And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Islam, Muslim, jihad, terrorist’ Category

Dear Readers,  I am sure you will find many of the articles in this month’s  Heritage   Insider-Online   of interest so for those who do not subscribe I am putting them on my blog for you use.    I have gotten emails from many asking why I am no longer blogging.  Frankly because I have said all I can say about the evil of Barack Obama and now can only sit back and cry for my country.  Even if the Senate becomes Republican this November  and a sane President is elected in 2016 there has been so much damage done that it will take decades to just claw ourselves back to the point we were at when this monster was first elected in 2008.  Being an old lady I won’t live to see our America return to the respected place in the world and a country of independent proud people  that I knew as a young woman.

I have watched the downward slide of America from the mid 1960’s  with Democrat President Lyndon Johnson and his failed “Great Society”.  Even at age 23 I knew that Medicare was wrong!  Only 40% of elderly Americans were unable to afford health care insurance but instead of helping those individuals the insurance companies insisted that ALL the elderly must be given health insurance paid for by the younger tax payers.    The same thi9ng is happening now with Obamacare—the only way the insurance companies will accept  everyone with coverage regardless of health or life style or preexisting conditions  is if every0ne  is forced into the system.    So stupid!  Give help to those few who need it and let the rest of us take care of ourselves as independent decent Americans always have.   It is a fact that has been proven over and over: Any thing the government gets into  is badly run, in efficient, full of fraud and outright thievery  and therefore very very costly to the tax payers.  Medicare, Medicaid and student loans are prime examples of this rule!

I watched the schools and universities as an educator  being “dumb down to the lowest common denominator by see and say reading and new math and  rewriting history and replacing it with social studies and social justice.

Now during these past 6 years I have watched a President of the United States again and again ignore and  violate the  laws  stated in the Constitution of the United States and  no one stopping him!   Yes, I  have live thru the down fall of a great civilization and I will not live to see the rise to greatness again, but I have faith in Americans.  We are a unique  nation form by outstanding people who were wise far beyond their times.  We today have the blood of those pioneers beating in our hearts and this is augmented daily by new blood of those who leave the old behind and come to the land of the freedom and rights of man so that they too can soar above the masses in the world in the only country on earth that allows its citizens that freedom. .I have faith that we Americans will walk proud again but after the damage done during these 50+ years it will take decades to return.

You, the readers of my blog are the people who will lead the way.  God bless you.  Sincerely, BB

 

The Heritage Foundation

To Me
Aug 9 at 8:07 AM
Updated daily, InsiderOnline (insideronline.org) is a compilation of publication abstracts, how-to essays, events, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.

August 9, 2014

Latest Studies
34 studies, including a Pacific Research Institute handbook on tobacco taxation, and a Hudson Institute report on Iraq’s second Sunni insurgency

Notes on the Week
The environmental costs of delaying Keystone, What does the strategic trade lit really say about the Export-Import Bank? Is administrative law running off the rails?

To Do
Figure out what now for ObamaCare

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
The Export-Import Bank: What the Scholarship Says – The Heritage Foundation
Abolishing the Corporate Income Tax Could Be Good
for Everyone
– National Center for Policy Analysis
Handbook of Tobacco Taxation – Pacific Research Institute
Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy – Tax Foundation

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
An Originalist  Future – Federalist  Society
Repression in China and Its Consequences in  Xinjiang – Hudson Institute
Private Property Interrupted: Protecting Texas Property Owners from  Regulatory Takings Abuse –  Texas Public Policy Foundation

Crime, Justice & the Law
Criminal Law and the Administrative State: The Problem with Criminal Regulations – The Heritage Foundation

Economic Growth
The Long-Hours Luxury – American Enterprise Institute
Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance – Cato Institute
Do Labour Shortages Exist in Canada? Reconciling the Views of Employers and Economists – Fraser Institute
“Middle-Out” Economics? – Hoover Institution
How Many Jobs Does Intellectual Property Create? – Mercatus Center
Thomas Piketty’s False Depiction of Wealth in America – Tax Foundation

Education
Philadelphia School Trends, 2002-03 to 2012-13 – Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy – The Heritage Foundation
The Failure of the E.U. – Hoover Institution
Iraq’s Second Sunni Insurgency – Hudson Institute
The Collective Security Treaty Organization: Past Struggles and Future Prospects – Hudson Institute

Health Care
Changing the Rules of Health Care: Mobile Health and Challenges for Regulation – American Enterprise Institute
Direct Primary Care: An Innovative Alternative to Conventional Health Insurance – The Heritage Foundation
How Obamacare Fuels Health Care Market Consolidation – The Heritage Foundation
A Time for Reform: Close and Consolidate Texas’ State Supported Living Centers – Texas Public Policy Foundation

International Trade/Finance
Sustaining the Economic Rise of Africa – Cato Institute
Market Solutions Should Be Central to U.S.’s Taiwan Policy – The Heritage Foundation

Labor
Asserting Influence and Power in the 21st Century: The NLRB Focuses on Assisting Non-Union Employees – Federalist Society

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
“Choking Off” Disfavored Businesses and Their Clients: How Operation Choke Point Undermines the Rule of Law and Harms the
Economy
– The Heritage Foundation

National Security
Autonomous Military Technology: Opportunities and Challenges for Policy and Law – The Heritage Foundation
Size Isn’t All that Matters – Hoover Institution

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
The Keystone Delay Is Costing us More than Jobs and Revenue – American Action Forum
Who Watches the Watchmen? Global Warming in the Media – Capital Research Center
Rethinking Energy: Supplying Competitive Electricity Rates – Center of the American Experiment

Retirement/Social Security
A Guide to the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report – e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Social Security Trustees Report: Unfunded Liability Increased $1.1 Trillion and Projected Insolvency in 2033 – The Heritage Foundation

 

 

Notes on the Week

The environmental costs of delaying Keystone: The delay in the Keystone pipeline costs more than jobs and income. There are also environmental consequences that come from shifting pipeline transport of oil to rail transport. Catrina Rorke extrapolates what the costs may be:

If the president had approved the Keystone XL pipeline, it would have prevented the release of an additional 2.7 to 7.4 million tons of CO2 to the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 500,000 to 1.5 million passenger vehicles off the road or shutting down one coal facility. […]

From the State Department report, we know that the rail options emit 28-42 percent more during normal operations as compared to the Keystone XL pipeline. […]

Replacing the capacity of the Keystone XL pipeline with rail transport risks additional oil spills and the release of up to 23,318 additional barrels of oil – nearly a million gallons of useful fuel entering the environment instead of the economy. […]

The delay in building the Keystone XL pipeline risks up to 1,065 additional injuries and 159 additional fatalities.

By virtue of serving urbanized areas, railroads carry a certain risk to the public. A July 2013 train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec devastated the downtown and caused 47 deaths. Though this tragedy is unique in size, the paths of railways intersect frequently with population centers. The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to minimize this risk, routed to avoid sensitive, sacred, and historic sites, as well as densely populated areas. [American Action Forum, August 6]

Rewarding work: “One factor that is often overlooked in the debate over causes of income inequality is a shift in the distribution of working hours,” writes Tino Sanandaji: “The rich now work more than the poor.”

Between 1979 and 2006, the share of low-wage earners who worked long hours declined from 22 percent to 13 percent. In the same time period the share of high-wage earners who worked long hours increased from 15 to 27 percent. Results were similar when education rather than income is used to segment the labor market. Most of the change is driven by changes in hours worked per employee, not by changes in employment rates. For men lacking high-school education, one-third of the decline in hours is driven by reduced employment rates, while the rest is driven by decline in hours among the employed. Among college-educated men, the entire increase in the long hours is driven by those with employment working more hours.

And the decline of work among the poor is a tragedy, he writes:

In simple economic models, working less and having more leisure increases well-being. A common but mistaken view of this reversal in work inequality is that it has benefited the low skilled because they can consume as much as before without having to work as hard. This ignores the complexity of human psychology.

