Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Political Digest for May 1, 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.

Information on my seven books

Happy May Day, the annual holiday for Communists, Socialists, Progressives, OWS and assorted folks who want to run your life “for your own good.” ~Bob

Excerpt: Newly announced regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act threaten the very existence of consumer directed health plans in the individual market (including the anticipated health insurance exchanges), according to Roy Ramthun. Yet according to a RAND study, these plans have the potential to reduce health care spending by 30% without causing any harm, even to vulnerable populations. In what follows, I will review some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various health savings options, based on a recent post of mine at Health Affairs. But let’s begin by jumping to the bottom line: none of them is ideal. As Mark Pauly and I explained in Health Affairs some time ago, an ideal account is one that does not distort incentives.

How the Swiss "Debt Brake" Tamed Government
Excerpt: Americans looking for a way to tame government profligacy should look to Switzerland. In 2001, 85 percent of its voters approved an initiative that effectively requires its central government spending to grow no faster than trendline revenue. The reform, called a "debt brake" in Switzerland, has been very successful, says Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Before the law went into effect in 2003, government spending was expanding by an average of 4.3 percent per year. Since then it's increased by only 2.6 percent annually. The Swiss debt brake does not require a balanced budget in the traditional sense. Tax receipts tend to increase rapidly when the economy is doing well and fall off when the economy stumbles. To smooth out the ups and downs, Switzerland's debt brake limits spending growth to average revenue increases over a multiyear period. Equally important, it is very difficult for politicians to increase the spending cap by raising taxes.

Threat from mounting public job losses tested Obama’s economic strategy
Problem is the state and local governments are also broke. The vote-buying pigeons are coming home. Except they look kind of like vultures. ~Bob. Excerpt: As the economic recovery has struggled to pick up speed, one of the biggest stumbling blocks has been job losses in state and local governments, which have been on the rise for much of President Obama’s term. Early on, Obama fought for aid that saved hundreds of thousands of these jobs, economists say. Yet a year later, when his economic advisers said another large round of aid was critical for the health of the economy, Obama declined to make it a key part of his agenda. His political advisers said such an effort would be fruitless.

Only 11% Think War on Terror Is Over
Excerpt: Voters overwhelmingly reject the idea that the war on terror is over one year after the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, although most feel his al Qaeda terrorist group is weaker today. But a majority also still thinks a terrorist attack is possible in the next year. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% of Likely U.S. Voters think the war on terror is over. Seventy-nine percent (79%) say that war, declared after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, is not over.

55% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law; 56% Expect Costs to Rise
Excerpt: Most voters still want to repeal President Obama’s national health care law, while belief that it will drive up health care costs is at its highest level in months. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, while 36% are at least somewhat opposed. This includes 46% who Strongly Favor repeal versus 28% who are Strongly Opposed to it.

Liberal, Just Another Word for Stupid By Burt Prelutsky
Excerpt: I happen to know a number of liberals who own guns. What's more, rich liberals who don't own guns have security people on their payroll who carry them. Even anti-gun advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein was once found to be packing a heater in her purse, and yet, with a single voice, liberals squeal for the abolition of all firearms.

Two burglars dead after breaking into the home of two Marines.
Excerpt: Two Camp Lejeune Marines returned home early Sunday morning to find two men in their house. The intruders didn't make it out of the house alive. (There are some great comments following this article. I'm particularly fond of the one that reads - "Breaking into the homes of Marines is what I like to call a "self-correcting mistake". MasterGuns)

Dance after Wounded Warrior Ride
Here's the photo of President Bush with 1st Lt Melissa Stockwell (First woman to lose a leg in Iraq) - dancing at end of his annual wounded warrior mtn bike ride. http://pic.twitter.com/SI0jB8kH

The Week That Was: 2012-04-28 (April 28, 2012)
Excerpt: Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure." -H.L. Mencken (The excerpt is from Ken Haapala’s summary of the week’s news. Ron P.)

GORDON: Holder still meddling in military commissions: With involvement of Justice lawyers, terror detainees are getting off easy
Excerpt: Mr. Holder was soundly defeated by Congress and New Yorkers over his ideologically motivated attempts to permanently disable military commissions and transfer self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) and four co-defendants into a lower Manhattan courtroom. Still, the attorney general has found new ways to shake up the system.

Supreme irony: wind farms can cause atmospheric warming, finds a new study
Excerpt: While ironic that something designed to reduce CO2 emissions (and presumably warming) is actually producing warming around it, this isn’t really any big surprise. Orchardists and vineyard operators in California have been using motor driven wind turbines to elevate local temperatures to save crops from frost for over half a century. What is different here is the scale of nighttime warming, large enough to be visible on MODIS satellite imagery thanks to large scale wind farms. (ROFLMAO! This is like calling the Poison Center to tell them you’ve accidentally ingested something bad and they tell you to take more of it as a cure before calling them back in the morning. Ron P.)

O’s college cop-out---- Here’s a real student-loan Rx by Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Excerpt: With student-loan rates set to double, President Obama has been busy posing as Mr. Fixit. Too bad it’s just a pose. The country has a serious student-debt problem, and also a student-loan problem. But they’re two different things.

