Saturday, December 4, 2010

op ed review 12/5

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

In November, 36.0% of American Adults identified themselves as Republicans; 34.7% considered themselves Democrats, and 29.3% were not affiliated with either major party. That’s the first time ever that Rasmussen Reports polling has found more people identifying as Republicans than Democrats.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/01/republicans-now-outnumber-democrats-rasmussen/

To ease surging budget deficits, Americans prefer cutting federal services to raising taxes by nearly 2-1 in a new poll. Yet there is little consensus on specific, meaningful steps - and a wariness about touching two gargantuan programs, Social Security and Medicare.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20101130/D9JQCLT80.html

Press coverage of the new Pentagon Don't Ask Don't Tell report suggests that large majorities of U.S. servicemen and women wouldn't mind the repeal of the military's current policy on gays. Don't believe it. What the report actually shows is that the military is deeply divided over the policy, both between the service branches and especially between those who have served in combat and those who haven't. 59 percent of Marines who have served in combat say repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell would have a negative effect?

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/12/what-dont-ask-dont-tell-report-really-says

Nearly 60 percent of Army and Marine Corps warriors said open homosexuals in the ranks would damage war-fighting capabilities, the study found. Combat troops, who live in intimate surroundings while deployed, overwhelming reported that open gays would undermine military readiness, or preparedness for combat.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/30/front-line-fighters-wary-of-repealing-dont-ask/

Thanks to a generous share of GM stock obtained in the company's 2009 bankruptcy settlement, the United Auto Workers is well on its way to recouping the billions of dollars GM owed it — putting it far ahead of taxpayers who have recouped only about 30 percent of their investment and further still ahead of investors in the old GM who have received nothing.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/25/gms-union-on-road-to-recovery-after-stock-sale/

Washington State has declined to sign an agreement that would allow the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be checked against a national immigration database.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013545041_secure29m.html

In 2005, leaders in Portland, Oregon, angry at the Bush administration's conduct of the war on terror, voted not to allow city law enforcement officers to participate in a key anti-terror initiative, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. On Friday, that task force helped prevent what could have been a horrific terrorist attack in Portland. Now city officials say they might re-think their participation in the task force -- because Barack Obama is in the White House.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/11/politically-correct-portland-rejected-feds-who-saved-city-terrori?

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed, among other things, new national health-insurance requirements.

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/11/20/union-drops-health-coverage-for-workers-children/

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), founder and chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus, told CNSNews.com that there will need to be an “insurrection” against the House Republican leadership if it does not hold an independent, straight up-or-down vote on repealing the entire Obamacare law that does not tie this repeal to other policy initiatives including any effort to “replace” elements of Obamacare with new federal health-care reforms.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/bachmann-there-needs-be-insurrection-aga

Republicans will eliminate the House committee created by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “highlight the threat of climate change.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-01/pelosi-s-climate-change-panel-will-become-casualty-of-republican-takeover.html

All 42 current members of the GOP Senate conference signed a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatening to block his last- minute leftist agenda if it doesn't stick to issues that include tackling taxes and spending. The letter calls for a filibuster of any legislation not directly related to time-sensitive votes that would prevent taxes from going up for all Americans.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/12/02/2010-12-02_sen_harry_reid_rep_nancy_pelosi_are_sitting_ducks_and_the_gop_is_taking_aim.html

Military members who have a problem with allowing gays to serve openly may find themselves looking for a new job, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Thursday.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/02/mullen-troops-balk-change-gay-service-policy-job/

Forget energy independence: “Obama administration reimposes offshore oil drilling ban”

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/post-carbon/2010/12/obama_administration_will_ban.html

Your tax dollars at work: University of Washington professor compares military recruiters with child sex predators.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/category/news_chick_blog/20101201/UW-prof-compares-military-recruiters-with-child-sex-predators/

Chase Bank orders a Texas branch to remove a donated Christmas tree “because it could offend people.”

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/12/02/2676274/jpmorgan-chase-orders-southlake.html

The Senate has rejected a GOP bid to ban earmarks.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/30/senate-rejects-gop-proposal-ban-earmarks/

Thirty-nine senators voted in support of the moratorium on earmarks, the strongest showing ever by opponents of the current process and a potential game changer in the year-end budget debate. Seven Democrats backed the proposal, Coburn had hoped to get to 40 and was hurt by the defections of eight Republicans,

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45724.html#ixzz16nbnbngI

Big business is bracing for a series of Environmental Protection Agency regulations set to begin in January. The problem is, it doesn't really know what those regulations are going to be. Neither does the EPA, which has essentially punted that responsibility down to the states.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/555316/201011301918/As-EPA-Goes-Green-Businesses-See-Red-From-Lack-Of-Guidance.aspx

The death toll of US troops for just 2010 nears that of 2001-2008 combined...

http://www.icasualties.org/oef/

It looks and acts like something best left in the hands of Sylvester Stallone's "Rambo," but this latest dream weapon is real -- and the US Army sees it becoming the Taliban's worst nightmare. The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable "smart" grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101201/pl_afp/usmilitaryweaponsafghanistan

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Cal Thomas 11/28

For generations, parents have told their children about "The American dream." Basically it has meant building a life based on the foundational principles that created and have sustained America for more than 200 years. By doing so, one might reasonably expect a new generation to achieve a better life than their parents and grandparents experienced. But what defines "better"? In modern times it has been defined as achieving greater prosperity and consuming more material goods.

At least one liberal writer is channeling Jimmy Carter, implying our best days are behind us and this version of the American dream is over. Writing recently in The New York Times, columnist Bob Herbert says: "However you want to define the American dream, there is not much of it that's left anymore. Wherever you choose to look -- at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas -- you'll see a country in sad shape. Standards of living are declining, and American parents increasingly believe that their children will inherit a very bad deal."

Herbert does not assess blame for this, so I will. His version of the American dream -- as opposed to the original dream, which remains for those who would embrace it -- is over for a very good reason. Setting aside war, which was imposed on America, the eclipse of liberalism's American dream has been largely caused by expanding, encroaching, over-taxing, over-spending and over-regulating government. This has produced a country of government addicts with an entitlement mentality. These twin maladies have eroded self-reliance, individual initiative and personal accountability. A monopolistic government school system keeps the poor from achieving their dreams, as many remain locked (thanks to Democrats and their union supporters) in failing government schools, producing graduates (if in fact they do graduate) who lag behind other nations in subjects that matter.

Herbert claims, "We have become a hapless, can't-do society." He says it's, "embarrassing." Is it not the politicians who lead a people increasingly dependent on them who are responsible for this? The liberals among them and their policies are leading us down a path to economic and cultural insolvency.

The creation of a government that is out of control and thus out of touch, robs every citizen, preventing fulfillment of the original American dream.

Anyone who thinks dysfunctional government is going to help achieve their dreams is putting their faith in the wrong place. People who believe a politician of whatever party or persuasion can make their life better than individual initiative are doing more than dreaming; such persons are displaying cult-like faith, which can never be fulfilled.

The rules for achieving the American dream may no longer be taught in and supported by culture, but that doesn't mean they don't work. The rules are known to previous generations: studying and staying in school; achieving at least an undergraduate degree; avoiding drugs that harm your mind and body; getting married before you have children and working hard to stay married as an example to those children and to benefit society; saving and investing for retirement so as not to burden taxpayers and relatives; living within one's means; demonstrating personal honesty and professional integrity, which comes from character developed in one's youth, usually with a sense of right and wrong once imposed by parents and affirmed by culture.

