My friend and colleague Dr. Michael Kram suggested to me that I join the growing list of bloggers.
Click here to read my entire Mission Statement.
If you look at the terrible economic picure over and above the debt crisis,you see a sad pattern.
The Democratic Party is wholly owned by the Unions.I forgot the actual number of times the top union leaders were in to the WH last year.I seem to recall it was near 100.
There are no jobs,and business while sitting on record profits and piles of cash are not hiring.It is the anti-business attitude of the Obama administration,that yields uncertainty.
Taxes,increasing cumbersome EPA rules,an NLRB trying to do Labors bidding (that which they cannot achieve in Congress or at the ballot box) are part of the picture.A few examples include the failure to push the Free Trade agreements with 3 countries worth billions to us-held up by the unions because they want to tie it to a worthless billion dollar retraining program.
The efforts of the NLRB to punish Boeing for opening another plant in S. Carolina which is non-unionized,even though their Washington plant(unionized) is working full steam ahead.
The failur the the Dems to approve the House FAA bill,because they want to preserve the underwriting of small airports to the tune of over 2000 dollars per passenger.In addition they want to help unionize certain workers.Therefore airlines cannot collect taxes on plane tickets.
Then there is the taxes and uncertainty of Obamacare.In addition the rules and regulations of Dodd-Frank are still not written.
And so it goes on.
Peggy Noonan put it succintly yesterday "Obama is a loser".
THE OBAMA DEFAULT ?
I do not know how the vote in the House will finally evolve.However,if as it seems it will pass, then I would recommend to Speaker Boehner that he pull an "Obama" on the subject.
He should go on TV, and urge Americans to swamp the WH and Dem Senatorial phones with a message to sign the bill and avoid an OBAMA DEFAULT.
If it passes tonite, and Reid's bill fails to get 60 votes, and unless the Dems can make some minor make-believe adjustments to save face,they will be left with 2 choices
1- kill the bill and bring on the Dem/OBAMA default, or
2- pass it.
In either case Obama loses- either a default, or a renewal of this debate next year.
Was Glen Beck right about what was being taught at that Norwegian youth camp?-anti-Israel propaganda?
The arrest of another Islamic US soldier in Fort Hood, raises new questions about the loyalty of US soldiers of the Islamic faith.No we should not generalize, however we should monitor what their chaplains are teaching them.
Nore debt talk-self sacrifice fro Obama
President Obama over and over again points to himself as an affluent citizen who could afford to pay more taxes.
Why doesn't he show leadership, self-sacrifice and patriotism by writing a check to the Treasury for lets say $100,000 dollars,A great "patriot" like him need not wait for Congress to pass a bill.
Then, we could ask the same of every multi-millionaire Democrat in Congress to follow suit.People like Sen. Kerry and down the line.Then he should turn to all of his corporate supporters like the head of GE, and Chief of Staff Daley to join the parade.
Who knows maybe we can raise a billion dollars from rich Democrats like Michael Moore and George Soros.
Having the switchboard at the Capital overloaded is not a substitute for policy leadership.If anything the left and right simply reinforced their views
The attempt by the Tea Party to hold a rally was a dud,and the the effort by a staffer to pressure Boehner is bush league politics.
Yes we have a problem and yes Obama is the problem.However, until the Dems are out of the WH and control of the Senate,some compromise will be required.
POST-DINNER / PA'-HAMAS PRISONERS
It is both crazy and scary.
We went out with friends for dinner,came back 3 hours later, and everything was topsy-turvy. The CBO scored the Boehner proposal as being insufficient to accomplish the debt reductione he desires.The GOP caucus in the House has rebelled against the Boehner plan as not meeting their demands for real serious cuts.The Speaker is rewriting the plan and the vote tomorrow has been cancelled until Thurs.The NYT now says Aug 2 is not the real cut-off date-more more likely it uis Aug 10.
It is pretty clear that the Reid plan will not get the 60 votes.
We have a battle between the victor in the 2006 and 2008 elections, versus 2010.This will not be solved until after 2010.
In the meantime the Pres. is concerned about his falling poll numbers.He keeps repeating the focus group motto-"balanced approach"which the Republicans have defined as "You pay and I spend".
The PA is crying to the Arab League that they and Hamas cannot pay the salaries of their ungeshtupped public workers-even as the US is paying 5 million dollars per day as salaries for Hamas-PLO terrorists in Israeli jails (as salaries).
This is not a full daily blog-yet-but a thought on todays issue.
Two questions for Sen. Reid
1-Do you absolutly know your plan will get 60 votes?
2-How do you guarantee savings from the war zone,when not only are they still a work in progress, bur Libya is costing us tens of millions with no appropriations?
If I were Speaker Boehner,should the Dems not pass your plan, or the Pres. veto it,I would keep re-sending back with a few different words-even if it takes 2-3 weeks.
YOU HAVE TO HAND IT TO THE PRESIDENT,HARRY REID AND COMPANY-
THEY HAVE UNBELIEVABLE CHUTZPAH
For 2 years there has been no Democratic budget.
The President's State of the Union address did not mention budget reduction.
In fact he called for more spending and thus a higher defecit.
The Obama budget was voted down 98-0
The President wanted a "clean" raising of the defecit ceiling-meaning trillions more in debt.
The Preident in 2 1/2 years has had the defecit raised greater than any other Pres-almost exponentially.
Now in all of the negotiations,he has been all talk-not a single piece of paper with a definitive plan to raise the debt ceiling while cutting spending.The devil is in the details, and he has had zero details,or guarantees for the future.
The Democratic Senate knocked down the only plan on the table.Yet, they complain the Republicans are the source of the deadlock.
WHERE IS THEIR PLAN-ON PAPER?
Sadly the left wing media, which includes the NYT-WP-CNN -MSNBC and the 3 networks are savage in their attacks on the Republican Party,Cantor etc.
Despite the polls,2012 will be the test of which direction this country wants to head in- European socialism, or back to basics of limited govt.,living within our means.
THE NORWAY MASSACRE
I have 6 grandchildren in summer camp in Penn. They are divided into 2 camps.When we used to go up on visiting day to visit, at the end of the road was a small shack with a senior citzen with a radio and cell phone.
In normal times this would be adequate to keep out unwanted individuals.However these are not normal times.As I look at the carnage from Norway,you realize that the crazies are all over.Copy-cat murderers are always the norm.
If this is an Islamic terror attack, they will consider it a huge sucess what with all the publicity,and the destruction.
Norway I believe was one of the first to recognize Hamas!
I believe American summer camps-especially Jewish/orthodox will have to evaluate 24 hour security.For what they charge per child they can add that to their budget.
There may be Federal grants available for that purpose.
oil at $100 / Haaretz / Housing tax
Now that oil has reached over 100 dollars.it is clear that the Obama trick of releasing our from our reserves was silly, and did not work.
Like our position on Libya, where we have had a half baked policy, that after a billion dollars may or may not see Quadaffi go.In the meantime arms from Liby are now being smuggled into Gaza to be used by Hamas.
To bring down the price of oil, either you would have to have a major release of oil(unwise),or an announcement that we have opened up ANWAR and other sites to expedited drilling.
To read Haaretz is to get the impression that the charedim are taking over the IDF.It is to secularists a sad day that more and more combat units are not only made up of religiouis zioniists, but they are in the leadership officer roles.
I myself had an apartment in Netanya a number of years ago, that we used as a vacation home.The housing shortage especially in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv has led to the protest tent city in Tel Aviv.One of the proposals floated is to tax people who own apartments in Jerusalem, and do not have it rented out.
Depending upon how steep the tax would be, it might help with the problem,except owners who come for a month or two would prevent long term renters from becoming tenants.The answer also has to be more building permits in the areas aroun Jerusalem, including area A.
Budget chaos / Lebanon
The budget crisis gets more confusing.With no Presidential plan on the table, and no Democratic plan the only real plan is the House plan of cap-cut-balance that passed yesterday. .Now it appears that Sen. Reid will have the Dems filibuster this bill over the weekend.They would not be able to get 60 votes to stop that.But if it passes Obama has said he will veto it.
