KNEPPER – Constitution Day; COOKE – Gun control dead end; LEE – Boehner needs votes from Nan; KIMBALL – Bully Christie; HANSON – Obama’s Box Canyon; MURCHISON – Non-serious president.
MIDDLE EAST: Straub – Benghazi gaps; Johnson – Biden talks to J Street; Feith – Productive chemistry; Taranto – The other debacle; Antous, Hook & Lee: White House reversal; Phillips – Falling for this?; Gehrke – BO reverses arms ban for rebels.
NAVY YARD SHOOTER: Darcy – Why military personnel unarmed; Tuccille – Gun control at the Navy Yard; Simon – Guns & schizophrenia.
HEALTH CARE: Howley – BO predicts gov’t shutdown; Costa – House to vote; Bedard – 51% favor closing up; Rushbo – Buffet on health care.
PA: Astorino – DC assaults local zoning; Daniels – Muni alcohol tax; Boehm – Drill vs. wildlife; Boehm – Red light cameras in Mont Co.; Baertlein – Starbucks guns.
END NOTES: Tabirian – Sex offenders released; Red Eye – rounds to rebels.
“Those claiming that yesterday’s abomination demonstrates the need for stricter gun control are lying, or else they are ignorant, and, either way, they should be ashamed of themselves. It does no such thing.” Charles C. W. Cooke
“King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government Tuesday in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone.
“In its place a ‘participation society’ is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.” Toby Sterling, Big Peace
Twelve 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.
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Happy Constitution Day!”
“On September 17, 1787 the Constitutional Convention came to a close. The final draft of the Constitution was signed and sent to the states for ratification. There are few better sources for understanding the type of government our Founders intended to create through the Constitution than the Federalist Papers. Bearing that in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to excerpt Federalist 10 to honor Constitution Day . . .”
Charles C. W. Cooke, NRO: “Gun Control’s Dead End”
“We now know that the perpetrator owned only a Remington 870 shotgun, and that he murdered and maimed his way into possession of the two other weapons that he used in his attack. Those weapons were two standard 9mm handguns — not, as the media tripped over itself prematurely to report, a much-maligned AR-15 “assault rifle.” On his show last night, unrelenting bore Piers Morgan spent a great deal of time spreading misinformation about the role of the AR-15 in the shooting, a theme that the New York Daily News rather embarrassingly continued on its front page this morning. Although retractions will presumably be forthcoming in the usual tiny print, it is probably too late to remove completely the impression that the headlines will have left in the imaginations of many Americans.
““It is not, however, too late to set the record straight in the public square and with lawmakers, who will be predictably pressured to “do something.” Here, the truth is vital, for it demonstrates neatly the reality that, in a country with 350-million-plus privately owned firearms, the state is utterly powerless to stop evil with the law. President Obama, Senator Feinstein, Senator Schumer et al. could have pushed through Congress every single gun-control provision that they coveted earlier this year — an “assault weapons” ban, a limit on the size of magazines, and a requirement that background checks be conducted for all private sales — and yesterday would nonetheless have happened exactly as it did. . .”
Tony Lee, Big Govt: “Boehner May Have to Ask Pelosi for Votes to Fund Gov’t”
“House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) may have to turn to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to get the votes for a short-term resolution to fund the government after October 1.
“After House conservatives refused to support a continuing resolution they felt was a ‘gimmick’ to make it look like they were taking steps to defund Obamacare, Politico noted that Boehner may now ‘have to call on Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.’ Congress has until September 30 to pass a continuing resolution.
“But Pelosi and Democrats will seek compromises for their votes.
Democrats want to paint Republicans as “a party beholden to extremists,” possibly attach the Senate’s immigration bill to the short-term resolution to “counter the GOP effort to use the CR as a mechanism to force the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote on defunding Obamacare,” or seek compromises on the sequester.
“Though Politico notes that Boehner would not have to go to Pelosi ‘until he’s staring at the prospect of a shutdown,’ Boehner would ‘most likely have to abandon the conservative call to include a defund provision’ if he does seek help from her. . .”
