Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 5, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for December 5, 2012
Robert A. Hall
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.

Information on my books

Worth Reading: John Kerry - Mister Secretary? By Andy Weddington
Intro: What follows is a rare guest post - without edit and offered with permission by the author - by someone who honorably served our country.

Excerpt: I was not surprised when Susan Rice just disclosed that she is worth considerably over $30 million — and has money in Keystone no less. Are they all part of the “one percent”? Did they pay “their fair share”? Do they “spread the wealth”? At what point in his life did Al Gore know that he had made enough money (before barreling ahead and making more)? Why do a Timmy Geithner and John Kerry preach about raising taxes while trying their best to break the law to avoid them? 

Worth Reading: Tax Exodus: 5 States That Residents Are Fleeing
And Lo! Illinois led all the rest! ~Bob. Excerpt: Residents have begun voting with their feet, deciding to move out of the state instead of thinning their pocket through unwanted taxation. So which states are chasing away their residents? … Following are our top five ‘shrinking’ states in ascending order: (Liberals never understand that even the “rich” respond to economic incentives, and use legal tax avoidance or sometime illegal tax evasion to get out of taxes. Cases on point: Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel and John Kerry’s Yacht docked in RI. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: I know what you’re thinking, and I quite agree: what? Obama is going to war in the Middle East on the basis of “credible information” of the use of weapons of mass destruction? Do Sy Hersh and his loyal followers at Code Pink know about this?

Fiscal Cliff Debate Is About Size Of Government, Not Taxing 'The Rich.' By Thomas Sowell,
Excerpt: Amid all the political and media hoopla about the "fiscal cliff" crisis, a few facts are worth noting. First, despite all the melodrama about raising taxes on "the rich," even if that is done it will scarcely make a dent in the government's financial problems. Raising the tax rates on everybody in the top 2% will not get enough additional tax revenue to run the government for 10 days. And what will the government do to pay for the other 355 days in the year? (Sowell again dissects a subject perfectly. --Del)

Republicans losing blame game on fiscal cliff. By Chris Cillizza, Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan
Excerpt: A majority of Americans say that if the country goes over the fiscal cliff on Dec. 31, congressional Republicans should bear the brunt of the blame, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll, the latest sign that the GOP faces a perilous path on the issue between now and the end of the year. (No surprise, with the media playing for the other team. ~Bob.)

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication AND a government bureaucracy to administer it. –Thomas Sowell, PhD

Mismatched Data Hamper U.S. Accounting of Medicaid Costs
Excerpt: A $43 billion gap showed up in a comparison of 2009 spending data from the states, which run Medicaid, and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which pays for more than half the program, according to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office. In a separate report, the inspector general for the U.S. Health and Human Services department said the agency hadn’t audited about $4 billion in payments to doctors and hospitals for installations of electronic record systems. (Okay, big deal. I mean, who among us hasn’t made a few billion dollar accounting error in our business or personal finances? ~Bob.)

Comment posted on my blog piece, “My Fiscal Cliff Deal.”
“poopy butt.” (Finally, a detailed, thorough liberal refutation of my conservative financial position, from someone on the other side who has clearly thought more deeply about the fiscal issues facing us than most progressives. I’m devastated by his erudite use of the vernacular. ~Bob.)

10 Lies About the Israel-Hamas Conflict
Excerpt: ceasefire between Israel and Hamas may have been reached on paper, but evidence already indicates that it is unlikely to hold. A top Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader has already warned that the ceasefire would be short and that a "new, more savage round" of fighting with Israel lies ahead.

You keep referring to your child as "gifted". I think the word you're looking for is "privileged".

Seriously, if your main quest is to prove that Obama was not born in the US (he actually was, get over it), you make us ALL look bad

Excerpt: This is a photo of George Zimmerman taken by a police officer on the night of February 26, 2012. A black and white photocopy of this image was provided by the State in the first Discovery. This high-resolution digital file was finally provided to the defense on October 29, 2012. (Didn't fit the media narrative. ~Bob.)

Palestinian attacks two officers with axe, shot dead
Didn't get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Palestinian driver rammed his vehicle into an army jeep containing Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officers and attacked them with an ax, before being shot dead on Monday.

Costco's Dividend Tax Epiphany: Obama's fans in the 1% vote to beat Obama's tax increase.
Excerpt: When President Obama needed a business executive to come to his campaign defense, Jim Sinegal was there. The Costco co-founder, director and former CEO even made a prime-time speech at the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte. So what a surprise this week to see that Mr. Sinegal and the rest of the Costco board voted to give themselves a special dividend to avoid Mr. Obama's looming tax increase. Is this what the President means by "tax fairness"? (Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.)

