Sunday, April 17, 2011

Political Digest for April 17, 2011

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. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

DSCC Totes
I see the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee is offering "I am the Firewall" tote bags to anyone contributing $50 or more. Maybe the GOP should counter with, "I am the fire!"

Contributions Needed
I see that Rahm Emanuel is seeking contributions for his inaugural. That created a dilemma. Usually if I have $25 left at the end of the month, I support the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation or the Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund. But with Rahm in need, what to do? Then I remembered I don't do any business with the City of Chicago. Problem solved.

Important: As Prosser Wins, the Dems Get the Blame for Wisconsin
Excerpt: In the only truly non-partisan, non-ideological study of its kind, a special task force of the Milwaukee Police Department concluded that massive fraud and incompetence existed in Wisconsin’s election system. Republicans were eager to reform the system, but most Democrats refused to even discuss it. Despite the Democrats’ failure to act, no Democrat or liberal ever refuted the substance of the study, nor did they make any effort even to address the incompetence issue. Why would the Democrats want to allow the incompetence in the system to stand? A cynic would say it would allow fraud to continue. In the police study, the police task force found that 16 staffers for the Democrat presidential campaign and a liberal allied group committed felony vote fraud and engaged in an “illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of an election in the state of Wisconsin.” Yet not one was prosecuted. (This really puts the effort to reform the voting process in proper perspective. Ron P.)

Must Read: NY1 Exclusive: Donald Trump Slams "Evil" Bush, Praises Obama
Worst possible choice for Republicans. Contributed $24k to corrupt Democrat Charlie Rangel. Bar none. ~Bob. Excerpt: November 11, 2008. "McCain, really, that was almost an impossible situation," said Trump. Bush has been so bad, maybe the worst president in the history of this country. He has been so incompetent, so bad, so evil that I don't think any Republican could have won."

Dutch Cabinet to Get Tough on Jobless Europeans and Bad Employers
Excerpt: The new rules state EU citizens with no means of support will have to leave the country and those who spend more than three months looking for a job will also lose their right to stay. Welfare (bijstand), the basic social security payment for people will no other means of support, will only be paid to people who speak Dutch. Claimants must complete a course to qualify. The requirement to speak Dutch will affect everyone, not just EU citizens. The cabinet is also to make sure all ‘work migrants’ are registered with the immigration service and their local authority and to require local councils to check up that people have proper housing. It also wants housing corporations and local authorities to take more account of the needs of migrants in housing policy.

Pajamas Media Exclusive: Did Obama and Holder Scuttle Terror Finance Prosecutions?
Excerpt: The actions by the DOJ to crush these prosecutions are just another schizophrenic episode in the U.S. government’s ongoing relationship with Islamic organizations, especially CAIR. After CAIR was named unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial, the FBI was forced to cut ties with the group. In an April 2009 letter to Sen. Jon Kyl, FBI Assistant Director Richard Powers said that “the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner." And a February 2010 letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to four congressmen who inquired about the termination of the relationship between the FBI and CAIR — just weeks before the DOJ officially ceased further prosecutions, including of CAIR co-founders — elaborated on the evidence about CAIR that had emerged from the Holy Land trial. Yet, according to my DOJ source, CAIR leaders continue to be regularly received by top DOJ and FBI officials despite the official ban and these statements made to members of Congress.

Hamas Claims Israel Killed Italian Activist to Stop Gaza Flotilla
Excerpt: Radical Islamic terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip distanced themselves from the kidnapping and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, who was found dead early Friday morning in the Strip. Among the groups who disclaimed the attack was Tawhid wal-Jihad, the al-Qaida-linked group that had initially said it was holding the Italian national and said they would only release him if their own leader, recently arrested by Hamas, was released, Gaza-based newspaper Palestine Today reported. Hamas also condemned the killing, saying that it was a shameful act, contrary to the tradition of the Palestinian people. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the "goal of this depraved band of outlaws was to spread chaos and anarchy in the Gaza Strip, a desperate attempt to strike at the stable security situation." (Why blame the killing on Israel? Because they didn't think even the American media would buy global warming or George Bush as the culprit. ~Bob.)

