Monday, October 8, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for October 9, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for October 9, 2012
Robert A. Hall

Some don’t miss new poll numbers in today’s SitRep. ~Bob.

Columbus Day
If you had it off, I hope you enjoyed it the Obama Holiday. Columbus didn’t know where he was going, where he was or where he’d been, and he borrowed the money to do it.

Romney Bumper Stickers for 25 cents

Are you better off?
Graphic to share.

Unemployment Numbers
Celebrating a supposed drop to 7.8%, especially when the real number of those who gave up looking, took PT work or exhausted their benefits is much higher, is like doing a victory dance after a one-yard gain on third and fifteen at your own ten.

Why Gallup’s chief economist says the big drop in the unemployment rate ‘should be discounted.’ By James Pethokoukis 
Excerpt: You can count pollster Gallup as another observer questioning Friday’s job report, in particular the big drop in the unemployment rate. In a blog post, Dennis Jacobe, Gallup’s chief economist, writes that he seriously doubts whether the economy created nearly 900,000 jobs in September, as measured by the Labor Department’s seasonally adjusted household survey. While the payroll survey of businesses and government showed just 114,000 net new jobs created, the household survey showed a jobs boom, and it’s the latter which is used to calculate the unemployment rate. 

Excerpt: The primary bone of contention is the September increase of 873,000, according to the BLS’s Household Survey (based on interviews and surveys of heads of households), in the number of people employed. That figure made it into the summary’s narrative, and was explained as follows:

New jobs report shows growth, but in low-skill, part-time jobs
Excerpt: During the robust Reagan jobs recovery in the 1980s, liberals regularly dismissed good news by attributing it to the creation of "McJobs," a term for a low-wage menial position akin to working at a fast-food restaurant. That's why it's interesting now to watch liberals celebrate the September jobs report, in which the headline unemployment figure fell to 7.8 percent. Look below the headline, and the report shows this was largely because of an increase in Americans settling for part-time work when they would rather work full-time.

Worth Reading: 8 takeaways from the new Pew poll. By Chris Cillizza
The latest Pew poll showing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney ahead of President Obama among likely voters has the potential to rapidly re-orient conventional wisdom about the challenger’s chances of winning.

Important: Pew poll: Romney takes four-point lead among likely voters
Excerpt: Pew, which in mid-September showed Romney trailing President Obama by eight points, now shows him leading the president by four points among likely voters — the first time Romney has led by that much. The poll has Romney at 49 percent and Obama at 45 percent.

Battleground Poll: Romney Up 16 With Independents, Up 13 In Enthusiasm
Excerpt: In 2008, President Barack Obama won the independent vote over John McCain by a margin of eight points, 52-44. This morning, a new Battleground Poll has Mitt Romney massacring Obama among indies by a whopping 16 points, 51-35. That's a 24-point swing among independents since 2008, a group that makes up anywhere from a quarter to a third of voters, and yet Battleground still has Obama in the lead 49-48…?

Sharp uptick for Romney in Rasmussen tracking. By Michael Barone
Excerpt: This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen reported that in his three-day tracking poll Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by a 49%-47% margin. This covers interviews conducted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, which is to say it includes two post-debate nights.

Romney campaign seizes momentum with 30 days left before election
Excerpt: With 30 days before the election, Mitt Romney has breathed new life into his campaign as a result of last week’s debate.

India's Rich [and it's 'most backward castes'] benefit from school's affirmative action -- while more accomplished poor students don't get university places. By Gardiner Harris
Excerpt: Five prominent university officials in Tamil Nadu said in interviews that those given set-asides at their institutions were generally the children of doctors, lawyers and high-level bureaucrats. The result is that rich students routinely get preference over more accomplished poor ones who do not happen to belong to the favored castes. None of the officials would allow their names to be used for fear of angering the government ministers who benefit politically and personally from the program.

Romney campaign seizes momentum with 30 days left before election
Excerpt: President Obama has had a small edge over Romney in most national polls, though the impact of the president’s weak debate performance has yet to play out in polling. But barring a huge post-debate bounce for the former Massachusetts governor, Obama has an easier path to get to 270 electoral votes, while Romney needs to all but run the table in the swing states to pull off a win.

Boldly Into The Breach
Excerpt: Will the real life story of incredible bravery, and the extreme courage of warriors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods be lost just because of Machiavellian politics ?

Romney to call for more engaged foreign policy, vow to ‘change course’ in Mideast
Excerpt: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will argue Monday in a major address that the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been marked by “passivity” and pledge “to change course in the Middle East.” “I know the President hopes for a safer, freer, and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy,” Romney is expected to say, according to excerpted remarks.

Excerpt: Mitt Romney on Monday accused President Obama of a lack of leadership on the global stage in a speech the GOP nominee hopes can capitalize on the momentum he's seen in the wake of his strong performance in last week's presidential debate. In what his campaign billed as a major foreign policy address, Romney claimed that "this President’s policies have not been equal to our best examples of world leadership.

Making Marines: From the shetchbook of Colonel A.F. Weddington, USMC (Retired)
I just received a copy of this terrific book, and wanted to bring it to the attention of Marines and their families. I., alas, can’t draw a line, but I recognize a talented artist when I see one. Yes, this is the same Marine who frequently contributes excellent opinion pieces to my blog. ~Bob.

Going All In: Poker Association Pushes for Legalization
Excerpt: The potential legalization of real-money online poker could be coming after the election, and the Poker Players Alliance is ready. Could online poker get a second chance? Now might be a good time to place a bet.

Coal exports could face roadblocks if Democrats maintain Senate control
Excerpt: Companies that want to export coal to Asia could find roadblocks in their path if Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) becomes chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (Democrats are focused on jobs like a laser-a job-killing death star laser. ~Bob

Excerpt: One thing that seems to be completely lacking in contemporary discussions of health policy is any discussion of what is and is not morally justified. In what follows I will propose some principles that should govern our thinking about the ethics of health policy. I’m going to sketch out this topic in an informal way that won’t satisfy the philosophy professors. But I hope it will serve the lay interest, which is our normal way of communicating at this blog. (A system that cannot be sustained fiscally, and thus eventually collapses, is not ethical. ~Bob.

Is Obama overrated as a candidate? By Chris Cillizza
Excerpt: But the now-familiar phrase took on a different — and more troubling — meaning for the president in the debate as it capped a decidedly desultory performance that left even his most loyal allies wondering what was wrong with him. Obama’s debate performance also raised a bigger question: Is he overrated as a candidate? (Obama’s a better candidate than president, or Romney would be up 10-15%. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Romney Deflates the President: The first debate was a surprise. Now the challenger has to prepare for more surprises. By Peggy Noonan
Excerpt: Out on a limb, where the breeze is best: The impact of the first debate is going to be bigger than we know. It's going to affect thinking more than we know, and it's going to start showing up in the polls, including in the battlegrounds, more dramatically than we guess. It wasn't just Mitt Romney's strong performance. It was President Obama's amazingly weak one. 

1 Dead, 3 Arrested – Bride Gets Decked – as Wedding Parties Brawl in Philadelphia (Video)
The City of Brotherly Love. ~Bob. At a wedding reception at which we were playing the best man slugged the bride's mother, and then both families started to right with each other. A great way to start a marriage. It seems like most every musician with whom I have talked has witnessed one or more fights between the families at a wedding reception. The reception got better when the drunken best man called our drummer a name alleging a particular sexual orientation. The drummer happened to be a martial arts guy--he stripped off his shirt and, with one leap over the drum set, landed on the dance floor and cleaned the guy's clock. I'm just glad that there were no guns handy. –BW.)

Why he's falling apart: The foundations of Obama's campaign are not nearly as strong as they once seemed. By Jim Geraghty 
Excerpt: A presidential reelection campaign needs three key elements: a defense of the incumbent’s record, a successful effort to define the opposition and a compelling vision of a second term. President Obama may well celebrate a second term in Chicago next month, but the conventional wisdom underestimates the difficulty he faces, as his campaign has distinct problems with all three elements.

Worth Reading: Another Broken Obama Promise: The Healthcare Cost Monster Emerges. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article for its special “Election 2012″ edition signed by nearly two dozen economists and healthcare experts calling for a “systematic approach” to health cost control. Several of the co-authors used to be advisers to President Obama, including former budget chief Peter Orszag, former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, and former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services head Donald Berwick. But why are these liberal luminaries calling for a new “systematic approach?” 

Cartel Leader Behind Mexican Massacres Linked to Operation Fast and Furious. By Gerardo Reyes and Santiago Wills
Excerpt; On the night of September 2, 2009, twelve hit men carrying AK-47s forced open the main door of Casa Aliviane, a drug rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez. ….Mexican authorities captured Torres Marrufo in Guanajuato last February. Behind the mirrors of his apartment's gym, they found a cache of guns that included powerful anti-aircraft weapons and firearms linked to Operation Fast and Furious. (Blood on Obama and Holder’s hands. ~Bob.)

