Monday, January 11, 2016

Today's important political news and opinion

I'm prepping for a Colonoscopy Tuesday, so posting today. Don't know how much computer time I'll have for a bit. The instructions are to drink only clear liquids from noon today, until 7:30 am, then nothing until after the procedure. Lucky I realized that whisky is a clear liquid. they give you a gallon of stuff to drink to, as the Scots say, "scour you oot!" It says to discard the excess. darn, I was going to mix it with rum for guests....~Bob

Made low-sugar caramel-apple oatmeal cookies Sunday, turned out great. Recipe on request. ~Bob

Response on Amazon to my review of The Triumph of William McKinley.
There are bitter anti-Rove people out there down-voting all the positive reviews of this book. Probably mean-spirited Democrats, liberals and those so-called independent voters who think hatred of the man means automatic hatred of his book and all of us (many who are not necessarily Rove fans) who recognize it for the outstanding political history that it is. I re-posted my review to delete the down vote. I up-voted yours to overcome its down vote. But it's a very good review and captures the essence of the book (as do several others here). There are a lot of authors I do not like personally and disagree with professionally whom nonetheless, write some great books. Some people simply can't think that way because they are blinded by a dismissive partisan arrogance and hate. God help them... And may you be greatly blessed, my friend!

Worth Reading: Our Social Justice Armed Forces: Going to War (Part III)
Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. I expect that in 20 years they will move his novel Caliphate to the history section. ~Bob

Balanced Piece: America’s embarrassing sectarian strife over sectarian strife in the Middle East. By Jackson Diehl
Excerpt: It quickly became clear that the White House’s overwhelming priority boiled down to avoiding any words or action that would disrupt the ongoing implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal. That was of a piece with its last-minute retreat on Dec. 30 from imposing sanctions on Tehran for missile launches that violated a U.N. Security Council resolution and a promise to waive new congressional restrictions on visas for foreigners who visited Iran. In short, if Republicans were “swooning for Saudi Arabia,” as columnist Peter Beinart put it for the Atlantic, then Obama and his foreign policy team were in a “tilt toward Tehran,” as Josh Rogin and Eli Lake documented for Bloomberg.

Tolerant Islam: Toronto Imam: Muslims should hire only Muslims; do business only with Muslims
If a Christian Pastor or Jewish Rabbi said Christians/Jews should only do business with their coreligionists, do you think the progressives would have something to say? ~Bob

California: Muslim refugee “eager to see blood,” desired to learn “long range shooting.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The solution: bring into the country many, many more refugees from Syria, among whom there will be any number of young men who are “eager to see blood.” What could possibly go wrong, you ignorant, racist Islamophobe?

Shooter lies, it's not about Islam: Philadelphia Officer Ambush Suspect Charged with Attempted Murder, Denied Bail
Excerpt: Police say Archer told investigators that he shot the officer in the name of Islam and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. ... Investigators believe Archer traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and to Egypt in 2012, FBI special agent Eric Ruona said, and the purpose of that travel was being investigated by the FBI.  But police said there was no indication anyone else was involved in the officer's ambush Mayor Jim Kenney said the attack wasn't about Islam. (If he said he was a woman, they'd believe him. ~Bob)
When a US Soldier lost his legs in Afghanistan he did something shocking and amazing

Nothing to do with Islam, just coincidence: 450 of 452 suicide attacks in 2015 were by Muslim extremists, study shows

Muslims Open Fire on Popular Ten X Nightclub in Canada
Justin Trudeau Vows to Bring 25,000 Syrian Refugees to Canada

Why Soldiers Miss War. By Nolan Peterson 
This reporter and former military pilot has put together an outstanding commentary on what the real experience of war does to people.  How it gives you a whole new set of standards about life and living and the things you want or need.  And why your time in a war gives you both the best and worst memories of your life, something that's not easy for other people to understand. --Del

Dutch Politician: 'The Netherlands Must be De-Islamized, All Mosques Must Be Closed'
Excerpt: “It is about time people get educated on the tenants of Islam. It is a totalitarian political ideology that uses a false religion to anchor the people to it with no way to leave because the penalty is death. It is not compatible with free civil societies and it is too bad that people are going to ditch the PC to save their cultures. Muslims are not victims. They are told they must immigrate to change all cultures to Islam and that is what they are doing.

Surprise: Cologne attackers were of migrant origin - minister

Cologne Muslim sex assaults were planned, Muslims traveled from France and Belgium to join them

German government predicts another million migrants in 2016
There will be blood. Maybe if it happens there, more people will wake up here. ~Bob

U.S. Releases Two Al-Qaeda-Linked Detainees From Guantanamo Bay
Excerpt: Two Guantánamo detainees from Yemen have been transferred from the detention center and relocated to Ghana, marking the beginning of an expected 17 imminent departures from the naval base. Now, just 105 detainees remain at Guantánamo Bay. “The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Ghana,” according to a statement from the U.S. Defense Department (DOD).... “They [Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby] are unable to return to Yemen at the moment,” but after the two-year period expires, the men will be free to leave the country, the Foreign Ministry said. (Born in Saudi Arabia, per article.  More to help the caliphate in Yemen, while the folks worrying about their IRAs, their guns and the not-to-be-held election. --Barb)

Tipster tells Philly police that cop shooter was part of still-active jihad cell
Excerpt: He was “not the most radical of the four,” and the other three are still at large.

Obama ordered CIA not to support 2009 Green Movement in Iran because he wanted to court Khamenei

Disclosure: Another 41 Foreign-Born Individuals Snagged On Terror Charges

Probably Amish...: Gunmen take hostages at Iraq mall, at least 10 dead
Excerpt: At least ten people were killed when gunmen stormed a Baghdad mall and took as many as 75 hostages, officials confirmed Monday.  (...because we all know Islam is a Religion of Peace. ~Bob)

Must Read: Reflections On Wise And Suicidal Immigration. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Immigrants honed American competition and helped to keep the nation productive. Immigrants were typically hyper-patriotic. They reminded complacent Americans how lucky they were to be born in the U.S. No one knew better how uninviting were the alternatives abroad than did those who had been forced to live under fascism, communism, totalitarianism, tribalism, or endemic poverty and corruption. Most immigrants believed that they always had been Americans in spirit, just unfortunately born in the wrong country. Immigrants characteristically had rejected their native cultures and were eager to adopt a new American identity. So they were not foolish enough to question what had made America attractive to them in the first place: constitutional government, the rule of law, personal freedom, free-market capitalism, and an independent judiciary and press. ... In recent years, a third of all Texas murders were committed by unlawful immigrants. There are nearly 300,000 aliens in the nation’s state and local prisons. A staggering one-quarter of all federal inmates are now aliens. There are over 20,000 unlawful immigrants in California prisons alone.

Tolerant Islam: Ex-Muslim: Koran Revealed a Religion I Did Not Like
Excerpt: Mona Walter is on a mission. Her mission is for more Muslims to know what is in the Koran. She says if more Muslims knew what was in the Koran, more would leave Islam. ... Walter lives under death threats and sometimes travels with police protection.  She wanted to show us Muslim areas around Gothenburg, but had to first dress as a Muslim. She believes if she were to show her face, she would be attacked. 

Worth Reading: 10 Myths About Guns. By Sen. Chuck Grassley  
This week, President Barack Obama announced executive actions related to guns. Here are 10 common myths about firearms.  Myth No. 1: Firearm purchases at gun shows do not require a background check due to the “gun show loophole.” Facts: When the president and others refer to the “gun show loophole,” they imply that there are no background checks being done at gun shows. As a result, much of the public has been misinformed and are led to believe that individuals who purchase firearms at gun shows are not subject to a background check. In reality, there is no “gun show loophole.” If an individual wants to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearms retailer, which typically makes up the majority of vendors at gun shows, the individual must fill out the requisite federal firearms paperwork and undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check. The only firearms that are being purchased at gun shows without a background check are those being bought and sold between individuals, peer-to-peer, as opposed to buying a firearm from a gun dealer. These private sales are not at all different from selling a personal hunting rifle to the owner’s niece or nephew down the road. It is a private sale, and no background paperwork is required. (The way that many public figures, including the President, refer to gun laws is extremely often inaccurate and misleading.  Below are some very basic facts about the laws that do exist already.  There could be better enforcement of them in various places, and no one really objects to background checks for gun purchases in general. What needs to be remembered is that California has the strictest set of gun laws of any state, and somehow that made no difference to the San Bernadino killers, or to the myriad gangs that operate all over the state.  Washington DC has the strictest gun laws of any city, and among the very highest murder rates with illegal guns in the nation.  Oddly enough, laws don't seem to deter real criminals, but they can be used to keep citizens from having guns, as the current DC laws for gun ownership do, by making it an extremely expensive, complicated, and lengthy project to simply buy a pistol to keep at home. Myth #10 refers to the fact that people talk about semi-automatic guns as if they are machine guns, fully automatic like we see in all the movies.  Semiauto gun design began in the late 1800s, so they've been around for a very long time and make up a very large fraction, perhaps the majority of target pistols, hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns manufactured for the last 50 years or more. What everyone forgets is that the real deadly weapon in the Newtown massacre was the club the disturbed young man used to smash his mother in the head, so he could then take her keys to the fully legal guns she had very properly kept locked up.  Connecticut also has a very serious set of gun laws, but again, that could not save anyone.  I and the great majority of legal gun owners are not against reasonable gun laws and background checks, but the idea that just passing more restrictions will somehow eliminate or seriously reduce tragedies with guns is wishful thinking. Most of the people who see this message already know the facts.  However, it may be worth circulating it to those who do not and who otherwise fall for the misinformation that gets televised so effectively. --Del)

12 Times Mass Shootings Were Stopped by Good Guys With Guns. By Hunter Roosevelt
Police and media only keep track of when someone does something bad with a gun, but no one really watches closely for the times when someone with a legal gun stops something bad from happening.  Here is one article about a few such incidents, just about mass shootings.  The incidents where a legal gun owner has stopped something bad that wasn't a mass shooting are enormously more numerous, naturally.  Every month a list of them is published in a certain magazine, but you will have to guess which one. This is not to say that there is no need for any gun laws at all, that is silly, and any responsible gun owner is OK with reasonable gun laws and background checks.  But it is only logical to take note of the times that legal gun owners have succeeded in using their weapons to achieve something positive. --Del

SIX Time Felon Killed In Shootout By A Badass 13-Year-Old After Breaking Into His Home

Texas Woman Shoots, Kills Home-Invading Sex Offender

Chinese Immigrant’s Powerful Response to Obama’s Executive Action on Guns
It's only those who take freedom for granted like the air they breathe that can be eager to depend on the government to take care of everything forever, and to decide the 2nd Amendment is obsolete or needs to be "reinterpreted".  Those who have been totally powerless in the face of brutal oppression understand that the right to own weapons is part of the right to be free.  And that however well intentioned some naive people are about saving lives by limiting gun rights, they just don't understand what it would mean to go down that path. --Del

VA Officials Suspended for Fake Waitlist Scandal to Return to Work
Excerpt: Two top administrators at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs health system in Phoenix, Arizona, who were suspended following revelations of fake waitlists and delayed patient care will return to agency jobs Monday. (Surely w/ letters of apology, back pay, promotions and bonuses.  --Andy. This is truly depressing.  These guys have been on fully paid vacation at high salaries for 20 months, and now go back to work for the VA, where they have behaved in such manner that they should be in jail, and fined heavily besides.  It makes me think that the people who just want the VA broken up and turned into regular hospitals with normal business practices and vets get paid services are right.  It seems no one can make a dent in the horrendous mess that exists with the upper level civil service unions and the bulletproof protection its members get. --Del)

50 years later, disagreements over young Trump’s military academy record
Excerpt: The tall, confident senior with a shock of blond hair was removed from that coveted post atop A Company and transferred to a new job on the school staff — another prestigious assignment, but one with no command responsibilities. He moved out of the barracks and into the administration building, swapping jobs with a fellow high-ranking senior who took command of Trump’s old group. Explanations vary as to what actually happened. (Sounds like Trump. But as someone said, Trump could beat an old lady to death with a puppy and the Trumpeters wouldn't care. ~Bob)

I rate this doubtful: Could Obama be planning a huge surprise for the 2016 election? 
Excerpt: The U.K. Daily Mail reports that Joe DiGenova, a one-time federal prosecutor, told radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday "that the FBI's still-pending investigation of Clinton's email server seems to have reached 'a critical mass.'" Further, "[a] recommendation for prosecution would not only roil the presidential race, but would put President Barack Obama in an unbelievably difficult position." All well and good, but would such an indictment or even its serious consideration really put “President Barack Obama in an unbelievably difficult position”?  Or will it just toss him into the briar patch he wants?  (They suggest Michelle will run; still feel Obama will say he is compelled to continue for the welfare of the Democratic party, the "folks" in the nation, his plan of TRANSFORMATION; Biden did not run; would have changed the scenario if he had.  As it is, door is open.  Obama has said he could win if he ran a third time and that "folks" want him to least three times. --Barb. I've seen too many "Something is going to blow up Obama/s/Hillary's campaign" stories on the net. Will believe it when it happens. ~Bob)

New Email Appears to Show Clinton Ordering Staff to Improperly Handle Sensitive Material
The latest Hillary Clinton document dump occurred in the wee hours of Friday morning, and contains what appears to be a smoking-gun revelation: Clinton ordering her aides to strip the classification markings from confidential material and retransmit it using unsecure methods.  CBS News reports on what looks like a blatant violation of the law, not to mention the final demolition of Clinton’s false claims to be unaware that classified material was passing through her unauthorized, unsecure private email server: ... Clinton responds, “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

Do #WhiteLivesMatter? Career Criminal Accused of Assaulting Victim, Calling Her ‘White Bitch’
Excerpt: From Shawn Cohen and Danika Fears writing in the New York Post: The career criminal Foods on Wednesday is also suspected of striking a 25-year-old victim on the head with a bottle while calling her a “white bitch,” police sources said. Kari Bazemore, 41, was charged Thursday night with a third assault, and has been linked to two more attacks since the end of September, sources said.  Cops have also linked him to a Sept. 29 attack on a 25-year-old salon worker and her 28-year-old friend as they were walking on East 174th Street near Walton Avenue in The Bronx, police sources said… (Black on white crime; note the RED/BLACK black anarchy uniform worn like gang colors.  Where, oh where, is Obama's DOJ on this hate crime?  Oh, white person attacked; too bad.  One less in the "community" they hope. --Barb)

Worth Hearing: AP’s Lee Calls Out Obama Administration For Living In A Fantasyland Of Their Foreign Policy Failures
I think John Kirby was a shitty spokesman for the Pentagon, and he's even worse now that he's added politics to his portfolio at State. Watch Kirby squirm here as an AP reporter presses him about the administration's bizarre and fanciful claims that reality is not reality. --Tim

WaPo Fact Checker: Bernie Sanders’s claim that Glass-Steagall banned commercial bank loans to ‘shadow banks’
Excerpt: We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchio. But this was a prepared — and important — speech by Sanders. So it’s essential to get the facts straight. Three Pinocchios

Marine Corps debate over women in combat continues to roil. By Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
Excerpt: A top Marine general predicted Friday that the Defense Department's vows to maintain the same standards for women and men in combat jobs won't last, saying the military will eventually be pressured to lower the qualifications so more women can serve in jobs like the Marine infantry. The public comments by Gen. John Kelly, head of U.S. Southern Command, underscored how strongly the Marines oppose Defense Secretary Ash Carter's order to fully integrate women into all combat jobs, including the Marine Corps and special operations forces like Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets. A new, high-level disagreement is erupting over whether the Marine Corps must also fully integrate its 12-week recruit training program at Parris Island in South Carolina. (General Kelly appears to be a real Marine, fearless and speaking truth to power.  I hope he survives through to the next President, so he can have a shot at Commandant.  But don't be surprised if his retirement gets announced sometime in the near future. Good on you, General, Oorah! --Del. You know, it occurs to me that what the Corps should do, with regard to eliminating the word "man" from MOS', is change them all to "woman."  Yes, all of them.  The Army should do the same.  And then, when no men volunteer, period, and we no longer have a ground combat capability, the vile pieces of shit who ordered it can be punished for their stupidity. --LtCol Tom Kratman, USA Ret..)

Check your state: 2016 Obamacare Premium Increase Tracker
You’ve heard Obama’s promise so many times by now, you can sing it: he would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year!” Of course, he hasn’t. If Obama had run around the country in 2008, pledging, “I will raise the typical family’s premium by $4,865 by 2015!” would he still have won? Democrats complain about Republicans calling the law “Obamacare” instead of “the Affordable Care Act.” Because the law made health insurance more expensive for the average family, calling it “the Affordable Care Act” is acquiescing to a lie. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt. My Medigap policy went up about 3.5%, but my wife's health insurance went up went up about 25% for 2016. ~Bob

Remembering Galileo Galilei: 10 facts you should know about the father of modern physics

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