Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Death of a great jurist...and other political news

Worth Reading: Dear Mr. President. By Tom Kratman
Excerpt: Dear Mr. President: I am sure you can barely think at the moment, what with all the ghoulish howls of glee from the hard left over the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. Still, think you must; after all, it’s most of what we pay you for.
Among the things you need to think about and consider are your legacy, the good of the country, the upcoming election, the possibility of civil war (and here I don’t mean “a kind of war;” I mean war war), and the difference between tactics and strategy. ( I seriously fear that there will be more political violence in the next four years, especially if Clinton, Sanders or Trump is elected, than the country has undergone since the capitulation of Generals Robert E. Lee and Joe Johnson in 1865. 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. http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Called-Peace-Carrera-Book-ebook/dp/B00B5HJOFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426715332&sr=8-1&keywords=Peace+Kratman I expect that in 20 years they will move his novel Caliphate to the history section. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Thermopylae. By Constantine P. Cavafy, 1903
This poem was just sent to me by my friend, LtCol Tom Kratman, USA (Ret) This is all of us, my friends. I do not see how the Republic can survive. To take a course now that might, just might lead us through would be opposed by 90%+ of the people because now it would mean sacrifices beyond when they think we can tolerate. Perhaps those of us who fight on will leave some small sparks of freedom and honor that will fan a flame after the collapse and decades of chaos. Perhaps. But we can do no other. ~Bob

Very bad news: BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Scalia dies during hunting trip in Marfa
Excerpt: An El Paso source close to Justice Antonin Scalia tells ABC-7 that the 79-year-old died in his sleep last night after a day of quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa, Texas. (He was a conservative. Swings the balance, as there are four leftists and one "swing vote." And Obama will appoint a leftist. If Obama's appointment is confirmed, from then on the Constitution will mean whatever Obama wants it to mean on a given day. ~Bob. It's up to McConnell...if he feels he must move ahead with the confirmation process, he can probably get a couple of Republicans to go with the Dems to approve an Obama nominee...or will there be gridlock for a year?...can't imagine that...and what about pending cases? A four-four tie leaves the lower court ruling stand. What a nightmare lies ahead. McConnell has already said pick should be up to next President...can he make it stick? --Chuck)

Eric Holder? Who will succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, dead at 79?
Excerpt: Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79.

Worth Reading: Why Scalia's death could turn the 2016 election upside down

Antonin Scalia’s Death Could Mark End of Constitution
Excerpt: The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia doesn’t merely mark a tragedy for Constitutional philosophy – it may mark the death of American Constitutionalism as a whole.  Scalia’s philosophy of jurisprudence is well-known and shaped two generations of conservative thinkers: the Constitution ought to be interpreted according to its original meaning. This shouldn’t have been a groundbreaking notion given that most legislation is interpreted according to those rules, but because leftist jurists have spent a century chiseling away at the meaning of the Constitution based on their personal political beliefs, Scalia’s reinvigoration of traditional interpretive methodologies made him a historic figure. 

Hour 1: Liberals Respond to Antonin Scalia’s Death with Hatred, Mockery, Joy

Read Justice Ginsburg’s moving tribute to her “best buddy” Justice Scalia
Comment with the email: Nice article  showing that you can be "ideological adversaries but still close personal friends." Maybe our politicians will read it!.... 

Doubtful: Conspiracy theories swirl around the death of Antonin Scalia
Excerpt: .... “Did the US Marshal check for petechial hemorrhage in his eyes or under his lips that would have suggested suffocation? Did the USMarshal smell his breath for any unusual odor that might suggest poisoning? My gut tells me there is something fishy going on in Texas.” (It takes a lot to make me break out the tin foil hat. This is not there yet. ~Bob)

