Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A LOT of not-to-be-missed news today


About 50 degrees today, snow gone. Slammed with email as you can see from this post. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Interesting: One pilot locked out of cockpit as plane descended!
Excerpt: As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in. A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter. “The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.” He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” (If the names of the pilots are ever disclosed, we may have a clue. --Don Hank)

No Pressure? Bergdahl to be charged with desertion, official says
Excerpt: Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was taken captive by the Taliban after abandoning his post in Afghanistan and later freed in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees, will be charged with desertion, a senior U.S. official told Fox News. 
The development comes nearly one year after his May 2014 release -- which initially was a joyous occasion, with his family joining President Obama in celebrating the news in the Rose Garden. But that gave way to controversy in Washington as Bergdahl was accused of putting his fellow soldiers in danger by abandoning his post five years earlier. The trade of five hardened Taliban fighters for his freedom raised deep concerns on Capitol Hill that the administration struck an unbalanced deal. (Some Army leaders have guts--Obama gets even. I'll bet the pressure is on from the White House to make this go away. Released top terrorists for a deserter. The Obots will be saying this is "old news," unlike the Crusades, of course. ~Bob. At long, long last the Army's wheels have finally ground out a decision on this situation. From my point of view, it seemed pretty predictable, as long as Powers From Above (you know who I mean) didn't decide to interfere. Now the only question is how long his lawyers can drag out the move from the hearing, which should go forward quickly, to the court martial. And then how long they can drag that out. It took the Army over four years to get through a trial for Nidal Hasan, in a crime so manifestly obvious as to be ridiculous, with a perpetrator who proudly claimed he did it nonstop. How long can they take to try Bergdahl, when the crime is nowhere near as obvious from a legalistic point of view? I shudder to think. And here's a best guess for the final result- guilty of at least something, suspended sentence, a BCD, and forfeiture of all pay. Kick the guy out and close the case, let him go try to salvage some kind of life for himself. Given how flaky he's been, he could end up homeless on the street someplace. --Del. Or go Jihad. ~Bob

Surprise! Official: At least 3 members of 'Taliban 5' tried to reconnect with terror networks
Excerpt: At least three of the five Taliban leaders traded last year for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have tried to plug back into their old terror networks, a government official familiar with the intelligence told Fox News, describing it as an attempt to "re-engage." The new allegations come as Bergdahl now faces desertion charges, and as the one-year deal governing the former Guantanamo detainees' supervised release in the Gulf nation of Qatar is set to expire -- at the end of May. 

Important: Homeland Security watchdog faults visa official for helping (Democrat) insiders
Excerpt: The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department intervened several times in projects with connections to insiders, including Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a report issued by the department's watchdog Tuesday. Alejandro Mayorkas, while head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, created an "appearance of favoritism" in a program that offers visas to wealthy foreigners willing to invest in American companies, the report says, though it stops short of saying Mayorkas was guilty of wrongdoing. ... The projects included McAuliffe's electric car company, GreenTech Automotive; a series of films by Sony Pictures; and a luxury hotel and casino in Las Vegas. (Back in July 2013, I wrote, “wonder if the investigation will be resolved before November of this year.” Hey, it only took 20 months, a year and a half into McAuliffe’s term as governor. -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Friendly Reminder: There Was No Inspector General At State When Hillary Was There. By Matt Vespa
Excerpt: For five years, including all of Clinton’s time as secretary, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General never had a confirmed inspector. Instead, it was lead by acting inspector Harold W. Geisel, a former ambassador who was accused of being too cozy to agency leadership by transparency groups like the Project on Government Oversight. Throughout the first half of President Obama’s first term, the absence of a State Department Inspector General while internal scandals and Benghazi rocked the department drew bipartisan criticism.

Excerpt: If the emails being investigated by the House are any indication Hillary Clinton’s emails show a woman whose main concern is herself. In a group of approximately 300 emails handed over to the House committee investigating the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi its apparent Clinton’s image was clearly her top priority. In one email she sent to an advisor the same day House Republicans vigorously question a top State Department official she asked “Did we survive the day,” according to the New York Times.

