Thursday, January 26, 2012

Political Digest for January 26, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

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Raid In Somalia: U.S. Military Frees Hostages Held Since October
Excerpt: The same U.S. Navy SEAL unit that killed Osama bin Laden parachuted into Somalia under cover of darkness early Wednesday and crept up to an outdoor camp where an American woman and Danish man were being held hostage. Soon, nine kidnappers were dead and both hostages were freed. (Go Navy. What is really needed is to put a Marine Battalion ashore with orders to exterminate every pirate it can find. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Now We Know Who Was Right about Obama By Karin McQuillan
Excerpt: Now we know. After three years in office and the launching of his second election campaign, we have experienced President Obama's leadership. We can see whom we elected president -- the mystery man of 2008 revealed. Democrats were in ecstasy over the great healer, the multiracial candidate who would bring together red states and blue states, black and white, coasts and flyover country. Republicans saw the man with the most leftist, least bipartisan voting record in Congress being installed in the White House. We now know who was right.

Worth Reading: The Man At The Tire Shop
Excerpt: This nation is filled with men who shuffle, worry, get frustrated and angry about how the government works to hurt their ability to provide meaning to their lives. There are also men who take unemployment as a free ride, uninterested in who is paying for their vacation, leaving the worry of a job to the government who will extend their vacation. Barack Obama has not only killed jobs in the Keystone Pipeline decision, he has killed men’s self-worth. (Nothing more I can add to what Ms. Kuznicki so eloquently wrote. --MasterGuns)

A Brass Age? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: This may be the golden age of presumptuous ignorance. The most recent demonstrations of that are the Occupy Wall Street mobs. It is doubtful how many of these semi-literate sloganizers could tell the difference between a stock and a bond. Yet there they are, mouthing off about Wall Street on television, cheered on by politicians and the media. If this is not a golden age of presumptuous ignorance, perhaps it should be called a brass age. No one has more brass than the President of the United States, though his brass may be more polished than that of the Occupy Wall Street mobs.

Gov. Daniels: Obama is 'pro-poverty'
Excerpt: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) castigated President Obama's policies as "pro-poverty" and extreme in his response to the State of the Union address.
The Indiana governor, who considered a run for the White House before deciding last year against a campaign, knocked Obama for imposing regulations on business and for rejecting the proposed Keystone oil pipeline.

Excerpt: It was that rare event when the GOP response surpassed the actual State of the Union. It was what a sane Republican critique of this presidency would be. It began with a grace note on Obama's courageous assault on bin Laden and the quiet dignity of his family life - avoiding the personal demonization of a well-liked president. There were several shrewd and helpful criticisms of his own side.

Excerpt: That our best leaders, such as Mitch Daniels, who tonight delivered the finest response to a State of the Union ever, have chosen not to serve, leaves the country to the second-raters.

Obama’s State of the Union speech: Confrontation wrapped in Kumbaya
Excerpt: At first listen, President Obama’s State of the Union address had all the hallmarks of the sort of bipartisan, let’s-do-the-right-thing-for-America tone that characterized his 2008 presidential campaign. But, listen closer and a more hard-edged, challenging tone reveals itself— a preview of what the incumbent will likely sound like as he seeks a second term this November.

Obama's State of Omission
Excerpt: Speaking last night from the U.S. Capitol, President Barack Obama described the state of the Union as he sees it -- strong and getting stronger, with future growth fueled by his pursuit of progressive policies and an expansion of government, all architected to bring about his brand of "fairness." The President essentially redelivered his 2011 State of the Union address -- complete with the same empty rhetoric, class warfare cloaked in "fairness," and proposals for massive tax and spending increases. The speech was notable for the items he did not mention, including many of the failed spending programs and policies he undertook over the past three years, the foreign policy and defense challenges he has exacerbated, and the economic actions he failed to take that would have created jobs and spurred economic growth.

Now, GOP ought to be licking its chops By John Podhoretz
Excerpt: Barack Obama doesn’t have his mojo back. Last night’s State of the Union was so pedestrian that even its most provocative sections — proposing new taxes and new witch hunts — had little rhetorical power or oomph. The candidate who suggested his victory in the Texas primary would be remembered as the moment at which the waters of the ocean would literally begin to recede has entirely lost his capacity to inspire — or to frighten his rivals — by his oratorical gifts alone.

Archbishop calls Obama habitual violator of Constitution
Excerpt: Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has recorded a video message bluntly stating that the Obama administration has a habit of advancing policies that violate the U.S. Constitution.

How “Moderate Republicans” Look To MSNBC
Excerpt: I know: why was I even watching MSNBC? Because, she wrote defensively, I watched last night’s NBC debate at a neighbors’ where they were watching MSNBC. There I beheld a far different Howard Fineman than the dark-haired, nattily attired Newsweek Senior Political Correspondent of election cycles past. The 2012 Howard Fineman is identified as with HuffPo and has hair the length of — let’s just say it has that flip at the bottom in the back. No barber shops on the campaign trail, Howie? You can do great interviews and get a haircut in the same place. Just one woman’s perspective.

“This guy shouldn’t have been in America"...Obama's Willie Horton?
Excerpt: Kesler Dufrene, on the other hand, is the direct responsibility of President Obama... According to North Miami detectives, a twice-convicted felon and Haitian illegal alien whose deportation was stayed by the Obama administration murdered three people, including a 15-year-old girl last year.

Rail left at the station in State of the Union
Excerpt: President Obama made no mention of high-speed rail in his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, providing a sharp departure from previous years' speeches in which when he vocally championed a nationwide network of railways. Likely coloring the omission was the fact that Republicans largely put the brakes on Obama's rail initiatives in 2011.

The Great Renewable Energy Scam: Is There A Change in the Wind? by Patrick J. Michaels
Excerpt: People don’t like being forced to purchase things they may not want, which is why over half of us are hoping that the Supreme Court throws out the individual insurance mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care plan. There’s also a worldwide rebellion brewing against being forced to purchase expensive electricity produced by so-called “renewable” sources, now being exacerbated by the availability of very cheap natural gas from shale formations.

High school football players arrested for on-field assault - with photos
Excerpt: Police arrested four Star International Academy seniors Wednesday on aggravated assault charges stemming from an altercation in the team’s last game of the season. The players -- Mohamed Ahmed, Fanar Al-Alsady, Hadee Attia and Ali Bajjey, all age 17 -- are accused of gang-beating Lutheran Westland’s quarterback as time expired in Lutheran’s 47-6 drubbing of Star on Oct. 21. (If four Christian players from a predominately Christian charter school severely beat a Muslim player, it would be reported as a hate crime. ~Bob.)

The Self-Destruction of the Mainstream Media
Excerpt: What has this loyalty to progressive group-think and the Democratic Party wrought for the members of this once-proud profession? The landscape of the once mighty journalism community is one of utter devastation. Since 2001 American newsrooms have lost more than 25 per cent of their full time journalists resulting in a level of employment not seen since the mid-1970's. Just since 2007 over 14,000 have lost their jobs. (I subscribe to The Week, a news magazine which seems to be thriving. It does not, as far as I can tell, take a POV, but presents both sides and lets readers make up their own minds. ~Bob.)

The first Occupy candidate: Nate Kleinman
Excerpt: Nathan Kleinman, a 29-year-old member of the Occupy Philadelphia movement, intends to run for congress in Pennsylvania's 13th district against Democratic incumbent Allyson Schwartz. "The petition gathering period starts today and lasts for three weeks, so I plan to file by then," Kleinman told me over the phone today. "I'll be running in the Democratic primary." (Suggested slogans: “A little pot in every chick.” “A vote for Nate is like crapping on the flag.” “Kleinman: A long record of turning parks into slums.”)

Female driver who defied Saudi motoring ban dies in fatal road accident
Excerpt: A woman who defied a driving ban on female motorists in Saudi Arabia has died in a car crash. Another was hurt in the crash in the only country in the world where females are banned from getting behind the wheel. (Hummmm. What a coincidence. ~Bob.)

State of President Obama's Promise
Great video on tort reform. Please share. ~Bob

Buffett's Railroad to Benefit from Obama Keystone Pipeline Rejection
Excerpt: A railroad largely owned by billionaire Warren Buffett stands to benefit financially from a decision by the Obama administration to reject a major oil pipeline project that would have stretched 1,700 miles south from Canada to refineries in Texas. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to gain from the U.S. State Department's rejection last week of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Buffett is a long-time political and financial supporter of Obama. (Maybe now he’ll be able to afford to give his secretary stock options—or pay his own taxes. ~Bob.)

Haggis wontons? Robbie Burns Night meets Chinese New Year
Excerpt: At this very moment, I bet you’re not thinking about deep-fried haggis wonton for dinner. But then, you’re not Toddish McWong. That’s the famous persona of Todd Wong, a 51-year-old Chinese-Canadian who works as a library assistant in Vancouver. His annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner marks its 15th year next Sunday. An amalgam of traditions for Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Night, the dinner is a celebration of Canadian multiculturalism that has grown in popularity every year. (There’s a spin-off Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Seattle and ambitions to roll them out across Canada.) [Came in on Burns' birthday. ~Bob.]

The Big Chill: Energy Needs Fueling Tensions in the Arctic
Excerpt: The United States devotes much of its diplomatic and military energies to the Middle East today for a very simple reason: The Middle East is the source of much of the world’s energy, and not coincidentally, much of the world’s tensions. Tomorrow’s source of energy reserves and geopolitical tensions may not be the deserts and densely populated urban areas of the Middle East, but rather the icy waters and desolate tundra of the Arctic. … The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic may hold 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 90 billion barrels of oil—30 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13 percent of undiscovered oil (USGS). About a third of the oil is in Alaskan territory (Carroll).

Gingrich says Pelosi is living in a fantasy world
Excerpt: Newt Gingrich said Nancy Pelosi is living in a fantasy world if she thinks she has dirt on him. “She lives in a San Francisco environment of very strange fantasies and very strange understandings of reality," Gingrich said Wednesday as he laughed off the notion that the House minority leader could derail his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. "I have no idea what's in Nancy Pelosi's head," Gingrich said on NBC's "Today" show. "If she knows something, I have a simple challenge: Spit it out." (Pelosi is for Obama. Pelosi is trying to hurt Gingrich in the primaries. Conclusion: Obama prefers to run against Romney. ~Bob.)

States Created Their Public Pension Problems, and States Should Solve Them
Excerpt: Although underfunded state and local government public pension plans pose a very real threat to our national economy, “a federal bailout of the states should be avoided at all costs,” says a new report by the Senate Finance Committee Republican staff.[1] This is an appropriate policy response. The citizens of states that have handled their public pension plans responsibly or made the appropriate changes to reform them should not be asked to bail out states that have acted irresponsibly. … A significant 2010 academic study[2] estimates that 116 major state-sponsored pension plans have assets of about $1.8 trillion—to pay pension promises of between $3.6 trillion and $5.2 trillion. (A significant part of the coming fiscal collapse, covered in my book. ~Bob.)

More Spending Doesn't Lead to Higher Test Scores
Excerpt: Despite the grim economy, Governor Jerry Brown is asking Californians to approve a $7 billion tax hike. The governor emphasizes that without the increase in spending enabled by higher taxes, public education in the state would face significant cuts. The question for California voters, therefore, is a comparison of the respective benefits of lower taxes and higher education spending, says Andrew J. Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom. In making this decision, voters should look to education spending in the past, and realize from this data that an ever-growing state education budget has done little to improve educational outcomes as measured by SAT results. Between 1968 (the first year for which the data is available) and 2010, real spending per student increased by 95 percent. This represents increased spending of $27 billion dollars since 1974, adjusting for increased enrollment. In almost the same time span, from 1972 to 2010, SAT scores among California high school student dropped by 4 percent, taking into account test rescaling in 1996. (But California also absorbed the children if the illegal immigrant colonizers, who have a different language and a culture not focused on education. That could also create a drop. ~Bob.)

Iran preparing now for Armageddon: Select fighters being described as 'Soldiers of Imam Mahdi' By Reza Kahlili
Excerpt: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has held several secret meetings with his economic and military advisers in recent days to prepare for the possibility of war with the United States. Sources report the preparations are to include the execution of those Iranians who oppose the regime. Khamenei has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events.

