Monday, October 7, 2013

Today's Political News

Letter to the Editor

President Obama is right not to negotiate with Republicans over the shutdown. Negotiating with Iran, Syria, the Taliban and other terrorists is one thing. But negotiating with Congress as though it was a co-equal branch of government sets a bad precedent and might undo his success in vastly increasing the power of the presidency. Since the government has no budget and thus can't spend money, Obama was also right to spend tens of thousands of tax dollars on barricades and police to close open-air, unattended monuments like the WWII Memorial and the Iwo Jima Monument that cost nothing to keep open. If veterans want to see their memorials, they need to pressure Republicans to compromise by giving Obama 100% of what he wants. He'd be justified if he issued shoot to-kill-orders for any vet who dares to glance at a war memorial until the Republicans give Obama everything he wants. After all, compared to Obama, what have the veterans ever done for this country? --Robert A. Hall, Madison, USMC 64-68, Vietnam 67

Interesting Column: Jeez! You're Killing Us. By Andy Weddington

Excerpt: The most recent of the trio I finished early Friday evening (started that morning). Throughout, I thought about this book in context to current events - leadership, civilian and military; women in combat; taxation; dysfunctional government; religion; and more - that I've addressed in past commentary.


The Shutdown Pain. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Excerpt: Harry Reid drags his feet on alleviating the financial anxiety of hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers, and he's refused to bring to the floor seven continuing resolutions, all passed by the House, all passed by wide and fairly bipartisan majorities (all or almost all of the Republicans, and another 20 or so House Democrats): Authorizing military chaplains to do their duties during the shutdown; Continuing appropriations for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children for fiscal year 2014 (food stamps). Continuing appropriations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Continuing appropriations for veterans benefits. Continuing appropriations for the National Institutes of Health. Continuing appropriations for National Park Service operations, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Continuing appropriations of local funds of the District of Columbia. Not a single one of those resolutions says anything about Obamacare. We know why Harry Reid isn't bringing them to the floor. If he did, they would pass. Senate Democrats wouldn't be able to vote "no" on any of those priorities without providing fodder for attack ads next fall (maybe the District of Columbia). And if they pass, the pain of the shutdown is mitigated in part. Harry Reid doesn't want to minimize the pain of the shutdown. He wants to maximize it.

House GOP Taking Steps to Fund Our Government
Excerpt: Here’s a running tally of recent measures passed by the House of Representatives, almost all of which are being blocked by Senate Democrats and President Obama who refuse to negotiate with Republicans to fund our government. (No doubt who is responsible for government shutdown. --MM) 

Unreal: Park Service OKs immigration reform rally on 'closed' National Mall. By Charlie Spiering 

Excerpt: A planned immigration reform rally will take place on the National Mall on Tuesday even though the site is closed due to the government shutdown.Organizers for the "Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform" were spotted Monday setting up a stage and equipment on the National Mall for the rally which will take place on Tuesday. (OK, of course there just have to be exceptions under this Administration, don't there? --Del. Veterans keep out, illegal immigrants welcome, pleanty of money to open it for you. Is anyone surprised by anything this Chicago Way Thug Administration does? ~Bob)

Machine Gun Fail

Congressman dissects Obamacare failings

This is a four minute address to Congress by a man who had done his homework on the facts of government health care systems. It's a good learning experience to hear him out. --Del

From Problemtown to Solutionville. By Daniel Greenfield

Excerpt: This is not a nation where people are left alone anymore. This is a nation where they are hounded from the moment they are born until the moment they die by a regulatory state where being left alone has become the greatest of luxuries. It takes a lot of money to be left alone.

Nancy Pelosi says there are no more cuts to be made. Not after this essential spending.

Excerpt: Great Society devotees, and transplanted California liberals woke up this morning, poured themselves a cup of coffee, opened the morning paper...and promptly had a heart attack! This morning's Arizona Republic is reporting that the Phoenix suburban community of Gilbert, Arizona is getting ready to tell the feds that they no longer want $800,000 dollars in annual federal block grants. Not surprising, Gilbert will the only municipality to ever refuse the federal "gravy". Now, for those of you unfamiliar with federal block grants, let me explain it this way; for every dollar the feds assess us in taxes, they generously flip a penny or two of that money back to the cities and states...but only if you use it the way they tell you to use it.

