Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Some interesting political news today


My talk to "Pints and Politics" Tuesday night went very well, though I had to stop a couple of times for breathing issues. Those who know me well will be stunned to know that I was supposed to speak for 30 minutes, but went 45.

Wednesday morning, the VA called just as I was getting ready for Rehab. They wanted to move my right eye cataract surgery from April 8 to this Friday, March 6. Guess they had a cancellation and saw I lived in Madison. I said yes, so Wednesday after rehab I did the Pre-op, which pretty much killed the day--thus a shorter post now. My health in general has been stable; not much change in February from January. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Worth Seeing: Grandpa takes kids to the movies

US ambassador to South Korea injured in razor attack
Excerpt: The U.S. ambassador to South Korea was injured by a man wielding a razor Thursday morning in Seoul, and his assailant was immediately detained.
Mark W. Lippert was rushed to a nearby hospital with cuts to his face and wrist, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, and appeared to be splattered with blood but was on his feet, TV images show. He was on his way to attend a morning lecture in central Seoul when the attack took place shortly before 8 a.m. YTN TV reported that the man, only identified by his surname, Kim, screamed "South and North Korea should be reunified" during the attack.

Hillary Clinton's Off-the-Books Mail Server Was in Her House, Registered to a Non-Existent Man.
Excerpt: Stage 2 of the Hillary email scandal has been achieved, as yesterday’s “confused old lady who didn’t understand how email works” defense utterly collapsed with the Press' discovery that Clinton’s mail server was located in her house (her estate in Chappaqua, to be exact — the one she had to settle for because she was “dead broke” after Bill left office) and was registered under the name of a man who does not appear to exist.

Latest Scott Walker Scandal: His Spokeswomen Are WAY TOO HOT. By Eric Owens
Excerpt: The crusade to find some scandal — any scandal — to sink 2016 Republican presidential frontrunner Scott Walker officially jumped the shark on Monday when a deeply concerned American suggested that the Wisconsin governor’s spokeswomen are problematically attractive. Isthmus, an alternative weekly newspaper out of Madison, raised the allegation in Tell All, a regular advice column.

Scott Walker Pledges to Sign Controversial Pro-life Bill. By Cortney O'Brien 
Excerpt: As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.

Excerpt: Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has nearly all of the right ingredients to win the GOP nomination. He is popular among both anti-establishment activists and the big donors of the establishment. He has working-class appeal (desperately needed for the GOP), and he’s battle-tested in his home state — a state many believe the Republicans could finally pick off in a presidential election. The question is whether his timing is off. In countless discussions I had at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference — as well as among people I’ve talked to who attended the Club for Growth meeting in Florida last weekend — the concern for friends, and the hope for foes, is that Walker is peaking too soon.

No One Cares!’: Major Garrett Unloads On WH ‘Deference’ To Hillary Over Emails. By Al Weaver
Excerpt: After taking multiple questions on the topic during Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was taken to the woodshed by CBS’s Major Garrett, who wondered if the Obama administration paid too much “deference” to Clinton due to the pair’s contentious relationship. “Let’s just step back for a second on this email thing,” Garrett started. “Hillary Clinton did not arrive in this administration like any other cabinet secretary. As you have often said from this podium over the past two days, she brought with her a team. She brought with her a formidable political backing and the strenuous campaign against this president who was elected.”

Awash in cash, Bush asks donors not to give more than $1 million – for now
Excerpt: An unusual request has gone out to wealthy donors writing large checks to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush: Please don’t give more than $1 million right away. The requested limit, confirmed by multiple people familiar with the amount, may mark the first time that a presidential hopeful has sought to hold off supporters from contributing too much money. (I understand the problem. I ask that people contributing to the bob hall retirement Fund not give more than $1M as well. please keep that in mind when writing out your checks...~Bob)

Too Funny: Obama Supporters Endorse Karl Marx for President in 2016

Venezuela Bars Bush And Cheney As 'Terrorists'
Excerpt: The travel bans target those who “violated human rights and bombed villages as in Iraq, Syria and Vietnam.” - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. (I'm sure they are bothered. If they want to visit a socialist paradise, Washington has better restaurants and hotels and the airfare is cheaper. Obama will likely increase their foreign aid. ~Bob)

Lawyer: Department of Justice Shut Down Search For Lois Lerner’s Emails
The Department of Justice blocked an attempt to force the Internal Revenue Service to search for Lois Lerner’s missing emails at off-site storage facilities, according to a lawyer pushing to obtain the emails. The IRS never looked for Lerner’s backup email tapes at the West Virginia storage facility where they were being housed. Treasury deputy inspector general Timothy Camus told Congress that the IRS never asked IT professionals at the New Martinsville, W.V. storage site for the backup tapes. Camus only found the backup tape for Lerner’s missing 2011 emails about two weeks ago.

Nobel Peace Prize Committee OUSTS Chairman Who Crowned Obama With $1.4 Million Award
The Nobel Peace Prize committee demoted chairman Thorbjoern Jagland on Tuesday. The Oslo, Norway-based committee gave no reason for downgrading the former Norwegian prime minister and respected diplomat from his perch.... The Nobel Peace Prize is the one of the five Nobel Prizes created by the Swedish business mogul Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

Random Thoughts. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: When President Obama keeps talking about "violent extremists" in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok. The mainstream media seem desperate to try to find something to undermine Republican governor Scott Walker's rise in the polls. The worst they have come up with is that he didn't finish college. Neither did Bill Gates or Michael Dell. The Wright brothers didn't finish high school. Neither did Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.

Gun News

Deputies identify man shot by homeowner during home invasion.
Excerpt: According to officials at the scene, detectives believe a man and a woman tried to break into the home around 10 a.m. when the man was shot by the homeowner. The man shot by the homeowner has been identified by the coroner as 31-year-old Jermoid Wheeler. The coroner was called to the scene and Wheeler was pronounced dead.

Race Card News

Justice Department won't prosecute Ferguson police officer
Excerpt: The Justice Department announces it will not prosecute former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, that led to weeks of protests. (Be different if they thought they had a 1% chance of winning. ~Bob)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Excerpt: In March 2010, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA was never implemented as written. The ACA authorizes subsidies to health insurers operating in state-established exchanges, but not the federal exchange. Some 37 states opted not to establish their own exchanges. Nevertheless, the Administration has been paying subsidies to insurers in those 37 states. On March 4, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King vs. Burwell. At stake is the Administration’s payment of subsidies to health insurers operating in states which use the federal exchange. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision by July. A decision to uphold the ACA, as written, will surely cause millions of people to stop paying premiums that will double, triple, or more after the Supreme Court strikes down the illegal subsidies.

Undocumented Democrat News

GAO: Chance Of "Path To Citizenship" Was A "Primary Cause" Of 2014 Migration Surge. By Conn Carroll 
Excerpt: "Some Hondurans believed that comprehensive immigration reform in the United States would lead to a path to citizenship for anyone living in the United States at the time of reform," the report found. These beliefs were "a primary cause of UAC [unaccompanied alien children] migration," the report continued.

Democrats Plan To Win Elections With Illegal Alien Votes. By Phyllis Schlafly
Excerpt: The Obama Democrats have an audacious scheme for winning future elections. They just plan to import 5 million non-citizens and credential them as voters who will, in gratitude, vote Democratic. The way this devious formula works is stunningly simple. Just get the new Republican Congress (under Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell) to pass a full-funding bill for Homeland Security without any exception for the funding of Obama's illegal executive amnesty, which will allow Obama to give work permits, Social Security numbers and driver's licenses to 5 million illegal aliens. (F. Y. I. If this was ever allowed to become a reality, every legal American should be very, very scared. If it does happen - and I'm not being a doom and gloomer or an uneducated paranoiac - the country will be a thing of the past within five years; it'll become the largest, and failed, socialist country ever in this world; and we'll see major social and crime problems that will outdo even the worst turmoil that we're seeing now in Greece. As such, I would suggest that every reasonably patriotic American should become much more attuned to everything that's happening in America and the world today; make your families, friends, neighbors, business associates, all of your local, State's, and national elected officials, and any other American that you can think of because, if this would actually occur, I do believe that the America that we grew up in will begin going down a long and dark road that will lead to untold disasters in the freedom and liberty that we have fought for, worked for, and cherished for over 200 years will begin to rapidly erode. People, the fact that this may actually happen - unless we wake up and start to act now - is chilling to and for all of us. We have to be aware of those positive signs that this is a very real possibility and then start acting now to ensure that it doesn't happen. Regards, Paul Rendine)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Excerpt: The following is from a scientific journal that questions the validity of human activity's impact on climate change. What is really scary (and should scare everyone, regardless of your opinion on climate change) is how our monstrous big government is now persecuting those who refuse to fall in line with the government's thinking. This is scary and you should be concerned. This is why I can't stand government interference into literally every facet of our lives...and why I'll never trust them. Footnote: I read that many, many scientific organizations promote the concept of human caused climate change because literally hundreds of billions of dollars are being funneled to them. Money talks, folks! It also corrupts! There are as many scientists who don't believe as those that do. As you can see the "non-believers" are being persecuted and threatened! A little over four hundred years after the Salem witch trials, witch-hunts are still used as a tactic of social persecution and a vehicle to censure those who do not conform to a special interest agenda. From Salem to McCarthy to today's attacks on so called "climate skeptics," witch-hunts tear the fabric of a free society.

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: Massive columns of Shiite militias, including some groups that are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been leading the fight in Tikrit. Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani has been spotted at the front lines.

Obama has already lost on Iran. By Jennifer Rubin 
Excerpt: The White House is not bothering to defend the concessions it has made to Iran because they are indefensible. Instead President Obama sets out to convince the media that the only alternative to his bad deal is war (more sanctions, a credible threat of military action and a new president with superior credibility are all yet to be deployed), smear the Israeli prime minister and whip up left-wing Democrats. But if his aim is to wave his agreement in hand, leave a “legacy” and put Iran effectively on a glide path to join the world’s nuclear powers — but not for 10 years — he has already failed.

The World Bows to Iranian Regional Hegemony. By David P. Goldman
Excerpt: The problem with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's address to Congress March 3 was not the risk of offending Washington, but rather Washington's receding relevance. President Barack Obama is not the only leader who wants to acknowledge what is already a fact in the ground, namely that "Iran has become the preeminent strategic player in West Asia to the increasing disadvantage of the US and its regional allies," as a former Indian ambassador to Oman wrote this week. For differing reasons, the powers of the world have elected to legitimize Iran's dominant position, hoping to delay but not deter its eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu Responds to Obama’s Criticism of His Speech to Congress
Excerpt: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he offered a “practical alternative” to the deal being negotiated over Iran’s nuclear program, after President Barack Obama criticized his address to Congress as containing “nothing new." Obama said Netanyahu didn’t offer any “viable alternative” and that “as far as I can tell, there was nothing new” in the Tuesday speech.

 ‘I Hope a Rocket Will Fly Up Your …’: Israeli Ambassador Reads Hate Letters on Camera. By Sharona Schwartz
Excerpt: “It’s the truth that the Jews are resting on the Holocaust, and they are just too lazy to work.” “Child murderer! I hope that a rocket will fly up your ass.” “I am very happy that Adolf Hitler massively decimated you %&$f**ing Jews here in Germany.” That’s just a sample of the 20 or so hate letters the Israeli Embassy in Berlin receives every day.

Democrat Leader Calls Israeli Leader “Arrogant” and says He Doesn’t “Speak for Her”
Excerpt: Hearing Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) call anyone “arrogant” is funny, because the irony in the statement is just so thick. Here is a woman who has, for years, been name-calling and demonizing her Republican counterparts while also belittling our beliefs and philosophies. And she has the audacity to call the leader of one of our closest allies “arrogant.” For years, these same Democrats have dictated to Israel, telling the only Western democracy in the Middle East what they can and can’t do with their own nation to protect themselves… and now one of these foolish Democrats is calling their representative “arrogant’? If the situation weren’t so disgustingly maddening, it could be the basis for a Hollywood farce. (Well, she knows "arrogant." ~Bob. It struck me that Pelosi commenting on intelligence is rather like a blind person being engaged as an art critic. --Steve)

Nancy Pelosi on Bibi. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Meanwhile, here’s Nancy Pelosi’s official statement responding to the speech: I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech -- saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation. (Above is) a meeting with a foreign leader where Nancy Pelosi wasn’t near tears and didn’t feel insulted. Gee, why would anyone ever think Nancy Pelosi wasn’t sufficiently knowledgeable about a threat?

Boost for Bibi? Widening rift with Obama could propel Netanyahu in upcoming election
Excerpt: The OneVoice Movement, launched in 2002 by snack bar mogul Daniel Lubetzky and boasting the star power of such celebrities as Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman and Sir Paul McCartney among its honorary advisors, is headed by Marc Ginsberg, who advised President Carter on Middle East Policy and served as President Clinton’s ambassador to Morocco. Ginsberg is a former Fox News contributor. His communications staff said he would not speak to directly about OneVoice’s links with V15, but he has described the Obama administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – an approach to which Netanyahu has been cool – as a “window of opportunity.” The group focuses on Israel’s 1967 borders as a starting point for negotiating a final settlement, which parallels Obama’s thinking, but runs counter to Netanyahu’s.

Important: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands. Unexpectedly.
Excerpt: Reports this week revealed that a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group, Harakat al-Hazm, had officially dissolved itself under pressure from Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, and many of the fighters have joined up with the jihadist Islamic Front. With the group’s dissolution, the U.S.-provided TOW anti-tank missiles have reportedly fallen into the hands of al-Nusra. Hazm was the first U.S.-backed group to receive TOW missiles, the Washington Post reported last April – and at the time the Washington D.C. foreign policy establishment hailed Hazm as “rebels worth supporting.” But now with the demise of Hazm it seems the fantasy of backing “vetted moderate” groups in Syria is effectively at an end. )FSA backed by John McCain with his outed pro-Islamist advisor. --Barb)

Imam Who Said Ayaan Hirsi Ali Deserved Death Penalty Was Hired By DOJ To Teach Muslim Classes To Federal Prisoners
An Egyptian-born imam who in 2007 said that Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali should receive the death penalty for her criticism of Islam is now a Department of Justice contractor hired to teach classes to Muslims who are in federal prison. According to federal spending records, Fouad ElBayly, the imam at Islamic Center of Johnstown in Pennsylvaniawas contracted by the DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons beginning last year to teach the classes to Muslim inmates at Cumberland Federal Correctional Institution in CumberlandMd. The records show that ElBayly has two contracts worth $12,900 to teach the classes and to provide the inmates “leadership and guidance.” (Underreported radicalization of potentially violent criminals by US GOV, funded by US taxpayers. And then push to get them let out of jail free for crimes/punishment based on racial prejudice or insignificant drug charges. Community organization, folks. --Barb)

Good Man Gone: Syria death reported of ex-British marine fighting alongside Kurds
Excerpt: A former Royal Marine has become the first Briton to be killed while fighting alongside Kurdish forces against Islamic State in Syria, a Kurdish militia has told the BBC. The Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) named him as Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, from Barnsley.

Jihadi John family's 20 years on benefits: How it's cost taxpayers up to £400k to house fanatic and his relatives in upmarket areas
Excerpt: Jihadi John and his asylum-seeking family have milked the British benefits system for 20 years, the Mail can reveal today. Housing the Islamic State executioner and his relatives in affluent parts of London has cost taxpayers up to £400,000. One landlord said Mohammed Emwazi’s family were ‘parasites’ and ‘tenants from hell’. Incredibly, they are still believed to be pocketing £40,000 a year in handouts despite there being no sign of them in Britain.

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:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Today's Political News and Conservative Opinion


C.Y.A. Protecting Yourself in the Modern Jungle
Now on Kindle for $2.99!
First published in 2010, this book has been reissued through CreateSpace/Amazon at a lower price, with all royalties going to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. A humor/self-help book, this is advice with an attitude.

Can we guess your level of education?
Said PhD for me. Wrong. Only an MEd. Well read folks clearly score higher. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Worth Reading: Finding the Great Republican Hope: The GOP can’t win in 2016 by thinking inside the box. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The usual criteria for political success — plenty of New York and Washington IOUs, youthful vigor, good looks, glibness, access to lots of money — aren’t sufficient any longer to galvanize the Republican party or get out the conservative vote. Instead, the next Republican nominee should meet four criteria that are rarely mentioned.

Clinton vs. Walker: It’s Very Close
Excerpt: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has surged to the front of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls in recent weeks, and he now gives likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a run for her money. Forty-six percent (46%) of Likely U.S. Voters say they would vote for Clinton in a matchup with Walker if the 2016 presidential contest were held today. But a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that nearly as many (41%) would choose Walker instead. 

Rules are for Republicans: NYT Shock Report: Hillary Clinton Sent Every Official Email as Secretary of State from a Private Account
Excerpt: Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Media Fail: Hillary's Secret Email Discovered By Benghazi Committee 
Excerpt: Sure, the New York Times first published Monday night’s bombshell report about the secret email account used by Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State. Hurrah, the media published a scandal about a Democrat. The Times, though, did not uproot this scandal. Like four other major White House scandals, if Americans were foolish enough to depend solely on the American media to investigate this Obama White House, we would know nothing about these emails. Although Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State for four years and is almost certain to run for president next year; although reports indicate she used this secret account for years generating tens of thousands of pages of emails; although the media has the bandwidth to burn Ferguson with lies, hunt a White Hispanic with lies, investigate Republican Governor Scott Walker’s college years and legal jewelry purchases made by Jeb Bush’s wife two decades ago — it was not the media that found Hillary’s secret email account.

Hacked e-mails indicate that Hillary Clinton used a domain registered the day of her Senate hearings. By Philip Bump
Excerpt: Examining the registry information for "" reveals that the domain was first created on Jan. 13, 2009 -- one week before President Obama was sworn into office, and the same day that Clinton's confirmation hearings began before the Senate.

Hillary Flashback: I'm 'Most Transparent Person In Public Life'
And Barack is the smartest...~Bob

Worth Reading: The Honesty Gap. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: There may be some poetic justice in the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton, who has made big noises about a “pay gap” between women and men, paid the women on her Senate staff just 72 percent of what she paid the men. The Obama White House staff likewise has a pay gap between women and men, as of course does the economy as a whole. Does this mean that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both discriminate against women, that they are themselves part of the nefarious “war on women” that so many on the left loudly denounce? The poetic justice in the recent “pay gap” revelations is that the fundamental fraud in the statistics that are thrown around comes back to bite those who are promoting that fraud for political purposes. What makes such statistics fraudulent is that they are comparing apples and oranges.

Net Neutrality: 12-Year Old has Facebook Account Blocked after Criticizing Obama
Excerpt: Last week we brought you the wonderful story of young Mr. CJ Pearson, a brilliant young Georgia boy who gave an eloquent defense of Mayor Rudy Giuliani on YouTube. It was in the wake of Mayor Giuliani’s comments about whether or not President Obama loved our nation, and young Mr. Pearson added his voice to the conversation. The video, which he shared on his Facebook page, went viral in a matter of hours as Americans all over the country enjoyed his perspective on Mayor Giuliani’s thoughts.

Excerpt: While the precise quantum where an economy passes “the point of no return” is somewhat dependent upon economic assumptions; a very crude standard is the 100%-level. Once an economy accumulates a mountain of debt equal to its entire, national, economic output; that economy no longer has sufficient financial/economic mass to (responsibly) “service” this mountain of debt. In other words, once past that point-of-no-return, as a simple function of arithmetic it is inevitable that total debt (and thus total interest payments) must just continue to go higher and higher and higher, until…? Outright bankruptcy. The economic Holy Grail of a “balanced budget” is no longer even mathematically possible; maintaining the same fiscal course is nothing less than economic suicide. (Note that China and Russia are not in this "Bankruptcy Club." They both have surpluses! Yet the Satanists in Washington, DC, want them to obey the US elites who can't even manage their own finances! Hey, if you owe me $5000 and make no effort to repay me for years, do you have the right to lord it over me and condemn me? That is exactly what Washington does (don't call it America. America is We the People and we have nothing to do with this Ponzi scheme. We need a divorce from Washington as recommended here The word Satanist is not an exaggeration if you consider what I say here about American Keynesianism --Don)

The Case for the Warthog: It can do what other aircraft can’t. By Mike Fredenburg
Excerpt: While in Iraq the U.S. Air Force is sending A-10 Warthogs on successful sortie after successful sortie against the Islamic State, back here at home, Air Force brass are renewing their efforts to scrap the legendary plane. In fact, the Air Force, thwarted in last year’s efforts to scrap the A-10, is deliberately underutilizing it in the campaign against the Islamic State. The military waited until three months into the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria to deploy the A-10 and has deployed only a small percentage of the available planes. (The AF Brass need to wake up and smell the cordite. This aircraft, as "ancient" as it may be, still has a great role to play on the battlefield, and what's important is that we don't have anything to take its place. It's already here, comparatively cheap to run, and undeniably effective in so many ways. It keeps the guys on the ground alive and well, and there is no mission any more important than that. --Del)

Scary: The Terrifying Vulnerability of the U.S. Military. By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry 
Excerpt: Whenever a military crisis breaks out, American hawks talk about sending in the troops, and doves sputter about imperialism. But the key role of the U.S. military is usually far away from these hot spots, and instead in Eastern Europe, the Taiwan straits, the Korean peninsula, and the world's shipping lanes. Like it or not, in a world where the U.S. spends more on its military than every other country put together, and where the only plausible contenders with the U.S. for global predominance are unsavory regimes like Putin's Russia and authoritarian China, the U.S. military is the unseen guarantor of most of the peace and prosperity on the planet. But all of that depends on the U.S. military being, you know, good.

Worth Hearing: Free speech on campus. by Pat Condell

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

King v. Burwell Is Much Bigger Than Obamacare: The Supreme Court is about to decide whether we are a nation of laws or men. By David Catron 
 Excerpt: If the Court permits this usurpation of such crucial congressional prerogatives, the result would be a quantum leap forward in presidential power. This is precisely what the separation of powers was devised to prevent. Yet, as perilous as it would be to permit the executive branch to accumulate more power than it has already acquired since 2009, that is what SCOTUS is being pressured to do. (“Mr. Franklin, what sort of government have you given us? “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.” --TH)

Obamacare’s Vending Machine Power Grab. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: It’s bad enough that the Affordable Care Act is raising premiums and deductibles—and perhaps lowering your tax refund. In addition, the ACA has given the Food and Drug Administration the power to go after your favorite vending machine. By the end of next year, according to a new FDA rule, most snack machines must have calorie counts prominently displayed, or risk removal. Any sort of vending machines, from mixed nut machines to gumball machines, are subject to this new rule, if the operator owns twenty or more machines. The calorie declarations must be clear, conspicuous, and placed prominently on a sign in, on, or adjacent to the vending machine.

Undocumented Democrat News

IRS defends paying refunds to illegals who never filed taxes
Excerpt: The IRS is defending its decision to let illegal immigrants claim up to three years’ refunds on income even if they never paid income taxes, telling Congress in a new letter last week that agency lawyers have concluded getting a Social Security number triggers the ability to go back and ask for previous refunds. President Obama’s new deportation amnesty could grant Social Security numbers to as many as 4 million illegal immigrants, making many of them eligible for tax refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit even for years when they cheated on their taxes, by working off the books and not filing tax returns.

Grassley wants to block so-called ‘amnesty bonuses’ for immigrants. By Josh Hicks 
Except: A senior Republican is pushing for Congress to ban millions of immigrants from receiving tax credits for the working poor under President Obama’s recent immigration orders.

Excerpt: On February 7, members of Phi Gamma Delta threw an off-campus party that fraternity president Andrew Campbell said was supposed to be “western” themed. Some of the guests, however, had apparently heard it was a “border patrol” themed party, and showed up in “culturally insensitive” attire such as construction gear and sombreros, according to an article in the Daily Texan, the school’s official student newspaper. School administrators decided that although they would work to educate the frat members about cultural sensitivity, they could not punish anyone formally because the party was off-campus. After all, a university can hardly dictate to students what to wear everywhere they go. (Dumb students think they live in a country that allows freedom of expression. ~Bob. "Border patrol themed" - I take it that wherever the party was then, that the doors were wide open and absolutely anybody could waltz in and help themselves to what others paid for. --FunkyBarfly on Facebook.)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Keystone XL is Better for Economy and Environment: Obama Vetoes Anyway
Excerpt: Approving the estimated $5.3 billion Keystone XL project would create approximately 9,000 construction jobs. When combined with the southern portion of the Keystone pipeline (the Gulf Coast Project), it is estimated the total $7 billion pipeline could: Create 13,000 construction and 7,000 manufacturing jobs. Add $20 billion to U.S. GDP. Add $5 billion in taxes revenue to local counties. Generate as much as $5.2 billion in property tax revenue for Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas collectively. Over 2.6 million miles of pipeline in the United States that deliver both liquid petroleum products and natural gas, while the Keystone XL portion of the Keystone pipeline is less than 1,200 miles long. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association predicts that pipeline projects are worth $1.298 trillion dollars to the Canadian economy and $15.52 billion dollars in additional salaries to its citizens. The U.S. State Department reported an increase of 42,000 jobs during the construction process, and roughly 118,000 jobs to maintain the pipeline and the refineries. 70 percent of petroleum and crude oil is shipped by pipeline, which in recent years has proven to be safer.

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: A Lion, With And Before Pride, Speaks. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Israel, spoke before a joint session of the United States Congress, a pride of sorts, this morning.

Netanyahu Slams White House Deal With Iran: “Even If Israel Has to Stand Alone, Israel Will Stand” By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: During his address, Netanyahu described the failure to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon as a “countdown to a nuclear nightmare,” and said he has a “profound obligation” to warn against the current deal the White House is working on with the Iranian regime. “This is a bad deal, it’s a very bad deal, we’re better off without it,” he said. “We’re told that the alternative to this deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.” 

Great News! Obama’s Drawing a New ‘Red Line’ with Iran! We Can Relax Now! By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Fascinatingly, President Obama walks around completely unaware of how little credibility he has left -- with skeptics in both parties, with the American public, with our allies, or with our enemies. Here’s his latest assurance on his rapidly-forming deal with the Iranian regime: "Iran must commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but the odds are still against sealing a final agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama told Reuters on Monday." A ten-year freeze . . . and then what? There was once a time when Obama said Iran could “never“ have a nuclear weapon. Now we’re leaving the door opened a crack. Obama’s comment about the time frame for a freeze represents one of the U.S. government’s strongest signals yet of its red line for a successful deal.
Ah. It’s a “red line.” How reassuring.

Obama Administration says 2014 was Worst Year Ever for Global Terrorism but Obama Spokesman says World is Safer than Ever?

AIPAC Speech: Bibi Brings the House Down: Gives Fierce Speech on Israel’s Will to Face Down Iranian Terror Regime
Excerpt: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned today he has a “moral obligation to speak up in the face” of Iran getting a nuclear weapon. At a meeting of American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C., Netanyahu pointed to a map during his speech: It shows Iran training, arming, dispatching terrorists on five continents. Iran envelopes the world with its tentacles of terror. This is what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran will do with nuclear weapons. And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel.

Obama's pals: Muslim Brotherhood Condemns Egypt Court Declaring Hamas A Terrorist Group, Calls for Destruction of Israel
Excerpt: The Muslim Brotherhood condemned an Egyptian court decision to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization and called for the destruction of the Jewish state, according to an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) translation of a Brotherhood statement released on its Arabic website. "The Zionist entity will continue to be its historic enemy until the complete liberation of the land. We will soon celebrate, if God wills, the collapse of this coup and the return of Egypt to its role in protecting the Arab national security," reads the Brotherhood statement.

The Sad Plight of Jihadi John. Shamefully, the decapitator of hostages is being made out to be a victim. By Rich Lowry
Excerpt: According to his own self-pitying e-mails prior to his star turn as a knife-wielding executioner, Emwazi was harried by British intelligence beyond human endurance. Some so-called civil libertarians have picked up on his plaint to argue that a good, promising young Muslim man was pushed into the arms of a medieval terror group by the Brits.

Figures From U.S.-Led Coalition Show Heavy 2014 Losses for Afghan Army
Excerpt: The Afghan Army lost more than 20,000 fighters and others last year largely because of desertions, discharges and deaths in combat, according to figures to be released Tuesday, casting further doubt on Afghanistan’s ability to maintain security without help from United States-led coalition forces. (Someone once called Afghanistan a "War of necessity, a war we have to win." ~Bob)

Bibi at the barricade. By Cal Thomas
Excerpt: If the administration truly had political concerns it would not have dispatched a team of Obama loyalists to Israel to help defeat Netanyahu. No, many believe the real reason the administration opposes Netanyahu's speech is because he will tell the truth about Iran's nuclear threat and the administration wants to cover up what could ultimately become a very bad deal. Iran wants nuclear weapons. And yet the U.S. is promoting the fiction that despite past behavior and the apocalyptic statements by its leaders, Iran will agree to stop its nuclear program. It will not.

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: His blog of political news and conservative comment is

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bibi's here and more key political news and opinion


The Coming Collapse of the American Republic: And what you can do to prevent it
Now on Kindle for 99 cents!
All royalties go to The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund to help wounded veterans. (Print royalties go directly. Kindle ones come to me and I'll forward.

Made my healthy SOS for dinner Monday. Good weather for it. Snow tonight and in the morning. I'm speaking to Pints and Politics Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm CST. Topic is "Running as a R in a D+20 District." ~Bob

General News and Comment

Common Right to Work Myths. From Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce.
The Middle Class Argument. Unions often claim that Right to Work hurts the middle class. However, the objective data show that Right to Work states have faster job growth, faster wage growth and higher disposable income. It’s unclear how any of those economic measures are bad for the middle class. The Poverty Argument. Opponents often argue that Right to Work will reduce wages and lead to greater reliance on public welfare programs. On the contrary, welfare utilization is actually lower in Right to Work states at 5.8 TANF recipients per thousand in 2013. That’s less than half the rate of 16.7 welfare recipients per thousand residents in forced-union states. The Anti-Union Argument. Union leaders often characterize Right to Work as a policy to harm unions, but the data shows otherwise. In the period from 2010-2013, Right to Work states collectively grew union membership by 57,000 workers, while forced-union states actually lost 248,000 union members. The Worker Training Argument. Opponents argue Right to Work will jeopardize training in the construction trades, but that has not been the experience in other states. In Wisconsin, skilled training is paid for by employers and is not dependent upon union dues. Moreover, Right to Work states have 28% more operating engineers employed per capita than forced-union states. The Free-Rider Argument. Union leaders claim Right to Work is unfair because the union is required to represent all employees, even if they do not pay dues. However, these “exclusive representation” agreements are not mandatory and unions are not required to negotiate these clauses into their contract.

Excerpt: These days, if you’re running for public office, inane questions from the media are right up there with death and taxes — an absolute certainty. And, let’s be honest, this is particularly true if there’s an “R” after your name. Just ask 2016 presidential GOP hopeful and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He’s been raked over the coals these past couple of weeks for his honest but not always artful responses to three questions of dubious relevance to anything Walker will encounter as governor or might encounter as president — one related to evolution (a media favorite), another about the religious affiliation of President Obama and a third about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about the president’s patriotism. (The correct answer to these gotcha questions is: "I cannot know what is in anyone's heart, so we can only judge Obama's love of country by his actions. As to evolution, I see no contradictions with my Christian faith with how God made everything. But none of these questions are among the thousands of policy decisions which the next president must make, and with a responsible media should concentrate on. " ~Bob)

Beast Is Slain, Publication Admits Walker Was ‘Unfairly Attacked On College Rape’ In Hit Piece. By Matt Vespa 
Excerpt: Yesterday, Daily Beast, acting off of the piece in Jezebel, reported that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had removed a provision in his proposed budget that required universities to report rapes on their campuses. ... Well, it turns out the University of Wisconsin asked the governor to remove the provision since it was redundant since the Clery Act and Title IX cover reporting and responding of rapes on college campuses. It took the Beast and Jezebel hours to get their act together and offer retractions.

Scott Walker is Right, Leadership Matters More Than Expertise. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Think of a mistake that we made in international affairs. At the time that we were making it, a phalanx of foreign policy experts was standing behind it. It might be a lonely orphan idea today, but last year you could have thrown a rock at a roomful of PhDs without hitting a single person who disagreed with it. When the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt were in their heyday, I had trouble finding any foreign policy people who would even entertain the idea that we should continue backing Mubarak. Back then the revolution seemed inevitable. But I correctly predicted Islamist takeovers and counterrevolutions that would topple them because I didn’t see international relations through the lens of a grand theory.

The Clinton Foundation, Previewing Life under Another Clinton Presidency. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: So what were, or are, the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation? Lots of former presidents have their libraries and related think tanks, their charities, their efforts at remaining in national life after their presidency. Jimmy Carter founded Habitat for Humanity. But for Bill -- and Hillary, who was about to begin a senatorial career at the moment she thought of herself as “dead broke” -- that wasn’t enough. They wanted or needed something bigger. Something with a global reach; something that didn’t work with any one signature good cause but with all of them. Something that could bring in any celebrity -- even Natalie Portman and her dog with first-class tickets. Something on an epic scale, a group that would think nothing of spending more than $10 million a year on travel costs alone. The organization would wed enormous financial resources -- $2 billion -- with unimpeachable motives -- er, maybe a bad word choice. It would combine wealth on an unimaginable scale with an unparalleled ability to generate good press and publicity for their noble motives and actions Of course, foreign governments would want in on the act. Of course, the line between the charitable initiatives and staffers’ corporate consulting grew blurry. Of course there is an “undertow of transactionalism in the glittering annual dinners, the fixation on celebrity, and a certain contingent of donors whose charitable contributions and business interests occupy an uncomfortable proximity.”

Eric Braverman Tried to Change the Clinton Foundation. Then He Quit. Inside the power struggle at Clinton, Inc. By Kenneth P. Vogel
Excerpt: Braverman, who had worked with Chelsea Clinton at the prestigious McKinsey & Company consultancy, had been brought in with the former first daughter’s support to help impose McKinsey-like management rigor to a foundation that had grown into a $2 billion charitable powerhouse. But in January, only weeks after the board's show of support and just a year and a half after Braverman arrived, he abruptly resigned, and sources tell Politico his exit stemmed partly from a power struggle inside the foundation between and among the coterie of Clinton loyalists who have surrounded the former president for decades and who helped start and run the foundation. Some, including the president’s old Arkansas lawyer Bruce Lindsey, who preceded Braverman as CEO, raised concerns directly to Bill Clinton about the reforms implemented by Braverman, according to sources, and felt themselves marginalized by the growing influence of Chelsea Clinton and the new CEO she had helped recruit. 

Trust Us, We're Scientists: Deadly bacteria release sparks concern at Louisiana lab
Excerpt: A dangerous, often deadly, type of bacteria that lives in soil and water has been released from a high-security laboratory at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana. Officials say there is no risk to the public.

Chicago May Owe Wall Street $58 Million After Moody's Rating Cut. By Brian Chappatta
Excerpt: Chicago may have to pay $58 million to unwind interest-rate swaps after Moody’s Investors Service cut the city’s credit rating within two steps of junk because of mounting pension liabilities.

Excerpt: We got some terrible news last week; the "Big C", not cancer, more government "Control." Last week the FCC voted in a 317 page plan to take control over the internet. And, like the Obamacare legislation, no one has been allowed to read it. That should tell you something right there. Keep in mind that this was the same FCC proposal that the current FCC opposed just last year. However, after watching how quickly Obama replaces DOD Chiefs who don't agree with him, the chairman of the FCC fell in line and swallowed Obama's massive proposal to take over the internet whole. For those who don't remember, it was not Al Gore who invented the internet, his second major lie, after Global Warming. The internet, an method for computers to talk to each other, was invented by some smart folks back in the fifties, offered it to AT&T, and Ma Bell turned it down, saying "why would we want that when we have the telephone?" 

Important: U.S. millennials post ‘abysmal’ scores in tech skills test, lag behind foreign peers. By Todd C. Frankel
Excerpt: There was this test. And it was daunting. It was like the SAT or ACT -- which many American millennials are no doubt familiar with, as they are on track to be the best educated generation in history -- except this test was not about getting into college. This exam, given in 23 countries, assessed the thinking abilities and workplace skills of adults. It focused on literacy, math and technological problem-solving. The goal was to figure out how prepared people are to work in a complex, modern society. And U.S. millennials performed horribly. That might even be an understatement, given the extent of the American shortcomings. No matter how you sliced the data – by class, by race, by education – young Americans were laggards compared to their international peers. (To be fair, I'm sure the US students excelled at Gender Studies, Pop Culture, Social Justice and Amerika, Understanding White Privilege and Aroma Therapy. ~Bob)

Faith and the President. By Erick Erickson 
Excerpt: What I see of the President reflected in the world is a man who used his faith as a lie to claim he opposed gay marriage when he really did not; who spoke out in favor of allowing abortionists to kill children who survive abortions; who has actively promoted abortion in his Presidency; who has publicly used the courts to curtail the free exercise of religion paring it down to a right to worship; who, when he thought he was off the record, mocked Christians bitterly clinging to guns and religion, etc., etc., etc. In fact, that ultimately is it. The President, when he thought he was off the record and in the advancement of his political agenda, has been no friend to the church and its orthodox teachings. He trots out religion publicly as a political tool to help himself, not others. I do not believe the President is a Christian, but ultimately that is between God and Barack Obama. In my view, he is outside the church family and should be prayed for, not judged. 

Special Interests
From the email with this link: A well done, short video explaining WHY the Government won't cut Spending...

Gun News

Homeowner fatally shoots man kicking in front door, police say
Excerpt: He answered the dispatcher’s questions. Yes, it just happened. Yes, the man was lying motionless at his door at 1915 Faymeadow Ave. No, he didn’t appear to be breathing. No, he didn’t know him. The homeowner’s revolver was still in his hand. “He kicked the door in,” he said. ... Police identified the dead man last night as 31-year-old Michael Rinehart. ... Rinehart served four years in prison after being convicted of burglary in 2010. 

Clerk Fights Back During Tobacco Zone Robbery
Excerpt: A clerk fought two masked men for a gun during a robbery. Police say two men entered the Tobacco Zone on North Broadway on Friday night. One of the men was armed with a handgun. In the video, you can see one of the men go behind the counter, open the drawer and put his gun down. The clerk grabs the gun and points it at the suspects.

Race Card News

Excerpt: Nor is there any doubt that African-American children would be better off living with their married parents. Kids who grow up in households headed by a single mother are far more likely than others to be poor, quit school, get pregnant as teens and end up in jail. But these facts were once inflammatory. Fifty years ago next month, a Labor Department official named Daniel Patrick Moynihan published a paper titled, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” which argued that “a tangle of pathology” afflicting black communities had emerged because “the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.” His key fact: Nearly one-fourth of black babies were born to unwed mothers. (The same pathologies that destroy the lives underclass blacks in American cities are destroying the lives of underclass whites in English cities. I suggest reading Life at the Bottom by British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels, writing as Theodore Dalrymple. It's not race, it's culture. ~Bob

Myth of Racist Cops: False Narrative of Fact-Averse Liberals. By David L. Goetsch
Excerpt: First, I acknowledge that there are racist cops, although it must be said that not all racist cops are white. Bad cops come in all races. However, I believe that racist cops—regardless of their race—represent a small minority of the nation’s overall police force. Second, I am an advocate of community policing. However, although this strategy can help relieve tension between police officers and black citizens, it will not solve the problem of black crime in America. In fact, the issue of black crime in America will never be effectively dealt with until we can have an honest dialogue about it. And therein is the rub. As things now stand, the myth of racist cops is being controlled by people who benefit from perpetuating the false narrative that currently prevails—people such as Al Sharpton and his supporters in the mainstream media.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Voters Less Hot for Obamacare Fix
Excerpt: Voters still tend to share an unfavorable opinion of the new national health care law and say it has hurt more than helped them. They’re also less enthusiastic this month about fixing the law rather than repealing it. 

Obamacare Is Punishing Working-Class Americans. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: Employees at Staples will soon get a little bit more vacation — thanks to Obamacare. Unfortunately, that time off will be unpaid — and in most cases, unwelcome. The retailer, which employs 85,000 people, has limited part-time work to 25 hours a week to avoid Obamacare’s fines for not providing insurance to those who work 30 or more hours a week. President Obama refused to acknowledge that his healthcare law played a part in Staples’ decision.

Excerpt: Britain has long had an active cash market for medical care provided by private hospitals, which helps people get around the long waits in the National Health Service, and also serve people from abroad. Nuffield Hospitals advertises firm, fixed, all-inclusive prices good for 60 days after an initial consultation. For more complex procedures, one pays for the initial consultation and the hospital develops the price from that. The Nuffield price generally includes post-operative care, rehab, and required readmissions.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

WaPo Fact Checker: Obama’s claim that Keystone XL oil ‘bypasses the U.S.’ earns Four Pinocchios
Excerpt: The president’s latest remarks pushes this assertion into the Four Pinocchios column. If he disagrees with the State Department’s findings, he should begin to make the case why it is wrong, rather than assert the opposite, without any factual basis. Moreover, by telling North Dakota listeners that the pipeline has no benefit for Americans, he is again being misleading, given that producers in the region have signed contracts to transport some of their production through the pipeline.

Religion of Peace News

Obama Admin. Denies Claim President Threatened to Shoot Down Israeli Fighter Jets Targeting Iran
Excerpt: The Obama administration denied a claim the president last year threatened to shoot down Israeli fighter jets if they tried to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, the Washington Times reported. According to the Times, a senior administration official said Sunday “that report is totally false.” (I think Obama would love for Israel to take out Iran's nukes. It would relieve him of doing anything, but allow him to inflame Muslims and Progressives against Israel. ~Bob)

Excerpt: While anything is possible in the ongoing struggle between the Obama administration and the state of Israel, a high-level military source told PJ Media that today’s allegation — that an Israeli attack on Iran was supposedly imminent in 2014, but Obama warned Israel that U.S. jets would shoot down the Israelis if they attacked Iran’s nuclear installations — is not likely true. More likely, the report, which emerged from Kuwait, is disinformation timed to discredit Prime Minister Netanyahu and make him seem a warmonger in advance of his address to Congress Tuesday. The source stated that, since 2008, it is no longer possible for the U.S. to intercept Israeli jets flying over Southern Iraq, the normal route to Iran.

Top Netanyahu Aide Suggests Obama Is Withholding Key Information From Congress on Iran Talks. By Sharona Schwartz
Excerpt: A senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel knows more than Congress does about the elements in the emerging U.S-negotiated deal over Iran’s nuclear program. “We know many details from the agreement being put together, details that we feel members of Congress are unaware of,” the official told reporters aboard Netanyahu’s plane en route to Washington Sunday, according to multiple Israeli media outlets. (Come on, would "the most transparent administration in history" withhold information? Except, of course, about Obamacare, the IRS targets, fast and Furious, the terrorists behind the Benghazi attack...~Bob. I'm wearing my tin foil psychic hat and predict O will announce a nuke deal with Iran 2 or three days before the Israeli election. This "October surprise" in March will be presented as a cure to all of Israel's fears about Iran in the hope of undermining Netanyahu. But it won't be announced too soon. Don't want those damned intelligent Israelis time to really analyze what will doubtless be a sell out that threatens the peace of the entire world. --Tom H.)

Standing with Our Friends, Standing Up to Our Enemies. By Scott Walker
Excerpt: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress this week. We should listen closely as he raises legitimate concerns about Iran — giving him and his country the respect worthy of a close ally. Instead, President Obama and some Democrats have chosen to use this visit as a political football. This is exactly what Americans dislike about Washington. Lost amidst the petty squabbling in our nation’s capital over protocol is the simple fact that the U.S.–Israel relationship is in crisis, perhaps the most serious crisis in our history. 

The Real Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Lies Ahead. By Steven J. Rosen
Excerpt: Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 speech to Congress is diverting attention from more important U.S.-Israel controversies that will escalate soon after this comparatively minor contretemps fizzles out. At the U.N., the Palestinians and Europeans will press forward after the March 17 Israeli election, submitting draft United Nations Security Council resolutions that they postponed at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry. They are pressuring the administration to join this effort to impose terms on Israel, and not to veto.

Iraqi premier gives ultimatum ahead of hinted attack on ISIS-controlled Tikrit
Excerpt: Iraq's prime minister called on Sunni tribal fighters to abandon the Islamic State group Sunday, ahead of a promised offensive to retake Saddam Hussein's hometown from the extremists. Haider al-Abadi offered no timeline for an attack on Tikrit, the hometown of the late Iraqi dictator some 80 miles north of Baghdad that fell into the hands of the Islamic State group last summer. However, Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces have stationed themselves around Tikrit as state-run media has warned that the city "will soon return to its people." But sending Shiite militias into the Sunni city of Tikrit, the capital of Iraq's Salahuddin province, could reprise the bloody, street-by-street insurgent battles that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Interesting: The U.S. Anti-ISIS Strategy's True Cost. By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Excerpt: On Monday the Iraqi military launched its largest operation to date against the self-declared Islamic State (IS), also called ISIS, to retake control of the city of Tikrit. Alongside the Iraqi military the coalition fighting IS in Tikrit includes Kurdish and Sunni tribal forces, but it leans heavily on Iranian backed Shia militias and reportedly includes a contingent from Iran's revolutionary guard. The urgent question now as the battle against IS intensifies is whether any US policy to defeat IS in Iraq can achieve its aim without ceding the country as a base for Iranian expansionism. Critics who regard President Obama's regional policy as aiming for a grand d├ętente with Iran have frequently argued that the current approach undermines attempts to counter IS. The bargain for making a deal with Iran, these critics say, has allowed Iran a free hand to assert dominance in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Exhibit A for this line of thinking is Iran's cultivation of proxy militias in Iraq, principally in the Badr Organization, Kata'ib Hezbollah and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq,

Worth Reading: Hillary Lied, Four Americans Died
Excerpt: Judicial Watch confirmed Thursday what many Americans already knew: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attempt to blame the attacks in Benghazi on an “offensive video” was a bald. As the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department, Judicial Watch obtained a series of critical emails that not only reveal State Department officials knew immediately the American compound in Benghazi was under attack but that the attack was perpetrated by assailants tied to a terrorist group. And despite the infamous exasperated question from the Democrats' likely presidential nominee, the truth does make a big difference at this point. (I wonder if the families of those who died can successfully sue Hillary? ~Bob)

Islamic State ‘Fed Murdered Man To His Own Mother.’ By Andre Walker
Excerpt: A British man who went to fight with the Kurds against Islamic State has claimed the terror group fed a desperate mother a meal of meat and rice before revealing she had eaten her own son. Yasir Abdulla, 36, from Yorkshire said that the woman had appealed to IS to release her son when they tricked her.

How Syria's Christians stopped turning the other cheek. By Richard Spencer
Excerpt: Like many of Syria’s warriors, Kino Gabriel was a student four years ago, training to be a dentist. Like many other Syrians, he resisted the call to war, until he saw the threat to the towns and villages where he grew up and worshipped. Like countless thousands, he soon found himself, gun in hand, snow falling in the bitter Syrian winter, fighting for his life, claiming his first kills. (It's one thing to turn your other cheek. It is another to fail to fight and thus tacitly allow the murder of your children and other innocents by exposing their necks to evil. ~Bob)

Obama's War: Rockets kill two, wound 30 in Libya's Benghazi
Excerpt: Rockets hit residential areas in Libya's Benghazi on Sunday, killing at least two people and wounding more than 30 others in continued fighting over the city, officials said. Nearly four years after the fall of Muammar GaddafiLibya is caught up in a conflict between two rival governments, one internationally recognized and the other controlling Tripoli since its fighters took over the capital in the summer.

Muslim cleric: Those who don’t respect Muslims have “no right to live.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: Watch the video. He keeps saying that it is not he who is saying these things, but that they’re Islamic teachings. Will some Muslim spokesmen in the West who claims to abhor what Mullah Krekar is saying kindly explain how he is wrong on Islamic grounds? Of course not. And no one in the mainstream media will ask any of them to do so.

Is Iran Islamic? Authorities in Iran Raid Christians’ Homes, Ask Them to Leave Country.
Excerpt: A Christian in Iran who received 80 lashes for drinking communion wine has been asked to leave the country, human right activists said.
Agents from the Iranian intelligence service, known as VEVAK, on Feb. 16 raided the home of Mehdi Reza Omidi and two other members of house churches in Rasht, Saheb Fadaie and Yasser Mosayebzadeh, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a United Kingdom-based advocacy group. 

M&S bans customers using the words 'Christ' and 'Jesus Christ' in messages when they are ordering flowers online - but jihad is okay
Excerpt: 'Christ' and 'Jesus Christ' join other banned words including 'f***' and 'gay' - but some terms including jihad, Buddha and Allah are accepted. 'Terrorist' and 'd**k' can also be included in messages.

UK Muslim cleric under fire for views on gays: “Views I hold have been held by Muslims for hundreds of years.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: “It had been reported that Dr al-Haddad’s talk could still go ahead.” Of course. The limiting of the freedom of speech in Britain is all in the direction of shutting down critics of jihad terror, not those who justify and enable it. Haitham al-Haddad is the voice of Britain’s future.

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: