DOMESTIC: Cruz – defund; Erickson – Be challenged; York – GOP can’t defund it; WSJ – Inequality prez; Simon – Dem war on women; Gardiner – BO flops; NRO – Privatize student loans; McNally – UK single-payer horror; Erickson – Ephialtes & GOP; Hymowitz – Huma; Klein – Huma.
NSA: Sternstein – NSA 7 times Pentagon; Fischler – Hse OK NSA funds; Sanchez – Why they want your phone records; Johnson – White House wake-up; Howerton – Issa finds another scandal.
VOTER ID: Barrett – Holder targets TX; Liptak & Savage – Limit TX ballot rules; Strauss – Holder’s contempt.
COMMON CORE: Yurchak – Act!
DETROIT: Morrissey – Detroit looms over BO.
IMMIGRATION: Rand Paul – Reform; Boyle – Menendez for “Coounference”; Boyle – Attacks on Steve King.
MIDDLE EAST: Douglas & Allam – Hse limited $ for Syria.
PA – Boehm – Act 4y failure
END NOTE: Roger Simon – free condoms.
“Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine a Mayor Anthony Weiner consoling someone’s teenage daughter with a hug after the next 9/11. Problem? Okay, maybe Comptroller Spitzer will do it.” Roger Simon.
“In fact, if Boehner, Cantor and Carney, among the others who have attacked King, did a quick Google search, they could find a flurry of news reports over recent months and years about how those young illegal aliens under the age of 18 are being used as drug mules.” Matthew Boyle
“While the interest rates are nominally low, the amount that has to be borrowed to cover a semester’s tuition continues to rise. It’s like getting a great deal on financing but paying $200,000 for a Honda Civic. It is a scam. If college administrators were really worried about access to undergraduate education rather than fattening their own compensation packages, they would be supporting initiatives such as Texas governor Rick Perry’s $10,000 bachelor’s-degree project, toward which higher-education professionals have been notably cool if not hostile.” National Review
August 3rd, King of Prussia Rally
RALLY FOR “OVERPASSES TO IMPEACH OBAMA” MULTI-TEA PARTY and 912 RALLY
JOIN US SATURDAY, AUGUST 3 AT NOON – mark your calendar!
RT. 202 AND MALL BLVD. IN KING OF PRUSSIA (location of previous rallies)
1775: Benjamin Franklin became the first postmaster general.
1788: New York became the eleventh state to ratify the Constitution.
1908: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was founded.
1947: President Truman signed legislation creating the Department of Defense, National Security Council, and Central Intelligence Agency.
1948: President Truman signed an executive order ending racial segregation in the U.S. military. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
DOMESTIC . . .
Ted Cruz: Defund ObamaCare
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Defund or Be Challenged”
“Moderate Democrats are retreating from Obamacare, according to the Washington Post. Hospitals are retreating from Obamacare. Americans broadly doubt Obamacare will help them. Consumers in most states won’t see reductions in premiums for their healthcare, contrary to what the Democrats claimed. In fact, there are twenty-seven ways in which Obamacare will increase the costs of your healthcare. In the meantime, Obamacare is costing jobs in Ohio and elsewhere. The restaurant industry is reducing hours of employees and cutting full time workers.
“Why would Republicans keep funding a law that hurts so many people and is so unpopular? Why would they do that?
“Republicans in Congress have a choice this fall with the latest continuing resolution. They can choose to not include funding for the implementation of Obamacare. Negotiate everything, but make that their line in the sand. If the Democrats choose to shut down the government over an unpopular law that hurts people, it is their choice. Republicans should not fund Obamacare.
“Any Republican who chooses to fund Obamacare should be primaried. The advertisements write themselves. Republicans, by voting to fund Obamacare, are putting people out of work, driving up healthcare costs, and hurting families. Republicans are not listening to voters who hate the law if they fund Obamacare.
