Saturday, February 18, 2012

Political Digest for February 18, 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.

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

Lest we forget. ~Bob

Guest Post: Combat Pay

Feds arrest man allegedly heading to U.S. Capitol for suicide mission after sting investigation
Excerpt: The man, in his 30s and of Moroccan descent, was nabbed following a lengthy investigation by the FBI, initiated after he expressed interest in conducting an attack. It's unclear how the FBI learned of his aspirations. The man thought undercover FBI agents assisting him in his plot were associates of Al Qaeda. (More workplace violence. Nothing to do with Islam. Just a coincidence he was a Muslim. Move along. ~Bob.)

F-16s intercept unauthorized small plane, later found to be carrying marijuana stash near Los Angeles
Excerpt: The privately owned Cessna airplane entered the same airspace as Marine One, the helicopter that was ferrying President Obama, around noon. A law enforcement official says police discovered about 40 pounds of marijuana inside after it landed at Long Beach Airport. (Obama kills bin Laden AND wins drug war. Wow. ~Bob.)

Learning from Others’ Mistakes: What Europe’s Experience with Renewable
Mandates and Subsidies can Teach Texas
Excerpt: Italy’s wind and solar power industries have been subject to the same problems that beset Spanish renewables. A study performed by Luciano Lavecchia and Carlo Stagnaro of Itay’s Instituto Bruno Leoni found that “the same amount of capital that creates one job in the green sector, would create 6.9 or 4.8 if invested in the industry or the economy in general, respectively.”15 The authors conclude that only a small percentage of the green jobs created by the subsidies were permanent: (Oh, sure, 6.9 jobs sounds good for the greedy working class families that would have lived off them, but I ask you would they have made Al Gore or Barack Obama feel all green and fuzzy, like bad meat? Answer that before you help working people at the expense of the tender feelings of wealthy greenies. ~Bob.)

Protectionism in your pocket. Bitter Sweet: How Big Sugar Robs You
Excerpt: For decades, sugar beet and sugar cane farmers and processors have been the beneficiaries of a sugar program that stealthily drives up sugar costs—and, consequently, the cost of that heart-shaped box of chocolates. Over the past 30 years, the annual burden on U.S. consumers has averaged over $3 billion in higher food prices. The “no-romance” sugar program has largely been ignored by legislators and groups concerned with tax burdens because there are no direct federal subsidies for the sugar industry. (It’s amazing how many economically-ignorant average folks support protectionist trade barriers that rob them blind, and happily vote for the politicians that stick it to them. ~Bob.)

High-risk insurance pools short on enrollees
Excerpt: When the health care law passed nearly two years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the temporary insurance pools meant to carry the high-risk uninsured until the coverage expansion kicked in would tear through their $5 billion budget in no time. That didn’t happen. The next conventional wisdom was that the pools were ridiculously undersubscribed — although the theories as to why that was the case varied based on whom you asked. Now the conventional wisdom is — there is no conventional wisdom. (Progressives always prefer “equality” to freedom—with Obamacare, they are getting an equality of failure on all fronts. ~Bob.)

Vladimir Putin Deepens Russia's Stake in Syria
Excerpt: The Russian embassy school broke up in mid-term Tuesday, February 14 and the children were sent home - an unusual occurrence which Maria Zakharova, deputy spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, explained as having been prompted by concern for the diplomatic children's safety amid Syria's persistent tensions. That day too, the families of Russian diplomats and other officials in Syria were packed off home.

GM Pays ZERO Corporate Tax
Excerpt: The UAW benefited as well, as they are set to receive $7,000 per worker in profit sharing bonuses. (That’s your wealth they are spreading around to buy votes for BO. ~Bob.)

