Thursday, April 11, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 12, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for April 12, 2013
Robert A. Hall

The Philosophy of the Old Jarhead Blog
The Old Jarhead SitRep is a blog of political news and conservative opinion, that has had about 700,000 page views since founded in 2008, is read in many counties (Iran? Indonesia? Russia? Go figure.) and was up to 30,000 page views a week recently. Plus I throw in some humor and human interest pieces that catch my attention for seasoning. I try to include foreign sources and info you won’t get in the MSM, but I often use links to pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Reuters and other liberal leaning sources. No one is required to read it, or any of the links. A majority of the pieces are sent to me by readers, for which I’m grateful, others come from newsfeeds I subscribe to. I get some from Twitter, but often don’t have time to look at my feeds there. I stop sending the link to people who become nasty or too angry. I used to forward political items, but was sending too many e-mails to my list, so a few years ago, I started collecting them on the blog to access in one place. I use maybe 50% of the conservative pieces sent me, probably less than 5% of the liberal opinion sent, usually to illustrate their views. Readers who don’t like that are welcome to start their own blogs. Blogs are free and so is speech in America right now, despite leftist efforts to outlaw “hate speech” they disagree with and Islamist efforts to outlaw criticism of Islam, while retaining the right to describe other religions in vile terms. I try to avoid items that will turn off thoughtful centrists and leftists or low-information independents, including “red meat” pieces with intemperate language or wild speculation, conspiracy theories with no supporting facts and silly distractions like the so-called “birther” issue (but I don’t always succeed). I predicted correctly four years ago the “birther” thing was going nowhere, was a huge waste of time and resources, and played into the hands of the left, much as the impeachment of Bill Clinton did in the 1990s. (I said so at the time.) I do sometimes include things I don’t agree with that I think readers might find of interest. Readers are requested to read all items critically and with skepticism—just like a newspaper! Readers who send formatted pieces (title, link, and a fair use excerpt of three sentences unless the piece is very short, than fewer) to tartanmarine(at) have a higher chance of my using them than people who just send a link. I often include thoughtful comments from contributors. (Tell me if you want you full name used.) A piece without a link has a much lower chance of being used—it depends on how interesting it is and how much time I have right then to search for it. I understand if you don’t have the time to format or even to find a link—please understand my time is pretty limited too. There are no ads on my blog, no fees and I receive no income from it. When I retire, that might need to change, but for now, that’s how it is. I do promote my books, with the royalties going to charity. Thanks for reading and contributing. ~Bob.

Must Read: The Chicagoization of America. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The urban political machine was born in New York but died in Chicago. It’s no longer a separate entity from the rest of the country; one of the inconveniences of urban life along with smog, muggings and excessive regulation. The urban political machine has gone national. It’s here. It’s there. It’s everywhere.

Guest Post: Budgets, Budgets, Budgets. By Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)

Worth Reading: Iran’s North Korean Future: A Tehran armed with nukes can play Pyongyang’s game — but with no Beijing to keep it in check. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The idea of a nuclear Iran — and of preventing a nuclear Iran — terrifies security analysts. Those who argue for a preemptive strike against Iran cannot explain exactly how American planes and missiles would take out all the subterranean nuclear facilities without missing a stashed nuke or two — or whether they might as well expand their target lists to Iranian military assets in general. None can predict the fallout on world oil prices, global terrorism, and the politically fragile Persian Gulf, other than that it would be uniformly bad.

Lessons from Puerto Rico: the problem with big pension debts and little solutions. By Ted Dabrowski
Excerpt: Too bad Puerto Rico isn’t a state. If it were, Puerto Rico, and not Illinois, would have the nation’s worst-funded pension system and the country’s worst credit rating. Puerto Rico offers Illinois a preview of things to come if the state doesn’t pass real and sustainable pension reforms. For decades Puerto Rico has done nothing to fix its pension crisis. Today, the commonwealth’s pension system is only 7 percent funded and may run out of money by 2018. That sounds awfully familiar to what the head of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, Dick Ingram, said last year when he cited a forecast that declared the fund may run dry by 2029. 

ABC, CBS and NBC Turn a Blind Eye to ObamaCare Setbacks. By Geoffrey Dickens 
For the past couple of weeks there has been a steady drip of bad news for ObamaCare, but you wouldn't know it if you only get your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. From a Society of Actuaries report that determined premium costs will shoot up thanks to a thirty-three percent average increase in claims; to thirty-three Senate Democrats joining Republicans in voting to repeal an ObamaCare tax on medical devices; to a Quinnipiac University poll showing even two-thirds of self-identified Democrats saying the law will either hurt them or have no effect, the recent news has been bad for the President's chief legislative victory. However, not one of these trouble spots for ObamaCare has been mentioned on ABC, CBS or NBC's evening or morning show broadcasts.

Intro to Prager University
Dennis Prager is one of those rare hyper-intelligent but still common sensical individuals who can be so valuable to all the rest of us. He started a virtual university which condenses various critical aspects of Judao-Christian culture and learning. Attendance is free (but you can contribute if you wish) for the various 5 minute lectures on all kinds of important topics. Above is the link to his introductory greeting. After that you can get access to the lectures and decide which ones strike your fancy. I bet that after listening to just one, you will be hooked on the idea of this group, and perhaps pass the link on to others. It's got just tons of great ideas presented by great minds. But for "full disclosure", many would call this a conservative set of inputs; I don't think of it that way, it seemed to me from the sessions I've watched to be about facts and history, presented in a reasonably objective manner. Everyone will decide for themselves about that. --Del

White House cancels Jews, is Cinco de Mayo still on?
Excerpt: How do we know the election is over? Simply by keeping an eye on the number of times Barack Obama sticks his thumb in the eyes of Democrat-loving Jews. After getting a very respectable 68 percent of the Jewish vote, seeing many Jews lavish his campaign with funding and having hundreds of “Rabbis for Obama” sign their names to petitions aimed at Jewish voters, Obama in his typical cool fashion canceled the Jewish Heritage Month event at the White House – a celebration begun in 2006 by then-President George W. Bush

Obama campaigned against military base closures now in his budget
Excerpt: President Obama released a defense budget Wednesday calling for new military base closures — less than a year after he said on the campaign trail that the closings were not in the cards.

30 Years of Junk Science, from SDI to Fracking: How politics and ideology combat scientific innovations and economic development
Excerpt: The politicization of science, and leftists’ use of pseudoscience, can be traced back many decades, notably to the Left’s false attacks 30 years ago on President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Today, politicized science and anti-American ideology combine to frustrate natural gas development and other innovations that could help the nation be stronger and more secure. The biggest losers include average Americans who would benefit directly from fracking.

Countdown To Climate Change: It's Only 297 Years Away! By Patrick Michaels
Excerpt: The first one, in 2000, used two (out of the dozens available) climate models. One predicted the largest precipitation changes of all, and the other the largest changes in temperature. They were both wrong at the time the Assessment was published, predicting three times as much warming as was observed, and having absolutely no forecast skill estimating changes in precipitation. It seemed impossible, but the temperature predictions were worse than one could get from a table of random numbers, a rare example of what should be called negative knowledge; kinda like getting less than 25% correct on a four-way multiple choice test.

Low Interest Rates Could Create New Housing Bubble
Excerpt: One of the primary causes of the housing crisis that erupted in 2007 was poor lending standards that allowed unqualified people to qualify for loans they should never have had in the first place. Six years later, the Federal Reserve might be creating a new housing bubble through its efforts to stimulate the economy and promote recovery. By keeping interest rates artificially low, the Fed might be creating a new housing bubble that is not based on actual wage growth or demand, says Edward Pinto, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

What Can Be Accomplished In The 2016 Election? By Allan Wall
Excerpt: Our country faces many political problems, and most if not all are driven by the “National Question.” In short, our country’s elite are electing a new people. Due to mass immigration (both legal and illegal) the historic American people is being reduced to a minority. If that happens, you can forget about limited government or honoring the Constitution. It would be a whole new ballgame.

Seniors Would See Smaller Social Security Checks Under Obama Budget Due to Chained CPI
Excerpt: Senior citizens would see their Social Security checks shrink under President Obama's latest budget proposal. The budget plan, being released Wednesday, calls for changing the way the annual cost of living adjustments for Social Security and other federal programs are calculated. Shifting to "chained CPI" from the current inflation measure could reduce the federal debt by $230 billion, but it would also mean that seniors would get smaller increases in their Social Security payments each year. (Everyone has to sacrifice, I suppose. Well, not Obama, or Biden, or senators, or representatives, of course, but the all rest of us. If Obama has his way, retired geezers, barely making it as it is, will be living on Alpo and free government cheese in their golden years. I guess this is what he meant when he said he was going to fundamentally transform America. – LLW. Shrinking is the least of the threats. Vanishing entirely in a fiscal collapse is also likely, I fear. ~Bob.)

Disability Nation
Excerpt: Today there are only 13 full-time workers for every person collecting disability. Since January 2009, the number of people on disability has increased more than the number of people working. Critics point out that only about one-third of those who apply for disability receive it. That may be true, but it merely underscores how hard some people are willing to work in order not to have to work.

The government wants me to return my son’s ‘leftover’ Social Security money
Excerpt: A few months ago I wrote about how amazed I was to discover that my 13-year-old daughter is eligible for Social Security, along with her 15-year-old sister and 17-year-old brother. They have since been receiving monthly checks in the amount of $616 each. Sad to say, my son has since turned 18 and his payments will cease when he graduates from high school this June. (I thought I was paying into Social Security so it wouldn’t be there when I retire. I didn’t know I was providing free money to children I did not create, do not feel responsible for and who have a college professor for a parent. Taxation without representation. –Barb)

Make sure teens get benefits
To make sure that Social Security benefits continue beyond age 18, eligible students must obtain certification from school officials that they are still in high school and provide it to Social Security. Otherwise, monthly Social Security benefits automatically stop when a student turns 18. For more information about Social Security student benefits, visit

Reverend Wright’s Daughter Indicted For Money Laundering
Excerpt: On Wednesday, the daughter of President Barack Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was indicted on charges of lying to federal authorities and money laundering. Jeri Wright was charged with seven counts of giving false testimony to a grand jury, two counts of money laundering, and two counts of making false statements to federal officers in a case involving a $1.25 million state grant for a non-profit program called “We Are Our Brother’s Keeper.” (Well, Damn America! The Chickens are coming home to roost. ~Bob.)

Delaware Planned Parenthood Clinic Closed After Whistleblowers Go Public About Conditions
Life News:The Delaware affiliate of the Planned Parenthood abortion business has injured two women in two weeks in failed abortions. Operation Rescue has published newly-obtained 911 recordings of two medical emergencies at Planned Parenthood in WilmingtonDelaware, which took place on February 8, and 16, 2013. (Well, they better get it reopened, or more blacks and minorities, which the Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger called “the unfit,” will be born. “Margaret Sanger, In Her Own Words” ~Bob.)

"I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…I am really in awe of her.” Hillary Clinton on Margaret Sanger

Washington State Sues Florist For Refusing To Service Gay Wedding
Excerpt: But the same cannot be said of the organized left who have always intended to use the issue of gay marriage as a vehicle to destroy the Christian Church and marginalize Christians. Faithfulness to the Bible and the Christian faith will very soon be declared bigotry by the media and a de facto civil rights violation by the State. What is currently happening to the Boy Scouts of America at the hands of the organized left is nothing more than a trial run for what is surely coming next against the Church. (I have no problem with gay marriage. But I have a problem with forcing someone who does for religious reasons to support it. ~Bob.)

Maryland Governor Taxes Rain
Excerpt: Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley has instituted a tax on citizens for the amount of rain that falls on their property. Former 2012 GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dan Bongino bashes the tax in a Wednesday afternoon press release. The law "requires individuals, businesses, and even charitable organizations and houses of worship to pay a tax based on the amount of rain that falls on their property and the 'impervious surfaces' on their land," he says. The tax, mandated by the EPA and enforced locally, will be calculated "through satellite surveillance of your property," the statement claims. (Dhimmitude. –Barb)

CA Bill Could Shut Down Small Restaurants
Excerpt: The State of California has one of the worst proposals of any legislature in the country this year with a new bill that would force every restaurant and food service business in the state to commission an expensive "risk assessment" test for every menu item. Such a test could cost thousands of dollars for every food item sold. This outrageous and cost prohibitive testing would certainly cause all but the biggest chain restaurants to go out of business almost instantly.

Worth Reading: Virginia's Fears of a 'Visa-for-Sale Scheme' from GreenTech Automotive: Economic advisers to Tim Kaine had concerns about McAuliffe’s green-car company. By Jim Geraghty
I’m shocked. Shocked, I say. ~Bob. Excerpt: The company, founded by Terry McAuliffe, is now a top issue in this year's Virginia race for governor. … But internal communications from VEDP now reveal that the state agency didn't merely think that McAuliffe's company had a risky business model. At least two high-ranking officials actually suspected that the company's real aim was to make money by selling U.S. residency visas to wealthy foreigners.

Progressive Racism: Today’s progressives should consider the sobering history of Woodrow Wilson’s segregation policy. By Paul A. Rahe
Excerpt: One hundred years ago today, Woodrow Wilson brought Jim Crow to the North. He had been inaugurated on March 4, 1913. At a cabinet meeting on April 11, his postmaster general, Albert S. Burleson, suggested that the new administration segregate the railway mail service; and treasury secretary William G. McAdoo, who would soon become Wilson’s son-in-law, chimed in to signal his support. Wilson followed their lead. 

IRS: We can read emails without warrant
Excerpt: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need warrants to read people's emails, text messages and other private electronic communications, according to internal agency documents. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, released the information on Wednesday. In a 2009 handbook, the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because Internet users "do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." (This would worry me more if I didn’t try to carefully do my taxes, and not claiming anything I can’t document. I had a Marine buddy who was a tax resister, it was his hobby, but life is far too short to spend it entangled with the IRS. ~Bob.)

#YouMightBeALiberal if you freaked OUT about Bush's warrantless wiretaps, but are totally cool with Obama's IRS reading your email.

Excerpt: In a letter to President Obama on Wednesday, committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) demanded that plans to view the documents be finalized by Thursday evening or they will issue a subpoena. The move comes more than two months since the panel first requested access to the detailed Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memos, which lay out the administration's legal support for targeting U.S. citizens who are suspected of being terrorists, pose an “imminent threat” to U.S. national security and for whom capture is not an option.

Fighting rages in NW Pakistan, 15 militants, one soldier killed: army
Excerpt: Fifteen militants and one soldier were killed on Thursday when the Pakistani military mounted another operation in a week of fighting designed to seize control of a remote but strategic valley in the northwest, the army said.

Man With Ties to Karzai Dies in a Military Raid
Excerpt: A special operations raid meant to disrupt aTaliban arms operation in southern Afghanistan ended in the death of a man with family ties to the Afghan president’s inner circle, leading to tensions between regional officials and the military, officials say.

63% Think No New Taxes Are Needed
Excerpt: Voters make it quite clear that there’s no need for the federal government to raise taxes. They’d prefer more tax cuts instead but are much more closely divided on that question. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 28% of Likely U.S. Voters think additional tax hikes are needed to fund the federal government. More than twice as many (63%) disagree and feel more taxes are not necessary. (Well, a lot of folks in that 63% missed their chance to do something about it on November 6, 2012, the damn fools. ~Bob.)

Obama Gears Up to 'Flip the House' in 2014: History is not on his side, but the GOP can't afford to be out-hustled and out-fundraised. By Karl Rove
Excerpt: President Obama likes pretending he floats above politics. In fact, he is the most compulsively partisan president in modern times. Everything he says and does is better understood through a partisan lens.

Worth Reading from a black writer: Five Decades of Lies Help Dems Create Monolithic Black Vote. By Larry Elder 
Excerpt: As recently as 1956, nearly 39 percent of blacks voted Republican in that year's presidential election. After the Civil War, Abe Lincoln's Republican Party easily carried the black vote -- where blacks were allowed to vote. Unwelcome in the Democratic Party, most blacks voted Republican and continued to do so through the early part of the 20th century. It wasn't until 1948, when 77 percent of the black vote went to Harry Truman, who had desegregated the military, that a majority of blacks identified themselves as Democrats. Yet, as a percentage of the party, more Republicans voted for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Democrats.

Worth Reading: Is global warming a hoax? By Jack Kelly
Excerpt: "Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth's surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar," The Economist magazine noted March 30. This puzzles the editors, because according to the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming -- which The Economist has assiduously promoted for lo these many decades -- this can't be happening, because it's emissions from our automobiles and factories that have caused the planet to warm.

