Saturday, July 2, 2011

Political Digest July 2, 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.

Happy Second of July! Well, that’s when they passed the Declaration…. Posts may be limited over the weekends, and in fact fewer than usual in July due to the Invasion of the Granddaughter! ~Bob.

Response on Collapse from a former constituent
I remember you as ‘Senator Hall” Obviously by my age, your book is very important. Seems to me by the time I hit 70 (if we are not forced to learn Chinese?) we had better have lots of money under the mattress, to pay for our health care—or at least for a nice coffin/service. I quickly read your book twice, last night. Boy, do we ever think alike. I have been sending out friendly “warnings” to friends and family, as it seems to me, the entire global economy is nothing more, than an international, all-consuming “Ponzi Scheme” and we all know how those always end. What really frightens me though is how socio-economic conditions, are almost perfect to begin the introduction of what I term, “Friendly Fascism.”  If marketed correctly, a youngish, vibrant orator, mastered in rhetorically speaking, “could” eventually become the prized golden boy, for a new “Hollywood Hitler.”

Great Column: Obama's Carefully Burnished Economic Ignorance
Excerpt: President Obama seems genuinely, privately ignorant on these (economic) issues. The political gossip going around right now is that the Obama administration is panicking because they sincerely expected a robust economic recovery by now, and they wanted to campaign next year by borrowing Ronald Reagan's "it's morning again in America" theme--without actually having to borrow any of Reagan's policies. We have to presume that if Obama knew how to revive the economy, he would, and he seems genuinely stumped as to why his stimulus is not working. So what explains the deep-seated ignorance of economics on display in his public comments? Why does he demonstrate such a lack of practical appreciation of how business works? The answer is that he lacks it because it is forbidden knowledge.

Kill the State Preemption in the federal E-Verify bill
Excerpt: The Legal Workforce Act, H.R. 2164, which requires, among other things, mandatory use of E-Verify by most employers in the United States has a fatal flaw that must be removed; the prevention of states to pass and enforce their own E-Verify immigration laws. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has done the most to thwart immigration law enforcement over the last 25 years, supports preventing the states from enforcing their own laws. Those who have done the most to support, pass and enforce our immigration and employment laws are now calling for the pre-emption to be removed; and the list is growing daily.

U.S Ignores Hillary Clinton's Powerful Aide Huma Abedin at Its Own Risk
Excerpt: A CIA/FBI agent was responsible for creating the first al-Qaeda training manual from classified military sources. Ali Mohamed covertly moved up through the ranks undetected until the Egyptian-born al-Qaeda spy was finally discovered. Though arrested in 1998, Mohamed's whereabouts and legal status remain unknown. Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan benefited from the samefaulty screening. Jordanian-born “reformed” jihadist Humam al-Balawi deceived some anxious CIA agents, promising to deliver al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri to them. Instead, as he passed their guard, he detonated a suicide belt, killing the agents. We were the first to translate the sinister plan of this Taliban spy, which was missed by the CIA but was advertised on his Arabic website for the whole Arabic world to read: “When I drive my car at a traffic police station … my surroundings change by a push of a flash button. I will find myself martyred as I drive a booby-trapped truck with a bomb heading towards the pagan guards …” Why isn't the CIA monitoring the Arabic words and connections of these people?

Poll finds more trust in IPAB than Congress
Excerpt: More Americans trust an independent panel to govern Medicare spending than trust Congress with the program, according to a new poll. The findings come as Republicans are ratcheting up their attacks on the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of experts created by the healthcare reform law that will have the power to cut Medicare payments almost automatically. Republicans say the IPAB will ration care, leading seniors to an untimely death. But a new tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found support for an IPAB-like model. Fifty percent of those surveyed said they would trust an independent panel “a great deal” or a “fair amount.” The poll asked about a panel of full-time experts appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate — exactly how the IPAB is structured. (What the public doesn’t get is that there is no such thing as an “independent panel.” ~Bob.)

