Friday, December 23, 2011

Political Digest for December 23, 2011

I’ll be traveling for Christmas. Will take the laptop, but will probably have little time for the blog. But that’s okay—you’ll probably have little time to read it anyway. Hope your holidays—whatever you celebrate—are joyous and safe.

I wish all my readers and contributors a joyous and safe holiday season, and the best of New Years. I don’t have time, literally, to open half the e-mails I get. Without folks feeding this blog, it wouldn’t exist. And without readers, it wouldn’t have a purpose. ~Bob.

Worth Reading: Best Political Quotes of 2011

No on Mitt Romney by Ben Shapiro
Excerpt: Throughout the Republican debates, Romney has somehow suckered much of the conservative world into believing that he is a solid fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative. He says many of the right things -- though he looks supremely uncomfortable saying them -- and this has been enough to send the GOP establishment, which loves a blue state Republican, into spasms of ecstasy. But as my dad told me when I was 10 years old: Don't watch what people say, watch what they do. (If you think this is rough on Romney wait ‘til the Dems start attacking him. –Steve.)

U.S. asks journals to censor bird flu studies By Julie Steenhuysen
Excerpt: A U.S. scientific advisory board Tuesday asked two scientific journals to leave out data from research studies on a lab-made version of bird flu that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon. (If they don’t, and it’s weaponized, I hope they are among the victims. ~Bob.)

Should Illegal Aliens Be Allowed to Vote in U.S.?

In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback puts tea party tenets into action with sharp cuts
Excerpt: If you want to know what a Tea Party America might look like, there is no place like Kansas. In the past year, three state agencies have been abolished and 2,050 jobs have been cut. Funding for schools, social services and the arts have been slashed. The new Republican governor rejected a $31.5 million federal grant for a new health-insurance exchange because he opposes President Obama’s health-care law. And that’s just the small stuff. A new “Office of the Repealer” has been created to reduce the number of laws and regulations, and the Repealer is canvassing the state for more cut suggestions. (Is it too late to draft him for President? ~Bob.)

White House launches #40dollars Twitter campaign aimed at winning payroll tax debate
Excerpt: What can you buy with $40? That’s what the Obama administration wants to know. Shortly after Republicans in the House of Representatives nixed the two-month extension to the payroll tax cut backed by the Senate and President Obama, the White House launched its latest campaign to win over public opinion in the fight.

Roseanne Barr Says Impeach Obama?
Excerpt: Guess who is calling for the impeachment of Barack Obama now? Former sitcom mother, stand-up comedienne, and self-proclaimed “domestic goddess” Roseanne Barr. (If Obama was impeached or removed by the courts and “birthers,” there would be riots in the cities, withy billions in damages and thousands dead. ~Bob.)

Just 44% Believe Their Home Worth More Than Mortgage
Excerpt: Home ownership used to be the cornerstone of middle class financial planning and equity in a home is typically a family’s biggest asset. But most homeowners now doubt they have any equity value in their home. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of U.S. homeowners shows that just 44% believe their home is worth more than the amount they still owe on their mortgage. (we bought a condo for $160k in 09. The same unit is being offered for $130k. We are not under water, only because I pay extra each month. Thank you Fannie Mae, Jim Johnson, Bill Clinton, Congress, the CRA, Countrywide, Goldman, Sachs and the other miscreants named in the great book Reckless Endangerment. ~Bob.)

Can the United States Continue to Suffer the Willful Ignorance of her Government and Survive?
Excerpt: Herschel Smith and I have had some lengthy conversations about this current war, the disposition of the enemy, their relationship with the civilian populations amongst whom they operate and the substance of the religion they all claim to adhere to. Fundamentally, we agree. We have had some minor disagreements about strategy selections from time to time but agree that an unintended consequence of 'giving the nod' to the "innocent population" in the AO (Area of Operation) is more dead American servicemen. For me; that is intolerable! As far as I am concerned, the number one responsibility of an American administration, American elected "servants", Sec Def, the Pentagon and the entirety of upper echelon military circles is to declare the security of the United States, it's citizenry and it's Warrior community as primary before choosing which strategy to employ and govern our use of force in the AO.

Defending Liberty and Security in Wartime
Excerpt: The official end of U.S. operations in Iraq last week calls to mind controversial issues from the past decade. One of the most important intellectual and policy battles, which remains relevant today, is over how to defend both civil liberties and security in time of war. In other words, how should America defend itself from enemies at home and abroad while also preserving the freedoms that we enjoy and that make our country great? People often say that we need to balance liberty and security. This implies that the two are opposed and that the more we have of one, the less we will have of the other. That’s an understandable way of talking, but it’s wrong.

The Gingrich-Churchill Comparison By Bruce Walker
Excerpt: Newt Gingrich is not our "Next Reagan," the leader for whom we have pined since 1989, but could he be our next Churchill? Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator has made the comparison, and it deserves more attention. Consider all the baggage that Winston Churchill carried with him when he first became prime minister in 1940. His personal life was far from normal. Clementine Churchill had a brief affair with Terence Phillip, and she offered her fourth child with Churchill to a friend. Sarah, the Churchills' eldest child, committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills. (Our situation is, IMHO, as desperate as Britain’s in 1940. The difference is, all Brits knew it was desperate. Most Americans think it’s only desperate if their favorite program gets cut. ~Bob.)

The Black Occupy Protester -- Missing in Action by Larry Elder
Excerpt: As "Person of the Year," Time magazine named "The Protester." The subhead read, "From the Arab Spring to Athens, From Occupy Wall Street to Moscow." Well, yes, but what about the lack of American black protesters? Good Lord, where is the racial diversity/inclusion/proportional representation? Back in the day, the tea party's alleged lack of black participants was beyond worrisome to the media. The lack of black faces in the crowd allowed the major media to describe the tea party as racially exclusionary, if not ... racist!

Two Bad September Days--Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: But a decade later, the unforeseen happened. More than 30 major attempts to trump the 9/11 attacks have all failed. Across the globe, radical Islam is in disarray. The U.S. military killed bin Laden. His successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, remains in hiding. The Arab world's two most prominent murderous lunatics, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, are dead. Middle East theocracies and dictatorships have either fallen or now totter. For all our internal bickering, the Obama administration continued almost all of George W. Bush's antiterrorism policies.

A fix for Russian science isn't taking hold
Excerpt: For the past decade, Russia has been pouring money into scientific research, trying to make up for the collapse of the 1990s, but innovation is losing out to exhaustion, corruption and cronyism. (The Washington Post...Russia's science woes...a demographic and education issue of major proportions... –WB)

Lisa Jackson's Power Play--- Harming the economy, degrading the U.S. grid: another day at the EPA.
Excerpt: At an unusual gala ceremony on the release of a major new Environmental Protection Agency rule yesterday, chief Lisa Jackson called it "historic" and "a great victory." And she's right: The rule may be the most expensive the agency has ever issued, and it represents the triumph of the Obama Administration's green agenda over economic growth and job creation. Congratulations.

What Ron Paul Thinks of America: It seemed improbable that the best-known American propagandist for our enemies could be near the top of the pack in the Iowa contest, but there it is. By Dorothy Rabinowitz
Excerpt: Ron Paul's supporters are sure of one thing: Their candidate has always been consistent—a point Dr. Paul himself has been making with increasing frequency. It's a thought that comes up with a certain inevitability now in those roundtables on the Republican field. One cable commentator genially instructed us last Friday, "You have to give Paul credit for sticking to his beliefs."

Obama's Strategy—And How to Fight It: Pretending the past three years' dismal economy is someone else's fault is not likely to fool voters. By Karl Rove
Excerpt: This month, during a speech in Osawatomie, Kan., and in an interview on "60 Minutes," President Barack Obama laid out the broad contours of his re-election strategy. Republicans would be wise to examine his words and prepare accordingly.

And a Happy Festivus From Congress Too: Why should politicians use taxpayer funds to get their name to pop up in Google searches? By Jeff Flake
Excerpt: Some would say it's Grinch-like that members of Congress cannot send any mail pieces from their offices wishing constituents a "Merry Christmas." But read a little deeper into this issue, and chances are you'll be siding with the bah-humbug crowd. Members of Congress can, of course, extend any holiday wishes they desire on a personal basis: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Kwanzaa or even, with a nod to George Costanza, Happy Festivus. Members of Congress just can't use taxpayer dollars to send these season's greetings if extending such greetings "is the primary purpose of the communication." This is a good thing. Do you really need to pay for Congressman X's awkward family photo featuring a dozen grandchildren and the family dog in matching sweaters with the U.S. Capitol photoshopped into the background?

WWII hero loses home to foreclosure
Excerpt: One of 18 remaining survivors aboard the USS Arizona in the Pearl Harbor attack, he is a vestige of a time when simple and quiet courage, divested of boasting and posturing, was the order of the day. As a young man, Conter saved himself and his compatriots from the inferno of the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, before going on to pilot numerous dangerous missions over hostile territories in the Pacific Theater and lead his brethren into fierce battles that ultimately decided the destiny of an entire nation.

The Anti-Incumbent Election Myth: Or why you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a "triple flip" election by Alan I. Abramowitz
Excerpt: There has never been a triple flip election and there is not going to be one in 2012. Not only that, but despite the abysmal approval ratings that Congress has been receiving, 2012 will not be an anti-incumbent election. That’s because opinions about the performance of Congress and opinions about whether most congressional incumbents deserve to be reelected have little or no influence on the outcomes of congressional elections. Political scientists have long recognized that Americans generally make a distinction between Congress as an institution and their own representatives in Congress. They usually rate their own representative (and their own senators) much more favorably than they rate Congress.

Pakistan: 675 "honor killings" in the first nine months of 2011
Excerpt: They're working hard in Pakistan to ensure the Muslim world doesn't slip from being responsible 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. As this report notes, there is no law against domestic violence. Such legislation stalled out in the assembly in 2009 with resistance on Islamic grounds. It would run the risk of prohibiting something Allah made lawful: hitting (yes, hitting) "disobedient" women (Qur'an 4:34). Islamic law is also inconsistent at best on whether parents face any penalty for killing their children. The relatives carrying out the killings clearly feel they are justified in what they are doing, and are confident they will not only avoid severe penalties, but earn respect for their brutality.

Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder’s list of Operation Fast and Furious critics has grown over the past several days, as four more have signed on to a resolution of “no confidence” in him. Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Kevin Brady of Texas, Tim Griffin of Arkansas and Tim Walberg of Michigan have all now signed on as co-sponsors of Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar’s “no confidence” resolution.

UK: Anti-Semitism Rampant in Muslim Schools Second Generation More Extreme than Parents
Excerpt: Muslim religious schools operating in Britain are using poisonously anti-Semitic textbooks from Saudi Arabia to teach children as young as six that Jews are descended from "monkeys" and "pigs," and that Zionists are plotting to take over the world. The schools are also instructing children on how to chop off the hands and feet of a thief as per Islamic Sharia law. These are just a few of the findings of a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) exposé of Saudi-run Muslim schools in Britain that aired on the prestigious Panorama documentary television program on November 22.

Obama’s Media Flying Monkeys Get Their Marching Orders, Gear Up To Do Battle
Excerpt: Now the mainstream media aren't even trying to conceal it. Witness the leading lights of the Beltway press who went to the White House Monday to get their political talking points. What are these people, anyway? The relationship between Barack Obama and his media continues to burn with the same ardor as it has from the opening days of the 2008 campaign. The latest example is private sessions the White House has held with certain favorites not for the purpose of imparting news but for advising how to spin it.

Officials Plead Guilty in New York Voter Fraud Case
Excerpt: A total of four Democratic officials and political operatives have now pleaded guilty to voter fraud-related felony charges in an alleged scheme to steal a New York election. The latest guilty pleas expose the ease with which political insiders can apparently manipulate the electoral system and throw an election their way, by the forging of signatures of unsuspecting voters that are then cast as real votes. (And the darn Republicans want to put an end to Democrats “making sure they vote the right way” by requiring IDs to vote. ~Bob.)

Critics Blast Obama's $4 Million Vacation

American jihadi among those killed in Sunni/Shi'ite clashes in Yemen
Excerpt: Probably this American went to Yemen to study Islam, and ended up getting involved in jihad warfare. Yet the U.S. Government's official position is that jihad warfare has nothing to do with Islam, and that it is offensive to suggest otherwise.
It's sheer madness. We are ruled by madmen.

A Vandalized Valley: While the elites make excuses, citizens cope with theft and destruction. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: I am starting to feel as if I am living in a Vandal state, perhaps on the frontier near Carthage around a.d. 530, or in a beleaguered Rome in 455. Here are some updates from the rural area surrounding my farm, taken from about a 30-mile radius. In this take, I am not so much interested in chronicling the flotsam and jetsam as in fathoming whether there is some ideology that drives it. (The collapse spreads. ~Bob.)

Wasn’t 9/11 “workplace violence”? ~Bob. Excerpt: The killing of Osama Bin Laden in May brought a sense of resolution to Americans, but a ruling by a federal judge shows justice has not been delivered. In a decision that should forever change the story of 9/11 and the West’s Middle East policy, Judge George Daniels has just ruled that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for 9/11. Judge Daniels concluded that 9/11 happened because of Iran and Hezbollah’s direct support for the plotters, especially the hijackers, and probably would not have happened without it.

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