Thursday, July 7, 2011

Political Digest for July 7, 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.

Write Rush about my book
If you read my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic, and found it of merit, please drop Rush Limbaugh a note about it, tell him why you thought it was valuable and suggest he read it. His e-mail address is Also write any other radio talk show hosts you listen to. Having no funds to promote it, I have to depend on readers. Thanks so much. The Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund has already received a couple of checks. ~Bob.

Collapse now has nine reviews on Amazon
Feel free to add yours. ~Bob.

Iraq Surges
Checking my blog stats, in the last week I had 17 page views from Iraq, knocking Iran out of the top ten for the first time I’ve noticed since I started checking. It’s only fair to tell them that “Bob Hall” is just a pen name. My real name is “Joe Biden.”

Worth Reading: Politics Versus Reality: Part II by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: No one is more of a master of political talking points than President Barack Obama. Remember "shovel-ready projects"? These were construction projects where the shovels were supposed to start digging the moment the government gave them the "stimulus" money. Two years later, Obama can joke about the fact that the shovels were not as ready as he thought. In reality, the shovels were never ready. It can take forever to get all the environmental approvals to build anything in today's political and legal climate. If Obama didn't know that, his advisers surely did. He can treat it as a joke today but it is no joke for those who are saddled with the debts produced by his runaway spending in the name of "shovel-ready projects." Nor is it a joke to the unemployed, who remain unemployed despite all the "stimulus" spending.

Obama’s Spendthrift Constitution
Excerpt: All those pesky people attempting to tie raising the debt limit to reducing the debt through spending cuts must be unreconstructed southerners. How so? Well, they are clearly obstructing the president’s efforts to enforce the 14th amendment! A constitutional claim newly minted by some administration asserts that the president can raise the debt ceiling if Congress doesn’t. … For many liberal constitutional-law professors — including former constitutional-law professor Barack Obama — the 14th Amendment is the only part of the Constitution that really matters. Still, even if the rest of the Constitution did not exist, Section 4’s language could not support this argument. The argument blurs the meaning of “public debt.” It fails to distinguish deficit spending from issuing debt instruments to cover that deficit. 

Defining the Tea Party Democrat
Excerpt: Polling has never shown Democrats to be 20 percent of the tea party, as Bachmann claims, but it has shown there is a significant number of Democrats in the movement. Often, the number is somewhere around 10 percent. The GOP polling firm the Winston Group last year showed 13 percent of tea partiers were Democrats, while Gallup put the number at 15 percent. On the lower end, the number was 9 percent in a Targetpoint poll, but just 4 percent in a CNN/Opinion Research poll.

Sham Marriages Got Marines Housing Money
Excerpt: Military officials are charging three California-based Marine corporals with fraud and larceny for entering in a pair of sham marriages to collect housing funding, officials said. The military alleges that a lesbian couple -- one a Marine, the other a civilian -- decided to live together off base and wanted to collect the $1,200 housing benefit granted to married Marines. The female Marine found a male Marine willing to get married, allowing them to collect the housing benefit, and the civilian woman also eventually married a Marine and collected funds, 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a spokeswoman at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, said Saturday.

Marine Posthumously Awarded Intel Medal for Valor
Excerpt: Sgt. Lucas T. Pyeatt was posthumously awarded the Intelligence Community Medal for Valor during a ceremony at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Headquarters in Mclean, Va. James R. Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, presented the medal to Pyeatt’s parents, Scott and Cindy Pyeatt, in an intimate gathering, consisting of family, friends and Marines. Pyeatt was killed in action February 5, 2011, while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Pyeatt received the award for his exceptional leadership and skills as a signals intelligence team leader while in Afghanistan.

Like Nixon, Obama Will Waste Lives to Get Reelected
Excerpt: No one needs to tell the public that politicians are slick—and the ones who get elected are the oiliest. President Obama, in a recent speech announcing the phased withdraw of 33,000 U.S. surge forces from Afghanistan by September 2012, told the country that the United States had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan and that “we are starting this drawdown from a position of strength.” The public could be forgiven for missing the real message: “We’ve lost the war, but we are declaring victory anyway and getting out.” The reality of withdrawing 33,000 of about 100,000 troops in that country is that the president’s “counterinsurgency” strategy—the U.S. clearing areas of Taliban forces until “good government” can take hold and the Afghan forces are competent enough to take over—has failed. The strategy was designed to achieve battlefield gains that would not eradicate the Taliban but cause the group to come to the negotiating table. Although the Taliban is negotiating, it is not doing so seriously because it knows it is winning the war. If it were losing, more Taliban would be defecting to the Afghan government; so far, only 1,700 out of between 25,000 and 40,000 insurgents have done so. Superior U.S. forces have cleared some areas of the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, traditionally Taliban strongholds, but they only have an illegitimate, corrupt Afghan government and incompetent Afghan security forces to hand them over to. (Actually, there was good reason to believe we had won in Vietnam when Nixon withdrew and signed the peace agreements in 1973. then the political winds changed. Russia started full support for the North again, the North disregarded their promises at the peace conference, and a democrat congress elected because of Watergate violated our pledges of support to the South. With no supplies or spare parts, the South could not hold off the invasion of the well-supplied North. ~Bob.)

