“AMERICA” by D’Souza; HANSON – Valley of the shadow; MANGAN – Feds rule on Subsidies; ERICKSON – TG for Rick Perry; YORK – Warren vs the Hillary.
NATIONAL: Wallison – 4 yrs of Dodd-Frank; Ransom – BO gives trillions; McElhatton – IRS seeks disc shredder; McDonald – Chinese meat scandal; Samuelson – Tenured partisans; Lehrer & Streib – $12M for speaking.
HEALTH CARE: Pear – New questions on law.
IRS: Howley – More crashes.
UKRAINE: UK Telegraph – No link to Putin; Cohen – Silence of the hawks.
ISRAEL: Klein – US ban on flights tactical error; CBS – Bloomberg flies El Al; McCarthy – Palestinians picked Hamas; Steyn – Fields of blood; Geller – 10,000 rally; Gordon – US needs help; Munro – Obama wants to save Hamas; Wilde – Christian holocaust in Iraq.
IMMIGRATION: Adams – Philly Flop?; Breitbart – Perry packs border.
PA: Staub – PA drops credit rating; CBS – Philly machete case.
END NOTE: Bill’s Energizer
ANNOUNCEMENTS; August 8th – Red State.
“America” by Dinesh D’Souza
King of Prussia, PA
UA King of Prussia 15 IMAX & RPX. Tickets available at website!
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “The Valley of the Shadow” “How mansion-dwelling, carbon-spewing cutthroat capitalists can still be politically correct.
“Silicon Valley is an American success story. At a time of supposed American decline, a gifted group of young entrepreneurs invented, merchandized, and institutionalized everything from smartphones and eBay to Google and Facebook. The collective genius within a small corridor from San Francisco to Stanford University somehow put hand-held electronics into over a billion households worldwide — and hundreds of billions of dollars in profits rolled into Northern California, and America at large.
“Stranger yet, Silicon Valley excelled at 1950s-style profit-driven capitalism while projecting the image of hip and cool. The result is a bizarre 21st-century 1-percenter culture of $1,000-a-square-foot homes, $100,000 BMWs, and $500 loafers coexisting with left-wing politics and trendy pop culture. Silicon Valley valiantly tries to square the circle of driving a Mercedes or flying in a Gulfstream while lambasting those who produce its fuel.
“But the paradox finally has reached its logically absurd end. In medieval times, rich sinners sought to save their souls by buying indulgences to wash away their sins. In the updated version, Silicon Valley crony capitalists and wheeler-dealers buy exemption for their conspicuous consumption with loud manifestations of cool left-wing politics. . .”
Dan Mangan, CNBC: “Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal”
“In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a federal appeals court panel declared Tuesday that government subsidies worth billions of dollars that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal.
“A judicial panel in a 2-1 ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov.
“‘Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states,’ wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion, where he was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith. ‘We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly.’
“In his dissent, Judge Harry Edwards, who called the case a ‘not-so-veiled attempt to gut’ Obamacare, wrote that the judgment of the majority ‘portends disastrous consequences.’ . . .”
Drudge Report (7/22/14)
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Thank God for Rick Perry”
“[Editor's Note: Rick Perry will be at the RedState Gathering. You can come thank him for showing leadership that Washington refuses to show. Register at www.redstategathering.com]
“As the rest of the world sizes Barack Obama up as a man who pees sitting down, the Texas Governor, not prone to wear mom jeans, has ordered his National Guard down to the border.
“It seems a rather simple thing — secure the American border. But Washington would rather hold our border hostage to politics than secure it. It’s a bipartisan problem. It should be an easy situation. Just secure the border. Stop people from crossing over.
“Nothing is easy with Washington, however. Neither side seems to have the will to do the easy thing. The President would rather fundraise and demagogue. The Republicans would rather cower in fear of their shadows.
“Secure the border is common sense. Rick Perry gets it. Too bad too few in Washington do. The sad thing is that Texans are going to pay for it when Washington should be footing the bill to do its most basic function — keep the United States a sovereign nation with secure borders.
“That Washington fails at its basic task is just another reason so many are fed up with that place.”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “While Hillary Clinton offers a resume, Elizabeth Warren offers a plan”
“. . . In 2008, voters chose a far less experienced candidate who presented them with a more compelling vision. They could do the same in 2016.
“The latest version of that compelling vision was on display last week in Warren’s address to Netroots Nation, a yearly gathering of progressive activists. Warren has not said she will run for president, despite the chants of “Run, Liz run!” that nearly drowned out her speech. But Warren sketched out where she stands and how she would govern. The ideas she presented aren’t new; they’re progressive boilerplate. But they are a plan.
