CONTENTS: USAF Early Retirements; Newt (3); Afg supplies blocked (2); US Troops to detain Americans?; Occupy Philly ignored Nutter; Hanson – higher taxes; BO Care & Lobbies; Klein – CAIR/Occupy; Klein – Iran/al-Qaeda; Putin booed; BO’s small pox drug; Oil/Gas boom; WSJ – Tammany Hall; HBG raises; Steyn – MoreMoreMore; McCarthy – GOP subsidized mansions; Noonan – Steve on BO; Living on healthcare$; Dow down; sales up; Glick –Iraq disasters; USMC in AFG
Announcements at p.10 and at http://www.deadcatsandclippings.com/?page_id=3984
11/28/1925: Grand Ole Opry radio debut on WSM, Nashville
11/28/1942: Ford Motor Company, Ypsilanti, Michigan, produced the first B24 Liberator. Two years later, that line, “manned” by Rosie-the-Riveter, produced one every hour. (Bennett& Cribb, 2008)
“More, More, More…” Andrea True
November 30th: 157 USAF Majors Given Early Retirement
“The Chapman University of Military Law and its associated AMVETS Legal Clinic are blowing the whistle on what they say is an injustice set to be perpetrated on 157 Air Force majors on the last day of November.
“The Obama administration has ordered massive reductions in forces, resulting in many officers who are near retirement being involuntarily separated without retirement or medical benefits,” explained institute director Maj. Kyndra Rotunda.
“The Department of Defense specifies that service members within six years of retirement normally would be retained and allowed to retire on time with benefits, unless extenuating circumstances exist such as disciplinary issues…”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: Immigration – Newt Said It Before but Iowa Wasn’t Listening…
“Here is what Gingrich said Tuesday night when the discussion turned to illegal immigrants: “I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them…
“…Many of the social conservatives are deeply conflicted. They want to support Santorum but worry about his continued low standing in the polls. They’re impressed by Gingrich’s rise but have some long-standing worries about his positions and background. Gingrich’s performance Tuesday night could hurt his chances at a critical time.
“Rep. Steve King, an influential figure among social conservatives, says Gingrich’s statement “makes it harder” for King to support him. “I wouldn’t agree with him on that policy,” King told Iowa Public TV. “I think that when you give people even a promise that they can stay in the country after they’re here illegally, you become more of a magnet.”
“If a lot of Iowa caucus-goers take King’s position, Gingrich is in trouble…”
Meghashayam Mali, The Hill: Manchester Union Leader: Love for Newt
“GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich received the endorsement of the influential editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader on Sunday, providing another boost to his surging campaign.
“The endorsement gives the former House Speaker additional momentum after a month which has seen him vault to the top of national GOP polls.
“‘We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing,’ said the editorial by publisher Joseph W. McQuaid.
“‘A lot of candidates say they’re going to improve Washington. Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again,’ he added…”
Amity Shlaes, Bloomberg: Geek Love for Newt
“Whether his recent rise in the polls is lasting or not, Newt Gingrich has already shifted Campaign 2012 for the better. The feisty former speaker of the House has reminded us through his debate performances that knowledge is an important part of a president’s work.
“That a president must know something seems obvious. But our nation’s opinion writers (myself included) have often ranked knowledge behind a candidate’s character, electability or even, simply, novelty. And in the past voters have often done the same. . .”
Nathan Hodge, WSJ: Afghanistan Supplies
“Pakistan over the weekend closed key border crossings to North Atlantic Treaty Organization supply convoys following a deadly airstrike on Saturday.
“At least for now, the incident leaves U.S. troops in landlocked Afghanistan dependent on alternate supply routes that have been painstakingly set up to help steer clear of the region’s treacherous geopolitics.
“It also promises to strain the military-logistics system to capacity…”
Shams Monand, Reuters: Pakistan Retaliates
“(Reuters) – NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging U.S.-Pakistan relations deeper into crisis.
“Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan – used for sending in nearly half of the alliance’s land shipments – in retaliation for the worst such incident since Islamabad uneasily allied itself with Washington following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States….”
InfoWars: American Troops on American Soil to Detain Americans?
Thanks Paula … “Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil. That alone should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but there are other problems with these provisions that must be resolved…” Contact Senators Toomey and Casey…
“The ACLU’s Washington legislative office explains:
“The Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.”
And from Alex…
“I don’t know if you’ve looked at S 1867 (Department of Defense Authorization Act), but some Senators (McCain) want to be able to us the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens anywhere in the world – including the US. Chief perp: John McCain.
Go to www.senate.gov and check out the bill…”
WaPo: Occupy Philadelphia – Ignored Deadline to Move
“…Dozens of tents remained at the encampment outside Philadelphia’s City Hall Monday morning, twelve hours after a city-imposed deadline passed for the protesters to move to make way for a construction project.
