Thursday, April 12, 2012

Political Digest for April 12, 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.

Information on my seven books

George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting, official says
The evidence won’t matter. The jury votes to convict or goes into hiding for the rest of their lives. ~Bob.

Obama, Romney campaigns turn attention to general election fight
Excerpt: The general election has begun for Mitt Romney and President Obama. Rick Santorum's exit from the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday cemented Romney's status as the GOP nominee, which the former Massachusetts governor seemed to acknowledge.

 Excerpt: There are about 50 million people on Medicaid in the United States and the biggest problem they have, by far, is finding a doctor who will see them. Yet this is actually an easy problem to solve if only the health policy community were not blinded by an overwhelming prejudice: The belief that for medical care to be accessible to low-income families it must be free at the point of delivery. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The quickest, surest way to create access to care for poverty-level families is to allow them to pay market prices. A year or so ago I was in Boston and I struck up a conversation with a taxi driver, who informed me that she was on MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid). “How is it working for you?” I asked. “The biggest problem is finding a doctor,” she said. “I had to go down a list of 20 doctors’ names before I found one who would see me.” “Were you going through the Yellow Pages?” I asked. “No,” she said, “I was going down a list that MassHealth gave me.” Remember: this is what Massachusetts calls “universal coverage.”

Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds
Obama promised that his healthcare bill wouldn’t add to the deficit. He lied. Again. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing. The study is set to be released Tuesday by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that the health-care law, which calls for an expensive expansion of coverage for the uninsured beginning in 2014, will nonetheless reduce deficits by raising taxes and cutting payments to Medicare providers.

Carbon dioxide ended last Ice Age: study
Excerpt: Ice core data from 80 locations around the world indicates changes in CO2 led or were synchronous with global warming at the end of the last Ice Age, according to a new study. About 10,000-20,000 years ago, Earth started to emerge from a quarter million years of deep freeze as the terrestrial ice sheet rolled back and warmer temperatures prevailed. (Mammoths driving SUVs, I assume. ~Bob.)

How A Dumb Law Blocks A Great Way To Fuel America
Excerpt: This year American motorists will burn through 14 billion gallons of ethanol, the end product of 5 billion bushels of corn—a third of the U.S. crop—grown on 33 million acres of farmland. It arguably cuts pollution coming out of U.S. tailpipes, but at a huge cost.

Memphian, 91, finally cited for D-Day heroism
Excerpt: Stooped after 91 years of living, Wilbur "Bill" Hoffman, still managed to stand tall as medals honoring his bravery during World War II were pinned on his chest in a ceremony on Tuesday. Hoffman, then 20, was with the U.S. Army Rangers when they climbed the cliffs at Normandy on D-Day in 1944 and was wounded during the fighting. (Another hero who never thought he was one. Our Marine Corps League Detachment was an active participant in the ceremony. The Marine in the foreground is a Korean War vet who fought at Chosin and was wounded twice. --MasterGuns)

Buffett Rule 101
Excerpt: President Obama traveled to Florida yesterday to distract the nation from its real problems by laying out his case for the Buffett Rule, a plan to drastically raise taxes on successful Americans and small businesses. The core of his argument is that the rich aren't paying their fair share. It makes for great populist rhetoric, especially when families are hurting and angry under today's high unemployment, but the result is terrible policy. Worse, it's a distraction from the big issues facing the nation, like the deficit, the economy, jobs, gas prices, health care, and on and on, none of which are addressed by the President's proposals, and none of which he wants to talk about.

Overpaid Public Workers: The Evidence Mounts. Several new government studies make it harder for unions to deny the need for reform.
Excerpt: One year ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation increasing the pension and health contributions of public-sector employees and restricting their collective-bargaining power. The governor set off a firestorm that continues today, with a recall effort being waged against him and his allies.

Philippines, China commit to resolve ongoing naval standoff in South China Sea diplomatically
Excerpt: The Philippine government said Wednesday it agreed with China to diplomatically resolve a tense standoff involving a Philippine warship and two Chinese surveillance vessels in the disputed South China Sea, the most dangerous confrontation between the sides in recent years.

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results." --economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

"I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy -- I don't disparage envy but I don't accept it as legitimately my master." --Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

 ‘Religion Is Not Driving Extremist Violence’ in Nigeria, Says Obama Official, After Church Bombings
Excerpt: Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said Monday that “religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria--just one day after a Christian church conducting an Easter service was targeted by a car bombing that left 39 dead.
Similarly, on Christmas Day, the Nigerian Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, attacked a Catholic church in that country, killing more than 40 people. (Huh. Must be race then, which drives everything in the US, from Trayvon to opposition to Obamacare. ~Bob.)

