News of the Week for June 9th, 2013

 

News of the Week for June 9th, 2013

 

Obama Scandals

 

Obama author blasts White House leadership
Author Jonathan Alter says White House leadership is disorganized because of a crowded chain of command and he criticized President Obama’s tapping of Valerie Jarrett to head outreach, likening it to a CEO putting his sister in charge of marketing.

IRS Commissioner Shulman’s Wife Is Left-Wing Campaign Finance Activist
Democrats have made much of the fact that ex-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who presided over the agency as it obstructed and harassed conservative non-profits, was appointed by President Bush. It turns out, however, that in one of many such unholy Washington alliances, Shulman is married to Susan L. Anderson, who is an Occupy Wall Street activist and a senior program adviser for the Washington-based group Public Campaign.

EPA acknowledges releasing personal details on farmers, senator slams agency
The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Tuesday that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, following concerns from congressional Republicans and agriculture groups that the release could endanger their safety.

EPA Targeted Conservative Groups
Is the scandalpalooza picking up scandal #5? (Benghazi, IRS, DOJ/Press, Fast and Furious). This time something smells rotten at the EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency is facing Inspector General and Congressional probes regarding political targeting of conservative groups.

National Organization for Marriage Representative: Yes, We Have Smoking Gun Proof the IRS Leaked Our Confidential Donor List to Our Chief Political Rival, Human Rights Campaign
You’ll remember that Californians who donated to help pass Proposition 8 were boycotted.

Emails of top Obama appointees remain a mystery
Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the Cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.

Issa: IRS Targeting Coordinated in D.C.
Darrell Issa says that the IRS targeting of conservatives was coordinated out of the Washington headquarters office and that he and other lawmakers are getting the proof.

Leon Panetta revealed classified SEAL unit info
Former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the Navy SEAL unit that carried out the Osama bin Laden raid and named the unit’s ground commander at a 2011 ceremony attended by “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmaker Mark Boal, according to a draft Pentagon inspector general’s report obtained by a watchdog group.

Mainstream Media Fail to Break Even One of Four Obama Scandals
Well, if it is Thursday, there must be a new Obama scandal. But one thing is for damn sure, whatever that scandal is, you can bet the American mainstream media will be playing catch up and not carrying the glory of breaking a story about a major White House scandal.

U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

Mystery deepens: Are tech behemoths participating in PRISM voluntarily?
Go look at this post at TechCrunch rounding up reaction from Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. All of them deny giving the feds “direct access” to their servers; some of them claim never to have even heard of PRISM until WaPo’s story yesterday. “But wait,” you say, “what if they’re being slippery in their statements and they actually gave the feds indirect access to their servers?” That’s possible. Other people have noticed that loophole too.

Ricin Suspect Was Tracked Via Mail Scanners
Feds: Postal Service photographs every piece of mail it processes

NSA sucks in data from 50 companies
Analysts at the National Security Agency can now secretly access real-time user data provided by as many as 50 American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers, two government officials familiar with the arrangements said.

DHS insider: It’s about to get very ugly
Something quite unexpected happened just hours ago, in the dark of night, during a two-day layover in Washington, DC. My son and I are scheduled to take part in a seminar outside of Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend, so we combined our travels to include a side-trip to DC for a business meeting we had previously arranged. It was during this layover that something seemingly ripped from the pages of a spy novel took place.

Gun Rights

 

Fighting education fanatics: ColumnGlenn Harlan Reynolds, USATODAY
Schools treat 5-year-olds like hardened criminals. It smacks of fanaticism.

Hayward school to sponsor toy gun exchange
An elementary school will hold a toy gun exchange Saturday, offering students a book and a chance to win a bicycle if they turn in their play weapons.

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

EPIC FAIL: 73 Climate Models vs. Observations for Tropical Tropospheric Temperature
Courtesy of John Christy, a comparison between 73 CMIP5 models (archived at the KNMI Climate Explorer website) and observations for the tropical bulk tropospheric temperature (aka “MT”) since 1979

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family
In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Issa: IRS Targeting Coordinated in D.C.
Darrell Issa says that the IRS targeting of conservatives was coordinated out of the Washington headquarters office and that he and other lawmakers are getting the proof.

World Health Organization’s Continuing Attempts to Usurp American Sovereignty
The World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations subsidiary, appears to be gearing up for a fresh effort to undermine countries’ sovereignty in setting regulations, this time by pushing for a global, comprehensive ban on all tobacco product promotion.

 

War & Terror

 

France: Sarin gas used in Syria
Sarin gas has been used several times in the Syrian civil war, including at least once by the Assad regime, France’s foreign minister said Tuesday, citing results from test samples in France’s possession.

Our Next Ambassador to the UN Endorsed an Invasion of Israel in 2002
The Institute of International Studies at UC Berkley, which has a long-running program called Conversations with History hosted by its executive director, Harry Kreisler, had a familiar face as a guest in 2002. That guest was Samantha Power. It was here that Power, who will be nominated to be our next ambassador to the UN, endorsed an invasion of Israel to prevent future genocide.

Nicaragua canal fast-tracked with Chinese boost
For centuries, tycoons and adventurers alike have dreamed of building a canal through Nicaragua between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and riding a boom in international trade to new riches. Up until now, however, all comers were forced to admit defeat when faced with the sheer challenge of building a man-made river through dense, hilly jungle.

National

 

Lautenberg Dead at 89; Special Election to Come
According to New Jersey election law, Governor Chris Christie can appoint a senator until a special election is held, and that special election could occur in November, but Christie could schedule it some other time

In Michigan, the GOP Lands a Big-Time Candidate
Terri Lynn Land appears set to run for Senate in Michigan

Gabriel Gomez called a LINO (Latino In Name Only) by Boston Spanish newspaper
The Boston Spanish language paper El Planeta has an Op-Ed by its former(*) Director and longtime Spanish language media executive Gerardo (Jerry) Villacrés, in which Republican Senate candidate and former Navy pilot and SEAL Gabriel Gomez is called a LINO (Latino in name only)(h/t @DBernstein), ¿Qué es un LINO?

Christie’s Tough Choices
The death of Senator Frank Lautenberg gives New Jersey governor Chris Christie the chance to appoint a new Republican senator and shift the balance of power in the U.S. Senate — majority leader Harry Reid may now be less likely to try to alter Senate rules in order to remove the 60-vote threshold for cutting off debate.

Supreme Court rules DNA samples can be taken after arrest without a warrant
The majority ruled that such a sample is ‘a legitimate police booking procedure’. But the four-justice minority of the divided court wrote that the decision will provide a major change in police powers.

Fined $75,000 for Saying “Homo”

Frank Pallone planning run vs. Cory Booker
Hours after Chris Christie set the special election clock in motion, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) started making a round of calls telling people be plans to run for the Senate, sources confirmed to POLITICO.

Va. yet to see money from Abbott fraud case, Cuccinelli says
Eight months after a federal court approved a $1.5 billion Medicaid fraud settlement — the second largest in U.S. history — federal officials have yet to release any of the roughly $125 million owed to Virginia for being the lead investigator.

High School Valedictorian Stuns Audience After He Rips Up Speech and Delivers the Lord’s Prayer Instead — Wild Applause Follows
Roy Costner IV, a former public school student from South Carolina, stunned the audience at his high school graduation last weekend when he ripped up his previously-approved valedictorian speech, going on, instead, to speak about God — and then deliver the Lord’s prayer.

Anti-White, Anti-Conservative Discrimination at PERB
Ondray Harris, former executive director of the Public Employee Relations Board of the District of Columbia claims two board members, Don Wasserman and Ann Hoffman, ordered Mr. Harris to stop hiring anyone suspected of having conservative political affiliations. It went one step further when they told him to stop hiring Whites.

Mounting Signs of GOP Rebellion Against Immigration Reform
Despite Marco Rubio’s push for comprehensive reform, most Republicans aren’t listening.
20 Completely Ridiculous College Courses Being Offered At U.S. Universities
Some of the college courses listed below are funny, others are truly bizarre, others are just plain outrageous, but all of them are a waste of money.

Update on the NJ Senate special election.
Cory Booker makes it official: he’s running for NJ-SEN (special): he announced it today. Here’s the thing, though: so is Rep. Frank Pallone. For that matter, so is Rep. Rush Holt, but Holt’s brand of progressive is probably not envelopes-of-cash-under-the-table enough for the Democratic Senate primary.

Few in GOP Step Forward For N.J. Senate Race
Gov. Christie Names Chiesa as Interim Senator to Fill Lautenberg Seat

Children’s media use cuddly animals to reinforce ‘racist’ and ‘socially dominant norms,’ researcher says
Parents who read their kids stories about happy, human-like animals like Franklin the Turtle or Arthur at bedtime are exposing their kids to racism, materialism, homophobia and patriarchal norms, according to a paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Economy
& Taxes

Do Not Use The Stock Market To Claim An Economic Recovery
How often have we been told that the economy is recovering?

International

 

College in Sweden is free but students still have a ton of debt. How can that be?
Swedish colleges and universities are free. Yep. Totally free. But students there still end up with a lot of debt. The average at the beginning of 2013 was roughly 124,000 Swedish krona ($19,000). Sure, the average US student was carrying about 30% more, at $24,800.

Australian University Censors Speech Offensive to Islam, Threatens Students
Australian National University (ANU) administrators have given student board members and authors of the school’s newspaper Woroni an ultimatum: retract a recently published infographic satirizing Islam or face disciplinary proceedings that could include expulsion. Not surprisingly, the students responded to the school’s threat by removing the image from the Internet, having already published an apology to “any readers who felt victimised, while stressing that the piece was intended to be satirical.”

Vienna School Bans Teaching About Gates of Vienna to Avoid Offending Muslims
One day, if this goes on, schools will no longer be allowed to teach about September 11, just as many European schools are not allowed to teach about the Holocaust, to avoid offending Muslims.

Flame of Fathers’ Rights Extinguished in UK by Coalition Government
Have you ever tried to start a campfire, or one in a fireplace or wood-burning stove and failed for one reason or other? Maybe the wood was a bit wet or your tinder insufficient to start the larger pieces. If that’s ever happened to you, you may recall the sense of disappointment, the let-down you felt as you watched the small flame flicker up, try its best to light the larger pieces, prove unequal to the task, retreat and finally die out. The smoldering tinder sent up one last pitiful wisp of smoke and you knew you had to start over again.

Are We Looking at ‘Europe’s Last Stand’?
The American Freedom Alliance will sponsor an international conference in Los Angeles on Sunday and Monday, June 9 and 10, on the numerous problems facing the continent and pose serious questions about whether European civilization can survive.

 

Opinion

 

In Obama’s cave
In Book VII of the Republic Plato’s Socrates presents the Allegory of the Cave. In the Allegory of the Cave, Socrates portrays men mistaking the shadows on the wall for the real deal. The philosopher emerges from the cave to see the forms casting those shadows.

Karl Marx Was a Tea Partier
If you think of yourself as a Marxist or a progressive, you need to read this. (Tea Partiers may want to steer clear.)

The left’s unmistakable trend toward weaponizing the tax code
What the IRS was doing behind closed doors may soon be official policy in California

The Parochialism of ‘Diversity’
Explaining the naiveté and hypocrisy of multiculturalism.

When everything is a crime, government data mining matters
I guess you could put me in the “concerned” category on the various — and disputed — accounts of how the government data mines phone records and obtains email and search information from internet companies.

Check my privilege? I have, thanks. You’re still wrong
This week, I bring you a dispatch from the frontline of pseudo-intellectual, metropolitan navel-gazing. This is, after all, what you pay me for. So right now the big thing for people who consider themselves warriors against nasty isms and phobias (of the sexism and homophobia varieties, not the Blairism and arachnophobia varieties) is to undermine each other constantly via accusations of intrinsic privilege.

She Blinded Me With Pseudo-Science
If you had to fix a date in history when the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s reached its Jacobins-and-guillotines stage, when even those who had originally welcomed and applauded the revolution began to recoil from the perverse “liberation” they had wrought, the 1978 release of Pretty Baby may well have been the pivot-point. The AIDS scare of the 1980s would accelerate the counter-revolution — in fact, the disease was already beginning to spread in the late 1970s, although it was not until the ’80s that the pandemic was recognized — but it was Pretty Baby and headlines about child pornography that alarmed American mothers about the encroaching danger to their daughters.

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