KEMP – Geller remembers; DUFFY – Opportunity for the political right; FERNANDEZ – Olympus fell; SIMON – Welcome Vlad; HANSON – Saruman lives; KLEIN – BO & the Caliphate.
MIDDLE EAST: Bozell – Benghazi muffled/spun; Geraghty – One yr for BenG lie.
SYRIA: Batchelor – Syria’s chemistry set; Times of ISR – More weapons from Putin; Londono & Miller – CIA arms rebels; WSJ – Obama rescues Assad; Oliphant – Syria to give up its chemicals; Jacoby – Handshake delusion; Lynch – UN report will point to Assad.
DOMESTIC: Batchelor – Univision speaks English; Cox – Reid found TEA anarchists; Hanson – CA renaissance; WSJ/IRS – Lerner’s own words; Cooke – Colorado victory; Healy – Colorado oustings.
HEALTH CARE: Greenhouse & Martin – Unions complain; Carroll – Republican plans; Guzzardi – Bag the CR; Phillips – 2 million kickstands.
NSA: Ritz – Glenn promises privacy; Moyer – NSA disguised self as Google.
PA: Gibson – Corbett to expand Medicaid; Knepper – CAP has candidate for Guv; Boehm – Kane got cash; Daniels – Criminal charges for frackers.
END NOTES: Kerry’s next job? Rushbo – American left love for Putin; Kick start WW III.
Seventeen Days Till Obama Care – Ted Cruz
– 71 percent of small businesses say Obamacare will make it harder to hire workers.
– Obamacare takes roughly $1 trillion out of the private economy through 20 new or increased taxes.
– Half of small businesses say they will cut hours or replace full time workers with part time workers.
– About 17 million seniors will face higher premiums for Medicare Part D.
– Obamacare could force nearly one million Americans to work less and go on welfare.
“The past week was a perfect storm of American malfunction. Colliding at the center of a serious foreign-policy crisis was Barack Obama’s manifest skills deficit, conservative animosity toward Mr. Obama, Republican distrust of his leadership, and the reflexive opportunism of politicians from Washington to Moscow.” Daniel Henninger
“Liberalism takes over, and they think we’re no better than anybody else. We’re no smarter. It’s what Putin said: ‘You’re no smarter, you’re not better, you shouldn’t brag like that, that’s not nice, that’s not cool.’ So we have a bunch of people running around who think that it is virtuous to think there is nothing special about this country.” Rush Limbaugh
“. . .No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.
“It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. . .” Vladimir Putin
Jack Kemp, Tea Party Nation: “Pamela Geller won’t let them forget 9/11”
“Pamela Geller is definitely one of the people who wants to remember and fight for the dignity of the families that lost loved ones on 9/11 in 2001, especially in Manhattan’s Ground Zero. That is why she organized a memorial service and press conference and gathering at the southwest corner of Zuccotti Park, the former site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment.
“The fact that the City of New York did not give Geller a permit to stage an event inside the park did not deter her anymore than the lack of a permit deterred the many motorcyclists who came to Washington this 9/11 to honor the memory of veterans and those who died at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania or at New York’s World Trade Center. And Pamela didn’t need a roaring Harley to have an impact, just her voice and those of her fellow speakers.
“‘9/11 is a day of mourning…when war came to America,’ she said, meaning it wasn’t to be papered over by a politically correct administration that is trying to make us believe it a ‘day of service’ when people go rake leaves in the park or serve meals to the elderly, even though those are worthy efforts for another day.
“Understanding the subtle attack on our cultural standards, Geller called the housing of human remains in the museum underground as being ‘reprehensible,’ and called for an actual Tomb of the Unknowns at ground level so that all can see the history. And she called for the federalizing of the 9/11 Museum in New York so that there would be no admissions fee (currently $25), a fee charged even to the families of those who died that day. In comparison, virtually all major public sites in Washington, D.C., have no admissions free. . .”
Phil Duffy: “The Real Opportunity for the Political Right in the Syrian Civil War.”
“President Obama’s insistence on the use of military force in Syria has created a curious political situation for both the political left and the political right in the United States. The left has had to choose between loyalty to a progressive president and the peace movement’s condemnation of US military adventures. This time the political right appears to be solidly with the left-oriented peace movement and only the most outspoken members of the Invasion of the Month Club, like John McCain, have been willing to promote military intervention while struggling to distinguish their positions from that of a progressive president. As the tide of war enthusiasm has ebbed it has revealed some members of the Republican Party establishment like John Boehner seemingly in an embrace with the administration and its lock-step followers such as Nancy Pelosi and Senator Bob Casey over “the need to stand with the president”.
“The peace movement’s leaders may avoid the rocks of this controversial foreign policy proposal by the president, but human nature suggests that the political right will opt for silence concerning the eerie similarities between the rationalizations leading to this military adventure and those that led to a Republican president to propose intervention in Iraq. Of course we have the benefit of hindsight concerning the latter, but that is not really the point. The odds-on favorite in the clash of ideas now occurring in Congress is that the war-weariness of the American people will finally be transmitted to their representatives successfully. And so we may be observing history in the making as two pillars of Western Civilization, the United Kingdom and the United States, temporarily put aside smoke-filled room politics and assert that representative government can, in fact, work. Rather than losing face internationally, this victory of the people should actually strengthen the image of the United States throughout the world.
