Monday, May 13, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for May 14, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for May 14, 2013
Robert A. Hall
Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion--who needs newspapers or TV? 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.

C.Y.A. Protecting Yourself in the Modern Jungle
If you order directly from CreateSpace, the PFF receives a larger royalty:
First published in 2010, this book has been reissued through CreateSpace/Amazon at a lower price, with all royalties going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. A humor/self-help book, this is advice with an attitude.

Worth Reading: Get Uncle Sam out of the green startup loan business. By Veronique de Rugy
Excerpt: Meet the Solyndra of the electric car industry: Fisker Automotive. In 2009, the company was awarded a $529 million loan through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. It is in bankruptcy, and has now fired 75 percent of its workforce. The reality, however failed to meet this goal. It did produce -- at least until last year -- the Karma sedan, a $104,000 plug-in electric hybrid car. But the car wasn't just exclusive and expensive, it didn't even work. (“Green Investments” by the Obama administration are not investments in jobs or in the environment. They are investments of your tax dollars in buying votes from environmental groups and political contributions from green cronies. They are very effective at that. ~Bob.)

Important: Doctor Kermit Gosnell found guilty of murdering infants in late-term abortions
Excerpt: Philadelphia doctor was found guilty Monday of murdering three babies born alive in an abortion clinic, Fox News confirms. He was acquitted in the fourth baby's death, and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of an adult patient. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was convicted of first-degree murder and could face execution in the deaths of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation's debate over abortion. 9I’d be okay with them getting huge metal sheers and snipping his spine, but there is zero chance he will get death. Too many folks vested in the abortion industry. ~Bob.)

Guest post: How a soldier sees the flag

The Sequester Failed

Hell Freezes Over - MSNBC Says Benghazi Cover Up Looks 'Clintonian' - Risk of 'Impeachment' (VIDEO)
Excerpt: As you will see in the video below the discussion goes into one member of the group saying, "Politically, this is not good for the White House" and then it just deteriorates for the Obama administration from there. The next member of the panel says, "Sure, they look terrible." Next up, another panel member when asked if this becomes an election issue says, "Sure it becomes an election issue, It becomes a 2014 issue, it becomes a 2016 issue, it becomes a, should I even say the word..." this is where hell freezes over, "that word that starts with I and has 3 syllables, that I think we all know, it becomes, you know, you know the word I mean, it becomes a potential IMPEACHMENT ISSUE as long as the Republicans are in control of the House."

Zoning Kills Affordable Housing: How established homeowners use regulations to stop new low-cost homes. By John K. Ross
Excerpt: When a news crew showed up to film a public meeting in tony Darien, Connecticut, in 2005, some of the residents were less than thrilled. "Why don't you fucking shoot something else?" one demanded. Hundreds crammed into the hearing, sneering and jeering during the presentation. The fresh hell residents showed up to protest? A proposal to replace a nondescript single-family home on a one-acre lot with 20 condos for senior citizens. (Dr. Thomas Sowell has been pointing out for years that the rich elites use tax dollars to buy green space and parks, enhancing the value of their upper class homes while making land in the cities less affordable for low income housing. Another liberal screwing of the poor. ~Bob.)

Lions and tigers or bears? Oh my! Restaurant under fire for offering lion meat in tacos but bear is still ON the menu

Excerpt: With chefs all over the country pushing the limits, sore and more restaurants across the country are adding exotic dishes to their menus. But one place in Florida is pushing things to a whole new level with their wild tacos. Taco Fusion began offering 'safari' tacos filled with fresh lion meat.

Excerpt: Middle income families are about to encounter some real surprises as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). For example, many workers will soon discover that when they earn more money, they end up with less take-home pay. Others will discover that they are worse off if their employer offers them “affordable coverage” than if there is no health insurance offer. What causes these bizarre outcomes? Read on.

Excerpt: Two people who worked for the Palestinian terror group Hamas will be honored in Washington Monday as “journalists” after they were killed in Gaza last year. (Probably going to give them the Leni Riefenstahl award. ~Bob.)

Obama's Enemies List—Part II. First an Obama campaign website called out Romney donor Frank Vandersloot. Next the IRS moved to audit him—and so did the Labor Department. By John Strassel
Excerpt: Mr. VanderSloot has since been learning what it means to be on a presidential enemies list. Just 12 days after the attack, the Idahoan found an investigator digging to unearth his divorce records. This bloodhound—a recent employee of Senate Democrats—worked for a for-hire opposition research firm. Now Mr. VanderSloot has been targeted by the federal government. In a letter dated June 21, he was informed that his tax records had been "selected for examination" by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Tweet from David Burge @Iowaharkblog
"Unnamed low level employee, in the regional office, by mistake." - always the winning answer in the government version of "Clue"

Excerpt: The Three Whistleblowers at the Benghazi hearing spoke softly, but with the emotional wallop of The Three Tenors. They told the truth, and it blasted like thunder through Obama's tissue palace of lies. Listening to these strong, solemn men, I heard the sound of old America: a place of hardworking people who love their country and believe in something bigger than their own power.

Well, it’s their culture and in the Holy Qur’an, so who are we to judge? ~Bob

George Will: Jay Carney’s ‘usefulness to this administration is diminishing rapidly.’
Under the bus with him! ~Bob

Worth Reading: Will the 'collegiality effect' bring down Obama? By Donald Hank
Excerpt: Recently, CBS executive Jonathan Karl went on the Bill O'Reilly show and did something unprecedented. He sided with the conservative viewpoint that there was indeed lying and obfuscation in the highest echelons of the Obama administration in the Benghazi aftermath. He discussed frankly how the State Department talking points had been revised beyond recognition, from the initial admission (by the CIA) that the Benghazi attack was a well planned terror attack to a fictitious narrative of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Muslim video. For years the public has watched Obama lie and cheat and get a pass from the press corps. So there is skepticism about the extent to which leftwing media criticism of the White House will effect a substantive change.

No Kidding: The IRS Has Had a Vendetta against Conservatives Since 2011. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Let's see here . . . the Benghazi hearings and reporting about the "editing" of the talking points indicate that the Obama administration covered up the truth about what happened. Then we learned one of the Boston bombers sought out jihadists while in Russia in 2011 and listened to Internet sermons of al-Qaeda fan/cleric Anwar Awlaki, while collecting public assistance. Then we learned disclosures from the IRS prove that the federal government targeted groups based upon their political views. Hell of a week for the fears we once dismissed as paranoia, huh? This afternoon we get Elvis's reappearance and Thursday is scheduled to feature the truth about the aliens at Roswell. Naturally, today Obama will deal with these shocking headlines in his traditional manner: going to a bunch of Democratic fundraisers in New York City. And yes, the IRS story is basically as bad as the most paranoid would have you believe: Sometimes they really are out to get you. … One point to keep in mind: Sometimes no organizational boss has to explicitly say that there's a great incentive to target a particular political foe. Sometimes these sorts of illegal and unjust incentives simply resonate throughout the culture of an organization. If everyone within a particular office culture (i.e., Internal Revenue Service employees) believes that a particular group is particularly bad (conservatives) and another group is good (liberals), there will be enormous psychological incentives to pursue the "bad" groups, both out of personal beliefs and out of reinforcing groupthink. There's a simple, direct method for changing the culture, of course: Fire anybody involved.

Worth Reading: Children and Guns: The Fear and the Reality. Kids are much likelier to die in swimming-pool accidents. By John Lott
Excerpt: For all children younger than 10, there were 36 accidental gun deaths, and that is out of 41 million children. Perhaps most important, about two-thirds of these accidental gun deaths involving young children are not shots fired by other little kids but rather by adult males with criminal backgrounds. In other words, unless you send your child to play at a criminal’s home, she is exceedingly unlikely to get shot. Indeed, if you are going to worry about your child’s safety you should check into other, perhaps less obvious dangers lurking in the playmate’s house: swimming pools, bathtubs, water buckets, bicycles, and chemicals and medications that can cause fatal poisoning. Drownings alone claimed 609 deaths; fires, 262 lives; poisonings, 54 lives. And don’t forget to ask about the playmate’s parents’ car and their driving records if your child will ride with them: After all, motor-vehicle accidents killed 923 children younger than 10. (If we can save just one child, we must ban assault swimming pools. ~Bob.)

Will Britain Leave the EU? The status quo always looks impregnable until it looks doomed. By John O’Sullivan
Excerpt: I suppose I must long ago have come across Ernest Hemingway’s line about the two ways of going bankrupt — “gradually, then suddenly” — because I read The Sun Also Rises about 40 years ago. But it didn’t stick with me until I read it again, quoted in a column by Mark Steyn in March of last year, in reference to the impending bankruptcy of the good old U.S.A. Others must also have been reading Hemingway or Steyn in the intervening year because I come across this quotation about every other day.

The Benghazi Lie: A failure of character of this magnitude corrodes the integrity of the state. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: It was 9 p.m. Eastern time, or 3 a.m. in Libya. Remember the Clinton presidential team’s most famous campaign ad? About how Hillary would be ready to take that 3 a.m. call? Four years later, the phone rings, and Secretary Clinton’s not there. She doesn’t call Hicks back that evening. Or the following day. Are murdered ambassadors like those 1.43 million cables she doesn’t read? Just too many of them to keep track of? No. Only six had been killed in the history of the republic?” seven, if you include Arnold Raphel, who perished in General Zia’s somewhat mysterious plane crash in Pakistan in 1988. (This Republic sold its integrity for Obama Phones on November 6, 2012. ~Bob.)

Bad Faith and Benghazi, By Jonah Goldberg 
Excerpt: In the wake of Benghazi, the country endured an intense debate over how much free speech we could afford because of the savage intolerance of rioters half a world away. Obama and Clinton fueled this debate by incessantly blaming the video -- as if the First Amendment was the problem. Clinton and Obama both swore oaths to support and defend the Constitution. But after failing to support and defend Americans left to die, they blamed the Constitution for their failure. That's what difference it makes.

Just another Day on the Job. By Larry Benson
Excerpt: While our economy is nowhere near a great depression, it has impacted people differently. For example, some retirees find that their pension benefits are not sufficient to meet their needs and are forced to return to searching for a job. (They better bring a good resume, a clean suit and every other unthinkable skill with them – it’s a tough market for job hunting.) For one Maine resident, this led to his decision to steal more than $83,000 in federal pension funds by continuing to receive retirement payments after he had returned to work.

A Democrat, a union and myriad businesses see chaos in Obamacare. By Dustin Hurst 
Excerpt: Perhaps the question is no longer if Obamacare will wreak havoc on the American economy. Instead, the query seems to have morphed into something far more dire and prophetic: Just how much chaos will the law inflict upon the American people, businesses and the economy?

Excerpt: Addressing the House hearing on Benghazi with three “whistleblowers,” Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price told PJ Media that exercising oversight of the Obama administration has been “incredible, laborious, time-consuming work” for Congress.

Pakistan's Sharif gets resounding election victory
Excerpt: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif looked poised to return to office with a resounding election victory — a mandate that could make it easier to tackle the country's daunting problems, including growing power outages, weak economic growth and shaky government finances. Questions remain, however, about Sharif's stance on another key issue: violent Islamic extremism.

After bombings, Turkey says world must act against Syria
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Turkey accused a group with links to Syrian intelligence of carrying out car bombings that killed 46 people in a Turkish border town, and said on Sunday it was time for the world to act against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Kenyan patients escape from Nairobi's Mathari hospital
Excerpt: Forty mentally ill patients have escaped from the Mathari Mental Hospital in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, after overpowering guards, police say. A search has been launched for the patients, some of whom are known to be violent, police told the BBC. (If they could get to Washington, they could hide out in Congress. ~Bob.)

If You Trust The American Press, Here's A Thought Experiment
Excerpt: The U.S. Defense Science Board’s report High Performance Microchip Supply ranks as probably the most devastating ever account of the speed and extent of American decline. Why therefore has it been completely overlooked, or should I say suppressed, by America’s mainstream media? As I pointed out last week, the report, issued as far back as 2005, documented the transfer abroad — mainly to East Asia – of most of the U.S. semiconductor industry’s key capabilities and technologies. (The people who “trust the press” mainly read the sports and gossip pages anyway. ~Bob.)

Why China Lets North Korea Run Wild. By Peter Huessy
Excerpt: Although most observers tend to treat them as separate phenomena, there is an intimate connection between North Korea's recent nuclear and long-range missile tests and China's growing push to control the vast oil and gas resources in the South China Sea and the associated sea lanes through which trillions of dollars in commerce travel. 

