Monday, October 3, 2011

Political Digest for October 3, 2011

Many thanks
As always, this blog wouldn't exist without the dozens of folks who take the time to send me items. There are not enough hours in the day for me to find all the material. So many thanks, once again, to each of you. ~Bob

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 7k a week and over 1,100 followers here. Sigh.

Letter to the Tribune, published 10/2/11
Re: "Yes, it's corrupt." Great editorial, but wasted ink. As long as the vast majority of folks in Chicago and throughout Illinois will vote for one party regardless of what they do, members of that party will do whatever they want that brings them power and money, because they can't lose. You and I can only pay. Meanwhile, I live in a condo association where units like mine are being offered for $130k without takers, but the powers that be value it at $167k for taxes. Alas, I don't know anyone in Springfield, county government or city hall. I'm just a working chumbalone that nobody sent. (This was in response to their editorial concerning union bosses receiving public pensions based on their union salaries. ~Bob.

All the people mad at Obama for the Awlaki hit are idiots. I mean, all Obama did was order him and some other guys splattered across the landscape in a red mush. It's not like he did something unconstitutional and water boarded him, for God's sake.

ATF Gunrunner Impact Team Releases Chart of Guns and Blood Flowing into Mexico
Excerpt: Imagine ATF administrators and agents brainstorming catch phrases to describe an operation that proliferates hundreds of heavy weapons into Mexico to expand the Drug War. These ATF creatives have shortened the tough ‘Gunrunner Impact Team’ into the rugged acronym GRIT. Imagine an ATF agent drawing Arizona in red ink with PowerPoint arrows piercing Mexico with dozens of lines indicating a ‘surge’ of weapons, soon followed by death and mayhem. The creative public relations wizards that coined GRIT, also came up with Hollywood style themes to describe their surge of weapons onto Mexican streets. First ‘Operation Gunrunner’, improving to ‘Fast and Furious’, then ‘Wide Receiver’ and the ‘ATF’s GRIT Surge’. A Chart of blood red tracks obtained from CBS News indicates the rivers of blood that flow from the hundreds of ATF guns that ‘walked.’ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix Field Division Special Agent William Newell wrote this to his personal friend, Kevin M. O’Reilly of the White House National Security Staff:

Amnesty by Another Name
Excerpt: This week I was joined by 18 of my Senate colleagues in a letter to President Obama to ask questions about the administration’s immigration policies. Recent statements by members of Congress and guidelines coming out of the executive branch make it appear that there are administration policies that go beyond the scope of the law and allow people who have broken the law to remain in the United States. In our letter, we cite a June 17th memo and an August 18th directive from the lead government agency dealing with immigration that outline and encourage increased use of prosecutorial discretion and administrative closure of cases pending before the courts. Prosecutorial discretion is when an official for the federal government uses his or her judgment in allowing the illegal immigrant to stay in the country if the individual meets certain criteria. Administrative closure of cases allows the executive branch to close deportation cases pending before the court without action, which also allows an illegal immigrant to remain in the country.

Revolt over EU benefits diktat: 12 nations join UK fight to curb welfare tourism free-for-all
How long until the UN condemns this as Islamophobic? ~Bob. Excerpt: An alliance of European countries is rebelling against EU plans to make Britain open its doors to thousands of ‘benefit tourists’. Ministers have joined forces with 12 other nations – including France, Germany and Denmark – angry at the European Commission’s threat to take the UK to court over rules which limit foreigners’ ability to claim benefits. If the Commission gets its way, Britain could be hit with an extra £2.5billion in welfare payments, making it even harder to tackle our huge deficit.

Global Islamic Group Rising In Asia
Tell me again how it's poverty that causes extremism. ~Bob. Excerpt: The chanting crowd at the radical Muslim protest in Indonesia stood out for its normalcy: smartly dressed businessmen, engineers, lawyers, smiling mothers, scampering children. At a time when al-Qaida seems to be faltering, the recruitment of such an educated, somewhat mainstream following is raising fears that Hizbut Tahrir, an enigmatic global movement, could prove more effective at radicalizing the Islamic world than outright terrorist groups. Active in 45 countries, Hizbut is now expanding in Asia, spreading its radical message from Indonesia to China. It wants to unite all Muslim countries in a globe-spanning bloc ruled by strict sharia law. It targets university students and professionals, working within countries to try to persuade people to overthrow their governments. The movement's appeal to an often influential part of society worries experts. Its goal of an Islamic state may be far-fetched, but it could still undercut efforts to control extremism and develop democracy in countries such as Indonesia, which the U.S. hopes will be a vital regional partner and a global model for moderate Islam.

