Thursday, July 12, 2012

Political Digest for July 12, 2012

Excerpt: How much do we as taxpayers actually owe because of commitments politicians have made on our behalf? Turns out, the answer is not as simple as you might think. … If we also include promises being made to all the young people who are currently paying (FICA) payroll taxes, the total climbs to nearly $84 trillion.

CHART: Obamacare Now Estimated to Cost 2.6 Trillion in First Decade. By Daniel Halper
Excerpt: The latest estimate, as the chart details, is that Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion dollars in its first real decade. The bill does not fully go into effect until 2014, therefore the estimate begins with that year.

Rubio Blasts Obama for Downplaying Venezuelan Leader Hugo Chavez's Impact on Region.
Excerpt: "It’s now disturbingly clear that President Obama has been living under a rock when it comes to recognizing the national security threat posed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez," Rubio, a Florida Republican, said in a statement to Fox News. "President Obama continues to display an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere," Rubio said.

San Bernardino Seeks Bankruptcy Protection - becomes third California city in weeks to authorize a bankruptcy filing.
Excerpt: City Atty. James Penman said city budget officials had falsified documents presented to the mayor and council for 13 of the last 16 years, masking the city's deficit spending. "For the last 16 years the budget prepared for the council showed the city was in the black," Penman said, not naming those allegedly responsible. "The mayor and the council were not given accurate documents."

(Mia) Love at First Sight. By Debbie Siegelbaum
Excerpt: “I remember the first day of college, I took my dad with me, and there was a point where he looked at me, and he got very serious, and he said, ‘Your mother and I have done everything we could to get you here. We worked hard for everything we have. We’ve never taken a handout. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back.’ And that’s what stuck in my head,” she said.

Hensarling to Newsmax: Obamacare Repeal the 'Will of the People.'
Excerpt: “Second, this is a different Obamacare now that the Supreme Court has ruled. Whether we like it or not, the individual mandate is now legally judged to be tax. A lot of different folks who gave us Obamacare said they would never, never support a tax increase on those who make less than $200,000.

Move to Close 9 Border Patrol Stations Spurs Outrage.
Excerpt: “It could impact us tremendously, since we've only got two agents up here now for 26 counties," Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas told Fox. Potter County, in the Texas Panhandle, would be affected by the planned closure of the Amarillo station. While his area is far from the border, Thomas called it a major corridor for illegal immigrants.

What Romney Needs to Do. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Instead, Romney should offer — and soon — a sort of Contract with America that gives short, concise agendas on fiscal policy, energy, the tax code, and health care that really would be shovel-ready in January 2013 — a contract that shows Americans how they could be wealthier working than stuck in the growing Obama dependent class.

Why Is Obama Offering All Women Free Sterilization?
Excerpt: No previous president ever promoted a giveaway more peculiar than Barack Obama's mandate that all health care plans must offer free sterilizations to all women -- but not all men -- capable of breeding.

Egypt's Real Ruler. By Daniel Pipes and Cynthia Farahat
Excerpt: Mohamed Tantawi is the real ruler of Egypt. Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), field marshal, and minister of defense, he serves not only as the commander-in-chief but also as the effective head of all three of Egypt’s branches of government. Tantawi is an autocrat with near-absolute powers.

INFOGRAPHIC: Mapping the Politics of the Social Web. By Patrick Ruffini
Excerpt: Using predictive modeling of Facebook likes, we tied political preferences and engagement to one’s choice of social media, and this bubble graph is the result:

Why the West Loves Lying to Itself about Islam. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Eventually you have invested more than you ever would have ever done up front, just trying to protect the sunk cost, the money that you already sank into Prince Hussein Ngobo’s scheme. And to protect your self-esteem, you must go on believing that, no matter what Prince Ngobo does, he is credible and sincere. Any failings in the interaction are either your fault or the fault of some third party. Anyone who tells you otherwise must be a Ngobophobe. Now imagine that Prince Ngobo’s real name is Islam.

Thoughts on Ehud Olmert's Partial Acquittal. By Caroline Glick
Excerpt: I take my cue from the Federalist Papers, and there I believe it was James Madison who explained that the presumption has to be that politicians are all corrupt. Their power puts them in contact with powerful and wealthy men who use their proximity to politicians to advance their interests. The larger government is - that is, the larger government's influence over the economic life of a society, the greater the likelihood of corruption.

Crack cocaine and the death of Eva Rausing: Why this 'street drug' attracts the super-rich. By Damian Thompson
Excerpt: I don't believe that addiction is a "disease", but once hard drugs are in your life there's a good chance that they'll keep you busy for years – taking them, staying away from them, or alternating miserably between the two. And no one is more vulnerable than the two groups in society who are surrounded by temptation and have too much time on their hands: the underclass and the super-rich.

Traveller family guilty of forcing homeless men into slavery: Slaves rescues from camp in Bedfordshire, England.
Excerpt: Broken ribs were found amongst the men, along with scars and fresh wounds and dog bites. One worker had been sleeping in his own excrement and all were in need of hygiene care. Other workers were traumatised and even now, 10 months later, are still receiving counselling and outreach support.

Help for Hawker Bidder.
Excerpt: When it comes time for Chinese company Superior Aviation Beijing Co. to seek the U.S. government’s approval for a takeover of most of Hawker Beechcraft Inc., it will have help from someone who knows her way around the White House. Harriet Miers, a former White House counsel who was nominated unsuccessfully for the U.S. Supreme Court by President George W. Bush, is working with Superior in its effort to acquire most of the assets of the maker of business and military planes, a person familiar with the matter said.

Rubio could help Romney continue fundraising supremacy. By Michael Bastasch
Excerpt: As Mitt Romney continues to beat President Barack Obama in fundraising, adding Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to the Republican ticket could help the GOP maintain its money advantage. The Center for Responsive Politics broke down each of the top potential vice presidential picks ability to fundraise, with Rubio standing out above the rest. Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rob Portman have also demonstrated an ability to raise large amounts of cash.

Obama Grants Department of Homeland Security the Power to Take Over Commercial and Private Communications in an Emergency. By Josh Peterson
Excerpt: Should disaster strike the U.S., the secretary of Homeland Security will be in charge of re-establishing and prioritizing communications to ensure the continuation of the federal government, according to a new executive order from President Barack Obama. The executive order, signed on Friday [gotta watch those Fridays! Kate], once again expands the powers of the Department of Homeland Security — this time to include the handling of communications during a national security event or natural disaster.

Romney to NAACP: 'I'm better for black community than Obama.' By Alex Pappas
Excerpt: “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him,” Romney said. “You take a look.” The crowd booed when Romney criticized Obama for not doing enough to get unemployment down. “I know the President will say he’s going to do those things, but he has not, he will not, he cannot, and his last four years in the White House proves it, definitively,” Romney said.

Midwest, West Most Competitive Regions in 2012 U.S. Election
Excerpt: These results are based on Gallup Daily tracking data from June 1-July 9, with a total of more than 17,000 registered voters nationwide and at least 3,400 in each region. Overall, in these data, 46% of U.S. registered voters said they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 45% would vote for Romney.

Americans' Confidence in Television News Drops to New Low. By Lyman Morales
Excerpt: Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993. (Probably correlates with their move from neutral reporters to progressive propagandists. ~Bob.)

The Invincible Lie - the trick of propaganda rhetoric. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Income is not wealth -- and the whole tax controversy is about income taxes. Wealth is what you have accumulated, and wealth is not taxed, except when you die and the government collects an inheritance tax from your heirs. People over 65 years of age have far more wealth than people in their thirties and forties -- but lower incomes.

A Short History of Congress's Power to Tax. By Paul Moreno
Excerpt: In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, "The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power." Last week, in his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

Last thing we need: Obamacare’s taxes Higher business expenses will hamper innovation and cost jobs
Excerpt: The Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare’s mandate penalty as a tax, rescuing it from the ash heap of unconstitutionality. Legal scholars will continue the argument over the constitutional issues for years. But wherever one comes down on the legal niceties of the health care overhaul, Virginia is still staring down the barrel of a fully loaded gun.

Muslims Combating Islamism: Exercising the Bare Minimum of Faith in an Age of Political Correctness. By Qanta Ahmed
Excerpt: There were many reasons why, when called to do so, I testified in the investigative hearings held by the House Committee on Homeland Security examining radicalization within the Muslim American community. I testified because, as an anti-Islamist Muslim, I believe exposing a wrong is the bare minimum of my faith. I testified because I have seen the full spectrum of radicalization: from silent approval, to overt sympathies for Islamist ideologies, to the end point of suicidal violence among Pakistani child militants.

Republican Congressmen Re-Launch Revised ‘Stolen Valor’ Bill
Excerpt: Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) called on Congress Tuesday to pass a reformulated version of the 2006 “Stolen Valor Act” – a law that the Supreme Court overturned June 28 as “unconstitutional on the grounds that it sought to stifle certain free speech.” The original law made it a misdemeanor to lie about receiving military service awards or medals. (Scott Brown is doing his best to salvage this, but it will leave it open for phonies/wannabes who are careful about how they do it to get away with it as "free lying-speech". We can still out them whenever they're found, of course, and at least get them exposed and maybe embarrassed and maybe not get away with it in their local town any more. –Del)

Worth Reading: Difficult Economics Lessons. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: One of the more difficult lessons to teach economics neophytes -- and, many times, trained economists -- is that economic theory cannot say anything definitive about subjective statements, such as what's better, good, bad or worse. … For example, President Barack Obama said that college is "an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford." There's absolutely no evidence to support such a claim, but it's a good way to trick others into paying for someone else's education.

