Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Latest Political News & Comment

Must Read: Somalia and the Hyena Cure (for Insanity). By Daniel Greenfield

Excerpt: Lewiston, Maine, a place as traditionally synonymous with gangs as Mogadishu is with snow, now has concerns about gang violence. Maine has gone from having no gang members a few years ago to having 4,000 of them. Mainahs have gone from thinking of gang members as something they saw on COPS to something they see when they look out the window. [In Los Angeles, where I was often on public computers, I never worried about a crazy person who might sit next to me. Crazy people are everywhere in LA. Just don't make eye contact; that was the thing. But when it was a Somali I got up and left. If this is a racist thing to say, perhaps it should not be published. --Kate.]

Must Read: NYT: Obamacare Collapse 'Has Deeply Embarrassed' White House

Excerpt: A New York Times investigative article based on two dozen interviews with industry insiders and confidential Obama Administration documents reveals that the catastrophic $500 million Obamacare rollout "has deeply embarrassed the White House" and has the technology companies involved "publicly distancing themselves" from the Obamacare fiasco.

Senate leaders announce agreement to end shutdown, raise debt

Excerpt: Top senators struck a deal Wednesday to reopen the government and extend the federal government's borrowing authority into next year and both sides of the Capitol are hoping for quick action to reassure nervous financial markets eyeing a Thursday deadline set by the Treasury Department.

McConnell and Reid Strike a Deal. By Keith Koffler

Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this morning reached a deal to end the government shutdown and avoid a default. The House is expected to vote on the measure first. Approval is by no means assured.

Visits to federal health-care Web site off 88%

Excerpt: The number of visitors to the federal government’s Web site dropped 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, according to a new analysis of America’s online use, while less than half of 1 percent of the site’s visitors successfully enrolled for health insurance the first week.

A Terror Mastermind Comes to New York. By Robert Spencer 

Excerpt: In a revealing move, the Obama Administration has announced its intention to try captured al-Qaeda jihad terrorist Abu Anas al-Libi in federal court in New York City. Al-Libi, who was involved in the jihad bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, has been held for the last week and a half on a ship in the Mediterranean, but now he is on his way to the U.S., where his trial is certain to be an international media circus – and yet another exhibition of Obama’s thoroughgoing denial of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat.

Is Elisabeth Hasselbeck Getting the Last Laugh Over 'The View'?

Excerpt: But while "The View" has held mostly steady in the ratings, Hasselbeck's addition to the cabel show has been a big success. After a month, "Fox & Friends" is up double digits in total viewers and adults 25-54. And last week saw their second biggest ratings of the year, behind only the week of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Top Muslim Authority Unwittingly Equates Jihad with Terrorism. By Raymond Ibrahim 

Excerpt: A recent Arabic article appearing in Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper titled “Is Terrorism Jihad?” written by Islamic law expert Dr. Abdul Fatah Idris offers important lessons—from the fact that jihad does involve subjugating non-Muslims to why the Western mentality is still incapable of acknowledging it.

Exchanges Will Raise U.S. Health-Care Costs. By David Goldhill 

Excerpt: Forget the superficial comparisons to a commodity exchange, an online retailer or even a bulletin board. The health exchanges won’t resemble any other marketplace. Over time, rather than encourage insurance providers to offer ever more attractive and affordable policies, the exchanges are poised to push up the cost not only of insurance but also of health care itself. That means, if the history of U.S. health-care policy is any guide, the exchanges’ very “success” will have the effect of limiting access to care for the 30 million people who are estimated to remain uninsured.

The Approaching Default. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Excerpt: This ultimately all can be laid at the feet of the mainstream media, or whatever you like to call it these days: The New York Times, the Associated Press, Time, the network news crews, and so on. They've created a political environment of near-zero accountability. We live in an atmosphere where Democrats aren't worried about any of their decisions backfiring, because they know the mainstream coverage will always give them the benefit of the doubt, hammer their opponents, and gloss over or downplay their worst moments. The flip side of the coin is a "Tea Party caucus" (for lack of a better term) that has absolutely no fear of getting bad press -- because they feel/suspect/know they'll get negative coverage no matter what they do.

