Sunday, January 1, 2012

Political Digest for January 1, 2012

Happy New Year. Welcome to the decisive year of our "forlorn hope" of reversing American decline. "Once more unto the breech, Dear Friends, once more. Or close up the wall with our...dead."

Our trip north was weather delayed, allowing me to pull a few items for this on-going political education project. Please forward the Digest to those in need.

Also, Happy Birthday to my cough, which started on 12/31/05, though I wasn't diagnosed with "early interstitial fibrosis" until 6/06. Six years together daily. ~Bob.

A visitation for America By Michael Fumento
Excerpt: This holiday season, the American public and economy could benefit from being visited by three ghosts - or at least one politician willing to assume their role as blunt bearers of bad news as well as hope for a brighter future. ... Contrast that with what Americans are routinely told about the economy: that all apparently bad news has a sterling silver lining; that laws of economics somehow don't apply to the United States; and that there's plenty of time to deal with these problems later. All of this is as dangerously false as it is soothing.

Worth reading: 40 Hard Questions That The American People Should Be Asking Right Now
Excerpt: If you spend much time watching the mainstream news, then you know how incredibly vapid it can be. It is amazing how they can spend so much time saying next to nothing. There seems to be a huge reluctance to tackle the tough issues and the hard questions. Perhaps I should be thankful for this, because if the mainstream media was doing their job properly, there would not be a need for the alternative media.

Hackers set to dump intel-analysis firm’s emails
Excerpt: Security analysts are bracing for the release of millions of emails that computer hackers stole from a U.S. intelligence-analysis firm whose clients include federal agencies, large corporations and foreign countries. (We need to start hunting these SOBs down and shooting them. Seriously. ~Bob.)

‘Fast and Furious’ Linked to Immunity Deal Between U.S. and Sinaloa Cartel, Traffickin​g Defendant Alleges in Court Papers
Excerpt: An alleged Mexican drug trafficker awaiting trial in a Chicago federal court claims that the notorious Sinaloa cartel received weapons from “Operation Fast and Furious” under an alleged immunity agreement that the U.S. government made with cartel leaders, in exchange for information on rival gangs.

California high court puts redevelopment agencies out of business
Excerpt: The California Supreme Court threw hundreds of redevelopment agencies out of business in a ruling that will benefit state budget coffers but hobble local economic development and housing programs. The court ruled unanimously in favor of a state law passed last summer that abolished redevelopment agencies and voted 6 to 1 to strike down a companion measure that would have allowed the agencies to continue if they shared their revenues.

Excerpt: Only three groups of Americans delineated by Pew (liberal Democrats, blacks, and those aged 18-29) had net positive reactions to socialism. But two of those groups (liberal Democrats and those aged 18-29) showed strong growth in their support for socialism. (None of them can name a non-capitalist country where they would rather live. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: One of the more insane claims in Ron Paul’s newsletters was that the Israelis were behind the WTC bombings in 1993: Whether [the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little. This claim is of course so ridiculous and absurd that even Paul has to protect himself by claiming that “a Jewish friend” told him about it. What a handy rhetorical device! If only Paul had had the foresight to couch all his racist remarks in the newsletters in this way, he wouldn’t have any problems right now! “As a black friend of mine once told me, 95% of all black people in DC are criminal or semi-criminal.” See how effective that is?

Buy the vote? Paying cash for recall names targeted
Excerpt: A Republican state lawmaker in Wisconsin, a state torn asunder in the last year by the fight between conservative and left-leaning interests over the state budget and its fiscal future, says he is surprised that anyone would oppose his legislation that would make it illegal to buy signatures for a recall petition. But Rep. Evan Wynn told WND today he's already getting pushback against his plan. One position he encountered was that the left-leaning commenter wanted "chaos" to reign until his political favorites were back in control in the state. Wynn told WND he believes the legislation is needed because his constituents have reported being offered money for their signatures on a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Ugly picture. ~Bob Excerpt: A video given to the BBC shows the extent of the injuries suffered by a 15 year-old Afghan child bride who was locked up and tortured by her husband.
The girl was left starving after being detained by him and his family for several months.

