Thursday, October 21, 2010

Political Digest for October 21, 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.

Send to Wisconsin Voters: The Senator From Soros
Interesting charges, interesting article. ~Bob. Excerpt: "So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections."-- President Obama on October 7. "I challenge the Chamber of Commerce to tell us how much of the money they're investing is from foreign sources. I challenge them, if I'm wrong I will stand corrected. But show me, show me." -- Vice President Biden on October 11. "You arrogant ass! You've killed us!" -- The Hunt for Red October. Shall we play a game? The line, spoken in an eerie mechanized voice, comes from the movie War Games, starring Matthew Broderick as he does battle with an out-of-control computer bent on blowing up the world. Broderick responds by saying, "Love to! How about Global Thermonuclear War?" We're not into Global Thermonuclear War here. But a game of follow the Secret Donor Money -- an incredibly dishonest game that they will doubtless regret beginning -- has been launched by this White House, the New York Times and their liberal allies. Charges of foreign money, improper influence and secret donors fill the air. The Times has even seen fit to trot out Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew! So. Shall we play their Secret Donor Money game? Love to? Excellent. Let's begin with questions. •What if Secret Donor Money -- funneled through a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit with no obligation to reveal its donors -- was used to influence not just your run-of-the mill election, but a sitting United States Senator as he ran a Senate confirmation hearing of a federal judge? An official constitutional duty of the United States Senate? What if that United States Senator secretly influenced by that Secret Donor Money were named Russell Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin?

The Multicultural Cult: Part II by Thomas Sowell
Dr. Sowell expands on these topics in his excellent book, “Race and Culture: A World View.” Being black, he can get away with telling the truth without being pilloried. ~Bob. Excerpt: There was a reason why employers in the middle of the 19th century had signs that said, "No Irish need apply" -- and why employers in the middle of the 20th century no longer had such signs. It was not that employers had changed. The Irish had changed. The Catholic Church for years worked to bring about such changes among the Irish immigrants and their offspring, just as various religious and secular organizations among the Jews, among blacks and among other groups worked to bring about changes within their respective groups. By and large these efforts paid off. All these groups were advancing, long before there were civil rights laws. Yet today, attempts to get black or Hispanic youngsters to speak the language of the society around them are decried by multiculturalists. And any attempt to get them to behave according to the cultural norms of the larger society is denounced as "cultural imperialism," if not racism. The multicultural dogma is that we are to "celebrate" all cultures, not change them. In other words, people who lag educationally or economically are to keep on doing what they have been doing -- but somehow have better results in the future than in the past. And, if they don't have better results in the future, it is society's fault. Such notions have been tried, and failed, in other countries and times, long before they became a fashionable dogma called multiculturalism. In 19th century Latvia and Bohemia, among other places in Eastern Europe, the great majority of Germans were literate, while most of the indigenous peoples around them were not. Not surprisingly, Germans had more education and skills, and enjoyed a higher standard of living. In both Latvia and Bohemia, the German minority held most of the jobs requiring education and skills. But, in both places, the indigenous people -- Latvians and Czechs -- could rise by acquiring the German language and culture, and many did. But, for the newly rising Latvian and Czech intelligentsia, that was not enough. They wanted to be able to rise without having to learn a different language and culture….. Many of these efforts have failed and few have succeeded. But what is truly painful is how often the polarization created by these efforts led to tragedies, such as civil war in Sri Lanka and brutal mass expulsions of millions of Germans from Czechoslovakia, to the detriment of both the Germans and the Czech economy. The history of blacks in the United States has been more complicated. By the end of the 19th century, the small numbers of blacks living in northern cities had, over the generations, assimilated the culture of the surrounding society to the point where they lived and worked among the white population more fully than they would in most of the 20th century. In New York, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia and other Northern cities, black ghettos became a 20th century phenomenon. It was after the massive migration of far less acculturated blacks out of the South in the early 20th century when a massive retrogression in black-white relations took place in the Northern cites to which the migrants moved. The blacks who moved to these cities were of the same race as those who were already there, but they were not the same in their culture, values and behavior. No one complained of this more bitterly than the blacks already living in these cities, who saw the newcomers as harbingers of a worse life for all blacks.

Devastating for the economy ~Bob
Armageddon: What Democrats Are Hiding & Why They Are Really Scared
Excerpt: Very soon, Democrats and their union bosses’ worst fears may soon be realized and, if they cannot continue their slight of hand, it may threaten their very existence. While it is true that Democrats and their union bosses are facing possibly debilitating losses on November 2nd, they are hiding the really bad news from voters until after November 2nd. Do you remember that promise we heard back in 2008 about transparency? Democrats and, in particular, then-candidate Barack Obama stated emphatically that “transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.” What a joke that was. Well, it’s time to shed some light on the house of cards that is about to come crashing down on Democrats’ and union bosses’ heads. ….. In June, a conversation took place in a hotel restaurant in Washington. As a latecomer to the conversation, it was easy to pick up that the topic that was the $165 billion union pension bailout bill introduced by Sen. Bob Casey [D-PA] in March. Upon introductions, one of the individuals stated, “this is Armageddon.” When asked for clarification, the person explained about the accounting rules developed to shore up underfunded union pensions and the dates when those union companies affected would have to assume their liabilities had the DC crowd (in particular, the Democrats and the unions) in a panic. Yesterday, the Washington Examiner’s Mark Hemingway gave a good breakdown of how bad it could get for Democrats and their union bosses: On Nov. 1, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ceases to take public comment on a new rule requiring that companies more accurately report liabilities they have from participation in multiemployer pension plans. Unless FASB is persuaded otherwise, the rule takes effect Dec. 15. There are some 1,500 multiemployer pension plans in the United States, which are unique to unions. In these plans, multiple companies pay into the pension plan, but each company assumes the total liability. Under “last man standing” accounting rules, if five companies are in a plan and four go bankrupt, the fifth company is responsible for meeting the pension obligations for the employees of the other four companies. What this means is that companies with union labor often have pension liabilities that are several multiples higher than the pension expenditures they report — the Kroger grocery store chain shocked analysts last year when it disclosed its multiemployer pension liabilities more than doubled in a year to $1.2 billion