Don't Do Business with Progressive Appeasers by Michelle Malkin
Excerpt: Let's stipulate: Activists on the left are free to exercise their rights of speech and assembly to boycott businesses whose politics they oppose. Conversely, activists on the right are free to exercise the power of their pocketbooks and refrain from supporting businesses that shun their values. So, what are you waiting for, conservatives? There are coordinated shakedowns taking place right now that involve some of America's most prominent companies who've chosen to surrender to progressive bullying and race-card opportunism. Silence is complicity.

Kicking the Iran can past election day by Benny Avni
Excerpt: Hope springs eternal that diplomacy will end Iran’s nuclear-weapons quest, but the latest talks with Tehran seem aimed more at kicking the atomic can down the road — preferably until the fall. Iran hopes to stall so that it can advance its nuclear-weapons program. The West still flinches at confrontation. And President Obama isn’t eager to risk a major foreign-policy crisis before Election Day.

ID card hypocrisy
Excerpt: Under the new rules, students will now have to submit head shots of themselves in advance with their test application. The photo will be printed on an admission ticket, which will be mailed to each student for entrance into the exam site. The photo of the student will also appear on the test site roster, where both documents will be checked. As an added safeguard, the photo will be attached to the student's score that is sent to school officials, so that administrators can see the photo and make sure it is the correct high-school student. (The Lowell Sun isn’t known as a particularly partisan paper; think of it as being moderately Democrat [this IS Massachusetts, after all]. Requiring positive ID from voters shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Currently, law or regulation requires ID for all of the following: taking an SAT, opening a bank account, cashing a check or money order, sending or receiving money electronically, getting a loan, renting a post office box, buying or selling (or mortgaging) real estate or an automobile, purchasing alcohol, tobacco, firearms, ammunition or explosives, purchasing certain prescription drugs (or even over the counter drugs that contain pseudoephedrine), getting on a commercial airliner, applying for—not to mention actually getting—almost any professional or commercial license (doctor, lawyer, teacher, hairdresser, food safety worker, pilot, etc.), mere admission to “adult” movies or premises where alcohol is served, being hired anywhere an I-9 is required (which is almost everywhere), entering many government buildings (including some courthouses and schools), selling or pawning items to a pawnshop or second-hand dealer, getting a library card, and picking up mail at a Post Office’s general delivery window. This is only those instances that come readily to mind; I’m sure there are multitudes of others. The point is ID is required so often and for so many things we do every day that almost everyone already needs an ID just to carry on daily life—and therefore already has one. (The only people inconvenienced by this are those trying to live under the radar, doing all their business in cash and avoiding taxes, law enforcement, and ex-spouses.) And, for those very poorest of the poor, a state-issued EBT card usually contains both a picture and a birth date—and is, therefore, a valid, state-issued ID. So, there is no legitimate reason why presenting an ID to vote creates a hardship for anyone. Unless they are ALREADY planning to cheat at the polls. So, please explain to me why it is more important that a visibly “old” person has to show ID to buy a beer at Fenway Park than that someone who may not be eligible to vote, at least in a given precinct on a given day, be required to prove they are the registered voter they claim to be? Ron P.)

It's 'Next Stop 1970' For California High-Speed Rail
Excerpt: Jerry Brown is doing all he can to save his state's ill-conceived high-speed rail project, but he's no magician. He's finding that there's no way to cut the project's cost other than to make it smaller and less speedy — in short, even less like the scheme that voters approved in 2008.

Yup: 20 Only In America Ironies by John Hawkins
Excerpt: 1) Only in America could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund raising event. 2) Only in America could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black.

The Buffett Rule Won’t Get You a Job
Excerpt: On the seventh and final page of its background report on the "Buffett Rule," out this morning, the Obama administration finally dives into what it calls “the economic rationale” for imposing a new minimum tax rate on millionaires. If you’re an unemployed American, that placement should be your first red flag. The second should be the rationale itself. Once you read it, you’ll realize the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with helping you, or the 13 million other Americans looking for work as of March, find a job. (Analysis from center-left National Journal. Especially see the final paragraph. Of course, creating jobs was never the purpose of redistributing, anyway. Jobs would require people to work rather than depend on government largesse; can't buy many votes that way. Ron P.)

5,200 Milwaukee Teachers Took 92,691 Days Off Last Year and Other Shocking Facts from Its Union Contract by Kyle Olson
Excerpt: But local media outlets have long been derelict in telling citizens how the billions of K-12 dollars are really being spent. How can taxpayers determine if schools actually do need more money if no one is tracking where the dollars are going? (Despite having pulmonary fibrosis, an eventually-terminal illness, I haven’t missed a day in several years because I was too sick to work, though I do take 3-5 days a year for doctor’s appointments and tests. And I’ve lost vacation days every year for the last four years. But to be fair, I’m not a government union worker. I can see where that would make one ill. ~Bob.)

The Truth About Wisconsin by Jacob Laksin
Excerpt: Public education is a prime example. So far from being destroyed, the state’s public school districts have benefited from a wealth of savings made possible by Walker’s reforms. By limiting collective bargaining, Walker freed school districts to set contracts without union pressure for the first time in decades. The benefits have been significant.

Excerpt: It’s a tribute to the collapse of modern education that so many people, from pundits and professors to movie stars and policy makers, continue to repeat stereotypes and slogans that are demonstrably false and, in all likelihood, dangerous to our national health. Yet the advocates of these false and dangerous myths are widely praised as the Best and the Brightest among us. 

Protesters use children as human blockade in battle at Olympic site
Excerpt: Children were used as a human blockade as protesters tried to prevent police and bailiffs from clearing an Olympics site. Four campaigners were arrested as officials, acting on a High Court order, moved in to evict the protest camp at Leyton Marshes where Occupy London activists and residents have been demonstrating over the building of a temporary basketball training facility. (No need, I suppose, to say “Leftist Protestors.” ~Bob.)

Lenders Again Dealing Credit to Risky Clients
Because they know that the taxpayers will bail them out to “keep people in their homes,” and the banks are “too big to fail.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The banks, for their part, are looking to make up the billions in fee income wiped out by regulations enacted after the financial crisis by focusing on two parts of their business — the high and the low ends — industry consultants say. Subprime borrowers typically pay high interest rates, up to 29 percent, and often rack up fees for late payments.

Excerpt: He also knows what the tyranny of communist regimes bring, both his folks are Cuban Americans, so he has a great appreciation for what America stood for. He is a Catholic and an American of Cuban descent, with massive appeal to the millions of Hispanic voters who will play a key roll in the upcoming Presidential campaign. (My opinion as well: Romney-Rubio—A Return to Reality. ~Bob.)
Obama Kills Atlantic Offshore Drilling For Five Years
Excerpt: Yesterday the Obama administration announced a delaying tactic which will put off the possibility of new offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic coast for at least five years: The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motion what will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whether and where oil production might occur. (Obama’s Pound the Poor at the Pumps energy policy. ~Bob.)

Hansen and Schmidt of NASA GISS under fire for climate stance: Engineers, scientists, astronauts ask NASA administration to look at empirical evidence rather than climate models
Excerpt: 49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question. The group, which includes seven Apollo astronauts and two former directors of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, are dismayed over the failure of NASA, and specifically the Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS), to make an objective assessment of all available scientific data on climate change. They charge that NASA is relying too heavily on complex climate models that have proven scientifically inadequate in predicting climate only one or two decades in advance. (Wow. Article contains the full text of the letter. Then, look at the signatures and the experience and expertise that goes with them. Perhaps they’re all secretly funded by Big Oil or maybe they’re just anti-science. Ron P.)

Hostile Workplace: Obama White House pays women less than men, records show
Obama’s War on Women? Well, they get free birth control. ~Bob. Excerpt: Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show. According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

Excerpt: But many in the city’s professional protesting class have cast derision on the occupiers, believing it was the Wisconsin protests that gave rise to the movement in the first place. Some Madison demonstrators I have spoken to regard occupiers as amateurs, and believe that the movement has grown too large and nebulous in purpose to effect any change. In effect, it has become McProtesting. Thus, the Madison Occupy site, which sits just eight blocks away from the capitol dome, has descended into little more than an open-air homeless shelter.

Will Student Loan Debt Drive Higher Ed Reform?
Excerpt: Is the higher education bubble about to pop? The answer is a resounding yes, according to Martin Hutchinson (h/t Instapundit). Hutchinson, himself a graduate of Cambridge and Harvard, has decades of experience as a market analyst. He sees all the signs of an industry that has peaked: costs are soaring, returns are plummeting, and legitimate challengers to the established model are proliferating.

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