“Right now in the Senate there are fifteen Republicans who have signed a letter saying they will not vote for any continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. They would rather the Democrats shut down the government than destroy lives by funding this legislation. Call these Senators today and tell them thank you and tell them to hold strong.
|Marco Rubio||Florida||(202) 224-3041|
|James Risch||Idaho||(202) 224-2752|
|Mark Kirk||Illinois||(202) 224-2854|
|Chuck Grassley||Iowa||(202) 224-3744|
|Rand Paul||Kentucky||(202) 224-4343|
|David Vitter||Louisiana||(202) 224-4623|
|Roger Wicker||Mississippi||(202) 224-6253|
|Deb Fischer||Nebraska||(202) 224-6551|
|Jeff Chisea||New Jersey||(202) 224-3224|
|James Inhofe||Oklahoma||(202) 224-4721|
|John Thune||South Dakota||(202) 224-2321|
|John Cornyn||Texas||(202) 224-2934|
|Ted Cruz||Texas||(202) 224-5922|
|Mike Lee||Utah||(202) 224-5444|
|Mike Enzi||Wyoming||(202) 224-3424|
“If your own Republican in the Senate is not on this list call him and ask him to sign Senator Mike Lee’s letter and pledge to refuse funding of Obamacare in the continuing resolution.
“Why would the GOP vote to fund something that harms so many?”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “No, the GOP is not going to defund Obamacare”
“. . . Money to fund Obamacare comes from two sources. A relatively small part of it, including some of the funds used to get the program going, comes from Congress’ regular yearly appropriations. Congress could raise or lower the amounts without changing Obamacare itself. The defund-Obamacare Republicans in the Senate hope to strip out that discretionary funding from a continuing resolution needed to fund the government that Congress will debate in September.
“They know they won’t succeed. Democrats, with 54 votes, have enough to pass anything that requires a simple majority, and won’t have much trouble getting to a filibuster-proof 60 votes, either. “I could count six or seven Republicans who would vote for full funding of the continuing resolution without breaking a sweat,” says one Senate aide who supports defunding. “So they’re going to get to 60.”
“But that’s just the discretionary part of Obamacare. The far bigger portions of the program, including the billions and billions of dollars in subsidies that will start going to Americans on Jan. 1, are mandatory spending, an entitlement funded by an automatic appropriation which is written into law and runs without further congressional action. To change that, Congress would have to change Obamacare.
“In the Senate, that would take 67 votes — the amount needed to overcome a guaranteed presidential veto. If the 46 Senate Republicans voted unanimously to end the Obamacare entitlement, they would have to persuade 21 Democrats to go along.
WSJ: “The Inequality President”
“President Obama made his fourth or fifth, or maybe it’s the seventh or eighth, pivot to the economy on Wednesday, and a revealing speech it was. We counted four mentions of ‘growth’ but ‘inequality’ got five. This goes a long way to explaining why Mr. Obama is still bemoaning the state of the economy five years into his Presidency.
“The President summed up his economic priorities close to the top of his hour-long address. ‘This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics,’ he told his Galesburg, Illinois audience. ‘When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country.’
“Then the heart of the matter: ‘That’s why reversing these trends must be Washington’s highest priority. It’s certainly my highest priority.’
“Which is the problem. For four and a half years, Mr. Obama has focused his policies on reducing inequality rather than increasing growth. The predictable result has been more inequality and less growth. As even Mr. Obama conceded in his speech, the rich have done well in the last few years thanks to a rising stock market, but the middle class and poor have not. The President called his speech ‘A Better Bargain for the Middle Class,’ but no President has done worse by the middle class in modern times. . .”
Roger Simon, PJM: “The Democratic Party’s War on Women”
“When I was a kid growing up in fifties Manhattan, if my mother had told me there would be a flasher running for mayor of New York, my mouth would have dropped open. Flashers were those guys I was supposed to run away from in Central Park.
“But now we have Anthony Weiner, a flasher of the Internet sort, who exposes himself to random women online, before and after having apologized publicly for it, actually (as of this writing) still campaigning for mayor of our biggest city and financial center.
“Weiner is no mere adulterer as described by Flaubert, Tolstoy and thousands of lesser writers. Or even a compulsive womanizer à la Bill Clinton. He is a genuine weirdo, straight out of the pages of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, the kind that really do jump out of the bushes in public parks.
“Making this even more bizarre, his wife, Huma Abedin, appears to be standing by him in the face of this immense public humiliation.
“Why she may be doing that, I will discuss in a moment, but it’s worth noting that Weiner is not alone among prominent Democrats these days in his assaults on women. . . “
Nile Gardiner, UK Telegraph: “Barack Obama flops in Knox: the president’s speech was a disaster”
“It’s been a rough few weeks for Barack Obama. A wave of scandals has undermined trust in the White House, and a series of major polls has hammered the president in the first year of his second term. Support for Obama has dropped to its lowest level in two years, with widespread public dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this morning showed the president’s approval level at just 45 percent, with 50 percent disapproving. 56 percent of Americans are ‘pessimistic’ or ‘uncertain’ in ‘their feelings about how the president will do during the rest of his term,’ and only 17 percent of Americans surveyed are ‘optimistic.’
“Today’s speech at Knox College, Illinois, was supposed to be the president’s come-back moment, the first of a series of addresses aimed at retaking the initiative by the White House. Instead it was a train-wreck. In an hour-long address, which seemed to last forever (and par for course started 15 minutes late), the president spoke in deeply partisan terms, often with bitterness and anger, lambasting his political opponents, dismissing criticism of his policies, and launching into his favourite theme of class warfare, attacking the wealthy and what he calls the “winner takes all economy.” In a display of extraordinary arrogance (even by his standards), he condemned what he called “an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals,” a direct reference to the Congressional investigations into the IRS and Benghazi scandals, which most Americans don’t see as phony. He also defended his increasingly unpopular Obamacare proposals, attacking what he calls “a politically-motivated misinformation campaign,” while failing to acknowledge that moderate Democrats are ‘steadily turning against Obamacare’ as The Washington Post reported today.
“This was a highly defensive speech, with President Obama in full campaign mode . . .”
NRO: “Privatize Student Loans”
Government aid hikes tuition, eighty percent of freshmen are unprepared for or incapable of college work, and college becomes an expensive place to be for four or five years.
“A bipartisan group of senators has signed off on a compromise bill that will keep the interest rates on student loans from going up significantly this fall. The bill would tie the interest rates on college loans to those on U.S. Treasury bonds, an improvement to the extent that it links the cost of borrowing to something other than political expediency, but undesirable in that it keeps Congress actively engaged in the college-loan racket.
“And a racket it is. . .”
Mike McNally, PJM: “Britain’s Single-Payer Horror Show: Report Details NHS Body Count”
“British politicians used to boast that the National Health Service was — and some left-wing holdouts maintain it still is — “the envy of the world.”
These days, beset by scandal after scandal and facing spiraling costs, the NHS would be lucky to attract a covetous glance from an accident-prone Somali, and any U.S. conservative who doubts the urgency of stopping Obamacare before it can be fully implemented would do well to pay attention to the disaster unfolding across the pond.
“A report released last week revealed that as many as 13,000 patients may have died unnecessarily in NHS hospitals between 2005 and 2012.
“The investigation discovered appalling standards of care, with patients being left without food and water, forced to lie in soiled beds, and left in ambulances because there were no beds available. The report further accused hospital staff of being more focused on meeting government-imposed targets than on patient care.
“To make matters worse, standards were allowed to slip so dramatically because the watchdog tasked with monitoring the performance of NHS hospitals — the Care Quality Commission — covered up incidents of its employees failing to spot problems or to investigate complaints; they even used gagging orders to silence potential whistleblowers. . .”
Erick Erickson, Red State: “The Ephialtes Establishment in the Republican Party”
“I can see how the GOP loses in November of 2014. The establishment and base have moved so far apart the base is about ready to go third party or sit at home. If the GOP does not make a stand against Obamacare, they will not see the energy they need to effectively compete in 2014.
“Let me explain what is happening and what will happen.
“Karl Rove’s Crossroads group commissioned a poll by North Star Opinion Research. The poll found most Americans do not want the GOP to block ‘health care reform.’ That’s right, Crossroads repeatedly called Obamacare ‘the healthcare reform law’ and was shocked to find people oppose stopping reform. Go figure.
“But that poll has been circulated to Republican leaders and they have soiled themselves over it. That is why Mitch McConnell will not support Mike Lee’s strategy to draw a line in the sand against funding Obamacare. That is why John Cornyn withdrew his name from Mike Lee’s letter. That is why Richard Burr of North Carolina calls defunding Obamacare “stupid.”
“These men are about power, not principle. They’ve chosen to let polls lead them instead of leading people.
“Already, Byron York is out with a piece saying the GOP will not defund Obamacare. Next we will most likely see Kim Strassle [sic] of the Wall Street Journal write one of her semi-regular hit pieces on Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and the rest of the conservatives who want to stand their ground.
“Then we will see Jenn Rubin begin another hyperbole laden attack on Jim DeMint and Ted Cruz.
“The actual editorial page of the Wall Street Journal will chime in to yet again attack the Hobbits for daring to stand on principles. The Democrats will then dangle the shiny object of the Keystone Pipeline before the GOP. Like dogs scrambling for scraps at the table, the GOP will take it and their editorial friends will hail this as a grand bargain worth taking. Pay no attention to Obamacare being implemented.
“We have seen this before. The GOP leadership will cave and dazzle the base with shiny objects. They will then send out fundraising letters in courier type telling you to stand with them and send them money if you want Obamacare defunded.
“Leonidas and three hundred Spartans held the pass at Thermopylae against overwhelming Persian odds until Ephialtes betrayed them and led the Persians on a path around. . .”
Kay Hymowitz, NRO: “The Huma Craze”
Huma comes from Muslim traditions and she retains ties with Hillary and the Brotherhood . . .
“. . . Huma’s appeal to media bigwigs like Brown goes far beyond compassion. Even before she became Mrs. Carlos Danger, she was a star. CNN’s Dana Bash said ‘she is almost like Madonna or Cher here in Washington.’ Bash doesn’t have her simile quite right; Huma is Kennedy glamour resurrected. She brings exotic beauty and a hint of Oxbridge intelligence — and of course cosmopolitan liberalism — to a town full of heartland men in ill-fitting brown suits and southern women in fire-engine-red blazers. Even during this Hell Week, Huma has managed to project such an unusual combination of elegance, composure, and vulnerability à la Jackie that it was tempting to take her laughable plea for privacy at face value.
“And so many influential fans found reasons to applaud what they would have scorned in a woman with different politics and hair. . .”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “THE EXPLOSIVE SECRET HUMA IS HIDING. Media ignore radical ties of wife standing by her man”
“. . . As WND reported last August, a manifesto commissioned by the ruling Saudi Arabian monarchy places the work of an institute that employed Abedin at the forefront of a grand plan to mobilize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a Saudi-style Islamic state, according to Arabic-language researcher Walid Shoebat.
“Abedin was an assistant editor for a dozen years for the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs for the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs. The institute – founded by her late father and currently directed by her mother – is backed by the Muslim World League, an Islamic organization in the Saudi holy city of Mecca that was founded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
“The 2002 Saudi manifesto shows that ‘Muslim Minority Affairs’ – the mobilizing of Muslim communities in the U.S. to spread Islam instead of assimilating into the population – is a key strategy in an ongoing effort to establish Islamic rule in America and a global Shariah, or Islamic law, ‘in our modern times.’
“WND reported Abedin also was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Student Association, which was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in a 1991 document introduced into evidence during the terror-financing trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation.
“At her father’s Saudi-financed Islamic think tank, WND reported, Abedin worked alongside Abdullah Omar Naseef, who is accused of financing al-Qaida fronts. . .”
NSA . . .
Aliya Sternstein, Defense One: “The NSA’s New Spy Facilities are 7 Times Bigger than the Pentagon”
“. . . In May, crews broke ground on a $792 million computing center at the agency’s headquarters near Baltimore that will complement the Utah site. Together the Utah center and Maryland’s 28-acre computer farm span 228 acres—more than seven times the size of the Pentagon.
“During an interview with Government Executive in June, amid the uproar over leaked details of NSA’s domestic espionage activities, Davis describes the 200-acre Utah facility as very transparent: “Only brick and mortar.” A data center just provides energy and chills machines, he says. “
Jacob Fischler, BuzzFeed: “House Shoots Down Amendment to Ban Funding For NSA Surveillance Programs”
“The House voted down an amendment Wednesday to its version of the Department of Defense’s 2014 budget that would have banned funding to NSA surveillance programs such as PRISM by a slim 12 vote margin.
“The amendment, the first major legislative test since the once secret programs were made public by Edward Snowden, was defeated 205-217..
Initially proposed by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) the amendment sought to ban any funds from the Department of Defense’s 2014 budget from being directed to the NSA for surveillance of anyone not actually under investigation by law.
“As the two minute vote ran out of time on the floor, House Speaker John Boehner was heard just off the House floor saying loudly, “I like all those no votes.” In an unusual move for any House speaker, especially on an amendment, Boehner voted No
The amendment had support and opposition from both sides of the aisle. Michigan Democrat John Conyers introduced the bill along with Amash. There were more than 40 co-sponsors of the bill, including some of the House’s most liberal and most conservative representatives. . .”
Julian Sanchez, The Blaze: “Why the NSA Collecting Your Phone Records Is a Problem”
A Democrat data base?
“Some stress that what is being collected is “just metadata”—a phrase I’m confident you’ll never see a computer scientist or data analyst use. Metadata—the transactional records of information about phone and Internet communications, as opposed to their content—can be incredibly revealing, as the recent story about the acquisition of Associated Press phone logs underscores. Those records, as AP head Gary Pruitt complained, provide a comprehensive map of reporters’ activities, telling those who know how to look what stories journalists are working on and who their confidential sources are. Metadata can reveal what Websites you read, who you communicate with, which political or religious groups you’re affiliated with, even your physical location.
“In a way, the ground was prepared for this indiscriminate collection of Americans’ data way back in the 1970s, when the Supreme Court held, implausibly, that we surrender our expectation of privacy—and with it, the protection of the Fourth Amendment—just by using modern technology that leaves traces of our activity on someone else’s computers. But Americans were also sold a false bill of goods when Congress passed and reauthorized the Patriot Act powers used here—which we were repeatedly assured were only intended to be used to track “bad guys.” What we weren’t told was that, if the government thinks datamining ALL our records might help identify ‘bad guys,’ then that information too is ‘relevant’ to an investigation. . .”
Full list of how they voted: (Gerlach was a ‘no’)
Bridget Johnson, PJM: “House NSA Vote ‘A Wake-Up Call for the White House,’ Says Senate Dem”
“The House shot down in a surprisingly narrow, bipartisan vote a defunding of NSA surveillance activities offered by a maverick Tea Party GOP congressman and a veteran Democratic stalwart.
“And though the Senate was occupied passing a student-loan interest rate compromise Wednesday afternoon, the significance of the pitched battle in the lower chamber was not lost on its members.
“The amendment to the defense appropriations bill offered by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) failed 205-217 — a margin that one Democrat said put the White House on notice about the National Security Agency programs unveiled by contractor Edward Snowden.
“National security is of paramount importance, yet the NSA’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records violates innocent Americans’ privacy rights and should not continue as its exists today,” Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said after the vote. . .”
Jason Howerton, The Blaze: “Darrell Issa Reveals Yet another Potential Obama Administration Scandal: That’s ‘Against the Law’”
“U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials ordered subordinates not to talk to congressional investigators about their investigation into illicit hiring practices and related whistleblower retaliation allegations, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darell Issa (R-Calif.).
“Issa, in a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, revealed that the deputy secretary of energy issued a gag order following the release of a highly critical inspector general report last week.
“The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a division of the DOE, allegedly violated DOE hiring guidelines in a manner than disadvantaged military veterans, according to the scathing IG report.
“The BPA employees who cooperated with the IG’s investigation were fired, suspended or disciplined in other ways, the report found.
“Further, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman ‘verbally instructed Elliot Mainzer, the individual [Poneman] chose to serve as acting administrator of BPA, that no BPA employees were to talk with anyone regarding these allegations, including congressional investigators,’ Issa wrote in a July 17 letter.
“Issa went on to warn that ‘obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime.’”
VOTER ID . . .
Devlin Barrett, WSJ: “Holder Targets Texas in New Voting-Rights Push”
Thx Ted! This very likely connects with Democrat data bases . . .
“The Obama administration moved to retain some oversight of the way states conduct elections after the Supreme Court invalidated part of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, setting up a new fight with Republican governors.
“Attorney General Eric Holder said he would use surviving parts of voting-rights law to continue scrutinizing states to see if they are making it harder for minorities to vote. Devlin Barrett reports. Photo: AP.
