Friday, February 15, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 16, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 16, 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.

Information on my books

Obama waging an 'endless campaign.' By Niall Stanage and Amie Parnes
Excerpt: President Obama will never again be an election candidate but, for now at least, he has the look — and the rhetorical sound — of a man on the campaign trail. Thursday brought the latest example, with a rally-style event in Decatur, Ga., intended to build support for the administration’s proposals on pre-K education. (People like to do what they are good at. He’s far better at campaigning than governing. ~Bob.)

Senate Republicans block Hagel nomination for Defense secretary
Excerpt: Senate Republicans in a 58-40 vote Thursday blocked former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-Neb.) nomination as Defense secretary from proceeding to a final up-or-down vote. Four Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mike Johanns (Neb.)— joined 55 Democrats and Independents in supporting the nomination. Sixty votes were needed to cut off debate, leaving Democrats one vote short.

State of the Union is ratings flop; fewest viewers since 2000
Excerpt: President Obama’s Tuesday State of the Union address had the fewest viewers of any since 2000 and failed to boost his approval rating. (People hate re-runs. Who didn’t know what he was going to say? Raise taxes, grow government, blame others, the recovery has started. ~Bob.)

Meteor injures hundreds in Russia
With good video. Tomorrow’s Headline: Al Gore blames global warming. ~Bob.

Long-Term Care System in Crisis
Excerpt: The United States is not currently meeting the needs of the frail elderly and disabled populations, many of whom require help with activities of daily living including bathing, going to the restroom and dressing as well as cooking, housekeeping, transportation and managing finances. With 77 million baby boomers set to enter retirement, politicians need to make concerted efforts to ensure that long-term care (LTC) financing is sound, says Diane R. Calmus, a former research assistant at the Heritage Foundation. Long-term care is used primarily by the disabled -- those who have a variety of physical and cognitive impairments -- and the frail elderly -- those older adults with any combination of chronic conditions. Medicaid is the largest source of long-term care, which is becoming increasingly more expensive. LTC costs have outpaced inflation since 2003, as the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home has risen to $90,520. Because people do not plan well enough in advance for LTC care, 63 percent of LTC funding originates from government programs, of which taxes are the largest source, while private financing accounts for only 22 percent of LTC spending. (What’s one more fiscal crisis when things are falling apart? ~Bob.)

Millions Defraud Federal Phone Subsidy Program
Excerpt: The Lifeline program, which began in 1984, provides phones to low-income Americans and ensures that the poor aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services. The program is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless phone customer, amounting to a roughly $2.50 a month per household fee to fund subsidized communication programs. However, the program is plagued with fraud and is poorly regulated, says the Wall Street Journal. With payments shooting up from $819 million in 2008 to $2.2 billion last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tightened the rules in 2012 and mandated that carriers must determine eligibility. The FCC expected the tight regulations to rule out 15 percent of users. An audit of the top five Lifeline carriers reveals that 41 percent of its 6 million subscribers could not demonstrate eligibility or did not respond.

Too many laws!
I thought this PJTV Video: "Right on Crime: A Conservative Approach to Criminal Justice Reform" was especially interesting, and would be something that actually isn't really about Left or Right. Having a literally monstrous set of laws that no one has any chance of keeping track of leaves citizens in danger of going to jail for acts they had no way of knowing were illegal. Simplifying how cases could be handled is another great idea. I really hope this movement gets some traction. --Del

The State of Obama: Here's what has to be understood. It's all about him. By Dan Henninger
Excerpt: A State of the Union speech normally is about relating a president's public policies to conditions in the country. An Obama State of the Union speech is about one thing: the Obama project.

Benghazi revealed - Stevens WAS the target - Terror Tuesday was the cause
Excerpt: The overlooked and "palpable" motive for the killing of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty is the President's Targeted Kill List (TKL). The evidence for the “quid pro quo” killing of Ambassador Stevens by al-Qaeda is compelling. Details released in Congressional reports and testimony on Capitol Hill hearings suggest Ambassador Stevens was lured to Benghazi by the Turkish Consul General, Ali Sait Akin, who wanted to meet Stevens on 9-11 in out-of-the-way Benghazi instead of the more-secure U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, where the Ambassador conducted the bulk of his diplomatic business.

Obama made no phone calls on night of Benghazi attack, White House says
Excerpt: President Obama didn’t make any phone calls the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House said in a letter to Congress released Thursday. “During the entire attack, the president of the United States never picked up the phone to put the weight of his office in the mix,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who had held up Mr. Obama’s defense secretary nominee to force the information to be released.

Outrageous: $100 Million School Loan Costs Taxpayers $1 Billion

Obama’s ideological fatigue. By Michael Gerson
Excerpt: President Obama’s second inaugural address and his recent State of the Union have been described as “two acts in the same play.” They are matched “bookends.” They belong together “like bagels and toothpaste.” Actually, that last characterization is mine. It is difficult to imagine two more different speeches in intention or ambition.

