Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Political Digest for January 10, 2012

Know someone looking for a job? Or someone who just got a job and needs to keep it? My articles below might help. At least, the price is right! ~Bob.

Resume Rewrites

The Indispensable Employee

Pressure mounting on Romney
Excerpt: Less than 36 hours separate Mitt Romney from what is supposed to be his campaign coup de grace: the New Hampshire primary. But with pitfalls presenting themselves in seemingly every direction, the pressure on the front-runner is rapidly intensifying. The former Massachusetts governor went to bed in New Hampshire on Saturday having ticked off yet another debate with barely a scratch. His fortune didn’t continue on Sunday morning, when in another debate, his five rivals piled on with feverish intensity.

Vast Web Of Federal Regulation Causing Drug Shortages
Excerpt: The number of prescription drug shortages shot up to a record 267 in 2011, nearly four times the level of just seven years ago, a new report says. It's a shortage made in Washington. The number of drug shortages rose by 56 in 2011 from 211 in 2010, according to a study by the University of Utah Drug Information Service. As recently as 2004, just 58 drugs were in short supply.

A shale gas revolution? MIT report shows prosperous shale gas market could hurt future R&D, if we let it. By Vicki Ekstrom
Excerpt: Shale gas — a resource that has grown significantly in just the last few years to one-quarter of the domestic gas supply — is cheaper and involves fewer emissions than traditional coal or oil. But recent environmental concerns, combined with shale gas's important role in the global economy, have prompted the Obama administration and MIT researchers to investigate the resource and its potential impacts. “People speak of [natural] gas as a bridge to the future, but there had better be something at the other end of the bridge,” Henry Jacoby, co-director emeritus of MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, said earlier this year after co-authoring a report by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) on The Future of Natural Gas.

Tracking the Unreported (15.6%) Unemployed By Aparna Mathur & Matt Jensen
Excerpt: President Barack Obama took office in January 2009 after having campaigned on the broad promise of "hope" and "change." However, to stay in office, there is one thing President Obama should hope for: an improvement in the employment picture before the 2012 elections. The last three years have seen some of the highest unemployment rates reported since the Great Depression. The official rate moved from 5 percent in January 2008 to a high of 10.1 percent in October 2009, and a current rate of 8.6 percent. It rests 3 points above the 1948-2007 average of 5.6 percent. Unfortunately, the reality is even worse than these numbers suggest.

Federal immigration enforcement is mandatory, memo says
Excerpt: A recently released memo says that the Secure Communities program will become mandatory by 2013; states and some counties had been told they could opt out.

Can America Defend Itself?
Excerpt: The Iranian threat yet again finds itself on the front page of America's newspapers this morning, this time with news that the rogue regime has sentenced a U.S. citizen to death for working for the CIA and that it has started refining uranium deep inside a mountain bunker. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is launching a week-long trip through South America in order to bolster ties with his allies in the region in hopes of strengthening the country's challenge to the United States. This news comes just after a series of Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz--a provocative move that would cut off a quarter of the world's energy supply and wreak havoc on the global economy. Of course, on top of this verbal threat, Iran is continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons despite an uproar from the international community.

Gun control kills jobs: Stimulate the economy by repealing pointless firearms restrictions
Excerpt: Ever since Barack Obama was sworn in as president, the economy has misfired. Jobs remain scarce and the market has yet to recover the value it had prior to the 2007 crash. Though Mr. Obama's policies have unintentionally given a major boost to an industry he hates - firearms - even this one bright spot hasn't necessarily translated into new employment. Take Sturm Ruger Co., one of the few publicly traded U.S. gunmakers. Anyone who happened to invest $100 in the firm's stock on Mr. Obama's Inauguration Day would have about $532 today.

NAACP Plantation Masters Play Race Card Again by Star Parker
Excerpt: Rick Santorum must be “racist” because he thinks all people, regardless of ethnicity, should have the dignity of self sufficiency. At least that’s how the NAACP sees it. (Anyone running against Obama will be branded “racist.” Thankfully, they have played that card so often it is losing its power. ~Bob.)

Iran nuke work at bunker is confirmed
Excerpt: Diplomats on Monday confirmed a report that Iran has begun uranium enrichment at an underground bunker and said the news is particularly worrying because the site is being used to make material that can be upgraded more quickly for use in a nuclear weapon than the nation's main enriched stockpile. The diplomats said that centrifuges at the Fordo site near Iran's holy city of Qom are churning out uranium enriched to 20 percent. That level is higher than the 3.5 percent being made at Iran's main enrichment plant and can be turned into fissile warhead material faster and with less work.

