Friday, October 4, 2013

Today's political news

My lung transplant re-evaluation was Thursday at the Madison VA. The VA is coordinating my care, as I'm a vet, but the transplant will take place, if it does, at UW Hospital. All my numbers were much worse, and I'm now near the top of the transplant list, maybe first. Thus I'm likely to get a transplant in the next three months. If one doesn't come through, I'm likely to die of pulmonary failure in the next year. So if I go silent, it means either a transplant or a permanent change of station. When we returned home, I had an ad in the mail from a cremation society. I asked in my health update to friends how they knew so fast, and a Marine replied, "NSA."

At the VA, we talked to a fellow who flew in B-24s in WWII. He sad his CO was a guy named Jimmy Stewart. Very cool. ~Bob

Guest Post: Proselytizing Professors

Good Column: Who Shut Down the Government? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: As for the House of Representatives' right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity. Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

Excerpt: And while they had heard the World War II Memorial might be closed because of the partial government shutdown, for men who had stormed the beaches at Normandy and fought in the Pacific, a few Park Service barricades were not going to be a problem. Not for guys like Robert White, who fought the Japanese while a Marine. "I'm a Marine, we would have got in here one way or the other," White said with a laugh. (Let's see if I understand. |Because there is no budget, the government can't spend money, so it spent extra money blocking off an open-air memorial, just so they could say the GOP was being mean to vets. Right. I'm sorry for my language, but this administration is full of assholes, top to bottom. ~Bob. We don't have the money to keep things running, but we have the money to put barricades in place at memorials that are normally just open space to the public, and don't require attendants or guards? What comes next, a huge tarp to cover over the Marine Mt Suribachi Memorial so people can't drive by and look at it? Putting up barricades at open memorials and sidewalks is pure political crap and should not fool anyone for a millisecond. This is stupid beyond belief and says much more about how Obama's helpers think about manipulating people than it does about the fight over the budget. --Del)

Excerpt: Sixty Nine years before they had stormed Omaha Beach and Utah Beach amidst a hail of German machine gun fire. Their progress was measured in inches as thousands of their buddies were gunned down before them, heads and arms and legs being blasted off bodies. Still they moved on, reached the climbing ropes and scaled those sea walls to get at those German machine gun emplacements racking up so much carnage. So yesterday when two companies of WWII vets, one from Iowa and one from Mississippi, came upon a yellow taped barrier to the WWII Memorial they were unlikely to be turned away by yellow plastic or threats of arrest from the White House.

Who Locked Little Johnny out of Yellowstone? It’s the Democrats who voted down the reopening of substantial parts of the government. By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: The Obamacare/shutdown battle has spawned myriad myths. The most egregious concern the substance of the fight, the identity of the perpetrators, and the origins of the current eruption.

The Budget Fight and Obama’s Vindictive Streak: The president thinks negotiating with his “ideological” opponents on the budget is beneath him. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: Shutting down the government in an effort to use a budget fight to get rid of Obamacare is not the strategy I would have recommended for the GOP. And while Republicans can be blamed for starting the shutdown, it’s increasingly apparent that President Obama and the Democrats deserve the lion’s share of blame for not only prolonging it but also making it as painful as possible.

Good Analysis: Government Shutdowns: A History: The refusal of Democrats to negotiate is what makes this one stand out. By Charles C. W. Cooke
Excerpt: Still, popular or not, the abject folly of making “majority rule” arguments in a system of equally ranked branches should be self-evident. This truly is painfully simple: Republicans are the majority in the House, and the House’s assent is necessary to a legal budget. Indeed, if any of the players in the budgetary game is superior, it is the House. Not only is it wholly wrong to pretend that the House is expected to acquiesce to the fiscal and legislative demands of the president simply because he won the last election, but it is dangerous — just one more step on the road to the imperial polity that the American system of separated powers was contrived to prevent.

Washington hoards government jobs to maximize pain of ‘shutdown.’ By Charles C. Johnson
Excerpt: More than 661 Park Service police, a fifth of the 3,266 employees nationwide deemed essential, are currently on duty in Washington, D.C. alone, according to a copy of the shutdown contingency plan leaked to The Daily Caller. The preponderance of D.C.-based park police makes some sense given that the capital had a large share of taxpayer-funded sites long before the government spending gap. But the figure raises the question of why that number is not sufficient to maintain access to open-air exhibits and monuments, many of which previously had no guards.

Andrews Air Force Bases 3 Golf Courses
From a friend of mine who was with me on some ops during the war. --Del. Just talked to them--I didn't want you to worry!! Even though the Grand Canyon is closed because of the Govt shutdown ALL THREE Golf Courses at Andrews Air Force Base are Open-----the Logo for the golf courses is the Presidential Seal and the Motto is "Where the President Plays." God Bless America!!!!!!!!!!!

