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. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.
Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike
Note that we would only strike after a successful attack on American soil. If, say, they were able to kill 50 Americans in London or Afghanistan, they are home free. Not sure how many Americans have to die to qualify as “catastrophic.” Would 50 do it? Would it make a difference if they were Red State Voters? How about if they were undocumented workers? Excerpt: The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials. Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient. "Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said. At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding
Insider Patenting: How Fannie Mae Chief Got the Patent for Cap and Trade in 2006
Going green, all the way to the bank. Excerpt: Just one day after the Democrats seized control of Congress, the Chief Executive of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines, received the patent for a residential cap-and-trade system (Patent 6904336), What this means is that Raines, along with several colleagues who also “own” the patent, could stand to make huge amounts of money if the cap-and-trade regime was ever brought to the residential marketplace. What does this have to do with Fannie Mae? Absolutely nothing. To understand the implications, a little discussion about patenting is needed. Patents are basically “ownership” rights to an invention. If you invent something, you can license it to others to produce and collect royalties. Each year, thousands of patents are sent to the US Patent Office for consideration. Many “patent houses” simply put in very general patents so they can turn around and sue businesses later for “stealing” their inventions. Sometimes it’s legit, many times its bogus. As examples, Amazon holds the patent of “one-click purchasing”. Litigation ensued on that. There’s a patent on a “self-executing webpage” which is the reason why a few years ago Microsoft had to convert Internet Explorer to not automatically play media as soon as someone visited a webpage. (i.e. why you have to click a YouTube video for it to play). Here is where things get interesting. Cap-and-trade legislation literally creates an asset out of thin air. It requires some means to “value” the asset and some means to trade it. In essence, it would lead to government created assets and trading mechanisms. However, when this patent was awarded and applied for, cap-and-trade was not even on the public radar yet. It is important to remember a few things. Franklin Raines has privileged access to Congress and politicians. He knew and could talk to them about what they were thinking and what they planned to do. As head of a government corporation, he also had a degree of access to the Patent Office to help “smooth the way” to get a patent. What happened here has all the marks of “insider patenting”. While technically legal, Raines was able to use inside information to put a patent into place before government action created a new marketplace that would require the creation of this systems. The result would have been huge amounts of cash to him and his “co-inventors” and likely, a few patrons on Capitol Hill as well.
Uncertainty over Medicare pay sets doctors on edge
Excerpt: For the third time this year, Congress is scrambling to stave off a hefty pay cut to doctors treating Medicare patients _ even as the Obama administration mails out a glossy brochure to reassure seniors the health care program is on solid ground. The 21.3 percent cut will take effect June 1 unless Congress intervenes in the next few days. Recurring uncertainty over Medicare fees is making doctors take a hard look at their participation in a program considered a bedrock of middle-class retirement security. If the problem is allowed to fester, it could undermine key goals of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which envisions using Medicare to test ideas for improving the quality of care for all Americans. Doubts about Medicare's stability can also create political problems for Democrats in the fall elections, since polls show seniors are worried about the impact of the remake on their own care. "We will not have that cut," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed Wednesday. How lawmakers will resolve the problem is unclear. Initially, Democrats had talked about a five-year fix, then three years. Now leaders are proposing postponement through the end of 2011. Doing away with the cuts altogether would be expensive, an estimated $200 billion or more over 10 years. That's what the American Medical Association wants. "In the past two years, (lawmakers) keep coming up to the deadline _ or a little past it _ and waiving the cuts for shorter and shorter periods of time, which makes us uneasy," said Dr. Susan Crittenden, a primary care physician practicing near Raleigh, N.C. "The current uncertainty about what the fee schedule will be, and whether at some point there will be a 20 percent cut, makes it harder to accept new Medicare patients," Crittenden said.
Obama Says He’s Too Busy To Meet With Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer…
Excerpt: President Obama has turned down Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request to meet while she's in Washington next week as tensions mount between his administration and Arizona over the state's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants. (AP) President Obama has turned down Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request to meet while she's in Washington next week as tensions mount between his administration and Arizona over the state's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants. Brewer will be in Washington to meet with other governors. She said Friday that she had asked to meet with Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to discuss border security and immigration. But Obama's schedule "doesn't allow for a meeting" with her, White House spokesman Adam Abrams said, adding that the president "does intend to sit down with the governor in the future." When Obama returns from his Chicago vacation on Tuesday, he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Peru President Alan Garcia at the White House. On Wednesday, Obama is meeting with Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, before heading to an event in Pittsburgh and hosting a concert at the White House to honor Paul McCartney.
Netanyahu, Obama’s newest prop
Excerpt: Netanyahu must not permit Obama’s public relations campaign to divert him from this mission. The Democratic Party is feeling the heat for US President Barack Obama’s hostility towards Israel. In an interview with Channel 10 earlier this month, Democratic Party mega-donor Haim Saban characterized the Obama administration as ideologically aligned with the radical Left and harshly criticized its treatment of Israel. Both Ma’ariv and Yediot Aharonot reported this week that Democratic congressmen and senators are deeply concerned that the administration’s harsh treatment of Israel has convinced many American Jews not to contribute to their campaigns or to the Democratic Party ahead of November 2’s mid-term elections. They also fear that American Jews will vote for Republican challengers in large numbers. It is these concerns, rather than a decision to alter his positions on Israel specifically and the Middle East generally, that now drive Obama’s relentless courtship of the American Jewish community. His latest move in this sphere was his sudden invitation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to visit him at the White House for a “warm reception” in front of television cameras next Tuesday.
In Defense of Arizona's Ethnic Studies Law
Excerpt: TOM HORNE, ARIZONA SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT: No. In the summer of 1963, when I just graduated from high school, I went on the march on Washington, in which Martin Luther King gave his famous speech in which he said we should be judged by the quality of our character, rather than the color of our skin. And that has been among my deepest beliefs my entire life. And so this has made me opposed to dividing students by race. In the Tucson school district -- this was what led me to introduce this legislation -- they divide the kids up. They've got Raza studies for the Latino kids. Raza means "the race" in Spanish. African-American studies for the African-American kids, Indian studies for the native American kids and Asian studies for the Asian kids. And they're dividing them up just like the old South. And I believe that what's important about us is what we know, what we can do, what's our character as individuals, not what race we happen to have been born into. And the function of the public schools is to bring in kids from different backgrounds and teach them to treat each other as individuals. And the Tucson district is doing the opposite. They're teaching them to emphasize ethnic solidarity, what I call ethnic chauvinism. And I think that's exactly is the wrong thing to do in the public schools, and that's why I introduced this legislation to give myself the authority to put a stop to it.
North Korea: We're Heading To 'The Brink Of War'
Excerpt: North Korea's most powerful state organ said Friday that South Korea faked the sinking of one of its own warships and warned that the Korean peninsula was edging ever closer to war. Pyongyang has made similar statements through state media since a multinational probe said last week that a torpedo fired by a North Korean submarine downed the vessel, killing 46 sailors in the worst attack on the South Korean military since the Korean War. This time, though, the comments were delivered at an extremely rare press conference in the North Korean capital presided over by a uniformed official with the secretive country's National Defense Commission, which is headed by leader Kim Jong Il.
U.S., South Korea Ready to Repel North as Raptors, Ships Deploy
Maybe just a pick up game of midnight basketball and all will get along? Excerpt: U.S. and South Korean forces said they are ready to repel any threat posed by North Korea as 24 stealth fighter jets deploy to the region and a report said the military alert level has been raised. Naval vessels plan anti-submarine exercises close to the disputed maritime border between North and South Korea where one of the South’s warships sank on March 26, killing 46 sailors. An international team of experts last week concluded that a North Korean torpedo blew apart the Cheonan, prompting Kim Jong Il’s regime to cut all ties with the South and threaten “all-out war” over any punitive action. “U.S. and ROK forces are well prepared to deter aggression against the Republic of Korea and meet any threat posed by North Korean Forces,” said Lieutenant Colonel Angela Billings, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Korea, in a written response to questions. She declined to give any details on operational strategy, ship movements or contingency plans should the North make good on a threat to open fire on vessels invading disputed waters, citing security policy.
