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Monday, October 3, 2011

Ron Paul - Jon Stewart Interview 9/26/2011

Ron Paul on Freedom Watch 9 26 11

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Europe, Globalization and the Coming Caliphate

American Thinker

Europe, Globalization and the Coming Caliphate

By Bat Ye'or

Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011

224 pp., $24.95

This past week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed an upgrade for the Arab-Palestinians' U.N. status from "nonmember observer" to "nonmember observer state," plus a one-year timetable for establishing a Palestinian state. In light of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's request for a unilateral declaration of statehood through the United Nations and a likely showdown at the Security Council with the United States promising to veto any Palestinian resolution, Sarkozy's proposal allegedly attempted to lower the "risk of engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East."

In truth, there has been almost non-stop Islamic terrorism in Israel, a refusal by the Palestinian Authority to recognize the Jewish state and plentiful distribution of maps that turn the entire state of Israel into a state dubbed "Palestine." Israeli attempts to negotiate a peaceful settlement have been thwarted on several occasions and the risibly named "land for peace" policy -- the Jewish state's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005 -- has resulted only in increasing attacks from Arab-Palestinians.

Yet, this nonsensical notion of rewarding terrorism with a state persists, when it would obviously simply enable more Islamic attacks against Israel. Elevation to "nonmember observer state" status would allow Palestinian membership on several U.N. panels which could lead to anti-Israel lawfare - creation or use of laws to harm Israel - at the International Criminal Court. Conveniently using the Rome Statute, the Palestinians could prosecute the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli politicians for war crimes.

Facing presidential elections in 2012 in a country where 82% of the public supports a Palestinian state and where Muslims outnumber Jews 10 to 1, Sarkozy appears to have used Arab-Palestinian statehood demands, not to create peace, but to appease French Muslims and appeal to the anti-Israel electorate. Further, the French government could also have viewed a pro-Palestinian proposal at the U.N. as a way to avert increasing Muslim violence throughout the country.

These recent events give even more relevancy to the recent book, Europe, Globalization, and the Coming Universal Caliphate, by Middle East historian and scholar Bat Ye'or in which the author explains how Europe, with France as the driving force, has been complicit in the Islamization of the continent and its evolution from a Judeo-Christian civilization to one of subservience to Islam, a civilization of dhimmitude, or Eurabia.

Central to this shift has been the adoption of multiculturalism, which advances the idea that all cultures are equal and deserve equal treatment and which makes it politically incorrect to critique other cultures or uphold European traditions and values. Multiculturalism has also resulted in rapprochement between Islam and Europe, a multilateral partnership between the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the U.N., and the Palestinianization of European policy to delegitimize Israel and cast it as the occupier/victimizer of Arab-Palestinians. The European Union has even done the bidding of the OIC - the representative body of the Muslim world - by allowing unchecked Muslim immigration into Europe, promoting Islamic and Arabic culture on the continent, funding Palestinian terrorist acts sanitized as resistance operations, sponsoring challenges to Israel's security such as the Gaza flotillas, and spearheading boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Big Cases Await New Supreme Court Term

Illegal alien deportation, health care, GPS tracking devices on the docket

Herman Cain on 'Fox News Sunday'

from this morning

What We Learned from Prohibition

This review of the Ken Burns documentary, Prohibition, gives a different take than the other opinions I've read today. I have to agree with this review - Progressivism was the problem then and it is the problem now.

The Progressive Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President (1913-1921), was in office when the 16th amendment (income tax), 17th amendment (direct elections of US Senators), 18th amendment (prohibition) and 19th amendment (women's suffrage) were ratified.

I would argue that three of those four amendments (16th - 18th) have done considerable harm to America. Unfortunately, only the 18th amendment has been repealed. - Reggie



How liberals love to mess with our lives

“People think of Prohibition as a conservative movement, but not at all. It was a movement that was embraced by progressives,” says historian Wiliiam Leuchtenburg in Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s riveting, rollicking, infuriating and very contemporary documentary “Prohibition.”

“Prohibition,” a three-part miniseries that airs starting tonight on PBS and comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, has many lessons to teach us about such antiquated, 1920s-era ideas as federal overreach, unfunded mandates to states, runaway taxation, a belief that great political leaders can accelerate human progress, crony capitalism, and of course the dire need of Washington to take steps to improve the lot of the poor and the children.

