Saturday, September 7, 2013

op ed review 9/8



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Only 169,000 jobs created in August, bad downward revisions, labor force participation rate falls.   
The share of working age people in the labor force is now the lowest since August 1978.

Amateur hour:  Even as Congress considers President Obama´s push for military strikes on Syria, the details of that plan continue to change by the day -- with one source telling Fox News that military officials have been asked to revise their plans 50 times since the Pentagon first began considering a “limited” action.
And here's video of Obama setting a "red line" in regard to Syria, from over a year ago, even though he now says  'I Didn't Set a Red Line' on Syria

Our new partners in Syria:  “Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West”
Syria Video Turns the Debate on U.S. Intervention “The tape made ‘New York Times’ editors sick….These images ought to be a wakeup call for those who think Syria is headed for a better future under the rebels.”
Russia says it has compiled a 100-page report of evidence that Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, were behind the deadly sarin gas attack.
Even “Liberals reject Obama's case for Syria strikes; believe Obama and Kerry are lying”
Of 413 representatives in Congress, 217 say they are unlikely to authorize force in Syria. Just 44 say they will definitely or likely vote in favor or the resolution.
Pruden:  A war nobody believes in, led by a man nobody trusts. If Barack Obama is still looking for a legacy, here it is. Everything about the Syrian dilemma stinks. Bashar Assad is recognized by nearly everybody as the source of at least half the stink. But only half. The rest of the stench is supplied by the rebels.
Buchanan:  Wednesday, John Kerry told the Senate not to worry about the cost of an American war on Syria. The Saudis and Gulf Arabs, cash-fat on the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, will pick up the tab for the Tomahawk missiles. Has it come to this — U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheiks, sultans and emirs…..hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals?
Noonan: “Syria and Obama: Wrong time, wrong place, wrong plan, wrong man.”
WSJ:  “This will go down as one of the stranger gambles, if not abdications, in Commander in Chief history.”

The Israeli political and security leadership is privately horrified by President Barack Obama’s 11th-hour turnaround on striking Syria…..It is worried…..at the ever-deeper perception of Obama’s America in the Middle East as weak, hesitant and confused.

Covering his base:  President Obama to meet with gay activists during his G20 visit to Russia.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman landed Tuesday in North Korea and said he plans to hang out with authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and maybe bridge some cultural gaps - but not be a diplomat.
He better be careful:  Kim just executed his former girlfriend and 11 other performers by machine gun, while victims’ immediate families were forced to watch.

Forget rabbit & duck season — it's drone season for hunters in a Colorado town.  Citizens of Deer Trail, Colo. will vote to authorize hunting licenses for government drones. About 1,000 people have applied for one.

The NRA joined the ACLU’s lawsuit to end the government's massive phone record collection program. In a brief filed in federal court, the NRA argues that the National Security Agency's database of phone records amounts to a "national gun registry."
Conservatives shower Sen. Cruz of Texas with praise at Orlando gathering

The 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.

President Obama´s unprecedented regulatory agenda is driving both foreign and domestic capital out of the United States. In 2011, foreigners invested $227 billion in the United States. That dropped to just $147 billion in 2012, a drop of more than 35 percent. And the decline occurred during what was supposedly an economic recovery.

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Roger Simon  9/2

Conservatives and libertarians can rejoice, if they wish, at the spectacle of Barack Obama proving once again — and perhaps more definitively than ever — that he is the worst president of the modern era, through his utter mishandling of the Syrian situation.

But they ought to wipe the smirks off their faces, because here’s the bitter truth: The GOP bench — the right-wing or even center right-wing presidents in waiting — isn’t a helluva lot better. Not enough, anyway.

At no time in our history, at least in my increasingly long lifetime, has there been such a dearth of key political leadership in our country on both sides of the ideological divide — and at a moment when the world seems about to explode.

Much as they have a great deal to recommend domestically, I’m sorry but Ted Cruz and Rand Paul — the leading “conservatarian” lights of the Senate — do not seem prepared to deal with Syria, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, North Korea, and, of course, Russia and China. It is not enough to roll up the libertarian gangplanks and let the insane of the world blow each other up. That policy rarely works. It certainly didn’t in the 1930s. The insane of the world have a way of coming back to bite you. They’re doing their best at this very moment.

This is a sad Labor Day. America needs serious leadership and it doesn’t have it. Say what you want about this country, about its mistakes and its flaws, but a Pax Americana has prevailed since World War II. And that Pax has been a great positive for humanity. The Obama era seems to be ending it. And the leadership pool does not look capable of recovering it. No Reagans are in the offing.

On the Democratic side we have the addle-brained Biden and the dishonest, selfish Hillary.  On the Republican side… who?  No one of real stature.

Maybe it’s time to look away from the political sphere to someone like Ben Carson, who has at least achieved success doing genuine good as a pediatric neurosurgeon.

We are at a crossroads. We have a president clearly without the courage to lead. Since that’s the case, why don’t we start to do it ourselves?

They say that the people get the leaders they deserve — and that may have been our problem. Maybe we have lost the soul of our country and we are, as they trumpet in the Syrian newspapers, beginning our decline. (Maybe we began it a few years ago.) But then again, maybe not. Maybe we can take this opportunity as a country to engage with the world in an intelligent way. We are the leaders of the world, like it or not. If we give it up, the center will not hold. You don’t have to be a genius to see that.

No one else is going to do it — no other country and certainly not the UN. If our president doesn’t want to do it, we the people must take things over from him. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but if not now, when? And if not we, who?

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"[Mark Levin's] 'The Liberty Amendments' are 11 theoretical new constitutional amendments designed to re-emphasize a healthy suspicion of centralized authority. Levin suggests term limits of 12 years for senators and members of Congress, a balanced-budget amendment, term limits for Supreme Court justices, a voter-ID amendment and a sunset provision for federal agencies to automatically expire after three years unless renewed. Some of his ideas might command bipartisan support (now might be a particularly good time to renew the term-limits fight, with Congress polling at about the same approval rating as Lyme disease), but given that effectively two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of states would have to approve any constitutional updates, most of the Levin amendments stand almost no chance of being passed. Especially the wittiest one: moving tax day to the day before Election Day. That doesn't mean the proposals are unworthy of discussion. ... Levin is speaking for millions when he says that DC is guilty of overreach, of stretching the Constitution's boundaries until it becomes meaningless, and of sending us the bill."
                         -Kyl Smith

"Left to themselves, people tend to sort themselves out into communities of like-minded neighbors. This has been so obvious that only the intelligentsia could misconstrue it -- and only ideologues could devote themselves to crusading against people's efforts to live and associate with other people who share their values and habits. Quite aside from the question of whose values and habits may be better is the question of the effects of people living cheek by jowl with other people who put very different values on noise, politeness, education and other things that make for good or bad relations between neighbors. ... But such mundane matters often get brushed aside by ideological crusaders out to change the world to fit their own vision. When the world fails to conform to their vision, then it seems obvious to the ideologues that it is the world that is wrong, not that their vision is uninformed or unrealistic."
                          -Thomas Sowell

“Public opinion imperiously forbids many things today, including smoking and not recycling, but not working is most definitely not one of them. We have not (yet) become a nation of slackers, mooches, and loafers, but we may reasonably wonder whether America is still “the Land of Labor,” as Benjamin Franklin described the country to prospective immigrants. The erosion of our culture of work has profound ramifications for the health of the American Dream. Along with economic freedom, a culture that sustains, encourages, and honors hard work is one of the twin pillars that make the American Dream possible….On this Labor Day, let us then remind ourselves that opportunity does indeed look a lot like work. Let us exhort people to work hard, persevere, and give it all they have, rather than sapping their spirits by emphasizing all that is unfair in life and channeling their energies toward demanding more from others. Let us ask, “What can I do for myself and my fellow citizens?” and not “What must my country do for me?” And let us draw inspiration from those who have succeeded through their own efforts, rather than foster resentment by recasting their success as inequality.”
                         -David Azerrad

News item:  “On Labor Day 2013, Welfare Pays More Than Minimum-Wage Work in 35 States”
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BOOKS
To read the book reviews in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post or The Boston Globe, you might be unaware of the existence of the work of Mark Levin. Unless you skip to the page with the bestseller lists. Levin’s new book “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic,” last week hit No. 1 on all three New York Times bestseller lists for which it qualified — hardcover nonfiction, e-book nonfiction and the combination of the two. Yet the paper, like the others mentioned and their counterparts on the magazine rack, continues to ignore Levin,

Ben Shapiro, Breitbart News editor-at-large and editor-in-chief of the upcoming TruthRevolt.org, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is the author of five books, including the recent New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How The Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America”.
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LEFTIST WATCH
In an extreme effort to stamp out unhealthy competition, a youth soccer group in Canada, is eliminating soccer balls from their games and forcing kids to pretend they’re kicking a ball around.
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GLOBALONEY
Feds get $3 million return on $50 million investment in 'green' car for handicapped drivers...

The federal environmental police recently raided mines in Alaska “looking for violations of the Clean Water Act.” A SWAT team from the EPA and BLM were armed and wore body armor.  “….no one was arrested, no one was cited”

Record cold strikes Alaska...
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ARTICLES
The War The Pentagon Doesn’t Want

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin condemned President Obama’s decision to get further involved with the ongoing civil war in Syria. “So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot?”

So how did Obama’s earlier intervention in Libya work out?  “We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin…”

“Was Mitt Romney Right About Everything?” From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers.

Jindal:  While President Obama was publicly celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech last week, his administration took action behind the scenes in Louisiana that was a complete rejection of King’s dream. The Justice Department has challenged our state in court for having the temerity to start a scholarship program that frees low-income minority children from failing schools. In other words, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder would rip children out of their schools and handcuff them to the failing schools they previously attended. And, in the ultimate irony, they are using desegregation orders set up to prevent discrimination against minority children to try to do it.

Hey, this could be progress.  About this time last year, the Democratic National Convention booed when the platform committee tried to backtrack and add a mention of God that had been earlier removed.  In Iowa, at least Democrats have gone back to openly praying, but perhaps they should be hoping that God isn’t listening: “We give thanks, oh Lord, for the doctors, both current and future, who provide quality abortion care.”

“What divorce really does to children - in their own shattering words: If you're divorced, or thinking about it, their testimony will shake you to the core.”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Ten pictures of President Obama using his favorite footstool, the famous Resolute desk.  “The Resolute Desk is a national treasure… it was originally made of wood from the British Navy ship HMS Resolute and was presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1879.”

The map that shows where America came from: Fascinating illustration shows the ancestry of EVERY county in the US

World’s biggest volcano is about the size of the state of Washington and located underwater near Japan.
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WISE WORDS
“It really is difficult to imagine how people who have entirely given up managing their own affairs could make a wise choice of those who are to do that for them. One should never expect a liberal, energetic, and wise government to originate in the votes of a people of servants.”
                       -Alexis de Tocqueville
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LATE NITE
Leno:   President Obama is trying to get congressional approval before we attack Syria. And if that works, there’s talk we might even consider bringing back the rest of the Constitution……If President Obama really wants to hurt the Syrian government, don’t send cruise missiles. He should send over some of his economic advisers……All week president Obama has been saying he will seek congressional approval for the strike but he insists he doesn’t really need it. When asked by the media if he was sending mixed messages, the president said: "Yes and no."…….About $30 million in $100 bills had to be destroyed because of a printing problem. Isn't that unbelievable? The only thing we know how to do right in this country is print money and we screw that up.

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