Saturday, December 3, 2011

Political Digest for December 3, 2011

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Must Read: Contagion Catastrophe
Excerpt: This is the worst-case scenario from Europe, and it just might come true: Italy defaults on its debts. Every major Italian bank collapses. Recession grips the eurozone. Sovereign defaults and bank failures ripple across the Continent. Saddled with bad loans to nations and lenders in Europe, American banks hemorrhage cash. Credit freezes in the United States. Multinational companies, unable to raise money, curb U.S. investment and hiring. Wall Street demands, but fails to get, new bailouts. The entire developed world plummets into recession and, quite possibly, depression. This, in contrast, is the placid warning that President Obama gave Americans about the threat: “If Europe is contracting,” he said on Monday, “then it’s much more difficult for us to create good jobs here at home.” (This is especially scary when you realize it’s coming from center-left National Journal that seldom gets excited. Either the author spent a lot of time thinking about the implications of current events and really didn’t like what he foresaw or he read Bob’s book, “Collapse.” Ron P. Out of work, hungry American, hunt down, kill and eat anyone connected with Fanny Mae. ~Bob.)

Real Unemployment Is Actually 15.6% – Bureau of Labor Statistics
Excerpt: The 8.6% unemployment figure released today is bogus. It does not account for the people who have given up looking for work or the underemployed. Why is this important? Because it reflects the lowering of the middle class standard of living and the diminishing of the work ethic that made our country great. (Only in America would the President call it “progress” when 315,000 people give up looking for work. If everyone gives up, unemployment will go to 0%. Celebration! ~Bob.)

Occupy Protesters Mobilize for Obama’s Visit
Excerpt: More than
100 Occupy Wall Street
protesters marched to a Midtown hotel on Wednesday night to protest a fund-raising event for President Obama. Escorted by police vehicles as they helped snarl traffic across the Times Square area, beginning at Bryant Park, the group settled in front of barricades on the southwest corner of 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue, in view of the Sheraton hotel at which Mr. Obama was expected to appear by 9 p.m. (To be expected. See Bolsheviks versus Mensheviks, Stalin versus Trotsky. ~Bob.)

If Christianity Goes, So Does Europe
Excerpt: More significantly, we see the EU developing into the ever-tighter totalitarianism which was envisaged from its inception. The founding fathers of the EU never foresaw a democratic union. The founders of the project, such as Coundenhove-Kalergi and Jean Monnet, always assumed there would be government not by elected statesmen but by technocrats.

Paying for Pet Projects at the Pump
Excerpt: The federal and state governments levy taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel primarily to fund highway construction and repair. These taxes average nearly 49 cents on every gallon of gas purchased. However, a significant portion of revenue is diverted to other purposes, such as education and public safety. In addition, states dedicate some of their revenues to nonroad projects mandated by the federal government, say Brian Bodine, a graduate student fellow and Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow, at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

EPA Proposes Ban on Rat and Mouse Poisons by Kenneth Artz
Excerpt: EPA’s decision could also force consumers to avoid treating their homes for rodents unless they can afford to hire a pest control professional to use the ingredients denied to individuals. Because some families do not have the discretionary income to pay for professional applicators, they may rely on less-effective treatments should EPA's recommendations take effect, or they may have to endure a rodent outbreak without treating it, which can lead to health problems.

Rethinking U.S. Taxation of Overseas Operations: Subpart F, Territoriality, and the Exception for Active Royalties
Excerpt: The U.S. government can effectively pro­mote this dynamism and growth with a tax system that taxes profits earned in the United States but leaves taxation on activity occurring in other countries to those other countries. Instead of pursuing this economic concept of neutrality, however, the U.S. government seeks to tax the profits of U.S. corporations wherever in the world they are earned. This worldwide tax system differs from most other countries, where only activity within the country's borders is taxed (territoriality). U.S. corporations operating overseas there­fore face a unique combination of burdens not borne by their international competitors: taxes owed to the United States, taxes owed to the country where the operating activity takes place, and a complex tax system that attempts to reduce the resultant economic harm but involves an array of credits and definitions (primarily the Internal Revenue Code's Sub­part F).

