Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Radio Debut of This Blog; How to Greet Our Returning Soldiers; Fed Workers Pay Raises; Obama Administration Rewrote Report on BP Oil Spill; Etc.

I was interviewed yesterday on WMKT Radio, 1270 on our radio dial in Michigan, by talk show host Greg Marshall.  I conversed with him for the full hour and he kindly offered my blog address to his listeners.  I hope some of you, might let him know that you would like to have me on his show again! Greg has a Facebook page which can be found at  Join him at his Think-Tank! or email him at Thanks again, Greg!  We need to keep broadcasting the news that mainstream media doesn't cover.

May this be the standard way our troops are greeting when arriving home thru an airport!  Be sure to watch this commercial - it will make your day!  And - thank you (and your families) for your service!
The number of federal workers earning $150,000 OR MORE a year has soared TENFOLD in the past five years & doubled since President Obama took office. a US analysis finds. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Washington Times writes: Gulf State lawmakers are accusing the Obama administration of putting politics above science after a government watchdog said Interior Department officials misled the public by altering a report to suggest that a group of outside scientists supported a blanket ban on deepwater drilling.
The administration maintains that the flap is the result of rushed editing and nothing more. However, members of Congress from the Gulf region, already incensed over what they described as a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all reaction to the BP oil spill, are crying foul.
"This was not an accident at all. It was a deliberate attempt to use the prestige of the scientists to support their political decision," said Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, one of several Republicans who this summer requested an investigation into the moratorium by the Interior Department's inspector general.
Daily Caller reports: Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson proposed cutting the U.S. taxpayer’s contribution to the United Nations, an organization which many conservatives and moderates see as anti-U.S. and anti-Israel. The draft proposal recommends reducing the “voluntary” funds that taxpayers dish out to the U.N. each year on top of the dues that each country pays.

Also included in the report is a recommendation to eliminate government funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, whose “primary job is to fund [National Public Radio] and its member stations … and PBS and its member stations.”

One cut that would hit a broad cross section of Americans is a cut in funding to the Smithsonian and National Park Service. The reduction of funding for the Smithsonian by $225 million would require a charge of $7.50 to visit the 19 museums and the National Zoo, which are currently free. A cut of $75 million to the National Park Service would require a visitor fee to national parks of 25 cents per visitor.
Read more:
( - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a travel warning to Muslim airline passengers on U.S. aircraft in response to the Transportation Safety Administration’s  "enhanced pat down" policy that went into effect in late October.
CAIR said Muslims who object to full-body scans for religious reasons should know their rights if they are required to undergo a pat-down, including asking for the procedure to be done in a private place. In addition, CAIR offered a “special recommendation” for Muslim women who wear a hijab, telling them they should tell the TSA officer that they may be searched only around the head and neck.
In February, the Figh Council of North America, a group of Islamic scholars, issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, that full-body scanners violate Islamic law.
“It is a violation of clear Islamic teaching that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,” the ruling states. “Islam highly emphasizes haya (modesty) and considers it part of the faith. The Qu’ran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts.”
CAIR endorsed the fatwa, according to a Feb. 21 article in the Detroit Free Press.   [Feeling any safer?]
Are you traveling by air this Thanksgiving week-end?  The website "We Won't Fly": " urges travelers to "Act now. Travel with Dignity."
"We are opposed to the full-body backscatter X-ray airport scanners on grounds of health and privacy. We do not consent to strip searches, virtual or otherwise. We do not wish to be guinea pigs for new, and possibly dangerous, technology. We are not criminals. We are your customers. We will not beg the government anymore. We will simply stop flying until the porno-scanners are history," the site says.
"National Opt Out Day," organized by Brian Sodegren, encourages solidarity on November 24, amid the crush of Thanksgiving travelers.
"It's the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government's desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an "enhanced pat-down" that touches people's breasts and genitals. You should never have to explain to your children, 'Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it's a government employee, then it's OK.' "

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lame Duck Promises; Agenda Items for New Congress

Shortly before Election Day, Reid promised during an interview with Univision, a Spanish-language television network, that he would bring the DREAM Act up for a vote before the end of the year. [As Wikipedia describes it: The purpose of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, also called the DREAM Act, is to help those individuals who meet certain requirements, have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation.]
Reid has also given assurances to labor officials that he will bring the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, according to a senior labor official. The bill would set minimum standards for state collective bargaining laws for firefighters and police officers.
As I've written in the past, from the mouths of Democrat Congressmen, they want to consider ramming through, while they still have the majority: card check (Raul Grjalva); raise taxes (Jay Rockefeller); the new Start Treaty with Russia; Universal Voting Registration; lock in increased agency spending; lots of pork; a VAT tax on top of current taxes; cap and tax (John Kerry), and a global transaction tax (Nancy Pelosi).  We must be prepared to let our Senators and Representative know that this is not the will of the people.
Reuters reports: Republican Representative Ron Paul on Thursday said he will push to examine the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decisions if he takes control of the congressional subcommittee that oversees the central bank as expected in January.
The Hill writes: Republicans are calling for a cut in Congressional pay in order to show how serious they are about mending the amount of debt our country has.
The Washington Times writes: This week's elections weren't just about the economy. Concerned about judicial tyranny, Iowans booted all three of the state Supreme Court justices who appeared on Tuesday's ballot - the first high court justices to be defeated since 1962, when Iowans created a system of voting on whether or not judges should be retained.
The Hawkeye State's judicial elections rarely generate much controversy or interest, with most judges generally enjoying approval levels of around 75 percent. That changed with the high court's unanimous 2009 decision discovering a right to homosexual "marriage" in the state constitution - a view that would have shocked those who drafted the document long before homosexuality was the subject of polite conversation, let alone political debate.
Most of the voters repudiating those justices oppose homosexual marriage, but the rebuke did not come just from traditional conservatives.
For those voters, the uncharacteristic ousters appear to have been driven by a distaste for judges who attempt to rewrite the law.
When judges step outside this role and act as robed political leaders, they don't just become controversial, they become a threat to our political system based on the separation of powers.
Fox News reports: Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who is expected to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said immigration reform will be pushed aside for streamlined enforcement of current laws.
"The enforcement of our immigration laws is critical to both our national security and economic prosperity," he told the San Antonio Express. "We need to know who is entering our country, and why."
He told the newspaper that the committee under his leadership would "enact policies that will better secure our border and discourage illegal immigration, human smuggling and drug trafficking."
Yahoo News reports: Washington – President Obama and the Democrats have just endured one painful political tsunami. Now they’re bracing themselves for another: Darrell Issa.
The House Republican from California is set to take over the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and he has made no secret of his love of hearings. He wants hundreds of them – one or two a week, times seven subcommittees, times 40 weeks, he told Politico. That’s at least 280 hearings a year. By way of comparison, Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of California held 203 oversight hearings in two years when he chaired the committee during President George W. Bush’s last two years in office, Politico notes.
Representative Issa doesn’t want to bother with sideshows, like Roger Clemens and steroids. He wants to go after the executive branch.
IN PICTURES: Election Day 2010
“We need serious reforms within the federal bureaucracy, and I will target areas of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement to ensure that we are better stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Issa said Tuesday on CNBC.
The Washington Post on Issa:  [He] certainly knows that the nation needs a more accountable, efficient and productive bureaucracy. But what he may not realize is that there is $1 trillion in savings through long-overdue reform.
The options are already there for the taking: $1 billion over the next ten years by cutting the number of presidential appointees; $100 billion by eliminating needless management layers throughout the bloated federal hierarchy; $200 billion by eliminating many of the federal jobs about to be vacated by the baby boomers; $200 billion by cutting the contracting workforce; $100 billion by increasing federal productivity; $300 billion by merging duplicated programs; and $200 billion by eliminating programs that either do not produce results or are too trivial to bother.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who Bought This Election - Republicans? Guess Again...

Big, evil industries funded…which party?

From the Washington Times:

file photo
The Washington Examiner writes: Now that election 2010 is over, let’s go back over to OpenSecrets and look at which evil corporations stole our democracy and bought Congress for the Republicans — the RepubliCorp!
First suspect: the military-industrial complex!
Oh, really? Well, then, it must have been Wall Street! That’s it: Wall Street bought Congress for the GOP!
Oh. Well, even if Wall Street as a whole preferred Democrats, it must have been the real bad guys, those risky Hedge funds and exotic investors…
Huh. Well, then, it must have been the big health insurers and for-profit hospital corporations! They didn’t want reform! I know because I heard President Obama say so at least 64 times!
Huh. Well…then it must have been those evil lobbyists that President Obama has been fighting against ever since he got to Washington! That’s it!
  • Lobbyists: 65% Democrat, 34% Republican ($23.5 million)
What? You mean all that time I’ve spent watching Keith Olbermann hasn’t taught me any real facts???? You mean my head is now full of garbage and White House propaganda?
For good measure, here are a few industries that did, in fact, support Republicans (although most of them by narrow margins).
  • Tonsil Thieves(Dentists): 37% Democrat, 62% Republican ($5.3 million)
  • Health professionals: 48% Democrat, 50% Republican ($55 million)
  • Credit/Finance: 48% Democrat, 52% Republican ($5.8 million)
  • Commercial Banks: 41% Democrat, 59% Republican ($15.4 million)
  • Insurance (Health, life and property): 48% Democrat, 52% Republican ($31.2 million)
  • Agribusiness: 41% Democrat, 58% Republican ($40 million)
The challenges I see ahead for the new GOP House will be (1) reining in Agribusiness subsidies and (2) forcing banks to live without hope of future bailouts. The first is probably the bigger challenge, at least in the short run
Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WMKT Radio Show; Anti-Sharia Law on Hold; TSA Abuses; Chinese Downgrade US Bonds

After meeting him at a meeting, I have been invited to join Greg Marshall's talk radio show this Friday at 9:10 am or so, talking about my blog/news service  - and the political scene. The station broadcasts on 1270 AM as well as an FM translator on 92.1 and streams online  Thank you, Greg!

Fox News opines: A popular new law that bars Oklahoma courts from considering Islamic law, or Shariah, when deciding cases was put on hold Monday after a prominent Muslim in the state won a temporary restraining order in federal court. Shariah is found in the Koran and is the basis of law in most Islamic countries, though its implementation varies widely. It has been used in Iran and Somalia, among other places, to condone harsh punishments like amputations and stoning.
PrisonPlanet reports: TSA abuse in airports is completely out of control with more and more cases of security workers groping women, fondling children, abusing naked body scanners, and interrogating passengers emerging every week, and yet the government’s answer to the epidemic of oppression is to hand TSA thugs more power with which to harass American citizens.
The story of Infowars employee Michelle, who along with her child was sexually assaulted by TSA staff after refusing to go through a naked body scanner, has gone viral on the Internet after it was picked up by the Drudge Report, a website leading the charge in the backlash against airport oppression at the hands of the TSA that has now led to the world’s largest pilot’s association boycotting the use of naked body scanners.
Michelle’s traumatic experience represents just the tip of the iceberg.
A 2006 investigation by the Discover America Partnership found that tourism to America had sunk due to “a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers from visiting the United States and damaging America’s image abroad.”
No less than a third of tourists vowed never to return to America after experiencing the treatment of Homeland Security officials at ports of entry. By early 2007, the U.S. had lost around 60 million visitors as a result of the stifling and intrusive security measures implemented since 9/11, which were proven to be completely flawed in light of the underwear bomber incident on Christmas Day.
America has not only lost its crown as a beacon of freedom and hospitality, turning instead into a feared police state shunned by tourists, but it has also sacrificed almost a third of its tourist industry as a result of TSA and Homeland Security thugs being given the power to treat everyone who enters the country as a potential terrorist who is guilty until proven innocent.
If Americans continue to blithely accept their abuse at the hands of TSA thugs, it sends a clear message to the authorities that they are quite prepared to suffer any indignity whatsoever, which will inevitably lead to a feeding frenzy unless Americans begin to stand up for themselves against airport oppression in greater numbers.
PowerofTravel writes: The Discover America Partnership is an effort led by some of America’s foremost business leaders to strengthen America’s image around the globe.
These leaders recognize that public diplomacy is not the sole responsibility of government, but also of business and the American people. While there are no easy solutions to our image crisis, tapping into the power of travel must be a critical element in our public diplomacy efforts.
That’s why the Discover America Partnership is challenging our country to welcome 10 million more visitors each year. As each new visitor returns to their home country and shares their experiences with friends and family, we have the potential to reach and positively influence another billion people annually.
The Wall St. Journal writes: Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., the Chinese rating company that was recently rejected in its bid to be an officially recognized bond rater in the U.S., just downgraded the entire U.S. The always objective Xinhua has the “scoop.”
The United States has lost its double-A credit rating with Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., Ltd., the first domestic rating agency in China, due to its new round of quantitative easing policy.
Dagong Global on Tuesday downgraded the local and foreign currency long-term sovereign credit rating of the U.S. by one level to A+ from previous AA with “negative” outlook.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Project 21; Insourcing by Government; Work For Your Benefits in UK; World Reactions to Fed Easing; Punishment Follows Excellence

Project 21 member Cherylyn Harley LeBon has a featured commentary now posted on the Daily Caller web site about largely unnoticed but vigorous efforts by the Obama Administration to grow the size of the federal government by turning private contractors into federal employees.
“Insourcing” is the process of requiring that jobs done by private-sector employees be federalized.  This is a boon to organized labor and a further strain on taxpayers.
Cherylyn writes:
[B]arely two months into his presidency, Barack Obama ordered all federal agencies to figure out how to make more private contractors into public employees. The Office of Management and Budget months later required such insourcing reviews occur “on a regular basis.”
Washington Post writes: Area firms, ranging from large to small, veteran- and minority-owned businesses, are facing a new threat. The federal government, long considered a source of business for the region's firms, is now seen as a competitor. That is why 36 national and local organizations, including the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, recently wrote President Obama asking for an immediate moratorium on insourcing.
"Insourcing," the conversion of work performed by private sector contractor firms to federal employees, is a solution in search of a problem. Such conversions expand an already bloated government, increase costs and exacerbate the anemic private sector job creation.
UK Telegraph writes: In the most radical clampdown on the work-shy yet, Iain Duncan Smith will announce that the unemployed will be found compulsory 30 hour-a-week work placements and if they fail to turn up they will lose their Jobseekers' Allowance for at least three months. The Welfare Secretary will announce the move as part of a groundbreaking package of measures aimed at reforming the benefit culture to "make work pay".
From Reuters, out of New Delhi: [President] Obama says U.S. low growth or no growth danger to world
* China says U.S being irresponsible over QE
* Russia says G20 should have been consulted by Fed

Yahoo News reports: "As a major reserve currency issuer, for the United States to launch a second round of quantitative easing at this time, we feel that it did not recognize its responsibility to stabilize global markets and did not think about the impact of excessive liquidity on emerging markets," Chinese Finance Vice Minister Zhu Guangyao said on Monday.
The Fed's quantitative easing policy was unveiled last week to jeers from emerging market powerhouses from Latin America to Asia. Russia renewed its assault on Monday.
"Russia's president will insist .... that such actions are taken with preliminary consultations with other members of the global economy," said Arkady Dvorkovich, a Russian official who is preparing the country's position in Seoul.
Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hirohide Yamaguchi said on Monday that it too was ready to boost its asset-buying scheme if it saw clear signs of a downturn. Worth 5 trillion yen ($62 billion), it is so far just a tenth the size of the Fed's.
Fox News reports: A 5th grade football team has been denied a chance to show off their skills after having an excellent season. The Sedalia Junior Outlaws were banned from the playoff games because they're too good and now the team's coach is speaking out.

The kids earned a spot in the playoffs after dominating their league. After being told they weren't allowed to play, the kids are heartbroken and coaches are confused. The team made a splash by going 6-0 in the regular season in the West Central Youth Football League.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Pharoh-like Visit to India

The UK Daily Mail opines: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrived in India's commercial hub of Mumbai on Saturday, days after voters punished his Democrats in mid-term elections.
Probably not since the days of the Pharaohs or the more ludicrous Roman Emperors has a head of state travelled in such pomp and expensive grandeur as the President of the United States of America.
Hindustan Times opines: Indian politicians are known for making impromptu long speeches and perhaps that is why some parliament officials, who did not wish to be named, sounded rather surprised with the idea of a teleprompter for Obama.
"We thought Obama is a trained orator and skilled in the art of mass address with his continuous eye contact," an official, who did not wish to be identified because of security restrictions, said.
Obama is known to captivate audiences with his one-liners that sound like extempore and his deep gaze. But few in India know that the US president always carries the teleprompter with him wherever he speaks.
The Hindu writes: U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday regretted that the “great religion” of Islam has been distorted by a few extremists to justify violence towards innocent people and called for isolating these elements.
Mr. Obama also said that people will have to fundamentally reject the notion that violence is the way to mediate differences among them.
“I think all of us have to fundamentally reject the notion that violence is the way to mediate our differences,” he added.
The US president expressed these views when a Muslim student A. Ansari lobbed a question asking for his views on ‘jihad” during his interaction with students of St Xavier’s college here.
“I think all of us recognise that this great religion (Islam) in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted to justify violence towards innocent people that is never justified,” he said.
Daily New and Analysis of India writes: New Delhi: If wishes were horses, US President Barack Obama would like to take home some of the stately equines at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Snip) During his chit-chat with the President, the visiting dignitary praised the PBGs and said in a lighter vein that he wants to take home some camels and horses to the US, enough to bring smiles to the hosts, officials accompanying the VVIPs said. Obama, the sixth US President to visit India, could not let his eyes off the grandeur of Rashtrapati Bhavan and the ceremonial reception presented by the mounted cavalry.
State visits by premiers are a reasonable barometer to gauge the goodwill and intensity of engagement between nations. Plotted on a graph, the Indo-US relationship, with the six presidential visits (including Obama’s next month), would look a bit like the run-rate ‘worm’ chart of a side batting in a one-day cricket match. A sedate yet solid start, followed by long periods of painfully slow scoring during the cold war, and some power-hitting in the slog overs.

In the five decades since independence, up until 2000, US presidents came to India only thrice. In just one decade since, there have been as many, signifying the growing strategic importance of the relationship.

No matter how good the backroom diplomacy is, it’s the chemistry between the two chief executives at the summit that makes or breaks deals. This was evident in the manner in which George Bush and Manmohan Singh inked the landmark civilian nuclear deal in 2006. While Bush was the first US President who well and truly de-hyphenated the country’s relationship with India and Pakistan, and is credited with changing the dynamics of Indo-US engagement, the expectations from Obama’s visit are coated with cautious optimism.

More than a year into office, Obama has sent mixed signals to India. His statements against outsourcing to destinations like India have unnerved the industry and his perceived kid-glove handling of Pakistan grates the strategic and diplomatic community.

But if the first-ever visit of a US President to India, that of Dwight D Eisenhower in 1959, was any indication, it was a start as good as any. Eisenhower spent almost a week in India, and from all accounts, his popularity was immense. “The visit was a huge success,” recalls K Natwar Singh, the former external affairs minister who has also been a high-ranking diplomat. “Unlike these days, there was no security. He travelled in an open car in Delhi, and there seemed to be a million people wherever he went. Most importantly, Nehru and Eisenhower got on very well.”

Eisenhower, a war hero, was hailed in India as the ‘Prince of Peace’. Wherever he went, Eisenhower was genuinely effusive in his praise and admiration for India.

While lesser mortals – the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and so on – are usually happy to let their hosts handle most of the security and transport arrangements when they venture beyond their home shores, the United States creates a mini-America on the move to ensure that nothing is left to chance.
Read more:
And more: To the amazement of the Indians accompanying the U.S. agents, it was apparently decided to erect a bomb-proof over-ground tunnel, which will be installed by U.S. military engineers in just an hour.
The kilometre-long tunnel will measure 12ft by 12ft and will have air-conditioning, close-circuit television cameras, and will be heavily guarded at every point.
It's being built so it is large enough for Mr Obama's cavalcade to pass through and will be manned at its entry and exit points.
The White House will be hoping to secure more than $10 billion in new business for American firms in what is the biggest trade mission in US history.
Mr Obama is bringing 250 U.S. executives including GE chief Jeffrey Immelt and Honeywell's David Cote, which the U.S. India Business Council says is the largest such delegation to ever accompany a president on a foreign visit.
The presidents of six universities, including Georgetown and Duke, are also set to come.
Last fiscal year, India's $11 billion worth of investments in the U.S. matched U.S. investments in India for the first time ever, according to the U.S. India Business Council.
Read more: