Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 13, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 13, 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.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. E-Book available at Smash Words: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59105
Please forward and post where possible. For a free PDF of Collapse, write to me at tartanmarine(at)gmail.com.

Guest Post: The End Did Not Happen

Guest Post: What Should I Have Done

Worth Reading: The 'Racist' and Unknown Man. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: The other day in Copenhagen, [70 year-old publisher and editor Lars Hedegaard] answered his doorbell and found a man in his early twenties who appeared to be "a typical Muslim immigrant" pointing a gun at him. He fired from a yard away, and, amazingly, missed. The bullet whistled past Lars's ear, and the septuagenarian scholar then slugged his assailant.

Worth Reading: Intellectuals and Race. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: There are so many fallacies about race that it would be hard to say which is the most ridiculous. However, one fallacy behind many other fallacies is the notion that there is something unusual about different races being unequally represented in various institutions, careers or at different income or achievement levels.

Worth Reading: When Race Hatred Meets Class Hatred. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: All the blacks lynched in the entire history of the United States would not add up to as many murders as those committed in one year by mobs against the Jews in Europe, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire or the Chinese in Southeast Asia.

Educational Rot. By Walter Williams
Excerpt: There’s another education issue that’s neither flattering nor comfortable to confront and talk about. That’s the low academic preparation of many teachers. That’s an issue that must be confronted and dealt with if we’re to improve the quality of education. Let’s look at it. (I majored in Government at U-Mass, but took a minor in education so I could teach if I couldn’t get elected to public office. The School of Education at U-Mass was so bad, many high schools would not take student teachers from it. It was truly an amazing experience. ~Bob.)

Comment on yesterday’s SitRep in response to “Alleged Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan Receives Promotion, Legion Of Merit”
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. -- K-Dubyah. I thought it must be. But the world has gone so nuts in the past four years, that truth is often worse than satire. ~Bob.

Healthcare For the Poor, Or Poor Healthcare? By Joseph Antos
Excerpt: Republicans are often vilified as wanting to "end Medicare as we know it." The Obama administration has taken the first action to do just that for millions of low-income seniors. On February 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced its intention to reduce payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by 7 to 8 percent in 2014. Most of this reduction is the result of the Affordable Care Act, which relies on cuts in the Medicare program and an increase in taxes on health plans to finance expansions in Medicaid and subsidies in the health insurance exchanges.

Saturday Night Sharia [Women told to 'sit at the back' at University College, London lecture]. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: My weekend column mentioned en passant the philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and indeed took its title from one of his inspirations. A proponent of the separation of church and state and a believer in equal rights for women, Bentham is regarded as the “spiritual founder” of University College, London, which among other Benthamite characteristics was the first such institution in England to admit men and women on equal terms. That is, until Saturday night, when the college hosted a debate called “Islam And Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?”, and the women were obliged to sit at the back:

Beavers says government tells 'some tall tales'
Excerpt: As his federal tax-evasion trial was scheduled to get underway today, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers once again vowed to testify, telling reporters that the government tells "some tall tales" and reiterating his stance that he was indicted after he refused to cooperate against other elected officials. Beavers, 78, faces charges he failed to pay taxes on tens of thousands of dollars in campaign money that he spent on personal expenses, but the trial was unexpectedly delayed a day so that attorneys can fine-tune a questionnaire to be filled out by prospective jurors. (Another Chicago Democrat. Hardly news, it is so constant. And these are just the ones they get evidence on. Expect he will play the race card any day. ~Bob.)

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, His Father Bernard Kilpatrick, and City Contractor Bobby Ferguson Convicted on Racketeering, Extortion, Bribery, Fraud, and Tax Charges 
Excerpt: Today, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Kwame M. Kilpatrick, 42, of Southlake, Texas, and Bobby W. Ferguson, 44, of Detroit, on charges that they used Kwame Kilpatrick’s positions as mayor of Detroit and Michigan State House Representative to execute a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy involving extortion, bribery, and fraud, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Bernard Kilpatrick, 70, of Detroit, was convicted of a felony tax offense.

Worth Reading: An Important Day for Detroit. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: Disgraced ex-Mayor and shameless identity politician Kwame Kilpatrick has been convicted on twenty-four counts of extortion, racketeering, and bribery. The stunningly corrupt politician, who looted from Detroit’s poor and needy to pay for a life of luxury he never earned, is going to jail. His life is ruined, and his family has been shamed.

Nigerian Islamist group posts video of hostages' bodies
Didn't get the "Islam is a Religion of Peace" memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Nigerian Islamist group that killed seven foreign hostages it had been holding since February has posted a video of their bodies on the Internet. Italian and Greek authorities confirmed on Sunday that a British, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese construction workers abducted in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state last month had been killed by their captors.

VA Refuses To Follow N.Y. Gun Law: Mental-health professionals won't report names of patients
Excerpt: The federal Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday its mental health professionals won’t comply with a new gun law in New York that requires reporting the names of patients they believe likely to hurt themselves or others. That provision is set to take effect Saturday. Several veterans and their advocates warned it would deter many from seeking counseling and medications to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological issues.

Excerpt: A New York state judge on Monday blocked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s large soda ban — set to go into effect on Tuesday — calling the law “arbitrary and capricious.” The New York Post reports: A state judge on Monday stopped Mayor Bloomberg’s administration from banning New York City restaurants and other venues from selling large sugary drinks, a major defeat for the mayor who has made public a health initiatives a cornerstone of his tenure at city Hall. (Tweet from JWF (D) ‏@JammieWFOuch: CBS2 poll showed 89% agree with court ruling, 10% side with the Soda Jerk )

Tweet from Jim Antle @jimantle
I don't always drink soda, but when I do, I drink in whatever size I want. Stay thirsty, my friends.

Excerpt: White House spokesman Jay Carney Monday excused the president’s unprecedentedly late budget submission as a bargaining tactic, and he called for large annual deficits until at least 2023. “The broader effort underway here is to try to achieve through the budget process, a compromise” that would stabilize the federal government’s deficit at roughly 3 percent of the nation’s economy, he told reporters during the midday press conference…..Under Obama’s tenure, the federal debt has risen $6 trillion since 2009, up to almost $17 trillion.

White House condemns US-Taliban ‘collusion’ allegation, stops short of denying negotiations
Excerpt: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused the United States of colluding with the Taliban to destabilize the region through violence and justify an extended American presence. …“What sort of talks has the U.S. had with the Taliban leadership?” Carney was asked later in the press conference. He deferred to “Afghan-led reconciliation discussions,” appearing to stop short of excluding the possibility of any form of current negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

Steyn declares America ‘doomed’ in wake of Pop Tart gun suspension [AUDIO]
Excerpt: On Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Monday, National Review’s Mark Steyn explained why an incident involving a seven-year-old boy’s punishment and the subsequent reaction for chewing a Pop Tart in the shape of a gun is a sign the country is “doomed.” ….. “You’re done for. No society can survive this level of stupidity.”

Spring Break, Sexual Predators And Cartels: Chuck Norris warns Americans about dangers of wild trips south of border
Excerpt: Each year more than 1.5 million students go on spring break, spending $1 billion on their spring fling. According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75 percent of those college males and 43 percent of females are intoxicated daily during that week. One in five of those college females and three in four college males are on the hunt for sexual encounters. (Only 3 in 4? I'm shocked., ~Bob.)

UFO Over Massachusetts Not Easy For Air Force To Explain Away
It's taken over two weeks for the Air Force to suggest that a UFO reported over Massachusetts may have only been a huge cargo plane, but even they're not sure. Back on Jan. 8, residents of Amherst and Pelham reported a low-flying unidentified triangular or diamond-shaped object moving slowly and silently between 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Muslim journalist defends surveillance by NYPD, says some Muslims 'use religion as cover'
Excerpt: “We use religion as a cover,” said Asra Nomani, a 46-year-old journalist whose work has been published by the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. Nomani, a native of India, says radical ideology is very real -- and damaging to all Muslims.

BREAKING: several Senate Republicans say the will refuse to obey “high-cap” mag ban
Excerpt: It’s rather stunning to see, and like the Paul filibuster was, important to hear: it turns out that there are left lawmakers out there who will stand on principle, and have now acknowledged publicly on the floor of the CO Senate that they will “willfully” disobey this law should it pass — arguing, per Joseph Story, that they not only have the right to protect themselves, their families, and their property, but they have that duty to do so, as well. And they refuse to be less-prepared than the criminals who will disobey such bans.

Obama Says Defense He Fought Can Stop North Korea
Excerpt: As Pyongyang threatens a nuclear strike, the administration says our missile defenses can handle anything they can throw against us or our allies. If so it's not because of anything the president did.

Obama took office w/ a debt of $10,626,711,000,000. Only 18 family vacations & 116 golf days later it's $16,683,938,431,678.

#AskFLOTUS I had a friend killed in Afghanistan for that "damn flag" you scoff about. He was on his third tour. There are countless like him

Excerpt: “Apple is known for the clean lines of their products, the alluring simplicity of their designs,” Judd wrote in the article. “Dare I….go so far….as to suggest…this signature cleanness is stained by the shit and urine of raped women’s leaking fistulas?” (Leading Democrat US Senate candidate. Figures. ~Bob.)

Q: Do you or does anyone in your house own a gun, or not?
WaPo poll. 44% of voters say yes. ~Bob.

Conservatives threaten run against incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham
Excerpt: Two South Carolina conservatives are preparing for possible primary challenges against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), accusing him of being insufficiently conservative for the state. Nancy Mace, the first female graduate of The Citadel and a conservative blogger, told The Hill on Monday that she’s taking steps toward a possible run against the two-term senator. Bruce Carroll, a co-founder of the gay conservative group GOProud, is also examining the viability of a primary campaign. (I follow Carroll on Twitter @GayPatriot. He writes good stuff. ~Bob.)

What Obama’s Sequester Claims Says About the State of Public Administration
Excerpt: The sequester that began this month is likely to prove far more damaging to the credibility of the Obama Administration than the economy. The focus of Administration rhetoric has been maximizing public impressions of the pain inflicted by the sequester and then blaming Congressional leaders for allowing the catastrophe to happen. While the Administration’s claims about the magnitude of the damage caused by sequester and its origin have largely been refuted, what’s most troubling about the Administration’s PR offensive has been the insinuation that replacing sequestration with tax increases is cost-free.

Paul Ryan: The GOP Plan to Balance the Budget by 2023: The goal can be reached, with no new taxes, while increasing spending 3.4% annually instead of the current 5%.
Excerpt: By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation's debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis. House Republicans have a plan to change course. On Tuesday, we're introducing a budget that balances in 10 years—without raising taxes.

Excerpt: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a new budget Tuesday that would cut spending by $5.7 trillion, reduce the top tax rate to 25 percent and balance the budget within 10 years. The budget would make profound changes to government, bringing spending down from 22.2 percent of the economy to 19.1 percent by 2023. It doubles down on many of the proposals Ryan advanced as his party’s vice presidential candidate in 2012.

Colleges and Money: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) has been studying the finances of U.S. universities. His office provided this memo on his top concerns:
Excerpt: Student debt is mounting and student loan defaults are mounting, too. As college tuition rises, students and families take on increased debt that they can't afford. Not only is this of concern to the financial well-being of these students and families, but it's also of concern to the taxpayers who back a significant proportion of student loans.

46,609,072 People on Food Stamps in 2012; Record 47,791,996 in December: Nearly a quarter of the people living in Washington, D.C. are on the program. By Daniel Halper
Excerpt: The state with the highest average number of participants per month in 2012 was Texas, with an astonishing 4,038,440 folks drawing from the program. The second highest is California, with 3,964,221, and then Florida, at 3,353,064. (You have to provide bread for the Headcount. And games, of course. ~Bob.)

FAA low priorities get $3.5B in grants
This is an older piece, but on point on the Obama “the sequester will cause planes to fall from the sky” scare tactics. ~Bob. Excerpt: Pellston Regional Airport in Michigan used $7.5 million in federal funds to build a terminal with stone fireplaces and cathedral ceilings. The airport averages three departures a day.

The Iran-North Korea Axis of Proliferation. By Claudia Rosett
Excerpt: Both Iran and North Korea are subject to a growing stack of sanctions with which the United Nations, since 2006, has been demanding an end to their illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Yet these two rogue states continue doing business with each other, of the most dangerous sort, at times in plain view.

US citing security to censor more public records
Excerpt: An analysis shows the government censored in the name of national security files requested last year by the public under the Freedom of Information Action more often than any time since President Barack Obama took office. (The most transparent administration in history. Really. Honest Injun. –LLW)

Euro Puppets: How The EU Finances Charity Propaganda For Itself
Excerpt: In a new study published by the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, Euro Puppets: The European Commission's remaking of civil society, Christopher Snowdon shows how European taxpayers finance organisations which campaign for EU institutions to be given more money and power. Such institutions are typically charities and the flow of funds in such a circular political dance is typical of corporatist organisations. The EU Commission even admits that its funding for these pseudo charities are designed to "promote policy development". (I think this is typical of statist government. I’m sure we are paying for this as well. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Is it possible to shrink government? Our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, thought it was. Acclaimed historian Amity Shlaes explains how he did it and why he should be a model today.

Worth Remembering: 10 Hollywood Celebrities Who Should Be Blacklisted By Conservatives. By John Hawkins 
Excerpt: One of the biggest problems that conservatives have in this country is that we're far too willing to support people who mock, despise and hate us. They tell the world we're awful people and then we turn right around and put money in their pockets and help them become bigger stars. (Probably because we can’t believe that anyone takes the opinions of these twits seriously—but the left does. ~Bob.)

Hamas: ‘Declaration Of War’ If Obama Visits Temple Mount
Excerpt: Hamas is warning that if President Obama visits the Temple Mount it would be a “declaration of war” against the Islamic world. Israel National News reports the terror group made the threat during a protest march at the religious site following riots on Friday. (Have these people lost their minds?? –Steve M. No, they just didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. If Obama shows up with our checkbook and pays them more Jizra, all will be fine. ~Bob.)

Hagel’s Afghanistan Visit and Obama’s Disastrous “Good War.” By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: In other words, Karzai is playing both ends against the middle for reasons that are glaring obvious to anyone who has followed America’s schizophrenic counter-insurgency policy, one that has consisted of “winning Afghan hearts and minds” even as American soldiers were afflicted with rigid rules of engagement, victory became irrelevant, and a scheduled departure date of American combat troops in 2014 virtually assures the nation will once again fall under the control of the Taliban’s Islamist hard-liners.

Excerpt: I believe that a child who pretends his pastry is a gun poses an imminent danger, but 5,000 criminal illegal aliens released from jail enhance public safety. I believe that New Yorkers must be protected from the risk of drinking 16 ounces of soda, but exposed to the risk of bringing Osama bin Laden's son-in-law for a civil trial blocks from Ground Zero. (Good piece, though I’ve read the Soros bit is not true. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: It seems the "bare bones" Democratic budget calls for spending $46 trillion dollars over the next decade. And, yes, that figure represents a huge increase in spending, not cuts. To illustrate, for the last few years Obama and company has spent $3.6 trillion dollars per year and that's $1.1 trillion dollars more than we are taking in with tax revenue. In the last four years we've added $6 trillion to the national debt (counting the nearly one trillion dollar stimulus bill passed in 2009, Cash For Clunkers and the HARM program to write off bad home loans). 

US-born former Army vet known as 'The American' fights alongside Al Qaeda
Excerpt: Eric Harroun, 30, grew up in Phoenix before joining the U.S. Army in 2000. Although Harroun was never deployed during his three-year hitch, he has seen plenty of combat fighting with Syrian rebels and, more recently, Jabhat al-Nusra, a group the U.S. State Department classifies as an alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq. … "Maybe Gaza is next for me, maybe [the] West Bank," said Harroun, whose Facebook wall bears the quote: “The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.”

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: Hugo Chavez was eulogized at his funeral as leader of a rich oil country Thursday. He also started a cocaine crop in his country to further his grander political goals. If you possess both gasoline and cocaine you can be elected Mayor of Los Angeles by acclamation.

The Moral Case for the British Empire
Excerpt: Is there a moral case to be made for the British Empire? To even ask the question at your typical university would be to invite derision. That's a shame because the British Empire's legacy is one Western Civilization should be proud of. We'd be living in a much less free and prosperous world without it. 

Government Advertises for Nearly 2,600 New Jobs Since Sequestration: This includes 107 new positions at the Department of Homeland Security, which has freed illegal immigrants citing budgetary constraints. By Bridget Johnson
It’s all about theater, not really fixing things. ~Bob.

Excerpt: Most of what you believe about the Vietnam War isn't true. In this second installment of Prager University's "Wisdom of the Masters" series, foreign policy expert, Bruce Herschensohn, explains how the U.S. Congress turned victory in the Vietnam War into defeat.

Excerpt: When government officials say the economy is bad, liberals blame Bush. When government officials say the economy is good, liberals give Obama the credit. But this is Obama’s 2nd term. They’ve got to skew the data to make it look as good as possible and then give Obama all the credit. That’s what Chris Matthews is doing:

Senate Dem budget includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes
Excerpt: The first budget from Senate Democrats in four years includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes but would not balance the budget. The blueprint unveiled by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday to her Democratic colleagues would also turn off the sequester and replace those spending cuts with a 50-50 mix of tax increases and spending cuts. (Show me your shocked face. It’s all they know. ~Bob.)

Well, duh. Who do you think built the canals? ~Bob

Senate rebuffs Obama request to shift funds for IMF
Excerpt: "Realignment of IMF quota shares, while preserving U.S. influence in the IMF, will enable the IMF to respond to shifts in the global economy, involving emerging powers more deeply in the institution and avoiding their disengagement.” (Per report, Treasury disappointed; “U.S. Treasury sought to tuck the provision into pending legislation in Congress that aims to avoid a U.S. government shutdown at the end of March.” –Barb.)

The Littlest Perps: Hardened grade-school gunslingers terrorize administrators with paper weapons, pastries, and fingers. By Rich Lowry
Excerpt: The nation’s elementary schools are overrun by small-minded and unreasonable people, prone to hysterics, who can’t distinguish between make-believe and reality. They are called school administrators. In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, they have been punishing little children for making gun-like gestures with their fingers, and other harmless horseplay. 

Worth Reading: Obama’s Non-Triangulation: He would rather demonize than compromise. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Almost immediately, he reformulated the conditions of the “grand bargain” to mean few cuts, no real deficit reduction, and lots of ways of raising taxes — as he simultaneously outlined ambitious hard-left agendas (redefining the Second Amendment, de facto amnesty, a return to cap-and-trade, more “stimulus”). None of these initiatives had much chance of becoming law without substantial presidential investment in bipartisanship. Most of Obama’s favorite issues polled among the public at below 50 percent support.

Feds Spend $1.5 Million to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat
Excerpt: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $1.5 million to study biological and social factors for why “three-quarters” of lesbians are obese and why gay males are not, calling it an issue of “high public-health significance." (OK, here's another federal project that I would never have thought of. $1,500,000 to study why many lesbians are overweight but most gay men are not. Actually, I know why most gay men are not. In that community looking good is really important, and the gays I know work out religiously to keep their good figures and some nicely defined muscles. Why a lot of lesbians are overweight is a total mystery to me, but I don't know any lesbians so it's hard to have any opinion about it. hat I really don't know is why we need to spend taxpayer bucks on this at a time of super tight budgeting. --Del. If true, another huge waste of funds among so many in my opinion, and I personally have no problem with gays. I don’t think anyone decides to be gay, especially given the social handicap. I’ve never met a straight person who was ever pissed off an inter-gender significant other and was thinking about intra-gender dating as a result. But I don’t have a problem with art or sports, though I wouldn’t spend tax dollars supporting them. A lesbian friend and excellent work colleague once told me that body image was a lot more important to gay men than lesbians. I’d let them figure out why if they want without tax dollars. ~Bob.)

The GOP congressman who destroyed Obama’s sequester scare story. By Bryon York
Excerpt: The Obama administration has employed a variety of tactics to frighten the public about the possible consequences of sequestration. … Republicans, and in some cases the press, have poked some pretty big holes in some of the administration’s most extravagant claims. But no one has done a better job than a little-known GOP congressman, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who took on officials from the Centers for Disease Control at a House hearing last week.

Excerpt: Time to play another exciting game of Find! The! Cuts! Whether you’re a part of our studio audience or just watching from home, it’s the most exciting game you can play with Senator Patty Murray’s (D-Spendsylvania) new Senate budget. So let’s pull up the scorecard and see what we can find: The $975 billion in spending cuts include $240 billion in savings from the end of the Afghanistan war and $242 billion in reduced interest payments, according to a source.

I just asked grandma of 6 mo. old #Chicago murder victim if father knows shooter "Yes he knows...why don't you go to hospital and ask him?"

As long as Math keeps demanding extreme, unrealistic cuts to entitlements, no one is going to listen to it.

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