Walker administration would charge Capitol protesters for police, cleanup
Excerpt: Gov. Scott Walker's administration could hold demonstrators at the Capitol liable for the cost of extra police or cleanup and repairs after protests, under a new policy unveiled Thursday. The rules, which several legal experts said raised serious free speech concerns, seemed likely to add to the controversy that has simmered all year over demonstrations in the state's seat of government. (This will clear lots faster than pepper spray...Chris. Does freedom of speech require that you must allow others to impose whatever costs on you they wish? If my freedom of speech requires you to pay as a taxpayer to clean up the trash and destruction I leave behind, why doesn’t my freedom of speech allow me to burn down the homes of people I disagree with as political statements, thus imposing costs on them? ~Bob.)

Conservatives craft bill to prevent IMF bailout of crumbling eurozone
But, lacking four more RINOs in the US Senate, the Dems are in charge and can block this. ~Bob. Excerpt: Conservatives say they will try to block the International Monetary Fund from bailing out Italy and Spain, which they say could leave U.S. taxpayers with a huge bill. Republicans on both sides of the Capitol complain that the Obama administration has refused to share details of what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is discussing with European leaders amid reports the IMF could intervene. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says he is planning legislation directing the U.S. government to veto an expanded role for the fund.

Newt Gingrich as president could turn the White House into an ideas factory
Excerpt: This is America under President Gingrich: There are two Social Security systems — one old, one new, running side by side. There are two tax systems and two versions of Medicare. Immigration decisions are handled by citizen councils spread across the country. And in the White House is a president who is eager to do battle with the judicial branch.

Excerpt: The Senate passed a $662 billion Defense spending bill Thursday evening after a long fight over how the U.S. military detains terror suspects. The bill passed overwhelmingly 93-7, following an agreement reached late Thursday afternoon to add compromise language on the detention of U.S. citizens and terror suspects on U.S. soil.

Keystone oil pipeline delay may boost Obama in 2012 reelection bid
Excerpt: The Obama administration’s decision to postpone a verdict on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline might boost President Obama’s difficult reelection campaign. The administration said Thursday that it would review alternative routes for the proposed pipeline, pushing a final decision on the project well past Election Day and into 2013. (Obama is focused on jobs. Here’s tens of thousands more he has killed. Great aim. Enjoyed your Christmas, unemployed Americans. ~Bob.)

For Angry Employees, Legal Cover for Rants
Excerpt: Workers fired or disciplined for bad-mouthing employers on social-networking sites are fighting back using a decades-old labor law—a new front in the murky battle over what workers can do and say online. Since the rise of Facebook and Twitter, companies believed they had the right to fire employees who posted complaints or hostile or rude comments online about their employers. (Publically bad-mouth your employer. With any luck it will go out of business and you won’t have a job to complain about. ~Bob.)

Americans Embrace SUVs Again
Excerpt: The sport-utility vehicle is making a comeback. After being largely shunned during the recession, high-riding SUVs and workhorse pickups are regaining favor as U.S. consumers grow more confident and fuel prices remain below the $4 a gallon level that triggered a shift away from larger vehicles. (Lazy Americans—the Grinches who stole the Greenies Christmas. ~Bob.)

Romney’s flatline
Excerpt: The Newt surge isn’t about Newt Gingrich. It’s about Mitt Romney. Oh, it’s about Newt to the extent that he’s done an amazing job filing away his own rough edges since his campaign nearly imploded in June. At 68, Gingrich has achieved a striking emotional equilibrium in public, a condition of relaxation and ease that had eluded him during his period of greatest prominence two decades ago.

Funny, worth reading: Former SEIU president just gaga over China’s economic model
Excerpt: And now that I come to think of it, there’s a huge population of relatively non-producing folks hanging around. They are generally comprised of the elderly, the sick, and the very poor. They eat up a lot of resources, run up huge bills in entitlement programs and contribute almost nothing. So what if – again.. just for argument’s sake – we rounded them all up, put them to productive work building prisons, then locked them in those prisons, and held them until we found some ailing, rich Europeans in need of an organ transplant?

