CONTENTS: Scrooge a lib; Capturing Trenton; GeoWill – simple taxes; EPA takes Texax; PayGo to CutGo; Taranto – ignorance about terrorism; Krauthammer – BO’s December; START/EMP from Venezuela; Pigford simmers; Islam/DADT; Seattle anti-ISR ads; Assange vs terrorists; Jews driven from Amsterdam; What is marriage?; “Hate” in marriage debate; Malkin – Net neutrality; Jet stream veered
Announcements at p. 7 and at http://www.deadcatsandclippings.com/?page_id=394
“To the goyim He gives bacon, sweet pork, juicy sirloin, and rare prime ribs of beef. To us He gives a pastrami. In Egypt we get the fat of the land. In Leviticus He prohibits us from eating it.” King David (Joseph Heller, 1958, 35)
“I was at a – forgive the expression – Christmas Party.” Nina Totenberg, http://www.breitbart.tv/nprs-totenberg-i-was-at-a-forgive-the-expression-christmas-party/
Philadelphia’s Christmas Village is now Holiday Village.
12/25/1651: “By order of Puritan lawmakers in Massachusetts, any colonist caught observing Christmas with feasts or other festivities is fined five shillings.” (Bennett & Cribb, 2008)
12/25/1776: “George Washington’s army crosses the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ” (Bennett & Cribb, 2008)
12/24/2010: Christian groups have fled from Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Gaza, decimating those groups while America is silent. Rick Santorum. See also Nina Shea: “Their Last Christmas” http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/219579/their-last-christmas/nina-shea
And: “…Christians in the Middle East are Under Seige”
Ann Coulter: “Scrooge Was a Liberal”
“It’s the Christmas season, so godless liberals are citing the Bible to demand the redistribution of income by government force. Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are the Health and Human Services bureaucrats, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”?
“Liberals are always indignantly accusing conservatives of claiming God is on our side. What we actually say is: We’re on God’s side, particularly when liberals are demanding God’s banishment from the public schools, abortion on demand, and taxpayer money being spent on Jesus submerged in a jar of urine and pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with pornographic photos.
“But for liberals like Al Franken, it’s beyond dispute that Jesus would support extending federal unemployment insurance.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with the Bible, but it does nicely illustrate Shakespeare’s point that the “devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”
Rich Lowry, NRO: “America’s First Christmas”
“With New Jersey boiling and expiring enlistments about to reduce his army further, Washington decided on a scheme to cross the Delaware on Christmas and surprise the Hessian garrison in Trenton. “If the raid backfired,” Chernow writes, “the war was likely over and he would be captured and killed.”
“Behind schedule, Washington’s main force of 2,400 started crossing the river that night. Yes, most of them were standing up in flat-bottomed boats. Yes, there were ice floes. It wasn’t until 4 a.m. that all the men were across the river. They had nine miles still to march to Trenton in a driving storm and no chance of making it before daybreak. Washington considered calling it off, but he had already come too far.
“Arriving at Trenton at 8 a.m., his spirited troops seemed “to vie with the other in pressing forward,” he wrote afterward. They surprised the Hessians, not because they were sleeping off a Christmas bender. Harried in hostile New Jersey, the Hessians had exhausted themselves on constant alert. They didn’t expect an attack in such weather, though. The battle ended quickly — 22 Hessians killed, 83 seriously wounded, and 900 captured, to two American combat deaths.”
George Will, WaPo: Dave Camp Makes Taxes Simple
“In George W. Bush’s 2004 speech to the Republican convention, he denounced the tax code as ‘a complicated mess’ that annually requires “6 billion hours of paperwork” – now estimated at 7.6 billion. He vowed to “simplify” it. The audience cheered. Then he promised new complexities. There would be ‘opportunity zones’ – tax relief for depressed areas – and a tax credit to encourage businesses to establish health savings accounts. The audience cheered.
“This is perennial mischief – using the tax code not simply to raise revenue efficiently (with minimal distortion of economic behavior) but to pamper pet causes, appease muscular interests and make social policy. Since 1986, the tax code has acquired more than 15,000 complications.
“‘Targeted’ tax cuts are popular complexities because they serve a bossy government’s agenda of behavior modification: You can keep more of your money if you do what Washington wants. The tax code, says Camp, “should not be a tool of industrial policy” or of “crony capitalism”: “Politicians should not pick the industry of the day.”
