Category: military


Heidi Cruz wants to build a North American Community – what does that mean, exactly?
Posted on August 21, 2015 by austrogirl
ted cruz
Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, with his Spanish name, Canadian birth and US citizenship, would actually be a natural candidate to be the First President of the North American Union! (n/t The Next News Network)

In today’s video preview of tomorrow’s show, I refer to a document, Building a North American Community, written by a Council on Foreign Relations task force which included Heidi Cruz (i.e., Mrs. Ted Cruz), who expressly agreed with the recommendations in the report. What are those recommendations? Here’s a sampling, but I highly recommend you read the whole text (it’s large print and only 32 pages of actual report, the rest you can skip):

To lay the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America with the ultimate goal of full mobility of labor and goods across Canada, Mexico and the United States. To facilitate this, rules and regulations on labor and the environment among other things should conform across the “trinational” region. “[T]he three countries should make a concerted effort to encourage regulatory convergence…including harmonization at the highest prevailing standard…and unilateral adoption of another country’s rules.”
“Make a North American standard the default approach to new regulation….The new trinational mechanism also should be charged with identifying joint means of ensuring consistent enforcement of new rules as they are developed.”
Increase information and intelligence-sharing at the local and national levels in both law enforcement and military organizations.
Conduct annual training exercise to develop interoperability among and between law enforcement agencies and militaries of the US, Canada & Mexico.
Create a North American Border Pass with biometric identifiers.
Establish a North American energy and emissions regime that could offer tradable voucher systems for emissions trading.
Creation of a North American Advisory Council with a complementary private body “that would meet regularly or annually to buttress North American relationships, along the lines of the Bilderberg or Wehrkunde conferences, organized to support transaltantic relations.”
Creation of a North American Inter-Parliamentary Group that will include US Congress along with Canadian and Mexican Parliamentary representation, who play key roles in policy toward each other. The newly created North American Advisory Council (likened to the Bilderberg Group) “could provide an agenda and support for these meetings.”
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Daily Digest
July 23, 2015 Print

THE FOUNDATION
“To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character.” —Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34 — 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS
Continuing Executive Advance on Immigration
The Obama administration continues its blitzkrieg on executive immigration reform. Sure, there’s that pocket of resistance, that suit brought by 26 states, but that’s not stopping Obama. “[T]he 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals guidelines remain in place,” Obama said in a White House statement. “There are also other important immigration executive actions that continue to move forward.” He goes onto list 11 ways he’s continuing to tweak the nation’s immigration enforcement, and the statement finishes by repeating the tired mantra that only Congress can fix immigration by passing “bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform.” Why doesn’t Obama just ask for a unicorn? He really doesn’t want reform; that’s why he’s so thoroughly poisoned the well. His department of Homeland Security proposed a rule that would expand the types of people who could stay in U.S. while waiting for legal status. Such a policy would undermine legal immigration, remove the penalties for illegal immigration and encourage fraud, says the Center for Immigration Studies. Obama’s executive actions come at a time when Congress is tackling some immigration reform by considering a bill that would curb sanctuary cities after that policy led to the death of Kathryn Steinle. Despite Congress’ unique role in deciding the nation’s immigration policies, a group of mayors from some of the nation’s biggest cities wrote to Congress supporting sanctuary city policies by making a home-rule argument — a bunch of leftists supporting the status quo, including how immigration is being handled politically.

Obama Stands by Planned Parenthood
Most Americans are some combination of outraged and sickened at the revelations that Planned Parenthood is selling babies’ body parts after successful abortions. Its doctors are on record talking about how to avoid crushing valuable organs and using a “less crunchy technique” in order to harvest organs while sipping wine and joking about wanting a Lamborghini. A thorough investigation and an end to taxpayer funding of the nation’s largest abortion mill is in order. So what does Barack Obama think? His press secretary, Josh Earnest, backed Planned Parenthood. “I haven’t spoken to the president about the actual videos. I have read the reports and I’m confident that he has, too, raising significant concerns about the way in which those videos were selectively edited to distort the — not just the words of the individual speaking but also the position of Planned Parenthood.” Earnest went on to offer some free PR for Planned Parenthood’s “highest ethical standards.” Perhaps he misheard — they’re selling baby parts. How is that remotely ethical? Unsurprisingly, Obama is more upset about the organization taking the videos than the abortionists selling baby livers. This is a man, after all, who has no problem with partial-birth abortion, and who wants unfettered access to abortion and abortion-inducing birth-control for all women — even mandating Catholic nuns carry insurance that covers it. So forgive us if we’re skeptical when Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Justice Department is “going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time.” Note: That’s “what steps, if any.” Besides, perhaps she means DOJ will investigate the group taking the videos…

