Saturday, December 31, 2011

Save the rap about US 'crippling dependence on Mid East oil,' Number 1 US EXPORT in 2011 is fuel-Miami Herald

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12/30/11, "In a first, gas and other fuels are top US export," Miami Herald, Chris Kahn
Bold
"For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world's biggest gas guzzler, is - wait for it - fuel.

Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S. Census data going back to 1990. It will also be

  • the first year in more than 60 that America has been a net exporter of these fuels.

Just how big of a shift is this? A decade ago, fuel wasn't even among the top 25 exports. And for the last five years, America's top export was aircraft.

The trend is significant because for decades the U.S. has relied on huge imports of fuel from Europe in order to meet demand. It only reinforced the image of America as an energy hog. And up until a few years ago, whenever gasoline prices climbed, there were complaints in Congress that U.S. refiners were not growing quickly enough to satisfy domestic demand; that controversy would appear to be over....

There's at least one domestic downside to America's growing role as a fuel exporter. Experts say the trend helps explain why U.S. motorists are paying more for gasoline. The more fuel that's sent overseas, the less of a supply cushion there is at home.

Gasoline supplies are being exported to the highest bidder, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. "It's a world market," he says.

Refining companies won't say how much they make by selling fuel overseas. But analysts say those sales are likely generating higher profits per gallon than they would have generated in the U.S. Otherwise, they wouldn't occur....

Europe also has been buying more U.S. fuel to make up for its lack of refineries.

And there's a simple reason why America's refiners have been eager to export to these markets: gasoline demand in the U.S. has been falling every year since 2007. It dropped by another 2.5 percent in 2011. With the economy struggling, motorists cut back. Also, cars and trucks have become more fuel-efficient and the government mandates the use of more corn-based ethanol fuel.

The last time the U.S. was a net exporter of fuels was 1949, when Harry Truman was president. That year, the U.S. exported 86 million barrels and imported 82 million barrels. In the first ten months of 2011, the nation exported 848 million barrels (worth $73.4 billion) and imported 750 million barrels."


via Tom Nelson

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wordpress flunks free speech, takes down Bare Naked Islam blog but blogger says, "WE WILL BE BACK!"

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12/29/11, "#WORDPRESSFAIL: WordPress Takes Down “Bare Naked Islam” Blog After Threats From CAIR," Instapundit

"CAIR pursues this strategy regularly. Shame on WordPress for giving in. Note to bloggers: In a free-speech controversy, you can’t count on WordPress. Act accordingly. Meanwhile, an item on CAIR’s terrorist ties. More here. And its membership is minuscule. This is who you listened to, WordPress."

From comments on GWP re: Bare Naked Islam blog removed by Wordpress:

  1. You can contact me at: barenakedislam@me.com

  2. ALL LIBERTY=LOVING BLOGGERS SHOULD ABANDON AND BOYCOTT SHARIA COMPLIANT WORDPRESS.

  3. fight on barenakedislam! don’t let cair win..they have too much power now, we need to fight as hard as we can against their advances of sharia law"



from Instapundit

Violent crime up double digits in Washington, DC since police diverted to Occupy duty. 'Drain local resources indefinitely,' Cloward & Piven, 5/2/66

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"Produce fiscal disruption in local and state governments...create a climate of militancy...drain local resources indefinitely..." (Piven and Cloward, 5/2/1966, The Nation). "Protesters in (Occupy DC) have been issued a permit to stay in downtown D.C. until February 28" 2012.

8/29/11, "FOP: Crime in District Up Because of Occupy DC," NBCWashington.com

"FOP sends scathing letter to Mayor Gray"

"The union representing D.C. police claims crime in the District is up, in part because officers are being pulled from neighborhood patrols and reassigned to monitor the Occupy D.C. protests.

Kristopher Baumann, chairman of D.C.'s Fraternal Order of Police wrote a letter to Mayor Vincent Gray stating violent crime is up by 17% and overall crime is up by 14% since protesters moved into the city 3 months ago.

The letter scolded Mayor Gray saying, “Your failure to warn District residents about a double digit spike in violent crime is inexcusable. The public has a right to know when crime is increasing and public awareness can facilitate crime prevention."

Baumann referenced Mayor Gray's December 15 interview with NewsTalk's Bruce Deputy in the letter, saying the mayor's comments about the number of MPD officers redeployed to police the Occupy protesters was misleading. According to Baumann, crime has risen around the city because neighborhood police officers have been diverted to the political protests.

Gray did say during the interview that he'd like the federal government to chip in to pay for the cost of added security surrounding the political protests that have been encamped in the city since October....

In a strongly-worded conclusion, the police union chairman called for Mayor Gray to apologize for making misleading statements about the city's crime numbers.

On Wednesday, the National Park Service confirmed that protesters in Freedom Plaza have been issued a permit to stay in downtown D.C. until February 28."

------------------------------

Following is from the famous Piven and Cloward 1966 article telling the poor how to collapse local governments with disruption and crisis:

May 2, 1966, "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty," Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, The Nation

"A series of welfare drives in large cities would, we believe, impel action on a new federal program to distribute income, eliminating the present public welfare system and alleviating the abject poverty which it perpetrates. Widespread campaigns to register the eligible poor for welfare aid, and to help existing recipients obtain their full benefits, would produce bureaucratic disruption in welfare agencies and fiscal disruption in local and state governments. These disruptions would generate severe political strains, and deepen existing divisions among elements in the big-city Democratic coalition: the remaining white middle class, the white working-class ethnic groups and the growing minority poor. To avoid a further weakening of that historic coalition, a national Democratic administration would be constrained to advance a federal solution to poverty that would override local welfare failures, local class and racial conflicts and local revenue dilemmas. By the internal disruption of local bureaucratic practices, by the furor over public welfare poverty, and by the collapse of current financing arrangements, powerful forces can be generated for major economic reforms at the national level....

A federal program of income redistribution has become necessary to elevate the poor en masse from poverty....

