Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 24, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 24, 2013
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.

Information on my books

Worth Reading: Genes and Racism. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: During decades of watching both collegiate and professional football, I have seen hundreds of touchdowns scored by black players -- but not one extra point kicked by a black player. Is this because blacks are genetically incapable of kicking a football or because racists won't let blacks kick a football? Most of us would consider either of these explanations ridiculous. Yet genes and discrimination were the predominant explanations of black-white differences offered by intellectuals in the 20th century. It was genes that were the preferred explanation in the early decades of that century and discrimination in the later decades, as I show in my recent book, "Intellectuals and Race."

Excerpt: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring, a source has told The Hill. The longtime chairman of the Senate's tax-writing panel faced a difficult reelection contest in Montana, a state easily won by Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Baucus helped guide President Obama's healthcare law through Congress, but last week said he feared a "train wreck" as the law was implemented. (Jumping off the train before the wreck. ~Bob.)

Important: Ricin Suspect Released From Custody in Mississippi
Excerpt: Just days after Capitol Hill law enforcement officers informed the congressional community that federal agents had arrested a suspect in connection with mailing a ricin-laced letter to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., that suspect is no longer in custody.

Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday that there has been another ricin incident at Bolling Air Force base in Southeast Washington, D.C. “We’ve had another incident today I’m told at Bolling Air Force base. Same substance,” said Reid.

Black Conservatives I follow on Twitter

Libya car bomb wounds French embassy guards
Excerpt: A car bomb in Tripoli wounded two French guards at France's embassy in Libya on Tuesday, bringing new violence to the capital, which has not seen attacks on diplomats like that which killed the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi last year. (Boy, I bet Congress regrets authorizing Obama to attack Libya. Oh. Wait… ~Bob.)

Afghan Taliban say seize foreigners from helicopter
Excerpt: The Taliban said it had captured a group of foreigners on board a helicopter that came down in a volatile region of Afghanistan, though there were widely differing accounts of the nationalities of the passengers. (Lucky for them, they are safely in the hands of members of The Religion of Peace.” ~Bob)

Two Archbishops Are Kidnapped Outside Northern Syrian City
Excerpt: Two Syrian archbishops from Aleppo were abducted on Monday while traveling outside that besieged northern city, the official news media and antigovernment activists reported, making them the most senior church clerics to become entangled as victims in the two-year-old civil war. (Lucky for them, they are safely in the hands of members of The Religion of Peace.” ~Bob)

Excerpt: Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is suing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and six other lawmakers, charging that they mishandled the Ethics investigation that led to his public censure in late 2010. In a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Washington D.C., Rangel claims the Ethics Committee that investigated his alleged wrongdoing are guilty of "numerous flagrant, knowing and intentional violations" of his due process rights.

Study: Voice-activated texting while driving no safer than typing
Excerpt: It had appeared that technology might have solved a problem of its own creation when voice-activated texting came along so that drivers could keep their eyes on the road. Not so, says the first major study of the subject. It’s every bit as dangerous to speak into a mobile device that translates words into a text message as it is to type one.

Excerpt: Jihad has blown up The Liberal Utopia. The visionary liberal land of political and social perfection. President Obama is not happy — and he isn’t alone. You know the place. The Liberal Utopia is a land where gun background checks prevent mass murder. (They won’t notice, because for liberals, only their good intentions matter, not the evil results. ~Bob.)

As Bush library opening puts his presidency back in the spotlight, his approval rating is up
Excerpt: Days before his second term ended in 2009, Bush’s approval rating among all adults was 33 percent positive and 66 percent negative. The new poll found 47 percent saying they approve and 50 percent saying they disapprove. Among registered voters, his approval rating today is equal to President Obama’s, at 47 percent, according to the latest Post-ABC surveys.

Excerpt: This weekend, as law-enforcement officers across the country devoted their resources to the manhunt and capture of the dangerous criminal Reese Witherspoon, an actual crime against humanity was being ignored: Musician Amanda Palmer was writing the worst poem ever composed in the English language, "A Poem for Dzhokhar."

