Israeli Expert Says U.S. Must Profile; Bush, Clinton Buddies; Trump Poll

Monday, 22 Nov 2010 12:09 AM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Poll Supports Donald Trump for President
2. Israeli Security Expert: U.S. Must Profile Passengers
3. Bill Richardson: Bill Clinton Still ‘Sore’
4. Seniors See Retirement Woes for Their Children
5. Ethanol Subsidies Called ‘a Pure Waste’
6. George Bush: Bill Clinton and I Are ‘Buddies’
 

1. Poll Supports Donald Trump for President

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump said in October that he is "absolutely thinking about" running for president — and a new poll shows that he would garner strong support if he did.

Star magazine asked its readers: “Donald Trump says he may run for president in 2012. Would you vote for him?”

The result: 71 percent said yes, just 29 percent said no.

The Star poll confirms the results of a recent Newsmax/SurveyUSA poll that showed Trump within striking distance of defeating President Barack Obama in a head-to-head race for the presidency.

The entrepreneur received nearly half the vote, 47 percent. Trump polled strongly among Republicans and conservatives, and got 50 percent of the vote among independents.

Billionaire pharmaceuticals mogul Stewart Rahr, who wants to persuade his friend Trump to challenge Obama in 2012, cited the Star and Newsmax polls in an e-mail to potential supporters that was posted on a Forbes magazine blog.

Rahr wrote: “Donald as many of us know is a natural born leader with outstanding ability to inspire others and to accomplish impossible tasks.”

Editor's Note:



2. Israeli Security Expert: U.S. Must Profile Passengers

As controversy swirls over the use of full-body scanners at U.S. airports, the former security director for Israel’s national airline says airline security in America is an “illusion” and the U.S. should profile passengers to ensure safety.

Isaac Yeffet was security chief for El Al Israel Airlines, which requires every passenger to be interviewed by a well-trained agent before check-in. Agents then perform electronic body scans or searches only on those who arouse suspicions during the interview.

El Al is considered the most secure airline in the world, and has experienced only one hijacking in its history.

Yeffet told CNSNews that American airlines should use “exactly the same system” as El Al.

“Yes, profiling,” he said. “Every passenger has to be interviewed by security. We have to be polite. We know how to ask questions.”

The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration “wants to tell me we now have security in this country — this is an illusion,” Yeffet said.

“Technology in general can never replace a qualified and well-trained human being.”

The El Al approach is in sharp contrast to procedures in America, which call for body scanning every passenger, and patting them down if they opt out of the scan or if something suspicious shows up on the images.

Yeffet said it is unnecessary to search “innocent people,” and security should instead focus on determining if a passenger is suspicious by intensively interviewing them.

“We at El Al have used the hand/body search for so many years, but we did it only to suspicious passengers that were interviewed by us.”

Opponents of adopting El Al’s security approach in the United States say it would violate passengers’ civil rights by allowing some to be more intensely scrutinized than others, CNSNews reported.

But Yeffet says the pre-flight interviews have enabled El Al to identify “the right people that are trying to blow up an aircraft or commit suicide.”

Editor's Note:



3. Bill Richardson: Bill Clinton Still ‘Sore’

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says Bill Clinton is “still a little sore” over Richardson’s endorsement of Barack Obama rather than Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign.

At a Nov. 13 conference in Phoenix, Ariz., Richardson said his relations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are good, but he admitted that he doesn’t have a relationship with former President Clinton and they do not talk.

“Maybe we’ll repair [the relationship], maybe not,” he said.

Richardson was energy secretary and United Nations ambassador in the Clinton administration, but he stunned the Hillary Clinton campaign when he endorsed Obama in March 2008, calling him a “once-in-a-lifetime leader.”

That prompted Clinton adviser James Carville to accuse Richardson of “betrayal.”

Carville said: “Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.”

Editor's Note:



4. Seniors See Retirement Woes for Their Children

By a large majority, American retirees see a bleak future for their children and grandchildren — and doubt if the younger generations will be able to afford retirement, a new poll reveals.

