Category Archives: Middle East

News and Commentary for February 26

From this day forward, I choose Faith.

From this day forward, I choose Faith. You should too.

Stories of the Day

Quick, someone tell Bill that the DREADED Koch Brothers rank number 49 in OBSCENE political spending (emphasis mine). “Democrats have a big job in 2014: they need to hold onto control of the Senate, win back leadership of the House, and elect Democratic governors and state legislators in key states. But to get there, they face one big obstacle. Arrayed against them will be an obscene amount of money. The dreaded Koch brothers alone, who spent $400 million in 2012 bashing President Obama and Democratic candidates, are expected to raise and spend just as much, if not more, in 2014. They’re already running TV spots against several incumbent senators and House members they deem vulnerable. But Republican opponents and outside groups like the Koch brothers are not the Democrats’ biggest problem. Their No. 1 obstacle: themselves. As Pogo once famously said, “We have met the enemy — and he is us.” Bill Press: Democrats’ Enemy No. 1

Ponder this. “The First Amendment has three parts to it: the protection of religious freedom, the protection of speech and press, and the protection of the people’s right to assembly and petition. In all three categories, the Obama administration’s record is outrageous: it has forced the religious to finance free contraceptives, treated some journalists as potential criminals, and sought to undermine political speech and action through “campaign finance reform” and IRS harassment.” Obama’s Trifecta: He’s violated each of the First Amendment’s parts.

Haters everywhere I guess (emphasis mine)… “Republican Gov. Jan Brewer faced intensifying pressure Monday from CEOs, politicians in Washington and state lawmakers in her own party to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians… Opponents call it a license to discriminate against gays. Similar religious protection legislation has been introduced in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma, but Arizona’s plan is the only one that has passed. The efforts are stalled in Idaho, Ohio and Kansas.Quotes of the day

Where’s Frank Underwood when you need him? “Let’s get this straight. This is Obama’s highest domestic agenda priority item, and the chamber which his party controls can barely get half of their caucus to sign onto it? That’s some genius work at the White House. Who’s their legislative liaison these days?” Reid stops minimum-wage hike bill after Dems balk

My blood’s boiling, Part I. “By 2008, some patients were “waiting six to nine months for an exam” and VA “didn’t know how to address the issue,” Mitchell said.”” Department of Veterans Affairs employees destroyed veterans’ medical records to cancel backlogged exam requests [AUDIO]

My blood’s boiling, Part II. This: “A member of Hawaii’s House of Representatives is criticizing an ambitious, federally funded sex education program currently in use in 12 of the state’s public schools. The pilot curriculum, called “Pono Choices,” targets 11- to 13-year-old students. (“Pono” is a Hawaiian word that basically means “good” or “moral.”) Its creators include the University of Hawaii and, of course, Planned Parenthood. Rep. Bob McDermott, a Hawaii Republican, claims that the curriculum is “not age appropriate and not consistent with state policy” for a slew of reasons, reports EAGnews.org.” And this: “The curriculum also never makes a single mention of the benefits of monogamous relationships.” Federally funded sex ed program teaches Hawaii middle schoolers that butts are genitals

I’ve seen hatred in his eyes; you probably have too. “Speaking to reporters after a meeting between the President and the National Governors Association, the GOP governors said they were deeply troubled by Obama’s tone when asked about planned cuts to the National Guard. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Obama became ”aggressive” and that his tone “chilled the room quite a bit.” “He basically said, ‘Many people in this room have asked for cuts, and now you getting ’em,’” Haley said at a news conference across from the White House at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that her husband, a guardsman, just returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.” GOP Governors Accuse Obama of Politically Motivated National Guard Cuts

More on one of yesterday’s top stories. “That is not to say that some cuts to the military aren’t warranted. Yet for a nation awash in red ink, one that still faces serious and unforeseen threats from Islamist terror, an increasingly aggressive China, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who may yet play a hand in Ukraine, a serious discussion of national priorities is in order. One that puts everything on the table for the simplest of reasons: absent national security, everything else is irrelevant. There will be no victorious enemy willing to provide Americans with anything remotely resembling the massive and overly generous safety net we take largely for granted. And hope and change are not viable substitutes for military strength, preparedness and deterrence.” Gutting the Army

The hits just keep on coming (emphasis mine). “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is unveiling the Pentagon’s proposed budget today—a budget that will dramatically scale back the size of the military. But in order to save the most sacred of cows in its ongoing modernization efforts, the Pentagon is proposing the elimination of what has arguably been the most effective combat aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory: the A-10 Thunderbolt II.” Update: DOD aims to scrap A-10 to keep F-35 alive in new budget

I must be dreaming, because this can’t possibly be true, right? “The Clarion Project just disclosed the existence of a terrorist enclave in Texas last week, bringing new attention to a network of at least 22 Jamaat ul-Fuqra “Islamic villages” across the country. Newly-declassified documents reveal that the FBI privately considers ul-Fuqra to be a terrorist group, but remains operational in the U.S. because of the State Department.” [Snip] “Responsible reporters must relentlessly demand answers from the State Department in the wake of these new revelations.” Texas Terror Enclave Exposed

Stealth messaging on behalf of jihad. “Jihadist graffiti functions as communication and recruitment and is popping up in cities around the world including: Toronto, London, Dublin, Derry, Glasgow, Augsburg, Munich, Moscow, Toulouse, Frejus, Helsinki, Rome, Crete, Jerusalem, Beirut, Salt lake City, New York City, Washington, D.C. Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland and many others. Islamist graffiti is a popular artistic form of rebellion that portrays the global jihad movement as hip and cool. It appeals to young people who do not consider graffiti vandalism but view it as artistic expression and an agency for popular resistance and change. Spray painting Islamist slogans and jihadist phrases goes beyond graffiti as protest art. Islamist graffiti is a symbolic warfare tactic, a successful stealth information strategy camouflaged as street art.” [Snip] “The writings need to be recognized and documented using methods that law enforcement currently employ to track gang activity, membership, rivalries and affiliations with larger gangs. Spray painting the words Jihad, Intifada or Allahu Akbar does not represent benign expressions of faith or popular resistance. Jihadist gang graffiti embodies Islamist messaging that has a significant impact in recruiting homegrown terrorists, inciting violence and is an indicator of future criminal and terrorist activity.” Jihadist Gang Graffiti

So can we start calling those in the media racist for not reporting these kinds of stories? “Stories like this happen all the time, and we can’t begin to note all of them. Still, the murder of 59 boys, either shot or burned to death, deserves mention. Terrorists from Boko Haram–which means “Western education is sinful”–attacked a school in northeast Nigeria. Attacking schools and murdering students is a favorite tactic of Boko Haram, which is trying to force Nigeria to institute Sharia law.” Muslim Terrorists Murder 59 Children In Nigeria

AARP

I did more than seal the empty envelope and drop it in the mail. I stuffed the envelope with as much junk mail as possible. “Do you get solicitations from AARP?  They have been trying to sign me up for a decade now.  Until recently I always tossed everything except the business reply envelope, which I would often drop in the mail empty because I have always disapproved of their philosophy of promoting subsidies and discounts based on status rather than need. I’ve noticed that the last two solicitations I have gotten from them did not contain a business reply envelope. Anyone who wanted to sign up with AARP would have to use their own stamp. Since including a postage reply envelope has a significant effect upon response rates, they are standard in most solicitations.  In my experience only the most controversial organizations don’t regularly use business reply envelopes in their mass solicitations for new members.” Is AARP getting Obamacare blowback?

Arizona

As I wrote yesterday, we’re going to lose the messaging war on this one, unfortunately. A message of “hate” trumps “common sense policies” every time. “But second, it also seems fundamentally wrong to require a photographer who believes, based on sincere religious conviction, that gay marriage is immoral to participate in a gay marriage celebration by photographing it. Indeed, it is odd (and telling) that any gay couple would want their sacred ceremony to be chronicled by someone who finds the event morally reprehensible. Such a photographer is unlikely to capture the spirit of the occasion.” No, this is not Jim Crow for gays — understanding Arizona S.B. 1062

America in Decline

As American Patriots we will never stop fighting. “Those pursuing three authoritarian agenda items once considered unthinkable emanating from an administration which has become openly hostile to what once were our basic freedoms can already hang “Mission (Partially) Accomplished” banners on their walls. First, there are the ongoing revelations about the government’s accumulation of digital mountains of personal information on citizens’ daily lives. If there’s a positive result from this, it would be that many Americans have become a bit more careful about their data trail. But the good news ends there. Our emails, Facebook posts, text messages and other communications are subject to easy scrutiny by government minders and anyone else to whom those apparatchiks might feel like conveying information. The chilling effect on everyday speech, expression and interactions is a statist’s dream come true. Just wait until they integrate the Obamacare and Common Core data.” Destructive Missions, Partially Accomplished: Emboldened statists have already done serious damage.

Benghazi

Nobody died in Watergate. “Were he alive today, Richard Nixon would have to doff his hat to Barack Obama. Compared with how the Obama administration has swept under the rug the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012, Nixon’s attempt to cover up the Watergate burglary was rank amateurism. To be fair, Nixon’s team of Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean were not in the same league as Obama’s, which includes not only his cabinet but most of the national media and much of Congress.” Whitewashing Benghazi

Big Government Lawlessness

Lawless. “The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that state attorneys general do not need to defend their states’ laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman, issuing a strongly worded statement obtained by National Review Online.” Republican State AGs Reject Holder’s Dereliction of Duty

Why have any laws then? This: “When President Obama refused to endorse same sex marriage in the 2008 presidential campaign, was he as bigoted as a defender of Jim Crow in 1948, six years before “separate but equal” was struck down by a unanimous Supreme Court?” And this: “This is astonishing and troubling, and of a piece with the president and the Administration’s growing lawlessness.  There is no precedent for the idea that states’ attorneys generals ought to pick and choose among the laws they defend, just as there is no precedent for the president’s decision to serially alter his signature legislative “achievement” as he has done with Obamacare, or to empower his agencies to regulate far in advance of authority granted them by the Congress.” And this: For the benefit of AG Holder, let’s jump in the way-back machine to far, far ago: November 2, 2008: Obama told MTV he believes marriage is “between a man and a woman” and that he is “not in favor of gay marriage.” Now back to the present day.  Attorney General Holder is demanding that the nation’s elected chief law enforcement officers of every state reach a conclusion that the president hadn’t reached less than six years ago and further, that she or he impose it on their states despite their sworn oaths to uphold and defend the constitutions of their states.” And this: “Holder’s position is far removed from a courageous decision to risk political future for principled stance.  There is no risk on his part, just as there was no risk on the president’s part.  Both are posing, and in posing, sanitize a deep lawlessness.” And this: If an attorney general can refuse to defend one portion of his state’s constitution, why not another?  Will the Attorney General encourage pro-life attorneys general to stop defending abortion clinics beset by protesters?  Will he encourage district attorneys convinced that heroin addiction is a disease and the use of heroin wrongly classified as a crime to cease prosecuting offenders brought by their law enforcement officials to their jails?” Eric Holder’s Law