19 Warnings About A Coming Global Financial Catastrophe
Excerpt: Global leaders have tried just about everything that they can think of, but the coming global financial catastrophe continues to march steadily toward us. We have seen "stimulus packages", quantitative easing, bond buying, interest rate cuts, emergency economic summits, bailout packages for banks, bailout packages for entire nations, "Operation Twist", unprecedented government intervention in business and massive amounts of new government debt and yet nothing seems to revive the global economy. In fact, it looks like we are rapidly heading into the second dip of a "double dip recession".

Palestinian Authority President Stealing Millions In Aid, Middle East Experts Say
Excerpt: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has allegedly deposited nearly $13 million in U.S. taxpayer aid into a secret bank account, and routinely uses his political connections to profit from the stagnant peace process, according to testimony presented to Congress Tuesday by several Middle East experts. (Color me shocked. ~Bob.)

Sanctuary cities may be facing legal action ---Obama’s county among targets
Excerpt: After eviscerating most of Arizona’s strict immigration law in court last month, the Obama administration is now considering going after the other side by suing sanctuary cities to force them to cooperate with federal deportation efforts, an agency chief told Congress on Monday.

Fiscal health gives Indiana an edge
Excerpt: Here's a tale of two states that should make Hoosiers glad they live on the east bank of the Wabash -- at least when it comes to paying for state government.
Last week in Indiana, the Daniels administration announced that the state's budget reserves had topped $2 billion, enough to trigger $100 rebates for individual tax filers and $200 for couples who file jointly. In total, the state will give back about $300 million to taxpayers, and although the individual sums are by no means large, the refunds are enough to provide hard-pressed families with a bit more cushion for a week or two.
In Illinois, meanwhile, the fiscal picture is far less cheery. (Interesting but frustrating. I'd like to have seen at least some kind of commentary on the Indiana budget, their tax rates, where they have saved money or avoided having to spend. In short, how did they come off so well. We can all assume they have avoided a lot of the things that are pounding on Chicago, wasteful lawyers running departments with high overheads and little attention paid to fiscal conservatism. But it'd be nice to see comparisons between the states in how they spend and how they save. Guess I'm just too damn analytical. –Del)

Excerpt: According to recently released statistics, in the past few weeks over 75 female children under 10 were forced to marry much older men. In 3929 cases, bride and groom were both under 14. (Child marriage is rampant among those who believe that Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct (cf. Qur'an 33:21), but Islamic spokesmen in the West frequently assert that it is a cultural phenomenon that has nothing to do with Islam. They did not, however, tell the mullahs. "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." -- Bukhari 7.62.88. Robert Spencer, Worth following. ~Bob.)

It looks like U.S. won Vietnam War after all
Excerpt: Any American who lived through the Vietnam War might have to wonder what it was all about after wandering for a few days around Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon. For while Saigon has been, since 1975, part of what calls itself the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the only evidence of a socialist republic is the blocking of certain "social networking" Internet sites, like Facebook, which could be used for political agitation. The overwhelming characteristic of Saigon is private-sector commerce -- shops everywhere, some primitive, some modern, including, of course, international fast-food franchises, banks and insurance companies. [EXCEPTION – it is not a human rights paradise but the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations have always sought to overlook that fact. --Mike]

Clinton chides Vietnam on protecting human rights
Excerpt: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she supports Vietnam's work to help resolve issues in the disputed South China Sea but believes the communist country needs to do more to protect human rights. (Well, isn't this nice? And long overdue. --Del)

Gowdy: No reason to suspect foul play on timing of DOJ’s unsealing of Brian Terry killer indictments, $1 million reward. By Matthew Boyle
Excerpt: South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy doesn’t believe there’s any foul play involved with the timing of the Department of Justice’s unsealing of the indictment of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s accused killers….Gowdy splits with House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa when it comes to that view. Issa said on Monday that he “applaud[s]” the move but “condemn[s]” the timing.

Mark Levin: Obama re-election would be ‘national suicide’
 Excerpt: “You can see the pockets of tyranny within our own country,” he said. “And we still don’t learn from it. Let me put it bluntly: Tyranny is not compassionate. Tyranny doesn’t create responsible, self-sufficient citizens. It creates subjects. Tyranny attacks the differences between individuals, tries to force uniformity and conformity.” “We made a huge mistake three-and-a-half years ago electing this man president as a society — a huge, huge mistake,” he said. “We do it again, it’s not a mistake. It’s national suicide.”

CNN Host: Economists say Obama’s tax plan today will cut our current GDP growth in half
Excerpt: According to the chief economist at JP Morgan Chase (via CNN), if we proceed with today’s tax plan from the genius that is Obama and all of his foot soldier Democrats and extend the Bush tax cuts only for those making less than 250k, we would cut a full percentage from our GDP growth which right now is only about 1.9%.

Promises, Promises. By Peter Wehner
Excerpt: Barack Obama has an accountability problem. It’s not simply that during the 2008 campaign he made extravagant promises to heal the planet, slow the rise of the oceans, end political divisions in America, and usher in an era of hope and change. It’s that as a candidate and in the early days of his presidency, Obama and his top aides made a series of very specific promises on a range of issues.

Sick and tired of that global warming whine. By Dennis Byrne
Excerpt: As surely as stink follows a garbage truck, the deadly national heat wave brought forth predictable and terrifying scenarios from global warming alarmists. Triumphantly, the alarmists proclaimed that global warming (or climate change, or extreme weather, or whatever is their latest rendition of Earth's frightful fate) was back high on the list of everyone's worst fears.

Allen West: True Racism Lies Among White Liberals Who Think Black Conservatives Need Approval From Their 'Masters'
Excerpt: “Look, I went through 22 years being in the military, I rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel, I have a bachelor and 2 masters degrees. And for these white liberals to believe they can have this condescending manner toward black conservatives that we need to have approval from our quote unquote, I guess “masters”, for us to be able to speak – see that’s where the true racism really lies …

Barack Obama’s Brother to Make Film Debut in Anti-Obama Documentary
Excerpt: An interview with George Obama, who lives in a hut in Kenya “like something out of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’” is featured in the upcoming movie “2016: Obama’s America.” Barack Obama’s half-brother, George Obama, is about to make his film debut, and in a feature-length documentary that is critical of the president, no less.

83% of Doctors Have Considered Quitting Over Obamacare
Excerpt: Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association. The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

The Norwegian "Miracle." By Randall Hovan
Excerpt: First, Norway's population is about 4.7 million, or about the same South Carolina's, or a bit more than half of New York City's. That population is at least 98% white, and almost all of that is Norwegian. It is also about 90% Christian. About four out of five Norwegians live in cities, with almost one in five living in Oslo itself. Norway might be liberal, but it is not diverse.

Mark Steyn: Mr. Powell and His Peers
Excerpt: [British Politician Enoch Powell] was a diligent attender of the Conservative Philosophy Group. On one occasion, just before the Argentines invaded the Falklands, Mrs. Thatcher spoke about the Christian concept of the just war and Western values. "We do not fight for values," said Powell. "I would fight for this country even if it had a Communist government."

Muslims vs. Archaeology: Muslims Destroy Their Own Ancient Shrines in Timbuktu. By Robert Spencer
Excerpt: Harking back to the Taliban’s destruction of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001, Muslims in northern Mali last week moved against their own country’s heritage. The Islamic supremacist group Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Religion) raised international concern when they began destroying some of the ancient shrines of Muslim saints in Timbuktu, “the city of 333 saints.” According to Ishaan Tharoor in Time magazine, “UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, says as many as half of the city’s shrines ‘have been destroyed in a display of fanaticism.’”

Who Cares About Libya? Republicans Should Stay on Message. By David P. Goldman
Excerpt: So far, the Arab ballot box has given us Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a supposedly moderate Islamist party in Tunisia, an Iranian-allied regime in Iraq, and… a putative success in Libya, celebrated by the Wall Street Journal editorial page with the pronouncement, “Once again, Arabs demonstrate their desire for self-government.” The “once again” part is dubious, for the WSJ does not mention where else this “desire for self-government” has produced the desired result.

The Issue of 2012 - the people will judge in November. By Jeffrey H. Anderson
Excerpt: Conservatives are now set up for a political triumph far sweeter than any contentious win in the courts. The path forward is clear, and conservatives can surely unite behind the indispensable next step: win this election, and repeal Obama-care through the political process. And of course this won’t be merely a short-term victory.

This Just In: Bain Attack Still Not Working.
Excerpt: Two analyses from the flawed WaPo/ABC poll, as well as spending in swing states, deliver grim news to Team Obama this morning. Their main line of attack in which they hope to paint Mitt Romney as an uber-rich vampire capitalist clearly isn’t moving the needle among voters — and that’s true despite an overwhelming spending advantage Barack Obama has enjoyed in the early going. Unless they can come up with a better argument, Romney’s fundraising will shortly put them in a very big hole.

Dem Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz Invested In Swiss Banks, Foreign Drug Companies and the State Bank of India. By Daniel Halper
Excerpt: This revelation comes mere days after [Debbie Wasserman Shultz,] the Democratic chair attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for holding money in Swiss bank accounts in the past. "Americans need to ask themselves, why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?" the DNC chair, a chief surrogate for President Obama's reelection team, said on Fox News Sunday two days ago. "Just something, a thought, that I'd like to leave folks with."

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