Worth Reading: Obama’s Psychodramas. Unlike Sandy Hook and gun control, the Tsarnaev case teaches real lessons about immigration. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Tightening up the process for legal acquisition of firearms would not much hinder the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns. And the various measures needed to stop a crazy Adam Lanza or Jared Lee Loughner would be mostly intolerable for liberal or conservative civil libertarians — incarcerating far more of the mentally unhinged, censoring the depiction of gratuitous and violent use of guns in video games and films, confiscating the vast pools of semi-automatic rifles and handguns owned by private citizens. No matter. Sandy Hook and the shooting of Gabby Giffords were still arguments to shame opponents — in the president’s words, “lying” opponents — into accepting the administration’s proposals.

Wonder What Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Thinks of His PD Now?
Excerpt: In July, 2009, the President of the United States said that he thought the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department "acted stupidly" when Sgt. James Crowley arrested Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at his home after someone called the police to report suspicious persons there. The professor became indignant and disruptive when he was simply asked to produce some identification proving that he lived there. In light of the events last week in Boston, Watertown, and Cambridge in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Terrorist attack, I wonder if the president and Prof. Gates still think the police are stupid.

SHOCK: FBI, DHS Were Warned About Boston Terrorist SIX MONTHS Ago – And Did Nothing
Excerpt: The failure of this Administration to protect our homeland from jihadist threats – despite clear warnings before the Boston attacks – continues to be exposed. And it also calls into serious question how the FBI and DHS can be trusted to handle the increased numbers of asylum visas called for under the ‘Gang of 8′ immigration bill. As we reported on April 19, the FBI was warned by a “foreign government” – reportedly Russia – that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a “follower of radical Islam” with a potential for “terrorist activities”. (Regime knew about it and allowed it……wonder what cause it is furthering now…Barb. To be fair, they probably get several hundred warnings a day, 99.9% of which turn out to be nothing. ~Bob.)

Immigration officer: Congress heeded illegal immigrants, not law enforcement,--- 99.5% of illegal immigrants get approval for legal status; high number raises concerns about fraud
Excerpt: The chief of the union representing immigration agents and officers told Congress on Monday that illegal immigrants had more say-so in drafting the new Senate immigration bill than the government’s own law enforcement agents. His testimony capped off an emotionally charged day that saw a former illegal immigrant plead for a full path to citizenship and saw lawmakers heatedly debate whether the Boston Marathon bombing should spur Congress to speed up or to put the brakes on the push to pass a bill.

Excerpt: For over four years, Barack Obama has employed shame, guilt, class envy and brute force to implement his vision. His approach betrays his lack of experience in the marketplace. It suggests an unflattering opinion of the American people.

Williams-Sonoma Pulls Pressure Cookers Off Shelves in Massachusetts: Following the Boston Marathon bombing last Monday in which pressure cookers were used for the explosion, the cookware giant has decided to temporarily stop selling the items in their Massachusetts stores.. By Robert Rosen
Excerpt: Williams-Sonoma, the specialty retailer of home furnishings and gourmet cookware with over 250 stores in the United States, has pulled pressure cookers from their shelves following the Boston Marathon bombing. (How about hammers, used in far more murders than assault rifles, according to the FBI? But they are pretty much one at a time, don’t make national news. ~Bob.)

Pet Projects Sprinkled in Immigration Bill
Excerpt: South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wants more visas for the meat industry, a major employer in his state. Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) pushed for special treatment for Irish workers; his state is home to a large population with Irish ancestry. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio sought help for the cruise-ship industry, a big business in his home state of Florida. And Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado wove in a boost for ski areas. (Business as usual. When Rep. Mendel Rivers (D-SC) was chair of the armed services Committee, he brought so many bases to Charleston they said one more and it would sink. His campaign slogan was, "Rivers Delivers." We are all still paying for votes bought 50 years ago. Our grandkids will know nothing else. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Abu Ubaydah Abdullah al Adam, a senior al Qaeda leader who serves as the intelligence chief for the terror group, is reported to have been killed in a recent US drone strike in Pakistan's tribal areas. The report is unconfirmed, and al Qaeda has not issued an official statement regarding al Adam. (Just because I don't like a lot of what BO does, doesn't mean I don't like this! ~Bob.)

