Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Political Digest for April 17, 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.

Obama concludes Summit of the Americas on the defensive about inviting Cuba
Excerpt: President Obama concluded a contentious hemispheric summit on the defensive Sunday as it ended without agreement on whether Cuba’s Communist leaders should be invited to the next meeting, something the United States firmly opposes.

Rep. Edolphus Towns, a New York Democrat, won’t seek reelection
Excerpt: Fifteen-term Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) has decided not to seek reelection this year, according to two aides familiar with his plans. Towns, who represents a heavily Democratic and majority-black Brooklyn-based district and is a former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, will turn 78 this year and would have been 80 by the time his next term ended. In addition, he faced a potentially difficult primary with state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and New York City Councilman Charles Barron.

GOP and Dem lawmakers race hand in hand toward a fiscal cliff
This is the small cliff. Much bigger one not far ahead. ~Bob. Excerpt: Republicans and Democrats are hurtling toward a fiscal cliff, and neither side wants to take the plunge. In less than nine months, Bush-era tax rates are scheduled to expire, hiking rates for the middle class as well as top income earners. At the same time, automatic spending cuts will kick in. The combination, coupled with the expiration of the payroll tax cut and other factors, would constitute a blow that analysts say could imperil the economic recovery and send America crashing back into recession.

Rep. Mulvaney wields satire against President Obama’s budget, tax policies
Excerpt: Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) has put himself at the forefront of the crusade against President Obama’s budget and tax policies, and is doing so with his own brand of humor. With tongue firmly in cheek, late last month Mulvaney corrected what he called a Democratic “oversight” by offering Obama’s 2013 budget for a House vote.

Iran’s nuke ‘victory’ Claims US OK on enrichment by Amir Taheri
Excerpt: ‘An important reversal of America’s position!” is how Tehran’s government-mouthpiece daily Kayhan described the outcome of the latest talks between Iran and the 5+1 group of nations on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Weak jobs numbers raise pressure on Federal Reserve to adopt new stimulus
Excerpt: Disappointing jobs data is driving fresh speculation over whether the Federal Reserve might take extra moves to boost the economy. If recent reports are an indication that the economy may be losing steam, the central bank could feel compelled to act with another policy move that could boost markets but also expose it and its chairman, Ben Bernanke, to even more political scrutiny. (Print more money. It worked for Weimar and Zimbabwe. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Income tax day is an appropriate moment to go to the heart of President Obama’s complaint about the taxes Warren Buffett and other rich people pay, or don’t pay. What the president is really complaining about is that the tax rate on capital gains is too low. But there is a more basic question to be asked: Why tax capital gains at all? Did you know that the term “capital gains” does not even appear in the official income accounts for the U.S. economy? That’s right. No matter how high stock prices climb, they do not affect the official reckoning of national income one iota.

How We Spend Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty—and Fail by Michael Tanner
Excerpt: News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs. Yet this year the federal gov­ernment will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure. In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.

Taking Down Fast and Furious: It Wasn't Botched
Excerpt: "Botched." That is the word the mainstream media too often associates with the federal gunwalking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious—but in her new book, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up, investigative reporter Katie Pavlich fearlessly chronicles exactly why the only thing "botched" about the ill-fated operation was the Obama administration's shoddy attempt to cover their tracks.

Reagan VS Obama: Healthcare

Peru troops free Shining Path hostages
Excerpt: The Peruvian government says a group of gas workers kidnapped by Shining Path rebels on Monday has been freed. Officials said hundreds of troops surrounded the rebels, forcing them into a hasty retreat, during which they left their captives behind. The government said all 36 hostages were safe.

Sudanese warplanes bomb UN camp in South Sudan
Excerpt: Sudanese warplanes bombed a UN peacekeepers' base, damaging it but causing no casualties in the first such attack since a recent escalation of fighting with South Sudan, officials said Monday. Bombing raids on Sunday also killed nine civilians elsewhere in South Sudan's Unity border state, said the area's information minister, Gideon Gatpan.

Catholics Shouldn't Stand Alone in Religious Freedom Fight By Jonathan Tobin
Excerpt: All it took was an ill-advised quip from Rush Limbaugh to turn the national debate about ObamaCare from concerns about religious freedom to one about an imaginary Republican war on women. But the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are trying to refocus Americans on the threats to their religious liberty with a "Fortnight for Freedom" program planned for July in which they hope to get people discussing the ways in which the government is seeking to infringe on their rights to worship. Though predictably liberals are branding this as an effort to help Republicans, this is exactly the sort of project in which all faiths ought to participate.

