Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Political Digest for December 6, 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. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

Planned Economy Cartoon

Really Fast Results?
We were talking to a friend in Scotland, who’s daughter, 47, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She said they were really fast in responding. She said it’s only been five weeks since she went in, and she got the diagnosis last week—it takes a few weeks to get the test results. They will have a treatment plan for her this week, they hope. We didn’t have the heart to tell her that in the USA’s much maligned health care system, she would already be on chemo, and lung cancer patients have a higher survival rate than in the UK. All we could do was add her to our prayers.

Excerpt: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has Mitt Romney worried, but to defeat the former Massachusetts governor, he must clear major hurdles. Gingrich’s vision for the future, his superb debating skills and his bashing of the media has won over many in the GOP base. Polls show that Gingrich is surging in the early states, and his timing could not be better.

Excerpt; Jon Corzine, former CEO of MF Global, has given tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party in recent months, putting Democratic lawmakers in awkward positions ahead of Corzine’s subpoenaed appearance before a House committee next week. (QL: Why isn’t OWS camped in Corzine’s front yard? A: He’s Obama’s Wall Street fundraiser. Can’t upset the powers that support us. ~Bob.)

Help the Democrats Help Maxine Waters Finish the Job on Banks by John Ransom
Excerpt: While there has been some talk about scratching Maxine Waters as the replacement for Barney Frank on the House Financial Service Committee, by the look of the googly eyes Democrats are making at each other, don’t count on Dems to do the decent thing. The decent thing would be have Go-to-Hell Maxine step aside for a less ethically challenged liberal- you know, if there are any. (Maybe Waters will be good. She is so corrupt and far left, she may bring the Dems house down. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The taxpayers are being beaten to death by liberalism. Meanwhile academic liberals are complaining that they are taking a beating with recent budget cuts, which they claim are unjust. For the first time in a long time, I agree with the liberals. The budget cuts are unjust. In my view, they aren’t deep enough. If you disagree, consider this: One public university in North Carolina has just found money to start (in the midst of a budget crisis) a new scholarship to reward feminists for engaging in feminist political activism on the job.

Some Democratic strategists worry about Gingrich’s potential appeal
Excerpt: But even as Gingrich’s sudden rise has filled many Obama supporters with cheer and some Republicans with dread, some Democratic strategists worry that the combative Gingrich presents some challenges for the Obama campaign that would not exist if Romney were the GOP candidate.

Science isn’t what matters. What matters is the statists getting to feel good about making decisions for you, for your own good, because they are smart sand you are stupid. ~Bob.

Democrats Decry the Hatch Act --Oh My!
Excerpt: Election season is upon us and political opponents seem willing to do anything to get the upper hand. The Hatch Actrecently resurfaced as a tool in this battle when Carolyn Lerner, the newest head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), sent a letter to Congress claiming that the Hatch Act is flawed, ineffective and unfairly penalizes political appointees. She wants the statute to be changed. Even more interesting is that the New York Times and the Washington have taken valuable space on editorial pages to support Democrats' new push to reform the Hatch Act, calling reform a "no brainer". (Might as well repeal it. Holder won’t enforce it against Democrats anyway. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Don’t you think our military veterans deserve decent health care? I certainly do. That’s why I like Mitt Romney’s idea of setting the veterans free. Give them the opportunity to choose private health care alternatives to the Veterans Health Administration (V.H.A.), a system that too often fails them. Why can’t we do for veterans what we do for seniors? About one in every four Medicare beneficiaries is not actually in Medicare. They have enrolled instead in private health insurance plans operated by such entities as Aetna, United Health Care, Cigna, etc. Why can’t we give people who risked their lives for the rest of us similar options?

Worth Reading: Courting Joe the Puppeteer by Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: Today's Democratic Party has an ingrained cultural aversion to the Booker T. Washington school. Liberal elites see themselves as a multiracial talented tenth, planning the economy and guiding society. In power, they lavish support on fashionable but unproductive sectors of the economy, such as green-energy boondoggles, and they buy off big constituencies invested in ever larger government such as public-sector unions, the "helping professions" and even too-big-too-fail businesses.

Worth Reading: Muhammad Hates Diversity by Ben Shapiro
Excerpt: This week, in Oakland, Calif., America saw yet another stellar example of the glories of diversity. At a taping of a rap music video in that fair city, eight people, including a one-year-old child, were shot. When a classical music video goes wrong, somebody busts a string. When a rap music video goes wrong, somebody busts a cap. Such observations, however, are now taboo. We're not supposed to suggest that the rap culture is any different from the classical music culture or that one is better than another.

Delay the Coronation by George Will
Excerpt: Republicans are more conservative than at any time since their 1980 dismay about another floundering president. They are more ideologically homogenous than ever in 156 years of competing for the presidency. They anticipated choosing between Mitt Romney, a conservative of convenience, and a conviction politician to his right. The choice, however, could be between Romney and the least conservative candidate, Newt Gingrich.

The Comeback Kid of 2012 by Peggy Noonan
Excerpt: Having long ago ruled Gingrich out, GOP voters suddenly rule him back in. This is the week it became clear that nobody knows anything. Pretty much all the conventional wisdom about the 2012 presidential race has turned out to be wrong. Newt rules, Cain's over, Romney's rocked. Nobody knows what's going to happen.

High-Speed Rail Authority spending millions on PR
Excerpt: They have yet to lay a single track, but the California High-Speed Rail Authority has spent some $12.5 million on public relations in the past two years - with a number of politically connected consultants getting in on the ride.

Newt Gingrich Cleared! Now How About a Refund?
Old article of current relevance. ~Bob.

The Gingrich Divorce Myth
Excerpt: Did Newt Gingrich ask his former wife to sign divorce papers on her deathbed? … For almost three decades, Newt Gingrich has been dogged by a story that he served his first wife divorce papers while she lay in a hospital bed battling — or in some versions dying from — cancer. It didn’t happen that way. In fact, Gingrich, the presidential candidate and former House speaker, and his first wife, Jackie Battley, had already separated and were planning to divorce before she was hospitalized. And while Battley had earlier undergone cancer surgery, this time she was in the hospital recovering from surgery to remove a tumor that — according to one of the couple’s daughters — was benign. Battley isn’t talking to reporters, but she’s still very much alive.

Agenda 21 and the Threat in Your Backyard
Excerpt: Ready to trade in your car for a bike, or maybe a subway instead? Interested in fewer choices for your home, paying more for housing, and being crammed into a denser neighborhood? You can have all this and more if radical environmentalists and "smart growth" advocates have their way and local, state, and the federal government impose the policies set forth in the United Nations' Agenda 21.

25 House-Passed Jobs Bills Stuck in the Democratic-Run Senate
Excerpt: The House passed three more common-sense jobs bills last week, bringing the current number of jobs bills awaiting a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate to 25. Each of these bills is focused on removing government barriers – excessive regulations, the threat of tax hikes, and ‘stimulus’ spending policies – that are hurting job growth, and many have bipartisan support. (Dear Mr. President. We can’t wait to pass these job bills. Oh, if only we had four more RINOs in the senate and controlled the flow of business. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Major television broadcast and cable TV networks have refused to air ads of animated Obama and Bernanke characters, on grounds that they were “too political.” Google TV has broken this censorship of the ads by the old establishment media, making it possible for DISH and DirecTV to begin airing the ads.

Team O: blaming Israel — again
Excerpt: It didn’t last too long. Last week, President Obama and Jewish campaign donors boasted that his is the most Israel-loving administration in history. This weekend, his top officials gave a new meaning to the term “tough love.” “This administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration,” Obama told a group of Jewish donors gathered Nov. 30 at the Manhattan home of American Jewish Congress chief Jack Rosen.

Quote from Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt.”
So far, I'm not in love with any of these guys, and I don't expect to be. (I know, I know, I must secretly be a Romneybot. Never mind that I responded to Romney's appalling whine about Bret Baier by urging the governor to wear a cup in the most recent Three Martini Lunch, and I heartily concur with Brian Faughnan's assessment that a Romney nomination is the emotional equivalent of getting socks for Christmas.)

Fast & furious lies
Excerpt: It was all a lie. The angry denials, the high dudgeon, the how-dare-you accuse-us bleating emanating from Eric Holder’s Justice Department these last nine months.

N. Korea's participation in Vietnam War specified in new dossier
Excerpt: North Korea dispatched dozens of pilots to the Vietnam War decades ago, with its communist ally short of specialists to operate MiG-17 and MiG-21 fighter jets in battles against the United States, according to a recently released dossier.

Obama Administration’s Threefold Slap in Israel’s Face
Excerpt: But no one should be fooled. In recent days, statements by two very senior officials and one lesser official have shown that this administration remains relentlessly anti-Israel in some of its basic attitudes.

Excerpt: French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Monday for a new European Union treaty to restore confidence in the euro currency and to ensure that the region’s debt crisis never happens again. The new treaty should include automatic sanctions for countries that violate rules meant to keep government deficits in check. (In the old days, the Germans sent panzers to take over your country. Now they send bankers and bureaucrats. ~Bob.)

Welfare fraud investigators raid $1.2 million Lake Washington home
Excerpt: We millionaires and billionaires need to pay our fair share so the oppressed can go on living like this. ~Bob. Excerpt: Federal agents have raided a Seattle couple’s $1.2 million lakefront home looking for evidence that they’ve bilked the government for more than a decade. Filing a civil lawsuit Friday, federal prosecutors in Seattle claim Lyudmila Shimonova and her partner, chiropractor David Silverstein, sucked money out of state and federal assistance programs while living well in a Lake Washington mansion.

Has the War with Iran Already Begun?
Excerpt: Though the activities are classified, a senior Obama administration official also would not deny that such a program was under way. He indicated that the U.S. was not involved in every action, referring to recent alleged explosions at Isfahan and elsewhere. But, he added: “I wouldn’t assume that everything we do is coordinated." (To answer the title question: probably not. These statements (and others like them) are not “admissions” of anything. They could be read as implying we are behind ALL of Iran’s problems from restrictions on banking to earthquakes and cyclones. Statements like these, even if accompanied by winks and nods, are purposely ambiguous. The point is to keep the opponent off balance and unsure of our capabilities and/or intentions. Instead of guarding just what they think we might target, they have to guard everything, all the time. Lest someone feel sorry for them, the Iranians do exactly the same thing to us, for exactly the same reasons. So, what we really do know is that events are occurring in Iran that we don’t fully understand. Since Iran has been continuously at war with us since 1979, it wouldn’t be shocking to find we’ve finally taken some action to return fire. Some of us might even say it’s overdue. Ron P. Depends on what your definition o “war” is. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Senate Democrats have shrunk a proposal to cut payroll taxes in hopes of luring Republican votes for the centerpiece of President Obama’s jobs plan. Democrats have reduced the $265 billion extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut, which failed last week in a vote largely along party lines, to a new proposal totaling $180 billion, according to a Democratic official familiar with the proposal. The new proposal will extend and expand the payroll tax cut for workers, giving average families an extra $1,500 next year. Democrats have “reluctantly” decided to cut the payroll tax break for employers because of Republican concerns over its cost, said the official.

Scientific Discovery May Lead to Woolly Mammoths Roaming Earth
Cool. Give us a head start in returning to caveman days. ~Bob.

Justice Department involved in new corruption scandal, says watchdog group
Excerpt: The already scandal-ridden Obama Justice Department is being accused of more misbehavior, according to a blog this week by a top "Inside the Beltway" watchdog group. A Justice Department program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars each year to supposedly combat juvenile delinquency is now under fire for giving a leftist group nailed for rampant corruption in the past -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN -- taxpayers' money that was fraudulently spent.

Worth Reading: A Tale Of Two Economies In The Headlines
Excerpt: Recent headlines regarding the drop in the unemployment rate from 9% to 8.6% right? Wrong. Those are headlines from January 2004, when the jobless rate dropped to 5.7% and when President Bush was just starting a re-election campaign.

Time for Domestic Anti-Radicalization Program
Excerpt: The U.S. Central Command has a new rapid-response team which uses information, rather than weapons, to combat terrorism, the New York Times recently reported. Hunting down conspiracy theories and bogus reports on Middle East websites, media outlets and in the social media sphere, the Digital Engagement Team works at "containing lies, misinformation or just misperceptions" about American policy and military actions.

Another electric car company bites the dust
Excerpt: Nissan is still far in the lead with a grand total for the calendar year at 8720, though GM is slowly closing the gap at 6142 sales. Note that for comparison purposes, the 326 Volts sold in December 2010 are not included. To balance this, Volts which spontaneously combust are not deducted from total sales, despite the total loss of vehicle, and sometimes the home too. (There’s no current estimate of how much Federal money this one may have lost. Funny article, too. Ron P.)

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