“Warren gave the crowd her by-now familiar verdict that the American economic system is ‘rigged.’ She promised to fight against the rich and powerful. She pledged ‘a fight over economics, a fight over privilege, a fight over power,’ but most importantly, ‘a fight over values.’ (“Fight” is perhaps Warren’s favorite word; she used it 40 times in a 15-minute speech.)
“And then Warren presented a manifesto of sorts. ‘We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it,’ she began.
“‘We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.’
“‘We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.
“‘We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.’
“Warren went on to outline 11 points in all. She promised to fight for a ‘livable wage,’ to fight for relief from student debt, to fight to protect Social Security and Medicare, to fight for ‘equal pay for equal work,’ to fight for gay rights, to fight for immigration reform and to fight to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision and ensure that women ‘have a right to their bodies.’
Of course the audience loved it. But Warren’s message was more than just popular. It was a blessed relief for those activists in the more liberal corners of the Democratic Party who can’t bear the idea of supporting an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton who’s gotten rich making speeches to Goldman Sachs. . .”
NATIONAL . . .
Peter Wallison, WSJ: “Four Years of Dodd-Frank Damage”
“The financial law has restricted credit and let regulators create even more too-big-to-fail companies.
“When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act took effect on July 21, 2010, it immediately caused a sharp partisan division. This staggeringly large legislation—2,300 pages—passed the House without a single Republican vote and received only three GOP votes in the Senate. Republicans saw the bill as ObamaCare for the financial system, a vast and unnecessary expansion of the regulatory state.
“Four years later, Dodd-Frank’s pernicious effects have shown that the law’s critics were, if anything, too kind. Dodd-Frank has already overwhelmed the regulatory system, stifled the financial industry and impaired economic growth.
“According to the law firm Davis, Polk & Wardell’s progress report, Dodd-Frank is severely taxing the regulatory agencies that are supposed to implement it. As of July 18, only 208 of the 398 regulations required by the act have been finalized, and more than 45% of congressional deadlines have been missed.
“The effect on the economy has been worse. A 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas study showed that the GDP recovery from the recession that ended in 2009 has been the slowest on record, 11% below the average for recoveries since 1960.
“There is always a trade-off between regulation and economic growth, but Dodd-Frank—by far the most intrusive and costly financial regulation since the New Deal—placed few if any limitations on regulatory power. Written broadly and leaving regulators to fill in the details, the act has often left regulators in doubt about what Congress meant. Even after regulations have been finalized, interpreting them can be a trial. For example, the regulations implementing the inconsistent Volcker Rule, which prohibited banks and their affiliates from trading securities for their own account, took more than three years to write, but key provisions are still unclear. . . .”
John Ransom, Townhall: “Obama Gives Trillions for Wall Street, Not a Dime to Stop Murder in Black Chicago Neighborhoods”
“When president Obama was lifted to the presidency promising hope and change, no community was more hopeful than the black community. And inside the black community, no city was prouder than Chicago.
“But not anymore.
“Today blacks are disenchanted with an administration—both Obama’s and the current one in Chicago—that has played them.The politicians, who have been so ready to write trillion dollar checks to Wall Street, auto companies and cronies haven’t spent a dime on addressing issues decimating the black community.
“Instead they have fostered more dependence, using money that rightly belongs in black pockets, to keep blacks servile and voting Democrat.
“So in poverty, unemployment, mortality and education blacks continue to lag behind the rest of the country.No discussion of reform can begin without taking into account this absolute fact: There are two countries in America today, the black United States and everywhere else. . .”
Jim McElhatton, Washington Times: “IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives”
“Loss of Lois Lerner emails amid tea party targeting probe unresolved
“Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.
“The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for ‘media destruction’ services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.
“Congressional investigators of the IRS targeting of conservative groups have been hampered by the unexplained destruction of emails and other records of Ms. Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division and a central figure in the scandal.
“The loss of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive also raised broader questions about why the tax agency never reported the missing records to the National Archives and Records Administration, as required by the Federal Records Act.
“While those questions remained unresolved, IRS officials signaled plans to destroy tens of thousands of additional electronic records. . .”
Joe McDonald, ABC: “China Meat Scandal Hits Starbucks, Burger King”
“A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald’s said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets.
“Chinese authorities expanded their investigation of the meat supplier, Shanghai company Husi Food Co. A day after Husi’s food processing plant in Shanghai was sealed by the China Food and Drug Administration, the agency said Tuesday that inspectors also will look at its facilities and meat sources in five provinces in central, eastern and southern China.
“The scandal surrounding Husi Food, which is owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Illinois, has added to a string of safety scares in China over milk, medicines and other goods that have left the public wary of dairies, restaurants and other suppliers.
“Food safety violations will be ‘severely punished,’ the food agency said on its website.
“Starbucks Corp. on Tuesday said it removed from its shelves sandwiches made with chicken that originated at Husi. Burger King Corp. said it stopped using hamburger it received from a supplier that used product from Husi. Pizza restaurant chain Papa John’s International Inc. announced it stopped using meat from Husi. . .”
Richard Samuelson, NRO: “Tenured Partisans”
“. . . How did we get here? With the rise of the Second Party System in 19th-century America came the spoils system, replacing the quasi-aristocratic republican old-boys’ network that had upheld the ideal of the gentleman as public servant. After a deranged office seeker assassinated President Garfield, the United States began to embrace the ideal of a non-partisan and professional civil service. Government employees began to be hired for their professional competence, determined by tests, rather than for party connections. Once hired, these government workers would be given civil-service protections — tenure as a security against partisan pressure. The goal was also to ensure that citizens voted for a candidate because he would pursue good policies, not because their idiot brother-in-law would get a job if their guy won.
“Today we have the worst of both worlds: a tenured and partisan civil service. Government employees have civil-service protection and are seldom fired, only for the most egregious of crimes. Yet they lean to one party. . .”
Lisa Lehrer & Laura Streib, Bloomberg: “Clinton Earns $12 Million Speaking, Writing after Service”
“Hillary Clinton has earned at least $12 million in 16 months since leaving the State Department, a windfall at odds with her party’s call to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor.
“Clinton’s income since her resignation as secretary of state in February 2013 is derived mostly from her latest memoir, speeches and paid appearances at corporate retreats, according to an analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg.
“At least 12 organizations that previously booked President Bill Clinton — who has been paid almost $106 million in speaking fees alone since he left the White House — also hired his wife. Among them: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and the National Association of Realtors.
“With a prospective 2016 presidential candidacy in her future, she keeps tight control over her events. . .”
HEALTH CARE . . .
Robert Pear, NYT: “New Questions on Health Law as Rulings on Subsidies Differ”
“The contradictory rulings will apparently have no immediate impact on consumers. But they could inject uncertainty, confusion and turmoil into health insurance markets as the administration firms up plans for another open enrollment season starting in November.
“By a vote of 2 to 1, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a regulation issued by the Internal Revenue Service that authorizes the payment of premium subsidies in states that rely on the federal insurance exchange.
“If it stands, the ruling could cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace. It could also undercut enforcement of the requirement for most Americans to have insurance and the requirement for larger employers to offer it to their full-time employees.
“The Justice Department said the government would continue paying subsidies to insurance companies on behalf of consumers in the 36 states that use the federal exchange, pending further review of the issue by federal courts.
“Critics of the law, who said the ruling in Washington vindicated their opposition to it, did not have much time to celebrate. Within hours, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., issued a ruling that came to the opposite conclusion. . .”
IRS . . .
Patrick Howley, Daily Caller: “Now IRS Reports EVEN MORE Computer Crashes, Doesn’t Know If Emails Still Exist”
“IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to ‘less than 20,’ and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.
“The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens. (RELATED: Meet the First 7 IRS Employees Whose Computers Crashed).
“‘You stated at the time that document was produced to Congress, the document, the white paper in Exhibit 3[the June 13 memo], that it was accurate to the best of your knowledge. Is it still accurate?,’ a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigator asked Kane.
“‘There is an issue as to whether or not there is a ‑‑ that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule,’ Kane replied.
“‘So some of those backup tapes may still exist?,’ the investigator asked.
“‘I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at,” Kane said.” . . .”
UKRAINE . . .
UK Telegraph: “MH17: no link to Kremlin in plane downing – US intelligence”
“Officials say no evidence of direct Russian government involvement
“Senior US intelligence officials have said that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.
“The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.
“The officials briefed reporters on Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week’s air disaster, which killed 298 people. . . .”
Stephen F. Cohen, The Nation: “The Silence of American Hawks about Kiev’s Atrocities”
Cohen was a guest with John Batchelor, yesterday. The podcast mentions that American hawks – McCain – and our military budget can profit from the conflicts in Ukraine . . . there is also a worthwhile podcast at the same site from Aaron Klein on Gaza. http://johnbatchelorshow.com/schedule/2014/07/22-0
“The regime has repeatedly carried out artillery and air attacks on city centers, creating a humanitarian catastrophe—which is all but ignored by the US political-media establishment.
“Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 7 and July 17.
For months, the US-backed regime in Kiev has been committing atrocities against its own citizens in southeastern Ukraine, regions heavily populated by Russian-speaking Ukrainians and ethnic Russians. While victimizing a growing number of innocent people, including children, and degrading America’s reputation, these military assaults on cities, captured on video, are generating intense pressure in Russia on President Vladimir Putin to “save our compatriots.” Both the atrocities and the pressure on Putin have increased even more since July 1, when Kiev, after a brief cease-fire, intensified its artillery and air attacks on eastern cities defenseless against such weapons.
“The reaction of the Obama administration—as well as the new cold-war hawks in Congress and in the establishment media—has been twofold: silence interrupted only by occasional statements excusing and thus encouraging more atrocities by Kiev. Very few Americans (notably, the scholar Gordon Hahn) have protested this shameful complicity. We may honorably disagree about the causes and resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, the worst US-Russian confrontation in decades, but not about deeds that have risen to the level of war crimes.
“In mid-April, the new Kiev government, predominantly western Ukrainian in composition and outlook, declared an “anti-terrorist operation” against a growing political rebellion in the Southeast. At that time, the rebels were mostly mimicking the initial Maidan protests in Kiev in 2013—demonstrating, issuing defiant proclamations, occupying public buildings and erecting defensive barricades—before Maidan turned ragingly violent and, in February, overthrew Ukraine’s corrupt but legitimately elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. (The entire Maidan episode, it will be recalled, had Washington’s enthusiastic political, and perhaps more tangible, support.) Indeed, the precedent for seizing official buildings and demanding the allegiance of local authorities had been set even earlier, in January, in western Ukraine—by pro-Maidan, anti-Yanukovych protesters, some declaring “independence” from his government. Reports suggest that even now some cities in central and western Ukraine, regions almost entirely ignored by international media, are controlled by extreme nationalists, not Kiev.
“Considering those preceding events, but above all the country’s profound historical divisions, particularly between its western and eastern regions—ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural, economic and political—the rebellion in the southeast, centered in the industrial Donbass, was not surprising. Nor were its protests against the unconstitutional way (in effect, a coup) the new government had come to power, the southeast’s sudden loss of effective political representation in the capital and the real prospect of official discrimination. But by declaring an “anti-terrorist operation” against the new protesters, Kiev signaled its intention to “destroy” them, not negotiate with them.
“On May 2, in this incendiary atmosphere, a horrific event occurred in the southern city of Odessa, awakening memories of Nazi German extermination squads in Ukraine and other Soviet republics during World War II. An organized pro-Kiev mob chased protesters into a building, set it on fire and tried to block the exits. Some forty people, perhaps more, perished in the flames or were murdered as they fled the inferno. A still unknown number of other victims were seriously injured.
“Members of the infamous Right Sector, a far-right paramilitary organization ideologically aligned with the ultranationalist Svoboda party—itself a constituent part of Kiev’s coalition government—led the mob. Both are frequently characterized by knowledgeable observers as “neo-fascist” movements. (Hateful ethnic chants by the mob were audible, and swastika-like symbols were found on the scorched building.) Kiev alleged that the victims had themselves accidentally started the fire, but eyewitnesses, television footage and social media videos told the true story, as they have about subsequent atrocities.
“Instead of interpreting the Odessa massacre as an imperative for restraint, Kiev intensified its “anti-terrorist operation.” Since May, the regime has sent a growing number of armored personnel carriers, tanks, artillery, helicopter gunships and warplanes to southeastern cities, among them, Slovyansk (Slavyansk in Russian), Mariupol, Krasnoarmeisk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk and Luhansk (Lugansk in Russian). When its regular military units and local police forces turned out to be less than effective, willing or loyal, Kiev hastily mobilized Right Sector and other radical nationalist militias responsible for much of the violence at Maidan into a National Guard to accompany regular detachments—partly to reinforce them, partly, it seems, to enforce Kiev’s commands. Zealous, barely trained and drawn mostly from central and western regions, Kiev’s new recruits have escalated the ethnic warfare and killing of innocent civilians. (Episodes described as “massacres” soon also occurred in Mariupol and Kramatorsk.)
