Government Motors And More

Posted on Fri 06/05/2009 by


Political Comment from The Patriot Post Friday Digest Vol 09 No 22


“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” –Thomas Jefferson


Hope ‘n’ Change: Government Motors

Chavez gives Obama the book on nationalisation.

Chavez gives Obama the book on nationalisation.

“I want to disabuse people of this notion that somehow we enjoy, you know, meddling in the private sector.” So said Barack Obama in March. But as the president announced General Motors’ bankruptcy Monday, it became ever clearer that he is the new CEO of the world’s largest automaker. The federal government now owns 60 percent of GM; the United Auto Workers own 17.5 percent. Even Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez recognized the significance: “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right!”

In his speech, as columnist Terence Jeffrey points out, “President Obama used the first-person singular pronoun ‘I’ 34 times when he announced he was nationalizing General Motors. He used ‘Congress’ once and ‘law’ not at all.”

How could Obama use the word “law”? There is nothing in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) legislation of last fall, much less the U.S. Constitution, that authorizes the bailout or nationalization of an automaker. Of course, when pressed, the administration points to TARP as its authority for giving GM $50 billion in various loans so far, not counting $15 billion for its financial arm, GMAC. In fact, TARP specifically limited funds to financial institutions. The Bush administration used it to make loans to GM and Chrysler anyway after Congress debated but abandoned the “Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act,” which would have granted bailout money to automakers. Indiana is now challenging the constitutionality of using TARP for GM and Chrysler in federal court.

But never mind such petty details. Obama feels our pain: “I recognize that this may give some Americans pause,” he said. Still, he assured us, “What we are not doing — what I have no interest in doing, is running GM.” And while he is running GM, it’s only as a “reluctant shareholder because this is the only way to help GM succeed.”

That depends on the definition of “succeed.” In tandem with the new CAFE standards, the administration wants GM to produce more green cars. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “No one knows if Americans will buy such cars, even if GM can make them competitively in the U.S.” Obama has already made clear, however, that it’s not about whether Americans want such cars, it’s about whether he does.

Finally, what would a bailout be without a czar to oversee it? The newly created “Special Master for Compensation” will make certain that companies receiving bailout money abide by guidelines for executive pay. Don’t they mean “Puppet Master”?

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award

“Difficult days lie ahead. More jobs will be lost. More plants will close. More dealerships will shut their doors and so will many parts suppliers. But I want you to know that what you’re doing is making a sacrifice for the next generation.” –Barack Obama, always willing to make Americans sacrifice for his agenda

The BIG Lie

“Congress gave broad authority to the administration to use TARP funds and specifically authorized them to be used with respect to the automobile companies.” –House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

In March, Hoyer had a different story. Back then he said, “The administration clearly believes it does have the authority to use some of the remaining TARP funds for the automobile industry. …I don’t know technically where that authority would be.”

News From the Swamp: Life is a Highway

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said this week that the Federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. An infusion of up to $7 billion is needed to keep current construction projects going. Naturally, the $48 billion from the stimulus package set for highway construction doesn’t count, because it’s in a separate pot. And, by keeping that money separate, now Congress has an excuse to raise the federal gasoline tax. However, the gas tax is not a viable revenue source over the long term, because people are driving less and cars are more fuel efficient. Another proposal is to tax people based on the number of miles they drive by retrofitting automobiles with GPS devices that can record their travel, but that would take some 10 years to implement, not to mention the Orwellian factor of our government knowing where and how far we travel. Of course, no one in Congress has voiced the one real solution to this problem: responsible government spending.

New & Notable Legislation

In their feverish effort to control every element of our lives, Congress has granted control over tobacco to the Food & Drug Administration. The 84-11 Senate vote followed a similarly misbalanced vote in the House last month which now gives the FDA the power to regulate and restrict advertising, distribution, ingredients and even package design and wording. The FDA can now also charge cigarette manufacturers to pay for the regulation that it will be using to put them out of business. Apparently, the FDA would not have the authority to ban cigarettes outright, but at least one senator thinks tobacco should be banned — Tom Coburn (R-OK). Coburn is normally a reliable free-market conservative, but apparently his background as a doctor makes him think this authority is Congress’ to wield.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Uniting American Families Act, which, according to The New York Times, “would allow American citizens and legal immigrants to seek residency in the United States for their same-sex partners, just as spouses now petition for foreign-born husbands and wives.” Also this week, President Obama signed a proclamation officially declaring June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” One part of the proclamation stood out to us: “LGBT Americans … have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.” It’s also true that they have played a major role in spreading the HIV pandemic.

Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004

Friday marks the fifth anniversary of President Ronald Wilson Reagan’s death. His passing was a bittersweet event for all American Patriots, especially those of us who knew him and were honored to be mentored by him. Though he is now in the company of Patriots in the most shining city of all, his spirit and legacy in this life are eternal. As noted in our mission statement, The Patriot was founded, in part, to honor the legacy of President Reagan. To read The Patriot’s tribute to our mentor, link to “The Twilight’s Last Gleaming.”

In the news this week, a seven-foot bronze statue of President Reagan was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol. Also, President Obama signed a bill creating the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission to plan and carry out activities marking the 100th anniversary of the Gipper’s birth in 2011. Nancy Reagan was on hand for the signing, and when Obama put the pen to the paper, she exclaimed, “Oh, you’re a lefty.” Obama replied, “I am a lefty.” Too true.


Last week, we reported on a bill introduced by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) to eliminate “birthright citizenship” for children of illegal aliens. We erred in stating, “Birthright citizenship has been in place since the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868…” The 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship on the children of illegal aliens born on U.S. soil as we implied.

Patriot reader and Harding University political science professor Cheri Pierson Yecke wrote in to clear up the matter. She noted that birthright citizenship “began with the Supreme Court decision of United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898). SCOTUS shamefully ignored congressional intent and gave the following opinion: ‘A child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States, by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”‘”

Dr. Yecke added, “As can be seen in the Senate debate on the 14th Amendment (39th Congress, First Session), a provision for ‘anchor babies’ was never the intent of Congress.” Sen. Jacob Howard (R-MI) argued for adding the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” to the Amendment, saying, “This [Amendment] will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors, or foreign ministers…”

In other news designed to create more Democrat voters, the Obama administration vacated a rule implemented by the Bush administration limiting access to an attorney for illegal aliens facing deportation. According to the Associated Press, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey “had issued a 33-page decision in January saying the Constitution does not entitle someone facing deportation to have a case reopened based upon shoddy work by a lawyer. Mukasey also said, however, that Justice Department officials have the discretion to reopen such cases if they choose.”

From the Department of Injustice

Charges of voter intimidation against three members of the “New” Black Panther Party were dropped this week by the Obama Justice Department. It should have been an open-and-shut case of voter intimidation and harassment. Men in paramilitary uniforms, at least some of whom belonged to Louis Farrakhan’s infamous Nation of Islam, were caught on videotape standing in front of a Philadelphia precinct blocking the doorway while voters tried to enter on Election Day last November. The thugs, one of whom brandished a club, cast menacing stares and racial epithets at white voters in line.

The men responsible were charged and the Obama administration actually won the case, but they moved to dismiss the charges on May 15. No justifiable explanation has been given, but we can reasonably suspect that it’s primarily because Obama doesn’t want to anger his constituents. A spokesman for the Justice Department had the nerve to state, “The department is committed to the vigorous prosecution of those who intimidate, threaten or coerce anyone exercising his or her sacred right to vote.” The department clearly did not do that in this situation. Liberal civil rights attorney Bartle Bull was a witness and is leading the charge against the administration’s actions.

Meanwhile, the “Justice” Department rejected a program put in place by Georgia’s Secretary of State Karen Handel to screen state databases to flag ineligible voters. Their excuse was that the program was inaccurate and discriminatory, though they refused to share the information that led to that conclusion. Handel, who is a Republican candidate for governor, noted that the decision would lead to a flood of non-qualified voters. She also noted the irony that Justice was on board for the program when it was created. What changed? The ruling party in Washington, and the new bosses want wide open voter rolls with no restrictions on eligibility because it makes it easier for them to rig elections.


Warfront With Jihadistan: Three Court Rulings

This week saw more action, or inaction, as the case may be, on the never-ending terrorist prisoner/detainee saga. On Monday, in response to media and legal challenges, Judge Thomas Hogan ruled that the government’s proposal to keep under wraps all of the unclassified information it submitted justifying the continued detention of Guantanamo prisoners was impermissible, saying that such a blanket order violates the presumption that court records are public property. Hogan ruled that, under the Constitution and common law, the public has a general right to access court records in habeas cases and rejected government arguments that no such right existed. Hogan conceded that some of the information could damage national security if disclosed, but said that was no reason to withhold everything. He gave the government until July 29 to identify material that could be withheld in some cases. The Justice Department had no immediate comment on the ruling.

Meanwhile, on the terrorist/prisoner abuse photo front, the Supreme Court on Monday extended the government’s deadline to appeal a lower court ruling ordering the release of photos allegedly showing U.S. soldiers abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The order pushes back the deadline for the Obama regime to file a petition with the Supreme Court from June 9 to July 9. In April, Obama agreed to release the photos in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. But after a public outcry that release of the photos would cause a worldwide Muslim backlash and endanger U.S. troops, Obama last month reversed course and said the photos would not be released. A lower court disagreed with that decision. And, throwing in an opinion that no one asked for, Jimmy Carter said he also disagreed with Obama’s decision to withhold the photos, while at the same time saying he’s not actually criticizing Obama for making the decision. Just another muddled statement from our favorite ex-president.

Finally, The New York Times reports, “A federal judge on Wednesday threw out more than three dozen lawsuits claiming that the nation’s major telecommunications companies had illegally assisted in the wiretapping without warrants program approved by President George W. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks.” Congress granted immunity last year to phone carriers who assisted with the terrorist surveillance program. The ruling is not only a victory for AT&T and other telecommunications companies, but for national security.

Iran’s Nuclear Ambition

President Obama declared in his speech on Thursday that “any nation, including Iran, should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I’m hopeful that all countries in the region can share this goal.” Earlier in the week, Obama stated that he was hoping for some sign that Iran was willing to enter negotiations over its nuclear program, claiming that an end-of-year deadline would show “whether or not the Iranians are serious.” He also alluded to the possibility of more sanctions if Iran does not play ball.

We can only suppose that Obama has been too busy writing autobiographies and running a perpetual campaign for office to have followed the events of the last six years surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. From the 2003 disclosure of Iran’s enrichment program, to the kabuki dance between Iran and the EU-3 and then the P-5+1, to the five UN Security Council resolutions, Iran has already shown that it is deadly serious about developing nuclear weapons capability. And if Obama thinks his implied threat of more sanctions is going to sway the Iranian regime, he should read the transcript of his Iranian counterpart’s speech from February 2006: “You can issue as many resolutions as you like and dream on, but you cannot stop the Iranian nation’s progress.”

Also in Obama’s speech was his promise to disarm America. “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.” What a backbone.

U.S. Army Pvt. William Long

As Mark Alexander noted in Thursday’s essay, “Obama’s ‘Peace for Our Time’,” U.S. Army Pvt. William Long, 23, was murdered Monday and Pvt. Quenton Ezeagwula, 18, shot and wounded by American Islamic convert Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad as they stood outside an Army recruitment station in Arkansas. Muhammed was upset with the military for what it had done to Muslims “in the past.” No wonder the president and his media stayed busy fretting over the murder of abortionist George Tiller. The two soldiers had never seen combat but had just finished basic training and volunteered to help attract others to military service. Daris Long, William’s father, said, “They weren’t on the battlefield, but apparently, the battlefield’s here.” Daris Long served in the Marine Corps in Somalia in the 1990s, and his wife Janet was in the Navy. William will be buried at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock on Monday.


Income Redistribution: Surprise, Stimulus Isn’t Working

In 1946, country and western singer Merle Travis famously queried, “You load sixteen tons … what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.” Travis’s subjects may have had a better deal than today’s taxpayers. Despite the promises of the government’s $787 billion stimu-less package, the return on investment has been abysmal to say the least.

From January to March, GDP plunged 5.7 percent, business spending fell 36.9 percent, and forecasters predict a 12-percent nosedive in 2009 manufacturing output. Foreclosure and mortgage delinquencies now stand at the highest levels on record, and unemployment has reached 9.4 percent — far beyond President Obama’s prediction of a high of 8.1 percent — and 345,000 nonfarm jobs were lost in May. Since the “stimulus,” 16,000 jobs have been lost every day, though surely Obama has “saved” millions of jobs. Here, it’s worth noting that Wal-Mart plans to create 22,000 new jobs this year without a dime of stimulus money.

Meanwhile, this year’s deficit has ballooned to $1.8 trillion, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicts that by 2011 the deficit will be 70 percent of GDP, an enormous leap from the 40 percent level extant before the financial crisis. Bernanke warns, “[W]e will not be able to continue borrowing indefinitely.” But as yet, no end is in sight, in part thanks to Bernanke himself. And while Obama scrambles to claim victory for the stimulus, assuring us that we have “stepped back from the brink,” it appears this assertion is backed only by his teleprompter.

In fact, Vice President Joe Biden displayed his usual keen sense of the obvious, saying of the stimulus, “We know some of this money is going to be wasted, there are going to be mistakes made. Some people are being scammed already.” So at least taxpayers can take comfort knowing the VP is aware that the stimulus is a scam.

S.C. Supreme Court Says Gov. Sanford Must Take Stimulus Cash

The long-running debate between the Republican governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, and the Republican-controlled state legislature came to an unfortunate conclusion Thursday as the state’s Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Sanford must request the $700 billion in federal funding he had thus far refused. Sanford had argued that taking the money now would mean more debt later as the services continued but federal funds were gone. He wanted instead to pay down the state’s debt with the money, if he had to take it at all. The Republicans in the legislature, however, stole a page from the Democrats’ playbook and accused the governor of cheating schools out of money. After all, it’s always a losing proposition to try to hold education spending steady, much less cut it, because not enough people see that as education spending has gone through the roof over the last 40 years, the quality of education has gone down. Regardless, Sanford will not appeal the decision but lamented the missed chance to show other states “a different way than simply taking this money and spending it.”

Chinese Opera in Two Parts

In an effort to make nice with a country that uses its cheap labor and lack of environmental regulation to draw manufacturing from across the globe, two of those said to be among America’s best and brightest went to China. Scratch that. Actually, we sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Pelosi, who made headlines in 1991 as a neophyte congresswoman unfurling a pro-democracy banner in Tiananmen Square, softened her approach on human rights this time as she claimed to represent the entirety of Congress and wasn’t there to express her own political views. Instead, she equated the bid to have China step up its environmental efforts in a post-Kyoto world to advocacy for human rights, saying that “protecting the environment is a human rights issue.” Of course, much as her party’s leader is prone to do, she also apologized for America’s environmental record, declaring, “We have so much room for improvement” on green policies, and that “[e]very aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory.”

The comedic part of this opera was provided by Geithner, who drew derisive laughter when he told Peking University students that “Chinese assets are very safe” in the United States despite our mounting deficit spending. Based on their skepticism, it can be argued convincingly that college students in China receive a better economic education than those we appoint to account for our tax dollars. But have no fear, Geithner also said, “No one is going to be more concerned about future deficits than we are.” What a relief.

GOP Health Plan Contrasts With Obamacare

While Democrats fret about how to find another $1.5 trillion to pay for their scheme to expand government health care to include all Americans, congressional Republicans have introduced their alternative Patients’ Choice Act. The Act, which has no chance of passage by a Democrat-controlled Congress committed to expanding federal bureaucracy and power, is an attempt to redirect $300 billion in federal tax deductions from the employer-based health system that was created after World War II.

Under the proposal, families would qualify for tax credits of $5,700 a year and individuals $2,300 to buy insurance and invest in health savings accounts. Up to one-fourth of any unspent money in the accounts could be rolled over to the next year. The bill would allow lower-income Americans a way out of the Medicaid trap rapidly careening toward its inevitable bankruptcy less than eight years hence because it is $34 trillion in debt. In fact, Medicare is so deep in debt that devoting 100 percent of GDP to it still won’t make this single government program solvent.

Despite admitting the insolvency of our national finances when he said last week, “[W]e are out of money,” Barack Obama is trying to sell the notion that the proposed federal takeover of 18 percent of the nation’s economy via his new health care plans somehow helps the nation economically. Obama also suggested myopically that $200 billion could be shaved from Medicare over the next 10 years (the program is bankrupt about three years earlier) even though a majority of physicians now refuse to see Medicare patients because of artificially low reimbursement rates. Instead of squandering the nation’s future health care with legions of expensive bureaucrats, the GOP alternative deserves serious consideration because it doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything and doesn’t require the creation of a massive government bureaucracy to operate.

Mexican Truckers Sue U.S.

It seems the Obama administration is very adept at tightening our borders, at least when it comes to trade. Canacar, a Mexican trade association composed of over 4,500 trucking companies, is suing the United States for $6 billion in damages because the U.S. is violating NAFTA by refusing Mexican truckers access to U.S. highways.

NAFTA does in fact call for a trans-border trucking program, but under pressure from powerful U.S. unions, the program was never fully instituted. Until recently, trade was kept flowing due to a pilot program that allowed truckers bringing in goods from Mexico to use our roads. This program was cancelled earlier this year, when Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) added language to a spending bill signaling its demise. Since President Obama’s signing of that bill, Mexican truckers have been confined to within 25 miles of the border on the U.S. side, effectively strangling trade between the two nations.

While U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tries to sort out the debacle with unions, industry heads and members of Congress, affected U.S. industries will try to stay afloat despite being hit by Mexican import duties of 10 to 20 percent in response to the administration’s bungle.


Second Amendment: Seventh Circuit Upholds Chicago Ban

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Tuesday that Chicago’s handgun ban could stand because the Second Amendment is not incorporated against the states or local jurisdictions. Likewise, the three-judge panel said, last year’s Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller did not apply to states or municipalities. The 1982 ban was challenged by the National Rifle Association and has already been appealed to the Supreme Court.

The case is particularly interesting because of the lack of precedent on incorporation, though the Ninth Circuit Court found in April that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states. The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, much of the Bill of Rights is incorporated against the states. (Blogger Eugene Volokh has more on the Privileges or Immunities Clause used in past 2A rulings.) Imagine a state forbidding freedom of speech and religion or allowing unreasonable searches and seizures — such laws would not stand. On the other hand, the Second Amendment doesn’t mention Congress as the First Amendment does, but simply says the right “shall not be infringed.” Yet states and municipalities infringe on that right all the time. And as we noted last week, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor once wrote, “[T]he right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.”

Perhaps Investor’s Business Daily said it best: “The Circuit Court decision was written by Judge Frank Easterbrook and joined by Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer. Easterbrook’s reasoning is fascinating. According to him, the Revolution was fought and independence won so that the Founding Fathers could write a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that applied only to the District of Columbia.”

Faith and Family: San Diego Harassment

Apparently, San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use personnel never got the memo that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the free exercise of religion and the right of the people peaceably to assemble. On April 10, in Red China fashion, a county official appeared at the home of the Rev. David Jones and his wife Mary, taking pictures outside the home and questioning Mary on whether the couple held meetings there during which they sang, prayed or said “amen” or “praise the Lord.” Upon answering yes, Mrs. Jones was warned that the gatherings were illegal, and on April 14, the Joneses received a citation telling them to “cease/stop religious assembly on parcel or obtain a major use permit,” a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

On May 26, the Western Center for Law & Policy submitted a demand letter on behalf of the Joneses to San Diego County, outlining the county’s violation of the couple’s constitutional rights. Following the letter and a public and media outcry, the county rescinded the citation. Additionally, County Chief Administrative Officer Walter Ekard issued a formal apology to the Joneses and promised “training will be updated and conducted for all code enforcement officers.” We recommend the first course be First Amendment 101.

Around the Nation: N.H. Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

New Hampshire became the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage Wednesday when the legislature passed and Democrat Gov. John Lynch signed legislation to that effect. Though originally opposed to the bill, Lynch said he was convinced by “compelling arguments that a separate system is not an equal system.” After all, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgendered sexuality are the just like the civil rights movement of the ’60s, right? The law, which takes effect January 1, 2010, does graciously exempt clergy from performing same-sex weddings if they so choose. The legislation also exempts religious groups from having to offer counseling or providing housing or other services to same-sex couples. Such exemptions do not, however, extend to other professions, such as photographers and florists.

Village Academic Curriculum: ‘Tolerance’ Forced on Kids

The Alameda, California, public school board voted last week, 3-2, in favor of a “Safe Schools” curriculum that will introduce pupils in the first through fifth grades to homosexual — or what they prefer to call lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) — content. The real kicker to the story is that because the board’s legal counsel does not consider the controversial curriculum to be health or sex education, parents do not have the option of withdrawing their children from the courses.

The curriculum includes books like “And Tango Makes Three” for second graders, where two male penguins raise their young. The “Who’s in a Family” discussion guide asks teachers to help first graders identify different “types” of family: “If a student responds that one family in the book is made up of a mother, a father, and two children and a cat, you may acknowledge that some families look like this, but ask students for other examples of what a family can look like,” the guide states.

Trish Spencer, a school board member who voted against the curriculum, pointed out that surveys conducted within the school district showed that students were at more risk for bullying for religious preference and race than for their sexual orientation. “We know that there are children that are already being bullied for their religious beliefs. … I couldn’t see any effort on behalf of the district to teach empathy and being an ally to those students.”

Climate Change This Week: World Ends, Poor Hardest Hit

Now we’ve heard it all. A new report released by Global Humanitarian Reform (GHR) is claiming that climate change is killing 315,000 people each year. This would obviously be big news, and conveniently discovered ahead of the climate change talks scheduled in Copenhagen this December to replace the ineffectual Kyoto Protocol. If we don’t “do something” at the Copenhagen conference, GHR argues, the yearly death toll will reach 500,000 by 2030. (In fact, global warming could have even brought down Air France Flight 447.)

But wait, there’s more distressing news. The report also claims that climate change results in yearly economic losses of $125 billion. According to GHR, over which the supremely incompetent Kofi Annan presides, this burden is being borne primarily by the world’s poorest nations, although they are contributing little, if anything, to the problem. “Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time,” said the former UN secretary general, “causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.”

Can anyone guess what comes next? GHR proposes that the rest of us must increase our aid to developing countries 100 times over. The cost of climate change to poor countries is, according to the report, $32 billion per annum, while the current annual aid earmarked for such costs is a paltry $400 million. The situation is being depicted as one of rich, developed nations snuffing out the poor with our vile carbon emissions, and if we don’t pay up, millions will die.

Judicial Benchmarks: ‘Court Jesters’

Lest there be any future confusion, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England Jr. dismissed a complaint against the maker of Cap’n Crunch’s “Crunchberries” brought by a woman who claims she bought the cereal only because she thought “crunchberries” were real fruit. She was disappointed to find that the crunchberries were only brightly colored cereal balls, not actual berries. Where else could such a suit take place but in California, the land of fruits and nuts?

And Last…

“The Internal Revenue Service has filed a tax lien seeking more than $800,000 from Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, escalating a dispute over payroll taxes that the lawmaker’s office blames on faulty government paperwork,” reports The Washington Times. The campaign claims to have submitted the appropriate paperwork in 2005 and again in 2008. Spokeswoman Whitney Smith said, “The IRS contacted us last year about data they lost from the 2004 campaign. We gladly resubmitted all the forms needed to fill in the gaps, end of story.” Not exactly. The IRS lien says, “We have made a demand for payment of this liability, but it remains unpaid.” The campaign denies owing anything. One thing is obvious to us: The real end game here for John Kerry is a job in the Obama administration.

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