Tuesday, December 14, 2010


By Robert Romano
“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers,” wrote Federal District Judge Henry Hudson in his decision invalidating the individual mandate to purchase health insurance imposed by ObamaCare.

Such a declaration should shock regular Americans who respect the boundaries imposed by constitutional, limited government. Even more so because Judge Hudson is writing about what the now-enacted ObamaCare law does.

Hudson’s critique is a bold recognition of what the individual mandate really does — and just how unfounded it really is in our history. As Hudson articulated, the mandate “forges new ground and extends the Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high water mark.” In other words, forcing individuals to purchase health insurance goes above and beyond anything Congress has attempted before under the Constitution.
In fact, the Administration could not cite a single example where the federal government had ever forced individuals to purchase anything, let alone a court case that upheld such a law.

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 ALG Editor's Note: William Warren's award-winning cartoons published at GetLiberty.org are a free service of ALG News Bureau. They may be reused and redistributed free of charge.
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No Labels: The Fiction and Myth Behind the “Radical Center” Organization

By Adam Bitely
“No Labels” launched on Monday morning with a conference in New York City featuring a “who’s who” of failed closet-liberal politicians attempting to create a fabricated movement in an attempt to make their agenda relevant. The “No Labels” agenda — which appears to be to campaign that voters are irrational for not electing Big Government politicians — has already failed to gain traction amongst the electorate around the nation. The election results on November 2nd, 2010 indicate just that.

The “No Labels” roll out featured politician has-beens such as Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), Rep. Bob Inglis (D-SC), former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), and exiting Governor Charlie Crist (I-FL). All of these politicians have been tossed out by the electorate or read polling data that indicated they were rather unpopular in their districts or state and decided to save themselves from the embarrassment of losing at the voting booth. Mike Castle specifically, who lost his bid for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in Delaware this past September, indicated that the voters in his state were irrational to go against his support of Big Government projects like Obama’s “stimulus” and the bailouts.

The politicians at the “No Labels” launch spoke much too frequently about “hyper partisanship” that is spiraling out of control while failing to acknowledge that it is they that have led to the problem that they plan to tackle. The nation is too divided they argue, and “No Labels” will allow the “radical center” to have a voice at the table of government.

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Video: A Look at the Week Ahead

Video by Frank McCaffrey
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Breaking News Watch: Hugh Jackman Injures Eye Ziplining into Oprah Show

Hugh Jackman ziplined into Oprah Winfrey's Ultimate Australian Adventure show today and hurt his eye after crashing into some lighting rigs. Fortunately, he'll recover from the damage. Oprah has been shooting her show in front of a 12,000+ audience.

Richard Holbrooke (1941-2010): Architect of the Dayton Accords

Richard Holbrooke; U.S. Department of State Yesterday, American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who had been serving as President Barack Obama’s point man for Afghanistan and Pakistan, died at age 69 after suffering a tear in his aorta. It was 15 years ago last month that Holbrooke had scored his greatest diplomatic success—brokering the Dayton Accords, between the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia, which brought to an end the war in Bosnia and outlined a General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The world mourns the loss of an accomplished statesman.
In Britannica’s article on the Dayton Accords, President Bill Clinton recounts Holbrooke’s role, “The final agreement was a tribute to the skills of Holbrooke and his negotiating team.”

Among the details that Clinton notes in his entry for Britannica:
On September 1 [1995] Holbrooke announced that all the parties would meet in Geneva for talks. When the Bosnian Serbs did not comply with all of NATO’s conditions, NATO air strikes resumed. On September 14, Holbrooke succeeded in getting an agreement signed by Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, leaders of the Bosnian Serbs, to end the siege of Sarajevo, laying the framework for final peace talks set to begin in Dayton, Ohio.
Clinton then continues:
On Nov. 1, 1995, the conference began. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegović, Serbian President Milošević, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, and representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the European Union (EU) met at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on the outskirts of Dayton, Ohio, a site chosen to reduce the ability of participants to negotiate via the media rather than the bargaining table. The peace conference was led by Holbrooke and cochaired by EU Special Representative Carl Bildt and First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov.
Twenty-one days later, the talks concluded and the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina was initialed by Izetbegović for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tudjman for the Republic of Croatia, and Milošević for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Bosnian peace plan was hard-won, but it would bring an end to four bloody years that claimed more than 250,000 lives and caused more than two million people to flee their homes.

The Role of the Corporate Media in Wikileaks

From Michel Chossudovsky's "Who is Behind Wikileaks", 12/13/10:


The Central Role of the New York Times

Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The London Economist has also played an important role.

While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully "redacted" by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010)

This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks' editor Julian Assange.

The important question is who controls and oversees the selection, distribution and editing of released documents to the broader public?

What US foreign policy objectives are being served through this redacting process?

