Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today's interesting political news and opinion


Comment on last post--good catch!
In the picture of the boy handing water to a police officer, there is a sign with a 410 (Baltimore) area code - either genuine or great photo shop. not sure if recent though EOM

Nice day today, so we took a drive to Portage, ate at a downtown cafe, toured some country roads. Thus late to the blog. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Must Read: The Army’s Walk of Shame. By Tom Kratman
Excerpt: Once again, “We interrupt our regularly scheduled program…”1 This just in: In a stunning blow against international terrorism, US Army Cadet Command has recently unleashed its latest martial innovation, the comedy bomb. It is reported that Islamic terrorists from Thailand to Central Africa were incapacitated for hours and a few have even laughed themselves to death. The bomb was delivered via the Internet after a rapid development initiative at Headquarters, Cadet Command, Fort Knox, KY. Cadet Command is treating the name of the developer of the comedy bomb as top secret, but has released several photos of the bomb…” (Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. ~Bob)

Excerpt: In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asserted that the administration must pursue a number of negotiating objectives, including “beefing up protections for U.S. intellectual property” if it wants Congress to approve the TPP. It is uncertain the president is as committed to intellectual property as Mr. Ryan and Mr. Cruz hope, especially with respect to patents for medicines. (China is a huge violator of IP rights in many areas. ~Bob)

New Information Reveals the Clinton Foundation as an International Money Laundering Scheme!
Excerpt: In a new story from Bloomberg News it’s revealed that, contrary to their agreement with the White House and any sense of transparency, the Clinton Foundation purposely chose not to disclose more than a thousand different foreign donations! The problem is that when Hillary Clinton agreed to become Secretary of State, she promised to disclose the names of every donor to the Clinton Foundation as one of the conditions to her new position. Now we know she (and her foundation) lied.

Pat Roggensack is – or soon will be – chief justice; Shirley Abrahamson is not. By M.D. Kittle
Excerpt: Shirley Abrahamson may be trying all she can to hold on to the reins of power, but the former state Supreme Court Justice doesn’t have the votes.
On Wednesday, the four conservative members of the seven-person court took up a motion by Justice Michael Gableman to elect Justice Patience Roggensack as the court’s new chief justice. The legal reading is that Abrahamson’s nearly 20-year term as chief justice is over.

John Chisholm’s 50 shades of ‘raid.’ By M.D. Kittle
Excerpt: When is a raid simply a “judicially approved” home visit by law enforcement?
Apparently in John Chisholm’s world. The Milwaukee County District Attorney who launched Wisconsin’s political John Doe investigations into dozens of conservative organizations and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker has come out with a pronouncement on the definition of the word ‘raid.’

The dirty little secret no one wants to admit about Baltimore
Excerpt: As posted on by John Nolte, “Contrary to the emotional blackmail some leftists are attempting to peddle, Baltimore is not America’s problem or shame. That failed city is solely and completely a Democrat problem.” 

David Jolly Fights to Keep Guantanamo Bay Naval Base Open. By Kevin Derby
Excerpt: On Wednesday night, the U.S. House backed U.S. Rep David Jolly’s, R-Fla., amendment ensuring federal funds are not used to close the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

40 years later, Vietnam still deeply divided over war. By Thomas Maresca, Special for USA TODAY
Excerpt: HO CHI MINH CITY — This bustling city of 8 million that is still called Saigon by many is going all out to celebrate Thursday's 40th anniversary of its fall — the day North Vietnam's Communist army captured South Vietnam's capital. ... Yet even as the now-united country trumpets the North's victory over American invaders during a devastating conflict that left more than 3 million Vietnamese and nearly 60,000 American troops dead, bitter rifts over the civil war remain deep and unresolved. (I recommend watching the videos that are part of this article. They actually talk about the plight of the crippled ARVN vets, the domination of the South by the North (not exactly "liberation"), and talk frankly and clearly about how the nation never healed up, and it's obvious it couldn't heal with the communists being a vengeful and oppressive as they were and remain. --Del)

Billionaire Koch brothers make push to court Latinos, alarming many Democrats
Excerpt: For Republicans, the road to warming the hearts and winning the votes of Latinos may begin at a Las Vegas flea market. On a recent morning, inside the Eastern Indoor Swapmeet Las Vegas, a group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers helped 250 Latinos — some of them illegal immigrants — pass the Nevada driver’s test.