Texas official: Scalia suffered heart attack
Excerpt: Guevara pronounced Scalia dead at 1:52 p.m. on Saturday and ordered an autopsy after reviewing the case with a U.S. Marshall and talking to Scalia’s doctor. Scalia was visiting a ranch in Presido County with friends on a hunting trip when he passed away. (Guevara has since backtracked calling it "natural causes" since there was no autopsy ordered.  She called it over the phone, sight unseen, based on questions she asked his MD and a US Marshal (appointed by Obama).  So, this story from 02/14/16 is misinformation.  Surprise, surprise.  The thing I find odd:  Scalia went to his MD with a complaint of shoulder pain and had an MRI.  (This could be rotator cuff tear, etc.)  So, if your shoulder hurts enough to have an MRI, why in the heck would you go quail hunting and put a shotgun/rifle up into your shoulder and absorb the kick?  Even if on the other side, it would hurt.  Doesn't make sense.  Why did his son back out and leave him unaccompanied?  Where is Columbo? --Barb)

The Low-Info Voters: Long-Serving Scalia Controversial, Yet Widely Unknown
Strangely, the percentage of people who said they had “never heard of” Antonin Scalia increased from 29 percent in 2001 to 39 percent in 2005. Was that the Greatest Generation, who read newspapers, dying off and the Millennials, who never look up from their cell phones, entering the polling sample? This is a free country, and you’re free to not care, and free to not pay any attention to, say, one-third and arguably our most powerful branch of government. I understand the sense that it would be a better world if we could spend more time thinking less about what government is doing about more pleasant things -- food, sports, movies, home furnishings, how awesome the finale of Gravity Falls was, etc. But if you choose to pay no attention to these things, and refuse to read anything about them, watch anything about them, or learn anything about them . . . then I’d rather you left the voting to those of us who do care. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Worth Reading: 20 Face-Melting Quotes from Late Justice Antonin Scalia Will Make You Miss Him Even More. By Benny Johnson
Excerpt: " A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless."

Worth Reading: It’s Only Reckless Partisanship When the Other Guys Do It, Huh? By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should just give this speech: "We should not confirm any Obama nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not . . . This is just a prologue considering the constitutional harm and dramatic departures that are in store if those few are joined by one more ideological ally. We have to, in my judgment, stick by the precepts that I’ve elaborated. I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining Sotomayor and Kagan on the court." That, of course, is a speech from Chuck Schumer from June 2007, with “Bush” replaced with “Obama” and “Roberts and Alito” changed to “Sotomayor and Kagan.” Watch the video; the audience at the American Constitutional Society gave it roaring applause at the end. No one booed. No one shouted this was an assault on the Constitution and rule of law. No one tore their hair out claiming that this was an obstinate ideological litmus test, and that it represented an assault on an independent judiciary. So we’ve already established that in the minds of the American legal community, it is perfectly legitimate and fair for an opposition party to refuse to confirm a president’s nominees to the Supreme Court unless the nominee meets that opposition party’s definition of “mainstream.” Goose, meet gander. What’s more, Obama is particularly hypocritical here; he’s the first president who voted to filibuster one of his predecessor’s nominations, Samuel Alito. Obama voted against John Roberts as well -- you know, the chief justice who saved Obamacare twice. (Morning Jolt is a free e-newsletter you should subscribe to. It is well worth your time to read. ~Bob)

You Can Get Off Your High Horses About SCOTUS Appointment Democrats, You’re On Tape
It's SO nice that people keep records of what was said and written in the past.  The video of Schumer saying plainly that NO Bush nominee should be confirmed except under exceptional circumstances is a winner, that needs to get played on all the TV stations as the Dems go ballistic about the GOP wanting the next President to do the nominating. --Del

Why Antonin Scalia was a jurist of colossal consequence. By George F. Will

Justice Scalia’s principled fight for representative democracy

The Un-Democratic Party: DNC Chair: Superdelegates Exist to Protect Party Leaders from Grassroots Competition

In Nevada, a tightening race threatens Clinton’s post-New Hampshire ‘firewall’

Worth Reading: Telling Trumpers The Truth. By Kevin McCullough
Excerpt: Perhaps it would be far more honest and somewhat fairly obvious to the watching world if we made mention that the biggest supplier of circular fire in the GOP primary to date has come from one Donald J. Trump. The world's most cravenly hungry abuser of eminent domain has set his gaze on every other Republican in the race with a desire to punish them and put them in their place. He has lied, flip-flopped, and betrayed the sincere ugliness of his inner self in doing so. His perverse desire to not just win the nomination but to seemingly injure every person who honestly cites his record has a sickness and pathology to it.

