Thursday, September 9, 2010

Political Digest September 9, 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.

I’m Fed Up
Comments from my friend Del, a Marine Vietnam vet.

Pledge to the People
From Joel Pollak, Candidate for Congress in my district. You might want to send it to candidates in your district.

Comment from a friend/blog reader/psychologist
You should include a Walgreen's coupon for antidepressants in your blog. Given your wide circulation and profound adulation from the masses, it would be a good promotional tool for Walgreen's. (Gee, I’m sure there must occasionally be some uplifting, good news that I report….~Bob)

Very Interesting: Pilot Programs
Excerpt: How do you know when the problem solvers have hit rock bottom? How do you know when they have exhausted every possible idea in the search for a solution to a nagging problem and come up empty? How do you know when they’re ready to throw in the towel and grasp at any last desperate hope — no matter how fleeting, no matter how far-fetched? Answer: They start a pilot program. This is about the only idea for controlling costs in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, ObamaCare), and before I heap on it all the scorn and opprobrium it so richly deserves, let me say that on rare occasions pilot programs can generate very useful insights. Two examples come to mind. Did you know that before there was a modern welfare state, the federal government actually did a test run? Called the Seattle-Denver Income Maintenance Experiment (SIME/DIME), they guaranteed the participants a minimum income, regardless of their wages or marital status. The results were stunning — at least stunning to the research community. Once couples realized they didn’t have to stay together for economic reasons, large numbers of them split up. Think about that. Before the welfare state created all the tragedy and the social pathology and dysfunctionality that we are living with today, federal government planners knew in advance what was going to happen! The other interesting multimillion dollar experiment was conducted by the RAND Corporation. This project created another notable result. People with high deductible insurance (about $2,500 at today’s prices) spent about one-third less on health care without any adverse affects on their health. Think about that. Almost thirty years before Medicare Part D created first-dollar coverage for drugs and PPACA created first-dollar coverage for preventive care we knew that first-dollar coverage for anything in health care creates huge amounts of waste! Both these experiments reveal two important things about pilot programs: (1) it is possible to spend an enormous amount of money to learn something ordinary people with an ounce of common sense (people without PhDs) probably could have told us anyway and (2) no matter what we discover, politicians are likely to do what is politically expedient for them to do in any event.

Important: Racial Stupidity and Malevolence
Excerpt: The white liberal's agenda, coupled with that of black race hustlers, has had and continues to have a devastating impact on ordinary black people. Perhaps the most debilitating aspect of this liberal malevolence is in the area of education. Recently, I spoke with a Midwestern university engineering professor who was trying to help an inner-city black student who was admitted to the university's electrical engineering program. The student was sure that he was well prepared for an engineering curriculum; his high school had convinced him of that and the university recruiters supported that notion. His poor performance on the university's math placement exam required that he take remedial math courses. He's failed them and is now on academic probation after two semesters of earning less than a 2.0 grade point average. The young man and his parents were sure of his preparedness. After all, he had good high school grades, but those grades only meant that he was well behaved. The college recruiters probably knew this youngster didn't have the academic preparation for an electrical engineering curriculum. They were more concerned with racial diversity. This young man's background is far from unique. Public schools give most black students fraudulent diplomas that certify a 12th-grade achievement level. According to a report by Abigail Thernstrom, "The Racial Gap in Academic Achievement," black students in 12th grade dealt with scientific problems at the level of whites in the sixth grade; they wrote about as well as whites in the eighth grade. The average black high school senior had math skills on a par with a typical white student in the middle of ninth grade. The average 17-year-old black student could only read as well as the typical white child who had not yet reached age 13. Black youngsters who take the SAT exam earn an average score that's 70 to 80 percent of the score of white students, and keep in mind, the achievement level of white students is nothing to write home about. Under misguided diversity pressures, colleges recruit many black students who are academically ill equipped. Very often, these students become quickly disillusioned, embarrassed and flunk out, or they're steered into curricula that have little or no academic content, or professors practice affirmative-action grading. In any case, the 12 years of poor academic preparation is not repaired in four or five years of college. (For speaking the truth and common sense, Williams will be pilloried. ~Bob. In the 1970's in Dallas, TX, the newspaper would publish annually, a report of standardized academic testing for the DISD grades 1 through 12. I saw the same trend year after year. Students in the 1st and 2nd grades all measured approximately the same on the tests regardless of whether they were from a predominantly black school or a predominantly white one. Somewhere in the early elementary grades the disparity between the test scores began to show and continued to widen through the 12 grade. By the 12th grade, the predominantly white schools outscored the predominantly black schools by a significant amount. The conclusion I came to over and over was that there was no inherent difference in the races in intelligence or ability. If that had been true, then the disparity between the test scores would have manifested itself from the very beginning. The problem had to be somewhere within the educational system or (as has become evident lately) the culture of the community. Somewhere, and for whatever reason, the students in the predominantly black schools were not being given the educational tools and instruction that was prevalent in white schools. This will probably continue as long as quotas and diversity are placed above the quality of education. Comment posted on the article by Tom Singleton.)

A Non-Prediction by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: When people learn that you are an economist, they often want you to predict which way the economy is going. There seem to be more than the usual number of calls for such predictions lately. But an economist should be more aware than others are of how hazardous such predictions can be. One reason is that what happens in the economy is affected by what politicians do in Washington-- and who can predict what politicians will do? However, let me go out on a limb, and try to predict what politicians will not do. What would probably get the economy recovering fastest and most completely would be for the President of the United States and Congressional leaders to shut up and stop meddling with the economy. But it is virtually impossible that they will do that. Think about telling all the millions of people who have lost their jobs, their homes or their businesses: "I really messed you up but, hey, nobody's perfect. So I'm going to leave things alone now." In fact, that would be hard even to tell yourself. If the stimulus isn't working, the true believers have to believe that it is only because it hasn't been tried long enough, or with enough money being spent….. It is not just free market economists who think the government can make a mess bigger with its interventions. It was none other than Karl Marx who wrote to his colleague Engels that "crackbrained meddling by the authorities" can "aggravate an existing crisis."

US EPA to issue more rules in climate fight
Excerpt: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will roll out more regulations on greenhouse gases and other pollution to help fight climate change, but they will not be as strong as action by Congress, a senior administration official said. The agency "has a huge role to play in continuing the work to move from where we are now to lower carbon emissions", said the official, who did not want to be identified as the EPA policies are still being formed. President Barack Obama, looking to take the lead in global talks on greenhouse gas emissions, has long warned that the EPA would take steps to regulate emissions if Congress failed to pass a climate bill. The Senate has all but ruled out moving on greenhouse gases this year, even though the House of Representatives passed a bill last year. In late July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stripped climate provisions out of an energy bill, saying he could not get one Republican vote for them. (If they can't pass laws, they'll simply regulate us to death. –Ron P.)

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to retire, speculation swirls around Rahm Emanuel candidacy
Boy, this is scary. In my book, Emanuel is twice as smart, twice as corrupt and twice as ruthless as Daley. ~Bob. Excerpt: Emanuel, in a statement released this afternoon, made no mention of his interest (or lack thereof) in the job. "While Mayor Daley surprised me today with his decision to not run for reelection, I have never been surprised by his leadership, dedication and tireless work on behalf of the city and the people of Chicago," said Emanuel A senior Obama Administration official said Emanuel is likely to run for the post. "I'd be shocked if he doesn't run," the official said. Emanuel, who held a Chicago-area Congressional district prior to being named to his current post in late 2008, has long had designs on the mayor's office. (We gotta get out of this place / If it's the last thing we ever do / We gotta get out of this place / Cause girl, there's a better life for me and you ...The Animals.)