Worth Watching: Celeste and Sydney get an inspiring visit from the Marines

Excerpt: What started out as an effort by President Reagan to help poor people in rural areas have a phone in cases of emergency has mushroomed into what critics suspect is a new welfare program. "The cost has gone from $143 million a few years ago to $2.2 billion today," Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter said, noting that today's cost is 15 times what it was. The cost of the program increased dramatically after cellphones were added in 2008. (Well, buying votes is not cheap. ~Bob.)

Thomas Friedman Recommends Fighting Islamism With Carbon Taxes. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: If Thomas Friedman went stark raving mad, how would anyone tell? …“A phased-in carbon tax of $20 to $25 a ton could raise around $1 trillion over 10 years, as we each pay a few more dimes and quarters for every gallon of gasoline or hour of electricity. With that new revenue stream, we’d have so many more options.” Like the option to put half the country out of work. 

It’s Lose-Lose vs. Win-Win-Win-Win-Win
Excerpt: First, because our democracy today is perverted more than ever by deep-pocketed lobbies and oligopolies. So, “in order to get and stay elected today, you have to raise huge sums of money from corporations, wealthy individuals and dues-laden unions,” Garfinkle notes, and all that money leads to “twisted decision-making at the high-politics level” and “regulatory capture” at the bureaucratic-administrative level. The fossil fuel, auto and power companies have bought a lot of politicians to block a carbon tax. 

UN Human Rights Official Says Boston Got What It Deserved
Excerpt: UN Human Rights Council “expert” Richard Falk has published a statement saying Bostonians got what they deserved in last week’s terror attack. He quotes W.H. Auden to make his point: "to whom evil is done/do evil in return.” Richard Falk is the UN’s “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” He has held the post since 2008, despite exposure as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. (Yep, remember, we are the bad guys of the whole world, only nation worse than we is Israel, and we are hand in hand with them in being awful. We just aren't nice enough to the Muslim world, haven't been for decades, so no wonder they're ticked at us and Muslims now and then will give us a hint of that by some form of massacre. I'm with the author of this piece, we should drop out of the UN and tell them we want the land back, please relocate to some nice spot like Somalia, and have a nice day. –Del. Our tax dollars PSAY for this drivel. More than maddening. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Parked around the airstrip at Lackland Air Force Base are more than a dozen massive C-5A Galaxy transport planes. There is no money to fly them, repair them or put pilots in the cockpits, but Congress rejected the Air Force's bid to retire them. So every now and then, crews will tow the planes around the Texas tarmac a bit to make sure the tires don't rot, then send them back into exile until they can finally get permission to commit the aging aircraft to the boneyard. (Every congressman, both parties, thinks his reelection is the most vital part of national security. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Luxury hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive has spent $660,000 in taxpayer dollars and venture capital funds for each car it sold — totalling $1.3 billion, according to a report. The company’s Fisker Karma sold for about $103,000 per vehicle, meaning the company took a hit of $557,000 every time it sold its product. The company was also allowed to continue to draw down on a $529 million Department of Energy loan after violating the loan’s term multiple times, according to a report by the New York-based research firm PrivCo. (Why command economies collapse. –Barb. Thank you Al Gore, Barack Obama and Big Green—our tax dollars down the tube. ~Bob.)

Blood on the White House 
Excerpt: Witnesses report that Obama then went to bed, making him the first American president to abandon American troops in combat. (Isn't it amazing that the American military has the highest approval rating by the American public of any organization and yet voters continue to elect politicians that have the lowest approval rating and that disrespect our military. --MM)

Worth Reading: Lessons from Boston and Chechnya April 23, 2013. By Dennis Prager
Excerpt: We cannot bring back the stolen lives. We cannot bring back the lost limbs or the lost hearing. And we cannot mitigate the infinite grief of the victims’ loved ones.
But there is something we can and must do: We must learn all the lessons we can.

When America Is Weak, Its Enemies Attack. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: On September 12, 2012, Obama stepped out into the Rose Garden and told the millions of Americans watching at home, “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”
More than half a year has passed since then and justice is nowhere in sight. The perpetrators of the attack openly walk the streets of Benghazi long after the FBI team sent there has gone home. It may well be a coincidence that the first major successful terrorist attack comes as the administration plots a withdrawal from its second lost war. 