In addition the Gang of 6 has 3 pieces of paper with a trillion dollar tax increase, and McConnell-Reid still is a work in progress.In addition about 80 plus House Republicans so far, have signed a letter asking the Speaker not to bring the McConnell plan to the floor for a debate/vote.
Confused? Do you see an exit plan?
The dispute over the ocean demarcation between Lebanon and Israel is gettting
more vocal , as Hezbollah has threatened to rain rockets on all of Israel if rhey attack Lebanon.While it is primarily bluff,perhaps to draw attention away from the Hariri murder investigation,nevertheless Hezbollah takes its orders from Iran and the heat may be on them with the new nuclear disclosures.
Gang of 6 / Aid to the PA / Homosexual penile size
At this moment the Gang of six report is only an outline on a few pieces of paper.While it sounds promising, the details are what is important.
I heard nothing about capitol gains rates.Nor did I hear about deductions that many of us take such as mortgages,charitable deductions and so on.
While it sounds good to simplify the tax rates,and get rid of the alternate minimum tax,someone like myself totally depends on my accountant.Therefore at present am ignorant as to what this proposal would mean for someone like me-increase-decrease or no change.
Of course this will not impact on the debate on raising the debt ceiling, unless a smaller debt ceiling increase is voted upon to give Congress a chance to discuss the plan and to ascertain if the economy will grow as they hope to allow for revenue enhancement.
The problem in the past is lots of promises made to reduce spending in the future-which never materializes.
The bill introduced yesterday by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehnitin, cutting off US funding for the PA if they refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.In addition it would mandate moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2014,and there would be NO waiver that would allow the Pres, to refuse. She is right on target.As pointed out here months ago, Israel has no better friend than her.
Smile of the day,is the news that the US helped fund a study of the Penis size of homosexuals -at a cost of $750,000.Since this was done a few years ago,it sounds like an elongated study.
Budget outcome / war in sept.
I do not know how the current budget/debt ceiling crisis will end.To watch MSNBC it is the Angels/patriots vs the subsversives and children.
However public polling aside ( which changes every hour) lets look at some facts that everyone can agree on.
1- During the State of the Union, there was no mention of a debt crisis,too much spending or debt ceiling.
2-THE PRESIDENT PRESENTED A BUDGET WHICH LIKEWISE DID NOT MENTION THESE AREAS,AND WAS DEFEATED IN THE SENATE 98-0
3-For 2 years Democrats did not present a budget for consideration.
4-Now that the crisis is upon us, the Rep/Tea party have resisted calls for tax increases and stressed spending reduction.
No matter what the final outcome is ,it is relatively clear there will be no tax increases, a modest reduction in spending-although it will not even cover the interest payments for the year.In addition there will be an increase in the debt ceiling.
Had the Reps not put up a fight, there would be no reduction in spending,and no public awareness of the big spending spree of the last 10 years.The battle of '12 is under way.
Robt Baer a former senior CIA official believe Israel will attack Iran in Sept.He bases this on a statement from former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, who advises against such an attack.Observing all the nuclear activity in Iran, I keep asking myself When?
In the funny Dept.- Pres. Assad of Syria has recognized East Jerusalem as the Capitol of Palestine.This is reassuring to Abbas.
Chavez and cancer
One should be very careful in discussing or analyzing a patients condition if you don't know the facts,and have never examined the patient.This is especially true when what facts you think you know are coming from a despot who is also the patient.
However,simply based on public statements, Hugo Chavez has a bigger problem than he is letting on.
Cancer of the colon ,especially the rectum and sigmoid rarely present with an abcess.A pelvic abscess is usually the hallmark of a ruptured diverticulitis.A colo-rectal cancer that presents with an absess is usually a sign of a late stage tumor.
Since he has told us that he had 2 operations and it was for cancer, it was obviously not for diverticulitis.
Why the 2 operations? obviously not clear.However, was it to drain an abscess? or to perform a temporary colostomy (pouch) to divert the stool?