In order to generate a crisis, the poor must obtain benefits, which they have forfeited. Until now, they have been inhibited from asserting claims by self-protective devices within the welfare system: its capacity to limit information, to intimidate applicants, to demoralize recipients, and arbitrarily to deny lawful claims....

Hearings and court actions will require lawyers, many of whom, in cities like New York, can be recruited on a voluntary basis, especially under the banner of a movement to end poverty by a strategy of asserting legal rights....

Advocacy must be supplemented by organized demonstrations to create a climate of militancy that will overcome the invidious and immobilizing attitudes which many potential recipients hold toward being "on welfare."...

As the crisis develops, it will be important to use the mass media to inform the broader liberal community about the inefficiencies and injustices of welfare. For example, the system will not be able to process many new applicants because of cumbersome and often unconstitutional investigatory procedures (which cost 20c for every dollar disbursed). As delays mount, so should the public demand that a simplified affidavit supplant these procedures, so that the poor may certify to their condition. If the system reacts by making the proof of eligibility more difficult, the demand should be made that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare dispatch "eligibility registrars" to enforce federal statutes governing local programs. And throughout the crisis, the mass media should be used to advance arguments for a new federal income distribution program. *...

To generate an expressly political movement, cadres of aggressive organizers would have to come from the civil rights movement and the churches, from militant low-income organizations like those formed by the Industrial Areas Foundation (that is, by Saul Alinsky), and from other groups on the Left. These activists should be quick to see the difference between programs to redress individual grievances and a large-scale social-action campaign for national policy reform....

Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely....

Third, the prospects for mass influence are enhanced because this plan provides a practical basis for coalition between poor whites and poor Negroes. Advocates of low-income movements have not been able to suggest how poor whites and poor Negroes can be united in an expressly lower-class movement. Despite pleas of some Negro leaders for joint action on programs requiring integration, poor whites have steadfastly resisted making common cause with poor Negroes. By contrast, the benefits of the present plan are as great for whites as for Negroes. ...

We ordinarily think of major legislation as taking form only through established electoral processes. We tend to overlook the force of crisis in precipitating legislative reform, partly because we lack a theoretical framework by which to understand

  • the impact of major disruptions.

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest, which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognizable eruption to public attention. Public trouble is a political liability, it calls for action by political leaders to stabilize the situation. Because crisis usually creates or exposes conflict, it threatens to produce cleavages in a political consensus, which politicians would ordinarily act to avert....

When, however, a crisis is defined by its participants--or by other activated groups--as a matter of clear issues and preferred solutions, terms are imposed on the politicians' bid for their support. ...

The legislative reforms of the depression years, for example, were impelled not so much by organized interests exercised through regular electoral processes as by widespread economic crisis. That crisis precipitated the disruption of the regionally based coalitions underlying the old national parties. During the realignments of 1932, a new Democratic coalition was formed, based heavily on urban working-class groups. Once in power, the national Democratic leadership proposed and implemented the economic reforms of the New Deal. Although these measures were a response to the imperative of economic crisis, the types of measures enacted

  • were designed to secure a new Democratic coalition....
The electoral context which made crisis effective in the South is also to be found in the big cities of the nation today. ...

The ghetto vote has been growing rapidly and has so far returned overwhelming Democratic majorities....

Influence in urban politics is won not only at the polls but through the sustained activity of organized interests--such as labor unions, homeowner associations and business groups. These groups keep watch over the complex operations of municipal agencies, recognizing issues and regularly asserting their point of view through meetings with public officials, appearances at public hearings and the like, and by exploiting a whole array of channels of influence on government....

A crisis in public welfare would expose the tensions latent in this attenuated relationship between the ghetto vote and the urban party leadership, for it would thrust forward ghetto demands and back them with the threat of defections by voters who have so far remained both loyal and quiescent.

In the face of such a crisis, urban political leaders may well be paralyzed by a party apparatus which ties them to older constituent groups, even while the ranks of these groups are diminishing. The national Democratic leadership, however, is alert to the importance of the urban Negro vote, especially in national contests where the loyalty of other urban groups is weakening....In the thirties, Democrats began to put forward measures to circumvent the states in order to reach the big-city elements in the New Deal coalition; now it is becoming expedient to put forward measures to circumvent the weakened big-city mayors in order to reach the new minority poor....

A welfare crisis would, of course, produce dramatic local political crisis, disrupting and exposing rifts among urban groups. Conservative Republicans are always ready to declaim the evils of public welfare, and they would probably be the first to raise a hue and cry. But deeper and politically more telling conflicts would take place within the Democratic coalition. Whites--both working-class ethnic groups and many in the middle class--would be aroused against the ghetto poor, while liberal groups, which until recently have been comforted by the notion that the poor are few and, in any event, receiving the beneficent assistance of public welfare would probably support the movement. Group conflict, spelling political crisis for the local party apparatus, would thus become acute as welfare rolls mounted and the strains on local budgets became more severe. In New York City, where the Mayor is now facing desperate revenue shortages, welfare expenditures are already second only to those for public education.

It should also be noted that welfare costs are generally shared by local, state and federal governments, so that the crisis in the cities would intensify the struggle over revenues that is chronic in relations between cities and states. ...

If this strategy for crisis would intensify group cleavages, a federal income solution would not further exacerbate them....

We suggest, in short, that if pervasive institutional rescuer particular reforms are not yet possible, requiring as they do expanded Negro political power and the development of new political alliances, crisis tactics can nevertheless be employed to secure particular reforms in the short run by exploiting weaknesses in current political alignments. Because the urban coalition stands weakened by group conflict today, disruption and threats of disaffection will count powerfully, provided that national leaders can respond with solutions, which retain the support of ghetto constituencies while avoiding new group antagonisms and bolstering the urban party apparatus. These are the conditions, then, for an

  • effective crisis strategy in the cities to secure an end to poverty....
And those seeking new ways to engage the Negro politically should remember that public resources have always been the fuel for low-income urban political organization. If organizers can deliver millions of dollars in cash benefits to the ghetto masses, it seems reasonable to expect that
  • At least, they have always done so in the past."



via Weasel Zippers

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gretchen Morgenson's book, "Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon," could win an election

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"What is especially shocking in this story is that the higher up and more powerful people are usually the most venal and corrupt....Tea Party believers will find much in this book that confirms their worst fears."

6/7/2011, "Fanniegate: Gamechanger For The GOP?" Walter Russell Mead, American Interest

The author suggests the GOP could win the 2012 presidency if they made an issue of the information reported in Reckless Endangerment. If it validates the Tea Party as he states, that's reason #1 the GOP will avoid it. This was a good summary of the book including players such as now fabulously wealthy Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. The establishment GOP has too much culpability in this themselves to make it a big issue:

"Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon....By Gretchen Morgenson, one of America’s best business journalists who is currently at The New York Times, and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment gives the best available account of how the growing chaos in the mortgage and personal finance markets and the rampant bundling of dubious loans into exotically toxic securities plunged the world, and millions of American families, into the gravest financial crisis since World War Two. It is gripping reading as well, and its explanations are clear enough that readers without any background in finance will have no trouble following the plot. The villains? An unholy alliance between Wall Street, the Democratic establishment, community organizing groups like ACORN and La Raza, and politicians like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Cisneros. (Frank got a cushy job for a lover, Pelosi got a job and layoff protection for a son, Cisneros apparently got a license to mint money bilking Mexican-Americans of their life savings in cheesy housing developments.)...

If Morgenstern and Rosner are to be believed, the American dream didn’t die of old age; it was murdered and most of the fingerprints on the corpse come from Democratic insiders. Democratic power brokers stoked the housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the increasingly rampant corruption and incompetence at Fannie Mae and the associated predatory lenders who sheltered under its umbrella; core Democratic ideas may well be at fault....

The Great Villain, the man who almost ruined America according to the book, is James Johnson, long one of the most important members of the Democratic establishment. He ran Walter Mondale’s campaign. He chaired John Kerry’s search for a vice-president — the brilliantly executed search that chose the revered anti-poverty warrior John Edwards.

Barack Obama, impressed by this track record of discernment, reportedly asked him to lead Obama’s search in 2008 — though Johnson withdrew when word got out that he benefited from the disgraced and disgusting Angelo Mozilo’s corrupt program of ‘special’ mortgages for political friends. (Mozilo was the head of Countrywide, a massively fraudulent and predatory lender which benefited hugely from its business connections with Fannie Mae.) He is a director of the much hated Goldman Sachs, a former director of Lehman Brothers, has chaired the board of the Brookings Institution, is a major Democratic Party fundraiser who bundled several hundred thousand dollars for President Obama, helped bring old Clinton friends into the Obama organization, and

  • has been at the center of Democratic finance and politics for a generation.

Named CEO of Fannie Mae (a government backed mortgage corporation) Johnson decided to make untold wealth by making and securitizing junk housing loans and by massaging the financial reports to ensure that he qualified for the obscenely generous maximum bonus no matter what was actually happening to the company under his care....

Fannie Mae would adopt the goal of increasing the percentage of Americans who owned their own homes, targeting the inner city poor who, allegedly, were blocked from home ownership by racial discrimination. (A bogus study to this effect was widely circulated; devastating criticisms and rebuttals quietly ignored.) This is where such luminaries of the American political scene as ACORN and La Raza get into the act. They served as cheerleaders for Johnson’s self-enrichment plan,

  • camouflaging a Wall Street rip-off by hymning its benefits for the poor.

The purpose of no doc, no money down loans wasn’t, Heaven forbid, to generate rich fees and high interest rates for mortgage brokers and Wall Street. No, the smarmy defenders of the Great American Rip-off told us, those features were necessary to make sure that poor people (so cruelly, unfairly locked out of mortgages because they didn’t qualify for the stuffy old-fashioned kind) could participate in the American Dream. Anybody who opposed Jim Johnson’s get rich scheme was a racist who hated the poor. Political correctness married Wall Street chicanery as Maxine Waters, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank led the band; crooked accountants and clueless rating agencies performed the ceremony; big government dowered the couple with a debt guarantee and bankers dressed as flower girls showered the happy pair in a confetti of junk mortgages and junk bonds.

Fannie Mae and the housing market were off to the races — and where Fannie Mae led the way, the financial markets followed. Regulators were captured by the interests they were supposed to regulate; favors were dispensed with a lavish hand; taxpayer-provided money was used to assemble a vast lobby focused on extracting more money from hapless taxpayers to make James Johnson even richer. In the process, millions of financially unsophisticated low income people were stuck with obscenely unfair mortgages, honest whistle blowers were subjected to savage personal attacks, home prices lost all touch with reality, taxpayers were stuck with losses that may approach one trillion dollars,

  • and financial markets were poisoned almost beyond repair....
The story doesn’t just attack a failure of Democratic policy execution; it exposes a key flaw in New Democratic thinking. The Third Way as dreamed up by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sought to harness the power of financial markets to a public service agenda. Old style command and control liberalism believed in directly mandating business to do what politicians thought should be done. AT&T had to serve rural communities, but in exchange it had a phone monopoly and regulators made sure that it made a good profit. The airlines and bus companies had to service unprofitable routes, but regulators made sure that their route networks as a whole were profitable.

As competition became more global and the inflexible regulations of the old liberalism proved less workable, a new and updated liberalism appeared. Instead of old fashioned mandates, liberals would use new approaches that capitalized on the power of the market. Use cap and trade schemes rather than command and control to control carbon through the market and by creating an international market that will make money for financial firms. Tweak the mortgage regulations to spread home ownership to the poor. Both Britain and the US are looking at fun new ideas like ‘infrastructure banks’ that can fund projects that liberals like without putting large new debts on the public accounts. Private profits can grow even as the public interest is served: this was the Clinton-Blair dream that was billed as liberalism’s response to the Thatcher revolution. Additionally, liberal politicians like Al Gore and James Johnson were well placed to capitalize on the new arrangements.

  • Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have both become much wealthier after leaving office than old style liberals like Harry Truman ever could.

The story also undercuts what little is left of the credibility and the moral authority of the American establishment. What is especially shocking in this story is that the higher up and more powerful people are usually the most venal and corrupt. Low level researchers and bureaucrats are constantly raising questions and preparing devastating reports that expose the flawed premises behind Fannie Mae’s policies. They are being constantly slapped down by the well connected and the well paid. The American establishment does not have the necessary moral strength and intellectual acuity to run the affairs of this country; Tea Party believers will find much in this book that confirms their worst fears.

Republicans of course have a few financial scandals of their own that Democrats can take out and rattle. But because Fanniegate offers a clear storyline, identifiable villains linked to specific disasters that have hit tens of millions of Americans in the pocketbook, and is overwhelming a story of Democratic abuses of Democratic ideas, it is potentially a game changing event."...

-----------------------

Ed. note: Thanks to the author for writing this piece but the establishment GOP is running the presidential nominee and probably wouldn't allow this to be a wedge issue for 2 reasons:

  • 1. They might win if they did and they don't want to win.
  • 2. Plenty of them are culpable in this crime so don't need it to get any more exposure. If anything they want to continue the spree.


via commenter on Free Republic

Girl Scouts of America advises girls aged 11 through 13 to count on Soros-funded Media Matters to clear up any media 'misinformation'

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Update: Big Journalism also wonders why the Girl Scouts would promote Media Matters. News of groups breaking off from Girl Scouts.

"This story was originally brought to (the Blaze) by Christy Volanski, a concerned parent and a former Girl Scouts leader."

12/27/11, "Girl Scouts Book Refers Readers to Liberal Group Media Matters to Clear Up ‘Media Misinformation’," The Blaze, B. Hallowell

"In 2010, the Girl Scouts of the USA published a book called “MEdia.” The publication, designed for girls in grades six through eight, is a guide that apparently offers insight into how young people should process and understand the media messages surrounding them.

Considering the pervasive nature of popular media, this seems like a viable tool. However, there’s a problem — the book refers young readers to Media Matters for America as one of the primary sources

  • for debunking lies and deceit.

On the surface, “MEdia” seems like it’s an excellent resource (and in some ways maybe it is) that encourages self-reflection and skepticism — two very understandable and useful tenets. But on page 25 of the book, a very curious recommendation is given.

Under the headline, “Consider the Source,” text encourages girls to go to the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America web site to clear up any media misinformation they might encounter. It reads:

"The Internet is a breeding ground for “urban legends,” which are false stories told as if true. Next time you receive a txt or e-mail about something that seems unbelievable, confirm it before you spread it.

The fact-checking site snopes.com investigates everything from urban legends to “news” articles and posts its findings. Media Matters for America (http://mediamatters.org/) gets the word out about media misinformation."...

Considering Media Matters’ far-left attachments and its less-than-objective views, one wonders why the book’s authors, Wendy Thomas Russell and Sarah Goodman, would include this as

  • the sole source for getting “the word out about media misinformation.”

The Blaze called the Girl Scouts on Dec. 13 to ask about the book. Spokesperson Michelle Tompkins seemed very familiar with the controversy over the inclusion of Media Matters and said that the organization is re-printing the book this month.

During a follow-up call, Tompkins pledged to answer some e-mail questions we sent over. These particular questions sought answers about how Media Matters came to be placed in the book, who wrote the page that the reference appears on and what group, if any, will replace Media Matters once the new publications are released. To date,

  • we have received no response despite a follow-up voicemail and e-mails.

This story was originally brought to us by Christy Volanski, a concerned parent and a former Girl Scouts leader. Her daughter, Sydney, a 15-year-old who served as a Girl Scout for eight years, left the organization in 2010 after she found that it embraces some controversial stances. Now, Sydney co-edits “Speak Now: Girl Scouts Website,” which provides plenty of other examples of what some may see as liberal bias.

Perhaps the Girl Scouts staffers were too busy to respond to us, but considering the fact that the Media Matters reference is, in itself, a form of misinformation, bias — potentially even indoctrination — we assumed that the book would no longer be on the market.

  • But we were wrong.

Christy sent people out to purchase separate copies of the book earlier this month in Western Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jacksonville, Florida, Houston, Texas, and St. Louis, Missouri. In every instance, the version containing Media Matters was still on shelves. When asked about whether a new printed version was on the way, no one working at the stores where the books were purchased seemed to know anything about such a development.

Regardless of whether a new version is on its way, the fact that the Girl Scouts know that such an egregious “error” exists and are still selling the books to young people is concerning.

The back of “MEdia” reads, Tired of not seeing your reality in the media around you? This journey is your chance to put some real ME in media. So get ready to shape media — for yourself, your community, the world!” But if young and impressionable readers are being sent to a wildly-partisan site like Media Matters, the book’s entire premise (i.e. truth) seems moot or even questionable.

The Blaze will be exploring other Girl Scouts literature in the coming weeks and we will keep you informed

  • about the organization’s progress on replacing


via Drudge

Media hearts pound for Obama prematurely, new polls out show he's back in the ice-cold basement

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12/28/11, "Is the Obama Boomlet Over?," Powerline, Hinderaker

"Over the last week or so, there has been a lot of news coverage of Barack Obama’s comeback in the polls....

After all that hype, it appears that the Obama boomlet may have been overrated. In the Gallup Poll, Obama has dropped back to 44/48. In Rasmussen’s Approval Index, Obama, after a week or so of slightly less gloomy numbers,

  • is back to an ice-cold -18:

Moreover, Rasmussen’s overall approve/disapprove numbers among registered voters are back to 45/54.