Excerpt: Before you ask: I was raised in a union household. I know precisely what that word means, and I am using it precisely as my late father the local union president would have used it if he had lived to read this Wall Street Journal article by former SEIU boss Andy Stern.

Obama – The Anti-Israel President

60% of adult illegal immigrants in U.S. for 10 years or more, report says
Excerpt: More than 60% of adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have lived here for at least 10 years and nearly half have minor children, according to a report published Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center. The analysis based on data from the March 2010 Current Population Survey and the Pew Hispanic Center’s 2010 National Survey of Latinos shows a marked increase in the long-term duration of illegal immigrants in the U.S. compared with a decade ago.

Journalists too close to or too far from Fast and Furious
Excerpt: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lashed out at a reporter from the Daily Caller Tuesday, when the reporter asked for his comment on calls for his resignation by some members of Congress. Holder told the reporter that it was his news outlet, not an "organic" shift of opinion, that was creating calls for his resignation. "You guys are behind it," Holder said, while pointing at reporter Neil Munro.

West Tightens Iran Sanctions After Embassy Attack
Excerpt: The European Union added 180 names to a roster of Iranian officials and companies whose assets have been frozen and are banned from travel to member states. While that action fell short of demands by Britain and France for an embargo on oil purchases from Iran, one of the world’s leading producers, ministers meeting in Brussels said they would consider such a restriction in coming weeks. The possibility of a more onerous measure confronted Iran in Washington, where senators voted, 100 to 0, to penalize any foreign bank that does business with Iran’s Central Bank, the conduit for Iran’s receipts from oil sales. (A unanimous vote of the Senate? I didn’t think they could agree on what day it was, let alone a serious policy. Why wasn’t this done years ago, before the Iranians got this close to having an atomic bomb (or bombs)? How many modern Catos do we need before we realize the Iranians have been at war with us—whether we were at war with them or not—for 32 years? We need to deal with this before some Iranian smilingly addresses his council with the Farsi equivalent of “USA delenda est!” Ron P.)

Loved ones not always told their relative is on controversial 'death pathway'
Excerpt: NHS doctors are failing to inform up to half of families that their loved ones have been put on a scheme to help end their lives, the Royal College of Physicians has found.

Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has been subpoenaed by Congress to testify about the bankruptcy of MF Global, the financial firm he once ran. The House Agriculture Committee agreed Friday to subpoena Corzine to appear before lawmakers and discuss what has become one of the nation's largest bankruptcies in history, and what happened to over a billion dollars in customer funds that cannot be found. (Another corrupt Wall Street bum. Why isn’t OWS camped on his lawn? Oh, yes, he’s a liberal Democrat, Obama-fund-raising corrupt bum. Silly me. ~Bob.)

Mitt vs. Newt by Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: It's Iowa minus one month, and barring yet another resurrection, or something of similar improbability, it's Mitt Romney versus Newt Gingrich. In a match race, here's the scorecard:

Worth reading: Unintended Consequences by George Will
Excerpt: The Supreme Court faces a discomfiting decision. If it chooses, as it should, to hear a case concerning racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas, the court will confront evidence of its complicity in harming the supposed beneficiaries of preferences the court has enabled and encouraged.

'Fast and Furious' Whistleblowers Struggle Six Months After Testifying Against ATF Program
Excerpt: Six months ago, several agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stood before Congress to testify about the details of a U.S. government program that armed Mexico's largest drug cartel with thousands of assault rifles. The administration denied it at the time and questioned the agents' integrity. The men were nervous and scared. They said they feared for their careers, their reputation and their families. (They are Enemies of the State. Their families must be punished. ~Bob.)

