The articles posted on this page are written from a conservative, Christian worldview. Patriot Post publications are usually posted M, W, & F. Others are posted as discovered by yours truly. These posting are meant to instill a love for God, family and country as well as to educate, equip, enlighten, and challenge to good deeds for the betterment of mankind, those who visit these pages.
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president." Author Unknown
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The Patriot Post
Oct. 30, 2014
“It has hitherto been supposed a fundamental maxim that in governments rightly balanced, the different branches of a legislature should be unconnected, and that the legislative and executive powers should be separate.” –Richard Lee, Letter to Edmund Randolph, 1787
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Democrats Don’t Wait to Lose Before Pointing Fingers
Democrats have been running from Barack Obama1 for some time, but now they’re already beginning to point fingers over the looming Election Day debacle. “This off-year election has become almost entirely a referendum on the president,” said one Democrat consultant. “It’s not just anger at [ObamaCare]. He has become, in my opinion wrongly, the symbol of dysfunction in Washington. That has led to a demoralized Democratic base, energized Republicans and those in the middle have an easy way of venting their frustration, and that is to punish the president’s party.” Another consultant added, “It is not all Obama but a lot of it is.” Part of the problem is that Obama thinks it’s all about Obama. “Make no mistake,” he said, “[my] policies are on the ballot.” And it’s killing Democrats.
Doctors Decline ObamaCare Plans Because They Aren’t Worth It
About 214,000 doctors have opted out of providing health care to people who bought insurance through the “Affordable” Care Act’s health exchanges because of low pay. In some cases, doctors might not get paid at all. The reimbursement rates for ObamaCare are lower than those for Medicare – the rationale being that if doctors only worked harder and faster, they could make the same amount. And if patients don’t pay their premiums, doctors are left holding the bill. The American Action Forum3, a DC think tank, writes, “Because of the pressure placed on insurance companies to keep the cost of exchange plans unrealistically low, providers are being reimbursed at financially unsustainable rates. This reduction in payment rates has caused many physicians and hospitals to decline to accept insurance plans issued through the exchanges, and thereby negating the intended effect of providing individuals with affordable care by virtue of eliminating their access to care.” Not only do the plans cost more, but the quality of service is much, much less.
Activists Push Obama to Move on Immigration
The issue of immigration isn’t as big an issue with the average Latino voter. It is the immigration activists who are pushing Obama to go big. They have heard reports that DOJ and DHS will recommend that Obama grant amnesty to a smaller number of people than they hoped for – and those activists feel angry and marginalized. Executive director for the National Immigration Law Center, Marielena Hincapié, said any executive action Obama takes on this issue would be met with Republican opposition (because of its constitutionality, mind you). “Whether it’s one million or two million or seven million, it will be equal criticism,” she complained. “This isn’t about appeasing Republicans; he’s never going to appease them.” But according to Pew Research Center5, the top four issues that matter to Latino voters are education (92%), jobs (91%), health care (86%) then immigration (73%). Furthermore, the Latino vote is not firmly in Democrat hands. While 50% of Latinos think Democrats perform better on immigration, 27% believe Republicans do a better job. If Obama acts on immigration, it will be first to appease activists, not Latinos.
Good News: Houston to Drop Subpoenas
It took a couple of weeks of outrage at the trampling of religious liberty, but Houston Mayor Annise Parker is backing off on persecuting Christian pastors7 over their stance on gender-disorientation pathology. The Houston Chronicle reports, “The City of Houston will withdraw its controversial subpoenas of five pastors tied to a lawsuit over the city’s equal rights ordinance, Mayor Annise Parker announced at a news conference Wednesday.” But Parker was defiant, saying, “I didn’t do this to satisfy [critics]. I did it because it was not serving Houston.” Neither is she if that’s what being mayor means to her.
Students Suspended for Picture With Airsoft Rifles
Once again, zero tolerance is way off target. CBS Boston reports, “Last Friday, Tito and his girlfriend Jamie Pereira posed with … Airsoft rifles before the Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical School homecoming dance. The [Facebook] post got them suspended from school.” The photo was not taken on school property and the two teens did not threaten anyone or disrupt school in any way. They simply made the mistake of tagging their post “Homecoming 2014.” That brought in the school SWAT team administrators. National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke notes the most important thing9: “Here, supposedly responsible adults in Taunton have been presented with a choice. Do they punish two kids for an entirely legal photograph that they took in their home, and that caused no trouble to anybody? Or do they stay the hell away from the issue? That they not only chose the first course, but imposed a serious sanction as well is a bad sign for those of us who want schools to act as schools, and parents to act as parents. Don’t Tread on Me, says the flag. Give us your children, says the state.”
Only Flat-Earthers Oppose Haphazard Ebola Quarantine Policy
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Well, anserine gender stereotypes aside, it turns out that what’s good for one potentially Ebola-stricken American is not good for another. So says this White House, which is against the practice of forced quarantine – except when it’s for it. And if you disagree, it’s because you hate Science™.
Barack Obama recently lashed out at Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York for instituting mandatory quarantine for individuals suspected of carrying the Ebola virus. In New Jersey, nurse Kaci Hickox was quarantined after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, prompting her to protest that her basic human rights had been violated. She now refuses to comply with a quarantine, insisting through her lawyer, “She’s a very good person who did very good work and deserves to be honored, not detained, for it.” While her work is good, evidently in her opinion, doing that good work involves no risk to herself or others.
The Obama administration sided with Hickox, issuing the veiled threat14, “We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences … policies not grounded in Science™ may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa.”
Of course, it’s purely coincidental that nurse Hickox is a CDC employee15 whose lawyer attended an official White House state dinner earlier this year. Complete coincidence. We’re sure Obama would just as quickly have rushed to the defense of a Tea Party leader whose lawyer was a member of the NRA. But we digress.
Ironically, while Obama was attacking state-mandated quarantines with phony appeals to Science™, his Defense Department was instituting mandatory quarantines for troops returning from Ebola-ravaged regions of West Africa.
Apparently, this is okay with the administration because, as White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest put it16, the difference is that civilians returning from West Africa may number “a couple of dozen health-care workers,” while military personnel include “thousands of military service members who have been or will be deployed to West Africa.” Therefore, the military policy simply wouldn’t do for civilians. Or, as Earnest says, “The Science™ would not back that up.”
Confused? So is The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, who – tongue planted firmly in cheek – ponders17, “So the Pentagon has a de facto quarantine policy, whereas civilian federal health agencies are leaning on governors not to impose similar policies stateside. If only there were an official assigned the task of coordinating the government’s response to Ebola!”
The president also claims quarantining civilians constitutes “running” and “hiding” and would prevent medical personnel from traveling to Africa to fight Ebola. “If we are not dealing with this problem there, it will come here,” Obama said20, neglecting to note it is here. “If we’re discouraging our health care workers who are prepared to make these sacrifices from traveling to these places in [need],” he continued, “then we’re not doing our job in looking after our own public health and safety.”
It’s more than unfortunate that the president doesn’t have the same “fight it there so we don’t have to fight it here” approach to Jihadistan, but that’s another story.
In all of this, the curious sound bite that keeps coming from the White House is the claim that civilian quarantines simply aren’t backed by Science™. However, common sense dictates that if Ebola in 100 people should be quarantined, then one person who was exposed to Ebola should be quarantined so it doesn’t spread to 100. A Nobel Prize-winning doctor agrees21. But since when has science ever guided this administration’s policies?
If it had, the Keystone Pipeline22 would have been approved five years ago, Secretary of State John Kerry wouldn’t have compared23 the terrorist threat of ISIL to Al Gore’s bugaboo of man-made climate change, and our government dietary guidelines, which have helped build Americans' menus for nearly 35 years, would be updated based on new scientific studies showing the low-fat craze ingrained into dietary lingo may actually do more harm than good24.
Unfortunately, Democrats consider science nothing more than a word to be trademarked and then tossed around to silence debate. And where science does guide policy, it’s science purely of the political kind.
Is Obama’s Relationship With Israel Really This Bad?
“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens–t.” So said an Obama administration official in reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ironically, the brave official remains anonymous, and the White House has no interest in discovering his or her identity. The episode highlights the two nations' deteriorating relationship.
The contrast between Netanyahu and our own president is obvious. Netanyahu saw combat as an elite special forces unit leader in the Israeli Defense Force, while Barack Obama was team leader of the dope-smoking “Choom Gang25.”
Netanyahu is no stranger to strife with this administration. The last year in particular has featured numerous examples of tension between the two allies. Another Obama official lectured Israel about peace26, while Secretary of State John Kerry flubbed cease-fire discussions27 and showed favoritism toward the Palestinians28, all after he called Israel an “apartheid state29” – these are but a few of the kerfuffles driving the nations apart.
Now it’s come to name-calling, of which “chickens–t” is merely the latest entry. According to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg30, “Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’ (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)”
The administration official says the White House views Netanyahu this way because the Israeli leader didn’t launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear program. “It’s too late for him to do anything,” the official said. “Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”
It was the Obama administration that pressured Netanyahu not to strike Iran, and yet this official has the gall to turn around and call him names.
Obama campaigned in 2008 on plans to meet Iranian leaders “without preconditions” to discuss that nation’s nuclear program, and he has largely carried through on his promise. The U.S. has required very little of Iran, and sanctions have had limited effect. That didn’t stop Obama from talking tough in 2012, when he declared, “As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.” Perhaps it won’t happen until after he leaves office in 2017.
Obama has done next to nothing to deter Iran’s nuclear program, besides extend deadlines and meet for more “talks.” In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports31, “The Obama administration and Iran, engaged in direct nuclear negotiations and facing a common threat from Islamic State militants, have moved into an effective state of détente over the past year.”
Comparing relations is illustrative. As the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes asks, “When is the last time you had anybody from the administration say anything nearly as critical of the Iranian regime as what they just said about Benjamin Netanyahu?”
Indeed, we’re fairly certain Israel would view détente with the U.S. as an improvement.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Communist leader Josef Stalin (1879-1953): “Comrades, I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how. But what is extraordinarily important is this: who will count the votes, and how.”
Columnist Michael Reagan: “The quarantine question shouldn’t have to become a constitutional issue. And there’s no reason for state or federal governments to be put in the position of having to force an American citizen to undergo a quarantine. The solution is simple. Before anyone goes to West Africa, they should fill out and sign an application form. If they are unwilling to submit to a 21-day quarantine when they come back, they should be told by their employers, their relief agency or their church group that they cannot go. Period. … [A]ny health worker who’s not willing to undergo a quarantine isn’t a real hero and isn’t looking at the big picture. If they’re willing to do good works in Africa, and God bless them for that, they should be willing to do it the right way. And that means paying the full cost of doing good overseas by ensuring the safety of their families, friends and neighbors back home. America is an incredibly generous country. It has millions of goodhearted heroes who would volunteer to help the sick and dying in West Africa. But they can do good without endangering the rest of us.”
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “Ferguson has become the ultimate vehicle for Democrats desperate to get out the black American vote, highlighted by a Georgia campaign ad that warns them there may be ‘another Ferguson in their future’ if they don’t vote. Sadly, there will always be another Ferguson in the future, wherever and whenever it accrues to the interests of a divide-and-conquer Democrat party. The same divide-and-conquer Democrat party set to sell out black Americans by forcing them to compete for jobs with the millions of illegals the president intends to unilaterally legalize. I’m guessing there aren’t any Democrats promoting that reality in any of their campaign ads.”
Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “The man investigating the Secret Service prostitution scandal got caught with a prostitute. So Obama appointed an Irony Czar.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Sarah Palin Slams 'Very, Very Intolerant' Liberal Media: 'They Want to Crush Us'
By Tim Graham | October 29, 2014
Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner reported that “Sarah Palin on Tuesday shot back at CNN anchor Carol Costello’s gleeful mocking over the assault of Palin’s daughter Bristol, charging that liberal media want to destroy those who don’t agree with them.”
Palin, pounded by the media from the first minutes after they announced her in 2008 as John McCain’s running mate, told Stuart Varney on the Fox Business Network, “The bottom line of course is those liberals they love those Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, where they are out there playing the politics of personal destruction. They do want to destroy personally those they disagree with. They’re very, very intolerant of those who maybe hold opposing views to their liberal failed agenda views. So, you know, they want to crush us.”
Palin also said that the personal attacks on her and her family have sparked a renewed interest in running for political office. “The more they’re pouring on, the more I’m going to bug the crap out of them by being out there with a voice, with the message, hopefully running for office in the future,” Palin told Stuart Varney.
Asked what the Republican leadership needs, Palin simply said: They need more guts, they need to have the confidence that the American people understand the platform has strong planks upon which our country can grow and prosper and be more secure instead of being so hesitant going along to get along, the media will say something mean about me if I exercise some of the leadership that we’re all craving. I would just like to see them have more confidence in what it is that we stand for, because history proves the time tested proofs that should be embraced by conservatives, they’re the ones that work and we have a lot of good leaders out there like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. They don't have the title of leader, but at least in my opinion and a of people I know is, they are the ones who do exercise the leadership we need.
The Spectacular Self-Immolation of Wendy R. Davis
10/29/2014 1:01:00 PM - Michelle Malkin
Wendy Russell Davis is on fire. And I don't mean that in a good way.
I mean it in a five-alarm, set-her-own-skirt-aflame, billowing-human-torch kind of way. To say that Davis is smokin' hot is not a compliment. It's a campaign incineration status update.
The Democratic darling of the Hollywood Left and glamour gal of abortion thought her path to the Texas governor's mansion would be a pink-sneakered walk in the park. Instead, her single-issue campaign has combusted.
The high point of Davis' career came last year when she flamboyantly opposed state restrictions on late-term abortions in the wake of Philadelphia death-doc abortionist Kermit Gosnell's baby-killing spree. Gosnell's conviction provoked national revulsion at abortion gone wild. But Davis' radical supporters at the Texas Capitol donned tampon earrings and waved uterus flags in solidarity with abortion rights at any cost. Planned Parenthood ghouls and celebrity femmes latched on to La Davis.
Militant gender identity politics, however, can only get you so far.
Davis' gubernatorial bid the past month has been a series of unfortunate, cringe-inducing events exposing her empty soul. Last week, she insanely accused her opponent, Republican State Attorney General Greg Abbott, of wanting to ban "interracial marriage." Abbott's wife, Cecilia, is the Hispanic granddaughter of Mexican immigrants.
The week before, Davis ridiculed Abbott's physical disability with a vulgar TV ad featuring an empty wheelchair. Abbott was paralyzed in 1984 when a tree fell on top of him while he was jogging. In response to a bipartisan backlash against her crass campaign insensitivity, Davis doubled down by attacking Abbott for lacking "empathy" -- while she cynically surrounded herself at a damage-control press event with disabled human shields (one of whom had to be dragged away from the podium by a Davis staffer while the crowd waited in awkward silence for the next speaker).
To bolster her Girl Power bona fides, the Davis campaign disseminated a photo of young female "friends" posing on Twitter last week after voting for the Democratic candidate. The tweet carried the hashtag "#GenWendy." Like, you know, "Generation Wendy." The photo, however, turned out to be a pilfered image of young Virginia College Republicans getting out the vote for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. "All out of support, Wendy?" a Virginia CR spokeswoman jibed. The "imaginary friends" of Wendy became a social media mockfest.
Desperate for positive press, Wendy welcomed New York City liberal Jon Stewart to Austin, Texas, for a last-ditch appeal on his comedy show Wednesday night. Quel appropriate: a professional clown propping up a miserable joke of a candidacy. Trailing in all the major polls, bleeding cash and abandoned by women voters by double-digits, Davis turned to Stewart to get out the vote and pump up anemic sales of her book, "Forgetting to Be Afraid."
Stewart forgot to mention the trail of discredited autobiographical details Davis exploited to gain a national platform. The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this year that she "blurred" several "key facts" of her rags-to-riches story. As feminists hailed the single mother for putting herself through Harvard University while caring for two young daughters, it emerged that a second husband had taken custody of Wendy's girls, cashed in his 401(k) and secured a loan to support her higher ambitions.
Which-Way Wendy tried to pivot from her biography botch by becoming a born-again Second Amendment rights advocate (after working to ban gun shows while serving on the Fort Worth city council).
Me-Too Wendy attempted to burnish her border-control credentials by supporting Republican calls for an Ebola travel ban from West African countries (after earlier attacking Abbott over his "'stop the invasion' rhetoric" and accusing him of disliking "people who don't look like him."
And in the ghastliest turnaround since Linda Blair's head spin in "The Exorcist," No-Shame Wendy claimed she would support legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks -- after vaulting into the national spotlight with her 13-hour back-brace-and-comfy-shoes-aided filibuster on the Texas Senate floor last year against the very bill that would have outlawed late-term abortions and cracked down on filthy, dangerous abortion clinics like the one serial baby-killer Gosnell operated for 15 years thanks to shoddy government oversight and abortion-rights apathy.
Callous evil is as callous evil does.
The lady parts-obsessed liberal bet all her feminist marbles on her chromosomes. After Election Day, all Wendy Davis will have to show for it are well-coifed selfies and the ashes of her Vogue magazine fashion photo spread.
Our Make-It-Up World
Victor Davis Hanson
10/30/2014 12:01:00 AM - Victor Davis Hanson
Do bothersome facts matter anymore?
Not really. This is an age when Americans were assured that the Affordable Care Act lowered our premiums. It cut deductibles. Obamacare allowed us to keep our doctors and health plans, and lowered the deficit. Those fantasies were both demonstrably untrue and did not matter, given the supposedly noble aims of health care reform.
The Islamic State is at times dubbed jayvee, a manageable problem, and a dangerous enemy -- or anything the administration wishes it to be, depending on the political climate of any given week.
Some days Americans are told there is no reason to restrict connecting flights from Ebola-ravaged countries. Then, suddenly, entry from those countries is curtailed to five designated U.S. airports. Quarantines are both necessary and not so critical, as the administration weighs public concern versus politically correct worries over isolating a Third World African country.
Ebola is so hard to catch that there is no reason to worry about causal exposures to those without clear symptoms. But then why do health authorities still try to hunt down anyone who had even a brief encounter with supposedly asymptomatic carriers?
The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, were caused by a video that sparked a riot, and then apparently not. Various narratives about corruption and incompetence at the VA, IRS, NSA, GSA and Secret Service are raised and then dropped. The larger truth is that these scandals must be quarantined from infecting the president's progressive agenda.
Laws used to be real, not abstract. Again, not now. The administration sort of enacts some elements of Obamacare but ignores others. Enforcement of federal immigration law is negotiable, likewise depending on the campaign cycle.
The Tawana Brawley case, the Duke men's lacrosse team accusations and the O.J. Simpson verdict were constructed fantasies. No one cared much about the inconvenient facts or the lies that destroyed people's lives -- given that myths were deemed useful facts for achieving larger racial justice.
It no longer really matters much what the grand jury will find in the Michael Brown fatal shooting case. Whether he had just robbed a store, was high on drugs, was walking down the middle of the road and prompted a violent confrontation with a police officer, or whether the officer was the aggressor in the confrontation, these have become mere competing narratives. The facts pale in comparison with the higher truth that Brown was black and unarmed, Officer Darren Wilson white and armed. The latter scenario is all that matters.
Language is useful for inventing new realities. "Illegal alien" is a time-tested noun denoting foreign citizens who crossed a national border contrary to law. "Undocumented immigrant" is now used to diminish the bothersome fact that millions have broken and continue to break the law.
To play down the dangers of radical Islam, an entire array of circumlocutions -- "workplace violence" (in the case of the Fort Hood shooting) "overseas contingency operations" and "man-caused disasters" -- were the euphemisms evoked by members of the Obama administration to construct an alternate reality in which radical jihadists are no more dangerous than disgruntled office workers or gale-force winds.
Many of the current campus poster icons are abject myths. Che Guevara, for all his hipster appearance, was no revolutionary hero, but a murderer who enjoyed personally executing his political opponents. Communist leader Angela Davis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the totalitarian Soviet Union.
Plagiarism and making stuff up are no longer considered serious offenses against the truth. Lots of notable columnists or historians have had to confess to lifting the work of others and passing it off as their own -- Maureen Dowd, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fareed Zakaria and the late Stephen Ambrose, to name a few. Most faced slaps on the wrist.
Even Vice President Joe Biden once had to drop a presidential bid due to accusations that he had plagiarized in law school and later had copied a speech from a British Labor politician. Barack Obama has had to acknowledge that in his autobiographical memoir, he used "composite characters" in some cases rather than actual people from his life. Sympathetic biographer David Remnick characterized Obama's life story as "a mixture of verifiable fact, recollection, re-creation, invention, and artful shaping."
Such disregard for truth and facts is no accident, but the fruit of postmodernism. So-called "after modern" thought was a trendy late-20th-century way to reduce facts to stories.
Progressives believed that because traditional protocols, language and standards were usually created by stuffy old establishment types, the rules no longer necessarily should apply. Instead, particular narratives and euphemisms that promoted perceived social justice became truthful. Bothersome facts were discarded
So far, political myth making has become confined to popular culture and politics, and has not affected the ironclad facts and non-negotiable rules of jetliner maintenance, heart surgery or nuclear plant operation. Yet the Ebola scare has taught us that even the erroneous news releases and fluid policies of the CDC can be as likely based on politics as hard science.
