Thursday, August 22, 2013

Today's Political Offerings

Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War Hardcover by Ted Morgan
A friend, legislative colleague and fellow history buff leant me this book some time ago, but it took me until now to read it. As a Marine Vietnam vet, I tend to space out my reading on Vietnam because it is painful and bitter. This excellent book is more bitter than most. I’m going to read a novel by Tom Kratman next, as I know more bad guys will get killed than good guys, and I need the respite. I didn’t expect this to replace Bernard Fall’s Hell in a Very Small Place, but Valley of Death will now be the standard work on Dien Bien Phu. It puts the battle in the context of what led up to it, the world wide strategic and diplomatic situation, and the aftermath. Switching between the horrific fighting and conditions and the diplomats haggling in comfort in Geneva is especially telling. Morgan is especially good at including telling personal incidents from both sides. His dedication, “This book is for all the soldiers sent to die in battle by politicians who have never seen combat,” is especially poignant. I highly recommend reading this history.

Two Americas. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Two quite different 21st-century Americas are emerging. The nation is not so much divided by "wars" between the rich and poor, men and women, or white and non-white. Instead, there is the world of reality versus that of triviality.

Stimulus Is Not the Solution to Greece's Economic Woes
Excerpt: Economists often confuse economic indicators with actual economic performance. … Most New Deal programs had a multiplier effect on the private sector that was either small or sometimes even negative; it is between 0.5 and 1.5. In other words, each dollar of government spending led to an increase in private spending of $1.50 at the high end and sometimes even a decrease, depending on the program.

Congressional Budget Office Should Use Dynamic Long-Term Fiscal Scoring
Excerpt: Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) have introduced legislation to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to conduct long-term fiscal scoring and annual measurement of the fiscal gap. Their effort is timely. Today, the largest fiscal questions facing Congress concern policies that will determine the health of America's finances decades in the future, says Salim Furth, a senior policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt: Chinese society is on the verge of a structural transformation even more profound than the long and painful project of economic rebalancing, which the Communist Party is anxiously beginning to undertake. China's population is aging more rapidly than it is getting rich, giving rise to a great demographic imbalance with important implications for the Party's efforts to transform the Chinese economy and preserve its own power in the coming decade.
Ted Cruz's Father Gives Epic Speech
An absolutely outstanding short but powerful speech from a source that I would not have expected. Well worth the few minutes to watch. –MM

50,000 abandoned dogs roaming streets of Detroit in packs
Excerpt: Packs of wild, abandoned dogs are roaming the streets of Detroit, leaving city officials overwhelmed at the prospect of handing an issue that raises both animal rights and safety concerns. “It was almost post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around,” the Humane Society of the United States director Amanda Arrington told Bloomberg News about a recent visit to Detroit. (Being a dog lover, I hate this story. But it is Detroit after all, a city full of irresponsible people who abandon pets. With no families to care for them they turn wild. But I don't blame the dogs, I blame the people. – LLW. Coming soon, to a socialist utopia near you. ~Bob.)

The Thug Culture That Killed Chris Lane. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: In a testament to the depravity of thug culture, an Australian collegiate baseball player attending school in America was killed by three teenagers looking for fun, police reported. Christopher Lane, who was out for a jog in the town of Duncan, Oklahoma where his girlfriend and her family live, was targeted at random after he passed a home where the boys were staying. ”They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’” said Police Chief Danny Ford. ”The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.’” (The media and the Left will only wake up to the problem if they start killing Gays and Muslims. ~Bob.)

Scandinavian Rape, Scandinavian Blinders. By Bruce Bawer 
Excerpt: A Muslim asylum seeker; a rap sheet; a meaningless deportation order: in today’s Scandinavia, these are among the standard bullet points on many a rapist’s résumé.

Lights, Camera, Hillary. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: his week CBS joined NBC and CNN in the Hillary entertainment business. While NBC airs a 4-hour miniseries produced by James D. Stern, the son of a top Bill Clinton donor, whom the New York Times accused of pushing Hillary Clinton’s candidacy eight years ago, CNN will air a documentary about Hillary and CBS is developing Madame Secretary, a television series about a female Secretary of State. The biggest challenge for all these projects is how small a figure they have to hang so many hours of dead air on.

