Saturday, September 10, 2011

Political Digest for September 10, 2011

Fly the Flag on 9/11

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.

Old Jarhead Blog Removed?
Okay, they tell me that this is fixed. So hopefully you’ll see this digest on the Blog early Saturday morning without my having to jump through hoops.

So now I’m a Twit
Well, I signed up for Twitter, so I guess Twit’s the term, though I don’t Tweet much. But I find things for the blog, when I have a chance to look at it. @tartanmarine

Recent blog posts you might have missed (mostly while I was away)
I’m an SOB?
Response to "I'm Tired" criticism
Guest Post: American Exceptionalism
Charities I support
More Random Thoughts

Possible al-Qaeda plot against D.C., N.Y. investigated
Excerpt: U.S. officials are investigating a possible al-Qaeda plot to detonate a vehicle-borne bomb in Washington or New York City around Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A handful of individuals may have entered the United States in recent days as part of the plot, which officials said originated from the tribal areas of Pakistan along the Afghan border. One of them may be a U.S. citizen. (In 1967, I spent about a month with the Combined Action Company in the ville at Khe Sanh. This was before the siege, and things were quiet—my story was the NVA were scared to attack until the learned I had rotated home. But they would from time to time whisper in the ville that they were going to over run us that night. Our intel would pick up the rumor, and we would sit up all night, fighting positions manned, while Mr. Charlie slept soundly. One of the advantages the insurgents have in this type of fight is they can keep you off balance with rumors, which you must take seriously for the 1% that are true. Who knows if this is real? ~Bob.)

Obama announces $447 billion (STIMULUS) plan to boost economy
Excerpt: President Obama made an impassioned appeal on Thursday night for $447 billion in tax cuts and government spending to boost the nation’s lagging economic recovery, calling on lawmakers to put politics aside and work together to solve the jobs crisis. (Pass it, and we go further down the road to fiscal collapse. Don’t pass it and Obama runs against the Republicans on jobs. Tricky. ~Bob.)

Don’t call it a stimulus
Excerpt: There was a word missing from President Obama’s jobs speech Thursday night: “stimulus.” But Republicans were only too happy to inject that word into the debate into the after-action analysis of Obama’s speech. “President Obama’s call for nearly a half-trillion dollars in more government stimulus when America has more than $14 trillion in debt is guided by his mistaken belief that we can spend our way to prosperity,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

More 'Stimulus' from President Obama
Excerpt: By most accounts, President Obama's $800 billion "stimulus" bill that was passed in February 2009 with the promise of keeping unemployment below 8 percent was an absolute failure. However, last night in a speech to a joint session of Congress, the President demanded that it spend another $450 billion on more of the same "stimulus" that has left America with zero job growth and continued economic stagnation. But don't worry. His top economic adviser Gene Sperling told NBC that this one would likely get us down to 8 percent. Despite Sperling's predictions, there are a lot of problems with the broad outlines in the President's proposal, not the least of which is the fact that President Obama is insisting Congress immediately pass a bill that doesn't exist. No legislative details have been offered; nothing has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office; there has been no debate or negotiation; and there is no accompanying plan on how to pay for it. President Obama only promised he would talk about paying for it in the weeks to come, and that onus likely will fall on the congressional "super committee" that was supposed to be focused on reducing our debt.

It’s not a “stimulus.” It’s a “kinetic fiscal action.” ~Bob.

More 'Stimulus' from President Obama
Excerpt: By most accounts, President Obama's $800 billion "stimulus" bill that was passed in February 2009 with the promise of keeping unemployment below 8 percent was an absolute failure. However, last night in a speech to a joint session of Congress, the President demanded that it spend another $450 billion on more of the same "stimulus" that has left America with zero job growth and continued economic stagnation. But don't worry. His top economic adviser Gene Sperling told NBC that this one would likely get us down to 8 percent. Despite Sperling's predictions, there are a lot of problems with the broad outlines in the President's proposal, not the least of which is the fact that President Obama is insisting Congress immediately pass a bill that doesn't exist. No legislative details have been offered; nothing has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office; there has been no debate or negotiation; and there is no accompanying plan on how to pay for it. President Obama only promised he would talk about paying for it in the weeks to come, and that onus likely will fall on the congressional "super committee" that was supposed to be focused on reducing our debt.

The leftists seem completely unable to learn from experience. ~Bob. It is virtually impossible to pick up a newspaper without seeing Mark Zandi — or, as he is invariably identified, "Mark Zandi, a former adviser to John McCain" — extolling the virtues of government spending. Zandi is worried that Republican plans to cut $61 billion in government spending this year — 1.7 percent of this year's federal spending, 3.6 percent of this year's deficit — will result in the loss of 700,000 jobs, and reduce economic growth by half a percentage point. This makes him a favorite among those who do not wish to see federal spending reduced. But before we get too excited, let's put Zandinomics in a bit of perspective. Zandi ignores the way in which government spending, taxes, and borrowing squeeze out private consumption and investment... First, we should dispose of the notion that Zandi is some sort of conservative Republican by virtue of his work for John McCain's presidential campaign. It is true that Zandi was one of a number of economists from across the political spectrum whom McCain's presidential team consulted for analysis of economic and business events, but he was never involved in formulating policy for the McCain campaign. In fact, Zandi is a registered Democrat, one who holds decidedly liberal political and economic views. Second, Zandi's record of forecasting is not unblemished. For example, in 2008 he was bullish about prospects for a recovery in the housing market. And he was one of the chief advocates of Obama's stimulus plan, promising that it would create millions of jobs.

AP “You Lie!” FACT CHECK: Obama's jobs plan paid for? Seems not
Excerpt: OBAMA: "Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything." THE FACTS: Obama did not spell out exactly how he would pay for the measures contained in his nearly $450 billion American Jobs Act but said he would send his proposed specifics in a week to the new congressional supercommittee charged with finding budget savings. White House aides suggested that new deficit spending in the near term to try to promote job creation would be paid for in the future - the "out years," in legislative jargon - but they did not specify what would be cut or what revenues they would use. Essentially, the jobs plan is an IOU from a president and lawmakers who may not even be in office down the road when the bills come due. Today's Congress cannot bind a later one for future spending. A future Congress could simply reverse it. Currently, roughly all federal taxes and other revenues are consumed in spending on various federal benefit programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' benefits, food stamps, farm subsidies and other social-assistance programs and payments on the national debt. Pretty much everything else is done on credit with borrowed money. So there is no guarantee that programs that clearly will increase annual deficits in the near term will be paid for in the long term.

Excerpt: Consider, objectively, some of the points of Barack Obama’s plan. He wants to extend unemployment benefits again. He wants to extend a payroll tax holiday. He wants to give tax credits to small businesses to hire people. He wants more government pork for more roads and bridges. These are all things Republicans have gone along with in the past. These are all things Republicans will probably go along with this time. Some of these things just preserve the status quo. The status quo last month created zero jobs. In other words, Barack Obama has largely proposed a plan key portions of which can pass with bipartisan support. And they will pass with bipartisan support. And there will be a grand bipartisan signing ceremony. Lots of pictures will be taken. No jobs will actually be created. The recession will double dip. But Barack Obama will have gotten his bipartisan jobs plan. So he will not be able to blame the GOP. He’ll have to blame mother nature again. By then, voters will have had enough. They will blame Barack Obama.

Excerpt: The President will take Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO with him to Congress tonight. Trumka’s union saw 500 of its members storm a business last night, take hostages, and destroy property. The President will also take Jeffrey Immelt of GE with him. General Electric is a prime example of a business that has profited lately not through the free market, but through the government picking winners and losers. (2) Solydra, which got millions from Barack Obama in his last stimulus and had the President champion its cause, got raided by the FBI today.

