BLOOMBERG – Reins on NSA?
THE HILLARY: NOONAN – How they do it.
LEADS: REUTERS – Conservatives won UK; HOUSE – Mitch’s trade bill; BOYLE/SWOYER – Two read the trade bill?; CROWDER – Fiorina connects.
ISLAM: HOROWITZ – Last hope; LOWRY – Why Geller screams; FRENCH – Geller’s critics make her point; JOHNSON – Isis grows in USA.
PA: SNYDER – Ups & Downs.
END NOTES: LEVIN SHOW (5/7/15)
ANNOUNCEMENTS: May 8 – VF Patriots.
Recommended: JANET – Track the RINOs; Independent Women’s Forum.
Bloomberg: “NSA’s Worst Program Is Finally Reined In”
Snowden vindicated, Rand moves up . . .
“It has long been clear that the National Security Agency’s mass collection of U.S. phone records was intrusive, unpopular and ineffective at preventing terrorism. Now a court has found it illegal, too.
“A federal appeals court in New York ruled unanimously Thursday that the program — in which the NSA swooped up colossal amounts of metadata from Americans’ phone calls without a warrant, then stored it all in a searchable database — wasn’t authorized under the Patriot Act, as the government had argued.
“That argument depended on some inspired sophistry. The law allows federal agents to collect business records and other data deemed relevant to counterterrorism investigations. But the government’s secret interpretation of that law — secretly affirmed by a secretive court — held that essentially all phone calls made by Americans could one day be relevant to such an investigation. Thus, everyone’s phone data could be collected in bulk.
“This was a tortured reading of the text unknown even to many members of Congress who ostensibly approved it. “Such an expansive concept of ‘relevance’ is unprecedented and unwarranted,” the court’s ruling says.
“Legal rationale aside, this program was always an odd duck in the menagerie of NSA operations exposed by Edward Snowden — most of which are governed by elaborate rules to protect Americans from snooping and many of which have proven crucial in protecting national security.
“The phone-records program, by contrast, intentionally collected the data of U.S. citizens. . .”
Also – Washington Examiner: “Court slaps down NSA spying, Congress should not raise it back up”
“When it came to light in 2013 that the National Security Agency had been routinely storing all data on the telephone habits of all Americans, public outrage ensued. And no one was as upset as Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the conservative who shepherded the Patriot Act through Congress in 2001 as House Judiciary chairman.
“Sensenbrenner responded to the revelation by insisting that the law he wrote allows no such indiscriminate mass surveillance of Americans in order to thwart terrorists. On Thursday, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a landmark ruling that vindicates Sensenbrenner’s view.
“‘The government may need the haystack to find the needle,’ Sensenbrenner wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2013, ‘but gathering the haystack without knowledge that it contains the needle is precisely what the relevance standard and Section 215 are supposed to prevent.’. . .”
THE HILLARY . . .
Peggy Noonan, WSJ: “How the Clintons Get Away With It
“The Clintons are protected from charges of corruption by their reputation for corruption.
“I have read the Peter Schweizer book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” It is something. Because it is heavily researched and reported and soberly analyzed, it is a highly effective takedown. Because its tone is modest—Mr. Schweitzer doesn’t pretend to more than he has, or take wild interpretive leaps—it is believable.
“By the end I was certain of two things. A formal investigation, from Congress or the Justice Department, is needed to determine if Hillary Clinton’s State Department functioned, at least to some degree and in some cases, as pay-for-play operation and whether the Clinton Foundation has functioned, at least in part, as a kind of high-class philanthropic slush fund.
“I wonder if any aspirant for the presidency except Hillary Clinton could survive such a book. I suspect she can because the Clintons are unique in the annals of American politics: They are protected from charges of corruption by their reputation for corruption. It’s not news anymore. They’re like . . . Bonnie and Clyde go on a spree, hold up a bunch of banks, it causes a sensation, there’s a trial, and they’re acquitted. They walk out of the courthouse, get in a car, rob a bank, get hauled in, complain they’re being picked on—‘Why are you always following us?’—and again, not guilty. They rob the next bank and no one cares. ‘That’s just Bonnie and Clyde doing what Bonnie and Clyde do. No one else cares, why should I?’. . . ”
Also – Alex Swoyer, Big Govt: “Silent Hill: 26 Days into Campaign, No National Interviews for Clinton”
“Friday marks 26 days since Clinton formally announced she is running for president, but she has yet to do a formal interview with national media, extending her own record as the presidential candidate who’s waited longest in modern history.