Police Recall Seconds Before ‘Worshipper’ Detonated Bomb
Didn't get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Just as the preacher had begun to recite the Takbiratul Ihram, where calls of “Allah is Great” marks the inaugural part of prayers, a man detonated a bomb strapped to his body at a mosque in the city of Cirebon on Friday. Witnesses said the suicide bomber, wearing a thick coat, was praying at the time but appeared “distracted” and seemed to be eyeing the police chief. The suicide bomber wounded at least 26 people at the Al Dzikr mosque within the Cirebon Police precinct, in the first suicide attack on a mosque in the country. According to the Globe’s sources, the bomb, a low explosive, contained potassium chlorate and was packed with nails.

Excerpt: The Clark County deputy district attorney who prosecuted Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars (both were arrested for coke possession) quit Friday following his arrest for felony conspiracy and cocaine possession on Mar. 19. David Schubert allegedly purchased crack three to four times a week in a Las Vegas neighborhood east of The Strip. Schubert was not only a high-profile prosecutor, but also a member of the state's drug task force.

The Bill Clinton Bargain: How Corporations Invest in US Politicians to Enhance Their Image and Boost Their Stocks Running for office reaps big rewards. Just being seen with a candidate can nudge you up the NASDAQ. The lucrative career of playboy Bill Clinton provides plenty of evidence. In his excellent book, King of Cons, former charity fundraiser Aaron Tonken explained how businessmen would pay top dollar for a photograph with the incumbent President in the belief that a handshake would look like an endorsement and boost stock prices. It’s a fantastic read: the scenes of grown men bribing and pushing their way into the President’s company are hilarious. Tonken’s claims were discredited by his later arrest for fraud, but hindsight suggests he was spot on. Just one example (and you can find two more here and here) of the culture of cronyism is the relationship between Clinton and the CEO of InfoUSA, Vin Gupta. Gupta was a big donor to Clinton while he was in office. In return, Clinton let him spend the night in the White House and appointed him to the board of directors of the Kennedy Center. After Clinton stepped down from the presidency, Gupta hired him as a consultant for $3.3 million. It’s a big investment, but Gupta calculated that Clinton’s efforts and star power attracted $40 million in return. Some have also suggested that Hillary Clinton sold valuable activist lists to Gupta, and only Gupta. Years of loyalty had bought access to a couple that Pat Buchanan pithily called ‘The Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of American liberals."

SF Medic Saves Girl Shot in Head by Taliban
Excerpt: U. S. Special Operations Forces provided medical treatment to an injured young girl who was shot in the head by insurgent forces in the village of Diware Surkh on April 14.

A Floundering Presidency Heading for a Fall? Barack Obama Hits Rock Bottom in Latest Gallup Poll
Count not your chickens. ~Bob. Excerpt: The latest Gallup Daily tracking three-day average represents a new low for Barack Obama, with just 41 percent of Americans approving his job performance as president. This matches his previous lows in August 2010 and October 2010, just before the mid-term elections, and it is significantly down from his 2011 average of 48 percent. The president’s disapproval rating now stands at 50 percent, the highest point since August last year. In contrast, George W. Bush’s approval rating at this stage of his presidency stood at 70 percent (April 2003), and the average for US presidents in the ninth quarter stands at 57 percent. Disconcertingly for the White House, his ratings have plummeted among independents, from an average of 44 percent in 2011 to just 35 percent this week, devastating figures if translated at the ballot box in 2012, where securing the independent vote will be vital. Even among Democrats, support for the president is now running at just 77 percent, down four points from the 2011 average, and down seven points from the average for 2009-11. As Gallup points out, Obama is now as unpopular as he has been at any stage of his presidency:

