Monday, January 31, 2011

Long before climate science or CO2, John Holdren aimed to 'de-develop' the United States by political, legal, & economic means, re-stated 9/2010

People who know the difference between a redistribution scheme and actual problems need to be re-educated per Obama Czar John Holdren. He has long insisted that economic redistribution must be enforced, which is fine. Just don't try at this late date to say you really meant it was about CO2. The CNS article includes passages from Holdren's 1973 and 1995 writings and video of their 9/16/10 interview:

"White House Science Czar Says He Would Use ‘Free Market’ to ‘De-Develop the United States’," CNS News, Nicholas Ballasy

In a video interview this week, White House Office of Science and Technology Director John P. Holdren told that he would use the “free market economy” to implement the “massive campaign” he advocated along with Paul Ehrlich

In his role as President Barack Obama’s top science and technology adviser, Holdren deals with issues ranging from global warming to health care."...

(From his 1973 book with the Ehrlichs): "“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and

Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich in the “recommendations” concluding their 1973 book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.

“De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of

  • ecology and the global resource situation,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote.

Resources must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs

  • of underdeveloped countries," Holdren and his co-authors wrote.

"This effort must be largely political, especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against polluters and others whose activities

  • damage the environment.

The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”... asked Holdren about this passage on Tuesday

  • after he participated in an Environmental Protection Agency forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act. asked: “You wrote ‘a massive campaign must be launched to restore a high quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States’ in your book Human Ecology. Could you explain

Holdren responded: “What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and

that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality. Thanks a lot.” ~~~ then asked: And how do you plan on implementing that?”

  • Through the free market economy,” Holdren said. also asked Holdren to comment on the declaration he made in 1995 along with co-authors Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily of Stanford University that mankind needed to “face up” to “a world of zero net physical growth” that would require reductions in consumption.

  • We know for certain, for example, that: No form of material growth (including population growth) other than asymptotic growth is sustainable,” Holdren, Ehrlich and Daily wrote in an essay for the World Bank titled, “The Meaning of Sustainability.”
  • (1995 continuing): “Many of the practices inadequately supporting today’s population of 5.5 billion people are unsustainable; and [a]t the sustainability limit, there will be a tradeoff between population and energy-matter throughput per person, hence, ultimately, between economic activity per person and well-being per person,” Holdren, Ehrlich and Daily wrote. “This is enough to say quite a lot about what needs to be faced up to eventually (a world of zero net physical growth), what should be done now (change unsustainable practices, reduce excessive material consumption, slow down population growth), and what the penalty will be for postponing attention to population limitation (lower well-being per person).”

Holdren would not comment Tuesday about this statement, saying he had to get to another engagement."

via Climate Depot

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obama cousin Dr. Milton Wolf says all Americans deserve an ObamaCare waiver-not just Obama's friends

"The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep protecting its best friends from it?"

1/28/11, "
Tawdry details of Obamacare," Washington Times, Dr. Milton R. Wolf

Dr. Milton R. Wolf is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist, medical director and
"White House quietly exempts pampered politicos"

If you would like to know what the White House really thinks of Obamacare, there’s an easy way. Look past its press releases. Ignore its promises. Forget its talking points. Instead, simply witness for yourself the outrageous way the

Last year, we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had granted 111 waivers to protect a lucky few from the onerous regulations of the new national health care overhaul. That number quickly and quietly climbed to 222, and last week we learned that the number of Obamacare privileged escapes

  • has skyrocketed to 733.

Among the fortunate is a who’s who list of unions, businesses and even several cities and four states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee) but none of the friends of Barack feature as prominently

How can you get your own free pass from Obamacare? Maybe you can just donate $27 million to President Obama‘s campaign efforts. That’s what Andy Stern did as president of SEIU in 2008.

Backroom deals have become par for the course for proponents of Obamacare. Senators were greased with special favors, like Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and his Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and her Louisiana Purchase. Even the American Medical Association was brought in line under threat of losing its exclusive and lucrative medical coding contracts with the government.

Not only are the payoffs an affront to our democracy and an outright assault on our taxpayers, the timing itself of the latest release makes a mockery of this administration’s transparency promises.

More than 500 of the 733 waivers, we now know, were granted in December but kept conveniently under wraps until

  • the day after the
  • president’s State of the Union address.

HHS is no stranger to covering up bad news; in fact, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Last year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hid from Congress until after the Obamacare vote a damning report from the Medicare and Medicaid Office of the Actuary showing

  • would displace 14 million Americans from their current insurance.

For this administration, transparency promises last only until the teleprompter is unplugged.

Backroom deals and cover-ups may be business as usual for Washington, but understanding why the Obama administration protects its friends from Obamacare offers special insight into what the purveyors of the mandate themselves think about their own law. This is key: The waivers aren’t meant to protect victims from unintended consequences of Obamacare; they are meant

  • to exempt them from the

Under Section 2711 of the Public Health Service Act, Obamacare increases the annual cap of insurance benefits, which sounds great - as does everything else in big government - until the bill comes due, in this case, in the form of higher insurance premiums.