“Clinton’s silence comes as political reporters are buzzing about the book ‘Clinton Cash,’ which details influence peddling by the Clinton Foundation. The book is written by Breitbart News Senior Editor at Large Peter Schweizer. . .”
LEADS . . .
Reuters: “UK’s Cameron promises EU vote, more powers for Scotland”
“LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would press ahead with a planned referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union and he promised Scotland the most devolution “anywhere in the world” after his resounding election victory.
“‘Yes, we will deliver that in-out referendum on our future in Europe,’ Cameron said as he addressed the media after visiting Queen Elizabeth to start the process of forming a new government.
“Cameron said he would move ahead as fast as possible with a plan to give more powers to Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly for the pro-independence Scottish National Party.
‘In Scotland, our plans are to create the strongest devolved government anywhere in the world with important powers over taxation, and no constitutional settlement will be complete if it did not offer also fairness to England,’ he said.
Billy House, Bloomberg: “Obama’s Trade Bill Gets Boost as Mitch McConnell Vows Vote ‘Soon’”
“The Senate majority leader says he has been working with the White House on passing the deal.”
“The U.S. Senate will take up legislation to give President Barack Obama the trade negotiating authority he wants “very soon,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
“‘It’s been almost an out of body experience but we’ve been working closely with the White House,’ McConnell told reporters Tuesday as he said the trade bill would follow action on two other measures. “We’re working together to try to get it across the finish line.”
“Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, a foe of “fast-track” trade authority, called on Republicans to first consider measures to extend federal highway funding and modify U.S. surveillance laws.
“The Obama administration is seeking to build a coalition of mostly Republicans and a few Democrats to back the trade bill, which lets the president send agreements in Congress for a quick vote without amendments.
“Obama says the ability will help him complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a top second-term goal.
“In the House, the bill faces opposition from most Democrats and some Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has said Obama will need to persuade Democrats to back him, something McConnell said is happening. . .”
Matthew Boyle & Alex Swoyer, Big Govt: “Only Two Republicans Admit They Actually Read Secret Obama Trade Deal—Both Unsupportive”
“Only two Senate Republicans from the entire conference of 54 members have admitted they read the details of President Barack Obama’s secret Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal as of this time.
“With the first votes on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track TPP just days away, it’s looking like Senate Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Obamacare logic for the trade deal: you have to pass it to find out what’s in it.
“‘If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door,’ Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote earlier this week. ‘If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving. And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.’
“Jeff Sessions has on numerous occasions publicly stated he has read the TPP—which is locked away in a secret room in the Capitol, access to which only lawmakers and certain staffers with high-level clearance are provided—and a spokeswoman for Sen Mike Lee
on Thursday told Breitbart News that the Senator has read it as well. Despite asking press staff for every U.S. Senate Republican office throughout the day Thursday if their office’s senator has visited the secret room to read the deal—specifically the controversial “living agreement” contained within it—only Sessions and Lee would confirm they visited the room to read it. . .”
Courtney Crowder, Des Moines Register: “Fiorina ‘connects’ with Dallas County audience”
“During one of her first stops as an official presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina “connected” with attendees at the Dallas County GOP Spring Speaker Series, audience members said.
“‘I thought she was excellent,’ said John C. Strathman, 63, co-chair of the Dallas County GOP. ‘Carly is connecting with Iowans. She connected with the people here I think maybe more than Gov. Christie, Gov. Perry or (former) Sen. Santorum. People didn’t want to leave after her speech.’ (Christi, Perry and Santorum previously spoke at the Dallas County GOP’s series.)
“Sherry Koch, 80, of Cumming, agreed: ‘This is the first time I’ve heard her speak and I’m very encouraged. … I liked how knowledgeable she was, her energy and how honest she was.’
“‘I think she would be a formidable candidate against Hillary Clinton,’ Koch added. ‘My money would be on her.’ . .” http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2015/05/07/carly-fiorina-dallas-county-gop/70986196/
ISLAM . . .
Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review: “Last Hope to Stop Iran: #HouseConservatives”
“With passage of the Corker-Cardin Democrat protection bill, it has become abundantly clear that Senate Republicans are utterly useless.
“Due to the outrageously false perception of this bill, only 6 Republicans opposed shutting off debate (Sens. Cruz, Cotton, Grassley, Lee, Moran, and Sullivan) and only Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) voted against it in the final passage.
“Now it’s time for House conservatives to stand up and be counted.
