Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Political Digest for May 31, 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.

Free PDF Copy of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.

Blog Time
Readers write and, thanking me for the sources in the Political Digest, often ask, “How do you find the time to work, do the blog and still read all the books you recommend—do you ever sleep?” I get some links from Twitter, but most days don’t have time to look at it, and I subscribe to news feeds. Thanks to many contributors, the blog doesn’t take near as much time as people think. I usually spend two to (rarely) three hours an evening, then e-mail it to myself. During the day at work, items cross my desk as I’m scanning healthcare and economic news to keep the board of the non-profit I manage informed, and I often pop them into the digest as well as send them to my bosses. Plus people send me pre-formatted items, which I can cut and paste right in, which takes about three seconds. Those who send formatted usually get their submissions in, as they take almost no time. People who send me items with just links that need to be formatted only get in if I think worth saving to the evening to take the time. Stuff that says only something like, “Must See,” that the sender didn’t have the time to tell me anything about I don’t have the time to look at. Rarely do I have the time to search for things without links. I get about 300 e-mails a day (less on the weekends), between work and two personal accounts. As to reading, I try to save an hour a night to read history, economics, politics or other serious subjects. I watch almost zero TV, except the local news, military history when on the rowing machine at 6:00 am, or a football game with a book in my hand. I try to get through two to four non-fiction books a month, both in print and audio books in the car, but I recommend only those I think worth reading and that some of the blog readers may find of interest.

Format for the blog:
1. Article title as it appears, in bold, with the writer’s name if it’s commentary
2. www.url.link.com (live link to the full news/opinion article on line)
3. Excerpt: No more than three sentences, less from short items, to stay within fair use rules.
4. (Your comments, if any, for publication.)

Left on a Bar
Good picture. ~Bob

Want to help with research into moral values?
I recommended the book The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt. At this site, you can take a number of interesting surveys on the foundations of your moral beliefs, then compare them to both liberals and conservatives on the same surveys. It helps Dr. Haidt and his colleagues on their research. You can also provide feedback. (I thought the one on ethnicity and culture was bad, because it assumes that race and culture are the same thing, clearly wrong IMHO. I think many of our problems are based on culture, not race. I’d prefer to hang out with black Marines over white Greek socialists any day. Or white German Nazis or white Russian Communists. But I found most of them quite interesting. ~Bob

We Can Cut Government: Canada Did
Excerpt: Two decades ago Canada suffered a deep recession and teetered on the brink of a debt crisis caused by rising government spending. Since then, the country has undergone a remarkable recovery, reclaiming financial strength and harnessing a powerful economic boom. The United States would do well to learn what it can from Canada's experience and adopt its pro-growth policies, says Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute. The origins of Canada's problem lie within an incredible spending binge that began in the late 1960s and lasted for 16 years.

Plastic Bag Ban Will Put Los Angeles In Landfill: Proposal would provide no environmental benefits and deepen city’s economic depression. By Jay Beeber
Excerpt: There’s a crisis in Los Angeles. Is it the city’s projected $250 million budget deficit? The city’s $10 billion shortfall in pension obligations? Its crumbling infrastructure? A public school dropout rate approaching 50 percent? No, the City of Angels is facing catastrophe in the form of grocery bags. (Silly boy. The point of these things is not to help the environment. The point, as with so much of the Green Movement, is to make liberals feel good about themselves, regardless of the impact on average folks. Of course, they are always willing to get rich by "saving the environment." See Gore, Al. ~Bob.)

Iran acknowledges that Flame virus has infected computers nationwide
Excerpt: Iranian officials have acknowledged that a sophisticated virus has infected computers across the country and, echoing the conclusions of security researchers, suggested that the malicious code is related to the virus that damaged centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility two years ago.

