Friday, September 17, 2010

Political Digest September 17, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

How to tell if someone is Dumb
A simple new logo has been created for Dumb People to wear, so the rest of us can spot them without having to listen to their opinions. See it here. Pass it to Dumb People you know. Read more about it here:

The Money of Fools: Part III by Thomas Sowell
Interesting and thoughtful as always. ~Bob. Excerpt: Among the many words that don't mean what they say, but which too many of us accept as if they did, are those staples of political discussion, "liberals" and "conservatives." Most liberals are not liberal and most conservatives are not conservative. We might be better off just calling them X and Y, instead of imagining that we are really describing their philosophies. Moreover, like most confusion, it has consequences. The late liberal Professor Tony Judt of New York University gave this definition of liberals: "A liberal is someone who opposes interference in the affairs of others: who is tolerant of dissenting attitudes and unconventional behavior." According to Professor Judt, liberals favor "keeping other people out of our lives, leaving individuals the maximum space in which to live and flourish as they choose." That is certainly in keeping with the dictionary definition of liberalism and with most contemporary liberals' vision of themselves. But, if we follow Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' admonition to "think things, not words" and look beyond the label to the tangible realities of the world, we find almost the exact opposite of what the word "liberal" is supposed to mean. Most of us would probably regard the current administration in Washington-- both the White House and the Congress-- as "liberal," even though the word "progressive" may be more in vogue. Does the sweeping legislation empowering federal officials to tell doctors, patients, hospitals, and insurance companies what to do, when it comes to medical care, sound like leaving individuals the maximum space to live their lives as they choose?... Liberals often flatter themselves with having the generosity that the word implies. Many of them might be shocked to discover that Ronald Reagan donated a higher percentage of his income to charity than either Ted Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nor was this unusual. Conservatives in general donate more of their income and their time to charitable endeavors and donate far more blood.

America will need another Ronald Reagan to reverse President Obama’s pitiful legacy of US decline
From a British Paper: The Obama administration is bracing itself for more bad news this week with the release of stunning census figures which are projected to show the biggest increase in poverty in the United States since the 1960s. As Associated Press reports: The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty. Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat’s presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings. Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent. Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.

Robert Menendez pushes immigration reform in tough climate
Instant Democrats—just add money. Why is it “racist” for us to have immigration laws like other countries—say Mexico—but not for them? ~Bob. Excerpt: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is promising to introduce a major immigration reform bill, even as the volatile issue promises to be a nonstarter in this political season for Democrats who want to avoid even more controversial votes. His announcement, before about 200 pro-immigration activists at a church near Capitol Hill, came a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled he would try to pass a separate bill next week providing citizenship to young, undocumented immigrants if they attend college for two years or join the military. Sources familiar with the Menendez bill said it would include border security provisions, employment verification, a temporary-worker program and citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S.

Dems to meet with Obama on DREAM Act, immigration push
Excerpt: Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue are poised to launch an eleventh-hour effort to pass an immigration reform bill this year. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J) and Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) are scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House on Thursday afternoon to discuss the DREAM Act. The bill, which would allow the children of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, who have stayed in the country 5 consecutive years and who graduate from high school to obtain green cards, putting them on a path to citizenship, will be debated next week as an amendment to the defense authorization bill.

Where Do You Stand in the Age of Obama?
Excerpt from a blurb pushing this book: In Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama, O'Reilly lays it out for every American citizen. Coming from an unbiased fair and balanced approach, O'Reilly not only comments on present times but he analyzes what the future holds for patriots everywhere. If you're an O'Reilly fan and/or loved any of his five previous bestsellers, Pinheads and Patriots is a must read! (Where do I stand? Why, usually bent over the toilet, retching. Thanks for asking. ~Bob.)

Republicans line up to back O'Donnell
I think she peaked Tuesday night, will lose by 20 points, as all the stuff in her background comes out. Somewhere Harry Reid is smiling. Excerpt: With no other choice, Republicans in Congress are lining up behind upstart Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, even as some are skeptical of her ability to win and her broader impact on the party…. Polls have shown O'Donnell is a decided underdog to New Castle County executive Chris Coons, who had trailed Castle for months in polls. And Republicans, who had considered Delaware a state that would help them gain a majority in the Senate, could decide to fund campaigns in other states instead of Delaware if they view O'Donnell as a candidate who cannot win.

