Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for May 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.
I will be at the VA for a heart cauterization and CT scan Friday, then doing family stuff over the long weekend, including taking the granddaughter to the Memorial Day parade. Posts will be light, if at all, until next week. Sorry. ~Bob
Excerpt: The Obama administration Wednesday for the first time acknowledged killing four
citizens in “counterterrorism operations” abroad. The deaths of three of the Americans — Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan, all of whom were killed in drone strikes in Yemen in 2011 — had been previously reported. The death of the fourth, Jude Kennan Mohammad, a U.S. Florida native apparently killed in , had not been. (Have to say I’m with Obama on this one. There was, for example, no chance that Meade could have arrested all those Pakistan US Citizens in arms against the government at . Of course, with the administration defining veterans and Gettysburg Christians as potential terrorists, it needs to be monitored. ~Bob.)
Reading: Separating European Austerity Fact from Fiction: A Lesson for the on Why Budget Cutting Works. By Matthew Melchiorre U.S.
Excerpt: Rarely a week goes by without mention in the media of European governments’ failure to restore economic growth through “savage” budget cuts. There is only one problem with that narrative: It is not true. Government austerity is nowhere to be found in
Western Europe—and neither is prosperity. But both are present in the oft-ignored east, as is outperforming its West European neighbors and likely will continue to do so in the future. Why? Because Estonia is the only Euro Zone country to implement real spending cuts and tax reform that does not involve squeezing more revenue out of an economy in recession. Estonia should take note: Real austerity works. Fake austerity does not. America
Here is a question to ask yourself. Are we better off now with Mubarak and Ghadaffi gone, and with Assad likely to follow, than we would have been with these gentlemen remaining in power? I think the answer is obvious. –Richard
Excerpt: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Gang of Eight's immigration bill on Tuesday. It will go to the Senate floor after the Memorial Day recess. Heritage has pointed out the problems with this "comprehensive" approach -- including the staggering costs of amnesty and a failure to secure the border.
Response on “Sexual Assaults in the Military”
According to a recent DOD report, in 2012 there were some 2,949 sexual assaults on military personnel. The report also indicated that there are some 25,000 sexual assault support coordinators, which, by the way, is more than all their recruiters (19,000.) So, if my calculator is functioning properly, the armed forces appears to have eight and a half coordinators for each sexual assault victim. However, if victimization doesn't increase more rapidly or the coordinators don't get more creative, it may be difficult to justify continuing to devote this level of resource to the problem. And, we can't have that. This would seem to explain why it is important to place women in ground combat roles, where, in addition to operating in higher levels of stress on a sustained basis, greater physical contact and intimacy is the rule. Clearly leadership is all over this. We are trying to solve a problem that does not need to exist. Let me see, if executives at Tyson Foods headquarters direct contract farmers to integrate foxes into their egg production, should corporate be surprised at the rise in chicken assaults and decreased productivity in the hen house?-- Bill Hemingway
The Left: Guilty Of Unrequited Stupidity. By Bert Prelutsky
Excerpt: It goes against my grain to generalize about large groups of people, but when it comes to liberals and Muslims, I find it increasingly difficult to resist the urge. For instance, House Democrats, led by the thoroughly obnoxious Rep. Barbara Lee, have proposed a resolution calling on Congress to acknowledge that global warming could drive poor women to depend on “transactional sex” for their economic survival. (The problem with this type of piece is that no one not already convinced is likely to read it. We need to get reads among the low-information centrists who swing elections. You don’t do that by being inflammatory, hard as it is for me to resist many times. ~Bob)
Red Tape Record Breakers
Excerpt: President Obama is opposing a bill passed by the House last week that would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to better measure the costs and benefits of new regulations. That's no surprise considering that the latest annual index of federal rules shows that Team Obama is now the red tape record holder, says the Wall Street Journal.
Important: The Looming Fiscal Train Wreck
fiscal policy, including the recently concluded “fiscal cliff ” debt deal, is placing an enormous financial burden on today’s children and on future generations in order to deliver benefits to current middleaged workers and their elders. Standard government accounting methods hide this “legacy debt” from the public, making it difficult to calculate how large the intergenerational transfer is. In “Spending Beyond Our Means: How We Are Bankrupting Future Generations” (White Paper), Jagadeesh Gokhale, a Cato senior fellow and a member of the Social Security Advisory Board, updates earlier calculations of fiscal and generational imbalance measures in order to consider “which generations of citizens are made ‘winners’ and which are made ‘losers,’ and whether the sum total of those effects is equitable.” (Coming out of a hotel to find it raining, a fellow writer asked Mark Twain, “Do you think it will stop?” Twain replied, “It always has.” The out of control spending will also stop—when they can’t borrow any more and the government and economy collapses. See: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Collapse-American-Republic-prevent/dp/1461122538/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304815980&sr=1-5 U.S.
