Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Russia FM: U.S. has provided no facts to back Syria chemical weapons claims

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

"If there truly is top secret information available, the veil should be lifted. This is a question of war and peace. To continue this game of secrecy is simply inappropriate." Yes.

"Russia FM: West has provided no facts to back Syria chemical weapons claims," from the Jerusalem Post, September 2:
Lavrov accuses West of maintaining "regime of secrecy" about evidence it has on use of WMDs, says he is unconvinced by the "inconclusive" evidence. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday the information provided by the US to Russia regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria was “inconclusive”, RT Russian news network reported.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that tests proved positive for use of the sarin gas in Syrian chemical attacks last month.
Kerry told NBC's Meet the Press that fresh laboratory tests of blood and hair samples obtained from emergency workers in Damascus tested positive for the gas demonstrating that it was used in the August 21 attack that killed more than 1400 people.
Lavrov was speaking during an address to students of the Moscow State University of International Relations, where he accused the West of maintaining a “regime of secrecy.”
"If there truly is top secret information available, the veil should be lifted. This is a question of war and peace. To continue this game of secrecy is simply inappropriate," RT quoted him as saying.
"We were shown some sketches, but there was nothing concrete, no geographical coordinates or details... and no proof the test was done by professionals... there were no comments anywhere regarding the experts' doubt about the footage circulating all over the internet," Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister added that, "what our American, British and French partners have shown us before - as well as now - does not convince us at all. There are no supporting facts, there is only repetitive talk in the vein of 'we know for sure.' And when we ask for further clarification, we receive the following response: 'You are aware that this is classified information, therefore we cannot show it to you.' So there are still no facts."
Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers have said they will urge the US Congress not to approve military strikes on Syria, the speaker of the upper house of parliament told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
"I think if we manage to establish a dialogue with our partners in the U.S. Congress ... we could possibly better understand each other, and we hope that the U.S. Congress will occupy a balanced position in the end and, without strong arguments in place ... will not support the proposal on use of force in Syria," Valentina Matviyenko said....

Syria: intervention could unleash global war, Vatican warns

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Remember Archduke Ferdinand: sometimes what appear to be small events touch off a web of interconnected obligations and alliances.

"Syria: intervention could unleash global war, Vatican warns," from ANSAmed, September 2 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 2 - ''The way to solve Syria's problems cannot be an armed intervention. It would not decrease the violence, but rather risks exploding it and extending it to other countries. The conflict in Syria contains all the ingredients for war on a global scale,'' Monsignor Mario Toso, who is the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, warned on Monday. (ANSAmed).

Democrats: Bringing You One Good Year of Economic Growth Over a Five Year Period

John Ransom/ Townhall Finance Editor

Unemployment is not getting better, it’s getting worse.

Even the establishment media is taking notice.

“Widely followed pollster Gallup puts the nation's unemployment rate at an ugly 8.6 percent in August,” reportsCNBC, “a startling jump from the 7.8 percent the organization recorded for July. When counting the underemployed, the rate zooms to 17.7 percent, off its 2013 high of 18.2 percent.”

If you count in those who have dropped out of the work force, you get closer to 24 percent unemployment.

Gee, and all this time I thought that the job situation was getting better.

That’s what we were told.

“This time we mean it,” “The recovery is finally here,” “We tried capitalism, and it didn’t work,” “We tried our plan, and it worked,” “Obama killed Osama…with his bare hands,” and “Does my head look big with this teleprompter?”

In the U.S. the number of employed has only grown by 922,000 people since July of last year. And as many have noticed, over 70 percent of those jobs are part time.

The growth of the labor force itself has slowed so much that it has caused the BLS to revise previous projection of the growth of the labor force through 2012-2025 from 0.9 percent annually to 0.8 percent annually, according to HousingWire.

And don’t get me started in GDP. GDP actually reflects the poor state of the economy. Despite what liberals want you to believe, companies want to hire workers. But they hire workers only when they think they’ll make more money from it.

A consequence of the poor jobs environment is that GDP has suffered.

Since 2008, growth in GDP has posted about a 0.6 percent average annual rate or 3 percent over five years.

That compares with the historical average long-term rate of 3.28 percent.

In a way the GDP numbers epitomizes Obama’s economic philosophy: He’s managed to squeeze a whole year’s worth of economic activity into five years and counting.

There are over million Californians who today remain unemployed, many of whom are still jobless after using up 99 weeks of unemployment benefits made available by the state and federal government according to an article by the San Diego Union Tribune.

“In total, there are 1,044,000 Californians who have used up all of the weekly checks,” writes UTSanDiego.com, “the state Employment Development Department announced this week. At one point a person could receive up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance through a series of federal extensions.”

There are another million Californians who are receiving benefits because they can’t find jobs.

