Friday, December 05, 2008

Lots to catch up with today so short excerpts only:

A good comment from Taranto: "Barack Obama has dropped yet another left-wing campaign promise, the Houston Chronicle reports: "Obama has shelved a proposal to slap the oil and gas companies with a new windfall profits tax because oil prices have dropped so much in recent months, the transition team confirmed today. "President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel," a transition aide said. "They are currently below that now and expected to stay below that." Funny how politicians always vilify "Big Oil" when prices are high, but they never give it credit when prices are low. Some industries just can't win."

Some Anglicans still respect the Bible: "A collection of breakaway Episcopalians have formed a single denomination to rival the mainstream U.S. church, cementing a schism that was largely prompted by the election in 2003 of a gay bishop. Their new "Anglican Church in North America" said it includes four dioceses that recently split from the Episcopal church, as well as several splinter groups, 1,000 clergy and an estimated 700 parishes, said the Rev. Peter Frank, spokesman for the Right Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh, who months ago lead his diocese away from the Episcopal church. A spokesman in the Episcopal church said he was dubious the numbers were that high. The new church will seek recognition from the world-wide Anglican communion, including its leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams."

Zogby: Palin Top 2012 Contender: "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the slight favorite of Republican voters as the best candidate the party could run for President in 2012. When all voters are asked that questions, Palin falls into a three-way tie with Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal. Those are among the findings of a Zogby Interactive poll of 24,964 voters conducted from Nov. 7-18. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/-0.6 percent

Bias by omission: ""While Americans sat through football games, planned their 'Black Friday' morning shopping, and all in all enjoyed a quiet and peaceful Thanksgiving, terrorists in India were slaughtering more than 200 innocent people. Westerners, particularly U.S. and British citizens, were primary targets. The fact that it was a peaceful American Thanksgiving went unnoticed by most. The fact that this has been the case since the Al Qaida attacks on America of Sept. 11, 2001, also went little noticed. That all of this coincides with and is a result of President Bush's prosecution of the war on Islamist extremism is never highlighted."

Bailout Lacks Oversight, GAO Says: 'The rapid pace of implementation and evolving nature of the program have hampered efforts to put a comprehensive system of internal control in place,' [a new GAO report] said. 'Until such a system is fully developed and implemented, there is heightened risk that the interests of the government and taxpayers may not be adequately protected and that the program objectives may not be achieved in an efficient and effective manner"

Why should a failing automaker receive a bailout? : "One could debate this issue via all manner of economic logic, and maybe I'll get to that later, but let's examine this situation morally first. Is it the responsibility of the U.S. taxpayer to make sure these automakers remain solvent? No. Is it the responsibility of the U.S. taxpayer to make sure that people who work for the Big Three keep working? No. Is it the fault of the U.S. taxpayer that the Big Three are currently insolvent? Yes, partially. (That's not a misprint.) Taxpayers comprise the market and, of course, it is a market response that causes firms like GM to be losing money. GM is selling stuff that people don't want to buy, for whatever reason and so, few buy. GM is supposed to be losing money! Until and unless the U.S. automakers manage themselves in a way that: a) creates products that people want to buy and b) at a price that supports the expenses of the business, they should lose money. That's the choice that the market is destined to make, unless the government intervenes and screws things up."

The Mumbai Strategy: "The Mumbai terrorist attacks have opened a new chapter in the war against terrorism. They remind us that Islamic radicalism owes more to classic Leninist thinking than to the Koran. This wasn't some desperate move to make a statement. It was a carefully planned operation, under the command of sophisticated leadership--the group responsible had links to al-Qaida, according to many reports--in order to achieve a strategic, indeed worldwide, goal. Before the attacks, India and Pakistan were on the verge of concluding an alliance against their de facto common enemy, Islamic radicalism, under the guidance of the American government. In reviving Indians' fears that they were once again under attack from Pakistani security forces, the Mumbai atrocities may well disrupt the projected alliance. Further, the attack on Mumbai took place in advance of decisive provincial elections in India: vociferous Hindu nationalist parties will undoubtedly exploit anti-Muslim feelings for political gain. The timing of the Mumbai attack, like that of al-Qaida's Madrid bombing in 2003, confirms the broader Islamist-terror movement's sophisticated strategy."

Too little, too late? "Worried about their jobs and warned that the cost of failure could be a depression, hundreds of leaders of the United Auto Workers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to make concessions to the struggling Detroit Three, including all but ending a much-derided program that let laid-off workers collect up to 95 percent of their salaries. "Everybody has to give a little bit," said Rich Bennett, an official for Local 122 in Twinsburg, Ohio, representing Chrysler workers. "We've made concessions. We really feel we're doing our part." Union leaders also agreed to let the cash-starved automakers delay billions of dollars in payments to a union-administered trust set to take over health care for blue-collar retirees starting in 2010. In addition, they decided to let the Detroit leadership begin renegotiating elements of landmark contracts signed with the automakers last year, a move that could lead to wage concessions."

Huge bureaucratic bungle in Britain: "The Serious Fraud Office suffered a huge defeat yesterday with the collapse of its $50 million, six-year investigation into alleged price fixing among drug manufacturers. The Court of Appeal in London rejected the SFO's appeal against the striking out of its indictment in July this year against five pharmaceutical companies. The decision, reached in less than 1« hours, raises a question mark over the future of such lengthy and complex investigations by the SFO. The investigation dwarfs any other undertaken by the office. At one stage it involved every lawyer and every accountant at the SFO, its entire forensic computing unit and 100 police officers from the National Crime Squad as well as the entire Metropolitan Police fraud squad."

Clinton's confirmation may spark Constitutional battle : "The biggest obstacle facing Hillary Clinton's Senate confirmation as President-elect Barack Obama's top diplomat may not be her husband's wheeling and dealing abroad for his foundation, as many suspected. Instead, it could be the U.S. Constitution. According to an emolument clause in the Constitution, no lawmaker can be appointed to any civil position that was created or received a wage increase during the lawmaker's time in office. President Bush ordered Cabinet salaries raised to $191,300 from $186,600 by executive order early this year, while Clinton was senator."

Massachusetts. None dare call it corruption: ""When the Legislature granted 20 new, highly coveted liquor licenses to Boston in late 2006 to meet pent-up demand, the city's Licensing Board did not hesitate to dole them out. In less than three months, it awarded licenses to five bars in South Boston and five more in the South End, two in the North End, two in Chinatown, and a handful of others from Roxbury to Beacon Hill. But . one element remained remarkably constant: the same set of politically connected lawyers. The majority of the license recipients hired the same firm, McDermott, Quilty & Miller. The firm's clients won 13 of the 20 new licenses, or 65 percent."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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