Category: Congress


Democrats are now in real danger of becoming extinct in the South – The Washington Post 12/31/15, 9:35 AM

The Fix

Democrats are now in real danger of becoming extinct in the South

By Amber Phillips December 30 at 10:20 AM

Kentucky Democrats have a problem. They just lost the governor’s mansion last month and now there’s a very real chance that their control of the state House is slipping away. That’s significant not just in Kentucky but nationally too; if Democrats lose control of the Kentucky state House, they will control a total of zero legislative chamber in the entire south.

The latest bad news for Kentucky Democrats came this week when Democratic state Rep. Jim Gooch switched parties, the second Democrat to turn Republican since the GOP’s gains in November. Gooch follows his colleague, Rep. Denny Butler as party switchers; two Democratic state representatives have resigned to accept appointments from Kentucky’s new Republican governor, Matt Bevin.

That means when the state legislature convenes in January, there will be 50 Democrats and 46 Republicans in the House — with four vacancies to fill in special elections that could well go to Republicans.

In short, Kentucky is no longer Democrats’ last stronghold of electoral hope in the south. It’s now better described as one of the last states to realign with America’s decades-old north-south political reality: Republicans rule down South; Democrats up North.

The signs this was coming have been around for a while now, notes University of Louisville political science professor Jasmine Farrier. Even though Bill Clinton won the state twice, Mitt Romney won the state in the 2012 presidential election, and GOP candidates triumphed in the 2014 Senate election and the 2015 governor races — often by wide margins. Kentucky’s balance of power finally shifted in November’s statewide elections. Statewide offices, which until November were mostly held by Democrats, are now mostly held by Republicans. The GOP wave was led by Bevin, a businessman whose outside appeal and flare has been likened to GOP front-runner Donald Trump, came from behind to become only the second Republican to lead the state in four decades.

Kentucky’s House is now the lone holdout in a state that you could argue is no longer a holdout from the post- Civil Rights era political realignment. And it didn’t take long after November to watch Democrats’ control of the

Democrats are now in real danger of becoming extinct in the South – The Washington Post 12/31/15, 9:35 AM

House start to crumble as well.
“We used to be more of an outlier,” Farrier said. “Now we’re more normal.”

Inevitable realignment or not, there’s probably some blame for Democrats to go around. Farrier says she thinks all this should be a wake up call for the Democratic Party, which has struggled to bridge the urban-rural divide in heavily rural states like Kentucky and hasn’t really found a way to reach across the cultural divides that
separate former Southern Democrats with today’s Northern ones.

“What has the Democratic Party done for poor, conservative Evangelical white people?” Farrier said. “And the answer is not much. On God, guns and gays, poor, white Evangelical conservatives would say the Democratic Party walked away from them, and not the other way around.”

Democrats’ fading grip on Kentucky politics may be unique, but it probably didn’t help that Democrats are having trouble holding onto state offices across the country.

During President Obama’s tenure, Republicans clinched more and more control of statehouse and governor’s mansions to the point where The Fix’s Chris Cillizza writes they “an absolute stranglehold” on governor’s seats (64 percent).

After the November 2014 midterms, Republicans have control of an all-time high 68 of 98 state chambers.

Republicans say their dominance at the state level is a result of hard work. They’ve invested heavily in state legislative races this past decade as part of a strategy to control state chambers that will take on congressional redistricting in 2020. It certainly worked for them in 2010.

As a result of much of this, America is increasingly divided into two different countries that rarely touch each other, politically or geographically.

Yet another factor in Democrats’ struggles in the south: Obama’s unpopularity outside those East Coast Democratic enclaves. A Kentucky Democrat is no Massachusetts Democrat, and Obama isn’t particularly liked in some Kentucky Democratic circles.

In announcing his switch to the Republican Party, Rep. Gooch cited the president’s “radical agenda” on

Democrats are now in real danger of becoming extinct in the South – The Washington Post 12/31/15, 9:35 AM

environmental regulations and gun control as reason to leave.
The president is arguably in line with the rest of the Democratic Party on these issues, but for more conservative

Kentucky Democrats, it may have been a step too far.
“There is this hatred of the president,” Farrier said. “It is very real, and it’s hard to imagine that it will be easily

recoverable.”
One thing’s for certain: Democratic control of Kentucky won’t be easily recoverable, at least not until the next

major political realignment.

Amber Phillips writes about politics for The Fix. She was previously the one-woman D.C. bureau for the Las Vegas Sun and has reported from Boston and Taiwan.

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THE UNBELIEVABLE STATEMENTS BY PUPLIC OFFICIALS
By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
December 28, 2015
NewsWithViews.com

In this century, it seems that the number of unbelievable things said by high profile people has increased. First, after American forces quickly sped from Kuwait to Baghdad in the 2003 Iraq war, President George W. Bush said “Mission Accomplished.” I could not believe he did not realize that is what Saddam Hussein wanted us to do, because only then would we change from battle formation to smaller patrols more easily hit by RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and IEDs (improvised explosive devices). A few years later, I could not believe Congress passed Obamacare after Democratis House leader Nancy Pelosi said members of Congress should pass the legislation before seeing all that was in it!

