Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Political Digest for October 4, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

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.

Best older posts for new blog readers

Great Cartoon

New Comment on “I’m Tired.”
Still going around! I am a 30 year old citizen of Germany. If you want to know what political correctness and welfare will do to your Nation, just take a look at Europe. I love my country and I loathe what the authority addicted do-gooders are making of it.

Worth Reading: ‘Soft’ Nation: There’s nothing soft about a dead-parrot economy, a flatline jobs market, and regulatory sclerosis.
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.” … Hard statism is usually murmured in soft, soothing, beguiling terms: Regulation is about cleaner air, healthier restaurants, safer children’s toys. Sounds so nice. But federal regulation alone sucks up 10 percent of GDP. That’s to say, Americans take the equivalent of the Canadian economy and toss it down the toilet just in complying with federal paperwork. Obama and the great toxic alphabet soup of federal regulation — EPA, OSHA, SEC, DHSS — want to take that 10 percent and crank it up to 12, 14, 15 percent. … Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law, a little light community organizing, a couple of years timeserving in a state legislature: That’s what America’s elites regard as an impressive resume rather than a bleak indictment of contemporary notions of “accomplishment.” Obama would not have withstood scrutiny in any society with a healthy, skeptical press. (On point and readable as always. Hard is Marine boot camp and serving out on the lines. Hard is managing a small business and employees under the burden of regulations. Hard is facing up to Mexican narco-criminals who out-gun you courtesy of the US Government. Hard is what Obama has never done. I’ve bought copies of “After America” for my brothers and cousin. Mary Steyn is the only national writer who really gets the danger this country is in from a metastatic life-threatening cancer. Other pundits think we have the flu or a cold. ~Bob.)

Roseanne Barr: Behead Bankers, Rich Who Won't Give Up Wealth
Stupid of her to say publically what most liberals think. You won’t see any leftist outrage at her for this, but if they ever make government all powerful as they wish, their inner Mao will emerge. ~Bob. Excerpt: "I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty. "I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn't help, then being beheaded," Barr said with a straight face.

Cheney: After Yemen strike, Obama owes apology to Bush
Excerpt: Former vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday called last week’s CIA drone strike against al-Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki a validation of the George W. Bush administration’s terrorist-fighting strategy, and said that President Obama should apologize for his past criticism of those policies. Cheney endorsed the killing of Awlaki as “justified,” despite Awlaki’s U.S. citizenship, and suggested that the Obama White House was being hypocritical when it approved a deadly strike against the New Mexico-born Awlaki while condemning Bush’s use of so-called enhanced interrogation methods of al-Qaeda prisoners.

MANPADS Unaccounted For
Excerpt: U.S. officials had once thought there was little chance that terrorists could get their hands on many of the portable surface-to-air missiles that can bring down a commercial jet liner. But now that calculation is out the window, with officials at a recent secret White House meeting reporting that thousands of them have gone missing in Libya… The nightmare has been made real with the discovery in Libya that an estimated 20,000 portable, heat-seeking missiles have gone missing from unguarded Army weapons warehouses. The missiles, four to six-feet long and Russian-made, can weigh just 55 pounds with launcher. They lock on to the heat generated by the engines of aircraft, can be fired from a vehicle or from a combatant's shoulder, and are accurate and deadly at a range of more than two miles… The ease with which rebels and other unknown parties have snatched thousands of the missiles has raised alarms that the weapons could end up in the hands of al Qaeda, which is active in Libya... (A Marine friend asks if Libya had all these, why didn’t they shoot down any NATO aircraft? ~Bob.)

Herbert Hoover: Father of the New Deal
Excerpt: Politicians and pundits portray Herbert Hoover as a defender of laissez faire governance whose dogmatic commitment to small government led him to stand by and do nothing while the economy collapsed in the wake of the stock market crash in 1929. In fact, Hoover had long been a critic of laissez faire. As president, he doubled federal spending in real terms in four years. He also used government to prop up wages, restricted immigration, signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff, raised taxes, and created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation—all interventionist measures and not laissez faire. Unlike many Democrats today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's advisers knew that Hoover had started the New Deal. One of them wrote, "When we all burst into Washington ... we found every essential idea [of the New Deal] enacted in the 100-day Congress in the Hoover administration itself." Hoover's big-spending, interventionist policies prolonged the Great Depression, and similar policies today could do similar damage. Dismantling the mythical presentation of Hoover as a "do-nothing" president is crucial if we wish to have a proper understanding of what did and did not work in the Great Depression so that we do not repeat Hoover's mistakes today.

