Monday, March 4, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 5, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 5, 2013
Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This SitRep (Military for “Situation Report”) is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. And I can only spend at most three hours a night pulling stuff, plus the healthcare or economic stuff that crosses my desk at work. As always, I—and you—owe them thanks and appreciation. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article, or that I was able to verify the information presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, or too far a stretch, regardless of the view point, but I don’t always succeed. As always on the Net, or in the legacy media, you must read critically and with skepticism.

Information on my books

Worth Reading: How Liberals Live. By John Goodman
Excerpt: The Democratic Party has two reliable groups of adherents: the rich and the poor. Not all of the rich, of course. Not all of the poor, either. But a large swath of wealthy people, especially those whose wealth was inherited rather than earned, wouldn’t dream of voting for a Republican. Ditto for a large number of poor people who have discovered how to sign up for various welfare programs and intend to remain on the dole for the rest of their lives. What do these groups have in common? Nothing. They rarely meet. And if they did they wouldn’t like each other. You might be inclined to think that the political union of these two groups is an accident of modern electoral politics. But there may be something else involved. Both groups have little use for the middle class — the poor envy them and the wealthy disdain them.

Worth Reading: Ultra-assertive Obama adopts new strategy: Taking no prisoners. By Niall Stanage and Amie Parnes
Excerpt: The first months of President Obama’s second term are being built around a simple premise: No caving. From the sequester to immigration reform to the broader debate about the role of government in American life, Obama is in an ultra-assertive mood, practically daring Republicans to defy his wishes. (Not really new. For this administration, aided and abetted by the knee-pad media, “compromise” and “bipartisanship” have always been a one-way street. Like so much, they are only talking points to convince the public Obama is trying, not reality. ~Bob.)

Nebraska’s Deb Fischer hooked Senate seat with heartland values. By Mario Trujillo
Excerpt: Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) — the only Republican to flip a Democratic Senate seat in last year’s election — was not even supposed to make it out of Nebraska’s GOP primary. After her upset victory, she said people saw her incorrectly as “this little old lady that came out of nowhere.” The former state senator asserted that she had been an establishment candidate all along.

Obama outside groups forming influence network
Excerpt: Obama veterans are building a wide network of deep-pocketed groups and consulting firms independent of government, the Democratic Party and traditional liberal groups, a sweeping - if not unprecedented - effort outside the White House gates aimed at promoting the president's agenda and shaping his legacy. (Building a support organization independent of traditional political structure is a well-established tactic for success. They could call it the “SA” [Sturmabteilung} Support the Administration. ~Bob.)

Is Employment a “Human Right”? By Richard A. Epstein
Excerpt: Efforts to stamp out so-called discrimination in the labor market will kill jobs and stifle economic growth. Today’s economic trends are not promising. In the United States, the European community and Japan, the prospect of dismal growth is too often met with desperate measures that only make matters worse. There are endless claims about the failure of austerity to spur growth, and impassioned attacks on the folly of unbridled spending that will drown the nation in debt. What a choice! (If it wins votes from the base, screw the unemployed! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The report is not an ideological screed in which the author writes to either support or oppose Obamacare. Rather, Brill travels throughout the nation simply to explore why health care costs so much. He goes to hospitals and doctors’ offices, and he visits individuals whose lives have been ruined by the cost of the care they had to have. He argues that America does not have a health care system based on the free market, in which individuals have a choice about which product to purchase and what vendor to go to. Instead, he argues that health care is a seller’s market — often a monopoly — in which the prices of products they sell have no relationship to the actual cost.

Europe's Hezbollah cowardice. By Jeff Jacoby
Excerpt: What would Churchill say of the European elites today who imagine that the best way to confront the threat posed by Hezbollah, one of the world's deadliest and most fanatic terror networks, is likewise to avoid any confrontation?

Moscow says US aid for Syria helps 'extremists.' By Fred Weir
Excerpt: Russia accelerated the war of words over Syria, accusing the US of undermining recent efforts to move toward a negotiated settlement between the Bashar al-Assad regime and its opponents by "encouraging extremists" at this week's Friends of Syria meeting in Rome. The US announced at the meeting that it was stepping up material aid to rebels in a bid to "change the balance of power" in the two-year civil war that's already killed more than 70,000 people. "There is a general understanding within the international community that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement posted today on the ministry's website.

Turkey: Muslim murderer complains that he is being treated like a "Christian"
Excerpt: Recep Cetin has admitted that he murdered two women from Ireland, but that is not the point of this post. What is noteworthy is that in his complaint here, Cetin seems to assume that Christians are not, as a matter of course, treated the same way Muslims are in Turkey. Now where did he get that idea? Islamic law mandates second-class status and institutionalizes discrimination for Christians and other non-Muslims, but with Islamic apologists in the West strenuously denying that that is really the case, one wonders where Cetin got this crazy idea. Has he been reading "Islamophobic" literature?

Gunmen attack church in Libya's Benghazi: state media
Excerpt: Gunmen attacked an Egyptian Coptic church in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, assaulting two priests, the official LANA news agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying on Sunday.

Mursi is a ‘Zionist’ who shares security interests with Israel: Egyptian cleric
Excerpt: An Islamic cleric who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood and supports a “civil state” system in the post-revolutionary Egypt described Friday Islamist President Mohammed Mursi as a “Zionist” who shares security interests with Israel. (Who hates the Jews most is an old Muslim game, now played by western Progressives as well. ~Bob.)

Al Qaeda releases guide on how to torch cars and make bombs as it names 11 public figures it wants 'dead or alive' in latest edition of its glossy magazine
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Al Qaeda has released the latest edition of its English-language propaganda magazine advising would-be militants on how to torch parked cars and cause traffic accidents.

Studios Monastery Will Be Turned Into a Mosque
Excerpt: A correspondent of the Greek church news agency "Amen" in Istanbul, reported that the Studios Monastery, famous in the history of Orthodoxy, will be transferred from Turkey's Ministry of Culture to the General Directorate of Endowments, and will be transformed from a branch of the "Hagia Sophia" Museum into an active Mosque.

Excerpt: Okay, you Obama haters, fess up! Tell me that you didn't think when this election was over that Obama would finally stop campaigning. After all, the guy made a speech a day every day of his first four years. Whenever there was an important bill weaving its way through Congress Obama, instead of meeting with Congressional leaders to come to an agreement, would saddle up Air Force One for still another "demonization tour". 

Italy Paralysed as Grillo plots exit from euro: Italy plunged deeper into political chaos this weekend after Beppe Grillo, the quixotic former comedian who holds the balance of power in parliament, suggested that the country may have to abandon the euro and return to the lire.
Excerpt: The rebel comic's warning came amid a growing rebellion among grass-roots supporters of his Five Star Movement, with 150,000 signing a petition calling for him to open up dialogue with the centre-Left Democratic Party, the biggest force in parliament. With the country in political paralysis, there were also questions over his eccentric behaviour, after the surreal public appearance of a man, either Mr Grillo or one of his supporters, with his face obscured by a zipped up puffer jacket and a pair of ski goggles. The bizarre figure, resembling a human fly, waved at photographers from the deck of Mr Grillo's beach house at Marina di Bibbona on the coast of Tuscany.

Let’s Help Academia Destroy Itself. By Kurt Schlichter 
Excerpt: Conservatives should welcome the decline of academia as we know it. I, for one, will celebrate its death by engaging in the same activity that characterized my four years at what some call its pinnacle– drinking a lot of Coors Light. There is still nostalgia among conservatives, especially older ones who have forgotten what college is really like, for the idea of higher education as a rigorous venue for intellectual growth, an environment of exciting and vibrant ideas shared by wise, caring educators dedicated to the pursuit of truth. Today, it is nothing of the sort.

Jeff Sessions for President. By Michael Ledeen
Excerpt: We found a leader, but hardly anybody noticed. Never mind Rubio and Ryan, or people named Bush. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is the best we’ve got, and he’s plenty good. In fact, his words on the Senate floor when he implored his colleagues to reject the nomination of Jack Lew for Treasury secretary are as good as it gets. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything as elegant, compelling, honorable, and philosophically coherent as Sessions’ speech on the 27th of February.

Excerpt: Back in 2004, blogger Val Prieto coined the phrase “Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome” to describe the love of many on the left to jet into places such as Cuba and scope out the socialist-inflicted ruins, and the ruined lives of its inhabitants, and then jet back a few days later to enjoy all of the benefits of American or European capitalism: … Of course, getting to Cuba or North Korea from America can take a bit of effort. But these days, there’s no need for a leftist with a yen to play omnipotent tourist to ever leave the US, as my fellow PJM columnist Richard Fernandez writes, taking one for the team by spotting an article in the New York Times titled, “How Detroit Became the World Capital of Staring at Abandoned Old Buildings.”

Gun quote going around the Net
A person steals guns, (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), shoots and kills his own mother (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), transports these guns loaded (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), brings guns onto school property (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), breaks into the school (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), discharges the weapons within city limits (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), murders 26 people (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW), and commits suicide (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW). And there are people in this country that somehow think passing ANOTHER LAW is the answer. –Anonymous.

The IRS Wants to Tax Your Illegal Income
Excerpt: As ridiculous as it sounds, the federal government requires that money acquired through illegal means be reported and taxed just like legitimate income. It's right there on the official IRS tax instructions: "Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity." (You don’t have “illegal income,” eh? Never held a yard sale? Never won the office football pool? Never sold part of your grandfather’s coin collection or your mother’s wedding ring to a gold/silver dealer? Play a little poker with your buddies and win? If you didn’t report it and document your costs, expenses and profits, and include them on your tax return, you might want to reconsider that. I haven’t seen a recent estimate, but back in the mid-80s, the IRS was estimating that at least 20% of all cash transactions involved illegal activity; I doubt the percentage has gone down. Think about that. One fifth of all cash transactions are probably illegal and never reported to anyone. I wonder if that means our estimated GDP is only based on the legally declared 80%? It might also explain why some very “poor” people can afford luxury cars while most cannot. It also explains why cash will never completely vanish; who would accept a bribe via credit/debit card or bank wire-transfer? --Ron P.)

Excerpt: The White House’s media management team will be in the public spotlight this week following a series of days in which it leveraged the media to distribute what turned out to be misleading or false information. President Barack Obama told reporters that Capitol Hill workers were facing pay cuts as a result of the looming budget sequester. Education Secretary Arne Duncan cited the same cause when he incorrectly claimed that a school district was already laying off teachers. (Wait, isn’t it racist for the media to call them on their lies? ~Bob.)

Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile
Excerpt: The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States. (Bob, just saw this. Did I read it correctly? What the heck do they plan to do, it reminds me of Tiananmen Square. –MS. OK, I do realize that maybe they need a large amount of ammo for practices, but the total quantity seems awfully high. However, why DHS needs armored vehicles like these is a really serious question. --Del. In my book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic, published two years ago, I predicted coming entitlement riots. Guess I’m not the only “alarmist” out there. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: A very courageous fifth teacher in the Chicago Public Schools has written a scathing critique of the almost comical misery she and her students endured when they participated in a massive February 28 event kicking off Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Active Schools campaign…. When Michelle Obama finally came out, she didn’t face the children…. This event was clearly not about the children, because their needs were not put first.” (Teacher refers to it as a “commercial” with big-named sports athletes reading 1-2 minutes messages that were “cheesy” and “did not connect with students” (Figure more National Ad Council copy). Really propaganda, with our tax $$ spent to brainwash ourselves and our progeny. –Barb.)

How JFK’s mistake led to the sequester mess
Blame it on JFK. Fifty years ago, President Kennedy made a decision that, with hindsight, ranks as the biggest mistake of domestic policy since World War II. In many ways, it led directly to today’s “sequester” debacle.\What Kennedy did was this: In early 1963, he proposed a $13.6 billion tax cut (today: about $320 billion) even though the economy was not in recession and the tax cut would enlarge the budget deficit.

Tears For Piers. By Paul Mirengoff

Excerpt: What’s more fun than watching Tottenham Hotspur defeat Arsenal in the North London Derby, causing Arsenal to drop to within two points of Everton in the battle for fifth place in the EPL? Lot’s of things, actually, and one of them is watching this happen in front of Arsenal fan Piers Morgan, the insufferable CNN talk show host. I’ve seen Morgan on Fox pre-game shows before.

The K-12 Implosion: The More We Spend, The More Public Schools Fail: Instapundit Glenn Reynolds and well-worth-looking-at Michelle Fields
Glenn Reynolds: "The Wisconsin teachers are protesting, but while they think they are protesting how they are being treated by the state, what they're really protesting is reality."

At least 15 killed on Kenya coast on election day
Excerpt: At least 15 people were killed in attacks by machete-wielding gangs on Monday as millions of Kenyans voted in the first presidential election since a disputed 2007 poll unleashed weeks of tribal bloodshed. (What’s far worse, I hear people are required to show IDs to vote! ~Bob.)

Iran Says 3,000 Centrifuges Being Built
Excerpt: Iran is building about 3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges, the Iranian news media reported Sunday, a development likely to add to Western concerns about Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. (Boom goes New York. But at least that includes the NYT. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The second is more important. “Palestine is occupied by Israel, Kashmir by India, and Afghanistan by the US. So if the Muslims don’t have the atomic bomb, they should sacrifice their lives for God,” Lundquist cited Tahir Ashrafi, the head of the Pakistan Ulema Council, as declaring. This suggests that if Islamist powers or groups did have the atomic bomb, they would gladly use that against Israel, India, or the United States.

Blast Kills at Least 45 Pakistanis in Shiite District of Karachi
Muslims who didn’t get the memo killing other Muslims for Allah, in the daily catalog of Islamic violence. ~Bob. Excerpt: A powerful explosion ripped through a crowd of Shiites as they left a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, on Sunday, killing at least 45 people. It was the latest atrocity in an escalating campaign of countrywide sectarian violence.

Sweden: Top prosecutor nabbed in prostitution sting.
Excerpt: Police in Stockholm were surprised on Monday to find that a man they had arrested for buying sex from a prostitute was the duty prosecutor to whom they were obliged to report the crime.

“Dark Rumblings of a Coup d'Etat in Spain”?
Excerpt: This is totally nuts. Just one retired military speaking to an obscure publication, and suddenly we have a putsch? ...Business Insider is not doing itself any favor by running these kind of trash. (I don’t put a lot of faith in “rumblings” dark or otherwise. ~Bob.)

Worth reading: Why the 'threat' on Bob Woodward matters. By Kathleen Parker
Excerpt: As Woodward put it: “This is the old trick ... of making the press ... the issue, rather than what the White House has done here.” Killing the messenger is a time-honored method of controlling the message, but we have already spilled that blood. And the First Amendment’s protection of a free press, the purpose of which is to check power and constrain government’s ability to dictate the lives of private citizens, was no accident.

The Tyranny of the Queen Bee: Women who reached positions of power were supposed to be mentors to those who followed—but something is amiss in the professional sisterhood. By Peggy Drexler
Excerpt: As the old male-dominated workplace has been transformed, many have hoped that the rise of female leaders would create a softer, gentler kind of office, based on communication, team building and personal development. But instead, some women are finding their professional lives dominated by high school "mean girls" all grown up: women with something to prove and a precarious sense of security. What makes these queen bees so effective and aggravating is that they are able to exploit female vulnerabilities that men may not see, using tactics that their male counterparts might never even notice. (I had two women bosses in the late 60s and early 70s, and they were wonderful to work for. They didn't pat me on the head when I remembered the access code. They didn't pat me anywhere. Both women had what it took to be a boss. They were glad I was an efficient employee. Now, thanks to feminism, we are over-run with almost-hysterical women bosses who can't handle themselves and take that out on those around them. They perceive the simple ability to complete a task as competition. They don't know how to get things done and won't allow anyone else to get things done. A lot of these people are "Pushed through Princeton" types who find out only once they are in a job that they don't know how to do anything. Kate.) 

UK: At last, the 'religious' Easter Egg; Major supermarkets to stock product with Jesus packaging for the first time. By Rosie Taylor
Excerpt: Christian groups have won a victory in their campaign for shops to sell a religious Easter egg. Nearly every major supermarket will for the first time this year stock the Real Easter Egg – the only one to mention Jesus on its packaging. Customers and bishops have lobbied them for three years to stock the £3.99 egg. (Wait…Easter is a religious holiday? Who knew? Next they’ll probably say that about Christmas! ~Bob.)

Excerpt: In Washington, a presidential Administration releases news it doesn’t like at 5 p.m. on Fridays. So it pays to pay attention when everyone is leaving work for the weekend. Late last Friday, the State Department released a positive environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama has been delaying this pipeline—which would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas—for more than three years.

Teachers as armed guards in Michigan. By Jillian Kay Melchior
Excerpt: During his 33-year-career in law enforcement, Victor Pierce has seen the bodies of murdered children, and he’s struggled to reckon with it. After Sandy Hook, he felt compelled to do something, he says. So he decided to invite teachers and school administrators to participate in the reserve-officer-training program. After they’d completed the class, Pierce would swear them in as volunteer reserve officers, and if the school district gave its blessing, they could carry concealed weapons on campus.

Can Global Warmist Get Their Story Straight? By Marita Noon
Excerpt: Two of catastrophic climate change’s staunchest supporters have been out on the stump promoting their cause—with conflicting statements. (It’s not like the Media will call it to the public’s attention. ~Bob.)

Obama’s DOJ: Children Do Not Need, And Have No Right To, Mothers
Excerpt: The Justice Department’s argument on the superfluity of motherhood is presented in a brief the Obama administration filed in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended California’s Constitution to say that marriage involves only one man and one woman. (In the Brave New World, the state will raise them to be obedient. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: A Council on American-Islamic Relations leader told a crowd at a rally for Islam that members of the faith should not be bound by American law. “If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land,” said Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch. The rally in Austin was part of a nationwide effort to hold “Muslim Capitol Day” events. (However, I understand that the laws of physics, such as muzzle velocity, bullet weight and impact angle still apply. ~Bob. And the democrats want us to give up our guns? Well, except for grandpa's old double-barrel shotgun, of course. That's all we really need. Call me anything you want, but I'm keeping my guns and I'm hoarding ammunition. - LLW)

Despite Sequester Hysteria, [John] Kerry Shovels Our Money At Islamic Radicals.
Excerpt: As our money is wasted in the most counterproductive manor conceivable, we are assumed to be stupid enough to believe that first responders need to be laid off because there isn’t enough left due to the sequester. Insult added to injury is the Obama Regime’s signature.

Seven-year-old suspended for accidentally eating pastry into gun shape.
Excerpt: A firearm in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is the concretization of individual liberty. This is why anything that even resembles a gun sends liberals into paroxysms of rage. In the schools they use as indoctrination centers, they have taken their maniacal hatred well beyond self-parody.

Thousands of illegals released and nobody knows who did it?
Excerpt: Interesting article, first, about the killing of a baby by an illegal with 4 previous DWI convictions. Then a discussion of the release of "hundreds" of illegals that actually turned out to be thousands, and now nobody up the chain of command can identify who actually made the decisions for all those people walking out of custody. And then some nice numbers about the level of crimes committed by illegals. It seems Mr. Obama's people have not really been handling this thing very well at all, but so far the media haven't found it worth picking up on what's gone on. Surprise, surprise..... But we can hope that enough people hear about this that more and more minds open up and start moving towards a different voting pattern in 2014. We need the Tea Parties to come back with a vengeance. –Del

Obama’s sequester deal-changer. By Bob Woodward
Excerpt: Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday. What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened? The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.” (This is the article that upset the Administration and a bunch of other so-called reporters. Some of the attacks on Woodward from other newsmen are low class nasty. Which is one more demonstration of how deeply those idiots are in the pocket of Mr. Obama. But the article is clear and factual... you know, like reporting used to be in the dim and distant past? Good for Woodward, and let's hope he keeps on going. --Del)

Gunmen kill online reporter in Mexico border town
Excerpt: Media advocates have long called Mexico one of the most dangerous nations for reporters. In July, a special prosecutor for crimes against reporters said 67 journalists have been killed and 14 have disappeared in Mexico since 2006. (Isn’t it racist to report these facts? ~Bob.)

Swarms of Locusts descend on Egypt, create panic in Israel.
Excerpt: As swarms of locusts devour Egyptian crops, the Middle East is bracing for the destructive bugs to migrate their way ahead of the Passover holiday. A swarm of an estimated 30 million insects has been devastating crops in Egypt, fuelling apocalyptic fears because of the infestation’s proximity to the Bible story of Passover in which a swarm of locusts, the eighth of ten plagues, is imposed on Egyptians by God for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews. Israel’s Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline today and urged residents to be vigilant in reporting sightings of the insects to prevent an outbreak. (Hard to believe. ~Bob.)


  1. No one should be surprised that the IRS taxes illegal income. That's how they finally put away Capone - for failure to pay income taxes.

    Don't ask me how you report millions from, say, drug trafficking without committing self incrimination.

  2. Correct, Tom. Both points are covered in the article, with the possibility of self-incrimination being covered in depth. That's part of why it's worth reading; the other part is to let folks know it doesn't take "millions" to be afoul of the law (this is the purpose of my included comment). The IRS can--and will--chase you for pennies if they are motivated to do so. Especially if they have political motivation, say from a resentful or angry administration; in my mind, THIS was the worst of Nixon's sins against the nation. Ron P.