Friday, March 8, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 9, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for March 9, 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.

Advice for my Granddaughter: For When I'm Gone royalties go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (which gets a larger royalty if you order directly through Create Space.).

Worth Reading: Men Are Brawnier! And Brainier? By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: What we might be witnessing is nothing more than the chaotic collision of smarts, stupidity, idiots, and geniuses. Logic indicates that's exactly what's happening. For only humans are capable of making such a deliberate mess. And it's a beauty (in some cases)

Worth Reading: How Obama Turned America into Venezuela. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Hugo Chavez’s death was met with tributes from Iran, Bolivia, China and El Salvador. The Western left did not waste much time adding their withered roses to El Comandante’s coffin. George Galloway called him another Spartacus. Jimmy Carter described him as a leader who fought for the “neglected and trampled.” Michael Moore praised him for declaring that the oil belongs to the people. Whether or not the oil belongs to the people is a matter of some debate considering how much of it ended up in Chavez’s pocket.

Obama chooses lawmaker accused of corrupt ties with Chavez to attend funeral
Excerpt: President Obama is sending a lawmaker whose relationship with Hugo Chavez has come under scrutiny in the past to represent the United States at the Venezuelan strongman's funeral on Friday. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) allegedly met with Chavez in 2006 at the bequest of one of his donors, indicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, to request a criminal probe into a Venezuelan banker who had fallen out with Stanford, The Miami Herald reported in 2009. (Figures. Show me your shocked face that The Chicago Way is alive and well in Washington. But did you know that Meeks is really a spy for the CIA? Pass it on to your Venezuelan friends. LOL. ~Bob.

Excerpt: Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. will be attending the state funeral for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday in Caracas, the nation's capital. (He was a vicious dictator who destroyed freedoms like Freedom on the Press and made the poor suffer by ruining his nation’s economy through government control and Socialism, while enriching himself and his cronies. And he hated America. Of course all Obama supporters loved Hugo. ~Bob.)

Hugo Chavez funeral draws US foes to Caracas
Excerpt: Most Latin American leaders are attending the funeral, as well as bugbears of the West long courted by the anti-US Chavez, including Cuba's Raúl Castro, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko. (Never a defective Iranian made suitcase nuke around when you need it. –TH.)

Levin retirement leaves Dems defending fourth open seat in 2014 cycle
Excerpt: Longtime Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) won't seek another Senate term. "I have decided not to run for reelection in 2014," Levin said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. (I can't wait until this arrogant ultra-liberal fool leaves. The bad news is he still has two more years left. More bad news - he plans to focus on veterans care. That's all we need. –LLW)

The Obama administration pulled back on plans to give an award to an Egyptian activist after anti-American and anti-Semitic messages were discovered on her Twitter account. Samira Ibrahim, an Egyptian activist who rallied worldwide attention against forced "virginity tests" on female protesters, was supposed to be honored Friday along with nine others by first lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. The State Department, though, announced that it would postpone the International Women of Courage award while officials investigate the tweets. (I bet the “postponement” becomes permanent. Idiots. ~Bob.)

Mandated Gun Ownership: A Tale of Two Cities
Older piece but worth reading. ~Bob. Excerpt: Over the past week I have written several articles on gun control. This all stems from the tide that rises after events such as those that took place in Aurora, Colorado this past weekend. However, there needs to be real comparisons made for the claims I’ve made and so I am offering a real life comparison of the liberal approach to gun control and the conservative approach to the Second Amendment.

Google: FBI spying on thousands of users
Excerpt: In a Google report released Tuesday, the tech giant revealed that thousands of inquiries have been made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the personal information of its users. The document, entitled “Transparency Report: Shedding more light on National Security Letters,” was posted by Richard Salgado, the legal director of law enforcement and information security at Google. (Google advertises and promotes “fireside chats” with POTUS and FLOTUS, too. --Barb)

Osama bin Laden's Son-in-Law Captured, Brought to US
Excerpt: In a secret operation, a man described as the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden has been brought to the United States to stand trial after being captured in Turkey, according to a law enforcement official. The man, Sualiman Abu Ghaith, was quietly brought to the American homeland -- which he once said was the "heart of apostasy" -- last week by federal officials. Turkish media previously reported Ghaith was captured in Ankara in a joint operation by the CIA and Turkish intelligence last month and was later deported to Jordan. (If I can’t be on the Bradley Manning firing squad, I’m available for this one. Or we could do both at once. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: This is an important point that some in Washington often forget — we don’t provide foreign assistance solely out of the goodness of our heart, we do so because it furthers our national interest. That is why Secretary Kerry’s announcement of $250 million in aid to Egypt on Sunday was so unfortunate. 

Helping the Poor Without Hurting the Recovery: Why Regulatory Reform Is a Better Alternative to Raising the Minimum Wage. By Mark Adams
Excerpt: The president’s recent proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9.00 is not the way to help low-income households. Raising the minimum wage is more likely to increase unemployment for some of the least skilled American workers and further impede a historically slow recovery. Research from the Mercatus Center shows that regulatory reform would help low-income families without causing more unemployment or slowing the recovery. Regulation raises the cost of living for all Americans, but the cost of regulation falls disproportionately on the poorest families. The relevant research and policy proposals to help the poor through regulatory reform are summarized below. (Fat chance. The unions want a higher minimum wage precisely to keep the poor out of the workforce, prevent them from developing work skills and habits that might make them competitive for union jobs. And the left always wants more regulations, because bigger government is the only solution to every problem—and lines their pockets. ~Bob.)

Copts disappointed with US foreign aid to Morsi
Excerpt: Secretary Kerry met with Egyptian President Morsi last week, announcing that the US will give Egypt $250 million in aid. While applauding continuing economic support to the suffering people of Egypt, Coptic Solidarity expressed deep concern that US foreign assistance be used to bolster a Muslim Brotherhood-led government, which has actively undermined the civil rights of millions of its citizens.

Excerpt: Authorities in the Swedish city of Malmö have dropped an investigation into the vandalism of a Jewish center, saying it was probably a "derailed prank" rather than a hate crime. (Be different if it was a mosque. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: So a Muslim mob assaults this guy by throwing a Koran at his head, and he is the one that gets sent to prison? Crazy. The news report says absolutely nothing about the Muslims being punished for the assault.

Nigeria: 13 Christians killed in Kano 
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN has urged the authorities to probe the gruesome killing of 13 factory workers identified as Christians at Sheka, Sharada Phase 111 in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano, by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members.

Deficits do matter. By Joe Scarborough and Jeffrey D. Sachs
Excerpt: Dick Cheney and Paul Krugman have declared from opposite sides of the ideological divide that deficits don’t matter, but they simply have it wrong. Reasonable liberals and conservatives can disagree on what role the federal government should play yet still believe that government should resume paying its way. … In May 2009, the White House forecast 4.6 percent growth in 2012, an unemployment rate of 6 percent and a budget deficit of $557 billion. The actual outcomes were much worse: growth of 2.3 percent, unemployment at 8.1 percent and a budget deficit of nearly $1.1 trillion. (If debt doesn’t matter, why not run your personal credit cards to the max and enjoy the good life? ~Bob.)

New York victims of genital mutilation lead the cry against the practice in the U.S. By Erica Pearson
Excerpt: The global custom is also a local issue thanks to illegal surgeries performed here and families who send young girls back to their parents’ homelands to undergo mutilation. A new federal law backed by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens) made it illegal to transport girls abroad for the practice. (Well, Progressives tell us all cultures are equally valid, so how can this be bad? ~Bob.)

Oregon man arrested for aiding suicide bomber who killed 30 people in Pakistan.
Excerpt: FBI agents on Tuesday arrested a Portland city worker on allegations that he provided support to a suicide bomber who participated in a 2009 attack in Pakistan that killed about 30 people and injured another 300. Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, was arrested at his home and charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said.

#Myjihad In Denmark: 'Denmark Unsafe For Jews'. Atlas Shrugs
Excerpt: Barbed-wire and security guards are a regular part of Jewish children’s’ school day in Denmark. The entrance of the Caroline Jewish Skole in Copenhagen’s Østerbro district is surrounded by a 2.5 meter-high barbed-wire fence, while the Humlehave School in Odense, the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen, admitted it would refuse Jewish parents’ wish to place their child at his school. It is too dangerous.

