Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for May 8, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for May 8, 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 over 900,000 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 month 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)gmail.com 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.

Books by Robert A. Hall

Worth Reading: Fannie, Freddie, and Political Tunnel Vision: Bipartisan folly from the housing bubble to the quest for Middle East democracy . By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: For years, homeownership was a big “good thing” among liberal Democrats like Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd on the one hand, and moderate Republicans like President George W. Bush on the other. Raising the rate of homeownership was the big red bouncing ball that they pursued out into the street, in complete disregard of the dangers. A political myth has been created that no one warned of those dangers. (Because my advancing pulmonary fibrosis is forcing my retirement, we are putting the condo in Cook County we bought in 2009 for $160,000—thinking the market had bottomed--up for sale. The agent says we should expect to lose $60,000. I would like to thank millionaire Bill Clinton for pushing the Community Reinvestment Acct, creating the housing bubble. Also the millionaires Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines who got wealthy by creating the subprime market at Fannie Mae. Also my old colleague Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and other Democrats who defended Fannie against Bush’s efforts to rein it in, promising us they wouldn’t cost taxpayers a nickel. Dr. Thomas Sowell has pointed out that both white and black owned banks gave mortgages to whites at higher rates than to blacks, and to Asians at higher rates than to whites, because people individually in these groups had better credit ratings and were more likely to repay the loans. But Progressives always have to find racism, and if that hurts the average guy, white or black, they don’t care. ~Bob Hall)

Worth Reading: There's no party like a White House party. By Emily Goodin
Excerpt: Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress Kerry Washington, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and producer Harvey Weinstein were among those who joined the Obamas at the White House’s secret post-inauguration bash. President Obama and Michelle Obama held the hush-hush, swanky, ultra-A-list party to celebrate his second term the night he took the oath of office. The party was not announced or listed on his official schedule, but a few of the guests tweeted about the event, which is what publicly revealed its existence. (The ‘most transparent administration in history,” spending tax dollars like water at a secret party. Show me your shocked face. ~Bob.)

U.S. Directly Blames China’s Military for Cyberattacks. By David E. Sanger
Excerpt: The Obama administration on Monday explicitly accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors, saying one motive could be to map “military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.” (This is what was once quaintly known as “an act of war.” And a casus belli for retaliation. ~Bob.)

Why Is There a Dole for Farmers? By Doug Bandow
Excerpt: Uncle Sam is broke. After running up $5 trillion in deficits over the last four years, Washington is borrowing another $845 billion this year. And assuming Congress neither adds expensive new programs nor expands expensive old ones, the federal government will run up another $7 trillion in red ink over the next decade. Government outlays must be cut. But when the sequester hit, reducing the $3.6 trillion budget by a paltry 2.3 percent, much of Washington reacted in shock and horror. The savagery, the inhumanity!

Why Your Dog’s Knee Surgery Is So Much Cheaper Than Yours? By John C. Goodman
Excerpt: Why is the price of a knee replacement for a dog—involving the same technology and the same medical skills that are needed for humans—less than one-sixth the price a typical health insurance company pays for human operations? Why is it less than one-third of what hospitals tell Medicare their cost of doing the procedure is?

Sen. Menendez presses to arm rebels as Syria pulls US toward conflict
Excerpt: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced legislation on Monday that would provide arms to vetted opposition groups. Critics of the Obama administration’s approach to Syria have warned that the situation could spiral further out of control if the United States doesn’t intervene. (My position: “Stay the hell out.” Any arms we give anyone there will eventually be used to kill Americans, Israelis and other kuffer. ~Bob.)

Benghazi Testimony
Excerpt: Greg Hicks: ... The net impact of what has transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the President of Libya is either a liar or doesn't know what he's talking about. The impact of that is immeasurable. Magariaf has just lost face in front of not only his own people, but the world... my jaw hit the floor as I watched this... I've never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day... I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris's last report, if you want to say his final report, is, "Greg, we are under attack." ... It is jaw-dropping that - to me that - how that came to be.

Bombs, mosque attack kill 17 in Iraqi capital: police
Muslims who didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo from Obama killing other Muslims for Allah is such a daily occurrence that it’s breaking news when it doesn’t happen. ~Bob.

Four Saudis held over Tanzania church bombing
Excerpt: Tanzania has arrested four men from Saudi Arabia and four Tanzanians in connection with the bombing of church on Sunday that killed two people, an attack that has heightened sectarian tensions in the east African nation.

Air Force sex-assault chief arrested on sexual battery charges
Excerpt: The man leading a U.S. Air Force program responsible for preventing sexual assault has been arrested on suspicion of drunkenly groping a woman in an Arlington, Va., parking lot, officials said Monday. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41 -- shown with several apparent cuts on his face in a police booking photo -- was charged with sexual battery.

