Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Political Digest for November 2, 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.

I will be away Wednesday – Sunday on business, with little time. If the blog gets pulled during that time by Google, may be a while before I can get a restore/appeal request to them. If you don’t see my blog, please check back next week if not before. Sorry. Thanks. ~Bob.

Blog Removed.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get this notice, please check back. Every week since August, Google’s Spam Filter has pulled my blog, first on Saturdays, then Wednesdays, lately on Thursdays. 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 to10k a week and over 1,160 followers here.

Rest in Peace, Oh Republic

Important: CME Investigating MF Global
Excerpt: Justin Lane/European Pressphoto AgencyOne of the New York offices for MF Global, the brokerage firm run by Jon S. Corzine. The investigation into hundreds of millions of dollars in missing money at MF Global has widened, as the CME Group confirmed on Tuesday that the brokerage firm failed to keep customer money separate from company money. The serious blunder by MF Global, a commodities powerhouse run by Jon S. Corzine, the former New Jersey governor, violated crucial Wall Street regulations, CME’s chief executive said. (Corzine was also a US Senator, spending $62M of his own money to buy the seat in 2000. And what has he been doing lately besides destroying investors’ wealth in MFGlobal? Why, raising Wall Street money for Obama? OWS will be so mad. Ha. I crack me up. ~Bob.)

Democracy Versus Mob Rule by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance. Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these "protesters," and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause -- whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television. Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education -- and apparently the President of the United States thinks so too. But if these loud mouths' inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools. Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some "protesters" were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things -- and don't get arrested.

Occupy Wall Street Protests Will Help Sink Obama
Excerpt: Those who think the Occupy Wall Street protesters are harmless should watch a chilling interview Michael Moore gave on CNN. As protesters surrounding him nodded their heads and raised their fists, Moore told Anderson Cooper that the goal of the protests is not to change the American capitalist system through elections. “This movement is so beyond just, hey, let’s get behind this candidate, get them elected to office,” Moore said. “Those days are over. You know, we’ve all worked for candidates. We’ve all voted. We’ve all participated. And what have we gotten out of it? "Where are we? We're in the worst shape we have been in this country that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and so, this movement is not right now concerned with candidates or specific bills in Congress,” the filmmaker added. Instead, Moore said, the goal is to eradicate capitalism and replace it with a new, albeit unspecified system. “The reason we’re not occupying Washington . . . right now is the congressmen or senators are the employees of Wall Street,” Moore said. “We’re kind of tired of dealing with the middleman or the servant.” (Mr. Moore may find that he’s not in shape for a violent revolution. ~Bob.)

Blame the Predecessor, Not the Ideology: A Historical Leftist Tactic
Wow. Wonderful column. Ron P. Excerpt: The chaotic Occupy Wall Street movement is the result of the Democratic Party’s chaotic efforts to find villains for its chaotic economic policy, which has put 14 million Americans out of a job. The U.S. debt has now reached an unprecedented $15 trillion — greater than the total debt accrued by all 41 presidents from George Washington to George H.W. Bush combined. That means a debt of $35,835 for every American household. The GDP fell from 4.5% growth in the first quarter of 2011 to 1.3% in the second quarter of 2011. Instead of pulling up their socks and encouraging the production — not redistribution — of wealth, the leaders of the Democrat-run White House and U.S. Senate blamed former president George W. Bush for the current economic calamity. No American really bought it. So then the Democrats blamed the Japanese tsunami. No more luck. Blaming the Arab Spring and the European economic crisis did not do the trick either. Now the Democrats are blaming Wall Street — whatever that means — and America’s rich. They are the real evil. They are sucking the people’s blood, wrecking America. In the sanctum sanctorum of the former Soviet empire, to which I once belonged, finding a scapegoat for the mistakes of a country’s leader was called “political necrophagy.”