Is U.S. Military Ready for Conflict with Iran? (Video)
Excerpt: As concerns grow over Iran's nuclear program, the U.S. is beginning to develop a plan in the event that military intervention is necessary. Reports WSJ's Nathan Hodge, Iran has an inferior military that, in many ways, could make it more dangerous. (In the Iran-Iraq war, there were reports that Iran used boys as young as 12 to clear minefields, by marching through them to Allah. Nice folks. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: “The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead, and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we’re on.” Good point, Dave. (Think he’s stuck campaigning in 2008, scoring points against Bush/McCain, and forgot they’ve had the con for the last four years. ~Bob.)

At Last, The Right Lesson From Climategate Fiasco
Excerpt: A diverse group of academic research scientists from across the U.S. have written a policy paper which has been published in the journal Science, suggesting that the time has come for all science journals to begin requiring computer source code be made available as a condition of publication. Currently, they say, only three of the top twenty journals do so. (The original article this report is based on, “Shining Light into Black Boxes,” was published in Science magazine and is linked in this article (it’s behind a paywall, though). Why is this issue important? Because currently NONE of the climate prediction models—on which governments, including our own, are basing decisions involving literally TRILLIONS of dollars in future costs and obligations for expenditures, tax policies, and “victim payments”—have proven accurate enough to tell whether or not the sun is shining. In fact, most seem to ignore the sun altogether, instead relying on various “forcings” that may or may not exist or could be of lesser or greater impact than is assumed—and we have no way to tell because currently there is no requirement to release this information. There appears to be little “science” in climate science that doesn’t rely on a computer program, and almost all of those programs appear to have been written by amateurs who resist releasing the basic codes. (This same issue also applies to many of the recently revealed falsified studies—such as the one linking autism and vaccinations—that are statistically based but without a certainly known causal mechanism. Almost like saying funeral homes cause funerals, the statistics say so.) The suggested requirement of publishing the basic information to duplicate studies would go a long way toward taking the “faith/belief” out of the equation and allowing science to regain the ascendency—in science. Ron P.)

A Picture of Life in Gaza
Excerpt: Regular BNI readers have seen these stories/photos before. Now, the folks at ‘The Religion of Peace’ have kindly put them all together in a concise overview of what life is really like for the people of Gaza.

Janet Napolitano Signed 'Stand Your Ground' Law For Arizona In 2006
Excerpt: Amid Democrat attempts to use the Trayvon Martin shooting as a means to push for the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws, it’s been interesting to note how many Democrats have a past that includes support for them. For example, on April 2nd, I had a post on Big Government that highlighted how former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, used her Current TV show to lambaste Stand Your Ground laws, and to blame Republicans for the existence of such laws in the first place. However, as I showed, the dirty little secret is that Granholm signed Michigan’s Stand Your Ground bill into law in 2006.

‘Fair Share’: Celebrities Called Out By IRS For Owing Millions In Unpaid Income Taxes
Excerpt: California tax authorities revealed the state’s 500 biggest income tax delinquents Friday, and a surprising number of celebrities made the list. Pamela Anderson, the “Baywatch” star, reportedly owes $524,241 in unpaid taxes, and Lionel Richie owes $1.1 million. CNET co-founder Halsey Minor and his wife owe $10.5 million, while the founder of “Girls Gone Wild” Joe Francis owes $794,000.

Hypocrisy: Obama Said Big Donations Buy Access Average Voters ‘Can’t Imagine’
Excerpt: In the wake of reports today that President Obama has used the White House both to grant access to special large donors and friends like Hilary Rosen, many media figures have suggested that this isn’t anything rare – it’s business as usual, and shouldn’t be considered out of bounds.
Norwich church banned from using market stall after complaints about ‘hate-related’ leaflets
Excerpt: A church has been banned from using a market stall to hold its weekly outreach service following a complaint about “hate-motivated” leaflets published by the group. The Norwich Reformed Church held a weekly outreach bookstall from the Norwich City Council-owned site on Hay Hill, but has been informed it is no longer allowed to use the stall after the council received a complaint about literature on it. The complaint prompted a review of the materials produced by Reverend Alan Clifford, pastor of the church, and the council contacted police as materials, particularly the leaflet entitled Why not Islam, were considered to be hate-motivated. (Want to bet they wouldn’t ban a Muslim group distributing anti-Christian materials or the old forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? ~Bob.)

Christian leader beheaded as Islamists terrorize Malihttp://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12040044.htm
Excerpt: A Christian leader has been beheaded and others are being threatened with similar treatment as Islamic militants run amok in Mali, West Africa. Christians have fled the town of Timbuktu in the north of the country where harsh Sharia Law has already been imposed amid reports that churches in Gao, 200 miles to the east, have been completely destroyed. (I sure hope this doesn’t make the Christians Islamophobic—that would be terrible! ~Bob.)

Boko Haram kills own spokesman
Job opening. Short term. ~Bob. Excerpt: The division in the dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram deepened at the weekend with the murder of Abu Qaqa II, the spokesman of the militant group suspected to have taken over from Abu Qaqa I who was captured last January and has been in the custody of the State Security Service. Abu Qaqa II was believed to have been killed on the instruction of the leader of the sect, Abu Shekau, for attempting to back out of their reign of terror.

Kenya Sees Spike in Obama Administration-Funded Projects
Excerpt: Kenyan businesses lately are increasingly becoming recipients of U.S. government largesse, as the Obama Administration, among pursuing other endeavors, aims to expand "livestock-related economic opportunities" in that nation. Although this and other recently released presolicitation notices for unrelated programs serve as advance alerts to potential vendors—and therefore do not offer cost estimates and other details— a review of U.S. government contracting actions nonetheless indicates a spike of activity in Kenya in a variety of sectors.

73% Think Photo ID Requirement Before Voting Does Not Discriminate
Excerpt: Despite his insistence that voter fraud is not a serious problem, Attorney General Eric Holder was embarrassed last week when a video surfaced of someone illegally obtaining a ballot to vote under Holder’s name in his home precinct in Washington, D.C. Most voters consider voter fraud a problem in America today and continue to overwhelmingly support laws requiring people to show photo identification before being allowed to vote.

56% Favor Repeal of National Health Care Law
Excerpt: Most voters still want to repeal President Obama’s health care law but aren’t as worried that it will force them to change their current health insurance. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters favor repeal of the two-year-old legislation, while 37% are opposed to repeal. These figures include 44% who Strongly Favor it versus 28% who are Strongly Opposed.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
 Excerpt: The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 24% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16 … In a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney earns 47% of the vote, while President Obama attracts support from 44%. (Flawed poll. The only contacted legal voters. ~Bob.)

The Week That Was: 2012-04-014 (April 14, 2012)
Excerpt: You'll get what you've got coming! That is the death wish that our misanthropes address to us. These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy. (The excerpt is taken from the second numbered article, The Ideology of Catastrophe, located at the bottom of TWTW’s weekly digest. It is well worth reading if you’ve ever wondered about the motivation of today’s doomsayers who offer little evidence and ask for lots of faith and lots of political power. Also worth reading is the editor's introductory section on Shale Gas that explains why our current energy revolution might not be all that easily transferable to other countries (cultures and customs still count, it seems). Ron P.)
Excerpt: A former North Carolina Democratic Party staffer was sexually harassed by a party official, made a financial settlement with the party and signed a non-disclosure agreement to keep the incident quiet, according to emails obtained by The Daily Caller. “If this hits the media, the Democratic Party, our candidates, and our credibility are doomed in this election,” reads one email exchange between state Democratic leaders. (They have nothing to worry about. The media would only be interested if it was Republicans. ~Bob.)

I'd rather have govt agents giving money to Colombian hookers than machine guns to Mexican drug lords.

A Death Bounty and an Attorney General by Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: One can be forgiven for wondering what level of New Black Panther Party (NBPP) thuggery is sufficient to warrant the attention of Florida law enforcement officials or, seemingly, the most myopic U.S. attorney general to ever head the Department of Justice. On March 24th, New Black Panther Party leader Mikhail Muhammad offered a $10,000 bounty for the “capture” of Zimmerman and publicly stated that Zimmerman “should be fearful for his life.” Fellow Panthers distributed wanted posters calling Zimmerman a “child killer” and offering that bounty “dead or alive.”