The New McCarthyism, Deep-Dish Chicago Style
Police officers are accustomed to a certain amount of foolishness in their upper ranks. It is the foolishness that often accompanies politics, and every cop knows that if he aspires to achieve high rank in his department, he must be prepared to ladle it out with the casual alacrity of a man spreading fertilizer on his prized front lawn. The fertilizer motif may seem especially apt given what follows. The new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department is Garry McCarthy, who, in a 22-year career with the NYPD, rose to the rank of deputy commissioner before moving across the Hudson River in 2006 to head the police department in Newark. One does not attain these positions without a highly refined ability to speak the language of big-city politics, and indeed Chicago magazine tells us that McCarthy, while rising through the ranks in New York, studied at the feet of William Bratton, the unrivaled master at straddling the worlds of law enforcement and politics, who served as the top cop in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. Bratton, as he hopped from job to job, was something of a political chameleon, coming off as a tough-talking, no-nonsense bantamweight bruiser while serving under Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani in New York, then morphing into a standard-issue liberal under Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He even went so far as to endorseBarrack Obama for president in 2008, thus becoming one of the few cops in America willing both to vote for Obama and publicly admit doing so. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, formerly President Obama’s head fixer, selected McCarthy for the superintendent’s post, revealing a faith in him to toe the Democrat Party line as it is practiced, in its purest form, in the city of Chicago. And indeed, in an appearance at Saint Sabina Church earlier this month, McCarthy did not disappoint. For pure political pandering, for a display of the most barefaced, shameless groveling, McCarthy may have set the bar so high that not even someone as adept at the craft as William Bratton would dare try to surpass it.

A strategic slip from the IEA
Excerpt: Any ‘danger’ that oil markets were going to settle has been dispelled by events over the past two weeks. The breakup of OPEC and the decision of the International Energy Agency (IEA) to draw down 60 million barrels of strategic reserves has left the market little clues as to what they should or should not price in. Yes, market prices fell some 7% immediately after the IEA’s action, which will be welcome news in Washington DC, where cheaper petrol means more votes. Cheaper oil may also help to keep OECD economic recoveries going a bit longer. But the IEA is playing a very dangerous game by influencing short term sentiment. The longer-term consequences of its move are anything but positive. (…) What the IEA move will do however is create further volatility. OPEC meetings will henceforth not just see speculation about what the cartel does, but what the IEA will do in response. The bulk of OPEC members will be more than happy to play ‘chicken’ with the IEA. More importantly, manipulating markets in this way will do little to attract upstream investment across all producer states. This should be the core focus on non-OPEC states: opening up new reserves (including offshore and tar sands), enhancing recovery from existing fields, offering attractive fiscal and tax regimes to do so – not hoping quick fixes on spot markets will do the trick. (Obama may well consider winning votes in the next election "an emergency priority." If the prices go up AFTER he's re-elected, why should he care? Ron P. Actually, he and the left have always been for higher energy costs. If it makes old and poor people shiver and give up driving, well, it lowers carbon and doesn't hurt the elites much. But not at the cost of votes and losing power. ~Bob.)

