Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Caught up for some political news

I pulled some more news together for you. It goes slow as the Prednisone makes me shake so bad, that clicking the mouse on the right thing is at best 50-50. But stronger every day. Managed to travel to Chicago Sunday for our book club meeting. And I was pleased to celebrate a day for my fellow Republican, Dr. Marti\n Luther King.

They just cut my Prednisone from 30mg a day to 15mg. (Started at 40mg.) Hopefully this will reduce the insomnia and the shaking--you could have sold tickets to watch me try to eat with chopsticks recently. ~Bob

Must Read Book Recommendation: Race & Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? By Walter E. Williams
Dr. Williams, like Dr. Thomas Sowell, grew up poor and black (Williams in the Philadelphia projects) to become a nationally-known economist. They both have put a lot of focus on the intersection of economics, race and culture. This well researched and documented book contains his data-driven conclusions on the subject, and details how government interventions, sold as benign, have too often disadvantaged blacks and other minorities, while protecting white racists in unions and in the trades and professions. It also offers alternate possibilities for what is seen as racism which are thought provoking. I highly recommend it. See an article by Williams, below. ~Bob Hall

OK to Feel Sorry. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: The widespread and open criticism of Rodman shows that there's been considerable progress and that I don't have to feel as sorry for white people. But what about the weak media response to Rep. Henry C. Johnson, D-Ga., who, during a 2010 House Armed Services Committee hearing concerning U.S. military buildup on Guam, told Adm. Robert F. Willard, the then commander of U.S. Pacific Command, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize”? Adm. Willard replied, with all sincerity, “We don't anticipate that.” I'd pay serious money to know what the admiral and his white staff said about Johnson after they left the hearing room. Then there's Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who asked NASA scientists whether they could drive the Mars rover to where Neil Armstrong placed the American flag. 

Good column: Leftists: For the ‘People’? By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for “the people.” Fortunately, I was also very interested in the history of ideas — and years of research in that field repeatedly brought out the inescapable fact that many leading thinkers on the left had only contempt for “the people.” That has been true from the 18th century to the present moment. Even more surprising, I discovered over the years that leading thinkers on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum had more respect for ordinary people than people on the left who spoke in their name.

Fact-Free Liberals. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Someone summarized Barack Obama in three words — "educated," "smart" and "ignorant." Unfortunately, those same three words would describe all too many of the people who come out of our most prestigious colleges and universities today. President Obama seems completely unaware of how many of the policies he is trying to impose have been tried before, in many times and places around the world, and have failed time and again.

Fact-Free Liberals: Part II. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Words seem to carry far more weight than facts among those liberals who argue as if rent control laws actually control rents and gun control laws actually control guns. It does no good to point out to them that the two American cities where rent control laws have existed longest and strongest -- New York and San Francisco -- are also the two cities with the highest average rents.

Iran Starts Implementing Nuclear Deal. By Ali Akbar Dareini 
Excerpt: Iran started to shut down its most sensitive nuclear work on Monday, part of a landmark deal struck with world powers that ease international concerns over the country's nuclear program and clearing the way for a partial lifting of sanctions, the state media said.

Suicide Bombing Near Pakistani Military Headquarters Kills at Least 13. By Salman Masood
Excerpt: The attack came a day after a bombing in Bannu, in the country’s northwest, killed 20 members of a Pakistani paramilitary unit. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Libyan army chief of staff killed in clashes with Tripoli gangs
Excerpt: Mohamed Karah died on Sunday from a gunshot wound to the head, after participating in an offensive against gangs who had been stealing cars and blocking roads in the Rishfana area on the outskirts of the capital. (More fruit from Obama's unauthorized, lea-from-behind war. ~Bob)

John Kerry’s Flying Circus. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: On the State Department website there is a section titled “Travels with the Secretary” that lists all the places that the Secretary of State has been to. In an atmosphere where Hillary Clinton received the Liberty Medal because she “traveled to more countries than any other Secretary of State” mileage is almost as good as accomplishment… at least to the latest senator to squat in the Truman Building.

ObamaCare’s Attack on the Elderly. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: As healthcare expert Besty McCaughey reveals, a similar horror show is occurring on this side of the Atlantic, courtesy of ObamaCare. Beginning the the same time the LCP scandal was being exposed, the Obama administration began awarding hospitals bonus points for spending the least amount of money on elderly patients. Even worse, the idea was sold to the elderly as a good thing during the 2012 presidential election campaign.

Affording the Affordable Care Act. By Michael Ollove
Excerpt: The promise of the Affordable Care Act is right there in its title: Affordable.Yet, anti-poverty agencies across the country fear that even with the federal financial assistance available under the law, health insurance will remain unaffordable for significant numbers of low-income Americans.

