Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 16, 2013
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Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion--who needs newspapers or TV? 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
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: North Korean Mythologies. By Victor Davis Hanson Reading
Excerpt: Much of what is written about the North Korean crisis seems to me little more than fantasy. Let us examine the mythologies. … It may well be true that
’s communist apparat wishes to avoid a war, or even the escalating tensions of a war-like environment that in theory could depress profits and endanger profitable Chinese commerce. But there is very little support in history for the rationalistic notion that mutually profitable relationships thwart suicidal wars. China
: Dr. Mengele, I Presume. By Michael Walsh Reading
Excerpt: The Mainstream Media, though — until being shamed into it by Kirsten Powers last week in USA Today — has given the case scant attention and next to no coverage. An ever-shifting series of completely unconvincing excuses has been given, including “we don’t cover local crime stories”; that’s rich coming from the same gang that made the death of Trayvon Martin into national news for months on end.
Excerpt: Two explosions disrupted the Boston Marathon on Monday, causing at least two deaths and nearly two dozen injuries and scattering crowds near the finish line, authorities said.
An EPA War on Coal? New federal efforts to cut emissions are the result of longstanding legal and judicial mandates, not a sudden Obama administration push. By Richard L. Gordon
Excerpt: The Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of administrator Lisa Jackson, has launched a number of regulatory initiatives that affect the energy industry. Given President Obama’s belief in the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and in the ability of renewable energies to help secure those emission reductions, critics argue that the administration is using the EPA to conduct a “war” on coal (along with, to a lesser degree, oil and natural gas). The objective is to achieve through administrative action what the president could not achieve via cap-and-trade legislation by Congress. The truth, however, is that the agency is implementing long delayed legislative mandates dictated by various environmental statutes that well predate the current administration.
Excerpt: Someday, the electric car will, indeed, be a great product – just not now. It costs too much; it is inconvenient; and its environmental benefits are negligible (and, in some cases, non-existent). … Bjørn Lomborg, an adjunct professor at the
Copenhagen Business School, founded and directs the , … Copenhagen Consensus Center
Cost of exchanges shoots up
Excerpt: The Obama administration’s best guess of how much it will spend to subsidize insurance on Obamacare exchanges shot up substantially this year thanks in large part to the U.S. Supreme Court. But while the exchange costs rise, the Medicaid spending will probably be less than initially forecast as some states decline the expansion.
Mitt Romney was right (on taxes). By Chris Cillizza and Sean http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/04/15/mitt-romney-was-right-on-taxes/?wpisrc=nl_politics
Excerpt: More than eight in 10 Americans believe that you should do everything you can to pay the lowest tax rate possible, according to new Washington Post-ABC News polling, a finding that suggests that people likely hold politicians to a standard of conduct they themselves don’t adhere to.
Lies of ObamaCare: Three years after passage, the law’s promises are falling apart. By Michael D. Tanner
Excerpt: We’ve now reached the third anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a k a ObamaCare. The Obama administration celebrated this important milestone by announcing that it was postponing part of the law that was designed to reduce costs for small businesses. (Just another installment of the "what's in it" saga. I figure by year's end I'll have a history of at least a dozen of these, maybe a bunch more. Putting them all together will demonstrate a truly impressive level of fictional writing about what was supposed to happen. Not only not quite there, but maybe not even close. --
John Kerry’s Shameless Flip-Flop on Missile Defense
Excerpt: Secretary of State John Kerry talked tough during his news conference in
on April 12th, with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se at his side. Seoul
They Lied To Us Then About Immigration; They Are Lying Now. By Daniel Horowitz
Excerpt: An excellent piece by Daniel Horowitz that proves that Ted Kennedy and others including Chuck Schumer pushing Amnesty lied thru their teeth in 1965 and 1986. Those Acts changed the face of
America and started the Invasion from which hasn't stopped and won't until our Federal Government (now run by leftists and Chamber-controlled RINOs) gets serious about stopping it. Mexico
Obama's United Nations Backdoor to Gun Control: Luckily, the Constitution gives the Senate exclusive power to ratify, or block, the Arms Trade Treaty. By John Bolton And John Yoo
Excerpt: Even before his most ambitious gun-control proposals were falling by the wayside, President Obama was turning for help to the United Nations. On April 2, the
led 154 nations to approve the Arms Trade Treaty in the U.N. General Assembly. United States
The ‘scoop’ on wind
Excerpt: It took an energy insider this past week to expose the dirty little truth about the future of wind energy — it’s too costly, too unreliable and only getting more so because of government subsidies.
Discrimination Is Not the Issue. By Linda Chavez
Excerpt:: Fifty years after the passage of civil rights laws outlawing discrimination based on race, ethnicity and sex, blacks, Hispanics and women still earn less than white men. In many circles, this fact alone reinforces the belief that discrimination is widespread and only greater government intervention will solve the problem. But might there be other reasons to explain the earnings gap between whites and minorities and between men and women? (Actually, since it's been illegal for many years to pay women and men differently for the same job, we knew already that there was a reasonable explanation of the differential in overall income for the two genders. But to finally have a detailed examination of all the factors affecting income is a great contribution to understanding. And with understanding comes the capacity to come up with ideas to help lessen the disparities where possible. --
Obama Supporters Criticize Administration's Muslim Brotherhood Policy. By John Rossomando
Excerpt: Discontent with the Obama administration's "abominable" policies toward
Egypt among some of his leading supporters on Middle East issues took center stage Friday afternoon during a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for American Progress (CAP).
Excerpt: Fox News reported last week that “the U.S. Army listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with Al Qaeda and Hamas during a briefing with an Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania….The incident occurred during an Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on extremism.”
Excerpt: In an unexpectedly close race, Venezuelans narrowly voted to continue Hugo Chávez’s revolution, electing his handpicked political heir, Nicolás Maduro, to serve the remainder of his six-year term as president, officials said late Sunday. But the thin margin of victory could complicate the task of governing for Mr. Maduro, emboldening the political opposition and possibly undermining Mr. Maduro’s stature within Mr. Chávez’s movement. … He accused former American diplomats of plotting to kill him, suggested that the
United States had caused Mr. Chávez’s illness, and had his foreign minister shut the door on informal talks with the that began late last year. United States
Opium Production in
Increases for Third Year Afghanistan
Excerpt: The report’s findings raised concerns among international law enforcement officials that if the trend continued, opium would be the country’s major economic activity after the departure of foreign military forces in 2014, leading to the specter of what one referred to as “the world’s first true narco-state.”
World military spending drops in 2012
Excerpt: Global military spending dipped last year for the first time since 1998 as defense outlays shrank in the West but rose in
Russia, China and the Middle East, a Swedish-based arms watchdog said Monday.
Death toll rises to 35 in
court attack Somalia
Excerpt: The death toll rose Monday to at least 35 killed in the most serious Islamic extremist attack in years on
, a government official said. Mogadishu
Dementia Care Cost Is Projected to Double by 2040
The most rigorous study to date of how much it costs to care for Americans with dementia found that the financial burden is at least as high as that of heart disease or cancer, and is probably higher. And both the costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double within 30 years, skyrocketing at a rate that rarely occurs with a chronic disease. The research, led by an economist at the RAND Corporation, financed by the federal government, and published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, provides the most reliable basis yet for measuring the scale of the problem. (Huge impact on Medicare. ~Bob)
Excerpt: Jordanian police said on Sunday they found the burned body of a pregnant woman whose throat had been slit and belly cut open showing her four-month-old fetus, in an apparent "honor killing."
vow to boost climate efforts amid ‘increasing dangers’ China
China and the , citing the “overwhelming scientific consensus” on human-induced climate change and its worsening effects, are pledging to boost cooperation through an agreement unveiled during Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit. United States
Meat packers say Obama administration labeling rules will cripple industry
U.S. meat industry is joining with the Canadian government in opposing proposed labeling regulations that they say would shutter beef packing plants and cripple the industry across North America. The proposed country-of-origin (COOL) labeling requirements from the Obama administration are meant to address a finding by the World Trade Organization that the ' current meat and poultry labeling rules violate international standards. United States
Silence of the Lambs in
Excerpt: We are no longer taught the history of a nation that freed itself from tyranny and oppression. Instead, we are subjected to the deliberate perversion of history that characterizes our founders as terrorists—along with portraying those of us who object to such depictions as threats to the state—by an ever-increasing totalitarian government operating in tandem with modern-day academia and a state-sponsored press. As Americans, we are witnessing the systematic dismantling of our country by the incremental erosion of our liberties and rights by methods that are shaking the very foundations upon which this country was founded.
Excerpt: They certainly don’t show up in the 9.1 percent unemployment rate for the city, since they have exhausted those benefits. But the number of city residents on food stamps is on pace to jump this year from just above 1 million in 2007 to a breathtaking 2 million sometime this summer. That’s equals almost 50 percent of the city’s labor force today, which, according to the latest government calculations, shrank by nearly 200,000 people since 2011.
Homeschooling advocate: Common Core abandons classics for ‘reading executive orders from President Obama’
Excerpt: “I mean, you have the classics being abandoned for instead reading executive orders from President Obama. …Estrada says the Common Core curriculum allows for the teaching of a worldview which places the United Nations above the American Constitution. “You know the worldview that’s being taught in the Common Core? It is the United Nations is better than our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence,” he said.
Smith Holds Hearing Highlighting Vietnamese Gov't Human Rights Violations in Advance of the U.S. Vietnam Dialogue: Human Trafficking, widespread abuse of Buddhists, Montagnards, Christians, Hmong minority focus of Human Rights Watch & other witnesses
Excerpt: Rep. Chris Smith, Chairman of the House subcommittee on global human rights, held a hearing Thursday, April 11 entitled “Highlighting Vietnamese Government Human Rights Violations in Advance of the U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue.” He gave the following opening statement: (It's nice that someone in Congress is paying attention to Human Rights in
. – Viet Nam I’m sure Jane Fonda will be on it. ~Bob.) Del.
The Drone War Has More Victims Than the Bush-Era CIA Scandals
Excerpt: In a must-read column, Micah Zenko of Foreign Policy notes the many ways the Obama Administration has misled Congress about its targeted-killing program, and calls for a comprehensive official history so that we're no longer at the mercy of dishonest national-security officials. If you haven't heard, they've been talking as if American drone strikes are mostly killing members of al-Qaeda who pose an imminent threat to the
. In fact, a minority of the people they've killed belong to al-Qaeda far fewer than that pose an imminent threat to United States America, and many victims of drone strikes are killed without the CIA knowing their identity. U.S.
An Inconvenient Truth: Finally, proof that the
has lied in the drone wars. United States
Excerpt: Some policymakers will question why we should care about what the United States was doing two years ago, which in Washington is considered ancient and irrelevant. Yet, for all of the historical accounts and professed concerns over the CIA's detention and extraordinary rendition program, which involved "136 known victims," it is time for an accounting of the CIA's drone strikes, which have killed between 3,000 and 4,000 people in Pakistan and Yemen…. Like almost everything else we know about targeted killings, these latest revelations come from an investigative journalist who served the public interest by reporting new information on a highly controversial policy -- a policy that the government absurdly insists remain secret.
US gives 4 more F-16 fighter jets to Egyptian government despite outcry
Excerpt: Four more F-16 fighter jets left the
U.S. on Thursday headed for Egypt as part of a foreign aid package that has generated controversy given the political upheaval in the Mideast country. Critics say the military aid should stop because the president Egyptians elected last year has led the Muslim Brotherhood, called President Obama liar and urged that hatred of Jews be instilled in children. A source who works on the naval air base in , confirmed to FoxNews.com the departure of the state-of-the-art fighter planes. (Hard to believe the sequester is a problem while this goes on. ~Bob.) Fort Worth, Texas
Excerpt: A career criminal who stole a truck containing President Obama's audio equipment was sentenced Thursday to seven years in federal prison. Sentencing guidelines called for a term of about three years, but Eric Brown of
, agreed to the longer sentence to avoid prosecution for 14 similar truck thefts in three localities. (Obama was speechless. ~Bob.) Richmond, Va.