Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Don's Tuesday Column

THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson   Red Bluff Daily News   2/27/2015
Villains and Heroes among us
         Burt Bundy, Supervisor, district 5, and current Chairman, will appear before the Tea Party Patriots to provide attendees with an update and take questions.
My first choice for a column topic is the “snake oil” salesman-like, duplicitous performance of “Emperor” Obama in his circus of misstatements, straw men, and reality-defying assertions. That would be his State of the Union speech from a week ago, wherein was the predictable laundry list of yet more grand and generous (with other people’s money) government goodies combined with thinly-veiled proposals to stick middle and upper middle class Americans with fees and tax hikes to pay for them.
Believe me when I say that the only laundry list that could be agreed upon by honest observers was the serial obfuscations and, well, lies. Obama’s polling numbers have risen to 40+ percent approval based on a mildly growing economy. That is based on recent 5% growth that I provided proof showing it was only due to Obamacare’s mandated hikes in health insurance spending by consumers, reflecting no actual improvement in the broader economy. Economic improvement, in turn, has been due to lower gas prices resulting from private sector and state-driven oil and gas drilling—in spite of Obama’s policy opposing such drilling, not because of it.
Blatant fabrications included that he is “stopping [the Islamic State’s] advance,” is “opposing Russian aggression” (toothlessly, if at all), and is ending a Cuba policy “long past its expiration date.” That falsehood was predicated only on the supposed policy ineffectiveness—itself a misrepresentation of how Cuba’s malign influence in our hemisphere has successfully been neutralized directly due to 50 years of America’s embargo policy.
“Once again, we heard how much he hates cynicism and partisanship, defining cynicism and partisanship in his own special way: disagreement with Barack Obama. The president denies this, of course…And yet, prior to the great ‘shellacking’ of 2010, Obama governed as if the Republicans were at best a nuisance. When Republicans expressed concern over the partisan nature of the stimulus, he responded, ‘I won.’” (Jonah Goldberg, nationalreview.com) For example, given complete Democrat control of Congress for 2 years, the faux-magnanimous Obama chortled, “We don’t mind Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.” To the “Emperor,” the debate over health care reform was over the minute Democrats had sufficient votes to ram it through, procedural rules and disapproving public opinion be damned.
Goldberg: “And when Republicans had a historic victory in the 2014 midterms, largely by running against Obama and his record, the president responded by unilaterally sidestepping Congress on every issue he could, from Cuba and Iran to carbon-emission standards and immigration. This is Obama’s real understanding of ‘bipartisanship’; it is a political hack’s cudgel to unleash on your opponents, not a tool for governing.” I see Obama as perhaps the most villainous man to ever hold the office; and that competition includes some pretty incompetent and malignant characters. We can only hope that, in addition to presiding over the single largest decline in federal and state elective seats held by a president’s party, the Obama legacy will lead to a conservative, America-defending Republican president in 2016 and a long term inoculation against leftist, redistribution-based federal taxing and spending practices.
On the other end of the villain vs. hero spectrum, I saw “American Sniper,” directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper as the legendary Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle (known to fellow soldiers and Marines as simply “The Legend”) locally on Friday the 16th. I found the story of the deadliest, most successful sniper in American military history (over 160 confirmed kills, possibly over 220 total) to be what, in the apparent opinion of many millions of Americans, is a story of heroism and valor lacking in virtually all of the many movies churned out by a wildly leftist, anti-war Hollywood.
It is not unlike how the movies about the Vietnam War seemed intent on advancing the worst narratives possible about the military conflict and the inevitable (in movie makers’ warped view) twisted psychological and emotional toll that turned veterans into (fill in the blank demon-possessed character). Then, when an actual reality-based movie came along, like Randall Wallace’s “We Were Soldiers Once, and Young,” Americans flocked to see an inspiring version of our military that they know in their bones is the truthful narrative—which holds little appeal to the military-hating Hollywood film-making establishment.
Take the time to search, by title, “The ‘American Sniper’ Freakout—Why the left can’t tolerate this movie” by Mark Hemingway at weeklystandard.com. The list of movies advancing the ambivalent to despicable attitude toward America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and our military, is long: Stop-Loss, In the Valley of Elah, Redacted, Green Zone, Grace is Gone, War, Inc. Mild improvements were The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty (condemned for showing how water-boarding produced actionable intelligence). A genuine inspiration was Act of Valor, in which actual SEALs (simpler to teach SEALs to act that it was to teach actors to be SEALs) were brought in to present a truth-based story of a mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.

Only by watching “American Sniper” can you share the experience of clapping with heart-thumping pride in an audience of like-spirited American patriots.

In Defense of ‘Antigovernment Militias’

In Defense of ‘Antigovernment Militias’

Why do you “need” an AR-15? 
Well:
When Sam Andrews awoke on Tuesday morning, he found his wife watching a television interview with a woman whose bakery had been vandalized during the violent unrest here on Monday.
“She said, ‘You’ve got to go help her,’ ” Mr. Andrews said in an interview on Saturday morning.
And so Mr. Andrews, a former Defense Department contractor who is now a weapons engineer in the St. Louis area, set to work. Under the auspices of a national group called the Oath Keepers, Mr. Andrews accelerated plans to recruit and organize private security details for businesses in Ferguson, which are receiving the services for free. The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not call themselves that — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights.

Monday, January 26, 2015

DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE — WE NEED IT NOW MORE THAN EVER


In his observations on terrorism in Belgium, John writes that electronic surveillance of some sort very likely played a role in enabling the authorities to strike before the terrorists could carry out their planned attack. John is right. But we don’t need to look to Belgium to see the critical role such surveillance plays in protecting against terrorism.
Recently, authorities here in the U.S. were able to prevent an attack on the Capitol building. According to John Boehner, electronic surveillance was instrumental in the discovery learning of the planned attack:
[Boehner] said law enforcement officials “would have never known” about the Capitol Hill threat without the program, in which U.S. intelligence officials collect information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The law lets investigators eavesdrop on Americans under certain conditions.
Boehner’s comment reflects a renewed respect for our surveillance programs on Capitol Hill:
While steady leaks about the scope of the NSA program — which collects data on Americans’ Internet and cell phone use — have resulted in a national debate over the balance between privacy and security, recent developments have shifted the tone in Washington.
The political class, it seems, has been mugged by reality.
But how is it that so many in the political class began blocking out the reality of the terrorist threat within a half dozen or so years after 9/11? The answer, I suppose, is a double dose of wishful thinking. Everyone wishes (1) that the threat of domestic terrorism were de minimis and (2) that this threat, at whatever level it may rise to, could be effectively countered with no infringement on privacy.
The first wish is unrealistic and clearly has been since 2001. The second wish, in the terms stated above, is also patently unrealistic.
But the threat of domestic terrorism can be countered to an appreciable degree with no undue infringement on privacy through the very surveillance policies we have used since 9/11, but which have come under attack from both the left and the right. Boehner exaggerated only slightly when he said, “our government doesn’t spy on Americans unless they are Americans who are doing things that tip off law enforcement about an imminent threat.”
Where is the concrete evidence that surveillance programs have meaningfully infringed on the privacy of Americans who don’t associate with terrorists? As John says, the privacy concerns expressed by the likes of Rand Paul are almost entirely hypothetical.
This question of concrete harm has been overlooked by those who have succumbed to the privacy hysteria. Maybe now it won’t be.
And maybe now we will restore proper funding for surveillance programs that keep us safe. The overall federal budget for intelligence activities (including military intelligence and the rest of the intelligence community) has fallen dramatically since 2010, according to Fox News. In 2010, it peaked at $80 billion. For fiscal 2015, it is $66 billion.
Events not only in Belgium, but right here in the U.S., demonstrate that it’s past time to reverse this trend.

DOES THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAVE A FUTURE? (PART 2)


John introduced this subject a few items below, and it deserves not just a hopeful “NO!” in response, but additional analysis.  The Washington Post yesterday put together a nice littlescoreboard of Democratic losses during the Obama years (displayed below), and it is stunning to realize how disastrous Obama has been for Democrats not named Obama.
Obama Coattails copy
Obama has seen the worst party erosion ever, more than Republicans during the Watergate disaster. The other notable party wipeout occurred under Eisenhower, and this comparison deserves a little more thought. The Democratic surge under Eisenhower reflects the still rising tide of the New Deal coalition, which Michael Barone argues was actually stronger politically in the late 1950s than earlier. In fact Michael has argued that the high water mark for New Deal liberal Democrats (as opposed to southern moderate and conservative Democrats filling out the ranks) was the 1958 election. Republicans, meanwhile, were still trying to find their way in the new world of the New Deal coalition; keep in mind that for all of his virtues, on domestic policy Eisenhower was really a “me, too” Republican.
The point is, the Democratic strength banked in the 1950s paid lasting electoral dividends well into the 1970s. Democrats were able to hold off political oblivion as their policy failures mounted in the 1960s and 1970s because of the deep bench they had built. The reverse is now likely going to be the case for Republicans, even allowing for some demographic challenges posed by growing Democratic-leaning groups.
The WaPo’s Chris Cilizza comments:
It’s downballot (way downballot) where the depth of the Republican victories over the past three elections truly reveal themselves — and where the impact will be felt over the long term.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/does-the-democratic-party-have-a-future-part-2.php 

OBAMA’S “MEASURED APPROACH” TO RACE

President Obama is taking a “measured approach” to issues of race, according to Steven Mufson of the Washington Post. Mufson is right only in this limited sense: Obama is measuring just how much money he can transfer from white Americans to black Americans.
Income redistribution is the unifying theme of Obama’s domestic agenda (the unifying theme of his overseas agenda is American retreat with major concessions to our enemies). Obamacare is basically an income redistribution program. The Medicaid expansion provides free health care to non-poor, relatively low-income Americans, a disproportionately large share of whom are black.
Those a bit higher up the income scale, another disproportionately black cohort, are granted subsidized health care. Funds for the subsidies are obtained by forcing more prosperous Americans, a disproportionately white population, to buy insurance plans that are more expensive than what they require.
As Mufson reminds us, Obama himself once touted health care reform as redistributionist. In The Audacity of Hope, he wrote that health-care reform “would do more to eliminate health disparities between whites and minorities than any race-specific programs we might design.”
We’ll see whether “health disparities” — i.e., differences in outcomes — are reduced appreciably by Obamacare. But there’s no doubt that resources are being redistributed from whites to blacks.
Before Obamacare, there was the Stimulus. Michelle Obama has conceded its redistributionist nature. Jonathan Alter wrote in The Promise:
A congressman approached the first lady at a White House reception after the [stimulus] bill’s passage and told her the stimulus was the best anti-poverty bill in a generation. Her reaction was “Shhhh!” The White House didn’t want the public thinking that Obama had achieved long-sought public policy objectives under the guise of merely stimulating the economy, even though that’s exactly what had happened.
Since 2011, Obama hasn’t been in a position to pass redistributionist legislation. But he still can write redistributionist regulations. For years, his administration has been planning to redistribute resources from suburbs — disproportionately white — to cities and inner suburbs — disproportionately lack. Stanley Kurtz has described how Obama would like to accomplish this.
The fruit of this audacious agenda item will be a proposed rule on “affirmatively furthering fair housing” (AFFH), which is expected to issue within the next few months. I’ve written about this rule here.
It’s not surprising that transferring money from whites to blacks is at the core of Obama’s agenda. This was, after all, Martin Luther King’s final mission, as Mufson points out. And, as with any good socialist, it has been Obama’s mission since his days as a left-wing “community organizer” and before.
But there is nothing truly “measured” about robbing Peter to pay Paul, even if Peter is white and Paul is black.

Jindal’s Brilliant Take on Radical Islam

Jindal’s Brilliant Take on Radical Islam 
The problem and solution reside with the people of the Islamic religion themselves. 
(Alex Wong/Getty)



Larry Kudlow 
‘Let’s be honest here. Islam has a problem.”
Those are key sentences in an incredibly hard-hitting speech that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal will give in London on Monday. It is the toughest speech I have read on the whole issue of Islamic radicalism and its destructive, murdering, barbarous ways which are upsetting the entire world.
Early in the speech Jindal says he’s not going to be politically correct. And he uses the term “radical Islamists” without hesitation, placing much of the blame for the Paris murders and all radical Islamist terrorism on a refusal of Muslim leaders to denounce these acts.
Jindal says, “Muslim leaders must make clear that anyone who commits acts of terror in the name of Islam is in fact not practicing Islam at all. If they refuse to say this, then they are condoning these acts of barbarism. There is no middle ground.”
Then he adds, specifically, “Muslim leaders need to condemn anyone who commits these acts of violence and clearly state that these people are evil and are enemies of Islam. It’s not enough to simply condemn violence, they must stand up and loudly proclaim that these people are not martyrs who will receive a reward in the afterlife, and rather they are murderers who are going to hell. If they refuse to do that, then they’re part of the problem. There is no middle ground here.”
I want to know who in the Muslim community in the United States has said this. Which leaders? I don’t normally cover this beat, so I may well have missed it. Hence I ask readers to tell me if so-called American Muslim leaders have said what Governor Jindal is saying.
And by the way, what Bobby Jindal is saying is very similar to what Egyptian president al-Sisi said earlier in the year to a group of Muslim imams.
Said al-Sisi, “It’s inconceivable that the thinking we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”
He then asks, “How is it possible that 1.6 billion Muslims should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live?” He concludes, if this is not changed, “it may eventually lead to the religion’s self destruction.”
That’s President al-Sisi of Egypt, which I believe has the largest Muslim population in the world.
And what Jindal and al-Sisi are saying is not so different from the thinking of French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he calls the Charlie Hebdo murders “the Churchillian moment of France’s Fifth Republic.” He essentially says France and the world must slam “the useful idiots of a radical Islam immersed in the sociology of poverty and frustration.” He adds, “Those whose faith is Islam must proclaim very loudly, very often, and in great numbers their rejection of this corrupt and abject form of theocratic passion. . . . Islam must be freed from radical Islam.”
So three very different people — a young southern governor who may run for president, the political leader of the largest Muslim population in the world, and a prominent Western European intellectual — are saying that most of the problem and most of the solution rests with the people of the Islamic religion themselves. If they fail to take action, the radicals will swallow up the whole religion and cause the destruction of the entire Middle East and possibly large swaths of the rest of the world.
Lévy called this a Churchillian moment. And London mayor Boris Johnson argues in his book The Churchill Factor that Winston Churchill was the most important 20th century figure because his bravery in 1940 stopped the triumph of totalitarianism. So today’s battle with the Islamic radicals is akin to the Cold War battle of freedom vs. totalitarianism.
But returning to Governor Jindal, the U.S. is not helpless. Jindal argues that America must restore its proper leadership role in international affairs. (Of course, Obama has taken us in the opposite direction, and won’t even use the phrase “Islamic radicals.”) And Jindal invokes Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher by saying, “The tried and true prescription must be employed again: a strong economy, a strong military, and leaders willing and able to assert moral, economic, and military leadership in the cause of freedom.”
Reagan always argued that weakness at home leads to weakness abroad. A strong growing economy provides the resources for military and national security. Right now we’re uncomfortably close to having neither.
This is the great challenge of our time. In the early years of the 21st century, it appears the great goal of our age is the defeat of radical Islam.
Jindal gets it.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/396584/jindals-brilliant-take-radical-islam-larry-kudlow

Sunday, January 25, 2015

HOUSE IMMIGRATION BILL FALLS FAR SHORT [UPDATED]

Tomorrow the House Homeland Security Committee will take up H.R.399, the Secure Our Border First Act of 2015, which I take it has the support of House GOP leadership. Sadly, the bill will do little to solve our illegal immigration crisis. The Center for Immigration Studies points out some of the bill’s many defects. Here are a few of the highlights:
* The bill mandates just 27 miles of fencing, which may or may not ever be funded. If you think a fence is important, this is a risibly small effort.
* The act dictates more manpower, drones, etc. with a view toward apprehending more illegals. The problem is that the bill includes no requirements as to what will be done with the illegals when they are apprehended.
* The bill says that apprehended illegals must face “consequences,” but no such consequences are specified. Currently, the Obama administration puts apprehended illegals into “proceedings,” which virtually all of them ignore. That practice apparently will continue.
CIS quotes several retired border agents and officials who have read the bill. Here is one:
Wrote Zack Taylor, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, in a press release yesterday: “As long as Sanctuary cities, welfare, education, and jobs and principally lack of enforcement and enabling by the federal government, are made available to the undocumented alien, we will not be able to secure the physical border.”
I think that is correct. CIS concludes:
And consider the title: “Secure Our Border First”. First, before what? Before we abandon our half-hearted attempt to block the president’s executive actions? Before we tackle interior enforcement needs? Or before we move on to the amnesty and expansion of guest worker programs that appears to be the real priority for top congressional Republican leaders?
Immigration is a winning issue for Republicans, but only if they do what the voters want: stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration. So far, there is no convincing sign that this is what Republican Congressional leaders have in mind. This graphic illustrates the results of a recent Kellyanne Conway poll. Click to enlarge:
image014
Immigration is the issue on which our political class is most out of touch.
UPDATE: Senator Jeff Sessions released a statement on the House bill that includes the following:
The Chairman McCaul proposal does not include the following reforms needed to achieve a sound immigration system: it does not end catch-and-release; it does not require mandatory detention and return; it does not include worksite enforcement; it does not close dangerous asylum and national security loopholes; it does not cut-off access to federal welfare; and it does not require completion of the border fence. Surprisingly, it delays and weakens the longstanding unfulfilled statutory requirement for a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.
If Congress learned anything from last year’s ongoing border disaster, it should be that border security cannot be achieved unless immigration agents are permitted to do their jobs and our laws are actually being enforced. A nation cannot control its borders if being caught violating those borders does not result in one’s swift return home.
As it stands now, Congress provides billions of dollars every year to the Department of Homeland Security for border security and immigration enforcement and yet DHS uses those resources to flout the laws Congress has passed, rather than to enforce them. Without ending catch-and-release, any additional funds for DHS will simply be used to facilitate the transfer of more illegal immigrants into U.S communities. Border security must be approached differently in a time when we have a President who makes up his own laws, and where illegal immigrants actually hope they will be apprehended so they can be released into an American city or town. We live in a new reality.

 http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/house-immigration-bill-falls-far-short.php

The Conversation Obama Doesn’t Want to Have

The Conversation Obama Doesn’t Want to Have
The White House seems to think its denial of radical Islam will stop people from believing the obvious.
By Jonah Goldberg

Open-Borders Mau-Mauers

Open-Borders Mau-Mauers 
The Santa Barbara News-Press is under attack from the militants of MEChA. 
 

Michelle Malkin 
I stand with the Santa Barbara News-Press. How about you?
The newspaper is under fire for refusing to kowtow to left-wing word police and militant propagandists who demand unfettered illegal immigration. Last week, in the wake of angry protests against the publication, vandals threw paint bombs and spray-painted graffiti on the walls of its building.
So, what exactly is the News-Press’s unforgivable crime? Calling illegal aliens “illegals” in a headline for a story about illegal aliens descending on California DMVs. A new law went into effect last Friday allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses without proof of lawful residence. The article featured interviews with ecstatic illegal aliens, including one who has been in the country illegally for 22 years.
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Latina magazine called the News-Press headline — “Illegals line up for driver’s licenses” — the “most offensive headline against undocumented immigrants ever.” Hyperbole much? Ethnic agitators from a group called People Organized for the Defense and Equal Rights of Santa Barbara Youth (PODER) condemned the paper as “blatantly racist,” demanding that the News-Press adhere to the slanted guidelines of the Associated Press or face a boycott.
The blatantly biased AP rules advise journalists to abandon the concise terms “illegal,” “illegal alien,” and “illegal immigrant” in favor of the wordy, whitewashed “‘living in’ or ‘entering a country illegally’ or ‘without legal permission.’” Illegal aliens with Obama amnesty cards are now people with “temporary resident status” — blatantly blurring the distinction between legal foreign visitors who legally applied for and received legal temporary status and illegal border-crossers, illegal deportation-evaders, and illegal visa-overstayers who won the illegal-alien amnesty lottery by playing the waiting game.
Because references to the rule of law are considered oppressively racist/colonialist/imperialist, social-justice mobsters are pushing the term “undocumented” on media coddlers. But it is patently absurd to force a newspaper in the name of “accuracy” and “objectivity” to call illegal aliens queuing up for government-issued documents “undocumented.”
These “undocumented” aliens, now eligible for state driver’s licenses, federal work-authorization permits, in-state college discounts, bank accounts, taxpayer identification numbers, and birth certificates issued by Mexican consular offices on government soil, are the most documented aliens in American history.
News-Press publisher Wendy McCaw told me this week that the speech-stifling thugs “have threatened to return on January 19 to deliver a petition and stage another protest against us if we do not offer a retraction by 3 p.m. that day.” McCaw vows she will not bend to that ultimatum or any other — and she has a track record to prove her toughness.
She has been defying the progressive forces of political correctness for years in First Amendment battles over whom she should hire and how she should run her newspaper. Radical elements in her community and her industry have long held a grudge against her and her paper for resisting union pressure and refusing to conform to left-wing orthodoxy.
And boy, do these people know how to hold grudges.
In addition to the paint bombs, unhinged Mau-Mauers spray-painted a radical Reconquista slogan on the News-Press building: “The border is illegal, not the people who cross it.”
Yes, they’re still trying to refight the Mexican-American War of 1848 and relitigate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. No surprise. Santa Barbara has been a longstanding hotbed of tribal grievance politics. In the late 1960s, liberal Latinos at the University of California at Santa Barbara unveiled El Plan de Aztlán, which states: “We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent. Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner ‘gabacho’ who exploits our riches and destroys our culture. With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture.”
The Aztlán plan birthed Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) — an identity-politics indoctrination machine on publicly subsidized college and high-school campuses nationwide, whose members have rioted in Los Angeles and editorialized that federal immigration “pigs should be killed, every single one,” in San Diego.
As I’ve reported previously, the MEChA Constitution calls on members to “promote Chicanismo within the community, politicizing our Raza [race] with an emphasis on indigenous consciousness to continue the struggle for the self-determination of the Chicano people for the purpose of liberating Aztlán.” “Aztlán” is the group’s term for the vast southwestern expanse of the United States — from parts of Washington and Oregon down to California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and over to Texas — which MEChA claims to be a mythical homeland and seeks to reconquer for Mexico.
MEChA’s symbol is an eagle clutching a dynamite stick and a machete-like weapon in its claws; its motto is “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.” Translation: “For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race, nothing.”
Tell me again who the racists are.
— Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies (Regnery, 2010). Her e-mail address ismalkinblog@gmail.com. Copyright © 2015 Creators.Com.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/396561/open-borders-mau-mauers-michelle-malkin