Friday, September 23, 2011

Political Digest for September 23, 2011

Best older posts for new blog readers

Important: The Five Million Dollar Man: How government unions rip off the taxpayer.
And folks like that evil Governor Scott Walker keep going after unions, just poor working millionaires trying to make an honest living off the taxpayers. You wonder why I think a collapse is coming? Read This. ~Bob. Excerpt: In his Labor Day speech in Detroit, Barack Obama issued a ringing endorsement of government employee unions: Having a voice on the job and a chance to organize and a chance to negotiate for a fair day's pay after a hard day's work, that is the right of every man and woman in America--not just the CEO in the corner office, but also the janitor who cleans that office after the CEO goes home. Everybody has got the same right. And that's true for public employees as well. Look, the recession had a terrible effect on state and local budgets--we all understand that. Unions have recognized that; they've already made tough concessions. From the president's hometown comes an example of what he is actually supporting. The Chicago Tribune reports that an investigation it conducted with WGN-TV found "23 retired union officials from Chicago stand to collect about $56 million from two ailing city pension funds." That's an average of $2.4 million each, and some will rake in even more. Dennis Gannon, a former president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, stands to collect some $5 million. In line for $4 million apiece are Liberato "Al" Naimoli, president of the Cement Workers Union Local 76, and James McNally, vice president of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.

House of Representatives fails to pass spending bill
Excerpt: The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives Wednesday failed to approve a temporary spending bill to fund the government past an upcoming Sep. 30 deadline. The vote to approve the continuing resolution, which would have funded the government through Nov. 18, failed 195-230 with Republican defections torpedoing the bill. The bill was a Republican attempt to address Congress' failure to jointly approve any of the 12 annual spending bills which fund the federal government. The current continuing resolution expires Sept. 30, as the government's new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. The vote was widely expected to pass.

Accelerating Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: With unemployment above 12 percent, you’d think California would be doing anything it could to provide employment opportunities for its citizens. You would be wrong. Gov. Jerry Brown of California has on his desk a bill limiting the use of E-Verify, a computer system that helps ensure that new hires are legally entitled to work in the United States. Restricting E-Verify use would make sure that Americans and legal immigrants would have to continue competing with illegal aliens for jobs. The bill, which bears the Orwellian name of the Employment Acceleration Act, would prohibit any jurisdiction in the state from requiring private employers to use E-Verify in screening new hires, even if those firms are contractors with that local government. Not that this is a big problem just yet; only about ten small communities require its use in hiring for local agencies, government contractors, or all employers in the jurisdiction. But in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in March that such state and local E-Verify mandates are permitted under federal law, there was the possibility that more communities would get on the bandwagon, complicating life for illegal aliens and perhaps even persuading some of them to go home. The California measure isn’t as sweeping as a 2007 Illinois law that would have essentially prohibited use of the free online E-Verify system (the Bush administration sued to stop the law), but it sends the same message that illegal immigrants are welcome in the state, regardless of their manifold violations of federal law.

Worth Reading: The Battle for Civilization: The Battle of Marathon, 2,500 years ago last week, isn’t just ancient history.
Excerpt: Before dawn on Sept. 12, 490 b.c., 10,000 mostly Athenian hoplites formed for an assault on the Persian force assembled before them on the Marathon Plain, nearly 25 miles from Athens. At the sound of a single trumpet, the advance began. Eight men deep on the flanks and four deep in the center, the phalanx of bristling spear points and blazing shields began its slow, inexorable march toward the enemy. Picking up the pace, first to a fast walk and then to a trot, the Athenian hoplites closed on their enemy at what must have appeared to the waiting Persians a dazzling pace. At 600 yards’ distance the mass of men began to scream their fierce and nerve-shattering battle cry: Alleeee! … In a shuddering instant, the hoplites smashed into the lightly protected Persians and convulsed their defensive line. Then the killing began. Before the battle was over, nearly 6,500 of Persia’s elite, and until that day supposedly invincible, soldiers had perished. Athens’ battlefield victory had cost it 192 citizen hoplites. … If the 9/11 attacks demonstrated anything, it is that our collective repentance for imperialism did not bring forth a new era of peace. The threat from the East is diminished, but far from vanquished. Thankfully, between us and those who would do us harm stands the finest military force in the world. Unfortunately, as the budget battles heat up, many in Congress are placing America’s military squarely in their crosshairs. They would do well to remember that, 2,500 years ago, Western civilization’s continuing existence rested on a thin line of bronze-encased men “as hard as oak” who bravely went forward against overwhelming odds, to victory and never-ending glory. This nation’s modern hoplites have followed that tradition for a decade of continuous conflict. Unfortunately, the threat continues. One must sincerely hope that our modern Solons possess the wisdom of the ancients, who would never consider putting away their armor and shields while the enemy remained at the gates.