If the tumor was totally removed, why the radiotherapy? We have to assume that in any perforated tumor, a high degree of probability exists that both lymph nodes are involved and /or residual tumor/inflammatory mass remains in the pelvis possibly attached to the bladder.
In that case combined therapy might be indicated.
The other problem in a perforated tumor,is the high percentages of lymph node spread which can reach the liver-lungs and even brain.
Depending upon the tharapy chosen qnd the fact that he has already lost 35 pounds( not from weight watchers),he will certainly not be the robust character he was before surgery for some period of time. This could effect the Presidential elections next year.
His survival/morbidity rate would obviously require more precise information.
A Hitler/Ahmedajean / Chavez /Assad and company deserve that which they seek to inflict upon civilized people
Eric Cantor / NGO investigation in Israel
Being retired,and a political junkie besides,allows me more time than normal to evaluate the cable/media coverage of events that are in the headlines.
The efforts of MSNBC and their talking heads, plus to a lesser degree CNN to portray Eric Cantor as being chidish, and unworthy of stitting at the table ,illustrates 2 points.
Firstly he is getting under Obamas skin, by being tough.and standing up for the principles that helped elect 83 conservative members of the Congress.He obviously is doing a good job for his cause.
The Pres. thought he could roll-over the Republicans with a combination of sweet talk and alternate it with grandiose promises, none of which he has written down.The bottom line, is more taxes, more spending all in the name of his social philosophy-redistribute the wealth.
So far he has failed, and he is pissed off!
The second is the tendency and even acceptable conduct by the left to demean, ridicule and insult their opposition.Nothing intellectual, or based upon facts.JUST SCARE TACICS, THREATS AND BULLYING.
The new debate in Israel is whether to initiate a knesset investigation into the funding sources of left wing- anti zionist NGO's.
It has long been accepted that the funding for organizations that run around and report each nail placed into a building in Jerusalem and Yehuda and Shomron comes from foreign countries and overseas individuals.
Thus, the Goldstone Report which he later partially retracted came from such Israeli groups.Two organizations mentioned are Yesh Din, and Physicians for Human Rights.
PM Netanyahu is against the investigation.However why should some Scandinavian country or a wealthy American citizen fund such groups.Usually they set these up as Tax-exempt organizations-therefore the donations in the US are tax deductible.
If the suspicions of outside countries etc. are wrong then let the matter be settled. If it is true, then legislation might be required to correct the situation,
McCONNELL / KNESSET VOTE
Interestingly enough, after I praised the WSJ editorials on the debt issue yesterday, today I have to disagree with their approach.
Their response to the McConnell proposal is an approach that assumes that there will be a deadlock, and therefore seeks to place all the onus on Obama. Under his plan,the public will assume that Obama and the Democrats are behind every increase in the debt ceiling.The Congress would have to vote to "disallow' 4 OR 6 times between now and the election.
Number 1-this is too Machiavellian for me.I don.t think the public will concentrate on how the debt ceiling came to be changed.
2-It does nothing to reduce spending as the Republicans promised before the '10 elections.
3-There is no progress toward a balanced budget amendment.
The threat by Obama to scare seniors regarding their social security checks should be fought and exposed.There is enough money coming in monthly to cover ss,medicare, medicaid and the defense budget.
I also disagree with the statements of American Jewish organizations, attacking yesterday's Knesset vote on those who boycott the products that originate in the settlements.
In general,I believe people have the right to make their own decisions free of govt. interference in commercial matters.Here we are dealing with existential issues for the State of Israel.It is one thing for an artist to refuse to perform in Judea and Samaria.It is another thing to use government funds that support theatres and universities, and attack those area that hundreds of young Israelis gave their lives to guarantee their survival.
WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION / THE PA
At the bottom of the debt fight is the goal of the Pres. to redistribute the wealth.
If you have worked hard,and been successful , or if you were fortunate to be born wealthy, the Pres. says you have a moral obligation to share your resources with the 49% of Americans who pay no tax.
