DRUMS RATTLE, FLAGS WAVE
HANSON – Slipping of the West.
BUDGET: WASHINGTON EXAMINER – Boehner’s wimpy budget; JEFFREY- Debt increased, BOYLE – Rand Paul filibuster.
LEADS: GLICK – Ted Cruz; MacDONALD – Decriminalization; PACE – The debate; KERR – School scores slip; WESTWOOD – Impeach IRS?; BEDARD – Fetal heads; KINNARD – Teen classroom defiance.
HILLARY: NY POST – FBI & Hills’ emails.
PA: STAUB – Wolf loses; KNEPPER – Union Bullies – Call the Guv’.
END NOTES: HANSON – Save California?; WILLIAMS – An awful enthusiasm.
“Here we go again: John Boehner wants to make his last capitulation to President Obama his worst.” Jenny Beth Martin
“I believe American foreign policy should be driven by the vital national security interests of our nation. The most central failing of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy is it fails to look to America’s national security interests. And as a result, we have undermined our friendships and alliances across the globe, and we have allowed our enemies to grow stronger in the face of weakness and appeasement.” Ted Cruz
DRUMS RATTLE, FLAGS WAVE
We are going to start up our rallies at King of Prussia mall on Saturdays from Noon til 3 starting Oct. 31. Please try to attend and bring chairs, water, and appropriate signs. We rally on Rt. 202 by the Wells Fargo Bank. We reach thousands of people at that site and now that the holidays are coming we will reach many more.
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Is the West Slip, Slip, Slipping Away?”
“What has become of free speech, free markets, and the rule of law? Sometimes a culture disappears with a whimper, not a bang. Institutions age and are ignored, and the complacent public insidiously lowers its expectations of state performance.
“Infrastructure, the rule of law, and civility erode — and yet people are not sure why and how their own changing (and pathological) individual behavior is leading to the collective deterioration that they deplore.
“There is still a ‘West’ in the sense of the physical entities of North America, Europe, many of the former British dominions, and parts of Westernized Asia. The infrastructure of our cities and states looks about as it did in the recent past. But is it the West as we once knew it — a unique civilization predicated on free expression, human rights, self-criticism, vibrant free markets, and the rule of law? Or, instead, is the West reduced to a wealthy but unfree leisure zone, driven on autopilot by computerized affluence, technological determinism, and a growing equality-of-result, omnipotent state?. . .” www.nationalreview.com/article/426080/progressives-western-civilization
BUDGET . . .
Washington Examiner: “Republicans should reject Boehner’s Wimpy budget”
Boehner’s chips in the big game . . . still a bartender who makes his customers happy . . .
“Ever since their doomed-to-fail attempt to defund Obamacare in 2013, conservatives have bristled at criticism over their legislative tactics. But now they are presented with a hill that is actually worth dying on.
“John Boehner, who is halfway out of the door, has struck a budget deal with President Obama that is truly cynical. It resorts to precisely the gimmickry for which Republicans once rightly excoriated congressional Democrats.
“It papers over $80 billion in spending increases now, and the lifting of spending caps that were negotiated in 2011, with a laughable promise to cut spending almost a decade from now by extending sequestration. Call it the J. Wellington Wimpy Budget: “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Can anyone imagine a Congress in 10 years time feeling bound by such a deal struck by pols who have long since left the federal stage?
“The deal amounts to the abolition of spending limits that were imposed against great odds in the Obama era. It is not something conservatives should accept, let alone start with as an opening bid. Boehner is proposing to give back the progress made under his leadership.
Terence Jeffrey, CNS: “Boehner-Obama Spending Deals Have Increased Debt $3,970,023,503,348.07”
“(CNSNews.com) – The federal debt has increased by $3,970,023,503,348.07 since House Speaker John Boehner cut his first spending deal with President Barack Obama in 2011.
“That equals $33,832.64 for every household in the United States.
“After the Republicans won a majority of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections, Boehner was elected speaker in January 2011. At that time, the government was operating under a continuing resolution that expired on March 4, 2011. Before that CR expired, Boehner cut a spending deal that President Obama signed to fund the government after that date.
“Ever since March 4, 2011, all federal spending has been authorized by laws that first passed a Republican-controlled House led by Boehner and then were signed by President Obama. . .”
Matthew Boyle, BigGovt: “House Freedom Caucus Surrenders to Big Government as Rand Paul Plans Filibuster”
Publius Horatius Cocles . . .
“. . . Paul told Breitbart News earlier on Tuesday that he believes all the House Freedom Caucus members who have supported Ryan’s speakership should consider withdrawing their support if Ryan doesn’t join the Senator’s efforts to kill the bill.
“Labrador’s spokesman Dan Popkey hasn’t responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
“But late on Tuesday, the Senator stepped up the pressure, by promising to filibuster the deal that Ryan is allowing to pass through House.
“‘I will do everything in my power to stop this steaming pile of legislation,’ Paul told Breitbart News. In the Senate, ‘I will filibuster and I urge my colleagues to join my effort.’
“If this deal does end up going through the House, there’s one person to blame — even if he personally votes no: Paul Ryan.”
Drudge Links: 10/28/15
LEADS . . .
Caroline Glick, RCP: “Ted Cruz: A Fresh Approach to American Foreign Policy–and U.S.-Israel Relations”
“US Senator Ted Cruz, the conservative Republican firebrand from Texas, is running for president. Up until a few weeks ago, his candidacy was met with indifference as the media and political operatives all dismissed the viability of his candidacy. But that is beginning to change. The voices arguing that Cruz, the favorite of Tea Party fiscal conservatives and Evangelical Christians may have what it takes to win the Republican nomination have multiplied.
“Since arriving in Washington four years ago, Cruz has arguably been Israel’s most avid defender in the Senate. During Operation Protective Edge in July 2014, Cruz used his authority as a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to force the Obama administration to end the Federal Aviation Commission’s ban on US flights to Ben-Gurion Airport. Cruz announced at the time that he would put a hold on all State Department appointments until the administration justified the flight ban.
“Rather than defend its position, the administration restored flights to Israel after 36 hours.
“Last summer Cruz led the national opposition to US President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. He brought thousands of activists to the Capitol to participate in a rally he organized calling for Congress to vote down the deal. Rather than use the rally as a means to promote himself, Cruz invited Republican front-runner real estate developer Donald Trump to join him at the rally. Trump’s participation ensured that the event received wide coverage from the national media.
I interviewed Cruz by telephone from the campaign trail earlier this week about his views on the purpose of American foreign policy, US-Israel relations, the Iran nuclear deal and the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
“The transcript of our conversation follows. . .”
Heather MacDonald, City Journal: “The Decriminalization Delusion”
In the late ‘70s the American Association on Mental Deficiency Executive Committee decided that a score of 85 on an IQ test no longer indicated mental retardation: Students with IQs between 85-100 did perfectly fine when school ended. The cut-off was dropped to 72. . .changes in entitlements and expectations followed but impulsiveness is still a problem . . .
“America doesn’t have an incarceration problem—it has a crime problem.
“In July 2015, President Obama paid a press-saturated visit to a federal penitentiary in Oklahoma. The cell blocks that Obama toured had been evacuated in anticipation of his arrival, but after talking to six carefully prescreened inmates, he drew some conclusions about the path to prison. “These are young people who made mistakes that aren’t that different than the mistakes I made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made,” the president told the waiting reporters.
“The New York Times seconded this observation in its front-page coverage of Obama’s prison excursion. There is but a “fine line between president and prisoner,” the paper noted. Anyone who “smoked marijuana and tried cocaine,” as the president had as a young man, could end up in the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, according to the Times.
