CONTENTS: Rove’s emails; Hanson – BO’s oath; Seal desperate; American priorities; Chris Kyle; Ben Carson & the bullies; SOTO – Govt @ center; Rubio’s answer; Stossel’s SOTU; Buchhanan/Benedict; Hagel needs 60; Code Pink impeach; Korean blast; PA unions; Daylin’s pot law; Election data; Erickson – Unicorn Healthcare; Taranto drones; Hold on Hagel; Muslim demographics drop; Wehner –Benghazi scandal; Absentee Bamster; Jewish Ds back Chuck; SOTU drinking; DC adultery; Announcements
“To govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” Benedict XVI
“There are a group of people who would like to silence everybody and have everybody go along to get along, but that’s not going to be very helpful for us in the long run, in terms of solving our problems. And somebody has to be courageous enough to actually stand up to, you know, the bullies.” Dr. Ben Carson
“We don’t do 911” Leon Panetta
“According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke; Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting.
1635: Boston Public Latin School, the nation’s oldest public school, was founded.
1795: The University of North Carolina, the first state university to open its doors in the new United States, began operating.
1826: The American Temperance Society, the first national organization to advocate prohibition, was founded.
1935: Bruno Richard Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the kidnapping and death of Charles and Anne Lindbergh’s infant son.
2000: Charles Schulz’s last Peanuts comic strip ran the day after the cartoonist dies at age seventy-seven. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator: “Rove Email Leaks – Ideological War Opens in GOP”
“An info dump sent after GOP candidate nominated.
“Karl Rove was not happy.
“The conservative base of the Republican Party is not happy.
“The Ford/Bush-Reagan battle of ideology decades past suddenly renews.
“What’s going on with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell?
“And yes, to wax Carvillian, it is the ideology, stupid. In fact, it is an ideological war.
“First, Mr. Rove and a leaked email. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Obama’s Hypocritic Oath”
“The startling disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality
“Barack Obama has a habit of identifying a supposed crisis in collective morality, damning the straw men “them” who engage in such ethical lapses, soaring with rhetorical bromides — and then, to national quiet, doing more or less the exact things he once swore were ruining the country. Washington will always be a city of hypocrisies, as one would expect when astronomical amounts of money and political power collide. What is striking about the recent disclosures about Obama’s tenure is not that his embarrassments are all that different from embarrassments of other administrations, but that they are at odds entirely with almost everything Obama has professed. And that realization is starting to damage his presidency as much as its actual shortcomings.
“Take the recent drone memo and the context in which it was leaked. . .”
Phil Bronstein, Esquire: “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden … Is Screwed”
“The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care. . .”
“. . . The point man is the only one besides the Shooter who could verify the kill shots firsthand, and he did just that to another SEAL I spoke with. But even the point man was not in the room then, having tackled two women into the hallway, a crucial and heroic decision given that everyone living in the house was presumed to be wearing a suicide vest.
“But a series of confidential conversations, detailed descriptions of mission debriefs, and other evidence make it clear: The Shooter’s is the most definitive account of those crucial few seconds, and his account, corroborated by multiple sources, establishes him as the last man to see Osama bin Laden alive. Not in dispute is the fact that others have claimed that they shot bin Laden when he was already dead, and a number of team members apparently did just that.
“What is much harder to understand is that a man with hundreds of successful war missions, one of the most decorated combat veterans of our age, who capped his career by terminating bin Laden, has no landing pad in civilian life. . .”
John Nolte, Breitbart: “Poll Shows Media Wildly Out-of-Touch with Priorities of Americans”
“Pew released a poll today that puts into stark contrast the widening gap between the elite media and the American people. When asked what their priorities were for Obama’s second term, the American people overwhelmingly chose as their top three issues: strengthening the economy, job creation, and deficit reduction.
Way down at the bottom — #17, #18, and #21 (out of 21) — we find the media’s priorities: guns, illegal immigration, and global warming.
And what a wild coincidence that the exact same divisive issues the media’s focusing on to drive its coverage are the exact same divisive issues Obama’s been using to distract from his jobless, shrinking economy. . .”
Tony Lee, Breitbart: “Gallup: Americans Disapprove of Obama Policy on Nearly Every Issue”
“. . . According to a Gallup poll, 42% of Americans approve of Obama’s gun policies while 54% disapprove.
“On taxes, 41% approve and 57% disapprove. On the economy, 39% approve and 60% disapprove. On “the situation in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” 36% approve and 55% disapprove.
“And on the federal budget deficit, 31% approve and 65% disapprove.
“The only area in which Obama gains the support of a majority is on ‘national defense’ issues, but the poll was conducted before North Korea reportedly tested a nuclear weapon on Monday as Obama seeks to diminish America’s nuclear arsenal.
“Gallup conducted its poll from Feb. 7-10. . .”
Breitbart: Chris Kyle RIP
“On Monday, thousands of Americans turned out to pay homage to the late Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL sniper famous for the performance in Iraq that earned him the nickname from his enemies, The Devil of Ramadi. Kyle was murdered last week in Texas by a former soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Kyle’s coffin was placed at the center of Cowboys Stadium, draped in an American flag. Over 7,000 people came to pay tribute to him.
“Kyle’s wife and children spoke in moving terms about the American hero. According to wife Taya, Chris made her feel like “pure gold.” “Thank you Chris thank you for loving me, all of me,” she said. “God worked through you to make me the woman I was supposed to be … You taught me I was okay just the way I am. I stand before you a broken woman but I am now and always will be a wife of a man who was a warrior both on and off the battlefield.”
“Chris’ children wrote notes that were printed in the program. “You are the best dad ever,” wrote Kyle’s daughter, who signed only “Baby Girl.” “I never wanted you to die, I miss your heart.” His son wrote, “One of the best things that has happened to me is you. I love you dad. I always will.”
“Luminaries including Sarah Palin attended the funeral. There were no reported attendees from the Obama administration. . .”
Dr. Ben Carson, Real Clear Politics: “Somebody Has to Stand Up to the Bullies”
“. . . One of the things I also said during the speech is there will be some people who will say, ‘but you’re a doctor and you’re a surgeon, you should be sticking to that.’ And I mentioned the fact that five physicians signed the Declaration of Independence and were involved in the framing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and several other things.
“There’s absolutely no reason at all that physicians, scientists, shouldn’t be involved in things that affect all of us. We’re people who’ve learned how to make decisions based on facts, empirical data, rather than on ideology, and one of the geniuses, one of the real things that made us a great nation, is that we brought people from all backgrounds into the legislative process. So that all of us would be able to place our interests there and we’ve gone significantly away from that. . .”
Neil Munro, Daily Caller: “Obama put government at the center of Americans’ lives”
“President Barack Obama’s 2013 State Of The Union speech aggressively placed government at the center of Americans’ lives, starting with a litany of government economic plans, and ending by celebrating Americans as the subjects of government. . .”
Scott Conroy, RCP: “. . . Rubio’s SOTU Response Was No Flop
“ . . . The 41-year-old Latino legislator, who has been heralded as the next great hope for the GOP, delivered his well-paced remarks in a clear and engaging tone, even if he did not offer new policy specifics.
Though Rubio sprinkled in details of his own story as the son of Cuban immigrants, he mentioned only briefly his immigration reform plan, for which he has drawn headlines in recent months. Thus, the speech neither spotlighted Rubio’s appealing personal narrative nor offered a policy prescription for how Republicans can more effectively appeal to Hispanic voters.
Instead, it was a call for conservatives to govern by their principles and also an appeal to voters who have soured on the GOP in recent years, asking that they give the party another look.
Invoking the language and principles that infused Ronald Reagan’s conservative movement more than three decades ago, Rubio made a broad-based case for a small-government ethos.
“More government isn’t going to help you get ahead,” he said. “It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them. And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty. . .”
John Stossel, Fox/RCP: “A Real State of the Union”
“We’ve heard another State of the Union speech, and my president said grand things like:
“Think about … a future where we’re in control of our own energy … I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China … I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning …”
“Actually, he said that in 2012. I write before this year’s speech, but he says basically the same thing every year: With more spending, government can fix everything.
“But I have this dream — one where my president walks to the podium, and he instead says this:
“I’m so happy I won again. Now that I don’t have to suck up to my base, I will be the grown-up in the room.
