Thursday, September 23, 2010

Political Digest September 23, 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.

MUST READ: When Devils Walk the Earth
Excerpt: Chapter III. Fighting Terror: Do's and Don'ts for a Superpower:….. 3. Do not be afraid to be powerful. Cold War-era gambits of proportionate response and dialog may have some utility in dealing with practical terrorists, but they are counter-productive in dealing with apocalyptic terrorists. Our great strengths are wealth and raw power. When we fail to bring those strengths to bear, we contribute to our own defeat. For a superpower to think small, which has been our habit across the last decade, at least, is self-defeating folly. Our responses to terrorist acts should make the world gasp!.... 25. Do not look for answers in recent history, which is still unclear and subject to personal emotion. Begin with the study of the classical world, specifically Rome, which is the nearest model to the present-day United States. Mild with subject peoples, to whom they brought the rule of ethical law, the Romans in their rise and at their apogee were implacable with their enemies. The utter destruction of Carthage brought centuries of local peace, while the later empire's attempts to appease barbarians consistently failed!

Penny-Wise on Crime by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: For more than 200 years, the political left has been coming up with reasons why criminals should not be punished as much, or at all. The latest gambit in Missouri is providing judges with the costs of incarcerating the criminals they sentence. According to the New York Times, "a three-year prison sentence would run more than $37,000 while probation would cost $6,770." For a more serious crime, where a 5-year imprisonment would cost more than $50,000, it would cost less than $9,000 for what is described as "five years of intensive probation." This is only the latest in a long line of "alternatives to incarceration" schemes that are constantly being pushed by all sorts of clever people, not only in Missouri but across the United States and across the Atlantic, especially in Britain. The most obvious question that is being resolutely ignored in these scientific-sounding calculations is: What is the cost of turning criminals loose? Phrases like "intensive probation" may create the illusion that criminals at large are somehow under control of the authorities but illusions are especially dangerous when it comes to crime. Another question that ought to be obvious is: Why are we counting only the cost to the government of putting a criminal behind bars, but not the cost to the public of turning him loose?

Tax Policy Manipulation Won't Fix the Economy
Excerpt: Last week, President Obama rolled out the campaign rhetoric, calling for an end to tax cuts for “the rich” and proposing a range of new tax cuts for those making $250,000 a year and small businesses looking to grow. The Republicans have also laid out a tax plan that includes making the Bush-era tax rates permanent, fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax, and tweaking the estate tax. While the two parties disagree over specific policies, both are stumbling into the same trap: using tax policy to manipulate the economy. In the current debate over whether or not to extend the Bush-era tax policies there are three key questions. Would letting the tax law expire would be a return to normal or a tax hike? How would the policies impact the economy and recovery? And what’s the purpose behind letting them expire or cutting taxes? To start, people and businesses have been working with the current tax structure when writing their yearly budgets for nearly a decade. Business plans are designed to function best in the current paradigm. So, at the very least, allowing the current tax laws to expire will feel like a tax hike to many.

Loyalties shift in vote-rich suburbs
Excerpt: Politically, Reunion was meant also to be part of the perfect congressional district, one drawn up after the 2000 Census to be an absolutely 50-50 suburban swing district. There would be no better place in America to judge the mood of the electorate. Today, the mood in many of the houses along Reunion's curving sidewalks is one of disappointment. "I've never been more disenchanted," said Donna Mastrangelo, 48, who moved here from Arizona in 2005. She supported Barack Obama in 2008 but now thinks the president overreached. Sitting on a park bench on a balmy afternoon, she turned to her husband, Louis, and said: "We can be swayed any which way at this point. . . . I don't want anyone to assume my vote anymore. I want them to work for it." In 2008, 59 percent of the voters in Colorado's 7th District were swayed by Obama's promise of a government that works for the middle class. That year they reelected their Democratic congressman, Ed Perlmutter, for a second term. The swing district had swung - from Republican in its early years, to Democratic. After four years of Democratic control in Washington, however, many independents here who voted for Obama now voice varying degrees of disapproval for the president and his party. They say they are frustrated by his inability to forge bipartisan compromise. They say Obama and the Democrats pursued an agenda that was too liberal and have not done enough to shore up the economy.

Youth Recognizing Value of Conservative Ideas
Excerpt: Recently, the New York Times ran a front-page article that highlighted the fact that young voters are disaffiliating from the Democratic Party at a record rate. The article was based on a Pew poll that showed Obama’s favorability margin among 18-29 year old voters had narrowed by almost 20%. But what the article didn’t dive into were the reasons behind this decline, and what the ramifications for Democrats will be come November. The February Pew poll showed that only 54% of young voters approved of the president’s performance in office. But February was a long time ago. The federal government hadn’t rammed through a health-care bill that does nothing to improve costs or quality of coverage, the student loan process hadn’t been seized, and the Gulf hadn’t been contaminated. While all of those events have been detrimental to his approval ratings across the board, none have been more damaging to his favorability among young people than the report that came out in August showing that nearly 20% of young adults can’t find work. At a time when the government has added $4.71 trillion to the national debt, 1 in every 5 kids can’t get a job? It has become crystal clear that the more the government wastefully spends, the less ability Americans have to find employment opportunities. (It’s worse among minority youth. Minimum wage laws really hurt there most of all, they just don’t know it. A totally unskilled kid might be worth $5 an hour to an employer, where he/she would develop some work habits, like showing up on time and clean, getting along with customers and co-workers, and so on, that would start the kid on the climb out of poverty. But that can’t be allowed, because as long as you can keep minorities dependent on the government, you can keep them voting Democrat. So they have to stay poor. So instead of the lousy pay of $5/hour, they get nothing, get into drugs and crime and welfare. ~Bob)

Sloooow Trickle
Excerpt: They're making a bundle inside the Beltway, while across the country it takes $2 million to create a pothole-filling job. Never has Washington spent so much to get so little real work. When the Democrats are in charge, the rich just get richer. Wait — isn't that what we're supposed to say about Republicans? Not so when federal stimulus funds are being spent. Washington has taken trickle-down economics to a whole new level of inefficiency. Those closest — literally — to the seat of federal power get the most. By the time the funds make their long journey to paychecks for people doing productive work, there's not a whole lot left. Take the example, revealed this past week, of how $111 million in stimulus money has so far funded a paltry 55 public-works jobs in Los Angeles. City Controller Wendy Gruel says two municipal departments, Public Works and Transportation, plan eventually to create or retain 264 jobs with that money, but the contracting process is so slow that most of the money is still waiting to be spent. So the price tag per job is $2 million at this point. Even if the city departments meet their target of 264, it will drop to only $420,000. This is still several times what workers will actually get paid.

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"The history of government management of money has, except for a few short happy periods, been one of incessant fraud and deception." --economist Fredrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)

"It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error." --Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954)

"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys." --Thomas Jefferson

"One of the things President Obama, I would say, would put on his greatest accomplishments list, of the early stage of his presidency is health care reform. It's something that he fought hard for and he went around the country singing its praises. Now here we are six weeks before a midterm election and Democrats are running in races all across the country and very, very few are talking about that accomplishment of health care reform. Why?" --NBC's Matt Lauer (Duh. Maybe because the majority of voters STILL hate it, in our supposed Democracy. ~Bob)

"Jimmy Carter told CBS News Thursday that Senator Teddy Kennedy killed his health care reform bill thirty years ago to deny him credit for it. Don't blame the senator. The health care reform bill knew better than to get into the car with Teddy when he'd been drinking." --comedian Argus Hamilton

The Five Most Annoying Republicans in the World
No, I didn’t make the top five. ~Bob. Excerpt: In writing my weekly column, I often get a lot of flack for being so pro-Republican. "BEN," writes one reader this week, using liberals' favorite key, the CAPS LOCK, "YOU ARE A SCHILL [sic] FOR THE REPUBLICANS!! I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL!!" Another reader, upset that I dared to castigate esteemed intellect Michael Moore in last week's column, wrote, "I dont [sic] know how you went to Harvard, but your [sic] a dumbass." These masterpieces of vituperative skill provoke a couple of insights. First, those who hate best invariably spell worst. Second, I'm sure glad I was able to take advantage of that Harvard Law affirmative action program for middle-class Jewish kids. But these readers have a point. I do spend a good deal of time ripping Democrats, mainly because they are in control of Congress, the presidency and the judiciary, their leadership is firmly committed to dismantling the United States Constitution piece by piece, and they are busily leading us down the primrose path to ruin in both economic and foreign policy terms. Republicans, by contrast, deserve criticism mainly for wimping out in fighting Democrats. Nonetheless, there are Republicans worthy of criticism. Here, then, are the five most annoying Republicans in the country. Not all of them are legislators. Not all of them are even influential. But all of them make rational people want to shove an ice pick through their eye sockets.

Matthews Scolds Obama: ‘Stop Saying Cutting Taxes Is Giving People Money – It’s Their Money!’
Amazing. ~Bob

North Korea: the hermit emerges
Excerpt: The 28,000 American troops stationed near the 38th parallel use a simple acronym to refer to North Korea: KFR, the Kim Family Regime. For nearly 60 years now, North Korea has distinguished itself as the only centrally planned Marxist state ruled over by a hereditary imperial family. There has been just one transition of power, from Kim Il-sung, the guerrilla hero and "Great Leader", to his son, Kim Jong-il. But now, North Korea is teetering on the edge of another regime change as Kim, in turn, tries to hand over the reins to his 28-year-old third son, Kim Jong-un. Whether he succeeds or not should become clear next week at the first conference of the Workers' Party to be held since 1966. The younger Kim has been pressed into action – his father's stroke in 2008 raised the grim question of succession, and his two older brothers appear incapable, with one of them reportedly even being labelled as "girlish" by his father. Kim Jong-un has not had the decades of grooming that Kim Jong-il received, nor has he had the chance to build up networks of influence in Pyongyang. His inheritance is a broken country, reduced to famine after years of on-off sanctions and isolation. The fact that the Kim Family Regime has lasted this long is a puzzle to many Western observers. While the leaders feast on imported lobster and drive luxury cars, there is not enough electricity to light the country at night. (If accurate, this could be good news. Ron P.)

Woodward Book Says Afghanistan Divided White House
Excerpt: Some of the critical players in President Obama’s national security team doubt his strategy in Afghanistan will succeed and have spent much of the last 20 months quarreling with one another over policy, personalities and turf, according to a new book. The book, “Obama’s Wars,” by the journalist Bob Woodward, depicts an administration deeply torn over the war in Afghanistan even as the president agreed to triple troop levels there amid suspicion that he was being boxed in by the military. Mr. Obama’s top White House adviser on Afghanistan and his special envoy for the region are described as believing the strategy will not work. The president concluded from the start that “I have two years with the public on this” and pressed advisers for ways to avoid a big escalation, the book says. “I want an exit strategy,” he implored at one meeting. Privately, he told Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to push his alternative strategy opposing a big troop buildup in meetings, and while Mr. Obama ultimately rejected it, he set a withdrawal timetable because, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.” But Mr. Biden is not the only one who harbors doubts about the strategy’s chances for success. Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the president’s Afghanistan adviser, is described as believing that the president’s review did not “add up” to the decision he made. Richard C. Holbrooke, the president’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is quoted saying of the strategy that “it can’t work.”

Please read: What is Obama President of Again? On
December 1, 2009, when President Barack Obama announced his new Afghanistan policy after months of delay, Denise Young of Kokomo, Ind., who has a 22-year-old son serving in the war, told The Wall Street Journal what she wanted to hear from the commander in chief: “That he is going to let the generals make the decisions. They have asked for more troops. They should get them. There is safety in numbers.” Today, we learned from a sneak preview of Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s War, that President Barack Obama completely failed Mrs. Young. Instead of listening to his generals, we learn that President Obama (who had zero military experience) was “at odds with his uniformed military commanders, particularly Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus,” who was then head of U.S. Central Command. When the Pentagon presented President Obama with a “low risk option” of an additional 80,000 troops that had the “best chance to contain the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize Afghanistan,” Obama “bristled at what he saw as military commanders’ attempts to force him into a decision he was not yet comfortable with.” Instead of listening to his generals, Obama drew up his own strategy calling for only 30,000 troops, denying Mrs. Young’s son the “safety in numbers” she so desperately wanted. After the Pentagon kept trying to reopen the President’s decision, Obama reportedly lost his poise, saying, “Why do we keep having these meetings?” and “I’m done doing this!”

Too many promises
Excerpt: I don’t know what it is about public officials and Ponzi schemes, but the former finds the latter irresistibly attractive almost everywhere. Maybe it’s the fact that the law lets them get away with it. They get off scott-free when they do the very same thing that landed Bernie Madoff in the hoosegow. Although national attention tends to focus on Social Security, Medicare and other unfunded federal obligations, many state and local governments are in far worse shape. I believe we are on the cusp of a spate of local bankruptcies. Although states cannot declare bankruptcy, they can default on their debt. In California, this seems almost inevitable. Did you know that the average state has unfunded retiree benefits equal to more than one-fifth (22%) of the income of its residents? Seven states (Alaska, Ohio, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois and Kentucky) have unfunded obligations in excess of one-third of their states’ annual income. In Alaska, it’s about half (48%). Take Ohio, for example. The state needs 41% of all the annual income of its citizens right now — in the bank, earning interest — in order to fund its future obligations. And if it doesn’t do that this year, next year it will need even more.

Who'll Replace Larry Summers?
Excerpt: As President Obama’s chief economic adviser exits, The Daily Beast speaks to leaders in business and politics, including Donald Marron, Desiree Rogers, Niall Ferguson and Jesse Jackson about Summers’ departure—and who should take his job. Lawrence Summers, President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, is headed out the White House door, becoming the latest in a string of leading policy wonks to bail on the administration. Summers won’t leave his position as National Economic Council director until after the midterm elections, according to reports. The timing is both ordinary—turnover regularly occurs inside the West Wing after the first half of a president’s term—and also a clear reminder of what has Obama and the Democrats in such a bind come November: the economy. (I have to keep reminding myself that this is a left-leaning site. But, it can be instructive. The first sentence tells everything you need to know about how leftists get advice and make decisions. When looking to fill a key economic job, do they ask economists for advice? Of course not. They ask "leaders in business" who mostly appear to be politicians, bureaucrats, and journalists. They might as well have asked Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe. -- Ron P.)

The Carter-Obama Comparisons Grow
Excerpt: Comparisons between the Obama White House and the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter are increasingly being made—and by Democrats. Walter Mondale, Mr. Carter's vice president, told The New Yorker this week that anxious and angry voters in the late 1970s "just turned against us—same as with Obama." As the polls turned against his administration, Mr. Mondale recalled that Mr. Carter "began to lose confidence in his ability to move the public." Democrats on Capitol Hill are now saying this is happening to Mr. Obama. Mr. Mondale says it's time for the president "to get rid of those teleprompters and connect" with voters. Another of Mr. Obama's clear errors has been to turn over the drafting of key legislation to the Democratic Congress: "That doesn't work even when you own Congress," he said. "You have to ride 'em." Former President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Carter himself is heightening comparisons with his own presidency by publishing his White House diaries this week. "I overburdened Congress with an array of controversial and politically costly requests," he said on Monday. The parallels to Mr. Obama's experience are clear. (I said Obama would be the second coming of Jimmy carter—in November of 2008. ~Bob.)

Ethics Charges Offer Democrats No Way Out in November
Excerpt: Like many, I like to spend my summer months catching up on some good books and vacationing in Europe. Only this year, I’ve stopped reading fiction. Why bother when real life is so much more interesting? In fact, I think I’ll stop reading books altogether for the next several weeks. All I need are the latest editions of The Hill and the Washington Times to cover the scintillating scandals that have totally rocked Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel (NY) and Maxine Waters (CA). I know fiction writers are green with envy on these developing storylines. The latest developments surrounding the Waters and Rangel cases have both looking like they will spend 2011 in retirement; perhaps even in the pokey if there’s another shoe that has yet to fall. Both claim their innocence, with Rep. Rangel defiantly telling supporters and whoever will listen earlier this week at his annual mega-birthday bash that he will fight these allegations with every fiber of his being. Has anyone seen this summer movie before? I have. Try 2006 when Republicans such as former Reps. Rick Renzi, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley and others lined up to the microphones to declare their innocence. Instead of summarily removing them from office (or at least asking them to step down from running that year), Republican leaders whistled in the other direction, refusing to set an example. [I don’t remember – did Republican leadership not call for any of their resignations? Seems to me they might have belatedly called for Foley’s, but like I said, I’m not sure.] And here we are barely four years later, and after publicly calling out the Republicans for their ethical filth, Speaker Pelosi spends her mornings at the Four Seasons whistling away the day, hoping Rangel and Waters figure this mess out before it spills onto her hair.

Egyptian Cleric Salem Abu Al-Futuh: We Will Conquer Italy and the Rest of Europe, as Well as North and South America; The West Will Convert to Islam
I wonder why so many Muslim clerics haven’t gotten the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo from Bush and Obama? ~Bob. Excerpt: Salem Abu Al-Futuh: The nation of Islam will return - despite our current crisis and despite the arrogance of the West. The West is bound to be destroyed. Just like Allah destroyed the Byzantine and Persian empires, He will destroy the West at the hands of the Muslims. This is an unequivocal promise. These countries will convert to Islam. Islam will reach these countries.

I'd do it again, says honour killer
Excerpt: Every year hundreds of women are killed by their husbands or brothers or another male family member for supposedly bringing shame on their families. In many countries the honour killers are given leniency. Many men are not charged, or they spend only a few days or weeks in custody. But Palestinian human rights groups have recently drafted their own amendments to have them treated as murderers. Khaled Mahmoud, 21, admits beating his sister to death last year in the West Bank. "She has made very wrong decisions," he said. "I started drinking then I got crazy. When I saw her I beat her. I smashed her head to the wall." His sister Asmaa - not her real name - was 23, a university student, and engaged to be married to another Muslim. As brother and sister they were close, yet Mahmoud says she made the unforgivable mistake of sleeping with another man, a Christian, and brought enormous shame on the family.

From Kate in L.A.
I just want to get out of here. If anybody has any ideas or advice for me, I would appreciate it. You know, when I was a newcomer in Los Angeles five years ago, a Latina told me I "didn't have any hate" in me. When I came here, I thought it was going to be fun. It was as if you could go to one country from another without having to go to the airport. You could just go down the road a piece. I thought I had come to a place where there was fresh mix of new cultures, new peoples, music, food, fun that we hadn't seen in this country before. I felt I was in on the ground floor of the 21st century. I thought I was really going to enjoy myself here. But the people here do not mix. Each ethnic group stays pretty much to itself. They don't want me in their neighborhoods or their classrooms or their churches. I am tolerated in their shops. I don't understand why all this bad feeling exists. I don't hate Latinos. I think they are cute and charming. I think the color of their skin is really pretty. But they seem determined to hate me, and I don't know why. I am mestizo. My Native American ancestors were North American Indians, so technically, they are on my patch. I don't understand why they seem to want to drive us out of here when it is only going to be the third world here once everyone else leaves. It reminds me of what we learned in my History of Spain course when Ferdinand and Isabella finally got the Muslims out of Spain in 1492, and then they decided to kick the Jews out at the same time. Then Spain discovered a treasure trove of gold in the Americas, but there was no one to manage the money, so the money was gone through pretty quickly and it never did Spain any good. It is the irrationality of this whole situation that does my head in. Please, if anyone has any suggestions for places I could head for, let me know.

Goodbye, cruel words: English. It's dead to me.
Press “one” for Spanish. Press “two” for Arabic. Pr “3”2 Tx—LOL. ~Bob. Excerpt: The English language, which arose from humble Anglo-Saxon roots to become the lingua franca of 600 million people worldwide and the dominant lexicon of international discourse, is dead. It succumbed last month at the age of 1,617 after a long illness. It is survived by an ignominiously diminished form of itself. The end came quietly on Aug. 21 on the letters page of The Washington Post. A reader castigated the newspaper for having written that Sasha Obama was the "youngest" daughter of the president and first lady, rather than their "younger" daughter. In so doing, however, the letter writer called the first couple the "Obama's." This, too, was published, constituting an illiterate proofreading of an illiterate criticism of an illiteracy. Moments later, already severely weakened, English died of shame….Observers say, however, that no development contributed more dramatically to the death of the language than the sudden and startling ubiquity of the vomitous verbal construction "reach out to" as a synonym for "call on the phone," or "attempt to contact." A jargony phrase bloated with bogus compassion -- once the province only of 12-step programs and sensitivity training seminars -- "reach out to" is now commonplace in newspapers. In the last half-year, the New York Times alone has used it more than 20 times in a number of contextually indefensible ways, including to report that the Blagojevich jury had asked the judge a question. It was not immediately clear to what degree the English language will be mourned, or if it will be mourned at all. In the United States, English has become increasingly irrelevant, particularly among young adults. Once the most popular major at the nation's leading colleges and universities, it now often trails more pragmatic disciplines, such as economics, politics, government, and, ironically, "communications," which increasingly involves learning to write mobile-device-friendly ads for products like Cheez Doodles. Many people interviewed for this obituary appeared unmoved by the news, including Anthony Incognito of Crystal City, a typical man in the street. "Between you and I," he said, "I could care less."

State workers feeling major task of implementing health-care law
So, we know it’s good for you, even though it’s a mystery to everyone? ~Bob. Excerpt: Even as President Obama prepares to acknowledge the six-month mark since he signed his health-care overhaul into law, the legislation remains something of a mystery for patients and politicians alike. Its impact is instead being felt largely by state workers nationwide whose job is to implement the law - and thus begin the mammoth task of transforming the care Americans receive.

Washington struggling to rein in increasing homegrown terrorism
Excerpt: “We do not yet have a complete understanding of what would cause a United States person to radicalize to the extent of violence,” said Napolitano, adding that the department was aiming its efforts at the community level by sharing information about what forms early signs of violent radicalization might take. “There’s no one way of counter-messaging," she said. "We’re learning a lot about counter-messaging.” Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) pointed out that at least 63 American citizens have been charged or convicted for crimes directly related to terrorism during the past 18 months. The most widely known arrests occurred after the shooting rampage last year at Fort Hood in Texas, allegedly by a Muslim Army officer, and the failed Times Square car bombing in New York this past May. (Janet, two words: Islamist preachers. ~Bob.)

Hillary Clinton Wants Global Standards for Cook Stoves
Excerpt: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a "global alliance for clean cook stoves" Tuesday at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. The U.S. is paying $50 million over five years to provide clean cook stoves to developing countries, to reduce deaths from smoke inhalation and to fight climate change, Clinton said. (Another reason why no liberal (progressive, socialist, communist) democrat should ever be in charge of anything. –Larry)

Terry Anderson - If You Ain't Mad, You Ain't Payin' Attention
Excerpt: Terry Anderson, known from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles for articulating the popular rage, sat down with Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) to discuss the impact illegal immigration has had on black Americans. He is the host of The Terry Anderson Show airing Sundays, 9pm PST.

New Jesse Jackson Jr. Allegations of Ethics Violation, Sexual Affair
I’m taking a pool on how long it takes Jackson or his supporters to cry “racism”! ~Bob. Excerpt: On the eave of the biggest rush to run for Chicago Mayor in recent memory, Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been hit with more allegations of being involved in a scheme to buy a Senate seat from disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Additionally, there is a hint that Jackson was involved with a woman flown several times to Chicago by a campaign contributor. An Indian-American businessman has told federal authorities that he was asked by Congressman Jackson to begin raising money for Rod Blagojevich so that Blago might appoint Jackson to the open Senate seat that Obama vacated when he took the White House in 2008. Shortly after Blagojevich’s arrest on corruption charges in December 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported that FBI agents went to the Oak Brook home of Indian-American businessman, Raghuveer P. Nayak. The Tribune reported Nayak hosted an Oct. 31, 2008 luncheon where he discussed raising $1 million for Blagojevich to help persuade the governor to choose Jackson. The congressman's brother Jonathan appeared at a Nayak-sponsored fundraiser for the governor three days before Blagojevich was arrested.

The repeal Obamacare pledge
Excerpt: Robert Pear of the New York Times reports that House Republican leaders are determined to vote to repeal Obamacare and, knowing that Barack Obama would veto such a bill, are “determined to chip away at the law if they could not repeal it.” Will their members back them up? That’s the hope of Independent Women’s Voice, which has launched a Repeal Pledge which it’s asking members of Congress to sign. The text of the candidates’ pledge (there’s another text for ordinary voters):

Examiner Editorial: Federal workers should share recession pain
Excerpt: For nearly two years, millions of private-sector workers have made often painful sacrifices because of failed federal economic policies and skyrocketing federal spending and debt. But the opposite has been true for federal workers. Starting in 2008, federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of the total civil service work force of 2.0 million. During the same period, Washington added about 100,000 new jobs, while more than seven million jobs in the private sector vaporized. Average compensation for federal workers is now $123,049 -- more than double the private-sector average. Federal salaries have grown twice as fast as those in the private sector over the past decade, and civil servants are only one-third as likely to quit their jobs as private-sector employees. It is thus no coincidence that of the 10 counties with the highest per capita incomes in America, six are in the Washington area. The federal government has made its work force recession-proof. Want to know one of the reasons why the $814 billion economic stimulus bill failed miserably? Four out of five jobs President Obama claimed the bill "created or saved" were in government, reports the Heritage Foundation

Eight Dems Arrested in Bell, CA 'Corruption on Steroids' - Not a Single Mention of Party Affiliation From Media
Excerpt: Today, eight city council members were arrested in Bell, California for what Los Angeles County District Attorney labeled "corruption on steroids." Thus far, every major news outlet that has reported on the story has omitted the fact that all eight individuals arrested are Democrats. These glaring omissions come only weeks after NewsBusters reported that of the 351 stories on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner.

12 killed in bombing at Iran military parade
Excerpt: A bomb exploded Wednesday during a military parade in northwestern Iran, killing at least 12 people and injuring 74, ISNA news agency quoted a spokesman of the local emergency centre as saying. The spokesman added that as some of the injured were in critical condition, the death toll could go up. The governor of Azerbaijan province told Mehr news agency that the death toll could rise because at least four more people had sustained life-threatening injuries in the bombing in Mahabad. Soldiers at the parade were not injured, said Governor Vahid Jalalzadeh, who blamed 'counter-revolutionaries' for the explosion.

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