Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Sheriff Hunkers Down...and more political news


Tuesday was so nice, 60 degrees and sunny, that we took the afternoon off and a long drive to Reedsburg and the Carr Valley, perhaps the best scenic drive we have found in Wisconsin. Thus I didn't get through the email, so shorter post. Sorry. But not too sorry. ~Bob

Random Thoughts for April, 2015. By Robert A. Hall
Feel free to post or forward.

General News and Comment

Hoping it will just go away: Sheriff, regulators, Justice Bradley still silent on ethics complaint. By M.D. Kittle
Excerpt: Robert Hall, one of the few vocal conservatives standing in the liberal bastion that is Dane County, filed the complaint with Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell alleging that Mahoney violated the county’s general ordinances on impermissible use of public office. The ordinance prohibits the use of county-owned vehicles and uniforms, among other things, for political activity. Hall said he isn’t hopeful the ethics board will do anything with his complaint before next week’s Supreme Court election, pitting Bradley, a member of court’s liberal wing, against Rock County Circuit Court Judge James Daley. “It seemed to me that the sheriff and probably Justice Bradley broke the law,” said Hall, a conservative blogger who served five terms in the Massachusetts state Senate. “Liberals clearly believe that it is acceptable, in fact virtuous, to bend, ignore or break the rules and laws as long as it is in behalf of the high good of the progressive agenda,” Hall said. “The ‘higher good’ of course includes getting liberals appointed or elected to public office where they can enjoy the power, perks and pelf that those who dedicate their lives to the progressive agenda clearly deserve.” (Most of the media are ignoring this, of course. Clearly Bradley and Mahoney are hoping to hunker down, use the illegal ad through the election, and then, at most, apologize, pleading ignorance of the law. What else can they plead; "We didn't think the law applied to us?" If a Dane County Sheriff's Deputy appeared in uniform with his patrol car in an ad for a conservative candidate, you can bet the roof would fall in on that unfortunate person. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Obama’s Chicago Presidency. What you can do if you don’t care what anybody says. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) was a vocal critic both of President Obama’s executive-action opening to Cuba and his nuclear non-proliferation talks with Iran. In the midst of his loud opposition, he found himself suddenly the target of renewed federal charges that had aired much earlier without consequence. I think the message was not that the administration was worried over appearances, but rather that it wished to remind all of Washington that it actually welcomed the appearance of not being worried over the idea of federal prosecutorial power being used for tit-for-tat vendettas. Malice is a valuable political tool for Barack Obama.

Hypocrisy Alert: That Time Sen. Clinton Said The Bush Administration Might Have ‘Something To Hide’ By Refusing To Turn Over Documents. By Matt Vespa
Excerpt: This is all the more interesting given that then-Sen. Hillary Clinton criticized the Bush administration in October of 2003 for refusing to turn over documents to the 9/11 Commission chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean.

The Fact-Free Meltdown Over Indiana's New Religious Freedom Law. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: In fact, Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) very closely mirrors a federal law cosponsored by Congressional liberals and signed by President Clinton in the early 1990s. It is also extremely similar to laws enacted in 19 other states over recent decades. That list of red and blue states includes Illinois, where then-state Senator Barack Obama cast his vote in favor of the legislation, which may help explain why some Democrats are struggling to logically defend their table-pounding over Indiana's law. In short, the Hoosier State's RFRA isn't remarkable or radical under any fair reading. 

Who Trashes Liberal Arts? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Liberal professors have trashed the liberal arts, by converting so many liberal arts courses into indoctrination centers for left-wing causes and fads, instead of courses where students learn how to weigh conflicting views of the world for themselves. Now a professor of English, one of the most fad-ridden of the liberal arts today, blames conservative critics for the low esteem in which liberal arts are held.
Surely a professor of English cannot be unaware of how English departments, especially, have become hotbeds of self-indulgent, trendy fads such as trashing classic writings -- using Shakespeare's works as just another ideological playground for romping through with the current mantra of "race, class and gender."

