HEADLINES & NOTES
Retired Generals, Admirals
Urge Congress to Reject Iran Deal
A group of nearly 200 retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, which they say threatens national security. The letter is the latest in a blizzard of missives petitioning Congress either to support or oppose the agreement with Iran, which would lift sanctions if Iran pared back its nuclear program. Letters have come from ad hoc groupings of rabbis, nuclear scientists, arms-control and nonproliferation experts — and now, retired senior military officers.
Green Beret Fighting to Stay in Army
After Defending Raped Afghan Boy
A decorated Green Beret being forced out of the military in a matter of months was taken to task in 2011 by a top Army general for confronting an accused Afghan rapist, according to an official reprimand, bolstering claims he is being discharged over the incident. Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland is being kicked out because he shoved an Afghan local police commander, Abdul Rahman, after an investigation implicated him in the rape of a 12-year-old Afghan boy. The boy had been assaulted for 7-10 days while chained to a bed; his mother beaten by Rahman for having reported the crime.
TV News Gunman a
'Powder Keg' of Racial Discord
Vester Lee Flanagan, a former TV reporter who recorded himself fatally shooting a reporter and videographer during a live broadcast in Virginia on Wednesday morning, was disgruntled over perceived racial discrimination and purportedly said he was pushed to act out because of a mass shooting this summer that targeted black congregants at a church in Charleston, SC. Flanagan, 40, who fatally shot himself while being chased by police, had been fired by Roanoke's WDBJ-TV a year after being hired in 2012. The station had documented a number of complaints against him, including heated confrontations with co-workers and a lack of professionalism.
Solyndra Lied to Secure Obama Stimulus Cash
Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that took more than $500 million from Pres. Obama's stimulus then went bust, sticking taxpayers for the loss, lied to federal officials to secure the loan, the Energy Dept's inspector general said in a report released Wednesday. But the Obama administration goofed too and may have cut corners in fully vetting the project because of "political pressure" from top Democrats and Solyndra itself, the investigators said in their report.
Democratic Socialists of America
Super PAC Is Backing Bernie Sanders
The super PAC run by the Democratic Socialists of America has spent tens of thousands of dollars supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential bid. The DSA's national director told the Federal Election Commission Wednesday that its super PAC has spent $21,139 supporting Sanders' candidacy; paltry sums compared to the more heavily financed super PACs involved in the 2016 presidential contest. However, Sanders himself has disavowed super PACs, pledging to refuse their support during his presidential run.
EPA Withholds Mine Spill
Documents from Congress
A congressional committee blasted the Environmental Protection Agency for blocking release of documents related to the Gold King mine disaster, which poured deadly chemicals into the largest source of drinking water in the West. EPA director Gina McCarthy has been asked to appear and answer questions about the agency's role in creating a 3-million-gallon toxic spill into Colorado's Animas River on Aug. 5. Critics say McCarthy and the EPA have been unresponsive and secretive toward Congress, and unsympathetic toward millions of people who live in three states bordering the river.
State Dept.-Released Clinton Email
Had Classified Intel from 3 Agencies
One of the emails that triggered the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's server contained classified intelligence from three different agencies, Fox News has learned – which could mean the State Department violated a President Obama-signed executive order by authorizing its release. That 2009 order, EO 13526, lays out the rules for "classifying, safeguarding and declassifying national security information." It states that the authority to declassify rests with the intelligence agency that originated the information.
Unions, Health Insurers Team Up
to Fight Obamacare 'Cadillac Tax'
A coalition of labor unions and health insurance companies is pushing Congress to repeal Obamacare's "Cadillac tax," arguing that it will hurt workers by causing their employers to cut back, or eliminate, insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, includes a 40 percent tax on employer-provided plans with supposedly lavish benefits, i.e., "Cadillac" plans. The White House's intention was to use the tax revenue from the wealthier plans — estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at $87 billion over 10 years — to finance other parts of the law.
Inquiry Weighs Whether
ISIS Analysis Was Distorted
The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials at US Central Command have skewed intelligence assessments about the US-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress. The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments.
Trump-ettes, You Can't
Have It Both Ways
A funny thing happened on the way to the "Forum," the "guy who doesn't back down," the "fighter," got his nose bloodied and his sycophants didn't care for it one bit. If that sounds harsh, then let me borrow from the "fighter's" own words. I don't have time for political correctness. I also don't have time for so-called Republicans and Conservatives who want the game disingenuously skewed to their advantage. Nor do I have time for hypocrites. This is not a screed that poses to apologize for FOX News. I have my own reasons – events that happened to me personally when I was asked to appear on The O'Reilly Factor so many years ago – for not kneeling at the FOX altar. But neither will I bow to the knee-jerk canonization of Donald Trump as the end-all-be-all for the Conservative cause in 2016. Nor will I acquiesce to the Janus-faced whining of those who don't want to see the "guy who doesn't back down" asked legitimate questions. The two questions that have the "Trump-ettes'" undies in a bunch were legitimate questions. Period. Dot. In fact, they were pointed questions, the kind that we on the Right side of the aisle wish we would have seen posed to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during any CNN or MSNBC sponsored debate of election cycles past. Yet, when hard and pointed, and legitimate questions are posed to a so-called champion of the Right his supporters cry foul? How absolutely Progressive! By that standard, Mr. Obama's sycophants are vindicated in their calling anyone who doesn't agree with him a racist. Do you see how duplicitous the Trump-ettes are?
Social Engineering Is
a Lot Like Socialism
Recently, two articles gave me pause. The first by Alana Semuels, "How Chicago is Trying to Integrate its Suburbs" caught my attention because I spent many formative years in Glenview, the suburb highlighted in the article. Reading about the new low income housing there, a collaboration between the Chicago Housing Authority and Regional Housing Initiative, I recalled a conversation with a long term resident and respected member of the community (prior to the shut-down of the naval air base and subsequent redevelopment), one in which she explained that Glenview, a Chicago suburb, got around a previous Section 8 requirement by building low income senior housing. She had no qualms about the community's position in this matter. Many middle class communities felt this way about Section 8 moving into their neighborhoods.
The China Syndrome
On August 24, at the open of the New York Stock Exchange, Donald Trump tweeted this: "As I have long stated, we are so tied in with China and Asia that their markets are now taking the US market down. Get smart USA." A few minutes later, Trump explained that the crashing of markets was "all caused by poor planning and allowing China and Asia to dictate the agenda." A few days earlier, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had praised China for making a "move towards a more flexible, market-determined exchange rate" and for increasing "the transparency of its exchange rate policies," later adding that the US economy was not tied directly to China's. Once again, the overwhelmingly popular Republican candidate for president demonstrated that he knows more about the global economy than our ideology-stunted Treasury Secretary can ever hope to learn. The ongoing stock market meltdown is just the tip of the iceberg that is the dangerously precarious China economy. The back story - the extraordinary market manipulation that has allowed the global economy to come to this potentially disastrous pass - is what few commentators have yet spelled out. Here are some of the particulars. Most of the trillions of fiat dollars the Federal Reserve Bank has pumped into the US economy as part of its Quantitative Easing (QE) strategy since 2009 have gone directly into the stock market, inflating the value of stocks to unsustainable levels. The Shiller Price/Earnings Ratio has reached ~28x - significantly higher than the 16.6x historical average - meaning that stocks are dangerously overvalued as their price is some 28 times higher than corporate earnings warrant.
Alison & Adam & The Monster
He waited for the cameraman to turn back. He wanted the audience to see her die, and the cameraman had panned to the right, to show the resort, so he lowered the gun and waited for him to turn back. Then he opened fire. Some fat loser named Vester who wanted to kill some white people and settle some scores and make a name for himself. He was "Bryce" on TV. And he was Bryce on Twitter as he posted the video of himself gunning down three innocent people, unloading his Glock into them and America's consciousness. Camera in the left hand, gun in the right hand, nothing in the soul. Two hours later he sent off his manifesto to where his talents never took him – network headquarters in New York. He ranted and raved, complaining of being wronged, of being overlooked, of being disrespected. And he talked about payback. A white guy killed some black people; and now a black guy was going to kill some white people. "You want a race war?" he wrote. "Bring it!" And over an incomprehensible morning, he fled. Swapping out cars and taking to social media and fleeing to who knows where. But they were on him, and they got the second license plate, and a reader picked it up, and as the troopers closed he took the coward's way out. Two hours later he was in hell. And America is in shock.
Mass Immigration &
The Undoing of Europe
With the European Union surrendering its immigration policy to people smugglers, the immigration crisis in Europe keeps reaching staggering new heights. The word has gone out that Fortress Europe is scalable. From Morocco to Turkey, people smuggling has turned into an irresistibly big business. From small-time thugs to the terror outfit Hamas - for $2500-$3000 per person smuggled - many evidently want to seize a slice of this lucrative business that was created by the EU's collective inaction. In Germany, where traffickers are now dropping off illegal immigrants on Autobahns, authorities have reacted - not by trying to intercept or discourage the traffickers, but by putting new road-signs alerting drivers of potential pedestrians on the highway. Even before this year's mass immigration began, Germany was struggling to deal with roughly a quarter of a million asylum applicants - without even accounting for the illegal immigrants already in the country. The recent wave of migration would push those figures to record heights. The trend in Germany merely reflects the overall scale of the European immigrant crisis. In July 2015, an estimated 50,000 refugees entered Greece, a surge of 750 percent. Last month alone more migrants landed than in the whole of 2014. In Germany, the head of Lower Saxony's Municipal Federation, Marco Trips, told local reporters that the "system has already collapsed." This sentiment is apparently shared by municipalities across Germany. In a historic move, the German federal government has now called in the military to assist in setting up new tent cities and providing basic amenities for ever-rising number of refugees.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim - when he defends himself - as a criminal." ~ Frederic Bastiat