Arizona Border Patrol engaged in a shoot out on Sunday
Excerpt: Nogales Border Patrol agents were involved in a shoot out on Sunday North West of the city. The BP agents responded to a sensor that was tripped near the U.S./Mexico border and were greeted with fire from alleged illegal aliens. Inside sources say the illegal aliens were smuggling drugs and were armed with AK-47s. Once the Border Patrol arrived on the scene the illegals fired their weapons and BP agents returned fire. There were no injuries reported. Nogales Border Patrol spokesperson, Mario Escalante said the incident is under investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is looking into the confrontation. “The shooting incident happened, but it is still part of an ongoing investigation so I can not provided further details that could hinder our inquiry into the matter,” Escalante said. In a separate incident outside Tucson, Arizona, a man’s body was found with an apparent gun shot wound and his body set on fire in a known drug smuggling corridor.

Feds: Army base gunman threatened to kill Obama
Excerpt: A former soldier accused of demanding mental treatment as he took hostages at gunpoint at a Georgia Army hospital later told investigators he planned to kill President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, federal prosecutors said in court documents filed Tuesday. Federal charges filed in U.S. District Court in Savannah identified the accused gunman as 29-year-old Robert Anthony Quinones. The Army says he took three hospital workers hostage early Monday in a two-hour standoff at Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart, 40 miles southwest of Savannah. Army officials say the gunman surrendered and no one was injured.

Light bulb factory closes; End of era for U.S. means more jobs overseas
Excerpt: The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s. The remaining 200 workers at the plant here will lose their jobs. "Now what're we going to do?" said Toby Savolainen, 49, who like many others worked for decades at the factory, making bulbs now deemed wasteful. During the recession, political and business leaders have held out the promise that American advances, particularly in green technology, might stem the decades-long decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. But as the lighting industry shows, even when the government pushes companies toward environmental innovations and Americans come up with them, the manufacture of the next generation technology can still end up overseas. What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs. The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences. (Bunch of whiners. They can always beg for a crust outside Al Gore’s mansion. ~Bob)

Obama to unveil more stimulus, tax breaks for business
Excerpt: President Obama will argue personally Wednesday against extending the Bush-era income tax cuts for the nation's wealthiest families even for a year or two, White House officials said Tuesday - a message aimed at wavering Democrats who have been swayed by arguments that the economy is too weak to raise anyone's taxes. (Gotta get that money away from the “rich” before they invest it in job-creating companies! ~Bob.)

Former Obama budget director bucks White House on Bush tax cuts
Excerpt: In a break with the White House, Peter Orszag, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), recommended Tuesday that Congress extend the expiring Bush tax cuts for two years, then do away with them altogether. In a column for The New York Times, Orszag argues extending all the cuts would help the struggling jobs market, which he dubs a "painful jobs deficit," but that letting all of them expire in two years would help bring down the federal budget deficit.

Obama to take on Boehner directly in Ohio speech; GOP senses panic
Excerpt: President Obama will use a high-profile address on the economy Wednesday in Cleveland to further elevate House GOP Leader John Boehner as the foil Democrats want to run against in an uphill election year. In blogs and speeches, Obama and administration aides have repeatedly targeted the longtime Ohio lawmaker possibly poised to become Speaker, but Wednesday’s address by the president will be the most direct assault yet. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that Obama specifically chose Cleveland as the site to lay out his new economic proposals because of Boehner’s address on the economy two weeks ago there. He said Obama “will spend a decent amount of time” contrasting his economic views with Boehner’s, which the White House argues would return the country to failed policies that led to a financial crisis and recession. 9I suspect in a head to head vote today, Boehner would beat Obama. This might make Boehner into a presidential or VP candidate. ~Bob.)

Obama vs. Boehner
Excerpt: How worried are Democrats? V-E-R-Y. President Obama spent Labor Day reminding Americans that he's the cool one, the "Yes, we can" one, the rolled-up-sleeves one. He never named Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner explicitly, but he clearly was aiming for the man who, if things go as they seem to be going, will be the next speaker of the House. Speaking to Laborfest in Milwaukee, Obama referred to "the Republican who thinks he's going to take over as speaker . . . I'm just saying, that's his opinion." His shirt sleeves rolled up as workingman politicos always do, Obama all but said: "Pay no attention to the man with the fake tan." And, he said: "Somebody out here was yelling, 'Yes, we can.' Remember that was our slogan?" (Yes, we remember.) "Their slogan is 'No, we can't!' Nope! No! No! No!" Except, oh dear, yes they can. And "no" is a pretty sound position when the nation is careening off a cliff.