Marine special operators killed in apparent insider attack
Excerpt: Two members of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command died Saturday in an apparent insider attack by a soldier with the Afghan National Army. (Contrast this with Ronald Reagan's response to the bombing of the military base in Lebanon. He immediately pulled the troops out of that country. By contrast, the Bushes and Obama have taken an unnecessary toll of human lives to 'protect' countries that will always hate us. --Don Hank)

Candid Vietnam War photos rediscovered
Candid photos from the Vietnam War have been salvaged from a shoe box and put on display in PortlandOre. Lee Cowan reports how they're serving as far more than just glimpses of the past. (Charlie Haughey. Almost looks like character “Radar.” –Barb)

Issa: "No question" Clinton's circle involved in Benghazi "cover-up"
Excerpt: There's "no question" someone from Hillary Clinton's circle - if not the former secretary of state herself - was involved in the "cover-up" of any missteps by the administration following an attack on a U.S. consulate last Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told CBS News on Monday. "If Hillary Clinton is not responsible for the before, during and after mistakes... it's somebody close," Issa told CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes on Monday.

Democrats’ Agenda For Benghazi Hearing: Protect Hillary At All Costs
Excerpt: Ahead of Wednesday's long-awaited hearings at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the Benghazi terror attack of Sep. 11, 2012, Democrats have a clear agenda: protect Hillary Clinton at all costs. Clinton, the former Secretary of State and likely frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, could be severely damaged by testimony about the attacks, which occurred in part because of security lapses for which the State Department is primarily responsible. 

CNN Slams State Dept For Playing Dumb On Benghazi Whistleblowers
Excerpt: CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott slammed Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell for saying that the State Department hasn't had access to transcripts of interviews with upcoming witnesses in the Benghazi hearing scheduled for Wednesday. "Come on, Patrick," Labott said. "You know the gist of what they’re saying and what their arguments are." "Let the record reflect that that was CNN was asking that question and not Fox News," Fox News correspondent James Rosen joked. (Video) (That’s correct. CNN. Is that a horseman in the sky? –Barb)

Excerpt: Simply, the Obama administration’s narrative — that al-Qaeda was on the run, that Hosni Mubarak had to go, and that the Arab Spring was a good thing — was proven false when four brave Americans were killed. Because the administration was a slave to their own narrative, rather than aggressively fighting al-Qaeda, rather than recognizing the $50 billion investment in Mubarak’s stability, and rather than realizing that the upheaval they sponsored in the Middle East empowered Muslim Brotherhood radicals, they lied repeatedly about Benghazi. They lied to win re-election, the most vile sort of lie. (Anyone who doesn’t know the answer to the title question is feeble minded. ~Bob.)

U.S. 'Skeptical' that Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons
Excerpt: The United States said Monday it was "highly skeptical" of an assertion that Syrian rebels had used chemical weapons, after a UN human rights investigator suggested the opposition had deployed sarin gas, AFP reports. "We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position," Carney said, according to AFP. (Any one still believing Carney? –Barb)

Iran: Arms Hit in Syria are Not Ours: 15 Syrian soldiers killed and dozens missing, according to a Syrian NGO.
Excerpt: A top Iranian general said Monday any arms Israel targeted in Syria did not come from the Islamic republic, in remarks published on the Revolutionary Guards website on Monday and carried on AFP. Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri "denied Western and Israeli media reports that an Iranian weapons depot has been targeted in Syria," the website reported.

The Expendables
Excerpt: One way or another this is about Obama once again setting weapons loose upon the world. It could be that he doesn’t want you to know that he is responsible for the stingers that are in the hands of Al Qaida and/or that he is supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels (also Al Qaida in part). When a passenger plane is shot down with a Al Qaida stinger, Obama doesn’t want you to remember he put it in their hands. (Just like the speech in Mexico, saying US guns killing Mexicans and he is going to try to continue to stop US guns but no mention of Fast and Furious being stonewalled from Contempt of Congress prosecution with use of “Executive Privilege” and apparatchiks refusing to proceed. –Barb.)

Must Read: Libya has become the new headquarters for Al-Qaeda
Excerpt: A rare interview with a top Libyan intelligence official reveals that, as an unintended consequence of the French intervention to quash a radical Muslim insurgency in nearby Mali, which forced al Qaeda in the Maghreb to move north earlier this year, Libya has now become the main base of the terror group in the region, heightening the instability of what is already a volatile country. “Libya has become AQIM’s headquarters,” says the intelligence source, adding that in just the last few weeks three new al Qaeda camps have opened in southern Libya. The terror group’s boosted presence in Libya comes at a time when the struggling country is reeling from several threats to—or attacks on—Western targets. (Oh my…read about the botched British bomber, dubbed the “Keystone Bomber.” –Barb. The results of Obama’s unsanctioned war. ~Bob.)