What Would a Korean War Look Like? 4 Predictions
Excerpt: Tensions continue to mount on the Korean peninsula in the wake of an international investigation that concluded a North Korean submarine was responsible for sinking a South Korean navy ship in April, killing 46 sailors. In the latest chess moves, Seoul staged a big anti-submarine drill, which Pyongyang responded to by saying it will no longer honor an agreement meant to avoid accidental naval clashes between the two nations. As the crisis escalates, an unsettling question comes into focus: What would war on the Korean peninsula look like some 50-odd years after the armistice that brought the Korean War to an end? (I think Wachter (the author) has painted these scenarios with his rosiest possible brushes. If the NKs go nuclear, Obama HAS to respond, though perhaps with very large FAEs. Once he does, the NKs will feel justified in attacking us directly---and they don't have fuel-air technology. I doubt they think they can "win," but they (their leadership, anyway) may think they can survive. And, if health reports are correct, Kim may figure he can go out in a Gotterdammerung as he has little to lose. Also, Wachter makes no mention of possibly coordinated action from Syria and/or Iran and their surrogates. This summer could be very tough for all of us. Ron P.)
UN experts say N Korea is exporting nuke technology
Excerpt: North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology and using multiple intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent U.N. sanctions, U.N. experts said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The seven-member panel monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea said its research indicates that Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Myanmar. It called for further study of these suspected activities and urged all countries to try to prevent them.
Don't Speak for Me
The Tea Parties may yet save Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but giving us candidates who can’t win the centrist vote, where elections are decided. Excerpt: Watching some of the self-appointed Tea Party leaders, my early excitement has given way to an unsettling concern that the ideology police on the right are committing the same error as the intolerant on the left. Just as Keith Olbermann has his worse, worser, and worst, the new wannabe arbiters of everything conservative are giving us conservative, conservativer, and conservativest. During this election cycle, beware if you do not fit their hair-splitting definition of conservativest. The conservative orthodoxy police who have press access and national forums appear to be making or breaking conservative candidates based upon their own "are you conservative enough" litmus tests. This scares me. Faced with two candidates who believe in small government, low taxes, fiscal and personal responsibility, who decides which candidate is really "better"? Is abortion a litmus test? Do libertarians (with whom I also sympathize) get bonus points? Do common sense and real-life experience -- in which tough decisions that might render someone's record only 98% "pure" -- enter into the decision at all? Or are they looking for the candidate who talks the loudest and seems to be the most extreme tax- and government-shrinker? Does the ability to get elected matter?
Must watch: The agencies created by the healthcare bill
All of which will be creating regulations
Obama's new national security strategy a recipe for disaster
Excerpt: The document and philosophy behind it limit America's capacity to respond quickly and decisively to threats and acts of terrorism and war against us and our allies and virtually guarantees that these will occur with ever increasing frequency and ferocity because our enemies know they have nothing to fear and that there will be no real consequences for their actions. As the U.S. places shackles on itself by emphasizing diplomacy and a collective response to anything and everything enemies throw it's way and becomes weaker as a result those who would destroy us and our way of life become stronger and more emboldened in turn and more likely to threaten and attack. This is an equation that seems to have escaped Obama.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer abruptly suspends state's attorney general from illegal immigrant law defense
Excerpt: A sudden new twist in the ongoing rhetorical and legal struggle over Arizona's tough new law to round up illegal immigrants. Late Friday night as the Memorial Day weekend began, Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, in effect, suspended the state's Democratic attorney general from defending the new law in upcoming legal challenges. The measure, known as S.B. 1070, is due to take effect this summer and, among other things, allows local police under federal guidelines to check the immigration status of people they stop. (For a full list of background stories, see Related Items below.) The governor's abrupt action against Terry Goddard, her likely Democratic opponent in this fall's gubernatorial election, came after months of disputes between the two and at the end of a long day of legal maneuvering in both Arizona and the nation's capital. As the state's chief lawyer, Goddard would be expected to take the lead in defending Arizona against.... ...challenges to the Legislature's action, which erupted after years of state frustration with the federal government's inability to secure the state border with Mexico against illegal immigrants, drugs and criminals. However, Goddard has vocally opposed the measure, so much so that the Legislature gave the governor advance authority to hire outside legal counsel. On Friday, Goddard met with the Obama administration's Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in Washington, then held a news conference just hours before Brewer's handpicked attorneys were to meet with Holder, an outspoken critic of the law. Brewer said, "I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the State of Arizona.” Seeing apparent collusion between the two Democrat lawyers, Brewer pulled the plug Friday night. Her statement (full text below) said:
How to Cripple the Free Economy
Excerpt: The socialist policies implemented by the Obama administration and the Democrat leadership undermine America's economic prosperity and prolong the misery for millions of companies and workers. Despite passing multi-trillion dollar government tax and spend initiatives, numerous bailouts of failed businesses, and repeated extensions of government benefits, Americans are suffering and the economy is languishing. Nationwide the unemployment rate has risen to 9.9%, while mortgage defaults and foreclosure rates have surged to record numbers.... The situation is grim for millions of American homeowners. The foreclosure crisis that the administration hoped to address via its "prevention program" is far from being over. In fact the situation may be getting worse. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that during the January to March period of this year more than 10% of homeowners missed making at least one mortgage payment. This is an increase from the 9.1% that missed home payments in 2009. Right now approximately 4.3 million Americans are either in foreclosure or have missed at least three months of mortgage payments. Nationally, more than 4.6% of all homeowners are in foreclosure, a new record for the country. New home buyers with good credit have now become the fastest growing group of homeowners facing foreclosure. Poor economic conditions and high unemployment rates have contributed to the latest rise in homeowner foreclosure rates. Even homeowners with solid credit, who signed up for conventional loans with fixed-rates, are now being affected by the weak economy. These borrowers account for almost 37% of the new foreclosures in 2010, significantly higher than the 29% last year.