Gingrich: I Could Lose Georgia
Excerpt: Wrapping up a four-day fundraising swing through California, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich shifted his focus to the state he once represented in Congress but said he’s unsure he can win the Georgia primary. “Look, given this kind of a year, who knows?” Gingrich told reporters outside of a Beverly Hills restaurant when asked if he could lose his home state in the Super Tuesday sweepstakes on March 6. “Romney could lose Michigan. Santorum could lose Pennsylvania. Who knows what’s going to happen?”
John Louis Esposito for the Defense (of an Alleged, Would-be Terrorist) by Stephen Schwartz
Excerpt: Professor John Louis Esposito of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. is one of the most outspoken and prolific defenders of radical Islamist ideology in Western academia. But in addition to his tenured employment in Middle East Studies, Esposito has found a second calling -- as a court expert in the trials of accused Muslim radicals. (Infidels aiding the Jihadists reminds me of the Jewish police in the Warsaw Ghetto rounding up Jews for the camps, in hopes they’d be killed last. ~Bob.)

Risky Business
Excerpt: There’s no question that the economic numbers over the past five months have been significantly better than they were in the first nine months of 2011. They’ve risen from a level at which any president would have a difficult time getting reelected to one that suggests this might be a competitive race that could go either way. But those numbers are in the abstract. The 30-cent surge in gasoline prices in recent months is largely attributable to political instability in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, and it is something that average voters can see, feel, touch, and hate. Don’t be surprised to see anger start bubbling up anytime now.

U.N. votes overwhelmingly to condemn Syrian crackdown
Excerpt: The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution demanding that Syria end its brutal 11-month crackdown on protesters and endorsing an Arab League plan for a political transition that would require President Bashar al-Assad to yield some of his power. The nonbinding resolution is largely symbolic and includes no enforcement provisions. (Nothing like a non-binding UN resolution to strike terror into the hearts of tyrants! ~Bob.)

Top U.S. intelligence officials confirm al Qaida role in Syria
Excerpt: Al Qaida's Iraqi affiliate appears to have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups and was likely responsible for recent suicide bombings in Damascus and the industrial capital of Aleppo, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress Thursday.

Obamanomics Has Failed
Excerpt: Three years ago today, President Barack Obama signed into law his trillion-dollar stimulus plan, a measure that he promised would save or create 3 million jobs by the end of 2010 and would prevent unemployment from ever going above 8 percent. And though the President today will likely claim that thanks to his efforts, the U.S. economy is surging, don't believe him. The verdict is in: Obamanomics has failed. But you don't have to take our word for it. Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report offering an analysis of the last three years of the Obama economy. (Only news because the news media has willfully missed it. ~Bob.)

Pat Buchanan out at MSNBC
Excerpt: MSNBC dropped conservative commentator Pat Buchanan on Thursday, four months after suspending him following the publication of his latest book.
The book "Suicide of a Superpower" contained chapters titled "The End of White America" and "The Death of Christian America." Critics called the book racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic, charges Buchanan denied. (I bought the book, gave up in first chapter when he gets into leftwing economically-ignorant yahooism against trade. So I didn’t get to the other objectionable parts. ~Bob.)

Santorum quote from NRO Morning Jolt with Jim Geraghty
“From where I sit, the worrisome part of Santorum's view is not that he opposes Internet gambling. Off the top of my head, I can think of age restrictions and ID theft as two big reasons to be wary about legalizing gambling on the Internet. The problem is that he seems to think the primary problem is that because of gambling, people "lose a lot and end up in not so great economic straits." But the same thing happens with credit cards, the stock market, shopping sprees, and so on. If you think the role of the government is to save us from making bad decisions, well, that's pretty much the precise way all of the nanny-state liberals justify their preferred policies.”

Shootout Among ICE Agents Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Wounded
Excerpt: A confrontation between Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents ended in gunfire Thursday evening in Long Beach, leaving one dead and another seriously wounded. … Sources told KTLA that the shootings took place during a disciplinary hearing.

Bill Clinton PBS Documentary
Excerpt: Among those interviewed are the former president's re-election campaign manager, Dick Morris, who recalls the moment Clinton confided in him about the affair. "When the Lewinsky scandal broke, the President paged me and I returned the call," Morris says in this video preview clip. "He said, 'Ever since I got here to the White House I've had to shut my body down, sexually I mean, but I screwed up with this girl. I didn't do what they said I did, but I may have done so much that I can't prove my innocence." (This very short article was obviously written to generate publicity for the PBS documentary. But, notice #1, that Clinton was parsing words even with his own staff and #2, that he WASN’T impeached for sex but rather for covering it up and obstructing justice just like Richard Nixon. Had the media and/or the Congress been any less partisan in his favor, he’d have faced the same fate as Nixon, too. Conceivably, that might have saved us from 9/11 if Al Gore had enough sense to take out Al Qaeda in 1997 or 1998. Sorry; the “what ifs” are so easy they’re probably wrong. Ron P.)