The speech
Call me a cynic. His speech was short on specifics. The correct and by now consensual notion that the federal tax code should be simplified, closing loopholes, lowering all rates, so that economic decisions can be made solely on their merits has been proposed many times by many others in the last 2 years, including his own Simpson-Bowles commission. So why didn't he send a bill with such specifics to Congress at any time prior to last night? His call for the immediate enactment of free trade agreements with Panama, S. Korea and Colombia was despicably deceitful--those treaties have been sitting on his desk since his coronation; all he has ever had to do was to send them down the street for ratification. His rhetorical hyperbolic straw man pandered to his base. By saying that he will not stand for rolling back regulations to the stone age he implicitly accuses the Republicans, who surely want a smaller, efficient government, but are not seeking to dismantle government back to 1789. He claimed that his proposal will pay for itself; I see another half trillion in stimulus payoffs to the favored elites. I have no confidence in his ability to come up with a detailed plan that can be implemented and that will create jobs in the near term. I believe what he is likely to send to Congress will not get the support he wants--but what he really wants to do is put blame on the GOP-run House. By now there is a complete lack of trust in him among Republicans and, I would suspect, among many Blue Dog Dems. I surely have none. Cordially, Larry Greenberg

U.S. Threatens Veto in U.N. on Palestinian Statehood Even as Radio Ad Uses Obama's Voice
Excerpt: President Obama's own words on Palestinian statehood are being used in a new radio ad airing in the Middle East even as the State Department announced Thursday that the U.S. would veto any bid for recognition in the United Nations of a new Palestine. Thursday's announcement that the U.S. will veto an effort in the U.N. Security Council to give Palestinians their own country comes after Reuters reported that a new ad produced for the Palestinian Authority references remarks the president made in 2010 before the U.N. General Assembly. At the time, Obama said: "When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel." (It’s that “living in Peace” part the Muslims aren’t interested in. ~Bob.)

Ten Years Later, Radical Islam Still a Taboo Subject
Excerpt: "There's an incessant message that is delivered by radical followers of Islam," the lawyer told the judge, "that one cannot be true to the faith unless they take action, including violent action, most especially violent action … that is a message that can unfortunately take root in individuals who feel like if they don't do something, that they literally will not find salvation under their faith." That sounds like a prosecutor explaining a terrorist's motive. But, in fact, it is defense attorney Kenneth Troccoli explaining in April why Farooque Ahmed eagerly agreed to scout D.C. Metrorail stops for what Ahmed thought was an al-Qaida bomb plot. And it echoes Faisal Shahzad's defiant rant at his sentencing hearing last October after he pleaded guilty to the failed Times Square bombing. "This time it's the war against people who believe in the book of Allah and follow the commandments, so this is a war against Allah," Shahzad said. "So let's see how you can defeat your Creator, which you can never do. Therefore, the defeat of U.S. is imminent and will happen in the near future, inshallah, which will only give rise to much awaited Muslim caliphate, which is the only true world order."

The Worst Use of Taxpayer Funds Ever?
Excerpt: Government, particularly at the federal level, is supposed to exist only to do the people’s business, the business that they cannot reasonably do for themselves: maintaining the military, conducting diplomacy with other nations. In the pursuit of government, it is sometimes necessary to establish various bureaus, which are populated by bureaucrats. In a perfect world, a world envisioned by our Founders — though they harbored no delusions about the perfectibility of man — these bureaucrats would behave in a responsible, adult manner. They would faithfully carry out their jobs with the aim of obeying not only the letter of the law but its spirit. As they are spending the hard-earned tax dollars of the public in the pursuit of their duties, they would take great care to ensure that those dollars were properly and wisely spent. They would understand the boundaries of their authority within the overall system, and would recoil in horror at the very thought of violating those boundaries. Back to reality. Perhaps the most egregious example of everything wrong with our federal bureaucracies resides with the Environmental Protection Agency. John Merline, writing in Investor’s Business Daily, tells a tale of EPA abuse of power and squandering of taxpayer monies that ought to cause the American public to demonstrate in righteous rage. I have never seen a more compelling argument for the immediate abolishment of a federal agency. The EPA is using taxpayer money to encourage environmentalist groups to sue … the EPA. This has continued for decades. The EPA has paid one of these groups to produce a do-it-yourself guide to suing the EPA. The EPA frequently enters into consent decrees to settle the suits. Even when the EPA doesn’t hand out megadollar settlements — your money — to the litigious loons, it commonly pays their attorney’s fees. (I have never seen a better argument for abolishing a federal agency. --DH)

A quick comparison of the House and Senate on jobs
Excerpt: You know how Obama repeatedly says Congress could take steps “right now” to jumpstart the economy again? Let’s amend that statement for accuracy: The Senate and the president could take steps right now to jumpstart the economy again. That is, they actually have House bills in front of them. Yes, this is shameless GOP cheerleading (sorry, @chandelonfriend) — but it’s so obvious in this case I can’t help it. I’m not asking Democratic senators or the president to have no disagreements with the bills the House has passed. I’m asking them to, as professors say, “engage the material.” Give it air time, amend it, offer an alternative, whatever. But don’t just sit passively or talk poetically.

Solyndra to Solar City: Lesson Not Learned in Green Energy Loan
Green is the new red. ~Bob. Excerpt: Basking in the glow from the $535 million fire left when Solyndra crashed and burned, the Department of Energy is ready to subsidize additional hundreds of millions in loans to solar energy companies. The logic of this latest round is stunning: One company supposedly needs the government subsidy because its cost of production is so low; the other company supposedly needs the government subsidy because the government is buying its product. Solyndra, of course, is the poster child turned object lesson. After the company received loan guarantees (that now must be made good) of $535 million in the fall of 2009, President Obama said “companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” The two years following that loan guarantee were a continuous downward spiral for Solyndra, and on August 31, it announced it would file for bankruptcy.

Is the US Economy Freefalling?
Excerpt: With the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Jackson Hole Symposium this weekend, the bitter message of "After the Fall"--a paper I presented with Carmen M. Reinhart at Jackson Hole last year--is coming true in the downward projections to economic forecasts by public- and private-sector economists. Our examination of the fifteen worst financial crises in the second half of the twentieth century showed that economies persistently perform poorly after a financial crisis, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth 1.5 percentage points slower in the decade after the crisis than in the one before. In ten of the fifteen cases, the unemployment rate did not return to its precrisis low for the entire decade after the fall. The United States is contending with an expected painful deleveraging cycle and excessive regulation that slows growth, but we may not have laid the foundation for sustained expansion. Real per-capita output is still 2.2 percent off its 2006 level, and effective fiscal consolidation and true tax reform are unlikely to come out of Congress in the run-up to the 2012 elections. I would put the chance that the economy slips into another recession within a year at about four in ten.

Important: The Alarming Cost Of Climate Change Hysteria
Cui bono? Bet that a lot of the money went to supporters on Barack and other politicians. ~Bob. Excerpt: The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) can't figure out what benefits taxpayers are getting from the many billions of dollars spent each year on policies that are purportedly aimed at addressing climate change. A May 20 report noted that while annual federal funding for such activities has been increasing substantially, there is a lack of shared understanding of strategic priorities among the various responsible agency officials. This assessment agrees with the conclusions of a 2008 Congressional Research Service analysis which found no "overarching policy goal for climate change that guides the programs funded or the priorities among programs." According to the GAO, annual federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, amounting to $106.7 billion over that period. The money was spent in four general categories: technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, science to understand climate changes, international assistance for developing countries, and wildlife adaptation to respond to actual or expected changes. Technology spending, the largest category, grew from $2.56 billion to $5.5 billion over this period, increasingly advancing over others in total share. Data compiled by Joanne Nova at the Science and Policy Institute indicates that the U.S. Government spent more than $32.5 billion on climate studies between 1989 and 2009. This doesn't count about $79 billion more spent for climate change technology research, foreign aid and tax breaks for "green energy."

Excerpt: Since taking office, President Barack Obama has signed into law twenty-one new or higher taxes:

Republicans Should Make Intellect the Issue
Excerpt: Despite the left's self-assured predictions that Obama's reelection was inevitable as Osama bin Laden's body slipped beneath the brine, just about every reputable polling agency now shows the president up against history in his bid for a second term. The internals of the polls are even more alarming for the White House. It seems that Republicans could actually dress up a mannequin from Sears to lead their ticket, and the soulless, inanimate, plastic creature would outperform Obama in the realms of jobs, economic growth, foreign affairs, health care, and national defense amongst virtually every demographic. So to make this election a little more interesting for those of us who watch and observe politics, let me make a strategic suggestion to the eventual Republican nominee, whoever he or she may be: don't play Prevent defense in this campaign. Don't play not to lose, but rather imitate Obama in 2008: attack your opponent where he thinks he is strongest. Granted, the president's narcissism may make it initially difficult to pinpoint which area he believes himself to be most gifted; but that vain conceit actually provides the answer. Make this election about intelligence...and not the kind that is measured by letter grades (that would be impossible anyway, given that for some reason our scholar president won't release his grade transcripts). No, I'm talking about working intelligence -- the kind of street smarts that history tells us is far more useful in a chief executive than a high verbal SAT.

Al-Qaeda Is Winning
Excerpt: A decade after the attacks of September 11, 2001, national security opinion leaders are converging around the ideas that the threat of terrorism has been substantially reduced over the past 10 years, and that al-Qaeda is on its death bed. "Al-Qaeda is sort of on the ropes and taking a lot of shots to the body and the head," White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan told the Associated Press on August 31. Defense secretary Leon Panetta said in July that the United States is "within reach" of "strategically defeating" the jihadi group, and the Washington Post has confirmed that his assessment is shared by many analysts. Commentators in the public sphere are increasingly adopting similar views. But my own research into the group has led me in a different direction: that this emerging consensus doesn't just appear wrong, but obviously wrong. Al-Qaeda isn't anywhere near defeated -- for all our triumphalism, it appears to be winning. It’s not that we should fear al-Qaeda: fear tends to be a pointless, even counterproductive, emotional response to potential danger. And even if I am right, that doesn't mean we should expand our counterterrorism resources or even maintain their current levels. Overspending on homeland defense, as I argue in my recent book, has been one of our key errors over the post-September 11 decade. So insufficient spending isn't the problem, nor is the problem that we're not sufficiently worried about terrorism. Rather, if we're losing, it's because many analysts seem to massively misdiagnose the nature of al-Qaeda's threat, and because the policies that derive from that misunderstanding have made things worse.   

Expert in Knesset - PA Part of Global Jihad
Excerpt: "Islam intends to conquer the world, It is already doing so through immigration to France, England and more slowly to the rest of the Western world. The threats to march on communities in Judea and Samaria on September 20th and the recognition bid at the UN are all part of this global Jihad", says Professor Yisrael Chanatoglu of the Association of Professors for a Strong Israel. “In WWI, the Ottoman Empire reached the gates of Vienna and this is what the Turks dream of", he said, "not of Attaturk's democratic reforms". Chanatoglu was born in Turkey and has been listening to Prime Minister Erdogan, understanding the nuances of words spoken in his mother tongue. (I would qualify this to say that the Islamists want to conquer the world. As with Christianity, there are many forms of Islam, and many varied beliefs [which can get you killed by the others]. There are tens of millions of Muslims who would happily live in peace next door to you. But those who would happily kill or subjugate you are far more than the “tiny minority of extremists” the apologists cite. And as with the minority of Germans who were Nazis, they matter far more than the peaceful Muslims. ~Bob.)

Remembering; on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11.
Excerpt: (To be given on a memorial service in North Reading Massachusetts this coming Sunday. Unfortunately, I will not be present to deliver it.) About eight months ago, I agreed to an interview with Paul Hair, a Conservative Blogger who writes on Islam, the US Military and Politics. He is also continuing to serve his country in the Army Reserve after a 6 year tour of active duty which included combat in Iraq. Here is the last question he asked me:

Strong words from a weak president
Excerpt: Another day, another speech. A speech that promised more speeches. And so Barack Obama, who once soared on the wings of hope, now plods on the leaden feet of reality. “We can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy,” the president said in a speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday evening. Were it only so. Obama delivered a strong speech at a time when he has never been weaker. Gallup says only 44 percent of the nation approves of how he is doing his job, while 50 percent disapprove. He is, in other words, “upside down” by 6 percentage points. A president can demand that Congress pass a bold jobs plan when his numbers are high. But when a president’s numbers are low, he can only beseech. (When a person’s first leadership job is President, it’s hard to expect good results. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: On the day before 'loser pays' tort reforms went into effect, Golden Triangle attorneys made a mad dash to the Beaumont courthouse, flooding the District Clerk's Office with nearly 60 fresh lawsuits. On May 30, Gov. Rick Perry signed off on House Bill 274, which includes a "loser pays" component designed to impede frivolous lawsuits in Texas. The bill went into effect on Sept. 1 and calls for some civil plaintiffs who sue and lose to pay the court costs and attorney fees of those they sued. The law also creates expedited civil actions for cases less than $100,000 and allows judges to dismiss meritless lawsuits. Most likely hoping to avoid that costly outcome, Beaumont attorneys filed 59 lawsuits on Aug. 31, a search at the Beaumont courthouse revealed. Out of the 59 lawsuits submitted, 44 claims were marked as personal injury lawsuits, and encompass plaintiffs who allege they were injured because of toxic chemical exposure; medical malpractice; and even rampaging cow attacks.

73% Say Media More Interested in Controversy Than Where Candidates Stand on the Issues
Excerpt: Voters overwhelmingly believe the media’s more interested in playing “gotcha” with those running for president than with airing out where they stand on the important issues of the day. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 16% of Likely U.S. Voters think the media is more interested in where prospective presidential candidates stand on the issues. Seventy-three percent (73%) believe the media is more interested in creating controversies about the candidates. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

9/11 Ten Years After
Excerpt: In his important pamphlet, 9-11 Ten Years Later, Marc Thiessen asks the critical questions. Are we still safe? Are the important safeguards that the Bush administration put in place after the attack still there to keep us safe? Has President Obama made us more vulnerable to another attack? Thiessen, who was working at the Pentagon on 9/11, believes that he has. Yes, Osama bin Laden was killed on Obama’s watch. But instead of getting a medal for their achievement, the officials who uncovered the intelligence that led us to Osama bin Laden were given subpoenas. On his second day in office, Obama shut down the CIA’s high-value interrogation program. His Justice Department then reopened criminal investigations into the conduct of CIA interrogators.

Iran’s Dirty 9/11 Secrets
Excerpt: It has taken nearly ten years, but the real story of Iran’s direct, material involvement in the 9/11 conspiracy is finally coming to light. And it’s being revealed not by the U.S. government or by Congressional investigators but by private attorneys representing families of the 9/11 victims in U.S. District Court. Just one week before the 9/11 Commission sent its final report to the printers in July 2004, diligent staffers discovered a six-page classified National Security Agency analysis summarizing what the U.S. intelligence community had learned about Iran’s assistance to the 9/11 hijackers. They happened upon the document by chance. It had been tucked away at the bottom of the last box in the last stack of classified documents they were reviewing. But it was so explosive that several Commissioners pushed hard to make sure the information it contained was included in the final report, despite intense push back from the intelligence community.

