Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Political Digest April 14, 2010

Still away from home.

The government can do this:
But won't do anything about this:

America's War On Islamist Terror...Or Is It?
Excerpt: “YOU ARE HEREBY commanded to show cause.” The general studied the document in his hands. It was a writ of habeas corpus. A federal judge was presuming, in the midst of war, to order him to report to the courthouse the following morning and explain the basis on which the U.S. Army was holding a prisoner of war....Louisiana had only been a state for about three years when, in early 1815, General Andrew Jackson authorized the arrest and detention of Louis Louailler. “Old Hickory” had just saved the Republic by defeating the British forces of General Sir Edward Pakenham in the decisive Battle of New Orleans. The Treaty of Ghent, which formally concluded the War of 1812, had actually been signed by British and American foreign ministers over two weeks earlier. But news of the treaty did not reach the U.S. in time to forestall the battle. It was the one great American victory of the war.

AAAS Delta Force
Excerpt: This in my inbox today from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are soliciting ideas. The WUWT readership may want to send some along. Here’s the political spin pitch: Through AAAS, and our new Expert Labs program, the Obama administration wants to draw on the collective wisdom of scientists everywhere in deciding which scientific and technological challenges should be the focus of policy initiatives in the coming years....Now, the White House wants your help in shaping the federal government’s current and future scientific priorities. As scientists and concerned citizens, we have a great responsibility and a unique opportunity to be the voices that are helping to define the White House’s scientific agenda. Make your voice heard. Submit your ideas today. (From my Marine buddy, Count: Being well past April 1st, this is no joke. Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That blog) posted this on his site early today. What say we all ask them to: 1. demand verifiable, reproducible science to justify climate change legislation before that legislation takes place; and 2. make a firm commitment to a manned-space program flying within the next four years. (It WILL matter to us if the primary language of those controlling low-Earth orbit isn't English. "I always knew I'd live to see the first American land on the Moon. I never dreamed I'd see the last"--Robert Heinlein.) Ron P.

Florida’s 22nd U.S. House District: West vs. Klein
Excerpt: “That fellow is the most phenomenal gambler I have ever encountered. Each time he loses, he simply doubles his stake and rolls his dice once again.”
In Robert Harris’s new novel Conspirata, those words are supposedly what Roman Sen. Marcus Cicero said about his colleague Julius Caesar. The young Caesar had just come from behind to defeat two more senior opponents for leader of Rome. The same words could easily be applied to Allen West—retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and Desert Storm veteran, whose maiden political mission was carrying the Republican banner against freshman Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in Florida’s 22nd District two years ago.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs
Excerpt: Whoa, this is obviously a huge and scary change, look at the slope of that trend line, this must be something that calls for immediate action. So, what’s not to like about this graph? What’s wrong with it is that there is nothing in the graph that we can compare to our normal existence. Usually, we don’t even go so far as to think “Well, it’s changed about one degree Fahrenheit, call it half a degree C, that’s not even enough to feel the difference.”

Andy Stern’s America
Excerpt: Last night, Politico reported that Service Employees International Union President Andrew Stern is expected to resign and, according to The New York Times, the resignation is about to happen very soon. If Stern does resign, he will be doing so while at the top of his game. Stern told The Las Vegas Sun last year: “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama – $60.7 million to be exact – and we’re proud of it.” President Obama is well aware of his huge debt to the SEIU. That is why he admits in his autobiography, “I owe those unions.” And it also explains why Stern is the most frequent Obama White House visitor, according to official visitor logs. Stern’s access to President Obama has already paid huge dividends including: an $862 billion stimulus that prevented states from having to cut-back government union jobs or wages; $2.5 trillion in new government health care spending, much of which will go to unionized health care providers; and the appointment of SEIU associate general counsel Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. The NYT describes the SEIU under Stern’s tenure as “the nation’s most politically active union, with 1.9 million members.” The marriage of politics to union organizing has been great for SEIU membership, making it the fastest-growing union in America. But what has been great for SEIU’s membership rolls has not been good for the SEIU’s bottom line. Growing union membership through politics is expensive. The Wall Street Journal reports that as recently as 2002, total SEIU liabilities were about $8 million. But by 2008, the union owed more than $156 million, a 30% increase over the $120 million it owed in 2007. And make no mistake, lobbying government is where Stern believes the future of SEIU is. After President Obama’s election, SEIU fired 75 national field staff and organizers so that the SEIU could “reallocate resources … to lobbying and communications in Washington.”

John Voight comes out swinging
Voight is already a non-person in Hollywood because of his conservative views and his fearless speaking up. After this speech he made on TV, you can be sure he'll never be seen in a movie or TV program again. He's come out harsh and straight about Mr. Obama and the need of people to join the active protest movements. –Del

This interview was broadcast on Fox news this past weekend. You can hear John Voight speaking the words below on the video from the link below.
Excerpt: In one year, the American people are witnessing the greatest lie that is cleverly orchestrated by President Obama and his whole administration. The lie is a potent aggression that feeds the needs of people who either have not educated themselves enough to understand the assault upon us all or the very poor and needy who live to be taken care of. President Obama feeds these people poison, giving them the idea that they are entitled to take from the wealthier who have lived and worked in a democracy that understands that capitalism is the only truth that keeps a nation healthy and fed. Now the lie goes very deep and President Obama has been cleverly trained in the Alinsky method and it would be very important that every American knows what that method is.

