Saturday, July 24, 2010


WELCOME TO ALL THE NEW VISITORS RECENTLY COMING TO ANTIMULLAH and thanks to all the thousands of loyal readers who continue to visit and browse - some for over three hours - as there is a ton of "educational" material in the various sections of the site for those who are curious about why matters are the way they are.

Because we receive assignments that help us pay our expenses (we are NOT subsidized by anyone and pay our own way)  there are sometimes gaps of a few days in what we post, though we try to get something new in every day.

Here is a "catch up" Courtesy Munz's Place
• The Art of the Ann Arbor City Budget [Mackinac Center]

• As U.S. suspends deep-water oil drilling, other nations move ahead

• 8 suspects killed in clash with Mexican soldiers - Yahoo! News

• Jobless Claims Increase -

• Playing politics with records requests - Politics - More politics -

• Newark Budget Cuts

• Vindicated for Removing Saddam
FrontPage Magazine

• Nation of Cowards? » Publications » Family Security Matters

• No Mosque at Ground Zero

• How Hillary Clinton Screwed Up The New Korean Conflict

• Biden calls Republicans 'wildly out of step' during N.C. fundraiser

• China may link yuan trade to currency basket Emerging Markets Report - MarketWatch

• BBC News - North Korea vows 'physical response' to US exercise

• North Korea Warns of Nuclear Response to Naval Exercises - Bloomberg

• Neo-Nazi Group Patrolling U.S. Border - CBS News Video

• Retirement will be risky for many Americans, study says

• Raising the Stakes in the New Black Panther Case - Hans A. von Spakovsky - The Corner on National Review Online

• Obamacare’s Hidden Gun Control
Pro-Gun New Hampshire

• Obamaca: Reshaping society through government control

• Hispanic Democrats want health care fix - Carrie Budoff Brown -

• The Volokh Conspiracy » Obama Campaign Adviser Participated on JournoList

• Congress Spent $604,000 on Bottled Water, $397,000 on Catering

• ObamaClypse Now: Some Insurers End New Coverage For Kids

• Townhall - Robert Morrison - President Obama: Stilling the Waters

• TANCREDO: The case for impeachment - Washington Times

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:48 AM PDT

The Art of the Ann Arbor City Budget [Mackinac Center]: "The debate in Ann Arbor, where firefighters are being laid off due to a multimillion dollar budget deficit, is over an $850,000 piece of art.

That's how much the city has agreed to pay German artist Herbert Dreiseitl for a three-piece water sculpture that would go in front of the new police and courts building right by the City Hall.

The city has the money to do it because in 2007, it agreed to set aside for public art 1 percent of money that went into capital improvement projects that were $100,000 or larger. Most capital projects involve streets, sewers and water.

Ann Arbor City Council member Stephen Kunselman, a Democrat, opposed the art deal.

'I think it is incredibly insensitive,' Kunselman said. 'It is insensitive to the staff and their morale. It is insensitive to the community. There are people out there struggling financially, and here we are spending a large amount of money on a piece of art.'

Kunselman said the city is also eliminating the solid waste coordinator from the budget, which oversees trash pickup, and hiring an art coordinator.
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As U.S. suspends deep-water oil drilling, other nations move ahead

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:48 AM PDT

As U.S. suspends deep-water oil drilling, other nations move ahead: "NY-ALESUND, NORWAY -- Few, if any, nations have paid as much attention to the safety of offshore drilling as Norway, which is surrounded by oil-rich seas.

In 40 years of offshore energy exploration, it has suffered just four spills -- none of the magnitude of the one in the Gulf of Mexico and none reaching the country's pristine tundra shores. Its government has made efforts to avoid the kinds of conflicts that have bedeviled the U.S. regulatory process by splitting off safety and environmental oversight duties from the Ministry of Petroleum Energy. A separate Climate and Pollution Agency weighs in on every decision about whether to open new areas to offshore drilling, and its inspectors examine rigs once they're operating.

Do you really wonder why we are dependent on foreign oil now??? ~~

8 suspects killed in clash with Mexican soldiers - Yahoo! News

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:47 AM PDT

8 suspects killed in clash with Mexican soldiers - Yahoo! News: "MEXICO CITY – Eight suspected drug gang gunmen died in a battle with Mexican soldiers in the remote mountains of northern Chihuahua state, the federal Public Safety Department said Thursday.

The department cited an internal army report saying the clash occurred near the rural town of Madera, about 145 miles (230 kilometers) south of the U.S. border.

The gunmen apparently opened fire on an army patrol, but the Defense Department did not offer any information on the attack or the identity of the attackers. The area is frequently used by gangs to produce and traffic drugs.

Also Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department added two companies owned by daughters of drug lord Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada to the list of sanctioned companies under the Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

In a press statement, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said the two women, Maria Teresa Zambada Niebla and Midiam Patricia Zambada Niebla, served as 'front persons' for their father's illicit transactions. The companies named to the list are Arte y Diseno de Culiacan SA de CV and Autotransportes JYM SA de CV.
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Jobless Claims Increase -

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:46 AM PDT

Jobless Claims Increase - "Sales of existing homes slid in June for a second consecutive month as the effects of a government tax credit program continued to wane.

Existing home sales fell by 5.1% to an annual rate of 5.37 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Meanwhile, inventories rose and prices remained fairly stable.

Separately, the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week by more than expected, reversing declines posted the prior week and signaling there is still little improvement in job market conditions.
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Playing politics with records requests - Politics - More politics -

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:44 AM PDT

Playing politics with records requests - Politics - More politics - "WASHINGTON — For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive, according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press.

The department abandoned the practice after AP investigated. Inspectors from the department's Office of Inspector General quietly conducted interviews last week to determine whether political advisers acted improperly.

The Freedom of Information Act, the main tool forcing the government to be more open, is designed to be insulated from political considerations. Anyone who seeks information through the law is supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose confidential decision-making in certain areas.

But in July 2009, Homeland Security introduced a directive requiring a wide range of information to be vetted by political appointees for 'awareness purposes,' no matter who requested it.
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Newark Budget Cuts

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:43 AM PDT

Newark Budget Cuts: "MYFOXNY.COM - Things are getting so bad in Newark that the mayor has ordered the government to stop buying toilet paper.

It's part of Newark Mayor Cory Booker's belt-tightening plans that include reducing most city workers to a 4-day work week and shuttering city pools. Booker estimates that the pool closures alone would save $250,000. He also says that no gas will be purchased for municipal vehicles that are not deemed critically important.

Police officers, firefighters and sanitation workers would not be affected by the furlough plan. City workers were already bracing for furloughs starting in August. The number of unpaid days would increase from 11 to 19 with Booker's plan.

The city budget shortfall is $70 million and Booker plans to meet the revenue shortfall with budget cuts instead of property tax increases.

'Taxes can not be the answer,' Booker said.

Booker says property taxes in Newark have gone up 76 percent in last decade and 19 percent in the past five years.
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Vindicated for Removing Saddam | FrontPage Magazine

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:42 AM PDT

Vindicated for Removing Saddam | FrontPage Magazine:

President Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove, said on July 15 that his biggest mistake was not fighting back against Democrats trying to score cheap political points by accusing the President of lying to get the country to support an invasion of Iraq. Rove is right, but another mistake was made: not trying to vindicate the removal of Saddam Hussein using evidence, including Iraqi government documents, that was obtained after the regime's overthrow. Compelling evidence exists to show that Saddam's regime was sponsoring terrorists (e.g., Al-Qaeda), had the ability to quickly produce weapons of mass destruction, and the will to use both against its enemies.

The Iraq Survey Group, the task force put together to find out what happened to Iraq’s WMD stockpiles, is often seen as the group that debunked the Bush Administration’s case for war. In reality, its conclusions did not significantly contradict the nature of the threat described by both President Bush and President Clinton. In fact, it demonstrated that the feared nexus between terrorists and those involved in WMD was coming together.

The Duelfer Report, the final assessment of the Iraq Survey Group, states that a former Iraqi intelligence officer testified that the M16 Directorate “had a plan to produce and weaponize nitrogen mustard in rifle grenades and a plan to bottle sarin and sulfur mustard in perfume sprayer and medicine bottles which they would ship to the United States and Europe. The plot was not launched because of an inability to get the ingredients for the weapons. This substantiates intelligence received in 1998 that prompted the British government to put its airports and seaports on alert because Iraqis were planning to smuggle anthrax into several countries including the United Kingdom inside bottles used for cosmetics, cigarette lighters, perfume sprays, and other apparently harmless items.