“The legal strategy, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday, is directed initially at Texas’ voting procedures, but it promises to have much broader impact: The action in Texas, Mr. Holder said, “will not be our last.” Other states expected to receive Justice Department scrutiny include South Carolina, North Carolina and Alaska.
“On Thursday, the Justice Department asked a panel of judges in San Antonio to order continued scrutiny of the state’s voting rules and operations, following the Supreme Court ruling in June that effectively nullified what had been a requirement for the state to seek federal approval of any changes.
“In an announcement that drew strong criticism from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Republicans in other states, the attorney general said the Justice Department would invoke a little-used section of the law as a replacement measure for the one the Supreme Court struck down. . .”
Liptak & Savage, NYT: “U.S. Asks Court to Limit Texas on Ballot Rules”
“WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday moved to protect minority voters after last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a central part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Justice Department asking a court to require Texas to get permission from the federal government before making changes.
“In a speech before the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the request would be the first of several legal salvos from the administration in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision. ‘My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal,’ he said, ‘to stand against such discrimination wherever it is found.’
“Last month’s ruling, Shelby County v. Holder, did away with a requirement that Texas and eight other states, mostly in the South, get permission from the Justice Department or a federal court before changing election procedures. . . “
Daniel Strauss, The Hill: “Rick Perry: Holder showing ‘utter contempt’ for Constitution”
“Attorney General Eric Holder’s move to require that Texas seek federal approval before changing its voting laws shows an ‘utter contempt’ for the Constitution, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Thursday.
“‘Once again, the Obama administration is demonstrating utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution,’ Perry said in a statement.
“’This end-run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process.’ . . .”
COMMON CORE . . .
Jo Yurchak: “Please read and inform yourselves. It is IMPORTANT!!!”
Jo has more information in pdf or doc formats. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I have attached some educational information on Common Core, an initiative which is already being implemented, and which many knowledgeable individuals fear will result in federal control of our educational system. I strongly urge every taxpayer, parent, grandparent — EVERYONE — to inform yourselves of this very disturbing initiative. Some of the information focuses on PA, but most of it applies to other states as well. I have provided a great deal of documentation in the attached information but would like to note just a few points. There are MANY others – just as important — that are included in the attachment.
“The cost of implementing the Common Core Standards (CCS) will be high and result in huge unfunded mandates. Estimates for the cost of implementing CCS in PA alone over the next seven years is approximately $650 MILLION. (Remember, this is at a time when Pennsylvania is facing a severe pension crisis.) Ongoing costs of execution are expected to be high as well.
“Incredibly and inexcusably, this very expensive and transformational initiative has not been field-tested or validated. There is no empirical evidence that this costly and transformational initiative will result in better learning outcomes.
“The PA legislature was completely bypassed when PA signed on to the CCS in 2010.
Although proponents deny it, there is no question that the CCS initiative will effectively hand the key to our schools to the Feds, resulting in the states and local school boards having little control over the education of our students.
Although the CCS is being implemented NOW, it is still possible to stop this initiative if our legislature acts. The state of Indiana has put it on “pause” and concern from citizens on both sides of the aisle is growing nationwide. A few states such as Texas refused to sign on to it in the first place, citing major concerns that it would wrest control from the states and give it to the federal government (which is exactly what will happen).
There is a multitude of reasons for opposing the Common Core Standards initiative. These are discussed thoroughly, and in detail, in the attachment. Among other things, I wrote the following to my State Senator and State Representative:
“I think it is essential that CCS implementation be halted immediately until proper hearings are held to determine the pros and cons of the CCS for our educational system in PA, and until a comprehensive fiscal impact study is done. Then, and only then, should our legislators determine whether this initiative should be implemented. I would hope, however, that our elected officials are savvy enough to realize that the Feds have a proven track record of ineptitude when they take control. A clear-cut example staring us in the face is the disastrous fallout that we are currently experiencing from the federal takeover of our health care system — a direct result of incompetent auto-bureau-crats in DC who, in their rush to pass the Affordable Care Act, did not bother to read or understand it, ignored consequences, and vastly underestimated costs. It is infinitely better for parents, teachers and local school boards to make these important decisions for our students and is essential that our legislature reject the one-size-fits all approach that the federally-controlled standards will mandate. If our state legislators, after consulting with educational experts (particularly practicing teachers) determine that more rigorous standards and accountabilities are necessary, these should be developed at the STATE level, with advice from local districts.
It is unfathomable that our legislators would be so short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible as to allow the implementation of a massive and costly federally controlled educational initiative such as the CCS when there is no empirical evidence that it will improve our educational system and learning outcomes, and when there is almost a 100% certainly that it will result in massive unfunded mandates and huge fiscal burdens for our taxpayers. I strongly urge you to do everything within your power to reject the CCS for PA and stop their implementation indefinitely.”
Phone: (717) 787-2500 Fax: (717) 772-8284
E-Mail: Governor@pa.gov Twitter: @GovernorCorbett
Governor Corbett’s Chief of Staff, Stephen Aichele:
Lt. Governor Jim Cawley
Your State Representative and State Senator:
Contact information for your state legislators (representative and senator) can be obtained by (1) accessing the web site: www.legis.state.pa.us/, (2) clicking on the address link of Who’s My Legislator, (3) typing in your home address on the web site, and clicking on “Go.”
DETROIT . . .
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air: “Specter of Detroit looms over Obama’s new PR campaign on economy”
“And that is largely Barack Obama’s own fault. Two years ago, on another of his short-lived pivots to the economy and jobs, Obama held up Motor City as an example of the comeback of the American economy after three-plus years of his policies, especially his stimulus programs and the bailout of GM and Chrysler. National Journal’s Major Garrett points out the similarities between Obama’s PR campaign in 2011 and now, with Detroit’s collapse as the backdrop:
‘But Obama’s 2011 speech described a Detroit that can only be described as a myth wrapped in a wish inside a dream.
“This is a city that’s been to heck and back,” Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.”
Obama referenced “tough choices” made to bail out GM and Fiat-Chrysler and also hailed the birth of a new wave of high-tech employment. “We said American workers could manufacture the best products in the world. So we invested in high-tech manufacturing and we invested in clean energy,” he said. “And right now, there’s an advanced-battery industry taking root here in Michigan that barely existed before.”
The biggest factory in this supposed new trend, Massachusetts-based A123 Systems, had plans to employ 5,900 workers nationwide to build lithium-ion batteries. In Detroit, A123 Systems never employed more than 1,000. The Energy Department awarded A123 Systems a $249 million grant to boost production. It filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and was still receiving DOE largesse. A judge approved the bankruptcy in 2013.
In other words, the Detroit-area advanced-battery industry Obama said “barely existed before” his 2011 speech now … barely exists.
Obama also saluted the White House decision to make Detroit one of its six pilot cities in the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” program.
“‘We’re teaming up with everybody—mayors, local officials, you name it—boosting economic development, rebuilding your communities the best way,’ Obama said. ‘This is a city where the great American industry has come back to life and the industries of tomorrow are taking root.’
“The biggest accomplishment of this program in Detroit is the demolition of a public housing project. There are also hopes, diminished by the bankruptcy proceedings, of building a $100 million light-rail line. Other ‘accomplishments’ include a ‘text my bus’ system ‘to provide more reliable information on transportation schedules’—this in a city that has lost half its bus service since 2005 and where budget cuts have eliminated overnight service. The ‘Strong Cities, Strong Communities’ program also envisions the possible development of a regional transportation authority for Detroit.
“With public housing being demolished, a text system for late or nonexistent bus service, and a federally funded lithium-ion battery factory that never met its hyped employment plans and then fell into bankruptcy, does any of this sound like, as Obama said, the foundations of a “city where people, brave and bold, courageous and clever, are dreaming up ways to prove the skeptics wrong and write the next proud chapter in our history”?
“Not hardly. . .”
IMMIGRATION . . .
Rand Paul: National ID/Immigration “Reform”
“President Obama’s NSA was recently caught spying, collecting, and storing data on virtually every American citizen.
And some are now saying the “ObamaCare” database may end up being even worse.
But I’m afraid the worst spying and data collection scheme of them all could turn out to be the massive National ID database buried deep within the so-called “Immigration Reform Bill.”
By John Tate:
“Like the monster in a bad horror movie, the National ID scheme refuses to stay dead. . .
“In the days after the U.S. Senate RAMMED through their so-called ‘Immigration Reform’ monstrosity – including a massive National ID scheme – many U.S. Representatives described the bill as ‘Dead on Arrival’ in the House.
“When I first heard those words, I couldn’t help but think those predictions sounded too good to be true!
“Today, you and I know they were.
“Like mad scientists, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte are working to revive the National ID scheme.
“That’s why it’s critical you help me turn up the heat on the U.S. House before it’s too
late by signing your “No National ID/No Database” Directive IMMEDIATELY.”
Matthew Boyle, Big Govt: “Menendez: ‘Conference’ Will Get Amnesty Past House GOP”
“Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate’s ‘Gang of Eight,’ told liberal activists at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on Wednesday how the Democrats plans to enact amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants: Get the House to pass whatever immigration bills it likes, then go to “conference” with the Senate bill.
“ ‘Get us to a conference,’ Menendez pleaded with the liberal activists, according to Slate’s Dave Weigel. ‘In a conference, we can negotiate the notion of bringing all those bills together and get to common ground.’
“As Breitbart News reported this weekend, conservatives fear that House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and other members of GOP leadership, will use a conference committee, either advertently or inadvertently, to pass an amnesty.
In conference, representatives for House GOP leadership would negotiate with Senate Democratic leadership, and possibly the White House, on what they would call a ‘compromise’ on immigration reform. Conservatives worry that the legislation that would come out of conference would look more like the Senate bill than not or, worse, potentially be exactly the same as the Senate bill. . .”
Matthew Boyle, Big Govt: “Exclusive: White House, GOP Leadership Ignore Facts to Attack Steve King”
“President Barack Obama’s White House Press Secretary Jay Carney joined House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner in making an inaccurate attack on Rep. Steve King (R-IA) over comments he made about efforts to grant amnesty to illegal aliens who entered America illegally while they were still minors.
In an interview with NewsMax published last week, King had pointed out that some minor illegal aliens are good people, but many are criminals too.
“Some of them are valedictorians — and their parents brought them in,” King said in that Newsmax interview. “It wasn’t their fault. It’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents.”
“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King added in the Newsmax interview. “Those people would be legalized with the same act.”
“The political establishment has seized King’s comments as an opportunity to try to paint him as unfair to immigrants. . .”
MIDDLE EAST . . .
Douglas & Allam, McClatchy: “With little argument, House limits U.S. military involvement in Syria, Egypt”
“WASHINGTON — With little argument, the House of Representatives approved measures Wednesday that would prevent the Obama administration from spending money on U.S. military operations in Syria without consulting Congress and would forbid funding U.S. military or paramilitary operations in Egypt.
“The measures, part of the House’s $598 billion defense bill, were supposed to be contentious issues exposing bipartisan rifts between interventionists who want to give Obama a free hand in dealing with the civil war in Syria and unrest in Egypt and war-weary lawmakers concerned that U.S. troops will be dragged into more military actions.
“But both amendments were approved on voice votes with only scant dissent. . .”
PA . . .
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Pennsylvania needs to reassess Act 47 program, expert says”
HARRISBURG – A new report on state interventions in municipal finances suggests Pennsylvania’s aggressive but reactive approach to dealing with distressed cities should be re-examined.
Pennsylvania’s program for distressed municipalities – known as ‘Act 47’ – was created in 1987. Since then, 26 municipalities have entered the recovery program, but only six have successfully exited.
Some may never get out.
“Certainly, with that batting average, it deserves some additional reassessment of the program,” said Kil Huh, a researcher for the Pew Charitable Trusts who examines state and local government financing.
State lawmakers are in the midst of overhauling Act 47. A task force consisting of members from the General Assembly and local government lobbying groups is expected to deliver recommendations by the end of the year.
Under Act 47, municipalities become eligible for state aid and must craft a state-approved fiscal recovery plan. The state can appoint an adviser to guide financial decisions, as it has done in the state capitol of Harrisburg, if the city government is unable or unwilling to agree on a recovery plan.
Pennsylvania is one of the most aggressive states in the nation when it comes to responding to municipal problems, Huh said.
But the model is light on measures to keep towns and cities from falling into distress in the first place. . .”
END NOTE . . .
Roger Simon, PJM
“I guess as long as these guys vote for free government condoms, everything’s okay.”