Civil Disobedience: Citizens Pushing Back. Americans have some recourse against Obama’s shutdown theater. By Kevin D. Williamson

Excerpt: The people we elect to represent us come to believe that they are there to rule us, and we push back against being ruled, sometimes in penny-ante ways, sometimes more dramatically, as with the recent outburst of civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., where veterans and other righteously cheesed-off citizens tore down the barricades surrounding our national monuments and deposited them in front of the White House, as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years. Every American has a little sedition in his soul, and this is a very good time to give it free rein.

Excerpt: So why does the Left cling so tightly to timetables and systems that not only risk rendering legal compliance with Obamacare mandates impossible but also place many families at real risk? Today, during our daily ACLJ radio show, Jay Sekulow Live, we asked listeners to call and tell us about their experiences with the exchanges. Of course we heard stories of repeated failures and frustrations, but also truly distressing stories of families dropped from their catastrophic care plans because of Obamacare (insurers were no longer offering plans that weren’t compliant with ACA minimal standards) only to find out they not only can’t yet replace their lost insurance, the new coverage (if they could get it) offers less real coverage for far more money. 

Excerpt: What do America’s college students want? They want to be oppressed. More precisely, a surprising number of students at America’s finest colleges and universities wish to appear as victims — to themselves, as well as to others — without the discomfort of actually experiencing victimization. Here is where global warming comes in. The secret appeal of campus climate activism lies in its ability to turn otherwise happy, healthy, and prosperous young people into an oppressed class, at least in their own imaginings.

Excerpt: A blast ripped through a pickup truck Wednesday in southern Syria, killing 21 people in the latest attack on civilians in the country's raging war, adding urgency to international efforts to convene peace talks. Washington pressed the Syrian opposition National Coalition to agree to a peace conference that would bring together dissidents and regime representatives, even as more rebel groups rejected the NC.
How Much Will Obamacare Coverage Cost?

Excerpt: As many Americans are losing their current health plans, they may be striking out on their own into Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. (Or at least they will be, if the website ever starts working.) Thanks to a new study from Heritage, you can quickly get a sense of the Obamacare prices hitting your state’s individual insurance market.

No Fast Track For Obama's Next Power Grab

Excerpt: Article One, Section 8 of the Constitution assigns Congress the exclusive responsibility to set the terms of “commerce with foreign nations” -- trade. The Founders established this clear check and balance to prevent the president from unilaterally negotiating deals that reward his supporters while harming opponents or the nation as a whole. Under Fast Track, Obama would be able to sign commercial trade agreements before Congress votes on them. Congress would not even be able to amend the agreements in any way -- it would only have an up-or-down vote when the president says so, before members could even read it.

Black Mob Violence. One Weekend in New Haven, Hoboken, Minneapolis and lots more. By Colin Flaherty

Excerpt: By 9 p.m. the manager of the Kudeta (pronouced coup d’etat) knew she had more trouble than she could handle: The promoters advertised the party and charged admission. That was not supposed to happen. Neither were the large fights that started inside and “spilled out into the streets” involving as many as 500 people in what a local TV station called a “massive brawl.”

Excerpt: The White House official who exchanged confidential taxpayer information with the IRS is a longtime Obama advisor and progressive activist who is currently the most powerful official on Obamacare implementation within the White House.

Racial Trade-offs: Part II. By Walter E. Williams 

Excerpt: Today white teen unemployment is about 20 percent, while that for blacks is about 40 percent and more than 50 percent in some cities. In 1948, the unemployment rate of black 16-year-old and 17-year-old males was 9.4 percent, while that of whites was 10.2 percent. Up until the late 1950s, both black teens and black adults were more active in the labor market than their white counterparts. In fact, in 1910, 71 percent of black males older than 9 were employed, compared with 51 percent for whites. As early as 1890, the duration of unemployment among blacks was shorter than it was among whites, whereas today unemployment is both higher and longer-lasting among blacks than among whites. It would be sheer lunacy to attempt to explain these more favorable employment statistics by suggesting that during earlier periods, blacks faced less racial discrimination.