Egyptian Muslims Burn Coptic Church in Aswan Province
Excerpt: Egypt is back to “business as usual” with the Islamic majority harassing and attacking its Christian minority. A group of Muslims burnt down part of a church Friday – the Islamic Sabbath – in the village of Marinab, according to a report published in the daily Al Masry Al Youm. The village, situated close to the town of Edfu in the Aswan Governorate, is located some 800 kilometers south of Cairo. Security sources said Muslims rampaged through the village in what appeared to be a pogrom, clashing with the Christian residents and destroying their shops. Central Security Forces cordoned off the village “to control the clashes,” according to the newspaper report. (Gosh, how did I know they were going to persecute Christians once the Western elite had its way in Egypt? --Don Hank. )

Mexico's top cartel "enforcer" nailed for killing marines
Excerpt: Members of the Mexican Navy nabbed Los Zetas drug cartel's suspected top "enforcer" in the city of Vera Cruz. They are holding him as the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of three Marines, according to a Law Enforcement Examiner police source. Angel Mora, dubbed Commandante Diablo ("The Commander Devil") by Mexican police and soldiers was captured on Thursday in the Gulf Coast city of Vera Cruz. An accomplice also was arrested with Moro. Moro is considered by Mexican authorities and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration liaison agents to be the most prolific and feared hitman in the deadly and powerful Los Zetas cartel, especially in Vera Cruz and neighboring Boca del Rio, a DEA source said. Mora, 25, and his partner Gregorio Maldonado are believed to be part of the Los Zetas cell that kidnapped three Marines on July 29. The Marines were subsequently executed by Moro, who has a reputation for enjoying his assassinations and executions.

Gunwalker: Under White House Control?
Excerpt: New documents reveal extensive White House communication with the ATF head behind the scandal. For months, congressional investigators have battled a recalcitrant White House and Department of Justice over Operation Fast and Furious, a conspiracy that had the apparent goal of sending thousands of guns from American gun stores into Mexico. Recovery of the guns could be used as evidence to support the Obama administration’s 90-percent lie — and perhaps even serve a more nefarious goal. That deception seems to be collapsing, as the long suspected proof of other gunwalking operations was confirmed by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News: An administration source would not describe the Tucson OCDTF case. However, CBS News has learned that ATF’s Phoenix office led an operation out of Tucson called “Wide Receiver.” Sources claim ATF allowed guns to “walk” in that operation, much like Fast and Furious.

Showing some spine, Congress blocks $200 million in aid to Palestinians
Excerpt: Why reward Abbas for refusing to negotiate and use the UN to end run the peace process? The Independent: The United States Congress has blocked nearly $200m in aid for the Palestinians, threatening projects such as food aid, health care, and support for efforts to build a functioning state. The decision to delay the payments runs counter to the wishes of the Obama administration and reflects Congressional anger at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's so far unrealised pursuit of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation and statehood recognition at the UN. The freezing of the funds, which were to have been dispersed in the US fiscal year that ends today, is the most tangible sign yet of the seriousness of Congressional leaders' threats of an even wider halt to funding in the coming year if Mr Abbas continues with his actions at the UN. It was strongly condemned yesterday by the Palestinian Authority. There have been persistent demands in Congress to withhold up to $600m - the average amount given by the US in bilateral assistance to the West Bank and Gaza every year since 2008 - in the next financial year over the issue.

Roger Williams for Congress - The Donkey Whisperer
Too funny.