U.S. indicts Somali on terrorism charges
Pirates should be tried by military tribunal and executed aboard the ship that captured them, then dropped over the side. That and destroying their nests is the only way to put an end to this. And don’t tell me that foreign pirates and terrorists trying to destroy this country are entitled to the protection of the Constitution they wish destroyed. ~Bob. Excerpt: The U.S. military captured a Somali terrorism suspect in the Gulf of Aden in April and interrogated him for more than two months aboard a U.S. Navy ship before flying him this week to New York, where he has been indicted on federal charges. The case represents the Obama administration’s attempt to find a middle ground between open-ended detentions in secret prisons, as practiced by the George W. Bush administration, and its commitment to try as many terrorism cases as possible in civilian courts. With the capture of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, the administration appeared to split the difference, with military and intelligence officials interrogating him secretly for two months before bringing in law enforcement officials to question him for purposes of an indictment. He is the first foreign terrorism suspect captured by the administration outside the United States and moved to this country for trial.

Phoenix-area residents sworn in as citizens
Arizona's newest Americans hail from Canada and England, India and Nigeria, and 58 other countries. They speak a multitude of languages and ply a potpourri of trades. Some are here alone; others have large families. A few are newlyweds. But the estimated 300 people cheered, clapped and waved American flags after they were declared United States citizens Monday during a ceremony at South Mountain Community College. "I am happy," said Victoria Kanu, 75, grinning from ear to ear. She wore a red and white traditional Nigerian dress and sported large gold hoop earrings. "I am very happy." (Tell me, is Victoria the equal of the new citizens from Mexico? Yes? Then what button does she push to get her native language? ~Bob.)

Shocking Gulf Firefight Caught on Tape
Excerpt: The video shows the speedboat powering parallel to the British warship HMS Iron Duke, which was patrolling off of Bahrain, and then turning directly towards it. Foghorns blaring, gunners on the Iron Duke then fired 100 yards to the side of the speedboat, causing its two crew members to duck and stop – they then wave at the British sailors as they speed away. While talk in region remains focused on whether the United States or Israel will attack Iran, another large fear is the possibility of an unscripted, accidental war, spurred by a small clash that spins out of control. (...) U.S. commanders are specifically worried, however , about the lack of communication between the Western and Iranian navies, especially since Iran’s second navy, from the less traditional Revolutionary Guard, operates extensively in the Gulf. The United States had an agreement called “On the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas” with the Soviet Union during the Cold War to avoid the sort of muddled communications and missed signals that could lead to fighting. The U.S. Navy does not have that sort of agreement with Iran. (The article makes clear “firefight” is hyperbole, though warning shots were fired. Worth remembering is the Iranians have also several submarines operating in this region. It sounds as if the “regular” Iranian Navy mostly plays by the rules, but the Revolutionary Guard Navy doesn’t. Ron P. I'm disappointed in the royal Navy--they missed. ~Bob.)

'Fast and Furious' Infuriates Mexico
For once I'm with Mexico. ~Bob. Excerpt: Mexican lawmakers want to extradite U.S. officials responsible for botched anti-gun trafficking operation.

July is make or break for Obama 2012
Excerpt: The yellow light isn’t blinking only on getting a debt-ceiling deal done — it’s flashing on President Obama’s reelection hopes, too. If Obama and the debt deal face a yellow or red light at the end of July, voters might not be willing to give him the green light to go ahead with a second term. White House officials acknowledge that July is a critical month for Obama and his 2012 campaign, and they are well-aware the outcome of the debt-ceiling debate could determine his reelection chances next year.

Perry Breaks With a Fellow Texan: Bush
From the NYT, which is basically a propaganda arm of the statist movement, so read it with that in mind. ~bob. Excerpt: But in recent years, Mr. Perry has broken politically with Mr. Bush, questioning his credentials as a fiscal conservative, accusing him of going on “a big-government binge” and playing down some of Mr. Bush’s accomplishments in Texas in light of his own. Mr. Perry’s public statements exposed a long-simmering rivalry that had been little known outside the political fraternity here but underscores the rightward drift of the Republican Party since Mr. Bush was president. More acutely, Mr. Perry’s criticism holds potential peril and benefit for him should he decide to mount a presidential campaign, allowing him to establish an identity distinct from Mr. Bush but risking a guerrilla campaign against him by the former president’s inner circle.

Is There a Moral Case for ObamaCare?
Excerpt: There is considerable consternation on the political left these days over whether Barack Obama failed to make a moral case for his signature health legislation. … I'm sure many readers are astonished that the question is even asked. After all, how can there be a moral case for a 2,700 page bill that was shaped and molded by self-seeking interests, with no more regard for principle than one would find in a game of musical chairs? Isn't asking for a moral defense of ObamaCare sort of like asking what is the moral case for the IRS Code? Even if you believe that some of us have a moral obligation to others in the matter of health care, what does that belief have to do with legislation in which costs and benefits are strewn about with all the care of a drunken sailor? Isn't the Affordable Care Act (ACA) self-evidently immoral? Or at least amoral? I generally try to avoid ethical discussions with my friends on the left for two reasons. First, with respect to actual legislation they seem incapable of distinguishing what really happened from their ideal vision of what should have happened. More fundamentally, I find that people on the left seem incapable of thinking rationally about the ethics of public policy. I realize that’s harsh. But it’s true!

Regulators combat unemployment insurance waste and fraud
Excerpt: State and federal regulators are cracking down on waste and fraud in the unemployment insurance system, abuses that have hit record levels as jobless claims surge in a weak economy. In the 12 months through March, the overpayment rate was 11.6% — more than $1 for every $9 paid out, Labor Department figures show. That's up from the 12 months ending in June 2010, when a record $16.5 billion, or 10.6% of the $156 billion in jobless benefits disbursed to Americans, should not have been paid, according to the department. The overpayment rate was 9.6% in fiscal 2009 and 9.2% in 2008.

Books for Wounded Troops
I sent a couple of boxes of novels and magazines to a Marine SgtMaj who requested them. He’s rotating home soon, so my last box was replied to by a FMF Navy Corpsman named Shannon. (Huh. No Shannon was with us when I was at Khe Sanh in ’67!) These are troops who were wounded, and are recovering in country. I asked Doc Shannon if she wanted a care package for herself. She said no, only books and sports magazines for her Marines: “I am doing great on supplies so far, so I appreciate the offer, but it's not necessary. I can't think of anything I need or really want right at the moment. I am living on the bare minimum basics and quite happy with everything. No complaints! If you can't find the address, here it is again: HM3(FMF) Shannon Caltagirone-Holzli, MALS 40 Camp Bastion, Medical Unit 78369, FPO AE 09510-8369.” I’m getting another box off today. If you want to as well, remember no Playboy type materials.

Freshman Republican senators go guerilla
Excerpt: Six months into their first term, a band of Republican freshmen are fed up with the tortoise pace of the Senate and have resorted to guerrilla warfare to take on the establishment — and it’s causing headaches for leaders of both parties. Sen. Ron Johnson, who unseated Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold last November, mounted a protest last week against Democrats’ failure to produce a budget — an effort that culminated Tuesday when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was forced to yank a bipartisan Libya resolution from the floor. Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky firebrand and tea-party favorite, warned this weekend he would filibuster in an attempt to pry open closed-door debt ceiling negotiations. And a key reason that the Senate is in session during what should be the chamber’s Fourth of July recess? Freshman GOP senators, including Johnson, Paul, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Marco Rubio of Florida, threatened a recess revolt that would force both parties to take an embarrassing vote to skip town.

The High Price of Obama's Fake Jobs Scheme
Excerpt: Sometimes magic tricks just aren't that great, and even the most innocent, wide-eyed child can't be fooled by the illusionist's flourish. Such is the case with the rabbit the White House is trying to pull out of its magic hat by claiming that President Barack Obama's stimulus has created or saved 2.4 million jobs at a cost of $666 billion, all while the United States continues to suffer 9.1 percent unemployment. If you do the math, that comes out to around $278,000 per job. That information comes from a White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report released last Friday that desperately tries to maintain the illusion that Obama's stimulus has saved the day for struggling Americans. If you take the CEA at its word, you might be a bit confused. Two quarters ago, it claimed that the stimulus added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs. That's 288,000 more jobs than it claims the stimulus has created or saved today. (The Congressional Budget Office has downgraded its claim of the stimulus' "success," too.) Compare that to the President's promise to create 3.5 million jobs by 2010—the economy, instead, lost millions of jobs, leaving Obama 7.3 million jobs short of his goal.

Obama's Final Solution
Excerpt: President Barack Obama is the most dogmatic and dangerous leftist we have ever seen in this country. He is not hard to understand. Obama is very simple. All his ideas were frozen in concrete a hundred years ago by Marxist-Leninism around 1920. In Dreams from My Father, Obama celebrates third-world Socialism, but that's just Marxist-Leninism with a racial overlay. Obama's ideas are all old and discredited. They have failed from the Soviets to Cambodia. North Korea is facing another mass famine today, so terrible that it can't even feed its own army. That is yet another failure of Marxist-Leninism. Over and over and over again. For radicals it doesn't matter. You have to break a lot of eggs to make that omelet. Just as Jimmy Carter kicked over the Shah, a crucial pillar of support for American and Israeli security thirty years ago, Obama has just done with Egypt.

