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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Flashback to 1998

The Iraq Liberation Act was signed by Bill Clinton after passing through the U.S. Congress very easily. The Liberation Act stated, 'It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.'

It passed through the House by a vote of 360 to 38; it passed the Senate without a single vote in opposition.

Quotes prior to the 2000 elections:
  1. "[M]ark my words, [Saddam] will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. ... Iraq [is] a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed. If we fail to respond today, Saddam, and all those who would follow in his footsteps, will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity. ... Some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal." -- Bill Clinton
  2. "Saddam's ability to produce and deliver weapons of mass destruction poses a grave threat ... to the security of the world." -- Vice President Al "I invented the internet" Gore
  3. "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction. ... Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." -- Madeline "I can leg-press 400 lbs" Albright, Secretary of State
  4. "[Saddam will] use those weapons of mass destruction again as he has ten times since 1983." -- Sandy "Deep Pockets" Berger, National Security (funny isn't it?) Advisor
  5. "The problem is not nuclear testing; it is nuclear weapons. ... The number of Third World countries with nuclear capabilities seems to grow daily. Saddam Hussein's near success with developing a nuclear weapon should be an eye-opener for us all. [Saddam] is too dangerous of a man to be given carte blanche with weapons of mass destruction." -- Senator, and Real Estate Investor Extraordinaire, Harry Reid
  6. "Serving on the Intelligence Committee and seeing day after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons, he cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons, it's just that simple. The whole world changes if Saddam ever has nuclear weapons." -- Senator John "Pretty Boy" Edwards
  7. "One of the most compelling threats we in this country face today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that...Iraq...may acquire or develop nuclear weapons. [Saddam's] chemical and biological weapons capabilities are frightening." -- Dick Turban Durbin
  8. "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons-inspection process." -- Nancy "It's all about the children" Pelosi

Remember this was all said by Demo's before the 2000 election. Now it's, "Bush lied - people died" ... and Bush "lied us into this war" ... and Bush "cherry picked" intelligence information, yada, yada, yada. It's quite amazing to think he must have done all these acts of deception before he was elected in 2000 in order for all these clowns to say these things.

The Berger Files:

The case of the purloined archives gets stranger all the time.

"The more we learn about Sandy Berger's brilliant career as a document thief, the clearer it becomes that there is plenty we still don't know and may never learn. On Tuesday, the House Government Reform Committee released its report on Mr. Berger's pilfering of classified documents from the National Archives." Read more about Sandy The Burglar.

“War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perseverance, by time, and by practice.”
—Alexander Hamilton

Expect Long War Against 'Irreconcilable Wing of Islam,' Gingrich Says

"Americans must steel themselves for a long and arduous war against the "irreconcilable wing of Islam," which could last anywhere from 30 to 70 years, according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Addressing a free-market group in Baltimore, Md., Gingrich said the current generation of Americans could witness the destruction of U.S. cities in their lifetime, since Islamic extremists have openly expressed their desire to obtain and use both nuclear and biological weapons. He singled out the "elite media" and "left-of-center" politicians for embracing a "level of routine cowardice" that works to embolden America's enemies." Full Story

Mollohan's Bid to Allay Conflict of Interest Criticism Falters
(CNSNews.com) - "Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), the new chairman of the panel that determines the budget of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has promised to recuse himself from matters related to the FBI while he remains under FBI investigation, but the attempt to fend off criticism of his appointment appeared to have backfired.

The FBI is examining charges that Mollohan illegally benefited from distribution of federal funds.

On Wednesday, Mollohan was selected to head the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee for Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies, which oversees the Department of Justice, including the FBI."


"As Cybercast News Service previously reported, documents obtained by the NLPC show that Mollohan and his wife, Barbara, reported under $550,000 in assets in 2000. That figure soared to more than $8 million just five years later.

On April 10, 2006, the NLPC accused him of violating more than 250 House ethics rules. Eleven days later, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) - then minority leader - announced that Mollohan would step down from the chamber's ethics committee while defending himself against the allegations.

Mollohan filed two dozen corrections to his past six annual financial disclosure forms on June 13, asserting that his accountant had uncovered several unintentional errors. He attributed his substantial rise in assets to prudent real-estate investments."

Could I get the name of his real-estate advisor? Please?

‘Moderate’ Abbas Tells Supporters to Use Guns Against Israel
- On the eve of a visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told supporters on Thursday that they should turn their guns on Israel and not on each other...

Oil Prices Plunge Below $53

Oil prices briefly traded below $53 a barrel today as U.S. inventories swelled. In addition, Russian oil shipments through Belarus to the EU resumed after a pipeline dispute was resolved.

Source: MoneyNews.com

Related: Oil Prices May Rise as OPEC Reduces Production

Vietnam Becomes 150th Member of WTO

HANOI –- In what has been described as 'a milestone expected to launch an era of radical change as the communist nation enters the global economic mainstream,' Vietnam has become the 150th member of the World Trade Organization.

Source: MoneyNews.com

Congressional Committee Wants Tough Action on China Trade

WASHINGTON -- Concerned about swelling U.S. trade deficits, the congressional Joint Economic Committee said Wednesday it will call top Treasury Department officials before it to demand tougher action against China.

Source: MoneyNews.com

Belarus, Russia Reach Compromise on Oil

MINSK, Belarus -- Belarus announced Wednesday that it had reached a compromise with Russia in a dispute that has halted oil flows along a key pipeline to Europe after telephone talks between the two countries' presidents.

Source: MoneyNews

North Korea Condemns Deployment of US Stealth Fighters in South Korea
FOX News
AP. SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Saturday condemned the deployment of US stealth fighters in South Korea as an act of aggression aimed at launching ...