Camille Paglia: "There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve — and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win."
Excerpt: Camille Paglia's Leftist credentials are impeccable, so she can say things like this in pro-jihad, pro-Sharia Leftist Salon. If Pamela Geller or Nonie Darwish or I had written exactly the same paragraph below, Salon would have rejected it, or if it had appeared elsewhere, Salon would have vilified the writer as a racist, bigoted Islamophobe, fear-mongering for profit by talking about a mythical clash of cultures.

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: The White House released video of the First Family's new dog Sunny on Monday. She will undergo the usual training. Sunny will stay in the White House Press Room until sitting up and begging and rolling over and humping the president's leg are second nature.

The one fact the administration doesn't want you to know about the economy's stubborn sluggishness. By Robert J. Samuelson
Excerpt: Here is the most interesting fact about the economy that you've never heard: Without health spending, the rest of the economy is barely producing more than it did in late 2007, just before the start of the Great Recession. We've spent five and a half years struggling to get back where we were, and many industries are hardly making it.

Excerpt: I can think of no clearer evidence of the failure of the American school system to educate our Black urban youth than to compare how Blacks in other countries speak the English language. The other night I was watching the BBC News Hour and they were conducting on the street interviews about the recent British government's hikes of the nation's student tuition. When they stopped to interview a young Black man in London he spoke eloquently, articulately and you would have thought he was an Oxford scholar. It turns out he's recently out of high school and works in a flower shop. (It’s racist to suggest that blacks can speak as well as whites…~Bob)

NSA. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: The problem is every time somebody in authority tries to reassure us by describing what the NSA is doing, it turns out to be a lie. Well, either it's a lie, or they don't know what they're talking about. Like when President Obama told Charlie Rose that the FISA court is "transparent." (The court's proceedings are entirely in secret.) Or when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says, under oath before Congress, that the NSA never gathered "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans." He later claimed he misunderstood the direct question posed to him and apologized to Congress. Or when President Obama tells Jay Leno, "We don't have a domestic spying program" -- and then we learn, like we did late Wednesday, that the NSA gathered "tens of thousands of e-mails and other electronic communications between Americans" with no connection to terrorism and a federal judge rules the government has "disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program" three times in less than three years.

Colorado town mulls drone hunts to decry spying
What a great fund raising idea! While the chances of the government actually sending drones to Deer Trail to spy on folks is practically non-existent, it could open up a lot of small business opportunities for the little town. Cafes, maybe a motel, shops selling tee shirts, model drones, and post cards. Local farmers hiring themselves out as drone hunting guides, taking hunters out and dropping them off in corn fields with their 12 gauge shotguns. After all, Roswell, NM has been doing that sort of thing with UFO's since 1947. – LLW

Bradley Manning says he wants to live as a woman
Excerpt: Bradley Manning plans to live as a woman named Chelsea and wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible, the soldier said Thursday, a day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending classified material to WikiLeaks. (I'm trying to think what difference it could possibly make, unless he is released into the general prison population. Then, it could make a BIG difference. – LLW. The difference is the courts will require us taxpayers to fund the “treatment.” ~Bob.)

Don't worry fans of Bradley Manning. In 8 years he'll be out, with benefactors, a book deal and tenure.

White House spokesman jokes about Islamic attacks on Christian churches in Egypt
Excerpt: The White House’s deputy press secretary today downplayed Muslim attacks on Christians in Egypt, joking about the savagery that has left at least six Christians dead. Press secretary Josh Earnest was asked by Fox News’ correspondent, Ed Henry, if President Barack Obama has a “red line” beyond which he would act against Muslim attacks on Egyptian Christians. “Well, I didn’t bring my red pen out with me today,” Earnest joked.

Germany: Fracking Since 55
Excerpt: Perhaps one of the more eyebrow-raising presentations at London’s 2011 Shale Gas Environmental Summit was that of Germany’s Klaus Sontgerath, head of department, Lower Saxony State Authority for Mining, Energy and Geology. In his presentation, he illustrated that Germany – one of Europe’s greenest countries - produces more onshore natural gas than any country in Europe apart from the Netherlands.

Companies sweating Obamacare tax—and acting on it: Study
Excerpt: Mid- and large-sized companies overwhelmingly expect health-care costs to increase under Obamacare—and most are eyeing possible changes to their health insurance offerings because of a looming excise tax for pricier plans under the health-care reform law, a new survey of employers finds. In fact, 40 percent of 420 companies surveyed by Towers Watson said they will be changing their insurance plans' designs in 2014 in light of the coming excise tax as well as to control employee-related health costs.

