12/19/14
Koch Brothers

Surprise: The Koch Brothers are Not Conservatives

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham acted surprised that David Koch would give an interview to Barbara Walters and talk about his radical “libertarian” views. Koch appeared in Walters’ ABC special program on “The 10 Most Fascinating People Of 2014.” The interview was featured in various stories highlighting Koch’s personal views as a “social liberal.” He’s for abortion and homosexual rights. But that’s not all. He’s also a major supporter of the Cato Institute, which recently featured NSA defector Edward Snowden at its “Surveillance Conference.”

David Koch’s foreign policy views are very far to the left as well—a fact that many conservatives may not realize.

We have heard it from the left so many times that Koch is an extreme “conservative” or right-winger that we have taken this claim for granted. It is definitely not the case. He’s sinking a lot of money into Republican and some conservative groups, but that doesn’t make him a conservative. In fact, as the Walters special showed, he doesn’t accept the conservative label. However, he does emphasize his free market views on economic and fiscal issues.

I am trying to get some comment from David Koch about Cato’s embrace of Snowden. The Koch brothers have an extensive public relations apparatus that includes the major Koch spokesman, Philip Ellender, a registered Democrat in Louisiana who serves as the President and COO of the Government & Public Affairs department of Koch Companies Public Sector. I have asked Robert A. Tappan, Director of External Relations for Koch Companies Public Sector, to provide an explanation of the Koch Brothers support for Cato and Snowden.

David and Charles Koch were two “shareholders” in the Cato Institute, and were involved in a lawsuit that resulted in John Allison (the former CEO of BB&T) replacing Ed Crane, who retired as Cato’s CEO. According to a press release, “For Charles Koch and David Koch, the agreement helps ensure that Cato will be a principled organization that is effective in advancing a free society.”

What this means in terms of Cato’s embrace of Snowden is a matter of discussion. Snowden is a captive of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which is definitely not a free society but is a place where Koch Industries does business. (Koch Industries also does business in Communist China.) Do the Kochs approve of Cato’s embrace of Snowden? David Koch, who served as the Executive Vice President of Koch Industries, Inc., continues to serve on Cato’s board. Cato’s 2013 annual report lists the Charles Koch Foundation as a financial backer.

As we have reported in the past, the Cato Institute published a three-page interview with Snowden mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald in the July/August 2014 issue of the Cato Policy Report. Cato called Greenwald’s NSA disclosures “explosive,” which is true in the sense that the communications intelligence agencies of free countries like the U.S. and Israel have been hobbled by the publicity given to the stolen documents he received and publicized. National security experts also say Snowden’s disclosures facilitated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rise of ISIS.

Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute’s board of directors, has written that if a deal is worked out, Snowden could return to the U.S. and “be held accountable for other actions, not yet disclosed, that amount to espionage—traditionally defined as transmitting national defense information with intent or reason to believe that it will be used to the injury of the United States or the advantage of a foreign nation.”

In view of these comments, not knowing the full extent of the damage he has done, why would Cato give Snowden a platform? His video appearance at the Cato Surveillance Conference had to have been arranged with the help of the Russian security agents who guard Snowden and regulate access to him. Why would Cato participate in such an arrangement?

David Koch also serves on the board of the Reason Foundation, which sponsors Reason magazine. It, too, is pro-Snowden, having published such articles as, “Thank You, Edward Snowden.” The author called Snowden a “whistleblower,” which is a falsehood.

Martin Edwin Andersen, the first national security whistleblower to be given the “Public Servant Award” by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, strongly disputes the idea that Snowden is a whistleblower. He calls Snowden a national security leaker who engaged in theft, fled the country to escape justice, and is now “in the protective embraces of Olympic Russian police-state champion Vladimir Putin.”

By the way, Cato also supports Obama’s policy of appeasing the Castro regime in Cuba. It ran an article when Chuck Hagel was nominated as Obama’s Secretary of Defense, saying the former senator was correct in calling the idea “goofy” that the Havana regime constitutes a terrorist threat to the United States. Cato said nothing about the American terrorists who fled to Cuba and are being protected by the Castro regime. One, Joanne Chesimard, is a convicted cop-killer. The other major American terrorist in Cuba, William Morales, was a bomb-maker for the FALN, which killed four Americans in the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing in New York City.

