LEADS: SIMON – MH & Islam; FREKING & CALDWELL – 10,000 Syrians; ROGIN – UN & Nukes; CROWLEY – Media lies; BARRETT – Justice Dept & $ for Iran; MacDONALD – Gun charges erased.
ELECTION: Polls, THALEN – Don’t tread on me; DC EXAMINER – Voter fraud; STUCKY – Koch $ for Donald; HANSON – Post-modern Donald; RUSHBO – Establishment panic; Boyle – Ryan in panic; Hahn – Freedom Caucus withheld endorsement of Ryan.
Remember a Vet!
“Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party”
1:20pm, 4:20pm, 7:30pm, 10:20pm
1:10pm, 4:10pm, 7:00pm, 9:55pm
“Will Trump fade in August, implode in September, self-destruct in October — or win in November? No one knows. There are no longer rules to predict how a fed-up public will vote. And there has never been a postmodern candidate like Donald J. Trump.” Victor Davis Hanson
LEADS . . .
Roger Simon, PJM: “‘Mental Health Issues’ No Excuse for Islamic Terrorism”
The average IQ in the Middle East, apart from Israel which has 105, is about 85. In the US, 85 used to be the borderline for mental retardation but this country is reluctant to call a group of people “dumb.” (Check Lynn, Richard & Vanhanen, Tatu (2006) IQ and Global Inequality. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit.) Thus, a need for five prayer sessions per day and lots of rules that line up with evolutionary instincts . . .and Simon’s ancestors probably did similar things . . .
“Did Adolf Hitler have “mental health issues”?
“I would like to think so, because to regard Der Furher as normal would be a terrifying commentary on the human race and likely mean it would never have survived.
“Now how about those ISIS characters who take videos of themselves lopping people’s heads off and then sticking those heads on poles to make a fence? Psychologically normal or not?
“And what about those who don suicide vests and blow themselves up in shopping malls while yelling “Allahu Akbar,” killing or maiming any man, woman or child within range? Mentally sound? Let’s hope not.
“So you will have to forgive me if I find the current excuse being given for acts of terrorism (of the Islamic sort, needless to say) that the perpetrators had “mental issues” no more than a pernicious, self-deluding cover-up. . .”
Kevin Freking & Alicia Caldwell, AP: “US POISED TO HIT OBAMA’S TARGET OF 10,000 SYRIAN REFUGEEs”
BO’s next job! A little Cloward-Piven – make a crisis and then act on it – goes a long way.
“WASHINGTON (AP) — After a slow start, it appears increasingly likely that the Obama administration will hit its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States before the end of September.
“State Department totals show that 2,340 Syrian refugees arrived last month in the United States.
“That’s more than what occurred during the entire seven months after President Barack Obama directed his team to prepare for 10,000 admissions from the war-torn country. Total admissions for the current budget year now come to about 7,900, and the vast majority of them are Sunni Muslims, records show.
“If the pace from June and July continues this month, the target should be reached with a couple weeks to spare before Obama heads to the United Nations to urge world leaders to admit more refugees and to increase funding for relief organizations. . .”
Josh Rogin, WaPo: “Obama will bypass Congress, seek U.N. resolution on nuclear testing”
“President Obama has decided to seek a new United Nations Security Council resolution that would call for an end to nuclear testing, a move that leading lawmakers are calling an end run around Congress.
“Top administration officials, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, briefed lawmakers and congressional staffers this week about President Obama’s decision to push for the U.N. action this September, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was adopted in September 1996 but was never ratified by the Senate.
“National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price told me that the administration still would like to see the Senate ratify the test ban treaty but is “looking at possible action in the UN Security Council that would call on states not to test and support the CTBT’s objectives. We will continue to explore ways to achieve this goal, being careful to protect the Senate’s constitutional role.”
“The administration did not consult Congress before making the decision, and leading Republicans, including those who opposed Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, are irate that the White House plans another major national security move without their advice or consent. . .”
Monica Crowley, Washington Times: “The media’s lies and double standards accelerate at blinding speed”
“The duplicity of the press reaches dangerous new lows
“According to the media, not all grieving parents of fallen servicemen are created equal. Whether those parents are protected, defended and respected or ignored, dismissed and smeared depends on their political affiliation — and how useful they are to the ‘right’ side.
