Thursday, September 15, 2011

Political Digest for September 15, 2011

Charities I support

New comment on “I’m Tired,” my own Energizer Bunny Essay
Wow. I am a 30 year old, self employed father of 2. I love this country. I love where it has come from. I am grateful to say I live here. Your blog states everything in words better then I ever could have. I am concerned for the future, and for my children's lives here. But I will focus on doing my best, and spreading the example of a productive, self supporting, benevolent citizen. I thank you and those like you for being willing to forget about what is "PC" and stating the hard truth. it seems that someone is succeeding in pulling the wool over our eyes, and this is so dangerous since we cannot see those coming who intend to end our great way of life, both from the inside and from without. I plan to spread this message and work towards restoring the pragmatic and spiritual thinking that will be necessary for our youth to preserve this republic. Thanks again.

Great week so far. The Patriots won Monday night, then again Tuesday night. ~Bob.

Republicans win Weiner’s seat
Another message to Washington, which Washington and the Democrats will explain away. ~Bob. Republican Bob Turner won former Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) House seat on Tuesday, a bad sign for President Obama and down-ticket Democrats heading into next year’s election. Turner was leading Democrat David Weprin by 54 percent to 46 percent with 81 percent of precincts reporting right before midnight eastern time. The Associated Press has called the race. Democrats have held Weiner’s district since 1923, and it was Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) seat before he ran for the Senate. Obama will shoulder some blame for the loss, which comes at a pivotal time for the president as he pushes Congress to pass a jobs bill that will likely be a major part of his reelection campaign.

The New York special election: Will Democrats panic?
Nah. I blame Global Warming. Or George Bush. ~Bob. Excerpt: In the wake of Rep.-elect Bob Turner’s (R) upset victory in the special election in New York’s 9th district on Tuesday night, the prevailing question among Democrats will almost certainly be: Is it time to push the panic button? There’s little debate that the seat that will now occupied by Turner was one Democrats could have and should have won. It had been in Democratic hands for more than eight decades and was carried by President Obama by 11 points in 2008. And Democrats had three-to-one registration advantage in the district. Why they didn’t win is a matter of debate, but expect the after-action analysis to focus on the fact that Republicans (and former Democratic New York City mayor Ed Koch, who endorsed Turner) cast the race as a referendum on Obama.

Yoo hoo, Mr. President
Excerpt: Voters in overwhelmingly Democratic sections of Queens and Brooklyn yesterday elected a Republican, Bob Turner, to Congress. That’s after Turner, along with ex-Mayor Ed Koch (himself a lifelong Democrat), explicitly called on voters to send the prez an angry message by voting for the GOP. Voters in those neighborhoods haven’t backed a Republican since 1920, but they’re clearly fed up with the nation’s direction -- the endless economic paralysis and Washington’s oceans of red ink. And, just as clearly, they’re holding the president accountable. Notably, Koch and Turner had also told voters that a win by a GOP contender in this heavily Jewish district would convey their outrage over Obama’s Israel policy. Indeed, the loser in yesterday’s race -- Assemblyman David Weprin -- is not just a Democrat, but an Orthodox Jew. Well, consider the message delivered.

New York Congressional Defeat a Wake-Up Call for Obama, Democrats
Excerpt: The victory by Republican Bob Turner over Democrat David Welprin in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner in the New York 9th congressional district has Democrats feeling something close to panic. Victories by the opposition party in special elections are often seen as harbingers of trouble to come for the party in power. When such a victory occurs in a bluest of blue districts such as New York 9th, that wake-up call should be considered deafening. When one considers that New York's 9th was once held by Chuck Schumer, now an uberliberal Senator, and that it was last held by a Republican at the beginning of the Coolidge administration, that wake-up call should be seen as the equivalent of a nuclear blast. The victory by Turner is being touted as being similar to the victory by Scott Brown in the race to fill the Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated when Teddy Kennedy died. It is much more than that. Turner, according to the Washington Post, ran as an anti Obama, deficit and tax cutting, tea party candidate. Turner won by about six points, a convincing win in a district regularly carried by Democrats by double digits.

Even New York's Jewish Democrats Have Rejected Barack Obama
Excerpt: Last night’s stunning victory for the Republicans in a New York congressional special election confirms that the Democratic coalition is cracking up. The House seat was held for seven terms by Anthony Weiner, the aggressive liberal who was caught sending pictures of his unmentionables to strange women via Twitter. Aside from a small backlash against Weiner, the contest was supposed to be a walkover for the President’s party. The district covers parts of Queens and Brooklyn and has never returned anyone but a Democrat: registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 3-1.

Manchin’s strategy for surviving 2012 in a red state: Bash President Obama
Excerpt: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) might have found the formula for saving a vulnerable Senate Democrat facing a tough reelection bid in a red state: Bash President Obama and his policies. Manchin’s approval rating has climbed steadily since January, and one of his strongest potential Republican challengers, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), is considered a long-shot candidate in 2012. (He assumes, perhaps correctly, that WV voters are stupid. Ask him if he will vote Democrat to organize, putting Harry Reid and other Obama-supporting liberals in charge of the Senate? But Democrats might try this in Blue States as well—see NY-9, above. ~Bob.)

GOP coasts to victory in Nevada race
Excerpt: Republican Mark Amodei coasted to victory Tuesday, delivering an all-out defeat to Democrat Kate Marshall in Nevada’s first special House election since the state entered the union, according to election results compiled by The Associated Press. With 70 percent of precincts reporting, Amodei had captured 57 percent of the vote to Marshall’s 37 percent in the race to replace former Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who was appointed to the Senate in April when former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) resigned amid a scandal. Marshall conceded the race two hours after polls closed in Nevada.