#MyJihad in Ohio: Muslim who murdered his Christian father at church left Qur'an on church podium, quoted Qur'an after murder

Gunmen kill policeman escorting anti-polio team in Pakistan
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: One policeman was killed and another injured by unknown gunmen while they were escorting a team of polio vaccinators in north-western Pakistan on Wednesday, police said.

Suspected Islamic extremists kill 4 involved in education programs for north Nigeria students
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Officials say suspected Islamic extremists shot and killed four people involved in education programs in northeast Nigeria, including a man in charge of a program to feed poor students.

Police Discover Kansas City Homeless Living In Subterranean City — And The Images Are Amazing
Obamaville. ~Bob.

Cybersecurity bill advances in House
Excerpt: "What we came up with, we think, is the right approach. It is the one bill out of everything you've seen on both sides of this great institution of the United States Congress that protects a free and open Internet and allows people to share cyber threat information to protect their clients, their business, their [personally identifiable information]," Rogers told reporters following the markup. "It's been a work in progress." 

Excerpt: A Pennsylvania man arrested on Wednesday morning for making bomb threats near the White House was angry about regulations, according to authorities. Shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, Krzystzof Wasik, 44, approached a guard office near the White House and claimed to have a bomb in his nearby truck.

Excerpt: It's embarrassing, folks. You talk about conspicuous consumption and a display of it. I mean, it's all part of the performances at the White House series, and it's supposed to be cultural enrichment, but what it is is Obama jamming it down everybody's throats. We've got a country in decay, we have a dying country, and there's the president partying down.

Party Time!
Excerpt: While you, the hard-working American people, are shut out from the White House, celebrities and rock stars will be filing in tonight for a star-studded performance in the East Room. The Obama's lavish lifestyle continues tonight with a concert celebrating Memphis soul. The “In Performance at the White House” is paid for by you, the taxpayers, as an official function. …While the Obama's claim to be champions of the poor and the middle-class, they sure are seemingly out of touch with them.

Head of Syria's Al-Nusra Pledges Allegiance to Al-Qaeda
Excerpt: Hours after the Al Qaeda terror organization confirmed that the Syrian Al-Nusra Front group is a member of its international network, the head of Al-Nusra pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, reported AFP. Al-Nusra's announcement is likely to bolster assertions by President Bashar Al-Assad's regime that it is fighting "terrorists" who want to impose an Islamic state in Syria. (Our allies. ~Bob.)

Mother Jones Rewrites McConnell Tape Transcript
Excerpt: But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly began tweeting out Mother Jones’ rewriting of the transcript. So too did Guy Cecil, DSCC Executive Director. And the Deputy Executive Director. And the National Press Secretary.

Progress Kentucky Behind Mitch McConnell Campaign Recording
Excerpt: A secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisors was taped by leaders of the Progress Kentucky super PAC, says a longtime local Democratic operative.

Obama to collect record taxes in 2013
It’s not enough. It can never be enough. ~Bob. Excerpt: The federal Treasury expects to collect a record $2.712 trillion in taxes on Americans and U.S. business this year, shattering the 2007 high of $2.5 trillion in taxes.

Excerpt: The deal reflects some basic political realities: Toomey was elected in 2010, and so he’ll next appear before the voters in 2016, a presidential election year with high turnout. You’ve heard Pennsylvania described as Philadelphia on one side, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle, but the real battleground that determines statewide elections is the Philadelphia suburb counties. … Toomey needs to be able to say that after Sandy Hook, he did his best to do something – particularly if or when, God forbid, there is another horrific massacre in 2016. Whether or not the bill passes is almost immaterial; he just needs to be seen by those soccer moms as a guy who tried his best to work out a bipartisan compromise to slightly lessen the odds of another massacre. (If we lose Toomey in PA, it will be to an anti-gun, big government progressive. Rip him and help the left. ~Bob.)

This Man Gets it! The Democratic Party hasn't done nothing for us...They want to keep us subservient

Philadelphia abortion clinic horror: Column. By Kirsten Powers
Excerpt: Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming alive during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about these sickening accusations? It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.

Obama Debt: Over 8 Percent of $1 Quadrillion
Excerpt: Yes, it’s time to start using the quadrillion number, because with trillions getting added to the debt at an accelerating pace, the numbers are starting to become meaningless again unless put in the proper perspective.

