Friday, January 31, 2014

Update on my lung transplant

You are free to skip this, no offense taken. Reading about an old guy's health issues is very boring, I know.

All my numbers at home look good (weight, temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, spirometer readings) and I'm faithfully taking my meds and using my inhaler and nebulizer. I'm exercising hard at rehab and doing more at home, walking better and feel better than in years.

I had another bronchoscopy today; I've been having one a week to suck out mucus and "slough" (dead cells), which many but not all transplant patients get. After a bronch, the spiro numbers (I blow into it) go up, slowly decline a little until the next one. I'll have to do this the rest of my life, as a sudden decline of 10% in the numbers can indicate rejection--and back to the hospital. The good news is there was less slough this time, and they say once the slough is gone, it won't return.

The bad news is that my lower lobe in the new lung has not expanded enough. They may have to put a balloon in to expand it and I may have some scaring on the bronchial tubes. This is rarer, but not uncommon. This would be done on an out-patient basis (at least at first). I asked the pulmonologist if it was serious and he said, "It can be." Take that for what it is worth.

Next Thursday is my 6-week bronchoscopy and other tests. They will do a biopsy to test for rejection and I think decide if a balloon is needed. Plus the usual lung function test, chest x-ray and blood work, plus clinical meetings. So I'll know more then. ~Bob

Thursday, January 30, 2014

SOTU and lots of interesting news

Been a few days since I could get through my e-mail, due to my usual issues. Lot's of interesting articles in this post, so forward to your low-information friends. I didn't listen to Obama's SOTU speech. Before you statists on the list say, "Ah, ha--typical," I never listened to one of Bush's either. I tend to be interested in the reaction and telling details (Such as several good pieces on the SOTU by Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, linked below), but not a set-piece speech full of spin, given by either side.

Met a WWII vet at the VA rehab clinic. He'll be 90 in seven months. told us about landing on Omaha Beech, fighting through to Belgium, where his outfit lost 70% of the guys, and he was taken POW. He teared up several times thinking of those days ("I was only 19!") and the friends he had lost. His memories were quite clear, though he jumped around a bit in the stories. ~Bob

SOTU, starting with quotes

POTUS opens his speech touting the recovering economy. Minutes later he demands extension of unemployment insurance. --Stephen Hayes

I feel like I'm being lectured by a grad student who has never set foot outside the teachers lounge for a cigarette. --Greg Gutfeld

Why does Obama need to extend unemployment insurance benefits if he's created all these jobs? --Dana Loesch

Awful foreign policy served too little and too late. By Jennifer Rubin
Excerpt: President Obama’s foreign policy remarks last night remind me of the Woody Allen joke: One woman says about a restaurant, “The food is terrible.” Another replies, “Yes! And the portions are so small.” In the case of Obama we can add that the service was awful.

Senate Democrats have reason to freak out. By Jennifer Rubin
Excerpt: Senate Democrats on the 2014 ballot who were sitting in the House chamber last night had reason to worry — a lot.. Here are eight reasons they should be nervous: 1. The president is already a drag on the ticket in 2014 in swing states. Gallup reports that among the twelve states in which Obama is most unpopular (ranging from 22.5 percent to 35 percent approval) there are four hotly contested Senate seats where the Republican can lasso his opponent to the president (e.g. West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota and Alaska). 

Mike Lee’s thoughtful response. By Jennifer Rubin
Excerpt: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) gave the most interesting GOP response to the State of the Union. Although not without flaws, it showed how far he and the right flank of the GOP have come since the disastrous government shutdown.

Excerpt: The most interesting speech yesterday was not the State of the Union or any response. (Please, please end these tortuous ordeals.) It was Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech at the Heritage Foundation, a bold repudiation of isolationism and a sign that the right may, as the damage done by President Obama’s retrenchment become evident, return to a Reaganesque foreign policy.

Five Ironic and Hypocritical Statements From Obama's SOTU. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: After speaking for more than an hour, President Obama has finished his 2014 State of the Union Address. Not surprisingly, his words and statements didn't come without irony or hypocrisy. Here are the top five:

The debate on the size of government that didn’t happen. By Robert J. Samuelson
Excerpt: “For several years now, this town has been consumed by a rancorous argument over the proper size of the federal government. It’s an important debate.” — President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union. Well, there’s a presidential whopper. Obama is right that the role of the federal government deserves an important debate, but he is wrong when he says that we’ve had that debate. 

State of the Union 2014. By Cal Thomas 
Excerpt: Suppose a president of the United States delivered a State of the Union address and nobody cared? Isn't that what happened Tuesday night when the increasingly irrelevant -- and, yes, boring Barack Obama -- droned on about predictable things in a predictable way?

The Iranian Threat & Obama’s Deception. By Joseph Klein 
Excerpt: Obama made the following patently false claim about the implementation of the interim agreement: ”As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium.”

WaPo Fact Checker Rips Obama's State Of The Union Falsehoods
Excerpt: It is a beautiful thing being President Obama. You can pretty much say whatever you want and never be held accountable for it. Sure, a Washington Post fact-checker will dutifully note the brazen falsehoods. The media dutifully reports on most everything. But make Obama pay a political price for not telling the truth in a State of the Union address about the number of jobs created and number of ObamaCare enrollees? Never.