More Details Emerge From Chattanooga
2015-07-23-ff6de5dd_large.png
Details continue to come out about the terrorist attack in Chattanooga last week. One Navy officer and a Marine returned fire when a jihadi rammed through the gate and started shooting. According to Navy Times, “Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center’s commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage” the assailant. Likewise, one of the slain Marines reportedly had a personal handgun that he used to return fire. But it wasn’t only those with guns who acted with bravery. According to reports, some of the fallen Marines essentially sacrificed themselves by drawing fire away from a larger group of Marines. “This could have been a lot worse,” an anonymous official said. “It could have been a horrible, horrible massacre — so much worse.”

It was bad enough. Remember the fallen: Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells, and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith.

Finally, Ed Reinhold, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Knoxville, declared during a Wednesday news conference that the perpetrator was a “homegrown violent extremist” and that it was too early to determine whether he had been radicalized. “This is a complex, ongoing investigation, and we’re still in the early stages of piecing together exactly what happened and why,” Reinhold said. “The FBI has been working almost 400 leads, and has an estimated 250 personnel on the ground in the area, and hundreds more working across the country and around the world on this investigation.” We appreciate the deliberate and thorough investigation, but let’s call a spade a spade.

Maybe that failure is why it took Barack Obama five days to call for lowering the flag.
For four years, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno was in Iraq, spending more time in the theater than any other military leader. He was a key architect of the successful “surge” that gave Iraq a short-lived bout of stability and relative prosperity. And then Barack Obama came along.

Now weeks away from retirement after a nearly four-decade career, Odierno barely hides his disgust at the decline in Iraq since Obama withdrew American forces. In the debate before the 2011 withdrawal, Odierno requested a force of 30-35,000 troops be maintained in Iraq. Unfortunately, he was overruled by Obama’s narcissistic quest for political expediency in the 2012 campaign. He had promised to “end” (note: not win) the war, and Americans were generally war-weary. Never mind that Iraq was always envisioned as part of a Long War against Islamic extremism.

“It’s frustrating to watch” the rise of the Islamic State, lamented Odierno in his interview with Fox. “I go back to the work we did in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and we got [Iraq] to a place that was really good. Violence was low, the economy was growing, [and] politics looked like it was heading in the right direction.” He added, “If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe [the Islamic State’s rise] might have been prevented. I’ve always believed the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups and when we pulled ourselves out we lost that role. … I think it would have been good for us to stay.”

Odierno didn’t explicitly say so, but he strongly implied that Obama’s foolish withdrawal from Iraq is directly responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.

Aside from very occasional airstrikes against a handful of Islamic State-controlled targets and ground forays conducted by Iraqi troops under U.S. advisement (and with the assistance of Iranian-backed militia groups), Obama has largely abandoned the Iraqis to the wolves of the al-Baghdadi caliphate. In fact, some foreign-policy pundits are becoming convinced that life under the Islamic State may not be so bad if you keep your nose clean and don’t make the regime mad. They may not yet make the trains run on time, but they argue there’s far less corruption than you’d find under the Iraqi and Syrian governments.

It appears that Obama is trying to walk the thin line between not becoming too involved in the Middle East but not completely ceding to the Islamic State. It’s a set of actions reminiscent of his negotiations with Iran, where State Department negotiators managed to let Iran get away with rhetorical nuclear murder by their insistence that even a horrendous deal was better than no deal at all. Odierno supported the Iranian nuclear pact, but added in the Fox interview that Iran will continue to be an aggressor and instigator.

Meanwhile, Obama is reducing the size of the military, which Odierno warns means the U.S. will be unable to “deter conflict and prevent wars.” Shrinking the Army from 570,000 to 490,000 soldiers, for example, is a problem. “In my mind, we don’t have the ability to deter,” Odierno explained. “The reason we have a military is to deter conflict and prevent wars. And if people believe we are not big enough to respond, they miscalculate.”

Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but as close as we can figure this is the Obama Doctrine toward Islamic terrorists: Put off the day of reckoning until the next administration and hope the collateral damage is kept largely in that region. But when a U.S. city or Jerusalem become a smoking ruin from either an Iranian nuke or an Islamic State terror attack — never mind the increasing “lone wolf” attacks like the one in Chattanooga — we’ll see the bitter harvest of what Obama has sown by not seeing through the Long War.

 

OPINION IN BRIEF
Ken Blackwell: “On Oct. 21, 1994, President Bill Clinton announced a deal with North Korea aimed at ending its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. ‘This is a good deal for the United States,’ Clinton said. ‘North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.’ … Twenty one years later, from the exact spot in the White House, President Obama said, ‘Iran is permanently prohibited from pursuing a nuclear weapon under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which provided the basis for the international community’s efforts to apply pressure on Iran.’ … The result of the North Korean agreement became clear on Oct. 9, 2006, when North Korea took the world by surprise and conducted its first successful test of a nuclear weapon. … President Obama does not appear to know the history of nuclear proliferation. But that is no reason why the country as a whole should be destined to repeat it.”

SHORT CUTS
“In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.” —French writer Voltaire (1694-1778)

Upright: “[Hillary Clinton] still doesn’t have real opponents who are going to challenge her for the nomination in the end. But we have gotten to see her. And it turns out that the more you see her, the more her numbers go down. That’s the definition of a weak candidate.” —Charles Krauthammer

Alpha Jackass: “To some degree the Tea Party is an expression of frustration. They see a bunch of stuff going on that they don’t understand and they feel threatened by, and then they react.” —Barack Obama (No, what we understand is his constant violation of the Constitution.)

The BIG Lie: “By the time I leave here, I think we’re going to be able to say that government is working much better, much more efficiently, much more customer-friendly than when I came into office.” —Barack Obama (Conservatives targeted by the IRS and veterans left for dead by the VA beg to differ.)

“The White House [made] a special Twitter account to answer questions about the new nuclear agreement. Finally using Twitter for what it was designed for — explaining complex, international nuclear agreements involving several nations.” —Seth Meyers

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.

Published on ConservativeHQ.com (http://www.conservativehq.com)
Another Assault On Your Fourth Amendment Rights

In his latest piece on the Fourth Amendment in The American Thinker [3] our colleague constitutional lawyer Mark J. Fitzgibbons details how the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has appropriated the power to seize medical records on ‘Fishing Expedition’ investigations with no subpoena from a judge.

A United States District Court judge in Texas has ruled for the Drug Enforcement Agency that an administrative subpoena may be used to search medical records. It was inevitable, says Fitzgibbons, given the march towards illegally nullifying the Fourth Amendment through use of these judge-less bureaucrat warrants authorized by Congress.

Administrative subpoenas are issued unilaterally by government agencies — meaning without approval by neutral judges — and without probable cause stated under oath and affirmation as required by the Fourth Amendment. According to Fitzgibbons there are now 336 federal statutes authorizing administrative subpoenas, according to the Department of Justice.

The latest case illustrative of the institutionalization of violations of the Fourth Amendment to draw Fitzgibbons’ attention is U.S. v Zadeh [4].

In Zadeh, the DEA obtained the records of 35 patient files without showing probable cause or obtaining a warrant issued by a judge. Citing New Deal-era case law, Judge Reed O’Connor noted that “[t]he Supreme Court has refused to require that [a federal] agency have probable cause to justify issuance of an administrative subpoena,” and that they may be issued “merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even just because it wants assurance that it is not.” (Emphasis added).

In other words, the government may now use “fishing expeditions” for medical records concludes Fitzgibbons.

Those constitutionally grotesque New Deal-era decisions violated the Fourth Amendment on its face, and were ideological, progressive foolishness when issued against the likes of the Morton Salt Company [5] in 1950 said Fitzgibbons.

Dr. Zadeh has filed an appeal notes Fitzgibbons. Conservative activist Andy Schlafly, the lawyer for the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, has filed an amicus [6] brief stating, “[w]ithout a warrant and without initially identifying themselves, federal agents searched patient medical records . . . based merely on a state administrative subpoena. A month later the [DEA] sought enforcement . . . [and n]one of the checks and balances against overreaching by one branch of government existed for this warrantless demand for medical records.”

A 1946 Supreme Court opinion used in the Zadeh case to justify warrantless searches of medical records received a scathing and prescient dissent by liberal Justice Frank Murphy notes Fitzgibbons.

