News of the Week (December 29th, 2013)

 

News of the Week for December 29th, 2013


 

Obama Scandals

 

House Intelligence chair: Benghazi attack ‘Al Qaeda-led event’
The 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya was an “Al Qaeda-led event” according to multiple on-the-record interviews with the head of the House Intelligence Committee who receives regular classified briefings and has access to the raw intelligence to make independent assessments.

Gun Rights

 

Shoppers Stock Up On Rifles, Shotguns Before California Long Gun Registry Begins
A new gun law coming in 2014 has gun owners stocking up on long guns before a new registry begins.

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

German Public Television Stuns Its Readers, Concedes Medieval Warm Period May Have Been 0.5°C Warmer Than Today!
In Germany climate science used to be considered completely settled. Global temperatures had been pretty much steady for a thousand years before skyrocketing upwards as soon as man really started industrializing about 150 years ago, Germans were told again and again. But today Germany’s major media are beginning to realize that this view is perhaps quite naïve after all. Though most major media outlets here do think man is responsible for global warming, many seem to be having second thoughts and coming out to say: Gee, looks like natural factors may be important after all.

Michael Mann forced into a “do-over” in Mann -vs- CEI & Steyn
What a great Christmas present for Mike. It is back to square one for him with his lawsuit over what he views as libel by Mark Steyn and CEI.

Paper finds solar activity explains climate change over past 200,000 years
A paper published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters finds solar activity was strongly correlated to climate change over the past 200,000 years. The paper reconstructs solar geomagnetic field strength using the 10Be isotope proxy of cosmic rays, which is inversely related to solar activity. The reconstruction in Figure 2 shows solar activity at the end of the record [“near present day”] was at some of the highest levels of the past 200,000 years, and solar geomagnetic field intensity approximately 3 times higher than during the ice age ~180,000 years ago.

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

Which Is Having A Worse Year, Obamacare or NHS?
The bureaucrats at the Dept. of Health and Human Services and those at Great Britain’s National Health Service should consider getting together to compare notes on 2013.

Power means privilege
When the first big stories of ObamaCare “doc shock” began to circulate, and it dawned on Americans that they might not be able to keep their doctors under Barack Obama’s health care scheme – contrary to another of his absolutely unambiguous, often-repeated promises – Zeke Emanuel was sent out to conduct spin control. He might not have been the best choice for the job, because he tried to excuse Obama’s second Big Lie by explaining that what the President really meant is that rich people will be able to keep their doctors if they like them. ”Look, if you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that,” said an exasperated Emanuel. ”It’s a matter of choice.”

What to Do When ObamaCare Unravels
Health insurance should be individual, portable across jobs, states and providers, and lifelong and renewable

The Obamacare Generation
The ACA depends on Millennials picking up the tab — as they already are for other entitlements — in the midst of a bad economy.

White House: No backup plan if Obamacare fails
When Obamacare implementation began, its supporters said the program needed about seven million people to enroll by next March. Of that number, advocates said, a large portion — about 40 percent — had to be young and healthy, to cover the costs of insuring older, less healthy Americans.

 

War & Terror

 

Japan Officially Enters Cold War with China and Korea
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has just visited Yasukuni Shrine, Ground Zero for political controversy with China and Seoul. In doing so, he has all but acknowledged that a cold war exists between Japan and its northeast-Asian neighbors China and South Korea. It’s a shot across the bow of both countries, boldly, perhaps recklessly, announcing that Japan will no longer seek better relations on their terms. Nor does he have the support of the United States. Abe is putting Japan on a path of increasing diplomatic self-reliance, but doing so with the belief that it is the right response to continued tensions with Beijing and Seoul. That it will inflame those tensions, he is well aware.

NSA collection of phone data is lawful, federal judge rules
A federal judge in New York ruled Friday that the massive collection of domestic telephone data brought to light by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is lawful, rejecting a challenge to the program by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Afghanistan asks Russia to help with infrastructure projects, security ensuring
From the very beginning after Afghanistan gained independence, Russia provided help for the country in economy, security and culture

Kamchatka getting ready to meet new-generation submarine
Submarines of the new type equipped with the Bulava missiles should become the basic platform of Russia’s strategic forces in the coming decades

National

 

Al Franken Launches His Re-Election Campaign on MoveOn.Org
It is almost unbelievable that Al Franken, a washed-up former comedian and reformed (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt) coke-head with serious anger management issues, was elected to the Senate in 2008 from Minnesota, a state he hadn’t lived in for several decades. (“Elected” despite the fact that he almost certainly received fewer legal votes than Norm Coleman.) It is even more unbelievable that Franken stands an excellent chance of being re-elected next year, only because there is no strong Republican candidate on the horizon.

GLAAD Rages Against Phil Robertson’s Return to Duck Dynasty
At first, the gay advocacy group GLAAD successfully urged A&E network to punish Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for comments about homosexuals he made in GQ. But now that the network has relented and returned the elder Robertson to his reality show, the advocacy group is not very happy at all.

A&E has decided to resume filming #DuckDynasty “later this spring with the entire Robertson family.”

Government Food
If this is what Big Government does to food, imagine what kind of medical care we will have before it has finished implementing ObamaCare. Kids who attend public schools are actually expected to eat this stuff

Obamacare’s Pajama Boy: ‘I am a liberal f***’
Ethan Krupp, the little man who played “Pajama Boy” in a widely mocked Obamacare ad, once characterized himself as a “liberal fuck.”

Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu adopts risky strategy in bid to keep Senate seat
Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu is one of a small group of Senate Democrats running in hotly contested races under Obamacare’s shadow. Now she’s criticizing the president in an effort to maintain backing in suburban areas.

Old Crankypants Liberal Republican Who Endorsed Obama Not Once But Twice Is Mounting an Independent Senate Campaign in South Dakota
South Dakota is one of those states that should be routinely electing two conservative Senators but which generally doesn’t. With longtime Democrat Tim Johnson finally retiring, the state is a key battleground in the fight for control of the Senate.
But that won’t be easy. A Libertarian candidate is drawing 11% of the vote.
And now, curiously enough, as the Democrats’ political position deteriorates further, it gets even harder. An allegedly “moderate” former Senator, Larry Pressler, who endorsed Obama in both 2008 and 2012 (I guess he was very impressed by his first term!), is joining the race as well.

Local courts reviving ‘debtors’ prison’ for overdue fines, fees
As if out of a Charles Dickens novel, people struggling to pay overdue fines and fees associated with court costs for even the simplest traffic infractions are being thrown in jail across the United States.

Sen. Rand Paul airs grievances with government on Festivus
In honor of the annual Seinfeldian airing of un-merry grievances, GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky gave readers a heads-up late Sunday night that he’ll be unleashing a series of anti-D.C. tweets

Is Mark Warner seeing dangerous numbers?
I couldn’t help noting that Mark Warner, the Democratic senior senator from Virginia, was one of the six Democratic senators calling for “hardship exemptions” for people finding Obamacare insurance policies too expensive, and also one of the 13 Democratic senators who co-sponsored the bill imposing tougher sanctions on Iran if, after the six months of negotiations under the not-yet-final interim agreement, it doesn’t agree to certain conditions.

The Snake-Eaters and the Yards
The Vietnamese tribesmen who fought alongside American Special Forces won the Green Berets’ admiration—and lost everything else.

Iron Maiden Uses Music Piracy to Plot Lucrative Tours
British metal legends Iron Maiden have been playing to their legion of fans for more than 30 years, with new generations coming into the fold spurred on by classic albums like The Number of the Beast and Powerslave.

Life on GLAAD’s Blacklist
Readers will have to forgive me for sounding angry, but the recent news involving GLAAD has enraged me. Mark Steyn’s most recent piece in National Review sums up some of the worst aspects of the epic saga known as GLAAD v. Duck Dynasty.

 

Economy
& Taxes

 

Who Will Speak For The Long-Neglected Middle Class?
On almost every left-right issue that divides Democrats and Republicans — as well as Republicans themselves — there is a neglected populist constituency.

 

International

 

Mao’s Birthday Highlights Tension Between Chinese Premier, Radical Communists
As the Chinese leadership assembles to commemorate the birthday of Mao Zedong today, the administration of Xi Jinping has “toned down” the celebrations as the country continues to expand economically, according to a Reuters report alleging dissatisfaction among hardcore communists with China’s capitalist turn.

Bolivian President Endorses Child Labor to Build ‘Social Conscience’
President Evo Morales of Bolivia has taken a firm stand against a bill proposing to ban child labor under the age of 14. Citing his own life experience as a child laborer, he argued that such work builds “social conscience” and has a place in his country.

Protests Erupt as Turkey’s Crisis Deepens
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan finds his cabinet in disarray after a police corruption probe resulted in the arrests of high-profile officials and their family members. Erdogan responded swiftly last week by firing top police officials—at least 70 at last count—but it wasn’t enough to quell anger over government corruption. The political crisis deepened over the weekend as protests broke out and the police intervened with water cannons and tear gas.

Christians in Britain feel pressure to be ‘silent about their faith’, warns former Archbishop of Canterbury
As Christians around the world prepare to mark the birth of Jesus by celebrating Christmas, a former Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the religion is being increasingly marginalised in Britain. George Carey says that Christians are pressured to hide their faith at work, with many religious people cowed into ‘increasing timidity’ by society’s secular leanings. He also spoke out about the plight of minority Christian populations in the Middle East and elsewhere who are being oppressed by governments and their fellow countrymen

Inventor of AK-47 rifle Mikhail Kalashnikov dies at 94
The inventor of the iconic AK-47 assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died at the age of 94. His ingenuity earned him widespread admiration, but his legacy became more controversial when his weapons were used in some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts.

#SouthSudan: It’s Civil War Now
There has been a lot of verbal tiptoeing among journalists writing about the crisis in South Sudan, said to be “on the verge” of civil war, etc. But the country’s former vice president, Riek Machar, has now admitted that he is leading the rebels, some army officers have defected to Machar’s side, bloody tribal violence has erupted, foreign nationals are evacuating, U.S. troops were wounded by rebel fire, a key oil region is reported under rebel control, total casualties are estimated to exceed 1,000 — it’s past the “verge.” This is a civil war

South Africa Journal: ‘Neo-Liberal Fascists’
In Monday morning’s Cape Times, Songezo Mjongile, the provincial secretary of the African National Congress (ANC), took to the op-ed page to defend the Times’ firing of editor Alide Dasnois. His article ran alongside that of a “Black Consciousness” professor, Simphiwe Sesanti, who defended Dasnois against charges of racism. What is so striking about the ANC official’s article is its virulence and its total indifference to the truth of the charges.

 

Opinion

 

The West has lost control of the world and disaster awaits
We’re going to need a great of luck to avoid a nuclear catastrophe – and this can be traced back to the First World War and the death of Frederick III in 1888

2013: YAF’S TOP TEN POLITICALLY CORRECT OFFENSES ON CAMPUS
2013 was a year for many offenses against the beloved American traditions of truth, free enterprise, and freedom. Some of the worst offenses are found on school campuses. To close-out the year, we at Young America’s Foundation (YAF) present the Top Ten Politically Correct Offenses on campus

Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues
The cultural critic on why ignoring the biological differences between men and women risks undermining Western civilization itself.

‘Discrimination,’ Arguing by Exceptions, and the Obvious Insanity of Androgyny
Liberalism’s obsession with equality requires us to pretend that such distinctions as “male” and “female” are ultimately meaningless, and that any policy which recognizes these categories as significant must be abolished in order to prevent discrimination.

When it comes to Norman Rockwell (“nudge, nudge”), homosexuality in the eye of an obsessed culture
Of course, once you’ve mainstreamed sex to the extent that everything is all about sex, you end up with blasé teenagers, instead of twittering, quivering, young sexual acolytes. So where do you go from there? Simple. Everything is about gay sex. That’s how gay activists manage to get headlines. One of their big headlines was the claim that Lincoln was gay. Their “proof” was less compelling than the certainty with which they expressed it: in an era when it was the norm for men to have close male friendships and, when traveling, to share beds at inns, Lincoln had close male friendships and shared beds at inns. If they could, the activists would have written QED after that one, not to say quod erat demonstrandum, but instead to say “queer everyone [who’s] dead.”

Guilty Until Proven Innocent
How the government encourages kangaroo courts for sex crimes on campus

Free-Speech Wars: You Are What You Say, Not What You Do
I appreciate Michael’s post about the latest Huffpo-reported controversies involving Steve Martin, Joan Rivers, Jennifer Lawrence, and many, many others. Peruse the pages of lefty news outlets like the Huffington Post and you’ll routinely run across headlines like, ”[Insert Celebrity Name] said WHAT?!?” or “[Insert previously unknown individual] fired for insensitive remarks.” Even the conservative press can sometimes feel like an engine of perpetual outrage over hateful or insensitive comments.

A Tale of Two Millennials: Pajama Boy and Me
I was in no way surprised to learn that the young man we have come to know as “Pajama Boy” went to my high school. Ethan Krupp – the Onesie-clad gentleman chosen by Organizing for Action to be the face of their “Get Talking” campaign – also graduated from New Trier Township High School. But the similarities between us don’t end there. We are both in that 18-35 “Millennials” demo that everyone loves to talk about. We both wear glasses. We are both politically and culturally active.

Ducks, Gays, and Steyn
John has mentioned the controversy between Mark Steyn and his National Review editor, Jason Lee Steorts. The matter centered around Steyn’s column of last Friday called “The Age of Intolerance.” Citing the experience of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, who came under attack from gay rights activists for expressing his view of homosexuality, Steyn argued that the forces of “tolerance” are so intolerant that they threaten to make ours a decidedly illiberal society.

The Gaystapo and the Delegitimization of Religion and Logic
Language is a weapon and the masters of its use are more likely to be found on the far left of the political spectrum. When Bill Clinton started referring to profligate government spending as “making investments,” creating the image of government as prudent steward of resources rather than a drunken sailor in Olongapo, the conversation changed. Suddenly it became smart to piss away tax dollars on programs to control cow flatulence and fiscal conservatives, or even sane people, had to explain why they were against making investments. An uphill battle that continues to this day.

I can’t explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children
I don’t know. I don’t know how else to explain this. Can I really formulate an argument that will explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children? If you don’t immediately recognize the eugenic slaughter of handicapped babies as something severely troubling, I’m not sure that I can offer any insights to help you understand.

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