“The deeper question, however, is whether the political right will understand both the dangers of its silence on past unjust war and the opportunities that will be lost as a result of its amnesia. The Republican Party has immense risk exposure in this matter. It promoted the presidency of a candidate who yearned to be a war-time president, and then followed his presidency with the nomination of an outspoken interventionist in 2008, John McCain, at the height of a financial crisis to which military expenditures had contributed. The lame duck Republican administration of George W. Bush and his Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the Goldman Sachs exec on temporary White House duty, then compounded the problem with bailouts of Wall Street crony capitalists (see David Stockman’s The Great Deformation – The Corruption of Capitalism in America for the gory details). By that time it mattered little to the American people that both the Republican and the Democratic candidates for the presidency supported the bailouts – it was time for a change and the Democratic Party was positioned to provide that change.
“The Republican Party establishment learned little from the thrashing it received at the polls in 2008. The gulf that it had created between itself and the American people was temporarily narrowed in the 2010 elections when the Republican Party enjoyed the negative reaction to ObamaCare and an emerging grassroots political movement. But after the elections it was business as usual within the Republican Party with the establishment leadership focusing on teaching Tea Party upstarts their role of toting party literature for establishment candidates in subsequent elections. Participation at any more meaningful level of the party was a privilege to be left for establishment members only. The establishment went on to nominate another member of its Invasion of the Month wing who combined this orientation with impeccable crony capitalist credentials according to Stockman in a Great Deformation chapter titled Willard M. Romney and the Truman Show of Bubble Finance. As a result, the outcome of the 2012 presidential election was obvious by late spring 2012.
“Today the conflict between the Republican establishment and the grassroots movement has only become more intense with otherwise attractive 2016 presidential potential candidate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie making sure that he is properly distanced from the conservative wing of the party and its grass roots movement. One could easily observe with this maneuvering that enemies outside of the Republican Party need not be so much feared as GOP “friends”. In any case, the prospects for senseless conflict seem to assure that the Democrats can run a trained monkey in 2016 and still be assured they will retain control of the presidency.
“The people are truly tired of all of this childishness, and they are having greater and greater difficulty in holding their noses in presidential elections when forced to choose, once again, between the lesser of two evils. They perceive that neither candidate stands upon principles that might lead the nation back to its founders’ vision, and to sanity. And that is the opportunity for the political right in this Syrian matter. It is predictable that the peace movement will focus the attention of the electorate on the political right’s hypocrisy if at falls back on silence as a matter of damage control. But there is an attractive alternative to this gloomy scenario – the political right can take the initiative in acknowledging that its support of military adventures in the past, particularly in Iraq, has been wrong. It can distance itself from the Republican interventionists of the past (both in the domestic as well as foreign arena), including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Henry Paulson, and its current stable of interventionists like Mitt Romney. A new political consensus is forming, and the upcoming financial crisis Stockman predicts is likely to crystallize it. The people no longer wish their government to play the role of the world’s conscience and policeman, and they no longer wish a monetary politburo at the Federal Reserve to extract the wealth belonging to the 99% for the benefit of the politically-connected 1%. The political right may have one last chance to board the train that is leaving the station, but the price of the ticket is likely to be the consumption of a relatively large slice of humble pie.”
Richard Fernandez, PJM: “Olympus Has Fallen”
“Except for pundits like Andrew Sullivan who reacted to the president’s speech on Syria with delight (‘That was one of the clearest, simplest and most moving presidential speeches to the nation I can imagine’), most people understood that the president left the building the moment he finished speaking. What’s left is Barack Obama, the sometime activist from Chicago. Sullivan stumbled on the truth by ending his adulatory article with this observation: ‘Yes, he’s still a community organizer. It’s just that now, the community he is so effectively organizing is the world.’
Fortunately, for almost everyone else the sad facts are plain enough. Maureen Dowd has even started calling him “Barry.” He’s the man who bought his political life from Putin at a staggering price. The Wall Street Journal observes that ‘Obama Rescues Assad.’ Obama offered a deal ‘that could leave Assad in power for years,’ according to the Times of London. The Washington Examiner says that Obama’s miscues ‘handed Russia the driver’s seat’; Foreign Affairs concurs.
“Perhaps the most painful characterization of Obama’s incoherence came from the New York Times, which characterized his Syria address as follows: ‘Planned as a call to act, Obama’s speech became a plea to wait.’
“It’s like he started for Canada and wound up in Mexico. This confusion was rapidly being sold as a ‘pivot’ — notwithstanding the fact that the turnabout occurred in the same speech, almost as if Obama were surprising himself. . .”
Roger Simon, PJM: “Welcome the New York Times’ Great New Columnist — Vladimir Putin”
“Forget that creaky feminist Maureen Dowd. Forget that pompous know-it-all Paul Krugman. And that pseudo-conservative neo-yuppie David Brooks. They’re all yesterday’s news and oh-so-repetitive. The New York Times has finally found a columnist worth reading.
