Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for September 12, 2012

Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This SitRep (Military for “Situation Report”) is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. And I can only spend at most three hours a night pulling stuff, plus the healthcare or economic stuff that crosses my desk at work. As always, I—and you—owe them thanks and appreciation. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. 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 presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, or too far a stretch, regardless of the view point, but I don’t always succeed. As always on the Net, or in the legacy media, you must read critically and with skepticism.

Picture worth a thousand words

Excerpt: One of the legacies of the Obama presidency is that “white male” as a term of embarrassment has now transcended the hothouse of the campus and gone mainstream. We are lectured by media figures, celebrities, and politicians ad nauseam that the November election is really about a new America of diverse minority groups, gays, feminists, and green pitted against a dying and shrinking number of old white guys. Sometimes that narrative requires absurd assumptions.

Worth Reading: The Ripples of 9/11: There is little remaining controversy over the measures necessary to thwart terrorism. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: That the Bush protocols were effective in stopping another 9/11 is evident not just from the record of the last eleven years, but also from the embrace or expansion of these anti-terrorism measures by those who at one time were most critical of their adoption. If someone in 2007 had suggested that then-senator Barack Obama one day as president would kill, in targeted assassinations, seven times as many suspected terrorists in three and a half years as George Bush had in seven years, he would have been considered unhinged.

Always Worth Reading: Obama's 'Plan' To Meddle In Economy Won't Fix Anything: By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Former President Bill Clinton told the Democratic National Convention that Barack Obama has a plan to rescue the economy, and only the fact that the Republicans stood in his way has stopped him from getting the economy out of the doldrums. From all this, and much else that is said in the media and on the campaign trail, you might think that the economy requires government intervention to revive and create jobs. It is Beltway dogma that the government has to "do something."

Worth Reading: Democrats, God, and Jerusalem: The fiasco at the DNC was a reflection of Obama’s worldview. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: So the convention faced a vote on whether to restore God and Jerusalem to their party’s platform. Rather than risk a roll-call vote from the delegates, the chair called for a voice vote. The voice vote sounded too close to call, but the chair called it anyway, ruling that those wanting God and Jerusalem restored had the necessary two-thirds vote. 
This added an element of farce to the proceedings, but politicians are usually hardened against any sense of shame.

Worth Reading: Hail to the Pork. By Veronique de Rugy
Excerpt: There is an interesting paper called “Hail to the Pork?: The Influence of Federal Spending on Presidential Elections,” which is soon to be published in the American Political Science Review. The study looks at whether or not voters reward presidents for increased federal spending in their local communities. … It is also unfortunate since what may seem to be free federal money for local communities in the short run often turns out to lead to much higher taxes in the long run. (In a column in the 1990s, I wrote that the GOP’s ill-conceived attempt to impeach Bill Clinton was going to be very costly, as he’d be on the TV every day announcing some wonderful new and expensive program for some deserving group, to distract everyone. That’s exactly what happened. Vote buying by both parties has put us on the road to fiscal, economic, social and political collapse. ~Bob.)

Stephanie Plum, call your office: Trenton, New Jersey, mayor arrested on corruption charges
Excerpt: The mayor of New Jersey's capital city was arrested Monday on corruption charges after being accused of accepting bribes during an undercover operation, authorities said. The charges against Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, 46, his brother, Ralphiel Mack, 39, and business associate Joseph A. "JoJo" Giorgianni, 63, stem from an alleged kickback scheme to sell city-owned land to investors for significantly less than the assessed value. (Another Democrat spreading the wealth around. ~Bob.)

Despite Media Hype, No Bounce for Obama in Swing States
Excerpt: Politico’s “Unnamed Sources” say Ohio is lost for Mitt Romney. Like hell it is. They say Obama got a serious bounce from the DNC. Like hell he did. Whatever bounce Obama got was in the blue states. (A lot will happen in the next 57 days that will impact this election. But without both the White House and the Senate in GOP hands, I think the Republic is lost. Seriously. With them, there may be some slight glimmer of hope. And Obama deserves to be defeated for what he has done, even if it doesn’t turn the country around. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: 'Jesse Jackson was one of the few willing to come out and say he wants to ban all guns except bolt-action rifles, shotguns and revolvers.'' (Just asking--what should gun ownership rights be? It occurs to me that when the founders wrote the second amendment, they were as much concerned with the right of citizens to fight against government tyranny as to their being able to hunt and join a militia. Thus in those days, citizens could own the very same muskets and pistols commonly in use in the British and American armed forces. Under that logic, why shouldn't today's citizens have access to weapons of similar quality to those provisioned to government agencies? Just asking. Larry Greenburg.)

Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s deputies are negotiating a $1 billion aid package with Egypt’s new Islamist government, even as Egypt’s cash-strapped military revealed that it is trying to buy $1 billion worth of German submarines that could threat Israel’s fast-growing offshore energy projects.

Mexico Arrests Three Hezbollah Members Including One American
Excerpt: The American citizen of Arab origin Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, a suspected member of the terrorist network Hezbollah, was arrested Saturday night in Merida, The Yucatan Times reported. George Abdalah Elders and Justin Yasser Safa were also arrested; both Belizeans citizens with valid migratory forms (FM1) issued by the INM.

White House pushes back on claims from Woodward book
Excerpt: Bob Woodward’s new book on the collapse of the grand bargain has put the Obama White House on the defensive on economic policy just as the 2012 campaign enters its most crucial phase. Republicans have seized on The Price of Politics as evidence President Obama is in over his head on the economy.

Medicare’s New Price Control Board. By Carolyn Needham and Irene Switzer
Excerpt: The ACA assigns the task of figuring out how to slow Medicare’s growth to a newly created, 15-member body called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The Obama administration claims the cuts in Medicare spending called for under the ACA can be accomplished by finding more efficient ways to deliver care, allowing substantial spending cuts without impairing access to care. In the long run, IPAB recommendations will be based on the results of demonstration projects and pilot programs that will focus on disease management and care coordination as well as value-based payments to health care providers.

Report: Health care system wastes $750B a year
Excerpt: The U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year — roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar — through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste, the influential Institute of Medicine said Thursday in a report that ties directly into the presidential campaign.

Worth Reading: Unelected Unions: Why Workers Should Be Allowed to Choose Their Representatives. By James Sherk
Excerpt: Abstract: Unions negotiate workers’ terms of pay, promotion, layoff, and retirement; union members may not bargain for themselves. However, very few union members voted for this representation. Once organized, unions remain certified indefinitely: Most union members join as a condition of employment. At the very least, unions should regularly stand for re-election. Even better, Congress and state legislatures should allow workers to choose whether they want union representation, and if so, who represents them—unionized or not. This would give workers the ability to negotiate terms that represent their needs, instead of being forced into a one-size-fits-all contract. The right to join, or refuse to join, a union rests on freedom of association. Union members should have the same rights as other citizens to decide who will represent them.

Remembering 9/11 in a Volatile World
Excerpt: Eleven years ago today, terrorists shattered America's sense of safety. Generations who did not remember Pearl Harbor suddenly knew the shock of an attack on U.S. soil. Brothers, fathers, cousins, wives, and daughters were lost. And more sisters, mothers, husbands and sons would give their lives in the years that followed as they fearlessly joined the fight against terrorism around the world.

Tweet from @JakeTapper
Am wondering which is less successful, Hollywood addiction rehab or Saudi terrorist rehab.

Excerpt: The U.S. Treasury Department will report a $1.17 trillion deficit for the 11 month of the fiscal year this year, according to the CBO Monthly Budget Review. This announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. debt surpassing $16 trillion at the beginning of September. (Yes, President Obama, you did build that. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Complaints about illegal political activity among federal employees received by the Office of Special Counsel have shot up 144 percent over a decade, according to a review of OSC annual reports to Congress by the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC.

Obama and Our 9/11 Trauma. By Stella Paul
Excerpt: Where did the idea of Obama come from? Let's examine an obvious, yet overlooked source: the rubble of the Twin Towers. 9/11 was the most traumatic day in American history, and its horrors left deep gashes in our national soul. We stumbled around in pain and confusion for years, groping for a magical salve to heal our wounds -- and there, suddenly, was Barack Hussein Obama.

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. By Dave Grossman
Excerpt: "Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial. "Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." (On this 11th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center towers, it seems appropriate to me to re-circulate this excellent 2008 essay on the nature of people and the relationship between the protectors and the protected. The essay appears to have been written as a speech to be given before a group of law enforcement officers. Although aimed at law enforcement officers, it applies equally to military, fire and EMT personnel who daily risk their lives for our protection. It takes about 10 minutes to read, and is worth every second of the time investment. It might even be worth printing and saving. The only addition I think Col. Grossman should have made is that there is a sub-category within the Sheepdogs. Lapdogs are those who pretend to be Sheepdogs, but actually work at cross purposes to them. Lapdogs seem far more interested in their own welfare than that of the protected group. They tend to be more political, more politically correct, and therefore often reach higher rank than the true warriors. Being a true warrior is as a state of mind and a way of looking at the world that Lapdogs can never really understand or achieve. Just my thoughts. --Ron P.)