If that is a vision of more relativist things to come, then we are doomed.
Getting Stuff Done
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
10/30/2014 12:01:00 AM - Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Prognosticators are predicting a Republican takeover of the United States Senate, and a pickup of a few seats in the House of Representatives. Driven in large part by the unpopularity of President Barack Obama (latest Gallup poll 42 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove of Obama), this potential change in control provides both an opportunity and a risk for Republicans.
The Republicans have an opportunity to set out a clear agenda and provide 2016 voters with a clear contrast between themselves and the Democrats.
But they also face a risk: that they will battle among themselves or overreach and fail in their attempt to change policy. In either scenario, they could leave voters with the impression that they are unable to govern.
The best course of action, if the Republicans gain control of both houses, would be to simply begin getting stuff done -- to begin passing legislation. They should start with small items that have bipartisan appeal, which can be accomplished by reaching across the aisle and getting votes from Democrats as well. Once the bill is moved to the president's desk, Obama either signs the bill, or appears partisan. In either event, the Republicans will have scored. A legislative branch that is working -- that would be something that most voters cannot imagine after years of gridlock in Washington.
Once the process of passing legislation is well-oiled, the Republicans could move to the next stage, to begin to pass legislation that provides a contrast to the goals laid out by the president and the Democratic Party. This would need to be done without introducing comprehensive and unwieldy legislation that splits the Republican Party. Instead, the more prudent course of action would be to move through specific legislation rather than comprehensive bills.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, speaking this week at a fundraiser in Hauppauge, New York, laid it out clearly: "I do know this: If we don't capture the House stronger, and the Senate, and prove we could govern, there won't be a Republican president in 2016."
So, Republicans have to prove that they can govern. It's not simply about words or advertisements. If Republicans wind up controlling both legislatures, 2016 will be about their ability to get stuff done. (GSD is a term my husband, Jimmy, used years ago in describing his version of a working Republican Party).
"They are not going to win in 2016 by hiring a new PR firm or coming up with a slogan," declared columnist Charles Krauthammer on "The O'Reilly Factor" Tuesday: "The only thing they need to do and the most important thing they need to do is to show the country in the next two years -- if they control the two houses of Congress -- that they have a governing agenda. Right now, they are the party of 'no,' which is all you can be if you control only one house. ... The only reason to retake the Senate is to enact the agenda that would come out of the House into the Senate and confront Obama with a veto threat. Sharpen the differences. Show the country you are not the party of no, that you're a party that's prepared."
According to an article in Politico titled "Kevin McCarthy vows change on Hill to save GOP," by Jake Sherman, McCarthy laid out his view of a path to a Republican president in 2016. "My belief is you have one chance to make a first impression. ... From the very first day after the election, we should be laying out to the American public what the expectations are. Why make two different agendas?"
This one chance at a first impression for a legislature controlled by Republicans is hindered by the reality that runoffs could delay the determination of who controls the Senate until January 2015. If that were to happen, it would be easy for the Republicans to begin moving down the partisan path before the national election was complete.
Republican leaders need to be wary of getting ahead of themselves -- and to focus on execution and accomplishments rather than rhetoric. Instead of being the party of 'no,' the Republicans would be well served to become the party of GSD.
Does the Republican Party Have a Prayer in 2014?
Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
10/30/2014 12:01:00 AM - Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, candidates around the country are scrambling to make their case to voters. Republicans—whose brand has been weakening for at least a decade—are hoping to make big gains, particularly in the Senate. Polls indicate that many races are still tight, so the outcome is far from certain.
The conventional wisdom regarding what the GOP must do to repair its image—and eventually win on the national level again—has included two basic pieces of advice. The first is to reach out to younger voters, women and ethnic minorities, mainly blacks and Latinos. The second is to downplay the issues of marriage and the sanctity of life, and it’s no secret that the socially liberal Republican leaders would like to get rid of those issues altogether. These two ideas are typically cast as the GOP’s only realistic path forward.
What too many political consultants fail to understand, however, is that the marriage and life planks of the GOP platform hold the key to any hope they have of building a more diverse coalition. Unfortunately, many powerful party decision-makers seem to get their information about women and minorities from media stereotypes, assuming they all favor a socially liberal agenda. If they bothered to look at widely available data, they would realize that women are evenly split on the issue of abortion, younger voters are increasingly pro-life, and blacks and Latinos are far more religiously devoted and family oriented than the rest of the country.
Polls consistently show African Americans to be the most religiously devout demographic group in the United States, with over 80 percent professing Christianity. Latinos are not far behind. The Pew Research Center’s recent study, “Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology,” found that many blacks and Hispanics fall into a segment of the electorate they call the “Faith and Family Left”:
The Faith and Family Left combine strong support for activist government with conservative attitudes on many social issues. They are highly diverse – this is the only typology group that is “majority-minority.” The Faith and Family Left favor increased government aid for the poor even if it adds to the deficit and believe that government should do more to solve national problems. They oppose same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. Religion and family are at the center of their lives.
There are millions of blacks and Latinos who vote Democratic despite the marriage issue, not because of it. If the GOP jettisons this part of its agenda, there will be no conceivable reason for them to consider a Republican candidate ever again. They also cannot afford to alienate evangelicals, who have been a vital part of their base for decades.
Even in a white liberal environment, forsaking traditional marriage doesn’t seem to be helping Republicans gain ground. Case in point would be Dr. Monica Wehby, Republican senatorial candidate in Oregon. Wehby has spent millions running television ads touting her support for redefining marriage to include homosexual couples, yet she continues to fall in the polls. If appealing to homosexual “marriage” proponents is supposed to win over new GOP voters, it’s not working in Oregon.
Republicans should also remember they do not need 50 percent of the black vote to win. George W. Bush won the presidency with just 11 percent of the black vote. Romney lost because he could only manage 7 percent. Do political consultants really believe that no candidate could persuade just 4 percent of African American voters to stand up for their deeply held convictions?
Naturally, the GOP will also need to appeal to younger voters. The Pew study noted that many millennials do not think that marriage and children are high priority issues. This is far from a new phenomenon, and there are two traditional ways to interpret it. The first is to claim that the institutional family is going the way of the dinosaur because young people are, by definition, the wave of the future. The second is the point out that young people have been more socially liberal than their parents for centuries, and that most of us tend to become more family-oriented as we get older.
What is conspicuously missing from many of the front running GOP candidates’ platforms are positive policy positions that will attract minorities, women, and younger voters. Rand Paul has been talking about economic empowerment in urban communities, restoration of rights of people who have paid their debt to society, and other strategies that will help rebuild urban families and their communities.
Although the outcome of the midterm elections is far from certain, one thing is clear. If the Republicans cannot make significant gains in the current political environment, their chances of victory in 2016 are slim. Building new relationships with various demographic groups is not an easy task. The party has a serious reputation problem in many minority communities that will not be overcome in a single election cycle. However, I believe there is a significant portion of the electorate that has strong beliefs in faith and family that are waiting to be called into action. It remains to be seen if Republicans are serious about making the call.
The Patriot Post
Wednesday’s Daily Digest
Oct. 29, 2014
“[In a democracy] a common passion or interest will, in almost every case , be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Obama Jokes About Voting Only Once
In a rare campaign rally appearance, Barack Obama exhorted attendees to get out and vote. “One week, Wisconsin. One week,” he said. “One week from today you get to choose a new governor. And because early voting runs through this Friday, you don’t have to wait until Election Day. You can vote all week.” He then clarified, “I mean you can only vote once. This isn’t Chicago now.” After pausing for laughter, he added, “I’m teasing Chicago, I’m messing with you. That was a long time ago.” Yeah, well, Obama joked about having the IRS audit political opponents, too, and look how that turned out. Voter fraud benefits Democrats, which is why he’s laughing it up.
Leak: Ferguson Officer Wilson Won’t Be Indicted
We already know the autopsy of Michael Brown, the black thug shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, reveals he was shot at close range1 and that the evidence so far supports Wilson’s account2. Now, the “hacktivist” group Anonymous says they’ve obtained leaked evidence “from two separate and unrelated sources regarding the long awaited Grand Jury decision” in the case. (They say “regarding the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson,” so you know where they stand.) According to Anonymous, “On or about November 10, 2014 the Grand Jury decision will be announced. Darren Wilson will NOT be indicted on ANY charges related to the murder of Mike Brown. All local police Chiefs and jail commanders have been notified to begin preparing for major civil unrest.” We suspect the only reason this decision on the shooting was being withheld is that police were waiting for cold weather. Fewer protesters rioters will hit the streets when it’s cold.
Obama Fails to Yell ‘Fore’ Prior to Taking ISIL Shot
In September, Barack Obama announced a strategy to fight ISIL4 – essentially a mulligan in Iraq. Well, it turns out he didn’t really consult with the Pentagon before taking his first shot off the tee, and the ball ended up in the sand trap. Politico Magazine reports, “First, the Pentagon was surprised by the president’s timing, according to a senior defense official. ‘We didn’t know it was going to be in the speech,’ he said, referring to Obama’s Sept. 10 address to the nation. Second, the White House neglected to give Pentagon lawyers a chance to revise and approve the proposed legislative language before it went to the Hill, which is considered standard practice. Staffers working for Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said they were appalled by what they saw: language so sloppy that it failed to mention adequate protections against so-called ‘green-on-blue’ attacks by trainees on American troops, and effectively left the Defense Department liable for funding the mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – even though the president was telling members of Congress he didn’t need money for this new mission, since the Saudis were putting it up. ‘What came over would have not have been a mission the DoD could have executed,’ says a senior Republican committee staffer.” In other words, it’s par for the course with the Obama regime.
Obama’s Relationship With Israel Deteriorates
The senior White House official who called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a chickens–t is only the last American official to fling a barb towards Israel. According to journalist Jeffery Goldberg, the Obama administration has frequently jabbed Israeli leadership for its perceived cowardliness. Specifically, the administration is displeased because the Netanyahu-led government announced settlements in the West Bank, possibly undermining John Kerry’s hoped-for legacy of forging a peace deal. Netanyahu announced those projects to possibly win more favor for a re-election bid, and Obama officials are in a “red-hot anger” over it. Pot, meet kettle. “There is a crisis with the Americans and it has to be treated like a crisis,” the Finance Minister for Israel, Yair Lapid, wrote6. “Relations with the U.S. are critical and important to Israel, and everything must be done to resolve the crisis and restore good ties.” This tiff comes at a critical time, when the West is working on a nuclear deal with Iran. Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems determined to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship permanently
Wind Power Blowing Electricity Prices Up
Wind power, Americans were told, was supposed to lower energy prices, but the only thing it seems to be blowing around are dollar bills and rhetoric. Forbes' James Taylor reports: “Electricity prices are soaring in states generating the most wind power, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. Although U.S. electricity prices rose less than 3 percent from 2008-2013, the 10 states with the highest percentage of wind power generation experienced average electricity price increases of more than 20 percent.” Idaho topped the list at 34%, followed by Wyoming (33%), Kansas (26%), South Dakota (25%), North Dakota (23%), Minnesota (22%), Iowa and Oregon (16%), Colorado (14%) and Oklahoma (the one state that improved, with -2%). That’s a median increase of 20.7%. Energy costs need a cool down, but that won’t happen as long as bureaucratic hot air is the only thing getting blown around.