Who says Obama hasn’t created Green Jobs? Not to mention the new jobs of those printing money or managing loans from China. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules. The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.

Worth Reading: The Smart and the Dumb
Excerpt: The smart is Harold Hamm, the founder and CEO of Continental Resources and one of America’s richest men. Hamm is one of the primary developers of the Bakken oil fields; he estimates that they contain 24 billion barrels of oil. The dumb is Barack Obama. The Wall Street Journal describes Hamm’s meeting with Obama: When it was Mr. Hamm’s turn to talk briefly with President Obama, “I told him of the revolution in the oil and gas industry and how we have the capacity to produce enough oil to enable America to replace OPEC. I wanted to make sure he knew about this.” The president’s reaction? “He turned to me and said, ‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.’” Mr. Hamm holds his head in his hands and says, “Even if you believed that, why would you want to stop oil and gas development? It was pretty disappointing.” Disappointing, indeed; but that is the story of the Obama administration, which prefers pie in the sky to economic growth. (dear God. He’s “assured.” Hitler was “assured” that the Luftwaffe could destroy the British in the Dunkirk pocket without risking the panzers, that they could defeat Britain without an invasion, and, later, that they could supply the 6th Army trapped in the Stalingrad pocket. Thank God, none of these promises could be redeemed. So Obama is “assured” we will have an electric car that gets the equivalent of 130 MPG? And where will the electricity come from? Nukes? Burning oil and coal and natural gas? Oh, yeah—Solyndra. ~Bob.)

Donor, officials warned Obama not to visit Solyndra after financial warnings
Excerpt: A Silicon Valley investor and senior administration officials warned the White House to reconsider having President Obama visit a solar start-up company because of its mounting financial problems, saying he might be embarrassed later. “A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” California investor and Obama fundraiser Steve Westly wrote to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010. “Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term. ... I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press.” … But Obama did visit Solyndra in May 2010, touting it in a national news conference as an “engine of economic growth” and a model of his administration’s $80 billion stimulus-funded investment in clean-energy technologies and companies.

Excerpt: There is no hint of prejudice or race-baiting in Rick Perry's long career in the public eye. But the Washington Post puts the story of a fallen rock with a deeply offensive name at an obscure hunting camp on its front page in a stunning attempt to injure Perry by association with a name no one is quoted saying he ever used or did anything other than cause to have painted over. The Post article has to be read in its entirety to grasp just how thin is the connection between Perry and the rock with the offensive place name, but here is the key line in the article: "Of those interviewed, the seven who said they saw the rock said the block-lettered name was clearly visible at different points in the 1980s and 1990s. One, a former worker on the ranch, believes he saw it as recently as 2008." Many, many people were interviewed for the story. Only seven recall seeing the rock, and not one of them connect Rick Perry to it, nor do any of the people --either from among these seven or who knows how many more were contacted for the piece-- tie Rick Perry to offensive comments, language or actions. Though a lot of space is devoted to this story, no detailed reporting on what the seven saw and when they saw it is included, which allows for incredible supposition about the ambiguity to take root. Thus a story that could have major implications for the presidential campaign in 2012 is built on anonymous sources whose stories aren't even detailed. It is a drive-by slander. Rick Perry hunted at a camp that long ago had been given an offensive name which long ago his family had taken steps to cover because of its offensive content. That's the whole of the story. (Any white Republican who grew up in the South is going to be accused of racism. In fact, there's quite a bit of evidence to suggest that any Republican running against Barack Obama will be accused of racism, period. Hell, any Republican, running for office, anywhere, at any time, will be accused of racism eventually. … Harry Reid can marvel at Barack Obama's lack of a "negro accent" with no real consequence. Bill Clinton can describe Obama to Ted Kennedy as a "guy [who] would have been getting us coffee" not long ago with no real consequence. Hillary Clinton faced accusations of racism for appearing to diminish the accomplishments of Martin Luther King in comparison to Lyndon Johnson -- until the Democratic primary ended, and then no liberal had much reason to stir the controversy further. Joe Biden can utter awful stereotypical jokes about Indians running 7-11s and Dunkin' Doughnuts with no major repercussion. The President's mentor trafficked in explicit racial insults -- referring to Italians as "garlic noses" -- and the topic was deemed irrelevant by many. And of course, there is the former recruiter of the Ku Klux Klan who used the n-word on national television with little major repercussion. Every major Democrat in public life has made controversial comments about race; it's probably a natural consequence of speaking extemporaneously about the topic in front of television cameras. But that benefit of the doubt is rarely if ever extended to a Republican official. --Jim Geraghty. http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/255743/haley-barbour-take-two)

