VFP/C4L, May 4th.
ERICKSON – Trying not to die; McCARTHY – Saudi friends; SPERRY – Saudi cover-up.
GOP: GOLDBERG – Trump calculus.
LEADS: WHEELER – Immigration split; AP – Iran defends; WILLIAMSON – Left coming for you; ALMASY & KLUDT – 9 leave Gitmo; TANCREDO – IRS Corruption & illegals; HOUSTON – Illegals & SSNs; MAZZETTI – Saudis & 911 bill; FABIAN – Immigration @ SCOTUS.
PA: KRAUS – Medical pot & big business; SNYDER – Politics PA.
Janet: VFP & Citizens for Liberty
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, KING OF PRUSSIA VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY, 170 ALLENDALE ROAD, 7-9p.m. (doors open at 6:30).
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The nationally acclaimed Ted Patterson “Ted Patterson serves as the Senior Vice President for the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, and is a national consultant who has used the confrontational model to grow grassroots organizations and lead successful political projects around the country.
“- May is our 4th year anniversary. Help us celebrate in all that you have given us. “- We will acknowledge the recent passing of a fellow Patriot and friend to our organization, Mike Souders. “- An update will be given about the situation occurring in Oregon, pertaining to the LaVoy Finicum family, as well as our friends, the Cliven and Carol Bundy family. “- An introduction to the new ‘umbrella’ groups will be announced. We will be seeking volunteers to set brushfires in the minds of PA residents. Our new HB 230/Constitutional Carry Bill team, was kickstarted in PA at our April Meet and Greet. “- Find out what our summer activities include. We will be non-stop. While May is our final event here, we have alot going on that you can participate in, until we return to King of Prussia in September. “- We will have our random monthly door prize. “- FREE potluck dinner buffet included. Feel free to bring a dish or a snack, or just simply enjoy. “- Feast on our 4th birthday cake. “- Cash bar available.”
Erick Erickson: Resurgent
“It is rather sobering to have doctors tell you that you should be dead.
Over the course of the past few weeks my lungs have been filling with blood clots. The technical term in the medical report is that my lungs are “showered” with clots. My blood oxygen level cratered to the point of numb lips and the act of putting shampoo in my hair was leaving me out of breath.
“Ecclesiastes says there is a time to heal and a time to be silent. My time for both has come. I am healing slowly. My breath has returned. My blood-oxygen level is back into the high nineties. But I need a few more days before I again engage with the world. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. And I appreciate the other writers here at The Resurgent who are picking up the slack left by my absence.
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “Willful Blindness and Our Saudi ‘Friends’”
“. . . Yes, the conviction of the Blind Sheikh and his henchmen was a great law-enforcement success. Throughout the long trial and in the years that followed, though, I came to appreciate that national security is principally about keeping Americans safe, not winning court cases. Sure, winning in this instance meant justice was done and some terrorists were incarcerated. How safe, though, had we really kept Americans? “For all the effort and expense, the number of jihadists neutralized was negligible compared to the overall threat. The attacks kept coming, as one might expect when one side detonates bombs and the other responds with subpoenas. As the years passed, the tally of casualties far outstripped that of convicted terrorists. When 9/11 finally happened, killing nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans, al-Qaeda credited none other than the Blind Sheikh with issuing the fatwa — the sharia edict — that authorized the attack. We had imprisoned him, but we had not stopped him. “That is mainly why I finally wrote the memoir in 2008. I called it Willful Blindness . . . and not just because my infamous defendant was both blind and willful. American counterterrorism, even seven years after 9/11 (and fully 15 years after the jihadists declared war by bombing the World Trade Center), had bored its head ever deeper in the sand. It consciously avoided the central truths driving the terrorist threat against the United States.
“The most significant of these is that violent jihadism is the inexorable result of the vibrance in Islam of sharia supremacism — a scripturally-rooted summons to Muslims to strive for conquest over infidels until Allah’s law (sharia) is established everywhere on earth. . .”
