Wednesday, August 26, 2015

op ed review 8/30

Did an ISIS hack of Hillary Clinton’s virtually defenseless home brew server set up the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens?
CBS News asks:  “Are Democrats turning against Hillary Clinton?” Also:  Joe Biden meets with Elizabeth Warren.
46% think Hillary should suspend her campaign. 
PRUDEN: Birds circling over Hillary's dying campaign...

Joe Biden gets Obama’s blessing to run.

For all of the talk of spectacle and sideshow surrounding the 143 or so Republican candidates running for President — much of it deserved — there’s even better drama over on the other side. Hidden beneath video footage of helicopter rides and fried butter at the Iowa State Fair is this stark reality: The Democratic Party is in deep trouble.

Donald Trump is pulling away from the pack in the race for the party´s U.S. presidential nomination, widening his lead over his closest rivals in the past week, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Friday. Nearly 32 percent of Republicans surveyed online said they backed Trump, up from 24 percent a week earlier,
‘It WON’T be Donald Trump.”That was the near-unanimous view of some of the nation’s wealthiest and most influential Republicans Saturday night as they gathered for a political briefing at billionaire Wilbur Ross’ Southampton estate with national GOP Chairman Reince Priebus.
“Although the Middle East is in chaos, our Southern border is in chaos, and our inner-cities are in chaos; although we are entering our seventh year of economic malaise as the national debt tops $18 trillion, the so-called Smart People in politics and media still can’t quite figure out why a wildly successful businessman promising change and to stick it to these same Smart People, is so danged popular.”

Since her stand out debate performance at the first GOP presidential primary debate, Carly Fiorina has reached the top ten in three national polls and her name identification and favorability has increased by double digits. But what is more impressive is that Fiorina is in the top seven out of the 17 GOP presidential candidates across 12 different state polls.

New Planned Parenthood Video: Baby Parts Buyer Jokes About Shipping Severed Heads

Three gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, sued the city of Seattle on Monday over its adoption of a so-called "gun violence tax," a tax on firearms and ammunition.

A furious debate this week over Donald Trump and his proposal to end birthright citizenship.  The immigration issue could change future party alignments and the face of American politics.  Conservatives will have to sort all this out, but here is some reading that illustrates the issues:

Thomas Sowell thinks Trump will ruin the Republican brand.

Bestselling conservative author Ann Coulter introduced Trump at a rally in Iowa:“This is the first time I’ve thought there was hope for our country again since Nov. 7, 2012.”

“Ultimately, Trump presents a choice for the Republican Party about which path to follow: a path toward a coalition that is broad, classically liberal (in the freedom sense), and consistent with the party’s history, or a path toward a coalition that is reduced to the narrow interests of identity politics for white people…….Essentially, a sizable portion of the country is saying, “We want to stop illegal immigration,” and both parties are telling them, in essence, “You’re not allowed to want that.” Left to fester long enough, this frustration has moved beyond the point of an ordinary, partisan political controversy and is moving toward a crisis of constitutional democracy…….The two major party establishments are more or less complicit in this political and cultural invalidation of a large swath of the electorate. Couple that with the economic disaffection this same group already bears toward the elites already leaving them behind, and something like the Trump boomlet was probably inevitable. If a large portion of the country wants existing bipartisan immigration laws to be enforced, and one party tells them “Yes,” but means “No,” and the other party tells them, “No” but means “You’re a racist,” then it’s only a matter of time before some disruptor is going to emerge to call them out for their game. Elite consensus indifference to public opinion has created a vacuum, and Trump’s entry into it has revealed the immigration split within the GOP to be deeper than previously understood.”