“He’s so good they might even be able to revive the late-lamented Times Select program and make a little money from him, bring that stock back and sell some papers, even the dead-tree kind.
“Welcome, Vladimir Putin!
“Okay, he’s occasionally guilty of a little disinformation KGB-style and his English can sound a little stiff and translated, but he probably has the best set of ghost writers extant. How about Yevgeny Yevtushenko? Have any of Barack Obama’s speech-writing hacks ever written anything nearly as good as “Babi Yar?” No bloody way!
“So kudos to the New York Times for their new columnist. He at least can back up his opinions with actions unlike the rest of the blowhards on their op-ed page. Let’s hope his first column of September 11, 2013, is only the beginning of a long, literary relationship.”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Putin — Saruman Come Alive”
“The best rhetoric is always that which blends truth with half-truth and occasional fiction. In Putin’s case, he did all that — while offering the dessert of channeling Obama back to Obama.
“Of course, as Putin reminds us, we fought together in World War II and should agree that such cooperation should be emulated. The Soviet Union suffered enormous losses for the Allied cause. Without such heroic sacrifices, the Anglo-American alliance might well have lost the war.
“Yet Putin forgets to remind us that the Soviets’ war with Germany was prompted by betrayal. The Soviet Union was a de facto ally of Hitler. It kept sending him enormous amounts of materiel to help defeat France and attack Britain. Only Hitler’s 1941 double-cross caused the Soviets to go to war with Nazi Germany.
“We all, like Putin, wish the Security Council veto really had ensured the stability of international relations for decades. In fact, authoritarian regimes, like Putin’s Russia and Communist China, have consistently thwarted efforts to address human-rights violations — except when the charges, mostly false, are lodged against democratic Israel.
“It is odd that Putin laments the demise of the League of Nations, given that the League — which the U.S. never joined — expelled the Soviet Union in 1939 for unilaterally attacking Finland. Putin points out that the U.N. might suffer the same fate as the League “if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.” I suppose that might include the 2008 Russian use of force over Ossetia.
“Many of us share Putin’s concern about bombing Syria — yet from a slightly different perspective, namely that such preemption, as it has been envisioned by the Obama administration, would not only not advance humanitarian solutions, but would harm present U.S. interests. . .”
Saruman the White is a fictional character and a major antagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. . . Saruman is one of several characters in the book illustrating the corruption of power; his desire for knowledge and order leads to his fall, and he rejects the chance of redemption when it is offered. The name Saruman means “man of skill”; he serves as an example of technology and modernity being overthrown by forces more in tune with nature.”
Aaron Klein: “‘MANCHURIAN PRESIDENT’ USHERING IN ISLAMIC CALIPHATE? ‘A tidal wave of change already reaping disastrous results’
“. . . In “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office,”New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott demonstrate that Obama’s policies have been helping to install Muslim Brotherhood-friendly regimes to the detriment of U.S. national security and world stability. “Obama’s policies are installing political Islam throughout the Middle East and North Africa in a tidal wave of change already reaping disastrous results for those regions as well as for U.S. interests there,” write Klein and Elliott. The authors compare Obama’s actions to the policies of Jimmy Carter, which weakened the secular Shah’s regime in Iran, arguably ushering in a Shiite Islamic revolution that continues to this day to support and carry out acts of terrorism worldwide. . .”
MIDDLE EAST . . .
BENGHAZI: Brent Bozell, Townhall: “Benghazi, Censored or Spun”
“When we last checked in on Barack Obama discussing Benghazi on the network news, he was reassuring Brian Williams on the Oct. 25 ‘Rock Center’ that ‘we’re going to do a full investigation.’ It’s a year later, and it’s still ‘we are going to.’ Last fall, Williams and Obama posed as curious for answers on how this disaster happened. Neither of them has demonstrated any noticeable curiosity since.
“A new Media Research Center study of Benghazi coverage in 2013 on ABC, CBS and NBC shows there are two routine modes of operation: (a) praising Team Obama’s public relations and (b) silence.
“The first option came during Hillary Clinton’s ridiculous outburst in her January testimony asking, ‘What difference does it make?’ how four Americans died in a terrorist attack. Diane Sawyer at ABC offered thumbs up for ‘the fiery appearance for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. … The indignation and then the tears in her eyes.’
“But NBC was goopier. Brian Williams proclaimed Clinton ‘leaves her post as the most admired woman in the world in the Gallup poll, for the 11th year in a row.’ Then reporter Andrea Mitchell lauded her professionalism: ‘Parrying hostile questions all day, Clinton was also the political pro. Massaging big egos, sidestepping attacks when she could. When she couldn’t, giving as good as she got.’
“The only other real outbursts of Benghazi news came during the brief Obama-scandal outbreak in May. The riveting House testimony of Greg Hicks, the deputy to deceased Ambassador Chris Stevens, was recognized by the networks as ‘dramatic’ and ‘emotional,’ but it didn’t really change their incuriosity. None of the networks brought Hicks on to retell it in a live exclusive interview at the time.
“As usual, the other news networks are trying to ignore the news Fox reports. . .”
BENGHAZI: Jim Geraghty, NRO: “A Damnable Lie, One Year Later”
“. . . Benghazi is one of those issues where we on the Right look at Americans on the other side of the partisan divide and wonder whether we’re from the same planet.
“Don’t they care that our ambassador and his team were sent to a facility with ludicrously insufficient security?
“Don’t they care to know whether something could have been done that night to save those men, and if so, why a rescue mission wasn’t launched? Look at a map. This is a Libyan city on a coast, facing the Mediterranean, south of Europe and all of our NATO allies. Less than a year earlier, we had been running a major multinational combat operation right there:
“Don’t they care that the explanation offered by our government was false? These folks who screamed ‘Bush Lied, People Died’ from 2003 to 2008 now shrug about lies about how and why Americans were killed.
“Don’t they care that despite Obama’s pledge that ‘justice will be done,’ no one has been caught, jailed, or executed for their role in the attack? . . .
“One year later, we have our answer. They don’t care.”
SYRIA . . .
John Batchelor/Malcolm Hoenlein: Syria’s Chemicals
“. . . Russians and Syrians have very high cards, John Kerry has no clarity of intentions. The chem weapons arsenal in Syria is complex, Russians have all the sites and serial numbers; dangerous is VX as in binary storage. Can’t be moved or destroyed during a civil war. Iran is sending in huge numbers of weapons and fighters. Syria has today added a new condition: West must stop aiding the rebels. “
There are suggestions that Russia manufactured and sold chemicals to Assad and, therefore, knows the types, inventories, and storage sites . . . will Putin allow international inspection of Russia’s “chemistry”? Does helping Assad help Putin to hide his own dirty nails?
Times of Israel: “Putin shipping Assad more weapons to crush rebels”
“Vladimir Putin, determined to ensure that his ally Assad not face a punitive US-led strike following Damascus’s alleged use of chemical weapons in an August 21 attack that the US says killed over 1,400 Syrians, essentially ordered Assad to submit to international oversight of his chemical weapons stocks, the report said.
“In return, Putin promised bolstered conventional weapons shipments, “some of which are already on their way” to Syria from the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. The TV report did not specify which weaponry Putin is supplying to Assad, but noted that the Syrian regime needs more fighter planes for use to quash rebel forces, spare parts for tanks, and all kinds of other military equipment to replenish stocks depleted during the two-and-a-half years of fighting that have left well over 100,000 Syrians dead. An estimated 1,600 Syrians have died in the three weeks since the alleged August 21 attack. . .”
Ernesto Londoño and Greg Miller, WaPo: “U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels”
And members of al-Qaeda . . . Obama’s next job?
“The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.
“The arms shipments, which are limited to light weapons and other munitions that can be tracked, began arriving in Syria at a moment of heightened tensions over threats by President Obama to order missile strikes to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons in a deadly attack near Damascus last month.
“The arms are being delivered as the United States is also shipping new types of nonlethal gear to rebels. That aid includes vehicles, sophisticated communications equipment and advanced combat medical kits.
“U.S. officials hope that, taken together, the weapons and gear will boost the profile and prowess of rebel fighters in a conflict that started about 21/2 years ago. . .”
WSJ: “Obama Rescues Assad”
“What could be worse for America’s standing in the world than a Congress refusing to support a President’s proposal for military action against a rogue regime that used WMD? Here’s one idea: A U.S. President letting that rogue be rescued from military punishment by the country that has protected the rogue all along.
“That’s where President Obama now finds himself on Syria after he embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s offer to take custody of Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons. The move may rescue Mr. Obama and Congress from the political agony of a vote on a resolution to authorize a military strike on Syria. But the diplomatic souk is now open, and Mr. Obama has turned himself into one of the junior camel traders.
“What a fiasco. Secretary of State John Kerry, of all people, first floated this escape route for Assad on Monday in Europe where he was supposed to be rallying diplomatic support for a strike. The remark appeared to be off-the-cuff, but with Mr. Kerry and this Administration you never know . . .”
Roland Oliphant et al., UK Telegraph: “Syria will hand over its chemical weapons, says Bashar al-Assad”
“. . . The Syrian president, speaking to Russia’s Rossiya 24 state news channel, denied however that US pressure had anything to do with the decision to surrender the arsenal.
“Syria is transferring its chemical weapons to international control because of Russia,” he said in an interview the Rossia 24 television channel. ‘The threats of the United States had no influence on the decision to put the weapons under [international] control.’
“In excerpts released by the channel on Thursday afternoon, he added that Syria is sending the United Nations documents for preparing the agreement on the weapons. . .”
Jeff Jacoby, Townhall: “The Handshake Delusion”
“The Syrian crisis is in a frenzy, Egypt’s political system is imploding, a new wave of Sunni terrorism is bloodying Iraq, post-Qaddafi Libya is collapsing into lawlessness and ruin, and Iran is edging closer to the nuclear threshold. Yet Secretary of State John Kerry goes on flogging the dead horse of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.”
