Sunday, February 7, 2016

op ed review 2/7



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses because evangelicals turned out in record numbers and broke his way in the final days.
Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss joined conservatives at a rally for Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)in Ames, Iowa.
Koch Brothers' Network Considering Anti-Trump Campaign
“Time for a Trump-Cruz Unity Ticket?”
 “When Marco Rubio ran for the Senate in Florida, I think I was the first one to endorse him,” said Phyllis Schlafly. “I made a trip down to Florida in 2009 just for the purpose of helping him.” But Schlafly, a legendary conservative activist, now says she is bitterly disappointed by Rubio’s record.
Joe Arpaio endorses Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan begs conservatives, “Please don´t revolt, at least not this year.” He promised to spend the next years preparing to push a conservative agenda, including a politically risky plan for entitlement reform, if a Republican wins the presidency in 2017.

“In a stunning admission, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager predicts in an email that Donald Trump will become president if he wins the Republican nomination.”

A member of the House Intelligence Committee said that he has “never read anything that’s more sensitive” than the contents of the “Top Secret” Hillary Clinton emails identified by the State Department last week.
Carly Fiorina: “Hillary Clinton Is ‘More Qualified For The Big House’ Than The White House.”
But a former Inspector General for the State Department says Hillary Clinton will never be indicted for her use of a private email server because there are four powerful Democrat women  standing in the way.
Hillary voters sign a petition to make Karl Marx Clinton’s Vice President in the latest example of how clueless many Americans are when it comes to basic politics.  Here’s video.
Tim Allen Compares Clintons to Herpes... 'Just When You Think Gone, They Show Up Again'...

Here comes the next great cause for “progressives”:  Babies With Genes From 3 People Could Be Ethical, Panel Says

Professional football players are arguably the most Jesus-praising group in all of sports, but their bosses and sponsors -- the NFL and advertisers -- fail big time in welcoming faith consumers, according to a group that scores the Christian values of major brands.

Aetna Joins Growing Chorus Warning About ObamaCare Failing

Border agents ordered to stand down…"We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," suggested agent Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.
“Criminal networks with Latin American roots, such as MS-13 and the 18th Street gang, are using the administration's open-door policy at the border to slip in recruits that are causing a huge spike in murder and violence throughout the nation, according to an immigration expert.”
"Established gangs have been able to transfer an unknown number of experienced foot soldiers from Central America to help colonize new criminal territory in the United States."

Chicago Stock Exchange sold to the Chinese.
USA Falls From 6th Freest Economy to 11th Under Obama...

The percentage of American wage and salary workers who belonged to a union was only 11.1 percent in 2015, but the percentage of union members who worked for government was 48.9 percent, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Campus PC has come to this: The Student Union Board at the University of Oregon seriously debated removing a Martin Luther King Jr. quote from the rec center because the words weren’t “inclusive” enough.
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COLUMN OF THE WEEK
Mark Steyn  2/1
 (Bernie) would be the oldest man ever elected president and 83 years old at the end of two terms - which we won't have to worry about because the entire country will have slid off the cliff long before then. But he's enthusing the base, and any base wants to be enthused.

Hillary, by contrast, is in trouble not because she's a sleazy, corrupt, cronyist, money-laundering, Saud-kissing liar. Democrats have a strong stomach and boundless tolerance for all of that and wouldn't care were it not for the fact that she's a dud and a bore. A "Hillary rally" is a contradiction in terms: the thin, vetted crowd leave more demoralized and depressed than when they went in. To vote for Bernie is to be part of a romance, as it was with Obama. To vote for Hillary is to validate the Clintons' indestructible sense of their own indispensability - and nothing else. Hillary is a wooden charmless stiff who supposedly has enough money to be carefully managed across the finish line. But that requires Democratic electors to agree to be managed, too, and the Sanders surge is a strong sign that, while they're relaxed about voting for an unprincipled arrogant phony marinated in ever more malodorous and toxic corruption, they draw the line at such a tedious and charisma-free specimen thereof.

The only personable Clinton stood behind Hillary looking like an emaciated wraith of the Slick Willie of yore. Decades of interns appear to have literally sucked all the life out of him, leaving only (one presumes from friend Epstein's Lolita Express flight records) his distinguishing characteristics with any flicker of vitality. Judging from her brief but disastrous intervention in New Hampshire the other week, young Chelsea appears to have inherited her mother's warmth and personal touch. That left Hillary barking across the midnight hour like a malign Speak-Your-Weight Machine with a jammed quarter.

