Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Political Digest September 23, 2009

Obama’s Flat Tire—Chicago Tribune Editorial,0,5463911.story
Excerpt: President Barack Obama recently told a gathering of the AFL-CIO that "one of the fundamental reasons I ran for president was to stand up for working families." Those words may ring a little hollow for working people the next time they need to buy a set of tires for the family car. Obama has slapped a 35 percent tariff on car tires imported from China. That will raise the price of the most affordable tires sold in the U.S…. The U.S. has encouraged other nations to avoid erecting trade barriers in response to a global recession, but Obama has just undermined those diplomatic efforts. The pressure to resort to protectionism has been particularly strong in recent months as many nations grapple with declining domestic output. China, not surprisingly, has filed a protest over the tire tariffs with the World Trade Organization, calling them "a serious case of trade protectionism, which China resolutely opposes." Nice: China is giving the U.S. a deserved lecture on free markets.

Another Obama program caught in undercover sting
'Milk it, baby – It's free money': You won't believe what happens inside Cash for Clunkers operation
the folks who will soon be running healthcare,

Insane killer escaped from field trip
Excerpt: An insane killer was recaptured Sunday, three days after he slipped away from the staff of a mental institution during a trip to a county fair more than 180 miles away from the side of a highway where he eventually was found. (Makes you feel all warm and proud that, here in America, insane killers get field trips to hang around regular folks, ride the rides with the kids, check out the live stock, and see the sideshows. Wonder if “Billy the Drug-Crazed Boy” is still on the sideshow circuit?)

U.S. Commanders Told to Shift Focus to More Populated Areas
Excerpt: BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan -- Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top military officer in Afghanistan, has told his commanders to pull forces out of sparsely populated areas where U.S. troops have fought bloody battles with the Taliban for several years and focus them on protecting major Afghan population centers. But the changes, which amount to a retreat from some areas, have already begun to draw resistance from senior Afghan officials who worry that any pullback from Taliban-held territory will make the weak Afghan government appear even more powerless in the eyes of its people.

General's Review Creates Rupture
As Military Backs Call for More Troops in Afghanistan, Civilian Advisers Balk
Excerpt: Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's grim assessment of the Afghanistan war has opened a divide between the military, which is pushing for an early decision to send more troops, and civilian policymakers who are increasingly doubtful of an escalating nation-building effort. Senior military officials emphasized Monday that McChrystal's conclusion that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan "will likely result in failure" without an urgent infusion of troops has been endorsed by the uniformed leadership. That includes Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command and architect of the troop "surge" strategy widely seen as helping U.S. forces turn the corner in Iraq. But before any decision is made, some of President Obama's civilian advisers have proposed looking at other, less costly options to address his primary goal of preventing al-Qaeda from reestablishing itself in Afghanistan. Those options include a redirection of U.S. efforts -- away from protecting the Afghan population and building the Afghan state and toward persuading the Taliban to stop fighting -- as well as an escalation of targeted attacks against al-Qaeda itself in Pakistan and elsewhere. (Washington, DC, January, 1944. Senior Advisors to President Roosevelt pushed new options including a redirection of U.S. efforts away from a costly invasion of Europe requiring more troops and toward persuading the Nazis to stop fighting. Good luck with this one.)

Afghan warlords will fight if U.S. gives weapons
Excerpt (Need to scroll down on the link to read.): Afghanistan's long-established warlords and tribal leaders are offering to step up their fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda if the United States sends them more money and weapons, reprising the role they played before 2001. The offer could be tempting to President Obama, who is being urged to build up U.S. troop strength in the country in spite of rising domestic opposition to the war, especially in the aftermath of a fraud-tainted Afghan presidential election. Afghans who led ethnic militias against the Soviet occupation two decades ago say more U.S. troops would not be needed if the United States provided them with financial and material backing. "If you support me, I will destroy the Taliban and al Qaeda," Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum told The Washington Times in an interview at his northern stronghold. "I don't want to be a minister, not even the defense minister. I need to be with my soldiers. Give me the task and I will do it."

Taliban makes IEDs deadlier
Excerpt: The Taliban has been building simpler, cheaper anti-personnel bombs made of hard-to-detect nonmetal components, increasing the number of lethal attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to a confidential military report. The shift in the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) away from larger anti-armor bombs has allowed the Taliban to produce more weapons and hide them in more places as they strive to kill larger numbers of American forces in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province and other contested regions. The change in production from metal-dominated explosives to devices made of plastic is making it more difficult for ground troops to detect the buried IEDs with portable mine-detectors, creating an "urgent need" inside the Pentagon for better detection devices, the report said.

Pashtuns and Pakistanis (long but important)
Excerpt: The war in Afghanistan obviously isn't going well. Depressing critiques from all quarters underscore Afghanistan's appalling poverty, warlordism, religious conservatism, corruption, poppy fields, and retrograde matrix of ethnicity and tribe. Many of those who wanted to cut and run from Iraq have become similarly anxious about what, at least until November 2008, they saw as a better war. The stay-and-fight crowd is still the more powerful in Washington, but armed tenacity is an unnatural position for many pro-war liberals and some post-Cold War conservatives. Their support of President Barack Obama's war could wane. The prospect of a long conflict in a Muslim country could be daunting. To see that this war is worth fighting is not to deny that Afghanistan could become even more demanding than George W. Bush's "war of choice." Topography alone could make the conflict more wearing: Some of the most violent areas of Afghanistan have some of the world's most formidable terrain. Iraq is a nation of well-paved roads; Afghanistan is a rough, rolling sea of rocks and dirt. Like the Bush administration on Iraq, the Obama administration has yet to be frank about what an American commitment to the war in Central Asia will cost. No Larry Lindsey has yet arisen in the Obama White House and spoken truth to power. We could soon have 100,000 soldiers deployed, and we could have them there for years. Comparisons between the United States in Vietnam and in Afghanistan are for the most part surreal (the North Vietnamese and Vietcong had the Soviet Union behind them), but the image of helicopters flying over jungles will soon be matched--if the Obama administration is serious about fighting--by a horizon of helicopters flying over Afghanistan's parched mountains, verdant river valleys, and stacked-rock towns and villages….And it's most unlikely that Obama will be able to guilt-trip the Europeans into spending more. It will be a diplomatic miracle if the administration can just keep them contributing what they do now. Obama, who regularly chastised the Bush administration for its supposedly unrivaled capacity to alienate our allies, could well oversee the de facto dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. European leaders have clearly shown that Obama's election didn't make them any more willing to put their troops into combat.

From a Marine Vet: Taliban saying: "Americans may have all the wrist watches; but we have all the time."

Pakistani jihadists recruiting entire families to join the jihad -- from Europe
Excerpt: The German government is trying to secure the release of a group of suspected German Islamists who were arrested by Pakistani authorities while making their way to a jihadist colony in the Waziristan region along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Entire families from Germany are moving to the region to join the jihad.

Muslims against fruit drinks

Bulldozers move in on French migrant camp
Vive La France! Bulldozers move in to flatten camp known as 'the jungle' only a few hours after about 200 of its mostly Afghan inhabitants were removed by French police

Indian couple 'murdered family with poisoned chapatis'
The Bush Doctrine: A 19-year-old girl and her lover allegedly killed seven close relatives, including her parents, because they feared they would be murdered themselves in an honour killing.

Hannah Giles and ACORN,_it_wasn%E2%80%99t_my_idea_for_hannah_giles_to_dress_like_a_hooker_and_infiltrate_acorn
Dad speaks out.