Cigarette Smuggling
Excerpt: Smugglers are turning their attention from buying and selling various drugs and firearms to reselling cigarettes on the black market. I-95, the long-time conduit for handguns bought in Virginia and sold to drug-dealers in New York, is now being used to illegally resell cigarettes, known to police as smurfing, says The Economist. Virginia's tobacco tax is the second-lowest in America. Smugglers take advantage of this and buy in bulk then sell the cigarettes at enormous profits in states like New York. This is especially profitable considering Virginia taxes cigarettes at 30 cents per pack whereas New York imposes a tax of $4.35 per pack.

Excerpt: A United Nations treaty to ban discrimination against people with disabilities went down to defeat in the Senate on Tuesday in a 61-38 vote. The treaty backed by President Obama and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kansas) fell 5 votes short of the two-thirds needed for confirmation as dozens of Senate Republicans objected that it would create new abortion rights and impede the ability of people to home-school disabled children.

Holder’s Chief Of Staff To Resign After Critical Fast And Furious Report
Good news—scapegoat found! ~Bob. Excerpt: When asked if his resignation this week has anything to do with Fast and Furious, a Justice Department spokesperson told Breitbart News that the two are “not related at all.” In a statement, Holder praised Grindler. “Since returning to the Department in 2009, Gary has distinguished himself as an exceptional public servant, a trusted advisor, and a principled leader,” Holder said. 

Boehner, GOP Leaders Purge Conservatives From Powerful Committees Update: Boehner Scoffs
Excerpt: House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leadership have removed several conservative House members from their respective powerful committee positions, Breitbart News has learned. Effective next Congress, leadership pulled Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash and Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert off committees from which they could exert conservative pressure on fiscal matters. Amash and Huelskamp were pulled from the Budget Committee and Schweikert from the Financial Services Committee.

Obama’s Arrogant Overreach--And The Republican Opportunity
Excerpt: On Thursday, November 28, amidst delicate negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” on Capitol Hill, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner with a radical proposal: the Legislative Branch should cede over to the Executive Branch the power to raise the debt ceiling by executive fiat. If this cession of fiscal authority were ever to happen—if Congress were to lose its right to vote “yea” or “nay” on debt-limit increases—that would be an epochal political power shift. …. And that’s a kind of dominance that no president should be trusted with, let alone Obama. (This from the guy who as a Senator voted against raising the debt ceiling and called it “unpatriotic.” ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: I’ll See Your Economic Collapse & Raise You National Demise. By Selwyn Duke
Excerpt: First, our more than $16 trillion national debt increases by an average of $3.87 billion per day and amounts to $52,000 for every man, woman, and child. This will never be paid off. Never. Yet I do see one way out of our debt hole. When the profligates in government (and their sheeple voters) finally collapse the system, there won't even be a common federal feeding trough to hold our culturally, ethnically, and ideologically balkanized land together. We then may dissolve as the Soviet Union did, with various states, or blocks of them, going their separate ways. (This writer is clearly an alarmist. Like me. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: According to Justice Department documents obtained by PJ Media, Eric Holder’s DOJ has launched a legal strategy to uphold the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act by deliberately disregarding statutory law, and by failing to inform courts about it in collusive litigation…. Section 5 requires the federal government to approve every change involving elections in 16 states, even changes as small as what time a county registration office is open. To help preserve this submission obligation, Eric Holder’s Justice Department has conducted an elaborate legal ruse in court litigation — and plans to do the same to the United States Supreme Court.

A True Disciple Of Saul Alinsky: Pat Buchanan on why Obama 'see himself in the catbird seat' in budget negotiations
Excerpt: In “Rules for Radicals,” the Alinsky rule book and Obama playbook, the first rule is, “Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have.” Clearly, many Republicans think that if they do not yield, Obama will let the country go over the cliff, blame them and portray himself credibly as the man who saved the nation from Republican intransigence over a small tax hike for the rich that most Americans support. … As America heads toward the cliff, there could be panic selling of stocks, bonds and assets to avoid higher taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains in 2013.

Excerpt: White House sources are telling Democratic reporters that the president is willing to go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” if GOP leaders don’t agree to his demand for higher tax rates on the wealthy without substantive spending cuts. A political deadlock would mean an automatic tax increase for middle-class and wealthy Americans on January 1, and the opportunity for Obama and the Democrats to push a tax-cutting bill for middle-class voters in 2013, say the White House officials, who leaked the claim to two liberal columnists. (All I have heard/read indicates that is the plan—which is succeeding, remember—from the get go. Why else have Jarrett declare “Pay back now” and have no budget, no meetings, no leadership and continue to campaign as a community organizer to push mindless lemmings over the cliff in throngs while the POTUS et al declares a needed 3-week vacation with a $4 million tab in Hawaii on the backs of the serfs, ‘scuse me, “folks”? My understanding the “cliff” carefully sculpted by POTUS, Party (figure who else) and Dems and then Republicans signed on. Why does not House begin to pass a plan and put the ball in Reid’s court? –Barb.) 