EPA’s Congressional By-Pass
“Stymied in Congress, the Obama administration is moving unilaterally to clamp down on greenhouse emissions, announcing plans for new power plants and oil refinery emission standards over the next year.
“In an announcement posted on the agency’s website late Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said the aim was to better cope with pollution contributing to climate change.”
Making Texas Poor/States Rights? “EPA taking over greenhouse gas permits in Texas”
PayGo to CutGo
“Democrats, for the most part, often prefer to offset spending with a mix of spending cuts and increased taxes, though they haven’t actually done so very often in the last four years.
“To prevent deficit reduction from being used as an excuse for tax hikes, Republicans are getting rid of the “Pay-As-You-Go” rule and replacing it with a “Cut-As-You-Go” rule.
“The rule will require that any legislation that seeks to increase mandatory spending (which is spending that once added to the federal budget recurs year after year and is thus permanent) cuts spending by a similar amount.”
James Taranto, WSJ: “Ignorance about terrorism–negligent and willful”
“If Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s remark that the government is “working . . . 364 days a year to keep the American people safe” made you nervous, you can relax. In another interview in the same ABC News series, President Obama’s “top aide on intelligence appeared to be completely unaware . . . of the arrests this week of 12 men accused of plotting an Al-Qaeda-inspired attack,” Agence France-Presse reports:
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked about the attacks, with ABC News interviewer Diane Sawyer posing the questions: “First of all, London. How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here?”
After a long pause, Clapper replied, “London?” . . .
The 12 men were arrested Monday in a sweep in the Welsh capital Cardiff, the central English town of Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and in London.
Sawyer brought up Clapper’s apparent ignorance of the developments later in the interview.
“I was a little surprised you didn’t know about London,” she said.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t,” Clapper replied.
“Later Clapper’s office put out a statement calling the question “ambiguous” and asserting: “The DNI’s knowledge of the threat streams in Europe is profound and multi-dimensional, and any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate.”
Krauthammer: Obama’s “Amazing” December
An amazing demonstration of political immorality…celebrating after he threw away his army….
“He had a unbelievable December, he came back in a way that is quite stunning..He restored himself as a player in Washington, he’s relevant and what he’s achieved is quite amazing…That’s a lot to achieve for a guy that got shellacked and was on the mat, he got off the mat in a way that was not expected.” Note: at 5:20 you’ll see Stephen Hayes shaking his head in disagreement.”
Frank Gaffney, BigPeace: The Coming Venezuelan Missile Crisis
“According to the German daily Die Welt, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has agreed to grant Iran a “military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard [Corps] and Venezuelan missile officers.” The paper goes on to report that these troops will be equipped with not only relatively short-range Scud B and C ballistic missiles – well suited for threatening Venezuela’s neighbors. They will also get the Iranian Shahab-3 missiles – weapons that have sufficient range (1300-1500 km) to reach the United States.
“The Shahab 3 was also the missile tested by the Iranian regime in a manner that appears suited to conducting a strategic electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack by lofting a nuclear weapon into space and detonating it at several hundred miles altitude. According to a blue-ribbon congressional commission, such an attack on this country would be “catastrophic.” By damaging or destroying our electrical grid and electronic devices, the nation would be swiftly reduced to a pre-industrial society.” (Emph added, jb)
McClatchy Doubts START
“The missile defense system that President Barack Obama plans to deploy in Europe starting next year may not function properly and could face significant cost overruns, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog agency warned Tuesday.
“The report raises questions about legislation that would strengthen the U.S. commitment to the deployment plan that the White House was negotiating in return for Republican votes it needed for Senate approval of a new U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction treaty.
“According to the Government Accountability Office, Obama has committed the Defense Department “to a schedule that could be challenging to meet, based on the technical progress of missile defense element development and testing programs.”
“Moreover, the administration committed the Pentagon “to this schedule before the scope of the development efforts was fully understood, GAO said in its report to a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. The GAO is an investigative arm of Congress.
“The GAO report was released five days after an interceptor designed to destroy ballistic missiles in flight missed its target over the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. missile defense program’s second failed test this year. It was the seventh failure in 15 tests since 1999.”
