Monday, March 23, 2015

Don't miss today's political news and conservative opinion


We got the snow, maybe 3-4 inches. Prairie du Chien, west of us on the Mississippi, got almost a foot. Be gone in a couple of days.

This says that today I am 25,179 days old. Which is 3,597 weeks. Had a good time on most of them, even at Parris Island and in Vietnam. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Here Comes Cruz . . . How Long Until the Rivals Strike? By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Ted Cruz announces his presidential bid early this morning. I’m sure some of you are cheering and some of you are scoffing. Here’s his English-language ad and his Spanish. For the scoffers, Cruz could go toe-to-toe with overt social conservatives like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, he’s obviously competing with Rick Perry for the Texas donor base, and he’s competing with Walker and Jindal for the I’m-the-true-conservative-in-the-field slot. At some point he’ll draw the contrast with Marco Rubio as the first-term Cuban-American senator who wasn't a part of the Gang of Eight. You get the feeling he’s stylistically competing with Rand Paul, too -- both young, bold, not waiting in the back-benches for a few terms before attempting to shake up national policies. Both launched filibusters from the Senate floor. The big question will be whether the nascent campaigns of Cruz’s rivals drop their opposition research today or later in the week. Kneecapping a guy on his big debut day may seem wildly premature and ludicrously hyper-competitive. But our current political and media environment rewards those who don’t hold back. The Obama campaign and its allies defined Mitt Romney in the early summer of 2012 when the Romney campaign didn’t have the money to fight back. Bill Clinton did the exact same thing in 1996. (It’s not just campaigns that attempt to define candidates, of course. We’re already seeing the “what was Jeb Bush like in high school?” pieces.) This is the strategy of our era: Define your opponent as quickly as possible, before he can define himself. (Morning Jolt is a free e-newsletter and worth your time to subscribe to. ~Bob)

A bank with Congress in its pocket. By George F. Will 
Excerpt: Conservatives’ next disappointment will at least be a validation. The coming reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will confirm their warnings about the difficulty of prying the government’s tentacles off what should be society’s private sphere. The bank, which exists to allocate credit by criteria other than the market’s preference for efficiency, mirrors the market-distorting policies of foreign governments. These policies favor those countries’ exports that compete with America’s. 

IG Report: Amtrak Loses 'Only' $214 Million, So Employees Get Bonuses
Excerpt: Employees of Amtrak, the taxpayer-subsidized railroad network, received bonuses because their agency lost $214 million last year, The Washington Examiner reported Friday. The company handed out millions of dollars in bonuses to reward staffers for keeping operating losses below $305 million during fiscal 2014, according to a report by Amtrak's Office of Inspector General.

Brad Pitt Promised Indian Tribe 20 Houses In 2011, Has Delivered Exactly Zero Houses
Excerpt: Problems with Pitt’s promise of free housing arouse after Stony Annette, a former councilman, left in 2013. Around then was when the concept of “free” disappeared, current tribal leaders maintain. Tribal leaders ended up fronting $600,000 for the project, but problems continued to arise — particularly infrastructure problems like sewage and land development.

Excerpt: How worried are Democrats that Hillary Clinton might be a problem as the Democratic nominee? Some are even thinking of Joe Biden as an alternative. A draft-Biden movement has started. Mark Hampering of Bloomberg News says the buzz is that “if Hillary Clinton fails, he’s the man.” The vice president himself is said to be scrambling for a way to somehow run for president a third time.

Are Liberal Policies Squeezing the Middle Class? By John C. Goodman 
Excerpt: President Obama’s concern about “middle class economics” is justified. But as I pointed out in a previous post, his prescriptions would do almost nothing to solve the problems. According to a private sector estimate, the benefit for families in the middle from all of the Obama proposals would be a paltry $12 a year. According to the Treasury Department, the benefit would be closer to $150. Either way, it’s small potatoes. If you don’t understand the problem – or won’t acknowledge it even if you do understand it – you are unlikely to find a solution that works. Here is what is going on. All middle class families understand that for their children to do well in life they need to be in good schools. But the opportunity to attend a good public school these days is rationed through the housing market. And those opportunities are far removed from what life was like for the parents of today’s parents.

King Richard III, killed in 1485, makes journey to final resting place
Excerpt: King Richard III may have been buried quickly and without pomp the first time, but 530 years later, England is reveling in a final farewell to its long-lost monarch. On a sun-kissed Sunday afternoon on the battlefield where Richard III fell in 1485 — he was the last English king to die in battle — throngs of well-wishers, some dressed in medieval costume and blowing trumpets, gathered to honor England’s last Plantagenet king. (did Richard kill the princes in the tower? I think it's at least as likely that Henry did--he had more to fear from them. Shakespeare wrote to please the ruling monarch. See Macbeth who was a pretty good king for Scotland for 17 years, with at least as much right to the throne as my ancestor, Malcolm Can more. ~Bob)

GOP contenders should shake things up. My idea? Show up together in pairs (mixing pairs) & speak positive to America, not bash each other.

If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win. - Thomas Sowell (Sowell is a Marine. ~Bob)

Obama: ‘By Hook Or Crook,’ I’ll Expand Government
Excerpt: Obama said his big-government push would “make sure that when I leave this office, that the country is more prosperous, more people have opportunity, kids have a better education, we’re more competitive, climate change is being taken more seriously than it was, and we are actually trying to do something about it.” In practice, Obama’s agenda includes more progressive control over peoples’ salaries, education practices and the energy companies. Each expansion means that state and local governments plus large and small companies will cooperate with regulators to push progressives’ goals, instead of trying to please Americans voters, taxpayers and free-market consumers.

