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can still murder protesters, hang gays and stone women accused of adultery, even if they are rape victims. Iran Russia would veto any action against in the UN, and Obama knows that the US Constitution says you have to have UN approval before you can bomb a dictator to stop him from murdering his own people. ~Bob. Iran
Allied strikes pummel
’s air force but do little to stop attacks on civilians Libya
The Marine Corps Gazette used to (and may still) carry interesting “tactical decision games, in which you were presented with a military situation and had to issue orders in real time to cope with it. They usually convinced me that I wasn’t ready to lead a platoon or company in combat. They often ended with, “What now, Lieutenant? So, if the killing continues, “What now, Student Prince?” ~Bob. Excerpt: Four days of allied strikes have battered Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s air force and largely destroyed his long-range air defense systems, a top
commander said Tuesday. But there was little evidence that the attacks had stopped regime forces from killing civilians or shifted the balance of power in favor of the rebels. Gaddafi loyalists made further advances into the besieged western city of Misurata, continued to pound the small town of U.S. Zintan southwest of Tripoli, the capital, and fired artillery to hold at bay rebels attempting to regroup outside the strategic eastern town of . Ajdabiya
Excerpt: The expectation of the world's lone superpower in a major military operation is "stalemate." Welcome to the era of the Obama "smart war." Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has been warning that he is unclear of the "endgame," as the Daily Telegraph describes it, in
. The outcome of Operation Odyssey Dawn is "very uncertain" and could end up as a stalemate that keeps Col. Moammar Gadhafi in power. Appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mullen said Libya force will mean that Gadhafi is "going to have to make some choices about his own future." Sounds like we're sending Dr. Phil over to U.S. to give the longtime tyrant some tough love. Is this how Tripoli force is used today? Not getting rid of threats to American lives but just adding a little United Nations-authorized sting to economic sanctions? U.S.
The damning contradictions of Obama's attack on Libya
Excerpt: Obama's policy is reminiscent of the old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee. The policy satisfies advocates of humanitarian intervention, like the National Security Council's Samantha Power, who remember Bill Clinton's regret that he didn't intervene to stop the slaughter in
Marines rescue downed pilot after fighter jet crashes in Libya
Excerpt: Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit rescued a U.S. Air Force pilot downed in
March 22. The F-15E Strike Eagle crashed in northeast Libya March 21 while flying in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn, the joint coalition enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people from the country’s ruler. Using two AV/8B Harriers, two MV-22 Ospreys and two CH-53E Super Stallions carrying a quick reaction force, the Libya , N.C., based Marines conducted a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel mission to recover the pilot. The Marine aircraft began launching off the USS Kearsarge, which was roughly 130 nautical miles from the pilot - within 30 minutes of the crash - according to a senior Marine officer in the Pentagon. Marine officials attributed the quick reaction time to the versatility of the Osprey. "Total time from launch to return - 90 minutes roundtrip. That's what an Osprey gets you, that speed," the official said. Camp Lejeune
Excerpt: The American military has categorically denied reports that US forces shot and wounded civilians during a rescue operation near
to pick up two crew members who were forced to bail out of their fighter jet due to an apparent mechanical failure. Channel 4 has claimed that American forces shot and injured six locals when they were sent to rescue the crew, who bailed out of their F-15E Strike Eagle on Monday night and landed by parachute outside the rebel-held city in eastern Benghazi . The rescue operation was carried out by US Marines on board Osprey aircraft flying from the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship deployed off the coast of Libya . "No shots were fired," said Capt Richard Ulsh of the Marines. "The Osprey is not armed and the Marines barely got off the aircraft. I was in the landing force operations centre the whole time, where we were monitoring what was going on, and firing was never reported. Had it been reported we would have considered deploying a quick reaction force, and that never happened." Libya
Obama administration struggles to define American mission in
We are not going to get rid of Gaddafi. We are going to bomb his forces so the rebels, er, sorry CNN, the “brave freedom fighters” can get rid of him. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Obama administration scrambled to define the
U.S. mission in on Tuesday amid congressional criticism that it has not clearly explained its endgame for the war-torn country. The White House strongly denied that regime change is part of its mission after a statement earlier in the day characterized the goal there as “installing a democratic system.” Separately, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton struggled to respond to questions from ABC’s Diane Sawyer over whether the Libya operation would be a success if Col. Moammar Gadhafi remains in power. U.S. said the United Nations resolution authorizing force against Gadhafi was broad, but included nothing “about getting rid of anybody.” Clinton
CAIR Officials Sought Gaddafi Money
Probably CAIR was too extreme for him. ~Bob. Excerpt: Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), asked Muammar Gaddafi to underwrite CAIR's efforts in the
during a September 2009 audience with the Libyan dictator. According to an account of the meeting in a Libyan news website, Awad was joined by two other leading CAIR officials in praising Gaddafi's leadership and asking him to help underwrite a program to distribute 1 million copies of the Quran to government officials and the general public in America and to help start up a new foundation Awad was trying to launch. United States
Too funny: Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Gaddafi_International_Prize_for_Human_RightsExcerpt: Excerpt: The Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights is an annual prize founded by and named after Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. (Now we know why Obama is bombing him. Farrakhan, Castro and Chavez win it, and not “The One”? Fix! Fix! ~Bob.
The Wimp Goes to War
Egypt happened, it was all about . When Egypt happened, that was the lone subject for analysis. And now it’s all Tunisia , all the time. But it’s not about Libya . It’s about the big war in which we are involved. That war extends from Libya Somalia to the Persian Gulf, from Sudan into Egypt, and thence to Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, and across North Africa. It reaches South and Central America, and some of its footsoldiers are undoubtedly on our soil. The tensions and passions involved in that war have turned many of those countries into battlefields, and since we have refused to see the war for what it is, we do not have a clear picture of the fighters, nor even a reliable way to anticipate future events. And the hell of it is that we have been in a position to benefit enormously from this war, but instead we find that we might “win” in Libya (topple Qadaffi, empower the “rebels,” launch the usual cycle of new constitution, new elections and new government) and utterly lose the day, as enemies even more virulent than the colorful colonel of Tripoli take over. (…) The battlefields that will determine the outcome of the big war are Tehran and , and there are ongoing battles on both. We could make a decisive difference, without bombing anything, without risking any American lives, just by giving political and perhaps some financial and technological support to the Iranian and Syrian rebellions. (I hate the slander in the headline, a gratuitous insult to wimps everywhere. ~Bob.) Damascus
Could Obama be Impeached over
? Let's ask Biden Libya
Hoist by his own petard. Extra credit if you know what a “petard” was. ~Bob.
The Triumph of the Loons
Excerpt: I opened up a conservative opinion website this morning — I don’t want to embarrass it by naming it — expecting to find a refreshing change from the MSM, but alas! ’Twas not to be. I kept scrolling and scrolling, and everybody more or less agreed: “Obama has finally done something right. Maybe for the wrong reasons, but at least he’s going to get rid of that evil sumbitch Khaddafi.” Their position wasn’t fundamentally different from that held by many of the opinionators at Huffington Post and Daily Kos, whose knee-jerk pacifism has mysteriously gone into remission. I took a look through their op-eds — there weren’t many; most of them weren’t discussing it — and the general attitude seemed to be, “Well, I’m not sure this is the best idea in the world, but, gee, it’s for a good cause…” There were occasional voices of sanity on the right, of course. Frank Gaffney, for example, and Diana West, who described the Libyan action with meticulous accuracy as “making the world safe for jihad.”
In search of the 'Obama doctrine'
Excerpt: Yet after 800 words, the eloquent
Rhodes offered nothing as compact or pithy as the “Bush doctrine” Obama ran against in 2008, a black-and-white commitment to supporting democratic movements and using unilateral American firepower to back them when necessary. That difficulty in succinctly describing the intellectual framework for Obama’s approach to foreign policy and national security issues has long bedeviled anyone trying to impute a concrete agenda from Obama’s soaring pronouncements about supporting democracy and fostering international human rights. U.S.
Deadly New Anti-Government Clashes Erupt in
Excerpt: New violence in a restive southern Syrian city left as many as six people dead Wednesday, an activist said, making it the deadliest single day since anti-government protests inspired by uprisings across the Arab world reached this country last week. (It’s as if the entire Arab world was catching fire. I hope the ayatollahs in Teheran are as confused about where it’s coming from and where it’s going to as we are, but that seems too much to hope for. Ron P.)
Excerpt: The single most important feature of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is the establishment of a health insurance exchange where people will be required to buy health insurance if they are not insured by their employer or a government plan. As envisioned by Stanford professor Alain Enthoven, an early proponent of the idea, the exchange will be a model of competition… well…make that managed competition. (More on the “managed” part in a future Alert). But rather than move toward a competitive world, we seem to be moving toward the opposite extreme: monopoly. Major consolidation is underway both on the provider and insurer sides of the market. And while this trend was already underway before Barack Obama became president, without doubt it is accelerating because of ObamaCare. The graph below shows what things look like in the market for commercial insurance in major
Elizabeth Taylor dies; screen legend was 79
A sad life, crippled by fame, wealth and privilege. A fate of too many entertainers, sports stars and politicians who cannot stay grounded. Whom the gods would destroy, they first give a sense of entitlement. ~Bob.
The health care stalemate
Excerpt: One full year after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (aka the health care bill) into law, public opinion on it has been remarkably unaffected by the massive amounts of spin put out by both sides over the last 365 days. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey taken this month found the numbers on health care basically unchanged.
finds the public almost evenly divided; again, barely different from their 2010 numbers. Polls generally show a slight tilt against the law, with Republicans more enthusiastic in their opposition than Democrats in their support…. What’s clear from the mounds of data that have come out to mark the one year anniversary of the bill’s passage is that opinions on health care aren’t likely to shift much by the 2012 election — particularly since many of the larger pieces of the legislation don’t go into effect until 2014. Gallup
Where are the health care all-stars?
Excerpt: Democrats are under siege as they mark the first anniversary of health care reform Wednesday — and they won't get much help from the star-studded, $125 million support group they were once promised. Wal-Mart Watch founder Andrew Grossman unveiled the Health Information Campaign with great fanfare last June. Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki, were expected to lead the effort. They'd have help from former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn. They'd have an office in
with 10 or 15 operatives backing the Affordable Care Act and those who supported it. And they'd have money to spend: Grossman hoped for $25 million a year for five years. But nine months later, the Health Information Campaign has all but disappeared. Washington
Obamacare’s Failed First Year
Excerpt: “I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular,” then-White House senior advisor David Axelrod promised David Gregory about Obamacare last September. That same month, the Health Information Campaign, founded by high-profile leftist activists including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, spent $2 million on a national television ad campaign touting Obamcare’s first insurance mandates. Now, six months after Axelrod’s promise, and a full year after the bill was signed into law, the results are in: Obamacare is more unpopular than ever. Look at any poll and you’ll see that Obamacare has only gotten less legitimate. Last year at this time Newsweek showed 40 percent of Americans supporting Obamacare and 49 percent opposing it. Today, only 37 percent support it while 56 percent oppose. According to Quinnipiac, after Obamacare passed last year, 44 percent of Americans approved of President Obama’s handling of health care while 50 percent opposed. Today, only 44 percent approve while opposition has grown to 56 percent.
: Reforming the Reforms: Why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Will Require Substantial Reform Reading
Excerpt: On September 9, 2009, President Obama spoke to Congress on the topic of health care reform and said that, "I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last." Although the president was later successful in signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010, virtually no serious observer of
's medium and long-term fiscal situation believes that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has solved the nation's health care woes. Many critics argue that it has; in fact, it made them substantially worse. Far from being the "last president" to take up health care reform, reforming the Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly fall into the lap of one of President Obama's successors. President Obama and his advisors accurately framed the central challenge of health care reform as "bending the curve" of sharply rising health care costs. Without significant reforms, rising employer health insurance premiums will continue to sap business capital and erode employee take home pay. Smaller businesses will drop coverage as insurance becomes unaffordable, leading to an ever growing number of uninsured. Entitlement spending for Medicare and Medicaid will swamp state and federal budgets, threatening economically crippling tax increases or devastating spending cuts. The President's diagnosis of the problem is accurate; it is the treatment that is fatally flawed. The Affordable Care Act contains what Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist Jonathan Gruber calls (approvingly) a "spaghetti approach to cost control." This includes a grab-bag of Medicare pilot projects and payment reforms including Accountable Care Organizations, bundled payment systems, and pay-for-performance initiatives. The strategy, insofar as it can be called a strategy, is to throw "a bunch of stuff at against the wall [to] see what sticks." The problem with this approach it that ignores the myriad unintended consequences that are sure to follow from rapidly expanding costly insurance regulations and subsidies in a system that is already enormously expensive and riddled with government price controls that distort how physicians and hospitals practice medicine. America
The Complex Origins of Food Safety Rules--Yes, You Are Overcooking Your Food
Excerpt: You might think that scientific evidence would constitute the “last word” when food safety rules are made, but in fact it’s only the beginning. Policy makers take many other factors into consideration, including tradition, cultural trends, political expediency, and pressure from industry. To some extent, it’s reasonable to apply these modifiers because public health, not scientific purity, is the ultimate goal of food safety regulations. But this approach sometimes imposes arbitrary and scientifically indefensible restrictions that limit food choices, confuse the public, and prevent cooks from preparing the highest-quality meals.
Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy during Economic Decline
Excerpt: A new research paper by N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor of economics at
Harvard University, and Matthew Weinzierl, an assistant professor at , explores the optimal monetary and fiscal policy for an economy experiencing a shortfall in aggregate demand. Their model is simple enough to be tractable yet rich enough to offer some useful guidelines for policymakers, according to Mankiw and Weinzierl. One clear implication of the analysis is that how any policy is used depends on which other policy instruments are available. It is fair to say that there is a hierarchy of instruments for policymakers to take off the shelf when the economy has insufficient aggregate demand to maintain full employment of its productive resources. The first level of the hierarchy applies when the economy does not face the zero lower bound for nominal interest rates. In this case, conventional monetary policy is sufficient to restore the economy to full employment. That is, all that is needed is for the central bank to cut the short-term interest rate. The second level of the hierarchy applies when the short-term interest rate hits against the zero lower bound. In this case, unconventional monetary policy becomes the next policy instrument to be used to restore full employment. A reduction in long-term interest rates may be sufficient when a cut in the short-term interest rate is not.. The third level of the hierarchy is reached when monetary policy is severely constrained. In this case, fiscal policy may play a role. Fiscal policy should aim at incentivizing interest-sensitive components of spending, such as investment. The fourth level of the hierarchy is reached when monetary policy is severely constrained and fiscal policymakers rely on only a limited set of fiscal tools. If targeted tax policy is for some reason unavailable, then policymakers may want expand aggregate demand by increasing government spending, as well as cutting the overall level of taxation to encourage consumption, say Mankiw and Weinzierl. Harvard University
State Variation in Primary Care Physician Supply: Implications for Health Reform Medicaid Expansions
Excerpt: Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Medicaid enrollment is expected to grow by 16 million people by 2019, an increase of more than 25 percent. Given the unwillingness of many primary care physicians (PCPs) to treat new Medicaid patients, policy makers and others are concerned about adequate primary care capacity to meet the increased demand. States with the smallest number of PCPs per capita overall—generally in the South and Mountain West—potentially will see the largest percentage increases in Medicaid enrollment, according to a new national study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). In contrast, states with the largest number of PCPs per capita—primarily in the Northeast—will see more modest increases in Medicaid enrollment. Moreover, geographic differences in PCP acceptance of new Medicaid patients reflect differences in overall PCP supply, not geographic differences in PCPs’ willingness to treat Medicaid patients.
The Case against Raising the Social Security Tax Max
Excerpt: With Social Security deficits increasing and the
population aging, policymakers today face a choice. If they raise Social Security's maximum taxable wage--a common proposal--individuals will respond by working and saving less, which weakens the economy and does not fix the problem. Instead, we should reduce Social Security benefits for middle- and high-income earners to encourage more working and saving--and free up the government to focus on the daunting challenges of Medicare and Medicaid. (Here’s the great irony. The glorious 1960s, epitome of leftist cultural change, ushered in abortion, guilt-free sex without marriage, children without marriage supported by the government, a falling birthrate, a falling intact family rate, and the drug culture. All these will combine to bring down the leftist welfare state in fiscal ruin, as too few younger workers are available to support Social security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare. ~Bob.) US
Quotes from The Patriot Post www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/
"The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona was ordered to fire only beanbags at Mexican drug runners. No one's happy. Arizonans want a wall, the cops say beanbags stop nothing, and Mexicans are demanding they use live ammunition because beans are an offensive racial stereotype." --comedian Argus Hamilton.
"One plus for Obama in all this [situation in Libya]: The Press Trust of India reports that Moammar Gadhafi wrote a letter to Obama in which he addressed the president as 'our son.' Gadhafi's claim of paternity is one more bit of evidence -- not that any is needed -- that the claim Obama was born in Kenya is a flat-out lie." --WSJ columnist James Taranto
Economic Lunacy by Walter E. Williams
So we should be praying for a big one to help California? ~Bob. Excerpt: Economic lunacy abounds, and often the most learned, including Nobel Laureates, are its primary victims. The most recent example of economic lunacy is found in a Huffington Post article titled "The Silver Lining of Japan's Quake" written by Nathan Gardels, editor of New Perspectives Quarterly, who has also written articles for The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post. Mr. Gardels says, "No one -- least of all someone like myself who has experienced the existential terror of California's regular tremors and knows the big one is coming here next -- would minimize the grief, suffering and disruption caused by Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami. But if one can look past the devastation, there is a silver lining. The need to rebuild a large swath of Japan will create huge opportunities for domestic economic growth, particularly in energy-efficient technologies, while also stimulating global demand and hastening the integration of East Asia. ... By taking Japan's mature economy down a notch, Mother Nature has accomplished what fiscal policy and the central bank could not." Gardels is not alone in seeing silver linings in disasters.
Chavez says capitalism may have ended life on Mars
Excerpt: Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday. "I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.
It’s nuclear power or it’s climate change
Excerpt: ...[W]e can burn more coal and gas. It’s nuclear power, or it’s climate change. What of the solar and wind dream? I sure hope they work out, and can provide a lot more energy for us in the future. But history is not on their side. No country has displaced its fossil fuel fleet in the past by using these energy sources, for a number of practical engineering and economic reasons. One has to be an extreme optimist to imagine that this reality – this lesson of history – is going to miraculously change in the coming decades. (I’ve known many optimists over the years; I’m often guilty of it myself. Not long ago, one drew two cards to K-Q-J of diamonds and came up with a King-high straight flush to beat my pat Aces-full. But it doesn’t happen often. Ron P.)
Armed Beauty Queen Fatally Shoots Intruder in Florida Home Invasion
Excerpt: When a burly ex-convict forced his way into a posh Florida home last week, he had no idea what awaited him -- a 25-year-old beauty queen with a pink .38-caliber handgun. Meghan Brown, a former Florida pageant queen, shot and killed 42-year-old Albert Franklin Hill during a home invasion March 12 at the 2,732-square-foot house she shares with her fiance in Tierra Verde, Fla.
The ruling on building and repairing churches for Christians in the lands of Muslims
Excerpt: Peace be upon you, as well as the mercy and blessings of Allah. Our eminent shaykh, I read in one of your fatwas on this good and blessed website that it is not permissible for Christians to build or repair churches.
The White House Guess List: How Obama Pulled a Fast One on the American People – in the Name of ‘Transparency’
Excerpt: President Barack Obama has won praise from the media — and from himself — for putting the White House visitor logs online. Yet the visitor logs may hide more than they reveal. The White House is still holding back “tens of thousands” of visitor logs, according to congressional testimony last week by Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, who also added that “the Obama administration is less transparent than the Bush administration.”
Judge who ruled against Wisconsin Law has a son who is an SEIU Official?
Excerpt: Jake Sinderbrand, son of Judge Maryann Sumi, poses a bit of a problem for his mother. He has developed his professional political experience serving as a lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and as data manager for the SEIU State Council through the 2008 election cycle.
Heightened discharges as pump truck arrives
Excerpt: Tokyo Electric Power Company released the results of a half-litre sample of water taken 100 metres south of the discharge channel from damaged units 1 to 4. Testing for a range of radionuclides showed amounts below regulatory limits for cobalt-58, iodine-132 and caesium-136. Detections were far above limits, however, for caesium-137, caesium-134 and iodine-131. (…) Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days, so its potential danger reduces relatively quickly. Caesium-137 has a half life of 30 years, whereas the other isotope, caesium-134, has a half-life of two years. Additional monitoring at eight locations is to be carried out by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in conjunction with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. Results from this are expected on 24 March. (The iodine and caesium isotopes are likely products of partially melted cladding on the fuel rods. It will take about 3 - 4 weeks for the iodine-131 to decay to background levels; the caesium will take longer. Also, see the second article, Warning on Tokyo tap water, for better understanding of the amounts involved and what they mean--which is very, very little at this time. All the warnings are precautionary. Ron P.)
Warning on Tokyo tap water
Excerpt: These remain below the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan's indices for emergency situations, at present enforced as regulation in Japan. The body has set 300 becquerels per kilogram from iodine-131 or 200 becquerels per kilogram from caesium-137 as the current standards for drinking water that would not cause health effects if consumed for one year. However, there is a separate level of 100 becquerels per kilogram for milk to be used in baby formula. (…) An infant could receive a radiation dose of about 10 microsieverts from drinking one litre of the tap water, meaning one would have to drink a litre per day for a year to receive a dose of between 1 and 10 millisieverts. This would be an elevated level relative to normal doses of about 2.4 millisieverts per year from background radiation, but meaningful comparisons cannot be made because the emergency situation is not expected to continue for a such a period.
Is the House in play in 2012?
Excerpt: After three straight wave elections in the House over the past five years, there is already considerable debate among party strategists whether 2012 will be a status quo election with few changes or another wholesale swap of seats that could give Democrats a shot at reclaiming the majority. New polling from Democracy Corps, a Democratic-aligned polling consortium, in 50 Republican-held House districts likely to be targeted in 2012 suggests the “new Republican majority is very much in play”, according to pollster Stan Greenberg. (Obama re-elected with a Democrat majority in Congress and we can turn out the lights—it’s over. ~Bob.)