A ‘stimulus’ that’s not a stimulus
Excerpt: There he goes again. President Obama has taken to Middle America to peddle yet another stimulus package that will cost taxpayers billions. The price tag on the administration’s latest flailing at recovery is a modest $50 billion, but to hear this president talk, it’s the salve that will soothe all that ails us economically. What an election-year farce. We’re well into September, and the administration is still humming incantations hoping its “Summer of Recovery” is just over the next hill. And yet this man just doesn’t get it. The answer to the economic doldrums we’re facing is not more government infusions of cash. If Friday’s unemployment numbers told us anything, it’s that the private sector is not hiring. Period. Businesses are reluctant to get back into the market. What’s the administration doing to address those concerns? An extension of the R&D tax credit? Give me a break. That’s like bringing a squirt gun to a five-alarm block fire. What’s really causing angst among America’s job creators is this massive tax hike that’s set to go into effect at the end of this year. Major economists agree. Now is not the time to raise taxes on any sector of our economy. It’s simply too fragile. Why take a chance and get it wrong, Mr. President?

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived." --Italian statesman and political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

"The more is given the less the people will work for themselves, and the less they work the more their poverty will increase." --Russian writer Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi (1828-1910)

"Coolidge is the first president to discover that what the American people want is to be left alone." --American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Cough syrup now in FDA's line of fire
Excerpt: Getting rid of that hacking cough that’s been bugging you (and those people around you) for several days, will become significantly more difficult if some so-called “experts” attending a September 14th Advisory Committee meeting of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have their way. Common cough syrups and other cold remedies that contain the ingredient dextromethorphan, are being considered for prescription status by the feds. 9the nanny state in full cry. Having had a bad cough for four and a half years, due to sinus and allergies feeding into my IPF, I take this personally. I use syrup to kill the tickle in my throat at night, which allows me to go back to sleep instead of being brought fully awake by a bad coughing spell. Dear Washington. Stop protecting me—I can’t take anymore! ~Bob.)

Harry Reid: "I had nothing to do with" bad economy
Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, facing a tough re-election bid in one of the states hardest hit by the recession, said today that the economic downturn was not his fault. "I had nothing to do with the massive foreclosures here," Reid said during an appearance on the ABC News/Washington Post "Top Line" program, adding that he also had no part in contributing to the state's dismal unemployment figures. At 14.3 percent, Nevada's unemployment rate ranks the highest in the country. The Silver State has also been hit hard by foreclosure and bankruptcy; an Associated Press analysis found that Nevada is the most economically stressed state in the nation. (Gee, guess the senate, which Reid has run since the election in 2006—when my IRA was a tad stronger—has nothing to do with the economy. Just a debating club. ~Bob.)

Health Insurers Plan Hikes: Rate Increases Are Blamed on Health-Care Overhaul; White House Questions Logic
Excerpt: Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections. Insurers say they plan to raise premiums on some Americans due to the health overhaul, complicating Democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before elections. Janet Adamy and Evan Newmark discuss. Also, Justin Lahart discusses the two-track economy for American business, with global players getting boosts from fast-growing foreign markets, while companies focused on the U.S. market are hamstrung by recession-scarred consumers. Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators. These and other insurers say Congress's landmark refashioning of U.S. health coverage, which passed in March after a brutal fight, is causing them to pass on more costs to consumers than Democrats predicted. The rate increases largely apply to policies for individuals and small businesses and don't include people covered by a big employer or Medicare. (TANSTAAFL. ~Bob.)

Grinding to a halt: Loss of a credit collapses the market
Excerpt: THERE was always some concern that the Obama administration’s attempts to prop up the housing market with a generous housing-tax credit could end badly. Opponents of the policy—worth up to $8,000 for first-time buyers—argued that it would merely move sales around, from after the deadline to before, and could produce a slump when the deadline passed. Such fears helped clear the way for an extension of the programme from its first 2009 deadline to April of this year. Despite some effort, Congress in the end decided against a second extension. With the support of the credit gone, a period of housing-market weakness was inevitable, but the actual decline has been distressingly bad. On August 24th the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing houses for the month of July—the first in which most sales were started after the deadline—fell 27% from the previous month. Single-family houses sold at the slowest rate since 1995. Those grim figures may not be a one-month fluke. New home sales are counted when contracts are signed, which means that July was the third month of data after the credit had expired. It was also the worst on record (the previous low came in 1981). Sales of new houses were down 32% year-on-year and down 80% from July 2005. (Can you say, “Double Dip Recession”? ~Bob.)

Import Job Creators
Excerpt: A common refrain is that immigrants take away our jobs. The appropriate response to that kind of talk is, let's come up with a way to get immigrants to create jobs instead. Here's one way: a job creator's visa, says Robert E. Litan, vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation and a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. The program could work as follows. Immigrant entrepreneurs get a one-year visa enabling them to launch a business and search for employees. Once they hire at least one nonfamily member -- who must be an American citizen -- they can stay for five years. If they hire more than 10 U.S. workers, they get their green card. Such a scheme would exploit two phenomena in the job market, says Litan.

A&M System grades faculty — by bottom line
Of interest to academic folks. ~Bob. Excerpt: Ashley, the vice chancellor for academic affairs for the A&M System, has been put in charge of creating such a measure that he says would help administrators and the public better understand who, from a financial standpoint, is pulling their weight. A several-inches thick document in the possession of A&M System officials contains three key pieces of information for every single faculty member in the 11-university system: their salary, how much external research funding they received and how much money they generated from teaching. The information will allow officials to add the funds generated by a faculty member for teaching and research and subtract that sum from the faculty member's salary. When the document -- essentially a profit-loss statement for faculty members -- is complete, officials hope it will become an effective, lasting tool to help with informed decision-making. "If you look at what people are saying out there -- first of all, they want accountability," Ashley said. "It's something that we're really not used to in higher education: For someone questioning whether we're working hard, whether our students are learning. That accountability is going to be with us from now on."

Fidel to Ahmadinejad: 'Stop Slandering the Jews'
Excerpt: I quickly departed the People's Republic of Martha's Vineyard for Fidel's more tropical socialist island paradise. Despite the self-defeating American ban on travel to Cuba, both Julia and I, as journalists and researchers, qualified for a State Department exemption. The charter flight from Miami was bursting with Cuban-Americans carrying flat-screen televisions and computers for their technologically-bereft families. Fifty minutes after take-off, we arrived at the mostly-empty Jose Marti International Airport. Fidel's people met us on the tarmac (despite giving up his formal role as commandante en jefe after falling ill several years ago, Fidel still has many people). We were soon deposited at a "protocol house" in a government compound whose architecture reminded me of the gated communities of Boca Raton. The only other guest in this vast enclosure was the president of Guinea-Bissau. I was aware that Castro had become preoccupied with the threat of a military confrontation in the Middle East between Iran and the U.S. (and Israel, the country he calls its Middle East "gendarme"). Since emerging from his medically induced, four-year purdah early this summer (various gastrointestinal maladies had combined to nearly kill him), the 84-year-old Castro has spoken mainly about the catastrophic threat of what he sees as an inevitable war. (...) Castro's message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, was not so abstract, however. Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the "unique" history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence. (...) He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. "This went on for maybe two thousand years," he said. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything." (Part 1 of 2. Extraordinary. From a leftist superhero to a leftist reporter in a leftist mag. Ron P.)

Did We Really Overreact to 9/11?
Excerpt: His article begins: "Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat? Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe. While it has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself. Today, Al Qaeda’s best hope is to find a troubled young man who has been radicalized over the Internet, and teach him to stuff his underwear with explosives." Notice the sleight of hand. Zakaria whitewashes radical Islam and its international network spawn, and reduces al-Qaeda to a few hundred cave-hoppers bowing around Waziristan. The reality is more multifaceted: “al-Qaeda” is the head of the jihadi snake, the epicenter of the global Islamist insurrection. It has offshoots in Algeria, Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines –– and perhaps forty other countries. And that’s just “al-Qaeda.” There are many terror groups. (First, I don't believe we over-reacted to 9/11. If anything, the lack of major follow-on successes for Al Qaeda has lulled us nearly back to sleep. Almost none of the general US populace really believes we can be defeated in this war or have given any thought to what the consequences of that loss would entail. It took decades to bring down communism, but they were merely rational men who wanted world domination. Now, we face an enemy whose God has told them to go forth and conquer. If we're lucky, our grandchildren will be old and grey before this unnamed war is over. The enemy isn't a nation-state that can be defeated and give surrender; they are a mind-state that will continue as long as the fanatics don't see the price paid is greater than the gain achieved. Second, while I'm not a fan of Zakaria, I've seen him on TV several times, and unless he's a much better actor than I give him credit for, he is simply putting out his own world view: no need to wake up, America, nothing to see here. As a classic progressive, he really believes there is little or no danger to us or the world. He truly does see the enemy as just those skulking in caves. He refuses to see the connection between the various groups or the over-arching strategy. In my opinion, this world view will get us killed. Ron P.)

Long Island Man Arrested For Defending Home With AK-47
But why were the gang members targeting him? Missed Sunday School? ~Bob. Excerpt: George Grier said he had to use his rifle on Sunday night to stop what he thought was going to be an invasion of his Uniondale home by a gang he thought might have been the vicious “MS-13.” He said the whole deal happened as he was about to drive his cousin home.

Dear Vietnam Vet
Welcome Home.

Muslim School Prayer In Public San Diego School
See, not all prayer in school is forbidden.

Matthews Reveals His Obama 'Thrill' Has Moved Up From Leg to 'All Over Me'
Excerpt: Chris Matthews is still getting a thrill up his leg, and even further, whenever he hears Barack Obama speak, as the MSNBCer, on Monday's Hardball, announced to the world "I get the same thrill up my leg, all over me," when he listens to Obama's 2004 Democratic convention speech. Matthews also revealed he is really sensitive about how his "thrill" moments are described, as he took offense when a guest inaccurately labeled it a "tingle" as Matthews shot back: "It wasn't a tingle, up my leg, that's what right wing fascists say. I got a thrill up my leg. Okay? You're reading the right wing blogs. Start tuning your station." (Gee, are independent, unbiased “journalists” supposed to be thrilled when politicians speak? My guess is he was sitting on a heating pad, wet himself, and got a mild electric shock. ~Bob.)

Somebody has to do Holder's job for him
Excerpt: The decision of the Holder DOJ to ignore the integrity provisions of Section 8 is deliberate and corrupt. In November 2009, political appointee Julie Fernandes told the entire assembled DOJ Voting Section that the Obama administration would not enforce the list maintenance provisions of Section 8. Section 8 “doesn’t have anything to do with increasing minority turnout,” Fernandes said. “We don’t have any interest in enforcing that part of the law.” End of story. At the same time, Fernandes stressed that the DOJ would vigorously enforce the welfare agency registration provisions of Section 7. She made these lawless instructions in front of me and dozens of other shocked Voting Section lawyers. The DOJ has never once denied that Fernandes gave these instructions, nor has the DOJ countermanded them.

Europe and Benign Neglect
Excerpt: Since taking office, President Obama has reached out to the Muslim world as a whole, to China, to Turkey and to Iran, but has devoted scant serious diplomatic energy to Europe. In many ways, he is the first post-Atlanticist president, drawn by temperament, upbringing and circumstance to focus elsewhere. “Europe is the object of benign U.S. neglect,” said Camille Grand, a prominent Paris-based defense analyst. “Obama has not established or re-established a strategic relationship with any single European country or with Europe as a whole.” Obama remains popular with Europeans — even if giddy infatuation has gone the way of giddy infatuations — but European political leaders feel jilted. Obama was supposed to put together the European Humpty Dumpty that President Bush shattered by favoring alliances of the willing over old alliances. He hasn’t. Central Command in Florida, running the Afghan war, rides roughshod over NATO. New Middle East peace initiatives are launched, new Afghan strategies decided, without even a nod to the Europeans who will pick up part of the tab and do part of the dying. Nowhere else has Obama’s remoteness and distaste for the two-minute protocol phone call been so keenly felt as a brush-off. France is in a quiet sulk. Nicolas Sarkozy is the most pro-American president of the Fifth Republic. He brought France back into NATO’s military command, rejected the de rigueur cynicism of French political discourse on the United States, and reached out to Obama. For all of which he got nothing. He must hear de Gaulle’s ghost at night whispering, “I told you so.”

College Officials Have Police Shut Down Student Conservative Group Recruitment After Seeing Anti-Obama Literature
Ah, the American Academy, promoting every kind of diversity except diversity of thought. This may be over-blown, and is just one side, but entirely believable if you’ve followed the campus crackdown on dissenting speech of the last twenty years. ~Bob. Excerpt: Today, around 11am, two Palm Beach State College students and two Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) members, state chairman Daniel P. Diaz and state vice chairman Eddie Shaffer, were shut down and had campus police called on them after tabling and recruiting during club rush at the college. The PBSC student, Christina Beattie, had received prior permission from college administrator Olivia Ford-Morris to promote her organization on campus via telephone and email communication. On the day of club rush, officials approached the group and after seeing information about the organization and its ideals criticizing Barack Obama’s economic policy. Ms. Ford-Morris was visibly disturbed by the material presented, published by the Heritage Foundation, criticizing President Obama’s administration. College officials then called the campus police to assure the group left campus. Ms. Ford-Morris denied having ever talked to Christina about giving permission to the organization to be a part of PBSC club rush. "I was shocked and offended by her dishonesty. She outright denied giving me permission to table at Club Rush simply because she disagreed with my beliefs! The fact is, she was using her administrative power to silence the conservative opposition," said Christina.

Great Response
Obama: some people in DC ‘talk about me like a dog......“Maybe it's because he keeps treating this country like a fire hydrant.” -- Fred Thompson

‘Fugitive Backlog’ of Illegal Aliens More than 500,000, Says Department of Homeland Security
And they have the resources to go after Arizona and Sheriff Joe? ~Bob. Excerpt: As of Sunday, Sept. 5, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had a backlog of fugitive illegal aliens of 506,232 people. This is slightly larger than the entire population of the city of Sacramento, California, currently at 486, 189. The fugitive illegal aliens are individuals who were apprehended by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for being in the United States illegally and then were released ahead of their court proceedings and deemed fugitive when they failed to appear in court.

Defense official discloses cyberattack
Excerpt: Now it is official: The most significant breach of U.S. military computers was caused by a flash drive inserted into a U.S. military laptop on a post in the Middle East in 2008. In an article to be published Wednesday discussing the Pentagon's cyberstrategy, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III says malicious code placed on the drive by a foreign intelligence agency uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. military's Central Command. "That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control," he says in the Foreign Affairs article. "It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary." Lynn's decision to declassify an incident that Defense officials had kept secret reflects the Pentagon's desire to raise congressional and public concern over the threats facing U.S. computer systems, experts said. Much of what Lynn writes in Foreign Affairs has been said before: that the Pentagon's 15,000 networks and 7 million computing devices are being probed thousands of times daily; that cyberwar is asymmetric; and that traditional Cold War deterrence models of assured retaliation do not apply to cyberspace, where it is difficult to identify the instigator of an attack. But he also presents new details about the Defense Department's cyberstrategy, including the development of ways to find intruders inside the network. That is part of what is called "active defense." Counterfeit hardware has been detected in systems that the Pentagon has bought. Such hardware could expose the network to manipulation from adversaries.