WaPo: Fact Checking the 2014 State of the Union address

Politico: State of the Union 2014 fact check
Excerpt: With that rare, outsized audience comes the temptation for the president to put some spin on his arguments that might not otherwise fly or gain traction in Washington. Here’s POLITICO’s analysis of some of the key parts of Obama’s speech, and where the truth may have been shaped or even stretched in the process:

A Tinge of Sanity in Chicago
Excerpt: So the GOP gave a State of the Union response. The Tea Party gave a State of the Union response. Well, hat tip to Rebel Pundit, for hands down the best SOTU response from Black Chicago grassroots activists. Memo to GOP and Tea Party, stop using politicians and start using real everyday Americans to address the faults, failures, and shortcomings of progressive socialist policies.

Rep. Grimm physically threatens reporter,AAAAAETmrZQ~,EVFEM4AKJdRjek0MS21pRzf_GTDAM-xj&bclid=0&bctid=3120070679001
Video: New York Rep. Michael Grimm was accused of physically and verbally threatening a NY1 reporter in the U.S. Capitol following President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Grimm: ‘When you’re wrong, you’re wrong’
Excerpt: Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who angrily confronted a New York television reporter after the State of the Union Tuesday evening told reporters Wednesday that he has apologized and regrets his actions. (How do you get to Congress with this lack of control and lack of sense? What a gift to Democrats--hope they sent him a nice fruit basket in return. ~Bob)

Dustup could hurt Michael Grimm’s reelection
Excerpt: New York Rep. Michael Grimm was already facing a tough reelection. His post-State of the Union blowup could make it even tougher. A moderate Republican who represents a swing Staten Island district, Grimm has been atop Democratic target lists for months.

State of the Union reviews
This is how bad things are. Kimmel did interviews out on the street, asking people what they thought of Obama's SOTU address.... the day before it was given. The link takes you to the video of the results. And a whole slew of idiots fell for it, assumed it had been the night before, but went ahead anyhow with their praise of his speech. Even when asked about details, they smiled and made stuff up. Watching it makes you alternately want to laugh or cry. These people vote and their friends vote too. Heaven help us. --Del

Bush speechwriter accuses Obama of plagiarizing GWB’s 2007 SOTU
Excerpt: Barack Obama and George Bush have at least one thing in common when it comes to the second terms they won — the first year of their encores have been downers when it came to their public images. Both experienced falloffs in overall job approval and in Americans’ perceptions of their leadership, ability to get things done and trustworthiness

Ft. Hood Victim Who Will Sit at SOTU Speech Reveals What He Would Ask Obama: ‘Mr. President, Why Have You…’ By Sara Carter
Excerpt: He would ask Obama why the promises he made more than five years ago to take care of the 32 survivors and the families of the 14 people killed, including an unborn child, have not been fulfilled. He would ask his commander-in-chief to stand up for truth and reclassify the shooting as a terrorist attack. He’d ask him to honor the men, women and families with Purple Hearts and compensation like those who were honored in the Pentagon terrorist attacks and Boston Marathon bombings. (I only wish this guy could stand up and ask Obama his questions. The handling of the Ft Hood shootings has been so much worse than I ever could have imagined, ever. It's atrocious and why Obama hasn't fixed it now that the killer has been sentenced is beyond understanding. Other than it shows he really doesn't care about our military. --Del)

"Thanks to the teachers union, Chicago public schools are some of the best in the nation." #NOTinSOTU

Obama’s Tired Song and Dance. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Obama opened his State of the Union address, full of its old familiar riffs on green energy, education, infrastructure and an end to war, with unity. Not a call to unity, but a presumption of unity. With his approval ratings underwater, his sixth State of the Union was about claiming credit and shifting blame.

Obama Blames U.S. for ‘Extremism.’ By Ryan Mauro 
Excerpt: President Obama’s State of the Union gave us a look at the premises driving his foreign policy. It showed that he believes Islamic terrorists to be driven by frustration over perceived injustices at the hands of the West, rather than an ideology. It is because of this frame of mind that he can defend the faulty nuclear deal with Iran and depict the regime as a less threatening version of the Soviet Union.

Other Political News and Opinion

This is the liberal legacy: killing baby girls in the womb, no questions asked. By Dominic Lawson
Excerpt: First, The Independent published statistical analysis of the 2011 National Census, demonstrating that there have been ‘illegal’ sex-selective abortions within communities from the subcontinent, resulting in the ‘disappearance’ of up to 4,700 girls. A day later, Government ministers admitted that in more than half of the almost 200,000 abortions that take place annually, the woman seeking termination had been seen by neither of the two doctors whose assent and signatures are required.

New Rules to Deprive Seniors of Drugs, Doctors. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: Two provisions in lengthy proposed regulations published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Federal Register on January 10 would deprive seniors of vital drugs and make it more difficult for them to see their doctors.