“Witness the tale of three parents that emerged during the course of the Republican and Democratic conventions. On the first evening of the Republican convention, Patricia Smith spoke lovingly about her son Sean, who was one of four Americans killed in the Islamic terror attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. She reminded the world of the kind of man Sean was — a decent, hardworking patriot who chose to serve his country in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
“She then directed her wrath at Hillary Clinton, who, as secretary of state, was directly responsible for the security in Benghazi before and during the attack — and for what happened in its aftermath. Mrs. Smith again accused Mrs. Clinton of lying to her face as her son lay just feet away in a flag-draped casket: ‘In an email to her daughter shortly after the attack, Hillary Clinton blamed it on terrorism,’ she said. ‘But when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible. Since then, I have repeatedly asked Hillary Clinton to explain to me the real reason why my son is dead. I’m still waiting.’
Devlin Barrett, WSJ: “Justice Department Officials Raised Objections on U.S. Cash Payment to Iran”
Rumor: Iran calls it a ransom . . .
“Some officials worried about message being sent but were overruled
“WASHINGTON—Senior Justice Department officials objected to sending a plane loaded with cash to Tehran at the same time that Iran released four imprisoned Americans, but their objections were overruled by the State Department, according to people familiar with the discussions.
“After announcing the release of the Americans in January, President Barack Obama also said the U.S. would pay $1.7 billion to Iran to settle a failed arms deal dating back to 1979. What wasn’t disclosed then was that the first payment would be $400 million in cash, flown in at the same time, as The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The timing and manner of the payment raised alarms at the Justice Department, according to those familiar with the discussions. “People knew what it was going to look like, and there was concern the Iranians probably did consider it a ransom payment,’’ said one of the people.
“The disclosures reignited a political furor over the Iran deal in Washington that could complicate White House efforts to fortify it before Mr. Obama’s term ends.
“Three top Republicans who have been feuding in recent weeks—presidential candidateDonald Trump, Sen. John McCain and House Speaker Paul Ryan—were united Wednesday in blasting the Obama administration. . .”
Also: Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “When Is a Ransom Not a Ransom? When It’s Inconvenient to Call It That”
“A pay-off that does all the damage of a ransom payment isn’t any better, no matter what you call it.
One of my all-time favorite lines is from Henry Thoreau: ‘Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.’
“It came to mind this week when the White House and State Department insisted that the charge the U.S. paid a ransom to get back American hostages was purely circumstantial. Sometimes, a $400 million pay-off in laundered money, delivered in the dead of night in an unmarked cargo plane isn’t what it looks like.
“January 16 was ‘Implementation Day’ for the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran, in which the state sponsor of terror received sanctions relief possibly worth as much as $150 billion — which would be roughly equivalent to 40 percent of its GDP — in exchange for some guarantees against developing nuclear weapons . . . for a while. (The merits, and even the nature, of the Iran nuclear deal are hotly disputed, but that’s a topic for another time.)
“That same day, the Obama administration announced a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran, in which we traded 7 Iranian criminals and removed another 14 from an Interpol ‘most wanted’ list. In exchange, they returned four innocent Americans, illegally held by the Iranian regime. Back then, Secretary of State John Kerry boasted about what a masterful diplomatic breakthrough it was. Those Americans were freed thanks to ‘the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks,’ Kerry preened.
“Yes, well maybe. But few things really cement a solid working relationship like $400 million in cash. Kerry failed to mention that part in his press conferences or Congressional testimony. In fact, the Obama administration kept the whole thing a secret.
“The White House concedes that it all looks very bad. . .”
Heather MacDonald, NRO: “When Does Gun Control Not Matter?”
“When Obama wants to release prisoners guilty of gun crimes
“President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 214 federal prisoners yesterday, part of his ongoing crusade against a criminal-justice system he regularly declares racist and draconian. The White House trumpeted the fact that this was the largest one-day grant of clemency since 1900. Some of the prisoners will be released now; others will have to stay in prison a while longer for more drug rehabilitation.
