Sunday, April 24, 2011

Political Digest for April 25, 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.

Box-office power of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ baffles insiders
Excerpt: The power of Ayn Rand devotees has impressed some Hollywood distribution executives, who took note of the hefty $5,640 per-theater average scored by “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” during its opening weekend. “Shocking,” one executive said about the healthy business the low-budget film has been doing, considering its “awful” marketing plan. Awful or not, business has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. They don’t have enough film prints to fill all the orders. (Perhaps these are the same “insiders” who were shocked at the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And LOL, right in the face of most MSM critics! On the other hand, at this rate, it will “only” take 15 more weeks to gross the amount it cost to make this first part—but most of that goes to the theater, not the distributor or owner. It will probably take them eight months to a year to break even from the production costs of Part I; that’s why they want to have more theaters showing it. If you see it and like it, tell your friends. I really want to see the rest get made. Ron P.)

Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law
One step closer to a controlled economy--defy the Obama Commissars! ~Bob. Excerpt: In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina. In its complaint, the labor board said that Boeing’s decision to transfer a second production line for its new 787 Dreamliner passenger plane to South Carolina was motivated by an unlawful desire to retaliate against union workers for their past strikes in Washington and to discourage future strikes. The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said it was illegal for companies to take actions in retaliation against workers for exercising the right to strike.

Editorial: … bad news for Boeing,0,963594.storyExcerpt: Boeing, the Chicago-based aviation company, already has one government-induced headache. Its main rival, Airbus SAS, has received from European nations about $20 billion in subsidies that are prohibited by international trade agreements. That is challenging enough for Boeing as it tries to compete in an international market. But when the U.S. government tries to dictate where Boeing can do business … that's even harder to stomach. ... The NLRB says Boeing is free to do business there — but its second production line has to run in Washington. This is a gross intrusion by the NLRB. The disastrous, unintended message to a major U.S. employer: Keep your mouth shut and find another country to do business.

Earth Day predictions of 1970
Excerpt: For the next 24 hours, the media will assault us with tales of imminent disaster that always accompany the annual Earth Day Doom & Gloom Extravaganza. Ignore them. They’ll be wrong. We’re confident in saying that because they’ve always been wrong. And always will be. Need proof? Here are some of the hilarious, spectacularly wrong predictions made on the occasion of Earth Day 1970. (…) “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist (…) “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist. (First posted in 2009, this is still funny. Ron P.)

Brutal NYT/CBS Poll For Obama…
Excerpt: The New York Times is burying the lead on their latest poll. The numbers are just brutal for the White House: 70% of Americans feel things in this country are seriously off on the wrong track. That is the highest number since the 79% registered in 1/11/09 when President Bush was still in office. 80% rate the national economy as bad (44% fairly/36% very). Only 19% rate it as good (2% very/17% fairly).
Upcoming Anonymous Poll on Anonymity
Excerpt: Why do people not sign their own names to what they write on the internet, and in particular on this blog? I thought I’d ask people this in the form of an anonymous poll. But before I do that, I want to get the full range of possibilities, so I’ve decided to crowdsource the poll questions. To date I have a number of possible reasons someone might give for posting anonymously, which are not mutually exclusive. (Cowardice. ~Bob.)

Nigella Lawson and the Great Burkinin Cover-Up
Excerpt: Nigella Lawson may be the highest-profile "burkini" wearer, but she is far from alone in her choice. Companies selling "modest swimwear" have been doing brisk business among Muslims for years – but now non-Muslims are snapping up their designs, and pushing them to create new ranges. Kausar Sacranie, 36, who designed the all-encompassing black swimsuit-and-hood combination Lawson wore for her Bondi Beach trip, says she wasn't surprised when the Domestic Goddess placed an order with her company, Modestly Active. According to Sacranie, around 15% of her customers are non-Muslims, unwilling to strip off to enjoy a day at the beach. "I was pleased, but I didn't question her reasons," she says. "I knew they would be the same as many of my other customers – sun protection, modesty and freedom to wear whatever garment they choose."
Hindus Find a Ganges in Queens, to Park Rangers' Dismay
Excerpt: As the Hindu population has grown in Queens over the last decade, so too has the amount of ritual debris — clothing, statues, even cremation ashes — lining the banks of the bay in Gateway National Recreation Area. “We call it the Ganges,” one pilgrim, Madan Padarat, said as he finished his prayers. “She takes away your sickness, your pain, your suffering.” But to the park rangers who patrol the beach, the holy waters are a fragile habitat, the offerings are trash and the littered shores are a federal preserve that must be kept clean for picnickers, fishermen and kayakers. Unlike the Ganges, they say, the enclosed bay does not sweep the refuse away.

