PATRIOT ACT: KIM – Mitch under gun; DILANIAN – Spying lapse.
LEADS: STRASSEL- IRS?; MacDONALD – Crime on blacks; ZERO HEDGE – Bribes & TPP bill; WATSON – Spratling bluster; DANIELS – New gun rules.
THE HILLARY: HENDERSON – O’Malley; SIMON – Beating the Hill; KOVACS – Willey on Bubba & Hill.
PA: STAUB – Booze bog.
END NOTES: BRODY – Review of Charles Murray, By the People
ANNOUNCEMENT: VF PATRIOTS, 6/12; Ann Coulter, 6/15.
Recommended: JANET – Track the RINOs; Independent Women’s Forum.
PATRIOT ACT . . .
Seung Min Kim, Politico: “Mitch McConnell under the gun”
“. . . The chamber will convene at 4 p.m. for a rare Sunday session in a last-ditch effort to keep provisions of the PATRIOT Act from lapsing at midnight — a herculean task complicated by the imminent deadline, a divided GOP and Rand Paul’s presidential aspirations.
“Paul announced Saturday that he would not consent to any effort to speed up debate on a House-passed surveillance reform bill – which has wide support on Capitol Hill and is backed by President Barack Obama – nor any extensions of the current law. That would effectively force the controversial national security law, enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, to expire – at least temporarily.
“‘I am ready and willing to start the debate on how we fight terrorism without giving up our liberty,’ the Kentucky senator and 2016 hopeful said in a statement on Saturday announcing his plans to block any movement on surveillance legislation. ‘Sometimes when the problem is big enough, you just have to start over.’
“Paul’s aggressive approach is sure to frustrate fellow senators who are pushing for an overhaul of the controversial National Security Agency programs and believe that passage of an alternate NSA reform bill is inevitable. . .” http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/mitch-mcconnell-nsa-patriot-act-surveillance-118453.html
Kevin Dilanian, AP: “Senate takes up House bill but fails to avoid spying lapse”
“WASHINGTON (AP) — In a remarkable turnaround, Senate Republicans have agreed to debate a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency’s handling of Americans’ calling records while preserving other domestic surveillance provisions.
“But that move didn’t happen soon enough to prevent legal authority for the programs from expiring at midnight Sunday as Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a presidential contender, stood in the way of extending the program, angering his GOP colleagues and frustrating intelligence and law enforcement officials.
“Now, the question is whether the Senate will pass a bill the House can live with. If so, the surveillance programs will resume, with some significant changes in how the phone records are handled. If not, they will remain dormant.
“The Senate vote on the measure known as the USA Freedom Act can come no earlier than 1 a.m., Tuesday. Senate Republican aides said they expected some amendments, but no major revisions to the bill.
LEADS . . .
Kimberley Strassel, WSJ: “One More Chance for Justice at the IRS”
“Paul Ryan on Thursday sent his first official letter to Loretta Lynch, the new U.S. attorney general. With luck, Ms. Lynch will take a few moments out of her international soccer crackdown to give it a glance.
“Signed by every Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which Mr. Ryan heads, the letter is a forceful request that Ms. Lynch channel just a smidgen of her famed prosecutorial skill into the largest abuse of government power in decades: the IRS targeting scandal. It’s now been two full years since a little-known IRS bureaucrat named Lois Lerner admitted that her agency systematically collected the names of conservative groups, harassed them, and denied their right to participate in elections. It’s been two full years since the Justice Department opened an investigation. And it’s been two full years of crickets.
“While Ms. Lynch was this week orchestrating a dramatic dawn raid and the arrest of seven international soccer officials, the IRS’s offices continued to operate as if nothing ever happened. . .”
Heather MacDonald, WSJ: “The New Nationwide Crime Wave”
“The nation’s two-decades-long crime decline may be over. Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America. In Baltimore, the most pressing question every morning is how many people were shot the previous night. Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.
“In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over the same period the previous year. Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%. “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro at a May 7 City Hall hearing.
“Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.
“Those citywide statistics from law-enforcement officials mask even more startling neighborhood-level increases. Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.
“By contrast, the first six months of 2014 continued a 20-year pattern of growing public safety. Violent crime in the first half of last year dropped 4.6% nationally and property crime was down 7.5%. Though comparable national figures for the first half of 2015 won’t be available for another year, the January through June 2014 crime decline is unlikely to be repeated.
“The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months. .”
Zero Hedge, InfoWars: “This Is How Little It Cost Goldman to Bribe America’s Senators to Fast Track Obama’s TPP Bill”
“Fast-tracking the TPP was only possible after lots of corporate money exchanged hands with senators
“. . . According to an analysis by the Guardian, fast-tracking the TPP, meaning its passage through Congress without having its contents available for debate or amendments, was only possible after lots of corporate money exchanged hands with senators. The US Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – the fast-tracking bill – by a 65-33 margin on 14 May. Last Thursday, the Senate voted 62-38 to bring the debate on TPAto a close.
“Those impressive majorities follow months of behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing by the world’s most well-heeled multinational corporations with just a handful of holdouts.
Using data from the Federal Election Commission, the chart below (based on data from the following spreadsheet) shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate.
“The result: it took a paltry $1.15 million in bribes to get everyone in the Senate on the same page. And the biggest shocker: with a total of $195,550 in “donations”, or more than double the second largest donor UPS, was none other than Goldman Sachs. . .”
Paul Joseph Watson, InfoWars: “China ‘Fearless’ to Fight War With US; State Media”
“Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times has again invoked the likelihood of a war with the United States over the South China Sea dispute, saying Beijing will display a “fearlessness to fight”.
“Entitled China must insist on island-building, the editorial begins by asserting that China values “regional peace” and is merely seeking to encourage economic development. Washington believes Beijing is militarizing the disputed islands in a bid to expand its geopolitical hegemony and get access to lucrative gas and oil reserves.
“However, the rhetoric soon becomes more jingoistic, with Beijing re-asserting the fact that it is prepared to go to war if the U.S. continues to interfere.
“‘China needs to make broad plans including countermeasures against more US intrusions. Beijing should be fully prepared, both mentally and physically, for possible military conflicts with the US. China needs to clearly express its unwillingness as well as fearlessness to fight,’ states the editorial.
“The piece is similar in tone to an editorial by the same publication last week that warned “war is inevitable” if Washington doesn’t halt its demands that Beijing stop building artificial islands. . .”
Kit Daniels, InfoWars: “Obama Announces Draconian, Unconstitutional Gun Regs by Executive Fiat”
“Obama’s Justice Dept. is proposing new firearm regulations, including more restrictions on gun ownership.
“It’s clear President Obama is beginning his final assault on our Second Amendment rights by forcing his anti-gun agenda on honest law-abiding citizens through executive force,” Luke O’Dell, the vice president of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights, told The Hill.
“In particular, the Justice Dept.’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) wants to revive a 1998 proposal that would ban those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from owning a gun.
“‘That could be a person who spanked his kid, or yelled at his wife, or slapped her husband,’ Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for the Gun Owners of America, stated.
“The ATF also wants to revoke gun rights from those the government declares “mentally unfit,” which is easy to do because the official diagnostic system for mental disorders in the U.S., the DSM-5, is so broad that almost every form of human behavior can be “diagnosed” as some type of mental illness. . .”
THE HILLARY . . .
Kay Henderson, RadioIowa: “Crowds turn out to see Clinton challengers Sanders, O’Malley in Iowa”
“. . . Recent polling in Iowa shows O’Malley is the choice of just three percent of likely Caucus-goers, about 50 percent behind Clinton. O’Malley is embracing that underdog role.
“I”m most comfortable actually as an underdog,” O’Malley said during an interview Saturday. “When I ran for mayor, my two opponents both had name recognition north of 80 percent and I was the first choice of a whopping seven percent of my neighbors.”
O’Malley won that 1999 race for mayor of Baltimore and is now touting his 15 years of “executive experience” as a mayor and a former governor.
“What I find so refreshing about the Iowa Caucuses is that people here aren’t intimidated by big money or polls or the pundits,” O’Malley said. “And they do expect to see each of the candidates and to be able to ask them questions.”
Roger Simon, PJM: “The Only Way Hillary’s Democratic Competition Can Defeat Her”
“You’ve probably noticed a few intrepid souls have stuck their toes in the Democratic Party 2016 presidential race to contest the coronation of Queen Hillary. So far they’re not doing too well. According to the Real Clear Politics averages, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is running at 8.8% and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley at a stupendous 0.8%. (Two-thirds of them must have been at his announcement in Baltimore last week.) “O’Malley’s even 1 percent behind Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chaffee, who hasn’t announced yet. He’s supposed to take the plunge on Wednesday.