“This ideology — also referred to as “Islamism,” “Islamic supremacism,” “radical Islam,” “political Islam,” and other descriptors that endeavor to distinguish it from Islam (and to imply that such a distinction should be drawn) — is not the only way of interpreting Islam. Indeed, it is rejected by millions of Muslims. The conquest for which it strives, moreover, is not necessarily to be achieved by violence. Sharia supremacism is, nevertheless, a mainstream interpretation of Islam. Inevitably, it leads some believers to carry out jihadist violence, and an even greater number of believers to support the jihadists’ objectives, if not their methods. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434144/9-11-report-28-pages-saudi-arabia-terrorism-connections-should-be-released
Paul Sperry, NY Post: “How US covered up Saudi role in 9/11”
BO’s next job . . .
“In its report on the still-censored ‘28 pages’ implicating the Saudi government in 9/11, ‘60 Minutes’ last weekend said the Saudi role in the attacks has been ‘soft-pedaled’ to protect America’s delicate alliance with the oil-rich kingdom.
“That’s quite an understatement.
“Actually, the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the cover-up goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook.
Case agents I’ve interviewed at the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Washington and San Diego, the forward operating base for some of the Saudi hijackers, as well as detectives at the Fairfax County (Va.) Police Department who also investigated several 9/11 leads, say virtually every road led back to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, as well as the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.
“Yet time and time again, they were called off from pursuing leads. A common excuse was ‘diplomatic immunity.’
“Those sources say the pages missing from the 9/11 congressional inquiry report — which comprise the entire final chapter dealing with ‘foreign support for the September 11 hijackers’ — details ‘incontrovertible evidence’ gathered from both CIA and FBI case files of official Saudi assistance for at least two of the Saudi hijackers who settled in San Diego. . .”
GOP . . .
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “The Trump Calculus”
“If a president Trump does the right thing, I will say he did the right thing — because that’s my job. But I will never look at that fleshy pile of vanity, crudity, and deceit and say, ‘There’s a good and honest man.’ Yes, yes, we all believe in redemption, so maybe he could have some Oval Office conversion, find a God that doesn’t consider profit maximization to be the key measure of a man’s soul, and become a good and honest man. Maybe the sudden bowel-stewing realization that he’s wildly unqualified for the job of commander-in-chief will arouse in him a humility never displayed in his gaudy romp across our airwaves.
“But that’s not the way I would bet. (It’s also a bit of a moot point, since I’m convinced Trump would lose very badly against either Sanders or Clinton.)
“But betting is what a lot of people are doing right now. I know that some, many, even most Trump supporters are sincere in their admiration for the man. I simply think they are wrong. . .”
LEADS . . .
Lydia Wheeler, The Hill: “Court appears divided, signaling trouble for Obama on immigration”
“The Supreme Court appeared divided during oral arguments Monday in a crucial case challenging the executive actions on immigration that President Obama took in 2014.
“Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is typically the court’s swing voter, seemed to side with Texas and the 25 other states arguing the president overstepped his executive authority in granting deferred deportation to nearly 5 million immigrants.
“Kennedy said that the justices are being asked to define the limits of discretion, adding that Obama’s actions seem more like a legislative act than an executive act.
“‘It’s as if the president is setting the policy and the Congress is executing it,’ he said. ‘That’s just upside down.’
“A 4-4 split by the court, which has shown signs it’s struggling with just eight justices, would leave in place a lower court’s decision blocking Obama’s action in a severe blow to the president. . .”
AP: “Iran vows to defend Muslim nations against terrorism, Israel”
“TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened.
“Speaking during a National Army Day parade in which Iranian forces displayed sophisticated air defense systems recently acquired from Russia, Rouhani praised Tehran’s role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group.
“‘If tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ he said. But he added that Iran would only help if Muslim countries asked it to, and said its military power was purely for defensive and deterrent purposes.
“‘The power of our armed forces is not against our southern, northern, eastern and western neighbors,’ he said. . .”
