Friday, January 15, 2016

Not Taking Debate

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Okay, we're pretty sure this didn't happen at last night's GOP debate. But since the debate hasn't taken place at the time of this writing (the Renaissance), we can't really say anything with any specificity - much like most political candidates.

Unlike the SOTU, we're actually expecting the debate to have been worthwhile (we really like moderator Neil Cavuto) and hope that it helps get useful information out there. Especially since we're not getting much useful information about...

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, iran, navy, seized ships, kerry, nuclear deal

...the weird incident in which Iranians seized 10 sailors aboard two US Navy ships which had inadvertently entered Iranian waters. The ships and sailors were later released, which earned Iran a big fat "thank you!" from Secretary of State John Kerry along with a renewed promise to expedite the $150 billion jackpot they recently won playing presidential Powerball.

But after Washington officials had praised the kid glove treatment our sailors received, Iran broadcast video across the region of them kneeling on a ship's deck, hands on heads, held at gunpoint. The Geneva convention specifically forbids the taking and distribution of such propaganda images, but then again Iran has never been known for honoring conventions, UN sanctions, treaties, or (ahem) nuclear deals.

Hope n' Change certainly doesn't find fault with the sailors who, we're sure, had very specific orders not to engage in hostilities with Iran (our newest and most important Mideast ally). But the sight of Americans on their knees makes us want to kick some asses. In Iran and Washington.

And speaking of being forced to your knees...

Yes, we received this email from today AFTER submitting our tax records three times and copies of every bit of documentation (1099 forms, bank statements, etc) we could lay our hands on. And still they're threatening to kill our coverage (not to be confused with killing daughter Jarlsberg's insurance, which has been a separate fustercluck).

So we had to call yet again today, made our way through the telephone maze to direct our call, then gave enough highly personal information for the computer to research our records and say "we have no record of you having ever applied for insurance."

Eventually (we spent our 15 minute hold time on doing the graphic above), we spoke to a very nice young woman who apologized profusely for all of the screw-ups and wasn't entirely sure how they could be fixed. After reviewing everything for about 45 minutes she suggested that we write a detailed letter and submit it electronically to the Marketplace website...and include with it another copy of our taxes and another copy of more documentation than Barack Obama ever produced to prove presidential eligibility or college attendance.

And here's what we finally saw at when we tried to give them the documents they're demanding:

Note to Nikki Haley;  this is why "angry voices" are exactly what America needs more of.


Joseph ET said...

@ Stilton
It appears that you are experiencing similar treatment our Veterans get when dealing with the Veterans Administration when trying to get any promised benefits including education, disability or medical care. Your only option is to be persistent and endeavor to persevere. For example:
“And the newspapers said, "Indians vow to endeavor to persevere. "We thought about for a long time. " Endeavor to persever." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.” By Lone Watie (Chief Dan George) – The Outlaw Josey Wales “

About our seized sailors; I was surprised that they failed to scuttle their boats and destroy or disable their weapons. As a soldier we were instructed to never allow our weapons or vehicles to be captured intact and usable by the enemy. The small arms could have been easily dropped overboard in about 30 seconds. Of course, we don’t know what their orders were. Looks strange to me. Also, that officer making the filmed statement that he did will be in very hot water unless he has a very, very good reason in failing his general orders. We may never know. We’ve had guys talk on film before, but you could see that they were under extreme duress at the time.

Jim Irre said...

I'm not even going to go into the insurance debacle. You seem to have a good handle on that, Stilt!

As for the "capture" of of our sailors, it will come out at some point in the distant future that this was a setup by our fearless leader to convince us all that the Mullah's have turned over a new leaf. Two vessels, one loses propulsion, throw a rope and tow the disabled boat to safety. But NO! They BOTH drift into hostile waters! They must have had a really intense pinochle game going on and lost track of the lost propulsion in one boat, not to mention their position! And let's not forget they lost comms for a bit. Gonna have to upgrade those radio shack walkie-talkies at some point fellas!

This guy really needs to be impeached for treason. While we're at let's take down Lurch and Families.

Jim Irre said...

Stupid auto-correct. As many times as I type "Cankles" you'd think it would recognize it by now!

Earl Allison said...

The fastest, easiest way to fix Obamacare would be to force its architects to have the same coverage. No exceptions for Congress, and none for President Traitor.

