Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Political Digest for July 6, 2011

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

Worth Reading: Politics Versus Reality by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not. Not only among politicians, but also among much of the media, and even among some of the public, the quest is not for truth about reality but for talking points that fit a vision or advance an agenda. Some seem to see it as a personal contest about who is best at fencing with words. The current controversy over whether to deal with our massive national debt by cutting spending, or whether instead to raise tax rates on "the rich," is a classic example of talking points versus reality. Most of those who favor simply raising tax rates on "the rich" -- or who say that we cannot afford to allow the Bush "tax cuts for the rich" to continue -- show not the slightest interest in the history of what has actually happened when tax rates were raised to high levels on "the rich," as compared to what has actually happened when there have been "tax cuts for the rich."

Burning Down the House
Excerpt: The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. – Emerson. The louder they talked about the disadvantaged, the more money they made. And the more the financial system tottered. Who were they? Most explanations of the financial calamity have been indecipherable to people not fluent in the language of "credit default swaps" and "collateralized debt obligations." The calamity has lacked human faces. No more. Put on asbestos mittens and pick up "Reckless Endangerment," the scalding new book by Gretchen Morgenson, a New York Times columnist, and Joshua Rosner, a housing finance expert. They will introduce you to James A. Johnson, an emblem of the administrative state that liberals admire. The book's subtitle could be: "Cry 'Compassion' and Let Slip the Dogs of Cupidity." Or: "How James Johnson and Others (Mostly Democrats) Made the Great Recession." The book is another cautionary tale about government's terrifying self-confidence. It is, the authors say, "a story of what happens when Washington decides, in its infinite wisdom, that every living, breathing citizen should own a home." (I’ve just ordered this book. ~Bob.)

Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist
Excerpt: The intelligence, which several administration officials said they believed was reliable and conclusive, showed that the actions of the ISI, as it is known, were “barbaric and unacceptable,” one of the officials said. They would not disclose further details about the intelligence. But the disclosure of the information in itself could further aggravate the badly fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which worsened significantly with the American commando raid two months ago that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistan safehouse and deeply embarrassed the Pakistani government, military and intelligence hierarchy. Obama administration officials will deliberate in the coming days how to present the information about Mr. Shahzad to the Pakistani government, an administration official said. The disclosure of the intelligence was made in answer to questions about the possibility of its existence, and was reluctantly confirmed by the two officials. (…) A third senior American official said there was enough other intelligence and indicators immediately after Mr. Shahzad’s death for the Americans to conclude that the ISI had ordered him killed. (Can't anyone in Washington keep their mouth shut? Are these “officials” idiots? Does the NYT have some interest that will be served by short-circuiting the diplomatic process? I added emphasis to the line in the article that clearly shows NYT KNOWS disclosing this—and in this manner—will NOT be in the interest of the USA. Surely not every NYT employee could be an anti-American subversive; why doesn’t someone do something to stop all these leaks? Ron P.)

Beware Obama's Backdoor Amnesty Dream
Excerpt: Fireworks broke the darkness of the sky over Washington last night in a choreographed dance of light that paid tribute to our nation's independence. It was a breathtaking display marking America's birth of freedom--a sight to behold, a sight to remember. Last week, another choreographed display befell Washington as more than 200 illegal immigrants were welcomed into the U.S. Capitol as props for Senator Dick Durbin's (D–IL) immigration reform show. It was a scene designed to tug at the heartstrings and garner support for his pet project, the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow for illegal immigrants between the ages of 15 and 35 who attend college or serve in the military for two years to obtain legal permanent resident status. (Why do we spend all that money having a Congress? If Obama wants a Dream Act, he issues an executive order. If he doesn’t want the Senate to confirm, he creates a Czar not subject to the Senate. If he wants to start a war, he calls it “kinetic military action.” Who needs checks and balances and co-equal branches of government?)

Political groups, now free of limits, spending heavily ahead of 2012
Excerpt: A contentious special election in Upstate New York has quickly become a test run of sorts for 2012 as outside political groups pump more than $2 million into an obscure three-way House contest. Republican and conservative groups, led by the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads, have flooded the airwaves with ads attacking the Democratic and tea party candidates vying to replace former Republican congressman Chris Lee. Democratic groups and unions have scrambled to catch up, with their own ads attacking the official GOP nominee, though they remain outspent by conservatives in the days ahead of the Tuesday election.