Students Uncover China Nuke Tunnels

Why Cuccinelli Will be Formidable in 2013
Excerpt: Multiple outlets are reporting that Virginia Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is planning to seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2013. And while some Democrats may be tempted to celebrate the news and proclaim that Cuccinelli is considered by some to be too far to the right to win, they do so at their own peril.  He proved an ideological conservative can win in heavily-Democratic Fairfax County, where one out of every seven residents of Virginia lives, during his two state Senate campaigns in 2003 and 2007. (He may very well be formidable. If my life depended on it, I could name the current AsG of the USA, Massachusetts, and him. Oddly, I know of him because of his suit against UVa for the climate research emails. I’d forgotten he was among those leading the Obamacare fight to the Supreme Court. He’ll have great name recognition, and I’ve heard that “being universally known, but disliked, is 40 to 50%.” Ron P.)

Nuke Update: “China Will Not Hesitate To Protect Iran With A Third World War”
Excerpt: Amid the tensions in Iran and the destruction of a second nuclear facility (which is detailed in the original story below), we find it necessary to present our readers with an update made available via The Daily Crux and Zero Hedge, in which Major General Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor from the Chinese National Defense University, said China “will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third World War.” (Can you say bluff? Wait until Iran starts arming China’s Muslims. ~Bob.)

Public-sector Millionaires
Excerpt: Well, most dictionaries define a millionaire as someone with wealth (i.e., assets) of $1 million. By that definition, many New York teachers and the vast majority of police and firefighters are millionaires, because the “net present value” of their retirement benefits is well in excess of $1 million.

Vulnerable Elderly Abused: What They Don't Need Are More 'Human Rights' - by Ed West, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: As always when faced with such inhumanity, one feels the need to question our species’ essential decency and to lament that we are fallen creatures doomed to a tragic existence. Nope, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, it’s because the carers weren’t trained in human rights. That’s according to the Commission’s Baroness Greengross, who on Radio 4 this morning said that: “None of us recognise how important training in human rights is. It is a tool that can help us ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect.” (More government jobs to train the chaff how to imitate human behaviour. - Kate in LA)

Too Funny: Iowahawk Geographic: The Secret Life of Climate Researchers
Narrator: Our very planet depends on them. Yet they remain nature's most elusive scientific species, inhabiting some of the world's most delicate and daunting academic environments. But thanks to new breakthroughs in high speed cameras and email files, metascientists are finally beginning to understand their mysterious behaviors and complex social interactions. Tonight on Iowahawk Geographic: step inside the Secret Life of the Climate Researchers.

WaPo Fact Checker: How much time is Obama spending on his reelection campaign?
Excerpt: Even by our somewhat crude measurement, Obama is spending at least 10 percent of his time on the campaign. Frankly, that’s what one would expect. The actual figure could well be higher. He wants to have another term, for Pete’s sake. Two Pinocchios

Researchers expose printer vulnerability, turn LaserJets into literal time bombs
Excerpt: Your precious printer might seem innocuous but, in reality, it could be a ticking time bomb just waiting for some hacker to trigger it. Oh, and we mean that not just figuratively, but literally as well -- they could actually be caused to burst into flames by some ne'er-do-well half-way around the globe. (Great. But, unless your printer has ALREADY burst into flames, how would you know if it had been compromised? For most of us, this is a worry without any practical solution. Since there have been “no reported cases,” it is probably not an important worry, but who knows? I’m not getting rid of my HP printer for this. Ron P.)

If you don’t respect property rights, you don’t respect any rights. ~Bob. Excerpt: Turns out people don’t like having their neighborhood church and businesses tagged with Occupy-related graffiti:

Trump to Moderate Republican Debate
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse. ~Bob.

Cain Reportedly Plans 'Major Announcement' on Saturday
After the beating he’s taken, probably can’t stand the thought of a Trump-moderated debate and is quitting. ~Bob
Obama's Job-Killing Global-Warming Agenda Continues Under the Radar by Sen. James Inhofe
Excerpt: The Kyoto process is essentially dead– and even President Obama is acknowledging it, much to the chagrin of his left-wing environmental base. The troubling question therefore is why is President Obama still determined to implement extremely expensive, job-killing domestic global-warming regulations through his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), especially as we struggle with a weak economy? Even Lisa Jackson, the head of the Obama EPA has admitted that the United States acting alone would have no impact on the climate. 

Boehner Leads Drive Limit Obama's Power Over Business
Excerpt: U.S. House yesterday approved the first in a series of bills to limit the president’s authority to regulate business, a move Republicans called necessary for job creation and Democrats labeled a political power grab.

'I'm gonna send that kaffir bitch straight to hell': Shocking details of Honor Murder of 17 Year-old Teenage Mom
Excerpt: The sexploitation of non-Muslim girls by Muslim men is epidemic in the UK. Codeword alert -- as in most coverage of Muslims, jihad, etc., code is used. "Asian" in UK press is Muslim. "White girls" is non-Muslim. Yet Islam is not a race, it's a religion.

Teach those evil 1% toddlers not to share their fair share of toys with the 99%. ~Bob. Excerpt: For nine days, Occupiers in Ft. Myers, Florida, took over the grounds of a Unitarian Universalist church and an adjoining preschool, driving out parents, toddlers, and teachers for the week. Unitarian elders originally invited the group to squat on church property after Sheriff Mike Scott ordered them out of the city’s Centennial Park for permit issues. But not one of the elders felt obligated to inform the staff of Creative Minds Montessori School, which rents permanent classroom facilities there.

Super Committee, R.I.P. from the
By now, everyone knows that the Super Committee has failed in their mission to cut the deficit. Whether it was partisan wrangling, political posturing, or old-fashioned kryptonite, the Super Committee was never able to take off. To put their failure in context, remember that the Super Committee was asked to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. In other words, the Super Committee couldn’t find a way to borrow $1.2 trillion less than originally planned. Keep in mind that Congress has already borrowed $15 trillion and is borrowing another $1.3 trillion this year alone. Furthermore, Congress is planning to borrow trillions more over the next 10 years. Cutting $1.2 trillion from our projected deficits over the next 10 years is like bailing water out of a boat without plugging the hole in the bottom. Bailing water is a great idea, but it is only the first small step if we want to stay afloat. The good news is that under the law that created the Super Committee, $1.2 trillion must still be cut from the deficit. A “budget sequester” will automatically impose across-the-board spending cuts, in spite of no Super Committee action. The bad news is that the budget sequester isn’t scheduled to happen until January 2013. That gives Congress plenty of time to tinker with the rules. And out-of-control entitlement spending is largely exempt from the budget sequester, which means that comprehensive entitlement reform is unlikely. To underscore the seriousness of this problem, and the fact that $1.2 trillion isn’t nearly enough to reduce the deficit, Fitch Ratings said this week that “failure to reach agreement in 2013 on a credible deficit reduction plan and a worsening of the economic and fiscal outlook would likely result in a downgrade of the U.S. sovereign rating.” Whether Congress will work between now and 2013 to significantly reduce the deficit-or whether they’ll spend the time trying to get around the budget sequester rules-remains to be seen. (It’s worth subscribing to their daily newsletter. ~Bob.)

New energy source—alert Obama
Excerpt: In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity. A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies. (More evidence we need death panels. ~Bob.)

1 comment:

  1. RE: freedom of speech require that you must allow others to impose whatever costs on you they wish?

    Tragically we have raised a generation that believe they have the right to take from others and impose what ever problems they have on others and our country until their given an equal share.

    Some are the 1% and some the 99%... It is not a percent problem, it is a generation problem and a moral dilemma that has eroded the fabric of our society over three decades.

    They were raised by the "greatest generation", they became the "me generation" and gave birth to "generation x".

    Do you know why it is called "generation X"?
    Because "x" is the most useless letter in the dictionary - fact

    In a generation we went from a society who "payed our debt in full" with their blood, sweat and tears to a society that expects someone else to "pick up the check"..

    While I may sound a little harsh... am I wrong?
    I am a GEN-X and a huge optimist that absolutely believes there is nothing wrong with America that can not be fixed by what is right in America. But to fix our problems, first we have to address a few and not just pass them on again and again and again hoping our grandchildren will pay our debts.