Dennis Miller Interview
I’m scheduled to be interviewed about The Coming Collapse of the American Republic on Dennis Miller’s radio program at 11:34 am, EDT on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. You can listen live for free at DennisMillerradio.com.
Scientists declare Hurricane Irene a Republican
Dr. Harvey Moosefinger with the Imperial Weather Service reported that Irene had been labeled a “Republican” storm. “The science is settled,” Moosefinger said. “Had Irene been a Democrat. It would have hit Washington as a temporary program, stayed put and in five years would have had a budget of $50 billion, 15,000 federal employees and numerous lobbying support groups nationwide.”
I finally signed up for Twitter, as it is useful to pick up stuff for the Political Digest. I don’t expect to Tweet much, but the tag is @tartanmarine.
Worth Reading: Mark Steyn: It's the Stupidity, Economists
Excerpt: Walter Bagehot, the great English constitutionalist, used to distinguish between the “dignified” and “efficient” parts of the Westminster system — i.e., the monarchy and the executive. The United States combines them in one person. Judging from the 40-car conga line to stage a pseudo-browse at a mom-’n'-pop bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama and the court eunuchs of the media seem to prefer the ceremonial side (“dignified” hardly seems the word for these leaden rituals).
Personally, I’m looking forward to turning a fire hose on Al. Does this mean that when you disagree with Obama on say, if ObamaCare will reduce health care costs as he promised, MSNBC will label you a “global warming denier” instead of a racist? If we start calling the warmists “this generation’s Nazis,” what would the media say? If you can’t win the debate on facts, pound the table and call the opposition names. ~Bob. Excerpt: One day climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists, or so says former Vice President Al Gore. In an interview with former advertising executive and Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky broadcast on UStream on Friday, Gore explained that in order for climate change alarmists to succeed, they must “win the conversation” against those who deny there is a crisis. “I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me,” Gore said. “My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, ‘Whoa! How gross and evil is that?’ My generation asked old people, ‘Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?’ And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.” The former vice president recalled how society succeeded in marginalizing racists and said climate change skeptics must be defeated in the same manner.
Learn the complete truth about the climate crisis. Spread the word. www.climaterealityproject.org/truth
Worth reading: Climate change offers us an opportunity
Excerpt: Our current blazingly hot summer is spurring another go-round of exhausted arguments about climate change, whether it is "real" and "is it man-made?" Ideally, the national discussion would move past those questions. Whether the phenomenon is exaggerated or whatever the cause, the uncomfortable fact is that very few climate scientists believe that the process is significantly reversible, and certainly not by unilateral U.S. action. As the Heartland Institute's James Taylor noted in Forbes, data released by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year indicate that even if the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere immediately and completely eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions, the growth in Chinese emissions alone would likely render this action moot within a decade. … Back in 2008, Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, briefed the House Select Committee on Intelligence about the national security implications of climate change and noted, "net cereal crop yields likely will increase by 5 to 20 percent, for example, and most studies suggest the United States as a whole will enjoy modest economic benefits over the next few decades largely due to the increased crop yields." He added, "The growing season has lengthened an average of two days per decade since 1950 in Canada and the contiguous United States."
Gibson Guitar CEO: We're Under Attack By Obama Administration
If reports are true that Martin Guitars uses the same wood, but that the CEO contributed to Obama so no penalty, someone should go to jail. And not Gibson’s CEO. ~Bob. Excerpt: Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson Guitars, Inc. was on The Dana Loesch Show on Friday. Gibson is under attack by the Obama Justice Department for accusations that the company broke Indian laws. Juszkiewiz said the government suggested that the company's use of unfinished wood from India is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because of the Justice Department's interpretation of a law in India. The Holder Justice Department raided at least two Gibson manufacturing plants this week forcing hundreds of workers off their jobs. Juszkiewiz says the company lost a million dollars this week. Finally, Henry Juszkiewicz told Dana, "The Obama Justice Department wants us to just shut our doors and go away." He says he will continue to fight for the Gibson company and its workers.
