Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 31, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 31, 2013
Robert A. Hall

Reminder: Obama: “I Will NOT Take Your Guns Away.”
Excerpt: "When you all go home and you're talking to your buddies and you say, ah 'He wants to take my gun away.' You've heard it here, I'm on television so everybody knows it. I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people's lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won't take your handgun away." (Of course, he also promised to cut the deficit in half, said raising the debt ceiling was unpatriotic, promised to get us out of Iraq in a year, to win the “good war” in Afghanistan, to close Gitmo, to post bills on the Internet for three days before he signed them, to have all the health care meetings open and transparent and to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250k a year. He’s a Chicago Politician, lies to get elected, and the media covers for him. ~Bob.)

C.Y.A. Protecting Yourself in the Modern Jungle
If you order directly from CreateSpace, the PFF receives a larger royalty:
First published in 2010, this book has been reissued through CreateSpace/Amazon at a lower price, with all royalties going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. A humor/self-help book, this is advice with an attitude.

Must Read: The American City Is Dying. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The American city is dying. It used to serve as a center of transportation and industry. Today the city holds a few knowledge industries and some secondary industries catering to them, but is mostly full of low-income immigrants whose big dream is to get a government job with good benefits. Until then there are government benefits that don’t require government jobs.

Excerpt: Suppose I throw a rock through a store owner’s window. You admonish me for this act of vandalism. But I reply that I have actually done a good deed. The store owner will now have to employ someone to haul the broken glass away and someone else, perhaps, to clean up afterward. Then, the order of a new glass pane will create work and wages for the glassmaker. Plus, someone will have to install it. In short, my act of vandalism created jobs and income for others. The French economist, Frédéric Bastiat called this type of reasoning the “fallacy of the broken window.” All the resources employed to remove the broken glass and install a new pane, he said, could have been employed to produce something else. Now they will not be. So society is not better off from my act of vandalism. It is worse off — by one pane of glass. But there is a new type of Keynesian (to be distinguished from Keynes himself) that rejects the economist’s answer. Wasteful spending can actually be good, they argue. If so, they will love what happens in health care. (In the old days, they called it alchemy. Now it’s Keynesian Economics. Same scam. ~Bob.)

US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., first time in 3½ years; deep cut in defense spending key factor
Excerpt: The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The drop occurred despite stronger consumer spending and business investment.

Fact Check: Lack of Federal Spending Did Not Cause GDP Plunge
Excerpt: Before news of U.S. GDP shrinking 0.1 last quarter had even hit the cable airwaves, we were being told by both that this collapse was mostly due to the fact that the federal government didn’t spend enough during the last quarter of last year. Translation: Don't blame Obama for this. Had we just grown the size and power of The State like he wants, we'd all be sitting in clover.

On a day the American economy moved MUCH closer to recession, Obama and his media are thrilled to have Wayne LaPierre to kick around.

Rick Santelli Responds to Negative GDP Report: 'We Are Now Europe.' By Noel Sheppard
Excerpt: "Hey Joe," Santelli said, "when you act like Europe, you get growth rates like Europe, and our discussions with economists sounds like we're in Europe. They have the same discussions constantly."

Excerpt: So this is what $312,000,000,000 in deficit spending bought us for Christmas last year — a shrinking economy. What the chart doesn’t include is the additional $120,000,000,000 or so in “stimulus” securities purchased by the Fed.

Spain's recession worsens in the fourth quarter
Excerpt: The downturn in the Spanish economy worsened in the final three months of 2012, as output fell 1.8% from a year earlier, official data has indicated.

Unions, Hollywood open to bankrolling Obama’s advocacy arm
Excerpt: Labor unions and Hollywood donors are open to bankrolling Organizing for Action, the outside group that has been formed in support of President Obama’s second-term agenda. Traditionally one of the biggest donors to Democrats, unions are considering putting their financial weight behind the group as it tries to harness the grassroots power of Obama’s reelection machine. (The permanent campaign of Obama’s brave new world. ~Bob.)

Keystone XL decision may loom large for red state Democrats in 2014 midterms
Excerpt: A handful of vulnerable Democratic senators running for reelection in red states are seeking to insulate themselves from political fallout if the Obama administration rejects the Keystone XL oilsands pipeline from Canada.