Redistricting adds to Republican leaders' debt-vote pressures
Excerpt: Redistricting is expected to make a House vote on raising the debt ceiling even more difficult for GOP leaders. Several incumbents find themselves drawn into 2012 battles with sitting colleagues, with the debt-ceiling vote seen as a defining issue, particularly for some House Republicans. Republicans battling one another to continue their careers in Congress will see a chance to stand out on the debt-ceiling vote.

Dem leaders announce support for extended payroll-tax holiday
Excerpt: Despite warnings it will undermine Social Security, House Democratic leaders are lining up behind a White House proposal to extend a payroll-tax cut beyond this year.
Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and John Larson (D-Conn.) announced Friday that they'll throw their weight behind the extended payroll-tax holiday, which President Obama and some leading Senate Democrats are prescribing as an economic stimulant.

Think tank: Shrink ground forces, end counterinsurgency missions for savings
Think of the money we could have saved in WWII by shrinking the military and losing. FDR should have thought of that. ~Bob. Excerpt: To help heal the nation’s economic sores, Washington could free up billions annually by drastically altering how it uses the U.S. military and shaving the size of the Army and Marine Corps, according to a new study. As the White House and congressional leaders race to find a way to address the nation’s mounting debt, members of both political parties have said defense cuts are on the table. Even House Republicans, typically hawkish on Pentagon spending, say defense cuts are needed.

Libyan rebels hire Washington’s No. 1 lobby firm for 'advice and assistance'
Economic stimulus. NATO gives the rebels money, they spend it in DC. ~Bob. Excerpt: Washington’s No. 1 lobbying firm is going to work for the Libyan rebels who are fighting to unseat Moammar Gadhafi. Patton Boggs, perennially the top-earning
K Street
firm, is lobbying for the rebels to be accepted as the “legitimate government of the sovereign nation of Libya,” according to documents filed this week with the Justice Department. The firm signed a contract with the Interim Transitional National Council of Libya to provide “advice and assistance on U.S.-Libya bilateral relations,” according to the documents. 

The Role of Public Transportation in the Lives of Elderly and Disabled Riders
Excerpt: A recent report from a group called Transportation for America calculated that, by the year 2015, more than 15 million Americans above the age of 65 will have poor access to transit. The report called for more funding for transit so that these people would be able to "age in place" and still have transit access. The American Public Transportation Association and other transit-oriented groups have written similar reports. There are two problems with this line of reasoning. First, for the vast majority of Americans outside of the New York metropolitan area, transit is practically irrelevant as a form of travel. Despite receiving the largest subsidies per passenger mile of any mode of transportation, less than 1 percent of all passenger miles traveled by American rely on transit. Transit is even less relevant for senior citizens than for other Americans. The American Public Transportation Association says that people over 65 ride transit only 54 percent as much as the national average. 

China Coal Consumption Linked To Global Cooling
Excerpt: Scientists have come up with a possible explanation for why the rise in Earth's temperature paused for a bit during the 2000s, one of the hottest decades on record. The answer seems counterintuitive. It's all that sulfur pollution in the air from China's massive coal-burning, according to a new study. Sulfur particles in the air deflect the sun's rays and can temporarily cool things down a bit. That can happen even as coal-burning produces the carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. "People normally just focus on the warming effect of CO2 (carbon dioxide), but during the Chinese economic expansion there was a huge increase in sulfur emissions," which have a cooling effect, explained Robert K. Kaufmann of Boston University. He's the lead author of the study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. But sulfur's cooling effect is only temporary, while the carbon dioxide from coal burning stays in Earth's atmosphere a long time. (Well, at least they aren't blaming Bush for this. What I think they are trying to say is that the reason that their predictions of global warming hasn't materialized is China's fault. On the other hand, their letting China off the hook as a major contributor to what they say is a major cause of GW, i.e., burning coal. AC/DC scientists, just give us more money for our research and one of these centuries we'll figure it out. –Mike. Maybe they are just wrong? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: A Prominent Republican is joining a prominent Democrat in predicting that Gov. Cuomo will become President Obama's running mate for vice president next year.
Former New York GOP boss William Powers, credited with playing a key role in electing Rudy Giuliani mayor and George Pataki governor, was effusive in his praise of Cuomo's successes in the just-ended legislative session, and in his prediction of the freshman governor's political future. "Andrew had a fabulous session. It was fabulous. A property-tax cap, ethics reform and, for Democrats, gay marriage," said Powers. "I don't think there's any doubt Obama is going to pick him as his running mate. The president is in trouble and [Vice President Joseph] Biden doesn't bring anything to his ticket. (Keep Biden, dump the teleprompter. Let the voters hear Obama unscripted. ~Bob.)

A Horrible Racial Preference Ruling in Michigan
Excerpt: On Friday, a panel from the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan's ban on affirmative action. In a split decision (Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action vs Regents of the University of Michigan), Judges R. Guy Cole, Jr. and Martha Craig Daughtrey had the presumption to overturn the wishes of a solid majority of Michigan voters who had approved the ban in a 2006 referendum ("Proposal 2"). The idea that two individuals could presume to annul the actions of a democratic majority is troubling. Far more troubling is the fact that, rather than interpret the law as established by the referendum, a federal court has decided once again to legislate from the bench. It is important to note that Judge Cole, who wrote the decision, is an African-American appointed by Bill Clinton. Daughtrey, who was also appointed to the Sixth Court of Appeals by President Clinton, previously served on the liberal Tennessee Supreme Court. The dissenting vote on the three-judge panel was cast by Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.

AP Enterprise: The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
Excerpt: After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst. In the hunt for the world's most-wanted terrorist, there may have been no one more important. His job for nearly a decade was finding the al-Qaida leader. The analyst was the first to put in writing last summer that the CIA might have a legitimate lead on finding bin Laden. He oversaw the collection of clues that led the agency to a fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. His was among the most confident voices telling Obama that bin Laden was probably behind those walls. (This reads like a Tom Clancy thriller. I hope this guy gets medal and a big bonus. But, I also hope the “officials speaking without authority to do so” are found and prosecuted. How do we keep any secrets, these days? If we do. --Ron P.)

Must Watch: Uncle Jay explains the President’s Speech
Short and very funny. ~Bob.

Wind-Turbine Maker That Obama Praised Files for Bankruptcy
Excerpt: President Obama visited Cardinal, which is in Bedford Heights near Cleveland, in January 2009 before his inauguration. "Renewable energy isn't something pie in the sky," Obama said during a speech at Cardinal. "It's not part of a far-off future. It's happening all across America right now. " ... It can create millions of new jobs and entire new industries if we act right now." Jeff Grabner, vice president and head of the company's wind business, told the Plain Dealer earlier in the week that Cardinal had been losing business to European suppliers who had underbid Cardinal, forcing the company to trim its workforce by 15 employees a year ago.

Marco Rubio: Ready for Political Primetime
Excerpt: At first he didn't want to do any national media, preferring to focus on Florida issues. He didn't make his maiden speech on the Senate floor until June 14, five months after being sworn-in. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) so gifted at age 40, combines passion for his conservative ideas with a humility that could easily spill over into arrogance, if he didn't have a strong sense of self. On the morning of our first meeting, I arrive early. He arrives before his staff and goes around turning on lights with no sense that such action is below his pay grade. In a town full of hubris and self-absorption, Rubio appears not to have yet caught the disease. Perhaps he will turn out to be the Hispanic version of Jimmy Stewart's movie character, "Mr. Smith." That doesn't mean Rubio can't attack President Obama, but when he does, it is the president's policies he goes after, not the man. Of the president's harsh verbal assault on Republicans during his news conference last Wednesday, Rubio says, "I was taken aback by some of the rhetoric the president used, which I think is more appropriate for some left-wing strong man than for the president of the United States." Rubio singled out the president's "class warfare language." He called Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy, corporate jets and big oil companies "disingenuous and counterproductive" because the amount of money raised would do little to solve the debt problem and would actually "scare job creators away."

Noble Warrior: The Life and Times of Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret.), Medal of Honor
Yesterday, I ran an excellent column by General Livingston on playing politics with the military. One of my Marine readers brought this book to my attention. I have not read it yet, but have ordered it. ~Bob.

To stop Syria's carnage
The crisis on murdered civilians is much worse in Syria, but Libya was much easier top go to “kinetic military action that doesn’t rise to the level of hostilities” with. ~Bob. Talk to high officials in Western capitals these days and you hear that it's time for the United Nations to "do something" about Syria. "The UN cannot remain silent," says British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "The Syrian president has reached the end of the road," echoes French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. Yet those assertions come with a mournful claim that there's little chance of the UN taking action anytime soon -- even as reasons mount to support UN intervention.

