11/6/13

Did I Say a “Tangle”

Arlene from Israel

“A Tangled Affair,” actually. Yesterday. I’ve rethought this and decided “morass” might be a better term for what Israel is dealing with in her relations with the PA, and with the US.

This is one of those political sagas that is going to go on, and on, and on. So, I’ll attempt to be brief here, as I provide an update on some of the matters I touched upon yesterday. Tomorrow there may be another story.

First, please note, Secretary of State Kerry is here and laid a wreath at Rabin Square (in commemoration of the 18 years since Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated). At the ceremony, he declared that he will stand by Israel “every step of the way.”

Touches your heart, doesn’t it? No? Maybe it gives you heartburn?

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Kerry likely does not know that Rabin, who signed on to the Oslo Accords with considerable reluctance, made it clear before he died that he was not for a full Palestinian state, but something lesser, some sort of autonomy. Those of you who saw the signing ceremony on the White House lawn on TV may remember Rabin’s moment of hesitation – disgust, actually – before he girded himself to take Arafat’s hand.

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A report coming from Maariv indicates that the Obama administration is attempting to link Iran with the “peace talks.”

It’s not new. This nonsense has been going on for some time.

What Maariv reports now is that, according to US sources, both Kerry and Obama have delivered the message to Netanyahu that if he makes “progress” on the “peace process,” then “it will be easier for the US to support Israel’s position.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/173679

In point of fact there is no linkage between the two issues, except insofar as Obama wishes to create one. If maintaining strong sanctions on Iran is a good thing to do – for the sake of the US and the world, not as a favor to Israel, for heaven’s sake – then it is a good thing to do whether Netanyahu makes “progress” in negotiations or not.

Yes, this is blackmail – in line with, but not as severe as what Caroline Glick suggested. And yes, this might be a factor in Netanyahu’s continued involvement in those “negotiations.”

Would Kerry like to repeat that again, with a straight face – the business of being by Israel’s side?

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If there is any mitigating factor, it is that the US administration is reported by Maariv to be making efforts to avoid a confrontation with Israel. I suggest this would not play well with Congress or large parts of the American electorate. This suggests a need for maximum strength and resilience from our side. If the US is going to push just so hard, they need to encounter maximum resistance.

Yesterday I wrote that we need to implore Netanyahu to hold fast with regard to Israel’s rights. I want to reiterate this here, even more emphatically. Please, let the prime minister hear from you. Keep your message short, avoid speeches and history lessons – and be courteous. Let him know that you truly do stand with him as he exhibits strength and stands up for Israel’s rights. Tell him this is not the time for more concessions, which would be a disaster and serve only to weaken Israel.

[email protected] and also [email protected]t.pmo.gov.il (underscore after pm) use both addresses.

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I’m picking up rumors, still, about US intentions to attempt to push a solution, with Kerry coming back here with his own version of a deal. If Obama and company do intend to try this, I admit, it causes a certain unease and definitely has the potential to raise blood pressure.

But in the end I am confident that no “deal” can be reached – especially not a deal that is pushed down the parties’ throats. And I want to reassure my readers on this score.

The gaps are simply too great, and all the pushing in the world will not create a bridge that will hold.

Jerusalem is a prime example. The Palestinian Arabs insist that Jerusalem must be their capital as well. But there is exceedingly strong feeling, within our nation and within our government, regarding Jerusalem undivided as Israel’s eternal capital. Even Yair Lapid, who tilts left and is for “two states,” was quoted today by the JPost as opposing the division of Jerusalem. Such a division, by the way, would by law require a national referendum and is not something that can be accomplished by Livni behind closed doors.

And then there is the issue of the Jordan Valley, which Netanyahu insists we must retain for security reasons. He refuses to consider international troops, for very good reason. There are reports that he wants to build a security fence along the Jordanian border in the Valley to prevent infiltration by terrorists from our east. (Remember, tens of thousands of Syrians are now in Jordan as refugees and who knows how many of these are jihadists.)

The PA is adamant that Israel cannot have it and cannot even station troops there.

See: “Israel-Palestinian talks: Why fate of Jordan Valley is key”:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24802623

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Please, also see Khaled Abu Toameh’s latest on this issue of negotiations, “We do not trust the Americans” (emphasis added):

“As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embarks on a fresh mission to prevent the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Palestinian Authority [PA] appears to be doing its utmost to internationalize the conflict with Israel.

“The Palestinians want other international parties, especially the European Union, United Nations and Russia, to play a major role in the current U.S.-sponsored peace talks.

“…The PA’s biggest fear is that Washington will try to impose a solution that would certainly fail to win the backing of most Palestinians and Arabs.

“A forced solution, Palestinians warn, would also severely undermine the credibility of the PA leadership, whose leaders would be accused by many Palestinians and Arabs of capitulating to American pressure and threats.

“…Kerry and his team are evidently unaware of the fact that neither Abbas, whose term of office expired several years ago, nor any other Palestinian leader is authorized to make real concessions to Israel.

“The last time the Americans tried to extract concessions from a Palestinian leader was in the year 2000, when President Bill Clinton dragged Yasser Arafat to Camp David and exerted heavy pressure on him to accept Ehud Barak’s offer to hand over to the Palestinians most of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

“The result of the U.S. pressure was that Arafat ran away and within a few weeks Palestinians launched the Second Intifada against Israel; Abbas, in Arabic, has already threatened as much.