Who will pay more under Obamacare? Young men. By Tami Luhby
Excerpt: The Obama administration says the Affordable Care Act will provide cheaper health insurance for millions of Americans. But some people, particularly young men who aren't insured through their employers, could see their premiums go up once coverage in the state-based insurance exchanges begins in January. (But Obama’s so cool, they voted for him anyway. ~Bob.)
: Op-Ed: Free market has real solutions to obesity crisis Reading
Excerpt: In their zeal to advance an agenda, however, it's the food police who have become the creeps. There is a role for government policymaking, but it's not intrusive, punitive, arbitrary regulation: It's allowing market forces to stimulate the production of fresh fruits and vegetables and to make them cheaper and more available to more people.
Ruemmler met one-on-one with Treasury lawyer long before April
Excerpt: Although White House Chief Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler claims to have learned about the IRS audit scandal only last month, she had three unprecedented one-on-one meetings last year with the Treasury Department’s chief lawyer, who has known about the inspector general’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative nonprofits since at least June 2012.
Can’t Keep A Good Weiner Down? Weiner asks for ‘second chance,’ announces bid for NYC mayor
Excerpt: Nearly two years after resigning from Congress in disgrace over a Twitter scandal, Anthony Weiner announced his bid for
mayor in a two minute YouTube video. (A gift to late night comedians. The first part of the headline is from their teaser link. ~Bob.) New York City
Nigeria bombs Islamists,
sounds alarm U.S.
Excerpt: But three days after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a strongly worded statement saying: "We are ... deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism." (John Kerry—defending the human rights of mass murders for over 40 years. ~Bob.)
Latest Obama Press Conference
Short but to the point
Center City Job Fair For Ex-Offenders Is Canceled After 3,000 Show Up (Philadelphia)
Excerpt: The City of
shut down a career fair for ex-offenders today after an unexpected crowd of thousands showed up, résumés in hand. …. The city was expecting about 1,000 people to show up, but about three times that number were standing in a line that wrapped around the Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall. And when someone jumped the line, order collapsed. (How many politicians were in line? ~Bob.) Philadelphia
On IRS issue, senior White House aides were focused on shielding Obama
Excerpt: The notice Ruemmler saw on April 24 gave her a thumbnail sketch of a disturbing finding: that the IRS had improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups. She shared the news with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other senior White House aides, who all recognized the danger of the findings. But they agreed that it would be best not to share it with President Obama until the independent audit was completed and made public, in part to protect him from even the appearance of trying to influence an investigation. (Right. You fire staff who kept you out of the loop on something important. Unless you wanted to be kept out of the loop. ~Bob.)
Feds don’t look good draped in the Fifth. By Joe Davidson.
Excerpt: Like plaids with stripes, federal employees wrapped in the Fifth Amendment don’t look good. We all have the right to wear clothes that clash, and all in this country have the right not to provide testimony that could be used against them. IRS controversy: Who knew what, and when. But when federal workers invoke that right, as Lois Lerner did at a House hearing Wednesday, it comes at a cost. (Actually, I’m kind of grateful the Obama administration found an amendment to the Constitution it likes. ~Bob.)
