Monday, January 2, 2012

Political Digest for January 3, 2012

EEOC: High school diploma requirement might violate Americans with Disabilities Act By Dave Boyer
Excerpt: Employers are facing more uncertainty in the wake of a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warning them that requiring a high school diploma from a job applicant might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The development also has some wondering whether the agency’s advice will result in an educational backlash by creating less of an incentive for some high school students to graduate. (So, does requiring a pilot's license to fly a plane or a driver's license to drive a car not thus show discrimination? Come the revolution, bureaucrats will be dangling from lamp posts, I fear. ~Bob.)

2012 - The Year the Can Kicks Back
Excerpt: Obama needs to understand that it is not the “color of his skin” that causes problems with the American people, but, rather, the “content of his character”, that leads him to disrespect the first principles that have made this the greatest nation on this earth, that causes the push-back from many Americans. No other President in American history has been so determined to avoid pressing issues, to delay until tomorrow the unpleasant, and heap the costs and bills to be paid on the next generation--all because Obama is not able to summon the leadership required.

U-T Person of the Year: The U.S. Marine
Excerpt: Today, the U-T launches a new tradition. Each Jan. 1, we will honor the Person of the Year, an individual or category of individuals with San Diego ties. We can think of no better way to begin this tradition than by selecting as our first winner the Marine. Since Sept. 11, 2001, America has relied on the Marine to keep us safe from terror at home and to take the fight to our enemies abroad, a task our Marines have handled with immense courage, professionalism and honor. (Really? Since Sept. 11, 2001? And all this time I mistakenly thought it was from November 10, 1775. --MasterGuns)

Tens of Millions Spent to Target Newt Gingrich
Excerpt: On the cusp of the Iowa caucuses, well-funded so-called super PACs are using the political clout given to them by the nation's highest court in an unprecedented tour de financial force. Data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics indicates 264 super PACs have raised more than $32 million and spent almost $16 million in the 2012 election cycle thus far, The Hill reports. The lion's share of the money those groups have spent has targeted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, according to The Hill. The impact in Iowa is clear: Iowa voters are being reminded repeatedly about Gingrich's ties to Freddie Mac, his divorces, and his lengthy Capitol Hill career. (Give me enough money for attack ads and I can drive Jesus' numbers down in Iowa. ~Bob.)

Wall Street Occupiers Stab NYPD Officer, Surround Ambulance Trying To Rush Him To The Hospital…
Excerpt: Hundreds in the crowd of occupiers then surrounded the ambulance as it tried to leave with the wounded officer, the source said.

The right Republican: Although the presidency is theirs for the taking, America’s Republicans are in danger of throwing it away
Excerpt: IN JANUARY the battle to become the world’s most powerful person begins—with small groups of Iowans “caucusing” to choose a Republican nominee for the White House. It is a great opportunity for them. Barack Obama is clearly beatable. No president since Franklin Roosevelt has been re-elected with unemployment as high as it is now; Mr Obama’s approval rating, which tends to translate accurately into vote-share, is down in the mid-40s. Swing states like Florida, Ohio and even Pennsylvania look well within the Republicans’ grasp.