In short, the administration has decided that you will face increased health insurance premiums, but special

  • friends in the unions will not.

Look closely, and you’ll see not only the White House‘s duplicity but also what the Obama administration really thinks of its crown jewel, Obamacare. White House words say that the annual insurance benefit cap is a feature of the program, but its actions say that it’s a bug.

  • The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep protecting its best friends from it?
Our democracy cannot allow a president to exercise the unholy power of picking and choosing winners and losers, of choosing who must follow his flawed laws and who gets a free pass. If any American deserves a waiver from Obamacare, then all Americans do.

It was Mr. Obama himself who infamously said,

  • “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends.”

This president speaks anything but softly, and Obamacare is his big stick.


Tucson speech a dud, theater elite alters 'Mikado' to include beheading Sarah Palin, leftist audience laughs, claps

1/28/11, "Curt Olds, the Lord High Executioner," James Taranto,

Eliminationist rhetoric against Sarah Palin: a production of the Missoula Children's Theater"

"For some perspective on the recent "debate" over "civility" and "eliminationist rhetoric," let's turn to Montana, home of the Missoula Children's Theater. A recent production there gets a bad review today in a letter to the editor of the Missoulian, the local daily:
Open letter to MCT director Curt Olds:
First I would like to compliment you and the entire staff of "The Mikado" on the beautiful sets, costuming and professional performance we experienced on Sunday, Jan. 23. However, I must call you on something that was inserted into the play which I am almost positive was not in the original book.
The comments made in such a cavalier and oh-so-humorous way were uncalled for. Now, I realize you play to a mostly liberal audience in Missoula and so, I am sure, felt comfortable in your calling for the beheading of Sarah Palin. I am painfully aware that most in the audience tittered with laughter and clapped because "no one would miss her" but there were some in your audience who took great offense to this "uncivil tone" about another human being.
We are in the midst of a crisis that took place in Tucson where many started pointing fingers at that horrible right wing with all their hatred and targeting and standing for the second amendment and on and on and on. So, here we are in a lovely play with beautiful voices serenading us and we have to hear that it is okay to call for the killing of Sarah Palin because
As a professional you should be ashamed of yourself, the audience should be ashamed of themselves and I am ashamed of myself for not standing up and leaving at that very moment. I would like to see an apology from you not because I want to hinder free-speech
Rory Page, Clinton...

"Like much of what we have been writing about in the past few weeks, this incident is

  • shocking but not surprising.

For all the bogus accusations being thrown at Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, genuinely hateful political rhetoric is commonplace in the art world,

  • even in art that is not overtly political."...


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood said change would not be peaceful, Fox News provides platform for Islamist in Egypt advocating regime change

Above, Muslim Brotherhood protesting in Egypt after Nov. 2010 elections. Per BBC 11/29/10 report, Brotherhood spokesman "warned that as a result, Egyptian people had
  • lost hope in achieving change
1/29/11, "Muslim Brotherhood group CAIR on Fox pushing for overthrow in Egypt," Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller

"Why is Muslim Brotherhood CAIR on FOX news right now? The Islamic supremacist Ahmed Rehab is on FOX denouncing Mubarak, advocating for overthrow.

Rehab is in Egypt right now. How coincidental. The American Muslim Brotherhood in America is in Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood plots to take over that secular Arab country.

Rehab: "It pains me that my own government back home supports a dictator....."

Horrible. We expect this from the leftist apologist cable networks,

  • but FOX is dangerous because they pretend to get it.

CAIR has been sending out press releases pushing Obama to push Mubarak out (so, inevitably, ElBaradei, Iran and the Brotherhood can take over)....

Why do they cover for them?"...


Comments on Free Republic to Ms. Geller's report:

"To: Qbert

According to International Crisis Group, (A Soros funded and organized group),(see link in next comment, ed) they believe the Brotherhood should be part of politics in Egypt:

The three-year clash between the government and the Muslim Brothers is damaging Egypt’s political life. Ending this confrontation and moving towards the long-term goal of integrating the Brothers into the political mainstream is a far better option. (6/18/08 article):"


"To: HollyB

Check out who the ‘members’ are: (see Open Society among funders, ed.)


Following commenters feel Fox News is unwatchable (as I do)

"To: Qbert

Don’t watch Fox. Can’t stand it."


"To: Doc Savage

I agree.
I haven’t watched for at least 6 years."


"To: Qbert

FoX used to be OK .. car chases everyday, John Gibson was on.. and Laurie Du too

nowadays.. Rev Al and Mitt&McCain get more facetime."


