Feed on Posts or Comments 02 September 2015

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 31 Aug 2015

“Donald Trump ‘No Compromise’ Tour” in Virginia —- October 16 Trump National Golf Club in Sterling!

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 1! Howie Lind reports today –“The event that was publicized for a Donald Trump appearance on October 16th has been cancelled. However, there will be an authorized Northern Virginia event for Donald Trump in the very near future, at an approved location and at no charge for the public. As the exact details are available for that event, we will get more information to you. In the meantime, encourage your neighbors and friends to join the campaign to ‘Make America Great Again!'”

And our advice . . . look to a vigorous Trump campaign in Virginia.  Stay tuned!

* * * * * * * * *

Our friend and Virginia Trump chairman Howie Lind sends this message of hope today!

“DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT

Dear friend,

As the Virginia Chairman for Donald Trump for President, I would
like to invite you to a special event where you can hear Donald Trump
in person, speaking about how we can “Make America Great Again!”

It’s my honor to serve on the Host Committee for the event to be
held at the beautiful Trump National Golf Club, 20391 Lowes Island Blvd, Sterling, VA 20165, on Friday, October 16, from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

If you would like to come out to support, hear or meet Donald
Trump in person,
please use this registration form. If you are not able to attend
but know someone who would be interested, please forward
this invitation. Contact me directly if you have any questions,
or if you would like to participate on the Host Committee.

“Make America Great Again!”

Howie Lind
Virginia Chairman – Donald Trump for President
703-336-3940 –
howie@howielind.com

Paid for by Friends of DT
www.friendsofdt.us “

 

Overpass Media Richard Falknor on 26 Aug 2015

Overpass Media: Immigration and The Trump Solution!

Trump_3-4in

Last Friday, Tea Party of Maryland and Maryland 20-20 Watch activist Lewis Porter organized this overpass display on Maryland’s I-95 — close to Washington, D. C — during the rush hour from 3:00 to 6:30 PM.

Porter estimates some 50,000 views.
 
Howard County, Maryland police visited the overpass display, but Porter reports “they respected our First Amendment rights.”
 
The previous Saturday, presidential candidate Donald Trump had released his immigration policy paper — Donald Trump Releases Immigration Reform Plan Designed To Get Americans Back To Work (Matthew Boyle, Breitbart)–

“The paper—which really constitutes a completely new look at immigration and a complete overhaul of the current system, politicians’ priorities, and special interest involvement—starts with three principles. Firstly, Trump argues, ‘a nation without borders is not a nation.’
As such, he writes, ‘there must be a wall across the southern border.’
Secondly, Trump argues, ‘a nation without laws is not a nation.’
‘Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced,’ he writes as part of his second principle.
Thirdly, Trump argues, ‘a nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation.'”

Breitbart’s Boyle declares that the immigration position paper was “clearly influenced” by senator Jeff Sessions who chairs the Senate Judiciary panel on Immigration and the National Interest.

(Activist Porter related to Blue Ridge Forum that his grass-roots group had been working on immigration concerns for several years.)

Read the complete Trump paper here.

And stay tuned for more Overpass Media displays in Virginia as well as Maryland!

 

2016 Election Richard Falknor on 18 Aug 2015

Will our GOP “appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds”?

Over two years ago on July 29, 2013, Republican senator Jeff Sessions** (today chairman of the Senate Judiciary panel on Immigration and The National Interest) made these important points to his GOP colleagues (Highlighting Forum‘s throughout)- –

  • “The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds.”
  • “Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party.”

Via a Weekly Standard post at the time by Daniel Halper Sessions to Republicans: GOP Elite View on Immigration Is ‘Nonsense’, here is the full text of the 2013 Sessions memo – –

“Memo: How The GOP Can Do The Right Thing On Immigration—And Win
July 29, 2013
To: Republican Colleagues
From: Ranking Member Jeff Sessions
The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head.
The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration.
This is nonsense.
The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party. Of course, such a clear and honest message would require saying “no” to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.
In Senator Schumer’s failed drive to acquire 70 votes, he convinced every single Democrat in his conference to support a bill that adds four times more guest workers than the rejected 2007 immigration plan while dramatically boosting the number of low-skill workers admitted to the country each year on a permanent basis. All this at a time when wages are lower than in 1999, when only 58 percent of U.S. adults are working, and when 47 million residents are on food stamps. Even CBO confirms that the proposal will reduce wages and increase unemployment. Low-income Americans will be hardest hit.
Ordinarily, this would be an act of political suicide for Democrats. How can they possibly succeed with a plan that will so badly injure American workers? Perhaps Senator Schumer, the White House, and their congressional allies believe the GOP lacks the insight to seize this important issue, push away certain financial interests, and make an unapologetic defense of working Americans. They seem, in fact, to expect the GOP House to drag their bill across the finish line. Indeed, more than a few in our party will argue that immigration reform must ‘serve the needs of businesses.’ What about the needs of workers? Since when did we did we accept the idea that the immigration policy for our entire nation—with all its lasting social, economic, and moral implications—should be tailored to suit the financial interests of a few CEOs?
Americans broadly oppose further increases to our current generous immigration levels by a 2-1 margin, but the opposition among those earning less than $30,000 is especially strong: they prefer a reduction to an increase by a 3-1 margin. And no wonder: according to Harvard’s Dr. George Borjas, it’s the working poor whose wages have declined the most as a result of high immigration levels.
The GOP has a choice: it can either deliver President Obama his ultimate legislative triumph—and with it, a crushing hammer blow to working Americans that they will not soon forgive—or it can begin the essential drive to regain the trust of struggling Americans who have turned away. As Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol wrote in a joint op-ed, “the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers… It’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility.”
Like Obamacare, this 1,200-page immigration bill is a legislative monstrosity inimical to the interests of our country and the American people. Polls show again and again that the American people want security accomplished first, that they do not support a large increase in net immigration levels, and that they do not trust the government to deliver on enforcement. The GOP should insist on an approach to immigration that both restores constitutional order and serves the interests of the American worker and taxpayer. But only by refusing any attempt at rescue or reprieve for the Senate bill is there a hope of accomplishing these goals.
Instead of aiding the President and Senator Schumer in salvaging a bill that would devastate working Americans, Republicans should refocus all of our efforts on a united push to defend these Americans from the Administration’s continued onslaught. His health care policies, tax policies, energy policies, and welfare policies all have one thing in common: they enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people. Our goal: higher wages, more and better jobs, smaller household bills, and a solemn determination to aid those struggling towards the goal of achieving financial independence.”