During the current political campaign when Dr. Ben arson was rising in the polls, he spoke at radical Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s convention and said “Al Sharpton and I have the same goal, just different ideas on how to get there,” and in Dr. Carson’s book AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL on page 102 he said it is “the moral low road” to “deport many individuals (illegal aliens) who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families.” Csarly Fiorina, who also temporarily rose in the polls, had touted President Obama’s “Race to the Top” education program, and last August said “I’ve been very clear I don’t support deportation (of illegal aliens).” Conservative talk show gurus Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others have extolled the virtues of Sen. Ted Cruz, even though he has spoken positively about his Council on Foreign Relations member wife, Heidi, in her globalist book BUILDING A NORTH AMERICAN UNION.

The unbelievable statements of President Obama are too numerous to mention here, but the morning of the recent ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, he declared: “ISIL is not going to pose an existential threat to us….Our homeland has never been more protected….” How could he say that shortly after the Russian airline was brought down by an ISIS improvised explosive device only perhaps the size of a soda can on board the plane? Can he guarantee that ISIS-inspired sleeper cells (like the couple in San Bernardino) cannot put soda cans filled with C-4 or other explosives on drones and from far away fly them into large crowds of people, perhaps during cities’ New Year’s Eve celebrations (e.g., at New York City’s Times Square)?

Perhaps the most egregious examples of unbelievable statements come from (Queen) Hillary Clinton herself. Remember when she claimed she was running from sniper fire when landing in Bosnia in 1996? This turned out to be completely false. Also remember when she repeatedly publicly said the Benghazi attack were spontaneously caused by an anti-Muslim video, even though she was privately telling others it was a previously planned terrorist attack. Well, her latest unbelievable claim is that ISIS is using a video of Donald Trump, saying he would temporarily ban Muslims from immigrating to the United States, as a recruitment tool. The problem is that when the media questioned the veracity of her claim, she could not produce any such video. Think about it. Hillary and her political twin President Obama have been claiming that Islam is a religion of peace, and that jihad is simply an individual’s pursuit of spiritual betterment. They claim ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, even though they refer to ISIS as ISIL, the first letter of which stands for “Islamic.” They say ISIL is simply a group of thugs who are misrepresenting Islam.

All right, let’s see how this works. We are supposed to believe brutal ISIS members have recruited new members by bribing or threatening them or their families, perhaps saying something like “Join us or we will behead your mother and rape your sisters.” We are then supposed to believe that these peaceful prospective recruits reject these threats regardless of what ISIL does to their mothers and sisters, but then decide to join the ISIL thugs just because Donald Trump said he temporarily wants to halt Muslim immigration to the United States! Really?

But Trump does not get a pass on unbelievable statements either. One has to be careful when making blanket statements such as he wants to ban “all” Muslim immigrants. That would even include banning a one-year-old Muslim child from joining his grandparents in the United States after his Shiite parents were killed by ISIL Sunnis in Syria.
And religious leaders are not immune from making unbelievable remarks as well. According to a NATIONAL REPORT article posted about 6 months ago, Pope Francis in an hour-long speech told Vatican guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings therein, are just as valid as THE HOLY BIBLE. He also told them: “We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths.” He has even kissed the Koran, just as Pope John Paul II did, even though in Islamic teaching, Jesus is secondary to Mohamed!
Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.

Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS’s Nightwatch.

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Why Franklin Graham Is Leaving the GOP
Kelsey Harkness

Angry at Republicans for failing to defund Planned Parenthood in 2015, Franklin Graham announces he’s cutting ties with the GOP. (Photo: EPA/Nell Redmond/Newscom)
Less than one week after Congress passed a massive year-end spending bill that failed to strip Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer dollars, evangelist Franklin Graham announced he is leaving the Republican Party.

“Shame on the Republicans and the Democrats for passing such a wasteful spending bill last week,” Graham wrote Monday on Facebook. “And to top it off, funding Planned Parenthood!”

Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said Republicans’ failure to defund Planned Parenthood is an “example” of why he is declaring himself an independent.

“This is an example of why I have resigned from the Republican Party and declared myself independent,” Graham wrote. “I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America.”

In declaring his separation from the Republican party, Graham referenced a string of undercover videos that came out this year showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of body parts from aborted babies. Graham compared the actions in those videos—which some claim were highly manipulated—to Nazi concentration camps.

“Seeing and hearing Planned Parenthood talk nonchalantly about selling baby parts from aborted fetuses with utter disregard for human life is reminiscent of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi concentration camps!” he said.

The undercover videos, produced by the Center for Medical Progress, sparked calls by conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood of the more than $528 million it receives in taxpayer dollars. The majority of that money comes from federal reimbursements it receives through Medicaid contracts.

Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing, calling the videos “heavily edited” and “secretly recorded.”

Conservatives made stripping Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer dollars a top priority this congressional year yet failed to include any defund provisions in the year-end spending bill.

>>> Read More: How Your Senators Voted on the Government Spending Bill

Democrats praised the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending as a “good compromise,” highlighting the more than 150 conservative policy riders that they were able to “nix” from the final agreement.

“In addition to nixing more than 150 GOP riders, the final agreement will secure major progressive policy successes,” wrote Adam Jentleson, Minority Leader Harry Reid’s deputy chief of staff, on Twitter.

After the spending bill passed, Planned Parenthood touted in a press release that the budget deal included “no new harmful policy riders on women’s health.”

At the end of his post declaring his separation from the Republican party, Graham called on Christians “across the country to pray about running for office where they can have an impact.”

Read Graham’s full Facebook post here:

‘If an abortion [provider] is complaining, the easiest thing to do is get the pro-life people to shut up,’ Matt Bowman, a lawyer defending carolers, says.

Refugees Grateful For Chance To See Europe While Being Bounced From Country To Country
September 8, 2015

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY—Saying they never dreamed they’d have the opportunity to do so much traveling and sightseeing, tens of thousands of refugees across Europe confirmed Tuesday that they were grateful for the chance to take in so many of the continent’s natural and historical treasures while being bounced from country to country. “I thought the Serbian countryside was so beautiful when we were marching through it, but, wow, Budapest is truly breathtaking—it’s a real architectural gem—and hopefully once our papers expire in 48 hours we’ll be off to somewhere new!” said Syrian refugee Majd Ahsan, who added that his European trip got off to a great start on the island of Lesbos in Greece, where he said he was really able to soak in the Mediterranean landscape by spending his every waking and sleeping moment outdoors. “We actually got to spend a couple extra days in Athens while the Macedonian borders were closed, which was a real treat—there’s just so much rich history right there! At this point, who knows which country we’ll see tomorrow or the next day. Germany? France? Ooh, maybe we’ll go to Prague, get turned away at a processing center, and be sent to Poland! I hear it’s really lovely.” Ahsan added that he was just sad that two of his four children and both of his brothers were no longer around to enjoy the tour of Europe with him.

Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MATT APUZZOJULY 23, 2015
Photo

Hillary Rodham Clinton at an event in West Columbia, S.C., on Thursday. Her email use while secretary of state has been an issue in the early part of her presidential run. Credit Travis Dove for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.

It is not clear if any of the information in the emails was marked as classified by the State Department when Mrs. Clinton sent or received them.

But since her use of a private email account for official State Department business was revealed in March, she has repeatedly said that she had no classified information on the account.

Hillary Rodham Clinton visiting Greenville Technical College in South Carolina on Thursday.Hillary Clinton Emails Said to Contain Classified DataJULY 24, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington in January 2009, before she took office. In emails, aides asked if they could share her address with members of the Obama administration.New Trove of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Highlights Workaday Tasks at the State DepartmentJUNE 30, 2015
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department in Washington on Sept. 12, 2012, discussing the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.A Closer Look at Hillary Clinton’s Emails on BenghaziMAY 21, 2015
Who Is Running for President?JAN. 30, 2015
The initial revelation has been an issue in the early stages of her presidential campaign.
Hillary Rodham Clinton responded to new accusations involving the private email account she used when she was secretary of state. By Reuters on Publish Date July 24, 2015. Photo by Michael Appleton for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »
The Justice Department has not decided if it will open an investigation, senior officials said. A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign released a statement on Twitter on Friday morning. “Any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted,” it read.

At issue are thousands of pages of State Department emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account. Mrs. Clinton has said she used the account because it was more convenient, but it also shielded her correspondence from congressional and Freedom of Information Act requests.

She faced sharp criticism after her use of the account became public, and subsequently said she would ask the State Department to release her emails.

The department is now reviewing some 55,000 pages of emails. A first batch of 3,000 pages was made public on June 30.

In the course of the email review, State Department officials determined that some information in the messages should be retroactively classified. In the 3,000 pages that were released, for example, portions of two dozen emails were redacted because they were upgraded to “classified status.” But none of those were marked as classified at the time Mrs. Clinton handled them.

In a second memo to Mr. Kennedy, sent on July 17, the inspectors general said that at least one email made public by the State Department contained classified information. The inspectors general did not identify the email or reveal its substance.

The memos were provided to The New York Times by a senior government official.

The inspectors general also criticized the State Department for its handling of sensitive information, particularly its reliance on retired senior Foreign Service officers to decide if information should be classified, and for not consulting with the intelligence agencies about its determinations.

