Thursday, November 24, 2011

Newt 's Revenge .

Sharks are swimming around Obama . One of  them isGingrich probably has at least as good a chance of getting a pass on his various transgressions in 2012 as Reagan, Schwarzenegger, and Clinton did. If 2012 were an ordinary election year, Gingrich would be doomed by his gaffes, three marriages, and fleeting alliances with Hillary Clinton on health care and Nancy Pelosi on global warming. But 2012 is different. Republicans are fixated on defeating President Obama. They’re obsessed. They think about little else. And if that means choosing a candidate with a lurid past and a penchant for self-destruction to beat Obama, Republicans are likely to swallow hard and nominate Gingrich Republicans have always wanted a candidate who is bold and tough, and Gingrich is. Recent polls have shown Gingrich at or near the top of the Republican field, along with Mitt Romney. With a little less than six weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, people are listening to the former Georgia congressman.They’re not sure about Mitt Romney, who is cautious, conventional, and sounds more conciliatory than Gingrich. There’s a reason Romney’s support has been stuck for months at roughly a quarter of the Republican electorate. His blandness explains it. Gingrich is anything but bland.To rally behind Gingrich, Repub-licans wouldn’t have to forgive his past sins, just treat them as irrelevant. They already talk about how sweet it would be to see Gingrich crush Obama in presidential debates. They don’t see Romney that way.But Romney has two important traits Gingrich lacks: carefulness and self-discipline. He doesn’t shoot off his mouth recklessly, as Gingrich often has. In May, the former House speaker practically blew up his campaign by attacking Representative Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan as “right-wing social engineering.” He later apologized.Yet in all this, the media didn’t begin to push back until Gingrich started rising in the polls. It was too late. Gingrich had already reaped accolades from Republicans and conservatives for standing up to the media. The irony is that Gingrich, more than any other candidate, is indebted to the media. Without the debates, he’d be a hopeless also-ran. Last June, his campaign was at death’s door. It was heavily in debt. Most of Gingrich’s advisers had quit. Only his strong performance in the debates saved him from humiliation and defeat Gingrich turns out to be a shrewd analyst of himself and his prospects. He has told friends he’s like Richard Nixon, not particularly likable and hated by the press and the left.And far from a stumble, Tuesday night's remarks seemed a calculated tactic to draw a contrast with Romney, whom he now sees as his chief rival to the party nomination and who has had his own trouble with conservatives, largely because of the health care overhaul law he pushed through as governor of Massachusetts.
But Romney has been tough on undocumented immigration while running for president. He said Tuesday night that what Gingrich was proposing would act as a magnet for foreigners to enter the country without documents.He’s hardly a perfect candidate, but against a weak field, he can win the nomination and beat Obama in a tight race. And by the way, he’s the best of the bunch in connecting with the populist yearnings and resentments of average Americans..


No matter which party decides to tackle this issue, they have to realize that deporting illegal immigrants will cost LOTS of money, money we don't have. Hotheaded approaches to this issue have done nothing to solve it.

Newt is soliciting a PRAGMATIC approach, and the right will simply have to adjust it's temparment on their hardline view. His is the best approach based on the reality on the ground.

Many of the immigrants that are of the group he indentfied
­, have been productive and law abiding citizens who have already been here long enough to have become 'natuarliz­ed.'

I think once the conservati­ve base realizes that America can't just uproot these entire families and toss them out, they'll come around to Newt's way of thinking. What's to lose.nothi­ng has worked, because everyone is too unreasonab­le about a path forward on the issue.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The supercommmittee failure = Higher Taxes.

The supercommittee's inability to reach a deal on the deficit this week is a multi-dimensional failure. Your Taxes are going up!

