Thursday, March 15, 2012

Political Digest for March 15, 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.

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

Neti Pot Deaths
I’ve been using a Neti Pot twice a day for several years, haven’t had a real cold in that time. One starts as a tickle in the throat, then fades out. That’s good, as colds are not great for anyone with PF. So I’ve recommended them to a lot of folks. Then I heard about this, so switched from tap water to distilled water. Don’t know about when I travel. Excerpt: In fact, the two tragic neti pot deaths in Louisiana were caused from using impure water for nasal irrigation. This, alone, makes it worthwhile to stress neti pot safety.

Tuesday’s Primaries
Santorum won both the big southern primaries Tuesday, dealing, I think, more of a blow to Gingrich than Romney, whose delegate totals continued to grow. I still think Romney is the likely nominee, but will be so chewed up that despite all the lies, broken promises, bowing and economic destruction, Obama is likely to beat him in November. Yesterday’s blog was posted before the primary results came in. Because my posting schedule revolves around other factors, I can’t usually do “breaking” news. Sorry. ~Bob.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Excerpt: Today’s numbers show Romney at 46% and the president at 44%. If Rick Santorum is the GOP nominee, the president is up by a point, 45% to 44%. (Romney has consistently run best against Obama of any of the GOP candidates, thus the Democrats’ efforts to undermine him. But I still think this race will be decided by events or trends yet to happen. ~Bob.)

Analysis: Romney losses show disgruntled GOP base
Excerpt: Mitt Romney's losses in Alabama and Mississippi underscore a stark reality: The core of his party does not want him. And that lingering conservative dissatisfaction - on display Tuesday night - threatens to follow Romney into a general election matchup against a Democratic president whose ability to inspire his base is not in question. Romney's huge lead in the race for delegates to this summer's GOP nominating convention seemed forgotten for a night as Rick Santorum reveled in twin victories. (Remember this is an AP writer, thus very likely a 2008 and 2012 Obama supporter. Puts that slant on it. ~Bob.)

Rick Santorum hoping ideology will trump electability
Excerpt: Ever since he swept three contests on a single night in February, Rick Santorum has argued that the Republican presidential nomination battle is effectively a two-man race between himself and Mitt Romney. Tuesday’s primaries decisively turned that claim into reality. Now Santorum must prove that ideology can trump electability with GOP voters who are hungry to defeat President Obama in November. (Conservatives seem so disgruntled with Romney, they will over look Santorum’s record in favor of his rhetoric. Well, that strategy worked out well for Democrats in 2008. ~Bob.)

GOP contenders turn to Illinois
Excerpt: But there are two big wild-cards that could threaten to upend some of the more predictable dynamics. First, Illinois’ primary system is open. In other words, any registered voter can show up and vote. In Michigan, prominent Democrats, including the liberal site Daily Kos, encouraged Democrats to vote for Santorum to embarrass Romney and extend the primary season. (The fact that Democrats prefer Santorum to Romney as the GOP candidate is telling. But most voters don’t pay attention to things like that. ~Bob.)

5 lessons learned from the Alabama and Mississippi primaries
Excerpt: Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s dual wins in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday night hands his campaign some real momentum although he continues to fall further behind former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the race for delegates. What did we learn — or, more accurately, re-learn — from the votes last night in the South as well as in Hawaii and American Samoa?

Excerpt: Newt Gingrich's plan to keep Mitt Romney from winning the necessary delegates for the GOP nomination means the presidential contenders may have to form a deal in order to avoid a brokered convention, a leading Gingrich surrogate told The Hill. Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.) said an agreement between the candidates would be preferable to taking the fight to the convention floor in Tampa this August. … Romney leads the delegate count with 495 delegates, followed by Rick Santorum with 252, according to The Associated Press. Gingrich is in third with 131 and Ron Paul trails with 48. (Hard for me to follow the logic here. Would Romney, with over 50% of the delegates now, agree to throw his support to one of the other three? And if any of them would agree on Romney, they could do it now. ~Bob.)

