Thursday, April 26, 2012

Political Digest for April 27, 2012

Entitlement Reform
While in DC on business, I met with Congressman Bob Dold, whose district I’m now in. Talking about entitlements, he pointed out that when Social Security was started, life expectancy was 62, benefits started at 65, and the average recipient collected for 11 months. Now the average recipient collects for 22 years. That cannot be sustained.

Important: Here We Go Again: The eurozone crisis is alive and well and living in Spain. By Andrew Stuttaford
Excerpt: The bust that followed that boom took down a large chunk of the Spanish economy (unemployment stands at 23 percent, over 50 percent among the under-25s, a disaster exacerbated both by Spain’s sclerotic labor market and the malign impact of apothecary economics). There will be more misery to come. The IMF is forecasting that Spanish GDP will shrink by 1.8 percent in 2012. If Ireland is any precedent, and if the apothecaries have their way (the proposed deficit reduction amounts to a daunting 5.5 percent of GDP over this year and next), Spanish real estate prices could fall by another third. Should that happen, the country’s battered banks are (according to Open Europe, a mildly Euroskeptic think tank) likely to take a hit too large for cash-strapped Spain to cover by itself.

The Great California Exodus
Excerpt: For decades, California was regarded as the domestic paradise of the United States, lush with beautiful views and ample resources. This no longer seems to be the case. While many insist that those who reside in California are among the happiest in the country, studies show that Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere. In an interview with demographer Joel Kotkin, the Wall Street Journal found that this exodus of California residents is enormous in scale -- with potentially profound impacts. Nearly 4 million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states.

Victim’s sister: Mobile, Ala. black-on-white beating sparked by theft, not basketball
Excerpt: The sister of a white Mobile, Alabama man who suffered severe head trauma during a beating by approximately 20 black neighbors on Saturday spoke exclusively to The Daily Caller, saying that the incident started after one of her children witnessed some of the eventual assailants stealing an item from a neighbor’s porch — not, as some media outlets have reported, following a disagreement about a pick-up basketball game in the street. … It was Parker who told police she heard someone in the group of her brothers’ assailants say after the attack, “Now that’s justice for Trayvon.” (Wonder which participants look like Obama’s mythical son. Can they sue the race baiters? ~Bob.)

Behind Obama’s Definition of Wealth and Paying Off Student Loans
Excerpt: President Obama told students at the University of North Carolina Tuesday that he knows what it is like to struggle with student loan debt because he and his wife didn’t pay off their student loans until eight years ago. That may be true, but a quick look at the Obamas’ tax returns shows they were making enough to be considered “wealthy” by the president’s own definition in the years before his loans were paid off. (For a liberal, having trouble paying your debts means that you can’t find someone else to pick up the tab. ~Bob.)

Decline or Decadence? By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: So much of our sagging profile abroad is simply a growing realization that the Middle East is, well, the Middle East: You can change the faces, but the regimes end up mostly the same -- as innate reflections of the volatile mix of tribalism, vast infusions of oil money, radical Islam, and generations of dependency.

Egypt’s women urge MPs not to pass early marriage, sex-after-death laws: report
Excerpt: She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death. According to Egyptian columnist Amro Abdul Samea in al-Ahram, Talawi’s message included an appeal to parliament to avoid the controversial legislations that rid women of their rights of getting education and employment, under alleged religious interpretations. (Well, the federal courts and the New York Times feel Shari’a Law is compatible with US Law, so this kind of stuff is to be expected here. Ain’t multiculturalism lovely? ~Bob.)

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea. --Isak Dinesen

High-ranking DOJ official to resign amid Fast and Furious, Virgin Islands bribery scandals By Matthew Boyle
Excerpt: U.S. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich plans to resign his position soon, as two different scandals rage on in which he has provided allegedly misleading information to Congress. Weich, who has served as Attorney General Eric Holder’s emissary in congressional communications, will become the next dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law in July, according to the National Law Journal. (Nice, cushy job versus jail cell. Corruption reigns. –Barb.)

RNC chief accuses Obama of campaigning on taxpayer's dime
Excerpt: The Republican National Committee is asking the Government Accountability Office to examine President Obama's "misuse" of government funds to benefit his reelection campaign. In an official complaint filed with the GAO, a watchdog agency, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus accuses Obama of "passing off campaign travel as official events," using taxpayer money to fund his reelection efforts. (Everyone knows he’s doing it, no one on the left will admit it, and it’s hard to prove. Like Rahm getting elected to Congress with the illegal help of thousands of city union workers on the government’s time, thanks to the Daley machine. He said he didn’t know about it, and, it being Chicago where they control everything, it went away. ~Bob.)

Worth Watching: "If I wanted America to fail"
And sharing. ~Bob.

McCain: Military now tasked with ‘alternative energy research’ [VIDEO] By Michelle Fields
Excerpt: “During a event to celebrate the release of Citizen’s Against Government Waste’s annual Congressional Pig Book on Wednesday, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain criticized earmarks for “alternative energy research” in defense appropriations bills, which he said cost taxpayers $120 million. “We’re talking about cutting the Army by 100,000 people, the Marines by 80,000 people, and yet we’re now having our armed services in the business of advanced alternative energy research?” said McCain.

The Election Should Be All About Barack Obama’s Record
Excerpt: In 1980, Jimmy Carter was seeking reelection against challenger Ronald Reagan. Carter’s administration was busily producing inflation, unemployment, and high interest rates all at once, a trifecta once thought impossible. It wasn’t the “killer rabbit” that did Carter in, just as it won’t be Obama’s youthful penchant for eating dog meat; it was the brutal economy.