It's Time To End The Job-Killing U.S. Sugar Policy
Excerpt: Bitter about paying artificially high prices for the non-artificial sweetener everyone uses just so a politically connected family can enjoy the sweet life? It's time lawmakers put a lid on the honey pot. An Iowa State University study has found that the federal sugar program costs U.S. consumers roughly $3.5 billion a year and deprives the workforce of 20,000 jobs. This New Deal-era framework of barriers on sugar imports and of price supports for domestic sugar is a racket that benefits only a few, in particular the Fanjul family of Florida. (When government picks winners and losers instead of the market, you can bet that the average guy will be on the loser list. ~Bob.)

Romney app misspells ‘Amercia’
Excerpt: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign misspelled the word “America” on its new iPhone app, and it’s already paying a price for it. In the app, the phrase “A Better America” is misspelled “A Better Amercia.” (What a bad typo. The Romney campaign must have a graphic artist so dumb he thinks there are 57 states. ~Bob.)

Dewhurst and Cruz headed for runoff in Texas Senate race
Excerpt: Dewhurst will face former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, a favorite of the tea party, in the July 31 runoff. The winner of that runoff will be a heavy favorite to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), after Democrats failed to land a top-tier recruit. With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Dewhurst led Cruz 46 percent to 33 percent. Seven other candidates split the vote enough, though, to push the two into a runoff, according to AP.

Dems face debt-limit dilemma
Excerpt: Democrats are grappling with how to approach another standoff with Republicans over raising the debt limit after abandoning demands for a “clean” increase last time around. In talks last year, Democrats campaigned vigorously for a debt-ceiling increase that was not paired with spending cuts or deficit reduction, only to drop the demand when the deadline for default approached in early August.

The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful — Nominations now open!
The Hill is now taking nominations for its 2012 50 Most Beautiful People list. Send nominations to 50MB@thehill.com. Please include the person's name, place of employment, contact information and a photo. Those eligible include members of Congress, congressional staffers, lobbyists and anyone else who works regularly on Capitol Hill. All nominations are kept confidential. (Best to use my full name, Robert A. Hall, not just “Bob,” when nominating, to avoid confusion…. Seriously, I nominated Cpl. Todd Nicely: US Wounded Warrior Overcomes Loss of Arms & Legs to Pass Driving Test http://www.theblaze.com/stories/wounded-warrior-overcomes-loss-of-arms-and-legs-video/ Hard to find a more beautiful American. ~Bob.)

The White House Defends Public Equity
Excerpt: Up is down, left is right, good is bad, and day is night. If you wander inside the Washington, D.C., beltway, you'll enter a bizarro world where, at times, commonsense is replaced by a localized logic that is completely divorced from the reality. The latest example of political gobbledygook comes courtesy of White House press secretary Jay Carney, who yesterday lapsed into rambling rhetoric when asked to explain how President Obama can defend the failed Solyndra solar boondoggle, yet attack private sector investments that sometimes fail but oftentimes succeed.

Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election -- which the Congressional Black Caucus chair expects will help President Obama's campaign. (And if the Romney held a briefing for “white pastors”? Of course, in Holder’s own words, these are “my people.” Not folks of other colors. For a racist, black, white, red or yellow, race is everything. ~Bob.)

Election fraud in D.C.? By Jonetta Rose Barras
Excerpt: It's too bad U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. can't indict (DC Mayor) Vincent C. Gray and his 2010 mayoral campaign team under the RICO Act. It certainly seemed as if they were running an organized criminal enterprise. Two people from Gray's inner circle essentially have admitted to obstructing justice, offering a bribe and money laundering.

Judge halts construction on nearly completed, widely-hated monster mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Excerpt: A judge has ruled that construction of a controversial Murfreesboro mosque must cease immediately. Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled that construction must cease because not enough notice was given about May 2010 public meeting. Muslim pressure group CAIR is already demanding that Eric Holder bring in the big guns.

Poland seeks apology for Obama Holocaust comments
Excerpt: Poland has demanded an apology from Washington after President Barack Obama spoke of a "Polish death camp" while announcing an award to a resistance fighter for alerting the world to the Nazi Holocaust, largely perpetrated on Polish soil. The matter is a delicate one in Poland, which suffered a brutal Nazi occupation during World War Two and has long campaigned against suggestions it bore any responsibility for the slaughter of some 6 million European Jews.

