Thursday, May 26, 2011

Political Digest for May 26, 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.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

America in Peril
My book article on the Patriot Post.

Common American journal plugs Collapse

Note From Congressman Allen West
I sent Col. West a copy of my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. He was kind enough send me a hand-written thank you note. (I wish my hand writing was half as good as his!): “First of all Sir, thank you for your service in our Marine Corps and in the Massachusetts Senate. Thanks for the book and I will be working to the utmost of my ability to ensure our Republic does not collapse! Semper Fidelis. Allen.” I’d feel a lot more optimistic about the future if we had 535 Allen Wests in the Congress. And one in the White House.

Support Rep. Allen West for President
Excerpt: I first lauded Lt. Colonel Allen West in my blog in April of 2010, seven months before his election to the House of Representatives. It was clear then, and clearer now, that this man is the future leadership of America. Better sooner, than later. Remember, the most important aspect of the 2012 presidential election, is to unseat Barack Obama from the Oval Office, regardless of who runs. But that won't happen unless the opposition nominates a winner. Rep. Allen West can be that winner.

Democrat wins special election for NY House seat; Medicare overhaul seen as GOP downfall
Medicare hell. She got 47% in a GOP district. Seat handed to the liberals by the Tea Party running a former Democrat. ~Bob. Excerpt: Democrats picked off a heavily Republican upstate New York congressional seat Tuesday in a special election that became a referendum on Medicare and may have blunted further GOP efforts to cut popular entitlement programs as a way to close the federal deficit. Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul defeated Republican state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, capturing 47 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Corwin, to win the seat in the 26th Congressional District. A wealthy tea party candidate, Jack Davis, took 9 percent.

Does NY 26 mean Democrats are home free?
Excerpt: Oh boy, now the Republicans are in trouble. Politico reported: “In the only House race that really mattered to both parties. . . . the Republicans failed spectacularly, losing on a level playing field, where in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.” Tuesday’s special election in New York? No, that was the report from May 2010 on the special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district. To be blunt, Republicans stink at special elections and have lost a few high-profile ones. (Remember the NY-20 debacle in 2009?) Tuesday was no exception. 9it’s another example of why we need the “Australian” or “Hare” ballot system, where you vote for your first choice with a “one,” your second with a “two” and so on. If no one gets 50% on the first count, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and his votes distributed to the other candidates based on the voters’ second choice, until someone gets 50%. That would be democracy. ~Bob.)

Unfortunately, most people dismiss my book on the Coming Collapse because they think it can’t happen, but they don’t know why. I guess citizens of Rome, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the USSR and other powerful entities that disappeared felt the same. ~Bob. Excerpt: Myth 1: There is no crisis. Social Security will never be insolvent. Fact 1: Under the best-case scenario, the trustees report finds that the probability of Social Security never becoming insolvent is less than 2.5 percent.

Great Satire: Dear Barry
Excerpt: Alcatraz Island, Suite B – 181,Dear Barry, One Chicago boy to another, you really don't understand running an outfit. That "situation room" photo was a disaster. What was with the scared broad front and center? And your own gang wouldn't let you sit at the table? Are you sure you're the boss? While we're at it, you interrupted your golf game to whack ONE guy? Don't you trust your soldiers? Could I have run Chi if I personally supervised every hit? About the stiff. "We didn't want to inflame sensibilities" gives new meaning to dumb. They already want to kill you. More importantly, they want to kill my customers. What's to "inflame"? Worse, you've told the world that you don't want to fight this fight, meaning we WILL fight, or die, when they bring the fight to us. A few bodies here and there can be a great deterrent, as you college boys like to say. Ask Bugs Moran.

The Bin Laden backlash: Angry Muslims demonstrate outside Downing Street as Obama visits Britain
Interesting pictures. The OBL hit ordered by Obama seems to have dissipated the positive effects of his outreach to Muslims. ~Bob. Excerpt: Muslim activists descended on Downing Street today in protest at Barack Obama's state visit to London. As the president met David Cameron in Whitehall, an angry crowd of burka clad women as well as protesters from Muslims Against Crusades gathered on the streets outside. They were joined by a number of prominent campaigners, including Anjem Choudary. The radical cleric said that President Obama has made himself a 'legitimate target' for Muslim extremists after the killing of Osama bin Laden. He called for Mr Obama to be dragged before a sharia court over his role in the war in Afghanistan.

