Saturday, February 12, 2011

op ed review 2/13

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Take one: Repeal. Take two: Defund. That’s the GOP strategy for attacking Obamacare.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/02/08/gops-plan-for-health-care-law-no-money/

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf testified before Congress Thursday that ObamaCare will cost 800,000 jobs.

http://ricochet.com/main-feed/CBO-Director-ObamaCare-Will-Cost-Economy-800-000-Jobs

Congressional Republicans opened a formal assault on the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases, raising doubts about the legal, scientific and economic basis of rules proposed by the agency.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/science/earth/10emissions.html

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) failed to identify more than 800 criminal alien convicts eligible for deportation before they were released from U.S. prisons, including “many” of “the most egregious criminal aliens, who pose a significant pubic safety risk,” according to a report by the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ice-let-890-incarcerated-criminal-aliens

Gov. Jan Brewer sued the federal government Thursday for failing to control Arizona's border with Mexico and enforce immigration laws, and for sticking the state with huge costs associated with jailing illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110211/D9LA8QG80.html

French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that multiculturalism has failed. "My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure…..Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want... a society where communities coexist side by side….If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France…..We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him.” British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard and Spanish ex-premier Jose Maria Aznar have also recently said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110210/wl_afp/francepoliticsimmigrationsociety_20110210231042

But in the US, the Department of Education has identified Arabic as a ‘language of the future.’ and offers grants to schools to teach it.

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/02/07/mandatory-arabic-classes-coming-to-mansfield/

In an unprecedented and controversial move, the White House has launched a new program at the Department of Labor which will refer workers who have complaints about their bosses to a toll free number at the American Bar Association, where they can get a lawyer to work on their case on a contingency fee basis.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/02/04/white-house-launches-new-aba-hotline-labor-dept/#

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey shows 51 percent of registered voters believe President Obama will lose if he runs for re-election.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/02/americans-think.php

Top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa asked 150 industry groups which of President Obama’s regulations they think are impeding economic growth. The results are in: On Monday, Issa released 1,947 pages of almost unreadable letters from a slew of trade associations specifying complaints on government regulations that reach almost every part of American industry.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/08/the-top-five-obama-regulations-that-american-businesses-hate-most/

Sarah Palin is keeping her attacks loud and her intentions quiet. Palin, who claimed that the policies of the Obama administration have put the country on a “road to ruin” in a weekend address celebrating the centennial of former President Ronald Reagan’s birth, will bypass an assembly of the Conservative Political Action Committee this week in Washington.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-02-07/palin-s-bold-attacks-quiet-strategy-puzzle-republicans-for-2012.html

"This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to ruin," Palin said of the growth in government spending, budget deficits, joblessness and housing foreclosures under Obama. "The federal government is spending too much, borrowing too much, growing and controlling too much," she said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/05/usa-palin-idUSN0510429720110205

Sen. Dick Lugar, the Indiana Republican who is constantly irritating conservatives, officially has a primary challenger.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/02/tea-party-has-begun-indiana

Throwing the UK under the bus: The Obama administration has used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip with the Russians.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-trident-russia-Britain/2011/02/04/id/385059

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

FRANK MIELE Daily Inter Lake 2/11/11

To sink or swim? That is the $15 trillion question.

It’s now up to the American people to decide whether the American experiment in self-government will stay afloat through reason and sacrifice or else sink into oblivion as a result of self-deception and greed. For a long time it looked like greed would win — not the supposed greed of people who succeed through hard work and smart decisions, but the greed of those who want something for nothing, who think that life owes them a good education, nice house, nutritious meals and an easy ride.

That certainly is not what was intended when the United States of America was founded. In fact, it is the opposite of the principle of liberty espoused by Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. It matters little whether the people looking for a free ride are royalty or the so-called proletariat. In either case, the free ride comes at the expense of the labor of someone else, usually the middle class, and thus at the expense of their liberty. So whether it is a king living the life of luxury in a palace or it is a welfare mother using food stamps and government handouts to subsidize 60-inch flat-screen TVs, Xbox game systems, and brand-new automobiles, it is a reflection of the exact same sense of entitlement. The king and the welfare mom both think they don’t have to work, and you do.

Fortunately, we don’t have to work for the king anymore, but we still have to work to support those who don’t want to work for themselves and for those who think they are entitled to more than they can afford.

For a while, the system even seemed to work. That was thanks to the Baby Boom after World War II. With more and more people entering the work force, the tax base kept growing fast enough to pay for the also rapidly increasing entitlements that federal law granted to everyone lucky enough to be born in America. But that was then; this is now. Now we have a shrinking or stagnant work force and a growing list of obligations — in particular the burgeoning obligations of a national debt rapidly approaching $15 trillion.

Ironically, one of the causes of the declining tax base in the last 30 years that has led to the debt crisis is the liberal abortion policy that has resulted in something like 50 million potential taxpayers not making it out of the womb alive (or in the case of partial-birth abortion, not for long).

