Friday, January 25, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 26, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 26, 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.

Charities I support

Important: Court: Obama appointments to labor panel are unconstitutional
Excerpt: President Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that Obama did not have the power to make three recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board. (Wow, OK, O Boy.... finally a court has come down on the illicit move Obama made last year to do an end run around Congress. This is really neat, and we can only hope the Supremes will back up the court. That will mess up the Obama team a lot, and maybe people will figure out he was doing stuff he had no business doing. Which is the typical thing he's been on for some time now. After all, that pesky Constitution doesn't bother him at all. –Del. Chalk one up for the good guys. A federal appeals court has ruled that Obama violated the Constitution in making recess appointments last year to the NLRB. If upheld this means that everything that the illegally appointed members have done will be invalidated. Although it is a separate case, the same decision is likely to be made concerning Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It was made at the same time and in the same manner as the NLRB appointments. Note that Obama has already started the process of obtaining Senate approval for a legal appointment of Cordray. Perhaps this is a good time to contact senators opposing Cordray. --MM)

Worth Reading: Danger! Danger! Danger! Curves Ahead - Women in Ground Combat. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Men do not act nor bond the same with a woman around. She will never be 'one of the guys.' Nor do women act and bond the same with a man around. He will never be 'one of the girls.' So goes the natural order of things. It is what it is. (Very few, if any of the people who think we should use the military for social engineering have been under fire. And very few will be encouraging their kids to serve. Just sayin'. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Ostensibly, there are really only two issues about the inclusion of women in combat units: one, apparently the nation believes that it will react to the future combat deaths or capture of women in ground units the same way it does to the loss of male soldiers, even in numbers commensurate with male KIAs — that is, society has evolved beyond the traditional chivalric notion of deference to “women” (e.g., on a sinking ship the men of our modern culture no longer feel any need to step back and allow women first crack at the lifeboats); (Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any foundation other than “women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists [all of them male] have tried endlessly--and no doubt will keep on trying. –Robert A. Heinlein.)

Elaine Donnelly Has It Right: Obama’s Women In Combat Plan Dangerous
Excerpt: Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness and a former member of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces has issued a scathing indictment of President Obama’s plan to put women in frontline combat roles in the U.S. military. “This kind of a social experiment is a dangerous one,” Donnelly said in announcing her opposition to Obama’s plan. (Yes, to keep it short, social experiments in a combat zone are a terrible, awful, irresponsible idea. --Del)

Females in combat ? The new policy is a disastrous mistake. By Heather McDonald
Excerpt: We have apparently arrived at the Golden Age, free from strife and the threat of foreign enemies. Little else can explain so gratuitous a decision as to place women in combat units. The downsides to such a policy are legion and obvious; the only reason to pursue it is to placate feminism’s insatiable and narcissistic drive for absolute official equality between the sexes.

In one Army family, women in combat evokes two different perspectives
Excerpt: Hours after the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in combat, Valerie Warner typed out an ­e-mail to her grandfather, Volney Warner, a retired four-star general who helped oversee the integration of women into the Army in the 1970s. Valerie Warner, an Iraq combat veteran, excitedly laid out her ­detailed plan for incorporating women into infantry units.

Rockefeller reintroduces bill to study video game violence
Excerpt: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would require the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent video games and other content on children.

EPA, activists ponder next steps after major court defeat
Excerpt: Environmental Protection Agency officials must figure out how to pick up the pieces now that a federal court won’t review an earlier ruling that scuttled a major air pollution rule. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday denied the Obama administration’s request for en banc, or full court, rehearing of an August 2012 ruling that struck down the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul
Excerpt: Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation. The Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.
French troops face complicated military landscape in Mali
Excerpt: When France entered the world’s newest war against terrorism, French officials boldly declared that the ragtag radical Islamists they planned to oust from northern Mali would scatter in the face of a modern fighting force. But two weeks later, reality has sunk in. (Regardless of what we have criticized France for in the past, they are fighting our enemy, so we should have no schadenfreude. We wish them God Speed. ~Bob.)

