10/31/14

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 10/31/14

The Watcher’s Council


Allen West: Secular “brownshirts” try to silence churches before elections


‘Poverty Pimp’ Posters Hit Maxine’s Out-of-District Mansion

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

A world that did not lift a finger when Hitler was wiping out six million Jewish men, women, and children is now saying that the Jewish state of Israel will not survive if it does not come to terms with the Arabs. My feeling is that no one in this universe has the right and the competence to tell Israel what it has to do in order to survive. On the contrary, it is Israel that can tell us what to do. It can tell us that we shall not survive if we do not cultivate and celebrate courage, if we coddle traitors and deserters, bargain with terrorists, court enemies, and scorn friends.” – Eric Hoffer, Before The Sabbath, 1974.

“The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.” – Bob Hope

“I never thought I’d live to see the day that an American administration would denounce the state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem.” – Rep. Mike Pence

As a Jew, it is my historic responsibility to defend the Jewish people. I feel this responsibility for the survival of the Jewish people. We’re not going to accept any decision by anybody else about security of the State of Israel. It is our role and only our role. – Ariel Sharon

A few days ago, there was an article published by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that was fairly revealing about the current state of the relationship between the Obama Administration and Israel. In this week’s winner, JoshuapunditChickensh*t, I had a few things to say about that situation, as well as the real story about how it came about. Here’s a slice:

That quaint kid’s playground epithet is the money quote from an article entitled “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here,” posted by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic.

It’s what Goldberg reports that an anonymous senior Obama administration official called Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in a conversation Goldberg had with him. And in the article, Goldberg also mentions that President Obama “in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.”

Now, for all that Jeffrey Goldberg has consistently been a fairly servile apologist for the president and the Obama Administration when it comes to Israel, he’s not entirely wrong that Netanyahu has been guilty of a lack of courage in some instances. But that lack of courage is from an entirely different direction than Goldberg supposes.

Contrary to the tile of Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece, the crisis in US-Israel relations started from the moment Barack Hussein Obama was elected president. Where Netanyahu and certain other Israeli leaders have exhibited a lack of courage is in trying desperately to deny and fend it off, and make believe it wasn’t happening.

Barack Obama started his presidency by stating openly (once he was safely elected) that he wanted to create daylight between the U.S. and Israel, and he has been doing so ever since.

Is Jeffrey Goldberg suffering from amnesia? Do we really need to revisit the climate that’s been created between the US and Israel since Barack Obama took over as president?  His repudiation of the agreements made with Israel by President Bush  that convinced Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to go ahead with the Gaza disengagement, claiming they never existed? His call for Israel to re-divide Jerusalem and retreat to indefensible borders? His telling Iran that Israel was on its own in the event of any hostilities? His insisting that Israel has no right to Jewish religious sites? His repeated statements that the Palestinians need not recognize Israel as a Jewish State and his continued funding of the Palestinian Authority in spite of their continued support and incitement for terrorism against Israeli civilians? His instituting what amounted to a de facto arms embargo for six months during the early part of his first term? His approval and funding of the new Hamas/Fatah entity which includes a genocidal terrorist group? The list could go on for quite some time.

Would any other sovereign nation put up with constant temper tantrums from a foreign government over building homes in its own capital? With pressure to release convicted murderers from its jails as a ‘gesture for peace?’ With mysterious holdups for bureaucratic ‘review’ of badly needed military supplies in the middle of a war? With deliberately insulting treatment of its elected leader by the president of what was supposed to be a closely allied government?

While Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have sometimes made statements that have revealed a lack of discretion,it’s been in reaction to a long climate of outright hostility from the White House that makes even former President Carter’s tenure look benign by comparison. Jeffrey Goldberg might wish to forget it, but it was the overt actions and attitude from this president and his administration towards Israel and Netanyahu that came first and poisoned the well.

The Israelis never figured on a president getting elected in America who had an animus towards Israel, and their futile attempts to muddle through and somehow make the relationship work only made President Obama more insistent, unreasonable and demanding.

And speaking of political courage, let’s take a good look at what gave Barack Obama the license to act out this way towards Israel. It was America’s Jews on the Left – like Jeffrey Goldberg.