“Initially, the “anti-terrorist” campaign was limited primarily, though not only, to rebel checkpoints on the outskirts of cities. Since May, however, Kiev has repeatedly carried out artillery and air attacks on city centers that have struck residential buildings, shopping malls, parks, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, even orphanages. More and more urban areas, neighboring towns and villages now look and sound like war zones, with telltale rubble, destroyed and pockmarked buildings, mangled vehicles, the dead and wounded in streets, wailing mourners and crying children. Conflicting information from Kiev, local resistance leaders and Moscow, as well as Washington’s silence, make it difficult to estimate the number of dead and wounded noncombatants, but Kiev’s mid-July figure of about 2,000 is almost certainly too low. The number continues to grow due also to Kiev’s blockade of cities where essential medicines, food, water, fuel and electricity are scarce, and where wages and pensions are often no longer being paid. The result is an emerging humanitarian catastrophe.
“Another effect is clear. Kiev’s “anti-terrorist” tactics have created a reign of terror in the targeted cities. . .”
ISRAEL . . .
Odd . . . Hamas is not using warheads on its missiles and has not overwhelmed “Iron Dome” as it could . . . There is also $47M US dollars in Kerry’s valise . . . and our FAA’s red-flagging Ben Gurion enhances Hamas’ standing. . .
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “U.S. banning flights to press Israel into cease-fire? Diplomats question putting Jewish state on par with Third World”
“Officials in Jerusalem are quietly wondering whether the Federal Aviation Administration’s prohibition on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv is partially a tactic to pressure Israel into a cease-fire. “The FAA’s decision will likely impact the Israeli economy. The action, while temporary, tarnishes Israel’s image around the world, putting the Jewish state, at least for one day, on par with Third World countries where U.S. flights are banned, including Ethiopia, North Korea, Iraq, Somalia and Libya,
“‘Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza, all flight operations to/from Ben Gurion International Airport by U.S. operators are prohibited until further advised,’ reads an FAA notice to all U.S. airlines.
“The FAA decision to ban U.S. flights to Israel for at least 24 hours came after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Yehud, a densely populated neighborhood about one mile from Israel’s international airport, south of Tel Aviv.
“Besides the FAA ban, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines indefinitely suspended service to Israel while numerous European airlines also canceled flights, as did Canadian and Turkish airlines.
“Even if U.S. flights resume after 24 hours, the FAA decision sets the precedent for more flight bans in the coming days in response to any rockets hitting near the airport. . .”
CBS NY: “Ex-Mayor Bloomberg Flies To Israel on El Al Despite Ban by U.S. Carriers”
“. . . ‘Sure I’ll take the flight. It’s safe and it’s efficient, and it’s a great way to travel. And El Al is a great airline, and we have a lot of American airlines that are great too, and I just want them to be able to fly around the world, and land safely and in peace,’ he said.
“In an earlier statement Tuesday evening, Bloomberg said Ben Gurion was the best protected airport in the world, and El Al flights have been coming and going safely.
“‘I’m not trying to prove anything,’ Bloomberg said at the airport. ‘I’m just trying to show that it’s safe, and a great place to visit, and Israel has a right to defend its people, and they’re doing exactly what they should be doing.’
“He said in the earlier statement that the flight restrictions are a concession to Hamas militants.
“‘The flight restrictions are a mistake that hand Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the (Federal Aviation Administration) to reverse course and permit U.S. airlines to fly to Israel,’ the statement said. . .”
Andrew McCarthy, PJM: “Palestinians Chose Hamas and the Mass-Murder of Civilians—Including Their Own”
Thx, Mark Levin!
“I argued in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy that the illusion’s signature feature is a fantasy: By holding free elections, a people is choosing freedom: joining modernity, adopting pluralism and tolerance, rejecting revolutionary violence and totalitarianism.
“Today, we are yet again being inundated with tales of Palestinian woe after Hamas’s familiar barbarism has provoked an Israeli military response. It thus bears remembering that the Palestinian people chose Hamas. What ever happened to all those Democracy Project paeans to self-determination? Hamas is Palestinian self-determination. Hamas was not forced on Palestinians. Hamas did not militarily conquer Gaza. No, Hamas swept parliamentary elections freely held in the Palestinian territories in 2006 – thrashing its rival, Fatah, which is only marginally less committed to the destruction of Israel.
