Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 10, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for January 10, 2013
Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to

Worth Reading: Violence Prevention Strategies
By Robert H. Woody, PhD, ScD, JD, ABPP (Clinical & Forensic)
Professor, psychologist, attorney, law enforcement officer (school resource officer training).

Reminder: Raising the Debt Limit is Unpatriotic and Irresponsible
Obama on raising the Debt Ceiling during his 2008 Campaign: In 2008 then-senator Obama said that "whipping out the credit card from China, and payable by our children” was irresponsible, and UNPATRIOTIC! He voted against raising the debt ceiling. Republican Senators today would do well to follow his principled leadership on this issue. ~Bob.

Advice for my Granddaughter: For When I'm Gone
All royalties go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

Labor Secretary Will Resign
Prediction: no men need apply. ~Bob.

Al Gore, still following in his daddy’s footsteps. By Melinda Henneberger
Excerpt: et now that the former vice president is without any question writing his own script, and can follow any path he likes, the one he’s chosen with the sale of his Current TV network to Qatar-funded Al-Jazeera is not just hypocritical, but awfully familiar to those who remember what his father did after leaving public life. … After Gore Sr. was defeated, though — and dramatically declared in his fiery concession speech that “The truth shall rise again!’’ — he went to work for the oil baron Armand Hammer, whose Occidental Petroleum broke into the big leagues after it started doing business in Libya in 1965 — on visas then-Sen. Gore had helped his old pal obtain.

How the Supreme Court Doomed the ACA to Failure. The Roberts “tax” ruling undermines the new health care law. By Thomas A. Lambert
Excerpt: This article briefly summarizes the reasoning underlying the decision’s individual mandate ruling. It then considers what lies ahead for health insurance and medical care in the United States if the ACA, as modified by NFIB, is not repealed. Be warned: the picture isn’t pretty.

How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity
Excerpt: The use of fossil fuels to create technology and transport goods and services has been the primary reason why humans have had to depend on less of nature's resources. For example, 40 percent to 60 percent of crop yields can be attributed to the creation and use of different fertilizers. More importantly, fossil fuels have been critical in advancing the production of knowledge and ideas. (No facts or science will silence the Environmental Luddites, though, because to them it’s religion, not science. We have to keep plugging, though, or they influence the low-information voter and leave us all cold, hungry and poor. ~Bob.)

Death Penalty For Holding Bible?
Excerpt: Just possessing a Bible still can be cause for a death penalty in North Korea, so it’s no surprise that the hermit kingdom remains No. 1 on this year’s World Watch List of the world’s most notorious persecutors of Christians, a project assembled by Open Doors USA.

Excerpt: Uwe Reinhardt had a post the other day at The New York Times economics blog comparing Medicare with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. He basically sifts through the evidence on which is less costly: Medicare (a public plan) or the private MA plans. But while his column is definitely worth reading, it does not go far enough. In fact, given the persistent obsession with this question - especially by people on the left - I don't understand why competent health care economists don't clear the air of nonsense more decisively. I consider the titular question of this post a silly question. People who think this is a legitimate issue invariably are making errors in economics or committing errors of logic or misunderstanding institutional details or (as is the case with Paul Krugman) making all three mistakes in a single editorial. Notice I didn't say anything about empirical evidence. Tom Saving and I did a bit of that for Health Affairs sometime back. But, we don't need empirical evidence to resolve issues that arise only because someone hasn't mastered the syllogism. (Anyone interested in health policy should subscribe to Dr. Goodman’s blog at ~Bob.)

Obama's Green Ethanol Bureaucrats Starve The Poor
Excerpt: At what point does environmental zeal descend into inhumane policy? Try the ethanol mandate, which is now creating a wave of state-sponsored hunger in poor countries like Guatemala as food is diverted to fuel. (I'm not sure this is entirely fair, since I think the ethanol for gas thing started before he took office. But he is in power now, and the people who are running this program report to him, so he could change this easily. Even if Congress is partly to blame, Mr. Obama could come down publicly on the side of canceling this program, and Congress would have no real choice other than to agree. It's just really stupid to continue this practice when we've had the data for years now that it costs more energy to make the ethanol than you get by burning it. –Del. The starving poor are of no concern if it means progressives don’t get to feel good about themselves for saving the environment. ~Bob.)

Examiner Editorial: In Georgia, Obama is winning the war on coal
Excerpt: Georgia Power, that state's largest power company, announced this week that it is asking state regulators for permission to shut down 15 electrical generating units -- the closure of four power plants in all. The utility company says new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency -- known as the Utility MACT rule -- will simply make the plants too expensive to run. … Apparently, those benefits will not be going to the 480 power plant workers in Georgia who now stand to lose their jobs. Then there are the millions of Georgia energy consumers who will soon see higher rates and higher bills. (Grinding the poor so Progressives can feel all green and fuzzy—like bad meat. ~Bob.)

Quotes from The Patriot Post
"Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples' money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people's freedom and security." --American conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)

"I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. ... I beg any young person reading this who's thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. ... [N]ext time some 'supporter of the troops' says to you with that concerned look on their face, 'I thank you for your service,' you have my permission to punch their lights out (figuratively speaking, of course)." --filmmaker Michael Moore

Dishonest Educators. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: There's some basis in fact for the speculation that it's mostly black teachers buying grades, and that includes former Steelers wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, who's been indicted for fraud. According to a study titled "Differences in Passing Rates on Praxis I Tests by Race/Ethnicity Group" (March 2011), the percentages of blacks who passed the Praxis I reading, writing and mathematics tests on their first try were 41, 44 and 37, respectively. For white test takers, the respective percentages were 82, 80 and 78. (Williams is black, so maybe no one told him that telling the truth is racist. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: The Hipster Facade. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: America has always been a country of self-invention. Yet there used to be some correlation between the life that one lived and the life that one professed. It was hard to be a phony in the grimy reality of the coal mine, the steel mill, the south 40 acres, or atop a girder over Manhattan. No longer in our post-modern, post-industrial, metrosexual fantasyland. The nexus of big government, big money, and globalization has created a new creed of squaring the circle of being both liberal and yet elitist, egalitarian-talking but rich-acting, talking like a 99 percenter and living like a 1 percenter. (The Bible says “Vanity, thy name is woman.” I’m not so sure about that one, as I know many vain men, but feel confident we can say without fear of contradiction: “Hypocrisy, thy name is Liberal.” Ron P.)

Excerpt: In 2012, Chicago recorded 505 murders. That may not sound all that bad, since in some years in the past two decades the city had over 900 murders (1991, 1992, and 1994). But it looks like a terribly high number when compared to New York (which recorded 414 murders in 2012) or any of the other ten largest cities in America, because Chicago is not only the murder capital of America in terms of experiencing the most murders. It also has, by far, the highest murder rate among America’s ten largest cities. (I currently live in Cook County for my job. With crime, corruption and congestion, there is no other reason. The day I retire, I’m gone. ~Bob.)

Biden: Obama prepared to take executive action on gun control
Excerpt: President Obama will likely take executive action in an effort to tamp down the recent rash of gun violence, Vice President Biden said Wednesday. (When you rule by divine right, you do not require a Congress. ~Bob.)

The Problem with John Kerry and Chuck Hagel:
Excerpt: Behind the veneer of the sports fan in chief is a man whose worldview does come from those hippie communes and from even farther left, in the Midwest Academy and the international socialist view that America is, for the most part, the problem. (…) He does his best to cloak his beliefs, but his 1980s article promoting the “nuclear freeze” disarmament movement gives him away. So do his choices to nominate John Kerry to head America’s foreign policy and Chuck Hagel to head our defense. To the far left, Vietnam was a defeat for America, but a victory for them.