Important: The extremes of moderate Islam: EVEN for supposedly reasonable Muslims, accommodation is a one-way street.
The truth PC rules hide. ~Bob. Excerpt: PERCHED high in the verdant mountains of central Java recently, the rural silence was broken five times a day by the Muslim call to prayer. The chanting wafted up from loudspeakers in the local villages as Indonesian Muslims observed longer than usual prayers during Ramadan. I asked a cab driver if he was fasting until sunset during this Islamic month of reflection. Rules are made to be broken, he said with a smile. But not according to the government and police in Indonesia, a country hailed as the world's largest, most moderate Muslim nation. Local newspapers report an American man being held on suspicion of blasphemy for pulling the plug on a loudspeaker at a local mosque. According to police, Luke Gregory Lloyd pulled out the loudspeaker's cable in Kuta village in central Lombok when he was woken by the Koranic reading. So how is moderate Islam doing in Indonesia? Not so well if you're that American man facing five years in prison. Perhaps it's all relative. In Saudi Arabia, he may have faced more violent punishment for his cultural insensitivity. That said, the promise of moderate Islam is beginning to look decidedly unconvincing. Certainly, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has made plenty of promises. In an address at Harvard last year, he described his country as a model for how Islam, modernity and democracy can go hand in hand. He said tolerance and respect for religious freedom forms part of Indonesia's "trans-generational DNA". Back in Indonesia, the President is quiet about the fact that moderate Islam is not so respectful of religious freedom if you belong to the Ahmadiyah sect. As yet another daily call to prayer began, I read about the ban on this religious sect for propagating its beliefs, including the tenet that Mohammed was not the final prophet. Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali announced the Ahmadiyah congregation "must be disbanded immediately" for violating a 2008 decree prohibiting the group from spreading its teachings. If this "is considered as religious freedom, then I call it an excessive freedom", Ali said. Moderate Islam is not so moderate if you are a Christian either. In August, 300 hardline Islamic protesters confronted Christians worshipping in an open field owned by the Christians. The Christians want to build a church. A leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front told reporters that the culture of the people will not allow a church. Earlier this year, thousands of Muslim extremists set fire to a Christian community centre in West Java when they suspected the local Christians planned to build a small chapel. According to the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, there have been more than 28 attacks on churches since January, a substantial increase since last year. And how is moderate Islam doing when it comes to freedom of speech? While President Yudhoyono boasts about his country's "increasingly incisive" free press, one the markers of moderate Islam's commitment to democracy, it's too bad if you're the editor of Playboy Indonesia, a magazine consciously remodelled for the local market with no nudity. After being tried and acquitted for public indecency in 2007, Erwin Arnada was found guilty of public indecency last month by a new Supreme Court ruling. Arnada was arrested last week and has commenced a two-year prison sentence. The Indonesian constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press, is no match for hardline Islamic groups baying for Arnada's blood. Is that moderation?

Muslim who spoke at pro-Khomeini conference and threatened columnist named to Homeland Security Advisory Council
“Moderate” Islam on the march. ~Bob.

When we talked about “starvation” we meant plasma TVs and Café Latte
Excerpt: Time magazine, which previously claimed that Palestinians were “starving,” now writes of the Palestinian “multistory villas fronted by ornamental porticos and columns,” the “car dealerships selling everything from BMWs to Hyundais,” and the “state of the art gyms with the latest equipment, classes in spinning, kickboxing and Pilates, a sauna and even a smoothie bar.” Leading British newspaper columnist writes from Gaza: “Then there is the use of the word ‘siege’. Can anyone think of a siege in human history, from Syracuse to Leningrad, where the shops of the besieged city have been full of Snickers bars and Chinese motorbikes, and where European Union and other foreign aid projects pour streams of cash (often yours) into the pockets of thousands?” One by one, the major media of the world are changing their tune on reporting about economic conditions in Gaza and the West Bank. (Although we’re still waiting for the world’s biggest broadcaster, the publicly-funded BBC – which is under a legal obligation to be balanced – to do so.)

Chechnya parliament attacked: Islamic suicide bombers, gunman assault government building
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Islamic rebels crying out "Allahu Akbar" stormed the parliament building in war-torn Chechnya on Tuesday, killing at least three people. The militants, who have been fighting the Russian-controlled government since the 1990s, used a suicide bomber to blast open the gates then flooded into the building firing weapons that injured more than a dozen people. The assault was mounted by three men while politicians and government employees arrived for work, according to Reuters.

If Islam teaches peace, its students keep flunking
Excerpt: Tahira Saliha’s disingenuous letter portraying Islam as peace-loving requires response. She surely knows that even in the most tolerant Islamic societies throughout history, Jews were systematically relegated to dhimma status, a form of second-class citizenship. In the more “average” Muslim countries, the predicament of Jews especially in the last 50 years was far worse. They were arrested, endlessly persecuted, murdered and ultimately expelled from their host countries. The situation now is that there are almost no Jews living in any Muslim state and some of these “peace-loving” countries will not even allow a Jew to stand on its soil. So instead of indulging us in religious platitudes from the Koran, she should examine the current situation in practically all Islamic states, and ask herself where is this so-called “respect (of) people of all faiths” that Islam supposedly teaches. By the way, I would appreciate if Ms. Saliha would let me know when I, as an ordinary Jew, would have the “right” to visit Saudi Arabia in the same way that she can go to Israel or the Vatican. Yitzchok Dukesz, Thornhill, Ont. If, as letter writer Tahira Saliha claims, Islam teaches peace, why do so many of its students flunk? And after 14 centuries, why haven’t its adherents noticed? Josh Korn, Ottawa.

Who Says Islam Is Totalitarian?
Excerpt: Andrew Bostom has unearthed a 1954 International Affairs essay in which Professor Lewis quite matter-of-factly compared Islam with Communism. The essay, in fact, was called, “Communism and Islam.” In it, Lewis considered “the very nature of Islamic society, tradition, and thought,” and concluded that its principal defining characteristic is the “authoritarianism, perhaps we may even say the totalitarianism, of the Islamic political tradition.” Expanding on this, he wrote: There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind, no councils or communes, no chambers of nobility or estates, no municipalities in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law. . . . For the last thousand years, the political thinking of Islam has been dominated by such maxims as “tyranny is better than anarchy,” and “whose power is established, obedience to him is incumbent.” But what about the conceit that undergirds current American foreign policy, the notion that Islam and Western democracy are perfectly compatible? Lewis dismissed the idea as so much elite wishful thinking: Many attempts have been made to show that Islam and democracy are identical — attempts usually based on a misunderstanding of Islam or democracy or both. This sort of argument expresses a need of the uprooted Muslim intellectual who is no longer satisfied with or capable of understanding traditional Islamic values, and who tries to justify, or rather, restate, his inherited faith in terms of the fashionable ideology of the day. It is an example of the romantic and apologetic presentation of Islam that is a recognized phase in the reaction of Muslim thought to the impact of the West. Clearly, the ensuing half-century has found Western intellectuals — regardless of political bent — joining romantic forces with their uprooted Muslim counterparts.