Remember this,from back in 2008? (courtesy of Omri Ceren):

So, all you rumor-mongering, fever-headed Jewish conspiracists: Support McCain, if you want, and there are credible reasons for doing so, but stop smearing Obama in the face of overwhelming evidence that the man is a great friend of Jews and of Israel. After a point, it becomes obvious that what you fear is not Israel’s destruction, but the presence of an African-American in the White House. And that’s disgusting.

Obama’s background and his feelings about Israel were obvious to anyone whom bothered to look at him honestly. President Barack Obama has had close associations with Israel haters and in some cases open anti-semites his entire life. Frank Marshall Davis, Edward Said, Rashid al-Khalidi, Khalid al-Mansour, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and Al Sharpton and others like them all figure or have figured prominently in his background.

So how did this all slip by?

What happened is that many on the Left and those in media simply didn’t want to know, especially Jews. They made a clear decision that voting Democrat and embracing their Leftist politics meant more to them than supporting their brothers and sisters in Israel. It was this hideous betrayal that enabled President Obama to act out and make support for Israel as an ally a partisan issue once he was elected. A significant number of American Jews voted Democrat in 2008 and found solace in candidate Obama telling them what they wanted to hear, in political groups the George Soros financed J-Street,and the NJDC, and in the bogus mantra of ‘the two state solution’. It enabled President Obama to neuter AIPAC, as well as other Jewish groups. With a few honorable exceptions, they all fell in line with the New Order. And even after they had ample evidence of President Obama’s attitude towards Israel during his first term, most of them voted for him again.

And this backing of Obama and his agenda led,in case no one’s noticed, not only to the increased intransigence of Abbas and Fatah but to the increased hostility towards Jews and Israel in places like the EU and and a rising climate of Jew hatred in places like university campuses, again with some rare exceptions. The backing of the majority of America’s Jews for Obama and their tolerance for his policies was and is the protective cover and the impetus for all of it.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan KnishThe Left’s Worst Crime in the Middle East submitted by The Noisy Room. The crime he’s talking about? Ah, you’ll have to read it to find out and read it you should, because the Sultan is definitely on target with this one.

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

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?

10/29/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Job Creation Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Just goes to show you that Hillary Clinton wasn’t entirely mistaken. Not all jobs come from corporations and small business! With the midterms a week away, I think it’s only fair to look at the jobs President Obama’s policies have created, don’t you?

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, Big Jolly Politics, The Elder Of Ziyon, The Political Commentator and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

10/24/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 10/24/14

The Watcher’s Council


In remembrance of the soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who died in Canada this past week at the hands of a radical Jihadist. We also honor Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers for his bravery in taking down said Jihadist and saving untold lives.

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Babası oğluna bir bağ bağışlamış, oğul babaya bir salkım üzüm vermemiş (“The Father gave his son a vineyard, the son didn’t give a single bunch of grapes to the father.” – Turkish Proverb

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse

“Alliances are broken from considerations of interest.” – Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses, 1517

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ES-rGPcBG_k/T4feezGECbI/AAAAAAAABPc/RkTNEfGXWtE/s400/Razor.jpg

This week’s winner, The Razor’sThe RazorKick Turkey Out Of NATO is a persuasively written essay that embodies the thoughts expressed above… it makes little sense to hold on to an alliance that really isn’t one. Here’s a slice:

Lord Palmerstone once noted that nations do not have permanent allies, only permanent interests. This statement assumes that a nation always acts in its own best interest, and this assumption is the basis for the realist school of international relations. Realists always expect national actors to do what is best for themselves. If an action does not benefit the nation in any particular way, or worse threatens it, then one cannot reasonably expect it to act even though one might think and others might agree that it is the right course of action. In international relations at least according to the realist school, there are no completely altruistic acts by nations or their actors.

I’ve been rooted in the realist school of international relations well before I got my degree in political science, having grown up while Henry Kissinger acted as Nixon’s national security advisor and later secretary of state under him and his successor Gerald Ford.Realists not only expect nations to act in their best interests, but regimes and the organizations constituting them to do the same. In statecraft realists aren’t surprised when regimes do what’s best for them even when it might compromise or damage others, but are willing to act in their own best interest when the opposite party acts in theirs.

Case in point: Turkey. Under the regime of Recep Erdogan for the past 12 years Turkey has been acting in the best interest of Erdogan and his ruling party the AKP. Erdogan is an Islamist in a nation where political Islam had been banned for decades after its re-founding under Kamal Ataturk. While Ataturk and the secularists saw Europe as a useful ally that would strengthen Turkey and their regime in the Middle East, Erdogan has instead positioned Turkey as the next Islamic Caliphate more in line with the Ottoman Empire of the 17th century rather than secular and Democratic Western Europe.