Angry federal judge rips 'false testimony' of federal scientists
Excerpt: Today, it's a gigantic good science versus bad science war pitting California residents against a tiny fish and government officials diverting two years' worth of water for a large city or agricultural region and flushing it into the San Francisco Bay. The flushing might help save the allegedly endangered 2-inch-long fish, the delta smelt. So many lawsuits sparked by the conflict have landed on Wanger's desk, with so many plaintiffs and so many defendants, that he merged them into one and titled his rulings "The Consolidated [salmonid, delta smelt, or whatever] Cases." In a searing opinion, Wanger ripped two Interior Department scientists for giving "false" and "incredible" testimony to support a "bad faith" delta smelt preservation plan. The two scientists are Frederick V. Feyrer of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Jennifer M. Norris of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wanger also threw out huge chunks of the federal government's official "biological opinion" on five different species, calling the opinion, which is a guidance document for environmental regulators, "arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful." (It figures. The judge has announced his upcoming retirement. Ron P.)

The Week That Was: 2011-10-01 (October 1, 2011)
Excerpt: Some articles in the news fail to comprehend the background and the significance of the OIG report. In the 1990s, the EPA, under Carol Browner, produced a number of studies that significantly lowered the level of scientific rigor acceptable to the EPA. For example, the infamous second-hand smoke study doubled the acceptable statistical standard confidence limits from 5% to 10%. Otherwise, the study would have been rejected. Indeed, similar studies that maintained scientific rigor were statistically rejected. Such activities prompted Congress to pass the Data Quality Act (DQA), which was buried in a larger bill that outgoing President Clinton signed in December, 2000. The Act requires certain agencies set procedures of peer review that meet standards set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Studies that failed to meet these standards would be so noted and future funding highly questionable. One of the first studies to fail the DQA was the U.S. National Assessment of Climate Change, which was led by then Vice President Al Gore. Of course, the alarmists were outraged and have little positive to say about the Act. [See NIPCC 2008, p 15.] At issue now is the Technical Support Document (TSD) that accompanied EPA's Endangerment Finding, which provides the scientific justification for the EF. One cannot be certain, but apparently EPA played a clever game in avoiding DQA's peer review requirement. The TSD relies on the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as its scientific foundation. As noted by Alan Carlin, then a long standing (35 years) EPA scientist, the EPA should have provided an independent analysis of the science. EPA argues that the IPCC peer review is sufficient, but did not establish that to the satisfaction of the OIG. [The two other US funded reports cited by the EPA, one by the National Research Council and the other by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, follow a similar pattern of accepting the IPCC AR4 as indisputable and fail to provide independent review.] (Every week, the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) posts a brief review of news and commentary on those issues. The editor, Kan Haapala, SEPP’s Executive Vice President, often comments on the items included in the week’s review; the excerpt is from his comments. He highlights several important or interesting topics this week, including malaria—in Finland. Also, notice the explanation of the “number of the week.” Ron P.)

The Obama Presidency - By The Numbers
Interesting charts. ~Bob.

The EPA Gets Caught in a Big Fat Lie
Excerpt: The notion that the Environmental Protection Agency uses “science” to justify their regulations is false, just like most of the claims they issue on various aspects of the nation’s environment. Their favorite scam is to estimate the number of deaths they will prevent with some new draconian regulation. The EPA is the American equivalent of the Gestapo, a ruthless enforcement agency with a very Green agenda that is opposed to the use of many beneficial chemicals, every form of energy, and the right of people to be left alone. At the top of its list of priorities is the destruction of the nation’s economy with special attention to all forms of energy production. Manufacturing anything comes next, followed by afflicting the nation’s vast agricultural sector. The EPA insists that dust is a pollutant. You can’t farm without generating DUST. To understand the threat the EPA poses it is necessary to understand that proposed Clean Air regulations are based on the claim that “global warming” is real, is happening, and is caused primarily by carbon dioxide (CO2). The claim is utterly without any scientific merit.

Parity: 33.9% of Americans are Republicans, 33.7% Democrats
Excerpt: The number of Republicans and Democrats in the country is just about even. In fact, the gap between the parties is the smallest it has ever been in nearly nine years of monthly tracking. During the month of September, 33.9% of Americans considered themselves to be Republicans while 33.7% consider themselves Democrats. For both parties, those numbers are up less than a single percentage point from August.  As a result, the number of voters not affiliated with either party fell from an all time high of 33.5% in August back to 32.4% in September.