Humanist theories of happiness, starting with Aristotle, have long argued that the key to life satisfaction is living a purpose-driven life and aiming for higher goals. Modern psychology similarly emphasizes work and purpose for a full life. Abraham Maslow viewed fulfilling one’s potential or “self-actualization” as the pinnacle level of happiness. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argued that people are happiest when they are in a state of “flow,” or a complete absorption in a challenging and intrinsically motivated activity. [The American, August 4]

What does a gas company have to do with ObamaCare? If you’ve been following the debate about whether ObamaCare creates tax credits in just the state exchanges or in both the federal and state exchanges, you may have heard the word “Chevron.” What’s that all about?

“Chevron” refers to Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council a Supreme Court decision from 1984. Randolph May, observing the 30th anniversary of the decision, describes Chevron’s central holding this way: “When a statutory provision is ambiguous, if the agency’s interpretation is ‘based on a permissible construction of the statute,’ then the agency’s interpretation is to be given ‘controlling weight.’”

When there is ambiguity, why not defer to the agencies? May explains the problem:

Chevron, by virtue of giving agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions “controlling weight,” has facilitated the steady growth of the regulatory state. This certainly is a likely result because of the natural bureaucratic imperative for agencies, granted leeway to do so, to interpret delegations of authority in a way that expands, rather than contracts, their own authority. […]

To the extent that the Chevron doctrine—the counter-Marbury—in fact facilitates aggrandizement of power by government officials all too eager to expand administrative authority, there is a ready remedy. Congress can choose to legislate in a way that makes its intent unmistakably clear. Remember, absent ambiguity in the statute, a reviewing court never reaches the question of how much deference is due the agency’s own interpretation.

Congress legislating with unmistakable clarity? I understand that in the legislative sausage-making process this is an ideal infrequently realized. In many instances, Congress actually intends, whether or not it says so explicitly, to leave “gap-filling” for the agencies. That way, when an agency’s action rouses the public’s ire, Congress can blame the bureaucrats for overreaching. [The Hill, August 8

In King v. Burwell, the Fourth Circuit relied on Chevron analysis to find that tax credits were permissible in the federal exchanges; in Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit decided that the meaning of “an Exchange established by the State,” was plain enough that there was no gap for the IRS to fill. Thus, there was no Chevron analysis needed.

The Constitution doesn’t exist for the convenience of the government. For the past century or so, the federal government has been using its spending and regulatory powers to “turn states into mere field offices of the federal government,” write Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola. Their article in The Atlantic explains not only how we got here but why we should care:

A common justification for federal overreach is that it allows for administrative convenience, but the Constitution doesn’t exist for the convenience of the government. Its purpose is to protect the people from government abuse. By leaving most government spending and regulation within the exclusive domain of states, the original Constitution created a dynamic framework of interstate regulatory competition. Citizens and businesses could choose to live in whatever state they wanted, a choice they could make with increasing ease as the nation’s communications and transportation dramatically improved, and states competed to offer an attractive package of services and taxation.

Just like cable-TV providers offer premium channels in pricy packages and basic cable at a cut rate, some states and municipalities offered lots of services and benefits—and higher taxes—while others offered smaller government and a lower tax bill. That larger menu meant more choices.

This interstate regulatory competition could accommodate a wide diversity of approaches, from the progressive safety blanket of Wisconsin to the frontier freedom of Texas. Vigorous interstate competition tended to punish excessive government, leading for example to higher growth rates in states with less restrictive labor laws. It also made it more difficult for special interests to wield government as a tool for extracting benefits from the rest of society in the form of hidden subsidies, cartels, and monopolies. Where special interests reign, market efficiency is lost, leaving everyone worse off.

Even today, states with high taxes, tough zoning laws, and restrictive labor laws tend to lose out to those with a lighter footprint—witness the tens of thousands of people—especially poor people—moving to Texas every year. The easier it is for people to choose between state options, the weaker the case for federal control of markets.

That leaves heavily regulated and highly taxed states at a disadvantage in the competition for people and businesses. Those states have cleverly solved much of their problem by using the federal government to impose higher taxes and regulation across the states. Burdened by often-costly progressive policies, states such as California, Massachusetts, and New York form coalitions in Congress to neutralize the advantage of states like Wyoming, Texas, and Florida. Protection from competition is the strongest impetus for the integration of federal and state governments under an umbrella of overall federal control.

That process undercuts one of the great advantages of a modern economy: the choice that mobility offers to families and businesses. It hastens the erosion of one of our most essential constitutional protections, the separate domains of federal and state governments, each confined to its proper sphere of authority. [The Atlantic, July 31]

The courts aren’t on board with the plan for unrestrained executive power—at least not all of them, yet. To hear liberals tell the story, the most important thing to know about Halbig v. Burwell is that the D.C. Circuit Court denied ObamaCare subsidies to millions of people in the 36 states that chose not to establish an exchange. The detail that the law says the subsidies are available “through an Exchange established by the State” gets second billing if it shows up at all. Liberals thus blame the court for striking down that which Congress failed to create. What an odd way of looking at judicial decisions. As Michael Greve notes, the acceptance of the government’s arguments as at all plausible is a signal that administrative law is coming apart at the seams. He writes:

[W]ould we actually be having this overwrought discussion over a perfectly straightforward Administrative Law and statutory interpretation question—and a perfectly conventional judicial resolution—if Halbig were about something other than Obamacare? Hardly.

By way of illustration, take a look at Sierra Club v. EPA, 536 F.3d 673 (D.C. Cir. 2008), a case over Title V permitting under the Clean Air Act. In defense of a regulation that took some liberty with the language of Title V, the EPA argued that (1) the statutory language (“each” permit) didn’t quite mean what it said, when read in connection with other provisions; (2) the statutory context warranted a more latitudinarian reading; and (3) EPA’s “programmatic” reading would better serve congressional purposes. In substance, that’s the government’s Halbig defense. Sierra Club rejected all three arguments; and you can clip entire paragraphs from the opinion and paste them into Halbig without anyone noticing. (Judge Griffith wrote both opinions.) No, it’s not a conservative cabal: in Sierra Club, the enviros won. And no, it’s not an outlier: some Administrative Law textbooks excerpt Sierra Club as an example of how Chevron(Step I) analysis works.

And:

Why isn’t the supposed error precisely a case for a “we-messed-up-and-here-is-what-we-meant” statutory override, of the sort that Congress has enacted time and again for civil rights laws, Medicaid, Medicare, and any number of other entitlement statutes? In short, why isn’t Halbig obviously right? And why isn’t that answer congenial to liberals who, from the New Deal to infinity and beyond, have extolled statutory and even constitutional litigation as a “dialogue” between the Court and the political branches, especially the Congress?

Because they no longer believe it. Obamacare was no inartful compromise; it was a brutal cramdown. There’s no kicking this back to Congress; the judges’ rulings, Obamacare supporters wail, spell the life or death of the statute. And when in doubt, the liberals say (for once), choose life. [Library of Law and Liberty, August 6]

Video of the week: Economics is everywhere, including between the goalposts. The start of football season is less than a month away. From Steve Horwitz and Learn Liberty, here’s a look at how the game’s concussion crisis reveals an important lesson about public policy:

footballconcussion.jpg

Pulling back the curtain on Healthcare.gov: Remember the fiasco that was the launch of Healthcare.gov? The Government Accountability Office has looked into the matter and the agency recently told Congress that, indeed, there was a fiasco. Peter Suderman reports some of the details of the GAO’s testimony:

One of the big problems was that federal health bureaucrats kept changing their minds during the development process. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), which was charged with building the exchange system, “incurred significant cost increases, schedule slips, and delayed system functionality.” These delays were largely due to “changing requirements that were exacerbated by inconsistent oversight.” The dithering cost time, and it also cost money. Between September 2011 and February 2014, development cost estimates blew up, from about $56 million to $209 million for the federal marketplace. Costs for the data hub, another key part of the exchange, went from $30 million to $85 million.

