Saturday, December 27, 2014

oe review 12/28



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
New York City Police Officers Turn Their Backs on Mayor After Shooting .  “A cold, silent and seething rage greets New York's Marxist mayor.”
President Obama has engaged in “propaganda” encouraging people to “hate the police,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) charged a day after two New York City police officers were shot and killed in their patrol car by a man who posted anti-police messages to his social media account. “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” Giuliani said during an appearance on Fox News early Sunday. “The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged….”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declined to back former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani after he suggested that President Obama and Al Sharpton were responsible for creating an anti-police sentiment that led to the murders of two NYPD officers.

A Jacksonville firefighter was wounded Tuesday evening during an apparent drive-by shooting when someone opened fire at a fire truck refueling outside a firehouse on the city's Southside.
Bomb Threat Tweeted to Jet Blue After Offer to Send Police to NYPD Officers’ Funeral
A Surge of Support for Police:   Rocker Jon Bon Jovi donned a New York Police Department T-shirt on stage. Well-wishers delivered home-baked cookies by the hundreds to police in Cincinnati. In Mooresville, North Carolina, police and sheriff's officers were treated by residents to a chili dinner. At a time when many in the nation's police community feel embattled, Americans in cities and towns across the country are making an effort to express support and gratitude.

New illegals pouring into shelters:
An Obama appointed federal judge threw out Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration suit against President Obama.

Homeless shelters cite legal pot as part of Denver’s rise in homelessness.

Since January, Hillary Rodham Clinton has seen the percentage of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents who would vote for her in a primary or caucus drop by 10 points, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Then again, she still has a 47-point lead over her nearest competitor, Vice President Joe Biden.


France quietly waves goodbye to the 75 percent super-tax on the rich.  "The (tax) clearly damaged France's reputation and competitiveness,"

The Obama administration is cramming like a college student trying to study for a final exam, publishing more than 1,200 new regulations in the last 15 days alone.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
John Merline    “Scrooge Was A Liberal, Studies Show”  12/23

Just about every year at this time, "A Christmas Carol' shows up somewhere on TV, as do headlines about how one Republican or another is the modern equivalent of the tale's greedy miser, Ebenezer Scrooge.

"The GOP's sad Scrooge agenda." "GOP Protecting Ebenezer Scrooge." "Maher Likens Republicans to Ebenezer Scrooge." "Republicans play the role of the stingy Scrooge." You have to wonder if these folks have actually read "A Christmas Carol" or spent any time pondering what Scrooge actually says and does. Because if you do, you come to realize that Scrooge more closely resembles a modern liberal than a conservative.

A major clue comes early in the story, when two men collecting for charity arrive at Scrooge's office. After asking Scrooge for a donation to help the poor and needy, Scrooge responds: "Are there no prisons? And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation? The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigor?" He goes on to say, "I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."

Modern translation: I pay taxes to support the welfare state, why should I give money to you? Turns out, that's a decidedly liberal viewpoint.

Studies have consistently shown that big-government liberals donate far less money to private charities than conservatives. In his book "Who Really Cares," Arthur Brooks notes that households headed by conservatives give 30% more to charity than households headed by liberals. Another study found that even poor conservatives donate more than rich liberals .

There are other facets to Scrooge's character that line up better with modern liberals. During that same conversation, Scrooge says it might be better for the poor who are unwilling to go on welfare to die "and decrease the surplus population." Cold and heartless, yes. But which side is always bemoaning overpopulation? From Paul Ehrlich in the late 1960s to environmentalists today, it's been a fixation of the left, not the right. Al Gore, for example, once urged making "fertility management ubiquitously available" to fight the scourge of carbon-producing people.

Also like most liberals today, Scrooge was clearly a religious skeptic and not a churchgoer. In fact, Dickens points out that one of the first things Scrooge does on the Christmas morning after his visits by the spirits is get on his knees and pray, and then go to church.

A 2012 study in Social Psychological and Personality Science concluded that "religious individuals tend to be more conservative." A Gallup survey found that 55% of conservatives, but just 27% of liberals, are "frequent" churchgoers. And a Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey found that religious conservatives outnumber religious liberals in America nearly four to one.

Scrooge was also unhappy, a mood found more frequently on the left. Pew Research, for example, found that conservative were 68% more likely to say they were "very happy" than liberals, and that this "happiness gap" has existed since 1972.