When to raise taxes
This is from Jim Geraghty’s NRO Morning Jolt. You can join the Morning Jolt Mailing List here:
Excerpt: In the vein of Jeff Foxworthy, you know Republicans will be willing to vote for tax hikes: When Planned Parenthood is entirely privately funded. When any president stops getting the taxpayers to pay for half of his Air Force One travel costs because he throws a "town-hall meeting" stop onto his fundraising tour of another state. When Congress accepts a pay cut. When former members like Anthony Weiner lose access to the Congressional gym and pay for their own d*mn gym memberships. When we tell foreign governments that future deliveries of U.S. aid will be conditional upon their efforts to refute -- not shut down or ban, but refute -- anti-American propaganda in their country. When you cannot find a single bike path in America that is being built with the assistance of the U.S. taxpayer. When we stop paying farmers to not farm their land. When NPR and PBS are entirely funded by donors, merchandising, and their already-considerable corporate sponsors. When federal employees with significant unpaid tax bills have their continued employment contingent upon paying those tax bills. I'm sure you can come up with many, many more. Also, I think we on the right would want some sort of ironclad, if-we-break-this-pledge-hunt-us-down-with-hounds guarantee in writing that all additional tax revenues would be used to pay down the debt. Over the years, we've enacted plenty of tax hikes. We've never made a serious effort to control or reduce spending. (Studies show that since WWII, every dollar in federal tax increases has led to well over a dollar in new spending. ~Bob.)

Accused Fort Hood Shooter to Have Military Trial, Will Face Death Penalty
Excerpt: The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood rampage in Texas will be court-martialed and face the death penalty. Fort Hood's commanding general announced the decision Wednesday for Maj. Nidal Hasan. The 40-year-old is expected to appear in a Fort Hood courtroom for an arraignment and could enter a plea. Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 shooting spree at the Army post. (In fairness, it should go to the Army, but in all seriousness, I’d be happy to serve on the firing squad. It will never happen, because executing a Muslim for Allahmurders would enrage other peace-loving Muslims, who must be placated at all costs. ~Bob.)

Rust Belt Paradox
Excerpt: …Obama’s challenges at the presidential level haven’t affected the Democrats’ Senate prospects in these states. In what’s been otherwise fertile territory for a GOP presidential challenger to take on Obama, Republicans are struggling to find prospects to take on sitting senators.  Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., despite voting closely with the administration, scores solid approval ratings in the latest public polls and has barely stirred up any GOP opposition to challenge him in 2012. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has seen a parade of potential Republican challengers pass the race by, even though she’s been a perennial target. And Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, tagged as the most liberal senator by National Journal, still is viewed favorably among independents. The president’s approval rating is sliding, and the Democratic-controlled Senate has been gridlocked, but voters in three key Rust Belt battlegrounds still aren’t sold on the Republican alternatives—at least, not yet.

All the President's High-Paid "Engagers"
First rule of Obama transparency: If it's a holiday, it's time for a White House document dump. Over the Independence Day weekend, the administration released its 2011 annual report to Congress on White House staff salaries. While economic data for the rest of America remains bleak, the financial outlook for Obama flacks looks rosier than the president's complexion after his latest round of golf. In total, President Obama's 454 employees at
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
will rake in $37 million. That's up $4 million from the income of George W. Bush's staff in 2008, back when the unemployment rate was three points lower, the federal government workforce was 12 percent smaller and the massive deficit was still measured in hundreds of billions, not trillions. One in three of Obama's employees makes more than $100,000 a year. Of particular interest to me are the high-paid Obama aides assigned to the apparently vital task of "engagement" -- that is, politicking, pandering and partisan cajoling -- on the taxpayers' dime. I found at least 17 staffers listed in the report with titles referencing the "Office of Public Engagement" (OPE) or "online engagement" (otherwise known as liberal blog hand-holding and crisis management)

DSK and the District Attorney
Excerpt: New York's prosecutor could have chosen to exploit race and status in the high-profile case. It should have been no surprise to hear that the career and reputation of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. had sustained a deadly blow as a result of revelations that the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn had collapsed. The DA had, after all, conducted himself in an unusual way. He had recognized quickly that the accuser's credibility was in shambles, that the accused might well not be guilty as charged—and he had made this recognition public. No small shock in a society accustomed to prosecutors whose instant response to the discovery of facts that undermine their case is to dig in all the more aggressively—recall the Duke University lacrosse case, or the notorious child abuse cases of the 1980s—with assurances that the case against the accused is stronger than ever. Such shocks produce predictable symptoms. In a roundtable discussion on NY1 News Sunday morning, a member of the New York Times editorial board declared that she had been worried all along that something might happen to this prosecution because, so often, the women bringing charges in these cases are, like DSK's accuser, "not perfect." In a just world—or, more to the point, in the hands of a proper prosecutor, we were to understand—the accuser's lack of perfection wouldn't undermine her case.

The War Against Girls: Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons
The confluence of left-feminist abortion mongering, modern medical technology and traditional third-world societies. But they take no responsibility. ~Bob. Excerpt: In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events. Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120. What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl's counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

Probe finds cheating by educators in Atlanta school district
In fairness, between politicking to maintain perks, working to re-elect Obama and all the mandated feel good programs, who has time to teach? ~Bob. Excerpt: Special state investigators have uncovered a decade of organized, systemic cheating in the Atlantic school district by scores of educators, including 38 principals, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Gov. Nathan Deal, who released a two-page summary of the report, says "there will be consequences" for educators who cheated on state-mandated tests in Atlanta public schools. He says the report will be sent to three district attorneys as well as city and state education officials. The probe, officials say, found a culture that rewarded cheaters, punished whistle-blowers and covered up improprieties, the newspaper says. It accuses district leaders of hampering the investigators' work.

Overcaffeinated CAFÉ: Obama's crusade to increase automobile fuel-economy standards makes little economic sense—and it won't save the planet.
Excerpt: Praying for the insanity to blow over is the auto industry's strategy for dealing with the Obama administration latest urge to double down on fuel economy mandates. Auto makers, wishing to appear deferential to the government that bailed them out, only plead that any new targets be ratcheted up slowly so future administrations will have plenty of chance to repeal the rules before they take effect. This, we're sad to say, is the most rational stance taken by any player in the CAFE bargaining now under way in Washington. If ever a president seems to have learned nothing from the times he's living in, Barack Obama is it. Economies around the world are foundering from an accumulation of policy excesses produced by the sort of straight-line, robotic thinking he's applying to so-called corporate average fuel economy rules.

China Raises Interest Rates
Excerpt: China's central bank said Wednesday it will raise its benchmark deposit and lending rates by 0.25 percentage point, the third rate increase this year and its fifth rate increase in the latest round of tightening. The People's Bank of China said in a statement it will raise the one-year yuan lending rate to 6.56% from 6.31%, and the one-year yuan deposit rate to 3.50% from 3.25%.

EU Follows Obama into the Brotherhood Abyss
Excerpt: Following quickly after the revelation that the Obama administration had resolved to establish contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, the European Union has announced that it, too, is interested in talking with the group. Michael Mann, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, explained: “We are always open to dialogue with anyone who is interested in democracy.” Ashton thus becomes the latest in a long line of Western officials who have confused democracy with the practice of voting itself, and ignored the manifest fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to ideals that all free societies should oppose. Among those officials also are a great many at the highest levels in Washington, where wishful thinking about the Brotherhood (and other matters Islamic) not only prevails, but is the guiding force in formulating Middle East policy. After all, it was the spectacularly clueless intelligence chief James Clapper who labeled the group “largely secular,” demonstrating abject ignorance not only of the meaning of the word “Muslim” in the group’s name, but of its own stated goals and agenda, which have been consistent since it was founded. Contrary to claims that it is a moderate organization, the Muslim Brotherhood is actually the prototypical Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia group of the modern age.

Yemen: The Next Pakistan
Excerpt: Al-Qaeda should be discouraged by the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the drone campaign in Pakistan and its retreat in Somalia, but things are looking up for the terrorist group in Yemen. The revolution against President Saleh’s regime has enabled Al-Qaeda to expand its base, as the U.S. rushes to build a base for drones that won’t be completed for another 8 months. Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi, who has led Yemen since Saleh was forced to go to Saudi Arabia due to injuries from an assassination attempt, says that five provinces have been overtaken. At least 135 soldiers have been killed fighting radical Islamic militants. Fighting continues to spread, and now the government is using aircraft to bomb terrorist-held land. ...

Obama’s Plea for an Illegal Alien Rapist-Murderer
Excerpt: Humberto Leal Garcia, who has been in the United States illegally since he was two years old, faces execution for the brutal kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 16-year-old girl in 1994. Garcia was 21 when he committed the crime for which he is now scheduled to face the death penalty. But not if President Barack Obama and the United Nations have their way. The prosecution’s evidence at Garcia’s trial included two incriminating statements he made to the police during non-custodial interviews on the day of the murder. It also included forensic evidence. More specifically, the evidence established that the night on which teenage girl was sexually assaulted and slain: (1) Garcia carried her in an intoxicated semi-conscious state into his car; (2) Garcia was the last known individual to see girl alive; (3) Garcia confessed to police and his brother that he had killed the girl, although he claimed it was an accident; (4) when the girl was placed in Garcia’s car, she was fully clothed; when her body was discovered on a dirt road not far from a party that she and Garcia both attended, it was nude with a stick protruding from her body and (5) a piece of the girl’s bloodied clothing was located at Garcia’s home. Scratches and cuts on Garcia’s face also linked him to the killing. (Obama is against the death penalty because his base doesn’t believe in personal responsibility. If terrible things are done, especially by a minority, it’s always someone else’s fault. In my view, suggesting that minorities cannot be held accountable is racist. It suggests they are not morally capable like fully human people should be. ~Bob.)

The Jobless Summer: Why only one in four teens is employed.
Excerpt: Perhaps you've already noticed around the neighborhood, but this is a rotten summer for young Americans to find a job. The Department of Labor reported last week that a smaller share of 16-19 year-olds are working than at anytime since records began to be kept in 1948. Only 24% of teens, one in four, have jobs, compared to 42% as recently as the summer of 2001. The nearby chart chronicles the teen employment percentage over time, including the notable plunge in the last decade. So instead of learning valuable job skills—getting out of bed before noon, showing up on time, being courteous to customers, operating a cash register or fork lift—millions of kids will spend the summer playing computer games or hanging out. The lousy economic recovery explains much of this decline in teens working, and some is due to increases in teen summer school enrollment. Some is also cultural: Many parents don't put the same demands on teens as they once did to get out and work. But Congress has also contributed by passing one of the most ill-timed minimum wage increases in history. One of the first acts of the gone-but-not-forgotten Nancy Pelosi ascendancy was to raise the minimum wage in stages to $7.25 an hour in 2009 from $5.15 in 2007. Even liberals ought to understand that raising the cost of hiring the young and unskilled while employers are slashing payrolls is loopy economics. (Unions love minimum wage laws, though they work well above them. But it keeps poor minorities from joining the work force and eventually threatening their jobs. Democrats get union votes by supporting minimum wage laws and unemployed minority votes by providing welfare and taxpayer-funded benefits. Everyone wins—until the fiscal collapse. ~Bob.)

Quote from The Patriot Post
"Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt." --American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

That's Racist' as a Punch Line
Excerpt: "That's racist." It's a comedic catchphrase these days, popularized by an online clip from a 2005 TV show "Wonder Showzen" on MTV2. It's not as iconic as Gary Coleman's "What 'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" or Fonzie's "Ayyyyyy" or even Bart Simpson's "Don't have a cow, man." But what it lacks in pedigree, it makes up for in ubiquity and social relevance. Across the country, it's a staple of schoolyards, Internet discussion groups, Twitter and sitcoms. For instance, when a character on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" explains to a co-worker how to do laundry, he says, "OK, so you always separate your lights from your darks." She responds, "That's racist." Perhaps the greatest sign that the punch line has gone mainstream came last week when NPR's "All Things Considered" reported on "that's racist." Correspondent Neda Ulaby explored how a phrase once considered one of the most serious accusations possible has become a gag line. The only problem? It's not clear she actually gets the joke.

The Real Flame-Throwers
Excerpt: There are paranoid moments when I think Barack Obama’s rise to power was the trick of a conscious malevolence. The timing of the financial crisis, the long-faltering war, Obama’s expert but empty rhetoric and the feckless stupidity of the Republican campaign seem to have combined with almost preternatural precision to lift him to the presidency. But then I remember, no, it was everyday human misfeasance — in the form of dishonest media reporting — that really sealed the deal. And it’s that, more than any supernatural deviltry, that continues to represent the most clear and present danger to the republic. (…) We can only do this by standing together against them, resolving our disagreements without public feuds, and answering every untruth quickly with the facts. Most importantly, we should at no time — ever, even partially — accept the MSM’s campaign coverage as representative of anything other than their own agenda, the age-old agenda of power for the elite few.

Campaign Finance Law Can’t Take a Joke
Excerpt: For the past few months comedian Stephen Colbert has been giving his viewers an education in campaign finance laws — how burdensome and convoluted they can be, and how they stifle political speech. The real joke, however, is that this isn’t what he set out to do. (…) So what Stephen Colbert asked for was a determination by the FEC that Colbert SuperPAC was exempt from reporting the value of Viacom’s contribution because the PAC’s operations would fit under the normal course of business for a media entity. This request had “reformers” up in arms, because if granted, they believed it would have allowed other on-air personalities to use their shows to promote their PACs without having to disclose the support of their corporate media employers. For some reason Fox News came up a lot in these concerns. Last week the FEC ruled that the support by Viacom given to Colbert SuperPAC that results in ads and commentary appearing only on The Colbert Report won’t have to be reported, but if ads are run in paid-for advertising spots on other networks and shows it will have to be reported. So while Colbert is claiming victory because the FEC ruled he could form his PAC (which again, was never really in doubt), Colbert SuperPAC is likely dead as anything other than a comedy skit on The Colbert Report, unless he is able to raise enough money to produce and air ads independent of any Viacom resources. (There is almost always more to a story than is immediately obvious. A few days ago, this was reported all over the MSM as a major win for Colbert and, by association, all liberals. This article explains what prompted “the request for determination” from the FCC and what it really means. Ron P.)

Tyell Morton Arrested: Indiana Teen Faces Possible Jail Time For Sex Doll Prank Gone Wrong
Excerpt: When 18-year-old Tyell Morton put a blow-up sex doll in a bathroom stall on the last day of school, he didn't expect school officials to call a bomb squad or that he'd be facing up to eight years in prison and a possible felony record. The senior prank gone awry has raised questions of race, prosecutorial zeal and the post-Columbine mindset in a small Indiana town and around the country.... (I have to admit I think it was funny. It’s absurd to charge the kid with anything more than “unauthorized disposal of trash,” if even that. It isn’t his fault the janitor and the school administration over-reacted ridiculously by calling in the police without at least a quick look-around on their own. They’re supposed to be used to dealing with teenagers, and it was the last day of school. Think about it. No kid wants to blow up the school when school is out. Ron P. )

A Preference for Discrimination: The Sixth Circuit opts for unequal treatment by race and sex.
Excerpt: There’s some room for debate about what the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” means for racial preferences at government schools. Some claim the clause mandates colorblindness in all aspects of government; others point to historical evidence indicating it was not originally understood that way. What the Fourteenth Amendment absolutely does not do, however, is protect racial discrimination at state-run schools — the absurd conclusion reached by a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a recent decision. The ruling will likely be overturned upon further review, but it stands as a stunning example of just how untethered our judicial branch has come from the Constitution.

How to Get Real Spending Cuts: Republicans need to fix the system, not just secure vague promises.
Excerpt: It is getting close to “crunch time” in the debate over raising the debt ceiling. Much of the debate continues to focus on whether Republicans will accept tax hikes as part of the package, and how big the debt-reduction package will be. All sorts of numbers are being tossed out: $4 trillion over twelve years? $6 trillion over ten years? $3 trillion over two years? But focusing on dollars — even trillions of dollars — may be setting Republicans up for a fall. After all, we’ve heard promises of spending cuts before. Remember the deal over the continuing resolution that kept the government open back in April? That deal was supposed to include $61 billion in spending cuts, but, in reality, it was crammed full of gimmicks such as counting savings from spending that hadn’t occurred in the previous year or not funding programs that actually didn’t exist. In the end, the actual reduction in spending was less than $8 billion.

Technology The HULC! Catch a Glimpse of the New ‘Exoskeleton’ That Could Revolutionize the Battlefield
Shades of Robert A. Heinlein’s great book Starship Troopers, where soldiers were equipped with suits that enhanced their physical capabilities. (Not the bad movie.) ~Bob. Excerpt: The fact that Lockheed Martin’s latest piece of Army equipment is called the HULC (pronounced like the comic book character The Hulk) is appropriate. That’s because the pack management system works as a superhuman “exoskeleton.”

US Warns Terrorists May Try to Surgically Implant Bombs in Humans
Excerpt: The U.S. government is warning airlines that some terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into humans to carry out attacks. There is no intelligence pointing to a specific plot, but the U.S. has shared this information with executives at domestic and international carriers. (We are the ultimate target-rich environment. The only defense is an offence—go and kill them where they live. ~Bob.)

Surprise: Ken Melson Testified About Gun Walker On Independence Day
Excerpt: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) have been keen to discuss the scandalous “Operation Fast and Furious” with Acting ATF Director Ken Melson. Previous testimony by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has painted Melson in a very poor light. Stunned investigators heard accounts of Melson watching straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels purchasing American guns via closed-circuit TV, and all but cackling with joy. Melson, who after all was a “temporary” appointee, looked like the perfect fall guy for the operation. Instead, Melson decided he would like to cooperate with House Oversight and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Procedure dictated that he required permission from the Justice Department to testify, so a deal was struck with Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), in which Grassley would allow three Obama Administration nominations to move forward, in exchange for access to Melson and other witnesses. Why was it necessary to purchase the co-operation of Democrats in such a vital investigation, with profound national security implications, and over 150 dead – including both Mexicans and Americans? At any rate, the Justice Department agreed to let Melson testify, and a tentative date of July 13 was scheduled. But here’s a funny little fact: It turns out that under an agreement reached between Congress and the DOJ, “witnesses who choose to attend a voluntary interview with their own lawyer are free to exercise that right rather than participate with counsel representing the Department's interests.” I did not know that. Neither, apparently, did Ken Melson, because Issa and Grassley wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, saying they were “disappointed that no one had previously informed him of that provision of the agreement.” Instead, “Justice Department officials sought to limit and control his communications with Congress.”

DOJ 'Distorted Truth and Obstructed Our Investigation' in Guns-to-Mexico Probe, Lawmakers Say
Members of Congress investigating the ATF's botched gun-tracking operation say it now appears that the Justice Department "obstructed" their attempts to find out what happened. They also expressed deep concern about the possibility that the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency already knew about -- and may even have been working with -- the people who were smuggling weapons to Mexican drug cartels. The new information comes from Kenneth Melson, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who voluntarily testified before congressional investigators on the July 4 holiday.

Barbara Boxer’s blatant rewriting of history Fast forward to 1995. The Democrats lost control of the House and the Senate, largely because of bruising budget battle. Clinton’s fiscal year 1996 budget again proposes $200 billion deficits every year for the next five years. So, again, the target in 1998 (when surpluses later emerged) was a deficit of $196 billion. But Republicans immediately set the goal of achieving a balanced budget within seven years. After resisting for a few months, Clinton shocked many fellow Democrats by announcing that he, too, would embrace the idea of a balanced budget. As The Washington Post editorial page put it at the time, Republicans had forced Clinton’s hand: “Mr. Clinton’s new position on the budget is much better than the old one. He should have taken it six months ago. The Republicans have driven him to say that he too wants, if not to balance the budget, at least to get the deficit into the neutral zone.”

Don't Come Home, America
Excerpt: There is something appallingly cynical, however, in [President Obama's] suggesting that the American fiscal crisis required overruling his military leadership and ordering a more rapid and therefore more dangerous drawdown in Afghanistan—this, after two and a half years of proposing spending on domestic programs that dwarfs the cost of the surge. We’re glad to see no one is contesting the fact that the president overruled the unanimous advice of his military leadership in ordering this drawdown. Yes, our military leaders have saluted and “endorsed” the president’s plan. But they make no secret of their opposition to it. This is especially true of the September 2012 deadline. Where did that date come from? It must have come from Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago because, while we can see a political reason for wanting those troops out before voters go to the polls in November 2012, there is no military or strategic justification whatsoever. In Obama’s new plan, the forces will be withdrawing right in the middle of the fighting season.

Morning Jay: Why Won't the GOP Agree to a Tax Increase?
Excerpt: The budget battle that is brewing in Washington actually has three levels to it. The first is the battle over the debt ceiling, and the desire for congressional Republicans to extract as much as they can from Obama on spending cuts. The second is longer term, and involves keeping the United States out of some sort of Greek-style catastrophe. And the third involves an age-old ideological conflict that has defined the two-party system for some time: how much money should the federal government take in revenues and distribute in outlays?

Ending Tax Break for Union Dues Could Save $25 Billion
Excerpt: A conservative estimate for union dues paid each year is $8 billion, according to the National Right to Work’s Stan Greer. If over ten years $80 billion in union dues were taxed, the federal government could generate roughly $25 billion in tax revenue.

Twitter Townhall: Social Media Take on Role of Presidential Questioner
Excerpt: The decision by President Obama to participate in Wednesday’s first Twitter town hall meeting, live from the East Room, is a reminder that the White House is eager to exploit whatever technologies will help get out his message, unfiltered. But the forum, an hourlong “conversation” between the president and millions of Twitter users, is also remarkable for the ways in which new media companies are taking on roles that used to be the sole province of traditional news organizations.

Twitter Townhall: Boehner, Issa, Ryan take to the net to attack White House policies
Excerpt: As President Barack Obama attempts to own the public spotlight via his first-ever Twitter town hall, several top Congressional Republicans have entered the micro-blogging fray to fight back against the White House’s messaging. For instance, Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, tweeted a challenge to Obama: “Fearmongering won’t solve our debt crisis. Americans deserve a real debate. You pick: when and where?”

White House Uses TWITTER to Bully Critics
Excerpt: President Obama’s director of progressive media is obsessed with one particular conservative provocateur. Jesse Lee’s duties at the White House include “online response” — and there has been no shortage of responses to one person who routinely communicates with him on Twitter. Of the 267 tweets written by Lee in just over a month, a stunning 40 of them have been directed at Kevin Eder, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83,000 tweets to his credit. (Taxpayer-funded campaign staff. ~Bob.)

National Education Association's Obama Endorsement comes as union's influence waivers
Excerpt: The National Education Association’s (NEA) early endorsement of President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid has sparked speculation about what motivated the nation’s biggest teachers’ union. Some experts speculate the premature endorsement may be a sign that the NEA is terrified.

ACORN continues to receive taxpayer cash, group says
Excerpt: In spite of a law aimed at de-funding the controversial organization, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is still receiving taxpayer money through an offshoot group.

James Delingpole: There has been no global warming since 1998
Excerpt: The headline of this post really shouldn’t be controversial. It chimes perfectly with what Kevin “null hypothesis” Trenberth wrote in that notorious 2009 Climategate email to Michael Mann: The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. And it’s what Phil Jones admitted in a BBC interview when he said that there had been no “statistically significant” warming since 1995. Why then am I mentioning it now? W-e-l-l, because just as ze war is to the Germans, Chappaquiddick is to the Kennedy family and that Portland masseuse incident to Al Gore, so the recent lack of warming is to the, er, Warmists. They hate it

Obama adviser makes case to Senate panel for involvement in Libya
Excerpt: A State Department lawyer arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday with two difficult tasks: Convince a Senate committee that the Obama administration didn’t need Congress’s approval for its military operations in Libya. Then: Convince the Senate to give Obama that approval anyway. He didn’t seem to make a lot of headway on either front.

Muslim Brotherhood, preparing for upcoming election, purging pols considered too moderate
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood has expelled five of its youth members in a purge signaling that Egypt's most potent political force is unwilling to tolerate dissent within its ranks as it heads toward parliamentary elections in September. The dismissals are an indication that the Brotherhood's ideological and organizational rigidity, which buttressed it against decades of persecution by former President Hosni Mubarak, may be cracking as its young members yearn for wider political and religious freedoms in a new Egypt. Recognizing the political clout of the Brotherhood, the U.S. last week said it would build contacts with the once-banned organization, which runs educational, health and social programs across the country. Washington has had limited meetings with group members in recent years but the announcement indicated the extent of Egypt's political upheaval.

Gross Media Ignorance
Excerpt: There's little that's intelligent or informed about Time magazine editor Richard Stengel's article "One Document, Under Siege" (June 23, 2011). It contains many grossly ignorant statements about our Constitution. If I believed in conspiracies, I'd say Stengel's article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.

So-Called "Independent" Agency Not Independent From President Obama
Excerpt: Last week, when asked about the controversy surrounding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) complaint against the Boeing Company for building a facility in the right-to-work state of South Carolina, President Obama responded that the regulatory agency was “independent.” And while that’s what is stated on the NLRB's Web site, nothing could be further from the truth. First, the so-called “independent” agency has demonstrated a deliberate and unequivocal interest in advancing the agenda of union bosses over that of workers, time and again. Secondly, the president is not “independent” of the regulatory agency’s actions as he has appointed both Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and Board Member Craig Becker, in addition to nominating each to longer terms.

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