Thursday, February 5, 2015

More interesting political news and conservative comment

General News and Comment

Economic ignorance has consequences: Liberals Surprised Beloved Bookstore Closes Due To Minimum Wage Hikes
Excerpt: Beatts explained on his website that the store has withstood rent increases and even the onslaught of online competition like But the minimum wage increase was the straw that broke the camel‘s back: "In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018. Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st." Borderlands, which profits only $3,000 per year, projects a loss of $25,000 when the minimum wage crests in 2018.

Defining Economic Failure Down. By George Will
Excerpt: Two phrases that Daniel Patrick Moynihan put into America’s political lexicon two decades ago are increasingly pertinent. They explain the insufficient dismay about recent economic numbers. Moynihan said that when deviant behaviors – e.g., violent crime, or births to unmarried women – reach a certain level, society soothes itself by “defining deviancy down.” It de-stigmatizes the behaviors by declaring them normal. And sometimes, Moynihan said, social problems are the result of “iatrogenic government.” In medicine, an iatrogenic ailment is inadvertently induced by a physician or medicine; in social policy, iatrogenic problems are caused by government. When the economy grew by just 2.6 percent in 2014’s fourth quarter, The New York Times headline cheerfully said “Economy Pulls Ahead.” The story said the U.S. economy is “an island of relative strength” in a world facing “renewed torpor and turmoil.” This was defining failure down.

When Leftwing Economists Gruber and Krugman Practiced Economics. By Larry Elder 
Excerpt: But what does it say that perhaps the two most high-profile leftwing economists once opposed the minimum wage and paid family and medical leave? When Obamacare architect/economist Jonathan Gruber and The New York Times economist Paul Krugman actually practiced economics, they both opposed the minimum wage. In Gruber’s case, he also opposed government mandates for paid family and medical leave. In 2011 – less than four years ago – Gruber gave an MIT lecture called “Applying Supply and Demand.” About the minimum wage, Gruber said: “Let’s say the government rolled in and set a minimum wage. … Workers want to supply more hours than firms want to hire. … You end up with excess supply. And we call that excess supply ‘unemployment.’” He also insisted that a higher minimum wage pressures an employer to turn to automation:

Weapons, Not Blankets, Are What Ukraine Needs Now. By Jeff Jacoby 
Excerpt: Four months after Ukraine’s president traveled to Washington to plead for lethal military aid in its fight against Russian-sponsored violence and treachery, the US government is finally taking his entreaty seriously. The New York Times reports that “an array of administration and military officials” are leaning toward providing defensive weapons to Kiev’s struggling armed forces, a step the White House has so far rejected.

Famous Author Absolutely Loses It on NBC Anchor Brian Williams Over False Iraq War Story. By Jason Howerton
Excerpt: Williams has repeatedly claimed that after his helicopter was forced down, he and his NBC News team were “rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.” He was forced to recant his story and apologize after soldiers who were actually there called him out online. Thor argued Williams has no credibility left, called for his firing and even called him a “total a**hole.” (Agreed. Like I didn't know that already. ~Bob)

Hero Wannabe: NBC News’s Brian Williams recants story about taking incoming fire during Iraq war coverage. By Eric Wemple
Excerpt: Listen to what Williams told David Letterman in this appearance on the “Late Show” upon the 10th anniversary of his helicopter troubles: “We were in some helicopters. What we didn’t know was, we were north of the invasion. We were the northernmost Americans in Iraq. We were going to drop some bridge portions across the Euphrates so the Third Infantry could cross on them. Two of the four helicopters were hit, by ground fire, including the one I was in, RPG and AK-47.” What’s so remarkable about this appearance, in light of today’s revelations, is just how insistent Williams appears upon recounting this fictional event. 
Brian Williams and his infamous Iraq War story - Letterman - 03 26 2013
(NBC: All the BS that makes a mint. ~Bob)

