Saturday, January 7, 2012

Political Digest for January 7, 2012

Praise for Collapse
Mr. Hall, I received the PDF copy of your book last night and could not stop reading it until I was done. I really admire your writing and knowledge of world affairs. I pray you are wrong, but I fear you are right. I went to Amazon and gave it a good review and while I was there, I looked at all the other reviews, I don't think I have ever seen a book get all 5 stars, not any even one less! I am going to read this book again, even though I think the material is somewhat depressing, however I am going to highly recommend it to all my friends, as the more eyes you open, the better! Thanks for a great job! --Jim.

Four days before New Hampshire primary, Iowa tally not over yet
Excerpt: The results of Tuesday’s Iowa GOP caucuses show the former Massachusetts governor besting former senator Rick Santorum by eight votes, 30,015 to 30,007. But those figures were thrown into doubt late Thursday after a man who helped tabulate the caucus results in Appanoose County 100 miles southeast of Des Moines said he believes a typo led Romney’s vote total to be inflated by 20 votes. (In 1972, in my first Senate race, after trailing all night by as much as 2,000 votes, at 6:30 am the last town came in and put me ahead by nine votes out of 60,000+ cast. So I get the importance of an accurate count. I won by 126 after the recount of all the paper ballots over several weeks, finally learned I’d be seated in mid December. ~Bob.)

Mitt Romney storms to big lead in South Carolina as Rick Santorum stalks
A new poll in South Carolina shows former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney opening up a big lead, but former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is catching on quickly in the Palmetto State. The CNN//Time/Opinion Research poll shows Romney at 37 percent followed by Santorum at 19 percent and former House speaker Newt Gingrich at 18 percent. (If Mitt wins both NH and the Tea Party conservative state of SC, I think it’s over. ~Bob.)

A Gingrich-Santorum nonaggression pact?
Two sources confirmed that there have been discussions within Newt Gingrich's camp about forging a nonaggression pact with Rick Santorum at the debates, though it wasn't immediately clear whether one had been reached or that the teams had discussed it. Such a pact would benefit both of them and potentially be problematic for Mitt Romney. However, while it has been discussed as a potential strategy in Gingrichland, one Santorum adviser professed ignorance of it. (“Nonaggression pacts” have a checkered history. See “1940, Eastern Front.” ~Bob.)

Chatham installs openly gay, black Republican mayor - believed nation's first
Excerpt: Bruce Harris was sworn in as mayor of the borough on Tuesday, becoming what is believed to be the first openly gay, black Republican mayor in the country. “I have felt it is my duty to serve the community,” Harris said. “I think that public service is interesting, and finding ways to meet the challenges facing a small community like Chatham Borough is personally rewarding.”

A tax break that helps break the nation by Jay Ambrose
Excerpt: The Democrats win, the Republicans lose, the payroll tax is reduced for a couple of months, unemployment benefits are extended, and you'd be better off avoiding many of the commentators on the subject. They are caught up in the petty politics of the drama, and wouldn't recognize substance if it bit them on their yapping mouths or typing fingers. My point is hardly that politics had nothing to do with what happened; the wily White House, taking advantage of the shallow focus of some news outlets on the fun stuff, easily outsmarted Republicans, many of whom were likewise playing games. My point is that the White House also outsmarted the national good. (Hey, I love the payroll tax break. In April I’ll be able to collect Social Security without a deduction for my salary, plus I’ll pay lower SS taxes. With my Pulmonary Fibrosis, I figure I have a 25% shot at living long enough to get back what I paid in, and certainly won’t live until the fiscal collapse, unless it suddenly accelerates. Tough on those under 50, though. I published my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic last May. Things look, not unexpectedly, worse to me now. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: From the liberal “Model City,” Detroit: A high ranking source in the Detroit Police Department says about 100 police officers will be given layoff notices during meetings on Wednesday. Fortunately for any law-abiding citizens who have not yet managed to escape this frozen jungle, the cops will be hired right back again with federal money. Currently, the department receives universal hiring grants from the Department of Justice. (Guess who's direction they will be under then? If you said "Obama," you are right. –Dave.)