After Solyndra bankruptcy, White House defends clean energy investments
Shovel-ready jobs, shoveling your grandkids dollars down a rat hole. ~Bob. Excerpt: And pressure on the White House over the incident is likely to increase Wednesday. Emails obtained by The Washington Post show that the White House tried to rush the decision on Solyndra's financing so that Vice President Joe Biden could announce approval at the September 2009 groundbreaking for the company's new factory. “The August 2009 e-mails, released to The Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal,” the story states.

Solyndra loan: White House pressed on review of solar company now under investigation
Excerpt: The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show. The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to develop clean energy technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of Management and Budget. The August 2009 e-mails, released exclusively to The Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. (Weasel Waxman complains “We were mislead.” Weasel, that’s the Chicago way. If this was a Republican administration, the MSM would be full of demands for investigation of corruption. Will those demands begin tomorrow? I have to admit a grudging admiration for Solyndra; I can’t imagine any possible way for a private start-up company to waste more than half a billion dollars in a mere two years. The vast majority of that money had to be spent on “things.” Where are they? Sorry, I forgot. It’s the Chicago way. Ron P.)

Important: E-mails show White house knew Solyndra was a disaster before it issued $535M crony loan
Excerpt: Can we call it "Solargate" yet? We already knew that Solyndra investor George Kaiser personally gave more than $50,000 to the Obama Presidential campaign in 2008. And that Solyndra executives visited the White House 20 times since Obama took office. … This is an immense scandal. The Obama administration appears to have laundered billions of taxpayer dollars through green companies using its political backers as front-men. As Mark Levin said last night, "We need a special prosecutor."
Excerpt: The e-mails also raise questions about whether the administration should have foreseen financial trouble. In August 2009, e-mail exchanges between Energy Department staff members pointed out that a credit-rating agency predicted that the project would run out of cash in September 2011. Solyndra shut its doors on the final day of August. Notice that last line -- Solyndra went bankrupt right on time. Solyndra is turning out to be a textbook case of how crony capitalism operates (and fails). 

Bleeding us with ‘green jobs’
Excerpt: With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (which received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of “green jobs” out of his latest address to Congress. But buried in the details of his latest “jobs” bill are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate.

Napolitano denies knowledge of Fast and Furious gun-tracking program
You know the rule—never believe anything in Washington until it’s been officially denied. ~Bob. Excerpt: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators Tuesday that she had no knowledge of a botched federal gun-tracking program while it was in operation. In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Napolitano said she was first made aware of the Fast and Furious program after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in the line of duty in Arizona in December 2010.

Irvine 11 – Jurors See Emails Plotting Disruptions
Excerpt: Emails detailing plans by Muslim Student Union (MSU)members to interrupt a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year were entered into evidence Monday in the misdemeanor trial of 10 University of California, Irvine students. The emails outline how the group actively developed a plan to silence the Israeli ambassador, while dishonestly maintaining that the organization had no involvement. "We will be staying for the majority of the program and disrupting it throughout the whole time," one email said. Witness Rhoda Harris, a Holocaust survivor, described a scene of chaos as the students interrupted the speech multiple times. Oren could not be heard over the cheering that followed each disruption, she claimed, shutting down the event an hour before scheduled.

Taliban launch complex attack on US embassy in Kabul
Excerpt: The Taliban launched a complex daylight attack on the US embassy and NATO headquarters in a secured area of Kabul this afternoon. While suicide bombers targeted the Kabul civil order police station and another police station a few kilometers away, fighters armed with rifles and RPGs fired at the embassy and NATO headquarters. Another suicide bomber was killed on a road near the airport. The International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a small group of Taliban fighters is "firing from outside the compound using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades." The Taliban fighters occupied an office building currently under construction near the embassy and ISAF headquarters to fire at the heavily fortified compounds. The NATO military command stated that "there are no reports of ISAF casualties at this time" and forces were working with Afghan police and soldiers to battle the Taliban fighters. (And it’s not even Tet. ~Bob.)

'Attiya Allah' authors article in latest edition of al Qaeda magazine
Excerpt: Yesterday, al Qaeda in Afghanistan released the 19th issue of "Vanguards of Khorasan," an online magazine that discusses operations in the central Asian country, along with other topics. Interestingly enough, the magazine has contributions from "al Qaeda officials including Abu Yahya al-Libi, Attiya Allah, and Khalid bin Abdul Rahman al-Husainan," according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which has translated the main article and the index of the magazine. One of those on the list, Attiya Allah, is of special interest, as this is another name for senior al Qaeda leader Atiyah Abd al Rahman. US intelligence officials have claimed that Atiyah was killed in an airstrike in North Waziristan on Aug. 22. When asked by The Long War Journal if Attiya Allah is the same person as Atiyah Abd al Rahman, the SITE Intelligence Group responded: "That is our understanding."

Did Stimulus Dollars Hire the Unemployed?
Excerpt: To test the effect of job incentives included in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA), or stimulus package, researchers at the Marcatus Center conducted a survey of hundreds of firms, non-profit institutes and local governments to gather information on worker and employer behavior in response to certain provisions. The findings include both predictable and surprising observations: Just 42.1 percent of the workers hired at ARRA-receiving organizations after January 31, 2009, were unemployed at the time they were hired. More were hired directly from other organizations (47.3 percent of post-ARRA workers), while a handful came from school (6.5 percent) or from outside the labor force (4.1 percent). Only about half (47 percent) of responding ARRA-receiving organizations said it was easier to hire high-quality workers than before the financial crisis. The rest said hiring good people was either as hard as (41 percent) or harder than (12 percent) before the financial crisis of 2008. Another interesting finding of the study involves the 1931 law that requires government contractors to pay union-scale wages on most federal projects, known as the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage standard. The stimulus package required this scale be used for 40 new types of projects. According to the report: The median respondent who reported Davis-Bacon wages were above the market level said that Davis-Bacon wages were 13.3 percent higher than market wages. Six percent more workers could have been hired on Davis-Bacon projects, and more roads could have been repaved, more houses insulated and more levees repaired if ARRA-receiving organizations could have paid market wages. A suspension of Davis-Bacon would perhaps have created 55,000 additional federally funded jobs. The study ultimately concludes that attempts to target and stimulate certain industries through government spending are less effective than one might expect. Too little attention was paid to the short-run effects of spending on hiring decisions, leaving much to be desired in some of the legislation.

