Thursday, February 7, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 8, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for February 8, 2013
Robert A. Hall

Information on my books

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.)

Worth Reading: Incoherent immigration reform. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Nothing about illegal immigration quite adds up. Conservative corporate employers still support the idea of imported, cheap, non-union labor -- in a strange alliance with liberal activists who want the larger blocs of Latino voters that eventually follow massive influxes from Latin America. Yet how conservative are businesses that in the past flouted federal law -- and how liberal are activists who undermined the bargaining power of American minimum-wage, entry-level workers, many of them minorities?

Sen. Menendez contacted top officials in friend’s Medicare dispute
Excerpt: Sen. Robert Menendez raised concerns with top federal health-care officials twice in recent years about their finding that a Florida eye doctor — a close friend and major campaign donor — had overbilled the government by $8.9 million for care at his clinic, Menendez aides said Wednesday. (More smears of the dedicated senator from that right-wing blog, The Washington Post. ~Bob.)

Clever: Menendez Hires Former Holder Spokesman to Defend Against DoJ Investigation
Excerpt: In one key move, Menendez has begun to rely for guidance on trusted aides and former advisers, including one who is very close to Attorney General Eric Holder. Menendez’s campaign has hired Matt Miller, a former top spokesman for the Justice Department — which is investigating a campaign donor caught up in the scandal — under Holder.

New Jersey Takes Over: FBI sources: Menendez Investigation Moves from Miami to Newark
Excerpt: Two FBI sources have told The Daily Caller that the bureau’s inquiry into Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is now based in New Jersey, not Miami. One added that pressure is mounting from the highest levels of the Justice Department to pursue the investigation. The change of focus away from the bureau’s Miami field office indicates that the government is focused primarily on Sen. Menendez — and not on his longtime donor Dr. Salomon Melgen, as political observers have speculated.

Excerpt: Salomon Melgen, the Democratic donor whose private jet ferried Sen. Bob Menendez to the Dominican Republic on at least three occasions, has blocked public access to records of his past flights, a survey of online databases has revealed. Those records were available online to the public as recently as Monday afternoon.

Inspiring Hate--SPLC continues to label org targeted for violence as ‘hate’ group
Excerpt: Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three criminal counts involving his August 2012 attack on the Washington D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC). Corkins reportedly told the FBI that he picked his target directly from a “hate map” on the website of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Headline Today. "Women's Unclean Breasts Cause Diarrhea, Says Egypt Prime Minister Hisham Qandil" This is what passes for E=MC2 over there.

Miami-Dade officers caught on camera ignoring 911 calls while continuing to shop and eat!

Battle of Midway Hero Jim Muri Dies at 93

Scientists: Earth-like planets 'Right next door'
Excerpt: Earth-like worlds may be closer and more plentiful than anyone imagined. Astronomers reported Wednesday that the closest Earth-like planet may be just 13 light years away. That planet hasn't been found yet, but should be there based on the team's study of red dwarf stars. Galactically speaking, it's a stroll across the park. (Time to pack. ~Bob.)
Excerpt: The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday quietly raised the 10-year cost of ObamaCare's insurance subsidies offered via the health law's exchanges by $233 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office review of its latest spending forecast.

Marine One bringing POTUS in
Funny picture.

U.S. #1 By Far In Gun Ownership – But, Only 28th In Gun Murder Rate
Excerpt: However, it’s also an argument that doesn’t remotely match up with what the numbers tell us. In fact, the numbers tell quite a different story.

Excerpt: Jay Carney said today all the Obama administration drone strikes are “legal, ethical and wise”. If so, then why have they failed to explain the killing of 16 year old American Abdulrahman al-Alawki who was killed in a drone strike in 2011? 

Worth Reading: Bam’s wise kill-don’t-capture rule By Ralph Peters
Excerpt: Americans who believe America’s always wrong are all but fainting this week. More evidence emerged, in the form of a leaked Justice Department white paper on targeted killings, that their president doesn’t share the belief that Islamist terrorists deserve all the rights and protections accorded American citizens, as well as catered halal diets, ObamaCare and Social Security benefits. Let’s get one thing straight: The right of a state and its people to self-defense trumps every other aspect of international law, treaties and practices.

