Beijing Preparing for War?

Photo Credit: APUnited States intelligence agencies recently detected China’s military shifting road-mobile ballistic missiles closer to its southern coast near the disputed Senkaku Islands amid growing tensions between Beijing and Japan over the islands dispute.

U.S. defense officials said the movements are being watched closely as China’s military is also holding large-scale military exercises that some fear could be a trigger for a conflict with Japan that could involve U.S. forces. The officials did not provide details of the missile movements that were tracked by U.S. aircraft, ship-based, and satellite surveillance systems in the region.

Disclosure of the missile movements comes as White House national security adviser Tom Donilon on Monday met in Seoul with China’s state councilor Liu Yandong. The two were in South Korea to attend the inauguration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Tensions remain high between Japan and China over Tokyo’s nationalization last year of several uninhabited islands between Okinawa and Taiwan called the Senkakus. China claims the islands as its territory. At issue are large undersea oil and gas deposits sought by both energy-poor countries.

The officials confirmed the missile movements near the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian after Chinese press outlets first reported them.

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Video: Woodward Says Obama’s Decision Not To Deploy Carrier ‘A Kind Of Madness,’ White House Threatens

Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.

“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,'” Woodward said.

“I think they’re confused,” Woodward said of the White House’s pushback on his reporting.

Earlier today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Woodward ripped into Obama in what has become an ongoing feud between the veteran Washington Post journalist and the White House. Woodward said Obama was showing a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.

See video on White House threat:

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Alaska Democratic Party’s Lame Attempt at Demagoguery – Epic Fail!

The State Senate Judiciary Committee had its first hearing on SB 49 yesterday, a bill designed to define “medical necessity” with respect to Medicaid-funded abortions. And as one might expect, the Democrats have already began their assault on proponents of the measure.

To no one’s surprise, they appear to be trying to resurrect the Demogogue-in-Chief’s manufactured “war on women.”

The five-member panel made up of two Democrats and three Republicans includes just one woman, a fact opponents of the bill appear eager to exploit for political purposes.

For a brief period, part way through the hearing, Senator Lesil McGuire stepped out of the room. While she was gone, someone in the room snapped a picture of the four male members of the Committee, which the Alaska Democratic Party was happy to tweet.

Clearly, they were trying to lead folks to believe that it was an all male panel. Well, we’re onto them.

As if reverse sexism is somehow relevent to the facts of medical science anyway . . .

Not only was the Democrat Party’s insinuation false, if anybody cares, the hypocrisy of it all was compounded by the fact that two out of the three doctors who testified on behalf of the legislation were women.

Apparently, Senator Bill Wielechowski had no legitimate objections to the bill either, as he spent almost all of his time cross-examining the expert witnesses, obviously trying to discredit them by scoring cheap political points.

Nice try.

When will the Democrats step up to the plate and actually engage in the public policy debate, instead of playing sophmoric games in an attempt to emotionally manipulate public perception?

Chances are, it won’t happen any time soon. That’s just how they roll.

Scalia: The Voting Rights Act Is A ‘Racial Entitlement’

Photo Credit: GettyConservative Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism about the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 during oral arguments today, signaling that a key provision of the landmark civil rights legislation might be struck down.

Justice Antonin Scalia sparked controversy when he referred to Section 5 of the law as “the perpetuation of a racial entitlement,” sparking immediate backlash from the left.

Section 5 requires states with a “history of racial discrimination” to have any changes to their voting laws approved by the Justice Department’s civil rights division or Washington, D.C.’s federal court.

Scalia explained that he was not convinced the law was legitimate simply because Congress had voted to reauthorize it five times, most recently in 2006 by a 99-0 Senate vote and similarly overwhelming House vote. He said that the “normal political process” couldn’t be applied to this situation and questioned Congress’ political motives for reauthorization.

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White House Denies Involvement In ICE’s Decision To Release Detainees (+video)

Photo Credit: DonkeyHoteyThe White House and the Department of Homeland Security were unaware of Immigration Customs and Enforcement’s decision to release detainees until the agency announced it, administration officials said Wednesday.

“This was a decision made by career officials at ICE without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequestration,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Personnel at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington were also unaware of the decision until the announcement was made, a department official told POLITICO.

ICE announced Tuesday that it has released several hundred undocumented immigrants in recent weeks as funding cuts loom. The detainees will instead be monitored in less expensive ways, the agency said.

[Editor’s note: Notice how precisely Carney’s prepared statement is tailored to the question asked by this reporter, if I didn’t know better I might think the whole thing was staged. Surely the White House Press Corps wouldn’t go to such lengths to bail the President out of a sticky situation?]

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Republicans and Immigration

Photo Credit: National Review Republicans are terribly confused over illegal immigration. They still can’t quite figure out its role in the last election.

Did the issue lose them the Latino vote? Maybe — but why did they also forfeit the Asian vote, and by nearly the same margin? Why did the caricature of Republicans as old white nativists resonate with Asians as well? If support for closing the border and refusing amnesty lost Republicans the election, why do a majority of Americans continue to poll in opposition to any sort of collective amnesty?

And why, in some polls, did Latinos seem more concerned about continuing big-government readiness to help the poor and tax the wealthy than about immigration reform? Alan Simpson and Ronald Reagan, who helped to give us the 1986 amnesty, are not heroes to the Latino community. Is there statistical support for the often-repeated axiom that Latinos, as a group, are more likely than members of the so-called majority culture to embrace traditional family values — lower divorce rates, lower rates of illegitimacy, lower crime rates, higher graduation rates?

Of course, kinder, gentler talk — unlike the buffoonery that was heard in some of last year’s sloppy Republican primary debates — would have helped. Yet in 2008 circumspection and prudence did not aid all that much the moderate John McCain, who in the past had championed a sort of amnesty lite. And all the silly and often gratuitous braggadocio about upping the height of the border wall or electrifying it was more than trumped by the crass pandering of Barack Obama, who called on Latinos to “punish our enemies”; joined with a foreign nation, Mexico, to sue one of his own states, Arizona; and claimed his opponents wanted to arrest children on their way to ice-cream parlors. Note there is no national commentary deploring the fact that the president of the United States engaged in just the sort of crass ethnic showmanship that characterized the Republican debates. Apparently, because his pandering worked and the Republicans’ did not, under the laws of politics only the latter was pandering.

Confused by questions like these, Republicans don’t quite know what to do about the 11 to 15 million illegal aliens in our midst, with more to come in future years. And in lieu of wisdom, principles, and consistency, Republican are mostly experimenting, trying to square the circle and win the Latino vote with clichés about conservative values and a vaguely familiar message of amnesty for those already here predicated on no additional illegal immigration. But the problem can be only reduced, not solved, by kinder, gentler language and outreach to Latino groups, for in the end it is an existential issue well beyond trimming.

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Obama’s One Percent Problem: Wall Street Scores While Main Street Suffers, Dow Within 100 Points of All-Time High

Photo Credit: YoTuTStocks soared for a second day to finish near session highs Wednesday, with the Dow within less than 100 points of an all-time closing high, boosted by upbeat earnings and economic reports and as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reaffirmed his support of the central bank’s stimulus policy.

“It would not be shocking to see a final push through, but I want to point out that seasonality is not necessarily on our side, which keeps us from going pedal to the medal,” said Josh Brown, financial advisor at Fusion Analytics. “We had a very similar market environment in early 2011 and last year. So it would not shock me to see a sprint close to the highs of the year, have our typical pullback, and when people realize that sequestration is not the end of the world, we could resume. That would be a better moment to load on new longs.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 175.24 points, or 1.26 percent, to close at 14,075.37, propelled by JPMorgan and Caterpillar. The Dow is now less than 100 points from hitting its all-time closing high of 14,164.53.

The S&P 500 jumped 19.05 points, or 1.27 percent, to finish at 1,515.99. And the Nasdaq advanced 32.61 points, or 1.04 percent, to end at 3,162.26.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled below 15. All 10 key S&P sectors finished firmly in positive territory, led by materials and industrials.

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Video: Russian Media Reports on ‘Day of Resistance’ Protest of Gun Control Measures

Photo Credit: Jim UrquhartThousands of Second Amendment activists across the US took part in a Day of Resistance against President Obama’s gun control measures, calling his plans unconstitutional. Words are not all they’re prepared to use to protect their right to bear arms.

People gathered at dozens of cities and towns across the United States, crowds numbering from a hundred to a thousand people. They were carrying American flags and banners with words of harsh criticism against Obama’s proposed gun control regulations. “Come and take it!” “Dictators Want You Disarmed,” “Honk If You Want to Keep Your 2nd Amendment” and “Don’t tread on me” were among the most common slogans. Protesters believe owing a gun is a basic right of every American citizen.

“This isn’t a Democratic thing, or a Republican thing, or a Tea Party thing, this is an American thing. This is about the rights this nation was founded on,” Ryan Studabaker, rally organizer from Bluffton, Indiana, told Wane.com.

Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States – roughly one for every citizen.

“The 2nd Amendment prohibits the government from infringing on our right to bear arms. We want to make darn sure they don’t infringe on our rights. If we lost the Second Amendment, we’ll lose them all,” Jerry Martin, a rally participant in Kenenwick, Washington, told NBC.

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Why Marriage Matters For America And Conservatism

Photo Credit: Ken Weingart Some former officials in the Republican Party are urging the Supreme Court to redefine marriage for the nation. But support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is essential to American—and conservative—principles. Indeed, nothing could be less conservative than urging an activist court to redefine an essential institution of civil society.

As my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage?, and in the amicus brief we filed with the Supreme Court, marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father. Marriage has public purposes that transcend its private purposes.

Marriage predates government. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. All Americans, especially conservatives, should respect this crucial institution of civil society. This is why 41 states, with good reason, affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing.

Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. We know that children tend to do best when raised by a mother and a father. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and cause welfare programs to grow even more.

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Se·ques·ter: To Isolate, Or Hide Away

Photo Credit: Irish Central Sequester. Since we are getting bombarded with the word, I decided to look it up to see what it means in the dictionary.

In its noun form, it is a general cut to government spending

In the verb, it means to isolate or hide away. In this case I think it’s use is the verb and the truth is hidden away.

In order to get the Republicans to agree to avert the fiscal cliff/debt ceiling crisis two years ago, the President said he would be glad to cut expenditures…in two years. So the President came up with a deal and it was called sequestration. Well the two years is up and the cuts will occur in two days.

Like all of the other fiscal cliffs and debt ceiling crises we have been exposed to for the past 4 years, nothing gets done until the last minute. There is no leadership, no one at the helm to bring all of the parties together and hammer out a deal.

Obama’s sequestration included cuts to the military that he figured would be revolting to Republicans and they would eventually agree to compromise with him. But the Republicans seem willing to go along with these cuts, the wars are winding down and there is less pressure on the military.

This reaction from the Republicans was unexpected to Obama. In his sequestration he had also included cuts to many social programs his base relies on…cuts he never thought he would have to make.

President Obama has taken to the road to try to drum up outrage against Republicans to pressure them to cave in on the sequestration cuts.

President Obama treats the sequester like it is a red headed step child, as if he was the innocent bystander and had nothing to do with it…But award winning journalist Bob Woodward, blew the whistle and firmly placed paternity rights to sequestration in Obamas corner.

But in this case “sequester” hides the truth. The truth is that these so called “cuts” are only a pinprick to the growth of government spending.

Both sides are equally guilty of protecting their pet projects and sacred cows which automatically grow fatter each year under baseline budgeting.

Senator Tom Coburn who knows better than most what the game is about, said the other day: “There’s easy ways to cut this money in ways the American people will never feel. What you hear is an outrage because nobody wants to cut spending.”

Senator Coburn has documented billions in waste and fraud that could be cut from the budget…read his excellent, 2012 Wastebook. But none of this is being addressed in the “sequester.”

The CATO Institute did an exhaustive study on how we are spending 100 billion on corporate welfare. But none of this is being touched with the “sequester” either. Here is their excellent report: Corporate Welfare in the Federal Budget.

The people and their children who will have to shoulder the burden of this out out of control spending, are tired of having the truth about the debt and deficit “sequestered” away by their leaders.

Read more from this story HERE.