The Old Media and the New Sheriffs. By L. Brent Bozell III
Excerpt: Once again, we've reached a government shutdown over irresponsible government spending. Once more, the media are proclaiming the world is coming to an end and blaming conservative Republicans for everything. They are working hand in glove with the Never Enough Government lobby that dominates Washington, without a shred of shame. Anchors and editors continue to insist that if the GOP were smart, it would bow to "conventional wisdom" and put its foot on the fiscal accelerator. (Yes, the Dems and their lapdog media have been, are now, and will continue to, slam the GOP/Tea Party people who are ready to stand firm on principle and bring things to a head. Is it a useless fight, bound to fail, and stupid to even try? A lot of people feel that way, including some Republicans and Conservatives. I am a sucker for standing for principle at least once in a while, so I think this is worthwhile, and I wish the whole GOP would get behind it. When the other side is the one refusing to negotiate in the slightest, then it becomes important to show that is the case, and counter all the liberal propaganda. Really standing up and appropriately screaming (with care) about what is wrong repeatedly is the right thing to do, whether or not it achieves some kind of rapid victory. --Del)

Keep up the skeer!: D.C. Stalemate Imperils Social Security Payments.
Excerpt: The reduction in spending caused by the federal government shutdown may not have a major effect on the U.S. gross domestic product, but the unresolved federal debt ceiling debate could make it impossible for the U.S. Treasury to make Social Security payments for November.

Freebies to furloughed workers ease shutdown pain
Excerpt: A slew of Washington, D.C.-area businesses hit hard by the government shutdown have concocted an ultra-savvy way to generate lots of needed PR and lots of love from federal employees: freebies for the furloughed. These business -- both inside and outside the Beltway -- are trying to lure customers and media attention by offering everything from free cups of coffee to freebie sandwiches and free oil changes.

Marines Use Nerf Guns In Video To Lampoon Government Shutdown

Charter School! Arizona School Outperforms Shanghai on International Exam
Excerpt: While most U.S. schools struggled to reach even an average score on a key international exam for 15 year olds in 2012, BASIS Tucson North, an economically modest, ethnically diverse charter school in Arizona, outperformed every country in the world, including Shanghai, China's academic gem, says June Kronholz, a former Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent, bureau chief and education reporter.

Madagascar crowd burn two Europeans to death over "organ trafficking"
Rats, there goes my plan to get new lungs. ~Bob. Excerpt: A crowd burnt two Europeans to death on a tourist island in Madagascar and lynched a local man because they suspected them of trafficking human organs after a dead child was found on a beach, police said.

Youths burn church, riot in Kenya's Mombasa after imam killed
Excerpt: Young Muslims set fire to a church, burned tires and clashed with police in Kenya's main port city of Mombasa on Friday, after the killing of an Islamic cleric his followers blamed on security forces. Sheikh Ibrahim Omar's death ignited religious tensions in the commercial and tourism hub in east Africa's largest economy, two weeks after Islamist militants killed at least 67 people in a raid on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall.

Excerpt: On Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto” on Wednesday, computer programmer and founder of McAfee, Inc. John McAfee said the online component of Obamacare “is a hacker’s wet dream” that will cause “the loss of income for the millions of Americans who are going to lose their identities."

Huff Post: Obamacare Glitch Could Make Coverage Unaffordable For Low-Wage Workers
Excerpt: It's called the Affordable Care Act, but President Barack Obama's health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.

Excerpt: Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been under liberal assault since he first took office more than twenty years ago. The libs hate Joe's "harsh" treatment of prisoners, housing them in tents, feeding them baloney sandwiches and Kool-Aid. When the prisoners complained about having to drink Kool-Aid, Joe took away the Kool-Aid and made them drink water. He makes every prisoner wear pink underwear to let them know committing crime doesn't make you tough. Sheriff Joe says he doesn't want criminals to be coddled; he wants them to "feel the pain" of incarceration as an incentive not to return to his jails. 

Obama Waives Ban on Sending Military Aid to Countries With Child Soldiers
Excerpt: Ask any policymaker in the White House or Congress, what’s more important than human rights? Their response: “Our government, of course.” The Obama administration yesterday issued blanket waivers exempting three countries from a federal law banning U.S. military aid to countries that use child soldiers.

Italy in Disarray as ECB Pledge Keeps Nation From Brink
Excerpt: Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse and two of its most senior executives have lost the confidence of shareholders. Thanks to Mario Draghi’s promises, bond investors see the turmoil as more of a blip than a crisis.

Important: Too big to stop
Excerpt: Mortgage fraud is a lie about things such as income, assets or a job that helps create a homeowner out of someone who otherwise wouldn’t be. This was central to the 2008 financial crisis because, according to the volume of settlements, it happened a lot. The fraudulent mortgages were sold from bank to bank until they wound up being packaged into investments that were sold around the world. 