In March, Mrs. Clinton insisted that she was careful in her handling of information on her private account. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she said. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

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In May, the F.B.I. asked the State Department to classify a section of Mrs. Clinton’s emails that related to suspects who may have been arrested in connection with the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The information was not classified at the time Mrs. Clinton received it.

The revelations about how Mrs. Clinton handled her email have been an embarrassment for the State Department, which has been repeatedly criticized over its handling of documents related to Mrs. Clinton and her advisers.
On Monday, a federal judge sharply questioned State Department lawyers at a hearing in Washington about why they had not responded to Freedom of Information Act requests from The Associated Press, some of which were four years old.

“I want to find out what’s been going on over there — I should say, what’s not been going on over there,” said Judge Richard J. Leon of United States District Court, according to a transcript obtained by Politico. The judge said that “for reasons known only to itself,” the State Department “has been, to say the least, recalcitrant in responding.”

Two days later, lawmakers on the Republican-led House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks said they planned to summon Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff to Capitol Hill to answer questions about why the department has not produced documents that the panel subpoenaed. That hearing is set for next Wednesday.

“The State Department has used every excuse to avoid complying with fundamental requests for documents,” said the chairman of the House committee, Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina.

Mr. Gowdy said that while the committee has used an array of measures to try to get the State Department to hand over documents, the results have been the same. “Our committee is not in possession of all documents needed to do the work assigned to us,” he said.

The State Department has sought to delay the hearing, citing continuing efforts to brief members of Congress on the details of the nuclear accord with Iran. It is not clear why the State Department has struggled with the classification issues and document production. Republicans have said the department is trying to use those processes to protect Mrs. Clinton.
State Department officials say they simply do not have the resources or infrastructure to properly comply with all the requests. Since March, requests for documents have significantly increased.

Some State Department officials said they believe that many senior officials did not initially take the House committee seriously, which slowed document production and created an appearance of stonewalling.

State Department officials also said that Mr. Kerry is concerned about the toll the criticism has had on the department and has urged his deputies to comply with the requests quickly.

Correction: July 25, 2015
An article and a headline in some editions on Friday about a request to the Justice Department for an investigation regarding Hillary Clinton’s personal email account while she was secretary of state misstated the nature of the request, using information from senior government officials. It addressed the potential compromise of classified information in connection with that email account. It did not specifically request an investigation into Mrs. Clinton. An article about the latest developments is on Page A1.

Teen truckers spark worry as Congress considers lower age limit
Posted on July 24, 2015 by Tribune News Service Views: 648

WASHINGTON (TNS) — Drivers as young as 18 years old could be allowed to drive 80,000-pound trucks between states if Congress goes along with a proposal backed by the U.S. trucking industry that safety advocates say would be a disaster.

The plan, part of highway legislation that’s before the Senate, would greatly increase the number of teenagers behind the wheel of big rigs.

“We should be considering how to limit teen truck drivers rather than expanding them into such a dangerous program,” said Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Many states permit 18-year-olds to drive the big trucks, but federal law prohibits them from operating across borders. In those states, younger truck drivers are four to six times as likely as 21-year-olds to be involved in fatal crashes, Gillan said.

The trucking industry says there is a shortage of drivers and sees the measure as a way to expand the pool of eligible operators. By 2017, there could be more than 250,000 unfilled trucker jobs, according to a forecast by FTR, an industry research firm.

Reducing the driving age would give companies like Knight Transportation Inc., Swift Transportation Co., YRC Worldwide Inc., FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. more applicants, lowering recruiting costs, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Lee Klaskow said.

Shippers could get lower rates as contract costs have gone up 3 percent to 5 percent this year, he said. That rise “is driven by truckers looking to pass on the cost of attracting and retaining drivers,” Klaskow said.

Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts say they are trying to get the provision removed from the six-year highway bill when it is debated by the full Senate. The Commerce Committee approved it July 15.

The idea has been kicking around for years. In 2002, the Bush administration looked at graduated licensing that would create classifications for younger truckers with certain restrictions.

At the time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that there was “unequivocal scientific evidence of a markedly elevated crash risk among people younger than 21 who drive large trucks” and no basis for believing that graduated licensing would reduce that danger.

The Senate bill would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a six-year pilot program allowing 18-year-olds to drive commercial vehicles, including buses, across state lines.

Since 48 states already allow younger commercial drivers to drive within state boundaries it makes sense to allow the practice nationally, American Trucking Associations spokesman Sean McNally said. The legislation is narrowly tailored to permit states to enter agreements with each other under the program supervised by the FMCSA, he said.

Commercial drivers are already subject to more stringent licensing than those who drive passenger cars, McNally said. The program would give people just out of high school, a demographic with a high unemployment rate, an opportunity in an industry that needs drivers.

“Like many industries, we have a looming issue with baby boomer retirements,” McNally said. “This could be a way to address that.”

Graduated licensing has worked well for passenger-car drivers, and it’s a common-sense way for truckers to get more responsibility as they get more experience, according to the ATA. States would be free to put restrictions on the younger truckers, such as limiting the types of cargo carried, or keeping to specific routes or times of day, the group said in a letter to senators July 21.

