LEADS: HANSON – BO’s strategy; LIMBAUGH – BO’s mad dash; SIMON – The Drudge poll; SHAPIRO/RIDDELL – Benghazi tapes; KACKLEY – Alaska to fight; GOLDBERG – BO’s motives; RAJU – Block Lynch; YORK – Ocare trips Dems; GORKA – WH & Orwell.
ISR: CLINE – Obama & Iran; KLEIN – Bibi fires back; THIESSEN – BO’s backfire.
IRS: DINAN – Tax breaks for illegals.
PA: JOANNE – West Chester Action Committee.
END NOTES: DC TIMES – Climate frenzy cools; CROVITZ – American exceptionalism.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: JANET – Track the RINOs; VF Patriots Feb 13th Mtg
“I felt attracted to Scott Walker’s ideas but also felt that he was boring. The next day, he lit up the room . . . Byron York, 2/2/15, Morning in America
“Jordanian state TV reports that Lt Kasasbeh, 26, was killed a month ago.”
LEADS . . .
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Obama Does Have a Strategy” Hanson missed it. The chief goal of any bureaucrat is to line up his/her next job . . .
“Once you see what he is trying to accomplish, it all makes sense.
“. . . The Middle East is not a mess, but a place in a needed stage of transition as it frees itself from Western domination and a new order slowly emerges. To the degree that we need a large military, it is preferable to envision it as an executive agency for enacting social change without the clumsy impediment of Congress, especially in terms of race, women’s issues, and gender preferences. It can do the best work for stability abroad by shrinking itself. Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder and always a relative concept that Westerners pathologically insist is absolute. As far as the world abroad goes, China is a more authentic enterprise than Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, which are the products of U.S. Cold War nation-building in our own image, not of indigenous revolutionary self-creation. U.S. Cold War culpability — in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, South America, Cuba — is a burden that must be addressed through various means. The rules of nuclear proliferation are a Western construct. Israel is an abnormality, a Western outpost of capitalism and privilege where it has never really belonged, an irritant that should be treated like any other country as much as politically possible. Latin American grass-roots socialism is not Stalinism, but rather an extension of what Obama is trying to do at home.
“I think the world now seems a chaotic place only if you assume that the Obama administration wished to be like its predecessors.”
David Limbaugh, Townhall: “Obama’s Mad Dash to the Finish Line”
“President Obama has no intention of heeding the call of American voters to curb his statist agenda. That’s not what extreme ideologues do, and that’s not what he did after his party’s shellacking in the 2010 congressional elections.
“In fact, despite what conciliatory bones he may have thrown the Republicans after those elections, he doubled down on his agenda. Having done that, he still won re-election in 2012.
“Even if the 2014 elections were a referendum on his policies, as he said they would be and I believe they were, he doesn’t have to worry about another election for himself. So as far as he’s concerned, there’s no reason to put on the brakes now.
“This isn’t speculation, for Obama has already reaffirmed his commitment to accelerate his quest to fundamentally change America by expanding the power and scope of the federal government more than he already has.
“He indicated as much with his defiant tone and in the string of policy proposals in the State of the Union address. Before the speech, he promised to go on a tour of the country, trying to sell his postelection agenda to the American people. Why not? There’s nothing he’d rather do than campaign, because he is most comfortable in the spotlight propagandizing, not governing.
“Last week in Philadelphia, he began to fulfill his promise to stump for socialism. . .”
Roger Simon, PJM: “2016: What We Are Learning from the Drudge Presidential Poll”
“Yes, it is waaaay early and, yes, it is an online poll, subject to all sorts of fudging, but the presidential poll being run by Matt Drudge at his website being run by Matt Drudge at his website may have more to tell us about the state of the Republican presidential nomination race then many are going to want to admit.