Roger Kimball, PJM: “Chris Christie, Bully Blowhard”
“Make that ‘incompetent bully blowhard.’ Don’t get me wrong: I loved watching Christie take apart those pathetic public school teachers as much as anyone. And for about fifteen minutes I thought, “Hey, this guy is pretty cool.” But then I noticed that he subjected everyone who disagreed with him to the same bully treatment. His only rhetorical strategy, it seems, is throwing his weight around. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that.)
“And then there was Christie’s love-in moment with Obama after Hurricane Sandy (The Atlantic called it “the hug seen ’round the world”). Did it cost Romney the presidency? Probably not, but it didn’t help.
“He had to engage in that public post-Sandy chumminess, I’m told, in order to do the right thing by New Jersey, which suffered cruelly from the hurricane. But has Christie done the right thing by New Jersey? I think the New Jersey Star Ledger may be right: Christie is America’s most overrated governor.
Consider . . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Obama’s Box Canyon”
“Our Hamlet-in-chief wanted simultaneously to act and not act.
“. . . Even criminal dictators mostly do not wish to provoke a military response from the United States. Moreover, for the past 30 years a mellifluous Obama had found that his own rhetoric was as useful as concrete action. Few ever questioned whether what he had so elegantly asserted was ever really followed up. Ask the mesmerized Nobel Peace Prize committee.
“So Obama would bluster about as is his wont. Assad would not dare test the credibility of a U.S. president. The interventionists in both camps would be somewhat placated. And the president could continue to deplore, but not have to intervene in, the Syrian civil war. Most of us Americans conceded that inaction was the wiser course.
“Who knows who upset that calculus and why?
“Maybe Assad wished to restore his eroding deterrence by a lethal display of WMD. Perhaps he deliberately set out to embarrass the U.S. and was given assurances by Vladimir Putin that it would be a good idea. He must have sensed U.S. confusion and may have sincerely thought that there was no real danger in using those weapons to restore momentum on the battlefield, only to be shocked when Obama finally took his own red line seriously. Or maybe it wasn’t Assad’s decision — maybe a rogue general was freelancing. Or maybe Islamists had a hand in the WMD attack, hoping to prompt our intervention. We still don’t know all the agendas involved, but the bottom line is that an American president was forced to show his cards.
“The last two weeks have proved catastrophic to U.S. interests and security.
“Even the stylish Obama admits that his effort was non-linear diplomacy without style. The confusion again resulted from these irreconcilable facts that he wanted Assad to stop and did not want to force him to stop. So what followed was what only could follow.
“Congress was and was not to be consulted; was to be on and off the hook; its vote no doubt supportive, no doubt obstructionist; its final say both binding and maybe not so binding. Killing tens of thousands with conventional weapons was awful, or rather not as awful as killing hundreds with WMD. Assad was to leave, or maybe not. WMD use was to be punished, or maybe WMD themselves destroyed. Insurgents were to be helped, or maybe just Assad was to be hurt. Russia was a partner or a conjurer of trouble, or now ‘owned’ the Syrian mess. A pontificating Kerry, a comatose Hagel, a chagrined Dempsey, an embarrassed Power, a discomfited Rice, and a campaigning Hillary were force multipliers of the mess. There was no Ryan Crocker or Richard Holbrooke around to offer some adult advice.
“Into that tar pit Putin himself stepped to extricate Obama in the short term in order to weaken him in the long term. . .”
William Murchison, American Spectator: “Our Non-Serious President”
“Obama makes a lot of speeches because he has a lot to say on all topics. The one he made in the Rose Garden, touting his impending triumph over the country’s economic woes, had all the right props, from impressive background to worshipful audience. The language was robust: “Republicans in Congress don’t seem to be focused on how to grow the economy and build the middle class. I say ‘at the moment’ because I’m still hoping that a light bulb goes off here.”
I cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can’t get 100 percent of what it wants.
(A)re some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party they’re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can’t get their way on this issue?
What they call this in the boxing ring and other such high-class venues is trash-talkin’. You try to make your opponent lose his cool, get mad, throw a premature punch. C’mon, man! You think you’re such a big man! Well, where I come from, we got a name for folks like you.