Vote Fraud News

Excerpt: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge to Wisconsin's voter identification law, after having blocked the state from requiring photo IDs in November's general election. The justices' action means the state is free to impose the voter ID requirement in future elections, but Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said it won't be enforced for an election two weeks from now.

Gun News

Suspect Fatally Shot, Officer Wounded After Family Members Attack Responding Police in Walmart Parking Lot Brawl. By Dave Urbanski
Excerpt: An overnight family brawl in a Walmart parking lot has left one person dead and two others wounded, including a police officer who was shot in the leg.

Concealed Carrier ‘Saved A Lot Of People’ After Gunman Opened Fire In Philly Barbershop. By Chuck Ross
Excerpt: A legal gun carrier likely saved several lives — including those of children — after another man pulled a gun and began shooting at a Philadelphia barber on Sunday, police said. ... Police said a customer who had just walked into the barbershop pulled out his own gun and shot Edwards several times, hitting him in the chest. Edwards died on the way to the hospital.

Excerpt: Two men have been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old who was with them during the burglary of an Independence home late Friday. ... According to court records, Donlan and Kisner were both participating in the burglary of James Faseler's home when he came home and shots were fired.

Investigation Continues After Attempted Burglary Leads To Shooting In OKC
Excerpt: An attempted home burglary in far eastern Oklahoma City Friday morning, led to a woman shot and the man with her in police custody. ... “Apparently there was some sort of confrontation between our homeowner and our suspects. One of the suspects apparently pulled out a knife threatened the homeowner,” said SSgt. Jennifer Wardlow, Oklahoma City Police.
Police said the homeowner fired several shots at the suspect's truck parked in his driveway.

Race Card News

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Religion of Peace News

Bipartisan Treason? 367 House members warn Obama on Iran. By Kristina Wong
Excerpt: A letter to President Obama signed by 367 members of Congress warns that lawmakers must be satisfied that any Iranian nuclear agreement must "foreclose any pathway to a bomb" before they lift sanctions against Tehran.
The letter, which was drafted in early March but released on Monday, warns Obama that "permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation" from Congress. 

Excerpt: First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet. He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast. Now he’s coming for Israel. (So now Obama's antipathy towards Netanyahu and Israel has become too plain to ignore. Interesting, will this finally get more American Jews to rethink their attachment to Obama and the Democrats? --Del. Scratch a liberal. If you don't find a Star of David, chances are you find an Anti-Semite. Israel is a one-bomb country--one nuke and it's game over. We, on the other hand, could survive NYC being nuked, though it would have fiscal, economic, political and social collapse, and life would become harder than anyone now alive has experienced, except some combat vets.. ~Bob)

Flashback 2008: Transcript: Obama's Speech at AIPAC
Excerpt: But if anyone has been confused by these e-mails, I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and forever.

A Time for Clarity. By Star Parker 
Excerpt: Freedom House, which publishes an annual report measuring freedom around the world, rating nations based on political rights and civil liberties, has recently issued its 2015 report. According to this report, there is only one free nation in the Middle East region. It so happens that it is the one nation that seems to trouble our American president the most – Israel. Freedom House rates on a scale of 1-7, “1” being the most free and “7” the least. Israel is rated 1.5, receiving a grade of 1 on political rights and 2 on civil liberties. ... The West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority, is rated “Unfree” by Freedom House, giving it a rating of 5.5 on their 1-7 scale. The Gaza Strip, where Palestinian Arabs live under control of Hamas, is also rated “Unfree” at 6.5.

Three sons of Turkish professor join the Islamic State. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: Now wait a minute. Didn’t their professor father explain to them about how the Islamic State was misunderstanding Islam? Didn’t he provide his sons with enough education and economic opportunity to enable them to stave off “radicalization”? Something has gone wrong! Marie Harf, call your office!

Yemen: At time of mosque bombing, worshippers were chanting “death to America.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: In full, they were screaming, “Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam. Allah Akbar. Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse upon the Jews. Victory to–” The last part got caught off by the bombing, which, oddly enough, was not set off by an American or an Israeli.

South African writer threatened, hit in face with brick for praising Rushdie. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the murder of Rushdie for blaspheming Muhammad, and now, over twenty-five years later, the Islamic war against the freedom of expression is confidently advancing everywhere, with Western media outlets practicing self-censorship and refusing to publish material that Muslims claim offends them. And if you get out of line, you could get a brick to the face.

The Myth of Netanyahu’s Racism. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party got its best numbers not in Jerusalem, where it only won a quarter of the vote, or Sderot, the city under siege where it still got less than half, or Maaleh Adumim, a city of some 40,000 known as a “settlement” because it is located in ’67 Israel where it also took less than half. Its best numbers appear to have come from Arab-al-Naim, a Bedouin settlement, where it scored three-quarters of the vote.

Radicalization of Europe's Muslims Hits a Crisis Point. By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: With every new atrocity, Western leaders and political commentators collectively assure themselves and the public that the Islamic State's power will suffer, that its PR machine is failing, and that the flow of Western Muslims to the Caliphate will stop. It doesn't. European Muslim radicals have shown no hint that they are reconsidering their hero worship of IS (or ISIS), not even in the aftermath of the widely-condemned killing of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, who was caged and burned alive in February. While Muslim moderates around the world decried the killing, teens from England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and even the United States continue to cross into Syrian territory, eager to join the jihad.

Oh, well in that case... MT @HotlineJosh: CNN: WH says Ayatollah's 'Death to America' was "intended for domestic political audience"

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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