Friday, December 28, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 29, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 29, 2013
Robert A. Hall
As regular readers know from my whinging, my Internet at home when down on December 12, and I've been working around it with a slow AT&T card, or Bonnie's laptop in Madison. Finally restored by Comcast on December 27. Apparently the modem went bad. Gotta love technology. I hate the news at this time of year when every media outlet feels compelled to compile a list of the big stories of 20123. If you read my blog regularly, you don’t need a list. If not, you can scroll through. I’ll be spending Hogmanay with my bride, Bonnie, my granddaughter, Britnye, and her pup, Caramel (I call him “Hinky Dink” after a short, corrupt Chicago politician of 100 years ago), and that takes priority over saving the world, so I will post when I can. Have a great 2013 and thanks for reading—and contributing! ~Bob

Information on my books

You lost something?

Excerpt: President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders Friday afternoon at the White House just days before the so-called fiscal cliff deadline, when taxes are slated to increase. Obama will host Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to a White House official. 9(The voters had their chance to fix the fiscal cliff on November 6, and didn’t. They could have elected a Democrat House and let Obama tax, and spend and see what that did to the economy [Greece, IMHO], or Romney and a Republican Senate to try to rein in spending and debt. They did neither and must live with their collective decisions. Kicking the can again may be the best we can hope for. ~Bob.)

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War, dies
Excerpt: A U.S. official says retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. He was 78. (An American patriot. Led a brilliant military campaign. ~Bob.)

It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. –Norman Schwarzkopf

Former law dean Harold Koh to return to Yale
Excerpt: Within the Obama administration, Koh has been known for advocating Obama’s drone program against militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a position some have challenged as at odds with Koh’s record of criticism against former President George W. Bush’s legal approach to the war on terror. (Perfectly consistent liberal position. Bush did it, it was bad. Obama did the same thing, it was wonderful. ~Bob.)

Obama’s Drone Dilemma
Excerpt: State Department legal adviser Harold Koh, the former dean of Yale Law School and even more former darling of the left for his criticisms of the Bush administration’s aggressive theories of executive power, plays a prominent role in them. Koh apparently concluded that the drone war “veers near the edge” of illegality but does not quite tumble over it.

City forces Minnesota soda shop to pull fake cigarettes
Excerpt: In an effort to stop youngsters from picking up a tobacco habit, city inspectors have ordered a small Minnesota soda shop to stop selling its popular candy cigarettes and bubblegum cigars. (Per notes, city passed ordinance in 2009. --Barb. I enjoyed candy cigarettes, never smoked a real one. ~Bob.)

Report: $91 million spent on secret NSA tests probing domestic computer systems
Excerpt: The level of disclosed spending on offensive and defensive spending by the Pentagon on cyberweapons and cybersecurity technology for 2012 was $3.4 billion, according to the Post. The Pentagon has requested the same amount for the 2013 fiscal year. The Hill reported late last week that the White House could issue a much-anticipated cybersecurity executive order as early as January.

Krauthammer slams Obama for ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ regulatory overreach
Excerpt: During Wednesday’s broadcast of “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer criticized the Obama administration for something even President Barack Obama has admitted could be an obstacle to economic growth: the expansion of regulation through executive fiat ... “Then you’ve got the lack of being open about it. …“And lastly, you get the arrogance of it,” he continued, “the administration essentially enacting legislation on its own through regulation, the way it did the DREAM Act and the way it did in stripping away the work requirement in a reform of welfare.”

Rise in renewable energy will require more use of fossil fuels
Excerpt: The Delta Energy Center, a power plant about an hour outside San Francisco, was roaring at nearly full bore one day last month, its four gas and steam turbines churning out 880 megawatts of electricity to the California grid. On the horizon, across an industrial shipping channel on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, scores of wind turbines stood dead still. (Everything is always more complicated than people first think. What's unfortunate is that when some programs are sold to the public, the over simplified version is what is displayed. Incomplete information is really misinformation, just as psuedoscience is bad science, and we see way, way too much of both in the media and academia. --Del)

‘Die painfully’: 50 soulless degenerates who can’t wait for George H.W. Bush to die
Just typical Progressives heeding Obama’s call for more civility. ~Bob.

Ordinary folks losing faith in stocks
Excerpt: "You have to trust your government. You have to trust other governments. You have to trust Wall Street," says Neitlich, 47. "And I don't trust any of these." Defying decades of investment history, ordinary Americans are selling stocks for a fifth year in a row.

Flashback 2005: Michael Moore's Bodyguard Arrested on Airport Gun Charge

Colorado gun background check system tops out as checks still pour in
Excerpt: The continued rush to purchase firearms in Colorado has overwhelmed the system businesses use to track background check wait times and left thousands of would-be gun buyers on wait-lists that are now many days long. (Gun dealers have to LOVE Obama. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Misery is Humanitarians’ Gift to Aleppo. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: The Syrian war is a many sided catastrophe and it has no one cause. From the failures of Ottoman rule and the Sykes-Picot agreement to the Sunni-Shiite split and the problems of nationalism and tribalism, many cooks labored together to spoil this broth. But a contributing factor to this as to much else in the Middle East is the failure and inadequacy of American policies constructed along humanitarian lines.

Rep. Markey to seek Kerry’s Senate seat
Excerpt: Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) announced Thursday that he plans to run in the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). (Markey owes his career to then-Speaker Tommy McGee, who was annoyed with then State Rep. Markey and took away his office. “You can tell Ed Markey where to sit, but not where to stand!” As my floor leader, the late Sen. John Parker used to say, “It is always an advantage to a public man to be the victim of an outrage.” ~Bob.)

Advantages of Low Capital Gains Tax Rates. By Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Excerpt: Policymakers should reconsider capital gains tax policy. Capital gains taxes raise less than five percent of federal revenues, yet they do substantial damage. Higher rates will harm investment, entrepreneurship, and growth, and will raise little, if any, added federal revenue.

Doc whose Fremont clinic infected patients with hepatitis seeks N.Y. license to practice
Excerpt: Javed, 47, fled to his native Pakistan 10 years ago, when the severity of the hepatitis outbreak became known. His medical license in Nebraska was revoked. He surrendered his New York license. In Pakistan, Javed became a public health official and reportedly blamed the situation in Nebraska on anti-Muslim sentiment. (They have learned to play the victim card well from American race baiters. ~Bob.)

Turkey: No Demand from US to Reduce Oil Purchase from Iran
Excerpt: Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz announced that Washington has not demanded Ankara to reduce its oil purchase from Tehran and Turkey will continue buying Iranian crude. (The Obama sanctions at work. ~Bob.)

Weapons: So Easy A Caveman Can Do It
Excerpt: If you are ever faced with an imminent or active life threatening attack you can significantly increase your chances of survival by creating an improvised weapon out of everyday items that you would find around the house, on the street, or in the woods.

Worth Reading: Five 'ObamaCare' provisions to watch. By Sam Baker
Excerpt: 2013 will be a big year for President Obama's signature healthcare law. By next New Year's, almost all of the law's major provisions are scheduled to be fully in effect. And that means 2013 will represent a mad dash to get ready — both in the states and in the Health and Human Services Department. In addition to the intensive preparation for 2014, next year will see several key provisions take effect, among them some of the law's most controversial provisions, including new taxes that will hit millions of employees.

The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012
Excerpt: It seems that no aspect of American life can escape government regulation. In the past year, regulators drafted rules that addressed everything from caloric intake to dishwasher efficiency. Most of these rules increase the cost of living, others hinder job creation, and many erode freedom.

Worth Reading: Teachers union, fired teachers sue Chicago for racial discrimination
Excerpt: Donald Garrett Jr., Robert Green and Vivionell Brown Jr. lost their jobs because of the Chicago Board of Education’s turnaround program, which replaces most of the administrative and teaching staff at low-performing schools. (Getting rid of low-performing teachers is racist because the majority of the low-performers are black? Is that what they are saying? But this probably has more to do with grabbing the brass ring than with race. Mike Royko once proposed that Chicago’s official motto be changed to Ubi Est Mea (Where’s Mine?) Obama has taken this “I want mine now and to hell with the future” to Washington. But the future is coming, sooner than they think. ~Bob.)

Yasser Arafat’s widow admits Palestinian terror campaign in 2000 was premeditated
Show me your shocked face. ~Bob. Excerpt: Suha Arafat, the wife of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, admitted in a TV interview earlier this month that the Palestinian terror campaign against Israel launched in 2000 was a premeditated act orchestrated by her husband, not a spontaneous “intifada,” or uprising, as many have claimed.

Pentagon lagged on pursuing porn cases. Senator calls it risk to US security. By Bryan Bender
Excerpt: The Pentagon’s investigation of defense and intelligence employees who downloaded child pornography is being criticized in Congress after the Department of Defense acknowledged that its investigators failed to check thoroughly whether its employees were on a list of suspected porn viewers. (I guess they aren't keeping some people busy enough at work. Hopefully they'll finish tracking down every case of actually guilty parties and prosecute them. Oh, and of course FIRE the perverts! –Del. I gather from this that watching regular porn, as opposed to child porn, in the office is okay. Where do I apply for one of these government jobs? ~Bob.)

