Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Political Digest for November 16, 2011

Best older posts for new blog readers

New Review of Collapse up
Still all five star.

Top Marine: Nation doesn’t grasp impact of massive budget cuts on Defense
Excerpt: Additional Pentagon spending cuts would be dangerous and force the military to cut everything from personnel to ammunition to training, according to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos. In an interview with The Hill, the nation’s top Marine officer warned Monday that the $600 billion in sequestered security cuts that would be triggered if the supercommittee fails would have serious repercussions.

Ben and Jerry’s support of # OWS
Excerpt: Has Ben and Jerry’s considered sending ice cream to morgues, hospital emergency rooms or rape crisis centers? That’s where a growing list of Occupy supporters seem to be ending up, along with a growing list of journalists and regular citizens who have crossed the path of Occupy protesters. I’m sure they’d all enjoy some yummy Cherry Garcia. There’s nothing that works up a protester’s appetite quite like taunting the police, throwing Molotov cocktails or setting fire to banks

Angry Over Spying, Muslims say, "Don't call NYPD."
Excerpt: Fed up with a decade of police spying on the innocuous details of the daily lives of Muslims, activists in New York are discouraging people from going directly to the police with their concerns about terrorism...

The Iron Lady is a winner: Margaret Thatcher has converted even that Leftie luvvie Meryl Streep
Excerpt: I admire the fact that she was a “love-me-or-hate-me” kind of leader who said: “This is what I stand for.” It’s a hard thing to do and no one’s doing that now…

At His Essence, Smokin' Joe Frazier Was More Than Just A Symbol
Excerpt: On Monday at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, thousands of mourners paid their respects to Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight boxing champion who died last week. An outpouring of tributes and a new documentary about his life, “Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears,” have given Frazier an eloquence in death that often eluded him in life. Much of the eloquence is connected to Muhammad Ali.


Rahm Emanuel Dumped Tons Of Freddie Mac Stock Days Before It Collapsed
Excerpt: Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is the latest lawmaker to get caught up in allegations of insider trading while a member of Congress. Then-Rep. Emanuel reportedly sold up to $250,000 in Freddie Mac stock on February 21, 2003 days before it dropped by 10 percent — and weeks before it was publicly revealed that the entity was under criminal investigation for inflating earnings. The allegations are revealed in Peter Schwiezer's new book "Throw Them All Out," which will hit bookshelves tomorrow.

Dems fear Supreme Court will rule against Obama on healthcare reform
Excerpt: Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried that the Supreme Court will rule against President Obama’s healthcare reform law. Over the last couple weeks, congressional Democrats have told The Hill that the law faces danger in the hands of the Supreme Court, which The New York Times editorial page recently labeled the most conservative high court since the 1950s.

Students Lose Zeal for Aiding Obama Again
Excerpt: Across this state — and in others where young voters were the fuel of the Obama organization, voting for him two to one over John McCain — the enthusiastic engine of the 2008 campaign has run up against the reality of a deadened job market for college students.

NYPD raiders roust OWS rabble
Excerpt: The NYPD arrested 70 protesters as they moved in on Zuccotti Park early this morning and began clearing out the thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters who had taken over the space for nearly two months. More than 1,000 cops marched on the lower Manhattan encampment shortly before 1 a.m. and handed out fliers ordering demonstrators to get out and remove their personal property. The cops were followed by Sanitation workers, one of whom was overheard saying, “We’re gonna disinfect the hell out of this place.”

Why the United States Needs to Restructure the Corporate Income Tax
Excerpt: To increase employment and expand their economies, most developed countries are both reducing their corporate tax rates and restructuring their corporate tax systems. The United States appears to be taking the opposite approach. Consequently, the increasingly costly U.S. corporate tax structure is driving competitive, profit-seeking corporations to minimize their tax exposure and defer income overseas to lower-tax countries. If the federal government wants to reverse this trend and remove barriers to American companies competing internationally, it will need to consider an overhaul to the corporate tax structure, reducing its rates and simplifying its stipulations, say researchers Jason Fichtner and Nick Tuszynski.

Hybrid Vehicles Often Release Less Carbon Dioxide than Total Electric Vehicles
Excerpt: As first reported in Motor Trend, hybrid vehicles that operate on gasoline and electricity such as the Toyota Prius often produce less carbon dioxide than vehicles that operate solely on electricity such as the Nissan Leaf. The Motor Trend comparison analyzed the Prius, Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. The report also mentioned that as a result of electric battery life, the lack of charging stations, and current cargo capability, the Prius and Volt may be realistic vehicles for some people but the Leaf is a niche vehicle at best. 

Real Energy Tax Reform Eliminates Subsidies
Excerpt: Targeted tax credits have become a popular and prevalent method for the government to award preferential treatment to certain energy industries. These credits act as a subsidy by favoring one industry or technology at the expense of another. Such political decisions misallocate resources, waste taxpayer dollars, and prematurely force technologies into the marketplace, while taking away the incentive to lower costs. The Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act of 2011 would address the growing proliferation of tax credits while simultaneously tackling America's burdening corporate tax rate, says Nicolas Loris, a policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

Newt Gingrich owns Maria Bartiromo of CNBC

Crony Capitalism, Chicago-Style
Excerpt: New York gave us banks too big to fail. Washington bequeathed us Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Still, when it comes to crony capitalism, no one quite matches Chicago. Soon the Illinois state legislature will meet in special session to consider the Chicago machine's latest favor: legislation designed to deliver tax relief to three of the state's largest companies. These tax breaks for the lucky few come just 10 months after the Illinois legislature approved what has been described as the largest tax increase in the state's history. It's no coincidence that both have been supported by Gov. Pat Quinn and other top leaders of the state's Democratic Party.

Will Republicans Blow It? by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that a good catch phrase could stop thinking for 50 years. One of the often-repeated catch phrases of our time -- "It's the economy, stupid!" -- has already stopped thinking in some quarters for a couple of decades. There is no question that the state of the economy can affect elections. But there is also no iron law that all elections will be decided by the state of the economy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected for an unprecedented third term after two terms in which unemployment was in double digits for eight consecutive years.

Our Problematic Speech by George Will
Excerpt: The Stolen Valor Act allows fines and imprisonment for anyone who falsely claims to have been awarded any military decoration or medal authorized by Congress, with the severest sentences for claiming the highest honors. Alvarez, having won a seat on a California water district board of directors, introduced himself to other members by saying: "I'm a retired Marine of 25 years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I got wounded many times by the same guy." All this was rubbish. (I am a Marine Vietnam veteran of no particular distinction. My highest personal decoration is a richly-undeserved Good Conduct Medal. While I usually agree with Mr. Will, I disagree on this. Claiming to have the Medal of Honor when you don’t, in order to win esteem, recognition, respect, votes or a job is to fraudulently obtain things from fellow citizens that are of far more value than money. ~Bob.)

81% Express Concern That Europe’s Financial Problems Will Drag Down U.S. Economy
Excerpt: Most Americans still expect at least one of the financially troubled countries in Europe to default on its debt and worry that Europe’s bad economy will ultimately have a major negative impact on the United States.

Europe's Crisis: Beyond Finance by George Friedman
Excerpt: Everyone is wondering about the next disaster to befall Europe. Italy is one focus; Spain is also a possibility. But these crises already are under way. Instead, the next crisis will be political, not in the sense of what conventional politician is going to become prime minister, but in the deeper sense of whether Europe’s political elite can retain power, or whether new political forces are going to emerge that will completely reshape the European political landscape. If this happens, it will be by far the most important consequence of the European financial crisis.

Excerpt: If I want to see our mother at Thanksgiving — and I do — I have to drive 430 miles from Pasadena to Napa. During Thanksgiving dinner in 2009, my brother asked what I thought of Obama’s stimulus package. I knew we’d disagree bitterly, so I tried avoiding an answer. He persisted like a bulldog until I said I was against it. My wife and I gave specific, fact-based reasons we opposed it. He, his wife and grown children all piled onto my wife and me, trotting out all the liberal bromides against anyone who differs.

After 15 years and $150 million Geron stops experimenting on human embryonic stem cells
Excerpt: Menlo Park, Calif.-based Geron, the first company ever permitted to test human embryonic stem cells on people, announced Monday it is halting the studies to focus on developing two cancer drugs.

CAIR Slams Muslim Foes of al-Shabaab
Excerpt: The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) campaign of discrediting critics reached a new low last week, when it called two Minneapolis activists as "anti-Muslim" for their participation in a seminar which included a discussion about an Islamic terrorist group in Somalia.

"Batman" artist Frank Miller to #Occupy mobs: "Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy."
Excerpt: This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they’re spewing their garbage – both politically and physically – every which way they can find. Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy. Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.

Excerpt: Iranian officials admitted Sunday that they had uncovered evidence of the Duqu computer virus — labeled “Son of Stuxnet” by cyber experts — at the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites, state-controlled IRNA news agency reported. “We are in the initial phase of fighting the Duqu virus,” Gholamreza Jalali, was quoted as saying. “The final report which says which organizations the virus has spread to and what its impacts are has not been completed yet.”

Iran says Duqu malware under 'control'
Excerpt: "The software to control the (Duqu) virus has been developed and made available to organisations and corporations" in Iran, head of civil defence Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali told the official IRNA news agency.

Honest Political Ad

Happy Birthday, P. J. O'Rourke
Excerpt: It's P.J. O'Rourke's 64th birthday today, here are some quotes: 1. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. 2. If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

Los Angeles Times: California--toxic for business
Excerpt: Last year, the medical technology firm Numira Biosciences packed its bags and left Irvine for Salt Lake City. When asked about the firm's departure, its chief executive praised Utah's quality of life but also blamed California's business environment for the move. "The tipping point was when someone from the Orange County tax [assessor] wanted to see our facility to tax every piece of equipment I had," Michael Beeuwsaert told the Orange County Register.

