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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Commentary Snippets #1

Sponsored by Rep. Boehner (R-OH), the House’s Defund Acorn Bill would prohibit funding for not only ACORN but any organization which has “filed fraudulent paperwork with the government or violated campaign finance laws”. This is precisely the language which Project on Government Oversight (POGO) had been hoping for. According to POGO, about 62 contractors inclusive of universities, defense and health companies would be affected. Attached as an amendment to a student aid bill, it passed in the House 345-75, with all opposing votes coming from the Democratic side. (Tactically absent was ACORN apologist Barney Frank.) On the Senate side (Amendment #2355 of S 3288), it passed 83-7, again with all opposing votes coming from Democrats. Neither the House nor Senate versions will take effect until the bills to which they were attached have been signed by the Community Organizer-in-Chief.

Israeli Strike Expected Spring 2010.Though US Jews currently support a US military strike against Iran 56%-36%, a unilateral military strike by Israel is supported 66%-28%. Foreseeing no resolution of the Iranian nuclear threat by year’s end, Yaakov Katz of the Jerusalem Post predicts that Israel will strike in the Spring of 2010. The London Times reported in July that Saudi Arabia granted IAF overflights of their kingdom during any strike on Iran. Also, Amb. Bolton confirmed that during his tour of Middle East capitals this summer Arab leaders quietly indicated they “would acquiesce in [Israeli] overflights” so long as Israel doesn’t trumpet the arrangement. (Note: the Israeli, German and French intelligence services all disagree with the US 2007 Nat’l Intelligence Estimate which claimed Iran had halted their work on a nuclear bomb. So, appears their intelligence is less politicized and more objective than our own, and Israel has long been preparing for the inevitable strike.)

The Heritage Foundation reports that if a public option is ever made law 103.4 million Americans would end up on the public plan, 88.1 million of whom would first lose their existing private coverage. Even without a public option, the Foundation reports that everyone would be required to have health insurance by 2013. Those who fail to comply would be forced to pay an annual tax of $750-$3,800/yr. Noncompliance would be a punishable offense which I dealt with in a previous post. Also, to avoid penalties, employers of more than 50 not offering health coverage would simply reduce their work force. More unemployment, of course. (Note: More than a dozen states are moving to pass state constitutional amendments that would outlaw Obamacare’s individual mandate. In the final analysis, perhaps that is the only thing which will persuade the libs from foolishly adopting a public option. Who would have guessed Obama would have been so divisive, tearing at the very heart of Americans' constitutional sensibilities.)

GOP Incompetence. Larry Elder, an Afro-American of keen intellect, solid conservative cred and a renowned talk radio host, was asked by the NRSC not to run against the insufferably screechy Barbara Boxer in 2010. And their… reasoning? Already committed to one Carly Fiorina who, with a string of embarrassing missteps and revelations under her belt already, is, according to Rasmussen, a sure loser, NRSC advised Elder that though Fiorina will lose, she will, at least, “tie up Democratic resources in the meantime”. Duh! Boxer couldn’t be more vulnerable right now, and Elder could easily whip her. But, nope, the squirrels at NRSC have decided to all but assure Boxer’s win in 2010. Insane! It is said that Elder is frustrated and fuming still. Let’s hope he runs as an Independent and circumvents GOP incompetence. Republicans are their own worst enemies. The Dems are pushovers if we'd only stop aping them.

Obama’s sophomoric eagerness to assuage our opponents since his inauguration brings America to a critical crossroads with Iran and Afghanistan. Ahmadinejad must surely perceive Obama as weak. Similarly, Kabul must surely be very concerned about what they perceive as Obama’s dithering over Gen. McChrystal’s recommendation regarding troop strength in Afghanistan. Despite Obama’s “apology tour”, our enemies perceive America as weak which, I believe, has caused a decline in America’s credibility in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world. In turn, and if history is our guide, this will further increase the likelihood of dangerous miscalculations and confrontations. Right now, Obama's making no significant decision on either front is extremely foolhardy. With regard to the growing threat of Iran, my bet is that by our inaction and the hollowness of further sanctions Israel will feel compelled to strike Iran. And to protect shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz, we will inevitably be dragged in to the fight. Fine by me. Let’s get it done and let’s hasten regime change in Teheran. As for Afghanistan, send the additional troops, demand rigid Afghan cooperation and clear benchmarks for success, i.e. Afghan military self-sufficiency and a serious reduction in corruption. After two years, or less, if insufficient progress has been made, pull out our regular troops, but maintain an advisory capability and aggressive special forces component so long as they are not exposed to unreasonable risk. But, my God, step off the dime, Barack, and get a crash course in history under your belt while you're at it. Perhaps then the Presidency won't be so far above your pay grade.