How Obama’s Policies Led to Benghazigate. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: It took some 22 hours for American help to arrive in Benghazi after all the t’s had been crossed and the i’s had been dotted, and the body of America’s ambassador to Libya had been dragged through the streets by “rescuers” stopping along the way to pose for cell phone pictures with his corpse. By way of comparison it takes about 16 hours for a boatload of Libyan illegal immigrants to row to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Black judge commutes four killers’ sentences based on race. By B. Christopher Agee
Excerpt: An activist judge in North Carolina said prosecutorial racism was the reason he commuted the sentences of four convicted killers. Described as three of the state’s most notorious death row killers, among the group’s victims are three law enforcement officers, two women and a teenager. The judge was able to overrule the first sentence under the state’s controversial Racial Justice Act.

What’s Meant When Liberals Say “Compromise.” By Burt Prelutsky
Excerpt: Barack Obama and his stooges are forever complaining that Republicans are obstructionists, unwilling to compromise and meet them halfway. What’s so irksome about these nitwits is that when they say compromise, what they really mean is unconditional surrender.

Zuma in doghouse after pet comments
Excerpt: South African president Jacob Zuma got into a spot of bother Thursday when he suggested that owning a dog was not African and belonged to white culture. (Huh. Lots of black folks in Chicago own dogs. Pit Bulls seem favored. Don’t mean that pejoratively—I owned one myself once. Sweet dog, wouldn’t hurt a bug. 5 pound Yorkie backed him off. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Gun Control, Gun Rights, Gun Politics and Newtown: Part I of II. By Dan McLaughlin
Excerpt: The school shooting atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut has, predictably, touched off another round of the perennial gun-control debate. Especially for parents of young children (my youngest is the same age as most of the victims), the horror of the shootings is almost beyond description, and tends to make rational discussion impossible. 

Tweet from @keder 
Whatever the problem, it's safe to bet that the Democrat solution will involve more taxes & more spending. (Dan McLaughlin ‏@baseballcrank Or more regulations. )

Armed teachers, guards bolster school security in Israel
Excerpt: Americans intent on ensuring a school massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn., never happens again could learn a lot from Israel, where the long menu of precautions includes armed teachers.

Black Racism Unchained
Excerpt: There’s no better example of black racism than when actor Jamie Foxx hosted “Saturday Night Live” and joked about his new film, “Django Unchained”: “I get free. I save my wife and I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?” He went on to say, “My president, President Obama, is back up in the White House for four more years. How black is that?

Excerpt: Eschewing great literature for ghastly technical reports doesn’t make much sense to those charged with getting young people to read—hopefully with some degree of enthusiasm. And there’s a total lack of research suggesting that education will be advanced by a forced march to Executive Orders. The University of Arkansas’ Sandra Stotsky argues that an emphasis on informational texts actually prevents children from acquiring “a rich understanding and use of the English language” and “may lead to a decreased capacity for analytical thinking.” (Precisely. –Barb.)

Obama Claus Give You 90 More Days To Collect Your $50,000 Reparations Check
Excerpt: Circle March 25, 2013 on your calendar. That's the last day you can submit your claim form from this official U.S. government website to collect fifty thousand tax-free American dollars, courtesy of the Obama administration in its current multi-billion giveaway scheme. No, you don't need a potted plant and you don't even to be black or even Hispanic; as long as you are a woman (or related to one) and you fill out the forms correctly, you can collect the money because nobody will verify your information. Welcome to the Love settlement for women farmers, the close relative of the Pigford black famers settlement that has already paid out billions of dollars to thousands of claimants and the Garcia Hispanic / Latino farmer settlement that is in progress right now. (Tax free. –Barb.)

Excerpt: America is rapidly becoming a nation of takers. An increasing number of Americans expect the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, and they expect the government to dig into the pockets of others in order to pay for it all. (The bad news is that these reckless policies will not be able to sustain themselves for long. The good news is that these reckless policies will not be able to sustain themselves for long. --Don Hank)

Hamas-linked CAIR protests exclusion from U.S. of Muslim cleric who preached jihad against Christians: "Throats must be slit and skulls must be shattered"
Excerpt: Hamas-linked CAIR, ever-lauded by the mainstream media as a "civil rights organization," once again reveals its true colors.

Saudi detains dozens for "plotting to celebrate Christmas"
Excerpt: Saudi religious police stormed a house in the Saudi Arabian province of al-Jouf, detaining more than 41 guests for “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a statement from the police branch released Wednesday night said.

Rhode Island: Muslim naval officer from UAE must pay $1.2 million to domestic worker for holding her as slave
Excerpt: Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history, as it was, of course, in the West up until relatively recent times. Yet the impetus to end slavery moved from Christendom into Islam, not the other way around. Because the Qur'anic word cannot be questioned, and the book does not contain the Biblical principles that led to the abolition of slavery in the West, there has never been a Muslim abolitionist movement. Slavery ended in Islamic lands under pressure from the West.

Suspected Islamic extremists attack Indian student in Germany
Excerpt: Police say an Indian student in Germany has been attacked and injured by suspected Islamic extremists who accosted him and demanded that he convert to Islam.

Excerpt: Two teenaged sisters, Shamia and Khalida, told Yar Hussain police that three armed men broke into their house in Mera Bakakhel while their family was asleep. The men opened fire and killed their parents, three sisters and one-year-old niece. SHO Qazi Asmat said that the sisters have accused three brother-in-laws for the crime. 

Senator calls for oversight of agencies that might be monitoring Americans
Excerpt: Wyden said he supports the goals of FISA, but said his amendment to the bill is needed because intelligence officials have been unable to provide any details on how often American communications are picked up during surveillance. He said he and other senators have asked the director of national intelligence for that information, but have received little in the way of a response. 

Excerpt: The latest newsletter from the environmentalist group Earth First! Journal contains a curious topic — assassinations. In fact, the newsletter conveniently provides the names, addresses and phone numbers of the assassination targets. Naturally, none of this is to be taken seriously, the environmentalists tell us. (But let Conservatives “target” a liberal for electoral defeat, and they are “creating a climate of violence.” ~Bob.)

Excerpt: During an interview with Barbara Walters on December 11, President Obama announced the U.S. would formally recognize the recently established Syrian National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces (SNCROF), an umbrella group seeking to depose Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Obama extolled the SNCROF for its inclusiveness, allegedly being open to various ethnic and religious groups, and bonds to local councils participating in the fight against Assad’s security forces. forces.

Lawmaker rips State after claim that official who 'resigned' over Libya remains on payroll
Excerpt: A top Republican lawmaker chastised the State Department Wednesday following a report that a security chief said to have resigned in the wake of the Libya attack is still on the payroll, calling the response "pathetic." (Musical chairs and still on payroll. What does it take to get fired? –Barb.)

Excerpt: The Senate on Friday approved a bill reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in a 73-23 vote. The bill will extend for five years the ability of U.S. intelligence authorities to conduct surveillance of suspected terrorists overseas without first getting permission from a court.

Petition urges White House to classify Westboro church as hate group
Nice thing about Westboro Baptist is it unites by liberals and conservatives—we all loath them. But this could be a slippery slope. ~Bob.

47% Think Health Care System Will Worsen Over Next Two Years
Excerpt: Most voters continue to give positive marks to the health care they currently receive, but nearly half expect the health care system in this country to get worse over the next couple of years.

Media Turns Good News Into Bad, And Blames Republicans
Excerpt: The good news is simple enough: consumers are cutting back in their spending. This may not be pleasant for some people because they want to sell more stuff. But their welfare is not the general welfare. (They are always moaning that Americans aren’t saving enough or, conversely, not spending enough. ~Bob.)

Older story, but a Happy Ending: Police Release 911 Tape Reporting Duluth Shooting
Excerpt: “I was in the shower and the lights cut out in my house, and a man came in with a hood, and he had a knife in his hand….He told me to be quiet. He told me to get out of the tub, and he tried to force me on(to) the bed,” the woman told the police dispatcher.
The woman was able to retrieve a .22 caliber pistol that she kept in a nightstand near the bed. “I took my .22, and I shot him as much as I could.” (The next time this psycho wants to rape a woman, I’ll bet he finds a gun-free-zone. ~Bob.)

Been Around, Worth Reading: The Gun Is Civilization. By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)
Excerpt: Human beings only have two means to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you must either convince me by reason or force me to do your bidding under threat of harm. Every human interaction, without exception, falls into one of these two categories. Reason or force, that's it. … When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a means to negate your threat or employment of force.

Record number of Americans oppose handgun ban. By Aaron Blake 
Excerpt: An unprecedented number of Americans support the right to own a handgun, despite the recent mass killings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that have renewed the push for gun control. Even with the killings in Newtown as a backdrop, a new Gallup poll shows 74 percent of Americans now support the right to possess a handgun, while just 24 percent would support a ban.

Texas has 2.2x as many gun homicides as Chicago. Texas has 10x the population of Chicago. The city of Chicago has more gun homicides than AK, DE, HI, IA, ID, ME, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, RI, SD, UT, VT, and WY combined. (Because only police, politicians and gangbangers can carry in Chicago. And because most of the murders are black thugs killing black people, it’s racist to mention them. ~Bob.)

Grim milestone: Chicago records 500th homicide of 2012
Those strict Illinois/Chicago gun laws really keep us safe here. ~Bob.

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. –Gandhi.

Iran starts naval drill, prepares to confront Western threats
Excerpt: Tehran has started a six-day naval drill aimed to show "the armed forces' military capabilities" in confronting enemy threats, and also conveying the message of peace to its neighbors. The training is being conducted in key Strait of Hormuz. (One of their new suicide subs detonated under a US carrier... pissedlizard كافر ‏ @pissedlizard)

25 Facts That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Really Want To Talk About Right Now
Excerpt: Unfortunately for them, a whole lot of Americans are starting to break free from that paradigm and think for themselves. A Gallup survey from earlier this year found that 60 percent of all Americans “have little or no trust” in the mainstream media. (Interesting. Blurs the line between facts, opinion and speculation though, IMHO. ~Bob.)

Corporate Money Allowed for Inaugural Donations
Excerpt: President Obama will accept unlimited donations from corporations — but no money from lobbyists or political action committees — to finance his 2013 inaugural festivities, a spokeswoman for his inaugural committee said Friday. (Nice of him not to make the corporations funnel the money through their lobbyists or PACS, but to give directly. Much cleaner influence buying that way. ~Bob.)

The Higher Ed Bubble Is Very, Very Real. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: It is this delivery system, not the diplomas themselves, that impresses many serious people as being caught up in something analogous to a bubble. People with college degrees are going to continue to earn more than people who don’t have them (though this will vary by degree), but they will be less and less willing to accept the high prices and slow methods by which the guild system delivers those degrees.

The Tip of the Spear. By Joel Sappell
Excerpt: In the mid-1980s, journalist Joel Sappell and a colleague began a five-year examination of the Church of Scientology that would ultimately produce a 24-article series. It would also change Sappell’s life in ways both mystifying and unnerving. Decades later the onetime investigative reporter investigates what happened to him.

The plain bigotry allowable in media under the guise of Israel critique is remarkable, but unsurprising.

Erian tells Egyptian Jews to leave Israel, return to Egypt
Excerpt: Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, called on Egyptian Jews to leave Israel to the Palestinians and return to their own homeland. (Doubtless to a warm welcome in multicultural Eqypt. ~Bob.)

Tehran lied about boy ‘killed by sanctions’
Excerpt: Five weeks on, the teenager’s death has instead underlined the hypocrisy of his own government, desperate to shift the blame for a deepening health crisis amid accusations that state corruption is putting lives at risk.

Woman finds note from Chinese labor camp prisoner in Kmart decorations
Excerpt: "Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever." (See, Obama doesn’t like slavery—but it does fund our $1T annual deficits to buy him votes, so not all bad. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: The Doc Fix Economy: If you want to understand the fiscal cliff, you need to first understand the doc fix. By Peter Suderman 
Excerpt: The doc fix is just one relatively small part of the fiscal cliff. But in many ways it is the fiscal cliff in miniature. That’s because the doc fix is perhaps ultimate example of a poorly conceived temporary budgeting measure that's not really temporary. And its history suggests what’s in store for the federal budget—and the economy—in our post-fiscal-cliff future.

A Short History of Amorous Generals. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Are generals, however, to be judged under different rules? Unlike most politicians, they operate under more stringent codes of personal conduct and are often in harm’s way with responsibilities for the lives of thousands under their commands. (Good history lesson. --Del)

Ripples from the Election. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Barack Obama is not very interested in tax reform, deficit reduction, or curbing annual spending. He believes in big government, and the bigger the better. His tenure is not so much a repudiation of Reaganism as it is of Clintonism, and the whole notion of keeping the annual growth of federal spending at or below 2 percent, balancing the budget, and declaring the era of big government over.

Basic errors killing 1000 NHS patients a month a study has revealed
Excerpt: The largest and most detailed survey into hospital deaths has revealed that almost 12,000 patients are needlessly dying every year as a result of poor patient care. The researchers from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine based the study on 1,000 deaths at 10 NHS trusts during 2009. (David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog: A Briton is 5 times more likely to die from government health care than an American is to die from a gunshot.)

Obama Orders Pay Raise for Biden, Members of Congress, Federal Workers. By Daniel Halper
Excerpt: President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

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