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Tags: Jews | Shift | to | GOP | Ann Coulter | Egypt | Food Stamps

Jews Shift to GOP; Ann Coulter on Tape; Climate Hysteria

By    |   Sunday, 05 February 2012 03:27 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Jewish Voters Shifting Toward GOP
2. Scientists Blast 'Incontrovertible' Global Warming Claims
3. U.S. Drops to 47th on Press Freedom Index
4. Iran Launches Spanish-Language TV Channel
5. Recession Leaving Cargo Fleets High and Dry
6. We Heard: Ann Coulter, Egypt, Food Stamps

1. Jewish Voters Shifting Toward GOP

Jewish voters have been turning away from the Democratic Party and moving toward stronger support of Republicans over the last three years, a new poll from the Pew Research Center reveals.

In 2008, 72 percent of Jews identified themselves as Democrats or said they leaned toward the Democratic Party, giving Democrats a 52 percentage point advantage over Republicans.

But in 2011, support for Democrats had dropped to 65 percent, and GOP backing had risen from 20 percent to 29 percent, meaning Jewish voters prefer Democrats by a "significantly smaller 36-point margin," Pew observed.

The Research Center stated: "Jewish voters, who have traditionally been and remain one of the strongest Democratic constituencies, have moved noticeably in the Republican direction.

"While the majority of Jews are still Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, Democrats' dominance among this group has weakened since the last presidential election. In fact, Jews are the only religious group analyzed in which the percentage who identify themselves as Republican (as opposed to leaning toward the GOP) has risen significantly."

Commenting on the Pew survey, Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement: "This notable analysis from the unimpeachable professionals at the Pew Research Center shows a significant shift in Jewish political identification — a shift toward Republicans and away from Democrats. This was not the softer move of more Jewish respondents saying that they 'lean' Republican, but a solid shift in Jewish self-identification as Republicans.

"We had the strong Jewish vote for Republican Bob Turner in the special election in New York's 9th district last year. The American Jewish Committee poll in the fall of 2011 showed a significant erosion in Jewish support for President Obama. In that poll, for the first time, a plurality or majority of Jewish respondents disapproved of the president's handling of key issues such as the economy and the U.S.-Israel relationship.

"These facts reinforce the case we have been making that the Republicans are making political inroads in the Jewish community."

Editor's Note:

2. Scientists Blast 'Incontrovertible' Global Warming Claims

An editorial signed by 16 prominent scientists in the Wall Street Journal takes sharp issue with calls for drastic action against global warming, asserting that the threat is far from "incontrovertible" as alarmists claim.

"A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about 'global warming,'" the article states.

"Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed."

The scientists point to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, who resigned from the American Physical Society in September due to the organization's position that the evidence for global warming is "incontrovertible" and the threat requires "mitigating actions" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The 16 scientists — including Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, and William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton — say in the Journal piece: "In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the 'pollutant' carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever.

"The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts."

The "most inconvenient" fact cited by the scientists is the lack of global warming over the past 10 years.

Also, in the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change began issuing projections, warming has consistently been less than predicted.

This suggests that "computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2," the Op-Ed article states.

Why then does the call for action against global warming persist? The scientists say: Follow the money.

"Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow," they declare.

"Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet."

They conclude: "Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy.

"Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of 'incontrovertible' evidence."

Other scientists who signed the editorial include aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Michael Kelly, professor of technology at the University of Cambridge; and Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at Rockefeller University.

P.S.: Temperatures in some areas in Europe on Thursday sank to minus 26.5 F. Parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea.

Editor's Note:

3. U.S. Drops to 47th on Press Freedom Index

Go figure: The United States ranks only 47th among 179 nations in the 10th Annual Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders — lower than such nations as Jamaica, Mali, Niger, El Salvador, and Papua New Guinea.

Reporters Without Borders is a France-based nongovernmental organization whose contributors include an institute funded by left-wing financier George Soros.

The index this year drops the United States from 20th last year to No. 47, due to "the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests," the organization states on its website.

"More than 25 [journalists] were subjected to arrests and beatings at the hands of police who were quick to issue indictments for inappropriate behavior, public nuisance or even lack of accreditation."

Finland and Norway top the list in a tie for the best press freedom grade this year, followed by Estonia, the Netherlands, and Austria.

"This year's index finds the same group of countries at its head, countries such as Finland, Norway and Netherlands that respect basic freedoms," the website states. "This serves as a reminder that media independence can only be maintained in strong democracies and that democracy needs media freedom."

At the bottom of the list are North Korea, Eritrea, and Turkmenistan, "absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties." The next three nations with the lowest grade, Syria, Iran, and China, "seem to have lost contact with reality as they have been sucked into an insane spiral of terror."

Other disclosures from this year's report:

  • Following the Arab Spring uprisings, Tunisia rose 30 places to 134th in the index, while Bahrain fell 29 places to 173rd because of its relentless crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. Egypt fell 39 places to 166th.
  • The eight countries with the highest grades are all in Europe. Canada is highest in North America at No. 10.
  • But not all European nations are highly rated for press freedom. Montenegro is 107th, Albania 96th, Macedonia 94th, Bulgaria 80th, Greece 70th, and Italy 61st. Belarus is 168th.
  • Costa Rica is the highest-ranked nation in Latin America, at No. 19.
  • Pakistan, ranked 151st, was the world's deadliest nation for journalists for the second year in a row.
  • Qatar, home of the Al-Jazeera news service, is ranked No. 114.
  • The African nation of Niger achieved the largest rise this year, 75 places to 29th, due to "a successful political transition."
  • Another African nation, Malawi, fell 67 places to 146th because of the "totalitarian tendencies" of its president.
  • Other countries that ranked low include Vietnam, Yemen, Sudan, Burma, and Cuba.

"Many countries are marked by a culture of violence toward the media that has taken a deep hold," the website observes.

"It will be hard to reverse the trends in these countries."

Editor's Note:

4. Iran Launches Spanish-Language TV Channel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has officially launched a Spanish-language satellite TV channel, saying it will be "a means for better ties between the people and governments of Iran and Spanish-speaking nations."

Hispan TV will broadcast news, documentaries, movies and Iranian films 24 hours a day. The channel had been on the air on a trial basis since October with a 16-hour daily program, The Guardian reported.

Ahmadinejad also said during a ceremony in Tehran marking the launch: "The new channel will limit the ground for supremacy of dominance seekers," an obvious reference to the United States and the West.

He ended his speech in Spanish: "Vive America Latina!"

The launch follows Ahmadinejad's January visit to Latin America, which included stops in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. It also comes as the United States and Europe are imposing tougher sanctions on Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Since Ahmadinejad's election in 2005, Iran has opened new embassies in six Latin American countries, while Iran's state-run Press TV has been increasing its presence in the region, with correspondents in Venezuela and Brazil.

Editor's Note:

5. Recession Leaving Cargo Fleets High and Dry

The global shipping industry is in such doldrums that hundreds of cargo ships have been idled — even as new bulk carriers continue to be built.

The empty ships are parked at anchor largely off Singapore, Hong Kong and the coast of Malaysia, while newly built freighters float empty near the shipyards of China and South Korea — which account for more than 70 percent of the shipbuilding market — their owners reluctant to accept delivery during the downturn.

As recently as two months ago, bulk carriers hauling commodities like iron ore or grain were charging charter rates of $14,000 a day. But the going rate is now down to $6,000 a day — if customers can be found, The New York Times reports.

The blame to a considerable extent falls on the global economic downturn of recent years. But an oversupply of ships is also weighing heavily on the industry.

Many new ships were ordered during the global commodity boom that continued through part of 2008. Because of the long lead times in shipbuilding, those ships are now being delivered into a world economy that no longer needs them.

Some 1,600 large freighters for bulk commodities are scheduled for completion in shipyards this year alone, according to The Times.

The selling price of existing ships has plummeted with the shrinking demand for cargo space. A large tanker that sold for $137 million in early 2008 was repossessed by bankers late last year and sold for just over $28 million.

And with freight rates now close to operating costs for many freighters, ship owners are increasingly unable to pay back loans taken out for construction. European banks now hold about $500 billion in shipping loans and could suffer $100 billion in losses to restructure them.

No one is predicting a turnaround anytime soon. Tim Huxley, chief executive of a Hong Kong-based shipping line with more than two dozen bulk freighters and tankers, told The Times: "If the tunnel is 2012, I can't see any light at the end of it."

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT a year-old video of a speech by Ann Coulter is now making the rounds on the Internet, showing the conservative pundit warning that the nomination of Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential candidate will lead to a Democratic victory in November.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011, Coulter said: "If we don't nominate [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose."

Flash forward to the present day: Coulter has changed her stance and now supports Romney's candidacy. She has even penned a column titled "Three Cheers for Romneycare."

She writes: "One difference between the healthcare bills is that Romneycare is constitutional and Obamacare is not."

THAT comedians in post-revolutionary Egypt aren't laughing after one of the nation's most beloved comics was sentenced to three months in jail for "defaming Islam."

A court handed down the decision against Adel Imam for a 2007 movie in which he plays a corrupt businessman who tries to buy a university diploma, the Ahram Online English website reported. The film included a scene with bearded Muslim men wearing traditional Islamic robes.

Imam was sentenced in absentia, and his whereabouts are reportedly unknown.

THAT a majority of Americans believe that food stamp recipients should be fingerprinted to be eligible for the benefits, according to a new poll.

The survey by Rasmussen Reports found that 53 percent of respondents think recipients should be fingerprinted, while 36 percent disagree and 11 are undecided.

The issue has come to the fore in New York City recently. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in favor of the current policy requiring fingerprinting while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to end the practice.

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Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Sunday, 05 February 2012 03:27 PM
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