Molly Norris, Artist Behind 'Everybody Draw Mohammad Day' Cartoon, Goes into Hiding
Excerpt: At the urging of the FBI, Molly Norris, the Seattle-based illustrator and cartoonist whose satirical drawing marking "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day" resulted in death threats, global protests, and impassioned debate about religion and censorship, has been forced to change her name and abandon her former life as a result of her controversial cartoon. The news that Ms. Morris had, out of concerns for her safety, decided to go into hiding, was first reported in the Seattle Weekly on Wednesday, a paper where Norris' cartoons had regularly appeared: The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, "going ghost": moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program-except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. Ms. Norris originally posted her tongue-in-cheek cartoon announcing May 20 as "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day" on her website, which no longer seems to be operational. It was dedicated to the creators of the Comedy Central animated television series "South Park" after one of their episodes was censored regarding its portrayal of the Muslim prophet. As expected, Norris' creation touched a nerve, and her drawing soon became a viral hit on the Internet, posted to a variety of high profile websites, and forwarded in countless e-mails. Soon, her fictitious drawing morphed into an actual event as Facebook groups championing the idea popped up and started attracting fans. With media outlets covering the phenomenon, word of "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day" spread across the globe, and soon the government of Pakistan announced it was suspending the use of Facebook to residents there. (Why should she need to hide from members of a “Religion of Peace”? See the post below. ~Bob)

“Piss Crist” and Artistic Freedom
Excerpt: “Piss Christ” is a 1987 photograph by photographer Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine. The piece was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art's "Awards in the Visual Arts" competition,[1] which is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a United States Government agency that offers support and funding for artistic projects. (This was highly offensive to millions of Christians, but I didn’t hear that Serrano had to go into hiding. Suppose an artist created “Piss Mohammad”? Would the reaction from Muslims be as peaceful as Christian reaction was to this? Would the National Endowment for the Arts support it with tax dollars? You know the answers—everyone does. ~Bob)

Muslim World at Odds Over French Burqa Ban
Excerpt: Abdel Muti al-Bayyumi, a member of the Al-Azhar mosque council, said there is nothing in Islamic law or the Quran that calls for a full-face veil. The French Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ban such garments as the burqa, a one-piece garment with a fabric grid before the eyes, and the niqab, a facial veil that leaves only the eyes visible. The French Senate voted 246-1 on Tuesday to ban garments such as the niqab and the burqa, a move some see as a strike against Islam. "I personally support [the ban], and many of my brothers in the Islamic Research Academy support it," Bayyumi told told Agence France-Presse. "I want to send a message to Muslims in France and Europe. The niqab has no basis in Islam. I used to feel dismayed when I saw some of the sisters [in France] wearing the niqab." Al-Bayyumi's remarks were in sharp contrast to a warning from an Islamic official in Malaysia, who said the French decision could provoke terrorist attacks. (I’m sure there is no danger of terrorists attacks, because Bush, Obama and the Left-Stream Media all assured us that “Islam is a Religion of Peace.” ~Bob.)

Austerity Agonistes: Why Left Wing Economists' Warnings against Austerity Programs are Wrong
Excerpt: One of the key signaling devices for international investors is how a government behaves under financial duress -- how it balances the demands of its debtors with those of its welfare recipients. Announcements of lower spending and higher taxes tell investors a country is willing to go to great lengths not to default on its debt obligations. If the government instead focuses on preserving its welfare state and public employee benefits, investors know default is more likely and will shy away from that country's bonds, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The notion that austerity is bad and stimulus is good rests on the Keynesian theory that if the government spends a lot of money, that money will create more value in economic growth. This purported increase in gross domestic product is what economists call the "multiplier effect." It is a nice story, but like most fairy tales, it has scant basis in reality, says de Rugy. In a paper published by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, economists Robert Barro and Charles Redlick showed that in the best-case scenario, a dollar of government spending produces much less than a dollar in economic growth -- between 40 cents and 70 cents. Barro and Redlick also looked at the economic impact of raising taxes to pay for spending increases. They found that for every $1 in tax-financed spending, the economy actually shrinks by $1.10. In other words, greater spending financed by tax increases damages the economy. The understandable temptation to take action in a time of recession should not lead lawmakers down unproductive paths. Now is the time to tighten spending, no matter what some American economists might say, says de Rugy.

