CONTENTS: PA district maps; Tom Knox?; PA ignores illegals; july job loss; Morris – poll numbers; BO voters jump ship; DoJ politicized black panthers; Obama preps for sharia; McDonnell – bipartisan consensus gutted; Murray – Brooks’ old age; York – VP Ryan?; Mitt ducked Chick-fil-A & Bachmann; Hanson – postmodern Barry; Coburn’s list of 70; Drones; Virginia won’t investigate dead pets; Chang – China’s great leap backward; al-Qaeda in Syria; Breitbart – #WAR; Announcements.
1782: George Washington created the Purple Heart
1789: Congress established the War Department (DoD)
1942: American forces went on offense at Guadacanal
1998: Al Qaeda exploded bombs at US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people, including a dozen Americans. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Paula Stiles: Smart Meter Sign for your Home
“Smartmeters are coming to our neighborhoods starting this month. I have made up this flyer to put on your meter. I will be putting it in plastic and attaching to my home. This is all part of sustainable development. I talked to a patriot in another county. They actually have devices they need to put on the appliances so they can monitor how many times you go into the refrigerator, etc. If we allow these people to take over our property, what else will we have?”
For your own sign, contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: Supremes Hear Challenges to District Maps
“HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the challenges to revised state legislative district maps on Sept. 13 in Philadelphia.
The court in January rejected proposed new maps for the state House’s 203 legislative districts and the state Senate’s 50 districts. The court instructed the Legislative Reapportionment Commission to redraw the maps with fewer counties and municipalities split between legislative districts.
“The commission redrew the maps and approved them in June with Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, casting the sole opposing vote.
“The revised maps contain about 50 percent fewer splits, but doubled the deviation in population between districts — which is the difference in population from the largest district to the smallest — another component of the state constitution’s formula for drawing districts.
“A total of 13 challenges have been filed against the revised maps, including one from Amanda Holt, the amateur cartographer from Allentown, whose maps formed the basis for the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the commission’s first proposal earlier this year. All appeals can be viewed here…”
Kelly Cernetich, PoliticsPA: “Tom Knox for Governor?”
“With Corbett’s poll numbers in the tank, even a generic Democratic opponent to him in 2014 would lead 45 percent to 39. Given that kind of positive climate, former Guv candidate Tom Knox said he plans to enter the race.
“A video posted by Philly.com showed Knox guest-bartending at R2L restaurant to raise money for charity. He also talked shop with his interviewer, saying he plans to run against Gov. Corbett.
“Knox is no freshman candidate. He ran for Philadelphia major [sic] five years ago, and also for governor in 2010 – but dropped out before the primary and endorsed Dan Onorato.
“With enough money to self-fund a challenge, Knox’s name will be one to look for.”
Jared Sichel, PA Independent: PA Ignores Illegals at the Polls
REPLAY from CATS, 7/31/2012:
Jared Sichel, PA Independent: “Keystone State has no plans to remove noncitizens from voter rolls”
“HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania will not be following Florida’s lead in identifying noncitizens on its voter registration rolls, even though the commonwealth’s law doesn’t do much to stop noncitizens from registering.
“‘We haven’t come across that as an issue,’ said Pennsylvania Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman. ‘It hasn’t crossed our radar, I guess, as something we needed to look at.’
Ruman added that his agency has ‘no intention’ of accessing the national database of resident noncitizens as Florida did.
“The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database, maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, includes people who legally reside in the United States with visas, for example, but are not citizens and cannot legally vote.
“If the Keystone State wanted to tap into SAVE, the state’s 67 counties could cross-check their registered voter rolls and easily remove illegally registered noncitizens…”
Jared Sichel, PA Independent: Loophole could allow 100,000 noncitizens to vote – even if voter ID law upheld by court
“HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law is beginning to look more like a piece of Swiss cheese.
As court hearings on the law begin Wednesday in Harrisburg, one glaring hole will remain even if the law is upheld — noncitizens can still easily vote.
“A loophole in state law allows legal noncitizens — exchange students, individuals with work visas and those who have legally entered the country but have not yet completed the process to become citizens — to register to vote in Pennsylvania as long as they sign an affidavit with a county election board, swearing that they will have been American citizens for at least one month prior to the next election.