In other words, “Prohibition” is, to an almost mischievous extent, an investigative report about 2011.

Historian Catherine Gilbert Murdock, who provides a feminist voice to Burns and Novick’s film, says, of the times that gave rise to the dry movement, “There is a belief in human perfectibility -- that humans can be perfect and alcohol is the fly in the ointment. You could have a perfect marriage if it weren’t for alcohol. You could you have a perfect husband if it weren’t for alcohol. You could have a perfect community if it weren’t for alcohol.”

And if you want perfection, who better to supply it than the federal government?

The temperance movement began in the 1840s in response to a real and growing problem -- and culminated in the 1920s with a law that utterly failed to ameliorate that problem, at great cost, while giving rise to many seemingly unrelated but in fact entirely predictable woes.

The many flaws in progressivism -- the top-down, big-government, high-taxation model that seeks controls for benevolent reasons yet invariably falls prey to corruption -- are as blatant today as they are in Burns and Novick’s film. Even the evangelist movement that underlay the temperance /abstinence movement has persisted virtually unchanged -- except now the literal evangelists are sad and comical figures with no influence on anybody except their marginalized congregations. In the 21st century, the real action, the influential leaders with immense followings whose numbers include the most powerful members of the media, are in eco-vangelism.

“Prohibition” is a virtual checklist of everything people dislike about DC today:

New adventures in raising taxes. A critical argument against Prohibition was that banning liquor sales would deprive the federal government of tax dollars that amounted to as much as a third of the total budget. So those who believed in capital-T total abstinence, or teetotalers, dreamed up the 16th Amendment to enable a federal income tax to beef up the budget. Today Paul Krugman and other deep thinkers say we could solve all of our federal funding needs if only we imposed a teeny little national sales, or value-added, tax. Once such a tax exists, it will march steadily upward. And politically favored corporations will evade liability because of:

Time to raise Cain to contender status

Michael Barone
Is Herman Cain a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination? It's a question no one in the pundit world was asking until the past week.

Cain has never held public office. When he ran for the Senate in Georgia in 2004 he lost the primary by a 52 to 26 percent margin.

He has zero experience in foreign or defense policy, where presidents have the most leeway to set policy. When questioned about the Middle East earlier this year he clearly had no idea what the "right of return" is.

His solid performance in the Fox News/Google debate Sept. 22 didn't get pundits to take his chances seriously.

Neither did his 37 to 15 percent victory over Rick Perry in the Florida straw poll Sept. 24. That was taken as a response to Perry's weak debate performance and a tribute to Cain for showing up and speaking before the 2,657 people who voted.

But Republicans around the nation seem to have responded the same way. The Fox News poll conducted Sept. 25-27 showed Cain with 17 percent of the vote -- a statistically significant jump from the 5 percent he had been averaging in polls taken in previous weeks.

And a SurveyUSA poll of Florida Republicans conducted Sept. 24-27 showed Cain trailing Mitt Romney by only 27 to 25 percent, a statistical tie. That's very different from the Florida polls conducted by Public Policy Polling Sept. 22-25 and Quinnipiac Sept. 14-19, both of which showed Cain with 7 percent.

We will see whether other national or state polls show Cain with a similar surge. If so, then there's a real possibility that Cain could win enough primaries and caucuses to be a real contender.

'Prohibition': A Film by Ken Burns

Tonight PBS debuts the newest Ken Burns documentary. I have read some comments on the blogs today that say Burns has put a decidedly liberal slant on this film. Since I haven't seen it, I can't agree or disagree. Check your local PBS listings for showtimes and watch a sneak peek below. - Reggie


Watch the full episode. See more Ken Burns.

ObamaCare Tops Upcoming Supreme Court Agenda

From Reuters:

2010 Official photo of the Supreme Court of the United States


President Barack Obama’s sweeping healthcare overhaul will top the agenda in the new Supreme Court term that opens on Monday and could be the most momentous in decades.

Returning from its three-month recess, the nation’s highest court will confront legal challenges seeking to strike down Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement and a host of other charged issues in its 2011-12 term.