“Today, the PA is already facing growing criticism for agreeing to return to the negotiating table unconditionally three months ago. Palestinian leaders have justified their decision by arguing that Kerry forced them to drop their pre-conditions and resume the peace talks with Israel.

“‘We want the Americans to be involved in the peace process,’ said a senior aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. ‘But the U.S. should focus its pressure on the Israelis and not on us. We want the Americans to force Israel to accept the two-state solution and dismantle all the illegal settlements.’

“Palestinian Authority officials say they are now convinced that the U.S. administration has no intention to force Israel to comply with all the demands of the Palestinian negotiators, including a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines…”

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4046/palestinians-americans-trust

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I have been writing consistently that Abbas cannot surrender any of the PA demands. He has neither the popular backing nor the political legitimacy to do so. And – I say this with all seriousness – were he to attempt to surrender what he is not empowered to surrender he might risk his life.

It may well be that Kerry and his team are not aware that Abbas is not in a position to make concessions. But consider what breathtaking diplomatic incompetency this suggests.

And please understand that this scenario guarantees there will be no diplomatic resolution.

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No resolution. But violence? Yes. That is exceedingly likely. Abu Toameh, in his piece, above, referred to what Abbas has already said in Arabic. It is this, described by Ruthie Blum:

“Until now, Abbas has been tight-lipped about the hush-hush two-state solution discussions in which his negotiating team is ostensibly invested. And though he has made an effort to come off as more moderate than his terrorist predecessor, Yasser Arafat, he occasionally lets his true ill intentions slip. On Monday, as always, he did this in Arabic. After all, he could not risk being too upfront with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday.

“What Abu Mazen [Abbas] told his cronies in the Fatah Revolutionary Committee was that the negotiations are significantly deadlocked. No surprise there. But the words to follow are noteworthy. ‘The situation,’ he said, ‘is liable to be explosive.’

“According to Yehezkeli [Channel 10 Arab affairs commentator Zvi Yehezkeli], the phrase Abbas used in Arabic can also be interpreted as ‘the situation is explosive.’

“Translations aside, Abbas was not merely being careless, linguistically or otherwise. He was effectually giving a green light for an eruption of violence against Israelis. This is something he has been doing indirectly, through the PA-controlled media. But saying it outright is unusual for him, since he always tries to remain above the fanatical fray by hiding behind his tailored suit and silk tie…” (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=6203

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There were reports today of the PA insisting it was withdrawing from negotiations because Israel was not being forthcoming enough and was continuing to build:

“A senior Palestinian official, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP that the Palestinians would refuse to continue the talks as long as Jewish settlement on the West Bank proliferates.’ The Palestinian-Israeli negotiations broke down during the session on Tuesday night,’ the official said.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4450182,00.html

But the Arabs are masters at making threats that they don’t follow through on. If I had a shekel for every time Abbas said he was quitting, I’d be a rich woman. My first thought on hearing this was that the threat was made with an eye towards Kerry, in the hopes something would be offered as an “inducement” to keep them negotiating. Isn’t that the way the Obama administration plays it?

Kerry was in Bethlehem today, where he met Abbas. And what do you know? He announced “his intention to transfer $75 million to the Palestinian Authority in order to create new jobs, improve roads, schools and other infrastructure”?

“US officials said the aid is designed to boost Palestinian public support for faltering peace talks.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4450320,00.html

My guess is that they’ll take the money even as they will retain their negative opinions about the “peace process.” They’re not bought that easily. But Abbas will probably stay at the table.

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And there’s more, for Kerry also said: “We consider now, and have always considered, the settlements to be illegitimate.” He’s correct, this has been the US position — it’s not new. But he states it now for Abbas’s sake.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/173689

My response: Thank Heaven we’ve begun the Levy Report Campaign (which is just now revving up). It makes Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria clear.

Note, even Kerry is careful not to say the “settlements” are “illegal.” They’re not.

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There is something good that happened today. Avigdor Leiberman – who had had a trial because of charges of corruption brought against him – was acquitted unanimously of all charges today.

Credit: AP

PM Netanyahu had been saving the position of Foreign Minister for him, and now he can assume it.

What I like about Lieberman, aside from the fact that he moves towards the right, is his tendency to be straightforward and tell it like it is. He doesn’t play games. He is considered “undiplomatic” because of this, but I find him a refreshing change and consider him a welcome addition to the government.

“Lieberman himself is not against a two-state solution in principle but believes it can’t be achieved in this generation, with these Palestinian leaders, and within the current climate of upheaval in the Middle East. For the past few years, Lieberman has been leading a campaign against PA President Mahmoud Abbas…” (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=6229

The PA has already voiced displeasure at Lieberman’s return to politics.

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So much, so much, to examine and write about…

11/6/13

Legal doesn’t always make it right

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

While interacting with total strangers via social forums such as Facebook I’ll run across folks who throw down a gauntlet, challenge my better judgment to avoid confrontations which only serve to inflame all parties involved. This happened earlier this evening and it’s been brewing in the back of my mind ever since, enough to where a short comment, retaliation if you will, wouldn’t be sufficient.

Today is the 5th of November, Guy Fawkes Day if you’ve studied history. I watched the movie, V for Vendetta, in keeping with the spirit of Guy Fawkes Day. There’s a plea for sanity, a plea for restoration of lost liberty which strikes a chord within me when V interrupts the national propaganda program with his unauthorized broadcast.

“I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak…Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?”

There is something terribly wrong with America, isn’t there? Those who’ve been sent to represent ‘We The People’ have distanced themselves from the standards which at one time made America great. They’ve twisted our laws to make what is right appear to be wrong and what is wrong appear to be right; prophetic some might say.

John Adams wrote in a letter to the Militia of Massachusetts:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Follow that with a line from William Penn:

“Those who will not be Governed by God will be Ruled by Tyrants”

Sadly, history has proven this to be true; just look around. Our republic has been under attack for quite some time. The foundations of morality in America have taken a back seat to an agenda which rolls forward on the wings of mandated tolerance to deviance and forced acceptance of depravity hiding under the cloak of diversity. There is no sin if everything is legal; at least that’s what is being foisted upon us.

Aye, that’s the ticket, Laddie, if we declare everything legal there is no such thing as sin, no right or wrong. Isn’t that the rationalization regarding abominations which are now called the law of the land?

“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.” 2 Nephi 2:13

Tolerance and diversity, we’ve been instructed, include a wide range of activities; every thing from sexual deviations, now considered life style choices, all the way to murdering innocents while they’re still in the womb; but it’s all legal so don’t concern yourself.

Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote:

“America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Election cycles provide opportunities for us, individually and collectively, to either follow the commandments as set forth by our Creator or to pursue another path, one which runs contrary to God’s laws.

I remember reading a line written by Martin Luther King Jr. while he was being held in a Birmingham jail. His purpose was to point out that “a group of white Alabama clergymen that legalizing an act does not ipso facto make it moral or just.”

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal”.

It’s also the 1st Tuesday of November, Election Day on an off year. Not much going on in Texas at this time that would interest folks, at least not at the national level; but that hasn’t kept political discussions from getting heated with a variety of topics.

Wendy Davis, State Senator who wants to be governor of Texas when that comes up before the voters next year made national headlines when she delayed a ‘slam dunk’ vote regarding how abortions would be performed here in Texas. The news media lapped it up, providing plenty of extra coverage of Davis’ fist pump for down trodden women shackled by mean spirited old white Republicans.

Never mind that the restrictions which she and many progressives opposed were written in such a way as to provide additional protection for women seeking abortions. The left wants abortions to continue regardless of risk, citing a woman’s right rather than considering any plan which calls for caution.

The rights of the child are never considered by the left in their rush to slaughter babies; but they don’t consider these life forms as individuals with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; these are lumps of unwanted cells, nothing more. Never mind that these ‘unwanted cells’ could survive outside the womb upon reaching the third trimester; the image of a small human dependent on being properly nurtured is not permitted in this conversation.

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who staged a filibuster against abortion restrictions, has begun telling supporters she will run for governor against a well-financed Republican in what could be one of the top matchups in the 2014 U.S. elections.”

That brings me to this evenings comment thread wherein someone took exception to my observation.

“I don’t believe Wendy Davis ever thought she could ‘win’ the governor’s race here in Texas; however, and this is my own belief, she is trying to garner enough national recognition to perhaps advance to a national appointment under a Hillary Clinton presidency or even perhaps the lame duck Obama administration since she waves her radical leftist flag where ever she goes.”

I’ll ascribe the response to an ‘anonymous’ person with a penchant for ignoring morality in favor of a democratically derived version of tolerance through law.

“…a woman’s right to a constitutionally guaranteed medical procedure (constitutional through Roe V. Wade) and your only comment is that she is waving her radical leftist flag.”

The comment doesn’t try to justify murdering an innocent child in the womb during the third trimester or an attempt to provide proper medical facilities for those seeking this procedure; but rather stands on the presumption that simply because abortion laws were deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court… the law makes it right, morally sound, and let’s not forget, acceptable in the eyes of the Lord. My guess, this person would be offended by such an expectation of laws here in America in this day and age.

There was no point in continuing the dead end conversation, no common ground, no chance to work out our differences through consideration of each others thoughts. Sometimes it’s better to walk away; arguing with the godless is a waste of time.

Legal doesn’t always make it right; consider that as we watch America’s future leaders, those who write the laws we will be judged by in the eternal scheme of things.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”

11/6/13

Rob Maness: A Conservative You Can Trust in Louisiana?

By: Susan Knowles
Gulag Bound

us-senate-sealHow many times have we heard conservative Republicans say that they had to cast a vote for the “lesser of two evils” in an election against a Democratic candidate simply because there wasn’t a real conservative in the race?

We saw it in the 2008 election against President Obama when many conservative Republicans out of frustration voted for a moderate (progressive in the opinion of some), Senator John McCain. We saw a repeat in 2012, when conservatives once again, threw up their hands and cast a vote for Mitt Romney, knowing that he was a moderate.

Bill CassidyIt appears that Louisiana could fall into the same trap with the upcoming U.S. Senate race in 2014 by supporting William “Bill” Cassidy’s bid to replace the Democratic incumbent.

Cassidy’s background is that of a physician who tends to reach across the aisle in co-sponsoring bills with Democrats. Cassidy’s political career began in 2006, when he won a special election for District 16 in the Louisiana State Senate race. He defeated a fellow Republican for the seat. He was then re-elected in 2007 for a full four year term.

