TRUMP/Clinton: RAGO – Unlocking PA; GOLDBERG – Cold Diss”
NATIONAL: McCARTHY – FBI Holes; POOLE – Refugee count; McTAGUE – Arctic Russia.
PA: SNYDER – PoliticsPA
END NOTE: LEVIN – 09/30/16
Janet: Please call your House members NOW and tell them VOTE “NO” on the Continuing Resolution (CR) or H.R 5325. This is URGENT because the voting will take place this week. If it passes, it will give Congress and Obama all they need to stuff the Lame Duck session after the November election with pork and other BAD bills. The mischief making gives power and NO ACCOUNTABILITY to Obama and lawmakers who lost and will not return to Congress
Janet: Malvern Office for Trump –
Location for the Malvern Office for Trump. Phones should be in soon and then phone banks will begin. Right now you can get signs, handouts, and volunteer for door to door campaigning.
The address is: 270 Lancaster Ave, Suite H, Malvern PA 19355
“At the Pence rally, the biggest applause lines were trade, immigration, guns and cultural identification: “You know, Donald Trump is someone who has never forgotten the men and women who built this country, the men and women who work with their hands, who grow our food, who build our roads and bridges, who keep us safe and teach our kids,” Mr. Pence said.” Joseph Rago
Joseph Rago, WSJ: Can Trump Unlock the Keystone State?
“If Donald Trump can win in Pennsylvania, he could take residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“. . . The Trump phenomenon finds anecdotal expression in material artifacts—hats, and in Pennsylvania in particular, yard signs. They’re everywhere. Mr. Wagner says that three weeks ago he personally bought 10,000 of them and they were gone in 10 days. The nature of Mr. Trump’s appeal, he says, is that “people have never been more fed up with the status quo. They’re hungry for change.”
“Pennsylvania is a reach for the Trump-Pence campaign. A Republican hasn’t carried this political and demographic bridge between the East Coast and the Midwest since 1988. Then again, for the last two decades the commonwealth has been gradually trending toward the GOP and lending Democrats smaller bounds of victory in presidential election years. Pre-debate, most Pennsylvania polls—which had previously found a substantial Clinton advantage—had narrowed to close to the margin of error.
“The Clinton campaign and an allied Super Pac declined to include Pennsylvania in an eight-state TV-ad buy over the summer, and former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe wrote on Twitter that this showed “real discipline” because “PA is not a true battleground.” Evidently Democrats have reconsidered.
“Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes could be decisive in 2016. If Mrs. Clinton wins all the Democratic redoubts and Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, where she has solid leads, she’ll cross the 270-vote threshold with Colorado and Pennsylvania. If she loses one of those, she’d need to win North Carolina, Ohio or Florida, all of which are statistically tied. Mr. Trump, who pays a visit to Manheim, in Lancaster County, on Saturday, could make it a close race.
“John Brabender, a GOP consultant and Rick Santorum’s longtime adviser, who knows the state, figures the race has narrowed from about 8 percentage points over the summer to about four, and could perhaps settle at one or two in the coming weeks. The key for Mr. Trump, he says, is understanding the seams of Pennsylvania’s political geography. . .”
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “From Congress to Obama, a Diss Best Served Cold”
“Congress’ overwhelming rebuke of President Barack Obama on a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia — and the bitter finger-pointing that followed — was a fitting coda to the dysfunctional relationship between the Obama White House and Capitol Hill.”
“Thus began a Politico article by Seung Min Kim posted yesterday.
“But it was the headline — which she probably did not write — that really completed the picture: “Congress Disses Obama One Last Time.”
“That word, “disses,” is just too perfect. For eight years the press has treated Obama like the protagonist in some stage play, personalizing his policy struggles as a heroic effort of one noble man fighting an army of partisans, racists, and plutocrats. Even the word “diss” — with its hip, slightly edgy connotation — taps into the Cult of Obama, which sees any setback for the president as a personal, often illegitimate affront to his dignity.
“For the record, the vote against Obama’s veto was 97-1 in the Senate and 348-77 in the House. Were all of those Democrats trying to “diss” the president? Is dissing one of the congressional powers listed in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution? Or do we need an amendment to the Bill of Rights stating that “Congress shall make no law dissing the first African-American president”?
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “The FBI’s Defense of How the Clinton Interview Was Conducted Is Full of Holes”
“The Bureau was clearly hamstrung by the Obama administration’s goal of avoiding prosecution.
“In a nutshell, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department permitted Hillary Clinton’s aide Cheryl Mills — the subject of a criminal investigation, who had been given immunity from prosecution despite strong evidence that she had lied to investigators — to participate as a lawyer for Clinton, the principal subject of the same criminal investigation. This unheard-of accommodation was made in violation not only of rudimentary investigative protocols and attorney-ethics rules, but also of the federal criminal law.
“Yet, the FBI and the Justice Department, the nation’s chief enforcers of the federal criminal law, tell us they were powerless to object.
“In his testimony this week before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI director James Comey inveighed against critics who have slimed the Bureau as “weasels” over its handling of the Clinton e-mails investigation. I am not one of those people. After a quarter-century in the trenches with the Bureau as a prosecutor, I am one of those hopeless romantics who love the FBI and harbor real affection for the director himself.
“I genuinely hate this case. I don’t mind disagreeing with the Bureau, a not infrequent occurrence in my former career. But I am hardwired to presume the FBI’s integrity. Thus, no matter how much irregularities in the Clinton investigation have rankled me, I’ve chalked them up to the Bureau’s being hamstrung. There was no chance on God’s green earth that President Obama and his Justice Department were ever going to permit an indictment of Hillary Clinton. Jim Comey says he didn’t make his final decision to recommend against prosecution until after Mrs. Clinton was interviewed at the end of the investigation, and that he did not coordinate that decision with his Obama-administration superiors. If he says so, that’s good enough for me. But it doesn’t mean the director made his decision detached from the dismal reality of the situation. And whatever one’s armchair-quarterback view on how he should have handled it, that reality was not of his making. . .”
Patrick Poole, PJM: “Syrian Refugee U.S. Arrivals in September: 1825 Muslims, 22 Non-Muslims (1.1 Percent)”
“The State Department admissions for all of September of non-Muslim Syrian refugees represented only 1.1 percent of the total, with 1,825 Muslim refugees admitted, and only 22 from Yazidi and various Christian sects who are being targeted for genocide by the Islamic State in Syria.
Admissions for the month of August were 3,159 Muslim and 30 non-Muslim refugees—fewer than one percent.
Year-to-date, non-Muslim Syrian refugee admissions account for less than one percent (0.8) overall, with 11,818 Muslims and only 95 non-Muslims of all groups.
Those were the numbers as of today from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.
These numbers are highly skewed when compared with Syria’s religious demographics.
Jim McTague, John Batchelor: “Friday, 30 September 2016 / Hour 1, Block B:
“Barron’s Washington, in re: . . . Richard Yuengling, Jr., owner of D. G. Yuengling & Son the oldest operating brewing company in the United States (established in 1829) says that in America, companies are leaving the US not because of labor cost but because the sheer volume of regulation and taxes that make it physically impossible to function in this environment. We should eliminate the corporate tax entirely and just tax incomes. A no-brainer. Whoever is the next president, there’ll immediately be a recession because of the Fed, which is s political operation.”
Andrew Poulin, John Batchelor: 5 Ways Russia is Positioning to Dominate the Arctic”
“As many people across the United States are preparing to dig out of the heavy snow this weekend, in another snowy region, substantial preparations are under way. In the Arctic, Russia is making significant advances to advantageously position themselves for the future. Here are the five major actions Russia is taking in the Arctic.
“1. Building More Bases
“Russia is building and supporting more Arctic bases than any other country. The country’s Defense Minister, Sergey Shoygu, explained the moves saying that, “a constant military presence in the Arctic and a possibility to protect the state’s interests by military means are regarded as an integral part of the general policy to guarantee national security…One of the Ministry’s prioritized areas is development of military infrastructure in the region.” He went on to describe that the creation of Russia’s Arctic force and the distribution of ‘equipment with weapons for the whole Arctic’ will be completed by 2018.
“The overarching command structure for this new arctic force was created in December 2014 and was named Russia Joint Strategic Command North (JSCN). The command is based on the Northern Fleet and headquartered in Severomorsk. The surrounding area, referred to as the greater Murmansk region, is home to several bases where most of the Fleet’s 15+ submarines, and approximately 40 ships are located, including Russia’s one aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov. These Arctic bases are being expanded at a rate never before seen. Less than a 5-hour drive away from the Fleet’s Headquarters at Severomorsk is the Alakurtti base that has been significantly augmented and strengthened. It is only 30 miles from the border with Finland and is home to 3,000 personnel skilled in radio electronics. When the base improvements are complete, it will have an airfield, quarters capable of supporting a brigade of soldiers, and a large amount of new storage facilities that will house missiles and artillery ammunition.
“Alakurtti is not the only base being built up; Defense Minister Shoygu said flatly, ‘We are not hiding this from anyone: we have practically finished building bases on the Novosibirsk Archipelago, the island of Kotelny Island.’
“Kotelny is a former USSR satellite military base that was abandoned with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also happens to be one of the largest islands in the area and the site of a new massive Russian military base.
“On the Eastern side of Russia, the Chukotka region has also been strengthened with a series of smaller bases on Wrangel Island (more colloquially known as the “home of the polar bear”), Cape Schmidt, the Kuril Islands, and others. And in the West, in October 2015, Russian officials announced that their massive base on the Franz Josef Land archipelago was 97 percent complete. This base sits along the 80th parallel, or approximately 14 degrees further north than the Arctic Circle. Current plans are for the base to support 150 troops to live and operate there completely independent and unsupported for up to 18 months. And to support and defend their Arctic bases, Russia is also planning to build 13 airfields and at least 10 air-defense RADAR stations to be completed by 2017.
The map below illustrates Russia’s Arctic bases and how they are positioned to gain the upper hand in this burgeoning expanse.
“2. Repositioning Troops to the Region
“What good are bases if you do not have the troops to operate and defend them? Russia has augmented their forces by forming the relatively new Russian Arctic Brigade. The unit is comprised of two army brigades specially trained in Arctic warfare, the 80th Independent Motor Rifle Brigade in Alakurtti, and the 200 Independent Motor Rifle Brigade in Pechenga (both in the Murmansk area). Referring to the Eastern side of the country, Defense Minister Shoygu stated that, “Military troops deployment in Chukotka will make it possible to enhance safety of the Northern Sea Route’s traffic and respond timely to potential military threats in the area.”
At the same time, Russia’s Arctic forces have also significantly increased their training and participation in exercises. In May 2015, their actions made headlines when in response to a NATO Arctic Challenge Exercise, Russia mobilized 12,000 troops and 250 aircraft; a massive response compared to the only 4,000 NATO troops taking part. The show of strength was clearly very integral to Russian ambitions in the Arctic. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin responded to the mobilization saying, “It is our territory, it is our shelf, and we’ll provide its security. And we will make money there.” At the end of the day, having a robust and capable force is absolutely critical. According to a press statement from the Russian Navy, from 2014 to 2015 training exercises increased significantly, including amphibious landings by 300 percent, shooting training by 20 percent, and parachuting by 100 percent. Through these actions, Russia is positioning and training their military to be able to respond to any future threat in the Arctic.
“3. Investing in Icebreakers
“Russia is building the largest and strongest icebreaking fleet in the world. As of May 2015, they had at least 14 icebreakers under construction and more in planning. One of the designs, the 173 meter long LK-60, a nuclear-powered icebreaker, will be the largest icebreaker in the world (14 m longer than the current biggest) and will be able to break through ice three meters thick. Russia is planning to build at least two of these ships, with expected operational dates at the end of 2019 and end of 2020, respectively. Another design in the works is the LK-25, which will be the world’s largest diesel-powered icebreaker, capable of crushing through ice two meters thick. Overall, Russia has more than 40 icebreakers, significantly more than any other country. The United States by comparison has one operational heavy icebreaker in service, the Polar Star.
“4. Investing in Arctic-Optimized Technology
“Russia has made several significant investments in Arctic technology that will give them a leg-up in this harsh environment. On November 25, 2015, the first Arctic-optimized Mi-8AMTSh-VA helicopters were delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The helicopters have several exceptional improvements to handle the extreme cold including powerful VK-2500-03 engines, Teflon hoses for hydraulics/fuel/oil, crew and cargo heating systems, specialized heating units specifically for the powerplant and rotor head gears, upgraded insulation, improved weather radar and navigation systems, and night vision equipment. All of these enhancements allow the aircraft to operate in marginal weather with low visibility where the temperatures may routinely reach below -40°С.
“Another interesting innovation Russia is exploring is the possibility of mobile nuclear power plants. Defense Minister Shoygu has “ordered pilot projects of mobile low-power nuclear stations to be mounted on a tracked vehicle or a sledged platform to be delivered where needed in the Arctic region.” They are designing these powerplants to be transported by military cargo jets or heavy cargo helicopters, and to be fully autonomous and optimized for operation for a small number of personnel for several years at a time. On a parallel track, Russia is also developing the first floating nuclear power plant, which should be unveiled by October 2016 if everything goes according to schedule.
“5. Constructing Natural Resource Infrastructure
“A key reason for Russia’s investment in infrastructure is the increasing amount of access to natural resources in the Arctic. In order to achieve a competitive advantage in this evolving Arctic market, Russia has taken several important actions. First, they are building new energy plants like the Yamal LNG plant in the estuary of the Ob River. The $27 billion project is a joint venture supported by Russia’s Novatek, the French energy company Total, and China National Petroleum Corporation. The plant will have a total output of 16.5 million metric tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) per year.
Second, Russia is constructing 16 deep-water ports and at least 13 airfields that could be used to transport resources on the emerging new sea routes to markets throughout the world. The Yamal plant, for instance, will ship its LNG to Asian and European markets utilizing some of these ports along the route. The map below depicts some of the shipping routes that Russia is now utilizing from the port of Sabetta in the Yamal peninsula that will be increasingly relied upon as more ice melts in the Arctic.
“So what does it all mean?
Russia’s most recent military doctrine was published on December 26, 2014. The document was significant because it announced the protection of “national interests in the Arctic” for the first time. This is particularly meaningful because Russia is strategically positioning itself as ice continues to melt in the Arctic, and additional sea routes are opened.
“According to the United States’ National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Arctic sea ice (as measured in September) has steadily declined from 1979 through 2014 at a rate of 13.3 percent per decade.
“As the ice continues to melt, countries are licking their chops at what lies underneath the surface. According to estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey(USGS), the Arctic holds approximately 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered energy resources including 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil (90 billion barrels) and 30 percent of its undiscovered gas (50 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids). The vast majority of these resources, roughly 84 percent, are believed to lie offshore under the Arctic Ocean.
“Eight countries have territory above the Arctic Circle – Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States. According to international custom and practice, as espoused in Part V, Article 56 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a country has sovereign rights to natural resources in the seabed up to 200 miles from their coastline, an expanse named the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Naturally, in a dynamic and ever-changing area like the Arctic, this has led to disagreements over which country has rights to specific territory and the resources.
“In August 2015, Russia submitted a claim to the UN for a large expanse of approximately 460,000 square miles of the Arctic Sea, including the North Pole, which directly conflicts with claims from other countries. This is not the first time Russia has made such an assertion. In 2002 they submitted a similar claim, however, the UN rejected it, citing ‘insufficient evidence.’
“So as ice in the Arctic continues to melt and access to natural resources continues to increase, Russia is making the investments and the decisions now to position themselves for the future. More bases and troops in the Arctic will help them claim and defend territory and resources. Technological advances like arctic-optimized helicopters and mobile power plants will enable people to live, operate, and be transported throughout the Arctic with ease. New energy plants, deep-water ports, and airfields will enable resources to be shipped throughout the globe, and the world’s most powerful icebreakers will help clear the way. Russia is making these investments to not just operate in the Arctic, but to dominate it.”
http://intpolicydigest.org/2016/01/24/5-ways-russia-is-positioning-to-dominate-the-arctic/ Canada and Russia Arctic http://www.680news.com/2016/09/29/liberals-plan-arctic-co-operation-with-russia-but-more-northern-work-needed/
USN Arctic http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/20/politics/gallery/u-s-military-arctic-exercise-icex/ ; http://www.janes.com/article/63631/us-navy-arctic-operations-mainly-limited-to-undersea
USMC Arctic https://news.usni.org/2016/09/29/chosin_marine_corps_korea
Sy Snyder, PoliticsPA: 9/30 Ups & Downs
Tim Murphy. This is the easiest arrow we’ve given out in quite some time. On Wednesday, Congressman Murphy saved a life in the House Rayburn Office Building when he and his staff stumbled upon an unconscious man in an elevator. Through CPR and a defibrillator, Rep. Murphy and a Capitol police officer were able to resuscitate the man. Great job under pressure, Congressman!
John Rafferty. This past week should’ve been a highlight for the Republican nominee for Attorney General. He premiered his first TV ads and the RAGA pitched in with their own web video as well. Then, for the second time in 2016, Joe Peters got in the way. Rafferty’s primary challenger endorsed Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro on Monday. While that’s unfortunate for Rafferty, it does add some more fuel to yet another fiercely contested statewide race.
Hillary Clinton. As the week began, the former Secretary of State’s national lead was barely evident. Nonetheless, four different polls had Clinton tenuously holding the advantage in Pennsylvania. Then, the Democratic nominee’s fortunes brightened when she won the first debate and had Joe Biden and Michelle Obama stump for her in Philadelphia on back-to-back days. Finally, PPP released a survey yesterday that had her up five points over Trump.
PA GOP. The Republican Party has continued to gain ground and eat into the Democrats’ voter registration advantage in the commonwealth. The traditionally Democratic Southwest has become redder and redder while the GOP continues to bring in new voters in other central PA strongholds like York. There is still a dozen days until the October 11th deadline but barring a major shift, 2016 will have been a successful year for the PA GOP on the voter registration front.
Eric Papenfuse. We’ll be giving the Harrisburg Mayor a down arrow every week until he lifts his ridiculous ban of PennLive. We’ve now up to sixteen weeks, four whole months.
Mark Levin, 9/30/16
“On Friday’s Mark Levin Show, President Obama has discarded even the pretense of upholding the constitutional separation of powers that is foundational to the American system of government. But the Constitution, the separation of powers, is what makes America great. To truly make America great again, we must restore our constitutional system of government, but we’re not living in a constitutional republic anymore and it’s only going to get worse.
“President Obama acts as if this is his country and his alone and he’ll do as he pleases. His mentality is completely perverse, he’s becoming more dangerous and he doesn’t even hide his radicalism anymore. This nation has transitioned and transformed right in front of our eyes under Obama. And the impeachment clause has been crossed out of the constitution by Republicans so there’s nothing to keep a strong man like Obama in check and he knows it.
“Also, the Obama administration signed a secret document to lift U.N. sanctions on Iranian banks. Obama lied when he said we knew about this. The left complains that they want nuclear freezes but they armed up North Korea under Bill Clinton and now are arming up Iran under Obama and our children and grandchildren will pay the price.
“Finally, Obama visited Israel for the memorial service of former Israeli PM Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. Although the White House would not acknowledge the fact that he was in Jerusalem, striking the word from a transcript of Obama’s remarks and reissuing a ‘corrected’ one.”