The Underdogs—Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Many people would consider it a handicap to be a black orphan, born in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression of the 1930s. But the home into which I was adopted had four adults and I was the only child. Many years later, when I was a parent and asked one of the surviving members of that family how old I was when I started walking, she said: "Oh, Tommy, nobody knows when you could walk. Somebody was always carrying you." You can't buy that. A leading historian of education has said that the New York City public schools were the best in the country during the 1940s. That was when I went to school there. That was enough piece of sheer good luck that came my way. Today the classes are smaller, the buildings more modern-- but the education itself is a disaster. I got the kind of education that people have to go to expensive private schools to get today. Perhaps more important, nobody told me that I couldn't make it because I was poor and black, or that I ought to hate white people today because of what some other white people did to my ancestors in some other time. (We would have a lot more successful black folks, if black leaders followed Sowell’s advice. But successful black folks reduces black leaders’ and liberals’ power, so they want to keep them poor.)

Healthcare Reform to move?
Contacts in DC tell me that Sen. Reid intends to merge to Senate Finance Committee and House HELP Committee bills and bring a bill to the floor next week.

Here's your 'demonstration project,' Mr. President -- it's called Mississippi
Excerpt: Since passing tort reform in 2004, Mississippi has seen the number of medical malpractice claims plummet by 91 percent from its peak. The state's largest medical liability insurer dropped its premiums by 42 percent, and has offered an additional 20 percent rebate each year since tort reform went into effect.

5 Reasons Obama's Election Is Bad For Race Relations
Excerpt: However, when black Americans started voting for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton by the same lopsided margins that people normally saw in general elections, it sent a simple message: With black Americans, race comes first. If white Americans felt the same way, there's certainly no way that Barack Obama could ever have been elected President. Additionally, many white Americans pride themselves on having internalized Martin Luther King's immortal words…

A Poor Way to Help the Poor
Excerpt: Still, politicians often claim government doesn’t spend enough to help the poor. During last year’s campaign, for example, Barack Obama announced that, “George Bush spent the last six years slashing programs to combat poverty.” But welfare spending has vastly increased year after year, and decade after decade. How much? In a new report from The Heritage Foundation, welfare experts Robert Rector, Katherine Bradley and Rachel Sheffield write that, “For the past two decades, means-tested welfare or aid to the poor has been the fastest growing component of government spending, outstripping the combined growth of Medicare and Social Security spending, as well as the growth in education and defense spending.” The charge that President Bush underfunded welfare simply doesn’t ring true. “During the eight years that President George W. Bush was in office, annual welfare spending rose in current dollars by 67 percent,” the Heritage researchers found. “After adjusting for inflation and population growth, welfare spending still rose by one-fourth under President Bush.” (You mean…gasp…Obama lied?)

Tim Pawlenty speaks to Values Voters Summit
Speaking to Obama appeasement.

Online Retailers Drop More Affiliates over Internet Taxes
Democrats tend to believe that if they put a $100 tax on something, they will get $100, despite the evidence—at the highest levels of their party—that people will takes steps, legal or otherwise, to avoid taxes. Here’s another example, but they never let facts and experience interfere with hope and change.

Graying Britain Looks to Assisted Suicide Reform
All those old Brits cost the National Health Service too much money. With so many of the young being Muslims—excuse me, Asians—on the dole, just not enough cash for the old Brits. Have to shuffle off. Death Panels, anyone?

The Free Enterprise Nation: Private Sector Has Had Enough
Excerpt: Today The Free Enterprise Nation is beginning a national effort to unite more than 5 million businesses with 115 million employees and everyday citizens to fight excessive government spending on a bureaucracy too big to sustain. Founded by James MacDougald and Greg Capello, The Free Enterprise Nation represents the economic interests of the businesses and employees who are taxed to provide government and public education employees higher wages and pension benefits, 10 to 25 years sooner, than can be provided in the private sector. The effort launched today with a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal to be followed by full-page ads in Inc., FORTUNE Small Business, Forbes, and Fast Co. “Enough is enough,” said MacDougald, who has invested more than $1 million in the effort. “Government can only be effective if it is also efficient and answerable to the people it is designed to serve. The Free Enterprise Nation is here to remind elected officials that they represent the people, not just themselves or their bureaucracy. Our plan is to speak with a unified voice so large and so loud our elected officials will be forced to listen.”

