Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Political Digest for October 5, 2011

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, (like this morning!) 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 1,100 followers here. Sigh.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

I recently read a post from another blog that thanked contributors for making the blogger look good. Lest we forget, this isn’t about making me or anyone look good. I get plenty of ego satisfaction in my successful job and my accomplishments in life. What we are trying to do here is help educate people to turn around a rapidly deteriorating fiscal, social and international situation that threatens the survival of the country we love, which has given wonderful lives of prosperity and freedom to tens of millions. For my contributors’ efforts in that cause, everyone should thank them. This is not about me—given my health challenges, I don’t expect to be here for the worst. This is about my granddaughter and all our grandchildren, who will rightly despise us if we fail to pass on what we inherited from our grandparents. And we are failing.

Blog page views
Just checked on Google. As I write, in the past week, we had 10,318 page views. I think we are making a difference. Continue to march.

Great Cartoons

Audio of Mark Steyn interview on After America

Worth Reading: 'Stop Whining'? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: If there was ever any doubt that the Democrats take the black vote for granted, that doubt should have been put to rest when Barack Obama told the Congressional Black Caucus, "Stop whining!" Have you ever before heard either a Democratic or a Republican leader tell his party's strongest supporters, "Stop whining"? Blacks have a lot to complain about, not just about this Democratic administration but about many other Democratic administrations, national and local, over the years. Unfortunately, black voters, like many other voters, often judge by rhetoric, rather than realities. When it comes to racial rhetoric, the Democrats outdo the Republicans by miles. … All this came back to me during a recent cleanup of my office, which turned up an old yellowed copy of the New York Times with the following front-page headline: "White-Black Disparity in Income Narrowed in 80's, Census Shows" (July 24, 1992).

Flash: Christie Still Not Running

Republicans expect to win in 2012
Excerpt: Republicans are overwhelmingly confident about taking back the White House in 2012, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Democrats are less sure that their guy has another big win in him. Overall, 55 percent of Americans expect a Republican victory next year. Fewer, 37 percent, predict that President Obama will win reelection. A majority of independents sense that the GOP nominee will prevail, but there is a gaping difference between party loyalists. Fully 83 percent of Republicans say the GOP nominee — whoever he or she may be — is likely to claim the presidency next year. Among Democrats, far fewer, 58 percent, say they think Obama will win a second term. A third of Democrats expect a GOP win; just 13 percent of Republicans sense a repeat for Obama. Republicans who “strongly support” the tea party political movement are particularly confident: 91 percent of these Republicans say they think the GOP candidate will win the general election. (Count not un-hatched fowl. ~Bob.)

The Return Of Van Jones And
Marxist Street
Excerpt: A “Take Back the American Dream” three-day conference in Washington begins on Monday that features Van Jones, the disgraced former Obama Administration “Green Jobs Czar,” a Russian TV star, and a veteran of the Venceremos Brigades to Cuba who works for the AFL-CIO. Such is the nature of the modern progressive movement.

Bill Clinton never balanced the budget
Excerpt: On Friday Former President Bill Clinton spoke at the dedication of a bridge at his Presidential library. During his address he complained that Republicans try to take too much credit for his welfare reform legislation and for balancing the budget. The two parties can argue about who was behind welfare reform, but no one deserves credit for balancing the budget. The truth is the United States federal budget was not balanced in any of Bill Clinton’s eight years as President. Not once! The federal government has two types of debt public debt and intra-governmental debt. Public debt is comprises securities held by investors outside the federal government, including that held by investors, the Federal Reserve System and foreign, state and local governments Intra-governmental debt comprises Treasury securities held in accounts administered by the federal government, such as the Social Security Trust Fund. Traditionally the annual federal government budget deficit or surplus is the cash difference between government receipts and spending, ignoring intra-governmental transfers. This is a trick as intra-governmental debt needs to be repaid just like the publicly held debt. This is also how Clinton claimed a surplus in three out of his last four years.

Excerpt: Weakness in leading economic indicators has become so pervasive the Economic Cycle Research Institute now predicts a new recession is unavoidable. "The vicious cycle is starting where lower sales, lower production, lower employment and lower income [leads] back to lower sales," co-founder Lakshman Achuthan declares in the accompanying video. Whereas Achuthan said the jury is still out in late August, the weakness in leading economic indicators — and ECRI uses a dozen for the U.S. alone, he notes — has become a "contagion" that is spreading like "wildfire." Although the recovery has been "subpar" by nearly every measure, Achuthan refutes the idea the economy never got out of recession in the first place. "Just because it looks and feels a certain way doesn't mean it's a recession," he says. "You haven't seen anything yet. It's going to get a lot worse."

Tweet JAE34 Jaime
It's been 888 days since the Senate has passed a budget. Who controls the Senate again? (It must be the Koch brothers)

