In her own words:"Hi there, dear family and friends-good news today-no chemo-I'm excited! Imagine that, cheering because I ONLY need radiation! We've come a long way, baby! L,L"
The final special test results rate my wife on the lower risk of the recurrence scale so no chemo therapy advised. She will begin radiation followed by anti-hormone treatment and will be around a long time to play with more grandchildren on the way.
A great beginning to what I hope and pray will be a good New Year for all.
Unlike the entire nation, which Obama has concluded is soft, she is strong.
If only Obama were as tough as she is. If only Obama had her charm, decency and beauty of spirit.
If only Obama had her strength and sound thinking.
Alas, unlike my wife ,Obama is soft in the head and his most recent comment is an indictment against him not the nation. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Two distinct ways to report Israel's announcement regarding building 1100 more homes in Jerusalem - The unbiased report by a Washington Post writer and then there is the 'hidden agenda' report by a New York Times reporter. The New York Times reporter is conflicted, when printing a story pertaining to Israel that entails limiting the report to facts. (See 2 and also see 4a and 4b below.)
North Carolina's Governor would like to suspend elections and then suggests she was just joking. Read what she said and decide for yourself. I believe she is the joke.(See 3 below.)
Then one of Obama's closest personal friends and advisers tells a 'brainwashed' black audience it is government's 'responsibility' to give them a job.
And you thought Obama wanted Americans to get off their asses? Obviously, according to Jarrett, they should wait till government gives them a job.
Government dependency is just what you expect of a nation turned soft. (See 3a below.)
The Department of Energy is rushing another 'shy of a trillion dollar' loan to a 'green company' run by Obama fund raisers and relatives of important politicos.
This article is too long to publish but more evidence of, at the very least, stupidity and a cover up by Obama's Justice Department. Hundreds have died because of Fast & Furious, including a young Border Patrol agent and former Marine. Yes, Solyndra is a huge scandal.....and deservedly so however, the mainstream media is ignoring F&F because it would represent one more nail in Obama's political coffin.
Wake up America. Your government is being hijacked and you, the tax payer, are being fleeced so Obama can win re-election by laundering money through questionable loans to companies run by his cronies and financed by The Energy Department. Where is the anger?(See 3b and 3c below.)
A good friend and memo reader e mailed Rabbi Belzer's LTE which I have reprinted below. I responded with my own LTE (not printed to date) so I printed my response in a previous memo. I am reprinting both so you now have the full picture. You decide. (See 4 below.)
Maybe the Rabbi can explain Hillary's flip flop when it comes to Obama's repeated view about building in Jerusalem versus the one she held when she was the Senator from New York currying favor with New York's Jewish voters?
Ironically, as Obama's lap dog Secretary of State, Hillary is now petitioning the Supreme Court to conclude the very vote she made, while a Senator, was an unconstitutional action.
Also, how can the learned Rabbi explain Herman Cain's popularity among 'racist' Republicans? (See 4a and 4b below.)
Another good friend, memo reader and bright portfolio manager sent this article suggesting, though Italy's debt situation was brought back from the brink, going forward, the probability of default still remains. A future Italian default could bring the Euro to its knees. (See 5 below.)
This is a very harsh and painful position but I believe correct Why? Because Obama's misdirected policies are pushing the recovery further out and making it more difficult to achieve. Watch this PJTV.Com video:"Courage to Fail: Is Time To Let the Economy Collapse So That It Can Finally Heal?
It sounds counter intuitive, but is failure the best thing for this economy? The Fed and the federal government are printing and spending money in an attempt to stimulate the economy, but to what effect? Could we be delaying the inevitable, and therefore making the economic difficulties more difficult?"
Obama says we are soft and Immelt's GE is about giving away the store. Immelt is also Obama's Job Czar. (See 6 below.)
A read on Kenndey's possible vote regarding 'Obamascare.' (See 7 below.)
Today, Obama reported we killed another key terrorist. I am all for killing terrorists but is not killing people with drones worse than water boarding? I do not hear a peep from the liberal press and media dolts but I am confident had GW acted accordingly he would have been crucified. Furthermore, how many innocents have been killed by drone mistakes? Again not a peep.
Is a nation that hunts down terrorists and kills them from the sky a more moral nation than one extracting critical intelligence by 'overboard' methods of interrogation? You decide. I already have and, in the process, found the media and press guilty of continued bias in their misguided support of the president they helped elect and slavishly wish to re-elect.
1)America the Soft
President Obama's national diagnosis.
On the matter of President Obama yesterday saying that Americans "had gotten a little soft," let us first say that it could not have been the President's intention to launch zillions of tweets referencing Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech.