Washington in denial
In the Obama administration's third year, an air of unreality and disbelief has settled across the nation. Much of the media is focused on the trial of a trashy young woman for the murder of her daughter -- even as the economy is headed for the shoals. Majorities think the country is on the wrong track, and 40 percent think the nation has entered permanent decline. Meanwhile, President Obama -- after lecturing Congress not to slack off -- took off for his own holiday weekend at Camp David. The contrast between some state governments -- forced by reality into dealing with their huge budgetary problems -- and the fantasy world of the feds has never been greater. In New York, New Jersey and Florida, politicians as philosophically disparate as Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republicans Chris Christie and Rick Scott have taken significant steps to bring their states' fiscal houses into order, no matter what the eventual political price.

Regulators causing bank failures
Excerpt: Beware Greeks bearing debt - or any other country that has too much of it. Despite ever-increasing government regulation of banks, which often are required to hold government debt as reserves, the systemic risk of a failure in the global financial system is growing rather than diminishing. There are solutions that require less, rather than more, regulation. Some banks have been around for a couple of centuries or more, particularly in Switzerland, and yet they continue to thrive without government help. Only one Swiss bank out of 350 required state intervention in the financial crisis of the past few years. If you look at the big banks that have been in trouble or the banks that regulators and others worry about being in financial trouble, you will notice that virtually all of them have a corporate form of ownership and are heavily regulated. They also increasingly are being forced to be tax collectors for governments. Yet banks that are organized as general partnerships, such as Swiss private banks, where the owners of the banks have unlimited liability, have, in almost all cases, avoided failure or having to go to the government for a bailout.

Jose Antonio Vargas: Poster child for why E-Verify must be mandatory
excerpt: Jose Antonio Vargas, a former Washington Post reporter, has come out of the closet and announced to the world that he is an illegal alien. In his tell-all confession, published in the New York Times Magazine, he outs not only himself, but others who abetted his illegal presence and employment in the United States, including The Post itself, which continued to employ him even after a member of the paper's management learned that he had lied about his citizenship. Most important, Mr. Vargas' confession exposes the ease with which he, and millions of illegal aliens like him, can circumvent the law. It was as easy as a piece of white masking tape and a photocopy machine. Mr. Vargas writes that when he was a teenager, he and his grandfather covered over the portion of his Social Security card that said he was ineligible to work in the United States before photocopying it. Using a copy of an already flimsy card that constitutes the most important piece of identification Americans possess, Mr. Vargas was able repeatedly to flout the law against illegal aliens working in this country. (Note to al Qaeda: buy white tape. ~Bob.)

Marcus Bachmann, campaign spouse
Excerpt: While Michele Bachmann tries to distinguish herself on the campaign trail, Marcus Bachmann, her husband of 32 years, already has. He’s yet to do any surrogate campaigning or deliver a speech. Still, unlike several other candidates’ spouses, he’s enthusiastically embraced his wife’s run, sketching out a new kind of role for himself: Equal parts confidant, body man, image consultant and political strategist — while also proving a potential liability. Marcus Bachmann was ubiquitous during the Minnesota congresswoman’s first official campaign swing across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina last week. But until the final question of the last town hall meeting of a four-day trip, he was more seen than heard.

The Tipping Point: Embracing the Muslim Brotherhood
Excerpt: The Obama administration chose the eve of the holiday marking our Nation's birth to acknowledge publicly behavior in which it has long been stealthily engaged to the United States' extreme detriment: Its officials now admit that they are embracing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan in Arabic). That would be the same international Islamist organization that has the destruction of the United States, Israel and all other parts of the Free World as its explicit objective.

Excerpt: It sounded like such a good idea. Back in 2009, NRG Energy Inc. hatched a plan to “go green” using switchgrass and sorghum as boiler fuel supplement. It was hoped that it might replace up to 10% of the coal which fires its Big Cajun II power plant in New Roads, LA. All the elements were in place: land near the plant (up to 30,000 acres of fertile Mississippi River floodplain — you can’t afford to transport biomass very far), plus the help of California-based Ceres Inc., a recently-IPO’d specialist in switchgrasses. The project was to start up this year. The effort failed when the crops yielded only a fraction of the expected biomass, a company spokesman said. “We planted a warm-weather variant of switchgrass, a cold-weather variant of switchgrass and the sorghum. The result was we did not get a usable crop,” NRG spokesman David Knox said. But switchgrass has been widely touted as an important part of our green future, both as a boiler fuel and as a feedstock for ethanol. Where could this plan go wrong?

