Friday, October 14, 2011

Political Digest for October 14, 2011

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, please check back. From time to time, Google’s Spam Filter pulls my blog. They restore it when I appeal, but they don’t seem to have the technical ability to fix the problem. I hate to move to another platform with page views running to 10k a week and over 1,150 followers here.

Happy Birthday
To the US Navy and to Maggie Thatcher. Defenders of Freedom come in many varieties. Bob. (Yes, on Thursday when I created this post.)

The Cook County Democrat-Union Corruption Machine in Action: When pension officials enable corruption: Investigators need to probe why City Hall finance officers allowed these outrages.
People ask why Republicans hate unions. They should ask why don't the working people the union-Democrat machine hoses hate unions? ~Bob. Excerpt: In print or online Wednesday, this newspaper's latest expose of rampant public pension abuse ought to stir your fury, and your sympathy: fury that pension officials enabled this corruption, and sympathy for the rank-and-file union members, as well as the taxpayers, who are victimized. You'll learn how Chicago labor leaders eligible for grossly inflated city pensions also stand to receive union pensions for the same work periods. One labor leader stands to collect about $450,000 a year from three pensions — a city fund for laborers, a union district council fund, and a national union fund — all for the same stretch of his career. The actuarial computation is that his three pensions, over his expected lifetime, will pay him some $9 million. What you won't learn from the news story is what we hope federal investigators will explore in lavish detail: Why did some of City Hall's top finance officials allow these outrages to occur? How could they, in their oversight roles at city pension funds, expose union members and taxpayers to future calamities? How could they permit themselves to have fiduciary responsibility to protect the public purse and responsibility to pension funds that draw vast sums from that same public purse? We're talking about a city pension system that is underfunded by approximately $20 billion, maybe more.

Occupy Wall Street Petting Zoo
Cartoon. ~Bob

Bill would halt pension double dipping by Chicago labor leaders
Excerpt: Cross' bill would prevent union leaders who receive city pensions from participating in any union pension plan covering the same work period, regardless of where the leader's labor organization is located or how it is structured. Union pension benefits are not public record, but the Tribune and WGN-TV obtained information confirming that at least seven union officials are accruing benefits in multiple pensions and another retired official already is receiving money from two pensions. One labor leader stands to reap more than $400,000 a year from three pensions covering the same time. During his expected lifetime, he stands to receive about $9 million, according to an analysis based on the funds' actuarial assumptions.

Cain Turns Up New Race Card For Democrats
Excerpt: What to do about Herman Cain? This question goes not to the Republican Party, where establishment candidates such as Mitt Romney privately dismiss Cain as lacking the experience, gravitas and resources to beat President Obama and then to soundly govern the country. Herman Cain is not going to be the GOP nominee. Without a serious star-power staff, a ground game, chits to be called in by the candidate or the candidate's influential network of friends of influence, the fat cats sit on their checkbooks until and unless they believe their horse can win. A serious presidential candidate is not one who, like Cain, breaks from campaigning for a book tour timed to coincide with his unlikely quest for the White House. No, Cain is a clear and present danger to the Democratic Party — and its invaluable, near-monolithic black vote. Cain says things such as: "African-Americans have been brainwashed" into voting for the Democratic Party.

Mars had temperatures as high as 64°F in the past
Alert Podkayne. ~Bob. Excerpt: Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have directly determined the surface temperature of early Mars for the first time, providing evidence that’s consistent with a warmer and wetter Martian past. By analyzing carbonate minerals in a four-billion-year-old meteorite that originated near the surface of Mars, the scientists determined that the minerals formed at about 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). “The thing that’s really cool is that 18 degrees is not particularly cold nor particularly hot,” says Woody Fischer, assistant professor of geobiology and coauthor of the paper, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on October 3. “It’s kind of a remarkable result.”

Herman Cain And His 9-9-9 Plan Steal The Show At Bloomberg/WaPo Debate
Excerpt: Despite all of the media chatter about a Mitt Romney win at Tuesday night’s Bloomberg/Washington Post Republican presidential debate, the real stars of the show were Herman Cain and his “9-9-9 plan.” While Romney drove the fork deeper into fading rival Rick Perry, aided by Perry’s underwater tape-recorder delivery, it was Cain who gained the most from the debate, deftly deflecting criticisms of his economic plan, which was mentioned a Ron Popeil-esque 25 times during the debate. The folks giving Romney the win last night aren’t thinking like Republican primary voters, who are watching Herman Cain blast through Romney like a high-fiber pizza crust. It’s true that Romney looked more presidential than his rivals last night, but that’s nothing new, and is the thing that has kept him around 20% in the polls for months. The best example of this was when he shushed a flummoxed Rick Perry back onto his nap mat, but Mitt’s strongest moment came during his defense of the hated Romneycare, during which he implied that opponents of his health care law are heartless, telling Perry, “I care about people.” The exchange most certainly damaged Perry, but it didn’t help Romney, at least not with the voters who are deserting Perry and lower-tier red meaters like Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. If they wanted someone who looked presidential, they’d already be supporting Romney. Cain, on the other hand, did exactly what he needed to do to maintain his planetary momentum, introducing his 9-9-9 plan early and often. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman‘s “price of pizza” quip might have scored with a general audience (with an affinity for obvious, overdone jokes), but with conservative base voters, it surely registered as the kind of snobbish, dismissive attitude they’ve come to expect from elites.

