Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 30, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 30, 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.

Must Read: California at Twilight. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The old blue/red war for California is over. Conservatives lost. Liberals won — by a combination of flooding the state with government-supplied stuff, and welcoming millions in while showing the exit to others. The only mystery is how Carthaginian will be the victor’s peace, e.g., how high will taxes go, how many will leave, how happy will the majority be at their departure?

Worth Reading: Lies and Videotape - Sex Spared, Barely. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: So, Steve (can't bring myself to use the formal and respectful "Mr."), is the personal and professional relationship between the President and the Secretary of State more important to the American people than the performance of their sworn duties? More important than the murders of four Americans, serving America abroad, under their watch? More important than scandal at the top of our government?

Best older posts for new blog readers

Federal unions, except postal groups, grow as other labor organizations decline. By Joe Davidson
Excerpt: The story of America’s declining union membership is a continuing saga that makes labor leaders wince. The latest chapter in that story was revealed last week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures showing the percentage of workers who are union members now stands at just 11.3 percent, the lowest level since 1983, when the government began collecting comparable data.

Why the assault weapons ban is (probably) going nowhere. By Aaron Blake
Excerpt: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a new version of the assault weapons ban on Thursday. And it’s already looking like a lost cause.

Worth Reading: Does Obama want a deal on immigration? By Michael Gerson
Excerpt: His insight is undeniable. If Republicans didn’t have all those pesky convictions and objections, agreement in Washington would come as surely as a river flows to the sea. This is the best description yet of Obama’s second-term governing vision: the invincible assumption of his own rightness. To him, objectivity requires the recognition that reality has only one side, which the president fully occupies.

Worth Reading: The Futility of Tax Increases. By D.W. Mackenzie
Excerpt: The most important thing to note is that it’s impossible to isolate the costs of any tax. Most people think each person pays his tax, but this belief is demonstrably false. Whenever government imposes a tax on incomes, employers and employees compete to see who will actually bear that burden.

Head Start Has High Costs and Very Few Benefits
Excerpt: Four years after data was collected and two years after the report was finished, the Department of Health and Human Services has released its Impact Evaluation Report for Head Start, which reveals dismal results for the early education program, say Lindsey Burke and David Muhlhausen of the Heritage Foundation.

Islamophobic Women of Mali Celebrate French Liberation and End of Islamic Law. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: In a truly shocking display of Islamophobia, the streets of Gao were full of Malians celebrating the defeat of Islamic Jihadists at the hands of the French. Women went out into the streets unveiled, men smoked, played drums and rode on motorbikes with unfurled flags, celebrating the return of their freedom and the end of Islamic rule.

Mother Home Alone With 6-Year Old Child Stops Three Burglars With Pistol. By Mary Chastain
Excerpt: The mother grabbed her pistol, and when the men found her she had the gun pointed at them. She shot at them, causing them to flee the house. 

Britain's Little Anti-Semitism Problem. By
 Douglas Murray
Excerpt: How bad must things get before people notice that their country has an anti-Semitism problem? Three striking stories from recent days go some way to demonstrating that though Britain may not admit it, we have a problem.

One lucky #UniteBlue member will win a trip to Domincan Republic with Democrat Senator and Sexual Tourist Bob Menendez. #WarOnChildren

Excerpt: The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.

J. Shelby Bryan, the long-term boyfriend of Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor in contention to be Barack Obama's next ambassador to Britain, owes the US government more than $1.2 million (£760,000) in taxes.
Excerpt: Mr Bryan, a former adviser to Bill Clinton who helped raise funds for Mr Obama's re-election campaign, has owed the money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since 2006, according to court filings obtained by The Daily Telegraph from Texas.

Muslim vigilante gang attacks 'could escalate', police warn
Excerpt: The footage showed members of an Islamic "vigilante" group hurling homophobic abuse at a man who was walking by himself in Whitechapel, east London, and telling him to leave their "Muslim area”.

Craigslist Ad Shows Reality Hitting Obama Voter Right in the Mouth
Fun read, but foul language warning. ~Bob

Clinton's Angry Outburst On Benghazi Was Meant To Deceive—Not Enlighten. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: An old-time trial lawyer once said, "When your case is weak, shout louder!" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shouted louder when asked about the Obama administration's story last fall that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. ambassador's quarters in Benghazi, Libya, was due to an anti-Islamic video that someone in the United States had put on the Internet, and thereby provoked a protest that escalated into violence.