LightSquared: Obama's Dangerous Broadband Boondoggle
Excerpt: If you thought the half-billion-dollar, stimulus-funded Solyndra solar company bust was a taxpayer nightmare, just wait. If you thought the botched Fast and Furious border gun-smuggling surveillance operation was a national security nightmare, hold on. Right on the heels of those two blood-boilers comes yet another alleged pay-for-play racket from the most ethical administration ever. Welcome to LightSquared. It's a toxic mix of venture socialism (to borrow GOP Sen. Jim DeMint's apt phrase), campaign finance influence-peddling and perilous corner-cutting all rolled into one.

Fed to buy longer-term bonds to try to lower interest rates
Excerpt: The Federal Reserve moved to further lower longer-term interest rates Wednesday by adjusting its bond portfolio — its latest unconventional step to try to boost a faltering economy. Seeing “significant downside risks to the economic outlook,” the central bank said it will buy $400 billion in longer-term U.S. Treasury bonds through June 12. That should, in turn, push down long-term rates and make it slightly cheaper for Americans to take out a mortgage or for businesses to make long-term investments. Instead of paying for the bonds with newly created money, as it did during a $600 billion program that ended in June, the Fed will use proceeds from selling off $400 billion in shorter-term securities on its books. (And they are going to buy houses on Boardwalk and
Park Place
. It’s all Monopoly Money, right? I’ve decided to help out and shift a few of my billions into long term bonds. ~Bob.)

Paulsen on Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week
My health challenge. ~Bob.

Snobbery 101: Back to Those Old College Grades
Excerpt: Maureen Dowd, channeling a new liberal narrative, argues that at least Romney is not an anti-intellectual dunce like Rick Perry, and to prove her point, she returns to Perry’s college transcripts. To the coastal elite, college grades are always proof of intelligence and legitimacy:

Arafat Aide: Stop the U.N. Vote
Excerpt: A former peace negotiator with Israel who served for years as a top aide to Yasir Arafat says President Mahmoud Abbas’s bid for membership with the United Nations is a mistake that will result in Palestinian suffering. Mohammed Rachid, who left his position with the Palestinian Authority months after Arafat died and rarely gives interviews, told The Daily Beast that, much like the second intifada 11 years ago, the campaign could cost Palestinians their relationship with key allies and their international legitimacy. He also accused Abbas and others of nurturing false hopes among Palestinian refugees and their descendants through the years over their “right of return” to historic Palestine (now Israel), knowing it was incompatible with any potential peace agreement.

Is the Corporate Income Tax Regressive?
Excerpt: There is good reason to believe that it is workers, not the owners of corporations, who ultimately pay much, if not all, of the corporate income tax. And not just workers employed by corporations -- all workers throughout the country, says Laurence Kotlikoff, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. The U.S. corporate tax income is relatively high compared to many other countries. Our statutory tax rate is 35 percent, but our effective rate is lower -- 28 percent -- due to subsidies and tax credits and other tax breaks that corporations receive on their investments. Japan has a much higher effective rate -- 39 percent. But some countries have much lower effective rates; for example, Portugal's effective corporate tax rate is about 19 percent. High corporate taxes encourage U.S. corporations to invest overseas and discourage foreigners from investing in the United States. This reduces demand for U.S. workers, compared to what it would be if U.S. tax rates were lower. As a result, American workers' wages are lower than they otherwise would be. Conversely, increased overseas investment raises the wages of workers abroad. If cutting the U.S. corporate income tax would help workers and the economy, why not do it yesterday? For two reasons: First, the United States needs tax revenue. Second cutting the corporate tax on its own can impact revenues from the personal income tax -- if corporate tax rates are lower than personal income tax rates, people have an incentive to shelter their self-employment income (lower their personal tax bill) by incorporating.

