Saturday, April 7, 2012

Political Digest for April 8, 2012

Happy Easter. He is risen. But if you don’t have Easter in your heart, no use looking for it in a basket of eggs and candy.

How to stay humble
Regular readers know I recently published Advice for my Granddaughter, for when I’m gone, with royalties going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
My 11-year-old granddaughter, Britnye, told me yesterday that she had finished reading the book and liked it. But she also found three typos, which she carefully highlighted in yellow to show me! The worst is where I typed “President” instead of “Present.” Must have had politics on my mind.

U.S. future
My letter to the Chicago Tribune on the riots in Greece. Think on line only. ~Bob

Latinos Say Boy Scout Patch Is Racist – Demand That It Be Replaced
Excerpt: Latino groups claim the “Border Patrol” boy scout patch is racist. The patch depicts a fleeing Latino family and is used on caution signs in border states.

A religious test all our political candidates should take
Excerpt: Instead of attempting the impossible task of abolishing faith from the political conversation, we need a new kind of religious test for our leaders. Unlike the tests proscribed by the Constitution, this one would not threaten to formally bar members of specific traditions from public office. But religious convictions do not always harmonize with the practice of democratic government, and allowing voters to explore the dissonance is legitimate.

Obama gives 7 oil-rich Alaskan islands to Russia
Excerpt: The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.

Liberal Women not Breeding is Something to Be Thankful For
Excerpt: Lizz Winstead, is a comedienne and television “personality” I’ve never heard of. She’s been involved in a number of liberal TV and radio productions. In 2003, she co-founded and served as the program director at the defunct Air America Radio network. Since 2005 she has been a contributing blogger at the liberal Huffington Post.

Obama Campaign Treats Own Supporters Like Complete Idiots by Ulsterman 
Excerpt: Yesterday the Obama re-election campaign issued a statement to its supporters calling out Mitt Romney for having joined up with the RNC in a move that would allow the Romney campaign to raise considerably the per-donation limit. Problem is – the Obama campaign did the very same thing over a year ago.

The ugly battle between rural residents and alternative energy mandates in California
Excerpt: California is the perfect patsy. First Solar makes its own cadmium-telluride solar panels. Another cadmium-telluride panel manufacturer, Abound Solar (recipient of $400 million in loan guarantees) just shut down production, but First Solar doesn’t have to worry how much it costs to produce intermittent solar in the Mojave. California residents are required by law to pay whatever it takes. That’s the key to successful green crony capitalism: vertical green-subsidy integration. Solyndra and Abound really should have known. They weren’t corrupt enough. (California is still leading the way and might even be able to teach even Illinois some new tricks. This is the sort of thing the railroad barons were widely, and justly, hated for. Ron P.)

Subsidized and Expensive Solar Energy Bites the Dust Again
Excerpt: Solar Trust of America, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware courts—the ninth solar energy company to bite the dust—adding to the previous list of BrightSource, Beacon Power, Ener1, Evergreen Solar, Fiskar, Solyndra, Sunpower, and Spectrawatt. Solar Trust of America, which listed assets between $1 to $10 million and liabilities between $10 and $50 million, was unable to meet the Department of Energy loan guarantee deadline. The $2.1 billion loan guarantee was “the largest amount ever offered to a solar project.”

Record 88 Million not in Labor Force- Complete Employment Analysis
Excerpt: Given the complete distortions of reality with respect to not counting people who allegedly dropped out of the work force, it is easy to misrepresent the headline numbers. Digging under the surface, the drop in the unemployment rate over the past two years is nothing but a statistical mirage. Things are much worse than the reported numbers indicate. (I can’t recall just who came up with the current way to arrive at the BLS “Unemployment” rate, but it has probably been bipartisan in its use even if not in its design. This brief article explains—with graphs and charts—what those BLS numbers really mean to you and me. I guess liars really do figure. Ron P.)

March Jobs Data Proves the Crisis Is Over but Problems Remain
Excerpt: On the political trail, while this month’s number will disappoint elevated expectations, it is not low enough to derail the Democratic narrative that finally, the overall system is mending and gathering momentum. Nor is enough to provide wind for the Republican narrative of a broken economy broken by President Obama. It is also just tepid enough to give those who are deeply pessimistic no reason to embrace hope, and just strong enough to give those who are hopeful no reason to despair. (Slanting the News 102 (Lying). Other than the conclusion drawn in the headline, this article is pretty thorough. Perhaps some helpful editor re-titled it. The other possibility is the author is like the 1960s-era weatherman claiming the current weather is clear and sunny, when if he looked out the window, he’d see the rapidly approaching tornado. Among the problems the author fails to mention is the “labor participation rate”—the percentage of the working age populace that is currently employed—has dropped again, and is now standing at 63.8%. So, while the officially defined “unemployment rate” has declined to 8.2%, the people who could be working, but are not, is actually 36.2% of the total workforce. Does that sound like the crisis is over to you? Ron P.)

Lib Logic: Global Warming Skeptics are Crazy Racists
Excerpt: The challenge, of course, is how to conduct sensible cost-benefit analysis. (…) Since exaggeration is omnipresent in Washington, that’s not what really bothers me. My main problem with environmentalists is that they want to use so-called green issues to give government more power. And if you oppose them, you’re an evil person.

Report: Two More “Accidental” Explosions at Iran Nuke Sites
Excerpt: Michael Ledeen reports that the Natanz uranium enrichment site has been shut down after a mysterious blast happened “in the next-to-bottom level of the underground structure.” A second explosion has struck a site in Zarin Dasht that is used for producing warheads and missile fuel and 7 people are missing. What is remarkable about these two alleged explosions is that they happened in the underground portions of the facilities—that is, the most secure parts. If foreign hands are responsible, then the Iranian regime must be panic-stricken.

Worth Reading: The Eternal Liberation Movement by Caroline Glick 
Excerpt: Hamad made two central points. First, he claimed that the Palestinian war against Israel is the keystone of the global jihad. Second, he said the Palestinians are not a distinct people, but transplanted Egyptians and Saudis.

California Declares War on Suburbia By Wendell Cox
Excerpt: Since 2000 more than 1.6 million people have fled, and my own research as well as that of others points to high housing prices as the principal factor.
The exodus is likely to accelerate. California has declared war on the most popular housing choice, the single family, detached home—all in the name of saving the planet.

The racism we ignore by Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: Marion Barry’s mouth set him up. The disgraced former mayor of Washington, DC, who was caught on tape in a 1987 crack cocaine sting, made an even bigger disgrace of himself and his city on Tuesday. Celebrating a Democratic primary victory, the city councilman attacked small businesses owned by “Asians” in his district. Then the race-baiting clown doubled down.

Hispanic-Americans: not a group apart by Linda Chavez
Excerpt: Unsurprisingly, the presence of this large immigrant group is affecting the way Hispanics think of themselves. One aspect of the report that is bound to provoke controversy — and, in some quarters, resentment — is how few Hispanics identify themselves first and foremost as Americans. Only 8 percent of immigrants, 35 percent of second-generation Hispanics and 48 percent of third-generation Hispanics do, according to the Pew study.

Disgraceful GSA Scandal Shows Obama Administration's Spending Hypocrisy
Excerpt: Why So Secret? The Obama Administration Knew About This Disgraceful Government Waste For Nearly A Year Before Taking Any Action:

Persecution On The Peninsula ----Saudi Cleric Issues Fatwa To Demolish Christian Churches In Arabia
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim leader recently issued a religious decree calling for all Christian churches on the Arabian peninsula to be demolished, a move that elicited protests from the U.S. government and undermines recent efforts in the kingdom to promote interfaith tolerance. Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh issued the fatwa, or Muslim religious decree, on March 11, although government-controlled media in the country so far have not reported it.

Greece Rounding Up Immigrants
Excerpt: Many of the immigrants to Greece are from Africa — as well as the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan — and settle in the seedy
Omonia Square
area, where many hotels have closed because of the crime level. Many Greeks blame them for the once-attractive tourist area turning into a rotary of prostitution, open drug dealing, and human trafficking. The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIMEP) estimates there are 1.1 million immigrants in Greece’s population of 11 million. About 400,000 are believed to be undocumented.

Optimists. ~Bob. Excerpt: Forty years after its initial publication, a study called The Limits to Growth is looking depressingly prescient. Commissioned by an international think tank called the Club of Rome, the 1972 report found that if civilization continued on its path toward increasing consumption, the global economy would collapse by 2030. Population losses would ensue, and things would generally fall apart. (An interesting article, and not unrealistic. There are other factors that could create an economic collapse and that is terrorist or rogue nations using nuclear or biological weapons. That could happen way before 2030. Being prepared is critical for survival. An economic collapse means people without food, money, or housing will want what you have. –GBH)

Cops Are Conservatives, and Should Be
Excerpt: Some months ago I had the misfortune of having to perform an administrative task that had only the most tangential of connections to actual police work. It was my further misfortune that the task required a trip to the LAPD headquarters building in downtown L.A., a place I visit as seldom as possible. There, in one of the offices where the LAPD’s vast bureaucracy churns out a steady stream of mostly meaningless paperwork, I chanced to see, adorning the wall of one of the many cubicles, something I had never seen in any police station I had worked in or visited: a Barack Obama campaign sticker.