It was a classic bureaucratic circus. No one knew who actually had the authority to tell contractors what to do, so contractors got jerked around and sent on fruitless tasks, or asked to do work that they shouldn’t have been doing. The GAO report says that CMS improperly spent $30 million on bonus features that it didn’t technically have the authority to order.

Delays and costs piled up, with some held off until weeks before launch, and when it came time to flip the switch, no one knew if it would work. “CMS launched Healthcare.gov without verification that it met performance requirements.”

But don’t think all the problems are in the past:

CMS Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said this morning that “there will clearly be bumps” when the exchanges open for all business again in November, according to a report in Politico.

Slavitt also confirmed that the exchange still isn’t built yet, with key backend payment systems that have already been delayed multiple times still incomplete. Slavitt said that the administration doesn’t expect work to be finished on those systems until next year—after the second open enrollment period is over.
[Reason, July 31]

 

 

To Do: Figure Out What Now for ObamaCare

Assess how the legal challenges to ObamaCare’s subsidies and mandates will unfold now that two federal courts have issued contrary rulings. The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon and Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathan Adler—the guys who noticed that ObamaCare doesn’t allow subsidies in
federal exchanges—will discuss the Halbig and King decisions. The discussion will begin at noon on August 12 in Room B-354 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

• Experience one young man’s harrowing journey to secure his life and liberty in a repressive future society. The Heritage Foundation will host a private advance screening of The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, at 7:00 p.m. on August 12. To attend, RSVP to enoren@crcpublicrelations.com.

Shoot guns, eat BBQ, and smoke cigars. The second annual Northwest Freedom Shootout is a fun afternoon event where you’ll meet other fans of the Second Amendment. The Shootout will begin at noon on August 16, at the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club in Littlerock, Wash.

Make your own declaration for Think Freely Media’s Great Communicators Tournament. Shoot a video in which you describe a policy issue using moral arguments to support a free enterprise or limited government. Submit it by August 15. The prize for first place is $10,000!

Get an update on the right-to-work movement. The Heritage Foundation will host a panel featuring two teachers and a home healthcare provider grappling with union power in California, Michigan, and Minnesota. The event will begin at noon on August 12.

• Save the dates: Americans for Prosperity’s 8th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit will take place on August 29 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The Mont Pelerin Society will meet August 31 at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong Hotel to discuss the future prospects for liberal reform in Asia.

To my Readers,  I am sorry to have been so very lax these past months in keeping up with my blog, but it just seemed that the news was so very depressing.  More and more scandals which our President and his cohorts refused to do anything about or even to investigate.  Remember the Presidents words that “there is not even a smidgen of evidence” of wrong doing by anyone in the IRS!  when all know that Americans rights were being trampled and denied and the President and all involved were lying.   Remember Benghazi and  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s outburst of “what dopes it matter?”  when 4 people died while everyone who could have possibly come to their aid had orders from on high to stand down!   And it goes on and on!     Those of you who follow FOX NEWS know what is going on and my comments would not have added anything.    I would sincerely suggested  that if you do not subscribe to  Heritage Online  you do so as an added source of  in-depth information.   Here is the latest issue.

 

I hope and believe that the American people have finally awakened to the evil monster that Obama is and will vote in a Republican Senate this year so that we may begin to undo some of the great damage he and his appointees have done to our country.  It will of course take decades to rec0ver from this assault on our nation and values, and in some areas we may never become the America that we once were .  I do have hope however.    First we must vote in a Republican Senate and then in 2016 a Republican President.  Then we MUST begin to replace the old dogs in both the House and the Senate who have grown lazy, complacent and greedy with power with younger Americans who are trying to remember what our country stood for when formed: a government by the people and for the people.  Yours sincerely, Brenda Bowers

 

 

 


Updated daily, InsiderOnline (
insideronline.org) is a compilation of publication abstracts, how-to essays, events, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.

May 31, 2014

Latest Studies: 28 studies, including a report from the John Locke Foundation on what helps schools succeed, and a report from the Fraser Institute on the deadly consequences of rationing health care via wait times

Notes on the Week: Over 1 million restrictions in federal regulations, reasons an Article V convention wouldn’t work, The Insider looks at Obama’s disastrous foreign policy, and more

To Do: Remember the victims of Tiananmen Square, examine China’s human rights practices

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
Four Myths about American Taxes – Independent Women’s Forum
A U-Turn on the Road to Serfdom – Institute of Economic Affairs

Crime, Justice & the Law
New York’s Next Public Safety Revolution – Manhattan Institute

Economic and Political Thought
Catholic Social Teaching and the Market Economy (Revised Second Edition) – Institute of Economic Affairs

Economic Growth
Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed – Encounter Books
Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation – Independent Institute
Machines v. Lawyers – Manhattan Institute
The Economic Situation, June 1, 2014 – Mercatus Center

Education
Educational Freedom Works – John Locke Foundation
Blended Learning: Leveraging Teachers and Technology to Improve Student Outcomes – Maine Heritage Policy Center
How to Address Common Core’s Reading Standards: Licensure Tests for K-6 Teachers – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research

Elections, Transparency, & Accountability
Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment – Encounter Books

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
Al Qaeda Isn’t ‘On Its Heels’ – American Enterprise Institute

Health Care
The Effect of Wait Times on Mortality in Canada – Fraser Institute
How to Sustain Sound Dietary Guidelines for Americans – Hudson Institute
The Political Roots of Health Insurance Benefit Mandates – Mercatus Center
Specialty Drugs and Pharmacies – National Center for Policy Analysis
The Biggest Myths of ObamaCare – National Center for Policy Analysis
The VA Health System Is a Tragic Warning Against Government-Run Health Care – Reason Foundation

Immigration
The ENLIST Act: A Back Door to Instant Citizenship – Heritage Foundation

Labor
Why the Earned Income Tax Credit Beats the Minimum Wage – Independent Women’s Forum

National Security
From Black Boots to Desert Boots: The All-Volunteer Army Experiment Continues – Foreign Policy Research Institute
Reforming DHS Through the Appropriations Process – Heritage Foundation

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
Ending Ex–Im Would Remove Wasteful Energy Subsidies – Heritage Foundation
Property Rights Save the Environment – Hoover Institution
Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong – PublicAffairs

Regulation & Deregulation
Evaluating Regulatory Reforms: Lessons for Future Reforms – Mercatus Center

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
The Case Against Reparations for Slavery – Hoover Institution

 

Notes on the Week

Image of the week: Federal regulations now contain over 1 million restrictions.

How many of those regulations are beneficial on net? How would anybody know? As Patrick McLaughlin and Richard Williams point out: “The American regulatory system has no working, systematic process for reviewing regulations for obsolescence or poor performance […] .” [Mercatus Center, May 27]

Maybe the federal government should take a cue from Minnesota and hold an “unsession”:

It’s no longer a crime in Minnesota to carry fruit in an illegally sized container. The state’s telegraph regulations are gone. And it’s now legal to drive a car in neutral – if you can figure out how to do it.

Those were among the 1,175 obsolete, unnecessary and incomprehensible laws that Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature repealed this year as part of the governor’s “unsession” initiative. His goal was to make state government work better, faster and smarter.

“I think we’re off to a very good start,” Dayton said Tuesday at a Capitol news conference.

In addition to getting rid of outdated laws, the project made taxes simpler, cut bureaucratic red tape, speeded up business permits and required state agencies to communicate in plain language. [St. Paul Pioneer-Press, May 27]

As the governor said: A very good start.

 

 

The dose of Rachel Carson makes the poison. May 27 was the 107th birthday of Rachel Carson, and Google decided to devote a doodle to celebrating the environmentalist on its homepage. Carson is most famous for her 1962 book Silent Spring, which warned of the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment. Carson’s warnings were particularly influential in curbing the use of DDT, an insecticide that had been widely used in agriculture and to control mosquito-spread malaria and typhus. The book is not without its critics, including Henry I. Miller of the Hoover Institute. In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Miller wrote that the book was “an emotionally charged but deeply flawed denunciation of the widespread spraying of chemical pesticides for the control of insects.” Miller continued:

In the words of Professor Robert H. White-Stevens, an agriculturist and biology professor at Rutgers University, “If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.”