Kevin Williamson, NRO: “The Left Is Coming for You Next”
“. . . The American Left, which long ago abandoned its hereditary liberalism for totalitarianism, is very much interested in policing language. Writing this week in Time, which still exists, Katy Steinmetz complains about the use of the word “transgendered” to describe people who were until five minutes ago known as transsexuals, and five minutes before that weird guys in dresses. (The argument, in case you are wondering, is that the implicitly passive form “transgendered” suggests that something was done to these people, as though we could not distinguish between a tossed salad and a spotted owl.) She offers other sage advice: “If you meet a trans person — someone who identifies with a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth — it’s generally a good idea to ask which pronouns (he or she, him or her) they prefer and to use whatever that is.” Other than establishing that she isn’t a reliable guide to pronouns, the merry assumption of absolute nonsense — “the sex they were assigned at birth” as opposed to the sex they are — isn’t just illiteracy. People instinctively resist the lie, which makes it necessary to make the truth almost literally unspeakable, even unthinkable. The lie isn’t quite sold yet, inasmuch as people still roll their eyes a little at the phrase “women with penises,” but it is getting there.
“Progressive tut-tutting about that sort of thing may be the mild stuff, but it isn’t innocuous. Activists for the so-called transgendered have argued that my work on the issue should be not criticized but banned, as in suppressed by the force of state violence. The usual banalities — “hate speech” and all that — are invoked. So far, it isn’t a crime to get on the wrong side of the men-in-dresses activists. We aren’t, after all, Canadians.
“Global warming, though, is a different matter. . .”
Steve Almasy and Tom Kludt, CNN: “Nine Guantanamo detainees transferred to Saudi Arabia”
“(CNN)The United States is transferring nine detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said Saturday.
“The transfer, which brings the number of prisoners remaining at Guantanamo to 80, comes amid President Barack Obama’s renewed effort to close the prison — one of the earliest pledges of his presidency.
“It also comes ahead of Obama’s planned trip to Saudi Arabia next week.
“The Defense Department expressed gratitude to the kingdom in a statement on Saturday. . .”
Tom Tancredo, Big Govt: “IRS Corruption Fuels Billions in Fraudulent Payments to Illegal Aliens”
“. . . Imagine my surprise when I found a pile of IRS 1040 tax returns among the tons of trash at a “lay-up site” used by illegal border jumpers near the Mexican border west of Douglas, Arizona. There are dozens of such places where the thousands of border invaders change clothes, discard trash and wait to be taken by their “coyote” to their pick-up location for moving on to Phoenix or El Paso or Houston.
“The IRS 1040 forms were filled out and had been used. Hey, who says illegal aliens don’t pay taxes?
“I collected the 1040 forms and we noticed all had claimed Earned Income Tax Credits and all also had claimed around nine deductions for children. The average refund was around $4,000. It occurred to me only much later that the American taxpayer may be funding the coyote’s $1,500 fees for smuggling poor Mexicans, Salvadorans — and Iraqis and Vietnamese — across our southwest border.
“When I sent the 1040 forms to the Social Security Administration and the IRS, I was told that the practice described in the FORBES article was the one being followed in dealing with these returns. I tried to amend the appropriations bills for the IRS to be the practice, but I got nowhere. My Republican colleagues didn’t want to hear about it and were ticked at me for bringing it up.
“Illegal aliens use ‘the system’ to report income and also gain every possible “refund” the tax law — and IRS collusion — allows. Who can blame them when the welcome sign is in bright green neon letters? . . .”
Warner Todd Houston, Big Govt: “Obama’s IRS Chief: We Don’t Alert Americans When Illegal Aliens Steal Social Security Numbers to Get U.S. Jobs”
“IRS chief John Koskinen says the agency isn’t alerting Americans when illegal migrants steal their Social Security numbers to apply for jobs sought by other Americans.
“Obviously, the priority for the taxpayers and the IRS is collecting those taxes” from illegals, not alerting Americans to the theft of their Social Security Number, Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee.
“What happens in these situations is someone is using a Social Security number to get a job,” the IRS boss said, but excuses the behavior by adding that the illegals “are filing their tax return with their ITIN,” or government-created taxpayer identification number used by illegal immigrants.
“They are undocumented aliens. … They’re paying taxes. It’s in everybody’s interest to have them pay the taxes they owe,” he said, adding that the agency does tell Americans when their Social Security numbers are stolen by criminals. . .”
Mark Mazzetti, NYT: “Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill”
“WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
“Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.
“Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States. . .”
Jordan Fabian, The Hill: “Obama immigration actions face critical day at high court”
“Monday marks a critical day for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, as his legal team makes arguments to the Supreme Court to allow them to go forward.
In oral arguments, the Obama administration will ask the justices to lift a lower court injunction that blocked the implementation of the programs, which would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
A group of 26 states, led by Texas, will argue the injunction should be kept in place because Obama overstepped his authority and the programs would pose high costs on their governments.
The court is expected to hand down a ruling in June. But Obama and his allies are facing the possibility of a deadlock that would hand a victory to Texas and the states.
If the short-handed court splits 4-4, the lower court’s ruling would be left in place, which would virtually guarantee the programs will not go into place before Obama leaves office.
“‘The 500-pound gorilla is the empty chair of Justice [Antonin] Scalia,’ said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law, who helped file a legal brief backing the lawsuit against Obama’s programs.
“‘It has a significant impact on the outcome of the case. Because we’re down to only eight justices, there is a distinct possibility of a tie.’ . . .”
PA . . .
Scott Kraus, Morning Call: “Medical marijuana may be Pa.’s next big business”
Folmer & Wolf grow the government . . .
“Medical marijuana might seem like a cottage industry, but with Pennsylvania the nation’s sixth-largest potential market, it’s more likely to be big business.
Think guys in suits, or maybe lab coats, not dreadlocks and striped baja hoodies.
“I’ve heard estimates that the investment has to be $5 million to $10 million to be a grower-processor,” said Dan Clearfield, a Harrisburg attorney who specializes in regulated substances. “This is not a small-business operation.”
It won’t happen overnight, either. It could be anywhere from 18 months to two years before Pennsylvania residents seeking to treat their medical conditions with cannabis will be able to walk into a dispensary and slap a prescription on the counter.
The state Department of Health has six months to develop regulations that will set up initial ground rules for the grower-processors who produce the marijuana, the retailers who fill prescriptions and the doctors who get licensed to prescribe it.
Then the state will have to draw up a request for proposals and accept applications for a limited number of permits available for each segment of the industry. and evaluate them. The winners will need several months to grow and process their first crops.
Sy Snyder, PoliticsPA: 4/15 Ups & Downs
“Sestak confounds, Fitzpatrick benefits and Kasich falls behind. See who made this week’s list!
Joe Sestak. Guess you should count us among the professional pundits because we can’t quite figure out Joe Sestak either. For example, this week the former Congressman caused a tweetstorm, was the subject of an unflattering Politico piece, and missed out on the SEIU’s endorsement. Additionally, McGinty posted an impressive fundraising quarter and recruited the President to do radio ads while Fetterman won over the college crowd at Saturday’s PSU debate. Yet, Sestak won the praise of the two biggest papers in the state and is still considered the front-runner a week and a half out. We’ll find out on April 26th if he truly can pull off another political miracle.
Brian Fitzpatrick. Sometimes being under-the-radar is where you want to be. That’s certainly the case for Brian Fitzpatrick. The younger brother of retiring Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, the newcomer was able to raise $450K this quarter despite his campaign’s late January start. At the same time, Democrats Shaughnessy Naughton and Steve Santarsiero are locked in a bitter fight for their party’s nomination. It’s still a long road to go but the first stretch has been kind to the first-timer.
Chaka Fattah. Congressman Fattah just can’t catch a break. After winning some labor endorsements, circumstances were starting to look up. Nevertheless, Dwight Evans continues to prove a prolific fundraiser, bringing in enough cash to run TV ads through election day. Even one of Fattah’s lesser known opponents, Dan Muroff, got a boost when he won the support of Daylin Leach. April 26th is set up to be either the best or worst day of Fattah’s political life and right now it’s leaning towards the latter
John Rafferty. The State Senator and GOP candidate for Attorney General continued to rack up endorsements this week. Six County Commissioners and 14 District Attorneys publicly declared their support. Furthermore, Rafferty won the endorsement of the Philadelphia Inquirer. At the moment, he is in the pole position in the AG race.
John Kasich. The McKees Rocks native thought that Pennsylvania could be the state to catapult his electoral chances. Instead it may be the place his candidacy runs aground. Three new polls this week showed Trump leading the field and two of them had Kasich behind Cruz in third. Meanwhile, his opponents hit the stump in the Keystone State. To top it off, our readers concluded Trump would emerge victorious. It’s hard to see how a man who can’t win a second state could possibly be the Republican party’s presidential nominee, although this year anything seems possible.”