Must Read: Europe's on the brink of probably the gravest and most frightening tumult of our lifetime. By Max Hastings
Excerpt: Our political leaders have not mentioned this, not told us Europe is up the creek without a paddle, because half of them are in denial about what is going on, and not one has a sensible idea what to do about it. Sunday’s Greek election was trailed for weeks as a make-or-break event. Nobody with a brain the size of a sultana believed it, but we dutifully listened to the TV news coverage, and waited with unbated breath for a result. (Hastings is a brilliant and highly-respected British historian. ~Bob.)
Greek elections haven’t calmed fears about Europe’s financial health
Nor should they have, unless math is beyond you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Europe found itself in the firing line of financial markets and world leaders on Monday, with election results in near-bankrupt Greece failing to quell mounting fears about the region’s financial stability.
G20 summit: Leaders alarmed over eurozone crisis
Excerpt: Asked by a Canadian journalist to explain why North Americans should "risk their assets to help Europe", he replied: "Frankly, we are not here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy.”This crisis was not originated in Europe... seeing as you mention North America, this crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market." (All our fault. Nothing to do with socialist spending of more money than their dwindling number of children will ever earn. ~Bob.)
Excerpt: Quote: Prime Minister, Ted Heath when he said in a Government White Paper of July 1971, “There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty”. (On a TV current affairs programme in 1990, he was asked if he had known that this statement was untrue. His answer was “Of course, yes”.) There is a bit of history to this idea of politicians lying to the public to achieve what is supposed to be a noble end, a phenomenon we see on both sides of the pond.
If you are a political junkie, I recommend two great collections of political humor and stories by my Senate Floor Leader, the late Sen. John Parker: The Fun and Laugher of Politics and If Elected, I Promise. Both are long out of print, but you can often find them used on Amazon.com for not much money, especially the first one, which was published in the 1970s. No, you cannot borrow my signed copies.
U.S., Israel developed computer virus to slow Iranian nuclear efforts, officials say
Nice of the media to keep our enemies informed. Who needs spies? ~Bob. Excerpt: The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected critical intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage attacks aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.
Dem hopes of taking House dim
Excerpt: Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach. The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.
Senate Dems balk at ending Bush-era tax rates on wealthy without a deficit deal
Excerpt: A growing number of Senate Democrats are signaling they are not prepared to raise taxes on anyone in the weak economy unless Congress approves a grand bargain to reduce the deficit. At least seven Democratic senators have declined to rule out supporting a temporary extension of the Bush-era income tax rates, breaking with party leaders who have called for letting the rates expire for people earning more than $1 million per year. (There’s an old saying, “Don’t knock the rich—the poor aren’t hiring.” ~Bob.)
Mitt Romney receives newfound enthusiasm from Republicans
Excerpt: Mitt Romney is still awkward sometimes, a bit robotic and stilted at the lectern. But a turnabout seems to be happening: Voters say they are seeing him through a new prism. “He’s not stiff…. (Anyone not on board is supporting a second term for Obama. With a couple of Supreme Court appointments and endless Czars and Executive orders. ~Bob.)
The Role of Prices in Health Care
Excerpt: The price of a knee replacement for a dog -- involving the same technology and the same medical skills that are needed for humans -- is less than one-sixth the price a typical health insurance company pays for human operations, and less than one-third of what hospitals tell Medicare their cost of doing the procedure is, says NCPA President and CEO John C. Goodman in his new book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. To be fair, let's say you spend two nights in a hospital room, with hotel-like luxuries. Fido recovers in a cage, which presumably costs much less. But even with meals, two nights in a hotel should come in under $1,000. The price difference we are trying to explain is many times that amount. Then, there is the difference in surgeons' skills. Presumably, the surgeons who operate on humans are more talented and therefore more valuable. But an orthopedic surgeon in Dallas typically gets paid an amount equal to about 10 percent of the $32,500 an insurer pays to the hospital.