Excerpt: President Obama on Wednesday decided to reverse course and allow members of Congress to be briefed on a classified memo that details the justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens, an administration official said Wednesday night. … The news comes the night before a hearing for John Brennan, Obama's nominee for CIA director. Brennan, now Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, is expected to be bombarded with questions in a Senate hearing on Thursday that could bring new revelations about the targeted killings of U.S. citizens overseas. (Notice how he adds the word “Overseas”? I thought it just involved “American citizens.” Period. Location equivocal. Will be interesting, especially given rampant demands for drone surveillance in US. –Barb.)

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Even Hagel's defenders blanched at his astonishingly poor performance. "I'm going to be candid," Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told MSNBC. "I think that Chuck Hagel is much more comfortable asking questions than answering them."

Meet Marco Rubio, the new leader of the Republican party. By Chris Cillizza
Excerpt: Marco Rubio’s selection to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union cements the Florida senator’s role as a first-among-equals when it comes to the future leaders of the party, and sets up an intriguing dynamic over the next few years between Rubio and the man he almost certainly wants to replace.

Excerpt: A cellphone company run by a major Democratic donor and President Obama backer has extended its foray into government contracts, from the so-called “Obama phone” to a project intended to provide high-speed Internet access to low-income families -- amid criticism its product is ill-equipped. Critics also suggest TracFone Wireless CEO F.J. Pollak used his Obama connections to help his company get one of the 14 contracts. At issue is a $13.8 million pilot project by the Federal Communications Commission that attempts to find the best ways to increase the broadband access rate among the poor and help improve their digital skills – to eventually help them manage household finances, look for work and do other tasks.

Labor Force Mismatch Leads to College Grad Underemployment
Excerpt: College education continues to be touted as the ticket to a better economic future, though roughly 48 percent of employed college graduates are in jobs that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says require less than a four-year college education, say Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), Christopher Denhart, an undergraduate at Ohio University, and Jonathan Robe, a research fellow at CCAP.

Overregulation, not phantom spending cuts, caused economy to shrink in fourth quarter
Excerpt: The schizophrenia of progressive economic thought was on full display last week in the wake of some bad economic news. On the one hand, progressives believe the U.S. economy is so fragile that even the mere threat of cuts in government spending would be disastrous. On the other hand, they believe this same economy is so resilient that billions upon billions of dollars in regulatory costs have no effect on growth at all.

LaHood: ‘America is one big pothole’

Excerpt: Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lamented the amount of infrastructure spending that was approved by Congress during his tenure at the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Wednesday. "America is one big pothole right now," LaHood said in an interview on "The Diane Rehm Show" on National Public Radio. (Politicians of both parties prefer politically-valuable spending on new projects to maintenance of existing roads and bridges. They do what the voters reward them for. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: President Obama has embraced a series of proposals to advance gay causes in his second term, highlighting his changing views on gay rights.….The transformation of the president who just 15 months ago said he was still evolving on the issue is remarkable — so much so that it caught even gay rights activists and supporters by surprise. They’re now hopeful Obama will make history again by appointing the first openly gay Cabinet secretary, which would “be an important milestone,” said Denis Dison, the vice president of communications for the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute.

Excerpt: Don’t say we didn’t warn ya, but now the long-anticipated plan for armed TSA agents to patrol U.S. cities has been invoked by none other than Jesse Jackson. Today he called on President Obama to unleash “Homeland Security” on the streets of Chicago, a city racked by murders and violence even though it has the strictest gun laws in the country. The only group within DHS that has the manpower to “occupy” a U.S. city is the TSA, a widely-hated government agency which has already begun running roadside checkpoints across the country.

Virginia city passes legislation banning drones
CharlottesvilleVirginia has become the first city in the U.S. to put a two-year ban on drone flights within city limits, reported NBC29 Wednesday. The decision comes two days after a Justice Department memo on the Obama administration’s criteria for determining the targeting and drone assassination of foreign enemies — including American citizens — was leaked to the public.

Excerpt: On Monday, NBC published a Department of Justice memo that lays out the Obama administration’s framework for determining when it’s lawful for President Obama to order the assassination of a U.S. citizen. Basically, the president can assassinate you if “an informed, high-level” administration official has determined that (1) you are a senior figure in either al-Qaida or “an associated force”; (2) you pose a threat to the United States; and (3) capturing you wouldn’t be feasible. The memo goes on to explain that the president can order your assassination without “clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

Even Iran Diplomat Confirms Nuke Plant Blast: Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad says his bomb is ready if Israel attacks
Excerpt: The blasts at first trapped 219 workers, including 16 North Koreans: 14 technicians and two military attaches. A Fordow security source told WND that as of three days ago, at least 40 people have been killed, including two North Koreans, and more than 60 injured, some in critical condition. The foreign services division of a European intelligence agency, in confirming the explosions, said its information was verified by assets in Iran’s government. (Interesting. WND can be a little alarmist and get into unverified stuff, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily wrong about particular things, just read with skepticism, as with everything.. ~Bob.)

Texas Decides To Rein In 'Liberal' Curriculum: Lawmakers insisting on state oversight of online teaching plan
Excerpt: Texas lawmakers have decided they want to rein in a controversial public school curriculum content and management system that at one point taught “Allah is God.” Most of the state’s classrooms, some 80 percent, are using the CSCOPE program that also has raised eyebrows because educators had refused to allow parents and others to see what being taught. Twenty-five state representatives now have signed onto a proposed oversight statute that would target CSCOPE, the online system that set up firewalls and passwords so that parents would not be able to see the curriculum.

Hillary Clinton Has New Site Preparing For 2016 Presidential Campaign??
Excerpt: She could have thrown Obama under the bus on Benghazigate, instead she took partial blame for lack of security, without taking responsibility, likely in exchange for Obama campaigning for her in the future. Instead she and Obama put out a $70,000.00 ad blaming an unknown video that mocked Mohammed for weeks, rather than coming out admitting right away it was a terrorist attack that killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others, including former SEALs and CIA operatives Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, as well as diplomat Sean Smith. 

Freeloaders or Free Country? By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The Republican defeat in 2012 was a difficult blow, especially coming after the victories of 2010, and its lessons are still being argued and absorbed. Different schools of thought have emerged and different conclusions are being drawn from what took place several months ago. These necessary debates confront us with our weaknesses and prepare us to claim the victories to come.

Cheated: Sham Education for Minority Students in Dem-Run Philadelphia. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: For those familiar with the failures that underscore union-controlled, Democrat-dominated big city public schools systems, the impetus behind these closures is unsurprising: once again we have a system with huge budget deficits that must reconciled. And once again, the brunt of that reconciliation will be borne by the city’s black American school children. (I have a friend from High School, became a teacher late in life as a second career. Got a job teaching in Philadelphia, but he made the mistake of failing kids who didn’t do any work. The parents screamed “racism,” and he was fired. The kids thus graduate without learning, to be come faithful liberal voter wards of the government. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In 1950 a loaf of bread would cost you .25 cents. In 1964 that same loaf of bread would cost you .25 cents. Same for a gallon of gas, or a pound of hamburger, or a quart of milk. Inflation, for the every day items that we always buy, was nearly nonexistent. Then, in the mid 1960's inflation began to rear its ugly head and the government felt the need to change the rules on how we measure inflation. It became a convenient government cover, eliminating the charge that government spending and government practices were responsible for the reduction in your average earnings power.

Ex-LAPD officer following through on vow to kill police, shoots 3, killing 1, police say
Excerpt: A multi-agency manhunt is under way in California after police say the former Los Angeles police officer suspected in the murders of a college basketball coach and her fiancé last weekend is following through on his vow to kill police officers after he opened fire Wednesday night on three police officers, killing one, reported.

Suspected LA Cop Killer Posted Pro-Obama, Pro-Gun Control, Leftist Rant on the Web 
Excerpt: The suspect, Chris Dorner, posted a manifesto on the web, but media are ignoring some of its key passages. Dorner’s rant begins with an attempt to justify his crimes, and then reveals a man steeped in typical Think Progress, Media Matters style leftist thinking. He supports strict gun control: (Comment from Has the mainstream press covered this story ? – and if so, have they tackled it with the same eye toward politics as they would had the rogue former cop been a member of the TEA Party? Or even had a name similar to someone who once attended a TEA Party rally?)

News Media Scrub Cop Murderer’s Manifesto of Pro-Obama, Hillary, MSNBC, CNN, Gay, and Anti-Gun Comments
Excerpt: However, I started noticing that some of the details the media was talking about didn’t fit the released manifesto I’ve read everywhere. Especially interesting, is that KFI’s morning news regurgitator Bill Handel had mentioned some pro-Obama comments and anti-NRA sentiments in the manifesto. But these weren’t in the copy that KFI themselves released – see for yourself.

Well, there go Piers Morgan's ratings. His viewer is on the lam.

The Tea Party Did It!
Excerpt: Is it just me, or is it odd that the media's go-to suspect in these things is always, always on the conservative side of the political spectrum. It's almost like they have an agenda or something.

Excerpt: To cut to the chase, a country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service. Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions.

Excerpt: They were celebrating in Cairo the arrival of four new U.S. F-16s and the likelihood that the United States would give $2 billion in aid to Egypt this year. They were also celebrating the warm welcome given to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is there a contradiction here? 

Why Would Any American Need an AR-15? Zetas, That’s Why: Sen. Feinstein: tell Arizonans how a seven-shot pistol can hold off 20 butchers on their land at night. They're waiting.
Excerpt: The key rhetorical question that some who want to limit our Second Amendment rights, like Piers Morgan, keep asking is: “Why does any American need an AR-15?” They ask that question because they clearly cannot imagine any circumstances under which that would be necessary. …Their answer is in part directly due to the enforcement and immigration decisions made by the very administration that is seeking to outlaw their right to own these types of weapons.

Argentina’s Betrayal: The Kirchner government has decided to whitewash Iranian terrorism. (You can read this article in Spanish here.)
Excerpt: Last week, Argentina and Iran jointly agreed to establish a “truth commission” that will investigate the 1994 Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) bombing. Imagine if Franklin Roosevelt had partnered with the Japanese to investigate the truth about Pearl Harbor. Or if George W. Bush had partnered with al-Qaeda to investigate the truth about 9/11. Now you understand the absurdity and moral repugnance of Argentina’s decision.

Chris Christie: The GOP’s Next Crummy Presidential Nominee? The only open question: How badly would the Garden State Grandstander under-perform Mitt Romney?
Excerpt: Sensible conservatives have had to put up with a lot since Ronald Reagan left the White House — and to be clear, Reagan also had a few very weak moments. But expecting us to get enthusiastic about the sadly realistic prospect of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie becoming the Republican Party’s next presidential nominee is, at least for me, way beyond the pale. If Governor Christie isn’t the most cynical, self-centered, egotistical opportunist exploiting a carefully developed but fundamentally false conservative persona on the political scene today, I don’t want to meet the person who is.

Excerpt: Why did Athens Lose the Peloponnesian War? It really did not in a way: Athens no more lost the war than Hitler did the Second World War between September 1939 and May 1941. Instead it was defeated in a series of wars (only later seen as elements of one long “Peloponnesian War”) against a litany of enemies — none in isolation necessarily fatal, all in succession and ultimately together lethal.

Elegy for an Unknown Warrior. By Steven Aden 
Excerpt: Tomorrow, the parishioners of Mother Seton Parish in Germantown, Md. will lay Michael Schwartz to rest. Although you've probably never heard his name, Mike Schwartz was the "man to see" in the pro-life movement. Mike liked being anonymous, though he spent a good part of his career as chief of staff to a well-known public figure, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). (I was sorry to read this. I met Mike a few years ago in Coburn’s office. We had a long, enjoyable conversation. He was knowledgeable on many issues facing our nation, not just abortion. ~Bob.)

Is Turkey Leaving the West? By Daniel Pipes
Excerpt: Recent steps taken by the Government of Turkey suggest it may be ready to ditch the NATO club of democracies for a Russian and Chinese gang of authoritarian states. Here is the evidence:

Senate Letter: No Vote Until Hagel Hands Over Info On Foreign Cash
Excerpt: The nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to Secretary of Defense has been held up due to Hagel’s failure to turn over required documents to the Senate Armed Services Committee, even after a letter prompting him for those documents. Those documents concern Hagel’s stream of income from foreign sources; obviously, being in a sensitive position such as Secretary of Defense, Hagel must be cleared by the committee of any possible financial entanglements with suspicious foreign sources.

Qaradawi: "If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment Islam wouldn't exist today"
Excerpt: Muhammad said: "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him" (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

Nigerian Islamists kill 6 rangers
Excerpt: Boko Haram insurgents killed at least six park rangers on Tuesday in a reprisal attack after troops backed by helicopter gunships destroyed their base in a Nigerian game reserve.

Confronting Enemy Force Buildup: The Case of Advanced Weaponry for Hizbollah. By Amos Yadlin
Excerpt: According to foreign sources, Israel attacked a convoy that was to transfer advanced weapons – apparently SA-17 ground-to-air missiles – from Syria to Lebanon. This attack raises some important issues, both in principle, concerning Israel’s national security concept, and in the specific context of current events in Syria and Lebanon.

New York Times and Washington Post knew about secret drone base in Saudi Arabia but agreed not to disclose it to the public
NYT also covering for Obama. Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.

Western conservatives need to engage positively with democratic Islam. Daniel Hannan
Excerpt: Repeatedly told that the only alternative to the autocrats was Islamism, some North Africans drifted toward that ideology out of disgust with their governments. In the immediate aftermath of the revolutions, Islamist parties of different stripes benefited from having been the main opposition to tyranny.

Poaching boom sees thousands of elephants killed in Gabon
Excerpt: More than 11,000 elephants have been killed by ivory poachers in Gabon since 2004 according to new research. The country is home to over half of Africa's forest elephants who are highly valued because of the quality of their tusks.

Intervening in Syria, from Jim Geraghty in NRO’s Morning Jolt
Morning jolt is free and worth subscribing to. ~Bob. Excerpt: Dear world . . . do you remember how you greeted the invasion of Iraq? The invasion of Iraq was treated as the greatest crime against humanity in the history of the world, denounced far more frequently and loudly than any act by Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad, the Iranian regime, or North Korea. Giant protests in lots of American cities. Giant protests in every foreign capital. The 2004 Guinness Book of Records described the anti-war movement around the globe as the largest mass protest movement in history -- eclipsing any popular opposition to any act of the Soviet Union or any other totalitarian regime around the globe, ever. Among the elites in Paris, Berlin, and most corners of London, the Iraq War was the single-most important issue, and denouncing the evil of George W. Bush was the most important goal, not building a stable and peaceful Iraq. You recall Kofi Annan denouncing it, and the United Nations delegates scoffing when Hugo Chavez called our president the devil. You recall the cries of "Bushitler," the ubiquitous Code Pink interrupting every event in Washington, as if some ninny shouting during a press conference ever spurred sudden reversals in U.S. national security policy. You recall Hollywood's relentless cavalcade of movies demonizing the war and those fighting it: In the Valley of Elah, Stop Loss, Green Zone, Redacted, Grace is Gone, Fahrenheit 9/11. Hey, my Turkish friends so upset by a bloody civil war across the border and a flood of refugees, remember Valley of the Wolves: Iraq? Remember when that film suggested that Jewish U.S. army doctors in Iraq were harvesting organs from Iraqi civilians to be sold in Israel, and that U.S. soldiers use Iraqi children as human shields? Yeah, remember that? Well, go solve your #*%&^ border problems yourself. The Davos set is horrified to learn that after spending the better part of a decade screaming at the top of their lungs that an American intervention to topple a bloodthirsty Arab dictator is the absolute worst thing imaginable, suddenly Americans are no longer interested in toppling bloodthirsty Arab dictators. (Slap, slap) Wake up, anti-war movement! You've got what you wanted! The United States is out of the armed intervention business, besides the occasional "leading from behind" in Libya, or the occasional covert mission in Pakistan.

Pending Jesse Jackson Jr. plea deal includes ‘significant jail time,’ source says. By Michael Sneed
Excerpt: Sneed has learned a plea deal is now on the table between former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and federal authorities probing allegations of campaign fund misuse. Sneed is told the plea deal includes Jackson serving time in federal prison.

Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin: DOD Could Have Flown Rescue Team From Tripoli to Benghazi; DOD: State Dept. Decided Whether and What to Fly
Excerpt: Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin--formerly commander of U.S. Special Forces Command and deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence—told that, if it had been asked, the Defense Department could have sent a plane to Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, to transport a rescue team of U.S. security personnel that instead ended up taking a chartered private plane from Tripoli to Benghazi that night.

Panetta: Pentagon backed arming Syrian opposition
Excerpt: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is saying for the first time that the Defense Department backed the idea of providing arms to opposition groups in Syria. Until Thursday, the Pentagon had only said publicly that U.S. policy is to give only humanitarian assistance to rebels battling President Bashar Assad's regime. Providing arms has been the subject of internal administration debate. 

The skeet shooter

Interesting polling on several issues
Excerpt: 46 percent say the National Rifle Association better reflects their view on guns, with 43 percent who say President Barack Obama better reflects their views.

Stuart Freeborn, Yoda's maker, dies
Excerpt: Stuart Freeborn, the British pioneering movie makeup artist behind creatures such as Yoda and Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, has died. He was 98. (Gone, he is. Sad, I am. ~Bob.)

Torso case boy 'identified'
Excerpt: A murdered African boy whose torso was found in the River Thames in 2001 and whose identity has remained a mystery has been named by a key witness. … She claims she looked after him when she lived in Germany before he was trafficked into the UK. Detectives - who named the boy "Adam" - believe he was murdered as part of a ritual sacrifice.

Karl Rove Super Pac Goes After Lib Actress With Brutal Attack Ad
Excerpt: In case you missed it, Hollywood liberal Ashley Judd said last month that she is “taking a close look” at a potential run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2014.

Texas Lesson Plan Instructs Students to Design Flags for a ‘New Socialist Nation’
Excerpt: A curriculum system used across the state of Texas reportedly includes a lesson plan for 6th graders instructing students to create a flag for a “new socialist nation” using “symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism.” (I understand that some teachers will sincerely protest that these presentations and tasks for the kids are not meant to reinforce the particular politics in discussion, and are just ways to stimulate thinking, etc. However, I can think of a lot of other ways to stimulate thinking that don't involve working with ideas that actually are foreign to our values. Using the ideas in this lesson plan does reinforce, however subtly, positive views of socialism/communism and also portrays the Boston Tea Party from the viewpoint of those in strong disagreement with the ideals of the Revolution. To really expect sixth graders to understand that this kind of presentation is not really a slam of the patriots and is only a vehicle for understanding possible other views is too optimistic for my taste. Call me an old-fashioned patriot, but I think it's perfectly OK to generally teach the positive side of our history in grammar schools. Let's leave it to high schools and colleges to present broader views of history. --Del)

Girl, 9, Gives Birth in Mexico
Excerpt: A 9-year-old Mexican girl, under the reported name of Dafne, gave birth to a baby girl on Jan. 27, 2013 in Jalisco, Mexico.

Gov. Perry to Take Economic Development Trip to California
Excerpt: Gov. Rick Perry will travel to San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County, departing Sunday, February 10 and returning Wednesday, February 13, to meet with business leaders in the high tech, biotechnology, financial, insurance and film industries. The governor's trip will be paid for by TexasOne - no tax dollars will be used for his travel and accommodations.

Doctor Slams National Debt, Political Correctness, And Health Care In Front Of President Obama

Harvard: Just 6 in 10 Millennials have jobs, half are part-time
Excerpt: A comprehensive new Harvard University report on Americans under 30, the so-called Millennials, shows that the economy is having a crushing impact, with just 62 percent working, and of those, half are toiling at part-time jobs. (Well, they voted for him. ~Bob.)

Watch: Greeks Fight For Food: “I Never Imagined That I Would End Up Here”
Excerpt: Once a bastion of European success and center of tourism, the country of Greece has become the harbinger of things to come for the rest of the world’s developed nations. (The wages of Socialism are starvation. ~Bob)

Texas vs. California - myth-busting time. By Chuck DeVore
Excerpt: Claim: Many Texas jobs are low wage. Wages mean nothing without the context of cost of living. California has the fourth-highest cost of living in the nation at 132 percent of the national average. Texas has the second-lowest cost of living at 90 percent. Thus, California's $8 minimum wage can buy $6.06 of goods and services while Texas' $7.25 minimum wage can buy the equivalent of $8.04.

Obama's latest rhetorical nonsense: 'We can't just cut our way to prosperity.' By Dan Calabrese
Excerpt: If you had to pick out one Barack Obama habit to peg as his most annoying . . . well, I know, you'd have a lot to choose from. But I think the winner for me would be his tendency to not only set up strawmen as the manufactured enemies of his policies, but to come up with rhetorically nonsensicial slogans to use in flogging said strawmen.

Obama admin awards fed employees $11 bil. in raises while DefSec suggests cutting troops' salary. Their priorities seem to be upside down.

Who Authorized Obama to Use Drone Strikes? You Did! By David Frum 
Excerpt: War means fighting, and fighting means killing. Those were the words of General Sherman1 150 years ago, and they remain true today. (The quote is actually from Rebel General Nathan Bedford Forrest. See they noted that as an afterthought. ~Bob)

Obama’s new contraception rules try to fool Catholics. By Michael Gerson
Excerpt: The Obama administration’s latest revision of its contraceptive policy was welcomed by some religious people as a breakthrough, even a “miracle.” Upon reflection, it seems less like the parting of the Red Sea than a parlor trick. (They are just not really giving an inch on the idea of forcing people with valid religious objections to supply insurance for birth control and abortifacients. This is not a fight they should have undertaken, and it's puzzling that they would get so obstinate about it. But enough arrogance means you will do what you want to do regardless of any and all opposition. --Del)

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