“On Sunday, in the midst of his (now defunct) campaign to win support for a US military strike in Syria, Kerry met for three hours with the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas to discuss “how to intensify” the latest round of talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Earlier that day, he met with officials from the Arab League to reinforce his “commitment” to Arab-Israeli peacemaking. Everyone agreed, said Kerry, “that a final status agreement is important in enhancing regional security and stability throughout the Middle East.”
“The notion that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is key to a stable Middle East is one of those moldy myths that never seem to lose their popularity. Yet which of the conflicts now roiling the region would come to an end if Israel and the Palestinians were at peace? Syria’s civil war? The bloody struggle in Egypt? The resurgence of Al Qaeda?
“In a region as backward and broken as the Middle East, wrote Aaron David Miller, a former adviser to six secretaries of state, in a notable 2010 essay in Foreign Policy, “it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue.” It is equally delusional to argue that a “two-state solution” is the way to settle that conflict — that the key to peace is for Israel to give up land on which the Palestinians can establish a state. . .”
“Syria: Mr. Lonely” at http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/syria-mr-lonely
Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy: “Exclusive: U.N. Report Will Point to Assad Regime in Massive Chemical Attack”
“U.N. inspectors have collected a ‘wealth’ of evidence on the use of nerve agents that points to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against his own people, according to a senior Western official.
“The inspection team, which is expected on Monday to present U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon with a highly anticipated report on a suspected Aug. 21 nerve agent attack in the suburbs of Damascus, will not directly accuse the Syrian regime of gassing its own people, according to three U.N.-based diplomats familiar with the investigation. But it will provide a strong circumstantial case — based on an examination of spent rocket casings, ammunition, and laboratory tests of soil, blood, and urine samples — that points strongly in the direction of Syrian government culpability.
“‘I know they have gotten very rich samples — biomedical and environmental — and they have interviewed victims, doctors and nurses,’ said the Western official. ‘It seems they are very happy with the wealth of evidence they got.’ The official, who declined to speak on the record because of the secrecy surrounding the U.N. investigation, could not identify the specific agents detected by the inspector team, but said, ‘You can conclude from the type of evidence the [identity of the] author. . .’”
DOMESTIC . . .
John Batchelor/Graeme Wood, Bloomberg: “Univision’s English-Language News Network, Fusion, Targets Millennials”
“Univision has dominated its rivals, styling itself, with just a hint of hubris, as “the Hispanic heartbeat of America.” When Fusion goes live on Oct. 28, Univision’s programming will suddenly be bilingual, with 24 hours of English to match its 24 hours of Spanish.
“The greater betrayal, at least for reporters of a certain age, is Lee’s determination to reach millennials with cable news. Television news audiences have been graying across networks, and Fusion is supposed to cater to 18- to 34-year-olds, who would as soon listen to Bing Crosby as watch Brian Williams. ‘If one year from now, you turn on Fusion and it looks for a second like it’s Univision news, I should be fired,’ Lee says. ‘Right now our target viewers probably don’t watch any news,’ he adds. ‘They watch The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, and Girls. When they do watch news, it’s a different type of news: Jon Stewart is news; The Colbert Report is news. What we have to do is understand what it is that this generation wants.’
“Univision’s viewers have changed dramatically in the past two decades. So have the demographics of American Latinos, who used to come to America by crossing borders, but increasingly arrive in its hospital maternity wings. They speak English perfectly, often better than Spanish. Univision’s news audience already skews young, but to lock in its lead among the cherished 18- to 49-year-olds, programming in English is essential. . .”
Ramsey Cox, The Hill: “Reid: ‘Anarchists have taken over’ in Congress (Video)”
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday said “anarchists” have taken over Congress.
Reid (D-Nev.) said Tea Party Republicans are preventing progress on an energy efficiency bill by offering amendments on ObamaCare and other unrelated issues.
“‘We’re diverted totally from what this bill is about. Why? Because the anarchists have taken over,’ Reid said on the Senate floor. “They’ve taken over the House and now they’ve taken over the Senate.
“‘People who don’t believe in government — and that’s what the Tea Party is all about — are winning, and that’s a shame.’
“On Wednesday, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said he would prevent votes on lawmakers’ amendments to the energy bill until he’s assured he’ll get a vote on his amendment, which would require some congressional and executive branch staff to enroll in the ObamaCare health exchanges.
“‘It’s defund ObamaCare, and I guess as the fiscal year comes to and end that’s what it’s all about,’ Reid said.
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also introduced an ObamaCare-related amendment that would delay the individual health insurance mandate for one year, and codify the Obama administration’s one-year delay of requirements that employers provide insurance. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “The Myth of a California Renaissance”
“Sacramento’s strategy for recovery is more taxes, more regulation, and more government.
“. . . Unfortunately, California still faces existential crises.
“The unemployment rate just went back up in July to 8.7 percent. That is significantly higher than the current national average of 7.3 percent. Such a high rate of joblessness is a bad omen when the Democrat-controlled state legislature is pushing for the mandatory minimum wage to reach $9.25 in a little over two years.
“The ‘wall of debt’ is not $35 billion. According to the State Budget Crisis Task Force report that was issued in January, California’s debt ranges from a minimum of $167 billion to a staggering $335 billion.