MRC: President's 'green jobs' assertion not based in reality
Excerpt: An organization keeping tabs on the mainstream media says the non-cable networks are ignoring the failure of President Barack Obama's "green jobs" plan. During the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama promised to create five-million green jobs in the next ten years. Julia Seymour of Media Research Center says even by the administration's own estimates, the Obama White House is nowhere near that goal. "PolitiFact said 250,000 green jobs had been saved or created," she says. Seymour says the phrase "saved or created" has no real meaning, and one should not assume that 250,000 jobs that fit into this category have actually been created. She says it is a story not likely to be seen on ABC, CBS or NBC. "I looked at stories going back to January 17, 2009, just as President Obama was coming into office. I found that only four stories out of 52, so eight percent of stories included any criticism at all,” comments Seymour. “That means 92 percent of stories mentioning green jobs in two and a half years had no criticism at all."
MLK’s Daughter: ‘Lincoln Remembered for Signing Declaration of Independence’
It Continues To Be Tough To Remain Optimistic
If you are an optimist, you aren’t paying attention. ~Bob. Excerpt: The latest financial outlook for the country is rather negative. Unemployment will remain around 8% into 2014, food stamp recipients are at an all time high, home sales are at an all time low, gas prices remain high, food prices continue to rise, and home equity has plummeted. It is difficult to remain optimistic with all the bad news that continues to filter into the daily news. We can now add an unusual earthquake on the east coast and a hurricane that headed up the east coast to New York.
Syrian unrest raises fears about chemical arsenal
Excerpt: In 2008, a secret State Department cable warned of a growing chemical weapons threat from a Middle Eastern country whose autocratic leader had a long history of stirring up trouble in the region. The leader, noted for his “support for terrorist organizations,” was attempting to buy technology from other countries to upgrade an already fearsome stockpile of deadly poisons, the department warned. The Middle Eastern state with the dangerous chemicals was not Libya, whose modest stockpile was thrust into the spotlight last week because of fighting there. It was Syria, another violence-torn Arab state whose advanced weapons are drawing new concern as the country drifts toward an uncertain future. A sudden collapse of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could mean a breakdown in controls over the country’s weapons, U.S. officials and weapons experts said in interviews. But while Libya’s chemical arsenal consists of unwieldy canisters filled mostly with mustard gas, the World War I-era blistering agent, Syria possesses some of the deadliest chemicals ever to be weaponized, dispersed in thousands of artillery shells and warheads that are easy to transport.
For President Obama, more storms await on the horizon
Excerpt: President Obama arrived back in Washington after his August vacation to deal with a hurricane, but Irene was only the first of many tests awaiting the embattled commander-in-chief. With his approval ratings at the lowest point in his presidency, Obama returns to face a restless Congress, a hurricane that tore up the East Coast, continued unrest and uncertainty in the Middle East and an ailing economy that is not expected to improve much before the 2012 elections. "If the election were next Tuesday he'd lose. That's how bad it is," says a Democratic strategist.
'Green Scissors' Proposes Hundreds of Billions in Cuts to Federal Giveaways
Excerpt: Eliminating $380 billion in subsidies to industries that damage the environment could go a long way toward resolving U.S. budget challenges, a coalition of groups from across the political spectrum said today in a new report. The report, "Green Scissors 2011," identifies cuts to "wasteful spending that harms the environment," that would save $380 billion over five years, the groups said in a statement. That amounts to about a quarter of the savings the new congressional Super Committee has been charged with achieving, in half the time, the groups point out. "The place to start trimming government spending is where Congress is putting money into the pockets of polluters," they say. The groups propose cutting many fossil fuel, nuclear and alternative energy subsidies. Other targets include giveaways of publicly-owned timber, precious metals, oil and natural gas; "poorly conceived" road projects; and a host of "questionable" water projects planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "These common sense cuts represent the lowest of the low hanging budgetary fruit," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, one of the four groups that wrote the report.