NPR's New President and CEO Wants to 'Depoliticize' Public Radio
Translation: Please don’t cut our budget. ~Bob. Excerpt: Knell, 57, told The Associated Press on Sunday that he wanted to "depoliticize" NPR by highlighting its commitment to hard-hitting local, national and international journalism across multiple platforms. He said he does not believe that NPR is biased and wants to try to change the minds of those who perceive it as such. "I think NPR needs to do a better job of telling a story," Knell said. "It's about journalism, it's about news. It's not about promoting one political agenda or another." (It would be easier to grow a strain of broccoli that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. NPR has fed at the Fed for longer than many Americans have been alive. For nearly all that time, it has been the voice of the left. I listen from time to time to one of the Boston stations. NPR’s actual “news” segments, about two minutes each hour, are fairly straight-forward, but every reporter—without exception—and most of those invited to give commentary or “insight” on those news stories are reliable leftists. The “talk” programs make little or no pretense to being balanced. There is no conservative voice at all, and only one almost-centrist program (called “On Point with Tom Ashbrook,” it at least tries to be fairly even-handed, and sometimes succeeds) that I’ve found. If they fired EVERYONE and started over from scratch AND avoided hiring journalism or political science majors, maybe it could be done. Don’t bet the farm on that. And, even if they succeeded, they still shouldn’t get any public money. They no more represent the public than any station that has to pay its own way. The amount of time they take for pledge drives, talking about the drive that is coming up, or just finished, or the rules for drawings, or the donors who have provided help is almost equal to the time spent on commercials on regular stations, anyway. If some of them have to cut back their hours or fold, that’s the way the radio business is, just like the rest of life. Notice I haven’t mentioned the moral outrage of being forced to pay for “speech” I disagree with. Ron P.)

Excerpt: The White House sent three pending free trade agreements to Congress on Monday after reaching a deal with House Republican leaders. The deal will allow the trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to move forward in addition to legislation to help workers who are hurt by increased trade. Congress could not move forward with the three agreements, which all enjoy significant backing from Republicans, unless the administration formally sent lawmakers legislation implementing the deals. But the White House had held back for fear Republicans would not move legislation extending the worker assistance program known as Trade Adjustment Assistance. President Obama would like the three deals to move before a state visit by South Korea’s president, who will be in Washington on Oct. 13. The visit provided an extra push for the parties to move together.

Obama Jabs Republicans for “Just-Say-No” Attitude on Economic Policies He Says are Working
That’s what we elected them to do, Mr. President. ~Bob.

Anonymous Threatens to 'Erase NYSE from the Internet'
And if ten million working people lost their jobs and starvation stalked the land, they would be delighted, the nihilist jerks. But I think if they could do it, they already would have, rather than make threats. ~Bob. Excerpt: Anonymous declared "war" on the New York Stock Exchange this weekend and vowed to "erase" the NYSE from the Internet on Oct. 10 as the Occupy Wall Street protest entered its third week in New York City after a weekend that saw hundreds of protesters arrested during a planned march across the Brooklyn Bridge. "On Oct. 10, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On Oct. 10, expect a day that will never, ever be forgotten," intoned a computer-generated male voice common to many Anonymous videos, in a warning posted on TheAnonMessage YouTube channel (video below).

The Benefits and Limitations of Income Tax Reform
Letting you keep more of the money you earned is not an “expenditure.” Sending you a check with money other people earned as a “tax credit” is a welfare tax expenditure. ~Bob. Excerpt: A number of recent proposals have called for broadening the individual income tax base while lowering statutory income tax rates. Such proposals would eliminate or curtail various preferential income tax provisions and use some or all of the resulting revenue to lower statutory tax rates. The financial implications of this initiative would change drastically the tax structure and tax law of America, say Alan D. Viard, a resident scholar, and Alex M. Brill, a research fellow, at the American Enterprise Institute. Estimates for tax expenditures (deductions and credits) in 2010 total nearly $1 trillion -- substantial relative to the $2.2 trillion in individual income tax revenue collected that year. While the Joint Committee on Taxation lists nearly 200 individual income tax expenditures for 2010, more than half of the revenue loss is caused by the 10 largest programs. The single largest tax expenditure of 2010, an exclusion for various employer contributions to its employees' health care, alone cost $105.7 billion in forgone revenue. Proposed tax reforms would seek to limit or end many tax expenditures to fund lower marginal tax rates. This two-prong policy, also called base-broadening, is attacked and defended by numerous arguments that require debunking before its true impacts can be recognized. Attacking the removal of tax expenditures, some point out that certain of those programs were created to benefit specific income groups (notably, low-income citizens) and that their removal would alter tax burdens to the detriment of the poor. However, such a change in distribution can be corrected through changes in the marginal tax rates that will occur in tandem. A common idea on the other side is that expenditure reduction will simplify the tax process. However, this is ambiguous, as the removal of tax deductions will require more actuarial and accounting work to assess the value of assets not previously subject to taxation. Others put forth that marginal rate reductions will lower disincentives to working. Yet this is untrue: while rates go down, various tax shelters will be removed and the average taxpayer will still pay the same effective rate, thereby keeping work disincentives constant. Ignoring these misleading arguments, the crucial benefit of this policy is that it will restore the power of market forces to dictate the direction of the economy. Government-sponsored tax expenditures distort these forces, undermining their inherent efficiency, simplicity and fairness, and their removal will promote these values.

White House kept Democratic senators hanging on the phone
Trouble in hopey-changie land. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama’s relations with Senate Democratic leaders are deteriorating along with his poll numbers. With Obama’s approval ratings at record lows and the 2012 electoral map favoring Senate Republicans, the president and Senate Democrats are, in many ways, on divergent paths. Vulnerable Democrats from red states see Obama as impeding their chances of winning reelection, while the president often seems aloof to their concerns. Obama, focused on winning a second term, has distanced himself from Congress altogether, at times not making the distinction between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. 

Senate votes 79-19 to move bill punishing China on currency
Let’s have a trade war with China, get them to stop buying our debt! ~Bob. Excerpt: The Senate voted Monday to advance legislation pressuring the Chinese government to stop undervaluing its currency, a practice most economists agree is giving the country an unfair trade advantage and is costing the U.S. jobs. The Senate voted 79-19 to end debate on a motion to proceed to the bill, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011. While the vote does not mean the bill has passed, the strong show of support suggests it could well be approved in the upper chamber by the week’s end. Passage through the House is less clear, however, and GOP leaders have given no indication they will move forward with it. Senate Democratic leadership, responsible for bringing the legislation to the Senate floor, heralded it as a way to create jobs and right a long-standing trade imbalance with China. “China is by far the biggest exploiter of predatory currency practices,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday. “[T]hese currency policies artificially raise the price of U.S. exports and suppress the price of imports into the United States, undermining the economic health of American manufacturers and their ability to compete at home and around the globe.” 