Did Lois Lerner waive her right to invoke the Fifth Amendment? By Juliet Eilperin,
Excerpt: While Internal Revenue Service official Lois G. Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment in her refusal to testify before Congress Wednesday, the fact that she gave a lengthy opening statement defending her innocence infuriated some lawmakers and prompted them to suggest she had inadvertently waived her right against self-incrimination. …
said he had not engaged in a discussion with Issa’s staff about a possible grant of limited immunity in exchange for Lerner testifying. (I would only consider a plea deal after she is charged. If you give her immunity to testify, she could still lie, saying, “I did it, no one else in the administration was involved, and I think it was legal.” Have to prove she is lying then. ~Bob.) Taylor
Appeals court limits labor board’s lawlessness. By George F. Will
Excerpt: Early in an opinion issued recently by a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,
said: “Although the parties have not raised it, one issue needs to be resolved before we turn to the merits of the case.” The issue he raised but could not resolve — that is up to the Supreme Court — illuminates the Obama administration’s George Wallace-like lawlessness. It also demonstrates the judiciary’s duty to restrain presidents who forget the oath they swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Randolph
Issa goes after IRS inspector general for not informing Congress sooner [VIDEO]
Excerpt: Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George had his turn in the hot seat on Wednesday, when House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa took him to task for not informing Congress of the inappropriate actions taken by the IRS as soon as he became aware of them. In hearings over the past few days before the
House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, George has been the golden boy, spared as ex-IRS commissioners Steven Miller and Douglas Shulman bore the brunt of the questioning and the criticism. But Issa took issue with George not informing Congress immediately. (I’m guessing Rep. Issa will not be invited to the next White House Celebrity Bash. ~Bob.)
Rand Paul: My colleagues just voted to arm the allies of al Qaeda
Excerpt: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, which voted overwhelmingly to arm elements of the Syrian opposition in a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). “This is an important moment,” Paul said, addressing his Senate colleagues. “You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It’s an irony you cannot overcome.” (I agree. –Barb Ditto. ~Bob.)
Feds: Man shot after attacking agent was being questioned about
bombing suspects and 2011 triple-murder Boston
Excerpt: The Central Florida man who was shot and killed by an FBI agent early Wednesday was being questioned about a 2011 triple-slaying in Massachusetts and about his relationship with the Boston Marathon bombings suspects, federal law enforcement officials told the Tribune Washington Bureau. The FBI told the Orlando Sentinel that an FBI agent — along with two Massachusetts State Police troopers and other law enforcement personnel — were interviewing 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev when a violent confrontation was initiated by Todashev.
Friend of Boston jihad bomber implicated himself & Boston jihadist in 9/11 anniversary murder of Jews
Excerpt: At least two of the victims were Jews, and were brutally murdered on September 11, 2011 by having their throats slit. The Qur'an designates the Jews the worst enemies of the Muslims (5:82) and directs believers to "strike the necks" of the unbelievers (47:4).
When a British Muslim screaming “Allah Akbar” commits murder in
, they call it terrorism. When an American Muslim screaming “Allah Akbar” commits murder at London , Obama calls it “workplace violence.” ~Bob. Fort Hood
Investigation Of IRS Targeting Tea Party Completed A Year Ago, Hid From Congress
Excerpt: Hmmmm….I wonder why? Could it be the 2012 election? Nah…..couldn’t be: E-mails between staff members of the House Oversight Committee and the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) suggest that the findings of a report on IRS targeting of conservative groups were initially scheduled to be released in September 2012, before the election. It was not formally released until May 14, 2013.
It Didn’t End: The IRS is still stringing conservative groups along.
Excerpt: “The misconduct had stopped in May of 2012,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Monday about the IRS’s improper targeting of conservative groups. Not so, say two D.C. attorneys, each representing a number of conservative groups that — after years of waiting and countless rounds of invasive questions — have yet to receive recognition from the IRS. The American Center for Law and Justice, headed by chief counsel Jay Sekulow, plans to file suit in federal court in the coming weeks on behalf of more than two dozen conservative groups that claim their harassment at the hands of the nation’s tax authority continued long past the White House’s purported end date — and, for a number of them, continues still.
World Bank Insider Blows Whistle on Corruption, Federal Reserve. By Alex Newman
Excerpt: A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve. The network has seized control of the media to cover up its crimes, too, she explained.
: Paranoid or prescient? By Victor Davis Hanson Reading
Excerpt: Government is now so huge, powerful and callous that citizens risk becoming proverbial serfs without the freedoms guaranteed by the Founders. Is that perennial fear an exaggeration? Survey the current news.