Forget About It: Hillary Clinton’s Email Problem Will Fade Quickly
Excerpt: Longtime Clinton loyalist Paul Begala, in a Politico piece by Gabriel Debenedetti, recently described the likely fallout from the Hillary Clinton email scandal as “Voters do not give a shit. They do not even give a fart…Find me one persuadable voter who agrees with HRC on the issues but will vote against her because she has a non-archival-compliant email system and I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and say it smells like roses.” Mr. Begala’s conclusion, his somewhat disturbing scatological imagery notwithstanding, is probably accurate, but not precisely for the reasons he asserts... (And in the WH, we can expect more of the same. Give the "headcount" bread and circuses and they don't care who is in power. ~Bob)

Hillary Jokes While Failing To Answer The Simplest Of Questions: If There's Nothing To Hide, Why Hide?
Excerpt: How is the relationship between the American people and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton? Although Hillary could clear her name by providing her private email server to a third party for forensic examination, she has decided that it will “remain private.” Why? This simple question will pull upon the minds of the American people (the ones who aren’t shills or idiots anyway). If there’s nothing to hide, why hide? (The old Clinton/Obama strategy. Hunker down and wait for your media water carriers to distract the public's attention from the scandal. ~Bob)

Why? Federal workers owe more than $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes
Excerpt: Federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes last year, a $200 million increase over the previous year, the IRS said Tuesday. Almost 305,000 federal workers and retirees owed back taxes as of Sept. 30. That's down from 318,000 the year before. (Why don't they go after them, garnish their wage/retirement checks, or fire them? Maybe because they belong to government employee unions that vote Democrat. After all, Al Sharpton owes millions and is a White House advisor, but going after him alienates the radical black vote.
In 1990, the IRS placed liens on Willie Nelson's property totaling $16.7 million. He lost most of his assets. Why not on Al or Government workers? ~Bob)

Reset! Obama Calls Afghan President Wrong Name During Joint Press Conference [VIDEO]
Excerpt: During a joint press conference at the White House with the President of Afghanistan that was intended to demonstrate the close cooperation between the two nations, President Barack Obama accidentally called his counterpart by the wrong name. Obama met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani earlier in the day to discuss U.S. troop withdrawals in the war-torn country. But at the press conference, Obama referred to him as “Karzai,” the name of his predecessor Hamid Karzai

Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015). By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Born in Singapore in 1923, when it was a British colony, Lee Kuan Yew studied at Cambridge University after World War II, and was much impressed by the orderly, law-abiding England of that day. It was a great contrast with the poverty-stricken and crime-ridden Singapore of that era. Today Singapore has a per capita Gross Domestic Product more than 50 percent higher than that of the United Kingdom and a crime rate a small fraction of that in England. A 2010 study showed more patents and patent applications from the small city-state of Singapore than from Russia. Few places in the world can match Singapore for cleanliness and orderliness.

Excerpt: Margo Kaplan is not very popular today. In the Monday edition of the New York Times, the Rutgers-Camden law professor, an NYU and Harvard graduate, takes to the op-ed pages to argue that we’ve got it all wrong when it comes to pedophilia. She writes that pedophiles don’t necessarily turn out to be child molesters and that pedophilia is not a choice, i.e. a pedophile might be born that way. We reached her in her office in Camden to discuss. (You could say the same thing about other forms of rape. But that wouldn't be politically correct. ~Bob)

Interesting: Slavery - and those who worked to end it 
Excerpt: There has never been an abolitionist movement to completely end slavery in the Islamic world, as Mohammed himself owned slaves. The U.S. State Department in 1993 estimated 90,000Southern Sudanese were captured and taken into slavery by North African Arabs. UNICEF estimated 200,000 children a year are sold from West and Central Africa to be domestic, agricultural, and sex slaves in neighboring countries.

At the top of their game. As Always. Susan Rice Tweets — Deletes — Condolences To Nigerian Writer Who Died TWO YEARS Ago
Excerpt: National Security Advisor Susan Rice offered condolences on Twitter Monday upon news of the death of Nigerian literary icon Chinua Achebe. Except Achebe’s passing wasn’t news at all. The author of “Things Fall Apart” died in Boston on March 22, 2013, at the age of 82.