Four words in the ACA could spell its doom. By George F. Will
Excerpt: The four words that threaten disaster for the ACA say the subsidies shall be available to persons who purchase health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.” But 34 states have chosen not to establish exchanges.

The social mobility muddle. By Robert J. Samuelson
Excerpt: Americans care about mobility — and are baffled by it. The rags-to-riches story is part of national folklore. And yet, mobility is said to be declining. Is the United States still a “land of opportunity” where hard work, talent and good ideas are rewarded? No, say many experts. People stay stuck in their class of birth. Well, here’s some good news: The conventional wisdom is wrong, concludes a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

For 2016, Hillary Clinton has commanding lead over Democrats, GOP race wide open
Excerpt: Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a commanding 6 to 1 lead over other Democrats heading into the 2016 presidential campaign, while the Republican field is deeply divided with no clear front-runner, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. (H. L. Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." ~Bob)

Health-care law loses support among uninsured, poll shows. By Sandhya Somashekhar
Excerpt: Support for the health-care law declined among the uninsured this month, just as many of the program’s key provisions went into effect, according to a new poll examining Americans’ knowledge and views of the Affordable Care Act.

Inside Iran: Iran's demographic problem. By Ariel Ben Solomon
Excerpt: Is there a correlation between Iran's nuclear program and its low fertility rate or, perhaps as well, between the vitality of Islamic civilization and its shrinking birthrates?
There is, according to David Goldman, a fellow at the right-wing, US-based think tank the Middle East Forum, and a longtime writer for Asia Times Online under the moniker Spengler

Surprise: California Hires Convicted Felons to Administer Obamacare. Guy Benson
Excerpt: At least 43 convicted criminals are working as Obamacare navigators in California, including three individuals with records of significant financial crimes.

Politics of Hate and Envy. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: Part of the progressive agenda is to create hate and envy. One component of that agenda is to attack the large differences between a corporation's chief executive officer's earnings and those of its average worker. 

The Poison of Postmodern Lying. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: All presidents at one time have fudged on the truth. Most politicians pad their resumes and airbrush away their sins. But what is new about political lying is the present notion that lies are not necessarily lies anymore -- a reflection of the relativism that infects our entire culture.

President Obama: Mr Inequality. Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison
Excerpt: No one in modern America has done more than President Obama to bring about inequality. His modern utopia is turning into a queuetopia. Under ObamaCare, Americans have to queue up even to sign up for health care.

Obama's Minimum Wage Order Is Out Of Step With America. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: President Obama's executive order raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour covers employees of federal government contractors who work on federal projects, and applies to new contracts. It would give some workers as much as a 39 percent raise. But others would lose jobs, since Congress is unlikely to increase contractors' funding because Obama has raised the minimum wage by executive order, skirting congressional authority.

10 Reasons Intermittent Renewables Are A Problem. By Gail Tverberg 
Excerpt: Certainly, politicians need something to provide hope, especially in countries that are obviously losing their supply of oil, such as the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the more I look into the situation, the less intermittent renewables have to offer. 1. It is doubtful that intermittent renewables actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Fixing the News. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: More context isn’t the solution to the news; it’s the barrier to the news. Every media outlet wants to tell you what to think about an event, instead of telling you what happened. The more sophisticated organizations do a better job of dressing up their narratives by dropping long reads on the reader. 

Iraqi troops 'end Baghdad hostage crisis'
Excerpt: Iraqi security forces have ended a hostage crisis at a government building in Baghdad, but there are conflicting reports about the number of casualties. Officials said the six men who had stormed the transport ministry facility and taken several hostages were killed.

Excerpt: Various Turkish accounts indicated that the military destroyed several vehicles belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a powerful Al Qaeda affiliate operating in rebel-held parts of Syria. The attack was apparently in retaliation for shelling or gunfire from Syria that landed in Turkish territory.

Ukraine protesters defy terms of new amnesty law
Excerpt: Parliament backed an amnesty for detainees if protesters vacated the government buildings they had occupied and unblocked streets and squares. The opposition has rejected this and protesters remain camped out in central Kiev and still occupy key buildings.

Libyan deputy prime minister survives attempt on life
Excerpt: Libya's deputy prime minister survived unhurt after gunmen fired on his car in Tripoli on Wednesday in an attack reflecting the violent chaos plaguing the North African nation two years after Muammar Gaddafi's fall. (This is what running an unauthorized, lead-from-behind war gets you. ~Bob)

Bangladesh police have charged seven students of an elite university and a cleric over the murder of an allegedly atheist blogger who was critical of Islam and Islamic groups.
Excerpt: The students are accused of hacking to death Ahmed Rajib Haider, 35, near his home in Dhaka in February last year, days after he helped launch a campaign against Islamist leaders accused of war crimes.