Putting all of that together, it appears that reality has reasserted itself: the economy continues to be lousy, and the Obama administration’s achievements continue to be pretty much nonexistent. So whatever minor improvement Obama

----------------------------

Too bad. Girly-men like the Wall St. Journal editorial page and Rick Moran must be disappointed. ed.



via Instapundit, Rasmussen chart via Powerline

Departing Sen. Ben Nelson compliments Tea Party. Says, 'The Tea Party must be stopped.' Politico

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12/27/11, "Ben Nelson: 'It's time to move on'," Politico

"
Nelson wavered in whether to retire, according to sources close to the Nebraska Democrat, telling aides that “some days it was yes, some days it was no.”

He also said on the call that the “tea party must be stopped.”...

-------------------------

12/27/11, "Democrat Nelson to retire from Senate," Reuters

"The conservative Tea Party Express, which had named Nelson as one of its top targets for defeat in 2012, hailed news of his impending retirement as a victory.

"There is no doubt that he felt our heat of the Tea Party and decided that he was not up for the fight," the organization said in a fundraising letter."...

-------------------------

Oh, yes. Politico says democrats' best hope for picking up a seat is SCOTT BROWN. Have a nice life, Scott. (Item at end of article):

"Overall, 23 Democratic-controlled seats are up this cycle, while Republicans have to defend only 10. Senate Republicans need to pick up only four seats to grab control of the chamber.

The Democrats’ best hope for picking up a GOP-held seat is in Massachusetts, where Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who won a special election two years ago to replace the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, will go up before Bay State voters in November.
"


via "Mea Culpa" comment at RedState

'Conceived by 4 rich liberals, the Colorado Model' now mowing down GOP in other states, Beltway GOP won't fight, just wants media to like them

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Remembering why the great Ken Buck from Colorado is not in the US Senate at this moment, see comment #1 below.

12/28/11, "The Colorado Model & The Left’s Stratagem For Turning Red States to Blue," LUR, RedState.com

"“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu

Although it’s being deployed in several states like Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and others, there are still many who have never heard of the Colorado Model. What’s worse, despite all the Left’s bemoaning of the “vast right wing conspiracy,” Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or whatever enemy they can dream up, there is still nothing like the Colorado Model on the Right.

In sum, the Colorado Model is one of the Left’s most effective stratagems that was “built” to turn “red states” into “blue states” in a very short period (with the exception, perhaps, of the 2010 election cycle). When combined with the tactics of Saul Alinsky and his disciples, the Colorado Model is akin to a Soviet platoon armed with AK-47s mowing down a militia armed with slingshots.

According to a 2008 expose in the Weekly Standard, in 2004 and 2006 “routed Republicans, capturing the governorship, both houses of the state legislature, a U.S. Senate seat, and two U.S. House seats.

Conceived by four rich liberals, the Colorado Model is a fairly simple strategy:

Eric O’Keefe, chairman of the conservative Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, says there are seven “capacities” that are required to drive a successful political strategy and keep it on offense:

  • [1] the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition,
  • [2] to pursue investigations,
  • [3] to mobilize for elections,
  • [4] to fight media bias,
  • [5] to pursue strategic litigation,
  • [6] to train new leaders, and
  • [7] to sustain a presence in the new media.

Colorado liberals have now created institutions that possess all seven capacities. By working together, they generate political noise and attract press coverage. Explains Caldara, “Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up.”

Unfortunately, the Right still doesn’t seem to embrace or, more importantly, understand the Colorado Model. What’s worse, because the Colorado Model requires cooperation, it is unlikely the Right will ever be successful in creating a model similar to that which the Left is deploying across the country.

Unlike Barack Obama’s OFA, which coordinates with the institutional Left, the Moveon.orgs of the world, hundreds of 527s, think tanks, unions, and the like, the Right largely consists of groups who work disparately, in disagreement with, and, often, openly fighting with one another.

  • On the Right, we have the Keystone Cops facing the Red Army on the Left.
As opposed to disarray on the Right, the Left is largely unified in their vision, their messaging, and their tactics. As such, the Colorado Model is a prime example of the Left putting their ideas into action and, in so doing, turning America from a country of individuals into a country of collectivists.

Again, from 2008:

The Democratic surge in Colorado reflects the national trend, but it involves a great deal more. There’s something unique going on in Colorado that, if copied in other states, has the potential to produce sweeping Democratic gains nationwide. That something is the “Colorado Model,” and it’s certain to be a major topic of discussion when Democrats convene in Denver in the last week of August for their national convention.

While the Colorado Model isn’t a secret, it hasn’t drawn much national attention either. Democrats, for now anyway, seem wary of touting it. One reason for their reticence is that it depends partly on wealthy liberals’ spending tons of money not only on “independent expenditures” to attack Republican office-seekers but also to create a vast infrastructure of liberal organizations that produces an anti-Republican, anti-conservative echo chamber in politics and the media.

Colorado is where this model is being tested and refined. And Republicans, even more than Democrats, say that it’s working impressively. (For Republicans, it offers an excuse for their tailspin.) Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank based in Denver, says Republicans around the country should be alarmed by the success of the Colorado Model. “Watch out,” he says, “it’s coming to a state near you.”

On the Right, after nearly three years of being engaged in the battle to save America from tax and spend collectivists, there is still a large knowledge vacuum in the nature of the battle, the groups and strategies involved, as well as the tactics used. America is nearing the end of a century-old ideological war waged by Marxists of varying degree—an ideological war that will determine the future of America. Until such time as the Right understands that fact and begins to work together, any “victories” at the ballot box will be fleeting and, in the long run, futile."

----------------------

Two best comments to above:

-------------------

1. "The Blueprint: How Democrats Won Colorado (and why every Republican should care) circlegranch Wednesday, December 28th at 3:15PM EST (link)

written by Adam Schrager, is an excellent compliment to this post.

