Thursday, April 8, 2010

Political Digest April 8, 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.

Stop the Islamisation of America
This organization is gearing up. Anyone interested in forming a state chapter, e-mail me and I’ll pass on.

Coburn threatens to block all spending bills in Senate that aren't 'paid for'
A gallant effort to hold the line, at personal political cost. We all need to write our Senators and support this fight. Excerpt: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) on Tuesday vowed to block all future spending bills in the Senate that aren’t fully “paid for” with cuts to other spending programs. Coburn and other Republicans are already blocking a $9 billion bill to extend jobless benefits for 30 days that isn’t offset with other spending cuts. That impasse halted benefits to 200,000 unemployed people this week. In a phone interview with The Hill, Coburn said he would “absolutely” object to any other spending measure that isn’t funded. “The fact is that the country wants us to start making hard choices on spending, and if we can’t do it on a $9 billion bill, then we’re certainly not going to be able to do it on our $1.6 trillion deficit,” he said. “The problems are so severe in our country, our debt is so severe and the impact is so great in the near and long term that it’s time for some of us to take a stand. We may lose. But we’re not going to give up on doing the tough things that Washington needs to do, and if that earns us consternation, so be it.” Coburn has a well-known penchant for holding up Senate bills — notably tangling with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2008 over a large lands bill package that he objected to — but his vow Tuesday represents a more expansive approach.

Must Read: Race and Politics: Part II by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: No dogma has caused more mischief-- and, in some countries, tragedies-- than the notion that there is something strange and wrong when some groups are "over-represented" or "under-represented" in some occupations or institutions. This dogma is so widely accepted, and so deeply entrenched, that no one asks for evidence and no speck of evidence is offered. Moreover, tons of evidence to the contrary are ignored….. A major factor in the housing boom and bust that created the present economic predicament was massive government intervention in the housing market, supposedly to correct discrimination in mortgage lending. How did they know that there was discrimination? Because blacks were turned down for mortgage loans at a higher rate than whites. It so happens that whites were turned down for mortgage loans at a higher rate than Asian Americans, but that fact seldom made it into the newspaper headlines or the political rhetoric. Nor did either the mainstream media or political leaders mention the fact that black-owned banks turned down black mortgage loan applicants at least as often as white-owned banks did. There was never the slightest reason to expect the different racial or ethnic groups in the United States to have the same credit ratings or the same behavior or performance in any other way, when both racial and non-racial groups of various sorts have for centuries had radically different patterns of behavior and performance in countries around the world.

Democrats face tough budget fight
Excerpt: House Democrats are facing a much tighter vote on the budget resolution in 2010 because of big deficit projections and the looming mid-term election. As a result, centrist Democrats will have a harder time voting for the resolution, which sets discretionary spending levels and previews the federal government's fiscal situation for the next few years.

Five stumbling blocks that could wipe out many Democrats
Excerpt: Democrats feel they have grabbed political momentum, but the party still faces several dangers that could wipe it out in November. Democratic strategists and independent political experts identify roughly five stumbling blocks that the party must overcome to avert big losses: history, jobs and the economy, an apathetic base, ethics and anti-Washington sentiment. Almost every Democratic strategist acknowledges the party will lose seats in Congress this fall. The question is whether the loss will be moderate or severe, or even enough to give Republicans control of the House.

FCC Democrats determined to reclassify broadband
Soon, peasants, we will control everything! Ba-wa-ha-ha-ha! Excerpt: Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission say the federal court's decision regarding Comcast has renewed their resolve to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service in order to enact net neutrality regulations. "The only way the Commission can make lemonade out of this lemon of a decision is to do now what should have been done years ago: treat broadband as the telecommunications service that it is," said Michael J. Copps, the senior Democratic member of the panel. "We should straighten this broadband classification mess out before the first day of summer."…. Republican commissioners, however, said they were pleased by the court's decision and hope the Chairman does not try to reclassify. "I am pleased that today’s court order makes clear that Title I of the Communications Act provides the FCC with no authority to regulate the network management practices of an Internet service provider," said Robert McDowell. "I hope this decision will provide certainty in the marketplace and will not lead to the unnecessary classification of broadband service as a monopoly phone service under Title II of the Act.” Meredith Attwell Baker said the court was right to limit the FCC's authority to regulate the Internet. "The D.C. Circuit’s strong words today remind us that as an independent agency, we must always be constrained by the statute. We stray from it at our peril," she said.

House liberals shift climate change tactics, will not draw 'lines in the sand'
Translation: We’ll vote for any damn thing that says “Climate change” at the top, as we did with healthcare. Excerpt: Liberal House Democrats are shifting their political tactics on climate change after failing to secure a public option in the new healthcare reform law.
The move comes in the wake of liberals having to walk back threats that they would vote against a healthcare bill without a government-run program. “Drawing the line in the sand too quickly was part of the lesson we learned on healthcare,” the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), told The Hill.

