MIKE FOLMER – Common Core Hearings; STILES: Educate GERLACH; Exempt America Rally.
ERICKSON – The Street Sweeper; HANSON – American Satyricon; HANSON – Democracy’s dog days.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST: Phillips – Palestinian mortgages; Fisk – BO on alQ’s side; BBC – Russia/china warn; Hannan – failure of Arab Spring.
DOMESTIC: McCarthy – Impeachment; Langley – TEA returns; Rizzo – Christie endorsed Lonegan; Pappas – Jarrett’s earpiece; Hinderacker -Holder sues Jindal; Darcy – Lawless White House; Sheppard – Whites; Blake – FBI blew Ft. hood; Munoz – EPA fraud; DC Examiner – Blue taxes; McTague – Beating tuition.
NSA: Apuzzo – Data on 38K; Marcus – benefit of doubt fades; Gabbatt – Willful violations; Guardian – Surveillance & the state; Noonan – Sullen paranoids.
GOOGLE: MacAskill – NSA paid millions; Alexander – Spied on lovers.
HEALTH CARE: Steyn – Hierarchy of privilege; Strassel – Stall; Levin – going, going, Gone; Jones – Immigration bill boosts OCare; Schow – Wheels fall off.
PA: Daniels – Diverse GOP youngsters; Boehm – Redistricted boredom.
END NOTES: Pruden – Climate fraud.
“Our elites would be right at home in Petronius’s world of debauchery and bored melodrama.” Victor Davis Hanson
““Perhaps all of the finger wagging over Miley Cyrus getting more attention than Syria could be solved by dropping her on Damascus?” Jonah Goldberg
“This isn’t a game. This isn’t a joke. We saw what happened in 1979 when the feckless Jimmy Carter decided his own smug sense of morality trumped common sense realism and allowed the mullahs to take over Iran. Weakness and indecisiveness didn’t win us any friends. They never will. The mullahs hate us. They, unlike us, are serious. They want us defeated. And for 34 years they have done things consistent with defeating us, right up to and including building nuclear weapons while we do nothing.”
Kurt Schlichter (Thx Ted!)
Thursday, Aug 29th Mike Folmer: Common Core Hearings
Keystone Exams, Common Core to be topics of Education Committee Hearings
“On Thursday, August 29, at 9:30 a.m., in Hearing Room One of the Capitol’s North Office Building, the Committee will hold a public hearing on Common Core as it relates to the Pennsylvania Core Standards. (The State Board of Education recently released proposed revisions to the Chapter 4 regulations that, among other things, will change the name from Pennsylvania Common Core Standards to Pennsylvania Core Standards.)
“This is the second hearing the Committee has held on Common Core. This hearing will focus on getting answers to Common Core questions from the state Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.
“Given the interest in Common Core, I invite all interested parties to submit questions on the issue through the Education Committee’s website. I, along with other Committee members, will then ask the questions to Department officials at the hearing. The deadline to submit questions is Wednesday, August 21.
“Both hearings will be available to watch live on my website.”
See Kyle Olson, Town Hall: “Media Matters Calls Common Core an Obama Administration Education Initiative” http://townhall.com/columnists/kyleolson/2013/08/22/media-matters-calls-common-core-an-obama-administration-education-initiative-n1669929?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl
Paula Stiles: Meetings with Gerlach
“Defund ObamaCare before it defunds you” Dr. Marty.
From CAF: Contact your representative, whether it be Congressman Pitts, Meehan or Gerlach and implore them to “Defund via the CR”. They will be going back to Washington soon and they need to know how strongly we feel about this.
Congressman Joe Pitts
202-225-2411 or 610-444-4581
Congressman Patrick Meehan
202-225-2011 or 610-690-7933
Congressman James Gerlach
202-225-4315 or 610-594-1415
“It will be from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at his office in Lionville. The address is 111 East Uwchlan Avenue, (aka Rte. 113, just north of Rte. 100) Exton, PA 19341
PLEASE BRING SIGNS about OCare Facts!!!!!!!!!!!!
“If you are tired of the lies and arrogance of these people, we need to stand up to them. We are planning to have an “educational rally” for the Congressman’s constituents outside his office on Saturday, September 7th. We need as many people possible to have signs informing his constituents that he is not what he says he is. If we get enough people, I will be contacting the news press. The lies and arrogance needs to stop and it needs to stop now. They are not worried about our country, they are worried about the next election.
Let me know asap if you can attend. I will be keeping a list and giving updates prior to the rally. PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!!
Thank you. . . Paula Stiles, Chesco Patriots
“Three Patriots went into Congressman Gerlach’s office two Friday’s ago and here is the assessment they took back from the meeting.
1. Gerlach is scared to death to shut down the government. It was pointed out that this would not be a tragedy, this would not be the first time the government was shut down, to the murmurs of we are not going to shut down the government. He was so worried about SS, Medicare and Medicaid recipients. It was pointed out to him that this would still happen, and he insisted that it wouldn’t. This question was a response for him to sign onto defunding Obamacare.
2. He insisted that he is FOR getting rid of Obamacare by his votes to repeal it. Actions speak louder than words; when push comes to shove, he does not have the conviction to absolutely defund this abomination.
3. Jim Gerlach was directly asked the question about what the Congress would do to nullify the fact that Congress and the Federal Employees will not have to submit to this atrocity called Obamacare, while the little people get to pay for it. He had no response. In other words, for Thee but not for Me. He does not care that we will be strapped to pay for him, his staff, his family, the IRS employees, etc.
4. Gerlach insisted that the House could NOT defund Obamacare without shutting down the government. It was pointed out that this could be done, and his response was a
call to REVIEW our Civics Class. I felt that this was a demeaning tactic by our Representative; the inference was that the group was ill informed.
5. AMNESTY was another topic discussed. The HOUSE will be putting forth their OWN BILLS. It was suggested that the House ignore the Senate Bill and do nothing.
Our BLEEDING HEART Representative wants to LEGALIZE ALL the children here through no fault of their own. No mention of those who crossed the border illegally to get here
and get to remain. His response is that we must do something…here we go again, we get to pay for it!!!! I requested that we not allow them to remain, see the legal ruling
of Obama’s DREAM ACT, it is not lawful. He WILL NOT deport 20 million people. We don’t have the resources. I pointed out that it would be more cost effective to return
them and the citizens would support this measure. I also pointed out that Eisenhower deported illegals during his administration for the same reasons, high unemployment
and out own citizens out of work. It was also mentioned that this only serves big business and will hurt our own people since they will not be required under OBAMACARE.
He wants to increase WORK VISAS thereby keeping the underclass intact.
6. It was also pointed out that there are entire departments in the Government which could be eliminated, Dept of Ed, Energy, IRS, etc. He agreed that this will never happen.
7. A FLAT Tax would take care of the IRS. His proposal is to create 2 tax levels. Didn’t we see how much the Republicans have cut our TAXES! I don’t know about you,
but I have not seen any tax cuts.
8. It was stated that the Republicans have no guts in fighting for their constituents. “I represent 700,000 people and need to look out for all of them”. Really, did the
Democrats vote for you? What do you stand for, what are your values and principles, what are the values and principles of the Republican Party. My response from Gerlach
is that “I need to be a team player or get out of the committee”. My goal is to get Conservatives elected, but the Party will never allow that. Every Committeeperson who was at the Convention this year saw the “quality” of people put forward…payback political hacks. Gerlach is the ultimate PARTY representative, progressive BIG government.
“Overall this was a disappointing meeting from a Representative who does not espouse what the Republican Party is supposed to stand for. He MUST GO!!!”
9/10/2013: West Chester TEA Party: Exempt America Rally
(from Cris Collopy “ Jim is there a law enforcer’s march in D. C. Sept. 9 th.? I may go against the 10th for exempt rally. Would love to be in D.C. with anti jihad message 11th for Million Man Muslim March. Financle problems may prevent me from doing soooo Another option for me would be Independence Mall the 11th or corner in Phoenixville. If you know anyone I could share rides with. Please give them my phone # 610-792-5357. or email address (CRCollopy@Comcast.net)”
“If you are interested in the rally below, we will try to get a bus load together please respond at RSVP@westchesterteaparty.com
“On Tuesday, September 10th, Tea Party Patriots will partner with numerous other pro-liberty groups to participate in the Exempt America Rally on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, DC at 12pm. This rally is taking place to demand that Congress delay the implementation of Obamacare by refusing to stop spending money on the law.
“The Obama administration has already unilaterally delayed the implementation of the law for Big Business. The IRS union – who is charged with enforcing the law – doesn’t want it, the Teamsters say it will destroy the 40 hour work week, and now Members of Congress and their Staffs have received special protection from the law.
“If this law isn’t good enough for Big Business, Big Labor, or Big Government, then it isn’t good enough for the American people.
“We must take this opportunity to demonstrate to Washington that American people should be Exempt from Obamacare.
“The looming budget fight may be our last chance to stop Obamacare before the January 1st deadline. We will need as large a turnout in Washington as possible. We must show Congress, on their first day back from their summer recess, that they cannot run to DC to hide from the American voters.
“There are many members of Congress that are too afraid to take an actual stand against the oncoming “Train Wreck”. We need to show them that we, the American people, will not let this go without a fight. . . “
Visit the website to find out more details and sign up to let us know you’re coming! . . . http://www.exemptamerica.com/
ERICKSON . . .
Erick Erickson, Red State: “The Street Sweeper”
“August 28, 2013, is the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It is a very good speech. But it is not my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. speech. My favorite is little known and even less remembered. It is a speech no leader in America on a stage such as he commanded would ever think to give. It is a speech about individuals being the best they can be as the beginning of their way in life and finding God as the end.
“King’s ‘Street Sweeper’ speech, which is more properly called ‘The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life’ was a variation of a theme he went back and forth to over the years. He gave this particular speech to New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago, IL, on April 9, 1967.
“It’s common title of ‘The Street Sweeper’ speech comes from this passage:
‘What I’m saying to you this morning, my friends, even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; (Go ahead) sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.’”
HANSON . . .
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “An American Satyricon”
“Sometime in the mid-first century a.d., an otherwise little known consular official, Gaius Petronius, wrote a brilliant satirical novel about the gross and pretentious new Roman-imperial elite. The Satyricon is an often-cruel parody about how the Roman agrarian republic of old had degenerated into a wealth-obsessed, empty society of wannabe new elites, flush with money, and both obsessed with and bored with sex. Most of the Satyricon is lost. But in its longest surviving chapter — “Dinner with Trimalchio” — Petronius might as well have been describing our own 21st-century nomenklatura . . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: “Democracy’s Dog Days”
“We all want democracy to thrive and flourish, but can it?
“The Obama administration was quite pleased that the anti-democratic Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood had come to power through a single plebiscite. That confidence required a great deal of moral blindness, both of the present and past.
“Like other once-elected authoritarians who believe that democracy is similar to a bus route — in the words of Mr. Erdogan of Turkey, once you get to your stop, you get off — Morsi had no intention of fostering the sort of consensual institutions so necessary for republican government. Almost immediately he gave a de facto green light to cleanse the government of his opponents, to Islamicize a once largely secular society, and to persecute religious minorities.
“Like a Hitler, Mussolini, Mugabe, or Hugo Chavez, Morsi was counting on the legitimacy from a once-in-a-lifetime largely free election, and then the use of state power, if not terror, to institutionalize his authoritarian rule. Morsi’s legacy is that he was both a beneficiary of the Arab Spring in Egypt and almost singlehandedly ended it.
“Unfortunately, there seem to be no signs of democracy’s revival elsewhere in the Arab world or, for that matter, all that many recent vibrant examples in the world at large these days.
“In contrast, after the end of the Cold War there was a giddy ‘end of history’ moment. . .”
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST . . .
Judson Phillips, Washington Times: Still more from Obama’s insane spending department”
Phillips might mention that George Bush began a two-pronged strategy – home and business guarantees – for the Palestinians . . .
“WASHINGTON, August 27, 2013 — While civilian members of the Department of Defense are being furloughed, where is our government spending our money?
How about $313 million to fund home mortgages in the West Bank? That is not the West Bank, Illinois. That is the West Bank, Palestine.
“Anytime the word ‘Palestine’ comes up in politics, it is an almost guaranteed fight over the issue of whether that territory belongs to the mythical land of Palestine or is part of Israel. For now that is an argument that can be totally ignored.
“Because American is pouring money we don’t have. We can’t fund tours of the White House and American government workers are being furloughed to save money.
The United States Navy just announced it was scrapping rather than repairing USS Miami because it does not have the money.
“So why is all this money going to the Middle East? . . .”
FLASHBACK: Biden Wanted to Impeach Bush for Attack w/o Congress...
Russia warns 'catastrophic consequences'...
Strikes 'likely to trigger terrorists acts against US, Israel'...
IRAN THREATENS ISRAEL...
WILL BE 'FIRST VICTIM'...
Robert Fisk, UK Independent: “Does Obama know he’s fighting on al-Qa’ida’s side?”
Not for the first time in history . . .
“If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.
“Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.
“The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.
“This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by al-Qa’ida – though they are both trying to destroy Bashar. So are the Nusra front, one of al-Qa’ida’s affiliates. But it does raise some interesting possibilities.
“Maybe the Americans should ask al-Qa’ida for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with ‘boots on the ground’, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe al-Qa’ida could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of al-Qa’ida, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.
“There will be some ironies, of course. . .”
BBC: “Russia and China step up warning over strike”
“. . . Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has called on the international community to show “prudence” over the crisis and observe international law.
“Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa,” he said in a statement.
“Late on Monday, the US said it was postponing a meeting on Syria with Russian diplomats, citing “ongoing consultations” about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“Hours later, Russia expressed regret about the decision. The two sides had been due to meet in The Hague on Wednesday to discuss setting up an international conference on finding a political solution to the crisis.
“The Russian deputy defence minister, Gennady Gatilov said working out the political parameters for a resolution on Syria would be especially useful, with the threat of force hanging over the country. . .”
REPLAY – Daniel Hannan, UK Telegraph: “The Arab Spring has failed because constitutional democracy needs nation-states”
“. . . A couple of months ago, the London Review of Books carried a penetrating article on the Syrian insurrection by the veteran correspondent Patrick Cockburn entitled ‘Is it the end of Sykes-Picot?‘ The 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement was an accord between Britain and France (with a minor role for their Tsarist Russian ally) on how to dismember the Ottoman Empire against which they were then at war. It is forgotten in the countries that authored it, but keenly remembered in those it created.
“Sykes and Picot – representing, respectively, the British and French governments – carved up the eastern part of the Ottoman lands more or less arbitrarily. Ever wondered why the borders of Jordan, Iraq and Syria are made up of so many straight lines? When the Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, asked him how he planned to demarcate the French and British zones, Sykes ‘sliced his finger across the map that lay before them on the table. “I should like to draw a line from the “e” in Acre to the last “k” in Kirkuk,” he said.’
“The resulting states were wholly synthetic, lacking ethnic or religious identity. Iraq exists in its present form largely because, in order to yoke the oil-rich Ottoman provinces of Mosul and Basra together, the British Government had to include Baghdad. Along with Jordan, it was placed under an imported monarch, a son of the Sharif of Mecca.
“The Sykes-Picot accord created governments where there were no nations. People were capriciously sundered from their co-religionists, and demographic maps resembled fruit salads (see image above). Lebanon, where no single group constituted a majority, has suffered a series of sectarian wars ever since. . .”
DOMESTIC . . .
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “It’s Not Crazy to Talk about Impeachment”
“. . . President Obama, of course, has sworn to uphold the Constitution and is bound to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” (Art. II, Sec. 3). In stark contrast, he has usurped the lawmaking power of Congress by unilaterally amending some statutes and expressly refusing to enforce others — not because they are arguably unconstitutional but because he disagrees with them on policy grounds. For years, he has ignored the law requiring the executive branch to propose Medicare reforms when the program’s trustees issue a warning about inadequate funding. He has made recess appointments when Congress was not in recess. He has flouted judicial rulings, including those invalidating the work of illegally appointed officials. His Justice Department openly and notoriously flouts the Constitution by enforcing the civil-rights laws in a racially discriminatory manner. His administration has knowingly transferred firearms to murderous Mexican criminal enterprises, predictably resulting in the killing of at least one federal Border Patrol officer. He has sued sovereign states in order to extort them into acceptance of his gutting of immigration and voter-identification laws.
“After willfully empowering jihadists in Libya by instigating an unprovoked, unauthorized war against a regime the United States regarded as an ally and was funding, the president and his State Department were shockingly derelict in failing to protect American personnel they recklessly kept stationed in Benghazi despite repeated attacks. When American installations there were predictably besieged yet again by jihadists on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the commander-in-chief compounded his default by abandoning Americans who were under lethal attack, failing to take action to attempt to save them. As a result of this serial malfeasance, four American officials, including the United States ambassador to Libya, were killed — a scandal the administration has exacerbated by stonewalling congressional investigations; attempting to defraud the public into believing an obscure anti-Muslim video provoked the siege; and shamefully jailing the video producer in a transparent effort to prop up the fraud and in violation of the producer’s constitutional rights.
“The president, moreover, oversees an administration that has turned the IRS loose to harass his political opponents, frustrating their capacity to organize prior to the 2012 election. And Obama has stood behind his attorney general despite the latter’s citation for contempt of Congress and multiple episodes of false congressional testimony — most recently in connection with the investigation of journalists covering the administration.
“With a record like this, George W. Bush would long ago have been impeached and removed.
“So Ted Cruz is right: The question of why President Obama is not being impeached is a good one, and the answer is what the answer usually is when a drastic political step has not been taken — the votes are not there. It is a bow to reality: Because impeachment is a political remedy, the commission of impeachable offenses is of far less moment than the lack of a political appetite. . .”
Monica Langley, WSJ: “Anger at IRS Powers Tea-Party Comeback”
“With clipboard in hand and “don’t tread on me” rattlesnake earrings dangling, Jenny Beth Martin, the woman sometimes described as the tea party’s den mother, stood guard over the microphone at a Capitol Hill protest of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.
Lawmakers sweltered in a long line waiting to take the stage earlier this summer before a crowd of roughly 10,000 and a live Web audience. It was up to Mrs. Martin to decide who would get a turn.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a tea-party favorite, got two minutes. Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, after shedding his dark suit jacket and waiting half an hour, told Mrs. Martin he needed to vote on the House floor soon. “I’m doing the best I can,” she replied. Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas showed up without an invitation—and didn’t make the cut.
After a tough 2012 election season, the tea-party movement is on the rebound. Mrs. Martin, head of the Tea Party Patriots, is riding a revival of interest sparked by controversy over the IRS’s much-publicized targeting of conservative groups. She says the Patriots, the tea party’s largest umbrella group, suffered because of the IRS’s refusal to grant it tax-exempt status but now is benefiting from the backlash. Her group’s monthly donations, she says, have tripled recently, and its staff has doubled. . .”
Salvador Rizzo, Star Ledger: “Christie endorses Lonegan for U.S. Senate”
“. . . In a short speech before hundreds of GOP supporters in Flemington, Christie endorsed Lonegan and vowed to stump for him in the 60 days left until the Oct. 16 special election. U.S. Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa (R-N.J.), who is slated to back Lonegan on Wednesday, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno will also hit the campaign trail, the governor said.
“Despite the fiery attacks Christie and Lonegan have traded over the years, and their policy differences, the governor said he was “proud” to back Lonegan because they share core beliefs about “lower taxes and limited government.”
“Steve will be a clear and powerful voice for putting people back in charge of the government, not government in charge of the people,” said Christie, who is running for re-election in a separate election Nov. 5. “There is a clear choice between Steve Lonegan and Cory Booker for the United States Senate. One will support the president at every turn. The other will make principled judgments that he believes are not only in the best interests of America, but in the best interests of New Jersey — and that guy is Mayor Steve Lonegan.”
Alex Pappas, Daily Caller: “‘Earpiece envy’: White House colleagues skeptical about why Valerie Jarrett has detail”
She’s making the decisions . . . and it’s symptomatic that White House colleagues are talking about the issue of her coverage . . .
“Why does President Barack Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett have Secret Service protection?
“It turns out that some of her colleagues inside the White House are skeptical that actual, specific threats resulted in Jarrett’s protection.
‘While a high-profile White House official — especially an African-American woman, such as Jarrett — could legitimately be considered a more likely target than most, several West Wing officials I spoke to were dubious there had been any special threats against her,’ writer Mark Leibovich reported in ‘This Town,’ a new book on Washington.
“Added Leibovich of Jarrett’s White House colleagues: ‘They suspected, rather, that Jarrett asked the president to authorize a detail out of ‘earpiece envy.’
“The Daily Caller reported in 2010 that in a largely unprecedented move, Jarrett and David Axelrod, another senior adviser who has since left the White House, were being driven to work by government drivers and that Jarrett had been made a ‘protectee’ of the Secret Service.
“Jarrett has refused to discuss why she has been assigned Secret Service when questioned by reporters.
“In April 2012, The Daily Caller filed a Freedom of Information Act request for details from the Department of Homeland Security about the cost of Jarrett’s protection. That request has not yet been fulfilled. . .”
John Hinderacker, Powerline: “Eric Holder Sues to Block Louisiana School Choice”
“In a sane world, this would be a scandal: Obama’s Department of Justice has sued to block poor African-Americans (and others) from escaping failing schools in Louisiana and trying, at least, to get a decent education:
‘The Justice Department is trying to stop a school vouchers program in Louisiana that attempts to help families send their children to independent schools instead of under-performing public schools.
‘The agency wants to stop the program, led by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, in any school district that remains under a desegregation court order.
‘In papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, the agency said Louisiana distributed vouchers in 2012-13 to roughly 570 public school students in districts that are still under such orders and that “many of those vouchers impeded the desegregation process.” The federal government argues that allowing students to attend independent schools under the voucher system could create a racial imbalance in public school systems protected by desegregation orders.
“Really? Really? The New Orleans public school system is 88% African-American. Now, how could allowing 570 kids to flee the public school system possibly “create a racial imbalance”?
Also: John Fund, NRO: “The Justice Department sues Louisiana in an effort to restrict the state’s school-voucher program”
Oliver Darcy, The Blaze: “‘Lawless White House’ Has Made a ‘Clear Attempt’ to ‘Aid & Abet Voter Fraud,’ Says GOP Rep”
“A Republican Texas Congressman issued a blistering statement on Friday, accusing President Obama of intentionally working to encourage voter fraud.
“Congressman Steve Stockman made the comments following Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that he will take legal action to block a Texas law that requires voters to show a valid form of identification.
“‘This is a clear attempt by a lawless White House to aid and abet voter fraud,’ said Stockman, in a statement. . .”
Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters: “Pat Buchanan: ‘Whites Are the Only Group That You Can Discriminate Against Legally in America Now’”
“JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Are you saying college admissions should be based on diversity?
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK/DAILY BEAST: Yeah, I mean, I think lots of factors go into diversity. I think race can be one of them, and I think the Supreme Court so far agrees with that.
MCLAUGHLIN: 67 percent opposed it, 28, you’re in the minority. Only 28 percent are in favor of it.
PAT BUCHANAN: It should be based on excellence, John.
CLIFT: As long as the Supreme Court agrees with me, I’m fine.
BUCHANAN: It should be like the NFL: whoever’s the best player plays, and whoever does best academically should be advanced. What is wrong with that?
MICHELLE BERNARD: Here’s a question I have. One of the things I always say because I think you can measure diversity in a lot of ways, but I think there’s an argument to be said that the greatest Affirmative Action program that there is in the country is being born white. There is a natural assumption when you are applying to institutions of higher education that you are excellent or you are more superb than others.
BUCHANAN: With due respect, whites are the only group that you can discriminate against legally in America now.”
Mariah Blake, Mother Jones: “Internal Documents Reveal How the FBI Blew Fort Hood”
“Last Thursday, as the jury in the trial of Nidal Hasan was deliberating, outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller appeared on CBS News and discussed a string of emails between the Fort Hood shooter and Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Islamic cleric with ties to the 9/11 hijackers. The FBI had intercepted the messages starting almost a year before Hasan’s 2009 shooting rampage, and Mueller was asked whether “the bureau dropped the ball” by failing to act on this information. He didn’t flinch: “No, I think, given the context of the discussions and the situation that the agents and the analysts were looking at, they took appropriate steps.”
“In the wake of the Fort Hood attacks, the exchanges between Awlaki and Hasan—who was convicted of murder on Friday—were the subject of intense speculation. But the public was given little information about these messages. While officials claimed that they were ‘fairly benign,’ the FBI blocked then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s efforts to make them public as part of a two-year congressional investigation into Fort Hood. The military judge in the Hasan case also barred the prosecutor from presenting them, saying they would cause ‘unfair prejudice’ and ‘undue delay.’
“As it turns out, the FBI quietly released the emails in an unclassified report on the shooting, which was produced by an investigative commission headed by former FBI director William H. Webster last year. And, far from being ‘benign,’ they offer a chilling glimpse into the psyche of an Islamic radical. The report also shows how badly the FBI bungled its Hasan investigation and suggests that the Army psychiatrist’s deadly rampage could have been prevented. . .”
Carlo Munoz, The Hill: “Vitter demands congressional investigation into EPA fraud case”
“Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is spearheading calls for a congressional investigation into recent federal fraud charges against a former top official at the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the charges, reported by The Washington Post on Saturday, are indicative of a pattern of corruption at the federal regulatory agency.
“There appears to be corruption to the umpteenth degree,” at the EPA, Vitter said in a statement Saturday.
“It’s clear that further investigations are necessary, and at the appropriate time we’ll need answers – a whole lot of answers,” he added.
Washington Examiner: “Editorial: Escaping the death spiral of Blue State taxes”
“Debt-ridden California needs every cent it can squeeze out of its taxpayers. The government unions that control the state through the Democratic Party are the highest paid state government employees in the nation. Despite being near the bottom in student academic achievement, California is near the top on per-pupil spending. And that $68 billion high-speed train to nowhere that the state is building in the Central Valley won’t pay for itself.
“When a state appeals court recently ruled that a 19-year-old tax break for small businesses was unconstitutional, the state’s Franchise Tax Board began going after small business investors for an estimated $120 million in back taxes. “A lot of them don’t have that money anymore. Its been reinvested,” California’s National Federation of Independent Businesses Legislative Director Ken DeVore told CBS News. “It sends a message that you can’t trust government. If you comply in good faith with the rules, they can go back and penalize you.”
“But a lot of California business owners knew that long ago. States like California that are Democratic Party bastions can’t afford to be hospitable to business while also funding massive public employee entitlements. So job-creating businesses flee big-government Blue States for limited-government Red States. In short order, Blue States find themselves in financial straits. . .”
Jim McTague, Barrons: “Trumping College Costs”
Thx John Batchelor . . .
“Online education is reshaping higher education’s landscape.”
“. . . The average new college grad holds $26,500 in student-loan debt versus about $15,000 in 2004. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, this is the only form of consumer obligation that has grown since consumer debt peaked in 2008. “Balances of student loans,” it says, “have eclipsed both auto loans and credit cards, making student-loan debt the largest form of consumer debt outside of mortgages.” Outstanding debt is close to $1 trillion, versus $350 billion in 2004.
“Enter Internet entrepreneurs. At the University of Maryland University College, which offers online undergraduate programs, a four-year degree costs $30,000 for in-state residents and $60,000 for out-of-staters. That’s a steal, compared with most not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities where costs easily can exceed $100,000. Currently, total enrollment is 95,000 students. Last week, Georgia Tech, along with Udacity and AT&T (ticker: T), announced creation of an online master’s degree program at the bargain-basement price of $6,600.
“Despite abuses that Barron’s has chronicled over the years—including the recruitment of unqualified students by some publicly traded Internet schools merely to boost revenue and profits—online education is booming. . . .”
“Some of the finest courses in the world—from top-tier schools like MIT and Stanford—already are available at no cost via Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. When Stanford made a MOOC of one of its prestigious artificial-intelligence courses in 2011, 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up. About 23,000—or 14%—of them completed it, and 248 aced it. (None were from Stanford.)
“What about that indispensable sheepskin? The end is nigh for credentialism. . . .”
NSA . . .
Matt Apuzzo, AP: “Facebook: Governments demanded data on 38K users”
“WASHINGTON (AP) — Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday.
“The social-networking giant is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same.
“As with the other companies, it’s hard to discern much from Facebook’s data, besides the fact that, as users around the globe flocked to the world’s largest social network, police and intelligence agencies followed.
“Facebook and Twitter have become organizing platforms for activists and, as such, have become targets for governments. . .”
Ruth Marcus, WaPo: “The NSA is losing the benefit of the doubt”
“Footnote 14 should scare every American. Even the parts that aren’t blacked out.
“The footnote is contained in the just-declassified 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John Bates, then the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
“In the ruling, Bates found that the government had been sweeping up e-mails before receiving court approval in 2008 and, even after that, was illegally collecting ‘tens of thousands of wholly domestic communications.’
“That’s not the really scary part. This is: “The court is troubled that the government’s revelations . . . mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” Bates wrote in Footnote 14.
“He cited a 2009 finding that the court’s approval of the National Security Agency’s telephone records program was premised on “a flawed depiction” of how the NSA uses metadata, a “misperception . . . buttressed by repeated inaccurate statements made in the government’s submissions, and despite a government-devised and Court-mandated oversight regime. . .”
Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian: “NSA analysts ‘wilfully violated’ surveillance systems, agency admits”
“NSA acknowledges that one analyst used agency tools to track former spouse but insists it has ‘zero tolerance’ for abuses”
The Guardian: “Surveillance and the state: this way the debate goes on”
Taking refuge in the New York Times???????????
“Thanks to Edward Snowden, the world now has a debate about the dramatic change in the contract between state and citizen
“‘Spies spy! Who knew?’ Thus the world-weary shrug from too many people who ought to know better over the revelations deriving from the material leaked by Edward Snowden about what goes on inside the west’s major intelligence agencies in 2013. We have all read our Le Carré, they sigh. We spy on them, they spy on us. Except in fiction, it must remain a secret world. The secrecy has to remain near-absolute because our national security depends on it. The best way for the state to ensure such secrecy is to have an armoury of criminal and civil laws − backed by punitive sanctions − to deter any leakages.
“This used to work. But the nature of spying has changed: this much we have learned from Mr Snowden. What was once highly targeted has now become virtually universal. The evident ambition is to put entire populations under some form of surveillance. The faceless intelligence masters may say they are still searching for needles, but first they want the entire haystack. And thus countless millions of entirely innocent (in every sense) citizens are potentially being monitored. Their phone calls, web searches, texts and emails are routinely intercepted, collected, stored and subjected to analysis.
“Did the governments involved ever stop to think about the notion of consent? Did any engineer, spy chief, minister, congressman or president ever wonder whether such a dramatic change in the contract between state and citizen required some form of debate? . . .”
Peggy Noonan, WSJ: “A Nation of Sullen Paranoids”
“Too much security can produce a kind of madness.
“Three items on the continuing National Security Agency controversy: the information that came out this week, a prescient warning from a veteran British intelligence hand, and a prophecy from an interesting source.
“Siobhan Gorman and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries reported in this newspaper that the NSA, which is supposed to have only limited authority to spy on U.S. citizens, has built a surveillance network that covers substantially more communications than had been disclosed. The system is able to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic: “In some cases it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone call made with Internet technology.” Sources on the story were current and former intelligence and government officials.
“Also this week, a finding was revealed that the NSA violated the Constitution for three years running by collecting as many as 56,000 purely domestic communications without appropriate privacy protections. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the agency for “misrepresenting” its practices to the court, and noted it was the third time in less than three years the government misrepresented the scope of a collection program.
“Readers of my columns and blog posts see an NSA theme: There are too many built-in dynamics that make the national-security state want to grow, from legitimate fears of terrorism, to bureaucratic pride, to the flaws in human nature. And there are too many dynamics that will allow it to grow. The aftermath of 9/11 happened to coincide with a new burst in American technological innovation and discovery: The government has the ways and means to do pretty much anything now, and if they can do it they will do it.
If the citizens of the United States don’t put up a halting hand, the government can’t be expected to. . .”
GOOGLE . . .
Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian: “NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies”
• Top-secret files show first evidence of financial relationship
• Prism companies include Google and Yahoo, says NSA
• Costs were incurred after 2011 Fisa court ruling
“The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency’s activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.
“The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court.
“The October 2011 judgment, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA’s inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.
“While the ruling did not concern the Prism program directly, documents passed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden describe the problems the decision created for the agency and the efforts required to bring operations into compliance. The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA. . .”
Harriet Alexander, UK Telegraph: “NSA employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping programme”
“The employees even had a code name for the practice – “Love-int” – meaning the gathering of intelligence on their partners.
“Dianne Feinstein, a senator who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, said the NSA told her committee about a set of “isolated cases” that have occurred about once a year for the last 10 years. The spying was not within the US, and was carried out when one of the lovers was abroad.
“One employee was disciplined for using the NSA’s resources to track a former spouse, the Associated Press said.
“Last week it was disclosed that the NSA had broken privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions over a one-year period . . .”
HEALTH CARE . . .
Mark Steyn, NRO: “Obamacare’s Hierarchy of Privilege”
“No one who favors the law wants to be bound by it.
“On his radio show the other day, Hugh Hewitt caught me by surprise and asked me about running for the United States Senate from New Hampshire. My various consultants, pollsters, PACs, and exploratory committees haven’t fine-tuned every detail of my platform just yet, but I can say this without a doubt: I will not vote for any ‘comprehensive’ bill, whether on immigration, health care, or anything else. ‘Comprehensive’ today is a euphemism for interminably long, poorly drafted, and entirely unread — not just by the people’s representatives but by our robed rulers, too (how many of those Supreme Court justices actually plowed through every page of Obamacare when its “constitutionality” came before them?). The 1862 Homestead Act, which is genuinely comprehensive, is two handwritten pages in clear English. ‘The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is 500 times as long, is not about patients or care, and neither protects the former nor makes the latter affordable’
“So what is it about? On Wednesday, the Nevada AFL-CIO passed a resolution declaring that ‘the unintended consequences of the ACA will lead to the destruction of the 40-hour work week.’ That’s quite an accomplishment for a ‘health’ ‘care’ ‘reform’ law. But the poor old union heavies who so supported Obamacare are now reduced to bleating that they should be entitled to the same opt-outs secured by big business and congressional staffers. It’s a very strange law whose only defining characteristic is that no one who favors it wants to be bound by it.. . .”
Kimberley Strassel, WSJ: “A New Strategy to Take on ObamaCare
“A coalition of conservatives believes that ‘delay’ is more likely to succeed than ‘defund.’
“The Republicans determined to defund ObamaCare are getting a little competition in the ideas department. Maybe there’s hope for progress against the president’s health-care law after all.
“The question of how the GOP should handle ObamaCare has of late been dominated by those who want the party to strip funding from the law, then shut down the government unless President Obama agrees. The Defund Republicans aren’t a large faction of the conservative movement, and their plan is deeply flawed. Their strength has been in exploiting the notable lack of alternate strategies for undercutting the unpopular health law.
“That’s changing. A swelling coalition of conservative activists—card-carrying members of the ‘repeal ObamaCare’ campaign—are lighting up the movement with a different approach. The plan aims to leverage public support, play on Democrat weaknesses, and, most notably, sidestep a shutdown fight that would damage the GOP even as it failed to kill the law. Meet the ‘Delay coalition.’ . . .”
Yuval Levin, Weekly Standard: “Going, Going, Gone”
“The arguments that justified Obamacare are already being discredited. Here’s how to replace it.
“. . . The health care debate is plainly far from over, and it has changed more this year than a cursory reading of the news about implementation would suggest. . .
“. . . In January, a study by Kurt Giesa and Chris Carlson in the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries estimated that 80 percent of Americans below the age of 30 in the individual market would find themselves with higher premiums next year than this year, even after subsidies. Early data from the states suggest this estimate may not be far off the mark.
“. . . Obamacare doesn’t just increase the cost of coverage for the young and healthy, it also reduces the value of insurance for them. The law’s insurance rules mean that a sick person can buy insurance for essentially the same price as a healthy person, so healthy people know that if they get sick they will never be more than one enrollment period away from being able to buy coverage for the same price they would pay while they are healthy.
“. . . A reform aimed at getting more of them to buy coverage would have to make it even more stupid for them to remain uninsured. Some reformers would do so with a firm individual mandate backed with a stiff penalty. But the Supreme Court last year said a legal requirement to buy coverage would be unconstitutional and transformed Obamacare’s mandate and penalty into a tax on the uninsured. And since forcing people to buy a product they don’t want doesn’t make for great politics, that penalty (now tax) was in any case set much too low to fundamentally change the financial calculation for most people.
“. . . A better approach might even further reduce the cost of coverage for the young and healthy while increasing the risk of choosing to remain uninsured (by rewarding continuous coverage while putting it within everyone’s reach), and so make coverage more valuable. This is the approach favored by conservative health care proposals of recent years. But Obamacare does the opposite, making it less stupid to remain uninsured, and yet relies even more heavily than today’s insurance system on the participation of the young and healthy.”
Susan Jones, CNS: “Sebelius: Pass Immigration Bill to Boost Obamacare Enrollment”
“(CNSNews.com) – Asked Thursday if the Affordable Care Act will help “undocumented individuals,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said no — and that’s why immigration reform is so important: ‘Well, the (Obamacare) bill is crafted in such a way that those who are undocumented will not have access to the tax credits or shopping in the (health insurance) marketplace. That has been limited, which is, frankly, why — another very keen reason why we need comprehensive immigration reform,’ Sebelius told a gathering of Latinos in Philadelphia. . .”
Ashe Schow, Washington Examiner: “Ted Cruz on Obamacare: ‘The wheels are falling off’”
“. . . Cruz, speaking with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, further explained the problems with President Obama’s health care law and the effects that it would have on the economy.
‘We all know President Obama promised the American people: ‘If you like your health insurance you can keep it,’ Cruz said. ‘And yet, every day that’s proving less and less true. And I think the American people are ready to stop this, to stop the biggest job killer we’ve got in our economy.’
“Cruz wants to use the continuing resolution (a bill to fund the government in lieu of an actual budget) as a vehicle to defund Obamacare. The main argument against the defund movement is that Cruz and his supporters are threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare.
“‘We’ve seen this movie before,’ Cruz said. ‘President Obama and Harry Reid will scream and yell: ‘Why are the mean, nasty Republicans threatening to shut down the government?’ And at that point, Greta, we’ve got to do something that conservatives haven’t done in a long time. We’ve got to stand up and win the argument.’. . .”
PA . . .
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: “Young end of GOP voters support diverse candidates, poll finds”
“In the Republican Party, it’s the young crowd that’s pushing for diversity, a hot topic after last year’s elections.
“Pew Research found a majority of Republican voters of all ages think the party could be more successful in national elections with more women and minority candidates, a view held by a larger share of voters 18 to 39.
“About 64 percent of voters in that age group think more women nominees would help the GOP fare better in national elections, compared to 46 percent of voters 40 or older who share that view.
“And about 68 percent of younger Republican voters think more racial and ethnic minorities would help the party, versus 49 percent of those 40 and older.
“Young voters with an open mind about the types of candidates they’d like to see means parties may adjust their selections to win over this ever-growing demographic. But as a report from the College Republicans, ”Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation,” concludes, it’s about more than just fitting the mold. . .”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Redistricting to blame for lack of interesting congressional races in PA”
“HARRISBURG – In 2014, there probably won’t be a lot of drama in Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional races.
That’s a big change from how things were during the last decade, when the Keystone State was home to several districts that swung from one party to the other. But a new report from Governing Magazine suggests the state’s redistricting process is the main reason why the next decade of congressional races in Pennsylvania will be mostly snoozers.
“In Pennsylvania, the Republican party, which controlled both legislative chambers and the governorship, used its remapping authority to turn what had been a highly competitive congressional map over the previous decade into one with virtually no competitive contests,” wrote Louis Jacobson. . .”
END NOTES . . .
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times: “Up to our ears in Al Gore’s ‘climate change’ snake oil”
“Al Gore and his traveling medicine show is back in town with his new, improved snake oil, guaranteed to grow hair, improve digestion, promote regularity and kill roaches, rats and bedbugs. Al and his wagon rumbled into town on the eve of “a major forthcoming report” from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is a panel of scientists affiliated with the United Nations. Their report is expected to buck up the spirits of the tycoons of the snake-oil industry.
“A snake-oil salesman’s lot, like a policeman’s, is not a happy one. There’s always a skeptic or two (or three) standing at the back of the wagon, eager to scoff and jeer. The global-warming scam would have been right up Gilbert and Sullivan’s street. Would Al and the U.N. deceive us? No! Never! What! Never? Weeeell, hardly ever.
The New York Times, a faithful shill for Al’s snake-oil elixir, following the wagon from town to town, got an advance copy of the U.N. report and gives out with the “good” news: It’s a “near certainty” that humans are responsible for the rising temperatures of recent decades, and warns that by the end of the century all the little people — small children, midgets and others whose growth was stunted by drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes at an early age — will be up to their belly buttons in salt water. The seas will rise by more than three feet.
“The inconvenient truth Al and the junk scientists have to deal with is that temperatures aren’t rising, but falling. In fact, since the early 1990s we’ve had global cooling. It got so embarrassing Al and the junk scientists started calling it “climate change.” Some days it rains, some days it doesn’t and some days it’s a little of both. That’s real change. The U.N. panel concedes that global warming has in fact given way to global cooling, but attributes this to ‘short-term factors’ . . .”