CONTENTS: Shlaes small presidency; Lady shooters; BO & our nukes; Muslim to run CIA?; Bundler to Commerce; McCaughey – no wheels; Fund – voter fraud; Lefty killer; McCarthy Killing; Adams – Aktion T4; Carson 7 questions (3 stories) Feds Ammo; Drone approvals; Robo Copters; Hagel to withdraw?; Menendez ethics; Horowitz – bipartisanship; Corbett tanks; Knepper – Tom’s budget; Klein – WH arms Jihad, WH denial; Codevilla; Announcements
“‘We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.’. . ” Obama
1752: Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, opened in Philadelphia.
1809: Robert Fulton patented his steamboat
1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signed a law that redraws district lines in his party’s favor, thus giving rise to the term “gerrymandering.”
1861: President-elect Abraham Lincoln left Springfield, Illinois, for Washington, D.C., saying, “I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return”—he never does. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Amity Shlaes, NRO: “The Small Presidency”
“Let’s give it another try
“The Grand Old Party’s abiding affection for a “bigger and better” presidency isn’t entirely logical. After all, the Obama presidency commenced with an effort to reenact the Hundred Days. Yet President Obama’s first-term economic performance itself was not “big” but mediocre, tiny even. Perhaps Republicans should consider whether inaction on the part of the White House can be desirable. Perhaps, led by Republicans, the United States could benefit from trying out an unfashionable idea: the small presidency.
“Evidence from a near-forgotten period, the early 1920s, instructs us. . .”
Erica Goode, NYT: “Rising Voice of Gun Ownership Is Female”
“. . . In the debate over firearms regulations, the voices of gun owners have largely been those of men. But at firing ranges across the country, a growing number of women are learning to use firearms and honing their skills.
“Women’s participation in shooting sports has surged over the last decade, increasing by 51.5 percent for target shooting from 2001 to 2011, to just over 5 million women, and by 41.8 percent for hunting, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.
“Gun sales to women have risen in concert. In a survey last year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 73 percent of gun dealers said the number of female customers had gone up in 2011, as had a majority of retailers surveyed in the two previous years.
“Manufacturers have increasingly geared advertising toward women, marketing special firearms models with smaller frames, custom colors (pink is a favorite), and accessories like the “concealed carry” “salmon kiss” leather handbag offered by Cobra Firearms or the leopard shooting gloves and Bullet Rosette jewelry sold by Sweet Shot (“Look cute while you shoot!” is the company’s motto).. .”
Neil Munro, Daily Caller: Obama, Russia, & Our Nukes
“. . . Obama, the official said, ‘believes that we can make pretty radical reductions … without compromising American security in the second term.”
“In 2010, the U.S. had roughly 2,468 nuclear weapons deployed on submarines, bombers and underground missiles, according to a mid-2010 report by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a pro-disarmament group,.
“The U.S. also has a few thousand nuclear weapons in maintenance or in storage, but their number is being reduced.
“The Pentagon’s Joint Staff has already agreed to Obama’s preferred cut, the official claimed.
“The leak may reflect Obama’s second-term effort to sign more Cold War-style weapons deals with the former Soviet Union.
“In March 2012, a hot-mic broadcast Obama’s quiet statement to then-Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev that ‘after my election I [will] have more flexibility.’”
Drew Zahn, WND: “Obama picks Muslim for CIA chief”
“Former FBI expert claims John Brennan converted to Islam
“. . .One of the FBI’s former top experts on Islam has announced that President Obama’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, converted to Islam years ago in Saudi Arabia.
“As WND has reported, former FBI Islam expert John Guandolo has long warned that the federal government is being infiltrated by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. But Guandolo now warns that by appointing Brennan to CIA director, Obama has not only chosen a man “naïve” to these infiltrations, but also picked a candidate who is himself a Muslim.
“‘Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia,’ Guandolo told interviewer and radio host Tom Trento.
“‘That fact alone is not what is most disturbing,’ Guandolo continued. ‘His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him. The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor … [or] he has the inability to discern and understand how to walk in those kinds of environments, which makes him completely unfit to the be the director of Central Intelligence.”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “Obama’s Commerce Pick Is Major Media Matters Funder. Presidential campaign bundler chaired failed bank seized by feds”
“President Obama is close to choosing Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, the finance chair of his 2008 presidential campaign, as his next commerce secretary, according to multiple news media accounts.
“KleinOnline first exposed that Pritzker is a primary funder of the radical Media Matters for America activist group.