SENATE Judiciary Committee to pre-empt the House with a Holder hearing on NOVEMBER 8; WH to do docu-dump to friendly journalists TODAY.
Excerpt: By way of David Corea, Sharyl Attkisson has just tweeted that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing featuring Eric Holder on NOVEMBER 8th, next week. This will pre-empt the more unfriendly house hearing scheduled for December 8. These things don't happen by accident, so obviously the White House sees advantage in having Patrick Leahy arrange this. Also, a little Waldo just told me that there will be a document dump from DOJ this afternoon, beginning with "friendly" journalists. Film at eleven, boys and girls. Film at eleven.

US-Funded PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: I Will Never Recognize Israel As a Jewish State…
Excerpt: Mahmoud Abbas: “First of all, let me make something clear about the story of the ‘Jewish state.’ “They started talking to me about the ‘Jewish state’ only two years ago, discussing it with me at every opportunity, every forum I went to – Jewish or non-Jewish – asking: ‘What do you think about the “Jewish state”?’ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a ‘Jewish state.’” [...] Interviewer: ”Don’t you think that it was the resistance that managed to liberate a thousand prisoners? “Negotiations must always be accompanied by a measure of force. There can be no negotiations without resistance. This has been shown by the experience of people – in Ireland and all countries.” (Are we so rich we have to keep sending them money? They hold us in contempt. ~Bob.)

‘Occupy Wall Street’ Files Trademark Application, Plans To Sell T-Shirts, Clothing And Tote Bags…
Capitalism wins! ~Bob. Excerpt: Occupy Wall Street is looking to make its mark — on everything from tote bags to t-shirts. The Occupy Wall Street movement applied for the trademark to its name on Oct. 24, filing for the use of the mark on its website, in periodicals and newsletters, and on clothing and bags. But the movement isn’t the only entity hoping to lay claim to the name —Fer-Eng Investments, LLC, of Arizona also applied to trademark Occupy Wall Street on Oct. 24. Fer-Eng Investments wrote in its filing it is intending to use the name on bags, footwear, hats and various other clothing items.

Media Whitewash Ghannouchi's Radical Islamist Views
Excerpt: A recurring media theme in recent days is that Rachid al-Ghannouchi and his Ennahda Party, which won last week's Tunisian elections, are "moderate" Islamists despite considerable evidence to the contrary. A few notable voices in the conservative blogosphere like Martin Kramer, Melanie Phillips and Raymond Ibrahim pointed out problems with this argument, including Ghannouchi's endorsement of jihad in Gaza, stating that "Gaza, like Hanoi in the '60s and Cuba and Algeria, is the model of freedom today." Ghannouchi has expressed support for suicide bombings and welcomes the destruction of Israel, which he predicts could "disappear" by 2027. "There is no such thing as 'moderate Islamism,'" Phillips wrote. "It's as absurd as saying there were moderate and extreme Stalinists, or moderate and extreme Nazis, or moderate and extreme proponents of the Spanish Inquisition. You cannot have moderate fanatics."

Politico and Cain: Return of the High-Tech Lynching
Excerpt: It took the mainstream media nearly a year to catch up with the John Edwards Affair, but only weeks into Herman Cain’s narrow frontrunner status for the GOP nomination, the goodfellas at Politico are letting the uppity black conservative have it. (…) But never fear, when it comes to a black conservative, Politico is on the case. Never mind that what really happened is of course just as unknown to them as it is to us. That’s not the point. A man like Cain cannot be allowed in the White House. Why… why…. he might just…. harass an intern!

OWS Protesters at Zuccotti Park Complain About Those 'Occupying' Their Park
Excerpt: The ‘model’ civilization that’s sprung up at Zuccotti is itself increasingly divided between the stakeholders in the nascent movement … and hangers-on, including a fast-growing contingent of lawbreakers and lowlifes, many of whom seem to have come to Zuccotti in the last week with the cynical encouragement of the NYPD. (Yes, another great thing about 'activisim' is that you get to meet all sorts of people you would never before have known in a million years. One guy had shoes like cloven hooves. Kate in LA. Can’t blame them for being upset. Those interlopers have no respect for private property or ownership. The nerve! ~Bob.)

