Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More interesting political news and conservative opinion

General News and Comment

Do Voters Believe Obama Loves America?
Excerpt: U.S. voters overwhelmingly say they love this country, but one-out-of-three doesn’t believe President Obama feels that way. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with this statement made last week by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – “I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” Just over half (51%) disagree with this comment, but another 14% are not sure. (How would anyone know? He says he does. But he also said he was opposed to gay marriage, that you could keep your plan and doctor and that Obamacare would save you $3500 per year. He's said lots of things we now know are not true. ~Bob)

VA Secretary Robert McDonald admits lying about Special Forces service
Excerpt: Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has admitted that he lied about serving in the special operations forces in a conversation with a homeless veteran that was caught on camera earlier this year. McDonald made the claim in January while he was in Los Angeles as part of the VA's effort to locate and house homeless veterans. During the tour, a homeless man told McDonald that he had served in the special operations forces. "Special forces? What years?" McDonald responded. "I was in special forces." The exchange was broadcast on "The CBS Evening News" Jan. 30. McDonald's misstatement was first reported by The Huffington Post. (Now I suppose we'll find out he wasn't dodging sniper fire with Hillary in Bosnia? He should hire Brian Williams as his PA officer. ~Bob)

Former (Clinton) Ambassador to USSR Matlock Lambastes U.S. Policy on Russia
Excerpt: what is going on. I see all these debates, and saying, “Oh, Russia’s only a regional power.”1 What does that mean? What does that mean, particularly in their own region? And I think the elephant in the room, which nobody is referring to, is the nuclear issue. No country which has ICBMs, ICBMs—10 independently targeted warheads, very accurate, mobile (so they can’t be taken out)—no country with that is a regional power, by any means. It can mean other things.

Worth Reading: How to Empower Violent Extremism. By Victor Davis Hanson
Every time Obama “contextualizes,” Putin and ISIS grow bolder. Not too long ago, most Russians were reportedly unhappy with Vladimir Putin. His crackdown on freedom and his kleptocratic economy were hardly popular. Most likely, given their druthers, Russians were not all that interested in Putin’s risky and costly dream of gobbling up former Soviet Republics to create some grander version of Russia’s mess. But now? As the ruble crashes, as Russia’s oil income dives, and as sanctions start biting the man in the street, Putin, in counterintuitive fashion, is apparently more popular than ever. Why? Because he has become an easy mechanism for ordinary Russians to vent frustration and anger over what they perceive as a too-powerful and bullying West. In a fairer world, Western decadence and self-indulgence would not have earned Americans and Western Europeans singular wealth, leisure, influence, and an overall good life — at least not more so than an Orthodox, politically proud, and historically illustrious Mother Russia. Add in the fact that Russians prove covetous of Western things, especially an elite that, like a moth to a flame, seeks to replicate exactly the sort of good life that it condemns as Western decadence.

Satire: Why Not Pick An Apple? By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Is Apple going to make a car?

Giuliani Versus Obama. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: The firestorm of denunciation of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for having said that he did not think Barack Obama loved America, is in one sense out of all proportion to that remark – especially at a time when there are much bigger issues, including wars raging, terrorist atrocities and a nuclear Iran on the horizon. Against that background of strife and dangers on the world stage, it may seem as if Barack Obama’s feelings, or Rudolph Giuliani’s opinion about those feelings, should not matter so much, especially when it is hard to know with certainty how anyone feels. Yet when someone is the leader of a great nation at a historic juncture, it is more than idle curiosity to know what drives him.

The Media's Slimy Assault on Gov. Walker. By David Limbaugh
Excerpt: There is so much evidence that Obama has a different feeling about America than all of our past presidents that it borders on disingenuous to pretend otherwise. What other president has ever denigrated the Founding Fathers as “men of property and wealth”? What POTUS has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its record? Obama has done so, often on foreign soil, complaining to Europe about America’s arrogance, admitting to the Americas that we have sometimes dictated our terms, telling the Turkish Parliament that we have “our own darker periods in our history,” sending a letter to the Afghan president apologizing for coalition forces inadvertently burning copies of the Quran but failing to object to the killing of U.S. troops in return, apologizing to Japan for our nuclear bombing of its cities, criticizing Americans for distrusting Islam, and even going so far as to blame America for the rampant gun violence in Mexico. What other president has belonged to a church whose pastor was openly racist and anti-American? What other president has scoffed at the idea of American exceptionalism?