UK jihad murderer referred to Qur'an's 9th sura, which contains exhortation to kill infidels
Excerpt: In the version of the video containing remarks from the jihad murderer in
London today that can be found above, he clearly mentions at-Tawba at the beginning. (Thanks to Kenneth.) Why has this video been edited to remove his references to the Qur'an? He says, " Surat at-Tawba through...many, many ayat throughout the Qur'an that...we must fight them as they fight us..." (Why was it edited? Media just doing their duty to make the news fit their narrative, in this case that Islam is a Religion of Peace. ~Bob.) Surat
A Timeline of Islamic Expansion In The Dark Ages
Excerpt: Let me put down here some facts that are worth returning to from time to time, as arguments over the history of Islam and Islamism are back in the news with today’s beheading in
. In debates over the history of tension between Muslims and London Christians, the Crusades are often cited, out of their historical context, as the original cause of such clashes, as if both sides were peaceably minding their own business before imperialist Westerners decided to go launch a religious war in Muslim lands. This is not what actually happened…
Democrats, Corruption … and Pie. By Steve Maley
Excerpt: Under normal circumstances, we might not notice when a small-state Democratic elected official resigns from office in disgrace. But in Martha Shoffner’s case, we’ll make an exception. Not out of schadenfreude, mind you, but an inquisitive exploration of the mind of the corruptocrat, and their deep-seated yearning for pie. They’re not satisfied with a mere slice. They want the whole enchi…. well, you know.
Feds Trying to Track a Million Who Have Overstayed Visas: The failure to address the issue could carry “catastrophic consequences,” asserts one congresswoman. By Bill Straub
Excerpt: More than one million foreign visitors who remained beyond the expiration of their visa may still be in the
and immigration officials are having a tough time tracking them all down. While the nation’s tracing system has shown improvement over the past two years, a number of individuals, collectively known as “over-stayers,” present a potential threat to national security. And the failure to address the issue could carry “catastrophic consequences,” according to Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.). (Take the IRS off ObamaCare, put them on this. Solves two problems. ~Bob.) U.S.
IRS and the Press. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: It is time for the political press corps to open themselves to the possibility that this administration is being run just the way President Obama wants it. Enough of this "if only the czar knew "/"if only Stalin knew" excuse-making, and the notion that all of this malfeasance, intimidation, harassment, cover-ups, story-revising, lying, blame-shifting, prosecutorial wild abandon, and strategic leaks are somehow occurring every time Obama leaves the room, perpetuated by a cabinet and staff that nefariously betray the good example he sets. If Obama continually fails to take actions to suggest that he wants to cooperate, it's time to recognize that maybe he doesn't want to cooperate.
The Real Voter Suppression of 2012: Voter ID didn’t reduce turnout, but the IRS may have. By John Fund
Excerpt: Democratic-party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said “photo-ID laws, we think, are very similar to a poll tax.” All of this proved to be twaddle. An August 2012 Washington Post poll showed nearly two-thirds of African-Americans and Hispanics backing photo ID. The Census Bureau has found that the rate of voter turnout for blacks exceeded that of whites for the first time in the 2012 election.
Special female police unit to combat violence against women
Excerpt: The head of
's National Council for Women Mervat al-Tallawy met Wednesday with members of a new special unit of female police officers formed by the Interior Ministry to combat violence against women. (The Burka Bobbies? ~Bob.) Egypt
Excerpt: Seven women and five men have been shot dead in a brothel in Baghdad, state and medical officials say. Unknown armed gunmen are said to have burst into the brothel in the well-to-do eastern district of Zayouna on Wednesday afternoon and opened fire. (Couldn’t be members of a Religion of Peace. I suspect the Westboro Baptist Church. ~Bob.)
Worth Reading: Afghanistan Comes to London. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Americans, Englishmen, Frenchmen and countless others went to the Muslim world hoping to turn it into another Boston, another London and another Paris. Instead, Boston, London and Paris are turning into another Kabul, another Islamabad and another Mogadishu. Mohammed has come to the mountain. Five years ago, the sight of Muslim terrorists beheading British soldiers was a horror that could happen in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Finally: Tax-Dodging, Union-Busting, Subprime Mortgage Banker Hauled Before Congress. By Joel B. Pollak
Excerpt: The Senate will finally confront one of the architects of the subprime mortgage crisis today, hauling a tax-dodging, union-busting, bank-breaking, billionaire member of the "one percent" before the Senate Commerce Committee... to consider her confirmation as Secretary of Commerce in President Barack Obama's Cabinet. In the same week that the Senate grilled the CEO of Apple, Inc. about the low taxes it pays due to maintaining large cash deposits overseas, the Senate will roll out a warm welcome to Chicago heiress Penny Pritzker, who runs what Forbes called "one of the grandest and most successful family tax-avoidance schemes ever."