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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Obama AWOL Again - On Energy Terrorism

Four news stories in four days sum up the Obama presidency and help explain why the world and U.S. economy are in such a mess. President Obama just returned from his two-week beach and golf vacation at Martha’s Vineyard. It took him a month from the time special forces located journalist James Foley to approve a rescue mission – by which time Foley had been moved (and was subsequently beheaded).
Mr. Obama may pursue a sweeping international climate change deal that bypasses Congress. But on dealing with ISIS terrorist butchers months after they swept through Iraq, “We don’t have a strategy yet.”
President Obama has ordered limited air strikes to “contain” (but not defeat) Islamic State terrorists who have shot, crucified and beheaded thousands of men, women and children in Iraq and Syria. However, he still has no plans for protecting the United States from the energy terrorism that jihadists are planning.
The president’s failure to “connect the dots,” to see and prepare for potentially devastating attacks on U.S. and global citizens and energy supplies, is an inexcusable threat to our security. Preparations for massive energy terrorist attacks around the world are increasingly open and obvious. Now that Mr. Obama is back in the White House for a few days, hopefully to deal with real crises literally exploding around the world (from the Middle East to Afghanistan to Nigeria and beyond), let me connect some dots for him.
With Iraqi and other oil fields in jihadist hands, petroleum has become the mother’s milk of Islamic terrorism. Along with drug trafficking and bank robbery, it provides financing to arm, feed, train and pay terrorists on a massive scale that makes Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond loot look like child’s play.
Islamic State butchers are raking in an estimated $2 million or more every day by selling oil on the black market, from wells they have seized in Iraq and Syria. “This could fetch them more than $730 million a year, enough to sustain operations beyond Iraq,” Iraq Energy Institute Director Luay al-Khatteeb told CNN in late August. More captured Syrian oil fields could raise ISIS oil revenue to $1.2 billion a year, says Theodore Karasik, research director at the think tank INEGMA in Dubai.
ISIS conquest of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Kirkuk area could boost the terrorists’ oil production from 30,000 barrels a day now to as much as 1 million barrels a day:$20 billion/year, if they can sell their oil at (say) a below-market $55 per barrel to countries that are na├»ve, support terror or ignore human rights.
That could buy unfathomable terrorism – on levels portended by a laptop computer that moderate Syrian forces found in an ISIS hideout. Amid some 34,000 files, it includes manuals on car theft, disguises and bomb making, documents on how to develop biological weapons and “weaponize” bubonic plague, and a radical Muslim cleric’s fatwa justifying weapons of mass destruction, “even if it wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.” With laboratories in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria now in ISIS hands, these neo-SS lunatics could well turn their caliphate dreams into Western World nightmares.
Even just a few such attacks would shut down commerce, the way 9/11 and the DC sniper did.
Should the Islamic State somehow conquer the rest of Iraq and other Arab and Muslim lands, it could also cause major oil price increases that would cripple economies worldwide. By then vastly wealthier than Genghis Khan, such an empowered Islamic State could even decide to impose an oil embargo on the U.S. and other nations – as Arab oil exporters did for six months in 1973 and 1974, with devastating effects.
Other terrorist groups are fighting to control oil and natural gas supplies elsewhere. And Qatar – whose oil and gas have made it the richest country in the world, on a per capita basis – is acting as the terrorists’ ATM, bankrolling their activities, while playing the “good-guy” host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
So what can America do to prepare? First, recognize the threat and develop a strategy – not just to “contain” ISIS, but to eliminate them. Mr. Obama has already missed golden opportunities, but we have the necessary capabilities. He needs to use them, and find some leadership skills to rally and recruit allies.
Second, secure our southern border. A friendly border control agent chatted me up ten days ago about the $10 poster I was bringing back from Canada. His attentiveness to the Quebec-NY border was gratifying. But meanwhile thousands are still streaming across our Mexican border, with minimal safeguards, despite reports of Korans, prayer rugs and English-Arabic dictionaries being found on these “immigrant” trails. (As to offending Hispanics, they don’t want to get blown up or murdered with bubonic plague, either.)
Third, develop more U.S. oil and natural gas – and persuade Europe to start fracking. The United States consumed 18.6 million barrels of oil a day in 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says. Better vehicle fuel mileage, other energy conservation efforts and the Obama economy have reduced oil importsfrom 12.6 million barrels per day in 2005 to 7.5 million this year. And though America’s oil (and natural gas) production continues to climb, we still importabout one-third of our oil.
Reducing foreign oil dependence can be accomplished via continued energy conservation, switching to natural gas for many applications, burning more coal to generate electricity for hybrid and electric cars, and brewing more ethanol and biodiesel (while ignoring their food, economic and environmental costs). But these will barely make a dent, compared to more drilling and fracking on onshore and offshore federal, state and private lands – plus buying more from our stable neighbor and longtime ally, Canada.
Unfortunately, President Obama has thus far been loath to do any of this. Yes, domestic oil and gas production has risen under his watch. However, the increase has come from state and private lands, while production has fallen significantlyon lands under federal government control.
President Obama and many Democrats in Congress and state governments continue to oppose drilling for oil off our East and West Coasts, and in Alaska and our Western states. They oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which could safely transport 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada (plus Montana and North Dakota oil) to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, thereby reducing risks of more rail accidents. Many of these same Democrats also oppose hydraulic fracturing, which could greatly increase U.S. oil and gas production for many decades to come.
Tapping into our nation’s vast oil and natural gas supplies would even allow us to export some oil, natural gas and refined products. That would help our allies and trading partners become less dependent on terror-sponsoring oil producers and Russian “oiligarch” blackmailers – until they can get their act together on fracking. Such sales would also reduce our trade deficit and create badly needed American jobs.
History shows that even today’s friendly oil producers can become tomorrow’s adversaries. We were importing 554,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran, at the peak in 1978, before Islamic extremists took the country over and held our diplomats hostage. Our imports from Persia have been zero ever since.
Too many “environmentalists” reflexively oppose all oil and natural gas production, all the time. They refuse to admit that we cannot slash our reliance on these two fuels from 64% today to zero in a few years – and cannot bring new oil and gas supplies online in just a few years, in the midst of a crisis.
Khalid A. Al-Falih, CEO of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producing company, recently told an energy conference in Norway that even without terrorist threats the world will need to produce 40 million more barrels of oil a day within the next 20 years – just to replace what we are depleting. Finding enough to supply billions of people striving to rise up out of abject poverty will take far more than that.
Instead of waiting for an energy 9/11 to hit, President Obama and members of Congress are duty-bound to act now on all these steps, and more, to protect America’s national security. They must stop ignoring the imminent and growing threats of energy and energy-funded terrorism that America and the world face – before we run out of time to prepare for and prevent the potential onslaughts.
The president, Secretary of State John Kerry, EPA and too many politicians are focused on overblown dangers from climate change. They need to wake up to the terrorist train that is raging toward us.

http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2014/08/31/obama-awol-again--on-energy-terrorism-n1885218/page/full

Labor Daze: Majority of Americans 'Strongly Dissaprove' of Obama's Job Performance

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/sarahjeanseman/2014/08/31/obamas-job-n1884573

Obamacare Fine Print: Beware the Medicaid and Medi-Cal Clawbacks and Liens

Obamacare greatly expanded Medicaid coverage, but there is a hidden gotcha that may come back and haunt your heirs for benefits you receive from age 55-64.

This is not new news, but few read and understand the "fine print".

In a warning about the "fine print" and in response to Moral Dilemma: Should a Libertarian Who Does Not Need Food Stamps, but Qualifies for Them, Take Them? reader "TL" writes ...
 Hello Mish,

Your friend Steven may want to carefully research taking Medi-Cal benefits.

Medi-Cal, and many other state Medicaid programs include a ‘claw-back’ provision for recovery of costs incurred by the state to provide medical care. While there is much variation in particulars from one state to another, the bottom line is these costs include a monthly ‘administrative fee’

The ‘claw-back’ mechanism functions via the state placing ‘liens’ on individual assets at the point the Medicaid recipient reaches age 55, then recovers the money at the point the Medicaid recipient dies by ‘seizing’ the money from the estate.

When first put into effect, these ‘claw-back’ provisions were primarily intended to recover costs to the state of providing long term nursing home care for older recipients.

ObamaCare’s expanded Medicaid has, of course, now waived the assets portion of the ‘means test’. But under current law, those assets are subject to ‘claw-back’.

At the moment, the monthly ‘administrative fee’ amount for Medi-Cal is $611. Those who sign up for Medicaid may not be doing themselves any favors.
Medi-Cal Clawbacks and Liens

The California Healthcare Foundation explains the rules in Estate Recovery Under Medi-Cal 

 Medi-Cal estate recovery refers to state action to reclaim certain Medi-Cal costs from the estates of beneficiaries after their death. This program, which has been in place for decades, has received renewed attention from policymakers because of reports that some individuals newly eligible for Medi-Cal as expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may not enroll for fear that their house and assets could later be seized.

... States also have the option to take a more expansive approach and seek recovery of costs for other covered services, not just LTSS, provided to beneficiaries age 55 and older. California has chosen this option and seeks recovery of Medi-Cal costs for all covered services provided to beneficiaries age 55 and over, with the exception of personal care services provided through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program. California has elected to use property liens to protect its claim in cases where the beneficiary was permanently institutionalized and not expected to return home. Medi-Cal places a lien against the beneficiary’s property while the beneficiary is still alive so it can seek recovery when the individual passes away or when the property is sold.
Medicaid Fine Print 

The Seattle Times discusses the fine print in Expanded Medicaid’s fine print holds surprise: ‘payback’ from estate after death 

 With an estimated 223,000 adults seeking health insurance headed toward Washington’s expanded Medicaid program over the next three years, the state’s estate-recovery rules, which allow collection of nearly all medical expenses, have come under fire.

Medicaid, in keeping with federal policy, has long tapped into estates. But because most low-income adults without disabilities could not qualify for typical medical coverage through Medicaid, recovery primarily involved expenses for nursing homes and other long-term care.

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed that. Now many more low-income residents will qualify for Medicaid, called Apple Health in Washington state.

But if they qualify for Medicaid, they’re not eligible for tax credits to subsidize a private health plan under the ACA, which requires all adults to have health insurance by March 31.

Unclear rules

One reason this snafu has become so troublesome is that ACA rules appear to give those who qualify for Medicaid little choice but to accept the coverage.

People cannot receive a tax credit to subsidize their purchase of a private health plan if their income qualifies them for Medicaid, said Bethany Frey, spokeswoman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Obama Care "Final Payment"

Paul Craig Roberts chimes in withObamacare: The Final Payment–Raiding the Assets of Low-Income and Poor Americans

Kevin Knauss highlights Expanded Medi-Cal costs $611 per member per month

California Math

Under California recovery rules, $611 per month for 10 years (age 55-64), amounts to $73,320 (minimum) that would come from the estate. 

Those signing up thinking Medicaid is free, better learn the rules.

It appears that Steven who gets now foods stamps is also trapped in a Medi-Cal program with claw-back rules, when he would simply prefer his medical old plan, at his old rate.

Obamacare gotchas keep piling on. 

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2014/08/31/obamacare-fine-print-beware-the-medicaid-and-medical-clawbacks-and-liens-n1885512

Kansas cops fatally shoot unarmed teen 16 times, media and DoJ silent

You probably haven’t heard about the case of Joseph Jennings, the unarmed Ottawa, Kansas 18 year old who was shot 16 times by police on August 23. Eric Holder is not outraged, nor is Al Sharpton. The town of Ottawa has experienced no riots or even protest marches.
After all, Jennings is only a Caucasian, and there is no profit to be had for the left in hyping an injustice done to a “white boy.”
Here is Kansas City television station KCTV’s report on the shooting:



 

 (hat tip: Gateway Pundit) first publicized the shooting nationally almost a week ago, but the story has been slow to gain traction.
Family members of a teen who was shot at least 16 times by police in Ottawa, Kansas said this week that the 18-year-old was unarmed and suicidal when he was gunned down.
Brandy Smith told KCTV that police were there when her nephew, 18-year-old Joseph Jennings, had tried to kill himself with pills last week. (snip)
…he was on a “suicide mission” when he walked to Orscheln Farm and Home, according to his aunt.
Smith recalled that around six officers responded, and two of them had helped save Jennings’ life by taking him to the hospital after his overdose just days before.
“It was like six — six officers, and one cop yelled, ‘Bag him!’ And they bagged him,” she said. “And he kind of puffed up a little bit, and then they bagged him two more times, and then like 16 shots rang out, and they shot him. And he fell to the ground.”
Jennings was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Smith said that she was only feet away from Jennings and did not see a weapon.
“And I told them, if he has a gun, it’s a BB gun,” she insisted. “But we don’t know that… He knew that if he acted like he had a gun that they would shoot him, and I told them that.”
“I told them, ‘That’s Joseph Jennings, he’s suicidal, he’s upset, don’t shoot him,’” Smith added. “And that’s what I don’t understand is, why did it take them shooting him 16 times at least for them to bring him down? Why didn’t they bag him, knock him down, and then go and take care of whatever they needed to take care of?”
Smith said that her husband tried to help, but police threatened to shoot him too.
“My husband was going to tackle him. He was within arms reach. They said to get back or they were going to shoot him,” she explained.

