Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Banish ignorance--read today's political news and opinion


On the plus side, I had my follow up Wednesday on my cataract surgery. I'm now 2-25 in both eyes, don't need glasses except for reading. My license says I do, but the doctor gave me a note.... Guess I have to get to the registry soon. On the down side, I twisted the wrong way reaching under the car seat Saturday and think I bruised a rib. Not killing me, but it's some painful when I move, more so if I move the wrong way. Just as well I'm restricted in rehab by the eye doc until next week. This is, of course, your fault. I don't know why it's your fault, but this is America in the 21st century, so nothing can possibly be my fault. That would mean I'd have to take personal responsibility. Probably a government program, complete with union workers and highly-paid political bureaucrats to help poor victims like me. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Worth Reading: Hillary's Service and Server. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Hillary Clinton's service as secretary of state was remarkable - in lack of accomplishment. And she left under the black cloud of negligence and incompetence and deceit.

Here Are the Most Hilarious Reactions to Hillary’s Email Scandal Press Conference

Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire: Hillary said she emailed with Bill, but the thing is ... Bill Clinton doesn't use email
Excerpt:. At a press conference on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton said the server that housed her emails while she was secretary of state (that was reportedly housed at her home in New York) was set up for President Bill Clinton. She also said that some of the "personal" emails she deleted were between her and her husband. But just before Hillary began the press conference at the United Nations building, the Wall Street Journal reported that Bill Clinton does not use email. "The former president, who does regularly use Twitter, has sent a grand total of two emails during his entire life, both as president, says Matt McKenna, his spokesman," WSJ reported. 

FACT CHECK: Clinton and her emails
Excerpt: At the very least, Clinton appears to have violated what the White House has called "very specific guidance" that officials should use government email to conduct business. (...) Federal law during Clinton's tenure called for the archiving of such private email records when used for government work, but did not set out clear rules or punishments for violations until rules were tightened in November. In 2011, when Clinton was secretary, a cable from her office sent to all employees advised them to avoid conducting any official business on their private email accounts because of targeting by unspecified "online adversaries." (Note that this article is from AP via AOL, both relatively liberal sources. "If she’s lost the liberals...." Also, a companion article–sourced from Fox News–asks who her server should be given to, if she’s ordered or persuaded to give it up. That answer is easy: a joint NSA and FBI team as both have experts in computer forensics. For that matter, why hasn’t one of those agencies already seized it? They certainly would have if it belonged to anyone with an "R" after his/her name. Imagine the liberal outcry if this had happened to be Gov. Palin instead of Clinton. Ron P.)

Interesting: AP Files Suit After Hapless Hillary Just Poured Jet Fuel On Her Spreading Email Fire
Excerpt: The Times article quotes a number of security experts and government insiders doubtful about Mrs. Clinton’s vehement assertion that classified information was kept out of her private email messages. “A former senior State Department official who served before the Obama administration said that while it was hard to be certain, it seemed unlikely that classified information could be kept out of the more than 30,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton’s staff identified as involving government business.”

Contradictions in Hillary Clinton's press conference raise new questions as she says private email server was first set up for Bill and swears she only had one smartphone at State Department
Excerpt: Two claims she made during a 20-minute scrum with 200 reporters at the United Nations almost immediately drew head-shakes from opposition-research groups and memory-hole-digging journalists.

Tuesday’s Big News: Hillary Defied Obama Requests on Preserving Records. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Politics is less fun when you can see the strings. We all more or less guessed what Hillary Clinton was going to say Tuesday afternoon. She would claim that what she did was nothing unusual, even though it was. She was going to insist she complied with the law, even though she didn’t. She would insist that there were no breaches of security on her servers, even though there was at least one, and without access to them there’s no way for any U.S. cyber-security official to verify her claim. Her acolytes would go onto cable news and insist, as Hilary Rosen did, that the options were to believe everything Hillary said or believe in “conspiracy theories.” Critics would be attacked. She unveiled her official narrative, asking others to trust her that all of her personal e-mails were entirely personal, and that she turned over everything she had to turn over. As she once said of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, as they made accurate reports of progress in Iraq, believing her required “a willing suspension of disbelief.” Her staff later stated she turned over 30,490 of 62,320 e-mails to the State Department -- 48 percent. The rest were personal and she “chose not to keep them,” which is a really soft euphemism for deleting them. (Worth subscribing to. ~Bob)

New Poll Shows Why Rubio Could Possibly Win the Nomination. By Daniel Doherty
Excerpt: Scrolling through the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which is making headlines for this reason, I found something rather interesting: GOP primary voters seem very open to the idea of supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in 2016:

Marijuana from the American Lung Association
Excerpt: Tobacco vs. Marijuana: Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals. There are 33 cancer-causing chemicals contained in marijuana. Marijuana smoke also deposits tar into the lungs. In fact, when equal amounts of marijuana and tobacco are smoked, marijuana deposits four times as much tar into the lungs. This is because marijuana joints are un-filtered and often more deeply inhaled than cigarettes. Marijuana and the Lungs Marijuana smoke is also an irritant to the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by people who smoke tobacco. These include coughing and phlegm production on most days, wheezing, bronchitis, and greater risk of lung infection, although most of these may go away after stopping smoking marijuana. Frequent marijuana smokers also have more healthcare visits both overall and for respiratory conditions compared to nonsmokers. While research has not shown a clear increase in risk for lung cancer among marijuana, smokers, results have been mixed for heavy, long term use. Smoking marijuana may be associated with the formation of large air sacs in the lung, called bullae, which can lead to shortness of breath and, if they rupture, death. Similarly, there are reports of sudden lung collapse or air pockets forming between the lungs among marijuana smokers. (Still glad I never tried it. ~Bob)

Nemtsov murder: Zaur Dadayev confession 'forced'
Excerpt: One of men charged with the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov confessed under duress, a member of Russia's human rights council says. Wounds on Zaur Dadayev's body suggested he had been tortured, Andrei Babushkin said after visiting the suspect in prison on Tuesday.

Semper Fidelis, brothers: Human remains found as search continues for 11 service members involved in helicopter crash
Excerpt: Human remains washed ashore Wednesday, as officials continued their search for seven Marines and four soldiers in waters off the Florida Panhandle, where a military helicopter had crashed during a training exercise. “We have confirmed that we have had some human remains wash ashore in the area where our search and rescue team have begun a larger scale operation,” Andrew Bourland, a spokesman for the Eglin Air Force Base, told The Washington Post. (this will be news for 48 hours, tops. when JFK Jr. killed himself, his wife and sister-in-law through hubris, it was news for weeks. At the same time, three service members were killed in a crash, serving the Republic. It made the page 5 news for a day. The great military science fiction writer has his protagonist in the Desert of Peace series set up a system whereby those who die in rigorous training receive the same honors as those KIA in battle. It makes sense to me. ~Bob)

One Year Later, Obama Administration Still ‘Reviewing’ Lethal Aid to Ukraine. By Molly O'Toole
Excerpt: More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and the Pentagon began receiving requests from Ukraine for military assistance, the Obama administration is “still working on reviewing” the option of lethal aid, officials told senators on Tuesday.

SEE IT: 4 teen girls attack victim in Brooklyn McDonald's as dozens stand and watch (WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND VIOLENT CONTENT)
Excerpt: Every punch, every gasp and every cheer was captured on video, but the teens responsible for a brutal beatdown at a Brooklyn McDonald’s may never be captured since nobody will speak up — not even the victim, officials said Wednesday. Dozens of kids and at least two adults watched Monday’s cringe-worthy attack inside the Flatbush eatery, but did nothing to stop it, a video that emerged online shows. Nobody inside the McDonald’s called 911, police said. (Kid is scared to testify. bet she wishes one of NY's "racist" cops had shown up. ~Bob)

Unbelievable: Kay Hagan Blames Money in Politics for Election Loss Despite Outspending Opponent. Hagan now teaching “Money in Politics” class at Harvard
Excerpt: During a Wednesday interview, Kay Hagan blamed her 2014 defeat to Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) on “money in politics,” despite the fact that she spent more than twice as much money as Tillis and that outside groups supporting her far outspent groups supporting Tillis.

Gun News

Burglars shot trying to enter man's home
Excerpt: In broad daylight Saturday, three suspects attempted to break into a man's home.
But they were quickly chased off as the homeowner grabbed a gun and opened fire, hitting two of the suspects.

Woman shoots, critically wounds suspected robber who charged at her from her backyard in Detroit
Excerpt: A 46-year-old woman is under arrest after she critically wounded a 47-year-old man who reportedly charged at her from her own backyard. ... Moment after parking in her driveway, she saw the suspect charging at her and she opened fire, she told relatives. According to the woman's husband, the man got back up after being shot in the chest and said he was going to kill her.

Suspected burglar shot in auto shop near downtown S.A.
Excerpt: According to police, a man who lives in the shop at Buena Vista Street and South San Marcos heard someone breaking into the building just before 7 a.m. The man then shot at the suspected burglar, who took off on foot, said police.

