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Howard Dean Blasts Media “Amplification Chamber” on Hillary
Posted By Don Irvine On August 19, 2014 @ 5:30 pm In Blog – Don Irvine | No Comments

Former Democratic National Committee chairman and Hillary Clinton supporter Howard Dean criticized the media for what he called the “amplification chamber” that Clinton will have to deal with if she runs for president in 2016, as expected.

Dean spoke [2] to CNN’s Peter Hamby about Clinton and the 2016 election:

‘I find all that to be worthless,’ Dean said. ‘I don’t pay any attention to that crap. I was at a meeting in Washington the other day with two very high-ranking people who I won’t mention, and one turned to the other and said, ‘Did you see that editorial in The Washington Post?’ And without being cranky, and without saying anything, I said to myself, ‘You’re a free man.’ Because why would anyone read The Washington Post, or certainly the editorial page of The Washington Post?’

‘I just don’t have any patience for this sturm und drang that goes on in what passes for media these days. I really don’t read most of the stuff that’s written about inside the Beltway kerfuffles like that because I think it’s silly.’

The problem with this criticism of the media is that it’s misdirected. Clinton’s bad press isn’t their fault, but hers.

She had a disastrous book tour, selling far fewer copies than the publisher had hoped. And she made it worse with interviews that made it seem like she and Bill were paupers when they left the White House, unable to afford the mortgages on their homes and daughter Chelsea’s expensive education. But in doing so she ignored the fact that before leaving the White House, she had signed a book deal [3] with an $8 million advance, and that since leaving the White House she and Bill have hauled in more that $100 million between them for giving speeches, mostly to wealthy fat cats and business groups.

Then, to top it off, Hillary recently criticized Obama’s foreign policy, creating enough of a backlash that she suggested to the President that they “hug it out.”

Talk about awkward.

If Dean really wants to help Hillary, then he should find her some media-savvy consultants or volunteers who can help rehabilitate the image she badly damaged over the last few months, and prep her for 2016.

Article printed from Accuracy In Media: http://www.aim.org

URL to article: http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/howard-dean-blasts-media-amplification-chamber-on-hillary/

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[2] spoke: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/19/politics/howard-dean-hillary-clinton-2016/index.html?c=&page=2
[3] signed a book deal: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/16/nyregion/hillary-clinton-book-advance-8-million-is-near-record.html
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REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Obama’s Tax Law Rewrite
Where’s the law that gives Jack Lew the power to raise taxes?

Updated Aug. 7, 2014 2:25 p.m. ET
It’s going to be a busy autumn of law-writing for the Obama Administration. The President has said he plans to act unilaterally to reinterpret the immigration statutes, and now the Treasury Department says Secretary Jack Lew is looking for heretofore undiscovered legal ways to block corporate overseas tax inversions. The not-so-minor detail missing here is any legal justification.

Let’s focus today on tax inversions, which allow corporations to relocate overseas in a way that reduces their tax liability. Mr. Obama has conceded these are legal, and as recently as July 16 Mr. Lew told CNBC that “we have looked at the tax code. There are a lot of obscure provisions that we do not believe we have the authority to address this inversion question through administrative action. If we did, we would be doing more.”

Jack Lew Bloomberg News
But lo, on Tuesday a spokeswoman announced that Treasury “is reviewing a broad range of authorities for possible administrative actions” to limit inversions “as well as approaches that could meaningfully reduce the tax benefits after inversions take place.”

Hello? That sure sounds like rewriting tax law by executive fiat, which violates the Constitution’s separation of powers. The rewrite is all the more legally suspicious since no one at Treasury or the Justice Department seems to have been aware of this power before Mr. Obama began denouncing the “unpatriotic tax loophole.” From where does Mr. Lew derive this power to act like a one-man Ways and Means Committee?

Then again this Administration doesn’t seem to care if it has a legal explanation for its unilateral actions. That stands in marked contrast to other recent Administrations, which typically consulted the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for advice on controversial legal issues. The CIA insisted on such advice for its enhanced interrogation program after 9/11, for example. You can disagree with John Yoo’s OLC opinion, but it was a serious legal case.

Heritage Foundation Chief Economist Stephen Moore on how the executive branch is finding legal loopholes to prevent American business from moving abroad. Photo credit: Getty Images.

By contrast we’ve heard little about the legal advice presented to Mr. Obama, with the exception of the justification for drone killing in the war on terror. Was OLC asked for its views on Mr. Obama’s decision to suspend enforcement of ObamaCare’s employer mandate? The Administration won’t say. How about the selective nonenforcement of the marijuana section of the Controlled Substances Act?

As it happens an OLC precedent is directly relevant to tax policy. President George H.W. Bush campaigned in 1988 on cutting the capital-gains tax, but Democratic Majority Leader George Mitchell used a filibuster to block it in the Senate as the economy stumbled.

As Mr. Bush sought re-election in 1992, these columns urged him to use what we believed was his unilateral authority to index the capital gains tax for inflation—a way to boost the economy by other means. Our legal argument was that the term “cost” as written by Congress in the tax code is ambiguous and doesn’t mean the “purchase price” of a stock as interpreted in Treasury regulations.

The White House counsel’s office wrote a lengthy memo explaining Mr. Bush’s legal power to do this. But the Treasury’s legal department disagreed, the Justice Department was asked for its opinion, and the OLC lawyers sided with Treasury. Mr. Bush declined to act, the economy took longer to recover, and Bill Clinton won the 1992 election.

So now we have a President in an election year looking for a way to raise taxes on corporations after he couldn’t get Congress to agree. Has anyone asked Treasury’s career lawyers or the Office of Legal Counsel? Someone should. And when the next President arrives in 2017, one of his first acts should be to release publicly all of the OLC memos making the legal case for Mr. Obama’s many illegal acts, assuming there are any.

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The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/28037
Daily Digest
Aug. 7, 2014

THE FOUNDATION
“Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” –Elbridge Gerry, Debate, United States House of Representatives, 1789

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
When Asked About Executive Power, Obama Mentions ‘Constitution’
Barack Obama was asked by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, “Has Congress’ inability to do anything significant given you a green light to push the limits of executive power?” Obama even managed to mention the word “Constitution” in his response. Obama replied, “I never have a green light. I’m bound by the Constitution. I’m bound by the separation of powers.” But then he skittered off into imperial-president land as he continued. “What I’m consistently going to do is, whenever I have the legal authorities to make progress on behalf of the middle class and folks working to get to the middle class. … I’m going to seize those opportunities and that’s what I think the American people expect me to do.” Ha! Obama said “legal authorities!” He should reread Article 2 Section 3 of the Constitution and remember that it grants him legal authority to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and reconsider his actions on, say, immigration. More…1

Russia May Be Preparing to Invade Ukraine
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine reached a new level of concern after NATO warned that Russian troops amassed on the Ukrainian border may be preparing for a military offensive. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said, “We’re not going to guess what’s on Russia’s mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground – and that is of great concern. Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.” She adds Russia may be preparing to exploit “a humanitarian or peace-keeping mission as an excuse to send troops into Eastern Ukraine.” Recent events explain Russia’s behavior. According to Reuters, “With fighting escalating and rebels losing ground in the weeks since a Malaysian airliner was shot down2 over separatist-held territory, Russia has announced military exercises this week in the border region.” Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t sit idly by while Ukraine makes gains. The question is: What kind of sternly worded warning will the Obama administration send this time? More…3

Kerry: More Farmland Exacerbates Global Warming
State Secretary John Kerry, addressing the U.S.-Africa Summit, claimed that global warming will be worsened by developing more farms and praised Africa for limiting the amount of land allocated for agriculture. “Certain agricultural processes can actually release carbon pollution and help contribute to the problem [of global warming] in the first place,” he explained. “It’s a twisted circle. Always complicated. But we also know there are ways to change that. For example, rather than convert natural areas to new farmland – a process that typically releases significant amounts of carbon pollution – we can instead concentrate our efforts on making existing farmlands more productive. Now this is an area where African leaders have actually been … significantly ahead of the game for some time.” Yes, and that’s evidently worked quite well for poor, hungry Africans and their economies.