Cain Vaults to Lead in Poll: Ex-Businessman Passes Perry, Romney Among GOP Voters
Excerpt: Former restaurant-industry executive Herman Cain has catapulted to the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, as GOP voters grow disenchanted with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and remain wary of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. Drawn by Mr. Cain's blunt, folksy style in recent debates, 27% of Republican primary voters picked him as their first choice for the nomination, a jump of 22 percentage points from six weeks ago. Mr. Romney held firm in second place at 23%, his same share as in a Journal poll in late August, while Mr. Perry plummeted to 16%, from 38% in August.

"Civil War 'a real fear' in Afghanistan"
Excerpt: Former British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sherard Cowper-Coles offers a bleak assessment of ISAF efforts in Afghanistan, and outlines scenarios for the country's future in an interview with ITV News.

HURT: Is U.S. ready for second black leader?
Excerpt: Is America ready to make history by electing the first black president to replace a black president? That is the question latest polls increasingly raise these days that show Herman Cain jetting to the front of the GOP pack. Not since the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court has a black conservative so disrupted the order of things at the highest levels here in Washington. (When an uppity black escapes from the Democrat plantation, they send the slave-catcher dogs after him. ~Bob.)

House approves trade deals with Colombia, Panama, South Korea
Excerpt: The House approved three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, sending them to a Senate also expected to offer its approval later on Wednesday night. Passage was never in doubt, as the FTAs were part of an agreement to also renew an expired program championed by Democrats that offers benefits to workers who lose their jobs to trade. The most controversial deal, with Colombia, was approved 262-167, and managed to win support from 31 Democrats. The deals with Panama and South Korea were far less controversial, as these countries are not wrapped up in the legacy of violence against union members that Colombia has. (Years late, but better late than never. Free trade grows the economy. As was proved when in 1930 Hoover signed the Smooth-Hawley Tariff Bill against the advice of 1,000 economists, driving post-crash unemployment from 9% to 20% by killing world trade, “protectionism” creates unemployment. See: ~Bob

Obama gets win (for GOP job-creating trade policy) as Congress passes free-trade agreements
Excerpt: Congress resoundingly approved long-stalled trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama late Wednesday, authorizing the most significant expansion of trade relations in nearly two decades. While the deals with Colombia and Panama are likely to have limited economic impact, the agreement with South Korea is designed to break down barriers between the United States and the world’s 15th-largest economy. About 6,000 farmers gathered in Seoul last week to protest against the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, which is currently awaiting ratification by the South Korean and the U.S. lawmakers. (Oct. 6) The South Korea deal has the potential to create as many as 280,000 American jobs, according to a recent assessment by the staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission, and to boost exports by more than $12 billion. Several major labor unions have warned that any gains will come at the cost of layoffs among American workers because of heightened competition from South Korean imports.

Poll Dance by Henry I. Miller
Excerpt: Governing by public opinion is admirable, but not when it’s at the expense of sound policy. The eighteenth-century Irish statesman and writer Edmund Burke wrote that in democratic governments, "Your Representative owes you, not only his industry, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion." In other words, political leaders should lead, a concept that seems alien to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Citing a recent poll that purportedly showed that a majority of Americans expressed doubts about the value of free trade, Kirk explained that the Obama administration would not push for free trade agreements with other countries. Despite the inclinations of the lemmings on
Pennsylvania Avenue
and the ignorance of the American people, free trade overwhelmingly benefits society. It allows a division of labor that encourages countries to focus on those things they produce most efficiently—whether that be manufacturing, technological innovation, agriculture, or the provision of services. Free trade stimulates innovation, raises productivity and creates new wealth, thereby raising living standards. How ironic that the U.S. Trade Representative and his boss, President Obama, seem to be ignorant of these facts, or do not care about them. (Or, perhaps, they fail to factor them into policymaking because of organized labor.)