Bombshell: DOJ Considering Elimination of ATF (An admission of Guilt?)
Excerpt: Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer. ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA. According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major political capital to actually happen. “It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said. (If this is accurate I have a better idea. Fire the incompetent criminal bureaucrats who perpetrated the atrocity, indict Eric Holder and his minions that facilitated this plan for mass murder, and promote the street cops who have some common sense and street smarts. If you are unfamiliar with this debacle it may be prudent to read up on it. This may surpass Watergate. I have heard rumors that this may lead right into the Oval Office, and if it does, may result in impeachment. Tom Constantine)

Science, Lies, and Videotape
Excerpt: It is the elite perception that conservatives are beetle-browed, anti-science nutters wedded to faith-based, unverifiable beliefs eschewed by the more sophisticated, scientific-thinking left. I call this the Garofolo Theory to memorialize this darling of the left's observation this week: Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same. So there you have it: the classic damned if you do (in this case, support black candidates), damned if you don't (support them). Conveniently for Garofalo, the charge is utterly unfalsifiable as made, since the lack of evidence to her way of thinking is itself evidence. (Climate science is only one of several areas the author looks at in this excellent article. Ron P.)

Pakistan: AKI reporter Shahzad 'was initially supposed to be beaten, not killed'
Excerpt: Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad was probably killed by his country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, but the initial order was to rough him up and give him a scare, according to a recent article in The New Yorker magazine. But sometime before he disappeared on 29 May the order changed from kidnap and hurt to kill, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Dexter Filkins wrote, citing an unnamed senior American official. Shahzad disappeared in Islamabad on 29 May. His body was recovered two days later in the remote rural area of Mandi Bahauddin, 150 kilometres southwest of the capital Islamabad, bearing signs of torture. Pakistan's powerful military spy agency ISI has denied any involvement in Shahzad's abduction and murder, which occurred just days after he published an article in Asia Times Online alleging links between Al-Qaeda and officials in the Pakistani navy. He was also a contributor to Adnkronos International (AKI).

Iranian supreme leader calls Israel a "cancerous tumor," Hamas honcho vows destruction of Israel "no matter how costly it is"
Excerpt: As Netanyahu subsequently observed, Khamenei's remarks demonstrate the need for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, whereby its neighbors would at least have to go on record pledging that they will co-exist with Israel as it is, and not simply as a land area for which they have other eventual plans.

Excerpt: Massachusetts recently identified hundreds of refugees who obtained Massachusetts driver’s licenses by converting from Arizona licenses. By taking advantage of Arizona’s lax language and testing requirements, non-English speakers were able to take driving tests with translators, or bypass state testing altogether by training and testing with private driving schools (circumventing the Department of Motor Vehicles). While Massachusetts offers the written exam in 26 languages, it does not allow the written tests to be taken with a translator as Arizona does. It should be startling to English-speaking drivers to learn they are sharing the road with licensed drivers who cannot pass English language driving tests – and can even travel out of state to avoid them. Common sense would dictate that an understanding of English should be required to drive in the U.S. Shouldn’t licensed drivers be able to read road signs?

Illegal alien pleads guilty to killing Denny's Restaurant cook
Excerpt: On Friday in an Albuquerque, New Mexico, federal courtroom, Marvin Antonio Aguilar-Lopez entered a guilty plea and admitted killing Stephanie Anderson during the armed robbery of the Denny’s Restaurant located at in Albuquerque on June 20, 2009. Ms. Anderson was employed as a cook at the Denny’s Restaurant when she was murdered. During Friday’s plea hearing, 24-year old Aguilar-Lopez entered guilty pleas to counts three and four of a 14-count second superseding indictment, charging him with the armed robbery of the Denny’s Restaurant and the felony murder of Ms. Anderson committed during the perpetration of that robbery under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Aguilar-Lopez will be sentenced to a five-year term of imprisonment for the robbery offense and 35 years’ imprisonment for the felony murder offense. Aguilar-Lopez will serve the sentences on the two offenses consecutively for a total of 40 years’ imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Special operations forces capture Haqqani Network's top commander in Afghanistan
Excerpt: Coalition and Afghan special operations forces today announced the capture of the Haqqani Network's commander for Afghanistan during a raid in Paktia province on Sept. 27. Haji Mali Khan, who is described by the International Security Assistance Force as "one of the highest ranking members of the Haqqani Network and a revered elder of the Haqqani clan," was captured during a raid in the Jani Khel district of Paktia. Security forces also captured his deputy, his bodyguard, and "multiple additional insurgents." Khan was "heavily armed" but he "submitted to the security force without incident or resistance," ISAF stated. Khan "worked directly under Siraj Haqqani," the operational commander of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network. Khan is Siraj's maternal uncle. Siraj's father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, the patriarch of the family, "consistently placed Mali Khan in positions of high importance," ISAF said.