“Hamas did not suddenly become a terrorist organization after it was elected. Hamas was elected because it was a jihadist organization. It was elected because, by its own declaration, Hamas connects Palestinians to something they find attractive: the global Islamic-supremacist movement. Palestinians widely reject Israel’s right to exist. They regard not just Gaza, Judea and Samaria but all of Israel as “occupied Palestine.” Even those Palestinians who purport to accept the “two-state solution” see it as a way-station on the march to a one-state solution in which the Jewish state eventually ceases to be. Palestinians chose Hamas precisely because Hamas was seen as more dedicated than Fatah to the achievement of that goal—not to mention, more brutally competent. . .”
Mark Steyn, SteynonLine: “Fields of Blood”
“The two big international headlines of the moment are the downing of the Malaysian jet over Ukraine and Israel’s incursion into Gaza. On the face of it, these two stories don’t have much in common, but they are in fact part of the same story. To know Israel it helps to know Ukraine, and to know Ukraine it helps to know Israel.
“This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of the day the Soviets re-took the city of Lviv (or Lvov, according to taste) in the western Ukraine, and ended a three-year German occupation. Before the Germans arrived, there were well over 100,000 Jews in the city and just shy of 50 synagogues. On July 26th 1944, when the Soviets returned, there were a couple of hundred Jews left.
“Lviv, Lvov, Lemberg had been, variously, Polish, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Habsburg, Soviet – but always, across the centuries, Jewish. All gone.
“Same with any number of Ukrainian cities. Chernivtsi, or Czernowitz, was once known as ‘Jerusalem on the Prut’. There were 50,000 Jews out of a population of approximately 100,000, and they dominated the city’s commercial life. ‘There is not a shop that has not a Jewish name painted above its windows,’ wrote Sir Sacheverell Sitwell in 1937, when it was part of the Kingdom of Roumania . ‘The entire commerce of the place is in the hands of the Jews. Yiddish is spoken here more than German.’ Not anymore. Today, the city’s population is over a quarter of a million, but only 2,000 are Jews.
“There are cities like Lviv or Chernivtsi all over the world, where within living memory the streets were full of Jews – people went to school with Jews, lived next door to Jews, accompanied their mothers as they shopped from Jews. And now there are no Jews. In his what-if novel Fatherland, Robert Harris captures very well the silence that settles in such communities: no one ever asks, “Do you remember the such-and-such family across the street?” – or what happened to them. Just as, a few years hence, everyone in Sarcelles will agree not to ask “Whatever happened to that pharmacy?”
“Which brings us to the tiny Jewish state built in a sliver of a minority of the total land of the British Mandate of Palestine. Israel is dedicated to the proposition that there should be one place on earth where what happened to the Jews in Lviv and Chernivtsi and Baghdad (once the second largest Jewish city in the world) and Tripoli (which was once 40 per cent Jewish) and all over the map will not happen here.
“Hamas, by contrast, is committed to the proposition that what happened to the Jews of Lviv should happen here, too.
“But it works the other way round: to know the Ukraine it helps to know Israel. The least worst explanation for what happened to MH17 is that “pro-Russian separatists” mistook it for a Ukrainian military transport and blew it out of the sky: A horrible accident in the fog of war. If that was the agreed storyline, you’d be anxious to make yourself respectable again in the eyes of the world as quickly as possible: You’d seal off the crash site until the international investigators and representatives of the governments who’d lost citizens could get there and retrieve the black boxes and recover the bodies. Instead, as I discussed on Rush on Friday, the “separatists” immediately refused to allow anybody near the site and began looting and defiling the bodies, stealing cash and credit cards and trophies and leaving what’s left decomposing out in a field for anyone with a cellphone to shoot souvenir snaps of. As Greg Gutfeld says, ‘That field is no longer a war zone. It is an international crime scene.’
“Why? Why would you do this? Why, having ‘accidentally’ shot down a passenger jet, would you then deliberately desecrate and dishonor the dead?
“Well, here’s Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, in his first international interview since the atrocity:
“Those armed in eastern Ukraine should not be referred to as ‘separatists,’ he insisted. ‘There are no separatists there. They are terrorists.’
“He’s right. . .”
Pamela Geller: “Despite Bomb Threats, 10,000 Attend Huge Pro-Israel Rally in NYC”
COUNTERING THE GENOCIDAL MUSLIM HATE MARCHES
“Over the past two weeks, AFDI has helped organize pro-Israel marches in New York City.
“Part of Hamas’s war effort are these death marches that are staged across major cities in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, etc. in support of Islamic terror against the Jewish state.