In 1992, San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards, a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, offered a persuasive and comprehensive rebuttal of “Silent Spring.” As he explained in “The Lies of Rachel Carson,” a stunning, point by point refutation, “it simply dawned on me that that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about [pesticides] and that I was being duped along with millions of other Americans.” He demolished Carson’s arguments and assertions, calling attention to critical omissions, faulty assumptions, and outright fabrications.

Consider, for example, this passage from Edwards’ article: “This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse effects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result. The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1965 that ‘in a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million [human] deaths that would otherwise have been inevitable.’ The World Health Organization stated that DDT had ‘killed more insects and saved more people than any other substance.’”

In addition, DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans. The product was such a boon to public health that in 1948 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Dr. Paul Müller for his discovery of the “contact insecticidal action” of DDT. [Forbes, September 5, 2012]

Also in 2012, Roger Meiners and Andrew Morris examined the book in some detail, highlighting the book’s impact on the mindset of the environmental movement. They noted that Carson was inconsistent in claiming on the one hand that she was against only the overzealous application of pesticides while also suggesting that policy should strive to reduce chemical residues to zero. Meiners and Morris:

The problem is that a “no-residue” policy is tantamount to a no-use policy. As Larry Katzenstein explains‚ Carson’s rhetorical question is an articulation of the present-day environmentalists’ version of the precautionary principle. Carson’s view that policy regarding synthetic chemicals should be “no risk” was not uncommon in her time‚ as exemplified in the Delaney Amendment. The policy is not only unrealistic but poses significant harm […] .

The contradiction could be reconciled by striving to balance the risks and benefits of not using pesticides against those of using them. Many of Carson’s disciples‚ however‚ do not favor such balancing of the risks of using DDT versus the risk of abandoning its use. This is evident from their support of a global ban on all DDT uses prior to the signing of the Stockholm Convention’s ban on persistent organic pesticides and the continuing efforts to phase out DDT despite its public health benefits. [“Silent Spring at 50: Reflections on an Environmental Classic,” by Roger Meiners and Andrew Morris, Property and Environment Research Center, April 2012]

See also: “Rachel Was Wrong: Agrochemicals’ Benefit to Human Health and the Environment,” by Angela Logomasini, Competitive Enterprise Institute, November 2012.

 

 

The Insider: Why the Obama foreign policy has been a disaster: Making the world safe for classical liberal values like individual liberty, free trade, and constitutionally constrained government requires a foreign policy that does more than just not start wars. Our cover story for the Spring 2014 issue takes up that theme. The editor’s note:

If you follow the news, you probably know that a Select Committee of the House of Representatives is investigating whether the Obama administration has been sufficiently forthcoming about the security situation in Benghazi in the fall of 2012 and about how it responded to terrorist attacks on U.S. government facilities there on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. In particular, investigators are trying to determine why the administration downplayed terrorism and insisted that the attack had been merely a spontaneous protest against an Internet video that got out of hand.

Indeed, there are unanswered questions about Benghazi, but one thing we do know is that Islamist terrorism has not gone away. That was clear enough when we learned that the supposed spontaneous demonstration in Benghazi consisted entirely of men bearing rocket launchers driving trucks displaying Ansar al-Sharia logos. Two years later, foreign policy failures abound. Russia is in the Crimea, democratic reformers have been marginalized in the Middle East, and nobody takes our “red lines” seriously, to name just a few.

The problem, as Mackubin Thomas Owens explains, is that the Obama administration thinks peace and order are the natural conditions of world affairs, and that military force is only an alternative to diplomacy not an integral part of an overall diplomatic strategy. These confusions leave the administration unable to meet the challenges of maintaining a world order based on liberal democracy and open trade. And that is a tragedy for the whole world, not merely the United States.

Also in this issue, we have Bob Moffit and Nina Owcharenko reminding us that fixing health care doesn’t mean just repealing ObamaCare; it means implementing the consumer-oriented reforms that conservatives have been championing for decades. Nathaniel Ward and Tim McGovern show how a culture of testing can help you improve your marketing. Mike Gonzalez reveals the Left’s complaints about partisan commentary to be rather, well, partisan. And finally, if you’ve ever wondered what studies actually show about which policies lead to economic growth, then you should read John Hood’s summary of the literature.

 

 

There’s no theory in that theory. There’s something missing from Thomas Piketty’s argument (contained in his bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century) that year-in and year-out the returns to capital exceed the growth rate of the economy as a whole. As Don Boudreaux points out, Piketty offers no explanation for why that must be so:

The entire tenor of Piketty’s volume suggests that he thinks capital reproduces itself, both from the perspective of its individual owners and from the perspective of society at large.

The creativity and fortitude of entrepreneurs, the skillful risk-taking by investors and the insight and effort of managers are all strangely absent throughout Piketty’s performance. These very fonts of modern prosperity are at best assumed to play uninterestingly routine and unseen roles backstage. Onstage, capital—the stuff that is in fact created and skillfully steered by flesh-and-blood entrepreneurs, investors and managers—appears to grow spontaneously, without human involvement. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 27]

Of course, when you attempt to explain economic conditions—like inequality—you run the risk of discovering that capitalism might not be the problem. For example, here is this point from Robert Murphy:

[…] Mother Jones loved this chart showing income inequality soaring in the late 1920s and in the mid-2000s: Look everyone, if we let the 1% earn too much, it sets the world up for a giant financial crash! But actually what happened is that loose monetary policy drove down interest rates, thereby fueling asset price booms, which showed up as huge income (in the form of capital gains) accruing disproportionately in the hands of the wealthy. It’s not surprising that these Fed-fueled asset bubbles eventually collapsed, leading to the Great Depression and Great Recession. To prevent a repeat, the government doesn’t need to confiscate property from the super-rich; instead the Fed needs to stop inflating asset bubbles. [Rare, May 29]

 

 

Beth March, scarlet fever, and Thomas Piketty: One secret to Thomas Piketty’s success in selling Americans his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century is his embrace of great literature. Piketty retells key moments in Honore de Balzac’s Pere Goriot to illustrate the importance of inheritance in the 19th century and draws on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park when he discusses the value and the vexation of overseas investments. Piketty’s insight is that books capture the sense and flavor of their era—and occasionally report typical prices and incomes.

The writers of the past are equally valuable for illuminating the astounding progress of economic growth in the past two hundred years, a fact Piketty acknowledges but to which he devotes little ink. Reading Capital, one comes away with the impression that the distribution of wealth and income is the central fact of each era: He reports most statistics as percentages of national income. But when per-person national income was doubling every generation, it was surely a more noticeable phenomenon than a few percentage points of national wealth more or less in the portfolios of the top centile.

Long-term comparisons of income levels are tricky: How many buggy whips is an iPhone worth? Stories of human life under different conditions can help us appreciate the immensity of growth.

In One Thousand and One Nights, hilarity ensues when characters meet in the dark and fail to recognize one another. Artificial light was expensive. Roger Fouquet and Peter J. G. Pearson estimate that a dollar’s worth of lighting in the year 2000 would have cost $3,000 two centuries before. Like all long-term economic growth, the cheapness of modern light comes from applying free enterprise to technological innovation. At times, the British government stood athwart history, taxing windows and Dutch whale oil. [“Seven Centuries of Energy Services: The Price and Use of Light in the United Kingdom (1300-2000)“ by Roger Fouquet and Peter J.G. Pearson, The Energy Journal, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2006)]

In Little Women, Beth March dies of strep throat (scarlet fever) despite being an affluent New Englander. Today, an antibiotic would have cured her quickly, and the entire episode might warrant a few Facebook status updates. Oliver Twist is thrown into a life of poverty and loneliness by the death of his mother in childbirth, a common occurrence in 19th-century London. The advances in medicine alone make the era of enterprise and innovation a success.

Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days celebrates the breakneck speed of an era of dynamic growth and technological progress. Steam, rail, and telegraphy remade the world in a generation.

Although Piketty has introduced some new data on the distribution of income and wealth in different eras, we should not lose sight of the great progress that has lifted all standards of living since the times of Charles Dickens and Jules Verne. —Salim Furth

 

 

A note from Martin Feldstein: A couple of weeks ago, we pointed to some analysis by Martin Feldstein on the inequality argument put forth by Thomas Piketty in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Feldstein had pointed out that Piketty was looking at U.S. income tax return data, which is misleading because the tax reforms of 1986 encouraged high earners to increase the amount of income reported on individual income tax returns. The income didn’t change so much as how it was counted on tax forms.

Dr. Feldstein has let us know that his article, originally published behind a paywall at Wall Street Journal, is now available ungated at www.nber.org/feldstein/wsj05152014.pdf.

Piketty’s book, we see, is still in the news—perhaps more so this week than in previous weeks—because of some questions about his data. Those who are following the argument should be sure to read Dr. Feldstein’s contribution.

 

 

The contradictions of European union: A report on Greece, from Alexander Skouras:

Golden Dawn’s rise from a tiny group of radical Hitler-sympathizers to the third largest party in Greece occurred when the Greek economy was collapsing. The origins of this crisis are well-known and well-documented: excessive borrowing, low productivity, corruption, and a profligate welfare state. At the height of the crisis the entire nation was angry; the people felt betrayed by their political elites. The Nazi party arose from the need to blame outsiders and to feel special. […]

In this political climate Golden Dawn rose from 0.3 percent of the vote in 2009 to approximately 7 percent in the 2012 national elections. For the last year many analysts thought that the prosecution of Golden Dawn members on charges of organized crime and the imprisonment of many of its elected leaders, including General Secretary Nikos Michaloliakos, would keep the party from further electoral success. But the May 18 municipal and gubernatorial elections and the May 25 European ones told a different story. Golden Dawn received 9.4 percent of the European parliamentary vote, enough to elect three members. Among them there are two former high-ranking army officers. The week before that, in Athens, the country’s capital and largest city, Golden Dawn’s municipal candidate and MP, Ilias Kassidiaris, who made global headlines when he slapped a female communist MP on live television, gathered 16 percent of the vote, securing him fourth place in a close election. Ilias Panagiotaros, Golden Dawn’s gubernatorial candidate in Attica, the region that includes Athens and its suburbs, won 11 percent and also finished fourth.

From these results it is safe to assume that Golden Dawn is no longer merely the beneficiary of a protest vote. The Greek electorate has been fully informed of the party’s Nazi affiliation, Holocaust denial, anti-immigrant slurs, and raw violence in the streets of Athens. We can now safely conclude that Greece has a viable, robust, and dangerous national socialist political force. [AtlasOne, May 28]

Wasn’t preventing a rebirth of nationalist parties the point of a united Europe?

 

 

Video of the week: Reasons an Article V convention would not give conservatives what they want: The main problem with the country’s constitutional set-up, says Trent England, is not the words of the Constitution but a lack of fidelity to what those words mean. Amending the Constitution will just give liberals different words to ignore. England is the Executive Vice President of the Freedom Foundation, Washington State’s free-market think tank. Talking with the Daily Caller’s Ginny Thomas, England outlines some other reasons conservatives should be wary of an Article V constitutional convention.

For one thing, says England, the convention would not necessarily work the way conservatives imagine it would work. Convention delegates would have their own constitutional standing, and their work could not simply be constrained by an act of Congress. Furthermore, says England, sitting federal judges—most of whom are not conservatives—would likely play a bigger role than Congress in shaping any convention.

Also, it’s not easy to amend the Constitution and conservatives might be wiser to invest their resources pushing other levers of change (e.g., the Senate). And England notes that it’s probably a good thing that the Constitution is hard to amend because the Left has bigger dreams of changing the Constitution that conservatives do; there’s a lot of freedom that could be lost at an Article V convention, too.

 

 

The point of federalism is to protect the rights of the people, not the rights of states. Noting the rash of stories about new federal requirements for school lunches, David Corbin and Matt Parks point out how inadequate is the Republican waiver-based defense of federalism, which they say “simply shovels a little less dirt on [federalism’s] grave”:

Approximately one out of every fourteen Americans is a government employee today, compared to one in twenty-two Americans in 1955. The greatest part of the total increase of government employees amounts to the enlargement of state and local government employment. It matters little if the lunch lady pouring chocolate milk down the sink and serving fruits and vegetables is a local government employee if her job ultimately depends on monies slopped out by federal bureaucrats wielding carrot sticks.

Which brings us to the third part of Madison’s argument as to why the proposed federal republic was a great improvement over the earlier confederation; namely, its powers would be “few,” “defined,” and “exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Madison likely never could have imagined the Federal government adding management of sodium intake to this list as the American people sat listless on the political sidelines.

As troubling as the death of federalism is, we need more fundamental reform, as the Republican response to the school lunch mandates makes clear. There is, after all, an even more important third leg to the governing stool, implicit in Madison’s argument, but made explicit in the 10th Amendment: the people. Often conservatives read that Amendment as if it is meant to protect the rights of the states. But it is much better understood, both textually and historically, as an attempt to protect the people’s distribution of powers among themselves, the states and the national government. If we really want to restore 10th Amendment government, we’ll need to work much harder at removing power from both state and federal hands than at replacing the divine right of the Washington King with the divine right of state Barons. [The Federalist, May 26]

Michael Greve made a similar argument in a recent issue of The Insider:

The balance question isn’t just beside the point; it is an assault on the foundations of the republic. To quote Madison’s impassioned language in Federalist 45:

Was … the American revolution effected, was the American Confederacy formed, was the precious blood of thousands spilt, and the hard-earned substance of millions lavished, not that the people of America should enjoy peace, liberty, and safety, but that the government of the individual states, that particular municipal establishments, might enjoy a certain extent of power, and be arrayed with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty?

The answer he is trying to evoke is: Hell, no. […]

States are Purely Instrumental. If they can advance the “real welfare of the great body of the people,” good for them. If they stand as a hindrance, ignore them or get rid of them. That is the fundamental calculus and the irreducible premise of the United States Constitution. The cartel federalism we have is profoundly state-friendly: It serves the interests of the political class. The constitutional, competitive federalism we need is citizen-friendly: It would discipline government, not help it grow. [“But What Kind of Federalism?“ by Michael S. Greve, The Insider, Winter 2013.]

 

 

And speaking of states doing the wrong things … Low-income people in Arkansas used to be able to get their teeth cleaned cheaply, thanks to Dr. Ben Burris. Now, instead of paying $99 (or $69 for children), they have to pay hundreds of dollars for a cleaning. Burris, who is a dentist, had to stop offering the cleanings because the state board of dental examiners told him that he couldn’t offer basic dental services.

According to the board, Arkansas law says dentists can’t offer dental services if they are also licensed as a specialist. Burris is a licensed orthodontist. Orthodontists, by the way, normally employ dental hygienists who clean teeth, and that’s all perfectly legal as long as the teeth getting cleaned also get fitted for braces later.

Of course, the restriction on specialists offering services outside their specialty has nothing to do with protecting consumers and everything to do with limiting competition in basic dental services—so that dentists can charge more. No patients had complained about Burris’s service. At a hearing of the dental board, notes the Institute for Justice, “Board members and general dentists condemned Ben for offering the cleanings. There was no allegation that Ben had endangered, much less harmed, anyone.”

On behalf of Burris and his colleague Elizabeth Grohl, IJ filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the board of dental examiners. The lawsuit contends that the restriction against specialists offering basic dental services serves no purpose except to protect general dentists from competition, and that the restriction thus violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection, Due Process and Privileges or Immunities Clauses.