The spoiled brat uprising: Bringing the Communist revolution to our doorstep?
Excerpt: Cancel elections! "Take out" the "sons of bitches!" Send capitalists to "re-education [read concentration] camps!" Chop their heads off! Kill the bankers! Kill the rich! Kill your parents! Kill! Kill! Kill! "Occupy Wall Street" rioting is not a self-starter with bored white kids on a lark to rush the calendar for Spring Break (though some such "useful idiots" are in the mix). The whole operation — spreading from Wall Street to other cities — is organized by the Working Family Party, a front for the SEIU/ACORN, allied with Democratic Socialists of America. The attack on America has the backing of groups bankrolled by left-wing moneybags George Soros. All of these "usual suspects" are in-tight with the Obama Administration and the Democratic National Committee. They have been organizing this from Day One. It is anything but "spontaneous." Don't kid yourself. Street brawlers imbued with class hatred propaganda are egged on by a President of the United States whose parents were followers of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. The attack has been aimed squarely at the heart of the United States for decades. The Communist conspiracy — during and after the Soviet days — has never wavered from its goal of a Soviet-style America under the domination of a worldwide order.

Perry backers worry time is running short
Excerpt: Rick Perry supporters are nervous that the Texas governor won’t improve enough as a debater to be able to rally conservatives to his side and emerge as the counterweight to Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is back on top of the polls as Perry has fallen. But the two men appeal to different wings of the party — Romney’s strength is with the centrists, while conservatives like Perry. The problem is, conservatives also like businessman Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). (Debates matter. In 1962, to everyone’s surprise, the incumbent, Sen. Joe Ward agreed to debate me. It was on a small cable station, in the smallest city in the district. I knew he had a temper, and set out to anger him. Taking a chance, I closed my debate with, “when you bring your problems to Senator Hall, you won’t have to bring your checkbook.” He blew, screamed at me, refused to shake hands, etc. Probably 100 watching, but the4 papers covered it, all cable stations replayed it to large audiences, and he refused future debates. And I won a district last won by the GOP in 1938. By 9 votes out of 60k. ~Bob.)

Why Herman Cain can win
Excerpt: Let’s start with this basic fact: Herman Cain isn’t the most likely person to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. That’s Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. But, a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released late Wednesday suggests that — at least for the moment — a path to victory does exist for the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Here’s how — in three easy data points

Needed: Skilled Immigrants
Excerpt: Oct. 1 marked the beginning of the new term for recently issued H-1B visas for highly skilled workers. H-1B visas are three-year, once-renewable, employer-sponsored visas designed to allow highly skilled specialty workers into the country for employment. Only 85,000 H-1Bs are issued every year, but as of early September barely more than half of them have been snatched up. Escalating visa fees and unnecessary workplace inspections that catch few fraudsters but impose large costs on businesses are resulting in fewer H-1B petitions being filed, while increasing number of H-1B visa petitions are being rejected by bureaucrats sensitive to political pressures to decrease the number of foreign workers. Combined with the lousy economy, and H-1Bs are more underused than they've been in years. H-1B rules and regulations should be loosened in a poor economy. Highly skilled foreign workers generally create employment opportunities for Americans at large.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Calls for Obama to Take 'Extraordinary Constitutional' Action on Unemployment
Excerpt: File this one under “bizarre.” According to the Daily Caller, on Wednesday, Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson compared congressional opposition to President Barack Obama’s “American Jobs Act” to the Confederate “states in rebellion.” But this isn‘t the most offsetting portion of Jackson’s commentary, which will likely cause a “fair share” of shock and awe. In addition to making this oddball comparison, Jackson said that the government should directly employ the 15 million people who are currently without work. The controversial representative said that the president should “declare a national emergency” and take “extraordinary constitutional” action “administratively,” the Daily Caller reports. This, of course, may mean that Congress wouldn’t really be involved in the process. (And so turning the world upside down continues. Obama is Abe Lincoln and the Congress is in rebellion. The Tea Party is violent and doesn’t love America and the Wall Street folks are loving and Patriotic. Perfect set up for Obama to declare his state of emergency and continue to throw the old, irrelevant Constitution under the bus. –Gail Rep. Jackson (D-Bud Lite) tried to buy a US Senate seat from Blagojevich, rather than run for it as the Constitution requires, so you see his position on that. ~Bob.)