But even under the best of circumstances, eventually every budget runs out of money. When this happens in a family or a business, dire decisions are made. Purchases long anticipated are delayed or done away with altogether. Employees are laid off. Vacations are canceled. Yard sales are held. Everyone understands that you can’t spend money you don’t have. But that is not the model for national governments. In fact, thanks to Keynesian economics, spending money you don’t have is actually encouraged. The worse off you get, the more money you spend.

It might even work — for a while. Except for one fly in the ointment — human nature……As a result of the greed factor, we also have to spend money on new debts that are incurred by the spiraling expectations of the welfare class for more privileges and more fulfillment of “human rights.”

And of course because the middle class is not a bunch of dummies, they eventually see the allure of being paid not to work, or being subsidized to obtain goods and services that are otherwise unrealistic. Thus the welfare class grows exponentially with the amount of money being allocated. Eventually you reach a point of absolute insolvency, at which time the system collapses. The only chance to avoid this fate is to face facts — something which human nature seems to stubbornly resist.

That, dear friends, is where we find ourselves in the year 2011. And it is now up to our beloved representatives in Congress to either introduce the American public to fiscal reality or to sign our economic death warrant.

Republicans in Congress seem to understand this — at least some of them do. Democrats, on the other hand, seem to think the debt star hurtling toward Earth is just more pie in the sky. They will keep spending other people’s money until they are flattened…….The problem, in essence, is that under the pressure of socialism’s plaintive wail in the 19th century, we slowly began to replace economic necessity with social justice as the basis for our spending decisions. That transition became much more rapid with the New Deal, and today is as devilishly fast as any expressway to hell………And the best that the Republicans in Congress can come up with to slay the debt dragon is a measly $32 billion. Pathetic. Of course, that is $32 billion more than the Democrats are going to offer……..Someone has to tell the American public that there is no such thing as a free lunch. A few of us know that already, but so many people are eating at the public trough that they can’t be bothered with a lesson in harsh economic reality.

In 1776, the American people rebelled against a king — demanding that he stop exploiting their labor for his wealth. Today, the American people will either rebel against the tyranny of entitlement which chains them to the federal government, or else they will succumb to the same sad fate that befalls all who sow the wind.

They will reap the whirlwind.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/opinion/columns/frank/article_12586b66-31b0-11e0-8e9d-001cc4c03286.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"Now that two different federal courts have declared ObamaCare unconstitutional, the administration's answer is to call the courts guilty of 'judicial activism.' Barack Obama has a rhetorical solution for every problem. Remember the repeated claims of 'shovel-ready' projects that needed only federal stimulus money to get started? Last year the President quietly admitted that there were not many 'shovel-ready' projects, after all. But the phrase served its political purpose at the time -- and that was obviously all that mattered. Now, in the wake of rulings by two different courts that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, rhetoric is being mobilized again, without any fussy worries about facts."

-Thomas Sowell

"He didn't see himself as 'the great communicator.' It was so famous a moniker that he could do nothing but graciously accept the compliment, but he well understood it was bestowed in part by foes and in part to undercut the seriousness of his philosophy: 'It's not what he says, it's how he says it.' He answered in his farewell address: 'I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things.' It wasn't his eloquence people supported, it was his stands -- opposition to the too-big state, to its intrusions and demands, to Soviet communism. Voters weren't charmed, they were convinced."

-Peggy Noonan

"[T]he Hawaii House is considering legislation that would outlaw the sale of toy guns to minors. Apparently some kids use these guns to spray other youngsters with dangerous dihydrogen monoxide. It seems to us this is a wrongheaded policy, not to mention a violation of the Second Amendment. Remember, squirt guns don't squirt squirts, squirts squirt squirts."

-James Taranto

"In his new book, Ron Reagan claims his father was already suffering from Alzheimer's while he was still in the White House. Personally, I suspect he's confusing the dazed look of a poor senile soul with the struck-dumb look of a typical American dad who's just been told that his son is planning to be a ballet dancer."

-Burt Prelutsky

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BOOKS, FILM

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe on Wednesday not only stood by his famous hoax declaration on global warming, but the Oklahoma Republican somewhat reluctantly tipped his hand on plans to publish a book. “I won’t tell you what it’s about, but the name of the book is ‘The Hoax,’?” he said during testimony before a House subcommittee.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=13&articleid=20110209_13_0_WASHIN967578

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GLOBALONEY

Cold snap paralyzes Northern Mexico.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/05/us-mexico-cold-idUSTRE71405N20110205

Forget about global warming—man-made or natural—what drives planetary weather patterns is the climate and what drives the climate is the sun's magnetosphere and its electromagnetic interaction with a planet's own magnetic field.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february042011/global-superstorms-ta.php

The Weather Isn't Getting Weirder: The latest research belies the idea that storms are getting more extreme.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704422204576130300992126630.html

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LEFTIST WATCH

If liberals thought the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth was a little sickening, they could always find comfort in the loopy leftist loathing of the Daily Kos. On Sunday, "Slangist" took the fruitcake with lines like this: "First elected Governor on a muted inclination to shoot student demonstrators, Reagan spent his political life as an apostle of reaction, repression and recklessness." Reagan's contempt for the U.S. government was the "direct ancestor of Timothy McVeigh's, thought.”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2011/02/09/daily-kos-reagan-100-he-inspired-oklahoma-city-bombing