Excerpt: In the third of the six films of the Star Wars saga, the Sith Lord who has infiltrated to become the ruling Chancellor of the democratic republic confederation of peaceful worlds announces to the elected Assembly of representatives of those worlds that to deal with an exaggerated, fabricated crisis, “The Old Republic will be reorganized into the first Intergalactic Empire.” The distracted Assembly responds with polite applause. One of the few characters who understands what is happening remarks wryly, “So this is how the Republic ends. With applause.” (I wrote about one of the grabs of unconstitutional authority a week or so ago, the one about delaying one part of Obamacare until 2015. This article does a much better job of reviewing the whole run of clearly unconstitutional acts by Mr. Obama, and points out that such actions are absolute slaps in the face to the basis of our government, which is the Rule of Law. When George Bush did things that were at all questionable, such as claiming that there was enough evidence of WMD in Iraq that we needed to go to war there, the media, many senior politicians, and a whole host of public figures were jumping up and down in screaming protest, and there were mentions in plenty for the idea of impeachment. Now that Mr. Obama has made anything Bush did seem trivial in terms of constitutionality, where are the media, where are all the senior politicians in both parties, where are the renowned public figures, and most of all, where are the constitutional scholars? If we are not a nation of laws, then what comes next, Mr. Obama will run for a third term? Everyone with a body temperature over 95 deg F who can walk, crawl, or be wheeled into the polling place gets to vote, formal citizenship no longer required? Certain law enforcement officers will be able to write their own warrants to search, seize, and arrest? There is no slope any more slippery than the slope that says that for this special instance, the President can ignore the Constitution. And some wonder that there is any kind of movement for survivalists? If we no longer have protection of the laws, then starting to prepare to take care of yourself and your loved ones under conditions you cannot begin to predict is not extremism, it's prudence. --Del)

Oh, it goes far beyond Fonda being a "critic" of the Vietnam war. She's a traitor who openly sided with the enemy to do damage to her country and should have been tried and imprisoned the instant she returned from Hanoi. I hope I outlive her and am able to make the trip to her grave. Maybe even charter a bus, load it up with Vietnam war vets and kegs of beer, so we could arrive at the cemetery with full bladders. – LLW

Who needs a democratic Egypt? By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: We may want Egypt to be democratic, because it fits our notions of how countries should work, but that isn’t something that we actually need. The editorial writers and foreign policy experts who never got beyond the expat bars of Cairo will try to blame Egypt’s lack of democracy for our terrorism problem, and Obama and McCain may even echo their idiocy, but just like the attempts to blame Israel for Islamic terrorism, it’s not a policy, it’s a hollow apologetic for terrorism. If anything, Egypt’s original unwillingness to bow to the Brotherhood nearly redirected Al Qaeda away from its war against America as the Egyptian faction sought to fight an internal war of the kind that Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria are now fighting.

Excerpt: A Department of Homeland Security manager in charge of buying weapons and ammunition for the government is, on the side, running an inflammatory website that throws around gay slurs and advocates the mass murder of "whites" and the "ethnic cleansing" of "Uncle Tom race traitors," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. (He’d be safe if just anti-white, but they won’t tolerate anti-gay. ~Bob.)

New York, California, Illinois Hemorrhage Tax Dollars. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: A new study on state-by-state income migration from the Tax Foundation (h/t WSJ), found that New York, California, and Illinois—the largest blue states in the country—led the country in income flight during the last decade. New York was hit particularly hard, losing $46 billion dollars of taxable income to people leaving the state over the past ten years. And these states were not alone: blue stalwarts like Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts were not far behind.

Arab Spring: Worst Soap Ever. By Ann Coulter
Excerpt: Democrats are so opposed to promoting the United States' interests around the globe, it doesn't occur to them that, sometimes, our national interests might coincide with the interests of other people. Liberals made fun of Sarah Palin for not being able to define "the Bush doctrine." Can Obama tell us what "the Obama doctrine" is?

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) calls for National Constitutional Convention. By Randy Krehbiel
Excerpt: Such a convention has never been called, largely because the Constitution itself was the product of a convention authorized only to amend the existing Articles of Confederation, but which replaced it entirely. Thus, political leaders and scholars have long held that such a convention could be dangerous and even destructive to the nation. But as conservative frustration with the Obama administration has grown, some factions have begun advocating for such a convention. (Progressives might see it as the opportunity to eliminate all restrictions on government. Scary. ~Bob.)

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