Why I will not vote for Trump: Donald Trump Is No Revolutionary, He’s Just a Democrat. By David French
Excerpt: Saturday’s GOP debate finally clarified the Donald Trump phenomenon. After months of dominating the polls and millions of words of analysis, the grueling slog of the primary race is finally bringing the facts into sharp relief. Donald Trump isn’t a revolutionary. He’s not a conservative. He’s not even a populist. He’s a Democrat.

Politicized History: Civil War Museum Under Fire For Displaying Items From the Civil War
Excerpt: You heard that right. The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is taking heat from the mayor and others for a new exhibit on firearms sponsored by the National Rifle Association. While the source of the funding has come under scrutiny, the larger concern is the display of weapons, including William Quantrill’s colt revolver.

Interesting: Five Big Questions After the Harshest G.O.P. Debate Yet. By Frank Bruni 
Excerpt: In one of the most acrid exchanges of the evening, Ted Cruz recited a litany of Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, whom Trump had supported not so long ago, and Cruz used that list to assert that Trump would surely appoint a liberal judge, not a conservative one, to any open seat on the Supreme Court. Trump tried to talk over him, his face going from ruby to crimson, then crimson practically to magenta. Crayola doesn’t have as many shades of red as Trump’s cheeks and jowls.

Scott Ott: Why I'm Not Voting For Trump


What next? Top U.S. Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat
Excerpt: That’s according to James Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence, who on Tuesday, in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the U.S. intelligence community, added gene editing to a list of threats posed by “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation.” Gene editing refers to several novel ways to alter the DNA inside living cells. The most popular method, CRISPR, has been revolutionizing scientific research, leading to novel animals and crops, and is likely to power a new generation of gene treatments for serious diseases...

Illegal immigrants get tax refunds: Another Massive Tax Loophole!
Excerpt: ITIN numbers create a massive loophole with big time cash results from IRS to illegal workers. These workers can cash out as much as $29,000 and they feel they've earned it, and we just let it happen! Vote with your head!

The Democrats’ dilemma: Clinton may not be salvageable. By Jennifer Rubin

Brutal: Dear Hillary Clinton: pay attention.
If you pay attention, you can probably figure out where this young woman stands. ~Bob

Feel The Bern! What A Sanders’ Military Might Look Like. By MARK CANCIAN
Excerpt: First, the defense budget would be much, much smaller. All his new social programs, whatever their merits, must be paid for. Higher taxes could cover part of the cost, but inevitably other budget elements get squeezed. How much? In the first democratic debate, Sanders made approving references to the social programs of Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. They spend about 1.3% of GDP on defense (about the European NATO average). The United States in 2016 is spending 3.1 percent of GDP on defense (excluding war funding).  Slicing that to 1.3 percent of GDP would produce a DoD budget of about $235 billion, still the largest military budget in the world but less than half of today’s $535 billion. While Sanders has never made such a proposal, his concept for the role of government pushes in this direction. So let’s consider what such a budget could buy and what trade-offs would be required.

Worth Seeing: A Progressive's Guide to Political Correctness. By George F. Will

From the Left: The Clintons really don’t get it: False attacks and failed strategies as Hillary repeats 2008. They're distorting Sanders' plans and ham-handedly using Obama and race. It's a dangerous game and a losing plan.
Hillary got 38% of the Dem vote, and lost big. Trump got 35% of the GOP vote and won big. Go figure. ~Bob

Need Concealed Carry: Marine Allegedly Assaulted Mid-Burger At McDonald’s, As Gang Yelled ‘Do You Believe Black Lives Matter?’
Excerpt: A former Marine became the target of an alleged assault in a McDonald’s Friday night, as a crowd of youths cornered him and demanded he answer the question, “do you believe black lives matter?” Before knocking him unconscious and robbing him.

Energy Dept Spends $7 Million On North Alaska Solar Power, Except It’s Dark 24/7
Excerpt: The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Monday it will provide $7 million in technical support for solar power to Native Alaskan tribes, especially those in the far north. The parts of Alaska where the DOE intends to spend the cash have nearly 24 hours of darkness in the winter, which is precisely when Alaskans need the most electricity. Alaska has nearly 24 hours of sunlight during the summer, but that’s when demand for power is at its lowest point as there’s no need to crank up the heat. Alaska’s harsh winters make the state’s per capita energy consumption the third highest in the nation.

Excerpt:  North Korea launched its second satellite on Saturday, yet the national press continues to ignore this existential threat. The White House has not recognized that a nuclear-armed North Korea has demonstrated an ability to kill most Americans with an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack. And White House spokesmen and the media have misled the public with unjustified assurances that North Korea has not yet miniaturized nuclear warheads for missile or satellite delivery.

Bernie Sanders highlights his 1988 support of Jesse Jackson’s White House run
Religion of Peace News

WaPo Fact Checker: Bill Clinton and the missed opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden. By Glenn Kessler

UK: MP who warned of Muslim rape gang says he was abused and threatened for making claims

Afraid of kids? 4-year-old detonates car bomb for the Islamic State, says “we will kill kuffar out there.” By Robert Spencer, JihadWatch.org
Excerpt: And you thought the little kid down the street was obnoxious. Anyway, how do you think American four-year-olds, soon to be indoctrinated to be hypersensitive to “microagressions” and to run for “safe spaces” when confronted with anything that challenges their Leftist fantasies, are going to fare in twenty years against this lad and his cohorts? (Obama mocked Republicans, saying we were "afraid of widows and children." ~Bob)

'Algerian sex attacker shouted "Inshallah" - if Allah wills it - as he raped a 25-year-old German student - then asked her if she had enjoyed it'

Play War: Russia hit 1,888 targets in Syria in a week; US count? Just 16
I wouldn't be surprised if the White House is picking all targets.  Hmmm...now where have we seen that before...--Tom Kratman.

The Marines' new Iraq mission
Excerpt: The Iraqi army's recent triumph in Ramadi made it clear that its soldiers aren't cut from the same cloth as those who ditched their gear and fled in terror from the Islamic State group in 2014 — and Marines have been a pivotal part of that transformation. Hundreds of Marines have been quietly deploying over the past 16 months to assist the Iraqis fighting to retake territory, hard won by U.S. troops over the past decade or more, from brutal ISIS militants.

Top Senate Democrat slams proposed Obama cuts to counterterror programs
Excerpt: Schumer notes that the cuts to the Urban Area Security Initiative were included in the proposed 2017 budget released last week by the White House. The initiative helps fund programs in cities across the U.S. to prevent extremist attacks, or respond to and recover from them. The proposed budget would cut the funding from $600 million to $330 million.

Troops betrayed as Army dumps hundreds of heroic war dogs
Pro-Muslim US regime; dogs despised by Muslims, eh? --Barb

Shari'a Law: Islamic State stones four rape victims to death for “committing adultery”
Under Shari'a, a rape victim must have four adult Muslim males as witnesses. Otherwise, by claiming rape, they have pledged guilty to illegal intercourse, and the punishment is death by stoning. ~Bob

Prosecutor: “Overwhelming majority” of Cologne New Year’s Eve sex assault suspects are refugees

Video: Mufti of Gaza explains how properly to beat your wife

Is our NATO ally "Un-Islamic"? Turkey: Article in pro-government daily says gorillas and chimps are cursed, mutated Jews

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