'Operation Fast And Furious': Jacob Chambers, Jacob Montelongo Plead Guilty In Weapon Smuggling Scandal
Excerpt: The goal of the federal government's investigation was to catch weapons-trafficking kingpins, but firearms agents lost track of many weapons they were trying to trace to smuggling ringleaders, and some guns ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. (...) Several agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have said they were ordered by superiors to let suspected straw buyers walk away from Phoenix-area gun shops with AK-47s and other weapons believed headed for Mexican drug cartels, rather than arrest the buyers and seize the guns there. The federal agency lost track of some 1,400 of the more than 2,000 weapons whose purchases attracted the suspicion of the Fast and Furious investigators. (Okay. Say you’re a liberal publication that still retains a little bit of integrity. Telling outright lies isn’t allowed. An administration you support has screwed up badly resulting in deaths. How do you report the story when the first of the perpetrators pleads guilty without casting blame on the administration? By wording your coverage very carefully. There is nothing here that would indicate this “plot” originated within the government or that it was known and supported at the highest levels. If you didn’t already know what was going on, you still wouldn’t after reading this. This article is a jewel of not-quite-information designed to leave you uninformed while looking like information. Ron P.)

Good Column: You're right Mr. President, We Need More 'Fairness' by Michael Bargo Jr.
Excerpt: Thank you Mr. President, for bringing up the issue of fairness. I'm sure that's important to many people. One curious thing, though, with regard to the application of "fairness" it seems that all the recommendations you have, are decided by the government. Who decides what is fair? Here's some suggestions: The average Federal employee can be paid no more than the average American employee, currently $42K a yr. Wouldn't that be fair? And the highest amount paid to any retired Federal employee should be no more than the highest Social Security monthly amount. Wouldn't that be fair?

Nigeria arrests dozens of Boko Haram suspects in Kano
Excerpt: Nigerian forces have arrested 158 suspected members of the Islamist Boko Haram organisation in raids in the northern city of Kano. Boko Haram said it carried out a series of bombings in Kano on Friday in which at least 185 people died. The group says it wants to overthrow the Nigerian government and impose Islamic law.

Planning Genocide in Plain Sight by Lawrence Kadish
Excerpt: When a group of high-ranking Nazi bureaucrats sat down 70 years ago today (Jan. 20, 1942), they didn't plot the death of 6 million Jews; they aimed at 11 million. Dubbed the Wannsee Conference, after its location, it was chaired by SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, who brought together some of the most efficient managers of mass murder history has ever seen.

The Real State of the Union John Stossel
Excerpt: Has Barack Obama learned nothing in three years? Last night, during his State of the Union address, he promised "a blueprint for an economy." But economies are crushed by blueprints. An economy is really nothing more than people participating in an unfathomably complex spontaneous network of exchanges aimed at improving their material circumstances. (People reject facts that go against the under pinning of their religious faith. And Obama’s faith is not Islam or Black Liberation Theology, but secular statism. ~Bob.)

Obama's Green Robber Barons--Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: Had enough of fat cat Barack Obama, his jet-setting wife and his multi-millionaire Chicago consigliere/real-estate mogul Valerie Jarrett attacking the "rich"? Well, brace yourselves. You'll be hearing much more from the White House about the "wealthy few" who aren't paying their "fair share" as Obama's re-election campaign doubles down on class-war demagoguery.

How Green Became Obama's Albatross: The president is trapped by his own rhetoric amid America's energy boom.
Excerpt: Barack Obama may believe a lot of things, but he probably doesn't believe the Sierra Club is key to his re-election. His decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline will cost him votes but he did it anyway. We'll admit that Mr. Obama's global warming talk has often seemed to us perfunctory.

Showdown at the Strait of Hormuz By Arthur Herman
Excerpt: The build-up of the crisis in the Strait of Hormuz took another big step this weekend, when the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln entered the Persian Gulf together with British and French naval escorts — defying Iran’s warnings not to send another carrier there. The Lincoln is there in case Iran tries to make good on its threat to close that vital international waterway in response to harsh new US and European Union sanctions against the radical Islamicist regime. What happens next in this high-stakes game depends on three people.

National Poll: Gingrich 35%, Romney 28%, Santorum 16%, Paul 10%
Excerpt: After his game-changing win in South Carolina, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to ride his surge to the front of the pack among likely Republican primary voters nationwide. He now leads Mitt Romney by seven points.