 

 

To Do: Remember the Victims of Tiananmen Square, Examine China’s Human Rights Practices

Learn about the human rights situation in China on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng will talk with American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks. The conversation will begin at 1:45 p.m. at the American Enterprise Institute on June 3.

Examine the connection between liberty and character. The Beacon Center of Tennessee will host a talk by Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education. Reed will speak at the Nashville City Club on June 3 at 6 p.m.

Show what a great communicator for liberty you are by entering Think Freely’s Great Communicators Tournament. All you have to do is make a one- to three-minute video in which you take the moral high ground while making an argument for liberty. Submissions are due by July 15. Twelve finalists will be selected to compete in the Great Communicators Tournament at the State Policy Network’s Annual Meeting in Denver in September.

Discover whether administrative law is even lawful. Philip Hamburger, Professor of Law at Columbia University, thinks it is not, and he’ll explain why at the Cato Institute at noon on June 5.

Find out how sex education courses have become caught in the crosshairs of the “war on women” debate. Valerie Huber, President of the National Abstinence Education Association, will speak at the Family Research Council at noon on June 4.

Learn how the Left want to amend the First Amendment so they can stifle criticism of elected officials. The Heritage Foundation will host a panel discussion featuring Bobby Burchfield, who argued the recent and important McCutcheon case before the Supreme Court; Don McGahn, former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission; and Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The discussion will begin at 2 p.m. on June 2.

Cartoonists, get your submissions in for the Center for International Private Enterprise’s 2014 Global Editorial Cartoon Competition. Hurry—the submission deadline is June 2.

• Check out The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation’s new media platform, launching June 3.

(Want more stuff to do? Check out InsiderOnline’s Conservative Calendar.)

Have a tip for InsiderOnline? Send us an e-mail at insider@heritage.org with “For Insider” in the subject line.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/InsiderOnline.

Looking for an expert? Visit PolicyExperts.org.

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In case you haven’t been watching the news this past week  this Heritage article will bring you up to date.    Obama got off the teleprompter last year and  we all know what happens when our amateur president fails to follow the written script:  he goofs!  but this time he goofed and will probably get our buns in the middle of a Middle East war.  Of course this is exactly what I believe he has been trying to do because  a war is the fastest way to totally bankrupt a country, raise the ire of the citizens to bring about riots in the streets so that (like the dictator’s script calls for)  he as President can for martial law and  call out the troops to put the riots down  and then he will have the country totally under his control.

Ours is a war weary country with a depleted and  exhausted  military.  If the Congress dares to go along and give Obama the power to go to war he will have the scapegoats he needs to blame the war that he gets us into.  He has already begun pointing the finger of blame in his speech in Sweden yesterday by blaming the rest of the world for “drawing the red line”.  No, it wasn’t his red line!  Then as is always the case the rest of his gang had their stories ready and both Kerry and Hagel echo Obamas words exactly during the hearings in the House.

Read the following article and bring yourself up to date then sit back and watch your country be dragged into a war in an area of the world that has been at war since the dawn of time!  BB

 

Obama’s Goals in Syria Remain Unclear

September 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Pat Benic/UPI/Newscom

Pat Benic/UPI/Newscom

Red lines work only when they are red. This is one of the foreign policy lessons President Obama has not learned.

The President has had to redefine what his “red line” on chemical weapons use constituted in Syria and has not explained a clear plan for America’s involvement in the conflict. Consulting with Congress before making such a statement would have been a better course of action. America is now faced with losing credibility if the President doesn’t follow through on his irresponsible ultimatum.    ( I BB personally do not give a damned what the rest of the world thinks of the US>  since we were stupid enough to elected this fool not once but twice we have no standing in the world anyhow.  We are laughing stocks!  Suck it up and elected  a President who will give us back our pride next time!  )

After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted narrowly to authorize the use of force in Syria, Obama may think the red line he wavered on in recent months is vindicated. Nevertheless, neither the President nor his top officials have indicated what they intend to accomplish by attacking Syria.

While seeking congressional approval for any involvement is a step in the right direction, many strategic and security questions remain unanswered. James Carafano, Heritage’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, examines a number of lessons Obama has not learned leading up to this decision.

One comes from the George W. Bush Administration: “Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan.” The decision to take military action in Iraq and Afghanistan was broadly approved by Congress, the U.N., and the public. When the U.S. began to struggle in these conflicts and casualties rose, that support meant something.

The final lesson Carafano lists is “Think before you act.” Jim Phillips, Heritage senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs, argues that “military force is a blunt and bloody instrument for sending signals. Those signals may not have the desired consequences. If Assad brushes them off and continues his serial mass murders, then the Administration will look ineffective and irresolute.” If Obama directs the use of force in Syria, does he have an end goal? How will he achieve the defined objectives? Without answers to these questions, he likely cannot justify military engagement.

In discussing the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Saturday, President Obama declared, “This attack is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security.” While few would argue that the use of chemical weapons is morally egregious, the President has not articulated what the attack directly means for U.S. security.  (chemical weapons have been around a long time and certainly can be used on the united States and in the future no doubt in my mind they will be as soon as a Muslim terrorist groups gets their hands on them!   But short of qan all out war with so-called boot on the ground to find and do away with these WMD’s they will still be around.  these are the same WMD’s that Saddam hussein had in Iraq and was able to get over to Syria before President Bush could get a coalition of the world to go along with his attack of Iraq.  The WMD’s were then of course not found because they had been shipped across the border.  So unless it is a sneak and swift attack and the targets are the WMD’s then count on them being used on us sooner or later. With big mouth Obama giving the enemy a written script of our intentions this surely will never happen  so the probability is that we will only  mess around and piss the Muslims off  so they will attack us with the dreaded chemicals  sooner!  BB)

In yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the use of force in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry did not illustrate the specific threats to U.S. national security interests. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel did not clarify what the strategic objectives are in executing a strike. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey did not adequately answer how things had changed since his previous warnings on military force in Syria. Perhaps the President should reflect on the fact that his top defense and foreign affairs officials cannot articulate what we will be accomplishing by using military force in Syria.

In concluding his remarks, the President said, “I’m asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation.” Yet congressional authorization alone does not justify the use of force in Syria or anywhere else. U.S. military force should not be used without first understanding and articulating the benefits of such actions to U.S. security interests.

 

(understand this: NOT ONE Country in the world is with the United States in this.  NOT ONE!  Even the arab countries which might be affected by this breach by the Syrian government do not want the United States to attack!  BB)

 

 

 

I sincerely hope you all are paying very close attention to the Benghazi hearings going on now.   Obama and Hillary lied and lied and lied and the voters continued to believe the Liar in Chief! and elected him.   I watched the hearings Wednesday and was not at all surprised at what I heard.  In fact, those of you who have been watching actually knew the story.  Secretary of Defense Panetta told the same story as the three whistleblowers Wednesday if you were willing to read between the lines, or hear what he was carefully “not saying”.  This isn’t over by any means and I sincerely hope it takes Obama down as some are predicting.  But since it takes the Senate to dispose of a president and the Senate is controlled by Harry Reid I am not holding my breath.  I do however continue to believe that even tho they claim to be Democrats there are still some decent truth seeking Senators who will simply finally had to swallow so much cess that they will revolt and demand Obama and his thugs be replaced in the White House.     It really is beyond belief to have the bugling Joe Biden as President but I don’t see him as evil but simply stupid.   I also see him as someone who wants to be liked so I think he will go along with some more reasonable legislation that the Republicans are offering.

The following article from Heritage is good because it offers a time line of the Benghazi cover-up that will help you understand better what is now coming out.  BB

 

Ghosts of Benghazi

The White House might have wanted to mute its response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi for fear of inflaming Anti-American sentiment. Perhaps the President did not want to acknowledge a successful attack by an al-Qaeda affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11—right before a national election. Maybe it was just all “Keystone Kops” at the national command authority on the night four Americans were killed at their posts. It could be a bit of all three. The problem is, nine months later, we still don’t know for sure.