Get States off the Federal Dole: Why are U.S. taxpayers footing the bill for surveillance cameras in Alaska? By Veronique de Rugy
Excerpt: These reflexive calls for Washington to pick up the tab underscore one of the greatest shifts of power in American politics during the last four decades: the transition from state and local autonomy to federal subsidy and control. This centralization of government was made possible largely by grants-in-aid, money provided by the federal government to state and local governments or private parties. They have become the third largest category in the federal budget, trailing only Social Security and national defense. 

How Economic Nationalism Bites Back: History suggests protectionism has many more failures than successes. By Edward Tenner
Excerpt: Does protectionism work? In the late 19th century, British writers were as concerned about loss of markets and jobs to Germany as many Americans are today about competition from China. The campaign against rising Germany shows that economic nationalism can have unintended consequences.

End the Secrecy in Public Union Collective Bargaining
Excerpt: In 11 states, secret government union collective bargaining is law, a lack of oversight that should be corrected. This lack of oversight often leads to unions employing strong-arm tactics to receive higher wages and benefits at taxpayer expense, say Nick Dranias, Bryron Schlomach and Stephen Slivinski of the Goldwater Institute. … The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that state and local government employees earn 43 percent more than their private sector counterparts.

Louisiana Gov. Jindal calls on GOP to 'recalibrate' at RNC's winter meeting
Excerpt: “We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults," he said. "We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we've had enough of that."

Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell Reach Filibuster Reform Deal
Excerpt: Progressive senators working to dramatically alter Senate rules were defeated on Thursday, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), set to announce a series of compromise reforms on the Senate floor that fall far short of the demands.

Emails show FBI investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes
Excerpt: Documents published online for the first time Thursday indicate that the FBI opened an inquiry into New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on August 1, 2012, focusing on repeated trips he took to the Dominican Republic with longtime campaign contributor and Miami eye doctor Salomon Melgen. TheDC reported in November that Menendez purchased the service of prostitutes in that Caribbean nation at a series of alcohol-fueled sex parties. (Shameful of the media to publish this stuff. He’s a Democrat, after all. ~Bob.)

“Liberals With Guns!” on YouTube

Rotten to the Core (Part 2): Readin', Writin' and Deconstructionism. By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: The Washington, D.C., board of education earned widespread mockery this week when it proposed allowing high school students -- in the nation's own capital -- to skip a basic U.S. government course to graduate. But this is fiddlesticks compared to what the federal government is doing to eliminate American children's core knowledge base in English, language arts and history. (OK, call me an old guy hanging on to old ideas, but studying great literature is a really important part of developing minds and building language skills. Pushing out To Kill A Mockingbird to make room for "alternative literacies" or studies of Climate Change is not doing the students any favor. --Del)

Quote from The Patriot Post
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." --Patrick Henry

Neighbor who shot dead pit bulls mauling 11-year-old boy could face charges
Excerpt: A man who fatally shot a pit bull as it viciously attacked an 11-year-old boy with two other dogs could face charges for violating Washington D.C.'s gun laws.

Black Families Hurt by Magazine's War on Conservatives. By Larry Elder 
Excerpt: Dear Ebony, I do not have high hopes, given the way Ebony treats black non-liberals, that you will review my new book, "Dear Father, Dear Son: Two Lives, Eight Hours." It is, in the end, about the importance of fathers -- and the damage done to a child who grows up without one. Why do I know you will ignore my book despite its examination of the most important issue facing "black America"? Your magazine treats black conservatives as if they were the enemy, that they bring nothing valid to the discussion.

It started with the gas in your car. Now the green police are coming after the food in your fridge. Ain’t prosperity grand? We have so much to eat in this country that we toss nearly half of it in the trash. At least that’s the finding of a recent study conducted by a prominent environmental organization. (There is no price too high for you to pay for Progressives to feel good about themselves for supporting Green policies. ~Bob.)

Deficit Reduction Rises on Public's Agenda for Obama's Second Term

Excerpt: When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals. But as Obama begins his second term, only the economy and jobs are viewed as more important priorities for the coming year. Currently, 72% say that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, up 19 points from four years ago.