And that’s why the Republican National Committee calls Obama a “lame duck.” Obama and his Democrats friends have been ducking the really tough issues like jobs.

They’re ducking those problems because they have no answers.

This is the Democrats’ economy. It’s everything they asked for.

They got nationalized healthcare, they got the auto bailout, they got the pork barrel spending we call stimulus. They also got the opportunity to put a million electric vehicles on the road.

They invested in solar, in unions, in government. And still, they’ve produced the worst recovery ever.

Strike that.

It’s because they got nationalized healthcare, and they got the auto bailout, and they got the pork barrel spending we call stimulus; plus they got the opportunity to put a million electric vehicles on the road; AND because they invested in solar, in unions and in government that we have the worst recovery ever.

From 1932 to 1937, during the “Great Depression” the GDP of the United States grew 25 percent or at an annual average rate or 5 percent per annum. Yet the average government spending was about 15 percent of GDP during that period. Today, government spending is nearly 40 percent of GDP and we are getting about 1/10th of the return that our grandfathers enjoyed.

There’s a connection between unemployment and GDP.

It’s starts with bad investment decisions.

Imagine that: Politicians making bad investment decisions.

The best decision that we can make as a counter is getting politicians to make no investment decisions at all.

Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far. -- Teddy Roosevelt
Barack Obama knows that America's military is a big stick, but unfortunately Roosevelt's advice about speaking softly doesn't seem to have stuck. Because Barack Obama recklessly shot off his mouth about a "red line" in Syria, he's demanding that our nation insert itself into a civil war between terrorist groups, both of which have chemical weapons, to protect his ego. Happily, the American people recognize what a foolish move this would be. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that only 9% of Americans currently support bombing Syria. This is why Barack Obama has punted his Syrian War to Congress. He's hoping that it'll be foolish enough to vote in favor of war to give him the political cover he needs to bomb. Not only should Congress vote against the war in Syria, if Obama bombs that country anyway, Congress should immediately cut off funds for the war and move to impeach him. Why?

1) We don't have a son-of-a-b*tch in Syria. During the Cold War, America used to semi-regularly ally itself with some rather unsavory leaders and groups. The oft repeated rationale for supporting a dictator in those days was, "He may be a son-of-a-b*tch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch." In other words, both sides are bad guys, but this bad guy would work with us instead of the Soviets. In this case, we don't have a dog in the fight. It's a civil war between two groups that both despise us and will continue to hate us. Why risk American blood and treasure for people who will hate our guts no matter what we do?

2) Why act as Al-Qaeda's Air Force? Barack Obama is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he should know that Al-Qaeda attacked America on 9/11. Well now, Bin Laden’s boys are teamed up with the rebels that are fighting Bashar al-Assad. We just spent a decade killing as many members of Al-Qaeda as humanly possible in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; so how much sense does it make for Barack Obama to help Al-Qaeda take over Syria by bombing Bashar al-Assad?

Bashar al-Assad may be our enemy, but we should be thrilled he's killing Al-Qaeda and getting more of his terrorist pals in Hezbollah offed in the process.

3) What makes anyone think Obama can pull this off with no repercussions? What is there in Barack Obama's tenure in the White House that makes anyone think he's likely to handle this well? The fact that he didn't kill a drone program George W. Bush set up? Because he was too distracted playing cards with Reggie Love to screw up killing Osama Bin Laden? Bush essentially won Iraq and Obama screwed up pulling out of that country and has put a hard-earned victory at risk. He's also on track to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan. His incompetence got Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya. In Egypt, Obama helped get rid of a relatively friendly dictator in favor of anti-American, pro-terrorist theocrats who lasted just over a year before they were thrown out of power by an Egyptian public that seems to hate Obama almost as much as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Yet, we now think Obama is going to insert himself into a terrorist-heavy civil war in the Middle East without creating as many problems as he solves? That's like emptying a box of live spiders in a teenage girl's slumber party and not expecting any screaming.

4) It invites retaliation from Iran and Hezbollah. Many conservatives believe that if we have a choice between bombing Iran or letting it acquire nuclear weapons, we'd be better off to bomb Iran. However, that is supposed to be a last resort after every other measure has failed. Given that Iran and Hezbollah are actively supporting Bashar al-Assad, bombing him means actively opposing both of them in a war. Could they retaliate against us with terrorist attacks? That's certainly possible. Will they go after Israel to get at us? That's highly likely. Will Israel respond to those attacks? Yes, Israel will. Could this set off a larger regional war? Again, that's certainly possible. While Iran and Hezbollah have much more to fear from us than we do from them, you don't walk up and kick a bee hive just because President Prissy Pants has worked himself into a huff.

5) It's not in our national interest to bomb Syria. Costly though it may have been, it was in our national interest to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan over 9/11 and to target an aggressive enemy of America like Saddam Hussein in Iraq. That being said, had we known in advance how long our troops would be stuck in Iraq, it's highly doubtful that we would have ever invaded. On the other hand, what's the rationale for bombing the side that's fighting Al-Qaeda in Syria? Both sides hate America. Both sides cooperate with terrorists. If anything, since Al-Qaeda is determined to kill Americans and Assad is not, the current dictator in charge is probably the lesser of two evils.

Moreover, encouraging other nations to join us in imposing harsh sanctions on Syria would be just as effective as bombing when it comes to discouraging the use of WMDs without being as provocative. So, what argument is left? Are we supposed to bomb Syria to avoid looking "weak?" Well, if people have that impression, they can ask Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Anwar al-Awlaki what they think about that if they're willing to search through the bowels of hell long enough to find them.
It's Bowe Tuesday...Obama needs to remember that 
America leaves NO man behind.

ObamaCare...the death knell for American medicine
By: Diane Sori

While most are focused on Syria let's NOT forget about ObamaCare…the lurking shadow hanging over us all…ObamaCare…the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving…a gift I and millions of others would be more than happy to return.

Thankfully, legal and political opposition from Republicans and their allies have thrown a bit of a wrench into ObamaCare’s original intent. And with only about half the states opting to expand the Medicaid program that services poor uninsured families living below the poverty level in their respective states, Republicans in Congress have already denied nearly $1 billion in new asked for funding this year alone.

And now the actual implementation of this monstrosity of a health care law that was supposed to have started on October 1st…with the signing of the final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting…has been delayed.

Now if only Congress would defund the whole damn thing and save us all a lot of headaches for ObamaCare’s negatives greatly outweigh its one and only positive…the pre-existent condition clause.

Among its oh so many negatives, ObamaCare in NO uncertain terms is the biggest jobs killer in the country today as it destroys the foundation of the 40 hour work week. Now major companies and small businesses are cutting back on hiring or laying off employees for the simple reason that they cannot afford to pay for their health insurance under the guidelines laid out in ObamaCare.

And even with the one-year delay in implementing the provision that would have required employers with at least 50 full-time workers to provide health insurance or pay a penalty, those employers that can afford NOT having to lay off employees outright are instead cutting back many employees work week to 39 hours or less so they do NOT have to provide health coverage for those employees… employees who now become part-timers instead of full timers.

In simple words…under ObamaCare premiums are higher…much higher…forcing many employers to consider dropping health coverage completely thus leaving employees to go it alone in finding their own health insurance.

And Obamacare in driving up costs will also wear down medical quality as it blatantly attacks doctors for daring to resist government attempts to tell them how to practice medicine…for it portrays them as ‘enemies of the people’…rendering those who have dedicated their lives to helping the sick and injured impotent to treat patients as they were trained to do for now they must cow-tow to medical decisions made by bureaucrats and pencil pushers sitting in ivory towers whose medical training might go as far as knowing how to put a band-aid on their kids boo-boos.

And just the fact that ObamaCare exists in the first place clearly places blame on doctors for the rise in health care costs by those in Obama’s orbit who allude to them as ‘profiteers’…’profiteers’ who now will be called to task by being forced to answer to and take orders from those who have probably NEVER set foot in a hospital, and who would probably pass out at the sight of blood.

And if truth be known our medical care is indeed determined by our party affiliation. Just think about it…the truly poor are forced by their lack of money to rely on the government for their medical needs…the ‘sponges’ of society rely on the government for their freebies and handouts which include ripping off the Medicaid system…the ILLEGALS can walk into any emergency room and NOT be turned away…and what they all have in common is that almost 100% of them are Democrats who wouldn’t dare bite the hand that feeds them…or in this case gives them free or almost free medical care.

Now for the most part Republicans do NOT fall into those categories and shoulder the burden of having to pay the medical costs of those who do. The government will bend over backwards to make sure the medical needs of the poor, the ‘sponges’ and the ILLEGALS are met, while making those who can afford insurance jump through hoops to get the treatment they need.

And let’s NOT forget that Sarah was right…we do have death panels. Just look at the recent case of the little 10-year old girl who needed a lung transplant in order to survive. Time and time again she was denied a position on the transplant list simply because she was a child under a certain age…a decision based on random bureaucratically decided upon numbers instead of being based on medical necessity. If NOT for her parents taking her story national that child would be dead…and if that isn’t an example of a death panel decision I don’t know what is.

And if ObamaCare is NOT defunded…is NOT killed outright…it will only get worse and our medical system risks a complete collapse as the practice of medicine will become NOT the art of healing, but will become a game with Washington bureaucrats deciding who deserves treatment and who does NOT, and it will be ‘We the People’ who will keep paying with our money and our lives.