Still Awaiting Comments From Obama on Maj. Gen. Greene
On Tuesday, the news broke4 that Maj. Gen. Harold Greene died in a “green on blue” attack in Afghanistan. That day, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated, “The thoughts and prayers of those of us here at the White House are with the family of the general, are with the soldiers and the family of those who were injured in this attack.” But that was it from the White House. An officer falls in a foreign field, the highest-ranking officer since 9/11, and Barack Obama himself has remained mum. Like his administration’s cover-up of the Benghazi attack in 2012, this green on blue attack doesn’t fit Obama’s foreign policy narrative. More…5

25 Million Uninsured Americans May Escape ObamaCare Penalty
The plethora of unilateral changes to ObamaCare may let millions of uninsured Americans facing fines off the hook. Fox News reports, “A new congressional report has estimated that more than 25 million Americans without health insurance will not be made to pay a penalty in 2016 due to an exploding number of ObamaCare exemptions.” The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation anticipate four million Americans will be subject to penalty fees, which is down by nearly two million from the last study. According to Fox, “The Obama administration has … added exemptions for hardships like domestic violence, property damage suffered in a fire or flood, or having a health plan canceled when ObamaCare came into effect this past October 1.” Additionally, “Residents of 21 states who have opted not to expand their Medicaid program under the health law may also be exempt from the penalty.” Wasn’t the point of the penalty to ensure health care for everyone and to keep people from exploiting the system? This administration sure has an interesting definition of “success” when 25 million are getting away with opting out of ObamaCare. More…6

For more, visit Right Hooks7.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read The REAL Pandemic Threat: BioBombers8, on why Ebola is not our worst fear.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here9.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
Debunking the ‘97% Consensus’ & Why Global Cooling May Loom
It’s summertime – that time of year when man-made global warming alarmism hits full throttle; when simmering heat coincides with the loudest clamoring of impending doom and the need to “take action.”

One of the more popular talking points now used by Democrats, including the president himself, asserts that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) skeptics have no credibility because the overwhelming “scientific consensus” believe global warming poses an unequivocal threat. Multiple studies have come to this conclusion, which the Left now view as sanctimonious.

In May, Heartland Institute’s Joe Bast and climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer co-authored an article in The Wall Street Journal, “The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’10,” exposing these studies as a sham. They found that “[t]he so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.” The researchers presented ambiguous questions to form a bias and even excluded prominent scientists at odds with their agenda. Bast and Spencer point out that one study didn’t even “include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.”

But perhaps the most telling example of deception is found in a study led by alarmist John Cook. His scholarly review11 used test groups with opinions on both sides of the issue, or none at all, who were instructed to analyze more than 10,000 peer-reviewed articles. According to the study, “Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.”

Michael Stroup of the National Center for Policy Analysis explains12 why this study is nothing more than a bunch of hot air:

“Focus on that conditional phrase, ‘among the papers expressing a position on AGW.’ [Emphasis added] On page 3 of this study, a simple time series chart shows that OVER HALF of these articles did NOT express an opinion on AGW at all. Further, the percentage of these no-opinion climate articles GREW to well over 60% over the period of study. Meanwhile, the percentage of articles that expressly support the AGW theory FELL from around 50% to well below 40%. This is a far cry from 97%. If less than 40% of all published climate studies explicitly support AGW, does this actually constitute a ‘consensus view’ by the climate science community?”
Unfortunately, such shameful practice is all too common and sets a dangerous precedent in a field where open-mindedness is essential and constant inquisitions imperative.

This would all be amusing if not for the severe ramifications being imposed by policymakers. A severe energy crisis13 may occur as soon as this winter thanks to the regulatory state stifling the energy sector, and cash-strapped Americans may be forced to chose between putting a meal on the table or heating their homes.

To add insult to injury, if current solar projections14 are any indication, the globe may be entering a new period of global cooling. SI meteorologist Paul Dorian writes:

“It appears that the solar maximum phase for solar cycle 24 may have been reached and it is not very impressive. … In fact, this solar cycle continues to rank among the weakest on record which continues the recent trend for increasingly weaker cycles. … There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the ‘Maunder Minimum’ … and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the ‘Dalton Minimum’ … and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the ‘Little Ice Age.’”
“If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles,” Dorian surmises, “then there would likely be more talk of another ‘grand minimum’ for the sun.”

It goes without saying that a cooler climate has far more debilitating effects on agriculture than a warmer one. Only time will tell, but at this rate, climate alarmists may soon be spewing “global warming” hubris through the chattering of teeth.

Time Will Dictate Impact of U.S.-Africa Summit
With the largest U.S.-Africa summit now in the history books, the question turns from the summit’s purpose to its outcomes, and how the latter may or may not achieve the former.

Nearly 50 leaders from the continent of Africa – or, as Vice President Biden would say, “the nation of Africa”15 – along with business and civil society leaders gathered in Washington, DC, this week at the invitation of Barack Obama for the stated purpose of “investing in the next generation.” Specifically, the White House said16 the summit would “build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.”

Before the summit even began, the Obama administration set out to lower expectations in light of previous China-Africa summits. Not to worry, though: Given the president’s smashing foreign policy successes to date, our expectations weren’t too high to begin with. And we were not disappointed.

While highlighting the plight of hunger in Africa, for example, Secretary of State John Kerry balanced his concern with the call not to create more farms in Africa17, because doing so would add more “carbon pollution.” While claiming a commitment to democratic development and the African people, the administration failed to involve human rights organizations in important roundtable discussions. And while announcing an investment in “clean energy,” the administration perhaps missed the message that experts agree coal and natural gas18 are key to meeting the pressing power needs faced by more than half of Africa’s population.

Truth be told, the summit was less about building on progress and more about playing catch-up with China in a trade race in which the U.S. has lagged far behind. While China-Africa trade amounts to $200 billion, annual trade relations between the U.S. and Africa stand at around $85 billion – and only about one percent of U.S. exports go to Africa.

The commercial trade deals announced at the summit, while substantial, will barely begin to close the gap. On Tuesday, U.S. and African leaders unveiled $14 billion in agreements targeting areas including energy, aviation, banking and construction. Additionally, the U.S. government pledged $7 billion to promote trade and investment in Africa and another $12 billion to fund Obama’s Power Africa initiative (which includes clean energy funding).

Despite the fanfare, not all attendees were blissfully optimistic. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, for example, said19 economic development apart from social and political justice will not solve problems, and South African President Jacob Zuma said the economic initiatives don’t go far enough. Meanwhile, others expressed concern that focusing on Africa’s problems would discourage economic investment.

One likely and positive follow-up to the summit will be the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was first enacted in 2000 and is set to expire next year. Although U.S.-Africa trade has a long way to go, much of what has been accomplished has been the result of AGOA. Yet, even without the summit, AGOA would have been renewed, returning us to the question of whether outcomes will meet ambitions.

In a press conference last night, Obama announced20 that leaders had agreed to a “new peacekeeping rapid response project” as well as to exploring partnerships to fight financial corruption. All worthy aims, but worthy aims alone are meaningless.

As the Heritage Foundation notes21, during Obama’s first campaign for president, one of his senior advisors outlined Obama’s three-part agenda for Africa: accelerate its integration into the global economy, enhance regional peace and security, strengthen democracy and accountability, and reduce poverty. Since the campaign, however, Obama has done little in pursuit of these aims, choosing instead to continue existing policies.

The U.S.-Africa summit offered an exceptional opportunity for the president to give feet to political rhetoric, and only time will tell if the event the president called “extraordinary” will prove to be so. Words are easy; actions demand more. And although the administration claimed success (as is to be expected), as House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) rightly noted20, true judgment can be made only “when the words on paper and the hours of talking are implemented and acted upon.”

For more, visit Right Analysis7.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
Stephen Moore: Don’t Cry for Argentina – Cry for Us22
George Will: The Reason for Watergate?23
Jonah Goldberg: WWI Demons Live24
Arnold Ahlert: America: Unprepared for War25
R. Emmett Tyrrell: Philanthropy Over Politics26
For more, visit Right Opinion27.

OPINION IN BRIEF
Mark Twain (1835-1910): “We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don’t know anything and can’t read.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “[The] headline in the Los Angeles Times – ‘Argentina Defaults on International Debt’ – spooked me, as it did investors. The stock market tanked on the news. All Americans should feel the same apprehension. … Is the day coming when America looks like Argentina? … Probably not any time in the short term. Hopefully never. But the parallels here are not encouraging. Argentina has printed money. Our Fed has created at least $3 trillion through QE1, QE2, and QE3. Their economy has been growing tepidly and shrank in the first quarter of 2014; we’re stuck in a 2 percent growth paradigm. Yet no one in Washington is doing anything about it. … Our interest rates today, thankfully, are low. But if rates rise by two percentage points more than projected … the debt rises by another $3 trillion or so over ten years. Interest payments on the debt could become the single largest expenditure in the federal budget. … Argentines only have themselves to blame. So will we, if we don’t act soon to balance the budget and grow the economy.”

Columnist George Will: “June 17, 1971, was four days after The New York Times began publishing the leaked ‘Pentagon Papers,’ the classified Defense Department history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. [Richard] Nixon worried that further leaks … would reveal his role in sabotaging negotiations that might have shortened the war. This fear caused Nixon to create the Special Investigations Unit – aka ‘the plumbers’ – and to direct an aide to devise other proposals… This aide suggested using the IRS against political adversaries, but added: ‘The truth is we don’t have any reliable political friends at IRS. … We won’t be … in a position of effective leverage until such time as we have complete and total control of the top three slots at IRS.’ Forty years later, the IRS has punished conservative groups, and evidence that might prove its criminality has been destroyed. Happy anniversary.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “People on Israel’s side expect adult behavior from both. People on the Palestinian side seem to expect adult behavior from only one. Is the pro-Palestinian side racist against the Palestinians and don’t think they can be held to the same standard as Israelis?”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/214549-obama-defends-executive-action

http://patriotpost.us/articles/27550

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/russia-border-ukraine-troops/2014/08/06/id/587189/

http://patriotpost.us/posts/27979

http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/06/obama-hasnt-said-anything-about-the-killing-of-american-general/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/07/millions-uninsured-americans-exempt-from-obamacare-penalties-in-2016-watchdog/

http://patriotpost.us/

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/28007

http://patriotpost.us/manage/

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

http://environmentblog.ncpa.org/the-big-lie-of-the-consensus-view-on-global-warming/

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27394

http://thesiweather.com/2014/07/16/1045-am-the-sun-has-gone-quiet-solar-cycle-24-continues-to-rank-as-one-of-the-weakest-cycles-more-than-a-century/

http://patriotpost.us/posts/27978

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/21/statement-press-secretary-announcing-us-africa-leaders-summit

http://patriotpost.us/posts/28010

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/africa-needs-fossil-fuels-to-end-energy-apartheid/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/05/obama-africa-leaders-us-china-investment-summit

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-praises-us-africa-summit-as-an-extraordinary-success/2014/08/06/866d996a-1d8c-11e4-ae54-0cfe1f974f8a_story.html

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/08/setting-a-course-for-obamas-rudderless-africa-policy

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/28022

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27988

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/28017

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/28030

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/28018

http://patriotpost.us/opinion

N.C.A.A. Votes to Give Richest Conferences More Autonomy
By MARC TRACYAUG. 7, 2014

New N.C.A.A. rules could widen the gap between the haves and have-nots in college sports.
INDIANAPOLIS — The first step toward an aristocracy in college sports was codified Thursday, when the five richest conferences and their 65 universities were awarded the right by the Division I board of directors to make their own rules on several issues affecting athletes and competition.

If the endorsement passes a 60-day comment period, the so-called Big 5 — the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Pacific-12, the Big Ten and the Big 12 — will receive the power to raise the value of scholarships, improve health insurance, allow players to consult agents and more.

“It keeps Division I together in terms of our ideals for amateur sports,” said Nathan Hatch, the president of Wake Forest, who led the steering committee that conceived the proposal. “This is not complete autonomy.”

The power conferences say the new rules will benefit student athletes. Critics of the change are not so sure.How New N.C.A.A. Rules Will WorkAUG. 7, 2014
Fears Rise Over Wealth Gap as Top College Conferences Push OverhaulAUG. 6, 2014
Alabama, with a top football team, is in the Southeastern Conference, which would gain more autonomy.N.C.A.A. May Let Top Conferences Play by Own RulesAUG. 5, 2014
The budgets of the Big 5 conferences, with universities like Ohio State, where Urban Meyer coaches football, far outpace all others.Sports of The Times: N.C.A.A.’s Vote on New Rules Creating Divisions Among ConferencesAUG. 7, 2014
The result of the vote seemed to acknowledge that even within the nearly 350 institutions in the N.C.A.A.’s top division, universities and conferences are in markedly different situations.

Supporters of more autonomy said it would allow more benefits for athletes in the Big 5 conferences, while opponents said it could hurt recruiting for smaller schools. Credit Illustration by Sam Manchester/The New York Times; Photographs by Getty Images
“The reality was that for our sister conferences, they had challenges and needs that were not apparent in what we do,” said David R. Hopkins, the president of Wright State, a member of the Horizon League. He called the model “a wonderful combination of allowing them to do what they need to do, and we still continue the value of an intercollegiate model that means a lot to all of us.”

If 75 universities express disapproval during the 60-day period, the board will reconsider its decision. If 125 universities object, the implementation will be suspended pending that reconsideration. If the board subsequently reaffirms its decision, all Division I universities will vote, with a five-eighths majority required to overturn.

“It allows the institutions to have access to all the championships and to continue to share resources in the same way that they always have,” Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A. president, said. “It provides the high-resource conferences with some greater latitude.”

But not everyone saw eye-to-eye. The board passed the measure by a vote of 16-2, with the Dartmouth president, Philip J. Hanlon (Ivy League), and the Delaware president, Patrick T. Harker (Colonial Athletic Association), voting against it.

“I worry these changes will further escalate the arms race in college sports, which, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of intercollegiate athletics, or higher education more generally,” Hanlon said in a statement.

The strongest supporters of autonomy say it allows the Big 5 to provide more benefits to athletes. “What it means is the ability to provide student-athletes with things that meet the 21st-century model of how we think about intercollegiate athletics,” Mike Slive, the commissioner of the SEC, said last month.

The N.C.A.A. has been hit recently with high-profile lawsuits, including the Ed O’Bannon case, in which athletes have argued that the use of their images violated antitrust law. A unionization drive among football players has gained traction at Northwestern.

“College athletes have been putting tremendous pressure on N.C.A.A. sports to eliminate unjust policies, and this vote demonstrates how much power players have when they stand up against this system,” said Ramogi Huma, the executive director of the National College Players Association.

Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A. president, speaking at the N.C.A.A.’s headquarters. Credit Michael Conroy/Associated Press
But observers, including Huma, appear to be divided over whether the new model represents incremental reform designed to thwart more drastic change that could be brought on by the courts or Congress.

“Historically, when you look at how the system has operated and responded, it tends to resist genuinely substantive change,” said Ellen Staurowsky, a business professor at Drexel who supports more rights for athletes. “It’s not an enterprise that willingly acknowledges that something may be wrong and that there needs to be a dramatic change.”

The N.C.A.A. has appeared to be broadly supportive of autonomy. Although only five of the board’s 18 members are presidents of Big 5 universities, the steering committee that refined previous proposals last month into the current model included eight presidents, half of whom run Big 5 universities.

But Emmert cast his and the N.C.A.A.’s role as a facilitator. He praised the presidents’ ability “to look at the good of the division.”

