Monday, April 19, 2010

Political Digest April 19, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Gates Says U.S. Lacks Policy to Curb Iran’s Nuclear Drive
Excerpt: But in his memo, Mr. Gates wrote of a variety of concerns, including the absence of an effective strategy should Iran choose the course that many government and outside analysts consider likely: Iran could assemble all the major parts it needs for a nuclear weapon — fuel, designs and detonators — but stop just short of assembling a fully operational weapon. In that case, Iran could remain a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty while becoming what strategists call a “virtual” nuclear weapons state. (This is a possibility that never occurred to me; clearly, it never crossed the minds of those who drew up the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, either. This could actually be worse than the outright manufacture of nukes. After all, don't we all lose track of "parts" now and then? And, as that spoof commercial said, "Parts is parts." It puts this video into a frightening new perspective:
Just remember, they could make it work. --Ron P.)

Flashpoint: Al-Qaida anxiety
The terrorist threat exists far away, but also looms near
Excerpt: In February at the U.S. intelligence community's annual threat-assessment hearings on Capitol Hill before the national security committees, the following exchange took place in an open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee: Sen. Diane Feinstein, D.-Calif.: "What is the likelihood of another terrorist attempted attack on the U.S. homeland in the next three to six months - high or low?" Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair: "An attempted attack, the priority is certain, I would say." CIA Director Leon Panetta: "I would agree with that." FBI Director Robert Mueller: "Agree." Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency: "Yes, ma'am. Agree." John Dinger, acting assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research: "Yes." Not surprisingly, these judgments come in the wake of an attempted attack on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day by a Nigerian with al-Qaida ties, serving as the most recent reminder that the struggle with Islamist terrorism is not over.

GISS & METAR – dial “M” for missing minus signs: it’s worse than we thought
Excerpt: With some work I started back in late December and through January, and with GISS putting stamp of approval on “missing minus signs” I can now demonstrate that missing minus signs aren’t just an odd event, they happen with regularity, and the effect is quite pronounced when it does happen. This goes to the very heart of data gathering integrity and is rooted in simple human error. The fault lies not with GISS (though now they need a new quality control feature) but mostly with NOAA/NCDC who manages the GHCN and who also needs better quality control. The error originates at the airport, likely with a guy sitting in the control tower. Readers who are pilots will understand this when they see what I’m talking about.

Patriot Plan could unite Obama, tea party by John Kass,0,6708735.column
Excerpt: But the Patriot Plan isn't finished uniting the country. We've just accomplished the first prong: the paying prong. Now it's time for the second prong: the political prong. Tax Day will be a national holiday under the Patriot Plan, so after writing all those zeros on your check, you can go home and pour yourself a stiff drink or seven. And then you'll get ready for what will take place on April 16. Election Day. See how it works? You can vote on federal, state and county offices — with the exact sum of what you've paid in taxes still burned into your brain — while watching your politicians chase those last-minute votes. (If voters actually knew how much they paid, it would be Lynching Day, not Election Day.)

Must Read: Cashing in on frail patients,0,6935475.story
This is a sickening story of the kind of abuse for cash that takes place under Medicare. And it’s going to get worse as these programs grow. When you get old, you’ll be a “commodity.”

Tea Party Leader Rips Geraldo For Mischaracterization

How Could We Be So Stupid? Let Us Count the Ways
Excerpt: We are going to pile up another $3 trillion in national debt in just the first two years of the Obama administration. If the annual deficit should sink below $1.5 trillion, it will be called fiscal sobriety. Why, when we owe $12 trillion, would the Obama administration set out budgets that will ensure our collective debt climbs to $20 trillion? Why are we borrowing more money, when Medicare, Social Security, the Postal Service, Amtrak, etc. are all insolvent as it is? What is the logic behind something so clearly unhinged? I present seven alternative reasons — some overlapping — why the present government is hell-bent on doubling the national debt in eight years. Either one, or all, or some, or none, of the below explain Obama’s peculiar frenzied spending. (Did I mention I think the collapse is coming?)