Interesting: Opinion: Obama’s fatal missteps
Short version: If only Obama had not been Obama, an inexperienced machine hack from Chicago with a nice voice. You can kiss that frog all you want and it will never be a prince. ~Bob. It might be too early to start analyzing what went wrong with the Obama administration in its first three years, but I am going to do it anyway. Here are seven turning points that led to the president’s decline and fall, seven places where Obama or his Democratic allies made critical errors that forever altered the course of his presidency. He hasn’t done everything wrong, but he has made enough mistakes to make his reelection extraordinarily difficult. 1. Failed to veto the initial stimulus package: Imagine for a moment if Obama had vetoed that initial stimulus package. Imagine if he insisted that Democratic leaders take out all the pork and cleanse the bill of unworthy projects. Imagine if he had insisted that congressional Democrats work with Republicans to include their ideas, because we are all in this together. He would have immediately branded himself as a different kind of president, as someone above the fray, as a leader who cares first about the country, not the Democratic Party. And if he had done that, he would have had the Republicans hopelessly divided. Of course, he didn’t take that step, congressional Democrats were able to walk all over him and Republicans stiffened up their resolve and presented a united front against the president and his plans. 

Rick Perry slips, Herman Cain rises in bid for GOP nomination, poll finds
Excerpt: After a quick rise in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has experienced an almost equally dramatic decline, losing about half of his support over the past month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Perry’s slide, which comes after several uneven performances in candidate debates, has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to resurface atop the GOP field. But the most direct beneficiary of the disenchantment with Perry is businessman Herman Cain, who is now tied for second place. (...) Among announced candidates — without Christie or Palin in the race — Romney leads with 25 percent, which is identical to his support from a month ago. Perry and Cain are tied for second with 16 percent, numbers representing a 13-point drop for Perry and a 12-point rise for Cain since early September. (I was starting to really like Cain until he played the Jesse Jackson race card on Perry. Pushed me toward Perry, not away. ~Bob.)

Come Clean and Cut Funding
I disagree that “The American People learned….” I think most are still paying little attention. ~Bob. Excerpt: What did the President know and when did he know it, goes the old Washington adage. Thus did the American people learn yesterday in separate but equally startling revelations that the Obama Administration knew more about two scandals than it has been revealing. The first is regarding the Operation Fast and Furious gun running disaster and the second is the now-bankrupt, Obama-backed Solyndra solar power company. Both instances provoke serious questions for the White House and demand long-overdue action. In the case of the Solyndra scandal, it is clear that Congress must shut off funding for the President's green energy programs. Not only is President Obama unapologetic about the wasted funds, but his Energy Department seems intent on doubling down with other solar bets--and with the American people's money.

Arab Spring in US?
The report on Occupy Wall Street that I saw was on CBS News by Michelle Miller. Saw it again in the middle of the night. They cut to a Middle Eastern male making comments about how the protests are spreading through the US like the Arab Spring—only this time, the subtitle has been REMOVED that had identified him as a spokesman for CAIR. Interesting? –Barb.

Voters of Two Minds on Federal Regulation
Excerpt: In the most dramatic finding, 55 percent of adults said that government regulation of business has been a “major factor” in the “current economic slowdown.” That far exceeded the share that considered regulation either a minor factor (29 percent) or not a factor at all (13 percent) in the downturn. Similarly, 51 percent agreed with the statement that “government regulation of business usually does more harm than good,” while only 43 percent endorsed the sentiment that “government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest.” That marked the highest showing for the anti-regulatory position since April 1995, according to surveys by the Pew Research Center, which have tracked the same question. But specific Obama administration regulatory plans scored better. The poll asked respondents whether Congress should block the EPA rules intended to “limit emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants from power plants.” The question noted that proponents believe the rules are necessary “because these pollutants cause health problems like asthma and lung disease” while the “opponents say the regulations will raise the price of electricity and hurt the economy.” Given those descriptions, 47 percent said Congress should allow the rules to go into effect, while 40 percent said it should block the regulations as the House voted to do. The results were similar when the poll asked about pending EPA regulations “that would limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that scientists have linked to global climate change.” The question noted that supporters argue that Washington “must limit these emissions because climate change is damaging the environment” while opponents “say the regulations will cost too much and that man-made climate change is an unproven theory.” Provided those arguments, 52 percent said Congress should allow the rules to take effect, while only 39 percent said it should block them. (It’s difficult to know how seriously to take this. The editor’s teaser that came with this identified the issue as “anti-smog” regulations, when in fact, the regulations have nothing to do with smog. Also, the recorded opinions shifted “as explanations were given.” It might be critical to know exactly what those “explanations” explained. I’ve never met anyone who claimed to be in favor of disease or ill-health, but there is no evidence the things being regulated contribute to either disease or ill-health. There is, however, lots of evidence that the regulations will cost a lot of money and many jobs. Poorly devised questions, or purposely misleading questions? Ron P.)

Docs show Holder was informed of Fast and Furious in 2010
Holder lied, Mexicans died. ~Bob. Attorney General Eric Holder was issued multiple memos from senior Justice Department officials about a controversial gun-tracking operation months before he said he first became aware it, according to documents. In response to questions from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on May 3, 2011, Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he only recently learned about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious.

GAO: Federal Agencies Fail On Cybersecurity Measures
Excerpt: Federal agencies are doing little to stem the tide of cyberattacks, which have increased by more than 650 percent over the past five years, a Government Accountability Office report released on Monday concludes. “Persistent government weaknesses” in information control are undermining IT systems, according to GAO's 49-page review of cybersecurity practices and policies at 24 federal agencies. Congress asked for the report to evaluate compliance with the 2002 Federal Information Security Act. “An underlying reason for these weaknesses is that agencies have not fully implemented their information security programs,” GAO writes. “As a result, they have limited assurance that controls are in place and operating as intended to protect their information resources, thereby leaving them vulnerable to attack or compromise.” (Act of 2002? Nine years later and they still haven’t finished implementing it? I wonder if anybody has told them we won the Second World War yet? You know the government is too damned big when it takes a decade or longer to implement laws passed by Congress within the government itself. Ron P.)

New Jihadi Book Permits Murdering Civilians
Well, now that I know God approves….~Bob. Excerpt: Jihadi forum Ansar al-Mujahideen recently published a new e-book, The Just Scale – On the Permissibility of Killing the Infidels' Children and Women, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Each of its eight chapters presents alleged proof from the Quran and Islam's legal tradition, in an attempt to refute mainstream arguments against killing certain types of civilians. "When the infidels, the enemies of the faith, [began] to harm the Muslims and rushed to [perpetrate] evil and tyranny, violate taboos, and kill women and children, to the extent that things could not get any worse... a band of believers stood up to end this hostility and pay [the infidels] back for it many times over, with justice and fairness..." claims Sheikh Abu Al-Hassan Al-Azdi in the introduction. Muslim warriors today still are commanded to act in this fashion, the author goes on to say. Although al-Qaida has already murdered tens of thousands of Iraqis and other Muslim civilians, the book is meant to strengthen the weak theological argument for such attacks. Al-Qaida currently justifies its attacks as the necessary elimination of apostates and heretics, or denies collateral damage to civilians.

Jihad Sign at Polish, Israeli Soccer Match
Excerpt: A jihad banner welcomed Israeli soccer team Hapoel Tel Aviv to a recent match with Polish squad Legia Warszawa, according to Polish news outlets. The incident is being touted as another worrisome sign of anti-Semitism in Poland, which will host next year's 2012 Euro football championship alongside the Ukraine. The green banner, which stretched across an entire section behind one goal, simply said "Jihad" and "Legia" in a font resembling Arabic. “This is yet another case of anti-Semitic behavior by extremist groups active in Polish football stadiums, and it could have been predicted," said Rafal Pankowski of the Warsaw-based Never Again NGO.

European Crisis: Precise Solutions in an Imprecise Reality
Excerpt: An important disconnect over the discussion of the future of the European Union exists, one that divides into three parts. First, there is the question of whether the various plans put forward in Europe plausibly could result in success given the premises they are based on. Second, there is the question of whether the premises are realistic. And third, assuming they are realistic and the plans are in fact implemented, there is the question of whether they can save the European Union as it currently exists. The plans all are financial solutions to a particular set of financial problems. But regardless of whether they are realistic in addressing the financial problem, the question of whether the financial issue really addresses the fundamental dilemma of Europe — which is political and geopolitical — remains.

The left’s ‘Tea Party’?
Excerpt: In the Occupy Wall Street movement, the left thinks it might have found its own Tea Party. and some unions have embraced the protesters. The left-wing Campaign for America’s Future is featuring them at its conference devoted to reinvigorating progressivism. Liberal pundits have celebrated them -- New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof compares them, astonishingly, to Egypt’s demonstrators. This is either a sign of desperation to find anyone on the left still energized after three years of Hope and Change, or of a lack of standards, or both. The left’s Tea Party is a juvenile rabble, a woolly-headed horde that has been laboring to come up with one concrete demand on the basis of its -- in the words of one sympathetic writer -- “horizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified- consensus-based system with roots in anarchist thought.” The right’s Tea Party had its signature event at a Lincoln Memorial rally where everyone listened politely to patriotic exhortations and picked up their trash and went home. The left’s Tea Party closed down a major New York City thoroughfare -- the Brooklyn Bridge -- and saw its members arrested in the hundreds. On the cusp of the confrontation, the protesters chanted “this is what democracy looks like,” betraying an elemental confusion between lawbreaking for the hell of it and free discussion. They flatter themselves that, in contrast to the wealthiest 1 percent, they represent “the 99 percent.” It might be true if the entire country consisted of stereotypically aging hippies and young kids who could have just left a Phish concert. … Occupy Wall Street is toxic and pathetic, the perfect distillation of an American left in extremis.

Why the American spirit will revive
Excerpt: In every literary, historical or cinematic masterpiece, times must grow darkest before the sunrise and deliverance. We are living in such an age: ObamaCare, the Solyndra and Fast and Furious scandals, “lead from behind” foreign policy, demonization of business, crony capitalism, distrust of oil and gas producers and so on. Why, then, do I see blue sky and a break in the present storms? For several reasons. First, American exceptionalism. Our Constitution remains singular and ensures a stable form of government of the sort absent in Russia, China, the Islamic world and even (or especially) the European Union -- and it will ensure us a stability abjectly absent elsewhere. Second, even President Obama can’t stop the oil and gas industries. Their brilliant new technologies and entrepreneurialism may well turn us into a fuel depot like Saudi Arabia, doubling our proven oil and gas reserves. Soon, someone is going to see that our natural gas can power millions of cars, freeing our foreign policy from Gulf authoritarians. We’re poised for an oil boom not seen since the age of Texas and Oklahoma wildcatting. With more exploration, we’d soon save hundreds of billions of dollars in imported fuel costs, stop subsidizing our enemies, perhaps help lower energy prices worldwide, create millions of jobs and allow solar batteries and alternative energies to become more efficient and cost competitive. (I hope and pray Dr. Hanson is right, but fear he is wrong, for the long list of reasons I cover in The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. ~Bob.