Worth reading: Systemic Risk Returns: Is the Current Crisis Worse Than the Lehman Collapse?
Excerpt: Key points in this Outlook: The United States is close to another recession: the first-half growth rate is 0.7 percent and employment growth is weak. Current conditions point to a threat of systemic risk: the sudden shock of the US financial crisis, interconnections between the US economy and the European financial system, and the absence of viable policy solutions. We need good economics over politics, now more than ever. That means sensible tax reform, a Fed focus on maintaining liquidity, and rationalization of the European monetary system.

Worth Reading: Back to the Future: Part II by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Some people are hoping that President Obama's plan will get the economy out of the doldrums and start providing jobs for the unemployed. Others are hoping that the Republicans' plan will do the trick. Those who are truly optimistic hope that Democrats and Republicans will both put aside their partisanship and do what is best for the country. Almost nobody seems to be hoping that the government will leave the economy alone to recover on its own. Indeed, almost nobody seems at all interested in looking at the hard facts about what happens when the government leaves the economy alone, compared to what happens when politicians intervene. The grand myth that has been taught to whole generations is that the government is "forced" to intervene in the economy when there is a downturn that leaves millions of people suffering. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It's Going To Hurt
Obama said he’d “bend the cost curve.” Promise kept. You understand, the Obots think this is good, as they want to eliminate private insurance. ~Bob. Excerpt: : Yet another study finds that ObamaCare is going to increase costs. And this one wasn't issued by an opponent of the Democrats' reforms. In fact, one of its authors is an ObamaCare apologist. In an effort to determine how ObamaCare would affect Wisconsin, the state's Health Services Department commissioned Gorman Actuarial and economist Jonathan Gruber from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assess the program. The review was ordered up by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, a faithful ObamaCare supporter who has claimed the law will control health care costs. He now probably wishes he hadn't asked for the analysis. Under its "Key Findings" heading, the report says the market for individual policies "will experience premium increases as compared to pre-reform premiums."

Perry's Ponzi point: An uncomfortable truth about Social Security.
Excerpt: Rick Perry has gotten a lot of heat for describing the Social Security system as "a Ponzi scheme," and he deserves it. The Texas governor owes a big apology to Charles Ponzi. Sure, Ponzi fleeced investors, but they at least had a choice about participating. Social Security operates on a compulsory basis. In other respects, though, Perry has a point. In a Ponzi scheme, new investors have to be continually recruited in order to provide fat returns to earlier investors. It works fine until you have so many investors to pay off that you can't find enough new ones to cover the cost. Social Security is like that. It used to be a comfortable arrangement for all, because there were so many workers paying in and so few retirees getting checks. In 1950, there were 16 workers for every beneficiary. But today, there are about three workers. In 20 years, the ratio will be 2 to 1. A sweet deal has gone sour.

Wisconsin Firefighter Collects Disability, Runs Triathlons
Excerpt: A Milwaukee firefighter who was declared disabled four years ago and is entitled to $50,000 a year in disability payments is setting off alarms in Wisconsin for his completion of seven marathons and a triathlon. "The issue is the question of, 'Is this person really disabled?'" said Robert Whitaker, chief of the North Shore fire department, the former employer of Aaron Marjala. The fire department is angry that Marjala, 31, is continuing to collect insurance and disability pay while being perfectly capable of working. Marjala contends that he's followed all disability laws and can't go back to work as a firefighter. (The kind of unfortunate disabled public employee Scott Walker is trying to hurt, to save a few paltry tax dollars. ~Bob.)

No US Drones for Turkey Until Threat on Israel is Lifted
Excerpt: "The Obama administration has turned down a Turkish request for drones or for the deployment of US Predators at Turkish bases until Ankara stops threatening Israel with armed attack, debkafile's military and Washington sources report. Turkey has no functioning unmanned aerial vehicles at present. The "technical problems" grounding the Herons Israel sold Ankara have crippled the Turkish army's campaign against the Kurdish PKK rebels - both in northern Iraq and in southeast Turkey. In recent days, therefore, the rebels have stepped up their raids on Turkish territory, killing nine people including army and police personnel. Israeli officialdom and military chiefs are doing their utmost to keep the lid on the spiraling Turkish-Israel confrontation, claiming that a military clash is not imminent because the US, NATO and Europe won't let it happen. Turkey is after all a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However, debkafile's military sources report, the confrontation has already broken surface. Despite Western efforts to contain the rising tension, the armed conflict has quietly begun."...

House Weighs Bill To Let Gun Permits Cross State Lines
Excerpt: US lawmakers are considering a House bill that would give Americans who hold permits to carry firearms in their home states the right to carry their weapons across state lines, FOX News Channel reported Tuesday. Although many states have entered into voluntary agreements, there is no nationwide framework for honoring permits and licenses uniformly. A bipartisan bill, co-authored by Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler, (D-N.C.) aims to change that. Supporters say the measure would not create a federal licensing system, but would require that all states recognize lawfully issued permits, regardless of where they were issued. Gun rights advocacy groups say it is the only way to make sure lawful gun owners' Second Amendment rights are guaranteed when they travel away from their home states. But opponents say the bill tramples on each state's autonomy to set the standards legislators believe are necessary to confront local problems. Foes also said that the law could allow violent offenders to hold on to their weapons.

Swiss Member of Parliament Has Had Enough!
Europe starts to get the Stealth Jihad message—probably a tad too late. ~Bob.