Burn in Hell, British Soldiers, Blah Blah
An extreme Muslim group which caused outrage by burning a poppy last Remembrance Sunday is planning further disruption on November 11, with a twisted 'Hell for Heroes' campaign. The demo, which mocks the charity for injured soldiers Help for Heroes, is due to take place outside the Royal Albert Hall, the same location where a poppy was burned last year. Emdadur Choudhury, who burned the poppy, was fined just £50. (But look cross-eyed at a Qur'an...~Bob.)

Bike-Loving City of Sydney Councillors Get Free Parking Lots and a $6000 Tab to be Chauffeured Around the City, New Documents Reveal
Excerpt: SYDNEY'S peddle power-loving councillors are treated to the luxury of a free 24-hour CBD car park and each have a $6000 tab to be chauffeured around the city, new documents reveal. While they love bikes and limiting car parks, it appears the councillors are not ready to give up driving just yet.

Teachers' Unions Set Financial Priorities
Excerpt: It’s no secret (anymore) that the National Education Association has lost members due to layoffs, enrollment declines and the collective bargaining law in Wisconsin. Previous losses resulted in a $14 million budget shortfall, and the missing $178 from each missing teacher will add newer and larger deficits. But while NEA has little experience in cutting costs, the union is highly skilled in applying cash and resources to its immediate priorities. For the next year and beyond, those will be political actions designed to turn back the tide of collective bargaining measures in the states.

Daniel Johnson: The Mythology of Decline
Excerpt: How often do we hear the word "decline" applied to America, Europe and the West? The rhetoric of decline has become a staple of our public discourse, so much so that most hardly notice when it crosses the line from rationality to fantasy. The distinction is important and easy enough to apply. If a commentator claims that "Europe is in demographic decline", he is making a statement about a statistical fact — birthrates across much of the European continent have indeed been falling for many years — which can be quantified, verified and tested. If, on the other hand, a commentator claims that "America's decline is inevitable", he is making a whole series of assumptions that are based, not on facts, but on what I call the mythology of decline. I want to examine the origins and purposes of that mythology in order to help us to distinguish the legitimate use of the term "decline" from the mythological one, which invariably serves an ideological agenda — what we may call declinism. And if my analysis serves to clear the somewhat fetid atmosphere that pervades this debate, in which self-fulfilling prophecies of American decline abound — if I can hasten the decline of declinism, in other words — then that is a job worth doing.

Allahpundit: Number of "Working Groups" Now Governing Occupy Wall Street: Now 79 and Counting
Excerpt: The more I read about the movement, the more subordinate their political grievances seem to be to the underlying experiment in communal living. Politics is the glue holding it all together but the members appear more committed to staking out and protecting their own little space than, say, coming up with a list of demands or putting organizational pressure on Democrats. (When I was in Animal Rights and all that jazz in London in the 80s, "activists" used to say that the issue was so hard to deal with that people got burnt out and quit being active after a couple of years. But what we burned out on was the kind of people who were in Animal Rights. A lot of them lived in communal squats. They got jealous if a rival activist group got on the news for an action. The meaner ones looked down on me sometimes because I grew vegetables and flowers, looked after children and, um....took care of animals. They didn't perceive that as hard work, but, apparently, burning things down in the middle of the night was.) Kate in LA. (They need a Czar! Or ten. ~Bob.)

Man Publicly Beheaded in Saudi Parking Lot for being a Sorcerer
Excerpt: Shocking footage has surfaced of a Sudanese man being publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia for being a 'sorcerer'. Crouched on his knees and blindfolded, Abdul Hamid Bin Hussain Bin Moustafa al-Fakki was executed in a car park Medina, in the west of the country, as dozens looked on last month. The grainy footage - which MailOnline believes is too graphic to publish - shows the executioner lining his sword up on the back of Abdul Hamid's neck, before one swift stroke decapitates him. (We need to crack down on this here to demonstrate we aren't Islamophobic! Maybe behead Michael Moore. Had to get that $50M through sorcery. ~Bob.)

We Are All At Germany's Mercy
Excerpt: The leaders of the Eurozone have reduced Greece’s debt and increased the amount of EU aid. However, for Eleftherotypia, which notes on its front page that “German tanks are in the bailout,” the decision will put the Greeks and all Europeans under the heel of Berlin.

St Paul's Branded 'Laughing Stock' As Dean Graeme Knowles Resigns
Excerpt: The Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, the Dean of St Paul's, stepped down after becoming ever more isolated in his bid to take legal action to evict the Occupy London activists. He became the third and most senior victim of the debacle, following in the footsteps of the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Treasurer, in resigning as his position became “untenable”. Last night, the Rt Rev Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, England’s third most senior cleric, was forced to take charge of cathedral operations as Mark Field, Tory MP for Cities of London and Westminster, said the charade had turned St Paul’s into a “national joke”. He said: “The whole thing is farcical. You couldn’t make it up. It’s gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. This tented community has been there for two weeks and has hardly brought the foundations of capitalism to its knees. “Ironically, the only capitalist organisation that has lost out is St Paul’s. I suspect that these resignations will only ensure that these protesters become more entrenched.” (Mr Mark Field was my MP when I was in London, and he was wonderful to me, and really went to bat for me when the Home Office (Immigration) made a mess of my visa and my (very legal) status in the UK.) -- Kate in LA.)

How Germany Phased Out Nuclear Power, Only to Get Mugged by Reality
Excerpt: For years, environmentalists in America have looked longingly to Germany. There, across the Atlantic, lay a small, cold, gray country whose solar energy production dwarfed big, sunny America’s, a nation that last year pledged to get 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by mid-century while Americans proved unable to agree on energy legislation even a fraction as ambitious. Yet in bowing to the country’s strong anti-nuclear movement, Germany appears to have suddenly gone off track: Within the last year the country has gone from a net exporter of energy to a net importer, and the carbon intensity of the energy it purchases has risen as well. Now, with its energy politics in turmoil, Germany is serving as a very different sort of model for environmentalists: how not to go green. At the root of Germany’s current energy struggle is its nuclear power politics. Reports tend to cite Japan’s Fukushima disaster as the starting point of the country’s nuclear turmoil, but really the story begins a lot earlier, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The Chernobyl plant’s 1986 nuclear meltdown in Germany’s backyard galvanized the anti-nuclear movement and led the country’s center-left parties to commit to phasing out nuclear power—a pledge they fulfilled when the Nuclear Exit Law went into effect in 2002 and mandated the end of nuclear power in Germany within 20 years. When Angela Merkel’s administration changed course last year and moved to extend the operating life of the country’s nuclear plants, tens of thousands of environmental advocates flocked to Berlin from all over the country (and even from abroad) to protest the reversal. With opinion polls showing that Germans opposed the nuclear extension by nearly a two-to-one margin and Merkel’s political rivals promising to overturn her new policy, the German nuclear industry seemed to be hanging on by a thread.

Sheriff Tells Citizens to Buy Guns
Excerpt: A South Carolina sheriff said it’s time for citizens to start carrying concealed weapons as a way to fight back against crime. “Gun control is not the answer,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told Fox News. “Carry a concealed weapon.” Wright echoed comments he made at a heated press conference after a local woman was attacked in a park. The alleged assailant was a man who the sheriff said had been convicted at least 20 times. “The form of justice we have here doesn’t work,” he said. “I’m tired of telling victims, ‘We’re sorry, we can’t keep them in jail.’” According to local reports, Walter Lance, 46, was arrested for grabbing and attempting to rape a woman in Milliken Park. Lance remains in custody after he was denied bond.

Dutch Doctors Expanding Euthanasia to “Lonely” People
Good news. Social Security and Medicare are saved. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Dutch Medical Association is seeking to expand the practice of Euthanasia in the Netherlands to include more people under the “unbearable suffering” that allows physicians to kill patients and the elderly. Dutch Radio Worldwide reports: “Until now, factors such as income or a patient’s social life played almost no role when physicians were considering a euthanasia request. However, the new guidelines will certainly change that. After almost a year of discussions, the KNMG has published a paper which says a combination of social factors and diseases and ailments that are not terminal may also qualify as unbearable and lasting suffering under the Euthanasia Act.”