How to Keep the Poor Poor by Star Parker
Excerpt: Media personality Tavis Smiley and Princeton philosophy professor Cornell West have just published their latest contribution to American poverty propaganda, “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.” The book should have a second subtitle: “How to keep the poor poor and blacks enslaved to government.” To the extent this book is taken seriously by anyone, the result can only be more, entrenched poverty.

Political slowdown in Corzine probe? By Charles Gasparino
Excerpt: Yet investigators say they’re having a tough time assigning culpability. Then-CEO Jon Corzine insists he was clueless about what was happening; mass confusion is the best explanation the probes seem to have found. Don’t buy it.

Obama has held more re-election fundraisers than previous five Presidents combined as he visits key swing states on 'permanent campaign' By Toby Harnden
Excerpt: Barack Obama has already held more re-election fundraising events than every elected president since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book. Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office. The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.

Excerpt: But twenty-first century progressivism is not aimed at political reform. There is no new effort at racial unity. There is not much realization that we are in a globalized, rapidly changing, high-tech economy or that race and gender are not as they were fifty years ago.

Excerpt: And now for news of fresh Blue State disaster, both home and abroad.

Meredith Whitney: State Finances Are Still Doomed – These Three States Are In The Most Trouble By Stacy Curtin
Excerpt: There's opportunity from Texas all the way up to North Dakota, and you can play every industry on that basis," she added. "It's the agriculture-commodity belt — also the Right to Work states. That's where businesses are moving because it's easier to operate and create jobs. So you see a massive demographic shift to those areas." But there are three states in particular she doesn't like: California (which is the worst) followed closely by Illinois and New Jersey.

At least 16 Nigerian Christians at prayer butchered after Islamists make good on threats By Ibrahim Garba
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: An early morning attack on a Christian church service in northern Nigeria left at least 16 people dead. The attack follows a string of violent incidents against Christians in the predominantly Muslim north. Gunmen on motorcycles stormed Bayero University in the city of Kano Sunday morning during a Catholic mass held in the school's theater hall.

Barack Obama, The Road We Really Traveled
Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle skewer and parody Barack Obama's "Road We Traveled" campaign video.

Gloomy economic stats raise red flag for Obama
Excerpt: In the first quarter of 1992, the year Bill Clinton defeated incumbent President George H.W. Bush on the message "It's the economy, stupid," the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 4.5 percent. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that first-quarter growth was just 2.2 percent. Although many analysts are assuming President Obama will ultimately hang on to the White House this November, the dismal gross domestic product report reminds us he is running for re-election with tremendous economic headwinds.

United States Budget Dilemma

Top EPA official resigns after 'crucify' comment
Excerpt: The Obama administration's top environmental official in the oil-rich South and Southwest region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word "crucify" to describe his approach to enforcement. (Another Progressive under the bus for saying what the administration really believes. ~Bob.)

President Obama Stole Our Money to Keep General Motors Alive
Excerpt: But the General Motors claim is another matter altogether. GM is alive because President Obama gave the company $50 billion that wasn’t his to give or theirs to take and stiffed the stock holders and taxpayers. I could save almost any company using someone else’s money, unless it was Solyndra that flushed $500 million of our money down the crapper. But back to GM and Chrysler:

Bank of America Tells Firearms Company to Take Their Account Elsewhere
Excerpt: What I want to know is where is the ACLU and other organizations that go after other businesses that refuse to do business with people they don’t agree with such as the Christian owned t-shirt company in Kentucky that is facing a lawsuit for refusing to take an order for shirts from a gay activist group. If it is not okay for a Christian owned company to refuse to do business with an organization that goes against their religious beliefs, then how is it okay for Bank of America to refuse to do business with a company just because they are now anti-gun? It shouldn’t work that way, but evidently it does in today’s warped, twisted and perverted society.

Atlas Shrugged: Is American Business Going on Strike? By Wayne Allen Root
Excerpt: The U.S. economy is crumbling. Businesses are collapsing in record numbers. The real unemployment rate approaches 15% (or higher). 45 million Americans are on food stamps. Over 10.8 million Americans are on the Disability rolls. Tax revenues are down dramatically.

Zimmerman's Lawsuit Against Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Martin Family Attorneys Jerri Cook
Excerpt: In a twist not even the best fiction writers could have seen coming, the Trayvon Martin case, instigated by a couple of shyster attorneys looking to make money from a tragedy, will reportedly end with George Zimmerman recovering legal damages from Al Sharpton, NBC, and the Trayvon Martin family attorneys, Daryl Parks and Benjamin Crump. The first claim is likely to be intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). To be successful, Zimmerman will have to show that conduct of Al Sharpton and NBC was so extreme and outrageous that it transcended all bounds of decency; that they acted with either the purpose to cause Zimmerman extreme emotional distress or acted with reckless disregard for Zimmerman's emotional well being, and that Al Sharpton and NBC caused him identifiable emotional damage.

Sitting Out Obama: The president has investors scared stiff. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Most economists since 2009 have been completely wrong in their forecasts, reminding us that their supposedly data-driven discipline is more an art than a science. After all, a great deal of money is invested and spent — or not — based largely on perceptions, hunches, and emotions rather than a 100 percent certainty of profit or loss. And the message Americans are getting is that the Obama administration is hostile to investment and business, and thus should be waited out.

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