“Even a disinterested observer will note how all of a sudden all things to do with illegal immigration are impossible to change. The border wall is too costly;  illegal alien employment can’t be stopped; deportations are impossible; birthright citizenship is settled constitutional law etc. The audacity of Will, Krauthammer and the (elite) Republicans they carry water for is stunning. All of a sudden now that we have a candidate in Donald Trump who actually plans to do what other candidates have only promised…”

“Trump’s (birthright citizenship) argument runs headlong into the Constitution. His proposal shows, once again, that while he may be running as a Republican, he is not running as a conservative. Conservatives believe in following the Constitution’s text, as understood by those who wrote and ratified it and with due regard for the course of American history and traditions. They reject the notion of a living Constitution whose meaning can change to fit the popular demands of the moment…”

“Birthright citizenship is not mandated by the Constitution…..Both the Republican party and the Democratic party want to avoid the issue because, while both parties advocate some kind of reform, neither party has much interest in curbing illegal immigration: Republicans want cheap and exploitable labor and Democrats want future voters. Who will get the best of the bargain I will leave for others to decide.”
“Media Ignores Constitutional Experts Debunking Birthright Citizenship”
On the other hand, this distinguished lawyer and former clerk for Justice Thomas says birthright citizenship is settled law.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos took on Donald Trump at a press conference held by the Republican presidential candidate in Dubuque, Iowa on Tuesday evening. The two went head to head for five minutes over birthright citizenship, how Trump would build a wall, how he would deport illegal immigrants and more. Trump fought back against Ramos and attempted to get him to acknowledge crime committed by illegal immigrants.

There are 53 million U.S. Hispanics and right now they do not like Donald Trump.  14% view Trump favorably; 65% unfavorably.

A clinical psychologist analyzes the appeal of Donald Trump:  “In the past 60 years or so, America has become progressively feminized, and the archetypal warrior male has virtually disappeared…..We have seen how poorly our current girly-man-in-chief, Barack Obama, has dealt with the world of violent supermales out there……..In 2006, I published a column suggesting that Ann Coulter was the last of the “real men” on the intellectual right. I believe that Ann is the closest on the distaff side to the “in your face warrior hawk” profiled in that article. She may be the brightest and most courageous conservative intellectual in the country who can breathe fire when fire is needed – and that is most of the time. She has wonderfully set the stage for her male warrior counterpart, Donald Trump, who takes primal maleness to levels unseen for at least half a century. The everyday people of America long for strong warrior male leadership of the kind that has sustained the human race from the dawn of time. Donald Trump is the prototypical, archetypal and testosterone-driven alpha male who rules by the sheer force of his personality, imposing physique, quick wit, mastery of repartee and almost hypnotic control over his gathering masses of adoring followers. He is Attila to the Huns, Henry V to the outnumbered English army, Winston Churchill to desperate allied forces, and now our fearless leader against the pagan forces of progressivism and political correctness……Trump is not a clown, a bloviating buffoon, an intimidating bully, or just a really rich guy hoping to buy America as a shiny new toy. He is ambitious to a fault, relentless in his desire to control, own and build, and he has success written into the DNA of every cell of his body. Yes, he is egotistical, over the top at times, and less soft and sentimental than some would like, but I think he would do pretty well in that closed conference room with Putin or Kim. They would respect him but not necessarily like him. These are the ways of the warrior males who have ruled the world from the beginning of time.”

ISIS´ already burgeoning list of appalling acts appears to have grown even longer: the Islamic extremist group has reportedly blown up a 2,000-year-old temple in the historic ruins of Palmyra in Syria.

Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is running against some—but not all—billionaires. On Saturday, at a campaign appearance in South Carolina, he singled out the Koch brothers as “greedy.” But Roger Morgan, the author of a book on hedge fund operator and billionaire George Soros, wonders how greedy Soros has been, and whether the media will bother to take a look. He notes that the hedge fund operator’s net worth rose from about $9 billion before President Obama took office to over $24 billion today. How did this happen? Was he just a good investor? Did he have inside information?

Ben Carson:  “The idea that disrupting and protesting Bernie Sanders speeches will change what is wrong in America is lunacy. The "BlackLivesMatter" movement is focused on the wrong targets, to the detriment of blacks who would like to see real change and to the benefit of its powerful white liberal funders using the attacks on Sanders for political purposes that mean nothing for the problems that face our community.”

Why Johnnie Can’t Read, revisited.

"The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our general government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very inexpensive one — a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants."
                     -Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, August 22, 2015

op ed review 8/23

CNN Poll: Trump now competitive in general election.  Clinton dips below 50%.
Trump is the clear leader with the support of 24% of Republican registered voters. His nearest competitor, Jeb Bush, stands at 13%. Ben Carson has 9%, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker 8%, Sen. Rand Paul 6%, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich all land at 5%, Mike Huckabee rounding out the top 10 at 4%.
Rasmussen:  57% of Likely Republican Voters now think Donald Trump is likely to be the Republican presidential nominee next year.

National Review editors:  Trump’s Immigration Plan Is a Good Start — Trump grounds his policies in “three core principles” — that a nation should control its border, enforce its immigration laws, and put its own workers first — that are not only unobjectionable but should be the starting point of any reasonable immigration policy…”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Intellectual leader of the conservative movement and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest:  “This is exactly the plan America needs…..Not only would the plan outlined in this paper work, but more quickly than many realize. “
On the other hand, Krauthammer thinks this is suicide for the GOP:  Donald Trump’s Fantasy of Mass Deportation Is Political Poison for the GOP”
“The alarm bells are reverberating throughout the halls of the Republican Establishment as the realization has begun to sink in that their days controlling the Party are over….The pent up anger over the abysmal performance of the Republican Party hierarchy over the past 27 years has justifiably reached a boiling point.”
Mexicans think Trump is a “nightmare.”

More than 300 of Hillary Clinton’s private emails — or 5.1 percent of those processed so far — have been flagged for potential secret information.
Clinton and two aides appear to have violated two national security laws by sending classified information on a private email server, according to a former Army counterintelligence agent.
The IT company Hillary chose to maintain her private email account was a ‘mom and pop shop’  run from a loft apartment and its servers were housed in the bathroom closet.
Bob Woodward: “Clinton emails 'reminds me of the Nixon tapes'”

Her campaign has centered on her claim that she will be the champion of the middle class if she is elected to the White House. So the average person will no doubt find it easy to relate to the beachfront mansion that Hillary Clinton is renting for her summer vacation in The Hamptons for $100,000/week.
One of Hillary’s aides, Huma Abedin,  recently tried to force her way past Secret Service agents without ID and expected them to carry her luggage.  'Don't you know who I am?

A new report on the freedom of countries around the world ranks the United States 20th, putting countries like Chile and the United Kingdom ahead of the U.S.

Multiculturalists are fond of saying, “We’re a nation of immigrants” when the United States is actually, as is any healthy country, a nation of citizens. But if current trends continue, we may become a land of disparate and divided immigrants and not really a nation, which involves far more than a political boundary drawn on a map. New information released by the Census Bureau shows that there are now a record 42.1 million immigrants and illegal migrants in this country; this means the two groups together comprise more than 13 percent of our 320 million population, the highest figure in 105 years.
Up to 400,000 children are born in the United States to illegal immigrants each year.

Muhammad is now the most popular boy baby’s name in London.

Unbelievable:  “Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect some nuclear sites, instead of UN inspectors.”

Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.

Isn’t this special?: The White House now has an openly transgender staff member.

The Trumping of Party
Mark Steyn 
Donald Trump has now said that he would reverse President Obama's executive amnesty for "DREAMers" - illegal immigrants who've been here since they were children - and deport every last member of the Undocumented-American community. The amnesty for the kids was supposed to prefigure an amnesty for their parents - for what mean old politician would advocate breaking up families? But, as he told NBC's Chuck Todd, Trump plans to keep the families together by deporting every single one of them:  But he's gone beyond that. Trump has - ta-da! - a policy paper: 1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border. 2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced. 3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

In other words, as every functioning society understood until two generations ago, immigration has to benefit the people who are already here. Government owes a duty to its own citizens before those of the rest of the planet - no matter how cuddly and loveable they might be. The fact that it is necessary to state the obvious and that no "viable" "mainstream" candidate from either party is willing to state it is testament to how deformed contemporary western politics is. Trump may not be a "real" Republican or a "real" conservative, but most of his rivals are not "real"  period, as Carly Fiorina would say.

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.

…As Trump's detractors see it, he's just a reality-show buffoon with a portfolio of incoherent attitudes that display no coherent worldview. But very few people go around with a philosophically consistent attitude to life: Your approach to, say, health insurance is determined less by abstract principles than by whether you can afford it. Likewise, your attitude to the DREAMers may owe more to whether your local school district is collapsing under the weight of all this heartwarming diversity.

Presumably, if you're one of these bipartisanly extreme moderates, which of your incoherent positions is more pressing on election day determines your vote. The question then is whether large numbers of the electorate are as concerned about immigration as Trump purports to be.

On immigration both parties are engaged in a conspiracy against the American people. One party gets cheap voters and Big Government dependents; the other gets cheap labor and a chocolate on its turned down coverlet in the junior suite. The Democrats made a smarter deal. The Republicans signed a demographic death warrant. Yet Jeb! and the other alleged non-buffoons in the race have to be dragged kicking and screaming to get beyond the most ludicrous sentimentalist pap on the subject. If a "real" Republican is someone who toes the party line on a suicide mission, why be surprised that voters seek reality elsewhere?

The experts are still assuring us that the next Trumpian infelicity - after Mexicans, McCain and Megyn - will be the one that causes his campaign to self-destruct. You could be waiting a long time. As Ann Coulter says, the quickest way to get rid of Trump is to steal his issue and run with it.


“When something isn’t working, it is often a good idea to reexamine one’s premises. Perhaps it is time black Americans reexamined their belief that Democrats, and only Democrats, are looking out for their best interests. That reexamination begins with the simplest of questions: Why hasn’t 50-plus years of loyalty yielded little more than the very same discontent that arose in the 1960s? Hint: One definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time.”
              -Arnold Ahlert

“There are reports that if Joe Biden runs for president, he would promise to serve for only one term — because nothing says confidence like promising your presidency would be over quickly.”
              -Jimmy Fallon

A chilling new propaganda video has been released by hardline Iranian activists imagining the ´inevitable´ destruction of the Israeli state at the hands of Islamic armies.

Billionaire leftie investor George Soros, who has demonized fossil fuels for years through his think tanks and political contributions, seems to have warmed up to Big Coal now that stocks are dirt cheap. The left-wing hedge fund legend has raised eyebrows with major purchases of stock in two large coal companies, firms his critics say he helped bring to their knees.

The huge crowds greeting socialist Bernie Sanders in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination cannot just be attributed to large numbers of left-wingers. There is a hard-core left-wing element to the Sanders candidacy, of course. But Sanders has tapped into what used to be one of Hillary Clinton’s key constituencies, the New Age Movement.

The Washington chattering class is perplexed and bedeviled by a political alien by the name of Donald Trump, who just doesn’t have the good manners to die, no matter how hard they try to kill him. No, like The Terminator, he keeps on coming, advancing through the fusillade of snide and snarky bullets, oblivious to the ad hominem walls of fire in his path, and immune to their favorite weapon: rhetorical condescension and ridicule.

Jeb Bush said Tuesday that birthright citizenship is a "constitutional right," casting doubt on fellow 2016 candidate Donald Trump´s plan to do away with it.
This practicing constitutional attorney explains why Bush is wrong.  ”Parts of Donald Trump’s immigration plan may raise serious constitutional questions, but the part that launched a media firestorm—ending birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens—does not. The Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment does not confer citizenship on the children of foreigners, whether legal or illegal. Media commentators have gotten this issue dead wrong. ……”

Many Ruling Class Republicans seem to suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Sometimes in the life of our nation there comes a tipping point during which a horror of such great magnitude is revealed so clearly the response can only be universal revulsion and outrage. Such a moment has come into being in the stomach churning revelations of Planned Parenthood’s sale of babies’ body parts. Out of the hours of video tapes have emerged portraits of human beings so morally degraded, so pitilessly brutal, so wiped clean of heart and soul that it causes a shudder down the spine to see and to hear them.

If you don´t like the idea of robot waiters and robot cooks replacing entry-level workers, you might think twice about the recent $15 minimum-wage craze. Because that´s what doubling the current federal minimum — which several cities are doing — is likely to produce. A Washington Post story this week says that restaurant chains are "already looking for ingenious ways to take humans out of the picture, threatening workers in an industry that employs 2.4 million wait staffers, nearly 3 million cooks and food preparers and many of the nation´s 3.3 million cashiers."

America Rising has put together a video that exposes Hillary Clinton’s lies about her email server.

“The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities.”
                            -Alan Bloom