Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Political Digest for May 9, 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.

Happy Anniversary, Mother and Dad—where ever the winds have taken your ashes. ~Bob

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Ngày Mất Nước (The Day We Lost Our Nation). By Stephen Sherman
Guest Post on the Old Jarhead Blog.

Worth Reading: Dishonor and War
Outstanding column. --Ron P. Excerpt: As with Iran, North Korea, and Syria, Obama wants “good relations,” and such regimes won’t give you any if you insist on raising awkward subjects like freedom and democracy. To be sure, if you play by their rules, you don’t get those good relations anyway. You get contempt, and, in all likelihood, war as well. Churchill said of Chamberlain that he had to choose between war and dishonor, chose dishonor, and got war as well.

Al-Qaeda airline bomb plot disrupted, U.S. says
Now that the Obama Administration has declared the War on Terror over, it would be nice if they let the terrorists know before someone gets hurt. ~Bob. Excerpt: The CIA and overseas intelligence partners disrupted an al-Qaeda plot to blow up civilian aircraft using an advanced explosive device designed by the terrorist network’s affiliate in Yemen, U.S. officials said Monday.

Europe’s elections offer economic, political risks for Obama
Excerpt: The shrill anti-incumbent message that has emerged from a pair of European elections carries a threat to the U.S. economic recovery and a political warning for President Obama, whose reelection prospects could hinge on whether the economy can improve. Voters in Greece rejected both major political parties amid a dire fiscal situation there. In France, a disenchanted electorate tossed out President Nicolas Sarkozy in favor of a socialist who, like Obama, believes too much emphasis has been placed on austerity measures at the expense of stimulating growth.

Greece at new risk of being pushed off euro
Excerpt: It took months for international finance officials to piece together a bailout that was acceptable to Greek leaders. But it took voters just 12 hours at the polls to deal it a hard blow, leaving Greece on Monday at renewed risk of being pushed off the euro currency once and for all. (Greek voters are soon going to find out that it’s easy to vote against austerity, very hard to come up with the funds to make good on the vote. American voters will discover the same soon enough. Neither will know or understand that their “Gimmie, Gimmie, More, More, What-in-it-for-me” voting patterns, aided and betted by vote-buying politicians in both parties, are the root cause of their disaster. ~Bob.)

Leftist sets tough conditions for Greek government
Excerpt: Radical Leftist Alexis Tsipras began efforts to form a Greek government on Tuesday by renouncing the terms of an international bailout and threatening to nationalize banks in a statement likely to reduce his chances of success. … "The country is heading at high speed towards catastrophe," the Kathimerini daily said in an editorial.

Socialism Rises Again
Excerpt: Last weekend, the people of France took a sharp turn to the left, and the rest of Europe may be on the brink of rebuking its recent tack toward fiscal responsibility. With Sunday's election of French Socialist leader Francois Hollande, France has leapt backward toward the policies that have helped sink the continent in a sovereign debt crisis. Disturbingly, the big government platform Hollande campaigned on is all too familiar to the American people, and if the United States is not careful, it could suffer the same fate as its European allies. Hollande sailed to victory by appealing to an electorate dissatisfied with having to face necessary cutbacks, proclaiming that he is "proud to have been capable of giving people hope again." That brand of hope called for a change from President Nicolas Sarkozy's relatively conservative policies -- in his first term, Sarkozy worked to reduce the number of public sector employees, eliminate the 35-hour work week, reform the university system and cut taxes.

Excerpt: Not so fast, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Speaking hours after Sunday’s big Socialist win in France, she termed the European Union’s fiscal pact “not negotiable.” But deep-sixing the essential tenet of that agreement — continued fiscal austerity to right Europe’s fragile finances — was a centerpiece of President-elect Francois Hollande’s successful campaign.

Worth Reading: Taxation, American Style: The U.S. tax code is more progressive and European than you think. By Veronique de Rugy
Excerpt: Contrary to common belief, the American tax system is more progressive than those of most industrialized democracies. A 2008 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), titled “Growing Unequal,” gave two different estimates of the progressivity of tax systems in 24 industrialized countries. One ranking found that the U.S. has the most progressive tax structure; in the other Ireland beat America by a nose. France, which has a notoriously generous welfare state, ranked 10th out of 24 in both of the OECD progressivity indexes.

Americans Paying More in Taxes than for Food, Clothing, and Shelter. by Kevin Duncan
Excerpt: In 2012, Americans will pay approximately $4.041 trillion in taxes, which is $152 billion, or 3.9 percent, more than they will spend on housing, food, and clothing.[1] Through looking at contemporary data and examining the trend of tax collections and expenditures on housing, food, and clothing, we can compare the costs of government with the necessary costs individuals incur every year. Relative to the basic cost of living, taxes have increased considerably in recent decades. In turn, a greater share of essential private expenditures are now funded through government outlays.

More Than Good Enough for Government Work. By Ivan Osorio
Excerpt: Nationwide, public pensions are underfunded by a total of $4.4 trillion, according to Northwestern University finance professor Joshua Rauh. … Many pension funds set retiree payouts based on the retiree’s final year earnings, rather than a career average. This has enabled some public employees to engage in a practice known as “spiking,” which involves employees racking up long hours of overtime during their last year on the job. Some employees even end up with pension payments that exceed their final year salary!

Union cash floods states to combat Republican agendas By Kevin Bogardus
Excerpt: Unions poured millions of dollars into state-level battles to beat back legislation that would limit labor’s political power. Annual financial reports filed with the Labor Department by national and local unions show they gave nearly $16 million in contributions to more than a half-dozen umbrella groups, according to a review by The Hill. (Yes, the evil Republicans might take away public union members right to “spike” their pensions. See story above, “More Than Good Enough.” ~Bob.)

The Crumbling Of Our Moral Infrastructure Can Be Deadly
The "Occupy" movement, which the Obama administration and much of the media have embraced, has implications that reach far beyond the passing sensation it has created. The unwillingness of authorities to put a stop to their organized disruptions of other people's lives, their trespassing, vandalism and violence is a de facto suspension, if not repeal, of the 14th Amendment's requirement that the government provide "equal protection of the laws" to all its citizens. How did the "Occupy" movement acquire such immunity from the laws that the rest of us are expected to obey? Simply by shouting politically correct slogans and calling themselves representatives of the 99% against the 1%.

Barry, the Flake
Uses his own live quotes. Been around but funny if you haven’t seen. ~Bob

Obama Touts Record Voters Don't Care About
Excerpt: Foreign policy matters, and the Obama campaign has certainly tried using it thus far to undercut Romney. But this race remains first and foremost about the economy, and the president's critical first positive ad - part of a $25 million ad buy from the president's campaign this month - indicates Obama has few tangible, politically popular economic policies he can point to. And even the auto-company rescue, though popular in the Rust Belt, still has at best tepid support nationally. (Even more telling, the “foreign policy achievements” he’s bragging about include Bush’s surge in Iraq—that Obama voted against while in the Senate—that allowed us to honorably withdraw years later than the 2008 Obama campaigned to. The other is killing bin Laden, which if it had gotten out he’d refused—and as leaky as Washington is these days, it surely would have—would have instantly ended any possible hope of reelection on the spot. Ron P.)

ICEgate? High ranking intel officials linked to Palestinian money laundering
Excerpt: What at first appeared to be government officials involved in embezzlement to the tune of more than a half-billion dollars now appears to be also connected to a Palestinian money-laundering operation, according to several Law Enforcement Examiner sources.

Why Can't Obama Bring Wall Street to Justice? By Peter J. Boyer and Peter Schweizer
Excerpt: Obama far outraised his Republican rival, John McCain, on Wall Street--around $16 million to $9 million. As it turned out, Obama apparently actually meant what he said at that White House meeting--his administration effectively would stand between Big Finance and anything like a severe accounting. To the dismay of many of Obama's supporters, nearly four years after the disaster, there has not been a single criminal charge filed by the federal government against any top executive of the elite financial institutions.

Worth Reading: Ten burning questions for Obama’s secret terrorist release program. By Marc Thiessen
Excerpt: This is unacceptable. The Obama administration owes the American people some answers. Specifically: 1. The Obama administration has been openly critical of the Bush administration for its “secret detention” of captured terrorists. Now it turns out the Obama administration been conducting the “secret release” of captured terrorists. How long has it kept the existence of this program secret from the American people, and what is the justification for this secrecy? (Questions? We don’t answer no stinkin’ questions! ~Bob.)

Obama’s Way of War
Excerpt: Is Barack Obama a warrior president? Not in the British tradition, of course, which gave us Winston Churchill, with his crazy cavalry charge against Sudanese spears, or the more cerebral Harold Macmillan, shot to pieces in World War I, lying in the blood and the mud reading Aeschylus. Obama is a post-Vietnam president: He walks in the footsteps of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who took different paths away from the jungles of Southeast Asia but later sent Americans into harm’s way in foreign wars.

7 Reasons Liberal Economic Policies Don't Work. By John Hawkins
Excerpt: There's a reason it took the country so long to pull out of the Great Depression under FDR, why Americans became acquainted with the Misery Index under Carter, and why we've had the weakest economic recovery from a recession in U.S. history under Obama. Liberal economic policies just don't work. In fact, the only time left-wingers have taken charge in the last 40 years without decimating the economy was during the Clinton years when Republicans in Congress balanced the budget and spent 6 years strong-arming Clinton to keep him from molesting the economy like one of his interns.

Tax Refunds for Illegals
Excerpt: This is a recounting of what happens when those who are oh so politically correct, so perfect in their lives, all they strive to do because they have partaken of the kool aid, allowed themselves to be brainwashed into thinking that the sky is falling from globull warming, anything that is related to the Constitution, capitalism, the FREEDOM to keep and bear arms, that most white people are inherently evil, and of course that all of the above makes them all experts on what is best for the rest of us.

4 high-tech ways the federal government is spying on private citizens
Excerpt: One of the running jokes in the 1980s was how the former Soviet Union spied on its private citizens. As comedian Yakov Smirnoff used to joke: "In Soviet Russia, TV watches you!" But here in America, we were all safe from the prying eyes of the government. Fast forward to 2012, when the U.S. government actually has the tools and capabilities to spy on all its citizens.

Silence Is Golden
Excerpt: Transitioning from primary to general-election politics is rarely easy. Candidates and campaign operatives develop Pavlovian conditioning. For months, they talk exclusively to partisans, looking for rhetoric that will elicit heads moving up and down in agreement. This rhetoric may create frowns or at least cause puzzled responses from swing voters.

Labor’s second choice may face Walker
Excerpt: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has become Big Labor’s public enemy No. 1, but they‘ll likely have to settle for their No. 2 choice to replace him. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is poised to pick up the Democratic nomination Tuesday to face off against Walker in the highly anticipated June 5 recall election. Labor groups’ favorite candidate, former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, has trailed far behind Barrett in the polls even after major national unions threw their support behind Falk.

France freezes assets of Tunisian Imam
Excerpt: The French finance ministry froze the assets of a radical imam from Tunisia who is under the threat of expulsion for anti-Semitism, an official announcement said. Mohammed Hammami, 76, has lived in France for decades and was accused in January by Interior Minister Claude Geant of making “violently anti-Semitic remarks” as well as calling for women to be “whipped to death” for adultery. (“Whipped to death”? I guess he didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob.)

IAEA Inspector Dead In Iran Car Crash
Excerpt: The official Islamic Republic News Agency said the International Atomic Energy Agency inspector died when the car overturned around a heavy water reactor being built in Khondab, about 150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of Tehran. Iran says the reactor – part of the Arak complex – will be used to produce isotopes for peaceful medical and industrial uses. But the U.S. and others fear that spent fuel from the reactors could be reprocessed into plutonium for a warhead. (Who tells no tales? Sure, it could be a coincidence. Of course it could. Ron P.)

Joe: A Real Story (Iwo Jima Veteran) A Nonfiction project in Denver, CO by Steffan Tubbs
Excerpt: In 1945, Joe became a Navy Seabee in one of the first black Seabee units in U.S. history. He joined the service to help his family out of poverty. His grandfather was a slave.

President Obama Sees First Budget Surplus Of Presidency
Excerpt: (AP/The Huffington Post) The Obama administration saw its first monthly budget surplus in April, with the federal government recording $58 billion, according to figures released by the Congressional Budget Office. MarketWatch reports: The surplus -- the first of Barack Obama’s presidency -- was the result of both increased tax collection and lower government spending. (Currently, this is the number 1 story at Huffington Post/AOL News. No doubt, you’ve heard the expression “liars figure.” Only an idiot would accept this as “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” [For proof that idiots exist, read a few of the reader’s comments after the article!] The only way this can possibly be read as true is that the funds received were greater than the loss expected in the budget. Thus, a loss of $100B or so is an improvement from the EXPECTED LOSS of $158B (I chose the numbers at random for illustrative purposes only). At the current rate of borrowing (about $4B daily), this “great achievement” gives us an extra 14.5 days before collapse. So, why didn’t the reporters ask how the administration arrived at the conclusion they now have “extra” money to spend? Ron P.)

Marine killed by man in Afghan army uniform
Excerpt: An Afghan soldier killed one Marine and wounded another before being shot to death in return fire in southern Afghanistan, the latest in a series of attacks against foreigners blamed on government forces working with coalition troops. Sunday’s attack is among nearly 20 this year that have raised the level of mistrust between the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan partners as NATO gears up to hand over security to local forces ahead of a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of combat troops.

Gay Creeps, Black Thugs, and Horrible Women: The Left’s Idea of Tolerance. By Andrew Klavan
Excerpt: The Left has consistently used the good of expanded American tolerance to protect and promote the worst behaviors in those it sees as victims of prejudice. This suggests to me that the purpose of leftist tolerance is not tolerance at all. The Left’s purpose is rather to use our tolerance as an excuse to attack those institutions that have protected our liberties from their statist controls.

Morning Examiner: Europe proves Republicans right. By Conn Carroll
Excerpt: Higher taxes now, spending cuts later. That was the “balanced approach” President Obama and the Democrats tried to force Republicans to accept last August. While Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wanted to make the deal, House conservatives forced him to say ‘no.’ They knew from President Reagan’s experience in the 1980s that the tax hikes would come (sure as death), but the spending cuts never would….

Major Obama Donors Withholding Cash Because They Don’t Like What He’s Doing
Excerpt: Or not doing, actually. Greg Sargent reports that several major gay donors are keeping their cash until they can get an executive order out of Obama.

Another Marxist in the White House?
Excerpt: A senior Obama administration official defended the efficacy of “class warfare” on his personal blog Monday by quoting the political philosopher and communist theorist Karl Marx. Rick Bookstaber, who currently serves on the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the federal body established under the Dodd-Frank Act to “ensure the stability of our nation’s financial system,” took issue with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson’s accusations that liberals were engaging in “class warfare” by seeking to blame the nation’s fiscal problems on a small number of wealthy individuals.

BBC Broadcasts Its Own Dhimmitude: The mask has dropped for good. By David J. Rusin
Excerpt: Media outlets tiptoeing around Islam are a dime a dozen, but the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stands apart for the egregiousness of its self-censorship and bias. Even more striking than the number of controversies involving suppression of Islam-critical speech on its channels are the frank acknowledgements that BBC policy is shaped by fear.

Bill O'Reilly: 'Inconceivable That Had a White Mob Set Upon Two Black Americans Media Would Sit it Out. y Noel Sheppard
Excerpt: So said Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Monday about the media's almost total silence about a white couple that was attacked by a crowd of young African-Americans three weeks ago in Norfolk, Virginia…

“Frecracker” sunspot turning towards earth – possible large solar flares. By Anthony Watts
Excerpt: R1476 may have some surprises for us in the coming days, and I hope it isn’t a Carrington type event. It has already launched two CME’s yesterday. (Now Global Warming is screwing up the sun. I blame George bush. ~Bob.)

Worth reading: Chronicle of Higher Education Fires Blogger For Challenging Seriousness of Black Studies Depts. By Nick Gillespie
Excerpt: he Chronicle of Higher Education's lively and horribly-named "Brainstorm" blog, contributor Naomi Schaefer Riley has been fired for a post questioning the intellectual seriousness and validity of black studies departments. (Note to blogger: When they said they celebrate “diversity,” they were not talking about diversity of thought—the only kind that really matters. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Throughout her career and political campaign, Elizabeth Warren has found victims everywhere she looked, including when she looked in the mirror and saw an alleged descendant of one of the most historically victimized groups, Native Americans.
In what may be the ultimate and cruelest irony, not only is it unlikely that Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, it turns out that Warren’s great-great-great grandfather was a member of a militia unit which participated in the round-up of the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears. (According to family lore—grandma—I’m 1/16th Cree. I think Warren owes me reparations for how her ancestor treated my people! LOL. ~Bob.)

Harvard Native American Program: Warren Never Participated in Events
Excerpt: Shelly Lowe, executive director of Harvard University's Native American Program (HUNAP), told Breitbart News today that U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren had not, to her knowledge, participated in the program's events while Warren was a professor at Harvard. (Does anyone really doubt this was about a liberal checking the minority-victim box for professional advantage, not about the minority group? Anyone? Really? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In the print edition of today’s of Investor’s Business Daily we highlight the latest results from the IBD/TIPP poll on the upcoming election: President Obama leads likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 46%-43%, down from 46%-38% last month. We also note that a lot of female voters apparently have not gotten the Democratic National Committee’s memo that the Republicans are waging and all-out assault on them:

I don't know why scientists are so particular. No "science experiment gone horribly right" gets a movie deal.

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