Biden Sums Up Obama’s Economic Record
Ebola, ISIL and a host of other crises have pushed the economy from the headlines, but jobs and the anemic recovery are what people really care about in the coming election. And, believe it or not, Joe Biden put his finger on the problem: The middle class is struggling in Barack Obama’s economy.
In his most sagacious statement since taking office, Biden said Obama’s economic policies have done nothing to help the average American. He didn’t quite put it that way, of course, but it’s a fair interpretation. The vice president was touting positive economic growth and deficit reduction on the stump when he oddly concluded that none of it matters. “You know the truth: The middle class is still in trouble,” Biden said. “You don’t have to know the numbers, you can feel it. You can feel it in your bones.” For once he’s right.
It’s plain something is amiss given that 48 million people (20% of the population) are on food stamps and 50 million are below the poverty line.
But there is one good sign. In January, the federal government returned to the policy adopted in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, requiring more from able-bodied persons who receive benefits. As National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior explains10, “Unless a state has extraordinarily high unemployment or a dearth of jobs, able-bodied adults who are younger than 50 and without a dependent must spend 20 hours a week productively if they wish to continue drawing food-stamp benefits longer than three months.”
This policy shift is important because it will encourage people to get back to work. The workforce participation rate – the number of Americans actually working – has plunged since Obama was elected. When he took office, nearly 66% were employed. Now, the percentage is 62.8 – the lowest since January 1978, during the term of another Democrat president. And Obama’s unemployment numbers are as phony as a three-dollar bill. Forbes says it’s 13%; the Hill says 18%. Whatever it is, we dang well know it’s not the headline rate of 6%.
There are still millions who can’t find work and millions who work part-time because they can’t find a full-time job. Employers, hard pressed by the cost of ObamaCare, are afraid to hire more employees lest taxes, fines and expenses grow any worse. Obama claims to have created 10 million jobs during his six-year tenure, but that’s a debatable figure. And even if it’s accurate, it pails in comparison to his predecessors. (Of course, presidents don’t create jobs, businesses do – in spite of Hillary Clinton’s inadvertent candor11 the other day.) Under the economic leadership of Ronald Reagan12, the economy created 16 million real jobs with a smaller population, and Bill Clinton, still enjoying the fruits of Reaganomics, saw an increase of 22 million.
Yet Obama continues telling us the economy is blazing. “There’s almost no economic measure by which we are not better off than when I took office,” he proclaimed. Just drop the “not” in his boast and he’s on to something.
The good news is, after the expiration of the unemployment extension in January, employers have been more willing to create jobs and workers are more willing to take them. The New York Federal Reserve Bank reported the number of new jobs that had opened each month shot up 20% to 4.7 million by June. And according to The Washington Times13, “The rate of job openings also soared to its pre-recession peak of 3.3 percent of all workers just months after Congress allowed the benefits to end after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on an acceptable way to pay for them.”
This one small change (requiring those on unemployment benefits to work a little) toward a more free-market approach in our economy has produced more than all of Obama’s boastful machinations and lies put together. Perhaps this small step will boost the economy, and, no doubt much to Biden’s relief, the middle class may even begin to recover.
Here Come the Post-Election Executive Orders
On the eve of the 2012 elections, the Obama administration had its fires to put out. Jihadis killed an ambassador and three other Americans in Libya in September. In October, a hurricane blew up the East Coast and gave Obama the opportunity to show the president in action – or to showcase a clumsy government trying to patch things before Election Day. This year, Barack Obama is waiting until after the election for his fireworks.
In some respects, the election two years ago was a harbinger of what this congressional election has become. Before his re-election, Obama delayed the EPA’s ozone rules14. That was just one legislative delay. The administration waited until after the 2012 election15 to move forward on 24 “economically significant” regulations. In the months leading up to that election, it worked on only eight.
In this election, the Democrat Party has all but abandoned the president. The governor of Connecticut accepts the endorsement of Bill Clinton, but shuns the fundraisers where Obama makes an appearance. Obama chases after his party, saying that all his polices are on the ballot, but Democrat politicians won’t even say if they voted for the man. The scandals abound in the IRS, the VA, the jihadi prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl, etc. And like every other facet of election-year politics, Obama has backlogged his executive actions, waiting until the results come in to release them in one big rush.
This is the home stretch for Obama. This is the last major election until he retires to Chicago, or Hawaii, or wherever his golf-happy heart desires. And that’s why this election is so scary: He has less reason than ever to behave within constitutional bounds. The next two years are his last chance to pad his legacy with imperial actions16.
The White House expects a Republican-controlled Congress. Obama’s White House staff is cynical that a new Congress will get anything done. “Republicans in control in the Senate, [Hill insiders] say, would mean two years of obstruction, subpoenas and brutal confirmation fights,” Politico reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere writes17. “Instead of 2016 creating pressure to get things done, it will set up yet another cycle of running the clock with the majority up for grabs again in two years.”
So the Rambo in chief will load his pen and heft his phone to go hunting in the swamp along the Potomac. He has prey aplenty. The pundits anticipate Obama’s biggest prize will be some kind of action on immigration18. He’s promised19 the Congressional Hispanic Caucus an executive action if they would just be patient, and the ever-political Obama will likely give those all-important constituents something juicy to smooth over the relationship.
And while Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation20, he hasn’t exactly packed his boxes and left the building, as Obama has yet to nominate a replacement for him. Could the next AG be worse than Holder? The New York Post21 certainly thinks so, speculating Obama’s first pick may be now-Labor Secretary Thomas Perez – a more radical race baiter than even Holder.
But many of Obama’s delayed actions have also been to avert some more … uncomfortable situations. The U.S. Army is sitting on its completed investigation22 into Bowe Bergdahl. But we’ll just have to wait until after the election to find out the Army’s assessment of Bergdahl’s actions. By delaying, the Obama administration pushes a summertime scandal out of sight.
To avoid giving the Right rhetorical ammunition, the Obama administration delayed the release23 of this year’s ObamaCare premium numbers. By all accounts, rates will increase substantially, smacking the low-income earners shopping in the most inexpensive bracket, bronze, with an estimated 14% hike. Worse, a new study24 says hikes could reach 78%. Such sticker shock would fail to persuade only the most ardent of Obama supporters.
It’s difficult to get a bead on Obama’s real plans because the administration obfuscates the facts so thoroughly. Even lefty journalists in Washington warn about the Obama administration’s stonewalling, intimidation and general lack of transparency on a regular basis.
“I’m worried that whatever happens with this administration, that’s the new floor for the next administration,” said USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page. “And that we’ll never regain access, ability to do reporting, ability to do our job unless we just constantly fight the battle.”
It’s not just the press/politician relationship that’s at stake. Obama’s phone-and-pen tactics, his lack of accountability and his disregard for the Constitution could set a precedent for future American presidents. The most lasting legacy the Obama administration may leave is putting the word “bully” in “bully pulpit.”
OPINION IN BRIEF
British novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963): “Hitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.”
Economist Stephen Moore: “We have seen the denigration of economic success in the war against the rich, the attacks against energy industry profits, tax increases on successful businesses and workers, and health care mandates on employers. Many wonder why businesses are so reluctant to reinvest profits and hire more workers. It is statements like [Hillary] Clinton’s11 that give employers pause. Apparently, businesses are virtuous to liberals only when they lose money – in which case they deserve handouts and bailouts. Corporations that try to minimize their tax burdens are attacked regularly in the press and on Capitol Hill as ‘traitors.’ … One of the more noble and rewarding pursuits in life is to start a business. It takes drive, imagination and nerves of steel. Two out of three new businesses fail during their first 10 years. The business owner is the last to get paid, not the first. Only someone who never has started a business would disparage those who do and succeed at it.”
Economist Walter E. Williams: “Poverty is not a cause but a result of Africa’s problems. What African countries need the West cannot provide. They need personal liberty. That means a political system in which there are guarantees of private property rights, free markets, honest government and the rule of law. Africa’s poverty is, for the most part, self-inflicted. … Though there’s a strong case for us to help with the Ebola crisis, the worst thing Westerners could do to Africa would be to send more foreign aid. Foreign aid provides the financial resources that enable Africa’s grossly corrupt and incompetent regimes to buy military equipment, pay off cronies and continue to oppress their people. It also provides resources for the leaders to live lavishly and set up ‘retirement’ accounts in foreign banks.”
Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Halloween is just a few days away and the Obamas have invited children to go trick-or-treating at the White House on Friday. It will be fun until the Secret Service tackles a kid and says, ‘We finally got one. He’s dressed like a Ninja Turtle and tried to get in here.’”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Africa: A Tragic Continent
Walter E. Williams
10/29/2014 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.
Each year, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation publish an "Index of Economic Freedom," which measures economic liberty around the world. Mauritius is the only one of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to rank among the 10 freest economies in the world. Botswana is the second-freest African country, followed by Cape Verde. South Africa used to be near the top but has since declined. Of the other sub-Saharan countries, 11 are rated as "repressed" and 26 are "mostly unfree." Eight of the world's 20 least free economies are in Africa's sub-Saharan region.
Poverty is not a cause but a result of Africa's problems. What African countries need the West cannot provide. They need personal liberty. That means a political system in which there are guarantees of private property rights, free markets, honest government and the rule of law. Africa's poverty is, for the most part, self-inflicted. Some people might disagree because their college professors taught them that the legacy of colonialism explains Third World poverty. That's nonsense. Canada was a colony. So were Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In fact, the richest country in the world, the United States, was once a colony. By contrast, Third World countries such as Ethiopia, Liberia, Nepal and Bhutan were never colonies, yet they are home to some of the world's poorest people.
There's no complete explanation for why some countries are affluent while others are poor, but there are some leads. Rank countries according to whether they are closer to being a free market economy or whether they're closer to having a socialist or planned economy. Then rank countries by per capita income. Doing so, we will find a general, though not perfect, pattern whereby those having a larger measure of economic freedom find their citizens enjoying a higher standard of living. Also, if we ranked countries according to how Freedom House or Amnesty International rates human rights protections, we'd find that citizens of freer market economies enjoy a greater measure of human rights protections. You can bet the rent money that the correlation among free markets, wealth and human rights protections is not coincidental.