The fact that Scrooge was single and childless puts him on the left side of today's political spectrum. Writing in the New York Times, Brooks notes that 53% of conservatives are married, vs. 33% of liberals, "and almost none of the gap is due to the fact that liberals tend to be younger." Conservatives also have more kids than liberals.

Finally, lest you think Scrooge was intolerant -- the one sin the left still abhors -- consider how he instructs his nephew on the virtues of tolerance. "Keep Christmas in your own way," he tells Fred, "and let me keep it in mine."      QED.



FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“It turns out most of the nations of the world see the climate change issue as merely a shakedown opportunity to leverage more aid money from American taxpayers. … In less than one month, Barack Obama’s ‘epic deal’ with China president Xi Jinping to reduce greenhouse gas emission standards has been exposed as a sham. … Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator admitted in Lima: ‘we do not have any clear road map of meeting [emissions] target for 2020.’ Well, isn’t that reassuring. … The lesson of Lima is that the rest of the world is not going to cut its carbon emissions. Period. … Mr. Obama has agreed to an historic climate change deal with… himself. America will give up jobs and money (eventually trillions) and pay higher energy prices and in exchange the rest of the world will do nothing. In the climate change racket, we are being played for fools.”
                  -Stephen Moore
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LEFTIST WATCH
We shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the current demonstrations in New York against the police are being led by the Communist, pro-terrorist group International A.N.S.W.E.R.    (This organization)  embodies within itself the seeming contradiction between the far left and Islamic extremism: it enthusiastically supported both Kim il Jung and Saddam Hussein, and is directed in part by the Muslim Student Association.   A.N.S.W.E.R. is close to unique, in that it advocates for pretty much every form of evil in the world. Who pays for it, what masters it serves, remains unknown.

The NYPD Cop-Killing: The Chickens Come Home to Roost.  When Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley murdered NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu as they ate lunch in their patrol car last Saturday, the only people who could possibly have been surprised were those who have not realized how assiduously Leftist and Muslim activists have worked – long before the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner — to demonize the NYPD and law enforcement in general. The advent of the killer was only a matter of time.

Leftists in government are not concerned with the welfare of urban blacks in general, but one particular class of blacks, distinct and separate from all others -- black criminals. Activists, both in government and media, desire to decriminalize black lawlessness. They wish to put black criminals beyond the reach of the law. They seek gangbangers unbound. When this occurs, the left will once again have its black proletariat to manipulate as it sees fit…..Since the 1960s, black riots have generally been limited to mass tantrums which burn their own neighborhoods, and destroy their own businesses. This is what occurred in Ferguson. But the next step will be to take the violence and destruction to white neighborhoods. This will come once the police are disarmed, with officers fleeing or hiding in their vehicles, overcome by thoughts of George Zimmermann and Darren Wilson. Throw in a few Jay Nixons unable to bring themselves to order the National Guard into action (reportedly on the advice of one Barack Obama), and you have a formula for the type of social cataclysm the left has been yearning after for a century or more.
Time Magazine warned of a growing threat to cops nationwide in September 2010. The nationally renowned publication argued that sinister individuals would launch targeted attacks against police officers and even ambush them in their patrol cars. Time alerted readers that these groups and individuals have a disturbing hatred of cops and that there was a real threat of “lone-wolf” attacks. Who are these groups that present such a threat to police? Right-wing militias, of course..
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GLOBALONEY
Christmas has come a couple of days early for climate sceptics, in what may well prove to be one of the biggest blows to the Global Warming religion since Climategate.

Ice in the Arctic and Antarctic is 'not melting', says global warming expert

People who swallow global warming alarmism almost never know anything about the Earth’s climatic history. Next time one of your friends or relatives starts giving you the global warming routine, ask him or her to graph the temperature history of the last 500,000 years. Or 20,000 years. Or 2,000. Trust me: the supposed climate expert won’t be able to do it. Yet putting the modest temperature increase of the latter half of the 20th century into historical context is the first prerequisite of any intelligent evaluation.
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ISLAM
The Islamic State (IS) is turning Christian churches in Syria and Iraq into torture chambers and selling stolen holy artifacts on the black market in the process,

The German PEGIDA movement held its largest meeting yet last night to protest what they call the ‘Islamisation of the Western World’, despite stiff opposition from all sections of Germany’s elite including politicians, media, and the arts.  “Apparently dismayed that 17,500 people had turned out in bad weather to sing Christian carols, the Protestant Bishop of Dresden said PEGIDA were trying “to exploit a Christian symbol and a Christian tradition” for political ends.”  Huh?
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ARTICLES
Making sense of the Christmas Story.