Ever wondered what Left wing public employee unions think about our effort to rein in federal spending? The President of the American Federation of Government Employees Union says those who want to cut government spending are "mentally retarded". Here’s the video:

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/020911-afge-president-john-gage-says-those-who-want-cut-spending-are-mentally-retarded

Michael Moore sues studio for more 9/11 movie profits after already pocketing $19.8 million; "He Redefines The Term Greedy"

http://www.deadline.com/2011/02/he-redefines-the-term-greedy-michael-moore-sues-for-more-money-from-911-movie-when-he-already-received-19-8-million/

VDH: Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, and Michael Moore…have long indicted capitalism for the inequality of its spoils. Yet recent news suggests that their critique of the capitalist status quo is a very good capitalist way of making lots of money. That Gore profited enormously from eco-companies that capitalized on his own global-warming hype, that Arianna Huffington sold her website for $315 million, and that Michael Moore is suing to receive receipts beyond his $20 million take for his anti-Iraq/Bush mythodrama remind us why Barack Obama was the largest recipient of BP and Goldman Sachs campaign money, and indeed of Wall Street cash in history, after being the first presidential candidate to reject the public financing in the general campaign. Does “spread the wealth” rhetoric serve as some sort of pass on overweening desire for lots of cash and nice things?

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/259252/your-capitalism-bad-mine-quite-good-victor-davis-hanson

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ISLAM

AN Afghan man working for the Red Cross said he will be executed within three days unless he converts back to Islam. “Musa, who lost a leg to a land mine in the 1990s and works as a physiotherapist treating fellow amputees, said he was visited by a judge who told him he would be hanged within days unless he reconverted to Islam.”

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/red-cross-worker-to-be-executed-for-being-a-christian/story-fn6s850w-1226001126790

“Muslim Brotherhood text reveals scope of radical creed.”

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=207415

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ARTICLES

Regulatory agencies enact more than 3,500 new regulations in an average year. A new federal rule hits the books roughly every two hours, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Compare that with Congress, which passes fewer than 200 pieces of legislation per year. Only Congress has the power to legislate in the American system of government, but Congress never actually votes on most regulations. This is regulation without representation, and it is a major problem.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/562532/201102081909/Regulation-Without-Representation.htm

Who's Extreme? For decades now, we have been told that the extremism of the conservative movement is so beyond the boundaries of rational political discourse that the Grand Old Party is set to fall into a pathetic, rump minority. Not coincidentally, these warnings have corresponded to the period when conservative have dominated the GOP, and the GOP has returned to parity or better with the Democrats.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-reagan-dlc-and-two-primary-battles_547089.html?page=2

Given all the excited chatter about President Barack Obama becoming a Clintoneque centrist with echoes of Reagan (something he denies), it’s interesting to note the demise of the Democratic Leadership Council. The powerhouse of Democratic politics in the 1990s and sister of the Third Way alliance that spawned Tony Blair as well as Bill Clinton is no more.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100075231/the-death-of-the-democratic-centre/

Reaganomics: What We Learned

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704364004576132473777840938.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Why 33 rounds makes sense in a defensive weapon

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020406709.html

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Tea party activists have created a magazine, Tea Party Review, to be launched this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “This magazine is a response to demands from tea party members across the country for a magazine that we can call our own….People are weary of the distorted version of the tea party movement that we see in most of the media. Tea party members want a magazine for the movement, created by members of the movement and reflecting the values of the movement.”

http://www.teapartyreview.com/

A coalition of conservative groups hopes to remind Americans of the lackluster results of President Barack Obama’s $814 billion stimulus as the second anniversary of its passage approaches next week. The coalition, led by Let Freedom Ring, plans to debut a website, www.DefundTheStimulus.com, on Thursday in order to increase pressure on Capitol Hill to refund the remaining amount of the stimulus to the national treasury.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/08/conservative-coalition-seeking-to-defund-unspent-stimulus-dollars/

http://defundthestimulus.com/

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Report is a serious and sober online website that tracks the happenings of the Muslim Brotherhood network around the world.

http://globalmbreport.org/

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LATE NITE

Leno: President Obama urged private businesses to hire more workers. He didn’t realize that only the government hires more people than it needs……..Washington, D.C. is updating its traffic cameras to enforce traffic laws. How about enforcing bribery and corruption laws?..... Researchers say we may be just a few years away from a pill that would help people live to be 100 years old. Then Hugh Hefner’s fiancée said, "No!”

"Hillary Clinton urged Egypt's street protesters to remain calm Monday and she told the Egyptian Army to use restraint. Rioting and burning and looting followed. Nothing calms down a million observant Muslims like a Methodist woman telling them what to do."

-Argus Hamilton

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WISE WORDS

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

-James Madison

"[A] wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

-Thomas Jefferson

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