Michelle's photo-op at Target store was staged
Was there any doubt? ~Bob. Excerpt: CBS News reports the pics were snapped by an Associated Press photographer who says he was tipped off that she would be there. (emphasis added). The fact that the White House tipped off a well known photographer about the "shopping trip" gives the lie to the WH statement that the First Lady likes to "slip out to run an errand." Stage managing this Precious Moment of supposed normalcy will do little to change the perception of the First Lady that she is a luxury loving social climber who looks down on the rest of us.

Good column by one of the greats: What if the NFL Played by Teachers' Rules?: Imagine a league where players who make it through three seasons could never be cut from the roster.
Excerpt: Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct. Let's face the truth about this alternate reality: The on-field product would steadily decline. Why bother playing harder or better and risk getting hurt? No matter how much money was poured into the league, it wouldn't get better. In fact, in many ways the disincentive to play harder or to try to stand out would be even stronger with more money. Of course, a few wild-eyed reformers might suggest the whole system was broken and needed revamping to reward better results, but the players union would refuse to budge and then demonize the reform advocates: "They hate football. They hate the players. They hate the fans." The only thing that might get done would be building bigger, more expensive stadiums and installing more state-of-the-art technology. But that just wouldn't help. If you haven't figured it out yet, the NFL in this alternate reality is the real -life American public education system. Teachers' salaries have no relation to whether teachers are actually good at their job—excellence isn't rewarded, and neither is extra effort. Pay is almost solely determined by how many years they've been teaching. That's it. After a teacher earns tenure, which is often essentially automatic, firing him or her becomes almost impossible, no matter how bad the performance might be. And if you criticize the system, you're demonized for hating teachers and not believing in our nation's children.

The Green Jobs Fallacy
Excerpt: Think we could use 5 million new jobs right about now? That's what President Obama promised he'd create by "investing" taxpayer money in so-called green jobs. And not just any jobs, he said on the campaign trail in 2008, but ones that "pay well, and can never be outsourced." Jump ahead three years, and the only "green" you find is the billions being poured into the coffers of renewable-energy companies lucky to even stay in business, let alone create a high number of jobs. Don't assume what happened to the solar-panel company Solyndra is unique. Its high-profile bankruptcy is basically the green-jobs fallacy writ large. Consider how these subsidized companies are funded. Are anxious investors ready to shower dollars on wind and solar power because there's great potential to make more money in this promising field? That's how companies get off the ground -- and stay there: They attract entrepreneurs who see the chance to make money and are glad to invest. (The problem is that “Green Energy” isn’t a strategy, it’s a canon of faith, like “High Speed Rail,” “Free Heath Care,” "Global warming," or Mohammad visiting heaven on the flying horse Buraq. ~Bob.)

Federalism, Coerced
Excerpt: Many Americans, having grown accustomed to Caesarism, probably see magnanimity in that front-page headline. Others, however, read it as redundant evidence of how distorted American governance has become. A president "gives" states a "voice" in education policy concerning grades K through 12? How did this quintessential state and local responsibility become tethered to presidential discretion? Here is how federal power expands, even in the guise of decentralization: … Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, questions the "legal authority to grant conditional waivers in exchange for reforms not authorized by Congress." Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is less delicate. In a letter to Duncan, Rubio tartly says the rule of law is at risk: "NCLB allows the secretary to grant waivers for existing provisions under the law, but nowhere does the law authorize waivers in exchange for the adoption of administration-preferred policies."