British experience with NHS reveals ills of government health care programs like Obamacare. By Cal Thomas 
Excerpt: For many years, the British media have carried stories that not only bode ill for the future of government-run health care, but also continue to serve as a “code blue” warning to the U.S. as to what might be in our future if we decide to go down that road. Writing in the Daily Telegraph under the headline “It's time to make difficult decisions about the NHS,” columnist Judith Woods said, “The NHS, dying on its feet for decades, is in a critical state. The promised injection of cash may stabilize it temporarily, but the chances of a full recovery are nil.” ... Already, according to the Daily Mail, citing a report by the European Commission, “Britain has fewer doctors per person than nearly all other European countries.” 

The Eternal Darkness of the Progressive Mind. By Bruce Thornton 
Excerpt: The attacks on Lone Survivor, the movie about 4 Navy Seals caught in an operation gone lethally wrong in Afghanistan, illustrate once again the fossilized orthodoxy of the left. The L.A. Weekly’s Amy Nicholson called the movie a “jingoistic snuff film” that “bleeds blood red, bone-fracture white, and bruise blue” and assumes “brown people bad, American people good.” 

Fiscal Condition of the 50 States
Excerpt: Alaska, South Dakota and North Dakota are in the best overall fiscal condition of the 50 states, says Sarah Arnett of the Mercatus Center. Arnett's research looked at four factors -- cash solvency, budget solvency, long-run solvency and service-level solvency -- to rank the 50 states according to their fiscal condition. Cash solvency looks at how easily a state can access cash and pay its bills in the short term. Most states have enough cash on hand to meet short-term obligations, the most solvent states being Alaska, Ohio, South Dakota, Florida and Montana. The least solvent states are Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California and Illinois.

UN Climate Chief Says Communism is Best Way to Fight Global Warming. By Heather Ginsberg 
Excerpt: She stated earlier this week that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. She also said that communist China is instead the best model. Even though China is the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggles with major pollution issues of their own, apparently Ms. Figueres thinks that means they are “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming.

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: The NFL revealed the Super Bowl will be guarded by four thousand federal and local cops . Everyone entering the stadium must pass through a facial scanner that identifies known and suspected criminals. We will be lucky if we end up with two teams out on the field.

Yup, and our Corpse-men are all included in Semper Fee. ~Bob

Google now has the technology to control your thermostat

Excerpt:….”Google reach expands into your home. They just bought Nest for $3.2 billion,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “What is Nest? Oh, they are the ones that make your smart thermostats and fire alarms.” (Watched Hawaiian Life on HGTV via Direct TV the other night. Got an add for it on Google Chrome 2 days later. --Barb)

Excerpt: Labour’s Member of Parliament for Easington in the north of England has provoked outrage today after insinuating that the Israeli flag in some way had a link to Nazism.

Excerpt: I read a sad thing last week. Someone was doing a survey of Black urban youth and what they knew about Martin Luther King. Sadly, when asked, many referred to a Martin Luther King Boulevard that exists in nearly every major city in the nation. Others answered "he be the dude the honky's killed." While some knew who King was, few could correlate King with his great "I Have A Dream" speech, or the historical "Letter From A Birmingham Jail."

Excerpt: I’ve never seen an intelligible argument for community rating. I think I know why. I’m afraid there isn’t any. Don’t believe me? I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I let you pick any recognized ethical system in the entire history of Western philosophy (Only Western? Yeah, we’re not cultural relativists here at the NCPA). Altruism, Egoism, Nietzschean ethics, Nicomachean (Aristotelian) ethics, Kantian ethics, Thomism (Christian ethics), Utilitarianism, Rawlsian ethics, etc. ― pick any one you like. Then at the other end, I won’t even confine you to health care. You can pick any good or service you like. Your task: to show how you can logically go from the chosen ethical system to the conclusion that the “just” amount a person should pay is the same for everybody, regardless of expected consumption.

Excerpt: Most of the commentators on the exchange roll out caution against the “death spiral,” in which failing to attract the young and healthy raises overall premiums. This further deters low-cost people from enrolling, resulting in even higher premiums. This is absolutely true in a normal market. But a new report from the actuarial consulting firm Milliman shows how the Affordable Care Act has turned normal market principles on their head. Here is the problem. Because health insurers are no longer allowed to ask any questions about an applicant’s health, they have absolutely no way of knowing who they are enrolling in terms of past or present illnesses or health conditions. They might attract a group of pretty healthy people or a group of pretty sick people, but they won’t know until people start filing claims. So it is impossible to accurately set premiums, at least for the first few years.