Improving Child Poverty Measures
Excerpt: Internationally, a relative poverty measure could mean very different living standards, depending on the country. For instance, a yearly income of $35,000 in a country where essential goods and services, such as health care and child care, are free (or heavily subsidized) implies a much different standard of living than in a country where these items must be paid for at market prices. The lack of accuracy with relative measures of poverty, and reliability with surveyed deprivation statistics, challenges the belief that the United States has more pervasive child poverty than other developed countries. Developed countries must improve the accuracy of child deprivation measures in order to effectively target policies to benefit children, especially when attempting to bring about social change.

Computer glitches prevent health-insurance enrollment for D.C. family
Excerpt: Goni took the day off from his work as a pizza cook, prepared to fill out applications and navigate bureaucracy at the federally funded health center with his wife, Razia, and their 10-month-old and 21-month-old children in tow. ... And then the technical problems started. (In my experience, all government websites are are-hostile. ~Bob)

Russian Embassy in Libya attacked, no injuries among diplomats
Excerpt: Russia's embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli came under fire on Wednesday and a group of people tried to force their way into the compound, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. A diplomatic source in Libya said security guards fired shots to disperse about 60 people that had approached the embassy. (See, there was this YouTube video...~Bob)

New Mexico police chief admits to working for cartel
Excerpt: Last week, former Columbus Police Chief Angelo Vega admitted in federal court to running background checks and license plates, as well as purchasing thousands of dollars worth of law enforcement gear, including body armor and bullet-proof vests for the Juarez Cartel. (This may just be the tip of the iceberg. How many federal officials are also on the cartel's payroll? --Don Hank)

Excerpt: It indicates that due to the nutritional labeling requirements under Obamacare, they will now be serving pre-packaged bulk-made fry sauce instead of the sauce they previously made in the restaurant. Additionally, they are discontinuing their Habanero sauce and Buffalo sauce which they also made in the restaurant. 

John Kerry’s Jobs Program for Would-Be Jihadists. By Robert Spencer 
Excerpt: It will do this essentially by giving potential jihad terrorists money and jobs – an initiative that proceeds from the false and oft-disproven assumption that poverty causes terrorism.

Muslim population growth faster than global rate: 70% of global population growth over the next 30 years will be in Muslim countries

Throw gays off a mountain imams to speak at London conference
Excerpt: An iman who says gays should be thrown off mountains and stabbed in the gums by Muslim dentists is to be a lead speaker at a conference in London.

Excerpt: The man said to be responsible for bringing al Qaeda to Afghanistan announced he was running for president on Thursday, a move likely to be greeted with apprehension by the international community.

Border Patrol Union VP Says Feds 'Cooking Books' on Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: "The politically-appointed class within the U.S. Border Patrol and in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency are cooking the books to make it appear that illegal immigration is decreasing,” Moran claimed. (This is a blockbuster bit of whistle blowing. So now we have federal employees cooking books to make things look a lot better than they really are? Great. But why be surprised? This is the "Chicago Way". --Del)
Excerpt: The president of Venezuela on Wednesday cast suspicion on an American law enforcement agency saying his nation is probing the American drug enforcement officers to learn whether or not they are involved in narcotics trafficking in his country...( The morning paper in Panama (Panama America) reported that Venezuela also kicked out the US ambassador for something she allegedly did to undermine President Maduro. It's getting interesting. Now, what do you think? Would Obama's handpicked higher DEA officials get involved in smuggling drugs? Aren't they a bunch of Boy Scouts? Chicago style Boy Scouts who mug grannies just after they help them across the street? Yeah, I think so. --Don Hank)

When The Arab Spring Died. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The Arab Spring was born in Tunisia. It died in Tunisia. Its funeral was attended by the same violent flag-waving protests as its birth.

PAKISTAN: A female human rights defender is brutally murdered and the police attempt to pass it off as an honour killing

'Game changers.' By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama on two occasions went out of his way to warn the Iranians that the development of a nuclear weapon "would be a game-changing situation, not just in the Middle East, but around the world." Obama later added, "It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon; it would be a game changer." Strong language. And Obama twice this year again used "game changer" in reference to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, warning him not to dare use chemical weapons.

Climate of Uncertainty: A U.N. report can't explain the hiatus in global warming.
Excerpt: Between 1998 and 2012 the global economy more than doubled in size—to some $71 trillion in GDP from $30 trillion. That's the good news. Over the same period the world pumped more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is supposedly the bad news. Yet global surface temperatures have remained essentially flat. That's the mystery: If emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes global warming, why hasn't the globe been warming? (And the steady supply of valid criticisms of the whole AGW myth goes on. --Del)

Al-Qaida-linked Rebels Desecrate Churches in Syrian Town. By John Rossomando
Excerpt: Al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant sacked a Melkite Greek-Catholic Church in the Syrian town of al-Raqqa.