With but few exceptions, most African countries are worse off now than they were during colonialism, both in terms of standard of living and in terms of human rights protections. Once a food-exporting country, Zimbabwe recently stood near the brink of starvation. Sierra Leone is rich in minerals -- especially diamonds -- has highly fertile land and is the best port site in West Africa, but it has declined into a state of utter despair. Africa is the world's most natural-resources-rich continent. It has 50 percent of the world's gold, most of the world's diamonds and chromium, 90 percent of the cobalt, 40 percent of the world's potential hydroelectric power, 65 percent of the manganese, and millions of acres of untilled farmland, as well as other natural resources. Before independence, every African country was self-sufficient in food production; today many depend on imports, and others stand at the brink of famine.
Though there's a strong case for us to help with the Ebola crisis, the worst thing Westerners could do to Africa would be to send more foreign aid. Foreign aid provides the financial resources that enable Africa's grossly corrupt and incompetent regimes to buy military equipment, pay off cronies and continue to oppress their people. It also provides resources for the leaders to live lavishly and set up "retirement" accounts in foreign banks.
Let’s Start Treating Humans Humanely
10/29/2014 12:01:00 AM - Arina Grossu
Imagine being torn apart, limb from limb until you bled to death. That would be excruciating pain, right? This is not a mere cruel thought about the medieval act of quartering. A modern day punishment is being inflicted on innocent, vulnerable human beings who can feel pain. The 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case of Stenberg v. Carhart reveals the ugly reality of abortion of pain-capable pre-born children via dismemberment, where the child’s arms and legs are twisted off by the abortionist using a steel clamp. Dr. Carhart, the abortionist on trial, confirmed that the preborn child can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while her limbs are being torn off.
The vast majority of almost 13,000 American pre-born babies who are 19 weeks post-fertilization and older will die each year by this abortion method. We cringe at the thought of such cruel mistreatment of animals, so much so that currently commercial livestock have more legal protection from pain in a slaughterhouse than do pre-born children. How can we allow this painful, barbaric practice on humans to continue in this country?
There is substantial medical and scientific evidence that by at least 20 weeks post-fertilization, all of the nervous system structures necessary for a pre-born child to feel severe pain are present. This includes the physical anatomy, physiology, neurobiology, and hormones to transmit painful sensations from the skin, up the spinal cord and to the brain, where pain is interpreted as such.
In various scientific tests, pre-born children of 20 weeks post-fertilization and younger react to invasive and painful stimuli such as being prodded with a needle, by increasing stress hormone production, making vigorous movements, increasing breathing efforts, and trying to avoid the needle.
Furthermore, between 18 and 28 weeks post-fertilization, a pre-born child has more pain receptors per square inch of skin than at any other time in his or her life, with only a very thin layer of skin for protection, leaving nerve fibers closer to the surface. The body’s mechanisms that lessen the experience of pain do not begin to develop until weeks 30-32 post-fertilization, so any pain the pre-born child experiences before that time is more intense than the pain an older infant or adult experiences when exposed to similar painful experiences.
Why else are pre-born children routinely given anesthesia during prenatal surgery, per anesthesiology textbooks’ instruction? When anesthesia is administered to these youngest of patients, a decrease in stress hormones is observed, just as in adults.
Thirteen states and the U.S. House of representatives have wised up and passed bans on abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization precisely because by this time babies can feel pain. Seven more states have enacted informed consent laws regarding fetal pain, requiring women to receive information about pain in the pre-born. Nationally, we must pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It passed in the House in June 2013. The bill has 40 cosponsors in the Senate, but unfortunately no Senate Democrats have stepped up to the plate in defense of pain-capable pre-born children.
States have a compelling interest in protecting the lives of pre-born children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that these children are capable of experiencing pain.
In poll after poll, Americans overwhelmingly agree on setting abortion bans for pain-capable pre-born children. For example, a July 2013 Huffington Post poll found that by a margin of 59 percent to 30 percent, respondents said they would favor a federal law banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy [18 weeks post-fertilization]. In March 2013 the Polling Company poll found in a nationwide poll that 64 percent would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks. Women voters were split 63 percent to 31 percent in support of such a law.
It is unthinkable that children like Lucas (born at 21 weeks post-fertilization) are being dismembered by the thousands in America. It is barbaric and cruel to expose our youngest, most defenseless members of society to a procedure that causes excruciating pain. Here’s a thought: Let’s start treating humans humanely.
Obama So Unpopular, Even MA Dems Don't Want Him Campaigning in Their State
10/29/2014 12:01:00 AM - Donald Lambro
WASHINGTON - Americans go to the polls in seven days to cast their votes in a midterm election that's shaping up to be an angry outcry over the disastrous direction of the country.
For the past six years, the Democrats have effectively been in charge by virtue of the fact that Barack Obama sits in the White House, setting policy, and his party is in control of the Senate (at least for now) that can block any legislation passed by the House Republicans.
But even though Democrats control the major gates of power, Obama and his party have sought to convince the voters that all of their mistakes and failures are the result of the GOP or the previous Republican administration.
That duplicitous shell game worked for several years, but in the end, discerning Americans learned who was really to blame for all of their woes -- and said so when they put the GOP back in control of the Democratic-run House in 2010.
And are likely to inflict the same punishment next week on Majority Leader Harry Reid and his gang of Democrats in the Senate.
Over the last half dozen years, the national news media took great pleasure in endlessly reciting polls showing how unpopular the Republicans had become since the 2008 recession.
But they are unsurprisingly quiet about recent polls that show the Democratic Party's approval scores plunging to their lowest rating in decades.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday found the disapproval rating for Democrats in Congress has now risen to its highest point in two decades.
This is the political environment that the Democrats are facing when voters go to the polls on Nov. 4
in what will be a nationwide referendum to decide which party should be in control of Congress for the last two years of Obama's trouble-plagued presidency.
Have you noticed that the president has been unusually subdued in the last few weeks? He has been beaten down by events and his own circumstances, seldom making any major news, or at least the kind that makes the front page or leads the nightly news shows.
The country is in the midst of a competitive, down-to-the wire, midterm election battle and Obama isn't getting a lot invitations and pleas from his party's besieged candidates to campaign for them.
Quite the contrary, the message has gone out to the White House from Democrats in tight races that his is so unpopular, the best thing he can do for them is to stay as far away as possible. So Obama has been relegated to campaigning only in dyed-in-the-wool Democratic states where his party's candidates are not in trouble.
Indeed, even in some heavily Democratic states, where he won big in 2012, he is being asked to stay out. It didn't get the attention it deserves, but Obama was asked not to go into Massachusetts to campaign for Democrat Martha Coakley who is running behind her Republican opponent, Charlie Baker, in the race for governor.
Obama easily carried the liberal Democratic state by 23 points, but now he is the kiss of death for any Democrat in a tight race. Democratic political pros were hard pressed to think of a time when their party's president couldn't campaign in a midterm election in Massachusetts.
With his approval polls sinking to near 40 percent (the same percentage of people who tell the Gallup poll they're "struggling" in this economy), he's no longer the political force he once was. Instead, he has become his party's political albatross.
It is hard to remember a president who has been the cause of so many unpopular reforms -- from Obamacare -- whose costs are still mounting, to an anemic economy that millions of Americans say is in a recession.
It won't make the nightly network news tonight, but the latest evidence of this economy's chronic weakness came out Tuesday
when the Commerce Department announced the nation's durable goods orders fell in September for the second month in a row.
The report revealed a 1.3 percent decline in business demand for machinery, computers and other goods which suggests a sluggish economy.
That followed an 18.3 percent decline in August that signaled businesses were "reluctant to invest in updating equipment," the Bloomberg Business News reported.
The housing sector isn't so hot, either. U.S. sales of new homes were close to flat in September. Not a good sign in a struggling economy.
As for the jobs issue, Americans are justified in taking the Obama administration's 5.9 percent unemployment rate with a huge grain of salt. For one thing, it leaves out millions of workers who tell government pollsters they've stopped looking for full-time work because they can't find work. So they are not counted among the jobless.
The administration's shady employment numbers are swollen by part-time, "underemployed" workers who say they need full-time work to make ends meet.
The Gallup Poll, which conducts its own, and probably more accurate employment survey, puts the jobless rate at 6.2 percent and the all-too-often ignored underemployed rate at 15 percent.
Then comes a Federal Reserve study that found the median household is now worth less than it was back in 1989.
Despite Obama's claim that we're doing better than we were before he was president, economics analyst Matt O'Brien, who writes for the Washington Post's Wonkblog, suggests that's not true.
"The new harsh reality is that the bottom 90 percent of households are poorer today than they were in 1987," he writes.
The good part about these elections is that the voters will have a chance to register their disapproval of Obama and the Democrats. The bad part is that after the votes are counted, Obama will still be in office for another two years.
But if the Republican campaign goes according to plan, he will be a president without a majority party behind him or a viable agenda -- while a revitalized GOP reaches out to rebuild and expand its party in preparation for the 2016 presidential election to come.
Canadian Attack Prompts Absurd Reactions
10/28/2014 4:42:00 PM - Rachel Marsden
PARIS -- Some warped minds believe that when a nation suffers a terrorist attack, it somehow deserved it and should set about doing some soul searching. Implicit in this argument is the notion that the attacker was somehow justified in his heinous actions -- there was no other option but to lash out violently.
Except that there is. Even the Islamic State could choose to exercise unofficial diplomacy through a sympathetic Persian Gulf country. But it doesn't, because the Islamic State isn't interested in diplomacy -- yet some critics expect Western democracies to suck it up whatever terrorism comes their way, as a matter of due course.
Last week, a domestic jihadist perpetrated a terror attack right at the heart of Canadian democracy in Ottawa, the nation's capital. After fatally shooting a soldier who was guarding the National War Memorial, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau entered Parliament and started shooting up the place while elected representatives, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, went into hiding. Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers successfully eliminated the problem through skilled marksmanship, killing Zehaf-Bibeau.
Already the predictable whining has started. Here's a compilation of some of the most prevalent complaints that I heard while in nearby Toronto at the time of the attack:
-- "He wasn't a terrorist; he was just a criminal." Members of Parliament from Canada's opposition Liberal Party were peddling this type of nonsense on television news programs even before heart rates could return to normal. While Zehaf-Bibeau was known to police for acts unrelated to radical Islam, his links to jihadism and others involved with it were well-documented. It is indeed possible to be both a terrorist and a criminal; these two things aren't mutually exclusive. The Islamic State is involved in kidnapping, extortion and other acts of criminality to fund their terrorist activities, for example.
-- "Zehaf-Bibeau wasn't a jihadist, he was mentally ill." How offensive. People who struggle with mental illness might object to the suggestion that they're prone to acts of terrorism.