Worth Hearing the Interview: Can NBC News now have any credibility with Brian Williams as its face?
Excerpt: If credibility means anything to NBC News, Brian Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday. The admission from Williams Wednesday that he lied about being in a Chinook helicopter that was hit by enemy fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is astonishing. And he only admitted the lie after being confronted with it by the military publication, "Stars and Stripes," which has a well-documented report and timeline showing his shifting version of events over the years. (Last night, Twitter was afire with speculation about the consequences. But my guess is that there won’t be serious consequences, any more than there was for Neil deGrasse Tyson making up quotes and attributing them to George W. Bush. Here’s the thing: NBC News employed Chelsea Clinton under that ridiculous contract, and MSNBC keeps Al Sharpton around (allegedly to keep him happy with corporate parent ComCast), has a correspondent that accused American Sniper Chris Kyle of going on “killing sprees,” had a guest commentator who claimed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is “trying to wash that brown off his skin,” has a host wearing tampon earrings, and gave a weekend show to Hillary Clinton’s former deputy press secretary. How much more credibility is there to lose? -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Excerpt: I am reminded of what this arrogant fabulist once said about us lowly bloggers in 2007 during a lecture at NYU’s journalism school: "After years of experience in the news business, Williams said he has developed his own “strong BS meter” — he can watch the local news in any city in this country and tell you which anchors went out to dinner that night instead of staying and writing between the 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock news. Williams also said he can tell which anchors write their own copy and who’s just reading whatever pops up on the teleprompter. ... “You’re going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe,” said Williams. “All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I’m up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years.” He added that it’s often difficult to judge the credibility of a blogger."

Jeb Bush Starts His Pitch: Will he follow up new rhetoric with proposals that might worry the establishment? By Eliana Johnson
Excerpt: Is Jeb Bush a risk taker? Will his all-but-certain 2016 candidacy offer new ideas, and will he, a son of the Republican political establishment, take on some entrenched interests in order to implement them? In remarks at the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday, Bush, a top-tier candidate in the early presidential going, offered an answer: Maybe.

Worth Reading: The Roots of Obama’s Appeasement: The president’s disastrous foreign policy is as much a product of his own vanity as anything else. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: President Obama currently is convinced that his singular charisma and rare insight into human nature will convince the Taliban to peacefully participate in Afghan politics. Obama will supposedly also win over the Iranian theocracy and show it how nonproliferation is really to everyone’s advantage. “Reset” diplomacy with Putin was supposed to lessen tensions — if, after the 2012 election, Putin just had more exposure to a flexible statesman of Obama’s wisdom.
Throughout history, without the vanity of the conceder, there would never have been appeasement. Appeasement also always subordinates the interests of vulnerable third parties to the appeaser’s own inflated sense of self.

How to Free the Government’s Grip on Freedom of Information. By Sharyl Attkisson
Excerpt: There is something on which Democrats and Republicans agree: the Freedom of Information Act is broken. ... Based on my own experience, there are five specific actions that Congress could take to improve government transparency. (You can read about them in detail below.)

Is your infant college-ready? By Alexandra Petri
Excerpt: The New York Times reported Wednesday that some benighted schools and parents are frantically trying to ready first-graders for college. Those amateurs. If you don’t start in the cradle, you might as well throw in the Stanford-colored towel. There’s no way your first-grader — let alone your middle-schooler, whom the article reports are going on college tours and making diagrams of what classes they want to take to ensure future college success — is going to be college-ready if your toddler wasn’t. I’m sorry. It sounds harsh, but you need to hear it. (Send your son or daughter into the Marines. The kid will get self-discipline, tenacity, pride and values, with which he/she can do anything in life. All these are in short supply on college campuses today. Leaving out the Asian kids. ~Bob)

Roger Ailes Confronts the Evil While the Also Rans Cower in Fear. By Erick Erickson 
Excerpt: It is not a coincidence that the very same networks attacking Roger Ailes and Fox News are the same networks that got their panties in a wad over showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. It’s not that the networks are fearful of providing ISIS a propaganda moment. It’s that they’re chicken and moral cowards. Fox News, to be sure, initially did not run the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. But it ultimately did. It showed the cartoons on Fox & Friends when the other networks were squealing like a bunch of sissies at the thought of the cartoons airing. Later, on its website and on air, Fox News showed the next cover of Charlie Hebdo.