“Right now a young adult could drive a truck from El Paso, Texas, to Dallas — a distance of more than 600 miles — but couldn’t cross the street to deliver that same load from Texarkana, Texas to Texarkana, Arkansas,” Bill Graves, the Arlington, Virginia-based trade group’s president and chief executive officer, said in the letter.

Those arguments don’t convince Gillan of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington-based group. If 48 states permit 18-year-olds for intrastate commerce, maybe that’s the problem the Senate should be looking at, she said, because the statistics show those drivers to be more dangerous.

“Look at the figures,” Gillan said. “Now we’re saying let’s take a really bad idea and expand it? Who else other than the trucking industry could get by with that logic?”

–Jeff Plungis
Bloomberg News

Obama and Rep. Mike McCaul Say You Could Be A “Violent Extremist”
CAIR countering violent extremism CVE Islamism Radical Islam Rep. Mike McCaul
George Rasley, CHQ Editor | 7/20/2015
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul

Who are these “violent extremists” President Obama and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill, such as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas, keep talking about?

Are they actually Islamists, such as Yemeni native Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez who killed the four Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee? Or are they Americans who support the right-to-life movement, Fourth Amendment property rights, the Second Amendment and strict constitutional limits on the size and scope of the federal government?

If you are President Obama and Congressman McCaul you apparently believe either or both are equal threats to constitutional government and need to be “countered” with new legislation that passed out of McCaul’s Homeland Security Committee on a voice vote no less.

McCaul’s bill would create a “countering violent extremism” office at the Department of Homeland Security, but who or what would be “countered” is not just undefined, Obama administration policy would make defining it in terms most Americans would deem appropriate to the threat of Islamism almost impossible.

And that’s the way Democrats on McCaul’s Committee and Muslim apologists want it.

Seamus Hughes, who recently left Obama’s National Counterterrorism Center, and is now deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, “Islamist extremism is hardly the only form of extremism that poses a threat.” Non-Islamist extremism needs to be aggressively addressed too, Hughes told ABC News’ James Gordon Meek.

Of course Meek doesn’t really need Seamus Hughes to tell him that; the Left-leaning Mr. Meek used to work for McCaul’s committee and knows well the Committee for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamist front groups operating in America.

Their goal is to make our counter terrorism strategy not one of countering Islam ad Islamism, but countering anyone who objects to Obama administration policy.

These are the same guys at the Department of Homeland Security who classified returning veterans of the Middle East wars potential “rightwing violent extremists.”

Last year in the wake of President Obama’s speech about his belated plan to confront the national security threat posed by the rise of the Islamic State, then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new program “to bring together community representatives, public safety officials and religious leaders to counter violent extremism.”

Except nowhere in the announcement could you find the words Islamic, Islamist, Muslim, jihadi or any other term that might give you the slightest idea who these violent extremists might be.

To be fair, Holder did mention ISIL, Syria, Iraq and the 13th anniversary of 9/11, but nowhere was any word used that directly associates these events with radical Islam or Muslim culture as the proximate cause of the need for the program.

What’s more Holder said that the Department of Justice “will along with our interagency affiliates, we will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country.”

It is exactly these “community representatives,” such as the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), that have demanded that the American government scrub any mention or use of the words Islamic, Islamist, Muslim, jihadi or any other association with Islam from Pentagon and law enforcement training programs as “Islamophobic.”

Back in 2009 the Department of Homeland Security issued an “intelligence assessment”, really more of a political broadside, arguing that “rightwing extremism,” defined by then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to include groups opposed to abortion and open immigration and infamously even returning veterans as among terrorist risks to the U.S.

The report was so outrageous that Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, then-chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and the top House Democrat with oversight of the Department of Homeland Security said in a letter to Ms. Napolitano that he was “dumbfounded” that such a report would be issued. Mr. Thompson stood tall in 2009, but might be changing his tune now as he seemed to (at least according to ABC News) lump together Islamism and “white supremacy extremism” as equal threats.

Interestingly, the language used in McCaul’s recent hearing on his “countering violent extremism” bill was strikingly similar to that used in Holder’s 2014 announcement and the 2009 report that said the federal government “will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months” to gather information on “rightwing extremist activity in the United States.”

And now House Homeland Security Committee Chairman McCaul, and the rest of the Republicans on the Committee have taken this bait, hook, line and sinker.

Something is bizarrely wrong in our government, as it is being run by President Obama and Chairman McCaul if returning vets and groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority and citizens who oppose abortion can be named as terrorists, but the words Islamic, Islamist, Muslim, jihadi cannot be used in a program to “counter violent extremism.”

President Obama and Congressman McCaul have all too willingly embraced a foolish, perhaps fatal, politically correct description of who the enemy is in this war radical Islamists have declared on us; and it is not returning American veterans of the wars to defend their country against Islamism.

