Monday, March 16, 2015

A lot of "worth reading" political news and opinion today


72 degrees today, but colder the rest of the week. I was exhausted after rehab Monday morning, so a nap delayed y working on the blog. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Avoiding Congressional Oversight James Carville Inadvertently Admits Hillary Clinton Used Private Email to Avoid Accountability and Oversight. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Long-time trusted Clinton confidant James Carville inadvertently admitted over the weekend on ABC's This Week that Hillary Clinton probably used a private email address and server in order to avoid Congressional oversight or scrutiny. "I suspect she didn’t want Louie Gohmert rifling through her emails," Carville said. (Funny, just what we suspected. ~Bob)

From the Left: An Open Letter to By Maureen Dowd
Excerpt: It has come to our attention while observing your machinations during your attempted restoration that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our democracy: The importance of preserving historical records and the ill-advised gluttony of an American feminist icon wallowing in regressive Middle Eastern states’ payola. You should seriously consider these characteristics of our nation as the Campaign-That-Must-Not-Be-Named progresses.

Boehner to Launch New Investigation of Clinton Emails
Excerpt: Rep. John Boehner, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, plans to announce a new investigation this week into Hillary Clinton's use of email when she led the State Department, ABC News reported Sunday. ABC's "This Week" said that top Republicans briefed the program about Boehner's plan to investigate Clinton's use of her personal email address when she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013

WaPo Fact Checker: Fact checking Hillary Clinton’s news conference. By Glenn Kessler
Excerpt: Perhaps this was the actual reason, but it’s worth noting that secretaries of state are always accompanied by staff who carry purses, briefcases and so forth. It would have been up to the staff to keep track of the devices, not Clinton. Clinton has not disclosed who at the State Department approved the use of a personal e-mail account, with its own server, instead of a government account. One would expect there is a paper trail that would explain how and why approval was granted. ... The State Department on March 13 acknowledged this was not the case. ... “I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by.” This appears increasingly debatable.

Excerpt: Cheryl Mills, among others, has been greasing the wheels of the Clintons’ secrecy machine for decades. Hillary Clinton explains her use of a private e-mail account and a secret server to conduct State Department business as a matter of “convenience.” But congressional investigators are almost as interested in the fact that two of her closest advisers, personal aide Huma Abedin and chief of staff Cheryl Mills, also had e-mail addresses on the secret server. Were they also interested in “convenience” or intent on shielding their work from public-record requests? For many years, the two women have served as Hillary’s inner-palace guard.

Walker Begins Making Inroads In New Hampshire, So Does Bush. By Matt Vespa 
Excerpt: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker–both potential 2016 contenders–descended into New Hampshire over the weekend, with both candidates trying to establish themselves in a critical early voting state before the 2016 season kicks into high gear.
Walker headed up to the Granite State to “woo” its top Republicans, while also speaking to grassroots groups, business owners, and participating in some media events. Last Friday, he met with former Gov. John Sununu, former Sen. Scott Brown, and was interviewed by WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

New study confirms economy was destroyed by Democrat policies
Excerpt: A new study from the widely respected National Bureau of Economic Research released this week has confirmed beyond question that the left's race-baiting attacks on the housing market (the Community Reinvestment Act--enacted under Carter, made shockingly more aggressive under Clinton) is directly responsible for imploding the housing market and destroying the economy. The study painstakingly sorted through failed home loans that caused the housing market collapse and identified an overwhelming connection between them and CRA mortgages.

Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial and housing crisis; meltdown

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin Slashes Pay, Fires Staff Over Deadly VA Screw-Ups
Excerpt: Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin says her office blew it: Staff repeatedly ignored allegations of over-prescription policies at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, and since then, Baldwin has promised to clean up her act by disciplining her staff. The report she commissioned to investigate her own office found that all levels of her staff made major mistakes, from senior management to constituent services, AP reports

Rule by Executive Order: Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro given power to rule by decree
Excerpt: The Venezuelan parliament on Sunday approved a law giving the president, Nicolás Maduro, the power to legislate by decree for nine months in the face of what he described as threats by the US government. The so-called “anti-imperialist” law will be in effect from the time it is published in Venezuela’s Official Gazette until 31 December.

Worth Reading: Infantry Officer Course and Truth. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Last evening CBS News correspondent David Martin, on 60 Minutes, introduced America to the U. S. Marine Corps rugged Infantry Officer Course and the ongoing debate about women in combat in a segment titled 'A Few Good Women.' 

The War in Vietnam: Version 2.0. By Gary Kulik
Excerpt: Gary Kulik, who served as a medic in Vietnam and holds a PhD in history from Brown, is the author of “War Stories”: False Atrocity Tales, Swift Boaters, and Winter Soldiers. He can be reached at “When evidence of [NVA massacres at Hue] was unearthed, as they say, the business went a little underreported in Europe and the United States. It roughly coincided with the American massacre of villagers at My Lai. Since most newspapers are into telling readers what they are used to hearing and think they already know, any suggestion of congruity in the cruelty of desperation would have been the occasion of moral confusion.” -- Robert Stone, “Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties, 209-210.”

Reclaiming Legislative Power. By Bruce Walker
Excerpt: The power to make laws rests wholly in Congress – at least that is what the Constitution says. Yet who makes the “laws” in our federal system today? Vast amounts of legislative power have been “delegated” to independent federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission or to the president or his cabinet secretaries. The sheer volume of these rules is mind-numbing. Consider that in 2014, the year that just ended, 75,000 pages of new regulations were adopted by the Executive Branch, either by the Obama administration directly or through independent regulatory agencies. This is in addition to the myriad executive orders the president gives to his various departments regarding how to administrate federal laws.

Race Card News

The Left Doesn't Care: ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie. By Jonathan Capehart
Excerpt: What DOJ found made me ill. Wilson knew about the theft of the cigarillos from the convenience store and had a description of the suspects. Brown fought with the officer and tried to take his gun. And the popular hands-up storyline, which isn’t corroborated by ballistic and DNA evidence and multiple witness statements, was perpetuated by Witness 101. In fact, just about everything said to the media by Witness 101, whom we all know as Dorian Johnson, the friend with Brown that day, was not supported by the evidence and other witness statements. (For the Left, lies are not only acceptable, but a positive good, as long as they support the "Greater Truth" of the progressive Narrative. ~Bob)

Excerpt: When he speaks at public colleges and universities, Al Sharpton flies first-class, stays in upscale hotels, travels to events in a chauffeured vehicle, and often brings a bodyguard or aide with him. He makes these demands on taxpayer-funded institutions, despite owing as much as $4.5 million in unpaid taxes and penalties.

Good Question (see comment): Police arrest Missouri man, 20, in shooting of two officers in Ferguson
Excerpt: A 20-year-old Missouri man has been arrested in the shooting of two St. Louis County police officers Thursday, county officials announced Sunday. Jeffrey Williams was arrested Saturday night and is charged with two counts of assault in the first degree, three counts of armed criminal action and firing a weapon from a vehicle, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said during the afternoon press conference. (Please explain why the article makes sure that we know that Michael Brown, black, was shot by Darren Wilson, white, but except for the video shot of the mug shot computer display, we have no other indication of the race of the shooter, black, and never a mention of the race of the wounded police officers? --George)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Obamacare's 'Gobbledygook' Defense Sets A Bad Precedent. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: Justice Antonin Scalia provided the most memorable bon mot from last week’s oral arguments in King v. Burwell — the latest and most important Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare since 2012. “How can the federal government establish a state exchange?” he asked Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. “That’s gobbledygook.” Scalia’s question strikes at the heart of the case. In order to rescue the Affordable Care Act, Verrilli needs the Supreme Court to disregard the plain text of the law — not to mention the Constitution itself. That’s not an argument the Supreme Court should buy.

Undocumented Democrat News

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Cashing In: Ex-energy official's $1.7 million gig draws fire
Excerpt: For five years, Dan Poneman was the Energy Department’s No. 2 administrator during a time when the agency steered hundreds of millions of dollars to a struggling nuclear company that has won the backing of both the Obama administration and top Republicans and Democrats in Congress. This month, he’s set to become the company’s president and CEO — a post that will bring him as much as $1.7 million a year.

You should follow and support Solar and Wind Power vs. Fossil Fuels
Excerpt: The Department of Energy's (DOE) estimates forecast that solar and wind will remain relatively insignificant sources of energy far into the future, despite what environmentalists argue. Here is what Mark Perry, American Enterprise Institute scholar and professor of economics at the University of Michigan, says: In 2013, about 87 percent of the energy the world consumed came from fossil fuels, a figure that — remarkably — was unchanged from 10 years before. The two fundamental problems renewables face are they take up too much space and produce too little energy. And both wind and solar are entirely reliant on subsidies for such economic viability as they have. ... Subsidizing wealthy crony capitalists to build low-density, low-output, capital-intensive, land-hungry renewable energy schemes, while telling the poor to give up the dream of getting richer through fossil fuels will not work.

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: Obama’s failed Iran policy, not protocol, is the problem. By Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post 
Excerpt: So let’s get this straight: Iranian-backed rebels have overthrown the pro-American government in Yemen that was helping us fight al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has deployed its terrorist Quds Force into Iraq, and its infamous commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, is on the ground leading the offensive against the Islamic State. Iran is on the verge of getting the world to lift economic sanctions in exchange for a nuclear agreement so bad that it has actually united Arabs and Israelis in opposition. And Washington is concerned with . . . protocol.

Excerpt: The Afghan National Army (ANA) 215th Corps claimed that its forces killed 10 insurgents in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province during an operation on Sunday. Among the dead was an Islamic State commander named Hafiz Wahidi, the alleged replacement for Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, the jihadist group’s former deputy governor for ‘Khorasan province.’ Khadim was killed on Feb. 9 in a US airstrike.

Hollywood Star Attacks Obama and Praises Israeli Prime Minister! By Onan Coca
Excerpt: Hollywood icon and film legend Jon Voight is making some waves today with a video he just released, asking Israeli voters to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party in the upcoming elections.

Netanyahu says no Palestinian state if he wins
Excerpt: On the final day of his reelection campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu said that as long as he serves as prime minister of Israel, there will not be an independent Palestinian nation.

This is how #Obama is seen in #Syria nowadays

Buy American Oil: How to Starve the Jihad War of Money. By James Lewis
Excerpt: Jihad war is paid for by OPEC oil regimes, including the Saudis and Iran, and by mandatory "charitable" contributions from fundamentalist Muslims. In the case of the soi-disant Palestinians, jihad is paid for by our own tax dollars, through the kindly United Nations. We are financing the jihad against us. Gulf oil has been the biggest source of jihad blood money for forty years. Our dollars go to the Gulf, to prop up war preachers in Iran and Arabia, with billions coming back to sabotage and corrupt our politicians and media, driving massive Muslim immigration, and of course giving the world a steady flow of throat cutting barbarians. (Obama would rather fund jihadist murder than annoy the environmentalists in his base by opening ANWAR to drilling. ~Bob)

Watch: This is what Saddam Hussein’s tomb looks like after the Islamic State’s occupation of Tikrit. By Adam Taylor
Excerpt: Much has changed in Iraq since then. According to new footage from the Associated Press, Hussein's tomb has been destroyed as a result of the ongoing fighting in the country. Video from the news agency shows the roof of the tomb collapsed and much of the site reduced to rubble.

The Return of Iraqi Shi'i Militias to Syria. By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Excerpt: It has long been known that the Assad regime, facing a shortage of manpower in its regular army, has had to rely on irregular paramilitaries in its bid to reverse rebel advances. This became particularly apparent in 2013, when Hezbollah openly declared its participation in the capture of Qusayr, a town in Homs Province on the border with Lebanon. Since then, the presence inside Syria of Iraqi Shi'i militias, most of them proxies of Iran, has been extensively documented.

The Kurds’ Heroic Stand Against ISIS. By Scott Atran and Douglas M. Stone, NYT
Excerpt: Last week, the Sunni town of Tikrit (Saddam Hussein’s hometown) fell to largely Shiite forces from Iraq, backed by Iran. An offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the heart of Arab Sunni nationalism, is now within reach. The Kurds plan to enter eastern Mosul, where many Kurds lived before the Islamic State seized the city in June, but they say that moderate Arab Sunnis must lead the effort to retake the rest of the city — not Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite forces or the Iranian-backed Shiite militias. The Kurds point out that it was grievances against Shiite rule that helped drive Sunni support for the Islamic State in the first place.

Sweden’s Middle East Policy in Ruins. By Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard
Excerpt: Sweden’s latest attempt to flex its muscles as a humanitarian and feminist superpower ended in a diplomatic disaster last week. On March 9, the country’s Social Democratic Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, was to address the foreign ministers of the Arab League assembled in Cairo. ... Wallström never got a chance to speak. According to her own explanation, she was blocked from addressing the meeting after protests by Saudi Arabia.

Interesting: Vatican Calls for Use of Force Against ISIS
Excerpt: The main Vatican UN diplomat, Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, has called for armed resistance to ISIS in a document presented to the UN Human Rights Council. ("...And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss, And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,..." Lepanto By G. K. Chesterton ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Obama’s Deal With a Cheating Iran? By Joseph Puder 
Excerpt: President Obama failed to explain in the above-mentioned interview the free reign the Ayatollahs would have in the development of ICBM’s, and possibly carrying nuclear payloads. He also did not explain why Iran would have the right to enrich and spin thousands of centrifuges, and continue to construct the Arak plutonium reactor. All the while, Iran is stonewalling the IAEA on the existence of additional secret facilities that are developing nuclear weapons. The president did mention in the interview his concern over unleashing a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world. Yet, given the nature of what we know about the deal with Iran, it very well means an end to non-proliferation. After all, if a rogue nation like Iran (another rouge nation, North Korea already did just that) can defy the world by continuing to enrich uranium, and gets a ‘green light’ from the P5+1 to keep thousands of centrifuges, eventually, the unrestricted ability to enrich uranium will lead to a bomb. Other regional powers including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will then seek protection by going nuclear as well.

‘It’s a Simple Fact of Our Constitution’: Freshman Senator Schools Veteran CBS Journalist on Nuclear Negotiations. By Jon Street
Excerpt: “It’s a simple fact of our constitution that if Congress doesn’t approve that deal that it may not last and the deal that’s on the table right now is a very bad deal,” Cotton replied.
“Since you brought up North Korea, I would point out that in 1994 the United States entered into something called Agreed Framework to stop North Korea from getting a bomb they almost immediately started cheating on it and a mere 12 years later they detonated their first nuclear weapon,” Cotton pointed out. “Now the world has to live with the consequences of a nuclear North Korea. I don’t want the world to live with the consequences of a nuclear Iran,” Cotton added.

Worth Reading: Why Pelosi’s Syria Visit Remains Indefensible. By Tom Rogan
Excerpt: When Nancy Pelosi embraced Bashar al-Assad in April 2007, she wasn’t simply challenging the commander-in-chief during a war; she was propagandizing for a dictator who was killing Americans. This is not conservative hyperbole. It is fact. After all, it is an undeniable truth that Assad was sheltering a range of terrorist groups that were attacking U.S. forces in Iraq — including then-lieutenant Tom Cotton, the senator whom Democrats now accuse of “treason” for spearheading a letter to Iran warning that a future president or Congress could cancel any nuclear deal it makes with the Obama administration.

John Kerry: U.S. must eventually negotiate with Assad
Excerpt: The United States will have to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to remove him from power and bring the Syrian civil war to a close, Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview that aired Sunday. Kerry said the U.S. is working hard to ratchet up pressure on the Syrian regime to bring Assad to the table to negotiate a political transition and stem what Kerry called "one of the worst tragedies any of us have seen on the face of the planet." (Assad saw what happened in Libya when Gaddafi "had to go." good luck with this. Besides, Nancy Pelosi is a fan of Assad's--see above. ~Bob)

Excerpt: "President Obama means it when he says, again and again, that Iran will not be permitted to get a nuclear weapon. As you all know, Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear weapon, and that is a very welcome statement that the Supreme Leader has, in fact, incorporated into a fatwa. And we have great respect – great respect – for the religious importance of a fatwa. And what we are effectively trying to do is translate that into legal language, into everyday language within the framework of a negotiated agreement that everybody can understand, which requires everybody to have certain obligations and ultimately be able to guarantee that Iran’s program, its nuclear program, will be peaceful now and peaceful forever." (Hanoi John knows a thing or two about treason. But maybe nothing about the Islamic concept of Al-Taqiyah, which makes it more than acceptable to lie in any case where it advances the Muslim cause--say in getting the A-bomb. ~Bob)

Deadly blasts hit Pakistan churches in Lahore
Excerpt: Two bomb blasts have killed at least 14 people near two churches in a Christian neighbourhood of the Pakistani city of Lahore, local officials say.
More than 70 people were hurt in the explosions, which targeted worshippers attending Sunday mass at the churches in the Youhanabad area.

UK Muslim doctor who became Taliban commander killed in drone strike. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: A doctor? But…but…poverty causes terrorism! He just needed some economic opportunities and all would have been well! ... Dr Mirza Tariq Ali, 39, who worked in hospitals in London and Cambridge, was involved in extremist groups in the UK when he was charged with violent disorder.

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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