Worth Reading: Mark Steyn: Doubling Down on a Bad Bet
Excerpt: How do you "invest in the future"? By borrowing $188 million every hour. That's what the Government of the United States is doing. It's spending one-fifth of a billion dollars it doesn't have every hour of every day of every week – all for your future! Most of the "futures" we've "invested" in are already at record levels of spending. Obama and his speechwriters are among the laziest men in the republic, so they cite the same dreary examples every time. In all three of his State of the Union addresses, he's brought up the highway system, and he did so again in Chicago at the end of the week. If the Republicans get their way, he said, "we can't invest in roads and bridges and broadband and high-speed rail. I mean, we would be a nation of potholes." That's the choice, is it? Multitrillion-dollar government "investment" or a nation of potholes? America "invests" a lot in roads. It has more highway signs than almost any other country: not just mile markers but fifth-of-a-mile markers; not just "Stop" signs, but four-way "Stop" signs, and "Stop Sign Ahead" signs, and, one day soon, "Stop Sign Ahead Sign Ahead" signs. America also has the worst automobile fatality rate in the developed world, in part because there's so much fascinating reading material on the shoulder. Our automobile fatality rate is three times that of the Netherlands, about the same as Albania, down at 62 in the global rankings, just ahead of Tajikistan and Papua New Guinea. But don't worry, if we ever do become "a nation of potholes," you can bet there'll be federally mandated "Pothole Ahead" signs in front of each one.

Russia Considers Polygamy To Reverse Its Decline
Excerpt: Faced with a shortage of men, Russia has an ongoing and open debate about legalizing polygamy. As Pravda reports, Muslim dating websites in the country include “Married, looking for another wife” as a category. But advocates of polygamy include ethnic Russians, too.

Bumper Sticker: Dads Against Daughters Dating Democrats

I can't remember a more depressing week in Washington. The Republicans boasted a heroic accomplishment: slashing $38.5 billion from the budget, purportedly the largest cuts in history. But strip away the gimmicks and shine a light on the shadows, and it turns out the real cuts amounted to $352 million, or less than 1 percent of what was promised. America borrows $4 billion a day. So we likely borrowed more than we cut in the amount of time the GOP leadership spent bragging about its "victory."

The Mendacity of Barack Obama
Excerpt: Over my 45+ years in the business community, both domestic and international, I have dealt with an overwhelming variety of people of all races and political philosophies. Men and women who were thoroughly honest and many who had no concept of honor and integrity. Among them were those who would do or say anything to achieve their ends and do so with a straight face and an air of self-confidence that would deceive the most gullible. It is only through painful experience that one is finally able to develop an antenna to quickly weed out those charlatans. While I have always been wary of and have written about his dishonesty, after the speech the president delivered the 13th of April regarding the federal budget, one that was chock full of lies, deceit, and crass fear-mongering, it must be said that Barack Obama is the most dishonest, deceitful, and mendacious person in a position of power I have ever witnessed.

The storm in Syria
Excerpt: Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of what Syrian despot Ba shar al-Assad had dubbed "social calm"; he hoped his mixture of promises and repressive measures would silence the pro-democracy uprising that has shaken the Ba'athist regime. Instead, the opposition mounted a "Friday of Resolution," with fresh nationwide marches against tyranny. In addition to other empty moves, Assad had ordered the release of protesters arrested in the past four weeks provided they had not done "anything that might undermine the interests of the state and the nation's security." Those qualifiers meant that by yesterday evening only nine people had been set free, out of an estimated 1,200 arrested in 18 cities -- and scores more were arrested yesterday. To be sure, the opposition didn't succeed in organizing a major march in the capital. But a crowd of no more than 600 marched from Damascus to the nearby town of Douma, where security forces have killed at least 30 demonstrators in the past two weeks.

On Margaret Sanger, the Soviets, and Democrats
Excerpt: “[W]e could well take example from Russia,” advised Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, “where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.” Sanger, racial-eugenicist who spoke to a 1926 KKK rally, whose work included a “Negro Project,” who wished to rid America of “human weeds” and “morons” and “imbeciles,” and who wanted birth control for “race improvement,” had just returned from a pilgrimage to Stalin’s Russia. Like many progressives (click here for John Dewey’s experiences), she went there to soak in the alleged triumphs of the communist motherland, marveling at Lenin’s and Stalin’s advancements for women ... It took Democrats a while to get there, but, finally, almost a century after the start of the Bolshevik Revolution and Margaret Sanger’s organization, they’ve arrived at where the Soviets and Sanger found common ground. They indeed act as if, as Sanger said about Stalin’s Russia, “birth control … is part of the regular service of the government.”

Tango Mike Mike
Great video about an American hero. Worth watching. Again. ~Bob

The Return of America's Missionary Impulse
Let's fix America first. ~Bob. Excerpt: Bill Gates, Sarah Palin and Warren Buffett (now there’s an opening in search of a punch line) each passed through here recently, instructing the Indians on how to be better Indians. Palin came to preach the evils of bureaucracy, the soulfulness of rural life and the iniquity of mainstream media. Because her audience was thick with high-ranking bureaucrats, prosperous urbanites and media elite, and because her speaking fee was paid by an Indian media conglomerate, the reception in the hall was lukewarm. Gates and Buffett came to export their gospel of private philanthropy, urging a closed-door gathering of India’s richest to share more of their wealth. The two American moguls are worshiped in India for their business acumen, but in a country where the word “mogul” has an echo of imperial conquest, there was more than a trace of defensiveness in the coverage of their appeal. “Did India Inc. Thumb Its Nose at Gates and Buffett?” asked the long-winded headline in The Economic Times. “Yes. India gives in its own way and can’t write fat checks, as it’s still an emerging economy.”

Immigrants are Subject of Tough Bill in Georgia
Excerpt: With Gov. Nathan Deal’s acknowledgment that he would sign a tough immigration law, Georgia was thrust on Friday into the center of the national fight over how much control states have in curbing illegal immigration. The State Legislature this week passed a bill that puts Georgia in a league with Arizona, the first state to empower the local and state police to demand documentation of residency and to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country illegally. On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a trial judge’s ruling blocking the most contentious parts of Arizona’s law, which raised hope among Georgia residents fighting the bill. But the bill went back and forth between chambers until it was passed in the final hours.

America's Tax Cheating Politicians
Excerpt: More than 3,000 federal tax crimes were referred for prosecution in 2010, and a few of them happened have an elected official as the defendant. With Tax Day coming up, The Daily Beast scours the records to find whether Democrats or Republicans have the worse tax problem. (…) The verdict? Turns out Republicans have the bigger names—Jack Abramoff, Randy “Duke” Cunningham—but Democrats have the most tax scandals by a margin of 18 to 7.

"I Wipe My A** With the American Flag": The New Civility of the Left on Display
Strong language warning, but no surprises. Typical leftist Obots. ~Bob.

Iran Fortifying Border Entanglements in Southeast
Allah says you can't have a beer, but you can push drugs. ~Bob. Excerpt: Iran is building a long fence along its border with Pakistan as part of its measures to block the entry of drug-traffickers and terrorists into the country, an Iranian top defense official said. Iran is on a crossroad of international drug transit route linking the world drug hub, Afghanistan, to the Persian Gulf and European countries. Iran spends billions of dollars and has lost thousands of its police troops in the war against traffickers and terrorists. The crackdown has cost Iran more than 700 million dollars over the past two years. Last year, Iran allocated millions to strengthen border security and block the entry of terrorists and drug traffickers into the country.

The PTSD Trap by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
In this age of sensational tabloid journalism, the media can encourage our returning warriors to wallow in a "pity party" by presenting endless reports and exaggerated "news" pieces implying that virtually every veteran of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (and, by extension, any police who experience combat on the home front) is suffering from full-blown PTSD. This can create dire consequences. A landmark article in the April 2009 issue of Scientific American referred to this in an article entitled, "The Post-Traumatic Stress Trap" ... in looking for PTSD (or, as I call it, "wallowing in the pity party"), we can actually cause it. Furthermore, the negative persona that the media is creating can affect the seriousness of any post-war issues returning soldiers are having. Coming back with slight mental scars and being met with negativity, coupled with a sense of self-doubt after being unsuccessful in securing a good job, could compound into more serious issues. They deserve better than this! Those who have selflessly served our country and protected our freedoms deserve better treatment than this "obscene bid to smear our veterans." (I am really glad to see this very cogent essay on PTSD. --Del)

Breaking: Senator Grassley Has Damning Documents on Obama’s Stimulus-Funded Gunrunner Project
Excerpt: Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has damning evidence that US ATF officials sanctioned or allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers. The agency was doing this on purpose. The government encouraged this. Two of the weapons ended up at the murder scene of a US border patrol agent in Arizona, Brian Terry. Obama says he and Holder knew nothing about Operation Gunrunner.

Flint, Michigan: What happens to a city when the money runs out?
This story will become ever more common. ~Bob. Excerpt: Flint was once called "Vehicle Town USA" because it was home to a huge Buick assembly plant, a major spark plug plant and Fisher Body. None of those things exist anymore. "Vehicle Town USA" has become "Murder City." In the last three years, Flint's finances have collapsed to the point that the city has had to lay off two-thirds of its police force. A New York Times reporter spent an evening riding around with two of the remaining cops as they cruised "Murder City USA." Here's an excerpt: What Flint is now is one of America’s murder capitals. Last year in Flint, population 102,000, there were 66 documented murders. The murder rate here is worse than those in Newark and St. Louis and New Orleans. It’s even worse than Baghdad’s.

Pakistani Muslim desecrates Bible in front of church; Christian world rocked by outbreak of... absolutely nothing
Will Obama condemn this as publically and strongly as he condemned the burning of a Qur'an? No, I don't think so either. ~Bob. Excerpt: No riots. No U.N. compounds stormed and staff members hunted down and murdered. No girls' schools vandalized. No mosques burned. No calls for war or death to the country where it happened (and Israel). No collective punishment of Muslims for the actions of one Muslim on the streets of Lahore. That's how it's done, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now, you give it a try.

The Making of an American Jihadist: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad
Excerpt: "My son was programmed and trained to kill by radical Islam." Jihadists "stole my son. They raped his mind. They changed his thoughts, they changed his behavior…and they manipulated him. He is no longer Carlos; he is Abdulhakim. I ask God to give me my son back." – Melvin Bledsoe, describing the radicalization of his son Carlos (AKA Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad)He is still trying to understand how it happened. How his son went from a happy young man with a bright future to an accused murderer who claims it was an act of jihad and that he would have killed more people if could have. Melvin Bledsoe isn't hiding from his son's path to violence. He testified about it on Capitol Hill, drawing dismissive comments from members of Congress, including one who all but blamed him for his son's actions. In an interview with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Bledsoe details his son's spiral into radical Islam and his family's efforts to thwart it.

Muslim Brotherhood Fact Sheet
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood logo fits its motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”

NATO runs short on some munitions in Libya
Excerpt: Less than a month into the Libyan conflict, NATO is running short of precision bombs, highlighting the limitations of Britain, France and other European countries in sustaining even a relatively small military action over an extended period of time, according to senior NATO and U.S. officials. The shortage of European munitions, along with the limited number of aircraft available, has raised doubts among some officials about whether the United States can continue to avoid returning to the air campaign if Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi hangs on to power for several more months.

Another massive coal subsidy from President Obama
Excerpt: You know how President Obama is always talking about ending subsidies for oil. Notice how he usually doesn't talk about coal (even when he's talking about electricity, which we do get from coal and not from oil)? I noticed this a year ago, after Obama's stimulus included a billion dollar earmark for big coal. The man is from Illinois, after all. Well, the Export-Import Bank of the United States -- technically an independent agency, but with a board appointed by Obama -- just approved a massive subsidy for a coal plant in South Africa.

Prostitution, pot legalization could make Detroit attractive, Fieger says
Excerpt: Could Detroit be the new Amsterdam -- a city where prostitution and marijuana are both legalized to help attract young people and turn the troubled city’s prospects around?

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