Reference: 11/29/10, "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood 'faces heavy poll losses,'" BBC

11/25/10, "Mubarek snubs call for US election monitors, Washington Times, Eli Lake

George Bush pushed Mubarak to let the Muslim Brotherhood into Egypt's government and he succeeded. In 2005 more Islamic party members were elected than ever before:

"The 2005 elections followed a push from the Bush administration to open authoritarian societies in the Middle East.

  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke on June 20, 2005, at the American University in Cairo,

urging Mr. Mubarak to allow for free and competitive elections."...


Mubarek didn't want the government taken over by Muslim Brotherhood, so he kept them out in subsequent elections. For the record, Bush's goal was the same as that of Obama and Soros. (Obviously Mubarak has been brutal. Sharia law is not better. ed.)

New Black Panther report against DOJ complete and on its way to Congress-Rubin

1/27/11, "New Black Panther Party case: The facts are in,"
Washington Post, Right Turn, by Jennifer Rubin
From Politico on Coates' background:

awards from civil rights groups and

  • lacks the partisan GOP resume of the department’s harshest opponents. "...and
"Commission Chairman Gerald Reynolds said Coates
From the Washington Post, 9/24/10, Coates has been given whistleblower protection:
  • "Coates, former head of the voting section that brought the case, testified in defiance of his supervisor's instructions and
1/27/11, Rubin: "The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights came out in December with a draft of its interim report on the New Black Panthers Party scandal. Earlier today a final report was posted on the commission's website, and with it, a flurry of rebuttals and separate statements from a number of the commissioners.
  • The import of these statements should not be minimized.

The statements indicate several points:

  • 2) there is voluminous evidence of the Obama administration's political interference in the prosecution of the New Black Panther Party case;
  • 3) there is ample evidence that the Obama administration directed Justice Department employees not to bring cases against minority defendants who violated voting rights laws or to enforce a provision requiring that states and localities clean up their voting rolls to prevent fraud;
  • 4) the Justice Department stonewalled efforts to investigate the case; and
  • 5) vice chairman Abigail Thernstrom has, for reasons not entirely clear, ignored the evidence and tried to undermine the commission's work.

The documents are lengthy and can be accessed on the commission's Web site. I will highlight a few of the most salient passages.

Todd Gaziano, a political independent, provides an overview:

After a year of DOJ's intransigence and baseless refusals to comply with our subpoenas, two Department attorneys bravely defied orders to testify before the Commission: the former Civil Rights Division Voting Section chief, Christopher Coates, and a lead trial attorney in the NBPP case, J. Christian Adams. Their testimony and the sworn affidavits from former DOJ staff portray a pervasive culture of hostility to race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws in the Civil Rights Division. The detailed allegations include: a former section chief who doctored a memo to try to prevent a meritorious case from being filed against black defendants, racially offensive statements by several supervisors and staff, and repeated instances of harassment and intimidation directed against anyone willing to work on lawsuits against minority defendants.

On the merits of the case:

Although hampered by the Department's refusal to allow the Commission to interview DOJ trial attorneys or produce the exhibits, witness statements, and other evidence in the possession of DOJ, the Commission held its first hearing on April 23, 2010 relating to the facts on Election Day 2008 in Philadelphia and whether there was a sufficient basis to file the original charges. Three eye-witnesses, including the prominent civil rights attorney Bartle Bull, provided powerful and convincing testimony that the former defendants had engaged in intimidating conduct, and that voters had turned away from the polling place rather than walk within a billyclub swing of the entrance. Congressman Frank Wolf testified regarding his concerns about the case and his frustration with the lack of DOJ cooperation.

On pages 11-16 Gaziano details DOJ's stonewalling efforts, including the assertion of bogus claims of privilege. He does so, he explains,
  • "(1) so that congressional or other investigators may consider its implications going forward, and
As severe winter storms in Washington gave way to spring, the continued, frustrating correspondence with the Department began to reinforce the conclusion that something
  • much stronger than ordinary bureaucratic resistance was at play."

Commissioner Gail Heriot, another independent appointee, echoes many of these same findings. She also provides ample evidence of hostility to a case against an African-American defendant in the Noxubee, Mississippi case. (pp.2-9).

As Gaziano and Heriot do, commissioner Peter Kirsanow (a Republican appointee) goes through the evidence of malfeasance by an Obama political appointee, Julie Fernandes:

Mr. [Chris] Coates [who headed the NBPP trial team] came forward and testified to the same statements having been made by Ms. Fernandes--statements made pursuant to a directive she conveyed to members of the Voting Section that the race of violators and victims is an appropriate consideration in the Division's enforcement decisions.

The uncontroverted testimony of Messrs. Coates and [former DOJ attorney J. Christian] Adams also identify Ms. Fernandes as having explicitly told a brown-bag lunch gathering of the entire Voting Section that the administration would not enforce the list maintenance provisions of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act ("NVRA").

