Monday, November 28, 2011

Political Digest for November 28, 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.

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ABC News Report! - - - American Bridges & Roads Being Built By Chinese
You Obama-Stimulus Shovel-Ready Tax Dollars at Work. ~Bob.

An Editorial: For President, Newt Gingrich
Excerpt: This newspaper endorses Newt Gingrich in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. America is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.

Schumer and Bill Clinton plant kisses of death on Newt
Excerpt: The New Hampshire Union Leader's endorsement of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich could not have come at a better time for the former Georgia Republican Congressman, as he is getting kisses of death from places GOP primary voters are not necessarily fond of. Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, knows very well that any kind of support from him towards a Republican candidate could deep six that GOP'er in as fast as New York minute. (Amazing that GOP voters can't see through such a ploy. Such is the state of the electorate. ~Bob.)

One Chart to Rule Them All
Excerpt: Before you click to enlarge the chart (below), please consider this Los Angeles Times article by Ronald Brownstein, which appeared in print on page A-5 of the May 31st, 1999 morning edition.

ATF and DOJ Break the Law: Conspiracy​, Wire Fraud, Operation Fast and Furious
Excerpt: Following a widely watched hearing conducted by the US House Government Oversight Committee July 25, 2011 William G. McMahon, (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)‘s deputy director of operations in the West, William D. Newell Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the agency’s Phoenix office and David Voth, field supervisor who oversaw Operation Fast and Furious that allowed over 2,000 rifles to walk into the arms of Mexican Drug Cartels, were whisked away to the safety of ATF Headquarters fortress on New York Avenue in Washington, DC. Many that viewed the hearing and most ATF agents in the field believe these men should have been arrested, or at the least fired, for their gross incompetence and outright violation of US Law.

Huntsman's Disqualifing Distortion About Vietnam
Excerpt: Jon Huntsman was seven years old in 1967, so it’s not clear what he remembers, and he doesn’t provide enough detail in this quip to determine what “course of action” he means. But for the candidate who has touted his foreign policy credentials, and has served as a diplomat in Asia, the implication that the war in Vietnam went awry when President Lyndon Johnson listened to his generals is either ignorant or an irresponsible twisting of history to fit the leftist narrative about the U.S. military. (I can't remember the name of my second grade teacher when I was seven, so I am impressed that Jon Huntsman can remember his thoughts about politics and foreign policy when he was that age. --MasterGuns )

Nigel Farage: Crisis Has Created 'German Dominated' Europe
Excerpt: Failure to tackle the eurozone crisis has produced a "German-dominated Europe", UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has said. He claimed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had taken charge because of the lack of leadership by a group of men - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg Prime Minister who is chairman of the eurozone group of EU countries. ("Mr Juncker said: 'Is this a European parliament, or a parliament of domestic concerns? In which case you don't want to see me here.' " Mr. Juncker, there would be no European Parliament if your stealthy predecessors had not long ago falsely promised peoples with national concerns that their freshly minted idea of a United States of Europe would respect, and not trample these national concerns as they are doing now. They lied so that culturally diverse nations with little in common would sign on to your now-crumbling unholy alliance, and now you are all in trouble as a result of that lie. So don't blame people with legitimate national concerns. After all, these Europeans never once told you they didn't have any national concerns. Why wouldn't they? Does a child love a strange lady more than its own mother? So blame the architects of the resurrected Roman Empire for falsely claiming they would respect national concerns when they knew bl--dy well they would not. --Don Hank)

Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East
Excellent article! A must-read! Ron P. Excerpt: While it is unreasonable simply to say that Iran will dominate Iraq, it is fair to say Tehran will have tremendous influence in Baghdad to the point of being able to block Iraqi initiatives Iran opposes. This influence will increase as the U.S. withdrawal concludes and it becomes clear there will be no sudden reversal in the withdrawal policy. Iraqi politicians’ calculus must account for the nearness of Iranian power and the increasing distance and irrelevance of American power. (…) The situation in Syria complicates all of this.

Arab League approves Syria sanctions
Excerpt: The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state. Before the vote, Damascus slammed the vote as a betrayal of Arab solidarity. Besides punishing an already ailing economy, the sanctions are a huge blow for a Syrian regime that considers itself a powerhouse of Arab nationalism. At a news conference in Cairo, Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said 19 of the League's 22 member nations approved the sanctions, which include cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank and halting Arab government funding for projects in Syria. Iraq and Lebanon abstained.