Why Afghanistan Might Be the Marines’ Last Fight. By David Francis
Excerpt: The review, which was completed in 2011, recommended the Marines shrink the size of their force dramatically and make other cuts that would lessen their strength. But the review did little to quiet speculation among the defense and policy community in Washington. There are lingering questions about the future of the Marines, with some suggesting that their missions are better conducted by the Army, Navy and Special Forces. (Every few years, the knives come out from left wing politicians and the other services. You cannot destroy the Republic while we have a Marine Corps. So I think the elimination of the Marines is inevitable. Predicted in this novel. ~Bob
The Hand of the Prophet: A Novel of Islamic America, 2053 by R.A.H.

This is a Scandal We Must Not Let Slide. By Daniel Horowitz 
Excerpt: Welcome to 1984. The government that is supposed to govern by the consent of the people is now attacking those who seek to preserve the Constitution. Even as a number of non-profit organizations that aid and abet illegal aliens or Islamic terrorists are able to operate without any fear of investigation, we now know that tea party patriot organizations have been singled out for audits by high level officials at the IRS.

The Broken President’s Broken Politics. By John Ransom 
Excerpt: Being president was always easy for Barack Obama. That is, it was easy up until the time he actually was elected president. Then things got a little tougher. In part, Obama’s troubles stem from the rigidity of his broken ideas. 

Dems Shoot Themselves in the Foot Again On Guns. By Kurt Schlichter 
Excerpt: Despite suffering the most humiliating rejection of his presidency, President Obama and the liberal establishment are determined to revive their failed gun control scheme. That’s a good thing. The Republicans should remember Napoleon’s warning that you should never interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake. This mistake will cost the Democrats dearly in 2014.

Court slashes sentence in 'honour killing' case
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Swedish appeals court has reduced a lower court's eight-year prison sentence for a 17-year-old boy found of guilty fatally stabbing his sister more than 100 times after she fled a forced marriage in Iraq, in what the court referred to as an "honour killing". (I volunteer for the firing squad. As usual, I will bring my own rifle and ammo to keep costs down. Sigh. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Gali was using her laptop in the hotel’s staff bar when her drink was spiked. She awoke to a nightmare beyond belief: she had been savagely raped by three of her colleagues. Alone and frightened, she took herself to hospital. What Alicia didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rape cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. She was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months. (It’s their culture. Who are we to judge? Besides, the New York Times and several federal courts say using Shari’a Law here is fine. ~Bob.)

Saudi jails Lebanese who helped woman convert to Christianity
Excerpt: A Saudi court jailed a Lebanese man for six years and sentenced him to 300 lashes after convicting him of encouraging a Saudi woman to convert to Christianity, Saudi dailies reported Sunday.

Pope canonizes 800 Christians murdered for refusing to convert to Islam
Excerpt: The `'Martyrs of Otranto" were 813 Italians beheaded for defying demands by Turkish invaders to renounce Christianity.

Education department eliminates the terms 'mother' and 'father' in favor of less gender-specific 'parent 1' and 'parent 2'
The U.S. Department of Education is replacing the terms ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ on student loan forms with the less gender-specific ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2.’ The changes will be introduced on the 2014-2015 federal student aid form (FAFSA) and the move is designed to better accommodate students who are brought up in gay homes where there are two mother or two fathers. ‘All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics,’ Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. (Guess that’s why WH tweeting about Planned Parenthood and abortions on Mother’s Day. Soon to be a thing of the past, like the Easter Egg Roll (Christian related). –Barb. We know three lesbian couples with kids. All three are better parents than a great many straight people, especially single welfare moms producing babies for cash, who are abandoned by the fathers. They call both parents “mommy.” ~Bob.)

UK denies Pentagon claim Britain in 'no rush' to free Guantánamo inmate
Excerpt: Aamer, a British resident, has been held at the controversial detention camp for 11 years, despite never having been tried or charged with any crime….According to leaked files, the US believes the British resident met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and led a unit of fighters against Nato troops. They also allege an association with the shoe bomber Richard Reid and the convicted 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui. Aamer's supporters claim he suffered terrible abuse at Bagram air base and that an alleged confession he made to captors was obtained under the pain of torture. (Personally, I’d release all the Gitmo detainees. From about 50 feet up, fifty miles at sea. Shark feeding grounds would be optimal. ~Bob.)