Cops: Tide players KO'd, robbed man
Excerpt: A former five-star recruit for Alabama was arrested for the second time in two days and was among four freshmen, all suspended Tuesday, who face charges of second-degree robbery or credit-card fraud stemming from Monday arrests. Eddie Williams, who was also a safety in high school but did not play a down at his listed position as a receiver for Alabama in 2012, was first arrested Sunday on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license. (This report is nicely sanitized. It does not mention that all four athletes are Black and both victims are White, nor does it mention "The Knockout Game". It says the victims were punched and kicked, and have mild concussions, but doesn't mention they were covered in blood and obviously kicked hard multiple times while lying on the ground, defenseless. These two men were not just "rendered unconscious," they were badly beaten by powerful athletes. This is one more example of Black-on-White assaults, and in a sense worse than others, since the assailants were college students with a bright future, who had no conceivable reason for such brutal acts and a lot to lose. Which they should lose, not just suspended from the team, but dismissed from the school. The lesson has to be that brutal, unprovoked attacks are absolutely intolerable, no matter what races, genders, or beliefs are involved. That's what civilization is about, and if civilized behavior is not demanded in college, then the education system is already corrupt. –Del. It’s already corrupt. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner
Excerpt: I AM a New England liberal, born and bred. I have lived most of my life in the Northeast — Boston, New York and Philadelphia — and my politics are devoutly Democratic. … I am also a Texas resident and a gun owner. I have half a dozen pistols in my safe, all semiautomatics, the largest capable of holding 20 rounds. … I’m currently shopping for a shotgun, either a Remington 870 Express Tactical or a Mossberg 500 Flex with a pistol grip and adjustable stock. (20 rounds? Pistol grip? Adjustable Stock? Sounds like assault weapons to me! ~Bob.)

Egypt’s Sexual Terrorism
Excerpt: With reports of mob attacks and gang rape growing alarmingly common in Egypt, angry protesters demonstrated in Cairo on Tuesday, calling for urgently needed protection and harsher punishment of perpetrators of sexual assault. (Ah, the modern, democratic Arab Spring, beloved by progressives in the media and government. What cold go wrong? ~Bob.)

Dash-Cams: Russia's Last Hope For Civility And Survival On The Road.
Excerpt: The Russian courts don’t like verbal claims. They do, however, like to send people to jail for battery and property destruction if there’s definite video proof. That is why there’s a new, growing crop of dash-cam videos featuring would-be face-beaters backing away to the shouts of “You’re on camera, fucker! I’m calling the cops!”

Excerpt: You’re busy. So busy you barely have time to read these words. So why should you care about the U.S. debt? Does it affect your life? Unfortunately, high government debt is having more of an impact on each of us than we realize. 9the real disaster for everyone comes when we can no longer service the debt, and they must print money creating hyper-inflation or default. The economy then collapses and chaos, privation and bloodshed reign. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Just about every economic study over the last half century has shown that raising the minimum wage almost always leads to lower employment rates. So, while it's no surprise that our "business-challenged" President is proposing a $9.00 federal minimum wage rate, I'm still taken aback that so many ordinary Americans don't get it.

Democrats Heart Medicare Fraudsters. By Michelle Malkin 
Excerpt: While Democrats pretend to protect the elderly and disabled, leaders of the People's Party have pocketed gobs of campaign contributions from fat-cat donors tied to massive Medicare rip-off schemes.

Taxing the Planet Clean: Boxer, Sanders call for $1.2 trillion carbon tax. By CJ Ciaramella
Excerpt: Sens. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) announced they will introduce sweeping new energy regulations, including a carbon tax, during a Thursday press conference.

Women in Combat Could Hurt Retention, Marine Study Suggests. By Adam Kredo
Excerpt: Nearly one in four males in the U.S. Marine Corps said they would leave the service if women were involuntarily posted in combat positions, according to the executive summary of a little-known survey commissioned by Marine Corps leaders and obtained by the Free Beacon.

Worth Reading: Black, Brown and Obama. By Lloyd Billingsley 
Excerpt: A federal hate-crimes indictment highlights differences in response between Barack Obama and previous presidents when racists target blacks with violence. … Soon four men in a black SUV pulled up, called a 19-year-old family friend a “nigger,” then drew a gun and beat him with metal pipes. … Meanwhile, gangs controlled by the Mexican Mafia have been conducting what amounts to an ethnic cleansing campaign against African Americans in southern California

Worth Reading: What the Left Does Not Understand About Islam. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Their response to the Clash of Civilizations has been to include Islamists in the global rainbow coalition of minorities, gays and gender theorists, indigent third world farmers, transsexuals, artists and poets, sex workers and terrorists; without considering what the Islamists were or how they would fit into this charmed circle.

Support for Dorner Is Troubling: Anyone who fails to condemn the killer is failing in his duty. By Dennis Prager
Excerpt: Just when you thought you’d seen it all with the Sandy Hook murders of a classroom full of children, America experienced another new low: A man named Christopher Dorner murdered three (as of this writing) innocent people in order to air personal grievances. And his grievances were given serious attention by the national media, not to mention by left-wing websites. To better understand this: Imagine the outcry if, let us say, a white student who was certain that he was denied admission to a prestigious university because of affirmative action murdered a university official, the daughter of the dean of admissions, and her fiancĂ©.

Excerpt: So, why would a group of high school boys be told by their principal to remove their American flag bandanas? Because it’s racist.

Students Kicked Out Of Basketball Game For Show Of Patriotism.
Excerpt: You know a country is ruled by its enemies when displays of patriotism are forbidden: Austin Medeiros said he has always felt an urge to be patriotic. The Camarillo High School student has chanted “USA, USA” after the singing of the national anthem at sporting events and student rallies and worn a U.S. flag bandanna, he said.

When economics becomes a disastrous utopian delusion. By Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein
Excerpt: South Africa's Chief Rabbi on your role in building a civilized society and finding the balance between individual rights and communal responsibility.

The President's 'Really Bad Idea'
Excerpt: Proposed by Barack Obama and signed into law by Barack Obama, the sequester -- automatic spending "cuts" of $85 billion that will kick in March 1 -- is now the only thing standing between us and a prosperous future. So says Barack Obama.

56% Think Harder, Smarter Workers Make More Money
Excerpt: Just half (50%) of American Adults believe that someone who works hard and meets their responsibilities generally gets ahead in the United States today. But slightly more think those who work like that make more money. (The system discriminates against the stupid and the lazy. We need a government program! Oh, wait, we already have a lot of programs to support them. After the collapse, it will really discriminate against the dumb and the lazy. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The House voted Friday to freeze the pay of federal workers for the third year in a row over the objections of congressional Democrats and the Obama administration.
Members voted 261-154 in favor of the bill, which would also lock in a pay freeze for members of Congress. It exempts people serving in the military.

Excerpt: At a meeting, two firearms experts came forward to speak, bringing with them two common Ruger 10/22 rifles that had been cleared by security. … In the video, DFL legislators simply arise and exit without explanation. (My minds made up—don’t confuse me with the facts! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: There is an Obama Doctrine, but hardly anyone wants to acknowledge it. He favors anti-American dictators, and he couldn’t care less what they do to their people. That’s the doctrine that checks out: he favored the Muslim Brotherhood over the pro-American Mubarak; the Libyan insurrectionaries over Gaddafi, who had come to terms with the United States; the Iranian tyrants who crushed a pro-democracy uprising; and Assad (who, whatever Kerry and Hegel have said, is an enemy) against a revolution that at least contained pro-American elements, now suffering from Obama’s betrayal.

Left Targets Cruz, Conservatives--but Case Against Hagel Stronger than Ever. By Joel B. Pollak
Excerpt: Decrying yesterday’s filibuster of the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense, the White House and the media have decided to target his critics, especially Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Yet they should welcome the extension of debate, which provides an opportunity for Senators who once expressed concerns, such as Chuck Schumer (D-NY), to revisit their conclusions in light of new information.

Excerpt: A future in which unmanned drones are as common in U.S. skies as helicopters and airliners has moved a step closer to reality with a government request for proposals to create six drone test sites around the country. The Federal Aviation Administration made the request Thursday, kicking off what is anticipated to be an intense competition between states hoping to win one of the sites.

A English county has confirmed that horse meat has been found in cottage pies served at 47 of the county's schools. Lancashire County Council said it has withdrawn the products from all of the schools' kitchens, but it will not say which schools served the contaminated meat. 

Excerpt: Online rumors about a big government munitions purchase are true, sort of. The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them -- roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the United States -- for law enforcement agents in training and on duty. …Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as "strategic sourcing contracts," which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga. (Right, and I know of a nice piece of land that is a swamp to sell you, too. –Barb)

Are government benefits fueling US poverty?
Excerpt: He says an expanding system of government benefits has helped create a poverty rate of 14 percent. "They're actually creating a dependency on government, which is unhealthy both for the individuals involved and their children, and also for the broader society," he said. Vedder said Department of Labor statistics show four programs in particular contribute to Americans' increasing dependence on government.

Tweet from Allen West ‎@AllenWest 
(Expanded) Democrat Senator Tom Harkin’s statement should send a chill of reality down the spine of every American - well maybe not every. He stated from his perch on the Senate Finance Committee Chair that we do not have a spending problem. We have a mis-allocation of wealth problem. There can be no further doubt that today's Democrat party has fully embraced socialist ideals and principles of governance. The top 25% of wage earners in America contribute nearly 90% of tax revenues. Hey America, Benjamin Franklin appropriately mused, sometimes you get the government you want, other times you get the government you deserve. Hat tip to the uninformed, low information, and politically illiterate segments of the American electorate who voted on style, not substance in 2012.

New on Twitter
Dr. Ben Carson: @RealBenCarson

Man gets 5 years for insulting Islam on Facebook
The Bandung High Court has added one more year to the prison term of Sebastian Joe, who was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for the blasphemy of Islam by the Ciamis District Court in West Java.

Left In The Dark: Copper Thieves Rob Detroit Freeways Of Light
Excerpt: The Michigan Department of Transportation says one-fifth of the lights along freeways in Metro Detroit aren’t working — and copper thieves are mainly to blame. (I fear the lights of civilization are going out. We will not see them relit in our lifetimes. ~Bob)

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