Monday, April 6, 2015

You know that old saying that sanctions just creates a bunker mentality for the political interests already in power. In fact, Business Insider has an interesting piece about how isolating these rogue regimes–Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria–actually caused a lot of them to trade with one another and build a substantial homegrown arms industry:

Several countries have managed to build massive arsenals despite being under various forms of international sanction. 
China has anti-satellite weapons, advanced fighter jets, and ballistic missiles, despite the US banning all weapons-related trade with Beijing after the 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre.
The Arab League maintains an official boycott on Israel — which nevertheless has the strongest military in the Middle East. And EU and US sanctions haven't wiped out Russia's ongoing military modernization drive.
But China, Israel, Russia face far fewer barriers to the international weapons market than the true rogue states: That is, the US-listed state sponsors of terrorism.
And that's is ironically a source of strength for these countries: They also trade one another, as the above map, compiled with information from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's global weapons transfer database for 2014 demonstrates.

Iran provides all sorts of weaponry and military aid to Syria. Though it isn't marked on this map, which shows weapons transfers only from 2014, Iran helped set up Sudan's domestic arms industry and has provided arms to the government in Khartoum that later ended up with pro-government militant groups. Russia and China will sell to just about whomever they want to. Belarus, which has long been under various sanctions because of its government's human-rights record, will also sell to Sudan.
The map above shows one of the consequences of international sanctions and mechanisms like the state sponsors of terror list. They're meant to change regimes' behavior by cutting them off from mainstream trade and international relations. But this actually creates an incentive for them to cooperate with one another in a way that may be even less accountable to responsible international actors.
The publication noted that while Israel, Russia, and China have some “barriers” in the international arms market, they’re not on the U.S. State Departments list for governments that sponsor terrorism.

Additionally, it might depend on the type of sanction imposed; Iran came to the negotiating table over their nuclear program since the sanctions crippled their economy.

Top doc: Obamacare 'death spiral' already here

'Young people are not stupid enough' to buy into federalized program

By Paul Bremmer / WND Exclusive

WASHINGTON – With the Supreme Court currently mulling the King v. Burwell case against the Affordable Care Act, supporters of Obamacare have warned that a “death spiral” may result if the court strikes down subsidies for health insurance purchased through federally established exchanges.

But the federal health-care takeover law already has caused a death spiral, according to Dr. Lee Hieb, M.D., past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
It’s just that she speaks of a different kind of death spiral.

“There’s a death spiral in medicine already because it’s creating shortages of doctors and hospital closures, and that’s a business death spiral the medical community’s already starting to be in,” Hieb said.

A traditional “death spiral” occurs when many healthy people drop health insurance coverage, leaving a risk pool that is smaller and sicker than before. Insurers are forced to raise premiums to continue paying promised benefits to their sick customers. But this premium hike causes remaining healthy customers to drop coverage as well, because they don’t feel it is worth it to pay sky-high premiums for coverage they rarely, if ever, use.

Once these healthy people leave, insurers must raise premiums again, causing even more healthy customers to leave. The cycle continues until only the seriously ill remain in the risk pool, because they are the only ones with an incentive to pay the enormous premiums.

That already may be evident. According to a recent article, premiums rose by an average of 41 percent from 2013 to 2014, the latter of which was the first year Obamacare was in effect. Also, only about 28 percent of Obamacare enrollees are in the healthy 18-to-34-year-old age group. Analysts had originally estimated that about 40 percent of enrollees would have to be in that age group so their premiums could pay for benefits for the elderly and sick.

Hieb, author of “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare,” is concerned about more than just rising premiums and smaller, sicker risk pools. Those problems represent a death spiral of medical insurance, she says. But as a practicing orthopedic surgeon, Hieb worries about the death spiral of medical providers.

Pope condemns “complicit silence” on jihad attacks on Christians

By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch


Pope condemns “complicit silence” on jihad attacks on Christians
The Pope is upset about the “complicit silence” of Christians about the persecution of Christians by Muslims, but did he himself name the perpetrator and explain why this persecution is happening? If he did, there is no hint of it in this AFP story.

Pope Francis has said, “authentic Islam and the proper reading of […]

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Obama's Retaliatory Tentacles
By: Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor / Right Side Patriots on CPR Worldwide Media /

"I'm not going anywhere...I'm angry and ready to fight because today contradicts my public service career and my entire life." 
- New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez's words after being indicted on public corruption charges

Two appointed and one elected...both facing criminal charges...but only one dared to speak out against Obama's economic and foreign policies...dared to defend Israel...thus making the outcome for that one quite different than the outcome of the other one.

In the first case, in yet another of the Obama regime's attempts to sweep the IRS targeting scandal under the rug, early last week Ronald C. Machen, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, informed House Speaker John Boehner that he will NOT...I repeat NOT...bring criminal contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner. NO big surprise folks as Lerner did exactly what she was told to do knowing full-well that Obama and his cronies would protect her. Lerner...the main figure in the targeting of Conservative and TEA Party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status...extra scrutiny simply because they opposed Obama during both his 2008 and 2012 presidential election bids... was rewarded for a job well done in that she got to use one of her many Obama and Holder supplied 'get out of jail free' cards...all while questions continue to be raised and continue to go unanswered about Obama's in-our-face ability to ignore a congressional directive.

It's now been almost a year since the House approved a contempt resolution against Lerner arising from her decision NOT to answer questions during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing where she invoked her Fifth Amendment right NOT to testify. This led then committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to rightfully say that Lerner had waived that right by asserting her innocence during an opening statement and then refusing to be cross-examined by committee members. But U.S. Attorney Machen...a Democrat and obviously an Obama supporter...insisted that Lerner only made “general claims of innocence” and that the Constitution would provide her, in his legal opinion, with “an absolute defense should she be prosecuted.”

In his letter to Boehner, Machen claimed his decision NOT to bring said charges against Lerner was NOT a rejection per se of the House’s constitutional powers to call witnesses and hold them in contempt when and if they violate the rules, but that the facts in Lerner's case “undercut” the House decision...translating into Machen's opinion that Lerner did NOT waive her Constitutional protection. But know this case is surely NOT going to simply fade away as it continues to raise questions about the powers of Congress and whether the president and the rest of the executive branch have 'discretion' in an follow orders of Congress. I believe they do as the executive branch must answer to Congress and Congress must in turn answer to 'We the People.'

In the second case involving Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez the outcome was quite different as a federal grand jury turned a longtime friendship into a corruption case. Indicting Menendez on 14 public corruption charges ranging from bribery to making false statements to conspiracy and more relating to “dealings and interventions” he 'supposedly' made on behalf of his friend and senatorial campaign contributor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, a West Palm Beach, Florida, ophthalmologist, who now is also facing criminal charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell in announcing the indictments said that Menendez never disclosed any of the 'reportable gifts' he received from Melgen on the required financial disclosure forms. And so unreported gifts turned into indictments claiming that Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf in a dispute with federal regulators over Medicare billing charges and irregularities, and in a bid by Melgen to secure a port security contract in the Dominican Republic. Menendez, as expected, denied any wrongdoing and said that any of the close to one million dollars in gifts he received from Melgen...which included almost $600,000 in campaign contributions...were given to him solely because of their close personal friendship of over 20+ years.

And Menendez must be presumed innocent until proven guilty because charges contained in an indictment are only an accusation NOT a verdict. In the meantime, Mendendez, one of our leading voices on foreign affairs, has stepped-down as the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee but will remain a committee member. And the Foreign Relations Committee where Menendez dared to call Obama to task over his anything but a strategy in combating ISIS; where he opposed Obama's efforts to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba; and where he loudly voiced that he wants increased sanctions placed against Iran (“Iran is clearly taking steps that can only be interpreted as provocative...yet the administration appears willing to excuse away any connection between these developments and signs of Iran's bad faith in negotiations.”); is at the crux of Menedez being called to task. And why...because Menendez had the fortitude and audacity to publicly and on the record oppose Obama...and if you oppose Obama you must pay the price for that opposition even if you are a fellow Democrat.

