Thursday, July 31, 2014

More important political news and comment


My health continues its slow improvement, with the amount I've been doing on PT Rehab and my FEV numbers both ticking up, O2 usage ticking down. Of course, I've gone up before. So I'm not out of the woods and will likely never be. But I continue to fight the battles as they present themselves. I've always been inspired by this great speech by Winston Churchill: "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!" Yes, indeed.

Lately so much interesting news and comment that I've been posting daily and will do so as I have time. Trust me, no one reads even 20% of the items--I scan most myself. Just scroll through, get the gist and read those you want to know more about. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Excerpt: More than three years after its passage sparked massive protests that jammed the Capitol Square, the state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a divisive state law that sharply curtailed the collective bargaining rights of most public workers. In upholding Gov. Scott Walker's signature piece of legislation, the court handed the governor a major victory three months before he seeks re-election.

Worth Reading: The Benefits and Hypocrisy of Playing the Slavery Card. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Blacks were not enslaved because they were black, but because they were available at the time. Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black slave was brought to the Western Hemisphere. Only late in history were human beings even capable of crossing an ocean to get millions of other human beings of a different race. In the thousands of years before that, not only did Europeans enslave other Europeans, Asians enslaved other Asians, Africans enslaved other Africans, and the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere enslaved other native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. (From Barbarians Inside the Gates, an excellent 2001 collection of Dr. Sowell's columns from the 1990s, all still very relevant and worth reading. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Obama and the Road Not Taken. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The Obama administration often denies any responsibility for the current global chaos or claims that it erupted spontaneously. Yet most of the mess was caused by, or made worse by, growing U.S. indifference and paralysis. Over the last five and a half years, America has had lots of clear choices, but the administration usually took the path of least short-term trouble, which has ensured long-term hardship.

CIA director apologizes to Senate leaders
Excerpt: CIA Director John Brennan apologized to Senate intelligence committee leaders after his inspector general found that CIA employees acted improperly when the CIA searched Senate computers earlier this year. (Boy, will Obama be angry when he learns of this from the newspapers. But if Bush was responsible for the failure of FEMA in New Orleans during his administration, why isn't Obama responsible for the CIA, IRS, NSA, JOD's fast and Furious guns to drug cartels program, the chaos in Libya following his war, or the border crisis during his? Because he's black? Oh, those racist liberals. ~Bob)

Congress approves VA reform bill
Excerpt: The Senate gave final approval Thursday to sweeping legislation aimed at fixing the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, marking a rare moment of bipartisan accord triggered by the widespread treatment delays veterans faced at agency facilities. The legislation passed 91-3 a day after the House overwhelmingly approved the package. It now goes to President Obama’s desk.

Press release on upcoming event regarding Viet Nam War history
This is the short form press conference release for the meeting to be held next Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. You can look it over and then send it out to wherever you think it might need to go. Attached is the much longer document about the conference and the organization that has set it up. Again, look it over and send it along as you see fit. This is just the beginning of a concerted effort by veterans and historians to bring the true history of the US involvement in Viet Nam into clear focus. Time is rolling along, and every year, it seems every month, we are losing some of the witnesses and participants in that history, whose testimonies must be recorded for the sake of real understanding of those events. I hope some of the recipients of this will think of appropriate places to forward this information. It would be very nice to see more veterans represented in the room when this important discussion/debate begins. --Del

Lois Lerner's Vendetta: Toxic partisanship revealed in new emails. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: House Republicans have released a Lois Lerner email exchange from November 2012 that “clearly demonstrates why Ms. Lerner not only targeted conservatives, but denied such groups their rights to due process and equal protection under the law,” wrote House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The emails were part of additional evidence the Committee turned over to the Justice Department (DOJ) to support a thorough investigation of the IRS’s criminal behavior. (If you think that Eric (With)Holder's DOJ will seriously investigate Lerner for doing Obama's bidding, and risk her singing, I have some future beachfront property in Nevada you might be interested in. Meantime, how about a game of five card stud for small stakes? ~Bob)

WWI, the Not So Great War. By Cal Thomas 
Excerpt: It is a truism that wars are started by old men who send young men (and now women) to die. What was then called The Great War turned out to be “great,” but only in its carnage. The figures, though still in dispute, are staggering even to this day. According to figures compiled by the U.S. Justice Department, there were more than 37 million casualties, including dead, wounded and missing. Russia and Germany lost the most (1.7 million and 1.73 million respectively), followed by Austria-Hungary (1.2 million), France (1.35 million) and Britain (908,371). The U.S., because of its late entry into the conflict, suffered 116,516 dead, 204,002 wounded.

