Monday, June 3, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for June 4, 2013

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for June 4, 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.

Note from the CMC
I sent a copy of my new book, Eddie Grabowski’s Gift, to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. I received the following handwritten note from him: “Dear bob, Thank you for the copy of your new book. I have moved it to my reading pile on my nightstand, so I will eventually get to it. Thanks for thinking of me. Semper Fidelis, Jim Amos.”

Eddie Grabowski's Gift: A Marine Christmas Story
Eddie Grabowski’s Gift is a short novella, with an old Marine’s lessons on life, love and giving. All author royalties are donated to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation to support the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The MCHF receives a larger royalty when you order directly from

I’m now listed for a Lung Transplant for Pulmonary Fibrosis
I’ve just heard from the VA. Based on my recent tests, they are listing me now for a lung transplant. Given my recent worsening health, my lung allocation score is about the middle of the blood type O list. I will still be able to travel by going inactive. While it’s a high risk procedure, with a five-year survival rate of only 50%, my quality of life is now so degraded that I think it is worth the risk. The average wait time is two years, but of course the prefect lung could come along tomorrow, meaning I would vanish. That would limit SitRep posts. Sorry. The big downside is that I am now limited to one drink a day, as alcohol thins the blood!

NJ Sen. Lautenberg dies at age 89
Excerpt: Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the Senate and the longest-serving New Jersey senator, died Monday at age 89, Democratic sources told Fox News. (Just guessing, but I bet Gov. Christie doesn’t talk to Jesse Jackson, Jr about the seat. ~Bob.)
Virginia governor’s wife was paid $36,000 as consultant to coal philanthropy
Excerpt: Maureen McDonnell, the wife of Virginia’s governor, was paid $36,000 last year to attend a handful of meetings as a consultant to the philanthropic arm of one of the state’s major coal companies, a top coal company official said.

Eurozone Debt Crisis: The United States is Next
Excerpt: The welfare state is defined as a state devoted to taking charge of the welfare of the public. Welfare state functions cover social protection, health and education, says Pierre Lemieux, a research fellow at the Independent Institute. These functions make up 57 percent of total U.S. government expenditures compared to 63 percent for the typical Eurozone country. In this sense, the American welfare state is only about 10 percent smaller than the European welfare state. Many authors who have studied the situation, from the right or from the left, agree that the difference between the American and the European welfare states is overestimated.

How to save Social Security. By Jim Kessler and David Brown
Excerpt: There are a lot of charts, numbers, and projections in the annual report released by the Social Security Trustees Friday, but they really boil down to this: Social Security’s trust fund has 20 years to live. Started in 1935 as the first major strand in America’s safety net, Social Security will arrive at insolvency at the venerable age of 98. By ignoring this reality, Congress is guaranteeing that the program’s reserves will expire, forcing benefits for the retired and disabled to immediately fall by 23 percent starting in 2033.

It’s time we learn what green energy costs states and cities. By Merrill Matthews
Excerpt: In all the focus on federal green energy spending, what’s been overlooked is that states and cities are also neck-deep in renewable energy subsidies. In North Texas, Dallas has a green building program that expedites permits for more energy-efficient building projects and Plano provides a Smart Energy Loan Program “to provide energy-efficiency loans to homeowners.” But we apparently have no idea how much taxpayers and consumers, through higher energy bills, are spending to subsidize all of those green energy projects.

The Case For Exports: America's Hydrocarbon Industry Can Revive the Economy and Eliminate the Trade Deficit By Mark P. Mills,
Excerpt: Today, oil imports account for about 40 percent of America's $750 billion annual trade deficit, a deficit that drains the GDP and kills jobs. Expanding the domestic production of hydrocarbons to reduce imports as well as increase exports will function as an enormous subsidy-free stimulus to the U.S. economy, directly creating all manner of jobs across the nation and indirectly creating millions more jobs as the nation's current account deficit shrinks.

Excerpt: Writers sometimes worry if a day will come when they have nothing more to say. As long as Paul Krugman is around, I will never have that worry. Boston University professor Lawrence Kotlikoff has suggested that Krugman return his Nobel Prize. I hope he doesn’t. As long as someone with Krugman’s professional status gets his facts wrong in column after column, and does so in an arrogant and pompous manner, attacking the integrity and hurling insults at all who disagree with him…well, there will always be a market for a writer who is able to show that the scourge of sensible people everywhere has written one more erroneous editorial. Krugman may not always be wrong. On some economic issues he may actually be right. But when it comes to health care, he almost never misses. He is wrong 100% of the time.

Seeking a Fresh Start, Holder Finds a Fresh Set of Troubles
Excerpt: Over the course of four and a half years, no other member of President Obama’s cabinet has been at the center of so many polarizing episodes or the target of so much criticism. While the White House publicly backed Mr. Holder as he tried to smooth over the latest uproar amid new speculation about his future, some in the West Wing privately tell associates they wish he would step down, viewing him as politically maladroit. But the latest attacks may stiffen the administration’s resistance in the near term to a change for fear of emboldening critics.

Excerpt: Even Arianna Huffington thinks that Attorney General Eric Holder should resign. “We’ve called on Holder to resign,” Huffington said on ABC’s This Week. “There’s no way that Holder can continue to do his job.”

EPA Honors Fake Employee. Just when you thought the federal government couldn’t get more ridiculous By Eliana Johnson
Excerpt: Richard Windsor may be the most famous Environmental Protection Agency employee. Oddly, he does not exist. “Windsor” is the e-mail alias that Lisa Jackson, former head of the EPA and now an environmental adviser to Apple, used to correspond with environmental activists and senior Obama-administration officials, among others.
Windsor, we have learned, was also an employee of significant achievement. Documents released by the agency in response to a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that, for three years, the EPA certified Windsor as a “scholar of ethical behavior.” 

Thousands take to streets in Turkey, clash with police
Excerpt: Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Turkey's four biggest cities on Sunday and clashed with riot police firing tear gas on the third day of the fiercest anti-government demonstrations in years.

Syrian rebels, Hezbollah in deadly fight in Lebanon
Excerpt: Hezbollah guerrillas fought a deadly battle with Syrian rebels in Lebanon's eastern border region early on Sunday, security sources said, in the latest eruption of Syria's conflict on Lebanese soil. (This is like watching Nazis and Communists killing each other for statism on the Eastern Front in WWII. Hard to know who to root for. ~Bob.)

House of Saud: built on sand. Until now Saudi Arabia has been an oasis of calm in a region in turmoil, but without significant reforms that may not last
Excerpt: It is difficult to overstate the turmoil sweeping today through the Middle East. The historic Muslim Sunni and Shia faultline, blithely reopened by the US invasion of Iraq, runs today from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea. Half a dozen conflicts rage in this area. No state nor border is immune from violent change. And yet, Saudi Arabia which bestrides the path of this faultline, appears an oasis of calm. Peace reigning in the House of Saud may well be illusory.

Excerpt: The Medicare program that provides health insurance to seniors faces a dire financial future. And Obamacare is making it worse. Medicare’s Part A trust fund is projected to be insolvent by 2026 and the total program has a long-term unfunded obligation of more than $35 trillion. This means the government has made $35 trillion worth of benefit promises to current and future seniors that are not yet paid for -- a staggering amount that is more than double the nation’s total current debt. Despite the fact that the Medicare trustees have been warning of this financing disaster for many years, President Obama’s massive health care law makes the matter much worse, not better.

Obama To Sign International Gun Control Treaty On June 3rd
Here we go... Note: Even though Obama will sign this treaty, it is not enforceable in the U.S. until the Senate ratifies it by a two-thirds majority.-Chris

Excerpt: Department of Energy came to Tesla’s rescue with an offer to lend the company $465 million at incredibly low interest rates. Four years later and Tesla is a roaring success. Valued at more than $12 billion on Wall Street it offers a sharp contrast to Solyndra.

Another Obama Assault on Free Speech. By Robert Spencer 
Excerpt: The Obama Administration’s latest assault on the freedom of speech is so audacious that it leaves me speechless – and that’s the idea. According to Politico, Bill Killian, the Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, “is reportedly vowing to use federal civil rights statutes to clamp down on offensive and inflammatory speech about Islam.” Said Killian: “We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected.”

Al Qaeda in Iraq Still Threatens America. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: A week ago, Obama declared that Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. Not only is that not true of Al Qaeda as a whole; it’s not even true of Al Qaeda in Iraq. During his multiple withdrawals from Iraq, Obama claimed that the mission had been successfully concluded and that the war there never had anything to do with Al Qaeda. Unfortunately Al Qaeda in Iraq begged to differ.

Boston Bombings: Al Qaeda Chief In New Warning: Yemen's al Qaeda boss says Osama Bin Laden's death has not eliminated militant groups, rather they have moved closer to the US.
Excerpt: Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen has said the Boston blasts revealed America's fragile security and showed making bombs was within "everyone's reach".
Qassim al Rimi, the military chief of the group, urged Muslims in America to "carry on with this way" and defend their religion in an audio message posted online.

The truth about the 'wave of attacks on Muslims’ after Woolwich murder
Excerpt: Yet the unending “cycle of violence” against Muslims, the unprecedented “wave of attacks” against them from strangers in the street, the “underlying Islamophobia in our society” – all turn out to be yet more things we thought we knew about Woolwich that are not really supported by the evidence.

Timbuktu’s slaves liberated as Islamists flee
Excerpt: Her light-skinned master no longer beats her with a camel whip. He no longer makes her work from dawn to night without pay. He fled with his family four months ago, along with the Islamists who briefly ruled this historic city. “I am free,” said Aminaya Traore, a 50-year-old woman who was born into slavery. “I can do whatever I want.”

Reluctant witness in Tenn. faces prison time
Excerpt: Two and a half years ago, federal prosecutors announced with great fanfare the indictments of about 30 people accused of operating a multistate child sex trafficking operation run by Somali gangs. So far, every defendant who has gone to trial has either been acquitted or had their conviction thrown out. … "What choice do I have?" he said during a jailhouse interview with The Associated Press. "If I testify, they will either kill me or kill my family."

In Syria, what could go wrong? By Steve Chapman
Excerpt: We have all had years of aversion therapy for our addiction to military intervention. But it’s had a strange effect on John McCain: The worse it hurts, the more he wants to keep doing it. The American public may be weary after more than a dozen years of nonstop war, but McCain is eager to wade into a new fight in Syria. (I often disagree with Chapman, but think he is correct here. ~Bob.)

Farm bill grows food stamp rolls
Excerpt: For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have insisted upon calling a bill that deals with commodities, conservation, trade, rural development, research, energy, forestry and nutrition a “farm bill.” You could argue that most of those policy areas relate to farming, so Steve really is Steve. The problem is, roughly 80 percent of all the spending in the “farm bill” goes toward the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

Excerpt: Ahead of new hearings on the IRS abuse scandal, the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee has released transcripts of depositions it has taken with IRS employees. The employees directly contradict IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s claim that the targeting was merely the work of “rogue” employees in the IRS Cincinnati office. (Of course, the head Dem (black) on the committee is saying it ain’t so…..Bob.)

State Dept: No Active Al Qaeda, Hezbollah Terror Cells In Western Hemisphere
Excerpt: A new report on world international terrorism activities released by the State Department asserts that there were "no known operational cells" of Al Qaeda or Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere during the year 2012. This is despite the report acknowledging Iran's increased presence in the hemisphere along with the country's "marked resurgence" of sponsored terrorism. The State Department released the "Country Reports on Terrorism 2012" late last week which details the United States' assessment of terrorism and counter-terrorism activities in countries around the globe.

Pentagon Denies Relationship With Antichristian Extremist; Instantly Complies With His Demands
Excerpt: One month ago the Pentagon assured the public it was not being advised by anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein. Yet two days ago Weinstein called the Pentagon demanding that a Christian painting be removed from a dining hall in an Idaho Air Force base, and the Pentagon complied with his demand--in less than one hour….….That was shortly after Weinstein published an article in which he called observant Christians “fundamentalist monsters” who seek to impose “a rapacious reign of theocratic terror” in the military through their “putrid theology.”

IRS Agent Was So Disturbed By Targeting, Sought Another Job
Excerpt: An unnamed senior Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent was so uncomfortable with the IRS’s political targeting of conservative groups that in July 2010 he or she applied for another job…. “I mean, rogue agent? Even though I was taking all my direction from EO Technical [the Exempt Organizations technical office in WashingtonD.C.], I didn’t want my name in the paper for being this rogue agent for a project I had no control over.”

National Immigration Forum Funded By Soros And The Left
Excerpt: The National Immigration Forum (NIF), the force behind the so-called “Evangelical Immigration Table” (EIT), is actually a front group for players on the institutional left including billionaire George Soros and the Ford Foundation, according to reporting by Breitbart News and other outlets. According to the Huffington Post, EIT is running a $250,000 advertising campaign in favor of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. 

Obama: Islam trumps the First Amendment
Excerpt: In 2009, Barack Obama joked about using the IRS for purposes of retribution: And now we all see the result- it wasn’t so much of a joke as a promise. So, do you remember this Obama edict? The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Apparently he meant that as well.

What’s this? WaPo on IRS Scandal “Hearkens back to the WORST of Watergate” – VIDEO
Excerpt: On “Morning Joe” today, here is The Washington Post’s David Ignatius saying the “IRS Scandal” really is the kind of thing “we fear most” from Government in our country. He then said it “hearkens back to the worst of Watergate.”

Japan’s Easy Money Tsunami. By David Howden
Excerpt: The Bank of Japan has embarked on one of the most inflationary policies ever undertaken. Pledging to inject $1.4 trillion dollars into the economy over the next two years, the policy is aimed at generating price inflation of 2% and further depreciating the Yen. The idea is to fight “deflation” and increase exports.

Economically, Could Obama Be America's Worst President? By Peter Ferrara
Excerpt: The recession ended four years ago, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. So Obamanomics has had plenty of time to produce a solid recovery. In fact, since the American historical record is the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery, Obama should have had an easy time producing a booming recovery by now.

Turkish police truck knocking down protester

Black Leaders: Immigration Bill Will 'Harm' African American Workers
Excerpt: “Given the fact that more than 13% of all blacks are unemployed - nearly double that of the national average, it is our position that each Member of Congress must consider the disastrous effects that Senate Bill 744 would have on low skill workers of all races, while paying particular attention to the potential harm to African Americans,” the letter argues. “Credible research indicates that black workers will suffer the greatest harm if this legislation were to be passed. We are asking that you oppose Senate Bill S.744 because of the dramatic effect it will have on the availability of employment for African American workers.”

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