Saturday, August 31, 2013

op ed review 8/31



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch recently obtained a Department of Defense training manual which lists people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential “extremists” who are likely to be members of “hate groups.”

“Obama's Syria plans in disarray after Britain rejects use of force.  White House forced to consider unilateral strikes against Assad after British PM unexpectedly loses key motion on intervention.”
“Commentators said it was the first time a British prime minister had lost a vote on war since 1782, when parliament effectively conceded American independence by voting against further fighting to crush the colony's rebellion.”
If Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be fighting on the same side as al-Qa’ida

The U.S. intelligence community has an intelligence-gathering colossus of 107,035 employees, but remains unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats.

The initial firestorm surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups may have subsided, but tea party leaders say the situation has only become worse and may lead to more lawsuits against the embattled agency.

Tea party activists are planning to rally outside of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s Ohio office on Tuesday, telling the Republican speaker that if he doesn’t use this year’s spending fight to defund the health care law, it will hence be known to them as “BoehnerCare.” “If he funds it, he will own it,” said Janet Porter, president of Faith2Action, one of the groups participating in the rally.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/26/tea-party-obamacare-now-boehnercare/#ixzz2d6QWwec8 On Tuesday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signed the petition to defund Obamacare, throwing her support behind the efforts of Senators like Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX). "This beast must be stopped--not funding it. Today, Todd and I joined with many of our fellow citizens to urge those in the U.S. Senate to not fund Obamacare."

Obama Taps Bill Clinton to Make Case for Obamacare
Obama: Sex Ed for Kindergartners ‘Is the Right Thing to Do’

“Harvard Study: No Correlation Between Gun Control and Less Violent Crime”
The much ballyhooed efforts to repeal the Stand Your Ground law in Florida have suffered an ignominious and well-deserved death. An enormous and bi-partisan majority of Florida legislators —72%– this week overwhelmingly declined to hold a special session for the purpose of even debating the repeal of SYG.

A military court sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, giving the Army psychiatrist a path to the martyrdom he appeared to crave in the attack on unarmed fellow soldiers.
Obama releases message congratulating American Muslims on many achievements and contributions they have made to American society.

“Obama uses the March on Washington to attack his opponents.”
Sen. Tim Scott, R.-S.C., the only African American serving in the United States Senate, wasn't invited to the event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's march on Washington, though a host of Democratic luminaries spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Rewriting history:  LA Times claims Democrats led passage of Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Ronald Reagan´s family has hit out at the producers of a new Hollywood film for allegedly portraying the former President as a racist. The Republican icon is played by British actor Alan Rickman in The Butler, which tells the story of a black man who served in the White House for 34 years. However, his son claims that the portrayal implies that Reagan was prejudiced against black people, when in fact he helped the cause of African-Americans and showed friendship to the real White House butler.

The University of Notre Dame, a Catholic school, will admit illegal immigrants and provide them with financial aid.

Students in a rural Kentucky county — and their parents — are the latest to join a growing national chorus of scorn for the healthy school lunches touted by first lady Michelle Obama. “They say it tastes like vomit,” said Harlan County Public Schools board member Myra Mosley at a contentious board meeting last week
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Rich Lowry, 8/22

Henry Adams said that politics is the systematic organization of hatreds. For the left, over the past year it has seemed at times to be the systematic organization of hatred of Ted Cruz. The freshman senator is not the first Texan to be so honored. In fact, the state isn’t holding up its end if, at any given moment, it isn’t throwing onto the national scene at least one Republican reviled by the other side.

The party’s highest-profile Texans, George W. Bush and Rick Perry, tended to match inarticulateness with cowboy swagger and lend themselves to mockery as intellectual lightweights. Bush went to Yale and Harvard Business School, yet no one naturally thinks of him as an Ivy Leaguer. The two Lone Star State governors played into the left’s stereotypes so nicely that if they didn’t exist, Gail Collins would have had to make them up.

Cruz is different — a Princeton and Harvard man who not only matriculated at those fine institutions but excelled at them. Champion debater at Princeton. Magna cum laude graduate at Harvard. Supreme Court clerkship, on the way to Texas solicitor general and dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cruz is from the intellectual elite, but not of it, a tea party conservative whose politics are considered gauche at best at the storied universities where he studied. He is, to borrow the words of the 2009 H.W. Brands biography of FDR, a traitor to his class.

And his classmates. A Daily Beast piece the other day quoted fellow Princetonians who apparently can’t believe he turned out this way, “a man of calcified thinking, dangerously impervious to facts.”

Democrats and liberal pundits would surely dislike Cruz no matter where he went to school, but his pedigree adds an extra element of shocked disbelief to the disdain. “Princeton and Harvard should be disgraced,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell exclaimed on MSNBC, as if graduating a constitutionalist conservative who rises to national prominence is a violation of the schools’ mission statements. It almost is. Princeton and Harvard aren’t quite the École Nationale d’Administration, the French school that trains that country’s political class, but they are close.

In a Washington Post column a year ago, Dana Milbank noted Cruz’s schooling and concluded almost entirely on that basis that his tea party politics must be a put-on, that he is, underneath it all, an “intellectually curious, liberal-arts conservative.” Note the insulting assumption that an interest in books and ideas automatically immunizes someone from a certain kind of conservative politics.

One of the left’s deepest prejudices is that its opponents are stupid, and Cruz tramples on it. Chris Hayes of MSNBC actually says he fears Cruz’s brilliance. So should congressional witnesses. At hearings, Cruz has the prosecutorial instincts of a … Harvard-trained lawyer. Watching Attorney General Eric Holder try to fend off Cruz’s questioning on the administration’s drone policy a few months ago was like seeing a mouse cornered by a very large cat.

Cruz hasn’t played by the Senate rules that freshmen should initially be seen and not heard. In fact, he joined the upper chamber with all the subtlety of a SWAT team knocking down a drug suspect’s front door.
For people who care about such things — almost all of them are senators — this is an unforgivable offense. At another hearing, this one on guns, as Cruz says the highest commitment of senators should be to the Constitution, another senator can be heard muttering that he doesn’t like being lectured. Chairman Pat Leahy (probably the mutterer) eventually cuts him off and informs him he hasn’t been in the Senate very long.
Cruz lacks all defensiveness about his positions, another source of annoyance to his opponents, who are used to donning the mantle of both intellectual and moral superiority.

None of this is to endorse all of Cruz’s tactical judgments or to deny he can irk his own side of the aisle at times.

His push to defund Obamacare this fall is a grass roots-pleasing slogan in search of a realistic path to legislative fruition. Cruz never explains how a government shutdown fight would bring about the desired end. The strategy seems tantamount to believing that if Republican politicians clicked their wing tips together and wished it so, President Barack Obama would collapse in a heap and surrender on his party’s most cherished accomplishment.
It is no secret that Cruz has presidential aspirations. Even if he ascends no higher, though, he will be a force in the Senate. He could spend decades making liberals recoil at what Princeton and Harvard hath wrought.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"The Constitution doesn't grant us freedoms; it prohibits government from taking them. Nearly all of us, at one time or another, refer to our 'constitutional right to free speech.' While this common phrase may seem harmless, it points to a larger misunderstanding of where our rights come from -- a misunderstanding that undermines many of our most fundamental policy debates. The fact is, the U.S. Constitution protects our God-given rights from government. The government does not (as the phrase above implies) grant those rights to us as citizens. This is perhaps the most widely misunderstood aspect of our system of government."
                  -Ed Feulner

"Viewers of the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night were treated to a bizarre dance routine from former Disney child actress Miley Cyrus.... If you're unfamiliar with the term, 'twerking' is a dance move that dispenses with all the other subtleties of dance to deliver pelvic thrusts and butt wiggles. ... Sexualizing young people is an important mission of the Left. They want little girls to jump right from teddy bears to Planned Parenthood. That helps dissolve the bonds of family, which is a fading bastion of independence and self-reliance against collective power. ... Children are powerfully influenced by popular culture. They yearn for guidance and inspiration from the adult world. They receive the lesson transmitted by crap like the MTV Video Music Awards. Kids a bit younger than Miley Cyrus remember what she used to be, and they see what she is now. They see the road stretching between those points, and they follow it.”
                  -John Hayward

"I cannot count the number of times I heard liberal professors and liberal writers quote the phrase: 'When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.' The phrase is brilliant. There is actually no threat to America of fascism coming from the right. The essence of the American right, after all, is less government; and fascism, by definition, demands ever larger government. Therefore, if there is a real fascist threat to America, it comes from the left, whose appetite for state power is essentially unlimited."
                   -Dennis Prager
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BOOKS
Thousands line up for Mark Levine book signing.  Crowd circles town

The Founders bequeathed Americans a method to bypass the federal government and amend the Constitution, empowering two thirds of the states to call an Amendments Convention. In the wake of Mark Levin´s bestselling book, The Liberty Amendments, proposing just such a convention, entirely unnecessary alarms have been raised by even some of the leading lights of conservatism, based on an incomplete reading of history and judicial case law. Phyllis Schlafly is a great American and a great leader, but her speculations about the nature of the Constitution´s “convention for proposing amendments" are nearly as quaint as Dante´s speculations about the solar system.
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ISLAM
A Christian woman explains why she faces hanging in Pakistan for the crime of ‘blasphemy’.

“I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the “Million Muslim March” planned in Washington D.C. on 9/11…..in response to the march, a bunch of bikers are planning their own party in DC on 9/11…with two million people. Thousands of America’s patriotic bikers are organizing an enormous counter protest to the planned Million Muslim March on DC this Sept. 11. The Facebook Page, “2 Million Bikers to DC,” has over 18 thousand “likes,” as of Thursday morning and individual state chapters of riders…..last time anyone checked, nine Muslims had signed up.”
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GLOBALONEY
Those who are wondering why Al Gore chose to publicly resurface in a Washington Post interview last Thursday with that paper’s ever-pliable Journolist founder Ezra Klein only need to look in three places. First, there’s the recently revealed empirical evidence that the “global warming” movement’s claim that climate change is causing increased extreme weather events isn’t true. Second, there’s a new summary of historical research which blows up the movement’s infamous core “hockey stick” chart forecasting unprecedented, accelerating warming. Finally, there’s a new report due to arrive in a month from an increasingly desperate United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate….
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ARTICLES
You might as well try to teach a snake to juggle as hope the Obama administration will think strategically. The “peace president” is about to embark on his third military adventure, this time in Syria, without having learned the lessons of his botched efforts in Afghanistan and Libya. He hasn’t even learned from the Bush administration’s mistakes — which he mocked with such delight.

Have George W. Bush and his band of cowboy neo-cons retaken the White House?  If only. This time the secretary of state is John Kerry, who launched a political career opposing the Vietnam War. The defense secretary? Chuck Hagel, who revived his career by quitting his party after the Iraq war.  They’re part of a team that includes Vice President Joe Biden, who once vowed to impeach any president that goes to war without congressional approval. And, of course, President Obama, who became president in large part because, as a junior senator, he voted against the Iraq war….What’s up with all that?

Nothing better illustrates the impossibility of killing a federal entitlement than the fraud-riddled Obamaphone program. The $2.1 billion giveaway, funded by a tax on every cellphone service contract, is a well-documented boondoggle — an estimated 41 percent of the phones go to ineligible recipients. Earlier this month, my former intern, Jillian Melchior, was able to obtain three of the free phones on the streets of New York City without telling a single fib. Melchior, now a reporter for National Review, says the service reps who signed her up seemed completely uninterested in whether she was eligible for the program — she isn’t. While

President Obama’s flat and uninspiring message to America: I have a big government dream
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Faces of Evil in a Violent Underclass

Four Lincoln Quotes Progressives Always Get Wrong

Hubble telescope spots 'cosmic caterpillar' that's six TRILLION miles long, formed  by harsh winds from some of our hottest stars
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WISE WORDS
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?"
                   -Thomas Jefferson
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LATE NITE
Leno:   John Kerry said its "undeniable" that the president of Syria is using weapons of mass destruction. Kerry said President Obama needs to build a coalition of countries and attack soon, no matter what others might say. Today former President George Bush said, “Hey, good luck with that. Let me know how it works out.”……..Vice President Joe Biden said today that “Syria must be held accountable." Unfortunately, the Obama administration has never employed an accountant, so they have no idea how to do that……The treasury secretary has now asked Congress to raise the debt limit for borrowing more money as soon as possible. The secretary of the treasury said if Congress doesn't act soon, the government will have to work with only the money it has now. You know, like the rest of us do..........The treasury secretary said we will be out of money by October. Here's my question. What happened to all that money we gave them last April 15th, huh?

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