Monday, January 2, 2012

Political Digest for January 2, 2012

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. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

Must Read: Repo Men By Kevin D. Williamson
Excerpt: Not far from Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street was fragrantly encamped, I noticed a young man wandering into a store to buy a pack of cigarettes on a bright Saturday morning, wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a $237,000 Vacheron-Constantin watch. In a world of $600,000 cars (consult your local Maybach dealer) and $4,300-a-night whores (consult Eliot Spitzer), it’s no big deal to buy a president, which is precisely what Wall Street did in 2008 when, led by investment giant Goldman Sachs, it closed the deal on Barack Obama.

The Spenders Won 2011 -- Republican​s fell for Obama's backroom budget trap.
Excerpt: Amid this month's payroll tax fracas, few noticed that Congress passed a 1,200-page, $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2012. Maybe no one in Washington boasted because it's a victory for spending as usual. Republicans—in the House and Senate—need a better strategy. The news is that after accounting for last-minute unemployment insurance extensions, "emergency" spending and higher Medicare physician payments, total federal outlays are estimated to be $3.65 trillion in fiscal 2012, up slightly from $3.6 trillion in 2011. The last year has seen no major reforms in any of the big entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Spending on food stamps alone is scheduled to reach $80 billion in 2012, more than double the amount as recently as 2007. (And the fiscal collapse looms closer. ~Bob.)

Getting the year off to a good start
Excerpt: It always helps to review the topics discussed here, as doing so always provides an educational opportunity for everyone. Given we are starting a whole new year of bringing the science to people who have doubts about the veracity of some claims in climate science, this seemed like a good opportunity to run this excellent global warming primer video from Warren Meyer who runs It is well worth your time to watch, and it is edited for the layman with some real-world examples to help explain concepts. (Some people’s security settings won’t allow the video to play. There are instructions on how to adjust your settings temporarily (don't forget to put them back when finished) in the article, and, one of the comments posted includes this Direct Link: . Also, please be aware that at the end of the video, the narrator advocates a “carbon tax” that he’s just destroyed the justification for, a bit of a mixed message. Ron P.)
Excerpt: The United States Navy has a history of honoring American heroes, and revered places in American history. ... This long honorable tradition has recently been trashed by the decision of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to christen a new APD (Transport Dock Ship) the USS John P. Murtha. John Murtha was a former Marine who late in life saw fit to trash Marines in the most incendiary of ways.

Obama’s vacation home in Hawaii
nice pictures that 99% of us can never afford. ~Bob.

Security depends not so much upon how much you have, as upon how much you can do without. --Joseph Wood Krutch

All socialism involves slavery. That which fundamentally distinguishes the slave is that he labours under coercion to satisfy another's desires. --Herbert Spencer

Our Growing Police State
Excerpt: With the fall of the Soviet Empire, instead of the "end of history", the world was fragmented into dysfunctional states and many of the same pawns used during the Cold War turned their hands towards criminal operations. The drug wars became the new front for law enforcement. Sometimes the gangs were as well or better equipped than the police. (While I’m not in any great rush to do away with the laws that have kept us safe from many domestic attacks—we can’t count on terrorists being incompetent forever and they have to get lucky sometime—I have to admit some of the points in this thought-provoking article are unsettling. Especially the thought of “special police” from agencies like EPA. Ron P.)

Tax Cuts, Less-Intrusive Gov't Help Canada Soar
Excerpt: The Obama administration and its economic czars have flailed about for years, baffled about how to get the U.S. economy growing. In reality, the president need look no further than our neighbor, Canada, whose solid growth is the product of tax cuts, fiscal discipline, free trade, and energy development. That's made Canada a roaring puma nation, while its supposedly more powerful southern neighbor stands on the outside looking in. (When I was a child, a friend of my father’s gave me a Canadian dollar bill. My father told me to save it as it was worth about $1.20 US at the time (about 1951 or 2). On my first trip to Canada in the 1970s, their dollar was worth about 77 or 78 cents US. On my most recent trip north in 2003, I think I remember it being worth about 80 cents. The current exchange rate is $1.03 US to $1 Canadian. Most of that change has come within the last two years. How did Canada get to be more “American” than America? They turned toward some things we’ve turned our backs on: free markets and smaller government. That prescription almost always seems to work when applied vigorously. We should try it, sometime. If only they had a Florida.... Ron P. I hear they are trying to buy Florida from China....~Bob.)

Holder's Race-Baiting is about Obama's Re-Election, Not Voting Rights
Excerpt: The clearest example of this trend is through voter-ID laws. In 2008 the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s landmark law requiring citizens to show that they are the person they claim to be by showing government-issued ID before casting a ballot. But to ensure that those without driver’s licenses or passports are not disenfranchised, Indiana provides free ID’s to everyone who applies for one. The Court upheld this law, with the primary opinion written by no one less than liberal lion Justice John Paul Stevens.

Political Correctness - Our Titanic
Excerpt: Pandering will sink us, will weaken our foundations and our unique culture; a culture of tolerance yet of logic, of equality but also of independence. It is our behavior (and not our thoughts) that should be the real issue. How we treat each other, whether we abuse or respect each other, whether we acknowledge all people with equality and fairness. That is the American way. It is not the American way to become more like Saudi Arabia or Iran. There they have public dress codes, Shariah law and other niceties like stonings, beheadings and honor killings. Ours is a modern society based on humanistic behavior, on accommodating the individual - not serving the Sheik, the Imam, the police or local thugs.

The Number One Catastrophic Event That Americans Worry About: Economic Collapse
Excerpt: Can you guess what the number one catastrophic event that Americans worry about is? There are certainly many to choose from. Many Americans are deathly afraid of a major terrorist attack. Others live in constant fear of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes. Still others are incredibly concerned that a massive pandemic will break out at any time or that World War III will erupt in the Middle East. Yes, there are certainly a lot of potential catastrophic events that one can worry about in the times in which we live, but the number one catastrophic event that Americans worry about is actually "economic collapse". (Kinda a doom and gloom blog I shy away from, but facts are facts... He points out the obvious ones while your book better defines the inevitable pain we suffer if we continue to ignore our responsibilities to our children's future. -Chris)

2011 - Not the Best Year for America by Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
Excerpt: This year was not a good year for America, for freedom, for democracy, for law and order. We watched the accelerated disintegration and reshaping of every local, state, and federal institution to the detriment of the American people.

Prezes don’t win by dividing the pie By Michael Barone
Excerpt: ‘A 2008 election widely regarded as heralding a shift toward the more government-friendly public sentiment of the New Deal and Great Society eras seems to have yielded just the reverse.” So writes William Galston, Brookings Institution scholar and adviser in the Clinton White House, in The New Republic. Galston, has strong evidence for this conclusion. He cites a recent Gallup poll showing that while 82 percent of Americans think it’s extremely or very important to “grow and expand the economy” and 70 percent say it’s similarly important to “increase equality of opportunity for people to get ahead,” only 46 percent say it’s important to “reduce the income and wealth gap between the rich and the poor,” and 54 percent say this is only somewhat or not important.
Excerpt: Being gay in the Middle East is taboo. Crackdowns in Arab countries against homosexuals is common and swift, with many countries employing the death penalty against convicted homosexuals. Now, a new report published by Identity, a gay magazine in Kenya, reveals that gay Kenyan men are being trafficked into the Gulf as sex slaves for the wealthy.

Shocker: San Fran-area Muslim Community Association's "authentic" books on Islam preach brutality, intolerance, and jihad warfare
Excerpt: You might think Islam in the Silicon Valley would be extra progressive and tolerant. In this prominent case of "one of the largest Muslim communities in the US," you'd think wrong. Remember how often our comment-box apologists tell us they've never heard of the books discussed below, or that we're cherry-picking one or two titles to tar Islam with one broad brush. Is the MCA cherry-picking titles to give Islam a bad name?

Iran reports nuclear progress as sanctions loom
Excerpt: Iran announced a nuclear fuel breakthrough and test-fired a new radar-evading medium-range missile in the Gulf on Sunday, moves that could further antagonize the West at a time when Tehran is trying to avert harsh new sanctions on its oil industry.

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