Excellent: Lean Forward? You First!
Excerpt: During the recent GOP presidential debate, MSNBC ran self-promotional commercials for itself. That's OK; all networks do it. The Hebrew philosopher Hillel's famous line "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?" applies for cable news networks, too. And given MSNBC's ratings, that wisdom is particularly poignant. The long-running "Lean Forward" marketing campaign features different MSNBC hosts waxing poetic on the glories of government and liberalism. The ad they kept running during the debate features Rachel Maddow standing on the edge of the Hoover Dam. The spots are a widespread source of ridicule in conservative circles, mostly because they show Maddow on the precipice of the dam in an ad hectoring us all to "lean forward." You first, Ms. Maddow. But the real joke of the commercial is the argument behind it. Maddow objects when "people tell us no, no, no we're not going to build it. No, no, no, America doesn't have any greatness in its future. America has small things in its future. Other countries have great things in their future. China can afford it. We can't." She replies to this chorus of strawmen, "You're wrong and it doesn't feel right to us and it doesn't sound right to us because that's not what America is." It's one of several ads equating American greatness with big infrastructure spending on the scale of the Hoover Dam. The reason the ad is so funny is that nobody thinks liberals such as Maddow would support anything like the Hoover Dam today. The Hoover Dam is a marvel. But by today's green standards, it is a crime against nature. If you tried to build it, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace would be in court tomorrow blocking it, with Ms. Maddow cheering them on.

The 9/11 'Overreaction'? Nonsense
Excerpt: The new conventional wisdom on 9/11: We have created a decade of fear. We overreacted to 9/11 -- al-Qaeda turned out to be a paper tiger; there never was a second attack -- thereby bankrupting the country, destroying our morale and sending us into national decline. The secretary of defense says that al-Qaeda is on the verge of strategic defeat. True. But why? Al-Qaeda did not spontaneously combust. Yet, in a decade Osama bin Laden went from the emir of radical Islam, jihadi hero after whom babies were named all over the Muslim world -- to pathetic old recluse, almost incommunicado, watching shades of himself on a cheap TV in a bare room. What turned the strong horse into the weak horse? Precisely the massive and unrelenting American war on terror, a systematic worldwide campaign carried out with increasing sophistication, efficiency and lethality -- now so cheaply denigrated as an "overreaction."

The war America fights
Excerpt: Ten years ago, in the shadow of the crater at Ground Zero, the smoldering Pentagon and a field of honor in Pennsylvania, America found itself at war. Today, a decade on, America is still at war. Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the time has come to assess the progress of America's war. But in order to assess its progress, we must first understand the war. What war has the US been fighting since Sept. 11? Former President George W. Bush called the war the War on Terror. The War on Terror is a broad tactical campaign to prevent Islamic terrorists from targeting America.

Turkish warships will escort aid vessels to Gaza: Erdogan
Excerpt: Turkey said on Thursday it would escort aid ships to Gaza and would not allow a repetition of last year's Israeli raid that killed nine Turks, setting the stage for a potential naval confrontation with its former ally. Raising the stakes in Turkey's row with Israel over its refusal to apologize for the killings, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Al Jazeera television that Turkey had taken steps to stop Israel from unilaterally exploiting natural resources in the Mediterranean.

Two Terror Suspects Arrested in Berlin
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Police in Berlin arrested two terror suspects on Thursday, raiding their apartments and a Muslim cultural center. The two men allegedly amassed chemicals that could be used to make bombs.

Raheem Kassam says, "Profile me"
Excerpt: Any loyal U.S. citizen, Muslim or non-Muslim, should understand that getting stopped in an airport is an unfortunate consequence of the fact that devout, observant Muslims worldwide have carried out jihad terror attacks in the name of Islam, and so people who are entrusted with the safety of airline passengers have every reason to err on the side of suspicion. Those who are thus inconvenienced should consider it a small price to pay in order to head off the next terror attack. I speak from experience. More than once I have been held and questioned at airports because of my work. Once I was working on this website on my laptop, someone saw "jihad" on my screen, and presently I was surrounded by police and large dogs, and hauled off for questioning.

F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11
Excerpt: Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it. The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft. Except her own plane. So that was the plan. Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757. “We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

Wait, I thought it was the Tea Party Dems accused of being hostage takers? ~Bob. Excerpt: Earlier this morning 500 or so members of the AFL-CIO stormed a port in Washington, vandalized the facility, reportedly cut the brake lines of train cars, and held six guards hostage. Shockingly, no one was arrested. Earlier that week a judge issued a restraining order against this same group after they clashed with police while brandishing bats and issuing death threats. Nineteen people were arrested for misdemeanors. While all of this was going on, the group’s head, Richard Trumka, was invited as a guest of the President to tonight’s jobs address.

Exposing Big Green environmentalists' best-kept secret
Excerpt: They say there's no such thing as a free lunch. Unfortunately, that notion is news to environmentalist groups who, for years, have been dipping into a bottomless, untraceable money pit to push their political agendas in court and grind the work of land management and other federal agencies to a halt. It may come as a surprise that you and I, as American taxpayers, are funding the endless money hole these groups are using to pay their army of lawyers in court -- win, lose or draw. The enabling of special interest groups' endless cycle of taxpayer-funded litigation was never the original intent of Congress. In 1980, Congress passed a little-known law called the Equal Access to Justice Act, which allowed people to be reimbursed by the federal government, via the taxpayer, for the costs of fighting the federal government in court.

'That man's terrible': Secret Jackie Kennedy tapes reveal her disgust over Martin Luther King's 'sex party'
Excerpt: Jacqueline Kennedy spoke of her disgust towards Martin Luther King after claims the civil rights leader tried to arrange a sex party while in Washington for a march. In explosive tapes to be revealed later this month, the former first lady also tells how she could barely look at images of the iconic leader after he apparently also made derogatory remarks at JFK's funeral. Jackie Kennedy's relationship with Dr King Jr became strained as a result of wire taps arranged by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Rick Perry's Debt to the Anti-God Squad
Excerpt: Despite their malice, Rick Perry owes the antireligious bigots big time. They have helped turn someone with a mixed record on immigration and job creation into a Republican Right hero. Indeed, by mentioning his fervent faith at a prayer breakfast and by making it appear that he believes in creationism, Perry has enlisted the “anti-God squad” for his campaign. The more they scream, the better he does in hiding his identity as a Bush-look-alike, from the same state and with some of the same key policies as the former president. (Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post takes the opposite view, noting Perry’s recent rhetoric rather than his record. As late as 2008, however, Perry backed the very liberal Republican Giuliani for president.)

Many Afghans Shrug At 'This Event Foreigners Call 9/11'
Excerpt: The Sept. 11 attacks that triggered the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan also uprooted 16-year-old Abdul Ghattar from his village in war-torn Helmand province, bringing him to a desolate refugee camp on the edge of Kabul. Yet Mr. Ghattar stared blankly when asked whether he knew about al Qaeda's strike on the U.S., launched a decade ago from Afghan soil. "Never heard of it," he shrugged as he lined up for water at the camp's well, which serves thousands of fellow refugees. "I have no idea why the Americans are in my country."

1 comment:

  1. It is now 10 years and one day from 9/11. A day to remember, and commemorated with a week of remembrances. Of savage death-dealing to innocent civilians and the complicit military, in the heart of the USA. Despicable, yet absolutely comparable to the savage death-dealing of almost 100 times as many innocent civilians and complicit military in far, far lands at the hands of overwhelmingly armed religious fanatics and bigots and the deluded from the USA, promoted by the largest propaganda machine the world has known. When will we learn that the "fight" for hearts and minds cannot be fought through the excess use of force by the mighty, but counter terrorism is indeed promoted by this killing. It is indeed apt that this phrase was publicised by Bush, who lacks heart and mind...

    Can the USA not understand why they are hated throughout the world? And that it, and no-one else is responsible? Would it have the same respect for a week of remembrance for the victims of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Japan, etc., etc., etc.?