Bipartisanship: Senate clobbers Obama’s $4 trillion budget plan in 1-98 vote — Here’s the one guy who voted ‘yes.’ By Pete Kasperowicz
Excerpt: The Senate on Tuesday destroyed any lingering hope President Barack Obama might have had for passing his budget plan through Congress this year, by voting down Obama’s plan 1-98. The only senator to vote for the plan was Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). (Who says Obama can't create bipartisanship? ~Bob)

Ted Cruz Resume is quite impressive
Excerpt: Cruz’s Resume is indeed “damn impressive” a far cry from that of the Community Organizer that the mainstream media rammed down the throat of the clueless masses and the whites with guilt. By what I’ve seen so far, the mainstream media will take the opposite approach in covering this minority candidate, because he happens to be conservative and believes in America’s exceptional – what a damn shame!

Swedish military identified and followed four Russian fighter plane near Gotland and Bornholm, off the country's east coast on Tuesday morning.
The planes were spotted in international airspace but heading towards Sweden at around 5.30am. None of the aircraft - two TU-22M planes and two SU-27 fighter jets - were using transponders, the telecommunications devices that emit and gather signals from planes. "It is the first time in years that we have seen precisely this type of aircraft over the Baltic Sea," Anders Grenstad, Deputy Director of Operations for the Swedish Armed Forces told the TT news agency. (Remember yesterday’s Jolt, featuring a chilling, unnervingly plausible scenario of Russia occupying Sweden’s Gotland Island and annexing the Baltic states? -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Photo shows kids climbing all over war memorial
Typical kids, bad parents, raising kids with no respect who will be trouble. Alas, that too is typical of our age. ~Bob

CBS Attempts To Trap Ted Cruz With Obamacare Question, His Response Is Perfect
Excerpt: With Ted Cruz announcing his candidacy for the President of the United States, the liberal media attack dogs have been unleashed and channeling their inner Cujo. Every media outlet has been attempting to discredit, embarrass, call out, and try to trip Cruz up. The problem is Cruz is too smart for the liberal media. Every pitch they throw, he knocks it out of the park.

Excerpt: Some five years ago Russia marketed a disturbing new missile product; the modularized "klub" missile in 3 variants; anti-ship, anti-sub and land attack. Fair enough, but the scary part was the innovative packaging --they were presented in the form of ready-to-fire units fully integrated into common shipping containers, complete with vertical launch system, booster unit with thrust vectoring, etc. Conceivably a totally innocuous-looking transport ship could be packing Armageddon, or close, and make its hostile intentions detectable only at the last possible moment as it approached an unwitting target --the dream scenario of any bad actor. (Check out how the Russians have made some very scary advances in packaging weapons. Think about how ubiquitous containers are all over the world, and in every major city of the West for sure. Watch the video. --Del. Obama lets Iran get the bomb so he can claim a deal. Iran gives one or more to terrorist groups. This is how the bomb gets to New York City to carry out the one promise from Iran we can believe: "Death to America." ~Bob)

TWO PEOPLE Have Filed OVER 1,700 Sex Discrimination Complaints With Dept. Of Education. By Eric Owen
Excerpt: Exactly two people are responsible for filing over 1,700 sex discrimination complaints with the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in the last few years.
Catherine E. Lhamon, the Education Department’s secretary for civil rights, won’t identify these two highly litigious individuals.

IG Audit: ATF Spent $600K on Drones Deemed 'Unsuitable' for Use
Excerpt: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spent "approximately $600,000" to purchase six drones, three different models, between September 2011 and September 2012 "but never flew them operationally" because they were "unreliable or unsuitable," says a March conducted by the Justice Department inspector-general.

Video: A tribute to the U.S. military service personnel who gave their all for our freedom

How a $300 Million Bet on Australian Satellite Company Went Wrong for Export-Import Bank. By Melissa Quinn
Excerpt: As lawmakers grapple with whether to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, an Australian satellite company with a “significantly uncertain” future that received more than $300 million in loans from the bank is in jeopardy of defaulting on its loans.

