Thursday, January 3, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 4, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 4, 2013
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.

Worth Reading: Information on my books
Well, if I didn’t think they were “worth reading,” I wouldn’t have written them. CYA, however, is out of print. A new edition will soon be issued. Stay tuned. ~Bob

Figures, simpatico liars: Former Vice President Al Gore sells his struggling Current TV network to Al Jazeera
They will use oil money to pay off Gore, the leading guy complaining about fossil fuels. ~Bob. Excerpt: With its purchase of left-leaning Current TV, the Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera has fulfilled a long-held quest to reach tens of millions of U.S. homes. But its new audience immediately got a little smaller. The nation's second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable Inc., dropped Current after the deal was confirmed Wednesday, a sign that the channel will have an uphill climb to expand its reach. (You know why they called it "Current"? Because it had no future. -- Jim Geraghty. Tweet from Philip Klein‏@philipaklein: Now Israel will be blamed for global warming, too!)

Al Jazeera Seeks a U.S. Voice Where Gore Failed. By Brian Stelter
Gore the hypocrite. But you knew that. ~Bob. Excerpt: Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. 

Worth Reading: Can big government be rolled back? By Michael Barone
Excerpt: Liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., argued for a similar theory of cycles: we have periods when liberals succeed in expanding government and then periods when conservatives resist further expansion but do not roll back previous growth. In Schlesinger’s view, each cycle of government growth begins with a major electoral victory for the Democratic party: Woodrow Wilson’s election in the three-way contest in 1912, the five consecutive victories of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman from 1932 to 1948, the landslide for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the victories of Bill Clinton in 1992 and Barack Obama in 2008. (Yes, but only after the collapse, when the survivors start over. The public opposes “big government” in principle, but EVERY government program has a constituency, a small but dedicated minority who will fight fiercely to protect and expand it against a largely apathetic public that is not paying attention and doesn’t care much about specifics. Sometimes it isn’t so small a public. The Democrats were able to mobilize people to protect Social security and Medicare from any changes in the 2012 elections, even though every serious economist who looks at it says that “no changes” mean these programs dissolve in bankruptcy at some point. We just don’t know when people will stop lending the US money, but it will spiral down rapidly at that point. ~Bob.)

Abortion and Newtown: The Culture of Violence. Mass shootings on rise since Roe v. Wade: Planned Parenthood as the NRA of Abortion? By Jeffrey Lord 
Excerpt: “Discards life like trash.” One does not have to be a Catholic, which I am not, to appreciate the irony today in the words above from over a year ago by a Catholic Deacon named Greg Kandra. (You can find the full text of Deacon Kandra’s remarks here.)

Retire on the cheap - and still get endless sun! Research shows you can live on less than a grand a month in world's 'best value' countries
Our thanks to Julio Severo for this. --Don. Alas, tied to the US Healthcare System and the Granddaughter. ~Bob.

Tax Breaks For Rum, Algae, Hollywood. 'Fiscal cliff' legislation loaded with specials for Obama supporters. By Taylor Rose 
Show me your shocked face. ~Bob. Excerpt: Hundreds of millions of dollars in “tax credits” were loaded into the Democrats’ final “fiscal cliff” bill, which passed the House yesterday. “The deal as it came to the House was loaded with special tax credits for Washington’s favorite industries and pet projects, as well as language to extend our current, broken, dairy price controls,” Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., told WND.

Government Vs. Guns. By Joe Kress
Excerpt: All could not escape the fall of empires, and ours, less than 300 years old, is far down the road leading to third-world status. One should read or re-read Leftism Revisited from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot, by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, about the chaos of the French Revolution, where starving crowds became a dangerous menace to all of France and its people, egged on by Robespierre and his rogues. Could that happen here in the good old country of Uncle Sam? 

War on Women (ignored by liberals) update: Taliban Kills 6 Women 'for distributing polio vaccine.' -- The real 'War on Women' liberals choose to ignore: Saudi Cleric Issues Fatwa Allowing Gang Rape of Syrian Women.

Living With Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment. By Craig R. Whitney
Excerpt: Meanwhile more liberal areas like Washington, D.C. and Chicago, afflicted with high murder rates in those troubled times, in effect banned gun ownership in an effort to bring them down. But the bans did not work.

Number of Homeschoolers Growing Nationwide
Excerpt: As the dissatisfaction with the U.S. education system among parents grows, so does the appeal of homeschooling. Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%. Although currently only 4% of all school children nationwide are educated at home, the number of primary school kids whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of kids enrolling in K-12 every year. (For the sake of the children, hope the parents were not educated in California, at least not in Los Angeles...Gunny)

Moody's: More action needed to avoid credit rating downgrade. By Peter Schroeder
Excerpt: The credit rater said the deal hammered out by Congress and the White House on taxes is merely a first step, and the U.S.'s credit rating could be affected "negatively" if Washington fails to take further steps to rein in the deficit. In fact, it said it was "necessary" for policymakers to adopt further measures to bring down the deficit to keep the U.S. rating intact. …"It does not ... provide a basis for meaningful improvement in the government's debt ratios over the medium term," the rater said.

The Depardieu Revolution. By Patrick J. Buchanan
Excerpt: The regime would now confiscate three of four dollars that the most successful Frenchmen earned. Paris also imposes a wealth tax on assets worth more than $1.7 million. This broke it for Gerard Depardieu, the famed actor and bon vivant who has performed in scores of films in such roles as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" and Cyrano de Bergerac. (The irony of this is that most celebrities like Depardieu, Ringo Starr and Sean Connery, had never publicly opposed the fiscal irresponsibility of their home nations until the government came for them. That is not a criticism: such is human nature. I have always enjoyed Depardieu on the screen (his best movies are never mentioned nowadays: Jean de Florette and its sequel Manon des Sources. I highly recommend them). Sorry, couldn't find one with subtitles. The guy with the family is Depardieu. The older guy with the muzzy is singer Yves Montand:
Yet I have never heard him defending the capitalist system that brought him fame and fortune. This is why we say a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. --Don Hank)

From Morning Jolt by Jim Geraghty on the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill
This is the game the porkmeisters play: They take their favorite goodies, spending that is far too parochial and frivolous to survive an up or down vote, and spot-weld them to some piece of legislation that is a popular and genuine national priority. Everybody wants to help out those who have had their lives and livelihoods turned upside down by Sandy. But nobody but a bunch of senators understands why fisheries in Alaska should get aid from a bill supposedly helping Sandy victims. And to oppose the latter, one must hold up passage of the former. And as we see before us, if you do that — BANG! SMASH! — you get knocked around by a devious opposition and a compliant media like a bad guy in the Adam West-era Batman show. (You can subscribe for free at

Excerpt: Leaders from New Jersey and New York blew up yesterday after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) postponed a vote on an aid package related to Hurricane Sandy. But the bill is so loaded with pork projects that these officials should consider directing their anger at the Obama Administration, which is hijacking the aid meant for their constituents.

U.S. Needs a 12-Step Program for Spending: It's as addictive as crack cocaine and even more dangerous.
Excerpt: Research has shown that monkeys addicted to crack will press a bar more than 12,000 times to get a single dose, and the second they get it they start pressing the bar for more. On New Year’s Day, America inhaled deeply on something far more dangerous and addictive than crack cocaine — government spending. The House finally gave in to peer pressure Tuesday night and voted to approve a Senate “fiscal cliff” bill to be signed by America’s biggest drug dealer, Barack Obama. 

Obama Bypasses Congress, Shifts Rules On Immigration Again
Excerpt: The new rule allows illegal immigrants to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while still in the U.S…..This rule change, which will take effect in 60 days, is part of Obama's attempt to honor the political bargain he made back in 2008 and reaffirmed again last year. While the careful wording of the DHS rule frames this as a matter of procedure rather than politics, those are just the necessary stories the administration is forced to tell in order to get this change done without Congressional oversight.

Syrians Killed in Gas Line; U.N. Raises War’s Casualty Figures
Excerpt: The violence came as the United Nations released a study showing that more than 60,000 people had been killed in Syria’s 22-month-old conflict, a number that is a third higher than estimates by antigovernment activist groups. (Just Muslims murdering Muslims, business as usual, nothing to go all Islamophobic over. ~Bob.)

Algerian forces kill 2 more radical Islamist insurgents, raising two-day total to 9
Excerpt: Algerian security forces killed two radical Islamist insurgents on Wednesday in the same locality east of the capital where seven were killed a day earlier.

Secrecy of Memo on Drone Killing Is Upheld
Excerpt: A federal judge in Manhattan refused on Wednesday to require the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum providing the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Excerpt: For every journalist, politician, and other liberal who plaintively asks: “Why can’t we be more like [Australia, Great Britain, Japan, wherever]?”, there is the predictable (and at least equally reasonable) rejoinder: “Why can’t we be more like Switzerland?”

Silver Linings in the Fiscal Cliff Deal. By Dan McLaughlin
Excerpt: I will not try to convince any conservative that the final fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate with only a few dissenting votes and needed Democratic votes to pass the House with a divided GOP caucus is a good deal, nor that it is the best deal available under the circumstances. It is, however, important to remember that this was a deal negotiated under just about the worst possible conditions: the president freshly re-elected, the largest tax hike in American history set to trigger automatically in the absence of a deal, the GOP leadership divided among itself and estranged from its grassroots/activist base, which itself was divided on how best to proceed. 

Worth Reading: The Great New-Year Stampede. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: There is a new-year stampede developing that we have not seen for a long time.
Gun stores are swamped with panicking customers. They are looking for handguns, semi-automatic rifles and as much ammunition as they can afford.

People are truly good at heart? Sadly, no. By Jeff Jacoby
Excerpt: This fixation on stopping bad things -- as opposed to stopping bad people or bad behavior -- goes beyond keeping air travel safe from al-Qaeda. On the international stage, it shows up in campaigns to reduce strategic arsenals and destroy nuclear warheads, regardless of the moral caliber of the governments possessing them. In schools, zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policies have been applied so rigidly, USA Today observes, that "kids have been kicked out of school for possession of Midol, Tylenol, Alka Seltzer, cough drops, and Scope mouthwash."

The Palestinian Authority's Inconvenient Truths. By Khaled Abu Toameh 
Excerpt: The truth sometimes hurts; that is why the Palestinian Authority has been working hard to prevent the outside world from hearing about many occurrences that reflect negatively on its leaders or people. In recent years, the Palestinian Authority leadership, often with the help of the mainstream media in the US and EU, has been successful in its effort to divert all attention only toward Israel. Following are examples of some of the inconvenient truths that the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank do not want others to know about:

Arabs Brutally Attack US Yeshiva Student in Italy
Excerpt: A gang of Arabs brutally attacked an American yeshiva student visiting with his family in Venice, Italy, in what local community leaders said was a rare instance of anti-Semitism.

Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Al-Masri: When the Mahdi Comes, "Not a Single Jew Will Be Left on the Face of the Earth"
Excerpt: We must all make an effort for the sake of our country, because if Egypt rises and the Syrian revolution prevails – I swear that this will be the end of Israel, Allah willing.

Afghan inmate kills wife during prison visit
Excerpt: An Afghan prisoner murdered his wife when she went to visit him, allegedly because she had been unfaithful after he was jailed for killing her relatives, police said.

Dems done hiking tax rates?
Excerpt: The fiscal cliff deal handed Democrats a tax victory years in the making, but it also means the party will need a new playbook for the budget battles that lie ahead. That’s because many Democrats readily acknowledge that they’ve exhausted their ability to raise taxes on the richest Americans by jacking up their rates. 9first hey came for the rich, but I wasn’t rich and didn’t care. Next they will discover you aren’t paying your “fair share” and come for you. ~Bob.)

Armed guards protect New York newspaper that published gun owners' names
Excerpt: A suburban New York newspaper that unleashed a public outcry after it published the names and addresses of Westchester and Rockland residents with pistol permits is being protected by armed guards. Newspaper publisher Janet Hasson says the guards have been posted at its White Plains headquarters and in a satellite office in West Nyack since last week. She told The New York Times, "The safety of my staff is my top priority." (My hometown newspaper, used to get it every afternoon delivered by a real paperboy; didn’t like it when I was 12 years old, either. –George. Maybe gun owners feel the safety of their families is their top priority? ~Bob.)

Boehner re-elected as Speaker; Nine Republicans defect in vote
Excerpt: Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was re-elected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt. Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted "present." Two years ago, Boehner won all available 241 GOP votes. (Republicans continue to make Obama and the liberals happy by ripping each other apart. Going to be a long, painful slide into the collapse. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: President Obama’s paradoxical presentation on the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal
Washington Post Fact Checker. ~Bob. Excerpt: As we have noted before, The Fact Checker covered the passage of the Bush tax cuts in 2001, which were originally promoted as a way to deal with the looming problem of having too little national debt. (Oops.) The most striking thing is that the deal permanently locks in place virtually all of those tax cuts — something that Democratic leaders had once said would be an economic travesty.

No exemptions’: Dems Trample 2nd Amendment Going for Total Gun Grab
Excerpt: Illinois Senate Democrats advanced legislation late Wednesday to restrict semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, pressing forward with new gun control measures in the waning days of the session over the objections of firearms groups.

Why we fight. By James Delingpole
Excerpt: But what I did think would be a good idea at the start of yet another year's blogging is to remind ourselves where we're at and why it is that I do the things I do, write the things I write, and say them in the uncompromising, no-prisoners-taken way I say them. You might think it was because of people like this man – Richard Parncutt, Professor of Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz in Austria, who argued on the university website (till he was embarrassed into taking his comments down) that all climate sceptics should be executed. Since I'm one of those on "ze list", I suppose I should be quite exercised by this.

Gang in Fatal Delhi Gang Rape Charged in India.
Excerpt: The offence, though far from rare in a country where gang rapes are commonplace, has led to deep soul-searching in the media and the country's political class about the treatment of Indian women. A recent poll found India to be the worst in the G20 group of nations for women because of child marriage, abuse and female foeticide, which has led to a badly skewed sex ratio in the country of 1.2 billion people.

Genghis Khan the GREEN: Invader killed so many people that carbon levels plummeted
Excerpt: Genghis Khan has been branded the greenest invader in history - after his murderous conquests killed so many people that huge swathes of cultivated land returned to forest. (I wish they wouldn’t give Al Gore ideas. ~Bob.)

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