Dramatic hearings are expected today as Gregory Hicks, a State Department official who was on the ground in Libya during the 9/11 attack when four Americans died, talks to a House panel.

Some of his testimony from pre-hearing interviews with committee staff has already been released to the press. It includes claims that a Special Forces team that could have helped save lives and safeguard evidence and classified materials at the U.S. facility had been ordered to “stand down.” In addition, Hicks contends that from the outset, the ambassador’s team knew that they were under attack and reported that to Washington.

Hicks’s testimony follows a House Republican Conferencereport and a detailed article on the “Benghazi Talking Points” in The Weekly Standard that further call into question the credibility of the Obama Administration’s response.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that (1) the Administration bungled security before the incident; (2) the response to the assault was disjointed and inadequate; and (3) the Administration made a consistent and considerable effort to hide these facts.

The timeline still does not add up.

benghazi-video

>>> Watch our video on the Benghazi information timeline

That Hicks is only just now being allowed to testify before Congress reinforces concerns that the Administration continues to slow-roll the truth coming out. Yet the White House continues to stick to the increasingly incredulous line that it has been forthcoming at every step.

Just recently, the White House press spokesperson defended the State Department’s internal review of the attack as “rigorous and unsparing,” even after the State Department Inspector General announced it is investigating the conduct of the panel that produced the report.

Fundamental questions about the security breakdown in Benghazi still have not been fully answered. With a White House that is still in denial about sharing the truth, it remains up to the Congress to press for answers and the press the Administration to take its responsibility of protecting our personnel overseas more seriously than protecting its political reputation at home.

The Obama administration and it’s State Department under Dear Hillary Clinton  did everything they could to cover up what really happened at Benghazi  and how their policies and neglect and just plain incompetence got four Americans killed.  Remember how they blamed a video  even weeks after the incident?  Remember how they  sent the out of touch US United Nations Ambassador to the Sunday talk shows to tell us and the world how the  video that denigrated Muslims was the cause and even went so far as to arrest the producer of the video? ) By the way the man is still in jail on these trumped up charges  —-AND this is happening right here in the United States Dear Reader! )   Remember how Hillary stood beside THE MAN  outside the White House and told us how these terrible videos got our four Americans killed?
Remember how when questioned by the Congress Dear Hillary yelled in frustration, “What does it matter?”  Well it damned well does matter because Hillary herself sign the notice from the Ambassador to Libya who was later one of those killed  when he begged for more security. She claimed she knew nothing about these emails and official request from the Ambassador but when the special House investigators went the paper trail they found the letter from the slain ambassador with Hillary’s signature on it indicating that she had received and read the request.  The miserable BITCH lied a nd lied and lied and is responsible for the death of at least four AMERICANS!   Remember this when Hillary is running for president in 2016!  She lied and got four Americans killed!

The State Department still refuses to turn over all the emails and paperwork related to this  but the House committee has photographic proof that the signed by Hillary document exists.   Read the  summary of the report to the House of Representatives below.  BB

New House Report on the White Washing of Benghazi

April 26, 2013 at 11:00 am

 

AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/GettyImages/Newscom

AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/GettyImages/Newscom

A just-released Interim Progress Report based on an investigation across five House committees on the Benghazi terrorist attack paints a disturbing picture of diplomatic security neglected and of obfuscation on the part of the Obama Administration.

The House report is based on documents and e-mails laboriously extracted by Congress from the Obama Administration. In some cases, this happened under the threat of holding up confirmation of presidential nominees to the national security team. The report reveals a fundamental lack of understanding at the highest levels of the State Department of the dangerous situation in Benghazi and, equally problematically, concerted attempts across the Administration to insulate the State Department from blame, whitewashing the narrative of the tragic events. Among the report’s findings:

  • “Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including [former] Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.”
  • “In the days following the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to protect the State Department.”
  • “Contrary to Administration rhetoric, the talking points were not edited to protect classified information. Concern for classified information is never mentioned in email traffic among senior Administration officials.”

In the interest of fixing the problems that led to the death of four brave Americans on September 11, 2012, we must get real answers to what happened before, during and after the attack.

Even current Secretary of State John Kerry undertook his own investigation following after taking office in January, clearly not satisfied with the accounting given by his predecessor.

Wednesday, the day after the publication, House Foreign Affairs chairman Ed Royce declared his intention to introduce legislation to increase the independence and transparency of future Accountability Review Boards (ARB), which look at such attacks, to ensure they are truly independent review bodies that have a greater ability to make disciplinary recommendations.

The report’s preliminary findings illustrate the profound need for continued oversight by the five House committees. Making sure that that appropriate officials will be held accountable is a key part of making sure that we do not expose U.S. personnel stationed overseas in such unnecessary fashion again.

Posted in Protect America [slideshow_deploy]

First off:  full disclosure:  I am a second generation immigrant.  the legal kind however.  My maternal grandparents came to america in steerage with hardly a dime in the pockets in 1910.    At that time the only government program available to immigrants was   public school classes in English.  A program that by the way was a good one! and therefore was dropped!    Immigrants were on their own to sink or swim or rely on other immigrants  until they found a job.  there was also none of this bringing every relative including kissin’ counsins over once the first immigrant made it into the country.  Damned if my grandparents didn’t make it and even go so far as to thrive without the benefit of tax payer dollars.  How dare they!!?!!

Todays immigrants just don’t have these same amenities to greet them the moment they step off the boat or plan.  Todays immigrants are immediately met by your federal government officials to help them sign up for all the juicy government welfare programs and handouts that we Americans have made available to any new comers to our shores.  AND, this also seems to apply to illegal immigrants.   Yes I know Dear Reader, it isn’t nice and is considered an insult to call these dear people “illegal aliens”  or even “illegal”.  they are instead according to our own State Department to be referred to as “undocumented citizens”.

Now we have our Congressmen busy working to get the immigrants  or Hispanic vote which Obama got 71% of in the 2012 election.  So both parties, Republican and Democrat, are busy trying to out do each other with goodies for these people.  Now please understand,  I know that something has to be done about the illegal aliens we already have in this country.  I also assure you that if I lived in Central America I would be  one of the first to break my butt getting across the Rio Grande River!   Yes I would!  I have been to Mexico and the poverty is so bad that after one week I insisted my husband turn the RV around and head north as fast as possible because I simply could not stand seeing another child with a swollen belly  ( swollen bellies in children is a sure sign of  gross hunger!).    So yes,  I Brenda Bowers would move Heaven and Hell and defy every American in this fabulous country to get over here and be able to get a job and feed my family.  And I would, I am pretty sure, commit a whole lot of the available low level crimes to stay here!
But speaking as an American whose grandparents were among those who left Europe to come to this land of promise and freedom,  we simply can not afford any more of the “starving masses yearning to be free” out there.  We need to seal off our borders RIGHT NOW.  Even if it takes placing our troops on our borders.  As it stands with the drug dealers and  our own government passing out weapons on our borders they are war zones right now anyhow!   Then after sealing our borders we need to do something to get a handle on just how amany and who the people are who are here already.  Not to get them sign up for every government welfare program out there but to get a head count and to see that they begin the process of becoming Americans citizens sometime in the future, but only if they are obeying our laws and contributing to our society.

 

With all of the above in mind I thought perhaps you would find this latest Heritage Foundation article of interest. Sincerely ,   BB

American Families Cannot Afford the Cost of Amnesty

Our nation is going broke, and now is not the time to increase burdens on American families.

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744)—commonly called the “Gang of Eight bill” after the eight Senators who came up with it, Charles Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—includes amnesty for some 11 million unlawful immigrants. That amnesty would further burden taxpayers and weaken our fiscal situation. Congress should not rush to pass the bill without understanding the cost to the American taxpayer, especially when key research identifying and calculating those costs is nearly complete.