Jobs Plan Fails, but Obama Doesn't Get the Message
Excerpt: When President Barack Obama began his Midwest "jobs tour" in August, he set out to campaign for the passage of a yet-to-be-released plan to turn around the country's stagnant economy. But after the details of that plan emerged--more stimulus spending and higher taxes--and when the Democrat-controlled Senate put the measure up for a vote this week, the President's plan was defeated. Even members of the President's own party opposed more taxing and spending as a way of pulling America out of its unemployment ditch. Take Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), for example. The Hill reports that he opposes raising taxes on ordinary income during a time of recession and that the federal government should encourage people to invest in the economy instead of raising their income taxes. In Webb's own words: I strongly believe that the way to bring good jobs back is to improve our economy in the private sector, and that means more capital investment. Winston Churchill once said something to the effect that you can't tax your way out of an economic downturn any more than you can pick up a bucket if you're standing in it.

Olive Garden: American flag display would disrupt dining experience
Excerpt: Officials with the parent company of Olive Garden restaurants say they're sorry if a decision regarding an Alabama Kiwanis club's desire to display the American flag caused any concern. The comments come after 80-year-old Marti Warren of Anniston said she wasn't allowed to bring an American flag into an Olive Garden for a planned Kiwanis Club banquet in the east Alabama town of Oxford. Warren learned the night of the banquet that she wouldn't be allowed to display the flag or the Kiwanis banner in the restaurant, she said. (They have the right to do this. And every vet has the right to never eat there again. You can write Olive Garden here: ~Bob.)

Arrogant White Liberal Tells Herman Cain How To Be Black.
Excerpt: Watching MSNBC white host Lawrence O'Donnell chastising black presidential candidate Herman Cain for not participating in the 1960s civil rights movement infuriated me. O'Donnell accused Cain of cowardly sitting on the sidelines while blacks and whites marched and protested for black civil rights. How dare this white guy who does not have a clue what it was like to be black in America in the 1960s attack a black person for not responding to racism the way he thinks he should have responded. In the 60's, most blacks did not march or protest in the streets, but fought for freedom in their own private ways; entrepreneurship, prayer, striving for excellence and etc. A black buddy of mine who went from being incarcerated as a teenager to becoming an art director in a prominent advertising agency attributes his success to a black high school art teacher, Lindy Jordan. Mr. Jordan mentored so many black youths, a scholarship was founded in his honor. Mr. Jordan was never seen in the streets protesting for civil rights. I submit that Mr. Jordan fought for black liberation and equality in the best way he knew how to fight; by mentoring black youths. But, leave it to this probably former hippie spoiled brat white boy, O'Donnell, to think all blacks who did not march in the streets must have been Uncle Toms. O'Donnell's liberal arrogance is off the chain. In my opinion Lawrence O'Donnell owes Mr. Jordan and other black American civil rights pioneers an apology.

Iran would gladly assassinate Saudis
Excerpt: No one knows where the accusations leveled against Iran by US Attorney General Eric Holder might lead. If true, the claim that Iran planned to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington would amount to an act of war against the United States. And that would require a response beyond the jumble of “new sanctions” proposed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That the Islamic Republic plots terrorist operations abroad is neither new nor surprising. In 1980, the mullahs organized the murder in Bethesda, Md., of Ali Akbar Tabatabai, an Iranian diplomat who’d turned against the regime. The assassin, Dawoud Salahuddin, a US convert to Islam, claimed that the murder was “an act of war” and fled to Iran where he later emerged as an adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The United States was not the only place where the mullahs carried out “acts of war.” Between 1980 and 1995, the Islamic Republic planned and carried out 112 political assassinations in 22 countries across the globe. France alone saw the murders of 17 Iranian exiles. In 1994, a French court issued arrest warrants against nine senior Iranian officials. In 1997, a German court issued warrants for the arrest of a number of Iranian officials charged with participation in the murder of four exiled Iranian politicians in Berlin five years earlier. Among those named were Iran’s “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei and former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. At trial, former President Abolhassan Banisadr testified that a four-man committee, headed by Khamenei, was orchestrating the murder of dissidents abroad.

Editor, WSJ
Please ask the smelly, unemployed communists and leftists whining about how bad our (relatively) free market is who they voted for. I'll wager heavily that over 90% of them voted for Barack Obama. --John Jaeger (And Obama got more Wall Street contributions than any candidate in history. He doesn’t even stay bought. ~Bob.)

Stop Picking on Me
Excerpt: Remember back in 2008, when 84,000 people gathered at Invesco Field to hear then candidate Obama give his nominating acceptance speech. Apparently, another 40 million people watched it on tv – I was not one of them, by the way. But back then, everyone waited with bated breath for the Messiah to speak. It seems like fewer and fewer people are listening these days. Well, maybe they’re listening, but they’re certainly not hearing. When he’s not campaigning, which he hasn’t stopped doing since 2008 (someone forgot to tell him he won), the President is telling everyone to be civil. Hell, he doesn’t even listen to himself. At one point, he suggests we all learn to “disagree without being disagreeable,” but a few months later, he accuses the Republicans of holding the public hostage by blocking extended unemployment benefits. While pandering to his Spanish-speaking constituents, he tells them “we should punish our enemies and reward our friends” and then sarcastically attacks those, like myself, who want a stronger border, by saying, “maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat.” Ridicule me all you want, Mr. President, but it doesn’t make you look like much of a leader. (I did watch his 2008 Victory speech on TV. As I told a liberal friend who went, it reminded me of Nuremburg. Every time the crowd chanted “Yes, We Can!” in lock step, I heard, “Seig Heil!” Same technique. Bob.)

Anti-war protesters interrupt House hearing
Excerpt: Anti-war protesters waged an intense protest Thursday, interrupting testimony by Pentagon leaders before being forcibly removed by U.S. Capitol Police officers.
Six demonstrators were arrested during a House Armed Services Committee hearing within the Rayburn House Office Building. Charges were still forthcoming, according to department spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. At several points during the hearing, protesters loudly and passionately stopped proceedings before being removed. One young man, who identified himself as an Iraq war veteran, said loudly: "We murdered people! I saw what we did to people!" (An Iraq vet accusing his comrades of murder? All he needs is a rich widow to be the next John Kerry! ~Bob.)

The lie of Jerusalem as an Islamic "holy" site
The message of the video linked below may seem to be primarily religious.
But from a purely secular standpoint, it's significance is this: Islamists who say that Jerusalem is a holy place for them as well as for Jews are lying and therefore their claim to the site as an Islamic traditional site is false. A famous early Islamic scholar said, for example, that there is no holy place for Islam in Jerusalem. Westerners are quick to accept this false message, especially after it has been repeated verbatim by the Western media. But the Western Oligarchs who control the media and seek to control our minds (and in fact DO control the vast majority of our minds) have a virtually singular goal, which was stated at the founding of the Fabian Society, whose stealth method has been fabulously successful in achieving this end (by pretending, for example, that their support for the "young idealists" in Egypt and Libya, including bombing raids that killed countless innocents, were justified on moral grounds.) That goal is to destroy Western culture, and in particular, Christianity. You need to know that the Western Ruling Class has no moral grounds whatsoever. They are doing the work of their father Satan: --Don Hank

Maid held for casting “spell” on family
You could make a hell of a Sitcom about the Saudi Religious Police. Except it would create riots, violence and probably murder from members of the Religion of Peace, so no one would have the guts in Hollywood. ~Bob. Excerpt: Saudi Arabia’s religious police arrested an Indonesian housemaid for casting a magic spell on a local family and “turning its life upside down,” a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Tuesday. The employer of the maid in the southern mountainous town of Bisha told members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice that he had noticed a drastic change in the behavior of his family members and that he suspected the maid was behind this. “He said the behavior of all his family members changed completely and their life was turned upside down…he said he suspected the maid could have cast a magic spell on them,” Sabq Arabic language daily said. “After arresting and investigating the maid, she confessed to having done magic work against the family and led them to the magic items that were hidden under the steps outside the front door…Commission experts took the magic items to their office and managed to dismantle and stop the spell.”

PAKISTAN: A 12 year-old Christian is gang raped for eight months, forcibly converted and then 'married' to her Muslim attacker
Don’t go all Islamophobic on me. All cultures are equally valid. Just tough for her she was in an equally-valid Muslim culture. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that A 12-year-old Christian girl was abducted and raped for eight months. The rapists have not been arrested because of their affiliation with a militant Muslim organization. The police are also refusing to order a medical checkup. The Judicial Magistrate of the area took her statement under section 164 Cr Pc (Criminal Procedure Code) but has not made any orders for her security. One of the rapist claims that he has married the girl but she denies that any marriage took place during her abduction and captivity. The police have warned the Christian parents that it would be better to hand over the girl to her 'legal' husband (the rapist) otherwise a criminal case will be filed against them.

