Monday, March 11, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 12, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 12, 2013
Robert A. Hall

Sorry for no Political SitRep last couple of days. Life got busy. Which means this catch up SitRep is long but with lots of great stuff. ~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.

Worth Reading: How to Weaken an Economy. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: It is not easy to ruin the American economy; doing nothing usually means it repairs itself and soon is healthier than before a recession. But don’t despair: there are plenty of ways to slow down even an inherently strong economy. History offers plenty of examples. But as more contemporary models, take your pick of successfully ruined economies — the Venezuelan, the Cuban, the North Korean, the Greek, the Italian, the Portuguese, or pretty much any from Mediterranean Africa to the Cape of Good Hope. There are certain commonalities about why and how they fail. Let’s review some of them.

“I’m Tired” just published in Canadian Paper
It drew this comment: “In reference to your "tired" article, I'm an independent Canadian veteran of the Canadian Navy and I'd like to say you are spot on, brilliant piece of writing, in my humble opinion. All the best---northern neighbour—RW.

How Fracking Can Reduce the Budget Deficit
Excerpt: The direct way fracking can reduce the budget is by stimulating economic activity and thus tax revenues. This is obvious. This piece is about another, less obvious, less intuitive, indirect way fracking can reduce the budget deficit. It is based on the fact that the sum of the budget deficit, the capital inflow to finance the trade deficit, and the difference between domestic saving and domestic investment equals zero. (Not if the anti-cheap-energy, screw-the-poor Greenies have their way. ~Bob.)

Obamacare Tax Increases Will Impact Us All
Excerpt: The trillion dollars in tax increases from the Affordable Care Act have the potential to hinder small business and investment, and further set back a struggling economy. The Joint Committee on Taxation recently released a 96 page report on the tax provisions associated with Affordable Care Act.

47 Reasons the IRS Is Unprepared to Enforce Obamacare
Excerpt: The GAO reports that the IRS has 47 different taxes and regulations it must enforce under Obamacare. They're not ready. (Ah yes, remember that all time classic explanation from Nancy Pelosi? Well, we are moving further into finding out what's in it every day, it seems. Here's a real wake-up section, demonstrating how the IRS is going to go into serious overload trying to enforce all the stuff that's "in it". 2000+ pages written by politicians was going to simplify and improve health care, and at lower cost for us all? Riiight!!! And this is just the beginning, there's more to come. I can't wait for the full impact of all that's "in it" to hit everyone. --Del)

Excerpt: If you were eating in a Chinese restaurant, would you have the temerity to tell the manager how to repackage and re-price the items on the menu? Tea is typically sold for a pre-paid price (all you can drink for a fixed fee). Egg rolls are usually sold fee for service (one at a time). A typical menu has bundled meals (a bunch of items for a set price) competing against unbundled choices (à la carte). Do you think you could do a better job of pricing and packaging these items than the restaurant manager? Most people not in the business would have the good sense to say “of course not” and they would offer that response in a heartbeat. The medical marketplace must be one thousand times more complex than the market for Chinese food. Yet there are all kinds of outsiders who think they know how health care should be packaged and priced.

Excerpt: Secretary of State John Kerry had hoped to offer considerably more aid to Egypt than the $250 million he announced during his trip to Cairo but was blocked by Congress, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said. “This is not the aid package that the administration wanted to announce,” Royce told The Hill. The administration wanted to release a “larger sum,” but bowed to the wishes of Royce's committee as well as congressional appropriators, he said.

States balk at $15B Obama healthcare 'tax'
Excerpt: A newly unveiled component of President Obama’s healthcare law forcing insurers to pay annual fees is sowing angst in state capitols, where officials view the provision as a $15 billion tax that could disrupt Medicaid programs and other services. The health insurance providers fee, included in the healthcare reform law over the objections of congressional Republicans, is designed to raise tens of billions of dollars in the coming years.

Bomber kills at least nine people in Kabul during Hagel’s visit to Afghanistan
Excerpt: Suicide bombers killed at least 18 people in Afghanistan Saturday during new U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to the country, highlighting continued violence as the U.S. prepares to remove its troops. A bomber riding a bicycle struck outside the Ministry of Defense in Kabul, killing at least nine civilians, according to press accounts.