Holder To Kansas: We Will Ignore Your State Firearm Laws
Excerpt: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Kansas Governor Sam Brownback that the legislation he signed titled the Second Amendment Protection Act, SB 102 will be ignored by the federal government and the Obama administration will enforce firearm confiscation regardless of state laws, the New American reported yesterday. The Kansas governor signed the Second Amendment Protection Act, SB 102 last month that strengthens the constitutionally protected rights of Kansans to keep and bear arms but it appears that the Obama administration and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder want nothing of it, claiming that the federal government has sole-rights over states rights when it comes to the second amendment matters.

America's "Forgotten War," south of the border
(CBS News) For the people of Mexico, the "Halls of Montezuma" are much more than the words of a song; they represent a humiliating military defeat at the hands of the United States in 1847. Not even the 1862 victory over France that Mexico celebrates today -- Cinco de Mayo -- is enough to fully heal the wound. Mo Rocca tells the story:… "Here in Mexico, of course, they remember it because large parts of the United States were parts of Mexico before that war," said Wayne. (Per piece, war started with a “lie by a President” who wanted Manifest Destiny. A President lied? –Barb. I’ve read that American troops liked the song, “Green Grow the Rashes Oh.” Thus Mexicans started saying, “Here come the ‘Green Grows.’” That evolved into “Gringo.” ~Bob.)

The Muslim Student Association and the Boston Terrorist Connection. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: And yet, despite Dzhokhar supposedly not being a Muslim, the MSA president kept trying to get him to join. Even though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev described his worldview as Islam and claimed that he was acting to protect Islam, the MSA president could claim with a straight face that he was not a Muslim. (And we keep blaming the Germans for that Austrian, Hitler. ~Bob.)

Egypt's Sinai: Islamic supremacists murder alcohol salesman
Excerpt: Gunmen shot a man dead who was selling alcohol in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Sunday in an attack security officials said was likely carried out by Islamist militants.

Bangladesh riot death toll rises to 37 after Islamic hardliners demanding blasphemy law battled police
Excerpt: 37 people were killed and hundreds more injured in Bangladesh today in fierce street fighting between police and Islamic hardliners demanding the death penalty for blasphemy.

Lives lost mean 'Benghazi' should be more than a political buzzword. By John Kass
Excerpt: But Benghazi is more than a partisan political word. It's a bloody Libyan city where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2012. And it's time the partisan nonsense stops and the American people get answers. There have been no arrests of suspects. The Obama White House stalls now as it stalled at the onset of the crisis during the president's re-election campaign, hoping it would go away.

Statecraft as malpractice
Excerpt: Someone had to take the fall for President Barack Obama thoughtlessly drawing a "red line" threatening serious consequences if Syria used chemical weapons. It turns out that it is the president himself. Senior officials explained to The New York Times that last August, the president's advisers had no idea he was going to boldly issue a red-line warning. The president was "unscripted," according to one official. In this perilously untelepromptered state, he accidentally made a statement that sounded like it was fraught with foreboding.

Excerpt: A female officer who was the first woman to lead the agency's clandestine service, but was also closely tied to its controversial interrogation policies, will not get to keep that job as part of a management shake-up announced Tuesday by CIA Director John O. Brennan, U.S. officials said.

The Great California Land Rush. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Most of my friends in these parts disagree about a looming bust. Things are “different” now, they swear. Why? Human nature has been altered? The U.S. dollar has never been more stable? The debt is small? Governance is unusually competent? There will be plenty of water — new dams; the sneaky little smelt will get his comeuppance; salmon won’t get their water from mountains to the sea? (Why would you farm, or conduct any other business in California? If you fail, you fail. But if you succeed, they will punish you with regulations and confiscatory taxes. ~Bob.)

Pritzker's Bank Failure: Investors Got Paid, Depositors and Taxpayers Fleeced
Excerpt: By her own admission in a 2008 Q & A with the New York Times, Secretary of Commerce nominee Penny Pritzker acknowledged as many as 1600 depositors lost $6000 on average--or roughly $10 million overall--due to her family’s Superior Bank failure. The losses were the result of years of subprime lending and overvaluing its residual interests after failing to discount to present values, future cash flows that were subject to credit losses. (The perfect Obama crony appointee. ~Bob.)

Illegal Alien Kills Black American Boy, 6, In Providence, R.I. By Striking The Child With A Car While Driving Without A License Or Insurance (my version of title)
Excerpt: The above story by Maria Armental at Providence Journal. And the MSM still tries to portray illegal immigration as "a victimless crime”? Right. Tell that to the loved ones of this boy and thousands of other American families devastated by illegal immigration.

Excerpt: The Muhajireen Brigade, a unit made up of foreign jihadists who fight in Syria, has announced that a fighter from Denmark was killed while battling the Syrian government in early March. More than 500 Europeans are thought to be fighting with the rebels in Syria.

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