“To close the budget deficit, Brown cut expenses, but he also just raised already-high income, sales, and gas taxes to the nation’s top levels. We won’t know the full effect of those costs on either businesses or the ongoing exodus of the more affluent for months to come.
“Yet why was California ever in a fiscal crisis at all? . . .”
WSJ – IRS: “Lois Lerner’s Own Words”
“Emails undercut the official IRS story on political targeting.
“Congress’s investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives has been continuing out of the Syria headlines, and it’s turning up news. Emails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee between former Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and her staff raise doubts about IRS claims that the targeting wasn’t politically motivated and that low-level employees in Cincinnati masterminded the operation.
“In a February 2011 email, Ms. Lerner advised her staff—including then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz—that a Tea Party matter is “very dangerous,” and is something “Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on.” Ms. Lerner adds, “Cincy should probably NOT have these cases.”
That’s a different tune than the IRS sang in May when former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller said the agency’s overzealous enforcement was the work of two “rogue” employees in Cincinnati. When the story broke, Ms. Lerner suggested that her office had been unaware of the pattern of targeting until she read about it in the newspaper. “So it was pretty much we started seeing information in the press that raised questions for us, and we went back and took a look,” she said in May.
Charles C.W. Cooke, NRO: “A Famous Victory in Colorado”
“A grassroots effort delivered an unprecedented blow to gun-control advocates.
“Colorado Springs — Despite the media’s insistence that the Colorado recalls were the first skirmish in a new proxy war between the National Rifle Association and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the simple truth is that Tuesday’s stunning elections were prompted and won by forces on the ground. At the Stargazers Theatre last night, I sat with those forces as a famous victory unfolded. Speaking after Senator Morse conceded, the recall’s founder, Tim Knight, told the crowd that “you must own your freedom in order to protect and pass it on to your children.” He has spent the last few months doing just that.
“Guns are a notoriously touchy subject in America — a supercharged third rail, if you will. But so too is the notion of accountability. The country was founded, after all, by men with guns grumbling about the nature of their political representation. It was in this proud tradition that the disgruntled banded together in Colorado to try to recall two sitting state senators who had not just voted to pass new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, but had steadfastly refused to listen to the opposition. The new gun laws, locals in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo told me repeatedly, were ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back.’ Their more fundamental message: ‘Listen to me, goddamnit!’ . . .”
Jack Healy, NYT: “Colorado Lawmakers Ousted in Recall Vote over Gun Law”
“COLORADO SPRINGS — Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a package of state gun laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in special elections seen as a test of whether swing-state voters would accept gun restrictions after mass shootings at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.
“The vote, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters and gave moderate lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.
“The immediate effect of the recalls — the first of their kind in Colorado — was to remove two state senators, Angela Giron of Pueblo and John Morse of Colorado Springs, and replace them with Republicans.
“Although the election was confined to two small districts in Southern Colorado and does not repeal Colorado’s gun laws or change partisan control of the General Assembly, both sides spent heavily and campaigned fiercely, fighting to prevail in what analysts called a proxy battle between gun-control advocates and the National Rifle Association. . .”
Also: John Lott, NRO: Waking a Sleeping Giant in Colorado”
Also: Rich Lowry, NRO: “When the Little Guy Wins”
HEALTH CARE . . .
Greenhouse & Martin, NYT: “Unions’ Misgivings on Health Law Burst Into View
“. . . Any erosion of health care benefits poses a singular threat to labor leaders, whose arsenal of tools to attract workers into union membership has dwindled alongside the decline of their organizations and their concomitant loss of influence around the country. Many unions and retirees have lost some benefits since the recession began, especially in the public sector as governments froze pension plans.
“Several union presidents also expressed intense frustration with an administration that they have repeatedly aided on policy and politics, some citing their lingering disappointment over Mr. Obama’s decision not to campaign aggressively for labor’s signature legislative goal, a bill that would have helped unionize more workers.
“Conservatives, of course, have bashed the Affordable Care Act since before it was passed in 2010, and aspects of the legislation remain unpopular across the country.
“Ahead of the opening on Oct. 1 of the health insurance marketplaces created to cover the uninsured by the law, the president is facing rising anger from some of the most loyal members of his party base. Compounding the unions’ anger, the business community — often labor’s archenemy and a frequent Obama critic on health care — received an important reprieve this summer when the administration delayed for one year the requirement that employers offer their workers’ health coverage or face a penalty of $2,000 for each uninsured full-time employee. . .”
Conn Carroll, Washington Examiner: “The House Republican plan to delay Obamacare”
“. . . On Tuesday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., unveiled the first building block of the Republican fiscal fight strategy — a bill that would fund the federal government through December, but also force the Senate to take two votes on the legislation before it became law.
The first vote would be on defunding Obamacare, while providing full funding for the rest of the government. The second would fund everything, including Obamacare. For complicated — critics say gimmicky — parliamentary procedural reasons, the Senate to get to the second, it would have to vote on the first.
“House Leadership wanted to vote on that bill Thursday, but the vote was delayed due to lack of support. . .”
