Saturday, February 11, 2012

Political Digest for February 12, 2012

Time for a few items at end of long day. ~Bob.

Excerpt: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Saturday won Maine's Republican primary contest, reversing a week-long skid and halting, at least temporarily, the recent momentum of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had secured 39 percent of the vote, versus 36 percent for second-place finisher Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Santorum, who was fresh from surprise victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado, finished third with 18 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) trailed a distant fourth with 6 percent.

Excerpt: Mitt Romney took first place in a straw poll of conservative activists conducted at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), besting rival Rick Santorum by 7 points. Romney took 38 percent of the 3,408 participants in the straw poll, conducted by the Washington Times and CPAC over three days. Santorum came in second with 31 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich with 15 percent and Ron Paul with 12 percent.

Wishful thinking? Twitter rumor claims death of Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
Excerpt: A team of trained ninja assassins snuck into North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's room overnight and assassinated the new leader while he was on a business trip in Beijing -- if rumors spreading across microblogging service Twitter and its Chinese counterpart Weibo are to be believed, that is. The rumors -- unsubstantiated by any major news service or government agency -- started on the Chinese language Twitter clone earlier today, claiming Jong-Un had been killed in his residence. (Notice they are reporting on the rumor, not on the rumor’s content. By careful phrasing, they appear to cover the content—which they can’t confirm—without actually claiming it is true. I wonder if there are courses in the journalism curricula that cover this kind of reporting? Rumor mongering 101? If true, there might be a sudden, unlooked-for hope for the Korean peninsula. Ron P.)

Anonymous hack attack crashes CIA website
Excerpt: The website of the Central Intelligence Agency was inaccessible on Friday after the hacker group Anonymous claimed to have knocked it offline. "CIA Tango down," a member of Anonymous said on @YourAnonNews, a Twitter feed used by the group..."tango down" is an expression used by the US Special Forces when they have eliminated an enemy. (Maybe the CIA will put “Anonymous” Tango Down. ~Bob.)

Black Female Conservative Congressional Candidate Mia Love: Conventional Wisdom Says I Don't Exist -
Excerpt: [U. S. congressional candidate Mia Love] came to CPAC in part to present as a member of a panel that discussed what the conservative message offers minorities. As a black female conservative, she said she knows conventional wisdom suggests she shouldn’t exist. Listen to her speak for a second, though, and it’s hard to believe she won’t succeed at convincing a few liberals and independents to move in her direction.

This Time Next US Presidential Campaign: $24.1 Trillion In Debt, 138.9% Debt/GDP
Excerpt: While Obama may or may not be on the way to winning his reelection, courtesy of a GOP field that is, to say the least, limited, and where the only worthy candidate is more ostracized by the right than even anyone on the left, the bottom line is that whoever wins the presidency, it will matter precisely didley squat. As the US debt clock shows, fast forwarding 4 years, or to February 2016, when the next presidential race will be in its final stretch, America will have $24.1 trillion in debt, about $9 trillion more than it does, now on $17.4 trillion in GDP, for a gross debt to GDP ratio of 138.9% (and Apple's $1 trillion market cap will account for 150% of the Nasdaq... just as IBM is 125% of the DJIA). (I don’t think we can make it to $24T in debt. Who will lend it to us? ~Bob.)

CNN Fires Entire Jewish Staff Of Israel Bureau - And Retains Only Arab Reporters
Excerpt: CNN's Israel bureau is downsizing, reportedly to cope with a reduced budget due to falling advertising revenues. That doesn't explain why they fired four Israeli Jewish journalists (out of a crew of 8), and retained only Arab journalists. The local chief editor of CNN is now an Arab.

The States Are Leading a Pro-Growth Rebellion: The message from Indiana and elsewhere is that aligning yourself too closely to unions is a losing strategy. By Arthur B. Laffer
Excerpt: After the 2008 election, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and, of course, the presidency. They used that victory to push through an agenda as radical as any seen in this country since FDR—unprecedented deficit-financed stimulus spending, more regulations, a new health-care entitlement, etc.

Incredible Threat
Excerpt: Israel now appears to believe that the benefits of attacking Tehran’s nuclear sites outweigh the costs. As Iran builds an enrichment complex underground near the city of Qom, the timing has also become critical. All of which may mean that, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly told a Washington Post columnist, Israel will probably strike Iran in April, May, or June. (Panetta wasn’t quoted directly, and a Pentagon spokesman tells National Journal that the secretary has “refused to comment” on the story.) (In the event of an Israeli or US attack, who would we likely be fighting against? Everybody assumes it would be Iran, probably Syria, and possibly North Korea. I’d add the Pakistanis. The Iranians would get economic, if not military, support from Russia and China. Neutrality at best from India, Japan, and South Korea. Possibly terror attacks within the USA from sleeper-cells and agents from Iran’s various South American allies, perhaps even co-belligerency from Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Cuba (for a real nightmare, add Mexico). I doubt the EU would support of us, though the Brits might—until their own huge Muslim population turned against it. I think it would be pretty much us and Israel against the world. All that said, and I STILL think we’d be better off to take the war to them than wait for them to bring it to us, which they will just as soon as they think they can get away with it. I fully expected to be at war with Iran two summers ago. Every day we wait, the cost of inaction goes up. I guess this makes me a hawk. Ron P.)

Worth Reading: ObamaCare: The Doomed Experiment By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: Announcing his support for Commissar Sebelius' edicts on contraception, sterilization and pharmacological abortion, that noted theologian the Most Reverend Al Sharpton explained: "If we are going to have a separation of church and state, we're going to have a separation of church and state." Thanks for clarifying that. The church model the young American state wished to separate from was that of the British monarch, who remains to this day Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Democrats Failure To Pass Budget Is Illegal
Excerpt: Two top Democrats in Congress say the legislature doesn't really need to pass a budget. Excuse us, but passing a budget isn't optional; it's required by law. Is this the future of rule under the Democrats? House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is tired of passing budgets as the law demands. He thinks Congress can just keep spending money without any sort of budget.

ObamaCare Violates Far More Than Just Catholic Rights
Excerpt: The president's phony contraception compromise might be enough to convince Catholics their rights aren't being trampled. But what about the rest of us, who face more rights violations in the name of ObamaCare? The "accommodation" for the church was an exercise in misdirection. Instead of forcing Catholic organizations to violate a basic tenet of their faith and pay for contraception coverage directly, Obama will instead require insurance companies to provide the coverage free of charge.

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