Thursday, June 4, 2015

Today's interesting political news and opinion

General News and Comment

Obama Anti-Hillary 1984 Ad

Clinton rivals pounce as her ratings fall
Excerpt: A once-sleepy Democratic presidential primary contest is fast coming alive as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers fall and a diverse array of long-shot opponents step forward to challenge her. The recent developments mark a dramatic evolution in the 2016 sweepstakes, which until now has been shaped by the large assortment of hopefuls on the Republican side, where there is no front-runner.

51 percent of Democrats say Benghazi is a legitimate issue for Hillary Clinton. By Amber Phillips 
Excerpt: But more than any other problem she's faced so far, the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya that killed four Americans, including ambassador J. Chris Stevens, is seen as fair game for 2016. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday, 55 percent say how she handled Benghazi is a legitimate issue for the 2016 campaign. Most interestingly, it's far from a partisan issue; that number includes 51 percent of Democrats and half of independents.

Excerpt: According to the notes, the whistleblower in question “was the case agent on a criminal investigation pertaining to Huma Abedin and outside employment/income. The investigation involved the unlawful use of the Clinton email by Abedin to conceal their activity.”...The whistleblower reportedly has his own notes and recordings to back his claims and says that the evidence shows that Clinton was “criminally culpable” to some degree.

Excerpt: Think about it. What’s the bigger story, the one that involves the more venal behavior while potentially harming the lives of more Americans: 1) a few goobers rifling through the office of the opposing political party and then having the president’s men try to cover up the petty hanky-panky; or 2) a former president and husband of the then-current secretary of state making hundreds of thousands of dollars while the couple’s foundation gets millions, in a deal approved by the former first lady’s own State Department, which results in about half of this nation’s uranium falling under the effective control of the proto-fascist, anti-American leader of the nation with the world’s second biggest store of nuclear weapons?

Rick Perry Asks for a Second Look. By Nate Jackson 
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his second presidential bid today. Perry’s claim to fame is simple: jobs. Between 2007 and 2013, Texas created 1.5 million jobs while the rest of the nation lost 400,000. (What was that about Barack Obama’s recovery?) In 2014, Texas created a record 457,900 jobs. During his entire tenure, the Lone Star State was responsible for more than a third of America’s jobs. Even so — and with a current downturn in the oil industry slowing Texas' growth — Perry has made a concerted effort to expand his appeal beyond the economy. 

WaPo Fact Checker: O’Malley’s claim on unprecedented wage stagnation for 70 percent of Americans since World War II. By Michelle Ye Hee Lee
Excerpt: We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios. But the details matter — especially when making such a specific statement in a speech as significant as the announcement of his run for president. So O’Malley earns Three Pinocchios.

If only we were a democracy...Poll: Three in Four Americans Support Voter ID. By Daniel Doherty
Excerpt: Despite Democratic charges that conservative states and politicians are engaging in discrimination by demanding that voters show identification, more than three-quarters of likely voters believe photo ID laws are needed. A new Rasmussen Reports poll out Wednesday found support for photo ID laws at 76 percent, nearly exactly the 78 percent support registered in 2006 when the latest movement to scrap the laws kicked off. (As with so much else [late term abortion, keystone, illegal immigration, etc.] the Un-Democratic Party opposes the will of the majority. ~Bob)