“First, Scott Walker, drawing an incredible 47% in a field of 13 candidates, no one within 33 points of him, is turning into a true front runner, with all that entails, good and bad. Second, the likes of Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and (amazingly) Chris Christie are all doing dreadfully, polling around a piddling one percent of the vote. Palin, Rubio and (again surprisingly — or maybe not) Jeb Bush are not doing a whole heckuva lot. Bush is the best of the lot at a pathetic five percent — and he surely doesn’t suffer from lack of name recognition.
“All these candidates better hope their potential backers don’t read Drudge (unlikely) or will listen to explanations dismissing the poll. Speaking of which, before going further, I’d like to address the poll itself. As many will remember, such polls have been skewed in the past by such things as mass voting by backers of Ron Paul (his son here comes in third currently at under thirteen percent, just behind Ted Cruz), but I have a hunch that isn’t the case here and that this is a better sample of the current Republican electorate than one might think. Drudge is Drudge, after all. We all read him. And as of 3:38PM, almost three hundred thousand people have voted, a statistically meaningful number. If I were one of those low-drawing candidates, I’d be thinking about keeping my day job — but that’s just me.
“As for Mr. Walker, the man of the hour, I’d start prepping foreign policy now . . .”
Jeffrey Shapiro & Kelly Riddell, Washington Times: “House Benghazi committee to review secret Hillary tapes on Libya”
“. . .Rep. Trey Goudy’s decision to seek a review of the materials, first highlighted in a series of Washington Times stories last week, carries consequences for the 2016 in which Mrs. Clinton is expected to seek the presidency. It could also move the committee to examine the strained relationship between the State Department and the Pentagon, which sharply disagreed over the 2011 war in Libya and the response to the terrorist attack on the compound in Benghazi a year later . . .”
Rod Kackley, PJM: “Alaska Legislature Unites to Fight Obama Arctic Drilling Plan”
“The only legislator in America to have been born and raised in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge told PJM he was “flabbergasted” by President Obama’s move to shut down oil and natural gas exploration and production in ANWR.
“I was floored by it,” Alaska Rep. Benjamin Nageak said. ‘I wasn’t prepared to hear such a statement from the leader of the free world. I don’t think he knows exactly what he did.’
“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the nation. It covers nearly 19.3 million acres of northeast Alaska, in what is known as the Alaska Northern Slope region.
“The White House released a video to explain the Obama administration’s thinking on why more than 12 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge had to be set aside as a federally protected wilderness area.
“Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place…but it’s very fragile,” Obama said in the video.
“Nageak, who represents the ANWR area in the Alaska State House, said that’s true enough, but he is worried about the fragility of the Alaskan economy and the lifestyle of his family and friends who live in ANWR.
“What Obama has done, Nageak said, and will explain to the nation’s chief executive if he ever has a chance, is lock up the only source of revenue — oil and natural gas — available to the people who live in the Arctic.
“‘The result will be more dependence on the federal government,’ Nageak said.
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “His political interests align with their economic interests.”
“Have you heard about the secret conspiracy between the Saudis and the White House? I haven’t either, probably because there isn’t one. But events are playing out exactly as one would expect if such a conspiracy existed.
“With no help from Barack Obama, the U.S. has launched an energy revolution, becoming the world’s leading oil and natural-gas producer. This has dismayed environmentalists and donors in and out of the Obama administration. After all, Obama bet big — really big — on green energy. The oil and gas boom is not the energy revolution Obama was looking for.
“Saudi Arabia and other petro-monarchies aren’t happy about it either (which is one reason the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC states bankroll anti-fracking propaganda in the West). Until recently, Saudi Arabia was the world’s biggest oil producer, and it is still arguably the most important one in global markets because its oil is so easy to get out of the ground. The cheaper it is to extract, the easier it is to maintain profits when prices go down. That means the Saudis have an outsized ability to affect the global price of oil.
“And that’s exactly what they’re doing. . .”
Manu Raju, Politico: “Cruz: Block Lynch until Obama blinks on immigration”
“Stalling the attorney general nominee would be a ‘concrete’ tool ‘to rein in the president’s lawlessness,’ he says.
“. . . “For several months now, I have called on the Senate majority leader to halt confirmations of every nominee executive and judicial, other than vital national security positions, unless or until the president rescinds his unconstitutional amnesty,” Cruz told POLITICO in the Capitol. ‘We have an opportunity in front of us right now with Loretta Lynch – a nominee for attorney general — who has fully embraced and flat-out promised to implement the unconstitutional amnesty.’ . . .” http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/ted-cruz-block-loretta-lynch-114863.html
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Obamacare will add to Dems’ 2016 problems”
“Next month will mark five years since the Affordable Care Act became law. Obamacare was supposed to be popular by now, but it’s not. And as far as President Obama and the Democrats who passed it are concerned, the law’s current approval rating might be as good as it gets. That could be a serious problem for the party in 2016.
“The most recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll on Obamacare, released last week, shows that 40 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the law, while 46 percent have an unfavorable opinion and the rest don’t know or won’t say. There have been some slight ups and downs over the years, but public opinion seems pretty set: A plurality of Americans has disapproved of Obamacare virtually since the day it was passed.
“The basic problem is that Barack Obama promised his healthcare plan would benefit everybody. It doesn’t. Under Obamacare, the government subsidizes the health coverage of some Americans while making it more expensive for others. People who have faced higher premiums, higher deductibles, and narrower choices of doctors know they’re getting a bad deal.
“Obamacare was designed to win the loyalty of a large number of Americans by offering subsidies not just to the lowest-income bracket but also to those with an income of over $90,000 a year for a family of four. But a lot of middle-class people aren’t feeling much benefit.
“So it is no surprise that the only group of Americans who like Obamacare in the latest Kaiser poll are those who make less than $40,000 a year — and even they aren’t all that enthusiastic about it. . .”
Sebastian Gorka, National Security: “Orwell and the Administration: The White House as the Ministry of Truth”
“In George Orwell’s landmark novel 1984, Big Brother’s dictatorial state uses ‘newspeak’ and its Ministry of Truth to turn falsehood into manufactured ‘truth’ and reality into lies. The administration’s explanation of what drives the terrorists responsible for 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, and the Boston bombing sounds everyday more and more like a product of The Ministry of Truth.
“This weekend, the President gave an interview on CNN in which he made several categorical assertions about the terrorists that have endangered America and her allies and, most recently, beheaded a Japanese hostage in the Middle East. As Breitbart has reported, the Commander-in-Chief explicitly “rejected the notion” that the war on terrorism is any kind of ‘religious war’ against radical Islam. President Obama went on to explain how groups such as Al Qaeda and The Islamic State are not in fact Islamic but simply nihilists.
“This message is not new or unique to the chief executive, since in fact, back in 2011, the administration banned any mention of Islam or even ‘Jihad’ in counterterrorism training for the Department of Justice – to include the FBI – and the Department of Defense, to include all our armed forces. Since that time, the official line has been that religion, and specifically Islam, has nothing to do with events such as the Boston Bombing or the rise of ISIS.
“But what are the facts? . . .”
ISR . . .
Melissa Cline, Newsmax: “Dershowitz: On Iran, Obama Is Another Neville Chamberlain”
No . . . he’s a bureaucrat worried about his and Val’s next job . . .
