Netanyahu Urges International 'Red Lines' to Stop Iran
September 2, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers on Sunday to set a "clear red line" for Tehran's atomic activities and said they had failed to convince it of their resolve to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms.
Netanyahu's remarks suggested a growing Israeli impatience with its main ally, the United States, and other countries that have been pressing him to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work and hold off on any go-it-alone Israeli strike on Iran.
"I believe the truth must be stated: The international community is not placing a clear red line for Iran and Iran does not see international resolve to stop its nuclear program," Netanyahu told his cabinet.
"Unless Iran sees this clear red line and this clear resolve it will not stop moving forward with its nuclear program, and Iran must not have nuclear weapons," he said in broadcast remarks.
Although Netanyahu did not single out the United States or U.S. President Barack Obama in his criticism, Israeli officials have said they hope for stronger language from the president about possible U.S. military action.
Obama, who has had a frosty relationship with Netanyahu, has insisted he will not allow Iran to build atomic weapons and that all options are on the table.
On Saturday Tzachi Hanegbi, an influential former Israeli legislator and a Netanyahu confidant, said "the rhetoric of the U.S. president is too vague, very amorphous" and Iran was not taking Obama's words seriously.
In a U.S. election year, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has also sharply criticized Obama's handling of Iran as not being tough enough.
Tehran says it is refining uranium to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants so that it can export more of its oil and gas. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of a covert bid to develop the capability to make nuclear bombs.
Israel, believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, views a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence.
Netanyahu has said he will speak out about the dangers of Iran in an address this month to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. He is also expected to hold talks with Obama during his visit, but no announcement has yet been made.
A senior Israeli official told Reuters last week Netanyahu would seek a firm pledge of U.S. military action if Iran did not back down on uranium enrichment. Such a promise could dissuade Israel from attacking Iran alone, Israeli officials have said.
A United Nations report said on Thursday that Iran had more than doubled the number of centrifuges in its fortified bunker at Fordow since May, showing it was still expanding its nuclear program despite Western pressure and threat of Israeli attack. The new machines are not yet operating, the report said.
"The report confirms what I have been saying for a long time, international sanctions are a burden on Iran's economy but they are not in any way delaying the advancement of Iran's nuclear program," Netanyahu told his cabinet, in public remarks opening the meeting.
"The Iranians are using the talks with the world powers to win time and to advance their nuclear program," he said.
Read more: http://goo.gl/qIcKj
Entitlement Transfers Have Increased 727% in Last 50 Years
by Heather Ginsberg
September 2, 2012
In a new analysis from The Wall Street Journal we see that entitlement programs have grown at an average rate of 4% each year since 1960.
The growth of entitlement payments over the past half-century has been breathtaking. In 1960, U.S. government transfers to individuals totaled about $24 billion in current dollars, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. By 2010 that total was almost 100 times as large. Even after adjusting for inflation and population growth, entitlement transfers to individuals have grown 727% over the past half-century, rising at an average rate of about 4% a year.
In 2010 alone, government at all levels oversaw a transfer of over $2.2 trillion in money, goods and services. The burden of these entitlements came to slightly more than $7,200 for every person in America. Scaled against a notional family of four, the average entitlements burden for that year alone approached $29,000.
What happened to the days of limited government? Wasn’t the American government founded on the idea of governing the people, not stepping into their lives every day to provide them with handouts? Since when was the major job of the federal government to protect, manage and finance the entitlement empire?
Read more: http://goo.gl/VwJvj
With landmark lawsuit, Barack Obama pushed banks to give subprime loans to Chicago’s African-Americans
by Neil Munro
September 3, 2012
President Barack Obama was a pioneering contributor to the national subprime real estate bubble, and roughly half of the 186 African-American clients in his landmark 1995 mortgage discrimination lawsuit against Citibank have since gone bankrupt or received foreclosure notices.
As few as 19 of those 186 clients still own homes with clean credit ratings, following a decade in which Obama and other progressives pushed banks to provide mortgages to poor African Americans.
The startling failure rate among Obama’s private sector clients was discovered during The Daily Caller’s review of previously unpublished court information from the lawsuit that a young Obama helmed as the lead plaintiff’s attorney.
Since the mortgage bubble burst, some of his former clients are calling for a policy reversal.
“If you see some people don’t make enough money to afford the mortgage, why would you give them a loan?” asked Obama client John Buchanan. “There should be some type of regulation against giving people loans they can’t afford.”
Banks “were too eager to lend to many who didn’t qualify,” said Don Byas, another client who saw banks lurch from caution to bubble-inflating recklessness.
“I don’t care what race you are. … You need to keep financial wisdom [separate] from trying to help your people,” said Byas, an autoworker.
Nonetheless, Obama has pursued the same top-down mortgage lending policies in the White House.
Obama’s lawsuit was one element of a national “anti-redlining” campaign led by Chicago’s progressive groups, who argued that banks unfairly refused to lend money to people living within so-called “redlines” around African-American communities. The campaign was powered by progressives’ moral claim that their expertise could boost home ownership among the United States’ most disadvantaged minority, African-Americans.
Progressive activists’ ambition instead contributed greatly to a housing bubble that burst in 2007, crashed the nation’s economy in 2008, wiped out at least $4 trillion in equity, kept unemployment above 8 percent for four years, and damaged the intended beneficiaries of looser mortgage lending standards.
In the White House, Obama has continued to intensify regulatory pressure on banks to provide more risky loans to African-Americans and Latinos. He has used lawsuits to fund his allies. And taxpayers are now unwittingly contributing to a re-inflation of housing prices.
Read more: http://goo.gl/hnQ4b