Colbert's SuperPAC Has Big Implications for Campaign Finance
Excerpt: The Federal Election Commission on Thursday will consider whether comedian Stephen Colbert can use a media giant's resources to promote his own independent expenditure-only political action committee. With Colbert slated to attend, the hearing has quickly turned into a Washington media circus. (…) In filing the request, Colbert is seeking to take advantage of an exemption traditionally used to allow media outlets to report and comment on campaigns and endorse candidates without having their work considered "in-kind" political contributions, triggering filing and disclosure requirements with the Federal Election Commission. The request comes down to one essential issue: whether Viacom can legally donate production costs, airtime and use of Colbert's staff to create ads for the so-called super PAC, to be played both on "The Colbert Report" and as paid advertisements other networks and shows. If the FEC grants Colbert a press exemption, the decision could have a drastic effect on media involvement in federal elections, potentially opening the door for media outlets that employ politicians as commentators to aid favored candidates through undisclosed contributions. Those figures include Fox News contributor Karl Rove, who founded American Crossroads, and former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) who heads "Huck PAC" and hosts a show on Fox News. (The FCC has voted to approve this. Why not? The majority are liberal appointees who think they own the airwaves via the legacy media. They may be shocked by how quickly they are buried in an avalanche of conservative ads coming from the sky. By the time this gets to the Supreme Court, I’ll bet $10 the DNC files a brief supporting striking it down. That will take at least two years, so the major media will make a bundle during next year’s election. Ron P. The left can't win without stacking the deck, so they are always stacking. But this may come back to bite them. ~Bob.)

Treasury Secretary Geithner considering leaving post after debt talks
See the problem with public service, is it's too expensive, because you have to pay your taxes due to scruting by right wing nuts on the Internet! ~Bob. Excerpt: Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, an architect of the Obama administration’s economic strategy, has told the president that he may seek as soon as this summer to resign, according to people familiar with the matter. Geithner’s departure would mark the loss of Obama’s longest-serving economic adviser at a time when the recovery has slowed and the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high.

Timothy Geithner: I will be at Treasury Department for 'the forseeable future'
Ah, well, too much to hope for. ~Bob. Excerpt: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday he would remain at his position for "the forseeable future." "I live for this work. It's the only thing I've ever done. I believe in it," he told former President Bill Clinton at an event hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative. "I'm going to be doing it for the forseeable future."

Geithner: Taxes on ‘Small Business’ Must Rise So Government Doesn’t ‘Shrink’
Excerpt: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday that the Obama administration believes taxes on small business must increase so the administration does not have to “shrink the overall size of government programs.” The administration’s plan to raise the tax rate on small businesses is part of its plan to raise taxes on all Americans who make more than $250,000 per year—including businesses that file taxes the same way individuals and families do.

Obama’s fighting tone could buy room with left for a deal with right
Excerpt: With Republicans howling about partisanship, President Obama might have bought himself some wiggle room with Democrats to make a deal with the GOP. The president’s aggressive and at times mocking tone during Wednesday’s press conference was met, predictably, with jeers from Republicans and cheers from Democrats, who have been pleading with Obama to fight harder for party principles. Democratic strategists suggest there’s a method behind Obama’s tough talk, which left outraged Senate Republicans blocking the chamber’s business and left talks over raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling mired in partisan squabbling.

The missing facts in President Obama’s news conference
This is the Washington Post, not Fox News. ~Bob. Excerpt: Meanwhile, student financial assistance, just for 2011, is about $42 billion. So the corporate jet loophole — which involves the fact that such assets can be depreciated over five years, rather than the seven for commercial jets — just is not going to raise a lot of money. It certainly wouldn’t save many student loans. Going after hedge fund managers might raise about $15 billion over 10 years, but in a different life The Fact Checker covered Wall Street and is pretty certain those financial wizards would figure out a way to avoid this tax shift. John Carney of CNBC actually outlined how that would work. Eliminating oil and gas preferences would raise $44 billion over 10 years, according to administration figures (table S-8), so that begins to look like real money. But the real dollars are in what the president calls “tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires” — eliminating the ability of people making more than $250,000 to itemize their deductions. That proposal would raise $290 billion over 10 years. Wait a minute, the president said he would target “millionaires and billionaires” and yet the fine print of his proposal would affect couples making more than $250,000 (and individuals making more than $200,000)? That’s right.