Other big cases pit privacy rights against new police tracking technology, involve jail strip searches and address a free-speech challenge by broadcasters to a U.S. government ban on nudity and blurted expletives on television.

The Progressive Movement and the Transformation of American Politics

July 18, 2007

Progressivism was the reform movement that ran from the late 19th century through the first decades of the 20th century, during which leading intellectuals and social reformers in the United States sought to address the economic, political, and cultural questions that had arisen in the context of the rapid changes brought with the Industrial Revolution and the growth of modern capitalism in America. The Progressives believed that these changes marked the end of the old order and required the creation of a new order appropriate for the new industrial age.

There are, of course, many different representations of Progressivism: the literature of Upton Sinclair, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the history of Charles Beard, the educational system of John Dewey. In politics and political thought, the movement is associated with political leaders such as Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt and thinkers such as Herbert Croly and Charles Merriam.

While the Progressives differed in their assessment of the problems and how to resolve them, they generally shared in common the view that government at every level must be actively involved in these reforms. The existing constitutional system was outdated and must be made into a dynamic, evolving instrument of social change, aided by scientific knowledge and the development of administrative bureaucracy.

At the same time, the old system was to be opened up and made more democratic; hence, the direct elections of Senators, the open primary, the initiative and referendum. It also had to be made to provide for more revenue; hence, the Sixteenth Amendment and the progressive income tax.

Presidential leadership would provide the unity of direction -- the vision -- needed for true progressive government. "All that progressives ask or desire," wrote Woodrow Wilson, "is permission -- in an era when development, evolution, is a scientific word -- to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine."

What follows is a discussion about the effect that Progressivism has had -- and continues to have -- on American politics and political thought. The remarks stem from the publication of The Progressive Revolution in Politics and Political Science (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), to which Dr. West contributed.

Read the full report

I am also linking to two more articles. One is about the similarities of Obama & Christie (Progressives, both?) and the other, below, is about a new Constitutional Convention. The thought of that is frightening. I believe if we have a Constitutional Convention America will, without a doubt, become a memory and footnote in history. - Reggie

The Washington Examiner: Sunday Reflection: Changing the Constitution

American Thinker: The Fat Guy and the Skinny Guy: More Alike Than They Appear

Law Enforcement Co-Opting Internet Firms for Surveillance

I do not have a Facebook page or a Twitter account (Republic Heritage has one but I do not). I strongly believe in privacy so I do not plaster my life on the Internet for all to see.

Yes, I do post my passionate opinions and beliefs on this blog but I do so anonymously as the writers of The Federalist Papers chose to do. Is there a picture of me here? No. Do you know my full name? No. Have I ever told you the state I reside in? No. Do you know where I work or who I work for? No.

The story below is one of the reasons I decided, long ago, to decline participation in these social networks. Another reason is that employers are now investigating current and potential employees' Facebook and Twitter accounts for anything that may be detrimental to the company.

An intrusive, tyrannical government can cause you much harm, if they choose to, using the information you freely give on these social sites and it could also cost you and your family your livelihood. Because of this, I believe that guarding my privacy to the fullest extent that I can is the best policy.

Reggie
10/2/2011

(Reuters) - Internet companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week.

Although such companies try to keep their users' information private, their business models depend on exploiting it to sell targeted advertising, and when governments demand they hand it over, they have little choice but to comply.

Suggestions that BlackBerry maker RIM might give user data to British police after its messenger service was used to coordinate riots this summer caused outrage -- as has the spying on social media users by more oppressive governments.

But the vast amount of personal information that companies like Google collect to run their businesses has become simply too valuable for police and governments to ignore, delegates to the Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi said.

"When the possibility exists for information to be obtained that wasn't possible before, it's entirely understandable that law enforcement is interested," Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf told Reuters in an interview.

Bill Clinton Whines About Wanting More Credit For Welfare Reform, Balanced Budget; No Challenge From Politico

At the Politico, James Hohmann's biography page indicates that he is "an Honors graduate of Stanford University" who "studied American political history." I hope he skipped class during the time his profs covered the 1990s, because if not, he and many other classmates have been badly misled.

Hohmann covered Bill Clinton's commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of his presidential candidacy announcement at his library in Little Rock, Arkansas, and let the following Clintonian howlers go by without challenge:
Bill Clinton wants more credit
Bill Clinton thinks he deserves more credit for reforming welfare and balancing the budget.
"I go crazy every time I read the conventional wisdom," he said Friday night at his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. "So part of the Republican narrative is that I was 'saved' from myself by the election of the Republican Congress [in 1994] that 'forced me' to do welfare reform and ‘made the balanced budget possible.'"
Clinton said reporters and commentators “keep saying this, overlooking all relevant facts.”
The 42nd president said Arkansas had been a test case for reform during his governorship. At the federal level, he said 43 states received federal waivers to implement welfare reform before the GOP-controlled House passed the final bill.
“And yet I kept reading how this was ‘a Republican idea,’ just because President Reagan had a good story about a welfare queen and a Cadillac who didn’t exist,” Clinton said.
The feisty comments came during 20 minutes of unscripted remarks that immediately followed a one-hour panel discussion commemorating the 20th anniversary of Clinton announcing his run for president in front of the nearby state house. They showcased a Clinton determined to present himself as a transformational figure.
The historical record shows that Bill Clinton doesn't deserve credit for welfare reform, and doesn't deserve credit for the balanced budget.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ford Forced to Pull Anti-Bailout Ad?

Did White House pressure company to take commercial off the air?



State Media Reports Iranian Pastor Facing Execution for Rape, Not Religion

Iran state media put out a stunning report Saturday claiming that imprisoned Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is facing the death sentence for rape and extortion, not for apostasy and refusing to renounce his religion, as his lawyer, human rights groups and Western news media have reported.

"His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity," the deputy governor of the Gilan province, Gholomali Rezvani, told Fars, the semi-official state news agency.

"He is guilty of security-related crimes."

The Fars comments were part of a larger Iranian media push to counter reports that Nadarkhani was facing execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith.

“We’re trying to determine if this is the state-controlled media throwing it out there,” said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

“There’s been no mention of any other charges than apostasy in trial documents.”

In a ruling from the Iranian Supreme Court, translated into English by the ACLJ, Nadarkhani was sentenced to execution by hanging for, “turning his back on Islam” and “converting Muslims to Christianity.”

The ruling also alleges that he also participated in Christian worship by holding home church services and baptizing himself and others, effectively breaking Islamic Law.

FoxNews.com obtained a copy of the ruling and there is not a single mention of rape or extortion allegations.

Fox News reported earlier this week that Nadarkhani, 32, who ran a group of house churches in Iran, was facing execution after being convicted last November of apostasy.

Putin’s Eye for Power Leads Some in Russia to Ponder Life Abroad

This is amazing. The similarities to 2011 America are quite striking. If I had the money, I would leave America and I never thought I would feel this way. Our government is destroying our country just like Putin's government is destroying Russia. Where can like-minded, freedom loving people go? - Reggie

MOSCOW — “Time to shove off” is the name of a Web site for people who are fed up with life in Russia, and it is becoming a catchphrase for those dismayed by the newly announced plans of Vladimir V. Putin to keep a grip on power for perhaps two more terms as president.

“A year ago I told all my friends who were leaving that I would never do that, no way!” wrote a magazine editor named Yevgeniya Lobacheva in a posting on another Web site. “But I have only one life. Twelve years! I will be 43!”

Mr. Putin has already been in power for 12 years — the first eight as president, the past four as a prime minister with de facto executive power. Now, the prospect of what many Russians are already calling a “period of stagnation” has set off a new wave of declarations of nonallegiance to a nation where corruption and an inflexible top-down system are squeezing off options for change and personal advancement.

“I want to live in a country where I don’t need to break the rules to live in comfort,” said Stepan Chizhov, 29, who markets board games like Monopoly and is preparing to leave for Canada with his wife next summer.

“I just don’t want to have to fight the system,” Mr. Chizhov said. “I want the system to be a comfort to me. I want to live easily. And there’s no possibility in Russia in the next 20 years to follow the laws, follow the rules and live in comfort.”

Lev D. Gudkov, director of the Levada Center, a polling agency, said that about 50,000 people leave Russia every year and that this number could grow by 10,000 or 15,000 in the future.

“There will be a dark and depressive mood in society,” Mr. Gudkov said. “The situation is uncertain, there is a growth of anxiety, a feeling of stagnation and degradation.”

Some analysts are already calling this the sixth wave of Russian emigration — the first began in 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution, and the most recent is considered to be the post-Soviet departures of the early 1990s.

In defining this sixth wave, Dmitri Oreshkin, a political scientist, said in an often-quoted article this year: “It’s basically just those who in the 1990s, because of their youth and innate optimism, believed that freedom would finally come and Russia would become a normal country. The Putin decade sobered them up.”

Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, many in the educated middle class, who had hoped to be part of a maturing, modernizing society, feel themselves instead being tugged backward.

“This past haunts us,” said Andrei Zolotov Jr., deputy director of the international service of the RIA Novosti news agency, “this fear: what if they close the borders? That is one of the fears in the background.”

Indeed, it may be Russia’s history of emigration that gives rise to an ingrained emotional response to adversity: time to shove off.

Most people who say this do not really mean it, said Ilya Klishin, 24, a blogger and journalist, calling their remarks “depression multiplied by fatalism and driven to the absurd.”

In a blog post titled, “I will not leave,” he wrote: “How can I surrender my country to insane ghouls and watch from a safe distance as it dies?”

The departures are particularly damaging because they are sapping Russia of its most qualified people, experts say. Those who leave are three times more likely to have higher education than those who stay, Mr. Oreshkin said.

President Dmitri A. Medvedev, who is expected to swap places with Mr. Putin as prime minister after an election in March, has complained repeatedly about a brain drain and has said, without offering specifics, that the government should create “favorable conditions” for scientists and others to remain.

In addition, Mr. Oreshkin said, “it is money that is emigrating,” as entrepreneurs hedge their bets on the future and take advantage of the transparency of business operations in the West.

In fact, the so-called sixth wave may be harder to quantify than previous emigrations because Russia’s open borders now allow people to leave without leaving — to own homes or spend parts of the year abroad and to send their children to school overseas with the option or returning or staying away. In traumatic departures during Soviet times, goodbye often meant forever.

Busted For 'Felony Eavesdropping'

'Fundamental transformation.' - Reggie

Virginia Makes Supreme Health Care Appeal

Gun Owners Up in Arms Over Possible U.N. Regulation

Taking Liberties: Could Arms Trade Treaty take away Second Amendment rights?

Ezra Levant interviews Mark Steyn on his new book.

Fast and Furious: A Lawless, Tax-Payer Funded (Impeachable?) Offense

While the mainstream media continues to cover important stories about the “racist” Tea Party, the need to tax the ultra-rich, or Michelle Obama’s recent shopping spree at Target, details of Fast and Furious continue to effervesce below the surface.  And while Obama tweaks his jobs plan for the umpteenth time, takes a few more vacations, and blames the American people for the misery he himself has caused, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) continue to demand answers as to who knew what and when regarding the 2,500 weapons that were sold to straw purchasers and then carried into Mexico without so much as a whimper from ATF supervisors.


Let me make a correction: part of the news that’s effervescing is that all the weapons weren’t sold to civilian straw purchasers. We now know that some of them were sold to ATF agents who paid cash for the weapons and then turned around and sold them to men with proven criminal ties.

Of course, this raises a whole new problem for the ATF supervisors and DOJ officials who are doing their best to stonewall Issa and Grassley’s investigation into this monstrously criminal action: and that new problem is that the funds ATF agents used to purchase the weapons were taxpayer funds.

Read that again and let it soak in – taxpayer monies were used to buy at least some of guns that were purchased during Fast and Furious (and which were then passed on to criminals).
How could this happen? It could happen because this was not a bottom up operation. It was top down, and those at the top had access to funding and the power to keep those beneath them from blowing the lid off of it (for a while at least).

Read the rest of the story

And there is this...

