Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's News

Not  sure how much I'll be on line over the weekend. ~Bob

Tom Kratman's Newsletter
LtCol Kratman, USA (Ret) is a writer of military science fiction whose work I greatly admire. ~Bob

On Training for War, Part 1. By Tom Kratman

Good column: Seats - Skinnier For The Widening. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: No politics today. Well, maybe a wavetop before turning to today's title. (Though I think far more than 13% re clueless. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Over the last few days, I have spoken in some detail about the state of the federal Obamacare exchanges with several officials of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the HHS agency that is running the exchanges), and with a number of reasonably well placed insurance company officials in Washington. The picture they paint of how the rollout of the exchanges has gone is similar in its broad strokes to what has emerged in other reports in recent days, so I don’t think I’ll be breaking much news here, though some of the details have (I think) not been reported.

Grenades ATF Allowed to 'Walk' Into Mexico Used to Kill Police. Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: CBS News has learned of a shocking link between a deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the U.S. The link is one of the grenades used in the violent fight, which killed three policemen and four cartel members and was captured on video by residents in the area. (More blood on Eric WithHolder's hands, but, hey, they are only Mexicans, right? ~Bob)

It's Obamacare All the Way Down. The Goldberg File. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: Look, it's always possible that eventually they'll get all the kinks out and make this thing work well enough to avoid a total disaster. But every day it looks more and more like this thing is a Big Government onion. Liberals think the outer layer is bad but that if they just peel that away it'll be great. But the thing about onions is they're onions all the way down. You can peel all you want, you'll never find a prize in the center, but you just might find yourself crying in the middle of a big mess.

Dimon Says Bond Turn Against U.S. Virtually Assured
Default avoided now, but it has to happen. ~Bob

Half of Vietnam’s industrial sewage dumped into rivers untreated 
Excerpt: Rivers across the country receive 240,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage discharge everyday, or half the country's sewage waste output, because many factories don't have treatment plants. (One of the great things about a totalitarian government is that they don't have to respond to mere concerns by citizens about the environment.  Russia and most of the old Soviet Bloc countries have lots of environmental disasters in them, because of this, and the same thing is seen today in China and now, Viet Nam. Damage is being done that future generations will have to live with, some for very, very long times. --Del)

Muslim Activist, Who Accused Israel of Sex Crimes, Raped 15-Year-Old Girl. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: When Nawaf Athamneh accused Israel of sex crimes, he certainly knew what he was talking about. Not about Israel. But about rape.

Obama's Secret Collaboration with ACORN Bosses. By Matthew Vadum

Excerpt: In those videos, masterminded by conservative activists James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles, ACORN and ACORN Housing intake workers were shown providing advice on setting up a brothel for pedophiles and breaking other laws. The videos launched the late Andrew Breitbart’s website Big Government and generated leftist apoplexy across America. At the time, ACORN apologists like Joe Conason, Rachel Maddow, David Sirota, and a menagerie of other media Marxists tried to defend ACORN by falsely claiming that the videos had been doctored.

REMEMBER THIS?: The Beautiful Hannah Giles (posing as the prostitute) and James O'Keefe (as her pimp) receive advice from Democrats about how to set up an under-age prostitute ring, including under-age Latinas:

New Jersey Election Shows Cruz/Tea Party Strengthens GOP Even in Blue States. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The Republican strategy is to trade passion for neutrality. That was the Romney ticket. Put forward someone who seems competent and doesn’t upset people. And will minimize the Anti vote. And the turnout will somehow take care of itself. And it does not work that way.

The Dire Problem of Republican Leadership. By John Ellis
Excerpt: Contrary to what doom-sayers in the party said after the 2012 election, Republicans are now in a favorable position. The distressing results of liberalism are visible everywhere in city bankruptcies, astonishingly persistent unemployment, an incoherent and increasingly unpopular Obamacare, and the misbehavior of government bureaucracies. Democratic constituencies like blacks and the young are facing astonishing levels of unemployment and must surely be vulnerable to a well-stated argument that liberal policies are destroying their lives.

The Bothersome, Annoying Truth. By Caroline Glick
Excerpt: As [anti-Israel propagandist Ilan] Pappe sees it, truth is only important if it is aligned with his ideological goal. The French newspaper Le Soir quoted him saying, “The struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers.”

Apocalypse Walmart: When Parasites Attack. By Derek Hunter
Excerpt: Two Walmart locations in Louisiana decided to be good community members and accept EBT cards “without limits,” essentially on the honor system, to help users in a time of need. That’s right, Walmart. The company routinely attacked by the Left for their greed, their pay and simply existing in a way they hate offered to help people (NOTE: They regularly help people, you don’t hear about it because it doesn’t fit the left-wing narrative.) That was a mistake. Under normal circumstance, human beings wouldn’t abuse anyone willing to help them, be they a neighbor or a company. But the entitlement mentality is not a “normal circumstance.” [From Kate: In my defense, I can say I've started buying Decaf Coffee for the local Senior Center. May as well give the money back to the people who shelled it out. I see lots of people buying nothing but luxury items on Food Stamps in the supermarkets.]