He also explains, "The Department declined to allow Ms. Fernandes to answer questions about these allegations herself when it ultimately refused to honor the Commission's subpoena for her appearance. For her part, when asked directly by reporters,
  • Ms. Fernandes declined to comment."

Woven throughout these documents is a blistering rebuttal of the statements of Democratic commissioners who have done their best to ignore or misconstrue evidence, come up with belated and fanciful theories that not even the DOJ raised,

  • and to vilify the career attorneys who came forward to provide sworn testimony.
Finally, in a joint statement, these three commissioners explain the curious behavior of Abigail Thernstrom who endorsed the commission's investigation and then set out to ignore the evidence and undermine the commission's work. This statement should be read in full, and is a sad coda on Thernstrom's impressive career. A sample:

The Vice Chair strongly supported this investigation until the day she changed her mind and stormed out of a Commission meeting over what she evidently perceived as a personal slight, and the personal slight didn't even have anything to do with the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) investigation. After that she opposed the Commission's majority on almost every subject and called the NBPP matter we were investigating "very small potatoes" which did not merit the time the Commission was devoting to it. Her attendance at meetings dwindled as she participated in less than 45% of the official meetings and events of the Commission in 2010. On those occasions she did attend, she strongly criticized the NBPP investigation. . . .

We are baffled by the Vice Chair's repeated assertions that the investigation has uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing. The sworn testimony of Adams and Coates and the affidavits of Bowers and von Spakovsky are exactly that. The only interpretation of the Vice Chair's statements that we have been able to come up with is that she is looking for specific testimony in connection with the New Black Panther Party case itself. If so, Coates testified unequivocally that the case was dismissed because his superiors harbored hostility to the race neutral application of the law, but perhaps she wants written proof from one of the decision makers.

  • Yet, that is exactly the kind of evidence the Department has denied the Commission access to. . . .

All of this has been explained to the Vice Chair on more than one occasion. But while she currently professes interest in obtaining evidence, her statements are belied by her past conduct, when she has either refused to help or attempted to prevent the Commission's efforts to obtain it.

And now the commission passes its findings on to Congress, specifically the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) I suspect he will pick up where the commission left off and demand the stonewalling come to an end."

Reference: 4 articles relating to testimony of Christopher Coates (democrat appointee) in Sept. 2010. 2 headlines refer to him as an "Ex, or Former Justice official", others frame him a person in the present, describing him as a "Justice official" or "Prosecutor"


Friday, January 28, 2011

Biofuels threaten ecology, biodiversity, food supply, warnings for international trade and prices-EPA draft

1/28/11, "Draft EPA report: Biofuels threaten habitat, water quality," The Hill, Ben Geman

"A draft Environmental Protection Agency report concludes that expanded production of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel carries an array of
  • ecological risks in the U.S. and other nations, and calls for improved policies to
mitigate these harms.

The report is required under a 2007 energy law that vastly increased the national biofuels mandate but also called for new analysis of the ecological effects of expanded development.

The draft finds, for instance, that growing biofuels crops can affect water quality through erosion and fertilizer runoff, among other factors.

The report comes as ethanol is already under attack from some environmentalists, and lawmakers seeking to strip tax subsidies. But renewable fuels are valued as a way to displace oil reliance and boost rural economies, and retain powerful political support on Capitol Hill.

Elsewhere, the report addresses effects on wildlife and habitat. “Increased cultivation of feedstocks for biofuel could significantly affect biodiversity through habitat alteration when uncultivated land is put into production,” it states, also noting risks of plant and animal exposure to pesticides,
  • nutrient runoff into waters and other effects.
“Feedstocks” refers to the source of the fuels, such as corn, soybeans, grasses and wood materials.

Corn is the dominant source for U.S. ethanol today. But the 2007 law, which mandates an expansion of U.S. biofuel use to reach 36 billion gallons annually in 2022, caps corn ethanol at 15 billion gallons, while the balance must come from “advanced” biofuels made from sources like agricultural residues and perennial grasses.

EPA posted the draft report online Friday, but the document cautions that it’s for review purposes
  • and “does not constitute Agency policy.”
The agency plans to produce a final report for Congress after peer review (the 2007 law mandates triennial reports on the environmental impacts of increased biofuels production and use).

The report reiterates EPA’s conclusion that meeting the biofuels mandate in the 2007 law will lead to a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels.
It also explores the international effects of expanded biofuels development, noting that increased U.S. production and use
  • will affect trade patterns and prices.
The report states: “This will result in land use change and effects on air quality, water quality, and biodiversity. Direct and indirect land use changes will likely occur across the globe as the U.S. and other biofuel feedstock-producing countries
  • alter their agricultural sectors
to allow for greater biofuel production. Many locations where biofuel production is growing,
  • such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brazil, are also areas of high biodiversity value.
Depending where biofuel feedstock production occurs, and to what extent the level of production increases with time, impacts to biodiversity could be significant.”

