Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Political Digest for May 31, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

Free PDF Copy of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic.

Blog Time
Readers write and, thanking me for the sources in the Political Digest, often ask, “How do you find the time to work, do the blog and still read all the books you recommend—do you ever sleep?” I get some links from Twitter, but most days don’t have time to look at it, and I subscribe to news feeds. Thanks to many contributors, the blog doesn’t take near as much time as people think. I usually spend two to (rarely) three hours an evening, then e-mail it to myself. During the day at work, items cross my desk as I’m scanning healthcare and economic news to keep the board of the non-profit I manage informed, and I often pop them into the digest as well as send them to my bosses. Plus people send me pre-formatted items, which I can cut and paste right in, which takes about three seconds. Those who send formatted usually get their submissions in, as they take almost no time. People who send me items with just links that need to be formatted only get in if I think worth saving to the evening to take the time. Stuff that says only something like, “Must See,” that the sender didn’t have the time to tell me anything about I don’t have the time to look at. Rarely do I have the time to search for things without links. I get about 300 e-mails a day (less on the weekends), between work and two personal accounts. As to reading, I try to save an hour a night to read history, economics, politics or other serious subjects. I watch almost zero TV, except the local news, military history when on the rowing machine at 6:00 am, or a football game with a book in my hand. I try to get through two to four non-fiction books a month, both in print and audio books in the car, but I recommend only those I think worth reading and that some of the blog readers may find of interest.

Format for the blog:
1. Article title as it appears, in bold, with the writer’s name if it’s commentary
2. (live link to the full news/opinion article on line)
3. Excerpt: No more than three sentences, less from short items, to stay within fair use rules.
4. (Your comments, if any, for publication.)

Left on a Bar
Good picture. ~Bob

Want to help with research into moral values?
I recommended the book The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt. At this site, you can take a number of interesting surveys on the foundations of your moral beliefs, then compare them to both liberals and conservatives on the same surveys. It helps Dr. Haidt and his colleagues on their research. You can also provide feedback. (I thought the one on ethnicity and culture was bad, because it assumes that race and culture are the same thing, clearly wrong IMHO. I think many of our problems are based on culture, not race. I’d prefer to hang out with black Marines over white Greek socialists any day. Or white German Nazis or white Russian Communists. But I found most of them quite interesting. ~Bob

We Can Cut Government: Canada Did
Excerpt: Two decades ago Canada suffered a deep recession and teetered on the brink of a debt crisis caused by rising government spending. Since then, the country has undergone a remarkable recovery, reclaiming financial strength and harnessing a powerful economic boom. The United States would do well to learn what it can from Canada's experience and adopt its pro-growth policies, says Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute. The origins of Canada's problem lie within an incredible spending binge that began in the late 1960s and lasted for 16 years.

Plastic Bag Ban Will Put Los Angeles In Landfill: Proposal would provide no environmental benefits and deepen city’s economic depression. By Jay Beeber
Excerpt: There’s a crisis in Los Angeles. Is it the city’s projected $250 million budget deficit? The city’s $10 billion shortfall in pension obligations? Its crumbling infrastructure? A public school dropout rate approaching 50 percent? No, the City of Angels is facing catastrophe in the form of grocery bags. (Silly boy. The point of these things is not to help the environment. The point, as with so much of the Green Movement, is to make liberals feel good about themselves, regardless of the impact on average folks. Of course, they are always willing to get rich by "saving the environment." See Gore, Al. ~Bob.)

Iran acknowledges that Flame virus has infected computers nationwide
Excerpt: Iranian officials have acknowledged that a sophisticated virus has infected computers across the country and, echoing the conclusions of security researchers, suggested that the malicious code is related to the virus that damaged centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility two years ago.

It's Time To End The Job-Killing U.S. Sugar Policy
Excerpt: Bitter about paying artificially high prices for the non-artificial sweetener everyone uses just so a politically connected family can enjoy the sweet life? It's time lawmakers put a lid on the honey pot. An Iowa State University study has found that the federal sugar program costs U.S. consumers roughly $3.5 billion a year and deprives the workforce of 20,000 jobs. This New Deal-era framework of barriers on sugar imports and of price supports for domestic sugar is a racket that benefits only a few, in particular the Fanjul family of Florida. (When government picks winners and losers instead of the market, you can bet that the average guy will be on the loser list. ~Bob.)

Romney app misspells ‘Amercia’
Excerpt: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign misspelled the word “America” on its new iPhone app, and it’s already paying a price for it. In the app, the phrase “A Better America” is misspelled “A Better Amercia.” (What a bad typo. The Romney campaign must have a graphic artist so dumb he thinks there are 57 states. ~Bob.)

Dewhurst and Cruz headed for runoff in Texas Senate race
Excerpt: Dewhurst will face former state solicitor general Ted Cruz, a favorite of the tea party, in the July 31 runoff. The winner of that runoff will be a heavy favorite to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), after Democrats failed to land a top-tier recruit. With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Dewhurst led Cruz 46 percent to 33 percent. Seven other candidates split the vote enough, though, to push the two into a runoff, according to AP.

Dems face debt-limit dilemma
Excerpt: Democrats are grappling with how to approach another standoff with Republicans over raising the debt limit after abandoning demands for a “clean” increase last time around. In talks last year, Democrats campaigned vigorously for a debt-ceiling increase that was not paired with spending cuts or deficit reduction, only to drop the demand when the deadline for default approached in early August.

The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful — Nominations now open!
The Hill is now taking nominations for its 2012 50 Most Beautiful People list. Send nominations to Please include the person's name, place of employment, contact information and a photo. Those eligible include members of Congress, congressional staffers, lobbyists and anyone else who works regularly on Capitol Hill. All nominations are kept confidential. (Best to use my full name, Robert A. Hall, not just “Bob,” when nominating, to avoid confusion…. Seriously, I nominated Cpl. Todd Nicely: US Wounded Warrior Overcomes Loss of Arms & Legs to Pass Driving Test Hard to find a more beautiful American. ~Bob.)

The White House Defends Public Equity
Excerpt: Up is down, left is right, good is bad, and day is night. If you wander inside the Washington, D.C., beltway, you'll enter a bizarro world where, at times, commonsense is replaced by a localized logic that is completely divorced from the reality. The latest example of political gobbledygook comes courtesy of White House press secretary Jay Carney, who yesterday lapsed into rambling rhetoric when asked to explain how President Obama can defend the failed Solyndra solar boondoggle, yet attack private sector investments that sometimes fail but oftentimes succeed.

Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election -- which the Congressional Black Caucus chair expects will help President Obama's campaign. (And if the Romney held a briefing for “white pastors”? Of course, in Holder’s own words, these are “my people.” Not folks of other colors. For a racist, black, white, red or yellow, race is everything. ~Bob.)

Election fraud in D.C.? By Jonetta Rose Barras
Excerpt: It's too bad U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. can't indict (DC Mayor) Vincent C. Gray and his 2010 mayoral campaign team under the RICO Act. It certainly seemed as if they were running an organized criminal enterprise. Two people from Gray's inner circle essentially have admitted to obstructing justice, offering a bribe and money laundering.

Judge halts construction on nearly completed, widely-hated monster mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Excerpt: A judge has ruled that construction of a controversial Murfreesboro mosque must cease immediately. Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled that construction must cease because not enough notice was given about May 2010 public meeting. Muslim pressure group CAIR is already demanding that Eric Holder bring in the big guns.

Poland seeks apology for Obama Holocaust comments
Excerpt: Poland has demanded an apology from Washington after President Barack Obama spoke of a "Polish death camp" while announcing an award to a resistance fighter for alerting the world to the Nazi Holocaust, largely perpetrated on Polish soil. The matter is a delicate one in Poland, which suffered a brutal Nazi occupation during World War Two and has long campaigned against suggestions it bore any responsibility for the slaughter of some 6 million European Jews.

Gun beats knife
Excerpt: Being a retired cop made all the difference for Kio Ebrahimzadeh when he and his date were threatened with a knife earlier this month. The majority of California residents would have been helpless in the face of the imminent assault

Excerpt: The defection of a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to the Republican Party is raising some eyebrows. Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.

Iran's Offensive in America's Backyard. By Clare M. Lopez
Excerpt: While much attention lately has rightly been focused on Iran's nuclear weapons program, the mullahs have also been busy elsewhere—especially in America's own backyard. During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's two-term presidency, Iran has expanded its activity in the Western Hemisphere to an alarming degree.

Lawmakers seek legislation to combat labor union sabotage
Excerpt: With incidents of labor union officials and members advocating—and sometimes committing—acts of violence against businesses and non-profit organizations becoming so prevalent in the U.S., especially during disputes with management over benefits and pensions, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are considering specific legislation. (Zero chance in the Democrat Senate. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The next act of Greece’s financial tragedy looks like it’s coming. Whether or not Greece exits the euro zone immediately after its June 17 elections, most analysts now predict it’s only a matter of time until it does so. Recriminations are being hurled in all directions with Greeks blaming the European Union for abandoning them while more and more EU officials say the Greeks should look in the mirror.

Worth Reading: The End Of The Euro: A Survivor’s Guide. By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson
Excerpt: In every economic crisis there comes a moment of clarity. In Europe soon, millions of people will wake up to realize that the euro-as-we-know-it is gone. Economic chaos awaits them. … A disorderly break-up of the euro area will be far more damaging to global financial markets than the crisis of 2008. 

Quote from NRO’s Morning Jolt with Jim Geraghty
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Democrats, who fled the state to avoid voting on Walker's reforms, who let protesters take over the state capitol for several days, who compared the governor to Hitler, and who forced recalls of state legislators and the governor (putting state voters through seven elections in one year), have coalesced behind one final closing argument: Scott Walker has divided the state. Really.

Traitorous Ft Hood Bomb Plotter Cites Islam as Motivation
Excerpt: “A Muslim U.S. soldier accused of planning to bomb Fort Hood troops says he wasn’t seeking vengeance but justice for people in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a recording played at his federal trial Wednesday.

Michelle Obama's "Civilian" Act Is Hard To Swallow. By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: My prediction? As soon as the fawning media frenzy dies down and Mrs. Obama's book rises to the top of The New York Times best-seller list, POTUS will go back to claiming that FLOTUS is a "private citizen" who should be left alone. The Obamas' Chicago strategists have long enjoyed invoking selective immunity for the first lady without challenge. Lapdog reporters have assisted in creating an impenetrable bubble of political protection around the profligate, policy-meddling first lady.

Excerpt: Name-calling is the coward’s way to avoid intelligent discourse. Liberals are notorious for responding to just about anything or anyone with whom they disagree using ad hominem rebuttals to discredit their opponents.

Spending? What spending? Obama’s laughable denials. By Rich Lowry
Excerpt: Franklin Delano Roosevelt never denied that he created Social Security. Lyndon Baines Johnson didn’t forswear any responsibility for Medicaid. Ronald Reagan never argued that his defense buildup didn’t happen. The Obama White House, in contrast, wants to wish away the historic federal spending that is one of its signature accomplishments.

Excerpt: A new report by the California division of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) found that left-wing political activism has had a corrupting effect on the University of California (UC). The report, entitled A Crisis of Competence, found that left-wing political activism in the University’s classrooms has caused four basic problems: (A lot of this has been discussed for some time, but an official report with actual numbers is the kind of factual input needed to remove any doubt about what goes on in the universities. And as the article says, it doesn't matter how many courses are still taught appropriately, what matters is how many are taught inappropriately. Clearly way too many, from what we see of activities on and off campus by students. A student can take 5-6 classes per semester, but it only takes one of them, in history or polisci or psychology, etc, where the leftist vision of America is presented as factual, to have a serious and very unfortunate affect on that student's thinking. If in the 40 or so courses that make up his/her years in college, only 3-6 of them are badly taught, that's still way too many, with way too much effect on that student's mindset. –Del. American Universities celebrate every kind of diversity except diversity of thought—the only kind that matters. ~Bob.)

The Week That Was: 2012-05-26 (May 26, 2012)
Excerpt: On Thursday, the EPA held the only public hearings on its proposed new rules, “Carbon Pollution Standards on New Power Plants.” One hearing was in Chicago and one was in Washington. The Washington hearing was packed with environmental groups, all claiming that coal-fired power plants should be closed down for reasons of public health. (The excerpt is from Ken Haapala’s summary of the week’s news, but the most important thing to read may be the third numbered article (reprinted in full at the end of the post), “Scientific Method and Climate Change” by Vincent Gray. Dr. Gray published it privately in printed format only, so it has no online link. Dr. Gray was one of the IPCC’s “expert reviewers” and frequently testifies for NZ police departments as an “expert witness.” This brief, powerful article shows the holes through which the climate scams are being driven in truckload quantities. Ron P. )

Obama regime again tells media to scrub story about Michelle Obama’s Beyonce concert junket
Excerpt: Just as I expected. Obama instructed his lapdogs in the media to scrub the story about Michelle Obama and their kids going to Atlantic City to see a Beyonce concert on the tax payer’s dime. Like good lapdogs, the media obligated and scrubbed the story just like they did when Malia Obama went to Mexico with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents back in March. Oh, and then a day after Malia Obama returned from the tax payer funded trip to Mexico, the two Obama daughters went with Michelle Obama to Las Vegas on the tax payer’s dime. Must be nice. 9Look over there! Anne Romney bought an expensive blouse with her own money! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In the wake of Chen Guangcheng arriving safely in the United States, after years of persecution in China for his anti-abortion activism, The House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on H.R. 3541 (also known as the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act – PRENDA), a bill to ban sex-selection abortions in the United States. Although the US has strongly condemned China for their sex-selection abortion practices, only four states (AZ, OK, PA and IL) currently have laws banning the procedure.