Process versus Results
Excerpt: There have been many debates through the years about whether the Canadian health care system is better than the American system. The reason: there are a lot of people who advocate single-payer health insurance, by which they mean a system in which government pays all the medical bills. There are basically only three genuine single-payer systems in the world: Canada, Cuba and North Korea, says NCPA President and CEO John C. Goodman in his new book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. There are multiple responses to counter those who advocate single-payer: The U.S. system is more egalitarian than the Canadian system (and more egalitarian than the health systems of most other developed countries as well). Uninsured Americans get as much as or more preventive care than insured Canadians (as many or more mammograms, PSA tests, colonoscopies, etc.). Low-income whites in the United States are in better health than low-income whites in Canada. Although minorities do less well in both countries, we treat our minority populations better than the Canadians do. Even though thousands of people in both countries go to hospital emergency rooms for care they can't get anywhere else, people in our emergency rooms get treated more quickly and with better results than people in Canadian emergency rooms. In Canada, what care you receive, where you receive it, and how you receive it is not determined by individual choice and the marketplace. It is determined collectively. For some people, that's an end in itself, says Goodman.
School Choice in D.C. Saved…For Now
Excerpt: President Obama has begun "evolving" his positions on various policy issues as polls show him neck and neck with Mitt Romney. His latest about-face restores a popular school voucher program for needy children in Washington, D.C.—after he had yanked its funding. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the Obama Administration has agreed to restore funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship for another year. (His union friends won’t like him giving poor black kids some of the same educational chance his kids gets as part of the 1%. ~Bob.)
Taliban Block Vaccinations In Pakistan
Excerpt: A Pakistani Taliban commander has banned polio vaccinations in North Waziristan, in the tribal belt, days before 161,000 children were to be inoculated. He linked the ban to American drone strikes and fears that the C.I.A. could use the polio campaign as cover for espionage, much as it did with Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped track Osama bin Laden.
71% Favor Work Permits for Young Illegal Immigrants in Certain Circumstances
Excerpt: Most voters don’t think the government is aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants but agree with President Obama’s decision to allow young people brought here illegally who meet certain criteria to avoid deportation. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government is not making enough effort to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Only 16% feel the government is doing too much to deport illegals, while 25% say the current amount of effort is about right.
The Immigration Ploy. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: No nation can absorb unlimited numbers of people from another culture without jeopardizing its own culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, America could absorb millions of immigrants who came here to become Americans. But the situation is entirely different today, when group separatism, resentment and polarization are being promoted by both the education system and politicians.
MSNBC mischaracterizes Romney remarks
Even Politico notices MSNBC’s bias. ~Bob. Excerpt: But in the MSNBC clip, which first aired on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Romney's remarks begin with the WaWa anecdote and end at "It's amazing," an edit -- first noted by conservative blogger Sooper Mexican -- that makes it seem as though Romney was expressing amazement at the advent of touchtone screens. The MSNBC clip feeds into the narrative, beloved by some on the left, that Romney is a 1950's throwback.
Excerpt: On Wednesday, June 13, members of the Occupy movement protested against a conference dedicated to combating child sex trafficking — thus, the Occupiers in essence were coming out in favor of one of society’s most loathsome moral crimes. The protesters mostly were members of Occupy Oakland Patriarchy, a group within the overall Occupy movement tasked with overthrowing our civilization’s “patriarchy.”
A White House mess. By John Podhoretz
Excerpt: One little-known fact about the world of journalism is that news organizations prepare obituaries of famous people while those people are still alive, so that packages of material will be ready to go when a death is announced. Over the past week, journalists have been writing articles that have the quality of these sorts of pre-obituaries — only the event they’re anticipating isn’t the last breath of an individual but the defeat of President Obama’s re-election bid. (I’m told the newspapers in my old Senate district have already prepared my obit. It’s filed under “good riddance.” ~bob.)
W.Va. Democrats distance themselves from Obama by skipping national convention. By Alex Pappas
Excerpt: In a move showing how politically toxic President Barack Obama has become in parts of the country, three prominent West Virginia Democrats announced Monday they will not attend the Democratic National Convention in September. Those opting out of appearing at the gathering of Democrats from across the country to officially re-nominate Obama for president include Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall.
Sen. Ayotte on ‘one of great threats to our national security that you haven’t heard of.’ By Jamie Weinstein
Excerpt: New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte says the more than $500 billion in automatic Defense cuts — set to go into effect in 2013 as result of the super committee’s failure — is perhaps the greatest threat to America that most Americans haven’t heard of. “I actually call sequestration one of the great threats to our national security that you haven’t heard of,” Ayotte told The Daily Caller during an extensive interview in her Washington office. “It would be like shooting ourselves in the head, is what the secretary of defense has said.”
Purple Hearts for Fort Hood Victims Listed as Reason for Obama Veto Threat. By Bridget Johnson
Excerpt: Before leaving for the Memorial Day recess, the House set up a showdown with President Obama and the Senate with Friday’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. Three days before the $642.5 billion spending bill passed 299-120, the Office of Management and Budget released a statement of administration policy on the bill, threatening a veto if numerous provisions remained in the legislation…The statement then outlined some of “a number” of “concerns” — 32, to be exact — including limitations on nuclear force reduction and a provision to block repatriated Guantanamo detainees from traveling to the U.S. No. 26 on the list of veto-worthy offenses is objection to awarding Purple Hearts to the victims of the Fort Hood and Little Rock shootings. (Maybe the public should be informed of all 32? –Barb.)
Border Patrol union demands Holder’s resignation over Fast and Furious. By Matthew Boyle.
Excerpt: The National Border Patrol Council — the union that represents Border Patrol agents around the country — demanded Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over Operation Fast and Furious on Monday. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the union deliberated for over a year before making this call for Holder to step down. “This is something that all of our guys are concerned about, because they know it could be any one of them,” Shawn Moran, a union vice president, said according to the Arizona paper.
White House Wages Rescue Effort for ‘Reset’ Rhetoric. By Bridget Johnson
Excerpt: “As a priority, we intend to successfully implement the New START Treaty, and to continue our discussions on strategic stability. Despite differences in assessments, we have agreed to continue a joint search for solutions to challenges in the field of missile defense.”…Things won’t get any easier for Obama when he returns to Washington: On Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will delve into implementation of the New START treaty that Obama arm-twisted through the upper chamber in 2010 with promises of modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons complex even as he focuses on his “global zero” disarmament doctrine. Both the House and the Senate have been pushing ways to get the president to keep his promise, as the promised modernization funds weren’t in his FY 2013 budget.
Issa to Holder: You have until Tuesday a.m. to give up Fast and Furious docs. By Matthew Boyle
Excerpt: House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa told Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday that he has until Tuesday morning to produce Operation Fast and Furious documents or his committee will be voting to hold him in contempt of Congress on Wednesday.
The Death of Jewish Liberalism. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The latest numbers show that Obama’s national support among Jews is down to 64 percent. That puts Obama in line with stalwart vote-getters like Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. More significantly a Siena College poll shows that Jewish support for Obama in New York City has fallen to 51 percent.
America’s Ten Leading Purveyors of Hate. By Ben Shapiro
Excerpt: The Southern Poverty Law Center has a new “Intelligence Report” titled “30 New Activists Heading Up The Radical Right.” It includes well-known conservative figures like Frank Gaffney, Pamela Geller, and David Yerushalmi, lumping them in with members of the New Black Panthers, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis. It’s a shameless attempt at shutting up those with whom the left most strenuously disagrees.
The Offensiveness of Racial Double Standards. By Walter Williams
Excerpt: There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we’d deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.
Excerpt: A lot is being said in the media about Mitt Romney not being “likable” or that he doesn’t “relate” well to people. We struggled to understand why…he is after all..drop dead handsome, has a beautiful wife…..isn’t that enough to ensure popularity for most Americans?
