Tuesday, October 8, 2013

All the Latest

US moves Marines into position to support Tripoli embassy. By Ed Morrissey

Excerpt: The government in Libya has called the US ambassador on the carpet over the seizure of Abu Anas al-Libi, the suspected mastermind behind the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, but the Libyan government is hardly our biggest worry. Early this morning, the US repositioned an emergency task force of 200 Marines to our naval base in Italy, on alert in case the embassy in Tripoli comes under attack from some of al-Libi’s allies:

Government Shutdown Enters Second Week

Excerpt: Traffic around Washington has never been better as the government enters the second week of shutdown, with no end in sight. Over the weekend House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew reiterated their opposing conditions for ending the stalemate.

Republican talking points. Speaker Boehner said he supports a "grand bargain" that would fund the government, cut spending, raise the debt ceiling, reform Obamacare, and perhaps soften the budget sequestration. But the Speaker is very clear that he lacks the votes to pass a "clean" spending bill. By "clean" they mean a bill that funds the government without any conditions. To conservative Republicans who want to see Obamacare reforms and other spending restraints, a "clean" spending bill is the same as surrender. Whether or not there are enough votes to pass a "clean" spending bill is a tricky question. A majority of 217 votes is needed. One cannot assume that all 200 House Democrats would support such a measure. At least 5 House Democrats have signaled their opposition to a "clean" spending bill, while 22 House Republicans have voiced their support for joining with the Democrats in passing a "clean" bill. In any event, if the Speaker were to support a "clean" bill with 195 Democrats and 22 Republicans, his days in Washington would be numbered. Washington UpdateDemocrat talking points. A majority of House Democrats (195 out of 200) support the Senate-passed spending bill, which fully funds the government without condition. Down the street at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the President used his bully pulpit to describe some horror stories caused by the government shutdown. The President forgot to include examples of his own Office of Management and Budget directing the Park Service to erect barriers outside the World War II Memorial to deny access to visiting World War II vets. The World War II Memorial is an open air plaza without gates or walls (see nearby picture). The Park Service had to go out of its way to erect barriers, part of an apparent policy to inflict as much pain as possible. The President also forgot to tell Americans about kicking homeowners out of their homes on Lake Mead or closing private businesses.

Don’t Fret the Shutdown. By Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist

Excerpt: What we are saying is that those who fear this government shutdown are not paying attention to history. Moreover, they are thinking like Keynesians.

Good Analysis: The Only Story in Town. By Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist

Excerpt: Add to this that the Sequester did not destroy the economy, while the city of Detroit went bankrupt because it overspent and over-borrowed, and it seems Republicans are getting traction they didn’t get 18 years ago. Moreover, the way Americans get their news has changed radically. In 1995, CNN existed, but not Fox News, Twitter or the blogosphere.

Good Column: Where Are You Tom Brokaw? By Andy Weddington

Excerpt: Numerous passionate interviews with Mr. Brokaw come to mind. More than a few times through the years I've listened to him tell stories of everyday citizens who answered their country's call and did remarkable things - because those things, mostly terrible, had to be done.

Is the Conflict Between Us Irreconcilable? By Patrick J. Buchanan

Excerpt: Three times in a fortnight, the House has voted to fund every department, agency, and program of the government—except Obamacare. Who, then, is truly shutting down the government? What we are witnessing here is the unfolding of the Big Lie—the constant repetition of a transparent falsehood—to persuade a pliable public not only to believe it, but to recite it, as in Orwell’s “1984.”

Lake Mead property owners forced out until shutdown ends. By Jacqui Heinrich

Excerpt: The government shutdown is being felt close to home for some locals. They say they're being forced out of private homes on Lake Mead because they sit on federal land. Joyce Spencer is 77-years-old and her husband Ralph is 80. (If they can't provide services, how can they provide police to kick people out of their homes? ~Bob)

About That Vegas Couple Kicked Out Of Their Home…

Excerpt: But you know what else operates on federally owned land? A sizable portion of U.S. oil and gas production. And, yet, those commercial concerns have not been similarly and summarily halted. So, it would appear that the White House doesn’t dare send the land management goons to barricade our oil and gas wells.