Gun beats knife
Excerpt: Being a retired cop made all the difference for Kio Ebrahimzadeh when he and his date were threatened with a knife earlier this month. The majority of California residents would have been helpless in the face of the imminent assault

Excerpt: The defection of a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to the Republican Party is raising some eyebrows. Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.

Iran's Offensive in America's Backyard. By Clare M. Lopez
Excerpt: While much attention lately has rightly been focused on Iran's nuclear weapons program, the mullahs have also been busy elsewhere—especially in America's own backyard. During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's two-term presidency, Iran has expanded its activity in the Western Hemisphere to an alarming degree.

Lawmakers seek legislation to combat labor union sabotage
Excerpt: With incidents of labor union officials and members advocating—and sometimes committing—acts of violence against businesses and non-profit organizations becoming so prevalent in the U.S., especially during disputes with management over benefits and pensions, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are considering specific legislation. (Zero chance in the Democrat Senate. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The next act of Greece’s financial tragedy looks like it’s coming. Whether or not Greece exits the euro zone immediately after its June 17 elections, most analysts now predict it’s only a matter of time until it does so. Recriminations are being hurled in all directions with Greeks blaming the European Union for abandoning them while more and more EU officials say the Greeks should look in the mirror.

Worth Reading: The End Of The Euro: A Survivor’s Guide. By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson
Excerpt: In every economic crisis there comes a moment of clarity. In Europe soon, millions of people will wake up to realize that the euro-as-we-know-it is gone. Economic chaos awaits them. … A disorderly break-up of the euro area will be far more damaging to global financial markets than the crisis of 2008. 

Quote from NRO’s Morning Jolt with Jim Geraghty
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Democrats, who fled the state to avoid voting on Walker's reforms, who let protesters take over the state capitol for several days, who compared the governor to Hitler, and who forced recalls of state legislators and the governor (putting state voters through seven elections in one year), have coalesced behind one final closing argument: Scott Walker has divided the state. Really.

Traitorous Ft Hood Bomb Plotter Cites Islam as Motivation
Excerpt: “A Muslim U.S. soldier accused of planning to bomb Fort Hood troops says he wasn’t seeking vengeance but justice for people in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a recording played at his federal trial Wednesday.

Michelle Obama's "Civilian" Act Is Hard To Swallow. By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: My prediction? As soon as the fawning media frenzy dies down and Mrs. Obama's book rises to the top of The New York Times best-seller list, POTUS will go back to claiming that FLOTUS is a "private citizen" who should be left alone. The Obamas' Chicago strategists have long enjoyed invoking selective immunity for the first lady without challenge. Lapdog reporters have assisted in creating an impenetrable bubble of political protection around the profligate, policy-meddling first lady.

Excerpt: Name-calling is the coward’s way to avoid intelligent discourse. Liberals are notorious for responding to just about anything or anyone with whom they disagree using ad hominem rebuttals to discredit their opponents.

Spending? What spending? Obama’s laughable denials. By Rich Lowry
Excerpt: Franklin Delano Roosevelt never denied that he created Social Security. Lyndon Baines Johnson didn’t forswear any responsibility for Medicaid. Ronald Reagan never argued that his defense buildup didn’t happen. The Obama White House, in contrast, wants to wish away the historic federal spending that is one of its signature accomplishments.

Excerpt: A new report by the California division of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) found that left-wing political activism has had a corrupting effect on the University of California (UC). The report, entitled A Crisis of Competence, found that left-wing political activism in the University’s classrooms has caused four basic problems: (A lot of this has been discussed for some time, but an official report with actual numbers is the kind of factual input needed to remove any doubt about what goes on in the universities. And as the article says, it doesn't matter how many courses are still taught appropriately, what matters is how many are taught inappropriately. Clearly way too many, from what we see of activities on and off campus by students. A student can take 5-6 classes per semester, but it only takes one of them, in history or polisci or psychology, etc, where the leftist vision of America is presented as factual, to have a serious and very unfortunate affect on that student's thinking. If in the 40 or so courses that make up his/her years in college, only 3-6 of them are badly taught, that's still way too many, with way too much effect on that student's mindset. –Del. American Universities celebrate every kind of diversity except diversity of thought—the only kind that matters. ~Bob.)