Murphy wrote:

To allow a nonjudicial officer, unarmed with judicial process, to demand the books and papers of an individual is an open invitation to abuse of that power. It is no answer that the individual may refuse to produce the material demanded. Many persons have yielded solely because of the air of authority with which the demand is made, a demand that cannot be enforced without subsequent judicial aid. Many invasions of private rights thus occur without the restraining hand of the judiciary ever intervening.

Only by confining the subpoena power exclusively to the judiciary can there be any insurance against this corrosion of liberty. Statutory enforcement would not thereby be made impossible. Indeed, it would be made easier. A people’s desire to cooperate with the enforcement of a statute is in direct proportion to the respect for individual rights shown in the enforcement process.

Quoting the Declaration of Independence, Justice Murphy noted how such methods of searches were so contrary to liberty and law that they previously contributed to “successful revolt.”

Soon, says Fitzgibbons, everything will be considered within the reach of our soft-police state government in violation of the Fourth Amendment unless administrative subpoenas are outlawed, as they should have been nearly 70 years ago.

The targeting of private medical records shows that it is now far past the time to eliminate administrative subpoenas for good. Congress may do that legislatively. History also shows it can be done even by the courts, which have the authority — actually, the constitutional duty — to declare void acts of Congress in violation of the Constitution.

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

Daily Digest
Apr. 9, 2015

THE FOUNDATION
“Strive to be the greatest man in your country, and you may be disappointed. Strive to be the best and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself.” –Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1747

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Will Boston Bomber Get Death Penalty?1
There never was a question of guilt. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense admitted as much on the first day of trial2. Yesterday, the Boston jury handed down its decision3: The 22-year-old who helped his brother plant pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013 is guilty on all 30 counts. Seventeen of those charges are punishable by the death penalty. Now, the most important part of the trial begins — deciding whether Tsarnaev will get life in a federal prison or be executed. “This [bombing] reminds us, once again, that this is not ordinary crime, it’s not even [an] ordinary enemy; these are people who are irredeemable,” political analyst Charles Krauthammer4 said on Fox News. “Nonetheless, I personally generally oppose the death penalty with some exceptions. I would rather not make him a martyr. Let him serve all his life and contemplate his deeds for decades.” For conservatives, it boils down to one question. Should jurors consider the effect Tsarnaev’s death would have on radical Islamists looking for martyrdom, or should the punishment match the crime?

Footnote: Tsarnaev’s mother said, “America is the real terrorist and everyone knows that,” adding, “My boys are the best of the best.” That explains some things.

SC Police Officer Charged With Murder Thanks to Video5
Thanks to a citizen who filmed an altercation between a South Carolina police officer and a motorist, Rule of Law is being upheld in the death of Walter Scott. On Saturday, Officer Michael Slager of the North Charleston Police Department stopped Scott because of a broken taillight. According to the initial police account, Scott grabbed the officer’s Taser, and in the ensuing struggle Slager feared for his life and shot in self-defense. Officers then administered CPR, according to the police. But a video of the event that emerged earlier this week shows a vastly different story. Unlike the altercation in Ferguson between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, Scott turned and ran from the officer with what appeared to be the wires of the Taser trailing behind. Slager drew his gun, aimed at the fleeing man, and fired eight times. It appears the officer then planted the Taser next to Scott, and when other officers arrived on the scene, CPR was never given to him. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said at a news conference, “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. If you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.” Slager was charged with murder and fired, which might not have happened without the video. Seems like a good case for body cameras. More…6

With Iran Deal Crumbling, Pelosi Defends Negotiations7
Well that was fast. Before Barack Obama could finish his victory lap around the Rose Garden, Iran announced a couple red lines that could derail the whole nuclear deal crazy train. Mohammad Javad Zarif8, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said inspectors would not be allowed to photograph or film the country’s nuclear sites, because it would endanger nuclear scientists. Then the country’s Defense Minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan9, said there were certain nuclear sites inspectors would be forbidden from entering. He said, “No such agreement has been made; principally speaking, visit to military centers is among our redlines and no such visit will be accepted.” Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate alike are skeptical of Team Obama’s negotiating prowess, as they are pushing a bill10 that says Congress must approve the Iran deal. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stands in their way. She insists11 the “legislation undermines these international negotiations and represents an unnecessary hurdle to achieving a strong, final agreement.” Constitutionally, the Senate works with the president to make international treaties. What Congress does with the Iran deal isn’t Pelosi’s business.