Lobbyists who cleared 'Climategate' academics funded by taxpayers and the BBC
Excerpt: The little-known not-for-profit company works behind the scenes at international conferences to further its aims. One of its key supporters headed the official investigation into the so-called "Climategate emails", producing a report which cleared experts of deliberately attempting to skew scientific results to confirm that global warming was a real threat. Another scientific expert linked to the group came forward to praise a second independent investigation into the Climategate affair which also exonerated researchers. Set up with the backing of Tony Blair, then the Prime Minister, and run by a group of British MPs and peers the organisation, Globe International, started life as an All Party Group based in the House of Commons. It is now run as an international climate change lobbying group flying its supporters and experts club class to international summits to push its agenda. Last year, it said, it spent around £500,000 flying its supporters to these meetings. (Though this is far more detailed than coverage I’ve seen in the past, little of this is, strictly speaking, news. It is, however, the first time it is appearing in the MSM to be seen by the wider general public, as the previous coverage was all in the skeptical climate-related blogs. In the UK, as in the US, “public” money means YOUR money. When the advocates and the inspectors/investigators are paid out of the same pocket (with YOUR money), is it any wonder they find nothing wrong? Wouldn’t you like investigations conducted that way here? Guess what? Ron P.)

New Jersey Transit Worker, Fired After Burning Koran, Wins Back His Job
Excerpt: A New Jersey Transit worker who was fired after burning pages of a Koran during a demonstration in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11 last year has been reinstated, reimbursed for lost wages and benefits, and awarded $25,000 in compensation for the pain and suffering caused by his dismissal.

Must read if you live in CA: Why do Companies Leave California​? Here Are Ten Reasons
Excerpt: Many organizations and companies provide reasons why companies leave California. Below are some of the findings, updated in light of recent studies and reports. The #10 Reason (New!) – Unprecedented Energy Costs: The California Manufacturers and Technology Association states that commercial electrical rates here already are 50% higher than in the rest of the country. However, a law enacted in April 12, 2011 requires utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources (e.g., solar panels, windmills) within nine years. Look for costs to increase by another 19% in many places to a whopping 74% in Los Angeles. Such new burdens along with upcoming regulations stemming from the “California Global Warming Solutions Act” set potentially overwhelming obstacles to companies here as they try to meet competition based in other states and in foreign nations.

The Three Walls Behind the Wall
Must read if you've bought into the myth of high Vietnam vet suicide rates. ~Bob. Excerpt: Over the last three decades, a host of minstrels have danced heavily upon the reputation of the Vietnam veteran, sowing rumor into fact on the fertile fields of an all too willing, gullible and complicit American press and American people. Saddest of all, perhaps, is the fact that many Vietnam veterans themselves have been duped into embracing the same folklore as if it were Gospel, tricked into believing the worst in themselves against all evidence to the contrary. America first fell victim to a particularly pernicious fable of that genre beginning in 1980, one that has grown to startling proportions over the last two decades. A typical example appeared in a 1996 veteran organization's newsletter. Among its otherwise thoughtful observations was a statement emblematic of a general misrepresentation now the cause of severe heartburn among many of us whom it colors. Without attribution of any sort, the author emphasized our war's tragic legacy by informing us that "Since the end of the Vietnam War, approximately 150,000 veterans have taken their own lives."