The Obamacare Disaster: It's a sign on not just health-care policy but of greater systemic problems. By Conrad Black
Excerpt: The United States has 5 percent of the world’s people, 25 percent of its incarcerated people, and half of its trained lawyers (who now take about 10 percent of the GDP); the legal system is an embarrassment, and the criminal-justice system is a disgrace, in which prosecutors win 99.5 percent of their cases, 97 percent of them without a trial. The legislators of the country are ultimately responsible for this corruption of what the Constitution and Bill of Rights set up as a just and merciful Society of Laws.

Detroit's Race Without Race. By Jillian Kay Melchior
Excerpt: Detroit looks likely to elect its first white mayor in four decades, as Mike Duggan leads his opponent, Benny Napoleon, nearly two to one, according to the most recent poll figures. The weird thing is that, in a racially polarized city, race hasn’t been much of an issue in the general election.

Defend Yourself, Get Fired – So Says Nouria Energy Corporation
Excerpt: In the early morning hours of Monday, October 14th 2013, a clerk named Shannon Cothran used a firearm to save his life while working at the Shell gas station on Main Street in Nashua. His reward, he was fired by his anti gun employer Nouria Energy Corporation of Worcester Massachusetts for using a firearm to save his own life. (OK, this is one of those things that you tell yourself you couldn't have made up if you were asked to use your imagination to the fullest.  But yes, when threatened with a knife by a robber, the clerk just showed him his own fully legal firearm, which caused the robber to flee.  Nobody was harmed, no robbery took place, and so of course..... they fired the 10 yr employee straightaway. And people wonder why gun owners sometimes feel like a persecuted minority? --Del. I sent them an e-mail. Boycott their stations if you live in MA or NH. ~Bob)

What is a Dictator? By Robert Kaplan
Excerpt: Simplifying complex patterns allows people to see underlying critical truths they might otherwise have missed. But because reality is by its very nature complex, too much simplification leads to an unsophisticated view of the world. One of the strong suits of the best intellectuals and geopoliticians is their tendency to reward complex thinking and their attendant ability to draw fine distinctions.

Five things to know about the Ryan-Murray budget conference committee. By Sean Sullivan
Excerpt: The government shutdown is over. That means the work is just beginning for a group of lawmakers tasked with hashing out a long-term budget deal.

Jay Carney insisted on focusing on the security at the Benghazi facility itself when it was obvious, and was repeated, that James Rosen's questions were focused solely on the posturing of the military around Libya. Carney obviously didn't want to talk about that and didn't, pretending that his irrelevant remarks about the security at the facility itself were adequate and that only 'partisans' would  think otherwise. But as Hillary said, "4 Americans are dead... What does it really matter?" --Don Hank

The Quality Of Care Delivered To Patients Within The Same Hospital Varies By Insurance Type. By Christine S. Spencer, Darrell J. Gaskin and Eric T. Roberts
Excerpt: We examined the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s innovative Inpatient Quality Indicators and pooled 2006–08 State Inpatient Database records from eleven states. We found that privately insured patients had lower risk-adjusted mortality rates than did Medicare enrollees for twelve out of fifteen quality measures examined. To a lesser extent, privately insured patients also had lower risk-adjusted mortality rates than those in other payer groups. Medicare patients appeared particularly vulnerable to receiving inferior care. 

Has Income Inequality Really Risen?
Excerpt: Burkhauser, Armour, and Larrimore walk the reader step-by-step through uncharted territory. They consider an income measure that accounts not only for shrinking household size, but for declining federal and state income and payroll taxes and for the rising importance of federal benefits and employer-provided health insurance. 

Race and Medicine
Excerpt: Should "race" be a criterion for inclusion in a clinical trial -- and, by extension, is it appropriate for drug labeling to mention it specifically? For instance, should a drug's label say that only "white people" should take it? Those are complicated questions, but the simple answer is that you go where the data take you, says Henry Miller, the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. ... But because analysis of the data in various subgroups revealed a suggestion of benefit to black patients, another trial was performed on 1,050 self-identified black patients with severe heart failure who had already been treated with -- but had not responded to -- the best available therapy. The results were so striking -- 43 percent reduction in mortality and 39 percent decrease in hospital visits among patients who received BiDil -- that the study was stopped early and the drug was approved.

Jumpstarting Entitlement Reform: Replace Obamacare’s Flawed Medicare Acos With A Better Model. By James C. Capretta
Excerpt: The White House and Congress are inching closer to a conversation about serious entitlement reform.  A good place to start would be how to replace the over-hyped Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) concept, enacted in Obamacare, with a reform idea that would actually work.   