What’s the Point of the Second Amendment if You Have to Buy Your Own Gun?
Excerpt: The Bowl-a-Thon is a nationwide series of local events that allow community members (you!) to captain your own bowling team, participate in a kickass national event – and raise money to help women and girls pay for guns they couldn’t otherwise afford. Gun Funds are local, grassroots groups that work tirelessly to help low-income and disadvantaged women who want a gun and do not have enough money to pay for it. Gun Funds help women pay for their guns, help them buy bus or plane tickets, and even offer women a place to stay when they have to travel to buy a gun. Gun Funds make a difference in women’s lives … and you can join them!

Bombers dressed in burkas kill 41 in Pakistan
Officials were distributing food to refugees when explosions went off
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. Excerpt: Two suicide bombers dressed in burqas blew themselves up Saturday in a camp for refugees fleeing military offensives in northwestern Pakistan, killing 41 people and wounding 62, officials said. The blasts occurred at a food distribution point, but there were conflicting reports whether the victims were lining up for food or being registered. The camp is sometimes used by foreign humanitarian groups, including the World Food Program, to deliver aid.

Great graphic presentation of budget cuts
Short but powerful. (A tad old.)

Barry and the Pirates
This is madness. We have to start trying and executing them at sea. Excerpt: The government of Kenya is no longer accepting pirates captured by the international task force operating in the Red Sea and approaches. Kenya claims that its justice system is overloaded with Somali pirates and that it just can't handle any more of them. This policy was initiated with no warning or even a public announcement. The task force has already started cutting loose pirates caught in the act. A Dutch vessel did so early last week, followed by a U.S. Navy destroyer that tossed back a crew that had actually opened fire with RPGs....Which raises the question: what world leader happens to have close relatives serving in the government of Kenya? That's right -- none other than the Obamessiah himself. His father, Barack Sr., was an economist in the first post-colonial government. One of his half-brothers, Malik Obongo Obama, is a rising political star, and I'm sure you wouldn't have to throw many stones to hit a cousin or two employed by various ministries. Obama has more personal pull in Kenya than in any other country in the world.

Cultural Marxism in Education: The Gathering Revolt
Excerpt: Since the 1960s, Gramsci's ghost has been creeping throughout education schools on the backs of the rabid academic herd. A list of ideological progeny reads like a "Who's Who" of collectivist ideologues: Pentagon bomber William Ayers, anti-homework and anti-competition preacher Alfie Kohn, America-hater Noam Chomsky, communist Van Jones, and progressive Bible-thumper George Lakoff, to name a few. Education, social studies, and literature curricula burst with gibberish on social, environmental, and climate justice as well as multiculturalism, diversity, moral relativism, and moral equivalence -- all derived in some way from cultural Marxism.

The case against AGW: Pluto's atmosphere
Excerpt: "The data reveal an icy molasses-colored world with a surprising amount of activity. Buie compared Hubble images taken in 1994 vs. 2003 and discovered that Pluto's northern hemisphere has brightened while the southern hemisphere has dimmed. Ground-based observations suggest that Pluto's atmosphere doubled in mass during approximately the same time period. And no one is certain what's causing the molasses-colored splotches on Pluto's surface." Now, why would the Plutonian atmosphere double? Solar driven global warming. (A month or three ago, I sent you links to observed warming on Pluto, Jupiter, Mars, Triton (a moon of Neptune), and Luna (our Moon). In every case, some unique-to-that-body reason was postulated as being responsible for the warming. William of Occum said, in most cases, the simplest answer is the right one. Too bad he died centuries ago; we could use him in today's universities. Ron P.)

Iran Could Have Nuke 'Any Day Now'
Excerpt: "And the thing I keep thinking about is, it took the United States three years to invent the idea of nuclear weapons, to develop all the capacity to build them, to build them, and to use two of them to military ends. We had no knowledge of the science. We had no access to advanced computers. We had none of the kinds of technical abilities that are currently available worldwide. Having said all that, it has taken the Iranians 17 more years to get to this point than it took us. I’ve got to believe it could be any day, if not maybe a month or two. Certainly I would be surprised if it’s as long as a year.”....Referring to Obama’s effort to reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons and his vow not to modernize our weapons, Gaffney says that amounts to “the unilateral denuclearization of the United States. The truth of the matter is, the only country Barack Obama can denuclearize is ours, and I personally don’t think that’s advisable. And I don’t think most Americans will either once they focus on it.”

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