Walter E. Williams: Why would OPEC give money to the American environmental Left?
Excerpt: As gas prices approach $5 a gallon, and some even predict $6 a gallon by summer, the White House has launched an investigation into what is causing the rapid price surge. But on Thursday’s “Mark Levin Show,” George Mason University economist Walter E. Williams said no investigation was necessary since the cause of the spike in energy prices was obviously the fault of Washington politicians listening to “environmental wackos.” “And actually, you know – collusion, if you look for the source of collusion – it’s in Washington, D.C.,” Williams said. “The federal government is in charge of colluding, you know setting prices and colluding on prices. But the problem with oil – I think it’s a supply problem. The United States, you know off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf and California and then huge oil finds in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and North Dakota – we have more oil than Saudi Arabia has altogether. And so however, what’s the problem? The government listening to Congress listening to these environmental wackos – they’re stopping us from drilling and so the prices are going up.”

Chuy's raids create unrest in Tucson's immigrant community-​read down
Nice we warn the criminals in advance! ~Bob. Excerpt: On Wednesday, federal agents served search warrants at Chuy's restaurants in Arizona and California, sparking fear that more raids could be coming at other locations. A total of 40 illegal immigrants were taken into custody in Arizona, 18 of them from Chuy's restaurants in Tucson. The raid had the immigrant humans rights Coalicion de Derechos Humanos speaking out about how this was tearing apart hard working families, and sparking fear among the immigrant community. Many had heard the rumors, but when the feds came calling, it still caught them off guard. Kat Rodriguez, the program director at Derechos Humanos said she got a heads up moments before it happened. "We were contacted by I.C.E's public relations person about thirty minutes before the noon deadline when the warrants went into effect," said Rodriguez.

Michigan: Qur'an-burning Pastor Jones jailed over planned mosque protest
Maybe he thought he was in the USA and protected by the First Amendment. Will the ACLU represent him? ~Bob. Excerpt: Jailed for planning a protest? How was that even possible in America? For refusing to pay a "peace bond"? Wouldn't the responsibility for any disturbance be upon those who decided to react to whatever Jones was doing by causing the disturbance? Pamela Geller says it here: "The city of Dearborn's position is that Muslims are so violent and irrational that they won't be able to control themselves if Jones holds a protest? And he has to pay for damages? Why wouldn't the marauding Muslim hordes pay the damages if they are doing the damage? And if they get violent, why aren't they in jail?" She also points out the inconsistency, here: "Terry Jones was sent to jail in Michigan over a planned protest outside the largest Islamic Center in the U.S. I have seen the most vile displays of subversion, anti-Americanism, Jew-hatred and violence at anti-war rallies during the Bush years. No one said boo. It's free speech. The KKK marches, no one says boo, it's free speech. Monsters protest military funerals, it's free speech. Nazis in Skokie? A-OK. But Islamic jihadis launch the most brutal and bloody attack on America on September 11, 2001, and we haven't stopped apologizing. And now we have turned over our soul, the heart of our freedom."

PROVEN: Obama the Tax Hypocrite
Excerpt: To hear him rail against those who earn big paychecks one could only come away convinced that this was a President who was as committed to this cause of taxation to reduce the deficit as any history had ever seen. And then we saw his tax return. For 2010 President Obama earned well more than $250,000 in total family income for the year. In fact the Obama household--after every loophole, donation, and tax exempt charitable donation had been subtracted--recorded a revenue earnings of $1,700,000 and change. To repeat, this wasn't gross earnings, this was adjusted earnings. This is what he was responsible to pay taxes on. For those of you who could not do the immediate math that's $1,450,000 above the $250,000 that he wished to tax at the maximum level under the Clinton era--39%. From the reports concerning the President's tax returns he paid roughly $454,000 and change in federal taxes. Sounds like a lot doesn't it? It is... to most people. But on taxable income of $1,700,000 it only works out to be a tad more than 26%. Whoa! Wait a minute... The President--who had a taxable income of $1,700,000--paid what?

The Europeanization of America
Excerpt: Whenever I post about Islamization, cultural enrichment, and the suppression of free speech in Europe, commenters are likely to remark on the difference between Europe and the United States. “Europe is lost,” they say (a particular favorite on my posts at Big Peace). Or: “We’re lucky things aren’t this bad in the USA.” Or: “Wake up, America! We don’t want to be like Europe.” Well, think again, fellows: we already are like Europe. You’re late to the game — it’s already underway here. Five years ago I said we were roughly a decade behind Europe, and we were. But then we elected Barack Hussein Obama as our Dhimmi-in-Chief, and after that we caught up very quickly. We’ve all but closed the gap between United Socialist America and the EUSSR, and Mr. Obama is working very hard to finish the job, and maybe even pull ahead of the EUniks.

UK: 23% of inpatients waited up to 8 hours in A & E
Coming soon to a health cares system near you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Excerpt: Increasing numbers of inpatients also felt they had to wait “a long time” to be seen, in a comprehensive survey published by the main health watchdog. Meanwhile the proportion who were taken to a ward within an hour of arriving at an accident and emergency unit has fallen sharply over the past decade. It comes amid fears that NHS waiting times are set to rise still further after the Government stopped monitoring Labour’s strict targets and as trusts struggle to make £20billion of efficiency savings by 2015.

Mark Steyn: Road to Ruin Getting Shorter
The collapse is coming. ~Bob. Excerpt: Excerpt: The world has started to listen to what Obama is telling us. In that respect, let me make a single prediction for 2023 – that by then the dollar will no longer be the global reserve currency. Forty years ago, Treasury Secretary John Connally told Europe that the dollar is "our currency but your problem." The rest of the world is now inverting the proposition: The dollar is our problem but, in the end, it's your currency, not ours. In Beijing, in Delhi, in Riyadh, in Rio, the rest of the planet is moving relentlessly toward a post-dollar regime. What will America look like without the dollar as global currency? My old boss Conrad Black recently characterized what's happened over the past half-century as a synchronized group devaluation by Western currencies. That's a useful way of looking at it. What obscured it was the dollar's global role. When the dollar's role is ended, the reality of a comatose "superpower" living off a fifth of a billion in borrowed dollars every single hour of the day is harder to obscure. In the absence of responsible American leadership, the most important decisions about your future will be made by foreigners for whom fatuous jingles about "shared values" have less resonance. If you don't want the certainty of a poorer, more decrepit, more diseased, more violent America, you need to demand your politicians act now – or there won't be a 2023.

Energy Saving Lightbulbs 'contain cancer-causing chemicals'
This is a feature, not a flaw. People who die from cancer afterwards have a very low carbon footprint. ~Bob. Excerpt: Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on. Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.” The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year. But the German scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene. Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: “Electrical smog develops around these lamps.

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
Excerpt: Political Islam and religious Islam are one and the same. You cannot separate stink from excrement. The violence and terror are in the Quran. No one can change that. You will be surprised to know who these wolves are. Today I read a message written by a certain Dr. Mohsen El-Guindy, a “moderate Muslim,” in El-Guindy issued a clear death threat to Ann Branhardt the woman who burned the Quran in defense of the freedom of speech, which is being shamelessly thrown under the bus by the ruling elite at the altar of political correctness. I wrote a response to El-Guindy’s diatribe which follows.

Donald Trump's Joke Candidacy Signals Danger for Barack Obama
Excerpt: He has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats, showered praise on Bill and Hillary Clinton and suggested that Ronald Reagan was a con man with little “beneath that smile”. A divorcé whose current wife, number three, is a Slovenian former model and jewelry designer, he once favoured Canadian-style single payer healthcare and abortion rights. These days, he is best known as a reality television host. He has one of the most preposterous hairstyles in the Western Hemisphere, a dyed-ginger double combover. Although a billionaire, he has come close to personal bankruptcy. He has a phobia about the germs he might be infected with by shaking hands. So why is brash, egotistical, big mouthed weirdo Donald Trump suddenly being treated as a realistic candidate for the Republican party nomination for the presidency?