HOWEVER, in that states such as CO are allowing the progressive, Marxist movement to gain a stronghold because the GOP leadership so often allows it. At the risk of repeating myself in a post written yesterday, Colorado did not send Republican Ken Buck to the U.S. Senate in 2010 because the elitist, ruling class of the national and Colorado Republican Party prevented it. They preferred seeing Obama’s hand-picked man, Michael Bennet, who went to Washington on ONE vote (that of Gov. Bill Ritter, who had the authority to appoint him after the senatorial absence created when Ken Salazar resigned to become Secy of the Interior).

  • Ken Buck was the hands-down people’s choice–the grassroots candidate,

the tea party favorite and the elites in the GOP were ticked off beyond the pale. THEIR hand-picked candidate, Jane Norton, was soundly defeated in the primary by Buck. To retaliate, the GOP, including national leaders such as John Coryn and John McCain, refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of Buck’s campaign and they idly stood by and allowed Bennet to keep his job. It wasn’t just the elite in the GOP–Buck got very little press time and never got air time with Hannity, Rush or Levine. He was ignored and there was an unspoken resignation that Colorado was simply lost; better luck next time. A state’s attorney, Buck would have been a true asset to the U.S. Senate; a man of great character and personal integrity and the father of a West Point cadet.

Whether we talk about the “Colorado Model” or study the well-written “Blueprint..” noted above, it comes down to the grassroots being able to first defeat the insider Beltway Republican Establishment,

The problem is clear: there is little daylight between the ruling class of the GOP/career politicians in DC and the Left. Far too little daylight. Nothing will change and the advancement of European-style socialism will march on in this country until enough conservatives see that the path the RNC and country club GOP’ers are taking us down is the road to defeat, after miserable defeat.

We would be wise to study Colorado and yet, its back to basics if we truly want to defeat liberalism. It’s really not that complicated."

---------------------------

2. "We have a vehicle. It's the Republican Party. We haven't been using it.

ColdWarrior (Diary) Wednesday, December 28th at 3:21PM EST (link)

"Half of the precinct committeeman slots in the Party vacant. One third of the precincts have no precinct committeeman at all. If we conservatives would unite in our respective locales at our respective local committee meetings, and fill up all the vacant voting seats — the precinct committeeman seats — we’d be on our way to taking our Party back. The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy works — but only if enough conservatives get into the real ball game of politics — party politics —

  • and become voting members of the Party.

Here’s the situation and how to change it in a nutshell:

http://www.redstate.com/coldwarrior/2011/04/10/what-we-need-to-do-as-soon-as-possible-why-we-need-to-do-it-why-it-will-work-if-we-unite-now/

Here’s an example in Utah when enough conservatives get involved in party politics:

http://www.redstate.com/coldwarrior/2010/05/08/2101-of-3500-of-75000-denied-bob-bennett/

Here’s another example in my county and state, Arizona:

http://www.redstate.com/coldwarrior/2011/01/24/mission-accomplished-new-conservative-precinct-committeemen-elect-conservative-republican-leaders-including-the-state-chairman/

It may be much, much harder to achieve these kinds of gains in states such as Illinois, New York, and Virginia, but the numbers are about the same — about half of the precinct committeeman slots, on average, across those states, are vacant.

The “powers that be” in those parties don’t want the “little people” to know that and they sure as hell aren’t going to help them find out how to become voting members of their party committees.

We have to learn how to do that ourselves.

Thank you.

ColdWarrior

Will YOU help make 2011 “The Year of the Precinct Committeeman?”

Where it all started. Twitter @kaltkrieger"...

------------------------

"The mainstream media know that the Republicans crave their approval." Rush Limbaugh

11/14/11, "Brooks: It's Romney or Bust," Rush Limbaugh.com, transcript

"See, the people in the mainstream media know that the Republicans crave their approval. The people in the mainstream media know that the Republicans think they're the smartest and the wisest. So the mainstream people, people like -- or media, people like Keller, I guarantee you it works this way, he'll do a story saying Romney can beat Obama. The purpose of that story is to nudge the Republicans toward nominating Romney."...


via Tampa Tea Party email

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Much publicized "Santa" killing in Texas was actually Islamic 'honor killing' media shy to report. Parents from Iran.

.
Update: Star-Telegram article mentions at the very end that the family was Muslim and that parents were from Iran: "Baum said the family was Muslim but celebrated Christmas as a cultural holiday. The parents were originally from Iran."

""She couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.”... "Neighbors said the family was Muslim." Local police say 'motive not important.' (The DMN story describes an 'honor killing' without using the term. ed.)

12/27/11, "Islamic honor killing in Texas: "Santa" who murdered family on Christmas morning was Muslim who didn't like his daughter dating a non-Muslim," Robert Spencer, Jihadwatch.com

"Aziz Yazdanpanah, a Muslim, didn't like his daughter's non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting stalker behavior. “She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.”

Again and again we have seen honor killings in which fathers kill daughters who are dating non-Muslims or have supposedly besmirched the family honor by some sexual indiscretion. Lt. Todd Dearing says that motive isn't important -- which is generally only the case when Islam is involved.

"Neighbors horrified at news of family’s slayings in Grapevine," by Gloria Salinas and Scott Goldstein for the Dallas Morning News, December 26 (thanks to Steve):

GRAPEVINE — "Aziz Yazdanpanah seemed to be losing control of his life in recent months — his wife left him, his house was in foreclosure, and his 19-year-old daughter was dating a young man he didn’t like.

Even so, the 58-year-old former real estate agent from Colleyville seemed to be holding it together. Neighbors say he would smile and wave as he drove through his middle-class neighborhood. Recently, he was seen raking leaves in his yard.

“He was very friendly, a very good neighbor,” said Carrie Stewart, who lives across the street. “He was out here often doing yard work and he even watched our house for us when we went to Colorado.”"...

(A decent fellow indeed).

Continuing, Dallas Morning News:

"Yazdanpanah, a volunteer high school debate coach described as a doting father, is the focus of suspicion a day after a Christmas morning massacre in which a man dressed as Santa Claus killed six relatives and then committed suicide.

