Saturday, July 9, 2011

Political Digest for July 10, 2011

Collapse note sent to me
Just finished the new book. The most politically-incorrect publication I've ever read. I loved it. I'm ordering 20 copies for my insensitive friends. --Pete.

Negative Reviews
Someone asked if I'd received any negative feedback on the book. So far, only one. A fellow wrote and said he'd read the first 8 pages on line, it was full of the typical rah-rah America stuff, he wasn't interested in reading more. He went on for several paragraphs about America's failings, ended that he couldn't wait for the collapse. Since he only read eight pages, I didn't consider it a real review. Maybe ten, okay.

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.

Comment on blog
To prevent Spam, excessive bad language and the occasional Leftist trying to take over the blog, I moderate all comments. So I opened with interest one from Haider Ali Mussadaq. Alas, it contained no threat of beheading, only a post trying to link to a site wanting to sell you event cancellation insurance, in bad English. Insha'Allah, the fleas of a thousand diseased camels will infest his armpits. ~Bob.

Liberalism: Out of a Job
Excerpt: …[T]he political crisis now facing the president stems precisely from the fact that he is being held responsible for an economy that is falling in a seemingly bottomless abyss. The jobs report is likely to be only one of several pieces of forthcoming bad news: the sovereign debt crisis is spinning out of control in Europe, China’s bubble may have burst, Japan is still crippled from decades of stagnation made worse by a tsunami, the Middle East is in flames. Not just “the Democratic Party as most of us have known it,” but the post World War II structure may abruptly be juddering to an end. We are living through the crisis of the elites, whose ranks encompass but a few of the “oligarchy” Hamsher fears. Big government, multinational institutions, giant welfare states, and large scale public sector unionism may be dying. All her heroes are now wearing black hats and losing the gunfight. And they will not go gentle into that good night.

When the Doctor Goes Home: The Coming Indifference of American Medicine
Excerpt: In increasing numbers physicians are no longer entering traditional "private practice" but exchanging autonomy (such that it is) for a role as employee of hospitals, large "corporate" physician groups, or universities. Most non-physicians seeing this change are reflexively sympathetic. After all, "doctors are just like us," need predictable days off, personal days, set vacations, and the duality of rewarding home life and well-paying and ego-fulfilling job. All that makes sense, until severe illness visits. At that moment, in a hospital room at the end of the "second shift" or meeting the "hospitalist" whom you have never seen before, or when calling the primary care physician, who has no clue that anyone is in the hospital, you begin to understand the very different way we will be cared for at times of our greatest need. Most doctors do not want to advertise this nor will patients recognize it until the transition towards a gentle indifference is complete.

The Right to Work: A Fundamental Freedom
This web address is for a printable PDF. Readers who prefer not to print it out may find it more easily read by adjusting the “zoom” or “view” to fit their screen to their preference. Ron P. Excerpt: Boeing is a great American company. Recently it has built a second production line—its other is in Washington State—in South Carolina for its 787 Dreamliner airplane, creating 1,000 jobs there so far. Who knows what factors led to its decision to do this? As with all such business decisions, there were many. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—a five-member agency created in 1935 by the Wagner Act (about which I will speak momentarily)—has taken exception to this decision, ultimately based on the fact that South Carolina is a right-to-work state. That is, South Carolina, like 21 other states today, protects a worker’s right not only to join a union, but also to make the choice not to join or financially support a union. Washington State does not.

Important: The Stimulation Of Murder
Excerpt: The ATF's gun-running disaster was funded in the stimulus bill. Think about all the criminal and drug cartel jobs saved or created. And our attorney general once bragged to a Mexican audience about implementing it. This could be, no pun intended, the proverbial smoking gun in a growing administration scandal that deserves as much mainstream media attention as Iran-Contra or Watergate. Right there in the stimulus bill that no one in Congress bothered to read is $10 million for Project Gunrunner (aka Operation Fast and Furious), which resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and increased drug cartel violence. Right there in the "shovel ready" stimulus, no black humor intended, is a provision for $40 million for "state and local law enforcement assistance" along our border with Mexico and in high drug-trafficking areas, "of which $10 million shall be transferred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, salaries and expenses for the ATF Project Gunrunner." Attorney General Eric Holder's "I know nothing" imitation of TV's Sgt. Schultz has evaporated with the discovery of an April 2, 2009, speech to authorities in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in which he took Gunrunner credit for himself and the rest of the Obama administration. Holder told the audience: "Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner. DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion."

US government openly admits arming Mexican drug gangs with 30,000 firearms - but why?
Excerpt: It is now a widely-reported fact that under the Obama administration, U.S. federal agents actively placed over 30,000 fully-functional weapons into the hands of Mexican drug gangs, then halted all surveillance and tracking activities of where those weapons were going. This is not a conspiracy theory, nor a piece of fiction. It is now an openly-admitted fact that this was pulled off by the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, more commonly called "ATF") under orders from Washington. The program was called "Fast and Furious." Even Reuters is now covering the news and reporting how members of Congress are outraged to learn that this happened ( Details are also starting to leak about the cover-up inside ATF, which was led by the U.S. Attorney in Arizona, Dennis Burke, an Obama appointee ( The engineering of the illegal gun running went right up the chain of command to the director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, who is now expected to resign. The real planning of this event went even higher up the chain of command in Washington, possibly all the way to Attorney General Eric Holder ( Among the firearms sold to the Mexican drug gangs were AK-47s, thousands of pistols and, remarkably, .50-caliber rifles which are typically used to disable vehicles or carry out sniper-based assassinations at extremely long ranges (up to two miles). The mainstream media is now reporting that these weapons are turning up in violent crimes being committed in Phoenix, Arizona.

Richard Lindzen: A Climate Change Dissenter Who Has Left His Mark On U.S. Policy
A brief look at the life of a leading sceptic. Ron P. Excerpt: Richard Lindzen is 71. His career as professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is winding down. The rumpled, bearded, soft-spoken scientist no longer teaches regular classes and looks forward to a quiet retirement a year from now, perhaps at his second home, in Paris. "Quiet" is not a word you could apply to his career. In the 1970s, he developed a mathematical analysis that disproved much of the accepted scientific theories about how "tides" in the Earth's atmosphere move heat around the planet. For that, he won a number of prestigious awards and was invited to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences at the tender age of 37. (...) He became a major force in the political war that raged within the incoming George W. Bush Administration over what to do about global warming. After holding seminars with leading climate scientists, Bush rejected U.S. participation in the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Debate on the debt
After the commercial. ~Bob.

New Anti-Obama ad in Iowa
Well done. ~Bob.

Tim Pawlenty says Obama is 'like a manure spreader in a windstorm'
Excerpt: Tim Pawlenty, clearly frustrated with his mediocre results in early polling, came out swinging Friday in Iowa with barbs at President Obama. "Anyone can stand up here and flap their jaw and give a speech," the former Minnesota governor said Friday in a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to a crowd of about 70. "We've had Obama with all his soaring rhetoric, with all this nonsense, he's like a manure spreader in a windstorm. It stinks. It's flying all over the place and it's not pretty," the GOP presidential hopeful complained. Earlier Friday in Waterloo, Pawlenty theorized that Obama's "whole worldview is to grow the government, and take things out of the private sector and put it into the government." Unfortunately, that statement doesn't jibe with a this chart that argues that the Obama administration has actually killed about 500,000 government jobs since he took office. With unemployment numbers now at 9.2%, up for the third straight month, perhaps Pawlenty should simply focus on what cannot be denied: Employment numbers are neither growing in the private nor public sector. Just like the former governor's popularity numbers. (But the number of government workers making over $100k is way up, as is the government's power and control of the economy, for example stiffing the GM bond holders to help the unions. Maybe that's why people won't put money into expanding companies. ~Bob.)

Real Unemployment Rises to 16.2% in June -- 25.3 Million People
Excerpt: The real unemployment rate rose to 16.2 percent in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday, marking a return to levels not seen since January 2011.
The “real” unemployment rate is technically a combination of three measures of unemployment: the unemployment rate, the number of people working part-time who want full-time work, and the number of people “marginally attached” to the workforce. Those who have left the workforce but would still like to be employed are considered marginally attached.

Excerpt: This chart represents the average duration of unemployment. The historical upward trend hasn’t slowed down since November of 2009. Now what was that about ‘recovery’? 

No Us Flags At Gitmo
Excerpt: I was stunned to learn while researching Mastermind that Guantanamo detainees succeeded in convincing prison officials to no longer raise the American flag anywhere they could see it. Each morning on every U.S. military base around the world, the American flag is raised to a bugle. But in the interests of not offending the detainees, it was stopped at Guantanamo. The mind boggles. Guantanamo Bay must be the most user-friendly detention facility in world history. Up to a point that is fine, but not flying the American flag at a military base? Ridiculous.

Critics say bill to give Border Patrol a free hand would harm environment
Excerpt: A bill that would grant the Department of Homeland Security unprecedented access to federal lands near the border was sharply criticized Friday for giving the department unchecked authority. The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act would let DHS waive 36 environmental-protection laws for patrol activities within 100 miles of U.S. borders. Opponents of the legislation went so far as to call the bill, HR1505 , “particularly stupid” during Friday’s hearing of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. They called it overly broad and said it opened the door for DHS to completely disregard environmental-protection laws. “1505 may succeed in decreasing immigration, but only because the water, air and environments of border communities will be so degraded, no one will want to come here,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson. John Leshy, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings, testified that the legislation would make DHS “immune from review by the courts, except for constitutional claims.”

Soldier killed after Army bosses barred him from opening fire on Taliban insurgents planting roadside bombs
It's going to take a nuked city and several million deaths before we get serious--not PC--with these people. Do you think the Taliban were impressed with his "restraint"? ~Bob. Excerpt: A widow revealed how her soldier husband was blown up in Afghanistan days after senior officers had apparently ‘laughed off’ his complaints that insurgents were being allowed to plant explosive devices unchallenged. Sergeant Peter Rayner, 34, phoned his wife in a ‘highly stressed’ state four days before his death and was upset that his fears were not taken seriously. She said he and his men had watched the enemy, using night-vision goggles, plant improvised explosive devices and were not allowed to attack them. He was allegedly told by one officer: ‘I am an Army Captain and you will do your job.’

Pakistani Islamic party leader: a woman should not report rape unless she has four witnesses
Excerpt: Munawar Hasan is the President of Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, the country's largest and most powerful pro-Sharia party. This video is not in English, unfortunately, but in it he says that a woman should not report being raped unless she has four male Muslim witnesses who saw the act. In this he is on solid Qur'anic ground: "Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce not witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah" (Qur'an 24:13). (One of the many lovely aspects of Shari'a Law that many American Muslims, leftists and some judges would like to see implemented here. Multiculturalism trumps women's rights. If you are against this, you are Islamophobic and probably racist. ~Bob.)

South Sudan Becomes New Nation Saturday
Excerpt: It will be one of the most underdeveloped countries on the planet. Only 15 percent of its citizens can read and fears of renewed conflict abound. The people of the South have endured a half century of civil war and oppression by the Islamic rulers of northern Sudan that left more than 2 million dead. The South's population is heavily Christian and black African, two groups targeted by Omar Bashir's regime. (What say we divert some of the billions in aid we give to countries like Egypt and Pakistan to help these poor folks? What? Oh, they are black and Christian? Never mind--let them starve. ~Bob.)

Tunisians demonstrate against rise of Islamic supremacism
Excerpt: At the beginning of the Tunisian uprising, I noted that it was dominated by pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists. For this I was condemned as an "Islamophobe" who refused to recognize the glorious flowering of human rights and democracy that the "Arab Spring" represented. Some mocked my concern about Tunisia's Ennahda, saying that it was "fearmongering" and "ignorance," since Ennahda represented a minuscule minority and would be insignificant in post-uprising electoral politics. Now we're told it is one of the favorites in the next election.

Brooklyn: Misunderstander of Islam convicted of trying to join jihad group and kill U.S. troops
Excerpt: Betim Kaziu "became interested in the Koran and said he wanted to dedicate his life to God." Funny how becoming interested in the Qur'an led him to want to kill U.S. troops. How could he have misunderstood the book's beautiful message of peace?

Norway: New border police stopping asylum seekers, human trafficking
Excerpt: When will the European Union allow European countries to defend themselves against the Islamic immigrant influx? The EU works hard to stop its member states from reinstating control of their national borders. Several countries have been working hard to find loopholes in the directives from Brussels -- and Norway has found one.

What Difference Has RomneyCare Made?
Excerpt: Most conservative critics of the Massachusetts health reform have focused on any piece of bad news about the program they can find. After all, if this is the model for the federal legislation everyone calls “ObamaCare” it’s got to have a lot of defects. Right? Not so fast. The real story coming out of Massachusetts is that the whole thing is a yawner. Health reform in the Bay State has been mainly about money: who writes the checks and who cashes them. That shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s usually what health reform is about. But what about the effect on patients? As it turns out, there has been very little change at all. Does that mean that health reform at the federal level might also be benign? I wish. Unfortunately, ObamaCare introduces new and dangerous distortions that you don’t find in Massachusetts — partly because states don’t have the same powers as the federal government. More about that below.

Raiding an Empty Vault
Excerpt: A quarter century later, this serves as a wonderful metaphor for the grand project of Progressivism. Since the dawn of the 20th century, Progressives foretold the blessings they would deliver. Ordinary citizens lack the wits to govern themselves, they said, so let's put an elite cadre of Progressive managers on the case. Give them power, and they’d soon have things humming -- a chicken in every pot, a Chevy in every garage. When Progressives gained power, they served us the New Deal and Social Security, followed with helpings of the Great Society and Medicare/Medicaid. Now they're jamming the Obama smorgasbord down our throats -- ObamaCare, bailouts, stimulus packages, Government Motors, and "quantitative easing," a.k.a. printing money. That isn't all. Far from it. For decades, public-sector labor unions harnessed Progressivism's spread-the-wealth creed to extract lavish contracts from government. Workers won guarantees of lifetime health care and generous pensions, often without having to contribute a penny from their own above-market wages. But instead of simmering in their Progressive pots, the chickens are now flocking home to roost.

Feds Force State & Local Government Insolvency
Excerpt: The eventual insolvency of many or most state and local governments in the United States, as well as of many major corporations, can be relatively easily shown to be the necessary mathematical byproduct of current US federal monetary and economic policy. For decades, state and local governments were encouraged to make binding pension promises which relied heavily upon the (deeply flawed) academic theory that the lucrative compounding of investment wealth over the long term was close to guaranteed.  Employee and sponsor contributions by themselves have never been enough to pay pensions, and unless investment profits deliver most of the money, then pension assets come up woefully short of being able to meet pension obligations. However, Federal Reserve and United States government policy for the last ten years has been to knock interest rates down to near historic lows, even while propping up the prices of investment assets. This policy has simultaneously knocked out both of the mathematical pillars that long-term pension fund investments relied upon (as well as destroying the heart of conventional individual retirement planning). Because investment yields have been driven so low by the government, the pension plans are already in dire straits.

Important: The War on Jobs Continues
Excerpt: It's bad enough that top Obama advisor David Plouffe thinks unemployment isn't important to citizens. It's another thing for the president's economic czar Austan Goolsbee to claim the US is not facing another recession while trying to raise taxes on
Main Street
, especially in light of the jobs report. Like all tax increases in this administration, the one they’re talking about now is a “targeted” tax increase. They are targeted at your pocketbook and your job. (One of the “buzz-phrases” being used by the Administration these days is “tax expenditures.” Neither the phrase nor its meaning is really new, though most folks remain innocent of its meaning. In the mind of a statist/collectivist, what you earn belongs—in its entirety—to the government, not to you. Anything you’re allowed to keep beyond taxation is a “tax expenditure” based on government’s NOT taking it away from you. It was “expended” from the possible 100% taxes. I’m not sure when the concept originated. I first heard of it around 1970, and it was one of the cornerstones—and reasons he didn’t win—in the presidential campaign of Ted Kennedy in 1980 against Carter. Even Democrats then thought it was several steps too far toward state control of our lives. Beware of anyone talking about “tax expenditures;” that person isn’t just a liberal, but a first rank collectivist looking at YOUR earnings with covetous eyes. Your money belongs to you, not the government. Ron P.)

Worth Reading: The Bistromath Economy
Just the facts, Ma'am. Scary. ~Bob. Excerpt: “The numbers, they are awful.”

Following Pelosi's lead, House Dems dig in their heels on entitlements
WE promised the people we'd bankrupt America and by golly, we are sticking to it! ~Bob. Excerpt: Behind their leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Democrats are solidifying their resistance to including any entitlement cuts in a debt-ceiling package. Pelosi met privately with President Obama and Vice President Biden Friday morning to lend the White House "a clear understanding of the terms for how we go forward," she told reporters afterwards. At a closed Democratic Caucus meeting following the White House pow-wow, Pelosi was much less reserved when she relayed how she'd told Obama in no uncertain terms of the caucus' opposition to any cuts in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, according to a number of lawmakers who attended the gathering. "The [caucus] cheered Pelosi when she said she was not going to back up, and that's the message she's delivering to the White House," said Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Mexican national’s execution in U.S. prompts diplomatic disappointment
Kill a murderer/rapist, it's a big deal. But the drug cartels murder 28,000 Mexicans in four years? Ho hum, don't bother me. Viva Mexico! ~Bob. Excerpt: The top United Nations human rights official said Friday that the execution of a Mexican national in Texas was a breach of international law, while diplomats, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, expressed disappointment in the outcome of the case. Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., who had been convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old San Antonio girl in 1994, was executed by lethal injection on Thursday night, shortly after the Supreme Court denied the Obama administration’s request for a delay.

Anti-Terror Sensor That Scans Crowds for Bombers Tested in U.K.
Excerpt: A sensor that can scan huge crowds and pick out a lone suicide bomber by homing in on hidden explosives has undergone official tests, The Sun reported Thursday. The revolutionary gadget -- similar to airport scanners but top secret -- is believed to silently analyze materials using the unique "terahertz" waves emitted by different substances. British government scientists began testing it a year ago on mock crowds where one person in every 75 carried a "Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device."

The Sugar Daddy Has Run Out of Sugar; Now We Need New Leaders
Barack Obama’s big government policies continue to fail. He should put a link to the national debt clock on his BlackBerry. The gears on that clock have nearly exploded during his administration. Yesterday’s terrible job numbers should not be a surprise because it all goes back to our debt. Our dangerously unsustainable debt is wiping out our jobs, crippling our economic growth, and jeopardizing our position in the global economy as the leader of the free world.

The Week That Was: 2011-07-09 (July 9, 2011)
Many interesting articles from TWTW this week. The excerpt is from the lead-in by Ken Haapala. When he mentions 100B, it’s POUNDS, not dollars. He follows it with a few graphs about the Tesla luxury electric cars now available. Ron P. Excerpt: Alternative energy, such as wind power, is so popular with many politicians and governments that it has become a mania similar to the canal construction frenzy that seized many politicians in the United States prior to the Civil War. Opened in 1825, New York State’s Erie Canal was a great success, permitting the transportation of goods between the Atlantic seaboard and the Great Lakes region of the country, through the Appalachian Mountain range, avoiding much of the difficult terrain by taking advantage of a natural glacial channel, the only major cut in the mountains for hundreds of miles. At the time, water was by far the least expensive way to transport goods. Many other state governments and communities tried to duplicate the success and most failed, burdening the bond holders, or worse, if financed by government guarantees, the citizens of the states and communities. (…) Very simply, wind promoters ignore the economics. It is as if they are promoting the building of canals over the Appalachian Mountains after the railroads have already crossed them at numerous locations. (…) They are not financially viable without government subsidies and mandates, and without these the industry would collapse as quickly as poorly conceived canal projects collapsed in the 1800s. Simply, so-called sustainable energy is not sustainable without governments forcing the financial burdens onto others. (…) Storage of electricity has been a technologically vexing problem for decades, affecting all base-load electricity producers that often have excess generation capability during the parts of the day (usually nighttime) when the demand is low. Yet, political promoters of wind and solar conveniently overlook such shortcomings. The political leaders of Great Britain are determined to make it a leader in wind power. Several reports this week illustrate the financial hardships and the absurd situations that government wind policy is causing. (…) The UK charity (non-profit), Renewable Electricity Subsidies (RES) calculates that, under current policies, the probable cost of renewable Electricity Subsidies may reach the range of £100 Billion by 2030. This is excellent news for those thriving by subsidies (rent seekers) and terrible news for the general public.

Gosar Israel Amendment Passed By House Of Representatives
Excerpt: On July 7, 2011, the United States House of Representatives passed, by unanimous consent, an amendment to HR 2219 sponsored by U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, DDS (AZ-01), that prohibited the use of any military funds, or military assistance, to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah. Gosar stated, “until the Muslim Brotherhood recognizes Israel’s right to peacefully co-exist, no U.S. military assistance should be provided to an Egypt controlled even in part by the Muslim Brotherhood.” In a rare bipartisan vote, the House adopted the Gosar Amendment unanimously. (Good luck in the Senate or at the White House. ~Bob.)

Great Quote
The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

FEMA faces House heat for taking over flood insurance policies
Excerpt: Rep. Judy Biggert, Illinois Republican, is sponsoring a bill, HR 1309, that would require FEMA to notify policyholders within 60 days of a government takeover that their plans are being run by FEMA. Biggert’s bill also reauthorizes the NFIP program, which is scheduled to expire on September 30. If it isn’t renewed, the insurance market freezes. Biggert spokesman Zachary Cikanek told TheDC that the congresswoman’s legislation aims to, among other things, cut through that loophole that forced FEMA to take control of those 800,000 policies from State Farm, adding that it isn’t FEMA’s fault the government takeover happened. “Rep. Biggert’s NFIP reform measure is targeted at protecting taxpayers and increasing private market participation in the flood insurance market,” Cikanek said in an email. “It phases-in actuarially sound rates for policies, cuts government subsidies, and allows for an increase in private sector involvement.” (Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of “grand ideas” from Congress are turning out to have unexpected—and unpleasant—consequences? Ron P. Has always been true--but the number of "Grand Ideas" has gone up like the debt. ~Bob.)

PA may not pay salaries next month
Excerpt: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas revealed on Saturday that the PA is encountering a serious financial crisis and might not be able to pay civil servant salaries next month. Abbas had warned of the measures in a meeting with leaders of Palestinian popular organizations Friday night. “We might pay a half salary depending on the money our treasury receives.” Abbas warned against any negative reactions such as strikes or protests, especially by trade unions, stating that such protests would only harm what the PA has accomplished. (Gee, things are tough all over. ~Bob.)

PA envoy slams European complicity in blocking 'Flytilla'
Excerpt: The Palestinian Authority's envoy to the European Union Leila Shahid slammed European airlines on Friday for preventing European citizens from traveling to Tel Aviv to join solidarity protests with the Palestinian people. “Is Europe blockaded just like Palestine? On what basis are European solidarity activists blacklisted at airports in European countries to prevent them from flying to Al-Lud [Ben Gurion] airport?” Shahid said in a statement Friday. European solidarity activists were responding to calls by Palestinian civil society organizations to commemorate the seventh anniversary of an International Court of Justice decision which ruled that Israel’s separation wall was illegal, the Palestinian envoy said.

Senior Hezbollah Official Warns about S. Arabia's Arms Purchase from US
Excerpt: A senior member of the Lebanese Hezbollah group warned about the Saudi purchase of a large cache of weapons from Washington, and called it a threat to Iran. Member of Central Council of Lebanese Hezbollah Sheikh Muhammad Yezbek said that the sale agreement amount is around 90 billion dollars, which is one of the biggest in the US arm trade history, and it was signed under condition that the weapons won't be used against the Zionist regime. The United States has long been Saudi Arabia's leading arms supplier. From 1950 through 2006, Saudi Arabia bought or was granted from the United States weapons, military equipment and services worth $79.8 billion. Almost a fifth of all American arms sales during that period went to Saudi Arabia-or 19% of all US arms sales during the period.

Did the Attorney General Mislead Congress on Operation ‘Fast and Furious’?
Excerpt: Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says he does not believe Attorney General Eric Holder gave accurate testimony under oath to Congress during the House Judiciary Committee on May 3. Asked in May when he learned of Operation “Fast and Furious” and “Project Gunrunner,” Holder claimed he ‘probably’ learned of it ‘over the last few weeks.’ In the testy exchange that followed, Issa pointed out that two Americans were killed by weapons associated with the botched operation, and that in the end, no major criminals were brought to justice. Issa also implies that the Department of Justice was deliberately slow-rolling the request for documentation about the program. You can watch the exchange between Holder and Issa here. As for the Attorney General’s timeline of the last few weeks, Operation ‘Fast and Furious’ was reported in major news outlets across the country starting not weeks, but months before the May 3 hearing, including a 4-page article in the Washington Post in February naming the program and explaining how it was supposed to work.

Holder Lied, People Died
Excerpt: "Project Gun Runner" -- also known as "Operation Fast and Furious" -- was a massive firearm smuggling program orchestrated by the Department of Justice. It was ostensibly designed to monitor the flow of weapons to Mexican drug cartels. More than 2000 weapons, including military-style assault- and sniper rifles, were intentionally sold to the cartels over the protests of gun-shop owners and ATF field agents. And virtually none of the weapons were actually tracked by U.S. officials. The murders of at least two American law enforcement officials and dozens of Mexican nationals have since been tied to these weapons. (Here is the great scandal that wasn’t (yet). Everyone from Obama on down has ducked for cover, and the “media” (outside Fox) won’t touch it. In other words, there’s a cover up. So it’s left to citizens like Doug Ross to turn over the rocks and get the word out. And he does an excellent job. Why not pass the word too. --Dan.)

Ex-Astronaut Story Musgrave Blasts NASA, Washington, Over Space Shuttle Program Failures
Excerpt: "The shuttle did not turn out like we planned," Dr. Story Musgrave told The Huffington Post. "It was going to [fly] 66 times a year and it ended up with about five times a year. It was going to cost $10 million a flight, and two months ago, an independent study showed that it cost $1.2 billion a flight. It was massively fragile, difficult to operate and exceedingly dangerous." Musgrave is a surgeon, mathematician, chemist, biophysicist, physiologist, computer scientist, artist and author of important scientific papers in the areas of aerospace medicine, physiology and clinical surgery. His achievements include designing the spacesuit that was used by shuttle astronauts for space walks. Musgrave performed the first space shuttle space walk in 1983 on Challenger's maiden flight. Ten years later, he was the lead space walker during the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. But with NASA closing shop on the shuttle program because of the huge ongoing expense, Musgrave is critical of how the powers-that-be made decisions. (Wow, what qualifications! And I thought NASA just wanted great pilots with cajones majores. He makes some great points. Ron P.)

Breaking News: Tampa SAC 'in full meltdown...shredders are buzzing'
This needs verification, but Dear God, if true....~Bob. Excerpt: The source reporting Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Tampa Field Division Virginia O'Brien "ran a gun-running investigation that was walking guns to Honduras using the techniques and tactics identical to Fast and Furious" contacted these correspondents again this evening with this follow-up report:

When the first couple of "gunwalker" stories hit my in-box, I didn't put them in the blog. Too outlandish to believe. No one could be that stupid, I thought. I know longer can tell what is too far out to be believed. ~Bob. Excerpt: One of the kingpins of the infamous Los Zetas drug running gang has told Mexican federal police that the group purchased its weapons directly from U.S. government officials inside America, a revelation that will only serve to heighten suspicions that the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious program was a deliberate attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by stealth. Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives “Sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.” Some of the weapons were later used to kill US Border Patrol agents like Brian Terry. However, according to the testimony of Rej√≥n Aguilar, one of the original seven members of Los Zetas who was recently captured by police, in some cases Mexican drug gangs did not have to wait until the firearms reached the border – they purchased guns directly from the US government itself inside America.

La Raza Group Teams Up With Feds To Push Govt. Aid In Spanish
Excerpt: President Obama’s favorite La Raza group has teamed up with a federal agency to promote one of the administration’s many government cash giveaways with Spanish ads encouraging Latinos—possibly illegal immigrants—to apply for free U.S. taxpayer dollars. The new campaign warns Hispanics that time is running out to get up to “$50,000 in help” from Uncle Sam to pay their mortgage, past due charges, taxes, insurance and even legal fees associated with their home. The money is being disbursed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a billion-dollar Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP). In 2008 the agency revealed that some 5 million fraudulent or defaulted home mortgages were in the hands of illegal immigrants, who obtained the loans from banks that were pressured by the government to offer them. In fact, the agency in charge of preserving and promoting public confidence in the nation’s financial system, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), began pushing banks to offer services to illegal aliens years earlier and many still do today.

Vets Contest Man’s Claimed ‘Black Hawk Down’ Exploits
Excerpt: A Kinston, N.C., man who told The Free Press for a story published Sunday that he served as an Army Ranger and took part in an infamous battle in Mogadishu, Somalia, was not a participant in that fight and was not a Ranger, according to former Rangers who were there.
Jeff "Rock" Harris, who was featured in a story that ran with the headline "Kinston resident recalls extraordinary experiences that led to 'Black Hawk Down,' " is apparently not listed on the official manifest of Soldiers with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Mogadishu at the time of that October 1993 fight nor is the name Michael J. Harris, the name that appears on documents Harris showed a Free Press reporter last week. (Any day now someone will claim to be a survivor of the Little Bighorn. ~Bob.)

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