“Nearly 100,000 noncitizens in Pennsylvania hold an approved form of photo ID. Because of a loophole in the state’s voter registration law, any of these 100,000 people intent on committing voter fraud would have an easy time doing so.
“And because driver’s licenses and state ID cards issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation do not list citizenship status, officials at polling stations would have no way of knowing that an illegally registered noncitizen is an illegally registered noncitizen…”
John Plumer, WaPo: Economy Lost Jobs in July
“The U.S. economy lost 1.2 million jobs between June and July. But that’s not how it got reported. When the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its jobs figures for July, it said the economy gained 163,000 jobs. So what gives?
“BLS isn’t hiding anything. The discrepancy just has to do with what’s known as “seasonal adjustments.” The U.S. economy follows certain predictable patterns in hiring and layoffs every year. School districts always let workers go for the summer and hire in the fall. Retailers always staff up for the Christmas holidays and lay people off afterwards. Students always flood the labor market in June.
“So if we want to know how well the economy is doing, we want to know how many jobs were added after taking these predictable fluctuations into account. Some seasonal adjustments are necessary before the data can tell us anything useful.
“And this is exactly what BLS does in its monthly jobs reports. As Jacob Goldstein of Planet Money points out, the U.S. economy had 1.2 million fewer jobs (pdf) in July than it did in June. But, according to the bureau, the economy still had 163,000 more jobs than one would’ve expected, given seasonal trends. That’s a sign of a steadily recovering labor market. So BLS reported it as a 163,000 gain in jobs.
“In theory, that makes sense. But some economists and analysts now wonder if the BLS seasonal adjustments are somehow off a bit…”
See also: John Crudele, New York Post: “I don’t believe them”
“It’s cheatin’ time in Washington. I’ve long believed the Labor Department’s monthly employment statistics are horribly inaccurate. So bad, in fact, that they are hardly worth compiling.
“But I never thought the numbers were fudged — until now…”
Dick Morris, DickMorris: “The Real Poll Numbers”
“…The trend line is distinctly pro-Romney. Of the thirteen states studied, he improved or Obama slipped in nine states while the reverse happened in only four. To read the media, one would think that Romney had a terrible month. In fact, the exact reverse is true.
“Romney is currently leading in every state McCain carried plus: Indiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, and Colorado. If he carries these states, he’ll have 228 electoral votes of the 270 he needs to win.
To win the election, Romney would then have to carry Florida where he trails by two points, and either Virginia (behind by two) or Ohio where he’s down by only one.
“If he carries all three of these states and also wins all the others where Obama is now at 50% or less – Iowa, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey — he will get 351 electoral votes, a landslide about equal to Obama’s 363 vote tally in 2008…”
Bryan Preston, PJMedia: “Obama Voters Jumping Ship”
“If you only read liberals like Michael Tomasky, President Obama is such a lock to win re-election that it’s a foregone conclusion. But Gallup suggests that the president has something, beyond his fundraising flop, to worry about.
“A new poll shows that President Obama is losing nine percent of his 2008 supporters to Mitt Romney..
“Gallup finds that 86 percent of 2008 Obama voters say they plan to vote for the president again. Nine percent, however, say they’re now supporting Romney.
“On the other hand, 92 percent of John McCain voters say they’re supporting Mitt Romney. Five percent of those McCain voters are now voting for Obama.
“That’s a net shift of four percent of the electorate moving away from Obama.
“Obama only won by five points against a weak McCain effort in 2008, and when he could claim to be Captain Hopenchange the Lightworker. Now, he’s known for bad loans, a bad economy, and some disreputable campaigning that is turning many voters off to him.
“Something else to consider: voter enthusiasm. Obama’s voter base is far less enthusiastic in 2012 than it was in 2008. Many of them will not switch to Romney, but they will not vote at all. The Republicans’ vote, meanwhile, has been steadily enthusiastic from the primaries forward. They want to vote, and they want to vote specifically to end Obama’s presidency.
“And one more thing to consider: the economy is the number one issue, and voters are moving more and more toward Romney as the better candidate to handle the economy.”
Tom Fitton, Big Govt: Court Rules DOJ Politicized Black Panther Case
“Judicial Watch has been confident for some time that the evidence shows that political appointees at the Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) were involved in the decision to abandon the DOJ’s own voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party. And we’ve also been concerned that at least one high ranking DOJ official lied about it under oath.
“In a major victory for Judicial Watch, a federal court seems to agree with our analysis of this continuing scandal.
“The ruling came courtesy of Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in response to Judicial Watch’s effort to obtain attorney’s fees from the DOJ for stonewalling the release of documents pertaining to the Black Panther scandal. Here’s the key quote from Judge Walton’s ruling:
‘The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.
‘In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.’
“So, in short, this ruling is further confirmation that political appointees at the DOJ did interfere in the Black Panther case. Assistant AG Perez’s testimony was false. And the American people have a right to documents related to the scandal. That’s pretty much a clear-cut victory…”
William Bigelow, Big Govt: Obama Paves Way for Sharia
“…Last October, at George Washington University, there was a meeting between DOJ officials, including Perez, and Islamist advocates against free speech. Representatives from the Islamist side included Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding trial in 2008, as well as functioning as a Muslim Brotherhood Front. The leader of the Islamist attack was Sahar Aziz, an Egyptian-born American lawyer and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Muslim advocacy group based in Michigan. At the meeting, the Islamists lobbied for:
1) Cutbacks in U.S. anti-terror training
2) Limits on the power of terrorism investigators
3) Changes in agent training manuals
4) A legal declaration that criticism of Islam in the United States should be considered racial discrimination
“Aziz said that the word ‘Muslim’ has become ‘racialized’ and, once American criticism of Islam was silenced, the effect would be to ‘take [federal] money away from local police departments and fusion centers who are spying on all of us.’
“And what was the response from Perez and the DOJ officials?
“That’s right: no objection, no defense of our first amendment right to free speech.”
Gov. Bob McDonnell, Richmond Times Dispatch: Welfare Reform – Obama decree guts bipartisan consensus
“As a candidate, the president claimed that he supported welfare-to-work policies. He once professed that work should be “a centerpiece of any social policy.” He has now apparently changed his mind.
“Worse still is the way this recent decision unfolded. President Obama did not work with Congress to secure legislative approval. He did not tell the American people about his decision — or ask them for their support. He simply decided that he did not like the existing law, and then chose to work around it.
“By unwinding our nation’s welfare-to-work requirements, the Obama administration is making a tragic mistake. Millions have benefited from this bipartisan reform. And while the Obama administration has given no indication that it will reverse this decision, this November voters will have a chance to elect someone who will…”
Charles Murray, AEI: “Why David Brooks Can Look Forward to Old Age”
“David Brooks has delivered his take on the “you didn’t build that” conversation with this as his thesis: As a practical matter, it is useful for young people on their way up to think that their future success is up to them. But as we reach old age, we understand how little we have accomplished independently of all the forces acting on our lives.
“But I have the advantage actually being old, whereas David is, through no fault of his own, still a whippersnapper. So I am in a position to correct him. As you get to be a codger, David, you will actually be able to see more and more clearly what has been a matter of luck and what you can legitimately take credit for, and the latter will give you a great deal of satisfaction.
“At least that’s the way it has worked out for me. I understand completely that talent is pure luck of the draw. For example, I will never, ever, be able to come up with a sentence as acute and witty as this: “Ambition, like promiscuity, is most pleasant when experienced vicariously.” It’s one of half a dozen such bon mots in this column alone, and they are possible only because of the bundle of skills that David Brooks is lucky enough to possess and he did nothing to deserve.
“But what makes those sentences possible for him to write does not make them come into existence. And that is the basis for the credit that people can legitimately take in their own achievements…”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: Paul Ryan?
“In the last few days, there’s been new talk about Paul Ryan in the who’s-in-who’s-out game of speculation over Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick. The speculation is striking, because of the four candidates mentioned most often — Ryan, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, and Tim Pawlenty — Ryan is the choice that would fundamentally change the direction of the Romney campaign. How? By instantly elevating the Ryan budget plan to the top of the Romney agenda. Whether that change would be to Romney’s liking is very much an open question.
“There is an intense debate going on inside the Republican party over whether GOP candidates, focusing their campaigns on the economy, should stress job creation or reducing federal spending. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, and Romney has embraced both, but there is no question Romney has emphasized job creation far, far more than any other issue.
“Romney has also embraced Ryan’s economic plan. (Although if you read the Romney website, you’ll get the impression that it was Ryan who embraced Romney’s plan.) But look at Romney’s speeches and public pronouncements, as well as at his policy proposals. The heart of Ryan’s plan — controlling the terrifying growth of federal spending by transforming Medicare — isn’t at the heart of Romney’s agenda…”
Madeleine Morgenstern, The Blaze: Mitt Ducks Chick-fil-A and Bachmann’s Call for Investigation of the Brotherhood
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday refused to discuss on the ongoing Chick-fil-A saga or Rep. Michele Bachmann’s call for an investigation into whether the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the United States.
Bachmann (R-Minn.), along with four other House GOP members, sent letters to several top government departments in June calling for an inquiry into whether longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s family and other American officials have ties to the Brotherhood.
“I’m not going to tell other people what things to talk about,” Romney told reporters on the campaign trail in Nevada in response to a question. “Those are not things that are part of my campaign.”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: Our Postmodern President
“The chief tenet of postmodernism is that truth and facts are arbitrary constructs, set up by the privileged to manipulate others less fortunate. In the case of our first postmodernist president, Barack Obama, there cannot be facts, past or present, only a set of shifting assertions that gain credence to the degree that they prove transitorily useful for progressive causes. A sympathetic biographer, David Maraniss, noted that almost all the touchstone events in Barack Obama’s mythographic memoir were fabricated. Of course, Obama would object to such a value-laden term and instead call them composites, impressions stitched together and presented as truth to serve the higher moral narrative: a young biracial idealist searching for his identity in a mostly racist and oppressive America. To the degree that Dreams from My Father enhanced that narrative, then all of what was in it was “true” — even the literary agent’s bio attesting that the exotic author was born in faraway Kenya.
“For the fabulist Obama, the past is a vague mess with shifting narratives that can serve noble contemporary causes…”
Mike Opelka, The Blaze: Tom Coburn’s List – 70 Facts BO Wants Hidden
The Blaze has culled 10 from the list of 70:
1) The price of gas – When Obama took office, a gallon of gas cost you $1.85. Today, it’s up to $3.59 per gallon (July’s rise was 17 cents a gallon).
2) 71% of small business owners believe we’re still in a recession — Despite government claims that the recession actually ended years ago, a majority of small business owners feel very differently.
3) You have to work 107 days each year just to pay Federal, State, & Local taxes – That means you don’t earn a penny until April 18th.
4) More than 30% of unemployed Americans have been out of work for more than a year – In 2007, that number was 10%.
5) Low income America – According to NBC News, virtually half of all Americans are considered to be “low income” or living in poverty.
6) Propping up the economy by monetizing our massive debt — In 2008, the Federal Reserve bought “negligible” amounts of our debt, last year the Fed purchased 61% of the government debt issued by the Treasury Dept.
7) Speaking of “no faith in the US Dollar” – The price of gold when Obama was inaugurated, $850 an ounce. Today, gold is over $1500.
8) The disappearing family farm – In the mid-1930s, America had an estimated 6.8 million farms. Today, the EPA estimates that number to be right around two million (and getting squeezed more and more by constricting regulation).
9) Another (bad) trade record set with China – In 2011, our trade deficit with China was almost $300 billion dollars. That is the single highest deficit that one country has had with another… ever.
10) A stunning amount spent on stupid studies like Why do chimps throw their poop? – Almost $600,000 of your tax dollars was sent to the folks who studied chimpanzee poop tossing, plus $198,195 paid to find out if “tweeting” makes people happy… It’s all HERE.
Full list by Senator Tom Coburn: http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=b69a6ebd-7ebe-41b7-bb03-c25a5e194365
Eugene Robinson, Miami Herald: Drones – Rules?
“…Drones are a subject on which the far left and the far right can agree.
“In fact, they do.
“Here’s quote no. 1: “Rules must be put in place to ensure that we can enjoy the benefits of this new technology without bringing us closer to a ‘surveillance society’ in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities.”
“Now quote no. 2: “Flying over our homes, farms, ranches and businesses and spying on us while we conduct our everyday lives is not an example of protecting our rights. It is an example of violating them . . . When I have friends over for a barbecue, the government drone is not on the invitation list.”
“The first quote is from the American Civil Liberties Union. The second is from an op-ed written by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
“The Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile, is “working to ensure the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems” into U.S. airspace, according to an announcement in May. Dozens of federal, state and local agencies have applied for permission to operate drones; some are already doing so, although it is unclear how many robot aircraft are in use and for what purposes.
“The FAA is trying to streamline the authorization process for agencies that want to fly drones. This is one case, however, in which we need more good old-fashioned bureaucratic inertia and inefficiency. That would give us time to have a much-needed debate…”
Jason Koebler, US News: Court Upholds Domestic Drone Use in Arrest of American Citizen
“A North Dakota court has preliminarily upheld the first-ever use of an unmanned drone to assist in the arrest of an American citizen.
A judge denied a request to dismiss charges Wednesday against Rodney Brossart, a man arrested last year after a 16-hour standoff with police at his Lakota, N.D., ranch. Brossart’s lawyer argued that law enforcement’s “warrantless use of [an] unmanned military-like surveillance aircraft” and “outrageous governmental conduct” warranted dismissal of the case, according to court documents obtained by U.S. News.
“District Judge Joel Medd wrote that ‘there was no improper use of an unmanned aerial vehicle’ and that the drone ‘appears to have had no bearing on these charges being contested here,’ according to the documents…”
Steve Contorno, Washington Examiner: VA Won’t Investigate Lists of Dead Pets
“Virginia election officials decided Monday to not take action against a D.C. group that sent voter registration cards to dead people, children and pets and prompted calls for an investigation from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“The Virginia Board of Elections said it was already working with the Voter Participation Center to improve the group’s registration practices so ineligible voters would not be targeted in the future.
“Romney’s campaign recently called for an investigation of the group, which targeted minorities and young voters when it sent out 200,000 registration cards. The campaign said it was satisfied with the board’s decision…”
Gordon Chang, World Affairs: China’s Great Leap Backward
“As April passed into May this year, one electrifying story replaced another in the consciousness of the Chinese public. The first involved a ruthless official struggling for control of the ruling Communist Party and the second a solitary activist who, without this being his stated intention, challenged the one-party state from below. Soon, the two narratives began to merge, posing a threat of the first order to China’s increasingly fragile political system.
“During the night of April 22nd, Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights advocate, climbed over walls and made his way through a heavy security cordon that had, for nineteen months, illegally ringed his home, where he had been confined, beaten, and denied medical treatment. In the following days, he traveled almost four hundred miles to the Chinese capital over closely watched highways, moved from safe house to safe house, uploaded a YouTube challenge to the country’s premier, and somehow managed to get past Chinese guards into an American diplomatic compound…
“…Chinese policy is defaulting to positions that military leaders favor, and Beijing’s noted belligerence, especially evident since the end of 2009, looks like it is largely the result of generals and admirals playing more prominent roles in decisionmaking.
“Just as Bo Xilai and his opponents are tearing the party apart from the top, activists like Chen Guangcheng are challenging it from below. Athough Chen in particular had no apparent intention to roil the regime, he has inadvertently done precisely that by creating a controversy—and one more issue for ambitious leaders to fight over. In early May, he left the American Embassy saying he wanted to stay in China, but security officials immediately threatened him and his family, and those threats helped convince him to change his mind and seek safety in the US. The Chinese government then split, with the Foreign Ministry believing he should be given quick permission to go and the Ministry of State Security determined to keep him in the country.
“The internal disputes will not end now that Chen has left China…”
Ed Husain, CFR: Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria
Dana Loesch mentioned yesterday that the Free Syria Army approached American contacts and said they would get help from Al Qaeda if the US did not supply it…
“The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime’s superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now…”
Breitbart Videos: #WAR
“Andrew Breitbart is, and always will be irreplaceable. But he left behind a legacy that continues to inspire, and a road map for anybody willing to seek out the truth. In honor of Andrew, we are proud to present a brand new weekly feature entitled #WAR, where we will choose a video that reminds us all of the unique and powerful ways in which he chose to fight for all that he believed, in an effort to level the playing field such that more voices could be heard.
“The first installment of #WAR features exclusive and never seen before footage shot in February 2010 at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville…”