Hezbollah Expands in Latin America; ‘South California’ Touted as 51st State

Sunday, 17 Jul 2011 01:12 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Hezbollah Gaining Strength in Latin America
2. Heritage Foundation: 6 Steps Toward Job Creation
3. 'South California' Proposed as 51st State
4. House Kills Democrat's Styrofoam Ban
5. We Heard: Bachmann, Perry, Trump, Barbour, More
 

1. Hezbollah Gaining Strength in Latin America

The Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah is expanding its influence in Latin America with the aid of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, according to testimony before the Committee on Homeland Security.

At a July 7 committee meeting, Roger Noriega — former American ambassador to the Organization of American States — said Hezbollah has been establishing alliances with Mexican and other drug cartels.

Noriega told the committee that the Venezuelan government is encouraging Hezbollah activities in several Latin American nations. A key operative in the Hezbollah network, he pointed out, is the second highest ranked diplomat in the Venezuelan embassy in Syria, Ghazi Nassereddine.

Nassereddine, who was born in Lebanon, reportedly manages a network that raises and launders money and trains operatives to expand Hezbollah's influence in Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

Noriega also noted that an Iranian overseer of Hezbollah is Mohsen Rabbani, who is wanted by Argentinian prosecutors for his role in the 1992 and 1994 terrorist attacks against the Israeli embassy and the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires.

"Noriega's main point seems to be that the presence of Hezbollah in the region has metastasized," Luis Fleischman observed in The Americas Report, a project of the Center for Security Policy.

"As a result of the support Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and others are giving to the terrorist organization, a more active role for Hezbollah should be expected in the future."

Also appearing before the committee was Douglas Farah, senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. He said Hezbollah is helping to build tunnels used by drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexican border.

These tunnels could be used to smuggle terrorists and weapons of mass destruction into the United States, he warned.

Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, told the committee that Hezbollah has established terrorist training camps in Venezuela and is setting up a camp in Mexico to illegally infiltrate operatives into the U.S.

According to Berman, Hezbollah already has a presence in 15 American cities.

Berman said: "Over the past decade, Hezbollah's regional activities have shown a clear pattern of targeting U.S. interests and assets throughout Latin America."

Editor's Note:



2. Heritage Foundation: 6 Steps Toward Job Creation

The recession officially ended in June 2009, but job creation is still slow — and could remain slow for many years to come, according to The Heritage Foundation.

But the foundation offers six steps that Congress and the administration can take to encourage lasting job creation.

The deep recession that began in 2008 pushed unemployment above 10 percent as employers shed more than 8 million net jobs, according to James Sherk, senior policy analyst in Labor Economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation.

While the recession has officially ended, employment remains 6.9 million jobs below December 2007 peak levels and the unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sherk found that if employers were to add 216,000 net new jobs per month — the job creation rate in 1997, the year of the greatest job creation during the tech bubble — unemployment would still not return to its "natural rate" of 5.2 percent until October 2015.

And if job creation occurs at the same rate as in the 2003-2007 economic expansion, when employers added 176,000 jobs per month, unemployment won't return to the normal rate until January 2018.

But over the past year, employment has grown by an average of only 122,000 jobs per month.

"If job growth continues at this rate, then the unemployment rate in January 2021 would stand at 7.4 percent," Sherk observes.

"At the current rate of recovery, high unemployment will become the new normal."

But Congress and the administration can encourage lasting job creation by fostering a better business climate. To that end, Sherk proposes these steps:

  • Repeal Obamacare and its employer mandates
  • Prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions
  • Pass tort reform to reduce meritless lawsuits
  • Expand trade agreements
  • Permit more domestic energy production
  • Reduce spending to avoid the likelihood of significant tax increases

    Sherk concludes: "Americans do not have to settle for 9 percent unemployment."

    Editor's Note:



    3. 'South California' Proposed as 51st State

    Fed up with California's out-of-control spending and left-leaning policies, one local politician is proposing that 13 mostly conservative counties break away to form the new state of "South California."

    Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone from Temecula, who offered the proposal, called California an "ungovernable" economic catastrophe where taxpayers are crushed by the cost of caring for welfare recipients and illegal aliens, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    On Tuesday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors considered Stone's proposal to host a meeting for city and county leaders to discuss secession, and the board unanimously approved Stone's call for a meeting, which is planned for the fall.

    "This has struck a chord with a lot of people in the state who have suffered economically," Stone told the Times, adding that he has received thousands of emails supporting his proposal.

    "We know it's going to be a challenge to form a second state, but it's not impossible. We're sending a message."

    California faced a $26 billion budget deficit in January, and even with a new austerity budget the state still has a deficit of over $10 billion.

    The new state would consist of the coastal counties San Diego and Orange and the inland counties Riverside, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, San Bernardino, and Tulare. The 13 counties have a combined population of about 13 million, and the proposed 51st state would be the fifth largest by population.

    Republicans account for the majority of registered voters in 11 of the 13 counties.

    A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown called the proposal a laughable political stunt, according to the Times.

    But Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California, told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin: "Although this proposal isn't going to happen, he has drawn attention to the real problem, which is his underlying purpose anyway."

    Editor's Note:



    4. House Kills Democrat's Styrofoam Ban

    Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran proposed an amendment barring congressional cafeterias from using Styrofoam products he claimed were made by backers of conservative causes.

    On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee voted 26 to 18 against the amendment.

    Moran claimed at a college rally in Virginia last month that Republicans in the House were forcing the government to buy Styrofoam cups. He said the cups are not "environmentally sustainable," according to CNSNews, and asserted that they are made by Koch Industries, which is headed by two brothers who support a variety of conservative causes.

    "As soon as the Republicans took over the House of Representatives, they threw out all of the biodegradable utensils we were using in the cafeterias and they required us to buy Styrofoam cups and plates and so on that are manufactured by Dixie and, in fact, this is part of Koch Industries," Moran said.

    In fact, the move to Styrofoam was decided upon by the House cafeterias themselves.

    And had Moran done more research, he might have discovered that the cafeterias use WinCup, not Dixie, as their supplier of disposable cups, bowls, containers and lids.

    WinCup is not owned by Koch Industries, and is actually a competitor of Dixie.

    Editor's Note:



    5. We Heard . . .

    THAT two potential rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will both deliver addresses at a September gathering at Liberty University, the Virginia school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

    Bachmann announced her candidacy last month, and Perry is giving serious consideration to joining the race, The State Column website reported.

    Perry is also scheduled to speak in New Hampshire, the first primary state, in October.

    THAT billionaire Donald Trump has high praise for Newsmax, its CEO Christopher Ruddy and editorial director Steve Coz.

    "Chris Ruddy, Steve Coz and Newsmax in general have done an amazing job in creating a forum for a very important and very current point of view," declared Trump, who said he gave strong consideration to a run for president in 2012.

    "They are great people and above all, great Americans."

    THAT Creators Syndicate has named Jack Newcombe as president and chief operating officer, taking over the president post from his father Rick Newcombe.

    Rick will retain his position as CEO and chairman of the board.

    Los Angeles-based Creators Syndicate, founded in 1987, is one of the largest content syndicators in the world, editing and distributing over 200 features to more than 2,400 newspapers and websites around the globe, including editorial cartoons, comic strips, and editorial columns by Bill O'Reilly, Susan Estrich, John Stossel, Larry Kudlow, Pat Buchanan, and Michelle Malkin.

    "Jack is a phenomenal executive and strategic thinker," Rick Newcombe says. "He is a natural leader with brains, charm and charisma, and he is leading the best staff in the business into a new world of content distribution and syndication. I am proud that Creators Syndicate is a family business and that my son is taking over."

    THAT Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has chosen Leading Authorities as his exclusive lecture agent for speeches in 2012 and beyond.

    "We are excited to be working with one of the most dynamic governors in America and one of the nation's most acclaimed political strategists," the Washington, D.C.-based agency said in a statement.

    Barbour, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, ended speculation that he would seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 by announcing in April that he would not run.

    THAT conservative talk radio host Michael Savage correctly cautioned against rushing to judgment on the guilt of Dominique Strauss-Kahn after he was charged with the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid.

    On May 16, two days after the former director of the International Monetary Fund was arrested in New York, Savage told listeners: "She could have made the whole thing up. I don't know why you're rushing to judgment and crucifying the guy."

    The Manhattan District Attorney's office revealed on July 1 that the 32-year-old maid had lied about her actions with Strauss-Kahn and her personal history, and Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest without bail.

    Note: Newsmax magazine is now available on the iPad. Find us in the App Store.

    Editor's Note:

     


    Editor's Notes:

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