Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Holder will regret his refusal to obey the Constitution

Holder will regret his refusal to obey the Constitution

Image Credit: US Embassy (Flickr) (CC-BY-2.0)
The nation can wave goodbye to Attorney General Holder with relief, as to a bad house-guest who almost burned down the house during his unwelcome stay. His political missteps were legion, and his choices on law enforcement policy revealed a stunning combination of ideology and incompetence. He called for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda leaders in downtown New York City, for example, which showed a failure to understand our war on terrorism. He accused Americans of being a nation of cowards on race while dropping prosecutions of voter intimidation in Philadelphia. He made a terrible error of judgment on sending guns that ended up in Mexico and then made the mistake of stonewalling Congress’s effort to investigate — leading to the unprecedented citation for contempt of a sitting attorney general.
But worst of all was not Holder’s political or prosecution choices, but his refusal to obey the Constitution. The AG is the nation’s law enforcement officer, second only to the president. His most important and unique job is to interpret and enforce the Constitution for the executive branch. On Holder’s watch, the Obama administration has refused to carry out the laws, as required by the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, in areas ranging from Obamacare to immigration to welfare. The only exception to the president’s duty to carry out the Acts of Congress is if the laws themselves are unconstitutional and hence violate the higher law. But in all of these cases, the Obama administration knew that these laws raised no constitutional problems — it merely disagreed with the policies, even with laws that it supported during enactment.  Obama and Holder created for themselves a second, absolute veto on Acts of Congress.
Holder and his supporters, who know these decisions violate the Constitution but kept silent because of their partisan support for Obama, will rue their abuse of presidential power. Future presidents will be able to change tax rates or refuse to prosecute political supporters under these theories. Future conservative presidents may use the same claim to start dismantling the overgrown welfare state without the assent of Congress. We happily see Holder go, but he will have more regret not just looking back at the controversies that wracked the Department of Justice under his care, but when he ponders the future when conservative AGs turn his precedents against the bloated welfare state that he loves.

‘Not Islamic’?

‘Not Islamic’?

by Dennis Prager
President Obama declared in his recent address to the nation that “ISIL is not Islamic.”
But how does he know? On what basis did the president of the United States declare the a group of Muslims that calls itself “Islamic State” “not Islamic”?
Has he studied Islam and Islamic history and concluded that ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group that slaughtered 166 people in Mumbai, most especially guests at the Taj Hotel,and which tortured to death a rabbi and his wife), the various Palestinian terrorist groups (all of which have been Muslim, even though there are many Christian Palestinians), and the Muslim terror groups in Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere are also all “not Islamic”?
Has he concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood, which won Egypt’s most open election ever, is “not Islamic?”
And what about Saudi Arabia? Is that country “not Islamic,” too?
Oh, and what about Iran? Also “not Islamic”?
Isn’t that a lot of Muslims, Muslim groups, and even nations — all of whom claim Islam as their religion — to dismiss as “not Islamic”?
To be fair, these baseless generalizations about what is and what is not Islamic started with his predecessor, President George W. Bush, who regularly announced that “Islam is a religion of peace.” And it is equally unlikely that his assertion came from a study of Islam and Islamic history.
The fact is that a study of Islamic history could not lead any fair-minded individual to conclude that all these Muslims and Islamic groups are “not Islamic.” Neither Islamic history, which, from its origins, offered vast numbers of people a choice between Islam and death, nor Islam as reflected in its greatest works, would lead one to draw that conclusion.
Killing “unbelievers” has been part of — of course not all of — Islam since its inception. Within 10 years of Muhammad’s death Muslims had conquered and violently converted whole peoples from Iran to Egypt and from Yemen to Syria. Muslims have offered conquered people death or conversion since that time.
The Hindu Kush, the vast, 500-mile long, 150-mile wide mountain range stretching from Afghanistan to Pakistan, was populated by Hindus until the Muslim invasions beginning around the year 1000. The Persian name Hindu Kush was proudly given by Muslims. It means “Hindu-killer.” At least 60 million Hindus were killed by Muslims during the thousand years of Muslim rule. Though virtually unknown, it may be the greatest mass murder in history next to Mao’s.
The groups named above are following some dictates of the Quran.
A few of many such examples:
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (8:12).
“When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.” (9:5)
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth.” (9:29).
There is also a different admonition in the Quran: “In matters of faith there shall be no compulsion” (2:256).
So a Muslim can also cite the Quran if he wishes to allow non-Muslims to live in peace.
The problem is that Muslim theological tradition, affirmed by many scholars, holds that later revelation to Muhammad supersedes prior revelation (a doctrine known as “abrogation”). And the Quranic verses ordering Muslims to fight and slay non-believers came after those admonishing Muslims to live with non-believers in peace and without religious compulsion.
The problem is that Muslim history, in keeping with the doctrine of abrogation, has far more often practiced the violent admonitions.
The problem is that more than 600 years after Muhammad, Ibn Khaldun, the greatest Muslim writer who ever lived, explained why Islam is the superior religion in the most highly regarded Muslim work ever written, “Muqaddimah,” or “Introduction to History”:
“In the Muslim community, the holy war is religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.”
In other words, Ibn Khaldun boasts, whereas no other religion commands converting the world through force, Islam does. Was Ibn Khaldun also “not Islamic”? And so much for the president’s other claim that “no religion condones the killing of innocents.”
None of this justifies bigotry against Muslims. There are hundreds of millions of non-Islamist Muslims (an Islamist is a Muslim who seeks to impose Shariah on others), including many “cultural” or secular Muslims. And individual Muslims are risking their lives every day to provide the intelligence needed to forestall terror attacks in America and elsewhere.
It is only a call to clarity amidst the falsehoods coming from the president, the secretary of state, and especially the universities.
As the courageous Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born woman who leads a worldwide effort on behalf of Muslim women and for reforming Islam, asked in a speech at Yale University this month: If Islam is a religion of peace, why is there a sword on the Saudi flag?
If the president feels he has to obfuscate for the sake of gaining Muslim allies, so be it. But the rest of us don’t have to make believe what he said is true.