If Liberals Are The Good Guys, Why Do They Lie So Much? By John Hawkins 
Excerpt: If you listen to liberals, you’d believe that conservatives are hateful, racist, cruel, selfish dishonest, mean-spirited fascists while liberals are compassionate, caring, open-minded, honest and giving saints who want the best for everyone.
If that’s true, then why is it that liberals have to incessantly lie about what they’re doing, what’s happening in the world and also lie about conservatives?

Muscle: Beijing rebuffs Taiwan's infrastructure bank application
Excerpt: China signalled on Tuesday that Taiwan would not be allowed to join the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is seen as a counterweight to the Washington-based World Bank. "As for Taiwan joining [the AIIB], we maintain that we should avoid the 'two Chinas' and 'one China, one Taiwan' situation," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing. Taiwan will present a letter of intent to the AIIB preparatory committee, the presidential office in Taipei said Monday following a national security meeting chaired by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou.

Obama's Transparency: Access denied: Reporters say federal officials, data increasingly off limits
Excerpt: Tensions between reporters and public information officers — “hacks and flacks” in the vernacular — aren’t new, of course. Reporters have always wanted more information than government officials have been willing or able to give. But journalists say the lid has grown tighter under the Obama administration, whose chief executive promised in 2009 to bring “an unprecedented level of openness” to the federal government.

Hotel for Michelle O’s Cambodia Visit Cost $242,500. Two-day stay required 85 rooms
Excerpt: Hotel accommodations for First Lady Michelle Obama’s two-day trip to Cambodia required 85 rooms and cost taxpayers $242,500, according to a government contract released Friday....The trip required 85 single rooms, five office suites, five sleeping suites, and one conference room for 14 nights. Mrs. Obama herself only stayed in Cambodia for two days, leaving on March 22. The Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra is listed as a luxury five-star hotel. (Think of the airfare and CO2 emissions for this entourage for one person .... FLOTUS should decrease her CO2 footprint; according to the Shoe Lady, Michelle is--get this--a size 12! --Barb)

Report Accuses Hillary Adviser Who Ran Intel Service Of Illegally Lobbying For Vladimir Putin Ally
Excerpt: According to a Gawker report, Sidney Blumenthal, the top Clinton confidant, and “another former official from Bill Clinton’s administration were secretly lobbying the secretary of state on behalf of a billionaire in the former Soviet state of Georgia who was seeking closer ties with Putin’s Russia—seemingly in violation of a federal law designed to prevent foreign powers from covertly wielding influence within the United States.”... As Gawker notes, Kornblum “was a lobbyist for a pro-Putin politician who was exploiting a connection to the secretary of state,” and “the memo clearly constitutes evidence that Kornblum sought to influence U.S. policy on behalf of a foreign political leader, and that he enlisted Blumenthal for help in that project.” ... Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon, who will become Hillary Clinton’s press secretary in April, reportedly did not respond about whether the Department would investigate the matter–“the maximum penalty for willfully violating FARA is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.”

Good Column: But Why? The End. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: In 1989 two of my childhood friends and schoolmates (I don't believe they knew each other) committed suicide.

REMINDER: The Ted Kennedy Shrine Cost Taxpayers $38 Million
Excerpt: On top of an $18.9 million Defense Department grant doled out in Sept. 2010, the Institute received $13.6 million from the Department of Education, according. In the 2009 federal budget, another $5.8 million was appropriated through the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services..... As a senator in 2010, current Sec. of State John Kerry waged an unsuccessful attempt to earmark another $28.9 million for the museum, columnist John Fund wrote on Monday.

Obama’s 2010 Economic Estimate For 2014 Off By $1 Trillion
The U.S. economy produced $1 trillion less in 2014 than President Barack Obama promised in his February 2010 financial plan....It highlights the huge gap between Obama’s promise that his progressive, big-government economic policies would jump-start the economy, and the hard reality of America’s complex society and economy....Since 2009, the U.S. population has grown from 305 million to 321 million, including 11 million illegals.

O’Malley: Presidency Isn’t ‘Some Crown To Be Passed Between Two Families’ [VIDEO]
Excerpt: O’MALLEY: Well, I think our country always benefits from new leadership and new perspectives. Let’s be honest here, the presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust that is to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people.

The Real Reason For Partisan Gridlock: Democracy Is Falling Apart
Excerpt: One is the lockstep connection between statism and sexual freedom; the second is that political systems that go from emphasizing liberty to emphasizing equality end up attacking their own civil societies. A third is that democracies have been sleep-walking into a political trap of their own making. Given that democracy was embraced by “the people” to safeguard freedom from oppressive government, how do we explain that everywhere we look we see more democracy, but less freedom? 

Gun News

POLICE: Liquor store clerk shoots attempted robber in Jeffersontown
Excerpt: According to police, when the attempted robber pointed his gun at the clerk, the clerk shot him in the chest.

Homeowner, burglars exchange gunfire in attempted Garland home invasion, one shot
Excerpt: “When officers arrived, they were told several men had come inside the home to rob them,” stated Garland Police Department Public Information Officer Joe Harn. “During the attempted robbery, shots were exchanged between the robbers and the homeowner.” No injuries were reported for the individuals who live in the home but police say one of the burglars had been shot. 

Suspected Robber Run Over in Possible Robbery Gone Wrong
Excerpt: Three men who allegedly attempted to rob another man during a business transaction Saturday in Southern California ended up with more than they bargained for when two of the men were shot and one of them was ran over by his alleged accomplice, police said.

One dead in west Macon shooting
Excerpt: According to a Bibb County Sheriff's Office news release, 20-year-old Drevon McLaurin called 911 at about 6:20 a.m. stating that an intruder was in his home attacking him with a hammer, the sheriff said. During the struggle, McLaurin, who called 911, shot Brown, the attacker, killing him, Davis said.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Excerpt: The headline of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) damning assessment of the fiscal damage done by H.R. 2 — the so-called Medicare doc fix negotiated secretly by House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — is that the deal will add $141 billion to the deficit over the next ten years. Even this appalling outcome is sugarcoated. After unpacking the gimmicks underlying the estimate, the actual result is much worse. First, the worst gimmick: The bill increases spending on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by almost $40 billion. Yet, the CBO only includes less than $6 billion in its estimate of the bill’s costs. How did over $34 billion of CHIP spending simply vanish into thin air? Easily! Much of it was already in the baseline.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

US offer for climate treaty: Up to 28 percent emissions cut
Excerpt: The U.S. plans to announce its commitment Tuesday, the informal deadline for nations to submit their contributions to the United Nations. Although the goal of 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025 isn't new — President Barack Obama first unveiled it last year during a trip to Beijing — the U.S. proposal has drawn intense interest from the vast majority of countries that have yet to announce how deeply they'll pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions as part of the treaty.... In contrast, the U.S. is expected to point broadly to the steps it is taking under the climate action plan Obama announced in 2013, such as new rules requiring sweeping cuts from new and existing power plants, stricter emissions limits for cars and trucks, and initiatives targeting specific greenhouse gases like methane and hydrofluorocarbons. (And if they massively decrease the population exhaling all that CO2, and wipe out the animals as well, they can have a nice, barren planet with deserts like the Middle East and Africa; plants live on CO2 and convert it to O2; something often forgotten, it seems. The Regime could probably reach goal rapidly if POTUS and FLOTUS would stay in the White House (Yes, it is White House and not People's House, which sounds Communist.) Just think of all the CO2 emissions from those two between Air Force One and separate jets. Nobody asked the US population about "contribution." This sets up command economic system to the detriment of supply and demand/capitalism. Article notes EU already committed to UN with a cap-and-trade system US rejected. Socialism dictates so much more readily than Capitalism with all that "interference" when others want to be heard and not dictated to.....Barb)

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: Saudi-Arabia Goes to Battle: The US-Iran Strategy Under Pressure. By Dr. Josef Olmert 
Excerpt: The issue at stake is Sunnis vs. Shi'ites, the Iranian nuclear program and the impending agreement with the US and its allies is the great shadow hovering over it all, and the pawns on the ground are the various Shi'ite militias operated by Iran in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The same with the Sunni forces fighting them. On the ground, the immediate loser is the US, which lost its intelligence infrastructure in Yemen, as well as the large arms shipments to the Yemeni army. But the American loss is more than just that. It is developing into a strategic debacle, as not one of America's allies in the Middle East has any clue where the US is heading to. (Note that this is from Huffington Post, not exactly what I’d call a right-wing media source. Also note that the excerpt is from the third paragraph of the article, not the eye-catching lead. If I was in the administration or DOD and read this, I’d be shaken; if HuffPo is questioning you, how many liberals can there be left to support you? Ron P.)

Important: Pakistani defense chief due in Riyadh, airlifts troops for Saudi Yemen war. Aden landings imminent
Excerpt: DEBKAfile’s Intelligence sources report that the Pakistani army is preparing to airlift a large force of several brigades up to a complete division to Saudi Arabia. Our military sources note that Pakistan’s decision to intervene in the war against “Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels” presages the Yemen conflict’s expansion to ground and sea operations after four days of heavy Saudi air raids. The Pakistani brigades would relieve the substantial Saudi ground forces strung out along the kingdom’s 1,000-kilometer-long southern border with Yemen, and free them up for action against the Houthis. (Well, if the US is no longer the power that defends the Saudi oil fields, then the petrodollar agreement is DEAD! But without that agreement, the dollar is no longer propped up by anything:
Analysts insist that the reason for the dollar's decline is the Fed's announced rate hike. But if the props have just been kicked out from under the dollar, isn't that the more likely reason? Could it be that the Fed is raising rates only to hide the real reason? If my guess is correct, the dollar will not recover after the rate hike goes into effect -- barring unforeseen circumstances. Let us hope and pray for unforeseen circumstances. --Don Hank)

Worth Reading: Etiquette Versus Annihilation. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Recent statements from United Nations officials, that Iran is already blocking their existing efforts to keep track of what is going on in their nuclear program, should tell anyone who does not already know it that any agreement with Iran will be utterly worthless in practice. It doesn’t matter what the terms of the agreement are, if Iran can cheat. It is amazing – indeed, staggering – that so few Americans are talking about what it would mean for the world’s biggest sponsor of international terrorism, Iran, to have nuclear bombs, and to be developing intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond the Middle East.

Defense Official: Iran Giving Hezbollah Guided Warheads
Excerpt: Col. Aviram Hasson of the Israeli Defense Ministry's missile defenseprogram says that Iran is placing guided warheads on its rockets and smuggling them to Hezbollah. He gave the warning while speaking at the Israel Air and Missile Defense Conference in Herzliya, and added that Hezbollah "is in a very different place compared to the Second Lebanon War in 2006."

Iran's Basij Commander: Israel Must Be Wiped Off the Map. Even as talks over Iran's nuclear program proceed, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi issues vile statement.
Excerpt: As talks over Iran's nuclear weapons program neared their deadline Tuesday, the Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, was quoted as saying that “wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation.” In a basij conference in Iran, Naqdi also threatened Saudi Arabia and said that the counterattack it is waging in Yemen, against Iran-backed Houthis, “will end up like Saddam Hussein.” The report was carried on Kol Yisrael radio.

Excerpt: “And they believe, and some US members of Congress believe, that the reason Saudi Arabia and other states didn’t tell the US that it was going to launch this war against Shi’ite backed, or Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen, is because Saudi Arabia and other countries simply don’t trust the United States anymore, don’t trust this administration — think the administration is working to befriend Iran to try and make a deal in Switzerland, and therefore didn’t feel that the intelligence frankly would be secure. “I think that is a situation that is quite troubling for US foreign policy, where traditional allies — like Saudi Arabia, like Egypt, like the United Arab Emirates — don’t know if the US is reliable at this stage to hold onto sensitive information when it comes to Iran.” Iran has been conspicuous as the most aggressive enemy of the United States and our allies for decades. (Look what recently happened to Israel, with leaking of their nuclear program by Regime after election and their political rigging failed. Now they're telling Bashad in Syria he "has to go" a la Libya. So who is cutting whose proverbial throat? --Barb)

Liberal says Americans Joining ISIS is No Big Deal
Excerpt: I have officially heard it all. I really have. Now that former Clinton Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, has given his opinion on the influx of Westerners (particularly Americans) into the ranks of ISIS… I have truly heard it all. From liberals, that is.

Dozens killed in airstrike at refugee camp in Yemen
Excerpt: An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi ­Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country. As many as 40 people died and about 200 were wounded in the attack on the Mazraq camp in Hajjah province, said Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, which runs aid programs at the facility.

'Anonymous' Threatens 'Electronic Holocaust'
Excerpt: Cyber-terror group Anonymous has issued new threats against Israel and Jews on Tuesday - this time, calling for an "Electronic Holocaust" in a video statement, according to the Daily Mail. The clip features a masked individual behind a news desk, reading a prepared script declaring a massive cyber attack on April 7 - one week before Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. The clip then presents the threats like a news report, calling Palestinian Arab terrorists "a symbol of freedom."

New Daily Show Host's Tweets on Israel, Jews Cause Alarm
Trevor Noah, the newly-named replacement for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, is still an unknown quantity to many Americans. Curious fans and critics, eager to learn more about the South African comedian, have been combing the Internet for clues, and have turned up troubling comments about Israel and Jews that have some wondering if the new host will, like Stewart (Leibowitz), take to hiding his Jewish-sounding name to avoid controversy. ... Third: Noah’s repertoire largely consists of racial humor. (The "joke" I heard, he used race against police, reinforcing comments/agenda by DeBlasio, Holder, Obama. More black militantism crammed down throat by media just as LGBT agenda currently is. Read a book, a real book. --Barb)

Op-Ed: The Saudis Should Break Iran’s Weakest Link: Assad. Why the Sunnis best course of action is to militarily harass and degrade the Houthis and Saleh by blocking Iran’s air and sea resupply of the Houthis, while liquidating Iran’s Assad on the ground.
Excerpt: The Sunni Arab world has finally congealed against the waxing Persian/Iranian menace. Iran has exploited its false Shiite Muslim veneer to enslave the entire Sunni and Shiite Arab world. In response to a blatant Iran coup, Saudi Arabia has commenced bombing Shiite Houthi strongholds throughout Yemen. Egypt has tasked 4 warships to regain control of the Yemeni side Mandab Straits. But, what next? A southward Saudi ground war against the Houthis where northwest Yemen is just one huge mountain range is, at best, a long war. The Saudis will have to fight up mountains 3,666 meters high. Five and half years ago, the Houthis started a border war against the Saudis, and the fighting was brutal. Even with Yemeni Army help, and Jordanian commandos, after several hard months of fighting over only a 500-meter high mountain, the Saudis lost 133 soldiers. (Here is a writer who has spent a lot of time and effort in the Middle East, and has a really different viewpoint. I have no idea if these ideas of his would work, but he sure makes an interesting case. Still, in the Middle East, I don't think anyone can predict exactly who will do what, when, and how it will turn out. It is one enormously complicated, convoluted region with so many plots, subplots, and sub-subplots that I don't think any mere human can figure it out. But it is a possibly dangerous region, things that go badly there can in the long run have effects in far distant lands. --Del)

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. http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Collapse-American-Republic-prevent/dp/1461122538/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304815980&sr=1-5 For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at)gmail.com. Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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