Shutdown Day 3: Food distributor stalled, charter boat captains docked

Excerpt: Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice. (Just before the weekend, the National Park Service informed charter boat captains in Florida that the Florida Bay was "closed" due to the shutdown. Until government funding is restored, the fishing boats are prohibited from taking anglers into 1,100 square-miles of open ocean. Fishing is also prohibited at Biscayne National Park during the shutdown. The Park Service will also have rangers on duty to police the ban... of access to an ocean. The government will probably use more personnel and spend more resources to attempt to close the ocean, than it would in its normal course of business. This is governing by temper-tantrum. It is on par with the government's ham-fisted attempts to close the DC WWII Memorial, an open-air public monument that is normally accessible 24 hours a day. By accessible I mean, you walk up to it. When you have finished reflecting, you then walk away from it. At least that Memorial is an actual structure, with some kind of perimeter that can be fenced off. Florida Bay is the ocean. How, pray tell, do you "close" 1,100 square miles of ocean? Why would one even need to do so? Apparently, according to an anonymous Park Service ranger, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” Centuries ago, King Canute famously failed to command the ocean tide to stop. His display was actually a means to educate his subjects on the limits of royal power. Today, however, our President actually believes he has the power to control the oceans. --Phillip)

The Guy Who Couldn't Stop the Seas from Rising Tries to Close the Ocean. By Michael Schaus 

Excerpt: Over 1,100 square miles of ocean has been declared off limits to the public in the Florida Bay. Apparently, unknown to most Americans, allowing boats to meander into open water is a cost that has proven to be unsustainable in the event of a government shutdown. Well. . . At least that’s according to the National Park Service.

Iran and the Syria Model: From the Syria debacle, Iran has learned that our threats are empty and posturing as a “moderate” works. By Victor Davis Hanson

Excerpt: When — not if — is the only mystery about an Iranian nuclear bomb. All the warning signs are there.

Nine-Year-Old Girl Shot in Terror Attack

Excerpt: She was playing in the yard when a bullet hit her in the neck. A terrorist shot her from close range.

Excerpt: 83 people including five women and four children were killed and nearly 150 injured in twin suicide blasts on a historic church in Qissa Khawani bazaar in Peshawar on September 22.

While the U.S. government shuts down national parks and cemeteries, it ramps up covert training for "moderate" Syrian rebels

Excerpt: If there is a single issue that most divides economists from non-economists, it’s the way they view prices. Economists view prices as creators of incentives for buyers and sellers. When prices change behavior changes. As a result, prices are mechanisms for determining the allocation of resources. If they are not allowed to perform this role bad things will typically happen on both sides of the market. Non-economists too often ignore this very important social function. Many tend to view prices as merely reflective of power. A powerful buyer can push a price down. A powerful seller can push a price up. And since government is the most powerful entity of all, the non-economic way of thinking often looks to government to set prices. Many non-economists believe you can push a price up (such as a wage or the price of a farm commodity) or push a price down (such as the price of gasoline or housing rents) and nothing bad will happen. And of course the non-economist would be right, if prices didn’t influence behavior and if they didn’t allocate resources. Everyone is aware that when government changes a price, there will be winners and losers. But many non-economists think this is all that happens. They think one man’s gain is another man’s loss and that there are no other social consequences of price changes.

Excellent article: The inequality illusion. By Aparna Mathur

Excerpt: In general, we find that people at all income levels now have access to many more material possessions than they did in the 1980s. Moreover, there has been a narrowing of the gap between high and low income classes in terms of ownership of these items. It is hard to argue against the improvement in the standard of living that has accompanied these trends. Hence, the standard narrative that rising income inequality has somehow hurt the middle and lower income classes is not supported by data.

Old but interesting: The New Federal Wedding Tax: How Obamacare Would Dramatically Penalize Marriage. By Robert Rector

Bomber Kills 13 Children At Iraq School Playground

Didn't get Obama's "Islam is a religion of peace" memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives on the playground of an elementary school in northern Iraq on Sunday morning, killing 13 children and the headmaster, the police said. Shortly afterward, another suicide truck bomb struck a police station in the same village, killing three officers.

As US touts thaw in Iran relations, Iranians spit on Obama image, prepare for ‘Death to America’ day

Spitting on Obama? Those racist Muslims! ~Bob.

What If They Created An Obamacare Market And Nobody Showed Up? By Sally Pipes

Excerpt: In early September, Aetna subsidiary Carelink/Coventry Health Care decided to pull out of the new insurance exchange established by Obamacare in West Virginia. Just one company will sell policies on the Mountaineer State’s exchange, which is set to open October 1.

Black mob violence: Virginia Beach. y Colin Flaherty

Excerpt: Reporters at all the local media in Virginia Beach had trouble describing what happened over the weekend when 40,000 black people descended on their town for a party. Their audiences, however, did not. 

Excerpt: For those of you that don't understand Obamacare, don't you at least wonder why those who do understand it oppose it with a 67% majority? Why? Because it's a nasty, expensive, flush with unfairness and inequalities, adds another 30 million free loaders to the already 50 million attached firmly to the public tit. It puts the federal government, never able to run any program efficiently, directly in charge of a huge chunk of our national economy.