“Iran has made no secret of its desire to decimate Israel, yet the Obama administration continues to negotiate a “bad, bad deal” with Tehran that will allow the country to have the capability to act on its desires, according to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, both of whom appeared Monday on Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum.” “If you go back in history Hitler was not as forthright … as Iran is today in what they intend to do,” said Kerik, who in 2003 was appointed by President George W. Bush to reconstruct the Iraqi interior ministry. “They want to blow Israel off the map, they want the demise of the Israeli people.” Iran is “funding Hamas and Hezbollah and these other major terrorist organizations,” Kerik said. “There is no negotiating with a bully. You don’t put that bully on the world stage especially in this position, and that’s what we’ve done, that’s what we continue to do. “The threat is increasing, has increased substantially since 2006-2007 when I was writing about this years ago, and it’s only getting worse and if we don’t stop it now … in the years to come it’s going to be far, far worse.” “In January, The Jerusalem Post reported that Iran had deployed a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which not only can reach Israel, but also Europe. “The missile and its launch pad are ‘a direct threat to the United States as well,’ according to a 2013 U.S. intelligence report that stated that Iran could test an ICBM this year, according to the Post. . .” “The Obama administration’s ‘negotiations’ are a joke, according to Dershowitz, who noted that even if Iran accepts the proposed deal — which some reports have said give Tehran 80 percent of what it wants — there’s nothing to prevent them from developing ‘trigger mechanisms.’ . . .” http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Bernie-Kerik-Alan-Dershowitz-iran-nuclear-weapons/2015/02/02/id/622114/
Aaron Klein, WND: “Netanyahu fires back at ‘Obama army’ plotting his defeat”
“Demands injunction against U.S.-linked group trying to swing Israeli election.
“EILAT, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party hit back Sunday at a U.S.-linked organization staffed with former Obama campaigners now working to defeat Netanyahu in an upcoming general election.
“Victory 2015, or V15, attracted U.S. media attention after it hired 270 Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior leadership is comprised mostly of former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
“During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported ‘through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S. and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu’ who think ‘that all means are appropriate.”
“The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to ‘ensure the integrity of the election.’
“The party today will be filing an official complaint with the Committee seeking an injunction against V15, Likud sources said.
“Reacting to the developments, Uri Wollman, V15′s spokesman, told WND his organization will not stop its campaign to ensure a center-left coalition forms the next government in Israel. . .”
Marc Thiessen, WaPo: “Obama’s offensive against Netanyahu backfires”
“. . . When Netanyahu accepted House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress in support of new sanctions on Iran, the Obama administration began a full-scale press offensive with a clear message: Netanyahu was endangering Israel by playing politics with the country’s relationship with the United States. Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned (through an anonymous aide) that ‘playing politics with that relationship could blunt [Kerry’s] enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender’ and revealed that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency had told him that new a sanctions bill would be ‘like throwing a grenade’ into the negotiations with Iran. A senior administration official declared ominously to Haaretz that ‘President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.’ A member of ‘Obama’s inner circle’ launched an attack against Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer in the New York Times, accusing him of having ‘repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.’. . .”
IRS . . .
Stephen Dinan, Washington Times: “IRS offers extra tax refunds to illegal immigrants granted amnesty by Obama”
“IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed Tuesday that illegal immigrants granted amnesty from deportation under President Obama’s new policies would be able to get extra refunds from the IRS for money they earned while working illegally, as long as they filed returns during those years.
“Illegal immigrants who are granted the amnesty will be given official Social Security numbers, which means they can go back and amend up to three years of previous tax forms to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, potentially claiming billions of dollars in additional payments they were ineligible for before the amnesty.
“Mr. Koskinen said they will have to have already filed returns for those back-years, and there’s a statute of limitations that governs how far they can go back, but said the agency’s current interpretation of laws would allow them to claim the EITC credit retroactively. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/3/irs-offers-extra-tax-refunds-to-illegal-immigrants/
PA . . .
Joanne: West Chester Legislative Action Committee
“I thought you all might be interested in a Legislative Action Committee which is being formed in the West Chester Area School District (WCASD) and which is discussed in this E-Mail. The idea for this committee came from the section on Fiscal Responsibility of WCASD’s Comprehensive Plan and is a School Board goal for this year. Our administration must be commended for being proactive in addressing the unfunded mandates that are being imposed upon all school districts in PA. Hopefully, other school districts throughout the state will emulate the West Chester model for community involvement in educational legislation. To facilitate this, please forward this information to your own school districts.
From the WCASD web site: “The purpose of this committee is to:
- Provide legislators with input on legislation that may have a financial impact on schools. 2. Educate legislators on the cost of current mandates. 3. Educate the West Chester community on the cost of current mandates.”
The idea is for committee members to review and understand bills coming before the legislature BEFORE they are voted upon and become law, and to provide information to the legislators about the potential impacts of these bills on our school districts. In other words, it’s better to stop a train wreck before it occurs than to deal with the havoc that could ensue as a result of our inattention.
Our administration called for volunteers from the community to serve on this committee and welcomed everyone’s participation. The response was tremendous! We were told that 75 people signed up to attend the first meeting which was Thursday night, January 29, 2015. It was a relatively diverse group — parents, teachers, administrators, and community members of all ages. There was even someone from our local newspaper and also a school board member from another district who plans to suggest the formation of such a committee in her own district.
Both Dr. Jim Scanlon, the superintendent, and Dr. Robert Fraser, the assistant superintendent and curriculum director, gave informative presentations. The content of their presentations can be accessed by clicking on the various links on the left hand side of the web site under the heading “Legislative Action Group”:
There is a great deal of educational and extremely informative material available on these sites.
Jamie Vollmer’s research showing how the number of mandates has escalated since 1900 is presented in a list that can be accessed by clicking on the link below. http://home.wcasd.net/files/_AdLnC_/753ee390573a92f03745a49013852ec4/jamievollmer_list.pdf I strongly suggest that everyone read his paper to get an idea of what schools today are dealing with.
- The Powerpoint presentation (which can be accessed by clicking on the Powerpoint link) presents graphical documentation of our severe pension problem in PA. Dr. Scanlon explained that because costs keep increasing, there was a proposal to keep current teachers on their existing plans, but to change new teachers to a plan that would resemble a 401 K. He said that the problem with that idea is that as people live longer, costs increase, and the contributions from newer incoming teachers are needed to fund the pensions of those who have retired. This approach would therefore not solve our pension dilemma in and of itself but could perhaps be incorporated in some way in its ultimate solution.
- The text of three bills re:the Keystone exams in legalese(HB168, HB172, and SB1450) can be accessed by clicking the appropriate link on the web site (“Keystone Testing Legislation”). Simple, non-legalese descriptions of HB168 and HB172 that are written by the sponsors are given in the attachment in this E-mail. A method of accessing additional information regarding these, or any legislation in the PA House or Senate, is described at the bottom of this E-mail.
Although there are MANY unfunded mandates that create fiscal burdens on Pennsylvania’s school districts, the first order of business seems to be the graduation requirement attached to three Keystones — Algebra I, Language Arts, and Biology.
Currently PA’s Chapter 4 regulations require that students pass these three exams in order to graduate from high school. If they don’t pass, they are provided with remediation and then can retake the exam. Then, if they STILL don’t pass, they have to take what’s called a “Project Based Assessment” (PBA) which is done on line, under supervision. In some districts, the number of students that must be remediated and given PBA’s is very high which creates a huge financial burden. In addition, the time that students spend in remediation and taking the PBA is time taken away from other studies that might be more worthwhile for the student and more relevant to his/her chosen career choice. Because of the multiple problems that this unfunded mandate is causing for districts and students, there has been a great deal of opposition to it throughout the Commonwealth. It is hoped that it will be removed ASAP by legislative action, but legislators need to hear from the public to understand the multiple problems it is creating.
As I indicated above, I applaud West Chester’s administrators for attempting to find solutions to the problems that unfunded mandates in PA are creating. I urge Pennsylvanians to forward this to as many people as possible, particularly to school administrators, so that other districts will implement an initiative of this sort. Our legislators work for us, and it is up to us to work in concert with them and respectfully share our experiences and educated opinions with them so that they can legislate in a manner that is best for our Commonwealth. Thank you for listening but PLEASE ACT!
END NOTES . . .
Washington Times: “Passion for climate change cools”
“. . . Mr. Obama flew halfway around the world for the cause last week to persuade India’s 1.2 billion consumers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. He warned an audience in New Delhi of the consequences of not climbing aboard the climate change bandwagon. “Here’s the truth,” he said, ‘even if countries like the United States curb our emissions, if growing countries like India — with soaring energy needs — don’t also embrace cleaner fuels, we don’t stand a chance against climate change.’ If a pitch to voluntary compliance wasn’t enough, he offered $1 billion in assistance for renewable energy products.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t bite, either the carrot or the stick, and balked at signing on the dotted line. ‘India was also not willing to make any bilateral commitment until [it] submitted its intended domestically determined contribution,’ concluded the Hindustan Times. India isn’t about to accede to a grand U.S. energy strategy before mapping out something of its own.
“It’s not the first time Mr. Obama has offered a carrot and got only the essence of onion and garlic in return. . .”
Gordon Crovitz, WSJ: “AmericanExceptionalism.com
“With Internet freedom safe for now, let’s embrace the values that make the Web work so well.
“. . . The Commerce Department official charged with carrying out the plan to give up U.S. stewardship, Lawrence Strickling, last week gave the administration’s first reaction to the omnibus budget bill, which Mr. Obama signed into law late last year. It effectively vetoed the Obama plan by prohibiting any expenditures by the Commerce Department to end the U.S. contract overseeing Icann.
“Mr. Strickling acknowledged that the law bars the administration from giving up control over the Internet as it had planned. He told last week’s annual meeting of the Congressional Internet Caucus: “The act does restrict [Commerce] from using appropriated dollars to relinquish our stewardship during fiscal year 2015 with respect to Internet domain name system functions. We take that seriously. Accordingly, we will not use appropriated funds to terminate the . . . contract with Icann prior to the contract’s current expiration date of Sept. 30, 2015.”
“What he didn’t make explicit is that under the clear terms of the Icann contract, U.S. control over the Internet must be renewed for a further two years, through September 2017—past the end of the Obama presidency. That means it will be up to the next president whether to pursue the Obama plan, which seems unlikely. Why would any candidate from either party run on a platform of giving up U.S. protection for the open Internet?
“Instead of making clear that there will be no change during the Obama presidency, Mr. Strickling encouraged other governments and Icann to act as if U.S. oversight will still end soon.
ANNOUNCEMENTS . . .
Janet: Track the RINOS
“If you would like to follow your Representative and our Senators, go to this link:
A good way to see what our Rino’s are doing in D.C.
VF Patriots: February 13th Meeting
VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS P.O. BOX 71 VALLEY FORGE, PA 19481
CALLING ALL PATRIOTS!!
VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS MEETING
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 6:30PM
P.J. RYAN’S, 233 BRIDGE ST., PHOENIXVILLE
We have invited Rick Loughrey who heads up the area Young Republicans based out of West Chester to come for a “social” visit. He plans to bring other YR’s to visit with us so that we can learn more about what they do, what their mission is, and how we might encourage more younger folks to join us in our endeavors.
Rick is also our Chester County Recorder of Deeds. He will be running for re-election this coming Fall and I’m sure he would welcome our support.
The VFP is concerned about the president’s over-reaching, unconstitutional actions on amnesty. Therefore, in line with our goal to be action oriented, we will have a post card writing blitz as part of our meeting. You will be provided with “talking points” or you can create your own. The post cards will go to our new Congressman, Ryan Costello, who was elected in November to fill Jim Gerlach’s seat in the 6th District and also to Congressman Pat Meehan of PA 7th District.
PLEASE COME OUT, BRING FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ENJOY AN EVENING WITH LIKE MINDED PATRIOTS.
RYAN’S HAS A VARIED MENU FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT. PARKING IS IN THE LOT BEHIND THE RESTAURANT. Enter from Main Street across from Molly McGuires.
SEE YOU THERE!