Perhaps the biggest interest Erdogan has besides the desire to remain in power is to avoid empowering the Kurdish minority within Turkey. Unlike the Palestinians, the Kurds have a much longer claim to their land stretching from northern Syria across southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq to Iran. One commonality between Erdogan and his secular predecessors has been the oppression of the Kurds in Turkey and their nationalist aims. The no-fly zone established in northern Iraq after the first Gulf War led to autonomy under Saddam and later the post-Saddam Iraqi government. Iraqi Kurds are as close to independent as Kurds have ever been, and their Syrian, Iranian and Turkish cousins recognize this.

From Erdogan’s perspective the decimation of the Syrian Kurds by the Islamic State (IS) is welcome. It weakens the Kurdish cause by reducing the number of Kurds in the region. Plus the Syrian Kurds were also strong supporters of the PKK, Turkey’s al-Qaida. From the realist perspective Erdogan will not act against IS on behalf of the Kurds unless there is an even greater, more pressing interest to do so.

And that’s the problem. Current American and European leadership is run by idealists not by realists. American and Europeans leaders simply do not understand why Erdogan and to more worrying degree Vladimir Putin act the way they do. To them bombing Kurds in Turkey instead of IS in Syria makes absolutely no sense just as annexing Crimea and dismembering Ukraine. They do not see the world the way Erdogan and Putin do, but realists do. Realists recognize that Putin and Erdogan will only act when the pressure applied to them is real and painful.

For Erdogan that pressure should include Turkey’s rejection from NATO and any possible future admittance to the EU under his regime. If Turkey acts in its own interests, so should the EU and the United States. The truth is that instead of being a beacon of secular Islam as Turkey once was, Turkey under Erdogan has become just another corrupt, Islamic Middle Eastern dictatorship with caliphate dreams. Turkey has condoned the rise of IS as well as backed other terrorist groups such as Hamas. It has kept a tight leash on the American base in Incirlik, preventing it from participating in the second Gulf War and in attacks on IS.

More at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was Volokh Conspiracy’sCan ministers who make a living by conducting weddings be required to conduct same-sex weddings? submitted by Rhymes with Right. The piece examines the latest bit of bullying by same sex marriage advocates.

Here are this week’s full results. The Right Planet, The Independent Sentinel and Ask Marion were not able to vote this time out. None were affected by the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

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?

10/22/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations : ‘You Usta be My Girl’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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The president hasn’t been invited to do too much campaigning for his fellow Democrats this year. In fact, they have pretty much treated the idea of him making an appearance on their behalf like the president was suffering from Ebola.

One of the rare exceptions was Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who’s seeking the governor’s seat in Maryland. He thought it would be a great idea to have the president as a headliner at a campaign event to gin up black turnout. Instead, the largely black crowd in Maryland streamed for the exits while the president was still reading his speech to them off of the teleprompter.

The story was so embarrassing that Facebook actually blocked the link to a Yahoo news story about what happened like this:

And anyone attempting to post the story on their own Facebook account got this message:

This week’s edition gets its title from the variation of the title of an old O’Jay’s tune that was undoubtedly echoing in President Barack Hussein Obama’s head as he watched the crowd walk out on him and remembered happier days. They did usta be his girl (or another word I could think of), after all, but some of them are apparently getting tired of the same old song.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The MidKnight Review, Changing Wind.Org, Blazing Cat Fur and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

10/17/14

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 10/17/14


Obama declares November 4th a National Day of Quarantine


Grand Opening: AirEbola Airlines


Ebola Not Contagious Until After Nov. 4 Election, Says CDGC

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“Money doesn’t talk, it screams.” – Bob Dylan

“Alliance – in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.” – Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Close alliances with despots are never safe for free states.” – Demosthenes

A great deal of attention is being placed in some circles lately about the funding and support terrorist organizations like Hamas and ISIS are getting from certain nations in the Muslim world. This week’s winner, The Noisy Room’sThe Brookings Institution and Qatar – The Money, Power and Influence Behind Global Terror, addresses the role played by one of these countries in a lucid and informative piece that you definitely need to read. Here’s a slice:

In 2012, when a revised agreement was signed between Brookings and the Qatari government, the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself praised the agreement on its website, announcing that “the center will assume its role in reflecting the bright image of Qatar in the international media, especially the American ones.” Brookings officials have also admitted that they have regular meetings with Qatari government officials about the center’s activities and budget. And, no surprise here, the former Qatari prime minister sits on the center’s advisory board.

Former US envoy Martin Indyk, John Kerry’s Middle East peace envoy, in his capacity as Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, cashed a $14.8 million check from Qatar this past year. The Brookings Institution’s Board is composed of distinguished business executives, academics, former government officials and community leaders — from both sides of the political spectrum. Brookings was involved in recent negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a definite conflict of interest since Qatar is widely known to fund terror in the West Bank, specifically, Hamas. Known as the preeminent sponsor of terror in the world today with their deep, deep pockets, Qatar has interests, both economic and political, with terrorists on a global scale.

Qatar is a benefactor of the genocidal armies of ISIS, al Qaeda and Boko Haram. They are involved in the trafficking of Taliban heroin through a strategic relationship with the Pakistani National Logistics Cell. Furthermore, the Qatari ruling elite profit from operating a virtual slave state, which has accepted as a fait accompli that 4,000 migrant workers will die constructing soccer stadiums for the 2022 World Cup (to be held in Doha). The ruling Al-Thani family has leveraged its relationships with violent Jihadi groups to prop up Qatar economically and politically; to the detriment of the United States, her allies and world peace. Since the Brookings Institution has a direct economic relationship with Qatar, it indicates they are not a valid, bipartisan think tank… but rather a clearing house for the funding of terror and the rise of the genocidal Islamic State.

Some background on Indyk is in order. Martin Indyk is a notorious Progressive. He was also on the Council of Foreign Relations and was Deputy Research Director for AIPAC. He is known as the framer of the US policy of dual containment which sought to ‘contain’ Iraq and Iran. Indyk was the first United States ambassador to be stripped of a security clearance. He was ambassador to Israel. Indyk was under investigation for improperly handling sensitive material at the time. His clearance was restored a month later, in October 2000, by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

One year after 9/11, the United States government decided to cozy up with Qatar. The Brookings Institution – a large, renowned think tank based in Washington, DC – founded the US-Islamic World Forum (US-IWF) with the nation of Qatar.

From the Brookings website:

The forum was launched in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Its goal was the development of research and outreach programs designed to improve US relations with Muslim states and communities. A particular challenge in that moment of tension and frustration was the virtual absence of dialogue between leaders of the United States and the Muslim world.

The formation of these outreach programs was more akin to an open invitation to bribery, spying and subversion, than improving American relations with Muslim-majority nations.

The New York Times penned an article in September of this year that outlines the influence of foreign governments through the stealth funding of US-based think tanks. The Brookings Institution is not alone by any means; however, their history of powerful connections to the White House and military analysts and brass makes them a shining star in the orbit of Qatar’s heady influence.

Qatari money buys conclusions reached by Brookings scholars in their research – conclusions that are dictated by the financier. In Qatar’s case, one that forwards totalitarian-Sharia law and a global reach for power and control. It is the prostitution of intellectual reason and financed propaganda. These think tanks are not transparent concerning their agreements with foreign governments. They have also not registered with the US government as representatives of a foreign, donor country, which is a violation of federal law. It is widely held that the practice could violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the 1938 federal law that sought to combat a Nazi propaganda campaign in the United States. Not for nothing, the Muslim Brotherhood came to maturity at the same time as, and often in direct contact with, the Nazi Party of Germany.

The Brookings Institution is a major recipient of overseas funds, producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States government officials that typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas. Brookings’ 2014, $14.8 million, four-year donation, from Qatar, will help fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar, as well as a project regarding United States relations with the Islamic world. Who needs a bloody coup, when you can buy influence? The funding, which amounts to an open bribe, hushes up the criticism of research groups on Qatar and their political dealings and legal/religious systems.

From The New York Times:

“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story,” said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.”

Qatar hosts two massive US military bases, which are viewed as central to Qatar’s own national security. They have been especially generous in their giving to American think tanks, attempting to buy influence and sway opinion. A backer of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Qatar maintains that a Muslim Brotherhood-style political Islam is the Arab world’s best hope for democracy and they seem to have many allies in DC, including Barack Obama, who supported the Qatari-backed efforts in Egypt and Libya.

An anonymous donor at Brookings, with ties to the Turkish government, made a strong statement to a scholar there who made critical statements about Qatar by suspending their support and their money. “It is the self-censorship that really affects us over time,” the scholar said. “But the fund-raising environment is very difficult at the moment, and Brookings keeps growing and it has to support itself.” The Qatari government is the single, biggest foreign donor to Brookings. Of course, the powers-that-be at Brookings claim they have cited strict internal policies that they claim ensure their scholars’ work is “not influenced by the views of our funders,” in Qatar or in Washington. But, as evidenced by numerous insider accounts and bolstered by Brookings’ implicit backing of Qatar’s Arab Spring, big money not only talks, it controls, too.

Mr. Ali, who served as one of the first visiting fellows at the Brookings Doha Center after it opened in 2009, said such a policy, though unwritten, was clear:

“There was a no-go zone when it came to criticizing the Qatari government,” said Mr. Ali, who is now a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. “It was unsettling for the academics there. But it was the price we had to pay.

In a recent report appearing in the UK-based Telegraph, both Qatar and Kuwait were singled out for openly, and even avidly, aiding fundraising efforts for genocidal Islamic State/ISIS terrorists who are currently engaged in fierce clashes with the Syrian army alongside Israel on the Golan Heights. With Qatar’s open financing of Hamas, their ties to the Brookings Institution are even more suspect. Qatar has also been used as a proxy in Obama’s war in Syria — they are the main sponsor of the Syrian insurgency.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the always fascinating Michael Totten with From Havana to Hanoi, submitted by Joshuapundit. Having returned from Cuba a short while ago, Totten’s next stop was Vietnam, where he compared what he saw in Havana, where socialism is still practiced with Hanoi, which has largely ditched it at least economically and where the ruling order encourages capitalism and entrepreneurial enterprise.

Here are this week’s full results. The Independent Sentinel and Ask Marion were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

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?

10/16/14

The Convention of States (COS) would undermine the Constitution

By: Stephen C. Eldridge

The COS is often marketed and sold with superficial, nice-sounding verbiage like “Wouldn’t you like the States to have the power to rein in the runaway federal government?” No person who believes in our Constitution’s core principle of very limited federal government would answer “No” to that question.

However, the principal purpose heard for a COS, Article V, “Con-Con”, etc, is to adopt a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) – how could any Conservative possibly be against balancing the budget? But, BBA is only superficially about balancing the budget – its principal purpose is to undermine our original Constitution’s extreme limitations on the powers of the federal government.

If a BBA is enacted, the original Constitution’s limitations on federal powers (Article I, Section 8 and the 10th Amendment) would become even less relevant than they have already become. Congress could point to the BBA and safely aver that their spending is Constitutional , as long as it is within the BBA’s dollar limitations  – whether that limit be an amount equal to tax revenues, plus all the money that Congress can borrow or print, or an amount equal to (say) 20% of Gross Domestic Product. ALL of these artificial limits are stated in terms of a dollar limit and completely ignore and override Article I, section 8’s limitations to specifically delegated federal powers.  The BBA thus creates a new, more Progressive Constitution in which the federal government may now spend money on (and thereby engage in) any activity it chooses.

COS proponents also try to assuage our fears that Congress would find a way to violate even those (new, more Progressive )spending limits.  They offer us the additional “assurance”, that Congress could not raise those (new, more Progressive) limits or raise taxes, without the prior approval of the States.  While that may sound comforting superficially, it does not comport with real life. Congress would extort the States into raising those (new, more Progressive) limits or into raising taxes by threatening to reduce federal  payments to the States, while leaving all federal mandates on the States in place (or threatening to  increase them).

The core problem is that Congress spends far more money than the original Constitution would permit, and even more than allowed by  later unconstitutional extensions of the Constitution (e.g., SCOTUS’ cowardly approval of Social Security under FDR’s threat to pack the court, and Obamacare), because it spends money on activities not permitted by the original Constitution. Voters need to press their members in Congress to squeeze the giant federal genie back into the little lamp. A BBA does not cure the problem, but would only make it far worse.  To paraphrase activist  Jeff Lewis , a BBA is the wrong solution to the wrong problem..

10/15/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – #Hashtag Edition!

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

This week, The MidKnight Review, The Pirate’s Cove, The Gates Of Vienna and The Other McCain earned honorable mention status with some great articles. You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries. To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy!

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.

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