Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stay Informed! Read today's political news and opinion.


Another slick night with some snow at rush hour. Had a dinner engagement on the west side, but this time left early enough I wasn't late. Guy I met at the VA six months ago was in town. He follows the blog and we got together. He had a lung transplant 13 years ago. I won't lay out his details, but my lung transplant and the last 14 months have been a garden party compared to what he's been through. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Older Piece But a Must Read: Six Seconds to Live. "Sir, in the name of God, no sane man would have stood there and done what they did. They saved us all." By Lt. Gen. John Kelly
Excerpt: "The truck’s windshield explodes into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tear into the body of the son of a bitch trying to get past them to kill their brothers – American and Iraqi – bedded down in the barracks, totally unaware that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder-width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could. They had only one second left to live, and I think they knew." ... Kelly delivered this speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis on Nov. 13, 2010, four days after his son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Senate committee passes right-to-work bill amid chaos
Excerpt: Amid chaos, a Senate committee voted to send a controversial right-to-work bill to the full house, setting up another contentious debate for Wednesday. (Every voluntary association I managed over 31 years--there were seven--had more paying members when I left than when I took the con. If you show value, they will join. If you are spending dues on perks and pet projects the members don't value, they will not. ~Bob)

Excerpt: But on Tuesday, the large-scale public-union-style protests didn’t materialize. Early on a snowy morning outside the capitol, the sidewalks were empty. Several hundred union members, decked out in hard hats and iridescent safety jackets, milled about inside as the legislature conducted its public hearing on the bill. Perhaps expecting some of the chicanery of four years ago, police posted signs explaining that bringing live snakes into the capitol was prohibited.

No, Really, Scott Walker Is the Frontrunner. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Quinnipiac polls likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants and finds Wisconsin governor Scott Walker leads the pack with 25 percent; 13 percent for U.S. senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, 11 percent each for physician Ben Carson and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and 10 percent for former Florida governor Jeb Bush. No other candidate is above 5 percent and 9 percent are undecided. PPP shows Walker leading nationally at 25 percent; Ben Carson is at 18 percent. The UT-Austin/Texas Tribune poll puts Ted Cruz at 20 percent; Walker is at 19 percent. The Field poll puts Walker ahead in California at 18 percent; Jeb Bush is second with 16 percent. PPP shows Walker second in South Carolina with 18 percent; Jeb Bush leads with 19 percent.

Walker Turns Media Gotchas into Cash
Excerpt: In the last two weeks or so, Scott Walker’s star has continued to rise from among the crowded field of Republican candidates, which has placed a media target on his back.

Hillary’s Identity Crisis. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: It apparently takes a village of corporate marketing specialists to tell voters who she is.

Russia Pushes Reset Button: Parades Missile Threatening to BLOW UP Obama
Excerpt: This week Russia pushed its own reset button… Russians paraded a missile on Army Day marked “to be personally delivered to Obama.”

How Crazy Am I to Think I Actually Know Where That Malaysia Airlines Plane Is?
Excerpt: I soon realized the germ of every TV-news segment is: “Officials say X.” The validity of the story derives from the authority of the source. The expert, such as myself, is on hand to add dimension or clarity. Truth flowed one way: from the official source, through the anchor, past the expert, and onward into the great sea of viewerdom. (Less interested in the subject, though I am, than in the story-development flow, and how news is packaged. --George)

Democrats "I Trust Scientists" Tweet Backfires Hilariously. By Christine Rousselle 
Excerpt: The official Twitter of the Democrat Party attempted to be snarky today and tweeted an image that implied that Republicans are anti-science: ... This being said, there's apparently at least one set of scientists the Democrats don't trust: the ones who said that the Keystone XL Pipeline will "not significantly worsen" the environment.

The Virtues of Marco Rubio
Excerpt: Rubio, the son of naturalized Cuban immigrants, would be the first Latino Republican candidate. That in itself should warm the cockles of establishment-type GOP hearts. And make no mistake – Republicans must improve with minorities. Bright, articulate and energetic, Rubio served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, eventually being elected speaker in 2006. In 2009, he ran against Charlie Crist in the Florida senatorial primary. Beginning as an underdog, Rubio climbed the polls quickly and won the primary. Crist then ran as an independent, but Rubio beat him again in a three-way race.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is headed to a runoff. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
If you roll your eyes and conclude that only Jesus could beat Barack Obama’s former chief of staff in a Chicago Democratic primary . . . then you’re in luck: His runoff opponent is former Illinois State Senator Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who was outspent 12 to 1 in Tuesday’s race. Miraculous!