Gabby Giffords's Husband Buys AR-15
Excerpt: Days after making the purchases, Kelly wrote on Facebook: I just had a background check a few days ago when I went to my local gun store to buy a .45. As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don't have possession of it yet but I'll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do. (Of course he now has no choice but to turn it over to the Tucson PD because his hypocrisy has been exposed. Does he really believe that we are buying his one-man gun buyback crusade, especially when AR-15's are selling for well over $1,000 per copy? Captain Mark Kelly, USN, Decorated Naval Aviator and NASA Astronaut just rocketed (pun intended) to the top of the Hypocrite's Wall of Shame. --MasterGuns)

Bob Woodward rebuts WH criticism with very direct comments
I have just had my respect for Woodward bounce up sharply. In this interview he minces no words, and basically slams the President for making a dumb statement about the inability to send an aircraft carrier to the Gulf because of sequestration. He's right on top of this, and now he's going to get slammed again by the "reporters" who still think any criticism of Mr. Obama is tantamount to sacrilege. I'm waiting for just a few more real reporters to join in with reasonable criticisms when the events justify them. –Del

Senate Banking Committee Hearing - Bank Money Laundering

Excerpt: Anything involving junior Texas Senator Ted Cruz is likely to invoke some level of toxic response from Senator John McCain of Arizona and his secondary outlet of public communication, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. That Senator McCain harbors a grudge against “the Bushies” for the South Carolina primary defeat that ended his presidential run in 2000 is the worst kept secret in Washington….Others quip Lindsey Graham is “the senator from McCain.” (I didn’t much like what Bush’s people did in SC in 2000 either. But attacking Cruz in 2013 doesn’t help the cause now, IMHO. ~Bob.)

Obama jokes about Woodward-Sperling clash, Sen. Rubio at Gridiron dinner
Excerpt: “You notice that some folks couldn’t make it this evening. It’s been noted that Bob Woodward sends his regrets, which Gene Sperling predicted. . . . I know that some folks think we responded to Woodward too aggressively, but hey, can anybody tell me when an administration has ever regretted picking a fight with Bob Woodward?" Obama asked. "What’s the worst that could happen?" (Also ridiculed Rubio for drinking water and talked about Kerry showing up in HC pant suits. –Bob.)

Excerpt: There must have been some soul-searching in Washington last week, following Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Cairo. Gone are the days of Hosni Mubarak, America’s staunch ally, leader of the Arab world, and keeper of the region’s stability and of the peace treaty with Israel. For the second time in less than a year, an American envoy bearing gifts was met with violent protests. (They don’t “soul search.” They find someone else to blame and move on to the next failure. ~Bob.)

Pelosi praises Obama as ‘very bipartisan’
Excerpt: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said President Obama’s recent efforts to woo GOP lawmakers are a sincere attempt to work across the aisle. “All of us come here to get a job done for the American people and certainly that is the case with the president of the United States,” Pelosi said in an interview for CNN’s “State of the Union” airing Sunday. “He has been very bipartisan in his approach,” she added. (Sure. And I’m a French model. Sacre Blau! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The unemployment rate may have fallen from 7.9% in February to 7.7% in January, but the number of people not in the labor force has set a record all-time high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines those not in the labor force as those who are unemployed and no longer looking for work, including those who retired on schedule or retired early.

Excerpt: Obama and company are doing a joyful jig in the White House this morning. The jobs report came out and said we had created 244,000 jobs in the latest reporting period and the jobless rate had fallen to 7.7 percent. That sounds great on the surface doesn't it? But I've been reporting on the ever expanding trend of "job splitting" during the last few months and I tend to think the news this morning was more frightful than good. 

Goldman leads decline as Wall Street commodity revenues plummet
Excerpt: Wall Street commodity revenues crashed last year to their lowest on record, as tighter regulation and limited price swings squeezed the once dominant traders of Goldman Sachs Group Inc(GS.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N)….The decline is most stark at Goldman, where commodity revenues collapsed by more than 60 percent year-on-year in 2012 to just $575 million, according to the bank's annual report.

