Friday, July 6, 2012

Political Digest for July 6, 2012

I'm visiting a Marine buddy, grabbing time on his computer, on an unfamiliar word processing program. Some of the blog formatting may thus be weird, but I hope readable.

As U.N. Finalizes Arms Trade Treaty, Opponents Warn of Global Gun Grab
Excerpt: In a letter to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of the conference, 130 Republican lawmakers outlined their concerns that the treaty being negotiated could negatively affect U.S. security, foreign policy and economic interests – as well as Americans’ constitutional rights.  “The ATT must not accept that free democracies and totalitarian regimes have the same right to conduct arms transfers: this is a dangerous piece of moral equivalence,” the letter stated. (As with so many “feel good” proposals, this one appears to do little to enhance our security while having the potential to strip us and our allies of the ability to provide mutual support.  Further, because EVERY treaty becomes “law of the land” over-ruling even the Constitution of the USA, our Senators really need to read every word and think about how they could be twisted by unfriendly foreign powers or domestic administrations or judges to our disadvantage.  Even if we remain members of the UN—and there are legitimate arguments on both sides of that—we should view this and any other proposed treaty supported by a majority of UN member states—few of whom are democracies—with great suspicion.  Ron P.)

Obama Must Fight on Home Turf as Romney Hits Blue States. By Joel Pollak.

Excerpt: As Mitt Romney kicks off a campaign bus tour into what ABC News calls "hostile territory," Barack Obama is waging a defensive campaign, visiting states he won in 2008. It is clear, from campaign schedules alone, that Obama does not believe he can add states to his column in the 2012 election--and that he is worried about holding the line against an increasingly aggressive, and effective, Romney ground operation.

When We Began to Lose America. By Tad Cronn.

Excerpt: When I woke this morning, the first thing I heard was a young child in the street yelling, “It’s the Fourth of July, everybody!” That instantly brought back memories of my own childhood and the excitement of July Fourths past. (I just talked to a retired Army LtCol. He's been reading a lot about the US industrial power and people who won WWII. His conclusion is that is is not the same country, that we have neither the industry nor the people today to face such a challenge. Alas, I believe he is right. ~Bob.)

Islam is coming for America just as it has come for Europe. By Geert Wilders
Excerpt: For make no mistake: Islam is also coming for America. Indeed, it has already arrived. Your country, too, is facing a stealth jihad - an Islamic attempt to introduce Sharia law bit by bit.

Unforced Errors Are Sinking Obama. By Tom Blumer.
Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s gaffes, tone-deaf statements, and inadvertent betrayals of his elitist true beliefs now arrive with such frequency that they leave one wondering if he’s deliberately trying to lose — until one recalls that he was the same way four years ago.

ObamaCare's Lost Tribe: Doctors; The practice of medicine is the Obama health-care law's biggest loser. By Daniel Henninger
Excerpt: Back at the at the dawn of ObamaCare in June 2009, speaking to the American Medical Association's annual meeting, President Obama said: "No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period."
But will your doctor be able to keep you? Or will your doctor even want to keep you, rather than quit medicine?

Iran 'ready to fire missiles at US bases'
Excerpt:  In an apparent response to reports that the US has increased its military presence in the Gulf, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' air force said on Wednesdaythat missiles had been aimed at 35 US military bases in the Gulf as well as targets in Israel, ready to be launched in case of an attack.  The semi-official Fars news agency reported Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying: "We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack."

China vows 'iron fist' in restive Xinjiang
Excerpt: China vowed to strike with an "iron fist" at separatist forces in its restive Xinjiang region, as it rolled out a heavy security presence for the third anniversary on Thursday of deadly ethnic riots.
The pledge to crack down on "separatism, religious extremism and terrorism" came as Amnesty International condemned China for what it said was repression against ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang who had spoken out against rights abuses.

Afghan Local Police group deserts to Taliban-led insurgents
Excerpt: A group of Afghan militia troops has joined the Taliban-led insurgents, officials said on Wednesday, apparently the first surrender of its kind by the force created as part of a U.S. initiative to keep the militants at bay and help break the battlefield stalemate.
There were few details and conflicting estimates about the number of men who changed sides in various parts of the restive northwestern Badghis province on Tuesday evening. One Afghan security official put the number at 41.