“Other questions may be raised about Pritzker’s financial history, primarily her family’s ownership of a bank that was seized and shut down by the feds in 2001 after it was accused of unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices.
“Pritzker herself served as chairman of the failed bank, Superior Bank, from 1991-1994. . .”
Betsy McCaughey, NY Post: “Wheels coming off”
“ObamaCare policies will cost more, cover far fewer than promised
“The latest news from four federal agencies is that 1) insurance will be a lot less affordable than Americans were led to expect, 2) fewer people than promised will get insurance and 3) millions of people who have coverage through a job now will lose it, thanks to the president’s “reforms.” Oh, and children are the biggest victims.
“The Affordable Care Act is looking less and less affordable.
“Start with the IRS’s new estimate for what the cheapest family plan will cost by 2016: $20,000 a year to cover two adults and three kids. And that will only cover 60 percent of medical bills, so add hefty out-of-pocket costs, too.
“The next surprise is for parents who thought their kids would be covered by an employer. Sloppy wording in the law left that unclear until last week, when the IRS ruled that kids won’t be covered.
“Starting in 2014, the law will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer coverage or pay a penalty. “Affordable” coverage, that is — meaning the employee can’t be told to contribute more than 9.5 percent of his salary. For example, a worker earning $40,000 a year cannot be required to pay more than $3.800.
“But the law doesn’t specifically mandate family coverage — and now the administration says that won’t be required. . .”
John Fund, NRO: “The Voter Fraud That ‘Never Happens’ Keeps Coming Back”
“Critics of voter ID and other laws cracking down on voter fraud claim they’re unnecessary because fraud is nonexistent. For instance, Brennan Center attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt claimed last year: “A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.”
“Well, lightning is suddenly all over Cincinnati, Ohio. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe. . .”
James Taranto, WSJ: “A Lefty Killer?”
“Conservatives leave out part of the Christopher Dorner story
“Remember when liberal journalists and politicians tried to incite a moral panic by blaming a series of violent crimes on the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and assorted other bugbears? If you don’t, Michelle Malkin has a refresher:
“The 2009 massacre of three Pittsburgh police officers (which lib journos falsely blamed on Fox News, Glenn Beck, and the “heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces”); the 2009 suicide insurance scam/murder hoax of Kentucky census worker Bill Sparkman (which New York magazine falsely blamed on Rush Limbaugh, “conservative media personalities, websites and even members of Congress”); the 2009 Holocaust-museum shooting (which MSNBC commentator Joan Walsh blamed on Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and yours truly); the 2010 Times Square jihad bomb plot (which Mayor Michael Bloomberg falsely blamed on tea-party activists protesting Obamacare); and the 2011 Tucson massacre, which liberals continue to blame on former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“Not all of these crimes were without political motive: The Pittsburgh and Holocaust Museum killers reportedly were white supremacists, and a “jihadi bomb plot” is political by definition. But the claim that conservative media figures or the Tea Party was somehow to blame was a scurrilous lie designed to stigmatize critics of the party in power.
“The case of Christopher Dorner seems tailor-made for conservatives who would like to start a moral panic about left-wing violence . . .”
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: The Problems of the White Paper
“To linger on the hypocrisy is to miss the big picture.
“My, how the worm has turned.
“Seems like only yesterday that Eric Holder was inveighing against sweeping executive war powers. These were the Bush years, when Holder could readily be found caviling about such odious practices as “secret electronic surveillance against American citizens” and “detain[ing] American citizens without due process of law.” Back then, Holder declared these Bush war crimes so “needlessly abusive and unlawful” that the American people (translation: the Bush-deranged Left) were owed “a reckoning” against the officials who conjured them up.
“But once he became attorney general in a Democratic administration, the ever-malleable Mr. Holder decided there was actually no problem killing American citizens without due process of law, based on intelligence gleaned from secret surveillance.
“The breathtaking hypocrisy of the Obama Democrats is what screams off the pages of the “white paper” Holder’s Justice Department has served up to support the president’s use of lethal force against U.S. nationals who align with our foreign terrorist enemies. It bears remembering that Holder, like his Gitmo Bar soul mates, once volunteered his services to the enemy. . .”
LEADS . . .
J Christian Adams, PJM: “Life and Death – Aktion T4 and Gianna Molla”
“I don’t normally enter into the wild and wicked wars over abortion. That battlefield is well worn, and the march of science and technology is slowly pushing one camp into a morally and ethically indefensible corner. But Zombie’s recent photo expose at PJ Media gives you a good look at the two camps, and the contrast couldn’t be greater.
“Then this weekend comes the story from Maryland that a woman died having a late-term abortion at 33 weeks into pregnancy. This horrific tragedy exposes Maryland’s absolute permissiveness for this gruesome procedure. We’re just over a month shy of full term in this horror.
“Even an agnostic can conclude that aborting a baby at 33 weeks is morally and ethically unacceptable. One need not base opposition to late-term abortions on theology. Human life is valuable, period. Though if one accepts most western theology, then late-term abortion cannot be acceptable in law, especially at 33 weeks.
“Health of the mother? The child’s health? Modern neonatal science has answers for that I won’t detail here. When people say that late-term abortions are usually for medical necessity, they aren’t telling the truth. The data show otherwise.
“But I’m not here to enter the abortion wars, but rather talk about some history. You can do with it what you will.
“Let’s start in Germany with the Aktion T4 program. If you never heard of it, then it is time you do. . .”
Billy Hallowell, The Blaze: “7 Fascinating Facts About Dr. Carson — the Prayer Breakfast Speaker Whose Speech in Front of Obama Went Viral”
“. . . The epic speech that Dr. Benjamin Carson gave at Thursday’s Nation Prayer Breakfast has gone viral. His address, which was delivered just feet away from President Barack Obama, railed against political correctness, with the doctor subsequently taking overtly-conservative stances on key social and political issues. The respectful tone and boldness with which he spoke has created intense intrigue.
So, TheBlaze has assembled some key information about Carson in an effort to tell you more about his truly captivating life. . .”
Moe Lane: Red State: “A *very* entertaining truth-to-power speech by Dr. Benjamin Carson”
I have to admit: Obama’s poker face is getting better.
“He managed to maintain it in the course of oh, about seven or eight kidney punches that Dr. Benjamin Carson made about Obama’s policies on education, health care, fiscal responsibility, and bipartisanship (or, more accurately, the lack of that) at the National Prayer Breakfast.
“Seriously, if you haven’t seen this yet and you have a half hour free, do so. And note: the cameraman very, very quickly zoomed in so that the First Lady’s expression could no longer be seen. Smart cameraman. Very smart.
Roger Simon, PJM: “Who’s the Racist? Sam Tanenhaus, Meet Dr. Benjamin Carson”
“But again, it goes deeper. Ironically, as Tanenhaus’ article appears on the cover of TNR, perhaps causing sufficient controversy to ignite interest in that otherwise fading publication, a video has surfaced online of a speech by Dr. Benjamin Carson. Dr. Carson, an African-American professor from John Hopkins, had the temerity to say a few obvious things about our country in front of Barack Obama of all people.
“If you haven’t seen his speech, do so immediately. It would be interesting to know how Sam Tanenhaus reacted, if he watched it. Of course who would want to listen to Carson? He’s merely a pediatric neurosurgeon (is anyone closer to God than that?), while Tanenhaus is an editor at the New York Times.”
Andrew Malcomb, Investors: “Why are the feds loading up on so much ammo?”
“. . . According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. That’s sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants.
“To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war.
“The perceived need for so much ammunition in federal custody is especially strange given Obama’s double-barreled emphasis in his inaugural address on the approaching end in Afghanistan “of a decade of war.” And he also noted, “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”
“The lack of a credible official explanation for such awesome ammunition acquisitions is feeding all sorts of conspiracy theories, mainly centered on federal anticipation of some kind of domestic insurrection. Napolitano has at times alluded to threats from the extreme right-wing.
“Other conspiracists harken back to an Obama Colorado campaign speech in July, 2008. That day he deviated from his prepared text to say:
“‘We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.’. . ”
Liz Klimas, The Blaze: “FAA Releases New Drone Authorization List — See Who Applied to Have Them”
“Last year, alarm was raised among some Americans regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s expanding legislation for drone use over U.S. soil and the list of 63 authorized drone sites in the country. With more recent news that the Obama administration has approved drone strikes on some U.S. citizens, which some have said is “chilling” and the government saying “we can kill you,” the FAA has recently released an updated list of domestic drone authorization applicants.
“The list was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The list shows 20 new applicants, mostly law enforcement and universities but also the first tribal entity, EFF noted. . .”
MyFox: “Robot helicopters help out in war zones”
“A robotic helicopter has been quietly busy resupplying Marines on the battlefield and in remote locations in Afghanistan.
“Truck re-supply convoys and their military escorts are frequently the target of improvised explosive devises and insurgent attacks; by replacing the traditional truck convoy, the unmanned K-MAX has already reduced the risk to U.S. forces by thousands of hours.
“K-MAX’s airdrops provide a safe, low-cost supply delivery method to get important medical equipment and food to troops. On Dec. 17, 2011, K-MAX became the first unmanned helicopter to fly a resupply mission, delivering approximately 3,500 pounds of cargo to Afghanistan. . .”
Daniel Halper, Weekly Standard: Hagel to Withdraw?
“He has the votes, but not much else,” writes [Thomas E] Ricks. ‘His big problem is that no one much wants him running the Pentagon. Congressional Republicans consider him a traitor. Congressional Democrats see him as anti-gay and anti-abortion, undercutting their support for him. And Northeastern Democrats (and some others) worry about his stance on Israel. Democratic support in the Senate appears more dutiful than passionate.’
“Ricks says Hagel’s position right now is a ‘problem.’”
NYT: “Mr. Menendez’s Ethics Problem”
“Senator Robert Menendez was never a distinguished choice for chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the position he ascended to this month by virtue of seniority. Concerns about that quality gap have sharply escalated amid new disclosures about Mr. Menendez’s use of his position to advance the financial interests of a friend and big donor. Instead of trying to protect Mr. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, needs to remove his gavel, at least pending credible resolution by the Senate Ethics Committee of the swirling accusations of misconduct. . .”
Daniel Horowitz, Red State: “Why is Bipartisanship a One-Way Street?”
Gregory Copley, Uncivilization, has better answers that can be traced to genomics . . . One explanation underlies our legislatures and women’s attraction to guns . . . see also Chris Badcock, The Imprinted Brain. If you’re not confused, you will be frightened . . .
“While working on ways to stop the hemorrhaging in our party from the Schumer/Rubio amnesty gang, I discovered today that Senator Coburn is working with a Democrat gang to advance a universal background check law. To my knowledge, this news came as a surprise to his fellow conservatives in the Senate as well. Who is he working with? Among others, Chuck Schumer! What in the world does Chuck Schumer have over the heads of senators from some of the most conservative states?
“In recent years, individual Republican members have embarked on a Benedict Arnold approach to legislating by granting cover for squishy Republicans and red state Democrats to support bills that would otherwise never pass. Instead of working openly with fellow conservatives to draft a statement of principles on the issue at hand, these ‘gangsters’ work in secret with the most liberal members to chart a path for 60 members to pass bad legislation. All too often, these members back away at the last moment and vote against the proposal, something I’m sure Marco Rubio will eventually do with the amnesty bill, but not after the damage had already been done.
Bob Guzzardi: Corbett Tanks
Tom Corbett's numbers continue to tank with no reason to think they will improve.
Note the pathetic 41% Republican support for Pennsylvania's most powerful Republican. It is, likely, he is pulling down all Republicans.
Bruce Castor is seeming more and more viable. His high and favorable profile is a plus. Bruce Castor is slowly raising his profile outside southeast.
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Highlights and Lowlights of Governor Corbett’s 2013 Budget Address”
“February 5, 2013: The thousand pound gorilla in the room for the Governor’s budget address was his call to reform the states severely underfunded public pension system. His call to move all new employees to a 401(k) style retirement plan is long overdue. However, that will just keep the pension hole from getting deeper. The Governor also proposed changing the formula for future benefits accrued by current employees. It should not come as a shock that government unions are already threatening legal action to prevent any changes to future benefits from happening. In much the same way as what happened in Wisconsin, it would not be a surprise to see paid union protestors show up in Harrisburg to protest the changes.
“A welcome revelation in the budget speech was Gov. Corbett’s announcement that Pennsylvania would not be expanding Medicaid enrolment. The proposed expansion was included in the provisions of the “Affordable Care Act” (aka ObamaCare). Gov. Corbett correctly noted that Pennsylvania taxpayers cannot afford to expand an already financially unsustainable program.
“The next item of note was the Governor’s reiterated his call for liquor store privatization. As we have previously stated, CAP fully supports the Governor’s attempt to remove the state from the booze business. While we believe that the proceeds of the privatization process could be better spent, the Governor has made clear his intention to use the funds for an education block grant program. The new grant program would provide funding for four areas: school safety, a new early learning program, individualized learning programs and science, technology, engineering and math programs.
“In addition, to the big ticket items, there were several feel good measures included in the Governor’s proposal. His plan for increased Head Start funding ignores its woeful ineffectiveness. We will be reviewing the details of where some of the other proposed funding increases come from before passing judgment on them.
“The biggest objection that CAP had to the Governor’s budget proposal was his willingness to engage in class warfare rhetoric while advocating for an increase in the wholesale gasoline tax:
“It is time for oil and gas companies to pay their fair share of the cost of the infrastructure supporting their industry.”
“As we noted previously, Pennsylvanians should not be asked to pay higher taxes for infrastructure until other wasteful spending is eliminated. Furthermore, the belief that this sleight of hand in the tax structure will not cost citizens of the Commonwealth more is ridiculous.
“On one hand, Gov. Corbett is calling for a reduction in the gasoline tax that is paid directly by consumers. However, at the same time he is proposing removing a cap on another tax that is passed “invisibly” along to consumers.
“Sadly, the Governor did not indicate how much tax money is wasted by forcing state government to pay above market rates for labor on infrastructure projects via “prevailing wage” laws. Nor did he make addressing this relic of the Jim Crow era budget priority as a way to ensure that taxpayers are getting the most for their money. His unwillingness to address the so called prevailing wage laws in any meaningful way is extremely disappointing. However, it might explain why labor unions have contributed well over $100,000 to his re-election campaign account.
“The Governor’s 2013 budget speech did acknowledge some of the harsh realities of the Pennsylvania’s budgetary constraints. We think that some of the proposals will go a long way in addressing specific persistent matters like liquor store privatization and pension reform. On the issue of taxes, Gov. Corbett proposed a phased reduction in Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax. This proposal will bring the Commonwealth in line with the national average. Improving Pennsylvania’s tax climate will make the state more attractive than it is now to new businesses. The Commonwealth currently has one of the highest tax rates in the world. Equally beneficial, it will provide businesses that are already here much needed relief.”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “White House Misleading On Arms To Jihadists? Claims Obama rejected plan to aid so-called rebels”
“According to multiple informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to KleinOnline, the U.S. has been coordinating arms shipments for months now to the Syrian rebels. At issue is that those rebels consist in large part of al-Qaida-linked jihadists, according to scores of reports in the news media.
“The Middle Eastern security officials further described the U.S. mission in Benghazi and nearby CIA annex attacked last September as an intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels in the Middle East, particularly those fighting Assad’s regime. That aid, the sources stated, included weapons shipments and was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
“Days after the Benghazi attacks, KleinOnline broke the story that late Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian and other Middle Eastern security officials. . .”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “More Holes In White House Denial Of Arms To Jihadists. Plan supported by top leaders of CIA, Pentagon, State”
“. . . During senate hearings on Benghazi yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked Panetta and Dempsey whether they had supported a plan “that we provide weapons to the resistance in Syria.”
“We do,” Panetta replied.
“You did support that?” McCain asked again.
“We did,” added Dempsey, who was sitting next to Panetta.
“Neither Dempsey nor Panetta elaborated on their positions.
“This past weekend, the New York Times reported the White House rebuffed the Clinton-Petraeus plan developed last summer to arm and train Syrian rebels.
“The Times, citing unnamed Obama administration officials, reported the White House rejected the Clinton-Petraeus proposal over concerns it could draw the U.S. into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands.
“The plan reportedly called for vetting rebels and arming a group of fighters with the assistance of Arab countries.
“According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to KleinOnline, the U.S. has been coordinating arms shipments for months now to the Syrian rebels. At issue is that the rebels consist in large part of al-Qaida-linked jihadists, according to scores of news reports.
“The Middle Eastern security officials further described the U.S. mission in Benghazi and nearby CIA annex attacked last September as an intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels in the Middle East, particularly those fighting Assad’s regime. . .”
Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller: “10 questions with ‘The Ruling Class’ author Angelo M. Codevilla”
“America’s real divide is certainly not between the Republican and Democratic parties. Rather, on one hand, there is a class of people who dominate both parties as well as academe and the media. They run big businesses. Having developed a remarkably uniform set of habits, tastes and preferences, they imagine themselves entitled to reshape an America that they regard as composed of social and intellectual inferiors. On the other hand, there is a whole America composed of people who are really inferior to no one, and who do not feel represented by either of the major political parties, who realize that the country’s major institutions are now in the hands of persons who look down on them, and who are looking to take back control of their own lives.
Book for about a buck: http://www.amazon.com/Ruling-Class-Corrupted-America-About/dp/0825305586