The survey of more than 2,020 retirees was conducted by the advocacy group ProtectSeniors.Org in conjunction with Thomas Mackell Jr., former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Most respondents — 83.8 percent — agreed with the statement: “I have been afforded the opportunity to live and participate in the ‘American Dream.’”

But 89 percent said achieving the American Dream will be more difficult for their children, and 76 percent said it will be more difficult for their grandchildren. Just 1.7 percent said achieving the American Dream will be easier for their children.

“This is a real tragedy,” Mackell said in a statement.

“In the past it was a given that children would enjoy better career and lifestyle opportunities than their parents. That chapter in American life appears to be ending.”

The poll also found that 65 percent of retirees think their children will not be able to afford retirement, and 70 percent believe their grandchildren won’t be able to afford retirement.

“This sentiment reflects the reality of what has been happening for decades,” Mackell said. “As defined benefit pensions are rapidly disappearing from the retirement landscape, there is an overreliance on stock-backed 401(k) plans, which have all the economic stability of a slot machine.”

Mackell served in the late 1990s as a White House appointee to the ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) Advisory Council to the Secretary of Labor.

ProtectSeniors.Org is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization advocating for the health benefit protection of retirees.

Editor's Note:



5. Ethanol Subsidies Called ‘a Pure Waste’

The federal government has been subsidizing ethanol production with a tax credit since 2004, but those subsidies are a waste and should be ended, one expert argues.

The government began offering a tax credit worth 51 cents for each gallon of gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol in 2004, and lowered the credit to 45 cents in 2008.

Last month the Environmental Protection Agency decided to raise the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent for late-model cars.

But the $5 billion in annual subsidies for ethanol made from corn will expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts, and “it’s time to let ethanol subsidies die,” says Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason Magazine and author of the book “Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution.”

He offers several reasons for ending the ethanol subsidy:

● The increased demand for corn to produce ethanol has resulted in a sharp rise in corn prices, increasing food costs for people and animals. Higher feed costs have led farmers to cut their herds — the number of beef cattle in the U.S. fell in July to the lowest level since 1973, and the number of breeding hogs also fell to near record lows.

● Rather than reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, ethanol production techniques actually produce higher levels of emissions than refining and burning ordinary gasoline, according to an analysis by the EPA.

● Despite claims that ethanol will make the United States less dependent on foreign oil, ethanol production has in fact not reduced oil imports.

● The U.S. ethanol market “is so saturated that American refiners are now exporting ethanol-laced gasoline to Europe,” Bailey points out in Reason Magazine. “This exported gasoline still receives the 45 cents per gallon tax credit, so that means U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing European drivers.”

● The ethanol subsidy lowers fuel prices at the pump, encouraging drivers to consume more gasoline, which in turn boosts demand for oil imports and raises oil prices.

Bailey cites a Cornell University economist who shows that the ethanol tax credit is a “pure waste as it involves huge taxpayer costs while increasing greenhouse gas emissions, local pollution, and traffic congestion.”

Bailey urges the lame-duck Congress to “end this fiscal madness” by letting the subsidies expire on Dec. 31.

Editor's Note:



6. George Bush: Bill Clinton and I Are ‘Buddies’

George W. Bush has warm words for the man he replaced in the White House, Bill Clinton, saying the two former presidents are “buddies.”

In a Nov. 14 interview with Bush and his brother Jeb, CNN’s Candy Crowley jokingly asked George: “Your father has said that he looks at Bill Clinton like another son. So who’s been the better brother, Jeb or Bill?”

“I knew that was coming,” Jeb said.

George said: “We’re fond of Bill Clinton. He’s been incredibly gracious to our dad. And if somebody is gracious to our father, he ingratiates himself to us. And we are grateful to Bill Clinton.”

Clinton and George H.W. Bush teamed up to raise money for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and Clinton and George W. teamed up to raise money for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

“Listen, Clinton and I are buddies,” Bush said in the CNN interview. “First of all, we’re born one month apart. We’re now members of the former presidents club. We have done speaking engagements together. And I generally like him.”

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Editor's Notes:

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