CONTENTS: Barnes – NEWT; Kagan recuse?; Hillary to run?; Freind re Corbett/PSU; Steyn re PSU; Kerry’s stocks; Rangel honored; Jacoby – budget; November 23rd; Toomey’s tax hike; NYC bomber alone; 12/10 flash mobs; Pakistan; Capitalism; Sweden veers; OCare in court; Fairbanks cold
Announcements at p. 11 and at http://www.deadcatsandclippings.com/?page_id=3984
November 21, 1620: New arrivals to Massachusetts declared themselves to be free of laws. The Mayflower Compact reestablished mutual obligations. (Bennett & Cribb, 2008)
“Go get a job right after you take a bath.” Newt Gingrich, 2011 http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gingrich-occupy-wall-street-go-get-job-right-after-you-take-bath_609253.html
“Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s point man on budgetary matters, agreed with GOP colleagues that ‘spending is the problem.’ But he added that ‘this version of the balanced budget amendment makes it more likely taxes will be raised, government will grow and economic freedom will be diminished.’” http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/18/house-rejects-balanced-budget-amendment/
“The Super Committee could cut congressional pay.” Gabby Giffords
Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard: “The History of Newt”
“Before you dismiss Newt Gingrich for having too much “baggage” to win the Republican presidential nomination, much less the presidency, consider this:
“In 1980, when Ronald Reagan emerged as the likely Republican presidential nominee, President Carter’s advisers were thrilled. They’d done extensive opposition research. By pointing to what Reagan had said in speeches, radio commentaries, newspaper columns, and conversations, they assumed it would be easy to characterize him as a right-wing extremist. And enough voters would reject him and reelect Carter.
“They were wrong. It wasn’t that voters ignored Reagan’s offbeat comments. They just didn’t think eccentric statements he’d made over the years were important. Bigger things were at stake, like Soviet aggression and a stagnant economy. And Reagan had better answers than Carter…”
Kagan MAY Have to Must Recuse Herself…..
“In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder released Friday, four top Republican senators, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, demanded more information from the Justice Department regarding Kagan’s role in crafting the Obama administration’s legal defense against challenges to its health care reform. (RELATED: Cain calls for Kagan recusal)
“Kagan was solicitor general when Obama’s health care reform law was passed. During her confirmation hearings to be appointed to the Supreme Court, she said her involvement in matters related to the law was not “substantial.”
“However, the GOP senators said in their letter that the Justice Department ignored requests for documents from congressional oversight members that would have shed more light on Kagan’s role. They pointed to recently disclosed emails in which Kagan was looped into several discussions about meetings to formulate legal defenses against challenges to the law…”
Caddell & Schoen, WSJ: Hillary to Run?
“President Obama can’t win by running a constructive campaign, and he won’t be able to govern if he does win a second term.
“When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality—and he must reach the same conclusion.
“He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…”
Christopher Freind, DelCo Times: Corbett & PSU (excerpt)
“Pop Quiz: What’s the relationship between the following two statements:
1) “Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s national profile rises in the wake of Penn State scandal.”
2) “Tom Corbett has been mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential candidate.”
“Strangely, they are inversely proportional. When one’s profile rises, that’s typically a good thing. But as the nation learns about some very disturbing actions of Corbett related to the Penn State scandal, his Veep chances are plummeting. As a direct result, his chances of ever being a heartbeat away are between zero and forgetaboutit.
“At this rate, he may be lucky just to survive his first term…
“Corbett has attempted to have the best of both worlds: national publicity where he touts the virtues of morality, and a free pass on accountability because of alleged confidentiality issues. But that tactic has backfired, as the media spotlight turned on Corbett himself. The more that is learned about Corbett’s actions — and inactions — regarding the investigation, the more his credibility tanks.
“In yet another instance of Corbett finishing what former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell started (others being $20 million of taxpayer money to renovate the Yankees’ AAA stadium, and $42 million to bail out the Philadelphia Shipyard to build ships with no buyers), the Governor personally approved a $3 million taxpayer-funded grant to Sandusky’s Second Mile charity — just four months ago!
“Well, consider if the following may have had anything to do with it. According to the sports website Deadspin.com, past and present board members of the Second Mile, along with their businesses and families, have donated more than $640,000 to Corbett since 2003.
“That interesting — and massively significant — point seemed to have slipped the Governor’s mind during his press conferences. Go figure…”
Mark Steyn, NRO: PSU Moral Adolescents
“There is a famous if apocryphal tale of a Fleet Street theater critic covering the first night of a new play in the West End of London. At the end of the evening, he went to a public telephone and dictated his review. The following morning, a furious editor called him and demanded to know why he had neglected to mention that, midway through the third act, the theater had caught fire and burned to the ground. The critic sniffily replied that it was not his business to report fires, but that, if the editor had read more carefully, he would have observed that the review included a passage noting discreetly that the critic had been unable to remain for the final scenes.
“That, more or less, is the position of those Americans defending the behavior of the Penn State establishment…”
Quaratiello, Boston Herald: Kerrys – Love American Style
“U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry may have trouble getting a Boston-based publisher to retract portions of a new book that suggest he and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, may have profited in the stock market because of inside information he learned on the job.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt declined comment yesterday when asked about the Massachusetts Democrat’s demand for a retraction, which he made in a letter earlier this week.
“But Throw Them All Out author Peter Schweizer, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, told the Herald in an email yesterday: ‘No retraction. You cannot retract facts.’”
Dana Millbank, WaPo: Rangel Honored
“Almost exactly a year ago, members of Congress voted overwhelmingly to censure their colleagueCharlie Rangel for bringing dishonor on the House. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi summoned the New York Democrat to the well and chastised the congressman for his 11 ethics violations, which included improper fundraising.
“This week, Rangel again brought the House into disrepute — but this time he had the full support of his colleagues.
“‘Last night marked a momentous evening in my campaign for re-election,’ Rangel wrote Thursday in a letter to supporters. “At a special event in Washington, Democratic leaders including Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, Sandy Levin, John Conyers, Emmanuel Cleaver, and Steve Israel stood by my side and pledged their unwavering support on my behalf. I am so humbled and grateful for their involvement.”
“As further evidence of how he had gone from opprobrium to affirmation, Rangel attached an article from Politico headlined “What Censure? Rangel’s Back.” The article included quotes from Rangel taunting the House ethics committee members and saying his censure was all for show.
“It’s hard to quarrel with Rangel’s reasoning…”
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe: Budget
“For all the hyperventilating in recent months about ‘Draconian’ cuts and ‘slashing spending’and the ‘brutal’ scope of the automatic reductions that are supposed to take effect if Congress doesn’t approve an alternative, the bottom line is unchanged: The federal budget, like the federal establishment it funds, is grotesquely overweight and getting fatter by the day. The frantic stimulus spendathon has done nothing to heal the economy, and it is ludicrous that anyone can speak of the government’s current ‘austerity’ with a straight face. The deal that raised the federal debt ceiling last summer didn’t impose austerity on Washington’s budget-makers. It averted austerity.
“Sequestration – the triggering of automatic spending cuts if the supercommittee’s required deficit trims don’t materialize – will barely slow the spending train. Between 2013 and 2021, the federal budget is expected to grow by another $1.7 trillion. And if the sequester trigger is pulled? By another $1.6 trillion . If that’s ‘brutal,’ I’m Katy Perry.
“Like any morbidly obese patient, the federal behemoth needs to go on a diet. Ultimately the only prescription for reducing the government’s parade of yearly deficits and mounting debt without suffocating economic growth is to cut spending. Politicians find that a frightening prospect, and special interests and pressure groups don’t hesitate to exploit their fear .
But kicking out-of-control spending isn’t impossible. Other governments (and earlier administrations) have done it.
Smith & Temple-West, Reuters: November 23rd is the first of a series of deadlines and stalls…
“With a midnight Wednesday deadline fast approaching, the panel’s six Republican and six Democratic members were still far apart on how to attain a goal of finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over the next 10 years.
“The Republican members held a Saturday morning conference call among themselves, but details about what was said on it were not immediately available, aides said.
“Having rejected the latest Republican offer, the six Democrats were holding only private conversations this weekend, with no group meetings planned, aides said.
“In a telling remark, Republican Senator Jon Kyl, asked by reporters on Saturday about the No. 1 point of compromise now, said, ‘Well, I’m not sure there is one.’”
Harry Hamburg, Philly.com: Toomey’s Tax Hike
“…The Republican tax-hike overture has turned heads largely because its sponsors rank among Washington’s best-known critics of tax increases. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is a former head of the conservative Club for Growth. Backers of his plan include Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who holds similar stature among fiscal conservatives.
“Both are members of the 12-person bipartisan “supercommittee” tasked with reaching a debt-reduction deal by next week.