The report notes that most aspects of the biofuels supply chain are already “regulated, subject to limitations, or mitigated through various approaches.”

But it nonetheless calls for further steps to address harms, such as improved federal agency efforts to develop and implement “best management” and conservation practices, and
  • international scientific cooperation
to identify and implement sustainable techniques."

Commenter to article on

"Reply 10 - Posted by: NorCal Foothill Rich, 1/28/2011 1:47:03 PM (No. 7308558)

"That's the government for you: mandate something without doing the research beforehand, then make the taxpayers foot the bill for their outrageous incompetence.

Here in CA, the certified fraud, idiots in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandated that a 'new' diesel fuel be required for vehicles here in the 1980s. This 'fuel' ruined or damaged thousands of engines, costing the state millions of dollars in reimbursement costs to the owners of these vehicles. Did anybody get fired or suggest that CARB be shut down.....hell no! The same draconian bunch of idiots then decided to 'tinker' with the gasoline and make it 'cleaner and more efficient' and mandated that a compound named MTBE be used in gasoline. It was claimed that this new gas would burn 5% cleaner, but the trouble is, it caused gas mileage to go down 10-15%! But the kicker is that MTBE started leaking into aquifers and began poisoning water wells statewide! This cost the state untold millions more but the real tragedy is that this agency still continues along, making one stupid mandate after another.

If it was up to me, these people would all be in jail for their transgressions against the People! The Federal EPA should be shut down as a matter of public interest."


George Bush wanted Muslim Brotherhood to win in Egypt as much as Obama does


""The Egyptians also wanted to knock the Islamists down a peg or two, compared to 2005

11/25/10, "Mubarek snubs call for US election monitors, Washington Times, Eli Lake

p. 2, "It was not always like this. In 2005, the last time Egypt held parliamentary elections, the first round of voting was widely considered fair. The state allowed for the first time unofficial candidates linked to Ikhwan to campaign, and the

  • Islamic party won more seats in 2005 than ever before.

But in the subsequent two rounds of voting, independent Egyptian judges reported widespread intimidation of voters in polling places. The two judges who led that investigation eventually were arrested, sparking protests throughout the country.

The 2005 elections followed a push from the Bush administration to open authoritarian societies in the Middle East.

  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke on June 20, 2005, at the American University in Cairo,

urging Mr. Mubarak to allow for free and competitive elections.

Two years earlier, Miss Rice threatened to cut U.S. military aid to Egypt if it did not release from prison Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a pro-reform sociologist who was imprisoned for accepting Western funding. Over time, however, the Bush administration stopped pressuring Mr. Mubarak.

Mr. Obama’s approach has been less public and more subtle. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, for example, supported a letter sent in July by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, who is also the chairwoman of the National Democratic Institute,

  • urging Mr. Mubarak to allow international observers for the parliamentary contest.

On Sept. 1, Mr. Obama personally asked Mr. Mubarak to allow the monitors in his bilateral meeting at the White House before the launch of the current peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The press statement that followed the meeting said, “President Obama reaffirmed the importance of a vibrant civil society, open political competition, and credible and transparent elections in Egypt.”

The State Department went public with a call for monitors this month from spokesman P.J. Crowley. In response to the statement from the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Crowley said, “This is not interfering in Egyptian affairs. This is encouraging a very close friend of the United States that its elections are vitally important and that its people want to see and have opportunities for greater participation in Egypt’s political system and have a government that is more representative of all segments of Egyptian society.”

David Schenker, director of the program for Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Egypt’s resistance to international monitors reflects in some ways how Mr. Mubarak is nervous about who will succeed him. Mr. Mubarak, 82, is said by Western intelligence services to be suffering from a form of stomach cancer.

How come we succeeded in Jordan, but failed in Egypt?” Mr. Schenker said. “We pushed hard for monitors in Jordan, but it failed in Egypt. In Egypt, we had no success. I think it is because the regime is very concerned about the succession after Mubarak. It is the key to how they engineer succession.


What a surprise, John McCain is on board with the Muslim Brotherhood. ed.


Latest US GDP number 'unexpectedly' lower, forecast 3.5, actual 3.2

1/28/11, "World markets sink as protests escalate in Egypt," AP

"A lower than expected report on the U.S. economy helped lead to a market sell-off as well. The Commerce Department reported that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent between October and December. That was below the 3.5 percent that analysts had forecast."...(item near end of article).

via Drudge Report

Taliban free to engage in public stonings in Afghanistan, crowds gather to watch blood drenched woman's burqa, police see, say nothing

1/26/11, "Graphic Video of Fatal Stoning Shows Taliban's Strength," ABC News, Nick Schifrin

"About 200 people listen to a Taliban mullah describe why a man and woman deserve to be killed. A few dozen spectators – people from the local community --
  • start throwing rocks at the woman, who had already been placed in a 4-foot-deep hole. They throw with relish and yell, "Allah akbar."
At one point a large rock strikes her head and she falls down, her burqa red with blood. After the rock throwing ends, a few people debate whether she should be shot. Eventually one of the spectators shoots her with an AK-47. She falls into the hole, out of sight. There is a short period of absolute silence, and then the
  • spectators turn to each other and start talking.
Then the man is brought into the crowd and blindfolded with his own tunic. The same scene proceeds, but with larger rocks and more abandon. He cries as he is killed.