Yes, Mr. President, We Are a Nation of Takers: Since 1960, entitlement transfers have grown twice as fast as personal income—to $2.3 trillion annually. By Nicholas Eberstadt
Excerpt: In President Obama's second inaugural address, he not only outlined an ambitious agenda for his second term but also seemed intent on shutting down debate about the social-welfare state and its impact on American life. "The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us," Mr. Obama said. "They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great (Oops, here's a factual article about how we continue to dig every deeper in the hole that's already so deep that the sun never gets to the bottom anymore. And that only 1/3 of the people on the "entitlement programs" are seniors like me, on Social Security and Medicare. [I paid into SS starting in 1965 and am still paying in now, even though I'm now old enough to be receiving money back, so I don't exactly feel like I'm getting free money that somebody else paid in.] For 2/3 of recipients to be in other categories is very surprising to me, and I wish the article had broken down whatever groups make up that total. However, in any case the point is made as to how deep that hole is and how fast we are digging it still deeper. Seems obvious that this can't just go on, but what to do about it is the key question. The obvious answer in general is both more taxation income and reduced government spending, but I don't see anyone proposing a realistic (and therefore unpopular) program for that. Where are the real leaders, do we just not have any such these days? --Del)

Worth Reading: Why Young Women Want AR-15s: Americans have the right to an efficient weapon for home defense. By Celia Bigelow & Aubrey Blankenship
Excerpt: Sorry, President Obama. As young women, we prefer an AR-15 “assault” rifle with a 30-round magazine for self-defense. In fact, we wouldn’t want to be stuck at home without one. In the wake of mass murders like Sandy Hook and the horrific rapes and murders of thousands of women each year, pepper spray, mace, or five-round handheld pistols aren’t going to cut it.

A new reality-style game show called The Job is coming to television on CBS this February. The network description says contestants will compete to win such positions as assistant manager at a restaurant group or editorial assistant with Cosmopolitan Magazine. Clearly, this is TV for the Obama era — an age in which the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high due to an unfortunate economic anomaly called Head-up-the-Kazoo Syndrome which causes a president to strangle the economy with a massive expansion of government while the media put their collective head up his kazoo.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Post-Hospital Syndrome? A fifth of patients treated under Medicare, 2.6 million individuals, return to the hospital for further treatment within 30 days.
Excerpt: Hospital is a dangerous place, especially for the old and very sick — which is one reason why a measure of a hospital’s efficiency is the speed with which it discharges patients home after treatment. Another reason for this measure is, of course, economy. Long stays in hospital are hugely expensive.

Pentagon's new massive expansion of 'cyber-security' unit is about everything except defense
Excerpt: As the US government depicts the Defense Department as shrinking due to budgetary constraintsthe Washington Post this morning announces "a major expansion of [the Pentagon's] cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold." …. The Post describes this expansion as "part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force." (Report says increasing from 900 to 4000 employees. That’s a lot of babushkas (grandmothers) in the halls watching who comes and goes (a la USSR in the 1970s). –Barb)

Immigration boosters evade questions about impact on Americans’ jobs
Excerpt: Shortly after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled their plan on Monday to overhaul the immigration system, supporters began evading questions about the proposal’s impact on working-class Americans’ wages and job chances, which have already been stalled by the real-estate bubble, automation and international competition. (I think something like this will happen. The biggest impact will be on low-skilled minorities—who will continue to love Obama and vote Democrat. ~Bob.)

Failed Amnesty Legislation of 1986 Haunts the Current Immigration Bills in Congress (Note The Date this was published). By Rachel L. Swarns, May 23, 2006
Excerpt: Day in and day out, as the immigration debate boils, the halls of Congress are haunted by the specter of Senate Bill 1200, the failed amnesty legislation of 1986. President Ronald Reagan signed that bill into law with great fanfare amid promises that it would grant legal status to illegal immigrants, crack down on employers who hired illegal workers and secure the border once and for all. Instead, fraudulent applications tainted the process, many employers continued their illicit hiring practices, and illegal immigration surged.

Harm a child to help a culture? By Thomas Sowell
 If there is ever a contest for the law with the most grossly misleading title, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 should be a prime candidate, because the last thing this Act protects is the welfare of Indian children. The theory behind the Indian Child Welfare Act is that an American Indian child should be raised in an American Indian culture. Based on that theory, a newborn baby of American Indian ancestry who was adopted immediately after birth by a white couple was at 27 months of age taken away from the only parents she has ever known and given to her father.

Excerpt: Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is likely to be confirmed today as the next Secretary of State after sailing through a Senate hearing last week. What does this mean for America and its foreign policy?

Chinese missile technicians spotted in Egypt working with North Koreans to upgrade Scuds. By Bill Gertz
Excerpt: China is covertly working with North Koreans to modernize Egypt’s short-range missile systems, raising new concerns among United States intelligence officials about the arms programs of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated government in Egypt.

With Timbuktu Retaken, France Signals It Plans to Pull Back in Mali
Excerpt: French paratroopers arrived in the ancient desert oasis of Timbuktu on Monday, securing its airport and main roads as thousands of residents poured out of its narrow, mud-walled streets to greet French and Malian troops, waving the two countries’ flags, with whoops, cheers and shouts.

Excerpt: The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities — the #68-ranked national university in all the land, according to U.S. News – is paying a two self-proclaimed sex and relationship educators $3,406 to give an on-campus presentation designed to help female undergrads have better orgasms.

Worth Reading: 25 Great Quotes from Black Conservatives. By John Hawkins 
Excerpt: "The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling." -- Thomas Sowell. "Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits." -- Walter Williams.

Hagel's position on Chevron Corp. board may be a conflict of interest
Excerpt: Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense Chuck Hagel sits on the board of Chevron Corporation, an organization that has received millions of dollars in Department of Defense contracts.

Jewish Students Threatened at UC Davis. By Leila Beckwith and Tammi Rossman-Benjamin 
Just Jews. Move along, nothing to see here. This would only be a problem if Muslim or Gay students were threatened. ~Bob.

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: President Obama flew to Las Vegas today to reveal his immigration reform proposal for allowing illegal aliens to have a pathway to citizenship. Californians are confused. We thought illegal aliens already had a pathway to citizenship, it's called the San Diego Freeway.

Some good news: Militant groups clash in Pakistan, 24 killed
Excerpt: Two Islamic militant groups clashed Saturday over control of a prized valley in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 24 people and wounding dozens more, officials said. (Jihadists killing jihadist for Allah. More, please. ~Bob.)

Question for the day
Mr. Obama, we were delighted to learn that you regularly shoot skeet at Camp David, which has prompted a few cordial questions, one shooter to another: What model rifle do you use? Why skeet instead of snipe? What is your favorite recipe for fresh skeet? –TH

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: The defiant democrat
Excerpt: Heitkamp, who says growing the economy is her top priority, is concerned that the president is changing his focus to issues like climate change and gun control. …"It's one of the reasons why I've been such a big proponent of the Keystone Pipeline. There's a shovel ready, private sector jobs program, good paying jobs." On the topic of gun control, Heitkamp does not hesitate when asked if she'll support an assault weapons ban; her answer is a definitive no.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Aide Says Holocaust is a Hoax
Excerpt: Such is the history of the world, whenever things are going very bad for a regime the government finds a way to blame the Jews. Egypt is no different. To Celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day two days ago, Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to President Morsi who is now responsible for appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives and claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S. (Obama’s Jew-hating pals. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Decades after the construction of city-sized gulags, it appears that the world’s attention may finally be focusing on human rights abuses in North Korea. Predictably, after North Korea’s latest statements on the probability of a nuclear test in the near future, the spotlight is back on the regime. (Where utopian statist dreams always ends. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Crisis in Egypt Exposes Brotherhood’s Dependence on Military. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: The situation in Egypt is looking a bit more revolutionary today, in the sense that the country is approaching the status of ungovernable abyss. The army is the country’s best hope to avoid total meltdown and real revolution (as opposed to power shifts among elite political factions). In the short term this state of affairs must make the generals glad, as the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to consolidate power over and against the military (as Islamists have done in Turkey, for example) now looks impossible.

Egypt Army chief warns of 'collapse of state' as troops deployed to 'protect' Suez Canal
Excerpt: Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah Sissi has warned that the failure to resolve the political crisis currently gripping Egypt could ultimately lead to the “collapse of the state.”

Rape squads of Tahrir Square: Marauding 'state-backed gangs' are still terrorising female protesters two years after revolution
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270216/The-rape-squads-Tahir-Square-State-backed-sex-attacks-designed-deter-getting-worse-claim-female-protesters-losing-faith-Egypts-revolution.html
Excerpt: Sex attacks on female protesters in Egypt's Tahrir Square are premeditated and state-backed, claims an organisation that rescues sexually assaulted female activists.
Excerpt: But don’t worry, gun control will totally work on a national level.

