Just Because the Mainstream Press Isn’t Telling You About It, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Know About It: News You Can Use for August 20!

What side are you on?

Are you ready to do your part?

Stories of the Day

“On Tuesday, ISIS militants revealed that Foley was not only in their captivity but that he would be beheaded in order to send a message to Barack Obama. An image of Foley taken before his horrific execution is linked. The video of his beheading will not be shared here. He was 40-years-old. [Snip] The threat ISIS poses to the civilized world is total. For addressing the horrors ISIS is doling out to Iraq’s minorities, Americans will be targeted and retaliated against. Citizens of the United States cannot insulate themselves from this threat by pretending it will go away. This is our fight.” ISIS reportedly beheads American journalist in message to Obama: Stay out of Iraq

“Beheading is not just a warning or a promise; it is a ritual expression of an ideology. That this ideology seeks to annihilate and tyrannize is clear from the jihadists’ beheading method: not a quick, clean blow, but a slow, agonizing sawing motion that keeps the victim alive to experience his own execution. This is not the guillotine: It is torture. And its perpetrators glory in it. Welcome to the Islamic State.” The ISIS Butchers: Beheading for the Cause: They’re following in the footsteps of the Romans, the French revolutionaries, and Mohammed himself.

On President Obama’s break from vacation, between a fundraiser and just before he headed back to the golf course he squeezed in a speech to the American people about Foley’s beheading. “Where was the status update on the ongoing airstrikes against ISIS positions in the north of Iraq which, judging only from press accounts, appear to be relatively effective? Why did the president fail to address rumors that his administration was aware of the threats to Foley’s life prior to his execution, or that unconfirmed reports have suggested that his killer may have been a former Guantanamo detainee? For that matter, why did the president not address the fact that a significant number of westerners are apparently fighting alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and Foley’s executioner may have been one of these western jihadists? It is, again, perfectly understandable for the president to not want to get ahead of the facts of this still developing event, but Obama is set to chair as United Nations Security Council meeting in September which is focused entirely on that very threat. He has yet to publicly address this forthcoming UNSC meeting, and this incident would have been a perfect time to broach that subject. Instead, he leaves it up to his surrogates and the media to inform the public about how this war is being prosecuted. The latest development, breaking just minutes after Obama spoke, is an apparent proposal administration officials are considering to send 300 additional troops to Iraq. Even members of Obama’s own party are now strongly suggesting that the president come to Congress with a request to legally authorize this application of force in Iraq. When does the president plan to speak honestly about the scope of American involvement in the Middle East?” Addressing James Foley’s murder, Obama speaks loudly and leaves the stick at home

“Nevertheless, the revelation that the White House was aware of the threats to Foley’s life and was unable to provide for his safety will prompt administration critics to sharpen their attacks on Obama’s approach to the crisis in the Middle East. In the wake of what may have been a preventable atrocity, some of that criticism will be quite valid.” White House knew ISIS planned to kill James Foley

Amnesty

Will our betters in Washington DC listen now? “American voters says they would prefer President Barack Obama work with Congress rather than use executive action to address the illegal immigration crisis at the border, according to a detailed new opinion poll on immigration, illegal immigrants, and the state of the American worker. The poll, conducted by veteran Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, also found that Americans disapprove of Obama’s record on immigration. And as one Republican aide on Capitol Hill describes it, the results of the poll are an “utter repudiation” of the Senate’s Gang of 8 immigration bill. The survey of 1,001 likely voters found that 61 percent say they disapprove of the president’s job on immigration, while 32 percent say they approve. That’s worse than his overall job approval rating (57 percent disapprove, 40 percent approve).” Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Executive Action On Immigration

Big Government

I will NEVER comply.  “It’s an old Western movie trope. The harassed sheriff needs help against Desperado D. Blackhat and his gang of gunslingers. He goes into the saloon, finds the gambler who was once the most feared crack shot this side of the Pecos, and makes him his deputy. Together, they run Blackhat and his gang out of town. If you thought that type of quick-and-dirty deputizing died with the Wild West, think again. Government is deputizing people all over the country to do its law-enforcement work. But unlike that gambler, they don’t get the chance to say no. Take, for instance, FedEx. The delivery company has been indicted by federal prosecutors for not doing the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) job for it. The DEA alleges that FedEx knowingly shipped pharmaceuticals for online pharmacies that were based on invalid prescriptions, because it should have known “the principals, company names, shipping addresses and billing addresses that were initially connected to” a network of pharmacies closed down by the DEA in 2003. As a recent Wall Street Journal editorial summarized:

Translation: FedEx employees should have connected the dots. But if it’s so easy, why didn’t the DEA do it? The truth is that unmasking the bad guys would have required an extensive metadata analysis of customer data that is not FedEx’s job.” Deputizing America: Sooner or later, we’ll all work for the State—unless we do something about it

Elections

We can only hope! “Well, who could blame them? After Harry Reid used the Senate floor for weeks to demagogue the owners of Koch Industries for their legal and instructive engagement in the political process, he had to be expecting a little pushback. The Kochs don’t do anything small, however, and Politico’s Ken Vogel and Burgess Everett report that they are laying the foundation for a two-year effort to send the Senate Majority Leader into a much-deserved political oblivion: Harry Reid’s reelection is more than two years off, but the Koch brothers’ political machine is already methodically laying the groundwork that will be used to try to take him out. The efforts in recent months have been largely subterranean, but they are unmistakable. A handful of nonprofit groups in the vast political network helmed by allies of the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch have established or expanded permanent ground operations in Reid’s backyard. Focused on wooing key demographics like Latinos and veterans, they’ve also paid for ads assailing the Senate Democratic leader. … [Snip] So yes, Reid has to be a little nervous about what’s coming, especially since it’s mostly self-inflicted. Don’t be surprised if Reid looks for an opening to retire rather than run again in 2016.” Kochs looking for a little revenge in Nevada?

“This has not been a good week for Democrats running for the Senate. But rather than their problems being focused on the congressional party’s difficult relationship with President Obama or the burden that defending his policies has placed upon Democratic incumbents in red states, this week their problem is on transportation. No, not transportation policy but the fact that shady transactions to pay for their campaign transportation are creating a distraction that is making it harder for the party’s candidates in Kentucky and Louisiana to stay close to their Republican rivals. Today’s unwelcome headline for the president’s party concerns Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes has been losing ground recently in her efforts to unseat Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, so the last thing she needed was for Politico to start taking an interest in how she’s paying for her campaign bus. But rather than paying attention to her attacks on McConnell or even her efforts to distance herself from President Obama and his attacks on the coal industry, the publication devoted a major feature today to the question of a possible scandal involving an in-kind contribution from the candidate’s father that may violate campaign finance laws.” Planes, Buses, and Failing Dem Campaigns

“In Texas, the Democrats have just begun to get used to the idea that they need to fight to regain their former dominance in the political scene. From 1874 until 1979, Democrats controlled both the governorship and the lieutenant governorship. It wasn’t until 1995, when George W. Bush was elected Governor, that Republicans gained control of the executive. The stats for theAttorney General’s office look similar; it wasn’t until John Cornyn’s election in 2002 that the AG’s office gained its current conservative reputation. The problem for Democrats is that, as the demographics currently stand, it’s likely to be a long haul before they have a chance to regain control of the executive or the legislature. [Snip] If Democratic groups like Battleground Texas were the only ones seeking the favor and votes of Latinos and other minorities, they might have a chance to exact a quick turnaround; but this simply isn’t the case. Both private sector advocacy groups and high-profile Republican political candidates are spending a great deal of time and resources to get out the vote in neighborhoods and communities that conservatives have never paid a great deal of attention to. At this point in the game, every move by democrats has to be a power play, or else it will be ignored completely. GOTV and base-building isn’t enough; they’re being forced to do whatever they can to turn white voters against not only Perry (who is leaving office in January) but an entire ticket featuring strong conservative candidates. They’re counting on their demonstrated ability to prey upon the emotions of low-information voters, not on any actual evidence showing corruption within Perry’s administration or the Republican Party at large. So far, that strategy seems to be imploding in slow motion.” Texas Dems strategy imploding

Ferguson

“The NYT reported this morning that law-enforcement sources say Wilson suffered anunspecified injury during his altercation with Brown. Fox News’s source is more specific: It was indeed an eye socket fracture, as Jim Hoft claimed yesterday. Why’d it take 11 days for this to leak? No idea, but the conspicuous delay won’t do the cops any favors in getting skeptics to believe it. Nor, of course, will that cellphone video showing Wilson at the scene right after the shooting, in no obvious distress from having reportedly been beaten ‘severely.’” Fox News source: Wilson was “beaten very severely” before shooting Michael Brown

President Obama

America has been melting since Obama became president, but it’s not too late to recover. But where is our next Reagan, Truman or Lincoln? Does our republic have one waiting in the wings? “For nearly 250 years it has been America’s great fortune to have always found just the right leadership in the nick of time. Or perhaps that’s not quite accurate: It has, rather, been our way first to sleepwalk toward crisis and catastrophe, then to rouse ourselves when it is almost too late. As things stand now, by 2017 it will be nearly too late. Who sees a Lincoln, or a Truman, or a Reagan on the horizon? Still, we should not lose hope. We may be foolish, but our enemies, however aggressive and ill-intended, are objectively weak. We may be a nation in deliberate retreat, but at least we are not—at least not yet—in inexorable decline. Two years ago, Obama was considered a foreign-policy success story. Not many people entertain that illusion now; the tide of public opinion, until recently so dull and vociferous in its opposition to “neocons,” is beginning to shift as Americans understand that a policy of inaction also has its price. Americans are once again prepared to hear the case against retreat. What’s needed are the spokesmen, and spokeswomen, who will make it.” The Meltdown

With every one problem Obama attempts to address, there are at least another five lurking around the corner.Liz Peek at the Fiscal Times explains why the Republicans might fail to get voters interested in repealing Obamacare, despite its unpopularity. “What ever happened to Obamacare — the unpopular healthcare bill that was to be the Republicans big weapon as they battled for control of the Senate this fall? For sure, the Affordable Care Act has been pushed to the sidelines by the chaos in Iraq, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the surge in Central American minors across our border, the Veterans Administration scandal, the pestilential virus rampaging across the computers of the federal government, and so much more…” What happened to it was it got buried by Snowden, ISIS, the IRS, Benghazi, Ebola, Syria, Libya, Ferguson, Bergdahl, etc … who can spare a thought for Obamacare? The Obama administration is living proof that the Dense Packstrategy works.  If your problems come fast enough, you start living hour to hour and the newest crisis drives out all thoughts of the last. [Snip] The problem with crediting any vow to avenge Jim Foley is that by this time next week Foley gruesome murder will have been replaced not once, but possibly twice in the news cycle by new scandals. And then it will be “oh that Jim Foley”. In the immortal words of NSC staffer Tommy Vietor: “dude, it (Benghazi) was like two years ago.”  How long till Jim Foley becomes history? Thus, anyone who tries to focus on a particular Obama administration issue will find that it won’t stay put. It’s like being blasted by a Clamore mine. Once you get past counting the 50th wound, you can’t remember where the first one was. Thus, the opponents of Obamacare would be best advised to forget focusing their fire on any individual problem and focus instead on Obama. He’s the common factor in all the dozens and hundreds of crises his administration faces. This is probably happening already whether or not the Republicans intended it. Democratic pollsters argue that people don’t dislike Obamacare for any specific reason they can name, but because they hate Obama. They put this down to bigotry or racism, but although they see the problem they don’t interpret it correctly. There’s a simpler explanation. They’ve realized their problems are not with the individual missiles but with the fact that the Soviets are launching a thousand ICBM strike on North Dakota. They ‘get it’. The Democratic pollsters don’t. The Obama “brand” is seriously damaged. It may be that the president is doing some good in some cases. Or perhaps his style of governance is improving, but that will now be ignored. He will get no credit for it any more. He seems to have stopped being an effective president long ago. That’s good news for America’s enemies and bad news for America.” ” Game Over. Play Again?

Religious Freedom

“New York farmers who host birthday parties and other events must pay a $13,000 fine because they refused to host a gay wedding. The couple, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, have hosted gay wedding receptions in the past. But because weddings are conducted on the first floor of their house, Cynthia Gifford refused to host a gay wedding ceremony of two lesbians because of her Christian faith. A judge ruled that the GIfford private residence isn’t so private after all.” NY Farm fined for refusing to host gay wedding

“Government should not create special legal privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Instead, government should protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form to act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. The Giffords’ case illustrates the growing conflict between religious liberty rights and laws that grant special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a nation founded on limited government and religious freedom, government should not attempt to coerce any citizen, association, or business into celebrating same-sex relationships.” Government to Farmers: Host Same-Sex Wedding or Pay a $13,000 Fine

Rick Perry

Democrats playing hard ball, all the time. From the comments: This is why I can’t stand freaking democrats! The mafia is more honorable! Emphasis mine.” “There’s nothing wrong with being a party activist, of course. But Rho Chalmers was a very partisan Democrat activist from sharply partisan Travis County at the same time she was weighing whether to indict Gov. Rick Perry, Republican. That stinks.

The grand jury was selected in April of 2014 and its proceedings did not conclude until it returned two indictments of Perry last week. While grand jurors are not generally prohibited from engaging in political activity, Chalmers apparent giddiness at attending an event for a grand jury witness calls into question her ability to objectively scrutinize his testimony. Watson had testified before Chalmers and the rest of her colleagues on the grand jury just one month before Chalmers attended his event. Knowingly seeking out participation in an event featuring a grand jury witness while grand jury proceedings were ongoing also seems highly questionable.

Indeed. And then, after Chalmers helped indict a governor she clearly opposes politically, she participated in a story to counter the governor’s “spin.” That “spin” is otherwise known as his defense, which is something that the grand jury never heard from the prosecutor or the likes of Kirk Watson. Chalmers has indicated support for Democrat Wendy Davis’ run for governor as well, on her social media. That’s over at the Mediatrackers site. The indictment of Gov. Perry is a partisan operation from top to bottom. It’s backfiring on the Democrats now. A friend observed that it’s making Perry, who has been governor for 14 years and picked up his share of critics along the way, about as popular leaving office as he was when he first arrived in it. But Rho Chalmers shows why the legal jeopardy to him is real.” Surprise! Perry Grand Juror Is Also a Partisan Democrat Activist

“Life isn’t fair, and neither are high-dollar Republican donors – the kind of people a prospective candidate needs to woo in order to mount an even remotely competitive presidential campaign. Perry has been effectively positioning himself as a more conservative but still electable alternative to more centrist candidates like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush in his pitch to donors, but the notoriously skittish GOP donor base will be nervous about backing a candidate with optics as bad as those the Texas governor will earn today. Maybe Perry can turn this around and turn even his mugshot into an advantage, as he has so effortlessly with the indictment that precipitated it. But that remains to be seen. When the Republican base’s protective instinct has worn off, that mugshot will still be there. Make no mistake, this is a serious blow to Perry’s viability as a national candidate.” Rick Perry turns himself in to authorities: Does he lose in the end?

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