Water and debris hamper Fukushima work
Excerpt: The accumulation of contaminated water and the existence of radioactive debris continue to hamper work to stabilize the reactors at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Meanwhile, South Korea and China have agreed to greater cooperation with Japan in nuclear safety and disaster management. (It’s time for a Fukushima update. While most of the news is undeniably bad, there is good news, too. Even though an uncertain—but likely large—proportion of the fuel from the rods has melted to the bottom of the reactor vessels, it didn’t melt into or through the reactor vessels, the containment or the ground, and is being kept stably cool enough to work around. The world hasn’t ended, no one has died or even been seriously injured. The take-away message is that although not yet perfect, modern design methods and materials work even under the unimaginable stresses of a 9.0 earthquake combined with a tsunami of up to 40 feet—which is about as close to the end of the world as humans are likely to survive. Tepco is still estimating 9 to 12 months until cold shutdown is achieved, though this may be adjusted as more information becomes available. Ron P. the 24/7 news cycle and increasingly short attention span of the public drive last month’s disasters right out of view. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: This would put her at odds with the White House, who claim it is protocol for American Presidents to bow before foreign leaders. (He could at least courtesy. ~Bob.)

Who got OBL?

Ad on the debt

DOJ, DHS Film Instructs Law Enforcement to Obey Sharia
Excerpt: “The First Three to Five Seconds: Arab and Muslim Cultural Awareness for Law Enforcement” is an outrageous example of the U.S. government appeasing the very worst elements of Islam, even at the expense of our own laws and values. This training film not only instructs law enforcement officers to obey Sharia gender rules when conducting investigations, it’s also a flagrant piece of pro-Islamic propaganda that presents Muslim gender discrimination as proof of Islam’s “strong connection to God.” “The First Three to Five Seconds” was initially developed by the Department of Justice, and it’s now used by both the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security to train all of their law enforcement personnel. “The First Three to Five Seconds” is described on the DHS website as a film that “introduces law enforcement officers to basic principles of the Arab American and Muslim American cultures.” However, the DHS description hardly does this instructional film justice.

Obama skirts rule of law to reward pals, punish foes
Excerpt: Answer: They are all among the 1,372 businesses, state and local governments, labor unions and insurers, covering 3,095,593 individuals or families, that have been granted a waiver from Obamacare by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. All of which raises another question: If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

Democrats join Republicans in questioning Obama’s policy on Israel
Just as Harry Reid radically changed his position on illegal immigration after the Hispanic population in Nevada grew, Democrats eager to hold Jewish votes will change in future years as the Muslim birthrate grows that population faster than the Jews, who have a declining birthrate. You heard it here first. ~Bob. Excerpt: Top Democrats have joined a number of Republicans in challenging President Obama’s policy toward Israel, further exposing rifts that the White House and its allies will seek to mend before next year’s election. The differences, on display as senior lawmakers addressed a pro-Israel group late Monday and Tuesday, stem from Obama’s calls in recent days for any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians to be based on boundaries that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, combined with “mutually agreed swaps” of territory. Addressing a joint meeting of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will not return to borders set in 1967. He also welcomes negotiations on "the status of settlements. "U.N. report concludes that Syrian site destroyed in 2007 was a nuclear reactor Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) and other Democrats appeared to reject the president’s reference to the 1967 lines in his latest attempt to nudge along peace talks, thinking that he was giving away too much, too soon.

Economists have endorsed it, but they don’t vote in Congress. In 1931, a thousand economists urged Hoover to veto the Smooth-Hawley tariff “protectionist” bill. He ignored them, signed, and world trade collapses. Unemployment went over 20% and stayed there for a decade. ~Bob. Excerpt: Larry Kotlikoff has proposed a Purple Health Plan (part red, part blue) that has been endorsed already by several hundred economists. Since Larry has attributed to me the idea of a government-subsidized health care voucher, I should have commented on this way before now. Here is the proposal, as summarized by Jason Shafrin of Healthcare Economist: All Americans receive a voucher each year to purchase a standard plan from the private-plan provider of their choice. Vouchers are individually risk-adjusted; those with higher expected health care costs, based on documented medical conditions, receive larger vouchers. Participating insurance companies providing standard plans cannot deny coverage. Americans choose doctors and hospitals included in the standard plan they choose. Plan providers offer supplemental plans to their participants and cannot deny supplemental insurance coverage to their participants. The government (federal and state) ends the tax exclusion of employer-provided health insurance premiums. Like all other Americans, Medicare, Medicaid and health exchange participants are covered by the Purple Health Plan, subject to appropriate transition provisions. Each year a panel of doctors sets the coverage of the standard plan subject to a strict budget, namely that the total cost to the government of the vouchers cannot exceed 10 percent of GDP. There are two things I would definitely change: The content of health plans and the risk adjustment amounts should be determined by the market, not by government. In addition, there are a few more features I would add, or least make more explicit.