-- "Canada was targeted because of its military intervention in the Middle East." This implies two other possible options:
Option one: Canada should stick its head in the sand and ignore the actions of extremists who are beheading journalists and aid workers, slaughtering civilians, and exploiting women and children. This would be unacceptable for a country that's supposed to be a defender of human rights -- even if it means disappointing the people for whom there is apparently never a justification for striking back at terrorists.
Option two: Canada should act, but more discreetly. I can't disagree with this alternative, as there is significant merit to the French military approach of eliminating the chest-thumping in favor of quietly smothering the problem. Canada hasn't been averse to that approach in the past -- most notably when Canadian Special Operations Forces' Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2) played a critical role alongside American allies in a 2001-2002 campaign in Afghanistan. It was a top-secret six-month mission known only to leaders in the upper reaches of the Canadian government and military. But discretion implies the absence of transparency, and the same people who complain about overt Canadian military intervention tend to be the same ones who demand transparency in matters of national security. You can't have it both ways.
-- "A spectacular failure for Canadian intelligence." This was really rich, particularly since it was a headline in Britain's Guardian newspaper, the flagship publication for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's gripes about the overreaching of Western intelligence agencies. If that's how the Guardian staff feels, perhaps it should stop its crusade to render intelligence activity useless.
-- "Oh, great. Now Canada is going to have an excuse to clamp down harder on civil liberties." Why not go have a word with the terrorists about how their actions are infringing on your civil liberties? Modern warfare is largely asymmetric and of a guerrilla nature. While it's important to balance civil liberties with national security interests, no threat should be exempted because it chooses to entrench itself inside a democracy and attempt to hide among its loopholes. Relax: There has to be violation of an actual law in the criminal code to trigger an arrest, and those laws are created by legislators, not by shadowy agencies.
It would be nice if just once in the wake of such an attack, the naysayers would give the benefit of the doubt to the victim rather than the terrorist.
The Patriot Post
Oct. 28, 2014
“Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 39, 1788
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
National Consensus Worked for Gun Control – Why Not Ebola?
The White House may be politicizing its Ebola response1, but the Pentagon is treating the disease with appropriate caution. “Thirty soldiers until recently stationed in West Africa will be quarantined in Italy when they arrive Wednesday after leaving the Ebola-stricken region this morning,” CNN reports2. “The soldiers will join Army Major General Darryl A. Williams, commander of U.S. Army Africa, and approximately 10 other personnel who are now in ‘controlled monitoring’ in Italy.” Meanwhile, the CDC says medical workers returning from West Africa need not be quarantined. If these workers were stuck with an infected needle, for example, they would be advised not to leave their homes, CDC says – other than maybe to take a jog around their neighborhood3. A final note: As political analyst Charles Krauthammer observed, “There is now a national consensus … that if you return from [West Africa] … you can be in quarantine.” A “national consensus” was all it took for Barack Obama to push Second Amendment-infringing gun control. Why won’t he implement a simple quarantine for public health?
Opposing Obama’s Mass Amnesty
The Republican Party is setting the stage for a knock-down, drag-out fight on immigration after the election. Peter Kirsanow, a Republican who sits on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, wrote a letter4 to Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus saying mass amnesty will “devastate the black community” because both groups will compete for the same, low-skilled jobs. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said5, “While I can’t speak for the legislature, I’m very confident we will stop that. We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen: Defunding, going to court, injunction. You name it. It’s wrong. It’s illegal. And for so many reasons, and just the basic fabric of this country, we can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen.” Meanwhile, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services union made a statement6 calling the American people to petition the government to not allow mass amnesty if they value security. This is why the resistance to Obama’s move is so powerful: It’s coming from all sides.
America Packing to Leave Afghanistan
American troops are coming home from Afghanistan. U.S. Marines and British troops handed over control7 of Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion to the Afghanis on Sunday, officially bringing the Afghanistan campaign to a close. But, among other things, the resurgence of poppy fields8 threatens to undo much of the hard-fought gains. John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, told the Senate9 in January, “All of the fragile gains we have made over the last 12 years on women’s issues, health, education, Rule of Law and governance are now, more than ever, in jeopardy of being wiped out by the narcotics trade which not only supports the insurgency, but also feeds organized crime and corruption.” American commanders express confidence that the Afghani military can protect its own country. However, with ISIL rampaging across Iraq, it’s highly probable the Obama administration is only repeating its mistakes10.
Liberal States Have Confusing and Biased Tax Policies
Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada have better tax climates than the rest of the nation, according to a study11 released by the Tax Foundation. In the 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index, the foundation found California, New York and New Jersey to be the worst states in terms of taxes – incidentally, all heavily Democrat states. “The absence of a major tax is a common factor among many of the top ten states,” the study said. “Property taxes and unemployment insurance taxes are levied in every state, but there are several states that do without one or more of the major taxes: the corporate tax, the individual income tax, or the sales tax. … The states in the bottom ten suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.” While the only inevitable things in life are death and taxes, clearly low-tax policy is linked to economic freedom and prosperity.
GOP Hasn’t Actually Sued the President
Remember when Republicans promised to sue the president13 over his unconstitutional delay of the ObamaCare employer mandate? Good times. Seems they’ve forgotten about it themselves. Politico reports, “House Speaker John Boehner came out swinging hard last June when he announced that his chamber would take President Barack Obama to court. The suit, charging that the president grossly exceeded his constitutional authority by failing to implement portions of the Obamacare law, was billed as an election-season rallying point for aggrieved Republicans. But days before the midterms, the House’s legal guns seem to have fallen silent. Lawyers close to the process said they originally expected the legal challenge to be filed in September, but now they don’t expect any action before the elections.” By the time Republicans get around to filing – if they get around to it – the employer mandate will be in effect and the entire issue a moot point. Republicans are possibly riding a wave14 to an election win, signaling that their incompetence is outdone only by that of Democrats.
Clinton Says Businesses Don’t Create Jobs
While campaigning in Massachusetts for gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, Hillary Clinton inadvertently revealed exactly how she views American free enterprise. During the rally, the soon-to-be presidential candidate declared19, “Don’t let anybody tell you that, uh, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”
Oh how wrong she is.
After catching heat for sounding eerily reminiscent of Barak Obama and his infamous “you didn’t build that20” line, Clinton clarified her comment21. According to one of her aides, she had meant to “talk about tax breaks for corporations and businesses in that sentence, which led into a line about how trickle-down economics had ‘failed spectacularly’ – a sentiment she has long held.”
Despite that “clarification,” Clinton’s rhetoric on economic policy is in line with what the Left wants to hear. Supposing that Clinton will seek the Democrat nomination for president in 2016, she might have to contend with a challenge from her left by progressive populist Elizabeth Warren22. According to columnist Timothy Carney23, “Clinton is a corporatist,” while “Warren is a populist.” In order to head off Warren’s challenge, Clinton will have to say populist things.
In the same speech, Clinton derided the economic policies of Ronald Reagan24, which were the main reason for the economic boom and prosperity enjoyed during her husband’s tenure. “Trickle-down economics,” she sneered, “failed rather spectacularly.”
The truth is just the opposite. Reagan successfully reversed Jimmy Carter’s economic malaise. Reagan wanted government to get out of the way so companies and individuals could prosper. To do that, he implemented massive tax reductions, deregulation and anti-inflation monetary policies, which brought inflation down to 3.2% by 1983 and unleashed a historic period of economic growth.
Instead of learning from the economic success during the Reagan years, however, Clinton advocates the opposite. If she wins the Democrat nomination and, heaven forbid, is elected president, we can expect a continuance of Obama’s failed economic policy. Yet she’ll no doubt say one of her goals will be to “fix” the economy, which has suffered immensely under Obama. That will require more skillful navigation than she has so far shown ability to accomplish.
She and her leftist cronies believe that one way to create jobs is by increasing the minimum wage. Clinton asserted, “Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990’s … and millions of jobs were created or paid better and more families were more secure.”
But the facts show otherwise. James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute25 notes, “From 1981 through 2007, the US economy created 50 million jobs. (Also the jobless rate fell from a high of 10.6% to 4.4%). Over that same time span, the minimum wage declined in value – using the consumer price index – by 30% since it only rose to $5.35 an hour from $3.35, while to stay even with CPI inflation it needed to rise to $8.43.” He further notes that, while the minimum wage was declining, there was an incredible surge of job growth, and median incomes rose by 40%.
Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office released a report earlier this year projecting that Democrats' desired 40% minimum wage hike would kill 500,000 jobs26.
Clinton didn’t touch on the issue of extending unemployment benefits. Perhaps she heard about a recent study27 showing that after extended jobless benefits were ended, “The number of new jobs that came open each month exploded by 20 percent to 4.7 million by June.”
One thing is certain from Clinton’s comments: She is a statist uninterested in laissez-faire economics. She advocates higher but job-killing wages coupled with higher taxes that will likewise kill jobs, all in service to the expanding power of the government. And, as yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ speech28, it’s clear another such time is upon us.
Election Day Is One Week Away
A number of national polls and on-the-ground reports in key races indicate that the GOP may be headed for big gains in next week’s midterm elections. Sunday’s Wall Street Journal/NBC/Annenberg survey29 found that registered voters prefer a Republican-controlled Congress to a Democrat one 46% to 42%. The GOP also held an 11-point advantage among likely voters in the same poll. Can Republicans capitalize on Election Day?
The GOP is so emboldened by this recent trend that the party is expanding its investment into additional House races. Optimistic analysts believe Republicans are within striking distance of a 12-seat gain, which would match Republicans' post-World War II record of 246 seats.
Democrats long believed they would face tough prospects in 2014, but now their plight is nothing short of dire. Republican expansion into soft Democrat districts in Nevada, Iowa and Texas, among other states, has forced Democrats to shift resources to districts where they need to protect incumbents.
The reason is simple: Barack Obama’s popularity continues to shrink as his administration proves increasingly incompetent over the handling of the economy, ISIL, Ebola, immigration and a host of other issues. He is a weight around Democrats' necks.
Economist Thomas Sowell observes, “The great boxing champion Joe Louis once said about one of his opponents, who was known for his speed: ‘He can run but he can’t hide.’ In the Congressional elections this year, many Democrats are running away from Barack Obama, but they can’t hide their record of voting for Obama’s agenda more than 90 percent of the time.”
Indeed, running away from the president30 hasn’t helped. As Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) pointed out, every Democrat cast the “deciding vote31” for ObamaCare. If she’s going down, she’s taking some colleagues with her.
Likewise, Democrats share the blame for bad economic policy that hampered recovery. Heck, even Joe Biden says, “The middle class has been left behind32” over the last few years. That’s Obamanomics for you.
And their traditionally poor showing on the national security front is even more obvious with ISIL on the rise.
Obama’s policies, he helpfully reminded us all33, “are on the ballot – every single one of them.”
The overall fundraising advantage Democrats held, gleefully reported by the Leftmedia in the last few months, is now of little consequence. Ads in the days leading up to the election are expensive, and those fundraising dollars aren’t going as far as they did in the summer – or even in September.
Prospects for Democrats in the Senate aren’t much better. Signs still point to a GOP takeover of the upper chamber, though pollsters and pundits aren’t as confident about what such a victory might look like. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is locked in a tight contest with Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Kansas incumbent Pat Roberts is still fighting a tough race against “Independent” Greg Orman, but Republicans look poised otherwise for solid gains.
A big issue of concern for Senate Democrats is the loss of women voters. Democrats depend on women to counter men, who largely vote Republican. This year, however, women are drifting away from the Democrat Party in key Senate races like Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado. Losing that voting bloc would be more than an embarrassment – it would be a devastating blow.
The rabid Left has endeavored to mobilize unmarried and minority women by ginning up issues like abortion, birth control, equal pay and other such phony elements of the so-called “war on women” plank. But success in these efforts may be hard to come by because these groups don’t often vote in large numbers in off-year elections.
Republicans may be enjoying an unusual advantage among women in some key Senate races, but they still face an upward climb to win the support of black voters. There are currently 39 states with no black Republican lawmaker on the state or federal level, and according to the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, of 671 black state legislators nationwide, only 13 are Republican.
Blacks accounted for 13% of the electorate in 2012, and, believe it or not, 37% self-identify as conservative, while 33% self-identify as liberal. Additionally, many black voters have expressed extreme disappointment in Obama. It seems all too clear that Republicans have an opportunity to bring more blacks into the ranks.
Last year, the Republican National Committee began a committed outreach to blacks, hoping to build a base of support in a non-election year rather than repeat the mistake of waiting until a few months before the election. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made inroads, but there’s a long way to go. There are 17 black Republicans running for Congress this year, but only Utah’s Mia Love is likely to win.
Whatever successes Republicans can count in November, they and the country will be facing an executive onslaught from Obama that will test the very fabric of the Constitution.
The president has shifted a number of executive actions and decisions until after the midterm elections to try to limit the electoral damage for his party. But the scope and breadth of his plans are meant to do nothing less than relegate a Republican-led Congress to the back burner while he continues his plan to fundamentally transform America. Just to name a few, the nomination of Eric Holder’s replacement, amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, new EPA regulations that will cripple the energy industry, and a steep increase in health insurance rates all silently wait around the corner from Nov. 4.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Nobel laureate Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992): “From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.”
Columnist Dennis Prager: “The Democratic Party cultivates singlehood, black anger at America, Latino separatism, victimhood, group grievance and dependency on government. Nor is this the only way in which Democrats do terrible damage to America. They are also tearing America apart, setting women against men (with such falsehoods as ‘the war on women,’ ‘the rape culture’ at American colleges, and the nonsense that ‘women are paid less for the same work’), blacks against whites, and Latinos against other Americans. They do this because the less women see men as an enemy, the less blacks regard whites as an enemy, and the more Latinos see themselves as Americans, the worse it is for Democrats. The Democratic Party has been become a wholly destructive force in this country. Even though you may not intend to, if you vote for any Democrat, you contribute to that damage.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Too many intellectuals are too impressed with the fact that they know more than other people. Even if an intellectual knows more than anybody else, that is not the same as saying that he knows more than everybody else put together – which is what would be needed to justify substituting his judgment for that expressed by millions of others through the market or through the ballot box.”
Fred Thompson: “A new report shows that illegal poppy farming in Afghanistan is at an ‘all time high,’ despite the U.S. spending $7.6 billion trying to stop it. Maybe we should subsidize it instead. Stopped Solyndra cold.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
10/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
The great boxing champion Joe Louis once said about one of his opponents, who was known for his speed: "He can run but he can't hide." In the Congressional elections this year, many Democrats are running away from Barack Obama, but they can't hide their record of voting for Obama's agenda more than 90 percent of the time.
Now that the Western democracies have learned the hard way what the consequences are when you admit all sorts of people into your country -- including people who hate both the principles and the people of your society -- will that cause zealots for open borders and amnesty to have some second thoughts, or perhaps first thoughts?
I hope Yankees manager Joe Girardi was watching the World Series when Madison Bumgarner was allowed to come out and pitch the 9th inning, even though he had already made 107 pitches. Time and again, Girardi has taken out a pitcher who was pitching a great game, and brought in a reliever who lost it. Baseball statistics provide good rules of thumb, but bad dogmas on a given day.
There seem to be a lot of comic-book-level movies, with human beings playing the role of cartoons.
Never take other people for granted. There is a point of no return in all relationships.
Back in 1947, J.A. Schumpeter said, "effective political reasoning consists mainly in trying to exalt certain propositions into axioms and to put others out of court." That is still the game being played by "global warming" zealots.
Some people question Barack Obama's competence, because he appointed a man with no medical background to be the Ebola czar. But Obama is not trying to solve a medical problem. He is trying to solve a political problem, on the eve of an election -- and a political partisan is the way to do that. Expecting Obama to be concerned about a medical threat to the American people is unrealistic, in view of the man's whole history.
When I see some of the bonehead plays by professional football players, I cannot understand why guys getting paid millions of dollars cannot stay alert for two hours, once a week.
Too many intellectuals are too impressed with the fact that they know more than other people. Even if an intellectual knows more than anybody else, that is not the same as saying that he knows more than everybody else put together -- which is what would be needed to justify substituting his judgment for that expressed by millions of others through the market or through the ballot box.
Sean Hannity recently pointed out an essential parallel between Islamic extremists and Nazis. One believed that they were the "master race" and the other that they are the only true religion. Both believed that this entitled them to kill others, just for not being part of their group.
Unless the Secret Service is given unambiguous authority to shoot anyone who climbs over the White House fence, without being second-guessed by people who will say "he shot an unarmed man," any president is needlessly at risk -- and millions of American voters' choice for that office can be nullified by any crackpot. You don't know who is armed or unarmed until it is too late.
Attorney General Eric Holder hit a new low, even for him, when he acted indignant about the leak of evidence supporting the police officer in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting -- on grounds that this was an attempt to influence public opinion before the grand jury makes its ruling. What was Holder doing from day one, other than trying to influence public opinion in the opposite direction?
In going through my mail, I am always amazed at how many people seem to think that a series of unsubstantiated pronouncements constitutes an argument.
Except for Congressional elections, the most important election this year is the close race for governor of Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker has shown that he has substance and guts, rather than image and rhetoric, by opposing the government employee unions that have been bleeding the taxpayers. He would make a far better Republican presidential candidate in 2016 than Congressional phrase-makers or a retreaded candidate who lost in 2012.
Voter ID Myth Crashes
10/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
Democrats want everyone to vote: old, young, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, citizen, non-citizen. Wait, what was that last one again? We'll get to that.
Voter ID laws, passed by 30 states so far, are efforts by legislatures to ensure the integrity of votes. Being asked to show a photo ID can diminish several kinds of fraud, including impersonation, duplicate registrations in different jurisdictions and voting by ineligible people including felons and non-citizens.
The Democrats have made a number of arguments against voter ID laws. They argue a) that the problem of voter impersonation or in-person voter fraud is nonexistent, b) that black and poor voters are more likely than others to lack a valid ID and c) that Republicans are attempting to "suppress" the votes of Democratic constituencies in a bid to revive Jim Crow.
To believe a), you must assume that Americans, who engage in widespread tax evasion (an estimated $2 trillion in income goes unreported), insurance fraud (an estimated $80 billion worth in 2006), identity theft (15 million victims annually) and thousands of other deceptions and crimes large and small, are perfect angels when they step into the voting booth. Vote fraud simply "doesn't exist," pronounced Attorney General Eric Holder.
It's extremely difficult to track vote fraud. Most states put only halfhearted efforts into purging their voter registration rolls of the dead or those who've moved out of state. Prosecutions for vote fraud are rare. But prosecutions for perjury are rare, too -- and not because it "doesn't exist." Earlier this year, the Virginia Voters Alliance found that more than 44,000 people were simultaneously registered to vote in Maryland and Virginia. Catherine Engelbrecht's True the Vote found some 6.9 million overlapping voter registrations in the 28 states they examined. For those unburdened by conscience who live close to the border, it's more than possible to vote early and often.
Being registered in more than one jurisdiction doesn't prove you committed fraud, only that you've arranged things to permit it or that you've overlooked this detail of good citizenship by absentmindedness. But convincing evidence that vote fraud is both real and consequential has appeared. A new academic paper published in the journal Electoral Studies provides evidence of voting by non-citizens that directly contradicts the Democrats' "nothing to see here" mantra. Under the neutral headline "Do Non-Citizens Vote in U.S. Elections?" three professors from Virginia universities answer in the affirmative. Using an enormous database of voters nationwide (32,800 from 2008, and 55,400 in 2012), the authors find that about one-quarter of the non-citizens who participated in the survey were registered to vote.
Studying survey responses, the authors judge that non-citizen voters tend to favor Democratic candidates by large margins.
In many states, their participation wouldn't be large enough to make a difference, but in North Carolina in 2008, the authors calculate, non-citizens may well have tipped the state into Barack Obama's column. "So what?" you may say. Even if John McCain had won that state, it wouldn't have changed the outcome of the national election. True, but remember the presidential race in 2000? Remember "hanging chad" Florida?
Several House seats, and one very significant Senate seat, were probably won by Democrats on the strength of illegal votes. In 2008, the authors note, Sen. Al Franken won by just 312 votes in Minnesota. That seat was the 60th vote to give Democrats a filibuster-proof supermajority to pass major legislation like Obamacare. "(Voting) participation by just 0.65 percent of non-citizens in Minnesota is sufficient to account for the entirety of Franken's margin. Our best guess is that nearly 10 times as many voted."
Voter ID laws will not prevent non-citizens from voting. Green card holders and even illegal aliens get driver's licenses. But that's not an argument against voter IDs. It's an argument for issuing driver's licenses that specify non-citizenship.
As for blacks being "targeted" by voter ID laws, a study by Reuters found almost no difference (2 versus 3 percent) in the number of white and black voters who lacked ID.
Voting is a semi-sacred act of civic religion. Trust that only those eligible are determining our future as a nation is the foundation of civic peace. Voter ID laws should be just one part of ensuring voter integrity. When Democrats resist those measures, it only feeds suspicion that they're trying to steal elections.
Scales Finally Falling From America's Obama-Obscured Eyes
10/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - David Limbaugh
Do you all realize what a major deal it is that liberal comics are now openly ridiculing President Obama -- and not just for his mannerisms and the like but based on his abject policy failures?
