Monday, September 12, 2011

Political Digest for September 12, 2011

Short Digest today as I was out Sunday for ceremonies making this date. ~Bob.

In the weeks following the 9-11 attacks, folk singer Tom Paxton wrote a song to salute the firefighters who rescued so many from the World Trade center. Please take a few minutes to listen to his song, “The Bravest.” --Geoff.       

No 9/11 attack?
I wasn't expecting an attack on 9/11. Any insurgent knows you don't hit them when they are expecting it and have high security. You let them worry a bit, then let their guard down. If they have the assets to attack, maybe next week. Be careful. ~Bob

The Ulsterman Report: Valerie Jarrett Admits No Obama Jobs Bill
Excerpt: After a long period of silence, senior White House adviser and longtime Chicago-based Obama ally Valerie Jarrett emerges from the shadows to admit on national television the jobs bill President Obama demanded last week to be passed does not even exist. Others have called the machinations of the Obama White House surreal. Such a term is proving increasingly appropriate these days. Just last week, President Barack Hussein Obama, standing before a Joint Session of Congress, declared plans for yet another deficit spending Big Government jobs program – this one costing nearly half a trillion dollars. Throughout his speech, the president demanded loudly that Congress must “pass this bill”, and do so “now”. And yet, what was first revealed by a few within the mainstream media, has now been confirmed by the individual some believe to wield the most influence over the actions (or inactions) of President Barack Hussein Obama. Within minutes of the president’s jobs bill speech, senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett admitted to MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow that what Barack Obama is demanding of Congress to be passed does not actually exist – THERE IS NO JOBS BILL.

The Week That Was: 2011-09-10 (September 10, 2011)
Excerpt: On July 7, EPA announced its cross-state pollution rules restricting sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions which applied to 27 states, mostly in the East, and Texas. The announcement was accompanied by an announcement of questionable benefits from these rules. EPA claimed the rules would prevent: 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 non-fatal heart attacks, and 400, 000 new cases of asthma amounting to $280 billion a year in health benefits, starting in 2014. The July 9 TWTW questioned the accounting of the asthma benefits and last week questioned benefits claimed by the EPA for other rules under New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) published on May 3. There appeared to be substantial double counting of benefits. According to a technical report by Anne Smith of NERA Economic Consulting there not only is double counting, but triple and quadruple counting as well. The numbers are inflated estimates for the public health benefits estimated for regulating soot (PM 2.5). The soot regulations are in place and intensifying over a period of years. The soot regulations were reviewed by EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the regulations are being challenged by others on the basis of highly questionable assumptions used in the calculations. The claimed public health benefits under the new suite of regulations including cross-state emissions, NSPS, Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), and others have not been reviewed by EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. EPA is attempting to justify a host of new regulations by using findings on soot - which is already being regulated. Such is the current state of EPA science. (Also contained is a link to work by Richard Lindzen presented at a seminar sponsored by the American Chemical Society. But, of course, the science is settled. NOT. Ron P.)

Eyewitness to History: Recalling Bush’s Leadership on 9/11
Excerpt: I can still hear the cadence of the children’s voices as they read aloud, and Chief of Staff Andrew Card (watch a PJTV interview with Card here) silently walked over to the president in what would become the most famous picture in America, leaned down, and whispered in his ear. The second plane had just flown directly into Tower 2 and the nation was under attack. We had been in the room no more than five minutes. Since that time President Bush has been criticized for his decision to remain seated and allow the children to finish their reading. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who was not present, tried to portray Bush as a man paralyzed by fear and ignorance, and perhaps for those who weren’t there it seemed true. But this is my story as I experienced it first-hand. In that moment when Andrew Card stood back up, there was something palpable, but this was the president he was talking to, and it could have been anything in the world, literally. There was no panic. No fear. No confusion emanating from Bush the man. There was strength of resolve to lead. In the moment that he never knew would happen, George W. Bush demonstrated true leadership. He instinctively knew that these were young children, and that lasting impressions had impact. He remained calm and let them finish; a decision that delayed things by only five minutes. Then, with much gratitude, he very efficiently thanked the class, looking at several children directly in the eye as he was so good about doing.

Strong forecast for northern lights over Alaska
Excerpt: A tsunami of charged particles from the sun is spreading a massive geomagnetic storm over the Earth’s poles, creating the potential for an “extreme” aurora borealis visible throughout Alaska and into the Lower 48 states, scientists said Friday. Triggered by what scientists call a "coronal mass ejection" earlier in the week, the aurora has already spread over Scandinavia and will soon be visible in central Europe, said University of Alaska Fairbanks forecaster Charles Deehr, in an email alert. “If it (continues at the current level), it will be visible across the northern half of the continental US, Southern New Zealand, Tasmania, and even the southern coast of Victoria, Australia,” added Deehr, a professor emeritus of physics with the Geophysical Institute. The “shockwave” slammed into the home planet’s magnetic field Friday about 11:30 a.m. Universal Time (nine hours earlier in Alaska), reported Spaceweather. The colossal dance of energy hundreds of miles overhead has already triggered electrical currents in the ground in Norway, according to this post. “This could be the first of several hits from a series of CMEs expected to reach Earth during the weekend,” Spaceweather warned. “High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall.”

Terror's Evolving Threat: The Al-Qaida Network in 2011
Excerpt: In addition to shock and grief, fear gripped Americans in the hours and days after the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked by al-Qaida terrorists in hijacked airliners. The next attack seemed imminent and of even more horrifying magnitude. Ten years later, American officials can barely contain their confidence that a sustained program of drone attacks, arrests and the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden may have knocked al-Qaida down for the count.

Excerpt: A high profile, politically well-connected California solar energy company that had won a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration declared bankruptcy earlier this month and closed its doors sending 1100 workers to the unemployment line. The demise of Solyndra has already sparked an FBI investigation, congressional hearings, and raised numerous questions of political cronyism and corruption connected to the highest levels of the Obama Administration.

Triumph of the normal
We are told that what President George W. Bush should have said in response to September 11 was something very like, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” As everyone knows, in the weeks following the attacks he instead urged Americans, “And for God’s sake, keep shopping.” Except he didn’t say that (it was a snarky paraphrase by a Time magazine writer, who began his astonishingly tone-deaf article about Bush’s superb Sept. 20, 2001 speech to Congress with a crack about Bush pronouncing terror as “terra”). Bush did, however, make a similar point. “I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy,” he said in that speech. He said, “I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children.” He said, “It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return almost to normal. We’ll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good.”
A week later, he said, “Get on board,” by which he meant airplanes, not AmeriCorps. “Do your business around the country,” he added. “Fly and enjoy America’s great destination spots. Get down to Disney World in Florida. Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed.” Liberals have never forgiven Bush for letting this crisis go to waste. During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama said, “A lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11 and how all of the country was ready to come together and make enormous changes to make us not only safer, but to make us a better country and a more unified country. And President Bush did some smart things at the outset, but one of the opportunities that was missed was, when he spoke to the American people, he said, ‘Go out and shop.’ That wasn’t the kind of call to service that I think the American people were looking for.”

Ten Years - We Are Still Missing the Lessons of 9/11
Excerpt: In recent years and even weeks, the lessons of September 11, 2001 have been lost to constant distraction, the most recent being Mayor Bloomberg's unfathomable decision to forbid people of faith a role at the tenth anniversary commemoration. Faith was the impetus for the attack, faith was the instrument for healing, and faith is the only hope we have to defeat the ideology that attacked us ten years ago. Bloomberg's stance encapsulates our greatest liabilities as a nation ten years after 9/11. We, now, more than ever, lack the political will, the national skill sets, and the prominent American Muslim leadership willing to identify, engage, and defeat Islamism. While many Muslims take the bait of victimology preached by supposed Muslim civil rights groups in America, as American Muslims the rest of us cannot continue to deny the connection no matter how unfair between certain interpretations of our faith and Al Qaeda's brutal attack. Usama bin Laden did not just represent a handful of militant extremists. He was a standard bearer for an end stage of a global ideology – political Islam (Islamism) – that has buried its roots deep within interpretations of our faith. Islamism is a theo-political construct that believes in the supremacy of the Islamic state and that is the antithesis of what makes America unique and exceptional. It can only be defeated by Muslims who step beyond the distractions and denials and champion an ideological path that binds our identity and faith to liberty and individual freedom. If American Muslim leaders want to do anything to combat fear of Islamism and any unfair association of all Muslims that may exist, the most effective move would be to form an offensive strategy against Islamists and their ideas from within.

County Bans ICE Holds, Even For Felons
Gee, why don't I want to retire here in Crook County, IL? ~Bob. Excerpt: The nation’s second-largest county has enacted legislation directing local police to disregard federal government orders to hold arrested illegal immigrants, including those with criminal records or serious felony charges. Hours after commissioners in Illinois’s Cook County, which includes Chicago, passed the measure a local newspaper reported that an illegal alien charged with a felony was released after posting bail. The man, Eduardo Sanchez, had previous offenses and got arrested this week after running a red light and assaulting a police officer. Before the famously liberal Cook County Commission passed its new law, federal authorities would have illegal immigrants like Sanchez held in local jails for up to 48 hours after posting bond or completing their sentence. The extra time gives the feds a cushion to begin deportation proceedings for illegal aliens who pose a threat.

Obama Poised To Close Nine Border Patrol Stations
Excerpt: Just when you think things cannot get worse, our government proves us wrong!
I was sent the disturbing information about the administration's proposed closing of nine Border Patrol stations with an additional 4 stations being reviewed with an eye to closing them as well, by a former colleague and old friend who served in the U.S. Border Patrol as well as an INS Special Agent. It is impossible to imagine justification for closing Border Patrol stations. The further apart stations are located, the more agents will have to travel when they make arrests and the more that our beleaguered agents will have to travel to get to their assigned sectors when they are on duty. This also has serious safety implications for our agents!

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