SHAMEFUL: Obama On World Evil: ‘People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name Of Christ.’ By Jerome Hudson
Excerpt: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” (Yes, slavery and Jim Crow was justified by Democrats. And the Crusades were Europe's reaction to Muslim invasion. Muslims attacked first, over running Spain and only being turned back at Tours in France in 732 by Charles Martel. Besides, what people did hundreds of years ago does not justify the evil of others today. ~Bob)

Gun News

Gun Control Group Calls the Sister of a Murder Victim for Support But Is Surprised by the Reaction
Excerpt: In 2013, twenty-seven-year-old Jessie Doyle was shot and killed by her estranged husband, Josh Cavett. Cavett, a convicted felon who by law could not own a firearm, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder. The anti-gun organization “Everytown for Gun Safety” reached out to Jessie’s sister Jennie Cochran, thinking she would support their push for new gun control laws in Oregon. ... “I’m actually very against it. I’m very pro-gun, as is Jessie, so I would really hope you guys don’t use her story for anything. Because the only thing that would’ve saved her was a gun.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Measles … and the Need for Republicans to Man Up! By Bernard Goldberg
Excerpt: There was candidate Barack Obama in 2008 who said: “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines.” He said the science was “inconclusive.” There was also Hillary Clinton, who was also running for president in 2008, who responded to a question from an autism activist group saying she was in favor of “making investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environment causes like vaccines.” By that point the science was not inconclusive, but rather quite conclusive.

Certificate-of-Need Laws Mean Fewer Services for Patients
Excerpt: Thirty-five states have certificate-of-need (CON) laws, which limit the entry and expansion of new health care facilities. In a new study from the Mercatus Center, Christopher Koopman and Thomas Stratmann explain why these laws don't work. Why would states prevent the entry of new health care providers? In general, say the authors, policymakers believed CON laws would control health care costs by reducing overinvestment in health care facilities. In 14 states, policymakers created "charity care" requirements. They believed that they could better provide health care for the poor by limiting the number of facilities in an area. States would give health care providers a certificate to construct a new facility or expand, in exchange for the provider increasing care for its poor residents. (You interfere in the market, you get poor results. We had a CON law in Massachusetts. It was used to prevent small hospitals in small communities from modernizing, thus eventually putting them under and leaving the community without a health facility. Thus we had lots of bills directing that a CON be issued for such and such. ~Bob)

Health Care Spending in the President's Budget
Excerpt: What's in the President Obama's $4 trillion budget proposal for 2016? Billions in new health care spending. Christopher Holt, Brittany La Couture and Tara O'Neill of the American Action Forum break down the president's health care budget: Compared to last year's budget, the proposal includes an additional $4.8 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, totaling $83.8 billion. It calls for a $77.8 billion increase in mandatory health spending in 2016. Over the next decade, Medicaid spending would increase 62 percent, totaling $567 billion in 2025.

Undocumented Democrat News

Border Patrol agents say gun sharing puts lives at risk. By Maxim Lott 
Excerpt: Guns are in such short supply at the Border Patrol that one agent told 400 agents share just 100 rifles at his station. The lack of weapons is more than just a nuisance, according to law enforcement authorities, who say each agent should be able to calibrate his or her gun to individual preferences, a process they call "zeroing." “We are left to check out rifles that were unzeroed to us," a border patrol agent told "This practice needs to be outlawed, as it could cost someone their life." (I read this with total shock. Anyone who doesn't understand that anyone trying to use a rifle for shots more than 50 feet away needs to zero in the sights for their own sight and body geometry should have absolutely nothing to do with controlling how law enforcement officers are equipped with weapons. This is just a great example of bureaucrats at their ignorant worst. And with the hundreds of millions of dollars in operating budgets for the border, we can't afford to buy a rifle for each officer? Hell, just give them an allowance towards them buying their own which then can keep when they retire. If they get to pick from a mass buy arranged by Purchasing, you're not talking more than $2000 per officer for decent weapons. That'll amount to a couple millions bucks at most, and then the officers will have the comfort and advantage of a weapon they know well and trust in. The funny thing is, I'd probably just bring my match grade M-1 Garand, there's a very dependable weapon with plenty of firepower, and plenty of range. With a good scope on it and good ammo, it'd be good for shots out past 500 yards. Or maybe what they should buy is one of the well made AK-47 models, reasonably accurate, and again a bullet that has ample power. Might even be cheaper than the current glamorous M-16 variants that I would never want anyhow because the 5.56mm round sucks and is barely good for 300 yards. In any case, letting agents pick their own rifle from an approved list of models and calibers would make good sense and promote a lot of confidence. Going into a fight with a weapon you know well is a big booster for your frame of mind. --Del. Come on, Del. I seen on TV where the hero can pick up a bad guy's .32 cal. hand gun and make a kill shot at a hundred meters. While wounded. In the fog. I'm sure our leadership learns a lot from TV and Hollywood. Huh. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Get Some! Jordan strikes back at ISIS after pilot's killing. By Greg Botelho and Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
Excerpt: Two days after news emerged that ISIS had burned a captive Jordanian pilot to death, the Middle Eastern nation has hit back. Jordanian fighter jets carried out airstrikes Thursday then returned home to fly over the home of the slain 27-year-old pilot, Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, in the village of Ay in Karak governorate. King Abdullah II, there to offer his condolences to al-Kasasbeh's family, pointed out the military aircraft overhead as proof that Jordan was responding with force, according to the executed pilot's father.

