Thursday, November 29, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for November 30, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for November 30, 2012
Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This SitRep (Military for “Situation Report”) is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. And I can only spend at most three hours a night pulling stuff, plus the healthcare or economic stuff that crosses my desk at work. As always, I—and you—owe them thanks and appreciation. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article, or that I was able to verify the information presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, or too far a stretch, regardless of the view point, but I don’t always succeed. As always on the Net, or in the legacy media, you must read critically and with skepticism.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. E-Book available at Smash Words:
Please forward and post where possible. For a free PDF of Collapse, write to me at tartanmarine(at)

Mortgage-interest deduction could be on the table in ‘fiscal cliff’ debate
Excerpt: Of all the deductions woven into the sprawling U.S. tax code, few have been more fiercely guarded than the enormous tax break that lets homeowners deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages. But as Congress and the White House negotiate the first major rewrite of tax laws in decades, changing the generations-old mortgage-interest deduction — which costs the government roughly $100 billion a year — has gone from far-off possibility to part of the conversation.

Excerpt: Hey, these people are rich — so who cares? Well, you should. Because Buffett's proposed tax hike is just another way of removing investment capital — the engine of economic growth — from the U.S. economy. It would also do next to nothing to close our long-term budget deficits, now running at $1 trillion plus a year.

Why the Rich Should be Taxed More
My previous article on "soaking the rich." ~Bob

Excerpt: Even if the country doesn’t slide over the fiscal cliff, any deal to blunt the impact of the scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts is likely to create at least some drag on an economy that is still growing only modestly. The full package of changes set to take effect in January would suck more than $600 billion out of the economy, according to the Congressional Budget Office. And while the outlines of any deal are still sketchy to say the least, Goldman Sachs economists are modeling a $233 billion economic hit as their “base case scenario.”

Excerpt: Is Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) really so dumb - or unprincipled - that he will buy into a plan that raises $1.2 trillion in tax revenue starting next year in exchange for $400 billion in entitlement cuts between 2023 and 2033?

Long but interesting: The World in 2013: Ten predictions for a year of brewing conflict. By Jessica T. Mathews 
Excerpt: Three major forces will loom behind the headlines in 2013, driving events in the new year: the crisis of the Western political order, rising sectarian strife in the Middle East, and worries about American withdrawal from the world. The most immediate challenge is the crisis of the Western democratic model, caused by the inability of the United States and Europe to deal with their respective fiscal and financial issues. The problems are economic, but the weaknesses are fundamentally political.

Quote from NRO's Morning Jolt By Jim Geraghty
If you're a House Republican, what incentive do you have to give ground on tax increases that you think will be damaging to the country? The only significant one is the conclusion that going over the fiscal cliff will inflict worse damage on the economy. And that's a pretty big one, but it may or may not be worth violating the Grover Norquist pledge, infuriating the base, and giving a diehard, no-holds-barred opponent in the White House exactly what he wants.

Just Bumps in the Road by Col. William Bauer, USMC
We're the Battling Bastards of Benghazi, no fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell, defending the country we loved so well.
It wasn't our job, but we answered the call, fought to the consulate, 'n scaled th' wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate, led them to safety, 'n stood at th' gate.
Just the two of us, 'n foe by th' score, but we stood fast to bar th' door.
We called for reinforcement, but it was denied, so we fought, 'n we fought, 'n we fought, 'n we died.
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam, 'n Obama didn't give a damn,
Just two dead SEALS, who carried the load, no thanks to us, we were bumps in the road.
(This poem came via e-mail from a Marine and I assumed the Colonel wanted is circulated. ~Bob.)

Cuban-American vote explains why America is in decline. By Dennis Prager
Excerpt: If you want to understand why President Obama was re-elected despite a largely unsuccessful presidency and almost unprecedentedly high and continuous unemployment, just look at the Cuban-American vote. In fact, if you want to understand America today -- specifically, why it is in decline -- just look at the Cuban-American vote. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, "The president captured 48 percent of the Cuban-American vote in Florida -- a record high for a Democrat." (A really insightful examination of how people's ideas are affected by their personal history and exposure to a slanted educational system. I have often said that when a person is raised in a society of plenty and freedom, it becomes much easier to be taken in by various inputs that paint the world in a particular slanted way. It's easier to believe that all people are subject to the kind of reasoning and tolerance that is common to Judao-Christian societies. It's a nice idealized picture of the world as made up of societies and cultures that readily mutually accepting, where enough good communication can overcome all difficulties. Unfortunately, the flaws in humanity bring into being societies and cultures that have basic values in great contrast to Western values, and who are not tolerant nor willing to become tolerant, and for whom no amount of attempts at meaningful communication will have any real impact. And who sometimes are dominated by individuals or groups who are fundamentally at odds with Western values, and who employ violence and brutal suppression to achieve their goals. To put it simply, there was no negotiating with Hitler or Pol Pot or any of several other individuals or groups whose agenda is for the conquering of others and imposing their own harsh system of government on everyone. --Del)