“Meanwhile, the Queen rules at 63.6%. The one who’s doing the best against her at 12.5% is that house -flipping squaw Elizabeth Warren, who claims not to be running and is a full 51.1% behind anyway.
“So things look pretty bad for Sanders, O’Malley and, potentially, Chafee, and, oh yes, again potentially, Jim Webb, all of whom seem to be prepared to engage in a tedious bidding war for who has the most extreme progressive policies. That will get them virtually nowhere — and if by some chance some idea catches fire, Hillary can co-opt it in ten minutes. She may lose a few points here and there (she’s even losing them now) but she’ll end up cruising to the nomination anyway.
“But there is one way they can win, any of them, but they have to be truly daring and honest. It’s simple, actually. They can win by speaking the truth and calling Hillary a liar — publicly and definitively. . .”
Joe Kovacs, WND: “Kathleen Willey: Hillary a ‘money-hungry hypocrite’”
“Kathleen Willey, the former White House aide who claims President Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1993 during his first term, now suspects the former president suffers from dementia, and calls Hillary Clinton a “money-hungry” hypocrite who looks “awfully haggard” and is the “worst role model for a wife and a mother and a politician.”
Willey, author of the book “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton,” made her scathing comments in an interview Sunday night on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 and Philadelphia 990 AM, as well as online.
She is now seriously questioning the mental health of both of the Clintons.
“[Hillary] is really looking awfully haggard these days,” Willey said.
“After watching [Bill’s] performance with [NBC News’ Cynthia] McFadden, when he said that I’ve gotta pay my bills, I think he’s showing early signs of dementia or something. He’s not the old Bill Clinton that we all remember. I mean, he was all over the place. Now you’re seeing clips of [Hillary] talking to herself all the time. . .”
PA . . .
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Armed with powerful lobbyists, union stonewalls liquor privatization in PA”
“If you want to buy booze in Pennsylvania, you’ll likely do it the way your great grandparents did.
“Getting a spiced rum or a good Riesling here means a trip to one of about 600 so-called state stores. While there’ve been efforts to bring them into the mainstream of contemporary marketing, where design is concerned they’re inescapably Mid-Century Institutional — mostly generic shops with antiseptic white lighting, often identified outside by a simple sign proclaiming “Wine & Spirits.” The public employees who run them don drab aprons at the checkout.
“Those who want a frothy craft beer will have no luck in the state stores. Instead, they’ll have to go to a warehouse-like beer distributor that can sell only cases and 12 packs. Six-packs? You buy those in so-called bottle shops or bars. Some grocery stores have been allowed to sell demon alcohol — as long as customers buy the booze in a special checkout line.
“For five years, some Pennsylvania Republicans have worked to end the state’s monopoly on retail and wholesale wine and spirits sales and to allow one-stop shops for beer, wine and liquor. And for five years they’ve failed, running up against Wendell Young IV, president of the United Food And Commercial Workers Local 1776, which represents about 3,500 state-store employees.
“Young and his organized labor allies are so successful in maintaining a nearly century-old system that they crushed privatization efforts even when the GOP controlled both chambers of the General Assembly and the governor’s office.
“The reason? Young says he wins because he has truth on this side. . .”
END NOTES . . .
Left Brain Madness: A review of By the People: Rebuilding Liberty without Permission by Charles Murray (2015), 317 pp, Crown Publishing, NY.
James Brody, Ph.D.
“The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.” Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom.
Our contest began with serious limits on the power of government and great responsibility for individuals to plan, initiate, and achieve their lives. But even Jefferson knew that “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” The people were safe until Wilson and FDR held office when we, in a Cloward-Piven moment, yielded responsibilities in return for money: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare support, and K-12 money. Progressives became a majority on the Supreme Court: Roberts (Owen!), Hughes, Stone, Cardozo, and Brandeis negated the Constitutional clauses that once guaranteed the peoples’ freedom from government.
And “gifts” from the government came with rules for getting and keeping the gifts. More rule-makers found Washington during the reign of LBJ: The numbers of rules and federal dollars increased for the compliant. Nixon continued this vote-buying when OSHA, the EPA, and the EEOC were established for the cheated and those who claimed to have been cheated.
Our rule-makers, thus, had decades of “Raise the Stakes”: That is, increase the size of your bet so long as you’re winning. (Roberts & Sherratt, 1998) Or in this case, hire more staff to create more rules and recoup their costs for lawyers. The policies of “pay your fine before going to court,” and the processes of “discovery” meant it was cheaper to pay, cut dividends, raise prices, or go out of business even when the original complaints had no merit. Substantial markets were also created in which political contributions bought legislative favors.
Outcomes: Government spending for any purpose gained legitimacy, all legislative acts were presumed constitutional, and there were no limits on what government could regulate. The Washington economy boomed and still booms: Every new rule makes nests for its interpreters and enforcers.
Murray recognizes the birth of institutes: AEI, Hoover, The Foundation for Economic Freedom, Heritage, Cato, Manhattan, and The Pacific Research Institute. He also argues for another organization, a private insurance group, for about $200 million, that would defend the regulated by imposing costs on and lowering the success rates of the regulators. An option that would get court scrutiny of expensive, pointless, over-prescribed abandonments of common sense.
My own view – that of an evolutionist – is that our problems are part of our nature, specifically the pieces supervised by our left cerebral cortex which is our story-maker, rule-maker, and our inventor of stories about our stories. Michael Gazzaniga writes most clearly about our left side and the tasks of our pattern-maker right side, the one that tracks game, assesses weapons and the enemy that throws them, and invents some math but usually has limited verbal prowess and when it communicates with our left, does so in ways that our left makes up “reasons” for why it makes new stuff consistent with other stuff that it already believes.
Rules emerge. So do governments. Governments grow rules, spend ever more, rob from children to pay for wars and entertainments, and emphasize old rules when challenged by storms, disease, drought, or invasions. Statues, thus, are around long after their makers move on.
I resist the notion of a cure for big government that consists of bigger government. Murray doesn’t consider the possibility of an “arms race” between the regulators and defender s of the regulated. Murray also downplays the recent numbers of “impulsive” immigrants who will require attention from parole officers, social workers, educators, and even mullahs. According to Russ Barkley, such have a “limited” sense of the future, are usually male, and more apt to break rules. In the opposite direction, our Chinese immigrants now dominate action in computer design. What will become of the rest of us?
Not so incidentally, Hamilton was an early liar, a proponent of central control. His patrician face disfigures our ten dollar bill and ought to be replaced by Harriet. We also know what the Trobrianders would do with Algore. . .
Badcock, Christopher (2009) The Imprinted Brain: How Genes Set the Balance between Autism and Psychosis. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Barkley R. (1997) ADHD and the Nature of Self Control. NY: Guilford.
Brody, James (2015) The Moral Strumpet: Women and Everyone Else. Amazon.
Gazzaniga, Michael (2011) Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain. NY: Harper Collins.
Gazzaniga, Michael (2015) Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience. NY: Harper Collins.
Levin, Mark (2005) Men in Black. Washington, D.C.: Regnery.
Roberts, G. & Sherratt, T. (1998) Development of cooperative relationships through increasing investment. Nature, 394, 175-179.
ANNOUNCEMENTS . . .
VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS MEETING, FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 6:30PM
P.J. RYANS, 233 BRIDGE ST., PHOENIXVILLE
“Our own Dave Berg has been studying the Communist Manifesto and will discuss his findings with us and some of the history. Are there parallels with what is going on in the USA today? If so, what are they and what do they mean?
“Also, help the VFP make plans for the Fall and the upcoming election season. Should we team up with another group or groups in an effort to be more effective? If yes, then who?
“Our Legislative Action committee will update us on their plans. We will be reaching out to members who would like to be part of the Legislative Outreach project. The project will be working to obtain a meeting with one or more of our legislators in September or earlier.
“We will hold a Straw Poll (just for fun) to see where members stand on their choice for a new President.
VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS P.O. BOX 71 VALLEY FORGE, PA 19481
Ann Coulter in Phoenixville!: “Adios America”
VFP will rally and hand out flyers at this event to show our support for Coulter and Stigall and the Conservative movement.
Appropriate signs are welcome. Please join us!w
Monday, June 15, 7 PM
The Colonial Theater, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville 19460
Join Chris Stigall as he hosts Ann Coulter for discussion of her latest book Adios America. This Speaker Series event will take place in the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA on Monday, June 15th at 7pm. Ann Coulter will also host a book signing post discussion. Tickets are $30.00 and include a copy of Adios America.
Ann Coulter: Ann Coulter is a conservative American syndicated columnist, bestselling author, constitutional lawyer, and television pundit. Her commentary has earned her a reputation as a vehement critic of social and political liberalism. Her speaking and writing style is aggressive and often controversial.
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.