Friday, January 12, 2007


"The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistracy is certainly one of the most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government."

-- Alexander Hamilton

The Petraeus command is the overdue beginning of the counterinsurgency

By Daniel Henninger

Neither Iraqis nor Democrats seem ready to do what's required of them.

By Peggy Noonan

Tax Cuts and Consequences

In an opinion piece, the New York Times decries the Bush tax cuts and takes the liberty to make a capricious interpretation of the Constitution, specifically Article I, Section 8, and wastes no time in doing so.

The very first sentence of the opinion piece reads, "The tax system in the United States is supposed to mitigate inequality."

This is insane. I have not been able to find anywhere in the Constitution the phrase, "mitigate inequality." (Nor will you. They are not there.) Certainly not in Article I of the Constitution ,which establishes Congress's taxing authority, do these words appear; nor in the 16th Amendment, which gives Congress the authority to tax income, do these words appear.

Whose Constitution are they looking at?


Is John Edwards going through a process of metamorphosis? Is the man from the cradle-to-grave party, the man who preaches to us about having "two Americas," going through a transformation before our very eyes?

Edwards told Larry King on CNN, "If you think about everyday life, people are more likely to take responsibility when no one else is helping them or propping them up"1

So now Edwards believes in Americans taking personal responsibility? This is quite a revision of political philosophy by Mr. Edwards.

"Wow, this is news," writes James Taranto. "Well, not quite", he adds, "as evidenced by the next words out of his mouth."

Edwards said: "It's time for the Iraqis to do this."

So let me get this straight. It's okay for the Iraqis to take responsibility, but it's just down right un-American for us to do so.

Bush seeks expanded military, new focus on Iran in 2007

WorldTribune.com: "WASHINGTON — The Bush administration plans to target Iran operations in Iraq and to significantly increase
the U.S. military overall to facilitate missions in Iraq and other insurgency hotspots."

Gulf states see trouble ahead; Defense spending spikes

"The Gulf states, bracing for threats from Iran and Iraq, have sharply increased defense spending." Read more World Tribune.

Lawyer Arrested for Kissing Employee

"This is the biggest baloney I've ever seen in my life," Crozier said Thursday. "How many tens of thousands of people in Connecticut wished their co-workers and friends `Merry Christmas' the day before Christmas?"

The incident was captured on security video.

Crozier said the video will prove he meant nothing sexual by the kiss, which he described as a peck on the cheek. He says the incident is an example of political correctness run amok.

'It was a Christmas greeting. I had no intention to annoy or harass anybody,' Crozier said. 'Every one of us knew we were on camera. This was a peck on the cheek. That was the extent. There was nothing here that was weird or sexual.' "

Police: Blast at U.S. Embassy in Athens Is 'Act of Terrorism'

"The U.S. Embassy in Athens was attacked early Friday by a rocket that exploded inside the modern glass-fronted building but caused no casualties in an attack police said was probably carried out by a domestic terror group." FOXNews.com


Prosecutor Mike Nifong has asked to be taken off the Duke Lacrosse "Rapegate" case.

Deficit Falls to Lowest Level in 4 Years

"The federal deficit has improved significantly in the first three months of the new budget year, helped by a continued surge in tax revenues.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Friday that the deficit from October through December totaled $80.4 billion, the smallest imbalance for the first three months of a budget year since The budget year ends Sept. 30.

Tax collections are running 8.2 percent higher than a year ago while government spending is up by just 0.7 percent from a year ago. Last year's spending totals were boosted by significant payments to help the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The Treasury said for December, the government actually ran a surplus of $44.5 billion, the largest surplus ever recorded in December and a gain that reflected a big jump in quarterly corporate tax payments." Read more...

Internet should be run by key players

Reuters.com: "The Internet should continue to be overseen by major agencies including ICANN and the ITU, rather than any new 'superstructure', the new head of the International Telecommunications Union said on Friday.

Hamadoun Toure, who took up the reins of the United Nations agency this month, said the ITU would focus on tackling cyber-security and in narrowing the 'digital divide' between rich and poor countries."


"Iraq's prime minister has told Shiite militiamen to surrender their arms or face an all-out assault by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces, senior Iraqi officials said yesterday, as American and Iraqi troops prepared major military operations aimed at ending sectarian warfare in Baghdad."
AP - New York Post Online Edition



Condoleezza Rice came under a shocking Democratic attack yesterday - as a childless woman who can’t understand the sacrifices made by families of U.S. troops in Iraq. In a bitter personal assault on the secretary of state during her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, anti-war Sen. Barbara Boxer fumed that Rice didn't com prehend the 'price' of the war.

'You're not going to pay a particular price, as I under stand it, with an immediate family,' Boxer (D- Calif.) ranted.

'Who pays the price?' she repeatedly demanded during Rice's Capitol Hill grilling."
-- New York Post Online Edition

I am tired of these mean spirited attacks designed to shut down discourse and discussion. A president can't preside over the military (especially in time of war) unless they served in the armed forces; unless of course they have, then the bar is raised to the level of having to be a war hero and decorated; unless of course you are a Democrat, then none of the aforementioned requirements matter. (See Bill Clinton)

Clinton yukking it up with the military he loathes.

A Secretary of States' opinions are baseless and not relevant unless they have children. Hello? Women libbers ? A black woman elevated to such a powerful position in this country ... unmarried ... no children. Isn't this the quintessential woman? But then be attacked for, in essence, not having children? Where's the outrage?

Tony Snow, spokesman for the White House said, "Here you got a professional woman, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Barbara Boxer is sort of throwing little jabs because Condi doesn't have children, as if that means that she doesn't understand the concerns of parents. Great leap backward for feminism."


"Powerhouse New York Rep. Charles Rangel is butting heads with fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi just a week into the new Congress controlled by their party, The Post has learned."
-- New York Post Online Edition

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger's health-care proposal is a prescription for disaster.

In Somalia the U.S. stays on the anti-terror offense.

The new "yellow peril"

By Thomas Sowell: "A hundred years ago, there was talk of a 'yellow peril' because of Chinese and Japanese immigration to the United States in general and to California in particular. Today, there are echoes of that notion in a front page headline on the education section of the New York Times of January 7th.

'At 41 percent Asian, Berkeley could be the new face of merit-based admissions. The problem for everybody else: lots less room at elite colleges.'

Anybody of any race who takes a place at any college leaves one less place for somebody else. Does an Asian American take up any more space than anybody else? Are they all Sumo wrestlers?

This hand-wringing about too many Asians is an echo of the past in another painful way. Back in the early 20th century, various elite colleges decided that there were 'too many Jews' applying and set quotas to restrict the number of Jewish students admitted." More...

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” —Thomas Paine

“Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new plan in California that will give free health insurance to everyone. The plan is being paid by Blue Cross of Mexico.”

—Conan O’Brien


“My thinking as a leader has evolved. Identifying a problem is not good enough, but taking action to solve it is key.”

—John Edwards

The makings of a leader; evolving right before our eyes. Amazing. Truly amazing.


“The law of supply and demand works in the labor market, too. If government mandates a higher minimum wage, some workers will get a raise. Some. But something else will happen. Employers will hire fewer low-skilled workers. Others will let some current workers go. Some will choose not to expand their businesses. A few will close altogether.”

John Stossel


“A more liberal policy agenda isn’t all that will be moving into the spotlight. There will be a heightened focus on liberal arguments as well—which means we’ll be hearing more about good intentions and less about good results. Political discourse will dwell even more than it already does on ‘fairness’ and ‘compassion’ and ‘unmet needs’ —and even less on factual evidence and the historical record.”

—Jeff Jacoby

“Peace and stability require both a military and a political solution—but the political rests on the military one rather than vice versa.”

—John O’Sullivan


“Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can’t. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It’s that elemental.”

—Victor Davis Hanson


“Mr. President... [y]our intention to win must be forcefully communicated, not just because it is preferable to losing, but because the alternative to victory in this War for the Free World is unacceptable.”

—Frank Gaffney


“Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.”
—Samuel Johnson

“Corruption is no stranger to Washington; it is a famous resident.”
Walter Goodman

“A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”
—J.P. Morgan

“I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him ‘father.”’
—Will Rogers

Global schizophrenia

By Victor Davis Hanson

"When it comes to intervening in international affairs, the United States is damned when it does and damned when it doesn't. Critics of U.S. policy are always quick to pounce — and in this age of globalization, they're only getting more impatient.

It's not just the global geopolitical map that has changed; people everywhere have, too. Globalization has enriched the planet beyond belief, leading to ever-increased demands of perfection. And thanks to 24/7 communications, we all instantaneously know when these expectations aren't met."


"What sometimes works against jihadists and tyrants in one place won't always in others. Unilateral, multilateral, react or preempt — these have no innate moral value but are just differing strategies for a baffling multitude of new problems that all defy a cookie-cutter approach. After 9/11, caution in the long run may prove deadlier than intervention has in the short term. People will die daily on CNN no matter what we do."

The Boston Mosque's Saudi connection

By Jeff Jacoby

"Speaking at a State Department forum in 1999, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Sufi sheik and leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, sounded an alarm about Muslim houses of worship in the United States.

'The most dangerous thing that is going on now in these mosques . . . is the extremists' ideology,' he said. 'Because they are very active, they took over the mosques; . . . they took over more than 80 percent of the mosques that have been established in the US.' He warned ominously that 'a danger might suddenly come that you are not looking for . . . we don't know where it is going to hit.'

When Kabbani was condemned by other Muslim organizations, he stood his ground. His assessment of the leadership of US mosques, he said, was based on having visited scores of them. In a 2000 interview he explained the extremists' pattern of infiltration." Read more...

Dems to tackle "income inequality"

By Larry Elder: You make too much money! And you make too little!

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., put it somewhat differently. But the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee vowed to tackle the growing, festering problem of 'income inequality.' 'Government doesn't have to interfere with the free enterprise system,' says Frank, 'but we can work along with it to reduce inequality'....................

Democrats criticize Bush without taking any responsibility.


"You might have thought President Bush's announcement yesterday that he intends to deploy several thousand more combat soldiers to Iraq would have been sweet policy vindication for the Democrats. They're the ones who spent the better part of the past four years using Eric Shinseki--the former Army Chief of Staff who, prior to the war, estimated it would take up to half a million troops to occupy the country--as a cudgel with which to beat this President over the head.

Thus former House minority leader, now Speaker Nancy Pelosi, citing General Shinseki in May 2004, on 'Meet the Press': 'What I'm saying to you, [is] that we need more troops on the ground.' Thus, too, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, just four weeks ago: 'If it's for a surge--that is, for two or three months--and it's part of a program to get us out of there as indicated by this time next year, then, sure, I'll go along with it.' " Read on.

Many Workers At Wal-Mart Don't Use Its Health Plans

Washingtonpost.com: 43% Covered Elsewhere
By Ylan Q. Mui and Amy Joyce

"About 90 percent of Wal-Mart employees have health-care coverage, but 43 percent do not get it from the mammoth retailer, relying instead on benefits from a spouse, federal programs or even their parents, according to an internal survey the company made public yesterday."

Oil at 19-month low as stocks up

"Oil prices reached a 19-month low after US government figures showed a rise in heating oil and petrol stockpiles. Inventories of refined oil products rose more than expected last week, with distillates up 5.4 million barrels."