In his first few years and beyond, liberal funnymen sometimes complained that Obama was so flawless that he didn't provide them any material. Of course, we knew at the time that this otherworldly caricature of Obama was wholly mythical, but it was nonetheless very real in the eyes of its liberal beholders. They regarded him with a quasi-idolatrous zeal -- almost as though it would be sacrilegious to criticize, much less mock, him.
But on "Saturday Night Live," among other shows, the comics have grown increasingly derisive. In the most recent episode, the Obama character lamented that a New York doctor had been diagnosed with Ebola. He said: "Now, some people want to criticize the way our administration has handled this crisis, and it's true we made a few mistakes early on. But, I assure you, it was nowhere near as bad as how we handled the ISIS situation. I mean, our various Secret Service mishaps or the scandals of the IRS and NSA. And I don't know if you guys remember, but the Obamacare website had some pretty serious problems, too. In fact, if you look at all the stuff that's happened in my second term, this whole Ebola thing is probably one of my greatest accomplishments."
Folks, this would be bad for the least politically correct president ever, but it's devastatingly brutal for the most politically correct president in the history of the universe.
Obama is not just a guy who plays a lot of golf because he has earned his recreation time; he appears to have difficulty working his job duties in between rounds. He's a guy who is largely disengaged, but when he is engaged, he makes an even bigger mess of things.
Many of his shortcomings are no longer just a matter of partisan opinion. They are objectively obvious. On foreign policy, he flounders around indecisively like the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz."
He draws lines in the sand, and then a slight breeze covers them up. He denies that overt acts of jihadi murder are terrorism. He paints the United States into a corner by emphatically pledging there will be no American boots on the ground in the Middle East no matter how great a danger the Islamic State poses to the United States or its allies. He even openly argues with himself, as when he boasted that he would oppose a status of forces agreement with Iraq that would prevent any but an ineffectively small number of troops from remaining there to maintain the stability of our victory and then later complained that it was unfair he was being blamed for the decision. And please don't get me started on the unconscionably fraudulent depiction of the Benghazi, Libya, attacks as being prompted by an Internet video, as opposed to being the planned acts of terrorism that they were.
On the domestic side, his word has proved to be no more reliable. When it was no longer feasible for him to deny that the Internal Revenue Service had specifically targeted conservative groups for discriminatory tax treatment, he feigned outrage just long enough to get through the current news cycle and then later dismissed it, along with other genuine scandals, as something the Republicans had manufactured out of whole cloth.
His administration of the Obamacare rollout would have been even more embarrassing for any other president. The website "glitches" were not glitches at all but a direct consequence of fundamental incompetence and lack of preparation.
Moreover, it was hardly just a computer or processing problem. The entire law has been revealed as an utter failure in every respect, from breaking its promise to reduce premiums for a family of four by an average of $2,500 per year to its pledge that you could keep your doctors and plans to the assurances that our health care quality would increase and the net effect of the overhaul would be revenue-neutral.
If we had time, I'd rehearse for you Obama's stubborn refusal to reform entitlements in time to prevent the bankruptcy of the United States, his war on business and oil, his perennially anemic economy, his shameless diminution of the office of the presidency, and his unparalleled, hyper-partisan divisiveness.
There is plenty enough for me to have written yet a third book chronicling Obama's disastrous presidency, but it is gratifying enough that people have finally awakened to the enormity of this man's destructiveness to the point that he might very well bring his party down with him in the November elections. Even the mega-Democrat Stephanie Cutter advised that if she were a Republican, she'd be making the election about Obama as much as possible.
Everywhere I turn, even normally calm people are asking, "How can we ever get out of this nightmare of a mess Obama has created?"
I tell them, "November will be a good start, God willing."
Illegal Voters May Decide Fate of Senate
10/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - Phyllis Schlafly
Control of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs on Nov. 4, and illegal voters may tip the balance. Estimates are that more than 14 percent of non-citizens were registered to vote in the elections of 2008 and 2010, and that could now easily exceed the margin of victory in many tight Senate races.
Democrats typically win more than 80 percent of the votes cast by non-citizens, so votes cast by non-citizens produce a net bonanza of additional votes for Democrats. Democrat Al Franken won a Republican U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota by a margin of only 312 votes in 2008, and with the immense power of incumbency he is expected to cruise to reelection this time.
New non-partisan research by professors at Old Dominion University uncovered the shocking amount of voting by non-citizens, as published by the Washington Post last Friday. Their work did not choose sides in the debate over whether non-citizens should be allowed to vote, which Congress has already answered in the negative by sensibly limiting voting in federal elections to only American citizens.
This study concluded that voter ID alone will not eliminate voting by non-citizens, because voter ID does not require proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. But that loophole is easily closed by requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, just as one must show proof of citizenship in order to obtain a passport.
Several states enacted common-sense provisions in order to strengthen voter integrity in this year's election. The U.S. Supreme Court denied an attempt to block voter ID from going into effect in Texas, so at least the Lone Star state will be able to limit mischief at their polls in this election.
Other states are not so fortunate. Wisconsin passed a voter ID law that was upheld by the Seventh Circuit, but the U.S. Supreme Court then blocked that good law from going into effect this November.
In July, three non-citizens were indicted for illegal voting in Ohio in the 2012 presidential election. But most illegal voting cases end in a plea bargain that results in erasure of the convictions after a year if the defendant stays out of additional trouble for that long.
In Colorado, which could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, votes are now cast entirely by mail with little protection against voter fraud. A total of 3.6 million ballots were sent to Coloradans based on addresses as old as 2008, which is six years ago.
One Colorado state senator said he has been to households that have received as many as seven separate ballots, and the person now living there could vote all seven ballots without anyone noticing. Paid political activists, known as "harvesters," can gather up to 10 ballots of others and then dump them all in an unguarded drop box, and there is nothing that stops harvesters from gathering and voting even more.
What happens to unused ballots that people throw out after receiving them in the mail? Most people do not shred their trash, so many unused ballots inevitably end up in apartment complex garbage bins where they are available to be filled in and sent in by unscrupulous party workers.
The lack of voting integrity makes it far from clear whether the election outcome will reflect the will of the voters. The essential role played by poll watchers is impossible in Colorado's system of mail-only balloting.
The corrupt practice of counting votes that were cast in the names of dead people reemerged in North Carolina in 2012. The executive director of that state's election board reported that the votes of 81 dead people were counted, most of whom had died before it was possible for them to cast absentee ballots.
A shocking total of 35,570 voters in North Carolina had the same last and first names and birth dates of voters who also cast ballots in other states. Many hundreds of those voters even had the same last four digits of their Social Security numbers as people having identical names and birthdays who also voted in other states.
Reforms passed in North Carolina are not effective in time to ensure voter integrity in this election, where there is a close race for the U.S. Senate seat. No voter ID is yet in effect there.
The top priority of Obama's Department of Justice has been to oppose voter ID laws passed by various states. But Attorney General Eric Holder has announced his resignation, and the Senate should not confirm any successor who opposes state efforts to improve voter integrity.
If It Damages America, It's Good for Democrats
10/28/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
In almost every area of American life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party. And vice versa.
Even today, after decades of feminism, most Americans agree that it is better for women (and for men) -- and better for society -- when women (and men) marry. Yet, when women marry, it is bad for the Democratic Party; and when women do not marry, even after -- or shall we say, especially after -- having children, it is quite wonderful for the Democratic Party.
Married women vote Republican. Unmarried women lopsidedly vote Democrat.
It is both silly and dishonest to deny that it is in the Democrats' interest that women not marry.
Blacks who are not angry at America, especially white America, are more likely than those who harbor such anger to vote Republican. On the other hand, the more a black American considers America a racist society, the more he or she is a guaranteed Democratic voter.
Therefore, it is in the Democratic Party's interest to ensure that as many blacks as possible regard America negatively. If Democrats feel it will benefit their party, they will play with fire -- the fire of violence. Take Ferguson, Missouri. No Democrat or Republican knows what happened in Ferguson just before a black teenager was shot by a white policeman. The only thing almost any American has known about Ferguson is that a white police officer shot and killed a black teenager. Yet, while blacks in Ferguson demonstrated, some violently, the reaction of Democrats -- both politicians and the mainstream left-wing media -- has been to side with the demonstrators.
There does not appear to be any level of black anger at white America that is too much for Democrats, who would rather see riots -- no matter how unwarranted -- than potentially lose black votes.
The more a Latino assimilates into American society, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican. On the other hand, the more Latinos continue to identify with the country they or their parents fled, the more likely they are to vote Democrat.
Thus, Democrats and the rest of the Left have engaged in two massive undertakings for decades: One has been to label Republicans "nativist," "anti-Hispanic," "xenophobic" and "anti-immigrant." The other has been to promote "multiculturalism," the anti-assimilation doctrine that cultivates ethnic identity over American identity.
Democrats repeatedly assert that America is "a nation of immigrants." This is undeniable. But there is a big difference today. In the past, nearly all immigrants sought to become American and to shed their previous national or ethnic identity. Today, many, perhaps a majority of, immigrants from Latin America do not have that goal. They come primarily or exclusively for economic benefits (and no one should blame them for doing so). Meanwhile, under cover of "multiculturalism," Democrats and the rest of the Left cultivate these immigrants' Latin American identities, knowing that the more American an immigrant feels, the less likely he or she is to vote Democrat.
Americans who do not see themselves as victims -- of an "unfair" or "racist" or "misogynist" society -- are more likely to vote Republican. On the other hand, Americans who see themselves as victims of American society are likely to vote Democrat.
Therefore, the Democratic Party and its supportive media cultivate victimhood among almost all Americans who are not white and male.
The more Americans depend on themselves or on their family or community, the more likely they are to vote Republican. On the other hand, the more Americans depend on the government -- whether for a job or for economic assistance -- the more likely they are to vote Democrat. Therefore, it is in the Democrats' interest to have more and more Americans depend on the state.
In other words, in almost every area of life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party. Democrats have placed themselves in the role of benefiting from social and moral dysfunction.
And they have embraced this role. The Democratic Party cultivates singlehood, black anger at America, Latino separatism, victimhood, group grievance and dependency on government. Nor is this the only way in which Democrats do terrible damage to America. They are also tearing America apart, setting women against men (with such falsehoods as "the war on women," "the rape culture" at American colleges, and the nonsense that "women are paid less for the same work"), blacks against whites, and Latinos against other Americans. They do this because the less women see men as an enemy, the less blacks regard whites as an enemy, and the more Latinos see themselves as Americans, the worse it is for Democrats.
The Democratic Party has been become a wholly destructive force in this country. Even though you may not intend to, if you vote for any Democrat, you contribute to that damage.