The cheap tricks of the game. By Wesley Purden

Excerpt: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. ... “It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

The Vengeful Parent: Government Shutdown is Giving Obama More Control. By Nancy Keaton

Excerpt: Let’s be clear. You can blame Republicans for the shutdown. But Republicans ONLY control the House. Democrats control the Senate and the Presidency. Do you really think the Republicans have the power to determine HOW the shutdown is implemented? No, they don’t. Obama and ONLY Obama is the one who decides what will be shut down. NO ONE ELSE has that authority. He is deliberately trying to hurt ALL Americans in order to try to make us mad at the Republicans. What president has EVER done that?!

Excerpt: Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard. The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest. (If this BS isn't stopped by our government, we can expect a return to what happened during WWII by the Imperial Japanese Army, and the German Nazis. The time is not in the future, but right now.....regards --John. This story is the most upsetting one I have seen of all the stories about the government's idiotic closing of what are open spaces. Whoever told this rangers to yell at people for trying to "recreate" (like taking a picture of the beautiful scene) must have really psyched them up to go out there and act like aggressive prison guards. There is NO EXCUSE for this kind of behavior, treating citizens and visitors like criminals under arrest. Our representatives in Congress should be sending out their staff to check on such incidents, and start tracking down who demanded the rangers and other officers to act like angry gorillas. I am only sorry that none of the people on the trip just walked past them to look at the scenes. Either the officers would back off or they'd have to arrest a senior citizen for looking at his national park. That would play so well in the court, and then it would make it easier to start tracking back to the hidden guys behind the desks who set up this awful behavior. --Del. Our thanks to William K for this. So if Zero is trying to get revenge on US conservatives who may be behind the debt ceiling impasse, why does he want foreign tourists to think we're a bunch of Nazis? Does this man have a brain at all? And where did he dig up all these loyalists willing to harass innocent people? Is it possible that the average Democrat is so brain dead that they are ok with this? --Don Hank)

Mother of fallen soldier denied death benefits: 'I won't ever understand it'

Excerpt: The shutdown of the federal government is now affecting some families when they are most vulnerable, denying them a $100,000 benefit to help with funeral expenses of loved ones killed while serving the country. The families of five U.S. service members who died over the weekend in Afghanistan have been notified that they won't be receiving the "death gratuity" normally wired to relatives within 36 hours. The benefit is intended to help cover funeral costs and help with immediate living expenses until survivor benefits typically begin. (They may be working in Congress to get this taken care of, I sure hope so. This is pretty crazy. They can pay all kinds of guards at memorials and parks to harass citizens who want to see the property that is rightfully theirs, but they can't process death benefits? Oh yeah, the instructions were to make it as painful as possible. And for once, the government is really efficient at something. --Del)

Inarticulate Republicans. By Thomas Sowell 

Excerpt: If the continued existence of mathematics depended on the ability of the Republicans to defend the proposition that two plus two equals four, that would probably mean the end of mathematics and of all the things that require mathematics.

Good Column: Medieval Liberals: Unlike classical liberals, the liberals of today hew to doctrine in the face of the evidence. By Victor Davis Hanson

Excerpt: Among elite liberals today, all too few are of this classical mold — guided by reason and empirical observation. By far the majority are medieval and reactionary. By medieval I mean that they adhere to accepted doctrine — in this case, the progressive doctrine of always finding solutions in larger government and more taxes — despite all the evidence to the contrary. The irony is that they project just such ideological blinkers onto their conservative opponents.

Lack of Financial Transparency in Public Education

Excerpt: Public schools are usually the most costly item in state and local budgets. Yet despite tremendous and persistent spending growth in the last half-century, the public vastly underestimates the true cost of public education, says the Cato Institute. To better understand the source of this misperception, the Cato Institute examines the spending data that all 50 state education departments make available to the public on their websites. The report reveals that very few state education departments provide complete and timely financial data that is understandable to the general public.

Obamacare vs. Samaritan Health-Care Ministry: A Case Study. The new law erodes the power of individuals to make health care cheaper & better. By Jim Epstein 

Excerpt: When Jason Morris' son Cole was two years old, he broke his thighbone and spent several weeks in a full-body cast. The medical bills came to about $13,000, but Morris, his wife, and six children don't have health insurance. Instead they belong to Samaritan Ministries, an organization of devout Christians who chip in to cover each other's medical bills. Following the usual process at Samaritan, members from all over the country mailed the Morris family small checks that added up to enough money to cover all the bills. (You can't allow people to take care of each other--that's government's job! ~Bob)

Dodd-Frank's Costs Will Be Paid For By Low-Income Bank Customers. By Abby McCloskey

Excerpt: Low-income people, young people, and minorities have seen a dramatic drop in the financial products and services available to them since the crisis. Nearly one million people were shut out of mainstream banking completely from 2009 to 2011, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Another Kerry Gaffe Puts U.S. Policy at Odds with Itself

Excerpt: Comments on Monday by Secretary of State John Kerry crediting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad with initial cooperation with international chemical weapons monitors leave no doubt that the United States now has a stake in shoring up the Assad regime's legitimacy--even as it arms its increasingly radical opposition.

ATF tries to block whistleblowing agent’s Fast and Furious book: 1st Amendment battle over ‘gun-walking’ expose

Excerpt: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times. (Refer this to the Ministry of Truth. ~Bob)

Exchange launch turns into inexcusable mess: Our view. USA Today editorial

Excerpt: Alas, the administration managed to turn the experience for most of those visitors into a nightmare. ... Park said the administration expected 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users. It got 250,000. Compare that with the similarly rocky debut seven years ago of exchanges to obtain Medicare drug coverage. The Bush administration projected 20,000 simultaneous users and built capacity for 150,000. That's the difference between competence and incompetence.

ObamaCare crash not just traffic

Excerpt: Problems plaguing online enrollment in ObamaCare are not just due to high traffic, but are being compounded by structural problems at healthcare.gov, the federal government portal where people can shop for medical insurance. ... But a source close to the insurance industry said things aren’t looking good so far. State and federal systems appear to have problems communicating with each other, and insurers aren’t confident in the accuracy of subsidy calculations for the few consumers getting that far in the process. “It just sounds like a nightmare,” the source said.

Excerpt: President Obama has been taking a lot of guff lately for his presumptive shutdown of war memorials. Do not be angry with President Obama. Just as with Bill Clinton, Barack Obama had no military experience when he came into the office of the Presidency and assumed the additional role of Commander in Chief. Sadly, simply assuming the title does not qualify a man to fill the big shoes. Simply look at the background of both Clinton and Obama. 

Obama’s Shutdown: Parks for Amnesty Activists Only. By Matthew Vadum 

Excerpt: President Obama’s unprecedentedly vicious, carefully choreographed campaign of shutdown sadism is becoming even more thuggish as the fiscal 2014 budget dispute heads into its second week. But the lawless Obama administration is granting an indulgence to its radical friends who support immigration amnesty and tearing down the nation’s borders.

Power play: Harry Reid sidelined Joe Biden

Excerpt: When President Barack Obama laid out his strategy for the current debt-limit fight in a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this past summer, Reid stipulated one condition: No Joe Biden. And while Biden attended the White House dog-and-pony show meeting last week with congressional leaders, Reid has effectively barred him from the backrooms, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The White Widow's 'Jihadi children': Secret diary of fugitive Briton reveals she is raising family to murder 'Islam's enemies'

Excerpt: Written by the world’s most wanted woman, it is a chilling manifesto for terrorism.

‘White widow’ Samantha Lewthwaite spells out over nine scrawled pages her need to murder disbelievers and incites others – including her children – to do the same.

Muslim cleric: "If I were allowed to pray for a non-Muslim, I would have prayed for the soul of the Nazi leader, who barbecued [the Russians] and the Jews"

Bomb kills 2 in Pakistan anti-polio drive

Excerpt: A bomb exploded next to a van carrying Pakistani security guards tasked with protecting workers involved in an anti-polio drive in the country's northwest on Monday, killing two people, according to officials.

In God We Trust; All Others We Search (Part 1) By Chuck Norris

Excerpt: A decade ago, there were roughly only 10 incidents of church violence across the U.S. In 2007, there were 41 incidents. In 2009, there were 108. In 2012, there were more than 135. And by mid-July 2013, there were already 58.

Cory's Booker of Lies. By Stella Paul

Excerpt: A few chapters back in the Cory Booker story, the dashing young mayor of Newark, New Jersey was actually dashing into a burning building tosave a helpless woman. Now here we are, a few plot twists later, and Cory Booker's halo is looking kind of mucky. Take those flirty tweets he sent to an impressively tattooed stripper, the one and only Ms. Lynsie Lee. Did the public react to this naughty news with prudish gasps of disgust? Nope. Instead, cynics, who were getting used to Booker's antics, pointed out he may have deployed those tweets to scotch rumors of certain other.... proclivities.

Will you get your Social Security check if the U.S. defaults?

Excerpt: The reality: The SSTF actually is one of the largest creditors of the U.S. Treasury - right up there with China and Japan, which together hold $2.4 trillion in Treasury debt. The system was designed this way to ensure that Social Security would be invested only in the world's - ahem - safest instrument: paper issued by the U.S. Treasury. The special-issue Treasury notes are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and the system works fine when the Treasury has the power to issue debt to fund Social Security's bond redemptions.

Excerpt: In a statement citing the Authorization to Use Military Force, which was passed by Congress after the 9/11 attacks on America, the US military yesterday justified the Oct. 5 raid by US Navy SEALs that targeted a senior Shabaab leader in Somalia. But just four months ago, President Barack Obama called for the repeal of the AUMF, claiming that the law will "continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states."

Excerpt: The Oct. 5 raid by US Navy SEALs in the Somali coastal town of Barawe that targeted Shabaab's external operations chief Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, who is also known as Ikrima, may have killed "two senior foreign fighters." Ikrima was linked to two top al Qaeda leaders who have been killed by the US over the past four years.

Excerpt: But the most interesting, and factual, part of the statement is the Taliban's claim that it has "forced the arrogant enemy to accept the existence and presence of the Islamic Emirate in the political field while openly declaring that they are quitting Afghanistan and want to bring the conflict in Afghanistan to an end through talks." (You remember Afghanistan, right, the "war we have to win," the "war of necessity, not of choice," according to Barack Obama? ~Bob)

Bobby Rigged. By Taki

Excerpt: It soon became obvious that [tennis player Bobby] Riggs’s card games were rigged and outright cheating was going on (marked cards, peeks installed in the rooms next door, and so on). I soon made my way up north, never to return to the fold. But during that winter I saw Bobby play tennis daily, and looking back there was no way a woman, no matter how much younger, could have beaten him.

Paul Ryan: Here's How We Can End This Stalemate: Both Reagan and Clinton negotiated debt-ceiling deals with their opponents. We're ready to negotiate.

Excerpt: First, let's clear something up. The president says he "will not negotiate" on the debt ceiling. He claims that such negotiations would be unprecedented. But many presidents have negotiated on the debt ceiling—including him. In 1985, Ronald Reagan signed a debt-ceiling deal with congressional Democrats that set deficit caps. In 1997, Bill Clinton hammered out an agreement with congressional Republicans to raise the debt ceiling, reform Medicare and cut capital-gains taxes. Two years ago, Mr. Obama signed the Budget Control Act, which swapped spending cuts for a debt-ceiling hike.

BREAKING: Redskins’ owner announces new name for Washington’s football team

Excerpt: Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced today he is bowing to pressure from Pres. Obama and Native American activists and is changing his football team’s name to the Washington Corruption. The new symbol of the team will be the White House and the team’s mascot will be a caricature version of Obama.

Obamacare Marketplace: Personal Data Can Be Used For ‘Law Enforcement and Audit Activities. By Jeryl Bier

Excerpt: The policy states that all information to help in applying for coverage and even for making a payment will be kept strictly confidential and only be used to carry out the function of the marketplace. There is, however, an exception: "[W]e may share information provided in your application with the appropriate authorities for law enforcement and audit activities." 

Obamacare Snake Oil: As broken promises pile up — “Lower rates for all!” — the Left rolls out new sales pitches. By Charles C. W. Cooke

Excerpt: Don’t look now, but as Obamacare’s critics are focusing incessantly on the abortive rollout of the law’s health-care exchanges, the Left is moving the goalposts in the broader debate — and rather spectacularly, too. Obamacare, recall, was sold with a specific set of political promises: The new regime, advocates insisted, would reduce the deficit, cover the needy, and reduce total health spending — all while lowering the premiums of those who were already insured.

Turkey: NGO; over 100,000 sex slaves, half are children

Excerpt: There are over 100,000 women working as sex slaves in Turkey, of which half are children, a non-governmental organization has revealed in an extensive report on prostitution in the country quoted Saturday by daily Hurriyet. now, now, all cultures are equally valid and Islam allows sex with slave girls--are you Islamophobic? ~Bob)

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