Fed Injects Record $100 Billion Cash Into Foreign Banks Operating In The US In Past Week
Those who have been following our exclusive series of the Fed's direct bailout of European banks (hereherehere and here), and, indirectly of Europe, will not be surprised at all to learn that in the week ended February 27, or the week in which Europe went into a however brief tailspin following the shocking defeat of Bersani in the Italian elections, and an even more shocking victory by Berlusconi and Grillo, leading to a political vacuum and a hung parliament, the Fed injected a record $99 billion of excess reserves into foreign banks.

Washington boy suspended for talking about toy Nerf guns, suspension overturned
Excerpt: "Aguirre said he and his wife were told their son was suspended for talking about guns at school, and because the girl who reported him felt her 'health and safety were threatened' when they were called to the school last week," Ty Beaver reported. (Really? A six year old girl listening to her classmate talking about him getting a Nerf gun felt her health and safety were threatened? Well, maybe. If her parents were uber liberals. The insanity continues, and it will probably continue to get worse as the anti-gun agenda crowd finds different ways to push their message. --MasterGuns)

Afghan Leader Says U.S. Abets Taliban’s Goal
Excerpt: President Hamid Karzai leveled particularly harsh accusations against the United States on Sunday, suggesting that the Americans and the Taliban had a common goal in destabilizing his country. The comments cast a shadow on the first visit by Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. (I officially give up. Time to get out and let the Taliban behead this ass, while returning Afghanistan to a 7th century society. And bomb the hell out of them if they threaten us. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: I can’t even boast that I have cracked his code. A child of six could have figured out a long time ago that when he says “fees” and “revenue,” he means “taxes;” when he says “investing,” he means “spending;” and when he says “folks,” he means “suckers.” Furthermore, when he says “Let me make this perfectly clear,” he means “Abracadabra, now you see it, now you don’t.” And, finally, when he refers to “God,” he means himself.

School suspends 7-year-old for biting Pop Tart pastry into 'shape of gun'
Excerpt: A Maryland father said his 7-year-old son was suspended from school for chewing his breakfast pastry into what appeared to be a gun.

Jumping the Sequester: When the president canceled White House tours, he revealed his claims as ludicrous.
Excerpt: The phrase "jumping the shark" describes that gimmicky moment when something once considered significant is exposed as ludicrous. This is the week the White House jumped the sequester. The precise moment came Tuesday, when the administration announced that it was canceling public tours of the White House, blaming budget cuts. (OK, the truth is that the sequester cuts, amounting to something like 2% of the budget, could probably mostly have been applied to all the extras in every major department's budget. That's the travel budget, training, new hires, new furniture, and especially the costly offsite meetings. For projects, there are all the special little projects dear to some particular politician's heart. An example at the state level the famous Teapot Museum for the state of North Carolina, and the article below supplies others on the federal level. But as a political tactic, you make the cuts in lots of public places and key activities, like cancelling White House tours and the visit of an aircraft carrier to the Middle East. This is meant to make the taxpayer react with anger against those who you blame for the whole thing, in this case, the Republicans were the target. (But Bob Woodward really messed that up by pointing out the factual evidence that Mr. Obama really had the most control over what happened.) Now we see more public mockery of this tactic gone wrong, as in the article below. Personally I don't believe Mr. Obama got up one morning and picked out all these bad ideas meant to hurt the GOP. I think he's still got that brain trust of young activist speechwriters and other advisors who come up with these ideas, and he thinks they probably know what they're talking about. But too often they don't, and he badly needs some new advisors. I wonder if he will figure out this out. --Del)

Schakowsky: Assault Weapons Ban 'Just the Beginning.' By Joel B. Pollak
Excerpt: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the Democratic Party’s leadership in the House of Representatives, suggested to Jason Mattera at a Feb. 13 women’s rights rally that plans for an assault weapons ban and private-sales background checks were only the beginning of a broader gun control agenda extending to handguns as well. 9Her husband is a felon convicted of fraud. She was my rep, until; redistricting moved me to Dold’s district. But he lost in the Obama sweep to another leftie. ~Bob.)

WHAT? Alleged Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan Receives Promotion, Legion Of Merit
Excerpt: Army officials have confirmed that Nidal Hasan was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel yesterday in a small and solemn ceremony in the gathering room of Fort Leavenworth’s maximum security prison. (Dear God, this has to be satire or an urban legend with no basis in fact. ~Bob.)

Air Force Chaplain Awarded Bronze Star for PowerPoint Teaching Proper Sensitivity for the Koran
Excerpt: After the accidental burning last year of Qurans by U.S. troops in Afghanistan sparked deadly rioting, an Air National Guard chaplain from Springfield stepped in and potentially saved countless American lives. For his effort, Lt. Col. Jon Trainer received the prestigious Bronze Star — a medal given for heroic or meritorious achievement in connection with operations against an armed enemy. And he did it with a PowerPoint presentation. (The madness continues. First the medal for drone pilots and now a Bronze Star for developing a PowerPoint. -If he had made a video instead, would they have upgraded the award to a Silver Star? --MasterGuns)

40 years later, remembering Vietnam POWs: Lessons in leadership from our heroes
Excerpt: Using just their brains and tin cups, these Americans created their own high-performance society, communicating with each other through prison walls by tapping on the cups – employing a type of Morse Code as their language. They built a civilized culture against all odds – including extreme torture and extended isolation. For the longest-held of the POWs, this duress lasted more than eight years. No other group of POWs in our nation’s history has ever been held captive as long as these men.

President Obama’s numbers plunge in New York
Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s approval rating in New York fell precipitously in the past month, according to a poll released Monday, and three-fifths of the state’s registered voters now believe the country is heading in the wrong direction. (Do they accept any responsibility for having voted for that direction on November 6? ~Bob.)

When Enemies Infiltrated the White House. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: In “Operation Snow: How a Soviet Mole in FDR’s White House Triggered Pearl Harbor,” John Koster draws a link between the event and the personality, alleging that Harry Dexter White was involved in orchestrating a conspiracy to draw the United States into a war. There is little doubt that Harry Dexter White had acted as a Communist agent; that much has been confirmed both by American and Soviet intelligence figures. 

The Gruesome Reality of Racist South Africa. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: In July of 2012, Dr. Gregory Stanton, head of the nonprofit group Genocide Watchconducted a fact-finding mission in South Africa. He concluded that there is a coordinated campaign of genocide being conducted against white farmers, known as Boers. “The farm murders, we have become convinced, are not accidental,” Stanton contended. 

Great reasons why Obama is affectionate of drones. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: And, in a certain sense, they're right: Afghanistan is winding down, at best, to join the long list of America's unwon wars, in which, 48 hours after departure, there will be no trace that we were ever there. The guys with drones are losing to the guys with fertilizer – because they mean it, and we don't. The drone thus has come to symbolize the central defect of America's "war on terror," which is that it's all means and no end: We're fighting the symptoms rather than the cause.

Worth Reading: Alternate New York Times Headline: ‘Global Warming Saves Civilization.’ By Steve Maley
Excerpt: Consider what a global ice age would mean. Cincinnati, OH and points north would be under a glacier hundreds of feet thick (not necessarily a bad thing, in the mind of some readers and SEC football fans). Agriculture would be impossible in North America. The planet could sustain a tiny fraction of its current population. Even with a cooling of a couple of degrees Celsius, crop yields and growing seasons would shift dramatically for the worse. It would be increasingly difficult to feed the planet.

Look at the graph to see the evidence of global warming: Met Office data show only a tiny change in world temperatures. By Christopher Booker
Excerpt: By including that huge part of the data usually left out, we see that the line looks virtually flat. The actual changes look relatively so small, compared with those rises and falls of several whole degrees the world survived in the past, that any idea that we are facing catastrophic warming pales into insignificance. In recent months, even such fanatical proponents of the warmist orthodoxy as Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, James Hansen of Nasa, and the Met Office have all had to concede that since 1997, the warming trend has stalled virtually to a standstill. 

UN Reports the Truth: Hamas Killed BBC Reporter's Baby in Gaza
Excerpt: The United Nations has issued a report with unusual courage and accuracy that plainly tells the tale of Israel’s Pillar of Defense counter terror operation – and exposes the lies of Hamas, told to a grieving father and his BBC bureau chief. In what has become typical of international media, The Washington Post and a BBC bureau chief last November accused and convicted the Israel Defense Forces in a heartrending, angry piece without verifying their information after a fellow editor in Gaza lost his baby son in rocket fire that struck his home.

North Korea cuts off hotline with South Korea
Excerpt: North Korea has cut off a Red Cross hotline with South Korea as it escalates its war of words against Seoul and Washington in response to a military drill in the South and U.N. sanctions imposed for its recent nuclear test. The North had threatened to cut off the hotline on March 11 if the United States and South Korea did not abandon their joint military exercise. The Red Cross hotline is used to communicate between Seoul and Pyongyang which do not have diplomatic relations.

Nobody Knows Who Poisoned the Chicago Lottery Winner
Excerpt: We now know what killed Urooj Khan, the Chicago lottery winner who died in July 2012, one day before he planned to collect $425,000 of his winnings. We just don't know who killed him. Nearly two months after trace amounts of cyanide were discovered during an expanded toxicology test of Khan's blood, the Cook County medical examiner confirmed on Friday afternoon that Khan died of cyanide poisoning. 

Congress struggles to entice states to report mental illness for gun checks
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) this week said he's eying legislation to require states to report cases of severe mental illness to the federal government in hopes of reining in gun violence. "I'm thinking about that," he said Thursday. "That's a 10th amendment deal, but it's also – I think we'd benefit."

The Case Against Government Bans on Feeding the Homeless: The backlash against prohibitions on feeding the homeless and less fortunate is underway. By Bayard Linekin
Excerpt: These unjust laws are under attack. Shortly after my column, in which I noted my support for a new ACLU of Pennsylvania lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia over that city’s ban, a federal judge forced Philadelphia officials to back down. U.S. District Court Judge William Yohn, Jr. issued an injunction in July that prevented the city from enforcing the ban against the plaintiffs, which include religious organizations that provide food to the homeless and less fortunate.

Worth Reading: Beautifully Medieval California. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: At about dusk, I close two large metal gates to my driveways. The security lights come on, and I enjoy intramural life. I am not protecting my dogs from coyotes, although there are many in the vineyard, but rather the farmhouse from the odd array of visitors, the lost, and criminals that can make up the now normal nighttime world of central California. If you doubt me, just peruse the Fresno Bee for the sort of things that occur nightly. From the past year I offer the following catalogue of those who have visited the farm from dusk to dawn outside the walls: (Reading Hanson about California is always a very sad thing. Sure, plenty of places in the state are doing fine, but some very significant areas are not, and he's living in the middle of one. It does keep me wondering how long this can keep going. –Del)

Is Global Warming Causing An Asteroid to Come Our Way?
Excerpt: Tornado? Maybe. Hurricane? Maybe. Snow storm Nemo? Maybe. Asteroid? I’m no rocket scientist, but I would feel very comfortable saying NO.

U.S. Air Force stops reporting data on Afghan drone strikes
Excerpt: With debate intensifying in the United States over the use of drone aircraft, the U.S. military said on Sunday that it had removed data about air strikes carried out by unmanned planes in Afghanistan from its monthly air power summaries. U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Afghanistan war, said in a statement the data had been removed because it was "disproportionately focused" on the use of weapons by the remotely piloted aircraft as it was published only when strikes were carried out - which happened during only 3 percent of sorties. Most missions were for reconnaissance, it said (Wonder who ordered this? –Barb)

Saudi Arabian princes exempt from UK immigration controls, court told
Excerpt: Some of Saudi Arabia's royal princes – of whom there are said to be as many as 5,000 – consider themselves to be "exempt from immigration controls" when entering the United Kingdom, a London court has been told. The claim that they receive special treatment from UK border staff surfaced as part of an argument by two prominent Saudi princes that they are entitled to "sovereign immunity" from a complex legal case at the companies court.

ACLU Helps Addicts Go On State-Funded Highs: Fall of Florida's drug-test law called America's loss
Excerpt: Gov. Scott did the right thing,” asserted Staver, director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy. …He maintains that the ACLU’s latest courtroom victory is a loss for America. “The government should not be paying for people to not work and take drugs,” said the chief legal counsel for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “We must find a better solution than the current failed system.”

The United States is training Syrian rebels in Jordan, the German weekly Der Spiegel reports
Excerpt: Some 200 men have already received such training over the past three months and there are plans in the future to provide training for a total 1,200 members of the "Free Syrian Army" in two camps in the south and the east of the country. Jordanian intelligence services are involved in the program, which aims to build around a dozen units totaling some 10,000 fighters but excluding radical Islamists, Der Spiegel reported. "The Jordanian intelligence services want to prevent Salafists crossing from their own 

Living Large in the Obama White House: The hoi polloi aren’t welcome, but Marie Antoinette would be at home.
Excerpt: The executive mansion is not in that much trouble, of course. It’s certainly not in sufficiently dire straits for Air Force One ($181,757 per hour) to be grounded, or to see the executive chef ($100,000 per year) furloughed, or to cut back on the hours of the three full-time White House calligraphers ($277,050 per year for the trio), or to limit the invaluable work of the chief of staff to the president’s dog ($102,000 per year), or to trim his ridiculous motorcade ($2.2 million).

White House suspends public tours, but first family trips in full swing
Excerpt: Visitors to the nation's capital looking for a White House public tour are out of luck starting this weekend, courtesy of what the Secret Service says is its own decision to deal with the sequester cuts. But while the agency said it needed to pull officers off the tours for more pressing assignments, the budget ax didn't swing early or deep enough to curtail a host of recent Secret Service-chaperoned trips like President Obama's much-discussed Florida golf outing with Tiger Woods and first lady Michelle Obama's high-profile multi-city media appearances.

Excerpt: This is a bold presidential decision to undermine military commissions and to proclaim that the civilian courts are the government’s venue of choice for all terrorism cases — even those against wartime enemy combatants….Moreover, as Attorney General Holder must know, by proceeding with this civilian prosecution in New York at the very moment when KSM and the other 9/11 defendants are facing a military commission at Gitmo, he has given KSM & Co. an exquisite legal argument that proceeding with their military commission would be arbitrary and unjust in light of the grade-A due process Abu Ghayth is getting. 

G.O.P. Senators Give Obama Dinner Thumbs Up
Excerpt: For Washington-watchers looking for positive signs from President Obama’s unusual dinner with Republican senators on Wednesday night, there was this: Senators John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma each gave waiting reporters a thumbs up as lawmakers exited the private dining room. Perhaps their gesture merely expressed gratitude that the president had picked up the tab – out of his own pocket – for the gathering he initiated at the tony Jefferson Hotel, just blocks from the White House and across Lafayette Park.

Obama, the puppet master
Excerpt: With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. …But Obama and his aides have raised it to an art form: The president has shut down interviews with many of the White House reporters who know the most and ask the toughest questions. (Synch to latest movie release, with costumes in Walmart already—“Oz the Great and Powerful.” What’s behind the curtain? –Barb.)

Harvard Students Major in Anti-Semitism
Excerpt: Harvard has the reputation of being one of the best universities in the country. The more I hear about what goes on there, the more I have to wonder why.

Excerpt: That is the oath of office that all Presidents take when they are sworn in as President of The United States. However, it seems that Obama takes that oath with a grain of salt; I have heard Obama say “We are a nation of laws,” yet he seems to pick and choose what laws he will enforce. How can our Commander In Chief pick what laws to enforce and what laws he will ignore, what kind of message does that send?

Takes One to Tango. By Maureen Dowd
Excerpt; President Standoffish doesn’t want to be seen as a stiff. “Most people who know me know I’m a pretty friendly guy,” he protested at his White House press conference on Monday. “And I like a good party.” Maybe. But the president always seems to be dancing alone. And that was the vibe of his swan-song press conference for Act One of his presidency. (Wow, a Liberal actually brings a little criticism to bear on The One. Is the gloss starting to dim just a little on his statue? --Del)
Kabul debates women's law 'violating Sharia
Excerpt: A draft law that would end violence against women is being debated in the Afghan Parliament. But it is finding little support among MPs, who feel that it violates traditional values. 9those would be Islamic values. ~Bob.)

Desperate times: Marines told to 'save every round'
Excerpt: United States Marines are being told to preserve ammunition and gasoline as a deal softening the impact of automatic spending cuts continues to elude leaders in Washington. Marine Corps Commandant James Amos urged personnel in a video posted online Friday to "save every round, every gallon of gas," and to "take every single aspect or opportunity in training to get the most bang for the buck," a reminder of the cuts' immediate effect on the U.S. military. (I hope the 'save every round' part applies to stateside training and not our Marines in combat. Not too sure about the part where the CMC says that Congress being "our best friends." --MasterGuns)

Excerpt: Congressional opposition continues to grow to a Pentagon decision to create a new medal for drone operators that ranks higher in precedence than the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. (This is what happens when enough people (mostly vets and military) get so upset they bombard the legislators with faxes, letters, and phone calls, and even the regular media has to acknowledge the level of opposition to something really blindingly stupid by the government. This boils down to "up yours, Leon Panetta, and all you idiot bureaucrats who understand zilch about combat awards". I hope it goes through Congress smoothly and this idiot move gets fixed. --Del)

Feinstein: Veterans cannot be trusted with firearms…
Excerpt: During the Senate Judiciary meeting today to markup a potpourri of bills designed to deny the American people their rights under the Second Amendment and disarm them, Senator Dianne Feinstein opposed an amendment to her so-called assault weapons ban legislation that would allow veterans to continue buying firearms the bill would outlaw. Feinstein basically said all veterans have PTSD and should have their Second Amendment stripped. (Beautiful, just f***ing beautiful. This clown witch who took out a carry permit when she felt like she needed one, looks down on all vets as probable unstable nutcases? Who certainly can't be trusted with firearms, of course. The only really good thing about this is that it shines another spotlight on her arrogance, ignorance, and general idiocy. But I guess the voters in CA will just keep sending her back to the Senate. What a sad commentary on the makeup of the population there. --Del)

White House Saves $74,000 a Week by Canceling Tours
Excerpt: A Secret Service official said "there are 37 Secret Service officers staffed for tours" and each "get paid $50 per hour for eight-hour shifts." Since those officers work five days a week, the White House saves $74,000 a week and nearly $2 million before the end of the current fiscal year. (Okay, so does that mean the 37 Secret Service officers are going to be furloughed while the White House is closed for tours? If not, then where is the saving - because those officers are still going to get paid $50 an hour for eight-hour shifts and five days a week. Do they really believe that Americans are that stupid? Never mind, rhetorical question. --MasterGuns)

Men Earn Less Under Obama Than Carter
Excerpt: New findings show that the real earning power of men is on the decline, with most earning less today adjusting for inflation than they did when Jimmy Carter was president 34 years ago. Women, however, are doing much better, taking home more than they did in the late 70s, although they still earn less overall than their male counterparts. … The youngest male workers have been hit the hardest.

Colleges bleeding students to buy golden parachutes for administrators. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: College administrators have found an interesting new way to strike it rich: quitting their jobs. Upon leaving his role as executive vice president of NYU for a job with Citigroup in 2006, Jacob J. Lew (the current Secretary of the Treasury) took a $685,000 bonus from the university. Harold S. Koplewicz, an executive at the NYU Medical Center, got a $1.2 million severance after choosing to leave voluntarily. 

When Public is Better: the problem is not too much government, but too passive a government. By Robert Kuttner
Excerpt: Better to have a public institution, such as the Roosevelt-era Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, serve the public goal of refinancing homes directly. The HOLC was simplicity and transparency itself. As was the original public Fannie Mae. 

Massacres past--and future? By Arnaud de Borchgrave
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist factions staged hit-and-run attacks against government buildings and officials in the early 1980s and almost succeeded in killing the president of a country that has remained eerily quiet during the geopolitical tsunami that is still sweeping the Arab world. You’re supposed to guess which country. The president was on an official state visit to Mali when he ducked a burst of AK-47 fire and then kicked a hand grenade to one side before hurling himself under a table - and survived with a few metal fragments in his legs.


  1. Bob,

    Too funny that you mentioned the "Duffle Blog". Yes, it's written with tongue in cheek (actually while biting down hard on them). Military satire at it's finest. But don't feel bad, Mitch McConnell was taken in by these guys as well not too long ago.

    So now you know.

  2. Yeah, they are basically The Onion for the military (I think one of their articles had to do with a guard on Okinawa being Court Martialed for not saluting an officer's wife). Not as well known though, so they get more credit for being a "legit" news source.