Scholars protest college board’s leftist spin on American history. By Paul Mirengoff
Excerpt: Last summer I wrote about the College Board’s new AP U.S. History (APUSH) framework and explained how it mandates a left-wing narrative for the teaching of American history to our top high school students. The teaching of American history is ground zero in the left’s battle to indoctrinate students. The new AP U.S. History framework is the left’s ultimate weapon in this battle. Now 55 leading American history scholars have condemned the College Board’s framework in a remarkable letterPeter Berkowitz provides an outstanding analysis.
Stanley Kurtz takes a look at the scholars who signed the statement. They include a number of our friends and allies including (but not limited to) Charles Kesler, Jean Yarbrough, Paul Rahe, Stephan Thernstrom, Ron Radosh, and John Fonte. It’s an ideologically diverse group, though. Lynne Cheney signed; so did Robert Merry a strong critic of George W. Bush’s foreign policy. (OK, people think that conservatives are all paranoid Far Right types, and of course there are some extremists there. (Just as there are some very serious Marxists in the Far Left) But most of the conservatives I know are pretty reasonable people, and their concerns come from listening to a lot of news, seeing various programs (no, not all Fox News!), and sometimes direct contact with young people who've come out of the universities in recent years. And there has been a real shift towards "debunking" US history, to the point of not just acknowledging that we are not God's gift to the world with a record of perfect idealism, but pushing that needle past the middle all the way towards the USA being pretty much a bad news record of racism, exploitation, imperialism, and not really living up to any of the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. There are even attacks on our record in WW2, with claims we pushed the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor, and that we were as no less guilty of war crimes than the Nazis or the Imperial Japanese Army. I have myself seen enough in some recent college textbooks on US history to really upset me. Devoting a several of the pages on WW2 to the internment of the Nisei is a ridiculous level of imbalance, especially when no mention is made of the internment of the Germans and Italians done at the same time, even though on a much more limited basis. As unfortunate an episode in our history as that internment on racial lines was, in the overall history of WW2 it rates a footnote at best, but focusing on it tightly is one more way of raking up just how terrible a society we were and perhaps still are. Anyhow, it's good to see that finally other historians and scholars are finally rising up to protest this steady slanting of our history. We don't need to market ourselves as perfect, which would be false, but neither do we need to neglect that overall this nation has a record worthy of some respect and pride, and that while never have lived up to the perfect ideal of "liberty and justice for all", we have steadily made progress in that direction since the Founding, and there is no nation with a record of achievements superior to ours. This glass is not half full, or half empty, it is 3/4 full at least. --Del)

Hidden Camera: VA Director says VA Turning Veterans into Drug Addicts
Excerpt: Deputy Veterans Administration Chief of Patient Services (for the entire VA) Maureen McCarthy, MD, said many of our military veterans "have drug problems, some of which are caused by us and our prescribing." In the undercover video, she admitted that the combination of "opiates, like morphine and benzodiazepine like Ativan and Klonopin" are like "candy" for a lot of veterans, "it's like they want it, they want it, they want it."

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes. Even as the group has publicly celebrated its work, insider accounts detail a string of failures. By Justin Elliott, ProPublica, and Laura Sullivan, NPR
Excerpt: In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.
Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water. (My dad would never give to the Red Cross. He said in WWII, they gave the guys cigarettes for photo ops, then took them back if they couldn't pay for them. ~Bob)

Important: USC To Tighten Free Speech Policies After Pro-Life Banners Prompted Controversy. By Alexandra Zimmern - University Of Wisconsin Madison
Excerpt: After images of fetuses growing in the womb caused an uproar at the University of Southern California, campus officials plan to tighten policies regulating what banners may be hung on light posts along Trousdale Parkway, a main walkway that cuts through the center of campus. What’s more, USC Students for Life told The College Fix, campus officials were unwilling to compromise on a way that would have allowed an altered version of their banners to be hung.

Military 'War Zone' Rattles Michigan City
Excerpt: When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned. “We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance. Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.”

Mpls. private school takes students to adult novelty store for sex ed lesson
Excerpt: Some parents are outraged after the leader of a small Minneapolis private school took about a dozen middle- and high-school-aged students on a sex education field trip to an adult novelty store late last week. “It’s just a major breach of trust,” said Lynn Floyd, whose 11- and 13-year-old daughters were part of the outing to the Smitten Kitten.... Director Starri Hedges, who also teaches the school’s sex education class, said she wanted to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students to learn about human sexual behavior. (Heard on Rush Limbaugh. Reportedly, the Gaia school has grades K-12, $100,000 annual budget and 25 students, and is located in a Unitarian church. It's a wonder ABC doesn't make a comedy series on this one. --Barb)

Pentagon: Number of anthrax shipments accidentally shipped, doubles
Excerpt: The number of shipments of potentially live anthrax spores sent by mistake over the past decade now stands at 51 – double the number estimated by officials last week. What’s worse is that it may go even higher, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. “We expect this number may rise,” Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said during a Pentagon press briefing....The scope of the problem has grown almost daily since the Pentagon first acknowledged it publicly last Wednesday. (FL now showing as one of the lucky states....but they are expanding their review of "incidents" from last week to 10 years....Barb)

What President H.W. Bush shared with me
Excerpt: Whatever problems were created before Obama took office, he has gravely compounded the problems and volatility of the Middle East. ISIS’ onslaught and caliphate spreads further today in Iraq and across the Middle East while the White House has tied its own hands and actually empowered ISIS by ineptly withdrawing U.S. troops too soon from Iraq, by botching the Syria situation, by believing we can overthrow ISIS by only bombing it. And if that weren’t enough, Obama then began making a series of other mistakes that compounded his initial ones: namely, having no contingency plan if and when the Iraqi army failed to maintain control and civility without serious U.S. aid and backup. (Saw a program on PBS last night that said, "When Rome fell, they sent a messenger to Brittania which basically said, 'You're on your own.'" Didn't the Regime just do that to Iraq with the concept that US is not fighting Iraq's fight, ergo playing Pontius Pilate and washing his hands, while contributing gobs of materiel to the caliphate? --Barb)

Taxation and the Mobility of Inventors and Scientists. Lower tax rates appear to induce a significant fraction of top inventors to move between countries and scientists to move between states in the U.S.
Excerpt: Two new NBER studies, one examining movements of inventors internationally, the other looking at similar individuals within the United States, find substantial evidence that tax rates have a significant influence on location decisions. Both studies concentrate on the most successful innovators, and find that the mobility of these individuals is sensitive to tax rates.

The ultimate in school choice or school as a commodity?
Excerpt: Starting next school year, any parent in Nevada can pull a child from the state’s public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling. The new law, which the state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed with help from the education foundation created by former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R), is a breakthrough for conservatives, who call it the ultimate in school choice. And they are working to spread it nationwide: Lawmakers in Georgia, Iowa and Rhode Island considered similar legislation this year.

Rising Dragon News

The West is trying to move past Tiananmen --- here's why it can't. By Henry Li
Excerpt: Three decades ago, I began my own break with communism. It culminated twenty-six years ago today, in the capital of my native land, at a place called Tiananmen Square. Today the atrocities in Beijing are an increasingly distant memory as Americans, particularly those with a financial interest in China, hope to turn the page from the past. That was then, they tell us. China has learned its lesson, they say. But I was a survivor of the Tiananmen Massacre, and I know that this is not true. In the early 1980s, I was not only a member of the Chinese Communist Party, I was a student leader. As a senior in high school, I believed in the Party's leadership and its doctrines.

Philippine leader likens China to Nazi Germany. By Kyoko Hasegawa
Excerpt: Philippine President Benigno Aquino likened present-day China to Nazi Germany on Wednesday during a speech in Japan, hinting the world cannot continue to appease Beijing as it claims ever-more territory in the South China Sea. The comments come as disquiet grows over the quickening pace of China's land reclamation programme in international waters, including its construction of a runway long enough for large military planes. "If there was a vacuum, if the United States, which is the superpower, says 'we are not interested', perhaps there is no brake to ambitions of other countries," Aquino told an audience of business leaders in Tokyo.

Gun News

GOP Reps To Block DOJ’s Backdoor Gun Control
Excerpt: Republican Representatives are preparing to use a funding bill to roll back some of the Department of Justice’s backdoor gun controls and to completely block the implementation of others. On May 31 Breitbart News reported the DOJ’s plans to circumvent Congress with ‘more than a dozen’ new gun control regulations. These include new limitations on who can buy or possess guns, new reporting requirements for gun dealers, and new controls on certain types of firearms. The controls also add a whole new category of persons who have to undergo background checks when estates hold National Firearm Act guns in trust.

Race Card News

Marilyn Mosby Seeks Protective Order To Block Release Of Freddie Gray’s Autopsy. By Chuck Ross
Excerpt: Baltimore City state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby hopes to block the release of the autopsy of Freddie Gray and other documents related to the investigation into the 25-year-old’s April 19 death. The protective order, filed Monday and reported by The Baltimore Sun, is raising accusations from an attorney for one of the six officers charged in the Gray case that Mosby’s request shows that the autopsy is her case.

NAACP Refuses to Help Young Black Man, Aspiring Cop Over Bogus Gun Charge. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Steffon Josie-Davis is a responsible gun owner who wanted to be a police officer. He used to work as an armored guard for armed service company Loomis. When his little sister was playing in the garage where his gun was accessible, Josey-Davis put it inside the glove box of a locked vehicle. Josey-Davis then drove that car before accidentally failing to take the firearm out of the vehicle. His handgun is legally registered in the state of New Jersey.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

White House: Proposed Health Insurance Rate Hikes Is (sic) Proof Obamacare Is Working
Excerpt: Are you startled by the news that insurance companies are planning health insurance rate hikes of 10 percent or more in 37 states? Well that news, according to the White House, is one of the signs that Obamacare is working. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained to reporters that, thanks to Obamacare requirements, insurance companies are forced to report publicly any proposed rate hikes exceeding 10 percent for the coming period. (Some companies suggesting hikes between 18% to 60%. Grammar lesson: Proposes rate hikes ARE, not is.... Sigh. --Barb)

Obamacare Health Insurance COOPs Are Unraveling
Excerpt: Many supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) wanted a public plan option to compete with the private insurers offering insurance in the state and federal health exchanges. To placate these progressives, the ACA created a type of nonprofit health insurance cooperative that would borrow funds from the government for start-up costs and solvency reserves. However, the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or health insurance COOPs, as they are commonly known, are slipping into insolvency. All but one lost money in 2014 and one failed spectacularly — singularly forcing about 20 percent of all COOP enrollees to shop for another plan. Worse yet, many COOPs appear to be setting artificially low premiums to gain market share, in the process losing money taxpayers are expected to cover. The latest failure was Iowa-based insurer CoOportunity Health.

Undocumented Democrat News

Worth Reading: Crossing the Global Border. By Victor Davis Hanson 
Excerpt: Northern and central Italy are not on the southern Mediterranean. But somehow thousands of refugees from Africa, Asia and the Middle East are everywhere here — as is true of much of the European Union. Some sleep on park benches. Many peddle knock-off electronic goods and counterfeit watches. Angry Italians shoo away refugee beggars from tour groups. The Greek islands near the coast of Turkey are likewise flooded this summer with dispossessed refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria. Apparently a bankrupt Greek government lacks the resources to patrol its vast coastline. Some beleaguered Greeks assume that thousands of boat people and homeless refugees will eventually leave their makeshift camps and head northward to the wealthier homelands of Greece’s Northern European creditors. A similar rush has overwhelmed America’s southern border. In the last two years, tens of thousands of Central American and Mexican citizens have sensed that the Obama administration has suspended border enforcement. Illegal entry into the United States won’t result in punishment, but instead in an array of social services unimaginable in Latin America.

Worth Reading: Immigration Advocates Frightened by 99-Pound Blonde. By Ann Coulter 
Excerpt: Contrary to repeated assertions that fences don't work (by the Times, as well as a slew of Republicans, such as former Texas governor Rick Perry), after Israel completed a fence along its border in 2013, the number of illegal aliens entering the country dropped to zero. 

Coulter On US Immigration Policy: 'Never Has A Country Been Transformed Like This, Never In World History'
Excerpt: Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Ann Coulter explained to viewers how the findings in her new book, “¡Adios, America! — The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole,” show U.S. immigration policy is creating more dire consequences than many may realize, particularly regarding the U.S. welfare and prison systems and how the Obama administration has a disregard for current U.S. immigration law.... "Why are they bringing these poor third-worlders here? It’s because they want to transform America, because they hate America."

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Religion of Peace News

Your Future Under Multiculturalism

ISIS terror suspect was plotting to behead 'Draw Muhammad' activist suspect Pamela Geller before he was shot dead by cops
Excerpt: Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, who was gunned down by law enforcement while wielding a knife on Tuesday, wanted to decapitate the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, according to CNN. It was allegedly part of a scheme where he and David Wright, who had previously laughed about ISIS beheadings, wanted to murder a police officer as part of an imitation killing.

Obama's Perplexing Iran Dealings. By Allyne Caan 
Excerpt: Less than one month before the deadline to reach a final nuclear deal with Iran, things are going swimmingly. Or not. Despite Barack Obama’s announcement that Iran’s nuclear program has been “frozen” during the past 18 months of negotiations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its latest report that Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel has actually grown by about 20% during that time. And according to the Center for Security Policy’s Fred Fleitz, were Iran to enrich this uranium to weapons grade, it would be enough to make at least nine nuclear weapons. How comforting.

Polio in Pakistan: Drop of 70% recorded this year
Excerpt: Polio cases in Pakistan have dropped by 70% this year as troops make territorial advances in the north against militants opposed to vaccination programmes, government officials have told the BBC. They say that so far in 2015 there have been about 25 cases. In October officials said that Pakistan had its highest number of cases for 15 years, mostly due to militant attacks. At that time they said there were more than 200 cases across the country.

Egypt police shot dead near Giza pyramids
Excerpt: Gunmen have shot dead two police officers on guard close to the Giza pyramids, in a rare attack on a tourist site, state media reported.

U.S. Pushback Against Muslim Refugees 'Growing.' Government contractor offers advice on how to quash dissent
Excerpt: ...Titled “Resettlement at Risk: Meeting Emerging Challenges to Refugee Resettlement in Local Communities,” the report by one of the federal government’s top resettlement contractors admits that communities “across the country” are pushing back against the refugee program, especially when it involves the infusion of Muslims into their city or town. In the wake of the report, the Obama administration has handed out millions of dollars in grants to organizations like Welcoming America, which works to “educate” elected officials and the public in “receiving communities” before refugees arrive. Welcoming America was started in 2010 with seed money from George Soros’s Open Society Institute.

Feds Hammered For Secrecy On Muslim Refugees. State Dept.: Screening process is 'classified'
Excerpt: Gowdy, R-S.C., started asking questions in April about how refugees are distributed to various cities, the impact on local job markets and public services, and who makes the key decisions, among other points of interest. His questions came after it was revealed that Spartanburg, a city in his home district, was selected to receive 60 to 65 refugees over the next year, mostly from Syria. ... The State Department secretly selected Spartanburg sometime last year to be one of its designated “receiving communities” for Syrian refugees, 92 percent of whom to date have been Muslim people that the FBI has said will be virtually impossible to safely screen for terrorist connections. (The folks have no say in what is about to befall them, that flexible transformation, courtesy of the government that they thought was to serve and protect them and their families. Nyet. Remember how they "screened" those moderate Syrians for training? You know, the ones who defected and took the US-supplied arms/materiel to ISIS? Read Ann Coulter's new book, Adios, America....Barb)

Feds Lost Track Of Foreign Nationals Released Into US On Intensive Supervision Program
Excerpt: The program enrolls aliens, both legal and illegal, who are “at high risk of committing criminal acts, absconding, or violating the terms of their release, such as reporting requirements,” explained the inspector general (IG) for the DHS in an audit, originally released in February and later revised, on alternatives to detention administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. In its recently released Semiannual Report to the Congress, the DHS IG reports that ICE “no longer supervises some [ISAP] participants.’ Therefore, noted the DHS IG, ICE cannot definitively determine how many ISAP participants have absconded or committed crimes after being released.

How Islamic State Victories Shape the Syrian Civil War
Excerpt: Forecast: The Islamic State will prioritize the defense of its core supply lines, used to provide equipment and much-needed recruits. The Islamic State will continue to demonstrate considerable flexibility in its offensive operations. The Syrian government and rebel forces will have to increasingly devote their attention and resources to fighting the Islamic State, rather than prioritizing battles with each other. In a display of considerable flexibility on the battlefield, the Islamic State managed to take rebel forces in northern Aleppo by surprise with a large-scale offensive aimed at securing more territory along the Syria-Turkey border. 

This Is How Little the US-Led Air War Against ISIS Has Achieved
The U.S.-led coalition has carried out nearly 3,800 airstrikes since August, but that's led to few gains for an Iraqi military that has a long way to go before it can hold territory. Nearly 300 days have passed since United States aircraft began dropping bombs on Islamic State militants in Iraq, and later in Syria. While much has been made in recent weeks of the unmotivated and depleted state of Baghdad’s security forces, what has been less obvious is the quite limited effect of the nearly 3,800 coalition airstrikes on ISIS territorial gains.

Jews make matzah bread from blood, sacrifice humans to Satan - in Al-Aqsa lesson. By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik 
Excerpt: Religious lesson in Al-Aqsa Mosque: "[Jews] prepare their matzah... with the blood of children... They were burned in Germany because they kidnapped young children" to make matzah. "The Children of Israel... would look for a small child, kidnap and steal him, bring a barrel called the barrel of nails... They would put the small child in the barrel and his body would be pierced by these nails. In the bottom of the barrel they would put a faucet and pour the blood" (Quick, send these moderate Muslims more tax dollars. ~Bob)

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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