“The vast majority of prisoners exemplify the so-called nonviolent-drug-offender category, a primary focus of “criminal-justice reform” advocates. But a search of the commutation database comes up with 156 hits for “firearms” (some of those hits are multiple counts for the same offender). Wilson Henderson, of Hollywood, Fla., for example, was convicted of “use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime,” according to the Justice Department press release. Kenneth Evans, of Fort Worth, Texas, was convicted of “use and carry firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting.” Mark Anthony Clark, of Rockford, Ill., was convicted of “possession of a firearm by a felon/fugitive from justice and aiding and abetting,” as well as of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams of meth.
“Many of the commuttees possessed stolen firearms or firearms with their serial numbers obliterated. Some were in violation of National Firearms Registration, which can mean possession of a federally prohibited weapon, such as a machine gun, silencer, or sawed-off shotgun. We don’t know how many guns the offenders actually had; a commuttee during a previous batch of commutations had 40.
“Nor does the Justice Department’s press release disclose the actual incidence of firearm possession by these federal convicts. Gun possession can be used to increase a federal sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines without a prosecutor’s actually bringing a formal charge. A gun charge can also be plea-bargained away.
“Many advocates of criminal-justice reform believe in maximum gun control, yet the White House press releases on the president’s commutations have been silent on the widespread incidence of illegal gun possession. It would seem that once someone becomes a member of the oppressed prisoner class, the gun issue becomes irrelevant. . .”
ELECTION . . .
Mikael Thalen, InfoWars: “FEDERAL AGENCY DEBATING WHETHER ‘DON’T TREAD ON ME’ SYMBOL IS RACIAL HARASSMENT”
“Final ruling could set dangerous precedent for free speech
“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is currently debating whether attire bearing the Gadsden flag symbol can be construed as racial harassment.
“The case began in 2014 at a private business when a black employee filed a complaint with the agency over a coworker who regularly wore a hat featuring the iconic snake and the “don’t tread on me” phrase.
The complaint alleged the flag was inherently racist because Christopher Gadsden, the flag’s designer, was “a slave trader & owner of slaves.” Even though the hat’s owner never made any racist comments according to the complaint, the black employee asserted the symbol is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”
“The complainant also notes that the coworker continued wearing the hat even after being told to stop by his superiors. . .”
Washington Examiner: “Fretting and fraud on voter ID”
“The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 29 struck down North Carolina’s 2013 voting law, which included a voter identification requirement and reduced the the number of days before Election Day on which people could vote.
“It is perfectly reasonable for a state to demand that voters show ID at the polls, but the court decision and others recently handed down in other states suggest a systematic campaign is underway to discredit this basic truth. The principal weapon used in this campaign is the Left’s favorite: racial discrimination.
As long as an ID is easy to obtain and those without one may prove their identity later, voting regulations should be left to the states. Heavy-footed interventions of the type we are seeing is a constitutional usurpation against states rights.
“North Carolina’s law allowed voters with ‘reasonable impediments’ to fill out a form and cast a provisional ballot. This is why nearly every country in the world except the U.S. has a national law of this type, including Mexico and Canada. (Not all of the identification requirements are identical. Canada, for example, accepts credit cards as proof of ID.)
“The number of people who cannot obtain photo identification is miniscule, despite the Left’s wild attempts to exaggerate it by marshalling biased studies with findings that undermine their credibility. The tiny population who for extraordinary reasons cannot currently get ID can almost certainly be accommodated with reasonable legal exceptions.
“There is no evidence that those who lack ID are concentrated in any minority population. That’s one reason why ID laws did not reduce black turnout in any of the many states, including North Carolina, which recently introduced them. Nor did those ID laws in effect before 2008 prevent record black turnout in the states where they had already been enacted.
“In arguing that North Carolina’s law was uniquely discriminatory in this respect, the court employed chopped logic and fuzzy math. . .”
Phillip Stucky, Daily Caller: “Meet the One Koch Brother Who Is Raising Money for The Donald”
“The lesser-known Koch broke with his brothers to host a fundraiser for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“Bill Koch plans to host aprivate fundraiser at his Cape Cod, Mass. home. Tickets for the event will range from $2,700 a person to $50,000, depending on commitment-level of supporters.
“Charles and David Koch previously announced they will not support Trump, opting instead to support races down the ballot to ensure Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate and House.
“Brothers Charles and David Koch are the largest supporters of the conservative movement in the family. It is estimated that $86 million of all donations to Romney in 2012 came from Koch-backed interest groups.
