Sunday, April 25, 2010

Political Digest April 25, 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.

Obama slams American cops, but not criminal aliens
Excerpt: "We have a President who uses harsh words when talking to Americans, but is meek as a lamb when talking to our enemies. His latest vitriol is for law enforcement in Arizona. He's no friend of cops." - NYPD Detective. On Friday, President Barack Obama revealed his disdain for a new law in Arizona that would require police in the state that borders Mexico to determine if people are in the United States illegally. The law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer, requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are illegal immigrants and to arrest people who are unable to provide documents proving they are in the country legally "If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country," Obama said. Obama also said that the Justice Department will monitor enforcement of this new law, a statement many believe is a threat aimed at Arizona cops.

Michelle feeds the birthers

Supreme Court refuses ACORN appeal of funding ban
A blow to the under-age, Hispanic prostitute trade. Excerpt: The Supreme Court has turned down ACORN's request for help in its lawsuit claiming Congress was wrong to shut off the activist group's federal funding. The high court on Friday refused to throw out a decision by the federal appellate court in New York City. That court had decided to freeze a judge's determination that Congress acted unconstitutionally in yanking the group's funding

Heretic Books
Picked these up from James Hogan’s website, in his Heretic Archives.
Haven’t read any of them. Global Warming False Alarm -- By Ralph Alexander -- The Bad Science Behind the United Nations' Assertion that Man-made CO2 Causes Global Warming
The Real Global Warming Disaster -- By Christopher Booker -- Is the Obsession with "Climate Change" Turning Out to Be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History?
Heaven and Earth -- By Ian Plimer -- Global Warming, the Missing Science
Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century -- By Ian Hore-Lacy -- An authoritative primer on all aspects of nuclear energy and its role in the 21st century.

Why the Gun in Civilization?
Excerpt: Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it. In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some. When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

The President Who Won't Grow Up
Excerpt: Everything I need to know about Barack Obama I learned as a Cub Scout den leader. Last week I watched an American president and a Russian leader sign a START treaty. I almost checked the calendar, wondering if I'd been transported back to 1980. In news stories of the summit I found a link to an article Barack Obama had written in 1983 while at Columbia University titled "Breaking the War Mentality." Back then, Obama was firmly in the nuclear freeze camp. It's true that many of us held views as college students that seem quaint and naïve after two or three decades. But compare the (nearly incomprehensible) writing of the 22-year-old Obama to the news reports last week. Incredibly, Obama's worldview has not changed. The Soviet Union is kaput, he is the leader of the free world, and he's still thinking the same way. He's the president who won't grow up.

Colleague Disputes Case Against Anthrax Suspect
Excerpt: Dr. Heine told the 16-member panel, which is reviewing the F.B.I.’s scientific work on the investigation, that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab. Such an effort would not have escaped colleagues’ notice, he added later, and lab technicians who worked closely with Dr. Ivins have told him they saw no such work. He told the panel that biological containment measures where Dr. Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. “You’d have had dead animals or dead people,” he said....The public remarks from Dr. Heine, two months after the Justice Department officially closed the case, represent a major public challenge to its conclusion in one of the largest, most politically delicate and scientifically complex cases in F.B.I. history. The F.B.I. declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s remarks on Thursday. In its written summation of the case in February, the bureau said Dr. Ivins’s lab technicians grew anthrax spores that the technicians incorrectly believed were added to Dr. Ivins’s main supply flask. But the summary said the spores were never added to the flask, suggesting that surplus spores might have been diverted by Dr. Ivins for the letters. (From a Marine buddy: I hate to sound like a conspiracy novelist, but I've had doubts about this investigation since the first announcement they were looking at Army techs. I find it hard to believe an Army facility, knowingly working with such a deadly biogen, would have such lax security as to allow any quantity of anthrax to escape their control. Further, if it had been smuggled out in a secure manner--not an easy thing in itself--in a tiny-to-small quantity, the perp would have had to then grow more on his/her own, leaving a fairly elaborate laboratory to be easily discovered by law enforcement. While simply handled compared to nuclear materials, it is far more difficult to contain (think Andromeda Strain), certainly not something to cook up in your home's cellar. The currently offered explanation just doesn't make sense. Ron P.)