“My youngest daughter just joined the ever-increasing number of Americans who have lost their health coverage due to Obamacare. She received a letter from her insurance carrier indicating that the individual policy with which she was eminently satisfied, and that she could more or less afford, would no longer be available after the end of the year. In its place, the insurer offered a plan whose premiums will be nearly double what she has been paying for the cancelled policy….”

Liberals were in a near euphoric state on Wednesday after President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba are on a path to normalizing relations between the two nations, a move that will pave the way for a U.S. Embassy in Havana, and may eventually lead to lifting a 50-year-old American trade embargo. I mean sure, the Castro brothers are oppressive to their own people. So they’ve killed an untold number of political dissidents or imprisoned them in forced labor camps. So they don’t allow “freedom of speech,” or “freedom of the press,” or “the right to assemble.” Yeah sure, they’re a “state sponsor of terrorism.” However, to their credit, they don’t support the Koch brothers. That would be a real crime. Ask Harry Reid.
P.J. O’Rourke highlights the special gifts to taxpayers in the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” spending bill.

Walter Williams “America Is In A Post-Constitutional Age, And It´s Americans´ Own Fault” 

It’s profoundly irresponsible to stoke hatred of the police, especially when the fuel used for doing so is a set of lies. Hatred of the police among blacks stems in part from police brutality during this country’s shameful era of Jim Crow-laws and widespread discrimination. But it is na├»ve not to recognize that criminal members of the black underclass despise the police because law enforcement interferes with their way of life. The elites are oblivious both to the extent of lawlessness in the black inner city and to its effect on attitudes toward the cops. Any expression of contempt for the police, in their view, must be a sincere expression of a wrong.
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WISE WORDS
“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”
                     -Ronald Reagan


Saturday, December 20, 2014

op ed review 12/21



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
A federal judge Tuesday ruled parts of President Obama’s deportation amnesty to be unconstitutional, with a scathing memo dismantling the White House’s legal reasoning and arguing that Mr. Obama tried to steal Congress’ lawmaking powers. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/16/charles-hurt-welcome-to-lawless-obamas-america-hom/?page=2#ixzz3MAhheMWP
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore is unconstitutional,” Judge Schwab declared in his Memorandum Opinion.”

Obama tries 'new approach' on Cuba with normalized trade relations and diplomacy between Washington and Havana for the first time in a half-century http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2877617/Cuba-releases-US-prisoner-Alan-Gross.html#ixzz3MGScQIBh
“This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, on a lie, the lie and the illusion that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people,” said Sen. ­Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).  “All this is going to do is give the Castro regime, which controls every aspect of Cuban life, the opportunity to manipulate these changes to perpetuate itself in power.”

How stupid are the democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee for releasing the report on enhanced interrogation techniques during the war on terror?  The Taliban is now demanding an international investigation into the human rights standards of the United States.
Meanwhile, the Taliban murdered 132 children at a school in Pakistan in a revenge mission for Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai being awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Taliban terrorists allegedly burned a teacher alive and made the students watch.
"The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry," said Pakistan's defense minister,  as funerals began for the 132 child victims of Tuesday's Taliban attack.

President Obama's statement condemning the mass murder fails to blame the Taliban, just calling them “terrorists.”

Sen. Feinstein’s torture report backfires:  A majority of Americans believe the CIA´s “harsh interrogation tactics” were acceptable under the circumstances according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. And a plurality say they´d be acceptable to use in the future to thwart potential terrorist threats.

The wealth gap between middle- and upper-income households has widened to the highest level on record under Obama says a new report.

The Obama White House, at the behest of Hillary Clinton’s State Department and New Jersey senator Robert Menendez, waived an immigration ban against an Ecuadorian national after her family gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns in 2012.

Trouble in socialist Sweden…..”Lightly burdened by war guilt, Sweden was the first European state to declare itself the moral monitor of the world. Sweden’s folkhem, or “people’s home,” was the gold standard of welfare states; it was also the first to run out of money.……..Mass immigration has dissolved Sweden’s social cohesion and overburdened the welfare system.

A new NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey shows that Chris Christie is at the bottom of the pack among the 2016 GOP hopefuls, with the fewest number of voters saying they could support him for the nomination.
People Magazine’s worst selling issue this year? The one with Hillary Clinton on the cover.