Territorial Tax System
Excerpt: After paying taxes to the host countries, U.S. companies that do business overseas have two choices for the residual profits: bring them back to the United States or reinvest them in their foreign operations. If they chose to bring the profits back home, they must pay the difference between the amount of tax paid to the foreign government and what would be owed under the U.S. rate of 35 percent for most large firms, says Scott A. Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation. Critics of this process, known as "deferral," say that the system encourages companies to keep their profits offshore and avoid paying U.S. taxes on that income. Defenders of deferral say that it simply recognizes the well-established principle that income should not be taxed until it is realized (or repatriated). Others say our current international tax regime needs to be replaced with a territorial system that more closely resembles those of most other capitalist nations. Reasons to consider a territorial system include: Parity: The U.S. system must be aligned with our global trading partners. The premise of the worldwide tax system -- capital export neutrality -- is obsolete when subsidiaries have access to global capital markets and can self-fund their expansion with retained earnings. The worldwide tax system violates the benefit principle of taxation. The United States maintains a territorial tax system for foreign-owned companies but a worldwide system for U.S. companies; moving to a full territorial system will level the playing field.

The Wages of Envy
Excerpt: Every so often, a single incident epitomizes larger truths. One of these is that all issues, whether social or fiscal, are moral issues. Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid is a snapshot into the relationship between ruling elites and the working poor. I mean, assuming the allegation is true, didn't she know her place? According to police, she tried to get away from the French Socialist Party luminary. For socialists, the little people are valued mainly as pawns for expanding government power.

Congress Gets an American President -- For a Day By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
Excerpt: It was fitting that Barack Obama was out of the country on the day when a leader walked into a joint session of Congress and spoke the way an American President should. Benjamin Netanyahu's speech extolled America and the ideals for which it stands. The enthusiasm of the members of both the House and Senate was born not only of their admiration and love for the State of Israel, but also because a man of stature stood before them and announced something they haven't heard during the last two years, namely, that America represents the best the world has ever seen. Unlike President Obama, who has reminded us that American values may not be suitable for most countries, Mr. Netanyahu spoke of his pride that his country, Israel, mirrors the idealism and nobility of America. Contrary to Barack Obama, Netanyahu believes in American exceptionalism.

Israel wants peace by Benjamin Netanyahu
Excerpt: While Israel will be ever vigilant in its defense, we will never give up on our quest for peace. Israel wants peace. Israel needs peace. We've achieved historic peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan that have held up for decades. I remember what it was like before we had peace. I was nearly killed in a firefight inside the Suez Canal. I battled terrorists along both banks of the Jordan River. Too many Israelis have lost loved ones. I know their grief; I lost my brother. So no one in Israel wants a return to those terrible days.

Breaking News Alert: Egypt to open border crossing for Palestinians, easing Gaza blockade
it’s an exciting time to be a Mideast arms dealer, if the thought of dead Jewish kids doesn’t keep you up at night. And yes, there are Arab kids dying too, but the Arabs could stop that by stopping attacks on Israel. ~Bob. Excerpt: Egypt will open its only crossing with the Gaza Strip this weekend, the Cairo military government announced Wednesday, significantly easing a four-year blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory but setting up a potential conflict with Israel. This gives Gaza Palestinians a way to freely enter and exit their territory for the first time since 2007, when Hamas overran the territory, and Israel and Egypt closed the crossings.

Run, Paul Ryan, Run
Excerpt: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' announcement that he can't play in the presidential primaries because his wife and daughters say he's not allowed to is terrible news for the GOP and the country. It's terrible not because Daniels was obviously the best candidate or that he had the best chance to beat President Obama. It's terrible because Daniels would have elevated the debate on entitlement reform and the budget in a way that no one else currently in the race seems able to.