That's a dispassionate description of video of the first documented stoning in Afghanistan since the Taliban were in power, which took place in October.* The video is shocking and nauseating, and most people who watch an unedited version of the footage need to look away.

The cell phone video, first obtained by the BBC and then independently obtained by ABC News, was filmed by one of the spectators at the stoning, which occurred in a conservative district near the Afghan-Tajik border. It was also posted online, viewed by about 6,000 people.

The brutality of the event is one of the most outrageous examples of the Taliban imposing their own version of justice in Afghanistan nearly nine years after the war began. It shows how their reach in historically peaceful northern Afghanistan recently expanded to the point where they could hold a public execution

  • at 10:30 a.m. without any fear of retribution....

"When a married woman commits adultery, she will be struck by stones -- this is called sangsar in Arabic," the Taliban mullah declares before the stoning begins. "The women you see here today committed adultery with this man. She has admitted this herself not once, but many times… Islamic law will be enforced here in Kunduz,

  • by the grace of God. They will both be punished, these two people."...
Cousins of the victims were forced to attend the stoning, and nobody in the local police or government attempted to prosecute the stone throwers."...
* There may not be video of others, but it's not the first reported case of public stoning, per 8/16/10 BBC report. They don't necessarily call up American news outlets to report such things. They do as they please. It is a large, lawless country, much of the population is on opium, and public stoning "still exists on the law books in Afghanistan, Iran, sections of Nigeria,


Millions diverted to fraud, belly dancers, by Philadephia Housing Authority over dozen years


1/27/11, "Housing Agency Spent Thousands of Dollars on Belly Dancers, Luxury Bags," ABC News and Center for Public Integrity

"The nation's fourth-largest housing authority spent lavishly on gifts for managers and a party with belly dancers, and its executive secretly spent more than $500,000 in housing authority funds to settle sexual harassment claims, but it allegedly

  • ignored complaints of unsanitary conditions that nearly killed a 12-year-old resident.

The excesses of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, however, are not unique. As Nightline found in a joint investigation with the Center for Public Integrity,

  • the federal government's low-income housing programs, which
  • cost taxpayers $26 billion a year,

are plagued by theft, mismanagement and corruption at local levels, including millions spent on housing for sex offenders and dead people, and all too often fail the 3 million families who rely on them for a clean, safe place to live.

In Philadelphia, under the leadership of former executive director Carl Greene, the local housing authority spent $17,000 for a 2006 event, including $1,200 for a troupe of belly dancers. Photos of the event, obtained by ABC News, show Greene dancing with the exotically dressed women. A Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) spokeswoman said the event, which also included yodelers and karaoke, was a

  • part of the housing authority's "diversity awareness" training....

Greene also used housing authority funds to buy gifts, including a $16,000 purchase from Nordstrom for $800 Tumi travel bags for himself and 19 of his top managers in 2009.

"For 12 years, 13 years he's had free reign at the housing authority, and I can't explain it," said Michael Pileggi, a former housing authority attorney who now represents former PHA employees suing Greene and the housing authority. "It appears there was no fiscal oversight.""...


ObamaCare is arsenic for seniors-2009 sign in Denver


  • Why would Obama assume physician services were his to hand out in the first place?
From Looking at the Left, "Nancy and the astroturfers"

8/6/09, "First let’s look at the messages and faces of these hardy dissenters. Take a close look so you can compare them to the community organizers who will soon enter the scene and harass them. These citizens have been described by the Democratic National Committee in an ad as
  • “angry mobs organized by desperate Republicans and their well funded allies.”

The Democrat party that funneled billions in the stimulus package to ACORN community organizers to organize, protest and agitate, this same party is now

  • livid that private citizens attend townhall meetings.

These protesters told me that they pay their own way and question what the government is attempting to do to their health care." ...


Unions make up 40% of ObamaCare exemptions

1/27/11, "Unions make up 40 percent of employees exempted from Obamacare," Washington Examiner, David Freddoso

"It is worth noting that there are 166 union benefits funds now exempted from this requirement, which account for about 40 percent of the exempted workers."...

Commenter to article


"You would think that if Obamacare were so unpopular amongst unions they would support the repeal of it. They will not be able to avoid it when 2014 arrives. If they want a permanent waiver, they should work to get it repealed now."

via Weasel Zippers

Obama cap and trade definitely not dead, will enact via EPA using different language and disguised taxes with help of weak GOP members-WSJ

The GOP "risk getting the same policy, all because
1/28/11, "Cap and trade returns from the grave," Wall St. Journal, Kimberley A. Strassel

"Cap and trade is dead. Long live cap and trade.