Chicago politics: Wonk edition By Neil Patel Co-Founder and Publisher, The Daily Caller
Excerpt: Last week Chuck Blahous, a prominent policy analyst who was deputy director of the National Economic Council under President Bush, produced a report showing just how much Obamacare could increase spending and our debt. The Obama White House didn’t like it. Like a schoolyard bully who feels threatened by the smart kid in class, the White House responded with lots of attacks and few real answers.

3 Vietnamese bloggers charged over their writing
Excerpt: Prosecutors in Vietnam have charged three well-know bloggers with spreading anti-government propaganda. Lawyer Ha Huy Son said Monday that his client Nguyen Van Hai and two others, Phan Thanh Hai and Ta Phong Tan, have been charged. The state-run newspaper Ho Chi Minh City Law said the three are accused of posting 421 articles on their blogs that "distorted and opposed the State." (Waiting loud protests from Jane Fonda, John Kerry, et al. ~Bob.)

OWS Organizer Attacks NYPD Officer With Metal Pipe
Excerpt: According to police, the night allegedly assaulted an NYPD sergeant with a metal pipe in front of the Starbucks on
Astor Place
. One of the men, 41-year-old Alexander Penley, is an attorney and has been an
Occupy Wall Street
organizer since the movement began in the fall.

Protesters Mock National Anthem at Wisconsin Tea Party
Excerpt: Not long ago, it was unthinkable to disrespect the National Anthem in anyway whatsoever. However pro-labor union protesters showed no hesitation in crossing that line on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin. As thousands prepared to gather for the Americans for Prosperity Tax Day Rally, a few protesters gathered at the edges of the to crowd show their contempt for Gov. Scott Walker, Republicans, Conservatives and all things Tea Party.

'Killer' swan attacks Illinois caretaker until he drowns
Excerpt: Anthony Hensley was a 37-year-old married father of two who worked for a company that uses dogs and swans to shoo pesky geese from properties in the area. Hensley had taken to a kayak Sunday morning to check on the swans in a Des Plaines-area pond when one of the larger birds turned on him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. (I propose a 7 day waiting period on swans...George)

Connecticut Attorney General rules taxpayers shouldn't be held liable for Charla Nash's mauling by a chimpanzee
Excerpt: A woman mauled by a chimpanzee should not be allowed to sue the state, because taxpayers should not be held financially liable for injuries inflicted by a privately owned animal, a Connecticut official said. Charla Nash wants to sue the state over allegations that it failed in its duty to restrict the ownership of dangerous animals as pets and protect residents from harm. (I’m planning to sue the feds for not finding a cure for pulmonary fibrosis before I got it. ~Bob.)

Chicago Law Prof on Obama: "The Professors Hated Him because he was Lazy, Unqualified & Never Attended any of the Faculty Meetings"
Excerpt: I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about “Barry.” Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.

Property taxes have risen 43% since 98. Because of our reforms, tax bill on median value home went down .4% this year.

President Flip Flop: Barack Obama’s Broken Promises, Policy Reversals and Continuous Flip Flops
Excerpt: President Obama’s reelection campaign has accused Mitt Romney of being a flip-flopper that changes his positions all the time. In actuality, it is the President himself who has a history of doing just that. Here is an extensive list of President Obama’s flip-flops, hypocrisies and broken promises:

Americans Making Over $50,000 a Year Paid 93.3 Percent of All Taxes in 2010
Excerpt: Out of the 143 million tax returns that were filed with the IRS in 2010, 58 million – or 41 percent – of those filers were non-payers. In other words, only 85 million actually paid taxes. But Tax Foundation data also shows that people who didn’t pay any income tax received $105 billion in refundable tax credits from the IRS.

Farrakhan Threatens: People Will Kill Their Leaders In A Few Days
Wait, isn’t he a “black leader”? ~Bob.

Stop the Democrats’ “War on Women”! ~Bob. Excerpt: Ciara Matthews, Walker's communications director, is under fire for being both pro-life and a former Hooters restaurant waitress.

