Friday, May 30, 2014

And then read me a story

Seriously. A relapse. Ok, ok, I was pushing it working full days but come on. Last night, I was apparently trying to cough up both lungs and did not sleep for hours. I'm back to my regimen of steaming, Mucinex, Tylenol, tea, and garlic bombs in my food because I don't think the Prednisone and cough pearls the doctor gave me are doing the job. The doctor I saw the clinic on Tuesday said that when he had it, it was for three weeks but he'd had patients who'd had it for eight weeks. NO FREAKIN' WAY am I putting up with that.

I finished the Teresa Grant book last night, VIENNA WALTZ. It was good. I'm glad there are more but I don't know yet what I'm reading next.

Word of advice: stay away from germs.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 29, 2014

No, of course not, Fluffy, I made this steak for you....

Care to Reconsider?

I completely spaced watching Motive last night. Between being tired and this cold and it being on at 9pm, I just let it go by. And Steve threw me off because he came back from shooting immediately after getting a guy to run it for him so it didn't feel like a Wednesday (and a short week). I could watch online via the ABC website .... if I knew what my Charter name and password were. And to set it up I need the last four numbers from my home modem. Could we make it a little harder? Bah.

While eating dinner earlier last night I did catch a half hour documentary called Kathleen Turner/Masterclass that was very good. She did a seminar with four acting students that was actually pretty amazing in the advice she gave for their audition monologues. This was on HBO so I tried to find it via On Demand afterward so I could see it again but it wasn't listed. Nor could I find anything but a trailer on Youtube. They're fighting every step of the way. And I'm sick, tired, and short tempered, people!!

That's why books are so much better. :) Any time, any place, any where.

After hitting the 90s yesterday, we're back to a cooler low 70s. Much better. 

Here's an interesting "blog prompter" question:
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to have seen?
 I think what first comes into my mind are the events around Anne Boleyn. This one woman caused the most powerful king at the time to change the world. 

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - May 29, 2014


‘Of course’: You’ll never guess how @BarackObama marked Maya Angelou’s death [pic]

Celebrated author poet Maya Angelou passed away this morning at the age of 86. Tributes are pouring in from all over the world.
But let’s face it: There’s only one tribute that truly matters. This one:

Leave it to President Narcissist’s OFA flunkies to remind us what Maya Angelou’s life — and her death — are really about.
OFA’s shameless glorification of Dear Leader stopped being a surprise a long time ago. But it’s still as irritating as ever. Is there anything in this world that isn’t ultimately about Obama?

Boom: Q1 GDP revised downward to -1.0%

By Ed Morrissey
For the first time in three years, the American economy contracted over the course of a quarter. In the interim report on GDP, the BEA estimates that the US economy shrunk by a full point in 2014 Q1, a downward revision of the advance estimate of 0.1% growth:
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, real GDP was estimated to have increased 0.1 percent. With this second estimate for the first quarter, the decline in private inventory investment was larger than previously estimated (see “Revisions” on page 3).
The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from personal consumption expenditures. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
Don’t blame federal budget cuts for this contraction, or the weather either. Federal government spending rose 0.7% after dropping 12.8% in Q4, although state government spending fell by 1.8%.  Exports fell by 6.0%, a sharp drop in any sense and a remarkable reversal from +9.5% in Q4, and real non-residential fixed investment dropped 1.6%.
Not all of the news was bad, though. Real personal consumption expenditures (consumer spending) rose 3.1% in Q1, almost the same level as in Q4 (3.3%). The real final sales of domestic product, which are sales to end-user consumers, rose 0.6% — much lower than Q4′s 2.7%, but still positive. However, growth in real gross domestic purchases was entirely flat (0.0%) after a stagnation reading in Q4 of 1.6%.
CNN rushed to cheer everyone up by proclaiming the “expected” nature of the slump:
Brace yourself. The U.S. economy looks like it went on a roller-coaster ride at the start of the year.
Revised numbers released Thursday show the economy shrunk in the first quarter, marking the first downturn since early 2011. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic growth, fell at a 1% annual pace, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
A slump was entirely expected, and economists aren’t too worried. They expect a sizeable bounce back in the spring.
CNBC’s Rick Santelli isn’t as sanguine, and certainly isn’t banking on the 4% growth number for the rest of the year cited in CNN’s report:
Reuters chalks it up to — what else? — cold weather:
The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years as it buckled under the weight of a severe winter, but there are signs activity has since rebounded.
....There have been indicators of better growth in Q2, but nothing that would indicate a 4% growth rate for the rest of 2014. There is more hampering the US economy than just a cold winter. This is part of the continuing cycle of stagnation seen since the June 2009 recovery, and there are no indications that we are breaking that cycle now. This report should be a sign that we’re getting more fragile, not gaining strength.

Obama Is Bypassing Congress Again. This Time It's Going to Cost You.

By Nicholas Loris and Nichole Rusenko
Next week, the Obama administration is planning to unveil a climate action plan that it intends to implement without legislative approval. It’s a creative approach to governing, not unlike other executive actions President Obama has taken to bypass Congress.
When lawmakers refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation, Obama announced there was more than one way to skin the cat. Through climate plans, executive orders and regulatory action, he directed his agencies to find ways to curb the country’s carbon dioxide output and commit to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is the Environmental Protection Agency, which will release its carbon-dioxide regulations for existing power plants on Monday. The plan will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses without making a dent in global temperatures.
Our infographic explains what it means for jobs, incomes and the states hurt most.

EPA cap and trade regulation

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: Obama’s New EPA Rule Could Cost $51 Billion And 224,000 Jobs Per Year

By Caroline Schaeffer
A new study released by the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce has some dire warnings for the Administration’s recent proposals concerning lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposals, which require states to make major cuts in pollution from coal generators, will, by 2030, cost upwards of $51 billion and an average of 224,000 lost jobs per year.
And it’s not just those people working in the energy industry who will be affected:
The impacts of higher energy costs, fewer jobs, and slower economic growth are seen in lower real disposable income per household. … The loss of annual real disposable income over the 2012-30 period will average over $200, with a peak loss of $367 in 2025. This translates into a shortfall in total disposable income for all U.S. households of $586 billion (in real 2012 dollars) over the next 17 year period 2014-30.
The study also found that the standards set forth under the plan are not likely to lower carbon emissions much, while simultaneously producing unintended consequences. The regulations would only reduce emissions by 1.8%, at a time when global emissions are expected to raise by about a third.
The President’s initiative may help him sleep at night, but it won’t end up making a huge difference for the environment. And, more importantly, it won’t do much good for the average American.

While Vets Wait, VA Employees Do Union Work 

By Jillian Kay Melchior
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid at least $11.4 million to 174 nurses, mental-health specialists, therapists, and other health-care professionals who, instead of caring for veterans, worked full-time doing union business.
The list of these taxpayer-funded union representatives at VA offices around the nation and their salaries was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act by Georgia representative Phil Gingrey’s staff and provided to National Review Online.
...In total, the VA spent at least $13.77 million on 251 salaried employees performing full-time union work. Others, who were not included on the list provided by the VA, work part-time for unions at the taxpayer expense. In fiscal year 2011, the latest on record, the VA used 998,483 hours of this “official time,” costing taxpayers more than $42 million.
...Employees across the federal government are paid full-time or part-time to perform work for their various unions, but perhaps nowhere is the practice more offensive than the overburdened VA.

A Great Reform from the VA Scandal

 By Bruce Walker
.....Operations in the private market work efficiently or die.  This calculation is utterly missing in the world of government bureaucrats and their political allies.  
Civil servants actually profit from sloth, incompetence, corruption, and deceit.  The pat answers for problems like the VA scandal have sounded like this: “Give us more money.  Give us the tools to do the job right, and we will.  We have asked Congress for the resources to do the job right, and Congress has refused.”  
Then, when panicked politicians thoughtlessly throw more tax dollars at the “problem,” these selfsame civil servants have more staff to manage, and so qualify for higher positions in the Civil Service, bigger offices, more junkets, etc.   The one thing that never happens is that bad government employees lose their jobs – except, of course, when a high-profile political appointee resigns.
The Civil Service System is the culprit.  It was created more than a century ago to prevent an incoming administration from firing government employees and replacing those positions with party operatives who helped win the presidential election.  However noble the original intention of this change may have been, the practical effect was that Civil Service employees became almost impossible to fire.
The solution to “underfunded” government operations became to hire more people in hopes that some of the new workers would actually work.  These new employees, after their probationary period, learned the ropes and understood that being too efficient would actually rile their coworkers.  The inherent inefficiency of government has been dramatically multiplied by this immunity to termination or demotion because of the Civil Service System and the cost of government increased significantly.
Beyond that, the high-level officers in charge of federal departments have acquired a degree of immunity to government failure as well, because everyone who understands the system knows that they have little power to really make Civil Service employees follow orders and policies establishment by the administration. 
There is a very simple answer: permit the president to fire any federal employee in the Executive Branch for any reason, with no right of appeal.  At once, the president would become truly accountable for failures in government, and the president would also be accountable for buildings full of bureaucrats who do nothing useful.  Crucially, this reform would retain the current system for hiring and promoting government employees.  The president would not be able to hire the merit system employees, and so he would have no power to reward his party faithful with government jobs, as had been the case before the Civil Service System. (PK'S NOTE: Not the President, this should be Congress)
Would a Democrat president fire wholesale all Republicans in the merit system?  No: that president would not be able to hire a single Democrat to take their place.  New employees would still have to pass Civil Service exams, meet minimum qualifications, and so on, and these new employees might well largely be Republicans.  Beyond that, firing people is political poison.  The spoils system was based upon rewarding friends, not punishing people who are in the other party.  The fired worker has friends, family, even Democrat friends at work who would be angered by this injustice.
Moreover, any president or cabinet secretary who fired competent people would create situations in which his department would do the sorts of things we see in the VA scandal today, but with this addendum: the president would own this scandal completely, because he would have exercised his power to correct abuses but used that power badly.
The effect on the federal government generally could be transformative.  Though conservatives rightly view those getting fat at the trough as a huge problem in government, we often forget that the fattest pigs at this trough are not special interests in the private sector or nutty groups of environmentalists or even classroom teachers, but the faceless, gray gnomes hiding in air-conditioned offices, getting regular promotions, earning annual bonuses for “good work,” and making no waves until something like this VA scandal draws a spotlight on them.  This tragedy in the VA Administration could be the spark of a truly great reform.

Obama's West Point Speech signals a presidency in deep trouble

 By Thomas Lifson

Yesterday’s speech to the graduating class of West Point by President Obama may be remembered as the signal that his presidency has entered a crisis of confidence, much as Jimmy Carter’s infamous “malaise” speech has gone down in history  as marking a failed presidency.  Not only was the content of the speech delusional (calling Russia “isolated” in the wake of a massive and historic gas deal with China that marks a major rapprochement between two powers hostile to the United States; claiming Ukraine as an example of the success of his coalition strategy), the delivery was wooden, as if Obama were wishing he were on a golf course or basketball court, and felt a hostile vibe. And the visible reception was embarrassingly icy, with only a few people applauding at key lines, and a standing ovation in which the vast majority remained seated and unmoved, suggesting the commander in chief is held in contempt by the next generation of military leadership.
Writing at Powerline, Scott Johnson titled his quick reaction to the speech, “More mush from the wimp.” This is an allusion to an infamous Boston Globe op-ed critical of aJimmy Carter speech written by the late Globe op-ed page editor Kirk Scharfenberg. As a joke among the newsroom staff, Scharfenberg wrote “More mush form the wimp” on the piece, which was supposed to bear the headline “All must share the burden.” But his sarcastic barb was printed in 161,000 copies of the paper before being corrected.
The comparison is apt. Carter was a disaster who has been exceeded by Obama. As Carter fostered the rise of Iran’s mullahs and emboldened the Soviets, Obama has allowed Al Qaeda to spread and grow, all the while claiming it was “on the run.” As Carter’s economic policies gave rise to the neologism “stagflation,” Obama has managed to shrink the work force, hide inflation by keeping food and gasoline costs of the CPI, and make the title “recovery” a joke, as the nation remains mired in stagnation throughout his presidency.
The big difference is that Obama has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of most of the media, and their willing complicity in papering over his scandals and failures. But as of recent days, I think the limit has been reached, and his media supporters demoralized to the point of ineffectiveness.
There was something visually striking about his speech at West Point. For the first time I can remember, his teleprompter screens were visible in a good portion of the media coverage. And because of the lighting, they stood out very clearly as dark shapes. He looked absolutely pathetic, going back and forth between the two of them, in his trademark tennis match style of delivering a speech. When the prompters are invisible, it is an annoying tic, but justifiable on the presumption that he is addressing the entire audience. But when the screens are visible to viewers, the fakery leaps out, making him look like some sort of puppet whose master knows only a few moves.
 Fox News showed the throughout his speech.

But .... showing the cool reception he received, demonstrates, the awful truth was visible elsewhere. Needless to say, the Official White House version was a tight shot, keeping the prompters outside the field of vision.
While as an opponent of the president, I am glad that the truth of his incompetence is becoming more visible, as an American I am alarmed that we have two and half more years of him to survive. The villains of the world who run entire countries (and they are legion) see a man floundering and know how much time they have left to take advantage of our weakness. We are still paying the price for Carter’s incompetence. The ultimate toll of the Obama presidency could be far, far worse.

The Being There President

 By Ed Lasky
A key to understanding Barack Obama and his presidency may be found in a simple-minded character from a twenty-five year old movie. Truth can be stranger than fiction -- and less enjoyable to experience.
In March, 2007, I wrote this about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama:
Despite a meager record to run on, with virtually no executive experience, he may very well become President. His story is eerily similar in many ways to the story of Chance the Gardener, the main character in the book and movie, Being There. In that story by Jerzy Kosinski, a man literally comes from nowhere to become a Presidential candidate.

The key to his success: a freshness, a lack of record to run on, the constant repetition of simple feel-good platitudes that lull listeners into a sense of trust and induce in them a yearning to believe.
...Being There was a satire about a gardener (mishearing led to him being called Chauncey Gardiner), whose exposure to the real world had been minimal. He spent a great deal of time, however, watching television (“I like to watch TV”).  The constant exposure to television had given him the gift of being able to relate on the lowest-common denominator level with Americans. 
His aphorisms were declared masterpieces of allegorical wisdom; they were simple enough to be capable of many meanings -- like a fortune cookie. He was a blank slate. The media swooned. Wealthy and powerful patrons had found the perfect political candidate to promote to the highest office in the land.  
There are remarkable similarities between Barack Obama and the simple-minded Chauncey Gardiner.
Both like to watch television. In Obama’s case, quite a lot. His knowledge of various television shows, many of them decidedly lowbrow, help gin up support for the first “pop culture president.”  While he avoids discussions with both Republicans and Democrats about policy (or can appear to be like a deer frozen in headlights when discussing health care, his signature policy), he can converse quite comfortably about Jersey Shore and Real Housewives. He watches television regularly.
Gardiner’s sayings included this one about the economy:
Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
[Long pause]
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President "Bobby": In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
Were Obama’s slogans (Hope and Change; Yes, We Can; We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For) any more profound? What did this gibberish even mean? Yet his simple TV-informed phrases were praised for their profundity.
If “tastes great, less filling” can sell beer, why can’t a presidency be sold that way as well?
In Obama’s second autobiography (more to follow, unfortunately), The Audacity of Hope, he tipped his hand when he described himself being a “"blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."  Indeed, Ted Kennedy encouraged him to run for the presidency precisely because he had no record.
....As Joseph Curl writes in “Obama, the unaccountable president,”
Has there ever been a president in the history of America who knew less than President Obama?
With each new crisis and scandal, Mr. Obama tells Americans that he just didn’t know.
He didn’t know the Veterans Administration was letting America’s veterans languish and die unattended — he learned about it in the newspaper.
He didn’t know the Justice Department was trolling phone records of members of the U.S. media. He didn’t know the ATF was running guns into Mexico; didn’t know the NSA was spying on the German chancellor; didn’t know the Obamacare website was a disaster; didn’t know the IRS was targeting conservative groups.
Bryan Preston piled on in “Barack Obama Seems to Learn a Lot from News Reports. Except, How to be President,”
For the VA scandal, Obama and his team couldn’t even bestir themselves to come up with a new excuse. They just trotted out the “he learned about it from watching the news” line that they have used and abused in past scandals.
· Associated Press: Obama Learned Of IRS Targeting From News Reports: Aide
· Real Clear Politics: Carney: Obama Didn’t Know About Fast & Furious Until He Saw It In Media
· USA Today: NSA Denies Obama Knew Of Spying On German Leader
· CNN: HHS Chief: President Didn’t Know Of Obamacare Website Woes Beforehand
· Business Insider: The White House Says It Had No Idea The DOJ Seized The AP’s Phone Records
After the Fast and Furious scandal broke, Obama responded to the national outrage by saying he was out of the loop until he turned on the television.
So the President of the United States, with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars supporting Leviathan, only learns about problems and scandals by watching TV?
Hey, believe it or not, this is possible.
He is a notorious loner who does not like people, according to a former aide; he has a chronic work ethic problem; he is protected by bad news and problems by his small entourage of ego-protectors; he does the barest of minimum in terms of presidential duties -- that have been dumbed down for him to a check-the-box style of presidential leadership; he has a lot of fun  enjoying his luxe lifestyle; and, as previously noted, he does watch a lot of TV.
So we have a bumbling president whose administration lurches from one act of incompetence to another -- when it is not passive before America’s adversaries.
...Where is Waldo? He is probably in front of the Boob Tube. And that would also answer the increasing number of critics, such as National Review’s Jim Geraghty who ask (rhetorically?) “So…just what is it that you do here, Mr. President”?
The scandals and self-inflicted man-made disasters (among them a wasted trillion-dollar stimulus, the wreckage of Obamacare) all reinforce the image that he may be a skilled speechmaker-if one likes messages the length of Tweets-but a lousy manager and terrible leader. Also, President Passive just doesn’t seem to care when people suffer.
...Of course, promises of good things to come can only go so far until people tire of waiting for the promises to be fulfilled. As we enter the sixth year of his presidency the promises have reached their expiration dates.
Jonah Goldberg also used the Gardiner analogy when commenting on Obama’s feel good rah-rah approach towards the ACA’s disastrous rollout:
Yeah, I thought it was a very strange decision to have essentially a campaign rally-style event for what has long ago already become the worst IT disaster in American history. I mean, that's a settled issue that even the defenders agree with now. And the sort of applause line stuff with the human props - half of whom either haven't even enrolled yet or just enrolled yesterday - and the almost Chauncey Gardner-esque sort of, “The product is good, the insurance is good” repetition.
And James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web column points out that the Gardineresque mode may have metastasized:
Life Imitates the Movies
Chance the Gardener: "In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."--from "Being There," 1979
"We understand that there are a lot of questions swirling around not just our foreign policy but America's role in the world. People are seeing the trees, but we're not necessarily laying out the forest."--Benjamin Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, quoted in the New York Times, May 25
Being There was a comedy. Reality under Obama is a tragedy. And it is running for two and a half more years.

Too Big to Succeed: A Fresh Commentary on the Democrat Scandal Machine

By Karin McQuillen
S.E. Cupp over at the New York Daily News has taken a fresh look at the Democrat scrambling to avoid blame for their many messes.  Every time the Democrats, including Obama and the lapdog press, point out that the President/the Cabinet Secretary/the head of the IRA, VA, HHS, NSA can’t be held responsible for the failures of government programs, they are right.  The real blame is the big government programs themselves.   The liberal overreach has created an ungovernable bureaucracy that inevitably is screwing up everything it touches, hence the scandal explosion in almost every branch of government.
Democrats don’t realize that their efforts to deflect attention away from this inconvenient truth often ends up pointing directly at it….Yes, people at the top should be held responsible when things go wrong. But at the same time, it hardly matters who that is when he or she is sitting on top of a steaming pile of bureaucratic waste.
The oversight of millions of low-level bureaucrats with unnavigable chains-of-command and arcane protocols is the problem.
The outsourcing of sensitive government work to low-level contractors in Canada and elsewhere is the problem.
The sprawling and ever-expanding surveillance state that puts our most personal information in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats is the problem.
And, yes, money is the problem, too, but not in the way Democrats insist. The VA itself reported more than $2 billion in waste and fraud, just in 2012. The inability to manage the money these bloated bureaucracies we already have is the problem.
Big-government bureaucracy is the problem, and Democrats unintentionally tell us that all the time. But don’t take my word for it.
“The point is, we are a big country,” says self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. “The VA sees six and a half million people a year. Are people going to be treated badly? Are some people going to die because of poor treatment in the VA? Yes, that is a tragedy and we have to get to the root of it.”
Well, I think he just did.
The federal government has become too big to succeed.

‘Check Your Privilege’ Say the Most Subsidized and Entitled Among Us

It's high time these looters who dare to evoke "privilege" check their own.

 By Walter Hudson

.....Some of the more extreme uses of the phrase include MSNBC host Touré Neblett telling Holocaust survivors to “check their privilege” before opining on public policy. Then there’s this Twitter thread where two black professing feminists tell a white woman that it’s impossible for her to be raped, because she’s white. Most recently, Salon contributor Brittney Cooper tells us that “privilege” produced mass shooting perpetrator Elliot Rodger:
How many times must troubled young white men engage in these terroristic acts that make public space unsafe for everyone before we admit that white male privilege kills?
The lunacy knows no bounds. PolicyMic, a publication recommended by Touré, has a piece detailing how the new Godzilla film is “a major failure” on account of “oversimplified female and minority characters.” It’s now racist to tell stories with white male leads.
It can be tempting to respond to such nonsense in one of two ways. We may choose to ignore what Hot Air associate editor Noah Rothman calls “the ‘privilege’ movement,” dismissing it as silly and not worth our attention. Or, we may be tempted to limit our response to calling out the “privilege” police as bigots.
The “privilege” movement is silly, and its police are bigoted. But that’s only where our consideration should begin.
The bigotry of the “privilege” movement is more than offensive or socially inappropriate. The bigotry of the “privilege” movement fuels a public policy agenda which aims to encroach upon individual rights. That makes the movement dangerous. Its adherents ought to be shunned with greater social censure than that brought to bear against Donald Sterling. They should be shunned like criminals. How else should we regard people who have declared their intention to throttle our lives, deprive us of liberty, and seize our property?
It’s time for these looters to check their privilege. Before opening their mouths to express further idiocy, they should consider how their lives subsist on the productive effort of those they seek to destroy. Indeed, the idea on the surface of the “privilege” meme, that people should take stock of how their worldview may be distorted by their unjust receipt of unearned benefits, proves wholly legitimate. The “privilege” movement has merely reversed its polarity.
It’s the spoiled brat women’s studies major whose institutional mind rot is subsidized through public universities, public grants, and publicly guaranteed loans who ought to check her privilege before daring to rail against the producers whose confiscated wealth make her consumption possible. It’s the committed socialist who seeks to fix prices, limit commerce, and redistribute wealth who ought to check his privilege before running out of other people’s money. It’s the looters among us who bask in privileges sustained by the exploitation of innocents who ought to check their privilege before the rest of us get motivated enough to rescind it.
This “privilege” movement and the would-be apparatchiks promoting it through institutions of education, media, and government need to be opposed as strenuously as skinheads, and for the same reason. Instead, we have allowed them to claim the moral high ground in the political discourse. They hijack language and deflect criticism by successfully projecting their own qualities upon scapegoats like “white male privilege.” Consider this excerpt from Cooper’s racist rant at Salon:
I am struck by the extent to which Rodger believed he was entitled to have what he deemed the prettiest girls, he was entitled to women’s bodies, and when society denied him these “entitlements” he thought it should become the public’s problem. He thought that his happiness was worth the slaughter of multiple people.
Pot, meet kettle. How dare a purveyor of racism and sexism who would weld the force of law to mandate racial preferences feign a shudder at someone else’s sense of entitlement. Cooper may not want to slaughter people, but stands plenty willing to use force to satisfy her own sense of entitlement. The difference is a matter of degree.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stop coughing!!

I'm currently reading VIENNA WALTZ by Teresa Grant. This is 1st of 4 in series featuring Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch, a diplomat and his wife, beginning at the Congress of Vienna in 1814. Here is a description:

Nothing is fair in love and war. . . Europe's elite have gathered at the glittering Congress of Vienna--princes, ambassadors, the Russian tsar--all negotiating the fate of the continent by day and pursuing pleasure by night. Until Princess Tatiana, the most beautiful and talked about woman in Vienna, is found murdered during an ill-timed rendezvous with three of her most powerful conquests. . . Suzanne Rannoch has tried to ignore rumors that her new husband, Malcolm, has also been tempted by Tatiana. As a protégé of France's Prince Talleyrand and attaché for Britain's Lord Castlereagh, Malcolm sets out to investigate the murder and must enlist Suzanne's special skills and knowledge if he is to succeed. As a complex dance between husband and wife in the search for the truth ensues, no one's secrets are safe, and the future of Europe may hang in the balance. ..

Published in 2011, it has 400 pages. 

I am finding in borrowing books from the library that I am enjoying the digital loans more than the physical book loans. I'm sure this owes a lot to the terrible parking situation with the new library -- I just don't like to go there and deal with that. It is easier to do it all by computer. The selection is limited somewhat with the digital loans but so far it is keeping me occupied.

I was able to get SOME sleep last night, laying down even. Stupid cold. Motive is on TV tonight at 9. We'll see if I make it. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - May 28, 2014


White House Cancels Press Briefing After Office Blows CIA Identity

By Charlie Spiering
The White House press office canceled the daily briefing with reporters Tuesday, dodging tough questions after the press office mistakenly revealed the identity of the top CIA official in Afghanistan.
The official was named in a list of participants of a meeting with President Obama during his brief trip to Afghanistan.
After journalists at the Washington Post questioned the White House decision, the press office scrambled to update the list of participants sent to the press pool.
On Tuesday afternoon, the White House surprised reporters by canceling the White House press briefing and instead scheduling a press call on President Obama’s decision to leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
That means that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney won’t have to face reporters shortly after his office made a critical error.
News of Obama’s decision on Afghanistan broke early this afternoon as he was attending the White House science fair.
Later in the afternoon, President Obama declined to take questions from reporters gathered in the Rose Garden after he made his statement on Afghanistan.
Reporters at the White House spotted several political columnists exiting the White House prior to Obama’s remarks.
According to the White House, Obama had a private lunch with foreign policy columnists Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, E.J. Dionne, Jeffery Goldberg, Gerald Seib, Fareed Zakaria, Peter Bergen, Susan Glasser, and Peter Beinart.

RPT: Bodies of 28 Vets Finally Moved From L.A. Morgue to Cemetery

There are new allegations of veterans being neglected even after they’ve passed away.

A source told CBS Los Angeles that there may have been as many as 60 bodies of veterans at the L.A. County Morgue for the past year and a half. Friday, 28 bodies were finally moved to the Riverside National Cemetery for burial.

Read more below from CBS Los Angeles:
The morgue says the bodies were unclaimed and they don’t know how long the veterans were there.
The law states veterans are supposed to receive a proper burial.
The Veterans Administration says they were never notified the bodies were processed and ready to be buried.
More than two dozen bodies were transported to the Riverside National Cemetery Friday afternoon and more could be moved as they are identified.On Friday evening, KCAL9′s Stacey Butler reported the LA County Morgue and the Veteran’s Administration were blaming each other for the mistake.’s Kerry Picket was on “Hannity” tonight to discuss the alarming report.
“The interesting thing here is that we’re seeing a circular firing squad among these agencies passing blame,” she said, noting that the morgue blamed the VA while the VA blamed the morgue.
Picket said that officials only did something about the bodies when the press drew attention to the situation, blasting the scenario as “pretty pathetic.”

CNN Anchor: Michelle Obama Can Sign Bills Into Law

By Todd Cefaratti
Remember when we elected Michelle Obama so that she could tell us what to feed our children?
Yeah, me neither…
 On Tuesday, CNN rose to its typical level of journalistic excellence when CNN’s Carol Costello played a 2010 clip of Michelle Obama speaking of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. After the clip, Costello reminded viewer that the preceding clip was of when Michelle Obama signed into law the act.
Of course, Michelle did not sign the act since… well, she wasn’t elected president.
The clip shows Michelle Obama saying, 
“We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams because in the end nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing. And our hopes for their future should drive every single decision that we make.” 
Putting aside, for a moment, that her husband has been instrumental in creating disastrous policies that have saddled our children with a humongous national debt that will leave them with a decidedly worse-off America, Michelle’s campaign to make our children’s food taste terrible has mirrored the success of Obamacare.
Costello narrated: (emphasis added) 
“That was Mrs. Obama back in 2010 when she signed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act into law. Well now some members of Congress and the food industry want to roll back that initiative and loosen requirements to cut costs. Today the First Lady takes the unusual step of delivering White House remarks speaking out against that House measure and in another twist, a one-time ally of Mrs. Obama’s initiative is now a critic.” 
Michelle Obama has been critical of a Republican-backed House measure that would scale-back the food requirements to which schools must adhere and even gave the White House remarks.
Michelle Obama, undoubtedly, holds influence in the White House; most First Ladies do. But let’s not forget one important fact: nobody elected her. She’s not a president; she’s not a lawmaker. She’s an advocate for a cause that, quite frankly, has failed and is rife with hypocrisy and egomaniacal soundbites.
It’s incredible that we live in a time when the President has dismissed the Supreme Court’s importance as “an unelected group” of people, but has offered his wife a chance to combat Congress on a measure in the House from the bully pulpit of the White House.

Obama’s Labor Secretary Tweets Advice to Grads: Don’t be an Individual, Join the Collective!

Yes, it’s the season for American college students to graduate from the care-free days of college and head into crushing debt and unemployment, thanks to Obama’s failed economic policies. But don’t worry, kids; Tom Perez, Obama’s Secretary to the Labor Department, has some great advice for you as you hang out in your parents’ basement:

Congrats to @oberlincollege grads today. Remember: Don't let individualism trump community; move from a selfie culture to an culture.

Fox News commentator Jonathan Hoenig accurately deciphered Perez’s message:

@LaborSec: Don't let individualism trump community..." // Pure, un-American collectivism.

 It’s little surprise that Secretary Perez wants young Americans to devalue individualism. After all, individualism leads to hard work, hard work leads to personal responsibility, and personal responsibility leads to the dark side – voting Republican!

Doctor reveals the VA Hospitals' real problem

By Thomas Lifson
America is having what President Obama called a “teachable moment” on single-payer health care, the goal toward which Obamacare is but the first step. Doctor Hal Scherz  has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today in which he lays out the real problem with the VA single-payer health care system, and offers hair raising examples, naming names. This is a brave thing for a doctor to do. In his words:
The VA health-care system is run by a centrally controlled federal bureaucracy. Ultimately, that is the source of the poor care veterans receive.
Bureaucracies that don’t face real competitive discipline of the marketplace inevitably turn their efforts toward protecting their own members, leaving the ostensible goals of the organization in a subordinate position. Dr. Scherz provides examples of how this has worked out in the VA system. He notes that most physicians in the United States have experience with VA Hospitals because most of the 153 VA Hospitals are affiliated with the country’s 155 medical schools, so physicians in training work at them, gaining experience as interns and medical residents. This makes the “well aware” of the problems of the VA system. He writes: 
In my experience at VA hospitals in San Antonio and San Diego, patients were seen in clinics that were understaffed and overscheduled. Appointments for X-rays and other tests had to be scheduled months in advance, and longer for surgery. Hospital administrators limited operating time, making sure that work stopped by 3 p.m. Consequently, the physician in charge kept a list of patients who needed surgery and rationed the available slots to those with the most urgent problems.
Scott Barbour, an orthopedic surgeon and a friend, trained at the Miami VA hospital. In an attempt to get more patients onto the operating-room schedule, he enlisted fellow residents to clean the operating rooms between cases and transport patients from their rooms into the surgical suites. Instead of offering praise for their industriousness, the chief of surgery reprimanded the doctors and put a stop to their actions. From his perspective, they were not solving a problem but were making federal workers look bad, and creating more work for others, like nurses, who had to take care of more post-op patients.
At the VA hospital in St. Louis, urologist Michael Packer, a former partner of mine, had difficulty getting charts from the medical records department. He and another resident hunted them down themselves. It was easier for department workers to say that they couldn't find a chart than to go through the trouble of looking. Without these records, patients could not receive care, which was an unacceptable situation to these doctors. Not long after they began doing this, they were warned to stand down.
There are thousands of other stories just like these.
It is important that Americans understand the fundamental point about the incompatibility of monopolistic medical bureaucracies and high quality medical care. It is not a matter of incompetent management and employees (though such no doubt exist). The problem will not be solved by adding dedicated leaders and staff; they also no doubt exist in the VA health care system.
People who can’t be fired and who know that no matter what they do their organization will continue to exist inevitably become self-serving. This is the moral hazard of government funded bureaucracies.
The solution to the health care problems of veterans and all Americans lies in the competitive discipline of market forces. As Obamacare implodes, we must keep the example of the VA sstem in mind. And as we figure out how to get care to the veterans who have earned it, we must embrace market forces.

Feds Paid $4.9 Million to Create Hypothetical Utopian Climate Change Future

UN ‘youth movement’ brings about ‘new world order’ by 2070

 By Elizabeth Harrington
The National Science Foundation (NSF) gave nearly $5 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to create scenarios based on America’s actions on climate change, including a utopian future where everyone rides a bike and courts forcibly take property from the wealthy.
The government has awarded $4,911,961 for the project, which is slated to run until March 2016 and for which the school has created a website suggesting different possibilities of what Yahara, a Wisconsin watershed, will be like in 2070.
In the scenario where Americans “shift our values,” people live in hippie-like communes after “youth culture” convinces the world to give up their cars and eat vegetarian.
“By the 2020s, the world seemed at the edge of environmental and political collapse,” the scenario says. “Despite this predicament, youth culture becomes empowered to shift the course of humanity. Disenchanted with the country’s highly consumptive culture, the younger generations embrace community building and sustainability and work together through grassroots action to get their voices heard.”
The youth bring about the “Great Transition” in the 2040s, establishing a “new normal” where “connectivity, community, and environmental sustainability pervade policy and cultural decisions.”
The protagonist of the story is Rosa, a “community organizer” for a United Nations youth group “Badgers for Our Future,” who presides over the only holiday celebrated in the community, Earth Day.
“It has become custom for Rosa, the unofficial community matriarch, to give a blessing before the Earth Day meal (although not everyone in the community is religious, they say secular blessings before important community meals to express gratitude for what the Earth provided them),” the story says.
The community shares economic resources, as well as goods and services, such as “vehicles, appliances, equipment, meals, and expertise.” Material wealth is criticized, and the community lives by the slogan “rich in time; sufficient in things.”
“Material wealth is not the coefficient of life quality,” the story says. “As such, consumers, overall, consume less.”
“What individuals don’t share with their communities is purchased primarily out of need.”
Rosa celebrates a court decision that forcibly took property from wealthy individuals as a required step to place the community above the individual.
“Even though most Yaharans had become more willing to undertake serious conservation measures, the willingness was not universal, especially when certain sacrifices were required,” she tells her granddaughter in the story. “To create the preserve, Grandpa had to convince several wealthy residents to give up either some of their property or their control of it.”
When some individuals refused, a coalition took them to court, which unanimously ruled in favor of building a community beach.
“It was a glorious victory!” Rosa says. “Oh, how we celebrated! It symbolized how far we’d come in putting the good of our communities and our environment before the desires of the individual. The triumph was proof the Great Transition had arrived.”
“I’d say my community embodies the ideals of the Great Transition,” Rosa says in an animated video. “Like many communities in Yahara, we’ve joined our backyards together into one communal space. We have a small urban farm, a restored prairie, and a community gathering space.”
Citizens of Yahara are “much less reliant on cars,” the only ones left on the roads being hybrids or electric, and the roads are full of bike lanes to “accommodate the growing masses of bike commuters.”
“Since more people are living the pedestrian life, with their feet more frequently on the pavement or the pedal, the obesity rate is shrinking,” the story says.
People are glad to pay higher taxes in this future because of an “increased sense of responsibility toward one’s community.” Campaign finance reform has also brought “increased transparency and public participation in decision making.”
The American diet is “now primarily plant-based” after “widespread public concern over the climate footprint of livestock banished meat as a dietary centerpiece.”
Policy changes such as a mandatory living wage for farm workers have “caused food prices to rise,” though the public is “largely unfazed,” the story says.
The UN youth movement helped usher in this “new world order,” where population growth has declined, use of fossil fuels has largely been deserted in favor or wind and solar, and a cross-country train system has replaced air fare that has become too expensive.
“In the United States, as family sizes decreased, the conceptual boundaries of ‘family’ expanded to include neighbors and friends,” the story says.
Americans now engage in the “pursuit of sustainable happiness,” by adopting a global Gross National Happiness (GNH) index as “its official gauge of prosperity,” replacing GDP.
The index is based on a system from the country of Bhutan, and takes into account “good governance” and “environmental conservation.”
However, pockets of “traditionalists” still threaten the “winds of great change.” The so-called traditionalists have “been slower to accept or adopt the newer norms, feel society has not necessarily gotten better with the Transition, since certain conveniences and privacies have disappeared.”
A small group of elderly people also “occasionally complain” that the community “constrains individual privacy, but with the widespread embrace of space sharing and walkability, such complaints are considered deviant.”
Rosa acknowledges that the community is “certainly no utopia.” “Although economic equality has improved as a result of these changes, poverty still exists, and many people still rely on entitlement programs,” the story adds.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison project is similar to the $5.6 million the NSF awarded to Columbia University to record “voicemails from the future” that paint a picture of an earth destroyed due to climate change.

Obama Meets Congressional Resistance, Selectively Sulks

 By James Longstreet
...The president seems frustrated that he isn’t getting “his” way.  In an article in the Washington Times, “President Obama is taking a swipe at the Founding Fathers, blaming his inability to move his agenda on the 'disadvantage' of having each state represented equally in the Senate.”
Progressives would like nothing more than a giant merger of all (57) states and national popular voting. 
Disappointed and finger-pointing once again, Mr. Obama blames our form of government for not allowing his plans to be implemented.  Curiously, Mr. Obama does not point to Harry Reid and his antics in the Senate.
Yes, blocking the flow of ideas and legislation is Mr. Reid’s forte.  Like Johnny Quick of the LA Kings, Reid prevents bills duly and legally passed by the House of Representatives, the People’s house, from even getting voting consideration in the Senate.  Now there is an impediment, Mr. Obama.  Have you noticed?
Perhaps the rules preventing legislation passed by one chamber of Congress to be dismissed by the “other” chamber is what is required.  No person such as Harry Reid, from an under-populated non-essential state like Nevada, should essentially roadblock the work of the House of Representatives to protect the president’s agenda and hide the voting records of the sitting Senators.  But I don’t think this is what the president is speaking to, exactly.
An article in The Hill mentions, “Out of the 195 House-passed bills that are now stalled in the Senate, 31 were written by Democrats, and many have been awaiting Senate approval for close to a year.  “
Eric Cantor has established a website dedicated to bills stuck in the Senate.
The Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution after years of studying centuries of world government.  In so doing, they prepared for those who may attempt to force into effect agenda whims fashioned to temporal ideology, to meet with significant systemic resistance.  Any expert in the Constitution would have known.  Why is the “expert” surprisingly frustrated?
The Founders and Framers seemed to envision a president with such designs.  Unfortunately, what they didn’t envision or prepare for was a barely elected two-bit senator from a one-bit state blocking legislation passed in the House from any due consideration in the Senate.  Mr. Madison, meet Harry Reid, the man who is singlehandedly, in a democratic representative society, undoing the system.  One might ask by whose direction. 

Barack Obama and His Urban Parasites Declare War on the Constitution

 By William A Levinson
...His recent statement about the role of the U.S. Senate proves that he is a self-declared enemy of the United States Constitution and of its checks and balances on federal power.
At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems, he said, is the apportionment of two Senate seats to each state regardless of population.
“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Mr. Obama said.
Of course, Wyoming has the same Senate representation as California specifically to prevent individuals like Barack Obama, and his constituency of urban parasites, from imposing their will on the less populous states.  This "Great Compromise" of 1787 was a condition of these states' willingness to join the United States in the first place.
This is also why each state gets no fewer than three electoral votes, regardless of population.  Hillary Clinton dislikes this arrangement, because it gives her constituency less leverage in presidential elections.
Urban Parasites: the Core of the Democratic Party
Barack Obama added explicitly that his kind of Democrats congregate primarily in big cities.  These cities are the sources of most of the country's problems, including attacks on the Second Amendment, attacks on the First Amendment via speech codes and zero tolerance policies in public schools, cap and trade mandates to enrich Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase, and pressure for ever-increasing taxation of the nation's productive elements.  They are also centers for violent crime, drug distribution, and gang activity.  Most of Wilkes-Barre's drug and gang trouble, for example, originates in Philadelphia, New York, and Newark.
The modern big city is, regardless of the work ethic of its productive residents, an economic parasite.  Cities evolved for exactly two purposes, neither of which they serve today.  These were defensibility and commerce.  A city's walls could once stop swordsmen and spearmen almost indefinitely.  
...Cities also once served as centers of commerce.  If you wanted to buy or sell something you could not buy or sell in your village, you had to go to the city – and "a trip to the big city" was once a major and exciting event in people's lives.
.....The sons and daughters of coal miners and factory workers know that you have to work for a living, while Obama's urban parasites think they can simply vote themselves health care benefits, welfare payments, and anything else they think they need.  Robert A. Heinlein warned of these others:
But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader – the barbarians enter Rome.
One of the roles of the Senate's "one state, two votes" arrangement is to stop the parasites from voting themselves bread and circuses.  Barack Obama's own statements about the nature of the U.S. Senate, along with his confirmation that his kind of Democrat congregates in the nation's big cities, tell us everything we need to know about the upcoming House and Senate elections.

The Left Doesn’t Really Believe in Climate Change

 By Jon Gabriel
....Every time a real-world solution is provided to a promised calamity, leftist leaders move the goalposts. To be sure, many well-meaning parishioners have bought the con and piously observe the demanding rituals of earth worship. But the high priests still jet around the globe, chasing checks from energy tycoons to build monstrous mansions along doomed coastlines.
That’s because the Left doesn’t really believe in climate change. Their true religion is raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Climate change is just a temporary excuse to achieve those ends.

At West Point, Obama turns away from use of US military 'hammer'

By Justin Sink
President Obama on Wednesday argued for a new breed of American foreign policy that prizes diplomacy and multilateralism over the overreaching use of military force.
The speech at the West Point military academy, among the most comprehensive foreign policy addresses of the president's time in office, comes amid criticism that his reluctance to order military interventions has weakened the influence of the United States around the globe. [READ OBAMA'S SPEECH.]Republican lawmakers have charged that Obama's caution has allowed rival leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin to gain influence and ruthless dictators like Syria's Bashar Assad to further entrench.
But the president argued that amid a changing international landscape and in the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, "U.S. military action cannot be the only – or even primary – component of our leadership."
"Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail," Obama told graduating cadets.
Obama argued that the threshold for military action must be higher when issues arise that "do not pose a direct threat to the United States.”
"In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action. We must broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law and – if just, necessary, and effective – multilateral military action," Obama said.
The president said that by allying with other countries, U.S interests were more likely to succeed and less likely "to lead to costly mistakes."
The comment appeared a direct rebuke to critics who have charged that the president's foreign policy is faltering because he is unwilling to intervene. The president and aides have looked to push back against that narrative, using moments like his announcement Tuesday that troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2016 to note that it is harder to end a war than begin one.
....Obama said the one enduring direct threat to the U.S. came from global terrorism, but that, again, engaging partners around the world remained the best strategy.
"A strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable," Obama said. "I believe we must shift our counter-terrorism strategy – drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan – to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold."
Obama announced a pair of new foreign policy initiatives intended to embody his new approach: increased aid to the moderate opposition in Syria and a $5 billion anti-terrorism fund designed to help other countries fight the rise of radical extremists within their borders.
The fund, which will require congressional approval, is designed to boost intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and special operations activities in allied countries. The U.S. military will help train and prepare other governments to root out terrorists within their borders.
In Syria, U.S. special forces will reportedly train and increase material support to moderate rebels that can be vetted as without links to radical Islamist groups. The U.S. will also step up assistance to Syria's neighbors, who have borne the brunt of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the bloody three-year civil war that has left more than 150,000 people dead.
...."I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions," Obama said.
....The president's speech is intended to serve as a kick-off to a broad foreign policy push by the president and his Cabinet, according to the White House.
After West Point, Obama will travel to Europe next week to meet with leaders on Ukraine. He’ll also attend ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, where Putin will also be present. In the coming days, Cabinet members will also fan out across Capitol Hill to bolster the White House’s arguments.

By Victor Davis Hanson
If we were living in normal times, the following scandals and failures — without going into foreign policy — would have ruined a presidency to the point of reducing it to Nixon, Bush, or Truman poll ratings.
Think of the following: the Fast and Furious scandal, the VA mess, the tapping of the communications of the Associated Press reporters, the NSA monitoring, Benghazi in all of its manifestations, the serial lies about Obamacare, the failed stimuli, the chronic zero interest/print money policies, the serial high unemployment, the borrowing of $7 trillion to no stimulatory effect, the spiraling national debt, the customary violations of the Hatch Act by Obama cabinet officials, the alter ego/fake identity of EPA head Lisa Jackson, the sudden departure of Hilda Solis after receiving union freebies, the mendacity of Kathleen Sebelius, the strange atmospherics surrounding the Petraeus resignation, the customary presidential neglect of enforcing the laws from immigration statutes to his own health care rules, the presidential divisiveness (“punish our enemies,” “you didn’t build that,” Trayvon as the son that Obama never had, etc.), and on and on.
So why is there not much public reaction or media investigatory outrage?
...I leave you with one final paradox. Is one reason that Obama resonates so well with the very wealthy his assurance to them that the muscular successful classes will not be following them into the elite?
Whom does the liberal elite detest? Not the very poor. Not the middle class. Not the conservative wealthy of like class. Mostly it is the Sarah-Palin-type grasping want-to-be’s (thus the vicious David Letterman jokes or Katie Couric animus or Bill Maher venom).
Those of the entrepreneurial class who own small businesses (‘you didn’t build that’), who send their kids to San Diego State rather than Stanford, who waste their ill-gotten gains on jet skis rather than skis and on Winnebagos rather than mountain climbing equipment, who employ 10 rather than 10,000, and who vacation at Pismo Beach rather than Carmel. The cool of Obama says to the very wealthy, “I’m one of you. See you again next summer on the Vineyard.”
Obama signals to the elite that he too is bothered by those non-arugula-eating greedy losers who are xenophobic and angry that the world left them behind, who are without tastes and culture, who are materialistic to the core, and who are greedy in their emphases on the individual — the tea-baggers, the clingers, the Cliven Bundy Neanderthals, the Palins in their Alaska haunts, and the Duck Dynasty freaks. These are not the sort of successful people that we want to the world to associate with America, not when we have suitably green, suitably diverse zillionaires who know where to eat in Paris.
Finally, Obama has “cool.” Or what his wife calls “swag.” The very wealthy are with him also because he instructs them how to indulge, to ignore the problems of others, to be narcissistic and self-absorbed with a veneer of hipster cool. Golf, shoot hoops, wear shades, hang with Jay-Z and Beyonce, talk about your rap menu on your iPhone, fluctuate your cadences, do you Final Four predictions — all that means you can be cool and very rich and very self-absorbed while fooling hoi polloi and feeling great about your privilege at the same time. If you are a jean- and T-shirt wearing Silicon magnifico, Obama is your guy. The palatial estate, the imported cars, the indulgent hobbies — they are not really one-percenter excesses (try water skiing for that), but the swag that assures others that outsourcing, offshoring, tax-avoiding, lobbying, and insider cronyism are just part of the hip deal.
Before we reach November of 2016, we will see unimaginable things under this administration, but one of them will not be a defection of his constituencies.

Pretending the Islamic fury does not exist

Denial will only worsen the day of reckoning

By John R Bolten
....The key point, generally missed by America’s news media, is that these three incidents have a common foundation. For years, there has been a rising tide of Islamic radicalism, starting in the Middle East, providing a hospitable environment in which terrorism grew naturally. This radical wave has been spreading throughout northern Africa, into Asia, and now around the world.
....The United States and those who share our faith in freedom of conscience have several possible options. We can pretend the threat posed by the radical and terrorist Islamic fury doesn’t exist, hoping not to experience another Sept. 11, 2001. We can express selective indignation at abuses that offend our sensibilities, treating them as discrete offenses to which we react in an ad hoc fashion. Or we can recognize that a distinctive political ideology is at work here, one based on distorted religious precepts rather than a secular authoritarian philosophy like Nazism or communism.
Mr. Obama has largely pursued Option One, mixed, as in Nigeria’s tragedy, with inadequate, ad hoc responses. The fundamental reason for his unwillingness to address the threat directly and candidly, reflected in his 2009 Cairo speech and repeated frequently thereafter, is that so doing would offend the entire “Islamic world,” thereby increasing the terrorist threat.
The president, however, is badly mistaken, both analytically and operationally, as the pending controversies highlight. First, it is patronizing and condescending to refer to a “Muslim world” as if all Muslims robotically think exactly the same, or to imply that Muslims themselves are not acutely aware of the dangers of radicalism and terrorism, which they know first-hand. The idea that individual Muslims cannot distinguish between the legitimate practice of their faith and those distorting it for ideological purposes is breathtakingly wrong. There is no more a monolithic “Muslim world” than there is a “Christian world.”
Second, if we shrink from identifying and naming a palpable threat to our values and very existence, we can hardly protect ourselves effectively. It is manifestly not an assault on Islam to pinpoint the current ideological threat, and trace it to its source. The United States must shape its policies in light of reality, or we remain extraordinarily vulnerable to a manifest assault against both our physical safety and the cornerstones of an open and free society.
Third, the threat is imminent and rising. In just the past two years, North Africa has seen the deadly attack on Algeria’s Tigantourine natural-gas facility, the near collapse of Mali’s government, the destructive force of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and the deadly Sept. 11 attack on our Benghazi consulate. All the while, Hamas and Hezbollah are continuing their deadly terrorist pursuits, Syria has collapsed into a brutal civil war, Iraq is on the brink, and Iran’s ayatollahs are rapidly nearing a deliverable nuclear-weapons capability.
These catastrophes are related, sometimes directly involving close cooperation among terrorist and extremist forces. Our unwillingness to grasp the connections and discuss them rationally will not make them disappear, and certainly will not make them easier to defend against. Seeing the world clearly is not evidence of religious animus. Instead, refusing to acknowledge the obvious is a form of blindness that can be fatal, as we have all too seen often in recent years.