich people have too much money — and that everyone else doesn’t have enough. Or to put it still another way, we’re approaching a tipping point in this country, if we haven’t already reached it. In science, a tipping point is the point at which a system is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a different state. The tipping point here is the one that takes us from capitalism to socialism. It’s bad enough when about half of Americans don’t pay any federal income tax and get all the goodies – like national security and interstate highways – for free. We can understand how that creates an entitlement mentality. But now we have a majority of Americans who think that wealth is not fairly distributed in this country – and they want some of that money.  This explains why, according to the same poll, two-thirds of Americans are in favor of raising taxes on millionaires. This is how re-distribution of the wealth works: the government takes from the so-called rich and gives it to everyone who isn’t rich. ("In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free." —Edward Gibbon. If you are not free to earn wealth and make yourself and your family better off, without having it taken from you to benefit those who didn't earn it, you are not free. Doesn't matter if the takers are a mob of barbarian invaders set on colonizing your wealthy country, a mob of inner-city criminals or a mob of the non-productive voting to confiscate your earnings for themselves. The results are the same. ~Bob.)

How 2013 Could Play Out in Congress
Excerpt: For years, only a handful of adroit legislative tacticians have mastered reconciliation, once the procedural province of budget geeks and manipulators of tax policy. It is the device by which big budget bills that merge—or reconcile—spending and tax policy are passed without having to run a filibuster gantlet in the Senate. This is how President Bush won approval of his income-tax cuts in 2001 and his dividend and capital-gains tax cuts in 2003—with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the decisive vote. Stripped to its essence, a bill that achieves numerical budget balance or reduces future deficits can pass on the reconciliation track, even if it includes sizable policy changes outside of spending and taxes or creates deficits outside a 10-year budget window. This procedure is how Obama and his Democratic majority passed the health care law in 2010. They used the reconciliation to shield the bill from a GOP filibuster that was sure to block it after Republican Scott Brown won the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Democrat Edward Kennedy, an upset win that gave Republicans what they thought was the magic 41st vote. But Democrats thwarted that tactic: They wedged health care reform into a reconciliation bill, using Congressional Budget Office projections to argue that the complex changes brought by universal access to insurance would reduce existing government spending on health care by $170 billion over 10 years. (Speculation—fortune telling, for the more romantic readers—is always chancy. The farther in the future is the prediction, the chancier it becomes. Nevertheless, Garrett has clearly invested a lot of thought in this one. He could be right. Ron P.)

Another Obama fundraiser is investor in car company that won federal loan
This would only be of interest to most of the media if it was a Bush fundraiser. Anyone who didn't know The Chicago Way was coming to Washington in November, 2008 is an idiot. Period. ~Bob. Excerpt: An investment firm whose vice chairman has been an adviser and fundraiser for President Obama saw one of its portfolio companies win approval this year for $50 million in loans from the administration’s clean-energy loan program. Washington-based Perseus says its affiliation with James A. Johnson, a major fundraiser for Obama’s campaign, played no role in persuading the Energy Department to award the loan to Vehicle Production Group, a Miami start-up that is manufacturing wheelchair-accessible cars and taxis. Johnson headed Obama’s vice presidential selection committee in 2008 and is the former chairman of housing mortgage giant Fannie Mae. He was listed as a campaign fundraising bundler for Obama in the 2008 race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and committed to raising $200,000 to $500,000 for the upcoming presidential race.

Oakland protesters re-"Occupy" plaza
Anti-Wall Street
protesters in Oakland have erected more than two dozen tents in a plaza declared off limits for overnight camping, vowing to remain at the site despite city orders to vacate. Protesters began pitching the tents Thursday evening, according to Shake Anderson, an organizer with Occupy Oakland. On Friday morning, about 25 tents were up at the plaza near City Hall, where police armed with tear gas and beanbag rounds disbanded a 15-day-old encampment two days earlier. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan had issued a statement asking protesters not to camp overnight at the plaza. "We believe in what we're doing," Anderson said. "No one is afraid. If anything, we're going to show there's strength in numbers." (…) In a statement released last night Quan - who was booed away when she tried to speak directly to the crowd on Thursday - said she as "deeply saddened about the outcome on Tuesday." "It was not what anyone hoped for," Quan wrote, reports CBS Station KPIX. "Ultimately it was my responsibility, and I apologize for what happened." She said city officials have started an investigation into the use of force by police Tuesday night. Appearing on MSNBC Friday morning, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who represents Oakland, criticized the police action against protesters as "inappropriate." Lee said she felt "outrage" at what went on, saying "the protesters are not causing this violence." (The article also contains a pretty good summary of happenings in the other cities with Occupiers. Rep. Lee needs to know “violence” isn’t just fists, guns, and knives. If it was, neither fraud nor stalking would be the crimes both are. In fact, “showing strength in numbers” strongly makes an overt threat of mob violence. Failing to obey a lawful Police order has long been a crime in every state and is always enforced by officers using whatever force is required. Criminal trespass, including by political protestors, is still a crime (if it weren’t, there’d be about a million people permanently camped on the White House lawn and running the WH corridors screaming insults to every president). Since Oakland has laid off almost its entire police force, I’m surprised there were any police to eject the Occupiers at all. And, if I was one of them hearing we’d be investigated for what had to be restrained action to disperse 1,000 protestors with so few injuries, I’d quit in disgust. Unless it WANTS to be defended, Oakland isn’t worth defending. Ron P. Rep. Lee is catering to left-wing voters. She doesn't CARE what the facts are. ~Bob.)

Hillary Clinton: 'No Evidence’ DOJ Sought Required License to Send Guns to Mexico in ‘Fast and Furious’
Excerpt: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified in the House Foreign Relations Committee Thursday that there was "no record" that the Justice Department had given the State Department a "head up" about Operation Fast and Furious, in which guns were allowed to flow from the United States to drug traffickers in Mexico, and that the State Department had found "no evidence" that DOJ had applied for a license or waiver to send guns to a foreign country, which a member of the committee told her would have been required under U.S. law. (I wonder how many brilliant legal minds it took to make these fools criminals in two different countries at the same time? Perhaps Mexico will ask for extradition? Or, maybe they could “win a cruise to Cancun,” an all expense paid vacation in Mexico for 15 years or so. Ron P.)

Occupy Atlanta
If you don't get what the "Occupy" movement wants, this college graduate will clearly explain it to you. ~Bob.

Michael Moore to OWS
Funny but probably true. ~Bob.

Lucky he's not a Republican--this would be embarrassing if it got in the news. ~Bob.

Tell me again how "all cultures are equally valid." ~Bob Excerpt: A nine-year-old girl who was seriously injured following an acid attack by her ‘husband’ fled the DHQ Hospital in Jhang on Friday afternoon. According to hospital officials, Saima was brought in with over 46 per cent burn wounds and was in critical condition. “Her father spoke to police officials and recorded a statement but now they have both fled. She may not survive for long without medical assistance,” said Dr Ejaz Khalid.

CBS: Gun buyer linked to "Fast and Furious" murder pleads guilty.
Excerpt: A Dallas County man linked to the murder of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata has pleaded guilty to weapons violations. Otilio Osorio, 22, of Lancaster, Texas, only pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to three counts of a 21-count indictment against him. Prosecutors say one of three guns found at the scene in Mexico where Agent Zapata was shot to death on February 15 was traced back to Osorio. Investigators believe he was the straw purchaser of the weapon, bought in Texas four months before the murder. As part of an agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Osorio pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement in firearms records and possessing a weapons with a removed serial number. Seven other defendants in the case have also entered guilty pleas. The maximum penalty for each count is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing dates have not yet been scheduled.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Political Digest for October 29, 2011

Busy week coming up, annual conference and on the road. Just a heads up if there’s no digest some days, especially next weekend.

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, please check back. From time to time, Google’s Spam Filter pulls my blog. They restore it when I appeal, but they don’t seem to have the technical ability to fix the problem. I hate to move to another platform with page views running to 10k a week and over 1,150 followers here.

Charities I support

Wall Street Replies

The Spirit of Obama

First lady event upsets local Dems
Excerpt: An upcoming Houston fundraiser featuring first lady Michelle Obama at the home of a former Enron executive who is part of a movement to convert public pensions to 401(k)-style plans is angering some local Democrats. John Arnold, a Houston billionaire and former Enron trader, is hosting the Michelle Obama event with his wife, Laura Arnold, at their Houston home on Nov. 1. Arnold is part of an organization pushing to convert public pensions — including teachers, police, firefighters and others — to 401(k)-style plans. The effort launched in California but has plans to go nationwide, according to a story by Bloomberg. The story notes that Arnold is a libertarian and his wife a Democrat. (Don’t tell OWS, but the 1% is at it again. ~Bob.)

Pelosi stays mum on proposed Medicare cuts in Dems' supercommittee plan
Excerpt: As a growing number of liberal Democrats are attacking a plan from supercommittee Democrats to slash Medicare benefits, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is being careful not to wade too deeply into the controversy. "It's no use asking me about specific things until we see the whole package," Pelosi said Thursday during a press briefing in the Capitol. "I'm not making any judgment about any package until I see the fuller package that it's a part of." Still, the California Democrat reiterated her party's insistence on a "balanced" deficit-reduction plan, suggesting that she and her caucus won't support a package that fails to spread the pain of austerity across a class spectrum.

Obama administration approves massive Medicaid cuts requested by California
Excerpt: The Obama administration on Thursday approved hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to California’s Medicaid program that the state had requested to shore up its dismal finances. The state’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, this summer requested the authority to slash Medicaid payments to providers by 10 percent to save $623 million this year and next. Cindy Mann, director of the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations, said Thursday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has partially approved the request while rejecting cuts that would have affected beneficiaries’ access to care.

Liberals get 'deja vu' and complain Dems have bungled in debt talks
Excerpt: Liberals on and off Capitol Hill agonized Thursday that supercommittee Democrats had bungled early negotiations over a budget deal and put their party in a position to be bested again by Republicans. By proposing significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as an early offering, liberals said the panel Democrats weakened their party’s negotiating position as Republicans, who have ceded no ground on their central anti-tax message, sat back and watched.

U.S. drone base in Ethi­o­pia is operational
If it’s a secret, publishing this gives aid and comfort to the enemy and is treason. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Air Force has been secretly flying armed Reaper drones on counterterrorism missions from a remote civilian airport in southern Ethi­o­pia as part of a rapidly expanding U.S.-led proxy war against an al-Qaeda affiliate in East Africa, U.S. military officials said. The Air Force has invested millions of dollars to upgrade an airfield in Arba Minch, Ethi­o­pia, where it has built a small annex to house a fleet of drones that can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs. The Reapers began flying missions earlier this year over neighboring Somalia, where the United States and its allies in the region have been targeting al-Shabab, a militant Islamist group connected to al-Qaeda.

Obama Backers Tied to Lobbies Raise Millions
Excerpt: At least 15 of Mr. Obama’s “bundlers” — supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others — are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies. They have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign. Because the bundlers are not registered as lobbyists with the Senate, the Obama campaign has managed to avoid running afoul of its self-imposed ban on taking money from lobbyists. But registered or not, the bundlers are in many ways indistinguishable from people who fit the technical definition of a lobbyist.

Administration Efforts On Line-By-Line Budget Review by Veronique de Rugy, PhD Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University1
It is to laugh. Anyone who believed half of what Obama promised is an idiot. Unfortunately, when you add the idiots into the “progressives” living off government, you get a majority. ~Bob. Excerpt: United States House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations The United States’ deep and structural financial imbalances are the result of decades of overpromising and overspending. With a near-stagnant economy, an already heavy debt burden, and the looming explosive growth of programs such as Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, Washington must take immediate, significant steps to get spending under control. If it does not, Americans will face very real and very painful economic and fiscal consequences. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then candidate Obama promised to streamline Washington so that it would work in tough economic times. To achieve this, he would “conduct an exhaustive line-by-line review of the federal budget and seek to eliminate government programs that are not performing and demand that new initiatives be selected on the basis of their merits, not through a political process that rewards lobbyists and campaign donors.”2 … Some wasteful spending is so obvious that it is hard to understand how it continues year after year. The federal government wastes money when it funds programs that duplicate another program or function, such as the 47 job training and 56 financial literacy programs that exist throughout the federal government.5 The federal government also loses a considerable amount of money to overpayments or improper payments, such as those made by the Department of Health and Human Services, which estimates it made $48 billion in Medicare improper payments in fiscal year 2010.6 Congress and the Administration must take immediate steps to eliminate this obviously wasteful spending. … Unfortunately, according to OMB, about half of all federal employees perform tasks that are not “inherently governmental.”

Should America Carry the U.N.?
The UN’s only purpose in the world is to allow third-world kleptocracies to bleed us of money and undermine our interests, while destroying freedom. We should withdraw from the UN and order them out of the US. Seriously. ~Bob. Excerpt: The 39-story United Nations headquarters stands on the banks of the East River in Manhattan. But now the U.N. is planning the construction of a new building next door, with a price tag pegged at $400 million -- and it could soar even higher. And since U.S. taxpayers pay 22 percent of the U.N. budget, the costs for that new building will come right out of your pocket, leading to a very serious question: Just how far should the United States go in supporting the U.N. and international organizations like it? The issue of a new building in New York isn't the only U.N. story to make the headlines this year. Take the issue of Palestine, which over the summer formally requested U.N. membership. If Palestine were to succeed in its unilateral efforts, it would be detrimental to U.S. interests in the region, isolate Israel, and deal a major setback to Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects. And all of that would come at the hands of an international organization over which the United States can exert strong influence but cannot control. If Palestine is granted member status at the U.N., American interests--along with those of its allies--will be seriously harmed, requiring an even greater vigilance and financial commitment to maintain leverage for U.S. priorities. Again, the question is posed: When does our commitment to an international organization become a problem?

Oklahoma’s Improved Economic Performance Suggests Right to Work Is Working By J. Scott Moody and Wendy P. Warcholik
Excerpt: On September 25, 2001, Oklahoma voters went to the polls and passed a constitutional amendment—Right to Work (RTW)—which gave workers the choice to join or financially support a union. This made Oklahoma the 22nd state in the union to join the ranks of RTW states. However, RTW was soon challenged in court, and the matter rose all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. It took two years of legal wrangling before all the challenges were settled. When the dust settled in 2003, RTW remained in place—along with the promise of greater economic performance.

Smoking Gun? Most Gunwalker Guns Targets of Ban Efforts, but Not Wanted by Cartels
On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said. “I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.” In the meeting, she said, Obama discussed how records get into the system and what can be done about firearms retailers. Her husband specifically brought up the proposed ban on large magazine clips, and she noted that even former vice president Dick Cheney had suggested that some restrictions on the clips might make sense. “He just laughed,” Sarah Brady said approvingly of the president. Both she and her husband, she emphasized, had absolute confidence that the president was committed to regulation.

Europe Tries To Kick The Can Down The Road But It Will Only Lead To Financial Disaster
Excerpt: Have you heard the good news? Financial armageddon has been averted. The economic collapse in Europe has been cancelled. Everything is going to be okay. Well, actually none of those statements is true, but news of the "debt deal" in Europe has set off a frenzy of irrational exuberance throughout the financial world anyway. Newspapers all over the globe are declaring that the financial crisis in Europe is over. Stock markets all over the world are soaring. The Dow was up nearly 3 percent today, and this recent surge is helping the S&P 500 to have its best month since 1974. Global financial markets are experiencing an explosion of optimism right now. Yes, European leaders have been able to kick the can down the road for a few months and a total Greek default is not going to happen right now. However, as you will see below, the core elements of this "debt deal" actually make a financial disaster in Europe even more likely in the future. (My mom used to give me haircuts, but she was always a little nervous and often nicked me in the ear with the scissors. That really hurt. This haircut on the Greek bonds will hurt a LOT MORE. See this Quote: “In essence, the haircut on Greek debt [haircut: partial default, in this case, decreed by law. DH] is a signal to investors that they should require a much higher rate of return on the debt of all of the PIIGS. This is going to make the financial collapse of all of the PIIGS much more likely.” Absolutely. Not only that, the Greek government officials and Greeks benefitting from government largesse have lived high on the hog for years, and for them, that is an unalienable entitlement. Many of them get nasty when someone touches their entitlements. They burn tires, wreck vehicles, throw stones through windows, etc, breaking things they can't afford to replace. Now that Europe has given a 50% haircut on their sovereign debt, many will figure they can continue to live like kings and the next time around, good old Germany and the ECB and EFSF will just bail them out again, with more "haircuts" for their bonds and more leverage. Dream on. The German people are already PO'd and aren't about to issue more bailouts, and the borrowing party will come to a screeching halt when bond investors finally catch on! As this author points out, the party can't go on forever. They are tightening the noose around Europe's neck. "Leverage" in this context means that the banks will be able to lend 4-5 times more than before simply by issuing more credit -- NOT MONEY, because they have no money at the bottom line of the balance sheets, only debt. Now even before this re-leveraging, they were leveraged to the max and already issuing loans against nothing but hot air. That's the same as printing money, as they did in the failed Weimar Republic. Weimar failed BECAUSE they did this, but the money printing was sold as a "solution" to their problem. Now they're trying a little -- no a LOT -- of hair of the dog that bit them in the butt before, except not just Germany but most of Europe. How short their memories are. This money the banks are lending is money they don’t have. It is debt, the opposite of money. They are dealing in red numbers, paying off red numbers with more red numbers. That is like climbing higher up the mountain to reach the bottom. GUARANTEED it won't work and when the crash comes it will be dramatic, people will get hurt and Greeks will be back burning tires again. Maybe someone will hire them to do that. They're getting pretty proficient at it. --Don Hank)

Did ‘Big Sis’ lay some big eggs before House Judiciary?
Excerpt: Under intense questioning Wednesday by Congressmen Darrell Issa and Trey Gowdy during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary seemed to weave, dodge, protest and perhaps demonstrate some ignorance about Operation Fast and Furious. Later, when interviewed by Lou Dobbs on Fox News’ business channel, both Issa and Gowdy expressed their frustration and disappointment at Napolitano’s performance. Issa chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been holding hearings on Fast and Furious. He seemed appalled at Napolitano’s responses to his questions, and there was no small amount of verbal combat between the Secretary and both Gowdy and Issa. At one point, she suggested that Gowdy was trying to interrogate her. Gowdy’s questioning of Napolitano began with a not-so-surprising inquiry. After recalling that Napolitano had been both a state and federal prosecutor (prior to being Arizona governor and taking the appointment as DHS secretary), he simply asked:

Advancing the Meme
Excerpt: Be nice if someone had a job whose responsibilities included asking follow-up questions. I don't know, that person could be called a 'journalist', and they could ask things like "So when you had control of the Executive & the Legislative, why didn't you go ahead and pass a jobs bill that worked or, hell, even something as fundamental and constitutionally mandated like a budget, instead of spending your political capital on an unpopular health care bill?" But then, doing so would allow the average reader to grok the hypocrisy in the following statement: Over 240 days and this Republican Congress has not put forth one jobs plan,” Belcher told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper last month. Democratic operatives defend Belcher’s choice of words, even though Democrats control the Senate. Of course we see the standard media tactic of providing editorial color to Republican statements. Republicans are "crowing" the success of their dastardly authority. Democrats' statements are given with no adjectives.

Support waning for Obama healthcare law: poll
Excerpt: Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform in October reached its lowest point since the law passed in March 2010, according to a monthly poll by the non-profit, non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The view of the law has been roughly evenly split since its passage, but in October 51 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, while 34 percent said their opinion was favorable, poll results released on Friday showed.

Handicapping The Contenders by Burt Prelutsky
Excerpt: If I could cobble together a dream candidate, he would have Romney’s looks, Cain’s charm, Santorum’s values, Bachmann’s decency, Gingrich’s grasp of the issues and Ron Paul’s passionate followers. Jon Huntsman’s problems are myriad, not the least of which is that he looks exactly like every villainous politician ever portrayed on “Law and Order” whose corruption begins but doesn’t end with his having a bunch of chippies on his office staff. The good news for the GOP is that Barack Obama, the four trillion dollar man, is the most beatable Democrat since Jimmy Carter. The bad news for certain segments of the party is that Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Chris Christie, decided not to run. For some, the problem is that Tim Pawlenty tried but failed. For still others, the heartbreak of psoriasis is nothing compared to the fact that Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman and Mr. Gingrich, haven’t managed to gain any traction, with the Iowa caucus looming right around the corner. That leaves Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Mitt Romney, to duke it out. Of the three, I prefer Mr. Cain, even though I don’t believe his 9-9-9 (aka 9-0-9) plan would do much, if anything, to turn around the economy. I like him and I trust him and, of all the candidates, he’s the one with whom I could bear to spend time. That may not be the best reason for electing a president, but it’s a better reason than I usually have.

Internet Joke
There is finally conclusive evidence that Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi are dead. Yesterday, they both registered to vote in Chicago.

Obama Doctrine: Ignore American Interests by Mona Charen
Excerpt: Two successful assassinations -- those of al-Awlaki and bin Laden -- have persuaded some that President Obama, whatever his domestic failures, has presided over a successful foreign policy. This is way too generous. In fact (with the exception of targeted assassinations and the surge in Afghanistan), the president seems to conduct foreign policy based on seat-of-the-pants responses to events, rather than relying on any over-arching strategy. And his reactions to such events are more often based upon reversing what he regards as past American sins than on pursuing America's interests in the world. This first became evident when the Iranian street erupted in 2009. There is no regime in the world that represents a greater threat to the lives of Americans than Iran's. The mullahs have shed more American blood than any entity except al-Qaida (and they have assisted al-Qaida) over the course of the past three decades. Iran constantly plots to damage the U.S. by sponsoring terror groups, allying with American enemies like Hugo Chavez, and supplying and training the Iraqi militias and Taliban, who in turn kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fall of the Iranian regime would be the greatest victory imaginable against worldwide terror (to say nothing of what it would do for Iranians). Yet when the regime was rocked by weeks of protests, Obama let the opportunity to support the demonstrators, and possibly affect the outcome, slip through his fingers. (The primary responsibility our Constitution defines for the presidency is to be commander in chief. Either Obama bloviates utopian nonsense in a dangerous world or goes after international nasties who don't threaten us. Cordially, He makes nice to real threats, Iran, Syria, N. Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Russia. At PS 197 we would call him an 8th grade bully picking on 3rd graders. --Larry Greenberg)

General: Marine Corps Is The 'Cheap Force'
Excerpt: However, Amos sold the Marine Corps as the “cheap force,” and said America needs a military “that’s not going to break the bank.” “You get a lot of bang for the buck with us,” Amos said of the Marines. ”We don’t need fancy hotels or air conditioned hooches to live in.” “For decades the Marine Corps was known as — in some circles as the cheap force,” Amos said. “We were known to be the penny-pinchers. So to begin with, we’re going back to that.” Amos said the Marines Corps planned to go down to 186,000 personnel from 202,000 - cuts approved by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He added that he was not sure 186,000 was the floor. For those looking to join the Marines now, he said, there was such a backlog of those wanting to join that it would be at least eight months before being sent to boot camp.

Hillary Clinton Fares Better Than Obama In Matchups Against GOP Frontrunners: Poll
Excerpt: The poll, released as part of a series for the magazine's latest cover story, which features Clinton, shows Obama's 2008 rival leading Romney by 17 points, Cain by 22 and Perry by 26 in a hypothetical competition. Obama leads Romney by 3 points and both Cain and Perry by 12 in the same poll. The results are just the latest buzz in an ongoing saga of speculation and denial about Clinton's aspirations for higher office. Some have suggested that she'd replace Joe Biden as Vice President ahead of Obama's 2012 reelections campaign, while others have posited, or perhaps just hoped, that she'd mount a primary challenge to Obama in 2012. Clinton's response has been unequivocal denial to both. In fact, she's said that she wouldn't serve in Obama's cabinet past 2012, and that her role as Secretary of State was likely her "last public position." (It might be worth pointing out both Time and Huffington were (and presumably, still are) strong early supporters of Clinton. My point is that even Democrats are thinking it might be to their advantage to dump Obama. And, while I was relatively sure we could've beaten her in '08, I'm not so sure of that today. In retrospect, her indiscretions seem almost innocent after the last 33 months. Ron P. Even if Obama went happily onto the multi-million dollar speaking tour—locking him into the 1%--black voters would assume he was forced out by racists and stay home. ~Bob.)

Some Democrats Wary of Welcoming OWS to the Fold
Excerpt: [T]he new tone and, most notably, the emergence of the populist-fueled Occupy Wall Street movement, have some Democrats worried. They are nervous that the president’s rhetoric will alienate key swing voters, and they’re urging a softer tone that they think hews more closely to moderates' views. The dilemma is an old one for Democrats--as well as Republicans, for that matter. Political parties always have to balance the competing demands of their most fervent base of supporters with their moderate wings. But Democrats face fresh tensions this year because of the perilous state of Obama’s reelection bid and the evident fraying of their coalition, one inherently more dependent on moderates than the GOP coalition. Some Democratic lawmakers are already carefully crafting their own messages, while taking a cautious course with OWS. (…) The president’s populist shift is noteworthy less for its substance — the tax breaks, infrastructure spending, and increased taxes on the wealthy are broadly popular — than for the rhetoric surrounding it. In Obama’s speeches, mixed in with his bottom-line assertions that the math doesn’t add up without extra revenue are populist pleas for “fairness.” (…) But Democrats did not rush to embrace the jobs bill. First, there was widespread hesitancy to get behind it before the president outlined how he proposed to pay for it, even among Democrats from liberal-leaning areas. (I don’t know. Be a great organizing gimmick. “Join the Democrats ‘Crap on a Million Police Cars’ March!” ~Bob.)

The Case For Student Loan Reform, But Not How You Think…
Some interesting ideas here. Ron P. Excerpt: [S]tudent loans should be subject to the same earnings litmus test that applies to other credit, but more strictly. Credit cards, home loans, and other consumer debt limits are typically predicated on your ability to repay that debt. Amex doesn’t hand out black cards to college kids with no income for good reason – they have little ability to repay. Home loans, at least in theory if not in practice, require you to prove income before you can qualify for more home than you can afford. (…) Student loans should be capped at no more than the average annual salary for a student with that degree. If a student is likely to make no more than $32,000 with a degree in social work, they shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate loans of $57,500 or more. (They should only give loans for fields the economy needs to grow: nursing, medicine, engineering, science, technology. Not for “_____studies,” theater, art, law… ~Bob.)

Mexican Drug War Update: The Polarization Continues
Excerpt: While there has been a reshuffling of alliances among Mexican drug cartels since our July cartel update, the trend discussed in the first two updates of the year continues. That is the polarization of cartels and associated sub-groups toward the two largest drug-trafficking organizations, the Sinaloa Federation and Los Zetas. Meanwhile, the three primary conflicts in Mexico’s drug war remain cartel vs. cartel, cartel vs. government and cartel vs. civilians. Operations launched by the military during the second quarter of 2011, primarily against Los Zetas and the Knights Templar, continued through the third quarter as well, and increasing violence in Guerrero, Durango, Veracruz, Coahuila and Jalisco states has resulted in the deployment of more federal troops in those areas. The northern tier of states has seen a lull in violence, from Tijuana in Baja California state to Juarez in Chihuahua state. Violence in that stretch of northern Mexico subsided enough during the third quarter to allow the military to redeploy forces to other trouble spots. In Tamaulipas state, the military remains in charge of law enforcement in most of the cities, and the replacement of entire police departments that occurred in the state during the second quarter was recently duplicated in Veracruz following an outbreak of violence there (large numbers of law enforcement personnel were found to be in collusion with Los Zetas and were subsequently dismissed).

George Will column on Mitt Romney: 'Has conservatism come so far ... for THIS?'
Excerpt: Playbook has a sneak peek at George F. Will's Sunday column, which fires a shot through the growing GOP establishment consensus that Mitt Romney would be an acceptable, electable nominee: Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate: Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the tea party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming. Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’ ... Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for THIS?

The Divider vs. the Thinker: While Obama readies an ugly campaign, Paul Ryan gives a serious account of what ails America.
Excerpt: People are increasingly fearing the divisions within, even the potential coming apart of, our country. Rich/poor, black/white, young/old, red/blue: The things that divide us are not new, yet there's a sense now that the glue that held us together for more than two centuries has thinned and cracked with age. That it was allowed to thin and crack, that the modern era wore it out. What was the glue? A love of country based on a shared knowledge of how and why it began; a broad feeling among our citizens that there was something providential in our beginnings; a gratitude that left us with a sense that we should comport ourselves in a way unlike the other nations of the world, that more was expected of us, and not unjustly—"To whom much is given much is expected"; a general understanding that we were something new in history, a nation founded on ideals and aspirations—liberty, equality—and not mere grunting tribal wants. We were from Europe but would not be European: No formal class structure here, no limits, from the time you touched ground all roads would lead forward. You would be treated not as your father was but as you deserved. That's from "The Killer Angels," a historical novel about the civil war fought to right a wrong the Founders didn't right. We did in time, and at great cost. What a country.

Obama Rakes In Cash From Lobbyists, Enron Executives
Occupy Wall Street, please pick up the courtesy phone. by John Hayward
Excerpt: On Thursday, the New York Times took a look at where President Obama’s mountain of re-election cash is coming from. Guess what they found? Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid. At least 15 of Mr. Obama’s “bundlers” — supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others — are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies. They have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign.

Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable missile
Excerpt: Pakistan's military says it has test-fired a medium-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. An army statement says the missile was fired on Friday. It says the missile, named Hatf-7, has been developed in Pakistan and has a range of 440 miles. (When will Allah whisper in the ear of the guy with a finger on the button? ~Bob.)

Obama: I’ve fulfilled 60% of campaign promises
He says it, the media reports it, that settles it in the public’s mind. ~Bob.

Excerpt: The Washington Post is out with another shot at Marco Rubio. This one, titled “Marco Rubio on national ticket could be risky bet for Republican Party,” focuses on whether or not including Rubio on a national ticket would help the GOP win Hispanic votes. It also notes that, Rubio’s role in recent controversies, including a dispute with the country’s biggest Spanish-language television network and new revelations that he had mischaracterized his family’s immigrant story, shows that any GOP bet on his national appeal could be risky. This makes me wonder if they are giving him the “George Allen treatment” (relentlessly publishing a series of negative articles about a Republican rising star — most of which advance a narrative the Post started in the first place)? Regardless, the Post does make a fair, if obvious, point: Hispanics are not monolithic. It would be wildly naive to assume that simply putting Rubio on the Republican ticket would automatically send Hispanics flocking to the GOP in 2012. But this is a straw man. The assumption that Rubio’s appeal rests solely – or even his primarily — on his ability to attract Hispanic voters is insulting. Rubio is a young, smart, charismatic, and articulate U.S. Senator from a very important swing state.

In Praise of the 'Iron Lady' -- Margaret Thatcher
Excerpt: Margaret Thatcher celebrated her 86th birthday in October. It was a private affair. Yet more than 20 years after her departure from office, the “Iron Lady” remains a titan on the world stage. In fact, she remains such an icon that Meryl Streep will play her in the forthcoming film, “The Iron Lady.” Her successors at No. 10 Downing Street haven’t come close to matching her legacy as Britain’s greatest post-War Prime Minister. Her partnership with Ronald Reagan epitomized Winston Churchill’s description of the Anglo-American relationship as The Special Relationship. In Brussels, she hand-bagged her way to securing Britain’s historic rebate from the European Union. And her international statesmanship was such that the entire world still knows her simply as “the Iron Lady.” When Lady Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979, vast economic and social problems confronted Britain. The previous government had been forced to go, cap-in-hand, to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. She took over from a Labour government so driven deeply by class warfare that its Chancellor, Denis Healey, is famous to this day for saying he would squeeze the rich with extra taxes ‘until the pips squeaked.’ And the pips did squeak–private enterprise shuttered its doors and voted with its feet. As the “winter of discontent” rolled on, with half the country on strike, militant trade unionists had beaten the Callahan government into total submission. Yet in just a decade’s time, Britain would boast a balanced budget, lower taxes, a vibrant middle class, two million new (working class) home owners and a thriving business sector. Margaret Thatcher took Britain from being ‘the sick man of Europe’ to a model of free enterprise. And she did it despite the opposition of many in her own party.

Grand Wizard of the KKK Endorses #OWS – Neo-Nazis Patrol #OccupyPhoenix With AR-15s… Media Silent
But let one Tea Party member get a parking ticket…~Bob.

On Tyranny and Liberty
Excerpt: There’s indeed a lot of petty tyranny going around. The question is, at what point do many little tyrannies add up to Tyranny? Likely voters suggested a troubling answer in an August Rasmussen poll: 69 percent of them said they didn’t think today’s U.S. government enjoys the consent of the governed. And in September, 49 percent of respondents, an unprecedented high, told Gallup pollsters that “the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.”

Excerpt: A House Energy and Commerce Committee panel will vote next week on whether to subpoena the White House for documents on the Solyndra case. Republicans scheduled a business meeting of the committee’s investigative panel for Nov. 3 to vote on a resolution to authorize a White House subpoena. The meeting comes after the White House rejected Republicans’ request for all internal communications related to Solyndra.

Excerpt: Once again, I feel the need to point out that members of the Tea Party never did anything like this. Occupy Madison has temporarily been denied an extension in their protesting permit because members of the movement violated "public health and safety conditions." The group also did not properly fill out the form. City officials cited several specific reasons for their decision. The most notable was repeated complains from a nearby hotel, which stated that protesters were "publicly masturbating" in full view of passersby. The city also cited health violations because the group had "no restrooms," implying that the protesters may have been defecating in public as well.

Halloween and its Discontents
Excerpt: What caused Halloween to become a fall holiday on par with Thanksgiving and Christmas? When did the memo go out? A hundred years ago, when I was a young tike growing up in South Jersey, you wore a thin vacuformed polystyrene spaceman mask that attached to your head with an elastic band, and wore your regular clothes under what seemed like a gray Hefty bag with a NASA logo that tied in the back like a hospital gown, which your parents bought for you at the local Woolworth’s for $4.99 or so.

How To Speak Liberal: 20 Words And Phrases Translated
Excerpt: It was very inspirational because I have to tell you, it’s also pretty tough for most people to figure out what liberals mean sometimes. You think they’re on your side, but they’re not. You believe they’re saying “yes,” but they mean “no.” You think they’re offering you a ride home, and next thing you know, you’re at the bottom of a tidal pool and they’re swimming away.

‘We continue our resistance to full revenge. I am in Libya, alive and free’ – Gaddafi’s son
Excerpt: The son and one-time heir apparent of the late Colonel Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, is still in Libya. He is free and will go on with the resistance, he reportedly claimed in an address to supporters aired by Syria’s Arrai TV Channel.