Worth Reading: Harbinger. By Richard Fernandez
Excerpt: But with 80% of Chicago students unable to meet the Department of Education standards in both literacy and mathematics, it not obvious that taxpayers are getting a lot of value for money. … So what’s going to happen? Someone — either the unions or Rahm — is going to win. But whatever happens, it is unlikely to be the public school students of Chicago. It’s not about them. It never was.

Border Patrol halts program that provided flights home to Mexico for illegal immigrants
Excerpt: The U.S. government has halted flights home for Mexicans caught entering the country illegally in the deadly summer heat of Arizona's deserts, a money-saving move that ends a seven-year experiment that cost taxpayers nearly $100 million. More than 125,000 passengers were flown deep into Mexico for free since 2004 in an effort that initially met with skepticism from Mexican government officials and migrants, but was gradually embraced as a way to help people back on their feet and save lives. The Border Patrol hailed it as a way to discourage people from trying their luck again, and it appears to have kept many away -- at least for a short time.

Shanghai Calling: China-based donor to pro-Obama Super PAC has Cayman Islands connections
Excerpt: A top Obama campaign bundler living in Shanghai, China, is an international businessman with ties to the Cayman Islands. Robert W. Roche has lived in China and Japan for the past 27 years, although he maintains a residence in Chicago. He has used his extensive connections to raise money for the Obama campaign, and has pledged to raise $500,000for the Obama campaign this year, an upgrade from the $100,000-200,000he agreed to raise four years ago.

Panetta on National Security Leaks: President Obama Did It, and That Makes It Okay
Excerpt: O’Donnell then asked Panetta a direct question: What’s the difference between what the SEAL did and the leaks that have come from the administration to journalists and filmmakers? Panetta spun: “There’s a fundamental difference. The people that presented some of the details of the operations were authorized to do that by the president of the United States, who has that authority to do that, and inform the American people as to what happened. In this case, that was not the case. And that’s the difference.”

Atheist Lawsuit Against World Trade Center Cross Makes Me Want to Scream. By Myra Adams
Excerpt: An organization called American Atheists filed a lawsuit in July 2011, after the WTC cross was moved back to its permanent home on the memorial grounds. Apparently those two offensive steel beams — which happened to collapse in the shape of a cross — are, according to Edwin Kagin, the group’s legal director, “a violation of both federal and New York law in that public funds will be used to establish the Christian religion on public land.”

Watch out for the regulatory cliff. By Laura Stanley
Excerpt: With all the media attention on fake Twitter followers, socially conservative corporate executives and a congressman’s inflammatory comments about rape, the recent slowdown in federal regulations has flown under the radar. However, the slowdown appears to be temporary, because it’s largely the result of the administration’s decision to delay implementation of several major regulations until after the November election. If President Obama is re-elected, a dozen postponed major regulations could hit the economy at the same time, an event that would have serious economic consequences.

More than 1600 pages of regulations added to Federal Register last week, cost now $1.8 trillion per year. By Michael Bastasch
Excerpt: Last week, 1,641 pages of regulations were added to the 2012 Federal Register, meaning it now contains over 55,300 pages and is on pace to eclipse 79,000 this year, reports the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A total of 51 new rules were published in those 1,641 pages, including four economically significant rules that have costs of $100 million or more per year. “That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 3 hours and 17 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” notes CEI.

California Border Patrol immigrant apprehensions fall to new low. By Phillip Reese
Excerpt: With the economy still down, sneaking across the California border just isn't as tempting as it once was for illegal immigrants. The number of apprehensions by the California Border Patrol fell from about 101,000 in 2010 to 73,000 during 2011, according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
U.N. Official Warns Syrian Rebels About Atrocities
Excerpt: The top United Nations human rights official warned opposition fighters in Syria on Monday that they would not be immune from prosecution for atrocities, as videos from the Syrian city of Aleppo appeared to show a mass execution by rebel fighters of bound and blindfolded Syrian government soldiers. (Wait. I thought the rebels were the Good Guys from the Arab Spring, supported by the Obama Administration, France and all right thinking Transnational Progressives in the media. Maybe the “France” part was the give away. ~Bob.)