U.S. Ships Arms to Yemen, Obama’s Foreign Policy Success Story12
It’s plan B for the Obama administration after the government of Yemen dissolved in the face of warring groups in the nation. A few months ago, al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula was decimated. This week, the Obama administration’s strategy13 is to mitigate threats. Ashton Carter14 told an audience in Tokyo, “AQAP has seized the opportunity of the disorder there and the collapse of the central government. … Obviously it’s always easier to conduct counterterrorism when there’s a stable government in place. That circumstance obviously doesn’t exist in Yemen.” Now, the United States is sidelined, sending precision-guided munitions to the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that is fighting the Houthi rebels. In a twist of fate, Saudi Arabia was targeting U.S. arms in Yemen during its bombing runs because it feared those weapons would fall in the hands of the enemy. Whoever said war was economical? More…15

If Biden Thinks He Makes Too Much, He Should Donate16
It’s funny how the meaning of $200,000 differs from one politician to the next. For the Clintons, $200K is a pittance, a discounted speaking gig for Hillary. But for Joe Biden, that amount is almost too much, probably because he’s echoing his boss’ mantra about “middle-class economics17.” During an appearance at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Biden said, “I make a lot of money now as vice president — I make a lot of money. When the president was thanking everyone for the sacrifices they made when they got us all in the Blair House — after he took office — and the financial sacrifices they made, he looked at me and said, ‘Except for Joe, he’s getting a pay raise.’” Biden needs it. According to the Washington Free Beacon18, Biden doesn’t have a savings account. He never invested in stocks. His mismanagement of finances is a good reason no one should take financial advice from him. But when he leaves office and its $230,700-a-year salary, Biden will receive a pension of about $200,000 a year for life. If he thinks that’s too much, maybe he could do a bit better than the $369 annual average19 he gave to charity over a decade. More…20

For more, visit Right Hooks21.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read Amendment II: In Defense of Liberty22, on how any discussion about the Rights of Man is nothing more than talk unless it includes discourse on the ability to defend those rights.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here23.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
Smelting Down the Water Supply24
Call it potty policy. This week, California took aim at the porcelain throne, mandating that all toilets — along with urinals and faucets — sold in the state after Jan. 1, 2016, conserve water. It’s part of a frantic effort to do anything to manage the state’s severe drought without actually doing what’s needed to manage the state’s severe drought.

While it’s true that California is in the fourth year of below-average precipitation, and that January and March of this year have been particularly dry, neither of these things is fully to blame for the intensity of the drought’s impact. Instead, the culprit is bad government policy and a three-inch fish.

Despite population growth, California has not completed a major water infrastructure project in nearly 50 years. Indeed, Democrats, including Governor Jerry Brown, have opposed state and federal water projects since the 1970s. And while California voters have authorized $22 billion in water bonds since 2000, most of the money has gone to environmental projects and not to safeguarding and improving water supply.

Then there’s the Delta smelt. The little swimmers, whose most appreciated contribution to society arguably comes in conjunction with the word “fried,” have become so revered by ecofascists that they’re willing to imperil the entire state to save them. Delta smelt are native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in northern California, and a federal rule from the 1970s limits diversion of water from this northern delta to the San Joaquin Valley and southern California — all for the sake of the smelt.

The ridiculousness becomes apparent when you consider that in the past two years more than 2.6 million acre-feet of water were let out into the San Francisco Bay because there was not enough capacity north of the delta to store the water, and the “save the smelt” policies wouldn’t allow the water to be sent to reservoirs south of the delta. So instead, the water was wasted.

Indeed, as The Wall Street Journal notes25, “During normal [rainfall] years, the state should replenish reservoirs. However, environmental regulations require that about 4.4 million acre-feet of water — enough to sustain 4.4 million families and irrigate one million acres of farmland — be diverted to ecological purposes.”

And the problem is nothing new. A year ago, California, populated by thriving smelt, was in a similar situation26. At that time, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the smelt27 and against diverting much-needed water south. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California took the issue to the Supreme Court, which earlier this year turned down the appeal28, effectively raising a glass to smelt and a finger to California farmers and residents.