“This conceit was preposterous. It takes a lot more than marijuana or cocaine use to end up in federal prison. But the truth didn’t matter. Obama’s prison tour came in the midst of the biggest delegitimation of law enforcement in recent memory. Activists, politicians, and the media have spent the last year broadcasting a daily message that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks and insanely draconian. The immediate trigger for that movement, known as Black Lives Matter, has been a series of highly publicized deaths of black males at the hands of the police. But the movement also builds on a long-standing discourse from the academic Left about “mass incarceration,” policing, and race.
“Now that discourse is going mainstream. As the press never tires of pointing out, some high-profile figures on the right are joining the chorus on the left for deincarceration and decriminalization. Newt Gingrich is pairing with left-wing activist Van Jones, and the Koch brothers have teamed up with the ACLU, for example, to call for lowered prison counts and less law enforcement. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill support reducing or eliminating mandatory sentences for federal drug-trafficking crimes, in the name of racial equity.
“At the state and city levels, hardly a single criminal-justice practice exists that is not under fire for oppressing blacks. . .”
Julie Pace, MyWay: “Carson enters GOP debate with momentum; Bush seeks jumpstart”
“WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican candidates for president will gather Wednesday for their third debate amid fresh volatility in an already chaotic race, with Ben Carson surging past Donald Trump in Iowa and one-time front-runner Jeb Bush under pressure to prove he’s still a viable candidate for the GOP nomination.
“The soft-spoken Carson has been a low-key presence in the first two GOP debates, but the retired neurosurgeon is likely to get more attention from moderators — as well as his fellow candidates — after a series of preference polls show him atop the field in Iowa.
“Trump has already shown he’s eager to take on Carson, jabbing him for his speaking style and raising questions about his Seventh Day Adventist faith.
“We’ll see how Ben holds up to the scrutiny,” Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC.
“Meanwhile, Bush will be grasping for momentum after one of the most trying stretches of his White House campaign. Slower-than-expected fundraising has led Bush to slash spending and overhaul his campaign structure, and he’s voiced frustration with the way the unusual race has progressed.
“If the election is going to be about fighting to get nothing done, he says, “I don’t want any part of it.”
“There will be 10 candidates on stage in the prime-time debate in Boulder, Colorado, all seeking a share of a smaller spotlight: this debate on CNBC will run for only two hours after the last affair went on for more than three.
“Among the participants are two senators — Florida’s Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz of Texas. Rubio has sought to capitalize on Bush’s stumbles, but faces his own financial concerns. Cruz is positioning himself to inherit Trump’s supporters if the real estate mogul’s campaign collapses. . .”
Also: Tim Alberta, NRO: “Seven Storylines to Watch at Tonight’s GOP Debate” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426155/gop-presidential-debate-cnbc-preview
Jennifer Kerr, AP:” Math, reading scores slip for nation’s school kids”
Read: Clark, Gregory (2014) “The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility.” Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Clark found that in 9 or 10 countries over 500 years that kids remain about the same as their parents. Even Sweden, topping the list with entitlements has achieved not progress but a shrinkage of complaints. . .
“WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a not-so rosy report card for the nation’s schoolchildren.
Math scores slipped for fourth and eighth graders over the last two years, and reading grades were not much better, flat for fourth graders and lower for eighth graders, according to the 2015 Nation’s Report Card.
“The results of the test, officially known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP, were released Wednesday.
“The report suggests students have a ways to go to demonstrate a solid grasp or mastery of their reading and math skills.
“Only about a third of the nation’s eighth-graders were at proficient or above in math and reading. Among fourth graders, the results were slightly better in reading and in math, about two in five scored proficient or above.
“And the report found a continuing achievement gap between white and black students. . .”
Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner: “Impeachment drags IRS scandal into the spotlight”
“Just days after former IRS official Lois Lerner escaped criminal charges from the Department of Justice, Republicans in Congress moved to impeach the head of the tax agency for his role in trying to cover up the misconduct that landed Lerner under investigation.
“The impeachment resolution, brought Tuesday by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, capped off a week that saw the embattled tax agency back under fire for a scandal that surfaced more than two years ago.
Republicans revisited the scandal on Friday, when the Justice Department announced it was ending its criminal probe of the IRS without pressing any charges.
“Republicans were outraged that Lerner, who ran the IRS tax-exempt unit that was accused of targeting conservative groups, would not face any accountability for her involvement in the controversial practice. The Justice Department’s move reignited accusations that the agency under President Obama has failed to hold members of the administration responsible for misconduct. . .”
Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner: “New Planned Parenthood video: Doctor wants intact fetal heads for brain harvesting”
“A new Planned Parenthood video, the 11th in a series of secretly-taped interviews, shows a Texas doctor wishing to conduct an abortion that produces intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
“‘I haven’t been able to do that yet,’ said the doctor, Amna Dermish of Planned Parenthood Austin. ‘This will give me something to strive for.’
“The video is the latest in the sting produced by the The Center for Medical Progress in the ongoing Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal that has led to the formation of a special investigative committee in Congress because the women’s health group receives federal funding.
Meg Kinnard, WTRF: “Lawyer: Teen suffered several injuries in classroom arrest”
“The videos of the confrontation between the white deputy and black girl stirred such outrage that Lott called the FBI and Justice Department for help. A criminal investigation was underway, but the probe generally takes more time.
“Videos taken by students and posted online show Fields warning the girl to leave her seat or be forcibly removed Monday after she apparently texted in class and refused to surrender her phone to the teacher. When she doesn’t get up from her desk, the officer wraps a forearm around her neck, flips her and the desk backward onto the floor, tosses her toward the front of the classroom and handcuffs her.
“The sheriff suspended Fields without pay Monday. Lott, who rushed home from an out of town conference when the news broke, said that a teacher and vice principal in the classroom at the time felt the officer acted appropriately.
Lott said the initial video made him want to “throw up.” But he also pointed out that the girl can be seen trying to strike the officer as she was being taken down. He said he’s focused on the deputy’s actions, not the student’s.
“Email, phone and text messages for Fields were not returned.
“More than a dozen parents and community members spoke out at a Tuesday night meeting of the Richland 2 School District. Some, black and white alike, said the issue wasn’t based on race, and, while the officer may have used unnecessary force, the whole incident shows that teachers and administrators need to work harder on finding ways to handle defiant students. . .”
HILLARY . . .
“The fix was in: Lois Lerner will walk away scot-free.
“On Friday, the Justice Department closed its two-year investigation into the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status and decided to charge . . . no one.
“This, when Lerner admitted the IRS had singled out righty groups, but blamed the “absolutely inappropriate” actions on “front-line people” — that is, lower-level folks. And then refused to answer more questions by pleading the Fifth.
“Questions about, say, her orders to hold up applications from any outfit with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in its name.
“In a letter Friday, Justice told Congress: ‘We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.’
“In other words, exactly what President Obama ordered up — er, predicted. . .”
PA . . .
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “Once ousted PA open-records chief wins case against Wolf”
“Gov. Tom Wolf won’t again lock out Erik Arneson — for at least five years, anyway.
“The state Supreme Court on Tuesday morning agreed with a lower court’s finding that Wolf could not treat Arneson, executive director of the Office of Open Records, as an at-will employee who could be fired without cause at the governor’s whim.
“Tuesday’s decision is a stinging loss for Wolf, who didn’t like that his predecessor, former Gov. Tom Corbett, appointed Arneson to the job in the waning weeks of his lame-duck administration. At the same time, it’s a win for the independence of the Office of Open Records, which hears appeals when government agencies — including the governor’s office — deny a release of records requested under the state’s Right-To-Know Law. . .”
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Union Bullying Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk”
“Pennsylvania law currently exempts union members and management from prosecution under the laws governing stalking, harassment and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. The legislation closing these loopholes, HB 874, was approved by the House and Senate. It now heads to the Governor’s desk for a signature.
It is absurd for anyone to be exempt from prosecution for these types of serious crimes. As noted by the PA Independent, this exemption impacts real people:
“Sarina Rose, vice president of development for Post Brothers Apartments, said union-affiliated contractors also photographed her children at the bus stop and taped them at their sporting events. The legal loophole gave them a pass, she said.
“’If there was a pedophile photographing my children or if I had an ex-husband who threatened to shoot me with a gun, I could certainly implore law enforcement to do something about it,’ Rose told the House Judiciary Committee. ‘But because there are certain trades in this self-proclaimed active labor dispute with my company, the DA’s Office self-admittedly treats these cases differently.’”
Please, take a moment to contact the Governor. Let him know that no one should be above the law.
END NOTES . . .
Victor Davis Hanson, Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Can California be saved?”
“. . . A perfect storm of events.
“Higher taxes and increased regulations have driven out lots of small-business owners. In the past few years, hundreds of thousands of disgruntled middle-of-the-road voters voted with their feet and left for no-tax Nevada, Texas or Florida.
“The state devolved into a pyramid of the coastal wealthy and interior poor — the dual constituencies of the new progressive movement.
“A third of America’s welfare recipients reside in California. Nearly a quarter of Californians live below the poverty line.
“Yet nowhere in America are there more billionaires. California’s long, thin coastal corridor has become a tony La-La land unto itself. Some of the highest housing prices in the nation and richest communities are clustered along the Pacific coastline, from the wine country and Silicon Valley to Malibu and Hollywood, dotted by marquee coastal universities and zillionaire tech corporations.
“Meanwhile, poorer people in the interior, in such places as Madera and Delano — far from Stanford, Google, Pacific Heights and Santa Monica — require ever more public services. The very rich don’t mind paying the necessary higher taxes, while the strapped, shrinking middle class suffers or flees.
“Demography also explains the new true-blue California. It is one of the youngest states, with a median age of 35. Voters tend to be more liberal before they reach 40 — and must take on increasing responsibilities, often for people other than just themselves.
California hosts more undocumented immigrants than any other state. Its percentages of minority and foreign-born residents are among the highest in the country. (One of four California residents was not born in the United States.) As with the young, immigrant groups are likewise traditional liberal constituencies, at least in the early generations.
“Good money in California along the affluent coast, for the most part, is not made the old-fashioned way — in mining, timber, ranching, farming and construction. Instead, California specializes in high-tech, social media, the Internet, government employment, academia, lawyering and acting.
“Profits usually involve programming, investing, financing, hedging, talking, dealing, suing, instructing and regulating. The money is better, the physical work less grubby, and utopia seems attainable in a way impossible when growing lettuce, mining granite, drilling gas wells, producing two-by-fours, building dams or shipping steel.
“Could California change?
“Only when voters of all persuasions decide to return to the old give-and-take politics that keeps politicians honest.
“Or when water taps in the suburbs go dry.
“Or perhaps when the state’s growing poor populations connect their exorbitant gas, power and housing costs with an elite agenda of rich coastal liberals, who do not seem to care about the people working hard to glimpse what the elites take for granted.”
Kevin Williams, NRO: “An Awful Enthusiasm”
“. . . The “starchitect” is almost always and everywhere the enemy of the public good, but American public planners, keenly aware that despite its many charms Philadelphia is in reality no Paris, have a terrible weakness for celebrity architects and public grandiosity. Add in corrupt and inefficient U.S. municipal institutions and you end up with our current perverse situation: American cities frequently spend much, much more than their European counterparts on transit projects, but get a lot less for it. . .” www.nationalreview.com/article/426148/celebrity-worship-corrosive-influence-politics-archcitecture”