Monday, January 28, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 29, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 29, 2013
Robert A. Hall

The Philosophy of the Old Jarhead Blog
The Old Jarhead SitRep is a blog of political news and conservative opinion, that has had about 700,000 page views since founded in 2008, is read in many counties (Iran? Indonesia? Russia? Go figure.) and was up to 30,000 page views a week recently. Plus I throw in some humor and human interest pieces that catch my attention for seasoning. I try to include foreign sources and info you won’t get in the MSM, but I often use links to pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Reuters and other liberal leaning sources. No one is required to read it, or any of the links. A majority of the pieces are sent to me by readers, for which I’m grateful, others come from newsfeeds I subscribe to. I get some from Twitter, but often don’t have time to look at my feeds there. I stop sending the link to people who become nasty or too angry. I used to forward political items, but was sending too many e-mails to my list, so a few years ago, I started collecting them on the blog to access in one place. I use maybe 50% of the conservative pieces sent me, probably less than 5% of the liberal opinion sent, usually to illustrate their views. Readers who don’t like that are welcome to start their own blogs. Blogs are free and so is speech in America right now, despite leftist efforts to outlaw “hate speech” they disagree with and Islamist efforts to outlaw criticism of Islam, while retaining the right to describe other religions in vile terms. I try to avoid items that will turn off thoughtful centrists and leftists or low-information independents, including “red meat” pieces with intemperate language or wild speculation, conspiracy theories with no supporting facts and silly distractions like the so-called “birther” issue (but I don’t always succeed). I predicted correctly four years ago the “birther” thing was going nowhere, was a huge waste of time and resources, and played into the hands of the left, much as the impeachment of Bill Clinton did in the 1990s. (I said so at the time.) I do sometimes include things I don’t agree with that I think readers might find of interest. Readers are requested to read all items critically and with skepticism—just like a newspaper! Readers who send formatted pieces (title, link, and a fair use excerpt of three sentences unless the piece is very short, than fewer) to tartanmarine(at) have a higher chance of my using them than people who just send a link. I often include thoughtful comments from contributors. (Tell me if you want you full name used.) A piece without a link has a much lower chance of being used—it depends on how interesting it is and how much time I have right then to search for it. I understand if you don’t have the time to format or even to find a link—please understand my time is pretty limited too. There are no ads on my blog, no fees and I receive no income from it. When I retire, that might need to change, but for now, that’s how it is. I do promote my books, with the royalties going to charity. Thanks for reading and contributing. ~Bob.

Excerpt: Am I the only one who thinks it is immoral to bring children into the world if you don’t have the means to support them? I must be one of the few. I rarely see anyone else make the point. … Almost four in every ten children are born on Medicaid. One in every four children is living in a food stamp household. Entire classrooms — no entire schools, wait, even in entire areas of whole cities — all the children are on the school lunch program.

Advice for my Granddaughter: For When I'm Gone
All royalties go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

Book Recommendation. The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau by Alex Kershaw
A fine account of WWII combat and one of the Army’s best company and battalion commanders. This book will be of great interest to those interested in WWII, military history or leadership. ~Bob

EPA estimates on biofuels too high, court says
Excerpt: A federal appeals court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is overestimating the amount of fuel that can be produced from grasses, wood and other nonfood plants in an effort to promote a fledgling biofuels industry. (Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. Who would have guessed? ~Bob.)

French, Malian forces head toward Timbuktu
Excerpt: French and Malian forces pushed toward the fabled desert town of Timbuktu on Sunday, as the French mission, now in its third week, gathered momentum against the Islamist extremists who have ruled the north since last spring.

Mali: Timbuktu mayor says Islamists burned texts
Excerpt: Fleeing Islamist extremists torched a library containing historic manuscripts in Timbuktu, the mayor said Monday, as French and Malian forces closed in on Mali's fabled desert city.

Tragedies tied to Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah link girls a world apart
Excerpt: Fazlullah is notorious for murdering and maiming schoolgirls as part of his vicious campaign to impose Taliban rule on Pakistan. (Guess he didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. ~Bob.)

Why concierge medicine will get bigger: Practices could shield patients from health-care turmoil. By Elizabeth O'Brien
Excerpt: If you’ve joined a concierge medical practice, recent trends in the worlds of health care and insurance may have you feeling good about your decision. If you haven’t signed up with one of these practices—also called “boutique,” “personalized” or “private-physician” practices—some of those same trends may lead you to consider it down the road.

Washington and business brace for an Obama wave of regulations. By Ben Goad
Excerpt: President Obama has begun to wield the power of the executive to press forward with a second-term agenda that delights the left and terrifies the right. When he said "we must act" in his inaugural address last week, liberals cheered him on and conservatives saw that the electoral earthquake of November is likely to be followed by a tsunami of executive orders and regulations. (Things in the economy will go to hell, and it will all be Bush’s fault. ~Bob.)