Al-Awlaki Exterminated and Ron Paul Mourns!
There are many things for which President Obama will be held accountable in the 2012 election. He initiated, approved of and presided over many decisions which have been and will be injurious to the economy of this country and it's security. The citizenry of this nation have never felt so exposed and unsure. Because of those decisions, the future hope of this country, on many levels and without definitive course correction is bleak. The killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki however, was not one of those decisions. A few voices are beginning to ring out in dissension over Awlaki's being vaporized by US Predator drones last week which is astounding on many levels.

First Illegal Alien Arrested Under Alabama Immigration Law is From YEMEN
See, there’s no work there for bomb-makers, what with drone strikes, so coming here for a better martyrdom, er life. ~Bob. Excerpt: For months, America has been told by left-wing non-profits like the Alien Criminals Liberation Union (ACLU), La Raza and LULAC, that Alabama’s new immigration law H.B. 56, “targets Hispanics” and is “anti-Latino“. Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn wisely ignored that rhetoric when she let stand (pending trial) the law’s most critical section – having police check immigration status of individuals apprehended in a lawful stop or arrest. Well, the very first such arrest has now occurred since the Judge’s ruling. And – surprise, he is not from Mexico, or any other Latino American nation. He is Mohamed Ali Muflahi, 24, from…Yemen! That’s right, the same lovely nation where we just killed a terror-linked cleric with a drone missile, and the home of the “most dangerous branch” of Al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials. Muflahi was arrested for obstructing a government operation during a drug raid in Etowah County. He did not have documentation, and so his immigration status was checked – per the new law. It was determined he was in the U.S. illegally, and was “charged with violation of the immigration law.”

3 suspects who allegedly shot at Georgia trooper arrested
Excerpt: After a nearly 24-hour manhunt, three men who allegedly fired shots at a
Georgia State Patrol trooper during a chase were arrested Monday,
authorities said. … Arturo Ramires, Salvado Vera and Edgar Ortega are in the Cherokee County Detention Center and will be charged with aggravated assault on a police
officer and traffic offenses, authorities said. Police believe all three are illegal immigrants, Channel 2 reported.

Ohio Muslim inmates sue over meal preparation
How about the Civil Rights of the people he killed? I’d feed him pig shit—and the same to other murderers to be fair—but that’s just me. Maybe help him by moving up the execution date to, say, tonight? Before dinner? ~Bob. Excerpt: A Muslim death row inmate says the Ohio prison system is denying him meals prepared according to Islamic law while at the same time providing kosher meals to Jewish prisoners, according to a federal lawsuit that alleges a civil rights violation. … Awkal, 52, is scheduled to die in June for killing his estranged wife, Latife Awkal, and brother-in-law Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz in 1992, in a room in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.

Jury selection to resume in terror trial in Minn.
Excerpt: On Monday, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis found Ali in contempt of court for refusing to stand for the judge or jury. Davis sentenced Ali to 50 days in custody and ordered her detained for the duration of the trial. She cited her religious beliefs for her refusal to stand. Ali and Hassan are among 20 people accused of recruiting and financing al-Shabab, which the U.S. considers a terror group with ties to al-Qaida. The women maintain their innocence.

5 Long-Term Trends Working Against The Democratic Party
Excerpt: 2) They're aborting themselves into oblivion: Controversially, the book Freakonomics tied abortion to the reduced crime rate we've seen over the last few decades. James Taranto has also pointed out that abortion may be playing a bigger role in politics than we realize. "It is a statement of fact, not a moral judgment, to observe that every pregnancy aborted today results in one fewer eligible voter 18 years from now. More than 40 million legal abortions have occurred in the United States since 1973, and these are not randomly distributed across the population. Black women, for example, have a higher abortion ratio (percentage of pregnancies aborted) than Hispanic women, whose abortion ratio in turn is higher than that of non-Hispanic whites. Since blacks vote Democratic in far greater proportions than Hispanics, and whites are more Republican than Hispanics or blacks, ethnic disparities in abortion ratios would be sufficient to give the GOP a significant boost--surely enough to account for George W. Bush's razor-thin Florida victory in 2000.”

Excerpt: News documents indicate that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder more than likely perjured himself in congressional testimony about Operation Fast and Furious earlier this year. News documents indicate that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder more than likely perjured himself in congressional testimony about Operation Fast and Furious earlier this year. Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News and William LaJeunesse of Fox News have been the only mainstream media reporters diligently working on the most important scandal in White House history, and it is no surprise that they concurrently released information indicating that the attorney general, who claimed in direct testimony on May 3 of this year in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he first heard about Operation Fast and Furious “over the last few weeks,” had actually been briefed on the program in a memo by the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center almost a year earlier on July 5, 2010. A copy of the heavily redacted weekly report posted by CBS News offers direct evidence that not only was the attorney general briefed on Operation Fast and Furious, but that he was briefed on it regularly and was well aware that the program was sending thousands of weapons into the hands of the Sinaloa cartel:

E-Mails Show Obama Was Warned; Bitter OMB, DOE Divide Over Solyndra
Excerpt: New e-mails released Monday show the White House was warned about Solyndra's potential problems even before President Obama visited the company's Fremont, Calif., headquarters and used it as a backdrop for his push for renewable energy investment and green jobs. “A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” Steve Westly, managing partner of Westly Group, wrote in an e-mail to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on May 24, 2010, a day before the president's well publicized trip to Solyndra. “[T]here is an increasing concern about the company because their auditors, Coopers and Lybrand, have issued a ‘going concern’ letter … Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term.” (…) OMB’s concerns in 2010 were heightened by an independent audit that expressed doubt about the company’s finances. “DOE ... has one loan guarantee to monitor and they seem completely oblivious to this issue,” one OMB analyst said to another in an April 2, 2010, email. “What’s terrifying is that after looking at some of the ones that came next, this one [Solyndra] started to look better," another OMB e-mail exchange said of Solyndra. "Bad days are coming.” (These emails were released by the Democratic staff, presumably to prove “there was no favoritism involved.” No favoritism, merely massive incompetence, is supposed to be an improvement? Come on, 2012! Ron P. )

The case against CCS
Excerpt from the editor’s accompanying email: In a "Roadmap" report, published in 2009, the International Energy Agency (IEA) sets out the case for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in no uncertain terms. CCS, the IEA argues, must play a major role in reducing worldwide carbon emissions. The nations of the world, says the IEA, must be prepared to spend an 'additional' $ 2500 to 3000 billion up to 2050 to create a global infrastructure to capture CO2 and store it underground.  The Apollo program pales in comparison to this "Project CCS": the IEA's target is for 3,400 CCS-projects to be operative by 2050, which together would capture 10 billion tons of CO2 or one-third of current global emissions. That means that from today on one CCS-project would have to be realised every 4 days for the next 38 years - and we have hardly even started yet.  Ambitious as this may sound, the IEA nevertheless argues that its global CCS programme is a low-cost option: without CCS, overall costs to reduce emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 would increase by 70%, the prestigious OECD think tank insists.  (…) As a journalistic medium, European Energy Review takes no position on this dilemma, but we do view it as our task to bring you informed articles for and against "Project CCS". Today, we have an article by Peter Droege, Professor of Sustainable Spatial Development at the University of Liechtenstein and urban planning consultant Matthew Ulterino, who strongly argue that spectacular advances and cost reductions in renewable energy make CCS a costly exercise in futility. (No wonder Al Gore expected to get rich! Two-and-a-half to three TRILLION dollars in “extra costs.” Bear in mind, this is just ONE facet of the “solution” to AGW. It does NOT take into account the costs associated with perfecting, building, or operating so-called “renewable energy” sources to replace any of the capacity that would have to be foregone. We could literally fight 7 or 8 wars cheaper than this. Scary stuff. Ron P.)

Jihad For Journalists
Excerpt: An elite media school is training reporters to downplay Islamic violence, arguing more people die from AIDS. Yeah, nothing to see there at Ground Zero. Move along. 'Jihad is not a leading cause of death in the world," the Poynter Institute cautions journalists in its online course, "Covering Islam in America." So journos should cover it "in a way that does not amplify fears." Better to cover malaria and traffic accidents, it says; they've killed far more people than the school's estimate of 165,000 victims of jihad over the past few decades. It notes the biggest Islamic terror toll in the U.S. was the nearly 3,000 killed on 9/11. "To give those numbers some context, the FBI reports that approximately 15,000 people in the U.S. are murdered each year," Poynter's 30-page media guide says. Must we spell it out for Poynter profs? Jihadi murder isn't run-of-the-mill murder. It's mass murder done in the name of religion. That makes it uniquely horrifying — and far more newsworthy. It also targets governments and destroys properties — even whole economies. (Let’s just limit the coverage of each Allahmurder to the amount of coverage the murder of the Abortion Doctor got. ~Bob.)

Coming Soon: Kagangate
Excerpt: Supreme Court: Forget unconvincing liberal demands that Clarence Thomas recuse himself from the ObamaCare case because his wife is a Tea Partyer. Ex-Obama operative Elena Kagan has a true conflict. To buttress the flimsy case of leftist groups like Common Cause that he step down from judging whether ObamaCare is unconstitutional, 20 House Democrats last week called for an investigation into Justice Thomas' not filling out financial disclosure forms to their satisfaction regarding his wife's political activities. … In the case of Justice Kagan, the issue is not political pillow talk but direct conflict of interest — plus statements that could lead to a full-blown Kagangate scandal. As reports, Eric Holder's Justice Department has rebuffed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests to get to the bottom of Kagan's role as solicitor general in the successful Obama political strategy to get health reform enacted. But internal communications that are already public themselves make for a smoking gun.

Obama: It's the Republicans' fault
"At every step of way, I have tried to get the Republican Party to work with me on the biggest crisis of our lifetime. And each time we've gotten 'No,'" he said. (Well, Barry, you didn't get enough no's to prevent you from setting an all-time national debt record, now did you? --Don Hank)

That's got to hurt!
Only hurts if you pay taxes. ~Bob. Excerpt: Judge finds EPA guilty of malicious prosecution, awards $1.6 million judgment against it. The judge found that the bureaucrat in charge of the prosecution was acting out a personal grudge, and dragged out the case so that he could keep having an extramarital affair with the FBI agent assigned. The EPA person was charged with perjury and just plead out. The judge found that he acted "with intent and reckless and callous disregard for anyone’s rights other than his own, and reckless disregard for the processes and power which had been bestowed on him, to effectively destroy another man’s life.”

Excerpt: Cain is a black man who became an adviser to the Federal Reserve on monetary policy affecting business and finished his corporate career as chairman of a regional Federal Reserve Bank—one small step from running America’s most powerful banking system. Why would the Republicans possibly support a black guy with Cain’s credentials? He’s far too qualified to be president. According to Garofalo, Herman Cain is a token but too stupid to recognize it. If only Cain were an unqualified metrosexual man of questionable African descent, the Republicans would have hit the trifecta! “If you were Janeane Garofalo, would you want to deal with yourself sober?” Consider Garofalo’s statement regarding liberal women: “We’re our own worst enemies a lot of the time, but I still blame men.” She might as well have said, “Democrats are our own worst enemies, but I still blame Republicans.”

Congress looks at ways to fix budget process
888 days since the Democrat Senate passed a budget. Every day is a record. ~Bob. Excerpt: For the 14th year in a row, Congress missed the deadline for the fiscal year that began Saturday — as it did last year, passing eight stopgap spending measures that often brought the government within days or hours of shutting down. Today, four days into the 2012 fiscal year, the House of Representatives will vote on the second "continuing resolution" to keep the government open — but only through Nov. 18. And with Congress dancing dangerously close to default in August as it debated an increase in the debt limit, even members of Congress are concluding that its purse strings have become so hopelessly tangled that only a powerful deficit-reduction "supercommittee" can untie them. "It used to be that one of the ways Congress was judged was the number of appropriations they passed by the end of the fiscal year," said Stan Collender, a budget expert and partner at Qorvis Communications. "Now we say it's a success when Congress avoids a government shutdown. Talk about decreased expectations."

The Williams plan to avert Social Security disaster
Excerpt: Politicians who are principled enough to point out the fraud of Social Security, referring to it as a lie and Ponzi scheme, are under siege. Acknowledgment of Social Security's problems is not the same as calling for the abandonment of its recipients. Instead, it's a call to take actions now, while there's time to avert a disaster. Let's look at it. (If I should get elected president—perhaps on write-ins?—my council of economic advisors would be Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams. I’d be useful too, getting coffee, fluffing their chair pillows, and so on. ~Bob.)

3 U.S.-born scientists win Nobel Prize for Physics for study of exploding stars
Do you actually have to do something to get it, or is it like the PR-based Peace Prize? ~Bob.

Excerpt: While the political world obsesses over Chris Christie, Rick Perry and the rest of the Republican presidential field, something is up with Bill Clinton. On Nov. 8, the former president will publish a new book entitled "Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy." Judging by pre-release publicity, the book resembles nothing so much as a campaign tract for a third Clinton term. Of course Clinton is barred by the Constitution from being elected president again, but "Back to Work" still seems the product of an author who's gearing up for something. The book's publicity materials say Clinton will offer "specific recommendations" and will propose "how we can get out of the current economic crisis and lay a foundation for long-term prosperity." The former president will argue that political warfare in Washington "has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with few jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position." All that would sound perfectly reasonable from a candidate running against Barack Obama. Or maybe a man whose wife is running against Barack Obama. But Democratic insiders are adamant that there is nothing going on there, that Clinton's new book does not foreshadow any challenge to the president.

Obama crony company got special help on loan
Excerpt: President Obama has learned nothing from the widening scandal surrounding the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program. Even as Energy Secretary Steven Chu admitted last week that he personally intervened to give the now bankrupt solar panel manufacturing firm Solyndra even more money -- after they had defaulted on their federal loan -- the Energy Department approved two new similar loans, worth more than $1 billion, to solar firms which, like Solyndra, have strong ties to Democratic Party fundraisers. In the fall of 2010, Solyndra executives told Chu that their firm was dangerously low on cash and might not make a Dec. 1 payment to a $30 million cash reserve fund as required by the original terms of the loan. But when Dec. 1 came, and Solyndra did fail to make the payment, not only did Chu fail to pull the plug, he actually restructured the loan in a way to further protect Solyndra's investors at the expense of taxpayers. Many of these investors are big-time Democratic Party fundraisers, including Oklahoma billionaire and Obama bundler George Kaiser. But the Solyndra loan turns out to be not the only hand Kaiser has in the taxpayer's pocket. On Wednesday, the Energy Department announced two new loans, including a $737 million guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy, which is owned by SolarReserve LLC. One of SolarReserve's "investment partners" is Kaiser's firm, Argonaut Private Equity. Nor is Kaiser the only Democratic connection to SolarReserve. The company also lists the PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund as an investment partner. The executive director of PCG is none other than Ronald Pelosi, who just happens to be Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., brother-in-law.

Obamanomics: Hollow out defense, fatten up cronies
Excerpt: April 1980: As U.S. special forces abandoned their staging base deep in the Iranian desert, tragedy struck. A Marine helicopter hit an Air Force C-130 loaded with fuel. The giant fireball killed eight. The attempt to rescue 50 American hostages in Tehran collapsed in failure and humiliation. The secret mission had stretched the Marine helicopters to the limit. They were not the best tool for the job, but they were the best the military had. Anticipating some miscues and mechanical failures, the Pentagon had dispatched extra ships, but it wasn't enough to overcome the challenges encountered. The Desert One debacle was almost a decade in the making. The military had ramped up for Vietnam without building up. Units in Europe were gutted to fill platoons in Vietnam. Major equipment modernization programs were jettisoned to help pay for the war. And as soon as hostilities ended, Washington took a "peace dividend," eviscerating the Pentagon's budget. America's military went "hollow." It looked fine on the briefing charts and sounded great in Congressional testimony, but the services lacked the manpower, training, readiness and equipment to protect U.S. interests worldwide. By 1980, even our most elite outfit -- the super-secret Delta Force -- lacked the stuff it needed to do the job. The fires at Desert One were a beacon of unpreparedness.

Will someone introduce Mr. Holder to Scooter Libby!
AG Holder: “ Oh---- was that the question posed to me? I thought they were asking me about the porn film “Fast and Furious.” “ I had no idea they were asking me about firearms. I thought that hearing was an FCC hearing on adult cable programming.” Mr. Attorney General, I am not a lawyer, but I would lawyer up and plead the fifth because very shortly you are going to be visited by folks from the FBI!! You can take that to the bank! Tom Constantine, US Marine Corps Ret

When Science Isn't
Excerpt: The prudent thing to do, if a scientist must blab, is to present the results of his experiments "clearly but not interpret them." Some things should not be noised about. An Italian named Galileo Galilei got much the same advice from his friends in the church when he was challenging scientific dogma some time ago. But the man just would not shut up, or stop peering through his new-fangled telescope. Scientists, the real ones, are like that: incorrigible. A stubborn bunch, they believe all theories are to be tested by the evidence. No matter how sacrosanct they have become. These types have no idea how politics works, whether it's of the church or state variety.

CBS News Reporter Says White House Screamed, Swore at Her Over Fast and Furious
Excerpt: The Fast and Furious scandal, in which the Justice Department knowingly gave Mexican criminal gangs thousands of guns, just keeps escalating. The latest development centers around whether or not Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about having knowledge of the controversial gun trafficking operation. Recently released documents say Holder was briefed about the operation long before he told the Judiciary Committee he was first aware of what was going on. (Holder now claims he misunderstood the question was being asked.) What's more, CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson -- who's been covering the scandal from the beginning -- says in an interview on the Laura Ingraham Show today that the White House and Justice Department have taken to screaming at her for reporting on the story. You can listen to the full interview below, but here are the key excerpts from Attkisson: In between the yelling that I received from Justice Department yesterday, the spokeswoman--who would not put anything in writing, I was asking for her explanation so there would be clarity and no confusion later over what had been said, she wouldn't put anything in writing--so we talked on the phone and she said things such as the question Holder answered was different than the one he asked. But he phrased it, he said very explicitly, 'I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.'

When Science Is Wrong: The Threat of ‘Truth’ by Consensus
Excerpt: Einstein may have been wrong. New evidence suggests that the speed of light, central to his special theory of relativity, may not be the ultimate speed limit. If the findings hold up, everything we think we know about the inner workings of our universe will need to be revised. This potential discovery reminds us that science is a continual process which is rarely conclusive. That should inform our regard for politicized scientific claims. (…) This is how real science works. Observations lead to hypotheses. Hypotheses are tested through experimentation. Results are scrutinized and duplicated to inform theories. Certainty is rare. Laws are few. You wouldn’t know that as a causal observer of political discourse. Science is often evoked as an authority rather than an empirical yet uncertain process. Anthropogenic climate change is a “fact” established by “consensus,” its skeptics ranked alongside Holocaust deniers. (…) The point of highlighting the fallibility of science is to engender some healthy skepticism about our modern scientific paradigm. When Governor Rick Perry questions the claims of anthropogenic climate change, he is regarded as a heretic. Of course, heresy is relevant to articles of faith, not scientific claims. Science is not a belief system. Science proclaims no dogma. Science is not democratic, and its findings are certainly not contingent upon consensus.

Anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street Protest
Usual left wing language warning. ~Bob.

I’d add “Applied Economics” and “Basic Economics” by Dr. Thomas Sowell, “Race and Economics” by Dr. Walter Williams, “After America” by Mark Steyn and I’ll throw in a copy of “The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.” ~Bob.

Buffett: 'Higher Taxes on the Ultra-Rich is Not Going to Solve the Deficit Problem'
Ya think? ~Bob.

Pro-Growth Tax Reform: Fair. Competitive. Simple.

American Crossroads hammers President Obama in new video

Worth Reading: Ten Lessons from Obama: In less than three years Barack Obama has reversed all expectations.
Excerpt: The election of Barack Obama brought all sorts of contradictions. A man with about the least prior executive experience in presidential history was suddenly acclaimed a “god” and the smartest man ever to assume the office. Most important, a number of critical changes were heralded that would help address the supposed disasters of the Bush administration: a new “reset” foreign policy, a Keynesian economic miracle, a commitment to “millions of green jobs,” and a promise to end politics as usual, specifically the hardball divisive rancor of the past. Obamism, in short, was not a mere change in administration, but a religion.

Excerpt: I think the Occupy Wall Street people are wrong on pretty much everything. Even the things they’re right about (e.g, bailouts, high student debt etc.), they seem to be right for the wrong reasons and then go on to propose the wrong remedies. Still I love this stuff. Yes, there are elements in those crowds that dream of very dangerous things. And one should always remember that stupid movements have become deadly because nobody took them seriously until it was too late. But for now, they are just so much fun to watch. Their claims of representing the 99 percent are so preposterous, it’s sad and funny at the same time. Their various lists of demands sound like they were written in a tree house by politically precocious pre-teens. I don’t think this thing has nearly the legs its boosters do. For starters, for all the talk about this being the U.S. version of the Arab Spring (a disgusting, and idiotic, anti-American slander by the way), at least the Arabs were smart enough to start the Arab Spring in the Spring! These bozos chose the fall which means it’s only going to get colder. No doubt some will hold out in their urban yurts for as long as it takes, but that self-anointed avant garde of the campus proletariat is going to get lonely when it starts to snow (of course they could all migrate south for the winter). (They will. By December 15, this will morph to “Occupy Key West.” Meanwhile, it makes it easy to keep an eye on the nutters. ~Bob.)

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