By now, we've become accustomed to trying to discern the political strategy behind Mr. Obama's policies and statements. We still don't see the political logic in proposing that a country teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession should welcome a $1 trillion increase in taxes. Now the incumbent is telling the country it's become "a little soft."
On the morning of Mr. Obama's remarks, his admirers at the New York Times editorialized that it is the Republicans' plan to "wind down the government's longstanding guarantee of health care to the elderly and the poor and incinerate the Democrats' new promise to cover the uninsured." And "stop virtually all regulation" . . .
Permit us to volunteer as the voice of moderation in this discussion.
We take the President's point about some competitive softness. We'll even concede the Times's point that government really does mean well whenever it outputs one more law, such as Dodd-Frank. Is it not possible, though, that if America's competitive instincts have softened, this has something to do with its compulsively intrusive, protective national government?
We noted here recently that an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico required environmental sign-offs from the EPA, DOT, USDA, DOI, DOE and others. Might not this dull anyone's competitive edge?
Trade is the lifeblood of the competitive instinct, but the administration still won't finalize trade deals with those two economic giants, Colombia and Panama. What of the current competitive mindset of couples with taxable income over $250,000 whom the President describes as "millionaires"?
As the risk of being accused of wishing to incinerate the government, we suspect that if Mr. Obama backed off his ever-expanding embrace of the American economy—health-care, housing, energy—Americans would, as he put it, "get back on track."
1a)1a)We've Gone Soft: Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty
Obama says we've gone soft. Yeah, you could make that case; after all, we elected him:
President Barack Obama on Thursday said the U.S. has lost some of its competitive edge and gotten a "little soft."
Mr. Obama, in an interview with WESH-TV in Orlando, said his administration has been tough on the country's trading partners and tried to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.
"This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades," Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country's economic future. "We need to get back on track."
Er, rewind the tape. We didn't have the competitive edge we needed over the last couple of decades? Which ones? The 1980s, when the free world outlasted the socialist model and triumphed over the Soviet Union without firing a shot? The 1990s, when our economy integrated the technological breakthroughs of the Internet age and our economy grew to new dazzling heights? Or the last decade, where we responded to the most devastating attack in our nation's history, where our enemies unleashed mass death in our biggest cities, by toppling two brutal regimes, and we did it all with the unemployment rate between 4 and 6 percent?
Either way, I'm sure you're beside yourself with guilt at the thought that you've disappointed him. He said this, by the way, after a West Coast trip with fundraisers with the Hollywood crowd and shortly after inviting the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House.
Jonah is similarly incredulous:
I wonder where America could have lost its competitive edge. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with a government that blows billions on green energy boondoggles while making it harder to drill for oil while trying to make electricity rates "skyrocket." It couldn't have to do with extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks (and rising), or to bailouts. . . .
Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he's lecturing us about how America's gone "soft"? Really?
2)FW: How The New York Times Twists The News......
In the Washington Post's Sept. 28 edition, Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg, gets its fairly straight for a change in reporting plans in Israel to build 1,100 more housing units in East Jerusalem -- with the customary negative reactions from the Obama administration, the European Union and the Palestinians ("Israel building plan draws fresh rebukes -- Procedural step forward sparks criticism from U.S., others" page A7)
Here's how Greenberg's leads off his article: "Israel advanced plans Tuesday to build 1,100 homes in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem...."
The same journalistic accolade, however, doesn't apply to the New York Times version, written by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner, who is more interested in flogging Israel than in reporting actual facts ("Israel Angers Palestinians With Plans For Housing" page A5).
Here's how Kershner leads off her article: "Israel announced plans on Tuesday for 1,100 new housing units in an area of South Jerusalem outside Israel's pre-1967 boundaries. The move reflects Israel's continued rejection of Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement construction as a condition for peace talks."
It's what Kershner fails to tell readers that makes her piece an unadulterated exercise in Israel bashing. Not once in her entire article does she mention that the additional housing is destined for a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. In fact, you have to wait until the 10th paragraph to find any indication at all that she's referring to Gilo, but even then she doesn't describe the all-Jewish dermographics of this neighborhood.
So, Times readers don't have a clue that Gilo is populated by 40,000 Jews. Nor would they know that Gilo has 35 synagogues. As far as Kershner is concerned, the only important aspect worth reporting about Gilo is that its "an area outside Israel's pre-1967 boundaries." And building more homes there is just additional "settlement construction."
In sum, her message to readers is quite clear: Jews don't belong in Gilo; Jews don't belong in East or South Jerusalem. It's a Judenreid mentality for anything beyond the 1949 armistice line.