Pop Goes the Green Jobs Bubble
Excerpt: Before his American Jobs Act failed to pass a Senate cloture vote Tuesday, President Barack Obama made a last-ditch speech to talk up his troubled bill. Not once did Obama mention "green jobs" -- his erstwhile jobs of the future. Smart move. Obama's 2009 $787 billion stimulus package included $500 million for training programs that were supposed to create new green jobs for thousands of middle-class Americans. Last month, however, the Department of Labor's inspector general conducted an audit that found that as of June 30 -- with one-third of the funds spent and more than 50,000 participants -- only 10 percent of trainees were placed in jobs. And only 1,336 participants, or 2 percent, had held jobs for six months or longer. The audit reported that grant recipients "expressed concerns that green jobs had not materialized and job placements into subsidized employment had been much less than expected." The inspector general recommended that the Labor Department cut its losses and run -- in Washington-speak. The audit advised that the department reassess grants and "obtain an estimate of funds each grantee will realistically spend given the current demand for green job-related skills" so that whatever is left of the remaining $327 million can be put to better use.

Don’t Tell Me You Were Surprised at Iran’s Operation
Excerpt: If you thought — as so many of the overnight experts have declared — that there was anything new about Iranian terrorists operating on American soil, forget it. Iranian agents have been busy in this country for quite some time. Just ask the FBI, who within the past few years broke up a very worrisome group of radical Muslims in Washington, D.C., who were receiving weapons from the Iranians. We have been aware of Iranian sleeper cells in the United States, often working in tandem with narcotics traffickers (Iran, after all, is very busy at the Afghan source of the global opium supply), for many years, and it’s not surprising that DEA had such a strong grip on the investigation. Surely the Bureau and the Agency were not surprised to find Iran in cahoots with (what the Iranians thought was) drug runners in the United States. And for those who have scratched their heads and asked out loud how such smart people in Tehran could have done such a “stupid” thing, just think about the monumental mess these stupid people have made of their own country. (…) So, to answer the often-asked question (how could the leaders of the Iranian regime have approved such a provocative action in this country?): they do not fear us, they do not believe that Obama is capable of doing anything that would threaten their grip on power, and they viewed the operation as both a provocation and a humiliation of him and his administration. So far, the pathetic lack of anything approaching a serious response – not even a hint of support for regime change in Tehran — combined with empty ritualistic incantations a la “nothing is off the table” suggest that their assessment is correct. Emphasis added by me. Ledeen is one of the most consistently reliable commentators on the Middle East. I think he’s exactly right on this. Ron P.)

The Facts About Clinton and Terrorism: You don't need a movie to see his failures.
Editor’s note: When it comes to Bill Clinton’s record on terrorism, there’s no need to invent fictional scenarios to show how ineffective he was; the truth is bad enough. A few months after 9/11, Byron York went through the record — including the former president’s habit of taking polls to see how he should respond to terrorist attacks — and came up with this report, from the December 17, 2001 issue of National Review:

Smuggled Libyan weapons flood into Egypt
Excerpt: Large caches of weapons from Libya are making their way across the Egyptian border and flooding black markets in Egypt’s already unstable Sinai Peninsula, according to current and former Egyptian military officials and arms traders in the Sinai. Egyptian security officials have intercepted surface-to-air missiles, most of them shoulder-launched, on the road to Sinai and in the smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt to the Gaza Strip since Moammar Gaddafi fell from power in Libya in August, a military official in Cairo said. Arms traders said the weapons available on Sinai’s clandestine market include rockets and antiaircraft guns. The seizures raise fresh concerns about security along the sensitive area that borders the Gaza Strip and Israel, at a time when unrest is roiling the region. The addition of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to arsenals of Palestinian fighters in Gaza could add significantly to the threat against Israel, whose helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft frequently patrol the strip, which is controlled by the militant Islamist group Hamas. (And so, the wonderful, democratic Arab Spring turns into a lovely blood-red autumn, courtesy of President Obama and NATO. What a clever way to kill Jews—bomb Libya. ~Bob.)

Who's behind the
Wall St.
Anti-Wall Street
protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer, but the group that started it all may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world's richest men. There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda. (I don’t know who’s behind OWS, but I think we can rule out soap makers. ~Bob.)

My message to Herman Cain
It looks like Herman Cain may well be our next president, and he is infinitely better than Obama, no doubt. But whether he wins or not may depend on how well he articulates solidarity with the growing no. of people on both sides of the political spectrum who now understand that the Fed played a major role in the world economic crash -- by setting artificially low interest rates during the housing bubble that drove prices to the sky and ruined banks when it popped, and then by forcing the public to accept the idea of bailouts for failed banks, which helped bring about the biggest sovereign debt in history.
I agree with your message, but I wanted to let you know that the unelected Federal Reserve and its total power to print money and set interest rates is now perceived by a growing no. of Americans as a threat to the world economy. Why am I telling you this? Because if the Democrats coopt this issue, you will have to be able to deliver a strong message to show you will try to bring the Fed under the control of Congress. Americans are not buying any more "we know best" and bailouts. You may squeak by anyway even if you don't make a good showing in this issue, but the risk is high that you will lose if you try to ignore it or minimize it. --Don Hank

Predator-in-Chief: Once the war on terror’s fiercest critic, Obama has become its deadliest practitioner.
Excerpt: We are in a long war against radical Islamic terrorism. The struggle seems almost similar to the on-again/off-again ordeals of the past — such as the French-English Hundred Years War of the 14th and 15th centuries, or the Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants in the 17th century. In these kinds of drawn-out conflicts, final victory will go to the side that responds best to new challenges. And we’ve seen a lot of those since 9/11, when the United States was caught unaware and apparently ill-equipped to face the threat of radical Islamic terrorists hijacking our passenger jets. Even when we adjusted well to the 9/11 tactics, there were new threats, such as suicide bombers and roadside improvised explosive devices that seemed to nullify American technological and material advantages. But America is once again getting the upper hand in this long war against Middle Eastern terrorists, with the use of Predator-drone targeted assassinations to which the terrorists have not yet developed an answer. In systematically deadly fashion, Predators are picking off the top echelon of al-Qaeda and its affiliates from the Hindu Kush to Yemen to the Horn of Africa.

Congress, Governors Nix Obama’s High-Speed Trains: They know high-speed rail doesn’t make sense for America.
Excerpt: Dead. Kaput. Through. Finished. Washed up. Gone-zo. That, I think, is a fair description of the Obama administration’s attempt to build high-speed-rail lines across America. It hasn’t failed because of a lack of willingness to pony up money. The Obama Democrats’ February 2009 stimulus package included $8 billion for high-speed-rail projects. The Democratic Congress appropriated another $2.5 billion. (They won’t give up. High Speed Rail is part of the Progressives Catechism of Faith, like Global Warming, Green Jobs, Taxing the Rich, and Bigger Government. ~Bob.

Excerpt: He was a fairly well dressed and sometimes well spoken middle-aged man and, having given me the typical anti-corporate screed, he wanted to talk about Walt Disney. This piqued my interest. But then he surprised me: “Walt Disney,” he said, “was a whore….How much money have they made out of Snow White….Why can’t we start using it in mashups or whatever…?” Leaving aside the possibility that anybody who chooses to make the availability of copyrighted video footage the central feature of their revolutionary platform most likely has too much time on their hands — it is the equivalent of responding to Marie Antoinette’s apocryphal “let them eat cake” with an inquiry as to which flavor she was offering — the conversation that followed perfectly highlighted the basic difference in attitude between those on the statist left and those on the free-market right. As Kevin Williamson might say, it basically comes down to risk. Walt Disney made a lot of money from Snow White, something my new friend considers unfair. But then Walt and his brother Roy also took a lot of risk. Originally estimating that the movie would cost $250,000 to make, the final bill ended up at around $1.5 million, in 1937 dollars. During the three grueling years of production, Walt was almost universally laughed at for his ambition, including by his wife and brother. In Hollywood, the project was known as “Disney’s Folly,” in part because the studio quite literally had to invent most of the processes necessary for the production of a full-length animated film. It had never been done before, and he was banking the studio’s future on it turning out alright. Through sheer will and charisma, and the hard (if skeptical) work of his brother Roy, Walt managed to borrow enough money to realize his vision. And here is the kicker — he also remortgaged his house to help pay for it. 

Interesting. ~Bob. Excerpt: It was the one question in the Bloomberg-Washington Post debate that gave away the game. A source close to, but not in, the Bachmann campaign told me it was that question when he realized the game was over for Michele Bachmann. It was that one question that, according to a source close to the Perry camp and a source close to the Cain camp, raised a red flag for the Romney campaign and shows just how worried the Romney camp is about the race consolidating. It was that one question that also shows why the Romney campaign is, behind the scenes, furiously pushing states to move up their caucuses and primaries. That one question spoke louder to more people than all the other questions asked Tuesday night. And in that question lies Michele Bachmann’s ultimate defeat and Mitt Romney’s Achilles heel. Yes, one question did all that. Find out what that question was in this week’s horserace.