Mixing Economics With Politics: Why the Bush Tax Cuts Worked
From a Harvard Economics Professor. Unfortunately, this is one of a number of economic issues, like free trade and eliminating minimum wage laws, where what really hurts the economy, especially lower income folks, is also popular with lower income, economically ignorant voters. ~Bob. Excerpt: Extending the Bush tax cuts — permanently — is a crucial step in restoring economic growth. The Bush cuts provided lower taxes on ordinary income, especially for taxpayers at the high end of the income distribution. These are some of the most energetic and productive people in society; raising tax rates would discourage their effort and entrepreneurship. High-income taxpayers also have multiple ways of avoiding high tax rates, so any revenue gain from raising rates would be modest. To stimulate work, saving, and investment, tax cuts to favor the taxpayers who respond most to taxes -- the higher income earners. The Bush cuts also lowered taxes on dividend and capital gains income; maintaining these lower rates is even more important for economic performance. Capital is mobile: when it is taxed heavily here, it flees somewhere else, meaning lower investment and employment in the United States. And because capital income taxes discourage investment or drive it overseas, they generate little if any tax revenue. Opponents of the tax cuts do not seriously dispute these claims about the productivity benefits of lower rates. Instead, their real objection is that the Bush tax cuts (allegedly) favor the wealthy. This claim is true in part; lower tax rates on the high income earners are obviously beneficial for those earners. Yet this is only part of the story. To stimulate work, saving, and investment, tax cuts have no choice but to favor the taxpayers who respond most to taxes, as well as those likely to save and invest. That means high income earners. So policy must accept some inequality in exchange for more efficiency.

Cheating Charter Schools
Excerpt: President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have made charter schools a big part of their reform agenda, but the pushback from unions has been fierce. Perhaps that explains why the new $10 billion federal teacher bailout will be dispensed in a way that discriminates against charters. The Administration's initial guidance excluded many charter school teachers, even though charters are public schools. The Department of Education said money from the Education Jobs Fund could go only to teachers and others employed by a local education agency or school district…..Many charter operators suspect that the real problem here is that most charter school teachers aren't unionized. The $10 billion bailout was designed as a pre-election reward for unions, which will plow the greater union dues into campaign funds to help Democratic candidates. Alas for charter school teachers, all they do is teach children.

Primaries push more women into general elections, but most fresh faces now belong to Republican Party
Excerpt: Democrats used to own the field of women running for higher office. Not anymore. Nearly two years after an anticipated gender bounce - with predictions that women in both parties would rush into politics inspired by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin - it turns out that the momentum is on the Republican side. If there is a Palin effect, it is not being matched by any Clinton effect at the other end of the ideological spectrum. Primaries this week accelerated the shift. Two high-profile Senate races, in Delaware and New Hampshire, yielded female Republican nominees. That makes a total of five Republican women nominated for Senate this cycle. Excluding incumbent senators, Democrats have nominated four, and one of them was Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, who already lost. Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said it is "very fair" to argue that the energy for female candidates is trending Republican, a view several other Democratic strategists shared. "I've been struck by it," said Dee Dee Myers, a former White House press secretary and author of "Why Women Should Rule the World." "All the momentum is on the tea party side, so why wouldn't it also be with the women on the tea party side?"

'It’s hell. I can’t stand it!’ Carla Bruni reveals what Michelle Obama REALLY thinks of being First Lady
New Bumper Sticker: “Save Michelle from Hell: Defeat Obama in Twelve!” Excerpt: Michelle Obama thinks being America’s First Lady is ‘hell’, Carla Bruni reveals today in a wildly indiscreet book. Miss Bruni divulges that Mrs Obama replied when asked about her position as the U.S. president’s wife: ‘Don’t ask! It’s hell. I can’t stand it!’ Details of the private conversation, which took place at the White House during an official visit by Nicolas Sarkozy last March, emerged in Carla And The Ambitious, a book written in collaboration with Miss Bruni.

House passes bill that would allow lawmakers to swear in American citizens
When I saw the headline, I pictured a line of Democrat Congress Critters on the border, saying in Spanish, “Raise your right hand and repeat after me.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow lawmakers to swear in new U.S. citizens. The bipartisan measure, introduced by Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), passed by a majority vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration. The bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act and give members of Congress, delegates and resident commissioners the power to administer the American oath of allegiance to people who have passed through the U.S. naturalization process.