Google employees average one White House meeting per week under Obama
Excerpt: Google’s access to high-ranking Obama administration officials during a critical phase of the antitrust probe is one sign of the Internet giant’s reach in Washington. Since Obama took office, employees of the Mountain View, Calif., company have visited the White House for meetings with senior officials about 230 times, or an average of roughly once a week, according to the visitor logs reviewed by the Journal. One top lobbyist at Google, Johanna Shelton, has had more than 60 meetings at the White House.

Obama reportedly snubs NATO chief as Russia makes new threats against allies
Excerpt: President Barack Obama reportedly will not meet with NATO's new secretary general when he is in Washington this week, despite requests from the alliance chief's staff for a discussion. Bloomberg View reported Tuesday that Jens Stoltenberg's office requested a meeting with Obama in advance of his scheduled visit, but did not get any response from the White House. Instead, Bloomberg View reported that Stoltenberg had to settle for a last-minute meeting with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. (Report also indicates tensions heating between Russia and UK over Falklands/Argentina. --Barb. I doubt the UK now has the force to defend the Falklands. ~Bob)

Gun News

FDIC chairman comes under fire during 'Operation Choke Point' hearings
Excerpt: FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg came under fire Tuesday at a House subcommittee hearing over allegations that Operation Choke Point, a controversial federal law enforcement program, abused its authority by cutting off funding for targeted businesses. During one exchange, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., suggested Gruenberg step down as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation after Gruenberg was unable to answer questions about employees involved with Choke Point as well as specific allegations the agency overstepped its authority. Duffy said the hearing was called to get answers directly from Gruenberg on what he knew, when he knew it and who has been held accountable.

Excerpt: Wisconsin Representative Joel Kleefisch has revived his proposal which would allow off-duty, retired, and out-of-state law enforcement officers to carry guns on public school grounds. A similar proposal which would have allowed all legal WI CCP holders to carry on school grounds was shot down last session.

PD: Neighbor shoots man seen stabbing mother
Excerpt: Police say a man is dead after a neighbor shot him in an effort to save a woman's life in a neighborhood near 51st Avenue and Cactus.

Is Gun-Free Really Danger Free? OC Premiers “Safe Haven: Gun-Free Zone in America” Documentary
Excerpt: Outdoor Channel is debuting its inaugural documentary film, “Safe Haven: Gun-Free Zones in America” (“Safe Haven”), on Wednesday, April 1. The hour-long original documentary, which is hosted by Katie Pavlich – Townhall news editor, FOX News contributor and New York Times best-selling author, brings audiences to the center of the controversy regarding gun-free zones in America. “Safe Haven” takes a critical look at the history of gun-free zones in the United States and their effect on crime prevention through a series of interviews with law enforcement, industry experts and survivors, among others. The documentary explores how effective, or perhaps ineffective, these gun-free measures have been and offers possible solutions that would better protects schools, businesses and the public at large. (Gun Free Zones are safe--for criminals and murderers, who know that good people there cannot defend themselves. ~Bob)

Two shot during weekend home invasion in Lincoln County
Excerpt: Lincoln County Sheriff's Department investigators said three men went to the door of a home on March Mill Road Saturday night and told the homeowner to put his hands in the air. The homeowner pulled a handgun and was shot in the right arm, but he also returned fire, authorities said.

Man Shot And Killed After He Broke Into Versailles Home, Witnesses Say
Excerpt: According to witnesses at the scene, Salmons was armed with a knife and he had made forced entry into the residence located at 12945 Dorsey Lane, threatening the occupants inside. Salmons was then reportedly shot with a small caliber weapon, and retreated outside the residence where he collapsed.

Homeowner shoots knife-wielding intruder
Excerpt: After the shooting, a woman called 911 to report that her husband shot someone who was trying to break in. When police arrived at the home, they found a body lying next to a 6-inch knife.