At the end of 2013, the Hudson Institute’s John Fonte in his Re-Branding the GOP: From the party of big business to the party of the little guy (NRO) declared —

“Republicans as a party, however, and conservatives specifically, should not be subservient to corporate interests on core issues. The American electorate must come to view Republicans as the party of the middle class rather than the courtiers of big business. The GOP ‘brand’ must change. While conservatives and business will remain part of a broad center-right coalition, the key question is: On what terms, and who calls the shots?”

(Read this entire NRO post to learn more about the growing “‘de-nationalization’ of American corporate elites.”)

Historian Fonte gives us some background from the Reagan era – –

“One of the big internal fights in the Reagan administration pitted business interests against national-security conservatives. In the 1970s, hundreds of major corporations as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers had joined to form a private pro-trade group, the U.S.-USSR Trade and Economic Council (USTEC). While conservative hawks wanted to curb the flow of military-use items to Communist countries, USTEC lobbied to remove barriers to Soviet trade. The group opposed, for example, the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which placed trade limits on certain Communist-bloc countries that restricted emigration, as the USSR did with Jews and Evangelical Christians.”

More recently, explained Fonte – –

“In July 2013, House Republicans voted to remove some federal mandates in the No Child Left Behind Act and empower the states to formulate their own accountability systems and curricular standards. Strong opposition to this federalism-affirming legislation came from every Democrat in the House, the Obama administration, an array of leftist groups (including the ACLU, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Education Association, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the Southern Poverty Law Center) and also from business interests led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. Former Reagan education official Chester Finn Jr. rebuked the two business groups for their stance: ‘Both . . . joined the left . . . in savaging the Kline [House Republican] bill and demanding more federal regulation and control of education. . . . I suppose this is yet another sad example of corporate America succumbing to big-government-itis.’

And Fonte underscored the central lesson for today —

“Sessions made the key political point that Republicans have a golden opportunity to appeal once again to Reagan Democrats, who are, as John O’Sullivan put it in a statement lauding Sessions, an ”electoral bloc that dwarfs any other in numerical terms.'”

What to do?  When your state and national lawmakers, and GOP apparatchiks roll out prepared talking points on “outreach,” ask them what specific steps are they taking to reach working-class Americans of all ethnicitiesReagan Democrats and their children and grandchildren, in plain words. 

Check out the websites of your GOP politicians to see whether they show any information or photographs a blue-collar worker, or a small contractor hurt by cheap immigrant labor could find encouraging or identify with? 

 

** Here is senator Sessions further advice this month on immigration and trade.

 

 

Overpass Media Richard Falknor on 02 Aug 2015

Overpass Media: “End the Corruption” — “Fire Boehner”

Fire Boehner

Last Friday on Interstate 95, near Baltimore, Maryland.

Overpass-display organizer Lewis Porter from Maryland 20-20 Watch reported he was “stunned by the volume of public anger directed at Speaker Boehner.”

Porter estimated that somewhere between 40,000 to 50,000 people viewed this display over a 3-hour period during Friday rush hour on I-95 coming out of Washington, D.C.

Activist Porter told Blue Ridge Forum–

“ I would like to know who supports this guy…because it’s sure not the American people.”

Just yesterday, Mark Levin declared (click here) to Breitbart’s Julia Hahn (“Mark Levin: The Republican Party Won Its Majority on a Lie”) —

“Levin explained that the GOP’s problems stem largely from party leadership. In a metaphor invoking the idea of House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)…as a Republican in drag, Levin said:
‘[Boehner] is essentially delivering for Barack Obama everything Barack Obama wants. Just because you’re dressed up as a Republican doesn’t make it so… By his actions, he has demonstrated that he is not a conservative. He spends his time with [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy (R-CA) and [Rep. Steve] Scalise (R-LA) conspiring against the Tea Party and the more conservative elements of his caucus…
I can’t think of one significant advance in the cause of liberty or limited government under John Boehner. When he and [Sen. Mitch] McConnell (R-KY)—who’s equally bad— surrendered the power of the purse right out of the box… they just delivered Obama everything he wanted. So these men have helped Obama oversee the biggest explosion of government both in spending and in power ever.'” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Faithful readers will recall our 2013 post (click here) on Peter Schweizer’s** book Extortion, in which he shows us the anatomy of a “dysfunctional” Congress.

“As the jacket blurb says –
‘*Obama’s ‘Protection Money’: How the Obama Administration targeted industries for criminal investigation but chose not to pursue key political donors.
 *John Boehner’s ‘Tollbooth’: How the Speaker of the House extracts money by soliciting political donations before he will hold crucial votes on the House floor.
 *The ‘Slush Fund’: How politicians extract ‘campaign contributions’ and then convert them to bankroll lavish lifestyles complete with limos, private jets, golf at five-star resorts, fine wines, and cash for family members.
 *Capitol Hill’s ‘Underground Economy’: How congressmen use a little-known loophole that allows them to secretly link their votes to cash.
 Extortion finally makes clear why Congress is so dysfunctional: it’s all about making money, not making law.'”

Porter’s group plans on continuing its overpass displays in Virginia as well as Maryland.

** Schweizer is also the author of Clinton Cash.

Books reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 31 Jul 2015

An Essential Ready Reference: “Catastrophic Failure” & Stephen Coughlin’s ‘Red Pill Brief’ On The Islamist Threat

Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad
By Stephen Coughlin
Center for Security Policy Press, 2015

Stephen Coughlin at Maryland Thursday Meeting 2/14/2013

In this essential guide to the Islamist threat, attorney and decorated intelligence officer Stephen Coughlin puts his finger on the central transgression among our civilian and military intelligence community — as well  as that of Federal policymakers responsible for protecting our country: Dereliction of Duty.

Far too many of those who take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, he points out, have broken faith with that vow and shrink from their duty to fulfill it.

Given the surging Jihadist threat — the point of the spear for our Islamist enemies — too many of our officials and advisers are putting our freedoms, our heritage, our culture, our safety, and our very lives in danger.

(Your reviewer’s task is a lighter one since twice attending Coughlin’s gripping hour-plus-long briefings.)

In his book, Coughlin has all the room he needs fully to go into some of the topics to which he could only refer briefly in person, such as–

  • the inroads the postmodern outlook is making among the faculty of the military academies;
  • the consequent denigration of the role of facts in analysis and writing;
  • and a general “collapse of critical thinking” among top military leadership.

The first part of Catastrophic Failure is devoted to Coughlin’s Red Pill Brief which, as a recalled Army reserve officer posted to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate after the attacks of September 11, 2001, he began presenting in 2002.

“The reference is to the popular 1999 science fiction movie The Matrix, in which the hero is given the option of taking a red pill that will enable him to see the world as it really is. He is warned, however, that if he takes the pill, he can never return to the computer-generated reality to which he is accustomed, made necessary by the requirement to hide the malevolent nature of the world in which he actually lives.” (p. 66) (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

Coughlin began in the fall of 2001 by researching authoritative books of Islamic law, and “found they could be mapped, with repeatable precision, to the stated doctrines and information that groups like Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood disclosed about themselves when speaking to each other.”

Cleaving from the Mainstream or Energizing the Base?

The prevailing theory is that Islamic “extremists” are at the periphery of Islam, hence, all that is needed is to cleave the radicals from the mainstream (left). But if doctrines we brand “extreme” are at the center of Islamic law, then our messaging designed to cleave from the mainstream could end up energizing the base (right). (p. 31)

His work followed the protocols of “traditional threat analysis,” the military intelligence approach into which Coughlin and generations of military personnel before him had been trained.

Classic threat analysis is based on what the enemy says about himself (such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf) and maps that to the enemy’s capabilities and opportunities.

Coughlin’s briefings “easily outperformed competing explanations” — accurately predicting how perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing and Fort Hood massacre would explain why they attacked.

The Red Pill Brief tamed the chaos of politically correct “complexity” by using evidence-based arguments, meticulously documented with original sources.

But the Pentagon fired Coughlin** during the Bush Administration in 2008. His Red Pill Brief-approach was banned by the Obama White House in 2012.

Coughlin relates:

“In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism — even insisting on firings, ‘re-trainings,’ and ‘purges’ of officers, analysts, special agents and decision makers who created or made such materials available.” (p. 21)

A few months later–

“…the FBI then proceeded to undertake the very purging of documents that the Brotherhood had demanded. The Department of Defense followed shortly thereafter with a Soviet-style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education.
Not only did the Secretary of State endorse such curbs on speech, the Assistant Attorney general seemed eager to enforce them. As with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — and through it, our Middle Eastern allies — also seek to embargo all unsanctioned discussions of Islam as a matter of international law.” (p. 22)

Words such as Shariah and Jihad were mandated into oblivion.

And, shockingly, that gag order continues to hold sway over our intelligence community today, with no clear end in sight.

The illustration on the cover of Coughlin’s book — an American eagle blindfolded with a green bandana over the crossed swords of Islam — is an apt metaphor for the official Federal clamp-down on the truth about Islamists.Catastrophic Failure book cover

Explains Coughlin–

“While they may seem abstract, these questions are raised because a principle objective we are facing in the War on Terror is the successful manipulation of the First Amendment.” (p. 490)

Coughlin believes there is an underlying philosophical reason why the forces of common sense in the U.S. intelligence community were not able to fight back, remove the blindfold, and prevail.

He points to the corrosive postmodern narrative which claims there is no objective truth, and insists on the need to “balance” arguments based on facts, like Coughlin’s, with the emotional perceptions of trendy subject-matter experts and vetted Islamic “moderates.”

Why are the insidious ideas of post-modern philosophy so dangerous to our country right now?

Coughlin draws on his reading and training —

“In war ignorance brings defeat, especially for those who are sworn to support and defend us. While ignorance is not a crime for the average person, it is for professionals concerning subject matter that is the object of their professions. Why shouldn’t this hold true for national security professionals? For them, one requirement is that they know the enemy by undertaking real threat identification of entities that constitute actual threats to the Constitution and people of the United States.” (p. 16)

Coughlin calls for the U.S. intelligence community to be guided by a “reality-based threat doctrine analysis.”

The proposed way forward calls for holding all national security leaders and professionals accountable for what they could have known had reasonable due diligence been undertaken to know.” (p. 502)

He argues that ignorance of the exigent Islamist threat, a tragic failure of America leadership at the beginning of the 21st century, constitutes this very dereliction of duty.

Coughlin points out that it is in our power to heal this self-inflicted weakness.

The “Information Battlespace”

Most of the struggle on the home front battle in the War on Terrorism occurs in the “information battlespace.”

Since “language is the key terrain in information warfare,” the first step is “understanding the enemy and using accurate descriptors.”

This, he writes, “is essential to exposing and countering the enemy’s ‘civilization-jihad’ ‘by our hand.’” (p. 505)

Of course, to implement this step in our country would require a sea change of political will in both political parties and in the military.

We can all be grateful that Stephen Coughlin has created this comprehensive handbook explaining the enemy’s threat doctrine and its immediate implications for us.

It is a hefty volume, but don’t be put off by that.

Every page is as readable and compelling as the courtroom argument of an outstanding lawyer before the jury on the biggest case of his professional life.

It is a user-friendly guide that you can open to any chapter and start exploring, a do-it-yourself kit for self-education, and a survival gift that keeps on giving.

**In 2008, during the Bush Administration, Coughlin’s work in the Pentagon ended because of “opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England” according to the Washington Times “Inside the Ring Column”.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 26 Jul 2015

Fearful Times: Conservatives Must Extract Commitments From Members To Fight For Our Survival and Our Liberty When House Begins Summer Vacation Friday

The Iran Deception: A Challenge to the House

Saturday in NRO constitutional scholar and former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy declared (click here) “Congress Must Hold Obama Accountable for His Deception Over Iran.”

Author McCarthy explains–

“By lying and withholding information about the agreement, he gives aid and comfort to America’s enemy.”

continuing–

“The Constitution forbids providing aid and comfort to America’s enemies. And the Framers’ notion that a president would be punishable for deceiving Congress regarding the conduct of foreign affairs meant that lawmakers would be obliged to use their constitutional powers to protect the United States — not merely shriek on cable television as if they were powerless spectators.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Read all of this powerful and expert post.

And holding the president accountable for the Iran Deception is just the top of the list of urgent actions we should insist on hearing our members address in the August recess!

How Did Our Party In The Congress Arrive In This Mess?

On Friday Rush Limbaugh replayed a floor speech by senator Ted Cruz, summing up (click here) conservative frustrations with the Senate GOP — which frustrations (except for the Lynch confirmation) could as easily apply to the House of Representatives–
“Finally, Cruz vents the frustration that every Republican voter has felt with Congress since 2010.
CRUZ:  There is a pronounced disappointment among the American people, because we keep winning elections, and then we keep getting leaders who don’t do anything they promised.  The American people were told, ‘You know, the problem is the Senate. If only we get a Republican majority in the Senate and retire Harry Reid as majority leader, then things will be different.’  What has that majority done?  We came back and passed a trillion-dollar Cromnibus plan, filled with pork and corporate welfare.[**] That was the very first thing we did.  Then this Republican majority voted to fund Obamacare, voted to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive  amnesty, and then leadership rammed through the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general.  Madam President, which of those decisions would be one iota difference if Harry Reid were still majority leader? Not a one.”
RUSH:  Bingo.  It’s exactly right.  Now, this was near the tail end of it.  Now, the whole thing was a stem-winding barber, and I lost count of the number of times Senator Cruz directly challenged Mitch McConnell as a liar — lying to him personally, lying to the Republican caucus about things.
And if you want to know why Donald Trump is resonating with people — You know, I saw somebody in the Drive-By Media today — maybe it wasn’t — it was somebody at PJ Media, I don’t remember who — made the point (Paraphrasing), “Hey, Trump’s not resonating ’cause he’s Trump.  Trump’s resonating ’cause he’s channeling the anger.”  Well, how do you separate the two?  It is Trump because he’s the only one that is actually behaving in ways Republican voters thought they were gonna get in 2010 and 2012, ’14, and the midterms.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

Later in the program, Rush and senator Cruz have an illuminating exchange live (click here) about Giant Business and the GOP