“Yes, I know John Boehner claims I said, “We don’t have a spending problem.” Maybe I said that — I don’t remember. But we do have a spending problem.
“Now that I’m concerned about my legacy, I looked at the numbers, and they are scary. I made so many promises that there’s no way we can pay for them. . .”
LEADS . . .
Pat Buchanan, WND: “A godly man in an ungodly age”
“Pat Buchanan looks at pope’s resignation in light of multi-century decline of Christianity
“. . . Benedict XVI announced an end of his papacy. How stands the Church he has led for eight years?
“While he could not match the charisma of his predecessor, John Paul II, his has been a successful papacy. He restored some of the ancient beauty and majesty to the liturgy. He brought back to the fold separated Anglican brethren. The Church is making converts in sub-Saharan Africa. And in America, new traditionalist colleges and seminaries have begun to flourish.
“That is looking back eight years. Looking back half a century, to that October day in 1962 when Pope John XXIII declared the opening of Vatican II, the Church appears to have been in a decline that, in parts of the world, seems to be leading to near extinction.
reformers who were going to bring the Church into the modern world. The encounter did not turn out well. . .”
Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy: “Hagel will need 60 votes to get confirmed . . .”
“. . . The committee debated the Hagel nomination in anticipation of a Tuesday afternoon vote that is expected to fall along party lines, with all committee Republicans voting against the nomination. After the committee acts, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to call for a final floor vote on Thursday, just before the Senate goes on vacation. Several GOP senators told The Cable Tuesday that they will not agree to a simple up or down vote on the Senate floor this week, including Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Republican James Inhofe (R-OK), Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Inhofe’s demand for 60 votes is related to his overall objection to Hagel becoming defense secretary, which is based on Hagel’s past record on issues ranging from Iran, Israel, Hamas, and cuts to the defense budget. Inhofe also wants Hagel to further disclose financial records related to his past speeches.
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “Even Code Pink Wants Obama Impeached”
“During a radio interview yesterday, Code Pink co founder Medea Benjamin called for the impeachment of President Obama over drone strikes killing American citizens overseas who are members of terrorist organizations.
Asked on WABC Radio’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” whether she believes the drone warfare is an impeachable offense, Benjamin replied in the affirmative.
“I would broaden it to end the killing of innocent people overseas in countries where we are not at war without any kind of transparency or accountability,” she said.
Asked Klein, “So would you then call as the co-founder of Code Pink for the impeachment of President Obama based on these alleged crimes?”
“Sure,” Benjamin responded. “Just like I called for President Obama and George Bush to be taken to the International Criminal Court for war crimes but it’s not going to happen. . .”
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters: “North Korea blast bigger than 2009 atom test”
“An explosion that North Korea said was a nuclear test had a magnitude of 4.9, bigger than similar tests the Asian state carried out in 2006 and 2009, a monitoring agency said on Tuesday
North Korea said the test, which drew swift and widespread condemnation, had “greater explosive force” than the two previous tests, and that it had used a miniaturized device.
If it was such a device, ‘that suggests a weapon that could more easily be delivered by missiles, something that is especially concerning to the U.S., Japan, South Korea and others,’ said Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. . .”
Jillian Melchoir, PA Independent: “Philadelphia construction unions not big on brotherly love”
“A study by the National Right to Work Committee examined news reports and found that, from 1975 to 2009, there were 143 incidents of union violence in the city of Philadelphia reported in the media. It’s a grim roster that includes an unsuccessful murder attempt; a janitor’s losing an eye during a protest; the firebombing of company property; countless tires slashed; and business owners’ being threatened with a gun and with knives.
“Moreover, NRTWC research suggests that for every reported instance of union troublemaking, at least 10 similar incidents never make the newspapers. If those estimates are right, Philadelphia has seen an average of 45 incidents of union violence each year for nearly four decades.
“And recently, many contractors and developers have reported an uptick in union troublemaking. Even some of Big Labor’s allies in Philadelphia told National Review Online that as unions started feeling economically threatened, and they have responded by behaving more aggressively.
“The recession devastated Philadelphia’s already-declining construction market. At least 30 percent of Philadelphia’s unionized construction workers have been unemployed or underemployed since 2008.