Racists! A coalition of black pastors announced on Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that they are launching a campaign to gather one million signatures on a petition calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder for violating his oath of office by trying “to coerce states to fall in line with the same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda.” “President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have turned their backs on the values the American people hold dear, values particularly cherished in the black community: values like marriage, which should be strengthened and promoted, rather than weakened and undermined,” says a statement by the Coalition of African American Pastors that has been posted online with their impeachment petition.” Black Pastors: Impeach Holder

The Economy

I keep trying to imagine how things would be going with President Romney at the helm. “The economy is not likely going to tank, but economic growth is not likely to match the president’s optimistic aspirations until policies are embraced other than compulsory health insurance, ever larger education loans, higher taxes, indulging politically-connected monopolists, and excessive government regulation.” More than Winter Chill Gripping Housing, Broader Economy

There’s so much good information contained within this article that I wanted to post the whole thing. Please click on over to get the rest. “But even without the president’s eagerness to ramp spending up again, this is just a temporary phenomenon. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent report, issued earlier this month, deficits will start rising as soon as 2016, and by 2024 will exceed $1 trillion per year. CBO also estimates that we will add another $10.5 trillion to the debt through 2024, at which point gross federal debt will be more than $27 trillion. President Obama’s answer to these trends is to “abandon the era of austerity”?” Obama’s ‘Age of Austerity’ Lie: The president’s new budget will bid farewell to fiscal discipline he never knew.

Elections

If there’s dirt, the Left will find it, because at all cost, someone who is actually doing the right thing on behalf of the country must be destroyed. “Walker probably causes more sweating among Democrat elites as far as 2016 is concerned than any other potential candidate among the popular GOP governors (I have a separate theory about Christie that I won’t go into here). All Walker does is make Democrats look bad. And beat their organized muscle, Big Labor. He is one of those politicians who accomplishes being remarkable by being unremarkable, which is odd in the hyper-media era. He just shows up at work and gets results for all of the people he governs, not only the ones who voted for him.” The Democrats Are Apparently Terrified of Scott Walker

Rock star. “Ted Cruz is not on the March 4 primary ballot. But his likeness is all over TV and in campaign materials, as a slew of Republican candidates on the primary ballot are using his words and — in rare occasions — his endorsement to reach out to voters. This year, having Cruz weigh in any way possible “is political gold,” said Mark P. Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston. His thumbs up for a candidate serves “as a signal to Cruz’s plethora of supporters within the GOP primary electorate who the ‘true’ movement conservative in the race is,” he said.” The Ted Cruz Effect: Political Gold?

Marco Rubio for president! “A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him, informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they’re not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don’t count against the mortality rate.” Rubio Gives Harkin a Lesson in History

Food Stamps

Trouble ahead. “The best analysis of the devastating military cuts ordered by President Obama came from former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday’s “Hannity”: “He would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.” Our Food Stamp Commander In Chief

Global Warming

Lions, tigers and bears, oh no! This: “The Nobel Prize winner regaled the audience “with a 90-minute presentation, using photos and videos to illustrate a litany of floods, wildfires, torrential rains, droughts, dust storms, rising sea levels and increasing world temperatures.” In other words, what they heard at the Folk Alliance International conference was just another installment in Gore’s long line of public disservice.” And this: “Though the causes of their obsession might be dissimilar, all alarmists have one thing in common: Their predictions of disaster — the superstorms, the underwater coastal cities, famine, mass starvation, the end of snow, the end of skiing, a dangerous refugee problem — have been wrong. Sure, there’s been some rough weather recently. But it’s just weather. As far as we know, no reputable scientist has positively linked the unusual cold and snow to man-made global warming.” Climate Alarmists Never Called Out For Spreading Fear

The truth must not be told. “’Is there anything more anti-scientific than scientific truths being determined by petition and demonstration?’” Heating up: Climate change advocates try to silence Krauthammer

Will the Left attempt to silence one of their heroes as well? “Moore argued that the current argument that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming over the past century lacks scientific evidence. He added that the Earth is in an unusually cold period and some warming would be a good thing.” Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific evidence of man-made global warming

Hillary Clinton

Delays. “Sensitive documents including those related to the Hillarycare debacle and presidential pardons for the likes of Marc Rich are being withheld from release. As the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy looms, the public’s right to know her involvement is under threat.” And this: Even if the Clintons and Obama exercise their many options to delay release of the records, requiring lawsuits to work their way through the courts, the GOP presidential candidate will have an issue to raise. It is clear that Democrats do not want Hillary’s track record as the “buy one, get one free” first lady of the Clinton “co-presidency” to be scrutinized. This is a risible position and not one that can be defended.” Clinton Library Secret Files a Landmine for Hillary?

IRS

Heroes do what heroes do. “Paul Mirengoff has explained what the IRS is up to in its proposed rulemaking under section 501(c)(4) in the post “The IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives.” The proposed regulation means to institutionalize the criminal misconduct of the IRS that has sent many clients to Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell, the star of this series. The IRS and the Obama administration are deep into the cover-up phase of the IRS’s criminal misconduct. Cleta has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents relating to the proposed rule. In the video below, she explains the peculiarities of the IRS’s response to her request.” Cleta Chronicles: IRS scandals, part 4

Let your voice be heard! “President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service has quietly announced new rules… seemingly designed to silence the growing conservative grassroots and Tea Party movement in America. Our First Amendment rights are in jeopardy. Please join us in fighting back now!