Sandwich generation takes a hit supporting adult children and aging parents
Excerpt: More parents are providing significant financial support for their adult children even as they cope with the needs of their own aging parents, according to a new survey of the middle-aged “sandwich generation.”

Another Private Company Announces Plans to Mine Asteroids
Excerpt: While they claim to have the same overall goals, there are some significant differences between Planetary Resources (PR) and the newcomer, Deep Space Industries (DSI). When the former was announced last April, the biggest news was its billionaire backers from Microsoft and Google. In contrast, the purpose of last week’s announcement was, in the words of CEO (and commercial space veteran) David Gump, “…to go public so that potential corporate sponsors could find us.” (My point here is not to urge for or against investment in these companies but to show that there are serious people with serious money looking at the commercial possibilities of space. Would anyone care to bet what language the successful space entrepreneurs will speak when they get there? I’d bet on Chinese. I’d rate the likelihood of English being spoken by a majority of spacers as a pipe dream held only by old guys like me. It’s as if Columbus came back announcing his discoveries and Ferdinand and Isabella said “So what? Where’s our money?” --Ron P.)

Excerpt: A 2012 Frontline documentary covered portions of the child slavery trade associated with the opium trade and the Afghan government's selective campaign against opium farming. CNN recently interviewed the filmmakers, who assert that there are "hundreds, if not thousands of girls on the run from the traffickers."

Never Let a Dead Child Go to Waste. By William A. Levinson
Excerpt: The destruction of the Million Mom March in 2000 exemplifies this principle. The group solicited donations, volunteer time, and corporate contributions under the premise that it was working for "gun safety," and particularly to protect children from "gun violence." When it became apparent that the group was using the money to promote House candidates on its Web site, while it threatened pro-Second Amendment candidates with defeat, its supporters distanced themselves from it very quickly.

4 Politicians Who Could Immediately Solve the Debt Ceiling
Excerpt: The debt ceiling, the bizarre procedural technicality which requires Congress to vote separately on paying for spending they have already voted for, is an issue tailor-made for a bipartisan commission to solve. Here are two Republicans and two Democrats who could easily serve on the Debt Ceiling Reform Commission:

Help Wanted: Qualified Death Panelists. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: Are you a nationally recognized health finance and economics expert willing to work for beans on a political lightning rod of a project? Do you enjoy being the subject of Senate confirmation hearings? If so, apply to be a death panelist today…because it doesn’t look like anyone else is.

Who wants to be a ‘death panelist’?
Excerpt: It’s not just Gruber. Obama’s former health policy advisers worry that other top health economists, those in hot demand in academia and in the industry, won’t be interested in a federal job where the compensation is low, the political controversy high and the ultimate payoff unclear.

Unreal. ~Bob.

Teen girl killed, boy wounded in shooting near South Side high school
Excerpt: A 15-year-old girl was fatally shot and 16-year-old boy wounded about three blocks from King College Prep on the South Side this afternoon, authorities said.

The ghosts of 1915
Excerpt: On December 28th Ms Kucuk, 85, was found dead in her apartment. She had been stabbed, repeatedly. Relatives said a crucifix was carved onto her naked corpse.

Zimbabwe Has Just $217 in the Bank, Finance Minister Says
Excerpt: While the amount is a stunningly low balance for an entire nation, it was somewhat expected. The African nation has been struggling to recover from hyperinflation that stretches back a decade. In the past few years, flagging diamond exports as well as salary hikes have compounded the nation’s financial woes, according to the Globe and Mail. (If anyone really needs an object lesson in crony socialism, here it is. And, as TOJ showed last week, they really DO have trillion dollar bills. Of course, they’re worth less than the intrinsic value of the paper they’re printed on. 30 years ago, Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia, was one of the richest nations in Africa. It won’t take us that long to get to this point, we’re far more efficient, even in failure. Ron P.)

Iranian uranium-enriching facility ‘is damaged by explosion’
Excerpt: An explosion is believed to have damaged Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, which is being used to enrich uranium, Israeli intelligence officials have told The Times. Sources in Tel Aviv said yesterday that they thought the explosion happened last week. The Israeli Government is investigating reports that it led to extensive structural damage and 200 workers had been trapped inside.