Fact Check: Is The Clinton Foundation 'The Most Transparent'?
Excerpt: "What the Clinton foundation has said is that we will be kind of even more transparent," said the former first daughter, now vice chairman of the foundation, at an event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. "Even though Transparency International and others have said we're among the most transparent foundations, we'll disclose donors on a quarterly basis, not just an annual basis." The problem with that, though, is Transparency International never cited the Clinton foundation. (It’s a false statement, but it also looks like Freudian slip. Transparency International gives the U.S. State Department an award, and Chelsea thinks it went to the Clinton Foundation. It’s hard to shake the feeling that for the Clintons, the U.S. State Department and the Clinton Foundation were intertwined and interchangeable. NPR’s report continues: “The Clinton foundation discloses all of its donors . . .” No, it doesn’t. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Clinton Foundation did not disclose 1,100 foreign donors, and when they filed their taxes for the years Hillary was running the State Department, they just happened to forget to mention tens of millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments. NPR continues, “. . . and, as Chelsea Clinton noted, it is now doing so more frequently as Hillary Clinton is running for president. That’s more than other presidential libraries and foundations.” Yes, but other presidential libraries and foundations aren’t a way to put money at the disposal of a future presidential candidate. When Clinton defenders trot out the “but Hillary doesn’t make a salary from the foundation” claim, remind them that the family’s travel -- by charter or first class, “due to extraordinary security and other requirements” -- is paid for by the Foundation. -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Clinton charity never provided foreign donor data. By Annie Linskey, Boston Globe
Excerpt: An unprecedented ethics promise that played a pivotal role in helping Hillary Rodham Clinton win confirmation as secretary of state, soothing senators’ concerns about conflicts of interests with Clinton family charities, was uniformly bypassed by the biggest of the philanthropies involved. The Clinton Health Access Initiative never submitted information on any foreign donations to State Department lawyers for review during Clinton’s tenure from 2009 to 2013, Maura Daley, the organization’s spokeswoman, acknowledged to the Globe this week. She said the charity deemed it unnecessary, except in one case that she described as an “oversight.” During that time, grants from foreign governments increased by tens of millions of dollars to the Boston-based organization.

How Hillary Clinton is running against parts of her husband’s legacy. By Anne Gearan and Philip Rucker
Excerpt: On issues large and small, the Democratic presidential contender is increasingly distancing herself from — or even opposing — key policies pushed by Bill Clinton while he was in the White House, from her recent skepticism on free-trade pacts to her full embrace of gay rights. The starkest example yet came Wednesday, when Hillary Clinton delivered an impassioned address condemning the “era of incarceration” ushered in during the 1990s in the wake of her husband’s 1994 crime bill — though she never mentioned him or the legislation by name.

Army Hero Called ‘Murderer’ For Afghanistan Service. By Josh Fatzick
Excerpt: “I hope you watch your child starve and die in front of you, as you have done to the people of Afghanistan,” the note read. (I hope the writer has to live under the Taliban at some point. ~Bob)

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 'a case nobody wants to see go to trial.'
True, but it's against the rules to take him outback and shoot him without one. ~Bob

The United States Isn’t the Only Country Still Trying to Figure Out the Vietnam War. By Tuong Vu
Excerpt: Yet public opinion inside Vietnam about the meaning of the war has quietly shifted in the last two decades as Vietnamese gained the freedom to travel abroad, as scholars gained access to previously classified documents, and as the internet broke the government’s monopoly on access to information. The internet has been the government’s chief adversary more than anything else. Most Vietnamese were born after the war, and without the internet they would not have been able to know what really happened during the war and in its aftermath. No opinion survey on the topic is permitted, but one gets a sense of the public mood by following online discussions and by initiating informal conversations with ordinary Vietnamese. Much to the government’s chagrin, Vietnamese now view the war as a proxy war and civil war rather than one for national liberation and unification. (The bad news is that there have been a bunch of articles from antiwar people resurrecting the same lies and a few new ones as this anniversary came along. But there have been some really good articles, and this one in particular is outstanding. Pass it on. --Del)

Important: Social Security in Need of Reform
Excerpt: Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement security in the United States today. A third of Americans depend on the program for almost all their retirement income; without it, one-in-five would have no retirement income. But the program so many depend on simply cannot afford what it promises today's workers and faces a shortfall of more than $13 trillion over the next 75 years. Reforms are desperately needed. The number of Social Security beneficiaries is growing faster than the number of workers sup­porting them — the number of elderly will near­ly double between now and 2034 (38.6 million to 74 million) while the number of new workers will only increase 16 percent. Here is a sample of the facts: People are living longer and collecting more Social Security benefit checks: In 1940, life expectancy was 61.4 years for men and 65.7 for women. By 2000, life expectancy was 74.0 years for men and 79.4 for women; by 2050, life expectancy will be 80.0 years for men and 83.4 for women. Fewer children are born each year: For each generation to be the same size as the one before (the replacement rate), women must have 2.1 children. In 1940, the fertility rate was 2.23. Today, the rate is 2.01 and by 2035 it is expected to trend downward to 1.98. In all, the program faces an unfunded liability (the amount Social Security promises in benefits above what it will collect in taxes) of more than $26 trillion.

The Social Security Disability Insurance Program Could Be Insolvent by 2016
Excerpt: The Social Security Administration has been awarding benefits through its Disability Insurance (SSDI) program at an increasing rate, but meanwhile the actual rate of disability in the U.S. population working age and older has remained stable or even decreased. The SSDI Trust Fund will run out of money by 2016. A new paper published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University documents the growth of SSDI and explains that the "medical-vocational grid" reflects a view of the labor market and disability that is out of date with the economy and modern medicine. (It's amazing that with all the medical innovations like hip and knee replacements that get people back to work, the number of the "disabled": keeps rising. ~Bob)

Billionaire David Rubenstein gives $5M to refurbish Iwo Jima sculpture. By Michael E. Ruane
Excerpt: In October 1944, in the depths of World War II, a young man from Baltimore named Robert Rubenstein dropped out of high school and, with his mother’s permission, enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was 17. ... On Wednesday, his son, David, the billionaire philanthropist, announced that he is donating $5.37 million to refurbish the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, the 100-ton bronze sculpture of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima during the war. 

Rising Dragon News

Chinese is becoming the dominant force in Israel’s transport infrastructure. China seeks to establish new trade routes in the region. By Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu
Excerpt: “Independence” is a very popular concept in Israel, however, the concept is a very flexible one. In reality, Israel’s strategic geopolitical position has made it the political and economic playground of foreign powers throughout history, leaving very limited room for the judgment of the “local” residents. The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 did not change the big picture much. Until last decade, for example, the dominant force that molded Israel’s financial-political “independence” was the United States. US interests still carry significant weight in Israel’s economic and political conduct, but over the past five years, the beginnings of what may be termed the “Chinese chapter” in the history of the Israeli economy have become apparent.

Gun News

Oklahoma Game Warden Shoots and Kills Man Who Tried to Drown Him During License Check. by Daniel Xu
Excerpt: According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), a game warden approached three men fishing near Bunch in eastern Oklahoma on Sunday and asked to see their licenses. Among the men was 29-year-old Billy Joe Patrick, who had an active warrant out in Arkansas for a parole violation. When the warden attempted to arrest Patrick, OSBI officials said that Patrick began fighting back. “The men fell into a pond where the suspect tried to hold the officer’s head under water,” the OBSI stated on Facebook. “The officer fought his way above the water and shot the suspect. The man died at the scene.” (Hopefully, Billy Joe was white, so they won't burn the forests down. ~Bob)

Only in Alaska: Girl Shoots Grizzly Bear Before Prom. By John McAdams 
Excerpt: Last Saturday was prom night for the students at Kotzebue Middle High School in Alaska. However, it was also an opportunity for 15-year-old Cassidy Kramer to bag her first grizzly bear.

Name released of home intruder shot, killed in East Knox County
Excerpt: [Knox County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley] said the resident woke to the sound of breaking glass, went from a bedroom into the living room and fired one gunshot that struck the intruder as he was climbing in the front window. The man fell onto the deck, where KCSO deputies found his body.

Race Card News

Naval Academy midshipmen, caught in Baltimore protests, direct families to safety
Excerpt: She and nine other midshipmen found themselves caught in the protests.
These midshipmen directed families to the back of the Subway. Then they lined up, in front of families, as protesters passed outside, some throwing rocks. Women and children gathered farthest from the windows, except for Grinnell, the only female there from the Naval Academy.
"You're in the military and a midshipmen — you should be in the front," she insisted. (Now here is the take on how other military units would have responded... West Point: Cadets would have left Subway, taken the high ground on top of a nearby building and called for artillery and close air support. Air Force Academy: Cadets would have maneuvered to the nearest golf course and
asked for an immediate airlift out of the area. Coast Guard Academy: Would have retreated to the inner harbor and commandeered paddle boats to make their escape. US Merchant Marine Academy: "Hey, look at all this free food Subway left behind..."California Maritime Academy: Already on scene assisting the rioters.... Quantico Marine Corps OCS class: "The riot was ended 5 minutes ago, and the Marines are now in full control..." --LC.)

Most See Baltimore Riots As Criminal, Not Protest
Excerpt: Americans view the recent rioting in Baltimore as criminal behavior, not legitimate protest, and think it will only worsen the criminal justice situation in the city.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% of American Adults consider the mob violence in Baltimore that followed the funeral of a black man who died in police custody to be primarily legitimate outrage. Sixty-three percent (63%) instead characterize it as mostly criminals taking advantage of the situation. (For the 25%, I hope the next "protest" loots and burns out their home and business, to give them a clearer perspective. ~Bob)

This Report Could Change The Freddie Gray Narrative. By Chuck Ross
Excerpt: Freddie Gray was “banging against the walls” of a police van he was placed in and seemed to be “intentionally trying to injure himself” after his arrest earlier this month, another arrestee riding in the vehicle told investigators, according to a new and potentially game-changing investigative document. (Not sure this could cause or aggravate his spinal condition. but it doesn't matter. the thugs in Baltimore, like the thugs in Ferguson, are not interested in facts, only in the joys of looting and destroying. ~Bob)

Race Hustlers & Thugs Won’t Like What This Florida Sheriff Has to Say to the Black Community
Excerpt: Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan had some wise words he delivered lately. However, I'm sure some of the race baiters, the Obama administration and others who thrive off of the constant war of ethnic communities in America are going to be going after him once they hear what he had to say. However, he was right on.

Excerpt: Reading the liberal media, you'd think the Baltimore rioters are the reincarnation of Lexington and Concord's minutemen, bravely facing tyrants to defend their freedom. Well, Paul Revere might disagree. Somehow, ruining businesses and running off with condoms doesn't quite equate to Patrick Henry's speech "Give me Liberty or give me death." But the Left wants America to think it does. A particularly absurd Salon headline this week reads, "Baltimore's violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy." The author's argument is that non-violence is "a tactic, not a philosophy" and that black communities are struggling against "premeditated economic exploitation." Riots are simply "reasonable responses to generations of extreme state violence, and logical decisions about what kind of actions yield the desired political results." (If smashing police cars, looting and burning stores and beating people based on their skin color is a legit strategy for one side, it's a legit strategy for the other side to retaliate with violence. ~Bob)

Tell People They're Victims — They'll Act Like Victims. By Larry Elder
Excerpt: In watching Baltimore burn, “progressives” run out of scapegoats. ... So, why riot? Unlike Ferguson, where riots also took place, black Baltimore residents do not lack political power and representation. The mayor is black. The police commissioner and deputy commissioner are black. The police department is approximately 40 percent black, in a city with a black population of 63 percent. The new head of the Department of Justice, Loretta Lynch, is a black female, the second consecutive black person to run the Department of Justice. And, of course, the president of United States is black. (And Larry Elder is black. ~Bob)

How the Freddie Gray Family Showed Real Character. By Mark Horne
Excerpt: It takes real character to refuse to join a mob when you are grief-stricken about a loved one’s death, which is what we see in the Freddie Gray family. I’m not suggesting that it is somehow especially worthy to refuse to endorse mob violence. Everyone should have enough moral sense to condemn lawless rioting. But I would think that the family of Freddie Gray might have been tempted to keep silent, since the riots are against the police (in some sense; I’m not sure how destroying private businesses has much to do with opposing the police)

Michael Moore Demands America ‘Disarm The Police.’ By Derek Hunter
Excerpt: Filmmaker Michael Moore demanded on Twitter Thursday that America’s police officers be disarmed and all African-Americans imprisoned for non-violent crimes be released. (Let's experiment. we disarm any cops within 50 miles of Moore's home and release a thousand "non-violent" black felons within ten miles of his home. If that works out well....~Bob)
Excerpt: Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

Race Rioters Declare Open Season On Cops
Excerpt: Baltimore’s crippling race riots are hurting police: 15 Baltimore cops have been injured, with two remaining in the hospital with more severe injuries. But, even worse, Baltimore police claim that cops may be in danger all across the nation)–and other cities are already taking precautions. (Could this be the "serious crisis" that shouldn't "go to waste" as a pretext to martial law? --JB)

Nope, Jon Stewart, $1 trillion wasn’t spent on Afghanistan schools at the expense of Baltimore. By Glenn Kessler
Excerpt: It may be the case that Baltimore schools should get more federal funding — or that too much was spent in Afghanistan, with not much impact. But Stewart suggested that an extraordinary amount was spent on schools in Afghanistan ($1 trillion) while Baltimore did not even get a “taste.” In fact, in a direct comparison of federal spending on Baltimore schools and spending on Afghanistan education, Baltimore easily comes out on top. So, even with allowances for comic effect, Stewart earns Four Pinocchios. Given his stature and influence, he should not reinforce stereotypes about the impact of foreign aid on the federal budget.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Important: The Sun Is ‘Blank’ As Solar Activity Comes To A Standstill. By Michael Bastasch
Excerpt: A new report from seasoned meteorologists says the sun is “almost completely blank” as the center of the solar system enters its weakest cycle in more than a century. “The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century,” according to Virginia-based weather forecaster Vencore Weather.