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Nation of Cowards?» Publications » Family Security Matters

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:41 AM PDT

One of the most unfortunate results of the race card being played is the fact that the players seldom have to live with the messes they make. For purely political reasons, blacks and whites have been intentionally polarized, starting way back when David Axelrod led Deval Patrick to the governorship of Massachusetts and now with the troubled presidency of Barack Obama. The administration has long since deployed the now well-known liberal tactic: opposition is racism.
Behind closed doors, this White House must be laughing their asses off at how easily the liberal media and activists can be manipulated to save their agenda.

Nation Of Cowards: White Suckers

Starting with the winning campaign of Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick through the victorious campaign of President Barack Obama (both helmed by David Axelrod), the strategy was clear: create an atmosphere where whites who don’t vote for these men will be called one of the most damaging names in America today: racist.
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No Mosque at Ground Zero

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:39 AM PDT

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How Hillary Clinton Screwed Up The New Korean Conflict

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:36 AM PDT

How Hillary Clinton Screwed Up The New Korean Conflict: "North Korea probably sank a foreign warship, killing everyone aboard, and now after four months of diplomacy faces no punishment. South Korea and its American ally came away with nothing from their political momentum. And China claimed diplomatic victory.

How did we screw this one up? Blame the state department for butting heads with the one country that matters: China.

Peter Lee at Asia Times has more on the bungled gamesmanship:

If, as is presumably the case, North Korea engineered the outrage, it cleverly and effectively exposed a faulty assumption behind America's Korean policy: that, when push came to shove, China would give decisive weight to its booming economic relationship with South Korea and side with Seoul against Pyongyang.

The exact opposite occurred.

Rather than ask China for help, America asked everyone but China:

Beijing viewed the entire orchestrated Cheonan exercise - which included an 'international investigation' that pointedly excluded China, the subsequent elevation of the issue to the UN Security Council, a featured role for Lee at the recent Shangri-La defense ministers conference in Singapore, and coordinated expressions of outrage from America's allies - as an effort to embarrass, isolate and diminish China over the issue of its support for North Korea.
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Biden calls Republicans 'wildly out of step' during N.C. fundraiser | McClatchy

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:34 AM PDT

Biden calls Republicans 'wildly out of step' during N.C. fundraiser | McClatchy: "CHAPEL HILL — Vice President Joe Biden told those attending a Democratic fundraiser Thursday that his party's midterm election prospects would brighten when voters realize the stark differences between the two parties.

Appearing at a high-dollar reception at the historic Carolina Inn, Biden said Democrats had a story to tell voters, a story of how they helped bring a badly wounded economy they inherited back from the cliff, helped clean up the abuses of Wall Street and extended health care insurance.

'Now that the heavy lifting is over, we can go out and make our case,' Biden said in a 35-minute speech.

The vice president said Republicans 'are wildly out of step' with popular opinion on a broad range of issues from holding oil companies responsible for cleaning up the spill in the Gulf, to supporting basic regulations that would prevent another meltdown on Wall Street, to extending unemployment insurance to those who lose their jobs.

This administration is certifiable if they think Republicans are out of step. Have they seen any poll numbers? ~~ The Munz
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China may link yuan trade to currency basket Emerging Markets Report - MarketWatch

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:27 AM PDT

China may link yuan trade to currency basket Emerging Markets Report - MarketWatch: "LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- A top Chinese central bank official suggested switching away from the U.S. dollar as a benchmark for the yuan's foreign-exchange rate, switching instead to a basket of currencies, according to remarks published Thursday.
Is Thailand a good place for investment?

Stock Exchange of Thailand President Charamporn Jotikasthira shares his views on the difficulties of selling Thailand as a destination for equity investment after recent political violence.

In comments posted to the People's Bank of China Web site, the central bank's Deputy Gov. Hu Xiaolian said using a basket of currencies from the nation's top trading partners would allow the Chinese yuan to better reflect trading fundamentals.

'Compared with pegging to a single currency, the exchange-rate regime with reference to a basket of currencies will help adjust exports and imports, current account, and balance of payment in a more effective manner,' she said.

China's central bank currently sets a 'central parity rate' against the U.S. dollar each day, with that day's trading range confined to 0.5% above or below that level.
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BBC News - North Korea vows 'physical response' to US exercise

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:26 AM PDT

BBC News - North Korea vows 'physical response' to US exercise: "North Korea has promised a 'physical response' to joint US-South Korean military exercises this weekend.

The comments came as Asian foreign ministers met in Vietnam for a regional security forum.

The forum has been dominated by the crisis resulting from North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

The US has accused Pyongyang of 'provocative' behaviour and on Wednesday announced new sanctions.

North Korea's delegation spokesman at the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum (ARF) in Hanoi said the military exercises - which begin on Sunday - were an example of 19th century "gunboat diplomacy".

"It is a new century and Asian countries are in need of peace and development, and DPRK [North Korea] is also moving to that end," said Ri Tong-il.

He said the exercises went beyond defensive training and would involve "sophisticated weapon equipment".

"It is a threat to the Korean peninsula and the region of Asia as a whole. And the DPRK's position is clear: there will be a physical response to the threat imposed by the United States militarily."
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North Korea Warns of Nuclear Response to Naval Exercises - Bloomberg

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:25 AM PDT

North Korea Warns of Nuclear Response to Naval Exercises - Bloomberg: "North Korea said it would counter U.S. and South Korean joint naval exercises with “nuclear deterrence” after the Obama administration said the government in Pyongyang shouldn’t take any provocative steps.

North Korea will “legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces,” the National Defense Commission said, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The maneuvers, which involve 20 vessels and 200 aircraft from the U.S. and South Korea, pose a threat to the country’s sovereignty and security, Ri Tong Il, an official with North Korea’s delegation to the Asean Security Forum, told reporters in Hanoi yesterday.

Ri’s comments came after North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun sat in the same room with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Hanoi for a security meeting of Asia’s largest powers. Clinton condemned North Korea for being “on a campaign of provocative, dangerous behavior,” urging Kim Jong Il’s regime to change.
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Neo-Nazi Group Patrolling U.S. Border - CBS News Video

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:23 AM PDT

Neo-Nazi Group Patrolling U.S. Border - CBS News Video:

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Retirement will be risky for many Americans, study says

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:19 AM PDT

Retirement will be risky for many Americans, study says: "More than 40 percent of Americans are at risk of having too little retirement income, a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute says.

What's more, the oldest workers are the least prepared to quit working. The EBRI says that 47% of early Baby Boomers are at risk of running out of money in retirement, compared with 44.5 percent of Generation Xers.

For some people, retirement savings won't last very long at all. Among the lowest-income quarter of the working population, 41 percent will be short of money after a mere 10 years in retirement.

The study doesn't say what should be done about this problem; it only suggests that officials take these results into account when designing retirement policy.

Charts in the EBRI study show the benefit of adding one popular fix, an auto-enrollment feature, to 401k plans. A 25-year-old in a plan with auto-enrollment and auto-escalation (where your contributions will increase each year unless you opt out) would accumulate more than twice as much savings as a typical 25-year-old in a plan without those features.

Other recent research, though, says that may not be true. Economists from the IMF and the Urban Institute says that employers with auto-enrollment plans tend to be less generous with their matching contributions. Mauricio Soto and Barbara Butrica write:

... we find that match rates are about 7 percentage points lower among firms with automatic enrollment than among those without automatic enrollment, even controlling for firm characteristics. So while autoenrollment increases the number of workers participating in private pensions, our findings suggest it might also reduce the level of pension contributions.
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Raising the Stakes in the New Black Panther Case - Hans A. von Spakovsky - The Corner on National Review Online

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:16 AM PDT

Raising the Stakes in the New Black Panther Case - Hans A. von Spakovsky - The Corner on National Review Online: "As Commissioner Peter Kirsanow reported earlier, Rep. Lamar Smith sent a letter yesterday to President Obama asking him to appoint a special counsel to investigate not just the dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case but also “whether the Department has adopted a policy of enforcing voting rights laws in a racially discriminatory manner.” This puts the president in an interesting dilemma: Smith is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and if the Republicans take back the House in November, Smith will become the chairman. Attorney General Eric Holder has essentially ignored Smith’s demands for information on the NBPP case for the past year — that’s not exactly behavior calculated to endear you to the chairman of the most powerful committee with jurisdiction over your department.