The Week That Was: 2012-05-26 (May 26, 2012)
Excerpt: On Thursday, the EPA held the only public hearings on its proposed new rules, “Carbon Pollution Standards on New Power Plants.” One hearing was in Chicago and one was in Washington. The Washington hearing was packed with environmental groups, all claiming that coal-fired power plants should be closed down for reasons of public health. (The excerpt is from Ken Haapala’s summary of the week’s news, but the most important thing to read may be the third numbered article (reprinted in full at the end of the post), “Scientific Method and Climate Change” by Vincent Gray. Dr. Gray published it privately in printed format only, so it has no online link. Dr. Gray was one of the IPCC’s “expert reviewers” and frequently testifies for NZ police departments as an “expert witness.” This brief, powerful article shows the holes through which the climate scams are being driven in truckload quantities. Ron P. )

Obama regime again tells media to scrub story about Michelle Obama’s Beyonce concert junket
Excerpt: Just as I expected. Obama instructed his lapdogs in the media to scrub the story about Michelle Obama and their kids going to Atlantic City to see a Beyonce concert on the tax payer’s dime. Like good lapdogs, the media obligated and scrubbed the story just like they did when Malia Obama went to Mexico with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents back in March. Oh, and then a day after Malia Obama returned from the tax payer funded trip to Mexico, the two Obama daughters went with Michelle Obama to Las Vegas on the tax payer’s dime. Must be nice. 9Look over there! Anne Romney bought an expensive blouse with her own money! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In the wake of Chen Guangcheng arriving safely in the United States, after years of persecution in China for his anti-abortion activism, The House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on H.R. 3541 (also known as the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act – PRENDA), a bill to ban sex-selection abortions in the United States. Although the US has strongly condemned China for their sex-selection abortion practices, only four states (AZ, OK, PA and IL) currently have laws banning the procedure.

AP Exclusive: Calif. 9/11 fund raided for deficits
Excerpt: But a review by The Associated Press of the $15 million collected since lawmakers approved the "California Memorial Scholarship Program" shows only a small fraction of the money went to scholarships. While 40 percent has funded anti-terror training programs, $3 million was raided by Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to plug the state's budget deficit.

Sentenced to death for singing and dancing at wedding
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, police say.

Somali Islamists fire on foreign warships
Excerpt: Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents said Tuesday they had fired on two foreign warships that came in close to the key rebel port of Kismayo, in the first such reported incident.

Catholic Church -- Socialism vs Democracy
Excerpt: Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom. (Socialism vs Democracy! Very powerful and insightful message that should be shared with all. --MM)

'Trayvon Martin Day' Indoctrination in D.C.; Priming the next generation of race rioters. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: In an event that illuminates the ongoing politicization of the nation's public schools, Malcolm X Elementary school in Washington D.C. held an event called "Trayvon Martin Day" last Friday. "The children at Malcolm X know the name Trayvon Martin," principal, J. Harrison Coleman told WJLA-TV. (But do they know the name of Chris Cervini? Why not? ~Bob. http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/what_if_trayvon_had_been_white_and_the_shooter_black.html#ixzz1qBLNnX9L)

Our Nation's Future. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: Our nation is rapidly approaching a point from which there's little chance to avoid a financial collapse. The heart of our problem can be seen as a tragedy of the commons. That's a set of circumstances when something is commonly owned and individuals acting rationally in their own self-interest produce a set of results that's inimical to everyone's long-term interest.

EDITORIAL: Giving the Internet to the U.N.
Excerpt: That Beijing and Moscow are backing the idea is enough to know it’s a bad one. The free flow of information has always been an enemy of thuggish regimes. To them, individual expression and the unlimited exchange of ideas - which the Internet has made possible for some oppressed people for the first time in history - must be stamped out.