These new IRS rules will:

  • Keep citizens from holding their public officials accountable
  • Silence citizens and chill the very purpose of grassroots groups

Tell the IRS:

  • It is impractical, burdensome and unacceptable for the IRS to interject itself into the inner workings of every citizens’ group in the country
  • The IRS is supposed to be collecting revenues, not snooping and trampling on the First Amendment rights of citizens
  • American citizens don’t need permission from the IRS in order to be active in grassroots movements
  • To stop unfairly attacking the Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) groups

The IRS is now allowing public comments on these rule changes. So, if you’re as outraged by this as I am, please click here and submit your comment. (If you like, for reference, you can visit our campaign webpage to see some sample comments. You can also view the letter JW sent to the Office of Management and Budget registering our objections.) You must submit your comments by Thursday, February 27th!” Don’t Let the IRS Silence You

The Left

“Progressivism is merely the current euphemism for centralized power vested in a class of people who believe their own propaganda, or know it is a lie but tell it anyway. It is not enough merely to note that it has failed every time it has been tried. It must also be said that it has done irreparable damage to humanity wherever it has been practiced. Progressivism is human vice incarnate, the indulgence and celebration of the erasure of the constraints that human experience and wisdom have devised to limit evil. The name has been changed to protect the guilty.” Progressivism as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

This: “A vital but usually ignored part of the Nazi revolution in Germany was the reduction of robust and independent German states to the status of mere appendages of the federal government.” And this: “As Weimar Germany slid to Nazi Germany, another disturbing trend was the reduction of the national legislature to irrelevance. In the last years of Weimar Germany, President Hindenburg began ruling Germany by emergency decree. On the pretext that the Reichstag could not operate, the executive branch of Weimar Germany simply began acting without legislative consent.” Our Weimar Republic

President Obama, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Courtney Love, Gregory Meeks and Reverand Jesse Jackson. “President Maduro is the successor to Hugo Chavez, a man loved by the socialist Left in Hollywood and the fringes of the Democratic Party. Most observers place the blame for the situation in Venezuela at Chavez’s feet. While Chavez and Maduro have the same base of support and the same policies, Chavez possessed a political ability to keep tensions at a simmer, unlike Maduro, who has seen them boil over. As we watch dozens of Venezuelans die in the streets, struggling to save their country from the brink of disaster, this is a good opportunity to point out who on the Left in the United States helped legitimize Chavez during his time in power.” 7 Famous Supporters of the Chavez Regime

Read the whole thing. “Thus the party that spent the Bush years screaming about the “Imperial Presidency” overwhelmingly decides that the legislative branch is an unnecessary obstacle to setting its preferred environmental policy. We’ve reached the point where vehemently anti-Bush Democrats in Congress now write up executive orders for President Obama to implement unilaterally. The legislative branch matters, until it doesn’t. The filibuster matters, until it doesn’t. Yesterday’s positions get dropped if they interfere with today’s needs. The Right is dealing with extremely adaptive foes who, for the most part, have no hesitation about lying to get what they want.” Progressive Chameleons: The difficulty of beating an opponent who doesn’t believe in much of anything.

Obamacare

Do they ever get tired of telling these lies? “First of all, seven million was not the administration,” said Sebelius. “That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office, prediction when the bill was first signed. I’m not sure where they even got their numbers.” However, in September 2013, NBC News asked Sebelius what success would look like for Obamacare. ‘Well, I think success looks like at least seven million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.’” Sebelius Denies WH Ever Aimed For 7 Million Obamacare Sign-Ups

More proof of the lies. “This week provides still more evidence of ObamaCare’s job-killing effects. Among the multitude of taxes ObamaCare levies to help pay for its massive new entitlement program is a 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales. On Tuesday, an Advanced Medical Technology Association industry survey found the $29 billion tax has prevented or killed 33,000 jobs in the industry. “As a result of the medical device tax, we have seen an unprecedented impact on jobs and key investments in R&D,” said the group’s president, Stephen Ubl.” Sebelius’ Jobs Claim Debunked, Again

Our hard-earned tax dollars at work. “As Richard Baehr points out, these “dreamers” were supposed to be the best and brightest among the illegals. Yet 80% of them are earning less than $16,000. Because of all the subsidies available to low incpome people in the United States, from food stamps EBT to the earned income “tax credit” (welfare check) to Section 8 housing subsidies, poor people are very expensive, a burden the taxpayers must carry. Now we can add Medicaid expenses” Report: 125,000 illegals in California qualified to be covered by Medicaid

Message to our seniors: Obama and the Democrats are really not that in to you. Remember that in November. “Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs for senior citizens, is one of the few government health-care programs that has demonstrated success in increasing coverage, reducing costs, and improving the health of its beneficiaries. The Obama administration’s new regulations threaten this achievement.” The White House’s Attack on Medicare’s Prescription-Drug Plans Is Obamacare 2.0

Regulation

What statism brings. “But government is forever. The state has the unique ability to protect existing “stakeholders” from the threats posed by innovation and competition, whether those stakeholders are businesses or unions, fat cats or philanthropies. That’s where the votes are and where the checks come from. But progress — material, medical, economic — comes from innovation. Economist Deirdre McCloskey notes that until the 19th century, innovation was a negative word because innovators upset the established order and the powers that be. In her wonderful book Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World, McCloskey describes how for all of human history, humans lived on about $3 a day, using today’s dollars. For 200,000 years, the line was essentially flat, until around 1800, when a culture that valued innovation spread from England to Europe and the New World. Since then, wealth has skyrocketed, all thanks to a culture willing to let innovators pull up the stakes of the existing stakeholders. In Silicon Valley, where government’s touch is light, we can see the rapidity of innovation at work. In health care, education, and other areas where the government’s hand is heavy, we see stakeholders holding on for dear life.” Innovation vs. Regulation: When entrenched interests face competition, wealth and opportunity can skyrocket.

Voter ID

Haters everywhere I guess: Banks, Libraries, Airlines, etc. etc. etc. “Vice President Biden said new voter ID laws in North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas were evidence of “hatred” and “zealotry” during a Black History Month event at the Naval Observatory on Tuesday.” Biden: New voter ID laws tied to ‘hatred’

Welfare State

I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to realize that the Left detests everything about the middle class. “After a century of misery, the left still hasn’t learned that there is no substitute for the middle class. It’s not just running out of money, it’s running out of people. The welfare state has no future. It is only a question of what terms it will implode on and what will happen to the social welfare political infrastructure when it does. The violence in Venezuela and the slow death of Detroit give us insights into the coming collapse of the welfare state.” The Coming Collapse of the Welfare State

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, AARP, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Charles Krauthammer, Climate Change, Debt, Economy, Education, Elites, Environment, Eric Holder, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, Global Warming, Governor Scott Walker, Hillary, IRS, Jobs, Liberal Hypocrisy, Lies, Marriage, Medicaid, Medicare, Middle Class, Middle East, Military, Minimum Wage, Money in Politics, National News, Obamacare, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Regulation, Religious Liberty, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Tea Party, Terrorism, The Left, Tyranny, Voter Fraud

News and Commentary for January 10

When you read the news today, maybe this is how you'll feel.

When you read the news today, maybe this is how you’ll feel.

Wrong direction. “The worst news comes in the workforce numbers. Those not in the workforce increased by 525,000 in December (91.808 million), after a one-time drop in the figure for November (91.283M from 91.756M in October).  That’s a big exodus of people from the workforce, dwarfing the meager number of jobs added in the economy. Part-time work remained essentially constant at 7.8 million, so the exodus points to an ugly, ugly trend.” December jobs report: Only 74,000 added, “not in workforce” jumps 525,000

We’ve known this for many years. Only Republicans must stand accountable. Democrats, not so much. “Now that we have your attention, allow us to explain. Governor Chris Christie apologized to New Jersey on Thursday for aides who closed traffic lanes in order to punish a Democratic mayor, and he fired a deputy chief of staff. We mention the IRS because Mr. Christie’s contrition contrasts so sharply with President Obama’s handling of the tax agency’s abuse of political opponents and his reluctance to fire anyone other than a military general for anything.” Christie and the IRS

Proof but then we really didn’t need any! “The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s traffic headache dubbed “Bridgegate,” have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours. By comparison, that’s 17 times the two minutes, eight seconds devoted to President Obama‘s IRS scandal in the last six months, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center.” Nets give ‘Bridgegate’ 17 times more coverage in 1 day than IRS scandal in 6 months

“Here’s a problem. Policy people are policy people—sometimes creative, almost always sober, grounded, mature. But political operatives get high on winning. They start to think nothing can touch them when they’re with a winner. They get full of themselves. And they think only winning counts, because winning is their job.” Noonan: How Christie Ended Up in This Jam

From the comments: “Is this nut buddy (DWS) serious? Shutting down part of a highway is more serious than an ambassador being murdered by terrorists? Than border patrol agents being murdered with guns provided by the Department of Justice? Than making extralegal changes in the national healthcare law??? My God, this woman is a pathological liar or is truly insane.” CNN Host Grills Wasserman Schultz About Thinking Christie’s Hiding Something While Obama Always Claims to Be in the Dark

He probably is, unfortunately. “Now, they may have something else in common. Heading into the 2016 presidential race, where a lot of smart analysts have said the GOP should nominate a governor, Democrats may be hoping to use scandals to strangle these Republicans babies in their crib.” Is Scott Walker next?!

Why only 16? “The 16 GOP congressman argued that pushing for a “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” package, whether it be in one bill or in a series of piecemeal or step-by-step bills, is essentially crony capitalism that would disproportionately harm the black and Hispanic communities in America.” 16 House Republicans to Obama: Amnesty ‘Final Economic Blow’ for American Workers

Why bother then? “The only problem with that argument, of course, is that this “promise zone” initiative actually doesn’t address economic mobility in any real, lasting, or widespread way. The Obama administration is once again using the federal government as a tool to select winners and losers, using more bureaucracy — via the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Commerce, good grief — to create top-down faux-collaboration that bypasses the states and in which the feds will decide upon “targeted investments” that they should not be making in the first place with “free money” we do not have.” Meet the White House’s next awesome economic pivot: “Promise zones”

Definitely unbelievable. “Choosing someone so openly and obviously partisan to lead an investigation into partisan targeting of opposition groups is “unbelievable” and “highly inappropriate,” Rep. Issa asserts, and demands of the Attorney General immediate action to both remove Bosserman from leading the investigation and remedy any damage that may have occurred due to her involvement.” Obama Donor to Head IRS Tea Party Targeting Investigation

Oh goody! Crony capitalism PLUS an invasion of privacy. “The Common Core gold rush is on. Apple, Pearson, Google, Microsoft and Amplify are all cashing in on the federal standards/testing/textbook racket. But the EduTech boondoggle is no boon for students. It’s more squandered tax dollars down the public school drain. Even more worrisome: The stampede is widening a dangerous path toward invasive data mining.” Common Core and the EduTech Abyss

A statistic that should outrage us all, especially when you consider what we’re learning from Secretary of State Robert Gates in his soon to be released book Duty. 74% of U.S. Afghan Casualties Came After Obama Ordered Troops Increased

The fact that more in the media are more outraged by Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate tells you everything you need to know about where their true loyalties lie. “These are an extraordinary series of revelations. The commander in chief (a) sent troops to fight and die in a war (Afghanistan) he wasn’t committed to and in whose strategy he had no confidence in; and (b) as a senator opposed for partisan reasons a counterinsurgency strategy that turned a war we were losing (Iraq) into one we were winning. Losing a war is among the worst things that can happen to a nation. Yet we have as president a man who was willing to have America lose in Iraq in order to advance his own political ambitions. And a man, by the way, who constantly chastises Republicans for putting politics above country while portraying himself as the one true patriot.” Our Contemptible Commander in Chief

Not good. “Obama touts his drone policy against al-Qaida as having killed numerous al-Qaida operatives and foiled lots of al-Qaida plots. But it hasn’t stopped them from steadily pursuing their key objective: taking over countries.” Bin Laden May Be Dead, But Al-Qaida Is Ascendant

Democrat’s priorities are showing. “Even if, like me, you are beyond being shocked by anything the Democrats do, this is remarkable. For the second time, Harry Reid and his Senate Democrat cohorts have refused to allow an amendment to revise the Ryan-Murray spending deal to be voted on. The amendment would restore the cuts in veterans’ benefits that are part of the deal, and instead raise the money by closing a loophole that makes it easy for illegal aliens to defraud the federal government out of billions of dollars. It seems like a pretty easy choice: keeping our promises to veterans, versus enabling fraud by illegal immigrants. But the Democrats have again chosen, not just to prioritize illegal immigrants over veterans, but to prioritize fraud by illegal aliens over maintaining existing veterans’ benefits. You almost have to see it to believe it.” Once Again, Democrats Vote to Cut Veterans’ Benefits in Order to Enable Fraud By Illegal Aliens

“In 2008, authors David Horowitz and Ben Johnson released their book, “Party of Defeat.” It chronicled the Democratic Party’s duplicitous efforts regarding its initial support for the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war in Iraq, followed by their attempts to undermine it — for nothing more than crass political considerations. In a his new book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” former defense secretary Robert M. Gates, who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations, delivers a devastating confirmation of Horowitz’s and Johnson’s arguments.” Robert Gates Confirms ‘Party of Defeat’ Narrative

Interesting article. “Many of today’s fiercest political debates can be traced to the aspirations of the Great Society, the domestic programs it spawned during the 1960s, and the doubts it raised about the role and reach of Washington.” ‘Great Society’ agenda led to great — and lasting — philosophical divide

The Left will try to destroy him too. “Confession time: I knew very little about Rep. Turner. Look him up and you’ll quickly learn that he spent 8 years as a defensive back in the NFL, playing for the Washington Redskins, the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. He’s also a motivational speaker and relative newcomer to the Texas legislature. But enough preamble. Here is the keynote that Rep. Turner delivered Wednesday. I don’t think anyone was missing Coach Ditka. Texas Republicans have a rising conservative star on their hands.” MUST-SEE VIDEO: Meet Scott Turner, the Former NFL Defensive Back Who Tackles Today’s Entitlement Mentality

They can never tell us the truth, because most people are freedom loving, and the Left hates freedom. “This move toward socialism by stealth will always de-legitimize the goals of the Left. Worse, it will de-legitimize government itself, even as it poisons the well of our political life.” The Left’s Necessary Lie

The folks on the Left know better, and never forget it! “That last paragraph gives the reader the full flavor of Cohn’s agenda and assumptions, as well as his style. Americans “perhaps unwittingly” chose “market forces.” Those stupid Americans again, who don’t know what they’re doing. Of course, Cohn ignores the fact that Americans never actually chose Obamacare at all. It was never popular, and was passed through devious and Byzantine means. And “market forces”? Obamacare is so far from being an insurance system based on market forces that Cohn’s statement is quite simply ludicrous. He knows better, but he’s hoping we ignorant “unwitting” folk don’t.” You Only Thought You Wanted to Keep Your Hospital

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Afghanistan, Amnesty, Benghazi, Big Government, Economy, Govenor Chris Christie, Iraq, Jobs, Lies, Media Malfeasance, Middle East, Obamacare, Poverty and the Welfare State, Socialism, The Left, War on the Military

News and Commentary for January 8

Things are looking good for the Republicans in November. You can smile, but don't get too cocky! We've go t lots of word to do!

Things are looking good for the Republicans in November. You can smile, but don’t get too cocky! We’ve got so much work to do to ensure victory.

We can win it all in November! Please oh please, let’s not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. “The latest sign comes in a new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday that shows the midterm enthusiasm battle is tilted in the GOP’s favor. Sixty-three percent of Republicans say they are looking forward to the midterm elections, compared to just 53 percent of Democrats.” The GOP’s midterm enthusiasm advantage, in 2 charts

Senator Ted Cruz? “There are moments in American political history when dissatisfaction with the old order and suspicion—even fear—of its ways presents the opportunity for monumental change.” The GOP Needs a Conservative in 2016

It’s all they have left. “The left knows they are at a disadvantage. HuffPo’s warning about “dark money” is just the first salvo in the campaign to silence the right this year. To paraphrase the old legal saw, if neither the facts or the law are on your side, pound the table. The left is going to pound the table loudly until November.” Left Tries to Silence Conservatives Ahead of 2014 Midterms

How Obama and his minions live with themselves, I will NEVER know-Part 1. ” It is a shame and a tragedy that President Obama and Prime Minister Maliki did not honor the sacrifices of so many troops in the past, both American and Iraqi, by doing more to build on the success of the surge. But that is not the fault of those troops, who fought magnificently to give Iraq an opportunity–now being squandered–for a better future.” Iran’s Squandered Opportunity

How Obama and his minions live with themselves, I will NEVER know–Part 2. “So Obama was sending our young men and women off to a meat grinder with no real confidence in the likelihood of success. How like Lyndon Johnson.” TOM MAGUIRE: Obama Quit In Afghanistan.

Lots of articles today about former Defense Secretary Robert Gate’s new book, “Duty.”

  • “9. Obama’s Domestic Politics: Mr. Gates says that domestic politics factored into “virtually every major national security problem” the Obama White House faced. At one point, Mr. Gates writes, he witnessed a conversation between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in which the president “conceded vaguely” that his opposition to the 2007 military surge in Iraq was a political calculation. Mr. Gates called the exchange “remarkable.”” Top 10 Revelations From Robert Gates’s Memoir Hat Tip: Lucianne.com
  • “Obama doesn’t believe in the surge or in the war, or in his own actions,” Krauthammer said, “He doesn’t believe in [General] Petraeus, he hates [Afghan President] Karzai, he thinks the war isn’t his. How can a commander-in-chief do that?” Krauthammer on Gates’ revelations about Obama: ‘How can a commander-in-chief do that?’ Hat Tip: Lucianne.com
  • “But the splash being made by these (mostly unsurprising) insider claims is a testament to the credibility Gates has earned over his distinguished career, and suggests the considerable authority his account of these last few years will carry.” Bob Gates vs. the White House
  • “I would not go so far as to say Gates did the wrong thing. In the year 2009 any objection against Obama he may have raised would have fallen on deaf ears. Now he has a better chance of a hearing. But it is not an easy admission for anyone to say, “I walked with them”.” A City of Two Tales
  • “It will be interesting to watch how the Obama administration reacts. I expect Gates to be trashed, Chicago-style, at a minimum, even though Obama said a lot of nice things about him in public.” The first ex-cabinet secretary to attack Obama writes his memoir
  • “What to make of his critique of Obama? Mild, compared to what George W. Bush had to endure from formerly trusted aides. But there is also confirmation that Obama’s far left worldview is distrustful of people in uniform and that his leadership abilities as commander in chief are found wanting.” Gates memoir skewers Obama
  • “Most of the attention from Robert Gates’ new memoir has focused on its impact on Barack Obama and the presumed 2016 campaign of Hillary Clinton.  The former Secretary of Defense sharply criticizes both for playing politics with the lives of soldiers, even though Gates’ memoir also includes praise for both in other contexts. The one politician who gets no nuance from Gates, though, is Joe Biden. Gates slams the Vice President for having “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” which Allahpundit joked yesterday constitutes proof of the book’s accuracy.” [Snip] “So why leap to Biden’s defense, even ahead of Obama’s? Perhaps because Obama needs Biden as a front for his own foreign policy, a shield that assumes Biden has gravitas in the first place. The only people who seem to think that, though, are Joe Biden and Barack Obama.” WH: Hey, who doesn’t like and respect Joe Biden?

Why do we let them out when so many go back to battle? “The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials suspect Sufian Ben Qumu, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, “played a role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorism organization.” Ben Qumu is based in Derna, Libya and runs a branch of Ansar al Sharia headquartered in the city.” Obama Administration’s Benghazi Bombshell

Obama’s administration was never going to be about transparency. “No one is served by Obama and Clinton lying to the caskets. Few Americans will volunteer to serve in dangerous parts of the world armed only with this assurance: “If you are killed in the line of duty, the leaders of the free world will lie to your caskets.” That’s a mission impossible.” They Will Lie to Your Casket

Culture posers I. “My favorite double standard these days concerns how liberals think the “stop and frisk” tactic of New York and other police departments are abusive, arbitrary, etc.  Good that liberals have rediscovered at least a sliver of the potential for arbitrary government power—opposition to arbitrary state power being a core principle of liberalism once upon a time—even if it probably works to public benefit.  (I was amused at a recent PuffHo story that reported breathlessly that only about half of all stop and frisks resulted in an arrest, as though that was a scandal.  To the contrary, given discretion allowed to police officers, a 50 percent arrest rate shows the success of the tactic.)” Liberalism and Double Standards

Cultural posers II. “But knowing more would interfere with the demonization. And the demonization is the point.” KEVIN WILLIAMSON: The Ignorant Left: An Ongoing Series.

But at least the Left “feels” good about trying. “To understand the failure of the war on poverty requires understanding its structure, which itself is bound up in the idiosyncrasies of Lyndon Johnson’s politics. President Johnson played many parts in his political career: Southern ballast to John Kennedy’s buoyant Yankee idealism; an enemy of civil-rights reform and anti-lynching laws who reversed himself in 1964; a sometimes reluctant but in the end unshakeable Cold Warrior. But at heart President Johnson was a New Deal man, and his Great Society, of which the war on poverty was a critical component, was his attempt to resuscitate the spirit and the political success of Franklin Roosevelt’s program.” The Fifty-Year War

They’ll never learn. “Regardless, the failure of Communism didn’t put the debate to rest because the debate is eternal. Like those summer fireflies, it is a permanent fixture of the human condition, particularly among the affluent and fashionably rebellious young who are always eager to explain why this time is different.” Millennial Communists

So sad. “As New York City’s crusading liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio takes up his pitch fork, don’t worry too much about the wealthy bankers he plans to tax — they can fend for themselves. The potential victims of de Blasio’s “march toward a fairer, more just, more progressive place” are the small businesses and voluntary associations that make up civil society. Charter schools, crisis pregnancy centers, small businesses and private charities are all in de Blasio’s crosshairs. These are government’s rivals in the business of getting people what they want and need — and a growing government doesn’t tolerate rivals.” Bill de Blasio’s ‘march’ to end inequality tramples little guy

Remember, this is the administration that said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” “To be clear, I’m not claiming, as some have inferred from previous columns, that there is a widely orchestrated chaos-creation plan, or that any attempt to capitalize on the current bedlam to impose single-payer is destined to succeed. What I am saying is that the evidence supporting the idea that certain of Obamacare’s key players are determined to try continues to mount.” A Chaos-Driven Path to Single Payer?

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Hillary, Iraq, Lies, Mayor De Blasio, Middle East, Millenials, Obamacare, President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Single Payer Health Care, The Left

News and Commentary for January 6 and 7

It's a big tent. Let's all get along! Otherwise we won't win.
It’s a big tent. Let’s all get along! Otherwise we
won’t win.

Unbelievably outrageous. As reviewed by Bob Woodward, so this is as insidery as it gets. In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama’s leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he had concluded the president “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.” Which is what is so galling. Men are being killed at three times the rate as they died under Bush’s leadership, and Obama is not even trying to win.” Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Harshly Critiques Obama in His New Memoir “Duty”

Unfortunatley, we all go down with it. “Leftist academia has long been playing a game of Jenga with the tower of western culture, pulling out blocks from the bottom in the knowledge the tower will ultimately collapse. What they don’t realize is:  they’re sitting on top of the tower. When it goes down, they’ll go down with it.” The Left’s Cultural Jenga

Wise up America. “With elections looming in 2014, it is about time for Barack Obama to gear up another progressive “war” against the rich, the limb loppers, the fat cats, the tonsil pullers, the “enemies” of Latinos, the jet junketers, the women haters, and those who knew neither when to stop profiting nor how the government had really built their businesses. We shall shortly witness some of the wealthiest and most privileged of capitalist America decrying inequality and unfairness from the 18th hole in Hawaii, the Malibu gated estate, and the Beacon Hill mansion. And the faux populism will probably work, at least if 2008 and 2012 are any indications.” Intelligent Populism vs. Mindless Progressivism

What an amazing and insightful man. “Krauthammer explained in a 2011 column that “…if we don’t get politics right, everything else risks extinction.” Simple yet poignant; he could have started and ended the book there. But as I lay in bed reading Things That Matter, something struck me. Out of almost every piece included in the book (88 columns spanning three decades), there was a thought or statement that is just as relevant today as when first written.”” The Insights of Charles Krauthammer

What have we wrought? “The Middle East is imploding. America is pulling back. Time for a new regional strategy.” Israel in the Eye of the Hurricane

This country is full of people who just don’t seem to care. “The eastern world, it is exploding. Violence flaring and bullets loading. It’s hard to pinpoint just when, exactly, Barack Obama’s policy fell apart, but collapse it has, and many, many deaths later, the White House is now pinning its hopes on the belief that low-information voters won’t notice.  Of course they won’t, until they do.” Mainstream Media Covers Obama’s Middle East Meltdown

Dereliction of duty. “Tapper spoke with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday about the former Secretary of State’s prospects for the presidency. One of the few mainstream media reporters to challenge the Obama administration’s deflections over the deadly September 2012 attack in Libya, Tapper noted that it won’t be easy for Clinton to shed her Benghazi baggage on her way to the White House.” CNN’s Jake Tapper says Hillary will have to answer for Benghazi

God help us. “Publicly, Clinton insists she’s many months away from a decision about her political future. But a shadow campaign on her behalf has nevertheless been steadily building for the better part of a year — a quiet, intensifying, improvisational effort to lay the groundwork for another White House bid.” Hillary Clinton’s shadow campaign

They deserve it all right. “If New Yorkers don’t think de Blasio’s pitch is tired and juvenile, they deserve it.” The Mayor New York Deserves

Why is this so hard to understand? “It is one thing to be against poverty; it is something else to be against inequality. One could end poverty and still have plenty of inequality; one could end inequality by impoverishing everyone.” De Blasio, Obama, Screwtape et al.

A long term project we must take on: delegitimizing Liberalism. “The left here and across the globe have profited handsomely for years from the hijacking of compassion and its misbegotten applications, in service far less to the unfortunate than in service to leftist power-building and grubby self-interest.  Compassion housed in big government can result in little more (ah, yes, there was Soviet mass murder and squalor).” Seize ‘Compassion’ from the Left in 2014

I know, I keep repeating myself, but when will people say “Enough is enough?” “This will be the year of the intrusive, oppressive state. Obviously, this will not much distinguish it from 2013, 2012 or 2011. But still: fundamental issues of government and its reach into our lives are now bubbling away as never before, and may well reach boiling point over the next 12 months.” The left is too silent on the clunking fist of state power

When will the lies of the Left stop? “That virtually all women can’t meet the standards to do these jobs is so well-established a fact that only the liberal idiots who control Obama’s Pentagon could deny it.” So Many Intolerable Lies

Is there still hope? “Even a lawless President, a complicit Senate majority, a one-party judiciary and a fawning press may not, however, succeed in undoing consent of the governed. We Americans have rebounded before from wars, economic collapses, plagues and both criminally opportunistic and criminally inept politicians. We can and must restore and repair the battered Constitution and the proper relationship between citizen and government. Our chance comes this November.” How the Obama administration dismantled American government

Will not be working as advertised. “As she poked and prodded, I asked how her practice was going. This question elicited a resigned sigh and a brief but poignant discourse on the necessity of “firing” her Medicaid patients. Medicaid, the government program that ostensibly provides health coverage for the poor, imposes so much red tape and pays so parsimoniously that she simply cannot afford to treat these patients if she wishes to avoid bankruptcy.” Obamacare’s Medicaid Fraud

Don’t get old, if you can help it. “It’s hard enough being old, with your faculties declining as you become a prime target for scammers and hucksters. But to make matters worse, you are also being cheated and persecuted by your own government. I don’t think “persecuted” is too strong a word. The present Democratic regime is throwing you under the bus, in favor of the young (and often unemployed) voting groups that they depend upon to keep them in power. And as to “cheating”, bankers and financiers, whose ranks include greedy pillagers of retirement funds, are being joined by the government itself, which has developed its own methods of cheating.” Obama’s War Against the Elderly

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Filed under Afghanistan, Benghazi, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Hillary, Lies, Mayor De Blasio, Middle East, Obamacare, The Left, War on the Elderly, War on the Military