Climate Craziness of the Week – Attention citizens! You Are Thinking The Wrong Thoughts
Excerpt: Those of who have long been in denial about the realities of global warming and the credibility of the IPCC, can now feel relieved, there may be hope for us yet. The diagnosis has been made; we have a psychological problem, which so far has failed to respond to the millions upon millions of dollars spent in “communicating” climate change to the masses. However, the process of our redemption is already underway: A new publication called “Communicating climate change to mass public audiences” has just been presented to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, by the “Climate Change Communication Advisory Group”. (Yes, the UK does have a Minister for Climate Change, however, in 1976, there was actually a Minister for Drought, who was one of the most effective politicians in history, because within three days of his appointment, it had started raining.)

The Start of the Second American Revolution - Daily Mail
Excerpt: O’Donnell is a perennial candidate and former abstinence counsellor, who promotes complete celibacy before marriage and has a fierce stance on guns (pro), government spending (anti), abortion (anti) and masturbation (anti - it’s a sin, she says). Her strong beliefs had prompted many - especially local Republican leaders - to write her off as unelectable. But then Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate and a poster girl of the Tea Party movement, endorsed O’Donnell. In a move that has proved electorally successful across the U.S., Mrs Palin described her as one of her ‘mama grizzlies’ - a term she has coined to describe her uncompromising conservative allies.

Video: Mark Steyn on Danish TV: Is Muslim Immigration Killing Europe?

Illegal Alien Child Molester Awarded $4.5 Million in California!
Excerpt: California is so broke it is being compared to Greece. But the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave away 4.3 million real dollars to an illegal Mexican alien who is also a child molester. Why did the supervisors do it? Answer: “The lawyer made me do it!” The first chapter in this distasteful story begins with Fernando Ramirez, a 24-year-old illegal alien, being caught molesting a 6-year-old girl in a park. He was duly convicted and sent to the Orange County Central Jail. The second chapter is predictable. Inmates in prison for murder, bank robbery, mugging old ladies, and other assorted thuggery agree on at least one thing: They hate child molesters. So when Mr. Ramirez was finally incarcerated, his life insurance company should have been quick to cancel his policy. That the California court allowed Fernando to plead guilty to ‘battery against a child,’ instead of putting him on trial for child molestation, did not impress his fellow inmates. They beat him to within the proverbial inch of his life. In the third chapter a California lawyer takes over. Attorney Mark Eisenberg is not an ambulance chaser. Let’s face it, that’s a tacky vocation that is not really cost-effective. Instead, lawyer Eisenberg seems to have discovered that being a noble defender of downtrodden child molesters is just the ticket. By some means, Mr. Eisenberg was mysteriously advised about Fernando being roughly used by the other gents in the Orange County lockup. If he did have an informant somewhere in the county system, no doubt Eisenberg would have simply thanked him, and assured him that his reward could only be in heaven. Then Eisenberg swung into righteous action. (Lawyers complain about the image of their profession. Stories like this are the reason why. ~Bob.)

AP-GfK Poll: Climate for GOP keeps getting better
Excerpt: Tilted toward the GOP from the start of the year, the political environment has grown even more favorable for Republicans and rockier for President Barack Obama and his Democrats over the long primary season that just ended with a bang. With November's matchups set and the general election campaign beginning in earnest Wednesday, an Associated Press-GfK poll found that more Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction than did before the nomination contests got under way in February. Also, more now disapprove of the job Obama is doing. And more now want to see Republicans in control of Congress rather than the Democrats who now run the House and Senate. The country's pessimism benefits the out-of-power GOP, which clearly has enthusiasm on its side. Far more people voted this year in Republicans primaries than in Democratic contests, and the antiestablishment tea party coalition has energized the GOP even as it has sprung a series of primary surprises. (I think that there is a better than 50% chance the GOP will win the house, but that the Tea Party candidates in Nevada, Delaware and perhaps in Kentucky, plus Kirk’s stumbles in Illinois means better than a 50% chance the Democrats will keep the Senate. ~Bob.)

The defeat lobby by Amir Taheri
Excerpt: The defeat industry is back at work again, with the usual suspects acting as a chorus calling for an American retreat in the face of Islamist terror. Five years ago, the same cast of characters was calling for retreat from Iraq, abandoning that country to al Qaeda and its allies. The argument, according to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was that America, having already lost the war, had better acknowledge defeat and run away. Those who wanted to appear more sophisticated, like then-Sen. Joe Biden, recommended that the United States carve up Iraq into three or five mini-states and then withdraw. At the time, those of us who knew what was going on inside Iraq rejected those calls for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Our argument was that the Iraqi people didn't want al Qaeda and its allies and that America had a duty to help them defeat their enemies, who also happened to be the enemies of the United States. (We had won in Vietnam by 1972, but the Democrat congress threw it away. I’m confident that Obama will create a defeat in Iraq and in Afghanistan. ~Bob.)

Busted: Dem Rep. Eleanor Norton Leaves Voicemail Asking Lobbyist to Give Her Money…
Excerpt: Since she’s a prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus expect to hear a “this is racism” defense…Big Government Exclusive: Delegate to Congress for the District of Columbia Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton leaves voice mail citing her seniority and stimulus-based projects in lobbyist’s “sector”. “I was, frankly, uh, uh, surprised to see that we don’t have a record, so far as I can tell, of your having given to me despite my uh, long and deep uh, work. In fact, it’s been my major work, uh, on the committee and sub-committee it’s been essentially in your sector. I am, I’m simply candidly calling to ask for a contribution. As the senior member of the um, committee and a sub-committee chair, we have (chuckles) obligations to raise, uh funds.”

Let veterans decide what school is right
Excerpt: As commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, I made it my sacred duty to welcome back all of my Marines returning from combat. No matter your opinion of the war, these brave veterans always deserve a pat on the back and our help for those who choose to transition back into civilian life. For some, that will mean attending college. But, even as Congress and the Obama administration have attempted to make higher education more affordable for veterans through the expanded GI Bill, others are proposing arbitrary rules that will make it a lot harder for our warriors to gain their educational goals. A Department of Education regulation - called the Gainful Employment Rule - imposes unrealistic federal student loan repayment standards on for-profit colleges. Schools that can't meet these arbitrary new standards would be denied federal financial aid for their students. Far from helping to reduce student loan debt and defaults, as the proponents claim, the rule applies an unfair double standard to for-profit schools, which could leave veterans and thousands of other students on the outside of many campus gates looking in. For-profit schools are often the best choice for veterans. Years ago, I attended the American Military University, a for-profit institution, and earned a degree that made me more competitive for selection as brigadier general. Due to my frequent transfers and assignments to remote locations, no comparable nonprofit college was available. I am living proof that these institutions provide a critical resource to service men and women. (The for-profit schools are hated by the leftist professors unions who support Obama, because the for-profit schools teach, period. No time for all the diversity-training, touchy-feely costs the professors love. Cutting the for-profits is a payoff to the Obama supporters in the professors' unions. Not that all for-profit schools are good. Rip offs there too. ~Bob.)

Democratic Party Steals Logo From the Pizza Place Where I Used to Work
Excerpt: The Democratic Party unveiled a new logo this morning, and, seeing the new insignia for the first time today on the party's revamped website, I thought it looked familiar. Not without reason. It suspiciously resembles the logo for the pizza place where I used to work in St. Louis--a small independent chain called Dewey's Pizza, based in Ohio.

Signs of a Failed Stimulus
Excerpt: Two years ago, signs promoting Barack Obama were everywhere: on buildings, billboards and bumper stickers. Not much has changed, except now you are paying for this propaganda to promote the President and his floundering “stimulus” spending plan. Reports indicate these signs can cost taxpayers as much as $10,000 each, with my home state of Illinois spending more than $650,000 on them. Worse, the stimulus ads tout a program that has failed – as the signs promise – in “putting America back to work.” It is our job as federal watchdogs to investigate why the White House has wasted potentially hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars advertising a spending splurge that hasn’t met any of the President’s own sales pitches: that the $862 billion would keep unemployment below 8% (today it’s 9.6%) and generate, by the end of this year, more than 4 million private sector jobs (we’ve lost 2.51 million). No amount of propaganda, some of which promotes President Obama personally, could convince taxpayers the stimulus is working. These cold, hard facts haven’t stopped the Obama Administration from trying. Working with independent government watchdogs, our investigation has found that the White House strongly encourages, if not requires, stimulus grant recipients to post pro-stimulus signs as part of the funding package. This unwelcome spending transparency has already shamed one agency into relaxing its propaganda requirements, but we need your help both tracking down these signs and holding the Administration accountable for its broken job creation promises.

John Kerry (D-Hanoi) Begs For Cash to Defeat “Tea Party Extremists”
Excerpt: Shouldn’t he be busy accusing American soldiers of killing babies or sailing on his million dollar yacht?…(Boston Herald)- U.S. Sen. John Kerry yesterday mocked Republicans as “Sarah Palin’s party” even as the New Hampshire Senate candidate she backed claimed victory in Tuesday’s primary and a Tea Party favorite emerged as the GOP’s best hope to break the Democratic stranglehold on the Bay State delegation. “I think the Tea Party couldn’t ask for any better publicity than to be denounced by a millionaire who dodges paying taxes on his yacht,” said conservative gadfly Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.

O'Donnell's primary victory is a win for . . . the White House?
Excerpt: Of all the primaries so far this year, none has been sweeter for the White House than the one in Delaware on Tuesday night. Christine O'Donnell's stunning victory in the Republican Senate primary changes the subject - at least for now - from the troubled national economy to the fractured Republican party. It also puts the seat once held by Vice President Biden back in play for the Democrats, which in turn reduces the odds they will lose control of the Senate…. On Wednesday morning, after Castle lost and the Republican establishment was set reeling, White House officials were ecstatic about the turn of events. "Until last night, the Republicans were counting on Delaware. Not anymore," Pfeiffer said, adding that when the seat first came open, "no one could envision Mike Castle losing." Best of all, from the administration's perspective, are the conservative social views O'Donnell has promoted during her repeated attempts at political office. "The energy in the Republican party is now centered around a series of policies that are anathema to most voters, including abolishing Social Security and Medicare and eliminating the Department of Education," Pfeiffer said. "These are the Republican candidates. And now these are the Republican positions, and they must defend them." At the White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs tried to repress a smile when the subject of the Delaware race arose. (This may be the turning points that saves the Democrats this fall, with all that means for the future. Thanks, Delaware. ~Bob.)

Sheriff wants armed posse to enforce illegal immigration laws
Excerpt: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he is ramping up his fight against illegal immigration and is calling on armed volunteers to do the patrols. Sheriff Joe is always talking about his department’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration but now he wants to commission a posse whose only job will be to enforce illegal immigration and human smuggling laws. The sheriff explains, “We have 57 different posses. I want 58.” Arpaio says posse 58 will be devoted solely to illegal immigration. “I want a little specialized unit. I think it's time to do that.”

Excerpt: Well, I hope that everyone is having difficulty in classifying “Climate Etc.”, it is definitely my intention to defy classification by the norms of the climate blogosphere. Over the past four months, I have been labeled as a warmist , lukewarmer , skeptic , confusionist, and notorious (!) denier (posted here, but since deleted). These labels are terms that reflect a postnormal environment, they don’t have anything to do with science. I’ve used the labels myself in discourse, trying to understand and explain the dynamic of what is going on, and I keep changing labels as I struggle to make sense of the dynamic and not offend (pretty much everyone is offended by their label except for the lukewarmers). In the past I’ve even self-labeled myself at various times as “warmist” or “lukewarmer”, when it seemed that some sort of label was necessary for the dialogue. But no longer. I am through with these labels, and I hope to convince you to be finished with them also. Not only do these labels have nothing to do with science, but the labels are polarizing and are used to denigrate opposing “tribes” that have emerged in this postnormal environment. So how should we conduct a discussion about the dynamic of disagreement on this issue? Well, the first thing we can do is sort out the actual scientific debate from the debate about politics and policy. A considerable amount of climate skepticism has been fueled by big business, attempting to protect their personal financial interests (e.g. the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil). True, but so what? It’s not as if the environmental community doesn’t have resources, and hasn’t use them in support of climate policies and even climate alarmism. All this just isn’t relevant to the scientific debate. And if you can’t disentangle the scientific debate from concerns about the fate of your preferred policy, then you have become hopelessly postnormal. There’s a real debate that needs to be had on the values, economics, and politics associated with the risks of climate change; lets have that debate in the context of a rational backdrop of what we understand about the climate system, along with the uncertainties and unknowns. (This is a perfect example of why I respect Dr. Curry. This is the third post on her new blog. She actually has the integrity to want FACTS. Shock! --Ron P. I’m a “denier” myself, but hoping to get promoted to “notorious denier”! ~Bob)