Kennedy pushes universal health care - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

AP-"The federal government should join the state of Massachusetts in enacting universal health coverage, said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the new chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over numerous health issues.

Mr. Kennedy's home state is the first to require everyone to have health"

Nato 'kills 150 Taleban fighters'

"Nato says as many as 150 Taleban militants have been killed in a battle in eastern Afghanistan."

NATO reported that the Taliban militants were seen gathering along the Pakistan border and then crossed the border into Afghanistan. It was also reported that Pakistan had a hand in helping monitor the insurgents, prior to launching an attack with artillery and air strikes.

The number killed, like usual, is in dispute. NATO is claiming 150, while earlier the Afghan defence ministry had estimated 80 were killed.

Also true to form, the Taliban is whining that those killed "were civilians, not militants."

Others in the know however, say that in that area in which the military strikes took place, there is very little civilian activity. It appears that the "Baghdad-Bob style of reporting" is alive and well.


The Case Against Prescription Drug Price-Fixing
By Chuck Muth
When Congress passed the Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003, the intention was clearly for the program to be a competitive operation where private insurers and prescription drug sellers would be competing for business in a free market. Indeed the legislation specifically prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Resources from “interfering” in negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies, or instituting “a price structure for the reimbursement of covered” drugs. This free-market concept can be a little confusing to some people, so think of it this way: Requiring the HHS secretary to negotiate and set prices for prescription drugs would be akin to requiring the Secretary of Transportation to negotiate and fix prices for automobiles…

News Headlines

'America Must Succeed In Iraq,' Bush Says
- New day, same war, different approach, more criticism. That sums up where the nation stands on Iraq, on this morning after President Bush outlined a course correction.

Update: Union Dues Case About ‘Protecting Elections,’ Lawyer Says
– The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case examining the way labor unions use non-members’ dues, prompting one of the lawyers arguing the case to urge the justices to “protect the integrity of our election system.”

Group Speaks For Churches but Pushes Liberal Agenda, Study Says
– A leading religious organization that seeks to promote Christian “unity” in the U.S. has yoked itself to liberal groups that now provide most of its funding and help it promote a liberal social and political agenda, a conservative group alleged Wednesday...

Minimum Wage? Or Minimum Living Standard?
– What’s wrong with raising the minimum wage? It will hurt the nation’s small business owners, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. A conservative think tank said the higher minimum wage would affect workers and businesses differently, depending on where they are located...

Democrats Bash Romney’s Stand on Iraq
– In a nod to Mitt Romney’s viable presidential candidacy, the Democratic Party was quick to criticize the Republican on Wednesday after he announced his support for President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq...

West Bank Square Dedicated to Saddam Hussein
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com)
– A leader of the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a group of West Bank militias linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, has dedicated the central square in a West Bank refugee camp to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. This comes at a time when the Bush administration is trying to strengthen Abbas and his Fatah faction...

Rice: 'Imperative Not to Fail in Iraq'

"WASHINGTON -- President Bush's decision to deploy 21,500 additional troops to Iraq drew fierce opposition Thursday from congressional Democrats, but the Senate's top Republican threatened a filibuster to block any legislation expressing disapproval of the plan.

'Obviously, it will . . . require 60 votes,' said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as senior administration officials made the case for Bush's new policy in Congress, at news briefings and the morning television programs.

'This is a time for a national imperative not to fail in Iraq,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee." Read on.

Negroponte: Hezbollah a Growing Threat to U.S.

"Al-Qaida poses the gravest terrorist threat to the United States and an emboldened Hezbollah is a growing danger, the U.S. intelligence chief said Thursday.

In his annual review of global threats, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte highlighted an increasingly worrisome assessment of Hezbollah - backed by Iran and Syria - since its 34-day war with Israel last year." Read on.

Mark Steyn: 'New Dark Ages' Coming

"Worldwide demographic shifts are working to the advantage of Islamic extremists, according to author and commentator Mark Steyn.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Steyn, author of 'America Alone,' said foreign policy 'realists' in the U.S. and Europe who seek to accommodate rather than confront Muslim radicals have bought into an 'illusion of stability.'

At a time when much of the western world is experiencing 'civilizational exhaustion,' Steyn said, the Muslim world is benefiting from significant population growth.

The G-8 nations, he said, have 'given up on having children' while they acquiesce to a large influx of Muslim immigrants.

As a result of the demographic changes in Europe and parts of Asia, Steyn anticipates the Muslim world will have three reliable votes on the U.N. Security Council in the not too distant future. Furthermore, by 2050, Russia well may be a majority Muslim nation, he added." Read on.


United States Sees Key Role for United Nations in 2007:
Security Council discusses priorities in meeting with new secretary-general

"In 2007, the U.N. Security Council must be ready to deal with terrorism, cross-border violence, widespread and systematic human rights violations, refugee flows and political instability before these issues escalate into wars, the United States says."

No Scarlet Fever Aid to North Korea
Korea Times - Seoul,South Korea
South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung said Thursday that the government will not provide medical aid to North Korea to help the communist country ...

"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Mitt Romney: I Wasn't Always Conservative
Giuliani: Bush Did the Right Thing
McCain: ‘Change in Strategy’ Can Succeed

Bush Targets Iran in Speech, Implies Military Action

"Though President Bush's national address Wednesday night was about Iraq, his most provocative comments focused on her neighbor, Iran.

Early in his speech Bush raised the matter of Iran, suggesting that if U.S. efforts to secure Iraq failed, 'Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.'

Bush blamed both Syria and Iran in helping radical insurgents within Iraq.

'These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq,' he said." More.....

“North Korea’s Idolization - 40% of National Budget”

Enshrining Kim Il Song’s body at Kumsu Mountain Mausoleum - 890 million dollars
By Han Young Jin, Reporter from Pyongyang

"Seeing American news reports that 40% of North Korea’s national budget is spent on Kim Father and Son idolization propaganda, South Korean citizens are asking themselves if that much money could really be spent on that.

Up until now, the actual number of idolization figures and the amount of money allocated for them has not been revealed. However, when we look at the number and size of these idolization figures springing up all over North Korea, the fact that these represent a large dedicated portion of the national budget can be easily ascertained. If every kind of idolization propaganda item were put together, the number would equal several hundred times the number of crosses on churches throughout the South."

Read more at Daily NK.


Japan's P.M.: International Community Must Collaborate to Pressure North Korea

"Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinjo visited the U.K. and held talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair, BBC reported on the 9th. At the meeting, Prime Minister Abe revealed that the international community needed to cooperate more in order to block North Korea’s nuclear weapons."

Read more at Daily NK.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Hold the Credits: A Better Option for the Economy

The Tax Foundation
by Brian Phillips and Megan Carpentier

"The Senate Finance Committee plans to hold a hearing this week to consider attaching a series of business tax credits to legislation that will raise the minimum wage. Though their colleagues in the House are expected to pass a bill without such credits, Senators from both sides of the aisle and the President have suggested that Congress provide tax credits to certain businesses to offset the cost of the wage increase.

While some might consider this a wise compromise, it is not the best solution for from an economic perspective. There is no way hold businesses harmless through tax credits from a minimum wage increase; nor is it equitable to provide tax credits to some businesses that employ minimum wage workers and not others. Targeted tax credits simply cannot accomplish the stated goals and they have a number of negative consequences for the overall economy.

For these reasons, we encourage Congress to consider an alternative to targeted tax credits. Instead of allowing the minimum wage bill to become a vehicle for cluttering the tax code with more targeted tax credits, we ask Congress to consider the wisdom of simply lowering the tax rates for businesses large and small."

Like that is going to happen. Oh, well. To read the rest, go here.

Political Peak Oil

Quite interesting and somewhat ominous article:

One thing stands in the way of secure and abundant supplies of oil: Government
By Ronald Bailey
Reason Magazine

"Petroleum geologists are pretty sure that there is more than enough oil in the world to meet projected demand for at least the next 25 years. In other words, as I reported in my article “Peak Oil Panic” last year, geologically speaking “peak oil” is at least a generation away.

But the days when you could punch a hole in the ground and up would bubble some crude have now passed. It will take increasing technical savvy and a lot of money to keep oil production up with demand. Fortunately, the International Energy Agency believes that projected demand for oil and gas can be met if producers invest $4.3 trillion and $3.9 trillion (in 2005 dollars) respectively over the next 25 years. The question is that level of investment happening?

That’s were I get worried." Read on....

What the Real-Wage Pessimists Are Missing

TCS Daily

"Some economists and journalists—I'll call them 'the real-wage pessimists'—have claimed that average real wages have fallen during substantial time periods over the last 30 or so years. Others have claimed that average real wages for the majority of the labor force have fallen during substantial periods over the last 30 years. These are claims that Alan Reynolds takes on in his new book, Income and Wealth." Continue...

Nostalgic About 1974?

Cato Institute
by Alan Reynolds

"The growth and distribution of income is a topic that generates strong opinions based on weak facts. But if the facts are wrong (and they usually are), then the opinions are, too. People seem far more willing to accept differences of opinion on these issues than to have their assumed facts questioned." Read more....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tribute To Our Troops

Bagpipes Cryin'
Rushlow Harris

Vietnam prepares for boom times

"Vietnam is expected to become a member of the World Trade Organisation next week. The deal will help a country once regarded as a backwater to catch up with its economically successful neighbours."

Iran smog 'kills 3,600 in month'

"Air pollution is estimated to have killed nearly 10,000 people in Tehran over a one-year period, including 3,600 in a month, Iranian officials say.

Most of the deaths were caused by heart attacks and respiratory illnesses brought on by smog, they said.

The scale of the problem led one senior official to say living in the Iranian capital was like 'collective suicide'.

Cheap fuel encourages car use in Iran, correspondents say, and many vehicles do not meet global emissions standards.

'It is a very serious and lethal crisis, a collective suicide,' the director of Tehran's clean air committee, Mohammad Hadi Heydarzadeh, told an Iranian newspaper.

'A real revolution is needed to resolve this problem.'"

Chavez plans hit Venezuela market

"Venezuela's financial markets have tumbled after President Hugo Chavez promised to nationalise the biggest phone and power companies.

The Caracas Stock Exchange closed nearly 19% down, with bonds also lower.

Telecoms firm CA Nacional Telefonos (CANTV) was suspended from trading after closing 30% lower, while power firm Electricidad de Caracas fell 20%.

While Mr Chavez had outlined some of his plans, analysts said he had decided to go further than previously thought." More.....

The Battle for Baghdad

"US and Iraqi troops have killed at least 50 militants during a battle in a Sunni stronghold of Baghdad, the Iraqi defence ministry says.

At least 1,000 soldiers backed by US aircraft fought the militants in the Haifa Street district.

The Iraqi military says it aims to purge the area of "terrorists".

US President George W Bush is expected on Wednesday to outline a new strategy for Iraq which may include sending 20,000 more US troops to Baghdad." Read more.

Sitting judge takes liberals and feminists to task

By Phyllis Schlafly

"Marketing policy of the book publishing industry now calls for a catchy title followed by an explanatory subtitle. 'The Tyranny of Tolerance' was published this month with the subtitle: 'A Sitting Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault.'

This sitting state court judge, Robert H. Dierker Jr., speaks from firsthand experience with some of the cases he discusses.

After he became a judge, Missouri's ban on partial-birth abortion came into his court in 2000. It became his duty to witness that gruesome procedure, and he might be the only judge who ever saw one.

The liberals usually claim they want an 'independent' judiciary, unbridled free speech, and tolerance for all points of view. Now they are trying to kill the messenger because they can't counter Dierker's copiously documented arguments.

Dierker asserts that 'illiberal liberals are at the root of the constitutional crisis we face today.' In a nutshell, they act as though '(h)istory and tradition count for nothing; the language of the Constitution itself counts for little; the only criterion is whether a ruling will advance the liberal agenda.' The false theory that the written text of the U.S. Constitution is 'evolving' has been used by the illiberals to transform obscenity, abortion and sodomy from crimes into constitutional rights. Their accomplice in judicial attacks on religion, the ACLU, Judge Dierker says, should be called the 'Anti-Christian Litigation Union.'" Read on...

Control Does Not Fill the Leadership Void::By Herman Cain

By Herman Cain

"Democrats are celebrating their new majority status in Congress with lots of speeches about bipartisan cooperation and a less-than-inspiring agenda for their first 100 legislative hours. Time will tell if they keep their word on working with Republicans, but the voters want leadership on the big issues, not platitudes about comity and meaningless political victories." More....


"Word that Adm. William Fallon will move laterally from our Pacific Command to take charge of Central Command - responsible for the Middle East - while two ground wars rage in the region baffled the media.

Why put a swabbie in charge of grunt operations?

There's a one-word answer: Iran.

Assigning a Navy aviator and combat veteran to oversee our military operations in the Persian Gulf makes perfect sense when seen as a preparatory step for striking Iran's nuclear-weapons facilities - if that becomes necessary." Read more...

The Consequences of Failure in Iraq

"What would be the consequences of an American withdrawal from Iraq? Trying to wrap one's mind around the ramifications of a failed Iraq--of an enormous, quite possibly genocidal, Sunni-Shiite clash exploding around American convoys fleeing south--is daunting. In part, this is why few have spent much time talking about what might happen to Iraq, the region, and the United States if the government in Baghdad and its army collapsed into Sunni and Shiite militias waging a battle to the death. Among its many omissions, the Iraq Study Group's stillborn report lacked any sustained description of the probable and possible consequences of a shattered Iraq." Continue reading....

Bush wimps out as gangs cross our border

By James Pinkerton

"In a different era the American commander in chief took seriously his constitutional oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' these United States. In 1916, after the terroristic forces of Pancho Villa crossed into American territory, President Woodrow Wilson sent John 'Black Jack' Pershing and the U.S. Army into Mexico on a punitive retaliatory expedition. That's how a country convinces outsiders that it cares about its own national sovereignty. But, in contrast to the 28th president, the 43rd president seems to be preoccupied with Iraq, not Arizona; extra U.S. troops are going to go 7,000 miles from home, even as our own homes are unguarded.

Indeed, Bush and the Democrats who now control Congress seem to agree that there should be less enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border. So in 2007 we can expect a cancelation of the once-promised border wall. We also can expect a guest-worker/slow-motion-amnesty deal. Bush and his new best friend forever, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), are eager for such a deal to show the D.C. establishment that they can work with Democrats at least some of the time - even as they seek to jam the Dems on Iraq.

But, of course, both parties in Washington are experts at the game of selling out ordinary Americans - in the name of foggy abstractions such as 'bipartisanship' and 'nation building.'

What Americans on the southwestern border need is political leadership that will stand up for them, not ignore them. And soon enough, as the immigration invasion continues, all Americans will figure out that they, too, need border protection." Read more...

Global Jihadism

"It is the fate of the West, and in particular the United States, to have to deal with the combined threat of Shia and Sunni extremists. And for all the differences that exist between them--and they are significant--they share some common features.

Their brand of radicalism is theocratic, totalitarian, illiberal, expansionist, violent, and deeply anti-Semitic and anti-American. As President Bush has said, both Shia and Sunni militants want to impose their dark vision on the Middle East. And as we have seen with Shia-dominated Iran's support of the Sunni terrorist group Hamas, they can find common ground when they confront what they believe is a common enemy.

The war against global jihadism will be long, and we will experience success and setbacks along the way. The temptation of the West will be to grow impatient and, in the face of this long struggle, to grow weary. Some will demand a quick victory and, absent that, they will want to withdraw from the battle. But this is a war from which we cannot withdraw. As we saw on September 11th, there are no safe harbors in which to hide. Our enemies have declared war on us, and their hatreds cannot be sated. We will either defeat them, or they will come after us with the unsheathed sword.

All of us would prefer years of repose to years of conflict. But history will not allow it. And so it once again rests with this remarkable republic to do what we have done in the past: our duty."

-- Peter Wehner

Read the entire piece by Peter Wehner, "The War Against Global Jihadism."

REPLACING HARRIET MEYERS: Bush recruits an expert on Presidential power.

Fielding Subpoenas
Opinion Journal

In recruiting Fred Fielding, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has donned some necessary armor for the subpoena assault that is sure to come from Democrats in Congress. Read on.


2008 Race May Set Spending Record

Mitt Romney Raises $6.5 Million in One Day

Glenn Beck to Join 'Good Morning America'

Greenspan: U.S. Economy Moving Upward

Employer Enforcement Better Than Border Security, Analyst Says

House Panel Split Over Iraq Troop Levels

Katrina ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Remarks Causes Stir

New Discovery Stokes Debate Ahead of Dems’ Stem Cell Bill

Memo to the president

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.:

Mr. President:

"By now you have been getting lots of free advice about what to say – and what not to say – in your remarks Wednesday about a new strategy for Iraq. Some of it, like Jim Baker’s recommendations that would have translated into our defeat, you have wisely rejected. You have evidently decided to accept others reflecting your laudable determination to prevail, including staff shake-ups and surging of forces."