The Obama Administration loves tax cuts….in China
Excerpt: If what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, then why doesn’t the Obama Administration think what’s good for the Chinese Dragon is also good for the American Eagle? While making positive comments about the most recent five-year-plan developed by the Communist government of the People’s Republic of China, Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats specifically applauded China’s decision to lower taxes because it would spur economic growth.

Barack Obama Warns Americans about His Second Term as President of the United States
Excerpt: He publicly stated that he didn’t care what the Constitution said. He’s also publicly told us that he does not intend to uphold all of the immigration laws. Then he turned around and ordered the Department of Justice to stop enforcing the Marriage Defense Act. A sitting president does not have the legal power to disregard an act of Congress, but he doesn’t care about the law.

InComm, Blackhawk Network, Gift Card Makers, Follow AmEx Exit From New Jersey
Excerpt: Under a new state law, New Jersey will take control of funds on gift cards that have not been used for two years. The law could potentially translate into millions of dollars for the Garden State, which would hold the gift card money as "unclaimed funds." That means New Jersey will keep that money in state coffers rather than a consumer being able to access it through the card. But gift card makers, unwilling to part with so much money in unredeemed funds, are fighting back, pulling out their wares from the state altogether. (Who could’ve guessed punitive laws drive away those who can leave easily? Oddly, the ones who are likely to feel this loss most keenly are the local convenience stores and small department stores. While those cards are good for zero until paid for and activated—that’s why the stores don’t get excited if someone steals them—the stores make a small commission—around 5%, in most cases—that adds to the store’s revenue without taking up much floor space. In a busy store, it might be the difference between having or not having an extra PT clerk. Ron P.)

Number of New Oil Wells and New Leases Have Decreased Under Obama, Data from BLM Show
Excerpt: In fiscal year 2008, the last official year of the President George W. Bush’s administration, 5,044 new oil wells were started, meaning that actual drilling began, which is what oil firms refer to as “spudding in” or to “spud” a well bore. In FY 2009, however, in Obama’s first year as president, there were 3,267 wells spudded, a decline of 1,777. (...) The number of new oil drilling leases also declined under Obama, according to the Bureau of Land Management. (The President’s campaign will have to do some more “creative truth telling” to get around this report from an agency of their own Interior Department. Does this look like “all of the above” to you? It looks like “not many of the above” to me. Ron P. He will say they are drilling more, the MSM will report it as fact. Next story. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: A former CIA officer was indicted Thursday for allegedly leaking classified information to a journalist working for the The New York Times, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee involved in classified counterterrorism activities, according to officials from the U.S. Justice Department.

Why Israel Will Attack Iran
Excerpt: In so doing, I heard arguments, rooted in Israeli history and mindset, not commonly aired in the United States, that led me to the sobering conclusion that, absent a dramatic diplomatic breakthrough, Israel will pre-emptively strike Iran before too long—even if it has to go it alone.

Trump: Obama Has Deal With Saudis to Cut Oil Prices Before Election
Excerpt: Billionaire developer Donald Trump says President Barack Obama has made a secret deal with Saudi leaders to cut oil prices, and thereby gasoline prices, ahead of the 2012 election.

Salvato: Why Progressive Obama Believes He’s Correct
Excerpt: For the record – and this is indisputable – Mr. Obama was never officially a “professor” who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He is identified by the university as a “senior lecturer.” And although he did take the lectern for a few classes each year – even as he was serving in the Illinois State Legislature – so, too, do graduate student teachers’ assistants. That said, he did take the lectern to teach about the US Constitution and the philosophy used to create the US he understood it. (A good article on the progressive thinking of today's government. Makes you realize we are one election away from totally changing America to a European style socialist Nation with a President who is a borderline dictator! –GBH)

Obama Trashed on NBC News
Excerpt: Morning Joe remains the home of the overwhelming ratio of liberal to conservative guests. Even so, in recent weeks a narrative unflattering to Barack Obama has emerged around the table: Obama doesn’t like his job. He doesn’t particularly like people and is in the wrong line of work.

China To Drop Solar Energy To Focus On Nuclear Power
Excerpt: China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says in a government report published on March 5. China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption. (Well, they at least learned from Solyndra. ~Bob.)

Sentenced to death for being old: The NHS denies life-saving treatment to the elderly, as one man's chilling story reveals
Excerpt: When Kenneth Warden was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, his hospital consultant sent him home to die, ruling that at 78 he was too old to treat.
Even the palliative surgery or chemotherapy that could have eased his distressing symptoms were declared off-limits because of his age.

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