THEN it would be fixed or abolished instantly.

I am really sorry to hear of all the trials and tribulations you're going through.

On the captive sailors, I smell a rat. An Iranian Rat, ValJar.

Amazing how we aren't hearing this on the news, how there are no reporters interested in getting to the truth of what happened, how, and why.

Pravda did what they did with the understood penalties of a bullet or a one-way trip to scenic Siberia if they didn't. Our media is treasonous and criminally complicit in helping President Traitor and the Left BY CHOICE.

Bobo the Hobo said...

Stilt, you and your family are welcome to join us at the ultra-secret, double-plus good Hobo Family Compound and Auto Repair ™. Our on-site walk-in clinic accepts alternate payment for services rendered (bottle of Jack) and our spacious accommodations include a window fan in the shed for your comfort.

Concerning the Iranian Welcome Wagon, my husband questioned why they carried passports; active duty personnel only need their ID card and dog tags so why the civilian - not "official"- passport?

@Jim Irre, totally understandable - autocorrect is my enema.

Geoff King said...

I did not watch the debates, just as I refused to watch the president's STFU. I prefer to read analysis from multiple sources the following day.
It seems this debate was primarily Trump vs. Cruz, and I find it entertaining that the Donald questioned Cruz's citizenship yet has offered him the Vice-Presidency.
Perhaps I will tune in to the final debates between the two nominees, which appears to be heading towards Trump vs. one lying, ancient, out-of-touch democrat or the other.

Judi King said...

RE: Iran/ship "debate" I don't know a lot about military protocol but that whole incident seems a little phony and staged to me. It stinks!

Rod said...

The Republican debate last night was moderated extremely well, and the seven candidates were informed, seemed to follow the rules, and stayed on topic for the most part. Direct questions and exchanges were excellent. It was fast-paced and informative, with five short breaks. Almost zero talking over each other(only a few seconds); and just a second of two of some yelling from the gallery which was brushed off. Time violations were not excessive; most responses didn't even get to the buzzer. This was quite impressive; all of these folks demonstrated much more qualification than the boring lies from the Ds. There were a 61 "responses or replies" plus then a closing statement from each. I kept score: Those 61 times to speak, as Listed by their "seed" from the polls with #1 first: Trump 11 times to speak, Cruz 10, Rubio 10, Carson 7, Christy 8, Bush 9, Kasich 6. I doubt the "debate" changed the ranking much. How is the so-called "winner" determined? Who comse out #1 OR who moved up the most? and who cares? It was interesting. When these folks get sort out to the finalist, then get united, they're going to wipe the floor with Hillary. Excellent job by Fox Business Net, Neil & Maria.

Fred Ciampi said...

I fondly remember when, in 1987, Iran laid mines in the path of our ships. It didn't take Reagan, a real leader, two seconds to provide justice. I pray that we get a real leader this time around and the current crop of traitors all get a trip to Gitmo. And that should include about half the senate and congress.

Rod said...

A follow-up posting about the debate: In an exception to a personal rule, I've listened to what NPR has to say about the debate. Their snippets are the absolute weakest and most contentious bits they could pick up to make Republicans look bad; and it's not well balanced. It's a hit job focused on the front-runners. It sounds like their coverage could have been written by the DNC. This is as-expected from them now, and why I urge anyone who donates to NPR (because esp. locally they do indeed have SOME good stuff: (music, comedy, etc.) to stop doing that, and most importantly: TELL THEM WHY. NPR no longer has objective news.

"Carl" said...

Indeed, angry voices.

Washington stinks to high heaven and the moronic voters out there have no idea how to wipe their asses.

It all sucks big time. Add me to the "angry voices".

udaman said...

Oh, that's Neil Cavuto. I thought It was Jeb, finally getting the message that we do not want another Bush.

SiGraybeard said...

Your insurance hassles agree perfectly with my wife's experience in an all-volunteer medical clinic. People who work three part time jobs but don't have insurance go there. Now they either buy a policy, which they can't afford and go through what you go through, or get fined for not buying it.

To borrow a line from the movie Aliens, "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure".

John the Econ said...

Debate: Didn't watch and frankly, I'm losing my ability to care. After being talked down to by Nikki Haley the other day, I think it's time for the GOP to die. We're probably going to end up with a President Trump, which will be the final nail in Karl Rove's coffin. Ironically, Democrats will be shocked when they find that roughly 1/3rd of them will vote for Trump over Hillary, although I'm certain that few will admit to it after the fact.

We may be on the eve of a massive political transformation in America. Outside-the-beltway Americans are coming to the conclusion that neither of the oligopoly parties in Washington are working for them. They're working for themselves. The success of Trump, and to a lesser extent, Sanders, is a prime indication of this.

Iran: Could anyone imagine this embarrassment happening between 1981 and 1993, or 2001 and 2009? Iran got pretty much everything it wanted in Obama's deal. There's no reason to expect them to behave now.

ObamaCare: Don't feel too special, @Stilton. I think I got that email the other day as well, even though I'm not even on ObamaCare. One of my phone numbers is one I've had for decades, and a certain state exchange believes that I live there and am uninsured.

"...she suggested that we write a detailed letter and submit it electronically to the Marketplace website..."

Yeah, that'll work. I gave up writing "detailed" letters to government decades ago. Your average bureaucratic functionary has neither the patience or intellect to deal with anything "detailed", especially from a plebe citizen. As suggested a few days ago by someone else here, I'd search your state representation for a receptive ear on this issue.

That Nikki Haley and her ilk are unsympathetic to "angry voices" is just another indication of how distanced and insulated our ruling elite have become from the people who have to live with this nonsense.

Mark Matis said...

The illustrious Governor Haley, billed by Yahoo! as a "rising party star", has clearly shown herself to be nothing more than another Rove Republican prostitute.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Joseph ET- Obama responded (ha!) to the VA medical scandal by making a show of "leaving no man behind" and swapping terrorists for deserter Bowe Bergdahl. Maybe he'll respond to the Obamacare medical scandal by swapping more terrorists in return for releasing Charles Manson from prison.

Regarding our sailors, I don't know if they acted correctly, incorrectly, or there's something fishy going on. But I'm not going to criticize them until and unless I find out there was real malfeasance. My benefit of the doubt always goes to our service people.

@Jim Irre- I'll certainly grant that the "captured sailors" scenario was suspiciously well timed to make Iran look good for releasing the men just in time to distract the media from the $150 billion going to Iran. Unfortunately, Iran pushed things a bit too far (who wouldn't, after learning Barry's weakness?) by making propaganda use of our sailors held at gunpoint.

@Earl Allison- I think it's a terrific idea for politicians to have to live under the laws and regulations they pass with no exceptions. First GOP candidate to make it a campaign priority - and mean it - gets my vote.

And great point that our press is sycophantic and enabling by choice rather duress.

@Bobo the Hobo- Good to know we've got such an appealing "Plan B" at the compound and I'll definitely bring the Jack. You'll like us- we're good company and don't take up much space.

@Geoff King- I've heard people speculate that Trump is keeping the Cruz "birther" story alive to steal it from the Dems, and simultaneously get Cruz vetted now so he'll be clear in time for a VP nomination. Truth? Rumor? Satire? Who the heck knows anymore.

@Judi King- My mind isn't made up, but yeah...I get a whiff of something being off.

@Rod- Thanks for the good breakdown of the actual event! I plan to watch it later today, after my tranquilizer kicks in: between the insurance hassles and the stock market diving AGAIN, I don't think I should rush into anything which might raise my blood pressure still further.

@Fred Ciampi- I've got mixed feelings about the incident. If our guys actually screwed up and drifted into Iranian waters (but why not use a tow line?!) then opening fire on the Iranians wouldn't have been a great idea (at least in the eyes of the world). Surely a peaceful resolution was the best thing. BUT...any country that puts our sailors on their knees and sends out a video bragging about it should have to pay some sort of price. In the absence of that, America has once again been made weaker on the international scene.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@"Carl"- I think anger is the natural and appropriate response at this point. Granted it needs to be a well-informed anger and not just pure emotion. But that being said, we've got plenty of logical reasons for being honked off and unwilling to remain silent about it.

@udaman- There actually IS a Neil Bush who is Dubya's brother. No doubt that caused your initial confusion.

@SiGraybeard- Aliens got it right. It's the only way to be sure.

@John the Econ- I've never considered myself a Republican, and following the Nikki Haley speech I'm distancing myself even more from that ludicrous party. Oh, there are some good people in there - but it's clear that at the governing level, the parties are almost indistinguishable. I think there is a grass roots revolution going on - and we're going to really see it playing out this year.

Regarding insurance, I can't get any confirmation that my documents and letter have been seen, or that they'll do any good. And today, my daughter informed me that - after thinking we'd gotten her policy reinstated a couple of days ago - it's gone again and nobody knows why.

Worst of all, and those of you with sensitive natures should not read these next words, I still can't have a drop of alcohol for another 4 days. Which, frankly, is not only a personal trial but is going to completely ruin my annual Martin Luther King Day party on Monday.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mark Matis- Charles Krauthammer, who I have huge respect for, thought her speech was great. Which just goes to show the different perspectives of the political pundits and those of us on the ground. I don't think Haley did herself any favors with real conservatives.

PRY said...

I think it's time for the GOP to get in touch with the families of the slain in Benghazi and disclose to the American public the degree to which they have been kept in the dark and in general, totally uninformed about many aspects of the disaster which cost their loved ones their lives! I have seen them numerous times now and then attesting to that fact on TV, and it is heart-breaking!

Remember, with their slain family members lying in coffins at that air base in that hangar that day, the president and Hillary BOTH promised to keep in touch and keep them informed; clearly that has not happened! The American public needs to be reminded or even made aware of this devious action that plainly displays their heartless greedy attitudes!

Colby Muenster said...

Debate: I thought overall, it was well planned and the questions were mostly useful ones EXCEPT for the obvious baiting questions, like pitting Cruz and Trump against each other. Total waste of time! I was actually pretty impressed with all of the candidates except Carson. I love his soft spoken style, but he is like a fish out of water with this lot.

The Iran/Navy boat thing: Yes, something is rotten in DC. My first reaction when I heard it on the news was, "Why did BOTH boats drift into Iranian waters, if only one boat had a dead engine?" Wasn't there any rope on board? The whole thing stinks like a week old dead carp. If O'Liar planned this crap, may it blow up in his smug faux-aristocratic face. And may Congress put an immediate vote in to cut off the billions that are supposed to go to Iran Monday. They have the power to do that, but it remains to be seen if they have the nuts.

Not that this helps, but when I told Mrs. Muenster about your ongoing battle with O'I've-crapped-my-pants-care, she immediately said, "The gubmint's out to get him for the blog." Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Stilton: I feel your pain...I am one step behind you as I have gotten the second "we need more info" letter. For our third batch, we just electronically sent off 3 years worth of 1040's, a raft of other docs and we offered our first born male child as well as those of the neighbors. No access to the people making the decisions, just CSR's reading from prepared scripts. Bobo...if your shop is anywhere near the west coast the wife and I may be interested. Multiple bottles can be provided as necessary, as the car needs to be worked on too.


John the Econ said...

What gets me is that if your 1040 is not enough to convince them of your legitimacy, (which you'd think that by now they'd already have access to) then what else could possibly be?

The rest is just a kabuki dance to make you think that something important is happening.

And they still wonder why Trump is popular.

NVRick said...

@John the Econ. The party 'elites' don't like all that noise of angry voices. It disturbs their soirees while sipping port and listening to various sonatas and symphonies.

Stilton: Last I saw there were several versions of what happened with the sailors.
1. If it was a mechanical breakdown, I would be surprised if no towline was available.
2. If it was a nav problem, were both boats suddenly stricken? If not, one boat could have guided the other one.
3. (My speculation) If both boats' nav were out or giving false info, I would highly suspect the Iranians were jamming or remotely sending false location info.
If the Iranians were responsible, the sailors are easily absolved of ineptitude.
If it were one of the other two possibilities, someone has some 'splainin to do. (Most likely from higher up the chain of command.

Rod said...

With MLK Day coming up,and I do have respect for him; but also think the federal holiday is over-rated: I've not looked it up for specifics but 2-3+ years ago there was a local dust-up with some school district when a veteran-father took his kids out of school on Veterans Day. If remembered correctly the school was classing it "unexcused absence". [How f... dumb it that?] The father's quote was, "My kids will go to school on Veterans' Day when they go to school on MLK Day".

CC said...

Sorry to hear of your ins. troubles, Stilt.
Been having a few of my own.