Friday, May 7, 2010

Political Digest May 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. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with them. I have to say all this to give some of my critics the benefit of the doubt, assuming they are thick, rather than deliberately taking things the wrong way.

Is healthcare a right?
While I was at a conference in DC, we were told of a new drug, Erbitux, which lengthens the lives of people suffering from lung cancer. Do we as a society have an obligation to provide this drug to those with this disease? (Forget smoking—we all do risky things and I’ve read that 40% of those who die from lung cancer are non-smokers.)

____ Yes. Healthcare is a right and we must provide all treatments that work.

____ No. Healthcare is a commodity, not mentioned in the Bill of Rights, and we cannot afford to provide advanced healthcare to every citizen.

If you answered “Yes,” you might be interested to know we were told by a doctor from CMS (they run Medicare) that the cost of providing Erbitux to all 550,000 people with lung cancer will be $480,000,000,000 a year (which I think is more than the entire annual cost for Medicare right now), and it extends the life of people with the disease an average of 1.2 months. But if healthcare is a right, then they have a right to the drug. Get your wallet out.

Boycott Arizona?
I see lots of folks/groups boycotting Arizona over the new immigration enforcement law. (Including some idiots who wanted to boycott Arizona Ice Tea, made in NY.) Boycotting Arizona is a really cool idea, as it will help drive Mexicans out of the state. After all, if you cancel a conference in Arizona, for example, do the politician suffer? Or do the Hispanic waiters and janitors who would have worked the conference, who now can’t feed their families, suffer?

I repeat that anyone who thinks the Arizona law is racist should be taking “undocumented workers” into their own homes, no limit, and providing whatever they need in food, clothing and education. Yes, your standard of living and finances will collapse, but this is what unlimited illegal immigration will eventually do to the country. If you aren’t willing to do so, you are as racist as the Arizona law that says Arizona isn’t willing to do so.

Tort Reform
While I was in DC, we were told that there are about 24 lawyers in the US Congress for every doctor. In case you were wondering why “Health Care Reform” didn’t take the one step that would definitely lower the cost of healthcare—tort reform. FYI, currently 39% of babies are delivered by C-section, because if there is considered to be ANY RISK AT ALL, the ObGyn doesn’t take a chance. Costs well over a billion dollars a year, but holds the trial lawyers at bay.

Ezra Levant
I had a chance to hear him speak in DC and have just ordered his book Shakedown. He’s a Canadian, the only editor n Canada who had the courage to publish the Danish Mohammad Cartoons. A local Imam convinced the local “Human Rights Commission” to go after him, (Freedom of Speech is no longer a human right in Canada—Freedom from being offended is!). He refused to give in, and fought them for 900 days until they dropped the charges. He tells of a McDonalds where a Muslim employee won the right not to wash her hands at work, as it violated her religious convictions. They were ordered to rehire her. (Have a Happy Meal today!)

BREAKING: Navy SEAL McCabe Found Not Guilty
Excerpt: Navy SEAL Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe was found not guilty Thursday evening on charges of assaulting detained terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed, dereliction of duty, and impeding an investigation based on a false statement. A seven member military jury deliberated for an hour and forty minutes before reaching a verdict. For a verdict to be reached, two-thirds of the jury had to agree on each charge. Upon hearing the verdict, McCabe's mother gasped in jubilation, covering her mouth with her hands, while his father and sister smiled. McCabe and his counsel shared a few hugs and pats on the back. Last month in courts martial in Baghdad, Petty Officers Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe, also Navy SEALs, were acquitted of charges that they failed to safeguard Abed. McCabe was the only SEAL charged with actual assault.

U.S. stocks plunge on European debt worries
I blame George Bush for letting those Greek politicians spend money like mad socialists. Have I mentioned that the collapse is coming? Excerpt: U.S. stocks tumbled Thursday afternoon as fears that debt problems in Greece could spread to other parts of Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average, an index of 30 blue chip stocks, fell more than 8 percent, or 800 points in mid-afternoon trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index were down even more sharply. This is the third day of losses on Wall Street. The investor fears sent the euro to another 14-month low against the dollar. That in turn sent the price of commodities like oil down and sent stocks in those sectors tumbling. Also, the rate at which Greece, Spain and Portugal could borrower money rose again. Last week, European Union and the International Monetary Fund stepped in and offered Greece more than $140 billion in bailout loans. But some investors are skeptical that the emergency assistance will be enough to address Greece's problems. Some are also doubtful that the Greek government can successfully impose on its people the austerity measures required under financial rescue package, including tax increases and pay cuts.

Decline in world markets prompts fears of Greek 'contagion effect'
Damn. I was thinking Europe had about ten years, and us 15-20, before socialism brought about a collapse. I might see it after all. Excerpt: third straight day of decline on world financial markets Thursday was vivid evidence of a scary proposition: That the fiscal crisis that began in Greece months ago is spreading across Europe like a virus, causing growing doubts about the fates of even nations with far more manageable levels of government debt. It is called a "contagion effect," an economist's metaphor for the rapid and hard-to-predict spread of financial crisis, driven by the fragility of investors' perceptions. They are a function of vicious cycles in which confidence in a country's ability to repay its debts falls, driving up the country's borrowing rates and thus making it all the harder for the nation to handle its debts.

Greece's Abyss
Excerpt: The left has falsely demonized Tea Party protests in the U.S. as violent. But it ignores real violence in Greece, where leftists and anarchists have rioted and even murdered to fight cuts in their welfare state. A week ago, the European Union and the U.S.-backed International Monetary Fund came through with $146 billion to bail out the biggest spendthrift in Europe. Greece didn't deserve it. For years it lied about its finances and when the truth finally spilled out, its deficit as a share of GDP stood at 13.6% (vs. the 3% required of EU members) and the debt had swelled to 115%. Parties left and right were to blame, having spent wildly to feed a socialism so institutionalized it became an insatiable Minotaur. But the rescue funds came anyway, courtesy of U.S. and European taxpayers, with the hope that Greece never again will have to suffer such humiliating treatment. Instead of thanking their benefactors, Greeks attacked the very capitalist countries that bailed them out. Greece's powerful public sector unions, not the private sector, led the effort. Defending their entitlements and privileges, they led 25,000 on a two-day general strike, blasting the EU and IMF austerity measures as an attack on their shiftless lifestyles. Thugs among them, many of them idle youths and students from the rich northern part of Athens, targeted the very private sector that pays their bills. They went after Greece's tourism industry, one of its last sources of legitimate revenue, and trashed the capital, including areas that had been spruced up for the 2004 Olympic Games

Obey's exit stuns House
Excerpt: David Obey, the gruff chairman of the House Appropriations panel, delivered a blow to his Democratic colleagues Wednesday by announcing that he would leave Congress at the end of his term. His departure may throw another Democratic seat to the Republicans in an election cycle already expected to punish the governing party, and may also open a lawmaker scramble for one of the most prized committee slots on Capitol Hill.

Goldman Sachs hearings
Excerpt: Goldman Sachs and its employees and family members gave $5.9 million to candidates in the 2007-2008 election cycle. Three-quarters of that went to Democrats. Barack Obama met with Goldman Sachs brass 4 times at the White House.

Young Nick Ayers has full-grown plans for a Republican return to the White House
Excerpt: To call Nick Ayers the bright young future of the Republican Party is to ignore that the future has already arrived. "We're the largest political committee in town," says Ayers, the 27-year-old executive director of the Republican Governors Association. Ensconced a block from the White House, Ayers is a leading player in the GOP's plan to use the momentum of statewide victories in 2010 to knock President Obama out of office in 2012. The Georgia native, who left college as a 19-year-old freshman to help elect Gov. Sonny Perdue, the first Republican governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, is now a veteran Washington hand, bantering with Obama during East Wing receptions and serving as a confidant and strategist to a spate of governors, including the committee's chairman, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Since taking the helm in January 2007, Ayers has transformed the creaky committee into a tight ship that has attracted Republican money bundlers disillusioned with Michael Steele's Republican National Committee and its spending sprees.