Top San Francisco gangbanger sentenced to life in federal prison
Excerpt: A top member of the notorious Salvadorian-based organized crime gang known as MS-13 yesterday received his "reward" for years of racketeering and cold-blooded murder, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police's Organized Crime Committee. Danilo Velasquez, a/k/a “Triste,” the San Francisco, California, leader of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, was sentenced yesterday in federal court by U.S. District Judge William H. Alsup to life in prison. (This does not say he is Illegal, but MS-13 is almost exclusively Illegals from El Salvador. This is part of "Latino" culture the Lame Stream Media does not tell you about. In Latin American Countries, the more brutal you are, the more "Macho" (deserving other men's respect) you are. –Dave.)

Unemployment Claims: Running Out Of People We Can Fire
Excerpt: The truth is likely found in the labor participation rate, which has an entirely different story to tell. Specifically, we’re running out of people to fire, and those who have been fired and can’t find work are giving up, so they don’t count. This is “good” from a statistical and optics point of view, but it’s horrifyingly bad in reality, because the labor participation rate is what determines the fiscal sustainability of government spending.

Obama's Catholic Church Gambit: Lessons from American Communists
Excerpt: Morris speculates that the Obama HHS mandate on contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients is a fight with the Catholic Church that Team Obama wants -- and with the focus based narrowly on contraception, not abortifacients. Dick Morris may be right. It seems no accident that Obama publicly noted that the vast majority of Catholic women use contraception. Yes, the vast majority does, but the vast majority does not support abortifacients -- that is, "contraceptive" drugs that cause or induce an abortion.

After surviving sectarian mob, Egyptian Christians expelled from village
Excerpt: As the mob set fire to the home of a Christian family across the street, Muslim neighbors saved Romany's family, hustling them out of their house by a back entrance, into a car, and out of the village, until it was safe enough to return. The violence in Sharbat began as many sectarian conflicts in Egypt do - with rumors of an affair between a Christian man and a Muslim woman. It ended with eight Christian families forced to leave the village, their property and belongings left to be sold on their behalf by a local committee. The punishment for those who looted and burned Christian properties? None. (The Obama-endorsed Arab Spring ethnic cleansing goes on. ~Bob.)

Obama’s Peculiar Idea of Fairness by Joseph Klein
Excerpt: For example, President Obama is taking $500 billion from the elderly via planned cuts to Medicare in order to help fund his massive new Obamacare entitlement program. A wealthy female employee will have the government-mandated right to free birth control under her employer’s health insurance program. Meanwhile, an elderly woman of modest means who has kidney disease could possibly face the prospect of being cut off from access to affordable life-saving dialysis treatment if the government decides it is no longer cost-effective to reimburse her. This is not what most Americans with common sense would consider “fair.”

Taxing Medical Progress to Death by Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: Stents don’t grow on trees. They were not created, developed, marketed or sold by government bureaucrats and lawmakers. One of the nation’s top stent manufacturers, Boston Scientific, warned at the time that Obamacare’s punitive medical device tax would lead to worker losses and research cuts. The 2.3 percent excise tax, the company said, “would be very damaging to Boston Scientific, and the medical device industry as a whole. In a nutshell, it would raise costs and lead to significant job losses. It does not address the quality of care but the political scorecard of savings.”

Iran Nuclear Coverage Echoes Iraq War Media Frenzy
Excerpt: The Iran nuclear story has also led several network newscasts this week. On Tuesday, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer talked of a "shadow war being waged by Iran," followed by chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross describing a "violent series of attacks by Iran," which may be retaliation for the recent killing of Iranian scientists. CBS News anchor Scott Pelley kicked off Wednesday's broadcast by saying that Iran is "defying the world," while NBC's Brian Williams asked if "the U.S. about to get dragged into a new confrontation." (This article has 4 important parts, one of which we’ll never really know. First, and the one we’ll never really know, is the editorial process that produced it and especially its headline. Second, the first few paragraphs of the article all but slap the reader’s face, shouting “Government BS!” while doing its best to shake trust in not just government, but of the rest of the media. Third, the last two-thirds of the article make clear the author is trying to say “nobody in government or the media really knows, and they can’t know until it’s too late.” The fourth and, in my mind, most important part is to read a brief sampling of the reader’s comments following the article. You’ll find them condemning Israel, Israelis, and Americans (who presumably are all barbarian Republicans, judging by the comments) by about a 2 to 1 margin. Few put any blame on the Iranians, and NONE of them blame the reporting media the article is aimed at. Of course the sanctions will work, and if they don’t, only a few Jews and rightwingers will be harmed; let’s all sing Kumbayah. Folks, these people don’t live in the same world we live in. Jesus wept. Ron P.)

Man Charged For Allegedly Cooking And Eating Cats
Excerpt: In a case that has shocked even investigators, a California man is in jail for allegedly cooking and eating cats. Jason Louis Wilmert is being held in the Kern County Jail on charges alleging animal cruelty and using a pet or domesticated animal for food. Both charges are misdemeanors. (Don’t laugh. The way the country is going, in five years you’ll be asking for his recipes. ~Bob.)

Geithner: Why, no, our new budget does nothing to address America’s long-term fiscal crisis
Excerpt: Via Philip Klein, stick with this until at least 2:45, when Ryan drops the national-suicide debt chart on him and TurboTax Tim notes that, hey, the numbers between Obama’s budget and Ryan’s are actually comparable — for the next five years or so.

Worth Reading and following this site:
Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders
Excerpt: Islamic apologists in the West continue to try to convince gullible Westerners (of which there are so very many) that honor killing really has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, and that all evidence to the contrary is just "Islamophobia." 91% of all honor killings occur among Muslims? Coincidence! Bad study! (Not that any good studies are offered in its place, mind you.) Jordan and Syria -- and now the Palestinian Authority -- have relaxed penalties for honor killings? Well, yes, but a lot of important people have spoken out against this -- well, yes, no one is listening to them, but...still! If the apologists for the Islamic character of honor killing cared about women as much as they care about covering for Islam, they would devote their energies to stamping out the attitudes within the Muslim community that give rise to honor killing, rather than demonizing those who are standing up for victimized Muslim women.

Phoenix: Daughter defends mother who beat her and padlocked her to bed for talking to a man
Excerpt: The family keeps insisting that this is their culture, and doesn't mention that the cultural issues involved here are rooted in Islam. "Good women are obedient....As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them" (4:34).

Scary: Here's The Presentation Where Jeff Gundlach Dares To Compare The US To The Roman Empire
Excerpt: Jeff Gundlach just hosted a webcast with clients. The title of his presentation: "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Not surprisingly, Gundlach drew parallels between the U.S. and Ancient Rome. Like the U.S., he noted that Rome had an insufficient tax system and a huge military budget. Like Rome, the U.S. faces "persistence of a destitute underclass," as reflected by the excruciatingly slow job recovery. (Amazing charts and wealth of information. We are in big trouble. –GBH)

After High-End D.C. Dinner – President Obama Flies Off To L.A. For Private Fundraisers
Excerpt: As the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt threatens violence against Israel, and as Senate Democrats declare Barack Obama’s own budget dead on arrival, what does the president do? Why fly to the other side of the country of course to raise some more campaign cash! Yesterday the Obamas enjoyed a high-end (and high calorie) Valentines dinner at one of the most exclusive and upscale restaurant digs in D.C. There First Lady Michelle Obama – she of the “Lose weight fat America” demands, sat down to enjoy a five course meal that included Lobster, caviar, butter poached oysters, potato pancake and black truffel, and chocolate cheesecake. Apparently the First Lady’s concerns over the nation’s eating habits only extends to the “little people” of the country.

Excerpt: When President Obama unveiled his budget on Monday, it became clear that he would break his pledge to cut the deficit in half in his first term in office. But the White House website is still prominently touting the promise. (A case of the left hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. ~Bob.)

Record $6 Trillion of Fake U.S. Bonds Seized
Italian anti-mafia prosecutors said they seized a record $6 trillion of allegedly fake U.S. Treasury bonds, an amount that’s almost half of the U.S.’s public debt. (Not worth the paper they are printed on. Which in a few years may be the case with real US Bonds. ~Bob.)

Chicago teachers asking for 30% raises over next 2 years
Excerpt: The Chicago Teachers Union is asking for raises amounting to 30 percent over the next two years, the opening salvo in heated contract negotiations with school officials who are implementing a longer school day across Chicago Public Schools next school year. (Probably led by the math teachers. Duh. It’s gone, folks, the money is gone. ~Bob.)
Excerpt: “The worm inside the doctrine of multiculturalism is the lie that all cultures are worthy of equal respect and equally embracing of individual freedom and democracy.” - Dr. Salim Mansur

Excerpt: Six lawmakers on the House Ethics Committee have recused themselves from the ethics case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The voluntary recusals come as an outside counsel probes whether the secretive ethics committee acted inappropriately in the Waters case.

Must See: The Political Quote of the Year
Excerpt: In the clip you're about to see, Geithner makes two claims. First, that the president's 2013 budget meets the "critical test" of "restoring our deficits to a more sustainable position." As I wrote earlier this week, the closest this budget ever comes to balancing is in 2017, when our national balance sheet will witness an annual deficit of over $600 Billion -- more than double President Bush's average deficit. Geithner's idea of responsible sustainability also entails spending $47 Trillion over ten years and adding $11 Trillion to the national debt, which is already approaching $16 Trillion. Good to know. (Maybe if Gaithner paid his own taxes it would help a bit. ~Bob.)

Is the bloom off Elizabeth Warren (D-Occupy)? By James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: The senatorial incarnation of President Obama’s Spread the Wealth reelection effort is Elizabeth Warren, running against Scott Brown in Massachusetts. A new poll has her way behind, though perhaps it is an outlier.

The Life of Ants
Excerpt: A centrally managed, but inherently unnatural, system requires a lot of inputs and control mechanisms to keep up the appearance of stability. Because everything is imposed from the top, not from the operation of rational choice from below, the level of costs rises in proportion to the level of desired control. By contrast, a society that relies on individual rational choice need only watch out for the outliers, such as criminal behavior. They can leave everything else alone, and manage things by exception, not by detailed specification.

Democratic National Cronyism: Dem convention co-chair’s company received $230.4M in loans for green projects, hired Podesta Group to lobby
Excerpt: Jim Rogers, the co-chairman and lead fundraiser for the Democratic National Convention host-committee, is well versed in the art of political cronyism. Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy Corp., one of the largest utility corporations in the country, has given generously to Democratic politicians over the years. Along with his wife, Mary Anne, he has contributed more than $210,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2008, more than double what the couple has given to Republicans. Of that figure, more than $150,000 went to the Democratic National Committee (DNC); $19,200 went to President Obama. (When you say “green,” you’re thinking of the environment. When big Democrats say “green,” they’re thinking of your tax dollars in their pockets. ~Bob.)

Barbara Boxer: Right to Insurance Trumps Religious Freedom
Excerpt: Barbara Boxer, the leading pro-abortion member of the U.S. Senate, made some comments in a recent MSNBC interview that are sparking outrage across the Internet today. Boxer essentially says the right to insurance trumps religious rights and freedoms.

Dick Durbin's Dumb Debit Deal = higher fees

The Obamacare Trifecta: Where is the opposition’s argument against government health-care control? By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: Give him points for cleverness. President Obama’s birth-control “accommodation” was as politically successful as it was morally meaningless. It was nothing but an accounting trick that still forces Catholic (and other religious) institutions to provide medical insurance that guarantees free birth control, tubal ligation, and morning-after abortifacients — all of which violate church doctrine on the sanctity of life.

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