Don's Tuesday Column

THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   9/30/2014

On Dr. Ben Carson; “by their fruits, ye shall know them”

The Tea Party Patriots continue to bring leaders and key people before informed citizens that show up: Showing up tonight at the Westside Grange will give you an opportunity to hear from Joe Vine, from the Copy Center, giving a presentation on the renovation of the State Theater. Also scheduled, for a short update on the rezoning of the landfill, will be Sean Moore. Personal note: I am not in circulation for any meetings as I await the earliest possible slot for knee surgery to repair some damage I inflicted on my right knee a couple of ski seasons ago. Anyone who has been confined to sitting with an elevated leg all day long, subjected to pain-interrupted sleep, and mobility limited to limping to the bathroom or mailbox will understand.
The problem with writing about Dr. Ben Carson, who has emerged to some prominence with his books (co-written with his wife, Candy Carson), interviews and personal appearances, is the plethora of material to wade into and choose from. I read Dr. Carson’s book, “One Nation—What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future,” over the summer and was impressed with his level-headed, logical and non-polemical approach to divisive issues about which many concerned voters are understandably passionate. I encourage you to buy the book and take his many ideas under advisement; you should be able to search the Internet (i.e. Amazon) to acquire a copy at less than the $15.49 price I paid at Costco. I then read a several thousand-word-long interview published in the June issue of “The Limbaugh Letter.” Carson appeared at and addressed the Value Voters Conference in Washington, DC (parts of which are searchable); that long-time gathering of Christian conservatives gave him many votes (placing him in 3rd place) for president, and chose him as their favorite for vice president. He was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, also possibly searchable at the program’s web site.
You may recall that, after retiring in 2013 from a 35-year distinguished medical career, culminating as the head of the pediatric neurosurgery department of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Carson made himself known for some remarks he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast. Those remarks reflected the deeply held concerns and hopes of the vast majority of Americans, warning us “of the dangers facing our country and (calling) for a return to the principles that made America great.”
He also proposed well-thought-out ideas for health care reform focused on 1) the primacy of the doctor/patient relationship 2) free market solutions to greater access and lower costs and 3) the widespread use of Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs. To a leftist progressive like Obama, HSAs are an anathema because they undermine the supremacy of the government-centric, state-controlled, model of health care, AKA single-payer socialism. Carson apparently displayed temerity in presuming that, as a premier medical professional and informed conservative citizen, he could proceed to utter such sentiments within several feet of President Obama, the man whose efforts have come to constitute “the dangers facing our country” as he and his fellow Democrats have labored mightily to undermine “the principles that made America great.”
In America, the respectful exchange of opposing viewpoints and philosophies is or should be the norm, especially when issues and policies are the focus and when attacks and insults are avoided. It was quite surprising, even shocking, to Dr. Carson to have been directly contacted by Obama’s official underlings strongly suggesting, almost demanding, an apology from Carson for his supposedly offensive and confrontational remarks.
Consider for one moment what that reveals about the mindset that permeates the Obama White House: The President’s collective ideological skin is so thin, and inclined to take offense when none is given, that a prominent and accomplished citizen, even an African-American brain surgeon, is to accept that his “free speech” is insulting to the self-styled reigning ruler—and figuratively bow and give obeisance via an apology to said ruler. Never mind that Dr. Carson’s taxes pay the salaries and benefits for all of Obama’s staff, making them all collectively Carson’s employees.
I think that what rankled Obama’s sensitivities was rather how Carson opened his “National Prayer Breakfast” speech. Noting that Bible readings and inspirational comments were made by a variety of people, he quoted from Proverbs: “Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly (11:9); It is foolish to belittle a neighbor, a person with good sense remains silent (11:12); The generous prosper and are satisfied, those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed (11:25).” From 2 Chronicles: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I…will forgive their sins and heal their land. (7:14)” It may have struck a nerve in Obama, no?

It bears comparing Ben Carson’s upbringing and youthful anger, which nearly caused him to murder someone, after which he lifted himself up, with his mother’s insistence; to Al Sharpton’s thinly veiled hatred and his support of violence; and to Obama’s not-so-thinly veiled antipathy to western values, America’s freedom and the wealth that America’s freedom has produced. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Mathew 7:20)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lukewarm wildfire season throws damper on climate-change predictions

Lukewarm wildfire season throws damper on climate-change predictions

2014 numbers below average

 - The Washington Times 
DENVER — This year's below-average wildfire season comes as welcome news for Westerners, but it's also burning a hole in the environmentalist narrative on climate change.
Although summer isn't over, and fires are burning in California and Oregon, it has been a mild year in terms of the number of wildfires and acres burned, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
The agency reports that 2.77 million acres have burned this year as of Sept. 5, a decline from the 3.9 million acres that had burned by the same date in 2013 and less than half the 10-year average of 6.2 million acres. The number of fires, 38,451, is also down considerably from the 10-year average of 56,278.
That reduction is even more impressive given that the Pacific Northwest was hit with an above-average wildfire season. In July Washington suffered the most destructive fire in its history, the Carlton Complex Fire, which burned 252,000 acres and destroyed 300 homes in the state's north-central region.
So far the 2014 wildfire season is on pace to be the second-least destructive in the last decade, which could put a damper on the campaign to connect elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to an increase in extreme weather events, including wildfires.
That effort is being led by the White House. President Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, says in a video released Aug. 5 on the White House website that climate change "has been making the fire season in the United States longer and, on average, more intense."
"The National Climate Assessment released in May tells us, consistent with earlier studies, that longer, drier summers are expected to continue to increase the frequency and the intensity of large wildfires in the United States," Mr. Holdren says in the video. "In the Western United States, the average annual area burned by large wildfires has increased severalfold in recent decades. The evidence is strong that climate change is responsible, at least in part, for this increase."
Paul Knappenberger, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the free market Cato Institute, argued that this year's wildfire season comes as further evidence that Mr. Holdren and others have drastically overstated the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on weather conditions.
"When these guys are making these predictions — 'Wildfires are going to get worse' — and then you have a wildfire season which is way below normal, it's ripe for coming back to them and saying, 'See? Why are you making these crazy predictions? It's not going to happen like that all the time,'" said Mr. Knappenberger.
He noted that the 2013 and 2014 hurricane seasons have also been relatively uneventful, even though those in the climate change movement have forecast that storms will intensify as wind speeds and rainfall associated with hurricanes and tropical storms increase due to global warming.
"It was a very inactive year last year and, frankly, the science is just not there to support making definitive statements about how hurricanes or how cold outbreaks are going to change in the future," Mr. Knappenberger said. "To push those things as though they're known, proven facts is just doing an injustice to the science."
Critics of the alarmist scenarios point out that the global mean temperature has remained flat for at least 17 years. Mr. Obama is slated to join other world leaders Sept. 23 at the United Nations Climate Summit 2014, but even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has lowered its 30-year estimate on the level of warming, as Christopher Lord Monckton reported in January.
Jamie Henn, spokesman for 350.org, an advocacy group "building a global climate movement," declined to comment on this year's wildfire season but offered resources on the connection between wildfires and global warming, including a fact sheet from Climate Nexus.
"These wildfires are yet another indication that climate change has arrived, and the fire threat is only projected to get worse in the future. Unless we cut carbon pollution, extreme weather events like this will become more frequent in the future," says the fact sheet.
Coleen Decker, NIFC assistant program manager for predictive services in Boise, attributed this year's below-average wildfire activity to a combination of factors, starting with the virtual absence of wildfires in the Southeast as a result of cool temperatures and high moisture during the January-to-April fire season.
Wildfires were also down in the Southwest. "We never saw any extended period of warming or drying," Ms. Decker said. "They'd get a little warm, then they'd get a burst of rain."
She also said there are too many variables involved in wildfire seasons to offer conclusions on how climate change may be contributing.
"The factors are weather, terrain and fuel, and it's hard to filter out the noise and decide what's been attributed to each factor," said Ms. Decker.
That Washington, Oregon and Northern California have been hard hit by wildfires this year suggests that other factors are playing a bigger role than hotter temperatures — because it's actually getting cooler in the Pacific Northwest, said Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Temperatures in the region peaked around 2007 and fell until 2013, when they ticked up slightly, according to figures from the National Climatic Data Center.
"The problem with wildfires is not climate change. For example, the number of big catastrophic fires has gone up in the Northwest, and yet the Northwest is in a cooling cycle," said Mr. Ebell. "The problem with the Western forests is there's just far too much fuel that's been built up. Under pressure from the environmental movement, we have stopped logging in our national forests."
The 1990 decision to list as threatened the Northern spotted owl has resulted in a huge reduction in the amount of timber being cut in the Pacific Northwest national forests. Timber production has dropped from 12 billion board feet to 2 billion since the early 1990s, according to the Forest Service.
"You can't add 17 billion board feet of fiber every year and only cut 2 billion and not end up with these catastrophic fires," said Mr. Ebell.
Analysts like Mr. Ebell and Mr. Knappenberger have been accused of being climate change "deniers," but they say the only thing they're denying are the environmental movement's predictions of certain global warming catastrophe.
"What I'm denying is not the fact that fossil fuel emissions have some impact on the climate," said Mr. Knappenberger. "What I'm denying is that the impact is detectable or going to be as bad as some people say it's going to be. What I'm denying is the global warming alarmism."


President Obama famously disparaged the Islamic State terrorist group as the terrorist JV to his apostle David Remnick in an interview for the New Yorker late last year (Remnick’s article is here). It sounded good at the time, but the words come back to haunt Obama. They mark him indelibly as the jv president.
Asked about it last night by Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, Obama passed the buck to his intelligence functionaries. John posted the vieo here. Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake followed up last night:
Nearly eight months ago, some of President Obama’s senior intelligence officials were already warning that ISIS was on the move. In the beginning of 2014, ISIS fighters had defeated Iraqi forces in Fallujah, leading much of the U.S. intelligence community to assess they would try to take more of Iraq.
But in an interview that aired Sunday evening, the president told 60 Minutes that the rise of the group now proclaiming itself a caliphate in territory between Syria and Iraq caught the U.S. intelligence community off guard. Obama specifically blamed James Clapper, the current director of national intelligence: “Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” he said.
Reached by The Daily Beast after Obama’s interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.
I think that judgment applies to Obama’s 60 Minutes interview in toto — I have long held Obama to be a sophomoric BS artist — but this was egregious.

Lois Lerner’s Sob Story

Lois Lerner’s Sob Story
If she’s so distraught about her damaged reputation, she might consider confessing.
By Ian Tuttle

Obama Wants to Make US a One-Party Nation

Dick Morris: Obama Wants to Make US a One-Party Nation

President Barack Obama wants to transform the United States into a one-party nation in which Republicans are powerless, veteran political strategist Dick Morris says.

"[Obama] wants to stack the deck so that no Republican or conservative can ever win an election," Morris told "The Steve Malzberg Show" onNewsmax TV.
"It's by bringing in millions of immigrants to screw up the voter rolls and by massive photo fraud with no photo ID so that he can use ACORN volunteers to produce artificial results," Morris said.

"It's getting everybody into a labor union whether they like it or not, to help control their votes.

"And the most insidious part is Obamacare; to give everybody healthcare, food stamps, disability and Medicaid so that they all have skin in the game and something to lose if the Democrats lose."

Morris, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, said the United States has been a one-party nation in the past.

"The Democratic Party held power for only 16 years between 1860 and 1932 – a 72-year period. That's the kind of thing that he wants to do here," he said.

Morris also believes Obama wants industries such as those that produce solid fuels like coal to be under the government's thumb.

"He wants to make it impossible for a private sector business to operate without the government's explicit approval," Morris said.

"That means corruption, campaign contributions, not siding with the other side politically, that the EPA … has the life and death of your company in its hands."

Morris said the recent IRS scandal — in which agency officials allegedly targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status — was "designed to intimidate the activist and donor base so the Republican Party becomes a minor sideshow, not the main event."

And the president would also like to seize control of the World Wide Web, according to Morris.

"His whole goal here is to regulate the Internet and if possible, to allow international regulation of the Internet so some of the dictatorial countries can make their views heard," he said.

"He's afraid of the Internet because he controls the media. If all we hear is the New York Times and the Washington Post, ABC, CBS and NBC and the L.A. Times and USA Today, that's great.

"But once you get into this other stuff like Newsmax TV, FOX News, talk radio, Internet stuff, Drudge Report, WND.com, he gets nervous because he can't control that and he wants to exercise the control."

Morris alleged that the Commander-in-Chief "bends over backwards" to appeal to Muslims by arguing that ISIS is not an Islamic State.

"What does the 'I' stand for? Ice cream? One of the reasons he does that is because he wants the Islamic vote," Morris said.

"His relatively pro-Muslim policy is a response to a domestic voting trend. Jews are three percent of the vote in this country and Muslims are two percent.

"If he can get it up to three, four, five or six and make it an 80-20 voting block for him, that's pretty important. In terms of foreign policy and running the government, that's not what he's good at. What he's good at is the correlation of forces to set up a political movement that takes over. That's what he's good at."

And with one-party control, Obama can reduce the Republican Party to an "infinite, yapping dog that's on the side" while the Democratic Party is in control, according to Morris.

"The other thing is his scheme to kill the Electoral College. He is getting state legislatures around the country quietly to pass bills saying we will respect the winner of the popular vote and give him our electoral votes regardless of our own state votes. You can win by voter fraud," he said.

"He wants to transform this country fundamentally and permanently. I would not assume that Hillary Clinton is going to depart from this game plan very much."

Morris said Obama has "exterminated" the conservative wing of the Democratic Party.

"I'm a dodo bird. I used to be a conservative Democrat, I still would be if it existed," Morris said.

"But you're either a [Nancy] Pelosi, Hillary [Clinton], Obama Democrat or you're a Republican. So I'm a Republican."


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Environmentalist Protester: ‘Burn Down’ Homes of Wall Street Execs

Environmentalist Protester: ‘Burn Down’ Homes of Wall Street Execs 
Other ideas include destroying buildings with a sledgehammer. 
“All these people have names an addresses, like, every person f[***]ing us over, we know where they live, and we could go there, and burn their houses down,” one protester tells National Review Online reporter Katherine Timpf.
Several protestors had violent solutions for how to save the planet.
“They should be taking f[***]ing sledgehammers and just busting up everything, and shutting the system down altogether” says another.
Other suggestions included going to the schools of wealthy people to “shame their children.”
Thousands of people attended Monday’s march, and several dozen were arrested.
Video was filmed by Dan Ahrens.


The totalitarian impulse is all too familiar: since I represent Progress (and, of course, everyone who acts in the political realm fervently believes that he represents Progress) those who stand in my way are retrograde–evil, really–forces, that belong in the dustbin of history. Therefore, I might have to lock them up or kill them to ensure that Progress prevails.
Until recently, the totalitarian impulse has been blessedly absent from American politics. Now, however, the American left has caught the totalitarian bug that infected Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, and so many others. A case in point: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the drug-addled son of the former Attorney General. Kennedy thinks it is a shame that he isn’t able to jail or execute the Koch brothers and other conservatives, like–for example–me:
Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lamented that there were no current laws on the books to punish global warming skeptics. “I wish there were a law you could punish them with. I don’t think there is a law that you can punish those politicians under,” Kennedy told Climate Depot in a one-on-one interview during the People’s Climate March. …
Kennedy Jr. accused skeptical politicians of “selling out the public trust.” “Those guys are doing the Koch Brothers bidding and are against all the evidence of the rational mind, saying global warming does not exit. They are contemptible human beings. I wish there were a law you could punish them with. I don’t think there is a law that you can punish those politicians under.”
Kennedy saved his most venomous comments for the Koch Brothers, accusing them of “treason” for “polluting our atmosphere.”
“I think it’s treason. Do I think the Koch Brothers are treasonous, yes I do,” Kennedy explained.
“They are enjoying making themselves billionaires by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should be in jail, I think they should be enjoying three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals,” Kennedy declared.
“Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is a criminal offence and they ought to be serving time for it,” he added.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at today's climate march
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at today’s climate march
The penalty for treason is death, of course, but Kennedy seems to be willing to settle for life without parole.
The linked Climate Depot post points out that Kennedy isn’t the only liberal who wants to kill or jail those who disagree with him about the Earth’s climate. (Notwithstanding the fact that the “skeptics”–I call them realists–have been resoundingly vindicated, and the CAGW models have proved to be wrong.) Paul Krugman, Josh Marshall, Gawker and James Hansen of NASA are among the many climate hysterics who have demanded that those who disagree with them (i.e., those who have now been proved right) be killed, jailed, or charged with “treason against the planet.”
Nor is the Left’s demand for criminal prosecution of conservatives merely rhetorical. To cite just one instance, Dinesh D’Souza has been criminally charged with a chickenfeed campaign finance offense and the Democratic prosecutor is trying to have him jailed. If D’Souza deserves six months in jail, then Barack Obama deserves 200 years. As we and many others reported in 2008 and again in 2012, Obama set up a web site that was deliberately intended to facilitate illegal contributions. No one else did this–certainly no Republican politicians–but Obama sneered at the law and garnered uncounted millions in illegal contributions as a result.
Then we have the Udall proposal to repeal the First Amendment as it relates to politics. TheUdall Amendment would give Congress the unfettered, unqualified power to “regulate…the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” Under this plan, which every Democrat in the Senate voted for, Congress could make it a felony to contribute money to a Republican’s campaign. Or it could throw a filmmaker in jail for producing a movie that the administration doesn’t like. Sort of like they are trying to do with D’Souza, only this time with constitutional sanction.
We are living in perilous times. For the first time in America’s history, one of our political parties–the one that loses all the arguments–has given up on debate and threatens to use naked power to jail or otherwise silence those who point out the flaws in its theories. If we conservatives remain passive, there is a grave danger that our freedoms may be lost.


President Obama has found uses for the U.S. military in spite of himself. Max Boot points out that he has just sent 3,000 troops to Liberia to “fight” Ebola; 1,500–and counting–to Iraq to counter ISIS; and hundreds, possibly thousands, more to Eastern Europe to deter Russia.
In addition, Obama sent more than 150 troops to Africa to fight Joseph Kony. And he keeps sending troops to carry out various Special Operations missions from Libya to Somalia.
Last but not least, he has committed to keeping at least 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after this year.
These numbers aren’t enormous, and in some cases they fall short of what is required for the task. However, as Boot says, “they are indicative of the continuing demand for U.S. military personnel around the world.”
Meanwhile, though, funding for the armed forces continues to decline precipitously.Michele Flournoy and Eric Edelman — senior former defense officials under President Obama and President George W. Bush, respectively — recently wrote:
The provisions of the Budget Control Act and sequestration have already precipitated a readiness crisis within our armed forces, with only a handful of Army brigades ready for crisis response, Air Force pilots unable to fly sufficient hours to keep up their skills and Navy ships unable to provide critical U.S. security presence in key regions.
Although last year’s congressional budget deal has granted some temporary relief, the return to sequestration in fiscal 2015 and beyond would result in a hollow force reminiscent of the late 1970s.
The Army has been the main victim. According to Boot, budget cuts are likely to shrink the active duty force from 510,000 soldiers today down to 420,000 by the end of the decade. The Army chief, Gen. Ray Odierno, has warned that going below 450,000 active duty personnel will result in an Army unable to meet even its minimal commitments.
Strikingly, as Boot observes, these cuts are occurring without any real debate. Democrats, by and large, are delighted to see the military shrink. Republicans, fixated on balancing the budget without increasing taxes, don’t seem particularly bothered.
We talk a good game about Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, etc. So far, however, we are unwilling to push for military spending commensurate with the dangerous world we correctly posit.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dodd-Frank Will Cripple American Energy

Dodd-Frank Will Cripple American Energy
For some reason, there are energy provisions in a banking bill.
By John Berlau