"America will never get its act together until we recognize how much trouble we're really in," writes Herbert. That's true, but more than acknowledging the obvious is needed. We must also understand what got us here and the path that leads upward. What got us here is unrestrained liberalism. What will get us back on the right path is ... (see above).

http://townhall.com/columnists/CalThomas/2010/11/23/is_the_american_dream_over/page/full/

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"We Americans have given federal, state and local governments the right to interfere with any aspect of our lives when it comes to issues of health. So should we be surprised when an emboldened Congress enacts Obamacare, even though most American were against it, that not only mandates that we purchase health insurance but will eventually control virtually every aspect of our health care? Should we be surprised when government tells us what food to give our children ... taxes soft drinks in the name of fighting obesity ... orders restaurants not to serve foie gras or cook with trans fats? If you think government has the right to look after our health, how far would you have it go?"

-Walter E. Williams

"What the midterm elections proved is that the American people do not trust Barack Obama to lead them. And trust, that magic five-letter word, is the most important element in the relationship between a nation and its government. ... The scars from the financial crisis are still raw and unhealed; unemployment is a cruel scourge; and there are terrible threats to the country's internal and external security, with the future overshadowed by emerging superpowers and competitors. And there is no one to trust. The U.S. has all kinds of problems. But its biggest over the course of the next two years is how to find a leader who will inspire through character and integrity, vision and resolution, courage and judgment the belief, faith and confidence that Americans have always warmly given to the right person -- someone they can trust."

-Paul Johnson

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LEFTIST WATCH

If you are a Christian who believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has a Christmas message for you: Keep your religious beliefs to yourself, or risk criminal prosecution.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2010/12/brad-oleary-splc-aims-hate-crimes-law-first-amendment-freedoms

Former White House Correspondent Helen Thomas told a group in Dearborn Michigan that she absolutely stands by her ugly comments about Jews made earlier this year, that they should return to Germany and Poland and went even further, even adding that Zionists control U.S. foreign policy and other American institutions.

http://bigjournalism.com/jdunetz/2010/12/04/helen-thomas-those-rich-zionists-control-congress-the-white-house-and-hollywood-and-wall-street/

Most people realize that the electoral victories on November 2nd were but a brief respite in the battle for America. What many do not know, however, it that a mere eleven days after the GOP swept the House of Representatives, the Workers World Party held its annual conference on November 13th and 14th in New York City to discuss the fight for worldwide socialism and the destruction of capitalism. According to its website: The conference boldly called to the broader movement with the theme of "Abolish Capitalism, Fight for a Socialist Future."

http://nation.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/28/union-rep-calls-seizing-private-property-world-socialism

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GLOBALONEY

The skeptical environmentalist has a new movie based on his book.

http://coolit-themovie.com/videos

Can environmentalism be saved from itself?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/margaret-wente/can-environmentalism-be-saved-from-itself/article1815408/

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said the U.S. does not need “100 percent certainty” in order to act on climate change.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/energy-secretary-us-does-not-need-100-pe

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, which opened in Cancun, Mexico on Monday, has yielded another example of how supposedly idealistic notions concocted by Western liberals, no matter how daft, can be transformed into weapons for international power politics. Bolivia has renewed its call for the establishment of an International Tribunal for Climate Justice that would be able to sanction governments that engage in "ecocide," defined as crimes against biodiversity, nature and Mother Earth.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/un_proposal_to_prosecute_the_u.html

Wes Pruden: “Scams die hard, but eventually they die, and when they do, nobody wants to get close to the corpse. You can get all the hotel rooms you want this week in Cancun. The global-warming caravan has moved on, bound for a destination in oblivion. The United Nations is hanging the usual lamb chop in the window this week in Mexico for the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, but the Washington guests are staying home. Nobody wants to get the smell of the corpse on their clothes.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/2/pruden-turn-out-the-lights-the-party-s-over/

Trying to halt global warming is a waste of time--we should simply adapt to it, a leading climate expert claimed yesterday. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is an “illusory goal”, said Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University, Australia. He said that CO2--emitted by burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas--is a “minor” greenhouse gas. And he argued that the past decade has seen a “lack of warming” and that “no significant warming has occurred since 1958.