Thus, it doesn't occur to Kershner -- and thus to her readers -- that the Times has repeatedly trumpeted the outline of a peace deal as leaving Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem on the Palestinian side and Jewish neighborhoods in East or South Jerusalem on the Israeli side. That's what Ehud Barak offered in 2000-01 and Ehud Olmert in 2008 -- only to be rejected by the Palestinians. But the Times still keeps blessing this formula.
So what's all Kershner's commotion about more Jewish housing units for Gilo if Gilo will remain part of Israel anyway under any realistic two-state peace agreement -- as the Times itself concedes?
Kershner should be pursuing this question, but since it doesn't comport with her Israel-bashing agenda, she's not interested in the fact that she and the Times keep pretzling themselves about who really belongs in East Jerusalem. And for that matter, so do Obama and the Europeans.
What Kershner also fails to report -- and its's a critically important context for any understanding of a Jewish presence in East Jerusalem -- is that since 1967, when Isrrael wrested East Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation and unified Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Arab housing construction has far outpaced Jewish housing construction. Ditto for Arab population growth, compared with Jewish population growth in Israel's capital.
Arabs now constitute more than one third of Jerusalem's population. By 2020, their share of Jerusalem's population is expected to reach 40 percent and eventually parity with the Jewish population in the city by 2035 or 2040.
This means that Jersualem, far from being Judaized as Kershner implies, is actually being Arabized. While Obama and the EU demand a Jewish construction freeze in East Jerusalem, they're not demanding the same for Arab housing construction.
So shouldn't it occur to any inquisitive reporter to ask why the great powers on the intrnational stage single out only Jewish construction in Israel's capital as inimical to the peace process, but not Arab construction? Why put the squeeze on Jews, but not on Arabs -- and in Israel's capital yet?
But Kershner is not an inquisitive reporter. She just takes the news and twists it to fit her Israel-bashing agenda.
At the Times, real facts are not fit to print -- at least when they're about Israel.
3)Dem Governor suggests suspending elections
By Lee DeCovnick
When the mask slips and we can see the grotesque visage beneath, the tyrants' foul hatred of this Republic glowers at us.
Of course it made Drudge. The headline in newsobserver.com already had tried to walk back the slipped mask. [North Carolina Governor Beverly] "Perdue jokes about suspending Congressional elections for two years."
Here is the full statement, it sure doesn't sound like a joke:
"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."
These were not the rambling words of a South American Marxist dictator, or a street tough Chicago ward heeler, or an ivory tower Social Culture and Humanities professor, but the Democratic Governor of one of the original 13 colonies. Actually Governor Perdue, most Americans really want their elected representatives to constantly worry about the next election and the decisions they are making on behalf of their constituents. To think otherwise is some twisted dictatorial fantasy.
During the Civil War elections were not suspended. During the worst of the "Long Depression" (the Panic of 1873 until 1879) no elections were suspended. And during the Great Depression, (1929 to 1939) no elections were suspended. Why now? What event has occurred that even warrants such obscene speculation? ObamaCare. The far left cannot have a new, and hopefully more conservative, Congress (House and Senate) repeal ObamaCare, as it is their not-so stealthy vehicle on which the far-left bases its hopes of destroying our Constitutional Republic.
Perdue's remarks were not a joke, this was not a mistake, and the mask was purposefully and deliberately allowed to slip. This is classic Alinsky; the forbidden idea enters the public discussion, the liberal experts and analysts seriously debate the horror as if it were a reasonable, the public becomes increasingly insensitive to the outrageous nature of the idea, more experts add their weight to the idea, and suddenly a horror becomes cutting edge, an acceptable option for the elites to foist on the masses.
What can you do about this? Call your Democratic Congressman and Senators and give them holy heck about even floating such an unconstitutional and perhaps treasonous plan. And treason it may be because suspending elections gives Aid and Comfort to the internal enemies of our nation who do not wish us to be a Constitutional Republic. Overreaction? No not at all: we are in a long war with malevolent forces in our land that want the destruction of our Constitutional Republic and want your silence and acquiescence. Call, write and blog about this outrage, let the networks, talk shows and local newspapers know that this is an attempt to cross a line that may not be crossed. We must demand their attention, so they will think hard about trying such a stunt again.
In World War II, American soldiers voted during the hellish fighting in the Pacific and while fighting on the European continent with Nazi panzers hiding a few hundred yards away on the other side of some forsaken frozen field. We must honor their lives and sacrifices by telling the current powers that be that such ideas are far beyond the bounds of our Constitution.
3a)Does Barack Obama Think America Needs Viagra? His “Malaise’ Moment Arrives
From "The Audacity of Hope" to Hopeless Audacity
By Erick Erickson
It’s not Barack Obama’s policies. It is not the economic uncertainty over regulations and taxes. It is not the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor pushing aggressively pro-union agendas that hamper competition.
No, according to Barack Obama, our nation has grown soft. That’s our problem. Jimmy Carter said America was in a “malaise.” This is Barack Obama’s “malaise” moment.
It can’t be about him. It cannot be about his polices. On the same day Joe Biden declares the economy belongs to Barack Obama, Obama passes the buck. This time it is directly to the American people and American businesses.
It’s not him, you see. It’s us.
“This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country’s economic future. “We need to get back on track.”
We don’t have the competitive edge we once had because we have a President who spent two years deciding the government would grow the economy and the government would take over the auto industry and the government would take over the healthcare industry and the government would pick the winners and losers in the economy.
The American people and American business has not gone soft. They’ve gone out of business.
Barack Obama’s administration has been hostile to the financial industry, hostile to the oil and gas industry, hostile to the coal industry, hostile to the insurance industry, hostile to the service industry, hostile to pretty much every other sector of the economy that is neither part of the public sector nor wholly dependent on the public sector.
Consider Barack Obama’s regular speeches on the state of the economy.
Here is an excerpt from his speech on February 24, 2009, about his stimulus plan:
More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.
Each of those “private sector” jobs would be wholly dependent on government money. The infrastructure jobs would be paid for by government infrastructure spending. The clean energy jobs would be paid for with government subsidies to companies like Solyndra. The laying broadband and mass transit would likewise be private sector jobs doing the bidding of government.
Consider his January 27, 2010, State of the Union address:
More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.
All of these are government jobs or jobs wholly dependent on government for funding.
Consider his January 25, 2011, State of the Union:
We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy
Again, government dependent jobs.
Then there was the President’s “jobs” speech on September 8, 2011:
The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for long-term unemployed.
All of these jobs the President had in mind were jobs either within the public sector or wholly dependent on the public sector. They were not true private sector jobs where the entrepreneurs of the private sector went out and took a risk to get the reward of profit filling a need for the American consumer or business. Barack Obama has worked very hard to take risk out of the free market and, in fact, to punish risk takers who are successful. He has made entrepreneurs the villains. He’s made job creators the bad guys. He’s made the successful sinners and the Solyndras of the world the saints.
And what is the net result of all these speeches and policy proposals? As Mark Levin points out, the Democrats themselves in the Senate do not have the votes to pass the President’s jobs bill. The Senate Democrats reject President Obama’s plan.
Again, the American people have not gone soft. They’ve gone out of business thanks to Barack Obama and his failed economic policies. Even the Senate Democrats are starting to pay attention to a President who has gone from audacious hope to hopeless audacity.
3b)Politics:Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett: The Point of Government Is to Give People a Livelihood so They Can Provide for Their Families."
3c)The Energy Department announced Wednesday that is has finalized a $737 million loan guarantee for a Nevada solar project.
The decision comes several weeks after a California-based solar manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009 filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers, setting off a firestorm in Washington.
The $737 million loan guarantee will help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.
Nancy Pelosi's brother in law is the big beneficiary of the Crescent loan. He is the #2 investor in this project
4)Why most Jews don’t support GOP candidates
In a cynical effort to ingratiate Jewish voters, all the Republican presidential primary hopefuls — with the exception of Ron Paul — are engaged in slamming and undermining President Obama and his evenhanded courageous Israel policy and threatening to cut off necessary aid to the Palestinians and thus somehow change the ancient calculus that aligns American Jews with liberal social and economic policies — 78 percent of Jewish voters voted for Obama.
The calculus won’t change; most American Jews will not support far right-wing Republican candidates.
Republican candidates are falling over themselves to portray themselves as uber supporters of Israel, even advocating policies that are to the right of the Netanyahu government.
Republican members of the House have introduced legislation to support Israel’s annexation of the West Bank, a move contrary to both American and Israeli official policy and an absolute affront to international law and democratic rights.
American Jews are mostly sophisticated voters, surely passionate in their support of Israel’s vital interests, but mostly vote as almost all Americans do on a variety of domestic issues.
Israel is important to most Jews, but the posturing of the Republican presidential aspirants as supporters of far right-wing Israel policies is nothing short of embarrassing.
RABBI ARNOLD MARK BELZER
My response to Rabbi Belser whioch may not be published so here it is:
Rabbi Belzer mischaracterizes Conservatives who also support Israel. Our support of Israel is in keeping with our support of all democracies. His selective expressions are narrow and biased and fail to recognize the conduct of this president, not only with respect to Israel and its current leader, but his overall inept mishandling of most of his foreign policy initiatives.
There is nothing right wing about wanting our nation's fiscal matters balanced, there is nothing right wing about supporting a people who are willing to live side by side with neighbors who have attacked them in wars, slaughtered them through terrorism, and demanding Abbas accord Israelis the same rights Palestinians seek.
Netanyahu does not seek to annex the West bank. That is a Belzer ruse. Netanyahu has legitimate security issues and a moral obligation to protect his citizens. He is willing to discuss all issues with the Palestinians but the question is will Abbas be able to deliver on his commitments? Witness Egypt, Turkey etc. And what of Hamas, Hezballah and Iran?
More importantly, why will Abbas not negotiate? Because Western leaders know they can extract concessions from Israel and Palestinians have thus been encouraged to constantly raise the ante. Feed a bully and you increase his appetite.
And what of the U.N's attitude towards Israel. The peace organization which has been hijacked by the most radical of nations. Not a peep from the learned Rabbi.
It is a sad commentary that Rabbi Belzer, who served his congregation for twenty years, was dismissed because of his constant attacks on Israel and overboard and biased support of the Palestinian cause.
His recent LTE is clear evidence his Congregation had a legitimate point.
4a)Hillary's Turnabout on Jerusalem
By Thomas Lifson
In a stunning reversal, Hillary Clinton has done a 180 on her position on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, contradicting the position she took when she was New York's junior senator, and needed Jewish votes.
Rick Richman writes in the New York Sun:
Secretary of State Clinton, in a sharp departure from her stance when she was a senator, is warning any American action, even symbolically, toward recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel must be avoided for the reason that it would jeopardize the peace process.
Her warnings were issued in a brief she has just filed with the Supreme Court - in which she is arguing that a law she voted for when she was Senator is unconstitutional because it could require the U.S. government to give to an American citizen born at Jerusalem papers showing the birthplace as Israel.
The law requiring the government to issue such documents on request passed the Senate unanimously at a time when Mrs. Clinton was a member. But Presidents Bush and Obama have taken the position that the law infringes on the president's prerogatives in respect of foreign policy. Mrs. Clinton is being sued by an American youngster, Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born at Jerusalem in 2002 to American parents who want his birthplace to be listed on his passport as Israel.
I can only assume that speculation about Secretary Clinton running for president is now irrelevant. This is a bombshell as far as pro-Israel voters are concerned.
4b)Obama’s Jew-free policy
Op-ed: US president abrogating the right of Jews to live wherever they want in Israel
By Giulio Meotti
By seeking to force Israel to cease building houses in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, Barack Obama is legitimizing the Islamist zeal for the eviction of 300,000Jews who live in parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967.
Obama’s administration just blasted Israel for the new homes to be built in Gilo, a Jerusalem neighborhood where 40,000 Israelis live. For 19 horrible years, Jordanians and Palestinians controlled the neighborhoods now under Obama’s attack. Jews were summarily expelled. Property was seized. The historic synagogues of the walled enclave were gutted, trashed, some turned into makeshift barns.
Obama’s de-legitimization of Jerusalem’s post-1967 neighborhoods is nothing less than a renewed “Judenrein” (empty of Jews) policy. To decide, as a matter of policy, not to endorse the building of Jewish homes within existing Israeli areas is the abrogation of the right of Jews to live wherever they wish in Israel.
If Israel cannot build in Gilo without US approval, then it cannot build in Neveh Yaakov, Ramot Eshkol, French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and East Talpiot. Gilo is also a special symbol of the Israeli resistance during the Second Intifada, when Arab snipers fired at Jews from the village of Beit Jala. Gilo was turned into another Ireland. The Jewish residents began to evacuate. Fear, rage and worry dominated their minds. Belatedly, the Israeli government provided cement barriers and bullet-proof glass to protect the neighborhood’s residents.
Today, Gilo is a strategic neighborhood for the security of the entire State of Israel: Not building there means accepting a Palestinian belt around the capital of Israel, which could be in a state of siege. Gilo was the laboratory where Palestinian terrorists sought to discover whether they could force Jews into abandoning their homes. They failed. Now the US president is reviving this goal by “peaceful” means.
Return to Jewish ghettos?
Obama has also blasted Israel for new homes in Har Homa, another Jewish neighborhood on Jerusalem’s southern flanks, where in 1940 a group of Jews purchased 130 dunams of land. In 1948, the hill was rendered “Judenrein” by the Jordanians (Jews are still not permitted to live in Jordan).
Har Homa is a strategic impediment to Arab attempts to link up northern Bethlehem with Jerusalem. Har Homa is about a kilometer from the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Bethlehem and the Old City of Jerusalem lies just 5.5 kilometers beyond. No wonder Palestinians are launching an attack on the new apartments.
Yet more surprising is Obama’s attack on any inch of land in Jewish neighborhoods built after 1967. In stark contrast to cities like Belfast, Beirut and Sarajevo, Jerusalem under Israeli control is a model of freedom and guaranteed rights for all.
Moreover, these neighborhoods, which house about one-third of Jerusalem’s population, also serve to protect the city. The neighborhood of Ramot serves as a buffer to the north; Mount Scopus, French Hill, Ramat Eshkol, and Sanhedria protect Jerusalem’s east.
In the 16th century, many Polish towns obtained the so called “privilegia de non tolerandis Judaeis”, cities in which the Jews were forbidden to live. Europe had the Jewish ghettos during the Middle Ages and the “zoning restrictions” for Jews in the Czarist Russia. Now, it’s Obama’s turn.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism
5)European Economics Focus 1
Editors: Roger Bootle and Jonathan Loynes
• Italy’s recent austerity measures and ECB purchases of government bonds have brought Italy back from the brink. But we still think that Italy may eventually default, with huge repercussions for the euro-zone economy and financial markets.
• The recent rise in concern about Italy reflects the realisation by markets that growth prospects and the level of outstanding government debt are just as important for fiscally challenged economies as the size of budget deficits and near-term funding pressures.
• Accordingly, in order for Italy to be able to borrow from the markets at rates of interest which are not prohibitively expensive, it must demonstrate that it can reduce its debt from 119% of GDP in 2010 to perhaps 100% or less. So far, Italy has focused on implementing fiscal measures to reduce the budget deficit from 4.6% of GDP in 2010 to balance by 2013. But it is vital that the economy can embark on a long bout of solid growth if Italy is to avoid default.
• Unfortunately, the omens do not look good. Over the past three quarters, the economy has expanded by less than 0.2% per quarter on average. What’s more, deteriorating global growth prospects and falling business and consumer sentiment suggest Italy will soon fall into a new recession. We expect the economy to contract by around 1% or more in both 2012 and 2013.
• What’s more, there seems little hope that things will improve dramatically thereafter. Over the past decade, Italy’s productivity record has been atrocious and limited measures that have been taken to try and improve the position over recent years are unlikely to turn around the situation quickly. If Italy is to restore its competitiveness and boost its trend growth rate within the euro-zone, it will have
to go through a prolonged period of wage restraint or deflation and quickly implement far-reaching structural reforms. Given such a back drop, a long period of weak domestic demand seems likely.
• Accordingly, we would not be surprised if annual nominal GDP growth averaged just 1% or so over the next decade. If we are correct, it might take twenty years for Italy to get its debt to GDP ratio below 100% of GDP, even if the Government runs a balanced budget from 2013 and beyond, something which we doubt it will achieve.
• In all, Italy will eventually come under huge pressure to default. Given the likely disastrous consequences of this, European policymakers may try to support Italy by moving towards a fiscal union. But given that the northern European economies may baulk at effectively guaranteeing Italy’s debt – we think that the Italian debt crisis may eventually prompt the euro-zone’s demise.
6)China Venture Is Good for GE but Is It Good for U.S.?
By JOHN BUSSEY
During a factory tour in South Carolina, Jeffrey Immelt smiles and cuts me off after I ask another question about his new venture in China:
"I'm done," says the chief executive of General Electric. "This was reviewed by the Commerce Department and the Defense Department."
China's Planned Passenger Jet Will Compete With Boeing and Airbus
Other U.S. companies supplying the C919 through ventures with Chinese companies, and what they'll contribute:
If Mr. Immelt's response seems a bit edgy, it's probably because I raised a topic that has much of U.S. business on edge too: How to compete in China without giving away the store. And specific to General Electric: What's to keep GE's new avionics joint venture with China from transferring the best of U.S. technology abroad, empowering a new set of Chinese companies to challenge U.S. aircraft makers?
China watchers are anxious about this venture. Avionics— the "brains" guiding navigation, communications and other operations on an airplane—are at the pinnacle of American know-how, where the U.S. is still highly competitive. It's also technology the Chinese military covets.
GE says it has built protections into the venture, but the debate can get heated.
"To suggest that there are going to be firewalls that will stop this technology from going to the Chinese military is approaching laughable," says Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee. "The fact that GE would say that is shocking."
You could substitute many industrial companies for GE in this equation, because over the last 30 years most have struck their own difficult bargains with China's many state-owned companies. China is the world's fastest-growing major market, and in return for access the country frequently demands technology or other know-how. China then absorbs that technology and uses it to battle global competitors, selling products that are often heavily subsidized by China.