Obama returning cash from one accused Ponzi schemer, keeping money from bundler who helped another By Matthew Boyle
Excerpt: “President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign plans to return campaign donations to alleged Ponzi-schemer Shervin Neman, but is keeping money from a bundler who helped convicted Ponzi-schemer R. Allen Stanford and other alleged financial criminals get tax breaks…”

Analyst predicts state budget gap "a few billion dollars" worse
Excerpt: With state revenues slowing to a trickle as the end of April draws near, the state's top fiscal analyst said late Wednesday that California could be "a few billion dollars" shy of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget projections through June 2013.

If Mormonism Is Fair Game, so Is Jeremiah Wright. By Larry Elder
Excerpt: A well-regarded Republican strategist at a private gathering recently warned, "And just wait until they play that Mormon card." By "they," he meant the Obama campaign and its complicit media cheerleaders. Lawrence O'Donnell, only days later, gave his viewers a historical tutorial on the Mormon religion, darkly suggesting that we all should be afraid, very afraid. The Democratic governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, called Mitt Romney's grandfather a "polygamist."

Meteor Explosion In Nevada Was One Third The Size Of Hiroshima Bomb, Expert Says
Excerpt: Experts say the flaming meteor, dating to the early formation of the solar system 4 to 5 billion years ago, was probably about the size of a minivan when it entered the Earth's atmosphere with a loud boom early Sunday. It was seen from Sacramento, Calif., to Las Vegas and parts of northern Nevada. An event of that size might happen once a year around the world, said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. (Remember the quotation marks I put around the word harmlessly in our first coverage of this on 23 April 2012? The only good news is there would be no radioactivity. The exact amount of explosive power depends on the angle and speed it had coming in. A more vertical approach would have meant a higher speed at impact with the ground and therefore a “larger” explosion. Fortunately, this one overheated before impacting the ground and away from any habitations. Had it impacted in a crowded city, we’d still be picking up the pieces. Ron P.)

Car Dealers Press Case Against U.S. Over Bailout, Citing Constitution
Excerpt: U.S. government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler became a constitutional battleground when they were pushed through bankruptcy court in 2009. Turns out the battle isn't over just yet. More than 220 former car dealers are pressing their case that the Obama administration violated the U.S. Constitution when the car makers terminated franchise agreements while in bankruptcy restructuring.

Obama Ban on Youth Farm Chores Part of Larger Power Grab by Kurt Nimmo
Excerpt: The ongoing attacks on family farming are not merely misguided efforts by control freak bureaucrats. They are part of a larger “comprehensive plan of action” to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations to institute “sustainable development,” a philosophy designed to bring humanity under tight control of the global elite. (Just part of the forthcoming “flexibility…” –Barb)

CAIR Confronts Allen West (with subtitles)
Don't know if you have seen this short video or not. If so, my apologies. The two players are Nezar Hamze, the Executive Director of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and Allen West, who needs no introduction. Mr. Hamze waded into this discussion with Congressman West in attack mode with typical Muslim misinformed bravado. There aren't too many politicians today with the background and the guts who could have handled Hamze better. It's readily apparent that Hamze thought he would be dealing with another typical American pantywaist politician who panders to anyone and any cause to get votes. He made one little mistake - He kicked the baby in the thicket while walking into the perfect ambush and was unable to withdraw. –MasterGuns

Scotland Yard Terror Arrests In English Defence League's Home Town of Luton, England - Huffington Post UK
Excerpt: Others living on the same street spoke of their shock and described their neighbours as "friendly" people. Self-employed Mohammed Iqbal, who did not give his age, said he believed the man arrested on Bishopscote Road lived with his family. "I see him passing by sometimes," he said. "I don't know him but he seems friendly'.

Obama the Tragedy by William L. Gensert
Excerpt: A second term for Barack Obama will be a tragedy. His farcical first term barely hinted at the disaster awaiting America in Barack II. Hobbled by a staggering lack of judgment and competence, and his ever-present reticence to make decisions that might impede his re-election, his first despicable term was a joke, despite a dearth of mirth. If given four more years without worry of electoral reprisal, he will wreak havoc upon the nation in ways that Barack, back in Barack I, only dreamed of.

The Worst Places to Be a Woman - By Valerie M. Hudson
The map is interesting. ~Bob

The Real War on Women: Honor killing, forced marriage, genital mutilation — that is a war on women. By Lee Habeeb
Excerpt: Her name was Derya. She lived in Batman, Turkey, she was 17 years old, and she had a problem that few American women know about, let alone have ever experienced: The men in her family were doing everything they could to get her to kill herself. It started with text messages like this one from her uncle: “You have blackened our name. Kill yourself and clean our shame, or we will kill you first.”

Even Mortician Member Finds D.C. Humorless
Excerpt: One thing Rep. Steve Southerland has noticed since coming to Washington last year is that people in the halls of Congress don’t laugh nearly as much as those who visit his family business. Which is odd, given that his family owns a funeral home. “Everyone here is so serious,” the Florida Republican said. “Sure it’s a serious subject matter, but no more serious than the subject matter we deal with at the funeral home.

The Bailout Of The US Postal Service Begins: Cost To Taxpayers - $110,000 Per Union Vote "Saved Or Gained"
Excerpt: The other option, it turns out courtesy of news from AP, is the first of many incremental bail outs of the US Postal Office, better known in pre-election circles as hundreds of thousands of unionized votes up for the taking, and which could be bought for the low low price of $11 billion in taxpayer money, or $110,000 per vote! And so the latest bailout of yet another terminally inefficient and outdated government entity begins.

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