Saturday, July 14, 2012

Political Digest for July 14, 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, or that I was able to verify the information present, which is the responsibility of the author. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

Slammed, so short digest today. ~Bob.

Worth Reading: The Invincible Lie: Part II. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: First of all, nobody is talking about lowering the tax rates. They are talking about whether or not to continue the existing tax rates, which are set to expire after a temporary extension. And Obama is talking about raising the tax rate on higher income earners. But when Ms. Borger asked, "where are you going to get the money from?" if you don't raise tax rates, that assumes an automatic correlation between tax rates and tax revenues, which is demonstrably false.
Excerpt: Documents obtained by The Washington Post show that Timothy F. Geithner, in an e-mail dated June 1, 2008, made six recommendations to the head of the Bank of England to reform the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor, while he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. With the scandal over the alleged ma­nipu­la­tion of Libor, a critical global interest rate, threatening to migrate from London to Washington, pressure is growing on Geithner and other U.S. banking regulators to demonstrate they took action when they learned of possible problems with Libor. (Par for the course for an Obama Tax Cheat. ~Bob.)

Ethics investigations become factor in battle for control of House, Senate
Excerpt: Ethics probes have become a factor in the fight for control of Congress. Democrats are fighting to keep control of the Senate in a difficult cycle in which they are defending more seats than Republicans. So it was unwelcome news for the party this week when it was announced that Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), a candidate for the Senate in a competitive race, is facing an investigation into whether she used her position to benefit her husband's medical practice. (Political parties of all stripes have always, since parties or factions were first formed, had a distressing tendency to turn a blind eye to the transgressions of their own, to protect the party, while going savagely after the errors of members of the other party. In America, we used to be able to count on the media to expose both. But they have mostly become partisan players, inclined to protect Progressives. Thus it must have come as a shock to people who get their news from MSNBC to learn Congress had held Eric Withholder in contempt, over something called “fast and Furious” that they had never heard of. ~Bob.)

Which Is Better for the Environment: Transit or Roads?
Excerpt: Policymakers have gone to extraordinary efforts to make mass-transit rail a realistic mode of transportation. In addition to enormous subsidies for light rail throughout the country's metro areas, they also encourage rail-conscious city planning and engage in a public relations campaign on its behalf, says Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute. Still, rail lags far behind autos in its convenience and use, serving dramatically fewer people every year than the nation's cars. And while the environmental lobby decries this fact, in-depth analysis shows that it may be for the benefit of everyone. This is first true when considering rail's environmental impact in terms of energy consumption. Energy consumption by autos and transit can best be compared using common units such as British Thermal Units (BTUs) per passenger mile. According to the most recent report from the Department of Energy, in 2009 the average passenger car on the road used about 3,500 BTUs per passenger mile. Nationwide, light rail uses approximately the same amount of energy, but this includes the anomalous New York rail system that, because of exceptional volume, is more efficient. Most cities' rail systems are grossly less efficient than cars: in 2009, Baltimore's used around 6,000 BTUs per passenger mile; Cleveland's more than 8,000; and Miami's 5,400. … Taking into account the miles driven and number of passengers, the cost of driving per passenger mile is about 22 cents. Yet the total cost of light rail, including subsidies, is approximately 98 cents per passenger mile. (It is worth following and supporting ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Harvesting Trees Will Prevent Fires. By H. Sterling Burnett
Excerpt: The U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 190 million acres of public land are at risk of catastrophic fires, including 60 percent our national forests. Too many trees, too much brush, and bureaucratic regulations and lawsuits filed by environmental extremists are to blame. … The result: historically large ponderosa pines which grew in stands of 20 to 55 trees per acre now grow (and burn) in densities of 300 to 900 trees per acre.

Judiciary Chairman to Obama: We Need to Grill Your Security Chiefs
excerpt: The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee today asked President Obama to make seven senior, high-profile administration officials available to be interviewed regarding national security leaks. … They will be asked about leaks including the Stuxnet and Flame virus attacks involving Iran, operational details of the bin Laden raid, the “introduction of Seal Team 6 to Obama campaign film producers,” and the administration’s targeted killings, Smith said. They will also need to be ready to provide information about leaks involving the disruption of an underwear bombing plot from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the identity of the doctor who did DNA tests to locate Osama bin Laden. (Alert the Stonewall Brigade! Hold at all costs until November 7th. ~Bob.)

The "House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform"
Excerpt: H.R. 4631 would require agencies to provide quarterly reports to the Congress about meetings or events involving travel expenses paid with federal funds. Over the 2013-2017 period, the bill would restrict agencies’ authority to obligate funds for travel expenses (other than military travel) to 70 percent of the amount spent on travel costs in 2010 (In 2010, civilian agencies spent about $6.5 billion on travel expenses ) . In addition, under the legislation, agencies would be prohibited from spending more than $500,000 to support a single conference. (Remember the General Services Administration taxpayer-funded $823000 Vegas Party? Well we sure cut that... they can only spend $500,000 per party with $5 billion per year --Chris.)

Excerpt: Without at least the perception of racism, the Democratic Party has only marginal support. The party is forced to encourage it for its survival. A whole network of connections, careers, and lifetyles has evolved from that, many of them largely counter-productive. Indeed, the argument can be made that the Democratic Party has destroyed the lives of minorities in order to save itself.

Team Obama: No, We Won't Apologize for Falsely Suggesting Romney's a Felon
Excerpt: Raise your hand if you’re surprised by this. Dishonorable people behave dishonorably (click through for video):

Excerpt: As calls increase for Romney to release more of his tax returns, there should be a grand deal with the Obama reelection campaign, one that allows both candidates to be completely transparent across the board, in the manner that John McCain was in 2008, but Barack Obama was unfortunately not. So a suggestion: Each candidate might release five years (or perhaps even ten years) of past tax returns; at the same time, each candidate should release his undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and each candidate should release his complete medical records.

Second Amendment: Making Chicago's Gun Buy Back Useful
From The Patriot Post
Excerpt: Sometimes, irony is just delicious. In Chicago, a pro-gun group used the city's gun buy-back program to obtain thousands of dollars with which to buy firearms and ammunition for an NRA-sponsored shooting camp for kids. "Guns Save Life" turned in 60 firearms to the Chicago Police Department in exchange for $6,240 in gift cards, according to the group's president, John Boch. Among the guns that were turned in, none of which worked or were wanted, were 10 that were more than 100 years old. They also sold five BB guns and a pump-action shotgun that had seen better days.

Obama's Imperial Presidency Guts Welfare Reform
Excerpt: The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform.

The Islamist Ascendancy: We are in the third stage of modern Arab political history. By Charles Krauthammer.
Excerpt: Post-revolutionary Libya appears to have elected a relatively moderate pro-Western government. Good news, but tentative, because Libya is less a country than an oil well with a long beach and myriad tribes. Popular allegiance to a central national authority is weak. Even if the government of Mahmoud Jibril is able to rein in the militias and establish a functioning democracy, it will be the Arab Spring exception.

Interesting Blog: Look forward, not down
I was sent this link which is from a current HBO series. Please be aware it has R rated language. I was quite bothered by it. Not by the R language but by the premise of the speaker and his related comments. This is my response to that diatribe.

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