And if you worked all your life,saved and would like to leave your children, and grandchildren the fruits of your labor-OH_NO says the Pres. that belongs to the State.
en. McConnell is correct.As long as Obama is President,there cannot be a full faith Democratic effort to cut spending.It is not in his Socialist blood.
The statement by Speaker Boehner behind closed doors today as printed by Fox on its website,is the strongest argument for the GOP to hang tough.
Yes, the market might fall temporarily,and I like others will be hurt.However if at the end Obama is defeated it will be well worth it.
The PA, cannot pay its salaries.One reason is that every Hamas person in jail (IN iSRAEL)is on the PA payroll.In addition Arab countries have reduced their contributions to 78 million, down from 462 million in'09.
The US gives 550 million annually.Thus the joint Congressional resolution that if the PA goes through with their shtick before the UN re: statehood, US aid will be cut off is a serious threat to them.
Israel and the US should hang tough.
SYRIA / TAXES
Syria has been smoldering now for months.In fact as we wrote even before the demonstrations,the Obama administration was smoking the funny stuff,when they sent an Ambassador to Damascus.
The idea was to coax Assad away fromIran,reduce his support for Hezbollah and then make peace with Israel.What pie-in-the-sky!
Assad is a clone of his father-a murderer-supporter of terrorism,and a manipulator of people like Sen. Kerry.The failure by Obama to read the psyche of Arab leaders,caused our friend Mubarek to bite the dust with an outcome unclear.We attacked Libya and expected victorey in a week,and now the French are suing for negotiations.We lost an opportunity to speak up and help the demonstators in Tehran,and now we are ineffective in the battle to get rid of Assad,because we have mixed feelings as to whether he should go or pray for"REFORM".
I AM TOTALLY AMAZED AND APPRECIATIVE FOR THE ROLE OF THE EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE WSJ.
The current controversy is sometimes difficult to follow,and the bully pulpit of the President with his silk tongue, makes coming to an informed opinion even more difficult.Add to this the talking heads on MSNBC and CNN and you have the feeling of impending gloom.
Fortunately the freshmen of the GOP,and the WSJ, have kept the Rep. leadership in line with what America wants-not because I say so, but because the election of 2010 sent a clear message.If they give in on taxes, they will deserve to lose the WH and Congress
The end is near / debt negotiations
Thankfully we are coming to the end of the ordeal of trial by tv -24 hours a day,7 days a week.
Lets see.Libya in stalemate
Syria killing innocents
Iran popping off missiles-ready for nuclear warheads
N Korea appointed head of UN disarmament Comm., etc..etc
However the US is focused on Orlando.
The WH is still the best bully-pulpit in the world.How these debt negotiations end is not clear yet.However Govt. bt transparency is off the table.Not that I blame the Pres. totally, except the Dems have not had a budget in well over 2 years when they controlled both Houses and the WH.Now as we come to a deadline,suddenly the pressure is on.
However when members of Congress complain that they are forced to get the news from the Press, something is wrong .
Continental Air. / U.K. idiocy
Last nite we flew down to Florida on Continental airlines from Newark.When I booked the tickets, I thought it was a 9.10 AM flight,because on the internet screen it was sandwiched between a 6 and 10 AM flight.A week ago my wife asked me why we were flying at nite,which at first I denied.
I called Continental,and said I was on pain meds,made a mistake and could I change the tickets.
The young lady was very polite,wished me a full recovery,and said of course they could change the tickes at a cost of $165 per ticket,more than we paid for them.
We sat on this plane last nite,totally packed with no empty seats, with no air-conditioning for a half hour,until the last moment the engines started.
On Jet Blue,they give out as many snacks as you desire.On Continental I felt like I was in a "shuk" except coffee/water etc, all is for sale,and they keep walking up and down trying to make a sale.
CNN fires Spitzer.They should try Weiner next.
Yesterday before flying,I had to show identification.When you walk into most major buildings in business areas, you need to identify yourself.Only a Bill Clinton would have the chutzpah to call the new efforts to prevent irreular and fraudulant voting a reversion to " Jim Crow".