El Salvador Establishes Ties with the Palestinian Authority
Good. Let them give them foreign aid. ~Bob. Excerpt: El Salvador established diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority on Friday, the Global Post reports. The move comes a week after Denmark and Finland became the latest European countries to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic missions in their countries. Garnering official recognition as a state from as many countries as possible has been a goal of the Palestinian Authority’s government for several years now, particularly after the UN General Assembly upgraded the PA to the status of non-member observer state last November.

IRS political scandal a new political nightmare for Obama administration
Excerpt: "Using the IRS to target political opponents is banana-republic stuff, a clear and intolerable violation of the public trust, not to mention relevant criminal statutes. This is not the sort of offense that should get these IRS workers fired from their jobs - it is the sort of offense that should get them five years in prison." Also: Do you think ObamaCare will be administered with any more fairness?

The Enemy from Within and the Enemy from Without
Excerpt: The dynamic of the whole process of such internal disintegration resulting from intense domestic political rivalry can be said to revolve around a fatal combination of the principles of "divide and conquer" from without and "a house divided against itself cannot stand" from within, with that inevitably present taskmaster the ego blinding the judgment and driving the actions of the ill-fated players involved. Human nature being as consistent as it is, it should come as no surprise that factions have arisen in our country that are so obsessed with triumphing over their internal rivals that they not only choose to ignore the dangers arising from external enemies, but are more than happy to ally themselves with those very external enemies in order to insure victory over their domestic foes.

The Future of Private Property
Excerpt: It seems to just bug the dickens out of progressives, but we still have "private property" in these here United States. The question is, for how much longer? Private property has come under assault in America, and these assaults are coming mainly from government. 

Excerpt: As King David sent Uriah the Hittite out to his death to silence him about his wife, Bathsheba, who was pregnant with David's child, so the Obama regime may have sent Seal Team Six into the jaws of death to prevent their damning testimony about the ersatz Bin Laden raid. On 6 August, 2011, seventeen Navy SEALs perished when their 1960s vintage CH47-D Chinook helicopter was blasted from the hostile skies over enemy territory by Taliban forces. Among those who died that day were members of SEAL Team 6, the unit responsible for the alleged assignation of bin Laden, whom some believe died years earlier of kidney disease. (I wondered about this when I heard the news report; was told “it happens in combat.” Read the details of the equipment, the set up…. wonder why so many generals forced into retirement….Mother states “sympathizing with the enemy,” “Biden revealed top secret information as a ‘gaffe’” and chart showing increased deaths of troops under Obama versus Bush—no wonder suicides and stressors up. –Barb. That they didn’t kill bin Laden is, in my mind, a pretty far fetched conspiracy theory, like that the US was behind 9/11 or that Newtown was faked. Absent solid proof, such speculation hurts us with the people in the center we need to win elections. ~Bob.)

The twelve minute video that could make Jay Carney curl up in the fetal position
Excerpt: Saturday night on her Fox News show, Judge Jeanine Piro spoke out with eloquence and righteous indignation over the Benghazi affair. …. I have always enjoyed Judge Piro's work, but in the past few weeks, she has come into her own. Perhaps it is her years as a judge that enables her to speak with such moral clarity about the fundamental issues.

White House Celebrates Mother’s Day Promoting HHS Abortion Mandate
The White House found a way to celebrate Mother’s Day early, by sending out a series of tweets today promoting Obamacare. The official White House Twitter account specifically touting the HHS abortion mandate that compels religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions under their employee health care plans. The mandate is so egregious it has drawn more than 100 lawsuits from religious groups, business, school and others who are not allowed to opt out under the narrow provisions. (Sample tweet on site. Guess POTUS and FLOTUS are “sticking it to the folks” with their “mandate.” –Barb. They are thinking of charging that nut job in Cleveland with murder for killing fetuses. How is he different from Planned Parenthood? ~Bob.)

5 grocery staples that are getting more expensive: Natural disasters, fuel prices are inflating prices around the globe
Excerpt: Consumers saw groceries price increase by 2.8 percent during the last yearly period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic's most recent Consumer Price Index report…. World economic growth, rising crude oil prices, shrinking stockpiles, strong commodity demand and severe crop-destroying weather have created a perfect storm of sorts, resulting in rising food costs worldwide. In fact, the global food price index, compiled from price data for sugar, cereals, oils, meat and dairy products, recently reached an all-time high. (Sequester has not affected the covert chem spraying program, continuing day and night, to “cool” the atmosphere and manipulate weather patterns; yes, creating crop-destroying weather, while dictating that corn be used to ethanol and animals slaughtered since feed reduced…Barb)

U.S. Gas Prices Expected To Remain Low For Summer
Excerpt: Drivers will find this summer's gas prices are lower than last year's, the result of a spike in crude oil production. Government forecasters say a gallon of regular gasoline will cost about $3.50 this summer — a slide of more than 10 cents from last year. Energy Department analysts say "the regular gasoline price will average $3.53 per gallon over the summer," citing lower crude oil prices. (More disinformation from MSM, regime feed. These folks obviously haven’t filled up a car lately. Maybe they walk, bike or take trains. Regular is at least .30 higher than these prices in May. Prices going up, along with grocery staples. –Barb. Obama eviscerated Bush when gas went to $1.84 a gallon. Can we get Bush back to do this again? Now about $4.30 in Chicago. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Drivers shouldn’t expect prices to get cheaper at any point in 2013......For the most part, however, GasBuddy’s forecast calls for a repeat of trends seen in 2012, which was the most expensive year ever for gas, and which in turn was a followup to the record-setting gas prices of 2011. Gas prices around the country reached the high point for 2012 in the springtime, when the average gallon sold for nearly $4. (Article from Jan 2013; guess what? Almost $4 gal for premium, if not higher….Used to be there would be cries of gouging if gas prices allowed to climb….Barb.)

Excerpt: Oil industry representatives and congressional Republicans accused the Obama administration Friday of effectively jacking up gas prices across the country after the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a plan to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions. Increases in gas prices disproportionately hurt the nation's most vulnerable individuals and families -- with $4 dollar a gallon gas the norm in many parts of the country, we cannot afford policies that knowingly raises gas prices," Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement. "

Strong earthquakes hit Iran, Oman
Excerpt: An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude hit southern Iran early Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, following a quake in the Gulf nation of Oman near the northern city of Al Khasab with a 6.3 magnitude. The epicenter of the Iran quake was measured at 85 kilometers southeast of the southern town of Minab at 0208 GMT, with a depth of 36.44 km, according to the USGS….This is the fifth earthquake to hit Iran in the past month.

Demand Hagel Explain Meeting with Anti-Christian Extremist
Excerpt: Monday morning, Congressmen Steve Scalise and John Fleming—both Republicans representing districts in Louisiana—sent a letter signed by 59 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, demanding answers regarding Pentagon officials meeting with an anti-Christian extremist.

Worth Reading: IRS wrongdoing threatens to become a major issue for Democrats. By Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan
Excerpt: Here’s a quick summary of what we learned this weekend: It wasn’t just groups with the words “tea party” or “patriot” that were flagged for extra scrutiny, but also groups that criticized the government or sought to educate people about the Constitution, according to an audit requested by the inspector general for the IRS.

Kucinich: Obama's Libya Policy to Blame for Death of Four Americans in
Excerpt: Liberal former congressman Dennis Kucinich blamed President Obama's Libya policy for the death of four Americans in Benghazi. Kucinich also said the Obama administration politicized the response to Benghazi because they "were in the circumference of an election, and when you get on the eve of an election, everything becomes political." (We now have a Perfect Storm: Benghazigate + IRSgate. One National Security Scandal + One Domestic Scandal. The Timing on the IRS Scandal is particularly unfortunate for the Administration, as it has come so soon after people have just paid their taxes by April 15th -- and some folks are being audited right now. –Spence)

Excerpt: “The whole issue of talking points, frankly throughout this process, has been a sideshow,” Obama complained during a joint press conference with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. “This gets spun up as if there is something new to the story. There is no there there,” he claimed. Obama also accepted some blame for the defeat that killed four Americans.

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