If you're most concerned about the deficit, you'll care most that the supercommittee failed to reduce the deficit. If you're most concerned about taxes, you'll care most that they've punted the punt on tax reform. If you're most concerned about growth, as I am, you'll care most that we've missed an opportunity to expand and extend stimulus measures like the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. And if you're most concerned about the optics of Congress doing its job, you'll care most that our leaders don't seem to care much at all. STRANGELY this failure of Congress is linked to the  RAISING  of your TAXES. Don't be fooled , I am telling you all NOW it's a RIGGED CONGRESS . With the National Debt at 15 trillion , the government can't cut , so they play out some game called impasse would you know . So their failure means BIG BUCKS out of your wallet and into the federal reserves . No tax extensions, we all heard Obama whimpering at a press conference  . Yes he's on your side no  and fooling.  This debacle is going to cost the average tax payer at least 1000 dollars a year more starting January 1 , 2012.These four failures are all good reasons to be angry, dispirited, or simply exhausted by Congress's bipartisan re-failure. Now would be a responsible time to reduce the deficit. Now would be a fine time to trade in our ridiculous clown car of a tax code -- too crowded to be ideal, too small to be practical. Now would be a perfect time for Congress to buck its critics by reaching an agreement that reformed entitlements, raised taxes, and extended stimulus.But the failure you should care about the most is the failure that we'll feel first. And that's the failure to address the growth crisis.The U.S. government has vast needs. We need to put more people to work. We need to keep money in families' pockets. We need to build roads and pipes. We need help local and state governments. With all of these needs, you'd probably hope for some free money. That's funny, because, as Ezra Klein wrote this morning, the U.S. government can borrow money at rates as close to "free" as we've ever seen. "As of Friday, the federal government could borrow for five years at a real interest rate of -0.7 percent," he wrote. That means that "that once inflation is taken into account, the bank is paying you to borrow money. That just doesn't happen. But right now, it's happening for the United States government."

The sad part of this story is that they are not even trying to cut spending, politicians are the only group that considers a 5% decrease of a 20% increase as a spending cut and they cannot even agree not to increase spending. Freeze the budget at the current level until a comprehensive review and reform can take place with no more pushing the decision to the next president or future congress. As a proud member of the “1% “club I will declare it is not the tax rate that has me upset but the rate of spending. God knows that the current and past administrations and congress has cost ten times more in lost equity in our homes, IRAs, and other investments from lack of leadership then if they had increased everyone’s taxes significantly. If the so called Bush Tax Cuts are the reason for the country's economic problems then repeal it completely and take everyone back to the grand old days of the Clinton balanced budget and let the public see just who benefited the most over the past 12 years. Under the current logic if everyone contributed fairly the problems would be solved. Since 2008 we have personally reduced our debt by more than 80% and thankfully in six more months we will be debt free, it is amazing how much can be saved without high interest rates and other unnecessary spending, this administration and congress should for once quit the political posturing and try the same.

Just because the failure was bipartisan doesn't mean each party shares equally in the blame. The standard line is that, while deficit reduction requires both revenue and entitlement reform, Republicans won't do revenue and Democrats won't do entitlement reform. But this report from the New York Times suggests that Democrats offered a proposal to reduce deficits by $3 trillion over 10 years with $1.3 trillion of new revenue and the beginnings of entitlement reform.
The Democratic proposal included as much as $500 billion of savings in health care programs, higher Medicare premiums for high-income beneficiaries and use of a less generous measure of inflation that would reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security benefits.
A day later Republicans on the committee rejected the Democratic offer and came back with a proposal that would reduce deficits by $2.2 trillion and that included $640 billion of nontax revenue that Democrats said was too modest.
If true, these reports suggest that Democrats offered Republicans not only a fair deal, but a center-right deal in line with the Bowles-Simpson plan that received votes from multiple sitting Republican senators.

Consider the following: Their deal would have raised taxes by 43 cents for every dollar saved. By comparison, in the five grand bargains of the 1980s and early 1990s, tax increases accounted for 61 cents of every dollar saved, Catherine Rampell wrote for the New York Times. "In President Reagan's 1982 and 1984 budget-trimming deals, more than 80 percent of deficit reductions came from tax increases," she said.

You might say that Democrats didn't go far enough on entitlement reform. But they went just as far as Bowles-Simpson and the Bipartisan Policy Center's deficit plans. Both of those panels found about 15% of their savings in health care and Social Security savings. The Democrats' found about 16%.

The GOP's excuse for rejecting the Democrats' offer is that "now is not the time to raise taxes." This is a nifty juke for two reasons. First, there is no such thing as "the time to raise taxes" for Republicans. Second, "now" isn't the time most Democrats wants to raise taxes, anyway. The White House is still pushing for an extension for the payroll tax cut, which would keep effective tax rates at 50-year lows for most families. The supercommittee could have easily voted to schedule tax increases to begin in 2013 on the most wealthy and creep into the upper-middle class over the course of the decade as the economy moves to full strength.

This is your upshot. The supercommmittee has failed not because Democrats wouldn't touch entitlements, but because Republicans can't bring themselves to meaningfully raise taxes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Super Committee kryptonite.

Super Sub Committee is facing Kryptonite for it's deadline , where's Obama?

Regardless, one would think that the expression of outrage and revulsion from the public in response to the shenanigans during the debt ceiling crisis would have been enough for our political leaders to cautiously avoid backing themselves into another such scenario. But not so. Along with new rules for student loans and forcing a vote on a constitutional amendment that everyone knows has no chance of passing, and oh-by-the-way raising the debt limit, Congress included in the Budget Control Act of 2011 a few time bombs .There's a subtle divide between what some Super Committee members are saying publicly and what's going on behind closed doors as the deadline looms to trim the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion in the next nine days. In rare television appearances, Super Committee Republicans Jeb Hensarling and Patrick Toomey spoke on CNN's State of the Union and Fox News Sunday respectively, telegraphing serious doubts on the likelihood of an agreement and opening the door to deferring powers away from the committee or even scrapping the trigger designed to automatically-impose budget cuts. All the while, various reports from inside the Super Committee show some broad outlines of a deal between Democrats and Republicans emerging, though still far from certain
Seems to me the media have been perfectly sanguine about the complete failure of the federal government to pass a budget in how many years? As far as I am concerned that's an abdication of their constitutional duty. But if that has been okey-dokey since the present administration came into power, why should anyone be that the Super Committee is merely a stall. Lots of sound and fury, as someone said.The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a.k.a. Supercommitte, whose 12 members were picked by congressional leaders in the House and Senate, and who are split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, and who for some reason we prefer to call 'Super' and not 'Ultra' or 'Mega' or 'New and Improved', have until November 23 to agree on deficit reduction legislation and report back to both houses of Congress. If the Supercommittee is unable to arrive at an agreement and detonates the first time bomb on November 23, the special provisions that would allow for a simple majority up or down vote in both houses of Congress will expire (sec. 402 (g)). What is so significant about November 23, 2011? As far as I can tell it is either 1) completely arbitrary or 2) part of a plot to ruin Thanksgiving. Otherwise, I'm not sure what reason there could be for setting a three month deadline on a proposal regarding debt that will be incurred over the next ten years.Once the proposal is in Congress, provisions written into the Budget Control Act limits debate in both houses, forbids amendments in both houses, and forbids filibusters in the Senate. Both the House and Senate must pass the bill by December 23rd to avoid the second time bomb, again the penalty being that the special debate limits on the bill will expire. And what is so significant about December 23, 2011? As far as I can tell it is either 1) completely arbitrary or 2) part of a plot to ruin Christmas .Can the two sides breach the gap? As the Nov. 23 deadline looms, we'll find out soon enough..

If both of the above artificial deadlines are missed, it is still possible for Congress to avoid the final ultimate artificial deadline of January 15, 2012 (sec. 302 (a)) by passing any joint committee bill that reduces the deficit by $1.2 trillion. And what is so significant about January 15, 2012? As far as I can tell it is either 1) completely arbitrary or 2) part of a plot to ruin MLK day. If the last time bomb goes off on January 15, cuts will occur through a process called sequestration, which sounds like something the Humane Society might do to a stray dog, but actually means “sequestering” funds above a certain cap, even if those funds had been previously allocated.

Sequestration would not affect the budget across-the-board, as certain entitlement programs are exempt. I've seen reported various lists of items that would not be touched by these automatic cuts, all of which seem include to Medicaid. But first hand information has been difficult for me to come by, as many of the provisions in the Budget Control Act of 2011 are amendments to the Budget Control Act of 1985 (known as Gramm-Rudman) and amendments to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, neither of which I have been able to find online.

Discretionary spending caps can be found in Section 302 of this years bill for years 2013-2021, divided between security and non-security categories.

To summarize, a deadline regarding debt, whether real or imagined, made fools of us all earlier in the year and resulted in our nation's first ever credit downgrade. So Congress decided it would be a great idea to schedule a few more of these embarrassing episodes over the next five months and relegated much of it's legislative responsibility to a Supercommittee.

And if the Supercommitte doesn't work out, maybe Congress will consider seeking assistance from Batman. It makes at least as much sense as anything they've done so far regarding this issue.

Friday, November 18, 2011

California woes,

still facing problems with it's budget , like a wave . How it compares with other states ?

In 2002 California was notoriously famous as the STATE with the LATE budget , some times the budget would be a half a year late , and people took it to be the NORM and paid no attention to it.  SUDDENLY the state had out of the blue a 21billion dollar deficit  ( previously California  had a 21 billion dollar surplus? )  Regardless , there had been excuses for the budgetary shortfalls without any kinda of investigation . California has one of the highest taxes in any part of the country . Some pundits blame PROP 13 . I don't blame Prop 13 as the cause of the budget shortfalls , since Prop 13  Californians have been paying much higher taxes almost on anything including Capital Gains Tax has tripled for those who sell and buy homes . Property Tax rates have been substantially higher since . As much as I care to say if you add all the tax that we pay to the STATE and FEDERAL governments there should be NO billion  dollar deficits at all. So what is wrong here?Why aren't our legislators held accountable for this rampant overspending? It's all well and good to have public service programs, but NOT if we cannot sustain them. Those of us with jobs (and we are becoming fewer and fewer) are continuously "asked" to support these freebie programs to a majority of people who are either too lazy or stoned to get up off their duffs and support themselves! California has fallen prey to an entitlement mentality and the word is out. Our government is the Mother Teat to anyone wanting to come nurse.California's nonpartisan fiscal analyst projected the state to have a $13 billion budget shortfall over the next 18 months. That likely means Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers will have to make another round of spending cuts. A shortfall of that large would trigger cuts to public schools, higher education, services for seniors and health care programs for the needy, under the budge passed during the summer.A series of automatic cuts, called triggers, will take effect based on revenue reports from the Legislative Analyst's Office and the governor's Department of Finance.Under the budget deal Gov. Jerry Brown signed in June, the state will automatically cut a variety of programs depending on how deep budget analysts determine the revenue shortfall will be. If the state falls between $1 billion and $2 billion short, the budget calls for cuts in higher education, social services and public safety. If the state falls more than $2 billion short, the state will cut K-12 schools and community colleges. More on this here

The federal deficit was a major talking point in the 2010 elections, with Republican candidates in particular touting the virtues of "fiscal responsibility" and the need for cutting spending. Indeed, the federal deficit has grown at breakneck pace: since the surpluses of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the deficit has swollen considerably, exceeding $1 trillion every year since fiscal year 2009. Yet despite receiving less national attention, state budget deficits are also creating precarious fiscal situations nationwide. Falling tax revenue and the end of federal Recovery Act assistance may make the coming fiscal year the most difficult yet for many U.S. states. In Illinois, which is facing some of the worst fiscal troubles in the nation, Democratic Gov. Patrick Quinn on Thursday approved tax hikes to fight the red ink, increasing personal income tax rates from 3 to 5 percent, and business income taxes from 7.3 to 9.5 percent.
Before they pass budgets, states project their revenues and outlays for the coming fiscal year. Every state except Vermont has a balanced budget law in one form or another, so legislators must close any gap between revenues and outlays before they can pass a formal budget. Cumulatively, those state budget gaps have grown to staggering levels during the current recession. Fiscal year 2010 saw the largest state deficit total ever, with $191 billion. Such figures tower over state deficit figures from previous recession years. During the recession of the early 2000s, the largest cumulative state budget deficit was $80 billion, in 2004. According to a recent report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the total deficit projection for the current fiscal year is $160 billion. In FY 2012, which in most states will begin on July 1, 2011, that projection is slightly lower, at $140 billion. However, federal stimulus funds, which offset more than one-third of total budget shortfalls in 2010 and 2011, will run out in 2012, leaving states to handle their sizable budget gaps largely alone.
Phil Oliff, a policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, says that states will have to undertake a number of measures to bring their budgets out of the red. "States are facing a very significant fiscal problem," he says. "The problem states are facing is really too big for any single solution." Those solutions include tactics like raising taxes, cutting spending, and drawing on reserves—all of which are potentially risky and could further threaten recovery.
Below are the 10 states that are projecting the largest shortfalls for FY 2012.
State Projected FY 2012 shortfall
(in millions of dollars)
California $21,300
Illinois 17,000
New Jersey 10,500
Texas 10,000
New York 8,200
Connecticut 3,800
Minnesota 3,800
North Carolina 3,000
Ohio 3,000
Florida (tie) 2,500
Oregon (tie) 2,500

When viewed as a percentage of the full state budget, the task of closing these budget gaps can appear even more daunting. In Illinois, for example, the $17 billion 2012 shortfall is more than half the size of the 2011 state budget. Altogether, 40 states project shortfalls for their 2012 budgets, with a total that equals 19 percent—nearly one-fifth—of their 2011 budgets. Below are the ten states with the largest projected 2012 shortfalls, relative to their most recent budgets.
State Projected FY 2012 shortfall
(in millions of dollars)
Shortfall as Percentage
of FY 2011 Budget
Illinois $17,000 52.3
New Jersey 10,500 37.5
Nevada 1,300 36.7
Mississippi 1,200 27.6
South Carolina 1,300 26.1
California 21,300 25.7
Minnesota 3,800 25
Texas 10,000 22.3
Connecticut 3,800 21.6
Louisiana 1,700 21.2

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Forget Iran , think Pakistan ,and India.

America needs to rethink a lot of things , while the nation is focused on Iran . A whole lot has slipped.

WHEN it comes to nuclear danger, North Korea and Iran grab everyone’s attention.The 'heat' is on to disarm Iran . Has the United States been hypocritical? On May 28, 1998, when the jubilant masses poured to the streets to cheer Pakistan's string of nuclear tests, they shouted "Allah Akbar!". They paraded, and celebrated around, models of the Hatf - Pakistan's tactical nuclear missile - marked "Islamic bomb". In Friday prayers, Mullahs stressed that the tests are a "triumph for Islam." Completely ignored were President Nawaz Sharief's explanations that these nuclear tests were Pakistan's reaction to the Indian threat. And herein - in the stark difference between action and the politicians' rhetoric - the quandary lies.Pakistan would be an obvious place for a jihadist organization to seek a nuclear weapon or fissile material: it is the only Muslim-majority state, out of the 50 or so in the world, to have successfully developed nuclear weapons; its central government is of limited competence and has serious trouble projecting its authority into many corners of its territory (on occasion it has difficulty maintaining order even in the country’s largest city, Karachi); Pakistan’s military and security services are infiltrated by an unknown number of jihadist sympathizers; and many jihadist organizations are headquartered there already. Picking on Israel makes the silence—and hypocrisy—that surrounds nuclear-armed India and Pakistan all the stranger. Like Israel, neither joined the NPT so their bomb-building did not break its rules. Yet their rivalry is fuelling the fastest, most dangerous build-up of bomb-usable plutonium and uranium anywhere. And a proposed sale by China of two civilian nuclear reactors to proliferation-prone, unstable Pakistan points to a further distinction. Although much of the world has co-operated over North Korea and Iran, everyone is competing over India and Pakistan to make things worse .India was jubilant in 2008 when America strong-armed an exemption from this no-trade rule past the NSG. India was fast running out of domestic uranium to keep building bombs as well as lighting homes. Now uniquely exempted from the NSG trade ban, India has various deals pending with Russia, France, Britain, South Korea and other NSG members that involve supplying reactor fuel too. So India is now freer to use more of its own uranium for bombs.Barack Obama did not like the India deal struck by his predecessor, George Bush. Helping India’s nuclear ambitions clashes particularly badly with Mr Obama’s promise to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”. In weighing those fine promises against America’s relations with India, however, Mr Obama has chosen not to offend India by helping Pakistan too. So Pakistan turned to China.


"So Obama, since he is clearly unhappy with what Bush did, is seeking to "re-contain" Iran? LOL!"
The way things are going Obama seems to be one confused guy LOLZ! I think he will most likely be a one time Prez so who cares? We will see! Reminds me of "Second Coming" by Yeats:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the wors
Are full of passionate intensity.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where's the TEA PARTY?

Just where is the Tea Party in times like this?

With all the ruckus regarding the Occupy Wall Street people . Just where is the counter Tea Party rallies ? Let me clue you all in my Talking points . The Tea Party merged with the Occupy Wall Street group .But the biggest difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall street... Where was Occupy Wall Street when the bailouts were being handed out? . Why do I say that? Here is my break down of the two most influential groups . Here is how similar they are, and some differences ? You and me are my guess . The Tea Party mania may have evolved into the Occupier movement . I like what Dick Morris said : "similarities between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. Disliking the bigness of Wall Street or its combination's with big government to hurt small business is not a left or a right issue. It’s a concern of both! "

  • Both are frustrated with a government and institutions who are seen as overstepping their bounds, driven by self-interest and no longer serving the "American people."
  • Both have leveraged the energy into large gatherings of people in order to be  a visible and passionate expression of that frustration.
  • Both are claiming to speak on behalf of a large sector of the United States who share their frustration.
  • Both have been targets of media and political sensationalism and labeled, "anarchist" "fringe" or "radical" and have had "bad apples" used as sources for broad sweeping characterizations.
  • Both have individuals -- the aforementioned "bad apples" -- who act in ways that do not represent the core values of the movement.
  • Both have had politicians, entertainers, organizations and religious leaders pledge their support.
  • Both illicit strong emotional responses from those who see themselves as part of the ideological opposition.


The descriptions on Occupy Wall Street broke down into several, sometimes somewhat conflicting categories:
They are really mad at President Obama. "The community is organizing against the community organizer," cracked Andrew Breitbart.
They were inspired by Obama and other Democrats, so anything they do can be blamed on Obama and his party. "They would not be organizing if they were not blessed by Nancy Pelosi and organized by Obama," said Breitbart. "Occupy Wall Street is the direct result of Barack Obama's relentless class warfare that he's been practicing since he was a candidate," said Rudy Giuliani. "I believe that Barack Obama owns the Occupy Wall Street movement. It would not have happened but for his class warfare. He praised it, supported it, agrees with it, sympathized with it. As it gets worse and worse it will be the millstone that takes his presidency down."
They are a bunch of lazy hippies. "I'm happier than a hippie in Zuccotti Park on free hash brownie day," joked Jonah Goldberg, who apparently moonlights as a Borscht Belt comedian. "How about you occupy a job?" Giuliani rhetorically asked the protesters. "How about working? I know that's tough. Woodstock is more fun. How about proceeding with your education? Nah, they'd rather do Woodstock in Manhattan, which is what it's turned into."
(Giuliani must be unaware of the widely reported fact that many of the protesters hold a bachelor's or even master's degrees, and it is because they cannot find work to pay off their student loans that they are protesting.)

 The New Yorker reported last week that some Occupy Wall Street activists think the Tea Party is as legitimate a movement as their own, and one they should seek to work with. The feeling is not mutual.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Israeli Foolhardiness .

Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is considering attacking Iran  at America's expense .
The story that could dominate the NEWS is likely the threat of an Israeli attack against Iran . You have that gut feeling . You wake up in the morning , turn the TV on and see parts of Iran being bombed. The scare of a nuclear Iran is extremely benign , but the facts about it are mostly distracted  by the Israeli government . Before the United States invaded Iraq , most of the faulty intelligence regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction came from  Israel. It was also Israel that pushed for an Iraqi invasion . Now Israel is again making an outlandish treat that could further quagmire the United States into a costly war that has no basis Suddenly the Israeli press has become fixated on stories that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is considering a military attack on the Iranian nuclear program. Some very reputable Israeli journalists are reporting that the prime minister and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, are pushing the cabinet to vote in favor of an attack. An Israeli strike on Iran could create a firestorm of violence from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea and put thousands of American soldiers and diplomats at risk. Today Israel tested one of its long-range missiles, adding to the tension. In recent days, speculation in Israel has grown about the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, with Haaretz newspaper reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were seeking cabinet support for an attack.On Sunday, Haaretz reported that US officials had failed to secure a commitment from Israel that it would coordinate any attack plans with Washington.And the military last week carried out what Israeli media called a "ballistic missile" test, as well as a large-scale civil defence drill simulating the response to conventional and non-conventional missile attacks..An Israeli provocation could also inspire many end-time buffs that could set off a new Middle -East war , if that's not bad enough , the sneaky Israeli leaders could also 'wash' their hands of it and pass the new war to the United States which is committed to Israel . The whole Israeli press hullabaloo may be just a media invention or some trial balloon that will fade away. The Obama team could also quietly make clear to Bibi that a strike is a bad idea. Sanctions and sabotage have slowed Iran’s nuclear program down considerably. The former head of the Mossad has publicly urged continued diplomacy and covert action to keep Iran from getting the bomb. Meir Dagan has said an Israeli attack would be a “stupid idea.” He is right..

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Congress & God................

God is worried about the American economy , but he is concerned on how Congress spends it's time .
Congress ( **** ) has time to debate , and time to "reaffirm" : (1) ' In God we Trust'  . Unemployment is at 9 percent, about 50 percent higher than what we used to consider a national crisis. The national debt is at $14 trillion, (approaching 15 Trillion as of this writing )   ( 2 ) but that's as of Thursday afternoon, so don't hold me to that number. The national budget year started a month ago, but a budget is somewhere in the pile of things that Congress, with a record-low 109 House of Representatives work days this year, somehow can't manage to consider. But fortunately, on Wednesday, the House found time to debate and pass a bill declaring the national motto to be "In God We Trust." It passed 396-9, though God doesn't even have a political action committee. Admittedly, there are groups claiming to be God's political action committee, but so far none have produced their client for a news conference. What's curious about the action is that "In God We Trust" already is the national motto, and has been since 1956. You can find it on the money, and everything -- although maybe the House is worried that people now have so little money they've forgotten. House members said they wanted to reaffirm the national motto, although that's already been done, too, in 2002. And in 2006, the Senate voted, all by itself, to reaffirm "the concept embodied in the motto." This week's motto moment did give several members the chance to offer the almighty their personal endorsement. "Is God God? Or is man God? In God do we trust, or in man do we trust?" asked Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. Unless we're clear on that, he suggested, "we should just let anarchy prevail because, after all, we are just worm food. So indeed we have the time to reaffirm that God is God and in God do we trust." So the House got that straightened out. Still, you might wonder why this came up now, whether the nation faced a sudden motto shortfall, like the repeated financial crises requiring Congress to pass continuing resolutions to keep the government in business. It was more serious than that. "Unfortunately, we've had a number of key public officials who -- even after the 2002 vote -- apparently were confused about what the national motto was," indignantly explained Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va. Specifically, in November 2010, President Obama, told a crowd in Jakarta, Indonesia, "In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum -- out of many, one." The phrase is also on the money, and on the Great Seal of the United States, and was proposed as the motto by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, but is not, at least since 1956, the national motto. Congressmen leaped to face the emergency created by the president's comment. In December, 42 House members wrote the president seeking a correction. In March, the Congressional Prayer Caucus officially demanded a retraction, but somehow it didn't rise to the top of the White House to-do list. So this week, a year afterward -- if the mills of the gods grind slowly, they have nothing on Congress -- the House debated and affirmed that the national motto is "In God We Trust."Thus far, God has had no comment. "I suspect if the almighty had something to say, it wouldn't be pretty," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. "It's hard to think of a better metaphor for why nothing's happening, how we're filling up time, picking up absolutely pointless issues." But Thursday, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, explained on Fox News that the whole effort had been worth it to "remind the president what the motto of our great country is." So the core mission of the House of Representatives these days is to say to the president, "Nyah nyah." Still, Forbes sees a vital point to "In God We Trust" getting a renewed House OK. In these economic times, he explained, "Our citizens need that kind of hope, and that kind of inspiration." So there's a deeper message to the House urging people to trust in God. The members are reminding Americans not to count on Congress.


At least we are clear that the House trusts God. It is fitting, because almost nobody in the country trusts the House.
I like to imagine when, sometime in the future, members of House find themselves at the Pearly Gates in front of St. Pete. I expect there will be statement to each, reminiscent of the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, "Lucy, you've got some explaining to do.

(1) The phrase 'In God We Trust' first appeared on U.S. coins during the Civil War in 1864. (2) Yes, this is how Congress spends it's time. Re-affirming something that is already in place. Anything to avoid the real problems.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Herman Cain has just given the GOP a problem. For me to see something like this is  like kicking the wall,  all because   I want to see African -Americans be part of a political process . Here a man of African decent  is brought down by dirt dug up perhaps by the White Media ? ****.A scandal like this could hurt the rest of the GOP candidates .Mark Block and Linda Hanson, two top campaign aides in Herman Cain's presidential bid, have embroiled the GOP hopeful in yet another scandal, this time one involving corruption, with violations of both election law and federal tax law suspected through conservative groups like Prosperity USA
No Quarter (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) broke the story Oct. 30, which was swallowed up in the fervor over accusations of sexual harassment. Now, however, news of illegal corporate funding has begun to be picked up by blogs and local news sources on Oct. 31, and may be yet another "cloud" cast over Cain's 2012 presidential campaign .Conservatives almost immediately denounced the story as a "high-tech lynching," the same phrase Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (see Notes & Comments )
Hanson and Block, the campaign manager now infamous for the "Cain smoking ad" that went viral last week, ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that footed the bill for thousands of dollars in iPods, chartered flights and other expenses that helped their candidate get his campaign off the ground--something that internal sources and legal documents indicate might breach both federal tax and campaign laws in the United States.Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is offering the embattled Herman Cain some advice in the sexual harassment settlement fallout — don’t pull the race card. Good words of wisdom, but the train has already left the station in this mess. Herman Cain and his team bungled this terribly. He said the attacks on him are racially motivated. Really? How about the scandals that torpedoed presidential aspirations of John Kerry and Michael Dukakis?If this is how he handles a controversy as a private figure, imagine what he would do as president of the U.S.A. Some on the right claim this is a high-tech lynching and a throwback to Clarence Thomas’ sexual harassment scandal that came to a head during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, when we saw his accuser, Anita Hill, grilled by the Senate. To Herman Cain and people like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, you can pull the race card when it convenient to you. That will certainly backfire.
It is quite evident that Herman Cain’s meteoric rise in the polls is being reduced to nothing more than a national joke. He should have known that his “little secret” would come to light at some point. Either he is narcissistic or just plain arrogant into thinking he could have pulled this off without the press getting wind of two sexual harassment settlements in his past. The reality is that stonewalling, semantic denials, hurling accusations of a smear job, partial explanations, that we can clearly see through and using weasel words to steer clear of the conversation, won’t make the questions or this mess go away.
What will be equally damning is if the accuser, who is rearing to come forward, is a white woman. Herman Cain would have diminished his stature even more, by embodying that stereotype of black men fawning over white women.  The reality is that this scandal really magnifies the political naivete of Herman Cain and shows us quite clearly, he isn’t ready for the White House, not by any stretch of the imaginatio


****  There has not been any African -Americans who has risen to a predominant office in American  Politics other than Barak Obama  . Dr. Martin Luther King rallied the masses in the 1960's for change , at that time he could not aspire to politics  .  Jesse Jackson tried it and failed . I have to give credit to Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. Clarence Thomas. has been recently compared to Cain  , I see that Thomas survived on the Supreme Court Bench . Cain however is damaged .