The President is bluffing. By Keith Hennessey
Excerpt: If there is no bill, the U.S. economy will probably dip into recession for much/most/all of 2013, and it’s impossible to predict whether such a recession would be short-lived. A 2013 recession would be terrible for the country and terrible for the Obama Presidency. It would limit the President’s options across his entire policy agenda, economic and non-economic. And it could define and dominate his entire second term.

GOP Should Accept Obama’s Proposal, Without Endorsing. By John Wohlstetter
Excerpt: Alas, Republicans seem ready to fall into a classic political trap: sharing blame if a deal goes wrong while getting none of the credit if the deal works well. There are several reasons for this. First, Obama, a re-elected president with a mainstream media that will blame the GOP for any logjam or breakdown, holds most of the high negotiating cards. 

Excerpt: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that House Republicans should stop negotiating with President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats on the fiscal cliff, saying that by doing so, they give Obama all of the leverage in the talks.

ENOUGH! The GOP Should Give Obama What He Wants
Excerpt: Here’s the reality: Obama is willing to go over the fiscal cliff instead of giving on tax hikes because he knows the GOP will get blamed for whatever happens if a deal isn’t reached. Republicans simply don’t have the skills to pull off blaming it on Democrats. They also don’t have a complicit media to help explain the reality of who is really holding the economy hostage (aka Obama).

Welcome to Belgistan
Short, worth watching. we're next. ~Bob.

New blow for Rice: Moderate senator voices concern
Excerpt: A moderate Republican senator, vital to any White House hopes of getting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice confirmed as secretary of state, said Wednesday she couldn't back any nomination until more questions are answered about the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya and Rice's State Department role during the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya.

America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. --Claire Wolfe

Excerpt: Five years ago, every American would have considered a trillion-dollar budget deficit a national tragedy. If you believe the CNBC parrot show, NOT having a trillion-dollar deficit is now a sure sign of the Apocalypse. I speak of course of the cleverly dubbed “Fiscal Cliff,” which panicked CNBC apologists are required to mention no less than 5,000 times a day. We’re told ad nauseam that going over the cliff will drag the US into recession. Here’s what we’re not told: The US has been in recession 9 of the last 10 years. 

Jewish Mother Fights Armed Terrorist, Prevents ‘Itamar 2’
Excerpt: “Suddenly I saw a terrorist in a kefiyyeh [head scarf] standing opposite me,” she told Maariv. “I decided that if I didn’t fight, he would murder me and my four children, there would be a massacre like in Itamar, where the Fogels and three of their children were murdered in their home.” (Doubtless the NYT will deplore this example of Jewish aggression against peaceful Muslims. ~Bob.)

T-Ball War in the Middle East. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: In terms of the Middle East, contemporary T-ball war works out like this: A far weaker Gaza sends a shower of missiles into Israel, hiding its launchers among civilians to ensure collateral damage and favorable propaganda during Israeli retaliation. Israel, with its technological savvy, knocks down most of the incoming rockets, but then retaliates inordinately to the aggression by killing far more Palestinians in Gaza than it lost inside Israel. That is considered unsportsmanlike play. (War may be hell, but losing one in the real world is worse. Ask any local Vietnamese-American if you doubt this. A shocking—to me, at least—proportion of our countrymen have no concept of what it would mean to our lives if we lost a war to Islamists. It’d just be “business as usual but with different guys on top,” they think. And, they don’t want to hear any other answer; if you give them one anyway, you’ll be socially outcast or worse. Unless we in the West face, confront, oppose, and defeat our enemies, most of us won’t have any “business as usual.” We’ll be dead. War—and cultural survival—is too serious to leave to politicians and social commentators. Ron P.)

Excerpt: I have no idea what will be happening in the Middle East by the time this article is posted, but it almost doesn’t matter. If there’s a ceasefire, as now seems likely, everyone knows it will merely be a temporary stopgap until Iran supplies the barbarians with more missiles. What I have found peculiar about events in that part of the world is how predictable they are.

Excerpt: Democratic Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Republican Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Democratic New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt Jr. are challenging the Obama administration to release documents it uses to legally justify drone strikes overseas…. “We must reject the notion that protecting our national security requires revoking the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens. No president can act as judge, jury and executioner, and any attempt to do so is in direct violation of our Constitution, which gives our citizens a right to life and a fair trial,” Kucinich said. (This would only be an issue if, say, President Romney was doing it. Then the media would howl. ~Bob.)

GAI: Four-Part Plan Needed To Keep Foreign Cash Out OF U.S. Elections
Excerpt: Throughout the 2012 election cycle, Breitbart News provided extensive coverage of the threat of illegal foreign and fraudulent online campaign donations. The Government Accountability Institute’s comprehensive 108-pagereport—“America The Vulnerable: Are Foreign and Fraudulent Online Campaign Contributions Influencing U.S. Elections?”—revealed myriad gaping online security holes that leave U.S. elections vulnerable to fraudulent campaign contributions. In Wednesday’s USA Today, Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer proposed a simple, four-part plan to increase transparency and begin safeguarding U.S. federal elections from illegal foreign money. (Too little, too late. Damage done. No one cared. Massive fraud in 2008…continued. –Barb)

Note to the President
No one is a failure until they blame somebody else. –Charles ''Tremendous'' Jones

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: Jamie Foxx addressed the Soul Train Awards Sunday where he thanked his Lord and Savior Barack Obama. That can't be true. If Barack Obama can heal the sick and raise the dead with the touch of his hand why on earth do we have to pay for health care reform?

The tyranny of good intentions at U.S. colleges. By Michael Barone
Excerpt: In recent weeks, two books have appeared about another of America's gleaming institutions, our colleges and universities, either of which could be subtitled "The Shame of the Universities."

What Medicare needs is a consumer-driven market. By Jeff Jacoby
Excerpt: Neurologists are about to feel the sting of the Affordable Care Act. Beginning Jan. 1, Medicare will be paying them less for electrodiagnostic procedures used in identifying and treating a wide range of nerve and muscle disorders. Reimbursement rates for some tests will be slashed by more than 50 percent, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that payments to neurologists overall will shrink by 7 percent next year.

Make the Dems own the Obama economy. By Ann Coulter
Excerpt: One bright spot of Barack Obama's re-election was knowing that unemployment rates were about to soar for the precise groups that voted for him -- young people, unskilled workers and single women with degrees in gender studies. But now the Democrats are sullying my silver lining by forcing Republicans to block an utterly pointless tax-raising scheme in order to blame the coming economic Armageddon on them. 

Excerpt: As quantified, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.”

Worth Reading: A cliff of their own choosing. By George Will
Excerpt: With a chip on his shoulder larger than his margin of victory, Barack Obama is approaching his second term by replicating the mistake of his first. Then his overreaching involved health care — expanding the entitlement state at the expense of economic growth. Now he seeks another surge of statism, enlarging the portion of gross domestic product grasped by government and dispensed by politics.

Poll: Americans Who Believe Economy Will Worsen Jumps 27 Points Since Obama Reelected. By Elizabeth Harrington
Excerpt: Half the country now believes the economy will be worse off in one year, a 27-point increase since President Barack Obama’s reelection, according to Rasmussen Reports.

Worth Reading: 5 Dirty Little Secrets About the Bush Tax Cuts. By John Merline
Excerpt: And in the years since, those cuts have been the source of constant attacks. Critics charge they gave away too much to the rich, exploded the deficit, contributed to income inequality, did little to spur economic growth, and so on. … In fact, IRS data show that the richest 1% paid $84 billion more in taxes in 2007 than they had in 2000 — that's a 23% increase — even though their average tax rate went down. (Isn't this interesting information? Amazing how different reality is so often as compared to what the media seem to say and what becomes "everybody knows". One strategist has said the GOP guys should shut up and let the cuts expire, and then within a year when the reality of the result can be seen, people will figure out who was really more right about how things work and what can or should be done in the tax code. –Del)

Egyptian Christians sentenced to death for anti-Islam film 

Supporters of Obamacare Admit It Hurts the Poor
Excerpt: David Gamage is an assistant professor of Law at UC Berkeley who has worked on the tax provisions of Obamacare for the Treasury Department. In an October 30 article in the Wall Street Journal (“ObamaCare’s Costs to the Working Class“), he expresses sincere concern over the presumably unintended consequences of the Obamacare law as written.