That has happened in a range of industries, including autos, electronics and energy. Siemens now competes internationally against Chinese high-speed rail companies that sell products partly based on technology gleaned from an earlier joint venture with the German firm.
The U.S. has restrictions on the export of certain technology that could threaten U.S. security, but it appears less equipped, or less organized, to contend with this broader challenge: what to do about the threat to many business sectors posed by China's state-sponsored industrial juggernaut.
"We've been passive in deciding how to deal with China's aggressive industrial policies," says James Lewis, who worked on technology-transfer issues at the Commerce Department and is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"U.S. companies are making the right decision from a business point of view, but it might not be the right decision for the country," Mr. Lewis adds.
"It's unclear whether anyone in the U.S. government took a look at the GE deal in terms of U.S. competitiveness—the future of the aviation industry 10 or 20 years out," says an executive who advises companies working in China. He worries that a heavily subsidized Chinese jet program, enhanced with U.S. avionics, could eventually clobber Boeing. "China has an incredible ability to distort markets, and we can't be reacting after the distortion has taken place."
Clyde Prestowitz, a former U.S. trade negotiator who writes on global economics and business, says China is violating World Trade Organization rules that prohibit making technology transfer a condition of market access. "In a normal market the avionics would be done for that plane in the U.S. and we'd sell it to China," he argues.
GE says it wasn't forced to give up its technology for market access. Instead, it sees this joint venture as a valuable piece of an existing global network of joint ventures and supplier relationships between the world's big aviation companies.
"Technology is the heart and soul of our company," says Rick Kennedy, a GE spokesman. "Why would we give away our future?"
In its China project, GE will develop a new generation of its avionics operating system with state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China, which supplies China's commercial and military aircraft industries. The business will be based in Shanghai and owned 50-50 by the two firms.
GE says its half of the work load will chiefly be handled out of GE facilities in Florida, Michigan and Britain. And it expects that capturing new business through the joint venture will both boost exports from its U.S. operations and add jobs.
The venture's first big customer: Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, which is developing the C919 passenger jet to compete with Airbus and Boeing. The joint venture will also sell its avionics to aircraft makers globally. GE's current operating system is already on the Boeing 787.
As for the Chinese military, GE says it has spent nearly three years developing a compliance program that it believes won't let the military near its technology. GE will run the compliance office and will vet all hiring. AVIC is forbidden from sharing information with its military business. And people who leave the venture must wait two years before they can take any Chinese military-related assignment.
Still, China is an authoritarian country with a weak legal system. It is difficult to imagine that any technology deemed worthwhile in the GE/AVIC venture wouldn't somehow find its way onto the next-generation Chinese jet fighter. GE says that its system is specific to commercial use, not military. And if there were evidence that information had gotten to the Chinese generals, the joint venture would be shut down.
Kathleen Palma, who handles trade compliance for GE Aviation, says GE determined that U.S. export licenses weren't required for the technology involved, but the company nonetheless briefed the Commerce Department and the Defense Technology Security Administration several times. She says the U.S. government appeared satisfied. A spokeswoman for DTSA said GE said it was "complying with all applicable laws." A spokesman for the Commerce Department referred questions back to GE.
GE has manufacturing operations elsewhere in China, and it isn't alone in giving a lift to China's commercial jet program. Other U.S. companies have a piece of the action, including Honeywell, Hamilton Sundstrand, Rockwell Collins, Eaton and Parker Aerospace. Airbus has manufacturing operations in China.
What is uncertain is whether these companies will remain part of China's aviation calculus once they are done being useful, and whether Chinese companies will supplant them. That transition has happened in other industries and is a mainstay of China's "indigenous innovation" industrial strategy, which is explicit about "metabolizing" foreign technology and making it China's own.
GE says that if it hadn't linked with AVIC in a joint venture a competitor would have, which is very likely. Mr. Immelt, the CEO, says he'll take responsibility if the venture goes wrong. "It's on me," he says. "It's on me."
But the reality is more complicated. When it comes to China and its ability to shake global industries, the ramifications of GE's decisions—and the decisions of many other American companies—are on everyone.
7)Kennedy and the Fate of ObamaCare
By Joseph Ashby
It's been one year, six months, and eight days since it happened. White-hot tempers have cooled. Dire predictions are rarer. Unlike many tumultuous situations, which in retrospect appear unworthy of our ire, the intensity that accompanied the passage of ObamaCare was well-suited to the size of the cause.
Throughout the Western world, government-run health care has served to catalyze a permanent leftist political climate. Unlike the relatively limited nature of our current welfare state (which is already bankrupting the nation), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is designed to reach across all age demographics and into nearly every income bracket.