Feds reassure concerned Americans: ‘The world will not end on December 21, 2012′
Excerpt: Those engaged in Mayan doomsday hysteria can breathe a sigh of relief, the United States government has determined: “The world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012.” The government’s official web portal, USA.gov, explained in a blog post on Monday that rumors regarding the end of the world — whether they concern the end of the Mayan calendar or a comet potentially causing devastation on Earth — are false. The blog post laments that the rumors have scared many people, including children. (Now Party is psychic, too? I thought NASA’s main goal under O was reaching out to Muslims, per directive from POTUS. After the “Lord God and Savior introduction”….well, they don’t believe in God’s existence to fear consequences of blasphemy. The US Gov and Party are such purveyors of truth….Barb.)

Excerpt: The Government Accountability Office warned in a report Monday that if cuts are not made to mandatory spending — including Social Security and Medicare — there will be a fundamental gap between spending and revenue as more baby boomers retire. ,,,“I think the focus should be on long term growth and that’s getting the federal spending under control,” Dehaven added. Warnings like this, along with ones from the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve Bank, are contradicted by liberals who deny the insolvency of entitlement programs. (Whoa, who knew? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent's thinking about many things. Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.

Funny comment on the above posted by Dean Hilgeman 
You better not work, you better not try,
You better not earn, I'm telling you why.
Obama Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you're building. He wants what you all make.
He'll tell the 47 per cent that being rich is a mistake.

Oh you better not work, you better not try.
You better not earn, I'm telling you why.
Obama Claus is coming to town.

He’ll tell you to be thankful, to bow down and give thanks.
Or he’ll send you to a FEMA camp to get your thinking “straight”.

Oh you better not work, you better not try.
You better not earn, I'm telling you why.
Obama Claus is coming to town.

He'll give you a free cell phone, say Obamacare is great.
He'll tell you being a success is something you should hate.

Oh you better not work, you better not try.
You better not earn, I'm telling you why.
Obama Claus is coooming tooo tooown!

Guess How Many Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11. By Bob Unruh
Excerpt: A little less than every five hours, somewhere around the world a Muslim is carrying out a fatal jihadist attack. These are not the regular beatings and vandalism against Christians, Hindus and Buddhists but religion-oriented attacks in which someone dies at the hand of a member of the “religion of peace.”

IRS aims to clarify investment income tax under healthcare law
Excerpt: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law. The 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, meant to help pay for healthcare, goes into effect in 2013. It is the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income. The tax affects only individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.

Man allegedly stabbed over prophet insult
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A YOUNG man tried to stab his brother to death for insulting a Muslim prophet, a court has heard. Safaa Allami, 22, is accused of attempting to murder his older brother Ali Allami during a row at their Cloverdale home in Perth's eastern suburbs.

Anti-Shiite violence rises in Pakistan as Islam’s sectarian divide moves beyond the Middle East
Seems like a very large number of Muslims didn’t get Obama’s “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. And as always, the main victims of Allahmurder are other Muslims. ~Bob. Excerpt: More members of Pakistan’s Shiite Muslim religious minority were killed by Sunni Muslim extremists this year than in any previous year, a development that could further destabilize this key U.S. ally and draw it into the widening Shiite-Sunni conflict that up to now has been manifest primarily in Middle Eastern countries.

Morning Bell: House Republicans Cave on Tax Increases and Punt Entitlements
Excerpt: When President Obama put forth his first offer on the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “You can’t be serious.” We could say the same thing to the Speaker after his counteroffer yesterday.

Today and Tomorrow: Two Cultures
Interesting juxtaposition of pictures. ~Bob.

From July, but worth reading: Aurora: My thoughts on this tragedy and calls for gun control. By Kristina Ribali 
Excerpt: This man's actions were illegal: trespassing, attempted rape, peeping, drug use and breaking and entering. There are laws against all of those actions and yet, imagine that, it didn't stop him. The only thing that finally stopped this man was an armed citizen exercising their legal right to own a firearm.

Excerpt: "The new region isn't what we expected, but we've come to expect the unexpected from Voyager." …"We are in a magnetic region unlike any we've been in before -- about 10 times more intense than before the termination shock -- but the magnetic field data show no indication we're in interstellar space," said Leonard Burlaga, a Voyager magnetometer team member based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. 

Excerpt: NATO announced Tuesday that it will deploy Patriot anti-missile systems near Turkey's southern border, shoring up defenses against the threat of cross-border attacks and bringing the United States and its allies closer to the civil war raging between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad's regime. The alliance's 28 members decided to limit use of Patriots solely for the defensive purpose of warding off the mortar rounds and shells from Syria that have killed five Turks. … The U.S. also cites the risk of extremists among the rebels getting their hands on weapons they may later use against U.S. allies such as Israel.

Why 21st Century Men Are Wussies And What to do About It. By Doug Giles
Excerpt: Nowadays, especially via TV and Hollywood, men are seen as despicable, cruel, pusillanimous, selfish, ineffectual oafs, veritable bumbling idiots who need women or some gay guy to help us through our primal fog towards metrosexual healing. If you’re a guy who wants to keep his guy-ness and not trade it in for the androgynous imago of the 21st century puss, then you will receive more scorn than Michael Moore at a NRA luncheon.

Vietnam condemns China's sea claims as "serious violation"
Excerpt: Vietnam condemned on Tuesday China's claims to disputed South China Sea islands as a serious violation of its sovereignty after saying it was setting up patrols to protect its fisheries and accusing Chinese boats of sabotage. … India has also declared itself ready to deploy naval vessels to the South China Sea to protect its oil-exploration interests there, a new source of tension in a disputed area where fears of conflict have been growing steadily. (If the Chinese communists and the Vietnamese communists want to shoot each other, who am I to say no? ~Bob.)

‘Wilkow!:’ Filibuster Hypocrites. By Christopher Santarelli
Excerpt: The same progressives who used filibusters against President Bush are now offering a different tune with their man in the White House. TheBlaze reported over the weekend that while Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is currently attempting to limit filibusters as a means to clear Republican opposition to President Obama’s policies, up until recently, his website was packed with multiple statements from during the Bush administration when the Nevada Senator was an ardent opponent to the so-called Nuclear Option and lauded the filibuster as “our historic system of checks and balances.”

Egypt and the Death of the ‘Arab Spring.’ By Robert Spencer 
Excerpt: Nearly two years after the “Arab Spring” began in Egypt, the nation’s Muslim Brotherhood president has arrogated to himself dictatorial powers, and is ramming through a new constitution that will effectively extinguish the last vestiges of Egyptian democracy and establish Egypt as a Sharia state. Just as I said back in January 2011, when the uprisings against Mubarak began, for the people in Egypt who had real power to affect change, the “Arab Spring” was never about democracy and pluralism, despite the ululations of the Western press; it was always about imposing Islamic law upon Egypt. And now, with the new constitution, here we are.

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: President Obama proposed granting himself Congress's power to raise the debt limit Friday and doubling tax hikes on the rich. One result of this is predictable. The busiest travel day of the year is going to be April fifteenth, for both the United States and Australia.

Boko Haram suspected in deadly Nigeria attack
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: At least 10 Christians in northeastern Borno state "slaughtered like sheep" in latest attack blamed on the armed group.

Republicans Lost In November, Could Fail Now. By Ali A. Akbar
Excerpt: What could possibly be worse? How about knowing that we are nearly one month from our loss, 23 months from midterm elections that’ll determine whether or not Republicans are a minority party and not a single lesson has been learned. Let that sink in. 

It's like America was hit with a zombie apocalypse, but instead of the walking dead we got the whining dead.

Morsi Flees Presidential Palace as Protesters Break Through Police Lines. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The second wave of Tahrir Square protests, targeting Morsi, appear to be bigger and more decisive than those targeting Mubarak. Protesters have broken through the barbed wire. The Presidential Palace has been targeted and defaced with graffiti. But the difference is in the media coverage.

The Governing Class and the Decline of America. By Steve McCann
Excerpt: The United States will not reverse its descent into the abyss of financial and societal bankruptcy until the current political and governing establishment is replaced. That will not happen until the American people, who have been deliberately ill-educated and deceived, experience first-hand the early stages of the turmoil and suffering extant in Europe and elsewhere. (OK, here's one that brings out several points in condemnation of both Parties that I find valid, but clearly the writer is a Conservative and against what some would call the modern Democrat policies and practices. My conservativism does center around the idea of less government rather than more, but that doesn't mean I believe in dismantling a whole lot of the existing federal institutions. I do see us as stuck in the beginnings of an inflationary spiral, and having dug ourselves a deep hole economically, that the various tries as stimulating the economy under Mr. Obama have not been able to counteract. Which makes me think that perhaps his critics are right and the view he and his advisors have of how the economy works is not really valid. Heaven knows you can find any number of economists who will violently disagree with each other about how the system works. So I do believe it's time to put together a budget that has some increase in tax income built in mainly by closing loopholes, while attempting that most unpopular tactic or very careful cutbacks in programs, but absolutely including entitlement programs. Mathematically there's just no other way to stop digging the hole deeper. Some may see some of this from a different viewpoint, which I will be interested in hearing. Del. Unfortunately, when the people experience the turmoil and suffering, most won’t know why, and the chaos will be so far advanced that it may be irreversible. As Ben Franklin said, “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.” ~Bob.)

Yes, Chocolate Tastes Better When You’re Dieting
From the “things you knew but wish you didn’t” department. ~Bob.

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