"The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time." --Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Jihad Tourism. By Anat Berko
Excerpt: For 20 years I studied and interviewed Islamistmujahedeen (jihad fighters) imprisoned in Israeli jails, examining their inner worlds and discovering the obsessive thoughts leading them to carry out terrorist attacks. They were addicted to fantasizing about an alternative reality, describing their compulsions in metaphors similar to those used by obsessive gamblers and drug addicts. They likened them to "worms" (duda in Arabic) burrowing into their brains and driving them to seek not another game of cards or a fix, but dead Israelis, Americans, Europeans, or anyone else they considered infidels.

Obama Prohibits Practice of Catholicism in U.S. By Terence P. Jeffrey
Excerpt: Beginning now, with the opening of government-run health-insurance exchanges, President Barack Obama will be prohibiting American Catholics from practicing their faith in the way they live their daily lives. This is an act of tyranny. Yet, many Americans in positions of public authority and influence have greeted it with silence and inaction. (This has been coming down the pike to run over the religious principles of Catholics and a number of other religious groups, despite very frequent, emphatic responses against it for the past few years. Mr. Obama has paid no attention whatsoever to these protests, which is hardly what a responsible Chief Executive should do. Now the bishops are entering a war with the Administration, there will be lawsuits appealing all the way to the Supreme Court. Where, hopefully, the Justices will come out clearly against this as a violation of religious freedom. In the meantime, I hope the bishops will get ready to shut down all Catholic hospitals in protest of this assault on religious freedom. Since that is the largest hospital system in the country, there would be an enormous and instant effect, which would bring Congress into it within a couple of days. Then they would pass the rule exempting all religious organizations and also others which are owned by strongly religious families or individuals. It would be a well deserved slap in the face to Obama and show that the people can fight the government when it goes into excesses in its use of power. --Del))

Belgian helped to die after three sex change operations
Excerpt: A transsexual has been helped to die by doctors in Belgium, after a series of failed sex-change operations. Nathan Verhelst, born a girl, asked for help to end his life on grounds of psychological suffering. He died in a Brussels hospital on Monday. (Re our conversation and my "slippery slope" concerns...--AB. Will Obamacare cover this? Will Chelsea Manning qualify? ~Bob)

59% Believe Voter ID Laws Do Not Discriminate
Excerpt: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 70% of Likely U.S. Voters believe all voters should be required to prove their identity before being allowed to vote. Only 25% oppose such a requirement. (If only we lived in a democracy. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Whew! It is early evening and, after scouring all the various online exchange information, I think I have a much better grasp of this Obamacare thing. Thanks to the above organization chart, provided to me by a friend on Facebook, I can now clearly see how Obamacare is going to run like a fine Swiss watch. I now realize that I was being silly to worry that tens of thousands of those bureaucratic nubs might present the smallest of chances that, somehow, they might not sync with each other, thus causing me frustrations such as my medical records being exposed, my identity info threatened by hackers, a doctor, nurse, medical tech, clinic or hospital not communicating effectively, and taking off my left leg instead of the right one. Or that some illegal alien would steal my social security number and charge a heart transplant or two to my medical account.

Five Game-Changing Questions on ObamaCare. By Tom Thurlow 
Excerpt: Maybe this is why President Obama has allowed so few questions following his recent statements concerning ObamaCare. This is an unpopular law that is being promoted with empty slogans and outright lies. But tough questions must be asked. Here are five of my suggestions:

20 Obama Quotes About Islam Contrasted With 20 Obama Quotes About Christianity. By Michael Snyder
Excerpt: You are about to read some of the most shocking quotes that Barack Obama has ever uttered in public. A few of these have been widely circulated, but most of them are very obscure.

Car Thief’s Horrible Miscalculation Turns Out to Be Deadly After He Targeted Armed Former Marine – Who Was Just as Heroic as You’d Expect
Excerpt: In an instant, guns were drawn and bullets were flying through the air. The former Marine was deadly accurate, hitting the male suspect several times before he could hide behind the truck. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

4 More Female Marines Fall Short at Infantry Officer Course
Excerpt: Women began reporting to IOC on a voluntary basis last year. Counting the latest class, 10 women have attempted IOC, and none has passed. Nine failed to make it through the combat endurance test. The tenth passed the initial test last fall but was dropped a little more than a week into training due to stress fractures in her foot, Marine officials said. Two women were among the last class of 79 Marines who attempted it in July; both failed the CET. (My opinion - General Amos will be ordered to graduate a female from the IOC before his tenure as CMC is over next October even if it means lowering the standards. General Dempsey is already on record with his quote at a press conference when the exclusion of women in combat roles was announced...“If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary: Why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?” That quote screams to me that if necessary to integrate women into ground combat roles, standards will be adjusted. And when they do, good soldiers and Marines will die. --MasterGuns)

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