Is Wikileaks part of an awakening of public opinion, of a battle against the lies and fabrications which appear daily in the print media and on network TV?

If so, how can this battle against media disinformation be waged with the participation and collaboration of the corporate architects of media disinformation?

Wikileaks has enlisted the architects of media disinformation to fight media disinformation: An incongruous and self-defeating procedure.

America's corporate media and more specifically The New York Times are an integral part of the economic establishment, with links to Wall Street, the Washington think tanks and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Moreover, the US corporate media has developed a longstanding relationship to the US intelligence apparatus, going back to "Operation Mocking Bird", an initiative of the CIA's Office of Special Projects (OSP), established in the early 1950s.

Even before the Wikileaks project got off the ground, the mainstream media was implicated. A role was defined and agreed upon for the corporate media not only in the release, but also in the selection and editing of the leaks. In a bitter irony, the "professional media", to use Julian Assange's words in an interview with The Economist, have been partners in the Wikileaks project from the outset.

Moreover, key journalists with links to the US foreign policy-national security intelligence establishment have worked closely with Wikileaks, in the distribution and dissemination of the leaked documents.

In a bitter irony, Wikileaks partner The New York Times, which has consistently promoted media disinformation is now being accused of conspiracy. For what? For revealing the truth? Or for manipulating the truth? [...]

He Sent ‘Guerrillas’: ‘Puppet Master’ George Soros — Influence & Funding of USA Financial Reform ‘Revolution’

Black Segregation Decreases, Latino Segregation On the Rise

Fifty years after the civil rights movement fought to end racist practices in this county, America’s neighborhoods are becoming increasingly integrated.
New findings suggest that many neighborhoods are becoming more racially balanced as Black middle class people are moving into formerly White areas in the South and the West.

According to The Associated Press, “Segregation among blacks and whites fell in roughly three-quarters of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas as the two racial groups spread more evenly between inner cities and suburbs, according to recent census data.”

Although many neighborhoods across the country are becoming increasingly integrated, this does not mean we’ve reached the post-racial Promised Land just yet. “It’s taken a Civil Rights movement and several generations to yield noticeable segregation declines for blacks,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who reviewed the findings. “But the still-high levels of black segregation in some areas, coupled with uneven clustering patterns for Hispanics, suggest that the idea of a post-racial America has a way to go.”

Latino integration was a mixed bag. While there was less Hispanic-White segregation in many large metro areas, in smaller neighborhoods the data showed  vast numbers of Latino immigrants are clustering together for support.

Despite Black-White segregation lessening in the South and West, it remained high in the Northeast and Midwest. Many cities like Fort Myers, Florida, Honolulu, Atlanta and Miami were deemed least likely to be segregated. While Detroit, Milwaukee and Syracuse, N.Y., were some of the most segregated cities and have even been dubbed the “ghetto belt” by some demographers.

The findings are primarily based on 2010 census data and an index that measure the degree in which racial groups are spread between the inner cities and suburbs. The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 60 or above considered “highly segregated.” In 2009, the Black-White segregation reading was 27, an all time low.
The political implications of the findings are great, with formerly Black districts being harder to hold due to an influx of Latino residents. The 2010 census data will be used to form new congressional district boundaries, and new Hispanic dominated districts are expected to emerge.

Even though our neighborhoods are becoming less segregated, I wonder how much of that is driven by middle class Blacks moving out of the inner city or by gentrification. Just anecdotally, areas like Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Harlem are increasingly becoming “less black” due to gentrification.
The census department is expected to release its data on race, migration, and economics today. It’s expected to be among the Bureau’s most detailed analysis of neighborhoods across America.

What do you think? Is your neighborhood becoming increasingly desegregated? You Tell Us!

Cliff Lee's Wife Reportedly Didn't Care for New York, Loves Philly

The reports this past October of Cliff Lee's wife getting spit on by New York Yankees fans may or may not have been blown out of proportion, but now we can at least all point and laugh at Yankees fans for their boorish behavior. Today, in light of Lee opting to leave millions of dollars on the table and join the Phillies instead of New York, beat writer Randy Miller says that Lee's wife had a big part in this decision, "A good source tells me that Cliff Lee''s wife is the main reason he didn't sign with Yankees. She wanted NO PART of New York, i was told." And: "Apparently incident with Lee's wife had last fall with Yankees fans wasn't forgotten. Besides that, she's not fond of NY. She LOVES Philly."
Cliff Lee wasn't with the Phillies a very long time his first time around, but he endeared himself to Philadelphia's fanbase just about as quickly as humanly possible. I went skimming back through our Cliff Lee archives and found this gem of a video from October 8th, 2009 when the Fightins won game one of the NLDS. Just listen to the crowd.

Lee may have left an obscene amount of money on the table, but you can't put a value on 45,000+ Philadelphians chanting your name.

Sure beats having your wife spit on by New Yorkers.