Trust and Freedom
Excerpt: Most arguments for the expansion of government power boil down to distrust -- distrust that poor people will be taken care of; distrust that businesses will run without corruption and abuse; distrust that people will take care of their own retirement, health care, and safety needs; etc. The list is endless, and so long as enough people remain convinced that others are basically not trustworthy, these people will continue to support the illusion that the government can somehow correct for this shortcoming and make it all okay. Trust is the foundation of a free society. If we could not trust the average person to be reasonably considerate and responsible, then we might be inclined to think that we need lots of laws -- and lots of other people in positions of power who can force those untrustworthy people into behaving well. Without a degree of trust, we could not advocate for greater individual liberty -- we would not like what we came to if we had it.

Ann Barnhardt: Reconciling Rand with the Gospel
Excerpt: What John did in the very first sentence of his Gospel is to specifically identify Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, as Logic and Reason Itself. Logic and reason are intrinsic, constitutive qualities of God. They are His essence. They are who He is. This is why Christ identified Himself as "The Truth." Logic and reason are the process and mechanism by which statements are determined to be either true or false. A true statement is simply a statement that is aligned with God. 1+1=2. True. Why is this true? Because it is in alignment with the existential reality that is God Himself. Or, for you math buffs, consider Euler's Identity, which I and many, many others consider to be the very thumbprint of God:

Shameful U.S. inaction on Syria’s massacres
Excerpt: Massacres on this scale usually prompt a strong response from Western democracies, as they should. Ambassadors are withdrawn; resolutions are introduced at the U.N. Security Council; international investigations are mounted and sanctions applied. In Syria’s case, none of this has happened. The Obama administration has denounced the violence — a presidential statement called Friday’s acts of repression “outrageous” — but otherwise remained passive. (It’s hard to believe I agree with the Washington Post on anything. I’ll recheck my premises. (pause.) Yep, I still think we should support the protestors; if they win, they can’t be any worse for us than Assad already is. Ron P.)

Outstanding! -Ron P.: Reasserting Federalism in Defense of Liberty
Excerpt: We have asked government to do more for us, and all the government asks for in return is a little bit more of our liberty. Over the decades, we kept asking. And because the courts and the politicians were all too happy to oblige, regardless of what the Constitution said, we no longer have a federal government of limited powers. We have an overreaching central government—a government that seeks to plan and control virtually every aspect of our lives and our economy, from health care, to energy, to automobile manufacturing, to banking and insurance. (…) I often give the example of the colonial period, when the colonists were boycotting British goods while demanding that King George III and Parliament repeal the Stamp Act and the Intolerable Acts. I am sure it was to the king’s dismay, but his own lawyer—the solicitor general—told Parliament that the boycott was legal under British law. In other words, the colonists could not be forced to buy British goods. Yet in 2010, we had a president and a Congress who believed they could compel Americans to buy a private product even when the king of England, whom we rebelled against, knew he did not have that power.

Mil Adds Citizenship Option to Boot Camp
It should be conditional on honorable service. ~Bob. Excerpt: Military service has long been one route to U.S. citizenship. Now the Army and Navy, in need of specialists and language skills in wartime, are speeding things up by allowing recruits to wrap up the process while they're still in basic training. It means a change in a no-visitors policy during boot camp, to allow federal immigration officers access to the recruits. But military officials say it's a well-deserved break for volunteers who otherwise would have to slog through the bureaucratic ordeal during deployments around the world, often far from U.S. embassies.

Excerpts: "When you set the bar low, you jump low," said US Rep. and retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West (R-FL) quoting one of his jump instructors from his early Army training. That is exactly what we have been doing in the House of Representatives when it comes to reducing the run away deficit spending habits of Barack Obama and Senate Democrats. Rep. West made this comment in a speech to Dallas County GOP activists recently at Sammy's Bar-B-Que in the shadows of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. West began his remarks with comments about our run away spending stating that during the month of February, the shortest month of the year, we ran up a $223B deficit. 47% of our $12,000,000,000 ($12T) is owned by foreign governments. 29% is owned by the Chinese government. We pay more in our interest payments to the Chinese government than they pay in total military spending. In other words, we are funding the military that may one day be used against us.