Define Ironic: Obama to pitch American Jobs Act at company that’s shipping jobs to Costa Rica
If he gives them half a billion dollars in stimulus money, they will fold immediately! ~Bob. Because he’s a citizen of the world? (TDC) — President Barack Obama will present his “jobs plan” on Wednesday at a company which is shipping jobs overseas. Obama is scheduled to present his “jobs plan” in Apex, N.C., on Wednesday at the headquarters of WestStar Precision. WestStar is a high-end, specialty manufacturer that just opened a new facility in San Jose, Costa Rica — creating many new jobs there, but not in the United States. “Our main office and manufacturing facility near Research Triangle Park in the Raleigh/Durham area has approximately 11,000 sq. ft. of office space, production area and warehouse,” the company says on its website. “This facility has more than doubled in size from inception. Equipment includes precision CNC Machining centers, water jet cutter and CAD-CAM design stations.” (Anyone who thinks Obama is intelligent is not paying attention, and that is the kindest way I can say it. In fact, anyone who thinks he is NOT the stupidest president by far we have ever had is not paying attention either. --Don Hank)

Great quotes from The Patriot Post
"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone." --French economist, statesman and author, Frederic Bastiat
"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." --John Marshall (This was, of course, how the Muslims converted the Christians in the lands they conquered. They imposed to Jizra, often so ruinous the Christians had to convert to escape the tax or sell their children into slavery to pay the poll tax on them. ~Bob.)

"Occurs to me we are sitting 30 feet from Harry Truman's official White House portrait. Members of your base are asking: 'When are you going to get your Harry Truman on?'" --NBC's Brian Williams to Obama (And drop an A-Bomb on Iran? ~Bob.)

"Has Obama ever grown even a potted plant, much less a business, a bank, a hospital or any of the numerous other institutions whose decisions he wants to control and override?" --economist Thomas Sowell

"Obama is like the guy in the bar who says, 'I'll stand drinks for everyone in the house,' and then adds, 'Those guys over there are going to pay for them.'" --political analyst Michael Barone

"L.A. is considering a ban on both plastic AND paper grocery bags. Fine. If I ever go shopping in L.A., my bags will be made from the fur of animals I killed myself." --former Senator Fred Thompson

The 2013 Tax Cliff: Business had better enjoy the next 16 months.
Excerpt: Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now. The tax list includes limiting deductions for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples), limiting tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and a tax increase on carried interest earned by private equity firms. These tax increases would not be temporary.
What this means is that millions of small-business owners had better enjoy the next 16 months, because come January 2013 they are going to get hit with a giant tax bill. Let's call the expensive roll:

Confronting Terror The
Best Way
We Can
Excerpt: While opinions about America's post–9/11 policies come and go, facts remain: The U.S. has thwarted 40 terrorist plots through an aggressive and prioritized plan of offense to protect America. That is not a plan to abandon now, in an age of increasingly high-tech terrorism. As John Yoo, a former official in the U.S. Department of Justice between 2001–2003, said yesterday at The Heritage Foundation, “The most important thing to happen in the U.S. in the last 10 years was nothing... the most important question to ask is why and whether it was worth it.”

Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Criminal Section
This is the TENTH article in the series—and there’s no indication it is the last. Ron P. Excerpt: Today marks the latest installment of PJMedia’s multi-part series investigating the politicized hiring practices of the Civil Rights Division at the Obama Justice Department. The series has revealed a liberal litmus test for landing a job in the Civil Rights Division. It took a protracted lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to extract the resumes of the Division’s newly hired attorneys, and it is not difficult to understand why the Most Transparent Administration in History fought so hard. Naturally, the resumes reveal an undeniable campaign to populate every corner of the Division with left-wing ideologues. Meanwhile, attorneys who don’t demonstrate this ideological zeal aren’t hired. We turn today to the Criminal Section. This Section is primarily responsible for prosecuting individuals who violate the constitutional rights of individual citizens, hate crimes, and human trafficking offenses.

Rethinking the 2012 Landscape
Excerpt: For much of the year, the battle for control of Congress looked unclear. President Obama’s approval ratings were dropping, but Republicans in Congress were even more unpopular. Senate Democrats faced a tough landscape, defending many more seats than Republicans, but the races hadn’t jelled. Voters were registering historic levels of anger at their own representatives, making a 24-seat House pickup for Democrats appear doable—even with redistricting helping Republicans. But Tuesday’s special elections for two House seats, one in New York and one in Nevada, are starting to put the picture in clearer focus—and it’s not good for Democrats. Democrats lost a deeply-Democratic New York City district that had been in party hands for nearly a century, and they lost by over 20 points in a congressional race in the battleground state of Nevada, a contest that once promised to be a bellwether because of the GOP’s positioning on Medicare. Put simply, Obama and Republicans in Congress are both unpopular—and voters are taking out their anger on Democrats—even in a reliably Democratic district. The president’s base of supporters isn’t showing up, while his opponents are as mobilized as ever. Obama’s approval ratings are lower than they were in 2010, when Republicans picked up a historic number of House seats. (…) Do a deeper dive into some of the district-wide polling and early vote numbers, and things get even scarier for the president’s party. Discontent with the president is at the heart of Republican Bob Turner’s surprisingly strong campaign in New York for the seat based in Queens and Brooklyn. Within the district, Obama’s favorability rating is at 43 percent, with a whopping 68 percent of independents holding an unfavorable view of the president, according to last week’s Siena poll. More than one-third of Democratic voters view him unfavorably.

Al-Qaida's Arabian Branch
Excerpt: Multiple attempted attacks on Western targets, an active Arabic and English media wing, and newly seized territory – all of these factors make al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) one of the most successful and potentially lethal franchises of the world's most famous terrorist organization. "AQAP has emerged as the most dangerous regional node in the global jihad," new CIA Director David Petraeus said in testimony Tuesday. Unique for al-Qaida, AQAP has built a name for itself in the English-speaking world, mainly through the writings and speeches of American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. A popular cleric who draws from American pop and literary references as easily as from Islamic sources, Awlaki has inspired and directed numerous terrorism attempts against American targets. With notable involvement in the Fort Hood Shooting and 2009's Christmas Day Bomber, the terrorist mastermind was suspected of involvement in more than 10 plots in 2010.