Islam: The Real War on Women. 'Watch Out For Satanic Earrings!' IS Publishes Women's Manifesto
Excerpt: A manifesto for women published by the Islamic State (IS) group has criticized Western attitudes to women, saying that this so-called "Western model" has failed, that a woman's place is in the home, and that Western women's fashions, like earrings, are the work of the devil.
The manifesto, titled Women of the Islamic State, was shared on the Internet on January 23 by the IS group's all-women unit, the Al-Khanssa Brigade. 

The Real Islam: Norway Islamic Leader: ‘Every Muslim’ Wants ‘Death Penalty for Homosexuals'
Excerpt: Fahad Qureshi, who founded Islam Net and is considered an Islamic leader in Norway, told a large group of Sunni Muslims that, contrary to media claims that it is only “radicals” and “extremists” who support barbaric punishments for those who violate sharia, regular Muslims support such things, including the “death penalty for homosexuals” and “stoning for adultery.” (Apparently, this Islamic leader is not part of the 99.9% of Muslims Obama says want what we want. ~Bob)

French soldiers wounded in Nice Jewish centre attack
Excerpt: A man wielding a knife has attacked three soldiers patrolling outside a Jewish community centre in Nice, in the south of France. The soldiers were wounded and police said the assailant was captured. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi told French TV that a second man had been arrested in connection with the stabbing. The attacker was expelled from Turkey last week and questioned upon his return, French media reported.

Excerpt: So some pundits surmised that the video would rally Arab leaders and publics to unite in battle against the jihadis. In theory, this sounds plausible. But without a coherent U.S. strategy to fight ISIS, this moment will be lost. There are several reasons the death of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh should galvanize the region. For one thing, the handsome military pilot was a Muslim, so his killing resonates there far more than beheadings of Western hostages.

Al Qaeda in Yemen says leading member killed by U.S. air strike
Excerpt: Three other al Qaeda fighters were also killed in the strike, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said in statement posted on Twitter. Sheikh Harith bin Ghazi al-Nathari was on AQAP's legal committee and served as an adviser on legal and religious affairs, the statement said.

Moussaoui claims Saudi royals 'funded 9/11 attacks'
Excerpt: Moussaoui, imprisoned in Colorado for his role in the attacks, gave testimony in October to lawyers for 9/11 victims suing the country. His statement came to light when it was filed in court this week in response to a Saudi bid to drop the lawsuit. Saudi Arabia has rejected the accusation from a "deranged criminal" with no credibility.

Excerpt: Now serving a life sentence for his role in the 9/11 terror attacks, Zacarias Moussaoui has reportedly provided shocking testimony about Saudi Arabia’s royal family and their alleged al-Qaeda connections, including discussions about shooting down Air Force One. (Here is a test of your gullibility: US media and the political class are saying that we must fight Assad and Putin, who have never threatened anyone in the US. They also tell us that Saudi Arabia is a trusted ally. After reading this, do you believe them? If so, you have passed the gullibility test. You will believe anything. To remain safe, do not leave your house today, tomorrow or any other day after that ever. --Don Hank. (I do not believe that Putin, Assad or the Saudis are our friends. A reptile can be trained to come to you for years to get fed--but it is not your friend and will still bite you given a chance. Nor do I believe the testimony of an al Qaeda terrorist without a LOT of confirmation. ~Bob)

Boko Haram 'kill 70' in Cameroon border town of Fotokol
Excerpt: Boko Haram militants have reportedly killed at least 70 people in an attack on the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria. The Islamist militants attacked civilians in their homes and in the town's mosque, local officials said, setting many buildings on fire. The attack comes a day after a regional force said it had driven the militants from a Nigerian town near Fotokol.

Muslim Doctor's Statement on Islam
This is hard to say, but I honestly believe Islam MUST be banned. If not, we are doomed. Next time a Muslim man tries to tell you Islam is not evil, tell him it is easy for him as a MAN to defend Islam, but women are not free in that religion and you cannot accept that. --Don Hank. We'd have to take that " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... " thing out of the Constitution. If the US can ban Islam, it could also ban evangelicals. ~Bob

Well, Duh: Defense Intelligence: Freed Terrorists Likely to Return to Battle, 'Very Little' We Can Do. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: Over the course of two minutes, the new director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said that recent recidivism statistics suggest that at least one of the so-called 'Taliban Five' terrorists traded for the release of charged deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will return to jihad. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart explained that nearly 20 percent detainees released from US custody over the last few years have been confirmed as resuming their violent fight against the West, with even more suspected of doing the same. (As long as closing Gitmo pleases the base, what does Obama care about Islamic terrorists killing more Americans. ~Bob)

Morell: We Need an Awful Lot of Ground Troops to Defeat ISIS. By Daniel Doherty
Excerpt: What can coalition force do to “degrade and ultimately destroyISIS? “Not much,” according to former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell -- unless, of course, we send in 100,000 ground troops:

Revenge: King of Jordan May Actually Go to War Against ISIS. By Daniel Doherty 
Excerpt: Jordan’s King Abdullah ibn al-Hussein, who has trained as a pilot, may fly a bomber himself on Thursday in the country’s retaliation against the ISIS. Several Arabic-language newspapers reported late Wednesday that the monarch would personally participate in bombing raids on the terrorist group, citing his vow Tuesday to “strike them in their strongholds.” (I think doubtful, but it would be very cool. He's instantly be the GOP frontrunner for 2016! ~Bob)

Important: Hundreds More Muslim Rape Gang Cases Discovered in UK. By Robert Spencer ,
Excerpt: The Muslim rape gang scandal in Britain just keeps getting worse. Last August, the BBC reported that “at least 1,400 children were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, a report has found. Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated, it said.” Five months later, not only has little been done to combat this scourge, but it has grown exponentially worse: hundreds of new cases have been discovered, and one of the victims says that those who abused her are “untouchable.” (Hope this doesn't produce "Islamophobia" or a backlash against the "99.9% of Muslims who want what we want." [Obama]. After all, the left assures us all cultures are equally valid. ~Bob)

Interesting: California Public School Holds Hijab Day, Hilarity Ensues. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The person who sent me the flier explained that this all started with a student at NP3 High who is an intern for the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), now designated a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates. This student, I was informed, gave a presentation about “Islamophobia” and Islam at what was a mandatory staff meeting that also included an official CAIR representative. The school then decided to sponsor an official “Hijab Day” in cooperation with CAIR. The flier also showed that another Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization, the Muslim Students Association, was also involved. My source also told me that every female member of the faculty and staff, and students as well, was encouraged to wear a hijab Thursday, and that NP3’s principal, Tom Rutten, strongly encouraged everyone to participate and wear one.

Deported: Al-Arian Saves One Last Lie for the Road
Excerpt: Sami Al-Arian boarded a commercial flight late Wednesday night from Washington Dulles International Airport to Turkey, ending a 20-year con in which he posed as a mere academic and advocate for Palestinian nationalism. In reality, he was a board member in a terrorist organization who lied to his supporters about his true identity over and over again. ... It's no wonder U.S. District Judge James Moody, who presided over Al-Arian's 2005 criminal trial, called a "master manipulator" during a 2006 sentencing hearing. "The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. You were on the board of directors and an officer, the secretary. Directors control the action of an organization, even the PIJ; and you were an active leader."

Sorting Out the Saudi Succession. By Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia is perhaps the most opaque country in the world, particularly with regard to the politics of its monarchy. One thing is certain: Abdullah's reputation as a cautious reformer was belied by the flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, after the king had entered a hospital at the end of December. Badawi was subjected to the first 50 of a decreed 1,000 lashes—to be administered over 20 weeks—in Jidda, the Saudi commercial capital, on January 9.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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