Monday, April 27, 2015

A lot of worth-reading news and opinion today


Catching up on back news. Rehab this morning, may have another lung infection. More pills, please! ~Bob

General News and Comment

Defending Hillary Clinton is getting harder. By Jennifer Rubin
Excerpt: The reaction of the mainstream media to the Clinton scandals is telling. News reporters and independent-minded analysts by and large seem to understand the gravity of the claims concerning foreign monies and concede that there is no “quid pro quo” or “smoking gun” required. Peter Baker of the New York Times is among those who have not been thrown off the scent of scandal. He told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “this is a big issue for Hillary Clinton because, in fact, it goes back to some of the issues we’ve been seeing with the Clintons going to the ’90s, which is the interaction between money and politics, money and the Clintons in particular.”

NYT, WSJ Editorial Boards Hit Clinton Over Foundation Dealings. By Matt Vespa 
Excerpt: As a result, the editorial boards are showing the former first lady no love. The New York Times demanded she disclose all the Foundation’s donations and donors, while chastising her for breaking her pledge regarding disclosing such donors when she became Secretary of State:

[VIDEO] Stephanopoulous Floored as Seriousness of 'Clinton Cash' Revealed
Excerpt: The former public face of Bill Clinton’s White House—and current host of ABC News’ This Week—George Stephanopoulos was floored as two prominent journalists and the Republican Speaker of the House from his Clinton days, Newt Gingrich, laid out for him just how bad the “Clinton Cash” book is for his old bosses.

When they come to destroy your business because you are pro-traditional family. By Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
Excerpt: When some homosexual couple comes to your Christian business for services at their immoral event, don’t panic. Go ahead and take their business! Then explain what is going to happen next. Tell them that the food and services will be just fine. And then inform them that all of the money that they pay for the services will be donated to a traditional pro-family lobby. If it is something like catering, where your employees have to be there to provide services, tell them that all your people will smile, be professional, and everyone of them will be wearing crucifixes and have the Holy Family embroidered on their uniforms. Then show them pictures of your uniforms. When the truck pulls up, speakers will be playing Immaculate Mary. Show them the truck and play the music. (This is drawing a bit of comment. Personally, if I knew a business owner didn't like Marines or Republicans, I would not want to give them my money. And I'd always wonder if they adulterated the food. I personally have no problem with gay marriage--I think a far larger problem is straights having kids and not getting married. But I don't think people who disagree with me on this, or any other political issue, should be punished. ~Bob)

Clinton's troubles net winners and losers: Column. By Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Excerpt: It was a bad week for Hillary Clinton. So bad, in fact, that The Washington Post declared she had "the worst week in Washington." From The New York Times, there were reports of shady uranium deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan. From The Post, it was reporting on how the Clintons' foundation seems more like a personal piggy bank. And from Politico, it was a report that "Clinton struggles to contain media barrage on foreign cash." (If you haven't kept up, here's a bullet-point summary of the key bits). And the book that led to all these stories isn't even out yet.

11 Explosive Clinton Cash Facts Mainstream Media Confirm are Accurate
Excerpt: Perhaps the most surprising thing about the forthcoming book rocking Washington right now is the number of stunning facts liberal media outlets have already confirmed and verified are accurate. Here, then, are 11 facts that mainstream media say are true, verified, and facts from the upcoming blockbuster, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

Hillary Furious as Thousands of Americans Send Cigars to Her Office
Excerpt: Hillary Clinton is reportedly furious and abashed as thousands of cigars were recently delivered to her office in protest of her announcement that she would run for President in 2016. Thanks to Send Clinton Cigars (, a service that allows you to anonymously purchase cigars and have them directly mailed to Clinton, thousands of Americans are blatantly reminding her of her first stay in the White House. 

Excerpt: But what was striking about last night’s dinner was that many people have come to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in deep trouble and she is no longer as inevitable as people once thought. Working reporters who cover her and other Democratic politicians wouldn’t go on the record, but you heard the same thing from several of them: ... Privately, they fret about a recent Quinnipiac poll in which 54 percent of Americans say Clinton is not honest or trustworthy. Among independents, that number hits 61 percent. “Candidates distrusted by that many people can win the White House, but it leaves no margin for error or another big scandal,” one Democratic former officeholder admitted to me.

John ‘Doe’ Chisholm going after Scott Walker’s First Amendment rights again?. By M.D. Kittle 
Excerpt: John Chisholm has long been accused of not understanding or valuing the First Amendment. This past weekend, he went about proving that criticism, constitutional law experts say. The partisan Milwaukee County District Attorney who brought Wisconsin the political John Doe probes into conservative organizations is threatening Gov. Scott Walker to keep his mouth shut. The Republican governor during a trip to Iowa on his exploration of a possible run for president called out Chisholm and his prosecutorial pals for the secret probe that has included predawn raids on the homes and offices of people who have never been charged with a crime.

The Week in 'Tolerance:' Boycotts, Bans and Bullying. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: The coercive Left's End of Discussion mob is emboldened and on the march. Four vignettes from around the country: (1) In New York, a pair gay hoteliers are facing angry boycotts because they dared to dine and chat with Ted Cruz. These men are successful businessmen, they're pro-gay marriage, and their political donations through the years have slanted heavily toward Democrats. But fraternizing with the enemy is now a punishable offense:

Washington Post Columnist Ignores National Anthem To Play With Phone
Excerpt: Helena Andrews, who pens an online column for the Washington Post called the Reliable Source, was videotaped ignoring the national anthem at Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner while she played with her phone. She was blasted on Twitter after her narcissistic faux pas aired on CNN. 

The Wisconsin Left Tried to Criminalize Free Speech. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: Anyone still wondering how low the American Left will sink in pursuit of its agenda should turn their gaze toward Wisconsin. In a blatant attempt at political intimidation masquerading itself as legitimate investigation, police conducted a series of early morning raids at the homes of several Wisconsin conservatives. Dozens of armed officers showed up for pre-dawn raids with battering rams, swarming into houses and threatening the people inside with arrest if they didn’t cooperate, even as they seized personal property. And on the way out, the invaders gave every person they encountered the same warning: Don’t call your lawyer, and don’t tell anyone about what happened, because a gag order is in place.

American Voters Back Iran Deal By Wide Margin, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Voters Oppose Faith Exclusion To Serve Gays
Excerpt: American voters support 58 - 33 percent the preliminary agreement with Iran to restrict that country's nuclear program, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. At the same time, only 35 percent of voters are "very confident" or "somewhat confident" the agreement would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 62 percent are "not so confident" or "not confident at all," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. ... Voters support 65 - 24 percent making any Iran agreement subject to congressional approval. ... American voters support same-sex marriage 58 - 34 percent, with strong support from every party, gender and age group except Republicans, who are opposed 59 - 33 percent, and voters over 55 years old, who support same-sex marriage by a narrow 48 - 43 percent. 

EU won't send armed force to Ukraine despite clashes
Excerpt: EU leaders have told Ukraine they are worried about ceasefire violations in the east of the country but will not send armed peacekeepers there. "We can only talk about a civilian mission, not military," European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference in Kiev. Earlier Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said the EU or the UN should deploy peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine.

Worth Reading: Blame the IRS and Congress, not software, for tax fraud. By Tom Giovanetti 
Excerpt: It’s likely that obtaining fraudulent payments from the federal government dwarfs all other categories of financial crime in the United States. Whether it’s obtaining Social Security disability payments under false pretenses, massive, organized Medicare fraud, or making multiple false refund claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or other tax provisions—it has been common knowledge for years that such fraud is widespread, and the relevant federal agencies have done little or nothing about it. It’s not as if such fraud is particularly hard to detect. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), in 2011 alone 54,000 tax refunds totaling over $86 million were issued to 10 physical addresses. You read that right—54,000 tax refunds to only 10 addresses. A single address in Atlanta received 24,000 tax refunds in 2011. Such fraud should have been identified about the time the third check was issued to the same address.

Why conservatives have more empathy than liberals. By Dan Hannan 
Excerpt: A couple of years ago, Thomas Sowell tracked down the origin of the phrase "trickle down". It turns out to have been coined by FDR's speech writer, Samuel Rosenman, who attacked "the philosophy that had prevailed in Washington since 1921, that the object of government was to provide prosperity for those who lived and worked at the top of the economic pyramid, in the belief that prosperity would trickle down to the bottom of the heap and benefit all." Then, as now, the notion was a left-wing fantasy. What actually happened in the Twenties under Calvin Coolidge, as Amity Schlaes showed in her biography, was that tax rates were cut in order to boost revenue. The taciturn old Congregationalist had grasped the logic of the Laffer Curve avant la lettre. As a result of his rate reductions, the wealthiest Americans ended up contributing far more in both absolute and proportionate terms.

Rising Dragon News

United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
Excerpt: The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region.

Chinese island-building in South China Sea 'may undermine peace', says Asean
Excerpt: Chinese island-building efforts “may undermine peace, security and stability” in the disputed South China Sea, leaders of southeast Asian nations said in a statement ahead of a summit on Monday. The statement, yet to be publicly released, was prepared on behalf of leaders gathering for the annual meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Malaysia. “We share the serious concerns expressed by some leaders on the land reclamation being undertaken in the South China Sea, which has eroded trust and confidence and may undermine peace, security and stability,” it said.

Gun News

Spotted on a pile of curb side trash today. --George

Women not facing charges after shooting ex-boyfriend
Excerpt: A woman is not facing charges after police say she shot her alleged abusive ex-boyfriend during an attack. The ex-boyfriend is in critical condition. “He beat me twice. Three times, it’s a wrap. I don’t want to go through that no more,” said Moody.

Race Card News

Have not verified.

Priorities: Obama Sends THREE Reps to Freddie Gray Funeral–Sent ZERO to American Sniper Chris Kyle’s and British PM Thatcher’s Funerals. by Warner Todd Huston
Excerpt: This blatant act of pandering shows where Obama’s priorities are. This week he sent three–count ‘em THREE–White House representatives to the funeral of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray. But he didn’t send a single official to either American sniper Chris Kyle’s or British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funerals. (To be fair, I doubt Thatcher or Kyle would have wanted Obama there. ~Bob)

Media Fail To Identify Leader Of Baltimore Riots. Ex-New Black Panther chairman a notorious racist
Excerpt: Major news media outlets have failed to report one of the main leaders of the “splinter group” of Baltimore protesters who turned violent is a notorious racist and the former national chairman of the New Black Panther Party, WND has found. The New York Times, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, CBS local and other news media outlets all name Malik Shabazz as a leader of the breakaway, chaotic protests. Yet each of these news outlets only identify Shabazz only as “president of Black Lawyers for Justice.”

Baltimore Gangs Join Forces To Kill Police Officers. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: "The Baltimore Police Department/Criminal Intelligence Unit has received credible information that members of various gangs including the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods, and Crips have entered into a partnership to "take-out" law enforcement officers," a press release states. "This is a credible threat. Law enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers."

Tweet from Black Republican. @blackrepublican
What becomes of a city where [42.5%] of its working-age black males are not employed? #FreddieGray

Baltimore police in standoff with funeral protesters
Excerpt: Police in Baltimore -- including SWAT officers -- were trying Monday afternoon to disperse protesters who had thrown rocks and blocked traffic near a busy mall area. 

Black Woman Explains Why Ferguson Rioters Are Worse Than The KKK
Excerpt: When whites riot, the public rightly labels them as criminals. When blacks riot, the public considers them to be protestors with legitimate grievances. Is this different standard fair? Or is it an example of a new form of racism cloaked in low expectations? Chloe Valdary, a black student at the University of New Orleans, explains.

Worth Hearing: The Class of 2015: Book Burners Afraid of Matches
This is the BEST 13 minutes you will spend in a long time. Bill Whittle is incomparable in presenting his ideas with great clarity and force.. --Steve

Worth Reading: Black Violence Matters. For black lives to really matter, black violence has to matter. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Baltimore has the fifth highest big city murder rate in the country. The four cities ahead of it are Detroit, New Orleans, Newark and St. Louis. All these cities have something in common. Not racism, but race. The killers and the dead are black. The murder rate in Baltimore stood at 37.4 to 100,000 people. There have already been 63 murders this year. Fifty-six of the victims were black. Of the 16 murders in the last 30 days, 14 of the victims were black. If black lives really mattered, then black violence would matter. But that would mean taking responsibility for a broken culture which few leaders in the black community are ready to do.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Excerpt: Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has introduced the Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care bill, which he frames as a response to the Supreme Court deciding for the plaintiffs in King vs. Burwell. This lawsuit seeks to force the administration to obey the law by not paying tax credits to health plans that operate in states using a federal health insurance exchange (i.e. Victory for the plaintiffs would cause massive disruption in health insurance in the 36 states using because beneficiaries’ premiums would increase significantly. Up to nine million people would experience this effect. It is necessary for Congress to have an alternative to Obamacare ready in case the Supreme Court decides in favor of King because President Obama will immediately propose an amendment to change the law to accord with how he is executing it. 

Private Insurance Exchanges Thrive While Obamacare's Falter. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: The federal government is desperate for Americans to enroll in Obamacare’s exchanges. But most people have refused. When the exchanges officially closed in February, the U.S. Treasury estimated that there were still some 6 million people who would have to pay the penalty established by Obamacare for going without insurance. So the White House re-opened the marketplaces for an extra six weeks to try to entice them. According to the latest government data, just 36,000 people have taken advantage of the extension.

Democrat Strategist on Syria: Hey, At Least We're Not Talking About Obamacare. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: This isn't quite a "wag the dog" admission. It's more of a "thank goodness we're talking about something other than our widely-loathed healthcare law as it rolls out, even if that something is a war." And an unpopular war at that -- both on Capitol Hill, and with the public writ large. That's how badly some Democrats are itching to change the subject from their "Affordable Car Act" disaster. Quite the far cry from "owning it," wouldn't you say?

"You're Greener than Gore" News

The Alinsky Way of Governing. What happens when those in power adopt ‘rules for radicals’ to attack their less powerful opponents. By Pete Peterson
Excerpt: Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, recently caused a stir by sending letters to seven university presidents seeking background information on scientists and professors who had given congressional testimony that failed to endorse what is the conventional wisdom in some quarters regarding climate change. One of the targets was Steven Hayward, a colleague of mine at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy. Though the congressman lacked legal authority to demand information, his aggressive plan, which came to light in late February, should not be a surprise at a time when power holders from the White House on down are employing similar means against perceived enemies.
Mr. Grijalva left a clue about how he operates in 2013 when the magazine In These Times asked about his legislative strategy. “I’m a Saul Alinsky guy,” he said, referring to the community organizer and activist who died in 1972, “that’s where I learned this stuff.”

Extra Crispy? California Solar Farm Killed 3,500 Birds. By Matt Vespa
Excerpt: More than 3,500 birds died during the 377-megawatt Ivanpah solar project’s first year of operation, a new report estimates. Bird deaths were known at the “power tower” project, which is located in San Bernardino County off Interstate 15 just southwest of the Nevada border. But how many was unclear. Even at the 3,504 estimate, the report considers the deaths a “minimal proportion of local, regional, or national populations” of birds. (Remember when, to save the birds, we condemned millions of black kids to death from Malaria by banning DDT? Good times. ~Bob)

California Hippies Want to Drain Entire Reservoir–Despite Drought
Excerpt: While California is clearly experiencing another drought, the extreme water shortages are an ongoing and man-made human tragedy — one that has been brought on by overzealous liberal environmentalists who continue to devalue the lives and livelihoods of California residents in pursuit of their own agenda.”(Truly the land of the nuts/whackos. It's good to be surrounded by the Great Lakes. --JB)

Open letter to Pope Francis on climate change
Excerpt: Approximately 90 scientists, religious leaders, and academics have signed the letter that urges Pope Francis to re-examine scientific and moral arguments concerning global climate change. The signatories suggest that he may not be sufficiently informed about the issue. In December 2014, the pontiff promised to release an encyclical letter in June of this year concerning a Christian response to environmental stewardship. “Rather than a careful reporting of the best evidence,” they write, “we get highly speculative and theory-laden conclusions presented as the assured results of science. In the process, science itself is diminished, and many well-meaning moral and religious leaders risk offering solutions based on misleading science.”

Religion of Peace News

JerusalemU produced a new documentary on what our students have to endure on American campuses. By Steve Kramer
Excerpt: The topic is the incredibly disturbing feeling that many young American Jews experience at the college or university they attend. This new documentary reveals the rise of anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitic rhetoric on North American university campuses, and demonstrates when reasonable criticism of Israel ‘Crosses the Line’ into anti-Semitism. ( The film was graphic and disturbing. The ugly, obnoxious, undemocratic behavior of the pro-Palestinian demonstrators, most of whom are students and lecturers, is appalling. Jews are verbally and physically threatened by these organized, well-funded mobs. Unfortunately, our Jewish students are not sufficiently educated, nor prepared, for the onslaught they might encounter.

Most Favor Increased Use of Drones Against Terrorists
Excerpt: Despite President Obama’s acknowledgement last week that a U.S. drone attack on an al-Qaeda camp killed two hostages, including an American, voters remain strongly supportive of using the armed unmanned aircraft. Most also still believe the United States should use them even more. 

Needs Confirmation: Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead, claims Radio Iran
Excerpt: According to Radio Iran, Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead following injuries from an air strike against an Iraqi target last month. Earlier, The Guardian had reported that Baghdadi had suffered life threatening injuries in a US-led coalition air strike in March. (Unlike Obama and Kerry, I don't automatically believe everything that comes out of Iran. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Taliban forces assaulted the districts of Imam Sahib, Aliabad, and Qala-i-Zal as well as areas in Kunduz city over the weekend. The chief of Kunduz’s provincial council claimed that “about 2,000 heavily-armed insurgents attacked” the district center in Imam Sahib, and that contact with more than 500 Afghan security personnel in the district has been lost, Pajhwok Afghan News reported. The governor of Kunduz conceded that the Taliban have taken control of several villages and that security forces have abandoned at least three outposts. (Afghanistan is a war of necessity, a war we must win said Obama. But every thing he says comes with an expiration date. ~Bob)

Iranian General’s Outrageous Claim About the U.S. and 9/11. By Sharona Schwartz
Excerpt: An Iranian general accused the U.S. of having planned and carrying out the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to invade Middle Eastern countries and thus prevent Sunni-Shiite cooperation.
In a television interview last week, Brigadier-General Ahmad Reza Pourdestan, who commands Iran’s ground forces, said current conflicts in the Middle East are all part of an “American strategy.”

Fighting escalates across Yemen, air strikes on capital Sanaa
Excerpt: Air raids, naval shelling and ground fighting shook Yemen on Sunday in some of the most widespread combat since a Saudi-led alliance intervened last month against Iranian-allied Houthi militia who have seized large tracts of the country. There were at least five air strikes on military positions and an area near the presidential palace compound in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa at dawn on Sunday, while warships pounded an area near the port of the southern city of Aden, residents said.

Iraqi General, 3 Officers Killed in Islamic State Ambush
Excerpt: Fighters from the Islamic State group ambushed an Iraqi army convoy on Friday with a bulldozer packed with explosives, killing the commander of the Iraqi 1st Division and three of his staff officers north of Fallujah, said military officials. The suicide bomber attacked the convoy of Humvees and then militants opened fire, killing Brig. Gen. Hassan Abbas Toufan, a colonel and two lieutenant colonels in the Nadhem al-Taqseem region, said a member of the division and an intelligence officer. There was no initial count on the number of soldiers killed in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

UK: Al-Qaeda propagandist’s lush £1 million mansion paid for by taxpayers. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The UK banned Pamela Geller and me from entering the country. The Home Office’s letter to me said I was being banned for noting that Islam had a doctrine of violence against unbelievers, which is like being banned for saying grass is green. But for Hani al-Sibai, an al-Qaeda propagandist and mentor of jihad murderer Mohammed Emwazi, they have a rent-free £1 million home. Why is Hani al-Sibai roaming free and living in a taxpayer-funded £1 million mansion? Because to take any other course of action would be “racist” and “Islamophobic.” This is the Britain that is poised to make Ed Miliband its next Prime Minister. The light of freedom is just about to go out in Britain. What follows after it will be long, violent and ugly.

UK: Labour leader says his government will criminalize “Islamophobia.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: “We are going to make it an aggravated crime. We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime.” The problem is that Islamic supremacists, apparently deliberately, conflate “Islamophobia” meaning attacks on innocent Muslims, which are never justified, with “Islamophobia” meaning honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and resistance to Sharia oppression. Miliband’s new law making “Islamophobia” an “aggravated crime” would criminalize and silence all opposition to Islamization, would effectively destroy what remains of the freedom of speech in Britain, and spell the end of Britain as a free society.

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:

1 comment:

  1. A few years ago California voted on a Prop regarding gay marriage. A reporter covering a polling station up north stopped a voter on the way out and asked if he'd mind identifying himself and reveal how he voted. He agreed first saying he was retired Army. The reporter then injected a remark that he surely voted against. He replied in fact he supported gay marriage and so voted. He went on to say he had no problem with it that they (gays) had every right to be as miserable as everyone else. Folks nearby listening in burst into laughter. And then he was off camera. He was funny - as in haha. The public voted no. I have no idea where the issue now stands in the state. And don't care.