David Harsanyi commentary: Tea Party is pretty far from radical
Excerpt: As it turns out, earlier I happened to peruse a new CBS/New York Times poll detailing the attitudes of Tea Party activists, who, it turns out, are more educated than the average American, more reflective of mainstream anxieties than any populist movement in memory and more closely aligned philosophically with the wider electorate than any big-city newsroom in America. What seemed to be the biggest news derived from the poll nationally? A plurality of Tea Party activists do not deem Sarah Palin qualified for the presidency - proving, I suppose, that some people have the ability to be exceptionally fond of a political celebrity without elevating her to sainthood. More significantly, the polling showed that most Tea Party activists believe the taxes they pay are "fair." The largest number of them want their movement to work to reduce the size of government rather than focus on cutting budget deficits or lowering taxes. Whether you concur or not with this viewpoint, it exhibits more economic sophistication than we often hear from pandering senatorial candidates. It was news that Tea Party activists - unlike our president or most senators - send their children to public schools. (With a public monopoly in place, where else are they expected to send their children?) The majority of them also deem Social Security and Medicare worthy taxpayer burdens, putting a crimp in the left-wing mythology that the anarchist mob is about to explode. And though Tea Party supporters are more conservative than the average voter on social issues, as well - particularly abortion, according to a separate Gallup Poll - The New York Times reports that eight in 10 Tea Party activists believe the movement should focus on economic issues rather than cultural ones. How long have we been hearing from moderate, sensible, worldly Republican types that if only - if only - the right found God on economic issues and lost God on the social ones, there would be an expansion of appeal and support? Apparently, they were right. Now, I won't allege to have observed any sweeping displays of multiculturalism at the Tea Party shindig I attended (though without question, it featured more diversity than my own cloistered rock-ribbed lefty neighborhood).

Gay Softball World Series SUED: Bisexual Men Claim Discrimination
Apparently it’s against the rules to hit from both sides of the plate. Excerpt: Three bisexual men from the San Francisco area have filed a lawsuit claiming they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series in the Seattle area two years ago. The Seattle Times reports that the men filed the federal complaint Tuesday against the softball tournament's organizer, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance. It alleges that after another team complained, the alliance ruled the three men were "nongay," and took away the team's second-place finish.

Syria seeks a military return to Lebanon
Risking a strongly worded note from President Wobbly! Excerpt: When Syria’s President Bashar Assad withdrew his army from Lebanon in 2005, there was a naive belief he had accepted the new situation and would be satisfied merely with reasserting Syrian political influence in Beirut. In fact, his ambition always was, and remains, to return Syria militarily to Lebanon. In recent weeks, the US has accused Syria of transferring advanced weaponry to Hizbullah. Kuwait’s Al-Rai al-Aam newspaper and Israeli media have suggested this may include Scud-D missiles. There have also been reports, including statements by Israeli officials, that Syria has sent the party anti-aircraft missiles, including possibly the advanced SA-24 Igla. Damascus has denied this, but in 2007, when Hizbullah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said the party had acquired a new “surprise” weapon against Israel, many believed that he meant an advanced anti-aircraft capability. It is hard to accept as credible Syria’s denials that it has sent improved weapons to Hizbullah when Assad has repeatedly stated that he would not allow the “resistance” to be defeated. Senator John Kerry, a prominent defender of American engagement of Damascus, is said to have raised concerns about the weapons when he last visited with the Syrian president. Why is Damascus upping the ante in Lebanon today?