Many rules, including most regarding academic requirements and amateur status, will continue to apply uniformly throughout Division I’s 32 conferences. All of Division I will have access to revenue-sharing and championships.

As a result of Thursday’s decision, the board will grow from 18 to 24 members. It previously included only university presidents and chancellors but now will have an athletic director, an athlete and a senior athletics administrator who is a woman. Any other Division I conference or university (pending its conference’s approval) could opt into the Big 5’s rules.

“The whole governance discussion was already somewhat tilted in the direction of giving more autonomy to the group of five conferences,” said Richard Ensor, commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. “For us the major thing was to continue to have guaranteed access to championships and revenue-sharing, and secondly, to have some voice in the process.”

Areas of Autonomy, What Do They Mean
In voting to approve autonomy, the N.C.A.A. Division I board of directors will also vote to authorize the new Big 5 governance body to make rules within 11 explicitly articulated “areas of autonomy.”

“There was friction, but it was positive,” said Harris Pastides, the president of South Carolina. “Most college presidents were professors, therefore we’re not shy.”

Approval by the board was widely seen as a foregone conclusion, in part because some among the Big 5 had threatened an even more severe alternative: breaking significantly from the N.C.A.A. and taking their massive revenue streams with them.

But Gene Block, the president of U.C.L.A. of the Pac-12, intimated that there was not uniform agreement among the Big 5 and their institutions over the wisdom of separating from Division I.

After the vote, there was a prevailing sense that for the Big 5, a trying road lies ahead. Pastides acknowledged that there is “great financial diversity within the Southeastern Conference” that could lead different universities to favor different policies.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
Harker, who voted against autonomy, said in a telephone interview: “You’re going to have 65 schools with very different views. Even they are not homogeneous.”

Most immediately, the Big 5 are expected to submit new rules, by Oct. 1, for consideration at the 2015 N.C.A.A. convention, which will be held in January. Though they have yet to determine exactly what they will propose, Pastides confirmed that their top priority is raising the current scholarship amount from the cost of “tuition and fees, room, board and required course-related books” to the “full cost of attendance,” which accounts for several other factors specific to each university and is generally a few thousand dollars higher than the current scholarship.

“I think it would be modest,” Pastides said. “It will be more money. It’s not a paycheck. It would be to increase the amount of the award that’s given to student-athletes to account for the changes in how they live.”

Some officials at universities outside the Big 5 have voiced concerns that offering lower scholarships and withholding various perks would cause them to fall further behind in the arms race for recruits, victories and championships.

“We’ll make every effort, as a university that has contended with these larger schools and has beat some of these larger schools with a significantly smaller budget, to do everything we can to produce a first-class, high-quality program,” said Bob Kustra, the president of Boise State, which despite being outside the Big 5 has boasted one of the country’s best football teams. “Do we need to go as far as some of them are going? Apparently not.”

VIDEO: John Kerry Tells Starving Africans Not to Farm Because it Contributes to Global Warming

August 7, 2014 By Greg Campbell

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ZKerryThis week, leaders from Africa and the U.S. convened in Washington, D.C., to discuss a wide range of issues affecting the nations of Africa. The U.S.-Africa Summit produced a dialogue amongst leaders and with the help of Secretary of State John Kerry, the world got a glimpse into the out-of-touch nature of the leftwing zealots that comprise the Obama Administration.

During the “Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate” panel, Kerry noted that Africa faces a starvation problem. With thousands going to bed hungry each night, it’s undeniable that one of Africa’s largest problems is starvation.

Kerry claimed that “8,000 children die every day” and that one in four children face chronic hunger. However, just minutes later, Kerry rang the alarm bell over the left’s favorite fictitious problem: climate change- the term liberals use to describe any weather variance no matter how minute.

Kerry reminded the crowd that despite the starving children in Africa, they ought to refrain from creating new farms because it contributes to “climate change.”
“Certain agricultural processes can actually release carbon pollution and actually contribute to the problem in the first place. It’s a twisted circle. Always complicated. But we also know that there are ways to change that.

For example, rather than convert natural areas to new farmland, a process that typically releases significant amounts of carbon pollution, we can, instead, concentrate our efforts on making existing farmlands more productive.”
Sorry, African children, you’re going hungry tonight because first-world yacht-enthusiasts like John Kerry need to feel warm and fuzzy about advancing global warming hysteria.

This kind of idiocy is precisely what is wrong with liberals. It is a kind of emotional zealotry that conquers all semblance of rational thought and produces a relentless dogma within the minds of leftists. The left feels that climate change exists and to them, this feeling is more important than addressing serious, real-world problems like starvation.

Will U.S. Troops Stand By While ISIS Starves Thousands?
The Yazidis, members of an ancient religious sect, fled when the Islamic State overran their homes. Now they’re trapped with no food or water. Will the U.S. step in to help save them?
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information.

One week is as long as the average person can survive without water. In extreme temperatures, it may be less. So time is running out for the 10,000 to 40,000 Iraqis, mostly religious minorities, who have been trapped for days in barren mountains without food or water. They face a choice: return to their towns captured by ISIS forces and risk being slaughtered or stay in the mountains and slowly die of thirst.

On Thursday, the White House signaled that U.S. might reverse its current policy by getting directly involved in Iraq to halt the worsening crisis. So far, the American forces stationed nearby have been little more than observers to the conflict.

According to the New York Times, President Obama is considering authorizing emregency airdrops of food and water for the thousands of Iraqis still stranded in the mountains. Additionally, according to the Times’ source, the President could approve airstrikes against ISIS forces that are surrounding the Sinjar mountains.

The slow-motion massacre of the Yazidis, members of a small, ancient religious community who escaped to the mountains along with other groups after ISIS overran their towns, began with a military defeat for the Kurds, one of the closest U.S. allies in the region. The Kurds’ losses, and the subsequent plight of the Yazidis, call into question what role, if any, America is willing to play in Iraq.

Since the disintegration of the Iraqi army in June, the Kurdish military, called the Peshmerga, has been engaged in continuous battle, holding back ISIS’s advances. Until recently the Kurds seemed to be faring well, even expanding their territory. But ISIS has grown stronger even while fighting on multiple fronts across two countries, gaining new recruits and weapons from its victories.

Sometime in the night on August 2, ISIS began its assault on the town of Sinjar, the historical home of the Yazidis that had served as a refuge for other groups, including Christians, Shabak, and Shia. Outgunned and outmanned by ISIS, the Peshmerga say they ran out of ammunition and abandoned the town on August 3. Left unprotected, the Yazidis and others fled into the hills.

Last month, the U.S. sent more than 800 special operations troops to Iraq, including a contingent now stationed in Erbil, within the Kurdish autonomous region. But so far, even as the Kurds have requested assistance repeatedly and launched a new counteroffensive, the United States has been reluctant to move past its advisory role and directly enter the fray.

On Wednesday, Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman, told The Daily Beast: “U.S. troops are not engaged in a combat role in Iraq.” That position could be changing now as the president meets with his security advisors to weigh his options. Currently the military forces in Iraq are acting as “advisors” whose mission is “to assess and to advise [Iraqi security forces] as they confront [ISIS] and the complex security situation on the ground.” What kind of advice is being provided to the embattled Kurdish forces and whether advice is what they need right now are a matter of speculation.

U.S. attention, of course, is stretched thin with Gaza and Ukraine. But the near silence on Iraq is hard to square with the severity of the crisis and the initial decision to send military forces there.

If the American public and political class won’t bear any U.S. military involvement in Iraq, why were troops dispatched to the country? And if ISIS overrunning the Kurds, taking control of key infrastructure, and carrying out a deliberate slaughter of the Yazidis isn’t enough to get the U.S. forces involved, is there anything that would force a U.S. military response?