Obamanomics Is Killing Jobs. By David Limbaugh 
Excerpt: If it weren't for a shamelessly dishonest, hyper-protective liberal media, the American people would know, unanimously and without doubt, that Obamanomics is killing American jobs. There is no silver lining in the December jobs numbers. Experts and analysts were expecting this latest jobs report, released Friday, to show 200,000 new payroll jobs in December, but there were only 74,000, which is 37 percent of the goal. Not 90 percent, not 80, not 70, not even 50 percent. Just 37 percent. (So the great news is that finally, the joblessness rate has dropped from 8% all the way down under 7%, after these years of waiting for the economic recovery to kick in, as Mr. Obama promised it would. Yep, just wonderful, that finally all the various adjustments to our system have borne fruit, and we can feel good about the reversal of the increasing number of people without jobs. Just great. Indeed. Well, except for just one tiny detail. Just read on, and that minor little deviation from the legend of more jobs being created will become clear. Not that you'll ever have to worry about hearing about it again from any of the media, and most certainly not from anyone in the Administration. But read on.....Del)

Obama’s Recessional: There is nothing accidental about the president’s apparent foreign-policy blunders. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Collate the following: large defense cuts, the president’s suspicions that he is being gamed by the military, the pullout from the anti-missile defense pact in Eastern Europe, the pressure on Israel to give new concessions to its neighbors, the sudden warming up with an increasingly Islamist Turkey, the failed reset with Russia, radical nuclear-arms-reduction talks, the abject withdrawal of all U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq, the timetable withdrawals in Afghanistan, the new worries of our Asian and Middle Eastern allies, the constant euphemisms on the war on terror, the stepped-up drone attacks, the lead-from-behind removal of Moammar Qaddafi, the pullaway from Mubarak in Egypt, the support for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the pink lines in Syria, the Iranian missile deal, the declaration that al-Qaeda was on the run and the war on terror essentially ending, the Benghazi coverup, and on and on.

Excerpt: Turkish counterterrorism forces reportedly arrested Ibrahim Sen, a former Guantanamo detainee, during raids against suspected al Qaeda members in six different provinces on Jan. 14.

Former Va. Gov. McDonnell, wife indicted on federal corruption charges
Excerpt: Former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell and wife Maureen were indicted Tuesday on federal corruption charges for allegedly accepting gifts, vacations and loans from a businessman seeking special treatment from the state for his fledgling business. (Yes, "innocent until proven guilty," but conservatives and Republicans should be harder on one of our own who turns out to be a bum than on liberal or Democrat bums. they discredit the movement and set back the good wrk. ~Bob)

Dem Senator: The State Department Really 'Screwed Up' in Benghazi. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: Expect Sen. Angus King, a Democrat-aligned Senator from Maine, to get a less-than-pleasant phone call from Team Hillary over this remark on CNN. Time to add Sen. King to the enemies list?

Stewart Skewers Obama’s NSA Speech: Privacy Is Important!… Unless We Decide It Isn’t!
Excerpt: Jon Stewart opened Monday night’s Daily Show with a stinging takedown of President Obama‘s NSA speech; a delicate tightrope act involving Obama trying to assuage privacy advocates while actually not doing anything that would upset the people with actual say and power in this debate.

The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking. By Michael Reagan
Excerpt: Sex trafficking has become a stealth parasite that attaches itself to major sporting events, taking advantage of a large number of fans and the demand for illicit sex. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott echoed the stunning revelation, gripping so many with his statement about the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas: “It's commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.” Dallas police and federal authorities arrested 133 minors for prostitution during the 2011 Super Bowl, and according to Forbes Magazine 10,000 prostitutes were transported to Miami for the Super Bowl in 2010.

A New York State of Mind: Illiberal Liberal Values. By Jonah Goldberg 
Excerpt: After nodding to the fact that, historically, the New York state Republican Party has been the most ideologically gelded of the breed (it is the birthplace of Rockefeller Republicanism, after all), Cuomo proclaimed that “extreme conservatives” have “no place in the state of New York. Who are extreme conservatives? People who are “right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay. It's an interesting – and repugnant – tautology: Extremists hold extreme views, and we can identify extreme views by the fact they are held by extremists.

Who Is ‘Boo’ Burnham? By Peggy Noonan
Excerpt: I suppose I should note here, especially for those who haven’t yet Googled Frank “Boo” Burnham and Mississippi, that there is no such person. I made him up to make a point. The governor who made the harshly divisive and dismissive comments about those who disagree with him politically is Andrew Cuomo of New York, who of course is a liberal, not a conservative, and who has not faced anything near the criticism ol’ fictitious Frank “Boo” Burnham would have received if he’d said the equivalent of what Cuomo said.

American Blood on Iranian Hands. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: “The worst part for me is that nobody remembers,” Mark Nevells said last year on the anniversary of the Hezbollah bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. A Marine had thrown his body in front of the truck to try stop the vehicle and afterward for five days, Nevells and other Marines had dug through the rubble for the bodies of the men they had served with.

Russian police kill Islamist militant leader before Olympics
Excerpt: Police have killed a senior Islamist militant in Russia's North Caucasus ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where security forces searched on Tuesday for a woman they fear is planning an attack during the games.