“RUSH:  Now, you say that this is being done in fealty to lobbyists, K Street, donors and so forth. But let’s face it, what McConnell is doing is advocating for the leftist agenda, is he not?  The money may be the reason, but what’s the end result of this?
CRUZ:  At the end of the day, you think about who leadership listens to.  I was having a conversation with a few senators on the Senate floor last week, and they were saying, has the divide between leadership and the grassroots ever been this wide?  And we were all agreeing it wasn’t.  And it’s because leadership listens to K Street and Wall Street, it’s the Big Money donors.  The actual grassroots conservatives who gave us a majority in both houses, they don’t listen to at all.  So can you think of a single priority for a real live conservative that this Senate Republican majority has voted on?  It’s all been what the lobbyists care about.
RUSH:  Yeah, I know.  I know.  It’s distressing and it’s dispiriting to a lot of people.  Then we wake up today, and we see the Chamber of Commerce threatening unnamed Republicans or conservatives by claiming to take ’em out.  ‘Chamber Gearing Up to Take Out GOP Incumbents.’  We all know that that means GOP conservatives.  Chamber of Commerce, everybody thinks they’re a bunch of Republicans, Senator.
CRUZ:  Well, it’s interesting.  The local Chambers of Commerce, the small business people usually are, but the national chamber is just a giant lobbying arm for Big Government handouts to Big Business. And so they are essentially promising to create the crony caucus.  Everyone who is in favor of corporate welfare — you know, how is any conservative supposed to credibly take on welfare reform if we’re not willing to stop shoveling billions of dollars to giant corporations?  We need to show some consistency here, and people are understandably frustrated because you don’t see people willing to take on the Washington cartel.”

(How many House GOP incumbents do we all know who are endorsed by the national or local chambers? Do these local chambers mirror the national on Big Immigration and Common Core?)

Will Congress (Finally) Exercise The Power Of The Purse To Rein In A Lawless President?

The House of Representatives is preeminent in exercising the power of the purse. The current fiscal year expires on September 30.

There is no indication that this House leadership is making any preparation for a serious fight with the president over money any more than this leadership has ever done, starting in 2011 when they took control of that chamber.

(Angelo Codevilla explains (click here) why “Continuing Appropriations Resolutions Subvert Limited Government” and why we must return to “regular order” in appropriating money.)

A National House GOP Campaign For Pulling Obama’s Purse Strings?

For any such fight over money with the president to be successful, the House leadership will have to tussle with the White House the traditional way — over individual money bills for various parts of the Federal government — and pave the way with a public campaign explaining what their objectives are and why they are important to ordinary Americans, all the while being undercut by senate bosses Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.

What are just a few of the schemes the House needs to defund in 2016 starting on October 1?

  • Daniel Horowitz proposes “An Immigration Solution that Puts Americans First” (click here) including the defunding of some Obama immigration schemes. (We would add at least a temporary defunding of the H-1B visa program until it is cleaned up.)
  • Stanley Kurtz explains the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing horror (Obamazone) here — a rule that should be defunded now;
  • The Justice Department should be kept on a very short money leash to stop more of their social engineering –“disparate impact,” cultural diversity, and anti-gun activities among others.

We’ll expand our list, but we are sure our readers can do the same.

All of us should catalog likely or current Obama Regime attacks on Christians whether in the military or by the IRS — in programs that could be defunded.

Of course, we won’t get everything this year or even next, but we can defund enough to begin slowing down the Obama Leviathan and thus demoralizing its operatives.

Make Obama Responsible For Any “Shutdown”!

The House leadership will have to play public hardball just like the Left — or perhaps like Mr. Trump — to exercise the power of the purse effectively.

Is this Speaker up to such a task?

The influential Citizens United (click here) polled their 4,025 member national activists and found that–

“If the election for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was being held today, would you want your Member of Congress to re-elect John Boehner as Speaker of the House?
Yes, Re-Elect Boehner As House Speaker: 5.6%
No, Don’t Re-Elect Boehner As House Speaker: 90.3%
No Opinion: 3.9%”

So we have–

  • a Speaker many conservatives find, to put it charitably, inept;
  • a Senate majority leader denounced for lying to his Party colleagues;
  • a lawless president who tried to deceive the United States Senate on a supposed “agreement” with an enemy of the United States. 

This is no time for the usual GOP chirpy assurances from our House members during this summer recess.

Americans have to insist on blunt in-person exchanges starting next Friday!

Do so through your local GOP committees, Tea Parties, or by starting a statewide conservative group (here and here).

Otherwise when the president by executive action soon further limits your Second Amendment rights or further colonizes your backyard with imported citizens of another country, you will have no way to fight back.  The Congressional GOP just might deign to pass “show bills” that will never be enacted, but will finally brush you off by promising “only wait for the next [Establishment] Republican president and everything can be fixed.”

 

** To understand the profound moral corruption of this legislation, see Angelo Codevilla’s searing analysis of the Cromnibus — “Jonathan Gruber Republicans.”

 

 

 

Books reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 19 Jul 2015

“Day of the Dead”: A Gripping Novel Helping All Americans See Israel Straight

By Susan Freis Falknor

Day of the Dead: Book One – Gaza  — By Captain Dan Gordon, IDF (Res)

This fast-paced novel, set in last year’s Hamas-Israel Tunnel War, could sharpen the way that many Americans perceive Israel and the Islamist threat that nation faces.

And the story will enable Americans to more fully recognize our own vulnerability to that looming horror.