Jed Babbin, Real Clear Politics: The Coming Venezuela Missile Crisis
“Unless President Obama acts decisively to stop the Iranian missiles and the Iranian base from being set up in Venezuela, Ahmadinejad will have succeeded where Kruschev failed. With Chavez in thrall to Iran, the terrorist nation will have gained a foothold in our hemisphere, proving able to do in South and Central America what it has done in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Pajamas Media: Iran’s Missiles in Venezuela
“Recent revelations about hostile incursions into South America have raised alarm in those who care about U.S. interests and security, particularly in America’s hemisphere. They have also raised questions about whether the Monroe Doctrine — America will tolerate no hostile incursions in her own hemisphere — is dead. These revelations have been, for the most part, ignored by those who care little for American sovereignty and security, such as the MSM and apparently the Obama administration.
“Among the two most alarming revelations is the already completed sale and delivery, to Venezuela by Russia, of nearly 2,000 advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles capable of hitting aircraft as high as 19,000 feet. Equally and perhaps more alarming is an October agreement between Iran and Venezuela. The agreement establishes a joint ground-to-ground missile base on Venezuelan soil and calls for the sharing of missile technology and the training of technicians and officers. In addition, Venezuela may use the missiles as it chooses for “national needs” and in case of “emergency.” Several types of missiles will be deployed, giving Venezuela the ability to strike targets throughout South and Central America and throughout the U.S.”
“Yesterday, Pigford report co-author Peter Schweizer spoke to a specific USDA inside job wherein a federal employee was getting paid by Pigford lawyers to illegally sign up fraudulent claimants. Today, former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Mike Espy, who now represents thousands of Pigford II claimants, says there is “no doubt” that he has heard those reports, and furthermore says there are FBI investigations that have looked into these troubling allegations. This comports with the Big Government witness report from a retired FBI agent who is willing to testify that he has evidence of widespread fraud involving Pigford claimants in Arkansas and a USDA employee, who still is on the job.”
Islam & DADT
“Though President Obama signed the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ Wednesday, critics of repeal say important questions remain about the external problems the new policy may create, such as those revolving around gay troops serving in Muslim countries.
“Will DADT repeal aid America in pushing these countries down a path of cultural openness, or inspire a harmful backlash? This concern, critics say, was not dealt with in the Pentagon’s report on the DADT repeal and was overlooked in the rush to pass the repeal legislation.”
Anti-Israel Ads Fuel Controversy in Seattle
“A group called the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign paid King County 1,794 dollars to plaster the ads on the sides of 12 buses starting Monday to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the start of Israel’s war with Gaza.
“The ads are due to run for four weeks.
“Operation Cast Lead, launched by Israel in response to hundreds of rockets fired into the Jewish state, killed 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians. Thirteen Israelis, 10 of them soldiers, also died.
“In a website created to accompany the ads, stop30billion-seattle.org, Seattle activist Ed Mast explained he was protesting a 2007 promise by the United States to give 30 billion dollars in military aid to Israel over the next decade.”
Assange vs. American “Terrorists”
“In an interview during the Dylan Ratigan Show, being conducted by fill-in host Cenk Uygur, Assange also addressed the suggestion that he be considered a “high tech terrorist,” an expression used by both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden.
Assange rejected the idea, and instead claimed that terrorism was being conducted by Republicans, Democrats, and Fox News:
“So it’s clear that whoever the terrorists are here, it’s not us.
“But we see constant threats from people in the Re — you know, Republicans in the Senate trying to make a — a name for themselves, the people like Sarah Palin, top shock jocks on Fox and, unfortunately, some members, also, of the Democratic Party, calling for my assassination, calling for the illegal kidnapping of my staff.
“And — and just a few days ago, it was in Fox, that was the phrase that was used — illegal. He should be illegally murdered if necessary– assassinated by the law, if possible, if not, illegally.
“What sort of message does that send about the rule of law in the United States?
Robert Spencer: “Muslim immigrants driving Jews out of Amsterdam”
“A son of a prominent rabbi in the Netherlands has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism. Benzion Evers, son of well-known Dutch rabbi Raphael Evers, told De Telegraaf that he feels ‘suffocated and caged’ in his home country due to anti-Jewish sentiment.