Where are the Syrian refugees going? The UK government has agreed to take in 500 Syrian refugees - but where are the rest going? 
At the time of writing, the number of Syrian refugees stands at 2,386,087 - more than double the entire population of Cyprus. The crisis is so severe that last year, the United Nations launched the biggest appeal in its 69-year history. But the response so far has not matched the scale or nature of the crisis. (So who made the “open-ended offer” on behalf of the US. --Barb)

Two top American bankers commit suicide in London as one jumps 500ft to his death from JP Morgan skyscraper and another hangs himself in luxury home
Excerpt: Two top ranking American bankers working in senior positions in London have committed suicide in the space of two days. Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan bank executive, died early this morning after he jumped 500ft from the top of the bank's European headquarters. …Just two days earlier, on Sunday, fellow American banker, William 'Bill' Broeksmit, 58, was found hanging in his South Kensington home. (Metropolitan police find “nothing suspicious.” --Barb)

Obama Step Closer To Seizing Retirement Accounts: Proposes in SOTU address T-bills for IRA, 401(k)
Excerpt: When you hear, “Hello, I’m from the federal government and I want to help you manage your retirement savings,” the best advice is to run away, as fast as you can….Packaged as a new retirement-savers plan designed for workers whose employers do not offer IRAs or 401(k), President Obama announced in his State of the Union address Tuesday an initiative that allows first-time savers to start building up their savings in Treasury bonds that could eventually be converted into traditional IRAs or 401(k) plans. While it is not as onerous as an Obama administration directive demanding a certain percentage of individual retirement savings must be invested in U.S. Treasury bonds, it is a first step in that direction. (WND is often extreme, with their hair on fire and lots of spin, so take their stuff for what it is worth. ~Bob)

Who’s ‘godless’ now? Russia says it’s U.S.
Excerpt: More than two decades on, history has come full circle, as the Kremlin and its allies in the Russian Orthodox Church hurl the same allegation at the West.…In his state of the nation address in mid-December, Mr. Putin also portrayed Russia as a staunch defender of “traditional values” against what he depicted as the morally bankrupt West. Social and religious conservatism, the former KGB officer insisted, is the only way to prevent the world from slipping into “chaotic darkness.”

Excerpt:….“[The president] has made far less use of his executive power at this point in his administration than some of his predecessors have and he will only do so, as I indicated previously, where he is unable to work with Congress to do things together,” Holder said. Lee said he “respectfully but forcefully” disagreed with Holder’s assertion. “When you look at the quality – not just the quantity, but the quality – the nature of the executive orders that he has issued, he has usurped an extraordinary amount of authority within the executive branch,” the senator continued. 

Man Tricks Girlfriend Into Getting Abortion; Faced Life Sentence for Murder
Excerpt: Liberals say that an unborn baby is not actually a person. That’s why we can end an unborn baby’s life “legally.” It’s not murder, because murder is illegal. Abortion is legal; therefore, it must not be murder. Q.E.D. If it’s not a person, then why is it that if a pregnant woman is murdered, and her unborn child also dies, the murderer is charged with a double homicide? 

Israeli Defense Official Offers Dark Security Assessment
Excerpt: Israel is entering an "Era of Fire" in which it is threatened by 170,000 rockets and missiles and in which the Syrian civil war has placed "30,000 global jihad terrorists" at its doorstep, Israel's defense intelligence chief said in a speech Wednesday.

The ACA: A Train Wreck and a Lie: Preexisting conditions, guaranteed renewability — HIPAA already covered those issues. By Jeffrey A. Singer
Excerpt: In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama repeated one of the biggest lies behind the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it wasn’t that you could keep your health-care plan or your current doctor. In fact, most people don’t even know it’s a lie.

Excerpt: If I were to reduce to a bumper sticker the way the left thinks about the world these days, it would read: Inequality happens. If I were to reduce to a bumper sticker the way the right thinks about the same subject, it would read: Inequality happens for a reason. This is not a small distinction. For President Obama, inequality is the public policy issue du jour. And like lemmings, left wing editorial writers and bloggers can think of nothing else to write about. But here is something that may surprise you. The most interesting analyses of the problem are on the right, not the left. For the most part, all the left does is deplore. They seem to have no interest in understanding why we have a problem.

Philippines military offensive 'kills 37 rebels'
Excerpt: President Benigno Aquino said the offensive would protect villages from rebels in Maguindanao province. The insurgents involved in fighting oppose a recent peace accord between the government and the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The Broken State of American Health Insurance Prior to the Affordable Care Act: A Market Rife with Government Distortion. By Rituparna Basu
Excerpt: A survey of some of the major controls pre-ACA reveals that health insurance was already one of the most government-controlled industries in America. This is the context in which we must assess the causes of our problems in health insurance. Contrary to proponents of further intervention, evidence presented in this paper suggests that government regulation plays a major role in the poor state of health insurance today.

'Populist' Obama pushes corporatist policies. By Timothy P. Carney 
Excerpt: Democrats this week are trying to claim the populist ground for the2014 elections, with President Obama's State of the Union Address as the centerpiece of this effort. Meanwhile, Obama and his party are showering corporate welfare on the likes of Boeing, Aetna, and possibly billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett.

Excerpt: Last year I shopped in Target once…about three days after Christmas. I used my credit card and got caught up in the huge ID theft caper perpetrated by that Russian teen. My credit card issuer emailed me and notified me of the breech, canceled my old card, and issued me a new one.

Excerpt: Zawahiri also added that “All those who reject the Sharia must be executed, and all those belonging to the secular media which works to disseminate debauchery and helps deviants and Christians to violate the Sharia, must be executed.”

Forget global warming!? Earth undergoing global COOLING since 2002! Climate Scientist Dr. Judith Curry: ‘Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002’
Excerpt: Growing number of scientists are predicting global cooling: Russia’s Pulkovo Observatory: ‘We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.’ (SOTU: Obama then declared, "[T]he debate is settled. Climate change is a fact." Have to say that the climate has been changing since the Earth was formed; never static. ~Bob)

Rep. Waxman, key ObamaCare architect, to retire after 20 terms in office
Excerpt: Longtime Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman announced Thursday he will not seek reelection in the fall, becoming the latest architect of the Affordable Care Act to announce his retirement.

Chuck Schumer Asks The IRS To Target And Stop The Tea Party
Excerpt: The IRS scandal is not only not over but is getting worse, with a call by New York's senior senator for the already-politicized agency to use its power to tax to destroy the conservative grass-roots movement. Arguing that the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision allowed Tea Party groups to "funnel millions of undisclosed dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government," Charles Schumer wants the IRS and other government agencies to take on the Tea Party through their administrative powers. (OK, here we go, getting to see how a supposed "Liberal" is ready to push government agencies to go after any kind of group he doesn't like. Remember when "Liberal" meant you were one of the shock troops for Freedom of Speech, the right to dissent, all that kind of stuff? --Del)

Matt Drudge Issues Warning: “Have An Exit Plan”
Excerpt: The warning, while cryptic, may be the result of direct insider information. Considering he once nearly brought down the Clinton administration by revealing the President’s indiscretions with a White House intern, one could make the case that if anyone has legitimate sources pouring in from across the world it’s Matt Drudge.

Michelle Obama Has a Rabbi in Her Family
Excerpt: While Barack Obama has struggled to capture the Jewish vote, it turns out that one of his wife’s cousins is the country’s most prominent black rabbi — a fact that has gone largely unnoticed. Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic presidential nominee, and Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of a mostly black synagogue on Chicago’s South Side, are first cousins once removed.

Islam: The Only Religion That Tells Everyone On EARTH What To Do
Excerpt: The beauty, and envy, of our great nation has always been that it was a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. The beauty of blending and sharing of cultural traditions. People who loved America and desired to be Americans came here. Not because they were trying to transplant their nation, but to add their traditions to the great melting pot. (Nor to fundamentally transform ours. --JB)

Federal Thugs Won't Say Die When It Comes To Crushing Catholic College.
Excerpt: While prayers won’t hurt, we had better remember that God helps those who help themselves. Given all the problems generated by America’s self-imposed decline, don’t Obama and his bureaucratic thugs have anything better to do than coerce Catholics to dole out abortifacients in soul-destroying violation of their faith? Of course they don’t. Consider their agenda.

German-Israeli Relations Sliding Downwards. By Joseph Puder
Excerpt: Germany is eager to throw the Holocaust guilt off its back, and with encouragement from the European media and academia, it has found the excuses in Israel’s alleged “bad” treatment of the Palestinians, and construction in the ‘settlements,’ which are in fact, communities and towns within Area C, legally administered by Israel. Anti-Semitic expressions in Germany are allowed as long as it is directed towards the Jewish State. According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, 8% of Germans view Israel’s influence as positive and 67% view it as negative.

Clinton "Regrets" Benghazi. By Arnold Ahlert
Excerpt: With all due respect to [Ted] Cruz, Clinton knows what happened. She’s known it for a long time. And it is more than likely the only regret she truly harbors at this point in time is the reality that, despite her best efforts, along with those of her fellow Democrats, and a mainstream media fully invested in her 2016 election, Benghazi is not going to be the irrelevant issue they are trying to make it.

Amnesty Ends the American Dream. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The United States has been taking in a million immigrants a year since 2004. Are a million immigrants a year really inadequate for the needs of businesses in a country with less than one hundred million private sector employees and over ninety million people out of the workforce? Black and Latino unemployment rates are already far higher than white unemployment rates. The Mexican-American unemployment rate is between 10 and 12 percent.

Sen. Coburn: I Lost My Preferred Cancer Specialist Under Obamacare. By Daniel Doherty 
Excerpt: On Tuesday, however, he appeared on MSNBC’s morning flagship program and informed viewers that while he’s “doing well,” he’s lost his cancer specialist because of Obamacare, and thus will have to pay higher medical costs out-of-pocket as a result 

Governing by Pen and Phone: Obama used to sigh that he was not a dictator who could act unilaterally. No more. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama boasted Tuesday as he convened his first cabinet meeting of the year. At least he did not say he intended to govern by “pen and sword.” If Obama used to sigh to supporters that he was not a dictator who could just implement progressive agendas by fiat, he now seems to have done away with the pretense of regret.

House Dem: So It Looks Like Obamacare Won't Attract Enough Young People. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: Rep. Jim Moran is retiring after his current term ends, and I'll let Millie Hemingway remind you of the many reasons why that's good news. But perhaps the ticking clock on his career has freed the Virginia Democrat up to say things that don't necessarily hew the party line. On Obamacare's demographic struggles, Moran says he fears the problems may persist, disrupting the law's financial framework in the process:

OUTRAGEOUS: Feminazi Says, ‘I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry. By Amy Glass
Excerpt: Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit. Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.

Green Drought: For the sake of the smelt, California farmland lies fallow. By Charles C. W. Cooke

Excerpt: “We have the greatest factory anywhere on earth,” Harris Farms’ executive vice president, William Bourdeau, tells me, as our car bumps rapidly along the dirty, uneven track. “These are pistachio trees,” he says, sweeping his hand across the horizon. “Over there, we have asparagus.” He points through the windshield. “And in that facility, we process garlic.” (Yep, the environmentalists can really mess things up in big ways for really tiny reasons. This is a great example of how generally good causes can spawn really not so good results. --Del)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today' Political News

Your one-stop-shop for political news and opinion. Please forward to friends who need to be informed. This blog is created by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have likely missed or skipped. As always, we 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. ~Bob

Excerpt: In David Remnick’s long, fawning New Yorker interview with President Obama, most will be struck by Obama’s whine that his present unpopularity may be due to his race (as if after four or five years the public ignored serial 7 percent unemployment, Benghazi, the IRS corruption, the NSA disclosures, the AP tapping, the Obamacare incompetence and dissimulation, and suddenly woke up to the fact that they had twice elected a black president). Or readers might find it strange that Remnick tags along with our progressive populist to serial fundraising shake-downs at mansions of hip billionaire crony capitalists, who, we must assume, qualify as fat cats and corporate-jet owners of the sort who did not know that they should have long ago quit profiting and most certainly did not build their own businesses.

Excerpt: The WFB’s Adam Kredo reports that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, President Obama’s “moderate” “democratically elected” negotiating partner on Iran’s pursuit of nuclear-weapons power for peaceful civilian purposes, is apparently on an “execution binge”:

Admonition of An American Physicist on Japan's Planning for Atomic Power Generation
Excerpt: In 1957, by order of the Economic Planning Minister, Mr. Tatsunosuke Takasaki, I flew to America ,with a colleague of mine, on a fact-finding tour of peaceful uses of atomic energy with emphasis on atomic power generation, a subject which the Government intended to commence a joint study with a panel of learned men. At that time the general public's knowledge of atomic energy was limited and had not expanded much beyond that of the havoc the atom bomb played at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As to its peaceful uses it was next to nil.

Too old to be given cancer treatment: NHS is 'writing off' patients who are over 75
Excerpt: Pensioners with cancer are being written off as too old to treat, campaigners said yesterday. They cited figures showing survival rates for British patients aged 75 and over are among the worst in Europe. (And this is what to expect from Obamacare, the US "NHS." --JB)

CNN’s Jake Tapper Admits Christie Scandal Getting More Coverage than Benghazi Scandal
Excerpt: Conservative talker Hugh Hewitt had a great interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper wherein he gets Tapper to admit that Chris Christie (R-NJ) has gotten a lot more scrutiny on the “Bridgegate” scandal than Hillary Clinton did on the Benghazi scandal. We conservatives all know and understand that, but it’s nice to hear a mainstream journalist agree to it. Now if we could just get them to do something about the unbalanced reporting…

Muslim Nurses Complain Washing Hands Before Medical Procedures ‘Compromises Modesty
Excerpt: Muslim nurses in the UK have finally been given what they’ve demanded—the right to not wash their hands before medical procedures. This ridiculous demand derived from Islamic Sharia Law compromises the health and safety of every patient in the respective hospitals.

Smith: The USA Is Plunging Into Kafka’s Nightmare
Excerpt: There is a certain level of dishonesty in the common study of history. We look back at the tyrannies of the past, the monstrous governments, the devastating wars and the unimaginable crimes, and we wonder how it could have been possible. How could the people of that particular generation let such atrocities come to pass? 

Leaning Right in Hollywood, Under a Lens
Excerpt: A collection of perhaps 1,500 right-leaning players in the entertainment industry, Friends of Abe keeps a low profile and fiercely protects its membership list, to avoid what it presumes would result in a sort of 21st-century blacklist, albeit on the other side of the partisan spectrum. Now the Internal Revenue Service is reviewing the group’s activities in connection with its application for tax-exempt status.

Chrome Bugs Allow Sites to Listen to Your Private Conversations
Excerpt: While we’ve all grown accustomed to chatting with Siri, talking to our cars, and soon maybe even asking our glasses for directions, talking to our computers still feels weird. But now, Google is putting their full weight behind changing this. There’s no clearer evidence to this, than visiting, and seeing a speech recognition button right there inside Google’s most sacred real estate - the search box. 

Crony Capitalism in America: Public Sector Union Scandals Begin to Leak. By Hunter Lewis
Excerpt: Many reporters reflexively support unions, and prefer not to acknowledge scandals related to them, especially at the local and state level. Nevertheless, troubling news accounts have emerged:

Israeli officer: With 30,000 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria, Israel re-evaluates its neutrality in civil war
Excerpt: In a special briefing to foreign correspondents Friday, Jan. 24, a high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that more than 30,000 al-Qaeda-linked fighters are active in Syria, a huge increase over the 2,000 jihadis present there two years ago. With jihadis in control of Syrian territory on Israel's northern borders, the high-ranking officer said “many discussions are taking place behind closed doors about the possibility of rethinking its strategy” of neutrality in the Syrian civil war. (Everyone should read this article as it has great implications for more than than just Israel. While the article talks about al-Qaeda wanting to create a caliphate in the Middle of the Middle East, their long term objective is to also overthrow the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Iran is also on the verge of creating nuclear weapons while we sit on the sidelines and let it happen. Nuclear proliferations will then likely occur. Once miniaturization of nuclear warheads occur, we are all in trouble if given to terrorist, which is likely. It seems the situation is becoming overwhelming for Israel, and I now have my doubts they will attack Iranian nuclear facilities. Rogue Nations and terrorists seem to be winning. --GNH)

Doctors cut from Medicare Advantage networks struggle with what to tell patients. By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Excerpt: Thousands of primary-care doctors and specialists across the country have been terminated from privately run Medicare Advantage plans, sparking a battle between doctors who say patient care is being threatened and insurers that insist they have to reduce costs and streamline their operations. Medical associations, which describe the dismissals as the largest in the program’s history, say the cuts are forcing some patients to leave their doctors in mid-treatment and creating gaps in the types of medical specialists covered in some areas.

A Simple Alternative to the ObamaCare Mandate. By John C. Goodman 
Excerpt: The health reform law is trying to force $15 an hour workers and their employers to buy more than a million dollars of coverage when they don't have anything like a million dollars in assets to protect. Further, some of these families are being forced to give up"mini-med" plans that paid the first $2,000 or $3,000 of medical bills and enroll in plans with deductibles of $10,000 or more. Why do we need to force a family at this income level need to pay the first $10,000 of medical costs? We don't.

NCHR: MB smuggled arms, took part in setting fire on churches
Excerpt: The semi final report drawn up by the fact finding committee set up by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) on the acts of violence at Rabaa and al-Nahda violence said Rabaa and al-Nahda sit ins were not peaceful as sit inners were supplied with different kinds of arms. (That darn YouTube video is still screwing up Obama's Mideast policies. ~Bob.)

'You've messed with the wrong Muslims!' CCTV images show the dramatic moment three women tried to kidnap and rob their sister's lesbian lover during row over arranged marriage
All cultures are equally valid--except, of course, traditional Western culture. ~Bob

Obama Eliminating Opposing Voices by Using Dictatorial Practices
Excerpt: The Obama Administration is now so firmly in control, it no longer feels it necessary to hide its dictatorial practices in the elimination of opposing voices.

How Scott Walker and the conservatives saved Wisconsin. America, take note. By Tim Stanley
Excerpt: There was a time when Wisconsin was headline news. You must remember the story? Wisconsinites elected some caveman called Scott Walker as their governor on a platform of drowning government in the bath. He wanted to reform the unions and bring spending under control – and the public sector came out onto the streets to stop him. It was a kind of velvet revolution led by teachers and social workers and the folks who shoot bears when they start eating out of trash cans. They tried to remove Walker from office, but that didn't work because he somehow won the recall vote, making him the only governor in US history to do so. And then it all went oddly quiet from the Badger state. (The experience of Obama has shown that radical ideology untempered by practical experience and competence has been disastrous for the country. Having a conservative governor as our next president is the best way to ensure a rollback of statism, competent administration, fair delivery of appropriate services for all citizens and legal residents. I think that senators and congressmen who have not managed anything bigger than their D.C. staffs need more seasoning. Oratory alone is not sufficient. Able leadership once in office is required, now more than ever before. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Excerpt: MSNBC revised its daytime lineup on Monday, opening up an hour for its much-talked about recent hire, Ronan Farrow. The network, which will be on a break from its usual lineup to cover the Winter Olympics starting in two weeks, will introduce Mr. Farrow as host of the 1 p.m. hour starting Feb. 24. Mr. Farrow, the 26-year-old son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, has already amassed a long résumé, including being a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale Law School graduate, and a stint in the Obama administration.

The Importance of the Jordan Valley Corridor. By Reuven Berko
Excerpt: The Israeli demand for a security presence along the Jordan River was again raised last month in the Kerry-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Its objective would be to stop Palestinian and global jihad terrorists from infiltrating into Israeli territory and to prevent the smuggling of rockets, explosives and other weapons which would be used by the Palestinians to attack Israel along its eastern border.

MEMRI: Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Denies the Holocaust
Excerpt: Now, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), reports that Khamenei's original statements on the official Persian-language website proves that the Khamenei did, in fact, refer to the Holocaust as a "myth." The investigation confirms that the English translation on the official website is accurate, as Khamanei refers to the "myth of the Jewish slaughter known as the Holocaust."

Unfree Dominion. Posted by Baron Bodissey
Excerpt: One of our Canadian readers just sent us this message: Some fairly important news out of Canada last week. Richard Warman closed down the Free Dominion website through litigation via the Human Rights Commission. There is the threat of jail now for the two very nice people who ran it. Here is Mark Steyn article from 2012 about the execrable Richard Warman.

Fjordman: Mass Murderer Breivik's Confession and the Media's Silence. Posted by Baron Bodissey
Excerpt: Fjordman’s latest essay has been published at FrontPage Magazine. Some excerpts are below: From his prison cell, the confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in January 2014 circulated a letter in which he repudiated all association with the Counterjihad and anti-Islamists. He gloated over how easy it was to fool the Western mainstream media (MSM) into supporting his intended witch-hunt on peaceful anti-Islamists:

Excerpt: In order to standardize health insurance plans, the ObamaCare law requires insurers to offer plans that are categorized as Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These plans, in turn, must cover 60%, 70%, 80% and 90%, respectively, of the expected costs. The “actuarial value” of a claim is the average amount a plan with a given set of benefits is likely to pay given a standard population. If the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overestimates actuarial value, which it appears that it has done, the bloated insurance plans required by ObamaCare can be offered with higher deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket costs than would otherwise be the case. All else equal, higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs also enable lower premiums.

The Arab Spring Killed the Left’s Foreign Policy. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Three years later, no one talks about the Arab Spring. Its anniversaries pass in rioting and terror; clubs, bombs and juntas mixing together in a bloody cocktail. Protesters die, police die and the liberals who once claimed that the Age of Aquarius had come to the Land of the Nile have turned their faces away.

Syrian Christians Kick Jihadi Butt, 65 of Them Left Dead on the Battlefield After Attacking a Church.
Excerpt: A small band of Christians have formed an army to fight and kill jihadists who attack the holy sights of Syria. This is an incredible story of heroism, of how a few men can defeat entire armies, and it has never been reported before in the English language, until now.

40 Years Later, Cop-Killers Admit Murders, PBA Wants Parole Denied
Excerpt: After four decades of adamantly denying any role in the 1971 assassination of two police officers, one of whom begged for his life saying he had two small daughters, two members of the Black Liberation Army have finally admitted to the murders in a transparent bid to win parole. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA) is seeking help in opposing parole for these two cold-blooded cop killers by asking the public to send a letter of opposition through the union’s “Keep Cop-Killers In Prison”website at

Medicare Execs Are Overpaying $35 Billion a Year…And They Don’t Seem to Care
Excerpt: Medicare’s Private Fee-For-Service Plans, just one of the many entitlement programs run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, overpaid billers by $34.6 billion dollars in 2013, according to its own estimates. With an “improper payments” rate of 10.1 percent of outlays, Medicare FFS is one of numerous government programs that wastes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars annually yet does little to recover any of that cash

Why Small Business Owners Are Staying Away From Obamacare Exchanges. By Patrick Clark  
Excerpt: Alex Wayne writes for Bloomberg News today about just how slow the uptake has been. Kentucky, which garnered praise for the launch of its state exchange amid’s rocky rollout, had enrolled just 14 companies in SHOP plans. Colorado had enrolled 101 companies, and Connecticut 106. In New York, about 5,000 employees at companies with fewer than 50 workers had signed up for Obamacare’s small business plans.

Hollywood Commie TV, Tune Out Before They Turn You Into A Zombie Drone.
Excerpt: So, Breitbart alerted us this weekend to a Writers Guild of America-East event in February, at which entertainment writers and other intellectual luminaries – including a communications professional from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – will meet to discuss the topic of “The Affordable Care Act: Comedy, Drama, and Reality – Portraying Obamacare in TV & Film.” Yes, this workshop is about positioning Obamacare in entertainment narratives – series TV, movies – in order to embed themes about it in people’s minds. 

Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' Trailer Released (Video)
Excerpt: D'Souza was released on a $500,000 bond on Friday. He was asked to surrender his passport and agree to certain travel restrictions. D'Souza's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, says D'Souza "did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent," and Molen says the charge against D'Souza could be an act of political retribution for 2016, a critical look at President Barack Obama, or an effort to stymie his next film, which is due four months before midterm elections.

Starting the Insurgency
Excerpt: Although fears that a witch-hunt is on will be dismissed as tin-foil hat conspiracy theory by the MSM, that is probably the intended effect of the administration. They would love to send a chill down every conservative’s spine. It would be seemingly to their advantage for every conservative activist wake up in a sweat; to regard each delivery of mail, each peek into their email inbox with trepidation. Which administration hack would not enjoying watching their rivals react to each knock at the door like the summons of doom?

These are the people who will lecture us about income inequality

It’s been reported that Barack Obama is going focus on income inequality in his SOTU speech: President Obama will try to pump some vitality into a lackluster second term on Tuesday when he delivers his State of the Union address. The address will include a “healthy dose” of the income inequality message the White House has focused on in recent weeks, according to one senior administration official familiar with the text.