Trip to Vietnam Revives Hatred of Communism. By Dennis Prager
Excerpt: It was difficult to control my emotions -- specifically, my anger -- during my visit to Vietnam last week. The more I came to admire the Vietnamese people -- their intelligence, love of life, dignity and hard work -- the more rage I felt for the communists who brought them (and, of course, us Americans) so much suffering in the second half of the 20th century. Unfortunately, communists still rule the country. Yet, Vietnam today has embraced the only way that exists to escape poverty, let alone to produce prosperity: capitalism and the free market. So what exactly did the 2 million Vietnamese who died in the Vietnam War die for? I would like to ask one of the communist bosses who run Vietnam that question. "Comrade, you have disowned everything your Communist party stood for: communal property, collectivized agriculture, central planning and militarism, among other things. Looking back, then, for what precisely did your beloved Ho Chi Minh and your party sacrifice millions of your fellow Vietnamese?" There is no good answer. There are only a lie and a truth, and the truth is not good. (Having just returned from Viet Nam myself, where I came face to face with the despotism and oppression of communist rulers, I am right with Mr. Prager. --Del. me too, Del--and I didn't have to go back to know that! ~Bob)

MSNBC Host Feels Sorry For Chris Kyle’s Killer: ‘His Life Is Ruined’ [VIDEO]
Excerpt: Appearing on “Andrea Mitchell Reporting,” former Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy said that he felt for the murderer of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and fellow veteran Chris Littlefield because “his life is ruined.” “It’s a tragedy,” said Murphy, who also hosts MSNBC’s “Taking the Hill” program. “I’m happy that justice was served. But that verdict yesterday doesn’t bring back Chris and Chad. It doesn’t. They’re gone. And, you know, now another Marine, his life is ruined.” (We like to say there are no ex-Marines. but this killer qualifies. ~Bob. Murphy has to be the biggest moron who ever lived. --Steve)

The Joy of Welfare-Funded Holiday Trips to Bali and Dubai. by Daniel J. Mitchell
Excerpt: Since I’m in the United Kingdom, it’s appropriate to announce that another Briton has been elected to the Moocher Hall of Fame. Ms. Kay Bird deserves this “honor” because it takes a very reprehensible entitlement mentality to brag about taking a global holiday with welfare cash. And we’re talking about a global holiday that appears to be far more extravagant than the foreign trips enjoyed by Natalija, another member of the Moocher Hall of Fame.

Gun News

Police ID Man Killed In North Austin Shooting
Excerpt: Austin Police have identified a man who was shot and killed in north Austin early Saturday morning. Police say they were called to an apartment home in the 7200 block of Twin Crest Drive around 1 a.m. on Saturday. When they arrived, they found 26-year-old Ray Anthony Arredondo dead of an apparent gunshot wound. Police say the tenant of the apartment was sleeping when Arredondo forced his way into the apartment. Police say Arredondo pointed a gun at the tenant and demanded he get on the ground. The tenant then grabbed his handgun and fired a shot at Arredondo striking and killing him, police said.

Homeowner shoots, kills intruder in Catawba County
Excerpt: Catawba County deputies said two burglars broke into the home on the 7400 block of Riverbend Road in Claremont around 9 a.m. The suspects broke a window around the back of the house and came in through the basement. Meantime Bruce Fox heard the men entering his home and got a 12 gauge shot gun. Fox called police but the men came after him. "Subject kicks in the door leading into the hallway, he comes down the hallway toward the homeowner and the homeowner fires one shot with the shotgun striking the subject in the chest," said Sheriff Coy Reid, Catawba Co.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Excerpt: The experience of the ONC in its first few years of existence warns against allowing it to exert too much control over HIT. In 2004, the ONC was originally envisioned as the “coordinator” of HIT. However, in 2009, the ONC became the financier, certifier, and regulator of much of HIT. The federal government allocated a 5-year budget of $30 billion to disburse as incentives to hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other health facilities, as encouragement to install electronic health records (EHRs). ONC was given the power to certify EHRs that would qualify providers for the incentive payments. A new NCPA study concludes that this has proven expensive, unproductive, and potentially harmful, which leads to the conclusion that the federal government should play a minimal role in guiding HIT over the next decade.

Undocumented Democrat News

From the left: Another Federal Judge Strikes Down An Obama Executive Action On Immigration. By Conn Carroll
Excerpt: A federal judge appointed by President Obama issued a preliminary injunction last week ending a key 2014 immigration executive action that helped end a wave of illegal immigration from Central Americans countries last summer.

Study: Hispanics Will Occupy 75% of New Jobs Starting in 2020. By Warner Todd Huston
Excerpt: A new study finds that Hispanic foreigners, both legal and illegal, will account for a large portion of future job growth, taking perhaps as many as 75 percent of the jobs created by 2020.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Reporters Laugh at White House Spokesman when He says that 6 Years Isn't Long Enough to Review the Keystone XL Pipeline. By Onan Coca
Excerpt: When the White House press corps is laughing at your answer – you know the answer probably wasn’t very good. In an interesting Q and A with White House reporters, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest isn’t even trying to hide the fact that his answer is ridiculous. He knows it is, and the reporters covering the White House know it is. The State Department (and other government agencies have had 6+ years to analyze the effects of the Keystone Pipeline and they still haven’t accomplished their task. In that time, several other studies of the Pipeline have been done, none showing any negative environmental impact. In fact, the net effect on the environment will be positive because the Pipeline will reduce the possibility of accidents with oil being transported by truck, train or boat.

Waiting for a Climate Apology
Excerpt: The Sierra Club gleefully reports that our saints at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to date have forced the closure of 186 coal-fired power plants. They claim there are still 337 to go. According to their data each coal-fired plant produces an average of 500 MW of energy, capable of powering roughly 260,000 households. That’s over 48 million households deprived of inexpensive energy, and all in the name of combating global warming. Their reasoning is to combat the emission of carbon dioxide, that evil greenhouse gas that has caused our Earth to warm unnecessarily. Yet recent discoveries have found what we’ve known all along. That man-made climate change is a scam and a scandal of proportions that we have never seen. (This writer is a bit emotional as well on the subject. I can understand that, what is hard for me to understand are the people who will cheerfully manipulate data to demonstrate there's warming, and we have plenty of examples of that, starting with the famous "hockey stick" professor. (Who is involved in a lawsuit about people pointing out his bad science, which will get interesting when trial starts. He also claimed to be a Nobel Prize recipient, and the Nobel people got ticked enough to make a public announcement that he is no such thing.) For me, reading the Climategate e-mails in which climatologists talked about destroying data so no one could use it to argue with them was the start of realizing, with shock and dismay, that PhD geniuses can be as subject to passionate beliefs as anyone else. I don't go for the deliberate scam conspiracy theory, but enough people getting emotionally committed to the whole idea in the end has the same effect as a conspiracy. Why the idea of manmade damage to the planet's atmosphere is so compellingly attractive to so many people is a complete mystery to me, but that's how it is. Meanwhile, the actions they want us all to take because of this belief would be and are already becoming damaging to our society. The EPA declaring CO2 to be a poison gas is not science, that is politics in action in a place that should be exempt from politics. A very, very bad idea. --Del. if you circulated a petition on college campuses to ban carbon-based life forms, you get thousands of signatures. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: The Cancer of Multiculturalism. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: President Obama’s vision is that of a man brainwashed through an academic vision of multiculturalism, in which American exceptionalism has no place. It’s a vision that has been shaped by a longtime association with people who hate our country, people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Weather Underground leader and Pentagon bomber William Ayers and Ayers' onetime fugitive wife, Bernardine Dohrn. A vision that sees a moral equivalency between what Christians did centuries ago and today’s Islamic savagery is quite prevalent in academia. It’s part of what’s worshipped on most college campuses as diversity and multiculturalism. College campus idiots – and that includes faculty members and administrators – call for the celebration of and respect for all cultures. In their eyes, it’s racist Eurocentrism to think that Western values and culture are superior to others. But that’s the height of stupidity. 

Must Read: Obama’s Hasty Mosul Offensive. by Bing West
Excerpt: Last week, the press panned Mr. Obama’s anodyne remarks about “violent extremism.” The next day, the Central Command briefed the press on plans to seize the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, which is currently held by ISIS. For a White House fixated upon imagery, news of an impending offensive projected a resolute commander-in-chief. ... The two battles for Fallujah show what would be likely to happen in Mosul. In April of 2004, President George W. Bush ordered the Marines, against their advice, to seize Fallujah. Within days, the ferocity of the battle sparked a public outcry. Mr. Bush lost his nerve and ordered the Marines to pull out. Similarly, if Mosul is attacked, Mr. Obama will be pressured by a dozen nations with competing interests. Given the present circumstances, he must, unlike in past crises, be fully resolved to stay the course. . Bing West, a former combat Marine and assistant secretary of defense, has written three books about the war in Iraq...

Secretary of Homeland Security says My Job is to "Give Voice to the Plight of Muslims
Excerpt: My goodness! When are Americans going to have enough of the federal government advancing the religion of pieces? "Homeland Security" Secretary Jeh Johnson sides with Barack Obama about not getting at the root of the terrorism taking place in the world today, Islam. In fact, recently, Johnson said that it was part of the administration's job to "give voice to the plight of Muslims." (Another "useful idiot". --JB)

Kurdish, Christian forces battle ISIS as fate of 150 reported hostages unclear
Excerpt: Kurdish and Christian militiamen battled Islamic State militants Wednesday in northeastern Syria, where the extremist group abducted at least 150 people from Assyrian Christian villages, according to activists. Hassakeh province, which borders Turkey and Iraq, has become the latest battleground for the fight against the terror group Islamic State, also known as ISIS. It is predominantly Kurdish, but also has populations of Arabs and predominantly Assyrian Christians and Armenians.

3 NYC residents arrested, charged with trying to join Islamic State militants
Excerpt: Three New York City residents -- two with Uzbekistan citizenship, and one a citizen of Kazakhstan -- plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS militants and 'wage jihad,' the Justice Department announced. One of the defendants also offered to kill the president of the United States if ordered do so, the criminal complaint alleged. 

Iran attacks mock U.S. carrier in drills near strait
Excerpt: "American aircraft carriers are very big ammunition depots housing a lot of missiles, rockets, torpedoes and everything else," the Guard's navy chief, Adm. Ali Fadavi, said on state TV, adding that a direct hit by a missile could set off a large secondary explosion. Last month Fadavi said his force is capable of sinking American aircraft carriers in the event of war. (FYI Adm. Ali Fadavi - mock carriers don't fight back. And your mock carrier didn't have the escorts that our Carrier Strike Group take with them. The typical CSG consists of the carrier, a guided missile cruiser, one or two Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) warships, and one or two anti-submarine destroyers or frigates, all of which would be engaged in defending the carrier from any attack. --MasterGuns)

Bill Maher finally Notices the “Orwellian” Nature of Not Calling ISIS Muslim. By Onan Coca
Excerpt: This idea that we cannot even call it Islamic terrorism seems Orwellian to me. It seems like we’re paying a very high price for this which is we can’t discuss it even rationally. Can’t we at least say that there are a number of factors that are involved? And the religion is certainly one of that.

New Book: Catch The Jew! [Kindle Edition] By Tuvia Tenenbom
Have not read. ~Bob

Let's Unfriend ISIS. By A.J. Caschetta
Excerpt: As absurd as "unfriending" a terrorist organization sounds, the Obama administration's use of social media to counter what it euphemistically calls "violent extremism" has been equally feckless. On Jan. 7, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged "the need to counter some of the extremist ideology that ISIL is propagating, using some pretty sophisticated social media strategy." Five days later ISIS hacked Centcom's social media accounts.

After capturing large stores of American weapons in Mosul last summer, ISIS tweeted this doctored version of Michelle Obama's #bringbackourgirls appeal for the release of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The White House was not amused.

A Quarter of British Muslims Sympathize with Paris Attack Terrorists
Excerpt: More than a quarter of British Muslims sympathize with the terrorists who committed the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last month, according to a new ComRes poll conducted for the BBC. These findings indicate that a substantial minority of Muslims in Britain approve of murder against individuals deemed to have insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Roughly 27 percent of the respondents said that they have "some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks" while 32 percent said that they were not surprised by the terrorist attacks.

You can't make this stuff up: Expert on Islamophobia Joins ISIS. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: In 2009 he was invited to SVT, where he told Swedish viewers how Muslim phobia (Islamophobia) and hatred was spread around Europe. Previously, the Swede have been heavily involved to counter what he described as a misleading picture of Muslims as violent fanatics. In an episode of SVT debate, which can be seen on Youtube, he attacked the malicious picture of Muslims spread in Europe. This fear is based on ignorance of Islam,” Michael Skråmo said. ... Michael Skråmo, 29, took the whole family – his little four children and wife – to the IS-controlled area inside Syria. Now Skråmo filmed a propaganda video outside the Syrian city Kobane where he preaches jihad and calls Swedish jihadists to leave Sweden and join the “holy war”.

Which side are we on? Pentagon leak on secret anti-terror training camp
Excerpt: The Pentagon let slip that one of its training camps to help fight Islamic State terrorists is in Jordan — information the pro-U.S. kingdom had specifically requested be kept private, and the latest gaffe in a series of sensitive leaks coming out of the Department of Defense.

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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