The Phony War on Unemployment
Excerpt: Even Robert Reich admits Obama's so-called jobs bill was "never really serious." During his historic address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Obama announced that his $447 billion Stimulus Jr. "jobs" bill "will be paid for." How? By asking Congress to pay for it! The agreement we passed in July . . . charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I am asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act. We thought this was a great idea, so we wrote our congressman and asked her to increase the amount from $1,947,000,000,000 to $1,947,000,500,000. There, now our apartment is paid for!

Really?: A Tale of Two Presidents UPDATE: And an Embarrassing First Lady
"All this Just For a Flag"
I couldn’t get it to play. But if true, Ms. Obama should take a drive over to Arlington. All THAT for a flag. ~Bob. Excerpt: When President Bush spoke at the official ceremonies of the tenth anniversary of the 911 attacks, he was met with applause and warmth from the families. When Obama spoke, there was silence (just as with Mayor Bloomberg). The animus was palpable. UPDATE: Wait, there's more to turn your stomach. As members of the NYPD and NYFD were folding our flag that flew over Ground Zero during the time of the atrocities, Our First Lady whispered to Our President "All This For A Flag"? If that weren't bad enough, look at Obama's smirk of consent. (Remark at 34:16 here):

Girl slain, 2 wounded in apparent retaliation for good deed
Excerpt: Fourteen-year-old Destiny Hull spent Tuesday morning mopping up dried blood from her grandmother's San Bernardino, Calif, front porch, stains from an evening that began with an act of kindness and ended with an apparent act of vengeance that left a small girl dead and a pregnant woman and her young daughter seriously wounded. The series of events in San Bernardino began Monday evening when a Good Samaritan who lived in the house — police won't say who for fear of tainting possible eyewitness accounts — saw a man beating a woman down the street, charged in and broke up the fight, allowing the woman to escape. An hour later, the woman's attacker came to the male Good Samaritan's home and opened fire. Destiny's sister, who was five months pregnant, was shot in the jaw and neck, and bullets hit Destiny's two 3-year-old nieces in the head. … Police described the suspect as a black man in his early 20s, about 6 feet tall, weighing 160 to 170 pounds, with short dark hair.

Islamic Hate Goes to School
Gee, all they want is a Final Solution to their Jewish Question. ~Bob., Excerpt: Ninety years after Columbia University imposed quotas on Jewish students; its president along with other university presidents received a letter from a Jewish civil rights organization reminding them of their legal obligation to ensure a safe educational environment for Jewish students. The quota system that kept Jonas Salk and Richard Feynman out of major universities has long been abolished, but it has been replaced by student checkpoints, violent confrontations and faculty harassment. One man, Hatem Bazian, and his organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, have led the way in creating this hostile environment on campus. And in October 2011, SJP will be holding its first national conference at Columbia University. Hatem “Hate’em” Bazian headed the Muslim Student Association at Berkeley, but there were practical limitations to what a Muslim group could accomplish on campus. Students for Justice in Palestine, which he co-founded, shed the explicit Islamic colors of the MSA and added one more degree of separation between the Muslim Brotherhood and what appeared to be a secular social justice movement whose agenda just happened to align with that of the Brotherhood. But there is a good deal of overlap between the SJP and MSA in leadership, membership and event sponsorship—particularly in California.

Germany’s Rising Islamic Threat
Why attack a country that is headed for a Muslim majority, due to birth rates? Of course, when that happens, who will provide the dole for the Muslims to live on? That could get ugly. ~Bob. Excerpt: The rapid rise of Germany’s homegrown Islamist movement is sparking fears that it will soon turn Germany into the next European focal point of Islamic terrorism. Two recently failed plots by German Islamists to launch chemical attacks have only heightened those concerns. Last week German authorities arrested two Islamists on suspicion of planning a chemical attack on the German capital of Berlin. The two men, one a German of Lebanese descent and the other from Gaza, had been detained after purchasing large quantities of chemicals, including cooling elements and acids used in the agriculture industry. In April 2011 German police had thwarted a similar planned chemical attack. In that case German police arrested three German Islamists in Dusseldorf, all of whom were suspected of having links to al-Qaeda. The discovery of the Dusseldorf terror cell had been gleaned from documents uncovered in the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s quarters in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Both incidents have served to underscore the growing determination of German Islamists to inflict upon Germany the same type of devastating terrorist attacks suffered by the United States, Britain and Spain.

Excerpt: Governor Tom Corbett and Pennsylvania Republicans are considering legislation to change the allocation of Pennsylvania’s Presidential electors. Instead of awarding all 20 on a winner take all basis, the plan by Senate leader Dominic Pileggi would switch to the Congressional district model currently in use by Nebraska and Maine. In Nebraska and Maine, the statewide popular vote for President only determines two Presidential electors, the two representing the states’ Senators. The remaining votes are allocated according to the popular vote in each House district. Nebraska’s second district breaking for Obama in 2008 did not shape the election, but if Pennsylvania follows this model, then the 2012 Electoral College scenarios change significantly. Here’s how. According to my own 2012 Create your own Electoral College tool, the base 2008 map with the 2012 apportionment starts the President with a 359-179 Electoral College lead. However if we swing five states (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio) and one district (Nebraska 2) that George W. Bush won twice, Barack Obama’s lead is reduced to 272-266. 9Personally, I think all states should do this, as it would make campaigns national again, because Democrats could win electoral votes in Texas, republicans in California. The parties couldn’t write off most states. ~Bob.)