Too funny: President Obama Has No Idea What Year It Is
Excerpt: This is how President Obama signed the guestbook at Westminster Abbey earlier today, where he got a tour from the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall and laid a wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. It is a great privilege to commemorate our common heritage, and common sacrifice. Barack Obama 24 May 2008 It was really nice until he got the date wrong by three years. Granted, 2008 was a great year for him, and we might try to live it for as long as possible, too, if we were him. Also, though, he may have had a stroke. (Not much in the American media about this. If Bush had done this, the media would use it to prove how dumb he was over and over. ~Bob.)

U.S. Court Orders University of Virginia to Produce Climategate Documents
Excerpt: On Tuesday, more than four months after the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center requested emails and other files from a specifically identified University of Virginia back-up computer, the University was hauled into court and made to stand and agree to comply with the Commonwealth’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Under Virginia’s FOIA, ATI and co-petitioner Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) asked UVA to disgorge the emails and files that Virginia’s Attorney General also sought under other authority. The emails are specific communications sent and received by Dr. Michael Mann during his tenure at UVA in which he corresponded with, or discussed other, leading voices that represent the climate alarmist perspective. Seminal among them include discussions about his now infamous and discredited 1,000-year temperature reconstruction known as the “hockey stick.” There also already appears — from records ATI has received – to be additional information of the kind released in the “Climategate” emails that originated at the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University. (This isn’t even close to finished. The ACLU and other leftist groups are also helping UVa fight this FOIA request. Since ACLU was a supporter of the FOI Act’s passage at both state and federal levels, one has to wonder if there’s something involved here they need to help hide from the taxpayers who paid for the research. If a large corporation refused to provide lawfully requested and required information claiming “professional freedom,” do you think the media would allow them to get away with it? Neither do I. Ron P. If global warming is true and the research honest, what are they hiding? ~Bob.)

From a blog reader: O in UK
There are longer clips (4.14 minutes) and the queen clenches her jaw repeatedly. Get the impression, “Who does this &_#*&) think he is telling ME history?” Also, “This is supposed to be a very short toast, not a campaign photo op.”
UK report of O asking what date was, then put wrong year! (2008)
And best yet, the limo getting stuck in, I guess, Ireland
Really adds something to the image of America in the world.

Obama’s Malignant Obsession with Jews and Israel
Excerpt: Jew hatred comes in many forms, all of them irrational and unsupported by empirical fact, but all of them powerful and largely effective in deflecting personal and political failures onto a tiny people, which by their mere existence highlight the glaring deficiencies that exist in their adversaries. Like a deadly systemic infection, be it viral or bacterial, Jew hatred comes in many strains.

Did the Rapture Happen?
Marine Al P. on The Rapture: “I am leaving room for the possibility that the rapture actually DID happen, but that there were no people worthy of being raptured!”

Testimony Details Mumbai, Denmark Plots
Excerpt: The terrorists responsible for the 2008 attack on Mumbai had plans for additional strikes against Indian military targets and against Jews, a former operative testified Tuesday. David Headley's testimony focused on details in the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people, including six Americans. Headley is a key witness against a Chicago businessman charged with aiding the plot. Tahawuur Rana allowed his immigration company's Mumbai office to serve as Headley's cover to scout targets for the attacks for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. Rana knew about the plot and supported it, Headley said. He has testified that members of Pakistan's powerful intelligence services, the ISI, also helped plot and finance the attacks.

Spanish Socialists Get Trounced
note to Obama—pay attention. ~Bob. Excerpt: In a country beset by some of Europe’s worst economic woes, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) has suffered its worst defeat since the country returned to democracy in 1978. The Popular Party (PP), led by Mariano Rajoy, had 34 percent of the municipal vote across the country,10 points higher than the Socialists, and they carried almost all of the 13 out of 17 of regions in play. The vote followed a week in which thousands of Spaniards engaged in mass protests nationwide, reflecting their anger at the failed economic policies of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government. Spain’s more than 8000 municipalities were the most telling indication of how large this defeat was. In 2007, the PP had a victory margin of about 150,000 votes in cities and town across the nation. This time, their margin was around two million. These victories swept through the former Socialist-held town halls of Barcelona and Seville, and the region of Castilla-La Mancha, where the Socialists have never lost their grip on power.

