AFP Take Action; DRUMS RATTLE, FLAGS WAVE; CITIZENS FOR LIBERTY; Pray USA.
HARSANYI – 1st Amendment dies; JESSIE SHARON – Mizzou.
LEADS: GOLDBERG – Bibi & ‘Medievalism’; REYNOLDS – Voting age; SKINNER & Vande PANNE – Students march; WARREN – Ted & Immigration; LOWRY – Ted’s run.
HILLARY: TARANTO – FBI probes.
PA: STAUB – Liquor sales; KNEPPER – New book on pensions; POLITICS PA.
END NOTES: MARK LEVIN (11/12/15)
AFP/Pa: Take Action on Sales Tax
After 5 months of holding out against a tax increase, it seems there is an agreement in Harrisburg to raise your sales tax.
Former Governor Rendell promised that if the legislature voted for gambling revenues, you wouldn’t have to pay property taxes. Now the legislature is considering taking $600 million from gambling money and diverting it to the general fund.
But part of this deal is an increase in the sales tax to 7.25 percent. That’s a 21 percent increase in your sales taxes. Some of that will go to property tax relief, so they say. This is not a path to a prosperous Pennsylvania. This is simply a path to higher taxes.
Send a message to your legislator – no tax hikes, no gimmicks in the budget. Decrease spending, fix the pension system and privatize liquor stores. Nothing else will be acceptable.
Anna McCauslin PA Policy Director Americans for Prosperity
TONITE! Valley Forge Patriots: November 13th
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13, 2015 6:30 P.M.
P.J. Ryan’s, Bridge St., Phoenixville, PA
Please go to the above web site and RSVP!
CALLING ALL VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS – Support Our Troops
Once again we will be honoring our Service Members by joining AdoptaPlatoon’s 10th Anniversary “Holiday Stockings for the Troops” campaign.
Please come and help us with this project.
We are asking two things: please bring a donation, $10. or more if you can, and please be prepared to write Christmas Cards.
Adopt-a-Platoon will package and send the gifts and cards.
Each stocking/care package costs $31.00.
An entire Platoon of 40 would cost $1240. We might not get there but let’s do the best we can for these men and women who sacrifice for us and spend the holidays far from home.
VFP plans to become a more project focused organization. We would welcome your ideas and help to move this effort forward.
ACTION ITEM: About 3A.M. Saturday morning the U.S. Senate voted to pass a continuing resolution (CR) approving $80 billion in new spending through the end of Obama’s term in 2017 and increasing the Federal spending limit. The House passed the bill last week.
Amnesty, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood are still funded, despite Republican election promises.
We urge all members to contact their Representatives and Senators to tell them:
I am very disappointed in your backing down on your campaign promises to defund amnesty and Obamacare and to reduce government spending. I am very disappointed in the continued funding for PP, an organization under strong suspicion of selling baby body parts from aborted and from born alive , then, murdered babies. Your voting record will significantly and negatively impact my support for your reelection bid in 2016.
Senator Pat Toomey – (202) 224-4254, email at http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact
Senator Bob Casey – (202) 224-6324, email athttps://www.casey.senate.gov/contact
Rep. Pat Meehan – (202) 225-2011, email at https://meehan.house.gov/contact
Rep. Ryan Costello – (202) 225-4315, email at https://costello.house.gov/contact
November 17th, Pray USA/PA
Subject: Pennsylvania Leaders Calling For Prayer – RSVP Today
Don’t miss this historic event on November 17th at at 6:00 pm EST in Harrisburg. RSVP below! Senator Stewart Greenleaf and Rep. Rick Saccone would like to invite you to the PrayUSA PA event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Prayer Caucus Network and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. It is part of the extraordinary, nationwide initiative, PrayUSA: Government Leaders Calling the Nation to Prayer that was birthed on March 7, 2015 at the LIFFT America Religious Liberty Summit. Sixteen members of Congress and 36 state legislators, representing 25 states, gathered to coordinate an effective strategy to challenge the growing anti-faith movement in our country. As a first unifying step, in a solemn and historic ceremony, all who were present signed a Call to Prayer for America Proclamation.
Nearly 900 government leaders, 50 organizations and over 130,000 citizens have said, “Yes” to the nationwide prayer initiative launched earlier this year in a strong and determined effort to realign the country with our Judeo-Christian heritage and see God heal this land. Mark your calendar now! Find out more about the PrayUSA: Government Leaders Calling the Nation to Prayer movement.
We rally 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.
“Ted Cruz gets no respect. At least no respect in keeping with the impressiveness of the campaign he’s built and his increasing odds of winning the Republican nomination. . .” Rich Lowry http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/11/13/ted_cruz_is_a_real_threat_for_the_nomination_128722.html
David Harsanyi, RCP: “The 1st Amendment is Dying”
“”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
“Unless we’re talking about a white chocolate-paneled cake for a gay wedding or perpetual funding for “women’s health” clinics because it’s the “right thing to do.”
‘or abridging the freedom of speech;’
“Unless that speech is used by boorish climate change denialists to peddle dirty fossil fuels and run capitalist death machines that wreck the Earth, by anyone engaging in upsetting hate speech or other forms of “aggression,” by a wealthy person supporting candidates who undermine “progress,” by a pro-life protester who makes people feel uncomfortable about their life decisions, by a cisnormative white male who displays insufficient appreciation for the “systematic oppression” that minorities experience in places of higher learning or by anyone who has a desire to undermine the state-protected union monopolies that help fund political parties.
‘or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,’
“Unless the press invades safe spaces designated by mobs or writes about incorrect topics at incorrect times.
‘and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’
“Unless someone is a member of a predesignated special interest group, he should report to the IRS before doing so. “That’s pretty much the state of the First Amendment today. Climate change, abortion, gay marriage, race, taxes, what have you — even in mainstream political debate, these interests outweigh your piddling concerns about the First Amendment. So the notion that a bunch of students and leftist professors would agitate to shut down free expression in a public space in Missouri because they feel their special issue trumps your antiquated list of rules is not particularly surprising. . .”
Mizzou: “Jessie Sharon learned”
Give this kid a ballot! Run her for president. . .
“Today I learned that my university is run by its football team.
“Today I learned that the media cares more about creating a story than uncovering the truth.
“Today I learned that the right of a small group to protest is more important than the entire student body’s right to the education they pay for.
“Today I learned that one man is responsible for the heinous actions of a few campus racists.
“Today I learned that not supporting one group protesting racism makes you a racist, even though you support the fight against racism–just not that specific group.
“Today I am not proud to be a tiger.”
Also: Dan Riehl, Big Govt: “Missouri Students Use Social Media to Blast Protesters”
“One young female University of Missouri student, Jessie Sharon, is using her public Facebook page to express disappointment at recent on campus events.
Unlike the media, which was blocked and shouted down by the Social Justice Worriers at Mizzou, Sharon was able to speak her mind and have it shared by over 2,800 people for now. . .”
“Clearly, she’s not alone, given that even a good number of football players didn’t support their teammates boycott that led to the resignation of a university president. Unfortunately, those voices, much like Jessie’s – and the voices of who knows how many other students – just didn’t matter as much to the media.
LEADS . . .
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “Netanyahu’s Framing of Middle East Situation Is Spot-on”
“Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu.
“The Israeli prime minister was in Washington this week to receive the American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award. He made some controversial remarks — at least controversial at AEI, where I am a fellow, and where the freedom agenda is alive and well — about the need to be realistic about what’s going on in the Middle East. Sometimes, he said, brutal dictators are better than the real-world alternatives: even more brutal Islamist movements hell-bent (or, if you prefer, paradise-bent) to conquer the world.
“Less controversial but more intriguing was his description of the turmoil in the Middle East. ‘The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between modernity and early primitive medievalism,’ Netanyahu explained.
“Everyone understood what he meant, of course.
“The Islamic State believes the Muslim world took a wrong turn more than a thousand years ago. The Taliban, the Wahhabis, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all the other Islamists share this same worldview to one extent or another. Not every Islamist believes in crucifying Christians or throwing acid in the face of little girls going to school. But they all reject modernity, pluralism, secularism, democracy, and, in many cases, even science.
“‘Medievalism’ isn’t a perfect word, but it’s a better word than ‘terrorism’ or ‘Islamism.’. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/396169/how-terrorism-harms-radical-islam-daniel-pipes
Glenn Reynolds, USA Today: “After Yale, Mizzou, raise the voting age — to 25”
Brains mature in synchrony with the demands that were made in Africa 200,000 years ago. Paul MacLean’s “4-Fs” – Feeding, fighting, fleeing, and reproductive behavior – ripen earlier than “planning for the future.” If you want more waves and tides in voter conduct (and more Dems), drop the age to 16 . . . if you want fewer, raise it to 26 . . .
“In 1971, the United States ratified the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.
“The idea, in those Vietnam War years, was that 18-year-olds, being old enough to be drafted, to marry and to serve on juries, deserved a vote. It seemed plausible at the time, and I myself have argued that we should set the drinking age at 18 for the same reasons.
“But now I’m starting to reconsider. To be a voter, one must be able to participate in adult political discussions. It’s necessary to be able to listen to opposing arguments and even — as I’m doing right here in this column — to change your mind in response to new evidence.
“But now the evidence suggests that, whatever one might say about the 18-year-olds of 1971, the 18-year-olds of today aren’t up to that task. And even the 21-year-olds aren’t looking so good. . .”
Curtis Skinner & Valerie Vande Panne, Yahoo!: “Students across U.S. march over debt, free public college”
“(Reuters) – Students held rallies on college campuses across the United States on Thursday to protest ballooning student loan debt for higher education and rally for tuition-free public colleges and a minimum wage hike for campus workers.
“The demonstrations, dubbed the Million Student March, were planned just two days after thousands of fast-food workers took to the streets in a nationwide day of action pushing for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union rights for the industry.
“About 50 students from Boston-area colleges gathered at Northeastern University carrying signs that read ‘Degrees not receipts’ and ‘Is this a school or a corporation?’
“‘The student debt crisis is awful. Change starts when people demand it in the street. Not in the White House,’ said Elan Axelbank, 20, a third year student at Northeastern, who said he was a co-founder of the national action.
“Photos and videos posted on social media showed marches at schools including Texas State, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Depaul University in Chicago.
“Organizers are demanding tuition-free public colleges, cancellation of all student debt and a $15-an-hour minimum wage for campus workers. . .”
Rich Lowry, RCP: “Ted Cruz Is a Real Threat for the Nomination”
“. . . The indications of the strength of Cruz’s operation and the shrewdness of his positioning are mounting.
“He had more cash-on-hand at the end of the third quarter than any other Republican.
He has major super-PAC backing.
“He assessed the anti-establishment mood in the party more accurately than any of the other traditional Republican candidates.
“He reacted to the rise of Trump very deftly for his purposes.
“He has seen a couple of key potential competitors, Scott Walker and Rand Paul, either hit a wall or badly underperform.
“He has a discernible ideological and geographic base.
“He has, relatedly, a path to the nomination that is simple and intuitive (win Iowa, consolidate the right, and beat an establishment that might be too fractured and unpopular to prevail).
“He lights up pretty much every conservative audience he addresses.
“He is an excellent debater, and he simply doesn’t make tactical or rhetorical mistakes.
“And yet, while many of these qualities are duly noted, he doesn’t really get his due. Why?
“The political press corps made up its mind about him — too divisive — as soon as he showed up in Washington, and has never entirely gotten over its dismissiveness about his campaign. . .”
Michael Warren, Weekly Standard: “It’s Not Clear What Cruz Believes on Immigration”
“Why is it so hard to figure out what Ted Cruz actually believes should be done about illegal immigration? When the Texas senator, through the help of radio host Laura Ingraham, zeroed in on Marco Rubio’s involvement drafting and supporting the Gang of 8’s comprehensive immigration reform plan in the Senate, he brought up for discussion his rival’s single biggest weakness in the Republican presidential primary. Rubio has not yet had a full reckoning over his support and subsequent departure from the Gang’s proposal, so Cruz, sensing both senators are on the rise in the primary, made a calculated move to strike.
“The Rubio campaign, however, was ready to argue that supporting immigration reform wasn’t just Rubio’s weakness. Yes, Rubio had supported the 2013 bill, which would have created a pathway to citizenship for some illegals currently in the country while expanding the number of legal immigrants. But Cruz, Rubio told reporters, wasn’t all that different. Cruz had, in fact, proposed a path to legalization, said Rubio, whose campaign pointed to an amendment Cruz offered that would have barred anyone on the path to legalization under the Gang’s bill from ever receiving citizenship. The amendment (along with four other amendments Cruz proposed in the Judiciary committee, like one to beef up border security) failed, but not before Cruz made what sounds like a case for improving the Gang’s bill . . .”
HILLARY . . .
James Taranto, WSJ: “It’s a Good Thing”
“Mrs. Clinton and the Martha Stewart offense.
“Uh-oh. “The FBI has expanded its probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails, with agents exploring whether multiple statements violate a federal false statements statute, according to intelligence sources familiar with the ongoing case,” Fox News reports.
“The statute in question, Fox explains, ‘pertains to ‘materially false’ statements’ and also covers ‘pressuring a third party to conspire in a cover-up.’ Each violation can carry a penalty of five years in prison. More:
‘‘The section of the criminal code being explored is known as “statements or entries generally,” and can be applied when an individual makes misleading or false statements causing federal agents to expend additional resources and time. In this case, legal experts as well as a former FBI agent said, Section 1001 could apply if [Mrs.] Clinton, her aides or attorney were not forthcoming with FBI agents about her emails, classification and whether only non-government records were destroyed.’
“This isn’t perjury; conviction does not require that the false statement have been made under oath. Among the high-profile defendants convicted of violating Section 1001: Rod Blagojevich, Scooter Libby, Bernie Madoff, Jeffrey Skilling and Martha Stewart.
‘Separately, two U.S. government officials told Fox News that the FBI is doing its own classification review of the Clinton emails, effectively cutting out what has become a grinding process at the State Department. Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy has argued to both Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Congress that the “Top Secret” emails on Clinton’s server could have been pulled from unclassified sources including news reports. . . .
‘On Friday, Clapper spokesman Brian Hale confirmed that no change has been made to the two “Top Secrets [sic]” emails after a Politico report said the intelligence community was retreating from the finding.’
“It is of course possible that nothing will come of this—that the FBI will not find enough evidence to bring criminal charges or, as seems to be a common assumption, that a politicized Justice Department will overrule the bureau if it does recommend charges against the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee.
“But more than eight months after the New York Times broke the story of Mrs. Clinton’s illicit private server, the scandal has not gone away as her supporters were sure it quickly would. . . .
PA . . .
Andrew Staub, PA Independent: “New liquor privatization bill makes entrance”
“House Speaker Mike Turzai on Thursday introduced another privatization bill extracting Pennsylvania from the hooch business, but there’s no promise it will be the final iteration of liquor reform included within a broader state budget agreement that’s starting to take shape.
“While liquor reform is part of the framework of a budget deal between Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers, Turzai’s latest booze bill is not the product of any current agreement, said Jeffrey Sheridan, Wolf’s press secretary. . .”
Leo Knepper, CAP: “New Book on the Pennsylvania Pension Crisis”
“Rep. John McGinnis (R-Blair County) is the author of a new book, Future Forsaken: PENnscam and the Demise of the Commonwealth. The book details the causes and fixes for the Pennsylvania pension crisis. Rep. McGinnis is uniquely qualified to tackle this subject. He is a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) and has a Ph.D. in Finance. He has done a fantastic job of making a fairly complex topic interesting and accessible to the general public. Here is an excerpt:
“Is it too harsh and hyperbolic to describe as scams the Pennsylvania state pension systems–the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS)? I don’t think so. They are devolving into Ponzi schemes because they are badly designed, badly managed, and badly funded. What is worse, with each passing day, which includes $12 million more in pension debt, it gets more difficult for elected officials to recall the Frankenstein they’ve created. . .”
PoliticsPA: 11/13 Ups & Downs
“Several officials’ fates are up in the air on this Friday the Thirteenth. See who made this week’s list!
“Budget Hopes. Could it be? May a budget deal actually be on the horizon? Over the last weekend, the Governor’s spokesman said there was a “light at the end of the tunnel.” Then, we learned that Harrisburg’s leaders had agreed on a budgetary framework. Of course, things still nearly unraveled when the GOP blanched at Gov. Wolf’s announcement on education spending but everything seems to be back on track. While the standoff still isn’t settled, after months of stalemate there is finally the real possibility of a deal.
“Tom Wolf. Speaking of that framework, its sources of revenues are an increase in the sales tax and more money from slot machines. You’ll notice that a severance tax is not mentioned. Wolf campaigned on a 5% severance tax and introduced a plan a month into office that he asserted would bring in $1 billion. It’s quite possible Wolf’s first budget victory could be marred by complaints from his base that a regressive sales tax was increased but natural gas drillers emerged unscathed.
“Richard Ross. Ross, who has served as Philadelphia’s First Deputy Police Commissioner for years, was chosen by Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney to take over the top job. On one hand, Ross will finally get the opportunity to serve as Philly’s Police Commissioner. Yet on the other hand, he will soon face all the heavy responsibilities that come with that job. Ross will also have to succeed Charles Ramsey, the most popular public official in the city. There are few positions that have more potential hurdles or a more intense spotlight. Still, we wish him luck.
“Michael Eakin. It was difficult to imagine things getting worse for the State Supreme Court Justice. Against all odds, though, it did. This week we found out that the Counsel for the Judicial Conduct Board, Robert Graci, is a friend of Eakin’s that worked for his re-election. That could help explain why the Justice was exonerated when his emails were examined in 2014. Graci has since said he’ll step aside but it is now possible that an independent body could be formed to complete the investigation. The Justice just can’t seem to escape this nightmare.
“Chaka Fattah Jr. Congressman Fattah is dealing with his own legal problems at the moment, but it’s his son who was actually recently found guilty on 22 of 23 charges. “Chip” Fattah is still confident he’ll pull through (and he’s not afraid to defend himself at all times) although it’s tough to imagine how things could get much worse for the entire Fattah family.”
END NOTES. . .
Mark Levin (11/12/15)
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin Show: What you are seeing on some college campus’ in America is anarchy and the de-civilization of America. The way you deal with these students is the way Gov. Reagan dealt with them at Berkeley College in 1969 – through law and order. It’s time for Governors to step up and deal with these students and their demands; which coincidentally are the same demands as the Democrat Party, just in time for the election.
“Also, Hillary Clinton is claiming that in the 1970’s the Marines turned her away, but the campaign won’t talk about it and there’s no evidence or witnesses to prove it. We haven’t seen any coverage questioning Hillary’s character like we did with Ben Carson.
“Finally, Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale college, calls in to talk about his new book, Churchill’s Trial, as well as Mark’s donation of his copy of the Federalist papers to Hillsdale college.”