HEADLINES & NOTES
Obama Wins Critical Backing on
Iran Deal with Retiring Senator's Vote
The Obama administration now appears to have enough support in Congress to stave off Republican efforts to reject his controversial Iran nuclear deal. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), announced her support for the deal ahead of a speech on the agreement by Sec. of State John Kerry. She becomes the 34th senator to support the deal, giving Pres. Obama enough backing to sustain a veto of a Republican bill opposing it, should that bill pass in a vote later this month.
McConnell: GOP Congress
Can't Defund Planned Parenthood
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), made the strongest statement yet on Tuesday that the Republican-led Congress will not attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in must-pass government funding legislation this fall. Speaking to WYMT Television in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell said the pending "battle" over government funding would not include a provision to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
Watchdog Calls for FEC Probe
of Illegal Hired as Fellow by DNC
A watchdog has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging that the Democrat National Committee violated federal law when it hired an illegal immigrant as a "fellow" ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Judicial Watch said in a complaint to the FEC that the DNC had hired Cindy Nava, a so-called "Dreamer," as of June, despite the fact that her application for DACA had not yet been approved. Federal law bars foreign nationals from participating "directly or indirectly in the decision-making process" of federal, state, or local election-related activities.
Eight Texas Counties List
More Voters Than Residents
A vote-watch group is accusing eight Texas counties of violating the National Voting Rights Act by failing to purge dead and ineligible voters. The counties — Loving, Brooks, McMullen, Roberts, Irion, Jim Hogg, Culberson and Polk — list a combined 52,298 registered voters. But the latest US Census data show only 49,457 voting-age residents in those counties. County officials told Watchdog.org they are reviewing their voter lists in response to True the Vote's threat of legal action.
Putin Drafts Bill to Dump Dollar
as Trade Currency for CIS
Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin has drafted a bill that aims to eliminate the US dollar and the euro from trade between Commonwealth of Independent States countries. his means the creation of a single financial market between Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, and according to the agreement between Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan, an obligatory transition to settlements in the national currencies must occur in 2025-2030. Today, some 50% of turnover in the EEU is in dollars and euro, which increases the dependence of the union on countries issuing those currencies.
Senate Democrats Plot Filibuster
to Dodge Iran Nuclear Deal Vote
Democrat senators supporting Pres. Obama's disastrous nuclear deal with Iran are running for cover to avoid going on the record and voting against a resolution disapproving the deal. A filibuster to block a vote on the merits altogether is the Democrat Senate caucus's preferred way out. The White House is reportedly pushing the filibuster strategy even though Obama is virtually certain to have enough votes to sustain a veto of a resolution of disapproval passed by both houses of Congress.
Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many US Cities
Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this Milwaukee. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year — after 86 homicides in all of 2014. More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ago. In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60% rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.
Armed Black Panthers Threaten
Texas Law Enforcement
Armed Black Panther members marched in front of the Waller County, Texas, jail and shouted, "You're gonna stop doing what you're doing, or we will start creeping up on you in the darkness." The statement was made just two weeks prior to the assassination of a Harris County deputy sheriff. Shannon Miles, a black male, allegedly came "creeping up" behind Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth in the darkness on the night of August 28. While Goforth stood at a convenience store pumping gas into his patrol vehicle, Miles allegedly raised a pistol and shot him dead.
Cash-Strapped Illinois Gives 'IOUs'
for Lottery Payouts of $25K or More
It's another casualty of the stalemate in Springfield. No budget means no lottery payouts over $25,000. With lawmakers in Springfield still not budging on a budget agreement, big lottery winners, like Danny Chasteen, are out of luck for now. Instead of paying off his bills with the $250,000 he won last month, Chasteen got an "IOU." The Illinois Lottery issued a full statement Friday afternoon: "Due to the ongoing budget situation in Springfield, some lottery winner payments have been delayed. All winners will be paid in full as soon as the Lottery and the Illinois Comptroller have the legislative authority to do so."
The Email Issue Goes
Beyond Just Hillary Clinton
As scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton's illegal use of unsecured email servers to access classified information during her time as US Secretary of State continues to unravel her presidential aspirations, a more comprehensive overview of the many email issues related to the Obama Administration presents a more sinister possibility. From the State Department to the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency to the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy to the White House itself, everywhere you turn in the Obama Administration there has been an issue with high-ranking personnel using alternative email accounts and/or servers for government business and then refusing access to those communications to oversight authority. In 2010, President Barack Obama, speaking in Elyria, Ohio, bragged, "We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history...in history! And by the way, this is the first administration since the founding of the country where all of you can find out who visits the White House. First time in history! And that's just one example." In fact, Mr. Obama's claim to open visitor's logs was first trumpeted in 2009. It sounded good, like his claim that his was the most transparent administration in history. Alas, as usual, what sounds good during his "speechifying" never quite pans out to be the truth.
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.
Police Lives Matter Too
The killing of Fox Lake, IL, police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz had nothing to do with our hashtag politics about which lives matter. Gliniewicz, whose body was found in a marshy area near Fox Lake, was just a cop who'd been doing his job. And he was killed for it, left stripped of his gear. He was the 24th police officer shot to death in the US so far this year. Gliniewicz was no rookie. He had more than 30 years on the job. "He's got four sons who are going to have to go on alone," his mother-in-law, Terry Resetar, told the Tribune on Tuesday, just hours after Gliniewicz was killed. If you've been following the news, you know about the killing of the police officer in suburban Chicago. National TV news was full of the manhunt for the three suspects, images of police dogs on the ground and helicopters in the air and SWAT teams fanning out. But now, when a police officer is killed, for whatever reason, it is set against a larger context of anger and seething politics; of police shootings, and dead minorities, some unarmed when they were killed, and of dead cops shot down simply for wearing their uniforms. And while many follow these as tragedies, or as provocative commentaries on our politics, there is a group that is too often forgotten, or ignored. They're the people who don't make waves. They're not good at angry identity politics. They don't protest. Yet they have a deep and elemental connection to all this too. They're police families. And there isn't a police family in America that didn't take note of what happened in Fox Lake, just as they took notice last week when Harris County, Texas, Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth was shot and killed in an ambush while pumping gas into his patrol car.
The Economics of Bernie Sanders
WILLIAM L. ANDERSON
As the political campaign of Hillary Clinton continues to run aground, Democrats are flocking to the campaign of Bernie Sanders, the self-described "socialist" US senator from Vermont, who has been a fixture in that state for more than three decades. Not unlike the presidential campaign of Ron Paul, Sanders is drawing large, enthusiastic crowds who are very receptive to his message of increased state control of the US economy. Obviously, when a person running a campaign based upon socialist principles is drawing attention and big crowds, we might ask just what does Sanders mean by "socialist," and what would he do if he were elected president of the United States? To better answer that question, I am taking a closer look at what we would call the "economics" of Bernie Sanders. Before looking at Sanders's platform, however, I believe it is important to note that when socialists speak of "victories" in the economy, they are not talking about actual results, but rather political achievements in the forms of laws being passed that mandate certain policies. Whether or not these policies actually achieve what socialists claim will be accomplished is another story altogether, but results are irrelevant to socialists. This should surprise no one because, after all, socialism is based upon political control of the economy. True (or at least original) socialists believe that state agents via the "magic" of their authority should allocate all resources to where there is the greatest need for them. Political representatives, not surprisingly, determine what constitutes the greatest need. The state would take ownership of all factors of production and then wisely determine the needs and how production of goods would fulfill them.
A Court Smacks Down Obama's DoJ
J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS & HANS A. VON SPAKOVSKY
The recently concluded federal trial over North Carolina's election rules proved one thing beyond a reasonable doubt: The Obama administration and its partisan, big-money, racial-interest-group allies will stop at nothing to win elections. And using the courts to change election rules is a key part of their strategy. That was clearly evident in the federal courtroom in Winston-Salem. The plaintiffs, including the Justice Department, challenged a number of election reforms implemented in 2013 that were designed to reduce the cost and complexity of running elections and make it harder to commit voter fraud. The administration pushed a novel legal argument. In its telling, if a change in election rules might statistically affect blacks more than whites, it constitutes illegal discrimination. For example, if 98 percent of whites have a voter ID but only 97.5 percent of blacks have one, then requiring voters to present ID violates federal law. Never mind the fact that getting an ID is free, easy, and open to everyone without regard to race. And never mind if a policy change is in line with the rules of many other states, or if it's explicitly sanctioned by federal law. The mere act of changing the law in the wrong direction is discriminatory. In other words, the Obama administration would turn the Voting Rights Act into a one-way ratchet to help Democrats. The court refused to go along. None of the reforms had an obvious racial angle.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"[The Bill of Rights is] designed to protect individuals and minorities against the tyranny of the majority, but it's also designed to protect the people against bureaucracy, against the government" ~ Judge Lawrence Tribe