“Organized labor, meanwhile, is facing stiff competition, said Cameron Mactavish, an architect who has worked in Philadelphia for 25 years, collaborating with both unionized and open-shop contractors. He said that he had had very positive experiences with unions in the past, but he has also seen a surge in highly qualified open-shop contractors.
“It’s common knowledge in the industry that there’s a 15 to 25 percent premium on construction for union versus open-shop,” Mactavish said. “That’s a lot for an owner. . .”
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: Daylin’s Pot Law
“HARRISBURG – State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery often compares Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws to the alcohol prohibition laws of the early 20th century.
He says it’s a culture war that one day will end. Maybe sooner than one might think.
HARRISBURG – State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery often compares Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws to the alcohol prohibition laws of the early 20th century.
“He says it’s a culture war that one day will end. Maybe sooner than one might think.
“‘I’m sure that in 10 years, we will look back on prohibition as a quaint relic of the past,’ Leach said.
“Leach, one of the state’s most progressive lawmakers, introduced legislation to legalize marijuana use for adults age 21 and older. Leach’s legislation envisions marijuana sold alongside alcohol in state liquor stores and beer distributors, with production, distribution and sale regulated in a similar way as alcohol.
“Leach made the social and economic case for marijuana legalization at a Monday afternoon news conference, where he said that keeping marijuana illegal makes criminals out of people who “smoke a plant” . . .”
Keegan Gibson, Politics PA: “Presidential Results by Congressional District”
“. . . President Obama won Pennsylvania on the whole by 5.4%, he lost 13 of 18 congressional district – including 5 that he won in 2008.
“Even using the current, 2011 congressional lines, Obama would have won PA-6, PA-7, PA-8, PA-15 and PA-16 in 2008. But he lost all 5 of those suburban Philadelphia districts in November, albeit.
“Had GOP congressional-based plans been in place in 2012, Obama would have lost the state to Mitt Romney 13 electoral votes to 7.
“The numbers below come courtesy of DailyKos…”
Erick Erickson, Red State: Healthcare for Unicorns
“. . . we should stop paying for tests based on the number performed and we should stop paying for hospitals based on the number of days in which a patient stays in the hospital. Instead, we should pay based on the quality of care given, which I guess means if suddenly your stool sample turns to gold, we’ll charge more.
“His approach makes no sense. Healthcare cannot be paid for based on quality of care without introducing subjective standards that will themselves drive up the costs of healthcare. He might as well claim he does not want to pay for healthcare at all or, at best, will cover the costs with unicorn farts.
“The President’s speech was a defense of big government. . .”
James Taranto, WSJ: “Not the Drones They Thought They Knew”
“The left’s schism between Obama fans and terror-war foes.
“What goes around comes around, as the New York Times reported yesterday:
Four years into [President Obama’s] tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security.
It seems that last week, as Times media columnist David Carr puts it, “the debate over drone strikes broke out into plain view during the confirmation hearings for John O. Brennan” for CIA director.
It’s not quite that there’s been continuity in antiterror policies, according to the news story:
In effect, Mr. Obama relies on his predecessor’s aggressive approach in one area to avoid Mr. Bush’s even more aggressive approach in others. By emphasizing drone strikes, Mr. Obama need not bother with the tricky issues of detention and interrogation because terrorists tracked down on his watch are generally incinerated from the sky, not captured and questioned. By dispensing with concerns about due process, he avoids a more traditional war that he fears could lead to American boots on the ground.
“Still, Obama has ‘preserved much of what he inherited’ and ‘expanded Mr. Bush’s drone campaign.’ Particularly problematic to terror-war foes is the use of drones to kill U.S. citizens who are al Qaeda operatives, such as Anwar al-Awlaki. . .”
Kerry Pickett, Big Govt: “Benghazi – Graham Threatens Hold on Hagel, Brennan”
“. . . Breitbart News spoke with Senator Graham on Monday night, and he confirmed that he is willing to put a hold on not just Hagel but all of the President Obama’s nominees, if the President does not give more information on the Benghazi attack.
“If they don’t give us the basic information about what the president did that night on September 11, I’m going to withhold confirmation of the nominees until they provide information,” He said. “They did this on Bolton. I hate doing this, but it’s the only way I know to get this White House who has been deceptive and misleading and this is the only way I know to elevate it. And they can answer my questions in five minutes. . .”
David Goldman, PJM: “Fertility, Faith, and the Decline of Islam”
“. . . The evidence has been there for years in the United Nations database. In September 2006 I warned that the Muslim world was heading towards a demographic catastrophe.
“By 2050, elderly dependents will comprise nearly a third of the population of some Muslim nations, notably Iran — converging on America’s dependency ratio at mid-century. But it is one thing to face such a problem with America’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of $40,000, and quite another to face it with Iran’s per capita GDP of $7,000 — especially given that Iran will stop exporting oil before the population crisis hits. The industrial nations face the prospective failure of their pension systems. But what will happen to countries that have no pension system, where traditional society assumes the care of the aged and infirm? In these cases it is traditional society that will break down, horribly and irretrievably so.
“My 2011 book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying, Too) assembled evidence that the decline of Islam as a religion explained collapsing fertility, just as the decline of Catholicism explained collapsing fertility in lands once blessed by large families — Spain, Italy, Poland, Ireland, and Quebec. Iran’s total fertility rate plunged to an estimated 1.6% in 2010, barely above Europe’s rate of 1.5 children per female. . .”
Pete Wehner, Commentary: The Benghazi Scandal and Media Bias
“. . . As Bill Kristol and I point out in our op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, we learned from their testimony that President Obama, upon being told about the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, never once followed up with Panetta, Dempsey, or anyone else to see how things were developing. We learned that Messrs. Panetta and Dempsey both knew the assault on the compound were terrorist attacks on the night of the assault, even as the administration – in the persons of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama – continued to peddle a false version of events for weeks afterward. And despite having been told about Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ repeated warnings that the embassy could not sustain an attack and he was concerned of the chaos and rise of Islamist elements in Benghazi, no forces were put in place or made ready nearby to respond to a possible attack. And during the actual attack, which we knew about in real time, not a single major military asset was deployed to help rescue Americans under assault.
“As a result, the first American ambassador in more than 30 years was murdered, and so were three other Americans. . .”
Also: William Kristol & Peter Wehner, WSJ: “The Absentee Commander in Chief”
“The Defense secretary told the president that Americans in Benghazi were under attack. Then: nothing.
“Thanks to the congressional testimony of outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey late last week, we know they met with President Obama on Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. in a pre-scheduled meeting, when they informed the president about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The meeting lasted about a half-hour. Mr. Panetta said they spent roughly 20 minutes of the session briefing the president on the chaos at the American Embassy in Cairo and the attack in Benghazi, which eventually cost the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and information officer Sean Smith. . .”
Ben Shapiro, BigGovt: “. . . Jewish Democrats Back Hagel”
“ . . . To recap: with his openly expressed negativity toward Jews and Israel, Hagel is the most problematic candidate for a high post in an administration in decades. Between his apparent willingness to countenance accusations of Israeli “war crimes,” his support for negotiations with Israel’s terrorist enemies, and his unwillingness to express support for Israel in the face of Palestinian terrorism, Hagel’s anti-Israel credentials are well in order. Add in Hagel’s attempt to shut down the Sixth Fleet’s USO Center in Haifa (“Let the Jews pay for it,” he spat), his scornful assertion that he is not the “Senator for Israel,” and his belief that the so-called “Jewish lobby” intimidates members of Congress, and you’re looking at a bigot.
“And yet the Democrats, including President Obama, continue to push Hagel through. That’s no surprise from an administration that treats Israel more harshly than it treats most of America’s enemies. But it is a surprise from the Jewish members of the Democratic caucus, who should know better–not because they have dual loyalties, not because they represent a “lobby,” but because Jewish politicians above all should understand the importance of a safe and secure Israel.
“But they don’t. . .”
State of the Union
Whenever President Obama says ‘jobs,’ pour eight percent of your drink down the drain
Wynton Hall, BigGovt: D.C. Named ‘America’s Least Faithful City’
“Living in D.C., it’s crucial to keep up appearances and therefore adultery has become a way of life for many of the city’s most powerful residents.” Noel Biderman, AshleyMadison.com