Congressman cries poor, but lifestyle may disagree
Excerpt: Money is so tight, Representative Gregory W. Meeks says, he does not have a savings account with more than a few thousand dollars in it. And yet Mr. Meeks, one of New York City’s most prominent Democrats, lives a life worthy of a jet-setter. When he travels, he stays in luxury hotels like the Mondrian South Beach in Miami and the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan, P.R. He drives a Lexus, leased by the federal government, at a cost of $1,000 a month. He eats expensive meals at BLT Steak in Washington and Docks Oyster Bar in Manhattan, among other trendy spots. And just a few years ago, he bought a $1 million house built for him in Queens by a local developer and campaign contributor. Mr. Meeks forcefully defends his spending, saying demands on him by Democratic Party leaders to raise money have necessitated travel far outside his working-class Queens district. “I do fund-raisers where the people with the money are,” he said, adding that he was very careful to honor all campaign finance laws. “I am not going to raise the money in my district that I need to be a player here in Washington.” But his spending habits have drawn the scrutiny of ethics watchdogs and regulators, who have questioned whether Mr. Meeks is using campaign money to support a lifestyle that he otherwise could not afford. In 2008, he was fined for using campaign funds for personal expenses.

Welcome To The Constitutional Crisis
Excerpt: Through recent actions, the federal government has demonstrated that absolute power is its sole desire. They have ignored the message delivered through tea parties and have now directly engaged in political battles with state governments empowered by their citizenry. If “we the people” lose these battles, ALL power will centralize in Washington D.C. and the dynamics of our free country will rapidly change from a government that serves the people to a government that dictates to the people. The crisis ultimately revolves around this question: “Who decides the constitutionality of a federal law?”

Dems Hid Damning Health Care Report Until A Month After Vote
Excerpt: A damning health care report generated by actuaries at the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department was given to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the health care vote. She hid the report from the public until a month after democrats rammed their nationalized health care bill through Congress. The results from the report were troubling. The report released by Medicare and Medicaid actuaries shows that medical costs will skyrocket rising $389 billion 10 years. 14 million will lose their employer-based coverage. Millions of Americans will be left without insurance. And, millions more may be dumped into the already overwhelmed Medicaid system. 4 million American families will be hit with tax penalties under this new law. Of course, these were ALL things that President Obama and Democratic leaders assured us would not happen.

RE: Obama’s Nastiness Is Not New
Excerpt: When challenged on his facts, he gets prickly and defensive; the more effective the challenge, the more contemptuous Obama becomes. One can see what is going around in his mind: “Do you presume to criticize the Great Oz! You ungrateful creatures. Think yourselves lucky that I’m giving you an audience…”

Refloating Florida's Boats
Soak the rich, screw the working guy. Excerpt: What do you do about a tax that costs jobs and raises little money? Florida lawmakers have been pondering that question in relation to the 6 percent registration tax for owning a boat in the Sunshine State, says the Wall Street Journal. Consider: If you buy a $1 million boat and register it in Florida, you currently pay $60,000 in sales taxes. If you buy the same boat and register it in another coastal state like North Carolina, you pay a maximum of $1,500, in South Carolina $500, and in Rhode Island $600. Even more common is to register the boat in a nearby foreign nation like the Cayman Islands, where you pay close to zero tax.

Side Effects: Stay Single and Save 15 Percent or More on Health Insurance
Excerpt: Come 2013, America’s bachelors may want to think twice before popping the question. Thanks to Obamacare, some couples can save thousands on health insurance just by opting to cohabit rather than marry. How? The subsidy system erected in the complicated new health law manages to create a brand new “marriage penalty.” Under the law, individuals who earn between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level and can’t get health coverage through their employers qualify for generous subsidies to buy insurance in the government-run exchanges. These subsidies decrease with need, so the more you make, the less you get. But, as Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Hudson Institute recently remarked, the subsidies are structured so that two people can get more government as singles rather than as a married couple. Furchtgott-Roth gives the example of two people making $43,000 each. As singles, they both qualify for subsidies, but if they marry, their combined earnings of $86,000 far exceed the $58,000-cut-off for aid to a couple.

How many retirements is too many for Democrats?
Excerpt: The surprise retirement of Wisconsin Rep. Dave Obey on Wednesday brought the number of Democratic retirements to 17 -- short of the 20 Republicans leaving or running for other offices but still perilously close to the danger zone for Democrats in the 2010 midterms. By political handicapper Charlie Cook's projections, 13 of the 17 open Democratic seats are marginal -- meaning that they are likely to be competitive between the two parties. There are fewer competitive districts among the 20 Republican retirements with both national House committees likely to spend campaign cash in four or five of the GOP seats. While those open seat numbers -- coupled with Democratic gains in hard-to-hold seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections -- should be troubling for party strategists, the predictions of a flood of Democratic retirements in the wake of Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass) victory on January 19 have not yet come to fruition. Since Brown's shot-heard-around-the-political-world, 15 House members have called it quits: eight Democrats and seven Republicans. And, that tally of eight Democrats includes the seats of late Rep. John Murtha (Pa.), who passed away unexpectedly in February, Rep. Eric Massa's (N.Y.) whose implosion in March made him unelectable and Rep. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) who is running for Senate. Democrats acknowledge that a few more potential retirements are lurking as filing deadlines approach in a series of states but believe that the number of additional retirees will be in the low single digits.

FCC will seek to regulate Internet providers
Excerpt: The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission plans to seek clear-cut powers to regulate Internet service providers, redefining the government's role over at least parts of the fast-growing industry. The proposal, to be announced Thursday, is expected to be opposed by broadband network operators such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, whose Internet access businesses are becoming their main source of revenue as consumers rely on the Web as a primary communication tool. (...) Last month, a federal court cast doubt on the FCC's authority over the Internet, ruling that the agency overstepped its bounds when it sanctioned Comcast in 2008 for blocking an Internet application that the company said was slowing broadband service. "The Chairman will seek to restore the status quo as it existed prior to the court decision in order to fulfill the previously stated agenda of extending broadband to all Americans, protecting consumers, ensuring fair competition, and preserving a free and open Internet," the FCC official said in a statement.

Five Morgan Hill students sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts
Excerpt: Five Live Oak High School students' First Amendment rights were challenged Wednesday morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts "incendiary." "They said we were starting a fight, we were fuel to the fire," said sophomore Matt Dariano…. More than 100 students were spotted wearing red, white and green as they were leaving school. Some had the Mexican flag painted on their faces or on their arms….. Some Mexican-American students said that their flags were taken away or asked to be put away, but none were sent home for wearing red, white and green.

Russian Special Forces Storm Oil Tanker, Arrest Pirates
This will teach them not to pick on non-PC countries. Excerpt: Russian special forces rappelled onto a disabled oil tanker taken over by Somali pirates, freeing 23 Russian sailors and arresting the pirates during a dawn raid Thursday, the commander of the EU Naval Force said. The raid against the Liberian-flagged ship Moscow University came 24 hours after pirates took over the ship and the crew locked itself in a safe room. The vessel is carrying 86,000 tons of crude oil worth about $50 million.

Obama Freezes Budget for Program Designed to Stop Terrorists from Getting U.S. Visas
I suppose it might lead to harassment of undocumented workers. Excerpt: Four months after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit and nine years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, only 14 of the 57 U.S. consulates identified as being at “high risk” for potentially providing visas to terrorists have been furnished with units of the Department of Homeland Security’s Visa Security Program (VSP). President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011. The VSP, established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, puts Department of Homeland Security officials in the field at U.S. consulates to vet the backgrounds of people applying for U.S. visas. DHS uses a broader range of databases than the State Department to review the backgrounds of visa applicants. Also, many policymakers believe DHS officials tend to be more security-minded than State Department consular officers when reviewing visa applications.

Congress, Up in Arms
Excerpt: There seems to be a strong sentiment in Congress that the only constitutional right suspected terrorists have is the right to bear arms. “I think you’re going too far here,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. He was speaking in opposition to a bill that would keep people on the F.B.I. terrorist watch list from buying guns and explosives.

Obama biggest recipient of BP cash
Here’s a flow that needs to be cut off. Excerpt: While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years. BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals. On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy. During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Hyperventilating on Venus
Excerpt: The classic cure for hyperventilation is to put a paper bag over your head, which increases your CO2 levels and reduces the amount of Oxygen in your bloodstream. Global warmers have been hyperventilating over CO2 on Venus, ever since Carl Sagan made popular the idea of a runaway greenhouse effect. That was when he wasn’t warning about nuclear winter. Sagan said that marijuana helped him write some of his books. I bought off on the “runaway greenhouse” idea on Venus for several decades (without smoking pot) and only very recently have come to understand that the theory is beyond absurd. I explain below.

Who Bombed Times Square? Must Be the Swedish Grandmother
Excerpt: But we live in a country where rudimentary reasoning skills have been banned if they offend politically correct sensibilities. So our politicians suggest that tea partiers were behind the attempted bombing (that suggestion, not coincidentally, fits with President Obama’s attempts to label his domestic political opponents terrorists). They suggest that it could have been anybody—anybody! -- behind the propane, gas and gunpowder. Meanwhile, they don’t place radical Muslim terrorists on no-fly lists. Only when the proof is indisputable do they finally confirm what everybody with half a brain suspected all along—and then they hope to get lucky.

Official: NYC bomb suspect did dry run days before
Excerpt: Faisal Shahzad, now in custody on terrorism and weapons charges, drove a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder to Times Square from Connecticut on April 28, apparently to figure out where would be the best place to leave it later, the official said Wednesday. He then returned April 30 to drop off a black Isuzu, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

The Jihadists' Deadly Path To Citizenship
Excerpt: America's homeland-security amnesia never ceases to amaze.
In the aftermath of the botched Times Square terror attack over the weekend, Pakistani-born bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad's U.S. citizenship status caused a bit of shock and awe. The Atlantic magazine writer Jeffrey Goldberg's response was typical: "I am struck by the fact that he is a naturalized American citizen, not a recent or temporary visitor." Well, wake up and smell the deadly deception. Shahzad's path to American citizenship — he reportedly married an American woman, Huma Mian, in 2008 after spending a decade in the country on foreign student and employment visas — is a tried-and-true terror formula. Jihadists have been gaming the sham marriage racket with impunity for years. And immigration benefit fraud has provided invaluable cover and aid for U.S.-based Islamic plotters, including many other operatives planning attacks on New York City. As I've reported previously:

Uncomfortable Truths and the Times Square Attack
Excerpt: That none of these three forms of explosive and incendiary materials detonated indicates that the bombmaker was likely a novice and had problems with the design of his firing chain. While a detailed schematic of the firing chain has not been released, the bombmaker did not seem to have a sophisticated understanding of explosive materials and the techniques required to properly detonate them. This person may have had some rudimentary training in explosives but was clearly not a trained bombmaker. It is one thing to attend a class at a militant camp where you are taught how to use military explosives and quite another to create a viable IED from scratch in hostile territory. However, the fact that Shahzad was apparently able to collect all of the materials, construct an IED (even a poorly designed one) and maneuver it to the intended target without being detected exhibits considerable progress along the attack cycle. Had the bombmaker properly constructed a viable device with these components and if the materials had detonated, the explosion and resulting fire likely would have caused a significant number of casualties given the high density and proximity of people in the area. It appears that Shahzad made a classic “Kramer jihadist” mistake: trying to make his attack overly spectacular and dramatic. This mistake was criticized by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasir al-Wahayshi last year when he called for grassroots operatives to conduct simple attacks instead of complex ones that are more prone to failure. In the end, Shahzad (who was probably making his first attempt to build an IED by himself) tried to pull off an attack so elaborate that it failed to do any damage at all. As STRATFOR has discussed for many years now, the devolution of the jihadist threat from one based primarily on al Qaeda the group to one emanating from a wider jihadist movement means that we will see jihadist attacks being carried out more frequently by grassroots or lone wolf actors. These actors will possess a lesser degree of terrorist tradecraft than the professional terrorists associated with the core al Qaeda group, or even regional jihadist franchises like the TTP. This lack of tradecraft means that these operatives are more likely to make mistakes and attempt attacks against relatively soft targets, both characteristics seen in the failed May 1 attack.

Gallup Poll: 9 Out of 10 Americans Say Secure the Border This Year
Excerpt: The survey did not ask respondents if they favored deporting or amnestying illegal immigrants already in the country. However, 61 percent said they were “very concerned” that illegal immigrants are putting an unfair burden on U.S. schools, hospitals and government services, 55 percent said they were “very concerned” that allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States might be encouraging others to come here, and 53 percent said they were “very concerned” that illegal immigrants making low wages might make U.S. employers less willing to pay American workers a decent wage.

A Game-Changing Weapon
Excerpt: The Russian company Concern Morinformsystem-Agat is marketing a deadly new weapon, one that can allow a rogue state to overcome the technological superiority of Western militaries. The system can even be used to carry out devastating attacks on the U.S. homeland with little means of defense. The system, as seen in its promotional video, allows a weak nation to strike the land and sea targets of a superior force by placing cruise missiles into any type of 40 foot container. The video uses a ship, truck and train as examples of potential launching platforms. This means that once this weapon is sold, any of these transportation vehicles have to be seen as missile pads. The West normally relies upon advanced surveillance to detect and monitor such pads so that prior notice of a launch can be achieved, allowing for the site to be destroyed before the missile takes off or the missile to be intercepted. This warning allows for preparations for impact to be undertaken and retaliatory measures to be evaluated. By concealing and launching the missiles from cargo containers, there is absolutely minimal time to react, as effective surveillance would require following every truck, train or ship. In addition, these vehicles can cross borders, making it more difficult to identify the perpetrator of an attack and impossible to predict where an attack might come from

Somali jihadists execute man "suspected of being a Christian"
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. Excerpt: Islamic militants yesterday killed another leader of the underground church movement in Somalia, sources said. Before he was fatally shot on Tuesday (May 4) in Xarardheere, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Jowhar, 57-year-old Yusuf Ali Nur had been on a list of people the Islamic extremist al Shabaab suspected of being Christian, sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Compass. Al Shabaab, said to have links with al Qaeda, has vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity. The militants fighting the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu had been engaged in a two-hour battle with a rival rebel group, the Ahlu Sunna Waljamer, which had taken control of the Xarardheere area, before they came across Nur. Nur had lived in Xarardheere since leaving Jowhar in July 2009. Eyewitnesses said that after al Shabaab took control of the area, they went from house to house looking for enemy fighters when they arrived at Nur’s rented home at about 10:30 a.m. Sources said that upon finding Nur, one of the militants remarked, “Oh! This is Yusuf, whom we have been looking for,” before they sprayed him with bullets at close range. Nur is survived by his wife, whose name was withheld for security reasons, and three children, ages 11, 9 and 7. This latest death comes after several execution-style murders of Somalis suspected of being members of a suppressed yet resilient underground faith movement in Somalia. A number of Christians have been beheaded by the radical Islamists out to topple the fledgling TFG and introduce a strict version of sharia (Islamic law).

STEYN: Bigotry label for thee, not me
Excerpt: As I write, I have my papers on me - and not just because I'm in Arizona. I'm an immigrant, and it is a condition of my admission to this great land that I carry documentary proof of my residency status with me at all times and be prepared to produce it to law enforcement officials, whether on a business trip to Tucson or taking a 20-minute stroll in the woods back at my pad in New Hampshire. Who would impose such an outrageous Nazi fascist discriminatory law? Er, well, that would be Franklin D. Roosevelt. But don't let the fine print of the New Deal prevent you from going into full-scale meltdown. "Boycott Arizona-stan!" urges MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, surely a trifle Islamophobically: What has some blameless Central Asian basket case done to deserve being compared with a hellhole like Phoenix? Boycott Arizona Iced Tea, jests Travis Nichols of Chicago. It is "the drink of fascists." Just as regular tea is the drink of racists, according to Newsweek's in-depth and apparently nonsatirical poll analysis of anti-Obama protests. At San Francisco's City Hall, where bottled water is banned as the drink of climate denialists, Mayor Gavin Newsom is boycotting for real: All official visits to Arizona have been canceled indefinitely. You couldn't get sanctions like these imposed at the U.N. Security Council, but then, unlike Arizona, Iran is not a universally reviled pariah. Will a full-scale economic embargo devastate the Copper State? Who knows? It's not clear to me what San Francisco imports from Arizona. Chaps? But, at any rate, like the bottled-water ban, it sends a strong signal that this kind of hate will not be tolerated. The same day that Mr. Newsom took his bold stand, I saw a phalanx of police officers doing the full Robocop - black body armor, helmets and visors - as they marched down the street. Goosestepping? No, it's actually quite hard to goosestep in those steel-reinforced kneepads. So just regular marching. Naturally, I assumed they were Arizona state troopers performing a routine traffic stop. In fact, they were the police department of Quincy, Ill., facing down a group of genial Tea Party grandmas in sun hats and American-flag T-shirts. They were acting at the behest of President Obama's Secret Service, which rightly recognized a polite knot of citizens singing "God Bless America" as a clear and present danger to the republic…. That's Arizona. To the coastal commentariat, "undocumented immigrants" are the people who mow your lawn while you're at work and clean your office while you're at home. (That, for the benefit of The New York Times' Linda Greenhouse, is the real apartheid: the acceptance of a permanent "undocumented" servant class by far too many "documented" Americans who assuage their guilt by pathetic sentimentalization of immigration.) But in border states, illegal immigration is life and death. I spoke to a lady this week who has a camp of illegals on the edge of her land. She lies awake at night, fearful for her children and alert to strange noises in the yard. President Obama, shooting from his lip, attacked the new law as an offense against "fairness." Where's the fairness for this woman's family? Because her home is in Arizona rather than Hyde Park, Chicago, she's just supposed to get used to living under siege? Like Mrs. Duffy in northern England, this lady has to live there, while the political class that created this situation climbs back into the limo and gets driven far away.

Coyote Warning Notice
All Coyotes in Arizona must now be called “Undocumented Dogs.”

Gene Healy: Busting the Myth of Camelot
Like Hollywood doesn’t “just make stuff up” about other historical figures. Besides, liberals shouldn’t be upset—JFK is a conservative compared to today’s leftist positions. Excerpt: Last week, the History Channel announced that Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes have signed on to play President Kennedy and his wife in an upcoming eight-hour miniseries, "The Kennedys." Kinnear, best known for playing the dad in "Little Miss Sunshine," seems an odd casting choice, but the real controversy surrounds the series' producer, Joel Surnow. Surnow is the creator of "24," a pal of Rush Limbaugh's, and one of the industry's few prominent conservatives -- which makes some liberals nervous about how he'll handle a liberal icon. Robert Greenwald, a left-wing documentarian who read an early version of the script, is leading the fight to discredit the project. His Web site,, features a 13-minute video with complaints about historical inaccuracies from, among others, former Kennedy aide Ted Sorenson, who helped burnish JFK's unjustified reputation as a deep thinker by ghosting the Pulitzer-winning "Profiles in Courage." The screenwriter, Stephen Kronish, insists that he's "not out to destroy the sacred cow" of the JFK presidency. Too bad: In an age when Americans still periodically swoon for imperial presidents, a little sacred-cow tipping would be a public service. Greenwald carps that the script "just makes stuff up, like the scene where Kennedy says he has to [have sex] every night or he'll go crazy." Actually, what Kennedy said, to British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, was "If I don't have a woman for three days, I get terrible headaches." (That's from Richard Reeves' highly regarded "President Kennedy: Profile of Power," p. 290, for anyone keeping score at home.) The scene's not strictly accurate, but it's hardly "made up." I haven't read the script, but any sentient adult with an interest in history has known for years that Jack Kennedy had a sexual appetite to rival that of Motley Crue on world tour. Surnow's hardly guilty of cheap moralism for pointing this out. Given that JFK's activities periodically separated him from the Secret Service and the aide carrying the nuclear football -- and that the president shared a mistress with Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana -- it's hard to argue that no issues of public concern were involved.

Obamacare has a poison pill for doctor-owned hospitals
Excerpt: Physicians at McBride Orthopedic Hospital had ambitious plans for their Oklahoma City hospital before Obamacare. Two new operating rooms and a four-bed intensive-care unit were part of a multimillion-dollar expansion project that promised to bring competition and more health care choices to the community. But once President Obama's signature was dry on the 2,409-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, so, too, was the McBride project. The recently enacted law imposed a series of new federal regulations on physician-owned hospitals, including an immediate ban on expansion. "We pulled the plug when the law was signed," McBride Chief Executive Mark Galliart said. "We were ready to break ground. We had everything approved by the state. We had the construction agreement in place. We were going to meet our timeline until the legislation passed." Within days of enactment of the new law, developers across the country nixed plans for 24 new physician-owned hospitals under construction. It will be a struggle for an additional 47 new such hospitals under construction to meet an Obamacare-imposed deadline of Dec. 31 to be finished and have their Medicare certification.

1 comment:

  1. TartanMarine:
    It's amazing how MUCH news I can get in ONE post (here) than from everywhere else ALL week.
    Keep those hits coming!

    And have a great weekend.