Inside the Fed’s Vault: $1 Billion Worth of Unused Coins
In the basement of a Baltimore vault the size of a soccer field, 1 billion dollar coins are just sitting there. Thanks, Congress. NPR’s Planet Money reporters recently investigated the $1 presidential coin program, which was a Congressional effort to get more $1 coins into circulation while also trying to be educational. The problem is that nobody really wants them. Well, not nobody. Sixty percent of the coins make it into circulation. But that other 40 percent? They’re sitting in vaults. In fact, the Fed’s even running out of space for them. (Dollar coins make sense. A dollar today buys less than a quarter did when I was a boy, and no one was demanding 25 cent bills then. Coins worked fine. They save a ton of tax dollars because they last far longer than bills. But the politicians coin them, then are too cowardly to talk the bills out of circulation so the coins have to be used. Britain did this with pound coins, took pound notes out. Folks grumbled and bitched, but got used to it. If they pols don't have the guts to fix this, how will they get the nerve to deal with the really painful, big problems. ~Bob.)

Battle lines harden for Obama, Senate GOP as time for debt deal runs short
Excerpt: Senate Republicans revolted against the White House Thursday as the fight over raising the debt ceiling turned sharply more bitter and bled into other issues. Just one week after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) left talks led by Vice President Biden, negotiations to reduce deficits appear to be in ruins. GOP senators on Thursday sniped from the floor at President Obama’s lack of leadership and sought to stop any progress in the chamber. The Republicans were stung by Obama’s Wednesday press conference, when he unfavorably compared GOP lawmakers to his school-age daughters, who he said get their homework done on time. (unlike Obama and the Democrat Congress, which despite their majorities, failed to produce a budget in 2010. ~Bob.)

McCotter to enter presidential race
Excerpt: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) is set to announce his intention to run for president on Saturday, according to a highly placed source in McCotter's camp.

Obama's "Pants on Fire"
Excerpt: In a press conference on Wednesday, President Barack Obama promised to boldly go where no President has gone before, taking "unprecedented" steps to cut back the tangle of regulations that are strangling businesses and leading to America's anemic job growth. It's certainly a welcome idea, but the only trouble is that despite the President's claim, his brave new idea isn't all that unprecedented, and he is, in fact, a big part of the problem. Government regulation takes a heavy toll on the economy, tying down businesses and preventing them from growing, expanding and creating new jobs. President Obama's regulators have played a big role in spitting out more red tape—in just two years, they have imposed close to $40 billion in new regulatory costs.

Bad things happen when you don’t read the bills. ~Bob. Excerpt: Another unintended consequence of President Barack Obama's health care law has emerged: Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories could pay widely different amounts for private health insurance due to a quirk of the complex legislation. Those differences could be substantial. A 62-year-old could end up paying $1,200 a year more than his neighbor, in one example. And experts say the disparities among married couples would be much larger. A leading GOP senator is considering a fix. Aware of the problem, the Obama administration says it is also exploring options to head off what could become yet another controversy over the health care overhaul.

The Resurgence of Intercity Buses
Excerpt: The debate over President Obama's fantastically expensive high-speed rail program has obscured the resurgence of a directly competing mode of transportation: intercity buses. Entrepreneurial immigrants from China and recently privatized British transportation companies have developed a new model for intercity bus operations that provides travelers with faster service at dramatically reduced fares, says Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute. New-model bus companies save money by selling tickets over the Internet and loading and unloading passengers at curbsides rather than in expensive bus stations. They speed service by running most buses non-stop between major cities rather than making numerous intermediate stops. Some companies distinguish themselves from their competition by providing leather seats, free wireless Internet, more legroom, and -- in a few cases -- onboard meal service and movies. In 2006, scheduled intercity bus service reached its lowest level in decades, yet intercity buses still carried almost three times as many passenger miles as Amtrak. Since then, intercity buses have become the nation's fastest-growing transportation mode, with ridership growing almost twice as fast as Amtrak. Intercity buses carry at least 50 percent more passengers than Amtrak in Amtrak's showcase Northeast Corridor. They do so with almost no subsidies and at fares that are about a third of Amtrak's regular train fares and little more than 10 percent of Amtrak's high-speed Acela fares. Intercity buses are safe and environmentally friendly, suffering almost 80 percent fewer fatalities per billion passenger miles than Amtrak and using 60 percent less energy per passenger mile than Amtrak. Policymakers can encourage expansion of intercity bus services by ending subsidies to Amtrak and minimizing regulatory barriers to new bus start-ups, says O'Toole. (We’ve used the Chicago to Madison bus many times. Cheaper than driving for one person. ~Bob.)