The Fix: Mark Kirk
The “felons” were mobsters. The bank’s president—Alexi’s brother—said they didn’t look into their background. Think you could get a $20M loan with no background check? Excerpt: Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk (R) will report raising $2.2 million in the first three months of this year, a staggeringly strong total that comes as his opponent in the Senate race -- state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) -- continues to weather negative stories about his family's troubled bank. To date, Kirk has collected $6.6 million for the race and closed March with just over $3 million in the bank. Giannoulias's fundraising numbers for the first quarter of the year were not available at press time but as of Jan. 13 he had collected $3.6 million for the race and retained $963,000. Both men won primary races on Feb. 2 although Giannoulias's was the more serious contest as he bested former Chicago inspector general David Hoffman 39 percent to 34 percent. Since that win, however, Giannoulias has been hamstrung by Broadway Bank, a family-owned enterprise that is in dire financial straits. The latest story came on April 1 when the Chicago Tribune reported that the bank had loaned $20 million to two felons while Giannoulias served as a senior loan officer. Kirk's outstanding fundraising and Giannoulias's struggles have made this a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans despite the fact that Illinois is not only one of the most Democratic states in the country but also President Obama's political backyard.

General Motors posts $4.3B loss
As a co-owner, please send your share of the loss to president Obama. Make the check out to the UAW. Excerpt: General Motors posted a $4.3 billion loss for the second half of 2009 but could be profitable this year, the company announced Wednesday.

Anti-govt protests rock Kyrgyzstan, 17 said dead
Excerpt: Anti-government unrest is rocking the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan and opposition politicians claim they are negotiating with the president and demanding he step down. Government officials cannot immediately be reached for comment. The opposition has taken over state television and says that it is talking with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev (bak-EE-ev) and expects results soon.

Automaker Pensions Underfunded By $17 Billion
Another harbinger of the coming collapse. Think BO will let the union pensions fail? Or will he just add it to the deficit? Excerpt: The pension plans at General Motors and Chrysler are underfunded by a total of $17 billion and could fail if the automakers do not return to profitability, according to a government report released Tuesday.

Shortfall Awaits California's Big Pension Funds
Another harbinger of…ah, the hell with it. Have a beer. Excerpt: A study released Monday by Stanford University estimates that California's three largest state-operated, public-employee pension funds—the California Public Employees' Retirement System, California State Teachers' Retirement System and University of California Retirement System—currently face a total shortfall of more than $500 billion.

Play Ball! But Not With Taxpayer Money
Bread and circuses for the mob. Excerpt: As we enjoy the opening week of the new baseball season, we should reflect on the dastardly organization that spends too much money and raises the price of baseball for everyone. No, it’s not the New York Yankees: it’s the United States government.

Independents rally to the Tea Party
Excerpt: Democratic activists and officeholders, and their liberal friends in the media, have told us for more than a year that the Tea Party movement is nothing more than a bunch of lily white conservative Republicans, gun-toting far-right kooks, and unreconstructed Confederates who hate President Obama because of the color of his skin. This liberal narrative of the Tea Partiers as dangerous right-wing bigots reached its apotheosis last month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders paraded around the Capitol just before the decisive congressional vote on Obamacare. Allegations flew for weeks afterward that the assembled Tea Party protesters lining the march route hurled spit, racist taunts, and violent threats at Pelosi and her fellow marchers. It got so bad that columnist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post said last week that "the danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction -- the right, not the left." But now comes hard facts from multiple sources that put the lie to the liberal stereotype about Tea Partiers. For one thing, the Tea Partiers are almost certainly more in tune with the views of the average American voter than is Obama. Pollster Scott Rasmussen found that 48 percent of his respondents say their views are closer to those of the Tea Party than to Obama. Not surprisingly, far more Republicans than Democrats said that to Rasmussen. Less predictable and more important, 50 percent of the independents identified with Tea Partiers over Obama, while only 38 percent of independents said the president's views matched their own. It appears the independent center of American politics has shifted decisively to the right as the Tea Party has grown during the past year.

America is losing the war on its 'third front'
Excerpt: Fighting a two-front war is ill-advised, as Napoleon Bonaparte, Kaiser Wilhelm and Adolph Hitler all found out the hard way. But the U.S. is now facing an unprecedented triple threat. But with combat troops already stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama has largely ignored what Rep. Ted Poe, R-TX, calls “the silent third front,” our1,951-mile border with Mexico. Poe’s war reference is meant to be taken literally. Members of increasingly bold Mexican drug cartels have already killed more than 18,000 Mexicans and 79 Americans. More than 5,000 people were murdered in Ciudad Juarez alone over the past three years, including two U.S. consulate employees Poe says were deliberately targeted for execution in March, sending a clear but chilling message to U.S. authorities. But when Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to send unmanned drones and 1,000 additional soldiers to assist beleaguered Border Patrol agents and local sheriffs, he was rebuffed. Instead, Napolitano announced she was canceling the “virtual” border surveillance project, leaving states that have to deal with the unending illegal flow of people, drugs, money and guns every day largely on their own.

Five things we learned about Obamacare after it passed
Excerpt: "[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., famously said that about President Obama's health care reform package. She was right. We are just finding out what was contained within that Obamacare law that Obama signed weeks ago.
Here are five things we've learned so far:

More Americans Sever U.S. Ties as IRS Gets Tougher
Drive the productive away, welcome the drones. Excerpt: The number of American citizens and green-card holders severing their ties with the U.S. soared in the latter part of 2009, amid looming U.S. tax increases and a more aggressive posture by the Internal Revenue Service toward Americans living overseas. According to public records, just over 500 people world-wide renounced U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the fourth quarter of 2009, the most recent period for which data are available. That is more people than have cut ties with the U.S. during all of 2007, and more than double the total expatriations in 2008. An Ohio-born entrepreneur, now based in Switzerland, told Dow Jones he is considering turning in his U.S. passport. Mounting U.S. tax and reporting requirements are making potential business partners hesitate to do business with him, he said. "I still do dearly love the U.S., and renouncing my citizenship is not something I take lightly. But more and more it is seeming like being part of a dysfunctional family," said the businessman, who asked that his name not be used for fear of retribution. "The tax itself is only a small part of the issue," the Swiss-based entrepreneur said. "It's the overall regulatory environment."

How the Left Really Plans to Pay for Obamacare
Excerpt: This doc fix is big enough that, if it had been included as a cost of Obamacare, it would have sent the President’s bill into the red all by itself. But the half trillion dollars in Medicare cuts used to fund the rest of Obamacare are a much bigger problem. Even if we assume they all go as planned, President Obama’s budget would borrow 42 cents for each dollar spent in 2010; would run a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2010; and would leave permanent deficits that top $1 trillion as late as 2020. Add on the half trillion dollars in Medicare cuts that, given Congress’ track record, the American people would be naive to think will ever happen, and the federal government is looking at a pile of new debt. The left’s solution to this problem has been simmering for some time now. Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) floated the idea to The Washington Post last May. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Charlie Rose it was “on the table” in October. And yesterday White House adviser Paul Volcker told the New York Historical Society it should be considered. The “it” here is a Value Added Tax (VAT), which is a fancy way of saying national sales tax. A VAT can be (and has been) structured in many different ways. But the real world results are always the same: higher taxes, more government spending, lower growth, fewer jobs and more special interest power. (How do the exempt those of us making less than $250k from the VAT? BO promised we wouldn’t pay a dime more!)

Taxes likely to rise eventually to tame deficit
The drums are beating to break BO’s most solemn promise. I’m not angry—I knew he was lying at the time. Excerpt: The United States should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.

Fanning the Flames of Poppycock
Excerpt: James Taranto, who writes the Best of the Web for the Wall Street Journal has a devastating, well documented retort to Congresswoman Maxine Waters who accuses the tea party of vicious rhetoric. He plays back her own stuff, fanning the flames of the LA riots and expressing her support for the rioters, and her vicious attacks on then President Bush when the anti-war crow was en fuego here in the Capitol. In other words, Maxine really has fomented political violence and it is particularly odd that she accuses the innocent Tea Party of doing what she actually did….. In response West wrote: The history of the Democratic party is steeped in intimidation. It was the Democratic Party that started the KKK to enforce Jim Crow segregation laws. It was the Democratic party that instituted lynching and other means of violence to preclude blacks from enjoying the Constitutional rights the Republican party established in the 13-15th Amendments and the early Civil Rights Legislation during the Reconstruction Era through the 1960s. It is the Democratic party which today promotes the intimidation tactics of ACORN, SEIU, Code Pink, Anarchist groups, and the New Black Panther Party. Mitch Ceasar is typical of liberal Democrats in seeking to create a smoking mirror when nothing exists. Caesar is a true representative of the politics of hypocrisy that infests the Democrat party. The liberals of Broward County are evidencing their fear of the American people, and our campaign, and OUR voices will not be silenced.

Black Conservatives Get Pressure For Aligning With Tea Party
They’ve been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values. Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement – and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation’s first black president. “I’ve been told I hate myself. I’ve been called an Uncle Tom. I’ve been told I’m a spook at the door,” said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group of black conservatives who support free market principles and limited government.

A sinking ship of state
Excerpt: Last summer, President Obama spent several months publicly anguishing over what he would or wouldn't do in Afghanistan. Finally, he agreed to ramp up troop levels but warned that he intended to start getting American troops out in 18 months. After anguishing in several columns over the president's anguishing, I concluded in November 2009: "If the Taliban and al Qaeda retake Afghanistan, the world (and America) will have hell to pay for the consequences. But this president and this White House do not have it in them to lead our troops to victory in Afghanistan. So they shouldn't try. The price will be high for whatever foreign policy failures we will endure in the next three years. Let's not add to that price the pointless murder of our finest young troops in a war their leader does not believe in. Bring them home. We'll need them later."

Obama swings and misses at Sox lore,0,5135867.column
By John Kass, Chicago Tribune: Obama's troubles started Monday after he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener. He threw lefty and missed the plate, which wasn't surprising. What was surprising is what happened after he joined announcer Rob Dibble in the booth for some happy talk. Dibble commented on Obama's hat — a nicely faded black Sox cap — which the president proudly wore on the mound reminding all of us once again of the heroic team from Chicago that has actually won a World Series in the past 100 years. Dibble asked the fateful question, one so easy that Hawk Harrelson would have called it a "can of corn." Dibble: "Who was one of your favorite White Sox players growing up?" Obama: "You know … uh … I thought that … you know … the truth is, that a lot of the Cubs I liked too." Ouch. The silence between the stammers was excruciating. America's No. 1 Sox fan couldn't name one Sox player

The Left-Wing World is Upside Down
Excerpt: Recall if you will Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s campaign. His twenty year old college thesis, the left would have us believe, should have disqualified McDonnell from ever being elected governor because of his advocacy of traditional family and lifestyles. Consider a host of people on the right who through various indiscretions, dumb acts, etc. the left would make sure we never move beyond, never forgive, never forget, and never allow redemption. Now consider Tim Russo. He is running for political office in Cleveland, OH. Nine years ago “in November 2001 he solicited sex from an FBI agent posing online as a minor “. Of course you and I know exactly how the left responds. No, Bob McDonnell, because of what he wrote, should never have been elected Governor of Virginia. But Russo and his predilection for underage sex? According to Howie Klein at the Huffington Post, “Local media want him to pay for that for the rest of his life.” Poor him. Russo, you see, is the victim. He is trying to move and get over the “dumb things” he did.

Border Insecurity

North Koreans fear another famine amid economic crisis
The never-ending joy of central economic planning, so beloved of statists.

Obama Bets it All on Kandahar
Excerpt: President Obama is betting his “war of necessity” on the outcome of the pending battle for Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city. Failing to secure and then provide good governance for that million person city by this December will be the death knell for the President’s time-line which is essential to his entire Afghan strategy. Last December, Obama outlined his strategy in a speech at West Point. He promised a 30,000 man surge of fresh troops “will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July 2011.” But Kandahar could defeat Obama’s ambitious timeline because the Afghans are either unprepared and or unwilling to do what’s necessary to transform that city.

Machete used in anti-Semitic attack in Gatineau, Carleton students say
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: Nick Bergamini, 22, vice-president of the Carleton University Students’ Association, said he and roommate Mark Klibanov were leaving Le Volt bar on Promenade du Portage at 1:45 a.m. when a group of about 10 men began yelling in English and Arabic that they were Zionists and Jews.

'Collateral Murder' in Baghdad Anything But
Excerpt: Wikileaks, the website devoted to publishing classified documents on the Internet, made a splash today with a video claiming to show that the U.S. military "murdered" a Reuters cameraman and other Iraqi "civilians" in Baghdad on July 12, 2007. But a careful watching of the video shows that the U.S. helicopter gun crews that attacked a group of armed men in the then Mahdi Army stronghold of New Baghdad was anything but "Collateral Murder," as Wikileaks describes the incident. There are a couple of things to note in the video. First, Wikileaks characterizes the attack as the U.S. military casually gunning down Iraqis who were innocently gathering on the streets of New Baghdad. But the video begins somewhat abruptly, with a UAV starting to track a group of Iraqi males gathering on the streets. The voice of a U.S. officer is captured in mid-sentence. It would be nice to know what happened before Wikileaks decided to begin the video. The U.S. military claimed the Iraqis were killed after a gun battle with U.S. and Iraqi security forces. It is unclear if any of that was captured on the strike footage. Here is what the U.S. military had to say about the engagement in a July 2007 press release:

In Iraq?
Al-Malaki is claiming vote fraud. I didn’t even know that ACORN had a chapter in Baghdad!

Quotes from The Patriot Post (
Threats. "If you're one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this: We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work. And we be many, but you be few." --Greenpeace blogger Gene Hashmi. (But do you know we are armed, fascist thug?

"Half a century ago, Khrushchev and Nixon had what was dubbed the kitchen debate. Nixon predicted that the Russians would become capitalists, while Khrushchev insisted that socialism would bury us. Who would ever have guessed that they would both be right?" --columnist Burt Prelutsky.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, so much, for putting this digest together every day.