Race Card News

Black Teen Allegedly Guns Down Unarmed White Man Begging ‘Don’t Shoot’…Liberal Outrage?
Excerpt: Given the passion with which Sharpton, Jackson, and others condemned what they saw as the racial component in Michael Brown’s death on a residential street in Ferguson, one can reasonably ask where the liberal outrage is over the senseless murder that just happened in Philadelphia. According to the NBC station in the City of Brotherly Love, it was an apparent black-on-white crime. The suspects are three African-American teens. The victim was a 51-year-old husband and father who was walking his dog along a quiet street. And before he was gunned down in an apparent robbery, police say this man did, in fact, beg for his life, crying, “Please don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot me.”

Murderer To Victims' Families: 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot.' Apologizes instead to families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner
Excerpt: Fredrick Young had just been handed a life sentence for the 2012 murder of two white teenage boys who came to Detroit looking for drugs. According to various news reports, Young and an accomplice robbed, tortured, and then murdered the two teens and left their lifeless bodies in a vacant field. During the sentencing, the victims' families addressed their sons' murderer, whose back was turned to them. They poured out their feelings through intense and emotional statements. When it came time for Young to speak, he continued to ignore the grieving families:

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Obama: Let's Face It, Obamacare is Blowing Away Expectations. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: Also, the majority of those "newly insured" through the exchanges previously had coverage. On the other side of the ledger, Obamacare has failed to substantially reduce all Americans' premiums (they've gone up for the vast majority of people, with the worst yet to come), it has substantially increased health costs for tens of millions (out of pocket costs are astronomical for many), it has stripped people of their preferred plans and doctors, it has exacerbated primary care doctor shortages, it has inflicted "access shock" upon consumers, it has increased the government's healthcare tab, it has impeded economic growth, it has hurt employment, and polls show that it has actively harmed many more people than it's helped. Those are facts (click through for tons of citations), and they constitute major failures -- far beyond the infamous and costly roll-out debacle, the repercussions of which are still being felt to this day. And yet, President Obama has smirkingly pronounced his signature law a success beyond his wildest dreams, ludicrously claiming that every prediction critics made has been proven wrong:

Voters Still Strongly Oppose IRS’ Obamacare Duties
Excerpt: The head of the Internal Revenue Service acknowledged recently that his agency has fielded less than half of taxpayer telephone calls this year because of its new responsibilities policing Obamacare. But voters still strongly believe the IRS should concentrate on tax collection instead. Just 20% of Likely U.S. Voters think policing public compliance with the new national health care law is a good use of IRS resources. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 68% disagree and believe the IRS should remain focused on collecting taxes. 

Undocumented Democrat News

Appeals court sets April 17 date for hearing on Obama immigration action
Excerpt: The Justice Department had asked Hanen to lift the injunction while the case was appealed to the 5th Circuit. But Hanen put that request on hold until he heard from federal prosecutors about allegations that the U.S. government had misled him about the implementation of part of the immigration plan. During a court hearing last week, a Justice Department attorney apologized to Hanen for any confusion about how more than 108,000 people received three-year reprieves from deportation before the judge made a decision on the injunction.

Released FOIA Documents: 165,900 Convicted Criminal Illegals Released Into US by Obama Homeland Security
Excerpt: "This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the President and perpetrated by our own immigration officials," he said. "These criminal immigrants should have been deported to ensure that they could never commit crimes on U.S. soil. But instead, ICE officials chose not to detain them and instead released them back onto American streets. The Administration's actions are outrageous. They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people."

"You're Greener than Gore" News

White House Claims About Wind Power Are Implausible and Dangerous. By Julian Morris
Excerpt: "The report shows that with continuing technological advancements, cost reductions, and siting and transmission development, the nation can deploy wind power to economically provide 35% of our nation's electricity and supply renewable power in all 50 states by 2050."
The "continuing technological advancements" and "cost reductions" mean the White House's estimate is based on hope - hope that some as-yet unimagined future technology will change the economics of wind power, making it more cost effective than fossil fuel-based generation. That's not impossible - but it is very unlikely. And hope without change can be both costly and unpleasant.

