Thursday, April 9, 2015

Not-to-be-missed political news and opinion today


Jeremiah Pollen, the son of friends of ours, Ashia and Seth, wearing Ashia's sticker from the election last week. Ashia was one of my nurses at the VA--terrific nurse, now a terrific mom. I told her the Dems probably voted him three time, once here and twice in Chicago. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Column in the WSJ Thursday: County's finest puts on finest for finest judicial pick in Dane County. By Chris Rickert
Excerpt: You’d think the county’s top cop — an eight-year elected official — would be scrupulous enough to avoid appearing in uniform and with a marked sheriff’s office vehicle in campaign materials for a state Supreme Court justice. You might also think that a legal mind as keen as one belonging to a Supreme Court justice might dissuade him from such activity. But maybe this is one of those among-friends deals where strict adherence to the rules doesn’t apply. Conservative blogger self-identified Republican Robert Hall, of Madison, filed the complaint against Mahoney, a Democrat, last month.

Excerpt: Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to try and hold on to her leadership spot after voters approved a constitutional amendment that was likely to result in her demotion. (Can't let the people decide these things--they're Democrats. ~Bob)

Supreme Court upholds American flag ban–for Cinco de Mayo
Excerpt: Back on May 5, 2010–Cinco de Mayo–staff members at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California, told several students that they had to change out of patriotic-colored clothing, because it could incite violence–apparently from the school’s Hispanic population. Some students refused–with two even choosing to return home, rather than turn their shirts inside-out.

Older, Must Hear: Afterburner with Bill Whittle: The Working Class
In this week's Afterburner, Bill Whittle takes on the liberal agenda by addressing the underlying assumptions of Juan Williams when he asked Newt Gingrich this question:

Can Phone Companies Do More to Block Robocalls?
Excerpt: The Federal Trade Commission, which goes after businesses for deceptive business practices, say it receives on average of 150,000 complaints a month on robocalls and has filed more than 100 lawsuits against violators of the Do Not Call rules. (...) "For every company we can shut down, there are probably 10 to 100 companies that can pop up in its place," said Patty Hsue, an FTC staff attorney who leads the agency's technical initiatives against robocalls. A common example is "Rachel from Cardholder Services." (A few months ago, there was a brief and unsatisfying discussion here at TOJ about dealing with telemarketers. This is a follow-up on that discussion. --Ron P.)

Obama Uses Easter Prayer Breakfast to Criticize Christians
Excerpt: President Obama took the occasion of the Easter Prayer Breakfast today to criticize Christians. Appearing to veer off script, he said slowly, "On Easter, I do reflect on the fact, that as a Christian, I am supposed to love.” Obama continued: “And I have to say that sometimes, when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.” (Read the comments. --JB)

New Preamble to the Constitution
Excerpt: The following has been attributed to State Representative Mitchell Kaye from GA. This guy should run for President one day... "We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights."

Worth Reading: When everything is a crime. By George F. Will
Excerpt: What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent. Criticisms of the over criminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally.
In 2007, professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School recounted a game played by some prosecutors. One would name a famous person — “say, Mother Teresa or John Lennon” — and other prosecutors would try to imagine “a plausible crime for which to indict him or her,” usually a felony plucked from “the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield.” Did the person make “false pretenses on the high seas”? Is he guilty of “injuring a mailbag”?

Not Just Paul: Paul Blooms As Clinton Wilts In Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds
Excerpt: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's lead is wilting against leading Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, and she finds herself in a close race with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in each state, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today. In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa. ... Voters in each state say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. Her overall favorability has dropped significantly in Colorado and Iowa, while Virginia is unchanged.

Sneak peek inside Hillary Clinton 2016: Campaign will avoid first person. By Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica, CNN
Excerpt: One approach is to avoid blatant suggestions of the historic nature of her candidacy, hoping to fight impressions that Clinton’s presidential aspirations are all about her. (Moroccan-Funded Candidate Preparing to Announce Bid for President: Hillary and her team won’t be able to resist “blatant suggestions of the historic nature of her candidacy,” and the media will trumpet that anyway. “It’s time for a woman” is simple, easy to agree with, easy to remember, and perhaps most usefully, has very little to do with her. Don’t focus on what Hillary Clinton has done in her positions of responsibility, her decision-making honesty, her character, her approach to governing, or her philosophy, voters! Focus on her gender! -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Betting on Billary: Moroccan cash flows to Clinton Foundation
Excerpt: The Clinton Foundation is accepting a major donation from a Moroccan government-owned company to hold a high-profile conference next month in Marrakech with the king of Morocco — an event likely to reignite concerns about the foundation’s acceptance of foreign money just as Hillary Clinton prepares to announce her presidential candidacy.

Worth Reading: Is the Modern American University a Failed State? By Victor Davis Hanson 
Excerpt: Modern American universities used to assume four goals.
First, their general education core taught students how to reason inductively and imparted an aesthetic sense through acquiring knowledge of Michelangelo, the Battle of Gettysburg, “Medea” and “King Lear,” Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and astronomy and Euclidean geometry. ... The American undergraduate university is now failing on all four counts.

The Secret Life of Barack Obama. By Ben Shapiro

Excerpt: "Delusional dictatorship is a danger to regional peace. But delusional American leadership is a threat to global peace. . . . The unicorns still roam free, even if free people live in danger of chains."

From Rathergate to Rolling Stone: Fake But Accurate. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: That scandal led to the coining of the phrase, “Fake, but Accurate”. Ten years later, they’re still fake but accurate. Rathergate has many similarities to the Rolling Stone rape hoax. Both ignored the basic rules of journalism to pursue a narrative. The narrative was so full of holes that bloggers and even casual readers realized that something was wrong and stepped in where the professional journalists had failed.

Lincoln Chafee Announces 2016 Exploratory Committee. By Daniel Doherty 
Excerpt: Democrat Lincoln Chafee, who hails from the great state of Rhode Island, recently announced that he is forming an exploratory committee and therefore will likely run for president of the United States. (Liberal Dem. His father was a moderate Republican and heroic Marine company commander in Korea. ~Bob)

Is it Sexist to Call Hillary Clinton "Hillary"? By Michael Minkoff
Excerpt: Give me a break. There are so many issues with this trumped up “problem.” For one, Hillary Clinton herself, or her campaign managers, used Hillary in pretty much all of her campaign materials. Remember “Ready for Hillary”? Or just “Hillary 2016”? Yeah. So don’t blame men for that. Unless her campaign was run by men. Then blame them. Beyond that, it makes sense to call her Hillary, because another Clinton has already been president. It’s what happened with George W. Bush as well. Remember those “W: The President” bumper stickers? That wasn’t a sign of disrespect. That’s the way we distinguished George W from his father. (It's starting. The charge of "racism" was used since 2008 to shield Obama from any disagreement or criticism. Sexism will be used to shield Billary. ~Bob)

Gun News

Suspect shot to death in Newton County home invasion
Excerpt: Witnesses told police that three men and three women were inside the affected apartment. One of the women left the unit and encountered Quintavious Reed in a breezeway. Reed forced the woman back inside the apartment. Investigators said Reed got into a struggle with one of the men inside the unit. The victim, who had a gun, fatally shot Reed.

Off-duty officer fires shot during confrontation with burglar
Excerpt: A female Atlanta Police officer pulled her eight hours and looked forward to going home. But when she arrived at her suburban residence, she says she quickly realized crime had followed her to her doorstep. She saw her front door open and figured she was being burglarized. Within minutes she was involved in a confrontation and that suspect was shot.

Race Card News

Gee, they noticed: Broken families lead to broken communities. By Jonetta Rose Barras
Excerpt: Saving males of color has become a cause across America. Even before President Obama put his imprimatur on the issue, touting his My Brother’s Keeper initiative and before “Black Lives Matter” became a movement, nonprofit organizations began researching the psyche and socioeconomic status of black and Hispanic males. They also had begun proposing various solutions. (Before the New Deal started the welfare state, most black kids grew up in two-parent families. That was the case even under slavery, where families often were torn apart by the slave-holder. [See: The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925. By Herbert G. Gutman] Of course, the 1960s changed our culture, trashing conventional morality and starting the trend towards single parenthood. A recent study said that only 2% of the kids who grew up in two-parent families were poor throughout their lives, while 20% of kids from single-parent families were life-time poor. [See "How Not to Be Poor." By Blake Bailey] Currently 70% of black babies and 50% of Hispanic babies are non-marital births. Whites, at 30%, have little reason to feel smug. ~Bob)

Older, but worth reading: How Not to Be Poor. By Blake Bailey
Excerpt: About 31 million Americans live in households with incomes below the poverty level, according to the latest U.S. Census data. Poverty is more than a lack of income. It is also the consequence of specific behaviors and decisions. The 2001 Census data clearly show that dropping out of high school, staying single, having children without a spouse, working only part time or not working at all substantially increase the chances of long-term poverty. Certain behaviors are a recipe for success. Among those who finish high school, get married, have children only within a marriage and go to work, the odds of long-term poverty are virtually nil.

Video: White SC Officer Charged With Shooting Unarmed Black Man
Excerpt: The horrific video that came to light yesterday is deeply troubling. It is clear the killing of ‪#‎WalterScott was unnecessary and avoidable, and my prayers are with the Scott family as they go through this ordeal. The swift action taken by SLED and the relevant authorities upon receiving the video shows the severity of this terrible event. With several protests planned today, I join community leaders in North Charleston in calling for peace. I understand the hurt, the frustration and the anger many are feeling today. But violence solves nothing. We must come together as a community, as a state, and as a nation in working to bring our communities together and rebuild trust. --Sen. Tim Scott

For Barack Obama, #BlackLivesMatter Only When They Can Be Used As A Prop
Excerpt: When the White House released an official statement about the massacre—the deadliest in Kenya since 1998—it did not mention the words “Christian,” “radical Islam,” or “Islam” at all. The release failed to mention that the Kenyan Christians were specifically targeted by Al-Shabaab wholly because of their faith. It spoke in generalities. The whole text can be read here. #DoBlackChristianLivesMatter ? I guess not. Black lives only matter when one can use them to stoke racial tensions. Black lives only matter when Obama’s reverence of Islam isn’t at stake. Black lives only matter when they aren’t Christians being specifically targeted and slaughtered by Islamic radicals.

Undocumented Democrat News

Judge Rebukes Obama's Immigration Deception
Excerpt: After further deliberation, Hanen this week declared his injunction will remain in place in part because Obama’s lawyers misled the court. The administration revealed two weeks after Hanen’s first ruling that it had already granted more than 100,000 work permits to illegals before the court issued its injunction, and the judge wasn’t too happy. “Whether by ignorance, omission, purposeful misdirection, or because they were misled by their clients,” Hanen wrote, “the attorneys for the Government misrepresented the facts.” “Even worse,” he added [emphasis in the original], the government’s lawyers “urged this Court to rule before disclosing that the Government had already issued 108,081 three-year renewals under the 2014 DACA amendments despite their statements to the contrary.”

"You're Greener than Gore" News

The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming. This is your wilderness on drugs. By Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones
Excerpt: STARTING ABOUT 90 MILES northwest of Sacramento, an unbroken swath of national forestland follows the spine of California's rugged coastal mountains all the way to the Oregon border. Near the center of this vast wilderness, along the grassy banks of the Trinity River's south fork, lies the remote enclave of Hyampom (pop. 241), where, on a crisp November morning, I climb into a four-wheel-drive government pickup and bounce up a dirt logging road deep into the Six Rivers National Forest. I've come to visit what's known in cannabis country as a "trespass grow."

Will Environmentalists Kill California Farms?
Excerpt: ...while heavy restrictions on water use might be a hassle for those who want to keep their cars clean, pools filled, and grasses watered, it has the potential to devastate California’s agriculture industry. Places like the Central Valley of California are a massive national producer of produce, and Napa Valley is noted for being one of the world’s premiere wine regions. Overall, agriculture is a $40 billion industry in California

Japan Defies Obama — Plans On Building 43 Coal Plants. \By Michael Bastasch 
Excerpt: As Japan promises the United Nations it will cut carbon dioxide emissions, the country simultaneously plans on building 43 coal-fired power projects to make up for shuttered nuclear power. (Obama and his green cronies will beggar the poor and make the middle class poor, while they and the rest of the world grow rich at our expense. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: Joshua Van Haften, 34, was taken into custody by the FBI when he arrived at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on a flight from Turkey. ... Van Haften will be charged with attempting to provide material support and resources, namely himself, to a foreign terrorist organization, according to a news release from the attorney's office. ... Court records show Van Haften was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2000 and sentenced to seven years in prison. (Madison will rally to his side, against this Islamophobia. After all, Madison knows that all cultures are equally-valid, even those who sell women as sex slaves, murder people, including children for their faith, and burn POWs alive. Except, of course, rural, Christian American culture which must be destroyed. ~Bob)

Sounds Good , But....Statement by the President on the Framework to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon
Excerpt: Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification ... With this deal, Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world.

Iran says it's a lie...Iran DM Rejects Report on Inspection of Military Centers Based on Lausanne Understanding
Excerpt: Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan categorically rejected as a "lie" a Guardian report alleging that Tehran has granted access to its military facilities under the recent framework agreement with the world powers. "No such agreement has been made; principally speaking, visit to military centers is among our redlines and no such visit will be accepted," Gen. Dehqan stressed on Wednesday, rejecting "the report by foreign media outlets, such as the Guardian" as "untruthful allegations".

Iranian defense minister: This nuke deal doesn’t allow you to inspect our military sites
Excerpt: I wonder how the White House will spin this. This isn’t some middle-management apparatchik inside Iran’s defense bureau saying it who can be safely ignored. This is Dehqan, the minister of defense.

Obama Undermines His Own Case for the Iran Deal. By Eli Lake
Excerpt: Obama now concedes -- as does Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif -- that while Iran was facing crippling sanctions it continued to install thousands of centrifuges at its illicit facilities. In his weekly address on Saturday, Obama said there were three options for Iran's nuclear program: aerial bombardment, his deal, and sanctions. Not surprisingly, Obama warned that sanctions "always led to Iran making more progress in its nuclear program." Here's the catch: Two days earlier, at the announcement of the framework agreement, Obama praised the efficacy of renewing sanctions in case Iran cheats. 

Obama's Iran Deal: Someday the World Will Cry, 'Why?!' By Larry Elder 
Excerpt: Barack Obama is a young man. By the time he leaves office, he will be in his mid-50s. Based on life expectancy, he could live for another 40 years or so. So he will be around to see the full consequences of his disastrous Iran nuclear “framework.”

61% Think Iran Unlikely To Honor Nuclear Treaty With U.S.
Excerpt: Voters are almost evenly divided over the framework deal the Obama administration has cut with Iran to slow the latter’s nuclear weapons program. But most doubt that Iran will abide by its terms or that its compliance can be verified by the United States. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the agreement the United States has reached with Iran that ends some economic sanctions on that country in exchange for verifiable cutbacks in Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But slightly more (41%) oppose that deal. 

Iran nuclear: No guarantee of final deal, Khamenei says
Excerpt: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that there is "no guarantee" of a final deal with world powers on its nuclear programme. Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani had said Iran would not sign a final deal unless sanctions were lifted "on the first day" of implementation.

Obama's Success Story: Al Qaeda Is Capitalizing on Yemen’s Disorder, U.S. Warns
Excerpt: The new American defense secretary acknowledged Wednesday that Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen had exploited the tumult partly created by the Saudi-led airstrikes there to capture territory, in what has become a broad expansion by the Sunni extremist group.
Calling the situation “obviously very unsettled,” Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said that the war in Yemen had left a number of groups vying for power, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as A.Q.A.P., an enemy of the United States. ("This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out [the Islamic State] wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years." Barack Obama, September, 2014. " Credit Ash Carter, the new Defense Secretary. He didn’t get the memo about lying through his teeth and insisting that all is well: --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt.

Tsarnaev found guilty on all counts in Boston Marathon bombing trial. By Adam Goldman
Excerpt: They did so swiftly, convicting him on every count Wednesday, including 17 that carry the death penalty. It took the jury more than 11 hours over two days to reach its verdict, less than half the time it took for a jury to convict Timothy J. Mc­Veigh in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Whether Tsarnaev is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or dies by lethal injection will be decided later this month when the same jury returns to conclude the portion of the trial known as the penalty phase. (To bad they took him alive--saved a lot of time and expense. I doubt you can get 12 in Massachusetts who will vote for death. ~Bob)

Canada supports Israel
Excerpt: The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in one of his all-time great speeches, vowing to defend Israel at "whatever the cost" -- including at the UN. (Something you would never hear from Obama. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Egypt: North Sinai mortar attacks kill 11 civilians
Excerpt: Mortar rounds hit two houses in villages outside the provincial capital El-Arish Wednesday night, killing mostly women and children.

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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