News You Can Use for August 1

Someone needs to remind our politicians. We're sick of the political games their playing at the expense of the American people.

Someone needs to remind our politicians. The American people have had it with their political games.

Stories of the Day

He really went there. Emphasis mine. “That was the most astonishing moment of today’s galling Obama press conference. President Obama had earlier lectured journalists how to do their jobs, ripped Republicans for doing their jobs, and chided everyone within earshot for not wishing him a happy birthday yet. After that descent into pre-teen self-absorption, the president was asked about whether CIA chief John Brennan had lied to Congress under oath when he said that the agency had never spied on senators and staff who were investigating the CIA’s enhanced interrogations of a very few al Qaeda terrorists. Obama glided past the actual question, other than voicing his full support for Brennan — who either lied to Congress, or doesn’t know what his own agency is doing and does not check his facts before testifying — and refused to wade into that scandal. His preference, as always, was to wade into an old Bush-era scandal rather than deal with a scandal involving his appointees in his administration. And despite the fact that Congress has not formally accused anyone in the CIA of torturing anyone, Obama did. “We tortured some folks,” he said of the waterboarding that was used on a very few captured al Qaeda suspects. That’s a lot to pack into four words. “Torture” opens up the possibility that CIA officers who were involved in those interrogations will be prosecuted now.Obama on CIA Scandal: ‘We tortured some folks.’

For our politicians, what’s good for the country takes a back seat to politics. “The president shouldn’t be using a fateful and divisive word like “impeachment” to raise money and rouse his base. He shouldn’t be at campaign-type rallies where he speaks only to the base, he should be speaking to the country. He shouldn’t be out there dropping his g’s, slouching around a podium, complaining about his ill treatment, describing his opponents with disdain: “Stop just hatin’ all the time.” The House minority leader shouldn’t be using the border crisis as a campaign prop, implying that Republicans would back Democratic proposals if only they were decent and kindly: “It’s not just about having a heart. It’s about having a soul.” And, revealed this week, important government administrators like Lois Lerner shouldn’t be able to operate within an agency culture so sick with partisanship that she felt free to refer to Republicans, using her government email account, as “crazies” and “—holes.” All this reflects a political culture of brute and mindless disdain, the kind of culture that makes divisions worse.” Out of Many, Two? They may not mean to do it, but America’s political leaders are deepening the nation’s divisions.

Ugh. Will this ever end? “The supposed 72-hour ceasefire agreed to by Hamas has been breached in a major way by Hamas. As I pick up the news on Twitter, Hamas continues to fire its rockets. A Hamas suicide bomber emerged from a Rafah tunnel and blew himself up on IDF soldiers. Two IDF soldiers were killed in the attack. And IDF officer Hadar Goldin of the Givati Brigade was kidnapped this morning. His fellow soldiers are hunting house to house for him. Kidnapping a soldier — that’s probably a red line for Israel, a red line of the pre-Obama variety — but we shall see.” ANNALS OF THE CEASEFIRE

You ABSOLUTELY MUST click on over and read the entire article. OMG. Exclusive: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s Staff Threatens Taxpayer For Asking About Her Impeachment Claims

I doubt this will be reported in the mainstream media. “’Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.’ This is a huge step forward.” Judge Orders DOJ to Release Fast and Furious Documents Withheld From Congress Under Obama Executive Privilege Claim

Amnesty

I have no words… “EL PASO, Texas – A newly released Department of Homeland Security report detailing oversight of unaccompanied alien children reveals federal employees have been exposed to multiple communicable diseases as a result of interaction with illegal immigrants. KFOX14 obtained the July 30 report from the Office of the Inspector General, which states  that Border Patrol personnel at the Clint Station in El Paso County and Santa Teresa Station in Dona Ana County reported they were potentially exposed to tuberculosis. The report also states : ‘DHS employees reported exposure to communicable diseases and becoming sick on duty. For example, during a recent site visit to the Del Rio USBP Station and Del Rio Port of Entry, CBP personnel reported contracting scabies, lice, and chicken pox. Two CBP officers reported that their children were diagnosed with chicken pox within days of the CBP officer’s contact with an unaccompanied minor who had chicken pox.’” Border agents, family members infected with diseases through illegal immigrant contact

Someone please stop the madness. “In the long run, a failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform will hurt the Republican Party with Hispanics and make their path to an Electoral College majority in 2016 even more steep than it already is. But in terms of the midterms, this is an issue that does enormous damage to the Democrats in many of this year’s battleground states. Support for a more lenient approach to the influx of illegal aliens may exist but the debacle at the border lends strength to the argument that security must precede any path to legal status for those who cross it without permission. If Democrats in red states think they can run by defending a failure to secure the border or to deport illegals, when that is something that has been encouraged by the president’s misjudgments and statements, they are mistaken. As foolish as Boehner looked yesterday, Democrats must face up to the fact that the only national theme to this year’s elections will likely be the lack of confidence in the president. After all, no matter how incompetent the GOP House looks, the president is still the president. It will take more than a ridiculous day on Capitol Hill to erase that fact from the voters’ memory.” Border Mess Won’t Help Democrats

Big Government

File this under “Not to be Reported by the Mainstream Media.” How can this be happening in America? “When it comes to environmental regulation compliance, the Department of Homeland Security isn’t playing — as evidenced by a recent federal raid of a South Carolinian’s home to confiscate a Land Rover that violated EPA emission rules. Jennifer Brinkley said she saw a line of law enforcement vehicles approaching her home and wondered what was wrong, the local WBTV reported. Homeland Security agents then went to her 1985 Land Rover Defender and lifted the hood. “They popped up the hood and looked at the Vehicle Identification Number and compared it with a piece of paper and then took the car with them,” she said, WBTV reported. She told Fox News that she was told the agents seized the vehicle because they thought it violated the Clean Air Act — though at the time, they weren’t completely sure. She also said her vehicle was just one of 40 that feds seized in various locations that same day for the same reason. Ms. Brinkley told Fox News that she has no idea where the vehicle is now and that feds won’t tell her.” Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown

More on the above story. “The Department of Homeland Security website states that the organization, has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear – keeping America safe.” Incidents like Brinkley’s show that DHS’s “wide-ranging” duties include “keeping America safe” from cars that don’t meet EPA emission standards. Even after the vehicles have entered the country and have been sold to private citizens.” Homeland Security Seizing Cars That Violate EPA Standards

The Clintons

Just like the Jackson Five song says, with the Clintons, you “never can say good-bye.” “Weekly Standard online editor Daniel Halper joined the cast of MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss his new book, Clinton, Inc., and why the Clintons are like the mafia. “There’s this notion that you’re once in and you’re never out. You’re sort of always a part of Clinton world even when you leave. But at the same time, the only people that are really there and really on top of it are the family. It’s the centrality of the family–Bill, Hillary, and now Chelsea–that makes the metaphor apt.” [Snip] Conason confirmed he had found the same dynamic in his own reporting on the Clintons: “I was interviewing somebody for my book, somebody who was the chief of staff for President Clinton and the Foundation, and at some point I said to her, ‘What was it like when you said good-bye to him?’ And she looked at me like I was an idiot. She said, ‘Joe, don’t you know that with them, there is no good-bye?’” Halper noted that, although similar things could be said about other powerful families, “That’s kind of the point of the book, to explain politics and how politics works. But it uses people who are the best at it: Bill and Hillary Clinton. They are the best. Their story is applicable in other ways to other stories.” In true mafia fashion, the Clinton machine has been pressuring the media to ignore Halper’s book, with the Clintons’ spokesperson saying the actions of authors like Halper “should neither be allowed nor enabled.” Daniel Halper Explains How the Clintons Are Like the Mafia

Defense Readiness

I really do miss Reagan and G. W. “In their effort to end two wars while also cutting the budget, the President and his Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have begun the process of shrinking the military to pre-WWII levels. Cutting down the size of the military has resulted in thousands of soldiers getting separated from the military, including the infamous occurrence of commanders in Afghanistan learning that once their deployment is over, their service will “no longer be needed.” And now, an independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and approved by Congress has called the President’s action “a serious misstep” that will result in a military that is “too weak for today’s global threats,” The Washington Times reports.” Independent Panel Says Obama’s Military Downsizing Is Dangerous, Puts The US & Our Soldiers At Risk

“Not only have they caused significant investment shortfalls in U.S. military readiness and both present and future capabilities, they have prompted our current and potential allies and adversaries to question our commitment and resolve,” the report said. “Unless reversed, these shortfalls will lead to a high-risk force in the near future. That in turn will lead to an America that is not only less secure but also far less prosperous. In this sense, these cuts are ultimately self-defeating.” It calls the defense cuts “dangerous” as “global threats and challenges are rising.” The experts point to China’s and Russia’s new territorial claims, nuclear proliferation by Iran and North Korea and al Qaeda’s rapid rise in Iraq.” Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds

“The panel judges that “the reductions since then have been imposed with no analysis of their impact on short or long-term readiness” and believes “it highly likely, given the events of the last three years, that the Gates proposed fiscal 2012 baseline budget will not be adequate to prepare the Defense Department for the challenges ahead. But it is the minimum required to reverse course and set the military on a more stable footing.” Such a minimally acceptable budget would imply an increase of about $100 billion a year over the next decade above the current defense budget baseline. Put otherwise, we need something like a 20 percent increase in defense spending. This is not because the panel is enamored of performing heroic tasks abroad. It’s simply because “today the Department is facing major readiness shortfalls that will, absent a decisive reversal of course, create the possibility of a hollow force that loses its best people, underfunds procurement, and shortchanges innovation. The fact that each service is experiencing degradations in so many areas at once is especially troubling at a time of growing security challenges.” The National Defense Panel’s report is in no way alarmist. But it is surely alarming. Have we sunk to such a depth that, having received this report, we will choose to close our ears, avert our eyes, and shirk our duty?” Be Alarmed . . . Be Very Alarmed

Economy

The economy may be recovering for some, but it is getting worse for others…  Emphasis mine. “The economy added 209,000 jobs last month, down from June’s 298,000 (revised upwards in the latest report). Unemployment ticked up to 6.2 percent from 6.1 last month. Job growth has been above 200,000 a month for the last six months, the first time that has happened since 1997. The participation rate went up, but only a single notch, from 62.8 percent to 62.9. But black unemployment rose from 10.7 percent to 11.4, while black youth unemployment went from 33.4 percent to 34.9. Both these numbers tend to be volatile, but they are still dismal. The number of people working part time for lack of full-time jobs was unchanged at 7.5 million; 3.2 million people have been unemployed for six months or longer, almost one-third of all unemployed. In all, another so-so jobs report, typical of the Obama recovery.” The Jobs Report

Shocking actually… Maybe this explains the sky rocketing number of Americans on the disability rolls. “11.4 million Americans age 16 and over have left the workforce since President Obama took office in January 2009, according to data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In July 2014, there were 92,001,000 Americans, 16 and over, who were classified as “not in the labor force,” meaning they not only did not have a job, but they didn’t actively seek one in the last four weeks.
This number has increased by 11,472,000 since January 2009, when the number of Americans not in the labor force was 80,529,000.
The number of Americans not in the labor force dropped slightly in July, down 119,000 from the 92,120,000 Americans not in the labor force in June. “ 11,472,000 Americans Have Left Workforce Since Obama Took Office

Elections

Unfortunately for conservatives, the media tends to forget to report on the missteps of Democrat candidates. “It wasn’t supposed to work this way. The Democrats looked long and hard for viable challengers to Senate Republicans, and hoped to turn at least one major Republican challenger into the Todd Akin of 2014 as a means to paint the entire party as crazy, radical, incompetent, or all three. Instead, their own handpicked candidates have made one error after another, boosting Republican chances of taking control of the Senate and turning 2014′s midterms into a wave.” Democrats fumbling their way to turnout debacle?

While things are looking good in many parts of the country, unfortunately for those of us living in Arizona,  Arizona’s Sinema, Kirkpatrick and Barber still looking solid to win their races. GOP GAINING GROUND IN HOUSE RACES

Foreign Policy

“It is sobering to think about the repercussions and lessons of the current crisis in Ukraine while Gaza burns, Ebola eats through Africa, North Korea threatens nuclear war, and Pakistan and India sit staring one another down, fingers poised to wind the doomsday clock, red buttons and key locks primed for mutually assured destruction. There are many reasons to fear the future, to see another global total war bring the world to its knees, and as the world reflects upon the centennial of that first Great War, let it remember that it turned from single shot to avalanche through alliances gripping a shrinking world. In NATO and the unrest of Europe’s east the stage is set once more. [Snip] These days the road to hell, or world war in a nuclear age, seems smoothly paved indeed. The temptation to complacency and appeasement may prove stronger than integrity and treaty, but should that prove the case then have we only traded one forerunner for a second? Only God and time will tell. Let us pray for peace.” COLD WAR II? WORLD WAR III?

The Left

Group think. Emphasis mine. “Another day, another liberal wonkblogger contradicting the government’s position in the Halbig case. First we had Jonathan Gruber demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig was quite plausible. Then we hadJonathan Gruber demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig was quite plausible…again. Then we had Greg Sargent unwittingly demonstratingthat the plaintiff’s case in Halbig wasn’t only plausible, but quite likely. Today, thanks to Phil Kerpen of American Commitment, we have Jonathan Cohn, one of the Left’s foremost experts on Obamacare, contradicting himself and demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig was plausible. [Snip] At some point, rather than constantly assuming that they know everything there is to know about everything worth knowing, it would be nice if just a few members of the esteemed Juicebox crowd acknowledged that maybe their close-mindedness was affecting their collective ability to accurately capture and report on American politics. It would be nice if they took the time to interview people like Michael Cannon, rather than just cranking up the volume in their own echo chamber. That type of honest behavior would definitely be nice. But I can’t possibly imagine it.Halbig Shows How Leftist Wonks Just Aren’t Very Good At Their Jobs

Media Bias

I bet you haven’t heard about this story yet. “The gloves have come off in New York, where Andrew Cuomo’s easy cruise to re-election as governor of New York has hit a major detour. Last week, the New York Times exposed Cuomo’s attempts to interfere with an anti-corruption commission he had established in August 2013, and then abruptly shut down in March. US Attorney Preet Bharara had cooperated with the Moreland Commission rather than press new investigations out of his own office, but got suspicious about Cuomo’s actions and took over the panel’s files. This led to the discovery that Cuomo’s office had demanded the retraction of subpoenas and the end to probes of people in Cuomo’s administration. After the NYT exposé, several figures in Cuomo’s circle have publicly come out to criticize the Bharara probe, and yesterday the US Attorney’s office issued its response — a warning that Cuomo and his aides had better refrain from tampering with witnesses and obstruction of justice.” US Attorney to Cuomo: Witness tampering and obstruction are still illegal, you know

The media says “Shhhh, there’s nothing to see here.” They can’t be reporting on Democrat scandals don’t you know. Emphasis mine. “Today, the investigation of questionable conduct in undermining the work of a New York state ethics commission stopped being a tiff between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Times. When the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York issues a letter saying that it believes commissioners are being influenced to give false statements, Cuomo’s problem has become a matter of legal peril rather than bad public relations. But don’t expect this story to dominate the news cycle the way New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate problems did a few months ago. Ironically, the blowup in the Cuomo investigation comes just a day after Politico ran a feature asking whether Christie had recovered sufficiently from the Bridgegate mess to return to his former status as a formidable Republican presidential contender. The jury is out on that question but Cuomo’s legal problems and the relative lack of interest in the story by the cable news channels that were all-Bridgegate all-the-time at the start of 2014 raises some interesting questions about media bias. [Snip] But instead of panels endlessly examining the evidence and pondering the political implications, most of the media yawns. At its peak, Bridgegate got more coverage than other more serious scandals such as the IRS’s discriminatory treatment of conservative groups, government spying, Benghazi, or even wrongdoing at the VA. So it is hardly surprising that Cuomo’s woes aren’t generating the same wall-to-wall attention. Could the reason for that be that Christie was a Republican and these other scandals involve Democrats and the Obama administration? Anyone who can’t connect those dots hasn’t been paying attention to the way the media works.” Cuomo and the Bridgegate Precedent

Obamacare

“Yes, Obamacare will give voters plenty to ponder at the polls.” “Beyond insurance companies leaving entire states, policy cancellations reportedly are continuing or are around the corner. Colorado officials on June 16 announced new cancellations that will cost 3,611people their coverage. This brings the Centennial State’​s total cancellations under Obamacare to 339,561.Chamber Insurance and Benefits in Las Vegas estimates that some 90,000 policies in Nevada are at risk of cancellation or non-renewal. A survey by Morning Consult showed that 63 percent of American workers worry that their bosses will cancel their coverage and dump them into Obamacare. Meanwhile, Obamacare is proving to be anything but affordable. [Snip] Obamacare also is a museum of mismanagement. The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services learned that the federal Obamacare exchanges cannot resolve 89 percent of the inconsistencies between information on applications and corresponding data from verifiable sources. Not surprisingly, the Government Accountability Office filled out twelve Obamacare applications with false names, phony addresses, and bogus records. Eleven of these were approved — complete with approximately $30,000 in subsidies. [Snip] Even worse, unless Congress acts to the contrary, taxpayers are expected to underwrite a roughly $1 billion Obamacare bailout to help health insurers reduce their 2014 losses under the program. This is almost an erotic fantasy for Big Government liberals: Subsidized patients buy coverage from crony corporations that muddle through a massive, bureaucratic entitlement that will cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion over ten years.” Off the Radar, Obamacare Festers Away: The president’s signature law is still a disaster—and it only gets worse.

War on Women

Since the “War on Women” is dead, doesn’t it prove that there was no war on women to begin with? But get ready for us being labeled as “out of touch with women’s lives” or “too extreme.” “Democrats want to talk about “personhood” and reproductive freedom. They want to tell voters about a stubborn pay gap and women hurt by a low minimum wage. But what they don’t want to do is talk about a “war on women.” Indeed, the party that so effectively deployed the “war” rhetoric to help defeat Mitt Romney in 2012 has now sworn off its catch phrase, dropping it almost completely from a campaign strategy that, in so many other ways, is still very much about women’s issues. “[Saying] ‘Republicans are waging a war on women’ actually doesn’t test very well,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. “Women find it divisive, political—they don’t like it.” So Democratic candidates, who need to expand their margins among female voters and bring unmarried women to the polls in November, are shifting the language they use to pitch these issues to voters. Instead of the “war,” Lake said, testing has shown more effective language casts Republicans’ positions as “too extreme” or the GOP as ‘out of touch with women’s lives.’” Why Democrats Are Ditching the ‘War on Women:’ The party that deployed “war” rhetoric to help defeat Mitt Romney is looking for less divisive ways to reach female voters this cycle.

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