Big Government: New Docs Show Extensive White House Involvement in ‘Fast and Furious’

Warning: The threat of suspended elections is real

Canada Free Press
A dangerous new chapter is being written in American history that, if successful, is destined to impact the history of the West. It’s called ‘Re-Election by Suspended Election Revolution’

With absolutely no proof of any kind of who he really is, Barack Obama made it to the Oval Office in 2008. There was no media vetting of the largely absentee senator from Illinois, who even back then had the temerity to compare himself to Abraham Lincoln. All anyone ever had to go on was an autobiographical book suspected of being ghost-written by an unrepentant domestic terrorist. We all know how it goes with politicians and autobiographical books.

When Nancy Pelosi writes hers she will claim she trumps Mother Teresa, the Calcutta saint, not the one married to John Kerry.

If Harry Reid ever gets around to it, writing his, wine will turn to vinegar overnight.

You can claim to be anyone you want in a book, and that’s what Barry Soetoro did.

The point is that Barry Soetoro took the name Barack Hussein Obama, got himself elected and immediately began pushing the country so many look up to, right up to the precipice and nobody—nobody—has been able to stop him.

Now when we have a narcissistic Obama plunging in the polls, a democrat governor in North Carolina is pushing the envelope for suspending elections and covering up a notion she dropped a bombshell by claiming she was only using hyperbole to make a point for a Rotary Club.

Read the full article

Audio of Rush Limbaugh, below, talking about North Carolina Governor suggesting we suspend upcoming elections:



And there is this...

The Failure of Health Care Reform: An Insider's View

Employer health insurance premiums went up on average about 9 percent in 2011, and you can expect a lot more where that came from.  Only a fool didn’t see this coming, which is to say the White House, every member of Congress who voted for the health care legislation, and all of their liberal enablers who have dreamed so long for the day when the government would take control of the health care system.

I was in the middle of the fight against ObamaCare.  Trying to explain to Democrats and their staffs why the legislation would make health insurance premiums explode was like banging your head against the Berlin Wall.

They would mindlessly—almost zombie-like—regurgitate the liberal talking points, asserting that if we could just get everyone in the health insurance pool, premiums would go down, not up.  Didn’t President Obama repeatedly promise that premiums would fall $2,500 for a family by the end of his first term?

So the government:
  • Provides coverage to an additional 45 million to 50 million uninsured Americans—note that the uninsured spend less than half of what the insured spend on health care, so their spending will rise significantly;
  • Requires insurance to cover lots of additional treatments and services, in many cases free of charge to the patient; and
  • Guarantees that people will spend very little out of pocket, which insulates them from the cost of their decisions;
And the president argues—well, he used to argue, until the facts could no longer be denied—that total health care spending would go down!

Every aspect of the current health insurance system that makes health care so expensive—requirements to cover lots of additional therapies, limiting patients’ cost exposure, and subsidizing the most expensive health plans (through employers or the government) so that more people will choose them—is in ObamaCare … on steroids.

Under normal conditions, health insurers and their actuaries would have spoken out vociferously, trying to inject some insurance principles into the debate.  But there were at least two countervailing factors this time around.

First, the Obama administration and the Democrats who controlled Congress at the time made it clear that they would make life—and the ability to do business—hell for any insurer that fought them.  I can recall talking to an insurance company executive in August of 2009, the summer of the huge rallies against ObamaCare, who told me he had a stack of red folders on his desk—demands from Democratic committee chairmen for various types of information.  The message was clear: get on board with ObamaCare or expect to spend a lot of time answering committee demands, or testifying before Congress, or worse.  So far I haven’t found anyone willing to speak out on the record about these strong-arm tactics—and probably won’t until 2013.

Second, the primary health insurance trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)—which is run by, Karen Ignani, who worked as a Democratic Hill staffer and for the AFL-CIO—never took an aggressive stand against ObamaCare.

Ignani and the AHIP board made a decision to work with the administration.  That was a reasonable approach at first.  However, insurers soon realized that ObamaCare would violate every actuarial principle of insurance and demonize them to boot—and yet barley a peep of dissent was heard from them.

In fact, I, as the director of a small free market health insurance research and advocacy group at the time, received some pressure to tone down our objections to ObamaCare.

Friday, September 30, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Born Terror Boss Anwar al-Awlaki Killed

While we were sleeping...

SANAA, Yemen – Terror mastermind and senior Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed, a senior U.S. official confirms.

The government of the Republic of Yemen has also released an official statement confirming Awlaki's death.

The Yemeni government said Awlaki was targeted and killed about five miles from the town of Khashef in the Province of Jawf.

The operation was launched earlier today at around 9:55 am, local time.

Yemeni security and tribal officials said an airstrike is thought to have been carried out by U.S. aircraft on Friday targeting a convoy of cars traveling in the eastern province of Marib.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Poll: Ron Paul vs Obama a dead heat in Florida

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling firm, shows Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., trailing President Obama by a mere one point in their latest poll of Florida voters. Obama has a 56 percent disapproval rating in the swing state.

Read Full Story

The Obama Code

The president's G's going missing, only to resurface. So what was he really saying?

"When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink." -- George Orwell, "Politics and the English language"

Last weekend, President Obama gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus. It would have passed largely unnoticed into the giant, gaseous cloud of accumulated Obama speeches that hangs somewhere above Washington had it not been for an Associated Press reporter dutifully doing his job.

Reporter Mark Smith quoted the President this way:
"Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes," he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. "Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do."
Though that is precisely what the president said, it differed from the official White House transcript, which included the three missing g's. Smith, sensing something important not in the president's words, but in the way he delivered them, thought it important not to change them. For that simple application of journalistic integrity, he was called a racist.

On Chris Hayes' MSNBC show, author and, unbelievably, professor of journalism Karen Hunter said the AP story was "inherently racist." She explained, "I teach a journalism class, and I tell my students to fix people's grammar, because you don't want them to sound ignorant. For them to do that, it's code, and I don't like it."

At this point it might be worth noting that in 2009 Hunter said, also on MSNBC, that people who show disrespect to the president are racist. For a professor, she certainly has issues with logic. Hunter, it would seem, is an expert at silencing dissent by alleging racism.

Why, though, would accurately quoting the president be racist? Because, Hunter believes, not cleaning up the president's grammar makes him "sound ignorant." Yet did the president himself not utter the words that way -- on purpose?

Anyone who has watched Obama speeches -- which would be anyone who has flipped on an American television set at any random time in the past three years -- knows that Obama does not always drop his g's. He made a conscious decision to do so when speaking before the Congressional Black Caucus. Whatever for?

Like Al Gore and Hillary Clinton before him, Obama went before a large black audience, dropped his normal manner of public speaking, and temporarily adopted the stereotypical cadence and rhythm of a black preacher. It was an embarrassing, transparent pander. He very deliberately attempted to sound less sophisticated -- "ignorant," to use Hunter's word (not mine).

Now the AP reporter present at the event understood that this was not the president's customary delivery, which made the delivery noteworthy. So he transcribed it verbatim.

"Normally, I lean toward the clean-it-up school of quote transcribing -- for everyone," Smith told Mediaite. "But in this case, the President appeared to be making such a point of dropping Gs, and doing so in a rhythmic fashion, that for me to insert them would run clearly counter to his meaning. I believe I was respecting his intent in this. Certainly disrespect was the last thing I intended."

Disrespect wasn't what Smith intended; but arguably it was what the president intended.

How else to describe the normally precise and famously articulate president trying to connect with a roomful of black lawmakers by speaking as though, again in Hunter's description, he were "ignorant"?

If Hunter is right that dropping the g's is "code" for calling someone ignorant, then surely the president, having dropped his g's to imply commonality with his audience, is guilty of suggesting that the entire Congressional Black Caucus is ignorant.

Banks to Make Customers Pay Fee for Using Debit Cards

Bank of America, the nation’s biggest bank, said on Thursday that it planned to start charging customers a $5 monthly fee when they used their debit cards. It was just one of several new charges expected to hit consumers as new regulations crimp banks’ profits.

Wells Fargo and Chase are testing $3 monthly debit card fees. Regions Financial, based in Birmingham, Ala., plans to start charging a $4 fee next month, while SunTrust, another regional powerhouse, is charging a $5 fee.

The round of new charges stems from a rule, which takes effect on Saturday, that limits the fees that banks can levy on merchants every time a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. The rule, known as the Durbin amendment, after its sponsor Senator Richard J. Durbin, is a crucial part of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.

