Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Political Digest for January 31, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

Tuesday is the Florida Primary, so last chance for Mitt supporters to help Obama by blasting Newt and Newt supporters to help Obama by blasting Mitt. Tell me why your guy would win and be a good president, not why some magnified and stretched flaw or mistake of the other guy disqualifies him. ~Bob.

Excerpt: Just about everybody in the health policy blogosphere has noted with disappointment the failure of Medicare’s demonstration projects to reduce the costs of care. Recall that these are critical to President Obama’s challenge “To find out what works and then go do it.” If nothing works, the fallback weapon in Obama Care is to reduce fees paid to doctors and hospitals. Yet the Medicare actuaries tell us that squeezing the providers in this way will put one in seven hospitals out of business in the next eight years, as Medicare fees fall below Medicaid’s. Under this scenario, senior citizens may be forced to line up behind welfare mothers, seeking care at community health centers and in the emergency rooms of safety net hospitals.

2012 State Business Tax Climate Index by Mark Robyn
How does your state stack up? Some surprises in the rankings. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Tax Foundation presents the 2012 version of the State Business Tax Climate Index to enable business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare.

Why Are Interest Rates Presently So Low? By John Makin
Excerpt: Despite frequent, dire warnings about the unsustainability of government budget deficits in the United States, Europe and Japan, investors are lining up to lend to some governments at very low interest rates. … This outcome is all the more surprising when, added to fear over oversupply of government debt, are warnings that the support given to debt markets by central banks amounts to the printing of money, an undertaking that can lead to sharply higher inflation. The expectation of sharply higher inflation usually drives up interest rates, especially on longer-term debt, since investors expect to be paid back in currency whose purchasing power has been eroded by higher prices.

Obama: The most polarizing president. Ever. by Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake
Excerpt: President Obama ran — and won — in 2008 on the idea of uniting the country. But, each of his first three years in office have marked historic highs in political polarization, with Democrats largely approving of him and Republicans deeply disapproving. (Democrats will cry “racism,” forgetting that more white folks voted for Obama in 2008 than voted for Kerry or Gore. And that Black folks support Obama at much higher rates than white folks disapprove, suggesting more racial voting on that side. ~Bob.)

The Hill Poll: No benefit from tax holiday, say a majority of voters
Excerpt: A majority of voters say they have not benefitted from the payroll-tax holiday that lawmakers are working to extend through the rest of this year, according to this week’s poll conducted for The Hill. Fifty-four percent said the tax holiday has not helped them financially, while only 25 percent said it had been a help to them.

Hill Poll: Illegal immigrants’ children deserve shot at citizenship, say likely voters
Excerpt: Nearly half of registered voters say illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children should be offered a path to citizenship, and that rises to 73 percent for those who serve in the military, according to The Hill Poll. (Very American not to want to punish children for the crimes of the parents. ~Bob.)

“No Murtha Ship” Website

Right to Work Heads to Indiana
Excerpt: In 22 states in the Union, workers have the freedom under "Right-to-Work" laws to decide whether or not to pay union dues, and now Indiana is poised to become the twenty-third state on that list, bringing the workers there renewed hope in an economy that has seen few glimmers of light. Last week, Indiana's House and Senate passed a right-to-work bill after weeks of political maneuvering by pro-union politicians hoping to stop the proposal in its tracks. Today, the legislation returns to the state's Senate for a final vote, and Governor Mitch Daniels (R) has promised to sign the bill into law. Meanwhile, a dozen labor unions have protested the measure, with threats to "occupy" the Super Bowl to be held in Indianapolis next week. (This will suck jobs out of Illinois. We need a national R2W law. ~Bob.)

Disgraced teacher is worth $10M, makes $100,000 a year, does nothing, & refuses to leave
Want to know what's wrong with unions? –Steve. Excerpt: In a defiant raspberry to the city Department of Education — and taxpayers — disgraced teacher Alan Rosenfeld, 66, won’t retire. Deemed a danger to kids, the typing teacher with a $10 million real estate portfolio hasn’t been allowed in a classroom for more than a decade, but still collects $100,049 a year in city salary — plus health benefits, a growing pension nest egg, vacation and sick pay. Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo can call for better teacher evaluations until they’re blue-faced, but Rosenfeld and six peers with similar gigs costing about $650,000 a year in total salaries are untouchable. Under a system shackled by protections for tenured teachers, they can’t be fired, the DOE says.

Syrian army returns to Damascus suburbs
And we complain about too many debates as we try to change/keep leaders. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Syrian army has regained control of some Damascus suburbs recently held by rebel forces, reports say. Huge deployments of troops and tanks were used, and the suburb of Saqba is still under bombardment, activists say. Opposition groups say six people have been killed in the city, with another 13 dead across the country.

General Strike Grips Belgium
Excerpt: Belgium was paralyzed by a national strike Monday as unions, angry over austerity measures, timed the protest to coincide with a one-day meeting of European Union leaders in the capital, Brussels. (Coming soon to a country near you, when they can’t borrow any more. ~Bob.)

Castro defends one-party system as bulwark against U.S.
The Michael Moore version of democracy. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Raul Castro defended Cuba's one-party political system as a bulwark against U.S. imperialism and said it would remain as it is in a speech on Sunday to a Communist Party conference.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez warns banks of nationalization
The Barack Obama view of the proper role of banks—doing the government’s bidding. Here’s it’s housing. ~Bob. Excerpt: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned that he could nationalise banks that refuse to finance agricultural projects backed by his government. Mr Chavez said some leading banks were failing to comply with a legal requirement that at least 10% of their lending should support development.

Excerpt: On Twitter today, I’ve noted that Romney’s seeming squeamishness might make him less likely to sell out conservatives as president than Newt Gingrich. It’s far from the most inspiring rallying cry, but I conclude, “Romney’s fear of a revolt on the right will keep him in line in ways that Gingrich’s ego would never allow.” The perception of Newt Gingrich as much quicker to compromise conservative principles than to ever admit a mistake comes heavily from Sen. Tom Coburn’s 2003 book Breach of Trust, which discusses his years in the House under Gingrich as Speaker, and paints a picture of Gingrich as a raging egomaniac, wildly hypocritical and quick to toss Class of 1994 principles. (I have great respect for Coburn. If he was running for president, I’d be with him. ~Bob.)

Dearborn Police Department Fined $100,000 For Engaging In Muslim Jihad On Christians
Excerpt: A judge in Detroit has ruled that the decision by police in neighboring Dearborn to arrest a Christian pastor who wanted to hand out Christian tracts at the city’s Arab fest in 2009 will cost the city some $100,000. That’s the decision following a request from the pastor’s attorneys that the losing side in the First Amendment argument over expressing religious perspectives on city streets be required to pay them for their work on behalf of Christian Pastor George Saieg.

Misreading Teheran's limits -- deadly and economically devastating as they may be -- is a risk administration, Europe seem willing to take
 Excerpt: By imposing new economic sanctions that aim to punish ordinary Iranians as well as high-ranking officials, Washington and its European allies have embraced a risky strategy that could backfire on their efforts to stop Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

Will Occupiers Get Their Violent Chicago Riot?
Excerpt: The anti-American activists of the Occupy Wall Street movement announced they plan to violently disrupt the G8/NATO summit in Chicago on May 19. Adbusters, the Noam Chomsky-friendly magazine that spearheaded the Occupy movement, claims the movement will conduct a massive occupation of Chicago “in the tradition of the Chicago 8.” Of course the radicals of the Chicago 8 organized riots at the Democratic Party’s national convention in that city in 1968. Hundreds of police officers were injured. (Shopping list: milk, bread, cat food, ammo… ~Bob.)

Islington girls forced into marriage at the age of nine
Excerpt: AN alarming number of under-age girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington, according to a leading campaign group. The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) claim that at least 30 girls in the borough were forced into marriage in 2010. (Just following the “perfect” example of Mohammad. From the Haddith Sahih Bukhari 7.62.88: "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)."

Islamonausea, not Islamophobia
Excerpt: We should stop using Muslims' self-chosen word – “Islamophobia” – by which they paint themselves into a corner of being feared: it destroys communication. Instead of such a divisive term, we should insert a more approachable and factual word that preserves opportunities for bridge-building and learning: “Islamonausea.” This does not render communication impossible, but enables visitors to our Western cultures to notice aspects of their behavior that make us sick.

Statement From Commandant Of The Marine Corps On The Release Of The Latest Defense Budget
Excerpt: For 8.2 percent of the Department of Defense's budget, the Marine Corps provides our nation 31 percent of its ground forces, 12 percent of its fighter attack aircraft, 19 percent of its attack helicopters and the ability to respond to unexpected crises, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, to full scale combat. (That's what I would classify as a damn good ROI for the taxpayer's dollar. --MasterGuns)

Occupy Pledge of Allegiance: “…and to the plutocracy for which it stands, the privately owned central bank, under the Jews…”
Excerpt: During yesterday’s hours-long rioting at the Occupy Oakland protest, the Occupiers burned a United States flag in front of Oakland City Hall (before later breaking in and smashing up irreplaceable antique museum exhibits in the foyer). Someone posted a video of the flag-burning to YouTube, and then added narration on top of it — his own rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance in an Occupy theme:

GOP-Governed and Right-To-Work States Saved the Economy’s Bacon in 2011
Excerpt: The unemployment rate in President Barack Obama’s home state, which began 2011 below that of nearby Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan, ended the year higher than each — yes, even higher than Michigan, the previous decade’s basket case. Illinois only gained 8,000 jobs during the year’s final ten months after gaining 45,000 during the first two. Who besides entrenched public-sector union-beholden tax-and-spend Democrats didn’t see this coming? In January, the state increased its personal and corporate tax rates by 66% and 45%, respectively; yet its bond rating, recently downgraded, is the nation’s worst.

Bill Klesse, CEO of Valero on the Keystone Pipeline
Excerpt: This illustrates why the federal government’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is so absurd. There are pipelines in every neighborhood all across America. The administration’s decision was not about pipelines, it was about the misguided beliefs that Canadian oil sands development should be stopped and that fossil fuel prices should increase to make alternative energy more attractive. … The point above is that it is not about pipelines as many pipelines cross the Ogallala Aquifer, in the Great Plains region, and, in fact, there is already significant oil and gas production in the area covered by the aquifer. This is politics at its worst.

Excerpt: There are 1.1 million more unemployed Americans today than when President Obama was sworn into office in 2009. The number of Americans in poverty has risen by 6.4 million. Unemployment is up 9 percent, the number of food stamp recipients is up 45 percent, and home values are down 13 percent. If Obama were to seek re-election based on his economic record, he would surely lose.

Former Massachusetts Congressman Takes Graft to Next Level by Daniel J. Mitchell
Excerpt: While in Congress, Mr. Delahunt earmarked $1.7 million for the same project, and he was to be paid 80 percent of his monthly consulting fees out of that same pot of money. …Mr. Delahunt and executives at his firm did not respond to e-mails Saturday seeking further comment on the decision. (Typical of Massachusetts—but in Chicago this would make him an armature. See how a certain US Senator now living in DC got a savings on his home much larger than this with the help of a now-convicted lobbyist. ~Bob.)

Jihad Jane Was A CIA Actor Working For The FBI To Generate Internet Terror Fear
Excerpt: An Arab foreigner CIA agent made dual citizen with a fraudulent white citizen personality created by the FBI staging false flag terror attacks against America with a full media circus to hype it. Jihad Jane was given a deal by Eric Holder to stage a fake terror threat on the internet so Eric Holder and Obama could look like good terrorism fighters and create a diversion from the trillions in wealth being given away free to insiders. Can this be true? Impeachable offense if so. ~Bob.)

Newly Revealed Color Photos Show Hitler’s Life of Luxury
Typical big-government socialist. ~Bob.

Allen West to Dems: Get the hell out of the United States of America - Daily Caller
Excerpt: In a speech at the Lincoln Day Dinner where Herman Cain endorsed former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the Palm Beach Post reports that West drew the greatest applause with his fiery speech. “We need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and my dear friend the chairman of the Democratic National Committee [Debbie Wasserman Schultz], let them know Florida ain’t on the table.”

Blogs Fume Over Allen West's New District
excerpt: Conservative bloggers are lashing out against the Republican “establishment” for a redistricting map that could harm tea party favorite Rep. Allen West’s (R-Fla.) reelection chances, even sparking a conspiracy that pins the alleged campaign against West on Mitt Romney. The right’s blogosphere has been buzzing over the last few days about a redistricting plan passed by the Republican-controlled Florida legislature that would put West in a district that is even more Democratic than the one he currently occupies.

Arizona bishop: Catholics ‘will not comply’ with Obama birth control mandate
Excerpt: In a letter to Catholics in his diocese this weekend, Arizona Bishop Thomas Olmsted appeared to urge the faithful to civil disobedience against an Obama administration mandate requiring Catholic employers to include coverage for contraception, including abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations. “Unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so),” he wrote. “We cannot – we will not—comply with this unjust law.”

The Fake Disabled are Crippling Our Economy - by James Delingpole, Telegraph UK
Excerpt: Rod Liddle has just incurred the wrath of the disability lobby by having a go in his Sun column at "pretend disabled" people. Included in this category, Rod decided, were people with fibromyalgia and ME. Lots of people queued up Twitter to say how horrid they thought he was, wishing he would succumb to some kind of disability himself, etc. I suppose, having recently suffered from an ME-like illness I should be one of them. But unlike Rod's Twitter critics I took the trouble to read the full article and I think Rod's point is well made.

Excerpt: Every presidential candidate has to defend himself against accusations of wrongdoing — an affair, abuse of office, campaign-finance impropriety, and so forth. Mitt Romney finds himself in a predictable defensive crouch, too, but the allegation against him is extraordinary: He stands accused of doing his job too well. (I dunno. I think the government should have created a program to save the company my Grandfather Gray worked at. I’m sure with a big enough bailout it will still be producing gas lanterns today. Be useful on a Volt, I’d think. ~Bob.)

 Excerpt: The problem with President Obama’s us-vs.-them fairness campaign is that the Democratic technocracy that runs the redistributionist state is so deeply embedded within the One Percent that it is impossible to hide the hypocrisies. … The loudest advocates of Obamaism — academic elites, green corporatists, Hollywood, foundations, Silicon Valley, Wall Street itself — are generally America’s most affluent.

Russia: Syria ready to talk with opposition
Excerpt: Russia, which has resisted Western calls to back UN sanctions against Damascus, had suggested to the government and the opposition that they should meet in the Russian capital for "informal contacts" without any preconditions. "Our offer has already received a positive response from the Syrian authorities," Russia's foreign ministry said on Monday. Russia continues to block a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for a transfer of power in Syria, where it maintains a naval base at Tartous, near Latakia.

Report: Attempt to smuggle Assad's wife out of Syria foiled
Excerpt: Sources within the Syrian opposition said that the Free Syrian Army forces managed to prevent the escape of the first lady of Syria and additional relatives through Damascus airport. According to the Egyptian daily, the sources claimed that Asma Assad, her children, Bashar Assad's mother and his cousin were all in a convoy on the way to the airport when rebel forces under the command of a former senior officer in the Syrian army, blocked the their path.

The Week That Was: 2012-1-28 (January 28, 2012)
Excerpt: Quote of the Week: "...we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy...One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore..." IPCC co-chair of Working Group 3, Dr. Ottmar Endenhofer, November 13, 2010 interview. (This kind of thing creates wars. ~Bob.)

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