The water shortage has become so severe that the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which houses about one-third of California’s water reserve, is at a paltry 5% of its normal average. Given smelt priority and the mismanagement of billions intended for water improvement projects, Governor Brown has now instituted the first mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history, requiring cities and towns to cut usage by 25%, with possible fines of up to $10,000 per day for those localities that fail to meet the mandate.

While conserving water will help, it will hardly solve a problem decades in the making. For this, a good lesson is needed in prioritizing humans over fish. Now, please pass the tartar sauce.

Judge Rebukes Obama’s Immigration Deception29
The executive amnesty ordered by Barack Obama last November has been eclipsed in the headlines by his disastrous dealings with Iran. But the story isn’t over.

The amnesty would grant three-year stays of deportation, Social Security numbers and work permits to some illegal aliens, but in February U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen declared that Obama exceeded his authority and blocked the amnesty30.

After further deliberation, Hanen this week declared31 his injunction will remain in place in part because Obama’s lawyers misled the court. The administration revealed two weeks after Hanen’s first ruling that it had already granted more than 100,000 work permits to illegals before the court issued its injunction, and the judge wasn’t too happy. “Whether by ignorance, omission, purposeful misdirection, or because they were misled by their clients,” Hanen wrote, “the attorneys for the Government misrepresented the facts.”

“Even worse,” he added [emphasis in the original], the government’s lawyers “urged this Court to rule before disclosing that the Government had already issued 108,081 three-year renewals under the 2014 DACA amendments despite their statements to the contrary.”

“Thus,” he concluded, “even under the most charitable interpretation of these circumstances, and based solely upon what counsel for the Government told the Court, the Government knew its representations had created ‘confusion,’ but kept quiet about it for two weeks while simultaneously pressing this Court to rule on the merits of its motion.”

So incensed was Hanen at this deception that he considered dismissing the case with prejudice, but opted instead for the greater good of settling the constitutional matters at hand through further court hearings. “Under different circumstances,” he wrote, “this Court might very well [consider striking the Government’s pleadings]. The Court, however, finds that the issues at stake here have national significance and deserve to be fully considered on the merits by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and, in all probability, the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Next week, the Fifth Circuit Court will hear oral arguments in the case. Clearly, Obama has flouted Rule of Law with his smoke and mirrors immigration strategy32, and then misled Congress, the courts and the people to keep it in place. So it certainly bears watching whether the Fifth Circuit takes into account the administration’s deliberate deception.

In related immigration news, Obama’s policies have real world consequences. Word of Obama’s executive amnesty (notwithstanding the nuances of court battles) has surely made the rounds south of the border. “The second wave of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children has begun, with more than 3,000 of them surging across the Mexican border into the U.S. last month — the highest rate since the peak of last summer’s crisis and a warning that another rough season could be ahead,” The Washington Times reports33. “Authorities report having captured 15,647 children traveling without parents who tried to jump the border in the first six months of the fiscal year.”

While those numbers are down a bit from last year’s record surge, 2015 is still on pace to be the second-biggest year on record.

Immigration officials say both violence in Central America and warmer weather are to blame for the influx, and there’s no doubt that’s at least partly true. But again, when the president of the United States issues an executive amnesty, it’s a virtual welcome mat for any who might come illegally — especially children, given Obama’s favorable treatment of them. Specifically, the administration ordered non-Mexican children to be released pending deportation proceedings. Those children rarely show up for hearings and end up staying in the U.S.

Obama himself once said, “I am not a dictator. I’m the president. … If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. … I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” We have no further witnesses, your honor.

For more, visit Right Analysis21.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
George Will: When Everything Is a Crime34
Ann Coulter: Can the Left Come Up With One True Story?35
Jonah Goldberg: Iran Nuke Deal Is No Deal At All36
Larry Elder: Someday the World Will Cry, ‘Why?!’37
Victor Davis Hanson: Is the Modern American University a Failed State?38
For more, visit Right Opinion39.

OPINION IN BRIEF
French philosopher Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755): “In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.”

