Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 13, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 13, 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.

Charities I support
Good time of year for giving. ~Bob

Worth Reading: Repairing ObamaCare. By John Goodman
Excerpt: In the aftermath of the recent election, virtually all commentators were quick to conclude that ObamaCare has been saved. The health reform law can now go forward and Republicans are powerless to stop it. The trouble is: ObamaCare is a deeply flawed piece of legislation. Its defects are so huge that Democrats are going to want to perform major surgery on it in the near future, even if the Republicans stand by and twiddle their thumbs. That raises this question: What changes need to be made in the legislation to turn it into a health reform that solves existing problems without creating even more serious new problems? Here are six essential short term fixes:

Excerpt: The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will take unprecedented steps to bolster the economy, saying it will continue to stimulate growth unless the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent or the inflation rate reaches 2.5 percent. It was a historic move that for the first time explicitly spells out the Fed's goals for the economy and how it will respond to changing economic conditions. The Fed says it will also begin purchasing $45 billion in Treasury bonds a month, on top of $40 billion a month it is already buying in mortgage bonds.
Dems Ask for Delay to Obamacare Med Device Tax They Voted for in the First Place
Excerpt: In a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, 18 Democrat senators and senators-elect have asked for “a delay in the implementation” of the Obamacare medical device tax. Like most of the significant tax increases in Obamacare, the medical device tax is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013, conveniently after the 2012 presidential election. Each of the 18 Democrat signatories voted for or supported Obamacare in the first place. 

Both sides edging toward deal in deficit-reduction negotiations
Excerpt: Congressional Republicans and the White House on Tuesday appeared to edge closer to a deficit-reduction deal that would raise new taxes on the wealthy but also reform entitlement programs. 

Older piece, but worth remembering now: Higher Taxes Won't Reduce the Deficit
Excerpt: Using standard statistical analyses that introduce variables to control for business-cycle fluctuations, wars and inflation, we found that over the entire post World War II era through 2009 each dollar of new tax revenue was associated with $1.17 of new spending. Politicians spend the money as fast as it comes in—and a little bit more.

School Reform, the Texas Way
Excerpt: Many countries invest heavily in education and see a rise in student test scores. However, that is not the case in the United States, where the country spends the most per-student but has lost its competitive edge when it comes to education, says Herbert J. Walberg, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. American students ranked 27th in mathematics and 21st in science in the most recent international achievement survey. About 1.2 million students drop out of high school each year. Forty-four percent of the dropouts who are under age 24 are jobless. … Texas provides a shining example of how to expand school choice to everyone, including low- and middle-income families.

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"President Obama met with leaders of the American Indian tribes and they honored the president by giving him his own Indian name: Running Deficits." --comedian Jay Leno

"When did Republicans start insisting on approving only competent, honest people, especially with regard to the Obama administration? Is it just me, or did that come completely out of left field? ... Really, looking at the administration as a whole, Obama did better than we could have expected by appointing only one czar who was a Communist truther. So, to be fair to [Susan] Rice, Republicans should at least grade her on a curve. Is she really that awful ... for an Obama appointee? ... [A]s long as Rice is reasonably loyal to the United States (i.e., identifies it as one of her five favorite countries) and probably won't accidentally start any wars (or, given recent history, not more than one), we can declare her as 'good enough.' And what more can we expect from government?" --humorist Frank J. Fleming.

"U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accused Republicans of trying to make it a crime to be an illegal alien. Democrats see a conspiracy plot. First Republicans want to say that illegal aliens are illegal, next they're going to want to take away their voting rights." --comedian Argus Hamilton

Union Violence and Mob Mayhem in Michigan. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: The mob destroyed an Americans For Prosperity tent on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol. An invective-filled diatribe followed by a vicious assault on Fox News contributor and conservative comedian Steven Crowder was captured on camera. 26,000 children missed school because their teachers called in sick, or took a vacation day, to join the protests. Police in riot gear clashed with angry demonstrators, even as some union members shouted "traitors" at the officers. (Well, you remember all the violence at the Tea Party demonstrations, right? Me, neither. ~Bob. Comment posted on the column: “My husband works for a worthless union in Illinois. All they do is take his money, but do nothing in return to him. They let the company rip-shod the employees and they stand back and count their money they can send to Chicago and ultimately fill democratic coffers. I would LOVE for Illinois to become a right-to-work state!”)

Obama's America Will Become Detroit. By Terence Jeffrey
Excerpt: President Barack Obama travelled to Michigan this week and made his case for class war in defense of the welfare state. We need to take more money from the rich, he said, or schools will not be able to afford books, students will not be able to afford college, and disabled children will not get health. … Obama spoke these words a few miles from Detroit -- the reductio ad absurdum of his argument.

'There Will Be Blood': Union Violence in the Age of Obama. By Michelle Malkin 
Excerpt: Not so many moons ago, President Obama urged us all to "make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds." He Who Heals advocated "a more civil and honest public discourse" in the wake of the January 2011 Tucson massacre. As usual, though, the White House has granted Big Labor bullies a permanent waiver from the lofty edicts it issues to everyone else.

Excerpt: Michigan has passed a modest labor reform, and the result has been threats and violence from Democratic elected officials and their union henchmen. While this is deplorable, it is not surprising: Organized labor’s business model is mechanically identical to extortion, and it is in the nature of the extortionist’s trade to resort to violence when frustrated.

Democrats threaten violence on Michigan House floor
Excerpt: “There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state. (Kipling: “They have asked for steel, they shall have it now.” ~Bob.)

Diff between Mafia & unions? One threatens to kill you if you don't give them money, the other dresses snappy.

As long as Democrats throw entertaining fits every time we shut down unions, we're going to keep doing it.

Tea Party thugs destroy black man’s business
Excerpt: Wait, did I say Tea Party thugs? I meant union thugs. Sorry to confuse you, lefties and the media (PTR). You can go away now, because this won’t interest you. Dana Loesch reports: Nobody is safe. Apparently union protesters targeted anything that had a white tent yesterday, even reportedly taking out the hot dog stand of Lansing fixture Clint Tarver.

Worth Reading: Taxing the Poor. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people's resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years. Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life's savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. 

Our Government-Created Financial Crisis. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: Suppose you saw a building on fire. Would you seek counsel from the arsonist who set it ablaze for advice on how to put it out? You say, "Williams, you'd have to be a lunatic to do that!" But that's precisely what we've done: turned to the people who created our fiscal crisis to fix it. I have never read a better account of our doing just that than in John A. Allison's new book, "The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure."

Excerpt: …most blunders in war follow from the fruits of perceived success (e.g., Germany after victories in the West, Japan after sensing the colonial powers were all through in the Pacific, MacArthur after Inchon, the Chinese after successfully crossing into Korea, and perhaps even the United States in Iraq after the quick victory over the Taliban and the three-week disposal of Saddam Hussein’s regime), when the winning side rarely evaluates its ongoing success in terms of tactical means and strategic ends, the changing tides of war, and the advantages that will soon begin to accrue to the defenders. Few dared challenge the purported genius Hitler in 1941, or the supposedly all-knowing Isoroku Yamamoto in late 1941, or the brilliant MacArthur after Inchon. (This may be the best explanation of these seeming paradoxes I’ve read. In business, war, or poker, when things are going “too well,” a wise practitioner should always wonder why, and what to do about it. The problem is to recognize when “too well” is happening. Ron P. Old Maxim: When your attack is going really well, you are walking into an ambush. ~Bob.)

Sacre bleu! Teacher in France asks students to compose their own suicide notes
Excerpt: A teacher in southwestern France has been suspended after asking his class of 13-year-olds to write their own suicide notes. (See, I had this terrible teacher who warped my psyche…~Bob.)

US recognizes Syria's main rebel group, Obama says
Excerpt: President Barack Obama declared Syria's main opposition group the sole "legitimate representative" of its country's people Tuesday, deeming the move "a big step" in the international diplomatic efforts to end Syrian President Bashar Assad's embattled regime. (I think the group he recognized has a lot of members who would be delighted for the chance to kill him, his race and Peace prize notwithstanding. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: With little fanfare Monday, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford was confirmed by the Senate as the newest commander for the international forces in Afghanistan, charged with overseeing the final two years of the U.S.-led war and executing the White House plan to phase out troops and leave a small number behind after 2014.

Excerpt: In 1980 total Federal Health Spending was $55.3 billion. In 1990 it was $155.8 billion. That’s about an 11% annualized increase. At that rate what is US Federal Spending for a 65 year old 30 years hence when he dies? $3,567 billion, or three times the size of the entire Federal Government in 1990. Possible? No. Known in 1990? Yes.

Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream
Excerpt: In America today, blacks generally can conduct racist assaults on whites and count on “civil rights” activists and the media not to notice. In the two months following Trayvon Martin’s death, black assailants carried out at least 14 fourteen known attacks against white victims with the idea of “avenging” the fallen youth. (The failure of Progressives and the Media to condemn black racism and violence breeds white racism. Of course, that’s what they want, as it helps them mobilize power, however devastating to the country, especially the Black community, where decent Black folks suffer because of it. ~Bob.)

Egypt: Nine anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters shot
Excerpt: How many will have to be shot before Obama withdraws his support from the Muslim Brotherhood regime? It would have to be a very high number. 

Death for three Xinjiang plane hijackers: China media
Excerpt: A court in China's restive Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang sentenced three men to death on Tuesday after they were found guilty of trying to hijack an aircraft and detonate explosives, state media said.

Now it's "extreme anti-Islam" to quote the Qur'an
Excerpt: The contortions that the mainstream media has to go through to maintain its fictions about the Religion of Peace would be entertaining if they weren't so destructive.

Al-Jazeera Shames the U.S. Media By Telling the Truth About Cuban Repression
Excerpt: In our country, had it chosen to do so, 60 Minutes might have been the outlet for this kind of brave investigative reporting. The last time it reported on Cuba, however, it was the usual kind of soft story carried out with the cooperation of Cuban government authorities. No one, it seems, loves Fidel and Raul Castro more than our American TV correspondents, who from Barbara Walters on down would do anything to gain the adoration and respect of our own hemisphere’s left-wing tyrants. (Long, but worth reading. Ron P.)

Beware False Patriots. English Defence League
Excerpt: Over many years there have been many different nationalist/patriotic movements that have formed, some with genuine intentions, however there are others with incredibly odious agendas, agendas that involve money making scams and the nefarious boneheaded policies of racial politics. Such groups drag the word "patriot" into the gutter, these groups and organisations have hijacked the true definition of patriotism, they have re-defined nationalism and contorted it into something that is seen as inherently racist, the National Front and the BNP are just two such examples of this, and now there is a new group that has formed, they call themselves "Britain First" but we can't help thinking are they actually putting Britain first or are they putting themselves first?

Mark Steyn Donates To: Blazing Cat Fur's Legal Defence Fund
Excerpt: Hi All, As many of you are aware my legal tussle, the fallout from our victory over Section 13 (1), with Richard Warman continues. Warman is suing for libel, largely for comments made by multiple readers. Trial is approaching in the New Year and anticipated costs will escalate by a very significant degree.

Obit: Peter Johnson, Sr.
Peter Johnson Sr., a legendary rags-to-riches Manhattan lawyer who rose from the West Side docks to the apex of the legal profession as a renowned litigator and political kingmaker, died Dec. 3 after a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis. … He later became a New York City police officer, and then enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II. Johnson was grievously wounded during the Battle of Iwo Jima and spent a year in military hospitals before resuming his duties as a police officer.

'Jedi' Religion Most Popular Alternative Faith in UK. By Henry Taylor
Excerpt: The new figures reveal that the light sabre-wielding disciples are only behind Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism in the popularity stakes, excluding non-religious people and people who did not answer. Following a nationwide campaign, Jedi made it onto the 2001 census, with 390,127 people identifying themselves a decade ago as followers of the fictional Star Wars creed. (Amused, I am. ~Bob.)

Unions Begin Long War After Stunning Blow in Michigan. Shikha Dalmia
Excerpt: A cradle of the U.S. labor movement became the 24th state to adopt right-to-work laws, when Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan signed legislation on Tuesday banning mandatory union dues. The unions barely had time to muster one big protest in the state capital after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved the bills last week. Today they are preparing for a long war to recover from this huge blow to their power. (What time is it, Kids? It’s Head Breaking time! ~Bob.)

Gay Marriage or Economic Armageddon: Which do you think matters more? James Delingpole
Excerpt: Have a look at this chart and then ask yourself a question. "Which do I care about more: the fact that Rupert and Tarquin currently can't get married in Holy Trinity, Brompton or the fact that the pound in my pocket is worth 20 per cent of what it was twelve years ago thanks to cynical and deliberate debasement of our currency by the ever-burgeoning state?" Well, call me a great big homophobe but I know what bothers me more.

Greater London has a White British Minority for the First Time in History: New Labour's Immigration Revolution has Transformed England, and not Entirely for the Better. By Ed West
Excerpt: I wonder what odds bookmakers are giving on the Conservatives winning the 2016 mayoral elections, now that Greater London has a white British minority for the first time in history (the figures for London proper are even more startling, especially in areas like Newham). Yesterday’s census figures are Tony Blair’s legacy: a demographic revolution unprecedented in English history. As Kevin Myers once put it, “London has undergone a demographic transplant unlike that experienced by any European capital since the Fall of Constantinople in 1483”.

Excerpt: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued his final warning Wednesday to the White House and Congress to strike a deal avoiding the "fiscal cliff," cautioning that concerns over the pending tax hikes and spending cuts were already taking a toll on the economy. Bernanke was adamant that policymakers could not let the economy go over the cliff, even briefly, because it would wreak havoc on a still tenuous recovery. (Both sides are more worried about the political damage with their base of giving in than the economic damage of the fiscal cliff. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: On the same day the US government announced that al Qaeda in Iraq's Al Nusrah Front was a terrorist organization, Al Nusrah and nine other jihadist groups banded together in the Syrian province of Deir al Zour and formed a Mujahideen Shura Council. The 10 jihadist groups, headed by the Al Nusrah Front, released a statement yesterday announcing the council's formation "on jihadist forums and pro-Syrian resistance social networking sites," according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the message. (There are no “good guys” in Syria. Unfortunately, the administration depends on hope, not reality. Americans will have to die to teach them. ~Bob.)

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