Upstaged: Rubio, 'Gang of Eight' Unveil Bipartisan Immigration Reform Day Before Obama Speech. By Joel B. Pollak
Excerpt: A day before President Barack Obama is due to reveal his own immigration proposals in a speech in Las Vegas, NV, a bipartisan group of eight senators has announced a deal on the “outlines” of an immigration reform deal, according to Politico. The “Gang of Eight,” which includes Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has led the push from the Republican side, had been at work for weeks and unveiled its compromise on Capitol Hill today.

Hezbollah may not make terror list, even with Bulgaria bombing
Excerpt: Hezbollah may not be included on the European Union's list of terrorist groups even if it did bomb Jewish tourists in Bulgaria, the EU's top counter-terrorism official reportedly said. On Monday, the news site EUobserver quoted the official, Gilles de Kerchove, as saying that Bulgaria's investigation into the incident is likely to be concluded next month. (Is it anti-Semitism, cowardice or lack of civilizational self-esteem? Probably all of these. Cordially, Larry Greenberg. In Europe, killing Jews isn’t terror—it’s business as usual. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: One way you can usually tell that liberals are merely grandstanding is when you find Joe Biden heading up a task force to look into the issue. That doesn’t mean that the self-righteous pinheads on the Left don’t wish that Obama could use his magic wand and make all the guns, along with the Second Amendment, simply disappear. That is to say, all the guns except those in the hands of men whose job it is to protect politicians and Hollywood prima donnas.

America Needs a New Birth of Freedom. By Star Parker
Excerpt: It is no accident that as the American welfare state grew, the American family collapsed. In 1960, 72 percent of American adults were married. By 2010, this was down to 51 percent. The change is most pronounced among two of today's largest Democratic Party constituencies: youths and blacks. 

Worth Reading: Recipe for Conservative Revival. By George Will 
Excerpt: Happy days are not here again, but they are coming for conservatives. Barack Obama -- with the lowest approval rating (according to Gallup, 50 percent, four points lower than that of the National Rifle Association) of any re-elected president when inaugurated since the Second World War -- has a contradictory agenda certain to stimulate a conservative revival.

We get £17,680 a year in benefits, buy 40 cigs a day, have a laptop and a home with 47-inch TV.. why work?
Excerpt: A SKIVING couple told last night how they claim £17,680 a year in benefits — and don’t even bother looking for work because it would leave them worse off.
Danny Creamer, 21, and Gina Allan, 18, spend each day watching their 47in flatscreen TV and smoking 40 cigarettes between them in their comfy two-bedroom flat. (The future of the Progressive State. ~Bob.)

Rand Paul: Was Benghazi Op Running Guns? Senator says evidence from catastrophe suggests a political operation went awry
Excerpt: He said it appears the parties in Washington are not that far apart on some issues. “They all agree that we should be involved everywhere around the world and that we should give unlimited weaponry to every side of every conflict all around the world and that we should extend foreign aid without conditions,” he said. As such, many committee hearings in which problems are supposed to be discussed “are simply a love fest,” he said, because of the philosophical agreement between Republicans and Democrats on those subjects.

Obama signals focus on foreign policy with new chief of staff
Excerpt: “In Denis McDonough, the president not only has someone who will be completely loyal to him, but he has really a partner in being able to carry out an agenda based on his vision,” said Douglas Wilson, a who worked with McDonough as assistant secretary of Defense from early 2010 to last March. …Others conclude from McDonough's close ties to Obama that the president intends to shove through his policies both foreign and domestic. “He’s no foreign policy guy — Denis is an enforcer,” said a conservative defense analyst. “In the mafia, he’d be the guy who kills people.”

Israel warns of attack on Syrian chemical weapons
Excerpt: Israel could launch a pre-emptive strike to stop Syria's chemical weapons from reaching Lebanon's Hezbollah or al-Qaida inspired groups, officials said Sunday.

Iran denies reports of explosion at Fordo nuclear site
Excerpt: Iran has denied foreign media reports of a major explosion at one of its underground uranium enrichment sites. The deputy head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) called the reports "Western propaganda" designed to influence forthcoming nuclear talks. (You can’t believe something until the government denies it. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: The Wages of Unemployment. By Richard Vetter
The national income accounts suggest that about 70% of U.S. output is attributable to the labor of human beings. Yet there has been a decline in the proportion of working-age Americans who are employed.

Putin: West is fomenting jihadi 'blowback.' By Fred Weir
Excerpt: Moscow is criticized for weak support of the Arab Spring, and for actively backing Bashir al-Assad in Syria. But the Kremlin says its policies are consistent and the West is exporting revolt.