Entitlement Reforms Should Cut Benefits and Taxes
Excerpt: Most Social Security reform proposals would result in fewer benefits for future retirees. However, if the program pays out less in benefits, the payroll taxes needed from younger workers to support the program will be lower than they otherwise would be. In this light, it is crucial to recognize how the most often proposed reforms will affect workers of various income levels by taking into account their loss of benefits and comparing it with their lower tax liabilities, say Thomas R. Saving, a senior fellow, and John C. Goodman, president and CEO, at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Worth Reading: The Never-Ending Budget Battle: Writing rules to stop Congress from spending is hopeless. By Veronique de Rugy
Excerpt: The budget process is broken, and public interest in reforming it is keen. But changing the budget rules alone is unlikely to fix our fiscal woes. Even properly designed constraints, in order to be effective, would require credible external and internal enforcement backed by public opinion. Good luck with that. 

Globe endorses Huntsman, but Romney still bulletproof in New Hampshire
Excerpt: Mitt Romney’s lead in New Hampshire has been huge for the entire GOP presidential race, and it is showing no signs of abating. In fact, it looks downright bulletproof — so much so that his hometown Boston Globe’s new endorsement of rival Jon Huntsman probably won’t have much of an effect. Polling in the state shows that not only is Romney’s support wide — more than 40 percent of New Hampshire voters — but it’s also deep. In other words, Romney is their choice, and they’re sticking to him. (In November, the Globe would endorse Heinrich Himmler, if he ran as a Democrat—which, being a “big government” type, he probably would. They are only endorsing Huntsman so they can say prissily later, “Well, if the GOP had been reasonable and nominated our choice…” ~Bob.)

As currency crisis and feud with West deepen, Iranians brace for war
Excerpt: At a time when U.S. officials are increasingly confident that economic and political pressure alone may succeed in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the mood here has turned bleak and belligerent as Iranians prepare grimly for a period of prolonged hardship and, they fear, war. (I’d push sanctions hard. Either they give up on nukes, or they start the shooting and we can pound their nuke facilities and put the Iranian Navy on the bottom. Either outcome would make the world a safer place. I would usually think Obama wouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude, but a nice little war at the start of an election year would help him, except with the fuzzy peace-at-any-cost wing of his party. ~Bob.)

Figures: Appeals court: 'Shell marriage' will cost NU moral philosophy professor
Excerpt: A Northwestern University moral philosophy professor who entered what his trial attorney called a "shell marriage" in an effort to help his wife move to the United States must turn over about a third of his marital assets even though the 17-year marriage was never consummated, an appeals court has ruled. Charles Mills, who specializes in social contracts as the John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern, forced his wife to sign IOUs for some of the money he gave her, a Cook County judge previously found, and ruined her chance at working for a Ugandan ambassador by accusing him of sleeping with her, she alleged. (I suppose what is most shocking about this is that I was neither shocked nor surprised that a "Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy" would enter into a sham marriage and behave so shabbily. It is the kind of behavior we have come to expect from modern leftist, elitist academics who look down on the rest of us, sure that their self-evident superiority makes them free from the restraints of much-scorned "middle class values." I would be shocked if his car didn't have an "Obama '08" sticker. ~Bob.)

Mirror images? By Steve Chapman
Excerpt: Back in 2007, when Barack Obama was running for president, a mildly surprising bit of news emerged: He and Dick Cheney were eighth cousins. Today, though, it appears that report was wrong. Judging from Obama's record in office, the two are practically brothers. ... "Obama has eclipsed Nixon in the establishment of an imperial presidency," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told me. And Turley voted for Obama.

How to fix the mistake of the Chavez 11, aka Cook County commissioners who weakened jail-release law
Excerpt: It allowed the county to ignore requests by federal immigration officials for notification if suspected illegal immigrants were to be released from jail. The new law applied not only to suspects being held on misdemeanor cases, but also those charged with felonies. Preckwinkle and Garcia pushed the new measure, mindful that Latino votes were in play. I do not doubt the integrity of these two officials, but I do disagree with their policy. (An as-usual great Kass column following up on yesterday's, but I disagree with the last statement. If trading cash for votes demonstrates a lack of integrity, isn't trading the safety of the public for votes even worse? ~Bob.)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio might be just the ticket for vice president by Kathleen Parker
Excerpt: Latest to the list is the young and junior senator from Florida, Marco Rubio. His political resume: nine years as a state legislator, including two as speaker of the Florida House; enormous popularity with tea partiers who sent him to the U.S. Senate over Republican Gov. Charlie Crist; a Cuban heritage and, thus, his presumed appeal to Hispanic voters; he's young at just 40 and, it never hurts, attractive. Add to the above that Florida is a crucial swing state, the population of which is 22.5 percent Hispanic.

Is this a great country, or what? --Steve

New Hampshire Restaurant Bans Politicians
I wonder if a recovering politician like myself could get in? I haven't run for office since 1980.~Bob.

This power grab’s a sign of weakness By John Podhoretz
Excerpt: President Obama’s executive power-grab this week — making four “recess” appointments when the Senate isn’t in recess — is a mark not of his strength, but of his relative weakness. He is asserting an authority he does not possess through the Constitution because he has precious little personal authority left to assert. He had it and he lost it, and he can’t figure out how to get it back — so he’s just going to take it.

Tweet from @keithurbahn Keith Urbahn
Shorter Obama admin rationale for DoD cuts: If we just cross our fingers, another Pearl Harbor won't happen. (Or another 9/11. ~Bob.)

Obama's white flag on national security: 'Yes, our military will be leaner' by Andrew Malcolm
Excerpt: Readers here will be shocked to learn that Obama remains very much into spending hundreds of billions more dollars on union infrastructure jobs and teachers. But that his new defense policies involve fewer troops and reduced spending. (CMC General James Amos doesn’t look pleased. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have to attack the president's attack on the American military. The active duty military cannot do so, but the cuts President Obama proposes will turn his choice to "lead from behind" into permanent U.S. policy. How can we propose massive cuts in the number of uniformed military when we are paying for NPR? How can he cut the Marine Corps by 10% when he won't cut the Department of Energy or the Department of Education?

Speaking of free marketeers …Congress members need to abide by the power of free markets and laws on insider trading
Excerpt: Everyone knows Congress has its share of wheeler-dealers, but stock traders? Yes, maybe more than we thought. Media reports have raised questions about whether elected representatives, along with their families and staffs, wring trading profits from information gleaned in backroom sessions on Capitol Hill.

Columbia Teaches How to "Occupy" at $5001.09 by Jeff Carter
Excerpt: Recently, Columbia University in New York proposed offering a class in Occupy Wall Street. I suppose the class will teach people how to camp out in a city park. Under a continuation of the Obama administration, this might actually become a good life skill. One facet of the class that I want to point out is its cost. There is an ongoing debate over the cost of a college education and if it is worth it. (Gee, I’d love to take it, but it conflicts with my Advanced Nose Picking class and my course in Irrelevant Studies. Occupy Grads complain they can’t get jobs. Wonder why? ~Bob.

Excerpt: It proved as hard to break up the bankrupt European Union as it was to create it. For all the hundreds of stories predicting the imminent end of the union, insolvent Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain still hung in. Apparently if these debtors keep promising to end their spendthrift ways, quit calling the historically sensitive Germans bad names, and welch only on serial billion-euro loans -- rather than default all at once on massive trillion-euro obligations -- the Germans will keep doling out enough money for the EU to whimper on a bit longer.

Obama Fails Math Portion of Presidency Test by Bob Beauprez
"The math is the math. You can't lower (tax) rates and raise revenues." - Barack Obama, December 11, 2011 When I heard the President make the above statement to Steve Kroft during an interview on the CBS News program 60 Minutes…well, I thought of Ronald Reagan. No, not because Obama seemed Reaganesque, as he would want us to believe, but because Ronald Reagan believed just the opposite, and proved that he was right. And, I thought of Presidents Harding, Kennedy, and George W. Bush, too. All Presidents that had lowered tax rates that stimulated more economic activity – and increased the total revenue sent to the U.S. Treasury.