Worth Reading: Prophets Of Doom: 12 Shocking Quotes From Insiders About The Horrific Economic Crisis That Is Almost Here
Some people think my prediction of a collapse in the next 20 years far too optimistic. ~Bob. Excerpt: We are getting so close to a financial collapse in Europe that you can almost hear the debt bubbles popping. All across the western world, governments and major banks are rapidly becoming insolvent. So far, the powers that be are keeping all of the balls in the air by throwing around lots of bailout money. But now the political will for more bailouts is drying up and the number of troubled entities seems to grow by the day. Right now the western world is facing a debt crisis that is absolutely unprecedented in world history. Europe has had a tremendously difficult time just trying to keep Greece afloat, and several much larger European countries are now on the verge of a major financial crisis. In addition, there is a growing number of very large financial institutions all over the western world that are also rapidly approaching a day of reckoning. The global financial system is a sea or red ink, and when we get to the point where there are hundreds of ships going under how is it going to be possible to bail all of them out? The quotes that you are about to read show that quite a few top financial and political insiders know that things cannot hold together much longer and that a horrific economic crisis is coming. We built the global financial system on a foundation of debt, leverage and risk and now this house of cards that we have created is about to come tumbling down. A lot of people in politics and in the financial world know what is about to happen. Once in a while they will even be quite candid about it with the media. (Finally, the Power Elite is waking up to reality (see article below). Not only were the bailouts (eg, TARP in USA) doomed to fail from the start, as clearly evidenced by events in the US and Europe, but worse, they were immoral and in the US's case, unconstitutional. The Constitution has in no way provided government with the power to transfer assets from one person to another, let alone to take money from the poor and middle class and transfer it to the wealthiest people on the planet. Such a role of government is not to be inferred anywhere in that document. The racket started in 1913 with the income tax, then escalated in the 70s to welfare, where the so-called rich were made to pay the so-called poor in order to wage "war on poverty," a function of family and charities that was illegally and immorally handed over to government, which used it to destroy communities, notably the black one. It was inevitable that this would eventually lead to a transfer in the opposite direction -- from poor to rich. America is growing in the conviction that bailouts to the rich are immoral, and some are beginning to see the sheer criminality of this policy. The next step is to transform this conviction into action. That action must culminate in the arrest of the criminals who perpetrated this and in their incarceration. And they go far beyond Obama, Bernanke. Geithner and Bush. Both parties are teeming with these mafiosi in pinstripes. There must be a reckoning. --Don Hank)

Power cut in Scottish renewable revolution
Excerpt - The amount of electricity produced in Scotland from renewable sources such as turbines fell last year because of low wind and rainfall, casting doubt over the government's energy ambitions. Figures released by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal renewable generation, particularly from sources such as hydro power, which includes wave and tidal turbines, fell in 2010 for the first time in seven years. The Scottish Government has pledged to have all the nation's electricity needs provided by renewables by 2020.