Another Solyndra? Electric car battery maker facing financial hardship
who knew the Green Jobs Obama promised were going to be created in criminal investigating? ~Bob. Excerpt: A company whose subsidiary received $118 million in stimulus grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy to build new electric car batteries has now been removed from trading on NASDAQ. EnerDel got an Energy Department grant in early 2010 for battery manufacturing in Indiana but the stock of EnerDel's parent company, Ener1, fell from $4.04 in 2010 to just 9 cents on Thursday. By Friday NASDAQ had pulled the company from its listing leaving the stock at $0.00. NASDAQ took action after sending the company a notice saying it was out of compliance for failing to file its June 30th financial quarterly filing. The company notified shareholders back in August that two of the company's quarterly filings "should no longer be relied upon" and the company would have to re-do their financial statements.

Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups
Excerpt: A contentious battle between Catholic groups and the Obama administration has flared in recent days, fueled by the new health-care law and ongoing divisions over access to abortion and birth control. The latest dispute centers on a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services in late September to end funding to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help victims of human trafficking, or modern-day slavery. The church group had overseen nationwide services to victims since 2006 but was denied a new grant in favor of three other groups. (Why is there a problem? Obama got the votes of Blue Dog Democrats for ObamaCare promising it wouldn’t cover abortions. Unless, of course, he’s a liar who cannot be trusted on any promise. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: During that period, the leader of the Libyan rebels confirmed that the country would now exist under sharia law. As I expected when I first heard about the Arab Spring, only simpletons can ever be overjoyed at the notion of a tyrant being overthrown in that part of the world. King Farouk was bad, Gamal Nasser was worse. The Shah of Iran was bad, the Ayatollah Khomeini was worse. Hosni Mubarak was bad, the generals are worse. Muammar Kaddafi was bad, his assassins will be worse. I understand that the Muslim Brotherhood has already sent roses and a box of candy to NATO. When I say that Arab and Muslim coups and revolutions inevitably end badly, I mean for America. For those who live in those countries, it’s merely a matter of trading one set of sadists for another. Because we are the people who benefitted from the efforts of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin, we tend to have a soft spot in our hearts for those who rise up against despots. But, as the results of such uprisings bring the likes of Robespierre, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Castro, to power, I’d say that the optimism over such bloody events merely proves that we have an even larger soft spot in our heads.

Civic Literacy Test
Rats. Missed one. ~Bob

Congressional Staff Salaries

Can You Survive It Being Over?
Excerpt: And by "over", I mean really, truthfully over. Look folks, there's really nothing more-serious than grabbing client funds internally. It's black-letter wrong, and it appears to have happened in the case of MF Global: The filing came as MF Global told regulators of potential “deficiencies” in some customer accounts, according to a statement by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Regulators are investigating whether hundreds of millions of dollars are missing from client accounts, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The "mainstream media" outlets this morning are talking about this being a "risk management" issue. Nonsense. This is a trust issue and Corzine is a former Goldman guy and the former governor of New Jersey. The political connections are deep as well: President Obama is desperately putting his Wall Street stock in an unlikely old buddy. The beleaguered president has recruited former Goldman Sachs head honcho Jon Corzine to shore up re-election funds from the banking industry, which is furious over Obama's financial regulations. Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey who was blasted out of office by Republican Chris Christie in 2009, has attended secret meetings with the president and has been working on Obama's 2012 campaign for months, The Post has learned. (More glaring evidence that free market capitalism has been completely replaced by gangster cronyism.
It was bad enough before, but Obama has transformed kleptocracy into an art form and is a virtuoso player. --Don Hank)

Obama, Dems Received Contributions From Failed Power Company
Excerpt: Beacon Power Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy late last week, was the recipient of a $43 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department. Campaign contribution information from Open Secrets shows that Beacon Power's CEO F. William Capp donated to both Barack Obama and two Massachusetts Democrats..