Wall Street die-back
Excerpt: The weirdo protesters “occupying” Wall Street in recent days ought to be rampaging in Washington -- because it’s the feds who’ve been choking the golden tax-revenue goose. The financial industry won’t shower its usual gargantuan share of tax money into New York’s budget for years to come, because a host of new federal laws and regulations are squeezing profits and forcing a huge retrenchment. Some budget wonks will tell you that the city’s economy is now more diversified -- that tourism will pump enough cash into the state and city coffers so their budgets can withstand a long-term Wall Street drought. Indeed, the State Comptroller’s Office reports that Wall Street’s contribution to the city budget has dropped to 7 percent from 13 percent before the financial crisis. But tourism mostly creates lower-paying jobs -- which don’t create as many other jobs. Other analysts note that every Wall Street job creates as many as three others because these people spend so much money. Because many work (and therefore pay taxes) in the city even if they live elsewhere, that means that New York budgets feast off of Wall Street success. In fact, for every $1 billion in bonus money doled out to Wall Street, the city retains around $200 million from personal income-tax collections, says the City Comptroller’s Office. But now Wall Street faces what some say is a long-term decline in employment and profitability. Yes, lousy market decisions play a role in most recent cutbacks, but it’s fear of a long-term decline that explains drastic actions like Bank of America’s decision to slash 30,000 jobs, people at the bank tell me. (Could we somehow require anyone wanting to vote or hold office to read Dr. Thomas Sowell Basic Economics and pass a test on it? ~Bob.)

SYRIA: Freight train derailed in bombing attack, 5 security men
Excerpt: Five law-enforcement members were martyred and eight were wounded on Sunday after they were shot by an armed terrorist group in Kafar Nabboudeh Town in al-Ghab area and all of them were transferred to the national hospitals in Hama, al-Skelbieh and Masyaf. An official source at al-Ghab area told SANA Correspondent that the law-enforcement members were performing their duty in preserving the security and protecting the civilians from the acts of intimidation practiced by the armed groups, when they were attacked by tens of gunmen who were driving stolen cars, and they opened fire on them as five were martyred and 8 were wounded. (Martyred? ~Bob.)

Furiously unraveling
Excerpt: The joke goes that anything named “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” ought to be a convenience store instead of an arm of the federal government, but what’s going on in Washington these days with the embattled agency is no laughing matter. Hardly a week passes now without some revelation about the Obama administration’s complicity in what may yet turn out to be one of the worst and most lethal scandals in American history: Operation Fast and Furious. In a classic Friday document dump -- a sure sign of an administration with something to hide -- the feds released to congressional investigators a month’s worth of e-mail correspondence in the summer of 2010 between Bill Newell, then head ATF agent in Phoenix, and his friend Kevin O’Reilly, a former White House national-security staffer for North American affairs. What do you know? Among the e-mails was a photograph of a powerful Barrett .50-caliber rifle that had been illegally purchased in Tucson and recovered in Sonora, Mexico, raising the possibility of a second “gunwalking” program, this one called “Wide Receiver.” Like Fast and Furious, the ATF-supervised scheme that saw thousands of weapons “walk” across the Mexican border for reasons no one in the Justice Department has yet satisfactorily explained, Wide Receiver was apparently a joint operation that also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS and the US Attorney’s office.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear (Is Islamophobia Itself)
Excerpt: In recent months several reports have appeared to a generally uncritical reception in the press, which purport to expose alleged conspiracies organized by “Islamophobes” against American citizens who mean us no harm. These reports single out for condemnation a dozen prominent conservative figures (and mostly the same dozen) who have publicly criticized the misogyny, bigotry and terrorism promoted by many (but not all) Islamic institutions and religious texts. The term “Islamophobia” itself was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the political fountainhead of Islamic terror, having spawned al-Qaeda and created Hamas. Not coincidently, the reports themselves have been produced by Brotherhood fronts like CAIR, and jihadist apologists like the Southern Poverty Law Center. But the latest and most elaborate Islamophobia report, transparently derivative of its predecessors, has been issued by the Center for American Progress, which is a brain trust of the Democratic Party. It thus marks a disturbing development in this ugly campaign. On examination, the term “Islamophobia” is designed to create a modern-day thought crime, while the campaign to suppress it is an effort to abolish the First Amendment where Islam is concerned. The purpose of the suffix – phobia — is to identify any concern about troubling Islamic institutions and actions as irrational, or worse as a dangerous bigotry that should itself be feared. Is fear of terrorists inspired by Islam irrational? There have been 17,800 terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims in the name of Allah since 9/11. (The 17,800 attacks number seems low, unless you are excluding the far higher number of Allahmurders committed against other Muslims by jihadists. ~Bob.)

