Sunday, September 9, 2012

SPENCER: America still the target of 9/11 jihad

Obama’s weak response increases threat

Illustration 9-11 by Alexander Hunter for The Washington TimesEleven years have passed since the jihad terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and terrorism appears to many to be yesterday’s issue. There hasn’t been a catastrophic jihad attack on American soil since that fateful day, and neither presidential campaign has done much more than pay lip service to national security issues regarding jihad terrorism. Yet there are numerous indications that the Islamic jihad against the United States is far from over.

President Obama’s response to that jihad, however, has been to support the Arab Spring uprisings that have installed Islamic supremacist pro-Shariah regimes in North Africa and to dedicate his Justice Department to gaining special accommodation for Muslims in American businesses and educational institutions.

Osama bin Laden said in his October 2002 letter to the American people that “the first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.” He could look with satisfaction at how Islamic law is rapidly becoming the sole law of the land in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and at how the American political establishment is so warmly disposed toward even Islam’s political and supremacist elements that a call simply to investigate Muslim Brotherhood influence in the government met with scorn and charges of McCarthyism.

So pervasive is the unreality about the jihad threat, in fact, that the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, has attributed the rapid rise in attacks by Afghan troops on their American trainers to a lack of affection on the Americans’ part. He explained that on one occasion, “one of our battalion commanders publicly and openly hugged his Afghan battalion counterpart. And that solved the problem right on the spot.”

In fact, these “green-on-blue” murders keep happening because there is no reliable way to distinguish an Afghan Muslim who supports American troops from one who wants to murder them, and political correctness prevents authorities from making any attempt to do so anyway because it would suggest that Islam is not a religion of peace. So ever more U.S. troops are sacrificed to this madness.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama has just expressed his enthusiasm for Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood regime by forgiving $1 billion in Egyptian debt despite the fact that that regime has moved with startling rapidity to dismantle what there was of Egyptian democracy and secure its place in power for decades to come. Egypt’s Arab Spring has ushered into power a regime that clearly is dedicated to ramping up the country’s already virulent persecution of Christians, imposing principles of Islamic law that will subject women and non-Muslims to institutionalized discrimination and setting Egypt on a path toward open war with Israel.

Mr. Obama is set to repeat the same mistake in Syria, where a post-Assad government is almost certain to contain significant Muslim Brotherhood elements. Yet numerous analysts and pundits want the United States to rush into military action against President Bashar Assad, with no consideration of the likely nature of the regime that would replace him. Mr. Assad is terrible, to be sure. His successors are almost certain to be worse.

Meanwhile, domestically, Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has joined lawsuits by Muslims demanding special accommodation in the workplace, forcing American businesses to change their long-standing practices and reinforcing the Islamic supremacist principle that wherever Islamic law and practice conflict with American law and practice, it is the latter that must give way. The Obama administration has not only shown no interest in Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) that are advancing the Brotherhood’s stated goal (according to a captured internal document) of “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house,” but even has partnered with several of those organizations on numerous occasions.

While all this is happening, however, jihad plots and attacks against the United States continue, even as the fog of denial and appeasement grows thicker than ever. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of murdering 13 Americans at Fort Hood in 2009 in the name of Islam, but the government classified his jihad attack as “workplace violence.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted recently: “The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land . A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists.” In response, the United States hastened to assure the Iranians that it would not support an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Eleven years after Sept. 11, the U.S. government is thoroughly compromised and naively trying to appease the Islamic jihadists who have vowed to destroy us. Bin Laden, though dead, appears to be emerging as the victor.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of “Did Muhammad Exist?” (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2012).

Four More Years...and Social Security Disability Will Be Broke

Townhall Daily / Finance Alert / Political Calculations

Political  CalculationsToday, we're going to demonstrate that the policies of multiple agencies of the U.S. federal government are responsible for enabling criminal disability fraud in the United States, with the cost of the fraud accelerating the pending insolvency of Social Security's Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which will put the program's legitimate beneficiaries at high risk of having their benefits cut after the fund has been exhausted.

Current projections indicate that the Social Security trust fund for disability will be fully depleted in 2016, just four years from the present. The projections from the previous year had indicated that would not happen until 2018. The large shift in the timing of the projected trust fund depletion toward the present in just a year's time indicates a strongly deteriorating fiscal situation for the government "safety net" program.

In Part 1 of our series, we discovered that the U.S. Social Security Administration has effectively established a "no-challenge" policy for disability insurance claims made by applicants over the age of 50, which allows these individuals to obtain Social Security disability benefits far more easily than individuals Age 49 or younger. This arbitrary policy is what enables these individuals to receive Social Security disability insurance payments, even though they might not otherwise be able to obtain those benefits if they were held to the same standards as those under Age 50.

Increase in Number of Social Security Disabled Workers from Previous Year's One Year Younger Age Group, 2005-2011

We observe the likely greater incidence of disability fraud as we more closely examine the surge in the number of Social Security disability beneficiaries in the years since 2007, which coincide with the Great Recession. Here, we found that approximately 695,000 more individuals have been added to the nation's government disability rolls during this time than the level that would be consistent with those of pre-Great Recession years.

Number of Disabled Workers, Above and Beyond

The chart above, showing the number of "surplus" or "excess" Social Security disability beneficiaries added in each year since 2007, indicates that the recession is the driving factor behind the increased number of individuals obtaining government disability payments, as the timing of the surge coincides with the expiration of government unemployment insurance benefits for individuals who were negatively impacted by the economic contraction, which officially ran from December 2007 through June 2009. The nation's sluggish economic recovery accounts for the decline in the number of surplus or excess Social Security disability program beneficiaries measured in 2011.

That connection between unemployment insurance benefits and disability insurance benefits brings us to where outright fraud is taking place today:
As many as 117,000 Americans simultaneously collect unemployment benefits and federal disability each year, a form of double-dipping that investigators say costs taxpayers $850 million annually and should be ended.
To understand why such "double-dipping" constitutes fraud, please note the following general requirements for each program:
  • To receive unemployment insurance benefit payments, claimants must state that they are able to work.
  • To receive disability insurance benefit payments, claimants must state that they are unable to work.
While there can be some small overlap in the detailed eligibility requirements for these programs that would legitimately allow a handful of individuals to receive benefits from both simultaneously, the vast majority of individuals currently receiving both unemployment insurance benefit payments and disability insurance payments do not fall within that narrow category and are therefore committing acts of fraud. In general, legitimate beneficiaries of these social safety net programs can draw funds from one program, or the other, but not both at the same time.
That multiple government agencies are involved in enabling this form of fraud is confirmed because the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for administering the unemployment insurance program, while the Social Security Administration administers the Disability Insurance program. But worse than that is the reason why the fraud has been allowed to continue:
The reason for the double-spending, investigators at the Government Accountability Office reported this week, is good old-fashioned lack of communication.
Put simply, the Labor Department that funds unemployment benefits and the Social Security Administration that funds disability payments don't compare notes, leavings tens of thousands of Americans each month to collect two checks from a stretched-thin government treasury.
It would seem that the bureaucrats and politicians who are responsible for overseeing these programs learned nothing from the failure of government agencies to share information among themselves that enabled the criminal terrorist murders of 2,996 Americans on 11 September 2001 to proceed unchallenged.

This time however, the Government Accountability Office's report indicates that the annual savings that might be realized by ending this kind of fraud adds up to $850 million.

That's a savings of roughly 1 dollar out of each $1400 that is currently projected to be consumed in the nation's projected deficit of 1.21 trillion dollars for 2012! And it would be painless, because the people who are honestly playing by the rules would not be affected!

This is exactly the sort of thing that should be a no-brainer for a fiscally responsible politician - it's as close to low-hanging fruit as there is to be found anywhere in the U.S. federal government's budget. We wonder if any political candidate will rise to the occasion of acting to end the government's practices and policies that enable such costly fraud.

Job Creation Nation: America Faces Harsh Realities In 2013 

By: Austin Hill  / Townhall Daily

Job Creation Nation: America Faces Harsh Realities In 2013
The political conventions have passed, the August jobs report is out, and many Americans are said to be “giving up hope.”

So how can we jumpstart our greatest engine of economic growth – the American small business market – and get our economy growing again?

Regardless of which presidential candidate wins this November, in 2013 Americans will have to focus on saving, and expanding, the small business marketplace. The sector of our economy that makes up nearly 60% of the entire American private sector workforce, and creates between 60 and 80% of all new jobs, has been under attack over the past few years by politicians who have created lots of bad laws.

And if Americans are serious about expanding actual employment (rather than merely expanding government welfare and entitlement programs), then we will have to make better choices at the ballot box, and hold our elected leaders responsible for making serious changes. To start, let’s consider consider this harsh reality: the so-called “fiscal cliff” is real, and President Obama’s proposed solution to it is potentially lethal.

Under current federal law, both income tax rates and Social Security tax rates are set to rise dramatically on January 1st of 2013. Along with these tax increases, a dramatic reduction in government services will take hold at the same time.

This confluence of private citizens having more of their money taken away (higher taxes), and a reduction of government services (which means that private citizens will have to fill the gap and spend more of their own money) is expected to trigger a new recession next year. As a means of preventing a “double dip,” both Republicans and Democrats in the Congress have proposed that taxation rates be frozen where they are at, and held steady in 2013.

But President Obama has insisted that taxes should be raised on so-called “rich people” next year, and has refused to do what most economists and many members of his party have said is the one thing that could save us from another downturn.

And with the President polling as well as he is, it seems apparent that millions of Americans are far more excited about his “make the rich pay” rhetoric than they are aware of the consequences of his proposals. Obama supporters may get their wish in November, but it will come at a painful price – a price that all of us will pay.

And here’s another harsh reality: Americans need to get comfortable with other people’s financial successes. Since the early days of his first presidential campaign in 2007, Barack Obama has been pouring fuel on the fires of resentment and envy towards the wealthy. As a political strategy this has worked well for the President, but as government policy this has been bad for all of us.

The President’s tax-hike push is a perfect example, as many of America’s small businesses are set-up under the I.R.S. code as “Sub-chapter S” corporations. These are businesses wherein the company profits are reported to the I.R.S. directly as personal income by the business owners and are subject to personal income tax rates – and many of these business owners are being targeted by President Obama for an income tax-hike.

If the President gets his wish, and the government begins confiscating more money from the owners of Sub-chapter S corporations, by definition this leaves less money in these corporations for hiring and expansion. Thus Americans have a choice to make – do we want to employ our President for another four years so he can satiate the hatred some of us have towards “the rich” and take away more of their money? Or would we like private business owners to have money available to employ more of us? From the way things appear right now, we probably can’t do both.

And here’s harsh reality number three: Americans have to stop Obamacare from wiping-out small businesses. A central feature of this law is the mandate that businesses provide healthcare insurance to their workers. It sounds great – workers will now be “guaranteed” health insurance – but once again, the “make somebody else pay” approach is heaping more weight on the shoulders of small business owners.

Americans must decide how serious they are about job creation – even if it means that some jobs won’t include health benefits. If we honestly want employers to employ more, we must force the Congress and the President to fix this devastating component of Obamacare next year.

And here’s yet another harsh reality: Americans must stop making small businesses a scapegoat on illegal immigration. Roughly two-thirds of Americans want our national borders secured and a coherent immigration policy, yet for over a decade Washington has refused to do the former and has scarcely attempted the latter.

Amid the frustration, businesses have become the target of Americans’ wrath. If business owners would simply quit hiring illegals -so the reasoning goes -the illegals would go away.

Mitt Romney has pledged that, if elected, he will seek to require American employers and workers to register with the federal government’s “e-verify” website, as a means of policing the problem. But this adds even more bureaucratic burdens to small business owners, and ignores our failed immigration policies and un-secured borders.

Do we want politicians who merely tell us what we want to hear? Or do we want leaders in our government who can actually enable businesses to grow? Americans must become more discerning-and face some harsh realities.