Quotes from the Patriot Post
"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money." --columnist Joseph Sobran (1946-2010)

"Warren Buffett now says that his offer to help pay down the national debt was merely 'symbolic.' Ah ... sorta like an Obama 'stimulus' program." --Fred Thompson

Obama Uses Same Lines from 2010, 2011
Excerpt: The Republican National Committee has compiled this video comparing lines President Obama used tonight in his State of the Union Address with lines he used in previous addresses before Congress:

The Three Reasons Mitt Is More Electable Than Newt

The Three Reasons Newt Is More Electable Than Mitt

Interesting: We’re Fighting Over Two Guys and Neither Side Thinks the Other Can Win
Excerpt: The fight has gotten so bitter and acrimonious with only three states chosen because neither side thinks the other side can win. Gingrich supporters understand that the secularists in the media — not the Democrats, but the media to the extent it can be separated from the Obama Machine — will spend six months creeping out independent suburban voters about Mormons, holy underwear, Kolob, postmortem baptism, and views on black people and then, as the coup de grace, Barack Obama will fire up millions of dollars of ads on Bain Capital raiding pension funds forcing the government to cover the debt so Mitt Romney could make millions whether he won or lost a deal. Romney supporters understand Newt Gingrich will open his mouth. … Surely there is someone out there that both the Romney supporters and Newt supporters can agree on who is not named either Romney or Newt.

Failed treasury auction portends Egyptian disaster
Excerpt: Investors bought less an a third of the 3.5 billion Egyptian pounds (US$580 million) worth of Treasury bills offered to the market on January 22, a red flag warning that Egypt's foreign exchange position is close to the brink. Yields on Egyptian government debt maturing in nine months jumped to nearly 16%, but the government could not place its local-currency debt to Egyptian investors, even at that exorbitant rate. This is a new and ominous decline in the financial position of the most populous Arab country. (Maybe Israel will give them a bailout? More likely, Obama will borrow money from China to give them. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Pretty much everyone, except Callista and his daughters, believes Newt Gingrich isn’t a very nice guy. I felt like his multiple marriages and “angry little attack muffin” persona as Peggy Noonan called him would be a deal breaker. I am coming to believe his impatience with the bullshit and general grumpiness is the reason people like Gingrich.

Big Labor's Wisconsin Vendetta: Walker's reforms are saving money, which unions cannot forgive.
Excerpt: If they do make the ballot and cause a recall vote as early as this spring, they'll have to campaign against reforms that have already saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and rescued the state from a budget crisis. Game on. Since last summer, unions have fired every weapon in their arsenal at Mr. Walker and state senators who voted for his collective-bargaining reforms for government workers. Union members must now contribute a very reasonable 5.8% of salary toward pensions and 12.6% toward health insurance, and unions must collect dues from members, rather than having it done by the government.

My Congress Critter—she’d scunner a sow. ~Bob. This morning, Rep. Jan Schakowsky appeared on the Don Wade and Roma show on WLS-AM Chicago to comment on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Schakowsky praised the president’s green energy initiatives, claiming that the (recalled) Chevy Volt “is doing pretty well” and defending Obama’s failed investment in Solyndra.

Excerpt: Obama's SOTU addresses have the lowest average Flesch-Kincaid score of any modern president; Obama owns three of the six lowest-scoring addresses since FDR. (Not his fault. The teleprompter didn’t finish high school. ~Bob.)

Straight-Shooter Jon Stewart: I Can't Believe Mitt Romney Makes $57,000 Per Day
That's So Much More Unbelievable Than My Own $41,000 Per Day

Excerpt: House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses. Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong. After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated.

VIDEO: Newt on Pelosi: Frankly, I'd rather have her threaten me than endorse me. - Jeff Poor, Daily Caller

Barack Obama's Not-So-Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Excerpt: Maybe the problem is that Obama believes there is nothing the government can’t do better than the private sector. But time and again, experience has proved this assumption wrong. In 2010, the South Carolina Department of Education privatized four schools that were 98% black in enrollment. In the space of one year, math scores on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standardized test (PASS) increased on average by 11%.

Friends of the Earth's Tony Juniper asks: Why isn't Lord Lawson Dead Yet? - James Delingpole, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: I'm sure Lord Lawson can take consolation from the words of his old boss Margaret Thatcher: "I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." Never were these words truer than in the case of the climate change debate. The alarmists simply haven't got a leg to stand on, so the best they can do to shore up the ruins of their collapsing cause is to engage in ad homs, appeals to authority and utterly dishonest campaigns like the current Guardian-encouraged witch-hunt to try to force the Global Warming Policy Foundation to reveal its sources of funding.

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