AP Exclusive: Calif. 9/11 fund raided for deficits
Excerpt: But a review by The Associated Press of the $15 million collected since lawmakers approved the "California Memorial Scholarship Program" shows only a small fraction of the money went to scholarships. While 40 percent has funded anti-terror training programs, $3 million was raided by Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to plug the state's budget deficit.

Sentenced to death for singing and dancing at wedding
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, police say.

Somali Islamists fire on foreign warships
Excerpt: Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents said Tuesday they had fired on two foreign warships that came in close to the key rebel port of Kismayo, in the first such reported incident.

Catholic Church -- Socialism vs Democracy
Excerpt: Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom. (Socialism vs Democracy! Very powerful and insightful message that should be shared with all. --MM)

'Trayvon Martin Day' Indoctrination in D.C.; Priming the next generation of race rioters. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: In an event that illuminates the ongoing politicization of the nation's public schools, Malcolm X Elementary school in Washington D.C. held an event called "Trayvon Martin Day" last Friday. "The children at Malcolm X know the name Trayvon Martin," principal, J. Harrison Coleman told WJLA-TV. (But do they know the name of Chris Cervini? Why not? ~Bob.

Our Nation's Future. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: Our nation is rapidly approaching a point from which there's little chance to avoid a financial collapse. The heart of our problem can be seen as a tragedy of the commons. That's a set of circumstances when something is commonly owned and individuals acting rationally in their own self-interest produce a set of results that's inimical to everyone's long-term interest.

EDITORIAL: Giving the Internet to the U.N.
Excerpt: That Beijing and Moscow are backing the idea is enough to know it’s a bad one. The free flow of information has always been an enemy of thuggish regimes. To them, individual expression and the unlimited exchange of ideas - which the Internet has made possible for some oppressed people for the first time in history - must be stamped out.

Cherokees to Elizabeth Warren: ‘We don’t claim you!’
Excerpt: More than 150 Cherokee Indians have joined a group online demanding more information from Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren about her claims of Native American heritage. (…) Warren has been embroiled in a controversy for weeks after it was revealed that the Harvard law professor once touted herself as an American Indian minority. She has since struggled to prove those claims as critics argue she claimed that heritage to further her career. (Liberal diversity-whore speak with forked tongue. ~Bob.)

Iran negotiations just buying time – for Iran
Excerpt: Allowing Iran to retain uranium enrichment technology and materials is a deadly concession, one that ultimately will lead us to war. The reason is very simple: The very same centrifuges that spin uranium gas to 3% enrichment to make fuel for nuclear power plants can spin a bit longer to enrich the gas to 90% to make nuclear weapons material. Same centrifuges, same process, same materials. The only added ingredient is time. Guess what the Iranians have been buying over the past three years? Time.

Excerpt: The May 2012 issue of “California Educator,” published by the California Teachers Association – that’s “teachers union” in plain English – has a two page political ad on pages 20 and 21 that urges teachers to fight a state initiative that will be on California’s November ballot. The text of this ad, which can be removed and used as a poster, includes these nuggets: (Another serious whack at union power in California. --Del)

What Happens to the Supreme Court if Obama Gets Re-Elected?
Excerpt: So for anybody who is thinking of not voting because your favorite didn’t get nominated, or writing in a candidate who can’t win. . . . Imagine this: Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton. (Or both! ~Bob.)

Bain, Solyndra now center stage in Romney, Obama economic fight
Excerpt: Solyndra and Bain Capital have become the battleground on which President Obama and Mitt Romney are warring over who would best lead the U.S. economy. 
Obama's top aides on Wednesday, for a second day in a row, sought to prevent Romney's attacks on the bankrupt, taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra from overshadowing the Obama campaign's criticism of Romney's private-equity background. 

Excerpt: With six days to go until the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a new poll indicates that the Republican governor holds a seven point advantage over his Democratic challenger. According to a Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday, 52% of people likely to vote in Wisconsin's June 5 election say they back Walker, with 45% saying they support Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger. (Saw an e-mail from the Barrett campaign, claiming it was tied. We shall see. ~Bob.)

Spain scuttles clean-energy subsidies; promptly watches the industry go down like a sinking ship
Excerpt: Serious question, greenies: is a nation justified in completely running its economy into the ground, with all of the hardship and heartache that ensues, if it’s all for the sake of instilling the populace with what the government deems necessary environmental virtue?

Moveon.Org: We May Have To Pull The Plug On Elizabeth Warren
Excerpt: MoveOn, a giant in the progressive political world and an early endorser of Barack Obama in 2008, warns that it might have to “pull the plug” on key campaigns to help Obama and Senate Democrats if its five million members don’t pony up with at least $5. Without a rush of new cash, MoveOn says it will have to give up efforts to elect Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, help the recall fight against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and energize younger voters who’ve soured on Washington. (Just a political fund-raising scare tactic. Both sides use them. Sigh. ~Bob.)

Are the Bush Wars to blame for deficits?
Interesting chart. ~Bob

Subpar Obama Recovery: 6.5 Million Jobs Below Average. By John Merline 
Excerpt: But the economic recovery that Obama has presided over has been far from extraordinary. It hasn't even been ordinary. In fact, it's come in well below average on several key indicators compared with the previous 10 economic recoveries, dating back to 1949, according to an IBD analysis of various economic data.

New Yorkers Leave Like East Germans Fled Communism
Excerpt From 1949 to 1961, more than 2.6 million of East Germany's 17 million population escaped to West Berlin or West Germany, a hemorrhage of humanity that led the Communists to construct the infamous Berlin Wall in 1961. The state of New York, with about 19.5 million people, has no known plans to erect concrete barriers or barbed wire fences. But from 2000 to 2010 it suffered an exodus of some 3.4 million New Yorkers (17%) — nearly a million more people than in Germany's post-war experience and more than that of any other state. (California will catch them--I have faith. ~Bob.)

Left on a Bar

Click on picture to enlarge and read the note.

Political Digest for May 30, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

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.

Iran leaders hint at missile attacks against US bases, call for end to nuclear negotiations
Excerpt: With the May 23 negotiations in Iraq failing to persuade Iran to give up its illicit nuclear program, Iranian leaders have returned to threats of war — including the provocative statement that their missiles can reach every U.S. military base in the Middle East, and a call to halt all nuclear negotiations with the West.

Pro-life group’s hidden camera footage shows complicity in ‘sex-selective’ abortions
Excerpt: Live Action says Planned Parenthood and other U.S. abortion providers are willing to assist in the termination of baby girls for pregnant women who choose abortion because they want to have baby boys. And the pro-life abortion watchdog says its video series and a new website will expose it all.

Excerpt: U.S. veterans, about 13% of the adult population and consisting mostly of older men, support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for president by 58% to 34%, while nonveterans give Obama a four-percentage-point edge.
Excerpt: A spokesman for a leading veterans organization criticized MSNBC’s Chris Hayes for arguing on his television show that that he’s “uncomfortable” describing American soldiers who died in battles as heroes. (Well, it’s not like they were the real heroes of the left, rich, drug-abusing entertainers. ~Bob.)

Hope: The Sequel (New York Magazine!)
Excerpt: Thus, to a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear. For many Democrats, this is just fine and dandy, for they believe that in the Romney-Republican agenda there is plenty to be scared of. For others in the party in both politics and business, however, the new Obama posture is cause for concern.

Worth Reading: Meaningful Work. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: Education" is a word that covers a lot of very different things, from vital, life-saving medical skills to frivolous courses to absolutely counterproductive courses that fill people with a sense of grievance and entitlement, without giving them either the skills to earn a living or a realistic understanding of the world required for a citizen in a free society. The lack of realism among many highly educated people has been demonstrated in many ways.

Excerpt: Today we honor Americans who died serving in the armed forces. Unfortunately, if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) gets its way, this Memorial Day will be the last before an increased slaughter of our national bird, the bald eagle, by wind turbines. The FWS is proposing essentially to exempt, for three decades, the owners of wind farms and solar generating stations from any penalties if bald eagles and other birds were to get sliced-up in turbine blades…. (Millions of kids were allowed to die of Malaria by banning DDT to save the Eagles, But for Green feel-good energy, they gotta go. ~Bob.)

Afghan women leave the country in fear of Taliban return
I suppose they are worried the Taliban will have a “war on Women” and not pay for their birth control and abortions. ~Bob. Excerpt: A brain drain of bright young women is already taking place in Afghanistan before the 2014 handover that many fear will mean a reversal of advances in women's rights. The lack of commitment by the Afghan government to equality and to tackling the high rates of ill-treatment of women in the home and in the workplace is raising real fears they will be at the bottom of the political agenda in the push for power after Nato forces leave the country.

Tunisia: Thousands of misunderstanders of Islam chant "Obama, Obama, we are all Osama"; "Every Muslim is a jihadist"
Excerpt: These Tunisians have somehow gotten the crazy idea that Osama was a representative Muslim, and that jihadists are good Muslims, not hijackers of the Religion of Peace.

Mysterious Cyber Attack on Iranian Oil Data Iran has confirmed that a cyber attack hit its Oil Ministry data systems. It claims there was no damage, but the National Iranian Oil Company website was inaccessible as of Monday.

Wisconsin recall: Scott Walker enters final week with edge
Excerpt: A week from today, Wisconsin voters will decide whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) or not, an outcome that remains possible if not likely, according to sources closely following the race. (Ah, both those outcomes are not likely? ~Bob.)

Opinion: Taking French path will lead America’s economy to dead end. By Judd Gregg
excerpt: France had just elected a socialist government for the first time in over two decades. It is a nation that has been living beyond its means for years. A nation where the top tax rates exceed 70 percent, with the new government saying it wants to take them to over 85 percent.

What Do Facebook And Egypt's Elections Have In Common? By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: So how's that old Arab Spring going? You remember the "Facebook Revolution." As I write, they're counting the votes in Egypt's presidential election, so by the time you read this the pecking order may have changed somewhat. But currently in first place is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, who in an inspiring stump speech before the students of Cairo University the other night told them, "Death in the name of Allah is our goal."

Too powerful media may finally be losing its strength
Excerpt: As their wagon train passed through southern Utah in 1857, settlers bound for California were attacked by a Mormon militia. Last Sunday The Washington Post published a lengthy article on the Mountain Meadows massacre. The New York Times ran a story Wednesday on: "Black Mormons and the Politics of Identity." Mitt Romney, you see, is a Mormon. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times published a 1,300-word story on Ann Romney's fondness for horseback riding, emphasizing how expensive is the sport of dressage.

Our Nation's Future. By Walter Williams
Excerpt: Our nation is rapidly approaching a point from which there's little chance to avoid a financial collapse. The heart of our problem can be seen as a tragedy of the commons. That's a set of circumstances when something is commonly owned and individuals acting rationally in their own self-interest produce a set of results that's inimical to everyone's long-term interest.

Escape From New York? High-Taxing Empire State Loses 3.4 Million Residents in 10 Years
Excerpt: New York State accounted for the biggest migration exodus of any state in the nation between 2000 and 2010, with 3.4 million residents leaving over that period, according to the Tax Foundation. Over that decade the state gained 2.1 million, so net migration amounted to 1.3 million, representing a loss of $45.6 billion in income.

Iran Rules
Excerpt: So we had important talks with the Iranian regime and reached an important agreement to have more important talks with them next month. No one on our team seems the least bit embarrassed, nor do any of the pundits who predicted that some sort of nuke deal would be agreed on. Indeed, most of the coverage that I’ve seen has to do with Israel: will they attack or not?

Worth Reading: Thoughts on the Rhine. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Culture is everything. That is a politically incorrect thought that can get you in trouble as much as we suspect it is true. In other words, government, economics, and social policy are critical, but themselves are driven by the minute-to-minute culture of everyday people.

Excerpt: Medicare has been around nearly five decades - since 1965 - so one might think the government would have figured out how to run the program properly. But for some reason the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hasn't got there yet, with a result being that it issues hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments every year that it can't collect. Worse still, it appears from a May 18, 2012, HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report that CMS doesn't have a system in place to cure the problem.

Egypt presidential candidates allege vote fraud
Excerpt: Three top candidates in Egypt's presidential race have filed appeals to the election commission, alleging violations in the first round vote that they say could change the outcome. The appeals, alleging fraud, were filed ahead of a Sunday deadline. They are likely to enflame an already explosive race, with two of the most polarizing candidates finishing first. (Sounds like they need Voter ID—oh, wait, it’s racist to stop folks from fraud. ~Bob.)

Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will
Excerpt: This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years. President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. (Wonder what the NYT would have written if this was Bush? ~Bob.)

Syria crisis: Most Houla victims 'were executed'
Excerpt: Most of the 108 people killed in Syria's Houla region on Friday were summarily executed, the UN says. A spokesman for the UN's human rights office says witnesses told investigators that pro-regime militias carried out most of the killings. Survivors have described gunmen entering homes, firing indiscriminately and slitting the throats of children. (Assad having seen Gaddafi’s fate, would you expect different as he fights to avoid that? ~Bob.)

Dylan, Albright to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom. By Alister Bull
Excerpt: Musical legend Bob Dylan, novelist Toni Morrison and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are among 13 people who will be awarded the country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama next week, the White House said. The presentations will be made at the White House on May 29…. (Ayers and Wright will have to wait until Obama has more flexibility for theirs. ~Bob.)

DA improperly got her maid welfare: probe
Excerpt: Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore pulled strings to get her family’s live-in housekeeper food stamps, cash assistance and Medicaid benefits, according to an internal report from the county’s Department of Social Services. For the past year, Social Services has been probing how DiFiore’s housekeeper was suddenly approved for welfare benefits after having been previously denied three times for inconsistencies in her applications, The Post has learned.

U.S. Bishops Prepare Catholics for Civil Disobedience: ‘We May Need to Witness to the Truth by Resisting the Law.’ By Terence P. Jeffrey
Excerpt: Having organized 43 plaintiffs—including the archdioceses of New York and Washington and the University of Notre Dame—to file 12 different lawsuits against the Obama administration last Monday alleging the administration is violating the religious freedom of Catholics, the Catholic bishops of the United States are now preparing Catholics for what may be the most massive campaign of civil disobedience in this country since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. (The first skirmishes of the battle are getting scheduled now. And Catholics are being warned by the bishops that we may need to step up in demonstrations of civil protest, while our hospitals, charities, etc, deliberately go into civil disobedience and thus invite the wrath of the federal government. What will be needed is clear and massive demonstration that this issue is a critical moral issue, not just a political one, and hopefully a bunch of non-Catholics will also be supporting these protests. Senators and Representatives need to see a huge flood of letters, calls, faxes, and e-mails come in about this, to get their full attention. When the screaming gets loud enough all over the nation and in the halls of Congress, you can bet that there will be a reconsideration of the matter in the Oval Office. (Unless there's even more arrogance there than I thought.) --Del)

How Chicago is killing small enterprise
This Video: "Chicagoland Shakedown: Why It's Impossible to Run A Business Without Breaking the Law" is more than interesting, it's important. Why? Because it demonstrates why Reagan said that "government doesn't solve the problem, government IS the problem". Bureaucracies just grow, take on my powers, and soon become more counterproductive than productive. This is why Jefferson said "That government which governs least, governs best". And this is why I have to vote against whichever politicians or Party are determined to try to "fix" everything by growing the size of the government. –Del

Another deadly taste of ObamaCare. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: The US Preventive Services Task Force ruled last week that screening for prostate cancer is a waste of money. Get ready for many more such outrages: This is the agency that will determine which preventive services ObamaCare will require health plans to cover free of charge.

Two, Three, Many Obamas: The art of being Dr. Barack and Mr. Obama. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: As the campaign heats up, one problem is that we continue to meet lots of different Barack Obamas — to such a degree that we don’t know which, if any, is really president. I think the president believes that private-equity firms harm the economy and that their CEOs are at best indifferent and sometimes unsympathetic to the struggle of average Americans. I say “I think” because Obama has himself collected millions of dollars from such profit-driven firms, and uses their grandees to raise cash for his reelection.

ISAF kills al Qaeda's 2nd in command for Afghanistan
Excerpt: Al Qaeda's second in command for Afghanistan was killed in Sunday's airstrike in the northeastern Afghan province of Kunar, the Coalition reported. Sakhr al Taifi, a Saudi al Qaeda leader who was also known as Musthaq and Nasim, and another unnamed al Qaeda fighter were killed in the May 28 airstrike in the Watahpur district Kunar, the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release. ISAF had initially said yesterday that it targeted an al Qaeda leader and killed two "insurgents" in the strike.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Political Digest for May 29, 2012

Book Recommendation. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. By Jonathan Haidt
I suppose the best compliment is that throughout this insightful and well-written book, I kept wishing the author was present so I could discuss, and often argue points with him. (And I suppose he was glad to be far away.) To be fair, many of the points I wanted to argue he addressed and resolved further on. Haidt is a self-described left-wing academic and atheist, though of Jewish heritage. He is a Kerry and Obama supporter, a bias he is very open about and references throughout this work. But he is also an intellectually honest man and—so rare on today’s campuses—open to diversity of thought, the only kind of diversity that really matters. A “Moral Psychologist,” Haidt makes a very solid academic research effort to understand the moral foundations of both conservative and liberal political thought, as well as why religion is important in human societies. The book held my interest throughout, and will be of great value to thinkers on both the right and the left of our political divide, who will gain understanding of why they hold the views they do, and why others hold different views. Shouters and haters, not so much. Read through the reviews on Amazon. This book is well worth your time.

Apathy and the climate change divide – it isn’t about science literacy
Excerpt: Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don’t understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A study published today online in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. (This might explain the very human tendency to demonize those outside the favored group on all sorts of issues, but especially those that are primarily emotional or based on inconclusive or non-existent evidence. You can lead a ____ to facts, but you can’t make him think. Ron P.)

Next stop for wounded vets: Freedom Station. San Diego housing complex helps them transition out of the military
Excerpt: A train station is where passengers begin a journey, or change direction. For the past year, Freedom Station has been a place where San Diego sailors and Marines with broken bodies start their journey to a new life. It looks much like many apartment complexes in old San Diego neighborhoods. A handful of cottages circle a courtyard. But every detail is ready to pass a drill instructor’s inspection. 

Excerpt: Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill aimed at keeping Kansas courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes.

Excerpt: The US again targeted terrorists operating in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan, killing eight "militants" in two airstrikes.

This will get someone killed. Nice people on the left, prating about “civility.” ~Bob. Excerpt: Last week we spent a lot of time writing about Brett Kimberlin and the incident involving blogger Patterico where someone spoofed his phone number and told 911 he had shot his wife. Tonight, my family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner when sheriffs deputies pulled up in the driveway. Someone called 911 from my address claiming there had been an accidental shooting.

Obama-Ayers connection, eyewitness account
Excerpt: Allen K. Hulton is not a household name, nor is it his desire to have it become one. He is a man with a simple story, an account of incidents that took place over a period of several years while delivering mail in a Chicago suburb. He spent about 30 years delivering mail, years that would have been contiguous had he not served in the military during the Vietnam era.

Will the 1991 Biography Discovery Force Obama to Open the Hood?
Excerpt: Three possibilities follow the bombshell discovery that Barack Obama was promoted in 1991 through 2007 by his professional agency as an author "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." (1) Obama untruthfully presented himself as Kenya-born. (2) Obama untruthfully presents himself as Hawaii-born. (3) Obama had no knowledge that his bio contained the 16-year-old "error" which was corrected in April of 2007, when Obama was gearing up his campaign for the U.S. presidency.

The cult of the presidency is going down – and it's taking Obama with it. By James Poulos
It’s only fitting that Barack Obama, who so willingly brought America’s cult of the presidency to climax, should preside over its unceremonious collapse. Obama’s administration may well extend into the next four years. The signs of disappointment and disillusionment with his presidency, however, are now beginning to pile up.

SAUDIS in full meltdown over McDonald’s toy that they say insults the prophet Muhammad
Excerpt: Saudi Arabians are furious at a McDonald’s toy which they say mocks their prophet Muhammad. According to a report appearing today (5/27/12) on the Arabic news website,, the McDonald’s fast food restaurant “abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name ‘Muhammad.’” 

Homeland Security Releases List of Keywords That Cheese Them Off
Excerpt: It took a Freedom of Information Act request and a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center to get it, but Homeland Security has released its supposedly complete list of words that set off bells in the top secret caves of the DHS.

“Free Burma Rangers” Crucial to Resistance and Freedom
Excerpt: Burma has been at war for 63 years. There has been recent talk of progress toward peace, but all of my sources who travel inside disagree. They say the fighting rages on. I also made a recent quick foray inside to a Karen area. There was no fighting in that area during the two days I was there, but the guerrillas confirmed that combat continues unabated.

excerpt: Yet over the course of the last few decades, the Left’s most rewarding play on language has been a not-so-subtle shift from focusing on natural rights to focusing on “human rights.” The former are fixed and derived from God through nature, while the latter are in flux and founded solely upon the decisions various governments and ruling entities make regarding innumerable definitions of freedom….
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: For refusing to renounce her Christian faith, Julie Aftab’s Muslim attackers threw battery acid in her face and poured it down her throat. Aftab survived, but then she was poisoned while recovering in the hospital and then later shot. Somehow she held on.

Testing the Chief Justice’s backbone. By George Will
Excerpt: In one of his characteristic conniptions about people who frustrated him, Theodore Roosevelt, progressivism’s first president, said of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I could carve out of a banana a judge with more backbone than that.” TR was as mistaken about Holmes’ spine as are various progressives today about Chief Justice John Roberts’.

Diane Tran, Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School
Excerpt: The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school. (…) In an interview with KHOU-11, Tran said she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends. (I hope there is more to this than meets the eye. Not even a school committee could be this dumb. I also think a review of the judge’s order should be initiated. Perhaps the Governor of Texas, surely no fool, might take a hand in it, too. Ron P.)

Australians Face Huge Fines For Speaking Ill Of New Carbon Tax: The tax whose name cannot be spoken. By Paul Joseph Watson
Praised by Barack Obama as a model for the world, Australia’s highly unpopular carbon tax, set to take effect from July 1st, is set to be policed by laws which forbid business owners from criticizing it for causing price rises – with thought criminals who do so under threat of being hit with huge fines of over $1 million dollars

Excerpt: The proposal is backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other UN members, and would give the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet.

Chicago’s African-Americans are Murdering Each Other at an Alarming Rate
Excerpt: This is happening because of our polite society’s fear of being labeled racist, intolerant or bigoted. We simply tolerate this carnage and refuse to identify and condemn the cultural phenomenon behind this urban terror. Toleration of a bankrupt and vile culture is the root of the problem. Until we face this fact we can never begin to bring any positive change.

Newport Beach Bills Team Obama $35K to Cover Overhead During Campaign Fundraiser
Excerpt: The city spent $35,043 on police officers when President Obama stopped in Corona del Mar in February for a campaign breakfast, and revenue officials have sent his campaign an invoice to recoup the costs. City Manager Dave Kiff said the invoice was his idea.

Iran not ready for visit to suspect nuclear site
Excerpt: The U.N. nuclear watchdog has not yet given good enough reasons to visit an Iranian site where it suspects there may have been experiments for developing nuclear weapons, Iranian media said. The Parchin complex is at the centre of Western suspicions that Iran is developing atom bombs despite Tehran's repeated denials of any such ambition. A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week said satellite images showed "extensive activities" at Parchin. (Couple this report with the news over the past week or 10 days. Iran and the IAEA agreed to agree, but never specified what they would agree to or when they would do it. The Iranians agreed to decide whether or not to allow inspectors into this site, which they have now done in such a way that fools might think they “could” change their minds. If this was a criminal trial under US laws, I think Iran would be found guilty. It is possible for an innocent person to take the same actions as a guilty one in some cases—but, not in EVERY case. At some point, even the most skeptical juror has to say to himself “he done it.” There is no conceivable set of circumstances that can justify every refusal to allow inspection of the critical sites AND the decision to bury the sites so completely as to prevent both satellite surveillance and aerial attack. Especially when combined with other known facts: the Iranians are refining not merely to 20%, but, in at least some cases, to 27%; that they are working feverishly to develop and improve their missile delivery systems—and have succeeded in launching at least one earth satellite (note that any satellite launcher is automatically an ICBM as it is merely a matter of picking where to re-enter from orbit); and have worked to develop a detonator that will reliably explode at an altitude of 600 meters. They are going for it and they only have a few conceivable targets: Israel, Europe, and US. They’ve gone to great lengths to develop alliances throughout the western hemisphere (Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, including a military presence in some) to go along with their open alliances with Pakistan and North Korea and likely covert alliances with both China and Russia. When, not if, we are attacked, which of our allies do you hope will come to our aid and with what? I don’t see it happening at all; I believe it is truly us against the world. At this point, I’m not even sure we could strike preemptively without bringing disaster upon ourselves. Is suicide preferable to execution? Sigh. Ron P.)

Party Like It’s 1978: Governor Jerry Brown And The Same Ol’ Failed Ideas
Excerpt: As for the California legislators, they’ve spent the past four years ignoring the national recession, as well as their own state fiscal crisis…. Governor Brown and his California Democrat party have behaved as though the private sector economy will always produce, no matter how law makers abuse businesses and taxpayers.

Excerpt: It's become a badge of honor Hello. My name is Robert Wargas and I am a Racist™. No, not that kind of racist: not the kind that, you know, actually dislikes people of other races.

Dear Graduates: You’re Screwed! By Derek Hunter 
Three: It’s graduation season, and prominent political and media figures are making the rounds to give commencement speeches at colleges across the country. The president, administration officials, progressive members of Congress, left-wing television talking heads, liberal columnists, etc., are spewing so many feel-good platitudes that you’d think doing so was an Olympic event and they were training for the gold in London. The one thing missing from these speeches is reality.

The Fraudulence of Obama
Excerpt: In arguably the most important speech of the campaign, the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa in 2007, Obama said, “[Lobbyists] have not funded my campaign, they will not work in my White House. ”Upon taking office, Obama made quite a show of announcing new ethics rules barring lobbyists from working in the administration on issues that fell under their lobbying bailiwick. Yet Obama immediately allowed waivers for lobbyists working on issues that fell under their lobbying bailiwick.

excerpt: A United States Circuit Court of Appeals panel of judges handed a decisive defeat to the ACLU this week that stated the Central Intelligence Agency doesn't have to release documents regarding its use of waterboarding, or a photograph of the suspected terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, taken around the time that he was subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques.” This was yet another defeat suffered by the American Civil Liberties Union in its anti-anti-terrorism battle with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. 

Kids with Cell Phones: Record Your Socialist Teachers! By Doug Giles
Excerpt: This week audio surfaced of a North Carolina teacher, Tanya Dixon-Neely (black), berating 13-year-old Hunter Rogers (honky) for criticizing president Obama (hate crime). Neely said Rogers could be arrested for slandering Obama. What a crock! Children cannot be arrested for criticizing Obama—at least not until his second term when we will truly see our First Amendment rights vanish like a pack of raw wieners at Rosie’s house.

Obama Should Blame Himself, Not The Court
excerpt: Sometime in the next month, the United States Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Obama's individual mandate, the provision forcing everyone in the United States to buy health insurance. Based on how badly this provision was defeated in the oral arguments, it will likely be struck down as unconstitutional. If the law's most popular provision, the ban on excluding pre-existing conditions, is also struck down, Obama has nobody to blame but himself.

Are We Headed for a Fight with China? By Steve Chapman 
Excerpt: The Soviet Union is gone, al-Qaida is decimated, and Iran may never acquire nuclear weapons. But don't get too relaxed. If you're looking for reasons to be anxious about world peace, China offers an abundance. It's a huge country with a growing economy, an expanding military and ongoing disputes with several neighbors. 

It's payback time: don't expect sympathy – Lagarde to Greeks: Take responsibility and stop trying to avoid taxes, International Monetary Fund chief tells Athens
Excerpt: The International Monetary Fund has ratcheted up the pressure on crisis-hit Greece after its managing director, Christine Lagarde, said she has more sympathy for children deprived of decent schooling in sub-Saharan Africa than for many of those facing poverty in Athens.

‘Welcome home’ Vietnam veterans: We need to remember the war the way it really happened. By Prof. Robert Turner
Excerpt: A lot of very brave men fought nobly in that conflict, only to return home to be treated with scorn and disrespect. (I still remember my own reception while out-processing at Oakland Army Base in California following my second Vietnam tour, when we were warned, “Don’t wear your uniforms into town.”) (A very well qualified historian and war veteran does a superb job on reviewing what went on during the war, and after, and why it's still critically important for people to begin to understand the truth of that history and its actual lessons. --Del)

Obama's re-election campaign - the thrill is gone: Willie Brown
The president's trip to the Bay Area last week made it painfully clear that the Barack Obama re-election campaign has lost its mojo. There was no life, no personality, no memorable line or moment and no real enthusiasm in the entire fundraising foray. In short, there was no buzz.

Name Ban Sparks Tribes' Ire: Curb on Indian Imagery in School Teams' Titles Meets Resistance on Reservations
Excerpt: Tribes on two Oregon Indian reservations this week protested a new rule by Oregon education officials that bans public schools from using Native American imagery in team names and mascots. Dumb Redskins don’t know what’s good for them. Bureaucrats need to call in a real injin, Liz warren, to explain it to them. ~Bob.)

The Spirit of Geert Wilders: A foreword to Wilders’ Marked for Death. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: When I was asked to write a foreword to Geert Wilders' new book, my first reaction, to be honest, was to pass. … And then I took a stroll in the woods, and felt vaguely ashamed at the ease with which I was willing to hand a small victory to his enemies. After I saw off the Islamic enforcers in my own country, their frontman crowed to The Canadian Arab News that, even though the Canadian Islamic Congress had struck out in three different jurisdictions in their attempt to criminalize my writing about Islam, the lawsuits had cost my magazine (he boasted) two million bucks, and thereby "attained our strategic objective - to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material." (Lots of good thoughts in here. About standing up for freedom and the right of Western culture to exist and not let itself be morphed into something less free. --Del)

Bring Back Stigma: Treat men like Desmond Hatchett, father of 30 welfare children, as creeps they are. By James Bacon 
Desmond Hatchett, of Knoxville, Tenn., has petitioned the state of Tennessee for relief of his child-support obligations. It seems that the 33-year-old minimum-wage earner has to divide 50 percent of his earnings with the 11 women with whom he has fathered 30 children. While some of his children receive as little as $1.49 per month, according to media reports, the sheer number of offspring add up to an oppressive burden. You will never hear about the able-bodied Hatchett and his many progeny when liberals and progressives wail about the increasing poverty and disparity of incomes in the United States. (Nancy Pelosi's daughter is an aspiring film producer. She made this video (aired on Bill Maher's show [!]) which has caused quite a stir in the "progressive" community. I imagine her mother was furious. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Obama signs authorization for MARTIAL LAW!!
Because if you lived, as I did, several years under Nazi totalitarianism, and then 20 years in communist totalitarianism, you would certainly realize how precious freedom is, and how easy it is to lose your freedom. – Milos Forman, (This just came to my attention... and it got my attention, but good. Ability to declare martial law at any time, on whatever pretext the President cares to employ? If this was passed while Bush was in the White House, imagine the huge headlines and the screaming on every major TV channel. Why in hell would Congress pass this? –Del. I haven’t seen commentary by the usual anti-Obama pundits, will withhold judgment for more info. ~Bob.)

Iran has enough uranium for 5 bombs: expert
Excerpt: Iran has significantly stepped up its output of low-enriched uranium and total production in the last five years would be enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further, a U.S. security institute said. (ISIS is being mentioned more and more often in the coverage of Iran’s nuclear efforts. I think they should be taken seriously. The last possible time to stop Iran is right now. If we haven’t the means or the will to do that, then we’d better make plans to deal with the consequences—and, there WILL be consequences. Many thanks to those foreign policy geniuses, Obama and Bush. Ron P.)