Until now, the fees have been 44 cents a transaction, on average. The Federal Reserve in June agreed to cut the fees to about 21 cents. While the fee amounts to pennies per swipe, it rapidly adds up across millions of transactions. The new limit is expected to cost the banks about $6.6 billion in revenue a year, beginning in 2012, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. That comes on top of another loss, of $5.6 billion, from new rules restricting overdraft fees, which went into effect in July 2010.

And even though retailer groups had argued that lower fees were important to keep prices in check, consumers were not likely to see substantial savings. In fact, they are simply going to end up paying from a different pot of money.

Obamacare Has Arrived in the Supreme Court

The Heritage Foundation: Obamacare Has Arrived in the Supreme Court

In order to stack the court in ObamaCare's favor, Democrats are attacking Clarence Thomas, again. This will only get worse.

FoxNation: Dems Call For Inquiry of Clarence Thomas

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
click image for larger view


Obama administration widens challenges to state immigration laws

Honestly, I feel like I'm living in The Twilight Zone. Our federal government refuses to obey its own immigration laws and is suing states that are trying to uphold them. 

Homeland Security is making the case to Congress to build a border fence on the Canadian border and they are leaving the Mexican border open. What?! - Reggie


By , Thursday, September 29, 11:32 AM




The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court.

Justice Department attorneys have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge on Wednesday allowed key parts of that state’s immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, according to court documents and government officials.

The level of federal intervention is highly unusual, legal experts said, especially because civil rights groups already have sued most of those states. Typically, the government files briefs or seeks to intervene in other lawsuits filed against state statutes.

“I don’t recall any time in history that the Justice Department has so aggressively challenged state laws,” said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at George Washington University Law School.

The legal skirmishing was triggered by last year’s Arizona law, which requires that police check immigration status if they stop someone while enforcing other laws. Amid a fierce national debate, a Justice Department lawsuit led federal courts to block that measure’s most contested provisions, but similar laws were approved in recent months in Alabama, Utah, Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina. At least 17 other states have considered such measures this year.

Read the full article

Iranian Pastor faces execution for refusing to renounce Christianity

By Michelle Malkin  •  September 29, 2011 09:30 AM

Where are the Hollyweirdos and Euroweenies now?; Update: White House statement; Britain, EU stand up

Over the years, I’ve highlighted the plight of Muslim apostates around the world.
See here, here, and here, for example.

One of the early blog campaigns I was involved in focused on Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert who fled Afghanistan in 2006 and found safety in Italy after Muslim mobs demanded he be killed for abandoning Islam.

See:


To oppose the Koranic mandate of death for apostasy is to take on the entire sharia-enforcing Muslim world.

Which is why you never hear purported anti-death penalty bleeding-heart celebrities say a peep about it.

It takes no guts or brains for Hollywood liberals (hello, Alec Baldwin) and America-bashing Brit journalists (hello, U.K. Guardian editors) to bemoan the execution of a convicted Death Row cop-killer who was able to pursue every last legal avenue for more than two decades.

It tells you everything about their selective outrage that they have nothing to say about the latest impending execution in Iran of a Christian pastor:
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, the head of a network of Christian house churches in Iran, could be executed as soon as midnight Wednesday in Tehran for refusing to recant his religious beliefs and convert to Islam, said the chair of a commission that monitors religious freedom around the world.
A statement by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent advisory group appointed by the president and Congress, “expressed deep concern” for the man’s fate.
After four days of an appeals trial for apostasy, Nadarkhani refused to recant his beliefs.
Leonard Leo, chair of the commission, said the pastor “is being asked to recant a faith he has always had. Once again, the Iranian regime has demonstrated that it practices hypocritical barbarian practices.”
Leo said that while the trial is closed to the press, the commission collects information from sources in Iran and around the world. A release by the group says their responsibility is to “review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally.”
“I would be disappointed if at the end of this whole maelstrom, there was no statement by our government on this situation,” Leo said. “At some point the United States has to stand up for the right of this pastor and for human rights more broadly and call countries to account for what they are doing.”
The commission’s statement also called the trial a sham and said Iran is violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party.
Take action here.

ACLJ has been helping with Pastor Nadarkhani’s defense. Support them here.

No Debate, No Amendments and, now, No Votes?




Click here to read the blog post referenced by Senator Mike Lee, above.