China Wants to Cut Down on Coal—And That's Bad for Global Warming

Excerpt: Unfortunately, one scheme to limit coal burning by converting China’s plentiful coal supplies into synthetic natural gas (SNG) presents a host of other ecological worries. To date, China’s government has approved construction of nine large SNG plants in northern and western China, which are projected to generate 37 billion cubic meters of gas each year when completed. At least 30 more proposed plants are awaiting approval.

Kerry’s Peace Process Exploding. By P. David Hornik 

Excerpt: The justification given for the talks, and for the large-scale freeing of murderers, was that the talks would “calm the Palestinian arena” and possibly lead to peace in nine months, the time span that Kerry determined for them from the outset. If it’s clear by now that the Palestinian arena has not been calmed (let alone making peace preparations), it’s not the first time that talks have in fact prompted a spike in terror.

Lessons from the Yom Kippur War. By Daniel Greenfield 

Excerpt: Forty years ago, Israel experienced the most devastating war in its modern history. Israel not only suffered its worst casualties during the Yom Kippur War, but actually came close to being destroyed with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan warning that “The Third Temple is falling.” To understand the lessons of the Yom Kippur War, it is important to understand the three key elements that led to it. These are Muslim deceptiveness, American diplomatic pressure and Israeli complacency.

Obamacare or the Debt Ceiling. By Erick Erickson 

Excerpt: People turning on the news this week came away with the knowledge that it was about Obamacare and kept hearing that Democrats wouldn’t negotiate. They also learned that for some reason the President didn’t want Word War II veterans to tour their own memorial, and Harry Reid won’t turn the funding on for cancer clinical trials at the NIH. Oh, and the rollout for Obamacare is one big glitch. Late yesterday came word that the Amber Alert system has been shut down, but Barack Obama’s federally funded golf course remains open.

Surprise! Sticker Shock: Californians suddenly discover why all the Republican shouting over #Obamacare. By Moe Lane

Excerpt: Meet Tom Waschura, Californian, father of two – oh, and right: Obama supporter. Just got a letter from his healthcare provider telling him that his private health insurance just went up by ten grand a year: “I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare. “I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.” ... "Of course, I want people to have health care," Vinson said. "I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally." (Hey, they had to pass the bill in order to show you what was in it. -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Taliban Says It Would Try to Kill Malala Yousafzai Again

Didn't get the memo. ~Bob

Excerpt: The federal government has locked down multiple parks and museums as a result of the government shutdown — including some surprising sites. Scenic overlooks and unmanned parks have been shut down despite the fact that it seems it would take more time and money to set up the barricades than it would to simply leave them open and let people enjoy themselves. Here’s just a few of the parks and recreation areas that have been closed for seemingly no reason. 

Canadian Muslims Protest "Honor Killing" Label As Racist. By Abigail R. Esman

Excerpt: Every year, according to United Nations reports, 5,000 women worldwide are killed for reasons of "honor" that relate to matters of modesty and obeyance, though most experts maintain the numbers are far higher. And the number of victims of honor violence, which can involve beatings, acid attacks, or locking a woman in her home, is literally incalculable. In the United Kingdom alone, more than 3,000 such honor crimes occurred just in 2010, according to a study by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization (IKWRO). The vast majority of those crimes, the organization states, were committed by Muslims, though Sikhs and Hindus have also been known to commit honor-related crimes.

Excerpt: If you want to understand how the far left controls campuses, consider this story.

There is no university program more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist, and anti-Israel line in the United States than Georgetown’s programs on Middle East studies. Every conference the university holds on the Middle East is ridiculously one-sided. The university has received millions of dollars in funds from Arab states, and it houses the most important center in the United States that has advocated support for a pro-Islamist policy. (An illustrative story about taking over a campus to make it a center for propaganda for your cause. --Del)

Maher: WWII Vets Not 'The Brightest Generation'

Excerpt: On Friday night, Bill Maher blasted World War II veterans on his HBO program for daring to cross the barricades erected by the Obama administration at the World War II memorial. He stated, "That was closed, so a bunch of the World War II vets knocked down the barriers and stormed it." His audience guffawed. He continued, "And then I loved this, they posed for pictures with Michele Bachmann who showed up. Michele Bachmann, one of the people most responsible for shutting the fucking thing down. They're the greatest generation - nobody said they were the brightest generation." (This jerk has no real limits at all. He will spout dirt freely and happily at anyone that doesn't meet his standards of leftist thinking. And the sad part is that so many people think he is great entertainment. --Del. Did Maher serve? As Samuel Johnson said, "Every man think meanly of himself that he was not a soldier." ~Bob)

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