Russian, French warships off Syria, Iran, US drones over Iranian coast
Excerpt: US, Russian French and British air and naval forces streamed to the Syrian and Iranian coasts over the weekend on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints. The Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov anchored earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port on the Mediterranean Sunday, Jan. 8, arriving together with the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and frigate Yaroslav Mudry. To counter this movement, France consigned an air defense destroyer Forbin to the waters off Tartus.

Iran Able to Block Strait of Hormuz, General Dempsey Says
Excerpt: Iran has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz “for a period of time,” and the U.S. would take action to reopen it, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey said. “They’ve invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormuz,” Dempsey said in an interview aired yesterday on the CBS “Face the Nation” program. “We’ve invested in capabilities to ensure that if that happens, we can defeat that.”

US will respond if Iran blocks Strait: Panetta
Excerpt: The United States will respond if Iran tries to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Sunday, saying such a move would cross a "red line." "We made very clear that the United States will not tolerate the blocking of the Straits of Hormuz," Panetta told CBS television. "That's another red line for us and that we will respond to them."

Iran sentences American man to death in CIA case
Excerpt: An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death, state radio reported Monday, in a case adding to the accelerating tension between the United States and Iran. Iran charges that as a former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission.

Incompetence in Federal Homeland Security Contracts in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Excerpt: Project Shield was supposed to make citizens safer. But in the end, the $45-million Homeland Security program more resembled a disaster, wasting taxpayers’ dollars and failing to make a single citizen more secure. The failed Cook County initiative was replete with equipment that failed to work, missing records and untrained first responders according to a report by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Incompetence and waste right here in Cook County? I can’t believe it. ~Bob.)

GOP field looks south
Excerpt: Even as most of the Republican presidential hopefuls hustle through town halls and diners ahead of Tuesday’s primary here, a consensus is emerging among the campaigns that South Carolina will serve as the great clarifier. That’s where it will become clear that either Mitt Romney is on an inexorable path to the nomination or this process will take some time and the Republican Party’s conservative base isn’t quite ready to accept the once-moderate Massachusetts governor.

Muslim Gangs Drug and Rape Children All Over The UK
Excerpt: Britain finally starts to wake up to the Islamic horror on its soil:

Swiss pharma giant Novartis recalls drugs in US
Excerpt: Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis said Sunday it was recalling four different products sold over the counter in the United States over reports of a malfunction at one of its plants. The affected drugs are Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention, Novartis Consumer Health (NCH) said in a statement.

Excerpt: With a dismal record of achievement and forced to accept the bitter harvest of their failed economic and foreign policies, no one should be surprised that Team Obama and the Democrats in Congress are running scared. Nor are the Democrats’ fears irrational. With an historical supermajority in the House and the Senate, Team Obama and Democrats pushed their pet, progressive ideas with a vengeance, spending and borrowing. … With ACORN gone and unable to produce the loyal legions of fraudulent voters, there’s a good chance that Team Obama may “pull a Putin.”

As Predicted, Obama Administration Backs Off Medicare Anti-Fraud Efforts by Michael F. Cannon
Excerpt: Medicare and Medicaid are rife with fraud. We’re talking 10 percent or more of total spending, which is two orders of magnitude more than what credit card companies tolerate. In a recent article, I explained a couple of ways such fraud occurs:

Islamic Militants in Gaza: Allah's Teachings Are the Fire with Which "We Harvest the Skulls of the Jews"; "We Move Closer to Allah through Blood, Body Parts, and Martyrs"
Excerpt: Allah's prayers upon you, our beloved Prophet [Muhammad]. You have made your teachings into constitutions for us – the light with which we dissipate the darkness of the occupation, and the fire with which we harvest the skulls of the Jews.
[…] Yes, our beloved brothers, even though the entire world moves closer to Allah through fasting, through hunger, and through tears, we are a people that moves closer to Allah through blood, through body parts, and through martyrs. (Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. ~Bob.)

Saudis laud credit card hacking scheme
excerpt: Scheme widely reported in Saudi-Arabia as web surfers welcome damage caused to Israelis. 'Jews are the most despicable, Hitler was right,' one talkbacker says. Saudi web surfers expressed glee Tuesday over the credit card scheme which exposed the account details of tens of thousands of Israelis. "If I were a hacker I would wish for 800,000 credit cards to be leaked, not just 400,000," one Saudi talkbacker wrote. "It's allowed when it concerns Jews," others said.