Social Security Could Be Made Solvent through Payroll Tax Increase, but Not Without Consequences
Excerpt: The most logical manner to reform Social Security is to do what has always been done: raise the payroll tax rate. The tax rate would have to immediately jump from 12.3 percent to 16.3 percent in order to make Social Security sustainable. Tax increases of this magnitude bring significant economic impact. If the rate increase is necessary, Biggs says it should be levied equally across all income levels.

Black Bloc must die, say Jihad and Jama'a al-Islamiya
Excerpt: The Islamist party of the Jihad Organization and Jama'a al-Islamiya has said the ways of dealing with banditry specified in the Quran must be applied to Black Bloc members, which means they must be killed. “God orders us to kill, crucify or cut off the hands and feet of those who spread mischief on earth,” said Jama'a al-Islamiya Mufti Abdel Akhar Hammad, citing a verse from the Quran. “The president must give that order.” (Ah, the tolerant, democratic Arab Spring. Maybe they can use the F-16s Obama is sending them to bomb the people. ~Bob.)

Egypt suspends all train services in south due to protest
Excerpt: Train services have stopped in the entire South of the country from Aswan to Cairo on Wednesday night. The internal radio at Cairo's Ramsis train station, the country's main train hub, announced that the government has grounded all trains to a halt in order to ensure the public's safety.

Irony alert: Eyes finally open, liberals hope for military coup in Egypt
Excerpt: From Andy McCarthy’s post at NRO’s “The Corner” blog on commentators rising calls for the Egyptian military to intervene as that country starts to fall apart:

UK embassy suspends visa applications in Cairo, Alexandria 
Excerpt: British embassy visa services in Cairo and Alexandria are halted due to "current security situation"; UK Middle East minister expresses concern at ongoing violence.

Suspected Islamists hunted down and beaten in liberated Mali towns
Excerpt: It was payback time Tuesday in the newly liberated town of Gao in Mali, with residents hunting down and beating suspected Islamist extremists who had not fled with their brothers-in-arms as Malian and French military forces closed in and retook the town. (The people's verdict on the "strict" version of Sharia that the Islamic supremacists had imposed. Apparently Mali is being overrun with greasy Islamophobes. –Robert Spencer.)

Teen in Sweden jailed eight years for honour killing
Excerpt: A Swedish court on Tuesday sentenced a 17-year-old man to eight years in prison for stabbing his sister 107 times in what judges called an honour killing. … The lawyer for the convicted teen called the sentence "extremely harsh" and said he planned to appeal.

Ex-SEIU local (Los Angeles) exec convicted of stealing from low-income members
Excerpt: A onetime rising star in national labor circles who headed California's biggest union local was convicted Monday on federal charges that he stole tens of thousands of dollars from his low-income members.

Another EPA official caught using a personal email address to conduct business
Congressional Republicans are investigating another high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official for using a personal email account to conduct official business. (The “most transparent administration in history” rolls on. ~Bob.)

U.S. 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad's regime'
Excerpt: A leaked email exchange, reportedly between top officials at defense firm Britam, details a plan to use chemical weapons in Syria that has allegedly been 'approved by Washington'. (I think doubtful. The risks if discovered would be great and the payoff low. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Official Lies. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: Which is the lie, Social Security checks must be delayed if the debt ceiling is not raised or there's $2.7 trillion in the Social Security trust funds? The fact of the matter is that they are both lies. 

Excerpt: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has selected his former chief-of-staff William "Mo" Cowan to serve as interim U.S. senator until a special election to fill the seat left vacant by Secretary of State designate John Kerry.

Waiting for NYT to explain the White House's brilliance for releasing millions of golf photos but keeping skeet shooting pics secret.

Russia scraps US anti-drug accord after 10 years
Excerpt: The Russian government has abandoned an agreement with the US on fighting crime and the drugs trade, in an apparent sign of worsening relations.

Mexico breaks up alleged border sex-slavery cult
Excerpt: Mexican officials broke up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border, Mexican immigration authorities said Tuesday.

Excerpt: Obama is not proposing legislation, but the gruel he is offering is designed to pull the debate to the left and weaken the already weak push for real security on the border. The president is putting his cards on the table to undermine American sovereignty. In due time, he’ll pull the rug out from under Sen. Marco Rubio and the Republicans involved in the Gang of Eight, and they can be expected to play the fool.