"Your intention to win must be forcefully communicated, not just because it is preferable to losing, but because the alternative to victory in this War for the Free World is unacceptable."

Read on...


How Sandy Berger Stole State Secrets, Destroyed Evidence & Got Off
By Joel Mowbray
"With the release of an internal investigation last week, we now know that former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger not only knowingly flouted laws for handling classified documents, but he also went to incredible lengths to cover his tracks and thwart investigators.

While Berger's 'punishment' was a pittance of a fine, former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin has been financially ruined and sentenced to 12 and a half years for passing along far less-classified information to unauthorized third parties.

National Security Adviser Sandy Berger briefs reporters at the White House in this Aug 21, 1998 file photo. Berger removed classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 and hid them under a construction trailer, the Archives inspector general reported Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Unfortunately, disproportionate justice is inherent to the legal system. The written playbook might be the same for various cases, but different judges and different dynamics can lead to dramatically disparate results.

But what excuse is there for the wildly different media coverage of the two cases, both of which came to public attention in the summer of 2004?" More Sandy 'Burglar'.


Spreading the misery
By David Limbaugh
"One of the first actions the new Democratic congressional majority took was to change legislative rules, implemented by the 1994 Republican-controlled Congress, that made it difficult to raise taxes. I suppose the Democrats' apparent plan to increase taxes on 'the rich' won't count as a broken campaign promise not to raise taxes since 'the rich' aren't entitled to any rights, only to scorn, jealousy and resentment.

The Contract with America provision required a supermajority or 60 percent to increase taxes, but the Democrats' rule change will now permit a tax hike on a simple majority vote. It will also give the Democrats an advantage in preventing Republicans from extending the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire in a few years. Democrats removed any doubt that this was an accidental development when they rejected a motion by Minority Leader John Boehner to bar the rule change.

It would be one thing if Democrats were solely motivated here by fiscal concerns: balancing the budget, eliminating the deficit and reducing the national debt. But we know better than that because they understand that the president's tax cuts, like President Kennedy's and President Reagan's, increased federal revenues.

Moreover, they can't help but realize that President Bush's tax-cut-driven economic boom has now caused dramatic reductions in the deficits. But to admit such things would be to forfeit class warfare as a demagogic weapon, one of their best remaining tools to bludgeon heartless Republicans." More Limbaugh.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Russians turn off Europe's oil supply

Britain - Times Online:
  • Alarm at Moscow's strong-arm tactics
  • Merkel tells The Times 'we need secure energy'
Europe’s oil supplies from Russia were being held to ransom last night as the Kremlin fell into bitter dispute with a former Soviet satellite state.

Moscow abruptly halted millions of barrels of oil destined for the EU via Belarus in an increasingly hostile wrangle with its neighbour.

The move raised further questions over whether Western Europe can trust Mr Putin for its energy supply. Experts said that Russia had a deeply entrenched habit of manipulating oil and gas supplies as a substitute for diplomatic policy."

Gov. seeks sweeping health system reforms

Los Angeles Times: "SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today proposed upending just about every portion of the healthcare industry in one of the country's most elaborate efforts at holding down medical costs and expanding insurance to those who don't have it.

Schwarzenegger's plan, which he publicly unveiled at noon, would require employers with 10 workers or more to buy insurance for their workers or pay a fee of 4% of their payroll into a program to help provide coverage for the uninsured.

Schwarzenegger would tax doctors 2% of their gross revenue and place a 4% tax on hospitals. He campaigned for reelection on an anti-tax platform, but his administration argues that so many more people would have insurance that medical providers would make more money.

The governor also wants to ban insurers from refusing to offer coverage to some individuals because of their prior medical conditions. Insurers would also have to spend at least 85% of their premium revenues on patient care, a move that would limit the amount companies spend on administrative costs and profits."

U.S. Strikes Al Qaeda In Somalia

U.S. Strikes Al Qaeda In Somalia, CBS News Learns Air Strikes Were Aimed At Alleged Al Qaeda Members Linked To 1998 Embassy Bombings

(CBS/AP) A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports exclusively.

The targets included the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, Martin reports. Those terror attacks killed more than 200 people."
CBS News


“Democrats now face the same temptations that power always brings and the same pressures from their liberal interest groups that Republicans faced 12 years ago from their conservative interest groups. Unlike the Republicans, however, Democrats promised to behave differently. They claimed to have learned their lessons from the way they used to treat Republicans—and the way Republicans treated them. Apparently they will not be different, at least not until they push through their agenda that includes a minimum wage increase and ethics reform. It is ethics reform that will—and should—receive the most attention. Voters have not trusted government for some time and the polls show their approval ratings for Congress are even lower than President Bush’s approval numbers. The House will first consider ethics rules for itself and next month plans to take up bipartisan lobbying reform legislation... that would create an Office of Public Integrity to help enforce the new rules. Will the Democratic leadership live up to the public’s expectations, or down to their political lower natures? Democrats have a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves and restore public confidence. For the sake of the national interest, I’m hoping they rise to that occasion, but politicians being who and what they are, I’m betting they’ll yield to temptation and conduct business as usual. But for the country’s sake, I hope I’m wrong.” —Cal Thomas


“The evidence is overwhelming that the Founders were religious people who wanted a religious country that enshrined liberty for all its citizens, including those of different religions and those of no faith. But our educational institutions, especially the universities, are populated almost exclusively by secular individuals and books who seek to cast America’s past and present in their image. Are we a Judeo-Christian country with liberty for people of every, and of no, faith? Or are we a secular country that happens to have within it a large number of individuals who hold Judeo-Christian values?... If America abandons its Judeo-Christian values basis and the central role of the Jewish and Christian Bibles, its Founders’ guiding text, we are all in big trouble, including, most especially, America’s non-Christians. Just ask the Jews of secular Europe.” —Dennis Prager


“Military success on the ground now demands that we expand the rules of engagement to allow our troops to shoot more of the jihadists, disarm the militias, train even more Iraqis troops to take over security more quickly, and seal the Syrian and Iranian borders. This solution, of course, is easier said than done. The military must use more force against those who are destroying Iraqi democracy at precisely the time the American public has become exasperated with both the length and human cost of the war. Imagine this war as a sort of grotesque race. The jihadists and sectarians win if they can kill enough Americans to demoralize us enough that we flee before Iraqis and Afghans stabilize their newfound freedom. They lose if they can’t. Prosperity, security and liberty are the death knell to radical Islam. It’s that elemental.”

Victor Davis Hanson

[T]he importance of piety and religion; of industry and frugality; of prudence, economy, regularity and an even government; all... are essential to the well-being of a family.”
Samuel Adams

Latest U.N. sanctions won't deter Iran

The Virginian-Pilot - HamptonRoads.com/PilotOnline.com: "Four months after the deadline passed, a unanimous United Nations Security Council has finally imposed sanctions against Iran for its continuing efforts to build nuclear weapons. The punishment won't matter one bit.

That's by design. Our problem solving Iran's nuclear threat is that our problem isn't Iran. The problem is too many countries with short-term economic interests look the other way. Both China and Russia sit on the Security Council and wield vetoes. Russia wants to be able to sell nuclear reactors to Iran, and China wants access to oil. Both used their positions to water down the sanctions into irrelevance."

Scarlet Fever Spreads in North Korea’s Eastern Area

Daily NK: "It has been revealed that in the midst of an epidemic of Scarlet Fever spreading in Yangkang and Hamkyung Provinces, North Korean authorities stopped the activities of merchants by taking steps to prohibit travel, and daily lives are being severely impacted in December 2006.

North Korean authorities are currently taking steps to blockade those regions where Scarlet Fever has broken out."

Gas-Like Odor Worries Workers Across NYC

BREITBART.COM: "NEW YORK (AP) -- Authorities were investigating the source of a mysterious gas-like odor Monday that stretched across a large part of Manhattan.

The Fire Department began getting calls about the odor around 9 a.m. Monday, said spokesman Tim Hinchey. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey suspended some of its PATH commuter train service between New Jersey and Manhattan as a precaution."

Dallas-based food chain to accept Mexican pesos

Dallas Morning News: "Starting Monday, patrons of the Dallas-based Pizza Patrón chain, which caters heavily to Latinos, will be able to purchase American pizzas with Mexican pesos."

Some Immigrants Are Re-Arrested 6 Times

AccessNorthGa.com: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Illegal immigrants who were caught but released in the United States may have been re-arrested as many as six times, Justice Department data released Monday indicates."

Warsaw archbishop resigns

International Herald Tribune: "WARSAW: The newly appointed archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, abruptly resigned Sunday at a Mass meant to celebrate his new position after admitting two days earlier that he had worked with Poland's Communist-era secret police."

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Why John McCain is finished

By Kevin McCullough:

"Why does John McCain hate the GOP?

Furthermore how does he expect to win their support for 2008?

Complaints are many from those of us who might be inclined to support him. He sought to author the end of political free speech with his unconstitutional campaign finance reform efforts. He seems clueless when it comes to one of the issues that his base voters care about – the protection of marriage. And he seems to be forgetting that an energized base is what he will need to win the GOP primaries much less the actual general election for President in the next go around.

In this month’s Vanity Fair John McCain seems to have further twice insulted those he seeks the support of. The ten-page tediously detailed profile delves into the Senator’s inconsistencies on the protection of marriage, his feelings on the war on terror, and his near hostility towards protecting the border.

'I think the fence is least effective. But I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it.'

In those seventeen simple words the “maverick” (which the media invented through him) has all but signed his political death wish. Republicans can not trust McCain, and neither should the nation at large." Read the rest here.

(I will contemplate the idea that our politicians TRULY believe "fences are ineffective" and "virtual fences" are the answer on our borders, and they are not just issuing mealy-mouthed rhetoric, when they themselves have the fences removed wherest they do the work for which they were elected, and have the confidence to use "virtual fences" in their place. -- HH)

Border camera test nets few results
EL PASO — A monthlong test run this fall of a Web site allowing ordinary citizens monitor the border via live video resulted in the apprehension of 10 undocumented immigrants, one drug bust and one interrupted smuggling route.

State officials said that making apprehensions wasn't the goal of the $200,000 border camera tests.

The point was to see whether the idea was feasible — and whether the software and technology worked, Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw said.

"This wasn't designed to tee-up and support (law enforcement) operationally. It never was," McCraw told the El Paso Times for today's editions. "It was designed specifically just to see the technology."

But some border lawmakers said the results made them doubt the efficiency of Gov. Rick Perry's plan to put $5 million worth of cameras on the border. He is set to ask lawmakers to approve the money during the legislative session that will start Tuesday.

Israel Plans Nuke Strike on Iran

"Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said.

Citing what it said were several Israeli military sources, the paper said two Israeli air force squadrons had been training to blow up an enrichment plant in Natanz using low-yield nuclear 'bunker busters.'

Two other sites, a heavy water plant at Arak and a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, would be targeted with conventional bombs, the Sunday Times said.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously last month to slap sanctions on Iran to try to stop uranium enrichment that Western powers fear could lead to making bombs. Tehran insists its plans are peaceful and says it will continue enrichment." Read on.