Syrian Bloodshed Weakening Regional Support for Iran?
Excerpt: Iran’s steadfast support for its Syrian ally may be costing it some of the support it enjoyed in the Arab world in recent years, but whether the political turmoil in the region will leave the Islamic republic weaker – or the Middle East safer – remains far from clear. Media organizations reported last week that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had shifted position on the deadly crackdown in Syria, quoting him as saying in an interview with Portugal’s national broadcaster that “a military solution is never the right solution.” Although Ahmadinejad’s office on Monday accused “Zionist” media of distorting his comments, Tehran does appear to be becoming more ambivalent towards Syrian President Bashar Assad’s deadly crackdown, with pro-regime media no longer universally echoing Damascus’ line that the violence is solely the result of attacks by “armed gangs.” (The chance the Iranian leadership is sitting around wringing their hands in perplexed wondering what to do is nil. They will identify their best interests and act to secure them. Our Ditherer-in-Chief, on the other hand, will suddenly wake up six months or a year (or more) from now, and have to hope they’ve miscalculated—and that we can detect and exploit the error. Ron P.)

A Labor Chief As Clueless As The President. Solis: What do right-to-work laws and oil drilling have to do with jobs?
On Aug. 31, with job creation grinding to a complete halt, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was asked this question: "Why do you think there have been so many jobs created in the last decade in Texas?" She laughed and said, "Come again." The questioner rephrased his query, adding a citation: "The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimates about half of the jobs created in the U.S. in the last decade have been created in Texas. Why do you think that is?" Replied Solis, "I haven't done a lot of research in terms of the economic growth in Texas."

The Obama Jobs Plan: 10 Reasons Why It Is A Bad Joke
Excerpt: So that was what we have been waiting for? That was what all the hype was about? With a little over a year until the next election, that was the “best shot” that Obama has for fixing the unemployment crisis in this country? The Obama Jobs Plan (also now known as “the American Jobs Act”) is going to cost $447 billion and it is going to do next to nothing to create more jobs. Many Americans were hoping for something bold and new from Obama, but instead what they got was a bad joke. When Obama stated that there is “nothing radical in this bill”, he was not kidding. Instead of addressing the fundamental issues that are causing job loss, Obama wants us to spend half a trillion dollars on measures that will only create a very small number of jobs. Sadly, much of what Obama is proposing actually consists of huge bribes to middle class voters. Obama is trying to keep his own job, and he appears willing to pile up even more debt in order to make that happen. During his speech to the nation, Obama instructed Congress to either “pass this jobs bill” or to “pass it right away” 16 different times. Obama obviously feels very strongly about his jobs plan. But will it work? Let’s take a few moments to break it down. The following are 10 reasons why the Obama jobs plan is a bad joke….

Jobs Bill For Lawyers
Excerpt: Litigation: Buried in the president's American Jobs Act is a provision that will do nothing to encourage hiring and much to discourage it. Unless, that is, you're a law firm looking for new ways to sue companies. On a radio show recently, the president complained that companies are discriminating against the unemployed, and that this "makes absolutely no sense." Leave it to Obama — someone with zero business experience — to lecture companies about what does and doesn't make sense when it comes to hiring. But what makes "no sense" is his charge that companies are "discriminating" against the unemployed in the first place. Employers are looking for the most qualified person to fill a job, and often that will mean those who have the most up-to-date skills. That may be unfortunate for the unemployed, particularly the long-term unemployed, but it's the exact opposite of discrimination. It also makes no sense to threaten companies that are already skittish about hiring anyone — unemployed or not — with still more potentially costly legal headaches if they actually do hire someone. (Understandable. Lawyers contribute to democrats to create more ways to sue. ~Bob.)

Majority of Canadians see “irreconcilable” rift between Islam and the West
Excerpt: Deeply ingrained "Islamophobia"? Or the evidence of their senses regarding supremicism, jihad violence, the oppression of women, the threats, the intimidation, the war on freedom of speech, and all the rest of it?

Gunmen kill five children in attack on Pakistan bus
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. And, once again, I assume these young victims of Allahmurder were Muslim kids. ~Bob. Excerpt: Gunmen have ambushed a school bus on the outskirts of the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least five children, police say. The driver was also killed and 19 other children were wounded in the attack in Matani about 20km (12 miles) south of the city centre, police said. The area is close to Pakistan's volatile tribal areas where Taliban militants are active.

UK: Muslims stab EDL members, pelt EDL bus with stones, EDL members arrested
Excerpt: Yes, that's right, the dhimmi British authorities arrested the victims, demonstrating yet again how fearful of Islamic supremacists and how compromised those authorities have become.

Excerpt: The Phoenix office Newell headed directs ATF operations in Arizona and New Mexico, while McMahon was the head of operations for the ATF in the entire western half of the nation. The ATF claimed in an August 17 press release that the three "were laterally transferred from operational positions and moved into administrative roles, they were not promoted. They did not receive salary or grade increases nor did they assume positions with greater responsibility." Newell, the agent in charge of the Phoenix office "reassigned to the Office of Management to assist with the [Office of the Inspector General] investigation and congressional inquiry." (Get the last sentence. One of the perps is GOING TO ASSIST WITH INVESTIGATION AND CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRY.  Barb)

The US WILL Default
Excerpt: If you believe that our leaders have even the slightest clue of how to solve the economy's problems, Obama's jobs proposal should rid you of your delusion. This is not a matter of political affiliation nor is it an attack of Obama as a person. It's a simple matter of basic math. Obama wants to spend roughly $500 billion to create two million jobs (that's the claim at least). Put another way, Obama would spend roughly $250,000 to create a single job. That's a heck of a lot of money in an economy in which the average income is $50K or so. That's just the basic math. I'm not even bothering to assess the fact that the Government is already spending over $1 TRILLION per year and hasn't created a sustainable job recovery. So how exactly will another $500 billion change things?

Department of Justice responds to FOIA follow-up on Grassley Gunwalker briefing
Excerpt: A response from the U.S. Justice Department to an inquiry on why a Freedom of Information Act appeal has not been resolved within time requirements established by U.S. Code was received over the weekend by Gun Rights Examiner. Issued by Janice Galli McLeod, Associate Director, Office of Information Policy, the letter (click on sidebar photo to read) did not respond to direct questions about why a determination has been delayed, but did indicate a renewed search would be conducted. At the same time, it appears to ignore an earlier assurance that fees would be waived. (Synopsis: Yes, we're late and not compliant with US Code. No, we're not going to tell you why. Yes, we'll look at it some more, No we can't promise you anything. Except we may renege on our promise not to charge you. And if you don't like it, sue us. –Barb)

Gelded Men and Insane Socialist Women
Excerpt: Europe has been destroyed partly because gelded men have streamed insane socialist women into positions of power in defense, internal security, law enforcement, foreign policy, etc., there to implement their lunatic passive-aggressive chimeras. This is how a deconstructed postmodern Minister of Defense (in this case, of Spain) does troop review, her maternity dress billowing, fittingly four years after her country capitulated before reconquista Muslim terrorists. And this woman—a socialist baroness, no less—had as much to do with immersing bankrupt Europe in the expensive and dangerous hellhole of the Arab Spring as BHO’s “three strong women” had to do with nudging the near-bankrupt America to jump into that terrible morass. (The first thing I noticed about Los Angeles City College was that everyone here - men included - acted like the disgruntled lesbians I knew in London in the 1980s. We all laughed at them then. What happened? - Kate in LA. Strong wimmin! don't get me started! A 'strong' feminist priest here in my neighbourhood used to start our Anglican services 20 or 30 minutes late every week. The only time she was on time was the day the bishop came. What a shock when he was five minutes early! One time she forgot to lock the building overnight. I know, because I came there early next morning and found the place wide open. I made three appointments to see her. She was an hour late for the first two and didn't turn up at all for the third. When I told her what I thought of her, she begged me to make a fourth appointment. Reluctantly, I did. She didn't turn up. I was so poor when I got here I was trying to find cleaning jobs. I realized I should ask her as she is Latino and there are lots of Latinos in the church. When I asked her if she knew of anything, she said no. I knew she was lying and asked lovely Latina Marta, who is a cleaner, if Marta knew of anything. Marta said no, she didn't, but "Ask Liz (the priest), Liz always knows of things like that. I told Marta I had asked Liz and Liz had said no. Marta's eyebrows came closer together. Liz got married to an old white man in the church. She had a feather in her hand at the time. I overheard someone ask my way-Christian friend Sandy if it was Skip who was really doing all the work at the church. Sandy gulped and said Yes, because she doesn't lie. Strong women, my _____ --Kate in LA. Kate was a HS classmate of mine and a liberal living in London until that and then living in L.A. raised her consciousness ~Bob.
Attack Watch, new Obama campaign site to ‘fight smears,’ becomes laughing stock
Excerpt: As the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, President Obama’s campaign team has set up a new Web site,, to challenge negative statements about the president made by Republican presidential candidates and conservatives. Obama for America national field director Jeremy Bird told ABC News that the site’s goal is to offer “resources to fight back” against attacks. Mostly, that means fact checking statements from the likes of GOP presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and conservative commentator Glenn Beck and offering evidence to the contrary. The site is designed in bold red and black colors, and uses statements like “support the truth” and “fight the smears.” The response to the site has been less than stellar. On Twitter, where the Web site has an account to help Obama supporters submit evidence of “attacks” on the president using the hashtag #attackwatch, nearly every tweet about the site — mostly from conservatives — has ridiculed it. … A tweet by conservative author Brad Thor summed it up: “Wow, not only are Obama & Co. incredibly thin-skinned, they're paranoid.” (Can I sue to be listed as an enemy? ~Bob.)

Too Much Higher Education
Excerpt: Too much of anything is just as much a misallocation of resources as it is too little, and that applies to higher education just as it applies to everything else. A recent study from The Center for College Affordability and Productivity titled "From Wall Street to Wal-Mart," by Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart, Matthew Denhart, Christopher Matgouranis and Jonathan Robe, explains that college education for many is a waste of time and money. More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree. An essay by Vedder that complements the CCAP study reports that there are "one-third of a million waiters and waitresses with college degrees." The study says Vedder -- distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of CCAP -- "was startled a year ago when the person he hired to cut down a tree had a master's degree in history, the fellow who fixed his furnace was a mathematics graduate, and, more recently, a TSA airport inspector (whose job it was to ensure that we took our shoes off while going through security) was a recent college graduate." The nation's college problem is far deeper than the fact that people simply are overqualified for particular jobs. Citing the research of AEI scholar Charles Murray's book "Real Education" (2008), Vedder says: "The number going to college exceeds the number capable of mastering higher levels of intellectual inquiry. This leads colleges to alter their mission, watering down the intellectual content of what they do." In other words, colleges dumb down courses so that the students they admit can pass them. (Too much indoctrination, to little education in critical thinking. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today’s young may well get less than they put in).

Mark Steyn: Is the US Economy Doomed?
After Ad.

Indonesian mayor resists building of church
Excerpt: Christian worshipers have been forced to pray in the open air in a town in Indonesia's West Java province after the town's majority Muslim population opposed the building of a church. After losing all legal battles, including a verdict from country's highest court, the mayor says he cannot allow a church to be built on a street with an Islamic name. The national ombudsman has given the mayor two more weeks to implement the supreme court's decision and let the congregation build its church. (And if they build it, there will be violence from members of The Religion of Peace. ~Bob.)

Obama’s Quiver Is Empty: When Obama stands up to speak, he faces a collective “Been there, done that.”
Ex-president George W. Bush with accustomed candor once shrugged after the end of his eight-year presidency, “People were kind of tired of me.” That ennui happens eventually with most presidents. But in the case of Barack Obama, our modern Phaethon, his fiery crash is coming after 32, not 96, months. We can sense the national weariness with Obama in a variety of strange and unexpected ways. There is the self-pitying anguish of liberal columnists who scapegoat him for turning the public against their own leftwing agenda. The current silence of “moderate” Republicans and conservative op-ed writers who once in near ecstasy jumped ship to join Obama is deafening. A growing number of Democratic representatives and senators up for reelection do not want their partisan president to visit their districts in the runup to November 2012. Approval ratings hover around 40 percent.