Grapevine police arrived at the Lincoln Vineyard Apartment Homes a few minutes before noon and discovered bodies sprawled among opened presents and wrapping paper. The victims were ages 15 to 58....

Citing public records and interviews with friends and neighbors, media reports Monday identified Yazdanpanah and others who had died: his estranged 55-year-old wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, their 19-year-old daughter, Nona Narges Yazdanpanah, and 15-year-old son, Ali Yazdanpanah.

Friends of the family said Fatemeh Rahmati’s 58-year-old sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, and her husband, Hossein Zarei, 59, and daughter Sahra Zarei, a 22-year-old pre-med student at the University of Texas at Arlington, also were killed.

Grapevine police Lt. Todd Dearing said investigators were working to piece together a timeline of the murders, but they may never know exactly what set off the gunman.

Motive is not really the primary point right now,” Dearing said. “It’s more along the lines of what happened, how it transpired and making sure that who we believe to be the shooter is the shooter. Motive is what comes afterward for us if we can get it.”

He said a neighbor at the apartment complex saw the suspected shooter get out of his white sport utility vehicle dressed in a Santa outfit, including a full coat, pants, boots and belt. Based in part on that witness account, police believe the shootings occurred about the time a 911 call rang into the station at 11:34 a.m. Sunday.

The line was silent....

Grapevine police also searched the Colleyville home where Aziz Yazdanpanah had been living since he separated from his wife last spring. Public records show that the couple had filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and that the property was in foreclosure....

Yazdanpanah said he bought a gun after expressing concern that his daughter’s boyfriend was stalking him. He also insisted on picking up his daughter from her job at a phone kiosk inside Sam’s Club in Grapevine because of concerns about the alleged stalker.

The boyfriend has not been publicly identified.

Neighbors said the family was Muslim but had always hung Christmas lights on their home — except this year.

Terri Baum, who lives three homes down from Yazdanpanah, said she had seen him around the neighborhood in the last couple of weeks.

“They were pretty quiet, but kind, very kind,” Baum said. “They were sweet, good parents, and they loved their kids very much.”

Baum’s daughter, Allison, attended Colleyville Heritage High School with Nona, where the girls were part of an academic team focused on developing business leaders. They graduated together in May.

“Allison would take her to school from here, and then when they moved out she would pick her up from the apartments,” Baum said. “It’s unbelievable because of the people we knew them to be, and their children were good kids, very focused.”...

“All I want to say is, it is so unbelievably shocking because they loved their kids,” Baum said.

Yes, loved them to death.

But a more ominous portrait emerged of Yazdanpanah in interviews with some of his daughter’s other classmates.

“She would come to school crying and telling us her dad was crazy,” said Lacie Reed, 18. “He wouldn’t let her wear certain things. He was always taking her phone away, checking her call history and checking her text messages.”

Friends said Nona’s father had installed cameras all around the home so he could watch the family’s comings and goings. Others said he nailed her bedroom window shut so she could not sneak out at night and see her boyfriend.

She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion,” Reed said.

Yiselle Alvarenga, 18, said Nona’s mother and brother seemed to come to her aid when her father punished her.

He would take her phone away and her mother would give it back to her and her brother would let her use his phone,” Alvarenga said. “She was doing good. She was just excited that her life was going to start and she was going to have control of it.”..."

------------------------------

12/26/11, "Neighbors horrified at news of family's slayings in Grapevine," Dallas Morning News, Salinas and Goldstein (subscription)

----------------------------

12/27/11, "Dad's "weird" text message referred to death in Grapevine, recipient says," Star-Telegram, by Domingo Ramirez and Aman Batheja


via Atlas Shrugs, 12/27/11, "The mainstream media has reported this as the "Santa killer." No mention that it was an Islamic honor killing until this Dallas Morning News story."

.

Communist Chinese deadly high speed rail disaster said result of design flaws, but they still want to sell these trains to the US

The Communist Chinese want to sell the defective trains to California:

8/14/11, "Chinese contractors want to bid for work on a planned California high-speed line, though it might be harder to woo buyers who see China's government has lost faith in its own system....Global Insight's Ren said she sees no sign the government might scale back its export plans." (item at end of article)

---------------------------
12/28/11, "China bullet train crash 'caused by design flaws'," BBC

"A bullet train crash which killed 40 people in China in July was caused by design flaws and sloppy management, the Chinese government says.

Almost 200 people were injured in the crash near the south-eastern city of Wenzhou.

"Missteps" by 54 officials led to the disaster, the long-awaited official report says.

The crash led many Chinese to accuse the government of putting development and profit before safety.

It also triggered a wave of popular anger against officials who were accused of trying to cover up the seriousness, and causes, of the crash.

After receiving the report, China's cabinet criticised the railways ministry for lax safety standards and poor handling of the crash, according to Reuters.

Premier Wen Jiabao was presented with the official investigation's conclusions at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The accident occurred after one train stalled following a lightning strike, and then a second high-speed train ran into it. Four carriages were thrown off a viaduct.

The report found that serious design flaws in control equipment and improper handling of the lightning strike led to the crash.

More serious penalties could follow for some of the 54 officials criticised in the report.

Among the officials singled out was the former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, who was sacked before the crash, accused of corruption.

Liu "has the main leadership responsibility for the accident," the report says.

Following the accident, the authorities called a temporary halt to new high-speed rail projects and placed speed restrictions on trains.

China had planned to lay 16,000km (10,000 miles) of high-speed track by 2015, which would make it the biggest high-speed rail network in the world.

It had hoped to make its rapidly developing railway technology an export success: Chinese train companies were aspiring to compete with Germany's Siemens and Canada's Bombardier by selling their technologies to foreign companies.

But after July's crash that looks less likely.