“Toomey’s plan would raise $300 billion in new tax revenues while overhauling the federal tax code. Republican officials say it would drop the top tax rate on personal income to 28 percent from the current 35 percent. It would reduce or eliminate some well-known itemized deductions and reduce the corporate tax rate.
“The plan also would extend the Bush-era tax cuts, now set to expire at the end of next year. Most Democrats oppose that idea. It also would trim cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.
“House Speaker John Boehner is among several top Republicans who have blessed Toomey’s plan…”
Lowman Henry, Lincoln Radio Journal: Take Over Harrisburg
(November 19, 2011 – November 25, 2011) This week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with Eric Montarti, Senior Policy Analyst at the Allegheny Institute about City of Harrisburg being taken over by the commonwealth; Joe Geiger from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations has David Thompson from the National Council of Nonprofits in the Nonprofit Spotlight; And,Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Retired) sits in for Scott Paterno with a commentary on why being pro-union is not the same as being pro-worker.
Boyd & Boyd, IssuesinEducation: Youth and the Voting Booth, 11/19/2011
“Why should Christians be involved in politics? Why is this next election so important? How can we get young voters energized and involved in elections? Cuts of Dennis Prager, on why America is the last, best hope for mankind. Cuts of Rep. Mike Pence, on why Republicans must not forget God and the right to life in politics. It’s exciting to hear enthusiastic, young Christians like Brianna Walden, with Teen Pack, tell how she teaches teens to appreciate our system of government and takes teens to state capitals to pray for, and meet their legislators, and write their own mock bills.”
Tom McElroy, Breitbart: Al Qaeda Bomber “Alone”
No fanatic is alone if he has a broadband connection…he/she will find teachers and sympathizers that make his/her actions more likely…
NEW YORK (AP) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday an “al-Qaida sympathizer” who plotted to bomb police and post offices in New York City and U.S. troops returning home has been arrested on numerous terrorism-related charges.
The mayor said Pimentel was “plotting to bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities as well as targeted members of our armed services returning from abroad.” But there was no evidence that he was working with anyone else, the mayor said.
“He appears to be a total lone wolf,” Bloomberg said at a news conference.
Pimentel was motivated by his resentement of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, fueled by al-Qaida propaganda, the mayor said. “He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad.”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: Occupy & Flash Mobs
Coming to Philadelphia on December 10th???
“Citing the success of last week’s so-called Day of Action protests, Take to the Square, one of Occupy’s main online planning forums, has devised an “Alternative Day of Action” to coincide with international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
“Our freedom and dignity are under attack as a result of market dynamics and corrupt government institutions that are turning our local and global societies into increasingly unjust places,” the site complains.
“The Occupy forum calls for “alternative forms of protest” and “new forms of action with a creative spirit.”
“Among the proposed actions: “We can organize public forums, workshops and flash-mobs; we can promote the movement at local schools and neighborhoods or get in contact with humanitarian organizations working with the same goals.”
“A flash mob refers to a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to perform a collective act and then disperse…”
Goldberg & Ambinder, The Atlantic: Pakistan – “The Ally from Hell”
“Pakistan would be an obvious place for a jihadist organization to seek a nuclear weapon or fissile material: it is the only Muslim-majority state, out of the 50 or so in the world, to have successfully developed nuclear weapons; its central government is of limited competence and has serious trouble projecting its authority into many corners of its territory (on occasion it has difficulty maintaining order even in the country’s largest city, Karachi); Pakistan’s military and security services are infiltrated by an unknown number of jihadist sympathizers; and many jihadist organizations are headquartered there already.
“There are three threats,” says Graham Allison, an expert on nuclear weapons who directs the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs a”t Harvard. The first is “a terrorist theft of a nuclear weapon, which they take to Mumbai or New York for a nuclear 9/11. The second is a transfer of a nuclear weapon to a state like Iran. The third is a takeover of nuclear weapons by a militant group during a period of instability or splintering of the state…
“…In an interview this summer in Islamabad, a senior official of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), the Pakistani military’s spy agency, told The Atlantic that American fears about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were entirely unfounded. “Of all the things in the world to worry about, the issue you should worry about the least is the safety of our nuclear program,” the official said. “It is completely secure.” He went on to say, “It is in our interest to keep our bases safe as well. You must trust us that we have maximum and impenetrable security. No one with ill intent can get near our strategic assets.
“Like many statements made by Pakistan’s current leaders, this one contained large elements of deceit…”
Gary Wolfram, Hillsdale, MRC: Capitalism…
“…The Occupy Wall Street movement has shown a lack of understanding of how the market capitalist system works. They appear to think that the cell phones they use, food they eat, hotels they stay in, cars they drive, gasoline that powers the cars they drive and all the myriad goods and services they consume every day would be there under a different system, perhaps in more abundance.
“But there is no evidence this could be or ever has been the case. The reason is that only market capitalism solves the two major problems that face any economy-how to provide an incentive to innovate and how to solve the problem of decentralized information. The reason there is so much innovation in a market system compared to socialism or other forms of central planning is that profit provides the incentive for innovators to take the risk needed to come up with new products.
“My mother never once complained that we did not have access to the latest Soviet washing machine. We never desired a new Soviet car. The socialist system relies on what Adam Smith referred to as the benevolent butcher and while there will undoubtedly be benevolent butchers out there, clearly a system that provides monetary rewards for innovators is much more dynamic and successful. The profit that the Occupy Wall Street protesters decry is the reason the world has access to clean water and anti-viral drugs.
“The other major problem that must be solved by any economic system is how to deal with the fact that information is so decentralized. There is no way for a central planner to know how many hot dogs 300 million Americans are going to want at every moment in time. A central planner cannot know the relative value of resources in the production of various goods and services. Market capitalism solves that problem through the price system. If there are too few hot dogs, the price of hot dogs will rise and more hot dogs will be produced. If too many hot dogs are produced, the price of hot dogs will fall and fewer will be produced.
“Market capitalism is the key to the wealth of the masses. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in his 1920 book, Socialism, only market capitalism can make the poor wealthy. Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek in his famous 1945 paper, The Use of Knowledge in Society, showed that only the price system in capitalism can create the spontaneous order that ensures that goods will be allocated in a way that ensures consumers determine the use of resources. The Occupy Wall Street movement would make best use of its time and energy in protesting the encroachment of the centrally planned state that led to the disaster of the Soviet Union, fascist Germany, and dictatorial North Korea.”
Nile Gardner, Telegraph: Krugman’s Wrong Again, Sweden Backs Away from Socialism
Thanks Dennis Prager,
“Krugman cites Sweden as an example of a social welfare success in Europe, but fails to mention two important points. Firstly, in recent years, Sweden has begun rolling back the welfare system and government expenditure while adopting important free market reforms. Secondly, Sweden decided to stay out of the eurozone, another key reason why it has so far kept out of the financial mess engulfing southern Europe. As Johnny Munkhammar, a Swedish member of parliament noted in a piece for The Wall Street Journal in January, Sweden owes its success not to welfare statism but to reforms that have increased economic freedom, including greater competitiveness in the provision of health care and other public services…”
“…All of the European countries now in deep trouble in Europe – Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal – are in the 17-member eurozone, and have deeply entrenched welfare systems, which have not been reformed along the lines of the Swedish model…”
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: Obamacare in Court
“Monday’s announcement that the Supreme Court will consider constitutional challenges to Obamacare has been met with hurrahs on the right. Count me a skeptic. And that’s not only, or even primarily, due to uncertainty about how the justices will rule. Big Government’s attempt to usurp control of the health-care sector, and all the control over our lives that would entail, poses the question of what kind of political society we are to be. That is not a legal question. The court case is significant, but secondary. This is a political issue…”
Tim Mowry, Newsminer: Fairbanks Cold
“FAIRBANKS – A mid-November cold snap seems to have caught even seasoned Fairbanksans off guard.
“I don’t think anybody was really expecting this,” 43-year-old Shawn Ross, a lifelong Fairbanksan, said. “This came out of the blue.”
“For the second time in three days, Fairbanks set a new low temperature record on Thursday. A temperature of 41 degrees below zero — the first 40 below temperature of the season — was recorded at Fairbanks International Airport at 6:29 a.m., according to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. That broke the old record of 39 below set in 1969.
“The cold air settling in the flatlands has concentrated air pollution. The Fairbanks North Star Borough issued air quality advisories on Wednesday and Thursday because particulate matter was above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards and rated as unhealthy for sensitive groups.
“Fairbanks set a new record of 35 below on Tuesday and the temperature bottomed out at 39 below on Wednesday, two degrees shy of the record.
“Thursday’s record low of 41 below marked the sixth earliest 40-below temperature recorded by the National Weather Service in Fairbanks since 1904. The earliest it’s ever hit 40 below in Fairbanks was Nov. 5, 1907, when it hit 41 below…”