The Fiscal Health of U.S. States
Maybe the EU will bail them out to prevent a collapse. ~Bob. Excerpt: This paper examines the fiscal health of the 50 U.S. states and reaches five conclusions. First, state government finances are not on a stable path; if spending patterns continue to follow those of recent decades, the ratio of state debt to output will increase without bound. Second, the key driver of increasing state and local expenditures is health-care costs, especially Medicaid and subsidies for health-insurance exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. Third, states have large implicit debts for unfunded pension liabilities, making their net debt positions substantially worse than official debt statistics indicate. Fourth, if spending trends continue and tax revenues remain near their historical levels relative to output, most states will reach dangerous ratios of debt to GDP within 20 to 30 years. Fifth, states differ in their degrees of fiscal imbalance, but the overriding fact is that all states face fiscal meltdown in the foreseeable future.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell Says “I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for” in 2012 Presidential Election
Excerpt: Powell stated that there are plenty of interesting Republican candidates and that he will take a look; however, did not commit nor state who he thought was the front runner. The question that should have been asked of Powell and for obvious reasons was not by CBS was … in the past Mr. Powell you praised Barack Obama’s leadership style in 2008 in endorsing him and stated that before the election that Obama “has a definite way of doing business that will serve us well.” Do you still stand by those comments? Where is that MSM asking those tough questions, holding Obama and those who endorsed for his feet to the fire? Seriously Secretary Powell, “Where’s your Moses now”? You said he had a way of doing business that would serve us well. What part about his community organizer style has served America well? Would it be the 9.1% unemployment, the continuous rise in first time unemployment benefits weekly, the pathetic GDP 1% growth, the fact that Obama has resided over the most rapid debt increase under any American President, or would it be Obama has showed no sign of leadership.
Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval
Approve: 38%. Disapprove: 55%.
Warren Buffett, hypocrite
Excerpt: This one’s truly, uh ... rich: Billionaire Warren Buffett says folks like him should have to pay more taxes -- but it turns out his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, hasn’t paid what it’s already owed for years. That’s right: As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson notes, the company openly admits that it owes back taxes since as long ago as 2002. “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years ... within the next 12 months,” the firm’s annual report says. It also cites outstanding tax issues for 2005 through 2009. Obvious question: If Buffett really thinks he and his “mega-rich friends” should pay higher taxes, why doesn’t his firm fork over what it already owes under current rates? Likely answer: He cares more about shilling for President Obama -- who’s practically made socking “millionaires and billionaires” his re-election theme song -- than about kicking in more himself.
Facts pols won’t face
Excerpt: Some of society’s most intractable problems come not from its failures but from its successes. Often you can’t get a good thing without paying a bad price. A prime example is Social Security, which has been completely successful in wiping out poverty among the elderly. Old ladies no longer have to eat cat food to survive. But we pay some prices for this. One is a lower savings rate. China has a humungous savings rate in part because it has no reliable old-age pension system. People have to save if they don’t want to starve. In the United States, we got out of the habit of saving. In the decade up to the financial crash of 2008, the US savings rate fell below zero. We felt comfortable borrowing on the supposedly ever-increasing values of our houses to support current and sometimes lavish consumption. Now we’re paying the price. The longer-term price any society pays for a public old-age pension system is lower birth rates. Farmers had large families to provide added labor for their working years and sources of income for their dotage. So did factory workers a century ago. In Western Europe, birth rates have fallen below the rate needed to replace population -- in some countries, far below. The US birth rate has remained, barely, above replacement rate largely because of immigration (Anchor Babies). But immigration has slumped during the recession and may never return to the 1990-2008 level. Unfortunately, under Social Security, like most public pension systems, current pensions are paid for by current workers. As lifespans increase and birth rates fall, the ratio of pensioners to active workers falls toward one-to-one. That’s not enough to support the elderly in anything like the style to which they have been accustomed, unless tax rates are sharply increased. And sharply higher tax rates, as Western Europe has shown over the last three decades, reduce long-term economic growth. That’s the problem, often abbreviated as “entitlements,” facing our political system.
The hidden costs of defense cuts
Excerpt: The Defense Department recently confirmed that it’s blocking the sale of 66 F-16 C/D fighters that Taiwan had wanted to buy to update its air force. The repercussions may surprise you. The move was no great surprise: Red China has been making a rumpus about the promised sale for months, even threatening in a People’s Daily editorial to use “the financial weapon” in retaliation if the sale went through -- and what America’s biggest debt holder wants, it’s bound to get. Besides, the F-16s were going to be built in Texas, not exactly this administration’s favorite state. The Pentagon is trying to soften the blow by offering an upgrade package for the F-16s Taiwan already has. But everyone knows this is a major setback for relations between us and one of our traditional allies in Asia. “We’re so disappointed in the United States,” one Taiwan official said. But blocking the sale doesn’t just hurt a friend in need. It also limits our own power projection in the Pacific region -- precisely why Beijing has been so adamant about stopping the sale. And it’s going to cost American jobs, and deal a sharp blow to one of our biggest and most beleaguered defense contractors.