Why Jeremiah Wright Matters – Still. By Larry Elder
Excerpt” Obama, in 2007, described the 20-year father/son-like relationship this way: "What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice. He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics." But Wright is off-limits. (And Rev Wright still visits the White House... 3 times last year. It seems they're still close. --Del)

Vulture Capitalism? Try Obama's Version A profit-driven economy is preferable to one run by political favoritism. By Kimberley A. Strassel
Excerpt: Even as he's been busy with the day job, he's found time to moonlight as CEO-in-Chief of half the nation's industry. Detroit, the energy sector, health care—he's all over these guys like a cheap spreadsheet. Like Mr. Romney, Mr. Obama has presided over bankruptcies, layoffs, lost pensions, run-ups in debt. Yet unlike Mr. Romney, Mr. Obama's C-suite required billions in taxpayer dollars and subsidies, as well as mandates, regulations, union payoffs and moral hazard.

As Predicted-- Democrats Abandoning Obama, By John Ransom
Excerpt: Love is always being able to tell liberals I told you so. Ok, I don’t know if it’s love exactly, but man it sure does feel good.

He’ll say anything --Bam unleashes Joe Biden, By Rich Lowry 
Excerpt: Joe Biden is performing a public service, God love him. Out on the stump, he renders the case for President Obama’s re-election in all its populist crudity.
No dulcet tones. No faux sophistication. No charm.

Higher-level traces of uranium found in Iran
Excerpt: Parsi said the Obama administration has mustered political will "to exhaust all options" before the only choice left is military. He notes that negotiations between adversaries in other instances have been painstakingly long, citing the U.S. and Vietnam talks and the negotiations to end conflict in Northern Ireland. (…) But David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a group devoted to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, said, "the clock is not very friendly at the moment" with a nervous Israel in the backdrop and a high-stakes political atmosphere with the Obama administration facing "aggressive Republicans" in an election year. "Obama doesn't have years and years," he said. "He has weeks and weeks." (It seems the Iranians are not enriching to the 20% necessary for “medical uses,” but 27%—just over one third higher. The Iranians claim it’s an equipment problem “that can’t be helped.” I think they’ve succeeded in playing out the clock on us. Don’t be shocked if they test a weapon soon—just hope it isn’t tested here. And, pray our forces in the Middle East are up to date on their equipment and training for dealing with a nuclear battlefield. Ron P.)

Oministration is perfidious and immoral
Any trust one might have had in the common sense and propriety of the Obama administration is forever dead. The shameful outing of the heroic Pakistani Dr. Shakil Afridi who led US intelligence to Osama bin Laden's "in plain sight" lair is inexcusable--even in an administration that wallows in its self-glorification. In a kangaroo trial, Dr. Afridi was sentenced to 33 years. He'll probably be murdered there unless he is quickly ransomed by Congress. Working for US intelligence or simply befriending US citizens is fraught with danger in much of the world, especially so in Pakistan. Why would anyone now want to risk his life to help defeat jihadism? One must imagine that even Americans in intelligence services will be looking for more loyal employers. As has been noted many times by me and many others, our enemies disdain us and our friends don't trust us anymore. Who could blame them? Cordially, Larry Greenberg

Excerpt: The Afghan Taliban confirmed that their deputy governor for Nuristan province was killed in a US airstrike. The Taliban announced the death of Jamil ur Rahman (or Jamil al Rahman bin Sa'adullah) in a statement released on May 23 on the Pashto-language section of Voice of Jihad, and then again on May 25 on the Arabic-language section, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

Nanoscale vacuum transistors – way cool, but still not as pretty as a glowing 12AU6
Excerpt: But transistors weren’t better in all respects. Electrons move more slowly in a solid than in a vacuum, which means transistors are generally slower than vacuum tubes; as a result, computing isn’t as quick as it could be. What’s more, semiconductors are susceptible to strong radiation, which can disrupt the atomic structure of the silicon such that the charges no longer move properly. That’s a big problem for the military and NASA, which need their technology to work in radiation-harsh environments such as outer space. (Faster than current transistors or integrated circuits, resistant against EMP and gamma radiation, and less weight; what’s not to love? But, the stuff we struggled to learn in electronics schools back in 1965 still won’t really apply. If one of these things fails, you can’t repair it because it’s too small. If repair is practical at all—and, it may not be—it would have to be in components large enough to see with the naked eye. So, how practical these turn out to be is likely to depend on how its cost compares to other ways of doing the same job. Ron P. Well, I never believed that stuff about “holes”—the absence of an electron—weighting twice what an electron weighs, but moving half as fast. If I got that right. That was awhile ago. ~Bob.)

The Glory of Vietnam
Excerpt: The curtain is about to go up on a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary the Vietnam War, but the Boston Globe is reporting that the plans to celebrate America’s Vietnam veterans “are sputtering.” It reports that few events are planned and “crucial corporate sponsorship is nonexistent.” Most veterans, it reports, “have not even heard about the effort.” The Globe quotes a veteran Marine Corps captain, Phillip Jennings, as saying the problem is “leadership and motivation.” There is “no real direction,” he says. “There is no champion of it at the Pentagon or the White House.” (Nice commentary. I wonder who wrote it. --Del)

Counting Palestinians. By Shoshana Bryen
Senator Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) has offered an amendment to the FY 2013 funding bill for the State Department that would require the Department to provide two numbers to Congress: 1) the number of Palestinians physically displaced from their homes in what became Israel in 1948, and 2) the number of their descendants administered by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA). [1] Palestinians are the only people for whom refugee status passes along through the generations (a condition adopted by the UN in 1965 over the objection of the United States), so they are also the only refugee population that grows exponentially over generations rather than declining as the original refugees pass away and their descendants become citizens of other places. (The only refugee population in the world, in fact in the history of the world, that has made that status hereditary in perpetuity, are the Palestinians. One can understand, if disdain, the motives of the UN for doing so, but one must condemn the US for perpetuating and funding the big lie. Sen. Kirk is trying to upset the status quo (is this not unseemly for a conservative?). We can expect the Obama administration to ignore this initiative, even if the Senate votes 100-0 to approve. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

U.S. officials among the targets of Iran-linked assassination plots
Excerpt: In November, the tide of daily cable traffic to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan brought a chilling message for Ambassador Matthew Bryza, then the top U.S. diplomat to the small Central Asian country. A plot to kill Americans had been uncovered, the message read, and embassy officials were on the target list. (So, Mr. President, how’s that reset, open-handed soft power approach working for you? ~Bob.)