The Latest Crime Wave: Sending Your Child to a Better School: School districts hire special investigators to follow kids home in order to verify their true residences.
Excerpt: In case you needed further proof of the American education system's failings, especially in poor and minority communities, consider the latest crime to spread across the country: educational theft. That's the charge that has landed several parents, such as Ohio's Kelley Williams-Bolar, in jail this year. An African-American mother of two, Ms. Williams-Bolar last year used her father's address to enroll her two daughters in a better public school outside of their neighborhood. After spending nine days behind bars charged with grand theft, the single mother was convicted of two felony counts. Not only did this stain her spotless record, but it threatened her ability to earn the teacher's license she had been working on. In January, Ohioan Kelley Williams-Bolar was sentenced to 10 days in jail, three years of probation, and 80 hours of community service for having her children attend schools outside her district. Gov. John Kasich reduced her sentence last month. Ms. Williams-Bolar caught a break last month when Ohio Gov. John Kasich granted her clemency, reducing her charges to misdemeanors from felonies. His decision allows her to pursue her teacher's license, and it may provide hope to parents beyond the Buckeye State. In the last year, parents in Connecticut, Kentucky and Missouri have all been arrested—and await sentencing—for enrolling their children in better public schools outside of their districts.

Refusing to Kill Daughter, Pakistani Family Defies Tradition, Draws Anger
And the multiculturalists tell us the monstrous lie that a culture that wishes to murder rape victims is as good as ours. ~Bob. Excerpt: "I was walking home from my school and I went to the store to buy a toy for my niece," she said, staring at the floor of the office. "While I was looking at things a guy pressed a handkerchief on my nose. I fainted and was kidnapped. Then four men gang raped me." As she shared details of her days in captivity and multiple rapes, she kept repeating, "I want justice, I will not stop until I get justice." After three days, she was finally able to escape she said. As she spoke, her father gently tapped her head. He said he tried to get Kainat's alleged rapists arrested, but instead he was rebuffed by the police. According to the Kainat family's account, the tribal elders declared her kari, (which literally means black female), for losing her virginity outside marriage. In Pakistan, women and men who have illicit relationships or women who lose their virginity before marriage are at risk of paying with their lives.

Liberal Myths
Excerpt: Did you know that Paul Krugman is more compassionate than you are? Or so he says. In fact, just about everybody who is left of center is more compassionate than everybody who is right of center, Krugman explained in a recent New York Times editorial. “American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions,” he wrote. If you identify with Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” vision you are today part of the “free to die” crowd. That last bit is a reference to Republican presidential candidates foolishly stumbling over a Wolf Blitzer question about what should be done with a man who willfully chooses to be uninsured and then discovers needs lifesaving medical care. No, in case you are wondering, none of them said “let him die.” But Krugman would like you to believe that is the position of the entire Republican Party. [Democrats, by the way, would also have trouble with that question. In fact there is nothing in Obama Care that guarantees health care for someone who ignores the government mandate and remains uninsured.]

Congratulations to Alan Carlin on vindication
Excerpt: While the GAO issues a report today saying that the US Historical Climatological Monitoring Network has real tangible problems (as I have been saying for years) the Inspector General just released a report this week saying that EPA rushed their CO2 endangerment finding, skipping annoying steps like doing proper review. The lone man holding up his hand at the EPA saying “wait a minute” was Alan Carlin, who was excoriated for doing so. (Although grateful to Alan Carlin, and glad he’s been vindicated, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. He works in a bureaucracy that is totally politicized. And, he’s just been vindicated for showing us “the man behind the curtain.” Where before he was merely disliked and ostracized, now he’ll be actively hated. If I was him, I’d look at retirement or transfer to some less political department. The article also contains some very sharp words about the EPA IG’s report from the New York Times. Maybe there ARE some things the old grey whore won’t do. Ron P)

Brits Bringing 'Star Trek' Tech To Battlefield
Excerpt: What was once science-fiction could become reality on the modern battlefield -- cloaking technology that can make huge weapons virtually "disappear" -- at least to sensors searching for them. British company BAE Systems will debut the system, known as ADAPTIV, 10 days from now at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference here. It is based on an interlocking set of individual tiles that are attached to the outside of virtually any military vehicle, creating a chain-mail like protective coating. The system will not make a tank, helicopter or ship invisible to the naked eye, so BAE still has a ways to go before ADAPTIV can be on par with the one the Romulans used to sneak up on the Starship Enterprise. But that is exactly where BAE wants to take the program. (If they can combine this with last week’s Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak…. Ron P.)

Archbishop Warns Obama: You’ll Cause 'Conflict Between Church and State of Enormous Proportions’
Excerpt: At issue in the conflict between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration are efforts by the administration to force Catholics, and other Americans who share the church’s moral convictions, to act against their consciences. The Obamacare sterilization-and-contraception mandate not only applies to individual Americans but also includes a “religious exemption” that is so narrowly drawn it does not include Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations or colleges and universities, and, thus, if finalized, would force these Catholic institutions to choose between acting against the teachings of their own church or dropping all health-care coverage for their employees. On August 31, the USCCB submitted comments on the proposed sterilization-and-contraception mandate to HHS. In these comments, the bishops flatly declared that the administration was launching an “unprecedented attack on religious liberty.” (The Archbishop makes some really powerful points. Ron P.)

Exclusive: The Inside Story Behind the Awlaki Assassination
Excerpt: Note: This story is based on reporting with sources knowledgeable about the Awlaki operation, including three law enforcement and intelligence officials. Anwar Al Awlaki, killed Friday morning in an American strike in Yemen, has been on the U.S. radar for several years, ever since, as one U.S. official stated, he turned from "inspirational to operational." He was believed to be behind the Nigerian "underwear" bomber who tried to ignite his explosives planted on his body as his airplane was landing in Detroit. And he was believed responsible for the cargo bomb plot targeting the United States last fall. U.S. intelligence officials, aware of other planned attacks, had arrested several Muslim American converts who returned here after "studying" in the Sudan. Most of their time was spent on terrorist training and learning from Awlaki and his advisors about the precepts of jihad and Islam. Intelligence officials believe that "hundreds" of American and European converts to Islam, along with other indigenous Muslims from Islamic countries, have trained with Awlaki, making many of them "ticking time bombs."

Immigrants Want Cross Removed from Swiss Flag
Excerpt: An immigrant group based in Bern has called for the emblematic white cross to be removed from the Swiss national flag because as a Christian symbol it "no longer corresponds to today's multicultural Switzerland." Ivica Petrusic, the vice president of Second@s Plus, a lobbying group that represents mostly Muslim second-generation foreigners in Switzerland (who colloquially are known as secondos) says the group will launch a nationwide campaign in October to ask Swiss citizens to consider adopting a flag that is less offensive to Muslim immigrants. In a September 18 interview with the Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung, Petrusic said the cross has a Christian background and while the Christian roots of Switzerland should be respected, "it is necessary to separate church and state" because "Switzerland today has a great religious and cultural diversity. One has to ask if the State wants to continue building up a symbol in which many people no longer believe." In the interview, Petrusic said Switzerland needs new symbols with which everyone, including non-Christians, can identify. As an alternative to the current Swiss flag (see image here), Petrusic proposed the former flag of the Helvetic Republic (see image here) which was officially introduced in 1799 and consisted of green, red and yellow colors. "Those colors are similar to the current flags of Bolivia and Ghana and would represent a more progressive and open-minded Switzerland," Petrusic said. The proposal to change the Swiss flag has been met with outrage across the political spectrum and is sure to fuel anti-immigrant sentiments in Switzerland. (There is never an end to things that Muslims find offensive, which is why churches are destroyed and Christians attacked in Muslim countries from Egypt to Indonesia. ~Bob.)

Report finds Texas border violence worsening
Excerpt: A recently released report concludes that violence from the Mexican government's war against the drug cartels is increasingly spreading into the United States; the report found that as the Mexican military cracks down further on drug cartels, these organizations have pushed further north into Texas to create a "sanitary zone" Mexican violence frequently spills over into U.S. border states // Source: julienews.itA recently released report concludes that violence from the Mexican government’s war against the drug cartels is increasingly spreading into the United States. “The U.S. border is increasingly insecure and farmers and ranchers are intimidated. Hundreds of people have been murdered on our side of the border,” said retired General Barry McCaffrey, one of the report’s co-authors. The report, titled “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment” and co-authored by retired General Robert Scales, found that as the Mexican military cracks down further on drug cartels, these organizations have pushed further north into Texas to create a “sanitary zone.”