Shutdown: Juvenile self-indulgence. By Terry Garlock
Excerpt: Some of you blame Republicans for the federal government partial shutdown, some of you blame the Democrats and the President’s refusal to negotiate. Personally, as a registered Republican, I think the Republican party is superior to Democrats but not by much any more, and that the whole of them taken together have, over the last 50 years, betrayed America and the Constitution. But don’t get me started! If you listen to the President’s whining speeches, which I no longer can abide for more than a moment, he will tell you the government shutdown is unprecedented, but that is a lie.

Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church
Excerpt: Bombs have been planted in the confessional box of one of the world's oldest churches in Syrian town hailed as the country's last remaining centre of religious tolerance, Syria's most senior Christian leader has disclosed. (Probably labeled, "Gift of the USA to the Moderate Syrian opposition." ~Bob)

Toronto man charged after 'suspicious package' shuts down Langevin Block
Excerpt: Mohamoud Jimale, 45, has been charged with one count of uttering threats and one count of mischief. He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

Excerpt: Obama emerged from the White House yesterday morning, sans Royal Robe, descended to the level of the "commoners", and with chin high and air of arrogance, declared victory over those who sought to bring the orgasmic federal spending in line with revenues. In that rare moment when Barack rides the Hubristic wax wings soaring toward the sun, some day to see them melt, and plunging him to ruin, Barack declares a temporary victory....once again the credit card recharged and ready to spend like the proverbial drunken sailor. 

Keep Your Chins Up, Conservatives. By David Limbaugh
Excerpt: Demographic trends and an ever-expanding and increasingly entrenched dependency class are ominous signs for Republicans. Add to these the growing reluctance of Republicans to stand for and articulate their winning principles (as opposed to liberal lite) and there's plenty of fodder for the default pessimists among us -- and more than enough to give the rest of us pause, as well. But something has happened since the Supreme Court donated its imprimatur to the Absolutely Unaffordable Inferior Care Act. 

Good Article: Obamacare Needs a Drop-Dead Date. By Megan McArdle
Excerpt: The administration estimates that it needs 2.7 million young healthy people on the exchange, out of the 7 million total expected to apply in the first year. If the pool is too skewed -- if it's mostly old and sick people on the exchanges -- then insurers will lose money, and next year, they'll sharply increase premiums. The healthiest people will drop out, because insurance is no longer such a good deal for them. Rinse and repeat and you have effectively destroyed the market for individual insurance policies. It's called the "death spiral," and the exchanges, like the mandate, were designed to keep it from happening. (When it fails, thy will push for a single payers system, like the UK. That has always been the goal. ~Bob)

Decades-Old Ice Cream Plant Closes Because of Obamacare. Sarah Jean Seman 
Excerpt: Goodbye Bonnie’s Tracks, Peppermint Flake and Blue Moon ice cream — after 75 years the Bonnie Doon ice cream factory in Indiana is closing shop due primarily to Obamacare.

Human trafficking gets life term in drive on slavery
Excerpt: The number of cases discovered in the UK has risen by 25% in the last year, according to government figures.

Mark Steyn: ‘The governing institutions of the United States are utterly repulsive and disgusting’
Excerpt: “Right now, the governing institutions of the United States are utterly repulsive and disgusting,” he continued. “..No serious course correction can be mounted by America’s governing institutions. That’s a hell of a message.”

Excerpt: Mallory was asleep in bed when police entered his home. Pate said her husband has bad eyesight, and couldn’t tell that the men entering the house were police officers without his glasses…. They shot him six times, and he died….(Report also noted coroner being sued for releasing body to out-of-state relative who had it cremated, before wife could order an autopsy. --Barb)

President ‘Two Face’ Obama sings a new tune after government shutdown [VIDEO]
Excerpt: On Thursday, however, he was all sweetness and light as he sought to reassure Americans about his gauzily-described plans to revamp the budget and establish immigration “reform.” In practice, he’s trying to raise taxes, boost spending and triple immigration rates. None of those goals are popular with swing voters, so Obama offered vague reassurance, honeyed calls for bipartisanship, self-effacing promises of humility and noble appeals for good government. (Stalin versus beneficent false-god wannabe.  Flexibility. --Barb)
Excerpt: It’s not enough that he got what he wanted. He’s seething that anybody has the gall to oppose his decrees. I love being scolded by an autocrat who just got done calling anybody who disagrees with him a hostage-taker, and then turns around and says $#!+ like, “We don’t have to suggest that the other side doesn’t love this country.”