The Problem With Multiculturalism. By David Solway
Excerpt: The multicultural project in its contemporary form suffers from two grievous flaws: the filter is too wide, allowing into the country unskilled people who are poorly equipped to participate in a modern, technologically oriented economy and who consequently become a financial burden to the nation, disproportionately swelling the welfare rolls; and, no less critical, many of these immigrant groups import the hatreds, prejudices and conflicts of their countries of origin, sequester themselves with official approval into closed or aggressive enclaves, and often cause violence and disruption in the public life of their new home. 

City shocked after mall cops let attempted-kidnapper go free.
Excerpt: Officials of the security company that patrols Fashion Square mall say they will review officers’ actions in escorting a man who attempted to abduct a child during post-Thanksgiving shopping off the property.

Grim milestone approaching: 20,000 jihad terror attacks worldwide since 9/11
Excerpt: 19,999 jihad attacks as of this morning. But remember: "Islamophobia" is the far greater problem!

Excerpt: Those who are part of the Black Conservative Movement are hoping to give people a better understanding of the meaning of being conservative. Demetrius Minor, a member of the National Advisory Council of Project 21, or the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives, said he became a conservative after receiving advice during the turn of the millennium.

Major Garrett Blows Up Carney for Dodging Rice Keystone Question
Excerpt: White House press secretary Jay Carney dodged questions about Ambassador Susan Rice and her husband’s investment in Canadian oil companies–including up to $600,000 in the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada–in a Thursday press briefing, oddly turning to the Benghazi issue in his response. … “You didn’t answer the question,” CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett interjected. 

If GOP continues to ignore health care, U.S. will end up with single payer. By Philip Klein
Excerpt: At some point in the future, liberals will be arguing that any ongoing problems with the health care system are a result of Democrats leaving the private sector with too much control. They’ll be renewing their push for a “public option,” with the ultimate goal of achieving single-payer health care. And if Republicans don’t present compelling alternatives, that’s exactly where America will end up.

Whoops: UN tweet calls for one-state solution in Israel/Palestine conflict
First, Allah willing, you kill all the Jews….~Bob

U.S. Chamber: Europe is dying
Excerpt: Europe's once vibrant economy is slowly dying, robbing American companies of business and prompting calls for a new trade deal to revive the economic health of the continent. "Europe is in a slow decline," said Thomas Donohue, president of the Chamber. "We need to see them get stronger." (Hell, we can’t make ourselves stronger. Are they now TBTF and need a bailout from our Bank of Red China VISA card? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Video appears to show a Syrian government helicopter being struck by a guided surface to air missile. CJ Chivers offers context and an additional video of the helicopter at the NYT At War blog.

Lightning strike off the Eisenhower
Cool pic. ~Bob

I still say Time Magazine should make "The Uninformed Voter" man of the year... for re-electing an incompetent President. (Not uninformed. Willing to loot-the-future voters, and to hell with the grandkids. ~Bob.)

Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate
Excerpt: Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50p top rate of tax, figures have disclosed. (Rich people respond to economic incentives? Who knew? Coming soon to the US. ~Bob.)

Benefits and Considerations for Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin
Excerpt: GAO reported in February 2012 that replacing $1 notes with $1 coins could potentially provide $4.4 billion in net benefits to the federal government over 30 years. (This has long needed to be done. A dollar won’t buy what a dime would when I was a kid, and we got along without dime bills. Need to scrap the penny as well. A dine now might buy what a penny did back in the day. When the UK went to One Pound coins, folks bitched, but got used to it. ~Bob.)

Pray 4 Kati, BC grad. Pregnant w cancer. Chose to carry baby and save its life even if it might take her own … #prolife (Will Time pick her as the Person of the Year? No chance. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: A sordid tale of Chicago politics that reveals how Obama got his start. By Andrew Malcolm
Excerpt: As a loyal former elected Democrat, Mel Reynolds writes a plea to the White House for a commuted sentence. The letter is delivered to Democrat Bill Clinton by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Democrat father of Reynolds' Democrat successor. Hours before President Clinton surrenders the White House to his GOP successor, he commutes Reynolds' federal fraud conviction.

Obama taking 20-day, $4M fiscal cliff Hawaiian vacation
Oh, go ahead, show me your shocked face. ~Bob.

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