The Left Squashes Life’s Little Pleasures
Excerpt: Reading the onslaught of angry denunciations of Burger King by mental health organizations and mainstream media reporters this past week reminded me of a characteristic of the Left not often commented on: a certain joylessness, even an antipathy to the little joys that contribute more than almost anything else to most people’s ability to endure the difficulties of life. These characteristics further reinforce the view that Leftism functions as a (secular) religion. Like medieval Christians who wore hair shirts and Puritans who thought dancing was sacrilegious, the Left, consciously or not, is uncomfortable with many of the joys — with notable exceptions such as sex and drugs — that people experience. Needless to say, the Left always has noble explanations — usually, the protection of people’s emotions and health — for opposing and even banning many joys of life. But the end result is fewer of these little joys that mean a great deal to people. Burger King’s ad was innocuous and innocent. It featured the company’s royal mascot running through a building, knocking a person over and crashing through a glass window to deliver the new Burger King Steakhouse XT burger. Called “crazy” by those present, he was finally tackled by men in white coats. “The king’s insane,” the ad noted, for “offering so much beef for $3.99.”This has triggered a storm of criticism from activists (a term which, unless otherwise specified, means liberal or left).Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, called the ad “blatantly offensive … I was stunned. Absolutely stunned and appalled,” he said. David Shern, president and chief executive of Mental Health America in Alexandria, Va., echoed this assessment. And reporters from the Associated Press to the Washington Post all agreed.

The insanity of greenery
Excerpt: First, let me say I’m a fan of solar power when done correctly and without financial carrots hung out for electricity generation that entice abuse of the system. I put solar on my own home. Bishop Hill points out that some solar power installations in Germany were producing power at night.

Chance for 41 votes and a spine
Powerful interests? Would that be, say, the trial lawyers, the unions and the organized race hustlers? No? Why not? Excerpt: President Obama probably isn't looking for another "wise Latina" to put on the Supreme Court to replace John Paul Stevens, but he's apparently looking for a rabble-rouser. He promised on his return from Prague that he will nominate someone who knows "that in a democracy powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens." Ordinarily, this sort of boiler-plate civics-lesson blah-blah is easily dismissed as a politician's instinctive blather, but this is community-activism writ large, reflecting what Barack Obama actually believes and wants to impose on the court if he means what he says. The voices of ordinary citizens are important, and it's important to make sure their voices aren't "drowned out" by "powerful interests," but once upon a time that was not the job of judges. The job description for a Supreme Court justice was about allegiance and dedication to the Constitution, which would take care of the citizens, ordinary and otherwise. A justice of the Supreme Court understood that he was to look to the law and leave community organizing to someone like Barack Obama.

GOP official beaten
Those violent, left-wing haters, coffee-party Democrats! Excerpt: Allee Bautsch, chief campaign fundraiser for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and her boyfriend Joe Brown, were savagely beaten Friday night in New Orleans after leaving a Republican party fundraising dinner by a group of thugs who reportedly targeted the couple because they were wearing Sarah Palin pins.

UK PM tells illegal immigrants: ‘You are not welcome’
Excerpt: The BBC reports that UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stepped up his pre-election rhetoric on immigration by telling would-be illegal migrants: “You are not welcome.” Mr. Brown said there had been a significant drop in asylum claims and net immigration thanks to Labour’s “tough and hard-headed” policy. But he warned against scaremongering and urged a “united front” among the main parties. The Tories said Mr. Brown had “failed on immigration” and had no new ideas to combat xenophobia.

The Monster That Ate Congress
Excerpt: When Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of ObamaCare that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," she wasn't kidding. Some of the things we're finding out are shocking, horrifying--and even hilarious. Remember President Obama's promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. The Hill reports that pledge has gone by the boards in a big way: Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes--in 2019 alone--due to healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress's official scorekeeper. The new law raises $15.2 billion over 10 years by limiting the medical expense deduction, a provision widely used by taxpayers who either have a serious illness or are older. Taxpayers can currently deduct medical expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. Starting in 2013, most taxpayers will only be able to deduct expenses greater than 10 percent of AGI. Older taxpayers are hit by this threshold increase in 2017. Once the law is fully implemented in 2019, the JCT estimates the deduction limitation will affect 14.8 million taxpayers--14.7 million of them will earn less than $200,000 a year.

Patient stories on the web may not be real
I’m shocked! Excerpt: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” was the caption of the famous cartoon by Peter Steiner in the July 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker. The same is true of patient stories on health Web sites: nobody knows who really wrote them.