The president presented his new, conciliatory face to the nation this week, and his State of the Union was as notable for what it didn't include as what it did. He uttered not one word about global warming, a comprehensive climate bill, or his regulatory attempts to reduce carbon. Combined with his decision to give the axe to controversial climate czar Carol Browner,

  • political analysts took all this as further proof that Barack Obama
  • was moving to the middle, making nice with Republicans.

Snort. Guffaw. Chortle.

Listen carefully to Mr. Obama's speech and you realize he spent plenty of it on carbon controls. He just used a different vocabulary. If the president can't get carbon restrictions via cap and trade, he'll get them instead with his new proposal for a "clean energy" standard. Clean energy, after all, sounds better to the public ear, and he might just be able to lure, or

  • snooker, some Republicans into going along.

The official end of cap and trade, and Mrs. Browner, wasn't conciliation—it was necessity. The public now understands that cap and trade is an economy killer, and no small number of Democrats lost their seats in midterms for supporting it. Few in the party want to take it up again, and House Republicans won't let it pass. Mr. Obama would be crazy to continue calling for it.

Mrs. Browner, for her part, had become a political liability. As czar, she's had sweeping control over administration policy—all of it unaccountable. This worked under a Democratic Congress, but House Republicans had made clear

  • they intended to call her to testify.

This had the makings of an ugly fight over executive privilege and would have forced the White House to defend a lack of transparency. Better to let the lightning rod go. But Mr. Obama has no intention of letting go of his carbon-free world. He instead went to plan B.

  • Specifically, he called in his speech

for the nation to "join" him in a "new goal: by 2035, 80% of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources." What the president was in essence calling for—in happier, fuzzier, broader language—is what policy wonks refer to as

  • a "renewable portfolio standard."

This is a government mandate requiring that utilities produce annually a specific amount of their electricity from renewable sources—wind, solar, biofuels.

It's also cap and trade by another name. Consider: The goal of cap and trade is to impose crushing taxes on fossil fuels—oil, coal, natural gas—thereby forcing utilities to switch to costly renewables. Under Mr. Obama's new proposal, the government skips the tax part and outright requires the use of costly renewables. The result is the same: dramatically higher energy prices, from carbon-free sources. Now you know why

  • even climate warrior John Kerry was so sanguine about the president's failure to say "climate change" in his speech.

"I'm very sympathetic," said the Massachusetts senator, who clearly got the strategy memo.

Many Republicans understand the situation. Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, chair of House Energy and Commerce, put out a statement following the speech that insisted "the answer is not to hyper-subsidize preferred industries or to force consumers and job creators to purchase energy they can't afford." Reached on the phone, Mr. Upton elaborated, telling me the president's remarks "smell like cap and trade all over again." He noted that

  • 28 states already have their own renewable standards and so "why have a federal mandate?"

Then again, some Republicans—the self-styled energy progressives—have let it be known they'd be open to a new government diktat, if only the price is right. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has noodled with legislation to require an energy standard that includes nuclear energy (like that produced in his home state) along with renewables. Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar has floated what he calls a "diverse" energy standard that would mandate renewables, nuclear and . . . coal with carbon sequestration. (Indiana relies on coal.)

This is why Mr. Obama took care in his speech to refer broadly to a "clean energy" standard and make clear he was open to including in it "nuclear" and "clean coal"—along with renewables. He'll lure Republicans into negotiations, then cement their support with lavish energy pork for their home-state nuclear, clean-coal, wind, biofuels and solar projects. As a bonus, the plan gives cover to nervous coal state Democrats.

What the White House also knows—as do most sensible people—

  • is that these promises mean little.

The president has made grand nuclear gestures, but his regulators continue to sit on projects. Clean coal remains a pipe dream. Here's to betting that if and when the president's "clean energy" standard kicks in,

  • are wind, solar and biofuels.

The GOP has spent some long, sometimes uncomfortable, years explaining the perils of cap and trade. Yet they risk getting the same policy, all because

Obama is just following advice so-called GOP consultant Frank Luntz gave to his global warming client group, EDF. Luntz said you can sell this to Republicans if you use the right words. Luntz' presentation is also sponsored by News Corp., per its title page. From the summation page, Jan. 2010:
  • "it’s not what you say
  • it’s what people hear"
Reference: 1/21/10, "Frank Luntz On How To Pass A Climate Bill," The New Republic, Jesse Zwick

photo of Frank Luntz from The New Republic article holding "Words that Work"

WSJ article via

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A 47 year low, only 321,000 new homes sold in US in 2010, a country of 300 million people

"On average, each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates
according to the National Associated of Home Builders."...