“. . . Ultimately, what conservatives skeptical of Cantor’s plan really want, is a convincing game-plan for delaying Obamacare for at least another year, if not defunding it. And House Budget Committee Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pitched exactly such a plan to a closed-door Republican Study Committee meeting Wednesday.
The Washington Examiner’s David M. Drucker reports that, under the Ryan plan, Republicans would agree to raise the debt limit for a year, and undo the scheduled automatic sequestration cuts, but in return, Obama would have to agree to a one-year delay of Obamacare.
“‘My take is, a consensus is all beginning to build,’ Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said Wednesday as he exited the RSC meeting. . .”
Bob Guzzardi: “Do not vote for a Continuing Resolution that does not defund Obamacare”
“Anastasia Przybylski is affiliated with FreedomWorks which has an extensive and well organized network in Bucks County. Anastasia Przybylski is experienced and committed activist.
“FreedomWorks opposes funding Obamacare with the CR vote along with Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America RedState, Madison Project, Senate Conservatives. Do not be fooled by Cantor Sessions “trick vote“.
“Tea Party abandons the GOP Establishment. Not only in Bucks County”
From Bucks County activists to Congressman Fitzpatrick:
We, the undersigned leaders of patriot groups in the 8th Congressional District, have been active supporters of Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick for years, contributing time, effort, and funds to support this honest civil servant. We have asked the Congressman to protect the best interests of individuals, families, and businesses in his district by refusing to fund ObamaCare. Unfortunately, despite having cast 42 votes supporting symbolic resolutions against the detrimental provisions of this Healthcare Act, Congressman Fitzpatrick has not committed himself to taking a stand against funding Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution.
The failure of our representatives in the House to use their power of the purse strings to delay or stall the burdensome requirements of ObamaCare undermines the people’s confidence in their understanding of the harmful impact of this law and their commitment to the welfare of the people. Those of us who have worked to put the Congressman in office because of his firm stand against ObamaCare call on Congressman Fitzpatrick to back up his words with action by voting against any measure that provides funding for ObamaCare. We further ask that Congressman Fitzpatrick make public this commitment to his constituents.
We specifically request that Congressman Fitzpatrick promptly sign the letter composed by Rep. Mark Meadows, urging the House GOP leadership to “affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.”
Judson Phillips, Washington Times: “Two million bikers: A revolution begins with a kickstand”
“. . . On 9/11/13, an Islamic group planned to hold a “Million Muslim March” in Washington. The American Muslim Political Action Committee planned the event to protest unfair fear of Muslims after 9/11 2001.
“The National Park Service fell all over itself granting that permit.
“At the same time, an organization calling itself “Two million bikers to DC” asked for a permit so they could ride through Washington to honor the military and those who fell in the 9/11 attacks.
“The National Park Service denied the Bikers’ request for a permit for their ride. The Park Service claimed the ride would be problematic during a weekday. According to the Blaze, Carol Johnson, a spokesman for the National Park Service said, “I wish the bikers would leave me alone.”
“The bikers did something that was long over due. On their Facebook page, the group featured a poster that said, “We don’t need no stinkin’ permit. We have our Constitutional Rights and we shall ride.”
“Finally, someone is standing up to the Obama Administration.
“What a pity these bikers aren’t running the Republican Party. . .”
“. . . Conservatives are sick of establishment Republicans who demand support when their candidates win the nomination, but immediately bail on conservatives when a conservative candidate is the nominee. Conservative voters are tired of the lesser-of-two-evils sales pitch.
As conservatives say, “A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.”
The “Million Muslim March” was renamed “The Million American March against Fear,” but it still didn’t catch on. The event drew perhaps a hundred participants, if photos tweeted by WTOP’s John Aaron are an indication. The biker event didn’t draw millions, but it drew 3,000 participants (emph added, jb), according to a police report, whose bikes stretched over a third of a mile. . .”
NSA . . .
Erica Ritz, The Blaze: “Sick of NSA Snooping? Glenn Beck’s Latest Announcement Could Be the Best Thing You’ve Heard All Week”
“On his radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck announced an exciting new feature coming soon to annual TheBlaze TV Plus subscribers — a private 1791.com email address.
“Beck said he believes the Bill of Rights, which was ratified in 1791, is ‘the secret’ to what makes this country great, and among those rights is a right to privacy — something Americans are seeing less and less of, it seems, amid the NSA domestic surveillance scandal.
“‘So I’m introducing today a new service for you,’ Beck said. ‘It’s a private 1791.com address of your very own. Your name @1791.com as your email address.’
“‘We’re a company that will guarantee that you will never, ever, ever have your emails scanned,’ he said. ‘We will never share the list…you’ll never see an advertisement that you’re like, ‘Wait a minute…Hold it, how do you know that I’ve been looking for that car?’
“‘We’re not going to do any of that,’ Beck said. ‘And it will be free to you, if you’re [an annual Blaze TV Plus] subscriber.’”
Edward Moyer, CNET: “NSA disguised itself as Google to spy, say reports”
“A technique commonly used by hackers, a MITM attack involves using a fake security certificate to pose as a legitimate Web service, bypass browser security settings, and then intercept data that an unsuspecting person is sending to that service. Hackers could, for example, pose as a banking Web site and steal passwords. . .
“It’s not clear if the supposed attack in the Fantastico document was handled by the NSA or by its UK counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The article by the Brazilian news agency says, “In this case, data is rerouted to the NSA central, and then relayed to its destination, without either end noticing.”
“There have been rumors of the NSA and others using those kinds of MITM attacks,” Mike Masnick writes on Techdirt, “but to have it confirmed that they’re doing them against the likes of Google… is a big deal — and something I would imagine does not make [Google] particularly happy.”
PA . . .
Keegan Gibson, PoliticsPA: “Report: Corbett to Expand Medicaid”
“Governor Corbett has reportedly decided to move forward with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
“According to the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era, he is set to make an announcement sometime next week.
“Asked about the report, spokeswoman Lynn Lawson said an announcement would be coming soon and reiterated the Governor’s earlier statements that he would seek reforms and concessions before accepting expansion.
“‘Governor Corbett does not support growing an entitlement program,’ she said. ‘Governor Corbett has been very clear about the need for reform. There are a number of interesting options to consider; they are under review.’”
Leo Knepper, CAP: “In Case You Missed It: Business Owner and CAP Supporter Declares Candidacy for Senate Seat”
“On Tuesday, Scott R. Wagner announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania Senate seat opened up by the retirement of Sen. Mike Waugh (R-York). As noted by the Harrisburg Patriot News, Mr. Wagner has been a vocal critic of “out-of-control government spending”. In addition to taking an active personal role in politics, Mr. Wagner has been a generous supporter of CAP’s.
“We are excited to see a business owner put his hat in the ring as a candidate for the legislature. One of the best ways to reign in an out of control bureaucracy is to have more people in the legislature who have personal experience in trying to navigate the labyrinth of regulations holding back job growth in the Commonwealth. As President of two companies employing over four hundred people, Mr. Wagner certainly has the real world experience that is sorely lacking in the General assembly.
In the future, CAP hopes that business owners and executives with experience battling against big government will take a more active role in the political arena. Mr. Wagner’s willingness to challenge entrenched special interests through his political activities and his newly launched Senate campaign is a welcome change from politics as usual in Pennsylvania.”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Kane got campaign cash from firm challenging PA’s gay marriage law”
“In the battle for gay marriage in Pennsylvania, well-connected and deep-pocketed law firms have lined up on both sides.
“Last week, we reported on the connections between Gov. Tom Corbett and the Lamb McErlane PC law firm from West Chester. Members and employees at the law firm have given more than $77,000 to Corbett over multiple campaigns since 2004.
“Corbett’s legal team has contracted with Lamb McErlane to assist in the defense of the state law that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. The firm stands to make $400 per hour defending the lawsuit.
“Meanwhile, Attorney General Kathleen Kane received $2,000 in campaign contributions from the heads of the law firm challenging Pennsylvania’s marriage law.
“Kane, in July, declined to defend that law, which is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and its law firm, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin and Schiller.
“William Hangley and Mark Aronchick, two of the lead attorneys at the Philadelphia-based law firm, each gave $1,000 to Kane’s successful 2012 attorney general campaign. Members and employees at the law firm have given more than $95,000 in political contributions since 2003 – nearly all of it to Democratic candidates (the only Republican to receive a donation from an employee of the firm was longtime Corbett rival Bruce Castor) – according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, which tracks campaign spending. . .”
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: “Frackers fired up by criminal charges in 2010 spill”
“HARRISBURG — Oil and gas advocates are afraid recent criminal charges filed against a company working in western Pennsylvania will dampen the booming industry in the state.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane this week announced criminal charges against XTO Energy, accusing the oil and gas company of multiple counts of unlawful conduct under the state’s Clean Stream Laws and the Solid Waste Management Act.
XTO, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, says it plans to challenge the criminal charges in court, though the company acknowledges its settlement with federal officials.
“This decision sends a chilling message to all businesses looking to locate in Pennsylvania that they could be held criminally liable in the event of an unintentional spill by a contractor that resulted in no injury to humans or wildlife and that had no lasting impacts on the environment,” said Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “It’s an unusual, if not unprecedented, over-reach by the attorney general.”
END NOTES . . .
John Unfit for Command Kerry may be running for office … he appears to have a fresh botox job. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2013/09/04/john-kerrys-face-looks-different-exhaustion-illness-botox/
Rushbo: The American Left
“. . . The American left is not content with you deciding what you want for yourself, because you don’t have the intelligence or the ability to know what’s best for yourself. You need them. You need them planning it all for you. You need them making sure that bad things don’t happen to you. You need them to make sure that no risks are taken. You need them to protect you, to guide you. The thing is, they don’t care about you anywhere near as much as you do, and they never will. They can’t. They care about them and what they want. And what they want is you needing them. That’s the sole source of their power. And if you don’t acquiesce to that, they’ll punish you until you give in, cave in, say, “Oh, the hell with it,” and take your 99 weeks of unemployment and feel lucky about it. . .”