The situation is dire, but legal constraints may limit U.S. options for direct assistance to the Kurds, said Douglas Ollivant, a former U.S. Army officer who advised Gen. David Petraeus and served in the National Security Council under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, it was 106 degrees in Mosul. There may be 25,000 children trapped in the mountains, according to the United Nations’ children’s relief agency.
“There might not be a legal way for us to sell arms to the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government],” Ollivant said. “The Kurds are finding out the hard way that there are huge structural barriers, totally independent of policy, being a sub-state unit.”

Though the Kurds have their own government and operate in a functionally autonomous region of northern Iraq, they still belong to the Iraqi state and are nominally accountable to the government in Baghdad. They have long advocated for full independence and the creation of their own sovereign state, but the U.S. has refused to back those efforts.

To get arms legally to the Kurds now, the U.S. military needs to send them through the central government in Baghdad.

“Foreign Military Sales and Foreign Military Financing must be coordinated with central government authorities,” said Cmdr. Smith, the Defense Department spokeswoman.

The Iraqi government traditionally has been hostile to the Kurds and their calls for independence, and a month ago, military cooperation between the two sides might have seemed impossible. But now, with ISIS advancing, Baghdad may be feeling enough pressure to approve an arms transfer.

On Monday, the Iraqi government announced a strategic alliance between the two groups. Baghdad pledged that it would cooperate militarily with the Kurds and send its air force to assist the Peshmerga in the fighting around Mosul.

And in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Washington Post, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad wrote that the United States is involved in “the direct supply of munitions to the Kurds and, with Baghdad’s agreement, the shipment of some Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program weapons to the Kurds.”

There are other opportunities for U.S. assistance that are more direct but also more fraught. “We could we get involved with drone strikes or air strikes” that would involve “little to no risk” for the U.S. military, said Ollivant, who added that the air strikes could be used to target “strategic targets like ISIS’s rear bases and logistical hubs.”

“We are not conducting air strikes in Iraq,” Cmdr. Smith said on Wednesday. By Thursday afternon that policy could change at any moment, as the White House is expected to announce what new action the U.S. will take in Iraq “imminently” according to the New York Times report.

While U.S. airpower isn’t directly involved yet, Khalilzad wrote Tuesday that the U.S. military is “coordinating Iraqi air attacks against Islamic State targets relevant to the defense of the Kurdish region.”

Whatever degree of American assistance the Kurds are receiving, they have already begun a counteroffensive. Thousands of Kurdish forces from Syria and Turkey have crossed the border, forming a rare alliance with the Peshmerga inside Iraq that has already begun clashing with ISIS to recapture the ground lost over the weekend.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis now stranded in the mountains are awaiting the outcome of those battles. As for the United States, it is “working urgently and directly with officials in Baghdad and Erbil to coordinate Iraqi airdrops to people in need,” the Defense Department said.

On Wednesday, it was 106 degrees in Mosul. There may be 25,000 children trapped in the mountains, according to the United Nations’ children’s relief agency. Forty of them have died already.

On Thursday, United Nations spokespeople and Kurdish government sources reported that rescue operations had begun for the people trapped in the Sinjar mountains. There is no confirmation yet of who is leading those efforts or how many people have been evacuated, but according to Christopher Tidey, a UNICEF official in Geneva, most displaced families are still on the mountain.

Colorado’s Anti-Fracking Retreat
Democrats withdraw a referendum to protect Senator Mark Udall.

Updated Aug. 6, 2014 10:35 a.m. ET
How worried are Democrats about the November election? Look no further than Colorado, where this week they leaned on their green supporters to mute their anti-natural gas drilling agenda that is proving to be unpopular even in a liberal-trending state.

Democratic Congressman and environmental activist Jared Polis on Monday announced—through gritted teeth—that he is withdrawing his support for two ballot initiatives that would have effectively halted the drilling technique known as hydraulic oil- and gas fracturing in the state. Mr. Polis has poured millions of dollars of his own cash to promote the measures, which the anti-fracking left has advertised as a national showdown over natural gas.

Institute for Energy Research Director of Regulatory and State Affairs Daniel Simmons on how Colorado Democrats’ coalition is fracturing over fracking. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Yet Mr. Polis now says he’ll settle for a blue-ribbon commission to study the issue, a walk-back that puts partisan interests above his green principles. Will he now be excommunicated from the church of global warming?

Colorado Democrats were desperate to kill the ballot measures lest they contribute to the defeat of Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Mark Udall. Colorado sits atop one of the richest shale plays in North America and is already among the top natural-gas producing states. One industry study found that in 2012 oil and gas contributed some $30 billion to the Colorado economy, and the industry supports thousands of jobs. A Quinnipiac poll in November showed that most Coloradans support fracking and a mere 34% oppose it. Independents back it 51% to 32%.

The Polis measures had inspired business groups to back a pro-fracking initiative, which meant the issue would have been at the center of the fall debate. Oil and gas groups planned to spend $20 million to defeat the anti-fracking initiatives, which would have banned drilling within 2,000 feet of homes or hospitals and would have given local governments effective vetoes over new wells.

Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.) Associated Press
Fracking has become a new fault line in the Democratic Party, with rich greens squaring off against workers who want the well-paying jobs that fracking provides. Messrs. Hickenlooper and Udall have spent months dodging a clear position. The Governor had floated a possible legislative compromise, only to drop it last month when he couldn’t get the Democratic legislature to pass new restrictions.

Mr. Udall has been pressured to take a stand by his GOP challenger, Congressman Cory Gardner, who is pointing out the economic benefits from fracking in North Dakota and Texas. Mr. Udall ran in 2008 as a full-throated green-energy champion, and only as Mr. Gardner has gained on him in the polls has he discovered the political virtues of fossil-fuel jobs. The Polis retreat is best understood as an attempt to save Mr. Udall and perhaps a Democratic Senate.

The press corps is portraying all of this as canny tactical politics, which it could turn out to be. But the retreat also shows that the anti-fossil fuel absolutism that dominates the Democratic left lacks a majority even in a state that President Obama carried twice. Mr. Polis had presented his initiatives as a national referendum on fracking and in that sense he was right. Democrats are now hoping to duck the issue through the election and then use the blue-ribbon commission to give them cover to limit fracking next year.

The Colorado energy fight echoes the national Democratic energy strategy. Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to allow Senate votes on numerous pro-energy measures that have bipartisan support. This allows Democrats like Mr. Udall to claim to support energy jobs even as the White House blocks the Keystone XL pipeline, more drilling permits and more natural gas exports.

Voters shouldn’t be fooled by the Colorado ruse. Mr. Polis wanted a referendum on fracking, and the way to give him what he wanted is by defeating the Democrats he is now trying to protect from the political consequences of his policies.

The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/28006
Daily Digest
Aug. 6, 2014

THE FOUNDATION
“Although our prospect is peace, our policy and purpose are to provide for defense by all those means to which our resources are competent.” –Thomas Jefferson Letter to James Bowdoin, 1806

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
U.S. General Killed in Afghanistan
A high-profile U.S. military official was the victim of a “green-on-blue” attack by an Islamic Taliban sympathizer in Afghanistan. The Wall Street Journal reports, “An Afghan soldier killed a two-star U.S. Army general when he opened fire on a group of Western military officers Tuesday, officials said, claiming the highest-ranking American casualty in more than a decade of war and resurrecting concerns about the U.S. exit strategy from Afghanistan. … The attack took the life of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, 52 years old, an Army officer who had recently returned to Afghanistan to serve as deputy commander of the coalition transition force responsible for training and equipping Afghan troops, making him the highest-ranking military officer killed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. officials said.” Despite the unraveling of Iraq after U.S. troops were withdrawn, Barack Obama is still planning to abandon Afghanistan to make good on a campaign promise. But as we’ve stated before, ending wars isn’t the same as winning them. Yesterday’s tragedy is a perfect example. More…1

FDIC Shoots Down ‘Operation Choke Point’
In May, the FDIC targeted2 gun shops and gun manufacturers, labeling them “high risk,” which would slow or even halt their ability to get bank loans. FDIC recently revised its guidelines to “Operation Choke Point” on Monday, stopping the back-door attack on the Second Amendment. Darrel Issa (R-CA) told an audience at the Cato Institute, “If you empower the government to pick winners and losers within lawful enterprises, then there’s no place to stop.” Let’s be clear: It’s legal to own a firearm and legal to run a business dealing in firearms. More…3

VA Lied to Members of Congress
After the health care system landed in the hot seat over the secret waiting list scandal, The Daily Caller reports at least five instances where the VA misled politicians in places like Pittsburg, the Pacific Islands and Alabama. And this happens just after Congress sent a bill to Obama’s desk4 giving the VA more money, including $360 million in bonuses for VA employees. After he learned VA officials in his state lied to him, Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) wrote in a statement, “I visited these facilities and I was repeatedly assured that the activities described in this report had not occurred. I very specifically asked whether there was any evidence of deliberate falsification of data, manipulation of appointment dates or any other attempts to intentionally cook the books. The VA leadership present told me none of it occurred. This report proves they looked me in the eye and lied to me.” Meehan added, “At every turn, the VA has thwarted any attempt of honest, effective oversight.” More…5

58% of Budget ($2 Trillion) Went Towards Benefit Programs
More than $7 trillion6 has now been added to the federal deficit under Barack Obama’s watch, and it’s not rocket science figuring out where most of that money goes. CNSNews reports that means-tested and non-means tested government programs provided $2 trillion to Americans in fiscal year 2013. “Most of the benefits doled out from the total of $2 trillion, or 69.7 percent, came from non-means tested government programs that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, provide benefits to recipients who qualify regardless of income,” they found. “Means-tested government programs, which require income to be below a certain level to be eligible for receipt, contributed to 30.3 percent of the total amount in benefits.” How does this compare to the total budget? “[T]he federal government totaled $3,454,253,000,000 in outlays for fiscal year 2013,” CNSNews continues. “This means that benefits, totaling $2,007,611,200,000, amounted to 58.1 percent of the total spending.” Meanwhile, military budget cuts have prompted layoffs at the front lines7. What a despicable example of priorities. More…8

Boehner Addresses ‘Do-Nothing’ Accusations
Lawmakers’ purported inability to pass legislation has many labeling them the ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress9. Most of the blame comes from Democrats who say Republicans in the House serve as nothing but obstructionists unwilling to compromise (in leftist terms: bow to the Left’s agenda). But House Speaker John Boehner’s office set the record straight this week, writing, “While some media pundits would like you to believe otherwise, the Republican-led House of Representatives has been busy all year long, focused on policies that will help create jobs for American workers and their families. While more than 350 House-passed bills [emphasis aded] continue to stack up on Senator Reid’s desk, that has not deterred the House from its work on behalf of the American people. In July alone, Speaker Boehner sent more than half a dozen bills to the President’s desk for passage into law.” Who exactly is doing nothing? Because Democrats aren’t getting what they demand, they’re exploiting the emotions of low-info constituents by, for example, ridiculing the Koch brothers and Washington Redskins – neither of which demand any of Congress’ attention. More…10

For more, visit Right Hooks11.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
EPA Power Grab Has Huge Economic Consequences
Barack Obama’s checkered history – his string of scandals, his divisive demeanor as chief executive, his unconstitutional executive fiats and his damaging foreign policy – causes many people to wonder whether he even cares about the U.S. or her people and wants to punish us simply for being America.

Case in point: The EPA rules for coal plants. In 2008, Barack Obama promised that “[u]nder my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants … [and] natural gas, they would have to retrofit their operations.”

Rep. John Dingle (D-MI) pointed out, “People don’t realize this is a tax, and a great big one.” This is one promise Obama intends to keep.

After having his pet project denied by Congress, Obama decided to create an alternative system for reducing carbon emissions. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy recently introduced the Clean Power Plan proposal, a mess of regulations that would deal a huge blow to the power industry and the entire economy if enacted. Even though over 80% of the nation’s electricity is produced by power plants burning fossil fuels, the EPA would require them all to lower carbon emissions enormously.

“Even before we put pen to paper,” said McCarthy, “we … held 11 public listening sessions nationwide. We heard from thousands of people through phone calls, emails, meetings, and more.”

She added, “Starting June 2 … we officially entered the public comment period … We expect great feedback at these sessions. [W]e also expect a healthy dose of the same tired, false and worn out criticism that commonsense EPA action is bad for the economy.” So the EPA expects the debate to be over before it even begins.

McCarthy claimed that by 2030, the EPA would shrink electricity bills roughly eight percent. Right.

For a bit of perspective, average electricity prices more than doubled between 1984 and 2014. Prices reached a record high in June, but annual per capita production peaked in 2007. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau says that between 2007 and 2014 the population increased 6%. So while there’s an increasing demand for electricity, production is being cut to Obama’s target levels for carbon output. The Congressional Budget Office estimates Obama’s witch hunt against coal will cost the average family an additional $1,600 per year.

The EPA’s regulations treat old and new coal-burning plants differently. Those for the new plants are so harsh that any further construction would almost certainly be canceled.

Those for existing plants vary according to the state where they’re located, but the EPA’s formula would still result in plant closures. Those who manage to retrofit and stay profitable would have to raise prices astronomically. Many plants already operating wouldn’t make the cut. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) predicts Mississippi’s entire coal industry would be shut down. Of course, any business that uses electricity would be seriously affected as well.

As usual, Obama hits people hardest who can least afford it. People who’ve lost jobs and families living paycheck to paycheck face the impossible – choosing between heating their homes in the winter and feeding their families. This is how the NeoComs12 add to their underclass. Obama’s senseless policy will devastate the American middle class.

Some activist groups are angry. One NAACP representative writes, “[T]he race to a cleaner energy future is … like a bad game of dodge ball with communities of color on the losing side.” Historic loyalty to the Democrat party among blacks is beginning to slip.

Obama acknowledged the biggest challenge is making voters understand the necessity of the changes. But his efforts at converting them are failing. In a recent Pew study, 55% of the public doesn’t believe in man-made global warming. Hence he simply acts against the people’s will.

Two rays of hope could foil Obama’s designs. First, states have been directed only to develop plans by 2016 for executing the changes, allowing Obama to dodge responsibility once the rules are implemented. A Republican president and congressional majority in 2016 could rescind the entire plan before it gets off the ground.

Second, a study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group concluded that while Obama’s plan would cut demand for coal, it would simultaneously stimulate the already rapidly growing demand for natural gas. Several states sit atop fields of enough natural gas that over time could make us energy independent, create thousands of good-paying jobs and powerfully stimulate the economy.

The short-term news isn’t good. But if enough of the American people refuse to go along such as Gov. Rick Perry, who has previously defied EPA regulations in Texas, the U.S. economy could yet survive Obama.

Nine Things Voters Can Learn From Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Strategy
Last week, National Review gave the Washington beltway a juicy tidbit13 of afternoon reading. Somehow, its reporter Eliana Johnson got her hands on a leaked copy of U.S. Senate Democrat candidate Michelle Nunn’s campaign plan.

The 144-page memo14 rips the curtain away from the modern campaign. For us writing about Washington outside the beltway, we see this document as a guidebook on political communication. Think of it as the Democrats’ strategy to win friends and influence people.

In the next few months, the midterm elections will gear up and candidates all around the country like Michelle Nunn will run television spots, pose for photo-ops and kiss babies. By understanding Nunn’s strategy, we understand more of how the politicians are trying to convince us that they should be the ones going to Congress next year. We also learn how the Left, specifically, targets certain demographics and plays certain groups to accomplish its goals.

Here’s what we learned reading through the document:

The modern campaign takes a lot of science and number crunching. This may be a no-brainer. However, the memo starts off by looking at the history of voter turnout in Georgia and estimates how many votes the Nunn campaign should rake onto their side. The Feldman Group wrote, “[W]e need 1,378,001 votes to win. Rounding up reduces the risk and so 1.4 million is my recommended goal.” For this purpose, the Georgia Democratic Party keeps a massive voter list, probably with data such as voter history and the like. In fact, voter data is big, shadowy business15.