Following in Clinton’s steps, Obama to leave town after election
Excerpt: President Obama is giving Republicans a 10-day window to set the agenda for a lame-duck session and the new legislative year by leaving the country right after the midterm elections. The timing of the president’s trip to Asia is worrying some Democrats, who believe it could cede further momentum to a resurgent Republican Party that might win a House majority on Nov. 2. Unless we're planning to hold the lame duck in India, it makes zero sense to take a 10-day overseas trip right after what could be a disastrous midterm election,” said one Democratic strategist, speaking on background so as not to anger White House officials. “It will demoralize Democrats and needlessly cede message and momentum to Republicans.” But the White House says the trip, which will also cover Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, is an important part of the president's effort to strengthen the economy, the issue that has left Obama and his Democratic allies in peril.

Girl loads rifle to spook burglars: 11-year-old ready to defend herself
What are they teaching kids now days? Doesn’t she know that it’s better to be raped and killed than hurt someone with a firearm, as any good liberal will tell her? ~Bob. Excerpt: When three teenage burglars pried open the door of a northwest Albuquerque home they had no idea they would be met by a brave little girl, police said Wednesday. Alyssa Gutierrez, 11, took matters into her own hands Tuesday when police said when Miguel Marquez, Eduardo Zubiate and Jesus Quintana broke into her home. Gutierrez armed herself with a loaded rifle. "I was planning, if they came right next to me, I would shoot them," Gutierrez said. But Gutierrez, who will start sixth grade next week, never got the chance because she'd spooked the burglars. Gutierrez said her cousins went to run an errand around the corner from their home and were gone for a few minutes when she heard the backdoor rattle. "I thought it was (my cousin) Zachary playing a joke on me so I just turned the TV louder and ignored it," Gutierrez said. But on the other side of the door were the burglars who pried open the door with a crowbar. Gutierrez believes that they'd seen her cousins leave and chose to break into the home when they thought no one was there. She said when the Marquez, Zubiate and Quintana got inside, she heard them talk about stealing guns in the home. Gutierrez and her family told KRQE News 13 that they knew one of the suspects and believed the group targeted the home to steal their guns. "My heart kept on pounding and pounding," Gutierrez said. She said she slid to the floor from the couch when she saw the trio, but quickly decided that hiding wouldn't do her any good because the masked intruders had seen her. "They had a rifle so I was thinking, 'What should I do? 'What if they shoot me?'" Gutierrez said. That's when she made a beeline for her mother's room. "I ran back into my mom's room and grabbed her little pink rifle, and there was two bullets in there," she said. With the loaded rifle, Gutierrez said she checked the bathroom and then the living room ready to defend herself. She said she ran to her mother's closet and called 911.

Man who shot alleged intruder tells his story
Excerpt: The unidentified man who broke into the residence of Stephen and Pauline Boyechko Friday night apparently didn’t know who he was dealing with. Confronted with the sight of a man halfway through a bathroom window, Stephen Boyechko, 80, simply retrieved his .32 PPK/Walther and went back to confront the intruder. The man rushed Boyechko, who then shot him, reportedly in the abdomen and groin. “I think I just surprised him,” Boyechko said. “I didn’t fire to kill him. I just shot, maybe a little low.” Boyechko isn’t the kind of man to get easily rattled. A veteran of World War II, he didn’t fight with the Americans troops, he said. “I was in the Ukrainian underground,” he said. “I was 14. We fought the Germans and the Russians.” According to the Steuben County Sheriff reports, the unidentified burglar was an unarmed male in his 40s. When the police arrived, they found the wounded man in a hallway outside the bathroom conscious and alert, according to the sheriff’s report. (Nazis, Commies, burglars—bring ‘em on. ~Bob.)

Ruthless Mexican Smuggling Cartel opens Branch Office in San Diego
Listening to their calls? What about their constitutional rights? ~Bob. Excerpt: When a major Mexican drug cartel opened a branch office here on the California side of the border, U.S. authorities tapped into their cellphones - then listened, watched and waited. Their surveillance effort captured more than 50,000 calls over six months, conversations that reached deep into Mexico and helped build a sprawling case against 43 suspects - including Mexican police and top officials - allegedly linked to a savage trafficking ring known as the Fernando Sanchez Organization. According to the wiretaps and confidential informants, the suspects plotted kidnappings and killings and hired American teenage girls, with nicknames like Dopey, to smuggle quarter-pound loads of methamphetamine across the border for $100 a trip. To send a message to a rival, they dumped a disemboweled dog in his mother's front yard. But U.S. law enforcement officials say the most worrisome thing about the Fernando Sanchez Organization was how aggressively it moved to set up operations in the United States, working out of a San Diego apartment it called "The Office."

Obama's bribe-a-thon
BO and the Dems will discover that when people are made to feel entitled to something, they feel no gratitude or sense of obligation to reciprocate when they get it, only fury when they don’t. See, Riots, France. ~Bob. Excerpt: Obama has been busy giving away goodies to special interest groups to get them to come out and vote for Democrats. This is money from our pockets and the piggy banks of our children, as well as money borrowed from the very foreigners he has been using as straw men. Christmas has come early for people who need a little pocket money to nudge them to pull the lever for Democrats. We have seen the crudest and most disgraceful types of payoffs in the last week as November 2nd approaches. We have bribes to ethanol beneficiaries up and down the ethanol chain, tax breaks for college students and their families, bribes to seniors with money America does not have and money seniors are not entitled to by Social Security funding formulas (even eliciting a negative Washington Post editorial), and bribes to unions who get a special waiver from onerous ObamaCare rules so at least they get to keep their current healthcare plans - even if the rest of us do not. Now the Cook County style of "governing" that has left Chicago a fiscal mess has come full bore to Washington. The latest attempt to gin up the base to come out for Democrats? Obama has again brought out executive orders to rule by fiat, as is his and fellow demagogues wont. After all the rest of us are just too reptilian and dumb to say Thank You to him so he will have to go out and buy some more votes with our money. The latest group to get the gift? Hispanics.

