Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 24, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 24, 2013
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.

Obama will negotiate

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Excerpt: The Pentagon’s inspector general has cleared the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan of wrongdoing following an investigation into whether he exchanged inappropriate e-mails with the same Tampa socialite involved in the scandal that prompted the resignation of CIA Director David H. Petraeus, according to senior U.S. officials.
Skin in the Housing Game. By Arnold Kling
Excerpt: Recourse mortgages with significant down payments will stabilize the housing market, prevent speculative bubbles from forming, and limit taxpayer risk.

Worth Reading: Tale of two economic styles: Degree of spending restraint determines growth rate. By Richard Rahn
Excerpt: Will 2013 be a better year? A number of economic commentators have been saying the worst is behind us. I think they are wrong, and here is why. In most major countries, including the United States, government is growing faster than the private sector. As Mitchell’s Golden Rule explains, when the private sector grows faster than government, prosperity increases, and when government grows faster than the private sector, misery increases. … Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

Worth Reading: The HIT Scam. By Greg Scandlen
Excerpt: Last week John Goodman posted a brief blurb about the latest problems with Health Information Technology (HIT). The issue deserves a little more attention because it is an abject lesson of how health policy always fails these days. The articles from the New York Times and the RAND Corporation indicate that HIT has not lived up to expectations. Actually, it is quite a bit worse than that. (Gee, government intervention in this sector of the economy isn’t working? Who could have guessed? Isn’t central planning always better than the market? (Gee, government intervention in this sector of the economy isn’t working? Who could have guessed? Isn’t central planning always better than the market? ~Bob)

Excerpt: Today, the House will vote on a proposal that would suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, buying a bit more time for the overarching budget debate. This puts off the difficult decisions that are needed to get the country’s fiscal situation in order. 

In graduate thesis, John Brennan argued for government censorship: ‘Too much freedom is possible’
Typical Progressive. ~Bob

Worth Reading: The Overstated Inaugural Address. By Artur Davis
Excerpt: But before liberals feel too deep a thrill, they should consider the following proposition: Obama’s words will be paired with a second term resume that could be the thinnest since Richard Nixon. Given the alignment in the House, and the number of red state Democratic senators on the ballot in 2014, there is no viable chance Obama can actually enact a single item on the liberal wish list. 

Cameron Promises Britons a Referendum on E.U. Membership
Excerpt: Prime Minister David Cameron promised Britons a decisive referendum within five years on membership in the European Union — provided he wins the next election — in a long-awaited speech on Wednesday whose implications have alarmed the Obama administration and are likely to set the markers for an intense debate in Britain and across Europe.

India Warns Kashmiris to Prepare for Nuclear War
Excerpt: Indian officials are advising residents of strife-torn Kashmir to prepare for a possible nuclear war by building bombproof basements and stockpiling food and water, adding to tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, after deadly cross-border skirmishes in recent weeks.

Boko Haram militants suspected of deadly attacks in Nigeria
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Suspected Islamists have been blamed for the deaths of at least 23 people in separate attacks in north-eastern Nigeria.

Warning—Graphic Picture: Hindu Women in India Found Raped and Chopped Into Pieces by Muslims
Story doesn’t give verification of this. ~Bob.

Another shocking video of self-styled Muslim vigilantes shouting homophobic abuse at a man on the streets of East London has surfaced online, attracting condemnation from gay rights charity Stonewall. (Now don’t go all Islamophobic. Remember that all cultures are equally valid. Except ours, of course. ~Bob.)

Guns Stop Three Home Invasions, Store Robbery
Excerpt: Guns came to the rescue of three homeowners and a business this weekend. Five people tried to break into a home in Oklahoma City, OK. The woman homeowner and her friend shot two of them with her gun. The other burglars fled to another house to escape the gunfire. The shooting victims are in serious to critical condition, but the woman and her friend were unharmed.

Excerpt: We understand, however, that your duties setting spending levels for federal agencies like the Department of Justice often leave you too busy to keep up with the partisan rot deep inside the civil service at DOJ. If your duties as chair of the House Committee on the Budget permit just a few minutes, PJ Media thought you’d like to learn a bit more about the man who started the wave of boos against you, as well as how his office is corrupting the enforcement of federal election laws. Come budget time, maybe your committee can boo back.