NSW police given power to remove veils
Excerpt: MUSLIM women can be forced to remove their face veils during routine car stops under new powers granted to NSW police. Premier Barry O'Farrell said cabinet had approved the move today so police could properly identify motorists or any other people suspected of committing a crime. "I don't care whether a person is wearing a motor cycle helmet, a burqa, niqab, face veil or anything else, the police should be allowed to require those people to make their identification clear," Mr O'Farrell said in a statement. Last week, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said police needed stronger powers to identify women who wear full facial veils.

Pakistani clerics call U.S.-sponsored gay rights meeting "cultural terrorism," an attack almost as dangerous as drone strikes
Excerpt: There are at least two noteworthy aspects of this report. One is the pitch of the rhetoric, supported by Sharia's punishments for homosexual acts, which Pakistan upholds. The other is that the report offers yet another case study in the useless elasticity of the term "terrorism." It is quite the case of selective outrage, as countless Pakistani lives lost to jihadist attacks do not often seem to warrant this kind of attention or condemnation.

U.K.: Over 22,000 girls at risk of being taken abroad for female genital mutilation
Excerpt: The politically correct article of faith included at the end of this report is that "there are no legitimate cultural or religious reasons." By Western standards, there is indeed no legitimate reason. As for its prevalence in the Muslim world, authorities may find false reassurance in the notion that FGM is not spelled out as an obligation in the Qur'an. But Islam is not a sola scriptura faith. The practice of Islam also depends on traditions handed down in ahadith and biographies of Muhammad, and schools of jurisprudence. That, for example, is why Sunnis and Shi'ites can read the same Qur'an and differ on so much. With FGM, one finds that the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence holds FGM to be obligatory, with other schools also failing to condemn it: "Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna [commendable according to the word or example of Muhammad, but not obligatory], while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband." - Umdat al-Salik e4.3. Muhammad himself did not condemn it: "A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband." - Sunan Abu Dawud 41.5251

Excerpt: A pipeline carrying gas from Egypt through the northern Sinai to Israel and Jordan has been hit by an explosion. It is the third attack on a pipeline in Sinai since February, when a popular uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Sources told AsiaNews that pro-Palestinian Islamic extremists placed the bomb to force Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to change the country’s policy towards Israel. (Tell me again how the “Arab Spring” is a good thing. ~Bob.)

Gee, I wonder why some folks are Islamophobic. ~Bob. Excerpt: Islamic militants in Afghanistan have beheaded what is believed to be a Christian convert and warned other Afghani Christians of "dire consequences" for leaving Islam, after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, BosNewsLife learned Sunday, July 3. A video message obtained by the respected Christian oriented WORLD Magazine shows a man being beheaded by four men claiming to be members of Afghanistan's Taliban group. Abdul Latif, somewhere in his 40's, was recently kidnapped from his village outside of Enjeel, a town south of Herat, the capital of Herat province.

Muslim group active at Australian universities
Excerpt: UNIVERSITIES are being targeted in a recruitment drive by a radical Islamic group that urges Muslims to reject democracy and target Australian troops fighting in Afghanistan. Members of the Sydney Muslim community yesterday warned that Hizb ut-Tahrir - which is banned in parts of Europe and the Middle East - had infiltrated Muslim students' associations at several campuses, with a focus on converting well-educated, middle-class men to their cause. … Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar yesterday defended the group's draft constitution for their proposed Islamic state, despite it demanding that Muslims who leave the religion "are to be executed" while all males aged 15 or over were "obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad". "Our view is that we adopt the Islamic positions on all these issues," Mr Badar said.

New Doc on Gray Lady Ignores Paper’s Institutional Bias
Excerpt: The new documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times examines all the reasons why the Gray Lady faces an uncertain tomorrow.  All, that is, except one: the newspaper’s institutional liberal bias. (…) What’s missing beyond the obvious bias debate is a shout out to the blogs which keep newspapers honest. Yes, your friendly neighborhood blogger can’t embed in a war zone, although some, like Michael Yon, do just that. And where would news aggregator sites be without a paper like the Times to provide the necessary links? But bloggers can hold reporters feet to the fire when their accuracy falters. They also bring unique skill sets your average reporter and his editor might lack. Who stood a better chance of understanding the nuances of Twitter in the WeinerGate scandal, a general assignment reporter or a blogger who works the social media beat because it’s his passion? (I won’t be going to see the movie reviewed here, but found this critique too good to pass up. The only real disagreement I have with the author is I don’t believe the NYT’s bias is “toward Democrats,” but rather “against individual freedom and autonomy.” They support Democrats only as a by-product of their real goal which is to see the USA become the same as any European social-democratic command welfare state. They know Democrats will bring them closer to their objective than Republicans, that’s all. Ron P)

On this July 4th, thank “climate disruption” for saving the USA in 1814
Excerpt: On the morning of August 25, Washington was still burning. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, the British soldiers continued to set fires and destroy ammunition supplies and defenses around the city. As the soldiers spread fire and destruction throughout the city, the early afternoon sky began to darken and lightning and thunder signaled the approach of a thunderstorm. As the storm neared the city, the winds began to increase dramatically and then built into a “frightening roar.” A severe thunderstorm was bearing down on Washington, and with it was a tornado. The tornado tore through the center of Washington and directly into the British occupation. Buildings were lifted off of their foundations and dashed to bits. Other buildings were blown down or lost their roofs. (...) As the British troops were preparing to leave, a conversation was noted between the British Admiral and a Washington lady regarding the storm: The admiral exclaimed, “Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?” The lady answered, “No, Sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from our city.”

Buzz Aldrin punches out a heckler who says he never walked on moon .. . .
Gotta love happy endings. ~Bob.

How the Dutch Gaza Flotilla Backfired Politically
Excerpt: A Dutch ship was organized as part of the Gaza flotilla in order to help Hamas, portray that effort as humanitarian, and create anti-Israel sentiment. The story of how this effort backfired is a fascinating tale of contemporary political warfare. Indeed, the end result has been to make the Dutch debate more pro-Israel and anti-Islamist. (…) The Dutch blog KeesjeMaduraatje was one of the first to publish material about extremist elements in the second Gaza flotilla, revealing that Free Gaza Holland’s chairman, Rob Groenhuizen, was a convicted communist extremist who used to be a member of Dutch groups affiliated with the German terrorist Rote Armee Fraktion. (…) Other Internet media reports about ties between Dutch NGOs and extremist Palestinian groups caused the Dutch government to change the guidelines on government subsidies for NGOs that fund anti-Israel groups. There is now a debate in the country over cutting back sharply on such funding.

Public School Converted To Islamic Center
Excerpt: As you read this, be mindful that it could just as easily be your community—and probably will be, eventually. Farmington, Michigan’s Public School Board of Education voted unanimously to sell their vacant Eagle Elementary School to the Islamic Cultural Association (ICA) for $1.1 million. The transaction was kept secret until the sale was nearly (some say clearly) complete. Many in the community have decried this as an under-handed sale intended to circumvent the largely Christian and Jewish residents of the immediate area. Much of the controversy is the ICA’s association with the HUDA school of Franklin, Michigan—just a few miles away. The HUDA school was ultimately denied their expansion which was the intended site for the ICA two years ago. The HUDA school could not satisfactorily reconcile the charge that they secretly wanted this new structure, in the charming and historic downtown area, to be a mosque. They refuted the charge despite the fact that their website, openly but prematurely, celebrated the soon-to-be new Franklin Village Islamic Center and Mosque.

Labor has 'snootful' but will stick with Obama
It’s The Chicago Way—public officials are paid by everyone, but only help constituents who helped them. ~Bob. Excerpt: "Don't any of you guys vote Republican," Vice President Biden said to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters convention in Las Vegas last week. "Let me put it this way: Don't come to me if you do. You're on your own, Jack!" Biden's warning, which received virtually no coverage in the press, is part of the Obama re-election campaign's 2012 strategy for organized labor. It's a two-part plan. One, use the president's executive powers to give labor all sorts of advantages that can't be achieved through legislation. And two, when labor leaders complain that they haven't gotten everything they want, tell them they have nowhere else to go.

Important: If Obama ignores the debt limit, he’ll totally get away with it
Excerpt: For months Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has been warning Congress that a failure to raise the federal government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit would have “catastrophic economic consequences.” But now that financial Armegeddon is supposedly just weeks away, Geithner is raising the possibility that he may ignore the law entirely. And if he did, he’d get away with it. At a May 25th public event, Geithner pulled a copy of the U.S. Constitution from his pocket and read from section Four of the 14th amendment: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payments of pension and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion — this is the important thing — shall not be questioned.”

Concealed Carry
Excerpt: Crime statistics for the DC Metro area- Homicides for the first 6 months of 2011
DC (no concealed carry/limited ownership)- 55 homicides. Prince Georges Co. (MD 'may issue' or cold day in hell for a permit/home ownership okay- 58 homicides. Coming across the river to VA (shall issue). Fairfax Co- 5 homicides. Arlington Co- 0 homicides.

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