Crazy "Rent Is Too Damn High" Candidate Steals the Show at NY Gov. Debate
Don’t like the GOP or the Dems? You could support “The Rent is Too Damn High” Party. ~Bob. Excerpt: We told you that tonight's New York gubernatorial debate—with seven participants!—would be crazy, but we could have never anticipated this level of it: watch as Jimmy McMillan, of the "Rent Is Too Damn High" party, uh... introduces himself.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen With The New Health Law?
Excerpt: But according to an analysis by The Heritage Foundation, the health overhaul could end up costing American taxpayers millions of dollars in higher health insurance premiums or put a tremendous amount of pressure on an already soaring national debt. The foundation offers an interactive Web calculator where readers can test their own judgments about the effect of the law, too. We investigated what would happen to the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeping arm of Congress charged with analyzing the budget implications of legislative proposals, if different assumptions were made about how the health overhaul will work. This is important because, during the health reform legislative debates, CBO provided Congress with cost estimates and impact reports about the bill. But CBO scores can be gamed. One rule Congress has repeatedly abused is that the CBO must score legislation as if all the provisions in a bill end up being enacted exactly as intended. But that rarely ever happens, especially with a law that calls for a massive change to one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

ObamaCare forces Boeing to reduce coverage for employees
Boeing in now trying to walk this back. They are in Washington state, where there is a tight Senate race, and this will be an issue. ~Bob. Excerpt: The news yesterday from Boeing that it would cut back its health-care insurance plans and require greater employee contributions got plenty of play as an unintended consequence of ObamaCare, but that’s actually not true. This is a feature of the Democrats’ health-care overhaul plan, not a bug. And while it certainly won’t play well with Washington voters, any kind of actual reform would almost certainly have to take a similar path: Aerospace giant Boeing is joining the list of companies that say the new health care law could have a potential downside for their workers. In a letter mailed to employees late last week, the company cited the overhaul as part of the reason it is asking some 90,000 nonunion workers to pay significantly more for their health plan next year. A copy of the letter was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Virginia 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers
Excerpt: A textbook distributed to Virginia fourth-graders says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War -- a claim rejected by most historians but often made by groups seeking to play down slavery's role as a cause of the conflict. The passage appears in "Our Virginia: Past and Present," which was distributed in the state's public elementary schools for the first time last month. The author, Joy Masoff, who is not a trained historian but has written several books, said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history. Virginia education officials, after being told by The Washington Post of the issues related to the textbook, said that the vetting of the book was flawed and that they will contact school districts across the state to caution them against teaching the passage.

Charles Lollar is pinning down Hoyer
I sent Lollar a small contribution. Brother Marine and one of the exciting crop of black Republican candidates this year. ~Bob. Excerpt: You know the Democrats are in trouble when Steny Hoyer hits the airwaves in his campaign to retain his seat in Congress. Hoyer, whose seat was generously drawn for him by Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, usually uses his campaign largesse to benefit his Democratic Party colleagues with little thought of himself. That changed due to an aggressive campaign by first-time candidate Charles Lollar, who is making inroads into previous Hoyer strongholds in Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties. Lollar, who served in the Marine Corps, is taking the same no-nonsense approach to going after the previously unassailable Hoyer that has earned the U.S. Marine Corps worldwide respect and, yes, a little bit of fear. Steny, who famously bragged in past campaigns that he is a “tax, tax, spend, spend Democrat,” has, through the magic of political advertising, been transformed into a statesman whom the good people of the 5th congressional district of Maryland cannot do without. Of course, Steny’s tenure as the No. 2 in Congress has been shaky at best. Unemployment has skyrocketed during his four years, the national debt has ballooned to unsustainable levels, and voters have demanded change for two election cycles in a row. In fact, Gallup found that Steny’s Congress would get excited about their dramatically higher popularity if they just could become as popular as big banks or organized labor. Unfortunately for Steny, unlike in 2008, he is the target of the demand for change in 2010. Further, he isn’t getting to run against a tomato can, as Republicans nominated Lollar, whose fiery rhetoric has stirred passions not only in the Tea Party, but also among both the large veteran and African-American communities that Hoyer has traditionally depended upon for his victory margins. Now Hoyer is forced to do something that he really hasn’t had to do much of since he faced Larry Hogan back in the late 1980s — connect with voters and ask to retain his job.

Even in Liberal Bastions, GOP Sees Election Chance
Excerpt: In the congressional district that's home to the Kennedy family compound, a Kennedy public skating rink and a Kennedy museum, the heart of liberalism is beating uneasily. Republican Jeff Perry is making a serious bid to take over a seat held by Democrats for nearly 40 years -- and it's just one of nearly 100 seats across the country that now appear under at least some threat of slipping away from the majority party and giving control of the U.S. House to the GOP. At least 75 House seats -- the vast majority held by Democrats -- are at serious risk of changing hands, and roughly 25 more where Democrats were assumed to have the upper hand have tightened in recent weeks, raising the possibility that some could flip to the Republicans as well. Perry, a Massachusetts state representative, is in one of those contests here in the 10th Congressional District, which stretches from Quincy, just outside Boston, along Cape Cod and across to the vacation playgrounds of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. He is talking tough on taxes, immigration reform and the health care law, and he's locked in a competitive race with Democrat William Keating for the open seat. It's a surprising turn in Massachusetts and just one of nearly a dozen contests across the country illustrating trouble in Democratic paradise. Republicans have long believed they have a chance to win back the House, and possibly the Senate. Now, emboldened by polls showing even more of their candidates running strongly, they're reaching into territory where Democrats were thought to be safe, in races from New York to Georgia to Wisconsin and Arizona. Even the longest-serving Democrat, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, who has coasted to re-election in recent years, is mounting an aggressive campaign against his GOP challenger, Rob Steele. Amid whispers that Dingell could be in danger, the Democrats' House campaign arm last month issued a memo saying he would win but adding pointedly: "All Democratic incumbents should take a page out of his playbook and 'run scared' each cycle, especially 2010, even if they are not truly afraid of losing."