No Country Leans on Upper-Income Households as Much as U.S. by Scott A. Hodge
Excerpt: During my recent testimony before the Senate Budget Committee (found here), I cited an OECD statistic that the U.S. has the most progressive income tax system among industrialized nations.[1] This prompted one Senator to point out that if the richest 10% of taxpayers earn the most of any OECD country, shouldn't it make sense that they bear the largest tax burden of any country? The answer can be found in the OECD table below. This table shows the share of taxes paid by the richest 10 percent of households, the share of all market income earned by that group, and the ratio of what that 10 percent of households pays in taxes versus what they earn as a share of the nation's income. Older piece just brought to my attention. Don't confuse me. I know I'm paying too much and YOU aren't paying your fair share. I'm going to vote for someone who promises to make YOU pay more and me less. ~Bob.)

Honor Killing: Christian Convert Mother of Three (Month-Old Baby, 2-year-old and 9-year-old) Brutally Murdered by Muslim Boyfriend on Christmas day
Excerpt: Christian convert mom of three, Ruby Love, was murdered and dumped in a canal on Christmas day by her Muslim boyfriend. It sickens the soul, the spike in Christian killing by Muslims on and around Christmas day. As a tribute, her mother has painted a white cross on Miss Love’s front door under the words: "Ruby’s Angel House." The family had converted to Christianity and changed their surname from Malik.

Video: Des Moines coffee-shop owner evicts Occupy protesters; ‘You’re not allowed to ever come back’
Excerpt: On Friday morning before a planned event appearance by Newt Gingrich, some members of "Occupy Iowa" made a stop at Java Joe's, a coffee shop here that MSNBC has been broadcasting from. The protesters didn't get far before the owner of the shop gave them the boot. About four or five Occupiers stood chanting in the middle of the crowded coffee shop before they were told to leave. (We can't have the police beating the Occupy Weenies. That's a job we should be doing ourselves. ~Bob.)

Egypt's Winds of Change Give Way to Dark Clouds
Excerpt: As President Hosni Mubarak's regime fell in Egypt, some feared that radical Islamists were poised to take over the state and the country. This opinion was not shared in America by leading voices in government and the media, where pundit after politician confidently asserted that the Muslim Brotherhood, the dominant Islamist organization in Egypt, did not enjoy that sort of widespread public support. This certainty started at the top, as President Obama told Bill O'Reilly, "I think the Muslim Brotherhood is one faction in Egypt. They don't have majority support in Egypt."

Philly Councilwoman Will ‘Retire’ For One Day, Collect A $478k Pension, And Return On Monday
Excerpt: Marion B. Tasco, who has been described as being “politically savvy,” will retire from her sixth term as councilwoman, collect $478,057, and then be sworn in on Monday to serve her seventh term, Catherine Lucy and Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News. (I hope this isn't starting a trend Won't see it happening in the private sector..- Jerry. And they wonder why we hate public employees and unions and politicians, all gaming the system. ~Bob.)

Whenever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn people. - Heinrich Heine

2012 American leadership will reap what they've sown
Excerpt: No longer able to keep the lids on the countless boiling political pots, rumors swirl that change is coming to leadership at the highest level of Washington political circles.

China unveils ambitious plan for space exploration
Excerpt: China says its military-run space program will be used for peaceful purposes. But its activities have set off controversy in the past, like when it shot down one of its dead satellites in 2007, for example. That move alarmed some officials in the United States and other countries and raised concerns about the militarization of the space race. Some experts say a critical gap in Chinese-U.S. space relations is the absence of regularized talks on space security, which took place between Washington and Moscow during the Cold War. (The real message here is if you want to visit the Moon or Mars, learn to speak Chinese. Ron P. No, the message is that if you want to do business or trade with Japan or Korea or Taiwan in 20 years, learn to speak Chinese. They will militarize space, and we can do nothing. ~Bob.)
Excerpt: Two hundred miles off the coast of Texas, ribbons of pipe are reaching for oil and natural gas deeper below the ocean’s surface than ever before.
These pipes, which run nearly two miles deep, are connected to a floating Shell platform that is so remote they named it Perdido, which means “lost” in Spanish.

$11,700 Worth of Snow Cone Machines Will Help Defeat Terrorism
Excerpt: While the Pentagon sets about distributing old grenade launchers, armored tanks, and other gear to help towns across America fight Osama bin Laden, a homeland security program in Michigan is approaching the war on terror in a less militarizing, more taste bud-satisfying (and low-fat) way: By arming counties with snow cone machines. The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, which manages homeland security operations, um, along the western Michigan shoreline, recently gave snow cone machines costing $11,700 to 13 counties under its jurisdiction.

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