Science and Censorship: A Duel Lasting Centuries
Excerpt: Governments have repeatedly tried to keep scientific information secret in fields as diverse as math and cryptography, physics and nuclear science, optics and biology. Now the call for concealment is falling on one of the hottest of contemporary fields — virology, where researchers are tinkering with the fundamentals of life to better understand whether altered flu germs might set off deadly epidemics. (…) The journals are considering distributing the sensitive data to only a subset of responsible public health researchers, who could then use it to bolster germ defenses, but the scientist, Ron A. M. Fouchier, questioned how feasible that was. The list of potential recipients “adds up to well over 100 organizations around the globe, and probably 1,000 experts,” said Dr. Fouchier, of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “As soon as you share information with more than 10 people, the information will be on the street.” (Long ago, I read in a book that the best way to keep a secret is to tell only your best friend—provided you’re willing to kill him immediately, before he has a chance to tell anyone else. I’ve never tried that method personally, but I suspect it would lead to a lonely existence. The wide dissemination of details of experiments in virology has problems that don’t necessarily apply to other fields. First and most important is the cost to duplicate the experiment. One of the reasons only large, rich countries soon had atomic bombs was the sheer cost involved. Massive resources had to be marshaled and devoted solely to that project for years on end. Biologicals can be grown in your basement workshop or laboratory, often with an investment of mere hundreds of dollars, not billions; so the risk isn’t just from irresponsible or hostile governments, but from any crackpot with some spare time and a few dollars to devote to the project. Second, if an incompetent workman makes a mistake with a nuke, it may devastate his immediate area, but most of the world goes on. If a biological agent gets loose, it really could depopulate a vast area. Third, while personal defense against nukes is largely a matter of distance, preparedness, and luck, unless killed immediately, if you can survive a few weeks, you’re probably good for years more, and fellow humans are a potential help. If attacked with a biological, you may have to quarantine yourself for months on end and every fellow human is a potential threat. Most nuclear products decay rapidly (days to weeks), but germs/viruses can live for years. I’ve always heard the most difficult part of creating something new is realizing it is possible; unfortunately, that part of the secret is already public. I don’t think there would be any great public good served by providing the details of how creating this virus can be done, and very large possible risks are involved. Ron P.)

Who Is The One True Pro-Life GOP Presidential Candidate In 2012?
Excerpt: It goes without saying (or at least it should go without saying) that the single most fundamentally important issue facing the conservative movement is the issue of life. We now find ourselves almost at the point of casting our votes for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 and we MUST ask ourselves who is the most CONSISTANT candidate on that issue. (For me, the four life-threatening issues covered in my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic, are by far the most important issues. ~Bob.)

EPA disguises an economic disaster as a Christmas gift
Excerpt: You're a savvy political appointee. You're bringing out a new regulation that will raise electricity rates all over the country, particularly in battleground states of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Michigan. What's your PR strategy? You choose the Wednesday before Christmas, when most people aren't paying attention. You schedule the announcement at a place designed to tug at the heartstrings, the National Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. The hospital's CEO and the national volunteer chairman of the American Lung Association deliver remarks. You say this costly initiative is for the children, and that millions of children will be protected. (…) Of course, you say nothing about the costs. Your state-by-state interactive map shows benefits for each state, but no costs. (These you bury in a 510-page Regulatory Impact Analysis.) (If you've ever doubted EPA was politically motivated, read this article and offer an alternative explanation of why they did it this way. Ron P.)

4 dead in Coronado, CA shooting The scene drew Sheriff Bill Gore — “due to the magnitude of the situation,” Nesbit said — and agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Nesbit said authorities had not yet determined if any of the dead were members of the military. Hubbard, though, said his neighbors were three young naval aviators receiving training at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. He saw one of the roommates dead outside the condo Sunday morning. “They were great guys,” Hubbard said, “just regular nice lieutenants junior grade. Products of naval ROTC — frat boys in uniform.”

Austerity Reigns Over Euro Zone as Crisis Deepens
Excerpt: Europe’s leaders braced their nations for a turbulent year, with their beleaguered economies facing a threat on two fronts: widening deficits that force more borrowing but increasing austerity measures that put growth further out of reach. Saying that Europe was facing its “harshest test in decades,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany warned on New Year’s Eve that “next year will no doubt be more difficult than 2011” — a marked change in tone from a year ago, when she praised Germans for “mastering the crisis as no other nation.”

Excerpt: Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said today that an 11th-hour robo-calling effort is being waged against his presidential campaign in a false effort to claim that’s he’s against the rights of Americans to bear arms. Noting could be further from the truth, said the Pennsylvania Republican, who gave Weatherby over/under shotguns to two of his sons as Christmas gifts.

Despite the growing threat of war from its increasingly Islamofascist neighbors, 2011 was a banner year for Israel
Excerpt: The Israeli economy grew by 4.8% and unemployment fell to 5%. And unlike Barack Obama’s policy of paying more and more people NOT to work, Israel grants bonuses to working parents with small children.