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/214792/-Learn-to-live-with-climate-change-says-leading-expert

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ISLAM

An Austrian has been fined for yodelling while mowing his lawn. The Kronen Zeitung newspaper claims Helmut G. was told by a court that his yodelling offended his next-door Muslim neighbours.

http://austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2010-11-29/28753/Yodelling_offends_praying_Muslims,_say_judges

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ARTICLES

John Carlson delivers the eulogy for Seattle’s 570 KVI talk radio.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/rip-seattles-570-kvi_520479.html

With over 350,000 members, the United Federation of Teachers is one of the largest organizations on the list of those 111 given a waiver from Obamacare. But the real hypocrisy is the fact that the UFT was one of the biggest activists in favor of Obamacare.

http://rightwingnews.com/2010/11/teachers-unions-big-break-obama-lets-them-get-out-of-obamacare/

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to add the Internet to its portfolio of regulated industries.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/2/wave-goodbye-to-internet-freedom/

“Hoffer argues…that much of the social justice legislation to emerge from the 1960s, rather than enhancing America, actually made "the body politic less healthy" than before: "The tensions are higher, the grievances sharper, the hopes dimmer." The reason for this, according to Hoffer, is that "too many of the people who were carrying out the civil rights and poverty programs did not wish America well." The adversary intellectual's "invisible power," says Hoffer, is a kind of ethos "which imposes its edicts on politicians, civil servants, judges, 'concerned' business leaders, editors, publishers, teachers, students, reporters, broadcasters and literary and artistic coteries across the land." The demands of the invisible power include a heavy dose of denigration and pessimism about America and a tendency to "go blank" on gratitude and pride…..Eric Hoffer has a warning for America's army of thankless intellectuals: "People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them."

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/richard_cohen_and_the_invisibl.html

Mistletoe. Egg nog. And now Muslim terrorism. Last year’s Christmas bomber was an African Muslim who stuffed his underwear full of plastic explosive and tried to detonate it on Flight 253. This year it’s another African Muslim who tried to get an early start on Christmas terror by trying to car bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/30500

Want To Raise a Good Person? Stop Nurturing Your Child's Self-Esteem

http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2010/11/30/want_to_raise_a_good_person_stop_nurturing_your_childs_self-esteem/page/full/

The ripples from the Republicans painting the country red on Election Day continue to spread among the states. The sweep that brought Republicans to power in many states (the party picked up 690 seats in state legislatures -- and counting) will have manifold benefits far beyond the issue of redistricting

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/11/the_aftershocks_of_the_democra.html

“Is it hyperbolic to say the Democratic Party is in the midst of a nervous breakdown? I have been covering national politics since 1988, and I don't remember a situation quite like this. “

http://thepage.time.com/2010/12/02/donkey-doozy/#ixzz173zc6sdQ

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Washington Republicans Reveal Budget Cut Ideas for Gov. Gregoire

http://www.kirotv.com/download/2010/1202/25978900.pdf

The Heritage Foundation has launched a Spanish-language site. Libertad.org will provide much of the same great research found at Heritage.org plus other content of interest to audiences that are more comfortable getting their news and information primarily in Spanish. Mike Gonzalez, Heritage Vice President of Communications, explains that site aims to take the conservative message to new audiences:

http://www.libertad.org/

NCPA has published a sobering brochure: “What Does Health Care Reform Mean to You” For example “More that half the cost of reform will be paid by reduced spending on the elderly and disabled on Medicare…”

http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/What-Does-Health-Reform-Mean-to-You.pdf

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LATE NITE

Jay Leno: WikiLeaks has released thousands of classified documents that could be detrimental to the United States. Usually, when something this embarrassing about the United States is revealed, it's because Joe Biden said it…. For the fourth year in a row, New York’s LaGuardia Airport was voted the nation’s worst airport. It is so undermanned, passengers have to fondle themselves……. The annual "Christmas Village" in Philadelphia has been renamed the "Holiday Village." In fact, they’re not Santa’s reindeer anymore . . . They’re now "nondenominational venison."…… President Obama received 12 stitches in his lip after being elbowed in the mouth during a basketball game. Out of force of habit, he blamed George Bush.

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WISE WORDS

"The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. ... They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding."

-James Madison

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