Sudan: Obama’s Next Middle Eastern Dilemma?
Excerpt: While Obama has been concerning himself with Israel’s “unjust” borders, a Muslim Middle Eastern country launched a military offensive on the weekend to forcibly settle a border dispute that was to be decided peacefully by referendum. Dozens of black African Sudanese were killed when the Arab and Muslim government of northern Sudan broke the 2005 George Bush-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended a 22-year civil war between North and South Sudan and launched a well-planned invasion of the disputed Abyei border region. Dozens of tanks, hundreds of troops and government warplanes were used in the attack that saw the capture of Abyei, a town bearing the region’s name, and villages bombed from the air. Thousand of Abyei residents, who, like most southern Sudanese, are predominantly Christian or animist, fled their homes in terror. This escalation in fighting has brought Sudan once again to the brink of civil war.

Three Cheers for Terroristine
Excerpt: We need a terrorist state. Where the politicians are terrorists, the police are terrorists and even the men sitting at the desk when you come in to drop off a form are terrorists. There are states that support terrorists, and give safe harbor to them, but that’s not good enough. We don’t want another Pakistan or Iran. We’re not half-assing it this time. What we want is the genuine article. Terrorists from the top down. Terrorists everywhere. A state where every branch of government and the entire country is nothing but terrorists. Terroristine has been an ancient dream since 1973 or was it 1967. A generation of keffiyah draped thugs, KGB operatives and human rights activists have looked out into the darkness and called it into being. It is a vision of a country where everyone is a murderer and children are taught from a very young age that their purpose in life is to die killing people who don’t share their religion and way of life. And now after 20 years of negotiations, treaties, suicide bombings, mutilations, billions of dollars in vanishing into Swiss bank accounts and the death of its Egyptian born leader of AIDS– Terroristine is closer than ever to coming into being. Only one thing stands in its way. The people whose country is in the way.

White House Creates Liberal Damage Control Position
Excerpt: The White House has created a new position dedicated to damage control in the media, but it appears the role will focus on spinning negative stories published on left-of-center websites -- or "progressive" blogs as the new job defines them -- not right-wing news outlets. (...) The administration has had to walk a delicate line with its Democratic base since coming to power in 2009. President Obama has faced increasing criticism from the left over issues like its failure to close Guantanamo Bay, sluggish efforts to promote gay rights, and continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then press secretary Robert Gibbs famously angered what he termed the "professional left," telling The Hill newspaper in August that the group goes too far in its criticism of the president. (Certainly the administration wouldn’t create this position unless they felt a need for it. So, cheer up, Liberals. You too can now be sure you’re being lied to. Relax. I promise you’ll like it. Ron P.)

Wary of wider defiance, Saudis arrest woman driver
Can’t have women violating Shari’a Law. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Saudi woman was arrested for a second time for driving her car in what women's activists said Monday was a move by the rulers of the ultraconservative kingdom to suppress an Internet campaign encouraging women to defy a ban on female driving. Manal al-Sherif and a group of other women started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself," urging authorities to lift the ban and posted a video clip last week of al-Sherif behind the wheel in the eastern city of Khobar. The page was removed after more than 12,000 people indicated their support for its call for women drivers to take to the streets in a mass drive on June 17. The campaign's Twitter account also was deactivated. Al-Sherif, a 32-year-old IT expert, was arrested at dawn on Sunday and accused of "violating public order," according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. … Saudi clerics, from the hard-line Wahhabi school of Islam that is the official doctrine of the kingdom, insist the ban protects against the spread of vice and temptation because women drivers would be free to leave home alone and interact with male strangers.

Much ado about nothing scars teacher's good name
Excerpt: In today's hypersensitive world, a cry of racism is blood in the water. With all the hyperventilation and overreaction in the "KKK hood" incident at Alta High School, the stage was set. All it took was one report from an anonymous parent — who got his/her information second hand from a student who must have gotten it second hand — to the NAACP that there were students marching around Bingham High wearing dark suits with armbands, chanting German and making Hitler-like arm signals and the feeding frenzy was on. The NAACP began an investigation. The Deseret News reported that the NAACP was going to do an investigation. KSL-TV reported the investigation and interviewed Bingham students with the school in the background, re-broadcasting it throughout the day. Jeanetta Williams, the president of the Utah chapter of the NAACP, told reporters she hoped Bingham High and Jordan School District would cooperate with her investigation. Meanwhile, Crump couldn't sleep for days. How had this happened? How would it ever be made right? Well, it turns out that Williams and the NAACP didn't know what they were talking about it, and eventually sanity prevailed and the controversy faded away, although not the scars. It was much ado about nothing and another lesson in the fallibility of the political correctness movement that spawns McCarthy-like eagerness to find racism (or some other PC sin) everywhere, followed by a rush to judgment. All they had to do was ask Crump for an explanation. For 23 years he has held "Dictator Week" in his Advanced Placement political science class to show students what life is like under communist rule.