Satire: Plotting Women. By Andy Weddington
Not political except to some far-left, perpetually-offended feminists), but has a very funny video. ~Bob

Right Direction or Wrong Track
Excerpt: Twenty-four percent (24%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending July 27. This finding, down two points from last week, is the lowest since the beginning of November when the country was fresh off the temporary government shutdown and in the midst of the disastrous rollout of the national health care law.

Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads. By Mike Adams
Excerpt: A global outbreak of deadly Ebola is underway and has crossed national borders. One infected victim of the horrifying disease flew on international flights, vomiting on board and exposing hundreds of people to the deadly virus which can be transmitted through airborne particles. Ebola has an 8-10 day incubation period, meaning thousands of people could be carrying it right now and spreading it across the cities of the world without even knowing it. Passengers in Hong Kong and the UK have already shown symptoms of the disease and are being tested, reports USA Today. (I haven't read any of this guy's writings before this. I hope he's just a doomsday alarmist...~Bob. News this am, Sanjay Gupta on CNN said Ebola is NOT airborne. M.O'C, MD)

Heroic American doctor stricken with Ebola forgoes treatment for gravely ill colleague
Excerpt: Two gravely ill American medical workers in Nigeria who were infected with the Ebola virus are said to be in stable condition as the humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse works to bring them back to the U.S. for treatment. Dr. Kent Brantly, the second American stricken by the disease, yesterday was offered an experimental serum but only one dose was provided. “Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol,” a nurse working with him who also infected, ... (All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplus age, excrescence, adornment, luxury or folly which can--and must--be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society," on any foundation other than "women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly--and no doubt will keep on trying. --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Note Books of Lazarus Long" in Time Enough for Love. ~Bob)

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Exposed To Ebola
...Security forces across Liberia have been ordered to enforce the new measures, part of a new action plan that included placing all nonessential government workers on 30-day compulsory leave, according to Reuters. Ebola has a fatality rate of at least 60 percent and as high as 90 percent, although a patient's chances of survival increase when the disease is spotted and treated early. The World Health Organization said the current outbreak is the largest ever recorded.

Excerpt: African leaders are converging upon the White House next week for a summit. “We’re working closely with regional governments to stem the spread of the virus. We have no plans to change any elements of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, as we believe all air travel continues to be safe here,” Schultz said.

Call for 'radical action' on drug-resistant malaria
Excerpt: Drug-resistant malaria is spreading in South East Asia, and has now reached the Cambodia-Thailand border, according to a study. "Radical action" is needed to prevent further spread of malaria parasites resistant to key drugs, say scientists.

Congresswoman who co-sponsored Bush impeachment bill said Democrats never tried to impeach Bush
Excerpt: 'She misspoke,' said a spokesman for Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. (This woman is the original recipient of the "Dumber Than A Box Of Rocks" award, I have lost track of the times she has embarrassed herself, her staff, and her whole Party. I have to wonder about the staff that let her go on the floor of The House and baldly state that no one had ever tried to impeach George Bush when she is on record as a sponsor of the move to impeach President Bush not all that many years ago. Maybe she hires incompetents, which would make sense given her lack of intelligence and common sense. She really lives up to Mark Twain's characterization of congress people as idiots. (The link will take you to the article and even a video of her going on her rant about impeachment.) It's amusing as long as you don't think about the fact that she gets a vote in Congress as valid as anyone else's. --Del)