New mystery appliance is the antithesis of the green dream
Excerpt: What sort of new appliance is so hip, so cool, so stylish, so sophisticated, so much a work of art…that you’d put it in your glass penthouse living room, so that you could impress you hot model girlfriend? Don’t look just yet. I’ll give you a hint. It has an iPod dock, speakers, a light, motion sensor activation, motorized access, and a touch screen remote. It only costs $6400. Make your best guess now. (I truly believed that after a long, borderline evil life, I had seen almost everything. NOW, I KNOW I have. No, this isn't an April Fool's joke, you really can buy one. Ron P.)

EPA's Train Wreck Could Leave Many in the Dark
Excerpt: During a recent speech at Cleveland State University focused on small business in Ohio, President Obama described a goal of “knocking down barriers that stand in the way of your growth.” Unfortunately, his EPA couldn’t be more in the dark about how to translate that message into practice – with the agency poised to adopt more than 30 new, major regulations and over 170 major policy rules in the next several months. Even with 14 million Americans out of work and an economy still searching for light at the end of the tunnel, the EPA is poised to enact a series of back-door mandates that will stifle economic growth. (True Believers don’t see themselves as “stifling economic growth;” they think they’re “guiding us to the right path, where”—they think—“we should have been all along.” Rather like a small child pulling out an apple from the bottom of a pyramid-shaped display, they’ll be truly shocked when the whole display crashes around their feet. “But, Mommy, it was the prettiest apple,” they might say. Visions can be pretty, but there are consequences to following them blindly. Ron P. "Dark" is the new "Green." As long as it's other people in the dark. ~Bob. )

Great piece: Thank you, John.
Captain John Parker's musket hung in the Massachusetts Senate. Largely unappreciated. ~Bob. Excerpt: Captain Parker, I know you’re long since in the grave. Nevertheless, I want to thank you for that crazy, defiant, insane act of pointless resistance you committed all those years ago. I want to thank you for standing in defiance of the most powerful military force known to man alone with so few of your townsmen. That act alone, that resistance, likely was enough in itself to see you arrested, your life destroyed. You had to know you didn’t stand a chance against British bayonets and musketry, and you couldn’t have possibly known what would soon transpire because of the pure steel you displayed that day. You stood, sick with the illness that would bring you to death, staring down the British Empire, and you and your men did not falter. How fast and hard your heart must have beat. How sweaty your palms, how dry your mouth as you showed a defiant and brave front to the enemy and to your men. And could you have known? You and your men stood, knowing the steel that was in front of you was poised to crush you. Could you have known what would happen after your stand? Would you be crushed and abandoned by your countrymen after your stand? Would it be in vain? Would your former friends and militiamen scurry to be distanced from your memory? Would your wives hate you for standing and dying for this one thing, this concept, this freedom? Could you have known? You couldn’t have. Some things just have to be done, even if you just don’t know.

Obama's Unholy Thursday
Excerpt: For many in Los Angeles, Obama’s visit was a most unholy Thursday.
Obama says he is a Christian, and I believe him. But when he says he cares about the concerns of ordinary people, I do not believe him for one moment. This is the man who once asked a crowd of Iowa farmers, “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” This is the man who disdainfully turned to his primary opponent and said, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.” This is the man who came to Los Angeles on one of the holiest days of the year for Christians and shut down the entire city during rush hour. This was done so he could attend fundraisers from wealthy donors for an election that is over 18 months away. (It's a disaster, every time he comes here. - Kate in LA)

Liberal Way
of War
Excerpt: You can’t blame liberals for appropriating the word “war” to infuse left-wing social and environmental policies with a sense of moral urgency in order to sell them to voters. Try rallying support for a time-limited kinetic operation against poverty. The trouble is that when you engage in the deadly serious business of dropping bombs on an Arab country and taking sides in a civil war — actions replete with dangers and unintended consequences — you need a stronger basis for acting than the insistence that something must be done. (…) If there’s a guiding principle for humanitarian intervention these days, it’s the Responsibility to Protect, as long as Russia and China don’t object and there’s something in it for France. Unfortunately as mentioned above, the Obama administration is compromised in this respect by its rejection of all things Bush, which means fudges and half-measures will be the order of the day until late January 2013 at the earliest.

Obama's Middle East Head Spin
From liberal Daily Beast, an article incredibly critical of Obama and his decision process, assuming he actually has one. Ron P. Excerpt: Surely President Obama can do better than that. Or perhaps not. The drama—the tragedy—increasingly apparent at the White House is of a brilliant intellect who is nonetheless confounded by events, a strategist whose strategies are thwarted and who is left with almost no strategy at all, a persuasive politician and diplomat who gets others to crawl out on limbs, has them take big risks to break through to a new future, and then turns around and walks away from them when the political winds in the United States threaten to shift. It’s not enough to say the Cabinet is divided about what to do. Maybe the simplest and in many ways the most disturbing explanation for all the flailing is offered by veteran journalist and diplomat Leslie H. Gelb: “There is one man in this administration who debates himself.” President Obama. (…) As for Iran, ever since the regime there confronted and crushed huge pro-democracy protests in 2009, nothing threatens it more than successful revolutions in the Arab world. And nothing gratifies Iran’s leaders more than to see the United States dithering about whether Arab democracy is in American interests. The ripple effects are felt even in East Asia, where a former U.S. ambassador says he’s heard that the North Koreans are telling the Chinese “if this is the best the Americans can do in Libya, we’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Obama and Air Force One: It's good to have a 747
Excerpt: President Obama will spend Monday night flying across the Pacific and United States after his latest vacation, 11 days in Hawaii. It will be his first trip of 2011 aboard Air Force One. Last year Obama flew in Air Force One 172 times, almost every other day. White House officials have been telling reporters in recent days that the Democrat doesn't intend to hang around the White House quite so much in 2011. They explain he wants to get out more around the country because, as everyone knows, that midterm election shellacking on Nov. 2 had nothing to do with his healthcare bill, over-spending or other policies, and everything to do with Obama's not adequately explaining himself to his countrymen and women. And with only 673 days remaining in the never-ending presidential campaign, the incumbent's travel pace will not likely slacken.

So O hates his job?....Maybe it's his own fault
Excerpt: "The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff. . . I'm like, 'C'mon guys, I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up?' It doesn't happen." -- President Obama. The list of people I feel sorry for is long. It includes not just all of the people I know personally who are suffering from one misfortune or another, but the billions around the world who're having a rougher time than they ought: Japanese earthquake victims, targets of ethnic cleansing, etc. Then there's the supplemental list, which includes everyone from fans of "Lost" who were ripped off by the series finale to the guy in the middle seat on a long flight. But one guy who doesn't make the list is Barack Obama. Yet the president seems eager for people to know he feels aggrieved. All of sudden, he's had a few "hot mic" incidents in which he "accidentally" vented his displeasure about various alleged insults. His staff let it be known that the president feels the head of China's one-party authoritarian regime has it better than him, because no one second-guesses Hu Jintao.

McCain’s Libyan “Heroes” Videotaped Beheading Captured Soldier…
Excerpt: It’s not like we didn’t already know there was a strong jihadist contingency fighting alongside our new “allies.” Video below fold — Warning: very graphic.

Bangladesh: Islamic cleric threatens jihad if child marriage is banned
What if they pass a law in Oklahoma outlawing Shari'a, which allows child marriage? ~Bob.

Donald Trump Has A Lot to Learn About China
Why would you expect a contributor to Charlie Rangel and other Democrats to know much? ~Bob. Excerpt: This is how Donald Trump recently described China: “They’re making all our products. They’re taking all our jobs. And then they loan the money back and we pay them interest. It’s an amazing phenomenon.” A strong statement, but only one-third of it is true. China is not making all of our products. Imports of goods from China are just 2.5 percent the size of the U.S. economy. China is also not taking all our jobs. According to Heritage Foundation analyst James Sherk, “Research shows that trade has had little effect on overall manufacturing employment. Instead, it has shifted jobs from less productive firms to more productive domestic firms.” China does, however, loan the U.S. government boatloads of money for which U.S. taxpayers pay billions of dollars in interest. Last year alone, China bought $204 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds and notes. Of $414 billion in U.S. interest payments on Treasury securities last year, $142 billion went to foreigners in China and elsewhere.