Gallup Poll: Americans Most Negative On the Nation And Economy In 30 Years
Excerpt: U.S. President Barack Obama begins his second term at a time when Americans are as negative about the state of the country and its prospects going forward as they have been in more than three decades. Fewer than four in 10 Americans (39%) rate the current status of the U.S. at the positive end of a zero to 10 scale.

Superstorm Sandy Victims Tormented By Bitter Cold
Excerpt: The bitter cold is bringing further misery to folks still trying to recover from Superstorm Sandy. In the damaged New Dorp Beach neighborhood on Staten Island, people who haven’t had heat since the late October storm have been taking refuge in tents set up by aid workers. Propane heaters barely kept up with the cold and workers provided sleeping bags and blankets and for warmth. (Can’t be true. Obama promised immediate help, no red tape. ~Bob.)

For 2nd Week in a Row, Press Says ‘Jobless Claims Fall to 5-Year Low’ as Actual Year-Over-Year Claims Rose
Excerpt: For the second week in a row, actual (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) unemployment claims as reported by the Department of Labor came in greater than the analogous week in 2012. At the same time, and also for the second week in a row, the department’s seasonally adjusted claims number — the only one the business wire services ever specifically identify in their reports — came in lower. In today’s instance, raw year-over-year claims were almost 5 percent higher than the same week a year ago, but the year-over-year seasonally adjusted figure came in 11 percent lower.

Atheist's Years-Long Appeal Over Ill. Cross Landmark Rejected by Supreme Court
Excerpt: The Supreme Court ended on Tuesday a years-long legal dispute on behalf of an Illinois-based atheist who sued the state for funding the refurbishment of a large, decades-old Bald Knob Cross of Peace located in AltoPass…. The cross was originally erected in 1963 due to the effort of local farmers who used their pig sales to help fund the cross's creation.

Stealth Wear: The latest in countersurveillance fashions … for that elusive style
Excerpt: If you’ve ever wanted to evade overhead surveillance drones — and, of course, look stylish while doing so — then Adam Harvey has you covered…A New York-based artist who first generated headlines by creating an anti-paparazzi handbag while in graduate school, Mr. Harvey has released a collection of garments and accessories he calls “Stealth Wear,” including an “anti-drone” hoodie that renders wearers less visible to infrared imaging cameras…. (I suggest he fly to Waziristan to demo the product. ~Bob.)

Obamacare Mandate Faulted For Breaking Rules
Excerpt : The Obama administration, however, “promulgated the ‘preventive care’ guidelines without engaging in the formal notice and comment rulemaking as prescribed by law.” The complaint says the defendants “delegated the responsibilities for issuing ‘preventive care’ guidelines to a non-governmental entity, the Institute of Medicine, which did not permit or provide for broad public comment.” That violation is on top of the clear violations by Obamacare of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Free Speech Clause, the complaint says.

Sabotage! Key Iranian Nuclear Facility Hit? Source: Explosion destroys much of underground installation
Excerpt: An explosion deep within Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime. The previously secret nuclear site has become a center for Iran’s nuclear activity because of the 2,700 centrifuges enriching uranium to the 20-percent level. A further enrichment to weapons grade would take only weeks, experts say. (I don’t accept WND’s sources until I see confirmation, but I hope this is true. ~Bob.)

Whose Morality Is It Anyway? Can there be right and wrong without God?
Excerpt: The oldest was four years old, and the younger three, when their mother served them grapes on the vine. As they plucked the sweet fruit, the younger child asked of the older, “How does Mommy get the grapes on there?” Summoning elder gravitas, the firstborn replied, “Mommy doesn’t put the grapes on there. The store does.”

Excerpt: Through morning and afternoon hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then the House Foreign Affairs Committee, postponed from their original dates because of the secretary’s medical crises, Clinton came prepared to bite back at her challengers and confronted the mere handful of Republicans willing to go toe-to-toe with her. Then, during the second hearing, administration officials leaked the news that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta would be opening combat roles to women, effectively pulling the Twitter trend away from Benghazi.

A Day with his Pals: Kerry Coasts Through Nomination Hearing: The secretary of state-in-waiting even took a moment to sympathize with an antiwar protester who interrupted his hearing.
Excerpt: Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) hearing today for his nomination to be the next secretary of State was interrupted by a screaming Code Pink protester, who gave a rather lengthy antiwar tirade before being escorted from the room…Instead of simply carrying on with his opening statement, Kerry took a moment to sympathize with the protester, alluding to his own antiwar demonstration days…Kerry’s hearing was not so much a nomination grilling as it was a meeting of old friends seeing off their colleague who sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 28 years.

Witness describes killings by Malian army
Excerpt: Malian soldiers killed people accused of ties to radical Islamists at a bus stop around the time the French-led military intervention began, a witness told The Associated Press on Wednesday, detailing how the soldiers shot the victims and then threw their bodies into nearby wells.

Greek police storm metro workers sit-in, strike goes on
Excerpt: Greek riot police stormed a train depot in Athens on Friday to disperse subway staff defying government orders to end their strike, intensifying a confrontation that has paralyzed public transport in the city.

Isabel dos Santos: 'First African female billionaire'
Excerpt: Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angola's president, has become Africa's first female billionaire, US financial magazine Forbes has said. … Most of the population in oil-rich Angola live on about $2 (£1.25) a day.

Barack Obama’s new ‘grass-roots’ group isn't quite
Excerpt: When President Barack Obama rolled out his new political outfit last week, he and his allies declared it would be powered by grassroots activists and change politics from outside Washington. Not exactly.

‘Smart grid’ technology projects funded by stimulus at risk of ‘fraud, waste and abuse.’ By Lachlan Markay
Excerpt: The Energy Department wasted millions of dollars making improper payments to contractors as part of a stimulus-funded program that federal watchdogs warn is highly susceptible to fraud and waste. The Obama administration’s push for “smart grid” technology could be the centerpiece of a revamped “green energy” agenda during the president’s second term.

Report: Medicare and Medicaid paid more than $125M for treatment of inmates and illegal immigrants. By Lachlan Markay
Excerpt: Medicare paid health care bills for thousands of illegal immigrants and prison inmates at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, according to a new report by federal watchdogs. (Don’t ask, don’t tell and DOJ let ‘em vote. –Barb)

Interesting Margaret Sanger Quotes
I have not verified. ~Bob

I believe that life starts at conception. And it's never stopped me from being pro-choice. By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Excerpt: Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice. (So it’s a human life, but killing it is okay? Slippery slope. Next old people with chronic illnesses. Hey, wait…. ~Bob.)

It's Official: Worst. Recovery. EVER
Excerpt: If there was any debate whether the Fed's policies have helped the economy or just the market (and specifically the Bernanke-targeted Russell 2000), the following two charts will end any and all debate. As the following chart from the St Louis Fed shows, as of the just completed quarter, US GDP "growth" since the "recovery" is now the worst in US history, having just dipped below the heretofore lowest on record.

Excerpt: More than a decade of advanced American technology could be handed over to one of the country’s top economic rivals unless the government intervenes to stop the sale, lawmakers say. The concerns surround the sale of A123 Systems -- a firm backed for years by U.S. taxpayers -- to a company run by a Chinese multi-millionaire with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The move would essentially transfer sensitive battery technology with “key military applications," according to one group that is opposing the sale. 

Indonesian Ulema in favour of female circumcision: a "human right." By Mathias Hariyadi
Excerpt: The practice is "recommended" and according to "tradition", although it can not be made compulsory. For the head of the MUI it is within the "human rights" and is "guaranteed by the Constitution." Judge who "joked" about rape of women risks expulsion from judiciary.

Obama, U.S. And U.K. Under Investigation For War Crimes By U.N. For Drone Strikes And Civilian Casualties
Excerpt: The UN has begun a probe into civilian casualties in US and UK drone strikes and their legal implications. This follows multiple claims the attacks are war crimes and encroachment on the sovereignty of the countries in which they are carried out. (US out of racist UN! ~Bob.)

Chicago municipal pension fund to divest gun maker holdings
Excerpt: A pension fund for Chicago public employees has voted to divest its holdings in three companies that manufacture assault weapons, an official with the fund confirmed on Thursday. The Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) voted on Wednesday to sell off just over $1 million in investments in Freedom Group Inc, Sturm Ruger and Co Inc and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp, MEABF Executive Director Jim Mohler told Reuters. (And if they take a money hit, they are in great fiscal shape… ~Bob.)