US Prosecutor​s Seeking to Prevent Dirty Secrets of Drug War From Surfacing in Cartel Leader's Case
Excerpt: US Government Using National Security to Conceal Evidence, Attorneys for Narco-Trafficker Zambada Niebla Claim. The criminal case of accused Sinaloa drug organization leader Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla is straying even further into the path of a cover-up under the guise of national security, if pleadings filed by his attorneys are to be believed.

Our DC: "They don't have a lot of cuts and stuff for everybody."
Drama major with a "right" to a job as a director after college.

Excerpt: The result, I think, may be that in this coming year we will see a new boldness among Islamic forces in North Africa; China will show the flag far nearer to Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea; some independent-minded former Soviet Republics will be forced to move closer to Russia; Turkey won’t worry too much whether it overflies Greek or Cypriot airspace — or worse; Iran will test a missile or do something stupider; North Korea may resume its now-and-then shelling of the south; and Lebanon and the West Bank will heat up again — all on the impression that either the U.S. doesn’t much care, does care but is too broke or weary to do much about it, or beneath its public warnings harbors some quiet sympathies for such “corrections” in a prior flawed global order.

NYPD Study: Jews Are Often Terror Targets
Excerpt: Nearly half of the terror plots aimed at the city since 1992 have targeted Jewish people or institutions. Nearly half of the terror plots aimed at the city since 1992 have targeted Jewish people or institutions, prompting police to ramp up security around such facilities during the holiday season, according to an NYPD intelligence analysis. Friday, police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there was no specific threat against the city around the Christmas holiday season but that officers were remaining on alert as has become the usual practice.

VIDEO: English Defence League: Tommy Robinson Attacked by Muslims (Again)

All means all
Excerpt: Calgary's Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi, has been held up as a symbol of the city's tolerance. Which is ironic, given his own anti-Christian bigotry in return. Last week, Nenshi ordered city police, backed up with a ridiculously large contingent of private security, to arrest a Christian pastor and five of his congregants who had the temerity to lead a Christmas service in the public atrium of Calgary's City Hall. Artur Pawlowski, lead pastor of Calgary's Street Church, had foolishly taken the mayor at his word when he described city hall as the city's "living room," open to all.

The Week That Was: 2011-12-31 (December 31, 2011)
Excerpt: The failures of the EPA to conduct proper scientific investigation will be discussed further in the upcoming TWTW. The annual costs are huge, ranging from the EPA estimate of $10 billion to an industry estimate of $100 billion. The consumers will pay the costs of these regulations. The beneficiaries are the utilities, and their stockholders, that are competing with coal plants that will be shut down due to the rules. (The excerpt is from editor Ken Haapala’s introduction. There are 4 “numbered” articles this week, all from the WSJ and reprinted in their entireties at the end of this PDF. I recommend all four. Ron P.)

From his Hawaii vacation, Obama says: 'Too many Americans are still struggling'

The joke’s on The Times
Excerpt: Never one to pass up a good redneck joke, The New York Times last week happily heaped scorn on the scraped-knuckle roughnecks who make a (good) living extracting energy from Pennsylvania shale rock — and their less-well-off upstate New York neighbors.

Haditha Marine Faces Trial Next Week
Excerpt: The war crimes court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, charged in the deaths of nine Iraqis, is scheduled to begin Jan. 4 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. The cases against three other Marines originally charged in the killings have been dropped. (Their primary accuser, ex-marine John Murtha, is long dead and gone. May he never rest in peace. Hopefully, when judged by his real peers, SSgt Wuterich will be exonerated. MasterGuns)

Worth Reading: Is the West Doomed?
Excerpt: At the beginning of a new year, it’s hard to avoid the question: where are we going? What will our future be like? Does America, does freedom, does Western civilization even have a future? ... Yes, that’s right: one in three British people thinks Winston Churchill​ was a fictional character.

Postcard From Islamic London
Excerpt: I’ve been spending my Christmas vacation with my wife in Rome and London. We arrived in London on Christmas Eve. It’s truly an amazing city – everywhere you look, there’s history, from the Tower of London to the Churchill Museum. But everywhere you look, there is a more ominous presence: Islam. Now, no less a personage than Prime Minister David Cameron has already admitted that the integration of Muslims into British society has failed dramatically.

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