The case is now in the hands of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. I will not presume to know the facts of the case, or even to judge the police conduct (though I am worried by it and want a complete investigation). My point is that despite all the blather one hears about “white privilege” and “open season on black males” the fact is that a media and official double standard seems to exist when unarmed young males are gunned down by police, and the disadvantage is not against blacks.


Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/08/kansas_cops_fatally_shoot_unarmed_teen_16_times_media_and_doj_silent.html#ixzz3C1SfBXID
 

President Obama's 'malaise' moment

"On the evening of July 15, 1979, millions of Americans tuned in to hear Jimmy Carter give themost important speech of his presidency. After sharing some of the criticism he had heard at Camp David -- including an unattributed quote from the young governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton -- Carter put his own spin on Caddell's argument. "The solution of our energy crisis can also help us to conquer the crisis of the spirit in our country," the president said, asking Americans to join him in adapting to a new age of limits.   
But he also admonished them, "In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but by what one owns." Hendrik Hertzberg, who worked on the speech, admits that it "was more like a sermon than a political speech.
It had the themes of confession, redemption, and sacrifice. He was bringing the American people into this spiritual process that he had been through, and presenting them with an opportunity for redemption as well as redeeming himself."
Though he never used the word -- Caddell had in his memo -- it became known as Carter's "malaise" speech."
Fair or unfair, the speech and the word he didn’t use defined President Carter.  He spoke of a "new age of limits" and that just exposed him to attacks from then Governor Reagan, the ultimate optimist about the US.  The US is not a country of "limits."  It does not seem to like leaders who tell them to "downsize" their dreams.
Last week, President Obama looked weary and almost irritated that reality had intruded on his vacation.  I'm not sure who told him to face the press prior to the holiday weekend because he had nothing new to say.  He admitted that we didn't have a strategy to fight ISIS in Syria, a stunning statement given that his Secretary of Defense had warned about the dangers days before.
"Throughout his presidency, he has excelled at explaining what the United States cannot do and cannot afford, and his remarks Thursday were no exception. “Ukraine is not a member of NATO,” he said. “We don’t have those treaty obligations with Ukraine.” If Iraq doesn’t form an acceptable government, it’s “unrealistic” to think the United States can defeat the Islamic State.  
Allies are vital; the United States overstretched in the Bush years; it can’t solve every problem. All true. But it’s also true that none of the basic challenges to world order can be met without U.S. leadership: not Russia’s aggression, not the Islamic State’s expansion, not Iran’s nuclear ambition nor China’s territorial bullying. Each demands a different policy response, with military action and deterrence only two tools in a basket that inclu"des diplomatic and economic measures.
It’s time Mr. Obama started emphasizing what the United States can do instead of what it cannot."
Just as Mr. Carter doomed himself when he talked of "limits," Mr. Obama is dooming himself by acting like the US is not longer relevant or has no role to play.
Yes, the public is opposed to sending troops here, there, and everywhere.  But they want the US to project power and to behave like the superpower that it is
Mr. Obama has a couple of "hellish years" ahead of him, especially if the US has to confront ISIS in Iraq and Syria.   Nevertheless, I think that pundits will look back at this week and say that it was the beginning of the end.  
It was this week that confirmed what a growing number of Americans have been saying around the table:  Mr. Obama is in over his head!


Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/08/president_obamas_malaise_moment.html#ixzz3C1Rwrwml
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EXCLUSIVE: Top Conservative Economist: Obama Has Failed the Middle Class

With the Cost of everything going up I believe this. I thought this "Regime" was all for helping the middle class! Looks to me he is really only concerned about his liberal socialist agenda!

At the annual Defending the American Dream Summit in Dallas, Texas, TPNN’s Scottie Nell Hughes caught up with one of the nation’s top economists, Stephen Moore, who serves as the Heritage Foundation’s Chief Economist.
The champion of free-market economics was quick to note that the average American is still struggling, despite the rosy picture painted by the Obama Administration. 
“Just look at the polling. I mean, half of Americans think that we’re still in a recession five years into what was supposed to be a recovery. So this is a ‘recovery’ that has benefited some people in the top ten percent of income, but for the middle class, it just hasn’t arrived yet. The average middle class family has lost $1,500 in income in this period.” 
Hughes pivoted to the continued calls for increased minimum wages in America- a notion that conservatives feel would place an unbearable burden on small businesses while driving up the costs of goods. 
Moore scoffed at the cries for increased minimum wage, noting that “only 4 or 5% of Americans even earn the minimum wage. Why are we even talking about this? We’re supposed to be talking about helping the middle class; those are people who earn two-or-three-times what the minimum wage is, but their incomes have flatlined.
Who earns the minimum wage? Young people do, people who don’t have a lot of skills do. I mean, my first job was minimum wage! Why do we want to destroy those starter jobs? A lot of them are restaurant industry jobs- that’s not the problem. The problem is that this economy is not producing enough good-paying jobs that give you a middle class income.” 
When the conversation turned to the effects of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy, Moore was quick to note that legal immigrants help the economy, but that securing the border is an absolute must for the American worker.
Click below for the whole interview:


www.tpnn.com/2014/08/30/exclusive-top-conservative-economist-obama-has-failed-the-middle-class/

China, With an Eye to the U.S., Is Aggressively Building Up Their Military



China recently conducted its third land-based missile-intercept test. These tests, most likely designed to facilitate “hit to kill” technologies critical for China’s missile defense and anti-satellite programs, are part of a well-planned, enormous military buildup in which the Chinese have been engaged for nearly 20 years.
Here are some features of that effort:
  • They have created a large and modern navy, which, by 2020, will be substantially larger than America’s. Its vessels are highly capable and armed with long-range, advanced, anti-ship missiles and air-defense missiles.
  • They are upgrading their nuclear arsenal and are on track to more than double the number of their nuclear warheads capable of striking the U.S. homeland over the next few years.
  • They already have the world’s largest and most lethal inventory of conventional ballistic missiles as well as large numbers of highly capable and long-range ground-, air- and sea-based cruise missiles. They will continue to expand, diversify, and improve their missile inventory, enhancing their ability to coerce or use force against the United States and its allies and partners in Asia. China now is able to threaten U.S. bases and operating areas throughout the region, including those that it previously could not reach with conventional weapons, such as Anderson Air Force Base on Guam.
  • They have almost 2,000 capable fighter aircraft and are on track to introduce two new fifth-generation fighters, which they will likely add to their inventory between 2017 and 2019. China also appears to be developing a new long-range stealth bomber.
  • They are significantly upgrading their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and improving their amphibious capabilities.
  • According to the Defense Science Board, they already have offensive cyber capabilities that can inflict existential damage on America’s critical infrastructure.
China’s military modernization is aimed primarily at one country: the United States. The Chinese have carefully studied America’s military and the wars it has fought over the past 20 years and have tailored their buildup accordingly. China’s leaders know that almost the entire firepower of America’s surface navy is centered on its aircraft-carrier task forces. It costs $13.5 billion to build an aircraft carrier but only about $10 million to build a missile with the range, velocity, and accuracy to sink an aircraft carrier. The Chinese have created a “missile centric” military in pursuit of a highly effective asymmetric strategy designed to keep America’s surface navy from intervening in a potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait or in the East and South China Seas.
The Chinese also know that America’s armed forces depend almost completely on space satellites for targeting, intelligence, and communication. Hence the recent missile-intercept test and, more generally, China’s rapid development of anti-satellite capabilities designed to destroy or severely disrupt America’s space assets in every orbital regime. They will have that capability by 2020, if they don’t have it already.
How is America responding to all this? In the years when China’s military modernization first began to bear fruit, America’s armed forces were completely focused on counterinsurgency in the Middle East. In 2011, then–secretary of defense Bob Gates proposed a ten-year budget with modest increases designed primarily to increase the size of the navy in response to the Chinese buildup. Congress and the president responded by cutting a half trillion dollars from the Gates budget and imposing another $500 billion in reductions by sequester.
As a result, both present and future readiness are declining across the force. The Navy, which currently has no effective defense against China’s missile strategy, is shrinking. The Air Force has fewer planes and an older inventory than at any time since the inception of the service. The Army is being reduced to pre–World War II levels. All of this, and more, was recently detailed in theunanimous report of the National Defense Panel, which found that unless the defense cuts were reversed, the armed forces would in the near future be at high risk of not being able to carry out their missions.
China, of course, has watched all this carefully, drawn the obvious conclusion, and stepped up its provocations in the western Pacific.
The Chinese government, which means the leaders of the Chinese Communist party, insists that the purpose of their military buildup is defensive, but anyone who believes that is not familiar either with China’s policy in the western Pacific or the strategy it is using to execute it.
I don’t believe the Chinese intend war with the United States. What they intend is to credibly threaten war, while continuing to shift the balance of power decisively in their favor and thereby achieve their objectives by intimidation. So far they are succeeding.
Originally published on National Review Online.
http://dailysignal.com/2014/08/31/china-eye-u-s-aggressively-building-military/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/08/173093-17-reactions-dont-strategy-gaffe-may-haunt-rest-obamas-presidency/

The Incompetence of Leftist Ideology


It is not hard to find examples of how things have gone wrong because of bad ideas now in ascendency in Washington. A complete list would fill a book, but a random list could include the incompetence of the ObamaCare website and the ACA in general; the incredible expense of trafficking alien children around the U.S. versus the cost of returning them to their own villages; the nonstop printing of trillions and trillions of dollars; the appalling waste and improper payments in Medicare and Medicaid; the corruption of the Food Stamp program and the misuse of the Social Security disabilities program.
Trofim Lysenko was an intelligent Russian peasant who rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of agricultural Lamarckianism. He manipulated the scientific method in order it fit into Soviet communist ideology. Political ideology dictated his agricultural methods, with disastrous results that lingered for decades. German race theorists were bright people, but they were committed to a “science” of race glorifying Aryans and denigrating the rest of humanity. We all know how those race theorists’ ideas turned out. Today’s global warmists are not stupid people, but they go beyond the limits of scientific method, endorsing instead what is basically deluded apocalyptic prophecy. Chairman Mao Zedong’s idea to have citizens smelt iron in their backyards was ineffably stupid, but he himself was a cunning and savvy manipulator who got appalling things done with remarkable efficiency.

The competence to wreak havoc extends to whole nations, which can be completely run into the ground because defective ideology is effectively employed by a bunch of zealous, bright people who are wholeheartedly committed to bad ideas.
As Panos Mourdoukoutas noted in Forbes magazine, recent economic troubles in Greece have been due almost solely to bad ideas put into practice by competent ideologues whose business model very effectively produced economic and societal catastrophe:
“For years, Greece had the wrong business model -- A Semi-Soviet, semi-Latin model that was backwards -- it applied markets and governments in areas of the economy where each institution fails rather than excels. This resulted in a large and corrupt government that lacked the resources to finance its multiple roles in the economy.
With the former Soviet Union as a model, the Greek economy was subject to the excessively intrusive presence of government in the business and professional lives of citizens, directly controlling more than 50% of the economy. Government was active in the pension fund industry, as manager of employer-employee contributions, deciding who would retire, when their retirement would happen, and what pension they would receive.
Government was present in commodity markets, as regulator and gatekeeper, deciding who could be in what kind of business and for how long; and in labor markets, setting labor compensation and employment standards.”
The core incompetency that afflicted Greece and that is now afflicting our own country is leftist ideology, including leftist economic policy.
When disaster producing ideas are the foundation stones of governance, no amount of finagling with business models; no new techniques or innovative means to improve efficiency; no new five-year planning commissions; no new agencies created to examine the problems of government will ever succeed in improving those governments, state and federal, as life-killing ideas have no ability whatever to enable society to flourish.  As long as our leadership is committed to outdated, disproven and ruinous ideologies, the results will be the same as they have been wherever leftist ideals have been promoted and implemented: cataclysmic failure, both economic and societal.
But with the right ideas put into effect, a country’s turnaround can be rapid.  As Mourdoukoutas writes:
“But now, in the aftermath of the most recent crisis, the Greek economic model has begun to change. The country seems to have gotten its economic model right: the size of government has been reduced, state-owned enterprises have been privatized, transparency is improving, and calm is returning to the streets of major cities.
Result? Government deficits are turning into surpluses, exports and tourism are soaring, shipping leads the world, and real GDP is turning the corner. Slowly, Greece is rebuilding its brand image.
Simply put: Greece is headed in the right direction, applying the right institutions in the right sectors, releasing the ingenuity and creativity of its people.”
What is happening in Greece can happen here. It has happened here.  In many respects, it started here.
But the American miracle that is our constitutional republic, along with the gifts it has imparted to the whole world, will not be revived and nursed back to health unless the incompetent ideology of the Left is firmly renounced across the board, both in faith and practice. Leftist ideology is an American political heresy that has no real roots in our history, no consonance with the independence-loving American character, no resonance with American’s highest ideals and therefore no real place in our society.
In the final analysis, one must place a moral judgment on leftist ideology and its deleterious results. At every turn, leftist ideology has been proved incompetent in producing a flourishing society. It has always produced disaster. Always. There is not one exception in all the Left’s brutal, inglorious and destructive history.
In the end, the goal of government is to contribute to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of every citizen. Unless government is committed to and driven by ideals that support those goals, it is not just useless. It is not merely incompetent.  It is corrupt and tyrannical.
There is still enough life and enough good in our republic of the United States to return to and to affirm the principles that make us the greatest nation on earth.
The only question is whether or not we will do so.


Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/08/the_incompetence_of_leftist_ideology_.html#ixzz3C1OCOgi8
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http://dailysignal.com/2014/08/31/did-obamacare-raise-or-lower-wages/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social


Operation Choke Point Hearing Reveals DOJ Threats And Strong-Arming

I have a problem with  Government doing what is H ighlighted! Leave it to this "Regime" to do something that no other President has done!

A Justice Department fraud prevention program came under fire Thursday for allegedly morphing into actively pressuring banks to deny financial services to businesses for political reasons.
Operation Choke Point functions as a partnership between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and various other federal agencies which deal with bank regulations, specifically the Treasury and the SEC. The objective of the project is to choke-off fraudulent businesses from accessing financial services, in an effort to protect consumers.
The controversy, however, is over allegations that the DOJ is pressuring financial institutions to decline doing business with so-called “high risk” industries which line up squarely against the political leanings of the current administration. These businesses include ammunition sales, payday loans, pornography, fireworks companies, and others—24 industries in total, as listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating without legal authority and guided by a political agenda, unelected officials at the DOJ are discouraging banks from providing basic banking services…to lawful businesses simply because they don’t like them,” said William M. Isaac, former chairman of the FDIC.
Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the legality of DOJ overreach. Letters have poured in from company owners in support of these suspicions, noting startling cases where the DOJ reportedly has directly strong-armed banks into dropping clients not engaging in fraud.
Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte revealed that one of the more egregious examples sent in to the committee was a meeting between the DOJ and a bank regarding the continued provision of financial services to a payday loan company.
The DOJ official reportedly told the banker, “I don’t like this product, and I don’t believe it should have a place in our financial system. And if you don’t agree, there will be an immediate, unplanned audit of your entire bank.”
The Justice Department has now served over 50 subpoenas on banks, and Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus expressed considerable concern that dragging banks into a long and expensive process is just an underhanded way of encouraging banks to drop clients as an easy-out.
“Subpoenas are expensive to comply with and can bring unwanted scrutiny. The natural reaction from a financial institution might be to sever relations with the merchant and be done with it,” Bachus said Thursday in a hearing at the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.
Missouri Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer brought forward the End Operation Choke Point Act Tuesday to curb the DOJ’s activities in this area. The act would provide financial institutions with safe harbor to serve customers engaged in legal activities, so as to cut out politically motivated attacks on businesses deemed undesirable by the Justice Department.


 

Online posts show ISIS eyeing Mexican border, says law enforcement bulletin

This Group of People are the Cockroaches of the Earth, and Our leader has no plan to curb their spread?


EXCLUSIVE: Social media chatter shows Islamic State militants are keenly aware of the porous U.S.-Mexico border, and are “expressing an increased interest” in crossing over to carry out a terrorist attack, according to a Texas law enforcement bulletin sent out this week.
“A review of ISIS social media messaging during the week ending August 26 shows that militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of US, for terror attack,” warns the Texas Department of Public Safety "situational awareness" bulletin, obtained by FoxNews.com.
The three-page bulletin, entitled “ISIS Interest on the US Southwest Border” and dated Aug. 28 was released to law enforcement on Thursday.
“Social media account holders believed to be ISIS militants and propagandists have called for unspecified border operations, or they have sought to raise awareness that illegal entry through Mexico is a viable option,” states the law enforcement bulletin, which is not classified.
It notes no known credible homeland threats or specific homeland attack plot has been identified. That assertion was underscored by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who said Friday that DHS and the FBI are "unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland" from Islamic State.
Despite assurances that no threat to American soil is imminent, the watchdog group Judicial Watch said Friday that Islamic State operatives are in Juarez, just across the border from Texas, and are planning to attack the United States with car bombs.
"Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat," Judicial Watch stated on its website.
The Texas law enforcement bulletin cites suspected fighters from the terrorist group previously known as ISIS and based in Syria and Iraq as eyeing a border crossing.
“The identities of persons operating these accounts cannot be independently verified; however the accounts were selected for monitoring based on several indications that they have been used by actual ISIS militants for propaganda purposes and collectively reach tens of thousands of followers,” states the bulletin. “One account was verified as belonging to an individual located in Mosul, Iraq.”
Some 32 Twitter and Facebook posts monitored by law enforcement over one recent week reflected interest in the southern border, according to the bulletin. The messages, which were forwarded thousands of times, included calls for jihadists to cross over from Mexico to carry out attacks and even alluded to a recent video by U.S. activist James O’Keefe, who was recorded coming across the Rio Grande valley in an Usama bin Laden costume.
The bulletin details numerous “calls for border infiltration” on social media, including one from a militant confirmed to be in Mosul, Iraq who explicitly beckons the “Islamic State to send a special force to America across the border with Mexico.”
“This Twitter account holder, who is the administrator of an ISIS propaganda trading group, stated that the time was right for such an action because ‘the US-Mexican border is now open large numbers of people crossing,’” the bulletin said.
Another message sent out via Twitter suggested that Islamic State fighters have already entered the U.S. via the border, warning that, as a result, “Americans in for ruin (sic).”
The Texas DPS bulletin comes on the heels of a federal Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice Joint Intelligence bulletin dated August 22, a copy of which was also obtained by FoxNews.com.That bulletin, entitled “Online Reaction but No Known Credible Homeland Threats from ISIL and Its Supporters Following US Air Strikes,”addresses potential threats to the Homeland in response to recent US air strikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Iraq and the murder of journalist James Foley.
This bulletin notes that while the FBI and DHS are unaware of specific credible threats against the U.S. from homegrown violent extremists, ISIL or other violent extremist groups overseas “we continue to assess that violent extremists who support ISIL have demonstrated the capability to attempt attacks on US targets overseas with little-to-no warning.”
The report also says that “because of the individualized nature of the radicalization process—it is difficult to predict triggers that will contribute to [homegrown violent extremists] attempting acts of violence…lone offenders present law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt plots, which frequently involve simple plotting against targets of opportunity.”
“FBI and DHS assess that civilian deaths reportedly associated with these US military air strikes will almost certainly be used as further examples of a perceived Western war against Islam in English-language violent extremist messaging that could contribute to [homegrown violent extremist] radicalization to violence,” the report notes.
The FBI and DHS bulletin includes a section titled "ISIL Supporters Increasingly Using Social Media to Encourage Violent Acts against US Interests."
"ISIL and its online supporters have employed—and will almost certainly continue—Twitter “hashtag” campaigns that have gained mainstream media attention and been able to quickly reach a global audience of potential violent extremists, highlighting ISIL’s supporter message and encouraging individuals to commit acts of violence, in Iraq or in the West," the bulletin states.
"Several of the Tweets in response to the air strikes featured original and creative use of graphics—including a photo of the ISIL flag in front of the White House—and graphically rendered images depicting desecration of US monuments and landmarks."
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/29/online-posts-show-isis-eyeing-mexican-border-says-law-enforcment-bulletin/

SYRIA: So-called (by Obama & McCain) “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels chop off fingers of alleged spy

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2014/08/31/syria-so-called-by-obama-mccain-moderate-free-syrian-army-fsa-rebels-chop-off-fingers-of-alleged-spy/

Hey, Obama, keep importing more Somali Muslims to Minnesota now that so many are leaving to join ISIS

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2014/08/30/hey-obama-keep-importing-more-somali-muslims-to-minnesota-now-that-so-many-are-leaving-to-join-isis/

OBAMA goes around Congress, lifts ban on Libyans attending U.S. Flight Schools and studying nuclear science

http://www.barenakedislam.com/2014/08/30/obama-goes-around-congress-lifts-ban-on-libyans-attending-u-s-flight-schools-and-studying-nuclear-science/

http://www.westernjournalism.com/joe-arpaio-the-border-will-never-be-100-secure/