Regulatory Burdens Destroying Farming Industry
Excerpt: While Obama is touting more spending — and also more regulation — PJMedia has teamed up with (AJC) to detail the impact of regulation on job creation in the United States, and to show how an actual jobs bill would require no spending, just a rollback of regulatory burdens. We first looked at the impact of regulations on the trucking industry. Today’s article focuses on farming. (…) While they are not as close to the land as subsistence farmers, modern farmers still are connected to it in a way city dwellers, however environmentally conscious, cannot be. Once again, farmers who do not try to operate in a sustainable manner don’t remain farmers for long, and many of those two million family farmers have been on the same land for a century or more. (…) Average annual small business compliance costs have soared to more than $10,500 per employee. These job creators deserve common-sense regulatory relief, so that they can invest their hard-earned money and time into putting America back to work. (But, it’s for your own good! ARGH! If the ragged band of colonists who broke away from Great Britain had been subjected to this kind of regulation, the Revolution would’ve started decades earlier. NO REGULATION WITHOUT SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONALLY VOTED AUTHORIZATION AND PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL BY SIGNATURE! How did we get suckered into allowing unelected busybodies pass regulations by publishing them in the Federal Register? How could the courts allow this sort of delegation of authority? And why do we put up with it? I also followed the link to the previous article about trucking; it’s good, but hard to read cause the link doesn’t work properly. Ron P.)

The Rich Aren’t Getting Richer: Actual super-wealthy households saw their income decline.
Excerpt: Are the rich really getting richer? That’s a pretty standard line from the Left, a lament usually cited in the course of calling for higher tax rates. Robert Reich is particularly fond of this mode of attack: A recent post of his was headlined, “For 70 years, the wealthy have grown wealthier.” Professor Reich probably doesn’t write his own headlines, but it’s a common enough sentiment for him, and his prose is rich with phrases such as “the super-rich got even wealthier this year.” He isn’t alone in employing this mode. Take this from an April 7 Salon article: “And surely the rich don’t need that 25 percent top rate in the way poor folks need programs like TANF and seniors need Medicare — about 90 percent of all American income gains since the 1970s have gone to the top 10 percent of earners.”

Obama: Iranian government knew of assassination plot, no options off table
Excerpt: President Obama said Thursday that Iranian government officials had knowledge of a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., but the president stopped short of calling the planned assassination an act of war. Obama did try to up the ante after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the plot, disrupted by the Justice Department, represented a "dangerous escalation" by Iran. (Such options as bowing, apologizing, begging, foot stomping and severe pouting. I’m now reading “Advice to War Presidents,” and would gladly buy Obama and the GOP contenders each a copy. It makes the point that when they hold you in contempt, it pours gas on the fire of their hatred. ~Bob.)

Nathan Wurtzel: Death, taxes, and "financial downturns blamed on Jews" are the three certainties in life.

ChelseaGrunwald Breaking: Al Gore plans to fly himself, his makeup team, and personal chef via private jet to #OWS to join in the fight against the wealthy.

Top 10 Richest Celebrities Supporting Wall Street Protests
Excerpt: Aw, the sweet smell of dirty hippies and hypocrites in the morning. Newsbusters has a list of the obscenely rich celebrities beclowning themselves as they crawl over to support the Occupests in New York–who are supposedly protesting Big Money, Capitalism and the Obscenely Rich. As they arrive in the limos (not kidding) and wearing their $1000 jewelry, it’s the narcissism that drives some of these people, clamoring to be thought a part of something that would destroy everything that gave them the lives to which they’ve grown accustomed. And of course the Occupests are so stoned and clueless they really have no idea what’s going on anyway. (Combined net worth: $130B. Combined IQ: 130. --Iowahawk.)

The idiocy of 'Occupy': Protests will alienate America by George F. Will
Excerpt: The Tea Party’s splendid successes, which have altered the nation’s political vocabulary and agenda, have inspired a countermovement -- Occupy Wall Street. Conservatives should rejoice and wish for it long life, abundant publicity and sufficient organization to endorse congressional candidates deemed worthy. All Democrats eager for OWS’ imprimatur, step forward. In scale, OWS’ demonstrations-cum-encampments are to Tea Party events as Pittsburg, Kan., is to Pittsburgh, Pa. So far, probably fewer people have participated in all of them combined than attended just one Tea Party rally, that of Sept. 12, 2009, on the Washington Mall. In comportment, OWS is to the Tea Party as Lady Gaga is to Lord Chesterfield: Blocking the Brooklyn Bridge was not persuasion modeled on Tea Party tactics. The ’60s repeating as farce? A pathetic “Occupy DC’’ protester wilting in the rain yesterday on a park bench in downtown Washington. Still, OWS’ defenders correctly say it represents progressivism’s spirit and intellect. Because it embraces spontaneity and deplores elitism, it eschews deliberation and leadership. Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful. Unfortunately for OWS, big government’s scandal du jour, the Obama administration’s Solyndra episode of crony capitalism, does not validate progressivism’s indignation, it refutes progressivism’s aspiration, which is for more minute government supervision of society.

No comments:

Post a Comment