Author Dan Gordon is an American movie writer and novelist–a real pro.

He also holds dual U.S. and Israel citizenship, and is a reserve captain in the Israel Defense Force (IDF).

His satirical White House scenes skewer the Obama Regime’s decision making.

The main characters are members of an observation team sent by the White House into Israel, plus their middle-aged Israeli IDF sherpa.

But the story turns on details that could only have come from personal observation or first-hand accounts.

At some point, you just say, “you can’t make this stuff up.”

What stands out most is the convincing picture of the Israeli people enduring the tunnel war.

Gordon shows them living almost normal lives thanks to the protection of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, only having to duck for a short time into shelters located at public places and set along the highway.

A teenage girl doing everyday duty in the defense force of her Gaza-border kibbutz, watching monitors in real time, becomes the key link in the chain of civil defense, as she spots the terrorists breaking out from their tunnel in a wheat field.

Gordon’s “Day of the Dead” could also enable us to see Israel in the manner Americans saw the enduring, spirited people of London during the Blitz (click here) –the German air attacks of 1940–a year before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and brought us into the war.

Day of the Dead could become another Uncle Tom’s Cabin for our post-9/11 world, especially when the narrative becomes a “major motion picture” as promised on the back cover.

For anti-slavery idealists, Uncle Tom’s Cabin acted as a zoom lens that transformed American slavery from a concerning but rather distant, almost abstract evil into an array of sharply etched, convincing characters, real people, black and white, caught in a diabolical system that seemed to allow for no reform.

The classic touched thousands of hearts and changed official outlooks (click here).

“Uncle Tom” has been turned into a pejorative term. But the novel itself, published a decade before the Civil War, portrayed Tom as a long-suffering Christian, a man whose faith enables him to love and forgive those who oppress him. To idealistic abolitionists, the enslaved Tom became a recognizable, noble human being.

Day of the Dead might well become a similar prism for us, as we wait for other 9/11 shoes to drop.

Will it help us revive the post-attack resolve that seems to have petered out, even as we face a resurgent Islamic Jihad with its determined final solution of putting the whole world under savage Sharia law?

Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have been touched by the influence (overt and subliminal) of the anti-Israel narrative arising from today’s Leftist-Islamist alliance.(Click here to see David Horowitz’ Islamo-Fascism and the War Against the Jews)

This tendentious Leftist-Islamist slant has colored the way much of our media portray Israel today: a technologically advanced nation but fundamentally an oppressor of a victimized Palestinian people.

Lamentably today’s contemporary anti-Semitic narrative has penetrated our “mainstream” media, academia, and, sadly, made inroads into the national offices of our “mainline” churches.

Day of the Dead: Book Two will be set on the U.S. southern border: terrorists equipped with Kalishnikovs, suicide vests, and plastic handcuffs will use Mexican drug tunnels to enter San Diego to stage mass killings and kidnappings. See our closely related Weigh Warnings On ISIS Tunnels!

 

Homeland Defense Richard Falknor on 15 Jul 2015

Iran Surrender — Worse Than Munich: Congress Greased The Way By Approving Corker Scheme With Huge Majorities Bigger Than Chamberlain’s in 1938

Yesterday the terms of the Iran Surrender began to surface (click here and here and here and here and here, just to start). It will be some time before we know them all.

But first, let’s look in a little detail at how both houses of the Congress emasculated themselves last May so they would have very little leverage over the final instrument of surrender.

They did this through the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. As Daniel Horowitz declared (Conservative Review) on May 7 (click here)–

“With passage of the Corker-Cardin Democrat protection bill, it has become abundantly clear that Senate Republicans are utterly useless. 
Due to the outrageously false perception of this bill, only 6 Republicans opposed shutting off debate (Sens. Cruz, Cotton, Grassley, Lee, Moran, and Sullivan) and only Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) voted against it in the final passage.” 

The House Republican leadership simply rammed it through. Again, Daniel Horowitz explains (click here) “House Leadership Blocking Out Conservatives on #IranDeal.”

Only one senator voted against it — Tom Cotton — and, in the House, only 19 Republican members voted against it out of a total of 25 no votes.

From Maryland and Virginia, the only no votes were those of Andy Harris and Dave Brat. (See footnote***)

The Machinery of the Corker Scheme

The invaluable constitutional expert Andy McCarthy spelled out this Monday in NRO the consequences of the Corker Scheme (click here).

Here are few salients excerpts, but read all of McCarthy’s analysisafter all, this surrender is likely to be a matter of war and peace.

  • “Who are you gonna believe, your honey or your lyin’ eyes? That is the question that springs to mind upon reading the ‘dissent,’ forwarded to Rich by a friend who prefers to remain anonymous, from my weekend column on the dangerously misguided Republican response to Obama’s Iran deal.
  • “In the column, I repeated the critique of the Corker bill I’ve been making for months (see, e.g., here, here and here)
  • The legislation will help President Obama pave Iran’s way to become a nuclear-weapons power. This seems counterintuitive to those with higher expectations of Obama’s Republican opposition than I have: The bill overwhelmingly passed the GOP-controlled Congress after being proposed by Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn) with co-sponsorship by the likes of Senator Ben Sasse, the freshman Nebraska Republican who drew strong conservative support (and who figured prominently in my weekend column). Yet it is simply a fact that the Corker bill reverses the Constitution’s presumption against international agreements: instead of requiring the president to convince a two-thirds supermajority of the Senate to approve the Iran deal, it requires opponents to convince a two-thirds supermajority of the full Congress to defeat the deal.”
  • “As the Times elaborates, Democrats were among the Corker bill’s biggest boosters because it ensures the deal cannot be killed unless Republicans muster 67 disapproval votes in the Senate (as well as 291 in the House). Naturally, President Obama signed the bill because it assures him of victory.”
  • “The Corker bill does not require Congress to approve the Iran deal before sanctions can be extinguished; Obama gets his way if Congress fails to disapprove the deal. These GOP ‘Iran hawks’ well know that Congress will surely fail to enact a joint resolution of disapproval. As the above-excerpted Times report points out, (a) Obama will veto it if one is passed, and (b) more than enough Democrats will stand with him to defeat any override attempt.”
  • “The dissenter would do well to remember that, in order to get the Corker bill across the finish line with White House support, Republican leadership provided Democrats with astonishing help: defeating amendments that, among other things, would have required Obama to certify that Iran had ceased supporting anti-American terrorism; would have automatically re-imposed sanctions in the absence of such a certification; would have required treating the deal as a treaty; would have required Iran to free the Americans it is holding in its prisons; and would have required Iran to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The dissenter is sorely mistaken in believing that only Democrats stand to be politically embarrassed by positions the Corker legislation has boxed them into
  •  “Iran is an enemy of the United States and its acquisition of nuclear weapons, like its promotion of terrorism, is unacceptable. This situation thus presents a duty to prevent what is unacceptable, not an opportunity to abide what is unacceptable while scoring political points. Using Congress’s constitutional powers to stop the Iran deal would be statesmanship. The Corker bill is gamesmanship.” (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.)

Congress now has a brief period in which it could pass — then overcome a veto of — a joint resolution of disapproval of the Iran Surrender.

How likely is this with a Republican leadership that strove so hard for the Corker self-emasculation?

Andy McCarthy also reveals (click here)–

Cravenly elevating their own political interest over the national interest, many on the GOP side of the political class calculate that it is more important to avoid blame for frustrating Obama — this time, on his delusional Iran deal — than to succeed in actually frustrating Obama. But alas, that annoying Constitution is again an obstacle to shirking accountability. It does not empower the president to make binding agreements with foreign countries all on his own — on the theory that the American people should not take on enforceable international obligations or see their sovereignty compromised absent approval by the elected representatives most directly accountable to them.
Thus, the Constitution mandates that no international agreement can be binding unless it achieves either of two forms of congressional endorsement: a) super-majority approval by two-thirds of the Senate (i.e., 67 aye votes), or b) enactment through the normal legislative process, meaning passage by both chambers under their burdensome rules, then signature by the president.
 The Corker bill is a ploy to circumvent this constitutional roadblock. That is why our post-sovereign, post-constitutional president has warmed to it.” (Highlighting     Forum’s throughout.)

And maybe there is even more to it — American companies straining at the leash to export to Iran?

For Big Business always has the head chair around the Congressional Ruling Class table.

Yesterday Veronique de Rugy told us in her NRO post, “Boeing Is Going Back to Tehran — Could It Be with Ex-Im’s Help?” (click here)–

“A friend shares the following tweet, from the Tehran bureau chief of the New York Times: ‘Iran state news agency IRNA reports that Boeing wants to send a delegation to sell planes.'”

A Glance At The Munich Debate–
House of Commons, October 3-6, 1938

After Munich, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s government was sustained (click here and go to bottom of last page) by a vote of 369 to 150 — far higher opposition numbers than against the Corker Scheme.

But note Chamberlain’s tone — so different than Mr. Obama’s — on British rearmament:

“I am told that the policy which I have tried to describe is inconsistent with the continuance, and much more inconsistent with the acceleration of our present programme of arms. I am asked how I can reconcile an appeal to the country to support the continuance of this programme with the words which I used when I came back from Munich the other day and spoke of my belief that we might have peace in our time. I hope hon. Members will not be disposed to read into words used in a moment of some emotion, after a long and exhausting day, after I had driven through miles of excited, enthusiastic, cheering people–I hope they will not read into those words more than they were intended to convey. I do indeed believe that we may yet secure peace for our time, but I never meant to suggest that we should do that by disarmament, until we can induce others to disarm too.(Highlighting Forum’s.)

Make no mistake: Munich was still a disaster. Historian Martin Gilbert reports —

“For the first time in his political career — and it was nearly forty years since he had first stood for Parliament — Churchill’s optimism deserted him. Despite his appeal in Parliament for a national revival, the events of September 1938 filled him with a deep despondency….”

What is to be done now?  First, promptly and markedly improve the current GOP leadership, so that their successors do not shrink from confronting the president.  Second, use the power of the purse and the impeachment power over key Obama appointees to limit damage from the Iran Surrender. All of this will depend on whether Republicans at all levels across the US are sufficiently alarmed by this existential threat from Iran and the threat of Big Immigration.

*** When you hear Virginia GOP members — save for the courageous Dave Brat — blasting the Iran Surrender, ask them why they voted for the Corker scheme. As Brian Darling points out today in Conservative Review (click here) “Republicans will spend the next month denouncing the deal and trashing President Obama when they voted to allow the Corker-Cardin framework to govern the procedure to oppose the deal.”