The railways ministry said on Friday that it planned to invest 400 billion yuan ($63bn; £40bn) in infrastructure construction in 2012, which is lower than the figure for this year."***

-----------------------------

***Ed. note: The BBC doesn't state the important fact that funding is 42% lower:

12/24/11, "China to Slash Railway Spending," Wall St. Journal, Areddy

SHANGHAI—"Chinese authorities are cutting spending on railway construction for 2012, the latest signal the world's No. 2 economy is de-emphasizing one of its most expensive programs after a year of problems highlighted by a deadly high-speed collision.

Under the new plan, spending for 2012 construction will drop 42%, from more than 700 billion yuan ($110 billion) earmarked in 2010—an investment level that initially had been expected to be maintained for a number of years, until the death of 40 people in the July crash prompted a reassessment."...

===================

The "root problem" of Communist China is now the "root problem" of the US: reliance on "direct government involvement" to advance science and technology:

8/14/11, "China's enthusiasm for high-speed rail stalls," AP, Joe McDonald, via USA Today

"The train disaster has been a high-profile illustration of the weaknesses of government-led development, though no one expects the ruling Communist Party to change what many see as the root problem — its pervasive role in the economy, technology and industry.

In economics, the ruling party has traded most elements of central planning for market-style reforms. But in science, it still sees direct government involvement as essential to achieving its goal of transforming China from a nation of farmers and factory workers into a prosperous creator of technology....

"The government plays a leading role in all these public projects, which should not really be the case," said Zhao Jian, a railway expert at Beijing Jiaotong University and one of the most

  • prominent critics of high-speed rail plans.

Even before the July crash, the bullet train was a target of critics who said it was dangerously fast and too expensive for a society where

  • the poor majority need more low-cost transportation,


.

US ends $6 billion a year corn ethanol subsidy but also ends tariff on Brazilian ethanol imports

.
In 2007 hideous ethanol promoter Jeb Bush correctly predicted the US would lift tariffs on Brazilian ethanol within a few years but that wouldn't "necessarily threaten international food supplies."


12/24/11, "Congress ends corn ethanol subsidy," Detroit News, D. Shepardson

"The United States has ended a 30-year tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol that cost taxpayers $6 billion annually,
  • and ended a tariff on imported Brazilian ethanol.

Congress adjourned for the year on Friday, failing to extend the tax break that's drawn a wide variety of critics on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Critics also have included environmentalists, frozen food producers, ranchers and others.

The policies have helped shift millions of tons of corn from feedlots, dinner tables and other products into gas tanks.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth praised the move.

"The end of this giant subsidy for dirty corn ethanol is a win for taxpayers, the environment and people struggling to put food on their tables," biofuels policy campaigner Michal Rosenoer said Friday.

The subsidy has provided the oil and agribusiness industries with 45 cents per gallon of ethanol blended into gasoline. By some estimates, Congress has awarded $45 billion in subsidies to the ethanol industry since 1980....

Ethanol supporters are worried Congress might roll back a 2007 mandate that dramatically boosts the use of ethanol annually through 2022. The mandate jumps from 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels —
  • including cellulosic ethanol in 2015 — to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

The corn lobby has lost clout this year, losing votes in Congress. The Senate voted 73-27 in June to end the ethanol tax subsidy and tariff.

But Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow were among the 27 senators who voted against ending the subsidy.

Michigan is the nation's 11th-largest corn producer, harvesting 315 million bushels in 2010. The state has more than 11,000 corn growers, and they planted corn on 2.45 million acres last year, or about 4 percent of all land in the state.

Earlier in December, a bipartisan group of more than 70 House members urged a congressional block on higher levels of ethanol blended into gasoline.

Automakers and other engine makers have clashed with corn growers since 2010 over whether the United States should allow the use of a new blend of ethanol called E15 because it is 15 percent biofuel. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use in all vehicles from 2001 and after.

In August, the EPA approved fuel labels designed to warn drivers of older vehicles not to use the fuel, but it still must be registered before the fuel can go on sale. In February, the House voted 285-136 to block the EPA from moving ahead with E15 regulations.

"E15 is not ready for prime time," said the letter signed by Reps. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township; Mike Rogers, R-Brighton; John Conyers, D-Detroit; Tim Walberg, R-Tipton; Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland; Darrell Issa, R-Calif.; and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., among others.

Automakers and other groups have opposed approval of E15, warning it could damage engines in some models. Automakers "unanimously expressed concerns that E15 is likely to harm engines, void warranties and reduce fuel efficiency," said the congressional letter."

---------------------------

Some of Jeb Bush's many entanglements including ethanol.

4/18/07, "Jeb Bush: Ethanol no threat to food supplies," People's Daily Online

""U.S. President George W. Bush's brother Jeb Bush said on Tuesday that an increase in Brazilian ethanol output will

  • not necessarily threaten international food supplies.

We are convinced that Brazil is capable of increasing its production of sugar and ethanol from sugarcane

  • without threatening food supplies, Bush said.

He also told Brazilian legislators that he expects U.S. government to reduce or eliminate its 2.5 percent tariff on ethanol

  • in several years

and ethanol to become a key product on the international biofuel market. The United States hopes to create a "robust world market"

  • for alternative fuels, Bush said..

The former governor of Florida state made the remarks during a visit to the Brazilian Congress in response to the boycott by Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro of a deal aimed at

  • raising the production of ethanol worldwide as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Castro and Chavez, leaders of Cuba and Venezuela, said they were concerned that people might starve if more agricultural land is used to produce crops

  • for energy instead of food."...

----------------------------

12/21/11, "To Survive, Some Biofuels Companies Give Up on Biofuels," TechnologyReview.com

"As the difficulty of producing cellulosic biofuels cheaply becomes apparent, a growing number of advanced-biofuels companies are finding it necessary to take creative approaches to their business, even though that means abandoning some of their green credentials, at least temporarily, and focusing on markets that won't have a major impact on oil imports. This is hardly the outcome the government hoped for when it announced cellulosic-biofuels mandates, R&D funding, and other incentives in recent years."...


via WUWT, via Tom Nelson