Issa’s committee: Obama's ‘green jobs’ push is ‘propaganda’
Excerpt: President Obama’s push to create “green jobs” is “nothing more than a propaganda tool” that has resulted in minimal benefits for the economy, a report set to be released by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday says. The staff report, which was obtained by The Hill, is the latest missive in a frontal assault by Republicans on the Obama administration’s pledge to create millions of green jobs. “The metric of a ‘green job’ is nothing more than a propaganda tool designed to provide legitimacy to a pre-determined outcome that benefits a political ideology rather than the economy or the environment,” the report says.

37% Favor Obama’s Deficit Reduction Plan, 42% Oppose
Excerpt: While many voters nationwide oppose President Obama’s new deficit reduction plan, most support raising taxes on the wealthy. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 37% of Likely Voters favor the deficit reduction plan proposed by the president, while 42% oppose it. Another 21% are not sure. 

Obama's Border Chief: Bad Economy is Good for Border Security
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin said on Friday that the bad economy has been good for border security. “We have an economy that is stronger in Mexico and weaker in the United States and so we don’t see as many people trying to cross,” he said. Bersin also said that over the next year it will become apparent to the American people that a secure southwest border is possible. “Our border with Mexico has been a project of a 20-year effort beginning in the early 1990s, and I think what will come apparent over the next year … is that the last chapter in that first phase is about to end in Arizona,” Bersin told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Friday. (A few more years of Obama, and Americans will be sneaking into Mexico, looking for jobs Mexicans won’t do. ~Bob.)

GOP’s Criticism Strengthens Obama’s Hand on Palestinian Statehood
Excerpt: Not to go all tu quoque on the Obamanauts, but this would be a stronger point from an administration that didn’t try to translate the killing of Osama Bin Laden into a rationale to support the administration’s economic and environmental policies, or from a president who didn’t suggest during the Gulf oil spill that we owed it to the troops to support green energy. Oh, and it would be easier to take if Obama and his crew didn’t win the Democratic primaries almost entirely because of their willingness to “play politics” on international issues—during a couple of wars.

Grassley-Issa letter to IG suggests obstruction
Excerpt: In a blistering letter to Cynthia A. Schender, Acting Inspector General for the Justice Department who is investigating Operation Fast and Furious, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) assert that her actions relating to secretly-recorded audio tapes has obstructed their investigations of the botched operation. Schender allowed copies of the recordings — made public by CBS News this week — to be sent to the U.S. Attorney for Arizona (USAAZ) and the Phoenix field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. USAAZ and ATF are supposed to be the targets of Schender’s investigation. The recordings, which were apparently leaked to CBS News after they were made available to USAAZ and ATF, are startling, as noted by this column. It is clear from the letter that Grassley and Issa are angry.

At CCUSD, does the end justify the means?
Excerpt: A Cactus Shadows High School parent contacted Sonoran News upon learning English Teacher Lori Hart was instructing students in her classroom to seek as many bundles of Sonoran News as they could find and destroy them. The parent, who spoke under condition of anonymity, furious at the indoctrination in the classroom that has apparently morphed into a teacher encouraging her students to commit crimes, contacted CSHS Principal Steve Bebee. Sonoran News contacted Superintendent Debbi Burdick to ask what the district planned to do “about this ‘campaigning’ in the classroom for students to commit felony acts.” Burdick responded, “Thank you for the information. We will look into it immediately. Could you please have the parent contact me?”

Can Israel Survive?
Excerpt: Will Israel survive? That question hasn't really been asked since 1967. Then, a far weaker Israel was surrounded on all sides by Arab dictatorships that were equipped with sophisticated weapons from their nuclear patron, the Soviet Union. But now, things are far worse for the Jewish state. Egyptian mobs just tried to storm the Israeli embassy in Cairo and kill any Israelis they could get their hands on. Whatever Egyptian government emerges, it will be more Islamist than before -- and may renounce the peace accords with Israel. One thing unites Syrian and Libyan dissidents: They seem to hate Israel as much as the murderous dictators whom they have been trying to throw out. (I fully expected the Middle East to explode in war last year. If I were a life insurance company, I’d pull all my salesmen out of the Middle East—including Israel—for the foreseeable future. Ron P.)

