Saturday, June 15, 2013

op ed review 6/16



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Gallup poll finds former president Bush more popular than Obama.

Congress and the State Department’s inspector general are examining allegations that senior officials working under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton may have suppressed investigations into suspected criminal activity among U.S. diplomats abroad — including the alleged solicitation of prostitutes by an ambassador in Europe
Hillary’s Legacy of Scandals

The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won´t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are. That´s right, the government´s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.
One person whose privacy was not invaded by U.S. intelligence was Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as he repeatedly visited the al Qaeda online magazine Inspire for its recipe “Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”
CBS poll:  58% disapprove of government collecting phone records. 
Rassmussen:  57% Fear Government Will Use NSA Data to Harass Political Opponents

Sequester?  What sequester?:  President Obama and his family will be going to Africa later this month on a trip that is expected to cost taxpayers $60 to $100 million, according to the Washington Post. "Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bullet-proof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.”

A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity is now facing Article 15 charges – which cropped up shortly after he went public with his complaints.
A Texas high school principal threatened to sabotage a valedictorian’s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after the student delivered a speech that referenced God and the U.S. Constitution.
The Obama Administration “strongly objects” to a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on that would have protected the religious rights of soldiers – including evangelical Christian service members who are facing growing hostility towards their religion.
A pro-life legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom, released audio of a 2012 phone call between an IRS agent and the head of a Texas pregnancy counseling group. During the phone call, IRS agent Sherry Wan is heard lecturing Ania Joseph about how she can’t have a tax exemption and also push her religious beliefs— a bit of advice that would be quite interesting to every church in America.
Senator Rand Paul told a conservative Christian audience that, "There is a war on Christianity" being waged by "liberal elites' and "worldwide as well. Sen. Paul has been actively courting the conservative Christian community for months.

Obamacare:  States are starting to roll out details about the Obamacare exchanges.  Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures: $2,000 deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room tabs. : Is a $2,000 deductible 'affordable?'
The Ohio Department of Insurance announced that, based on the rates submitted by insurers to date, the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, “representing an increase of 88 percent” relative to 2013.
Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

More white people died in the U.S. last year than were born, a surprising slump coming more than a decade before the census predicts that the ranks of white Americans will drop with every passing year.
For the first time, America´s racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group and will be a majority by this year or next.

?????Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted with Senate Democrats today to kill an amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that would have required the federal government to secure the border first before granting legalization to currently illegal immigrants. All four Republican members of the bipartisan Gang of Eight immigration group voted for Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D-Nev., motion to table the Grassley amendment.

You can’t make this stuff up……The former host of “Erotica Night” at a Baltimore bookstore will be the number two official at the CIA. On Wednesday, Barack Obama nominated Avril Danica Haines to be the Deputy Director of the CIA, replacing Michael Morell, who took much of the blame for editing the Benghazi talking points.

Third-Graders Introduce Obama at lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender pride event at the White House

The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels.
This would be the same Syrian rebels that pledged their allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri.  What could go wrong?
“Syrian rebels execute a 14-year-old boy for insulting Islam”

China takes over space.  A Chinese manned spacecraft blasted off with three astronauts on board on Tuesday on a 15-day mission to an experimental space lab in the latest step towards the development of a Chinese space station.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Immigration reform to gag on
Wesley Pruden, 6/14

Sometimes the only antidote for poison is more poison. The body politic just can’t take it any more and throws up everything. The result would suit the Democrats just fine.

The Democrats pushing immigration reform want the issue, not the reform, and they think a defeat they could hang on the Republicans could give them a shot at keeping the Senate and taking the House next November. Then they could enact a law to give everybody who wants one an American passport. This would guarantee unanimous election results, like those in the squalid places the illegals are fleeing.

There’s lots for everybody to gag on, which is how Sen. Harry Reid, the Las Vegas bag man in charge of running the charade in the Senate, is determined to preserve as many poison pills as he can. He has to preserve as much of the stink as he can to keep the Republican gag reflex working.

The main sticking point continues to be border security, which the Democrats have been promising for decades - and the border continues to be the sieve they want it to be. The border can be the party’s ATM machine, stuffed full of prospective new voters. Once here, the illegals can be put in the Democratic voter bank to be “withdrawn” once they’re legalized. Until then, the Hispanics already here and legal are expected to show their gratitude in the usual way. Passing out citizenship this way is the modern equivalent of the old custom of passing out turkeys on Christmas eve. There’s always an appetite for turkey.

If there was a semblance of good faith on the part of the Democrats, they would leap to establish security on the border; this has been the promise in all the amnesty schemes, and authentic border security is as ephemeral as ever. The bag man took pains to humiliate Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a key Republican voice on immigration matters, as the floor debate opened, by gleefully tabling his amendment to make the border secure before granting amnesty to the 11 million (or more) illegals already here.

“The so-called open and fair process” promised by the Democrat and the so-called Gang of Eight senators who wrote the bill – four Democrats and four Republican wishy-washies – “is a farce,” Mr. Grassley told the Senate on Thursday. “This is not the right way to start off on a very important bill.” But that assumes there’s a real attempt to get authentic reform and organize an orderly welcome for legal immigrants. But that’s a foolish assumption. The four wishy-washies – Marco Rubio of Florida, John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – followed the Democrats to kill the border-security amendment.

The debate was occasionally interrupted Thursday with outbursts of candor and even of conscience. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the chief negotiator behind the Gang of Eight, said the Senate might as well pass the bill without amendments because it will take “years and years and years” to make the border secure, so why try. “Years and years and years” means “never.”

Other amendments are coming, and Harry Reid will have to decide whether to keep the bill “pure” or offend one of the key constituencies of the party, which is eager to replace the melting pot. That pot produced the greatest country the world has ever seen, but the fashion now is the salad bowl, with competing loyalties, selfish interests and grasping ambitions. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont proposes to enable gay caballeros to claim same-sex “partners” as family, and give them green cards ahead of others who have been waiting in line for years.

“If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth,” Mark Rubio, perhaps suffering a fit of conscience, told a radio interviewer, “it kills the bill, and I’m done.” Mr. Rubio, who sometimes sounds like he wants to be a voice of sanity, told interviewer Andrea Tantaros that the immigration bill as written “has no chance” of passage. “If the border situation is not improved in this bill, this bill won’t pass. It won’t pass the Senate and it has no chance in the House. It won’t become law and we’re wasting our time.”

And that’s just the way President Obama and the Democrats want it. They can spend the year between now and next November drowning the Hispanics in foam and froth about the evil Republicans. It’s low, mean and cynical, but that’s how politics works, some of the time.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"As a senator and presidential candidate, Obama routinely tore into the Patriot Act as if it was worse than the Espionage Act of 1917. Now, not only is he using the Patriot Act to spy on, well, pretty much everyone, his Justice Department actually used the Espionage Act to label a journalist a possible co-conspirator in espionage. But after the schadenfreude wears off, the question remains: Is this bad policy? ... After every terrorist attack, everyone always asks, 'Why didn't the government connect the dots?' Well, what the NSA is doing is connecting dots. ... I don't have much confidence in this administration. But I don't have an abundance of confidence in government generally. That's one of the things I love about America: The default position is to be skeptical of government, no matter who's in charge. ... The arrival of 'big data' ... creates opportunities for government (and corporations) that were literally unimaginable not long ago. ...we're in uncharted territory, and a healthy dose of old-fashioned American skepticism seems warranted, no matter who's in charge."
                         -Jonah Goldberg
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LEFTIST WATCH
The endless campaign of the left:  Organizing for Action has big plans for the summer. The advocacy group that grew out of the president´s campaign is planning its first national TV ad buy next week with spots promoting Obamacare. And the group is targeting 75 congressional districts for a push on immigration this summer, with a special focus during the August congressional recess.

Pelosi: Late-Term Abortions are ´Sacred Ground´

Pelosi also said Thursday that one of government’s functions is to help Americans achieve “fulfillment.”
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BOOKS
“American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character” by Diana West.  “Even a reader of some acquaintance with the matter of Soviet penetration of American institutions---governmental, intellectual, cultural---will reel at Diana West's collation of recent scholarship on this topic: the "honeycombing" depth of communist subversion and occupation, truly boggles the mind. But Ms. West goes beyond mere history. Her real intent is archaeology: to uncover the roots of America's current corruption, visible now in our moral relativism and inability to understand the nature and extent of the menace from our Islamist foe---a foe self-declared, and one which, like communism, uses extensive deception as part of its determined attack.”
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CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY
The @Large Conference held recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana brought people together from around the country to discuss issues related to black conservatives. In a time when the GOP is talking ´outreach´, the conference was an important first step in the Republican party reclaiming its heritage as the party of individual rights, colorblind justice and equality of opportunity. The panelists and speakers also showed that many black conservatives are right in line with the new generation of Republican rabble-rousers like the late Andrew Breitbart, pushing against the radical left and the GOP establishment with fierce conviction.

It should come as no surprise but, for some, it probably will. A June 1 – 4, 2013, Gallup poll of the political landscape ahead of the 2016 presidential election shows that New Jersey’s outspoken Governor, Chris Christie, is America’s favorite Republican. Unfortunately for Christie, he is also Republicans least favorite Republican.

Two very different views of Sarah Palin:
 “Certain people are born gifted with "It" -- something that compels you to watch them.  Sarah Palin is one such individual.  Though politically tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail by the left and a few spineless Republicans, I pray for the day when my favorite gladiator Sarah Palin returns to the arena.”
“Those of us devoted to building a conservative movement capable of winning elections had come to view the former governor as the symbol of everything, and I do mean everything, wrong with the modern conservative movement.”

It’s RICO time! How to Stop the Obama Administration Crime Wave
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ARTICLES
While some initially championed Edward Snowden, the 21st century mole holed up in Hong Kong, as a martyr, there also appears to be a growing backlash against the former NSA contractor. And as the story slowly unfolds, one key question stands out: is Snowden the heroic whistleblower he claims to be or something more sinister?

As if Tea Partiers needed any more evidence that Big Government is out to get them, along come Edward Snowden and operation PRISM. It was bad enough that the tax man had been yanking their chain: Everyone knows the IRS is a bunch of jerks. But the NSA combing through people’s phone calls and emails? That’s a whole different level of sinister.
CBS News announced that correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's computer was hacked by "an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions,"  The hacking occurred about the time she was reporting on the Benghazi attack and how her sources called into question the Obama administration’s narrative.

The dreamers, brains and cranks who built the Internet hoped it would be a tool of liberation and knowledge. So the first mystifying thing for some here is how the leading companies — including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook — apparently made it easier for the National Security Agency to gain access to their data. Only Twitter seems to have declined. The companies deny directly working with the government on the project, called Prism. But they have not been exactly eager to talk about how they are working indirectly and where they would draw the line.

Did you hear the big news? Hillary’s on Twitter. Yep, she went live at noon Monday, making jokes about her hair and pantsuits and, according to one breathless report, “fueling speculation” that she’ll run for president by saying her future job is “TBD”— to be determined. Bill and Chelsea chipped in, too. OMG, stop the presses! There was another bit of breaking Clinton news that same day, but nothing nearly as important. It seems there were some hooker scandals at the State Department during her watch, and that one of our ambassadors also has a sick fondness for other people’s children…..

We have a major disagreement about who should be in charge of our 100,000 public schools that educate 50 million American children. To put it simply, Democrats want a national school board; Republicans favor local control.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Mickey Kaus has produced an excellent, easy-to-use “pocket guide” to the reasons why the Schumer-Rubio immigration reform bill (S.744) is fraudulent.

New movie may change the way America views nuclear power
Trailer:

The Secret Life of a Cat:

Amazing….
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WISE WORDS
"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent."
                      -Ludwig von Mises
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LATE NITE
Leno:    The big story continues to be 29-year-old Edward Snowden, the man behind the leaking of the NSA spy scandal. Speculation is that Snowden is hiding in Hong Kong and could be working for China. Hey, let's get real. Aren't we all pretty much working for China?........Some experts believe the privacy scandal will hurt the NSA. Are they crazy? Do you know how many people want to join now that they've heard the guy who blew the whistle is a high school dropout, making almost $200,000 a year, with a poll dancer girlfriend, and he’s living in Hawaii? People are lining up to get this job…There are reports that female terrorists are being fitted with exploding breast implants. How many guys are going to use this as an excuse? "Honey, I'm not looking at her breasts. I'm working for Homeland Security."……..According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has "impeachment insurance." It's called "Joe Biden."

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