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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
August 9, 2014
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?
Figure out what now for ObamaCare
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• Sustaining the Economic Rise of Africa – Cato Institute
• Market Solutions Should Be Central to U.S.’s Taiwan Policy – The Heritage Foundation
• 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
• 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
• 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
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.
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:
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]
• 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 email@example.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.
- In: Barack Obama | Iran and Nuclear weapons | Iran and Nuclear weapons | Islam, Muslim, jihad, terrorist | Israel Fight for Survival | Isreal Fight for Survival | jihad in the world | Know the enemies of America | Middle East and Muslims | Muslims | Obama 2013 and beyond | Obama Against America | Obama and ethics | Obamanation | President Obama, Congress, Democrats, Republicans, Islam, Muslim, terrorists, | Subverting America by Uri Bezmenov
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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
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)
Posted May 9, 2013on:
- In: Barack Obama | Islam | Islam, Muslim, jihad, terrorist | jihad | Jihad in America | jihad in the world | Know the enemies of America | Middle East and Muslims | Muslims | Muslims in the United States | Obama admistration | Obama Against America | Obamanation | Radical Left at War with America
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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
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.
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
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]
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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
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
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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
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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Newsletter from ACT for AMERICA.
August 14, 2012
This couldn’t happen here, could it?
Dear Lew and Brenda,
Yes it could—and is.
In fact, the title of the article below (highlights added), posted at the Gatestone Institute website, could just as easily be “How Political Correctness is Transforming American Education.”
To find just one example, click here to check out the report we released earlier this year, “Education or Indoctrination: The Treatment of Islam in 6ththrough 12th Grade American Textbooks.”
You’ll learn that the typical textbook fails to note that the 9/11 terrorists were radical Muslims and fails to inform students that the state of Israel was created by a UN resolution in 1947.
Most of what is mentioned below is already beginning to happen in America. For example, a couple years ago students at a Boston-area middle school were taken on a field trip to a mosque. The boys were invited to kneel and pray while teachers stood by and did nothing. Can you imagine the outcry from faculty and the ACLU if this had happened at a Christian church?
How Political Correctness Is Transforming British Education
In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class.
In Scotland, 30 non-Muslim children from the Parkview Primary School recently were required to visit the Bait ur Rehman Ahmadiyya mosque in the Yorkhill district of Glasgow (videos here and here). At the mosque, the children were instructed to recite the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith which states: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” Muslims are also demanding that Islamic preachers be sent to every school in Scotland to teach children about Islam, ostensibly in an effort to end negative attitudes about Muslims.
British schools are increasingly dropping the Jewish Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, according to a report entitled, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills.
British teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades, in which Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem: lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
In an effort to counter “Islamophobia” in British schools, teachers now are required to teach “key Muslim contributions such as Algebra and the number zero” in math and science courses, even though the concept of zero originated in India.
In the East London district of Tower Hamlets, four Muslims were recently jailed for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls; and 85 out of 90 schools have implemented “no pork” policies.
Schools across Britain are, in fact, increasingly banning pork from lunch menus to avoid offending Muslim students. Hundreds of schools have adopted a “no pork” policy, according to a recent report by the London-based Daily Telegraph.
The culinary restrictions join a long list of politically correct changes that gradually are bringing hundreds of British primary and secondary education into conformity with Islamic Sharia law.
The London Borough of Haringey, a heavily Muslim district in North London, is the latest school district to switch to a menu that is fully halal (religiously permissible for Muslims).
The Haringey Town Council recently issued “best practice” advice to all schools in its area to “ban all pork products in order to cater for the needs of staff and pupils who are not permitted contact with these for religious reasons.”
Local politicians have criticized the new policy as pandering to Muslims, and local farmers, who have pointed out that all schools in Britain already offer vegetarian options, have accused school administrators of depriving non-Muslim children of a choice.
Following an outcry from non-Muslim parents, the town council removed the guidance from its website, although the new policy remains in place.
At the Cypress Junior School, in Croydon, south London, school administrators announced in the school newsletter dated June 1, 2012 that the school has opted for a pork-free menu “as a result of pupil and parental feedback.”
The announcement states: “Whilst beef, chicken, turkey and fish will all feature, as well as the daily vegetarian and jacket potato or pasta option, the sausages served will now be chicken rather than pork.”
In Luton, an industrial city some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of London where more than 15% of the population is now Muslim, 23 out of 57 schools have banned pork.
In the City of Bradford, a borough of West Yorkshire in Northern England where there are now twice as many practicing Muslims that there are practicing Anglicans, 24 out of 160 schools have eliminated pork from their menus. In Newham (East London), 25 out of 75 schools have banned pork.
The Borough of Harrow in northwest London was among the first in Britain to encourage halal menus. In 2010, Harrow Council announced plans to ban pork in the borough’s 52 state primary schools, following a switch by ten secondary schools to offer halal-only menus.
According to the UK-based National Pig Association, which represents commercial pork producers, “It is disappointing that schools cannot be sufficiently organized to give children a choice of meat. Sausages and roast pork are staples of a British diet and children enjoy eating them. If products can be labeled with warnings that they contain nuts and vegetarian dishes can be made and kept separate from meat dishes, [we] don’t see why the same can’t apply to pork.”
Lunch menus are not the only area in which “cultural sensitivity” is escalating in British schools.
In West Yorkshire, the Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley has banned stories featuring pigs, including “The Three Little Pigs,” in case they offend Muslim children.
In Nottingham, the Greenwood Primary School cancelled a Christmas nativity play; it interfered with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. In Scarborough, the Yorkshire Coast College removed the words Christmas and Easter from their calendar not to offend Muslims.
Also in Cheshire, a 14-year-old Roman Catholic girl who attends Ellesmere Port Catholic High School was branded a truant by teachers for refusing to dress like a Muslim and visit a mosque.
In Stoke-on-Trent, schools have been ordered to rearrange exams, cancel swimming lessons and stop sex education during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In Norwich, theKnowland Grove Community First School has axed the traditional Christmas play to “look at some of the other great cultural festivals of the world.”
Meanwhile, the politically correct ban on pigs in Britain also extends to toys for children. A toy farm set called HappyLand Goosefeather Farm recently removed pigs in order to avoid offending Muslims.
The pig removal came to public attention after a British mother bought the toy as a present for her daughter’s first birthday. Although the set contained a model of a cow, sheep, chicken, horse and dog, there was no pig, despite there being a sty and a button which generated an “oink” sound.
After the mother complained, the Early Learning Centre (ELC), which manufactures the toy, responded: “Previously the pig was part of the Goosefeather Farm. However due to customer feedback and religious reasons this is no longer part of the farm.”
After a public outcry, however, ELC later reversed its decision: “We recognize that pigs are familiar farm animals, especially for our UK customers. We have taken the decision to reinstate the pig and to no longer sell the set in international markets where it might create an issue.”