Paging Al Gore: ‘Irreversible’ Arctic Ice Loss Seems To Be Reversing Itself. By Michael Bastasch
Excerpt: For years, scientists have been warning the Arctic was in a “death spiral” and could soon be ice-free during the summertime and shrink to unprecedented levels due to man-made global warming. Such ice loss could be “irreversible,” some scientists claimed. But new research from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography says that predictions of an ice-free Arctic are based on “oversimplified” theories. Scripps researchers, who were co-funded by the Navy, found that the Arctic sea ice may be “substantially more stable than has been suggested in previous idealized modeling studies.” (Well, Al Gore promised that the Arctic would be ice-free by the summer of 2013, and you have to trust him more than any scientist. He didn't make $200M on global warming for nothing. ~Bob)

Most transparent administration in history: Spies like us: EPA claims ‘intelligence’ activities cannot be investigated by a gov’t watchdog. By Pete Kasperowicz
Excerpt: The Environmental Protection Agency has been refusing to let a government watchdog investigate some of its activities, on the grounds that those activities are protected for “intelligence” reasons. EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins testified at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, and said the EPA has asserted this claim and prevented the IG from gaining access to some information.

Worth Reading: An Ironic Drought In California. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California droughts are both age-old and common. Predictable California dry spells -- like those of 1929-34, 1976-77 and 1987-92 -- more likely result from poorly understood but temporary changes in atmospheric pressures and ocean temperatures. What is new is that the state has never had 40 million residents during a drought -- well over 10 million more than during the last dry spell in the early 1990s. Much of the growth is due to massive and recent immigration. A record one in four current Californians was not born in the United States, according to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Religion of Peace News

Foreign Money Promotes Radical Islamist Agenda in Canada
Excerpt: Millions of dollars are flooding into Canada from Gulf states to promote a radical Islamist agenda, according to testimony by the prime minister's national security adviser, the National Post reports.

US Navy to Accompany US-Flagged Ships Through Strait of Hormuz
Excerpt: U.S. naval forces have begun accompanying U.S.-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, a senior U.S. defense official said Thursday. The announcement comes two days after Iranian forces seized a cargo ship sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands and forced it to anchor off the Iranian coast. (I didn't know there were any US Flagged ships, except paddle wheelers on the Mississippi. How about US owned ships...~Bob)

Video: Marco Rubio Makes the Case Iran Deal Must Include Iranian Recognition of Israel’s Right to Exist

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:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Don't miss today's political news and opinion


If you are blocked from an article, try Googling the title. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Don't let the people find out: 1,100 donors to a Canadian charity tied to Clinton Foundation remain secret. By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post
Excerpt: A charity affiliated with the Clinton Foundation failed to reveal the identities of its 1,100 donors, creating a broad exception to the foundation’s promise to disclose funding sources as part of an ethics agreement with the Obama administration. The number of undisclosed contributors to the charity, the Canada-based Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, signals a larger zone of secrecy around foundation donors than was previously known.

Clinton Foundation Made The Same Foreign Donation ‘Mistake’ 1,100 Times. By Chuck Ross
Excerpt: The Canadian arm of the Clinton Foundation has more than 1,100 undisclosed donors and is seeking permission from the top 28 to reveal their identity, according to reports. The disclosure effort is in response to the intense scrutiny aimed at the Clinton Foundation’s failure to comply with an ethics agreement it signed in 2008 before Hillary Clinton took the job as secretary of state.

63% Think Hillary Clinton May Have Helped Foreign Donors As Secretary of State
Excerpts: Just over half of voters do not trust Hillary Clinton, but even more think she used her position as secretary of State to benefit some of those who gave money to her Clinton Foundation. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s likely some actions Clinton took as secretary of State were influenced by donations made to the Clinton Foundation. (The other 37% think Russia and Saudi Arabia are Santa Clause. ~Bob)

WaPo Fact Checker: Clinton Foundation’s misleading claim about Canadian laws on donor info. By Michelle Ye Hee Lee
Excerpt: The charity’s memo notes that under Canadian law, donors have the right to privacy, and that the board of directors has a fiduciary responsibility to use donors’ personal information for its own charitable purposes. While that may be the case, Pally’s statement implies that there is a blanket Canadian law that bans charities from disclosing donor information without permission. That is not exactly the case. Three Pinocchios

More Clinton Foreign Money Hypocrisy: They Blasted Bob Dole for It!
Excerpt: When all was said and done with the investigation, the DNC was fined $115,000 and the Clinton-Gore campaign was fined $2,000. This gives us plenty of ammunition to hit Clinton with.* In addition to spotlighting the time they hit Bob Dole over these donations, it brings to light the fact that, while President, Bill Clinton signed an executive order banning foreign lobbying, and it highlights the 42nd President's role in 1990s campaign finance reform. It also shows us how the Clinton administration made no real effort to insure that witnesses called before the committee gave honest responses--or even to insure that many of them would even show up!

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'I am running for president'
Excerpt: Promising to fight what he deems "obscene levels" of income disparity and a campaign finance system that is a "real disgrace," independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he will run for president as a Democrat. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sanders confirmed his plans to formally join the race Thursday. The self-described "democratic socialist" enters the race as a robust liberal alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton, and he pledged to do more than simply raise progressive issues or nudge the former secretary of state to the left in a campaign in which she is heavily favored. ("obscene levels" a hit on Hillary? ~Bob)

In 1 in 5 Families in U.S., No One Works. By Ali Meyer
Excerpt: In 19.9 percent of American families in 2014, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), no one in the family worked. (Fundamentally transforming America into government dependents. ~Bob)

Labor unions take forced fees from 550,000 nonmembers. By Jason Hart 
Excerpt: To keep their jobs, 554,799 American workers were forced last year to pay union agency fees. In the 25 states without right-to-work laws, unions can take mandatory “fair share” or “agency” fees from workers who decline union membership. Those fees often amount to hundreds of dollars per year. Unions can’t spend agency fees directly on politics, but taking fees from nonmembers frees unions to spend more from members’ dues on political activism for “progressive,” big-government policies.

IRS watchdog recovers thousands of missing Lois Lerner emails, reignites Hill probes
Excerpt: The Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration announced overnight that it had recovered roughly 6,400 Lerner emails that Congress has yet to see and that it will examine them as part of Congress’ bipartisan investigation that also includes the Senate Finance Committee. Roughly 650 of the recovered emails are from 2010 and 2011, while most of them are from 2012. (In unrelated news: IRA IG transferred to Barrow, Alaska field office. ~Bob)

The numbers on the Obama economy are in for the first quarter:
Excerpt: The U.S. economy stalled in the first quarter, expanding by just .02 percent, hurt by weak exports and a drop in business investment, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The figure fell short of analyst's predictions of 1 percent growth and well below the previous quarter's 2.2 percent growth, indicating that the U.S. economy is losing momentum, undermining President Obama's recent efforts to tout the economic recovery.

Flat Tax is a Fair Tax
Excerpt: Almost exactly 20 years ago, Steven Forbes started talking about flat tax. Two decades later, the flat tax is again the rage in a presidential primary. A number of GOP candidates, including Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, are looking to go flat with a radically simplified postcard tax return. Mike Huckabee wants a low flat-rate tax too, but he would use a sales tax, not an income tax. The new Republican Party has been baptized in the iron logic of the Laffer Curve. High tax rates stifle innovation, work, investment and American competitiveness. The United States' absurdly high corporate tax rate (40 percent on average) is incontrovertibly sending jobs and corporations abroad, where rates are typically much lower. Just ask Burger King, one of the latest iconic American companies to flee to a lower-tax competitor.

Worth Reading: America’s Failed Revolution. By Chris Miller
Excerpt: What does it mean to have a culture where few will fight for a country all profess to love? Perhaps American Exceptionalism is to blame. Ironically, those who have hawkish views on American policy, yet do not fight themselves, and those with dovish views on the use of military force unwittingly share similar conclusions on this point. They believe that their version of America is such a special creation in God’s eyes or has reached such a state of enlightened, modern development that the normal rules of history do not apply. ... Words no longer match deeds. America stands divided politically, economically, and socially. Its foreign policy is adrift without a grand strategy over the last 15 years of the post-9/11 era. There is little sign thus far that things will change in 2016. We are indeed a long way away from those farmers, laborers, and merchantmen who stood together, shoulder to shoulder, at North Bridge in Concord and faced down an empire, knowing it would mean the end of life as they had known it and death for many of them, especially if they failed. The stakes were high then. They are just as high today.

Eighth-graders struggling with basic U.S. history, civics. By Jason Russell
Excerpt: Less than one-in-five eighth graders have a proficient grasp of United States history, and less than a quarter have a proficient grasp of civics, according to new government data released Wednesday.

Rising Dragon News

The Hundred Year Marathon: China’s new, better ‘leap forward.’ By Robert Samuelson
Excerpt: No country can be a global power without an engineering and scientific base. It’s necessary to run modern factories, develop new products, analyze and deal with complex social problems — pollution, food safety, sickness and disease — and (if the country chooses) to build and project military might. China’s rise to power once again confirms this truism. ... During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) — Mao Zedong’s grisly effort to purify the Communist Party by banishing millions of Chinese to the countryside — China repudiated modern science. ... Since then, China has been on a science and technology tear, as a new study by Harvard economists Richard Freeman and Wei Huang shows. Here are highlights:

Older, on topic: Go to China, young scientist. By Matthew Stremlau 
Excerpt: Today, however, only a handful of my friends will go on to run their own labs, though more would like to. Some go into industry or consulting or law. Others leave science altogether. As public funding for science and technology shrinks, it just isn’t possible for people who want to become scientists in America to actually become scientists. So when a friend of mine who recently received her PhD in molecular biology asked for some career advice, the answer was easy. Go to China, I told her.

Gun News

VA Sends Veterans’ Medical Info To FBI To Get Their Guns Taken Away. By Patrick Howley
Excerpt: The VA puts you on the list if they say you can’t handle your “financial affairs”: “…VA provides the Department of Justice a monthly list of individuals who have been rated by VA as being unable to manage their VA benefits,” according to a federal government “frequently asked questions” document obtained by TheDC. The VA information technology center in Austin, Texas sends the FBI “a monthly CD” containing names of new veterans being added to the list.

Race Card News

DUMB CRIMINAL: Woman Arrested for Threatening to Kill Police on Facebook
Excerpt: “All Black ppl should rise up and shoot at every white cop in the nation starting NOW.
I condone black on white killings. Hell they condone crimes against us. (Won't make the SPLC's list of dangerous extremists. ~Bob)

Breaking: Freddie Gray Allegedly Had Spine Surgery Just One Week Before Arrest
Excerpt: CONFIRMED: Court records show Freddie Gray was receiving a structured settlement from Allstate Insurance and attempted to convert it into one lump sum in early March.

Excerpt: We've all watched Black politicians drag Detroit into a 3rd world city, morally and financially bankrupt, rife with crime, a long line of mayors imprisoned for graft and corruption. Black leaders couldn't keep the water running, or the garbage picked up, or even provide basic personal protection of its citizens. Hard on the heels of Detroit's demise, Baltimore, Maryland is simply "Detroit; Part II." Just as Detroit was a thriving metropolis in 1960, Baltimore, in 1960, was a prosperous city; a safe, low crime, desirable place for folks to live. In 1960 Baltimore had a population of a million hard working people; 20 percent Black, 80 percent White. "White Flight" has left Baltimore with half their former population, overwhelmingly Black. As with Detroit, Baltimore got rid of the honkey politicians and the Black majority elected city leaders from their own ranks. And Black leaders rewarded their citizenry with graft and corruption....and the citizenry just got more impoverished.

Whole Foods Defies the Obama Agenda – What Happens Next Is Disgusting
Excerpt: Grocery store brand Whole Foods is facing backlash this week after they made efforts to support law enforcement who have been trying to protect Baltimore from the violent race riots. “We teamed up with Whole Foods Market Mt. Washington to make sandwiches for the men and women keeping Baltimore safe. We are so thankful to have them here and they’re pumped for Turkey & Cheese,” one of the supermarket’s local stores posted on Instagram. The post infuriated many on the left, who stand with the Obama Administration. (The liberal elitists will have to eat non-organic yogurt like us common folks. ~Bob)

Baltimore Rioter Who Slashed Fire Hose Unmasked. By Kerry Picket
Excerpt: A young man who cut a fire hose Monday as firefighters attempted to save a CVS may now be identified. (Prediction: no penalty. ~Bob)

Facebook post said it was from Baltimore--Can't verify.

Source: Baltimore mayor ordered police to stand down
Excerpt: Despite a firm denial by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a senior law enforcement source charges that she gave an order for police to stand down as riots broke out Monday night, raising more questions about whether some of the violence and looting could have been prevented. The source, who is involved in the enforcement efforts, confirmed to Fox News there was a direct order from the mayor to her police chief Monday night, effectively tying the hands of officers as they were pelted with rocks and bottles. 

Preventing violence
Wife met with New Haven mayor and town mayor as part of a multi-faith team to prevent youth violence, in part driven by a kid killed in a drive by last week. New Haven mayor is from the Loretta Lynch school of political qualifications. She told me about all the committees formed to address the multitude of issues. I asked if there was a committee on parental assistance or intervention. Hadn't thought of that one. --GS

Baltimore City Council Apologizes–To Rioters! By Adam Campbell
Excerpt: As Baltimore burns, Baltimore City Council President Jack Young took to address apparently the most important thing on his desk: apologizing for calling rioters “thugs.” He instead called those responsible for the shocking violence “misdirected.” You think? Keep in mind these “misdirected” rioters have torched 15 buildings and hundreds of cars, and attacked more than 15 police officers. Their pictures could be in Webster’s Dictionary under the word “thug.” They now say the use of "thug" is racist. I would call the Aryan Nation thugs, and their diversity policy for recruiting minorities is somewhat limited. ~Bob)

Google searched for use of the N word. Funny. In Wisconsin, the highest usage is the Milwaukee area, in Michigan it is the Detroit area--both with the highest black populations in these states. ~Bob

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

King v Burwell Decision Could Usher in Obamacare Alternative
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 v 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., says NCPA senior fellow John R. Graham. 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.

Undocumented Democrat News

73% Think Newcomers Should Adopt America's Culture, Language
Excerpt: Most voters still consider America an equitable place to live and feel strongly that newcomers to this country should adopt our way of life. (Press Two For Spanish is racist! First because non-English speaking immigrants from other cultures do not get everything in their native languages, and second because Hispanics who don't speak English are worse off economically than those who do. So it keeps them poor. ~Bob)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Surprise, they lied: Obama clean energy loans leave taxpayers in $2.2 billion hole. By Stephen Dinen
Excerpt: Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government’s energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.

Counting the Kemper costs: Mississippi’s travails with “clean coal.” By Andrew Collins
Excerpt: Mississippi Watchdog reporter Steve Wilson, who has been following the Kemper Project story for more than a year now, ticks off a laundry list of disconcerting facts along these lines. The clean coal plant has increased in cost by more than 70 percent over its initial projections and is two years behind schedule – due in part to delays and government regulations. It is held up as an example for future coal power plants, but the dirty little secret is that currently it does not work – and might never work. Unfortunately, it is the rate payers for Mississippi Power, the utility that built the plant, who have been saddled with 18 percent rate increases to pay for the plant’s $6.175 billion price tag. That makes it one of the most expensive power plants per kilowatt in the country.

Religion of Peace News

Lawsuit Alleges Sexism, Anti-Semitism by Al Jazeera America Official
Excerpt: A senior Al Jazeera America manager is facing serious allegations of sexist and anti-Semitic discrimination after an employee filed suit Tuesday for wrongful termination. Matthew Luke is seeking $15 million in damages from the Qatar-owned network. The complaint filed in New York state court accuses Osman Mahmud of sexist discrimination, such as removing female employees from projects and excluding women from emails and meetings related to their assignments. Mahmud also allegedly made anti-American and anti-Semitic comments, such as "whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell."

Excerpt: In preparing today’s testimony, I reviewed the history of al Qaeda’s plotting against the West. A number of facts demonstrate that al Qaeda’s presence in Africa has been tied to these efforts. For instance, declassified documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound show that he ordered al Qaeda’s branches in Africa to select candidates capable of striking inside the U.S. Bin Laden also ordered al Qaeda’s African branches to coordinate their work with his “external operations” team, which was responsible for plotting attacks against Western interests. Some of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders, including those who have overseen al Qaeda’s planned attacks in the West, have come from Africa. Senior al Qaeda leaders embedded in Shabaab have also trained operatives to attack in Europe.

Clinton Aide Gets Life in Prison. By Matthew Vadum 
Excerpt: An Islamic terrorist leader who jumped straight from his job at the Clinton Foundation to a post with Egypt’s jihadist Muslim Brotherhood has received a life sentence back home for seditious activities.

Iranian State Piracy Pays. By Christopher S. Carson 
Excerpt: Iran has taken a new step today in aggression against Western shipping with a kind of state-sponsored piracy. The container ship Maersk Tigris, owned by a Danish company but “chartered” to a German-held corporation, was fired on and boarded by the Iranian navy. The Danish ship and her crew were taken to Iran. An American destroyer, the USS Farragut, has been ordered to intercept, but Iran has good reason to believe that it will pay no price for its piracy, and may even in fact benefit.

Important: Young Saudi Royals Rise as Kingdom Tries to Assert Regional Leadership. By Ahmed Al Omran And Asa Fitch
Excerpt: The Saudi monarchy’s overhaul of its aging leadership moves a younger generation of royals into position to reinvigorate the country at a time when it is trying to assert political and military leadership in the Middle East and reshape ties with the West. In a kingdom where elderly and infirm monarchs made all major decisions for decades, the empowerment of younger members of the House of Saud is a significant departure. It has already translated into a surprisingly activist foreign policy that has asserted Saudi leadership of a Sunni Muslim bloc confronting mainly Shiite Iran. And it comes as oil-rich Saudi Arabia faces economic challenges at home brought on by the sharp fall in the price of crude.

Nigerian army says hundreds of girls rescued from Boko Haram camps. Rescue does not include any of the schoolgirls kidnapped a year ago, military says
Excerpt: Nigeria's military says it has rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram in the northeastern Sambisa Forest but they do not include any of the schoolgirls kidnapped a year ago from Chibok. The army announced the rescue on Twitter Tuesday and said it is now screening and profiling the girls and women.

Worth Hearing: Ex-Muslim: Koran Revealed a Religion I Did Not Like

UK: Muslim candidate says she’ll never support “the Jew” Miliband for PM. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: She is a member of the Conservative Party, the party of David Cameron and Theresa May, who are just as desperate to appease Islamic supremacists and pander for Muslim votes as Miliband is. So this is not much of a surprise — it’s just another day in shattered, staggering, Sharia Britannia.

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: