On January 31/2011, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei posted this statement on his website: “there is no doubt that based on realities envisioned by God, a new Middle East will be formed and this Middle East will be an Islamic Middle East.”
This story can’t possibly be true. After all, as we all know, the Shi’ite theocracy in Iran would never support a Sunni organization like the Taliban or al-Qaeda, or vice-versa … right? Right?
Iran is paying Taliban fighters $1,000 for each U.S. soldier they kill in Afghanistan, according to a report in a British newspaper.
When Barack Obama announced timelines for drawing down troop strength in Afghanistan, the administration pretended that the cutoff dates would incentivize the Afghan government to push its reforms and ready its security forces. Everyone else knew, though, that Obama included them in order to quiet his anti-war base, a strategy that was as ineffective politically as it was obvious. Unfortunately, that left the Afghans holding the bag, and now they have told the White House that those artificial timelines have the Taliban biding their time rather than surrendering, and that they have “invigorated” the enemy:
U.S. Navy Times
U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.
The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”
Soldiers are often recognized for non-combat achievement with decorations such as their service’s commendation medal. But most of the highest U.S. military decorations are for valor in combat. A medal to recognize a conscious effort to avoid a combat action would be unique.
Consideration of such an award, first reported by an Associated Press reporter in Afghanistan, doesn’t mean that, if approved, troops would be pressured to prevent such casualties at risk to themselves, Sholtis said.
The Post & E-Mail
by John Charlton
(Dec. 11, 2009) — The Socialist Juggernaut lurches forward to snatch further power and deprive Americans of further liberties in what is, without exaggeration, the proposed destruction of the free market and the free economy in the United States.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) has introduced a massive bill to give the executive branch authority to bail out any corporation, as often as it wants without Congressional control.
Star Tribune: Giving more power where power is not due
Wall Street and bureaucracy would benefit from pending reform.
Washington, D.C., Dec 11
The majority of Americans last fall were united against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout known as TARP. Proponents of the bill urged immediate action, claiming that a failure to act quickly would send the financial industry over the brink. They promised to examine the root cause of the crisis once financial markets were secure. One year later, the House is considering legislation that will result in the most far-reaching reforms of the financial services industry in our nation’s history.
But instead of addressing the real causes of the financial collapse and fixing bad government policies that led to the crisis, congressional Democrats want to codify the fiscally irresponsible bailout mania. Their bill would make taxpayer bailouts the permanent solution for dealing with reckless financial institutions in the future.
The 1,300-plus-page bill the House is scheduled to vote on today creates a “systemic risk regulator” tasked with determining which firms meet an undefined “too big to fail” test. It allows the government to tap a multibillion-dollar bailout fund to save troubled firms whenever it wants. This fund will be initially financed by a massive new tax on financial institutions and is expected to take $55 billion out of the hands of small businesses and job creators, leading to a loss of as many as 450,000 jobs. Should that fund run dry, taxpayers are on the hook to replenish it. And unlike TARP, this bill authorizes the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to completely bypass congressional approval and directly provide such lifelines to flailing firms.
The moral hazard this bill creates will ripple through the entire financial marketplace. Providing banks with a bailout guarantee will perpetuate a cycle of irresponsibility, shielding creditors from taking the fall for making risky decisions and forcing taxpayers to ante up again and again.
Rather than increasing transparency within the Federal Reserve and directing it to focus on the nation’s monetary policy, this bill drastically expands the powers of the Fed to intervene in the private marketplace. But the Federal Reserve has already proven its inability to preemptively catch systemic risks as demonstrated by the financial crisis that occurred under its watch. Giving more power to government bureaucracies that have failed in the past will do nothing to stabilize our markets.
I support an alternative plan that addresses both the core problems in our financial system and promises American taxpayers that they will not be on the hook for Wall Street’s mistakes ever again. Three key principles guide this proposal: 1) It ends government bailouts of financial institutions; 2) It stops allowing the government to pick winners and losers in the financial industry; and 3) It reinstates market discipline by removing moral hazards that exist today.
Minnesotans know when Washington is trying to pull a fast one. While the government takeover of health care and total lack of job growth is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we cannot let this permanent bailout legislation slip through Congress without a fight.