Clark County taxicab drivers taking tourists on the scenic route to and from the airport overcharged their passengers an estimated $14.8 million last year, according to a legislative audit released Monday. The report said the state Taxicab Authority needs to do more to prevent these roundabout rides, which are meant to run up the meter and accounted for 22.5 percent of the 2,730 airport trips that auditors reviewed. (Think DC cabs do same with “zones.” –Barb.)

Mosque-Related Violence. By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
Excerpt: President Obama has done all he can these past five years to manipulate language and facts in order to exonerate Islam and Moslems from terrorist attacks committed in the U.S. by Moslems in the name of Islam and jihad. After Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood mowed down numerous innocents while chanting "Allahu Akbar," Mr. Obama and his underlings refused to designate it as terrorism or jihad but instead labeled it "workplace violence". The same distortion of reality occurred when Abdul Mohammud killed an army recruiting officer in Little Rock, Arkansas in June, 2009. Mr. Mohammud, the killer, knew he did it as an act of jihadist terrorism, but the President's men would have us believe it was simply "generic violence"

With Friends Like Qatar, Who Needs Enemies?
Excerpt: He observed that Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, will shortly be visiting the White House….After all, the Emir is arguably the world’s single most aggressive state sponsor of expansionist Islam and its prime-mover, the Muslim Brotherhood. … The Emir unabashedly underwrites the arming and training of al Qaeda and other Islamist elements in the hope of establishing a shariah state in Syria. (Per report, he also owns Al Jazeera. So why was selling a telecom to a sponsor of al Qaeda not illegal? –Barb)
Excerpt: The Democratic National Committee is being accused by Republicans of using the terrorism attack in Boston to improve its fundraising solicitation lists. …. The site asks people who want to sign their name to a thank you note from the DNC to submit their name, email address and zip code. Organizations typically use a tactic like this — having people “sign” their names to cards — to collect email addresses so they can later send them fundraising solicitations. (Wasserman Schultz. –Barb)

Worth Reading: How I Evolved on Guns During the #BostonPoliceScanner Manhunt: My family won't be vulnerable if an evil man like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shows up at our door. By Paula Bolyard
Excerpt: In the wee hours of Friday morning, April 19th, I evolved on guns.
First, a confession: I’ve never owned a gun. I never wanted one in my home and, like a lot of moms, I wanted to raise non-violent children and thought keeping guns out of our home was one way to do that. … I realized at that moment that the police cannot protect me from the Dzhokhar Tsarnaevs of the world. The best they can do is tell me to lock myself in my home while they search for the bad guy. 

Boston bombing suspect cites U.S. wars as motivation, officials say
Excerpt: The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.

Boston Suspect Cites Islamic Extremist Beliefs as Motive
Excerpt: The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon attacks told federal agents that he and his late brother were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs but that they were not connected to any known terrorist groups, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday, saying that he made those statements in an interview Sunday from his hospital bed. (Congrats to the NYT for saying it. Bet it hurt. ~Bob.)

I pretty sure we're going to see Dzhokhar tshirts in the Che Guevara fashion at the next Occupy Whatever G-8 protest...

Kerry Exploits The Victims Of The Boston Jihad
John Kerry, America’s most successful gigolo and now our Secretary of State, has used the tragedy of the terrorist bombings in Boston to appease and win acceptance of Turkish officials. Citing his personal anguish over the Jihadist Terror in his home state, he told the Turks he can understand how the nation of Turkey felt when their IHH armed thugs were killed by Jewish commandos while trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza on the good ship Mavi Marmara…. “But going forward, you know, we have to find the best way to bring people together and undo these tensions and undo these stereotypes and try to make peace.” (So there is a moral equivalence between a dead 8-year-old and two dead women, and armed thugs who attacked the Israelis while trying to deliver supplies to a terrorist group? Typical Kerry, Always wrong, always convinced. ~Bob.)