Doctors pursue House, Senate seats
Excerpt: In an election year dominated by health care, dozens of candidates for Congress have a catchy campaign slogan at their disposal: Send a doctor to the House. Forty-seven physicians — 41 Republicans and six Democrats — are running for the House or Senate this year, nearly three times the number of doctors serving in Congress today, according to a USA TODAY review. An influx of doctors to Congress could alter the landscape for future debates over Medicare and rising insurance premiums months after lawmakers approved President Obama's 10-year, $938 billion health care law. Physician candidates start with at least one political advantage: voter confidence. A Gallup Poll in March found 77% of Americans trust doctors to do "the right thing" on health policy, compared with 32% for Republican leaders and 49% for Obama. "Physicians just have a different mind-set toward problem solving," said Larry Bucshon, a Republican heart surgeon running for a House seat in Indiana. "It's very good training for being a congressman."

Even CNN’s Anderson Cooper has had enough of this [Muslim] crap!

White House Pushes Back On Schumer’s Criticism Of Israel Policy
Excerpt: The remarks were, far and away, the toughest Israel-related criticism leveled at this administration to come from a congressional Democrat (and White House ally) to date. A hawkish Israel supporter, Schumer also charged the Obama administration with having a less-than-firm commitment to Israel; that cabinet officials (namely Sec. of State Hillary Clinton) had demanded too many concessions of the Jewish state, and that the White House had been overbearing and one-sided in its demands during the nascent peace process.

Bank failure a nail in Giannoulias’ campaign,0,7126236.story
He blames the family bank’s failure on “Republican Policies.” Like lending $20M that ain’t coming back to mobsters when he was senior loan officer? Of course, they didn’t know they were mobsters. You don’t do background checks for a little loan like that. Excerpt: U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias took a big swig of water and labeled his day personally "devastating." Now Giannoulias must convince the White House and voters that it's not politically devastating as well. The closing of the doors at Broadway Bank for the final time Friday failed to slam shut ongoing concerns over Giannoulias' relationship with the bank and the impact on Democratic hopes to retain the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.

Introducing the 11-2 Movement – “Remember November”
Excerpt: The Republican Governor’s Association put together this tribute to the radical socialist regime in Washington in dedication to their constant attacks on the American economy, freedom and prosperity this past year. Several conservatives suggest the Obama-Pelosi regime is working to transform America into a socialist entity like we see in Western Europe. Actually, these radicals more resemble Marxist and third world thugs with their tactics and policies. Never before has America witnessed such organized destruction as we have seen this past year. It will take this great nation years to recover from this devastation.

ADL Calls For “Major Law Enforcement Operation” To Deal With Obama critics
Seems improbably to me—but so does much of what has happened in the last year. Excerpt: The Anti-Defamation League is calling for a major national law enforcement operation to quiet our voices. Silly me, I thought we had a right to free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Notice in the following report/hit piece, that they print the comments put on certain blogs including Fox News, gun and survivalist blogs. News Flash to the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center – it is not illegal to express your thoughts – YET!

A Marine General at War: Gen. James Mattis thinks about when, and how, American troops should put their lives at risk.
Excerpt: Any risks—whether, for example, singing onstage, starting a company, or rock climbing—pale compared with the risks a soldier takes in combat. A soldier risks his own life, the lives of his comrades, and the lives of innocent civilians. An officer has this burden, and more, because he also makes the decision to risk the lives of his soldiers, knowing that some of them will come to harm. Marine Gen. James Mattis, 59, has been making these decisions for almost 40 years since his graduation from Central Washington University. He led combat troops in the first Iraq invasion as a lieutenant colonel. He commanded Marines as a brigadier general in Afghanistan in 2001. In 2003 he was the Marines ground commander in Iraq, leading the 20,000 troops of the 1st Marine Division for 500 miles over 17 days, the longest sustained march in Marine Corps history. He returned to Iraq months later to direct the fight against insurgents in the raging Al-Anbar province. Now a four-star, Mattis is commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command. It's his job to help the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines fight in coordination. He has also become a key figure in the debate over how the military should adapt to irregular warfare, the kind in which enemies hide in mosques or deploy computer viruses. And Mattis has made a special study of risk. After returning from Iraq, he pushed to create the Marine Infantry Immersion Simulator. Built in an enormous former tomato-packing plant, the training course helps reduce the risk of friendly-fire accidents by re-creating the chaos of close-quarter combat. It also uses holograms to help Marines make the split-second decision between shooting an enemy turning the corner with a bomb and sparing the woman with a loaf of bread. In 2006, Mattis and Army Gen. David Petraeus led the push to write the Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual, which guides troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The manual articulates a new concept of risk: Troops use less force and accept more short-term vulnerability to build ties with locals that will bring longer-term security.