Global Warming Is Killing Everyone
Excerpt: Take newly elected Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who wooed voters by pledging to address man-made global warming with initiatives like cap and trade. On Feb. 4, Beyer wrote on his website, “In all, extreme weather events triggered over $110 billion in losses and almost 7,000 fatalities” in 2014. He reiterated that claim a month later in the Falls Church News-Press, in which he repeated, “More than 7,000 Americans lost their lives to climate change-fueled events last year.” That’s pretty startling. And egregiously wrong. After Beyer’s assertion received backlash, spokesman Thomas Scanlon attempted to clear the air. “That number should be globally, not just in the United States,” he told PolitiFact. “We made an error in editing this column.” Even still, the claim is deceptive. The statistic (which was actually 7,700) was derived from Germany-based insurer Munich RE, which tallies “global natural loss event.” According to researcher Peter Hoeppe, “We do not have the ability to identify the direct impact of global warming on fatalities caused by natural catastrophes, other than to say any fatality caused by the earthquake peril are not due to global warming.”

Religion of Peace News

BREAKING NEWS: Saudi Arabia launches airstrikes in Yemen
Excerpt: The Saudi ambassador to the US says his country has begun airstrikes against Houthi rebels, who drove out American-backed Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. 

Obama's Arm's race: US Declassifies Document Revealing Israel's Nuclear Program Obama revenge for Netanyahu's Congress talk? 1987 report on Israel's top secret nuclear program released in unprecedented move. By Ari Yashar, Matt Wanderman
Excerpt: In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.
But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth. (That is, the whacks against Israel by this Administration. No reason in the world to declassify this report now, other than to fan the hatred and paranoia of the Arab countries against Israel. After the comments by a White House staffer about the "occupation force" of Israel, a perfect repetition of Hamas comments, this is one more not so subtle kick at the Israelis. Clearly, when you tick off this President, he and his people will come after you in a variety of ways. While, of course, repeating what a great supporter of Israel we are. Sure. --De. The Saudis will surely be next. ~Bob)

Trust the Fatwa we haven't seen: Obama's Iran Deal Probably Won't Be In Writing. By Conn Carroll 
Excerpt: One might hope that a President of the United States would at least get a written agreement from the leader of a country that chants "Death to America" on any nuclear deal. But President Obama is not just any President of the United States. And his quest for a second term legacy accomplishment may just force America into a handshake agreement on Iran's nuclear weapons program. (Obama says the "Death to America" chant in Iran is "for domestic political consumption." Suppose a candidate for President called for "Death to Iran" or "Death to Muslims" for "domestic political consumption." Think it would make the news? I say "Death to anyone who calls for Death to America." Does that make me Islamophobic? ~Bob)

More likely now: What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan? By Steven Starr, Lynn Eden and Theodore A. Postol
Excerpt: Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched. Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. What follows is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of New York City. (But I think it will be an Iran-supplied terrorist bomb in a shipping container in the harbor. Probably only 50 kilotons. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Nuclear Musings: A glimpse inside the diary of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. By Lawrence J. Haas
Excerpt: Ah, the Americans. When it comes to our nuclear weapons program, they leave us with only good choices! On the one hand, I can drag out the talks beyond this month’s latest deadline because the desperate Americans certainly will agree to keep talking. That’s how we went from the six-month interim deal in November 2013, through a deadline in July 2014, and then through another deadline in November 2014. And why not? At every stage, the meek Barack Obama and the spineless John Kerry throw more concessions our way.

Kicking the Can: White House announces pause in US troop drawdown from Afghanistan
Excerpt: President Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. will keep nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through the end of the year, hitting pause on the scheduled drawdown after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani voiced security concerns. The president, saying Afghanistan remains a "dangerous place," announced the move in a joint press conference with Ghani. The two met earlier in the Oval Office, during Ghani's first White House visit since being elected president of the war-torn country. (Doesn't want it to become the next Iraq until 2017. ~Bob)