There’s no actual debt ceiling right now
Excerpt: The fiscal deal passed by Congress on Wednesday evening to re-open the government and get around the $16.4 trillion limit on borrowing doesn’t actually increase the debt limit. It just temporarily suspends enforcement of it. That means Americans have no idea how much debt  their government is going to rack up between now and Feb. 7, when the limits are supposed to go back into place and will have to be raised.

Analysis: Egypt's message to Obama - Keep your aid
Excerpt: The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles to Cairo as well as $260 million in cash aid to push the army-backed government to steer the nation towards democracy. Egypt's government, the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, said it would not bow to American pressure. The country's military, which has been leading the crackdown against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, can afford to be even more defiant. (Per article, “There is a saying among us that 'whoever is covered by the Americans is in fact naked'," one military source said. "Americans shift their positions based on their interests and don't have principles.” --Barb)

Joe Biden's humble life 
Excerpt:  Every Friday the vice president takes a helicopter designated as Marine Two from the vice president’s residence in northwest Washington to Joint Base Andrews in
Maryland. He then hops on Air Force Two to fly back to his home in Delaware . At the end of the weekend, he returns on Air Force Two, usually a Boeing C-32. 

Allen West: GOP Failure, Strategy, and Tactics.
Excerpt: It all comes down to strategy and tactics combined with the ability to effectively communicate. The efforts of Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are wholeheartedly admirable and valiant. However, being a student of military strategy and tactics, their vision of “defunding” Obamacare reminded me of Operation Market Garden from September 1944 during World War II.

Infinity: Big and Bigger: Meet Georg Cantor, rogue mathemetician and corrupter of youth. By Chalie Martin 
Excerpt: Now, we’ve pretty much defined all the numbers anyone had any use for until the Greeks and Egyptians screwed it all up by trying to measure fields and distances. The Pythagoreans in Greece were a sort of a religious cult that believed the entire Universe was made of whole numbers and rational numbers. Of course, famously the Pythagoreans proved the Pythagorean Theorem — usually we say “Pythagoras proved” but actually one of the rules of the Pythagoreans was that everything they did had to have Pythagorus’ name on it because he was “head of the lab,” a tradition that continues in some laboratories to this very day — anyway, they proved the Pythagorean Theorem, which showed the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle was the square root of the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

Israel and the New Munich. By Caroline Glick
Excerpt: The statements from the Obama administration and the EU following the closing of the first round of talks all made clear that Geneva 2013 is Munich 1938. The White House was unable to restrain its excitement at the prospect of a deal with the genocidal, nuclear weapons-developing mullocracy.

Muslims Gang-Rape 12 Year-Old Norwegian Girl, Get Community Service. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: In June, the Muslim rapists of a 15-year-old girl were sentenced to community service in Sweden. Yesterday I discussed the case of a Muslim Anti-Israel activist who was sentenced to community service for the rape of a 15-year-old Israeli girl. And now we get the same thing in Norway, except this time it’s a 12-year-old Norwegian girl.

Syrian Rebel: "The Israelis showed us their humanity." By Ed Morrissey
Excerpt: The Israelis have kept a fairly low profile in regard to the civil war in Syria.  They have rebutted the notion that their security would be compromised in any outcome of the conflict, but otherwise have tried to keep their mouths shut.  That doesn’t mean that Israel has had no contact with the conflict, though. 

Meanwhile, Susana Martinez is totally crushing it in New Mexico. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: According to the most recent statewide survey, Martinez earns an eye-popping 66 percent overall approval rating, including positive marks from 70 percent (!) of women.  And since nearly half of the state’s population is comprised of Hispanics, it stands to reason that the governor is faring quite well among that demographic group, too (cross-tabs are unavailable).  According to the poll, Martinez is extremely popular among Republicans, and gets thumbs-ups from roughly two-thirds of independents and almost half of self-identified Democrats.

Bush: Don't Trust Iran. By Ed Morrissey
Excerpt: George W. Bush has kept a low profile after leaving office in January 2009, but that’s not to say that he has withdrawn entirely.  According to JNS, the former President made an appearance Tuesday evening at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York — and he didn’t mince words about the threat Iran poses to Israel and the US.  Bush also warned that the US had better not trust Iran to disarm on its own:

Europeans getting pretty upset over their "necessarily skyrocketing" electricity prices. By Erika Johnsen 
Excerpt: We’ve been covering several European countries’ slow but sure retrenchment from their years and years of heavy subsidization of so-called green energies and lofty quota goals, and rest assured that that reality check has been continuing unabated in the face of excessive electricity costs and stubbornly massive debt and deficit problems. [In Britain, I had energy saving lightbulbs in all my lamps. Didn't buy any of them. "They" used to advertise "events" where you'd get a free 7 quid ($10? 12?) if you turned up. This was before my Enlightenment at Los Angeles City College. I used to wonder how "they" could afford to give away these bulbs. Finally worked out: it's the quota. --Loquacious Kate]

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