Israel readies Patriot missiles to counter suspected Hezbollah drones
Excerpt: Military sources tell a local Hebrew newspaper that the Israeli Air Force has deployed a US-made Patriot missile battery to Haifa in northern Israel as tensions mounted over the weekend flight of a drone into Israeli airspace. The location of the battery, on a mountain overlooking Israel’s border with Lebanon, serves as further confirmation that Israel is concerned that Hezbollah in southern Lebanon is behind the drone.

Excerpt: I was surprised when Frank Lunz' focus group showed that the best line of the evening's debate by either candidate was Governor Romney's rendition of how he worked with Democrats in Massachusetts and will do so as president. But it makes a great deal of sense that this line would resonate. (If I had not been able to work with Democrats as a state senator, I’d have gotten nothing done. I had a lot of bills signed into law, but almost all of it with Democrat cosponsors. ~Bob.)

Uninformed opinions, uninformed voters?
It strikes me that these are Obama voters. Don't worry. Obama will get unemployment down to 3%, cut the debt down to less than $10 trillion, make entitlements sustainable, bring peace to the Middle East, get China and Iran to help stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, make the US energy independent by proliferating windmills and solar panels, and enable all school kids to perform at grade level by 2016. No sweat, eh? Cordially, Larry Greenberg

Report: (Both Parties—corrected headline!) Vulnerable To Illegal Foreign Campaign Donations
Excerpt: The 108-page GAI report found nearly half of Congress, both political parties and presidential candidates, and third-party fundraising groups that funnel money to political parties and candidates were vulnerable to fraudulent and foreign donations. 

Claim: Obama campaign illegally solicited foreign donors via social media website
Excerpt: GAI cites examples comprising what it calls “but a sample” of a large trend of Obama’s campaign soliciting foreign nationals for campaign donations. …. The group identified such Obama fundraising solicitations sent to Chinese, Azerbaijani, Vietnamese, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian and Egyptian bloggers. In a report accompanying the GAI report’s release, former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia concluded that the Obama campaign is clearly soliciting donations from foreign nationals.

Exclusive: Cisco cuts ties to China's ZTE after Iran probe. By Steve Stecklow
Excerpt: Cisco Systems Inc. has ended a longstanding sales partnership with ZTE Corp after an internal investigation into allegations that the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker sold Cisco networking gear to Iran. Cisco's probe followed stories by Reuters in March and April that documented how Shenzhen, China-based ZTE had sold banned computer equipment from Cisco and other U.S. companies to Iran's largest telecom firm.

Have Americans Finally Tired of the Obama Narrative? Or do they wish to stay in dreamland? By Jean Kaufman
Excerpt: In the very best postmodern fashion, Obama and his supporters have relied on a narrative about Obama that has been carefully constructed. He’s brilliant, a great writer, a rare thinker, a moderate, a first-class temperament with neatly pressed pants, a uniter, a cool guy who’s unflappable. The first debate last Wednesday threatened to make that narrative seem absurd. You might say that the narrative got mugged by reality, and an awful lot of people were watching while it happened.

Patriot Post quote from a Right-Wing Extremist
"It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now." --President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

The Green Jobs Debacle. By Tom Nelson
Excerpt: The 2009 stimulus directed around $90 billion toward green initiatives, including loan guarantees for green energy firms, money to weatherize homes, green jobs training grants, and many other projects. In an audit released in September, the Department of Labor's inspector general found that a $500 million program for training people with so-called green skills has so far produced only 1,336 jobs that have lasted over 6 months, with $163 million already spent. This amounts to $121,856 per successful green trainee.

Important: UK, Japan scientists win Nobel for adult stem cell discovery. By Anna Ringstrom
Excerpt: John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, Britain and Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan, discovered ways to create tissue that would act like embryonic cells, without the need to collect the cells from embryos.

Worth Reading: Newsweek’s Iran War Game
Excerpt: It’s 5 in the morning when the phone rings at the beachfront home of Dan Shapiro, the American ambassador to Israel. On the line is Rafi Barak, the head of Israel’s foreign ministry, sounding tense. Israel has struck six Iranian nuclear facilities overnight, causing extensive damage, he says. Israeli’s foreign minister will soon be calling Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with details. (This item was sent to me by GBH, a retired Marine Major General who often contributes to the blog. I think this is very possible, and could decide the election. ~Bob.)

Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America
For all, this morning there was a news discussion about the book The Twilight of America. It is about the untold story of Islamic training camps inside America. Jihadists have established training camps throughout the US, but mostly east of the Mississippi. Many of the Jihadists are home grown, but I also know we have a large number of Hezbollah members here...same for Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela. Many of you know I had a blog where I provided comments on articles related to our "War on Terror" (Bush era only--today it is about appeasement), and often provided very pointed perspective about Jihadist and the Islamic ideology. I gave up the blog because I felt my family was becoming a target. There are four jihadist training camps in North Carolina, South Carolina Georgia. If Israel attacks Iran during the next six months, which I think is highly likely, the US will be drawn into this conflict. Israel can start the conflict, but it will take the US to finish it, by mainly removing the mines in the straits of Hormuz and the numerous attack boats that could impact oil containers coming out of the Middle East. On a side note, it is being reported that Iran may agree to stop their effort towards creating material for nuclear weapons in order to help Obama get re-elected. It will give the appearance his sanctions worked. Of course this is just a ruse and they will logically start up their effort to create nuclear weapons material after the US election. Just for information, a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb can be carried in a brief case! I just ordered this book so I can't provide a lot of specifics about it at this point, but believe it will provide important information about training camp locations, composition of Jihadists, obvious intent to create Muslim domination of the world, and to kill infidels! Bottom line, plan for the worse scenario and hope for the best. For me, I'm reloading ammo today. –GBH

Worth Reading: Devaluation Coming? By Bob Livingston 
Excerpt: Government statistics never hint at the cost to the American people of constant devaluation of the currency. It’s a deep, dark secret that operates above the awareness threshold. What thief would announce his devices? Currency depreciation is a ploy governments have used for millennia. Why do evil men steal through currency depreciation? Because of its huge, ongoing income flow that goes to government over and above all taxes. (Alarmist, but I think QE3 suggests they are already working to slowly, without fanfare or upsetting creditors like China, working to solve the fiscal problems by making money—thus your retirement savings—worth less. The author suggests buying gold and silver coins. Maybe, but you can’t eat them. Canned goods and ammo may be worth more, if a collapse comes. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Yesterday marked the 11-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, which was launched just three and a half weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Recently, U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan reached the 2,000 mark. These markers—combined with the horror of “insider attacks” by Afghan soldiers against allied fighters—beg an accounting of where we are in Afghanistan.

Update: Tanks in the streets as Venezuelan electoral council declares Hugo Chavez victory
Excerpt: According to the Associated Press, Venezuela’s electoral council has declared that Hugo Chavez beat Henriques Capriles in Sunday’s presidential election with about 54 percent of the vote, despite exit polls showing otherwise. (Well, he endorsed Obama. Apparently Chavez practices The Chicago way. ~Bob.)

Wake up, Europe

U.S. Agrees to Let South Korea Extend Range of Ballistic Missiles
Excerpt: South Korea has reached an agreement with the United States that lets it more than double the range of its ballistic missiles to counter what it considers to be a growing threat from North Korea.

Euro zone launches bailout fund, says Spain doesn't need help
Watch for more riots in Spain. ~Bob. Excerpt: Euro zone finance ministers launched their permanent 500 billion euro bailout fund on Monday but said Spain, the country widely expected to be first to draw on it, was taking steps to overhaul its economy and did not need a bailout for now.

Nigerian forces say kill 30 Islamists, arrest 10
Excerpt: Nigerian forces said on Monday they killed 30 members of Islamist sect Boko Haram, including a senior commander, and arrested 10 others in a weekend raid on the northeastern city of Damaturu.

AU and Somali troops secure town of Wanla Weyn
Excerpt: African Union and Somali troops say they have secured Wanla Weyn, a town formerly held by Islamists about 90km (55 mi) from Mogadishu. The advance represents the latest gain by Somali and regional forces at the expense of the Islamists of al-Shabab.

At Harvard Law School in 1991, Obama approved of restricting speech to protect minorities. By Charles C. Johnson
Excerpt: The 1991 Harvard Law School yearbook quoted the future President of the United States virtually shrugging his shoulders at the thought that non-liberal white students might take offense at restrictions on speech that minority students found objectionable. “I don’t see a lot of conservatives getting upset if minorities feel silenced,” Obama said, flipping the argument around.

Excerpt: With U.S. unemployment still around 8% the Obama campaign team are shaking in their boots, knowing America's unemployment woes do not bode well for his re-election. The Whitehouse has tried every trick in the book to try and make the numbers look less troubling. But Obama's latest ploy is his most dangerous step yet. Knowing that next year's budget slashes $500 billion and decimates the Defense budget, Obama's campaign advisors just gave him a heads up that the massive defense worker layoffs that accompany these budget cuts threaten to send our already woeful unemployment rate soaring well over 10% and could drive it even higher! Knowing these defense cuts are very likely to send us into another deep recession, Obama has decided to act to put off this dreadful news until after the election is over!

Obama Succeeds. Salafists Move To Gain Power in EgyptLibya, and Tunisia.
Excerpt: As a result we have transformed three countries — TunisiaLibya, and Egypt — from null sets or allies into hotbeds of islamic radicalism. If you want a quick explanation for why the Obama regime failed to react to intelligence warnings, denied enhanced security to the now dead ambassador and lied about it all (here | here) you need to look no further than election year atmospherics. How would is look if the crown jewel of Obama’s meager foreign policy achievements was seeming to fall under the control of the very people we’ve been actively fighting since 2001, the same that were studiously ignored by Bill Clinton.

Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own. –Benjamin Disraeli (They had Progressives then, too. ~Bob.)

State Dept Mum On Missing Priest In Greece Update: Priest Didn’t Say ‘Safe Haven.’ By Mary Chastain 
Excerpt: Father Christiaan Kappes, a priest for the Indianapolis Archdiocese, went missing in Greece last Monday after telling his family he feared for his life. His father, Virgil Kappes, encouraged his son to go to the US Embassy for help. …. . His father said his son left the embassy because he was denied safe haven.

Multiple Twitter Users Threaten To Assassinate Mitt Romney: ‘Shoot Him Dead’
Excerpt: The race to the White House can be ugly and cruel, an inconvenient truth that rears its ugly head in U.S. politics every four years. Unfortunately, there will always be those who reserve pure, unadulterated hatred for anyone they disagree with. (I suppose the Left wouldn’t come off as so violent if Sarah Palin hadn’t created a climate of hate by saying Democrats were election “targets.” Idiots. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Argentine Death Spiral Watch. By Walter Russell Mead

Excerpt: It’s the oldest trick in the book: when your polls are in the dumps, try to drum up nationalist fervor over a foreign conflict and watch the voters forget what a terrible job you’re doing domestically. With growth forecasts down to as low as 1.5% for this year after holding at almost 8% in 2011, and with inflation soaring, Kristina Kirchner is trotting out the tried and true Argentinean hobby horse: the Malvinas/Falklands. Will it work? (Which is why, if the polls are going Romney’s way on October 20, we are likely to be bombing Iran by October 25th. ~Bob.)

Why the Obama Bubble Still Hasn’t Burst. By Star Parker 
Excerpt: One part of the answer to this puzzle is the changing demographics of the country. The United States today is a nation that is much less white, much less married, and less traditional than it once was. These are growing trends and each reflects in at least some large part constituencies with values supportive of Obama’s world view - activist government and moral relativism.

Children killed as Afghan cop refuses to quit: officials
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Two schoolchildren including a nine-year-old girl were shot dead by militants in Afghanistan after their father refused to quit his job as a policeman, officials said Sunday.

Islam's Latest Contributions to Peace
This site keeps a comprehensive list of Allahmurders. ~Bob.

Copt home attacked after Egypt president promises security
Excerpt: Gunmen opened fire on the home of a Coptic Christian in the Sinai peninsula on Saturday, hours after a visit by President Mohamed Morsi to reassure Christian residents they would not be targeted again.

Afghan cleric offer $300k bounty on Anti-Islam filmmaker
Excerpt: An Afghan religious cleric announced $300,000 bounty to kill the producer of the American film which insulted prophet Muhammad. (Our government has him. Be a nice chunk of campaign cash. ~Bob.)

Bombshell: US Security Teams Removed From Libya Prior to Attack, Over Stevens' Objections. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: In case this recent development wasn't egregious enough, another shoe has dropped in the Benghazi scandal -- adding more fuel to the speculative fire about why the administration seemed so motivated to coordinate a dishonest cover-up (read that link) after the fact. CBS News takes the lead on this outrageous story: is run out of Communist China.
Excerpt: The corruption that makes up the soul of the Obama Regime is bubbling to the surface: In an explosive report set to send shockwaves through official Washington, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) released a 108-page GAI investigation into the threat of foreign and fraudulent Internet campaign donations in U.S. federal elections ( to download the full report).

Excerpt: A jihadist known as Abu 'Atikah al Muhajir posted several photographs purporting to show two "lions of the Arabian Peninsula" who joined his group in the southern Philippines. The photographs [one shown above] and a brief accompanying statement were posted on jihadist forums on Oct. 2 and were obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group, which also translated the statement. The identity of the two AQAP fighters was not provided, and the faces of those in the images have been blacked out.

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