FBI raids Florida eye clinic of donor linked to Sen. Bob Menendez’s prostitution scandal
Excerpt: FBI agents have raided the West Palm Beach, Fla. eye clinic owned by Dr. Salomon Melgen, the wealthy donor to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez who allegedly procured prostitutes for him — some of them as young as 16 — during trips to the Dominican Republic.

Dem Sen. Menendez using hookers procured by an eye doctor? "Better this way...or this way...this...or this?"

Menendez: Prostitution allegations ‘manufactured’ by ‘right-wing blog’
Excerpt: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is denying allegations that a major donor supplied him with free trips to the Dominican Republic where he engaged with underage prostitutes.

NJ man pleads guilty to steering illegal contributions to Sen. Bob Menendez
Excerpt: The owner of a New Jersey medical imaging company pleaded guilty Tuesday to making $21,400 in illegal campaign contributions to Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez between 2005 and 2008.

MSNBC ‘essentially’ ran ‘a voter suppression campaign’ against GOP during 2012 presidential election, says author
Excerpt: By tarring conservatives as racist during the 2012 presidential campaign, MSNBC “essentially” mounted “a voter suppression campaign,” says the author of a new book on media bias.

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules." --Thomas Jefferson

"I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this cold weather is far worse than the Holocaust." --Gawker senior writer Travis Okulski

Draft UN climate report shows 20 years of overestimated global warming, skeptics warn
Excerpt: A preliminary draft of a report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked to the public this month, and climate skeptics say it contains fresh evidence of 20 years of overstated global warming.

Excerpt: America's heritage of immigration has fueled our nation’s strength and diversity, yet our immigration system has become so politicized and dysfunctional that it causes untold personal tragedies, strains the fiscal capacity of public services in many states, and prevents many from pursuing the American Dream. Complex, comprehensive legislation based on back-room deals never works, and the Senate immigration proposal announced this week and echoed yesterday by President Obama—to the extent that it repeats the mistakes of the past—will further polarize Americans, fail to solve the real policy problems, and make matters worse.

Why You Should NOT Count on the Cops to Save You
Excerpt: To the pro gun control crowd out there (well, the few who might dare read this), to the people who think that no citizens should own guns, or at least no semi-auto guns, to the people who place their safety and the safety of their family solely in the hands of law enforcement, to you I say: You have MUCH more faith in law enforcement than I do, and I am a law enforcement officer.

Lessons of the Sword Hunt. By G. C. Smith
Excerpt: In 1588, the ferocious Japanese military dictator, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, ordered the notorious Sword Hunt. Throughout Japan, all swords and other weapons were confiscated from the entire population – except for the samurai warrior class that was under Hideyoshi’s iron control. The purpose of the Sword Hunt was to render the citizenry completely defenseless against Hideyoshi’s totalitarian power as enforced by the armed samurai and, in consequence, to reduce the populace to hopeless impotence against the government’s harsh impositions.

Has to be a spoof: Another Genius Obama Supporter?
Excerpt: Our great president came from a civilized part of the country where there is strict gun control, and he is only trying to bring the benefits of that more modern way of living to the rest of us. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I’m quite certain that Chicago is a lot safer that Morehead City, when it comes to gun violence.

Tweet from @bamumford:
Or, as a kidless friend said recently--"America is in decline--why have kids who will just suffer because of it?"

Why Husbands Who Share Household Chores Miss Out on Sex
Excerpt: In what feels like a blow to egalitarianism, new research finds that husbands and wives who assign housework along traditional gender lines have more sex than those who split the chores more equitably. (Please don’t shoot the messenger! ~Bob.)

NASA Launches Rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia
Excerpt: In the technology test launch, two canisters in the rocket’s payload section contained solid metal lithium rods or chips embedded in a thermite cake. The thermite was ignited and produced heat to vaporize the lithium. The vapor was released in space to be detected and tracked optically.

Ga. court upholds sentence in 'honor killing'
Excerpt: Chaudry Rashid was accused of strangling his 25-year-old daughter because she planned to divorce her husband from an arranged marriage. … During the conversation he said: "I put the rope around her neck and squeezed her." "She disgraced our family."

Cuomo’s High Approval Rating Falls After Gun Law Push
Excerpt: His disapproval rating has more than doubled, climbing from 13 percent in December to 28 percent in Wednesday’s poll.

Jordan government submits resignation after vote
Excerpt: Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur submitted his cabinet's resignation to King Abdullah II on Tuesday, following a general election which was swept by pro-regime loyalists.

Center for American Progress’ Christie Hefner: Climate change a factor in Chicago’s murder rate
You had to know this was coming. ~Bob.

Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace. - James Madison

Israel hits Syria arms convoy to Lebanon: sources
Excerpt: Israeli forces attacked a convoy on the Syrian-Lebanese border on Wednesday, sources told Reuters, after Israelis warned their Lebanese enemy Hezbollah against using chaos in Syria to acquire anti-aircraft missiles or chemical weapons.

Excerpt: More sad news out of Chicago today as violent gangs continue to take over the unarmed city. The young girl and honor student who performed at President Obama's second Inauguration just last week has been gunned down and killed. 

Excerpt: The U.S. Navy will hack apart a minesweeper ship worth $277million that is caught on a coral reef in the Philippines - rather than risk further damage to the sensitive ecosystem. … Lieutenant Commander Mark Rice was in charge of the ship when she hit the reef as she was sailing between Puerto Princesa and Indonesia on a routine patrol. (I do not see Flag Rank in Lieutenant Commander Rice’s future. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The Obama administration released new regulations Wednesday to implement the unpopular individual mandate in Obama's signature healthcare law.

Excerpt: Conservatives are still glum about the election, and the upper hand President Obama seems to have over Republicans. But the political stage has been framed far worse for conservatives and Republicans in the past.

Excerpt: On December 11, 2010, in Conyers, GA, 22-year-old Ryan Moore was at a friend’s house for an evening of leisure. He borrowed a friend’s car to drive to the nearby grocery store, where his handgun saved his life. 

Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens
A year old, but worth saving. ~Bob.

Prosecution for federal weapons violations in 2011 down 35% under Obama. Too many DOJ officials running guns, I guess.

Murder rate in America today is half what is was in 1993 #guns

Convicted rapist organizes gun control demonstration at Dayton gun show; Media fails to note his sex offender status. By Chad D. Baus
Excerpt: In short, "Anti-Gun-Protestor Jerome McCorry" and "Rapist-and-Convicted-Felon Jerome McCorry" are one and the same person, and WHIO-TV and The Dayton Daily News have been treating this man as a legitimate voice of reason that should be considered in the debate over whether or not rape and other crime victims should be able to buy firearms in order to protect themselves from attack.

They don’t even know what they’re banning; NY SAFE Act web site serially misidentifies firearms
Excerpt: The Mini-14 NY SAFE says isn’t an assault rifle fires the same ammunition, from similar 30-round magazines, at the same rate of fire, as an AR-15. (But I’d call a revolver a pistol…~Bob.)

Heckuva job: ICE agents lose deportation fugitive at Denver airport. By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: As I mentioned earlier in my column today, the persistent deportation and removal abyss allows hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens — many of them known, repeat criminal offenders — to pass through the immigration court system and then disappear into the ether because we have no determined will to track them down and kick them all out of the country.

Worth Reading: Who Are We? By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: Culture trumps politics. Culture trumps economics. On November 6, culture trumped reality … Because the Left understands where the real victories are won: Politics is a battle, but culture is the war.

"Liberals With Guns!"
Excerpt: "Wanna keep guns out of the hands of psychos? I Purpose that every registered liberal Democrat be placed on the mentally ill list..." (Short video with some interesting observations. --MM)

Funny how the 14 Mexican kids slaughtered at a party with #FastandFurious guns didn't make Obama care about gun control.

Justice Scalia: The Constitution is Dead
Excerpt: Most of the Founding Fathers were strict constructionists (as you would imagine… since they drafted the document. Of course they wanted it interpreted as it was written). Over time, as high technology and low morals altered the nature of American society and politics, the question started to arise more and more: “Isn’t this document a little outdated? 

Excerpt: The theme of the Forum, which encourages the study of free enterprise by bringing scholars together for dynamic exchanges of ideas on topics related to free market economics, was “Markets, Government, and the Common Good.” Rev. Sirico spoke about the evolved meaning of the phrase “social justice,” explaining the current usage of the phrase as well as its literal meaning. He also warned that if words and phrases lose their meaning then “chaos can result.”

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