Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today's (mostly) political news

On Thursday, we went to a viewing about 30 miles west of Madison, for the 97-year-old dad of a friend. Charlie was a WWII veteran with, I think, ten kids, the sire of a clan of Campbells. I said there was a large turnout. My 13-year-old granddaughter, Britnye, said, "I'm sure there will be a large turnout for your funeral, Grandpa." "Yes," I said, "It's a shame I'll only miss it by a few days..." Old joke, but she liked it.

I counted five ties in attendance in the Evangelical Free Church, including mine and one worn by the funeral director. Lots of jeans and work boots--this is rural Wisconsin. These are the hard working lower class that Democrats pretend to care about, but that wealthy liberal elite one-percenters like Obama, Kerry, the Clintons and the Kennedys mostly hold in contempt. They wouldn't know a Pinot from a Merlot, maybe, but they know how to build things and grow things. I doubt that they could have raised two Bronze Level Obamacare deductibles in the room without going to the bank for a loan. Like his dad, our friend is an excellent carpenter. A few years ago, he lost two fingers in a discussion with a saw, had them sewn back on and returned to work. His 13-year-old son said he never saw his dad take a vacation. The kids took care of caring for Charlie in his home until the end. He thinks my writing is magic, I feel the same about his wood work.

These are the folks clinging to guns and religion, and struggling in a world that the government makes more difficult for them all the time, but they probably vote Democrat because their parents said the Democrats helped people like them. The guns put meat on the table, something the elites never had to worry about. Unfortunately, they are white, thus according to their betters they have "benefited" all their lives from "white privilege," so they pay more all the time for the bureaucracy and the victim entitlements (see Pigford: that reward favored groups and government unions in return for votes. They probably have never been to Hawaii, never mind on someone else's dime. They'll never be invited to a taxpayer-funded celebrity bash at the White House. The elites would only speak to them if a media photo-op was on offer. They know they work harder all the time, they know they mostly play be the rules, they know they lack dental and healthcare, they know that America is slowing going wrong for folks like them, but they don't know why. So they suck it up and use their "white privilege" to get a second job to feed the family. Given the choice between a cocktail party at the Obamas or Clintons and a beer with them, I'll take the beer. I won't wear a tie.

Must Read: Global Crises Put Obama’s Strategy of Caution to the Test. By David E. Sanger
From those racist Obama critics at...The New York Times? ~Bob. Excerpt: For five years, President Obama has consciously recast how America engages with the world’s toughest customers. But with Russia poised to annex Crimea after Sunday’s referendum, with a mounting threat to the rest of Ukraine and with the carnage in Syria accelerating, Mr. Obama’s strategy is now under greater stress than at any time in his presidency.

Worth Reading: The Growing Benefits of a Warmer World
Excerpt: Global warming has stalled for the last 16 years, but the warming that has occurred over the last 150 years -- despite what is commonly believed -- has actually been beneficial. In fact, the earth should continue to see benefits from warming for the foreseeable future, says H. Sterling Burnett, a former senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. A study by economist Richard Tol found that until 2080, and potentially beyond that, a warming trend would have a positive impact on the world's economy. Over the last 150 years, the globe has warmed an average 0.8 degrees Celsius. An additional 2.2 degree rise in temperature would continue to yield substantial benefits. Climate change over the last century has added 1.4 percent to global economic output, Tol found. By 2025, that figure should reach 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) have added 0.8 percent to GDP because of the boost to agriculture. Similarly, the temperature increase has reduced the demand for heating, adding 0.4 percent to GDP. With higher CO2 levels, plants thrive and become more efficient in their use of water. And because most of the warming has reduced low nighttime temperatures, the globe has seen fewer growth-stunting frost events, as well as longer growing seasons. (And, of course, it took Al Gore's personal fortune from $2M in 2000 to over $300M today, making him high in the despised one percent. ~Bob)

Russia warns West it may change stance on Iran, in retaliation over sanctions
Excerpt: Russia reportedly is prepared to change its stand on Iran nuclear talks in a high-stakes gamble to counter expanded sanctions by the United States and the European Union over Crimea. After the Obama administration on Monday hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions -- a move criticized by Republican lawmakers as too timid -- Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted Wednesday by the Interfax news agency as saying the country may have to alter its position on the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. 

Facts and Factions. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: At a time when polls show public opinion turning against the Democrats, some Republicans seem to be turning against each other. Even with the prospect of being able to win control of the Senate in this fall's elections, some Republicans are busy manufacturing ammunition for their own circular firing squad. A Republican faction's demonization of their own Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, is a classic example. If you listen to some of those who consider themselves the only true conservatives, you would never guess that Senator McConnell received a lifetime 90 percent ranking by the American Conservative Union — and in one recent year had a 100 percent ranking.

Is There Wage Stagnation? By Walter Williams 
Excerpt: Suppose that you paid me a straight $20 an hour in 2004. Ten years later, I’m still earning $20 an hour, but in addition, now I’m receiving job perks such as health insurance, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, paid holidays and vacation, etc. Would it be correct to say that my wages have stagnated and I’m no better off a decade later? I’m guessing that the average person would say, “No, Williams, your wages haven’t stagnated. You forgot to include your non-monetary wages.” My colleagues Donald Boudreaux and Liya Palagashvili discuss some of this in their recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, “The Myth of the Great Wages ‘Decoupling’” (

A Marine Speaks Frankly - She Sure Does. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: The following, written a couple of months ago, was sent to me last night. The author's experience and insight is consistent with, and supports, the couple of handfuls of articles, at least, written on the topic - women in combat - for this forum.

Excerpt: I wanted to make sure to post this tonight to help those of you who are still up rest a little easier this evening. ... Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Europe to send a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin about his intervention in Ukraine. ... I’ll certainly sleep better tonight. Hopefully Joe’s learned the difference between Poland and Portugal by now.

A New Obama Doctrine? With his presidency in a tailspin, Carter radically changed course. Will Obama do the same? By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: By the beginning of 1980, Jimmy Carter was in big trouble. Almost everything he had said or done in foreign policy over the prior three years had failed — and he was running for reelection. Carter had come into office in 1977 promising a new American stance abroad predicated on human rights. He bragged of an end to our supposedly inordinate fear of Soviet-inspired Communism.

Always Read the Fine Print on Obamacare News! By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
The happy headline, printed everywhere: Obamacare Enrollment Hits 5 Million! The Fine Print, Part One: "Officials have not said how many of those who have enrolled have paid their initial premiums. The Fine Print, Part Two: Americans buying health insurance outside the newObamacare exchanges are being forced to swallow premiums up to 56 percent higher than before the health law took effect because insurers have jumped the cost to cover all the added features of the new Affordable Care Act. According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, a nationwide online private insurance exchange, families are paying an average of $663 a month and singles $274 a month, far more than before Obamacare kicked in. What's more, to save money, most buyers are choosing the lowest level of coverage, the so-called "bronze" plans. The Fine Print, Part Three: Heck of a year for Obamacare; not only did it trigger the Lie of the Year, but opportunistic sleazebags — I mean the ones outside of Congress —used it for what the Council of Better Business Bureaus called, "The Scam of the Year

Reducing Medicare Spending
Excerpt: Provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are supposed to constrain Medicare spending, but there is doubt that those spending reductions will actually occur, say former Medicare Trustee, Thomas R. Saving, and Andrew J. Rettenmaier, both senior fellows at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and their colleagues Liqun Liu and Zijun Wang of the Private Enterprise Research Center. Medicare Trustees Reports show Medicare spending as being one-third lower than the Medicare spending forecast prior to the passage of the ACA, with unfunded liability obligations declining. However, these estimates are assuming that the spending controls within the ACA (such as lower reimbursement rates to doctors) will actually be realized. The authors looked at two forecasts: the "current law" forecast in the 2013 Trustees Report and the alternative forecast (which assumes that spending constraints are not fully realized).

The Leaderless Doctrine. By David Brooks
Excerpt: We’re in the middle of a remarkable shift in how Americans see the world and their own country’s role in the world. For the first time in half a century, a majority of Americans say that the U.S. should be less engaged in world affairs, according to the most recent Pew Research Center survey. For the first time in recorded history, a majority of Americans believe that their country has a declining influence on what’s happening around the globe. A slight majority of Americans now say that their country is doing too much to help solve the world’s problems.

A Tiger of a Book. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor) have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year. It is titled "The Triple Package" because it argues that three qualities are found in spectacularly successful groups in America. These three qualities, they say, are a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.

Most Transparent Administration: Obama Denies Freedom of Information Requests At Record Rates. By Kevin Glass 
Excerpt: President Obama was swept to office amidst his pledge that he'd run the "most transparent administration in history." A new report out finds that he hasn't even run the most transparent administration since the previous one. The Associated Press analyzed the federal government's own Freedom of Information Act data and found that federal agencies under President Obama have been as uncooperative as ever:

Islamic Extremists in Somalia Behead Two Christians: Al Shabaab militants publicly execute mother of two, cousin.
Excerpt: Islamic extremists from the rebel Al Shabaab militia last week publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin in southeastern Somalia after discovering they were Christians, sources said.

Russia Laughs at Obama’s Sanctions
Excerpt: It is comedy hour on the world stage as Russia enjoys our joke of a President. Check it out:

Save the Planet, Kill Yourself: The Genocidal Duck Whisperers of the Post Human Left. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: On Page 930 of the budget that never ends is $575 million for “family planning/reproductive health” worldwide especially in "areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species." The idea that the way to protect insects, fish and animals is by preventing human beings from having children is part of an approach known as Population, Health and Environment (PHE) which integrates population control into environmentalist initiatives.

THIS is Dad of the Year: Devoted Chinese father carries his disabled son EIGHTEEN MILES to school every day
Excerpt: A devoted Chinese father who carries his disabled son 18 miles to school every day will be provided with government-funded accommodation nearby. Yu Xukang walks the huge distance with his son, Xiao Qiang, strapped to his back in a specially constructed basket.

Sexual Assaults In The Military Are At An All-Time High And Most Of Them Are Male On Male
Excerpt: There is a raging epidemic of sexual assault in the U.S. military. A report released by the U.S. Department of Defense says that an astounding 12,000 women serving in the U.S. military were sexually assaulted in 2012. This is a national disgrace, and any U.S. service member that rapes a woman deserves the death penalty in my opinion. It has gotten so bad that a female service member serving in Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a male service member than she is to be killed by the Taliban. But that is only half the story. Sexual assault against males is at an epidemic level in the U.S. military as well.

Welcome to the 19th Century: Putin and the new Bonapartes see a weak and retreating West.
Excerpt: 'You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext," declared John Kerry on March 2 as Russia began its conquest of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Though he didn't intend it, the U.S. Secretary of State was summing up the difference between the current leaders of the West who inhabit a fantasy world of international rules and the hard men of the Kremlin who understand the language of power. The 19th-century men are winning. ("Power comes out of the barrel of a gun" That's what the old Chinese guy used to say, and you know, maybe he had something there. If you have the gun and you have the will to use it, it puts you way up on everybody else who is lacking guns or will or both. I have to laugh heartily at John Kerry, out there making brave statements that actually have no meaning in present context. He has to feel stupid doing that, unless he is so far into total idiocy that he really can't see how utterly futile his pronouncements are. We talk every now and then about how sometimes young people have to leave home and try to live on their own, when they undergo "reality therapy" and have to learn how things really work in the world. It seems like Obama and Kerry and a lot of others are being subjected to reality therapy, but are refusing to respond to the learning opportunity. --Del)

Valerie Jarrett, the CEO of Obama Inc. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: For eight years, the media envisioned Dick Cheney as the ‘evil genius’ behind the Bush White House, but few in the media have wanted to take a long look at the ‘evil genius’ behind the Obama White House. The populist grass roots myth died shortly after Obama was elected and while plenty of books have been written about the internal workings of the Obama campaign and administration, unlike the books written about Bush, they rarely inform mainstream media news coverage. When these books and articles come from within the media, the authors are not attacked and their work isn’t discredited, it simply gets compartmentalized into the wonksphere and away from daily news coverage.

Al Qaeda Magazine Urges Followers to Bomb Savoy Hotel. By Nick Hallett
Excerpt: The prestigious hotel has been a favoured location of celebrities and statesmen for 115 years. The Telegraphquotes the magazine as saying: "At about 10 pm GMT, businessmen and high profile targets leave the hotel. This is a perfect place and time to detonate your car bomb." The magazine carries instructions as to how to build your own car bomb from cooking gas cylinders, oxygen gas and a trigger. 

Beyond Europe. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: Every time the Democrats call for "the richest one per cent" to pay their "fair share", Republicans ought to point out that we have a more progressive - ie, redistributive - tax system than Canada, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands... In other words, America's rich already pay more than Sweden's rich or Norway's rich. If it's fair enough for the Continentals, why isn't it fair for Americans? What about corporate tax? Federal corporate tax in the US: 35 per cent; in Canada: 11-15 per cent. Total (national, local, the lot) corporate tax burden: Ireland 12.5 per cent, Sweden 22 per cent, Denmark 24 per cent, Netherlands 25 per cent, Germany 29 per cent, Italy 31 per cent, Belgium 33 per cent, United States 40 per cent. So America is more Euro-socialist than most Euro-socialists

Reports from Cuba: The press that disinforms. By Alberto de la Cruz
Excerpt: For Castroist ideologues, the activists in Kiev and the Venezuelan students are fascists, Kim Jong-un doesn’t traffic in weapons with Havana, and BeyoncĂ© never visited the Island. There is an abysmal gap between everyday reality and the information provided by a clueless official press. News of the Castro regime’s blatant arms smuggling with North Korea, in violation of the UN embargo against the Pyongyang dynasty, was never reported in Granma, Juventud Rebelde, Workers, or any of the 15 provincial press organs.

Asian Flight #MH370 Pilot Had Five Asian Runways Programmed Into His Home Simulator. By Jim Hoft
Excerpt: The Malaysian pilot on missing flight MH370 was reportedly a political fanatic who attended the trial of the country’s opposition leader hours before the flight.

Did 'fracking' play a role in LA earthquake? Councilmen want to know. By Emily Alpert Reyes,0,1536066.story#axzz2wQ2Ogvra
Excerpt: "I think people are trying to take advantage of a naturally occurring incident in order to attack our industry," California Independent Petroleum Assn. CEO Rock Zierman said Tuesday. He said it had been proven that "there's no link between operations and seismic activity." Seismologist Lucy Jones, a USGS science advisor for risk reduction, said she would need to know much more about nearby pumping in the area, such as whether someone was changing the water pressure deep in the ground, to say whether it could have been a factor in the Monday temblor. However, "my first impression is that sounds implausible," Jones said, "just because the earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this." (Anything to scare the people into paying more for energy. Fracking has reduced imports of oil and carbon emissions greatly--can't have that! `Bob)

Romney: 'I hate to say I told you so, but...By Ed Morrissey
Excerpt: 'Why, across the world, are America’s hands so tied? A large part of the answer is our leader’s terrible timing. In virtually every foreign-affairs crisis we have faced these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options. There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events. But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options. In foreign affairs as in life, there is, as Shakespeare had it, “a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.”'

VIDEOS: Fighting Hipsters with Hipsters. By Kevin Glass
Excerpt: The Republican National Committee is out with a new series of web ads that star people of a variety of different demographics designed to appeal to different segments of the American population that they’ve recently struggled to win: minorities, women, and, yes, hipsters. The ad campaign, entitled “Create Your American Dream,” features a spotlight on Scott Greenberg, a bespactacled young man that National Journal’s Lucia Graves accuses of that deadly word that doesn’t really mean anything: “hipster.”

Common Core math stumps ‘know-it-all’ college students
Excerpt: Still supporting the new math, as promoted by federal Common Corestandards? Think again, and watch as Campus Reform’s Caleb Bonham asks these students from George Mason University to subtract 12 from 32 using the “new and improved” method.

Syria conflict: UN reports mass executions by ISIS
Excerpt: Jihadist rebels have carried out mass executions of detainees in Syria, UN human rights investigators say. The commission of inquiry's latest report documents several incidents blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Ukraine and Syria Will Both Fall to Putin

Excerpt: Why has Russia agreed to a cease fire until March 21st, just three days from now? Why has Putin been so audacious as to threaten to turn the United States into radioactive ash? The latter fact was reported by Dmitri Kiselyov, a television news broadcaster on state-owned station Russia One television. This can only be considered a direct warning, or threat, by Russia to the US.


  1. Loved your opening monologue. I will certainly attend your funeral sans tie unless I miss it by a few days.
    Jerry B

  2. Don't know about the tie, but will arrive KILTED!