Bernie was close, but, as Bill would say, no cigar. Hillary won by 24 delegates to 21 - and six of her delegates she got on a coin toss. Seriously. Nevertheless, given the demographic difficulties he faces in South Carolina and beyond, Sanders needed to inflict actual defeat on Hillary. He needed headlines saying: "BERNIE WINS!" And he didn't get that. She certainly felt the Bern, but it wasn't a third-degree Bern.

Insurgent-wise, the Bern took the high road and the Donald took the low road. And, unlike Trump, Sanders outperformed the polls. If he does that in New Hampshire, he'll utterly humiliate Hillary. And who knows what happens then?

~A lot of the commentary on the Trump phenomenon in the days before Iowa reiterated points I was making way back when, a month after he entered the race. The retort that Trump is not a "real" Republican or a "real" conservative would of course be a devastating criticism had "real" Republicans and "real" conservatives" in Washington managed actually to "conserve" anything during their time in office. Fiscal prudence? Constrained welfare? Private health care? Religious liberty? There's no point to a purity test for a party that folds more reliably than the White House valet. As I've said, for the Republican establishment the issue is Trump; for a large part of the base the issue is the Republican establishment.

So I have generally regarded Trump's presence in this race as a good thing. And I believe (for reasons I'll expand on later this week) that he would do better against Hillary than most other GOP candidates.


The results of the Iowa caucuses have shown us several important things. 1) Everybody hates the establishment of both parties. 2) No one trusts the media anymore. 3) Pollsters have no clue how to conduct polling in the fast-paced world of smartphones and social media.
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SECOND AMENDMENT
"In our view, Maryland (gun) law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — 'the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home..”
             -Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
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ISLAM
Three Christian high school students will stand trial for blasphemy in Egypt Thursday on charges that they insulted Islam.

A man has been arrested at Disneyland Paris carrying two handguns, ammunition, and a ´guide to the Koran´, but police are still hunting his female companion.

The South Carolina House has passed a bill blocking Islamic sharia law from being recognized or approved in the state, after years of debate over similar legislation.
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LEFTIST WATCH
Hillary Clinton's campaign raised $112 million in 2015, and top Democratic billionaire donor George Soros recently gave $6 million to her super PAC,.
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GLOBALONEY
91% of Americans aren’t worried about global warming.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has spent millions on ocean conservation and backed programs to save endangered coral, but those reefs had better not get in the way of his 300-foot megayacht. Allen’s $162 million Tatoosh destroyed 13,800 square feet of coral reef in the Cayman Islands’ protected replenishment zone. Local officials said the massive anchor and chain wiped out most of the coral in the area on the western coast of Grand Cayman on Jan. 14.
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ARTICLES
Everyone is talking about what the recent caucuses in Iowa means. Not who won, but what it signifies.  One interpretation is events show the establishments of both parties are under siege. David Corn, writing in Mother Jones says "after Iowa, both parties are facing hostile takeovers", the Democrats facing a challenge from the left and the Republicans from what is called the conservative wing. But there is more to it than that. Such triumphs can be Pyrrhic. Perhaps the most prescient metaphor was contained in a prediction by former Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-N.Y.).  "We are witnessing the end of the House of Clinton" adding that "the House of Bush is also falling. So is the Establishment of both political parties."

More centrist candidates, like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Chris Christie, have focused on coalescing the party’s more moderate, usually white-collar elements. Marco Rubio has attempted to remain viable across all of the party’s factions…….But Trump has disrupted all of these calculations by assembling an unprecedented coalition that barrels through the party’s traditional boundaries.   “Everything was through the prism of the olden days and Trump not being a creature of politics … didn’t think like that,” said David Carney, a long-time New Hampshire based Republican strategist, who is neutral in this race. “That has freed him up. He is not trying to go after little segments; he is trying to go after everybody, with a very general message.”

VDH:  Trump is not my preferred candidate. I hope he does not win the Republican nomination. But I understand why millions seem to be mesmerized by his rhetoric.

A “defense of the GOP establishment” makes a few good points:   The best way to break the gridlock is to stop angrily tilting at Establishment windmills and win the White House in 2016 by focusing on the D.  It’s time to drop the anger and unite in the Grand -- as in big and great -- Old Party, both “Establishment” and anti-Establishment, and win in November.NC.
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WISE WORDS

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
               -Cesare Beccaria

"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value."
             -Thomas Paine, 1776

Sunday, January 24, 2016

op ed review 1/24



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Cover story in National Review, penned by 21 conservative columnists, calling Donald Trump a “menace to American Conservatism.”
TRUMP FIRES BACK: Magazine 'dying, dying'...
RNC Strips National Review of Debate Hosting Gig After Cover Story Attacking Trump
“Donald Trump is poised for the strongest primary performance in modern history”
According to a just-released poll, in a 12 person Republican primary, Donald Trump is blowing the pack away in Florida with a +32 point lead over the number 2 choice.
Sarah Palin:   all in for Trump 
A McCain senior adviser blasted former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s endorsement of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump as “just classless”
Global elite fear Trump.
“Evangelicals See Donald Trump as Man of Conviction, if Not Faith”
Trump touted his faith at Liberty University on Monday, telling the conservative college that Christians have to ban together because their religion "is under siege."

At least one Hollywood superstar and a barefoot monk – braved the cold and snow Friday to join the 2016 March for Life in Washington on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Some mainstream media publications, such as CBS News, chose not to cover the big event, and still others downplayed the size of the turnout.
March for Life buoyed by young people opposing abortion in increasing numbers

Hillary Clinton Email Said to Include Material Exceeding ‘Top Secret’
Former Sec Def Robert Gates: 'Odds Are Pretty High' Russia, China, And Iran Accessed Hillary's Server...

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton by a wide margin, 60 percent to 33 percent, in New Hampshire heading into the February 9 primary, according to a poll released Tuesday.
“Berserk Clinton Bigwigs Launch Nixonian Attack Against Surging Sanders.”
Democrats backing Hillary Clinton, nervously eyeing Senator Bernie Sanders’s growing strength in the early nominating states, are turning to a new strategy to raise doubts about his candidacy, highlighting his socialist beliefs to warn that he would be an electoral disaster who would frighten swing voters and send Democrats in tight congressional and governor’s races to defeat.

Two new polls released in the past week show women won’t be voting in droves for Hillary Clinton the way African-Americans voted in droves for President Obama.

IRS Erases Hard Drive Despite Court Order

Obama vacation expenses:  $10 million per year for each year he has been in office.

The Obama administration paid the Iranian regime $340 million for each US hostage released by Iran. Another brilliant deal by the Obama administration. No need to worry. Iran will likely spend the extra millions on education and child care.
Days after Iran received hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief from the controversial nuclear deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday admitted a good portion of the massive funds will go to terror.
???  John Kerry declares Obama’s work with Iran a success: ‘The world is a safer place today”

More fundamental transformation:  The US Navy is planning to make job titles gender-neutral - putting the future of long-established names like ´midshipman´ in doubt.

‘El Chapo’ Drug Kingpin Had a Rifle From Federal ‘Fast & Furious’ Program
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COLUMN OF THE WEEK
Wall Street Journal Editorial  1/19

It’s time to take  Bernie Sanders seriously. The Vermont Senator is leading in Iowa and New Hampshire and in Sunday’s debate he sounded for the first time like a candidate who thinks he can win. He still isn’t the favorite against the Clinton machine, but it’s no longer impossible to imagine the 74-year-old socialist as the Democratic nominee.

It’s fashionable to describe Mr. Sanders as the progressive version of  Donald Trump, but that is true only in that they both tap into public dissatisfaction with the status quo. Mr. Trump has populist instincts but few fixed ideological principles. Mr. Sanders is a true-blue man of the left. He would be the most left-wing Democratic nominee since  George McGovern in 1972, but his economic agenda is more radical and hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since the 1930s.

This week he rolled out his Medicare-for-all plan that would end private health insurance. Mr. Sanders can see the public frustration with ObamaCare and wants to turn it to the left. The Vermont Senator also wants to make college and child care into universal entitlements paid for by the government, spend $1 trillion on public works, raise the minimum wage nationwide to $15 an hour (from $7.25) and greatly expand Social Security benefits.

Mr. Sanders would also use government to control the means of production, as the socialists used to say, starting with the banks. He would break up the largest via a “21st century Glass-Steagall” that suggests something far more ambitious than merely dividing investment from commercial banking. He says climate change is his main national-security concern, and he has called for a criminal investigation of climate dissenters.

His many tax increases would include a sharply higher rate for high earners that he doesn’t specify, though he does often speak fondly of the tax rates of the pre-Reagan (70%) and New Deal (94%) eras. He’d introduce a new payroll tax for the middle class to pay for universal health care and eliminate the income cap on the Social Security payroll tax (now $118,500) on earnings above $250,000.

He also wants to impose a tax on Wall Street trading—he calls it “speculation”—of the kind that the French Socialists tried but couldn’t make stick because trades can be made anywhere in the world. This would all normally be politically suicidal, but Mr. Sanders is using his candor about raising taxes as a badge of progressive authenticity.

This may sound like the stuff of socialist dreams, but Mr. Sanders has already moved the Democratic debate sharply to the left, forcing  Hillary Clinton to chase him. Her policy response has been to do a partial Bernie, which is to the left of President Obama on most domestic issues.

Mrs. Clinton remains the front-runner, and unlike in the GOP there really is a powerful Democratic establishment of unions, green lobbies and feminists that has rallied behind her. Her argument is that she has the best chance to win in November, but that case was more persuasive a year ago than it is now.

The Clinton campaign feels the threat because the media left has done a hairpin turn on Bernie. He was fine as the lovable old left-wing uncle, but Hillary’s acolytes suddenly find him too, well, socialist. Bernie has the courage of their convictions, and his appeal is he’s more honest about it.

Mr. Sanders has also begun to mention, ever so gingerly, her ethical and Wall Street vulnerabilities. On Sunday he said “you’ve received over $600,000 in speaking fees from  Goldman Sachs  in one year.” And what happens if the FBI recommends some legal action as a result of her mishandling of classified email information? Another Democrat might want to get into the race, but it could be too late.

Many Republicans claim to welcome a Sanders nomination on the assumption he’d be easy to beat. But don’t be so sure, at least not this year. As the question nearby from the latest WSJ/NBC poll shows, Republican front-runner Donald Trump loses to Mr. Sanders by 15 percentage points among registered voters. Mr. Trump loses to Mrs. Clinton by only 10 points in the same survey.

Such polls are unreliable so far from Election Day, but they could influence Democratic perceptions of electability. If it looks as if Republicans might nominate Mr. Trump or  Ted Cruz, could more Democrats become more convinced that they can afford to indulge their true hearts and vote for Mr. Sanders?

It’s also possible, perhaps even likely, that if Messrs. Sanders and Trump or Cruz are the nominees, then a third-party candidate would enter the race. Maybe billionaire former New York Mayor  Michael Bloomberg would get in, or perhaps a more conventional Republican. Mr. Sanders might have an even better chance to win in a multicandidate race. And if the GOP splits in two, the political check of a Republican House could also be in jeopardy.

We aren’t predicting this. But in a campaign that has already busted normal American political conventions, the possibility of an extreme election outcome is no longer unthinkable.

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FILM
3 Stunning Indictments of Obama and Hillary in Benghazi Movie

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ISLAM
A Pakistani boy says he has no regrets about cutting off his own hand after being accused of blasphemy. "Why should I feel any pain or trouble in cutting off the hand that was raised against the Holy Prophet?"
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LEFTIST WATCH
Bernie’s radical past¨ In July 1985, Bernie Sanders traveled to Nicaragua, where he attended an event that one wire report dubbed an “anti-U.S. rally.” The leftist Sandinista government was celebrating the sixth anniversary of the revolution that saw it take power from an American-backed dictator, Anastasio Somoza. Sanders was in a crowd estimated at a half million people, many of whom were clad in the Sandinistas’ trademark red-and-black colors and chanting “Here, there, everywhere/the Yankee will die.”

Top Democrat Donor Tom Steyer Won’t Endorse Clinton

Venezuela Inflation to Surpass 700% this year.

A Kent State professor long known for fiery anti-Israel rhetoric is under investigation for alleged links to ISIS,

Portland Community College has designated April "Whiteness History Month" (WHM), an "educational project" exploring how the "construct of whiteness" creates racial inequality. Whiteness "does not simply refer to skin color[,] but [to] an ideology based on beliefs, values, behaviors, habits, and attitudes, which result in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color."

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ARTICLES
Former Harvard President Larry Summers: 'Creeping Totalitarianism' on College Campuses.  “…a great deal of absurd political correctness.”
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WISE WORDS
"[M]y religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
                 -Stonewall Jackson