Tea Partiers, Like Peaceniks, Upset Political Order
Excerpt: Both movements focused on what are undeniably central, not peripheral, political issues: war and peace, the size and scope of government. Both movements initially proclaimed themselves nonpartisan or bipartisan, but quickly channeled their efforts into one political party -- the peace movement in the Democratic Party, the tea party movement in the Republican Party. Both movements were critical of leaders of the party they flocked to.

Crony capitalism exposed
A Wall Street
executive who buys or sells stock based on insider information would face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and quite possibly a federal prosecutor. But senators and congressmen are free to legally trade stock based on nonpublic information they have obtained through their official positions as elected officials — and they do so on a regular basis.

Solyndra: Energy Dept. pushed firm to keep layoffs quiet until after midterms
Excerpt: The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show. Solyndra, the now-shuttered California company, had been a poster child of President Obama’s initiative to invest in clean energies and received the administration’s first energy loan of $535 million. But a year ago, in October 2010, the solar panel manufacturer was quickly running out of money and had warned the Energy Department it would need emergency cash to avoid having to shut down.

With supercommittee deadlocked, leaders Reid and Boehner meet
Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met Tuesday, a sign they may take a larger role in deficit talks, say congressional aides. A leadership aide said Reid and Boehner discussed a range of topics in Boehner’s office but declined to provide any details.

Excerpt: The thought startles. Is Newt Gingrich America's Winston Churchill? The former Speaker has repeatedly dazzled in the ongoing series of GOP presidential debates. He is "the adult in the room," the man Republicans keep saying they would like to see on the debate stage with Barack Obama. The latest polls (Wall Street Journal, CBS, and Marist) have him vaulting into a tie with Mitt Romney behind Herman Cain or leapfrogging Cain to barely trail Romney.

Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Gaza terrorists launched two Kassam rockets at Israel’s communities in the western Negev late Tuesday afternoon.

11 Photos Of Zuccotti Park Before & After Eviction

On waterboarding: Let’s stick to the facts by Marc A. Thiessen
Excerpt: It was disappointing to see The Post’s editorial on waterboarding this morning replete with so many discredited arguments. Reasonable people can disagree about whether the United States should resume using enhanced interrogation techniques (as it appears it will if a Republican assumes the presidency in January 2013). But we should at least debate this proposition based on facts.

Obama Mistakenly Refers to Hawaii as 'Asia' During Summit
Excerpt: But President Obama apparently forgot where he was during his press conference Sunday on the outskirts of Honolulu -- despite being born there.
The president mistakenly described his location as "Asia" while answering a question about budget cuts. (If a Republican said Hawaii was in Asia, they’d call it racist. No idea why, but they would. ~Bob.)

Pentagon sends thinly veiled message to Iran
Excerpt: The Pentagon on Tuesday sent a thinly veiled message to Iranian leaders, detailing the list of military hardware and assistance headed for U.S. allies in the Middle East. Military strikes against Iranian nuclear arms facilities should be a “last resort,” the Obama administration said Tuesday, but a Pentagon official stressed Washington is arming its friends, including longtime Iranian rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia. (A joint Israeli-Saudi strike on Iran’s nukes would be cool. Yeah, I know. But it would be in both their interests. ~Bob.)

Judge upholds New York City's right to bar 'Occupy' protesters from bringing tents and sleeping bags back into plaza
Actually, I hate to see them go. What with the rats and rapes and robberies, I think the contrast was great for the 53% of us who work, pay taxes and want to preserve the republic for our grandkids. ~Bob.

Newt slams super committee as "disaster", outlines alternatives
Excerpt: Newt proposes alternative ways of cutting the deficit than the potentially disastrous "super committee", which is guaranteed to be inadequate and destructive. He proposes new revenue from energy development, selling government owned assets and savings through modern management techniques like Lean Six Sigma.

Caught On Video: #Occupy Protester Defecates In
Public Street
If this catches on with all the 99%, the streets will be impassable. ~Bob.

NIGERIA: Tightening the noose on gay rights
Excerpt: Rights groups in Nigeria fear a same-sex marriage bill being discussed in parliament could boost already prevalent discrimination against homosexuals. The bill goes much further than banning same-sex marriage; it threatens to ban the formation of groups supporting homosexuality, with imprisonment for anyone who “witnesses, abet[s] or aids” same-gender relationships, and could lead to any discussion or activities related to gay rights being banned.

Iranians Attack IAEA Nuclear Report
Excerpt: Iran has responded with violent threats as well as anti-American and anti-Semitic conspiracies to the International Atomic Energy Association's latest report on Iranian nuclear development. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports on the reaction among Farsi-language Iranian articles, which matches hostile English-language rhetoric in Iranian government media wings, Press TV and Fars News Agency.

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