Because of its near-limitless reach, if fully implemented, ObamaCare will quickly become a political force surpassing even Social Security and Medicare. Once that happens, the only way to win elections will be to promise not to touch government health care. Every politician will have to accept and even endorse issues that are now championed only by the far left.
The morning after ObamaCare passed, the Los Angeles Times announced that the Democrats had won a 100-year war, but the war didn't end. Once the law passed, Americans began a two-pronged effort to sabotage the left's well-laid plan, and thereby rescue America from an ominous fate.
The success of the first prong, judicial action, will likely be determined by late next spring.
Earlier this week, the U.S. government failed to file a request for re-hearing of their case before the full panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Failure to file for the re-hearing likely means one of three things. The Obama team wanted no part of the unfriendly 11th Circuit, is willing to accept a version of ObamaCare without the insurance purchase mandate (a possibility Rush Limbaugh pointed out Wednesday), or believes it has a winning argument to take to the Supreme Court.
With four reliable liberals and four reliable constitutionalists on the Supreme Court, many consider the court's decision to rest with Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy's recent votes are both cause for hope and concern for those fighting ObamaCare.
For example, in the 2005 Kelo decision, Kennedy sided with the liberal wing of the court. The decision allowed a municipal government in Connecticut to seize private lands through eminent domain and hand the land over to other private interests. Kennedy wrote in a concurring opinion that as long as there was a proper "rational-basis test" which justified government taking the land, then the use of eminent domain was constitutional.
If Kennedy finds the health insurance mandate "rational" or a necessity to address health care costs, the unthinkable (but very possible) may occur: ObamaCare may get the SCOTUS stamp of constitutional approval.
Opponents of the president's health care law will find the Citizens United decision more encouraging, both because Kennedy fell on the side of the Constitution and because of its analogous similarity to ObamaCare. In both Citizens United (free speech) and the Affordable Care Act (right to property), the law in question gives the federal government such broad power that even dependable moderates like Kennedy cringe.
The most iconic moment of the Citizens United case came during oral arguments, when Chief Justice John Roberts questioned deputy solicitor general Malcolm Stewart on what types of speech the government could outlaw:
Roberts: If it's a 500-page book and at the end it says, "so vote for X," the government could ban that?
Stewart: If you have Citizens United or General Motors using general treasury funds to publish a book that at the outset, for instance, that Hillary Clinton's election would be a disaster for this --
Roberts: No, no. Take my hypothetical. It doesn't say at the outset. "Here is a..." whatever it is. "This is a discussion of the American political system." And at the end it says, "Vote for X."
Stewart: Yes, our position would be that the corporation could be required to use PAC funds rather than general treasury funds.
Roberts: And if they didn't you could ban it?
Stewart: If they didn't, we could prohibit the publication of the book using the corporate treasury funds.
Several months later, the Court heard a second oral argument on the same case. In the second round, then-Solicitor General (now Supreme Court justice) Elena Kagan was asked about the potential that the Federal Election Commission could ban books. Kagan responded that the FEC had the power to ban books, but has never and most likely would never use that power. A somewhat shocked Justice Antonin Scalia tersely responded, "We don't put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats."
After the oral arguments, Kennedy voted with the originalists on the court. The majority opinion, written by Kennedy, was laced with statements that suggested he was greatly affected by the back-and-forth over book-banning. "When Government seeks to use its full power," wrote Kennedy, "including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought."
When ObamaCare goes to the Supreme Court, the Scalias and Robertses of the bench will no doubt pin down the administration lawyers on the individual mandate.
If the government can force citizens to buy health insurance, what will stop the Congress from mandating the purchase of cars, homes, food, or any number of products or services? There is no good answer to that question because, if we must buy one product, there is no sufficiently definable limit on congressional power regarding our personal purchasing decisions. We can hope Justice Kennedy will be greatly affected by that argument as well.
But to depend on Anthony Kennedy is a little like a soldier who takes cover behind a sapling during a firefight -- the sapling may stop the bullet, or it may not. Which is why the second prong, the legislative repeal of ObamaCare, must continue.
Even if the Supreme Court declares the individual mandate unconstitutional, there is no guarantee that the justices will throw out the entire law. The American people would be left with the taxes, regulations, massive Medicaid expansion, and other harmful provisions of the health care law. If that is the case, the defeat of ObamaCare through the republican process is our only avenue. The 2012 elections will be our best shot (and maybe our only real chance) of stopping the law.
Obama and the wordsmiths at the White House think themselves quite clever dubbing ObamaCare "Obama cares." The truth is that Obama doesn't care. It's incumbent upon the rest of us to stop this destructive law before it's too late.