Arizona's immigration law too tough? Not if you live there.
Excerpt: You can dress your opposition to the new Arizona immigration law up any way you want to, but if you're so all fired concerned about it, I suggest you move to the border towns that are under virtual siege by drug gangs and do your protesting there. The number of kidnappings and murders related to illegal crossings of the border have skyrocketed and the feds seem powerless to stop it. It is a tough law for tough times, and under ordinary circumstances, would be seen as "draconian." But given the fact that it is impossible to delineate where the US border ends and where Mexico's begins in many places in that state, the right of sovereignty should rule. Even the New York Times admits that the law basically calls for enforcement of existing statutes:

Obama orders government to buy more GM cars!
Excerpt: President Obama has ordered the United States government to speed up its stimulus-inspired plan to purchase 17,600 new American-made cars by June 1st. The purchases are designed "to increase demand for American auto companies during these difficult economic times," according to the White House. It's actually unbelievable: The United States government lends an enormous sum of money to General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and Chrysler but insists that they meet certain targets to demonstrate viability. Then the government buys a bunch of cars to help them meet those targets: Can someone please tell me what exactly Bernie Madoff did that was so bad? (And if they cost more than, say, Hondas made my American workers in American plants, well, the taxpayers can afford it.)

Medieval Warm Period as Warm as Today and Global
Excerpt: Understanding how the climate has changed in the past is essential if we are to put today’s warm climate into its proper perspective. There is a key question in the post-hockey stick era, and that is how warm was the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand years ago and how warm was the Roman Warm Period of a thousand years before that. Some scientists have looked at the data for the MWP and whilst conceding that it was warm they have doubted its extent, suggesting that it was confined to Europe. This was despite the fact that there are very few temperature proxies outside Europe for the period. A new study into the question of the extent of the MWP has been carried out by Fredrik Ljungqvist et al in a paper to be presented at the European Geosciences Conference next month. They mapped the spatial and temporal temperature pattern between the 9th and the 20th century using about 150 temperature proxies including tree-rings, ice-cores, marine sediments, lake sediments and speleothems. Most of their data was from Europe and North America, a small minority from Siberia, northern Africa and the Middle East. Their data was compiled to give a resolution of 100 years. Their conclusion is that there was widespread Medieval warming in the 10th and 11th centuries, followed by a gradual cooling into the 17th century (the Little Ice Age) and then a warming from the 18th century that accelerated in the 20th. Significantly, they find that the warmth of the MWP was as widespread and as uniform as the 20th century. Although it was as warm as it is now it was not possible to make an exact comparison because of the study’s 100 year time resolution. (As Joe Biden might say: "This IS a BFD!" The MWP is one of the areas mentioned in the CRU emails as "unexplainable," UNLESS the MWP was only a regional event confined to the European area (or, at most, the Northern Hemisphere). A great deal of trouble was taken in various papers bearing on the IPCC 4th report to minimize (or "hide") the problems it creates for AGW proponents. There WAS no industrial input to ascribe the warming to in 1100 A.C.E., and even less a thousand years earlier. Of course, since it conflicts with the party line, no doubt it will be pooh-poohed. But, this could really be the straw that breaks the jackass's neck. Ron P.)

Jon Stewart’s Punching Bag, Fox News
Excerpt: On the subject of Fox, Mr. Stewart is pretty relentless too. As demonstrated by that crescent segment and dozens of others since Mr. Obama took office, he may well be television’s pre-eminent fact-checker of Fox News, the nation’s highest-rated cable news channel.
It has been noticed by, among other people, the Fox host Bill O’Reilly, who called Mr. Stewart a “devoted critic” of Fox News and said “his influence is growing.” Separately, this week Mr. Stewart’s contract was renewed by Comedy Central into 2013. Combining the earnestness of a journalism professor and the sarcasm of a satirist, Mr. Stewart routinely charges that Fox’s news anchors and commentators distort Mr. Obama’s policies and advance a conservative agenda. He reminds some viewers of the left-wing group Media Matters but much funnier.

Running on Empty
Excerpt: The election season is starting in earnest, and already one thing is crystal clear. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are hopeless. It seems inconceivable that either party can possibly win anything. This may be the year when the Whigs finally get to make their comeback. The whole world is expecting a cataclysm for the Democrats in November. After all, the economy is still a mess, and the party is still ... the party. In Illinois, which was first out of the box this season, the Democrats have already moved beyond the primary and into buyer’s remorse. They’ve already dumped the voters’ pick for lieutenant governor. This week, their question is whether they can get rid of their Senate nominee, Alexi Giannoulias, the son of a Chicago banking family, whose bank failed on Friday. The Democratic disaster scenario would make absolute sense if it did not also require that the Republicans do something right. But in one state after another, they seem bent on nominating the worst possible candidate. The world is one big scavenger hunt, and their clue says, “Find somebody unelectable.” (Because the problems are now so bad, that no one running on a platform that would have a hope of fixing them could get 5% of the vote. See: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic

Should police be required to question people they suspect of being in the country illegally about their immigration status
Excerpt: President Barack Obama harshly criticized a newly-passed law in Arizona to crack down on illegal immigration and said his administration would examine the measure to see if it is consistent with federal law. It was the first time the president addressed the controversial legislation that makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. The law also requires police to question people they suspect to be in the U.S. illegally about their immigration status. What do you think? Does such questioning violate a trust relationship between citizens and police, as the president outlined? Or does the question help with law enforcement and immigration-reform efforts? What should be done with people who admit to being illegal?

Do you feel violated yet?
Excerpt: As I write this column, the national debt created by the U.S. Congress without the consent of we the people is $12.7 TRILLION dollars. The people's treasury is bankrupt with current obligations running into numbers most people can't even grasp - Social security and Medicare have $99 TRILLION dollars in unfunded mandates: "Let's say you and I and Bruce Ericson and every U.S. citizen who is alive today decided to fully address this unfunded liability through lump-sum payments from our own pocketbooks, so that all of us and all future generations could be secure in the knowledge that we and they would receive promised benefits in perpetuity. How much would we have to pay if we split the tab? Again, the math is painful. With a total population of 304 million, from infants to the elderly, the per-person payment to the federal treasury would come to $330,000. This comes to $1.3 million per family of four—over 25 times the average household's income."

On Earth Day, Did You Thank a Hunter?,_did_you_thank_a_hunter
Excerpt: Well, I’ve got news for our President. Millions of Americans who had never heard of Gaylord Nelson “took action on behalf of the environment,” decades before the good Senator “raised his voice.” More newsworthy still, most of these belonged to those insufferable rustics who “cling to guns and bibles.” To wit: The Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) imposed an excise tax of 10 per cent on all hunting gear. Then the Dingell-Johnson act (1950) did the same for fishing gear. The Wallop-Breaux amendment (1984) extended the tax to the fuel for boats. All of this lucre goes to “protect the environment” in the form of buying and maintaining National Wildlife Refuges, along with state programs for buying and maintaining various forms of wildlife habitat. For the last couple of decades hunters and fishermen have contributed over $1.5 billion per year towards Senator Gaylord Nelson’s lofty goal. To date, hunters and fishermen have shelled out over $20 billion “on behalf of the environment.” A study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that for every taxpayer dollar invested in wildlife conservation, hunters and fishermen contribute nine.

Nice comment on the Blog
I have to hand it to 'ya. You manage to find the best selection of news out there, grab the most important excerpts and then let US decide...And your "comments" don't hurt these old eyes one damn bit, I'm surprised FOX news hasn't sent you a job app yet. Keep up the good work. --Bob G.

Separated at Birth
Too funny. (Except to the folks who thought comparing Bush to Hitler or a monkey was funny—they won’t like this turn about at all.)

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