Saddam: What We Now Know: Bin Laden struck first, but Saddam was at least as big a terror threat.
Excerpt: Before the consensus is written in stone, it is worth going over the evidence collected since the removal of the Saddam regime. Leaving aside the fact that he slaughtered more than a million of his own people and was prone to launching unprovoked wars against his neighbors — both good reasons for his violent removal — what threat did Saddam actually pose? Let’s go through just a sliver of the evidence.

Infant Mortality: A Deceptive Statistic: Critics of U.S. health care disseminate misinformation cloaked as data.
Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. ~Bob. Excerpt: Virtually every national and international agency involved in statistical assessments of health status, health care, and economic development uses the infant-mortality rate — the number of infants per 1,000 live births who die before reaching the age of one — as a fundamental indicator. America’s high infant-mortality rate has been repeatedly put forth as evidence “proving” the substandard performance of the U.S. health-care system. And now a new report focusing specifically on neonatal mortality (mortality rates in the first four weeks of life) from Mikkel Oestergaard and the World Health Organization (WHO) is being cited as an indictment of U.S. health care, with headlines proclaiming that the U.S. ranks 41st in the world on this measure. Yet it’s not that simple. Infant and neonatal mortality rates are complex, multifactorial end-points that oversimplify heterogeneous inputs, many of which have no relation to health care at all. Moreover, these statistics gleaned from the widely varied countries of the world are plagued by inconsistencies, problematic definitions, and gross inaccuracies, all of which disadvantage the ranking of the U.S., where accuracy is paramount. Even though Oestergaard’s WHO report lists several “challenges and limitations” in comparing neonatal mortality rates, sensationalized headlines continue to rage about the supposedly poor showing of the United States. The following are a few of the difficulties:

GOP Tea-Party Freshmen Voting Consistently With Rest of Caucus
Excerpt: House Republican freshmen came to Washington heralded as fire-breathers bent on incinerating every obstacle in their path, including the GOP establishment. But rather than burning down the House, they’ve made themselves at home there over the past eight months — with voting patterns that are virtually identical to the rest of the Republican caucus, according to a new POLITICO analysis of the voting trends in the chamber.

NASA Announces Plan for 'Monster' SLS Rocket
Excerpt: The Space Launch System (SLS) will be able to carry the Orion crew vehicle, as well as cargo, equipment, and science experiments to Earth's orbit and beyond, NASA said. Officials are targeting its first mission for late 2017. "This launch system will create good-paying American jobs, ensure continued U.S. leadership in space, and inspire millions around the world," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, said in a statement. "While I was proud to fly on the space shuttle, kids today can now dream of one day walking on Mars." The rocket will also be used as backup, if necessary, for trips to the International Space Station, which will otherwise be handled by private companies going forward. (…) Hutchison and Nelson also pointed fingers at the White House for allegedly keeping an SLS cost analysis report under wraps. That report, the senators said, concluded that the SLS would be within its authorized funding levels and timeline. The Wall Street Journal, however, wrote a story based on a leaked document that said development costs for the SLS would be $57 billion more than projected. Hutchison said the Journal story was bogus, and accused the White House of "sabotage" for not refuting it by releasing the other study, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton. (Some things to notice here. First, although the information was available last fall, this announcement is being made 9 months later than scheduled, and only after a Senate investigation began AND the economy of battleground Florida has become a potential campaign issue for next year. Second, that although NASA has consistently announced an expected 5 year gap between the end of the shuttle and the beginning of SLS service, it will undoubtedly take at least a year longer. Third, the administration leaked false financial numbers to the WSJ. The only rational reason to do that would be a determined effort to kill the program, or even better, have it killed by House Republicans (that would accomplish their objective and let the other guys take the blame for it). Clearly, this administration has no desire to promote or continue any effort to maintain an American manned space program. Ron P.)

Taliban and NATO-led Forces Engage in War of Words on Twitter
Excerpt: As the 20-hour assault by Taliban insurgents on Kabul's diplomatic and military enclave drew to a close on Wednesday, insurgents and coalition forces decided to prolong the battle the modern way: on Twitter. If the continued insurgency in Afghanistan represents a failure of dialogue, the spat between the Taliban and the press office of the international security assistance force (Isaf) on Wednesday proved that they are ready to exchange words directly, even if their comments offered little hope of peace being forged anytime soon. (What’s their hashtag? @dieinfidelpig? ~Bob.)

NRCC on Nevada Victory: "Democrats Just Saw Their 2012 Playbook Fall Apart"
Excerpt: Late Tuesday night National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions painted the Republican win in the special election in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District as a snapshot of the problems Democrats will face in 2012. “Democrats just saw their 2012 playbook fall apart as Nevada voters refused to buy Democrats’ Medicare scare tactics and misinformation campaigns,” Sessions wrote in a statement. “This election sends Democrats another warning that Democrats up and down the ballot next year cannot escape accountability for their failed economic policies.”

A Glimpse Into The Class Hatred At The Heart Of The Anti-English Defense League Clique
Excerpt: This video, currently causing a stink on Twitter, rather confirms what draws many young middle-class liberals towards anti-English Defence League campaigning: it provides them with a semi-legit cover for expressing their fear and loathing of the white working classes. In the video, two well-bred kids say things about working-class EDL supporters that could have been lifted straight from the pages of John Carey's The Intellectuals and the Masses, that exposé of early twentieth-century snobs' disdain for vulgar little people. The anti-EDL campaigners describe a female supporter of the EDL as "the most tattooed, horrible scrote of a woman" they have ever seen and then laugh as they talk about how she was "kicked up the arse" by a left-wing protester.

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