Lego Racism? By David Clark Scott
Excerpt: Some Turks in Austria have lodged a formal complaint over Lego's Jabba's Palace set, saying Lego is encouraging racial prejudice and perpetuating negative images of Muslims. The problem, apparently, is that the Jabba the Hut Lego palace looks like a mosque. (No matter how you bow and scrape. Muslims will always find new ways to be offended and make new demands for concessions. ~Bob.)

CIA officer headed for federal prison following plea deal
Excerpt: A well-respected Central Intelligence Agency officer, who upon retiring became a counterterrorism analyst for NBC and MSNBC News, was headed to federal prison on Friday after entering into a plea deal with the Justice Department on Friday, according to the FBI.

Excerpt: In the race to become America’s top “Sanctuary State” for illegal aliens, we have a new leader. Illinois has (temporarily) bested California for that title, and has done so by putting public safety at greater risk. (Why not IL FOID {Firearms Owner ID] cards for illegals too? ~Bob.)

Revealed: how Saharan caravans of cocaine help to fund al-Qaeda in terrorists' North African domain
Excerpt: The 37 foreign workers who died in the assault on an Algerian gas plant were victims of terrorists whose weapons may have been paid for by cocaine users of Britain and Europe, reports Colin Freeman.

Police Charge 71-Year-Old With Prostitution in Glastonbury
Excerpt: OUTSIDE HARTFORD, CT -- A regional narcotics task force arrested a 71-year-old local woman on prostitution charges after police say she arranged to have sex for money in a hotel. (Quick! Somebody call AARP! This senior was just trying to supplement her Social Security. It does make me wonder how many beers her client had drunk, though. --Ron P.)

Report: Bailed-out executives still enjoy hefty compensation from taxpayers
Excerpt: A government watchdog is blasting the Treasury Department for continuing to dole out robust pay packages to executives of bailed-out companies. A new report found that executives from American International Group (AIG), General Motors and Ally Financial, while still on a government lifeline, regularly pushed and received compensation in excess of guidelines originally set by the bailout team charged with overseeing executive paychecks. (Crony capitalism—too big to fail. ~Bob.)

Obama Campaign Group Asks NBC's Owner for a Cash Donation
Excerpt: On MSNBC today, two employees of NBC, Chuck Todd and Michael Isikoff, revealed that the Obama campaign group, Organizing for Action, is actively asking NBC's parent company, Comcast, for money:

Sally Starr, iconic Philly TV personality, dies at 90
A South Jersey legend. She interviewed me on her radio show 12-14 years ago. ~Bob

In 2012 only 9 Ds won in House districts carried by Romney; just 16 Rs in districts won by Obama> 25 total crossovers.

Worth Reading: A Lukewarmer’s Ten Tests. By Matt Ridley
Excerpt: I have written about climate change and energy policy for more than 25 years. I have come to the conclusion that current energy and climate policy is probably more dangerous, both economically and ecologically, than climate change itself. This is not the same as arguing that climate has not changed or that mankind is not partly responsible. 

Money trail in John Swallow saga leads to friend of Sen. Harry Reid
Excerpt: The money trail in the alleged bribery scheme embroiling Utah Attorney General John Swallow now points to a Las Vegas lawyer who is a close friend of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Wis. Sheriff Tells Residents to Learn How to Use a Gun: 911 is No Longer Your Best Option. By Leah Barkoukis 
Excerpt: "With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," Clarke intones. "You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back."

The insured and the unsure: Will Obamacare spur firms to drop workers’ health cover?
Excerpt: “IF YOU like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan.” That was what Barack Obama promised, time and again, to voters nervous about his plans to shake up America’s health-care system. It was an empty promise, a bit like saying: “If you like your husband, I promise he won’t divorce you.”

Excerpt: Are there a handful of women who are capable of executing ground combat jobs? Yes…in fact, my husband and I came up with a list of five women that we knew personally that had the physical aptitude and mental temperament that would fit the bill. We have 24 years of military experience between us. (She flew CH-46s in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. ~Bob.)

Islamist parties welcome Morsi's state-of-emergency decision
Excerpt: However, Bakkar said the party "understands the need for such a decision," adding that "the state of emergency should be used in the narrowest limits against those carrying illegal arms and terrorizing other citizens."

Sociologist: Every 5 Minutes A Christian Is Martyred
Excerpt: A sociologist representing a European security organization says that the number of Christians killed each year for their faith is so high that it calculates to one martyr's life being taken every five minutes. (But #islamophobia is the "real problem.” --

Welfare payments (in Japan) to be slashed ¥74 billion to root out the comfortably poor
Excerpt: Welfare benefits will be slashed by ¥74 billion over a three-year period starting from fiscal 2013, after a government panel found that some people are making more on the dole than the average low-income person who is not spends on living costs, it was learned Sunday.

Oak Harbor councilman tries to take away a vet's weapon
Excerpt: An Oak Harbor City Council Member is accused of overstepping his authority when he asked a man with a concealed weapons permit to surrender his gun saying it was "not needed" at the public meeting.

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