Scott Walker consolidating the right. By Jennifer Rubin 
Excerpt: The Texas Tribune reports, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has erased U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s strong lead among Texas Republicans in the volatile and still-developing race for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Cruz’s 25 percentage-point lead over Walker in October has vanished: The Texan won the support of 20 percent of the state’s registered voters to Walker’s 19 percent — a statistical tie.” Cruz’s unfavorability rating in his home state is higher (36 percent) than that of either former governor Rick Perry (30 percent) or current Gov. Greg Abbott (28 percent).

Gov. Scott Walker: ‘I don’t know’ whether Obama is a Christian
Excerpt: “I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?” Walker said such questions from reporters are reflective of a broader problem in the nation’s political-media culture, which he described as fixated on issues that are not relevant to most Americans. “To me, this is a classic example of why people hate Washington and, increasingly, they dislike the press,” he said. “The things they care about don’t even remotely come close to what you’re asking about.”(Of all the problems the next president will face, Obama's religion is pretty far down the list. We should take President Obama at his word when he says he is a patriot and a Christian. After all, he said he was opposed to gay marriage, and that under his health plan your premiums would go down, health costs would go down and if you liked your health plan and your doctor, you could keep them. So we know we can take him at his word...Right? ~Bob

Will Elizabeth Warren seize her opportunity? By Jennifer Rubin 
Excerpt: Hillary Clinton is theoretically a highly vulnerable candidate. She has been “caught” — in plain sight — being a Clinton, meaning her abnormal attachment to money has driven her into the pockets of big donors who seem like a Who’s Who of Evil Forces in a MoveOn.org ad. Dick Cheney played small ball, merely working for Halliburton before running for VP (by which time he had ended his relationship). Clinton goes right into the heart of oil kingdoms, Goldman Sachs and chemical and drug companies to support her foundation, which has as a key function the luxury travel of the Clintons and their retinue. She has no discernible policy proposal on much of anything. Her political skills cannot be called “rusty,” for they were never lustrous. She served as the president’s top foreign policy official, making her the co-author of a foreign policy distinguished by its ineffectiveness and lack of principle, unless one considers allowing evil forces to run amok to be a principle. In sum, she is viewed with disdain by the base and extremely vulnerable in a general election.

Worth Reading: 25 Quotes That Prove Liberals Don't Love America. By John Hawkins 
Excerpt: 6) You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a (flag) pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest… — Barack Obama 7) For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. — Michelle Obama

The government loan program with a 116 percent default rate. By Michael Grunwald 
Excerpt: If you’re curious just what kind of risks the US government is taking with its $3.3 trillion in loan programs — a portfolio considerably larger and significantly stranger than any private bank’s — the best place to start is the Federal Credit Supplement, an obscure batch of tables stashed in the back of the annual White House budget proposal. ... For instance, it projects that taxpayers will recover 46 cents on every dollar loaned to renovate rural apartment complexes, but will earn a 24-cent profit on every dollar loaned for Indian tribe land acquisition. Its suggests that risky U.S. loan guarantees for biorefineries and Ukraine are actually getting somewhat safer. It’s where I recently discovered a surprise $21.8 billion shortfall in the federal student loan program.

Did Patricia Arquette accept her $165,000 swag bag before or after her impassioned speech on income inequality?

Gun News

They want guns to protect them, but are against guns to protect you. ~Bob

Excerpt: According to the Arizona Daily Star, the poll was conducted by the Behavior Research Center (BRC), which found that a large portion of the 48 percent of Arizonans who supported more gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook have now changed their position, with only 33 percent favoring more gun control. Forty-eight percent of Arizonans “think the current level of gun control is just fine.” That figure represents a 10-percent increase from the poll taken after Sandy Hook. BRC found that support for gun control “dropped among all political and age groups.”