Cherokees to Elizabeth Warren: ‘We don’t claim you!’
Excerpt: More than 150 Cherokee Indians have joined a group online demanding more information from Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren about her claims of Native American heritage. (…) Warren has been embroiled in a controversy for weeks after it was revealed that the Harvard law professor once touted herself as an American Indian minority. She has since struggled to prove those claims as critics argue she claimed that heritage to further her career. (Liberal diversity-whore speak with forked tongue. ~Bob.)

Iran negotiations just buying time – for Iran
Excerpt: Allowing Iran to retain uranium enrichment technology and materials is a deadly concession, one that ultimately will lead us to war. The reason is very simple: The very same centrifuges that spin uranium gas to 3% enrichment to make fuel for nuclear power plants can spin a bit longer to enrich the gas to 90% to make nuclear weapons material. Same centrifuges, same process, same materials. The only added ingredient is time. Guess what the Iranians have been buying over the past three years? Time.

Excerpt: The May 2012 issue of “California Educator,” published by the California Teachers Association – that’s “teachers union” in plain English – has a two page political ad on pages 20 and 21 that urges teachers to fight a state initiative that will be on California’s November ballot. The text of this ad, which can be removed and used as a poster, includes these nuggets: (Another serious whack at union power in California. --Del)

What Happens to the Supreme Court if Obama Gets Re-Elected?
Excerpt: So for anybody who is thinking of not voting because your favorite didn’t get nominated, or writing in a candidate who can’t win. . . . Imagine this: Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton. (Or both! ~Bob.)

Bain, Solyndra now center stage in Romney, Obama economic fight
Excerpt: Solyndra and Bain Capital have become the battleground on which President Obama and Mitt Romney are warring over who would best lead the U.S. economy. 
Obama's top aides on Wednesday, for a second day in a row, sought to prevent Romney's attacks on the bankrupt, taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra from overshadowing the Obama campaign's criticism of Romney's private-equity background. 

Excerpt: With six days to go until the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a new poll indicates that the Republican governor holds a seven point advantage over his Democratic challenger. According to a Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday, 52% of people likely to vote in Wisconsin's June 5 election say they back Walker, with 45% saying they support Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger. (Saw an e-mail from the Barrett campaign, claiming it was tied. We shall see. ~Bob.)

Spain scuttles clean-energy subsidies; promptly watches the industry go down like a sinking ship
Excerpt: Serious question, greenies: is a nation justified in completely running its economy into the ground, with all of the hardship and heartache that ensues, if it’s all for the sake of instilling the populace with what the government deems necessary environmental virtue?

Moveon.Org: We May Have To Pull The Plug On Elizabeth Warren
Excerpt: MoveOn, a giant in the progressive political world and an early endorser of Barack Obama in 2008, warns that it might have to “pull the plug” on key campaigns to help Obama and Senate Democrats if its five million members don’t pony up with at least $5. Without a rush of new cash, MoveOn says it will have to give up efforts to elect Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, help the recall fight against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and energize younger voters who’ve soured on Washington. (Just a political fund-raising scare tactic. Both sides use them. Sigh. ~Bob.)

Are the Bush Wars to blame for deficits?
Interesting chart. ~Bob

Subpar Obama Recovery: 6.5 Million Jobs Below Average. By John Merline 
Excerpt: But the economic recovery that Obama has presided over has been far from extraordinary. It hasn't even been ordinary. In fact, it's come in well below average on several key indicators compared with the previous 10 economic recoveries, dating back to 1949, according to an IBD analysis of various economic data.

New Yorkers Leave Like East Germans Fled Communism
Excerpt From 1949 to 1961, more than 2.6 million of East Germany's 17 million population escaped to West Berlin or West Germany, a hemorrhage of humanity that led the Communists to construct the infamous Berlin Wall in 1961. The state of New York, with about 19.5 million people, has no known plans to erect concrete barriers or barbed wire fences. But from 2000 to 2010 it suffered an exodus of some 3.4 million New Yorkers (17%) — nearly a million more people than in Germany's post-war experience and more than that of any other state. (California will catch them--I have faith. ~Bob.)

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