katatinka says:
I am American and lived in the UK for many years. There were times when I was asked to prove my status as a legal resident of that country. It never occurred to me to think anything of that, never mind to be insulted by it. Maybe I'm just not touchy enough. Or maybe I knew I was in the right, and , therefore, did not feel the need to produce the knee-jerk defensiveness of those who know they are in the wrong. One time I was stopped by police on the street in London where I and my husband owned a flat. They stopped me because they said I "looked Irish." I am part Irish, and again, for some mysterious reason unknown to many, I was not offended by the attentions of these officers, but glad that they were on the job. I now live in LA, where I am sometimes asked to produce my passport or birth certificate as evidence that I was born in the USA. I have a slight accent, and even when I tell people over and over again that I am not British, they can't remember that. It has never occurred to me to be offended by being asked to prove I am who I say I am. What does offend me are the illegal aliens who have made my five years in Los Angeles hell on earth. I am even more offended by the American citizens who support these criminals when those American citizens do not have to go to school with them, go to church with them, live with them, live where they spit, drive and sleep on the sidewalk, live where the begging never ceases, live where the sexual innuendo never ceases, live without work because the illegals have got it all, live without peace because there is nowhere to get away from them. When I first got here, I believed we could all work this out. Now I want each and every one of them GONE FOR GOOD. Anyone for tea? (Kate is a high school classmate of mine. She was a leftist until a few years ago when she returned to the USA and to college in L.A., which opened her eyes. Education can do that, though it wasn’t from her professors, but her entitlement-minded, immigrant classmates. ~Bob.)

Australia: Judge bars 14-year-old Muslim girl from being taken out of country to thwart parents' plans to marry her to stranger
Excerpt: Despite the same tired religion-versus-culture excuse trotted out at the end of the report below, this is not merely a "cultural" practice, as amply demonstrated by its persistence in Islamic countries far removed from one another. It persists because Muhammad, as a "beautiful pattern of conduct" per Qur'an 33:21, made the practice sacrosanct: "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." -- Sahih Bukhari 7.62.88. Apologists have repeatedly claimed that this is all a misunderstanding -- that Aisha was 16, 19, or thereabouts, or that she was apparently only "9" in Galapagos tortoise-years or some such. Of course, it's not our reporting on how, oddly enough, these cases keep happening, that drives the practice in the Muslim world, so their indignation is quite misdirected. It's just so much easier to blame the messenger than, well, the "Messenger."

Five Muslim men planned attack on NSW army base, Supreme Court told
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. We can say it’s not about Islam all we want, but the terrorists keep saying it is. ~Bob. Excerpt: FIVE Muslim men planned an armed terrorist attack on a Sydney army base to further the cause of Islam by killing as many people as possible, a Supreme Court jury heard today.

IMF: Gaza's economy shot up by 16% so far in 2010
Excerpt: The International Monetary Fund expects the Palestinian economy to grow by 8 percent overall this year, after the West Bank economy grew by 9 percent in the first half and the Gaza Strip by a whopping 16 percent. (Now I see Obama’s clever plan. He is antagonizing Israel so they will treat us terribly, as the press reports they treat Gaza, and our economy will shoot up 16%! ~Bob.)

Israel's Partners for Peace: What They Say in English vs. What They Say in Arabic by Khaled Abu Toameh
Excerpt: A number of senior Palestinian officials who do not have much credibility among their own people are now trying to sell themselves to Israelis as "partners for peace." This is the same group of Palestinians who in the past advised Yasser Arafat to reject then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer during the botched Camp David summit in 2000. They were among Arafat's inner circle when he walked out of the Camp David summit and initiated the "Second Intifada." These are also the same officials who, back then, justified the eruption of the intifada as a "natural response" to Israel's refusal to comply with 100% of the Palestinians' demands. Saeb Erekat, Jibril Rajoub and Yasser Abed Rabbo are now trying to persuade the Israeli public that Israel does have partners for peace on the Palestinian side. And who are the new-old partners? Erekat, Rajoub and Abed Rabbo, of course. With the help of US taxpayers' dollars, the three, together with other Palestinian officials, are sending their "peace" messages to the Israelis in English. The campaign, according to Palestinians, is being funded by the US Agency for International Development [USAID]. The campaign targets only the Israeli public. No similar messages are being sent to the Palestinians despite promises that they would. It would have been more effective had the campaign, which some say costs about $250,000, been directed also toward the Palestinian public. What is wrong with funding a campaign directed toward the Palestinians with a message that talks about peace, coexistence, compromise and cooperation with Israel?: Isn't there also a need to address the Palestinians about the need for peace and compromise? Ironically, the same officials who are offering themselves to Israelis as "peace partners," are, at the same time, telling Palestinians -- in Arabic -- that Israel does not want peace. The tone in the Palestinian media remains as anti-Israel as ever.

Save the Koran, burn the Constitution: Justice Breyer sacrifices the First Amendment to placate Islam
Excerpt: You can't burn a Koran in a crowded theater, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer suggests that to placate foreign extremists, Koran burning might be banned everywhere else in America too. In an interview aired Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America,” Justice Breyer, who is on tour promoting his new book, averred that in the Internet age, speech traditionally protected by the First Amendment may have to be weighed against its global impact. George Stephanopoulos asked the justice about the canceled Sept. 11 Koran burning proposed by Pastor Terry Jones, and whether the fact that people riot in Afghanistan over what happens in the United States poses a challenge to the First Amendment or could "change the nature of what we can allow and protect." Justice Breyer's largely rhetorical answer invoked the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. "Holmes said [free speech] doesn't mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater," Justice Breyer said. "Well, what is it? Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?" The implication, which Mr. Stephanopoulos reinforced, was that today the crowded theater is the entire world, and any speech that foments violence by anyone for any reason could fall outside First Amendment protections. The analogy is extremely poor. Shouting fire in a crowded theater doesn't incite an angry riot but a chaotic every-person-for-themselves scramble for safety. The potential danger is understood by everyone present, all of whom are threatened. The darkness of the theater, the confined and ungainly space and the likelihood of the quick spread of fire make quick action imperative. In only one context does shouting fire in a crowded theater make sense: when there actually is a fire. (From the Supreme Court no less? This is the idea that what you decide is right or wrong depends on the nuances of every situation, which leads to things like if two KKK guys intimidate Black voters at a polling station, you take them out and shoot them (well, at least you arrest and prosecute them), but if two New Black Panthers intimidate voters at a polling station, you shake your head, tell them it's really not appropriate, and give them a pass from anything more. So now it's OK to burn the US flag as Free Speech, but burning the Koran is not, because it really, really upsets some people? In other countries? This is getting to be really scary/depressing. --Del)

Marine under siege
I posted on this before. These are comments on a blog. The illegals have now driven him from his home. A time of violence and vigilantism is coming, as the government fails to protect citizens. Note that I am not calling for that—just predicting it. ~Bob. Excerpt: Placed an ad for the house 1 day ago. Sitting down with the new renters this week. No haggling on the monthly. Looks like mid October we are out of here. Leasing it out furnished. Makes for a quick getaway. This sits badly in my gut. Cutting and running. I'm mad enough to just go and sweep that corner and take my medicine. But that's a selfish move on my part and would open a can of worms I'd rather keep shelved. The leaders of this country have failed us and insist on heaping insult to injury. The leaders in Los Angeles have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the mess they helped create. The local PD is clueless or have their hands tied. Tis a truly sad day when the powers that be decide my rights as a citizen are secondary to a group of illegal immigrants.

ADL: Time magazine Israel cover story rehashes anti-Semitic lies
Scratch a leftist. If you don’t find a Star of David, you’ll find an anti-Semite. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Time magazine cover story claiming Israelis are more interested in their booming economy than reaching an historical peace agreement with the Palestinians is another version of the anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews prefer money above any other interest, the Anti Defamation League said in a statement on Thursday.

President Kennedy to President Obama: Tax cuts can cure the recession
Excerpt: A new video from The Winston Group hits Obama and the Democrats hard on their stance on raising taxes in the midst of the recession — by remembering President Kennedy. Kennedy believed that the only way to get out of a recession is to create jobs, and the best way to do that is to cut taxes.

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