Area home invasion leaves suspected robber dead, resident injured
Excerpt: Initial reports indicate three teens forced their way into the home, and at least one of them was armed. The homeowner was shot in the stomach. He was also armed and returned fire at the robbers, shooting one of the suspects, who then fled. 19-year-old Joshua Mulkey was found dead just outside the home.

Race Card News

Suspicious Fires Twice Destroyed Key Sharpton Records. By Jillian Kay Melchior
Excerpt: As Al Sharpton ran for mayor of New York City in 1997 and for president in 2003, fires at his offices reportedly destroyed critical financial records, and he subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements. The first fire began in the early hours of April 10, 1997, in a hair-and-nail salon one floor below Sharpton’s campaign headquarters at 70 West 125th Street. From the start, investigators deemed the fire “suspicious” because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report.

Birds of a Feather

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Excerpt: One of the reasons people rebelled against Obamacare was that it financed the growth of government-run health care through drastic cuts to Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicare spending will see a $455 billion cut over the next decade, which would finance almost half of Obamacare spending. Most of the Medicare cuts were simply reducing the fees Medicare pays doctors and hospitals. These payment mechanisms would make a Soviet bureaucrat blush. William Hsiao, the economist who designed the Medicare Prospective Payment System, determined Medicare’s fees as follows: (Reminds me of the farmer who told his neighbor he was saving money by cutting his horse's feed 10% every month. "But," he said, "Just when it started to pay off the damn horse died." ~Bob)

Obamacare's 1095-A Nightmare. By Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: The screw-ups, incompetence and bureaucratic blame avoidance over the health insurance exchange tax forms make the website fiasco look like a flawless product launch. How do I know? My family inexplicably got ensnared in the 1095-A paperwork pit. It's a government roach motel: Taxpayers check in, but they can never check out.
In 2013, our private high-deductible PPO from Anthem Blue Cross got canceled because of "changes from health care reform (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA)." Millions of others like us in the individual market for health insurance -- including self-employed people, small-business owners, writers, artists and home-based entrepreneurs -- suffered the same fate.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Worth Reading: Global Warming. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: "But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact," said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change. gives the definition of climate change: "Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system." That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth's existence.

Excerpt: In the 70’s, the new ice age was all the craze. Just two decades before that, believe it or not, it was global warming. The ice caps were melting, and the subsequent sea level rise was going to drown all the coastal cities.

Religion of Peace News

White House Claims Senate Has No Role In Reviewing Iran Nuclear Treaty – Constitution Says Otherwise
Excerpt: On Monday morning, it was revealed a letter sent to Iran's theocratic government, signed by forty-seven Senate Republicans, declared that "only the Senate can confirm long-lasting treaties with foreign powers." The letter indicated that any agreement on the nuclear weapons program not approved by Congress would be considered as an "executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei" and indicated the Senate had constitutional authority to review treaties. Obama has kept details of the negotiations from the Senate.

Even John Kerry says the Iran deal is not legally binding. By Jennifer Rubin 
Excerpt: Credit Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for raising the issue. Without a letter reminding the White House, Congress and the American people that a deal must be approved by the Senate in order to be binding, we might never have learned from Secretary of State John Kerry that “we are not negotiating a legally binding plan.” Oh, really?

Worth Reading: Republicans’ letter to Iran is far from unprecedented. By Marc A. Thiessen
Excerpt: Helms did not simply write to foreign leaders explaining the Senate’s constitutional role in foreign policy. Together with Biden, he went to the U.N. headquarters in New York to deliver the message in person. On Jan. 20, 2000, Helms became the first U.S. senator ever to address the U.N. Security Council, where he warned of steep consequences if the U.N. failed to accept the U.N. reforms he and Biden had passed. And he explained to the gathered world leaders what a mistake it was to try to ignore the role of the Senate in foreign policy. Citing the example of Woodrow Wilson’s failure to secure congressional approval for the League of Nations, Helms declared, “Wilson probably could have achieved ratification of the League of Nations if he had worked with Congress.” Helms and Biden then invited the Security Council to Washington, where he gathered all the U.N. ambassadors in the old Senate chamber for a lecture from Senate historian Richard Baker on the Senate’s role in U.S. foreign policy. (People who would wet themselves if you suggested they or their kids wear the uniform of the Republic are calling Combat vet Cotton a "traitor." They forget that in a sensitive time, Nancy Pelosi, defying the request of President Bush, went to Syria to undermine Bush by lending her personal prestige to Assad the Butcher. To applause from Hillary Clinton, among others. ~Bob)

Senator Tom Cotton 
5 times Democrats undermined Republican presidents with foreign governments. By Philip Klein
Excerpt: The reality is that on many occasions, Democrats have reached out to foreign leaders to undermine the foreign policy of a sitting Republican president. Here are just five examples.

House Democrats Send Letter to U.S. Adversary Pledging Opposition to the President. By Erick Erickson
Excerpt: It might be because history did not begin until the Obama Administration for most reporters these days and this was actually from March 20, 1984. That is the day the Democratic Leader of the House and soon to be Speaker, Jim Wright, and a number of his congressional colleagues, sent a letter to communist leader “Commandante” Daniel Ortega. The press then too gave the “Dear Commandante” letter writers a pass in a way they refuse to give Republicans a pass. It is worth pointing out that the Speaker at the time of this letter was Tip O’Neil whose chief of staff was Chris Matthews. Matthews is now calling on the 47 Republicans to be prosecuted under the Logan Act. Neither he nor his boss objected to the “Dear Commandante” letter.

Excerpt: Even some Democrats in Congress have come to the conclusion that after the brouhaha over Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, President Obama wants to radically downgrade the long American special relationship with democratic Jewish Israel — and perhaps has a dislike of the idea of Israel. Add up the administration’s initial disparagement on the matter of Israeli settlements, untoward administration remarks during the Gaza War, its assumptions that a future autonomous West Bank had a right to insist on becoming Judenfrei, its downplaying the Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry’s various editorializing about Israeli supposed overreactions, the constant hectoring of Israel, and rumors of a slowdown in military aid to Israel during the Gaza war, and so on and so on. These acts seem to fit into a prior landscape of the administration’s anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli supposed slips, gaffes, and smears.

Senator to CMC: Marines might have to go back to Iraq
Excerpt: "To both of you, and to those who serve under you, I am sorry that some of you may have to go back," Graham said. "But I think you know better than anyone else why you may have to go back. And the only commitment I will make, as a senator from South Carolina, is if you go back, you go back to win. And that we get this right this time." (So does that mean they get to go back and fight on the same terms as their enemy, with no restrictions and rules to hinder them? That we leave the chair-warming lawyers at home so they won't pour over every after action report looking for some infraction to charge Marines with? And lastly, and most importantly, is it safe to assure that it was never intended for us to win the first time around? --MasterGuns)

Excerpt: The threat of the Islamic State not only makes Iraq more dependent on Tehran and legitimizes Iran’s military presence in Iraq, it also provides the regime in Tehran with another bargaining chip in nuclear negotiations.

ISIS Just Released a Video of a Child Executing a so-called Israeli "Spy"
Excerpt: Then the video transitions to Musallam being taken to a field and summarily executed by the boy with a shot to the head and then three more shots.

34 killed in explosion at market in northeastern Nigeria
Excerpt: At least 34 persons were killed by a teenage girl suicide bomber on Tuesday at a crowded market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, said witnesses. The blast by a female teenager occurred in the market near the Old Elkanemi Cinema in the late afternoon, said Musa Danbaba, a member of a civilian protection militia. He said 34 bodies were counted and many more were wounded.

Four Rival Factions Pick Over Syria's Bones. By Jonathan Spyer
Excerpt: In the latest blow to supporters of the "moderate" elements among the Syrian rebels, the Harakat Hazm "Movement of Determination" last week announced that it was disbanding. Hazm was never a large group. It never possessed more than around 5,000 fighters and was active only in northwest Syria. But for a period of time, it was held up by those who supported arming the Sunni Arab rebels as the kind of militia that the U.S. and the west could get behind. It had ties neither to the Salafi jihadists nor to the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor was it given to the kind of open and florid corruption favored by some of the other "secular" groupings in Syria's north. As a result, Hazm was the recipient of a number of U.S.-made BGM-71 (TOW) anti-tank missiles in the spring of 2014. Its demise comes in the same week that the U.S. plan for beginning a program to train and equip a force that will fight the Islamic State is set to commence. The timing is not auspicious.

Ever notice "Tolerance" applies to Christians and conservatives ONLY? No one else has to be tolerant. (Nope--applies to Jews as well. ~Bob)

Yemeni boy, 10, locked in a cage and set alight by his friends in sickening imitation of ISIS' barbaric murder of Jordanian pilot
Excerpt: As many as seven boys are believed to have attacked the as-yet unnamed victim in Al Dahthath village in the country’s northern Ibb province. The defenceless child was then locked in a wooden cage and had petrol poured over his body before being set alight. Thankfully a group of locals spotted the attack and managed to save the boy’s life, although he was still left with horrific burn injuries on his legs

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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