Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Thanksgiving - Al Qaeda Attacks Carried out In India, Planned US attack Averted – The War on the West.

One might ask, what have we, in the United States, to be thankful for? The simple fact is that there have been no attacks on US soil for the past seven years. Al Qaeda is getting frisky, however, and with the Bush era closing, feeling more confident in their abilities. Those American’s of clear mind are also thankful for George W. Bush, who has kept our nation free of attack lo these many years. An excellent commentary here: by Democrats at Hillbuzz on the averted attack on Penn Station. Will this be the last attempt? – Hardly. It is time for the blinders to come off – the “War on Terror”, that is pooh-poohed by so many “elite” professors, politicians and members of the press, is real – it is not specific to the United States, nor is the United States and its policies to blame.

A group of men (this is gender related), took a religion which was grown out of the mind of a general (historical fact), and subverted it further in order to gain global control for a few elite members of that group (although they are currently hiding out in caves –not proven and not even probable.) by using religion and hatred in order to reach an old objective: world domination. They had tried this before; after dominating most of the known world in 700 – it took centuries to push them back – the last Muslims left Spain in 1492. They never forgave those Christian Leaders who were responsible for pushing them back to Arabia, nor the Jews who are in Israel – Jerusalem – where, one could reasonably pinpoint as the beginning of this ridiculous quest.

Why is India is under multiple attacks today from a radical Islamic group demanding release of "Muhajideens" held in Indian prisons? The growth of Islam in a Hindu nation and ensuing cultural clashes, the decision by the Indian government to ban Arabic Television Stations and the increasing threats from Islamic Pakistan are all part and parcel but the blame, of course, is focused on the “West” – or those of American or European Heritage (See 700 AD).

It is a false perception that the world would react favorably to the end of the Bush administration - Al Qaeda has already indicated, in most insulting terms, which the election of Barak Obama would make no difference in any plans on that organizations part. Why? Barack Obama has indicated a preference to raise the troop levels in Afghanistan and, if necessary, pursue Al Qaeda into the mountainous region that borders Pakistan. With the choice of Hillary Clinton,(She is referred to as “The Iron Lady of the Palace” by Al Jezzera) as Secretary of State, Barack Obama sent a message that the United States may not return to a state of “A Paper Tiger”,(Carter) that those of like mind with Osama Bin Laden were hoping.

What of imperialism? Is it not the capitalistic and imperil United States that forced itself upon Arabic Culture which is to blame? Anyone buying that argument needs to get themselves to a Library and dig into the history of the crusades, the Muslim Extremist expansion across Africa and into Spain, the continued strife and struggle to “spread the word of jihad” against Europe and the U.S. through World War II, the desire to eradicate Israel (since its inception), and of course, the reason behind their hatred of the West, specifically the United States (written by Muslims, not Professors sitting safely behind Ivy Covered Walls). Suggested reading: “Inside the Jihad” by Omar Nasari. The forward of the book is deceiving in that it was written by Michael Scheuer, author of "Imperial Hubris", giving one the notion that the tome will be yet another vehicle to blame Western Culture – get past it. The author takes one through the Islamic cells of Europe into the training camps of Afghanistan with sickening clarity – and the point of true enlightenment comes when he states that there are two types of Radical Islamists, those who are so jealous of the West because of their factories and ability to produce everything from weapons to Coca-Cola, and those that are focused on promoting a religious war to gain power over the “masses” and spread Islam throughout the world – taking over those weapons factories for their own uses, and possibly, shutting down Coca Cola.

It is because of the protected lives that we lead here within the safe confines of the United States that concepts such of the aforementioned seem incredulous to say the least – but it would serve us well to remember History. Recall the rise of the Third Reich for example: the rise of a “religion” of superiority that decimated the world, and took our nation to war, where we emerged battered yet victorious. History, finds a way of repeating itself, and for that reason alone; we must give Thanks today and say our prayers for those in India, our Armed Forces, our President and our President-Elect.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Palin Heads to Georgia to Campaign for Chambliss - Press Sees Threat for 2012

The Georgia Senate Run-off between incumbent Chambliss (R) and Martin (D) has garnered more than a share of national press coverage. The race could add another seat to the Democrats control of Senate bringing them within one seat of a filibuster proof super-majority. Big-guns on both sides of the aisle have gone to the candidates defense, including Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John McCain and Barack Obama is making Robo-Calls into the state in defense of Martin. How important is this race? Sarah Palin is scheduled to make appearances in Georgia on Monday – Palin, remains a favorite with Republicans and Republican leaning independents for 2012 race (Gallop), she is most likely able to get the party faithful out to the Georgia polls a second time.

Palin remains a press “favorite”, CNN’s ”Politicla Ticker reports on the Gallop Poll findings re: 2012 and her popularity with verbiage hinging on “hatred”: “That’s right…Sarah “I read all the newspapers,” Palin. Former mayor of Wasilla, first-term governor of Alaska and hockey mom. Her interviews with Katie Couric are the stuff of legend. After she and McCain got their clocks cleaned, Governor Palin couldn’t get enough of the TV cameras.” Perhaps someone should point out to CNN’s Jack Cafferty, that CNN’s own crew has requested and received interviews with Palin post Nov. 4.

Does Sarah Palin really represent that big of a threat to committed Progressive Democrats? An LA Times Blog article by former Times Editorial Board member, Andrew Malcolm, complains that Palins' campaigning for Chambliss is not as selfless or discreet as Clinton or Romney - rather more self-serving in an attempt to gain allies for a 2012 run. From Anchorage to New York there is a wealth of speculation on 2012 laced with heavy negative rhetoric towards the Governor of Alaska and former GOP V.P. candidate from the coastal daily press.

Is the speculation on the next presidential race unusual? – Of course not – 2012 was being analyzed before the 2008 elections ended, by both parties. Normally, the speculation dies down by the first week of December and is relegated to page 32 - leaving political junkies to read between the lines of obscure articles in order to predict the most likely group of potential candidates for ensuing elections. This time, it’s a bit different because Palin remains in the spotlight, popular with her own base and right-leaning Independents and popular with talk show hosts, those "mainstream" news shows - even Ophra! Should Chambliss be successful, Palin will undoubtedly be subject to greater scrutiny (regardless of the fact that a gaggle of male party honchos have made the pilgrimage to the Peach State in Chambliss’ defense.) Should Chambliss fail to retain his seat, one can bet that the Press (and those pesky anonymous campaign sources - Washington Republicans don't play well with those outside the Beltway) will lay the blame on her – regardless of the other "big whigs" involved. With each and every Google News Alert on Palin (which has not slowed any post election either), the venom is increasingly apparent – the more “we the people” like her, the more the press goes into overdrive to downplay (being kind) Palin’s viability. Is Palin a threat? - “You betcha".

Palin minces no words when pointing out the obvious bias, from the “Mainstream” Press, and should she become that force to be reckoned with in 2012 (along with a host of others who are now being touted as possible candidates), and should history repeat itself, with a House built upon Democrat Ideals destined to go the way of Carter, then a Republican Revolution will sweep in 2012 – and who would be more qualified to lead that revolution than Palin – the woman the press and the elite’s love to hate.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drama in the West Wing? SNL Nails Emmanuel in Web Exclusive

A Saturday Night Live Clip, shown only on the NBC Website, and apparently “blocked” in some areas, gives a glimpse into the parodied character of the President-Elect’s Chief of Staff - No wonder, some people in Illinois are glad to be rid of him. The question now remains: How well will Emmanuel get along with Hillary Clinton – Especially with her increasing power and of course, the rumors that that Obama is bending over backwards for Clinton (who, as Secretary of State will be surrounded by former Clinton White House associates), including direct access and the ability to chose her own staff

Emmanuel has clashed with Clinton in the past – the possibility of high drama (created by Emmanuel) in the West Wing may be in the offing - from an October 26, 2007 (pre-Obama) NY Times Article entitled: “The Evolution of Hillary Clinton as Manager”
“She was particularly suspicious of the brash Mr. Emanuel. According to a high-level official in the Clinton White House, Mrs. Clinton instructed Thomas F. McLarty 3rd, the chief of staff, to fire him. But Mr. Emanuel insisted he was not leaving unless Bill Clinton himself told him to go. The president never did, and Mrs. Clinton did not press the issue.
“The worst thing you can do when you work for Hillary Clinton is sit there and nod yes,” Mr. Emanuel said.”
Hillary Clinton may be entitled to “combat pay”.

Massachusetts Lures Hollywood – Plymouth Rock Upstaged by Film Studio - At What Cost to the Commonwealth?

Credit: Sarony & Major. "The landing of the Pilgrims, on Plymouth Rock, Dec. 11th 1620." c1846. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Plymouth Rock, for most people, conjures up historical images of the first Thanksgiving and the Rock upon which the Pilgrims ship may have landed during a hazardous quest for a new land free of religious persecution; the perfect setting for a huge film complex? Plymouth will be the new home of “a $488 million film and television studio, complete with 14 sound stages, a 10-acre back lot, a theater, a 300-room upscale hotel, a spa and 500,000 square feet of office space.”. Some residents have grave misgivings about a mix of History and Hollywood, while others embrace the idea simply because of the loss of jobs in Massachusetts – the studio, from construction forward is an opportunity to find employment.

In July of this year, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that gave films projects in the Bay state a hefty 25 percent tax credit. The tax credits are designed to bring more film makers to the Bay state, thereby creating more jobs and revenue for the state. That said, some feel that these tax cuts will cost the state millions in lost revenue at time when Massachusetts is face with a deficit of $1.3 billion. In March, The Massachusetts Department of Revenue released a study that indicated these types of incentives cost the state approximately $120 million in lost revenue. A critic of this corporate tax cut stated bluntly: "Government should stop playing favorites with various industries," said Barbara Anderson, the executive director of the Center for Limited Taxation and a longtime crusader for smaller government in the state. "This is about politicians rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebrities." That said - there was an increase in revenue to Bay state communities. One proponent suggested that the film “tax credits are benefiting everyone from hotels to carpenters to hairdressers.”

Although Gov. Patrick supported the film industry credits, ostensibly to compete with bordering states with similar incentives in place, certain legislatures were concerned that the majority of the income from these films would end up leaving the state.

How big is this incentive? In 2006, The New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, released a report on New England film tax credits. The report indicates that “The little evidence available suggests that film tax credits do attract film production and create jobs in states that have little or no film industry. However, they also cost states considerable forgone tax revenue. The film production stimulates little additional economic activity in other industries. Consequently, film tax credits do not “pay for themselves” by indirectly generating additional corporate income, sales, and property tax revenues.” At that time, Massachusetts offer a payroll tax credit of 20 percent; but did not include salaries exceeding $1 million. A Production expenses credit of 25 percent includes salaries paid in excess of $1 million. The requirement: the production company must produce at least $250,000 in local production expenses in the state in a 12 month period (consecutive). Further 50% of the total production expenses or filming days were state based. Tax liability credits are transferable and can be carried forward for a period of 5 years.

Massachusetts, which has been bleeding business and population at a rapid pace, had the 4th highest corporate tax rate in the country in March, 2008 according to the Tax Foundation report comparing U.S. States and other nations. (Ireland has the most attractive corporate tax rate.) Neighboring, New Hampshire ranked 14th on this list, and, not surprisingly is a top destination for Massachusetts refugees, both corporations and those desiring employment. In April, 2008, the Boston Globe reported that a Suffolk University study suggested that an across the board reduction in corporate income tax to 5.3% would do more to stimulate the economy than Patrick’s tax credits to Life Sciences, Film and Clean Energy industries. Patrick proposed a drop from the current 9.5% to 8.2% by 2012 –which does nothing to attract other industries to Massachusetts or prevent those left from seeking shelter in more attractive tax climates. Although the film industry will offer employment and revenue to cities and municipalities, it is on a short-term, temporary basis. Once the filming is complete, the residents are left with fond memories, a few autographs, and a return to the unemployment line. The state will be left holding the bag in lost revenue and those taxpayers that are left will see an increase in “fees” or a loss in services. Of course, Deval Patrick may stand a better than average change of procuring a Federal Bailout, but again, that money will come out of the pockets of the Massachusetts taxpayer. It’s a lose – lose situation.

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