We have more than $12 trillion in public debt and tens of trillions of dollars more in unfunded obligations that we have no way to afford, thanks to promises made by past and present politicians. With this in mind, today’s political leaders must consider the fiscal impact of amnesty and a path to citizenship that would enable millions of unlawful immigrants to qualify for costly welfare and entitlement programs.

Simply put, what would this cost taxpayers, present and future? Would this make their burdens lighter, or double down on debt and unaffordable promises to be repaid by future generations?

Leaders from both parties have repeatedly failed to consider properly the long-term effects of their policies. That is why we are in such a predicament. For too many politicians, long-term thinking extends only to the next election, at most six years away. Unfortunately, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislative branch’s official scorekeeper, does not help much in this regard, as it often looks at costs for only the next 10 years.

We’ve seen legislative myopia again and again as politicians put off tough choices for the future or make our fiscal picture worse with new and expanded government programs we cannot afford, like Medicare prescription drug benefits or Obamacare. The biggest losers are future generations.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) once noted that three groups spend other people’s money: thieves, children, and politicians—and all three need supervision. Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation helps provide the information needed for the American people to keep watch over politicians playing with immigration laws and our tax money. Rector is most famous for his work pioneering welfare reform and enjoys a sterling reputation as one of the nation’s leading authorities on government social programs.

When he last crunched the numbers during the 2007 amnesty debate, Rector calculated that a general amnesty would cost some $2.5 trillion after considering what legalized immigrants would likely pay in taxes and receive in government assistance. With government only getting bigger (again, see Obamacare), it is likely he will calculate an even higher price tag in 2013. Hishighly anticipated research is nearing completion. His research from five years ago and the anticipated update are a central part of the debate.
Some amnesty proponents are trying to convince themselves that the immigration bill won’t cost much. On the surface, they have some good talking points, noting that “registered provisional immigrants” (the name given to aliens who entered or stayed in the U.S. unlawfully but would get amnesty under the bill) are not eligible for government benefits. Of course that would last only until, at the very latest, they become citizens. (More likely, there will be pressure in future years to speed up both citizenship and eligibility.)

In just a short time, they would be entitled to the same massive array of government programs as everyone else, including expensive retirement income and health programs that are already severely underfunded. The average unlawful immigrant has a 10th grade education, and low-skill immigrants on average take more in government benefits than they pay in taxes at every stage of their lives.

America’s families are already burdened with taxes to support a bloated welfare and overburdened entitlement system that is badly in need of reform. This situation would get far worse under amnesty.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day atHeritage Libertad.

 

ONE MORE NOTE:  the two monsters who killed people in Boston, the so-called Boston Bombers were immigrants.    They and their parent were brought to the United States under our all too generous program for people who felt their lives were in danger in their own country and then given every possible welfare program available.  That was 10 years ago.  The parents returned to Russia so apparently their lives were not that threatened.  The oldest  child a man of 26 who had been in the United States living on welfare all this time and at age 26 bombed and killed and injured Americans!   So much for immigrants to our country in this enlightened age when we tax payers thru our elected officials roll out the welcome mat and pour our hard earned tax dollars into their open palms.  Sincerely, Brenda Bowers

It is my belief that Israel is now taking out Hamas in the Gaza Strip first before they take out Iran.  Sort of a clean up operation on their borders and a warning to the rest of the Arab world to stand down while  they go after Iran.   All of the Middle Eastern countries want Iran taken out and they also want Israel to be the one to do it so they can then raise Holy Hell about it and the inhumanity of killing all the innocent Iranians so brutally.  The bombs to take out Iran’s nuclear program will of necessity have to kill many thousands of Iran’s population because the Iranian government made sure to place the nuclear facilities directly under or in population centers!!   this is very common practice among the Muslims who care nothing for human beings.

The Israelis  will of course have to make a ground advance in order to get the missile sites in Gaza without killing off a lot of civilians.  Israel is concerned for killing children whereas the terrorist use the children (schools and hospitals) as  shields from which to launch their weapons.  To use missiles to take out these missile sites would kill so many, so Israel must send in its soldiers to get the weapons.

As usual the world is against Israel and it’s right to exist.  Obama did his level best to support Hamas  with his  officious statement that “Israel has a right to defend itself” then going on to warn against a ground offensive warning that that would destroy any peace negotiations.  Like these so-called “peace negotiations” have been going on since the 1880’s !!    Yes, I know Israel was not even formed until 1948,   but the talking about a homeland for the dispersed Jews started a century before that.  The homeland that was given to them by God Himself !  If you believe the Bible you must then believe that the Jews were given the land of Canaan by God Himself.  They are the only people whom God Himself gave a homeland of their own and after 5000 years of living on that land except for short periods when they were driven out, they were finally dispersed all over the Earth.    It is long past time for the Jew to return and no man or group on Earth has the right to take away what God has given.  Oddly enough the very people who are denying the Jews claim to believe in the Bible; both the Christians and the Muslims believe in the Old Testament and claim it as the oldest portion of their holy book.  How ironic is that?

Anyhow, the following article is a good summation of what is happening and just by chance happens to back up my own thoughts on the matter  :).  BB

The Escalating Conflict Between Hamas and Israel

By James Phillips

Over the last four days, militants in Gaza have fired more than 840 rockets at Israel. Hamas rockets have reached the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the first time, thanks to the smuggling of Iranian rockets into Gaza. The increasing range and sophistication of Palestinian rockets has expanded the reach of terrorists, who now can threaten up to half of Israel’s population.

Israel has intercepted 302 of those rockets with its Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Iron Dome, on which the U.S. has collaborated, has proven its worth and underscored the importance of missile defense in future U.S. military budgets.

Meanwhile, Iran is seeking—successfully—to keep the pot boiling at Israel’s expense to distract international attention from its nuclear program. A leaked International Atomic Energy Agency report indicates that Iran could soon double the number of centrifuges at its Fordo facility from 700 to 1,400.

President Obama spoke out on the fighting yesterday, saying Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas’s missile attacks from Gaza. But he urged Israel not to launch a ground assault in Gaza, saying it would put Israeli soldiers, as well as Palestinian citizens, at greater risk and hamper an already vexing peace process.

“If we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza, the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future,” Obama said.

This public statement will only strengthen Hamas’s determination to continue its rocket terrorismand reap the propaganda benefits from Israeli retaliatory air strikes, because the President’s statement lowers the perceived risks of an Israeli ground intervention. Moreover, it is continued Palestinian terrorism that is the chief barrier to peace, not Israel’s legitimate efforts to protect its own citizens from indiscriminate Palestinian terrorist attacks.

Egypt, Turkey, and the Arab League have heavily criticized Israel and called for a halt of air strikes. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and hopes to pull in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime to tilt the balance against Israel. Egypt’s government will seek to have its cake and eat it, too, in the sense that it will use the crisis to denounce Israel, support Hamas, and play to anti-Israeli sentiments at home while trying to mediate a ceasefire behind the scenes that enhances its influence and justifies continued U.S. and Western aid.

If they genuinely wanted to stop the bloodshed, then these leaders should pressure Hamas to stop the bombardment, which triggered the crisis.

Obama, too, should aim primarily at restraining Hamas, not Israel.

Hamas, as usual, is bent on advancing its radical Islamist agenda at the expense of Palestinian national interests. It is a revolutionary movement more interested in destroying Israel than in building a Palestinian state or protecting Palestinians from another humanitarian tragedy that it has engineered.

Israel has called up 75,000 reservists and massed armor and at least 30,000 troops along the border, underscoring that it is serious about launching a ground intervention if Hamas continues its indiscriminate bombardment of Israeli civilians.

The U.S. needs to stand with Israel against terrorism and support its right to defend itself against a ruthless enemy that hides among Palestinian civilians to launch rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. Hamas routinely uses children as shields. There can be no Israeli–Palestinian peace until Hamas and other Islamists are defeated and discredited.

James Phillips is the Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He has written extensively on Middle Eastern issues and international terrorism since 1978.


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