We urge CHQ readers to call Mike McCaul, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Whip Steve Scalise and tell them you oppose H.R. 2899, McCaul’s bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize an Office for Countering Violent Extremism.

The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/36489
Daily Digest

Jul. 20, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country’s Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions.” —George Washington, General Orders, 1776

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Chattanooga: Heroic Actions1

By Mark Alexander

The Leftmedia is still searching for a motive in the attack on military personnel here in Chattanooga last week — an Islamist assault we covered in “Obama: Happy Ramadan2.” First clue: Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez murdered four Marines and one Sailor on the last day of Ramadan. Second clue: The assailant blogged and texted about jihad3.

Thursday morning’s daily White House email4 — the day of the attack — was a message honoring Ramadan. Equally notable, Friday morning’s email made no mention of Thursday’s attack — it was a solicitation for DNC funds.

The attacks have generated a lot of national ranting about Muslims, but we caution that we should not marginalize all Muslims as suspect Islamists. That is precisely what Obama and his Leftists did after the recent murders in Charleston5 — marginalized all white Southerners interested in our heritage as racist and endeavored to remove any vestige of that heritage from public places, including National Military Parks6.

The actions of one do not reflect the beliefs of all, but clearly this assault was incited by Islamist hatred — and that should be the target of our outrage.

Additionally, there is little being said about the two reasons the casualty list was not much higher.

The media has largely ignored the fact that there were many other personnel at the Reserve Center that fateful morning. “Mike Battery” (Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Regiment), had just completed annual training in California, and there were 22 Marines at the center cleaning and conditioning equipment, along with additional Navy staff.

The first reason that more were not murdered was explained by Marine spokesman Maj. Clark Carpenter: “There were heroic acts by our Marines on that day. They did exactly what we expect Marines to do. They got their Marines to safety. They took care of their Marines first, and then those Marine leaders went back into the fray to make sure that others were protected. They went back into the fight to try to stop him.”

Maj. Carpenter added that when the nation looked back on this incident, “It’s going to be a story of heroes, with both our Marines and our Sailors, and without question, the first responders from the police department.”

Indeed, the second reason there were not many more casualties is that as police arrived they engaged the assailant, which is to say those police officers diverted Abdulazeez’s fire away from the additional (unarmed) Marines and Navy personnel.

We grieve for the families of the five murdered Patriots: Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist (USMC), Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt (USMC), Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan (USMC), Lance Cpl. Squire Wells (USMC) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith (USN).

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Acts to Head Off Crime Spree of … the Elderly?7

If there’s a singular purpose for Barack Obama and his cadres its limiting access to guns in as many ways as possible. The latest attempt is a push to prohibit Social Security recipients from owning firearms if they are judged mentally incompetent. First let’s stipulate that nobody wants people who are mentally incompetent owning or using guns without at least some restrictions. But the question is the standard used. The Social Security Administration has never before participated in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, but, if the SSA begins using the same standards as the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least four million beneficiaries could see their gun rights eliminated by a bureaucrat. We don’t want the government defining or deciding mental competence with standards that have nothing to do with crime. And especially not this administration. Indeed, given the Obama administration’s track record of disdain for American veterans — both through the bureaucratic shenanigans at the VA8 and in targeting veterans in DHS reports about extremism9 — it won’t be long before veterans are barred from owning firearms, or, conversely, their benefits are restricted if they’re gun owners. Indeed, many veterans have already been judged “incompetent” when that’s clearly not the case. Now prohibitions could extend to the average Social Security recipient. We’re forced to ask what problem Obama thinks he’s trying to solve. Our nation has not been under assault by senior citizens or veterans. It has been under attack from Islamic jihadists, and that’s the one thing Obama seems most reticent to address.

Trump on McCain: A Barb Too Far10

At the 2015 Family Leadership Summit Friday, reality TV star and billionaire extraordinaire Donald Trump continued to attempt to rend the Republican Party by launching an attack against Sen. John McCain. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump bloviated. “I like people that weren’t captured.” Trump is standing behind his comments, despite nearly the whole GOP field criticizing him11 for them. On Sunday, Trump doubled down, tweeting, “The Veterans Administration is in shambles and our veterans are suffering greatly. John McCain has done nothing to help them but talk.” Two different issues. McCain endured an ordeal that would break weaker men like Trump. What he did or did not do afterwards does not strip McCain from the title of “hero.”

Besides, while McCain12 was asking for more missions in Vietnam, Trump was weaseling out of the draft13. While McCain was experiencing debilitating torture as a prisoner of war, Trump caroused as a Manhattan playboy. When McCain returned, broken from the war, Trump was being hit with Fair Housing Act discrimination suit.

McCain responded14 brilliantly: “I think he may owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving our country. … In the case of many of our veterans, when Mr. Trump said that he prefers to be with people who are not captured, well, the great honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes. I’m not a hero. But those who were my senior ranking officers … those that have inspired us to do things that we otherwise wouldn’t have been capable of doing, those are the people that I think he owes an apology to.”

Obama ‘Recovery’ Slows Debt Reduction15

The White House has released a little-noticed but concerning bit of information on the economy and our nation’s debt. Known as the “Mid-Session Review,” the report16 “contains revised estimates of receipts, outlays, budget authority, and the budget deficit for fiscal years 2015 through 2025.” Barack Obama has long made a habit of boasting about reducing the deficit. (When reducing something, it helps to have quadrupled it first.) But The Wall Street Journal notes that the good times might not keep rolling17: “First, the good news: Short-term deficits are falling. The Obama administration now forecasts the annual deficit will reach $455 billion this year, down 22% from its forecast at the start of the year and around 6% below last year’s level. The level represents around 2.6% of the country’s total economic output, down from a forecast of 3.2% earlier this year. Moreover, the administration sees the deficit falling another 6% next year to $429 billion, or around 2.3% of gross domestic product. The bad news? Economic growth has continued to underperform expectations. And because the administration’s economists don’t see growth rebounding later to play catch up, the revenue that’s lost to lower growth isn’t going to be recouped in future periods.”

Whereas previous estimates were for 3% and higher economic growth, the new ones are in the 2% range. That’s the rub, isn’t it? Obama’s “stimulus,” regulations and tax hikes were supposed to lead us to the economic promised land. Instead, we got perpetual stagnation, and, compared to past recoveries, this one has no right to be called one.

 

OPINION IN BRIEF

Scott Powell: “The concern about sanctuary cities today should not focus only on the problem of alien criminals, exemplified by 8,145 offenders released from custody during just the last eight months. Sanctuary cities can also provide a safe haven for very bad actors intending to wreak mass havoc on America, such as Islamist terrorists and drug cartel kingpins. In addition to the need to plug the sanctuary city hole by enforcing existing federal law requiring local governments to cooperate with ICE, there are other gaps to fill. An important recommendation of the 9/11 Commission was to tighten up the student-visa program after it was determined that the hijacker who flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had entered the U.S. on a student visa.”

SHORT CUTS

“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.” —The Gipper

Dezinformatsia: “Were guns a big part of activities — social or other activities? Did [Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez] hunt? Did he shoot? Was that just part of small-town Tennessee activity?” —NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, trying desperately to make guns and other conservative Southern culture a factor

Obama’s way or the highway: “If Congress says no to this deal, then there will be no restraints on Iran, there will be no sanctions left. … Our friends in this effort will desert us. We will be viewed as having killed the opportunity to stop [Iran] from having weapons. [Iran] will begin to enrich again, and the greater likelihood is what the president said the other day — you will have a war.” —Secretary of State John Kerry

But war’s not off the table, either: “One of the reasons this deal is a good one is that it does nothing to prevent the military option — the U.S. military option.” —Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Demo-gogues: “We’ve got to do all we can over the next few months to make sure we elect Democrats who will fight for every single American at all stages of life.” —solicitation from Barack Obama to support entitlement programs, though clearly Obama does not support “every single American at all stages of life”

Heckled for getting it right: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” —Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was booed and heckled at the Netroots Nation conference for suggesting other lives matter too

“Obama entered the El Reno federal penitentiary in Oklahoma Thursday and spoke to the prisoners there. He urged lawmakers to eliminate mandatory sentences for non-violent drug offenders. He was the first North American leader all week to be on the news for going into a prison.” —Argus Hamilton

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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://patriotpost.us/articles/36487
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/36467
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/4051
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/16/statement-president-occasion-eid-ul-fitr
http://patriotpost.us/posts/35865
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36037
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36482
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/25991
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3101
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36486
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/07/18/trump-slams-mccain-for-being-captured-in-vietnam/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/20/what-donald-trump-was-up-to-while-john-mccain-was-suffering-as-a-prisoner-of-war/
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/trump-draft-deferment?page=0
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/john-mccain-responds-donald-trump-121354692.html
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36470
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2016/assets/16msr.pdf
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/07/16/why-the-white-house-no-longer-projects-a-decline-in-debt/
http://patriotpost.us/articles/36485
http://patriotpost.us/articles/36481
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36469
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36462
http://patriotpost.us/posts/36460
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36480
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36479
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36473
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36474
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36471
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/36476
http://patriotpost.us/opinion

Planned Parenthood video recharges Republicans’ anti-abortion campaign
Posted on July 20, 2015 by Tribune News Service Views: 274
(TNS) — In the undercover video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing in graphic detail how to preserve aborted fetal organs for medical research, anti-abortion Republicans hope they’ve finally found an opening to advance their agenda.

So far, they have a few things working in their favor.

Lawmakers know the video will evoke a strong emotional response. In it, anti-abortion activists posing as biomedical company representatives wore cameras to show Planned Parenthood’s senior medical services director sipping wine while discussing the terms of fetal tissue shipments.