The Founders already wrote a common sense gun law. It ends with "shall not be infringed."

Excerpt: He claimed there was a “Sixth Wave” of extinctions going on, and that we were losing a huge amount, 2.7% of all the species per year. This claim quickly went viral and soon was believed by everyone. So back in 2003, a decade ago now, I researched the question, found that Wilson was wrong by orders of magnitude, wrote it up, sent it around to the journals to see if they would publish it, and … well, let me just say that I was not received kindly. 

Obama Ignores Dangers Of Father-Free Zones.
Excerpt: If gun-control worked, the president's hometown would be safe. Instead, gangs of fatherless youths daily kill other fatherless youths. How about an executive order endorsing marriage and intact families?

Worth Reading: "The Courage Within." What we can learn from the Dutch
Excerpt: Remember Catharina? I mentioned her in the first sentence. I said that after May 10th, 1940 her life would never be the same and, it wasn't. The next five years of her life were not childhood. Instead of playing with her friends she was doing things like eavesdropping on German soldiers and officers and bringing that information back to her father. 

Sen. Ted Cruz’s petition on Assault Weapons ban

(AR-15 Armed) RIT Students Accosted By Gunmen In Their Home
Excerpt: Raymond owns an AR-15 which is a military style rifle. Raymond estimated that just five seconds passed until the door started to open. It was one of the intruders. "By the time I had it out and ready, one of the men came at my door, slowly opened it, saw that there was a barrel on the other side and from there backed out," Raymond said.

Sign in Cairo’s Tahrir Square: ‘Obama you jerk, Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians’
And they think he cares, why? ~Bob.

At least 5 dead, 120 injured in anti-Morsi protests in Egyptian towns
Excerpt: The second anniversary of the Tahrir Revolution was marked Friday with protests across Egypt against Muslim Brotherhood rule and President Mohamed Morsi.

Tweets from Tahrir Square report violent sexual assault, harassment on second anniversary of uprising
The real “War on Women.” ~Bob.

Latest Fix rankings of the 10 most competitive Senate races in 2014 is here! 

2 Islamic Caucasus Emirate leaders reported killed in Chechnya
Excerpt: Russia Today reported that Khuseyn (or Hussein) and Muslim Gakayev, two senior leaders in the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, were among 11 terrorists killed during a Russian military operation in Chechnya:

'The Choom Gang': 9 juiciest details from Barack Obama's days as a pothead
Excerpt: The "audacity of dope"? In his memoir Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama admits having smoked marijuana during high school, but newly released excerpts from David Maraniss' upcoming biography Barack Obama: The Story paint a picture of a truly committed pothead. (I had a former boss who was appalled that I admitted I had never tried pot, harassed me over it. ~Bob.)

Poll: Scott Brown leads big over potential Dem challengers
Excerpt: Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has a big lead over Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in the special Senate election to fill Sen. John Kerry's seat (D-Mass.), according to a MassInc Polling Group survey released Friday.

How far is North Korea from being able to hit the U.S. with a nuke?
Excerpt: After North Korea shot its satellite into orbit, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops that the Unha rocket North Korea used was "an intercontinental ballistic missile, for God's sakes. That means they have the capability to strike the United States." 

The (Assault) Snowball Slingshot.
Excerpt: It fires baseball-sized snowballs at your opponents and is made with medical-grade elastic tubing and a durable water-proof polypropylene/styrene-based plastic. The Snowball Slingshot even comes with a target for practicing your accuracy, and measures 19'' x 5'' x 12''.

Confirmed: Republicans are the true party of the working middle class.
Excerpt: Under Barack Obama the middle class has been pummeled. ** The median household income has dropped $4,520, or about one month’s average wages, since President Obama took office. ** US incomes fell more during the so-called recovery than the recession.
Aussies Strike Black Gold.
Excerpt: Move over, America, there’s a new shale oil giant in town. An Australian drilling company found a huge shale oil deposit potentially containing enough oil to match the reserves of Saudi Arabia. 

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