The Nunn campaign was researching to find out what voters wanted to hear. When this memo was written in December, Nunn didn’t define much of her message. Only a few months later, when her challenger would be decided in the Republican primary, would she forge the details of her running platform. For us not living in the swamp along the Potomac, this shows a candidate is not motivated by integrity, but by what tickles the ears of the voters during election season. They certainly ride the winds of opinion.

The Nunn campaign said it was looking for groups of Republicans to endorse Nunn. The Nunn campaign created two political groups to help lend some weight to their campaign. The groups, Republicans for Nunn and Independents for Nunn (we’re sure there is no pun intended), would be on call to be quoted in the media. This was an effort to reach demographics that Nunn herself was not comfortable reaching in person – like conservative, rural folks.

The Nunn campaign, in conjunction with Georgia’s Democratic Party, has a Voter Protection Program, which is there to deploy people to monitor the campaign, work the polls, and deal with any “voter protection incidents.” Election law is no joke. Mess with ballots, or manipulate voters, and you are manipulating the democratic process itself. For this reason, the Nunn campaign wanted to recruit lawyers or law students. For the non-law types, it was going to create an outline for those people to bone up on their election law, then turn around to advise the campaign. Go figure.

What kind of voter you are depends on what message you’ll hear. In the memo, there was a PowerPoint slide labeled “CONFIDENTIAL & PROPRIETARY” in which it identifies three kinds of audiences. First, there are the “Strong supporters.” In their mailboxes, Facebook accounts and online ads, they see messages reminding them to vote, give money or volunteer. Second, the “Drop-off voters” are probably people who support the candidate but somehow don’t make it to the polls. They need more persuasion when it comes to getting out and voting. Third, “swing voters” need to be persuaded about the candidate.

If the campaign were to get dirty, Nunn would be prepared. Early on, her campaign was compiling books of information about her possible Republican opponents. Her staff would gather all the information the public record had to offer on her opponent. Furthermore, the Democrat Party of Georgia hired a tracker. His or her job is to show up at press conferences, county fairs, fundraisers and videotape the opposition candidate whenever possible. The footage would be transcribed and analyzed for quotes, developments in the opposition’s campaign and for possible attack ads hitting the airwaves. The campaign’s research also went into debate preparation – policy documents refuting the arguments Nunn’s opposition would make.

Nunn’s memo bluntly goes through several demographics and their use to the campaign. Like a typical liberal, Nunn planned to use blacks and Latinos for their votes, and she targeted Jews, homosexuals, Asian-Americans and CEOs for their money. But these are not the only groups the Nunn campaign targeted. Her campaign viewed religious leaders as “validators” – people that she could leverage to get voters, especially Latino voters. For gun owners, Nunn herself wouldn’t reach the Second Amendment crowd (probably not her type of person). Instead, she would target the group around hunting season, releasing a newspaper ad or two, using people who did own guns as endorsers of her campaign.

When it came to Veterans, Nunn’s campaign had plans for them too, using them as “validators.” In her memo, the campaign wrote: “The veterans community will be organized primarily as validators. The campaign will work to recruit leaders in all areas of the military community and release their support prior to the primary. Following the primary, the campaigns will release their names of a larger number of military supporters, thus showing growing support.” Like many politicians, the Nunn campaign only gives veterans lip service in exchange for more votes. Such respectful treatment for the people who chose to bear the responsibilities of uniform!

Finally, the campaign has a love-hate relationship with the media because much of the outreach to voters is played out in the media, which can write whatever it wants. The campaign’s goal is to stick to a set of campaign talking points and repeat them again and again until Election Day. The media is hounding the campaign for any crack or deviation in the message. “In fact – in 21st century campaigns with wall-to-wall media coverage and super-pacs able to put millions of dollars behind video behind a single cellphone video – a slight deviation from the agreed upon message could end up being very damaging to the campaign,” the memo said. The communications team even rehearses the stump speech. Part of the team’s job is to “push back against negative research hits” using the strategy to “kill or muddy the story.” Remember that the next time you read a political piece on a candidate.

OPINION IN BRIEF
U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark (1927-): “A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.”

Columnist Terence Jeffrey: “The truth is all true rights come from God. If any other power claims to be the author of our rights, that power is attempting to usurp an authority that belongs only to God, and is attacking the only basis for the rule of law that forms the foundation of free societies. Our Founding Fathers rightly said all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, rightly said: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.” The problem for the leaders of America’s cultural left is that some of the things they demand our society must recognize as “rights” cannot plausibly be held up as God-given rights. Thus, they simply are not rights. Period. … Because it is so implausible to argue that men are endowed by their Creator with a right to kill unborn children, or a right to marry people of the same sex, America’s cultural left is moving away from the founding principal spelt out in our Declaration of Independence. What will they replace it with? Their own arbitrary power.“

Columnist Ben Shapiro: “Hamas’ goals in this conflict did not include military victory; Hamas may be evil, but it is not stupid. Its main goal was to shore up its base by achieving small concessions from Israel and Egypt, as well as the Palestinian Authority; those concessions could only be achieved if Israel could be portrayed as an international aggressor against a terror group. And that’s where the media manipulation came in. Hamas placed heavy restrictions on journalists and even threatened them. Hamas put women and children and mentally ill people in harm’s way for the cameras, and as a deterrent to Israeli military action. And the media went right along with it, proclaiming balance all the way. … They have turned balance into a synonym for amorality. In doing so, they have handed a propaganda victory to evil.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy was on the hot seat over three-hundred-fifty shootings and forty-seven murders in Chicago so far this year. And it just never ends. Chicago is the city where U.S. secretaries of state train to arrange all their cease-fires in the Middle East.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links

http://online.wsj.com/articles/shooter-in-afghan-military-uniform-opens-fire-at-training-facility-1407240953

http://patriotpost.us/posts/25846

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/28/gun-retailers-payday-lenders-out-of-choke-points-c/

http://patriotpost.us/articles/27856

http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/05/as-investigation-continues-va-has-told-congress-more-than-a-few-whoppers/

http://patriotpost.us/posts/27945

http://patriotpost.us/posts/27347

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/americans-got-2-trillion-benefits-federal-government-2013

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27947

http://www.speaker.gov/photo/do-something-house-july-photos

http://patriotpost.us/

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/15881

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/383894/print

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/12/aristotle200712

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27994

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27984

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27951

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27995

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/27985

http://patriotpost.us/opinion

The REAL Pandemic Threat: BioBombers
Hope for the Best — Prepare for the Worst
By Mark Alexander · August 6, 2014
“A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.” –James Madison (1792)
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The 24-hour news recyclers have lately devoted a lot of airtime to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and concerns about its spread to the U.S.

In recent weeks, more than 1,300 Africans have been infected with the deadly virus, and most of them have died. There would likely not be much coverage of this regional epidemic if not for the fact that two “humanitarian workers” (read: heroic Christians), an American doctor and nurse, are infected with the virus and have been transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has assured Americans that, while Ebola is deadly in each of its variant forms — it is much like AIDS or HIV — transmission requires substantial direct contact with an infected person. Of course, given that in the last three months the CDC’s stellar status was tarnished by reports that its personnel were very careless with some deadly pathogens — including anthrax, avian flu and smallpox — it’s understandable many Americans question CDC’s assessment of the Ebola risk.

The fact is, CDC’s risk assessment regarding the threat of an Ebola epidemic in the U.S. is correct. There is, however, right now, a very real pandemic threat posed by what we can call “BioBombers.”

BioBombers are Islamist “martyrs” who, instead of strapping on a bomb and detonating themselves in a crowded urban area, become human hosts for virulent strains of deadly contagions. Once infected, they fly into the U.S. legally and park themselves in major airport hubs around the nation for days, where they can infect others traveling across country whose symptoms may take days to manifest — which is to say others unknowingly become hosts and spread the virus to a much wider circle in their communities and work places.