Excerpt: Wow. “The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.” — Alison Lundergan Grimes, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Kentucky. The “Iron Dome” is an anti-missile air-defense system that shoots down incoming rockets, similar to the Patriot-missile batteries that the U.S. used in the Persian Gulf War. It does not work underground. (By the way . . . we do live in a world where Russian separatists shoot down airliners, Russia's firing rockets into Ukraine, ISIS is on the march and enacting "religious cleansing" in its territory, Hamas hides its rockets in schools, Boko Haram still has the school girls, and Europe's exploding with anti-Semitism. So if that caption outrages you . . . I hope it's not the preeminent outrage in your life right now. It's a snarky caption, not the secret ingredient of Soylent Green. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt Morning Jolt is a free e-newsletter, well worth subscribing too. ~Bob)

Nato 'unprepared' for Russia threat, say MPs
Excerpt: Nato is poorly prepared for an attack on a member state from Russia, an influential group of MPs has warned. The Commons Defence Committee said the recent Ukraine conflict showed "serious deficiencies" in Nato's preparedness to counter threats - and "radical reform" was needed. (Napoleon with the best Army in the world couldn't take Russia. Hitler with 100 divisions couldn't. The west has steadily reduced its military to pay for the endless appetite of the growing welfare state. We cannot project enough power into Easter Europe to stop Russia, short of using nukes, which we are, shall we say, reluctant to do. Probably couldn't at the height of the Reagan build up. Economic power is the only hope--and it has not had good results against smaller states like Iraq and Iran. ~Bob)

Senior Fellow Larry Kotlikoff Testifies on Social Security's Insolvency, Complexity
Excerpt: In testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, Larry Kotlikoff, NCPA Senior Fellow and Director of the Tax Analysis Center, explained why the Social Security program is insolvent and in need of reform. In order to pay full Social Security benefits on time, as promised, Kotlikoff explains that the payroll tax would need to rise by 32 percent immediately. If raising the payroll tax is not an option, Social Security would have to cut all benefit payments by 22 percent in order to keep the program afloat. But putting aside these financial realities, Kotlikoff identifies another set of problems with the program: complexity. Even the formulas used to calculate benefits are confusing! (It's worth subscribing to the NCPA's free Daly policy Digest as well as Dr. Goodman's health policy blog at ~Bob

$1.4 Trillion Medicare Cash Deficit Under Obama
Excerpt: On July 28, the Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on entitlement programs. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Gordon Gray and Conor Ryan of the American Action Forum delve into the details, explaining why Medicare is in serious trouble. According to the Trustees, Medicare will go bankrupt in 2030 and Social Security will follow just three years later, in 2033. Many were pleased that Medicare's bankruptcy date had been pushed to 2030, as previous projections had expected the program to run out by 2026. But as the American Action Forum (AAF) report shows, there is no reason to be anything other than concerned about Medicare's solvency:
Medicare took in only $283 billion in 2013 but spent $583 billion. That shortfall was 40 percent of the federal deficit in 2013. Since 1965, the Medicare program has had a cash shortfall every year, with the exception of two years (1966 and 1974), totaling $3.4 trillion. The program borrows tax revenue from other programs in order to cover the shortfalls. More than one-fourth (29.3 percent) of the national debt is due to the Medicare shortfall. The program is not sustainable: (Let's see, in 2030 I'll be 84, unlike to have to worry about it. My wife will be 79, could be a problem for her. And of course, my granddaughter will have to face the chaos created by the collapse of the entitlement state. Unfortunately, I don't think we've got until 2030, too many other factors will likely put us over the tipping point long before. I'd guess 2020 give or take a couple of years. See: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic: And what you can do to prevent it . Reviews on Amazon: . All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. But for a free 80-page PDF of the book, you can read on your computer, write me at tartanmarine(at) ~Bob

Doctors Spend More Time in the Courtroom Than the Classroom
Excerpt: Medical malpractice suits are time consuming and emotionally draining. The average physician spends more time—about 11 percent of his or her career—embroiled in malpractice litigation than it takes to complete medical school. Most claims consume two years prior to resolution, and nearly twice that much time elapses since the event in question. (Gee, I wonder why health care costs are soaring? ~Bob)

Obamacare News

BREAKING NEWS: Obama Union Endorser Slams Obamacare. By Wayne Allyn Root
Excerpt: UNITE HERE—the first union to endorse Obama for president—has released a scathing report on Obamacare. Entitled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse,” UNITE HERE charges that the administration is putting union health care into a “death spiral,” leading to the destruction of healthcare plans we were promised we could keep.
“The ACA [Affordable Care Act] threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” the report points out. It also argues that the ACA will transfer a billion dollars in wealth to insurance companies, create an uneven playing field in the market, and force employers to slash hours and cut back on pay. ("You'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the unraveling of Obamacare." --Jonah Goldberg)

Undocumented Democrat News

54% Believe Obama Wants Most New Illegal Immigrants to Stay
Excerpt: Voters think President Obama is doing a poor job handling the latest immigration crisis and believe he wants to let most of the new illegal immigrants stay here despite majority support for their quick deportation.

You're-Greener-Than-Gore News

The Ethanol Boondoggle: But Won't Ethanol Help Stop Global Warming? By Mark Alexander
Excerpt: Here in the mountains of east Tennessee, we distill corn mash to produce a product provincially known as Moonshine – because it is often produced and transported under cover of darkness. Arguably, it is a more useful and beneficial product than that toxic form of distilled alcohol from corn mandated for fuel blends by the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called “Renewable Fuel” Standard.

Religion of Peace News

Left Hopes for Cease-Fire as Israel Battles Extinction
The sound bites this week about the Israeli conflict show exactly what's at stake. In a video clip released by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a unnamed Islamic cleric in Gaza giving a sermon on the Hamas television channel Al-Aqsa TV shared the ultimate goal of Hamas: total extermination of the Jews. "Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you," the cleric said. "We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries." Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will destroy the tunnels of Hamas, regardless of anything else. "I won't agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel's security," he said. And back in the states, the Democrat challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes, told a Kentucky newspaper, "The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in." Um, we don't think that's how the Iron Dome works, or that Netanyahu can declare "mission accomplished" just yet.

Woman Used As Human Shield in ‘70s: ‘Palestinians Have Perfected Propaganda War’ (Video)
Excerpt: Brigitte Gabriel, who was used as a human shield when she was a child, was on “The Kelly File” tonight to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict.

MB Cleric Qaradawi Still Loving Hamas and Hating Jews
Excerpt: A good contrast between pragmatism and raw religious hatred came in recent statements from prominent Sunni voices. Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide and popular Al-Jazeera program host, appeared on the network earlier this month to defend Hamas as "nothing but a group that is defending itself, defending its country, defending its brethren, defending its honor, defending its (Muslim) Ummah." It is not, he added, a terrorist group.

Quest for Demilitarization of Gaza Is Seen Getting Netanyahu Only So Far. By Jodi Rudoren
Excerpt: After years in which Israel’s prevailing approach to the Gaza Strip was a simple “quiet for quiet” demand, there is growing momentum around a new formula, “reconstruction for demilitarization.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is only the latest in a string of Israeli leaders who saw Gaza mainly as an irritant to be controlled with periodic crackdowns and as a roadblock to resolving the nation’s broader conflict with the Palestinians. (Hamas does not want reconstruction and a better life for the people of Gaza. They want Israel and the Jews dead or gone. That of course, is only the start. Like other Islamists, they want all non-Muslims in the world dead, subjugated or converted. Israel is the front line, but we are the eventual targets. So, of course, are other Muslims, who have even a slightly different interpretation of Islam--by far the most victims of Allahmurder are Muslims. ~Bob

Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent. By David D. Kirkpatrick
Excerpt: Battling Palestinian militants in Gaza two years ago, Israel found itself pressed from all sides by unfriendly Arab neighbors to end the fighting. Not this time. After the military ouster of the Islamist government in Cairo last year, Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states — including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — that has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip. That, in turn, may have contributed to the failure of the antagonists to reach a negotiated cease-fire even after more than three weeks of bloodshed.

Million Ceasefires. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: If you like cease-fires, then this is a great time to be alive. Those Israelis who weren’t shot in the head by Hamas terrorists (whom Andrew Sullivan insists weren’t real Hamas terrorist, trading in his obsession with Sarah Palin’s rogue pregnancy for a new conspiracy theory) or killed by a Hamas rocket, encounter almost as many cease-fires in a given day as terrorist attacks. A cease-fire comes along every few minutes and it can last anywhere from a minute to an hour to a few hours until Hamas once again begins firing rockets or swarming through tunnels to attack Israelis.

US Embassy in Tel Aviv Severely Restricts Visas for Israelis
The US embassy in Tel Aviv has cancelled tourist visa applications for Israelis, according to a statement on its official website, in a move it claims is a matter of staffing and security. ...The statement surfaces in the midst of both souring US-Israel relations and an already-pressured visa crisis, which has seen the visa process for Israelis grow more and more difficult over the past year. In April, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an internal review into claims that hundreds of young Israelis were being barred from entering the US for political reasons. (Should come through Southern border with the Other Than Mexicans; would get jetted/bussed to any of the continental US states, furnished food, clothing, medical care, schooling...all anonymously, no ID required; that would be discriminating. --Barb)

IDF Soldiers Killed in Booby-Trapped UN Building
The three IDF soldiers who were killed on Wednesday in Gaza, were killed when explosives detonated within a booby-trapped UN building inKhan Younis, Breitbart reports. An elite IDF tunnel unit was in the process of uncovering an opening to a Hamas tunnel located at an UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) health clinic when all of a sudden the explosives detonated, causing the entirety of the building to fall on top of the soldiers. Neither the UN nor UNRWA have commented on the incident that resulted in the deaths of three Israeli soldiers, according to Breitbart.

Watch: IDF Finds Terror Tunnel in Gaza Mosque
Excerpt: Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers do not only use schools to store weapons and launch rockets towards Israel. On Wednesday, a joint IDF task force uncovered a tunnel entrance on the ground floor of a mosque that had been used by Hamas terrorists to attack Israeli soldiers.

Great Pictures: Here's How US Marines Evacuate An Embassy In A Hostile Country. By David M Brooks
Excerpt: The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was evacuated on Saturday in response to intense insurgent fighting, according to the State Department. A Marine quick reaction force led the evacuation with assistance from two USMC MV-22 Ospreys, three Air Force F-16 fighter jets, and an undisclosed number of surveillance drones, according to the Military Times. In situations like these, the Marine Corps is trusted to quickly respond to hostile situations, and countless hours of training have made it more than capable. (Marines in action. see the pictures/descriptions and video at the bottom...GBH. ("GBH is a retired Marine MajGen who reads my blog and often sends items. Thank you, Sir! --SSGT Robert A. Hall.)

'Dozens of bodies' at captured base in Benghazi, Libya
Excerpt: At least 35 bodies have been recovered from a Libyan military base that was overrun by Islamist-led militias, the Libyan Red Crescent says. The special forces base in Benghazi was captured on Tuesday, after two days of intense fighting. Libya has been gripped by a wave of violence involving the militias that spearheaded the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. (Heck of a job getting rid of Gaddafi, Bammy! ~Bob)

Important: Bill Clinton Told Businessmen On 9/10/2001 That He Passed On Killing Osama Bin Laden. By Christine Rousselle 
Excerpt: Newly-discovered audio from a September 10, 2001 meeting in Melbourne confirms that former President Bill Clinton could have killed Osama Bin Laden in the 1990s, but chose not to do so as hundreds of civilians would have also been killed. The audio was forgotten about until recently and was released on Australian television on Wednesday. (And how many thousands of American civilians and troops died because our "respected elder statesman" choked? Not to mention tens of thousands of Muslims. ~Bob)

Bill Whittle: Losing the Peace in Iraq
From the email forward: This is a chilling but extremely informative 6 minute video that actually will tell you the truth about who the real American enemies are. Some of you already know this, but this guy explains it so very well that you need to send this to everyone you know. (Compares Iraq to Vietnam. ~Bob)

Australia: 12-Yr. Old Girl 'Married' Off by Father to 26-Yr. Old
Excerpt: A 12 year old girl in Australia was married off by her father to a 26 yr old Lebanese student and told that she had to comply due to sharia.

Pakistani Mob Lynches Grandmother & Two Girls Due to Faith

Excerpt: A Pakistani Muslim mob raging against Ahmadi Muslims, who they view as heretical, set upon an Ahmadi community, killing a grandmother and her two small granddaughters and injuring others.

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