New federal consumer-protection agency shops for $100,000 scheduler
Excerpt: It’s nice work if you can get it. The federal government is prepared to pay up to $102,900 per year in salary for an “invitations coordinator” at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Excerpt: Labor unions continued to receive the overwhelming majority of waivers from the president’s health care reform law since the Obama administration tightened application rules last summer. Documents released in a classic Friday afternoon news dump show that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.

Excerpt: Let’s suppose, having just won Iowa, Mitt Romney goes on to win New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries (this is not an impossible scenario). Romney would have, at that point, won just 37 of the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination. Psychologically, he would be perceived as unstoppable. But mathematically, not so much.

They’re Not Waiting: Keystone Delay Could Send American Jobs & Energy to China Posted by Don Seymour
Every day that President Obama delays action on the extension of the Keystone XL energy pipeline causes more uncertainty and puts the creation of thousands of new American jobs in jeopardy. Because of the Obama administration’s delay, the Wall Street Journal says Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has “ratcheted up support for the idea of transporting some of Canada's growing oil production westward” instead of south through the U.S. Harper “stepped up his support for a pipeline to access Asian buyers since U.S. President Barack Obama put the Keystone project on hold,” according to the Toronto Star.

25-year-old man arrested by feds in Fla. bomb plot
Excerpt: A 25-year-old man from the former Yugoslavia was charged with an alleged plot to attack crowded locations in the Tampa area, including night clubs, with a car bomb, assault rifle and other explosives, federal authorities said Monday. … "According to the complaint, Osmakac immediately shook his head in the negative and stated, `We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?' " the press release stated. (Notice how the story doesn’t mention the “Religion of Peace” until the last sentence? And why not say what country he’s from now, rather than his former country? Might is be an Islamic country now? ~Bob.)

Obamacare Waiver Tally: 543,812 for Union Members, 69,813 for Private Employees by Wynton Hall
Excerpt: In the battle to dodge Obamacare’s costly requirements, Big Labor–one of President Obama’s biggest backers and a strong support of Mr. Obama’s healthcare overhaul–is winning. Big time.

Tweet: @iowahawkblog David Burge
What consenting adults choose to screw in their light sockets is their own business.

New Huntsman Ad

Occupy DC prepares for massive January rally
Excerpt: The upcoming Occupy Congress protest is shaping up to be one of the largest demonstrations Occupy DC has produced, but that doesn't mean protesters are planning to play by the rules. District and federal authorities have asked Occupy Congress organizers to file applications for four separate permits for the Jan. 17 event, which participants say could draw thousands to the District to protest money in politics on the day Congress returns to work.

Excerpt: Contrary to popular opinion, the enormous national debt crisis we find ourselves in is not due to an escalation in military spending, but is a direct result in the steady increase in entitlement spending. The disagreement over the cause of the debt exists not only between the Democrats and Republicans, but it also creates a painful and unnecessary rift between conservatives and our libertarian friends.

Confronting Bias and Fixation at the New York Times
Excerpt: As one of your predecessors once pointed out, the Times is a liberal newspaper. We understand that and have been documenting the often irrational and cynical ways in which left-wing groups have targeted us. But if the Times is going to take part in that bandwagon and go to lengths so far afield from legitimate news coverage, then it ought to have the integrity to acknowledge it.

No, not me. ~Bob. Excerpt: During a breakfast with supporters on Monday at a sprawling estate, a woman named Linda Teagan of Conway told the candidate while he took questions that before moving to the Granite State, she was a Massachusetts legislator while Romney was governor. She said not “enough people here understand Romney’s gun control and his support of an assault weapons ban.” “Because I was in the Massachusetts Legislature and voted against that assault weapons ban and took a lot of grief for it,” Teagan said. “Romney was in support of it.”

Worth Reading: The Redistributionist Behemoth By George Will
Excerpt: Liberals have a rendezvous with regret. Their largest achievement is today's redistributionist government. But such government is inherently regressive: It tends to distribute power and money to the strong, including itself. Government becomes big by having big ambitions for supplanting markets as society's primary allocator of wealth and opportunity. Therefore it becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage.

Idaho Couple Challenges Power of EPA to Say They Can't Build Home on Their Own Land
Excerpt: In 2005, Michael and Chantell Sackett were working toward what many American families work toward, their own home on their own land, until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) halted their plans by declaring it a “wetland.” On Monday, Jan. 9, the Sacketts and their attorneys will ask the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to not only restore the right to use their own land – but to break the absolute power the EPA has over protected wetlands.

Smart or Stupid test
Variety of knowledge. I scored 26, 46% above average. Tough test. ~Bob.

The Top 5 Reasons Obama Must Be Removed as Commander-in-Chief By Stella Paul
Excerpt: Obama recently signed a mysterious new law that proclaims all American soil is a "battleground," thereby allowing the president to indefinitely detain any American citizen without charges. Critics fear Obama will use his fun new unconstitutional powers to make his political enemies disappear, but that may not be necessary. The way things are going, most patriotic Americans will soon be six feet under, felled by apoplectic strokes brought on by reading the latest outrage committed by our "Commander in Chief." He may not have a limit to what he'll inflict; but our collective blood pressure may have a limit to what we can bear.

Marine Brothers: Siblings Serving Together In Afghanistan
Just in case you missed 60 Minutes last night, here is the video of the story they ran about five sets of brothers serving together in the same battalion in Afghanistan. Most people will either not notice or not care at the display of emotion shown by Major Wood when recalling his state of mind when the MRAP was hit by an IED. MasterGuns

William Daley to step down as White House chief of staff
Excerpt: White House Chief of Staff William Daley is stepping down from his post, according to a senior administration official. 

Maggie's Magic Came from her Contempt for Complacent Men - Boris Johnson, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: The Iron Lady is the most important political film for years. Nothing and no one has done more, in the 22 years since she was kicked out of office, to rehabilitate Margaret Thatcher. As anyone who has been on the BBC’s Question Time will know, you only have to mention her name and you will come under a fusillade of boos. Not any more, I suspect; or not so much - not after this film.

Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: A Harvard trained physician, Krauthammer switched to political commentary two decades ago. In Washington he migrated from the left to the right, from a Walter Mondale aide to a defender of conservative common sense. He also picked up a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for distinguished commentary. When former president Bill Clinton called Krauthammer “a brilliant man” during a 2010 press conference, Krauthammer quipped that ”my career is done … I’m toast.”

Mark Steyn: Politics Trumps Left's Empathy - Orange County Register
Excerpt: Lest you doubt that we're headed for the most vicious election year in memory, consider the determined effort, within 10 minutes of his triumph in Iowa, to weirdify Rick Santorum. Discussing the surging senator on Fox News, Alan Colmes mused on some of the "crazy things" he's said and done. Santorum has certainly said and done many crazy things, as have most members of America's political class, but the "crazy thing" Colmes chose to focus on was Santorum's "taking his two-hour-old baby when it died right after childbirth home," whereupon he "played with it." My National Review colleague Rich Lowry rightly slapped down Alan on air, and Colmes subsequently apologized, though not before Mrs. Santorum had been reduced to tears by his remarks.

The Debt Generation
Great youth vote video. Please share. ~Bob.

Conrad Black: Vindication for the Iron Lady - National Post
Excerpt: Though it is probably happening too late to be overly gratifying to her, events are piling on to vindicate Margaret Thatcher completely in her reservations about British integration in Europe. Her response to the proposal to reduce Britain to a local government in a federal Europe was, memorably: “No, no, no, and never.” And her reward for her refusal to get on board what was then the thundering bandwagon of Eurofederalism, was to be sent packing by her own ungrateful party, though she was the only British political leader who had won three consecutive, full-term election majorities since before the First Reform Act expanded the electorate in 1832. (Churchill was loudly inveighing against joining the EU when he went into hospital for the last time, if memory serves. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Just as the conservative movement finally has the first real chance since Ronald Reagan to see one of its own — a “full-spectrum conservative,” as Rick Santorum now calls himself, picking up the phrase from Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) — win the Republican presidential nomination, the purists emerge to say he’s somehow not conservative enough.

Romney Derangement Syndrome: His GOP adversaries are criticizing private-sector success. By Avik Roy
Excerpt: A number of commentators have been remarking on how rarely Mitt Romney gets attacked by his opponents in the GOP debates. What’s even more remarkable is what the other candidates are attacking Romney for. Instead of calling Romney to account for his health-policy mistakes, they’re going after him for his . . . successful business career?

OWS in Crisis: Occupying is so last year. By Charles C. W. Cooke
Excerpt: Occupy Wall Street is wandering in the desert. This much was made clear on New Year’s Day. Sitting at the airport in London waiting for my flight back to America, I watched a stream of hysterical tweets from OWS’s Twitter account. They described the attempted “reoccupation” of New York City in terms usually reserved for genuine crises. It was 4 a.m. on the East Coast, and the occupiers were in the midst of an attempt to grab the first headlines of 2012 — ostensibly by encouraging their members to get themselves arrested, which is apparently the new metric of revolutionary success.

 Excerpt: It is not surprising how little foreign policy comes up in the debates, given the sorry state of the economy. But the entire idea of Obama’s outreach/reset diplomacy is now starting to Carterize, circa 1979/80, and in part reflects the vast trillions borrowed of the last three years that sent the debt to $16 trillion and weakened the U.S. presence abroad. The sudden spike in violence in Iraq bodes ill, especially given the contrast that not a single U.S. solder was lost in our last month of deployment and the country was largely quiet. 

Critics claim MSNBC has ‘suspended’ Pat Buchanan: Activists condemned beliefs of onetime presidential candidate
Excerpt: Excerpt: An activist group whose leaders object to the beliefs of Pat Buchanan, a senior adviser to three American presidents, a candidate for the Republican nomination in 1992 and 1996, and the Reform Party’s presidential candidate in 2000, is announcing victory in its campaign to have the author of multiple best-selling books removed from MSNBC. “ColorOfChange.org welcomes MSNBC’s decision to indefinitely supend (sic) Pat Buchanan,” ColorOfChange.org Executive Director Rashad Robinson posted in an online statement.

21 Percent of Dems Have Left Party By Dick Morris
Excerpt: According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, 21 percent of Democrats have abandoned the Party since Obama’s election as president. That’s more than one in five. While most have become Independents, identification with the Republican Party has also risen not only since 2008 but also even since the GOP’s 2010 victory. (Maybe the beer ran out. Folks will leave a party with no beer. ~Bob.)

Next ice age not likely before 1,500 years: study
Excerpt: High levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere mean the next ice age is unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years, an article in the journal Nature Geoscience said on Monday. Concentrations of the main gases blamed for global warming reached record levels in 2010 and will linger in the atmosphere for decades even if the world stopped pumping out emissions today, according to the U.N.'s weather agency.

"As an Independent, I support Newt Gingrich for president because he has a proven record of getting things done..." - Todd Palin

Beyond smoke and mirrors: the middle ground
Excerpt: California has this “Million Solar Roofs” program, ($2.1 billion in state subsidies). For 15 to 20 percent of the cost, I could eliminate twice as much CO2 emissions by simply converting the Four Corners coal-fired power plant from coal to natural gas. That doesn’t say don’t use any solar. But it does say let’s do things that can have a big impact now, and let’s give credit for it. The mandate to utilities should be to reduce emissions. It shouldn’t be to use certain technologies. (This is a group of reviews and an interview with Nobel Laureate (Physics) Burton Richter about his new book titled Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: the Middle Ground. Noted climate scientist Judith Curry, PhD posted it at her site. Like her, I haven’t yet read it, but very few works get positive reviews from both skeptics and warmers, so there is probably some good sense in it. Ron P.)

Bill Daley OUT – Time for a look back at what Insider told us way back when
Excerpt: …In the Obama White House, you have the Oval Office, and you have Jarrett’s office on the second floor. That second floor office has been where the real power has resided. That is no exaggeration. Jarrett has people around the Oval Office who report back to her. Everything. She sets the agenda and that agenda is sent directly to the president, who more often than not, never questions it. And as Jarrett assumed more control over the day to day operations of the West Wing, the president happily backed away. He had little interest in policy. He had even less interest in the work to form that policy. As long as he “looks good” – that’s all that matters to him, right? I know I’m repeating myself a bit here, but I’m getting to it. (I’ve not much faith in unnamed sources, but some interesting comments here. ~Bob.)

The Week That Was: 2012-1-07 (January 7, 2012)
Excerpt: The latest EPA effort to skin the cat are the new Mercury and Air Toxics rules (Utility MACT) announced just before Christmas. These include the double and triple accounting as the prior rules but also include the supposed benefits of reduction in mercury. And herein is the tale of two islands. (As usual, the excerpt is from Ken Haapala’s summary. The article he refers to in the excerpt is a valuable reminder of proper scientific process to produce valid results. Ron P.)

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