Excerpt: If President Obama’s goal with the inaugural prayers was to marginalize and offend devout, conservative Christians and orthodox Jews, it would be fair to say: mission accomplished. The choice of Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, departed from historical protocol. She was the first female and first non-clergy member to lead an inaugural prayer. 

Excerpt: So here is Obama saying that the essential basis of American democracy is the Constitution, American exceptionalism, and the Declaration of Independence’s claim of unalienable rights granted to the citizen. Yet he is on record repeatedly rejecting each of these three ideas. According to him, the Constitution is flawed for providing only “native liberties” and there is no such thing as American exceptionalism.

Attorney: MCA suspended girl for mention of 'bubble' gun. By Mark Gilger
Excerpt: A 5-year-old kindergarten student at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School was suspended last week for allegedly telling classmates she was going to shoot them and herself with her pink Hello Kitty Bubbles Gun. She was reportedly questioned for three hours before her mother was contacted, said Robin Ficker, 69, an attorney from Bethesda, Md., who is representing the family. “This is an innocent child who was made to cry while being questioned for three hours about something she said that she doesn’t even understand,” he said. (These &%&($#&!!! idiots interrogated a 5 yr old girl for three hours because she talked about her toy bubble gun? The insanity just grows and grows. If I were that girl's grandfather, I'd want to take the interrogators out into the parking lot for a brisk discussion of abusing a child. This is what ossified bureaucracies with "no tolerance" rule systems bring us down to. Time to call a halt to all such abuse of kids. --Del)

Too Many Students, Too Few Jobs. By Megan McArdle
Excerpt: But let's not forget that there are lots of people out there exploiting students these days. A while back, I observed that academics tend to describe the job market as an improbably Dickensian welter of exploitation, a description which matches only one job market: their own. I asked why such a left wing environment had produced one of the most radically unequal and exploitative job markets in the country, which drew the following story from a reader: 

Worth Reading: What President Obama left out. By John F. Harris and Alexander Burns 
Excerpt: In this light, it’s worth pondering: How will Barack Obama’s supremely self-confident second inaugural address — with its high quotient of self-regard and minimally concealed contempt for opponents — be remembered 10 years from now?

Dem officials fret over new Obama nonprofit
Excerpt: Some key Democrats worry that President Obama’s new Organizing for Action group will marginalize the traditional party apparatus, cannibalizing dollars and volunteers while making it harder to elect down-ballot candidates.

Experts Aren't Deities. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: The take-home lesson is that experts are notoriously fallible outside of their fields of endeavor -- and especially so when making predictions. There tends to be an inverse relationship between a predictor's level of confidence and the accuracy of his prediction.

Good Sense and Gun Control. By Jonah Goldberg 
Excerpt: President Obama has said that anything is worth it "if even one life can be saved." Citing Newtown in his inaugural address Monday, he said that our journey as a nation will not be complete until we know our children are "always safe from harm." First, common sense tells us that's ridiculously impossible

German Gold Claw Back Causes Concern. By John Browne 
Excerpt: Last week the Bundesbank (the German central bank) surprised markets around the world by announcing that it will repatriate a sizable portion of its gold bullion reserves held in France and the United States. To many, the news from the world's second largest holder of gold signaled a growing, if clandestine, mistrust among central banks, possibly fueled by diverging policy goals.

Worth Reading: North Africa Is the New Afghanistan. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: When Obama took office four years ago, North Africa wasn’t keeping CIA analysts up at night. There were known trouble spots in the region, but no one thought that it was likely to turn into the next Afghanistan. Then along came the Arab Spring. ... British Prime Minister David Cameron is already speaking of a North African conflict that could last for decades.

Bye-Bye London. By Caroline Glick 
Excerpt: First, I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don’t see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?

Higher Ground
Excerpt: Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has been consulting with our European allies over a proposed treaty that would severely limit our ASAT capabilities. China, on the other hand, has declined several U.S. overtures to discuss potential curbs on military activity in space. ... No reason for Beijing to discuss possible restrictions when the U.S. seems committed to a policy of unilateral disarmament in space. (I freely admit I didn’t realize it had been six years since the Chinese demonstrated an ability to kill satellites in orbit. It seemed like only two or three, but we’ve had other things on our minds. As far back as the early 70s, science fiction writers were busy trying to find ways to take advantage of our leading role in space exploration to influence events here on the planetary surface. One working group included Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, and Jerry Pournelle, three of the best. Between them, they found support from various military leaders and a few politicians. “Project High Frontier” largely became known to the rest of the country as President Reagan’s Star Wars initiative. Unfortunately, we’ve largely given that sort of science up as “too expensive, too wasteful, too unacceptable.” Notice that our potential adversaries haven’t taken the same position. They consider it vital. Of course, THEY don’t owe US $16B; perhaps they hope to make sure we pay up when the time comes. Be worried. We concede the high ground only at our peril. Ron P.)

Arrogance and Overreach. By Erick Erickson 
Excerpt: When politicians, regardless of party, are no longer accountable to the voters they tend to do extremely arrogant things, they tend to overreach badly, and they tend to collapse. Barack Obama is, going into his second term, already one of the most arrogant politicians in AmericaRemember how his team told the public unconvincingly that Barack Obama was “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet’?

Salafists Vow to Fight Until There Is 'Islamic State in Syria'
The folks Obama is helping. ~Bob

Muslim militants ambush Philippine army patrol on southern island, wounding 7 soldiers
Excerpt: Regional army commander Col. Charlie Galvez blamed al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants for Tuesday’s ambush on Basilan Island

Excerpt: An atheist blogger in Bangladesh has been stabbed repeatedly by three suspected Islamist fundamentalists and is currently in critical condition in a local hospital. 

That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. -- Abraham Lincoln

Rangel: We Must Overcome 'Southern Culture': Democrat says N.Y. gun-control laws should be modeled by other states
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), speaking on “MSNBC Live” on Jan. 16 said that “some of the southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome” when it comes to gun control. (In Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Dr. Thomas Sowell makes a compelling case that today’s inner-city black culture of violence was imported from poor white culture in the South, which blacks picked up after slavery. Worth Reading. ~Bob.)

Top Psychiatrist: Meds Behind School Massacres: Society conducting 'vast social experiment' without knowing its end
Excerpt: He sees a “propaganda campaign” being conducted in the U.S. in the wake of the AuroraColo., cinema shooting and the NewtownConn., school shooting asserting gun violence is being caused by mental illness and could be stopped by additional school programs that screen for it. “If school children are screened for mental illness problems, this presumably will lead more medical doctors to put more students on more pills,” he said. “I would predict then the outcome of more school screenings for mental illness will be more mass killings, even if the guns are taken away and the mass killings are not done with guns.”

Russia Begins Evacuating Citizens from Syria: Moscow believes Assad is losing control. Airplanes sent to evacuate 100 Russian citizens, out of about 30,000.
Excerpt: Russia announced Monday that it was sending two airplanes from its emergency services fleet to BeirutLebanon, to evacuate about 100 Russian citizens from Syria. The decision reflects Moscow’s belief that President Bashar al-Assad is losing control of the country after nearly two years of civil war.

Debacle in the Desert, Redux
Excerpt: The other noteworthy angle in this tragedy has been the media's relative lack of curiosity regarding the "roots" of this terrorist operation, and the unilateral response that eventually ended it. As the Algerian military operation drew to a close, Time openly speculated about security concerns for western oil firms operating in the Sahara desert--with far less emphasis on the geopolitical factors that prompted this week's deadly attack.

Don't Give Up. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: November 2012 was not a defeat. It was a loss in a close election that rattled the Democrats by showing just how much of the country had turned on their savior. It was a rebuke to Obama's mismanagement of the country and the economy over the last four years. (Sure felt like a defeat to me. ~Bob.)

Armed Drones Could Target President: Former U.S. Intelligence Chief
Excerpt: Retired Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as President Obama's first director of national intelligence, told reporters he was concerned that the proliferation of armed drones -- a potential outgrowth of the U.S. reliance on drones to attack and kill terrorists -- could well backfire. "I do fear that if al Qaeda can develop a drone, its first thought will be to use it to kill our president, and senior officials and senior officers," Blair said during a conference call with reporters. "It is possible without a great deal of intelligence to do something with a drone you cannot do with a high-powered rifle or driving a car full of explosives and other ways terrorists now use to try killing senior officials," he said. (They are finally figuring this out? Why are they limiting the potential adversaries to al Qaeda? Jihadists may not have the money or expertise. Drug cartels do, though, frequently more than some nation-states. Once Pandora’s Box is opened, the things that fly out go everywhere, not just to where we want them to go. --Ron P.)

Columbus Fellowship Foundation lives on, illustrating budget struggles in Washington
Excerpt: President Obama has called it inefficient and redundant. He and House Republicans — who agree on almost nothing — have tried to eliminate it. Each time, however, it has been saved by a powerful friend in the Senate, Thad Cochran, the senior senator from Mississippi.

Excerpt: Gilbert teen Toan Ngo remembers well his past and hard work that’s led to the honor he received this week — a $150,000 military scholarship — and his future as a Marine. (Another one of the kind of immigrants that have made this country great. --Del)

Four years and many failures later, Obama pushes ‘green jobs’ in second inaugural
Excerpt: The green energy economy arguably represents the most hope-filled vision Obama set forth during his first presidential run, and also arguably the biggest failure of his presidency to date. It’s curious to see him bring it up, and a sign that facts aren’t getting in the way of optimism — at least not in the focus groups that his political advisors study. (It would be amusing if it wasn’t coming out of our pockets to enrich his green cronies. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: That’s why the fascists called their totalitarian system a “third way” between unbridled capitalism and Soviet-style Communism. Back in the twenties and early thirties, before German National Socialism became the archetypal “fascist” doctrine, Mussolini’s call for a new kind of national economy intrigued many serious thinkers and leaders, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (As usual, Ledeen is directly on target.  Many of the world’s so-called “socialist” governments are really fascists in disguise (see North Korea for example).  One of the problems with fascism for its neighbors, is they tend to ally themselves with similar governments in their region (see Stalin and Hitler) to beat up on the governments that oppose them both (Poland and Finland, for example.).  If he survives, we will see how this plays out in South America between Hugo Chaves and his buddy Evo Morales in Bolivia.  Ron P.

Don't blame Captain Wales for being flippant about killing. It's the way we soldiers cope with death. By Colonel Tim Collins
Excerpt: Ten years ago, in Kuwait, when I spoke the words ‘It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly’, I was preparing the men of my battle group to cross into Iraq for the liberation with every expectation they would be doing exactly that: taking human lives. I never imagined that thought would feature in a computer game.

Quote from The Patriot Post
Another right-wing gun nut: "The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." --Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978)

Excerpt: The House on Wednesday put new pressure on the Senate to pass its first budget in nearly four years, by approving a bill that threatens to withhold senators' pay until that work is done. (I’m sure Harry Reid will fast track this for a vote. ~Bob.)

Hillary Clinton loses her cool on Capitol Hill
Excerpt: Having lost her cool, Clinton shouted, "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" (Anger is a good technique to deflect questions, as it makes people uncomfortable. ~Bob.)

California residents, businesses consider bailing on Golden State over taxes. By William La Jeunesse
Excerpt: From small businessmen in San Diego to vintners in Napa Valley, top-earning Californians reeling from a new state income tax are preparing to pack up and bail out. (This had gone on already, of course, going back at least 10 years, but this latest tax increase has really pushed a bunch of people over the line. As one guy reported, when his take-home pay dropped to 46% of the gross, he figured it was time to consider relocating. This is going to take a while to hit, but by the end of the year I would guess the tax base will have declined noticeable in some areas. Which of course just makes things worse for the state income. I wonder how the governor and legislature will decide to deal with that. Maybe somebody needs to send all those politicians the story of the golden goose. –Del)

Excerpt: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he believes the primary goal of President Obama’s second term is to “annihilate the Republican Party.” 9the media is eager to help. ~Bob.)

Proof: The Founders Wanted Americans Armed
Excerpt: The Preamble to the Bill of Rights explicitly states that these amendments to the Constitution were put in place to restrain the federal government and discourage abuse. Ratified Dec. 15, 1791, it reads: "THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. " ( The very fact that we are having this conversation is proof that upholding the 2nd Amendment is necessary for preservation of our freedom, the Constitution, and the American way of life. MM)

AP sources: Panetta removes military ban on women serving in combat
Excerpt: Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is removing the military’s ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.

Do-gooder totalitarian comes out against cats.
Excerpt: "Morgan called on his countrymen Tuesday to make their current cat their last in order to save the nation’s unique bird species. He set up a website, called Cats To Go, depicting a tiny kitten with red devil’s horns. The opening line: “That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer.”

1 comment:

  1. Query - were Obama to successfully annihilate the current Republican party, would we notice?