1/27/11, "New-home sales in 2010 fall to lowest in 47 years," AP
  • "Buyers purchased fewest number of new homes last year in nearly half a century"
"Buyers purchased the fewest number of new homes last year on records going back 47 years.
  • Sales for all of 2010 totaled 321,000, a drop of 14.4 percent

from the 375,000 homes sold in 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the fifth consecutive year that sales have declined after hitting record highs for the five previous years when the housing market was booming.

The year ended on a stronger note. Buyers purchased new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 329,000 units in December, a 17.5 percent increase from the November pace.

Still, economists say it could be years before sales rise to a healthy rate of 600,000 units a year....

  • Builders of new homes are struggling to compete in markets saturated (with) foreclosures.

High unemployment and uncertainty over home prices have kept many potential buyers from making purchases.

  • Home prices fell in November in 19 of 20 major cities measured by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, and nine of those cities fell to their lowest point since the housing bust.

Economists expect prices will keep falling through the first six months of this year.

Poor sales of new homes mean fewer jobs in the construction industry,

  • which normally powers economic recoveries.

On average, each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and

  • generates about $90,000 in taxes,

according to the National Associated of Home Builders."...

via Drudge Report

Jim Moran (D, Va.) minutes after date night slanders GOP and Americans, tells Arab broadcast Americans voted for GOP because they are racist

(I listened to the video and heard mostly the foreign language translator over Moran's words in the approx. 5 minute interview. My computer's audio is limited, so if you can get higher volume you will hear Moran better. I pass along Mr. Tapscott's transcription. ed.)

1/26/11, "Some still fighting the late unpleasantness, like Jim Moran," Washington Examiner, Mark Tapscott

"Rep. Jim Moran, the unusually mean-spirited New Yorker...somehow managed to become Alexandria's congressman....

It [the Republican successes in the 2010 elections] happened for the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States. It happened because the Southern states, the slaveholding states, didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery.

"In this case, I believe, a lot of people in the United States don’t want to be governed by an African-Amerian, particularly one who is liberal, who wants to spend money and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society….”

"It's difficult to hear over the translator, but you can watch the interview below. Note Moran's, uh, creepy reaching out to the woman interviewing him."...

via Weasel Zippers

Central promises of 'historic' ObamaCare can't be fulfilled, costs to go up. Someone has to pay for 30 million extra people-actuary tells Congress

1/26/11, "Medicare official doubts health care law savings," AP, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldiver

"Two of the central promises of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare's independent economic expert
  • told Congress on Wednesday.

The landmark legislation probably won't hold costs down, and it won't let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. His office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates.

Foster's assessment came a day after Obama in his State of the Union message told lawmakers that he's open to improvements in the law,

(Debate? There was no debate. Not even with physicians, whose skilled services Obama assumed were his to personally dole out to favored groups. This so-called bill was done behind closed doors, all 3000 pages if it. ed.)

(continuing): "Republicans want to repeal the landmark legislation that provides coverage to more than 30 million people now uninsured, but lack the votes."...

  • ('Lack the votes?' We can all agree they lack Obama's vote. How does the AP writer know they lack the votes in the Senate? ed.)

(continuing): "Foster was asked by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., for a simple true or false response on two of the main assertions made by supporters of the law: that it will bring down unsustainable medical costs and will let people keep their current health insurance if they like it.

  • As for people getting to keep their coverage, "not true in all cases."

Foster was a thorn in the side to the administration throughout the health care debate, doubting that Medicare cuts would prove to be politically sustainable and raising other questions.

  • An equal opportunity skeptic, he was also a bane to the George W. Bush administration

during the debate that led to creation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003. Obama White House officials dispute his analysis and predict that he will be proven wrong about the health care law. Republicans hang on his every word."...

  • ('Republicans hang on his every word'? We the people out here are the ones that hang on his every word, although if you can add 2+2 it's obvious this 'plan' can't work. Members of congress are not affected by ObamaCare-they have a separate health plan. ed.)

(continuing): "The comments Wednesday were unusually direct because Foster generally delivers his analysis in complicated technical memos.

newly insured people will be getting medical services they would have otherwise gone without.

Costs could also increase if Medicare cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies turn out to be politically unsustainable over the years. The actuary's office has projected those cuts

  • would eventually force about 15 percent of providers into the red.

The health care law funnels savings from the Medicare cuts

  • to provide coverage to uninsured workers and their families.
As for people getting to keep their health insurance plan, Foster's office is projecting that more than 7 million Medicare recipients in private Medicare Advantage plans will eventually
  • cutting enrollment in the plans by about half.

The health care law gradually cuts generous government payments to the plans,

  • so insurers are expected to raise premiums or even drop out.

And the main reason seniors have flocked to the private plans is that they offer lower out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare recipients who lose private coverage would still be guaranteed coverage in the traditional program, but they would likely have to take out a

via Drudge Report