“I’ve watched countless legislative fights over the years and have seldom seen such an outrageous level of dishonesty in selling a bill as something completely antithetical than its plain text political intent.
“From beginning to end, the dishonest bipartisan oligarchy sold this bill as a way of securing congressional approval of any Iran deal. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Obama’s point man in the Senate on the Iran appeasement, made the following deceitful statement prior to voting on the bill:
‘It was in the 1990’s that Congress started to impose sanctions against Iran for its Nuclear weapons program. Only congress can remove those Sanctions or permanently change it. (Congressional Record)’
“This is a uniquely scandalous lie even for a member of Congress. He has officially gone on record as vouching for our position – that Congress must approve any deal made by the president – but refuses to admit that his bill does just the opposite. Instead of the default position being no sanctions relief unless a majority of Congress affirmatively approve of the deal, this bill allows the president to remove sanctions after 30 days unless two-thirds of both houses override the president. Ben Cardin has no intention of ever doing that. This is a new low, even for a career politician.
“And it gets even worse. Congressional Quarterly reports that House Democrats are signaling they will never give Republicans the requisite two-thirds majority to override a veto under any circumstance. Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) circulated a letter signed by 150 House Democrats cheering on Obama’s appeasement of Iran and urging him to stay the course. “
Rich Lowry, RCP: “Why Won’t Pamela Geller Shut Up?”
“How dare Pamela Geller get targeted by terrorists bent on committing mass murder.
That’s been the reaction of a portion of the opinion elite to news that Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, was (unsuccessfully) assaulted by two heavily armed Muslim men in an attack ISIS took responsibility for.
“The Washington Post ran an article on Geller headlined ‘Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.’
“News that the Post has yet to break: ‘Malala Yousafzai refuses to admit fault for seeking an education’; ‘Coptic Christians won’t concede error for worshiping wrong God’; ‘Unrepentant Shiites continue to disagree with Sunnis.’
“Yes, these are more sympathetic cases, but it is no more legitimate to shoot someone for drawing Mohammed than it is to shoot a girl for going to school, or a Copt or a Shia for his or her faith. Expecting apologies from these victims would be almost as perverse as expecting one from Pamela Geller.
“Respectable opinion can’t bear the idea that she has become a symbol of free speech, which once upon a time was — and still is, when convenient — one of the highest values of the media and the left. . .”
David French, NRO: “Pamela Geller’s Critics Are Proving Her Point”
“Let’s be clear: The great freak-out over Pamela Geller’s “draw Muhammad” contest isn’t about love for Islam or for robust and respectful religious pluralism. Indeed, many of those expressing anguish over blasphemy against Islam show no such concern over even the most vile attacks on the Christian faith. Beyond that, they’re among the leaders in movements designed to banish religious liberty — including Muslim religious liberty — to the margins of American life.
“Instead, the fury against Pamela Geller is motivated mostly by fear — by the understanding that there are indeed many, many Muslims who believe that blasphemy should be punished with death, and who put that belief into practice. It’s motivated by the fear that our alliances with even ‘friendly’ Muslim states and ‘allied’ Muslim militias are so fragile that something so insignificant as a cartoon would drive them either to neutrality or straight into the arms of ISIS.
“That’s why even the military brass will do something so unusual as call a fringe pastor of a tiny little church to beg him not to post a YouTube video. That’s why the president of the United States — ostensibly the most powerful man in the world — will personally appeal to that same pastor not to burn a Koran. They know that hundreds of millions of Muslims are not ‘moderate’ by any reasonable definition of that word, and they will, in fact, allow themselves to be provoked by even the most insignificant and small-scale act of religious satire or defiance. After all, there are Muslim communities that will gladly burn Christians alive to punish even rumored blasphemy. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418058/pamela-gellers-critics-are-proving-her-point-david-french
Kevin Johnson, USA Today: FBI director says Islamic State influence growing in U.S.
“WASHINGTON — In a dramatic assessment of the domestic threat posed by the Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there are “hundreds, maybe thousands” of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S.
“Comey said the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, is leveraging social media in unprecedented ways through Twitter and other platforms, directing messages to the smartphones of “disturbed people” who could be pushed to launch assaults on U.S. targets.
“‘It’s like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying ‘kill, kill, kill,”’ Comey said in a meeting with reporters. . .”
PA . . .
Sy Snyder, Politics PA: 5/8 Ups & Downs
“Ideological ratings, electoral maps and a negative turn in the Philly mayoral contest. See who made this week’s list!
“Philly Mayoral Race. Sure, it wasn’t exactly an inspiring effort before, but this was the week things really started to spiral down in the contest to become the next Mayor of Philadelphia. First, we saw some very half-hearted endorsements from the city’s media. Then Williams hit Kenney with a negative ad that dug up some comments from 1997 to portray Kenney as favoring tough policing tactics. The effort to allude to the events in Baltimore was thinly disguised. Even positive ads by Abraham and Diaz took shots at the two front-runners. Now, Williams and Mayor Nutter are in the midst of an argument over Philly’s Police Commissioner. If it’s been a less than stellar campaign (and we think it’s fair to say it has) then it’s not the fault of the media but of the candidates themselves. They are the ones depending on negativity to drive voters to the polls.
“Political Nerds. On a happier note, we got some good news for political nerds this week and if you’re reading this we’re guessing you are, in fact, a political nerd. The new website Crowdpac, which uses data to rate candidates on an ideological spectrum, is tackling Philadelphia’s primary elections. We’ve taken a look at what the results say about the Philly Mayoral race and the State Supreme Court contest. If you’re a numbers junkie, you’ll get a kick out of these ratings.
“GOP Hopes of Flipping PA in 2016. The national prognosticators Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball released their first 2016 electoral map, which rated Pennsylvania as “Lean Democratic”. Digging deeper we’re left to wonder if PA is still a “swing state.” Fundamentally, Pennsylvania is an inelastic state with few independent voters. As a result, during presidential elections Democrats barely yet consistently prevail. Republicans have eighteen months to figure how to break this glass ceiling.
“Tom Wolf. The Governor wants this summer to be all about his budget. Instead, it is likely going to be all about Kathleen Kane. Despite the obvious problem of pulling away attention from the budget, Gov. Wolf will have to formulate a plan for dealing with the Attorney General. Last we heard from him, the Governor was sticking by Kane. That was a month ago, however, and a lot has happened since then. Our recent reader poll found 71% feel Wolf should call on Kane to step down. While the Governor probably won’t take such a step, he’ll still likely try to find a way to distance himself from the politically toxic Kane.
“Kevin Dougherty. With the election less than two weeks away, endorsements are coming in fast and furious. Still, out of all the candidates for all the offices, Kevin Dougherty probably had the best week. The State Supreme Court hopeful started off with the support of Northampton County DA John Morganelli. Then, the SEIU named him as one of their three endorsees (along with David Wecht and Anne Lazarus). Finally, Dougherty got the rare backing of a statewide elected official when Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced he was backing the Judge. For a guy that already has an influential supporter, we suppose he’s going with a “the more, the merrier” philosophy.”
END NOTES . . .
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin Show: If a party sways off in the wrong direction, we have a responsibility to defeat those doing it and take our party back. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are running Congress like mobsters; cutting campaign funding of fellow Republicans and removing them from committees if they don’t bend to their will. Now the Senate has passed, 98-1, to surrender treaty powers to President Obama; instead of no sanction relief until Senate approval of a deal, sanction relief will begin after 30 days unless 2/3 Senate vote against it. Whatever deal Obama has will be the deal put in place while nobody in Congress will be able to change it, and McConnell knows it.
“Every day this Congress meets and Obama exercises power not belonging to him, we lose more and more liberty. Also, the transparency standard of an NFL quarterback is higher than the U.S. Secretary of State. Maybe the NFL should run the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s corruption instead of the Obama administration since they actually hand out penalties for breaking the rules.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS . . .
May 8: VF Patriots – Clearing the Core Confusion
FRIDAY, MAY 8, 6:30 PM
PHOENIXVILLE SENIOR CENTER, 153 CHURCH ST., PHOENIXVILLE
YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!!
“CLEARING THE CORE CONFUSION”, A PRESENTATION BY CAROL BEITZ
Based upon the work of Dr. Peg Luksik, the foremost expert on Common Core in PA.
Carol is a mother and was an IT Director and Computer teacher at her children’s school for 7 years. Through this experience and her commitment to quality education, she began extensive research into federal Common Core Standards. This raised such serious concerns about personal liberty and financial impacts of a national takeover of education, that she felt compelled to run for School Director for the Daniel Boone School Board where she now serves as Director.
Carol will be presenting her own first-hand experience in conjunction with a video presentation by Dr. Peg Luksik. Dr. Luksik with her 30 years of experience in education including various federal programs, has testified before numerous legislative committees in PA and elsewhere.
Independent Women’s Forum
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.