Political Digest for April 7, 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.
My News Sources
Comments on this and other blogs keep urging me to follow the news, “read a newspaper,” and/or to stop watching Fox. Interesting. They might review my (almost) daily political digest to see the wide variety of papers I draw from. I read the Chicago Tribune daily, The Week news magazine (because it is strictly non-partisan), the Washington Post and The Hill on line, and lots of other sources. I often watch a local news station in the morning when dressing, sometimes in the evening. Once in a while Fox or CNN, with a book in my hand, but I turn it off when they start shouting. I do like Bill O’Reilly on Fox, but rarely watch him. Here he’s on at seven pm, when I often have a conference call or am still at work, and at ten pm, past lights out. (My health requires nine hours a night at least)
Also I have a lot of correspondents who send me articles from many sources I haven’t had time to research, for which I’m grateful Of course, I also get hundreds of forwards of net-glurg that’s been on the Internet for months or years.
And I read books constantly on history, economics and political thought. And novels of course.
When I was a senator, I read 5 daily papers and four weeklies, didn’t own a TV. But that was before the Internet or personal computers. Better sources now.
Must Read: Race and Politics by Dr. Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Few combinations are more poisonous than race and politics. That combination has torn whole nations apart and led to the slaughters of millions in countries around the world. You might think we would have learned a lesson from that and stay away from injecting race into political issues. Yet playing the race card has become an increasingly common response to growing public anger at the policies of the Obama administration and the way those policies have been imposed. When the triumphant Democrats made their widely televised walk up Capitol Hill after passing the health care bill, led by a smirking and strutting Nancy Pelosi, holding her oversized gavel, some of the crowd of citizens expressed their anger. According to some Democrats, these expressions of anger included racial slurs directed at black members of Congress. This is a serious charge-- and one deserving of some serious evidence. But, despite all the media recording devices on the scene, not to mention recording devices among the crowd gathered there, nobody can come up with a single recorded sound to back up that incendiary charge. Worse yet, some people have claimed that even doubting the charge suggests that you are a racist…..The question is whether you want equal treatment or you want payback. Cycles of revenge and counter-revenge have been at the heart of racial and ethnic strife throughout history, in countries around the world. It is a history written in blood. It is history we don't need to repeat in the United States of America. Political demagoguery and political favoritism have turned groups violently against each other, even in countries where they have lived peacefully side by side for generations. Ceylon was one of those countries in the first half of the 20th century, before the politics of group favoritism so polarized the country-- now called Sri Lanka-- that it produced a decades-long civil war with mass slaughters and unspeakable atrocities.
Hollywood Anti-American Leftists
I don’t get to the movies much, or watch much TV outside of a little news and some football—always with a book in my hand. But when I do, I don’t want to be giving money to folks getting rich while trashing the country and free market that made them rich. Trouble is, I don’t know one actor from another from the local plumber—except the plumber is likely better educated and with more common sense.
So I started a list of folks I want to avoid giving my money to. Anyone you want to add? Anyone who shouldn’t be on the list? Thanks: Sean Penn, Tom Hanks, Janeane Garofalo, Rosie O’Donnell, David Letterman., Jimmy Breslin, Alex Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, Tom Hanks
Here’s an interesting report from a correspondent about my blog. They are trying to breed competition out of young Americans, producing a nation of left-wing losers. John writes” “Here is another interesting item - I am currently trying to run a contest for the New York branch of the Saltire Society. The idea was to award a $100. prize for the best essay written by a student from a New York City Junior High School or High School. As a result, I contacted the Department of Education for NYC (They used to be the Board for Education, but I think they got tired of the jokes about “bored of education”). I asked them if they could send a notification of our contest to the schools so it could be announced. I was told they won’t do that if the prize is to an individual! It has to be for a class or the school. Apparently no encouragement of individualistic achievement is to be permitted!” See his website at: http://johnbeatty.name
Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms
Making it safer to attack America. Excerpt: President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons. But the president said in an interview that he was carving out an exception for “outliers like Iran and North Korea” that have violated or renounced the main treaty to halt nuclear proliferation. Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.
Comment from a Marine Buddy: The main reason the USA has ALWAYS, under EVERY President since Truman--and explicitly since Nixon--expected to respond to a chemical or biological weapons attack with nukes is because we simply don't have any other way to respond "in kind." Even during the early years of the Cold War, we had only very limited supplies of war gasses (and storage of them carries its own problems), and most of our biologicals research was aimed at defense, not building stockpiles to attack anyone with. By designating these as "weapons of mass destruction," we equated them with nukes. Biologicals, in particular, can be worked on far less expensively than nuclear materials (indeed, they were referred to as "poorman's nukes" in the 1970s). Literally a few tens of millions can operate a germ factory for years. Even though a few madmen like Saddam did explore biological weapons, no serious effort has yet been made to attack us with them, largely because of our equation of them with nuclear retaliation. Every potential enemy knew the cost of such an attack would be immediate and devastating. That it has been successful since 1945 is not an accident. Changing our "nuclear posture" as the President is suggesting will require us to either resume manufacture and storage (with its inherent risks) of stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, or that we "trust" potential enemies not to use them on us, even though we are promising NOT to respond with the only WMD we have in our arsenal. This is suicidal madness from a man who says to bring a gun to a knife-fight. Ron P.
Obama Accepts a Nuclear Iran
Excerpt: US President Barack Obama has decided to abandon any serious effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He is determined instead to live with a nuclear Iran, by containment and, if possible, negotiation. This is the shifting tectonic plate in the Middle East. This is the giant story of the past few weeks which the world has largely missed, distracted by the theatre of the absurd of Obama’s contrived and mock confrontation with Israel over 1600 apartments to be built in three years’ time in a Jewish suburb in East Jerusalem. Iran is the only semi-intelligible explanation for Obama’s bizarre over-reaction against the Israelis.
Obama to set 'good example' with new nuke strategy
Excerpt: It says something profoundly disturbing that our president would base a nuclear strategy on the feel good notion that we are "setting an example" for the rest of the world to follow. Did it ever penetrate his skull that the very nations that threaten us - never mind Iran and North Korea which he exempts from the new policy - could care less about the US "good example?" What towering ignorance and breathtaking arrogance would lead a president to abandon the notion that we should forget about "good examples" and just protect the country?
Obama's elitism will be his Apocalypse
President Obama is a man of the Left. He’s is a fairly pragmatic center-Left social democrat, a Fabian who infuriates the hard Left as much as he does the Right.
The more he’s attacked as a kind of Stalin-lite, the more justified he must feel in thinking we “don’t get it” and … the louder he snickers. The Right keeps attacking Obama in ways that only reinforce his worst instincts. There is a better way. A blogger, “Repulicae” writes on nolanchart.com: “The Fabian Society began in England in 1887 by a very small group of elitist socialist[s].” Key word? Elitist.
Democrats consider big gamble on global warming plan
Excerpt: On the heels of their improbable passage of a massive health care bill, Democrats are weighing an ambitious global warming bill that few lawmakers were even willing to consider just months ago. "After seeing health care reform pass, it seems to me they can pass any bill they want if they set their minds to it," said Marc Morano, a global warming skeptic and former top aide to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.
Tea partiers outpoll Obama
Excerpt: Democrats’ efforts to tar the tea partiers as crackpots and racists don’t seem to be paying off. Pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that 48% of voters say that tea partiers’ views on major issues are closer than those of Barack Obama to their own views, while 44% say Obama’s views are closer to theirs. Among independents, tea partiers’ views are preferred to Obama’s by a 50%-38% margin. The margin for tea partiers is even larger when voters are asked whether their views are closer to those of tea partiers or of average union members. The score: 45% tea partiers, 35% union members.
Global Warming, R.I.P.
Excerpt: We buy newspapers and magazines, we watch television news and listen to radio programs because we want to know what is going on. Very few of us are apt to be satisfied with a press no more informative than was Pravda in the heyday of the Soviet Union. This scandal, worldwide in its proportions and profound in its import, was ready-made for enterprising reporters, and, to be fair, they have made their mark . . . in foreign countries such as Great Britain – where The Guardian, a left-wing daily firmly committed to the global warming hypothesis, has nonetheless distinguished itself by the vigor it has displayed in pursuing evidence of scientific fraud in this regard. None of the news outlets mentioned in the first paragraph of this essay has pursued the story. At best, long after the facts have come out, they have noted their deployment by the global-warming skeptics. Were it not for the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, Americans who limited their purview to the mainstream media would have hardly a clue as to what is happening.....This is, of course, part of a larger trend. The mainstream press has largely forgotten its function, and these days it flacks where it used to report. It is this that explains why fewer and fewer Americans subscribe to newspapers and magazines and watch the television networks listed above. And this explains why the internet has been such a boon. But, this fact notwithstanding, we are in a pickle – for, to date anyway, none of the operations on the internet that report the news have the resources requisite for pursuing such a story. We are, in fact, dependent on the foreign press.
FCC loses Comcast's court challenge, a major setback for agency on Internet policies
A temporary setback for BO’s efforts to control speech on the net. Excerpt: Comcast on Tuesday won a legal challenge against the Federal Communications Commission, in a ruling by a federal court that undermines the agency's ability to regulate Internet service providers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacked the authority to require Comcast, the nation's biggest broadband services provider, to treat all Internet traffic equally on its network. The so-called net neutrality rule, imposed by former FCC chairman Kevin Martin, comes just days before the agency accepts final comments on a separate open Internet regulatory effort this Thursday. And the agency will be faced with a steep legal challenge going forward as it attempts to convert itself from a broadcast- and phone-era agency into one that draws new rules for the Internet era. The FCC earlier this month released a sweeping national broadband plan, of which some recommendations would be affected by the court's ruling.
Is healthcare different?
Excerpt: What should determine who gets what in health care? With respect to other basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, physical safety, etc.) all developed countries have safety net institutions that — often very imperfectly — ensure that the least well-off have some minimal provision. Beyond that, whether people get more or better depends on their income, wealth and personal preferences. No one seriously argues that we should all eat the same kind of food, wear the same kind of clothes or live in identical housing. But with respect to health care, attitudes are often very different. Here is what the founders of the British National Health Service (NHS) had to say:
Mexico and the Failed State Revisited
Mexico is a part of my prediction that the collapse is coming. Excerpt: STRATFOR argued March 13, 2008, that Mexico was nearing the status of a failed state. A failed state is one in which the central government has lost control over significant areas of the country and the state is unable to function. In revisiting this issue, it seems to us that the Mexican government has lost control of the northern tier of Mexico to drug-smuggling organizations, which have significantly greater power in that region than government forces. Moreover, the ability of the central government to assert its will against these organizations has weakened to the point that decisions made by the state against the cartels are not being implemented or are being implemented in a way that would guarantee failure….. From Mexico’s point of view, interrupting the flow of drugs to the United States is not clearly in the national interest or in that of the economic elite. Observers often dwell on the warfare between smuggling organizations in the northern borderland but rarely on the flow of American money into Mexico. Certainly, that money could corrupt the Mexican state, but it also behaves as money does. It is accumulated and invested, where it generates wealth and jobs. For the Mexican government to become willing to shut off this flow of money, the violence would have to become far more geographically widespread. And given the difficulty of ending the traffic anyway — and that many in the state security and military apparatus benefit from it — an obvious conclusion can be drawn: Namely, it is difficult to foresee scenarios in which the Mexican government could or would stop the drug trade. Instead, Mexico will accept both the pain and the benefits of the drug trade.
It’s official as Brown sets general election for May 6
Excerpt: Gordon Brown today confirmed Westminster’s worst-kept secret: the General Election will be on Thursday, May 6. The Prime Minister, flanked by his Cabinet, made the official announcement in Downing Street just before 11am after returning from Buckingham Palace, where he had had a 20-minute meeting with the Queen to formally ask her to approve the dissolution of Parliament. The news was immediately welcomed by Tories’ leader David Cameron, who called it "the most important election for a generation" and LibDems’ leader Nick Clegg, who said people were "crying out for something different". (Sons of the hounds, come and hither and get flesh!—motto of Clan Cameron.)
Congressman Paul Ryan Speaks in Oklahoma
Excerpt: Today while doing yard chores I caught part of Rush’s show on my Walkman, and heard him comment about a recent speech given by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. I was trimming some dead branches and trying not to step on spring flowers starting to poke up, so I was only half-listening. It wasn’t what Limbaugh said that caught my attention, but the way that he said it. A little light flashed in the back of my head. When I finished the job I came in and fired up Old Sparky and looked around the internet. Representative Ryan spoke last week, on March 31st, to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. If this sounds like Ryan is tap dancing his way through the Rubber Chicken Circuit, put that thought out of your mind. I found a transcript at Real Clear Politics and it took about 20 minutes to read. It was riveting and you should take a look at it; Click Here for Paul Ryan Speech.
President Weirdo by Roger Simon
Excerpt: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I found Anne Kornblut’s report in the Washington Post — “Obama’s 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman’s claim of being ‘over-taxed’” — to be deeply disturbing. Although I disagree with most of Barack Obama’s policies, I took no pleasure in seeing a political opponent wound himself by talking on and on to the point of agitating his audience. The situation is much too grave for that. This is our country — all of us, Republican, Democrat and Independent. And I am now convinced of what I have long suspected — the United States has a president with a serious personality disorder. Now I admit I am not a professional psychiatrist or psychologist, nor do I see myself even remotely as a paragon of mental health, but I have made a decent living for over thirty years as a fiction writer whose stock in trade is perforce studying people and this is one strange dude. He makes Richard Nixon seem almost normal. I first began worrying about this during the Reverend Wright affair. Obama insisted, as we all recall, that he did not know the reverend’s views even though the then candidate had spent twenty years in his church, been married by him, had his children baptized by him and taken the inspiration for his book from Wright. Now most educated people would have a pretty good idea about Wright after five minutes, let alone twenty years. The reverend is not a subtle man. Yet Obama told us he didn’t know. Was the candidate lying or was he just so dissociated from reality that he didn’t see what was in front of his eyes? Or perhaps a little of both? Whatever the conclusion, it is not a happy one. The same man is before us now — only we’re not in the midst of a campaign. We have no way out. He is leading our nation during a time of economic crisis with a world changing so rapidly that our heads spin.
Somalis with terrorist links feared headed to U.S. border
The welcome mat is out. They’ll be doing jobs Americans won’t do, like murdering children. Excerpt: Somalis with ties to a terrorist organization are believed to be plotting to illegally enter the United States after being mistakenly released from custody in Mexico, a confidential federal law enforcement report said. The report, obtained by the Washington Examiner, said that 23 Somalis who entered Mexico illegally earlier in the year were caught there, then released in late January. Only 16 of the 23 people were identified by both Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials, while the "other 7 are unknown," the report says.
German Jihad Colonies Sprout Up in Waziristan
Excerpt: A wave of Germans traveling to training camps for militant jihadists has alarmed security officials back in Europe. The recruits are quickly becoming radicalized and, in some cases, entire families are departing to hotbeds for terrorism. It is even believed that colonies catering to German Islamists have taken shape in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
SIOA Action Alert: Rally to Protect the Christians of Nigeria Against Islamic Jihad
Excerpt: If you live in or near New York City, a rally will be held for Nigeria's Christians on April 7 at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria, 2nd Avenue and 44th Street. On Wednesday, April 7th from 4:45 pm on, religious, civic and human rights leaders of many faiths and backgrounds will gather in front of the Nigerian Consulate in New York City to raise their voices of conscience about the continuing massacres of Christians as well as the ongoing barbaric persecution of non-Muslim minorities by jihadists in Nigeria and elsewhere across the globe.
4 people killed in Iraq's violence
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace memo—but I like the bike story! Excerpt: Four people were killed and eight others wounded in separate incidents across Iraq on Saturday, police said. Two children were killed and two others wounded in an explosion occurred at an ammunition cache at the Multaqa area located southwest of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
There were many rockets and mortar rounds piled at the site by the army of former president Saddam Hussein before the US-led invasion in 2003, the source said.
The children apparently were playing with the ammunition when the blast took place at the abandoned site, he said. Also in Kirkuk, a policeman and a civilian were wounded when a roadside bomb struck a police patrol in central the city, the source added. In Baghdad, a bomb planted in a store in northern Baghdad detonated in the day and killed the store owner, a police source said. In Diyala province, a gunman was killed when a bomb he was carrying on his bike detonated prematurely and killed him as he was moving in the town of Khan Bani Saad, near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.
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Obama's first pitch: Wild, to the left
What did you expect?