Fox News makes point to mention that Boston Bombers were "welfare recipients"
I cannot describe my anger at this. Our government FORCES us to pay for welfare to these alleged refugees and then these US government protégées try to kill us. Look, we expect terrorists to kill people. It's what they do. But these terrorists were aided and abetted by our government, which the brain dead citizenry trusts to protect us. Not only did the government turn a deaf ear to Russia's warnings that the Tsarnaevs were would-be terrorists, and made no effort to search or detain them at the marathon, but when these terrorists first came they were given YOUR money. This money was not donated by you. It was STOLEN from you by socialist bureaucrats who literally could care less whether you live or die. In a very real way, you and I paid these terrorists to harm us. Do you realize that? What's there not to be mad about? As I said earlier, if we were only dealing with the mafia, they would force us to pay them as part of their protection racket, and then if we paid, they would leave us alone. In other words, the mafia has a code of honor. Our government doesn't even have that. We pay their ransom and even then they open the doors to our enemies and let them kill us. That is far beyond mafia evil! --Don Hank 

Worth Reading: Academic Cesspools
Excerpt: Because Klingenstein wouldn't help finance the college's diversity craze, Mills insinuated, in remarks to the student body, that Klingenstein is a racist. ... Klingenstein decided to check out Mills' commitment to diverse perspectives by commissioning the National Association of Scholars to examine Bowdoin's intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity. Its report — "What Does Bowdoin Teach?" — isn't pretty. (I always enjoy reading Williams’ columns, this one being no exception. However, I noticed there was no link to the original article in the WSJ or the study by the NAS. They’re good, too, and I recommend reading them. Here are links to read them for free: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324100904578404502145771288.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop and http://www.nas.org/articles/what_does_bowdoin_teach_how_a_contemporary_liberal_arts_college_shapes_stud (you can download the study as a PDF for free, too, and merely reading the first few paragraphs of the first page will tell you a whole lot). –Ron P.)

Worth Reading: A Tribal War in Boston. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Tamerlan Tsarneav slapped around one girlfriend, dragged another into a barefoot, pregnant and veiled arrangement, and went around telling everyone they were infidels. Sure he might have settled down at some point, picked up his membership card in the requisite front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood and limited his terrorist activities to donating to Islamic charities that just happen to do business in the middle of war zones. He could have stuck to beating his wife in the privacy of his home and told his neighbors that America would one day be destroyed knowing they would only nod and walk away humming, “But he’s so nice”. (Greenfield is smoking today, lots of great pieces And always worth reading. ~Bob.)

Jon Stewart Drubs CNN Again For Boston Bombing Reporting (VIDEO)
Excerpt: You might think Jon Stewart is being overly harsh in taking CNN to task yet again for its Boston bombing coverage... until you see this set of clips from the dramatic conclusion to last week's nightmare manhunt.

Virtually all physicians walked out of Obamacare session at national conference
Excerpt: Twitchy reported ophthalmologist Dr. Kris Held sent live-tweets from the “Government relations” session on “implementing and complying with Obamacare,” saying virtually all the physicians walked out of the speech in disgust.

Interesting map of Eurozone problems

My kid threatened to hold her breath until I gave her dessert. She's now passed out on the kitchen floor. I don't negotiate with terrorists.

China Deploys Carrier Killer Missile Near Taiwan
Excerpt: As Korea festers, our friends in Beijing have deployed near Taiwan a powerful missile designed to take out U.S. aircraft carriers as Beijing strengthens its ability to prevent U.S. forces from aiding Taiwan.

The Myth of Republican Racism and Why it’s Important to Keep Fighting Against Dem lies
Excerpt: As I Googled my way around the Internet, I found that most news, government, and university websites offer information on slavery and post-Civil War brutality, but inexplicably ignore or defend the undeniable linkages to Democrats. Many sites describe the Civil War, Jim Crow, Disenfranchisement, and the KKK as if unrelated to the Democratic Party’s effort to control black voters.

Excerpt: One of the most famous liberal voices in America is now suggesting the U.S. cut off Muslim students from coming to America, as well as deporting some of those already here and even sending them to prison. Bob Beckel, the former campaign director for Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale and current co-host of “The Five” on the Fox News Channel, made the bold statement on his show while discussing the Boston bombing suspects, who are Muslim.

Excerpt: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday unveiled a report on last's year attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that blames then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for lapses in security. (Hang on, Hillary-the media is riding to your rescue! ~Bob.)

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