Common Sense Versus Nonsense
Excerpt: Here are a few facts and then a question. Each Boeing 747 costs $317 million, its 777 goes for $284 million and its 737 sells for $80 million. Airbus' giant 555-plus passenger A380 sells for $375 million. Here's a true or false statement: If it weren't for the FAA, airline company CEOs would not take the necessary measures to ensure that their aircraft took off and landed safely. I'd say the statement is false. Even if CEOs didn't give a hoot about passengers, I'm betting that they do care, without FAA edicts, whether billions of dollars worth of aircraft landed and took off safely, and they will spend enough on maintenance to ensure that.

Jews in Name Only
Excerpt: In 2008, Obama grabbed 78 percent of the Jewish vote. Even the most wildly optimistic polling today shows that Obama's support remains high among Jews. It's a result that Republicans simply can't understand -- why do so many Jews continue to support a president who has shown time and again that he stands against the State of Israel? Why the reflexive lever-pulling on behalf of a man who appoints anti-Semites to positions of high power, attends a virulently anti-Semitic church for 20 years, and sees Israel as the cause of the West's conflict with the Muslim world? The answer is deceptively simple: the Jews who vote for Obama are, by and large, Jews In Name Only (JINOs). They eat bagels and lox; they watch "Schindler's List"; they visit temple on Yom Kippur -- sometimes. But they do not care about Israel. Or if they do, they care about it less than abortion, gay marriage and global warming.

Arizonans call the state's bluff, pay extra taxes
Excerpt: Fed up with people complaining that the state doesn't have the money it needs to do its job, lawmakers added a voluntary-contribution fund called "I Didn't Pay Enough" to Arizona's income-tax form this year. And, much to the surprise of some lawmakers, 386 taxpayers thought the new program was such a good idea, they willingly kicked in an extra $13,204 to the state's general fund, according to the Department of Revenue. (I’m pretty sure the IRS Form 1040 had a line for “voluntary contributions” back in the mid-1980s. I’m pretty sure I remember it brought in a few million dollars each year that the Treasury then used to pay down the national debt. I no longer do my own taxes (they’ve become too complex for me), so I don’t know if the line is still there or not, but I’ve never heard of any laws forbidding the overpayment of taxes. I'd find it fascinating to know the political party registration of these 386 Arizonans who donated an average of just over $34 each to their state. Why do I suspect liberals wouldn’t be well represented? Ron P. Probably because conservatives give more of their own money to charity. Liberals prefer to give other people’s money to good causes. ~Bob.)

Tempers Flare at Hearing on EPA Policies
Excerpt: But administration officials say not all of the policies are detrimental. Once gasoline prices started to rise and the administration's reluctance to drill became an issue, officials boasted about oil production, and Jackson repeated that before committee members. “Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003," she said. Analysts note it takes years from permit to production, and committee chairman, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., argued the Obama administration is trying to take credit for leases issued during the Bush years. "It takes about five years at best-case... from the beginning of the process to drilling production. So isn't all the credit for this new peak in the previous administration?” Issa asked. “You haven't been here long enough for anything you've done in the way of new leasing to have any yield."

Palin's Secret Weapon: New Film to Premiere in June
Excerpt: Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign. The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.

House members handed out bonuses to staffs during budget crisis
I can’t pretend to be shocked or surprised anymore. ~Bob. Excerpt: Defeated and retiring lawmakers paid an average bonus of about $4,000. Returning lawmakers paid an average $2,300.

Ahmadinejad survives assassination attempt
if true, the really scary thing is that the people trying to kill him could be worse. ~Bob. Excerpt: A large explosion set fire to an oil refinery unit in Abadan, Iran's biggest oil city, during a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday, May 24. He came to inaugurate a unit for expanding production capacity by 4.2 million liters a day. Two people were killed and 12 injured. The blast was attributed by officials to a gas leak or "a technical fault" in one of the units, without specifying whether it was the same unit Ahmadinejad was scheduled to visit. However, according to debkafile's Iranian sources, the explosion was triggered by his pushing the button to activate it that same unit, which must have been tested and run in before the inauguration ceremony to avoid any technical hitches. A news conference was quickly staged live on state TV showing him answering questions about the Abadan refinery -apparently to put a stop to spreading rumors that he had been assassinated. He did not refer to the explosion.

