Friday, December 16, 2011

Political Digest for December 16, 2011

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. E-Book available at Smash Words:
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American Muslims for Palestine's Web of Hamas Support
Excerpt: Muslims convicted in America of supporting terrorist groups are heroes and the victims of injustice, a national convention of Palestinian activists was told. In addition, speakers said the fight for a Palestinian state will center on American college campuses.

Iraq war draws to a quiet close
Congratulations to President Obama for ending the war on President’s Bush’s timetable, not the one Obama promised in 2008, and for doing so successfully despite Senator Reid’s assertion that it was lost, and thanks to the Bush surge that Reid and Obama opposed. ~Bob.

Recording of the first Jewish broadcast from Nazi Germany in 1944.

Keep memorial cross at Pendleton, Hunter says
Excerpt: A combat veteran and member of Congress has weighed into the controversy over a cross erected by veterans on a Camp Pendleton hilltop on Veterans Day to honor fallen Marines. In a letter sent Tuesday to Pendleton’s commander, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif., said he wants the cross to remain at Pendleton as a “tribute” to Majs. Douglas Zembiec and Ramon Mendoza, and Lance Cpls. Robert Zurheide and Aaron Austin, who also served in 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, during Hunter’s 2004 deployment to Iraq.

Republicans Or Democrats: Who's Really Out Of Touch? by Larry Elder
Excerpt: The next best thing to calling a Republican "racist," "sexist," "homophobic" or "Uncle Tom" (where appropriate) is to call him "out of touch." Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the latest wealthy Republican to be called "out of touch." The proof? Why, he offered to bet rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The amount offered was — gasp — $10,000!

Documents Reveal Coordination Between ACORN Affiliate and Justice Department Voting Section
Excerpt: Judicial Watch has done it again. It has produced–following a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ)–documents that suggest extensive coordination and communications between the DOJ Voting Section and former ACORN affiliate Project Vote. Project Vote appears to be directing DOJ resources toward particular states; is having meetings with DOJ staff; and is even recommending lawyers to work in the Justice Department Voting Section that will oversee the 2012 presidential election.

Paul Ryan moves away from controversial Medicare reform plan
Excerpt: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is moving away from his controversial plan to end traditional Medicare, putting forward a new proposal with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would keep the federally funded program in place. The plan, which Ryan and Wyden plan to unveil Thursday morning, would give Medicare beneficiaries a choice between today's Medicare and private health plans. Ryan’s first Medicare plan would have converted the entire program into subsidies for seniors to buy private insurance. 

Private Policing Options for the Poor
Excerpt: Protection against criminality is a traditional function of government. Where government fails, however, people often turn to the private sector. The need for private security is greatest for low-income families, since they are victimized by crime more often than other income groups. All too often, however, regulations price low-income families out of the market for private protection, say Kai Jaeger, a graduate student at Duke University, and Edward P. Stringham, the Lloyd V. Hackley Endowed Chair for Capitalism and Free Enterprise Studies at Fayetteville State University. At the most basic level locks, alarms and armed self-defense are important forms of private security. Private security also includes informal volunteer policing and professional armed private police. Economists Bruce Benson and Brent Mast have found evidence that private police reduce murder, robbery and auto theft, and strong evidence that private policing reduces rape. Private security agencies also tend to provide services at lower prices than off-duty public officers, enabling poorer communities to buy their own security force.

Worth Reading: What’s Going on Behind the Curtain? Climategate 2.0 and Scientific Integrity By H. Sterling Burnett
Excerpt: Climategate, both 1 and 2, are textbook cases of gross lapses in professional ethics and scientific malfeasance. To understand why, one must first understand what science is and how it is supposed to operate. … Climategate parts one and two are a series of leaked e-mails from arguably the most prominent researchers promoting the idea that humans are causing catastrophic global warming. The e-mails show the scientists involved to be violating their professional ethics with the result that climate science in particular and science as an institution more generally is brought into question. 

Criminal Code Is Overgrown, Legal Experts Tell Panel
Excerpt: The federal criminal code has grown so large it ensnares everyday citizens who have no idea they are violating the law, a bipartisan group of legal experts told a House panel Tuesday, says the Wall Street Journal. There are about 4,500 criminal statutes, says Edwin Meese, attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and now with the conservative Heritage Foundation. "This is in addition to over 300,000 other regulations that don't appear in the federal code but nevertheless carry essentially criminal penalties including prison," he says. (And for some laws, like anti-trust, the only way to know if you are in violation is for a court to rule. ~Bob.)

Taxpayers Finance Miami Marlins Christmas List By Steven Malanga
Excerpt: Nobody has been on a holiday shopping spree in America that matches the newly renamed Miami Marlins baseball team. In just a few weeks the Marlins have inked three free-agent deals, committing about $191 million in payroll for batting champion Jose Reyes, reliever extraordinaire Heath Bell, and perfect-gamer Mark Buehrle. Practically every story on these deals notes that the Marlins, whose entire payroll was a scant $29 million just a few years ago, have been stocking up in the hopes of filling a glitzy, new $645 million domed stadium with fans. But the Marlins would likely have been unable to afford this holiday-season splurge were it not that the taxpayers of South Florida financed three-quarters of the team's new stadium, largely against their will.

Global Warming and Adaptability
Excerpt: The Durban pit-stop in the endless array of climate summits has just ended, and predictably it reaffirmed the United Nations' strong belief that the most important response to global warming is to secure a strong deal to cut carbon emissions. What is almost universally ignored, however, is that if we want to help real people overcome real problems we need to focus first on adaptation, says Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. For example, what we can say clearly is that if we want to help New Orleans or other areas at-risk for hurricanes, cutting emissions will have virtually no impact for many decades. Bolstering hurricane defenses through improved levees and wetlands could, however, make a world of difference. This is even more true for hurricane impacts in Third World countries.

It's Time to Kiss the Tax Code Goodbye
Excerpt: Ready for a new year and another bout with the Internal Revenue Service, deductions, exemptions, pens and pencils, calculators, receipts, 1040s, W-2s, accountants, Quicken, TurboTax, and more? If you're like most Americans, that laundry list of income tax jargon, paraphernalia, professionals and their fees is enough to set your head spinning -- and even if it isn't, the thought of paying Uncle Sam your annual dues will certainly do the trick. America's tax code needs reform, plain and simple.

Phony fracking fears for NY By Robert Bryce
Excerpt: Opponents of gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in New York got a boost last week when the EPA issued a draft report that found that chemicals used in gas wells may have contaminated a shallow-water aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo. With the state Department of Environmental Conservation having extended the comment period on its proposed rules for drilling and “fracking” to Jan. 9, the critics will surely point to the Wyoming case as cause for New York to just ban drilling. In fact, the EPA report gives no reason for doing so. The situation in Wyoming bears little resemblance to how drillers would tap the Marcellus Shale, the vast formation that stretches from New York to Ohio and West Virginia.

The Hundred Years' German War
Excerpt: Millions of terrified Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Portuguese and other Europeans are pouring their savings into German banks at the rate of $15 billion a month. A thumbs-up or thumbs-down from the euro-rich Merkel now determines whether European countries will limp ahead with new German-backed loans or default and see their standard of living regress to that of a half-century ago. (…) The worries in 1989 of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President François Mitterrand over German unification -- that neither a new European Union nor an old NATO could quite rein in German power -- proved true.

Labor’s ‘occu-tools’ How union’s using port riots By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: Scruffy progressive protesters locked themselves together across railroad tracks, blocked traffic and shouted profanities at police on Tuesday in a coordinated “West Coast Port Shutdown.” Truckers lost wages. Shippers lost business. This is what the Occupy Wall Street movement calls “victory.” Aging Big Labor bosses toasted one another from the sidelines as they declared the “rebirth of the labor movement.” But what’s really going on is an old-school power grab by a decrepit union.

Sheriff Mack Announces Lawsuit Against SPLC, Run for Congress
Excerpt: At a speech in Sacramento, California, on December 10, Richard Mack, former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), announced that within a matter of days he will be filing a lawsuit in federal court against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for slander, libel and defamation. Sheriff Mack, who successfully challenged the 1993 federal Brady handgun control act in a landmark case that went all the way through the United States Supreme Court, has been an outspoken champion of constitutionally limited government and a critic of federal usurpation and abuse of police powers.

Commander in Creep: Got a friend who backs Obama? They have a list of people like you. By James Taranto
Excerpt: Somewhere along the line, somebody signed us up for the Barack Obama campaign emails. Normally we don't care for spam, political or otherwise, but these are so odd that we've kept them coming out of curiosity. Some of them have a stalker-like quality, plaintive yet vaguely menacing in their persistence, such as the one we noted in September titled "James, can we meet for dinner?" If you don't like it, you can always unsubscribe. But now the campaign is turning the creepiness up a notch. The Obama re-election effort has "asked supporters to make a campaign donation 'inspired' by somebody else," reports Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner.

Make Peace or Die
1-5 in Afghanistan

Pakistan, recipient of more than $21 billion in civilian and military aid, to tax military supplies going to Afghanistan
Excerpt: Pakistan is planning to tax supplies for U.S.-led coalition troops that are shipped through its territory to land-locked Afghanistan, officials revealed, in retaliation for the recent deaths of its soldiers in a "friendly fire" incident on the border. Under the proposal being worked up inside the government, which is set to become policy, a transit tax or fee will be imposed on every shipping container sent through Pakistan, according to senior military and civilian officials. The move will add tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the cost of the conflict, which is now a decade old. (Simple. For every dollar in tax, we deduct $2 from the aid check. Time to give India bunker buster bombs. ~Bob.)

More on Iranian Cyberplot, Plus Plans to Close Straits of Hormuz
Excerpt: In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez denied all the allegations and claimed the cyberplot was a fabrication by the U.S. "They are using a lie as an excuse to attack us," Chavez said. "We must be on our guard." (…) Meanwhile, Fox News is reporting that Iran announced military exercises to close the Straits of Hormuz. "Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz," said Parviz Sarvari, a member of the Iranian parliament's National Security Committee. "If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure." (This seems to be growing rapidly. Have you ever noticed that often, when you catch someone with their hand in the cookie jar when it shouldn’t have been there, they are more angry with you for catching them than you are with them for their attempt? That could be the situation here. Being a bully is a state of mind independent of physical size, so smaller people or countries can be bullies, too. And, bullies are always angry and resentful when thwarted. At least until you’ve beaten them convincingly. Ron P.)

The Syria Crisis: Assessing Foreign Intervention By Scott Stewart
Excerpt: The ongoing unrest, violence and security crackdowns in Syria have been the subject of major international attention since February. Our current assessment is that the government and opposition forces have reached a stalemate in which the government cannot quell the unrest and the opposition cannot bring down the regime without outside intervention.

Barack Obama Throws Bill Clinton Under the Bus
Excerpt: Historically when the left takes power in a country they begin to rewrite their history. Barack Obama, a quintessential leftist, has started doing that in the run up to his re-election. In his speech in Kansas last week, Obama claimed that at no time in our history had we ever spurred economic growth and prosperity by cutting taxes and deregulating. He conveniently had to overlook John F. Kennedy’s tax cutting in the 1960?s. But more importantly and more relevantly, he had to ignore the Reagan Revolution of the 1980?s that brought about an explosion of economic growth. As Newt Gingrich pointed out yesterday, in one month in 1983 the Reagan Recovery generated more than one million new jobs. Barack Obama and the Left must dismiss and gloss over this point. They must fixate on income inequality. They must fixate on poverty. Never mind that all levels of society saw benefit from the Reagan Revolution. While it was not equal, the overwhelming number of Americans alive at the time saw their standard of living go up.

A Chorus of Scientologists Claim Jim Jones Runs A Cult
Excerpt: Massachusetts with Mitt Romney as Governor became the testing ground for gay marriage, which Romney revisionists would have you believe he fought more than he actually did, and socialized medicine, which Mitt Romney is still quite proud of. The United States with Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House saw welfare reformed and the budget balanced. Mitt Romney once said he supported abortion rights because his mother did. His wife gave money to Planned Parenthood. As Governor he made numerous pro-abortion appointments. Newt Gingrich has always been solidly on the side of life. While I might choose to look at that record and go with Gingrich, the fine folks at National Review have endorsed Mitt Romney with a blistering broadside about Newt Gingrich for being unelectable.

Taking Newt Gingrich’s Ideas Seriously
Excerpt: And then there’s Newt Gingrich. Newt generates so many new ideas – he develops more firmly-held political convictions before breakfast each morning than Romney’s had his entire life – that it’s tempting to view them as essentially random. But there is a method to the madness. Setting aside for a moment Gingrich’s personal attributes, let’s look at his ideas, with particular attention to two recent interviews he did – one with Ben Domenech, Brad Jackson and Francis Cianfrocca at Coffee and Markets, the other with Glenn Beck.

Cities That Have Fired Their Police Forces
Excerpt: On December 1, Youngtown, Ariz., joined the ranks of the many U.S. cities and towns that have fired their local police forces. In recent years, it has become somewhat of a trend across the country for municipalities to disband police departments, most often due to financial restrictions.
24/7 Wall St.
has identified six cities and towns that have completely dissolved their local law enforcement groups. (Ever wonder: Did they cut back on Welfare? Oh, by the way, how many on Welfare (or related programs) are Illegal Aliens? Did they ever look at Government services that few people ever use? NO--They did it because they can sensationalize this, and know it will hurt more people --Dave)

The Shocking Truth about Lowe's and All American Muslim by Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack
Excerpt: So you're watching a soccer game in Dearborn, Michigan between Al-Tadamun and Chelsea, a game that was advertised in public leaflets and on the Arab American website; it was dedicated to something termed, “The Day of Jerusalem.” The thought of incorporating such a slogan into promotional material about a sporting event puzzles you. What is this “Day of Jerusalem” all about? Later, you discover that the game was hosted by Husham Alhusayni – the main spiritual leader of the Karbala Center in Dearborn – who was thanked by Samir Al-Jabiri and Muhammad Alhasayni who said the victory was “dedicated to honor the souls of the martyrs of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa...” These are clearly terrorists who murder civilians; such a dedication should spawn outrage but it did not.

Gunmen Kill Christian Couple in Mosul
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A number of gunmen shot and killed a Christian couple as they were walking towards their car on Tuesday night in the restive city of Mosul. Adnan Elia, 34 an owner of jewelry shop, and his wife Raghad, 25 were walking to their car in the Tammuz 17 neighborhood as assailants shot the two who died instantly on the scene. Their two children were hurt but are still alive.

If Tim Tebow wins the Super Bowl, his followers will burn down mosques
Excerpt: "My Tim Tebow Problem," by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman for Jewish Week, December 12 … If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.

Investigators: Probe of Drum Major's Death Reveals Employee Fraud at Florida A&M
Excerpt: Authorities looking into the death of a Florida A&M University drum major opened a new investigation after they uncovered possible employee fraud and misconduct at the school, according to documents released Wednesday. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sent letters to the head of the FAMU board and the head of the state university system telling them of their discovery. The letters did not detail the potential fraud or misconduct, saying only that it involves school employees as well as "persons associated" with the university.

Dem Senators Say 1st Amendment Doesn't Protect 'Fraudulent Speech'; Bill Would Outlaw Misleading Election Info
Excerpt: Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime to publish false or misleading election material in an effort to prevent people from voting. The law, the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011, would bring federal criminal and civil penalties to anyone who intentionally puts out false information in an attempt to dissuade or prevent people from voting. The law only applies to false information published 90 days before a federal election and only to information regarding voting eligibility and the time and place of elections. (Who could possibly be “against” such a noble cause as preventing “fraudulent speech” in elections? Obviously only those planning to speak fraudulently, right? But, as with most of the left’s brilliant schemes to revoke or diminish our rights, there is a problem. Who decides which speech is fraudulent? Incumbents? People appointed by incumbents? Elected officials? Local boards of censors? Editors from publications and TV? This is a well-disguised power grab that will create more problems than it solves. When Abraham Lincoln was accused of being both illegitimate and half-black (or half-Jewish, in some regions) during the election of 1860, he managed to win anyway because he had better ideas and more people trusted him than trusted the biased reports. Does anyone really think such a law would be evenly enforced? But, it would provide a nice, legal-sounding way to remove people saying uncomfortable things from the political marketplace, wouldn’t it? Ron P.)

Not All 'Protesters' Created Equal
Excerpt: …less obvious, is Time's disregard for the individual protester whose cause does not hew to the progressive party line. I have gotten to know several of these people well. Up close, through their travails, I have been able to see just how media bias shapes not only the fate of the protesters, but also the flow of history. As might be expected, Time Magazine did not choose to cite the one serious protester who served real jail time in 2011. That would be Lt. Col. Terry Lakin. Unknown to Time readers, Lakin spent five months in prison at Fort Leavenworth before his release in May of this year. His crime -- his real crime, that is -- was to challenge Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility to be president. (While the left regularly paints the right as hypocrites, for reasons I’ve never understood, the tactic doesn’t work when the right tries to use it on them. Either the general public already knows—and doesn’t care—that many leftists are hypocrites or they simply don’t believe even when their collective noses are rubbed in the evidence. Otherwise scams like the climate lobby or mortgages that can’t be repaid would never succeed in being made policy. Not to mention the hordes of politicians from both parties who’d never be elected to a second term. Ron P.)

Report: Half of American Schools Failed Federal Standards
Excerpt: Nearly half of America's public schools didn't meet federal achievement standards this year, marking the largest failure rate since the much-criticized No Child Left Behind Law took effect a decade ago, according to a national report released Thursday. (Let’s send ‘em more money and pay more pensions so they can continue mediocrity. We’ll be a 3rd world nation in no time! Don’t check the quality of their work or allow the teachers to be terminated. Results might improve… --Barb.)

Terrorist attack survivors outraged by White House guest
Excerpt: Survivors of a 1996 terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen are offended that an Iraqi official with ties to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was welcomed to the White House this week. “Outrage at the visit to the White House really doesn’t describe what I feel,” said William M. Schooley, who survived the June 25, 1996, bombing of the Khobar Towers. “I watched outstanding airmen die that night and witnessed horrific carnage. The survivors of Khobar Towers have been swept under the rug and now have received the greatest insult,” he added.

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