Government Accountability Office: $1.5 billion each year to jail unlawful immigrants
Excerpt: The federal government is spending more than $1.5 billion each year to jail illegal immigrants throughout the country, according to a new report by the investigative arm of Congress. The report, issued this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that over the past five fiscal years the number of incarcerated non-U.S. citizens in federal prisons has increased by 4,000, to about 55,000. In state prisons, the criminal alien population has increased by about 75,000 people, for a total of 296,000.

In Kansas City, Tackling Education's Status Quo
Excerpt: In the 1980s, after a court held that the city was operating a segregated school system, judicial Caesarism appeared. A judge vowed to improve the district’s racial balance by luring white students to lavish “magnet schools” offering “suburban comparability” and “desegregative attractiveness.” And he ordered tax increases to pay the almost $2 billion bill for, among other things, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a planetarium, vivariums, greenhouses, a model United Nations wired for language translation, radio and television studios, an animation and editing lab, movie editing and screening rooms, a temperature-controlled art gallery, a 25-acre farm, a 25-acre wildlife area, instruction in cosmetology and robotics, field trips to Mexico and Senegal, and more. Neither test scores nor the racial gap in academic achievement improved, and racial imbalance increased. Today, African Americans are 28 percent of the city’s population and 63 percent of public school students.

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire
Welfare and many other things are coming to an end, because there is no more blood in the turnip. ~Bob. Excerpt: The best estimate of the cost of the 185 federal means tested welfare programs for 2010 for the federal government alone is nearly $700 billion, up a third since 2008, according to the Heritage Foundation. Counting state spending, total welfare spending for 2010 reached nearly $900 billion, up nearly one-fourth since 2008 (24.3%). Yet, by 2008, Robert Rector of Heritage reports that total welfare spending already amounted to $16,800 per person in poverty, 4 times as much as the Census Bureau estimated was necessary to bring all of the poor up to the poverty level, eliminating all poverty in America. That would be $50,400 per poor family of three. Indeed, Charles Murray wrote a whole book, In Our Hands, A Plan to Replace America’s Welfare State explaining that we already spend far more than enough to completely eliminate all poverty in America.

Where did my tax dollars go?
See for yourself. ~Bob.

University Administrators Refuse to Allow Christians to Speak Their Peace
Excerpt: Full disclosure: [The Alliance Defense Fund] represented the plaintiffs in each of these cases, which all have two more things in common: (1) the schools involved lost their case – expensively – in court. (Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, how do you suppose they made back the money?) And (2), they are all the tip of the iceberg in an academic Cold War against Christians. Across America, an estimated 274 public universities currently have speech codes that can be used to shut down points of view that a student, professor, or administrator might find “offensive.” (At Penn State, officials even went so far as to say that “intolerance will not be tolerated.”) And nothing offends the academic Left faster than a Bible, a prayer, or a Christian with a conscience. Of course, ultimately, it’s not the people of faith that the Left objects to – it’s the faith itself. Their hatred is really aimed at a Truth that galls them to the deep, deep places of their souls…in the place where sins, and the need for a God bigger than themselves, can’t be denied.

Easter in Fukushima: American Exceptionalism at Work
Easter is about resurrection and we are about to see the resurrection of the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima after the twin battering of the tsunami and the reactor accident. That may be a surprising statement to many, but remember that the resurrection of Christ was marked not by his appearance, but by an empty tomb. An angel told Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, "He is not here for he has risen. Come see the place where he lay." This Easter in Fukushima will be marked by what Sherlock Holmes might have called the dog that did not bark. There is no longer a hue and cry over radioactive plutonium poisoning the Japanese countryside. There is a lot of short half-life Iodine-131 and a lesser amount of Cesium137 about, mostly restricted to the immediate grounds of the reactor plant. But workers are engaged in the clean up. While there were some deaths from the tsunami and the hydrogen explosions, there has not been a single death by radiation sickness, nor is there likely to be one in the future. The radiation doses have been contained to within tolerable limits for cleanup work to proceed. The worst of the crisis has passed. But before we go on with our lives, we ought to give thanks to those who deserve it, God, the American military and the American taxpayer.

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