Paying the UN to steal a NY park
Excerpt: The United States is going broke, and the United Nations is morally bankrupt. So why should US taxpayers pay for UN bureaucrats to get swanky new offices -- destroying a New York City park in the process? It’s all poised to happen, if the UN project can clear a key hurdle by Oct. 10. For nearly a decade, the United Nations and the Bloomberg administration have eyed Robert Moses Playground, a small city park just south of UN headquarters, as the site for a new tower -- as tall as 505 feet -- in which to “consolidate” UN offices now scattered across the city. The city would sell the park to the UN Development Corp. -- a state public-benefit corporation (on whose board sits Mayor Bloomberg’s sister, Marjorie Tiven) that manages UN real-estate needs. Once the corporation builds the new tower, the United Nations would supposedly vacate UN Plaza 1 and 2, which the city would put up for sale.

Holder’s hell week --More Fast & Furious fallout
Excerpt: The stench from Washington is getting stronger. Rep. Darrell Issa has called for a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the festering mess known as Operation Fast and Furious. Hatched somewhere in the bowels of the Justice Department, that misbegotten scheme had the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowing high-powered guns to “walk” from Arizona and elsewhere into Mexico: Our agents turned a blind eye toward the straw purchasers who were funneling the weapons to the drug cartels. The (dumb) idea was to trace cross-border arms trafficking, and so prove the (false) claim that 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexican drug war zones originate in the US. (The real figure is closer to 17 percent.) But, as Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform committee continues its investigation, that pretension has evaporated -- and a major international scandal has been born.

Bayes and Nice People
Excerpt: What pundits should fear most about getting things wrong isn’t the scorn and gloating that other writers will pour on them after their error has been revealed. It’s the consequences. (…) Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan are intelligent, well-educated people. Nobody has seriously suggested they are either perverse or evil. Now they see the truth. But once upon a time they didn’t have a clue. So the disturbing question is: how did they get it wrong? Setting aside for a moment the fact that someone slipped past, the most pressing problem is to determine why the system failed. Because as someone at Andrew Klavan’s blog said, “the republic can survive a Barack Obama; it is far less likely to survive the multitude of fools who made him president.” (…) Bayes argued that we should always revise our initial estimates of what we are up against by what we discover along the way. Militaries have done this for millennia. They send patrols out to see what they can see and depending on what they run up against they revise their estimate of the enemy order of battle. What is less appreciated is the fact that prior knowledge can also come from collateral sources, or in the form of experience.

Photo ID Laws: Welcome Back, Jim Crow?
Excerpt: Only Democrats can get away with implying that blacks are too lazy, ignorant, or stupid to go down to the local DMV and obtain a driver’s license or non-driver photo ID card. Voter ID laws, designed to protect the integrity of the voting process, have been a hot topic in recent years. Politico reports that so-called civil rights groups have accused Texas Governor Rick Perry of signing a “strict” voter ID law that discriminates against blacks and Hispanics. Under the previous law, voters were allowed to show documents like utilities bills, bank statements, and paycheck stubs if they didn’t have photo ID. The new law takes effect on January 1. (Discrimination occurs only when all citizens are not treated the same way. Mere inconvenience is not, by itself, discriminatory. Voter ID laws shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Every party should welcome anything that ensures the validity and fairness of our elections. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Our neighboring state of Rhode Island recently passed a voter ID law. The RI state government is dominated by Democrats as completely as our own here in Massachusetts, but the Democrats there have no fear of asking for ID. Here, they do. The issue has been fought tooth and nail, complete with back-biting and belly-clawing. Get real. No one can be hired (I-9 forms require ID), open a bank account, or buy alcohol or tobacco without ID. My 76-year-old mother-in-law, who has never driven in her life has an ID. So who are the Democrats trying to protect? The only possible answer is illegal voters. Ron P.)

America Cannot Afford The High Cost of Cheap Labor
Excerpt: Here is my most recent posting for the CAPS website- it addresses that way that while corporations, banks and assorted other special interest groups are literally profiting from the massive influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal, it is the average American who is picking up the tab and there is more than money at stake! Think of all of those who salivate at the prospect of bringing in ever more foreign workers to do the work Americans used to do: Immigration lawyers, banks, employers for whom the bottom line is the bottom line and so-called advocacy groups such as "immigrant rights organizations" who know damned well that foreign workers are being horribly exploited but don't care! Today many labor unions also are thrilled to enroll illegal aliens to gain their dues and to fatten their membership lists to gain political clout. These unions know that when large numbers of workers are dumped onto the labor market, wages decline, this is classic economics and goes back to the issue of supply and demand, but their only demand is for more money and more political clout!

From Ron P.
Odd, isn’t it that the top item is one of the lead stories of the day, the other is buried (both are from the same page of today’s Huffington Post at Aol News on line)? Troy Davis Executed: Controversially Convicted Inmate Maintains Innocence Until The End             and Lawrence Brewer Executed: White Supremacist Executed For Texas Dragging Murder

There Is No Travesty of Justice in Georgia.
Excerpt: Last night, the United States Supreme Court declined to stay Troy Davis’s execution. He will, by the time many of you are reading this, be dead. There were no expressions of dissent or objection from any of the 9 members of the Supreme Court.
I like Guy Benson a lot, but his column on Troy Davis got my blood pressure up. I’m hearing a lot from people opposed to Troy Davis’s execution that there is no physical evidence in the case — and a whole lot of other hoo-haa. First of all, let’s set out that the case has been going on for twenty years. Second, let’s point out that two witnesses at Davis’s trial testified under oath that Troy Davis admitted to the shooting. Yes, those witnesses have now, twenty years and much badgering by anti-death penalty advocates later, recanted. A federal judge spent two days reviewing the evidence and the testimony last year and issued a 172 page order explaining why the witnesses recanting was “smoke and mirrors.” In fact, one of the chief nuggets of the case is that there was no physical evidence. Except that is crap. There is the matter of Troy Davis’s bloody clothes that you’ve probably never heard of. And the gun.

President Obama's green losing streak
Should be “energy losing streak.” ~Bob. Excerpt: President Barack Obama is racking up an impressive losing streak when it comes to energy. Under pressure from Republicans, he embraced offshore drilling — just weeks before the BP oil spill. He offered support for nuclear power, only to watch a disaster unfold in Japan. Gas price hikes in the spring disrupted his economic message. Feeling the heat from Republicans again, he infuriated his green base by bailing out on a long-promised ozone standard. And then came Solyndra — the California solar company startup Obama touted as a green jobs success story even as it bled money and ultimately collapsed amid political scandal. "The guy got dealt a bad hand," said a top environmental consultant. "But he's played a bad hand very badly."

Worth Reading: The Shuttered White House and Its Fantasies
Excerpt: I know exactly what is going on inside the Obama White House; the outside world has been banned and only the true believers are welcome. This has very little to do with the many unique features of this administration. It is typical of any administration under siege, and it is as understandable and inevitable as it is unfortunate and even dangerous. I know it well, having seen it with my own eyes during the Iran-Contra siege of the Reagan White House 25 years ago, when the president’s men and women concentrated all their energies and all their passions on “saving” the president from what many of them believed was the return of Watergate. I don’t know if the Obama faithful have an historical template for the current crisis, but their behavior, like Obama’s, is altogether familiar. The White House is hermetically sealed to reality and the president simply repeats his mantras and tries to look unconcerned, even confident and feisty. That there is little room for reality at the highest levels of the administration is all too obvious. The president’s public statements are repeatedly off key, responding to imaginary events rather than real ones, and sometimes totally dissonant, as when he gave a speech about jobs at a company that was closing down, or in his increasingly odd and incoherent efforts in foreign policy. (…) But it is the four words “in coordination with Turkey” that demonstrate the extent to which wishful thinking has trumped reality in the Obama White House, for the Turks are hardly ideal allies in the Middle East these days — they are seeking to establish their own hegemony — and as long as he is in that dangerous frame of mind, Erdogan is a totally unsuitable partner.

U.S.: Pakistan's ISI supported Kabul embassy attack
Excerpt: The Haqqani militant network is a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's powerful ISI intelligence service, which supported the group as it launched a startling attack last week on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the top U.S. military officer said on Thursday. Admiral Mike Mullen, who steps down this month as chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, made his accusation before a U.S. Senate panel, underscoring the fragility of the strained U.S.-Pakistan alliance. Mullen, CIA director David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all have met with their Pakistani counterparts in recent days to demand Islamabad take action against the Haqqani network. "The Haqqani network ... acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency," Mullen told the Senate panel.

Worth Reading: Brother, Can You Spare a Euro?
Excerpt: Greece once gave Europe their philosophy, architecture, science, sport, and so much more. Now they give Europe their debt. Socialism can have that affect on a country. Greece’s chronic crisis threatens to become worse. After promising budget-cutting measures to the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for more than $153 billion in loans, Greece has proved austere only in its implementation of austerity programs. Their creditors threaten to withhold funds until Greece makes good on its promises. The crisis is at a crossroads. The country may opt to fulfill its commitment to slash spending in order to receive more aid. Or, it may reject the loan’s terms in order to spend away. While the paths may seem to go in different directions, they both ultimately arrive at the same destination. Greece runs out of funds next month, and with no sane lender eager to pour money into the basketcase economy, the nation necessarily conforms to the loan’s budget-slashing demands to get its cash infusion or by necessity cuts government because it lacks any money of its own to fund it. Greece either chooses austerity or austerity chooses Greece. (Love that line—I plan to steal it. ~Bob.)

Green Profiteers and Plastic Bags
Excerpt: Believe it or not, there’s been a war going on over plastic bags for some time now. It seems that manufacturers of those reusable bags you see near the checkout line were none too pleased that so many people were continuing to choose plastic or paper bags as opposed to shelling out $20 bucks for their environmental solution. So the reusable bag company known as ChicoBag did what any good environmental alarmist would do: they lied. For instance, they claimed that “a reusable bag needs only to be used eleven times to have a lower environmental impact than using eleven disposable bags.” They were close. It was actually 393 times or roughly 7.5 years to replace reusing a plastic bag just three times. But, as always seems to be the case with wild claims of healing mother earth, their exaggerations weren’t just limited to their alleged comparability to plastic bags. This company even went so far as to hide the fact that reusable bags can actually have negative health effects since, unlike the evil plastic bags, reusable bags can become covered in bacteria. They even created a bogus government website to push their agenda.
In UN, PA Maps Erase All of Israel
Excerpt: Palestinian Authority representatives in the United Nations are handing out maps of "Palestine" that show it in place of all of Israel, including Tel Aviv, reports David Bedein of the Israel Resource Review. Bedein, who is currently in the United States, told Arutz Sheva: "They do not want a Palestinian state, but all of Palestine. The maps they hand out in their offices include all of 'Palestine.' They erase Israel completely in their maps." Mahmoud Abbas is being disingenuous about his future plans, opined Bedein. "He wants the Palestinians to supplant Israel. He disseminates lies, as if he just wants Judea and Samaria. But this is really not the position of the PLO. Unfortunately, even the Yesha Council [an umbrella group for Jewish local leadership in Judea and Samaria – Ed.] does not stress the fact that he wants all of 'Palestine.'"

Integration, immigration and Islam-related problems: 23 suggestions for laws
Excerpt: Western politicians are free to pick and chose -- or take them all:

Islamists go on Dhaka rampage
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Several hundred supporters of the country’s largest Islamist party went on the rampage in Dhaka yesterday during a protest to demand the release of several of their top leaders arrested on war crimes charges. The crimes allegedly took place during Bangladesh’s fight for independence from Pakistan in 1971. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to try and disperse members of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who were conducting a country-wide campaign yesterday against the imprisonment of their leaders, who were arrested amid a probe into individuals accused of collaborating with Pakistan and committing atrocities during the war.

Worth Reading: Obama Creates Chicago Solution to Chicago Problem at Solyndra
Excerpt: That’s why I kind of feel bad for the Solyndra guys. Not the donors, but the executives. It’s just about now that they have figured out who they were dealing with. They thought they were dating the prom king when courting Obama and his government checkbook. But really, they were getting juice from a loan shark, Chicago-style, and they didn’t know it. Maybe that’s why all of sudden the business guys who wear ties for a living and who were so ready to cooperate with the investigation into Solyndra are going to make like mobsters and invoke 5th Amendment protection when testifying before Congress on Friday.

In Galveston, an Alternative to the "Ponzi Scheme"
Excerpt: Perry does not have to look far to see how a privatized Social Security plan might work. Government employees in Galveston, Brazoria and Matagorda counties have controlled their private retirement plan for 30 years. They opted out of Social Security before Congress changed the law in 1983 to prevent others from withdrawing. Though the private program has its critics — and some say it does not provide all of the important benefits many destitute Americans claim through Social Security — many in these counties consider their system superior.  

Excerpt: As it turns out, this is one of the few promises Obama has kept. Or at least, the oceans have kept it for him. Over at Climate Depot, Marc Morano has the details:
Earlier this month, the European Space Agency's Envisat monitoring, global sea level revealed a “two year long decline [in sea level] was continuing, at a rate of 5mm per year.” In August 2011, NASA announced that global sea level was dropping and was “a quarter of an inch lower than last summer.” See: NASA: 'Global sea level this summer is a quarter of an inch lower than last summer' The global drop in sea level followed NASA's announcement that sea level around the U.S. was declining in February 2011. Most surprising, despite the fact that Obama only said he would only “slow” the rise of the oceans, his presidency has presided over what some scientists are terming an “historic decline" in global sea levels. Obama appears to have underestimated his own powers to alter sea level.

Bet Doonesbury will be all over this. Heh.. ~Bob. Excerpt: The awful launch week for the over-hyped, expected bestseller The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, by controversial author Joe McGinniss, just got worse. Much worse. After a week of universally scathing pans from the reflexively anti-Palin establishment media, McGinniss now faces the fight of his literary life: the accusation that he seems to have knowingly submitted a book to his publisher, Crown/Random House, that was filled with unproved “tawdry gossip” and rumors that lacked “factual evidence.” In the email below, sent in January of 2011, McGinniss reveals that his manuscript, then under legal review at Crown/Random House, could not prove its most headline-grabbing allegations. And yet, many of these “salacious stories” that lacked “proof” (in McGinniss’s own words) ended up in the book, and on televisions everywhere during the author’s current media tour … without proper sourcing, and without any apparent new evidence to support them. McGinniss’s panicked state is evidenced by the identity of the recipient to whom he sent his email of distress. Jesse Griffin was the author of an obscure, low-rent, and now-defunct anti-Palin blog that obsessed over Trig Palin’s maternity–claiming, without any evidence, that Sarah Palin was not Trig’s mother. Was Random House aware that its prized author was making a desperate overtime bid to save face? And if so, why did it allow him to come forth with most of those tawdry accusations without proof or proper sourcing?

Four Minutes to Explain All That Is Wrong With America
Excerpt: Just who is Mr. EBT, though? He's a self-titled rapper who just came out with a new YouTube sensation titled "My EBT." Yes, he wears the traditional rapper get-up of a straight-brimmed hat and baggy pants. But look beyond the clothing and see something deeper -- the sort of leech who is bankrupting our society. In a three minute, 51-second song, Mr. EBT champions his eponymous card -- or rather, his sister's EBT card. (Yes, that's fraud.) Because, as we all know, government dependency is a family value. (...) Welcome to Obama's America, where shame is no longer allowed. If you steal my money so that you can make videos about stealing my money, at the very least, hide the video in your basement. Don't post it on YouTube. But the majority of those who live off the taxpayer dole don't merely champion their sucking from the taxpayer teat, they see it as their God-given right. (As bad as this seems, Mr. EBT couldn’t use his sister’s card without her assistance.  Merchants that accept EBT are required to accept it “if presented by ANY family member who knows the PIN.” That is relatively recent change of the regulations; in 1999, the clerk would have had to be included in the conspiracy as it could only be used by the “named” beneficiary it was issued to. The problem was that if the named beneficiary became sick or disabled, and couldn’t go to the store in person, he/she could starve to death while having benefits available to pay for food. Solve one problem, create another. The other big problem with EBT is that benefits can’t be saved; anything not used by end-of-month simply vanishes like morning mist—so the last week of a beneficiary’s period might become a frenzy of purchasing random food-stuffs that may someday be useful. Frequently, there is a “cash benefit” included on the EBT balance. While the “food” portion can only be spent on actual edible food, the cash portion can legally be spent on anything: beer, cigarettes, lottery tickets, et cetera, it’s all legit if the cash portion is used. Ron P.)

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