For historical background, the greatest mortal threat to indigenous American populations when 15th- and 16th-century European explorers arrived was not from armed conflict with other native peoples; it was from European strains of diseases for which they had no immunity. The reverse was also true — many Europeans suffered from American diseases.

In the 19th century, of the estimated 620,000 deaths recorded in the War Between the States, more than 430,000 died from “camp diseases.” When soldiers and support personnel from different regions of the country congregated in camps, those who arrived with a virulent strain of influenza or other contagion quickly passed it on to others, and the consequences were devastating.

In the 20th century, there were 5.1 million combatant deaths in the four years of World War I, but the 1918 H1N1 influenza virus, commonly referred to as the “Spanish Flu,” infected an estimated 500 million people globally, including even those in remote Pacific and Arctic regions. Indeed, as many as 75-100 million people died in that pandemic — up to five percent of the world’s population, in two years.

In World War II, disease in the Pacific campaign claimed far more casualties than combat.

So how have we avoided another devastating Spanish Flu pandemic?

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We’ve learned how to restrain the spread of these diseases because of our notable early detection of outbreaks and well-rehearsed preventive measures to contain and isolate the infected. (Early detection and containment is critical when dealing with bacterial and viral infections.)

We have learned a lot from managing outbreaks. In 1976, a bacterial contagion called Legionnaires’ disease claimed 29 victims in Philadelphia. More recently, a viral SARS outbreak killed 775 people in 37 countries, most of them in Asia. There have also been recurring concerns about “bird flu,” which has been spreading worldwide since 2003 and claimed its first victim two years ago in Canada.

There are also inoculation programs that have helped eliminate the spread of disease, and treatment is much better now than it was in the early part of the 20th century.

But pathogens such as these are decimating if health care providers are slow to recognize the symptoms and correctly diagnose the disease. They can spread quickly if not properly reported to the CDC for entry into its early warning and response protocols. Fortunately, dangerous strains of H5N1 influenza and other flu viruses have not adapted, or mutated, into dramatically more virulent and deadly strains.

But there are plenty of artificially engineered bio-warfare viral strains that, if released into urban population centers, would overwhelm medical facilities and claim millions of casualties. The prospect of bio-terrorism, particularly a simultaneous attack across the nation from a cadre of BioBombers, would quickly overload health care service providers and exhaust pharmaceutical reserves. In the event of such an attack, the CDC’s epidemic early warning detection map would not merely blink with one or two markers — the entire board would light up, and the probability of containment would be lost.

In fact, the possibility of such an attack was the impetus last week for the largest bio-terrorism drill in New York City’s history.

So, how real is the threat?

The primary symmetric deterrent to weapons of mass destruction in warfare between nation states is the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. But in asymmetric warfare, where Islamic martyrs serve as surrogates for states like Iran, the MAD doctrine is of little deterrence.

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The prospect of another catastrophic attack on our homeland by asymmetric terrorist actors is greater now than it was in 2001, and the reason is as plain as it was predictable. But the impact of BioBombers on continuity of government and commerce will be far greater than 9/11.

In his first annual address to the nation in 1790, George Washington wrote, “To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” The eternal truth of those words is plainly evident today.

Indeed, as our nation’s erstwhile “community organizer” leads our nation’s retreat from its post as the world’s sole superpower, the inevitable consequences have been dramatic. Of greatest concern now is the resurgence of the enemies of Liberty, most notably al-Qa’ida jihadists in the wake of the Middle East meltdown (AKA, Arab Spring) in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Jordan, and now the disintegration of Iraq and the conflagration in Gaza.

At present, all eyes are on the unabated rise of the nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran, a major benefactor of worldwide Islamic terror. Iran could eventually put a compact fissile weapon into the hands of Jihad surrogates with the intent of detonating that weapon in a U.S. urban center.

But the scope and consequences of a coordinated attack by Islamic BioBombers is far greater than that of a nuclear attack. The impact on continuity of government and commerce will be far greater than the 9/11 attack.

So if the threat of a catastrophic bio-terrorism attack has increased, and if the CDC and our homeland security apparatus are not properly prepared to respond to such an attack (the response to Hurricane Katrina comes to mind), then what can be done?

Fact is, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family in the event of a biological attack on our nation with a little knowledge, preparation and not much expense — and that preparation will also suffice for other types of emergencies.

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The bedrock foundation of survival is individual preparedness and being prepared is not difficult. The primary means of protection in a pandemic is sheltering in place. But the Web is flooded with all kinds of preparedness and overwhelming advice from doomsday preppers. But your Patriot Post team has prepared a one-stop reliable reference page with basic instructions and advice.

As a resource to communities across the nation, we convened a knowledgeable team of emergency preparedness and response experts in 2012, including federal, state and local emergency management professionals, and specialists from the fields of emergency medicine, urban and wilderness survival, academia, law enforcement and related private sector services. They compiled basic individual preparedness recommendations to sustain you and your family during a short-term crisis. The result is a Two Step Individual Readiness Plan that enables you to shelter in place in the event of a local, regional or national catastrophic event, including a pandemic.

The most likely scenario requiring you to shelter in place would be the short-term need to isolate yourself from chemical, biological or radiological contaminants released accidentally or intentionally into the environment. (This could require sheltering for 1-7 days.)

But in the event of a bio-terrorism attack setting into motion a pandemic or a panic, you must be prepared to isolate yourself and your family from other people in order not to contract an illness. The best location to shelter in place during such an event is in your residence, and the length of time required could be 1-6 weeks.

Be prepared.

Link to our Disaster Preparedness Planning resource page.

Link to our Two Step Individual Readiness Plan

Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

The Disgusting Way the Clintons Earned Their Millions

20712144_sHillary Clinton is decidedly out of touch with the American public.

While many Americans work very, very hard to make an honest living, the Secretary of State along with her husband have earned over $100 million since they left The White House in 2000.

The real scandal here isn’t that the former First Lady and her husband are so wealthy. Rather, it has everything to do with how they made so much money in one of the worst economies in decades.

The former President and his wife claimed that upon entering The White House, they had the lowest net worth of any presidential family in the past century.

When they left, they claimed they were equally poor.

“We had no money when we got there [to the White House]… And we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. It was not easy. Bill has worked really hard. And it’s been amazing to me. He’s worked very hard.”

So how did they work so very hard to make so much?

It’s simple, they didn’t.

Instead they passed legislation that gave them an unfair advantage to make money. This was their “hard work.” Unfortunately for them, the trail of ink from these acts of legislation can be traced all the way to their bank accounts.

As reported by Alternet.

“As a Senator in NY, Hillary Clinton, voted for a bankruptcy bill that made it much harder for people to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The bill was backed primarily by banks and credit card issuers.”
“In June of 2010, months after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law and the regulatory battle over the health overhaul was set into motion, the former president took $175,000 from the main health insurance lobbying organization.”
“In 1999, Bill Clinton made repealing the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act — which separated commercial and investment banking — a priority. He commanded a bipartisan push in repealing the law, which was primarily advocated for by Wall Street lobbyists. Not long after his pen hit the paper to repeal the law, Citigroup, a top beneficiary of the repeal, recruited Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to join as an executive at the firm. Rubin went on to be one of Citigroup’s highest-paid officials, pulling in $115 million in pay from 1999 and 2008. While Rubin was made rich from Wall Street deregulation, his boss went on the lecture circuit.”
Since leaving office, many of the beneficiaries (primarily banks) of legislation passed by Bill Clinton have repeatedly given him big six-figure fees to make appearances and give speeches.

It’s a classic example of do as I say, not as I do.

While the couple set to lead our country in moral and ethical responsibility admonishes Americans to work hard, and pay your taxes to the government, they were passing legislation that allowed them to traipse around the country collecting six-figure checks after they left The White House.

The Clintons are now one of the wealthiest families in the nation, but it’s now clear that none of their wealth was secured through honest or fair work.

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