Santorum to Puerto Rico: Speak English if you want statehood
While I believe that “Press Two for Spanish” is racist both because it discriminates against native speakers of other languages and because supporting Spanish-only speakers keeps them—perhaps deliberately—impoverished, this is needlessly offensive and beyond dumb. If Hispanics vote a solid block as blacks do on racial lines, it’s over. ~Bob. Excerpt: Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told Puerto Ricans on Wednesday they would have to make English their primary language if they want to pursue U.S. statehood, a statement at odds with the U.S. Constitution. Santorum traveled to the U.S. territory to campaign ahead of the island's Republican primary election scheduled for Sunday, where he, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are vying for 20 delegates.

Obama announces WTO case against China over rare earths
Excerpt: In a statement to reporters at the White House, Obama said the case seeks to force China to lift export limits on certain minerals known as rare earths. China produces 97% of all rare earths, according to the European Union. The materials are used in products such as flat-screen televisions, smart phones, hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, electronics, cars and petroleum. (And, when China says the metals can’t be extracted without great environmental damage—and makes a few strategically placed donations to international enviro-nazi groups—what then, sports? Ron P.)

I Hope Rush Limbaugh Gets Arrested
Excerpt: Liberal lawyer Gloria Allred wants Rush Limbaugh arrested. She may want to rethink this latest publicity stunt. (On what charge? Impersonating a liberal by using misogynist terms? ~Bob.)

Only twice what they promised is better than I expected, but I think it will get worse. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.

Taliban threaten to 'cut off the heads' of US soldiers
Excerpt: In the latest statement, released at Voice of Jihad [large portions are reproduced below] and signed by the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the Taliban said they would "cut off the heads of your murderous sadistic troops in every corner of the country in revenge for the martyrdom of every single Afghan and we shall not desist from utilizing any means for this purpose." Keep in mind that the Taliban are issuing such statements designed to escalate violence (as they did in the latest Koran-burning incident) while the US is hoping to negotiate a peace deal with them. (I’m terribly sorry, Akmed, but you can’t bring that long knife to the peace conference table, there’s a good chap. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: State. Rep. Derrick Smith was arrested Tuesday on charges of accepting a $7,000 bribe to steer a state grant to a daycare facility. The Chicago Democrat’s arrest comes after a three-month investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois. (As a resident of Crook, ah, Cook County, I’m just stunned. ~Bob.)

Sri Lanka War Crimes Complicate Great Game of Thrones
Excerpt: Next week, the UN Human Rights Council will meet in Geneva to vote on a resolution that calls for an independent investigation into the last months of the Sri Lankan civil war. A recent documentary, aired on Britain’s Channel 4 and titled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,” details the very brutal ending of that war, and suggests some Sri Lankan officials might be guilty of war crimes. The vote puts India in a tight spot.

China Bashes EU Greens
Excerpt: China is tightening the screws on Europe in the trade war over environmental regulations for airliners. Following Europe’s announcement that airline carriers–foreign carriers included—would be forced to buy expensive “carbon offsets” for planes traveling to EU member states, China responded by putting plane orders from a number of European aerospace companies on hold.

UK Joint Committee: We are Doomed
Excerpt: The report argued that the United States had shifted its attention away from Europe, and questioned whether it was in Britain’s interests to maintain such a close bond with an ally that was no longer focused on the Atlantic. The wide-ranging report makes for glum reading. It also discussed a host of economic and security challenges posed by the ongoing financial crisis in Europe. Among the report’s findings:

Another publicly larded solar company – this one wants to walk away from their solar manufacturing plant
Excerpt: Evergreen Solar is asking a bankruptcy judge for permission to walk away from its former plant in Devens. The company, which received tens of millions in state aid before shuttering its facilities last year and moving its manufacturing operations to China, filed the notice in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on Monday.
Excerpt: Think of a supermarket. There are probably more than a hundred in the city of Dallas alone. I can walk into any of them — in most cases, at any time day or night — and buy thousands of different products. … Contrast that with the market for medical care, where almost nothing is available at the drop of a hat. … So why is there so much difference between these two markets? I would argue that one is a real market where consumers face real prices, whereas the other is an artificial market where the price system has been suppressed.

How Free-Market Kidney Sales Can Save Lives and Lower the Total Cost of Kidney Transplants
Excerpt: The 1984 National Organ Transplant Act prohibits the sale of human organs, yet economic analysis of the potential market for human kidneys has shown that the legislation is detrimental. While opponents of free kidney trade argue that it would price the poor out of the market, further investigation finds that free trade would provide better results for both donors and recipients, say Kathryn Shelton, a research assistant in the O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University, and Richard B. McKenzie, professor emeritus in the Merage Business School at the University of California, Irvine. By offering compensation for donors, a free-trade market for kidneys would increase the number of kidneys made available to those who demand them, reducing the current shortages. There are 90,885 American kidney-disease patients now lingering on waiting lists for donated kidneys. The supply increase of kidneys associated with selling them on a market would result in a reduction of as many as 4,573 annual deaths from kidney disease.

White Coats and Straightjackets: Why Planned Cost-Saving Measures Will Reduce Your Healthcare Options by Scott Gottlieb
Excerpt: Before we proceed with the Independent Payment Advisory Board, we should carefully consider the pernicious impact that similar structures have had on patient care.
A patient recently asked me why doctors don’t spend more time communicating over email or by videoconferencing. There’s a simple answer: Medicare hasn’t created a billing code for these services. Medicare relies on a complicated and expanding schedule of codes for how it prices stuff.

Hydraulic Fracturing Is a Win-Win for the Environment
Excerpt: The recent discovery of vast deposits of oil and natural gas trapped in shale rock formations has revolutionized our nation's short-term, mid-term, and long-term energy outlook. At the same time, new technological advancements in hydraulic fracturing (also known as "fracking") and directional drilling have made recovery of shale gas and shale oil extremely economical, says James M. Taylor, a senior fellow with the Heartland Institute. Since these new hydraulic fracturing technologies hit the oil and natural gas fields a few years ago, natural gas production has risen sharply and natural gas prices have fallen dramatically.

Florida Senate: Mack (R) 43%, Nelson (D) 36%
Excerpt: Republican Congressman Connie Mack now posts a seven-point lead over Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in Florida’s U.S. Senate race, and the incumbent remains just ahead of his other two potential GOP rivals.

Humor from The Patriot Post
"If the left really cared about women, they have lots of misogyny on their own side to police without ever having to worry about conservatives. Plus, their own side might actually listen to them. But they tolerated a Senator who left a woman to drown in a car. And enthusiastically supported a president who sexually harassed women and dismissed accusations of rape against him. And just look at how they treat Sarah Palin. So if a liberal says he cares about women, tell him, 'You care about women the same way I care about your face.' Then punch him really hard in the face." --humorist Frank J. Fleming

"President Obama compared himself to Gandhi and Nelson Mandela in the struggle to bring about change. The comparison is flawed. They spent years in jail before taking political power, while politicians from Chicago do it the other way around." --comedian Argus Hamilton

"One of Warren Buffet's companies owes the government $300 million in unpaid taxes. So that's why Buffet doesn't mind higher taxes on the rich: He's not gonna pay 'em anyway." --NewsBusted's Jodi Miller

"The Air Force is pulling nine cargo aircraft from military operations to support President Obama's stepped-up visits to campaign events. Good. Now he can carry his entire ego with him on the trail." --Fred Thompson

"They say gasoline could be $6 a gallon. But the good news is the White House says President Obama is aware of the problem, and will continue to talk about it between fundraisers." --comedian Jay Leno

Obama's Pump Debacle By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: As gasoline prices climb, President Obama's poll numbers plummet. In February, a Washington Post/ABC poll had Obama up 6 points against Mitt Romney. Monday's poll has him down 2. According to the polls, gas prices are a huge part of the story, particularly given how the last 30 days or so have not exactly been great for the GOP. No wonder Obama is desperate to get out in front of the issue. The dilemma is that he's invested so much of his prestige in his energy policies that he can't admit those policies have been an abject failure.

Compliant Americans By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: What gives the government the authority to usurp parental authority? Part of the problem is that people who act as instruments of government do not pay a personal price for usurping parental authority. The reason is Americans, unlike Americans of yesteryear, have become timid and, as such, come to accept all manner of intrusive governmental acts.

'All the Israeli Cities:' Saddam's Taped Order for Targeting WMDs By Terence Jeffrey
Hard to excerpt, but chilling. ~Bob.

Unite Against Fascism: Churchill's 'Fascists of the Future'
Excerpt: “The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists.” – attributed to Winston Churchill* Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have always been a confusing bunch. In their efforts to ‘stamp’ out fascism they’ve continually petitioned to have our demonstrations banned (an attack on freedom of speech that’s back-fired a number of times). They’ve also become no strangers to violent confrontation – often provoking trouble at our demonstrations, and more-often-than-not coming out of it with far higher arrest figures than we have.

Creating the Conditions for Integration - English Defence League
Excerpt: An integrated society is exactly the sort of thing we want. We don’t want a society in which different communities live apart and there become parts of this country where you can’t walk down the street. And although we’re accepting of people from any number of different cultural backgrounds, we don’t want these cultural traditions to be preserved when they’re at odds with our own culture. Barbaric practices such as honour-killings or female genital mutilation, for example, can’t be allowed to take root in Britain. We should also be free to assert the supremacy of British law in any cases where individual rights and freedoms are challenged by the cultural practices of any immigrant communities.

I Pledge Allegiance to Obama’s Face?
Excerpt: A Florida Democratic Party outpost has taken down an American flag depicting an image of President Obama after a group of veterans complained that the flag had been desecrated. The flag was flying underneath an American flag outside the Lake County Democratic Party headquarters. Instead of stars, the blue field featured an image of President Obama’s face. That infuriated local veterans like Jim Bradford, the office manager at the Veterans Memorial at Fountain Park in nearby Leesburg. (They don’t get that in addition to God and guns, we cling to the flag. ~Bob.)

Permit to Kill Bald Eagles Granted by Obama Administration
Excerpt: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing an American Indian tribe in Wyoming to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes. The agency’s decision comes after the Northern Arapaho Tribe filed a federal lawsuit last year contending the refusal to issue such permits violates tribal members’ religious freedom. (This is fine until the Muslims sue pointing out that the Qur’an requires them to kill infidels who don’t convert or submit as dhimmi. ~Bob.)

Vehicle bursts into flames on runway as Leon Panetta flies into Afghanistan
Okay, who sold a Volt to the Taliban? ~Bob. Excerpt: Nato has ordered a security lockdown at its massive base in central Afghanistan after a car surged on to an airfield and burst into flames just as the US defence secretary landed for an official visit.

David Axelrod, Lefty Lumberjack By Paul Kengor
Excerpt: Obama's main man will do whatever it takes to fell Republicans and conservatives. Where does his ruthlessness and drive come from?

NAACP Asking U.N. Human Rights Council to Condemn American Voter ID
Excerpt: Riled by state-level voting law changes that it alleges are designed to suppress “the political participation of people of color, the poor, the elderly, and the young,” the NAACP is turning to the U.N. Human Rights Council for support.

The FED’s Brand New High School Propaganda Course
Excerpt: . . . it now appears that the propaganda masters at the Office of Central Planning have decided to go for young American minds while they are still pliable. It appears that as part of its reenactment of Goebbels “economic education” curriculum, the Fed will now directly appeal to K 8-12 student, in which it will elucidate on the premise of “Constitutionality of a Central Bank.” You know – just in case said young (and soon to be very unemployed) minds get ideas that heaven forbid, the master bank running the US is not exactly constitutional – you know, that whole thing between Andrew Jackson and the Second Bank of the United States…

The Alabama comeback of the ‘Ten Commandments Judge’
Excerpt: Roy Moore, the nationally known “Ten Commandments Judge” and former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, on Tuesday won the Republican nomination in his state to regain his old seat after being ousted from it in 2003.“The people have spoken,” Moore said, according to the Montgomery Advertiser…. The former judge rode his horse to the voting booth on Tuesday.

Accused US soldier flown out of Afghanistan
Excerpt: The American soldier accused of shooting 16 Afghan villagers in a pre-dawn killing spree was flown out of Afghanistan on Wednesday evening, the U.S. military said. (The guy who lost the war. Temporary insanity plea seems likely, thus infuriating our Afghan “allies.” What a mess. We should tell the Afghans, “If we have to pull out, everyone of you has to stay here and deal with the Taliban.” ~Bob.)

City: Stars and Stripes is a sign
Excerpt: An Albany businessman says he should be able to put an American flag wherever he wants. The city of Albany feels differently. Albany Code Enforcement found Tom Gieryic in violation of two city codes because the American flag in front of his business is on the city's right of way. (So now our flag is a "sign". It's always been a symbol of freedom and an inspiration to everyone who loves this country, but to the officials of Albany, GA it's nothing more than a "sign". Wonder how they feel about the sign that sits at the front gate of MCLB, Albany GA? Would they like to take it down also? Bunch of a--clowns (that's just my opinion) MasterGuns)

Excerpt: Gone are the days when civilizations perished from vice. Today they go bankrupt from a surfeit of virtue. If the subprime mortgage crisis was rooted in the quest for affordable housing, the curtain now rises on a scene laid waste by the student debt bomb. (As long as students can borrow from the Feds to pay tuition, universities will keep selling them on the wonderful future opportunities for a fellow with a BA in Peace Studies and a minor in Sociology. ~Bob.)

The new cyber arms race By Mark Clayton
Excerpt: Tomorrow's wars will be fought not just with guns, but with the click of a mouse half a world away that will unleash weaponized software that could take out everything from the power grid to a chemical plant.

Your body, his law ---BamCare’s perils for gals
Excerpt: The Obama re-election campaign is mailing out fliers championing his health-care law as a great benefit to women. Sorry: It diminishes women’s freedom and privacy. The Obama law vastly expands the president’s power over your insurance plan, your doctors’ decisions and your medical records. Not just this president’s power, but every future president. Why are women’s rights advocates so sure they’ll always agree with the person occupying the White House?

Muslim journalist defends surveillance by NYPD, says some Muslims 'use religion as cover'
A brave woman deserving support. ~Bob. Excerpt: The New York Police Department has faced criticism for its surveillance of the Muslim community, but one prominent Muslim journalist defended the department in an interview with Fox News. “We use religion as a cover,” said Asra Nomani, a 46-year-old journalist whose work has been published by the Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast.

Excerpt: It was an unusual request as it is not customary to disarm for a defense secretary visits. The Marines did as they were told. There were about two dozen Afghan soldiers in attendance who were unarmed. (Probably so they could disarm our Afghan “allies” without appearing biased. ~Bob.)

Solar Flare Or UFO?
Excerpt: In the image sequence, there is a burst of activity around the prominence, and then it and the filament channel shoot out into space immediately afterwards. According to Gurman, the first event was probably an outburst of the sun's magnetic field called a coronal mass ejection. "It's generally accepted, though still not conclusively proven, that prominence eruptions occur when the overlying magnetic field that contains the prominence material is disrupted," he said. (This has made enough of a splash with YouTube users that HuffPo picked it up. The article continues below the video. Ron P.)

Worth Reading: Obama’s Surreal Campaign: He is running as if the last three years didn’t happen. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: During the 2004 campaign, the Kerry camp derided 5.5 percent unemployment as proof of a “jobless recovery.” Today 8.3 percent is deemed a sign of a real rebound. In 2008, when George W. Bush had borrowed $4 trillion over eight years, the deficits were termed by candidate Obama as “unpatriotic”; trumping that total in just four years is now called much-needed “stimulus.”

Media Flashback 2008: High oil prices? Weak dollar? Blame Bush
Excerpt: Few issues focus the public’s attention on politics like the price of gasoline. It keeps going up, the public wants relief, and politicians are held accountable for not fixing the situation. Yet to solve the problem, you first need to know the cause of the illness. (Then it was “Bush.” Now, with much higher gas prices it’s “The Market—nothing to do with Obama.” ~Bob.)

Canada has better taxes than the US? Really? ~Bob. Excerpt: The good news is that a corporate tax rate cut without any changes to the tax base probably wouldn’t lose the government any money over the long term. Good evidence comes from Canada’s corporate tax cuts of the 1980s and 2000s. The chart shows Canada’s federal corporate tax revenues as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) and the federal corporate tax rate. The tax rate plunged from 38 percent in 1980 to just 15 percent by 2012. Amazingly, there has been no obvious drop in tax revenues over the period.

Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, Admits Top Obama Bundler Pressed Administration To Finalize Solyndra Loan
Well, I’m shocked! Shocked, I say…oh never mind. ~Bob. Excerpt: Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, admitted today that one of Obama’s top campaign bundlers, Steve Spinner, pressured the Obama administration to finalize the Solyndra loan. Solyndra is one of the biggest crony capitalist deals that Obama has conducted since becoming president. The cronyism started in the months prior to the approval of the Solyndra loan by the Department of Energy in March of 2009, when billionaire and Obama bundler, George Kaiser, held numerous meetings with the White House about the pending loan.

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