And so on. . .
MIDDLE EAST . . .
Bill Straub, PJM: “New Benghazi Report Finds ‘Troubling’ Gaps in State Dept. Review”
“WASHINGTON – A critical report issued by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee has dismissed the findings of a blue-ribbon panel investigating the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, asserting that the State Department-appointed commission didn’t properly examine key witnesses and generally failed to perform a comprehensive job.
“In a 98-page report released Monday, committee staff concluded that “troubling” gaps exist in the work of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) appointed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and that the ‘limitations inherent in the ARB’s mandate and the weaknesses in the ARB’s methodology show that a more thorough investigation is necessary.’
““The ARB blamed systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies within two bureaus, but downplayed the importance of decisions made at senior levels of the Department,” the report read, adding that the ARB’s decision to “cite certain officials as accountable for what happened in Benghazi appears to have been based on factors that had little or no connection to the security posture at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee chairman, said the ARB ‘was not fully independent,’ noting that it ‘did not exhaustively examine failures and it has led to an unacceptable lack of accountability.’”
Bridget Johnson, PJM: “Biden to Speak at J Street Conference on Day Obama Meets with Bibi”
“The Obama administration is sending its highest-ranking speaker yet to keynote J Street’s conference in Washington.
“The group branded as a ‘pro-peace’ alternative to pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC, the ADL and the American Jewish Committee. Alan Dershowitz once said ‘J Street has done more damage to Israel than any American organization.’
“‘It has made a generation of Jews ashamed to be pro-Israel, and has made it politically correct among young people to single out Israel to a double standard and for fault,’ Dershowitz continued. ‘It is a fraud in advertising to call J Street pro-Israel. An organization that calls for the US to censure Israel at the UN is not pro-Israel. An organization that praises [judge Richard] Goldstone is not pro-Israel. An organization that calls for taking any military measure against Iran off the table is not pro-Israel. It should stop defrauding the public.’
“J Street pro-Palestinian stance — Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, the leader of a Palestinian nationalist party and cousin of an imprisoned Palestinian terror leader, told last year’s J Street conference that blame for imminent failure of a two-state solution will rest squarely on the shoulders of Israel — is slowly gaining traction on Capitol Hill. . .”
Douglas Feith, WSJ: “A Very Productive Chemical-Weapons Attack”
“Bashar Assad may have pulled off the most successful use of chemical weapons in history. For the two years leading up to the Aug. 21 Damascus sarin gas attack, President Obama was saying that the Syrian dictator “must go.” No longer. In one month, Assad has risen from outlaw butcher to partner in disarmament.
“America’s Syria policy today focuses not on mass murder, or on the metastasizing humanitarian and refugee crisis, or on combating the interests of Iran and its Hezbollah proxies in keeping Assad in power. Rather, with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s help, U.S. policy under President Obama is concentrating on chemical-weapons disarmament.
“Secretary of State John Kerry labors to enlist Assad in an arms-control project even while alleging that the dictator has used nerve gas in violation of Syria’s obligations under the 1925 Geneva Protocol. U.S. policy is not to oust the Assad regime or even to encourage the Syrian people to do so. President Obama has now created a U.S. interest in preserving Assad in power.
“This means Assad must stay, not go, for he is needed to negotiate and implement an arrangement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. The arrangement, if successfully negotiated, will take years to implement. Arms control evidently means never having to say you’re sorry.
“Meanwhile, the Syrian rebels are exasperated and mistrustful, having seen Washington dangle the prospect of U.S. military strikes, only to back away. The Iranians are drawing comforting lessons about the lengths that the Obama administration will go to avoid military action in the Middle East. The Russians have been promoted from reprehensible accomplices in Assad’s evil to indispensable peace negotiators—while they remain accomplices to that evil.
“What lesson will dictators around the world derive from all this? They will see that there is enormous utility in creating a chemical-weapons arsenal, and even in using such weapons. Sarin gas, VX, anthrax and the like can be valuable for intimidating one’s enemies, foreign and domestic, and for killing them. They can then be traded away at a very high price under the right circumstances. They can serve as a lifesaver for a dictator on the skids. . .”
James Taranto, WSJ: “About That Other Debacle”
“For ObamaCare, it’s only the end of the beginning.
“If you’re the kind of driver who can’t help but gawk at the wreckage when you pass an accident–and honestly, who isn’t?–you’ll enjoy today’s lengthy account in The Wall Street Journal of the runup to last week’s Putin-Assad triumph.
“Right off the bat we learn, which is to say our suspicion is confirmed, that this was a case of a willful president with atrocious political instincts. When Obama consulted his cabinet and top staffers about the idea of seeking congressional approval for a strike in Syria, “senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer pegged the chances of Congress balking at 40%. . . . Mr. Obama took the gamble anyway and set aside the impending strikes to try to build domestic and international support for such action.”
“In retrospect, it seems clear that while Pfeiffer was on the right track in warning that Congress might scuttle the plan, he underestimated the probability of that outcome. Given the political obstacles that stood in the way of the president’s call for authorization to use force–Republican control of the House, Democratic misgivings about military intervention, and, most important, crosspartisan public misgivings–it seems absurd to suggest Obama was ever likelier than not to win a vote.
“In fact, one could make a case that the probability of gaining congressional assent was already so low as to be indistinguishable from zero on Aug. 31, when the president announced his request. . .”
Antous, Hook, & Lee, WSJ: Inside White House, a Head-Spinning Reversal on Chemical Weapons”
“How the U.S. Stumbled Into an International Crisis and Then Stumbled Out of It
“When President Barack Obama decided he wanted congressional approval to strike Syria, he received swift—and negative—responses from his staff. National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned he risked undermining his powers as commander in chief. Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer pegged the chances of Congress balking at 40%. His defense secretary also raised concerns.
“Mr. Obama took the gamble anyway and set aside the impending strikes to try to build domestic and international support for such action.
“He found little of either. Congress’s top leaders weren’t informed of the switch until just an hour or so before Mr. Obama’s Rose Garden announcement and weren’t asked whether lawmakers would support it. When the president’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, announced the decision on a conference call with congressional committee leaders, some were so taken aback they seemed at first to misunderstand it.
“Outside the U.S., Arab leaders privately urged the U.S. to bomb, but few backed Mr. Obama publicly. The United Kingdom pulled the plug on a joint operation two days after indicating to the White House it had the votes to proceed. Compounding the confusion, the same day a potential breakthrough emerged via a diplomatic opening provided by Russia, the administration sent a memo to lawmakers highlighting why Russia shouldn’t be trusted on Syria.
“This account of an extraordinary 24 days in international diplomacy, capped by a deal this past weekend to dismantle Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile, is based on more than two dozen interviews with senior White House, State Department, Pentagon and congressional officials and many of their counterparts in Europe and the Middle East. The events shed light on what could prove a pivotal moment for America’s role in the world. . .”
Melanie Phillips: “Is the west mug enough to fall for this? (Don’t all answer at once)”
“. . . Ever since it declared war upon the west in 1978, the Iranian regime has played the west for the suckers they are.
“First, even though Iran repeatedly attacked it through terrorist atrocities against civilians or on the battlefield in Iraq, this supine western world turned the other cheek. Rather than respond appropriately to such acts, it pretended the ongoing Iranian war against the west, which was claiming the lives of US and British soldiers as well as hundreds of civilians, wasn’t happening at all.
“Next, Iran was handed the supreme gift of President Obama who, by his vapid approach to a regime intent upon manufacturing a nuclear arsenal with which to achieve its murderous and genocidal ends, gave it the vital time it needed to spin its centrifuges as well as advance towards strategic domination of the Middle East.
“Next, it finally got rid of its crude demagogue President Ahmadinejad, who had embarrassed the regime by revealing all too clearly its deep hatred towards the Jews and its psychopathic goal of wiping out Israel, and replaced him by the serpentine President Rohani, whose self-declared skill at playing the west for suckers was immediately demonstrated when western politicians purred with pleasure at his ‘moderation’.
“This, of course, was the same ‘moderate’ Rohani who had helped Ayatollah Khomeini found the Iranian revolutionary terrorist regime in the first place; has expressed anti-Jewish views and lauded ‘the beautiful chant of “Death to America”’; defended Hezbollah as a ‘legitimate political group’ and called Israel a ‘terrorist nation’; and served as Chairman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 1989 until 2005, during which time the Council is reported to have helped mastermind the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia (although it is said Rohani was not personally involved in planning such attacks).
“And then another great gift fell into the lap of the Iranian regime when President Obama, through his Syria debacle, effectively outsourced the role of policing the free world to its enemy – and Iran’s protector and arms supplier – President Putin, who instantly became the pivotal player in the Middle East. . .”
Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner: “UPDATED: Obama waives ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition”
“President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to ‘vetted’ opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
“Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad’s regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah.
“The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would ‘waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A of the AECA related to such a transaction.”
“Those two sections prohibit sending weaponry to countries described in section 40(d): “The prohibitions contained in this section apply with respect to a country if the Secretary of State determines that the government of that country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,’ Congress stated in the Arms Control Export Act. . .”
Navy Yard Shooter. . .
Oliver Darcy, The Blaze: “This Is Why Most Military Personnel Aren’t Armed on Military Bases — and It’s Not Clinton’s Fault”
“Monday’s deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard has renewed interest in why most military personnel are forbidden from carrying firearms on military bases. In the aftermath, some have pointed fingers at former President Bill Clinton, but is he really to blame?
Not according to what we found.
The question of why military members aren’t armed on base garnered attention back in November 2009 when Army Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at Ft. Hood and killed 13 people. He was sentenced to death on August 28. Now, nearly four years later, many are asking the same question.
So what’s the answer? It appears this “gun-free zone” type policy can actually be traced back to Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56, signed into effect in February 1992 by Donald J. Atwood, deputy secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush.
J.D. Tuccille, Reason: “Washington Navy Yard Already Suffers the Restrictions That Gun Control Advocates Favor”
“. . . Firearms regulations at military installations are sufficiently byzantine that the Quantico Shooting Club at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, cautions members and guests about them and maintains a listing of restrictions (PDF). In particular, U.S. Navy Regulation 1159 (PDF) states:
‘Except as may be necessary to the proper performance of his or her duty or as may be authorised by proper authority, no person in the naval service shall:
‘a. have concealed about his or her person any dangerous weapon, instrument or device, or any highly explosive article or compound; or
‘b. have in his or her possession any dangerous weapon, instrument or device or any highly explosive article or compound on board any ship, craft, aircraft, or in any vehicle of the naval service or within any base or other place under naval jurisdiction.
“The Quantico summary clarifies interpretation of the rules for the base, adding, “Under no circumstances will the transportation of loaded or concealed handguns, shotguns, or rifles be permitted on MCBQ except under those situations outlined in paragraph 7 of this Order.” That’s specific to Quantico, but there’s little reason to think that’s at wide variance from policy anywhere else.
“Then-President Clinton issued an order in 1993 (PDF) severely tightening gun restrictions at all Department of the Army installations. The directive said in part, “The authorization to carry firearms will be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or Department of the Army (DA) assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.” The same rules seem to apply to the other branches of service, to go by the Navy regulations above.
“That makes military bases much like other “gun-free zones. . .”
Roger Simon, PJM: “Guns and Schizophrenia”
“No one is more boring and predictable than Senator Dianne Feinstein immediately calling for the banning of assault weapons after the carnage at the Washington Navy Yard. That an AR-15 wasn’t even involved in the mass killing is also predictable. Liberalism, as exemplified by Ms. Feinstein, is just a fuddy-duddy ideology in general, so old-fashioned you want to bang your forehead on the table.
“…no one should want paranoid schizophrenics to have arms… not even a number two pencil because, if their voices tell them to do it, they will put out your eye with it.
“…it’s about time that folks on the right stop being paranoid themselves and worried about the Second Amendment (yes, we must completely and permanently support it for obvious reasons) and start doing something about crazy people. They shouldn’t have guns. They should be in hospitals.
“Aaron Alexis wasn’t an Islamic terrorist or even (fallacious and deeply reactionary as our government was) a man angry at workplace “mistreatment” of some sort like Major Hasan. Aaron Alexis was deeply and completely insane. He heard voices. He was nuts.
“Ditto for a whole series of whackos lately in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown, and Virginia Tech with a huge number of corpses on their hands.
“Such people should not have the right to bear arms of any level under any circumstances whatsoever and we on the right should LEAD the charge to prevent it. The NRA itself should lead the charge. It might even be a game changer. . .”
Drudge Report 9/17-18/13): Navy Yard Shooter
Paranoid schizophrenia . . .
FRIEND: Obama supporter, 'more of a liberal'...
MEDS: Navy Yard gunman was treated by US for serious mental illness, 'hearing voices'...
Sought help weeks before shooting...
Claimed to have PTSD after rescuing victims on 9/11...
Navy had not declared mentally unfit...
Passed two background checks...
Cited 8 times for misconduct...
Got honorable discharge...
Had 'secret' clearance...
Awarded 'Global War on Terrorism Service Medal'...
Attended Buddhist temple...
Carney: Obama implementing executive actions...
Navy exploring base security measures...
Feinstein calls for new gun control laws...
REPORT: Gunman entered with shotgun, picked up weapons inside...
REPORT: No AR-15 involved; shotgun, 2 handguns...
Mass shootings fuel fear, account for fraction of murders...
LAST WEEK: Al Qaeda calls for small-scale attacks inside United States...
DC mayor blames 'sequester'...
MEDS: Navy Yard gunman was treated by US for serious mental illness...
Sought help weeks before shooting...
Navy had not declared mentally unfit...
KNEW IN 2007...
DC mayor blames 'sequester'...
Father: 'They Could've Stopped It' If They'd Had Ammo...
Politicians, media mischaracterize gun...
HEALTH CARE . . .
Patrick Howley, Daily Caller: “Obama’s group attacks GOP ‘government shutdown’ as 70 Repubs sponsor bill to avoid shutdown”
“Republican Rep. Tom Graves’ budget plan to defund Obamacare while avoiding a government shutdown is rapidly gaining House support, but President Obama’s advocacy group Organizing for Action (OFA) is still using claims that Republicans want a shutdown in its fundraising pitch.
“Graves’ Stability, Security, and Fairness Resolution now has 70 House cosponsors after 11 more lawmakers cosponsored Tuesday. The continuing resolution proposal for fiscal year 2014 actually avoids a government shutdown and funds all facets of the federal government, with the exception of spending related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Graves introduced the plan last Thursday.
“‘There has never, ever, ever been any proposal from Ted Cruz or Mike Lee to shut down the functions of government. That was just the media,’ said Brian Phillips, communications director for Sen. Mike Lee, who is partnering with Sen. Cruz on the highly publicized ‘Defund Obamacare’ campaign. . .”
Robert Costa, NRO: “House to Vote on Defunding Obamacare”
“Leadership sources tell me the House will soon vote on a continuing resolution that simultaneously funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are expected to announce the decision at Wednesday’s Republican conference meeting.
“This means the conservatives who have been urging Boehner to back a defunding effort as part of the CR have won a victory, at least in terms of getting the leadership to go along with their strategy. But getting such a CR through the Democratic Senate and signed into law will be very difficult — and many House insiders predict a “Plan B” will emerge in the coming days.
“Here’s how my sources expect the gambit to unfold: The House passes a ‘defund CR,’ throws it to the Senate, and waits to see what Senator Ted Cruz and his allies can do. (Emph added, jb) Maybe they can get it through, maybe they can’t. Boehner and Cantor will be supportive, and conservative activists will rally.
“But if Cruz and company can’t round up the votes, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejects the legislation, the House leadership will likely ask Republicans to turn their focus to the debt limit, avert a shutdown, and pass a revised CR — a stopgap spending bill that doesn’t defund Obamacare. . .”
Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner: “Poll: 51 percent favor government shutdown until Congress cuts Obamacare”
“In a huge boost for conservatives trying to trim or kill Obamacare, a new Rasmussen Reports just out finds that 51 percent of voters back shutting down the government until major cuts are made in the new health care program that begins Oct. 1.
“The poll said, ‘Fifty-one percent of voters favor having a shutdown until Democrats and Republicans agree on what spending for the health care law to cut. Forty percent would rather avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending for the health care law at existing levels.”
“Some congressional conservatives and outside support groups have been urging GOP leaders to demand cuts to Obamacare before agreeing to a new budget deal. If the cuts aren’t made, they want the federal government close, though key payments like Social Security would continue.
“Many polls have shown that the GOP would suffer in such a fight. But the Rasmussen poll finds that if the main reason is because Democrats and the president fail to give an inch on Obamacare, Republicans would win public support. . .”
Also – Rasmussen Reports: “51% Favor Government Shutdown Until Congress Cuts Health Care Funding” http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/september_2013/51_favor_government_shutdown_until_congress_cuts_health_care_funding
“Rushbo: “Quick Hits”
“Well, now, this, ladies and gentlemen, at the same time it’s interesting, it’s a little (to me, anyway) deflating. Because the Weekly Standard has added an addendum to their ‘Warren Buffett Says We Should Scrap Obamacare’ story. This is the update they’ve added at the end of the story at the Standard today. ‘It appears,’ it says, ‘that Buffett made his anti-Obamacare comments in 2010, thereby showing that he, like most of the American people, has opposed Obamacare since even before it was passed.’
“So Buffett’s statement was erroneously thought to have been made in the past couple days. It wasn’t. It was made in 2010. So that means it has much less impact. He said it 2010 and nobody listened to it and nobody built on it, and nothing really happened. It’s been reported again, but he said it three years ago. I guess, in and of itself, it’s an indication Buffett knew. He said it before it was passed. He’s not an idiot. He knew what this bill was. He knew where it was headed.
“But the fact that he said it in 2010 and nobody knew about it ’til yesterday is a story unto itself. . .”
PA . . .
Robert Astorino, WSJ: “Washington’s ‘Fair Housing’ Assault on Local Zoning”
“. . . In July, HUD published its long-awaited proposal on “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” in the Federal Register. It is a sweeping set of land-use regulations that has attracted little national attention. The agency wants the power to dismantle local zoning so communities have what it considers the right mix of economic, racial and ethnic diversity. A finding of discriminatory behavior, or allegations of discrimination, would no longer be necessary. HUD will supply “nationally uniform data” of what it thinks 1,200 communities should look like.
“Local governments will have to ‘take meaningful actions to further the goals identified.’ If they fail to comply, HUD can cut federal funding. Westchester County north of New York City has firsthand experience of what the rest of the nation can expect.
“HUD and Westchester are battling over local zoning that arose from a 2009 settlement (signed by my predecessor) to build 750 affordable-housing units in 31 mostly white communities. Westchester is well ahead of schedule in meeting these obligations. Almost 400 units have financing and 124 are already occupied. But HUD isn’t satisfied because it wants to control local zoning and remake communities.
“HUD has told Westchester that any limits on the size, type, height and density of buildings are “restrictive practices.” It demands that the county sue its localities over such common zoning regulations, which are not exclusionary by any stretch of the imagination. If HUD can define what constitutes exclusionary practices, then local zoning as it is known today disappears. Apartments, high rises or whatever else the federal government or a developer wants can be built on any block in America. . .”
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: You’re buying: Can PA munis drink their way out of debt?”
“HARRISBURG — A proposed tax on alcoholic drinks could give new meaning to the phrase ‘drinking away your problems’ by funneling new revenue toward municipalities in financial distress.
“The ‘Optional Distressed Municipality Alcohol Consumption Tax’ is one of three new levies in the proposed legislation from the Local Government Commission Act 47 Task Force, which is working through an update to the state’s designation for fiscally distressed municipalities.
“The task force’s recommended legislation, which could be introduced in the General Assembly as early as this fall, aims to create an exit strategy. It creates a five-year limitation for Act 47 designees, followed by an optional three-year exit plan. In the meantime, the idea is local governments could fix their finances with new revenue options, such as a drink tax.
“‘Each municipality is really going to have to analyze what is best for them,’ said co-chair Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester. ‘We’re trying to apply this to a variety of different municipalities in very different circumstances, from very small boroughs to very large cities.’
“Act 47 is something of a black hole. . .”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “The coming fight between gas drillers and environmentalists over PA’s endangered species”
“HARRISBURG – Most Pennsylvanians have probably never heard of the rabbitsfoot mussel.
“Even fewer are likely to have encountered one of the small freshwater mollusks in the wild.
“The rabbitsfoot is one of dozens of species on Pennsylvania’s state-level endangered species list, which figures to be the next front in the ongoing political battle between the state’s burgeoning natural gas industry and the environmental movement, which sees the gas drillers as a threat to the state’s natural beauty.
“But for the drillers extracting gas from Pennsylvania’s rich Marcellus shale deposits, protected snakes, mussels, frogs and salamanders can stop even the most powerful of their machines.
“The Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association and other industry groups are calling for the passage of House Bill 1576, which would remove all species now on the list — though they could be re-added later. . .”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Red light cameras could be heading to Montgomery County township”
“HARRISBURG — Despite concerns about cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability, Abington Township in Montgomery County could be the first municipality in the state outside of Philadelphia to set-up a red light camera program.
“An ordinance approved by the township last week would allow them to install the red-light enforcement cameras at three intersections in the suburban township just across the border from Philadelphia. The state Department of Transportation still has to sign off on the plan.
“‘I hope the impact is that the red-light violations decrease,’ Abington Police Deputy Chief Michael Webb told PhillyBurbs.com on Monday.
“Legislation approved by the state government in 2012 — in the early morning hours of July 1, in violation of a General Assembly rule forbidding votes after 11 p.m. — allowed Pittsburgh and about a dozen municipalities in the Philadelphia suburbs to use red light cameras. Previously, only Philadelphia was authorized to use the cameras. The city began installing cameras in 2005 and now has them at 19 intersections. . .”
Lisa Baertlein, Reuters: “Starbucks asks U.S. customers to leave guns at home”
Mr. Lott assures us that every incident of public shootings have occurred in “gun free” stores and theaters . . .PA is an “open carry” state.
(Reuters) – Coffee chain Starbucks Corp has asked U.S. customers to leave their guns at home after being dragged into an increasingly fractious debate over U.S. gun rights in the wake of multiple mass shootings.
“While many U.S. restaurant chains and retailers do not allow firearms on their properties, Starbucks‘ policy had been to default to local gun laws, including “open carry” regulations in many U.S. states that allow people to bring guns into stores.
“In August, this led gun-rights advocates to hold a national “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to thank the firm for its stance, pulling the company deeper into the fierce political fight.
“Locations for Starbucks Appreciation Day events included Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot dead in an elementary school in December. Starbucks closed that shop before the event was scheduled to begin.
“Chief Executive Howard Schultz said in an open letter to customers late Tuesday that Starbucks Appreciation Day events ‘disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.’
“The coffee chain did not, however, issue an outright ban on guns in its nearly 7,000 company-owned cafes, saying this would potentially require staff to confront armed customers. . .
END NOTES . . .
Alissa Tabirian, CNS: “ICE Released 2,837 Convicted Alien Sex Offenders to Comply With Supreme Court Ruling”
“. . . The 2,837 sex offenders represented five percent of the 59,347 deportable aliens that have been released from detention under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the GAO report, which was released Thursday.
“‘There are circumstances in which criminal aliens who have been ordered removed from the United States – including those convicted of a sex offense – cannot be removed,’ the report states. ‘For example, a criminal alien may not be removed because the designated country will not accept the alien’s return.’”
“The GAO report refers to the 2001 Supreme Court case Zadvydas v. Davis to explain why ICE is required to release foreigners who have been convicted of sex crimes. In its 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the indefinite detention of removable aliens for greater than six months is unconstitutional unless there is “significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future. . .”
Red Eye (1:50 am, 9/18/13)
Obama transferred a billion rounds from Homeland Security to Syrian rebels. . .