3 MCSO Staff Arrested: Accused of tipping off drug traffickers and human smugglers about ongoing investigations.
The cartels have the money to buy all but the most honest. Hard for a cop making, say, $50k to turn down an additional $300k to look the other way. ~Bob. Excerpt: After a year-long investigation, Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his office has broken up a drug and human smuggling ring in which 3 of their own officers were caught up in. One deputy and two detention officers were among those arrested Tuesday. They have been identified as Deputy Sheriff Antonio Navarez, Detention Officer Cynthia Herrera, and Detention Officer Marcella Hernandez (pictured above), all ICE-trained officers.

Hellenic Handbasket : The United States is, in some ways, in worse shape than Greece.
Excerpt: Pop quiz: Which country is in worse fiscal condition — Greece or the United States? Greece, struggling to avoid default on its massive national debt, obviously is in bad shape. This year it will run a budget deficit equal to 9.5 percent of its GDP. That actually is a significant improvement over last year, when its deficit topped 15 percent of GDP, though it remains well above its target of 7.4 percent. Greece’s overall national debt will be slightly higher than 150 percent of GDP by the end of the year. And the worst is yet to come. If Greece fully accounted for all of its future unfunded pension liabilities, its real debt would exceed 875 percent of GDP, nearly nine times the value of everything produced in the country over the course of a year.

Republicans form circular firing squad over Ryan plan
Throwing Ryan and the future to the leftist media wolves. ~Bob. Excerpt: We thought that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's attempt to reform Medicare had struck a fatal blow against the "third rail" mentality in Washington -- that cultural defect whereby politicians run in terror from anything new, no matter how necessary it is. Unfortunately, we are being proven wrong -- not by voters, and not by Democrats' "Mediscare" tactics, but by Republicans who are going wobbly, distancing themselves from Ryan in search of a political advantage. Given the dire need for Medicare reform, these Republicans are imperiling the nation's future, to say nothing of the GOP's political fortunes. Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich provided the first sound bite for Democrats' 2012 ads when he denounced Ryan's plan as "radical" and "right-wing social engineering.”

The truth behind Chrysler’s fake auto bailout pay back
Excerpt: It is not every day that the White House and Democratic National Committee celebrate a supposedly private company’s debt restructuring plan, but such is the marriage of big government and big business under the Obama administration. The New York Times reports: “Chrysler said Tuesday that it had paid back $7.6 billion in loans from the American and Canadian governments, marking another significant step in the revival of the company, the smallest of the Detroit automakers.” But as The Truth About Cars reports, the loan pay back is just another Obama con job: Back in November of 2009, when GM announced that it would repay its government loans, it didn’t take much investigation to realize that The General was simply shuffling government money from one pocket to the other and that true “payback” was still a ways off. … And now that our government finds itself “contemplating a runaway deficit and getting rid of its 8 percent of Chrysler’s equity,” would you believe that a similar federal money-shuffle is under way? Believe it.

Excerpt: Businessman Herman Cain continues to expand his lead among Iowa conservatives and gain voter confidence that he can actually win, according to a new poll of Iowa conservatives. Meanwhile, Tim Pawlenty’s recent announcement that he is entering the presidential race has moved him to third place with 13.5% support. The poll, conducted by the 2012 Iowa Report, exclusively surveyed Iowa conservatives through May 24. Cain’s support grew from 29.8% to 35.9% and leaves him with more than double the support among Iowa conservatives than any other presidential contender. Cain is also gaining voter confidence with more than one-in-five likely caucus goers (22.4%) now saying he will ultimately win the GOP nomination. (I like Cain, but those racist Democrats would never vote for a black businessman. ~Bob.)

Seeking to say who stands for Israel: Advocacy group to vote on J Street membership
Excerpt: While disagreements between the White House and the Israeli government are raising questions in Washington over what it means to be “pro-Israel,’’ today in Boston the debate will play out in a quieter way. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston will vote on whether J Street, a fledging Jewish advocacy group that promotes vigorous US actions to help create a Palestinian state, should be stripped of its membership. J Street is widely expected to be allowed to remain one of the 42 organizations represented on the council. But the discussion over J Street’s membership — and whether the group is truly “pro-Israel’’ — reflects a passionate debate among American Jews over the meaning of the term.

No comments:

Post a Comment