In 2008, Cassidy was elected to the United States House of Representatives, Sixth District of Louisiana Senate election after he defeated the Democrat incumbent. Many have speculated, however, that Cassidy would have lost the race but for the votes being split for an African-American candidate that pulled votes away from the Democrat senator. Cassidy went on to win a 2010 mid-term election against a Democrat. His win helped the Republicans regain the House of Representatives after four years of Democratic control. He defended his seat again in 2012.

Cassidy has announced that he will run in 2014 for the U.S. Senate against third-term Democrat Mary Landrieu, considered to be one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate.

Will a vote for Cassidy be yet another “lesser of two evils” vote? Considering that Cassidy once supported Democrats, reaches across the aisle, and even donated to Mary Landrieu’s campaign, it seems that the answer would be a resounding yes!

Maness-RobCould Republican Rob Maness, who is also running for the 2014 Senate seat offer a better solution and be a genuine conservative that the Republicans have been looking for?

Rob Maness, and not Congressman Bill Cassidy, was just endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund. They believe that Maness has the best chance of defeating Democrat U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu because “he is not a Washington insider.”

But who is Maness and does he offer an alternative to the same old candidate that professes to be a conservative but ends up being a moderate in the long run?

Maness-Col_RobertRob Maness retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 2011 after 32 years of service. The Senate Conservatives Fund touts Maness as a “constitutional conservative.” They feel that he “understands the value of our freedoms and will fight to repeal Obamacare and stop massive spending, bailouts, and the debt that are bankrupting our country.”

The Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization based upon the principles of a limited government, opposes the Affordable Care Act. It also takes responsibility for helping to elect Republican Senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Deb Fischer of Nebraska in 2012.

This same organization is also backing Matt Bevin in his bid in the primaries against Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The organization raised millions for the successful 2012 elections and is raising similar funds for the upcoming 2014 elections of Matt Bevin and Rob Maness.

Will the money that the Senate Conservatives Fund raises be enough to get a relatively unknown new comer to the political arena elected over a long-time incumbent who at least has a track record as a politician?

One thing is for certain. Action is required in order to change the GOP from a party of moderates into a party of conservatives. Unless conservatives get the word out about Maness and then go out and vote for him, no amount of money will make a difference.

Knowles-Freedoms-Flight ————-

Note: Susan Knowles is an author, psychotherapist and former practicing attorney. Her latest book, a political fiction, is entitled, “Freedom’s Fight: A Call to Remember” available on Amazon.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com, where one may also find this article.

References:

Photos:

11/6/13

Grand Theft Obama: The Biggest Heist in U.S. History

By: James Simpson
Accuracy in Media

Our nation is being stolen before our very eyes. The American people are being robbed of their livelihoods, their security and their freedom. President Obama makes grand sweeping gestures and delivers soaring rhetoric about helping the poor and achieving fairness. But he merely draws our attention away from the hand that is reaching deep into our pockets. Such is the nature of his extremist legislative agenda. Call it Grand Theft Obama, but it is no video game; this is for real.

And it is not merely monetary theft, as is apparent from Obamacare. America is being fundamentally transformed, as Obama promised. This is one promise that he clearly intends to keep, no matter how many people lose their health insurance policies, their jobs, or their productive futures.

Even the liberal media have been forced to acknowledge President Obama’s lies regarding the Affordable Care Act, especially the whopper about being able to keep your own health insurance policy.

Consider what we have learned so far as the lies are being exposed:

While some of this is now being discussed and debated, the revelations come three years after the passage of the health care legislation. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi famously said they would have to pass the legislation to find out what was in it, but the media should not have used that same excuse. They failed in their jobs to uncover the hidden costs and real agenda. They failed, in other words, to do their jobs.

Simply put, they took Obama at his word—that he just wanted to help the poor. His actual agenda was political power.

For the most part, until the Obamacare lies became a national story, Obama was aided and abetted in this process by the institutionally corrupt and ideologically driven mass media. They attack, smear, and assassinate the character of anyone with the gall to speak the truth. Today’s media do not provide information, but misinformation. As Pat Caddell famously said, the mainstream media have literally become the “enemy of the American people.”

For modern-day progressives, lying is not merely something one does to avoid getting caught, lying is tradecraft. Thus our President lies. But these are no ordinary lies; they are grand, sweeping, all-encompassing lies. He says exactly the opposite of truth, consistently, to confuse people, and tops it off by accusing his opponents of doing what he does.

This may sound harsh, but Obamacare provides the proof.

Media Malpractice

During the 2008 election one commenter stated, “It’s like running against God. The media have anointed him.” Clinton campaign manager Terry McAuliffe claimed 90 percent of the media were behind Obama. This was reflected in the unwillingness of the major media, such as The Washington Post, to subject candidate Obama to elementary vetting. Hence, his relationship with Communist Frank Marshall Davis and backing from the Democratic Socialists of America were topics considered off-limits. Even some conservatives in the media thought Obama would turn out to be a centrist.

The important film “Media Malpractice” catalogs the breathtaking conspiracy of media advocacy for Barack Obama during the 2008 election.

This may be changing, judging by media reporting on the Obamacare lies and the belated coverage by the CBS “60 Minutes” program of the official lies about what caused the Benghazi terror attacks.

Shutdown Police State Tactics

To understand how lies drive the administration’s policies and agenda, consider the coverage of the recent government “shutdown.” From what you probably heard in the media, Republicans forced the government shutdown. Actually, Republicans provided funding for most government activities except the problematic Obamacare. Obama orchestrated the shutdown to pin blame on Republicans and improve chances for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives in 2014. With media help, the strategy worked perfectly.

Unlike previous shutdowns, agencies got specific orders to “make life as difficult for people as we can.” In many cases this actually cost the government more than if they left things running. Breitbart compiled a list of 47 outrages the Obama administration committed to pressure Republicans, while Obama consistently refused to negotiate. This list included:

Finally, Obama furloughed intelligence operatives, putting our entire nation at risk, according to his own Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

When protests over one aspect of the shutdown, the barricades in front of the monuments, became too impossible to ignore, the media smeared the protesters. Leftist “comedian” Bill Maher said, “[WW II veterans are] the greatest generation—nobody said they were the brightest generation.” Radio host Bill Press called veterans of the Million Vets March “Idiots.” Meanwhile Democrats called Republicans everything including jihadists, arsonists, blackmailers, and terrorists running around with bombs strapped to their chest.

As a result, the conventional wisdom is that Republicans have suffered from the shutdown. The “conventional wisdom” is provided by the media, and their often-skewed polls designed to exaggerate that effect.

Debt Limit Brinkmanship

Prior to the latest debt limit agreement, Obama threatened to default on the federal debt—sending jitters through financial markets. It would have been the first default in history. Obama’s Treasury Department also issued a report titled, The Potential Macroeconomic Effect of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship. But President Obama was the one engaged in “brinkmanship,” even while accusing Republicans of doing so.

To avoid default, the government needs only to pay interest, about $35 billion per month. The Treasury collects about $250 billion per month, more than enough. But Obama claimed he didn’t have the authority.

To call him on it, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, making the authority explicit, but Obama promised to veto it—implicitly admitting he could avoid default if he wanted. But Obama was willing to threaten a major financial collapse to achieve short-term political objectives.

However, all we heard from the media was a non-stop barrage of angry “news” reports accusing Republicans of trying to destroy the economy.

Stimulating his Cronies

Obama’s background as a “community organizer” was well-known when he ran for the presidency. But less well-known was his role as a board member of five non-profits in the 1990s, when he used his position to shower money on friends and political associates. When he later ran for office, they returned the favor. President Obama has applied this corrupt, Chicago machine method on a national level, most spectacularly with his so-called “economic stimulus,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The secret goal of the stimulus was to execute Obama’s political agenda. The bill was originally crafted by Obama transition staff and congressional Democrats almost as soon as he was elected. It recommended a Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RATB), to oversee disbursement of stimulus money, and incredibly, gave RATB power to block IG investigations into their activities. Subsequent events demonstrate why the “most transparent administration in history” needed RATB.

In 2004, the Apollo Alliance—a constellation of radical leftist labor, environmental, civil rights, business, and political leaders—was specifically created to direct “green jobs” funding. Its New York branch was led by Jeff Jones, a former Weatherman terrorist and friend of “Bomber Bill” Ayers. He quit when his identity was revealed.

Yet, Apollo’s national steering committee had included Van Jones, the former communist who was Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” until exposed by Trevor Loudon and Glenn Beck and forced to resign. Jones landed back on his feet, as a “fellow” at the Center for American Progress and later as a co-host on CNN’s new “Crossfire” show.

The fate of Van Jones is instructive. No matter how disgraced they become, Obama’s leftist allies never give up and always maintain their credibility with the media. Likewise, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who left four Americans to die at Benghazi, is running for president in 2016, with media interest and encouragement. Even Republican Senator John McCain (AZ) makes headlines by saying she did a good job, except for Benghazi.

The Green Jobs Scam

Although the Solyndra bankruptcy served as a glimpse into the use of tax dollars for political purposes in order to benefit Obama’s cronies, the story is not over. In total, $150 billion, including $80 billion from the stimulus, is supposed to be spent on “green energy” projects between 2009 and 2014.

So far, 33 companies that were provided $7.4 billion in tax dollars have either gone bankrupt, are declaring bankruptcy or are on the edge. And this is just the beginning. Even The Washington Post agrees that the entire “green energy” program has been “infused with politics,” with Obama supporters invested in green energy companies selected for stimulus funds, and others joining the administration to oversee the program.

But we have to dig deeper, in terms of the effect on the economy. President Obama promised that the “stimulus” would “create or save” 3.5 million jobs by 2011 and that the unemployment rate would never rise above 8.5 percent. His economic advisors predicted that unemployment could rise to 8.8 percent if the stimulus was not enacted.

A 2011 study by the Mercatus Center showed just how wrong they were. Chart 1 compares the President’s forecast unemployment rates assuming the stimulus bill was passed (blue), and the unemployment rates that actually obtained (red).

Chart 1

The President’s advisors further forecast that by 2012, unemployment would be down to 6.0 percent. The official civilian unemployment rate is now 7.3 percent.

By any objective measure, the Obama policies have failed. But were they designed to succeed? Or just benefit Obama and his allies?

The more accurate measure of unemployment includes discouraged workers—those who have given up looking for work. This stands at 13.7 percent, more than six percentage points higher than the official rate. Furthermore, the gap between the official rate and the discouraged worker rate has grown, suggesting that a greater proportion of the working age population is staying out of the labor force. (See Chart 2).

Chart 2

Obamacare Could Cost Over $1 Trillion Per Year

With the media finally paying attention to the lies that gave rise to Obamacare, it is worth taking a detailed look at this program, dubbed Obama’s “signature” legislation.

The number of lies, deceptions and payoffs that went into enacting Obamacare could fill an encyclopedia. People who criticize Senator Ted Cruz for his historic 21 hour Senate speech should recognize that he focused the nation like a laser beam on Obamacare’s many flaws. His stand was vindicated by the seemingly endless series of stories now appearing about not only the Obamacare website malfunctions but the millions of Americans losing the health policies they were promised they could keep.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially estimated Obamacare’s 10-year cost at under $1 trillion. They dishonestly counted costs from 2010, though the program wouldn’t officially start until 2014. And with $900 billion in “savings” from increased taxes and Medicare cuts, Obamacare would be free! As humorist P.J. O’Rourke quipped, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

CBO’s projected cost for 2014 to 2023 is $2.5 trillion. But the CBO ignored additional burdens faced by businesses and individuals that government does not pay. This and other factors could raise the 10-year cost to over $6 trillion.

Even this doesn’t tell the full story. Market distortions and future law changes are sure to add more costs as Obamacare is likely to be transformed into a single-payer system as in Britain, where expenditures have grown 1,000 percent since the program began. Currently they spend $170 billion annually, serving a population of 53 million. Extended to America’s 315 million people, it would cost $1.2 trillion per year.

Whatever the final cost, Obamacare will not save money. According to a Senate Budget Committee report, Obamacare will add $17 trillion to the government’s unfunded mandates over the next 75 years, raising the total to $82 trillion, including Social Security and Medicare.

Obama claimed health insurance premiums would go down by as much as $2,500 per year. In fact, individuals and families will see increased premiums in 45 of the 50 states.

Subsidies will lower costs for about 15 percent of the population, who will defend the program once it becomes entrenched, but quality will decline for everyone. Ultimately it will falter, just as Britain’s system is failing now. More taxpayer dollars and more central government control will be required to prop it up.

Clearly, Obama’s goal was not improved healthcare, but more political power and benefits for his political party and his allies. A good example is Canadian website contractor CGI.

Consider:

Before the Obamacare website rollout, the media mindlessly fawned over it. CNN’s new Crossfire co-host, former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, heralded it “a huge breakthrough” for the uninsured. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz enthused that it was easy to navigate. Bloomberg’s Peter Gosselin equated it to shopping on Amazon. CBS’s Jill Schlesinger thought it was like Travelocity. ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis compared it to mall shopping.

Premeditated, Manufactured Chaos

Considering the debacle it has become, the media should not only expose the glaring problems that continue to unfold, but also examine whether this is the result of incompetence or design.

Following the shutdown/showdown debacle, Obama gratuitously accused Republicans of a “manufactured crisis.” It is interesting that Obama accused Republicans of such a plan, given the title of a viral 2008 article, “Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis.” There is such a strategy; Obama has known about it for decades and is using it now.

It was developed in the 1960s by Columbia University professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who published an article in Nation magazine titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” By packing welfare rolls with new beneficiaries, they hoped to bankrupt local governments and foment a blazing revolution when benefits dried up. It came to be known as the “Cloward Piven Strategy,” or simply “Crisis Strategy.”

The strategy helped explode welfare rolls in the 1960s and 1970s, and precipitated New York City’s near bankruptcy in 1975. Speaking of that crisis, New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani accused the pair of economic sabotage.

Cloward and Piven created the organizations tasked with executing this strategy, most notably ACORN. Subsequently, the strategy was applied to: 1) Housing, where the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and similar groups colluded with the Clinton White House to foment the subprime mortgage crisis that led to the 2008 crash; 2) Voting, through enactment of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, (aka Motor Voter), again with Clinton complicity; and 3) Illegal immigration.

Cloward and Piven were the authors of Motor Voter, which turns motor vehicle and other state offices into defacto low income voter registration drives. This law allowed the nationwide explosion of voter registration fraud conducted by ACORN, and is largely responsible for today’s 24 million bad registrations nationwide. Motor Voter also made Obamacare’s online voter registration possible.

Obama has connections to Cloward and Piven, ACORN and its voter registration arm, Project Vote, going back to the early 1990s. The Holder Justice Department has been caught colluding with Project Vote in Motor Voter lawsuits. Matthew Vadum, author of the ACORN exposé, Subversion Inc, reports that former ACORN leaders are still working with Obama.

One has to consider the distinct possibility that Obamacare is part of a deliberate strategy to overwhelm the American people with crisis upon crisis until they throw up their arms in despair and give up.

Voter Manipulation

Obama and the Democrats’ latest complaint is that voter ID laws suppress the vote. The Holder Justice Department has turned that accusation into a legal assault against voter ID laws. The charge is absurd on its face. The reason that Democrats don’t want voter ID laws is because they don’t want their various vote fraud schemes exposed. We know they engage in vote fraud.

But even if they had not stolen a single vote, Democrats have been using tax dollars to buy off entire voting blocs of Americans with trillions of dollars in benefits and created thousands of taxpayer-funded non-profits that are actually ground armies for leftist activism.

This has been going on for decades. In 1961, Richard Cloward co-founded a welfare program that became the model for President Johnson’s “War on Poverty,”[1] which birthed the Office of Economic Opportunity. Conservative activist Howard Phillips ran OEO in 1973, and identified Cloward and Piven as OEO’s “ideological architects.” He said OEO financed “10,000 organizations employing several hundred thousand people” to radically transform U.S. policy outside the political process.[2]

Democratic politicians justify the burgeoning welfare state as reflecting compassion for the “poor and oppressed.” Cloward and Piven were much more honest: “If organizers can deliver millions of dollars in cash benefits to the ghetto masses, it seems reasonable to expect that the masses will deliver their loyalties to their benefactors.”

It worked. In 1960, only 58 percent of black voters were Democrats. By 1968, 92 percent were Democrats and only three percent were Republicans.

In 1932, FDR used this same kind of strategy to deliver Democrat majorities in Congress for the next 60 years. Cloward and Piven explained:

Although these [New Deal] measures were a response to the imperative of economic crisis, the types of measures enacted were designed to secure [a] new Democratic coalition.

Today, close to 50 percent of Americans pay no taxes, and lower income groups can obtain government benefits that provide the equivalent of up to $50,000 per year, strongly encouraging welfare dependency.

Democrats don’t care. It was Cloward and Piven’s explicit goal to create misery and strife sufficient to trigger a blazing revolution. As they reported in their “Weight of the Poor” article:

“Moreover, this kind of mass influence is cumulative because benefits are continuous. Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely…”

The consequences of welfare state policies are evident everywhere. Consider the following statistics:

Witness the burned out, abandoned buildings staining our cities, especially Detroit. Think of the entrenched crime, drugs, prostitution, and abandoned children that are the face of inner city ghettos, and reflect on Cloward and Piven’s enthusiasm that “the drain on local resources persists indefinitely…” In Detroit, the response of the Obama administration has been to pour more federal money, an estimated $300 million, into the city, in part to demolish public housing originally constructed with federal funds, and then to construct more.

Incredibly, Bill de Blasio, poised to become New York City’s new Democratic mayor on November 5, says, “The federal government must get back in the affordable housing business, and the federal government must get back in the mass transit business and infrastructure business.”

On top of failure after failure, this Obama-backed Democrat wants more of the same. He might as well be a spokesman for the Democratic Party as a whole. Perhaps that will be his role in the years ahead.

Obama and the Democrats are now feverishly working to inflate this roster of the needy by pushing through amnesty for illegal aliens, officially numbering 11 million, but probably more like 30 million people. Congress is currently debating this plan, with some Republicans, such as John McCain, willing to accommodate Obama’s scheme, in the name of “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Spending is THE Problem

The ARRA is the largest single Keynesian stimulus program since the 1930s. And that wasn’t all. There was the $100 billion auto bailout, endless unemployment benefit extensions and the $26 billion teacher bailout. Obama proposed an additional $447 billion “jobs” bill in 2011, which, fortunately, never passed.

As the unemployment analysis showed, these programs do not help; they merely transfer dollars from the private market to government.

Chart 3

Government spending will continue to increase substantially in the coming years. This is a deliberate effort by Obama, who learned from Cloward and Piven how to collapse an economy. The strategy has moved from the local to the national. It will have global repercussions.

This was originally published at Accuracy in Media.

———————————————————-

[1] Matthew Vadum, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, WND Books, (New York, 2011), p. 77.

[2] Ibid, p. 79.

James Simpson is an economist, businessman and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at American Thinker, Accuracy in Media, Breitbart, PJ Media, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on Twitter & Facebook.

11/6/13

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Pants On Fire Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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.

Council News:

This week, Ask Marion and Aewl’s Abode took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and 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.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which 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 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 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!

11/6/13

Tyrannies Begin with Paper, But End with Metal

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Title Attribution: Sultan Knish
Cross-Posted at Right Wing News

The People’s Cube

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. — Ayn Rand

One of my favorite writers is Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish. He gets it and I strongly recommend that you read all his writings. His latest is one of those where I wish I had said that and it is just so uncannily perfect and spot on that I want to share pieces of it with you. Then you need to go there and read all of what he wrote on the subject. I guarantee you that if Conservatives got it the way Daniel does, we would be ready for this fight and we would win.

Let’s get it started. From The American Iron Curtain:

In March 1946, Winston Churchill told a Missouri audience, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia.”

Today a new iron curtain is descending. It encloses the small Missouri town where Churchill gave his speech and all the great capitals of a great nation. Behind the iron curtain lie New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and countless others.

It covers a million streets and hundreds of millions of people. Its shadow passes over stores and factories, homes and schools. It is not a physical wall. There are, as of yet, no border guards with rifles waiting to shoot those wanting to leave, there are no watchtowers or leashed dogs keeping an eye on the inner frontier.

It is a wall of words. A wall of laws, regulations and mandates. The 2012 Federal Register had 78,961 pages. There are 11 million words of ObamaCare regulations alone. With so many regulations, everyone violates a few of them without even knowing it. Assemble all the millions of them together and you have a great wall that would dwarf anything in China

The American iron curtain is still made out of paper, but in time it will be made out of cement and iron. Tyrannies begin with paper, but end with metal. The state begins by imposing bureaucracy on a free people and ends by imposing tyranny on them. When they will not obey the paper, it resorts to steel, iron and lead.

Oh, how right he is. To quote Mao Zedong: Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. We have progressed from ‘nudge,’ to ‘shove’ and we are just entering the ‘shoot’ phase. Not so long ago, when Reagan was President and America was a much freer, happier nation, we knew who the enemy was. We saw communism for the malignancy that it truly is; one that sports a Ushanka Hat or a Little Red Book. Those communists have grown in power, as have their proxies in radical Islam. But the infection has spread to America and we have been infiltrated in every institution of power we have while we slept or played video games. It will go down in history as a silent coup of epic proportions, propagated by the enemy within America. An enemy we invited in as you would a vampire, out of misplaced guilt and weakness, and that vampire has drained the freedom right out of America. Americans seem oblivious to the blood loss; anemic in the extreme and about to succumb to collectivism in its basest form — Communism.

As C.S. Lewis warned the greatest evil “is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.” Progressives who have cut their hair and put on a suit, now rule the boardrooms and the halls of power. Quietly and seductively they pass thousands of regulations to take care of Americans… put them in their place for their own good. Let the wealthy elite rule and live your lives unfettered by uncertainty, by individualism, by freedom. After all, evolution is revolution:

We do not fight men with nuclear missiles or red armies of freezing conscripts waiting to march through Europe. Instead we fight against an evil empire that has arisen in our cities and its red army of front groups that insinuate their ideas into every institution they take control of.

Conservatives have lost the ability to lay out the stakes in the clear and simple language of a Churchill or a Reagan, to let the people know that they are not choosing between politicians, but choosing whether they will be able to have the car of their choice, the doctor of their choice, the meal of their choice and the book of their choice.

Choice, the word that once used to define the American experience, has been relegated to a debate over whether mothers have the right to kill their children. That choice is still the focus of a national debate. But the billion other choices that millions of people make have been taken off the table.

The conflict is simple and straightforward. It is the struggle over whether America will be an open system or a closed system.

America has fallen into a one party rule — a soft dictatorship overseeing a closed system. Progressives control both the Left and the Right. The Marxists hope to close the door on the Constitution and individual rights once and for all through the next few election cycles and the manipulation of votes by ushering in millions of illegal aliens. Are Americans truly awake? I don’t believe they are. If they were, there would be millions marching, elections would be landslides taking out the Marxists and there would be a return to Constitutional principles on a grandiose scale. America had better wake up and fast. Our own iron curtain is descending and many will die. Is this what you want for your children and grandchildren? Will you not stand for them? I’m not advocating violence. You can fight this in numbers, in protests and at the ballot box. But we must do so now. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for the next election or the one after that. This time, all of the American way of life, all we believe in and hold dear hangs in the balance. This is it. If we lose now, freedom will be lost for generations if not permanently in this country. The Founders and our military shed their blood, gave their lives so we could live free. Will we so easily and so freely kneel before tyrants? I won’t:

The American iron curtain is not substantively different than the iron curtain anywhere else, its descent is only slower and the men and women lowering it are more familiar.

The politicians are not guttural foreigners with harsh voices, they speak of American values and invoke American history even as they dismantle both, they stand in front of flags and speak of social justice at state fairs.

They claim that the old system is broken, that it’s unfair and inhumane, that progress is inevitable and that the march of progress and the progress of science have revealed that their way is best. The Mohamedans had their revelation from an angel and the politicians have their muse who shows them that a better world is possible when all men are slaves and the right men rule over them.

They speak of the power of the people, but they only mean certain people will have power and other people will have the power to support them. Like a Soviet election, the power of the people will be limited to voting “Yes” or “No” with the negative vote punishable as subversion and treason.

They don’t call for shooting their opponents, though occasionally the liberal thinkers at the think-tanks that come up with the ideas and talking points that are incorporated into their laws and speeches are indelicate enough to broach the subject. That sort of thing usually comes later.

But probably not much later in Obama’s transformed America. Sultan Knish is right, we are being buried under a wall of paper, of regulations too numerous to count. A hybrid of freedom and tyranny cannot long coexist in a government such as ours. One or the other will prevail. Each generation has a challenge, a calling that they are led to. This is ours and it will be historic. Most do not begin to fight until it is too late and the bullets fly and the bodies pile up. They wait until the suppression is so great, they die trying to defeat it:

People do not try to tear down a wall that they do not even know is there. It is only when they see the wall, when they feel its chill in their bones, when they sense its shadow over their lives, when they strive to climb over it and are shot down, when they chant against it and are beaten; will they be ready to tear it down.

Until the men and women of the open system come with a clear message warning of the wall that is being built around a free people, then they will go on losing elections and the cause of freedom will be lost, drowned in iron and paper, put in chains and filed in a trillion crowded databases.

Only when Americans see the wall, when they sense its shadow over Missouri and Florida, over New York and California, from ocean to ocean and border to border, will they be ready to tear it down.

Only then will they be ready to be free.

Do you sense the wall descending? Do you shudder at the shadow of tyranny falling upon us? I do. Are you ready to reclaim freedom? Then join the Tea Party and the 912 Projects. Join the Cruz Coalition. Join millions who are fighting because we love our country and our freedoms, our God-given rights, and we will not go quietly into the night. We will fight the Marxists and we will prevail.