Flu vaccine scheme halted over fears of Muslim parents

Excerpt: The roll-out of the flu vaccine nasal spray pilot scheme in Glasgow had been due to begin at city primary school on Wednesday, days after its launch by First Minister Alex Salmond. But after parents at Glendale Primary in Pollokshields - which has a large number of Muslim pupils who cannot consume or use pig products for religious reasons - became aware of the ingredients, complaints were made and the scheme was put on hold.

Cement given to Gaza used for jihad terror tunnels instead of schools and houses

EU says Palestinian Authority lost 2.5 billion euros of aid

Excerpt: The Sunday Times newspaper in the UK has obtained a draft report by the EU that underlines the concern that the Palestinian Authority has lost 2.5 billion euros in aid over the last four years. The newspaper obtained the unpublished draft report from the European Court, an official EU institution based in Luxembourg, and disclosed its contents on Sunday. (lost? Or diverted to fund terror? ~Bob)

Gays would be executed in ideal world, says UK Islamic leader

Excerpt: Gays would be executed in an ideal world, a leader of the Muslim community in Luton, England has said. Abdul Qadeer Baksh made the comment during an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio.

Suicide bombers die in failed plot at Ethiopia football match

Excerpt: Two Somali suicide bombers who had planned to kill football fans during Ethiopia's World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria on Sunday blew themselves up accidentally before carrying out the attack, the Ethiopian government said on Monday.

Russia Busts Terror Attack Plot on Chemical Facility in Kirov

Excerpt: Russia has foiled a deadly terror attack at one of its chemical facilities which could have killed "hundreds of people", officials in Moscow said. Russian officials have apprehended two Islamic extremists, who have been planning to launch an attack on the chemical storage facility in the central Kirov region.

David Letterman Draws Big Laughs Mocking Obamacare

Excerpt: The comic, known for his stinging jabs at President George W. Bush, has held his fire when it comes to the current Commander in Chief. Letterman has typically bashed the GOP over the last five years, even rehashing Bush memes rather than poke fun at Obama. Monday night Letterman dared to mock Obamacare, the president's signature legislation, and he drew hearty laughs along the way.

The Architect of Destruction

Excerpt:  Obama has promoted the degeneration of peace, civility, and quality of cooperation between us. He thrives on tearing us down, rather than building us up. He is the Architect of the decline of America, and the epitome of a Demagogue. (Yes, it was written a few months ago but worth a second look in view of the shutdowns, debt crisis, etc. --MM)

Parents Outraged Over This Highly Intrusive School Survey – Which Was Deleted Shortly After Theblaze Started Asking Questions

Excerpt: What’s your religion? Your sexual orientation? Your parents’ political affiliation? Should “assault rifles” be banned? Who’s to blame for the government shutdown?

Do these sound like questions that high school sophomores should have to answer? A Maryland high school that is “Common Core” compliant — as described to TheBlaze by a representative — allegedly administered a survey to its sophomore class that pried for personal information in a way that was apparently so invasive and intrusive that two parents contacted TheBlaze to show it to us.

Blogger On Far-Left Website Thought He ‘Could Go Along’ With Obamacare – Now He Can’t Believe What’s Happening To His Health Insurance

Excerpt: Now, a community blogger on the far-left Daily Kos website has penned a blog post complaining that both he and his wife are facing a nearly 100 percent increase in their monthly premiums. He claims he is canceling his insurance and refuses to pay any “f***ing penalty.”

The Wounded Ranger’s Salute During A Purple Heart Ceremony That Left The Room Weeping

Excerpt: Wounded, bandaged and hooked up to tubes in an Afghanistan intensive care unit, a U.S. Army Ranger, thought by hospital staff to be unconscious, heard his commander’s voice and addressed him with the iconic symbol of respect: a salute.

Presidents are Impeached … Dictators are Overthrown

Excerpt:  I've had enough. We all have. Less than 24 hours after a large group of peaceful protesters removed the barricades and neatly stacked them in front of the White House, they were put back by National Park Service workers. This is not how it works. Evidently at some point in time Barry Soetoro, a.k.a. Barack Obama, has forgotten how this whole system is set up. He works for us.

American Family Association Now Deemed A Domestic Hate Group By Obama

Excerpt:   America has turned, and it is becoming completely hostile to Christianity. Last week, U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were briefed on the American Family Association at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. There, they were officially listed as a domestic hate group, in the KKK manner, the Black Panther kind; that kind of a hate group. The AFA has been labeled the kind of hate group that targets people of color and carries out mass destruction. Why?

DOD Bars 50 Priests from Administering Sacraments, Locks Up Eucharist; Priest Sues

Excerpt: The Obama administration is continuing to prohibit approximately 50 Catholic priests from saying Mass and administering other sacraments at U.S. military facilities around the world, according to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services. (How damn stupid can these people be?  And catch the part where Protestants can use the chapel but priests cannot.  What's with that?  Do they figure that Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc, are all too dumb to realize that suppressing one Christian faith implies clearly the capacity to suppress all?  And I wonder how things are working out for the Muslim chaplains. Every American should be totally incensed at this idiocy, and clear denial of freedom of religion.  I hope this gets in front of a judge soon, and the Administration gets the body slam they so richly deserve. --Del)

Obama's Curious Purge Of The Military Continues

Excerpt: The firing of two nuclear commanders in a week adds to a body count that suggests we have either the most corrupt and incompetent general staff in history or our military is being reshaped for other purposes. The Obama administration, which has fired no one over scandals such as its Fast and Furious Mexican gun-running operation, its criminal negligence in the terrorist attack on our Benghazi diplomatic mission, or the use of the IRS to target and intimidate political foes, seems to have a curious obsession lately about ethics and competence in the U.S. military. ("My military"?  Mr. Obama has several times referred to the armed forces of the USA as "my military".  See links below.  That on top of the article about the super turnover of generals just keeps the conspiracy people anxious.  And to some extent, I'm not exactly serene about all this either.  All the PC generals get promoted, all the others get retired.  That's how you build a military loyal to you personally. Hopefully, every officer and NCO will remember the oath is to the Constitution, not to any individual. --Del)

The New York Times: America Sucks. By Dennis Prager

Excerpt: This past Saturday, the New York Times published an article, “Behind Flurry of Killing, Potency of Hate,” on the roots of monstrous evil. The article largely concerned a former paramilitary member of the Irish Republican Army, and as such was informative. But when it ventured into a larger discussion of evil, the moral confusion and contempt for America that characterize leftism were on display.

Mark Steyn: Sticks and Stones.

Excerpt: Five years ago, I and my fellow rightwing blowhard Ezra Levant were in the midst of a spirited campaign to rid Canada of its disgusting censorship laws and restore a centuries-old tradition of free speech to a land that, in the name of “human rights,” had surrendered it too easily. The Canadian Islamic Congress had brought simultaneous complaints before the federal, Ontario and British Columbia “human rights” regimes against Maclean’s magazine for publishing an excerpt from my book. Despite the advantages of triple jeopardy, they struck out all three times, and at the federal level their suit so damaged the reputation of “Section 13” (the national censorship law with a 100% conviction rate) that last year Parliament finally repealed it.

Obama's Ongoing Betrayal of America's Sacrifices in Iraq. By Arnold Arlert

Excerpt: On Oct. 5, a suicide bombing just outside a graveyard in Baghdad killed 51 people, many of them Shi’ite pilgrims on their way to a shrine. The attack, commonplace in today’s Iraq, is symptomatic of a nation once again on the brink of civil war. The media largely ignore these ongoing horrors, and for very obvious reasons: it is becoming more evident by the day that the disintegration of Iraq may have been preventable were it not for President Obama’s politically- motivated premature withdrawal of American troops in December 2011, against the advice of military advisors.

Excerpt: It was Jarrett who advised Obama that voters would mostly blame Republicans if the federal government ground to a halt, providing a golden opportunity to swing back control of the House to Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections, according to Klein. A Democratic House would give Obama an opportunity to pass immigration and other legislation blocked by the current Republican majority. “It was during one of those nightly sessions that Jarrett devised the no-negotiating strategy that Obama has employed in his fight with the GOP over the government shutdown,” Klein said, citing sources within the administration.

The Tea Party is Both Sensible and Victorious. By Keith Koffler

Excerpt: Let me tell all of you something: THIS COUNTRY IS ALREADY IN A STATE OF TOTAL DYSFUNCTION, AND HAS BEEN FOR YEARS. A state of dysfunction, mind you, brought to you by the “reasonable” people who have been striking deals for years that have created $17 trillion in debt and a possibly irreversible degree of Socialism that is lobotomizing our tradition of independent thinking and creativity, crippling free enterprise, and carving the soul out of the moral, God-fearing ethic that has made this nation the greatest on earth.

Hillary disses Biden in speech. By Thomas Lifson

Excerpt: Hard though it may be to take seriously Joe Biden running for president, evidently Hillary Clinton thinks it important to dump on him. In a speech to convenience store owners (the sort of speech that yields a six figure fee), Hillary stuck the stiletto into Joe's back and twisted it. Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

VIDEO: Here's the translation of Mexican soccer announcer going on an epic anti-Mexico rant after the U.S. soccer team scores a goal. By tony Manfred 

Excerpt: HAVE NOT placed us in the WORLD CUP ..YOU WOULD NOT HAVE KEPT US ALIVE....IT WAS ESTADOS UNIDOS, NOT YOU! NOT YOU AND YOUR ARROGANCE/CONCEIT.....NOT YOU AND YOUR INFAMY....NOT YOU AND YOUR MORONS/PUNKS........ "IT IS A FAILURE.....and UNDESERVED -to go through to the playoff- WE HAD NO ARGUMENTS to earn the playoffs, THE USA, WITH SUBS , WITH MANY SUBS as the visiting team shows us once again what the USA is all about to play the game with dignity, how to approach the sport..MExico is a horror, just terrible....A FAILURE....

Child Marriage Comes to Australia. By Robert Spencer

Excerpt: The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) has stated that in England in 2010, at least thirty girls in Islington, a neighborhood of greater London, were forced into marriage, and that some were as young as nine years old. And just this month, an undercover investigation in Britain revealed eighteen mosques that agreed to perform child marriages. In Sweden, meanwhile, there are several hundred reported incidences of child marriage every year. And that’s just what gets reported.

UCSD students fire 3-D printed metal rocket engine. By David Szondy

Excerpt: The advantages of 3D laser printing is that it’s much cheaper and faster with jobs normally taking weeks being completed in hours. Also, printing allows for more intricate designs for each piece and, therefore, fewer parts for the finished product. In addition, printed alloys have greater tensile strength than castings.

Althouse: When Nina Totenberg is calling affirmative action "racial preferences," affirmative action is in trouble.

Excerpt: Here's her report — at the NPR website — on yesterday's oral argument in a case she doesn't mention the name of but which I happen to know is Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. This is the case where the people of Michigan — after the Supreme Court approved of the University of Michigan Law School's use of race in admissions — amended their constitution to require that the state "not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin." Another way to put that is to say: The state constitution bans affirmative action.

WaPo: Traffic plunges 88% at since launch. By Ed Morrissey

Excerpt: If any commercial web portal only ended up with a 0.384% success rate in its first week of operation followed by an 88% plunge in traffic, the project team would find itself out on the street.  If it happened to a publicly-traded company that sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, the CEO and the executive management team would be joining them on the sidewalk.  But this is the Obama administration, where accountability is just a term they like to use about their opponents:

Whoa: Obama Administration Needlessly Furloughed Thousands of Intelligence Workers During Shutdown. By Guy Benson

Excerpt: While they were plotting their pain-infliction strategy, administration officials recklessly decided to furlough thousands of America's...intelligence analysts, charged with keeping the country safe. Under pressure, they've admitted that it was a mistake that endangered national security. McClatchy's headline is pretty bruising: "Shutdown Misstep - How Obama administration plan put country at risk." Details:

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