China to limit exports of ‘rare earth’ minerals vital to energy tech
The vast majority of Americans could tell you the candidates on American Idol, but not why “rare earth” materials are important. A major reason we are in such a mess. ~Bob. Excerpt: China is planning new restrictions on the export of “rare earth” materials used in low-carbon energy technologies, a move that could stoke Capitol Hill fears about access to supplies and further inflame U.S.-China tensions over energy-related trade. The state-owned China Daily, citing a senior Ministry of Commerce official, reported Tuesday that China will “further reduce quotas for rare earth exports by 30 percent at most next year to protect the precious metals from over-exploitation.” “He added that the country is now facing the possibility that reserves of medium and heavy rare earths might run dry within 15 to 20 years if the current rate of production is maintained. Export quotas will continue to be axed in the first half of next year, said the source who declined to be named,” the story adds.

China cuts off "rare earth" minerals needed for "green" agenda
Excerpt: ...the Achilles heel of the Obama green energy agenda -- which involves a stifling of carbon-based energy use through taxation and regulation in favor of "green" energy sources -- failed to take into account that green energy technology depended heavily on "rare earth" minerals mined almost exclusively in China. Once again, this near monopoly is coming home to roost, as China has announced an across-the-board cut back in rare earth exports. As reported by The New York Times...Obama merely is trading our dependence on foreign oil -- as to which there are numerous suppliers -- for dependence on a single foreign source of green technology raw materials.

Senate Republicans spending money in Alaska
If tea Party candidates Miller in Alaska, Paul in Kentucky, Angle in Nevada and O’Donnell in Delaware all lose and keep liberals in control of the US Senate, the Tea Party will have proven to be the best ally of the socialist left and big government this year. I hope not, but we shall see. ~Bob. Excerpt: The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $162,000 on an independent expenditure effort in Alaska, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission today. The lion's share of the NRSC independent expenditure in the Last Frontier when to National Media, a Republican media consulting firm -- suggesting that the committee may be going on television. A spokesman for the NRSC said he couldn't comment on the buy, citing separation between the NRSC and its independent expenditure arm. The committee's financial involvement in the race suggests the party is growing concerned about the prospects of attorney Joe Miller (R) as he faces a three way race against Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) who is running as a write-in candidate. (Murkowski lost an Aug. 24 primary to Miller.) Miller has struggled this week amid revelations that his security guards handcuffed a blogger who was trying to ask Miller about allegations that he had misused government computers during his time as a government attorney.

Speaker Pelosi's ‘majority makers’ are facing possible electoral doom
In 2008, the public wanted a change from Bush. The Democrats though they wanted a change to European socialism, just as the wheels are coming off that model. ~Bob. Excerpt: Two-term Democrats, whose victories helped secure the Speaker’s job for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are facing the possibility of a near-wipeout in the Nov. 2 election. Of 10 reelection races involving sophomore Democrats, Republican challengers are ahead in six and tied in two more, according to The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll. The fact that these Democrats, dubbed “majority makers” by Pelosi, are in jeopardy is a clear indication that the GOP has a good chance to run the House again after four years in the minority. Of 32 battleground districts polled so far by The Hill this fall, Democrats are leading in only three, with four races tied. Republicans are ahead in 25.

Blog comment just in on “I’m Tired” from Down Under
If I can just reply first to Forti Radici (a good WASP name?); the object is NOT about who is or is not illegal, but about the integration of those who choose to become part of our society. In Australia (where I am), we have a problem with a minority left-wing government who want to throw the gates open and allow uncontrolled access to whoever wants to pass through them. This is NOT what the people of Australia want, although a minority government seems to think it can bull it through legislation. Then we have the problems currently plaguing France and Scandinavia with their Islamic immigrants DEMANDING Sharia law and refusing to integrate with the local populace (we already have the integration problem here). Now to get back to the original comment; we have fought for a right to life in the way we want it. This does not mean we want it to change at the whim of a politician desperate to pick up another couple of points in the popularity scale, but to look at our country in a realistic sense and listen to the electorate instead of thinking of where their next taxpayer-funded trip is going to be to. Thank you for this blog and good luck with your tilting at the political windmill.

La Dolce Vita
Excerpt: Did you know that Hispanic Americans live longer than non-Hispanic whites? If that doesn’t knock your socks off, consider this: American Hispanics are three times as likely to be uninsured as non-Hispanic whites. If you’re still not blown away, maybe you haven’t been following the twists and turns of the health policy debate. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) discovery that Hispanics (one-third of whom are uninsured) have a life expectancy that is 2 1/2 years longer than whites (90% of whom have health insurance) makes mincemeat out of the oft-repeated argument for health reform. To wit: the uninsured get less health care and die earlier than everyone else.

Obama’s U.N. ‘Engagement’ Swindle
Excerpt: As gross human-rights violations continue to plague much of our planet, the U.N.’s lead human-rights body, the Human Rights Council, remains fixated on Israel, leaving the Obama administration in need of a strategy for justifying its policy of “engagement,” and particularly American membership in the HRC. The new strategy of choice? Misrepresentation. The State Department has posted on its website an account, photo and all, of HRC action on an egregious human-rights violation — action that didn’t happen. Soon after he took office, President Obama decided the United States should join the HRC. On October 1, the last day of the HRC’s most recent session, the United States’ U.N. mission to Geneva issued a press release heralding the administration’s engagement approach. Ambassador Eileen Donahoe, who chaired the finance committee of National Women for Obama during the 2008 campaign, is quoted as declaring that the council has “made historic progress . . . in advancing the rights of human-rights defenders throughout the world.” But her sales pitch depends on a serious distortion of events. By the time this “historic” session advancing human rights had ended, the council had spent the same amount of time on its agenda item devoted entirely to Israel-bashing as on its single agenda item on all the “human-rights situations that require the Council’s attention” anywhere else in the world. Tallying all the resolutions that the Council adopted targeting any of the 192 U.N. member states, there were two resolutions condemning Israel, one resolution on “assistance” to Somalia, one on “advisory services and technical assistance” to Cambodia, and one “congratulat[ing] the Government and the people of the Sudan for . . . the April 2010 elections.” Those were the widely criticized elections that handed President Bashir another term after 21 years in office, notwithstanding that he has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court. Justifying American membership on the council and the legitimization that U.S. membership brings is, therefore, a challenge. But few would have expected that the administration would attempt to meet that challenge by leading the American public to believe the council had held a meeting to respond to a terrible human-rights violation — when in fact no such meeting had taken place. Since late July, gang rapes have been systematically carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and impunity for the rapists has been standard practice. The attackers are mostly members of rebel militias, but government troops have also been implicated. Victims have included baby boys and women aged 110. U.N. peacekeepers stationed just 20 miles away, and warned of impending violence, did nothing to stop 240 rapes over a four-day period in early August. Given what we know about the council’s routine in the case of Israel, it could have held a special session, or held an urgent debate during September’s regular session, or started an investigation, or adopted a resolution condemning the atrocities and demanding that the perpetrators be prosecuted. The council did none of the above.

Fewer good men to defend us: Cutting the Marine Corps would be a risky strategy
Excerpt: In an Aug. 12 speech, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates publicly directed the Marine Corps to conduct a detailed Force Structure Review "to determine what an 'expeditionary-force-in-readiness' should look like in the 21st century." The U.S.Marine Corps' Force Structure Review Group, led by Brig. Gen. Daniel J. O'Donohue, convened in Quantico, Va., on Sept. 14 and expects to complete its review by Dec. 17. With all things defense-related under fiscal scrutiny, the review group knows the stakes are high (witness the Joint Forces Command on the chopping block) but the Corps is officially not worried and recognizes that periodic reviews and assessments are normal and necessary to ensure that it remains the country's premier expeditionary fighting force. Nevertheless, that this review has been called for now - out of cycle from the normal Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review period - is somewhat provocative. The Corps stands on the eve of a potential challenge to its very existence - actually, this is the 12th such challenge in the force's history. Marines of all ranks recognize the need to return to their service's naval roots, and they understand the necessity of refining their expeditionary capabilities in order to remain "the most ready when the nation is the least ready." Marines know conventional belligerents continue to be a future concern but realize nontraditional enemies and transnational, irregular threats remain on the immediate horizon. Yet in this evolving era of ever-increasing budgetary restraint, the Marine Corps appears to many pundits as redundant - a "second land army" ripe for reduction - and to some, as a superfluous force primed for absorption into the other services. This eagerness to trim - or eliminate - the Marine Corps stems from a fundamental collective misperception: National anticipation of the end of America's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has fomented an almost giddy expectation that such withdrawal equates with an end to the current hostilities. The reality is that this conflict - the "long war" in many official narratives, even to this day - has the potential to span decades. Enemy propagandists repeatedly refer to their "hundred-year campaign" against us. This longevity does not mean we can sustain carefree defense spending, nor should we refrain from frugality. However, Mr. Gates himself in August cautioned against "choosing to forget history" by turning inward, "unilaterally disarming and dismantling institutions important to our national security." He noted that four times previously our nation has attempted to give itself a "peace dividend" - and four times we have had to "rebuild and rearm, at a huge cost in blood and treasure." There is no denying the high cost associated with maintaining a robust military work force; for Marines, personnel expenses make up approximately 57 percent of the Corps' budget. Thus, end-strength reduction would seem a foregone conclusion for the review group, and any Corps growth seems extremely unlikely - even though the recent Perry-Hadley analysis of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review envisioned a Corps of up to 243,000. Yet as people talk of inevitable reductions, and despite the fact that today's Corps costs less than 7 percent of the base-line 2010 defense budget, it's hard to not ponder how much blood and treasure might have been saved had our deployed forces had adequate numbers in the pre-surge Iraq years of 2004-07 and before the Corps grew from 176,000 to roughly 202,000. Now, with Somalia's al-Shabab and Yemen's al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula already posing credible threats just for starters, Americans everywhere undeniably would benefit from a future Marine Corps equipped and staffed in sufficient strength to respond rapidly wherever and whenever required. Clear examples of the enduring vitality of - and necessity for - a strong expeditionary service include ongoing operations to support Pakistanis with humanitarian assistance in the wake of catastrophic flooding, as well as the recent capture of Somali pirates by force-reconnaissance Marines. It's also worth considering that during previous times of crisis, the Corps' end-strength was significantly higher: more than 475,000 in 1944, 249,000 in 1953 and 309,000 in 1969. Assuming the enemy will not raise the white flag anytime soon, downsizing now is somewhat akin to cutting much of the starting football team after the first game of the playoffs - but with life-and-death repercussions. Marines will, of course, continue to "do more with less," and the public shouldn't expect any "bended knee" speeches on Capitol Hill in 2011. Nevertheless, let's hope that as Mr. Gates, Congress and other senior leaders evaluate the forthcoming recommendations of the review group, the U.S.Marine Corps maintains enough trust, confidence and support to be able to continue to win our nation's battles. Lt. Col. Glen Butler is a U.S. Marine. These views are his own and do not represent those of the U.S. Marine Corps. (Nicely done summary of the way things really are. The Corps comes under attack every few decades or so from beancounters who, as the saying goes "know the cost of everything but the value of nothing". Not doing amphibious landings recently doesn't really have much to do with the value of the Corps to the nation. Marines, current and former, all know this, and so do a lot of other people. But we have to hope that this Administration doesn't somehow bull through a forced reduction of the Corps, when the future in this uncertain world is certain about continued challenges from enemies of the USA. S/F --Del)

Why gov't can't build--It's hamstrung by liberals
Excerpt: It took 410 days to build the Empire State Building, four years to erect the Golden Gate Bridge. The Pentagon took a year and a half, the Alaska Highway just nine months. These days it takes longer to build an overpass. For instance, planning for Boston's "Big Dig" officially began in the early 1980s with a budget of $2.6 billion, but ground wasn't broken until 1991 and the last ramp wasn't opened until 2006. The final estimated cost: $22 billion. The Boston Globe reports it won't be paid off until 2038. Meanwhile, the "race" to rebuild the World Trade Center as some kind of remorse theme park approaches its second decade. Across the harbor from Ground Zero, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has earned scorn for thinking that a proposed underwater rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey might be too pricey. Under discussion for decades, it was originally projected to cost $5 billion. Estimates are now $9 billion and rising. Christie still might reverse course if he can cut a better deal for his state. But the underlying fact remains the same: The country can't build stuff the way it used to. It's taken President Obama nearly two years and billions of dollars in misspent stimulus money to discover there really is "no such thing as shovel-ready jobs" when it comes to public works. The simple reality is that Uncle Sam's arteries are hardened. In Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, President George W. Bush's allegedly tardy response was seen as proof that conservatism was inadequate to the demands of responsible government. But it wasn't conservatism that had some volunteer firefighters out of commission because they were in Atlanta for sexual-harassment training. Nor does conservatism demand blind obedience to the Davis-Bacon Act, the union-friendly rule used to pump up wages on every project.

ObamaCare Is Already Costing Americans
Excerpt: Six months ago, the health care reform bill became law. Prior to its passage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condescendingly announced, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." President Obama also assured Americans that health care “reforms will finally reduce the costs of health care Families will save on their premiums.” Contrary to the president’s assurance, unfortunately, the health care reform legislation is already causing a substantial increase in medical insurance premiums. We are also finding expensive provisions in this act that we did not know were there, including a hidden 3.8 percent sales tax on the sale of certain residential real estate and a burdensome Internal Revenue Service filing requirement on small business. Based on anecdotal evidence from business owners, insurance brokers and the media, insurance premiums on policies renewed for 2010 and 2011 are increasing 20 percent to 40 percent. These rising premiums are driven by mandated coverage which includes free or low cost preventive care, non-exclusion of children with pre-existing medical conditions, required coverage for children up to age 26 and elimination of lifetime medical reimbursement limits. Americans may recall that Obama promised, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” While this mandated coverage in the health care reform legislation may be desired by some people who are willing to pay the cost, there are certainly other medical insurance consumers who would rather have their current lower cost coverage. However, under the legislation, contrary to the president’s assurance, they are not permitted to keep their preferred lower cost health care plans. The health care reform legislation also will have a devastating impact on the spending power of working Americans and our economy as the higher premiums kick in. In order to understand this impact, it is instructive to look at the actual impact of the legislation on a small company. In 2010, this company’s plan cost approximately $15,000 per year for family health care coverage, of which the company paid 60 percent and the employee paid 40 percent. For 2011, the premium for this coverage will increase 30 percent, or $4,500. The average non-management employee in this company earns $30,000 per year. The employee’s share of the increased premium will cost $1,800. That is equivalent to a 6 percent pay cut for the average worker! The legislation will not allow him to keep his old policy at a lower cost.

Rise of the Bitter Clingers
Excerpt: Many of my more enlightened friends like to ask me: How could someone as intellectually gifted, delightfully urbane, profoundly moral and breathlessly handsome not want to spit at these stupid tea party candidates, with their stupid positions and their stupid stupidity? (That's slightly embellished; obviously, I'm not that handsome.) Do I wish there were more articulate and intellectual free market candidates? Sure I do. But alas, Americans are in no mood for know-it-alls who think sailing is a sport. Do I wish that science-challenged believers would resist the urge to raise their hands when asked whether they believe the world is 5,000 years old? God, yes. But an election offers limited choices. Take Delaware, where voters can pick a candidate who had a youthful flirtation with witchcraft or one who dabbled in collectivist economic theory. Only one of those faiths has gained traction in Washington the past few years. And as far as I can tell, there is no pagan lobby. (I’d note the difference that “witches” were routinely persecuted and murdered, while the collectivist states of the 20th century, Red China, the USSR and Nazi Germany were the largest mass murderers in history, in that order. ~Bob.)

ICE Admits Dumping Over 500,000 Convicted Criminal Illegal Immigrants Back on American Streets…
Crime must be one of those jobs “Americans won’t do.” Except in political office, of course. ~Bob. Excerpt: Prince William Board chairman Corey Stewart told The Examiner that a top aide at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement admitted to him that ICE has released more than a half million convicted criminal illegal immigrants back into American communities instead of deporting them. Stewart also says that he is still waiting for information he requested about the whereabouts of some 2,739 criminals convicted in Prince William County since 2007 and sent to ICE for deportation. County police officers have already recaptured 249 of these felons.

Malarial mosquitoes helped defeat British in battle that ended Revolutionary War
Excerpt: Major combat operations in the American Revolution ended 229 years ago on Oct. 19, at Yorktown. For that we can thank the fortitude of American forces under George Washington, the siegecraft of French troops of Gen. Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, the count of Rochambeau - and the relentless bloodthirstiness of female Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitoes. Those tiny amazons conducted covert biological warfare against the British army. Female mosquitoes seek mammalian blood to provide the proteins they need to make eggs. No blood meal, no reproduction. It makes them bold and determined to bite. Some anopheles mosquitoes carry the malaria parasite, which they can inject into human bloodstreams when taking their meals. In eastern North America, A. quadrimaculatus was the sole important malaria vector. It carried malaria from person to person, and susceptible humans carried it from mosquito to mosquito. In the 18th century, no one suspected that mosquitoes carried diseases. Malaria, still one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world, was a widespread scourge in North America until little more than a century ago. (A bit of little-known history. I'm surprised we didn't learn this date in American history class; it's certainly worth remembering. Ron P. Malaria is making a big comeback in the world, killing millions, thanks to Rachel Carson and the greenies banning DDT. ~Bob.)

Good health news: Whiskey for Pain,9171,765583,00.html
Hell, a few drams of Single Malt Scotch Whisky—note the proper spelling—used to make me bullet proof! ~Bob. Excerpt: "Whiskey is one of the cheapest and best painkillers known to man." So reported Dr. Harold George Wolff of Cornell last week to the Association of American Physicians meeting at Atlantic City. Earlier doctors, he said, prescribed whiskey freely but were finally forced to discard it for "moral and ethical considerations.'' In their experiments, Drs. Wolff, James D. Hardy and Helen Goodell tried a mixture of two ounces of 95% grain alcohol in a glass of ginger ale on themselves, found that it raises the "threshold" of pain 45% for two hours. Two ounces of 90-proof whiskey will turn the same trick. If a five-grain tablet of aspirin is added, any pain can be dulled for four hours. Dr. Wolff urged his colleagues to return to the use of whiskey for "persons suffering continuously," especially cancer victims. Said he: "It is cheaper than morphine. ... Of course alcohol is habit-forming but an alcohol habit is less difficult to deal with than a morphine habit."

The Face that Changes Everything
With the filing of a lawsuit in the baby Shanice case, the issue of babies born alive after an attempted abortion is once again in the spotlight. In 2006, 18-year-old Sycloria Williams determined that she didn’t have the resources or the maturity to rear a child. After she scheduled the abortion, Williams was given medication to dilate her cervix. She arrived at the clinic the next day. When the doctor failed to show up, Williams delivered a baby girl. At that point, her attorney said, "She came face to face with a human being, and that changed everything." Williams named her baby girl Shanice. I hope that if everyone who favors abortion comes face to face with a baby Shanice shortly after an attempted abortion, their opinion on abortion would change. Although hopeful, I am not naïve. I know that sin exists and resides in the hearts of people. What happened next is unforgivable. According to the lawsuit, a clinic worker, not licensed to practice medicine, knocked the baby onto the floor, cut the child’s unclamped umbilical cord, allowing the baby to bleed out. The clinic worker tossed the baby, placenta, and everything else into a biohazard bag and threw it out. An autopsy revealed little Shanice had filled her lungs with air, evidence that she was born alive.

Under Cruel Rules
Excerpt: U.S. troops at the sharp end in Afghanistan are chafing under (1) an impossible deadline, (2) a blurring definition of the enemy and (3) inhuman rules of engagement. Whatever the plan is here, it's not victory. It's enough that American troops are being asked to risk their lives in Afghanistan against a barbaric and remorseless enemy whose original act was to enable the 9/11 terror attacks on U.S. soil. Now they must do so under increasingly insane rules handed down from above. On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported that our troops are forbidden to defend themselves as Taliban terrorists fire rockets at U.S. forward-operating bases. The reason? The terrorists may be within 500 feet of civilian villages. Our forces have also been ordered to remove watchtowers because villagers' "privacy" might be violated. Never mind the mortar shells raining down on the Americans. Finally, our troops have been commanded to cease combat if a Taliban terrorist drops his weapon after firing his. With the Taliban given such strategic advantages, it's no wonder our forces are seeing some of the war's highest casualties. (I feel like it's 1974 again and we get to watch a situation go right to hell because of politicians preventing any chance of real victory. And we're paying in blood for this approaching disaster. --Del)

Vindication for the Ohio National Guard
Excerpt: Here is a follow-up to the post from May on the shooting at Kent State following the burning of the ROTC building and general riots that took place in 1970. A tape recording of the 1970 shooting deaths of four Kent State University students by Ohio National Guardsmen reveals the sound of pistol shots 70 seconds earlier, a newspaper reported Friday citing the work of a forensic audio expert. The finding lends support to a theory that the guardsmen thought they were being shot at during a campus Vietnam War protest. Witnesses said at the time that an FBI informant monitoring the protest fired warning shots because he felt threatened. The National Guard opened fire on student protesters on May 4, 1970, killing four and injuring nine others. Eight guardsmen were acquitted of federal civil rights charges four years later. Many believe the events contributed to the change in the public's attitude toward the war, which ended five years later. The reel-to-reel audio recording was made by a Kent State student who placed a microphone at a windowsill in his dormitory, which overlooked the antiwar rally. He later turned the tape over to the FBI. A copy eventually wound up in a Yale University archive.

Top 10 ways government kills jobs in America
Excerpt: In general, the worst thing for job creation is a poor entrepreneurial climate. Such a climate is brought on by the large fiscal debt, unpredictable health care costs, and a generally anti-business and pro-regulation approach by government. In the run-up to the midterm elections, all of us should be thinking about “climate change”—about the best ways to create jobs in our nation. We’ll hear lots of talk about recovery and stimulus, about fairness and equity, the future and change. As we listen to the rhetoric, remember the reality. These are the Top job killers in America.

Report: In Obama's Chicago, stimulus weatherization money buys shoddy work, widespread fraud
Here in Cook County? Who would believe it? ~Bob. Excerpt: The study, by the Department's inspector general, examined the work of what's called the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP, in Illinois. Last year, the Department awarded Illinois $242 million, which was expected to pay for the weatherization of 27,000 homes. Specifically, Energy Department inspectors took a close look at the troubled operations of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, known as CEDA, which is the largest recipient of weatherization money in Illinois with $91 million to weatherize 12,500 homes. (Cook County is, of course, home to Chicago.) The findings are grim. "Our testing revealed substandard performance in weatherization workmanship, initial assessments, and contractor billing," the inspector general report says. "These problems were of such significance that they put the integrity of the entire program at risk." Department inspectors visited 15 homes that were being weatherized by CEDA and paid for by stimulus funds. "We found that 14 of the 15 homes…failed final inspection because of poor workmanship and/or inadequate initial assessments," the report says. In eight of the homes, CEDA had come up with unworkable and ineffective plans -- like putting attic insulation in a house with a leaky roof. In ten of the homes, "contractors billed for labor charges that had not been incurred and for materials that had not been installed." The report calls billing problems "pervasive," with seven of ten contractors being cited for erroneous invoicing. And the department found "a 62 percent final inspection error rate" when CEDA inspectors reviewed their own work.

Historic Illiteracy: Idiot Sarah Palin "Party Like It's 1773" After The Election!
Excerpt: I mean, 1773?! WOW. Glad I wasn't the only one who caught this latest Palin gaffe:…..

How Could Our Leaders Do This to Our Troops?
Because they are Democrats and think the troops will vote Republican. That’s how. ~Bob. Excerpt: It’s utterly amazing that our nation’s leadership is able to send our troops around the world and overnight have sleeping quarters (known in military parlance as “billets”) constructed to house them. It is equally amazing that the required arms (bullets) can be shipped with equally profound efficiency and timely deliverance to any spot determined by that same leadership, anywhere in the world. And yet, the same leadership fails to deliver election ballots to the very people who defend the right to vote for every other American. Is that a failure in leadership? I come to this moment of truth not as a Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian, far left or far right zealot but as an American. As a former United States marine, I find it utterly unconscionable that our troops are denied the same rights as those citizens who refuse to even bend over and pick up a piece of trash they have so selfishly discarded on the street…

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