And you must pay a big price if you dare to oppose Obama's stabbing Israel in the back, as Menendez did recently at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's national convention, where he pledged that Iran would "never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch."

Fighting words our traitor-in-chief will NOT let go unpunished. And we know the Obama regime is notorious for punishing those who disagree with them, oppose them, or speak ill of them...and party affiliation matters not. One case in point is Mary Landrieu and her bid to win a fourth term as one of Louisiana's senators. Remember, Obama himself, his people, their money, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee...who pulled their TV advertising in support of her...cast her aside come runoff time simply because she spoke out in support of the Keystone Pipeline...which Obama and the liberal environmentalists are vehemently against.

Also, remember when New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer second-guessed both Obama and his signature piece of legislation... saying, "We took their mandate and put all focus on the wrong problem - health care reform," and even went so far as to say that since only about 5% of registered voters in the United States lacked health insurance before the implementation of the law, that to focus on a problem affecting such "a small percentage of the electoral made no political sense." In other words, Schumer publicly voiced his opinion that Democrats should NOT have passed ObamaCare when they did because the country was still in the throws of a recession even after the passing of the 2009 stimulus bill, and that a logical follow-up to said bill should have been legislation to help the middle class. In fact, Schumer even stated that only later on in the Obama presidency should the issue of health care have been addressed.

And the fallout from the regime for his words...first, then House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi publicly stated that there are "14 million reasons why" Schumer is wrong...referencing the number of Americans 'newly insured' under ObamaCare but of course leaving out the millions of folks who lost their insurance because of ObamaCare...and second, Menendez was chastised in the media for daring to speak out against the 'anointed one.' And the media payback went so far as to accuse Menendez of grandstanding for his own self-interest, personal gain, and political ambitions, to the effect that some in his own party publicly came out to accuse him of saying what he said simply because he wanting to be Hillary's VP choice when she ran.

And then there's Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, a twice-deployed Iraq War veteran, who criticized Obama for downplaying the ISIS threat. Saying, “Every soldier knows this simple fact: If you don’t know your enemy, you will not be able to defeat him...our leaders must clearly identify the enemy as Islamist extremists, understand the ideology that is motivating them and attracting new recruits, and focus on defeating that enemy both militarily and ideologically,” the retaliation was swift in coming.

Almost immediately after Gabbard spoke these words the Obama 'attack machine' led by Bob Jones of the Oahu-based Midweek newspaper ran his editorial stating, “I take serious issue when somebody who’s done a little non-fighting in Iraq, and is not a Middle East or Islamic scholar, claims to know better than our President and Secretary of State how to fathom the motivations of terrorists, or how to refer to them beyond the term that best describes them — terrorists.” And Democrat Michael Perry of Hawaii’s KSSK radio said he's worried about the political payback for what he called Gabbard's "mortal sin" for her daring to speak out against Obama. “While Gabbard is correct in her ‘emperor has no clothes’ moment, she may have lost her future seat on Hawaii’s political bench,” he said...words that sound like a threat of sorts to me.

And let's NOT forget that some Democrats are speaking out against Obama's executive order on immigration...on amnesty...including Clair McCaskill (MO), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Independent but caucuses with the Democrats Angus King (MA) amongst them. And the retaliation against them will surely come for NO one dares to cross Obama or his cronies and gets away with it.

So the bottom line in all this is that even Democrats are NOT safe from the retaliatory tentacles of a man and his cronies who think of themselves as  gods...never to be questioned...never to be crossed...and above all never to be second-guessed.