Castro vs. the Ladies in White
Well, Michael Moore thinks they should be grateful for the great healthcare they’ll get in Cuba. ~Bob. Excerpt: Rocks and iron bars were the weapons of choice in a government assault on a handful of unarmed women on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba on the afternoon of Aug. 7. According to a report issued by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the beatings were savage and "caused them injuries, some considerable." It was not an isolated incident. In the past two months attacks on peaceful women dissidents, organized by the state security apparatus, have escalated. Most notable is the intensity with which the regime is moving to try to crush the core group known as the Ladies in White. This is not without risk to the regime, should the international community decide to pay attention and apply pressure on the white-elite regime the way it did in opposition to apartheid in South Africa. But the decision to take that risk suggests that the 52-year-old dictatorship in Havana is feeling increasingly insecure. The legendary bearded macho men of the "revolution," informed by the trial of a caged Hosni Mubarak in an Egyptian courtroom, apparently are terrified by the quiet, prayerful, nonviolent courage of little more than 100 women. No totalitarian regime can shrug off the fearless audacity these ladies display, or the signs that their boldness is spreading.
An EPA Moratorium-- Obama has the power to delay new rules that will shut down 8% of all U.S. power generation.
If he delays the rules, his greenie pals will be pissed. If he allows the regs to go forward, energy costs and unemployment will be higher on the first Tuesday in November in 2012. A classic statist Catch-22. ~Bob. Excerpt: Since everyone has a suggestion or three about what President Obama can do to get the economy cooking again, here's one of ours: Immediately suspend the Environmental Protection Agency's bid to reorganize the U.S. electricity industry, and impose a moratorium on EPA rules at least until hiring and investment rebound for an extended period. The EPA is currently pushing an unprecedented rewrite of air-pollution rules in an attempt to shut down a large portion of the coal-fired power fleet. Though these regulations are among the most expensive in the agency's history, none were demanded by the late Pelosi Congress. They're all the result of purely bureaucratic discretion under the Clean Air Act, last revised in 1990. As it happens, those 1990 amendments contain an overlooked proviso that would let Mr. Obama overrule EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's agenda. With an executive order, he could exempt all power plants "from compliance with any standard or limitation" for two years, or even longer using rolling two-year periods. All he has to declare is "that the technology to implement such standard is not available and that it is in the national security interests of the United States to do so."
Obamanonics vs. Reaganomics
Excerpt: If you really want to light the fuse of a liberal Democrat, compare Barack Obama's economic performance after 30 months in office with that of Ronald Reagan. It's not at all flattering for Mr. Obama. The two presidents have a lot in common. Both inherited an American economy in collapse. And both applied daring, expensive remedies. Mr. Reagan passed the biggest tax cut ever, combined with an agenda of deregulation, monetary restraint and spending controls. Mr. Obama, of course, has given us a $1 trillion spending stimulus. By the end of the summer of Reagan's third year in office, the economy was soaring. The GDP growth rate was 5% and racing toward 7%, even 8% growth. In 1983 and '84 output was growing so fast the biggest worry was that the economy would "overheat." In the summer of 2011 we have an economy limping along at barely 1% growth and by some indications headed toward a "double-dip" recession. By the end of Reagan's first term, it was Morning in America. Today there is gloomy talk of America in its twilight. My purpose here is not more Reagan idolatry, but to point out an incontrovertible truth: One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn't.
Quote from the Patriot Post
"When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation. Make no mistake about it, inflation is a tax and not by accident." --Ronald Reagan
Remind Me Again, We’re at War in Afghanistan Because…
Excerpt: The Obama State Department has just released its annual terrorism report. It was due to Congress on April 30; the administration that talks incessantly about “the rule of law” — but has little interest in enforcing or complying with the law — held off until the end of August, when Washington is a ghost town. But that, as President Obama must say a lot, is par for the course. The immediately notable thing about the report is what is not in it. Once again, the Taliban is not included in State’s listing of Foreign Terrorist Organizations — not the Taliban whose terrorism and safe haven for al Qaeda are the justification for continuing to have our troops fight and die in Afghanistan…
Why Obama Can't Lead
Excerpt: President Obama's inability to be decisive and inept leadership stem not from his lack of executive experience, but from his grounding in a specific political culture, the one he sought out in Chicago. His entry and indoctrination into the political culture of black leadership there have not prepared him for a positive role as chief executive officer. … In this political culture, the black political leader does not encourage his people to move forward, but rather convinces them that they cannot move forward. Whatever choices they make, their future is determined not by personal choice, but by the restrictive confines of white society. This is why actor-comedian Bill Cosby is viciously attacked when he suggests that African-Americans take responsibility for their own choices. His comments are perceived as an existential threat to the politics of black liberation and the entire political belief system that keeps the black political elites in power. President Obama is constrained by the political paradigm of black leadership, since for him to be in control of the government would mean to betray his people. He would become the establishment "outsider" and he cannot do that. It would require the abandonment of his core beliefs. This is why he constantly blames former President Bush for the constraints that he still feels are holding him back. He is not in control; society and the world at large are.
Islamic militants among prisoners freed from Libyan jail
Thank you, President Obama. It would be funny if Obama’s war in Libya killed your family, wouldn’t it? ~Bob. Excerpt: Hundreds of Islamist militants were among the prisoners freed from a notorious Tripoli prison this week, according to a former Libyan jihadist. The freed militants had been imprisoned in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison by Moammar Gadhafi's regime during the height of the insurgency in Iraq, according to Noman Benotman, once a senior figure in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Benotman said he believes as many as 600 militants may have been among the prison population at Abu Salim.
Introducing the new Libyan Management Team
Excerpt: It is time meet the new Libyan Management Team brought to you by an illegal war and $1B+ of taxpayer dollars. Let’s examine the background on who this group is and where they came from before we dive in to who the individual Leaders are. Most of the prominent Leaders of the Transitional Council got their training from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). So who is that group? (A number of serious writers and activists have stepped forward to expose the insanity that is Western involvement in the unholy wars in the Middle East. Here is another. I --and a handful of others -- had warned of this early, starting last spring when it all first started: http://laiglesforum.com/i-told-you-so-again/2697.htm. Now here is a question for you: What if a "conservative" president -- say, a President Bachmann or a President Perry, had committed US troops and materiel to this war, saying "we must defend innocent civilians"? Would conservative commentators dare to stand up against them and remind people that the rebel leaders are essentially terrorists hostile to our way of life and supportive of barbaric sharia law? I am sure some would. But they would be marginalized. Humans have a fatal flaw: herd instinct. They choose an alpha male and follow him blindly. It's in the genes. But there are a few who think for themselves. Be careful out there. The herd may trample you. --Don Hank)
We're cheering on a football crowd with AK-47s, who could be worse than Gaddafi
Excerpt: The moment has come to admit that I loathe the Arab Spring and almost everything about it. It looks to me pretty much like a football crowd armed with AK-47s and bazookas, with the added ingredient of Islamic militancy. Why am I expected to like it? For we are all supposed to approve of it. Every media outlet, every politician, every church pulpit, treats it as an unmixed Good Thing.
Gaddafi’s Weapons for Sale
Excerpt: With Gaddafi’s regime near total collapse, fears have arisen over the fate of Gaddafi’s remaining stockpile of deadly weapons. Unfortunately, given the large amount of weapons already run out of the country by Libyan rebels, the answer is both clear and unsettling. While Libyan rebels control most of Tripoli, Gaddafi’s regime still clings to life. American and allied officials are still uncertain as to who is currently in control of an arsenal that contains a deadly mix of conventional and chemical weapons, as well as raw nuclear material. Moreover, while the Libyan Transnational National Council (TNC) is the officially recognized governing authority, enormous doubts exist as to its ability or even willingness to help secure those weapons.
Wind Power Is Dying
Excerpt: While the U.S. is dumping billions of dollars into wind farms and onshore and offshore wind turbines, this energy source is being cast aside as a failure elsewhere in the world. Some 410 federations and associations from 21 European countries, for example, have united againstdeployment of wind farms charging it is “degrading the quality of life.” The European Platform Against Wind farms (EPAW) is demanding “a moratorium suspending all wind farm projects and a “complete assessment of the economic, social, and environmental impacts of wind farms in Europe.” The EPAW said it objects to industrial wind farms which “are spreading in a disorderly manner across Europe” under pressure from “financial and ideological lobby groups,” that are “degrading the quality of life living in their vicinity, affecting the health of many, devaluing people’s property and severely harming wildlife.” A petition for a moratorium has been sent to the European Commission and Parliament, said EPAW chairman J.L Butre.
House GOP announces jobs plan focused on cutting regs, taxes
Excerpt: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday laid out an ambitious anti-tax and regulations agenda for the fall. In a memoto rank-and-file Republicans, Cantor said the House will target 10 major regulations for elimination, and will also seek to enact one major tax cut for businesses. Republicans are offering the agenda as a contrast to President Obama’s jobs plan which is to be formally announced next week and is expected to include stimulus spending.
Cantor calls for repeal of Obama Administration's 'job-destroying- regulations'
Excerpt: House Republicans are poised to take on the Obama administration’s “job-destroying regulations” when Congress reconvenes shortly after Labor Day. In a memo to GOP members on Monday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor outlined what he and other Republican leaders consider the “top 10 most harmful” Obama administration regulations. Citing recommendations from committee chairmen, Cantor called for the repeal of those regulations and offered a “selective calendar” timeframe for doing so. These regulations are reflective of the types of costly bureaucratic handcuffs that Washington has imposed upon business people who want to create jobs,” Cantor wrote to his caucus.
Israel: Palestinian rams police checkpoint with taxi, stabs passers-by while shouting "Allahu akbar"
Excerpt: "Allah is greatest," he shouted. Sure, nothing shows the world your utter moral superiority like ramming people with your cab and then stabbing them. "Israeli police: 7 wounded in Palestinian attack," from the Associated Press, August 28: JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian attacker wounded seven Israelis near a Tel Aviv nightclub early Monday, hitting a police checkpoint with a stolen taxi and then stabbing others, police said.
Libyan rebels won't deport Lockerbie bomber
Sure grateful for your military support, infidel dogs. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Libyan rebels' interim government says it will not deport the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, who is reportedly near death. The rebel Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told journalists in Tripoli Sunday that no Libyan citizen would be deported, even Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted in a Scottish court and imprisoned for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people. The Scottish government released al-Megrahi in 2009, believing he would soon die of cancer. He was greeted as a hero in his native Libya and met with then-leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Health Care Law
Excerpt: The number of voters who Strongly Favor repeal of the national health care law ties the highest level reached in several months, as most continue to believe the law will push up health care costs and the federal deficit. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 57% at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 46% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-seven percent (37%) at least somewhat oppose repeal, with 25% who are Strongly Opposed.
Excerpt: If you're looking for proof that Too Big to Fail is still alive, and that Washington won't leave large financial institutions to the mercies of capitalism, consider billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett's $3 billion bet on struggling Bank of America. Buffett, who recently won plaudits for advocating higher taxes, has spent four years betting on bailouts and big government -- and tilting the playing field in that direction by putting his money and prestige at the service of Barack Obama. Buffett gave the maximum donation to Obama in 2007 -- $4,600 to his campaign, and $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee -- and also hosted a fundraiser for Obama in Omaha. By mid-2008, Obama had tapped Buffett as an official economic adviser to the campaign. When Wall Street nearly collapsed in September 2008, Buffett rallied behind the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and bet big on its passage. He put $5 billion into failing investment bank Goldman Sachs. "If I didn't think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week," Buffett said on CNBC at the time.
Mohammedan Attacks Austrian Parliament
Excerpt: Yesterday a Mohammedan - a 36-year-old Iranian asylum seeker - attacked the Austrian parliament, brandishing a knife, throwing stones and taking a woman hostage. After entering the parliament through the visitor centre, he tried to gain access to the inner parts of building. When confronted, he took a woman hostage with a knife, barricaded himself inside the rooms belonging to the security staff and demanded to see the Austrian President, Heinz Fischer. After about 20 minutes, a special security force known as WEGA used stun grenades to subdue the man, who was then disarmed and arrested. There seems to have been virtually no international coverage of this incident. (To be fair, violence from Islamists is so common as to hardly qualify as “news.” Now if there is violence and they have a nominally-Christian perp, that’s front page stuff. ~Bob.)