Columnist George Will: “What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent. Criticisms of the overcriminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally. … There are an estimated 4,500 federal criminal statutes — and innumerable regulations backed by criminal penalties that include incarceration. Even if none of these were arcane, which many are, their sheer number would mean that Americans would not have clear notice of what behavior is proscribed or prescribed. The presumption of knowledge of the law is refuted by the mere fact that estimates of the number of federal statutes vary by hundreds. If you are sent to prison for excavating arrowheads on federal land without a permit, your cellmate might have accidentally driven his snowmobile onto land protected by the Wilderness Act. … Given the principle — which itself should be reconsidered — of prosecutorial immunity, we have a criminal justice system with too many opportunities for generating defendants, too few inhibitions on prosecutors, and ongoing corrosion of the rule and morality of law. Congress, the ultimate cause of all this, has work to undo.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “Without even knowing that the rape accuser, ‘Jackie,’ had refused to let Rolling Stone check the most basic elements of her narrative, every human being who read Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s piece knew it was nonsense by around the second paragraph. … Her managing editor, Will Dana, admitted that he should have ‘pull(ed) the strings a little harder … question(ed) things a little more deeply.’ Yes, maybe the editors were just not pushing hard enough. It’s as if a doctor attacked his patient with an ax, and the Columbia Medical Review responded with a forensic report concluding that the procedure failed to follow clinical protocols on hand hygiene, scrubs and restricted areas, while the doctor gallantly admitted that mistakes were made. How about not allowing reporters to go off on politically driven crusades against liberal hate-objects, like fraternities, the military and athletes? How about not basing entire stories on the uncorroborated dream sequences of fantasists?”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “The top 15 contenders for the Republican presidential nomination own at least 40 guns among them. In other words, if we elect a Republican president, nobody is hopping over the White House fence.”

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/posts/34478
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33630
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/04/08/tsarnaev-jury-begins-second-day-deliberations/t7KplwR18hH1RSuX1BQohM/story.html
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/416678/krauthammers-take-boston-marathon-bomber-should-not-get-death-penalty-nr-staff
http://patriotpost.us/posts/34474
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/us/south-carolina-officer-is-charged-with-murder-in-black-mans-death.html
http://patriotpost.us/posts/34481
http://en.mehrnews.com/detail/News/106528
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940119001411
http://patriotpost.us/posts/34442
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/238272-pelosi-comes-out-against-iran-bill
http://patriotpost.us/posts/34466
http://patriotpost.us/articles/34424
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/world/middleeast/ashton-carter-us-defense-secretary-warns-of-al-qaeda-gains-in-yemen.html
http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-expedites-arms-logistical-deliveries-to-yemen-1428437939
http://patriotpost.us/posts/34468
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/32722
http://freebeacon.com/politics/biden-plans-to-live-off-taxpayers-forever/
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=5791846
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/biden-i-make-lot-money-now-vice-president-lot-money
http://patriotpost.us/
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/34464
http://patriotpost.us/manage/
http://patriotpost.us/articles/34477
http://www.wsj.com/articles/californias-green-drought-1428271308
http://patriotpost.us/articles/23524
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/13/us-usa-california-water-idUSBREA2C1MB20140313
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-na-supreme-court-delta-smelt-20150112-story.html
http://patriotpost.us/articles/34485
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33251
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1760659/040715-hanen-discovery-order.pdf
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/31108
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/6/illegal-immigrant-children-surge-across-border-at-/?page=all
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/34433
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/34475
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/34457
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/34470
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/34456
http://patriotpost.us/opinion

New Federal Agency? The Department of Peacebuilding
March 9, 2015 By Cara Delvecchio

Many Democrats have introduced legislation to create a Department of Peacebuilding. The Department would be tasked with promoting peace and have “Peace Days” celebrated in the United States.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the bill with support from nine other Democrats.

The supporters of the new Act say that the Constitution talks about tranquility and promoting the general welfare but say that the U.S. is still dealing with a lot of violence, and that it comes at an economic cost. The bill states the following:

“Violence prevention is cost effective. For every dollar spent in violence prevention and peace building, many lives and many dollars are saved.”

The secretary of peace building would address the domestic and international violence by recommending ways to end them, address family violence and violence against women.

The bill would study how firearms add to violence. The department would employ:

“successful, field-tested programs, and developing new approaches for dealing with the tools of violence, including handguns, especially among youth.”

It even would create a Peace Academy and encourage national “Peace Days” to celebrate peace.

“The secretary shall encourage citizens to observe and celebrate the blessings of peace and endeavor to create peace on Peace Days. Such days shall include discussions of the professional activities and the achievements in the lives of peacemakers.”