U.S. Begins Airstrikes on ISIS in Tikrit for First Time. By Rod Nordland
Excerpt: American warplanes began airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Tikrit late Wednesday, entering a struggling Iraqi offensive to retake the city for the first time after more than three weeks of remaining on the sidelines. A coalition of Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces aided by Iranian military advisers have been trying to root out Islamic State fighters from Tikrit, an important city north of Baghdad in Iraq’s Sunni heartland. From the start, the offensive went without American air assistance — government and militia officials had boasted that airstrikes were neither needed nor wanted, and American officials privately expressed discomfort with the idea of directly aiding an operation led by militias and Iranian officials. ( Going in on the ground against the ISIS fanatics means nasty, dirty, intense house-to-house fighting, that's really costly, and the Iraqis of this assortment of groups aren't really up to it. They made headway initially, with overwhelming force, but once the ISIS guys tightened up into a hard core in the city buildings, the attackers slowed down, then stopped. And they want airpower to come in and blast the buildings the bad guys are in to bits, after which they can go in and mop up. And the Iranian general who was in charge backed away, because it was very bad politics for this Administration to send US forces to back up an Iranian-led force. Smart on the part of the Iranians, maybe smart for us. If ISIS is finally driven out of Tikrit, even if it leaves the city a smoking ruin, it's a very public loss for ISIS, which means that Allah has not made them invincible. And that messes up their psychology, and what is in people's heads is a big, important thing in all of this. So I hope we do a great job and pulverize the ISIS forces and then the Iraqi coalition goes in and wipes out every single remaining ISIS fighter, no prisoners, none. And there are tons of videos of dead ISIS guys and their flags being walked on by their killers, which is the psychology thing again. Then comes Mosul, and that is the real super-critical battle. Once ISIS is driven out of Mosul, their goose is cooked in some ways, it would be the beginning of their decline back to a bunch of nutcases with AK rifles, not a new "caliphate" to pull in idiots from all over the world. That would be the best thing for everyone, all the nations there, and the world in general. --Del)

The decision to stay in Afghanistan
Excerpt: While the Afghan government was roiled by months of controversy over last year’s presidential election, the Taliban was growing stronger. According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 civilians died in last year’s fighting, a record, while U.S. officials described Afghan military losses as unsustainable. The departure of all U.S. troops in 2017 would invite another Taliban surge; Mr. Obama’s legacy could be not another war ended but another failed state.

Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Topped 10,000 in 2014. By Sam Frizell 
Excerpt: More civilians died in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the year the United Nations began keeping records in 2009, signaling a new level of violence and ground engagements between Taliban insurgents and the embattled Kabul-based government.

Counterterrorism Success Story. Not Anymore. As U.S. special operations forces pull out of an increasingly anarchic Yemen, the fight against al Qaeda just got even harder. By Seán D. Naylor
Excerpt: The sudden departure of U.S. special operations forces from Yemen marks a devastating blow to a counterterrorism campaign that Barack Obama’s administration had heralded as a success story, officials and experts say, as Washington suffers another intelligence reverse in the fight against the al Qaeda group that poses the greatest threat to Americans. (Was it only 2012 that BO reported that "Al Qaeda is on the run...on its heels"? Good times. ~Bob)

From Selma to Tunis: When Will We March Against the Segregation of Our Own Time? By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Excerpt: Fifty years ago there were a host of legal impediments to equality between black and white Americans — just as there were in countries such as South Africa and Rhodesia. Today, a different group is the victim of comparable legal discrimination that imposes segregation on them and denies them equal civil and political rights. What is more, their number is vastly larger than the number that was affected 50 years ago by segregation and apartheid. And that number is growing, because, unlike in the 1960s Alabama, the prevalence of discriminatory legislation outside the liberal West is actually increasing. The system of law I am talking about is sharia law, the body of legislation derived from the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the rest of Islamic jurisprudence. And the discriminated group I have in mind is women, though I could also reference Jews, Christians and gays.

Bad Headline: Female Texas Mayor: Tells Islam & Sharia Law to Kiss Texas’ Ass (So to Speak)
Excerpt: This Irving, Texas, mayor is a firecracker. She takes sharia law and Islam to town. (On the video she points out that it doesn't mention Islam or Shari'a Law, just says that US and Texas Law takes precedence over any foreign law. Works for me. Shari'a allows child marriage, four wives, divorce at a word, the execution of gays, killing apostates, etc. Should any of that take precedence over American law? ~Bob)

Afghan woman beaten to death in the streets was murdered because she dared to speak out against superstitious mullah and NOT because she burned the Koran
Excerpt: It was initially claimed that the crowd had beaten the religious scholar to death because she had burned a copy of the Koran - an accusation even senior police officials admitted they believed to be false after detaining 18 people over the murder and suspending 13 police officers.
Now witnesses have come forward to claim that Farkhunda was in fact murdered because she dared to question the superstitious practices of a local mullah who was known for selling charms to women outside a shrine in central Kabul.

Boko Haram Captures More Than 400 Women And Children In Northern Nigeria. By Tamerra Griffin
Excerpt: Civilians from the northern Nigerian town of Damasak told Reuters that the Islamic militant group Boko Haram kidnapped between 400 and 500 women and children as they passed through the town on Tuesday. Damasak had recently been freed by troops from Chad and Niger. (General Lead-From-Behind will send in Michelle's crack hashtag brigade. ~Bob)

The Jane Fonda Award: Cornell Assistant Dean: Why Yes ISIS Is Welcome on Campus To Train Students "Like a Coach." By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: In the latest investigation by Project Veritas, Assistant Dean of Student Activities Joseph Scaffido is shown approving a "humanitarian group" on campus that wants to sent care packages to ISIS freedom fighters in Iraq and Syria

Iranian Authorities Cracking Down on Growth of Christianity in Country. By Leah Barkoukis
Excerpt: What little religious freedom Christians in Iran have is quickly coming to an end—especially for believers who are not from a minority ethnic group. Farsi-speaking Christians, many of whom are likely converts from Islam, have been told they are no longer allowed to worship at one of the few remaining churches.

Documentary Exposes Hamas Indoctrination, Training of Child Soldiers
Excerpt: "I joined to fight the Zionist enemy," he says, "and to liberate our forefathers' land, Palestine. We won't allow the Jews to keep our land." This boy is one member in the "Children's Army of Hamas," a title bestowed by the Israel-based Center for Near East Policy Research (CNEPR) in a new documentary short. It will be shown at a United Nations forum in Geneva today in an effort to prove that Hamas is violating international laws by training child soldiers, Fox News reports.

Finally - Someone Calls Out Obama Administration Hypocrisy on Israel and Iran! By Onan Coca
Excerpt: President Obama’s hypocritical attacks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are starting to stretch his credibility with the media. ... Meanwhile, the leader of Iran says “Death to America” in a speech last week and encourages his supporters who also chant “Death to America”… and the White House says ‘it’s no biggie’. The AP’s Matt Lee noticed the incongruity of the reaction and called out the White House for their hypocrisy.

Administration Adopts the Language of Hamas
Excerpt: Before his re-election last week, Benjamin Netanyahu candidly said he didn’t see a two-state solution being likely while he was Israel’s prime minister. That’s primarily because Palestinians want only one state – theirs – and won’t agree to “peace” until Israel is wiped off the map. Facing intense pressure from Barack Obama, however, Netanyahu reiterated after his win that he does indeed desire a peaceful two-state solution.

From the Iranian-supporting left: Netanyahu’s “Us or Them” Is Nothing But Trouble By Michael Winship,
Excerpt: For a long time now, American political consultants have benefited from a lucrative sideline, selling their alleged expertise to politicians in Israel. (It was Democratic strategist James Carville who, after working on a campaign for former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, joked that the key to victory in Israel was who won “that all-important Jewish vote.”)
It was no different during this past week’s Israeli election. Benjamin Netanyahu’s winning Likud Party had Republican Vincent Harris, the 26-year-old whiz kid who helped engineer Senator Ted Cruz’s victory in Texas. Veteran Democrats Paul Begala and Stan Greenberg were working for the Zionist Union coalition of Labor and other political parties, and the anti-Netanyahu group V15 hired President Obama’s campaign field director Jeremy Bird. 

“People who worship anything other than Allah are infidels and it is permitted to kill them.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: Teach your children well. Rather amazing, is it not, that statements like these are made anywhere in the world, and people take them for granted and consider those who make them to be the victims of “Islamophobia.”

UK: Muslim rape gang targeted Downs Syndrome girls. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general, as does this passage. “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6).
They’re just meat to them. Slaves. The less resistant, the less able to resist, the better.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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