U. of Virginia Asks Court to Halt Attorney General's Demand for Documents
Excerpt: In a petition prefaced with lofty language from Thomas Jefferson, lawyers for the University of Virginia asked a state court on Thursday to stay or overturn an "unprecedented" demand by the state's attorney general for more than a decade's worth of documents related to a prominent climate researcher formerly on the university's faculty. The researcher, Michael E. Mann, taught at the university from 1999 to 2005 and is now director of the Earth System Science Center on Pennsylvania State University's main campus.... Mr. Cuccinelli's investigation of Mr. Mann has drawn criticism from scholars in Virginia and elsewhere. Among critics have been the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Professors, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Getting the message
Excerpt: It was widely acknowledged that climate sceptics wanted to continue the debate in order to delay action to curb emissions. But what did the phrase mean? Did it mean the IPCC is unquestionably right? Or that cutting emissions 80% is the only way to save the planet? Or simply that it is basic physics that CO2 is a warming gas? Even at the Heartland Institute climate sceptics' conference in Chicago last week most scientists seemed to agree that CO2 had probably warmed the planet at the end of the 20th century, over and above natural fluctuations. But they did not agree that the warming will be dangerous - and they object to being branded fools or hirelings for saying so. The attitude of the establishment to the sceptics shines through the succession of inquiries into controversial science at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). When at the launch of the Sir Muir Russell inquiry I asked about the credibility of the review panel in the blogosphere, Sir Muir dismissed the enquiry with the flick of a wrist - he had been a senior civil servant and he had run a university, his bona fides were beyond question. But the blogosphere does not respect past reputations, only current performance. And some of the top performers in the blogosphere are critics of the establishment. Steve McIntyre, for instance, is a mining engineer who started examining climate statistics as a hobby. He has taken on the scientific establishment on some key issues and won. He arguably knows more about CRU science than anyone outside the unit - but none of the CRU inquiries has contacted him for input.
Rebel scientists force Royal Society to accept climate change scepticism
Excerpt: The Royal Society has appointed a panel to rewrite the 350-year-old institution’s official position on global warming. It will publish a new “guide to the science of climate change” this summer. The society has been accused by 43 of its Fellows of refusing to accept dissenting views on climate change and exaggerating the degree of certainty that man-made emissions are the main cause. The society appears to have conceded that it needs to correct previous statements. It said: “Any public perception that science is somehow fully settled is wholly incorrect — there is always room for new observations, theories, measurements.” This contradicts a comment by the society’s previous president, Lord May, who was once quoted as saying: “The debate on climate change is over.” The admission that the society needs to conduct the review is a blow to attempts by the UN to reach a global deal on cutting emissions. The Royal Society is viewed as one of the leading authorities on the topic and it nominated the panel that investigated and endorsed the climate science of the University of East Anglia.
Royal Society to publish guide on climate change to counter claims of 'exaggeration'
Excerpt: The most prestigious group of scientists in the country was forced to act after fellows complained that doubts over man made global warming were not being communicated to the public. In particular they were unhappy that the long term effects of greenhouse gases were being oversimplified. Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, admitted that the case for man-made global warming has been exaggerated in the past. He emphasised that the basic science remains sound but agreed to issue guidance so that it better reflects the uncertainties. ”Climate change is a hugely important issue but the public debate has all too often been clouded by exaggeration and misleading information," he said. "We aim to provide the public with a clear indication of what is known about the climate system, what we think we know about it and, just as importantly, the aspects we still do not understand very well." (...) [Dr.] Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation said it was about time the sceptics were taken more seriously. "I think it is a very significant development in that it is no longer one or two eccentrics but a wide group of fellows so it is taken more seriously – as it should be," he said. "I think it is very wise to accept that while the basic science is solid, we have no idea what is going to happen in the future."