Obama Campaign Scrubs BET Videos From Website After Daily Caller's Reporting
Excerpt: Barack Obama's re-election campaign website has removed several videos that pitched alarmist messages to African-American voters, following reporting by The Daily Caller and the Fox News Channel, clearly because Team Obama doesn't want you to see what's said in them. Too late though, the cat's already out of the bag. First the Obama campaign scrubbed the video of Tatyana Ali excitedly declaring that if Obama wins a second term, "it's on" because he doesn't have to run for re-election again (seems like we've heard that before from Obama himself). Now the Obama campaign has scrubbed videos of race hustlers declaring that voter ID laws are Jim Crow 2.0, and praising Trayvon Martin.

Former GE CEO Jack Welch Blasts Obama’s Leadership By: Bruno J. Navarro
Excerpt: Producer President Obama’s “divide-and-conquer” approach isn’t what great leaders do, Jack Welch said Thursday. The renowned former General Electric CEO chided the president for blaming others for economic woes. “It was the insurance executives in health care. It was the bankers in the collapse. It was the oil companies as oil prices go up. It was Congress if things didn’t go the way he wanted. And recently it’s been the Supreme Court,” he said. “He’s got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.”

Excerpt: Walker leads Tom Barrett (D) 50% to 45% and tops Kathleen Falk (D) 50% to 43%.

USA’s record warm March 2012 not caused by “global warming”
Excerpt: The usual suspects in the blogs and media have been bloviating about the record warmth of March and spinning it to redline for maximum fear factor, with the “loaded climate dice” theme. … It is difficult to make credible claims that March 2012 was AGW driven when looking at March 1910 when global CO2 was well below Dr. James Hansen’s posited “safe” 350 PPM level.

Lawmaker slams GSA official for 'indefensible' conference spending
Excerpt: The top Democrat on the House oversight committee ripped into the organizer of the lavish Las Vegas conference thrown by the General Services Administration, saying at a hearing Monday that the allegations against him document an "indefensible and intolerable pattern of misconduct." Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., focused his opening comments at the already-heated hearing on Jeffrey Neely. “ (Neely has taken the 5th. Excerpt Issa is pointing out Neely still being paid by taxpayers, on leave. –Barb.)

American ISPs to launch massive copyright spying scheme on July 12
Excerpt: If you download potentially copyrighted software, videos or music, your Internet service provider (ISP) has been watching, and they’re coming for you. Specifically, they’re coming for you on Thursday, July 12.

Two Racial Narratives—and the Current Hysteria
Excerpt: Polls show that the Trayvon Martin case has split the country apart over perceptions of race and justice, in ways that may dwarf the polarities of the O.J. Simpson trial days of 1994. Or does the new friction simply reflect an ongoing erosion in relations since 2009? Or is it all hype, and things are still about as they were? This tension was not supposed to have increased with the election of Barack Obama, who ran on “healing” and “unity,” and who was proclaimed by supporters as ushering in a new post-racial age.

The 9 swing states of 2012
Excerpt: Our favorite part of the general election campaign is fiddling with the electoral map to puzzle out the paths to 270 electoral votes for each of the candidates. (Round up the usual suspects. ~Bob.)

Gingrich backer donates $5 million to GOP super-PAC
Excerpt: GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s biggest donor contributed $5 million with his wife to a Republican super-PAC. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson donated the money to the Congressional Leadership Fund in February, Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show. The Congressional Leadership Fund is a conservative super-PAC that is not earmarked to support or oppose a single candidate. (I don’t have a lot of envy over the toys and homes of the super-rich, but I’d like to have the money to make a difference in this was, both in politics and for the charities I support. ~Bob.)

Trayvon Martin: Attorney asks for new judge
Excerpt: Her husband is a partner at the firm of well-known local lawyer Mark NeJame.
NeJame has been hired by CNN to provide analysis on the case. (For a “white Hispanic,” Zimmerman looks kind of brown in the photo here. You don’t suppose the media whitened his photo do you? ~Bob.)

Saudis behead Indonesian maid

‘Insane’ husband who stabbed wife 120 times in frenzied killing walks free from court less than a year later
Excerpt: Farrukh Malik knifed Sarwat, his partner of 37 years, more than 120 times during the frenzied attack at their north London home after suffering 'depressive psychosis' following the death of his mother. … Pakistan-born Malik, who admitted carrying out the killing, was unanimously cleared of murder by reason of insanity following a two-day trial at the Old Bailey last December. Prosecutors did not challenge the defence.

Meet the people who didn’t know the Titanic disaster was a real historic event
Thank a teachers’ union official. ~Bob.

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