Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Today's (mostly) political news

Hard Hearted Republicans?
Says who? Why, just Monday night, my wife and I took a homeless couple out to dinner. Unfortunately, they are our friends, John and Donna Payne, whose home in Louisiana burned to the ground Saturday. They lost everything except the luggage they still had here, including stuff they had already shipped home. We took them to the airport at zero-dark Tuesday morning. Regular readers will recall John is the brother Marine who received a lung five days before I did. Now they have this to cope with as well. They were supposed to go home weeks ago, but he had lung issues too, though thankfully not as severe as mine. Maybe it's a blessing--if they were in a fire, the smoke wouldn't help a fragile lung. I suggested the family set up a fund. If they do, I'll post it for anyone interested. Kyrie Eleison. ~Bob

Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban
Excerpt: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions. The justices said in a 6-2 ruling that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.

Worth Reading: Elites’ Sacrificial Victims: When your goal is to save the planet, you can’t worry about who may get hurt. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: In a word, liberal ideology so often proves more important than people. Noble theories about saving humanity offer exemption from worry about the immediate consequences for individual humans. In a personal sense, those who embrace progressive ideas expect to be excused from the ramifications of their schemes. For the elite who send their kids to prep schools and private academies, public charter schools for the poor are bad, given that they undermine the dream of progressive, union-run education that has turned into a nightmare for those forced to enroll in it.

Don't Mention 'Recovery.' From The Patriot Post
Democrats running for office this fall received some helpful advice from key strategists: "Yeah, that economic recovery... don't mention it." Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others warn that talking about "recovery" ignores "how much trouble people are in, and doesn't convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face." In fact, "Democrats should bury any mention of the recovery. That message was tested ... and it lost to the Republican message." That's because the president has had six long years to get the economy off the ground and he's done nothing but add to the burden. Even Obama's low-info voters get that.

Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia
Excerpt: Strenuous denials from the Kremlin have closely followed each accusation by Ukrainian officials that the world was witnessing a stealthy invasion by Russian forces. Now, photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many of the green men are indeed Russian military and intelligence forces — equipped in the same fashion as Russian special operations troops involved in annexing the Crimea region in February. 

The Increasing Desperation of Democrats: Slanders and lies may be part of a deliberate strategy to drive up turnout in November. By John Fund
Excerpt: Harry Reid isn’t backing down from his claim that rancher Cliven Bundy’s supporters are “domestic terrorists.” It’s astonishing rhetoric given the White House’s characterization of the mass shooting by a genuine terrorist, Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 Americans at the Fort Hood Army base after yelling “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great.) Rather than labeling Hasan’s actions “domestic terrorism,” the Obama administration is prosecuting him for having committed “workplace violence.”

Guy Who Spent His Early Career Insisting He's Pro-Life Now Insists He's Always Been Pro-Choice. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Seriously, FloridaCome on. There are a lot of Florida Democrats who will probably tell you they care about abortion — er, "abortion rights" or "reproductive rights." The vast majority of them will, this fall, vote for a man who, during his 2006 race for governor, told a priest in Pensacola that he would sign a bill outlawing abortions except when the mother's life was at stake. But then he told an AP reporter that he would only sign such a bill if it included exceptions for rape and incest. During that race, Charlie Crist attacked his GOP rival for being pro-choice. And as recently as January 2010, "Crist's Republican U.S. Senate campaign released a statement saying he would 'fight for pro-life legislative efforts.'" And now he can come along and say, "even though I am pro-life, which I mean, for life, doesn't mean I want to tell a woman what to do with her body, and I never have," and almost every self-proclaimed pro-choice Florida Democrat will nod approvingly. Because they don't give a [insert your colorful metaphor here] what the heck Charlie Crist did in the past. They only care that he has a "D" after his name. (Morning Jolt is free and worth subscribing to. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Obama Handles Russia Like Republicans: Overpromise, Under-Deliver, and Write Off. Democratic ally says of Obama: "He's just not a natural leader."
Excerpt: That last paragraph reminds me of Democrats who privately gripe about Obama's lack of engagement with Congress, his unwillingness to build meaningful relationships, his allegiance to polls and focus groups, and his cautious nature that, in their minds, holds him back from greatness. "He can't handle Putin. He can't handle Republicans," said a veteran Democratic consultant and part-time adviser to both of Obama's presidential campaigns. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Democrat told me, "He just is not a natural leader."

A Black Conservative Takes on the 'Poverty Pentagon'
Excerpt: Woodson says the flap over Ryan's comments may end up being beneficial if it sparks the “right conversation” about helping the poor. “Low-income people haven't been on President Obama's agenda for five years,” he says. We'd only add that while low-income people have indeed been left behind in Obama's “recovery,” they have occasionally shown up on his teleprompter.

Worth Reading: The Truth about ‘Wage Discrimination.’ By Walter Williams
Excerpt: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers ages 16 to 24 earn only 54 cents on every dollar earned by workers 25 or older (http://tinyurl.com/n6puf6j). This wage gap is 43 percent greater than the male/female gap. Our president, progressives, do-gooders, academics and union leaders show little interest in big, greedy corporations ripping off the nation’s youth. You might say, “Whoa, Williams! There’s a reason younger people earn less than older people. They don’t have the skills or experience.” My response would be — if I shared the vision of the president, media elite and do-gooders: Just as there can be no justification for big, greedy corporations paying women less than they pay men, there’s no justification for them to exploit the nation’s youth. 

Walgreens May Move to Europe for Tax Break
Progressives killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. what else is new? ~Bob. Excerpt: Walgreens' shareholders are pushing the company to move overseas, says the Fiscal Times. Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and several hedge funds together own 5 percent of Walgreens' stock, and they're trying to convince the company to become domiciled overseas in order to reduce its U.S. tax burden. To do this, the company would need for one-fifth of its stock to be held by foreign investors. In 2012, Walgreens purchased half of the Swiss company Alliance Boots; Boots intends to purchase the rest of the company in 2015. Boots' tax rate, according to financial services firm UBS, would be just 20 percent, thanks to its Swiss residence. But Walgreens' U.S. tax rate? 37.5 percent. By redomiciling abroad, Walgreens could increase its earnings per share by a whopping 75 percent.

Blue on Blue: Labor Unions Slam 'Gutless' WH on Keystone Delay. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: The Koch brothers may get the media attention, but the billionaire getting the most political bang for his buck is Tom Steyer. The hedge-fund politico has pledged to raise $100 million to help Democrats keep the Senate, and on Friday he received a major return on his investment when the State Department again delayed its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline ... The real reason for the delay is Democratic politics. Mr. Steyer and the party's liberal financiers are climate-change absolutists who have made killing Keystone a non-negotiable demand. But the White House doesn't want to reject the pipeline before November because several Senate Democrats running for re-election claim to favor it.

Tom Cotton's New Ad Introduces His Drill Sergeant
Gotta love this political ad. ~Bob

Worth Reading: The High Cost of Liberalism. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives. Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

It's Not About Cliven Bundy - It's About Harry Reid and a Chinese Energy Giant
Excerpt: 19:01:37 CAROL: We went to the compound where they were holding the cattle that they gathered. We saw a shallow grave that had been dug and covered up and there were, as we uncovered that, there were some of our cattle that they had shot and had been thrown in the grave. 19:01:52… 19:02:17 STETSY: It’s disturbing. It’s disturbing to watch. I was there as we dug them up. It was disturbing to see cattle that we have raised dead for no reason. 19:02:26 (Go to Read More: Fox Nation, then See additional videos at end of video Could this be another Waco in the making? An excuse to exploit a "serious crisis"? --JB)

Obamacare News

Excerpt: Who’s killing whom? Writing in The New York Times the other day, Paul Krugman had this to say: "And while supposed ObamaCare horror stories keep on turning out to be false, it’s already quite easy to find examples of people who died because their states refused to expand Medicaid. According to one recent study, the death toll from Medicaid rejection is likely to run between 7,000 and 17,000 Americans each year." Really? 17,000 deaths per year? This outrageous claim flies in the face of years of careful study by real economists — who have concluded that there is almost no relationship between health insurance and mortality in the general population. As we previously reported: "In independent empirical papers, Richard Kronick and David Card and his colleagues find little evidence that health insurance coverage significantly reduces mortality. Former Director of the Congressional Budget Office June O’Neill and her husband Dave also conclude that lack of insurance has little or no impact on mortality. See the discussion at this blog herehere and here."

Signing Up for ObamaCare Was the Easy Part. By Bernard Goldberg
Excerpt: “I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact … we’re helping because of something we did,” Mr. Obama said. It’s a safe bet that Democrats up for re-election in Red States won’t be taking his advice. But you can’t fault the president for defending his signature piece of legislation. You can fault him, of course, for the way he misled the American people to get ObamaCare passed. But since we’ve been through this before let’s just say his many promises to the American people that ended with the word “period” turned out not to be true. Period!

Excerpt: Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, though, said premiums have been received for only 107,581 of those policies, which cover 149,465 people. “Many Georgians completed the application process by the deadline, but have yet to pay for the coverage,” Hudgens said in a statement Wednesday.

Obamacare's "Unfolding Fiscal Disaster." By Kevin Glass 
Excerpt: Charles Blahous of economic policy think tank Economics 21 writes about just how large of an impact that its provisions will have on the economy in the future. Spending on Obamacare's coverage expansion is immediately a massive entitlement expansion, and will only get worse. Blahaus contrasts Obamacare with our other major entitlement programs and finds that ACA spends more than all but Medicare, and does so much faster:

The Shocking Secret Behind Obamacare Enrollment Numbers. By Michael F. Cannon
Excerpt: Federal courts may soon rule that President Obama induced the majority of those enrollees to enroll by offering them taxpayer dollars he has no legal authority to spend.
If the courts put a stop to that unauthorized spending, a majority of Exchange enrollees would suddenly face the full cost of Obamacare coverage, and enrollments would plummet. (People keep speculating that the courts are going to stop Obamacare somehow. So far, wishful thinking. ~Bob)

Surprise! Doctors Forced to Rush Patients Through Appointments Thanks to Obamacare. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Because liberals don't seem to understand the concept of supply vs. demand, they failed to recognize early on that an influx of new patients without new doctors would cause a shortage and lessen the quality of care. Well, here we are.

The Democrats' Entitlement Generation: Must we carry our 24-year-old daughter on our health insurance policy?
Excerpt: Do we have to carry our 24-year-old daughter on our health insurance policy? She is employed and has two degrees. We informed her that we would be dropping her at the end of the year because it’s costing us a fortune, and she told us today that we are required by law to cover her. We do not claim her on our taxes. ... It’s your decision whether to keep your daughter on your plan.

APNewsBreak: Medicaid Paid $12M for Illinois Dead
Fair's fair--all voters deserve free health care, right, even the dead ones in Chicago. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo. The memo dated Friday, which The Associated Press obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.

Don't Believe the Spin, Obamacare Is Still a Loser. By Scott Rasmussen
Excerpt: The president's triumphal tone suggests that this is self-evidently good news and reason to celebrate the success of his health care law. He says that candidates from his party should be proud of the law and defend it. But that's not likely to happen, and the reasons are deeper than disputes about how many people actually signed up through a health care exchange.
The first is that many people are finding out that the insurance they bought through an exchange doesn't really ensure they'll get medical care.

ObamaCare Will 'Hit the Fan.' From The Patriot Post
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) actually voted against ObamaCare in 2010, and now he's warning that the law's delayed provisions mean the health care system's troubles are "going to hit the fan." In fact, he says, "There are parts of ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act, that were postponed because they are unpalatable." For example, he points to the tax on so-called "Cadillac" plans that goes into effect in a few years, noting that it will be "the first time in this country's history that we have actually taxed health care." All of it spells disaster for Democrats this fall, he predicts: "We will lose seats in the House. I am fairly certain of that based on the poll numbers that are coming out from the more experienced pollsters down there, and I think we may lose the Senate." Here's hoping he's right.

Massachusetts Democrat: ObamaCare is “going to hit the fan” in the next few years
Excerpt: As badly as President Obama wants everyone to start running with his preferred ObamaCare narrative — i.e., that “this thing is working,” “the repeal debate is and should be over,” and that “Democrats should forcefully defend” the law — but not all Democrats actually need to defend the top-down monstrosity that is now governing our healthcare system. There were a number of Democrats that didn’t join the otherwise overwhelming coalition that voted for the passage of ObamaCare, like Rep. Stephen Lynch in Massachusetts. He sounds pretty skeptical that, had the Obama administration actually allowed the law to go into effect as planned instead of making unilateral delays for the sake of political convenience, Obama would be quite so confident that “this thing is working. (Interesting, a Democrat politician from a state that has the healthcare system that ObamaCare was modeled on comes out with a very direct criticism of the plan. And he notes, as I have often tried to tell people, that the assorted delays that Mr. Obama has made to the "settled law" are there because they are "unpalatable". That means they would have a severe impact that people would notice right away, so they are being delayed until more of the system is in place and it'll be less possible to repeal it and start over. But then dealing with the happens when it "hits the fan" is going to be one enormous mess. Maybe people will figure out then that they were sold a pig in a poke, that we had to pass so we could put it into effect so then we could finally really understand it? Like understanding that the colonoscopy without anesthesia is actually not something we would have signed up for if we knew what it meant? --Del)

Will Obamacare's Losers Outvote its Winners This November? By Byron York
Excerpt: So who has, in fact, been harmed by Obamacare? The first question, of course, is what "harmed" means. But let's define it as anyone who faces higher premiums, or higher deductibles -- adding up to a total higher cost -- and/or a narrower choice of hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs than they had before. For them, health care is a more expensive and troublesome proposition than it was before Obamacare. Everything we know about the system suggests there are millions of Americans in that position, but how many? "There is no hard number," says health care analyst Bob Laszewski. The reasons are as complicated as Obamacare itself.

Krauthammer: Obama's Plan is to Semi-Nationalize Healthcare
Excerpt: "What the real objective of Obamacare is is to sever the relationship that people have now with employer-provided insurance and with their private insurance and also with the small group insurance so everybody ends up in the market, which is essentially controlled by the federal government," Krauthammer opined. "It is a semi-nationalization using the insurers as the middle man. But that’s what it’s about, and that was the objective in the first place, and that’s why all the numbers are obscure, all the numbers are hidden, and why you’ll only get them after we kick and scream and demand them." (Another simple analysis of the situation. But I hope Krauthammer is right, and it will simply expire. The plan is to make it such a huge system that it cannot be allowed to fail, and we have to live with it forever. --Del)

Religion of Peace News

Obama Has No Plan in Afghanistan and the War Against Al Qaeda
Excerpt: The US commander of the ISAF coalition in Afghanistan, General Jospeh Dunford USMC, recently stated: “We are not leaving. We are transitioning – there’s a big difference.” While it is doubtful that the Taliban could parse said difference, the statement has led to comments of Operation Enduring Freedom having led to a defeat. Since the reason we are in Afghanistan is the 9/11 attacks, this is more than a throw away comment. (Obama is going to have us basically "bug out" and leave the Afghans to fend for themselves, and the very sad and disappointing truth is that they are not really ready to do that. The Taliban will come in again, resupplied from Pakistan, and it will get very messy, and in the end, all our blood and treasure may have gone for nothing. And the Afghan women will be in hell again, and all those men who were involved with us in any way will be at terrible risk. Blood will flow in the streets, and it'll be on our heads. Or at least the heads of our "leaders", none of whom will give it a second's thought. --Del)

Police and Boko Haram Massacre Over 150 Dead
Excerpt: The attack began at about 1:30am on Sunday Easter morning and continued till 3pm Sunday Easter afternoon. ... According to the police, the attacks initially was thought to be Fulani herdsmen but as the attacks progressed, it became obvious that the attackers were most likely Boko Haram jihadists. It was confirmed that a church was burnt down during the attack – Christian Church of Nigeria – along with many homes belonging to non-Muslims. Eyewitness account indicates that fifteen corpse were seen littered on the streets – within the line of fire.

Taliban leader among 5 rebels killed in Ghazni mosque explosion
Excerpt: A local Taliban commander was among five militants killed following an explosion inside a mosque in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan. Local government officials said the militants were killed while they were making an improvised explosive device (IED) to carry out a roadside bomb explosion.

Excerpt: The people giving the demonstration were trained by the British-based imam Abu Hamza al-Masri. How did Abu Hamza, who as an imam had dedicated his life to understand and teaching Islam properly, come to misunderstand Islam so spectacularly as to think it had to do with slitting the throats of Infidels? Why do the learned analysts never ponder such questions?

Islam’s Religious War with Everyone. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Muslim hostility to Christians and Jews is not a phenomenon that began with the modern State of Israel or American foreign policy. Muslims have warred with Christians and Jews as minorities and persecuted them as majorities. Academic apologists claim that Muslim hostility toward Christians derived from an ongoing conflict, but at no time during the history of Islam until the twentieth century did the Jews have a functioning state. Israel has conveniently become the focus and explanation for Muslim hostility toward Jews, but that fails to explain over a thousand years of Muslim hatred and persecution … long before Herzl or the IDF.

Syrian Jihadis ‘Take Aim’ at Christian Toddler. By Raymond Ibrahim 
Excerpt: When it comes to Muslim persecution of Christians, increasingly the past is a blueprint to the present. According to Sham Times and other Arabic websites, jihadi social media networks posted the above picture of a child sitting on the ground while surrounded by armed men pointing their rifles at him. The caption appearing with the picture, purportedly posted by a supporter of the Free Syrian Army, is “Our youngest hostage from among the hostile sects of Kessab.”

Thai police say suspected insurgents kill 3 in shooting in south, including 2-year-old girl
Excerpt: Police Col. Chartchai Chanasit says two gunmen riding on a motorcycle carried out the attack on Sunday in the Bannang Sata district of Yala province.

Islamic school militants ‘confiscated Easter eggs’
Excerpt: A mother of a pupil alleges ­“morality squads” of older boys ­confiscated chocolate and toys from younger children. The woman, who asked not be named for fear of reprisals, told the Daily Express: “Older boys are going round in these morality squads telling off girls if they do not wear veils. “They bully the girls and stop them mingling with boys in the playground.”

Excerpt: Muhammad commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.” There is only disagreement over whether the law applies only to men, or to women also – some authorities hold that apostate women should not be killed, but only imprisoned in their houses until death. This father clearly believes that a female apostate should be killed.

No comments:

Post a Comment