Organizing for Action: Er, we won't be accepting corporate donations after's that sound? By Erika Johnsen
Excerpt: President Obama’s campaign-machinery-turned-”advocacy group” got a lot of rather negative attention last week, when the New York Times reported that donors who contribute or raise $500,000 or more for Organizing for Action will be magnanimously granted the high privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House — a.k.a., Organizing for Action will be selling access to the president to the highest bidders. It would seem that Team Obama took offense at that unfortunate turn of phrasing, and Jim Messina— erstwhile Obama campaign manager and newfound OFA national chairman — was compelled to pen an op-ed defending the new group and announcing a couple of policy changes. 

Rand Paul made John McCain and Lindsey Graham look like outliers: Quotes of the Day.
Excerpt: “This marks [Paul's] arrival as a serious national figure in the Republican party, said Steve Schmidt, McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign manager, who said Paul would be a “formidable candidate” in 2016…The strategist called the filibuster “big beyond it just being a big moment for Rand Paul. It was kind of a big moment for the party because you suddenly had people rallying together on a cause of principle.”

What Rand Paul's Heroic Filibuster Means for the Future of Libertarianism. By Pascal Emmanuel Gobry
Excerpt: With Republican hawkishness in full swing and then-candidate Obama’s paeans to the Constitution, libertarians started wondering if their natural home wasn’t more with the political Left. Since then, Obama implemented or strengthened corporatist industrial policies in the finance, auto, healthcare and energy sectors (at least), mainly continued Bush’s foreign policies and, if anything, has an even worse record on civil liberties. 

Rand Paul's beautiful anti-drone filibuster shows how civil liberties can unite and revive the Republican Party. By Tim Stanley
Excerpt: As Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry points out, Rand Paul’s growing popularity shows that “libertarianism has a genuine power base and future in the Republican Party, while it’s DOA in the Democratic Party”. Its expansion is aided by Paul’s careful and clever choice of targets and language. While his father was known in Congress as a “Dr No”, Rand’s more cautious application of libertarian ideas makes him a “Dr Maybe”.

Why Is Obama's Growing DHS Army Buying Armored Vehicles?
Excerpt: In addition to stockpiling over a billion bullets and thousands of semiautomatic weapons the feds would deny U.S. citizens, the vehicle of choice for fighting the counterinsurgency war in Iraq is appearing on U.S. streets. (At first I thought "maybe some of the ammo buys are just for lots of practice for lots of guys for a lot of years". Then there were still more ammo buys. Then came enough M-16 rifles with 30 round magazines to equip a Marine Division. Now come enough armored vehicles to supply every major city with a few, or just put together several armored brigades in different parts of the country. This finally leads me to the simple thought of WTF? What domestic insurrection is this Administration preparing for? Not to mention why are we cutting the budget to our real military while buying this stuff for domestic paramilitary? I don't like to drift into paranoia, but at this point I think it's pretty legitimate to be asking about all this, and I'm glad to see this editorial doing just that. UPDATE: Now we're hearing this was a mistaken report, the vehicles were bought by the Marine Corps, and only 16 of them belong to DHS. They are to be used for serving warrants in known dangerous situations. I'm still waiting to see this confirmed.--Del)

The Great Ammunition Myth: The government is not planning a violent putdown of civil unrest. By Charles C. W. Cooke
Excerpt: Nonetheless, one could reasonably ask why the Social Security Administration would need any ammunition at all. Are the elderly especially unruly these days? Jonathan L. Lasher, in the SSA’s external-relations department, explained to the Huffington Postthat the ammunition is “for the 295 agents” in the outfit’s office of inspector general “who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes.” Divide the rounds by the number of agents, and you get about 590 per agent; in a given year, that’s about ten rounds a week. “Most will be expended on the firing range,” Lasher continued.

An incredible map of which countries email each other and why. By Caitlin Dewey 
Excerpt: The Internet was supposed to let us bridge continents and cultures like never before. But after analyzing more than 10 million e-mails from Yahoo! mail, a team of computer researchers noticed an interesting phenomenon: E-mails tend to flow much more frequently between countries with certain economic and cultural similarities. (I'm sorry, is this a surprise? But the map is good. --Kate) 

Members of European Parliament to vote on EU ban on all forms of pornography. By Bruno Waterfield
Excerpt: Controversy has erupted over next Tuesday's European Parliament resolution "on eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU", meant to mark international women's day, after libertarian Swedish MEPs from the Pirate Party spotted the call for a ban in the small print. While not legally binding, the vote could be the first step towards European legislation as the EU's assembly increasingly flexes its political muscle within Europe's institutions. 

Rand Paul Shifts Political Orbit. By Jonathon Moseley
Excerpt: The political world changed its orbit Wednesday as Rand Paul seized the spotlight in his March 6 filibuster. Rand Paul -- not this author's favorite before -- is probably now the 2016 front-runner for president. But the difference results from fundamental changes in substance.

Humor from The Patriot Post
Excerpt: Some things in this world are stranger than fiction. Such was the case in a story from Independence, Oregon, where a 19-year-old on his way to visit family decided to stop for a rest -- and burglarize a farm. He stole several things, which he hid behind a barn before fleeing on foot. He then stole a pickup, also on the farm, returned to the house, and loaded up his spoils. Before leaving, he added a shotgun and an AR-15 to his take. While he drove across a field to make his escape, however, he hit a bump, causing a part of the shotgun caught in the trigger area of the AR-15 to shift and depress the trigger. The AR fired once, striking and killing the burglar. Early reports are that the shotgun had indeed failed a background check. Either way, someone should alert Joe Biden. Despite his sage advice, when this shotgun needed to defend itself, it went for the AR-15.

Managing the Oval Office. By David Rothkopf
Excerpt: Barack Obama’s critics and supporters tend to agree: the first four years of the Obama administration have included plenty of disappointment and frustration. (Wow... serious criticism of Mr. Obama in the NYTimes! I could point out some dumb/partisan parts of the critique (like assuming that Climate Change is truly a major task for the Administration to be pushing), but even those aside, this is extremely parallel to the criticisms that many, including myself, made about Mr. Obama even before his being elected. He has never run ANYTHING, not even a lemonade stand, and has total zero understanding of the military. Then he chose a cabinet and advisors none of whom had any business or military experience. Why should anyone be surprised that they did so poorly in so many areas for the first four years? But my next question to the author of this article would be, what gives you any confidence that he and they will change anything about how what they try to do and how they try to do it for the next four years? The record of a super combination of arrogance + ignorance has remained solidly consistent since last November, so where are the indications that enlightenment is dawning in the White House and its conference rooms? Unfortunately, my own confidence is that we can not only expect things not to get better, but more likely worse for the second term. Heaven help us. --Del)

Yes, many Catholic priests are hypocrites. But so are the Lefty media. Most people are hypocrites; get over it. By Ed West
Excerpt: Don't be fooled when "religious affairs correspondents" look prim and solemn and shake their heads at the latest clerical scandal. They are enjoying every minute of it. It keeps them in a job (did anyone imagine that the real "religious affairs" of this country, the prayerful and self-sacrificial work that goes on under the radar every day of every year, would ever make headlines?)

The Kidnapping of Coptic Girls. By Frank Crimi 
Excerpt: When a rumor circulated last week that a Muslim woman in the southern Egyptian city of Kom Ombo had been forcibly converted to Christianity, a mob of Muslims felt compelled to riot, attacking and firebombing the city’s local Coptic Christian church. … In a 2012 report commissioned by Christian Solidarity International titled Tell My Mother I Miss Her and written by George Washington University professor Michele Clark and Coptic human rights activist Nadia Ghaly, 500 cases were reported of Coptic females having been kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam.

I know, you’re shocked. This kind of thing hardly even qualifies as “news” anymore. ~Bob.) Excerpt: The Obama administration will release its 2014 budget more than two months late on April 8, according to congressional sources.

Anonymous Internet Quote
American Democracy today is the freedom of speech from deed, freedom of deed from responsibility and freedom of responsibility from regrets. (Similar to: “In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.” —Edward Gibbon)

Excerpt: It really is a shame that the U.S. economy isn’t growing at the same rate as insanity. Instead, we have Barack Obama threatening to shut down tours of the White House to school kids, blaming that old devil, Sequester. At the same time, as the Wall Street Journal points out, he green lights a junket for Department of Agriculture employees to attend the 26th California Small Farm Conference, in Fresno, where they’ll have the opportunity to sip “exceptional wines” and sample “tasty dishes” whipped up by “special guest chefs.”

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