“They are as much a part of the war against Israel as Hamas rockets.
“Many of these hatefests are violent. Attacks on Jews have become commonplace. That is why we must counter with a strong message of support and love for the state of Israel.
“Despite threats of violence, the huge rally we helped organize for Israel drew tens of thousands of Israel lovers. What an awesome sight. The event is under the hashtag #NYClovesIsrael — and we tweeted it, posted it, shared it all over social media. We let Israel know she is not alone in the fight for freedom and life. And it went viral.
“Because of bomb threats, we had to hire private security for the event.
“We also hired private security for last week’s counter protest against the ugly pro-Hamas hatefest at the Israel consulate (scroll down). There were too many young Jewish students to risk a confrontation with these violent thugs against Israel.
“Security costs money. These actions cost money. Help us offset those costs. We can’t do this alone. We need your help. Contribute here or go to Paypal.com and send your donation to email@example.com — we are a 501c3.
“I spoke before a crowd of 10,000 Israel lovers and was not deterred by savage threats of carnage and violence.”
Michael Gordon, NYT: “To Talk with Hamas, U.S. Needs Help from a Testy Trio of Nations”
“CAIRO — As Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here Monday night to try to produce a cease-fire in the Gaza crisis as rapidly as possible, he confronted an uncomfortable reality.
The United States must rely heavily on Egypt, Qatar and Turkey to play intermediary and exert their influence, because it has no direct contact and little leverage with the militant group Hamas. Those countries, however, have their own deep-seated differences over Hamas. While Egypt has been opposed to Hamas and other Islamic movements, Turkey has been supportive. Qatar, for its part, has provided financial assistance to Hamas and also a base of operations for Khalid Meshal, the group’s political leader.
“‘It will be extremely difficult for the United States to bring Egypt, Turkey and Qatar together right now,’ said Robert M. Danin, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former senior State Department official.
“‘However, all three countries do wish to see an end to the fighting,’ Mr. Danin added. “ “‘Moreover, Egypt, Turkey and Qatar all stand to benefit politically and in their regional standing by serving as power brokers to a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.’”
Neil Munro, Daily Caller: “Obama Pushes For Ceasefire to Save Hamas”
“President Barack Obama Monday demanded that Israel stop its efforts to destroy the tunnels used by Hamas to launch rocket and jihad attacks against Israeli civilians, and called for a ceasefire on terms favorable to Hamas.
“Hamas shields its tunnels from airstrikes by placing them in heavily populated civilian neighborhoods. The tunnels also extend under the border so Hamas jihadis can attack Israeli civilians and border patrols.
“Israel has sent in ground units to find and destroy the tunnels, but Hamas’ forces are trying to repel the Israeli units in house-to-house fighting.
“The resulting battles are killing some civilians, whose bodies are brought to a local hospital for display by international media.
“Obama reacted Monday to Hamas’ strategy of showcasing civilian casualties.
“‘It now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting,’ Obama said in short statement from a podium behind the White House.
“Obama’s Gaza intervention will likely be welcome by Hamas, partly because the Israeli military is battling its way through Hamas’ defenses. Also, Israeli officials are suggesting they will continue their offensive until Hamas is disarmed, and is no longer a threat to Israeli civilians. . .”
Robert Wilde, Big Peace: “Sebastian Gorka: Christian Holocaust Underway in Iraq, USA and World Look On”
“When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.
“In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching. This is the sad news that Breitbart’s National Security Editor and one of the world’s leading experts on asymmetric warfare, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, brought to Breitbart News Saturday, hosted by Editor in Chief Alex Marlow on Sirius XM Patriot Radio.
IMMIGRATION . . .
Teri Adams, Independence Hall TEA: The Philadelphia Rally
Do overs are possible . . . and essential . . .
“. . . So, according to this story, we lost the numbers game–when in reality–the numbers were fairly equal. It’s just that a majority of our folks we not on the scene at 11 AM when the press was present.
“Fortunately, Stu Bykofsky of the Daily News wrote the following column to present a more accurate view of our numbers and our mission.
“If We Could Have a Do Over
“We would have renamed it a “Secure Our Borders Rally.” (Americans for Legal Immigration called it an “Illegal Immigration Protest Rally” and we did not think it appropriate to rename their event.) We would have also shortened the hours even further (11 AM-1 PM) while calling on everyone to arrive at 10:45 AM.
“Still, with Dom’s help, we were able to attract roughly 60 supporters to the rally on only 24 hours notice. We issued a press release and a letter to the Mexican Consul (see below). We did our best.
“By the way, 40 folks, including members of the Delaware County Patriots and some of you, made it to the Boothwyn Overpass Rally on Saturday. There were no counter-demonstrators–so of course, no media.
Ditto for Friday’s NYC Mexican Consulate Rally. They had even fewer participants than either Philly or Boothwyn–and, oddly–no counter demonstrators and zero press.
Theresa Adams, President
Independence Hall Tea Party Association
P.O. Box 306
Cheltenham, PA, USA
Cell Phone: 267.531.8169
Breitbart TV: “’Our Citizens are Under Siege’: Perry Sends National Guard to Border”
“Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced he is deploying 1,000 Texas National Guard to the U.S. border with Mexico, saying he can not idly sit by while “our citizens are under siege.” “Pointing out the tens of thousands pf unaccompanied minors only make up roughly 20 percent of those being apprehended illegally crossing the border, Perry said he can no longer wait for the president to act as gang members and drug cartels flood into Texas, causing crime to skyrocket. Perry pointed out Texas tax payers can not bear the expense of processing and housing the surge of illegal immigration caused by President Obama’s 2012 executive action “Dream Act” which has given people in Central America the idea children will be allowed to stay once in the U.S. “Perry has repeatedly called on President Obama to visit the border, calling his refusal Obama’s “Katrina,” moment.”
Drudge Report (7/21/14) Budget to transport illegals across USA approaches $100M… HUMAN SMUGGLER: ‘Business Very Good’… 100,000 Illegal Alien Gang Members in TX…REPORT: Border Patrol Ordered to Release Pregnant Illegals… DREAMers Stage GOP ‘Funeral’ in Congress… NY immigration groups to close over alleged fraud…
PA . . .
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Budget blues: Moody’s downgrades Pennsylvania’s bond rating”
“That didn’t take long.
“Just weeks after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a patchwork budget and skipped town without addressing pension reform, Moody’s has downgraded Pennsylvania’s general obligation bond rating. It dropped the state fom Aa2 — its third-highest rating — to Aa3.
“Among the reasons Moody’s cited? The state’s “growing structural imbalance, exacerbated by the fiscal 2015 enacted budget that depends on non-recurring resources.”
CBS Philly: “Cops: Leaders of Philly Mosque Tried to Cut Off Man’s Hand With Machete”
“PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two leaders of a mosque tried to cut off the hand of a man they allege stole jars of money from the house of worship, Philadelphia police said.
“The bizarre incident happened July 14th at the Masjid located in the 1100 block of North 63rd Street in the city’s Overbrook section.
“According to investigators, the 46-year-old arrived at the mosque at about 4:00 a.m. for Morning Prayer services.
“At about 5:30 a.m., after the prayer service concluded, police say the victim was approached by the mosque’s Imam and the Amir.
“Investigators say the two males accused the victim of stealing jars of money from the Masjid
“The males, police say, dragged the victim to the rear of the property and attempted to cut off his hand with a machete.
“The victim sustained a severe laceration to his right wrist and was transported to Mercy Hospital by medics.
“On July 17th, the Amir, Mabul Shoatz aka Merv Mitchell, was arrested at the mosque.
“Police say a two-foot long machete was found at the mosque.
“Mabul Shoatz, aka Merv Mitchell, is charged with Aggravated Assault, Criminal Conspiracy, Simple Assault, Reckless Endangering Another Person and related offenses.
“The Imam, a 35-year-old male, remains on the loose.”
Repeal 16: TEA Party Patriots – Dump the IRS
END NOTE . . .
Dan Riehl, Breitbart: “Bill Clinton’s ‘Energizer’ Bunny Mistress?”
“A new Ronald Kessler book, ‘The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents,’ due out Aug. 5 from Crown Forum depicts a Hillary Clinton who is less than warm to her Secret Service detail, as well as claiming former President Bill Clinton frequently enjoys the company of a well-endowed woman his security detail has nicknamed ‘Energizer.’
“Bill Clinton reportedly has a buxom blond mistress who visits so often when Hillary Clinton isn’t home in Chappaqua that the former president’s Secret Service detail have given her an unofficial code name: Energizer.
“The book, portions of which I’ve obtained, says none of the normal protocols are followed when Energizer arrives in her SUV, sometimes just minutes after Hillary has left the Westchester house. Kessler quotes a supervisor informing a new agent: “‘You don’t stop her, you don’t approach her, you just let her go in.’”