Today, the ante was upped even more. I just learned from a congressional source that all seven GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — Jeff Sessions, Orrin Hatch, Charles Grassley, Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn — sent a letter to Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy demanding an oversight hearing of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ to investigate the dismissal of this case and the allegations of racialist enforcement of the civil-rights laws (PDF of the letter here). The senators cited sworn testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes instructed Division attorneys that they would not pursue cases against black defendants and that the DOJ has no interest in enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.

As the senators correctly observe, if these allegations are true, the “Civil Rights Division is actively engaged in widespread politicization and possible corruption” and the Judiciary Committee has a duty to investigate allegations “that strike at the heart of the Department’s integrity.”
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Obamacare’s Hidden Gun Control | Pro-Gun New Hampshire

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:14 AM PDT

Obamacare’s Hidden Gun Control | Pro-Gun New Hampshire: "General Counsel and Board Member, Pro-Gun New Hampshire, Inc.

[Posted Friday, July 23, 2010, at 8:25 p.m.] Effective January 1, 2012, the national healthcare legislation passed by Congress contains tax provisions that will require gun dealers to report to the IRS purchases and sales of guns and any other goods valued over $600. IRS 1099 forms will have to be filed, reporting the sale/purchase. This reporting will be required for purchases from either individuals or corporations. The new IRS provisions apply to all goods and services.

This has the effect of creating a system of gun registration, controlled by the IRS. It also creates mountains of more paperwork for dealers who are already burdened with filling out 4473's, A&D Bound Books, receipts, and all the other paperwork associated with gun business. Even purchases made at gun shows or at people's homes by gun dealers will have to be reported.

Modern sport/utility (AR-15 type) rifles sell for over $600 even at used wholesale prices. Your quality tactical or custom handguns easily sell for over $600, and finding shotguns worth over $600 is not hard at all. $600 in ammunition is not a lot at today's prices. Even if the dealer buys a pile of clunkers but pays out over $600 to any individual or corporation, the report to the IRS must be made. Ammunition, knives, parts, reloading equipment, accessories, or any other goods valued over $600 must be reported to the IRS. The bottom line is, sell your gun or other goods to a dealer for over $600 and it must be reported to the IRS.

Rep. Dan Lungren has introduced a bill (H.R. 5141) to repeal this section.
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Obamaca: Reshaping society through government control

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:02 AM PDT

Obamaca: Reshaping society through government control: "In 1997, under the direction of Andrew Niccol, people viewed on their cinema screens a sterilized world of growing government perfection. The movie, “Gattaca,” depicted a world where through genetic selection only children with their parents’ desired hereditary traits were given societal acceptance.

The children that were born naturally, void of the process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, were labeled “in-valids” and were treated as societal junk and placed in menial labor jobs. To the elites of this futuristic world, this made for a more productive humanity. Like liberals today, the power wielders of this science fiction story wanted to make their version of a better, more productive and certainly healthier society, and to do that they needed the power of the government. Gattaca was a world of sterilized government control where the “haves” and the “have nots” of social class warfare could be identified with the technological speed of an eye scan, cheek swab or blood test.

​It would be easy to leave these Orwellian-style cinematic depictions of worlds with governments running amuck at the doors of the theatre if it weren’t for the disquieting reality that society seems to mirror these movies at an alarming rate. One has only to look to recent events to see that it is the modern liberal of today that works feverishly to build the Gattaca of tomorrow. Ed Morrissey of Hot Air reported on July 6, 2010 of New York Mayor David Paterson’s attempt to tax the fat out of people, with a high-profile levy on sugary drinks. The ultra-liberal, get-your-Gattaca-here Mayor Gavin Newsom achieved level one of calorie control in his sphere of influence by declaring Coke, Pepsi, and Fanta Orange as in-valid and thus rejecting them from city vending machines and exchanging them for soy and rice milk.
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Hispanic Democrats want health care fix - Carrie Budoff Brown -

Posted: 24 Jul 2010 12:00 AM PDT

Hispanic Democrats want health care fix - Carrie Budoff Brown - "A group of Democratic lawmakers wants to use the immigration reform debate to fix one of the most hotly contested aspects of the health care law — provisions that bar immigrants from using new government programs to get coverage.

The move by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus would add a contentious new element to an already monumental task — passing a bill that puts 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

But the lawmakers say they’re merely following through on a pledge they made when the health care overhaul passed in March, and they expect the White House and Democratic leadership to do the same.

Some members of the caucus almost withheld their votes for health reform over what they saw as punitive, anti-immigrant measures in the bill, which bans illegal immigrants from using newly created exchanges to buy insurance, even with their own money, and maintains a five-year waiting period for legal residents to enroll in Medicaid.

They signed on only after receiving assurances that their concerns would be rectified as part of the immigration reform battle, according to lawmakers, advocates and Hill aides.

“The expectation was that everybody knew it was unfair and that a new immigration bill would correct that,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told POLITICO.
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The Volokh Conspiracy » Obama Campaign Adviser Participated on JournoList

Posted: 23 Jul 2010 11:54 PM PDT

The Volokh Conspiracy » Obama Campaign Adviser Participated on JournoList:

Jared Bernstein, chief economist for Vice President Joseph Biden, served in 2008 as an economic adviser to the Obama campaign. At the same time, he was a member of JournoList, the controversial progressive email list.

Bernstein’s bio at Politico, which appears not to have been updated since 2008, states: “He is an economic adviser to the Obama campaign.”

He was known to many for his regular appearances on the financial channel CNBC. His primary employer in 2008 was the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor progressive think tank, but according to his bio when appointed to the Obama-Biden Administration, he also was a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Congressional Budget Office.

Reached today at the Office of the Vice President, Bernstein revealed that his position with the Obama campaign was as something called a “surrogate.” “I was not paid by the campaign,” he explained. “They would call me from time to time to represent their positions, that side of the debate.”

Asked when he left JournoList, Bernstein replied, ‘‘I think I left the list around the time I came here.” Bernstein was announced as Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to the Vice President-elect on December 8, 2008.

One question that has arisen in the last week is how closely JournoList members, not only discussed how to shape the news to advance the fortunes of Barack Obama, but coordinated with the Obama campaign. Jared Bernstein’s position as an unpaid adviser and surrogate shows that there was at least one direct link between JournoList and the Obama campaign.

Bernstein’s serving on the Economic Advisory Panel of the CBO is less worrisome, though it appears to violate Ezra Klein’s first rule for JournoList:

At the beginning, I set two rules for the membership. The first was the easy one: No one who worked for the government in any capacity could join.

It would appear that Bernstein’s presence on the list violated Klein’s first rule, since he met the test of working “for the government in any capacity.”

Yet note Klein’s careful wording here. People who worked for the government in any capacity couldn’t join, but could they stay on the list if they took a government job after joining?

Were there other campaign advisers or part-time government officials who participated on JournoList?

UPDATE: Here is an example of Bernstein’s humorous political writing at the Huffington Post.

2D UPDATE: I have an anonymous source who has shown me an email thread that appears to be from JournoList. From his search of the JournoList archives, he believes that Bernstein’s last direct email to the list was on December 5, 2008, a charming farewell sent 3 days before he was introduced as Biden’s chief economist. Indeed, months later there were several emails to the list from members who wondered how to contact Bernstein.

Check with  for updates on this.

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Congress Spent $604,000 on Bottled Water, $397,000 on Catering

Posted: 23 Jul 2010 11:52 PM PDT

Congress Spent $604,000 on Bottled Water, $397,000 on Catering: "(July 21) -- Crave ribs? Bagels and coffee or doughnuts? Seafood, subs or Chinese? So does Congress!

House members spent part of their Members Representational Allowances on these items -- and more -- during the nine-month period between late 2009 and early 2010 covered by the Sunlight Foundation's House Expenditure Reports Database. The info is highly enlightening, revealing, for instance, the popularity of Chantilly Donut's sinkers; what it costs to feed hungry congressional pages; and how lucrative it can be to own a part of the cottage industry of keeping our duly elected representatives fed and well hydrated.

According to the documents, one company in particular raked in the taxpayer dough: CapitolHost. At least 61 legislators and 20 congressional offices used the catering service, to the tune of about $169,143. But that's only the tip of the iceberg salad, as you'll see below.

To read more of AOL News' audit of Congress' expense reports, please visit the first installment in this series.

Full Report
How Congress Spent Your $1 Billion
Food Tab: $604K on Bottled Water
Interns and Pages: $4.4 Million
News and Research: $1.2 Million
Travel: $1.4 Million a Month
Congress Is a PC: Just $22K on Apple
About This Series
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ObamaClypse Now: Some Insurers End New Coverage For Kids

Posted: 23 Jul 2010 11:47 PM PDT

ObamaClypse Now: Some Insurers End New Coverage For Kids: "In an “unintended,” but absolutely predictable consequence of ObamaCare, some insurers have stopped writing certain policies for children, state officials said Friday:

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in his state, UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have stopped issuing new policies that cover children individually. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland said a couple of local insurers in her state have done likewise.

The administration slammed insurers for “taking this unwarranted and unnecessary step.”

Starting later this year, ObamaCare will require insurers to accept children regardless of their medical condition. Not surprisingly, insurers fear that parents will wait until kids get sick before signing them up for coverage, imposing major costs.

“If the law says that insurers have to take you any time, any place, some people will see that as an opportunity to wait until their children get sick to buy coverage,” a Blue Cross lobbyist told AP.

Who would have thunk it??? Predictable to everyone except the socialists who think that they have all the answers. I predict more regulation because of this. More laws with more unintended consequences .. Obama never learns~~ The Munz
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Townhall - Robert Morrison - President Obama: Stilling the Waters

Posted: 23 Jul 2010 11:45 PM PDT

Townhall - Robert Morrison - President Obama: Stilling the Waters: "We all recall how Newsweek editor Evan Thomas last year gushed that President Obama hovered over the nations “like a sort of god.” That was then. The only thing gushing lately has been the BP oil spill, now mercifully capped.

My wife and I had an experience recently that suggests Mr. Obama can still the waters—of the Chesapeake Bay. We were invited by friends to take a boat ride from Annapolis to St. Michael’s, Maryland.

We headed out on a beautifully clear Sunday afternoon. Our friends Tom and Ann own a 37-foot motor boat. Tom is a successful entrepreneur.

Riding over smooth waters at 30 knots, Tom explained how the businesses he has started functioned. He’s in pharmaceuticals. His companies—he’s started up several innovative ones—are not giants, but they are all competitive. In order to develop and bring to market new drugs, entrepreneurs have to make many false starts. Like those prospecting for new sources of oil, there are many “dry holes.” But the successes more than make up for their failures. And Americans and people throughout the world are the beneficiaries.

Tom pointed to drugs that treat acid reflux. Decades ago, this condition called for surgery, which is especially hazardous for the elderly. The cost of the drugs has to be weighed against the lost time and productivity for recovering surgery patients, not to mention the lost lives.


When the boating industry hits a slump, it’s not just the rich who are hurt. Young people who work in the boatyards, wait tables in the seafood restaurants, and staff the Marinas—all these are affected, too. It’s fun, no doubt, to yell “Soak the Rich,” but it’s the rest of us who usually get all wet from the politics of envy. This is the real-world impact of Obama’s economic policies. As Winston Churchill once put it: “Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”
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TANCREDO: The case for impeachment - Washington Times

Posted: 23 Jul 2010 11:42 PM PDT

TANCREDO: The case for impeachment - Washington Times: "Eleven years ago, like every citizen elected to serve in Congress or any person appointed to any federal position, I swore an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.'

I've always thought it significant that the Founders included domestic enemies in that oath of office. They thought liberty was as much at risk from threats within our borders as from outside, and French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville agreed with that warning.

In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the greatest threat to our nation was clear - and foreign. While Islamic terrorism still represents the greatest external threat to America and American lives, the avowed program of the Obama regime has changed the picture in a fundamental way.

For the first time in American history, we have a man in the White House who consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. That's why I say the greatest threat to our Constitution, our safety and our liberties, is internal. Our president is an enemy of our Constitution, and, as such, he is a danger to our safety, our security and our personal freedoms.

Barack Obama is one of the most powerful presidents this nation has seen in generations. He is powerful because he is supported by large majorities in Congress, but, more importantly, because he does not feel constrained by the rule of law.
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