2016 Election Richard Falknor on 13 Jul 2015

Very Timely Counsel For The Donald — via Steve Deace

Talk-show host Deace writes:

“This is the phone conversation Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus should have had with 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump last week:
Ring, ring.”
 * * * * * * * * * *
Priebus: That’s why you just shot to the top of the polls, Donald. Whatever wave-length you are operating on is exactly where the GOP base is at right now. They are sick and tired and want somebody – anybody — to fight for them. Yet sooner or later you are going to have to prove you have more than one bullet in your political gun if you want this to last. Illegal immigration is huge, but it can’t take you all the way to the finish line. If you are truly serious about running for president, though, I think I have an idea.
Trump: Rinse…err, I mean Reince, I’m pretty sure I fired somebody who looked just like you on one of the seasons of The Apprentice, but what the hey. This can’t possibly be any worse than the crazy concept Gary Busey pitched me that one time.
Priebus: So you’re saying there’s a chance! Now, I know nobody is going to mistake you for Billy Graham, but how would you feel about reaching into your couch cushions, pulling out about $135,000 in spare change and hopping on your private jet to Oregon in the name of defending religious freedom?”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Priebus: Exactly. This Deace guy cleverly dubbed them [The Cultural Marxists] the ‘Rainbow Jihad.’ They’ve [Sweet Cakes] been told that if they don’t bow to tyranny by Monday, then a lien will be placed on their home. But you could put a stop to it. Fly to Oregon, pay their fine and put the country on notice that you plan on defending the First Amendment with just as much zeal as our southern border.”

 * * * * * * * * * *

“Priebus: Never forget only Nixon could go to China. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t going to be celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary to the same woman any time soon. What matters is that you know business, and you don’t need to be a saint to understand that the assault on marriage and religious freedom is clearly linked to the death of a free market. So you tell the people that, no, you haven’t been a choir boy for much of your life. Yet you see now how deep and ugly this rabbit hole has gotten and enough is enough.”    (Highlighting Forum’s throughout.) 
Read all of “What Reince Priebus Should’ve Said to Donald Trump!”

Homeland Defense Richard Falknor on 12 Jul 2015

Representative Barbara Comstock — Speaking At A Ramadan Event With Questionable Auspices

Virginia’s 10th District U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock attended a “Sharing Ramadan” event earlier this month, apparently under the auspices of Emerge USA (click here for Discover The Network’s take on Emerge USA).

The Virginia first-termer spoke (listen here to the YouTube) of the importance of the First Amendment, and gushed about the work of Emerge USA.

Is Emerge USA truly a “great group,” as Mrs. Comstock declared on the YouTube? And here is her endorsement on Emerge USA’s website.

FrontPage.com’s Joe Kaufman revealed in May of 2014 (click here)–

“Emerge USA is a Florida-based organization whose unstated goal is to give radical Muslims a political voice in America.”

And noted that–

“the head of the Democratic Party Debbie Wasserman Schultz canceled her keynote address in front of Emerge just two years earlier”

Kaufman in 2014 described Emerge USA’s co-director, Florida attorney Khurrum Basir Wahid–

“Prior to helping found Emerge, Wahid was a legal advisor for the national office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a director of CAIR’s Florida chapter. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the U.S. Justice Department as a co-conspirator to the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.
In 2011, Wahid himself was placed on a U.S. government terrorist watch list.”

Comstock (click here for the YouTube) talked to her Ramadan hosts about the First Amendment.

But does she grasp the deep conflict between free speech and Sharia?

As former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy declared (click here) last January in his “New ‘old-fashioned’ shaming” (New Criterion)–

“In the wide net cast by sharia law’s repressive blasphemy standards, such speech includes critical examinations of Islam, no matter how accurately they represent Islamic supremacism—a mainstream interpretation of Muslim doctrine that is bellicose, misogynistic, harshly discriminatory, and often cruelly punitive.”(Highlighting Forum’s)

McCarthy explains the world-wide Islamist effort to make free speech conform to Sharia’s harsh restrictions, and how this Administration enables that effort–

“At the conference in what has become known as the ‘Istanbul Process,’ Secretary Clinton lamented that the effort to stamp out the common sense commonly demagogued as ‘Islamophobia’ had been hampered by the inconvenient fact that ‘for 235 years [of American history], freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy.’ The First Amendment made it extraordinarily difficult for government to prohibit speech explicitly. Still, she maintained that Leviathan could get the job done by an alternative route—one no doubt near and dear to the hearts of the sharia enthusiasts in her audience. The Obama administration, she promised, would ‘use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.'”(Highlighting Forum’s)

After watching the Comstock YouTube, one seasoned northern Virginia Republican lamented, “Barbara sure has time for these folks, but hardly any for Tea Partiers.”

Our lawmakers need to do their homework on emerging Islamist threats!

We are not suggesting that Mrs. Comstock is some secret Sharia adherent.

What we are urging is that she — and those Virginia state lawmakers who sponsored a General Assembly commendation (click here) for the ADAMS Center (click here then here for our earlier stories)  — begin their (apparently neglected) due diligence on Sharia and Civilization Jihad.

This is no time for willful blindness.

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