Speaking of real murder stats...
I downloaded the FBI file on murders in the years 2005-2009. And here's what the accumulated data for those five years tells us. First, the total murders were 72,828, or roughly 12,000 per year, from a population of conservatively 300,000,000. (Except murders are not uniformly distributed across the country; high density urban areas are basically islands of violence in the nation, with a large fraction of murders being committed in a very small fraction of the population.) Of all those, firearms were involved about 68% of the time, but pistols made up 73% of all gun-related murders, and rifles only made of 4% of gun-related murders. Edged weapons, blunt objects, and personal weapons (hands, feet, pushing, etc) all involved more murders than rifles did, adding up to 8 times the number of rifle-related killings. So the so-called "assault rifles" aren't really a serious part of the problem, when knives, clubs, and fists all kill a lot more people than rifles of all sorts do. Pistols are the tall bar when it comes to murders, and a lot of those are committed using the cheap guns that are sold in the rough neighborhoods. Murder is much more related to social problems than anything else, so to really make a dent in the numbers will require tremendous effort to raise the standard of living and educational levels in the inner city regions. And that's a problem that can't be solved by just passing a law about guns. In most of the big cities there are plenty of restrictive gun laws already, which don't seem to have done much in the way of decreasing crime. A major massacre occurs and people clamor for some simple way to make sure it doesn't happen again. But there is no simple answer, and passing more laws about guns won't do anything really constructive. –Del. (They don’t care about stopping murder, it’s not about that, because most victims are minorities killed by minorities, and they will vote Democrat regardless. It’s about appealing to the religious-like convictions of the Progressive Base that guns are bad. ~Bob.)

BB Gun Leads to Arrest of 86-Year-Old at Gun Debate
Excerpt: An 86-year-old Westport woman who brought a BB rifle and a box of .45-caliber ammunition to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight to make a statement about the easy accessibility of firearms was arrested and charged with misdemeanor breach of peace, police said. Estelle Margolis, a town activist who for years has held anti-war demonstrations on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, had brought the weapon and ammunition to the very meeting at which the town’s legislative body was discussing guns (From my friend Dave, who notes ‘I didn’t read all of the postings…but sounds like a different set of laws apply to “good” people’…so be sure to check out the comments…--George. When BB guns are outlawed, only outlaws will be able to shoot their eyes out on Christmas. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: The New Liberal Aristocracy: Modern elitists are past masters at preaching one thing and practicing another. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: But the new liberal aristocracy is far less discreet than the old. Most are self-made multimillionaires who acquired their money through government service, finance, law, investment, or marriage. If the old-money liberals lived it up tastefully within their walled family compounds, the new liberal aristocrats are unashamed about living openly in a manner quite at odds with their professed populist ideology.

The Trillion Dollar Coin Solution, Or One Coin To Rule Them All: An Idiot's Guide
Excerpt: "There’s exactly zero chance that the House Republicans, faced with the Coin Threat, will suddenly turn logical and decide that they’re not going to play political games around the debt ceiling after all," Salmon wrote on Monday. "Rather, the Coin Threat is a political game, played by the other side: it’s the executive branch bringing itself down to the House Republicans’ level." (Sometimes, the view—and the ideas—from the left are starkly frightening. Like, for example, this one. This is so wrong, and on so many different levels, I can’t even begin to rebut it; I’m just stunned. The bad news is this is almost certainly legal under current coinage laws, and not just in platinum, but in any other precious metal the Mint works with. You REALLY have to read this to believe anyone would say it. Also, notice how they characterize Obama’s and the Democrats’ positions during the “Fiscal Cliff” drama. Ron P.)

Deck The Halls, And Your Fellow Shopper, Too: Black-mob violence surges during holiday period. By Colin Flaherty
Excerpt: This Christmas season saw dozens of episodes of black mob violence in malls, clubs, streets and other places around the country. Such attacks are part of an epidemic of hundreds of cases of black mob violence in more than 80 cities over the last three years, as documented in the book “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence to America and how the media ignore it.”

Germans unveil 'star wars' laser than can shoot a drone out of the sky from TWO MILES away and cut through a steel girder at 700 yards
Excerpt: One of the most powerful laser weapons ever fired has successfully shot drones out of the sky from two miles away. The groundbreaking weapon uses a high powered 50kW laser, and is powerful enough to cut through a steel girder from 1km away, yet accurate enough to hit a target the size of a mortar round. (buck Rogers, call your office. ~Bob.)

India says Pakistan 'beheaded' Kashmir soldier
Excerpt: India says one of two soldiers killed in an alleged cross-border attack by Pakistan troops in the disputed territory of Kashmir was beheaded. Pakistan has rejected accusations that it killed any Indian soldiers or fired across the Line of Control (LoC) which divides Kashmir.

US may leave no troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014
Excerpt: The Obama administration says it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon's view that thousands of troops may be needed to contain al-Qaida and to strengthen Afghan forces.
When the Taliban Come Back. Robert A. Hall

Jay Carney quote from AP article dated 1-9-13
"This administration does not believe the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling," White House spokesman Jay Carney said last month. MARK MY WORDS! This is EXACTLY what will happen in the debt ceiling confrontation… Obama WILL invoke 14th amendment privilege and circumvent the entire congress to raise it, and then Carney will claim at the next days conference that he NEVER said this, and NOBODY will hold him to it. Would you like to put money down against my prediction? --Jon Wetzel 

Powering China’s Military --U.S. battery technology to boost Chinese military, satellites. By Bill Gertz and CJ Ciaramella
Excerpt: China’s purchase of a United States high-technology battery maker will boost Beijing’s military forces and satellites and threaten the security of U.S. electrical power and communications grids, according former national security officials.

The Formidable Islamist Minority in America. By Ryan Mauro 
Excerpt: A summary of polls about the ideological makeup of the Muslim-American community shows that the majority is moderate, but there is a formidable minority influenced by Islamist doctrine. A significant number are refusing to give answers or are still figuring out where they stand on issues like terrorism and Sharia Law. (Unfortunately, many of the moderates are terrorized. And not by Islamophobia. ~Bob.)

Obama ends post-9/11 restrictions on Saudis entering U.S.
Excerpt: What could possibly go wrong? Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. But not to worry. The Saudis have completely eradicated the beliefs and assumptions that led to those attacks, haven't they?

#MyJihad in Egypt: Muslims protest fall of Islamic Spain and vow to recapture it

Newest state legislature has 3 charged lawmakers
Excerpt: When Illinois' new General Assembly takes the oath of office Wednesday, the state that's still struggling to rebuild its image after two consecutive governors went to prison will set yet another precedent of sorts: Three sitting lawmakers facing criminal charges. … The three legislators, former Rep. Derrick Smith, Rep. La Shawn Ford and Sen. Donne Trotter, are Chicago Democrats. (Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.)

Obese Londoners Could Lose Welfare Benefits if They Don’t Exercise
Excerpt: Some overweight Brits could find their welfare benefits cut if they don’t complete a physician-prescribed exercise regimen, according to a new series of public policy proposals being considered in the London area of Westminster.

Who Should Receive Organ Transplants?
Excerpt: Joe Gammalo had been contending with pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring of the lungs, for more than a decade when he came to the Cleveland Clinic in 2008 seeking a lung transplant. “It had gotten to the point where I was on oxygen all the time and in a wheelchair,” he told me in an interview. “I didn’t expect to live.” Lung transplants are a dicey proposition, involving a huge surgical procedure, arduous follow-up, the lifelong use of potent immunosuppressive drugs and high rates of serious side effects.

Just FYI, when liberals say you don't need an AR-15 to defend yourself, tell them to research "LA Riot" "New Orleans after Katrina"

Worth Reading: We Are the 98 Percent. By Cliff Asness
Excerpt: The first truth is that the current tax rates cannot support the promises made to middle-class Americans. The most unaffordable items in fiscal projections are Social Security for everyone and government-sponsored health care for the middle class. You cannot preserve these even with Draconian slashing of military, infrastructure, welfare, education, and other expenditures. The second truth is that you cannot pay for the Life of Julia, or any vision of a cradle-to-grave welfare state, without massive and increasingly regressive middle-class taxes. (And taxes at that rate trash the economy, thus reducing revenue. With a collapsing birth rate, the numbers to sustain a welfare state will never work. Thus a collapse is coming. ~Bob.)

Reminder: Eric Holder still has a job after his dept. sent 2500+ guns to Mexican cartels, the same type of guns Obama wants to ban from you

Talks on Illinois pension crisis end without deal
Excerpt: Decades of inattention to saving up for state workers' retirement plans, including years where legislatures and governors skipped payments, means the state's five pension accounts are short $96 billion. The piling debt has hurt the state's credit rating, limiting its ability to borrow. It has also threatened to eat up more and more money for education and other public services. (Dear Barack: When you mint that Trillion Dollar Coin, could you make one for Illinois as well? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The al Qaeda-linked Movement for Tawhid [Unity] and Jihad in West Africa recently announced the formation of a new "brigade" with four "battalions" in order to conduct operations in northern Mali. The terror group named three of the four new battalions after top leaders in al Qaeda. The announcement takes place as Islamist groups consolidate their grip on northern Mali.

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