The Truth About Public School Teacher Pay
Excerpt: Last winter, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) traveled his state, holding a series of townhalls in which he touted a significant but politically unpopular plan: asking public school teachers to accept a pay freeze and begin contributing 1.5 percent of their salaries toward their health care plans, whereas before they paid nothing. It's a battle that pitted Christie against powerful teachers unions, and it's a fight that has brought the issue of teacher pay to the center of the public square. That battle has played itself out across the country. Earlier this year in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker (R) faced a $3 billion structural deficit and the fourth-highest tax burden in the country. Among the reforms he enacted were limits to collective bargaining power and reform of public employee benefit plans, which included asking public-sector employees (including teachers) to make a 5.8 percent contribution into their pension plans and pick up the tab for 12 percent of their health care benefits, whereas before they paid nothing. Walker's actions led to unionized education employees leaving schools in protest and Democratic lawmakers fleeing the state in order to prevent the plan from passing the legislature.

Top official admits to gunwalking

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac executives get big housing bonuses
Gee, I can’t think of a better use for my tax dollars than using Fannie and Freddie bailout money to pay huge bonuses to the folks who started the housing bubble. Why don’t they “Occupy Fannie Mae”? ~Bob. Excerpt: The Obama administration’s efforts to fix the housing crisis may have fallen well short of helping millions of distressed mortgage holders, but they have led to seven-figure paydays for some top executives at troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the government regulator for Fannie and Freddie, approved $12.79 million in bonus pay after 10 executives from the two government-sponsored corporations last year met modest performance targets tied to modifying mortgages in jeopardy of foreclosure. The executives got the bonuses about two years after the federally backed mortgage giants received nearly $170 billion in taxpayer bailouts — and despite pledges by FHFA, the office tasked with keeping them solvent, that it would adjust the level of CEO-level pay after critics slammed huge compensation packages paid out to former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines and others.

The enemy is inside the wire: Shariah front groups now oversee fed's counterextremism training
Excerpt: What would have happened if, during the Cold War, Soviet intelligence had been responsible for training Americans charged with countering communist aggression? Surely, we would not have defeated the USSR. Perhaps, instead, Kruschev's boast that his nation would dance on our graves would have been realized. It should, therefore, be profoundly alarming that, today, the Obama administration is entrusting to agents of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan in Arabic) the responsibility for approving who and what is used in "countering violent extremism" training for our military, law enforcement, intelligence personnel. (Either the Obama administration is criminally incompetent and dangerously naive or simply wants the Muslim Brotherhood to have power in America. This underlying motivation to embrace avowed enemies should provide the vast majority of voters with justification to vote them out in 2012. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Excerpt: Back when I was a lawyer I handled several sexual harassment suits. None of mine settled for less than the high end of six figures. Reading about these two complaints, my gut reaction to them is that settling for five figures, which could be as little as $10,000.00 and as high as $99,999, was “go away” money. If the Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association, at the time one of the top 25 trade associations in Washington, D.C., were sexually harassing someone, that someone could get a lot of money. It just strikes me that a settlement for less than six figures is money paid to deal with the nuisances of an employee fired or otherwise let go who decided to raise the specter of harassment to get more money to leave without causing a scene. Dealing with harassment claims, no matter how substantive or frivolous, is one of the costs of doing business in America that causes more and more businesses to not do business in America.

US to fund $20m remake of Sesame Street for Pakistan
Just because we are beyond broke is no reason to stop throwing your money down rat holes. ~Bob. Excerpt: In a new effort to win hearts and minds in Pakistan, USAID - the development arm of the US government - is donating $20m (£12m) to the country to create a local Urdu version of the show. The project aims to boost education in Pakistan, where many children have no access to regular schooling. (This should really put a stop to the Pakistanis aiding terrorists. –Rod.)

Gingrich: Obama Caused ‘Anti-Christian Spring’
Excerpt: Taking a new tack in challenging President Obama’s foreign policy, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Saturday that the “grotesque failure” of the president’s approach in the Middle East has resulted in an “anti-Christian spring.” The former speaker of the House claimed that the number of Christians in Iraq fell from 1.2 million to 500,000 since the American invasion in 2003, and that Christianity is under assault elsewhere in the region. “This is why the current strategy in the Middle East is such a total grotesque failure,” Gingrich told about 200 people gathered at the Chesterfield Inn. “People say, ‘Oh, isn’t this great, we’re having an Arab spring.’ Well, I don’t know, I think we may in fact be having an anti-Christian spring. I think people should take this pretty soberly.” (At least Obama is even-handed about religion. Muslims slaughtering Jews or Christians or each other in Allahmurders is all the same to him. ~Bob.)