Letter to S&W and other companies from Sen. Ted Cruz
Excellent response to Chicago’s threat not to do business with some companies over guns. ~Bob

Excerpt: Oh, this is hilarious. On Monday’s broadcast of “Morning Joe,” New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman argued that “deficit things” aren’t something to be worried about, at least for the time being. But according to Steve Rattner, the Obama administration’s former “car czar,” Krugman’s analysis is the economic equivalent of climate change denial.

China economy to underpin global demand in 2013 - CIC
Excerpt: China's economy could grow at more than 8 percent in 2013, giving some underpinning to global economic activity that is set for a mild, tortuous recovery this year, the head of China's sovereign wealth fund said on Saturday.

Oops! The New Republic tweets parody site ‘proof’ of Obama shooting skeet, quickly deletes

Wait Until You Hear the Clever Way Private Gun Buyers Invaded a Gun Buyback Program in Seattle
Excerpt: The Seattle Police Department held its first gun buyback event since the 1990s this weekend, offering people gift cards for their firearms. However, dozens of private buyers showed up in an effort to acquire the guns using the so-called gun show loophole, which allows guns to be sold without a background check.

Sen. Bob Menedez agreed to pay the hookers $500 but only gave them $100? Finally, a Democrat who believes in cutting spending!

Dozens of bodies found 'executed' in Syria
Excerpt: The bodies of at least 80 young men and boys, all executed with a single gunshot to the head or neck, have been found in a river in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a watchdog and rebels said.


The derelict homes of a bankrupt city: ENTIRE streets in Detroit are left empty as families flee broke Motown in search of a better life
Excerpt: The city's budget problems have deepened to such an extent that it could run out of cash in a matter of weeks or months and ultimately be forced into what would be the largest-ever Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filing in the United States. (Wait a minute! Aren't Democrats the 'educated' party, with the vast majority of college profs registered Democrat and Dem politicians holding higher degrees? How is it possible that these geniuses are bankrupyting areas that they control while non-Democrat cities and states are surviving and even thriving? –Don Hank)

Excerpt: France's Socialist government was involved in a vast damage limitation exercise today after a senior minister admitted that the country was ‘totally bankrupt.’ (And wait yet another minute! Aren't European socialists the very pinnacle of evolutionary development, with a superior mental capacity and superior sneers to match? Spain's Zapatero and now Hollande in France are leading in a losing battle -- again? Say it ain't so! –Don Hank. I blame bush. Or Global Warming. ~Bob.)

One-Third of Fourth Graders are Functionally Illiterate. By Errol Phillips
Excerpt: An interesting and revealing Article appeared in today’s Town Hall. The Piece by Daniel Doherty repeats something I have been saying for many years.

UK: It's time we stood up to the vicious bullies of the 'caring' liberal left. James Delingpole
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100200580/its-time-we-stood-up-to-the-vicious-bullies-of-the-caring-liberal-left/
Excerpt: Hensher wrote a piece suggesting – not unreasonably given the state of our shrinking economy and the size of our debt – that maybe 2.4 cent of GDP is a bit much for Britain to spend on disability benefits (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain all spend less) and that maybe not all these recipients of taxpayers' largesse were quite as deserving as others. For expressing this mildly argued and not-exactly-extreme viewpoint Hensher was vilified, threatened with death and all but hounded off the internet by a shrill mob of self-appointed disability rights activists.

Gov. Rick Perry: Texas should be able to return unspent revenue to citizens. By Erika Johnsen
http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/29/perry-texas-should-be-able-to-return-unspent-revenue-to-citizens/
Excerpt: Showing off his sense of fiscal discipline and an understanding that the private sector spends money more productively than the public sector, he plans to propose a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to return unspent revenue back to taxpayers. Via Fox News: Gov. Rick Perry will use his State of the State address to call for amending the Texas Constitution to allow the state to return tax money it collects but doesn’t spend back to its citizens, according to an excerpt of the speech released to The Associated Press.

Picture from Mali

Excerpt: According to a new study from sociologists at the City University of New York, more than a third of activists in the Occupy movement in New York City had household incomes above $100,000, placing them at the cusp of the top quintile of income distribution in America

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