This business of getting people off the street,walking in with no identity,registering and voting the same day is reminiscent of the old
Tammany Hall trick of paying people to vote.
The laws of the U.K. where individuals can swear out arrest warrants on Israeli leaders and former military generals is abusive and outrageous.This week Tzipi Livni,opposition leader, could not go to London,and Amir Peretz and retired General Danny Rothschild had to leave early before being served with arrest warrants.
Bravo to Greece / Class Warfare
Three cheers for Greece.
It just completed 2 weeks of joint air force maneuvers with the IDF in Greece.
It has prevented the flotilla ships from leaving for Gaza.This includes commandos boarding 1 ship,and arresting all occupants of a second ship.
The new relationship has yielded much Israeli tourism, some at the expense of Turkey.Although efforts are underway to have a joint Israel-Turkey UN statement in the next few days on the flotilla events of a year ago.
In a few days it is reported that 500 pro-Palestinian activists will land in Ben-Gurion airport,and if they are denied entrance to Israel, will demonstrate at the airport.They hope to tie up the airport and get some publicity.
I assume the police and Immigration authorities will be ready for them.
It is funny,but sad that the State Dept., is warning Assad that his time to "reform" is running out.Tell that to the 1200 plus fatalities.
Another funny quip is the President telling a news conference that he had not read enough on the NLRB-Boeing conflict to comment fully.
Give me a break! He is THE pro-union President,and there is nothing he would not do to help them.
The whole classs warfare motto of the Dems sound terrific if you are part of the 40-50% of people who pay no taxes.However, the definition of fat-cat millionaire and billionare of $250,000 is laughable.
In the NY area with high rents,sending your kids to religious/private schools,paying for college tuitions ,perhaps summer camp,insurance and so on,very few people in that category would consider themselves wealthy.None of them has a corporate jet.Even if we knocked out the corporate jet it would take 7000 years to cover 1 year of the debt.
Yet Americans don't envy people who succeed,if the opportunity is open to everyone via meritocracy.
The message is Govt. get off my back,cut spending,and live within your means as I do.
Off to Florida tomorrow for 6 weeks.
NYT AD BY DANNY ABRAHAM
On June 28th, the Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace took out a full page ad in the NYT on page A5.
Any guess for the cost?
Danny Abraham is a man who can be described with the prefix "very "
He is a VERY nice soft spoken gentleman
He is a VERY wealthy individual(slimfast).
He IS VERY,VERY charitable.He has built or supported many synagogues such as the Netanya and West Palm Beach orthodox synagogues,as well as other causes.
He is VERY, VERY, VERY liberal or way left of the political spectrum.He always has been,and believes strongly in those issues.
For those who would like a more detailed history ,look up on Google "DANIEL ABRAHAM AND YASIR ARAFAT".
The President of his organization is Robert Wexler a former Dem. Congressman from Florida,another table thumping loud liberal in the style of Schumer and Weiner.
The ad touts a survey they conducted which claims that 80% of Israelis support.
Some of the points they raise,are surely accepted by all who believe in a 2 State solution (how many in their heart of hearts REALLY want a Palestinian tate ?) include-
Palestinian refugees to return only to a "Palestinian State".
-a demilitarized state and
2 states for 2 people(which I doubt such a margin accepts(80%).)
However when you talk about 1967 borders as the basis for a settlement (WITH LAND SWAPS) you start with a divided JERUSALEM, AND NETANYA WITHIN 7 MILES TO THE ARAB LANDS-AN INDEFENSIBLE POSITION.(The Obama plan-which not only Israelis oppose,but so does the Congress)this is an entirely different matter.
HOWEVER, THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE IS THE FOLLOWING
"The old City of Jerusalem within the walls,will be without sovereignty, and will be jointly administered by the United States,Israel and the Palestinians.The Holy places will be under the same religious supervision as they are today"
My only comment is that they really meant this last piece was OPPOSED by 80% of Jews.They must be smoking some funny stuff to think that Israel would consider giving away the sanctity of the Kotel and its sorrounding streets to Barack Obama and Abbas .They should have included the Pope as a landlord.