Unilateral disarmament:  The nation's stockpile of nuclear weapons is down 85 percent from cold war levels.  Says a State Department spokesman, "We still have more work to do."

Attorney General Holder:  cross-dressing is now a civil right, covered by the Civil Rights Act.

Government Waste: The good news is the National Institutes of Health pulled the plug on a national children´s health study because it was fatally flawed. The bad news is they wasted 10 years and $1.3 billion before they admitted it

A military recruitment program that grants accelerated citizenship to legal immigrants has ground to a halt after the Pentagon directed the armed services to make illegal immigrants eligible for the program, too.

Newly released emails expose possible collusion between the IRS and President Obama´s Department of Justice.  The IRS originally claimed that Lois Lerner’s emails were all missing. On November 22, however, the IRS Inspector General announced that 30,000 of Lerner´s emails had been recovered. The emails not only reveal efforts to bring criminal charges against conservatives and Tea Party groups, they could signal a cover-up by the Obama administration.

Last week, the Health and Human Services Department announced a plan to share your medical records with over 35 federal agencies — all in the name of “health care,” of course.

Florida taxpayers spent close to $30 billion to implement a class-size amendment, which voters adopted in 2002. The results are less than overwhelming. There is little doubt that having fewer students per class, particularly in lower grades, is generally beneficial, but it is hardly the key to educational excellence. The quality of teachers, course material, parental support and other factors can have far greater impact.

Earlier this month it was announced that Florida’s Capitol would host a satanic holiday display - now the Michigan Capitol will follow suit.

Atheists unveil anti-Christmas TV specials

Santa Claus is removed from elementary school concert over complaint he is ´too religious´.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Star Parker   12/15

The story is told that when Tennessee frontiersman Davy Crockett served in the US Congress (between 1827 and 1835) he voted for a bill appropriating $20,000 for relief for victims of a fire that broke out in Georgetown.
When he returned home, a constituent farmer chastised him for supporting the bill and for “giving what is not yours to give.” The farmer told Crockett the constitution does not grant Congress the power to give charity and if it did, “You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and favoritism and corruption, on the one hand, and robbing the people on the other.”

We are far from those days. Supreme Court decisions over the years have opened the door for rationalizing just about anything under the spending authority of the Congress. Those who crafted the American constitution did not intend limitations on the federal government’s role out of mean spiritedness. They did so out of a sense of what would best serve the public. It stands to reason that bureaucrats spending other people’s money - funds taken by force - is not going to produce good results.

According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report, and the staff of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), who commissioned the report, combined annual federal and state spending on antipoverty programs exceeds $ 1 trillion. About 75 percent comes from the federal government.

These funds, which include programs such as welfare, food stamps, low-income housing programs, child care assistance, etc. are programs that mostly came onto the American scene with the War on Poverty and, in that they are focused on helping the less fortunate, are what it is usually considered charity. These programs are notoriously wasteful and are too often counterproductive and motivated by political gain rather than genuine sincerity to really help people. Funds extracted from taxpayers, dispensed by bureaucrats, under rules and conditions designed by other bureaucrats, remove personal responsibility from both the giving and receiving ends of the equation.

In addition to waste, unintended consequences of this social engineering has produced government dependence, family breakdown, and removal of the sense on the part of recipients that they bear responsibility for their own lives……

A new book by Brookings Institution scholars Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis, “Show Me the Evidence,” reviews “evidence-based” strategies for what works as a precondition for federal funding of programs.  But why focus on trying to make government more efficient rather than on what government should or should not do?
I run a non-profit and I know what it means to deliver results in order to satisfy donors and raise funds. It is no different than any commercial enterprise.

In my column last week, I proposed 5 conservative reforms to help low income communities transition off destructive government dependence. One idea is dollar for dollar tax credits for private charitable contributions going to designated low-income zip codes.  Can there be any doubt if a trillion dollars in private giving was going to low –income America, rather government money, everyone would be better off?

Rather than trying to fix government, let’s put it back in its constitutional place and restore private decision-making and responsibility to American life.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“Imagine a chief of police in a city where there has been a rash of automobile hubcap thefts and he’s trying to capture the culprits. Should he have his officers stake out and investigate residents of senior citizen homes? What about spending resources investigating men and women 40 or older? I would imagine that he would have greater success in capturing the culprits by focusing most of his resources on younger people – and particularly on young men. Doing so would more likely lead to the capture of the culprits because hubcap theft is a young man’s game. My question to you is whether you’d bring charges against the police chief because he used age and sex profiling – and didn’t investigate seniors and middle-aged adults?”
                -Walter Williams

“It’s fine to say Sony never should have green-lighted the movie in the first place. That’s true of so much that Hollywood produces. The point is it did. And America is effectively giving one of the most evil regimes in human history a veto on our First Amendment. Where’s Captain America when you need him?”
               -Jonah Goldberg
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LEFTIST WATCH
Why did President Obama engineer a prisoner swap with Communist Cuba involving Alan Gross, an American citizen who badmouthed his own country mere hours after he arrived back on U.S. soil? It turns out that a cabal of left-wing extremists helped to make Gross´s release happen.

CBS journalists compare voter ID laws to the violent, bloody attacks on African Americans during civil rights marches in 1965.
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GLOBALONEY
During the Lima Climate Change Conference, Bolivian President Evo Morales reveals the environmental movement’s core motivating philosophy. "The deep causes of global warming," he complained, "are not being dealt with here. The origin of global warming lies in capitalism. If we could end capitalism then we would have a solution." His honesty is somewhat refreshing, if disconcerting all the same. This war that's being orchestrated by alarmists is not against fossil-fuel-emitting power plants, the greenhouse gas effect or rising sea levels; it's against the free-market enterprise that springs from the foundation of Liberty.
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ISLAM
Militants fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq have unveiled their latest terror tactic - bombs containing hundreds of live scorpions designed to spread fear among their enemies. Canisters packed with poisonous varieties of scorpion are being blasted into towns and villages, which explode on impact - scattering the scorpions and causing panic among the innocent local population. Although scorpion bombs sound like something out of a modern horror movie, the tactic is actually thousands of years old and was first used by Iraqis fighting against the Roman Empire.
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ARTICLES
Think Congress can´t stop President Obama´s unilateral executive action on immigration? It can. All money spent by the federal government is under the ultimate control of Congress. If they choose, lawmakers can issue exquisitely detailed instructions on how federal dollars are spent. For proof, look no further than the 1,695-page spending bill passed by Congress over the weekend. A particular phrase, "none of the funds," appears in the bill more than 450 times. In each case, Congress used those words to dictate how money can and cannot be spent.

Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are polar opposites, a Tea Party conservative and an Occupy Wall Street socialist. Then there are the similarities: Both were elected in 2012, both have Harvard on their resume and both are mentioned as presidential material. But the media´s read of the two demonstrates an unquestionable slant. Both senators have shaken up the Senate over heavy spending and regulation. When Warren does it, she´s promoted as a profile in courage, standing up for fairness. When Cruz does it, he´s a selfish brat causing meltdowns.

Ann Coulter:  In return for the tea party not being spasmodic and pushing crazy candidates this election, the GOP establishment had better abandon its corporate-benefactor-pleasing ways. People who voted Republican took the attitude of “We’re giving you one more chance.” They are not going to back off, and they can’t be tricked or lied to. They’re looking the GOP in the eye and saying: We’re not fooling around: Amnesty is dead, right? Republicans won by ignoring the establishment when it said, Don’t criticize amnesty! and ignoring the tea party when it said, Let’s run candidates like Christine O'Donnell!........Without the presidency, Republicans' sole objective for the next two years is to keep sending Obama bills that 80 percent of Americans will support. They can pass some great legislation – and they’ll also force Democrats into votes that won’t be easy to explain to their constituents.

Conservative talk radio icon Mark Levin blasted his fellow Republican Party members during his most recent show, slamming the leadership for caving on the budget and for, time after time, ignoring basic constitutional principles. “The Constitution is in tatters,” he said, adding that he was “one inch away” from breaking with the Republicans.

VDH: There are lots of hypocrisies surrounding the recently released executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. But they pale in comparison to the current Democratic silence about President Barack Obama’s policy of targeted drone assassinations. Since 2004, drones have killed an estimated 2,400 to 3,888 individuals in Pakistan alone.

Students are stunned to learn Hillary Clinton gets chauffeured around everywhere, and by her own admission has not driven a car since 1996.

A Conservative Waterloo: John Boehner Must Go
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
AFA's 2014 Naughty or Nice listing of the top 100 retailers helps you spend your hard-earned money with companies who aren’t embarrassed to use the word “Christmas.”

Hillary Clinton’s letter to Santa:
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WISE WORDS
“To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility.”
                   -Eric Hoffer