“‘It’s not that you can’t leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful,’ he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants.
“While anti-Semitism is not uncommon among Muslim immigrants, particularly those from Morocco and Turkey, there is a second kind of anti-Semitism that is common in the Netherlands as well, Evers said, an educated anti-Semitism that is disguised as anti-Zionism.”
Robert George: “What Is Marriage?”
“Abstract: In the article, we argue that as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction. We further argue that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.
“Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy.”
Matt Frank, WaPo: “Hate” in the Marriage Debate
“Clearly a determined effort is afoot, in cultural bastions controlled by the left, to anathematize traditional views of sexual morality, particularly opposition to same-sex marriage, as the expression of “hate” that cannot be tolerated in a decent civil society. The argument over same-sex marriage must be brought to an end, and the debate considered settled. Defenders of traditional marriage must be likened to racists, as purveyors of irrational fear and loathing. Opposition to same-sex marriage must be treated just like support for now long-gone anti-miscegenation laws.
“This strategy is the counsel of desperation. In 30 states, the people have protected traditional marriage by constitutional amendment: In no state where the question has been put directly to voters has same-sex marriage been adopted by democratic majorities…”
Michelle Malkin: Net Neutrality
“When bureaucrats talk about increasing our “access” to x, y or z, what they’re really talking about is increasing exponentially their control over our lives. As it is with the government health care takeover, so it is with the newly approved government plan to “increase” Internet “access.” Call it Webcare.
“By a vote of 3-2, the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday adopted a controversial scheme to ensure “net neutrality” by turning unaccountable Democratic appointees into meddling online traffic cops. The panel will devise convoluted rules governing Internet service providers, bandwidth use, content, prices and even disclosure details on Internet speeds. The “neutrality” is brazenly undermined by preferential treatment toward wireless broadband networks. Moreover, the FCC’s scheme is widely opposed by Congress — and has already been rejected once in the courts. Demonized industry critics have warned that the regulations will stifle innovation and result in less access, not more.”
Also: “Gutting the First Amendment to our sacred Constitution by Democrats”
“The Federal Communications Commission’s new “net neutrality” rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations. The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.
“There’s little evidence the public is demanding these rules, which purport to stop the non-problem of phone and cable companies blocking access to websites and interfering with Internet traffic. Over 300 House and Senate members have signed a letter opposing FCC Internet regulation, and there will undoubtedly be even less support in the next Congress.”
Jet Stream Diverted
“The freezing conditions that have blasted Britain are being blamed on a series of weather patterns that are bringing Arctic temperatures to much of western Europe, California and even Australia.
“One of the main factors is a change in the position of the jet stream – the fast-moving current of air that moves from west to east, high in the atmosphere.
“Changes in the jet stream’s path can cause massive changes in weather conditions across the globe and may be why Australians are now shivering their way through summer and the current freezing conditions in California.
“In a normal British winter – when conditions are mild and soggy – the jet stream lies over northern Europe, at an altitude of between 35,000 to 50,000 feet.
“During these grey winters, Britain’s prevailing winds come from the west and south west, and bring with them warm and moist air from the sub-tropical Atlantic.
“This year a high-pressure weather system over the Atlantic is blocking the jet stream’s normal path and forcing it to the north and south of Europe.
“The areas of high pressure act like stones in a stream – blocking the normal flow of milder air from the west and instead forcing colder air from the north down across the UK.
“In California more than 12 inches of rain has fallen in parts of the Santa Monica Mountains in the south and 13 feet of snow has accumulated at Mammoth Mountain ski resort.
“And Australians expecting to bask in early summer sun this Christmas are instead shivering as icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean have blanketed parts of east coast states New South Wales and Victoria with up to four inches of snow.”
Pick the News that You Want
WikiLeaks: Browse the Data Base
Jerusalem Post Coverage of WikiLeaks!
Chester County Vacancies: Brandywine Coalition for Advancing Freedom
Track Congressional Votes
There are choices – besides WikiLeaks – for looking over people’s shoulder.
Earmarks Data Bases
“Taxpayers against Earmarks, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers for Common Sense have launched an online database of every congressman’s earmark requests for fiscal year 2011. Over 39,000 requests were submitted this year, totaling $130 billion. The data base: http://endingspending.com/