Obama’s scheme to normalize relations with Cuba does not include the return of these terrorists to face justice in the U.S.

Hagel has since left the administration, but the Koch-funded Cato Institute is still around, exercising its influence on Washington policy makers. Cato hailed the release of the Senate Democrats’ so-called “torture report,” calling it “long overdue.”

The Kochs’ support for this group may prove to be more surprising than the “news” to some conservatives that David Koch is a liberal on social issues. The Koch Brothers are very liberal on foreign policy, too. We previously commented on a Charles Koch Institute forum featuring a foreign policy talking head who has no problem with Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

So why are the Kochs sinking money into Republican-oriented and even some conservative groups? It’s time for traditional conservatives to examine what appears to be a Koch plan to move the Republican Party to the left on social and foreign policy issues.

12/19/14
Megyn Kelly and Dr. James Mitchell

Interview with an Interrogator: Megyn Kelly Gets the Scoop

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly got a big interview this week following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogations in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001. It was compelling TV, and journalism. Dr. James Mitchell, a former Air Force psychologist, contracted with the CIA to help develop a program to interrogate CIA detainees while America, and those tasked to protect this country, prepared for a second wave of attacks.

Mitchell had spoken with the British newspaper, The Guardian, back in April, after an executive summary of the Senate Intelligence report had been leaked to McClatchy News. At the time, as reported by The Guardian, Mitchell “mounted a full-throated defense of the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism policies and attacked ‘partisan Democrats’ for ‘throwing me under the bus’ and ‘rewriting history.’” Now he clearly feels even more free to speak out.

Mitchell was never interviewed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) committee. In fact, none of the CIA people involved in the interrogations, nor the directors or deputy directors, were interviewed. In other words, the purpose of this report was not to actually get to the truth of what happened. It was an attempt, for various political and PR reasons, to accuse and indict the Bush administration and the CIA for allegedly using torture on the detainees.

Mitchell revealed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) didn’t break, or provide information that eventually led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, because of waterboarding, but rather because of other EITs (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques). The technique that did work on KSM, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s Marc Thiessen, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, was sleep deprivation. But Mitchell revealed something that KSM did tell him: “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told me personally, ‘Your country will turn on you, the liberal media will turn on you, the people will grow tired of this, they will turn on you, and when they do, you are going to be abandoned.’”

What comes through in Megyn Kelly’s interview is a thoughtful, patriotic American who was moved by the image of Americans leaping out of World Trade Center buildings, and by the courage of those on Flight 93 who helped bring the plane down, rather than allow it to successfully strike the third of three targets of the “decapitation” that Mitchell said was their goal. The terrorists hit our financial center in New York, they hit the Pentagon—the headquarters of the U.S. military—and the third plane was intended to crash into the Capitol building in Washington, DC.

America is divided over this, but a recent Washington Post – ABC poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly think that “the CIA treatment of suspected terrorists” was justified, by a margin of 59% to 31%. Clearly a significant majority believe the CIA was trying to protect this country at that time, and aren’t too worried about the few cases of excess—even death—that occurred. They don’t see it as a “stain” on our country. In fact, many view the stain as this one-sided report that cherry-picked information and revealed selective portions of emails, contradicted by other portions not revealed in the report—if that’s what they needed to make their case. Many believe that the release of this report has given aid and comfort to America’s enemies, and put American lives at increased risk.

It turns out that KSM was right about the “liberal media,” but it seems that a significant majority of the American people are quite okay with what was done to these terrorists—and other detainees—and don’t believe it damaged us as a country. Many of those in the liberal media—such as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Jane Mayer of the New Yorker (who actually interviewed Dr. Mitchell back in 2005), and Erin Burnett of CNN—freely call what happened “torture.” To them, it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

Kudos to Megyn Kelly for getting the interview, which aired in two parts on Monday and Tuesday nights this week. I urge you to watch for yourself, and to also read this column, “The Feinstein Report is Going to Cost Us,” by Andrew McCarthy. He was the lawyer who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh, the man responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. McCarthy has a lot of interesting things to say about the report, such as this: “As I have frequently argued here over the years, there is a world of difference between what is couched in political rhetoric as ‘torture,’ a conversation stopper that the Left cavalierly applies to every instance of prisoner abuse, and the federal crime of torture, which has a strict legal definition and is a difficult offense to prove, precisely to ensure that torture is not trivialized.”

You can watch Kelly’s interview with Dr. Mitchell here.

12/18/14
Cuban Flag

Ted Cruz: Cuba Relations Thaw ‘a Tragic Mistake’

Hat Tip: BB

Ted Cruz: Obama being played by Cuba’s brutal dictator — UPDATE: VIDEO

Sen. Ted Cruz on Obama’s Castro Bailout: Obama “does Not Understand the Difference between our Friends and our Enemies” – Video 12/17/14

After Handing Victory to the Castros, Obama Admits No Indication Castros are Changing their Ways on Human Rights – Video 12/17/14

Krauthammer on Obama Castro Bailout: “Is there No Tyrant that Obama will not Appease for Nothing in Return?” – Video 12/17/14

How Is the Cuban Missile Crisis Taught?

Obama and the dangerous times for Americans.

12/18/14
Operation Underground Railroad

Please give to Operation Underground Railroad this Christmas…

Of all the charities out there, this is the one I promote. Operation Underground Railroad rescues children from slavery and the men and women who do it put their lives on the line to do so. Your dollars can save the life of a child and give them the chance to have a life they would be denied otherwise. Read just one of their moving rescue stories here… This year, I ask nothing of any of you for this blog… but I do ask that if you can at all, that you give to OUR. For those who cannot fight for themselves, we must fight for them any way each of us can.

Merry Christmas!

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
NoisyRoom.net

12/18/14
Jeb Bush

5 Observations About Jeb Bush Running for President

Doug Ross @ Journal

In an utterly unsurprising development this week, Jeb Bush announced that he’s “actively exploring” a 2016 Presidential run.

Allow me to offer some perspective for the GOP Elites and others suffering from the fevered delusion that Jeb Bush might someday serve as President, in this universe or any other.

1. This is one situation where an open primary benefits conservatives: I contend that Democrats will turn out in droves — like there was an announcement for free government cheese at the mall — to vote against the Bush name. Heck, you and I have heard it for years: debate any policy position with a progressive and, no matter the facts, logic, history, and reason you muster — the inevitable result is what some call Bush Tourette’s Syndrome (i.e., “But- but- but- Bush!). This sad disease is sure to manifest itself in the primaries and amplify Democrat turnout like nothing we’ve seen since the dead walked the streets of Chicago in 1960 to cast ballots for John F. Kennedy.

2. Jeb Bush’s support for Amnesty is wildly unpopular among a huge majority of Americans: 88% of Republicans, 66% of independents and even 50% of Democrats believe that the border should be locked down before any Amnesty efforts are undertaken.

3. Bush’s support for a nationalized education curriculum (also known as “Common Core”) is generally despised. Only 34% of U.S. adults with children in elementary or secondary school support the federal takeover of educational standards.

4. Should Bush secure the nomination (which, if it occurs, we can thank John Boehner’s newly uncorked personal campaign contribution limits in the CRomnibus), I believe we’ll see the first viable third-party candidate since 1992. Reince Priebus, Karl Rove and the rest of the GOP Oligarchs should know that the Republican Party will be torn asunder by a Bush nomination. Guaranteed. A third party will result and the GOP will go the way of the Whigs — deservedly so.

5. BONUS: Jeb’s formula for victory:

Jeb Bush has no chance of winning the presidency — zero, none — and anyone who tells him otherwise is lying or a paid political operative. Or, more likely, both.

12/18/14
Weasel Statuette of Shame

Our Weasel Of The Week!! – 12/18/14

The Watcher’s Council

Once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all disgusting, but the votes are in and we have our winner… the envelope please…

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Squeaker of the House, Obama Doormat and RINO extraordinaire, John Boehner!!

The Noisy Room: John Boehner for betraying his conservative base and aligning himself with Obama and the Progressives on the Left. In the CRominbus bill, he gave everything and more to Obama on every Progressive issue addressed. It was a breathtaking act of treason against conservatives and the Tea Party.

I agree wholeheartedly with Sean Hannity:

“John ‘Gruber’ Boehner, two days after the midterm elections, talking tough on the issue of amnesty, but unfortunately, that’s all it was. Because today it’s conservatives who feel like they’ve been burned as the Speaker aligned himself with the president, with Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer and Joe Biden to pass a spending bill a short time ago,” Hannity said.

“John Boehner ‘Grubered’ conservatives tonight and by that, I mean, the conservative base in particular, and Michele Bachmann hit the nail on the head,” he continued. “He never would have done this before the election. He has no inspiring vision and to me, he is everything that is wrong with Washington. He is a Democratic Party-lite. He doesn’t have those bold colored differences that Reagan talked about. And he should, in my view, he should not be the Speaker and should be replaced.”

Boehner would not even speak, much less negotiate with conservatives on this and he implemented a provision that would effectively raise the amount that high net-worth donors can contribute to political party committees from $97,250 to $777,600, which was an egregious slap in the face to the Tea Party and conservatives. It basically ensures that fat cats are the only ones who can afford to run and it is a blatant attempt to shut out Tea Party candidates.

Time to go RINO hunting as Sarah Palin put it. Lock and load.

The Independent Sentinel: John Boehner is unquestionably my choice for weasel of the week, perhaps for the month, no the year. He said he would stand up to Barack Obama before the election, but the only ones he has stood up to are conservative Republicans. When it looked as if the budget wouldn’t pass, he pressured conservatives and when that didn’t work, he went to the far-left Steny Hoyer and Barack Obama to get the bill passed.

Boehner tweeted this on December 11th: “By the House’s action, we are setting up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration next month…″

Horse feathers!!!

Boehner pushed through a budget that funds amnesty. The Republicans have nothing to fight with next year. We can’t defund the DHS.

They won’t fight anyway.

Any fight is always pushed off into the future with this phony.

He betrayed the people who put Republicans in control of the House and the Senate. My second runner up for weasel is Karl Rove who is pleased that we are on our way towards having a budget as if that were the end all and be all. We passed an exorbitant spending bill that funds all of Obama’s lawless actions and neither Karl Rove or John Boehner appear to care about the Constitution in all of this.

VA Right: I’m going to go with John Boehner and his lead from behind deal with Barack Obama on the Omnibus bill.

The voters made this a wave election, not to get the Republicans to work with the Democrats, but to get them to push back. Boehner gave up an entire year of leverage and opportunity. He managed to prove that Republicans are not the answer either.

———————-

Yes, John Boehner came out ahead in a crowded and despicable field to walk off with the honors. Like some of our other winners, this is something of a life time achievement award for excellence in Weaseldom rather than simply a recognition of his extraordinary performance during the current lame duck session. Remember when he first took over as Speaker back in 2011 and had us all convinced he was a fine, conservative choice?

http://halifaxbloggers.ca/thelocaltraveler/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/HalifaxComedyFestphotocreditChrisSmth.jpg

Woo yeah, Mr. Speaker, boy did we fall for that one! And I bet you and your friends had a big laugh over it too!

http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/50a6639869beddad45000020/heres-obama-chiding-john-boehner-about-his-upcoming-birthday.jpg

Well, at any rate, I at least want to commend you for being a good sport and showing up in person to get your well-earned Weasel… please come to the stage Speaker Boehner!

http://assets0.ordienetworks.com/images/user_photos/1170849/boehnercrying_fullsize.jpeg

Speaker Boehner… umm Speaker Boehner, I realize… I know it’s an emotional moment for you sir, but could you please stop… no I don’t want a hug sir… yech, you’re getting it all over me! Please, someone get me a towel…!

Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

12/17/14
Cuban Flag

American Alan Gross released after Obama swaps 3 members of the Cuban Five for Gross

Hat Tip: BB

Appeaser-in-Chief Set to Announce Lifting of U.S. Embargo Resumption of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba; Obama Expected to Change 55-Year U.S. Policy to Reward Castro Regime – Video 12/17/14

Barack Obama Assures America He’s Personally Taking Part In Cuba Deal With A Picture Of . . . Barack Obama…

Castro Urges Obama to Embrace Inner Dictator by Lifting Embargo with Executive Action

Cuban-American lawmakers lash out at the White House over Cuba normalization

John Bolton: Obama’s policy on Cuba is APPEASEMENT

RUBIO RESPONDS: This is just another concession to a tyranny by Obama

Rubio on Obama’s New Cuba Policy: ‘The White House Conceded Everything’…’This is a Victory For The Oppressive Cuban Government’