Excerpt: Republican lawmakers are using increasingly sharp rhetoric to argue against additional cuts to defense spending, warning the military will cede its technical edge, manufacturing will further erode and conscription will return. House GOP lawmakers have not shied away from bluntly sounding alarms about what nearly $1 trillion in defense cuts over a decade would bring. Some have gone so far as to warn that a “dismantled force” would threaten the American way of life. A House Armed Services Committee Republican staff report that surfaced this week concluded that cuts deeper than the $350 billion agreed to as part of the August debt deal would force Pentagon officials to shrink the military to pre-9/11 levels. The study also said most of the military’s big-ticket weapons programs would be placed “at risk” of termination or big changes to cut costs.

Excerpt: Is Herman Cain a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination? It's a question no one in the pundit world was asking until the past week.
Cain has never held public office. When he ran for the Senate in Georgia in 2004 he lost the primary by a 52 to 26 percent margin. He has zero experience in foreign or defense policy, where presidents have the most leeway to set policy. When questioned about the Middle East earlier this year he clearly had no idea what the "right of return" is. His solid performance in the Fox News/Google debate Sept. 22 didn't get pundits to take his chances seriously. Neither did his 37 to 15 percent victory over Rick Perry in the Florida straw poll Sept. 24. That was taken as a response to Perry's weak debate performance and a tribute to Cain for showing up and speaking before the 2,657 people who voted.
But Republicans around the nation seem to have responded the same way.

'Durbin Fees' are coming, thanks to 'progressives'
(Durbin (D-Trail lawyers) is my Senator. Lovely. ~Bob. Excerpt: If we had a "Dim Bulb of the Year" award, we would give it to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. How better to honor someone who so ostentatiously proposes a policy with obvious unintended consequences, then gets angry when they predictably come to pass? During the debate over the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, when Democrats controlled Congress, Durbin insisted on including an amendment that had nothing to do with Dodd-Frank's stated aims of stable banks and consumer protections. The Durbin amendment granted regulators the authority to establish price controls on what banks could charge merchants that accepted their customers' debit cards as payment. The resulting regulations, which took effect Oct. 1, limit what banks can charge merchants to no more than 24 cents per debit card transaction. Critics pointed out that banks, facing $6 billion annual losses from this change, would shift the costs of debit cards from merchants to bank customers. Sure enough, Bank of America and several of its largest competitors -- including Wells Fargo, PNC, HSBC, SunTrust, TDBank, and Chase -- will be imposing various new fees on their customers to make up for Durbin's folly.

Established Agitators To Join Occupy Wall Street Protest Next Week
Excerpt: Going into its 14th day, the Occupy Wall Street protest is not only not fading out, it's about to get a big injection of support, and bodies. The established New York City labor and community groups who normally organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins, have announced they plan to join up next week. Crain's reports that the groups include The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100. The Working Families Party will help organize it, and will help promote it. "We're getting involved because the crisis was caused by the excesses of Wall Street and the consequences have fallen hardest on workers," a spokesman for TWU Local 100 told Crain's. "We're not trying to grab the steering wheel or to control it," Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy For All coalition told Crain's. "We're looking to find common cause and support the effort. It's the right fight at the right time and we want to be part of it." Modeled after this summer's demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square in which protesters occupied the area 18 days, the Occupy Wall Street's objectives are multifarious, but they generally all object to corporate influence in American politics and decry Wall Street's contributions to the recent global economics crises. (Modeled after Tahrir Square? So will they rape female reporters they accuse of being Jews and start burning churches if they win? ~Bob.)

Mark Steyn: Due diligence never done on Obama
Excerpt: "The way I think about it," Barack Obama told a TV station in Orlando, "is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft." He has a point. This is a great, great country that got so soft that 53 percent of electors voted for a ludicrously unqualified chief executive who would be regarded as a joke candidate in any serious nation. One should not begrudge a man who seizes his opportunity. But one should certainly hold in contempt those who allow him to seize it on the basis of such flaccid generalities as "hope" and "change": That's more than "a little" soft. "He's probably the smartest guy ever to become president," declared presidential historian Michael Beschloss the day after the 2008 election. But you don't have to be that smart to put one over on all the smart guys. "I'm a sap, a specific kind of sap. I'm an Obama Sap," admits David Brooks, the softest touch at The New York Times. Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek, now says of the president: "He wasn't ready, it turns out, really."

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