Controversy Erupts Over Washington State Firefighter Deaths,02128.cfm
Excerpt: The 30 mile fire in north central Washington state grew fast and furious in a matter of hours. Four firefighters killed in the line of duty. Now, three weeks after their deaths, questions are surfacing. Among them, did the Endangered Species Act put crews at risk? A Colorado congressman charges that dispatchers delayed sending a helicopter to drop water on the flames for nearly two hours because a nearby water source contained threatened fish. (PETA will be pleased.)

Chrysler’s Railroad
On a lot of blogs, but I can’t verify. But a controlled economy is a corrupt, inefficient economy. Always has been, always will. Which is not to suggest there is no corruption in a market economy, just that the freer the economy, generally the higher the standard of living. Money and power in any location attract corrupt people of all stripes.

Obama takes cue from Charlie Gibson
Excerpt: Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.” Never mind that Barack Obama used to work for ACORN

Strategic Race Baiting
Excerpt: Once again, the Left is trying to label decent people as monsters and the righteous as hypocrites. Today conservatives and the religious Right have a unique opportunity to re-brand themselves as being compassionate and caring toward the poor. We cannot afford to fall into the trap of winning a Pyrrhic victory on pet issues, while being negatively labeled so that no one can hear our voices on major long-term fronts.

President Jimmy Carter has claimed that the much of the recent challenges to the administration were personal. “I think people that are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by the belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African-American.” were his misguided conclusions. Unfortunately, it does not help the conservative movement to have the Tea Party movement cast as racist. One writer (Keith Richburg of The News International) penned the following observations, “One did not have to look too hard at the 12 September anti-Obama rally in Washington – an overwhelmingly white, largely rural crowd – to see the sea of Confederate flags, a symbol of ‘heritage’ to some southern whites and a symbol of racist oppression to blacks. Or the racially laden signs, such as ‘The zoo has an African lion – the White House has a lyin’ African.’ Others held signs that demanded Obama be sent ‘back to Kenya’.”

You might be a racist if….Humor from the Patriot Post
--If you think that a czar is unconstitutional... you might be a racist!
--If you are opposed to a government run health care system... you might be a racist!
--If you think that it is un-American to bow before the Saudi King... you might be a racist!
--If you think that the stimulus plan has been an utter failure... you might be a racist!
--If you think that this administration is driving the deficit up at alarming rates... you might be a racist!
--If you think that this is a nation based on Christian values... you might be a racist!
--If you think that communism and socialism are NOT the solution... you might be a racist!
--If you value the 1st Amendment, but think that the media is state-run... you might be a racist!
--If you are sick and tired of the race card being played... you might be a racist!
--If you are a racist according to the current liberal agenda... you might just be an American!

And my additions:

--If you think Black politicians like Roland Burris, Jessie Jackson Jr. and Charlie Rangel should be held to the same ethical standards as white and Asian politicians... you might be a racist!
--If you didn’t vote for President Obama... you might be a racist!
--If you circulated a cartoon picturing President Obama as a monkey or Hitler, like the cartoons Democrats circulated about President Bush... you might be a racist!
--If you think ACORN shouldn’t get tax dollars to do fraudulent voter registrations and advise people how to commit tax fraud or open bordellos for under age sex slaves... you might be a racist!
--If you think the Black Panther thugs who intimidated white voters in Philadelphia with nightsticks should be prosecuted... you might be a racist!
--If you think Jimmy Carter, who was elected governor of Georgia on a race-bailing platform in 1970, is wrong that most people who oppose President Obama do it because he is a black man... you might be a racist!
--If you think illegal immigration is illegal... you might be a racist!
--If you think taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for health care for illegal immigrants... you might be a racist!

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