Prosecutors Reportedly Agree to Free Strauss-Kahn on Own Recognizance
Excerpt: Prosecutors have agreed to free Dominique Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance after serious doubts were raised over the credibility of the former International Monetary Fund's sexual assault accuser, Bloomberg reports. … Initially, authorities had “several witnesses and forensic evidence that supported the victim’s claim,” the told The Associated Press.

Excerpt: Barack Obama’s cries from the heart as a senator about the possibility of a Bush intervention in Iran being a de facto violation of the War Powers Act have been widely circulated — juxtaposed to his sophistic gymnastics about bombs over Libya not really being much more than “kinetic action” and thus exempt from the Act. Then we have another doublet with Hillary Clinton, who said this month: “. . . the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them?” Yet said in May 2003 in the context of Iraq: “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.”

Minn. braces for government shutdown over taxes
Excerpt: In an echo of the debate unfolding in Washington, Minnesota hurtled toward a midnight government shutdown Thursday in a dispute over taxes and spending that could force thousands of layoffs, bring road projects to a standstill and close state parks just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. (I wonder if they’ll save any money by not having a government? At least they can’t spend any new money. Ron P.)

Congressman On Stopping Illegal Aliens: ‘Anything Short Of Shooting Them!
Excerpt: Yesterday, Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks told TV station WHNT-TV that he will do anything “anything short of shooting” illegal aliens in order to stem the tide of illegal immigration into this country. … As context, Alabama recently passed a state law that, starting in September, will penalize employers for having illegal aliens on the payroll, and requires public schools to determine a student’s citizenship.

NASA sues astronaut who kept camera he took to the moon on Apollo 14 mission - as he tries to sell it for $80,000
Excerpt: 'All equipment and property used during Nasa operations remains the property of Nasa unless explicitly released or transferred to another party,' the U.S. government suit said, adding Nasa had no record of the camera being given to Mitchell. The suit said the government had made repeated requests to Mitchell and his lawyer to return the camera but received no response. Mitchell's lawyer, Donald Jacobson, said Nasa management was aware of and approved Mitchell's ownership of the camera 40 years ago. 'Objects from the lunar trips to the moon were ultimately mounted and then presented to the astronauts as a gift after they had helped Nasa on a mission,' Jacobson said. Bonhams said in an emailed statement that the camera had been slated to be auctioned off in May when it learned about the ownership dispute from Nasa. (If the camera was, in fact, mounted and presented to him, Mitchell has every right to dispose of it as he pleases, and NASA is SOL. Or, if the camera was his personal property to begin with. Otherwise, somebody is caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Ron P.)

Obama's Carefully Burnished Economic Ignorance
Excerpt: President Obama seems genuinely, privately ignorant on these (economic) issues. The political gossip going around right now is that the Obama administration is panicking because they sincerely expected a robust economic recovery by now, and they wanted to campaign next year by borrowing Ronald Reagan's "it's morning again in America" theme--without actually having to borrow any of Reagan's policies. We have to presume that if Obama knew how to revive the economy, he would, and he seems genuinely stumped as to why his stimulus is not working. So what explains the deep-seated ignorance of economics on display in his public comments? Why does he demonstrate such a lack of practical appreciation of how business works? The answer is that he lacks it because it is forbidden knowledge.