"From now on, they either follow the right religion or there will be no peace for them": Muslim group claims responsibility for Nigeria church bombings that killed 50
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: As Muhammad said, "I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah." -- Sahih Muslim 30
Man murdered for marrying Muslim girl
Excerpt: A 24-year old man was hacked to death allegedly by the brother of a Muslim girl and his associates for marrying her, triggering tension in Idalakudi area of the district, police said. Ramesh, a goods carrier operator based here, had married the girl belonging to Idalakudi some months ago though her family had opposed it, they said.
Syrian Islamist opposition casts out Christians
This from the side we are supporting! ~Bob. Excerpt: The Christian minority in Syria is facing a growing threat and thousands are being forced to flee their homes as they face harassment and discrimination from radial Islamist factions of the opposition. At least 9,000 Christians from the western Syrian city of Qusayr were forced to seek refuge after an ultimatum from a local military chief of the armed opposition, Abdel Salam Harba, Fides news agency reports.
French Socialists Eye Huge Tax Increases After Victory
Excerpt: France's Socialists vowed on Monday to use a resounding victory in weekend parliamentary elections to pursue President Francois Hollande's drive for growth in Europe while sticking to promises to cut the budget deficit, mostly through taxation increases. Hollande will use a special session of parliament next month to whittle down France's numerous tax exemptions and pass tax rises for large corporations, especially banks and energy firms, in a bid to cut the deficit to within the European Union's 3 percent limit by next year despite a stagnant economy. (Productive citizens will now flee France. But not to California or Illinois. ~Bob.)
Rubio Brings Tears to Your Eyes (video)
Excerpt: I can’t begin to tell you how moving I found this speech by Sen. Marco Rubio. He gets it. He gets what America is about and can communicate it in such a way that it just might bring a few tears to your eyes. Man does he ever get it.
Romney super PAC airs ‘doing fine’ ad
Excerpt: “America’s jobless rate just went up — again,” the narrator says, in between clips of Obama’s poorly-chosen words. “23 million Americans can’t find full-time jobs; 30 percent have been out of work for over a year; and under Obama, 800,000 more women are unemployed.”
DOJ Secretly Drops Terrorism Charges In Taliban Case
Excerpt: The Department of Justice (DOJ) refuses to explain why it has abruptly dropped terrorism charges against a member of a Middle Eastern family indicted in south Florida last year with providing material support for the Pakistani Taliban. In all, six people were charged with sending tens of thousands of dollars to the terrorist organization, which is associated with Al-Qaeda and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against American interests, including a 2009 suicide bombing at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. (You can’t keep up with this administration’s depredations. ~Bob.)
Jerome Hudson: If Bush Hated Black People, What’s Obama’s Excuse?
Excerpt: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, rapper Kanye West used the widely-broadcast “Concert for Hurricane Relief” to tell an international audience that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Might West have the same perception today, as black America crumbles under the leadership of the first black president?
Tweet from Kevin D. Williamson @KevinNR
Q: How is it that human life can evolve all on its own but markets apparently need somebody to play God?
Photos from the war in Vietnam
Powerful, but some are graphic. ~Bob.
FRANCE: Muslim man shoots two policewomen in cold blood. Both die!
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: The two female police officers, 29 and 35, were shot to death, when they intervened in a family dispute in Collobrieres in southeastern France. The killer, Abdallah Boumezaar, is a 30-year Algerian Muslim mason. He was let out of jail after serving a prison sentence for drug offenses and armed robbery.
Al Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for attack in Israel
Excerpt: A jihadist organization calling itself the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) has claimed responsibility for yesterday's cross border attack in Israel, according to the SITE Intel Group. The attack was launched near a security fence that Israel is constructing along its border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. One Israeli civilian was killed after the attackers detonated an improvised explosive device and then opened fire on two vehicles carrying construction workers.
Robert A. Hall