Thursday, February 19, 2015

Today's Political news and Conservative Comment


It was -4 at 10:00 am this morning. Our little dog, Caramel, got off his pillow, snuggled down to be on the bed heating pad and let my bride cover him up during the night, something he never does. Cold again tonight. ~Bob

General News and Comment

70 YEARS AGO: The Battle of Iwo Jima launched on Feb. 19, 1945 

Reliving the 1930s. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Yet World War II could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany. Instead, France, Britain and the smaller European democracies appeased Hitler.
The United States turned isolationist. The Soviet Union collaborated with the Third Reich. And Italy and Japan eventually joined it. The 1930s saw rampant anti-Semitism. Jews were blamed in fascist countries for the economic downturn. They were scapegoated in democracies for stirring up the fascists. The only safe havens for Jews from Europe were Jewish-settled Palestine and the United States. Does all this sound depressingly familiar?

Important: Trust, but Verify -- Even Conservative PACs
Excerpt: According to the report, some PACs, such as Club for Growth, direct the bulk of their spending to electing conservatives – in Club for Growth’s case, 88%. Others, however, such as the National Draft Ben Carson for President Super PAC – which, incidentally, isn’t actually associated with Dr. Carson – spent nearly $13 million in 2014, but less than $600,000 went to candidates and none of it went to Carson. Therein lies the problem.
Hawkins writes that some PACs pay large amounts to vendors that, curiously, are owned by individuals working for the PAC. 

Important: 50 Million Down The Tubes: How 17 Conservative PACs Are Spending Their Money. By John Hawkins
Excerpt: Some people have started to wonder whether that’s happened to groups in the conservative movement – and that’s understandable. Reports about sleazy activities by conservative groups have not exactly been in short supply over the last couple of years. Damaging stories have popped up on the Daily BeastMother JonesWashington Postthe Politico and at the Daily among other outlets. Additionally, for those of us who have a lot of friends in the Tea Party and among grassroots conservatives, stories of abuse have become rampant. That may be why you’ve heard people like Ann Coulter and Dana Loesch publicly suggesting that there are groups out there ripping people off. However, the problem with the articles that have come out so far is that most of them have come from liberal outlets and have only discussed limited aspects of a few organizations. That naturally led people to wonder if they were reading hit pieces. As to the rumors, there are always two sides to every story and it’s difficult to know how much weight to place on anecdotal stories. (Please send me your checks made out t the "Bob Hall Should Drink Better Scotch PAC." ~Bob)

Courting the Gangland Vote
Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder has long pushed for restoring voting rights to convicted felons. A year ago, we explained his real motive: Votes for Democrats. Just recently, however, this issue – otherwise dead-on-arrival in the Republican-held Senate – gained renewed life with the revival by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) of the Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act. This is an unfortunate move by Paul, but we suspect the measure may simply be a play for votes, particularly minority votes, in anticipation of his potential presidential run.

WaPo Fact Checker: Biden’s strange claim of knowing ‘an awful lot’ of Somali cab drivers in Delaware
Excerpt: As we noted, the vice president’s office did not even acknowledge our queries. The burden of proof rests with the speaker, and here the preponderance of evidence suggests there are not “an awful lot” of Somalis driving taxi cabs in Wilmington, Del. The vice president earns Four Pinocchios. 

Encouraging tax evasion: HUD paid $37 million a month in subsidies to ineligible households. By Josh Hicks 
Excerpt: The Department of Housing and Urban Development granted subsidies for tens of thousands of public-housing tenants who were not eligible for the assistance, according to federal auditors. A recent review by the HUD inspector general’s office found that the department paid an estimated $37 million per month to residents who failed to comply with federal guidelines requiring them to take part in community-service or self-sufficiency programs, such as job training or education.

"The Eagle Cried" ~ an original song and music by U.S. Army Major J. Billington
Tribute to Vietnam Vets.

Carrier John C. Stennis
You have to have nerve to fly off a carrier. ~Bob

What If the Oscars Honored Movies that Audiences Actually Watched? By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Imagine if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists decided to nominate the six highest-grossing films of 2014 for Best Picture. That field would consist of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part One; Guardians of the Galaxy; American Sniper; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; The LEGO Movie, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I haven’t seen all of those, but I think most moviegoers and critics would agree that those are actually a pretty good bunch of movies, particularly when you account for what each one aimed to be, particularly Guardians of the Galaxy (epic space fantasy) and The Lego Movie (funny, fast-paced kids movie with a lot of heart). (I never watch the Oscars, the Academy Awards or any of the other Hollywood group-stroke self gratification shows. I couldn't care less. ~Bob)

Ukraine crisis: Shelling spreads despite ceasefire
Excerpt: Shelling is reported from several places in eastern Ukraine despite the official ceasefire between government forces and pro-Russia rebels. Artillery fire could be heard in the region's biggest city, Donetsk, where the truce had been observed so far. Ukrainian military sources also accused rebels of shelling positions near the port city of Mariupol.

Getting Rid of Ineffective, Unnecessary Federal Spending
Excerpt: Reining in spending will require cuts in every sector -- from science to energy to agriculture to national defense to transportation and welfare. Here are a few of the report's suggestions on cutting spending on education, training, employment and social services: Privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which funds services such as PBS or NPR, would save Americans $445 million every year. In 2012, 82 percent of spending on public broadcasting came from non-federal sources, and the report contends PBS and NPR could survive on their own without government funding. Getting rid of the Job Corps would save Americans $19 billion over a decade. The program is intended to teach trade skills to youth, but a National Job Corps Study concluded that for every $25,000 that taxpayers invest in a single Job Corps participant, Corp participants were less likely to graduate from high school than their peers, were no more likely to attend or complete college and earned just 22 cents more in hourly wages compared to their peers, wasting taxpayer dollars. Eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA and the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) would save Americans $3.2 billion over a decade. The report notes that private giving to the arts far outweigh federal funding (Americans gave $13.1 billion 2011 to the arts and humanities, compared to just $292 million from the NEA and NEH), and private philanthropy would be more than sufficient to support the arts.

The Insiders: Obama’s governing legacy hangs by a legal thread. By Ed Rogers
Excerpt: It is remarkable that despite all of the political talent, goodwill and positive momentum Barack Obama had when he came into office, his policies – both domestic and international – are in tatters. And it is ironic that the former law professor’s two biggest “accomplishments” — Obamacare and executive orders on immigration — are hanging precariously by a legal thread.

It Was Unconstitutional Before It Wasn’t: Democrats in Their Own Words. By Genevieve Wood
Excerpt: And then late last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) made the suggestion that the Senate do something he said just a few years ago was unconstitutional. He recommended the Senate create its own Homeland Security funding bill, pass it, and send it to the House. But back in 2007, Durbin was emphatic that the Constitution required all spending measures to begin in the House. During a debate with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) over appropriations, he said the following: (So what? The Constitution requires tax bills to originate in the House. Obamacare, which was declared constitutional because it was a tax, originated in the Senate. Not many Democrats are worried about that. ~Bob)

Gun News

Pharmacist who shot robber: “Why did you make me do this?”
Excerpt: Kanawha County Sheriff Johnny Rutherford said a man attempted to rob the Good Family Pharmacy, in Pinch, at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, but was shot by a pharmacist. The pharmacist, Don Radcliff, rendered medical assistance until the would-be robber was taken to a local hospital, where he later died

Race Card News

Excerpt: ...(A) big part of the problem is a black subculture that rejects attitudes and behaviors that are conducive to academic success. Black kids read half as many books and watch twice as much television as their white counterparts, for example. In other words, a big part of the problem is a culture that produces little black girls and boys who are already worried about acting and sounding white by the time they are in second grade. (Over the decades, many fine, hard-hitting articles have been written on the subject of race relations. Many of those articles have, like this one, been written by black authors. This may be one of the very best. Jason Riley is a regular contributor on Fox News, an editorial board member at the Wall Street Journal, and author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed. In this article, he implies he is being "candid;" I suspect he really meant to say "honest." --Ron P.)

Religion of Peace News

Worst JV Team We've Faced: Islamic State militants 'burn to death 45 in Iraq'
Excerpt: Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, the local police chief says. Exactly who these people were and why they were killed is not clear, but Col Qasim al-Obeidi said he believed some were members of the security forces. (Remember that ISIS didn't exist when Obama took office. ~Bob)

War Authorization's Difficult Debate. By George Will 
Excerpt: Well. The debate’s difficulty defines its urgency: It is hard to say precisely against what (does the Islamic State’s name make it a state?), and therefore where, force should be authorized. This debate will demonstrate the limits of legalistic precision in war. Which is why, once war begins, limiting presidential war-making power is like lassoing a locomotive with a cobweb. So, this overdue debate – six months and approximately 2,000 U.S. airstrikes into the war on the Islamic State – properly should preoccupy Congress for weeks.

Worth Reading: Norm Pattis: Have we lost the instinct to defend ourselves and our ideals?
Excerpt: No sooner had news broken that Craig Hicks was accused of killing three young Muslim college students in North Carolina than calls erupted for a federal hate crime investigation. The Justice Department promptly obliged. Where was the hue and cry for such an investigation when Ali Muhammed Brown was arrested in 2014 for killing four randomly selected Americans in retaliation for civilians killed by the United States forces in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan? “The defendant was on a bloody crusade, executing four innocent men — with the same murder weapon, over the course of approximately two months, and all under the common and single scheme of exacting ‘vengeance’ against the United States government for its foreign policies,” Seattle prosecutors accuse. Hate crime prosecutions are theater. (For once, Norm approaches the side of reason…and it hurts me to be able to say that. --George)

Interesting: Just Who Has to Adjust in the Name of Tolerance? By Phyllis Chesler
Excerpt: Although President Obama insists that the "fight against terrorism is not a religious war," Hamid seems to disagree with him. According to a variety of polls, Hamid is right. For example, while a 2009 Gallup poll shows European Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence, they are far more religious than those who live in secular Europe (France, England, and Germany), and are more strongly opposed to homosexuality than are secular Europeans. In addition, young, second or third generation European Muslim men favor veiling for women, polygamy, the execution of apostates, and favor prohibiting Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men. ... The liberal West believes in criticizing everything, especially religion, beginning with Judaism and Christianity. Extending this right-to-criticize, satirize, or examine Islam has led to major Muslim meltdowns.

Yemen: Another Obama Administration Foreign Policy Failure
Excerpt: Many Americans were surprised to see the Obama administration get caught flat-footed again in the volatile Arab World when a Shiite Muslim Houthi rebel group, with ties to Iran's terrorist state, overthrew Yemen's government.

President Obama's No-Good, Terrible Handling of the War on Terrorism
Excerpt:  Are things with ISIS proceeding as poorly as they seem to be? Sure, ISIS didn’t exist just a few short years ago. Sure, when President Bush left office both Iraq and Syria were stable regimes, and in Iraq the US Military combined with the Iraqi military to trample out the last vestiges of terrorism. Sure, al Qaeda was on the run and Islamic extremism seemed to be losing their fight against the West. But an Obama Presidency can really change everything, can’t it?

Obama at a DNC event. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
“I promise you, things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago, 25 years ago or 30 years ago.” He said this the day U.K. prime minister David Cameron declared that his country faced “the greatest and deepest terror threat in its history.”

Qatar recalls envoy to Egypt in row over Libya strikes
Excerpt: Qatar has recalled its ambassador from Egypt following a row about air strikes on Islamic State targets in Libya. Foreign ministry officials said it was prompted by comments made by Egypt's delegate to the Arab League, who accused Qatar of supporting terrorism. Qatar had expressed reservations over Egypt's unilateral military action in another Arab League member state and the risk of civilian casualties.

Video: Virginia Democrats Flee Chamber to Avoid Pro-Israel Vote. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: Two Democrats had the courage of their morally-perverse convictions; others fled the chamber for the vote, returned to their seats, then raced for the exits again when a re-vote was proposed. The House Speaker rightly mocked this "profile in courage" from the podium as his craven colleagues bolted:

Poverty Doesn’t Cause Terrorism. By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
Excerpt: So it turns out the Obama Administration does have a strategy for combating terrorists: give them jobs.

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:

No comments:

Post a Comment