China and neighbori​ng states to patrol Mekong River
Excerpt: China is to launch joint patrols of the Mekong River with Thailand, Laos and Burma, according to China's state news agency Xinhua. The patrols follow an attack last month on two cargo ships near the Thai-Burma border during which 13 Chinese crew members were killed. The first joint patrol is due to be carried out before 15 December.

The Sex Addiction Epidemic
Excerpt: In fact, some of the growth has been fueled by the digital revolution, which has revved up America’s carnal metab­olism. Where previous generations had to risk public embarrassment at dirty bookstores and X-rated movie theaters, the Web has made pornography accessible, free, and anonymous. An estimated 40 million people a day in the U.S. log on to some 4.2 million pornographic websites, according to the Internet Filter Software Review. (A geek friend tells me almost every major development in computer communications has been driven by, or adopted early by, porn sites trying to gain a competitive edge. While sex addiction must be terrible for its sufferers, I urge caution in accepting any figures about it. In my experience, the only subject EVERYONE lies about is sex (some to exaggerate, others to erase). You’ll get truer answers regarding criminal activity, finances, politics, or religion. --Ron P. They say the definition of an alcoholic is someone who drinks more than you do. So a sex addict must be someone who thinks about sex more than I do, meaning there are very few true addicts. ~Bob.)

Russian Backing for Iran and Syria: For What and for How Long
Excerpt: In recent years, Russia has in practice served as the gatekeeper of international pressures on Iran and Syria. These nations, along with Hizbollah and Hamas, constitute the Middle East's anti-Western (and of course anti-Israel) “axis of evil,” dedicated to a global struggle to promote its members' radical agenda. However, it is necessary to distinguish between two current issues: international pressure on Syria in the wake of its brutal suppression of the popular uprising, and developments stemming from the publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran’s nuclear program.

Bolton: America should never be in a fair fight, we should always dominate
This is exactly why I love John Bolton and one of the reasons I would have voted for him as president. He understands what makes the world safe and when it comes to spending levels, he believes we should invest more in defense because when we are at our strongest, the world is at it’s safest. Now don’t confuse that with nation building, which he is against. But when he’s said in the past that we need to get rid of the wasteful spending and then reinvest that money back in defense, he was serious. Because as he points out here, his philosophy is that America should never be in a fair fight, that we should instead always dominate. --Dave.

French study: Electricity liberalisation has failed to deliver benefits to households
Excerpt: Even though CO2 emission rights were given away free to operators from 2005, the CO2 quotas had a sales value as they could be bought and sold in the market. ‘Thus, CO2 became a component in the cost of production of electricity just as primary energy or staff costs, from January 2005’. The public struggled to understand how a free quota for producers was billed to consumers. But that was the aim from the beginning: to give electricity prices a carbon signal (In many ways, the EU was designed to provide a “federal government” for a “united states of Europe.” This report is a stark reminder that the governments of the individual nation-states—just like here in the USA—continue to play an important role in the costs incurred by their citizens. Electricity costs in Denmark are more than twice the costs in Greece, for example. The excerpt also indicates one of the problems of “carbon-dioxide control.” Should California learn from this study? Yes, but they won’t. Ron P.)

In Bloombergistan, government lackeys have gone mad
Excerpt: In this age of joblessness and terror, thank you for saving us from lobby cats who threaten to spread fluffiness and petability while frightening the populace with their purring. Thank you for saving us from the growing menace of soup kitchens that give out warm, nutritious home-cooked meals without clearing any of this with the Inspector Clouseaus of the restaurant-regulation industry. Thank you for being the last line of defense between us and cheese-based snacks placed on bars, where people might eat them.

The Federal ID that Pays Illegal Aliens Billions a Year
Excerpt: But since ITINs, as they are commonly known, are issued to wage earners regardless of immigration status, they’ve frequently been abused by the aliens who hold them. Although the real estate crisis is fading from our memory, it’s important to recall that the ITIN was the vehicle used in lieu of Social Security numbers, which then legitimized the disastrous lending policy of providing home mortgages to unqualified illegal aliens.

Taliban paid £100 a month to stop fighting
Excerpt: Members of the Taliban who give up their fight are being paid £100 a month and will be allowed to keep their guns in a new initiative to end the insurgency. (Wonder why we didn't try this with the Nazis and Japanese in WWII? What could go wrong? ~Bob.)

Iraq: One in five women suffer physical or psychological abuse
Excerpt: As always, the elephant in the room which this story avoids is the role of Islamic teachings and traditions, in the Qur'an, and in the example of Muhammad. Qur'an 4:34 allows a man to hit (yes, hit) women in his household from whom he fears disobedience. Child marriage persists due to the example of Muhammad (see also: Sahih Bukhari 7.62.88), who consummated his marriage to a nine-year-old at the age of fifty-four. "No law can be passed that contradicts the fixed principles of Islam" in the post-Saddam Iraqi constitution (Chapter 1, Article 2), and resistance to reforms in favor of the protection of women will invoke the supremacy of Sharia.

Iran threatens to hit Turkey if US, Israel attack
Excerpt: Iran will target NATO's missile defense installations in Turkey if the U.S. or Israel attacks the Islamic Republic, a senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said Saturday.

Cairo rally: One day we'll kill all Jews
Excerpt: A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo's most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to "one day kill all Jews." Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the "battle against Jerusalem's Judaization." The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations' partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state. (Obama's moderate Muslim buddies. ~Bob.)

Inside Oakland Bubble, All Free Speech Isn't Equal by Debra J. Saunders
Excerpt: Somehow demonstrators have managed to turn Frank Ogawa Plaza into a tent stew and shut down parts of the city in a so-called general strike Nov. 2, and still they think they're victims who have been deprived of their free speech rights. But if they want to see what it's really like to fight City Hall, they should talk to Walter Hoye. Hoye's offense was to walk up to people with a sign that said, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help." For that he was arrested twice in 2008 and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Is Obama Eyeing Clinton for VP?
Excerpt: Democratic pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen have urged the president to forgo re-election for the good of his party and the nation. But those don’t seem like factors that would necessarily influence this president. Instead we might see him decide to switch to a vice presidential candidate who will be stronger, better, and change the thinking of a majority of the Democrats–namely, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Week That Was: 2011-11-26 (November 26, 2011)
Excerpt: Quote of the Week: “On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question”. ~ Charles Babbage, mathematician and computer scientist (1791-1871) (If nothing else, I urge everyone to read the editor’s introductory remarks (down to the line of green hash-marks). TWTW includes a fairly good timeline of events leading to, and following immediately after, Climategate 2. There are so many worthwhile articles, I may copy some in later in the week, but be sure to read John Brignell’s essay “How we know they know they are lying:”, linked in the introduction. Oh, yes, Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer.  Ron P.)

Butterball Free Zone
Dear Sir: We had a great Thanksgiving in our Butterball-free home. As long as you slaughter one bird in that vicious, cruel, inhuman Halal manner, we will buy no Butterball product. Please send me any other brand names you or affiliated companies sell under, so we may avoid them as well. ~Bob and Bonnie Hall

Excerpt: The result: According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, just 28 percent of Americans now approve of the Occupy movement, and James Carville will no longer take their calls. But the primary reason this correspondent has turned bearish (sorry) on the Occupy Wall Street movement is hypocrisy. Recently, the feds announced that executives at the near bankrupt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agencies would receive close to $100 million in bonus money. Also, the guy who ran Solyndra into bankruptcy got a nice departure package despite the fact that the solar-panel company wasted about $500 million of taxpayer money.

Worth Reading: Are Progressives For the Little Guy by John C. Goodman
Excerpt: The fundamental economic vision of progressivism was to not to combat special interests, but to embrace and empower them. In a very real sense, "progressivism" means rule by special interests. As the leftist historian Gabriel Kolko has documented, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) — our first progressive-era federal regulatory agency — was dominated by, and served the interest of, the railroads.

Death Spiral in Euroland by Jeff Carter
Excerpt: Europe has hit the point of no return I am afraid. Debt ratings in some countries went to junk yesterday. Italy paid record highs in their latest auction. Tell me, how is Italy not junk? (Followed, alas, by death spiral in dollarland. ~Bob.)

Yemen's Saleh quits, giving way to Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda
Excerpt: And Barack Obama couldn't be more pleased: "Barack Obama called on Yemenis to immediately implement the 'historic transition' that had been agreed."
This CNN article, by the way, continues the stupid mainstream media practice of referring to pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists as "conservatives," so that conservatives are those who favor Sharia and simultaneously also those who oppose it. (This will kill Americans. ~Bob.)

Unions cry foul over Republican​’s NLRB resignation threat
Excerpt: The labor movement is crying foul over a resignation threat from a member of the National Labor Relations Board that would effectively quash a long-sought change to union election rules. Brian Hayes, a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), has threatened to resign because of a proposed rule that would speed up union elections, according to a Nov. 21 letter from his colleague, Mark Pearce, the labor board's Democratic chairman. (I see their point. The unions paid good money to the Obama campaign to own the NLRB, and feel they are entitled to full value, the job-hungry public be damned. ~Bob.)

80% of ‘Green Energy’ Loans Went to Obama’s Top Donors by Wynton Hall
Excerpt: With Energy Secretary Steven Chu set to testify Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the government’s $573 million loan to failed solar panel maker Solyndra, an explosive new list of energy loan amounts to President Obama’s top fundraisers, bundlers, and supporters has been released by Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer, author of Throw Them All Out.

Excerpt: The Market is down all six of the last six trading days, the S&P looks to be headed for a bounce today, but is this something to cheer or just an oversold bounce? The reason for this slaughter-fest? Continued lies by governments — specifically, those in Europe. The “big lie” of the season (and year) is the same one we’ve run in the United States for more than 30 years: We can spend more than we take in and it will be ok. Europe is coming. Yes, here, to these United States. Sort of like an exchange of museum exhibits (eg, Singer Sargents for Mannets). I believe I had read at FedUpUSA that we would need to save not 1.2 trillion over 10 years as currently discussed, but in fact over a trillion PER YEAR for several years before we could speak of a fiscally sound policy. Yet those with higher canine intelligence than average are buying the MSM's narrative of needing only a trillion or so over 10 years. (Brief explanation of canine intelligence: The Weimaraner, for example, is considered an intelligent dog because if is more obedient to its keepers than other breeds. That canine definition of intelligence is now being applied to humans here in the West. The new breed of humankind could be called Canis occidentalis, the most obedient being deemed the smartest. That explains our press, our politicians, our professionals, etc). Good article, though I gritted my teeth at the use of "strum" for the intended German word Sturm (lit.: storm, from the German literary expression "Sturm und Drang"). Or was he referring to guitar playing? --Don Hank

Bachmann: Gingrich letter exposes support for blanket amnesty
Excerpt: For those who didn't know, Bachmann was the candidate with the best immigration grade from NumbersUSA. That alone puts her head and shoulders above the rest, some of whom -- like Ron Paul -- had failing or near-failing grades. People keep saying they like Bachmann but don't think she has the money behind her to command a decent campaign. I say: put your money where your mouth is! --Don Hank

Must Read: Legislative scholarships flowed to top union lobbyist's kids
Why we love public employee unions. Poor guy slaved away for one whole day in the classroom for a lousy $100k taxpayer-funded pension. After a grueling stint like that, who would begrudge him free taxpayer-funded tuition for his kids? Read the whole article to see how one hand washes the other--you provide the soap. ~Bob. Excerpt: Two of Preckwinkle's children and a nephew were awarded the tuition waivers to Illinois State University in the late 1980s and 1990s as part of the legislative scholarship program, according to David Ormsby, the privately paid spokesman for Preckwinkle.

Toilet Paper Scam: Three People Face Prison, Plead Guilty To $1 Million Fraud Charges
Excerpt: Federal prosecutors in Florida say at least three people working for a septic tank company duped customers into buying about $1 million in unnecessary products – in some cases enough toilet paper to last more than 70 years. More than a dozen customers were told they needed special toilet paper to avoid ruining their septic tanks because the federal government changed regulations on toilet paper. (Well, you can see how people might believe there were new federal toilet paper regulations. But with seventy years worth, you could move the previous question in the House of Representatives! ~Bob.)

Excellent Video on the Tax-the-Rich Mentality
This puts it clearly. ~Bob.

The Purple Foxes
Great video, wonderful but sad story. ~Bob

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