Governor Walker Breaks New Ground in Higher Ed
Excerpt: Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), already well known for his efforts to curb union power, has now set out to tackle an equally big task: busting the higher education bubble. The problem of college affordability is recognized on both sides of the aisle, but sadly, most efforts to abate the problem - such as increasing federal subsidies - have only exacerbated it. Walker wants to try a different approach for taxpayers and students in his state. (Dangerous. He might lose the support of the Madison academic community. ~Bob.)

They Never Stop, They Never Sleep, They Never Quit. By Michael Walsh
Excerpt: In case you were naive or foolish enough to assume that the Obama administration might call off its war on traditional America in honor of our national holiday, think again:  The Obama administration pressed the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up the rights of same-sex couples, asking the justices to bypass an appellate panel and review the case of a San Francisco court employee seeking federal insurance for her wife – a request the administration now supports.

2011: Joint Chiefs Chairman – Pakistan funding attacks against US troops, 2012: Hillary apologizes to Pakistan. By Patrick Poole
Excerpt: As a demonstration of how short a memory the Obama administration has when it comes to their “smart diplomacy”, just take yesterday’s apology by Secretary of State Clinton to Pakistan for a air strike along the Afghan/Pakistani border last November that killed members of the Pakistani military…. Just some context for the Obama administration’s “smart diplomacy”. Churchill called it “appeasement”. Reagan called it “surrender”.

The 7 Most Badass Founding Fathers. By David Forsmark
Excerpt: They all pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honors,” and it was more than just an idle boast. The Founding Fathers were committing treason against the most powerful empire that the world to date had ever seen.  It was also their Mother Country, to which many of their friends, family, and neighbors were still loyal.  And while they certainly, in the words of Patrick Henry, “made the most” of their treason, the idea that they would establish the most free and powerful nation in the history of mankind was not the most likely outcome.

Obama Campaign Spokesman: President Disagrees with SCOTUS Decision on Mandate. By Bridget Johnson
Excerpt: President Obama’s campaign spokesman said on CNN this morning that his boss disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling on the individual mandate.  When prodded by host Soledad O’Brien, Ben LaBolt said that the Obama specifically believes that the mandate consists of a penalty.

Supreme Court Hypocrisies: By hailing Roberts, the Left reveals its double standards. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Until last week, Chief Justice John Roberts was vilified as the leader of a conservative judicial cabal poised to destroy the Obama presidency by overturning the federal takeover of health care. But with his unexpected affirmation, Roberts suddenly was lauded as the new Earl Warren — an “evolving” conservative who at last saw the logic of liberal big government.

Live Free — and Uninsured: The Left can’t see that there are losers under Obamacare. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: So, Obamacare creates no losers except where it fails to tax people sufficiently and where GOP governors fail to accept the wisdom of the law. In short, the only thing wrong with Obamacare is that it isn’t even more punitive, more mandatory, and more intrusive. It is an interesting perspective given that this is arguably the most controversial law in our lifetimes.

Obama’s Super-PAC Advantage: So far, Obama’s super PAC is outspending all super-PAC efforts opposing him combined. By Jim Geraghty
Excerpt: Most of the media coverage of the 2012 campaign treats a Republican advantage in super-PAC spending as a given. This assumption is echoed by increasingly dire comments from President Obama, his advisers, and other Democrats.

Medal of Honor winners lament Supreme Court Stolen Valor decision, blame Congress. By Caroline May
Excerpt: The Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act last week, overturning the law that criminalized lying about one’s military honors and angering many military veterans.  The Supreme Court is not the lone target of veteran disappointment, however — for some, Congress is the real body to blame.

Full List of Obamacare Tax Hikes: Listed by Size of Tax Hike
Excerpt: Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses. Arranged by their respective sizes according to CBO scores, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, their effective dates, and where to find them in the bill.

Syria Crisis: Al Qaeda Members Crossing From Iraq Into Syria, Say Iraqis
Excerpt: Iraq said on Thursday that it believed militants loyal to al Qaeda were crossing from Iraq into Syria to carry out attacks. "We have solid information and intelligence that members of al Qaeda terrorist networks have gone in the other direction, to Syria, to help, to liaise, to carry out terrorist attacks," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told a news conference in Baghdad.(
Syria only country in the region to protect Christians... FWIW. --Barb.)

How the British Government Lobbies Itself and Why
Excerpt: The relationship between charities and the British state has been significantly transformed in the last 15 years. There is a gulf between the public's perception of what is charitable -- a traditional view still dominated by visions of self-sacrificing volunteers and jumble sales -- and the reality where charities have become operating bodies of the state, says Christopher Snowdon, a research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs. This relationship has changed over time as British charities have become increasingly reliant upon the government for financial support.

8,733,461: Workers on Federal 'Disability' Exceed Population of New York City
Excerpt: Of the142,287,000 people employed, and8,707,185 workers taking federal disability payments. (If you subtract military, gov, edu, state & fed service jobs (jobs we pay for with taxes). 1 in 5 working people are actually "paying in" for services. Take care, Chris)

How to Qualify for Assurance Wireless, a Lifeline Assistance program
Excerpt: Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile and supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. If you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, you can receive a FREE phone, 250 FREE monthly minutes and 250 FREE text messages. (One of several, I'm sure. --Barb.)

Racial Double Standards
Excerpt: Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we're on the same page. There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we'd deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.

The Need For Speed and Detail On the Pledge of Repeal --Hugh Hewitt
Excerpt: Do you trust the Congressional GOP to do everything they can to repeal Obamacare if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and if at least 51 GOP senators are elected and the House GOP majority maintained? Do you trust them to move as quickly as possible to do so? I do, because the political consequences of failing to do so would be so immense as to cost the GOP their newly won majorities in 2014.

ObamaCare: The fight’s far from over. By Rich Lowry
Excerpt: Plans haven’t yet begun for the monument to John Roberts on the National Mall. These things take time. A location will have to be found somewhere between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

Issa report: VIP loans brought influence
Excerpt: Failed mortgage company Countrywide Financial used a VIP program — including loans to lawmakers, key congressional staffers and executive-branch officials — to help the company wield influence and block legislation that would have cut into its profit margin, according to a House investigation. Countrywide also gave VIP loans to top officials at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage giant, according to a new report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Muslim Witch Hunts. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Wherever you turned, from CNN to Jon Stewart, the consensus of Muslim terrorists and their media collaborators was that investigating Islamism was just like hunting for witches. Except that terrorists exist and witches don’t—a minor fact that was lost on the progressive camp which often mistakes its own talking points for magic spells that alter the nature of reality. The United States doesn’t hunt witches. It’s the Muslim world that has an unfortunate propensity for engaging in witch hunts.

The Doctor-Patient-Government Relationship. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: Two of the most pernicious ones will be greatly exacerbated now that the Affordable Care Act has been ruled constitutional. The first assumption is the idea that having health insurance is the equivalent of having healthcare itself. The second assumption is the idea that doctors will be beholden to the interests of individual patients above all else. Both assumptions are wrong.

"Our friendship and animosity are based on religion. We hate Americans for their secular ideology."
Excerpt: A member of the Pakistani Taliban explains that -- contrary to the dogma held so fervently in Washington -- the conflict in Afghanistan is over Islam and the will to impose Sharia. It is not about tribal rivalries.

Tampa terror suspect's lawyer wants off of case
Excerpt: A lawyer for a man accused of plotting a terror attack in Tampa wants off the case, partly because he says the suspect's family has threatened him.

Tyranny is yielding to the lust of the governing. --Lord Moulton

A National Anthem that Begins and Ends with a Question. By David P. Goldman
Excerpt: There’s no mistaking Francis Scott Key for a great poet, but like other minor talents at exalted moments, Julia Ward Howe, for example, he wrote a great poem. It might seem a stretch to think of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as high art, but its first verse, despite some deficiencies, has true grandeur.

Greek healthcare system collapses, hospital workers now working without pay
Excerpt: Today, the situation has gotten even worse, particularly because the Greek healthcare system heavily relies on brand-name drugs rather than far-less-expensive alternatives. Since the entire system is clogged because of unpaid bills, many pharmacies, for instance, have had to simply close their doors.(Can you think of another country that has a government-mandated medical system and a debt exceeding GDP. Oh, that's right. The USA! Take a good look at Greece, folks. We're almost there. --Don Hank)

Marine Corps band plays Romney song for Obama on White House lawn
Excerpt: A subset of the Marine Corps band struck up one of Mitt Romney's walkout songs while President Obama was greeting visitors at the White House Independence Day celebration. 
A White House pool report said the band struck up Rodney Atkins's "It's America," and described it as an "awkward moment."

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