Monday, February 9, 2015

Today's interesting political news and conservative comment

Having to post daily to keep up.  ~Bob

General News and Comment

Interesting: The View From NATO’s Russian Front. The Army commander in Europe on Putin’s new way of war, Russia’s growing arsenal, and coping with U.S. military budget cuts. By Sohrab Ahmari
Google the title if you cant get it. Excerpt: ‘I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years—not that they’re going to start a war in five or six years, but I think they are anticipating that things are going to happen, and that they will be in a war of some sort, of some scale, with somebody within the next five or six years.” So says Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe. 

Brian Williams Essentially Lied on His Resume, or Exaggerated The Truth
Excerpt: And, I can tell you this -- that lying on resumes is common. In fact, in 2002, I was working with the recruiter Christian & Timbers and helped conduct a study that was an analysis of 7,000 executive resumes that showed that 23% of executives misrepresent accomplishments. Of those that misrepresent them, 64% exaggerated accomplishments. The bottom line is that it is lying on a resume (although we used the word “misrepresented” at the time perhaps to soften the severity of the act.) (When I got my last jib, the headhunter executive recruiter carefully checked all my data (as she should have), including verifying my degrees. I joked that if I was going to lie, I'd have put down an MBA from Harvard, not an MEd in history from Fitchburg State! ~Bob)

Was Brian Williams terrorized by gangs at the Ritz-Carlton during Katrina? By Terrence McCoy 
Excerpt: There’s a story Brian Williams likes to tell. He has told it in a TV interview. He has told it to at least two book authors. But even though it had all the makings of a great yarn — danger, guns, resolve — Williams never reported it to his viewers. It’s the one about the gangs that Williams claimed had “overrun” a posh Ritz-Carlton where he stayed during Hurricane Katrina. (Old joke: "There I was, the only survivor, low on ammo, surrounded by 3,000 Vietcong. I fixed my bayonet..." "So, what happened, Gunny?" "I got killed you damn fool." ~Bob)

No tears here as NBC finally puts 'Rock Center' out of its journalistic misery. But what will we do without Chelsea Clinton's hard-hitting reports. By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun
Excerpt: You will find no tears here for the cancellation of Brian Williams' "Rock Center," which was first reported Friday by the New York Times. It was one of the sorriest excuses for a newsmagazine that I have seen in 30 years of reporting on network television. I wrote that as many times in as many ways as I could since its debut. From the hiring of the Chelsea Clinton as special correspondent, to the quotes from Williams comparing his team to the baseball Hall of Famers in Cooperstown, never has such journalistic bankruptcy been promoted with such self-important bluster. And that's saying something in a TV business built as much on narcissism and hype as it is journalism. (You can argue that Chelsea Clinton’s NBC News work -- $600,000 per year for poor-quality part-time work -- is sort of the Rosetta Stone for a lot that’s wrong in modern American life -- the incestuous relationship between the governing class and the media, the power of celebrity and nepotism, the disregard of legitimate criticism and the morale for those who actually did the work. Brian Williams had a big hand in that mess, and so that may explain why some are enjoying his recent troubles. -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Brian Williams for President: The Nightly News anchor is as honest as Hillary, Biden and Obama. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Brian Williams is in trouble for lying, but he was part of a media culture of deceit where lies were acceptable for a good progressive cause. Williams isn’t really in trouble because he lied, but because he got caught. Worse still, the lies were self-serving. They served Brian Williams; they didn’t serve the left. Williams had failed to draw the line between the “good lie” (ObamaCare is making life better) and the “bad lie” (I swam the flooded French Quarter with puppies on my back during Katrina while Al Qaeda shot RPGs at me). But the borders between the “good lie” and the “bad lie” have been vague when it comes to the titans of the left.

Injured Veteran Film
I'm reaching out on behalf of a short film based on the stories of Kyle Carpenter and Jesse Cottle. This film was written, directed, and produced by a retired soldier. The film, Birthday, is an incredible tale of a veteran coming home from war with traumatic injuries. It's a beautiful depiction of a rare truth that's moving and inspiring. Right now, the film is trying to raise money to finish the project and have showing at military bases around the country and the globe. It’d be incredible if you’d be open to linking to the campaign on The Old Jarhead to share such a powerful and truthful film, depicting the realities of coming home from war. Here is a link to the campaign: We’re also open to any other ideas that you may have, we just want to spread the word. Please let me know if there is any way we can work together! Thank you and God bless. Best, Chris

Jindal Emphasizes Teacher Tenure Reform, School Choice in Sweeping Education Plan. By Ken McIntyre
Excerpt: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, hoping that a push for education reform can set him apart among prospective Republican candidates for president, today begins to tout a national plan he says would create “an ecosystem of freedom and choice” for parents, students and teachers.
His proposals, Jindal says in the plan to be released this morning, would push the public education system out of “a rut” it has been stuck in for 50 years because of Washington’s ever-increasing involvement, which he sees as holding back generations of children.

In Iowa, Republican field wide open as moderates stake their caucus claims
Excerpt: Less than a year before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, it appears that every Republican contender is making a serious play to win the state, setting up what is likely to be one of the most active, competitive campaigns here in recent memory. Political observers in Iowa say that the field is wide open and that numerous candidates have a legitimate shot to win or do well enough to come out with momentum. That is partly because moderates in the Iowa Republican Party, led by Gov. Terry Branstad, have reasserted themselves into the caucus process after watching social conservatives dominate in 2008 and 2012.

2015 National Security Blueprint Gives America the Blues
Excerpt: Recent terrorist attacks serve as a gruesome reminder that Jihadistan remains a critical threat. In fact, at no other time in history have jihadis controlled such vast swaths of land and boasted such a powerful upper hand. Sadly, rising turmoil has done nothing to sway Barack Obama, who only reaffirmed he’s content to keep the issue on the back burner.

Click on image to enlarge

AG considers Kitzhaber/Hayes investigation. By Hillary Borrud
Excerpt: Oregon's attorney general is considering investigating claims first lady Cylvia Hayes used her connections with government to boost her private business. On Friday two efforts to recall Gov. John Kitzhaber got underway.

WOW: 'I Aborted My Baby Because It Was A Boy.' By Matt Vespa 
Excerpt: A woman named Lana admitted to aborting her child because she was going to have a boy. She also said if this “curse” returned (i.e. finding out she’s pregnant with a boy) she would do it again. This comes after she proudly states she has a healthy 1-year-old girl, who will “be just as strong and driven as her mother.” 

U.S. stocks end day lower as Greek worries linger
Excerpt: Alan Greenspan believes “it’s just a matter of time” before Greece leaves the eurozone, because he can’t see that anyone will be willing to put up more loans to bolster the country’s economy, the former Federal Reserve chairman told the BBC on Sunday.

Watchdog: Air Force 'doctored the data' to make A-10 look bad. By Kristina Wong
Excerpt: A government watchdog group on Monday accused the Air Force of manipulating data to skew the record of the A-10 "Warthog" when it comes to civilian casualties and friendly fire deaths in Afghanistan. Recently declassified Air Force data said the A-10 attack jet has killed more U.S. troops in friendly fire incidents and more Afghan civilians than any other aircraft flown by the U.S. military, USA Today reported last week. But the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said the statistics were skewed to bolster the Air Force's campaign to retire the A-10 in favor of the costlier F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Gun News

They Tried to Steal a Truck in Houston — but the Truck’s Owners Were Armed. By Zach Noble
Excerpt: It was 1 a.m. on Sunday, and the pair of car thieves likely thought they’d picked up an easy score. They turned out to be making a fatal mistake. Two brothers tracked down the thieves who stole their truck, shooting at them and killing one early Sunday in northeast Houston, KPRC-TV reported.

Race Card News

Just politics: Reflections during Black History Month: How the Minimum Wage Hurts Black Americans
Excerpt: February is Black History Month, and while numerous lawmakers, pundits and voters have called for more to be done to expand economic opportunities for black Americans, too often that means increasing the size and scope of government programs. Unfortunately, government programs -- even the most well-intentioned -- routinely fail, create disincentives to growth and hurt the people they're supposed to help. In a new report, the NCPA has compiled a list of government policies -- from housing law to education, welfare programs, tax policy and employment-related laws -- that are hurting black Americans. Consider minimum wage policy -- advocates of higher minimum wages say they will help the working poor, yet they often price the lowest-skilled workers out of the market so they are essentially earning nothing. Black teenagers bear most of the burden, as the NCPA has noted in a previous publication: From 1948 to 1955, the unemployment rate of black and white teenage males was essentially the same -- 11.3 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively. But after the minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1 in 1956, unemployment rose significantly for both black and white teenage males, with blacks bearing more of the burden. By 1969, the unemployment rate was 22.7 percent for black teenage males and 14.6 percent for white teenage males. Economists Donald Deere, Kevin Murphy and Finis Welch found that minimum wage increases in 1990 and 1991 reduced employment for all teenagers by 7.3 percent and for black teenagers by 10 percent. Historically, minimum wage and prevailing wage laws were supported by almost exclusively white unions in order to remove the competitive advantage of blacks who were willing to work for less. (The political calculus is easy. Blacks will vote Democrat regardless of how the Dems screw them. White unions get raises if the MWL goes up--and need to be re-bought regularly. Why they encourage blacks to go on welfare, thus need to vote for the welfare party. ~Bob)

Guess Who Is Now Listed in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Extremist Files’ Among Neo-Nazis, KKK Members and Many Others. By Billy Hallowell
Excerpt: Carson has been added to a list of “extremists” being populated and compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.” (The SPLC has made itself a jokes, not to be taken seriously. Sort of a NBPP in suits and ties. ~Bob)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

One Year After Obamacare’s Implementation, Taxpayer-Funded Co-Ops Struggle to Survive. By Melissa Quinn
Excerpt: After receiving $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars from the federal government, the vast majority of nonprofit insurance companies created under the Affordable Care Act recorded losses in revenue, an analysis by The Daily Signal found. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, are nonprofit insurance companies created by the Affordable Care Act. Though the concept is not new, 23 of these entities were created to foster competition in areas where few options are available. Now, CoOportunity, a co-op created to serve Iowa and Nebraska, will be liquidated. Some lawmakers question the viability of the remaining 22 co-ops. (When I was managing non-profit associations, sometimes board members would get dollar signs in their eyes about the association owning a for-profit subsidiary [which is perfectly legal]. I always urged caution. Unless you have a captive market, like the College Bookstore Association, they are rarely profitable. Entering an industry you know little about to compete with guy who earning their living competing in that market usually make you lunch. ~Bob)

John Oliver goes after Big Pharma

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Low Gas Prices? Obama Says, 'You're Welcome'
Excerpt: As we’ve noted on numerous occasions, U.S. oil production is up and demand is down, leading to lower prices. Increased production is taking place entirely on private lands, yet, once again, Barack Obama is happy to take the credit.

Fracking Creates Big Benefits for Workers, Landowners, and America's Poor
Excerpt: Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is fueling the current energy boom in America. Combined with horizontal drilling, fracking has opened up previously unreachable energy reserves for exploitation, and the economic boon has been tremendous, writes Arthur Herman, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. ... Moreover, the economic benefits of fracking accrue not just to the workers in the oil and gas industry. Herman notes that many of the beneficiaries of the oil boom are the middle-class Americans who own resource-rich land, and selling or leasing those mineral rights can bring in extra income. America's poor, who can spend up to a quarter of their incomes on energy, have also benefited from the fracking boom thanks to falling gasoline and electricity prices - since 2005, America's demand for imported oil has fallen by a staggering 40 percent. In fact, the drop in natural gas prices has saved poor families about $10 billion per year.

Worth Reading: Top 10 Global Warming Lies That May Shock You. By James Taylor
Excerpt: EDF has assembled what it believes to be the 10 most powerful global warming assertions in the alarmists’ playbook, yet each assertion either backfires on alarmists or has been proven false. While reading how flawed EDF’s assertions are, remember these are the very best arguments global warming alarmists can make. Open-minded readers should have very little difficulty dismissing the mythical global warming crisis after examining the top 10 assertions in the alarmist playbook.

Religion of Peace News

LISTEN: An Islam scholar politely unloads on President Obama’s ‘terrible deeds in the name of Christ’ remarks. By Benjamin Weingarten
Excerpt: … [I]f you look at what he’s [President Obama's] referring to in terms of the Crusades…if I could just share with you something that I wrote ten years ago [from Bostom's "Jihad Begot the Crusades," parts 1 and 2]…The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Qur’anic revelation itself, whereas the Crusades were circumscribed historical events subjected to (ongoing and meaningful) criticism by Christians themselves. Unlike the espousal of jihad in the Qur’an, the constituent texts of Christianity, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, do not contain a form fruste [incomplete] institutionalization of the Crusades. 

Excerpt: “You don’t use the word ‘crusades,’ number one, in any context right now, it’s just too fraught,” Andrea Mitchell said on “Meet the Press” Sunday. “And the week after a pilot is burned alive, in a video shown, you don’t lean over backwards to be philosophical about the sins of the fathers. You have to deal with the issue that’s in front of you or don’t deal with it at all,” she added. “Talk about faith.”

Historian: ‘I Don’t Think The President Knows Very Much About The Crusades’
Excerpt: University of London Historian Thomas Asbridge also told ABC News that the suggestion of any causal link between the Islamic State terrorists and the medieval Crusades is “grounded in the manipulation and misrepresentation of historical evidence.”

Turkish Leader Accuses "Jewish Lobby" of Plot to Topple Regime
Excerpt: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that his government would not give into the "Jewish lobby" that he says is working against the ruling AKP Party. "I announce it from here: we have not and will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the Turkish-Greek minority's lobbies," Davutoglu said at a party gathering Sunday. Arbitrary references to the "Jewish lobby" in the Muslim world can be construed as anti-Semitic sentiment without factual evidence supporting such claims. Leaders in various countries have historically blamed Jews and Israel for internal woes to alleviate domestic pressure and propagate the concept of an external enemy in order to cultivate regime legitimacy.

Europe on Edge One Month After Charlie Hebdo. By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: Less than a month after the Charlie Hebdo murders and the slaughter of four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris, Islamic State (IS, or ISIS) has sent a warning now to Belgium: "This," they wrote in a letter to Het Laatste News (HLM), "is only the beginning." The letter, received by HLN's editors on Feb. 4, referred also to a series of attacks in France that pre-dated the Paris massacres: "What happened in France will happen, too, in Belgium," the typewritten letter stated in perfect French, "and from Belgium, IS will conquer all of Europe."

Whose Job is it to Kill ISIS? By Patrick J. Buchanan
Excerpt: Seeing clips of that 22-minute video of the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, one wonders: Who would be drawn to the cause of these barbarians who perpetrated such an atrocity? While the video might firm up the faith of fanatics, would it not evoke rage and revulsion across the Islamic world? After all, this was a Sunni Muslim, in a cage, being burned alive. As of now, this cruel killing seems to have backfired.

Ralph Peters: Burning Of Jordanian Pilot "Better Than The Best Sex They've Ever Had And Easier On The Goats!"
Excerpt: And Islamic state, those guys who burned that young man alive, they're having the time of their lives. This kind of violence is captivating, exhilarating, thrilling to these guys. It's never going to get better for them than this. They have power now. They can exert their will over others. This is better than the best sex they've ever had and easier on the goats.

Excerpt: A four star admiral, who was in charge of the largest single military command in the world, slammed Barack Obama, and warned Congress that...

Excerpt: Former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rauf, who reportedly swore allegiance to the Islamic State recently, was killed by a drone strike in Afghanistan.
Rauf's brother-in-law and four Pakistanis were also killed when their car filled with ammunition was destroyed. ... Rauf was captured by the U.S. military in 2001 and spent six years in Guantanamo Bay before being released to Afghan authorities.

Jihadis found the Achilles' heel leaving Europe vulnerable
Excerpt: A lack of effective multilateral coordination between European Union member states is leaving the bloc open to infiltration by terrorists, according to experts, as the bloc’s border forces are overwhelmed by the numbers of illegal migrants and refugees attempting to reach Europe.

UK: Muslims demand non-Muslim buried next to Muslim be exhumed. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: It’s a multi-faith cemetery, but never mind: the unbelievers are “unclean” (cf. Qur’an 9:28), and that’s that. The local council is, of course, siding with the Muslims. This is modern Britain: in all-out appeasement mode, hoping their new masters will go easy with them. But they won’t.

Can French Troops Protect 'Sensitive Sites' from Next Terror Attack? By Daniel Pipes
Excerpt: Another Islamist immigrant from Mali named Coulibaly has attacked another Jewish institution in France. The first one, Amedy Coulibaly, murdered four Jews at a kosher store in Paris on Jan. 9; this second one injured three soldiers yesterday as they protected a Jewish community center in Nice.

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:

1 comment:

  1. Under "general news and comment", it has a picture of what conservatives "really look like", but it's statistically inaccurate. The amount of young people in the picture is massively unrepresentative of conservatives.