The whole idea seems a bit ridiculous — another unneeded government agency. The entire bill is below. H.R.1111

 

 

 

Hillary can’t hide forever

WASHINGTON — The political grudge match between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heats up this week with the Israeli leader’s controversial speech to Congress tomorrow, but it’s Hillary Clinton who is feeling the punch.
The first televised attack ad of the 2016 presidential season targeting the presumed Democratic presidential front-runner doesn’t focus on donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation or the Benghazi embassy attack. It’s about Clinton’s silence over Netanyahu’s address to congressional lawmakers at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner and over the opposition of the White House — the event that is dividing Democrats and causing a growing number of them to declare their intentions to skip the speech in protest.

“Where’s Hillary Clinton? Does she support the boycotters, or is she too afraid to stand up to them?” the ad’s narrator asks as an image of the former secretary of state disappears from the screen.

The cable television ad from Emergency Committee for Israel, a pro-Netanyahu group helmed by neo-conservative pundit Bill Kristol, was denounced by Netanyahu yesterday. But it brings to light the tough political position Clinton is in as Obama continues to hold talks with Iran over its nuclear program over Netanyahu’s vociferous objections.

If Clinton backs the president, she risks looking anti-Israel. But if she criticizes his approach, she may jam the a wedge deeper within her own party. Avoiding the issue altogether will likely cause her to draw more fire from the right, who will be quick to label her as a coward.

The speech has already forced Democrats to choose sides. Among the Bay State delegation, two lawmakers — U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Jim McGovern — have chosen to skip the speech while averring their support for Israel. Others, including U.S. Reps. Mike Capuano and Joe Kennedy III, plan to attend, though they condemned both the timing and politicization of Netanyahu’s appearance just weeks before he faces re-election in Israel. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has yet to disclose whether she will attend.

To make matters trickier for Clinton, Netanyahu’s speech is scheduled on a day Clinton, too, will be in Washington to accept an award from Democratic pro-choice group Emily’s List. A Clinton representative did not answer an inquiry as to whether Clinton planned to meet with Netanyahu while she’s here.

But Clinton will have to face the growing firestorm eventually, especially if Netanyahu is re-elected later this month. As the attack ad demonstrates, even if Clinton remains silent on the issue, her critics won’t.

___

(c)2015 the Boston Herald

Visit the Boston Herald at http://www.bostonherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

ISIS abducts at least 90 from Christian villages in Syria
By Jerusalem Post (Israel) February 24, 2015 12:12 pmAMMAN- Islamic State militants have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, a monitor that tracks violence in Syria said on Tuesday.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the abductions took place after dawn raids in villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority near the town of Tel Tmar, a mainly Assyrian town, in the western countryside of the city of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.

The latest offensive coincides with a push by Syrian Kurds in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border that began Sunday and has compounded losses for Islamic State.

The incident comes about a week after the release of a beheading video of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in the hands of IS.

A caption of the video released by Islamic State militants referred to the Coptics as “people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church.”

The victims, kidnapped in Libya, deepened Cairo’s concerns over security threats from militants thriving in the neighboring country’s chaos.

All rights reserved

(c) 2015 The Jerusalem Post Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

Senate Democrats warn Netanyahu about ‘lasting repercussions’

Last Updated:February 24 @ 09:43 pm

By Jerusalem Post (Israel) February 24, 2015 12:16 pm

Two senior US Senate Democrats invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators during his upcoming visit to Washington, warning that making US-Israeli relations a partisan political issue could have “lasting repercussions.”
Senators Richard Durbin and Dianne Feinstein extended the invitation “to maintain Israel’s dialog with both political parties in Congress,” according to a letter to the Israeli leader obtained by Reuters.

Netanyahu has faced criticism at home and abroad for his plans to address Congress on Iran’s nuclear program on March 3, just two weeks before Israeli elections. He accepted the invitation from Republican leaders in the US Congress, who consulted neither Democrats in Congress nor Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration.

“This unprecedented move threatens to undermine the important bipartisan approach towards Israel – which as long-standing supporters of Israel troubles us deeply,” the two senators wrote.

“It sacrifices deep and well-established cooperation on Israel for short-term partisan points – something that should never be done with Israeli security and which we fear could have lasting repercussions,” they said.

Durbin is the No. 2 Democrat in the US Senate. Feinstein, who has been in the Senate since 1992, is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations and Judiciary committees.

The letter was sent on Monday evening. Officials at the Israeli Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.

All rights reserved

(c) 2015 The Jerusalem Post Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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