Jay-Z Threatens Cuba Vacay Critics With Gun Violence in Rap Song; “Obama Said Chill, You Gonna Get Me Impeached”
Excerpt: Y’all gon’ learn today, Ya’ll almost want to start a revolution, You know whenever I’m threatened, I start shooting,

Excerpt: Eurozone countries are falling like dominos. But bailouts—funded by taxpayers in other countries—keep banks from collapsing, governments from defaulting, and investors from incurring well-deserved losses. Bailout money that no one has. And so it's borrowed. Borrowing is pain free, and easier than collecting taxes. Until it’s impossible. Hence a debt crisis. … In the graph below, the 34 countries of the OECD are ranked by the amount of taxes they collected from all sources in 2010—income, consumptions, assets, etc., at local and national levels—as a percent of GDP.

Alberta premier: Keystone XL rejection would mar relations
Excerpt: If the Obama administration rejects the Keystone XL pipeline, it would be a significant thorn in Canadian-U.S. relations, Alberta’s premier said Wednesday.

Store Owner Pummels Gun-Toting Thug: Surveillance video captures violent confrontation in Chicago (Video)
Excerpt: Quizhpe, 62, was shot in the leg as he grabbed a baseball bat from behind the counter and used it to beat back the armed pair before his brother-in-law chased them from the store with a fire extinguisher.

#MyJihad in Israel: Muslim men raping Jewish girls "as a form of anti-Israel terrorism"
Excerpt: The Qur'an allows for the owning of sex slaves -- and slaves, by definition, must act at their master's behest, whether or not they wish to perform the action or not. So sex slavery is essentially an Islamic justification for rape. 

Lawyer: Recognize Victims of ‘Terrorist Rape’
Excerpt: There is a clear trend of Arab men sexually assaulting Jewish girls and women as a form of anti-Israel terrorism, attorney Roni Sadovnik said Wednesday, speaking to Arutz Sheva. Israel’s courts prefer to treat such crimes as solely criminal in nature rather than as crimes motivated by nationalist hate, she said. (And who is she to judge their culture? ~Bob.)

Random thought: If you're old enough to enlist, lead a fireteam/squad in combat, you're frickin old enough to have a beer.

The left's demonization of gun owners has gotten out of hand: There are plenty of intellectually coherent reasons to oppose gun control. Liberals must stop pretending otherwise. By Jeb Golinkin 
Excerpt: David Rothkopf runs Foreign Policy — far and away the best foreign affairs website on the internet, as well as a very solid magazine. On Tuesday, however, Rothkopf opted to demonize Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as more dangerous than Kim Jong Un, who — despite looking like a sketch-comedy dictator — is a ruthless leader who presides over a starving, terrified population.

96-year-old deacon beaten during break-in dies
Excerpt: A 96-year-old Buffalo church deacon who was severely beaten during a home invasion last year has died. (Wonder if they beat him with an assault rifle? ~Bob.)

While Americans pay, Washington continues culture of waste. By Dustin Hurst 
Excerpt: As the old axiom goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember, it’s all small stuff.” Perhaps the adage shouldn’t apply on Capitol Hill, where the small stuff unnecessarily burdens Americans striving to make a living.

The Next Recession, Brought to You by Student Loans. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: The student debt crisis isn’t just a problem for students; it could depress the whole economy. That’s the upshot of the new comments the Center for American Progress submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Student debt has risen to a frightening $1 trillion, and New York’s Federal Reserve Bank has reported that almost 30 percent of all student loans are delinquent, excluding borrowers not in repayment. (Can we finish with this recession first, perhaps in 2017? ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The illegal immigrant who was drunk driving when he hit and dragged a Milford man to his death has been ruled incompetent to stand trial. Judge Janet Kinton-Walker says Nicolas Guaman’s “unique cultural background” and language barrier means that he doesn’t understand the court process. (In related news, man he killed is still dead. ~Bob.)

Union Pensions Running out of Money, Fast. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: The number of insolvent union pension plans is steadily increasing, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) estimates that the number of insolvent funds will double by 2017. If these estimates are accurate, the PBGC itself could run out of money within 15 years, and much sooner if two particularly large troubled funds become insolvent.

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