More videos are on the way, according to the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group responsible for the clip released last week. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has directed committee chairmen to investigate the matter and hold hearings, More videos would keep the issue at the forefront.

Still, the past week has shown the challenges politicians — especially Republicans — face in maintaining solid footing in abortion debates. One misstep can derail legislation or a campaign.

In 2013, House Republicans thought they hit a gold mine with Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor who sentenced to life in prison for killing three infants after their birth in late-term abortion procedures.

The GOP used the national outcry to push legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks, the point at which some medical professionals argue a fetus can begin to feel pain. Then the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), said something about low rates of pregnancy resulting from rape as an explanation for why the bill didn’t include exceptions for rape victims.

Franks’ bill passed the House, but Franks’ remark led some Democrats to suggest that the GOP is out of touch.

In 2011, separate undercover videos of questionable practices at Planned Parenthood facilities fueled a House vote to defund the organization. But Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who supports access to abortions, refocused the debate when she came to the floor and revealed that she had terminated a pregnancy out of medical necessity.

Controversy over the latest Planned Parenthood video shows early signs of similar derailments.

There are questions about whether the video was edited to create the impression that the Planned Parenthood official was negotiating an illegal sale of fetal tissue.

There’s also the issue of who knew what, when.

A House Republican acknowledged he was one of at least two members of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus shown the video nearly a month ago, but had no explanation for why he waited to speak out.

“I don’t know why,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).

Franks, the other member of the caucus who previewed the clip, said in an email that he waited because “the hope was to have as much information as possible so that the authorities could be notified effectively before the media.”

Planned Parenthood’s press office, however, seized on the report of the advanced brief and Murphy’s reluctance to comment, sending an email about it to the media.

David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, did not respond to requests for comment.

–Emma Dumain and Samar Khurshid
CQ-Roll Call

Congressmen Push to Get Us Out of United Nations – Is Your Representative On Board?
5 Comments
Rep. Michael Rogers (R-AL) has put forth legislation to repeal the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and has several supporters in favor of the bill.

Currently Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jeff Duncan (R-TN) Westmoreland (R-GA), and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) has co-sponsored the bill.
According to the bill, it would:
Repeal
The United Nations Participation Act of 1945 (Public Law 79–264; 22 U.S.C. 287 et seq.) is repealed.
Termination of membership in United Nations
The President shall terminate all membership by the United States in the United Nations, and in any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations.
Closure of United States Mission to United Nations
The United States Mission to the United Nations is closed. Any remaining functions of such office shall not be carried out.
The bill would also agree to withdraw from the agreement between the United States of America and the United Nations regarding the headquarters of the United Nations.
It would also terminate fund that are “authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for the United States contribution to any United Nations peacekeeping operation or force.”
Additionally, it would not allow for funds to be used to “support participation of any member of the Armed Forces of the United States as part of any United nations military or peacekeeping operation or force” nor would it allow for any “member of the Armed Forces of the United States” to “server under the command of the United Nations.”
On top of that, the US government would basically kick the United Nations out of New York as it would not allow the UN to “occupy or use any property or facility of the United States Government.”

Diplomatic immunity would also go away with this bill and UN officials, employees and anyone associated with the UN would lose such status, making them subject to the laws of the land in which they are in.
It would also repeal the following:
Repeal of United States membership and participation in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
Repeal of United Nations Environment Program Participation Act of 1973
Repeal of United States participation in the World Health Organization
Repeal of involvement in United Nations conventions and agreements
There are many reason for the United States to remove itself from the United Nations. Among those are five things that Jim Fitzgerald had pointed out:
The complete text of the UN Charter’s Article 25 states: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.” That clearly stated requirement supersedes adherence to the US Constitution. That any US government official would agree to that is incredible. When the UN’s Security Council decides to act, our nation’s membership requires the United States to “accept and carry out” what the Security Council wants done.
When the UN Security Council decides to send military forces to carry out its decisions, all member nations are required to participate.
In 1990, a UN Security Council resolution was sought and obtained by President George H. W. Bush for the first invasion of Iraq and that was in line with advancing a “New World Order.” This was summarily the same proposition pitched by Bush, Jr. for the second unconstitutional invasion of Iraq.
Articles 52-54 of the UN Charter permit nations to form “Regional Arrangements” to conduct military operations. Under these three articles in the Charter, NATO and SEATO were created, which have gotten us into more unconstitutional wars.
Article 2 of the UN Charter states: “nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state…” But the UN meddles in an array of matters, which are certainly within the jurisdiction of individual states (countries), including our own.
Take time to contact your representative and senator at every office they have and demand that they support HR 1205 for the future of our posterity and for the survival of America!

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/07/congressmen-push-to-get-us-out-of-united-nations-is-your-representative-on-board/#V69Xg61qPdH95RFh.99