Where Has the Magic Gone?
Excerpt: This lead paragraph from the New York Times is just priceless: Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet? Imagine popular children's fables retold by Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal: Anguished weavers gathered to ponder the sudden shift in fashion by subjects who only recently thought the emperor was wearing a splendid suit of clothes. If the boy still says there is a wolf, why have so many farmers turned away from the idea that the sheep are in danger?
Arizona Leading the March Back to Sovereignty
Excerpt: Arizona's new immigration law is a copy of a 1940 Federal statute requiring non-citizens to show their papers. It allows local and state law enforcement to join in the fight to stop illegal immigration. Open border advocates are opposed. So-called civil libertarians are aghast. Why? It is simple. If local and state police can enforce our immigration laws, that will add enormously to the number of "good guys" going after the "bad guys." In addition, that means a real dent could be made in the flow of unlawful migrants into the United States from Mexico. And those people illegally in America, living and working here, many would over time probably go home. Instead of surrendering to the inevitable flow of people from around the world coming to America, the United States would re-establish its sovereignty over its own territory. In his recent address to Congress, President Calderon of Mexico sneered at such an idea by literally daring the United States to control its borders. Many liberals in the audience applauded his condemnation of the new Arizona law. On the other side, conservative members of Congress were urging the administration to send National Guard troops to our southern border to help bring back some, well, law and order. Jan Brewer, the Arizona Governor, asked that we send drones to help with surveillance. Arizona Sen. McCain called for some 6,000 new soldiers for the border. In a surprise, the administration yesterday pledged 1,200 National Guard to be sent to the border. Added surveillance would be their job. The cost: $500 million. It looks like a lot of money. But by comparison, for example, we spend $720 million a year sending condoms to the third world.
Legal immigrant says SB 1070 law is essential
Excerpt: I am a naturalized citizen, coming to the U.S. from South Central Africa in the 1970s. It took us years and a lot of patience to wait in line and apply for entry. Eventually we received a visa to come and work here. Each of us carried a green card, and we thanked God for that privilege. It was necessary to have a "sponsor" who would guarantee that you would not become a state liability. This kind of control over immigration not only makes sense, but it also is essential for the orderly maintenance of the comings and goings of people in any country. Many people have decided to ignore the illegality of their actions and enter the United States under their own rules. These same people, who now number in the millions, would use the very laws granted to the legal inhabitants of these United States to champion their cause and scream and shout about the unfairness they're enduring. Now we see the narrow-minded liberal viewpoints played out by reports of groups who choose to boycott Arizona.
Want to read AZ SB1070?
You’ll know more than Eric Holder!
BP bused in 100s of temp workers for Obama visit, state official says
Wonder if these were “jobs Americans won’t do?” Excerpt: Perhaps you saw news footage of President Obama in Grand Isle, La., on Friday and thought things didn't look all that bad. Well, there may have been a reason for that: The town was evidently swarmed by an army of temp workers to spruce it up for the president and the national news crews following him. Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, whose district encompasses Grand Isle, told Yahoo! News that BP bused in "hundreds" of temporary workers to clean up local beaches. And as soon as the president was en route back to Washington, the workers were clearing out of Grand Isle too, Roberts said. "The level of cleanup and cooperation we've gotten from BP in the past is in no way consistent to the effort shown on the island today," Roberts said by telephone. "As soon as the president left, they were immediately put back on the buses and sent home." Roberts says the overnight contingent of workers was there mainly to furnish a Potemkin-style backdrop for the event — while also making it appear that BP was firmly in command of spill cleanup efforts. New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU reports that the workers were paid $12 an hour and came mostly from neighboring Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
Steve Wynn Takes on Washington, Vegas & EBITDA
Excerpt: Watch the first video, No confidence in DC. Here is a very successful business man who is right on target. This will get your attention. Excerpt: “Washington is unpredictable these days,” declares the CEO of Wynn Resorts. Wynn speaks of “wild, uncontrolled spending,” and “unbelievable, unsustainable debt”. As he plans to split his company headquarters between Las Vegas and Macau, with a bigger emphasis on Macau because of its tremendous profitability, he has no qualms about dealing with the Chinese government. “Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington.” He’s concerned about the prospect of inflation, of FHA repeating the mistakes of Fannie and Freddie, and the cost to business from the new healthcare law. “We’re on our way to Greece, in the hands of a confused, foolish government,” Wynn says. “It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop.”
Sestak's lesson for NY
Excerpt: So the White House tried to bulldoze Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak out of a primary challenge to GOP-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter? Big deal. The White House has been taking aspiring opponents of rookie New York Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand and squashing them like bugs for months now -- and nobody's made a federal case out of it. Sure, it's moderately interesting that the designated bulldozer in the attempted Sestak disappearance turns out to have been Bill Clinton. And it's also possible that offering Sestak a job to keep him out of the Senate race -- if that happened -- was a crime. So the whole affair (if that word can be used to describe a matter involving Bubba) bears watching.
The U.N. gun grabber
Excerpt: American gun owners might not feel besieged, but they should. This week, the Obama administration announced its support for the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. This international agreement poses real risks for freedom both in the United States and around the world by making it more difficult - if not outright illegal - for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. The U.N. claims that guns used in armed conflicts cause 300,000 deaths worldwide every year, an inordinate number of which are the result of internal civil strife within individual nations. The solution proposed by transnationalists to keep rebels from getting guns is to make the global pool of weapons smaller through government action. According to recent deliberations regarding the treaty, signatory countries would be required to "prevent, combat and eradicate" various classes of guns to undermine "the illicit trade in small arms." Such a plan would necessarily lead to confiscation of personal firearms.
Mass. Senate passes crackdown on illegal immigrants
Excerpt: With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln's respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years. In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans. The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. (....) The measure comes weeks after immigration measures failed in the House, and amid heightened debate over illegal immigration fueled by the state's election season and Arizona's passage in April of the toughest immigration law in the nation.
Candidates urge illegal immigrant crackdown
Excerpt: Staking out increasingly tough stances on illegal immigration, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker and independent rival Timothy P. Cahill said yesterday that they want to give police the authority to arrest people who are in the country illegally and charge them with immigration violations. As the two candidates battle for conservative voters, Baker said he would reinstate a controversial agreement with the federal government that Governor Mitt Romney signed in 2006 that deputized 30 specially trained State Police troopers to detain illegal immigrants. Cahill said he wants to go further, authorizing the State Police and all local officers to check the immigration status of suspects they encounter during regular police investigations. Immigration is currently the province of the federal government, though many critics say Washington has failed to stem the influx of illegal immigrants, and the issue has emerged as a flashpoint in the Massachusetts governor’s race. Romney’s order, signed in the final month of his term as he intensified his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, was reversed by Governor Deval Patrick in his first week in office in 2007. Patrick criticized the policy as a misuse of scant police resources. Some urban police chiefs, including Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, have said it would have strained relations between officers and residents in immigrant neighborhoods.
Has Obama Lost the Mandate of Heaven?
Excerpt: Presumably, when a dynasty begins its rulers show great concern for the good of the people. After a while, later generations of dynastic rulers become less concerned about the people, less concerned about behaving in a responsible and upright fashion, and more worried about their own good. In Western terms they become narcissistic and decadent. When catastrophe befalls the people they manifest disinterest and unconcern. The issue is not so much whether the leaders can immediately mitigate the catastrophe or can rescue its victims with their own hands, but whether they are present and accounted for or whether they are off playing golf.
Sestak: Brother Collaborating With White House
Excerpt: On Thursday, Congressman Joe Sestak took the centuries old position of all children in trouble: my brother did it. And his brother? Richard Sestak, the candidate's campaign guru, is now conspiring behind the scenes with the White House on what to say. According to Joe Sestak himself. In a stunning admission Thursday, the same day President Obama answered Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett's question on the issue at the President's first press conference in almost a year, the Washington Post is reporting this morning that Sestak is now admitting: "They (the White House) got hold of my brother on his cellphone, and he spoke to the White House… about what's going to occur," said Sestak, who said he expects the White House will release its information Friday. He declined to elaborate on his discussions with his brother.
How the Sestak job offer became a big deal
Excerpt: Party leaders and campaign operatives -- on nearly a daily basis -- approach challenger candidates seeking to disrupt the established political order with a simple message: Get out or else. And so, the report this morning that former President Bill Clinton was tasked by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to make such an approach to Rep. Joe Sestak -- allegedly offering him an unpaid advisory role on an intelligence board in exchange for getting him to drop his primary bid against Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) -- would not normally raise much of a stir in official Washington. That the story has become a major controversy, a regular fixture on cable news chat shows and a momentum-killer for Sestak following his come-from behind victory against Specter in last week's Pennsylvania primary is evidence of how the White House mishandled the controversy, according to conversations with several high-level Democratic strategists. "How do you make something out of nothing?," asked one such operative who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the matter. "By acting guilty when you're innocent." Another senior party official said that the White House "has a lot of egg on their face" and described the events as a "PR nightmare".
The Endgame of Class Warfare
Excerpt: The pursuit of happiness and the acquisition of wealth and property are as integral to capitalism as the products advertised on television. But President Obama would have Americans believe that this activity is inherently evil and must be curbed. Obama has appointed a czar to oversee what he deems "excessive" pay. And according to President Obama, there is a point at which someone has "enough" money. Assuming Obama's premise is correct, who is he to make such a determination? Who is Congress? These men and women are public servants, not public masters, as noted by financial commentator Thomas Sowell. Moreover, these individuals long ago made "enough" -- with President Obama raking in over $5 million this year. At the heart of this paradigm is the mistaken belief that the economy is a zero-sum game, a fixed pie that neither expands nor contracts, and that making money takes money from someone else. In this paradigm, the existence of tycoons like Bill Gates "steals" opportunity from the poor and removes wealth from the "fixed" economy. This misconception is bad economics and certainly bad politics for a free country.
Israel and America's Jews
Excerpt: There are many explanations for why younger Jews do not feel the same way about Israel as earlier generations. For one thing, young liberal Jews today are increasingly the product of secular parents, mixed marriages, and homes devoid of serious attachment to not only Israel, but God and Judaism. Secular Jews have become increasingly suburban and affluent and there is little sense of struggle or threat in the lives of the younger generation (other than whether they can get into an Ivy League college or professional school and make their parents proud). These young liberal Jews know very little or nothing of World War 2, Jewish life in Europe, the Holocaust, the 48 War, the 6 Day War, the Yom Kippur War, or even the scud attacks in the ‘91 Gulf war. They are comfortable. And since most of the people they come into contact with on campus, or in their new professional lives are liberals, they do not want to cross swords with them by backing Israel (the politically incorrect stronger party) against the Palestinians (the weaker party). It is hard to defend Israel, and not lose points earned for all one's good deeds -- attacking capitalism, greedy Wall Street bankers, George Bush, Sarah Palin, Christian conservatives, and Tea party bigots, and backing all the noble causes: abortion rights, ending global warming, raising taxes on the rich, making health care cheap, accessible and high quality through a public option, saving Darfur, and did I mention abortion rights? How can one be for all these noble and moral causes and not also fight for human rights in Gaza and the West Bank?
As Harvard Law Dean, Kagan Nixed Required Study of US Constitutional Law But Did Require Study of International and Foreign Law…
Why study a document that means whatever you want it to mean? Excerpt: Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, is best known for moving Harvard Law School away from the 100-year old “case-law method” of legal study. But in the process, critics say, she moved the nation’s premier law school away from requiring the study of U.S. constitutional law towards the study of the laws of foreign nations and international law.
Leave Arizona Alone
Excerpt: Throughout my tenure as a Charter Member of the Citizens Advisory Board to the U.S. Border Patrol Nogales Station, I've heard many of the same accusations, such as racism and racial profiling, emanating from those opposed to enforcement of our immigration laws. This is laughable because so many of the local agents are dark-skinned Hispanics, some with noticeable accents. There are also agents of Afro-Hispanic origin. The last local agent to die in the line of duty was a swarthy Russian Jew who had gained citizenship shortly before being ruthlessly slain by an illegal entrant. As a nation of immigrants, we are pro-immigrant, but anti-illegal immigration. We have as much right as any other land to control our own borders and to expel anyone who comes here in a less than legal manner. If you want in, get in line with the rest of the law-abiding people, pay your fees, and don't come here demanding what your own homeland won't provide for you. Those fees, by the way, are usually less than you'd pay one of the coyotes who prey on those willing to risk life and limb to reach the United States.