Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend - The Veteran

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN who salutes the Flag,

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Terror link alleged as Saudi millions flow into Afghanistan war zone

In my previous rant about the mosques in Boston and NYC, it was mentioned that Saudi money was financing their construction. In this article, Saudi money is flowing, faster than the Horizon oil leak, into Afghanistan and, presumably, supporting terrorism. This, along with the fact that a number of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis and Bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia, makes you question the friendship of the Saudi Royal family.

Our environmentalists and liberal politicians have effectively stopped any meaningful oil and gas explorations here in the US that could alleviate our dependence on Mideast oil and the Saudis know it.

We now have a President who had a Muslim upbringing and is sympathetic to their religion. He also caters to the wishes of his "green" supporters. Not much chance of him doing anything to correct this problem.

Millions of dollars of Saudi Arabian money have flowed into Afghanistan over the past four years, the country’s intelligence officials say, with the sponsorship of terrorism its most likely use.

According to members of the Afghan financial intelligence unit, FinTraca, the funds, totalling more than £920 million, enter from Pakistan, where they are converted into rupees or dollars, the favoured currency for terrorist operations.

“We can trace it back as far as an entry point in Waziristan,” said Mohammed Mustafa Massoudi, the director-general of FinTraca in Kabul. “Why would anyone want to put such money into Waziristan? Only one reason — terrorism.”

The revelations illuminate the difficulties in dividing the Taleban from al-Qaeda influence and the continuing involvement of Saudi donors in sponsoring the insurgency. Terror link alleged as Saudi millions flow into Afghanistan war zone

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Cozys Up to Radical Muslims

With the aid of Saudi money, radical Muslims are making headway in our major cities, as evidenced by this Mosque in Boston and the new proposed one at Ground Zero in NYC. It also appears that the voters in Massachusetts, either unwittingly or purposely have been electing politicians who are sympathetic to the Muslim cause.

It appears that all America has done the same, although, I am pretty sure it was done unwittingly.

On May 22nd, Massachusetts Governor Patrick embraced the radical leadership of the Muslim American Society (MAS), including Imam Abdullah Faarooq who told followers they must "pick up the gun and the sword" in response to the arrests of local Islamic extremist Aafia Siddiqui and terror suspect Tarek Mehanna.

Obama Barbecues Across the Street from Farrakhan

The rest of the article tells about, what appears to be a civil conversation between the Secret Service and Farrakhan's security force. What is interesting is the neighborhood Obama lived in and the intense security Farrakhan has.

It is a shame that Obama chose to miss the Arlington ceremony, but, as we are told, it is not the first time a President was AWOL.

If you are curious about "best friend" Marty Nesbitt, read here.

Just a few blocks from Obama’s home in the Kenwood/Hyde Park neighborhood, Obama’s friend Marty Nesbitt lives across the street from the ornate yellow-gold home where Farrakhan lives.

For the past two years, when Obama has brought his family over to Nesbitt’s home, the press pool bus parks near Farrakhan’s house. This usually does not cause a problem, but Saturday night — as most of the city was indoors watching the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals — a bit of tension emerged on Woodlawn Avenue.
Farrakhan followers, press have minor 'stand-off' in Obama's neighborhood

NYT: At Least 10 Are Killed as Israel Halts Flotilla With Gaza Aid

I don't know the situation of the waters off the Israel coast, but you would think that they would wait until the boats reached their own territorial waters before enforcing their blockade. Doing it in International waters only adds to the criticism from the world community and makes it harder for its allies to support them. Obviously, they did not know what or who was on those boats, and since Islam terrorist have threatened to wipe them off the face of the earth, they have to be extremely proactive to any possible threat.

My take is that the flotilla's intent was to break the blockade of Gaza, and that, in itself, makes those on the boats willing parties to this tragic event.

Israeli naval commandos raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people, according to the Israeli military and activists traveling with the flotilla. Some Israeli news reports put the death toll higher.

The confrontation drew widespread international condemnation of Israel, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries.

The criticism offered a propaganda coup to Israel’s foes, particularly Hamas, the militant group that holds sway in Gaza, and damaged Israel’s ties to Turkey, one of its most important Muslim partners and the unofficial sponsor of the Gaza-bound convoy. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut short a visit to Latin America to return home.

The I.D.F. said the ships from the convoy would be taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod, north of Gaza, where “naval forces will perform security checks in order to identify the people on board the ships and their equipment.”

On Sunday, three Israeli Navy missile boats had left the Haifa naval base in northern Israel a few minutes after 9 p.m. local time, planning to intercept the flotilla. After asking the captains of the boats to identify themselves, the navy told them they were approaching a blockaded area and asked them either to proceed to Ashdod or return to their countries of origin.

The activists responded that they would continue toward their destination, Gaza.

Speaking by satellite phone from the Challenger 1 boat, which has foreign legislators and other high-profile figures on board, a Free Gaza Movement leader, Huwaida Arraf, said: “We communicated to them clearly that we are unarmed civilians. We asked them not to use violence.”

Earlier Sunday, Ms. Arraf said the boats would keep trying to move forward “until they either disable our boats or jump on board.”
At Least 10 Are Killed as Israel Halts Flotilla With Gaza Aid

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Liz Chaney on Obama's Leadership

Haven't heard from Liz Chaney recently. She is well spoken, intelligent and speaks to the point. I think she is one to look our for in the Republican party.

Governor Christie: Style - What He Says Means Something

So far, a few months into his term, he has done what he said he would do. What a refreshing change in politics in NJ. Do we have anyone on the national scene that we can believe in to do what they say. Certainly we have seen Obama go totally left of his campaign rhetoric.

It is hard to identify this quality in a candidate, and, in most cases, you have to wait and see. For those politicians that have a record to review, we can get some indication of where they stand on their "credibility factor". My guess is that, for the majority of our current Federal representatives, they would get an "F" in creditability. We elect them and the buck stops with us.

White House Asked Bill Clinton to Urge Sestak to Drop Out of Senate Race

I wanted to see how this one ran before commenting. Right now the commentary is everywhere from a non-event to a felony and an impeachable offense. In any event, the "in the know" believe that the Republicans will continue to run with it. If they do, I believe it will turn off many of the voters, especially the independents.

The press believes Sestak was offered the Secretary of the Navy job. The Administration's story is that he was offered a non-paying advisory job. You see, if it were a paid job, someone would be guilt of a felony. It took Obama 3 months to come up with the non-paying scenario and, since Sestak is now the Democrat nominee, he will not go against his President.

An additional point is that they most likely knew that this was illegal, so they had Clinton do it. Since he has no authority to give the job, Obama's people say there is no foul. Being from Chicago, I guess they know how to circumvent the law.

I don't know if this reasoning can be used, but if I hired someone to kill another, wouldn't I be charged with murder also?

The White House asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Rep. Joe Sestak about the possibility of obtaining a senior position in the Obama administration if he would drop out of the Democratic primary race against establishment-backed Sen. Arlen Specter, the Obama administration said in a report released Friday morning.

But the report, by White House Counsel Robert Bauer, concluded that "allegations of improper conduct rest on factual errors and lack a basis in the law."

Batting down allegations that the White House dangled the secretary of Navy position in front of Sestak, the report said that Sestak was offered executive branch positions on advisory boards that were uncompensated.

One of the jobs Clinton specifically discussed with Sestak was the president's intelligence advisory board. But a White House official said the plan always was for Sestak to remain in the House, and he couldn't have served in the House and on the president's intelligence advisory board.

The report also described the Clinton conversations as informal and not tied to any precise job offer since, as a former president, Clinton could not guarantee Sestak anything.
Read full article here.

From a Mexican American - Mexico gives nothing, takes much

There are millions of Mexican Americans in the US that don't march in the streets carrying Mexican flags, that don't object to the Arizona immigration bill, and who just call themselves Americans. They are proud, hard working people who resent those illegals who feel free to violate our borders and then march in our cities against our laws. Offsetting this patriotism is Barack Hussein Obama, our President, who doesn't seem to care that our country is being invaded and raped, and will not honor his oath of office to protect and defend.

'Why do you betray your people?', someone recently asked me. Just because we are of the same color does not make us a common people.

Since the day I was born, I have been an American. Who I am, what I have, and what I have done with my life, I owe it all to this country I call home: America.

Mexico has never been there for its people, and even less for an American like me.

Mexico has never protected me from any foreign or domestic enemies. It has never taken care of me in times of need; it has never paid my hospital bills, never given me a job, has never given me an education and has not allowed me to collect welfare. It has not even given me a mere meal.

But Mexico has given to me the burden of supporting its people, and has made me tolerate its drug dealers, its human traffickers and criminals. We have had to endure many violations committed on us. We have had our national security violated by all who come here illegally; we have also seen murders, rapes, assault, theft and many more crimes committed. Some will say they don't do any of those crimes, that they are a good, honest hard working people. Coming here illegally is not a good way to immigrate; it is not an honest way. While many do not commit any federal crimes, they do take from us, by leaching off of our welfare system, overcrowding our hospitals, and depleting our school system of money that belongs to our children while not paying a cent into the American system.
Mexico gives nothing, takes much

Poll finds anger over country's leaders

Polls are looking good for the Tea Party movement, but not so good for the incumbents of both parties. Makes you wonder what is out there waiting in the wings and how the normal citizen can determine if the new crop of challengers is any better than the old. There is a certain amount of expertise and knowledge needed for our government to function, but that can be handled by those whose terms are not up and those that will invariably get reelected. Also, much of the Congressional staff will remain, and that is where we have another problem.

Washington is heavily staffed by progressive liberals that may have more power that the legislators themselves. If you can write the 2,000 page bills that the Congress doesn't bother to read before passing, then almost anything can be put in the legislation. Congressmen admit there have been some surprises, but you don't hear of any heads rolling. Let's get someone to clean house if there is malfeasance.

Let's get new people in there that won't write 2,000 page bills in the first place and who will place "sunset" requirements on all bills. Let's also have them appoint a committee to examine all open and active legislation, and determine whether or not they are being enforced or relevant. Then, on each bill, recommend to the full Congress, whether or not to repeal. Maybe we can slip ObamaCare into the repeal bin.

Two-thirds of those surveyed this week describe themselves as "angry" about the way things are going in the USA, the highest percentage in the decade the question has been asked. By nearly 2-1, they would rather vote for a candidate who has never served in Congress over one with experience.

"We're just going to have to clean house and get people in who really care about the country," says Stephen Besz, 63, of Hokendauqua, Penn., who was among those called in the poll. He worries about the future for his son, an electrical engineer who has been looking for a job for 18 months.

On Memorial Day weekend, incumbents in general and Democrats in particular face a hot summer.

The poll finds a huge intensity gap between the parties: 50% of Republicans are "extremely motivated" to vote this year; 30% of Democrats are.

"Normally I vote Democrat, but right now I'm not real sure," says Sherry Havard, 60, of Newton, Texas. "I just don't like what they're doing right now."

Among registered voters, 42% say their view of Obama is "very important" in their vote for Congress. That's likely to cut both ways: The group includes 43% of Democrats and 49% of Republicans
. Poll finds anger over country's leaders

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Steve Wynn Takes on Washington

Many of you would disagree with Steve Wynn and his Vegas strategy in the CNBC article, but no one can argue with his business acumen. In this interview, he tells you why the stimulus is not creating jobs; businesses are scared of Washington.

Israeli Heckler Calls Rahm Emanuel "Anti-Semite"

After dissing the Israeli Prime Minister in Washington and seeing that votes were being lost, Obama has Emanuel trying to mend fences. Now he is inviting Netanyahu to the White House next week. What a farce! Hope the Jewish voters will see through this charade. Obama is a Muslim and the Jewish people should be scared of what he will do in the Mideast.

Many Israelis feel betrayed by Emanuel, whose father is Israeli. They blame him for what they see as President Obama's anti-Israel policy.

Ties between Israel and the U.S. have plummeted since Mr. Obama took office last year. The President demanded a freeze on Jewish construction in the West Bank and disputed East Jerusalem, charging that the settlements were an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.

Israel initially refused, but under pressure from Washington it has since imposed a partial freeze on construction.

Two months ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was snubbed during a visit to the White House. The meeting was tense and there was no customary photo-op with the U.S. leader. This has created the popular perception here that Mr. Obama, and Emanuel, are selling Israel out to appease the Arab world.
Read article here.

Fox, CBS top 2009-10 TV season full of surprises

Glad to see FOX continue it's success along with its news division. I'm a little sad that my favorite program "24" was trashed, but NCIS and CSI have survived, along with Criminal Minds and The Mentalist.

Read the article to see what succeeded and what didn't.

As expected, Fox has clinched its sixth ratings victory in a row among the coveted adults 18-49 demographic, setting a record for the most consecutive wins by a broadcast network. And for the seventh time in eight years, CBS dominated among total viewers. Both networks, along with the CW, managed to match last year's average adult demo rating for the season. Meanwhile, ABC and NBC faced erosion because of aging programs and a plan to radically redesign 10 p.m., respectively.

But 2009-10 nonetheless was a surprisingly positive season. Success stories not only were fairly widespread, but they also inspired the industry by challenging key assumptions.

Comedy, long presumed dead, came back.

Reality, presumed stagnant, came back.

And dramas, well, dramas were like Jack Bauer: getting long in the tooth and running out of time. Still, despite sagging numbers, aging shows haven't cast a negative light on the genre's potential.

Even award shows, which during recent years were considered creakily orchestrated throwbacks, managed to reverse their downward viewership trends.

Sports programming, too, set records, with CBS airing the most-watched Super Bowl of all time and NBC's Vancouver Olympics coverage posting gains.

But it was comedies that made the biggest splash. The season's top success stories among scripted programming all were of that ilk, whether single camera (ABC's "Modern Family"), multicamera (CBS' ratings sensation "The Big Bang Theory") or hourlong musical (Fox's "Glee").
Read "Fox, CBS top 2009-10 TV season full of surprises" here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

He Was Supposed to Be Competent The spill is a disaster for the president and his political philosophy

Peggy Noonan, once a conservative who worked for President Reagan, then abandoned conservatives to support Obama in 2008, evidently has had enough and is coming back to the mainstream. This is not as much of a surprise as the James Carville rant against Obama's lack of action re: the oil spill.

Even more interesting is her comments on the ineffectiveness of the central government in solving almost any problem. Kudos to Peggy for this WSJ opinion piece.

I don't see how the president's position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president's political judgment and instincts.

There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don't see how you politically survive this.

I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. His philosophy is that it is appropriate for the federal government to occupy a more burly, significant and powerful place in America—confronting its problems of need, injustice, inequality. But in a way, and inevitably, this is always boiled down to a promise: "Trust us here in Washington, we will prove worthy of your trust." Then the oil spill came and government could not do the job, could not meet the need, in fact seemed faraway and incapable: "We pay so much for the government and it can't cap an undersea oil well!"

Mr. Obama himself, when running for president, made much of Bush administration distraction and detachment during Katrina. Now the Republican Party will, understandably, go to town on Mr. Obama's having gone before this week only once to the gulf, and the fund-raiser in San Francisco that seemed to take precedence, and the EPA chief who decided to cancel a New York fund-raiser only after the press reported that she planned to attend.

But Republicans should beware, and even mute their mischief. We're in the middle of an actual disaster. When they win back the presidency, they'll probably get the big California earthquake. And they'll probably blow it. Because, ironically enough, of a hard core of truth within their own philosophy: When you ask a government far away in Washington to handle everything, it will handle nothing well.
He Was Supposed to Be Competent

We’re too broke to be this stupid

Mark Steyn's article is a takeoff on one of his 2008 reader's comment “we’re rich enough to afford to be stupid”. You would have to be stupid to believe in the failed policies of this administration.

The green jobs, the gay parades, the jihadist welfare queens, the Greek public sector unions, all have to be paid for by a shrinking base of contributing workers whose children and grandchildren will lead poorer and meaner lives because of the fecklessness of government. The social compact of the postwar era cannot hold. Across the developed world, a beleaguered middle class is beginning to understand that it’s no longer that rich. At some point, it will look at the sheer waste of government spending, the other shoe will drop, and it will decide that it no longer wishes to be that stupid.

The celebration of Vesak Day - Buddha’s Birthday

Living in SC, in what is largely a retirement community and golf and beach resort, I was surprised to find out that a new couple we are friends with are Buddhists. They said that if we looked at the moon tonight we would see something amazing. I found this article and discovered that this is the day the world celebrates Buddha's birthday and is the first full moon in May.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to take a good look at the moon tonight, weather permitting.

A Little Kooky - But Why Are We Storing These So Called "UN Vehicles"? What Are They For?

For you conspiracy theorists, do we know what these are?

Les Phillip - Candidate to Represent Alabama's 5th Congressional District

Combatting Left Wing Propaganda

An article in The American Thinker examines the ways the left manages to change the dialog about concerns of the American people in order to support their seemingly indefensible positions. There is also a warning that the Tea Party should not count on the established Republican hierarchy to take advantage of the current voter unrest due to their history of "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory".

One suggestion is that, rather than attack the illegal problem as a whole, where the "race card" is currently being used to counteract widespread concerns, Republicans should key on the criminal element of illegal immigration. For this the liberals have no defense.

The exception is the criminal element, which has been too often overlooked. It is estimated that up to 10% of all illegal immigrants are felons, a number high enough to suggest deliberate dumping. The results are commensurate. According to William Bennett and Seth Leibsohn,

Illegal immigrants account for 16.5 percent of those sentenced for violent crimes; 18.5 percent of those sentenced for property crimes; 33.5 percent of those sentenced for the manufacture, sale, or transport of drugs; and 44.4 percent of those sentenced or forgery and fraud in the Phoenix area.

Obama’s Arizona Stance Borders Treason

Obama is consciously pitting Americans against illegal aliens and taking the illegals side in the argument in the guise of racism. Looking to turn legal Mexican Americans against a rival political party, and even foment civil unrest, in order to cement votes for the Democrats and their anti-Constitutional progressive agenda, is, what some think is a violation of his oath of office.

As one southwestern rancher says to Obama, "Quit worrying about these people's rights and start worrying about the American citizens' rights".

A reading of the United States Constitution, Article IV section 4 should leave no doubt as to the President’s duty and obligation to each and every state in the union: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

By choosing not to intervene to peaceably resolve the potential crisis and allowing anger and racial fervor to continue to escalate across the country and around the world against the state of Arizona and its citizens, President Obama becomes willfully complicit in any and all social unrest, possible violence, and economic harm to Arizona and its citizens that may result from this point forward.

Not taking seriously the sovereignty of the United States of America and the constitutional obligations to protection its borders is a serious enough indictment against President Obama and his administration, but total compliance by President Obama of unjust and imminent harm, in any aspect, to any state or citizen of the United States of America, is at the least despicable, and at the most treason.

Whether he likes it or not, Barack Obama was elected President of “the United States,” not President of “the select states,” and he swore an oath as president to protect and defend the constitution and citizens of the entire United States of America.
Obama’s Arizona Stance Borders Treason

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Sham Stimulus Bill

It is interesting that the proposed new job stimulus bill spends $190 billion of your grandchildren's livelihood and has almost nothing to do with creating jobs. What a coincidence, neither did the original stimulus. I have excerpted the article here but the devil is in the details. Read the American Thinker article and get the full flavor of Democrat "duplicity".

The irresponsibility of the left is on display daily as one piece of self-serving legislation follows another. The latest example comes in the form of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. Sponsored by Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan -- a state certainly in need of jobs, if not of loophole-closing -- the bill is one more exercise in political cynicism on the part of the most cynical Congress in history. Coming just five months before the all-important November elections, the bill is a blatant exercise in vote-buying paid for with money we don't have. Given the choice of ruinous spending versus short-term political gain, the left always chooses political gain.

The provisions of the latest stimulus bill demonstrate just how corrupt the Democratic leadership has become. What is $65 billion in Medicare physician payment doing in a so-called stimulus bill? It is there so Democrats can hide the true cost of Obamacare from the public, who will end up paying for it. What are further billions in handouts to minority farmers and welfare payments doing in a bill that is supposed to create jobs? And since when does the government distinguish between minority and non-minority farmers? What's next? Minority and non-minority physicians? Well actually, that's already in the health care bill.

The only provision in the American Jobs bill directly tied to job-creation is one billion for "summer jobs," but these jobs, it turns out, are hardly jobs at all. They are essentially internships for low-income youths in government and the non-profit sector, not in the private sector, where these kids might conceivably learn something about work.

But then, the point of the American Jobs bill is not to promote private-sector employment; the point is to shift more and more Americans from private-sector employment into dependence on government make-work and welfare. Aside from the stealth Medicare reimbursement increase, the American Jobs bill is designed entirely for the purpose of silencing a restive Democratic base until after the fall elections, after which the extended benefits will run out and there will still not be enough jobs in the private sector to bring about normal levels of employment.

Whether the American Jobs bill can buy enough votes for Democrats to retain control of Congress remains to be seen, but I would not bet against a party as ruthless and irresponsible as the modern-day Democratic Party.

Only a major shift in political consciousness on the part of Americans at large -- a new awareness of how corrupt the left has become and of how grave the consequences are going to be -- might save America from fiscal ruin. Unfortunately, that sort of shift in consciousness comes about only around once in a lifetime, as it did in 1980. Payoffs to special interests take place ahead of every election.
Another Sham Stimulus Bill

Feds Issue Terror Watch for the Texas/Mexico Border

If this weren't so serious, it would be laughable. The Federal Department of Homeland Security is asking for State help in apprehending a terrorist who may cross the border in Texas. After all the hypocritical bashing of the Arizona immigration law, they admit the border is not secure and potential terrorists are crossing into the US. Evidently the barn door is still open and Obama and his lackeys don't get it or don't care. Either way it is the US citizen that will suffer.

The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells

The warning follows an indictment unsealed this month in Texas federal court that accuses a Somali man in Texas of running a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” responsible for bringing hundreds of Somalis from Brazil through South America and eventually across the Mexican border. Many of the illegal immigrants, who court records say were given fake IDs, are alleged to have ties to other now-defunct Somalian terror organizations that have merged with active organizations like Al Shabaab, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.

In addition to the Somali immigration issue, Mexican smugglers are coaching some Middle Eastern immigrants before they cross the border – schooling them on how to dress and giving them phrases to help them look and sound like Latinos, law enforcement sources told

“There have been a number of certain communities that have noticed this, villages in northern Mexico where Middle Easterners try to move into town and learn Spanish,” Neuhaus Schaan said. “People were changing there names from Middle Eastern names to Hispanic names.”
Security experts say the push by illegal immigrants to try to fit in also could be the realization of what officials have feared for years: Latin American drug cartels are helping jihadist groups bring terrorists across the Mexican border.

Pham says the DHS alert is too little, too late.

“This is like shutting the barn door after the horses got away,” he said
. Feds Issue Terror Watch for the Texas/Mexico Border

China Using Kid Gloves with North Korea, Wary of Kim Jong Il .

China has a big stake in the current military action N. Korea has taken against the South. South Korea and Japan, both are major trading partners with China, and both have a rational fear of the unstable government of Kim Jong Il. In addition, China fears an influx of millions of refugees across their mutual border in case of a destabilization of the North.

China is also afraid that their direct condemnation of N. Korea may result in a less than rational reaction from the North. My guess is that China is better equipped to judge the possible reaction to sanctions of N. Korea than Hillary Clinton. Let them play it out and see if war can be averted.

China wants to avoid a conflict on the Korean peninsula, and is concerned that taking South Korea’s side may provoke North Korea into further escalations and even lead to war, said Shen Dingli, vice dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Shanghai’s Fudan University.

“North Korea is dying, and we can make things worse,” Shen said. “We have assumed North Korea is not a rational actor.”

China has a big stake in stability in Northeast Asia. Japan and South Korea are China’s third- and fourth-biggest trading partners after the European Union and the U.S., with combined two-way trade reaching $485.1 billion in 2009, Chinese customs figures show.

China’s two-way trade with North Korea, at $2.7 billion last year, is less than 1 percent of that total, even though the two countries share a 1,415-kilometer (880-mile) border and an alliance going back to China’s 1950 entry into the Korean War.

“If our region falls into chaos it will undermine the interests of all parties concerned,” Zhang said yesterday.
China May Shield North Korea as Lee, U.S. Seek Action on Ship

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Morning Bell: Slouching Towards Irrelevance

This article begins by VP Biden praising Brussels with the European Union headquarters, and NATO as being the "capital of the free world". It also points out the fact that those in charge were not elected by the people, and the Union itself was not formed by the "people".

I am sick and tired of our elected officials talking down our country and following policies that are destroying our ability to restore our economy, our military and our pride.

One might hope that the Obama administration would look at the path Europe has gone down (a bloated welfare state that saps economic growth and bleeds military spending) and decide to change course. But President Barack Obama’s speech at West Point on Sunday quashed any such hopes. Speaking to graduating Cadets, President Obama laid out the increasingly identifiable pillars of the Obama Doctrine: greater reliance on international institutions; substituting soft power for hard power; and a more subdued and less self-reliant America – a scheme designed more to manage American decline than to ensure its people remain safe, free and prosperous.

Last Friday Charles Krauthammer gave us a whirlwind tour of what the Obama Doctrine has looked like in action: failed engagement with Iran, surrender to Russia on missile defense, appeasement of Syria, support for pro-Chavez leftists in Honduras, and a gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falkland Islands. And what has it secured? A completely fake deal between Turkey, Brazil and Iran that will do nothing to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons program but has already made new meaningful sanctions next to impossible.

Instead of cutting domestic spending and reining in entitlements, President Obama passed a $862 billion failed stimulus and created a brand new health care entitlement all while laying the ground work for future cuts to our nation’s defenses. As Krauthammer wrote Friday: “This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle.”
Read The Foundry article here.

Puerto Rican Statehood Bill Picks Up Steam

It is interesting, that during a time when our economy is drowning in debt, that the Senate would make this issue, one that has been around for a long time, a priority. What a shocker! Too late for November 2010, but maybe they can squeeze it in by 2012. When you understand that Reid and his Democrat Senators are in trouble and looking for all the votes they can get, then you realize their panic.

In the past Puerto Rican citizens have voted against statehood 3 times. But surprise, surprise, the legislation is rigged in favor of statehood.

Can we really trust legislators that would manipulate citizens in order to retain their seats of power?

Puerto Rican Statehood

Legislation providing Puerto Rico an avenue to statehood picked up steam last week in the U.S. Senate. Last Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources conducted a hearing on H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rican Democracy Act. The House passed this legislation last month 223-169 after adding an amendment to allow the people of Puerto Rico more options on what they want for the future of Puerto Rico—to retain commonwealth status or to opt for statehood, independence or sovereign association with the United States. Senate action on this legislation may come later this year.

One problem with the legislation is that it rigs a vote of the Puerto Rican people in favor of statehood. The House-passed legislation authorizes Puerto Rico to have a vote on whether the people want to retain the present form of political status or a different political status.

Most analysts agree that the people of Puerto Rico have concerns about the current status. If the vote on change passes, then the Puerto Ricans will have another vote and be provided four choices on the future of the Puerto Rican government. Under this complicated scenario, it’s possible that statehood could be ratified in the second vote by a mere plurality.

Another problem with this legislation is that residency requirements are waived to boost participation in these votes. The act allows people born in Puerto Rico who have relocated to the United States to vote in these plebiscites. The final results of these votes may be distorted, and Puerto Ricans who don’t live there given a greater say than they deserve. This legislation eliminates the traditional voting requirement that people vote where they have a residence and where they intend to reside.

When Alaska and Hawaii voted for statehood, the populations voted overwhelmingly in favor of full statehood, yet the people of Puerto Rico have three times rejected the idea of statehood. Conservatives support the idea of statehood for Puerto Rico, but only if the people who actually live there want it, want it with a supermajority, and the American people consent to add a new state.

This article also has a piece on Rand Paul's victory in Kentucky and the effect of the Tea Party movement on the primaries.

It also comments on the attempt by the EPA to "backdoor" regulations that would, in effect, set cap & tax in motion.
Read Heritage article here.

Obama's Duplicity - Job Statistics Bouyed by Fake Census Worker Hirings.

Everyone wants to believe in their government's honesty and be able to accept its words at face value. Obama, Pelosi and Reid's government has a ways to go for me to believe anything that they say. It has been proven that, what was said on the campaign trail by Obama, has mostly been untrue. Granted, to get elected, politicians have to walk a tightrope, but this "Chicago style" politics has no place in our Republic.

Obama and his "wonks" paraded on TV last month boasting about all the jobs that were created, acknowledging that the Census hiring had contributed, but totally ignored the rise in unemployment applications. Today we find out that the number of Census workers hired was totally bogus, manipulated to give some credence to the failed job stimulus bill.

Last week, one of the millions of workers hired by Census 2010 to parade around the country counting Americans blew the whistle on some statistical tricks.

The worker, Naomi Cohn, told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by Census. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department.

Below, I have a couple more readers who worked for Census 2010 and have tales to tell.

Each month Census gives Labor a figure on the number of workers it has hired. That figure goes into the closely followed monthly employment report Labor provides. For the past two months the hiring by Census has made up a good portion of the new jobs.

Labor doesn't check the Census hiring figure or whether the jobs are actually new or recycled. It considers a new job to have been created if someone is hired to work at least one hour a month.

One hour! A month! So, if a worker is terminated after only one hour and another is hired in her place, then a second new job can apparently be reported to Labor . (I've been unable to get Census to explain this to me.)

Here's a note from a Census worker -- this one from Manhattan:

"John: I am on my fourth rehire with the 2010 Census.

"I have been hired, trained for a week, given a few hours of work, then laid off. So my unemployed self now counts for four new jobs.

"I have been paid more to train all four times than I have been paid to actually produce results. These are my tax dollars and your tax dollars at work.

"A few months ago I was trained for three days and offered five hours of work counting the homeless. Now, I am knocking (on) doors trying to find the people that have not returned their Census forms. I worked the 2000 Census. It was a far more organized venture.

"Have to run and meet my crew leader, even though with this rain I did not work today. So I can put in a pay sheet for the hour or hour and a half this meeting will take. Sincerely, C.M."

And here's another:

"John: I worked for (Census) and I was paid $18.75 (an hour) just like Ms. Naomi Cohn from your article.

"I worked for about six weeks or so and I picked the hours I wanted to work. I was checking the work of others. While I was classifying addresses, another junior supervisor was checking my work.

"In short, we had a "checkers checking checkers" quality control. I was eventually let go and was told all the work was finished when, in fact, other people were being trained for the same assignment(s).

"I was re-hired about eight months later and was informed that I would have to go through one week of additional training.

"On the third day of training, I got sick and visited my doctor. I called my supervisor and asked how I can make up the class. She informed me that I was 'terminated.' She elaborated that she had to terminate three other people for being five minutes late to class.

"I did get two days' pay and I am sure the 'late people' got paid also. I think you would concur that this is an expensive way to attempt to control sickness plus lateness. I am totally convinced that the Census work could be very easily done by the US Postal Service.

"When I was trying to look for an address or had a question about a building, I would ask the postman on the beat. They knew the history of the route and can expand in detail who moved in or out etc. I have found it interesting that if someone works one hour, they are included in the labor statistics as a new job being full.

"I am not surprised that you can't get any answers from Census staff; I found there were very few people who knew the big picture. M.G."
Two more Census workers blow the whistle

Obama to snatch up to 75% of your income - Federal government could confiscate more than half of everything earned

Only 42% of the US population is earning income from private sources. The rest rely on government. Is it a stretch to think, with all of Obama's redistribution talk, that the overall tax rates will reach those of European countries noted above?

"In a five-day work week, will Americans be willing to work four days for the government?" Corsi asked.

He said as Obama moves the U.S. in the direction of becoming a European-style social welfare state, it is important to consider taxation levels typical in Europe.

Corsi noted that even high levels of taxation are not sufficient in Europe to prevent debt levels from rising to crisis proportions, as has been seen in Greece and is looming on the horizon in Portugal, Spain and Italy.

"These are the real costs of income redistribution, as taxpayers are made to bear the taxation costs of generous pension plans for government employees at all levels of government – federal, state and local – as well as funding Social Security, paying for Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare and funding welfare, including educating the children of illegal immigrants in Spanish in public schools," he wrote. "There is no limit to generosity when it comes to socialist states providing social welfare benefits to increasingly government dependent populations."
Read article here

US warns over Beijing’s ‘assertiveness’ - Taking Advantage of Obama's Weakness?

Obama has weakened our economy and, with his "apology tour" has shown weakness on the international stage. China owns a good portion of US debt and may believe that, together with Obama's weakness in foreign affairs, they can capture these contested areas without a whimper from the US.

The Admiral also said "the US viewed China’s growing influence in Asia as positive".

Are we about to throw Japan under the bus as we have Israel?

The commander of US forces in the Pacific has warned that China’s military is more aggressively asserting its territorial claims in regional waters.

Admiral Robert Willard told the Financial Times: “There has been an assertiveness that has been growing over time, particularly in the South China Sea and in the East China Sea.”

He said China’s extensive claims to islands and waters in the region were “generating increasing concern broadly across the region and require address”.

The admiral’s remarks follow complaints by Japan in recent weeks about aggressive behaviour from a Chinese coastguard vessel in contested waters and a Chinese military helicopter in international waters.

Some of China’s neighbours have been watching the People’s Liberation Army’s modernisation and efforts at expanding the navy’s reach with unease, and defence experts see this expansion as one factor behind a developing arms race in south-east Asia.
Read Financial Times article here.

Obama to Send Up to 1,200 Troops to Border - What a Farce!

This statement in the article tells it all. "The soldiers will not directly make arrests of border crossers and smugglers, something they are not trained to do." The problem that the law enforcement officers in Arizona and other states have is that they do not have the personnel to apprehend the illegals that they see cross everyday. This is the reason the use of Drones was not a great idea. Now we will have troops that can only observe and not apprehend. Why bother and why spend the money?

This is a drop in the bucket and done for political reasons and will do little to stem the flow. At least the Arizona law has gotten the attention of Obama and Congress.

President Obama will send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border and seek increased spending on law enforcement there to combat drug smuggling after demands from Republican and Democratic lawmakers that border security be tightened.

The decision was disclosed by a Democratic lawmaker and confirmed by administration officials after Mr. Obama met on Tuesday with Republican senators, several of whom have demanded that troops be placed at the border. The lawmakers learned of the plan after the meeting.

But the move also reflected political pressure in the president’s own party with midterm election campaigns under way and with what is expected to be a tumultuous debate on overhauling immigration law coming up on Capitol Hill.

From 2006 to 2008, President George W. Bush made a larger deployment of Guard troops under a program called Operation Jump Start. At its peak, 6,000 Guard troops at the border helped build roads and fences in addition to backing up law enforcement officers.

Those Guard troops contributed to the arrest of more than 162,000 illegal immigrants, the rescue of 100 people stranded in the desert and the seizure of $69,000 in cash and 305,000 pounds of illicit drugs.

Rick Nelson, a senior fellow who studies domestic security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that the additional spending could improve security over the long term but that the National Guard deployment was not sufficient for “an overwhelming change that will change the dynamics on the border.”

“This is a symbolic gesture,” he said. “At the end of
the day, the face of border security is still going to be Customs and Border Protection, the law enforcement community. It’s not going to be the National Guard.” Read NYT article here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Obama gets an earful in clash with GOP senators

President Obama tried to make "nice nice" with Republican Senators at a luncheon today. I guess he expected to smile, shake a few hands and get them to vote for his radical left agenda. He must be upset at the "just say no" response. I think the word set forth by Bob Corker said it best; duplicity in everything he said during the campaign, duplicity in saying he wants to bring Americans together, all the while dissing those that disagree with him, duplicity in bad mouthing a State immigration law, duplicity, duplicity, duplicity. Audacity and unbending partisanship weren't bad either. Glad to see the Republicans did not roll over and play dead.

If President Barack Obama thought having a private lunch with Republican senators would ease partisan tensions in Congress, he grabbed the wrong recipe.

The president walked into a remarkably contentious 80-minute session Tuesday in which GOP senators accused him of duplicity, audacity and unbending partisanship. Lawmakers said the testy exchange left legislative logjams intact, and one GOP leader said nothing is likely to change before the November elections.

Obama's sharpest accuser was Bob Corker of Tennessee, a first-term senator who feels the administration undermined his efforts to craft a bipartisan financial regulation bill.

"I told him I thought there was a degree of audacity in him even showing up today after what happened with financial regulation," Corker told reporters. "I just wanted him to tell me how, when he wakes up in the morning, comes over to a luncheon like ours today, how does he reconcile that duplicity?"

Four people who were in the room said Obama bristled and defended his administration's handling of negotiations. On the way out, Corker said, Obama approached him and both men repeated their main points.

"I told him there was a tremendous disconnect from his words and the actions of his administration," Corker said.
Read article here.

Private pay shrinks to historic lows - Obama's Redistribution of Income is Working

Does this sound like Greece? I'm sure that many love being paid for "being", I know I do since I am on Social Security, retired and playing golf in SC. I guess the only difference is that I and my employers paid into the "fund" for 40+ years and believe that I earned it. Is it my fault the Congress decided to spend the "fund" and now my "stipend" is paid for by those of you who are productive? Probably. Those Democrats and RINOs didn't get there by themselves.

At least I didn't vote for that "Change we can believe in" baloney.

Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.

The trend is not sustainable.

Economist David Henderson of the conservative Hoover Institution says a shift from private wages to government benefits saps the economy of dynamism. "People are paid for being rather than for producing," he says.
Private pay shrinks to historic lows

California Democrats unveil tax-increase package

Californians are lucky the Democrats don't have the votes, without Republicans, to pass these increases. The California economy cannot take more taxes. Let's hope there are no RINOs in their midst.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24 (Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers in California unveiled a plan on Monday for nearly $5 billion of tax and fee increases to help fill the state government's $19.1 billion budget gap.

The plan by state Senate Democrats would raise $4.9 billion by raising California's vehicle registration fee, suspending corporate tax breaks scheduled to begin next year and boosting the state's tax on alcoholic beverages.

Democrats control both chambers of the state's legislature and have said they would seek new revenue to help plug the shortfall.

Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, by contrast, has ruled out tax increases and is relying largely on deep spending cuts in his plan for balancing the state's books. He has called for $12.4 billion of cuts and would scrap the state's welfare system, a plan Democrats have rejected.

Republicans in the legislature's minority immediately criticized the proposed tax increases, signaling they will use their votes to block them. Democrats lack the votes to pass tax measures on their own.

Analysts expect budget negotiations between Schwarzenegger and lawmakers will drag on and press into the state's next fiscal year, which begins in July.

California's leaders are facing another year of weak revenue as a result of the recession and the downturns in financial and real estate markets. (Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Results of Obama's "Swat Team" Inspections of Oil Rigs in Gulf

I remember the "swat team" releases by the MSM a few weeks ago, showing the Obama administration was attacking the problem full force. Since then, other than the obligatory "fly overs" by DC personnel, speeches and press releases blasting BP and stating they will pay, and plans to tax the oil industry into submission, nothing productive, that can solve the real problem, has surfaced.

In the words of Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief honcho, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." Look for the oil tax increases soon.

By the way, this article tells you what the "swat teams" found. You won't find this in the MSM.

The announcement of the SWAT teams received much media attention because it came as the White House was being criticized in some quarters for a tardy response to the explosion that killed 11 crew members on the platform and the ensuing massive oil spill that followed the structure's sinking in 5,000 feet of water.

But have you noticed we haven't heard much at all about the results of those inspections? Maybe that's because the SWAT teams found virtually nothing of significance?

What they did find on the 29 rigs was a single violation on one rig and three violations on another. That's it. None of the four violations was serious, though one involved flammable materials left in a safe welding area. The other violations included a testing procedure flaw, an uncovered six-inch by 12-inch hole, and expired eyewash bottles in a first aid kit.

Could it be that the White House and its many friends in the mainstream media are ignoring the inspection results because a finding of less than a handful of minor violations conflicts with their preferred narrative than off-shore oil drilling is always and everywhere bad?
Read article here.

Read the MMS Deepwater Drilling Rig Inspection Report

The Buck Stops Nowhere

Progressives believe that the Constitution must change to fit the changing world. Our founding fathers warned us that they would come and, if successful, would destroy our Republic. We now have progressives in charge of the two branches of Congress, the Presidency and a tenuous balance in the Supreme Court between progressives and semi-Constitutionalists. Progressives know their window of opportunity may not be long, and they are hell bent on pushing as much radical legislation into law, in order to embed the framework for Federal control over the States and the people.

People know what has to be done to rid themselves of the progressive pariah and they know, in the case of the Congress and Presidency, "The Buck Stops There".

According to best estimates, the collapsed Deepwater Horizon oil rig is pumping about 210,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. But don’t worry, President Barack Obama has appointed an “independent” commission to investigate the spill. Our federal government will post an estimated $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, and our debt is projected to equal 140 percent of gross domestic product within two decades. But don’t worry, President Obama has appointed a debt commission to solve the problem. Our nation’s southern border has degenerated into a violent, lawless and lethal zone. But don’t worry, Congress wants to empower a new commission to control the problem. And millions of Americans don’t know whether or not their health plan will be exempted from Obamacare. But don’t worry, faceless bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services are already hard at work determining whether or not you will be allowed to keep your current health insurance.

Is this any way to run a country? Should the President of the United States be passing off responsibility to “independent” commissions? Should Congress be passing off responsibility for securing our nation’s borders to an unaccountable commission of experts? How is any of this consistent with our nation’s First Principles or the United States Constitution? It’s not. The authors of our Constitution never meant to create a federal government with the power to force you to buy health insurance, let alone one where it would be unelected bureaucrats who determine what type of health insurance you could buy.

Our Founding Fathers specifically created a Constitution dividing the legislative, executive and judicial functions of government into three branches so that the separation of these powers would limit the size and scope of the federal government. Americans would know who to punish for bad policies at the ballot box because it would be clear who was responsible for creating and enforcing them. But that is very obviously not the system we have today. Our federal government has devolved into an incomprehensible mish-mash of alphabet soup government agencies and commissions that no one American could possibly understand. Why is our country in this state? What happened?

The Progressive movement happened.

President Barack Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are the modern heirs of the Progressive campaign to eviscerate the rule-of-law-based limited government envisioned by the U.S. Constitution and replace it with an expert-ruled European welfare state. Everything this regime has done since assuming power (TARP, the Presidential Task Force on Autos, Obamacare, EPA global warming regulations) empowers unaccountable expert committees and commissions. Commenting on Congress’ new immigration commission, Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker told The Washington Post: “It’s the ultimate expression for the need for political cover.” Enough cover. It’s time Washington is held accountable.
Read article here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Financial Reform Bill Is A ‘Disaster’: Sen. Gregg

A Financial Reform Bill without regulating Fannie and Freddie is almost worthless, except for those wanting to expand government control into the financial sector. What is astonishing to me, is the statement made by Gregg that the Democrats in Congress still want mortgages given to anyone, even though they may not be able to afford it. This is a direct redistribution of wealth. This agenda of the Democrat Congress is what suffocated the economy and caused the collapse in 2008 and it will continue until control of Congress and the Presidency is turned over to more Conservative Democrats and Republicans.

Read "Financial Reform Bill Is A ‘Disaster’: Sen. Gregg" here.

FOX Businness: The Next Bailout: $165B for Unions

More union payback. Why isn't there a bailout for all the non-union pension funds and all the 401k plans. Everyone who had any kind of savings for retirement has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Union plans, by in large, are more generous than private non-union plans, usually offering earlier retirement and greater percentages of their working income. I care that they are financially not where they thought they would be, but who is. The taxpayers cannot afford to bail out everyone, especially those in the same sinking boat.

A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.

The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people.

As FOX Business Network’s Gerri Willis reported Monday, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.

Although right now taxpayers could possibly be on the hook for $165 billion, the liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.

It’s hard to say at the moment what the chances are that the bill will pass. A hearing is scheduled Thursday, which will give the public a sense of where political leaders sit on the topic, said Willis.

Just last week President Obama said there would be no more bailouts.

View You Make It. They Take It. Video here

Guess Who is Profiting from the Foreclosures - Answer: Soros and Other Obama Friends

U.S. military told to get ready in Korea standoff. Obama orders commanders to prepare 'to deter future aggression'

My belief is that North Korea will not elevate this situation to all out war, but their leader, Kim Jong Il, has not been the most rational leader on the planet. It is good to see the administration supporting our commitment to the South Koreans. Kim Jong Il is a scary individual.

The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama "fully supports" the South Korean president and his response to the torpedo attack by North Korea that sank a South Korean naval ship.

In a statement, the White House said Seoul can continue to count on the full backing of the United States and said U.S. military commanders had been told to work with their South Korean counterparts "to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression".
Read MSNBC article here.

One false move in Europe could set off global chain reaction - Will Congress Ever Learn?

The European crisis is a danger to the whole world's economy and the fixes put in place are fragile. If you look at the underlying cause, you can point directly to the "nanny state" economic beliefs of those countries in the most trouble, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

In the face of this evidence, the Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration, continue on their merry way to create more and more government agencies, union and corporate bailouts, health and welfare programs, and continue to spend billions on useless "politically motivated" pork. You would think they would learn.

But wait; maybe they have learned a little too well in the Saul Alinsky school of "Rules for Radicals", the organization and control of the people.

If the trouble starts -- and it remains an "if" -- the trigger may well be obscure to the concerns of most Americans: a missed budget projection by the Spanish government, the failure of Greece to hit a deficit-reduction target, a drop in Ireland's economic output.

But the knife-edge psychology currently governing global markets has put the future of the U.S. economic recovery in the hands of politicians in an assortment of European capitals. If one or more fail to make the expected progress on cutting budgets, restructuring economies or boosting growth, it could drain confidence in a broad and unsettling way. Credit markets worldwide could lock up and throw the global economy back into recession.

For the average American, that seemingly distant sequence of events could translate into another hit on the 401(k) plan, a lost factory shift if exports to Europe decline and another shock to the banking system that might make it harder to borrow.

The risk of a worst-case scenario is still considered remote. European countries have pledged hundreds of billions of dollars to aid indebted neighbors that run into trouble, and they say they are committed to fixing the continent's larger economic problems.

There are some positive impacts in all this for the United States.

For one, uncertainty about European government debt has driven global investors toward U.S. government bonds, which in turn is pushing down long-term interest rates. The 10-year Treasury bond had a rate of 3.2 percent Friday compared with nearly 4 percent last month. Those lower rates should flow through to private borrowing, helping Americans getting mortgages or businesses looking to grow.

The European panic is also lowering the price of oil and other commodities on global markets, potentially making it cheaper for Americans to fuel their cars and heat their homes. A barrel of oil went for about $70 on Friday, down from almost $87 on April 6.

A final positive for the U.S. economy is that the stronger dollar will help keep inflation in check by reducing the cost of imports. That, combined with renewed worry about the strength of the recovery, is likely to give the Fed some leeway to delay raising interest rates above their current extremely low levels longer than it would have otherwise.
One false move in Europe could set off global chain reaction

Obama vs Palin - I'd Take Palin

Ran across an article on Yahoo News about Palin's views on Obama's ties to big oil. The article was critical of Sarah and the comments were less that kind. I decided to add the following to the discussion:

Palin may not be ready for President right now, but neither is Obama. His naivete in foreign policy, policies that will bankrupt the country and turn the US into Greece, his dissing of the Tea Party, made up of mostly mainstream Americans, his no tax pledge, but many "fees", his narcissistic need to be on TV twice a day, everyday (or so it seems), his lack of effort to secure our borders to secure Mexican votes when his "path to citizenship" gets enacted, his payoffs to the unions to secure their votes, his appointment of Holder as AG who has failed to prosecute Black Panthers and Administration officials who offered a bribe to Sestak, and his loose talk about Las Vegas that cost the city $100 million and many workers their jobs, not to mention the failed stimulus plan that was just another "cherry" for his supporters and did nothing to create jobs or ObamaCare that 70%of the people know will create a huge bureaucracy, will not reduce costs or improve health care and will, out of necessity, because of the lack of doctors, create rationing.

Yeah! I feel all giddy about Obama's qualifications. At least Palin's policies would not bankrupt the country and destroy our freedoms.

Oh! And by the way, regarding the topic above, ask Gibbs why the administration has not demanded that BP close off the well completely. Isn't it strange that all the solutions up to now, that have been approved by the Administration, would enable BP to siphon off the oil into tankers and sell it at a profit?????

Read the anti-Palin Yahoo piece with leftist comments here Palin accuses Obama of being in bed with big oil

Arizona Seeks to Reassign Heavily Accented Teachers

Students that cannot speak English are, for the most part, unable to learn in an English speaking classroom. This limits their ability to succeed in life. It is not unreasonable to expect their English teachers to know proper grammar and be able to speak English fluently. Arizona will most likely be called "racist" for enforcing the Federal and State law.

After passing the nation's toughest state immigration enforcement law, Arizona's school officials are now cracking down on teachers with heavy accents.

The Arizona Department of Education is sending evaluators to audit teachers and their English speaking skills to make sure districts are complying with state and federal laws.

Teachers who are not fluent in English, have a heavy accent or do not speak grammatically correct will be temporarily reassigned.

"As you expect science teachers to know science, math teachers to know math, you expect a teacher who is teaching the kids English to know English," said Tom Home, state superintendent of public instruction.

In 2000, voters passed a referendum which stipulated that instruction of these classes be offered only in English. Then in 2003, President Bush's No Child Left Behind act stated schools couldn't receive federal funding unless an English teacher was totally fluent in the language.

For the most part, the state is in compliance, but not all teachers are up to standards. Of the 236 total districts in the state, nine were cited for not being in compliance with fluency regulation this year.

Critics say with deep cuts to education thanks to the failing economy, the state should focus elsewhere. The Arizona Education Association, a union representing some 34,000 teachers, refused to speak to Fox News.

Of the 1.2 million students in Arizona public schools, roughly 150,000 are learning English as a second language.

"It's my jobs to make sure they're taught English in the most rigorous, possible way so they can learn English quickly, can compete with their peers, and succeed academically," Home told Fox News.

"For the past several years, we have provided opportunities for those teachers to increase their fluency," she said. "We have enrolled them in community college classes. We also have classes within our district for those teachers."
Read FOX News article here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Terrorist Threat - Flooding Across the Mexican Border?

WSBTV Channel 2 in Atlanta ran a 2 part investigative report on the terrorist threat from over our southern border with Mexico. They revealed documents showing the number of aliens, other than Mexican, caught by authorities and listed by country of citizenship.

This article "Border Threat List Surprises Georgia Congressman" gives links to the lists of those caught. The US Department of Homeland Security spends billions of dollars making sure grandma doesn't take too much perfume or bottled water onto an airplane, but lets Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran stroll into our country over our porous border to the South.

From what Farmer observed in Arizona, the fence in Douglas is easy to jump. It's short and there's no razor wire atop of it. In fact, just a few miles outside of town you can walk into the country. Border officials said the fence is only meant to keep drug smugglers from driving vehicles across the border.

The area is the busiest spot in the nation for border patrol. Records show last year, agents caught a quarter of million people trying to enter the U.S. in the Tucson sector alone. According to those documents, a lot are from Mexico or South America, but hundreds of them aren't and are from nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Since January, border patrol agents say they have been on the lookout for 23 Somalis with ties to al-Qaida. Jailers released them from a Mexican prison and some law enforcement officials said they think they are headed for the U.S. border.

The 2 links below are to short videos summarizing their investigation. Very interesting to watch.
Channel 2 Investigates U.S. Border Security Part 1
Channel 2 Investigates U.S. Border Security Part 2

Goodbye, Employer-Sponsored Insurance, Companies are discovering that it's cheaper to pay fines to the government than to cover workers.

Good analysis of the ObamaCare debacle. The article includes a discussion of the effect of the bill on the availability of doctors. It is obvious that health care, because of "unintended consequences", will have to be rationed.

Businesses will do everything they can to survive, save jobs for their employees and benefit their investors. The only way to do that may be to "dump" their employees into the government created exchange.

Even if health plans in the exchange are identical to health plans at work, the subsidies available can only be described as bizarre. In general, the more you make, the greater the subsidy at work and the lower the subsidy in the exchange. People earning more than $100,000 get no subsidy in the exchange. But employer premiums avoid federal and state income taxes as well as payroll taxes, which means government is paying almost half the cost of the insurance. That implies that the best way to maximize employee subsidies is to completely reorganize the economic structure of firms.

Take a hotel with maids, waitresses, busboys and custodians all earning $10 or $15 an hour. These employees can qualify for completely free Medicaid coverage or highly subsidized insurance in the exchange.

So the ideal arrangement is for the hotel to fire the lower-paid employees—simply cutting their plans is not an option since federal law requires nondiscrimination in offering health benefits—and contract for their labor from firms that employ them but pay fines instead of providing health insurance. The hotel could then provide health insurance for all the remaining, higher-paid employees.

Ultimately, we could see a complete restructuring of American industry, with firms dissolving and emerging based on government subsidies.
Read WSJ article here.

From Banning Books to Banning Blogs How the DISCLOSE Act will restrict free speech

This makes me think of the Windows 7 TV ad where the people take credit for the new Windows release. The Disclose Act is directed at me. It is the only way to shut me up. LOL

Last week, a congressional hearing exposed an effort to give another agency—the Federal Election Commission—unprecedented power to regulate political speech online. At a House Administration Committee hearing last Tuesday, Patton Boggs attorney William McGinley explained that the sloppy statutory language in the “DISCLOSE Act” would extend the FEC’s control over broadcast communications to all “covered communications,” including the blogosphere.

The DISCLOSE Act’s purpose, according to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Chris Van Hollen and other “reformers,” is simply to require disclosure of corporate and union political speech after the Supreme Court’s January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that the government could not ban political expenditures by companies, nonprofit groups, and labor unions.

The bill, however, would radically redefine how the FEC regulates political commentary. A section of the DISCLOSE Act would exempt traditional media outlets from coordination regulations, but the exemption does not include bloggers, only “a communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication…”

The Brennan Center for Justice’s Ciara Torres-Spelliscy accused us of “a blatant attempt to kick sand in the eyes of lawmakers,” and attempted to deny the plain meaning of the statutory language. Nonetheless, she admitted that “the FEC is most likely to stand by the 2006 Internet rules and only reach PAID political banner ads; not bloggers.” (Emphasis added.)

The response of “reformers” to serious questions about a bill imposing civil and criminal penalties for engaging in political speech would be shocking if it wasn’t so typical. Most likely isn’t good enough for people who want to speak out in politics without threat of jail time and hefty fines.

There’s little reason to trust the “good government” crowd on this. When the issue of internet regulation first came up after passage of the McCain-Feingold law in 2002, the goo-goos denounced a deregulated Internet as a “loophole” in campaign finance law, a “poison pill,” “anti-reform,” and a “step backwards.” In court filings, they called the Internet “a favored conduit for special interests to fund soft money and stealth issue ads into federal campaigns.” While most pro-regulation groups eventually endorsed the FEC regulations exempting the Internet amidst a public backlash, this was simply a tactical consideration to head off passage of the Online Freedom of Speech Act of 2006, which would have codified a broad exemption for political speech online (“reformers” unanimously opposed the bill).
Read Disclose Act article here.

Wayne Newton Slams Obama for ‘Irresponsible, Arrogant’ Shot at Las Vegas, Hypocrisy of Fundraising There

The mayor of Las Vegas doesn't know why Obama is picking on the city. I can proffer an answer. With Obama's Muslim upbringing, he probably believes that Las Vegas is "Sin City" and anathema to his religion. After all, according to Homeland Security, the city is high on the list of Islamic terrorist targets.

In my opinion, Obama's targeting of Las Vegas is no accident. It's deliberate.

On Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, as the show was broadcast from Las Vegas, singer Wayne Newton appeared as a guest to discuss the economic situation in the city, and, when asked by host Mike Huckabee his reaction to President Obama’s remarks from last year attacking businesses for indulging in trips to Las Vegas, Newton did not mince words: "I think that it was the most irresponsible, arrogant thing I have ever heard a President of the United States say."

Fellow guest and Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons related that hundreds of conventions were canceled after the President’s words, costing the city a fortune in lost business: "There's no doubt that the people of Las Vegas, the city of Las Vegas were severely hurt by the President's remarks. About 400 conventions, business meetings, and that were canceled because of his remarks; $100 million was lost by the community at that remark. People lost their jobs. This city took a real blow when the President made that remark. He was wrong then, and then he said it again, and I don't understand why he keeps picking on Las Vegas."

Newton jumped in again and suggested that the President has been hypocritical in holding political fundraisers in Las Vegas: "He was not so incensed with Las Vegas, that he then decided to come here and do two fundraisers."
Read full article here.

Did Someone in Obama Administration Commit a Felony - Offer Bribe To Sestak?

So far there is no indication Holder is investigating this obvious breach of trust by someone in the Obama administration. Don't hold your breath. It is a shame he is our only recourse.

Sestak, after defeating Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary, is now receiving support from the White House. Maybe they believe that if they do not support him, he will start to name names. Judge Napolitano says there is a 5 year jail sentence at stake. Gibbs says this is "all in the past". With Holder as the AG, I guess he is probably right.

This is an excerpt from a FOX News article:
In February, Sestak accused the White House of offering him a federal job last summer to drop out of the primary after abandoning its efforts to recruit him to run when Specter switched parties. Sestak has since refused to elaborate on the allegations.

Issa has called on the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter, and last week he pushed Attorney General Eric Holder, who has refused to say whether he's looking into it, to take action. Issa says a bribe offer would amount to "multiple felonies."

"Could the reason why Congressman Joe Sestak refuses to name names is because the very people who tried to bribe him are now his benefactors?" Issa said in a written statement Wednesday. "Was Joe Sestak embellishing what really happened or does he have first-hand knowledge of the White House breaking the law? If what he said is the truth, Joe Sestak has a moral imperative to come forward and expose who within the Obama administration tried to bribe him."

The Sestak campaign, meanwhile, said it would welcome support from the White House for the November campaign.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said that he's been told "whatever conversations have been had are not problematic." He also said the matter was "in the past.

Read "Sestak Opens Arms to White House After Job Offer Allegation" here.

U.S. Implicates North Korean Leader in Attack

I remember when I was stationed in Seoul back in the early 60's, during relative peacetime, there was always the concern that our Army headquarters there was in range of North Korean artillery. During that time there were a number of small incursions across the DMZ, and at times thousands of troops massing on the North side. Nothing major happened during my time there, but our troops at the border were always on alert.

Not much has changed in the last 40+ years, and here we are again with a deadly provocation by the North accompanied with threats of all out war if the South retaliates. Whether a result of internal politics or a flexing of muscle on the world stage, one wonders if this is one of "The Fruits of Weakness" that Charles Krauthammer wrote about yesterday in the Washington Post.

WASHINGTON — A new American intelligence analysis of a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean warship concludes that Kim Jong-il, the ailing leader of North Korea, must have authorized the torpedo assault, according to senior American officials who cautioned that the assessment was based on their sense of the political dynamics there rather than hard evidence.

The officials said they were increasingly convinced that Mr. Kim ordered the sinking of the ship, the Cheonan, to help secure the succession of his youngest son.

So far, at least in public, both American and South Korean leaders have been careful never to link Mr. Kim to the sinking of the Cheonan in March, which killed 46 sailors. Officials said that was in part because of the absence of hard evidence — difficult to come by in the rigidly controlled North — but also largely because both countries were trying to avoid playing into Mr. Kim’s hands by casting one of the worst attacks since the 1953 armistice as another piece of lore about the Kim family taking on South Korea and the West.

The North’s state propaganda surrounding that imagery has been used by the Kim family to sustain two generations of leaders since the end of World War II. Under the leading theory of the American intelligence agencies, Mr. Kim ordered the attack to re-establish both his control and his credentials after a debilitating stroke two years ago, and by extension reinforcing his right to name his son Kim Jong-un as his successor.

Victor Cha, a North Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and a former official in the National Security Council during President George W. Bush’s second term in office, noted that when Mr. Kim was on the rise three decades ago, “there were similar incidents designed to build his credibility” as a leader.

The Cheonan episode has posed some difficult choices for the Obama administration at a time when its national security team is preoccupied with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

In an intense series of back-channel discussions with Mr. Lee, senior administration officials, including President Obama, have praised South Korea for its calm response. Like the South Koreans, American officials fear that any military retaliation against the North could quickly escalate, leading to rocket attacks on Seoul, major casualties and a panic among investors in South Korea. At the same time, they worry that if North Korea gets through the episode without paying a price — one that American officials decline to define — it could embolden the North Korean military.

The North Korean defense commission, which rarely issues public statements, turned out a fiery-sounding warning last week, saying it would respond to any military retaliation with “all-out war.”
U.S. Implicates North Korean Leader in Attack

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Texas Approves Textbook Changes

Finally, one for the Founding Fathers and freedom. Heard that changes include more emphasis on states rights, clarification of the importance of religion in the lives of our founders and emphasis on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Hope this is the start of a nationwide campaign to take back our education system from the progressives and socialists.

AUSTIN, Tex., (AP) — The State Board of Education on Friday adopted new social studies and history guidelines with a conservative bent for Texas primary school classrooms.

The standards lay out how political events and figures will be taught to about 4.8 million schoolchildren in Texas and beyond for the next decade. They were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-to-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats’ and moderate Republicans’ efforts to delay a final vote failed.

The standards, which have prompted national debate, will be used by publishers who often develop materials for other states based on those passed in Texas.
Texas Approves Textbook Changes

One day your pants may power up your iPod

Nanotechnology is set to change the world we live in.

Researchers at UC Berkeley are perfecting microscopic fibers that can produce electricity from simple body motions such as bending, stretching and twisting. The filaments, which resemble tiny fishing lines, may soon be woven into clothing and sold as the ultimate portable generators.

It could take three years or more before it hits the store shelves, but the technology is already being hailed as a breakthrough.

The so-called nanofibers "will have very significant implications," said Mihail Roco, senior advisor for nanotechnology with the National Science Foundation, which recently gave a $350,000 grant to the project.

In addition to helping reduce electricity demands on local utilities, new industries could spring up to manufacture the tiny personal generators, he said.

Researchers are envisioning hikers powering up their digital cameras while trekking up a mountain or a jogger charging up her cellphone in mid-run.

The Pentagon is hot for it too: Soldiers would no longer have to carry heavy batteries to power their gear. Along with the National Science Foundation, the Pentagon's secretive advanced research agency is helping fund the project.

At rival Stanford University, researchers are developing fabric-based batteries, or eTextiles, that could potentially store the energy produced at UC Berkeley.

Ordinary cloth becomes rechargeable batteries and capacitors when immersed in a special ink formula and then oven-dried. A piece weighing about an ounce can retain up to three times the amount of energy that a cellphone battery can, while remaining lightweight and flexible.
Read LA Times article here.

States Gearing Up to Follow Arizona's Lead on Immigration

Just because someone wants to introduce a bill to mimic the Arizona immigration law, doesn't mean it will have enough votes to pass. If you want this type of law, you must remove the liberal/progressives from your state legislatures and the Governor's mansion.

While Arizona faces the scorn of the White House and local governments across the country for its immigration law, lawmakers in several states are looking to follow the Grand Canyon State's lead.

Lawmakers and politicians in Texas, Rhode Island
, Utah and Georgia are among those who, in the month since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law, have announced plans to introduce similar legislation.

The officials say states need to take matters into their own hands to tackle illegal immigration and in turn reduce the taxpayer cost associated with large undocumented populations in their hospitals, schools and prisons. They draw inspiration directly from the Arizona law, bucking the trend of local and state officials who have protested Arizona and called for boycotts against the state.

Utah Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, a Republican, told the Deseret News, after the Arizona law was signed, that he's already drafting a bill based on the Arizona law for next year's session. He said Arizona's action makes similar action in Utah all the more necessary, because, "when we've seen tougher legislation in Arizona a lot of illegal immigrants just move here."

A Texas representative is looking to do the same in her state. And in Georgia, a Republican candidate for governor is pledging to work toward signing "similar legislation" if he's elected.

"I agree with the Arizona governor and Legislature that the federal government has failed miserably at protecting our borders and enacting sensible solutions that would protect our states, counties and cities from bearing the enormous costs associated with illegal immigration, from emergency room
visits to public schools to the criminal justice system," said Nathan Deal. Read article here.