Department of Justice Cuts, Reassigns 81 Immigration Prosecutors
Excerpt: As the first and only federal prosecutor in Kansas dedicated solely to handling criminal immigration cases, Barry Disney took a pragmatic approach to filing charges in an interior state that has become a mecca for immigrant labor drawn to its massive meatpacking plants and other food processing industries. Limited resources were spent on the worst criminals who had been deported and then come back to the United States. Disney's first trial in federal court dealt with two illegal immigrants found speeding through Kansas with an assault rifle wedged in the back seat of a truck and loaded pistols hidden in the vehicle's speaker compartments. Agents had seized $16,000 in drug-tainted currency.( Making it harder to prosecute CRIMINAL ILLEGALS. –Barb.)

Fatah leader: 1967 borders would mean end of Israel, but "keep it to yourself"
Excerpt: The settlement should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.

Sadly, more of the same from the Black Caucus
Excerpt: Black America suffers disproportionately today because its leaders – uniformly liberal Democrats like our president – have been peddling failed big government policies for almost half a century.

British humorist Pat Condell on ground zero mosque

Shock Photos: Candidate Obama appeared and marched With New Black Panther Party in 2007
New photographs obtained exclusively by BigGovernment.com reveal that Barack Obama appeared and marched with members of the New Black Panther Party as he campaigned for president in Selma, Alabama in March 2007. The photographs, captured from a Flickr photo-sharing account before it was scrubbed, are the latest evidence of the mainstream media’s failure to examine Obama’s extremist ties and radical roots. In addition, the new images raise questions about the possible motives of the Obama administration in its infamous decision to drop the prosecution of the Panthers for voter intimidation. The images, presented below, also renew doubts about the transparency of the White House’s guest logs–in particular, whether Panther National Chief Malik Zulu Shabazz is the same “Malik Shabazz” listed among the Obama administration’s early visitors. (I’m not sure why this should be considered a shock? ~Bob.)

Race hustlers of a feather: Obama and the New Black Panther Party
Excerpt: Tomorrow, a bombshell book the Obama DOJ doesn’t want you to read will be released. Injustice, by former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams, exposes the “racial agenda of the Obama Justice Department.” As I write in my endorsement of the book (published by Regnery): “Christian Adams is a truth-teller, whistle-blower, and American patriot. With great courage and investigative skill, this former Department of Justice attorney single-handedly exposes how Barack Obama and Eric Holder have systematically perverted the rule of law—for patently unjust, un-American, race-based ends. Adams witnessed first-hand the hijacking of the DOJ by radical leftist ideologues and interest groups. Now he reveals everything: the full story of Holder’s coddling of New Black Panther Party poll thugs, corruption run amok in the Civil Rights Division, open borders advocacy, selective law enforcement, and much more. If you care about justice for all, Injustice is hands-down the most important book you’ll read this year.”

Batten Down The Hatches, A Big Storm's Coming
Excerpt: When the Economic Cycle Research Institute's (ECRI) Lakshman Achuthan makes a recession call, you can be sure the economy is in deep trouble. ECRI is so afraid of making a premature call, of crying wolf, that when they finally do make the call, the train has already left the station. Achuthan hit the media circuit last week, saying that a recession in the United States is "inescapable," meaning the economy is already contracting. I last discussed a new recession in The Economy Is Worse Than You Thought (August 31). Most Americans think the so-called "Great" Recession, or the Housing Bubble Recession as Eric Janszen like to call it, never ended. And rightly so. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially calls recessions according to where they think we stand in the business cycle, which tracks expansions and contractions in the economy. The main indicators of recession are real (inflation-adjusted) GDP and GDI (gross domestic income), but there are other indicators as well (falling income, job losses, etc.). (Hatches? Who can afford hatches? ~Bob.)