Bank Secrecy Feels the Squeeze
Excerpt: "Switzerland forced to hand over names to the IRS,” trumpets Le Temps, reporting that Washington has “gathered sensitive information that has led it to accuse Swiss banks of helping U.S. clients avoid declaring assets parked in Switzerland”. Two years after the UBS affair, which forced the Swiss to pass 5,000 customer names on to the IRS, “Washington is back and demanding more names: to set an example, to deter fraudsters, and to show that Switzerland is no longer a safe tax haven.
911 Whitewashing the War: "Never Forget" Morphs into "Forget it"
Excerpt: The enormous effort to whitewash 911 is deeply disturbing and more than a little offensive. The message is not "forget it." The message is, "never forget."
Gaddafi Used Refugees as 'Human Bombs'
Excerpt: "[Gaddafi] said he wanted to turn Lampedusa black," said Gaddur, referring to the fact that many of the exiles were migrants to Libya from Sub-Saharan Africa. Gaddafi said he wanted to use them as "human bombs," Gaddur added. Gaddur said he suspected that one thousand people died in their attempts to reach Italian shores. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that further evidence of Gaddafi's orders would soon be made public.
Avatar's Zoe Saldana: It's Trendy to Hate Americans
Excerpt: Deep down, some people are enjoying the fact that the most powerful nation on Earth is struggling a little – and then they deny that’s racist! And that frightens me. I’ve witnessed racism all my life. And of course there’s racism and discrimination in Hollywood. You go for a part and they say, ‘Oh, we really liked her, she’s amazing, but we wanted to go with something more traditional.’ As if I’m not a traditional American! I feel sorry for people like that. They need to educate themselves. Mostly you move on and say, ‘Well, I wasn’t meant to work with you or be around someone like you…’ Other times you might say, ‘You’re ignorant, you’re a racist. That’s it. I’m out of here!’ (Struggling a little bit? Sure, and the Titanic had an ice cube problem. ~Bob.)
Intelligence vs. Evidence Gathering: Knowing the Difference
Excerpt: There is a new brouhaha stirring among civil libertarians and Islamic organizations in light of the recent Associated Press story regarding the working relationship between the NYPD and the CIA. The article focused on the Intelligence Division of the NYPD and the deputy commissioner who runs it. David Cohen is a former career employee of the Central Intelligence Agency who was appointed by Commissioner Ray Kelly in 2002. Terms like "rakers" and "mosque crawlers" were bantered about painting a picture of unrestrained spying on the citizenry by the government. The authors, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, described a purported super-secret section of the Intelligence Division called the "Demographics Unit" whose responsibility was to send undercover officers into predominantly Muslim neighborhoods and gather information by observing the neighborhood. Immediately following story's release, several spokespersons for the Council on American Islamic Affairs (CAIR), and the Islamic Leadership Council voiced their outrage at what they termed "profiling." CAIR staff attorney Gadeir Abbas went so far as to call on the Justice Department and the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the NYPD. It was not too long ago that these same organizations were accusing the police of entrapment and the use of informants in several thwarted terrorist plots, such as "the Bronx Four" and the "Christmas Tree Bomber" in Portland.
How Much Do You Trust Your Employer?
Excerpt: Here is how most people approach the labor market: You search for a job you like, with health insurance tacked on as a fringe benefit. But here is how other people approach the labor market: They search for the health insurance they need and agree to work in order to get it. I first became aware of this second type of person in conversations with a major retailer which discovered it had a person way over-qualified for the job working in the company mail room. The reason: the employee’s daughter required $500,000 a year of medical care — all paid for by the company’s generous health plan. (See a similar problem at Starbucks.)
State Paid Sex Offenders to Baby-Sit
Excerpt: Osborne, of Chicago, wasn't the only sex offender paid by taxpayers to baby-sit, according to a [Chicago] Tribune investigation that found cases of convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons given access to children over the past decade. The money comes from a $750 million-a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 impoverished Illinois families. (We need to look at the whole “sex offender” thing. I have a buddy who has an employee who is permanently on the sex offender list as a pedophile, because he was caught at 19 touching—not having sex with—his 15-year-old girlfriend. I’m told it was consensual. Not like he married a 6-year-old and had sex with her when she was 9. ~Bob.)
Robert A. Hall