“No arrests were immediately reported Monday. The camp appeared mostly quiet amid a heavy police presence, but around 5 a.m. EST a handful of people were marching one of the city’s main business corridors banging drums.
“The scene outside City Hall was quiet most of the day Sunday. But the sound of protesters’ drumming did bring complaints from several people living in nearby high-rise apartment buildings…”
Victor Davis Hanson, PJMedia: 12 Reasons Not to Pay Higher Taxes
“The usual liberal complaint against the conservative opposition to higher income taxes is greed and the better-offs’ self-serving reluctance to pay their “fair share.” But while perhaps true in some instances, I don’t think that is an accurate writ against most of those in that now demonized $200,000 and above categories who resent forking over more. Rather, here are a random 12 complaints that I hear from those who become furious about preposed higher income tax rates…”
Julian Pecquel, The Hill: SCOTUS, BOCare, and Lobbies
I’m not sure that I believe the conclusion…
“Next year’s Supreme Court decision on the healthcare reform law could be the most heavily lobbied ever.
“Corporations, unions, trade groups and advocates are expected to spend millions of dollars over the next few months trying to shape the court’s thinking on whether the law’s individual mandate is constitutional. Their efforts will include ideological appeals, popularity contests and recusal campaigns – none of which are likely to have much effect on the outcome of the case.
“‘More effort will go into pushing this boulder up this Sisyphean hill in the next three months than in any court case in history,’ predicted Tom Goldstein, co-founder of the legal affairs SCOTUS blog and a lawyer for AARP in defense of the law. ‘However many op-eds or TV ads or whatever you want to place, you’re just lighting money on fire when it comes to trying to change any Justice’s opinions on these questions’[emph added, jb]…”
Aaron Klein, WND: CAIR and Occupy…
“The recent executive director of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations’ South Florida chapter is a founder and spokesperson of Occupy Miami, KleinOnline has learned.
“Mohammad Malik currently serves as an activist with several other Islamic groups.
“He has led hate-filled anti-Israel protests in which participants were filmed wearing Hamas paraphernalia while chanting “Nuke Israel” and “Go back to the oven” – a reference to Jews being killed in the Holocaust.
“Malik has been widely quoted in the Florida news media in recent weeks speaking for Occupy Miami.
“The Miami Herald identified Malik as one of the organizers of Occupy Miami’s downtown campsite headquarters…”
“Aaron Klein: Iran Trains al-Qaeda”
JERUSALEM — In response to any future Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites, Iran has been training al-Qaeda elements in the Egyptian Sinai desert on how to coordinate retaliatory attacks, according to a senior Egyptian security official speaking to KleinOnline.
“The al-Qaeda attacks are meant to target both Israeli and Egyptian installations, the security official said, as part of an Iranian plot to widen any Israeli-Iranian conflict to involve other countries.
“The Egyptian official said there is also information Iran has been working with Islamic Salafist groups in Jordan that are allied with al-Qaida.
“The Iranian Revolutionary Guards helped to train al-Qaida elements in the Sinai and Gaza Strip to carry out large-scale attacks, including missile attacks, cross-border incursions, suicide bombings and explosions targeting infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines, the official said…”
BBC: Putin Booed
“Sometimes key moments in politics happen in the strangest of places and at unexpected times. Some Russia analysts are now asking whether a martial arts fight in Moscow’s Olimpisky Arena last Sunday night was one of those moments.
“The event was a mixed martial arts fight between Russia’s Fedor Emelianenko and America’s Jeff “The Snowman” Monson.
“It turned out the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in the crowd.
“He is almost certain to return to the presidency in the elections in March, after his protege, Dmitry Medvedev, agreed not to stand in order to give him a free run.
Emelianenko won the fight and Vladimir Putin climbed into the ring to congratulate him, and that was when the unthinkable happened.
“The crowd booed the previously untouchable prime minister as he started to speak, and continued to boo him except when he was praising Emilianenko…
“…A clip from Rossiya 2’s live broadcast appeared on YouTube and has been viewed 2.5m times…”
David Willman, LA Times: BO’s Small Pox Drug
“Reporting from Washington — A Senate subcommittee chairwoman is calling for a federal review of the Obama administration’s award of a $433-million sole-source contract for an experimental smallpox drug.
“Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), in a news release issued Wednesday by her subcommittee, said that she has asked the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate.
“McCaskill’s news release cited “serious questions” about the contract, noting that it had first been intended for only a small business and that, ultimately, it was awarded without competition to a larger company. McCaskill heads the subcommittee on contracting oversight, part of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Reforms…”
WSJ: The Non-Green Boom
“So President Obama was right all along. Domestic energy production really is a path to prosperity and new job creation. His mistake was predicting that those new jobs would be “green,” when the real employment boom is taking place in oil and gas.
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking the jobless trend. One is oil and gas production, which now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period.
“The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction—with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed.
“The oil and gas rush has led to a jobs boom. North Dakota has the nation’s lowest jobless rate, at 3.5%, and the state now has some 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil a day, four times the amount in 2006. The state reports more than 16,000 current job openings, and places like Williston have become meccas for workers seeking jobs that often pay more than $100,000 a year.
“Or take production in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale formation (emph added, jb), which the state Department of Labor and Industry says created 18,000 new jobs in the first half of 2011. Some 214,000 jobs are now tied to a natural gas industry that barely existed in the Keystone State a decade ago…”
Matthew Kaminski, WSJ: ‘The New Tammany Hall’
“’‘What has the country so angry,’ says Fred Siegel, ‘is the sense that crony capitalism has produced a population that lives off the rest of us without contributing. They’re right. It’s not paranoid.’
“The economic historian of the American city has spent a lot of this autumn on Wall Street. He met many of the protesters who camped out at Zuccotti Park, before the city’s finest cleared them out last week. He also knows the bankers and finds the theater of the Occupy movement ironic.
“‘They’re on the same side of the street politically,’ he says. ‘They’re both in favor of big government. The Wall Street people I talk to, they get it completely.’ What he means is that the Bush and Obama administrations bailed out the large banks, and that economic stimulus and near-zero interest rates kept them flush. ‘Obama’s crony capitalism has been very good for New York’s crony capitalism,’ he says. Over at Zuccotti Park, ‘there are a few people there who do get it, but very little of their animosity follows from this.’
“One can appreciate why the ‘we are the 99%’ militants might resist Mr. Siegel’s logic. He links the liberalism of the 1960s, not any excess of the free market, to today’s crisis. The Great Society put the state on growth hormones. Less widely appreciated, the era gave birth to a powerful new political force, the public-sector union. For the first time in American history there was an interest dedicated wholly to lobbying for a larger government and the taxes and debt to pay for it…”
Mercury: PA Pols Gave Selves a Raise on December 1st
“HARRISBURG — State lawmakers in Pennsylvania will get a 3 percent pay raise starting next week, pushing the annual salary for rank-and-file legislators above $80,000 for the first time.
“The automatic cost-of-living adjustment, which is based on the rate of inflation, means legislators will now earn $82,026, up from the current $79,623, according to a story in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The four legislative caucus leaders will now earn $118,845 per year, up from $115,364.
“Raises for top executive branch and judicial positions take effect Jan. 1. The governor’s annual salary will rise to $183,250, from $177,888.
“However, Gov. Tom Corbett has decided to retain the 2010 rate of $174,914, and will donate his raise to charity. It was not immediately clear which organization(s) he would support.”
Mark Steyn, NRO: “More More More”
“I see Andrea True died earlier this month. The late disco diva enjoyed a brief moment of global celebrity in 1976 with her ubiquitous glitterball favorite:
“More More More
“How do you like it?
“How do you like it?
“More More More
“How do you like it?
“How do you like it?
“In honor of Andrea’s passing, I have asked my congressman to propose the adoption of this song as the U.S. national anthem. True, Miss True wrote the number as an autobiographical reflection on her days as a porn-movie actress but, consciously or not, it accurately distills the essence of American governmental philosophy in the early 21st century: excess even unto oblivion…”
“The government of the United States currently spends $188 million it doesn’t have every hour of every day. So, if it’s $1 billion in “real, enforceable cuts,” in the time it takes to roast a 20 lb. stuffed turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, the government’s already borrowed back all those painstakingly negotiated savings. If it’s $7 billion in “real, enforceable cuts,” in the time it takes you to defrost the bird, the cuts have all been borrowed back…”
Andy McCarthy, NRO: GOP Subsidized Mansions
“Almost two weeks ago, when they figured no one was watching, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, by an overwhelming 292–121 margin, voted to increase funding for the Federal Housing Administration. Just as government debt hit $15 trillion, edging closer to 100 percent of GDP, these self-proclaimed scourges of spending decided Uncle Sam should continue subsidizing mini-mansion mortgage loans — up to nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
Given the straits that the mortgage crisis has left us in, to say nothing of the government’s central role in getting us there, one might think Republicans would be asking whether the government should be in the housing business at all…”
Noonan: Jobs and Politicians
“…America is in political decline in part because we’ve elevated salesmen—people good on the hustings and good in the room, facile creatures with good people skills—above people who love the product, which is sound and coherent government—”good government,” as they used to say. To make that product you need a certain depth of experience. You need to know the facts, the history, how the system works, what the people want, what the moment demands.
“You might say the rise of Barack Obama was the triumph of a certain sort of salesman. He didn’t know the product, but he was good at selling an image of the product, at least for a while. In time even his salesmanship came to seem hollow. One of the most penetrating criticisms of Mr. Obama came again from Jobs, who supported him but was frustrated by him. He met with the president last year and urged him to move forward on visas for foreign students who earned an engineering degree in the U.S. Mr. Obama blandly replied that this was covered in his comprehensive immigration bill, which Republicans were holding up. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson: ‘The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can’t get done.’”
Paige Cunningham, Washington Times: Living Off of Healthcare
“In cash-strapped Washington, President Obama’s $1 trillion health care law is presenting a tempting target for lawmakers seeking funds for other projects, as Congress last week raided the health care piggy bank for the third time in less than a year.
Congress last week axed a part of Democrats’ signature domestic achievement to find $11 billion to cover the cost of repealing a withholding tax that otherwise would have hit government contractors in 2013. Mr. Obama signed that bill into law on Monday.
The withholding bill follows two other efforts — one in December and another in April — that reworked the health care law to squeeze savings for other priorities. The December bill funded higher payments for doctors who treat Medicare patients, and the April legislation repealed a paperwork provision in the original health care law that businesses said would be onerous.
All told, Congress and the president have tapped some $50 billion earmarked to pay for benefits and programs in the health care overhaul in future years to fund more-immediate spending needs.
Both earlier efforts dealt with health care issues, but the bill Mr. Obama signed Monday marks the first time that the massive 2010 law has been tapped to fund something completely unrelated…”
Jee Yeon Park, CNBC: Dow – Worst Thanksgiving Week since 1932
Stocks closed in negative territory in thin, shortened trading Friday as investors were reluctant to go long ahead of the weekend and amid ongoing worries over the euro zone.
The Dow and S&P posted their worst Thanksgiving week since the Great Depression on a percentage basis.
Jessica Dickler, CNN: Black Friday Sales Up
“Total spending over the four-day weekend following Thanksgiving reached a record $52.4 billion, up 16% from $45 billion last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation released Sunday.
“A record 226 million consumers shopped in stores and online between Thursday and Sunday, up from 212 million last year. Individual shoppers spent more too, the NRF said. The average holiday shopper shelled out $398.62, up from $365.34 in 2010…”
Caroline Glick, BigPeace: Iraq – the Mother of All Disasters
“…Iranian-allied Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is purging the Iraqi military and security services and the Iraqi civil service of pro-Western, anti- Iranian commanders and senior officials. With American acquiescence, Maliki and his Shi’ite allies already managed to effectively overturn the March 2010 election results. Those elections gave the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya party led by former prime minister Ayad Allawi the right to form the next government.
“Due to Maliki’s actions, Iraq’s Sunnis are becoming convinced they have little to gain from peacefully accepting the government.
“The strategic implications of Maliki’s purges are clear. As the US departs the country next month it will be handing its hard-won victory in Iraq to its greatest regional foe – Iran. Repeating their behavior in the aftermath of Israel’s precipitous withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, the Iranians and their Hezbollah proxies are presenting the US withdrawal from Iraq as a massive strategic victory.
“They are also inventing the rationale for continued war against the retreating Americans. Iran’s Hezbollah-trained proxy, Muqtada al-Sadr, has declared that US Embassy personnel are an “occupation force” that the Iraqis should rightly attack with the aim of defeating.
“The US public’s ignorance of the implications of a post-withdrawal, Iranian-dominated Iraq is not surprising. The Obama administration has ignored them and the media have largely followed the administration’s lead in underplaying them…”
Breitbart: Top Marine – Thanksgiving in Afghanistan
“The U.S. Marines’ top general, James Amos, sprinted up and down the Helmand River Valley in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, visiting frontline Marines at nine remote outposts to share Thanksgiving and applaud their gains against the Taliban in a region where al-Qaida hatched the 9/11 plot a decade ago.
“Traveling mostly in an MV-22 Osprey, the hybrid that flies like an airplane and takes off and lands like a helicopter, Amos began shortly after daylight and finished 14 hours later—and, improbably, managed to confront just one turkey dinner…
“…Amos shook hands with hundreds of Marines, all veterans of tough fighting in Helmand Province, which has been a focal point of the U.S.-led strategy to counter the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The Marines have vastly improved security in Helmand over the past year, but with President Barack Obama having ordered 33,000 U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by next September, the prospects for sustaining those gains are uncertain, and the subject of debate at home…”