Fast and Furious: DOJ Officials Knew About Gun Walking Last April== More info for Eric Holder to be unaware of
Excerpt: Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News keeps plugging away at the story the Obama Administration very sternly instructed her to drop. Yesterday she published a remarkable new revelation about Operation Fast and Furious, the deadly inter-agency operation that pumped American guns across the border to Mexican drug gangs. It looks like all those Justice Department assurances of blissful ignorance about the crazy misadventures of those Phoenix ATF renegades just became, as they say, “inoperative”: Documents just released this afternoon show the head of the Justice Department's criminal division, Lanny A. Breuer, learned about the tactic of ATF gunwalking as early as April of last year.

Payday Loans by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: California is a great place for studying the thinking -- or lack of thinking -- on the political left. The mindset of the left was recently displayed in a big, front-page story in the October 30th issue of the San Mateo County Times. It was an investigative reporter's expose of the "payday loan" business and its lobbyists. According to the reporter: "In California lenders charge up to $45 in fees on a maximum $300 loan. This amounts to an interest rate of 460 percent, trapping some borrowers into a never-ending cycle of debt." Let's take this one step at a time. Whatever the merits or demerits of the rest of the argument, $45 is not going to trap anyone in a never-ending cycle of debt, even if they are making only the bare minimum wage. Personal irresponsibility in managing money can trap anyone, but that is regardless of whether or not they take out payday loans. Now to the 460 percent rate of interest. You don't need higher math to figure out that $45 is 15 percent of $300. How did we get to 460 percent? Very simple: By distorting the actual conditions of most payday loans.

The Conservative Case For Newt Gingrich
Excerpt: There are a lot of fine candidates running for President who are not Mitt Romney. You can certainly say fantastic things about Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and some of the other candidates who are reaching for that brass ring. Like everyone running, Newt Gingrich has his flaws, but given the state of the race, it's time to start giving Newt serious consideration.

Oakland Drowning in Social Justice by Debra J. Saunders
Excerpt: Occupy Oakland has scheduled a general strike throughout the California city for Wednesday. What does that mean? "No work. No school. Occupy everywhere," the group's website explains. "Shut down the city." And: "All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them." "Blockade everything." Occupy Oakland activists have not only free speech rights but also the power to stomp on other people's rights. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan -- a committed left-winger -- at first welcomed the protests. But with rats, vigilantism and too much stink, City Hall soured on the ensuing squalor. Too late, Quan discovered that if you give them an inch, they will take Frank Ogawa Plaza. Let them remain downtown and they threaten to trash other parts of the city. By the time Oakland police and other law enforcement tried to roust campers last week, activists had worked themselves into a lather of indignation. Protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers. Police responded with tear gas. Iraq War vet Scott Olsen, 24, ended up in the hospital -- for a cause that activists deliberately refuse to define. It's as if Olsen was injured in the name of hyperbole. Who are the self-styled 99 percent? The Occupy Oakland website explains: "We are the unemployed and those burdened by debt. We are losing our homes and we have no future. We have been brutalized by the police and exploited by the rich. We cannot take it any longer." Some on the left actually think the Occupy protesters help their cause by proclaiming that all but 1 percent of Americans are downtrodden. Everyone's a victim.

A political IED
The IED or improvised explosive device is the preferred weapon of our enemies. It is basically a bomb that goes off, inflicting injury on the good guys, allowing the bad guys to escape not only without injury but without identification. Over the last 48 hours, Herman Cain was hit with a political IED. The allegation was that two women were paid settlements and left the National Restaurant Association while Cain was the chairman of that group. The allegations were of behavior that was described as “inappropriate.”

LA Times Editorial: Obama’s Secrets
Excerpt: One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy. The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror. He has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming. He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members. And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. At present, if the government doesn't want to admit the existence of a document it believes to be exempt from FOIA, it may advise the person making the request that it can neither confirm nor deny the document's existence. Under the proposed regulation, an agency that withholds a document "will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist."


Europe’s Humiliation: From colonial powers to mendicants.
Excerpt: One hundred and fifty years ago, no one could mistake the relative power of Europe and China. When the British defeated the Chinese in the First Opium War, they imposed an indemnity, took Hong Kong, and forced open more Chinese ports to British merchants. They demanded extraterritoriality for British citizens, exempting them from Chinese law. Other Western powers extracted similar privileges. When this wasn’t enough, the British launched the Second Opium War after the Chinese seized a ship flying the British flag and refused to apologize. The French joined in, and the two together captured Beijing, and burned the emperor’s summer palaces for good measure. This nasty episode is worth recalling against the backdrop of the Europeans’ begging the Chinese to help bail them out from their debt crisis. What would Lt. Gen. Charles Cousin-Montauban, the commander of the French forces who marched on Beijing, make of Klaus Regling, the commander of the European bailout fund who traveled to Beijing hoping for a helping hand? What would Lord Palmerston, who justified war against China as a matter of honor, think of Nicolas Sarkozy’s supplicating his Chinese counterpart for funds? The Chinese refer to the period from the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th as “the century of shame.” Now, the shame is all on their former tormentors.

Woman raped at Occupy Baltimore

“Senate votes 13-85 against Coburn amendment to save $1B, end duplicative programs”
Why we can’t fix our problems and save the Republic. ~Bob.

Excerpt: This article speaks clearly to a dilemma faced by a grand and ancient culture – and with the EU by extension. One unspoken reason that Eurocrats are trying to set up a US$5 trillion slush fund is because Spain, Italy, Portugal and even France are in danger of collapsing into Greek style chaos. This article tells us something about Spain's increasing dilemma. Due to the euro-implosion Spain is in a bad way. But there has been a virtual news blackout regarding Spain's problems because the Anglosphere elites seem to want to concentrate on one EU problem at a time. Therefore the emergent dominant social theme: Solve the Greek problem, solve the "world." Of course, as we've pointed out, this latest bailout package won't work any better than others. In fact, the powers-that-be probably don't want the EU crisis solved.

Why this guy’s no sexual harasser
Excerpt: New Yorkers find it hard not to believe the worst of people -- especially politicians. Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, Anthony Weiner. We hear the news of their indiscretions, and we know: They did it. Not this time, though. Herman Cain is not that guy. Politico broke the story Sunday, in a four-byline exposé, that two women had accused Cain of sexual harassment when he worked at the National Restaurant Association. The allegations are vague and include “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature” and “physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable.” Cain told Fox news yesterday that the allegations were “totally baseless and totally false” and “never have I ever committed any kind of sexual harassment.”

It's Been Three Years

The one chart that explodes the myth of U.S. income inequality By James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: Promoters of the income inequality meme—Occupy Wall Street, the Obama White House, liberal think tanks, “progressive” bloggers—typically point to data showing how “rich” households and families have been getting even richer vs. those in the middle class. But yet there’s no evidence of any significant change in income inequality among individuals as this gobsmacking chart from the must-follow Political Calculations blog shows: (Unfortunately, the left doesn’t care about facts and the public responds to emotions and envy. ~Bob.)

Milk Street Cafe Owner Sacks 21 Employees As Consequence Of Occupy Wall Street Demonstration
Excerpt: The Occupy Wall Street movement, which says its goals include improving the economic lot for 99 percent of Americans, may have some explaining to do to some cafe workers now out of a job. Mark Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall Street, just let 21 employees go. The reason? The barricades police have set up throughout Wall Street as a consequence of the ongoing demonstration.

Senate GOP rips media for Cain story, alleges double standard
Excerpt: Conservative politicians like Herman Cain come under more media scrutiny than liberal candidates, several Republican senators said Tuesday. The GOP senators ripped the media for its handling of anonymous sexual harassment allegations against the Republican presidential candidate, and asked whether a Democrat would face the same kind of reporting in the absence of a public accusation.

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