The Generation That Can't Move On Up
Excerpt: These working-class couples still value marriage highly. But they don't think they have what it takes to make a marriage work. Across all social classes, in fact, Americans now believe that a couple isn't ready to marry until they can count on a steady income. That's an increasingly high bar for the younger working class. As a result, cohabitation is emerging as the relationship of choice for young adults who have some earnings but not enough steady work to reach the marriage bar. The problem is that cohabiting relationships don't go the distance. In fact, children who are born to cohabiting parents are more than twice as likely as children born to married parents to see their parents break up by age five. These break-ups are especially troubling because they are often followed by a relationship-go-round, where children are exposed to a bewildering array of parents' partners and stepparents entering and exiting their home in succession. Church-going habits are changing, too. Traditionally, working-class couples who are married and have steady incomes have attended church, in part, to get reinforcement for the "respectable" lives they lead. But now, when a transformed economy makes marriage and steady work more difficult to attain, those who in better times might have married and attended church appear to be reluctant to show up. Thus, working-class men and women aren't going to religious services as often as they used to. The drop-off in attendance has been greatest among whites, according to the General Social Survey, conducted biennially by the National Opinion Research Center. In the 1970s, 35% of working-class whites aged 25-45 attended religious services nearly every week, the same percentage as college-educated whites in that age group. Today, the college-educated are the only group who attend services almost as frequently as they did in the 1970s. Some observers might say that there's nothing alarming about the working class's retreat from marriage and organized religion. It's true that not everyone wishes to marry or to worship, and that family and religious diversity can be valuable.

Tri-C students recruited to fill the seats for Obama's appearance
Excerpt: With less than an hour before President Obama's scheduled speech, 75 seats remained empty in the recreation center at Cuyahoga Community College's Western Campus. So organizers went around campus and recruited more students to fill the seats. Student Jennifer Rahal, of Parma Heights, whose class was canceled today, was working on her art work in the coffee shop in the basement of the building when the call went out for more guests. After dropping off their stuff at a bag check, the newly invited guests cleared security and filed into the gym.

Overwhelm the system
Excerpt: Barack Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within. Barack Obama is my college classmate ( Columbia University , class of '83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University . They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they're alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival ... and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it. (I saw this at The Air Vent, a climate science and policy blog. Published in early June, 2010, the author was a classmate of Obama's at Columbia. I didn't believe it when it said "checked through Snopes." So, I went to Snopes and searched it up; it was there. This is linked through Snopes Truth or Fiction. Ron P.)

India: Muslim mobs loot and ransack Hindu shops and Hindu temples, beat up Hindus, torch public buses
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: And the police did essentially nothing, confining the Hindus to their homes while the Muslim mobs continued to roam free.

Abbas: We will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state
Excerpt: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told interviewers that he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday.
Abbas reportedly said that his position is no different from those Arafat present in previous negotiations, and that his staff is the same as Arafat's…

A Second Villa Trashed in Lombok after Alleged Insult to Islam
Sure are a lot on them who didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob.

Test of Missile-Blasting Laser Weapon Fizzles
Excerpt: A much-anticipated test of a laser cannon deployed on a Boeing jumbo jet failed to blow up a target meant to mimic a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile. The failure, which has not been previously reported, occurred during an exercise that was supposed to demonstrate the laser's ability to shoot down an incoming ballistic missile at a range of over 100 miles. But the weapon prematurely stopped zapping the missile and failed to destroy it. The test was conducted Sept. 1 at Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off California's central coast. Although the system successfully tracked and struck the short-range ballistic missile target, it did not destroy it as planned, the Missile Defense Agency said in a statement provided to AOL News. (Some rockstar or sports hero must have been taking up all the media's time and attention. I was actually waiting for a report on this test. Be sure to read the last two paragraphs; they are damning. Ron P.)

Sinking with Obama, Democrats plan political triage
Excerpt: When you spot the word "triage" in a political news story, you know someone is in trouble. Triage is the procedure by which medical personnel screening people injured in combat or disasters separate those who can be saved from those who can't. The first group are given immediate surgery in hopes of recovery. The second are given painkillers to make the end bearable. So it was a startling to read last weekend in the New York Times that House Democratic leaders "are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority." House Democratic campaign Chairman Chris Van Hollen quickly pooh-poohed the story, as any politically savvy person would. But I bet he's already done his triage and that some of the names mentioned in the Times story are to get painkillers only.

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