Our Nuclear Posture Under the Obama administration? Supine.
Excerpt: During the course of the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq fired 88 Scud missiles at targets in Israel and Saudi Arabia. All of them were armed with conventional warheads. This despite the fact that Iraq then possessed large stocks of chemical and biological weapons. Indeed, after the war, U.N. chief weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus found that Iraq had armed 25 missile warheads and 166 bombs with biological weapons. None of them were used, even as the Iraqi military faced the overwhelming might of a U.S.-led international coalition in a war Iraq was sure to lose. So what stayed Saddam Hussein’s hand? As the Iraqis tell it, they feared an American nuclear response. (But that was BO—Before Obama!)

Absolutely Fabulists: Liberal Mythmaking
Excerpt: Following 9/11, there was a debate over the need for "inclusiveness" in a proposed 9/11 Memorial based on the iconic photograph of three white firemen raising an American flag at Ground Zero. At the far end of a broad spectrum of sentiments was the hope that "the artistic expression of diversity would supersede any concern over factual correctness"[i]. On this view, a memorial depicting a factual account of the event would have been racist, sexist, and divisive. The logic of diversity takes otherwise straightforward matters and twists them into politicized knots. Facts be damned....What has historically distinguished conservative (or what used to be called "classical liberal") political thought from that of leftists is that conservatives remember their mistakes and consequently can learn from them. Conservatism adapts its ideology to contrary evidence; liberalism reinterprets contrary evidence to fit its ideology.

Dirty bomb danger revealed in India
Coming soon to a once-great Republic near you. Excerpt: The frightening ease with which ingredients for a dirty bomb can be assembled has been dramatically illustrated in New Delhi, where cobalt-60 turned up in a scrap metal market, injuring five people, one seriously. According to DNA India: "The experts have identified the material as Cobalt-60. They have identified six sources of Cobalt-60 from the scrap shop," BB Bhattacharya, member of National Disaster Management Authority and former director of BARC, told PTI. [Press Trust of India]

Democrats Back FCC Efforts to Regulate Internet
You there! You are sending anti-Obama emails? Hate speech is not permitted—take him away. Excerpt: In the wake of the Court of Appeals judgment last week that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lacks sufficient authority to regulate broadband services, senior congressional Democrats are reaffirming their support for alternative methods of executing what some critics charge would be a de facto government takeover of the internet.

Baffled by Health Plan? So Are Some Lawmakers
Excerpt: The law promises that people can keep coverage they like, largely unchanged. For members of Congress and their aides, the federal employees health program offers much to like. But, the report says, the men and women who wrote the law may find that the guarantee of stability does not apply to them. “It is unclear whether members of Congress and Congressional staff who are currently participating in F.E.H.B.P. may be able to retain this coverage,” the research service said in an 8,100-word memorandum.

Who’s Behind the ‘Crash the Tea Party’ Website?
Round up the usual suspects among left-wing haters. Excerpt: If there has been one constant in our national politics of the last year, it has been the continuous assault by progressives and liberals against the grassroots tea party movement. As the tea party movement has gained support and become more effective, the attacks have ramped up. After attempts to ignore the movement failed, progressive astroturfing specialists attempted to create a countering Coffee Party movement that quickly fizzled out. When that tactic failed, the left-leaning op-ed pages went into direct attack mode and only served to further distance themselves from mainstream America. Out of momentum, out of sorts, and out of ideas, progressives were left with one alternative: framing tea party activists as a group of unpalatable racists and bigots that any reasonable person would shy away from. Such is the mission of www.crashtheteaparty.org, a newly incorporated website seemingly dedicated to widespread and organized fraud to discredit the tea party movement, as it boasts on its home page:

Al-Qaida search for nukes stymied by criminal ’scams,’ White House says

Excerpt: Al-Qaida has attempted for at least 15 years to obtain material to make a nuclear weapon but has so far failed to do so because they have been “scammed” several times by criminal syndicates, the White House said Monday. “The evidence is strong, the track record is demonstrated and we know that al-Qaida continues to pursue these materials,” said John Brennan, President Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser.

Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Resurgence
Excerpt: This past week saw another key success in Russia’s resurgence in former Soviet territory when pro-Russian forces took control of Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz revolution was quick and intense. Within 24 hours, protests that had been simmering for months spun into countrywide riots as the president fled and a replacement government took control. The manner in which every piece necessary to exchange one government for another fell into place in such a short period discredits arguments that this was a spontaneous uprising of the people in response to unsatisfactory economic conditions. Instead, this revolution appears prearranged.

Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia
Excerpt: Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty. Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers. "Is it scary? It sure is," said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"

Good Riddance by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: When Supreme Court Justices retire, there is usually some pious talk about their "service," especially when it has been a long "service." But the careers of all too many of these retiring jurists, including currently retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, have been an enormous disservice to this country. Justice Stevens was on the High Court for 35 years-- more's the pity, or the disgrace. Justice Stevens voted to sustain racial quotas, created "rights" out of thin air for terrorists, and took away American citizens' rights to their own homes in the infamous "Kelo" decision of 2005. The Constitution of the United States says that the government must pay "just compensation" for seizing a citizen's private property for "public use." In other words, if the government has to build a reservoir or bridge, and your property is in the way, they can take that property, provided that they pay you its value.

1 comment:

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