Obama for Corporate Jet Tax Break Before He Was Against It
Excerpt: President Barack Obama signed two bills granting special tax breaks for corporate jet purchasers before making corporate jets a key target in populist rhetoric during Wednesday’s news conference. Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus act, in February 2009. In September 2010, Obama signed H.R. 5927, the Small Business Lending Fund Act. Both pieces of legislation included tax breaks to help businesses buy their own planes. This is in stark contrast to what the president said Wednesday. Obama mentioned corporate jet owners six times as the target for needed tax hikes.

Syria’s Future: Alawite Military Coup, or Regional Civil War
Excerpt: Syria may be on the brink of a civil war far bloodier than anything seen for a long time in the Middle East. To make matters worse, it could spill over into neighboring countries by pitting Sunni and Shia Muslims against one another, a conflict whose power has already been seen in Iraq Iran, Hezbollah, and their allies in Iraq and elsewhere are often extremist Shia Muslims; the radicals further west — as in Saudi Arabia, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood — are Sunni Muslims. Syria is on the borderlands between these two doctrines. Most of its people are Sunni Muslims but there are also Christians, Druze, and Alawites. Who are the Alawites? While arguably Alawites are not Muslims at all, they claim to be Shia Muslims. Syria’s government is also aligned with Iran and Hezbollah — in other words, the Shia Muslim forces. And therein lies the danger. (If this prediction proves accurate, it won’t necessarily work to our benefit. But, we can hope. Ron P. as usual, the main victims of Allahmurder by members of the “religion of Peace” will be Muslims. They have slaughtered far, far more Muslims than the Crusaders dreamed of killing. ~Bob.)

Legacy lawsuits more about making green than being green?
Excerpt: Protecting our environment is an important topic for Louisianans. After all, what is a Sportsman’s Paradise without the paradise? This is what makes the delays in the cleanup of Louisiana’s “legacy” oilfield sites so disturbing. It appears that a few personal injury lawyers are gaming the system to try and get rich from environmental oilfield claims while cleanup is delayed for years, and sometimes decades. One of the most egregious examples of this is a lawsuit filed in 2002, Corbello v Iowa Production, which led to a $33 million payout on property that still hasn’t been cleaned up. Here is how the game works: A personal injury lawyer finds an oilfield where drilling occurred– perhaps a century ago when extraction techniques were much less sophisticated – and files a lawsuit in a rural courthouse with unrealistic cleanup claims that would cost millions of dollars. The case drags on for years and the defendants end up settling to avoid a wildly unpredictable court verdict or excessive trial costs that could put them out of business. So in the end, a few lawyers and their clients pocket millions of dollars while nothing gets done to address any actual environmental damages until years after the case has settled. This abusive environmental litigation practice almost seems to be something approaching blackmail — or in these cases, “greenmail.”

Google hiring 12 lobbying firms as FTC readies antitrust probe
Aren’t Google and Obama buddies? ~Bob. Excerpt: Google said Friday it will hire a dozen new lobbying firms in a sign the search giant is taking the Federal Trade Commission’s upcoming antitrust investigation seriously. “We have a strong story to tell about our business and we’ve sought out the best talent we can find to help tell it,” said a Google spokesperson via email. Google has been under intense scrutiny from Congress since last year due to a host of privacy and other concerns, prompted in part by the Street View WiFi spying incident, in which Google vehicles collected sensitive personal information un unencrypted wireless networks. The firm is also frequently mentioned during the ongoing legislative debate over online privacy and behavioral advertising due to Google’s huge online ad business.

Excerpt: Among Michelle Bachmann’s alleged gaffes is her calling the son of John Adams a “Founding Father.” If by Founding Father we mean a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he most certainly is not one, nor, for that matter, was the 19-year-old Alexander Hamilton. If by Founding Father, however, we mean a citizen who was a significant participant in the broader Founding of the United States–which frequently includes the period through the 1800 election, John Quincy Adams qualifies. He was probably among the most 300 significant men of the Founding.

GoTopless movement aims to shed gender inequality, one shirt at a time
Excerpt:  Since 1986, women have been able to walk around Washington, D.C., topless. Cosmo pointed out this fact in their July 2011 issue in an article entitled “Fascinating Breast Facts.” GoTopless is an organization that promotes the right of women to be topless in public places. “FREE YOUR BREASTS! FREE YOUR MIND!” a line on the site proclaims. (“Gee, Dad, can I be in favor of this one?” “Better talk to your Mother, son.” Ron P. And people claim I’m reflexively against any liberal idea. Not true. ~Bob.)

Brothers crucified by Ouattara forces in Ivory Coast
Don’t cross members of the Religion of peace. ~Bob. Excerpt: Two peasant brothers were brutally crucified on “the example of Christ” as forces loyal to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara continue to target perceived supporters of his ousted Christian predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo. Raphael Aka Kouame died of his injuries; incredibly his younger brother, Kouassi Privat Kacou, survived the ordeal. The pair were badly beaten and tortured before being crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet with steel spikes on 29 May.

Somali criminals must stay in UK, rules European Court
Excerpt: The UK must not deport two Somalis convicted of serious crimes because to do so would endanger their lives, the European Court of Human Rights says. The Strasbourg judges said the UK's duty to protect the two from torture or inhumane treatment was "absolute". The pair, aged 24 and 42, were served with deportation orders after being convicted of burglary, threats to kill, robbery and dealing in class A drugs.
The ruling sets a legal precedent for 214 similar UK cases involving Somalis. (Europe is doomed. ~Bob.)

Shaykh Muhammad Hassan: Islam Prefers a Strong, Immoral Warrior
Excerpt: Popular Egyptian Salafi Shaykh Muhammad Hassan explains in this video clip posted on YouTube on 12 June why Islam prefers strong, immoral men over weak, righteous ones. He quotes from Imam Ahmad, Ibn Taymiyya, and the Prophet Muhammad to support his view. Subtitled video is above, transcript below (see the original Arabic clip here): If there are two men, and one of them is stronger spiritually, while the other is stronger physically, (the latter) is more beneficial to that nation. In war, for example, the strong man offers his courage, even if he is immoral or licentious. The weak man (only) offers his impotence, even if he is faithful. (The irony is that if you said this in some European countries, or Canada, you could be charged with a Hate Crime. ~Bob.)

Italy: Moroccan immigrant murders wife for being 'too Western'
Excerpt: A Moroccan carpenter living in northern Italy is suspected of stabbing his wife to death because she wanted to leave him and begin a more liberated and western life with another man. Police suspect 36-year old Zrhaida Hammadi of killing his 33-year-old wife Fatima Chabani at their apartment in the city of Padua near Venice by stabbing her repeatedly in the neck and shoulder, severing her jugular vein. Neighbours telephoned the police after hearing blood-curdling screams from the apartment late Sunday, but the police said they found Chabani already dead and Hammadi awaiting their arrival, sitting motionless in a chair with his head bowed. (Another immigrant enriching western society. ~Bob.)

Sri Lanka mosques exonerate 'pornography girls'
My bad—sorry we beat you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Mr Razak said that a group of men forcefully took his daughter and the other girl to a local house and beat them up, before taking them to a local Islamic office.

Excerpt: In a capitulation to Islamic supremacists and violent radical Leftists, French and European Union authorities have canceled a free speech rally that we had planned with a coalition of American and European human rights organizations in Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament. Our human rights organizations Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and its sister group, Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) were planning to hold their first-ever transatlantic summit in Strasbourg, France, on July 2. The SIOA/SIOE summit was dedicated to the defense of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law – all principles denied by Islamic law. But the Strasbourg police could not guarantee our safety. When the thugs of the Antifa group and Islamic supremacist organizations announced plans to hold a violent counter-demonstration and to do everything they could to disrupt our activities, the authorities canceled permission for our demonstration and conference, instead of standing up to these violent neo-fascists and their Islamic supremacist allies.

Postcard from London: Wisconsin on the Thames
Excerpt: Big Labor looks the same wherever you go: petulant, irrational and wholly aggrieved beyond its means. I'm here on vacation with family as some 750,000 public-sector employees strike in protest over modest pension reform proposals. It's a taste of Wisconsin on the Thames. U.K. government teachers are just as shameless and entitlement-mongering as their American counterparts. More than half of England's schools shut down on Thursday as union members took to the streets. Borrowing a trademark tactic employed by Democrats Against Fiscal Responsibility from Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., to Washington, D.C., British educators used their students and children as kiddie human shields.

Lawmaker Wants Veterans Cemetery Investigated Over Anti-Christian Rules
Excerpt: A Texas congressman has called for an investigation into what he calls “anti-religious” and “anti-Christian” decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to allegedly prohibit veterans from mentioning “God” or “Jesus” during funerals at the Houston National Cemetery.

Nothing funny about government limits on political speech
Excerpt: According to liberal dogma, last year's Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC was the worst thing to happen to American democracy since Watergate. Hoping to prove that the ruling would allow "unlimited corporate money" to influence elections, Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert announced in March that he would form ColbertPAC, a political action committee. Yesterday, almost three months later, the Federal Election Commission narrowly granted him permission to do so. But that was far from the first obstacle on Colbert's march to undo the evils of the moneyed class in politics.

Union curbs rescue a Wisconsin school district
Excerpt: "This is a disaster," said Mark Miller, the Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader, in February after Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed a budget bill that would curtail the collective bargaining powers of some public employees. Miller predicted catastrophe if the bill were to become law -- a charge repeated thousands of times by his fellow Democrats, union officials, and protesters in the streets. Now the bill is law, and we have some very early evidence of how it is working. And for one beleaguered Wisconsin school district, it's a godsend, not a disaster. The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it's all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

Business ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ Author: I’m Preparing for Economic Collapse
Excerpt: Rich Dad, Poor Dad” author Robert Kyosaki is not convinced that the worst days of the recession are behind us. Whether it’s financial markets and big business going under, war, natural disaster or government crisis, the financial adviser and motivational speaker suspects hard times could be ahead in the coming decade. “There are two possible extremes, or financial concerns. We can either go into a depression, or we can go to hyperinflation,” says Mr. Kyosaki in a recent web video. “Or we could also go to war which is one way people think we could solve the problem:” Mr. Kyosaki suggests investing in precious metals, buying a gun and storing food, in a cautious “rather be safe than sorry” mindset. “Remember this, the police cannot prevent a crime, only you can do that,” he adds. “They can only investigate it after you’re dead.”

The Enviro Conundrum: For Copper, Against Mining It
Excerpt: Joseph Moser over at The Daily Caller makes an important point in his recent piece on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska: Recently, the EPA declared a new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard of 34.1 mpg by 2016. Going a step further, the NRDC is demanding Obama administration officials set even stronger global warming pollution and fuel-efficiency standards to ensure cars and trucks average at least 60 mpg by 2025. The hope is that higher standards and government “incentives” will encourage automakers to produce more fuel-efficient hybrid and electric cars. One problem: the more electric a vehicle is, the more copper it contains. Each hybrid contains about 100 pounds of copper — most of that is in the electrical cables and the electric motor. A conventional car only contains about 50 pounds of copper.

Democrat Senator: Illegal Alien Could Be Our Future President
Sorry Senator, for an Illegal Alien to become President, he has to be born in Kenya, not Mexico! (Oh, come on, it’s a joke.) ~Bob. Excerpt: After using illegal immigrants as props to push the DREAM Act, Sen. Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement at a Senate committee hearing: “When I look around this room, I see America’s future. Our doctors, our teachers, our nurses, our engineers, our scientists, our soldiers, our Congressman, our Senators and maybe our President.”

1 comment: