Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Political Digest for May 16, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

Advice for my Granddaughter: For When I'm Gone by Robert A. Hall
All royalties go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

Important: Taxmageddon sparks rising anxiety
Excerpt: Defense contractors have slowed hiring. Tax advisers are warning firms not to count on favorite breaks. And hospitals are scouring their books for ways to cut costs. Across the U.S. economy, anxiety is rising about the potential for widespread disruptions after the November election, when a lame-duck Congress will have barely two months to resolve a grinding standoff over taxes and spending. (The flying monkeys of 50 years of vote-buying are coming come to roost. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: A Censored Race War? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks -- beaten so badly that they had to take a week off from work -- that might seem to have been news that should have been reported, at least by their own newspaper. But it wasn't. (In the last few months anyone watching the news on the Net will have noticed the series of reports of groups of Blacks beating up Whites, sometimes complete with verbal references about "this is for Trayvon". It's not scores of such incidents, but it's enough to show a pattern of sorts. Clearly the MSM are not focusing on this at all, and perhaps from a viewpoint of avoiding a backlash, or perhaps just from the PC dictum that says only Whites can act on racial prejudice. Hopefully this will sputter out very soon, because if it doesn't, I think there could be a mounting backlash, and that would be a bad thing for everyone. It would be nice if a bunch of Black leaders would publicly condemn such violence, and point out that no matter what anyone feels about race relations, beating up random victims of another race is totally unacceptable. --Del)

Romney captures lead over Obama in new poll
Excerpt: Mitt Romney holds a 3 percent lead over President Obama nationally in the latest CBS News-New York Times poll. Romney took 46 percent in the poll, compared to Obama’s 43 percent. The 3 percent difference is within the poll’s 4 point margin of error. Obama and Romney were tied at 46 in the same poll conducted last month. (Rasmussen has Romney by nine, but tends to report on the GOP side as he surveys “likely voters,” not registered voters. Not bad news, but I remain convinced the race will be decided by political, economic and/or international events yet to happen. ~Bob.)

Trust on Issues: Obama v. Romney: 51% Trust Romney’s Economic Judgment More Than Obama’s
Excerpt: Voters now trust likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney more than President Obama on all five issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports, especially when it comes to money. A new national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters trust Romney more than Obama when it comes to the economy, while 39% trust the president more. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.

Congress spars over military health-care hikes
Excerpt: Military retirees, active-duty service members and others who rely on the government’s Tricare health-care benefit could be looking at higher fees over the next several years, but just how much higher is the source of ongoing debate in Washington. The Defense Department has proposed to nearly quadruple the rate many working-age military retirees will pay in annual family enrollment fees over the next five years to help comply with new deficit-reduction requirements. The Budget Control Act of 2011 calls for the Defense Department to cut $487 billion over the next 10 years.

Strong Recommendation: Raise Shields!
Excerpt: So this morning comes and not only has there been no “progress” on Greece but opinions are hardening, as I expected. “This is not finished: it is about Greece, but it is also about Spain, and Italy and maybe France,” said Jacques Porta, who helps manage 500 million euros ($657 million) at Ofi Patrimoine in Paris. “The whole thing seems very dangerous. You have to be cautious, and that translates as not being in equities but being in cash.” (Funny FedUpUSA should mention Greece. I was watching talk shows on Deutsche Welle today and for the first time ever, I heard several interviewed economists and political pundits, and even one show host, mention the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone. No one would have dared say that in the German media before, because the elites hadn't made up their minds what to do with Greece. But now it looks like the Katze is out of the bag. Of course, when Germany started writing those austerity rules, many felt they were deliberately giving Greece the boot. But that was pure conjecture. Now, however, the media, owned and paid for by the elites, leave very little doubt. They are indeed preparing the German public for the pullout. Watch for it. --Don Hank)

Merkel To Greece: Shape Up Or Ship Out Of The EU…Greek Minister Warns of Civil War
Excerpt: With a debt burden 160% of its GDP, Greece formally agreed three months ago to the EU’s austere plan of severe spending cuts and financial reform in exchange for a financial bailout. But, the majority of Greeks refused to accept the notion of responsible debt spending and voted in defiance of the financial treaty. The result for Greece, now, is a government in chaos and an economy on the verge of collapse. (Remember I said in an email just yesterday [above] that the chatter from the talking heads on German TV (Deutsche Welle--state-owned and controlled) shows it is now no longer politically incorrect in Germany to talk about Greece possibly exiting the euro (something no one had dared mention before)? In other words, the powers that be, in media and politics, have dropped the word to these people that they no longer consider Greece vital to the euro zone and they can say what they want -- the truth in this case. So guess what Merkel is now saying about the Greeks (see link below)? And Joe Sixpack still thinks it's the bloggers who are talking nonsense? We told ya so, Joe! Ok, 2 lessons here: 1--People need to pay more attention to NON mainstream news. For political reasons, the truth comes a lot more slowly in the mainstream -- after it is too late in most cases. (We bloggers were predicting the Greek exit a long time ago--based on simple math, something the "experts" haven't mastered) 2--It still pays (for us bloggers esp) to heed the mainstream news (Deutsche Welle in this case), because we can use it to predict trends and take the politicians' pulse. --Don Hank)

California’s Politicians Fiddle as Agenda 21, “Re-Wilding” Push State Toward Cliff
Excerpt: Imagine if you were elected to represent the people of a state like California, and you found yourself facing a state economy in shambles, where businesses were leaving the state or closing their doors altogether, where you had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, where unions and environmental activists dictated the rules to benefit themselves, and where the government had for years been squeezing the life out of property owners and businesses. What would you do?

Questioning Homeownership as a Public Policy Goal
Excerpt: It is not a stretch to say that the bust to owner-occupied housing in the United Stated led to a sizeable contraction of global economic output, says Morris A. Davis, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin --Madison, School of Business. The terrible consequences that this sector of the economy has wrought on the nation are cause for further investigation. Specifically, are those government policies that sought to boost homeownership in the United States truly worth the cost? The federal government attempts to make more Americans into homeowners through two separate policy initiatives: First, the cost of mortgage interest is deductible from household income for taxpayers who itemize allowable expenses. Second, the federal government acts to reduce the cost of mortgage interest by explicitly insuring the principal on mortgages purchased by the Federal Housing Authority and by guaranteeing the debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. An examination of homeownership rates in the United States explains, however, that these policy goals are both ineffective and overly expensive. Between 1900 and 1940, the U.S. homeownership rate was stable at about 45 percent. Between 1940 and 1970, the homeownership rate increased by 20 percent to about 65 percent. In comparison, since 1970 the homeownership rate has increased by only 2 percentage points, and this is during a time of extraordinary efforts to boost ownership rates. These ineffective measures came at an enormous cost to American taxpayers.

Stimulus Spending Keeps Failing
Excerpt: The weak economic recovery in the United States and the even weaker performance in much of Europe have renewed calls for ending budget austerity and returning to larger fiscal deficits. However, in the American context, no evidence is offered that past U.S. budget deficits helped to promote the economic recovery, says Robert J. Barro, a professor of economics at Harvard and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. While it is easy to criticize the disappointing economic results of austerity in several beleaguered European countries, to do so ignores exemplary cases like those of Germany and Sweden. Both countries moved toward rough budget balance between 2009 and 2011 while sustaining comparatively strong growth. The average growth rate per year of real gross domestic product (GDP) for 2010 and 2011 was 3.6 percent for Germany and 4.9 percent for Sweden. These growth rates, which are atypically strong given the down economy, are almost certainly at least a partial function of sensible and efficient government budgetary decisions. Advocates of gross increases in government spending look past the excellent performance of austerity-embracing nations, focusing instead on countries where the policy hasn't been a silver bullet for economic woes. Their natural response is a Keynesian approach to macroeconomics: spend your way out of a recession via large government deficits. However, this argument ignores evidence to the contrary.

The Obama Health Plan Will Squeeze the Middle Class. By Scott Gottlieb
Excerpt: President Obama promised that the brunt of any financial reckoning will fall mostly only on those making more than $250,000 annually. Under his healthcare plan, the economic agony starts at income levels that fall much lower than that. Middle class families take note. A family of four with an aggregate income of more than $88,000 annually or an individual earning around $44,000 could find themselves badly strained by healthcare costs under the Obama plan.

Is Ex-Im Bank Another Fannie Mae Or Freddie Mac?
Excerpt: This is no shining example of bipartisanship, as it's now being hailed. The Ex-Im Bank could justifiably be called the "Political Crony Bank," because of its use as a piggy bank for politically favored companies. … Unfortunately, more recently, Ex-Im has become a political tool in President Obama's hands, used to reward and subsidize favored companies, industries and groups.

Don't Fear the Free Market
Excerpt: The lingering headline on the front pages this week is that JP Morgan Chase suffered a massive loss on a hedging strategy, costing them $2 billion. That's no small mistake, and it's an example of how bad decisions in the free market can cost big money. But just because mistakes have consequences doesn't mean that the mighty hand of government needs to step in to save us from ourselves. However, that's what some on the left are now calling for.

Worth Reading: Obama’s ‘Julia’ ad and the new Hubby State. By Jessica Gavora,
Excerpt: But, then again, why should Julia get married? She doesn’t need to. Like a growing number of single women with children, Julia is married to the state.

Illegal alien caught working as airport security supervisor with stolen ID
Excerpt: Department of Homeland Security officials are shocked to discover that an illegal alien held the position of security supervisor at an airport from which United Flight 93 departed on September 11, 2001 and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania when passengers rose up and attacked their terrorist captors. (Well, I’m shocked. They asked him for a ID to hire him? Everyone knows, thanks to Holder and Obama, that asking for IDs is racist. After all, the “right” to have a job is at least as important as the right to vote. ~Bob.)

Greece will hold new vote after failure to form government
Excerpt: Greece will hold a new election after politicians failed to form a government on Tuesday, nine days following an inconclusive vote, prolonging a political crisis that pushes it closer to bankruptcy and exit from the euro. (Greece, the cradle of democracy and western civilization, is on course to be a failed state, due to years of vote buying. We are on the same road, not as far behind as you might think. ~Bob.)

Somali piracy: EU forces in first mainland raid
A hard line is tough on captives, but ends the problem and saves lives in the long run. It has to be harder than this. Just have to tolerate the hand-wringing and whining of the wet-their-panties crowd. ~Bob. Excerpt: The attack was carried out overnight and, according to the European forces, no Somalis were hurt during the action. The multinational forces used helicopters in conjunction with two warships to leave five of the pirates' fast attack craft "inoperable".

Debts and Deficits
Interesting charts. ~Bob.

California Rabbi, who is a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, tells cheering audience, “I am an Islamophobe!”
Excerpt: “And everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9/11,” added Rabbi Nachum Shifren to wild applause from the like-minded audience. Needless to say, the freaks at Hamas-linked CAIR are foaming at the mouth over this.

Comment on “Calif. students rank 47th in science”
Totally believable. (Friend’s) son has a masters in physics, works for a fiber optic co. in San Francisco, and says they really want to hire Americans, but they don’t qualify. Apparently have learned nothing in college. So they have to hire foreigners. Sad. –BM (Yes, but they lead the world in Gender Studies, Sociology and Color Therapy. ~Bob.)

Team O’s uphill battle: Campaign’s off to shaky start
Excerpt: So how good is the Obama reelection campaign going to be? By “good,” I mean competent, able to plan elaborate events and respond quickly and effectively to fast-breaking news. Obama supporters have every reason to be concerned — which is not to say Romney supporters have any reason to be complacent.

Worth Reading: What the Washington Post Missed. By Ken Blackwell
Worth Reading: Liberal commentators are quick to respond: It's all part of the narrative (their favorite word, by the way). And the narrative is of an unfeeling, bullying, brash young man. Okay. Let's say it's relevant. Here are some of the stories the Post did not think relevant.

The American Dream in an Automobile. By George Will
Excerpt: Prius, which is Latin for "to go before" or "lead the way," is the perfect name for the car whose owners are confident they are leading the way for the benighted. "Prius preening," an almost erotic pleasure, is, however, a perishable delight because the status derived from enlightened exclusivity evaporates if the hoi polloi crash the party.

Obama's Budget Would Double the Interest Rate on Student Loans--After the Election. By Fred Lucas
Excerpt: President Obama's fiscal 2013 budget proposal would double the interest rate on federally backed student loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent--eight months after the November presidential election.

High-speed spending: Bullet train may need $3.5 million a day: California would have to pay $6 billion to complete a 130-mile segment by September 2017, a plan that requires 120 permits and buying 1,100 parcels of land.
Excerpt: If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law. The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included — the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts. (“Green, green, it’s green they say, on the far side of the hill. Green, green, it’s going away—and you’ll be paying still.” Update of an old folk song. ~Bob.)

5 Reasons America Is In Decline. By John Hawkins
Excerpt: There's a reason gun sales are through the roof, gold advertisements are everywhere, products like survival seeds have started to creep into the edges of our consciousness, and Doomsday Preppers now runs on National Geographic. It's the same reason people have started asking about ways to hedge their money against inflation and which countries they can flee to if America falls apart. A decade ago, the idea that America could economically collapse because of a default on its debt seemed ludicrous, but we now know it's entirely possible that the country could turn into Greece within a decade or two. (Must have read my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. ~Bob.)

Pentagon pushes female troops closer to battlefield
Excerpt: Pentagon policies bar Staff Sgt. Marie Martinson from direct ground combat, but she nonetheless has taken on the No. 1 killer of troops in Afghanistan: improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

Changing Times
Excerpt: “As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment, and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government, we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to decide how you live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.” (Sex decisions are the second-most personal decisions a human can make. (First is the relationship, if any, a person has with the Almighty.) Leaving aside the question of whether or not homosexuality is biological or just a “choice,” a truly conservative attitude is that it isn’t anyone else’s business other than the individuals concerned. The fact that I don’t want to do it doesn’t make it evil, merely unattractive. Equal protection under the law probably means just that. We love those we love (and sometimes snicker about the foibles those we don’t). Perhaps we should return to the oldest of old days with “marriages” performed only in a religious setting, subject to the rules set by the followers of and within that faith, and every legal joining of couples by civil authorities—regardless of the sexes of the proposed partners—be called a “union.” Both forms would be legally equal and subject to the same restrictions (age, free consent, etc.) and have the same methods of dissolution (divorce). If the object is simply to acquire legal equality, that might work; if the real object is in-your-face confrontation, my-belief-is-bigger-than-yours, then the pissing contest will never end. I won’t pretend to have all the answers, and doubt you have them all, either. We aren’t gods, are we? Ron P.)

Testing the Waters of Democracy
Excerpt: Censorship and general disdain for vigorous debate seem to have become the rule, not the exception. Dismissing disturbing criticism and the critic with ad hominem has become common practice. (An old college chum of mine knows the founder of this mag, a guy who swims upstream all the time. It challenges the sclerosed mainstream of university culture: --Don Hank)

Worth Reading: Only in America—Top Ten
Too true. ~Bob

Al-Qaeda Infiltrator was Working for Brits not CIA, Cover Blown for Election Year Politics. By Patrick Poole
Excerpt: The leaks about the operation from the American side have infuriated British intelligence officials, who had hoped to continue the operation. The leaks not only scuttled the mission but put the life of the asset in jeopardy. Even CIA officials, joining their MI5 and MI6 counterparts, were describing the leaks as “despicable,” attributing them to the Obama administration. (So, not only does our government—with the active collusion of our media—endanger lives, it goes out of its way to offend one of our few real allies. And, it does so for purely for short-term political gain? That “re-set button” really does need to be pushed, and I can’t wait for the chance to push it on election day. Ron P.)

Soros. Why Does It Always Lead to Soros?
Excerpt: In a training session for House Democrats and their congressional staffers last week, Center for Social Inclusion founder and president Maya Wiley described “conservative messages” as being “racially coded,” and suggested that Democrats “raise racial disparities” in public policy discussions, Joel Gerhke of the Washington Examiner reported.

Excerpt: A number of Egyptian human rights groups have submitted a communication to the Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud against the Muslim Brotherhood`s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to investigate the complaints of people in the village of Abu Aziz in the Minya governorate, south of Cairo, over the existence of a large medical convoy organized by the party that wanders streets and does medical examination on people, including female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, in violation of Egyptian law, conventions and treaties signed by Egypt.

Bonn, Germany: Police officer speaks out about attack by 600 armed Muslims, "new level of violence ... murder in their eyes"
Excerpt: I was present in Bonn yesterday (May 5th 2012) and I knew a lot about stone-throwing from the Left-wing demonstration against Pro-Köln in 2008. But what was thrown yesterday was incredible. That was not the problem, though: shields were handed out early. But the way the media reports completely ignore the new level of violence and only focus on the police officers injured by bottles and stones makes me sick.

General Motors is becoming China Motors
Excerpt: General Motors is becoming China Motors. Forget the spin. The evidence is clear and convincing. Did U.S. taxpayers save GM for China? Listen to the candid comments of GM's CEO.

Hatch calls for investigation into Obama’s Labor Dept ‘propaganda’ posters featuring Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson. By Matthew Boyle
Hatch said Solis’ “poster campaign” conveys an “overtly political message.” Hatch said he thinks it’s “vital” to make sure “American taxpayers are not subsidizing partisan political messages, particularly during this contentious election season.” He said it’s also important to “ensure that federal government employees are not subjected [to] political propaganda in the workplace.”

Homeland Security stalls Florida voter clean-up effort. By Neil Munro
Excerpt: The Department of Homeland Security is stonewalling Florida’s effort to clean up its voting rolls 12 years after George W. Bush won the state’s electoral votes by a razor-thin margin. The state asked DHS in September to check the citizenship of 180,000 registered people who have Florida driver licenses but may not be citizens, Chris Cate, communications director for the Florida Department of State, told The Daily Caller. Florida’s stalled request comes amid efforts by Democratic legislators and advocates to stop popular and court-approved voter-identification laws.

Senior Homeland Security staffers have no law enforcement experience. By Matthew Boyle
Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, has presided over the hiring of at least four senior staffers and advisers who have no law enforcement experience but align politically with the president….

Worth Reading: The President Obama-Jamie Dimon saga
Excerpt: He was also one of President Barack Obama’s most prominent Wall Street friends, a rare high-profile Democrat in an industry dominated by low-tax, free-market Republicans. … He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democrats. … Obama returned all the love, at least at first. Dimon made at least 16 trips to the White House and met at least three times with Obama — a bond that allowed the president to appear business-friendly.

The War Against Doctors. By Hal Scherz
Excerpt: The lessons of the past were not lost on the architects of the ACA, but it required a group assault on physicians, coming at them from different directions. The cabal of the hospital and the insurance industries, along with the federal government posed an almost insurmountable challenge. In exchange for the support of the American Hospital Association, the federal government gave hospitals a tremendous advantage, by outlawing physicians from opening their own hospitals, which would naturally compete against existing hospitals.

Obama in history: When you visit the White House, be sure to enjoy the airbrushing. By John Hayward
Excerpt: Today’s nugget of comedy gold was unearthed by Rory Cooper of the Heritage Foundation, who noticed that Team Obama has begun inserting references to Dear Leader in the biographies of his predecessors at the official website.

Tweet from @CuffyMeh
In 1803, Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase for $233 million in today's dollars, which Obama spent while you read this.

Excerpt: Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn told The Daily Caller in a video interview that the federal government is in the “midst of committing murder to our republic” and predicted that the U.S. faces a financial meltdown in 2-5 years. “I wanted people in this book, in ‘The Debt Bomb’ to be able to see what’s coming,” Coburn said on Capitol Hill, referring to his book. (Coburn would have been my candidate for president had he run. I sent him my book. ~Bob.)

It begins: Catholic university drops all health-insurance coverage in response to HHS mandate
Excerpt: Actually, it’s not just the mandate, but also the costs that will drive Franciscan University to bail out of the health-insurance business. Before now, the Catholic institution required all students to carry health insurance; those who did not have them were required to buy insurance through the school. That’s not entirely dissimilar to the ObamaCare mandate, although of course attendance at the school is entirely voluntary.

Chris Matthews Bombs on 'Jeopardy!' After Repeatedly Mocking Palin for How She'd Do . By Noel Sheppard
Excerpt: On at least four occasions, MSNBC's Chris Matthews mocked Sarah Palin for how he felt she'd do if she were ever on the hit television game show Jeopardy!.
In a delicious example of instant karma, the self-proclaimed brainiac got his chance to show America how smart he was in a special "Power Players" version of the show Monday, but came up quite short finishing dead last with the paltry sum of only $2,300

Romney Explains How He Rescued Family In Sinking Boat

Excerpt: Ya gotta love this. "Expectations Full" is a guide for westerners wishing to join Al Queda. It's author Samir Kahn is enjoying his 72 virgins currently, having been "mohammedized" in a drone strike last year.

SWEDEN: 20 Muslim invaders gang rape 11-year-old Swedish girl in public bathhouse
Excerpt: They were mainly Arab and African so called “child refugees”. However they are in most cases adults lying about there age to obtain better benefits. In some cases they are in the high 20′s and 30′s while claiming they are teens. Almost 100 % of them show false IDs or no IDs at all, therefore they are never truly identified.

Going Galt: Surviving Economic Armageddon. By Daxton Brown
Excerpt: The United States of America is now bankrupt. It doesn't matter which political party will be in power over the next decades, the over-hang of $100 Trillion in unfunded liabilities from the local to Federal level, plus a hollow banking system, means there is no way to tax ourselves enough, or even cut spending enough, to have any chance to grow our way out of our problems. What this means is that the productive elements of society will at some point go on strike, whether by choice or because they are forced to pack up their bags and hide.

See Will Smith‘s Shocked Reaction to France’s Proposed 75% Tax Rate…After Just Advocating for Higher Taxes in U.S.
Excerpt: But when asked about his take on the tax policy of French president-elect François Hollande, Smith’s was shocked silly by the suggestion of a 75 percent tax rate on those earning above €1 million annually,” he adds.

7 Awful Moments From Elizabeth Warren's Native American Heritage Debacle
Good compilation. ~Bob

Should We Obey All Laws? By Walter Williams.
Excerpt: In a word, if the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is constitutional, citizens should press their state governors and legislatures to nullify the law. You say, "Williams, the last time states got into this nullification business, it led to a war that cost 600,000 lives." Two things are different this time. First, most Americans are against Obamacare, and secondly, I don't believe that you could find a U.S. soldier who would follow a presidential order to descend on a state to round up or shoot down fellow Americans because they refuse to follow a congressional order to buy health insurance.

Missile Defense Is Self-Defense Obama may be 'flexible.' But the U.S. owes Russia nothing. By Senator Jon Kyl
Excerpt: Within hours of reassuming the Russian presidency this month, Vladimir Putin demanded that the United States provide "firm guarantees" that a U.S.-led missile-defense system in Europe won't be aimed against Russia. President Barack Obama can't offer any "legally binding" guarantee, because when he sought ratification of the New Start Treaty in 2010 he promised to accept no limits on U.S. missile defenses. But he can offer Mr. Putin a political assurance—what he might have been signaling when a "hot mic" recently caught him telling Russian leaders that he'd be "more flexible" after the November elections.

How Gov. Brown Ruined California in His First Term. By Mike Shedlock
Excerpt: California, like Greece is perpetually in fiscal trouble. Overoptimistic revenue forecasts coupled with spending $2 billion more than expected has California in a deep hole. Governor Jerry Brown has the same non-solution as ever, hike taxes.

Excerpt: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday vowed to only raise the debt ceiling if President Obama and Democrats agree to an equal amount of spending cuts and entitlement reforms. Boehner also promised that no tax hikes would be a part of the package, and laid out plans for a fast-track process to guarantee tax reform would take place in 2013.

Panic: Obama Campaign Already Coming Off The Rails. By Mike Flynn
Excerpt: It's only Tuesday, but it has already been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week for the Obama campaign. Saddled with increasingly bad economic data, the campaign has been doggedly trying to change the subject to anything other than jobs and deficits.

Excerpt: To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (As the old joke goes, How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one—but the bulb has to want to change. Those living off the state of California don’t want to change. But there will be a change. ~Bob.)

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