Muslim Clerics: Kill All Who Insult Islam. By Raymond Ibrahim
Excerpt: After the video of the man tearing the Koran was played, one of three guests, a bearded and white-robed Dr. Mahmoud Sha’ban, visibly shaken by what he had just seen, said: Someone like him must receive the punishment he deserves—and it is death.

Paging Jimmy Carter: Egypt Protesters Attack U.S. Embassy in Cairo
Excerpt: Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said. (Obama's support of the Muslim's Brotherhood take over of Egypt is paying dividends for enemies of America. –MM. response of the US Embassy in Cairo “We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” ~Bob.)

Today’s “Feel Good” Story: Yemen says key al-Qaeda chief Said al-Shihri killed
Excerpt: l-Shihri was reportedly killed with six others in the Hadramawt area. Some reports say Yemeni troops were involved, others that it was an air strike, possibly a US drone attack.

Mali Islamists chop hands, feet off five suspected robbers
Excerpt: Islamist fighters in northern Mali cut the hands and feet off five suspected robbers in the northern city of Gao in what they said was the application of sharia or Islamic law, residents and a hospital official said on Monday. (I guess nothing wrong with this, because Shari’a Law is celebrated by all right-thinking multicultural progressives, not excluding federal judges. ~Bob.)

Gaddafi-era officials go on trial accused over Lockerbie case
Excerpt: Two senior officials under late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi went on trial on Monday accused of wasting public money by facilitating a compensation payment of more than $2 billion to families of those killed in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

Turkey court tries 44 pro-Kurd journalists in biggest media case
Excerpt: Forty-four pro-Kurdish journalists went on trial in Turkey on Monday, charged with belonging to an armed rebellion in the country's largest media case, intensifying concerns about press and political freedoms. (The Turks know how to deal with journalists who get out of line! ~Bob.)

Mexican police find 16 bodies dumped in vehicle
Excerpt: Police on Monday found the bodies of 16 men dumped in a vehicle in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero, one of the areas worst hit by feuding between drug gangs. (Every illegal drug abuser in the US is an accessory to murder. Many murders. ~Bob.)

Surprised? Venezuela’s government begins process of withdrawing from OAS human rights bodies
Excerpt: Venezuela has begun the process of pulling out of two human rights bodies by formally withdrawing from a regional human rights pact, the Organization of American States said Monday. Venezuela’s government notified OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza that it is renouncing the American Convention on Human Rights, the OAS said in a statement.

Hoover’s Lessons. By Clifford D. May
Excerpt: Historians ranking American presidents have placed Hoover near the bottom of their lists ever since. If you’ve read Amity Shlaes’s masterful The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, (and if you haven’t, do so without delay) you know there was more to Hoover’s economic thinking than is generally recognized. (Maybe so, but Hoover signed the Smooth-Hawley bill, against the advice of 1,000 economists, and turned a recession into the depression, which FDR’s statist policies maintained and strengthened. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: American Character Is at Stake by Nicholas Eberstadt
Excerpt: The American republic has endured for well over two centuries, but over the past 50 years, the apparatus of American governance has undergone a radical transformation. In some basic respects—its scale, its preoccupations, even many of its purposes—the U.S. government today would be scarcely recognizable to Franklin D. Roosevelt, much less to Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson. What is monumentally new about the American state today is the vast empire of entitlement payments that it protects, manages and finances. (You may have to Google the title to get the full article. ~Bob.)

2016 - Obama's America -- Will Not Be. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: In America, one citizen can speak; freely. That person might be heard. But it takes the citizenry to roar. They will be heard.

Real Unemployment Rate Is 23%, Not 8.1%
Excerpt: However, there is another even more realistic unemployment statistic that portrays a far more accurate picture of America’s job market. The SGS or Shadow Government Statistics encompass all of the different factors that deal with unemployment. The current SGS unemployment figure is a staggering 23%.

9/11: The Muslim Response
Links to celebrations by a lot of folks who didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob.

The Still Unnamed Enemy. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: “I have always said that America is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates,” Obama declared, “and we will never be at war with Islam.” But that really isn’t up to him. What the left never seems to understand is that war doesn’t have to be mutual. No matter what you do or what defeatist foreign policy you adopt, the enemy still gets a vote. And the enemies of this country have voted with their bombs and bodies. (If someone punches you in the face, and doesn’t stop no matter how much you try to placate him, you have a war. It takes two sides to make a peace, only one to make a war. ~Bob.)

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It!
Excerpt: If the nightmare of annual trillion dollar deficits is not enough to get you out to vote, if the continuation of four more years of divisive class warfare doesn't phase you, if you didn't take Obama seriously when he told the Russians he could be more "flexible" with them after he has no more elections to win, if you don't mind paying the bills for a growing welfare and food stamp army, if you want to see 30 million illegal Mexicans made citizens, and further burdening our social service support net, if you don't care that Obama has circumvented the constitution by selecting "czars" to run the economy, if you don't mind Obama issuing "royal edicts" in place of congressional law, then by all means stay home and don't go out and vote.

Our “worst case” situation if Romney loses
Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves. –Winston S. Churchill.

Poll: Europe Dislikes Romney
Excerpt: It's a good thing Mitt Romney's not running for office in Europe. Only roughly five percent of British, French, and German citizens have a favorable view of the GOP nominee, according to a YouGov poll released Tuesday. (Doesn’t change my vote. They never like Americans. ~Bob.)

The Warrior’s Code Of Honor
Excerpt: As a combat veteran who was wounded in one of America’s wars, I offer to speak for those who cannot. Were the mouths of my fallen combat friends not stopped with dust, they would testify that life revolves around honor. (An interesting essay about the mind and code of combat veterans. It describes what the most intensely affected go through and bring home. Some of us are lucky, and while absolutely affected by our combat experiences, are not wholly dominated by them. We all brought home baggage from the war; for some it's a large, heavy trunk they carry on their bent backs, for others it's a suitcase they carry the tires them, but doesn't totally exhaust them. And for the lucky ones it's a backpack, that they know is always there, but they can still walk or jog or run with it on, and only occasionally really feel the weight of it dragging them down. Personally I count myself extremely lucky, and I'm grateful every day for having the day. And every now and then I feel the sadness for those who didn't come back, and also that nagging guilt that I made it and they didn't. But the best thing any of us can do is live our life well, appreciating life in ways others can't, and if the opportunity comes to help others, to take it and be glad for it. "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know." --Del)

ObamaCare’s Affirmative Action Attack on Medicine
Excerpt: Affirmative action is bad enough because it means adopting a racist system, but racial preferences promote incompetence because you once begin selecting people based on skin color, qualifications fall out of the picture. And that’s bad news in many fields, but it’s lethal in medicine where the difference between a competent doctor and a doctor who got in because he fit a quota is a live or dead patient. (I guess we should have seen this one coming, but honestly, I didn't think they'd get so crazy as to apply these kinds of ideas to the fields were not being quite so competent means people die. --Del)

Excerpt: For anyone who is tired of the near-monolithic leftward perspective at U.S. universities, a refreshing alternative is Prager University. Founded by best-selling author and syndicated talk-radio host Dennis Prager, the university is a dynamic website that lists a set of high-quality, five-minute videos, which the university calls “courses.” The courses cover a very wide array of topics, including “The Moral Promise of Free Enterprise,” “Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Bomb,” and “Happiness is a Moral Obligation.”

White House declines Netanyahu request to meet with Obama
Excerpt: The White House’s response marks a new low in relations between Netanyahu and Obama, underscored by the fact that this is the first time Netanyahu will visit the U.S. as prime minister without meeting Obama. (The Obama Doctrine: Bow to our enemies, slap our friends. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: But it is also appropriate to flashback to September 13, 2006, when the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a resolution to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Despite a bipartisan consensus on honoring the victims, 22 members of Congress voted against the resolution that ultimately passed 395-22. One of those “no” votes was Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI-2).

Taxpayers to get charged as Pentagon buys up Chevy Volts
Excerpt: The Chevy Volt, the plug-in car that has been plagued by sluggish sales and mounting losses since General Motors rolled it out in 2010, has one deep-pocketed customer: the Pentagon. The Department of Defense is planning to purchase 1,500 electric cars including Volts as part of its effort to make the military more environmentally friendly. (Green Energy Dreams—the gift that goes on taking. This will scare the Taliban! ~Bob.)

1 comment:

  1. Del is a dreamer for being surprised that affirmative action was applied to a field
    where a patient's life or death is in question.
    In the age of Obama, there is no policy, program
    or position which is so ill-conceived or dangerous as to be ruled out. A second Obama
    term will accelerate this.

    John Galt