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To: DuckTapeSunroof who wrote (49335)2/21/2012 7:20:33 PM
From: Peter Dierks
   of 71089
 
We will see. At some point in time a Constitutional Constructionist may hear a case about Obama. The results will most likely be different then.

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To: Peter Dierks who wrote (49351)2/21/2012 7:53:01 PM
From: calgal
2 Recommendations   of 71089
 
Famous Left-Handers en français | en español | in pig latin

U.S. Presidents | Politicos | Miscellaneous | Authors
Musicians | Artists | Actors | Athletes
The terms «famous» and «left-hander» are both subjective judgments. For this page, «famous» means that someone steeped in American culture will recognize most of these names, and «left-handed» is a loose common classification meaning to write with and/or use the left hand for manual tasks. A few of the people listed here might be better described as «ambidexterous».
I would like to expand this list to include «famous left-handers» of many cultures and activities. YOU CAN HELP by nominating «famous left-handers» that are not included on this page: Click here to submit a new name!


This page is posted for entertainment purposes. Information pertaining to my research, my on-line Hand Preference Questionnaire, my Curriculum vitae, or my Internet Underground article, " The World of Sinistral Subterfuge", may be found at other sites. The top menu for these pages is:




indiana.edu
gauche! Left-Handers in Society... Left-Handers speak to parents, educators, employers, physicians, manufacturers, et al. about problems associated with being a left-hander in a right-handed society. Add your comments!



-- M.K. Holder, Ph.D./.

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From: greatplains_guy2/21/2012 10:01:46 PM
1 Recommendation   of 71089
 
Black (liberal) History Month
Cal Thomas
Feb 21, 2012

Black History Month honors the achievements of African Americans throughout history and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, a reliance on family and faith, which allowed many African Americans to survive the horrors of Reconstruction, racial injustice and violent acts of discrimination, has become a casualty of the modern welfare state, which has contributed to the destruction of family cohesion, supplanted faith in God with faith in government and fashioned many African-Americans into a Democratic voting bloc that has not improved the lot of the impoverished among them.

While African-American history is important, the way it is most often presented through a liberal political lens skews the contributions and examples of African Americans who do not toe the liberal line. One especially sees this in the civil rights establishment's response to Justice Clarence Thomas and more recently to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)

West took to the floor of the House last week to praise what he called the Republican Party's contributions to civil rights. It is a history practically unknown among many African Americans, who have been taught that Republicans are racist and care nothing about black empowerment. When examples to the contrary are presented to them, they often call white Republicans disparaging names and vilify Black Republicans as insufficiently black.

The Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, West asserted, has consistently fought for individual freedom over the last 150 years. He said Democratic "handouts" to the poor have resulted in a "modern form of slavery." Republicans, he said, "reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock."

West noted that following Republican Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Republicans supported the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, which ended slavery, provided for equal protection under the law and gave voting rights to blacks.

West added, "It was the Republican-controlled 39th Congress that established the Buffalo Soldiers," an African-American regiment of the U.S. Army, and that it was President Ulysses S. Grant who signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Republican Calvin Coolidge spoke out in favor of civil rights. The late Republican Congressman Jack Kemp promoted "enterprise zones" in depressed urban neighborhoods.

Republican George W. Bush, West said, "signed an omnibus bill that included a voucher program for school children...," establishing school choice in Washington, D.C. President Obama announced there would be no new funding for the program in his current budget, even though it's enorm

Black History Month honors the achievements of African Americans throughout history and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, a reliance on family and faith, which allowed many African Americans to survive the horrors of Reconstruction, racial injustice and violent acts of discrimination, has become a casualty of the modern welfare state, which has contributed to the destruction of family cohesion, supplanted faith in God with faith in government and fashioned many African-Americans into a Democratic voting bloc that has not improved the lot of the impoverished among them.

While African-American history is important, the way it is most often presented through a liberal political lens skews the contributions and examples of African Americans who do not toe the liberal line. One especially sees this in the civil rights establishment's response to Justice Clarence Thomas and more recently to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)

West took to the floor of the House last week to praise what he called the Republican Party's contributions to civil rights. It is a history practically unknown among many African Americans, who have been taught that Republicans are racist and care nothing about black empowerment. When examples to the contrary are presented to them, they often call white Republicans disparaging names and vilify Black Republicans as insufficiently black.

The Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, West asserted, has consistently fought for individual freedom over the last 150 years. He said Democratic "handouts" to the poor have resulted in a "modern form of slavery." Republicans, he said, "reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock."

West noted that following Republican Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Republicans supported the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, which ended slavery, provided for equal protection under the law and gave voting rights to blacks.

West added, "It was the Republican-controlled 39th Congress that established the Buffalo Soldiers," an African-American regiment of the U.S. Army, and that it was President Ulysses S. Grant who signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Republican Calvin Coolidge spoke out in favor of civil rights. The late Republican Congressman Jack Kemp promoted "enterprise zones" in depressed urban neighborhoods.

Republican George W. Bush, West said, "signed an omnibus bill that included a voucher program for school children...," establishing school choice in Washington, D.C. President Obama announced there would be no new funding for the program in his current budget, even though it's enormously popular with poor African-American parents, who see school choice as fundamental to their child's success. Apparently, the president favors teachers' unions over poor schoolchildren.

More history: The Ku Klux Klan was founded by a group of Southern Democrats; white Democratic politicians in the South tried to derail civil rights legislation; white Alabama Governor George C. Wallace stood in a schoolhouse door to keep African-American students out; the late West Virginia Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was a former member of the KKK. Byrd eventually recanted his racist beliefs, but late in life still used the phrase "white n----r" in an interview.

West's point is that those Democrats who claim to care so much for African Americans have done them a disservice by perpetuating the myth of Republican racism and addicting too many of them to a government check instead of liberating them through education and strong families.

According to a study by The Heritage Foundation, published in Investor's Business Daily, "The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23 percent in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program." That involves money for housing, health, welfare, education and other programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."

Of course, African Americans are not the only group represented in this number -- there are poor Hispanics, poor whites, etc. And certainly not all vote Democratic. The fact is, more and more Americans are finding themselves relying on government. In many cases, they would work if there was work to be had; they would succeed if the road to success were a viable option.

The question for African Americans, however, particularly during Black History Month, is not about history at all. The question is: "Are better you off than you were 40 years ago?" By any objective measure, the answer for too many is "no." That was West's point. No wonder the liberal establishment wants to redistrict him out of Congress.

townhall.com

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To: Peter Dierks who wrote (49247)2/21/2012 10:16:37 PM
From: greatplains_guy
1 Recommendation   of 71089
 
Polls: Romney, Santorum Again Running Dead Even With Obama as Primary Race Tightens
Guy Benson
Feb 21, 2012 04:17 PM EST

We've already stumbled through the electoral fantasyland inhabited by mainstream media figures and certain GOP elites alike, so let's return to reality, shall we? This week's polling data is fascinating on several fronts. Let's begin with the GOP nominating contest -- you know, the one with actual declared candidates vying for votes. Sen. Rick Santorum holds a ten-point national lead over Gov. Mitt Romney among Republican voters:


In the Feb. 15-19 Gallup Daily tracking rolling average, Santorum is ahead of Romney by 36% to 26%, with Newt Gingrich at 13% and Ron Paul at 11%. This marks Santorum's largest lead to date. Santorum had moved to within two points of Romney, 30% to 32%, by the end of last week. Prior to Santorum's surge, Romney led Santorum 37% to 16% in Gallup Daily tracking ending Feb. 6, the day before Santorum won primaries and caucuses in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado.


That's the unalloyed good news for Santorum backers. A double-digit lead is hard to argue with. That being said, Romney backers are likely to emphasize the results (and importance) of another recent Gallup survey that tweaks the question:



In a separate USA Today/Gallup survey conducted Feb. 16-19, all Americans were asked which of the two candidates -- Romney or Santorum -- they believed would have the best chance of beating Barack Obama in November. Overall, 54% of Americans named Romney and 29% chose Santorum. Fewer Republicans are undecided on this issue, leaving 58% who say Romney has the best chance of beating Obama, while 32% choose Santorum.


As we've seen throughout the cycle, these national numbers tend to ebb and flow based on primary results and other outside events. Next week's contests in Michigan and Arizona will be especially pivotal because they'll set the table for Super Tuesday. Tuesday's results will be especially impactful because there are no debates between February 28th and March 6th; both scheduled forums have been canceled. Romney maintains a slight lead in Arizona, far smaller than it was at the beginning of the month. It also remains to be seen how the Sheriff Babeu kerfuffle will affect the race, if at all (Babeu was a Romney surrogate). The dynamic of the Michigan brouhaha is also shifting. Last week, Santorum opened up a large lead in the Great Lakes State, but brand new surveys show the race is now either much closer or tied:



Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a statistical dead heat in Michigan a week ahead of the vote, according to a new poll of Republican voters in the state. Romney took 32 percent and Santorum 30 percent in a one-day poll of Michigan GOP voters by Mitchell/Rosetta Stone conducted on Monday. Romney's lead is within the poll's margin of error.


Couple these numbers with the the Santorum camp's new expectations management tactic in Michigan, and it seems as though a Romney comeback is brewing. It sounds like he's hitting something of a groove on the stump, too. When a Canadian questioner told Romney he couldn't have his national healthcare card at a Tuesday rally, Romney deadpanned, "I don't want it." The crowd erupted. Romney also plans to roll out a major tax and entitlement reform proposal in Detroit on Friday. Conservative economist and television host Larry Kudlow has seen the plan and pronounces it "bold." Tearing down your opponents with high-dollar attack ads is one thing; commending your own goals and talents to voters is another. Could Romney finally be pivoting to a "positive, results-focused campaign" some of us have been asking for? The new polling also contains good news for Republicans, generally. President Obama's temporary blip is waning, dragging down his head-to-head numbers against Santorum and Romney. Rasmussen pegs each Republican within two points of Obama, while Gallup puts Romney ahead by four and Santorum in a virtual dead heat:



Meanwhile, President Obama's standing against two potential Republican rivals has ebbed a bit. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leads the president 50%-46% among registered voters, Romney's strongest showing against him to date. Obama edges former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum by a single percentage point, 49%-48%.


Obama's job approval is edging back down into the low-to-mid 40s and is back underwater, where it has languished for months. As I indicated in my previous post, bad housing news and grim unemployment forecasts probably won't help his cause, either. Not to worry, the Washington Post assures us -- Obama's still reeling in campaign cash hand-over-fist, and he has much more cash on hand than all of his possible opponents combined. True. But then again, he has the luxury of not facing a contested primary. It also helps when you can dress up campaigning as official business, and stick taxpayers with the tab (yes, this is a bipartisan exercise, but Obama's abused it more than his predecessors). While we're at it, let's not forget Republicans' huge SuperPAC advantage, which prompted The One to abandon his "principles" a few weeks back. We now know why he did it:



Newly filed financial reports offer a fairly strong clue as to why President Obama's campaign decided to get behind super PAC fundraising. Priorities USA, the political committee founded by former Obama aides, raised a grand total of $59,000 in January. That's enough to buy a snazzy car with "Obama 2012" stickers on it or perhaps cover travel expenses for staff, but not enough to compete on the airwaves. By comparison, the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future group raised $6.6 million in January. Winning our Future, the pro-Newt Gingrich fund, raised $11 million.


I'll leave you with the latest attack ad running in Michigan. It targets Rick Santorum as a "fake fiscal conservative." Romney World strikes again? Not this time:

The confounding Romney-Paul alliance lives on.


UPDATE - There's another unhelpful factor at play for Obama: Rising gas prices. This trend hits working Americans where it hurts and opens the door for the GOP to whack the president hard on his pathetic Keystone decision, about which Jay Carney is still lying.


townhall.com

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To: DuckTapeSunroof who wrote (47712)2/21/2012 10:19:02 PM
From: greatplains_guy
   of 71089
 
What are my Kids Learning? Poll Shows Professors Fail Presidential History
Feb 21, 2012

Editor's Note: This column was written by Kate Obenshain, Vice President of Young America’s Foundation.

Presidents Day celebrates America’s rich presidential history, yet the people we entrust to teach and write our history books—university professors—have a skewed view of our nation’s past leaders.

On Ronald Reagan’s 101st birthday, Young America’s Foundation released a scientific poll conducted by The Polling Company Inc. of 284 professors on their views on our past presidents—particularly on President Reagan. Those views on Reagan were not surprising. Professors have less of an appreciation for arguably the greatest modern President than do a majority of Americans. What was perhaps more alarming, however, was their disdain of our great founding presidents.

When asked to list their picks for the three greatest presidents of all-time, professors mentioned Franklin Roosevelt significantly more times than George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison—and four times as often as President Reagan.

Little Love for Founding Fathers

Professors expressed clear distain for America’s Founding Fathers and founding documents. A meager 1% of professors thought the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, ranked in the top three presidents (compared to 54% for FDR), and only 30% picked Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence.

While there are 43 presidents to choose from, the fact that Bill Clinton got six times as many mentions as James Madison is disturbing. In the poll, 87% of professors said it was “important to pass on analysis and understanding of previous United States Presidents.” But what kind of analysis are they passing on?

In the poll, three times as many professors identified themselves as liberal than as conservative. For a long time, we’ve known about the widespread liberalism in academia, but many Americans don’t realize the impact this ideological bias has on their children’s education.

30% of professors admitted in the Foundation’s poll that their ideology plays a role in their curriculum. That number is alarming enough, but we know from closely studying the intolerant intellectual atmosphere on college campuses, it is far worse than those numbers admit.

As our poll numbers reflect, the ideological sentiments being passed on to students by many professors on the Left dismiss our Founders as largely irrelevant. Is this really what we want our kids to believe?

I don’t. I want my children to see the founders as the visionaries they were. They set the stage for the greatest growth in personal freedom the world has ever seen. But that’s not the story most kids are learning in history class.

Anti-Conservative History

In fact, students are hearing little if anything positive about conservative leaders from professors. In 2011, Gallup released a poll indicating that a plurality of Americans think President Reagan is the greatest president in US history. In our poll, not one professor said Reagan was the greatest president, and 60% said he wasn’t in their top ten. When asked to grade President Reagan, they gave him a C+.

Current popular American opinion of President Reagan arguably isn’t the only way to evaluate his place in history. However, professors are not only out of touch with the American public, they’re out of touch with historical facts.

The facts are that President Reagan ended the cold war and generated the greatest period of peacetime economic growth in US History. Under President Reagan, the misery index (inflation plus unemployment) fell nearly 10 points and youth unemployment dropped more than 5%. Revenues doubled, and the country pulled out of two economic recessions. Professors can’t say the same about FDR or any other president.

The Importance of Factual and Balanced Presidential History

America’s youth look up to the presidency, and many students’ policy beliefs will result from their understanding of a particular president. Our higher education is trying to pull America to the left, and we cannot let their slanted views of historical presidents preside as fact in the classroom.

Our government has strayed from America’s founding values of limited government and personal responsibility. Americans are suffering the economic consequences. Our children must learn about the successes of these fundamental principles so they shape their future around what worked.

Professors gave President Reagan a C+, but Americans should give professors an F. It’s great that professors think presidential history is “important” to share in the classroom, but America, for the sake of our children, let’s make sure these professors get the history right.

townhall.com

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To: longnshort who wrote (46727)2/21/2012 10:27:52 PM
From: greatplains_guy
   of 71089
 
Climate scientist admits to defrauding the Heartland Institute
Science is all about attacking critics and making stuff up.
by John Hayward
02/21/2012


These are dark days for the “climate change” fraud. In 2010, 141 scientists wrote a letter to the United Nations challenging the junk science of the global warming cult, declaring “climate change science is in a period of ‘negative discover’ – the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know. Truly, the science is not settled.”

A year later, over a thousand scientists joined forces to express their skepticism of the climate change movement. Many of them were motivated to speak up by the “Climategate” scandal, in which emails from the East Anglia climate research unit revealed the deliberate manipulation of data by global-warming zealots. The group continues to collect a steady stream of climate scientists who study new data and conclude the basic assumptions of “climate change” are incorrect.

The release of new data has delivered one body blow after another to the “climate change” fanatics. Several major planet-wide studies have been released over the past couple of years, showing no significant global warming at all. The “climate models” used to wreak havoc upon the industrialized economies of the world utterly failed to predict our current global climate. The East Anglia fraudsters knew this was coming, which is why they were trying to “hide the decline” in global temperature data. Actually, the degree to which global warming is not happening came as a surprise to some critics of global warming theory, who were willing to accept that some atmospheric changes might be under way, but doubted human activity was a major contributing factor.

Non-politicized scientists have, in fact, returned to a school of thought that was gathering strength in the Seventies, before politicians took over from scientists and created the “global warming” cult: the Earth is headed for a period of cooling, caused in large measure by changes in solar radiation. In a fascinating turn of events, experiments at the CERN high-energy physics lab have increased scientists’ understanding of the role cosmic radiation plays in cloud formation, as discussed in an August 2011 piece in Nature. Refreshingly, the scientists pursuing these theories are cheerfully willing to concede they’re theories and open to challenge - not holy Scripture commanding the end of the Industrial Age, challenged only by heretics.

So, if you’re a die-hard global-warming dead-ender, how do you handle these depressing developments? You commit fraud in an attempt to discredit global-warming critics.

That’s what Peter Gleick, a cult member in good standing, decided to do to the Heartland Institute, a free-market think-tank that has long been outspoken against global warming. Gleick, who is nominally a “scientist” but doesn’t let ethics stand in the way of righteousness, created a false identity and stole confidential information from Heartland - including financial documents and their donor list - then published them online. He even threw in a complete forgery to make the story more interesting.

Because that’s what “science” is all about! Ignoring hard data, attacking the motives of those who dare to challenge your dogma, and making stuff up when necessary!

Once he was caught, Gleick wrote a hilarious “apology” in the Huffington Post in which he asserted, consistent with the highest traditions of science, that extreme righteousness justifies theft and forgery:

I will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials; others have and are doing so. I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts -- often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated -- to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.

None of which has anything to do with all that highly inconvenient data that’s pulverizing the climate-change fraud, but I guess the true mission of “science” is to expose people who want to solicit contributions from the Koch Brothers.

As for those pleas for “rational public debate,” remind me: which side of this debate has been screaming “the science is settled” for years, hiding inconvenient data, producing ad campaigns that show children exploding into clouds of bloody meat as punishment for daring to question climate change dogma, and comparing its critics to Holocaust deniers?

The Heartland Institute responded to Gleick’s confession by saying “a mere apology is not enough to undo the damage,” ringing up their lawyers, and asking responsible publications to remove Gleick’s stolen and fraudulent documents from their Web sites.

Good luck with that, Heartland! Have you seen the way liberal media outlets are reporting the Gleick confession, when they bother to mention it at all? They’re still celebrating him as a hero, whose professional reputation was heroically sacrificed in the noble cause of embarrassing climate change “deniers.”

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast is dubious that we’ve gotten the full truth from Gleick:

In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a "rational debate" from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.

Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.

We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.


We can hope the same thing about the entire global-warming cult, but if hopes were greenhouse gases, we really would have polar bears riding ice floes into the Hudson River.

The larger context of this incident illustrates just how much politics has replaced science. A scientist would be more concerned with the discussion of data, and subjecting theories to rigorous challenge, than attempting to embarrass opposing participants in a discussion. And yet, the global warming cult is reduced to shouting that donations from the fossil-fuel industry presumptively discredit the arguments from institutions they support. As if the global-warming crowd isn’t getting big bucks from sources with a fiduciary interest in promoting their theories! What industry has been more guilty of using junk science to clean out the pockets of taxpayers than the “green energy” crew?

Most importantly, global warming has long enjoyed the patronage of statist politicians, who value the creation of a “problem” that demands immediate, unreasoning action by centralized government. Global warming theory is the perfect solvent for economic liberty – it positively demands the destruction of private property rights, because individuals cannot be trusted, by definition, to “do the right thing” on their own. Some global-warming extremists have openly suggested suspending democracy to battle the threat.

It’s tough to put a dollar value on that patronage, but I would be surprised if all the oily Koch Brothers money the Heartland Institute has ever dreamed of soliciting amounted to a fraction of one percent as much.


John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at ]

[url=http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49660]http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49660

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To: Peter Dierks who wrote (49322)2/21/2012 10:37:56 PM
From: greatplains_guy
1 Recommendation   of 71089
 
Closer to take-off
Momentum is growing for an Israeli airstrike on Iran—with or without American support
Feb 11th 2012 | from the print edition

IS IT all part of a carefully calibrated campaign of bluff and rumour intended to support tightening sanctions and bring Iran to the negotiating table, or is the ground really being prepared for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities in the next few months? Perhaps it is neither and the people who count, yet to make up their minds, are frantically hedging and debating.

In early February the annual Herzliya security conference in Israel provided a platform for the country’s military and intelligence elite to air their concerns about Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. Israel’s hawkish defence minister, Ehud Barak, said that the “window” for an effective strike was rapidly closing because the continuing movement of essential uranium-enriching centrifuges to the Fordow underground facility, close to the holy city of Qom, would give Iran a “zone of immunity” in which it could construct a bomb regardless of any intervention by the outside world.

Attacking the case for waiting to assess the impact of the latest round of sanctions, due to come into effect by midyear, Mr Barak warned that “whoever says ‘later’ may find that later is too late.” He added that “the assessment of many experts…is that the result of avoiding action will certainly be a nuclear Iran, and dealing with a nuclear Iran will be more complicated, more dangerous and more costly in lives and money than stopping it.”

Mr Barak’s American opposite number, Leon Panetta, who was travelling with journalists to a meeting with his NATO counterparts in Brussels, confided soon afterwards that there was a strong likelihood of Israel attacking Iran in April, May or June, when the skies are usually clear. Mr Panetta was not speaking on the record, but later turned down an opportunity to disown his remarks.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded by using his nationally broadcast Friday sermon on February 3rd to commit the country to continuing its nuclear programme no matter what, and to threaten both Israel and America. He described Israel as a “cancerous tumour” that “will be removed” and declared that if war broke out “it would be ten times deadlier for the Americans” than for Iran.

Mr Khamenei also called on regional allies to attack Israel. “Iran would assist any country or organisation that would fight the Zionist regime, which is now weaker than ever,” he said. It is a call that may, however, fall on deaf ears. Iran’s main ally in the region, the Syrian government, has other things on its mind. If it falls, pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon and Gaza will find their supply-lines cut.

Amid the escalating war of words, the military preparations for a conflict are indeed under way. The head of ground forces at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has announced exercises in the south of the country, near the Strait of Hormuz, and America has begun its largest amphibious-landing drill for a decade, described by Admiral John Harvey of the US Fleet Forces Command as “informed by recent history” and “applicable” to the Strait of Hormuz. Meanwhile, DEBKAfile, an excitable but at times well-informed Israeli security website, reported that “many thousands” of American troops have arrived at two islands close to the Strait, Masirah in Oman and Socotra in Yemen.

Yet for all the alarums and excursions, there are few hard conclusions to draw about whether an attack on Iran is imminent, or whether Israel is prepared to act unilaterally. And it is not clear whether, if it was convinced this was about to happen, America would feel compelled to hold Israel back and carry out the strikes itself. Only Israel’s senior leadership (and perhaps the Americans) know whether the Israeli air force is capable of carrying out an effective attack on its own.

Attempting to calm things down, Barack Obama said on February 5th that he did not think Israel had “made a decision on what they need to do” and that the two countries would work in “lockstep as we proceed to solve this, hopefully diplomatically”. Mr Obama will be mindful that an attack would dominate his bid for re-election in November—though it is unclear whether he would gain as a war president or lose ground because of a surge in oil prices and an economic reversal.

The consequences might not be as catastrophic as some fear. On the other hand they fall into the disturbing category that Donald Rumsfeld, a former American defence secretary, once called “known unknowns”. Unfortunately for Mr Obama the decision is more likely to rest with Mr Barak and his prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, than with him.

economist.com

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To: joseffy who wrote (49313)2/21/2012 10:43:49 PM
From: greatplains_guy
1 Recommendation   of 71089
 
The paramount importance of turf
February 21, 2012
By Yates Walker

When will conservatives learn that being right doesn’t matter? Having the correct answer to a philosophical problem is gratifying on a chalkboard, but it means little in political confrontations. The left learned this lesson a long time ago. The right needs to catch up.

In his 2007 opus “Politics Lost,” liberal scribe Joe Klein examined the political machinations of candidates and campaigns over the last 40 years, ultimately lamenting something or other. It’s not important. But in one of his presidential anecdotes, almost in passing, Klein observed that one of the more remarkable things about Ronald Reagan was that he got Ted Kennedy talking about the danger of inflation.

Hallelujah! Once again, Republicans can learn at the foot of a master.

Getting Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion, to take a respite from pummeling deceased equines and engage in a debate over inflation was no mean feat. But it wasn’t magic either. Having once been a union leader and an FDR Democrat, Ronald Reagan knew how to fight and win in politics: Get your opponent to fight on your turf.

In almost every political battle, the winner is predetermined by whose turf is being defended. In a battle over taking care of the elderly, feeding the hungry and healing the sick, the Democrats will win. (Americans are a generous people, and we like free stuff.) In a battle over individual liberty, reckless spending, the national debt and enslaving America’s future generations to the Chinese, Republicans will win. (Americans are a generous, self-sacrificing, patriotic people who want the best for their children.) None of these characterizations necessarily pertain to a side of a given issue. Each is a way to frame a debate (i.e., to define a political skirmish’s terrain.)

The left does this as a matter of routine. Last March, under the looming threat of a government shutdown, Senator Chuck Schumer was caught on an open microphone giving invidious marching orders to his fellow Democratic leaders. He told his colleagues how to characterize the GOP’s modest proposed cuts, coaching them to use words like extreme and draconian. Schumer wasn’t writing talking points. He was establishing turf, setting the parameters for a battle in which the Republicans would have to capitulate. And, in short order, they did.

It was John Boehner’s first opportunity to flex his post-2010 landslide muscles. The speaker could have told Schumer that elections have consequences, throwing President Obama’s line right back at him. Boehner could have ignited the just-victorious tea party to action, marching under any number of banners that would have altered the turf. Instead the GOP leadership griped about Schumer’s folly, then proceeded to defend their proposed cuts as perfectly reasonable, which was exactly what Schumer wanted them to do. And then they caved.

For a winning recipe, Republicans need not look far. Why was the tea party successful?

Obama and the Democrats attempted to stage the battle over H.R. 3200 on their home turf. Health care is a human right. The Democrats care about the people. Who wants to tell granny that she can’t have a hip replacement? Anyone who doesn’t want to provide health insurance to the poor is a selfish, greedy plutocrat. If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we give free flu shots in Des Moines?

The tea partiers didn’t respond to the left’s assertions. They didn’t answer the left’s questions. They made assertions of their own. They talked about individual liberty, the Constitution, the 10th Amendment. They spoke of death panels, the public option, the individual mandate. The tea partiers made the left defend itself on conservative turf. And what did the left do? It ran and hid. Democratic congressmen avoided town hall meetings like vampires avoiding sunshine.

And it was fun.

The problem is that the Grand Old Party, despite being saved by the tea party, refuses to learn from the tea party’s success. In political combat at the highest level, Republicans almost always take the Democrats’ bait. It’s insane. Not every question deserves an answer. Not every battle deserves to be fought. And when an answer is warranted and a brawl is worth brawling, conservatives need to drag the fight back to their home turf.

Take a more recent example. During the January 7th Republican presidential debate on ABC, George Stephanopoulos posed the question: “Do you think that states have the right to ban contraception?”

I remember thinking that the question was sinister when Stephanopoulos first posed it to Mitt Romney. Dick Morris believes that the query was the first move in an elaborate collusion between the White House, Stephanopoulos and the liberal media. But even if you don’t buy into Dick Morris’s theory, Stephanopoulos’s question was clearly intended to create a straw man out of social conservatives (i.e., if elected, pro-life candidates will make contraception illegal.) His intent is clear because there had been no serious suggestion of such a ban. No GOP presidential candidate had a contraception ban in his platform. And there had been no momentum for such a ban from any substantive political movement.

Despite Stephanopoulos’s intent, the question was more stupid and inane than it was sinister. When stoking the flames of fear for political purposes, the fear must first exist. LBJ’s insidious 1964 “Daisy” ad worked because, at the time, there existed a real fear of nuclear war with the Soviets. Today, the public does not fear that states or conservative candidates will attempt — let alone, succeed in an attempt — to ban contraceptives.

Yet Santorum is taking the bait.

This fight could and should deliver a knockout blow to the left. Why is Rick Santorum answering questions about contraception? Every time a Republican candidate is asked about contraception, he should tell the questioner that they’re missing the point. This debate is about freedom. It’s about conscience. It’s about the hugely unpopular Obamacare legislation. It’s about a president who doesn’t respect the freedom of religion. It’s about big government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.

That’s our turf.

It boils down to this. When the left attacks, a conservative needs to stop and look at his feet. If an individual liberty argument can’t be made from where he’s standing, then he shouldn’t defend himself. He should step back and attack from his home turf.

Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at yateswalker@gmail.com.

dailycaller.com

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To: Farmboy who wrote (49290)2/21/2012 10:49:52 PM
From: greatplains_guy
   of 71089
 
"could be amusing, depending on who trades with whom."

ROTFL. Those who would spy on us will always have the upper hand. That does not mean we have to make it easy for them. Some of us can elude their net.

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To: Peter Dierks who wrote (49299)2/21/2012 10:50:37 PM
From: greatplains_guy
2 Recommendations   of 71089
 
We need a new President in 2013.

The world needs a new American President post haste.

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