RALLY: Secret camps of homeless veterans; End refugee influx.
HEINE – Hate speech toward Muslims; ERICKSON – Cruz too conservative to win?; WILL – 2015 Ludicrous.
LEADS: BADE & GERSTEIN – 2000 Clinton emails; EILPERIN – Gun controls.
PA: KNEPPER – Wolf lies about education $; DONATELLI – GOP wins PA?; SNYDER – Politics PA 2015.
END NOTE: LEVIN 12/31/15.
Lower Bucks Leader: “Secret Camps of Homeless Veterans”
“This is what the churches should be working on, not Syrian terrorists!!!!”
Also note that the Valley Forge Park mows new lawns and builds new huts for dead soldiers . . .
“In the winter of 1777-78, George Washington’s battered Revolutionary Army endured bitter cold and snow, sickness, exhaustion and hunger in their camp at Valley Forge, PA.
“In Bucks County today, not far from Valley Forge, scores of desperate American veterans endure similar hardships. In small patches of woods, out of sight and out of mind of most county residents, homeless former soldiers have banded together to help one another in the daily struggle for food, water and shelter.
“A typical camp attests to the resourcefulness of the veterans, with huts cobbled together from old tarpaulins, a communal fire pit for cooking, and clotheslines for drying clothes. In most camps, a military order and discipline is maintained. Donations of food and supplies, as well as camp maintenance chores, are shared equally.
“Life is grim for the homeless veterans. Rodney Wyatt, a PA State Veterans Representative, sees this truth almost daily. Mr. Wyatt, along with a contingent of volunteers, regularly ventures into the woods to bring much needed food, water, blankets, clothing and medical supplies. In assessing a camp’s inhabitants, Mr. Wyatt keeps an eye out for those who may be capable of “gainful, sustainable employment.” He guides such veterans through the process of grooming themselves and preparing for job interviews, even helping them obtain business suits and clean shoes.
“‘Our mission,’ he said, ‘is to find them, treat them, and get them on the road to a better life.’…”
“End the Influx of Refugees” Rally
World Church Services 308 East King Street Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Date: Saturday Jan 2nd 12:00
Two seats available, contact Janet
“Our rally is intended to put pressure on World Church Services and any other group refusing to follow the will of the majority of the American people. These people still are insisting on bringing Refugees to this State and are doing it for profit, refugees who are a potential threat to our lives and the lives of our families. Our goal is to stop the refugee intake into this country and send back those already here. Instead we favor a safe zone in Syria funded by the gulf Arab states and not the tax payers of the United States. Citizenship in this country should be earned and not handed out to everyone. Our country is not a refugee camp or a dumping ground. The smug arrogance of our Governor, President, house and senate democrats has gone on for far too long. It is time our elected officials listen to WE THE PEOPLE. Islamic Fundamentalism is not welcomed in Pennsylvania! This is not a problem with race.
GOP Committeeman John Rentschler, along with his political action group Pennsylvania First and other Liberty groups such as Citizens For Liberty, Pennsylvania Oathkeepers and Patriotic Liberty League.
“This event is a peaceful demonstration and we ask all citizens come out and show them we run our country. It is time to put political correctness aside and fight for our nation and our people. Hate groups and violence are NOT welcomed. Our speakers are from several different areas and backgrounds and all will educate and empower you. Let us unite as Pennsylvanians and stop the madness. . .”
“. . . If Trump sweeps the red states, and makes the Democrats fight hard for New York State, he can win, and win going away.” Michael Walsh
Debra Heine, PJM: “Democrats Aim to Chill Speech with House Resolution Condemning ‘Hateful Rhetoric’ Toward Muslims”
BO’s next job . . . paradox – they are allowed to lie to us and new rules sanction our lying to them . . . “In the days and weeks since the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, Democrats have spent a lot of time worrying about an anti-Muslim backlash, and have proposed a House resolution to “condemn violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States” to deal with the problem. There does seem to have been an uptick in hateful incidents in the past month, although, as PJ Media’s Rick Moran reported, one of the incidents turned out to be a fake hate crime. Most of the incidents are still under investigation.
“Still, despite Democrat hand-wringing over this Islamophobic ‘backlash,’ Jews, not Muslims, are consistently the greatest victims of religiously targeted hate crimes in America. . .”
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Ted Cruz as ‘Too Conservative to Win’ and the Goldwater Talking Point”
“. . .In 1980, while the media rushed to the Goldwater talking point and considered Reagan too “far-right” to beat Jimmy Carter, the nation found itself in an economic mess and on the losing side of several national security matters. It was very hard to characterize Reagan as too far right for a country craving new policies to get it out of its economic mess, out of gas lines, and to get our hostages out of Iran. Voters wanted a change from Jimmy Carter.
“Carter’s campaign eventually had to drop the ‘he’s too radical’ approach and instead do what Ted Cruz’s opponents are presently doing to him in a one-two punch of ‘he’s the second coming of that loser Goldwater’ — claiming Reagan (and now Cruz) actually accomplished nothing. They tried to destroy the idea of California as a paradise, which in 1980 was a place millions were flocking to in search of work. In fact, in that advertisement one of the lines was ‘[Reagan] said he cut spending, but he never really did’
“It did not work. Neither the Goldwater narrative nor the ‘he sucked as Governor’ narrative worked for Carter because, quite simply, the public had given up on him.
“The greatest lesson to take away now is that the media is going to again fixate on Goldwater from 1964, and they will probably mostly ignore the most historically relevant election points — Carter in 1980 and George H. W. Bush in 1992.
“History doesn’t repeat itself. The media does. So too does a Republican Establishment that has seen all its more winnable moderates from Dole to McCain to Romney lose. But Ted Cruz is just like Barry Goldwater supposedly.”
George Will, Union Leader: “The Ludicrousness of 2015”
“E.B. White reportedly said ‘the most beautiful sound in America’ is ‘the tinkle of ice at twilight.’ In 2015’s twilight, I hope you fortified yourself with something 90-proof as you remembered this year in which:
“We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil-asset forfeiture – usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime – exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars.
“The attorney general of New York, which reaps billions from gambling – casinos, off-track betting, the state lottery – moved to extinguish (competition from) fantasy football because it is gambling.
“Florida police raided a mahjong game played by four women aged between 87 and 95 because their game’s stakes allegedly exceeded the $10 limit set by state law.
“A Michigan woman was fingerprinted, had her mug shot taken, and was jailed until released on bond because she was late renewing the $10 license for her dog.
“New Jersey police arrested a 72-year-old retired teacher, chained his hands and feet to a bench, and charged him with illegally carrying a firearm – a 300-year-old flintlock pistol (with no powder, flint, or ball) he purchased from an antique dealer.
“The University of Georgia said sexual consent must be “voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest.” Imaginative consent?
“Connecting climate change to sex, the National Bureau of Economic Research warned that hot weather leads to diminished sexual activity.
“Elsewhere in “settled science,” the government’s dietary rules were revised, somewhat rehabilitating red meat, sodium, eggs, and other good stuff. Undaunted, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee produced a 571-page report calling for “bold actions” and “dramatic paradigm shifts” until mother-hen government yet again says, “Well, never mind.”
“Since federal food police dictated changes in school lunch programs, food tossed in the trash is up 56 percent, salt shakers are being smuggled into schools, and there are black markets in potato chips.
“The Internal Revenue Service persecutes conservative advocacy groups but does not prosecute IRS employees who are tax cheats: An audit revealed that over the last decade, the IRS fired only 400 of the 1,580 employees who deliberately violated tax laws, rather than the 100 percent required by law.
New York’s City Council honored the “bravery” of Ethel Rosenberg, the executed traitor who spied for Stalin.
“Declaring her candidacy, Hillary Clinton said she will fight for, among many others, “truckers who drive for hours.” Yes, hours. Elsewhere, she rejected the presumption of innocence, a.k.a. due process: Those alleging sexual assault have “the right to be believed,” which she did not believe when her husband was the accused.
“A 9-year-old Florida fourth grader was threatened with sexual harassment charges if he continued to write love notes telling the apple of his eye that her eyes sparkle “like diamonds.”
“A Texas 9-year-old was suspended for saying his magic ring could make people disappear.
“A young girl was sent home with a censorious note from her school because her Wonder Woman lunchbox violated the school ban on depictions of “violent characters.”
“An Oregon eighth grader whose brother served in Iraq was suspended for wearing a T-shirt that depicted an empty pair of boots representing soldiers killed in action. The school said the shirt was “not appropriate.”
“A Tennessee boy was threatened with suspension from elementary school because he came to school with a military-style haircut like that of his stepbrother, a soldier.
“A government arbitrator prevented the firing of a New Jersey elementary school teacher who was late to school 111 times in two years.
“A suburban Washington high school promoted self-esteem by naming 117 valedictorians out of a class of 457.
“Two Edina, Minn., elementary schools hired ‘recess consultants’ to minimize ‘conflict’ – children saying ‘Hey, you’re out!’ rather than ‘Nice try!’
“The principal of a San Francisco middle school withheld the results of student elections that did not produce properly ‘diverse’ results.
“When some deep thinkers in academia decided that yoga, like ethnic food, constitutes ‘cultural appropriation,’ a clear thinker wondered whether offended cultures would send back our polio vaccines.
“The American Council of Trustees and Alumni reported that 48 of the top 52 liberal arts colleges and universities do not require English majors to take a Shakespeare course.
“This list of 2015 ludicrousness could be lengthened indefinitely, but enough already. The common thread is the collapse of judgment in, and the infantilization of society by, government.
“Happier new year.“
LEADS . . .
Rachael Bade & Josh Gerstein, Politico: “More than 1,200 Clinton emails now deemed classified”
Is Ms. Jarrett paying attention????
“The agency also falls short of its court-ordered goal of releasing 43,000 pages of the former secretary of state’s emails by the end of the year.
“More than 1,200 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time at the State Department have now been deemed classified, after the agency publicly released its eighth batch of the messages late Thursday.
“The agency released roughly 5,500 more pages of emails from the private email account that Clinton exclusively used during her four years at Foggy Bottom, with an additional 275 messages now upgraded to classified, bringing the total number of retroactively classified emails that moved through Clinton’s unsecured server to 1,274.
“While most of those were elevated to the ‘confidential’ level, according to a State Department official, two in the most recent batch were upgraded to the ‘Secret’ level, a more sensitive classification for issues that affect national security.
“Clinton, after the scandal about her use of private email broke in March, initially said that there was no classified material on her email account. She has since stressed that she did not send any classified information and that no messages she sent or received were marked classified at the time.
“The State Department also said on Thursday that it fell short of its court-ordered goal of releasing 43,000 pages of the trove by the end of the year. . .” http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/state-dept-to-miss-target-in-clinton-email-release-217255
Juliet Eilperin, WaPo: “Obama to impose new gun control curbs next week”
“HONOLULU — President Obama will meet with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch on Monday to finalize a set of executive actions on guns that he will unveil next week, according to several individuals briefed on the matter.
“White House officials declined to comment on Obama’s plans beyond releasing his weekly radio address on Friday, a day earlier than usual. But according to those familiar with the proposal, who asked for anonymity because it was not yet public, the president will expand new background-check requirements for buyers who purchase weapons from high-volume gun dealers.
“The president will also use his executive authority in several other areas, these individuals said, but the overall package has not yet been finalized.
“In the radio address, Obama said he was moving unilaterally because Congress had failed to address the growing problem of gun violence. . .”
Also: Charles C.W. Cooke, NRO: “Why would anyone want a firearm?”
“‘Why,’ we often hear it asked, ‘would the architects of the Constitution put a public policy question into the national charter? Do we really have to stick with a regulatory scheme that originated before the invention of the light bulb?’ The answer to this question is a simple one: ‘Yes.’ Why? Because, our contemporary rhetorical habits notwithstanding, the right to keep and bear arms is not so much a right in and of itself as an auxiliary mechanism that protects the real unalienable right underneath: that of self-defense. By placing a prohibition on strict gun control into the Constitution, the Founders did not accidentally insert a matter of quotidian rulemaking into a statement of foundational law; rather, they sought to secure a fundamental liberty whose explicit recognition was the price of the state’s construction. . .”
PA . . .
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Governor Wolf Continues to Lie About Education Funding”
“On Tuesday, Governor Wolf announced that he was going to use his line-item veto on the budget lawmakers sent him right before Christmas. He could have and should have done the same thing back in June. However, he was more interested in holding state funding hostage to apply maximum leverage through the negotiation process.
In his address on the line item veto, Wolf continued to repeat the lie that the budget as passed would result in a cut to education funding. First and foremost, Pennsylvania already has the eleventh highest spending per pupil in the country. The argument that taxpayer need to continue to put up more money without seeing any improved results is absurd. However, that is Wolf’s demand; he is more than willing to play fast and loose with the facts and math to make that happen.
During his press conference announcing his decision to exercise the line-item veto, Governor Wolf continued to repeat the lie that the budget on his desk would cut education funding. In fact, as noted by the Commonwealth Foundation the only “cut” one might be able to identify would be the difference in spending between what the Governor wants and what the legislature sent him. When you compare the 2015-2016 budget to the 2014-2015 budget, this year’s proposed education budget outspends last year’s budget when you look at the totals.”
Frank Donatelli, RCP: “Can the GOP Win Pennsylvania?”
“. . . Perhaps no state holds as much promise as Pennsylvania.
“The Keystone State has elected its share of Republicans. The junior senator is a Republican and the party holds 13 of 18 congressional seats. Republicans control both houses of the legislature and the state elects as many Republican as Democratic governors. Pennsylvania’s population is 84 percent white and has the fourth highest percentage of residents over 65. Wide parts of the state are rural and reliably Republican. The western area has remade itself with the discovery and development of the Marcellus Shale gas patch. Pictures of closed and shuttered steel mills document Pennsylvania’s past, not its future.
“The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is in disarray. The controversy centers on former rising star and Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who faces charges of leaking confidential grand jury testimony, obstruction of justice and perjury. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently revoked her law license, making her the only state AG in the country unable to try her own department’s cases. Yet she has not ruled out a bid for re-election next year.
“State Democrats are also reeling from corruption cases pursued against the former Democratic state treasurer, sitting members of the state House, and the recent corruption conviction of a Philadelphia congressman’s son.
“So, if the GOP is going to break its six-election presidential losing streak in Pennsylvania, this would be the year to do it. Yet, formidable obstacles remain before Republicans can claim its 20 key electoral votes. First is the party registration deficit. There are over 1 million more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania, so an appeal to ‘turn out the base’ will fall well short in this state.
“Then there are the populous suburbs surrounding Philadelphia – Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks and Chester counties. Democrats will win Philadelphia and Pittsburgh overwhelmingly, Republicans will carry the rural areas in central Pennsylvania and do well in the western towns outside of Pittsburgh, but the huge shift that has made Pennsylvania reliably Democratic in presidential years has been the change in voting patterns in the Philadelphia suburbs. While the numbers of Democrats and Republicans are nearly equal, Republican registrants contain large blocs of younger, moderate voters as well as college-educated women.
“These voters can be targeted based on economic opportunity, but they are libertarian and tolerant on social policy. Two of the leading Republican candidates are misfits to appeal to these voters. Neither Donald Trump’s focus on white working-class resentment nor Ted Cruz’ caffeinated appeals to white evangelicals is likely to work. Republicans who have won statewide include reform-minded governors Tom Ridge and Tom Corbett, and current Sen. Pat Toomey . . .”
Sy Snyder, PoliticsPA: “2015 Ups & Downs”
“2015 was a memorable year in Pennsylvania politics although probably not for the right reasons. Now that we’re just about in the rear-view mirror, it’s the perfect time to take a look at who had the best and worst year.
“This is our second edition of the annual Ups & Downs list and you can read the 2014 version here.
Before we present the biggest Ups & Downs of 2015, though, let us first recognize our honorable mentions.
“Martina White. The Boyle-Stack feud was destructive for the Philly Democratic Party. So much so that it cost them a State House seat. White, a 26 year-old Republican rookie, became the beneficiary of this conflict. It may prove too difficult for the GOP to hold a district in the heart of their party’s strongest city, but no matter the result White will serve in Harrisburg through 2016. Now there’s a result that even she may not have considered possible 12 months ago.
“Jim Burn. The Democrats had a great election night last month. The occasion should’ve been the crowning achievement of Party Chairman Jim Burn. The only problem? He was forced to resign in July. Instead it was Marcel Groen who got to bask in the judicial victories. Ultimately, Burn just couldn’t go on fighting Gov. Tom Wolf, who never wanted him to stay on and actively tried to remove him. Perhaps next year will be kinder to the ex-Chair.
“Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love moved back to the center of PA’s political conversation in 2015. Initially, it was the crowded Democratic primary that captured headlines in the spring. Then, we found out Philly was chosen to be the site of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, ensuring the city a major role in the presidential contest. Finally, the Pope’s visit captured international headlines (thanks to Congressman Bob Brady). Now, if only we could win another championship.
“Bill Shuster. One of the greatest fears of any elected official is that their personal life will find its way into the news cycle. That nightmare became reality for Congressman Shuster in April when Politico disclosed that he’s in a relationship with an airline lobbyist. Shuster’s position as Transportation Committee Chair caused even more scrutiny and provided justification for another primary challenge from Art Halvorson. It’s unlikely Rep. Shuster will face long-time damage from the episode but that won’t erase the embarrassments he was put through this year.
“Erik Arneson. It could be argued that Arneson had the strangest 2015 of all. When Gov. Wolf fired the Director of the Office of Open Records just days after his inauguration, it sparked a protracted legal battle. Wolf had to reinstate Arneson and eventually lost his case in the State Supreme Court. As a result, Arneson is now one of the most well-known bureaucrats in Harrisburg.
“Ed Pawlowski. 2015 was terrible for the Allentown Mayor. In fact, the sole reason he is only in honorable mentions is that 2016 will likely be much worse. His Senate dreams imploded after his office was raided by the FBI. His prospects just continued to get bleaker as it emerged that his closest advisor and friend was wearing a wire. A once promising political career turning into a tragedy is unfortunately becoming a common narrative in Pennsylvania.
“The Porngate Trio
“Michael Eakin, Frank Fina and Seth Williams. In sports, unforced errors are the largest impediment to success. The same is true in politics and these three men proved to be the kings of unforced errors. For Eakin and Fina it was the sending of pornographic material on state accounts to government officials that endangered their careers. As for Williams, his inexplicable decision to defend Fina severely hurt his political future. Their fates show just how vast a scandal “porngate” has become.
“Rob McCord and Chaka Fattah. Forgive the pun, but this sub-head has a double meaning. Each of these men made our 2014 list and both of them are in deep legal trouble. In fact, McCord has already pleaded guilty to extortion charges related to his unsuccessful run for Governor. Rep. Fattah, meanwhile, currently faces 29 charges, all of which he intends to fight in court. Both these men were major figures in Pennsylvania and the state’s Democratic primary and both these men will likely spend some portion of 2016 behind bars.
“2015’s Split Decision
“Tom Wolf. Last year, we gave our split decision arrow to Gov. Corbett. The rationale was that while he had lost re-election, he no longer had to bear the burden of leading this commonwealth. This year it was Governor Wolf who had to deal with the interminable tasking of assembling a budget. With his sophomore year approaching, Wolf still has decent popularity numbers but he’s yet to find a way to successfully work with the Republican-led legislature. It’s too early to judge his tenure, but 2015 had to have been the most volatile year of Wolf’s life.
“The Down Arrow of 2015
“Kathleen Kane. There were so many contenders for this “award”, but somehow the Attorney General was able to hold off all challengers and retain the title. Where to begin? In the past twelve months, Kane has been charged on several counts and fired numerous officials for questionable reasons. She was arraigned, fingerprinted and had her mugshot taken. Her office has been raided multiple times and she is facing several lawsuits. She held a press conference where she spoke directly to her children and another where she was introduced with a slideshow of the infamous emails. Yet she didn’t answer a single question at either event. On top of it all, her law license was suspended and the Governor and legislature are fervently trying to get rid of her. Scandals come and go but the falling star that is Kathleen Kane is going down in an extraordinary blaze of glory.
“The Up Arrow of 2015
“John Dougherty. The power of labor leaders in America has been on the decline for decades. Apparently, nobody told “Johnny Doc” about this. The influential Philly union head had a remarkable 2015. It started with the Philly Mayoral race where Dougherty’s support was not only crucial to Kenney’s victory but to the ex-Councilman’s decision to even run. In September, Johnny Doc expanded his power base by becoming Business Manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council (he has long been Business Manager of IBEW 98). His biggest victory came in November, however, when his brother Kevin, who received significant financial help from labor, was elected to the State Supreme Court. Furthermore, Dougherty already has his eyes set on next spring’s Democratic primary for Attorney General. Whether we’re witnessing the peak of his powers or his best is yet to come, there’s no doubt that John Dougherty deserves the up arrow for 2015.”
END NOTE . . .
Mark Levin (12/31/15)
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin show, The person under attack today by the neocons and phony conservatives is Ted Cruz and it’s because they fear him. They want anyone but a conservative or an outsider. Conservatives have had enough of the chorus of neocons and newbie conservatives attacking Cruz. RINO Republicans are the ones responsible for delivering elections to President Obama by jumping on the Mitt Romney and John McCain bandwagons.
“Also, America doesn’t need to be involved in every single civil war in the Middle East. America doesn’t have the ability to change the world and can’t change backward societies. What we need is Reagan’s foreign policy, a policy of prudence instead of another ‘Pickett’s Charge.’ In addition, though he is provocative, Donald Trump has leadership qualities. He makes the point and makes no excuses. This is why Americans like Trump, because RINO candidates don’t lead.
“Later, the NSA metadata program is illegal and violates the Patriot Act. It is not authorized by Federal law and should not be allowed unless approved by Congress. What law enforcement needs to do is legally profile.
“Finally, Democrats are celebrating that conservative policies were taken out of the omnibus spending bill and Paul Ryan is helping to pass this.