Obama 'Threatens Fox News Reporter's Career'
Excerpt: Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren charges that the Obama administration tried to press her to shut down a colleague’s reporting on the jihadist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that cost the lives of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Islamic Extremists in Nigeria Attack Christians at Sunday Worship
Excerpt: Islamic extremists have attacked villages in three states in Nigeria every Sunday this month, killing at least 15 Christians.

The Four Great Waves of Defense Neglect: The Dangers of a Hollow Military. By Peter Huessy
Excerpt: America's fourth wave of neglect of its military since the end of World War II may have disastrous geostrategic consequences. While Congress has passed a temporary slowdown in the decline in American defense spending with a two-year budget framework, the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, which restores $32 billion to the Department of Defense, the projected defense resources available for the next eight years will not allow the United States to protect its own security, let alone that of its allies.

Politically Incorrect without Trying: The Left can’t stand Lone Survivor's depictions of heroic American warriors.By Rich Lowry
Excerpt: None of this is remotely controversial material. How could anyone be offended by a movie about a Navy SEAL fighting with everything he has to save himself and his buddies and improbably surviving an epic ordeal? Yet the brickbats have been flying from the snotty left: Propaganda. Simplistic. Racist. Lone Survivor has run up against part of the culture that can’t stand the most straightforward depictions of American heroism and the warrior ethic. A reviewer in The Atlantic worries that movies like Lone Survivor “resemble multi-million dollar recruitment videos — tools of military indoctrination geared toward the young and the impressionable.” 

Excerpt: Israeli authorities today announced the arrest of three global jihadists who were allegedly preparing to carry out terror attacks after being recruited by an al-Qaeda-linked operative in the Gaza Strip. The three terrorists were identified as Iyad Mahmoud Khalil Abu Sara, Rubin Abu Nagma, and Ala Yasin Mohammed Anam.

Excerpt: Gunmen killed three health workers taking part in a polio vaccination drive in Karachi on Tuesday, police said, in the latest blow to efforts to stamp out the disease in Pakistan.
After the attacks, the latest in a series of deadly assaults on vaccination teams, the provincial polio workers' association said it was halting operations across Sindh province.

Nigerian Islamists kill 18, burn houses in northeast
Excerpt: The latest Boko Haram assault, on Sunday night, came hours before Nigeria's four top military chiefs handed over to fresh commanders in a ceremony on Monday.

As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred
Excerpt: The basic elements of the narrative are true, but the full story of Davis’ life is more complicated, as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves. In the shorthand version that has developed, some facts have been blurred.

Worth Reading: A conservative case for universal coverage. By Avik Roy
Excerpt: The good news is that we don’t have to theorize about unproven solutions to our health care problems. Two wealthy countries have health care systems that, if we could substitute them for our own, would exceed the wildest dreams of American conservative reformers. Switzerland and Singapore achieve universal coverage while spending a fraction of what we spend, and they ensure broad access to high-quality doctors and the latest technology. (I'd be willing to trade Obamacare for the Swiss system. All must have coverage, but private insurance companies. Limited bureaucracy to fund it for those who can't afford it. ~Bob)

White House imposes secrecy rules on first lady's lavish, celebrity-filled birthday party. By Byron York
Excerpt: Why the secrecy, especially for an event involving so many well-known people? Maybe the Obamas just wanted a little privacy for an important occasion in the first lady's life, although having 500 guests, including some of the most famous people on the planet, is perhaps not the best way to achieve that goal. Or maybe, since the president has announced he is devoting the rest of his time in office to an "inequality agenda," the White House felt photos of a champagne-soaked, star-studded party would be somewhat off-message. 

Why Slower Healthcare Cost Inflation Isn’t Fixing Medicare Finances. By Charles Blahous
Excerpt: Closely related to this discussion is another ongoing one: specifically, whether the health cost slowdown will improve Medicare’s long-term financial picture relative to current projections. Today the Mercatus Center is publishing a study I have written on this subject. Unfortunately the answer is almost certainly no: Medicare’s long-term financing problem is much more likely to be worse than currently projected than it is to be better. 

6 major hurdles to implementing Obamacare - Expect employer and voter backlash. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: Despite the ruling, it seems clear that the Affordable Care Act is not working as intended. If the courts do not change it, it will surely need to be changed by Congress because of voter dissatisfaction. Enrollment is low, and only a quarter of enrollees are young people whose premiums are needed to subsidize the old and sick. When people get through on the website, many are finding that premiums and deductibles are higher than before, and that they do not have access to the doctors they saw previously.

1 comment:

  1. Reading you for the past 5 or 6 years, can't help but notice your positive attitude on life. Your recent surgery and healing process tells me that you are one tough SOB. I am a Nam vet also, you do us all proud, I would like to think of us as the "second greatest generation". I salute you!