Race Card News

Internet Quote
"White privilege" = being held responsible for the acts of your ancestors by folks who accept no responsibility for the acts of their children." --Anon.

Comcast, Al Sharpton Hit With $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Excerpt: The complaint, filed in California on Friday, comes from the National Association of African-American Owned Media, which also filed a similar suit against AT&T and DirecTV in December. This time, the plaintiff is not only targeting both Comcast and TWC — on the eve of the two companies merging to become what would be the largest pay television distributor in the United States — but also various African-American advocacy groups and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for allegedly facilitating discrimination. (if they win, we'll never get the millions in tax dollars Sharpton owes. Of course, no chance until 2017, when he might not be a White House advisor ant longer--unless it's President Hillary. ~Bob)

George Zimmerman won’t face civil rights charges in Trayvon Martin’s death. By Mark Berman and Sari Horwitz
Excerpt: The Justice Department announced Tuesday that George Zimmerman will not face federal criminal civil rights charges for shooting and killing teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. (After all the political theater, if they thought they had a case...~Bob)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

HIPAA Violation? Analyst: Private Firms’ Access to Obamacare User Info ‘Incomprehensible’
Excerpt: Allowing dozens of companies access to Obamacare users’ personal health care information was “digital overkill,” and compromised millions of Americans’ online security, an analyst told a congressional panel looking into the issue this month. An Associated Press story revealed last month that the federal government had authorized as many as 50 private companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, to track and record healthcare.gov users’ information. The Obama administration said the use of third party “data mining” is necessary to help understand who uses the site, as well as how and when they use it. That, in turn, they say, can help officials improve the site’s content, features, layout and security, as well as the overall “user experience.” (Hmm, another "oops" from Obamacare that we didn't expect or get told about. --Del)

An Obamacare tell
Excerpt: President Obama has touted the success of the second year of open enrollment for his signature healthcare law. “The Affordable Care Act is working,” Obama said in a Facebook video. “It’s working a little better than we anticipated.” But courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Services, we have a signal that all may not be going a smoothly as the administration would have us believe. .. To start, it's yet another indication that any deadline that the administration sets is merely written on water, subject to arbitrary changes. (We now have the Rube Goldberg version of a healthcare system. ~Bob)

Undocumented Democrat News

New Book: BROWN PEOPLE, Hispanic Politics and the Disunited State of Amigos. By Javier Manjarres
JAVIER MANJARRES is a Florida-based blogger, pundit and award-winning journalist who was born to Colombian immigrants in Flushing, NY. He launched the influential conservative political website the Shark Tank in late 2009 which quickly became the preeminent political blog in the state of Florida. His fearless, uncompromising style has won him many dedicated fans and detractors, and he was credited as being the "tip of the spear" of Senator Marco Rubio's historic campaign for U.S. Senate in 2010 which helped lead to Rubio’s victory over sitting Governor Charlie Crist. For his efforts throughout the 2010 midterm elections, he was named the top national conservative blogger by the Conservative Political Action Committee in 2011. (Have not read. ~Bob)

Texas Governor: Since Jan. 1, 'We Have Had More Than 20,000 People Come Across the Border'
Excerpt: "We all saw what happened on the Texas border last summer, but we need to understand that the problem is not going away," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CBS's "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer on Sunday. "Already this calendar year, since January 1, we have had more than 20,000 people come across the border, apprehended, unauthorized. And so we have an ongoing problem on the border that Congress must step up and solve." (All told in fiscal year 2014, U.S immigration officials removed 213,719 individuals apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.) (It seems the problem with people walking into the USA across the southern border is not going away, not even close. So the state of Texas is going to start trying to work on it on their own, since the feds aren't doing the job that is supposed to be one of the primary functions of a government. Interesting. I wonder what it will take to get this nation to be really serious about tightening up the border, and turning people around very quickly to be transported back across it. So far I just don't see that as a priority for the Executive Branch, and not, so far, for the Legislative Branch either. --Del. It will take this: The Next Terrorist attack on America http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2009/09/essay-next-terrorist-attack-on-america.html ~Bob)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline bill
Excerpt: The White House has notified the Senate that President Obama has vetoed legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline. (Unions wanting jobs can go pound sand. ~Bob)

UN climate head Rajendra Pachauri resigns
Excerpt: The head of the UN climate change panel (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, has resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. ("It's getting warmer, warmer. You need to take off your clothes..." ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Betting National Security on a Theory
Excerpt: So accurately describing their ideology, or calling the terrorists "jihadists" grants them undo legitimacy as true representatives of the faith, the argument goes. The current policy aims to deny them that mantle. That's a theory. But there's a key question no one seems to be asking: Does it work? This is a continuation of a policy instituted during President George W. Bush's second term, meaning it has been in place for more than seven years. If it is indeed the right, best policy, advocates should be able to point to tangible evidence to show its value. Arguably, the Islamist ideology has never been more popular, given the flood of foreign fighters making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, or Boko Haram's endless reign of terror in Nigeria. Hamas still enjoys strong support despite following policies which bring devastation to the people of Gaza. And there is no mistaking the religious motivation driving these groups. 

Worth Reading: For Clinton, money trumps women and girls. By Jennifer Rubin
Excerpt: With regard to women’s rights in Gulf States including Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, according to Freedom House, “Regardless of constitutional guarantees, women throughout the region face legal forms of discrimination that are systematic and pervade every aspect of life. For example, in none of the Gulf countries do women enjoy the same citizenship and nationality rights as men, which can carry serious consequences for the choice of a marriage partner. . . [Gender] inequality is most evident in personal-status codes, which relegate women to an inferior position within marriage and the family, declare the husband to be the head of household, and in many cases require the wife to obey her husband. Under the family codes of all six Gulf countries, a husband is allowed to divorce his wife at any time without a stated reason, but a wife seeking divorce must either meet very specific and onerous conditions or return her dowry through a practice known as khula. Furthermore, women need a guardian’s signature or presence in order to complete marriage proceedings, limiting their free choice of a marriage partner. In Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, there is no codified personal status law, allowing judges to make decisions regarding family matters based on their own interpretations of Islamic law.” So why, if she is the defender of women and children, would Hillary Clinton accept millions from these countries for her foundation? 

I rate very doubtful: Iraqi Army Downs Two British Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL Terrorists
Excerpt: “The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard. The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

Jobs for Jihadists? Sweden’s national job agency fires its entire network of ‘immigrant resettlement assistants’ over fears they were finding them jobs – as ISIS militants
Excerpt: The Swedish government has been forced shut down an assimilation guide service after discovering that several aides may have been trying to recruit newly arrived immigrants to ISIS.
The assimilation guides, a service provided by the Swedish state job agency, have been accused of taking bribes from migrant job-seekers and making 'recruitment attempts to militant fighting groups'.

Two men sentenced to 25 years in plot to attack Americans in Afghanistan
Excerpt: Two men convicted of seeking to join al Qaeda and training to carry out attacks on Americans in Afghanistan were sentenced on Monday to 25 years in federal prison, the U.S. Justice Department said. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips sentenced Sohiel Omar Kabir, 37, and Ralph Deleon, 26, who prosecutors said trained at firearms and paintball facilities in Southern California to prepare for their mission.

Hawaii Dem 'mind-boggled' Pentagon would brief on Iraq War plan. By Kristina Wong 
Excerpt: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said Monday she was "mind-boggled" by the Pentagon's briefing last week of an upcoming military plan to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Pentagon officials at a Thursday briefing gave defense reporters details about the planned operation, angering Republican Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who said it risked the success of the mission. "I was similarly mind-boggled and didn't understand at all how this could be part of a strategic plan in what they're talking about," Gabbard, a captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard and Iraq War veteran, said on CNN. 

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. http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Collapse-American-Republic-prevent/dp/1461122538/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304815980&sr=1-5 For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at)gmail.com. Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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