A U.S.-Backed Geothermal Plant in Nevada Struggles
Excerpt: In a remote desert spot in northern Nevada, there is a geothermal plant run by a politically connected clean energy start-up that has relied heavily on an Obama administration loan guarantee and is now facing financial turmoil. The company is Nevada Geothermal Power, which like Solyndra, the now-famous California solar company, is struggling with debt after encountering problems at its only operating plant.  After a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing released last week that there was “significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” It is a description that echoes the warning issued in 2010 by auditors hired by Solyndra, which benefited from the same Energy Department loan guarantee before its collapse in August caused the Obama administration great embarrassment. (Another Barack Obama funded "clean energy" company circling the proverbial drain. Way to go, champ! –Brad Thor @BradThor.)

Excerpt: Venizelos has agreed to eliminate 30,000 public sector jobs by December ... About 23,000 workers nearing retirement will lose their positions. Another 7,000 will be made redundant after mergers and restructurings ... “Given that we’re taking such tough measures ... the sixth tranche is assured.” [said Venizelos] … Cutting jobs means putting workers into "reserve" and they are still paid 60% of their salary. And from Deutche Welle: Greece misses EU and IMF deficit targets

McCaskill won't be in Missouri Tuesday for President Obama visit
Excerpt: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) won't join President Obama when he visits St. Louis on Tuesday, prompting claims by Republicans that she is avoiding an appearance with the president, whose poll numbers are under water in Missouri.

Time to Get Real in Iran and Syria
Excerpt: The Syrian crisis is only one very dark cloud in the terrible storm that has descended upon the Iranian regime. That is why the current announced policy of the Obama administration — “Assad must go” — is incoherent. First, because once you have declared war on a regime, you are obliged to follow through with real action, as in Libya. Second, because if Assad must go, so must Khamenei. They are fused at the belly button, part and parcel of a strategic alliance that is responsible for thousands of American deaths and tens of thousands of American casualties. Third, if you’re going to call for the end of Assad, you’ve got to do something to make it happen. (…) If Obama seriously wished to defend innocent civilians against murderous regimes, he would rally to the side of one of the world’s truly heroic figures, the Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi, imprisoned for more than six years and subjected to severe torture. Amazingly, he has continued his campaign from within Tehran’s grim Evin Prison.

Around the World on $69 Million in Welfare Funds

Overrated: Rumors of Barack Obama’s political skill have been greatly exaggerated.
Excerpt: For a success, Barack Obama is a very bad politician, the worst politician to win the presidency by an electoral landslide, to never lose a major election, or to rise to the presidency from a state legislature in little more than four years. He has gone from sterling campaigner to put-upon leader; from the new FDR to the next Jimmy Carter; from being the orator who could hold millions spellbound to the man who moves no one at all. The man who promised everything is delivering nothing. Journalists who wept when he won the election now grind their teeth in despair. Maureen Dowd admits he isn’t the one for whom even he had been waiting. The gap between sizzle and steak never seemed so large or alarming, and inquiring minds want to know what went wrong. (Very worth reading. Noemi has a lot of things right but in my opinion doesn't go far enough. Obama is not a good politician, and an even worse leader. He is inexperienced and incompetent in the political arena. She fails to acknowledge that Obama is not just a politician -- he is a revolutionary. His formative life is steeped in socialist and marxist philosophy. You don't shrug all that off, just because you (and your handlers) are clever enough to get you elected President. He is pursuing a course that is taking us in the wrong direction, rapidly. We have to stop treating Obama and his cronies like regular pols. They are, at best, just Chicago thugs. Hopefully, the American people will come to their senses and throw him out decisively. Then, we certainly aren't out of the woods. There is also the matter of fixing the rest of our political system and its cronies of both parties.....K)

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