Beneath Growth, a Sea of Poison
Excerpt: Today's jobs report from the Department of Labor was encouraging news for the U.S. economy. It shows that 200,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.7 percent to 8.5 percent. Jobs were created in every sector of the economy save one -- government! This report is consistent with other economic indicators and shows that the economy is finally coming out of its malaise. But like any reports, they must be put into context. The creation of 200,000 new jobs is solid growth and above the 130,000 to 150,000 new jobs that must be created to keep up with population growth. However, this doesn’t mean happy times are here again. There are not enough Americans working or looking for work. In fact participation in the labor force is at its lowest point in 30 years as many potential workers are not yet even attempting to find jobs.

A Worthy Challenger By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: After every other conservative alternative to Mitt Romney crashed and burned (libertarian Ron Paul is in a category of his own), from the rubble emerges Rick Santorum. But he isn't just the last man standing. He is the first challenger to be plausibly presidential: knowledgeable, articulate, experienced, of stable character and authentic ideology. He'd been ignored largely because he appeared unelectable -- out of office for five years, having lost his Senate seat in Pennsylvania by a staggering 17 points in 2006.

Suddenly, a Fun Candidate By George Will
Excerpt: Rick Santorum has become central because Iowa Republicans ignored an axiom that is as familiar as it is false: Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line. Republicans, supposedly hierarchical, actually are -- let us say the worst -- human. They crave fun. Supporting Romney still seems to many like a duty, the responsible thing to do. Suddenly, supporting Santorum seems like a lark, partly because a week or so ago he could quit complaining about media neglect and start having fun, which is infectious.

Radical Islamist group threatens France
Excerpt: The Mauritanian Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou, presumed leader of an armed Islamist group active in west Africa, has again threatened France with war in a video seen Tuesday by an AFP journalist. "We again declare war on France, which is hostile to the interests of Islam," Kheirou said in Arabic, wearing dark glasses and with his head wrapped in a turban. "The jihad [holy war] will be exported everywhere it is necessary and for God, we must be ready for anything." (Ut-oh. If France surrenders, Germany will have to go on bailing out Greece alone. ~Bob.)

DHS storms rogue Social Security office
Excerpt: Greetings, DHS agents! The DHS can't study or even speak about Islamic jihad or Islamic terrorism -- in other words, it can't distinguish the threat we're facing from a hole in the ground -- but DHS agents can terrify elderly people strolling into a Virginia Social Security office. Feel safer?

Honda being sued in small claims court by woman they ignored over hybrid gas-electric mileage claim
Excerpt: Peters, a former lawyer, says that as her vehicle’s battery deteriorated, it got only 30 mpg. When Honda ignored her complaints, she filed legal papers seeking reimbursement for her trouble and the extra money she spent on gas. The suit could cost the company up to $10,000. If other Civic owners follow her lead, she estimates Honda could be forced to pay as much as $2 billion in damages. No high-priced lawyers are involved, and the process is streamlined. “I would not be surprised if she won,” said Richard Cupp Jr., who teaches product-liability law at Pepperdine University. “The judge will have a lot of discretion, and the evidentiary standards are relaxed in small-claims court.” (As you read this, be sure to notice the proposed settlement—and attorney’s fees—for the class action suit she dropped out of. Ron P.)

Who Parented These People? The OWS Movement
Excerpt: There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's you. (Parenting is out of style in our Brave new World. So middleclass you know. ~Bob.)

The Last Gift
There are still good people here, worth fighting for. Like to be in on finding that mechanic, though. ~Bob.

Gunmen kill six at Nigerian church
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Gunmen have opened fire on worshippers as their eyes were closed in prayer at a Nigerian church, killing six in the latest of a series of attacks on churches in Africa's most populous nation. The attack on the outskirts of the northeastern city of Gombe comes after an ultimatum issued Sunday by a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram for Christians to leave the country's mainly Muslim north within three days.

Eleven Muslim men to go on trial in Liverpool on Feb. 6th, for the organised gang-raping of little girls
Excerpt: A few days ago my colleague Eeyore touched upon the now notorious “British National Union of Journalists guidelines on race reporting”. Today brings another example of what these astonishing set of instructions, in a supposedly “free” country, mean in practise: the deliberate and intentional concealment of reality. The purposeful avoidance of reporting unpalatable truths. The truth in this case being the terrifyingly enormous scale of organised gang rape in Britain. The victims being non-muslim children, the perpetrators being almost exclusively Muslim men.

U.S. Navy Rescues Iran Sailors From Somali Pirates
Excerpt: The Pentagon says the U.S. Navy has rescued 13 Iranian seamen held hostage by pirates in the northern Arabian Sea. … He said the U.S. Navy had also captured 15 pirates, all believed to be Somalian nationals, in the January 5 operation. The Navy vessel involved in the rescue is a member of the same U.S. aircraft carrier group that Iran recently warned not to return to the Strait of Hormuz. (In a just world, the pirates would have been tried, hanged and buried at sea before you read this. ~Bob.)

Obama’s Reelection Strategy: Bypass Congress
Excerpt: …Obama knows that to win reelection he needs to recapture the sense of historical excitement that surrounded the 2008 campaign. So he will put the full weight of the federal executive branch into advancing the key policy objectives of the constituencies that will provide him boots on the ground: unions, environmentalists, social justice street organizers, identity politics groups, and class warriors. Key rewards and inducements for the environmental groups include a head-spinning array of expensive regulations from EPA, an all-out government-wide assault on hydraulic fracturing, and continued slowdowns in permitting and leasing from the EPA and the Interior Department. (The Democrat congresses in the past started riding roughshod over the rules to get what they wanted, then were incensed when Republican Congresses did the same. Now a Democrat president is setting a new standard of arrogance for a future Republican president to follow. ~Bob.)

Santorum vs. the Meat Grinder
Excerpt: For many months, the liberal media elite has made no secret that in its mind the field of Republican presidential candidates includes Mitt Romney and a collection of clowns. Clearly, Romney is the opponent that Barack Obama and the liberal establishment want nominated. Journalists have mercilessly savaged every single conservative alternative to Romney who's ascended to the top of the polls: Palin, Bachman, Cain, Perry and Gingrich.

MYTH: "The Palestinians agreed to negotiate with Israel without preconditions." http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths3/MFexclusives.html#12
FACT: After three years of refusing to talk to Israeli officials, Jordan’s King Abdullah persuaded the Palestinians to meet with Israeli negotiators in Amman, raising hopes that, at last, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was dropping his demand that Israel freeze all settlements before agreeing to enter peace talks. (We Jews are not as smart as the world thinks we are. We are supposed to be great negotiators, right? How come the Israelis can't tell the Palestinian Authority that the peace process is not the goal. If they want a deal, it has to be done by next Israel Independence Day or else it's over and they can have autonomy like Monaco in whatever territory Israel chooses not to build on. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

34 Shocking Facts About U.S. Debt That Should Set America On Fire With Anger
 excerpt: We have all been lied to. For decades, the leaders of both major political parties have promised us that they can fix our current system and that they can get our national debt under control. As the 2012 election approaches, they are making all kinds of wild promises once again. Well you know what? It is all a giant sham. The United States has gotten into so much debt that there will be no coming back from this.

EPA = Employment Prevention Agency

Tweet @DavidLimbaugh David Limbaugh
Democrats sure have no problem DEMANDING strict proof of ID and other ballot hoops for our fine military personnel to vote.

Excerpt: The Oklahoma Professor has been criticizing Scott Brown for being “Wall Street’s favorite Senator.” She has also denounced “Wall Street cash in politics.” But it turns out she may be indirectly accepting Wall Street money. The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is helping the Harvard Professor, has taken over $40 million from Wall Street during the last 7 years according to records from OpenSecrets.org. In fact, Wall Street is the biggest contributors to them. They beat lawyers and labor union. Just during this election season the DSCC has already received $1.5 million from Wall Street.

Sen. Rubio letter to Obama on the debt

America’s Disarmed Future: President Obama’s Pentagon cuts are indefensible. By Arthur Herman
Excerpt: You have to give President Obama credit. It takes serious gall to tell the American military to its face that you are putting it on the road to second-class status.
That’s exactly what our commander-in-chief did at the Pentagon yesterday, as he announced nearly half a trillion dollars in new spending cuts, after already chopping $480 billion during his first three years in office. He also set out plans for drastic reductions in our force size and continuing weapons programs, including the F-35 fighter — our last best hope for maintaining American dominance in the skies.

Mother With a Gun: She and her baby are alive, and their would-be killer is dead, because she was armed.
Excerpt: If the National Rifle Association had an award for Mother of the Year, it might already have a winner. When two men began to break into her home on New Year’s Eve, Sarah Dawn McKinley of Blanchard, Okla., popped a bottle into her crying three-month-old baby’s mouth and reached for her guns.

Excerpt: . . . if he just stays silent and undercover in Hawaii all year. It was always unlikely that an inherently dynamic nation like the U.S. could stay in a recession or a near-recession slowdown for five years (since late 2007), and we should expect a mild rebound in 2012, at least by election time — before the deeper reckoning with our massive debt and expansionary money policy comes due. Based on the Chicago-style promises we’re now hearing — debt relief for students, mortgage relief for the underwater homeowner, pay increases for federal workers, non-enforcement of immigration law for the Latino bloc, and recess appointments for the unions and the left-wing base — in 2012 there will be a huge turnout of professional elites, environmentalists, gays, minorities, unions, youth, the indebted, and the needy, with which blocs the Democrats will seek to make up for the loss of the “clinger” states and somehow reach 51 percent of the vote.

Runaway Slave—the movie
Excerpt: Runaway Slave, a powerful documentary that exposes the economic slavery of the Black community to the liberal policies of the US government and how Black conservatives are leading the fight so all Americans can be “free at last.”

It's Time To Reclaim Powers From EU, Urges ‘New Iron Lady’
Excerpt: THE Tories’ new Iron Lady yesterday urged David Cameron to claw back powers from Brussels. Andrea Leadsom led a chorus of Eurosceptics demanding the Prime Minister pull rank on his deputy Nick Clegg and take charge of the issue before the next election.

Thousands of US Troops Land in Israel
Maybe troops Obama laid off, looking for work? ~Bob. Excerpt: Thousands of US troops began descending on Israel this week. Senior US military sources told debkafile that many would be staying up to the end of the year as part of the US-IDF deployment in readiness for a military engagement with Iran and its possible escalation into a regional conflict. They will be joined by a US aircraft carrier. The warplanes on its decks will fly missions with Israeli Air Force jets. The 9,000 US servicemen gathering in Israel in the coming weeks are mostly airmen, missile interceptor teams, marines, seamen, technicians and intelligence officers.

Constitutional Scholar: White House Entirely Ignoring Article 1, Section 5
Excerpt: Carney also said, “We feel very strongly that the Constitution and the legal case is strongly on our side. But more importantly, this isn’t about process. This isn’t about whether or not Congress is in session.” (Obviously the White House thinks these appointments will help them. While that may be true in the very short term, in the longer term, it will be a disaster for all parties and all Americans. One of the very simplest of political axioms is “whatever one side does when in power today, the other side can—and will—do tomorrow, when they are in power. If allowed to stand today, what do Democrats think will happen in 2012 or 2016 the next time they lose the Presidency? Of course, when it happens, they’ll scream “Unfair! Unfair!” Mere “advisors” to the President don’t have budgets to spend or regulations to approve or departments to run; these appointees do. These actions are no more than a naked grab for personal power one would expect to read about from a third world country. Impeach him today for violation of his oath of office. Ron P.)

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