Sunday, January 12, 2014

A few Sunday Items

Troubled By The Cross. By Andy Weddington, Colonel, USMC (Ret)
Excerpt: Two days ago, Thursday the 9th, I was awakened from sleep shortly before sunrise with an idea for the painting. After coffee I turned to and painted, with vigor, that Cross - that powerful scene. It had to be done. ... Yesterday he breathed deeply and easily - as was hoped for since the end of August. He was warm. His expression of peace. Early this morning he gave subtle signal to Mom embracing aside, only she could understand, that he wanted to be alone. She complied. Married nearly 58 years and a trained nurse, she knew. Dad - that someone else on my mind all these days - died, peacefully, at 0728. (Col. Weddington' is a frequent blog contributor. His dad underwent a lung transplant for pulmonary fibrosis in August at age 78. Thoughts and prayers for him, his family, his donor and that family as well. ~Bob.)

Important: Second wave of health-insurance disruption affects small businesses. By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Excerpt: But according to industry analysts, insurers and state regulators, the disruption will be far greater, potentially affecting millions of people who receive insurance through small employers by the end of 2014. While some cancellation notices already have gone out, insurers say the bulk of the letters will be sent in October, shortly before the next open-enrollment period begins. The timing — right before the midterm elections — could be difficult for Democrats who are already fending off Republican attacks about the Affordable Care Act and its troubled rollout.

Finally! White House to replace lead contractor
Excerpt: The Obama administration plans to replace the lead contractor on, the glitchy federal website that hindered the fall rollout of the new health care law, with another company. Officials plans to drop CGI Federal, after the company took a share style='orphans: auto;text-align:start;widows: auto;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; word-spacing:0px' class="itxtrst itxtrstimg itxthookicon" v:shapes="itxthook1icon"> of blame for its role in preparing a website that serves 36 states and needed extensive repairs after its Oct. 1 launch, the Washington Post first reported. A major consulting company, Accenture, will take its place.

Worth Reading: Why America Is Headed Toward Bankruptcy In 13 Terrifying Quotes. By John Hawkins
Excerpt: Like Enron, Greece, and Donald Trump before us, America is about to go bankrupt. Unfortunately, our bankruptcy will probably be more Enron and less Donald Trump because we're very unlikely to come back bigger and better in the lifetime of anyone reading this column. Instead, most Americans are probably going to experience skyrocketing taxes, spiraling inflation, widespread disorder, and a dramatically reduced standard of living

When Work Is Punished: The Tragedy Of America's Welfare State. By Tyler Durden 
Excerpt: Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article "In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year." In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative - in the form of actual disposable income - to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work.

Syria Militants Said to Recruit Visiting Americans to Attack U.S
Excerpt: Islamic extremist groups in Syria with ties to Al Qaeda are trying to identify, recruit and train Americans and other Westerners who have traveled there to get them to carry out attacks when they return home, according to senior American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

The Cult of Global Warming is Grasping at Straws. By Michael Schaus
Excerpt: The “polar vortex” does not disprove climate change. (Of course, it doesn’t need to. Global warming theories have mostly disproven themselves.) But it doe sprove how wrong the “experts” have been on global warming science. Despite the alarmists’ waxing poetic about climatological Armageddon, almost 98 percent of their predictions have proven to be false.

How Christie Ended Up in This Jam: Political operatives, intoxicated with victory, think they can get away with anything. By Peggy Noonan
Excerpt: I end with a thought about staffers and operatives in politics. They're increasingly important. More and more these political players are weighing in on serious policy questions that affect how America is run. As Bob Gates makes clear in his memoir, political players in the Obama White House were to an unprecedented degree involved in foreign policy. That will be even more true in the future, whoever runs it. (I don't believe that Christie knew nothing about the "Bridge Gate" scandal anymore than I believe Obama knew nothing about the IRS, Fast & Furious, the NSA or the Benghazi cover up.)

The Wars of Robert Gates: On Afghanistan, Obama was caught between his generals' advice and his advisers' political worries. By Robert M. Gates
Excerpt: I had been the secretary of defense for just over two years on Jan. 21, 2009, but on that day I again became the outsider. The Obama administration housed a web of long-standing relationships—from Democratic Party politics and the Clinton administration—about which I was clueless. I was also a geezer in the new administration. Many influential appointees below the top level, especially in the White House, had been undergraduates—or even in high school—when I had been CIA director. No wonder my nickname in the White House soon was Yoda, the ancient Jedi teacher in "Star Wars." 

Horrific cell phone footage shows teen girls 'beating their 16-year-old friend before holding her down to be raped'
Excerpt: A 16-year-old girl was allegedly beaten by other girls before being held down to be raped in a horrifying attack that was filmed on a cellphone, it was revealed today. (White on black attack, for anyone who thinks the violence is all one way. These two girls and the rapist would regret this had I them in my power. The rapist was black, so this is unlikely to attract the race baiters. ~Bob.

U.S. State Department Finally Confirms Terrorists Behind Benghazi Attacks
Excerpt: Just weeks after the New York Times’ asinine attempt to defend and cover up the Obama Administration’s disastrous response to the murder of four U.S. citizens, including our ambassador, in Benghazi, the U.S. State Department has now finally confirmed that “terrorist organizations” were behind the Benghazi attack.

Excerpt: A reelected and proudly iconoclastic Christie in recent months relished in his swagger, braggadocio, media celebrity, and often picked fights, apparently assuming that his first-persona laced speeches and gestures were immune from the sort of nemesis that now has finally caught up with Barack Obama. His only out is the “Obama defense,” which so far has been used so successfully with the IRS and AP scandals: Outrage is voiced; promises to get to the bottom of the mess are made; aides are sent before congressional committees and occasionally sacrificed; shock is expressed at any who would dare to suggest a culture and example were set by the man at the top.

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