“Bill Koch donated money to the Romney campaign as well. Koch gave $2 million to Restore Our Future PAC, a political action committee created to support Romney’s presidential campaign.
“Bill Koch inherited Koch Industries stock, and sold his stock with brother Frederick Koch to Charles and David Koch for $800 million. After leaving Koch Industries, he founded The Oxbow Group, an energy development company in West Palm Beach, Fla. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Donald Trump, Postmodern Candidate”
“Trump defies all political orthodoxy and confounds any attempts at explanation or prediction.
“Early 20th-century modernism ignored classical rules of expression. But late 20th-century postmodernism blew up those rules altogether. “Barack Obama was a modernist candidate. He turned out vast numbers of young and minority voters, mastered new social media, and in 2008 overturned the old-guard Democratic furniture such as Hillary Clinton.
“In contrast, Donald Trump has simply destroyed normal politics. Unlike Obama with his record Wall Street fundraising of 2008 and 2012, Trump has raised almost no money. He ignores endorsements from political kingpins. Trump has organized no serious voter registration drives. His convention was bizarre, showcasing his kids instead of party bosses and special-interest groups.
“How about internal polling? Trump seems to have none.
“Sophisticated opposition research? Zilch.
“Standard talking points? Not so much.
“Teleprompted speeches? Trump prefers ad hoc stream of consciousness.
“Candidates are supposed to avoid the pitfalls of press conferences as much as possible — and prep for days when they are obligated to give them. Not Trump. He thrives on unscripted rants to the press without much worry about what he says.
“Candidates dislike and fear reporters, and so seek to flatter them. Trump openly insults them and occasionally kicks them out of his press conferences. . .”
Rushbo: “If Trump Is Truly Imploding — and I Don’t Think He Is — Then Why Is the Washington Establishment Panicking?”
“RUSH: The entire Washington establishment, consisting of the Republican establishment, the Democrat establishment, the media establishment, the think-tank establishment — the entire political class — has arrayed every gun that it has at the Trump campaign, and they are firing both barrels 24/7. It is a breathtaking sight to behold, ladies and gentlemen. “Why all of this panic?
“No, no. Now, hear me out on this. I understand on the surface of it, it would make sense. You’ve got Republicans over here and their nominee is now ten points down, and is losing some of the battleground states. And, as a result of that, yeah. If the nominee were Romney, or if the nominee were Ryan and this were happening, you could understand the panic. But these establishment types have been in panic since Trump announced.
“They’ve been in panic since Trump didn’t implode, and they have been openly expressing their opposition to Trump since the day Trump got in the race. And they’ve openly said that they want Hillary to win. Many of them have come out — some quoted, some not quoted, some publicly, some anonymously. The list keeps growing of Republican establishment types who say they can’t handle this anymore, they can’t deal with this anymore. “Its’ unacceptable. It’s too embarrassing, and they’ve got to go with Hillary.”
“They always were going to go with Hillary! Why all of a sudden panic? Some of this doesn’t make any sense to me, because look: If the people in panic had started out supporting Trump, then I would understand this panic. But the people I’m talking about have been predicting what’s happening now from the get-go. They had predicted that there would be a Trump implosion. They predicted Hillary would run roughshod. This is part of their attempt to defeat Trump during the primary.
“So, they want to get rid of Trump. Why aren’t they out there dancing? Why aren’t they celebrating? Why aren’t they going on and on about, “This is what we wanted. We can’t have our party taken over by this guy. This guy can’t possibly win.” I mean, this is exactly what they wanted to happen, so why the panic? . .”
Matthew Boyle, BigGovt: “No Debates, No Open Press Events, Declining Fox News: Paul Ryan Running Scared in Final Days Ahead of Primary Election”
“. . . The fact that Ryan is shunning former media allies and generally refusing interviews except with his closest friends on local radio shows how terrified he and his team are ahead of next week’s primary showdown with Nehlen. No recent polling has been done on the race, so it’s unclear whether Nehlen is within striking distance here on Tuesday. But Ryan’s team is certainly taking nothing for granted, especially after last cycle’s embarrassing loss by then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to now Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA).
Republicans party-wide are aware that Nehlen may win, and are prepared to support him if he does beat Ryan. . .”