THE DAILY BRIEFING & EDITOR'S NOTES
Obama's EPA Doubles Down on Climate Rule
The Obama administration on Sunday unveiled a tougher climate change rule for power plants, demanding that generators cut their carbon dioxide output 32 percent in the first-ever limits on the pollutant. The historic regulation from the EPA is the main pillar of Pres. Obama's climate agenda. It is the biggest piece of his drive to create a legacy and go down in history as the first US president to take comprehensive action against "climate change" by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
Feinstein Support of Kate's Law Upsets Immigration Activists
For immigration advocates rushing to beat back congressional momentum to crack down on so-called "sanctuary cities," their chief worry isn't the Republicans who control Capitol Hill. It's Sen. Dianne Feinstein (P-CA). The California Progressive with a tough-on-crime streak is stirring deep anxiety among immigration activists ever since she said she would write a bill that would force localities to comply with federal immigration requests - prompted by the death of a San Francisco woman, allegedly at the hands of an immigrant here illegally.
Affirmative Action Lands in the Air Traffic Control Tower
A recently completed six-month investigation by FOX Business Network found that the Federal Aviation Administration has quietly moved away from merit-based hiring criteria in order to increase the number of women and minorities who staff airport control towers. The changes come despite the fact that the FAA's own internal reports describe the evidence for changing the hiring process as "weak."
More Than Two-Thirds of Obamacare Enrollees Unsatisfied with Coverage
Less than a third of Obamacare exchange customers are satisfied with their plans, according to a survey released Monday that finds enrollees in the signature heath overhaul are less happy than those covered through government programs or their jobs. Researchers at Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research arm of the consulting firm, said cost is a key driver in their findings, which say 30% of exchange customers are satisfied with their plans, compared to nearly half of those on the Medicaid program for the poor, 58% on Medicare for seniors and the disabled and 42% with coverage from their jobs.
Nigerian Troops Rescue 178 People from Boko Haram Camps
Nigerian troops rescued 178 people from Boko Haram in attacks that destroyed several camps of the Islamic extremists in the northeast of the country, an army statement said Sunday. Spokesman Col. Tukur Gusau said that 101 of those freed are children, along with 67 women and 10 men. The Nigerian Air Force reported killing "a large number" of militants in repelling an attack on Bitta village, 30 miles southwest of the army operations that took place around Bama, 45 miles southeast of Maiduguri city. Maiduguri is the birthplace of Boko Haram and the capital of northeastern Borno state.
Docs from Bin Laden Raid Prove Iran Worked with Al Qaeda
Stephen Hayes and Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard are calling on the Obama Administration to release long-suppressed documents from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, which illustrate collusion between the government of Iran and al-Qaeda, including Iran's assistance with attacks on Americans. Six highly-placed insiders discussed these documents with the Standard. Several of them said the evidence was so explosive that it could derail the nuclear deal with Iran.
'No Meaningful Degradation' of Islamic State from Obama Bomb Campaign
The CIA and other US intelligence agencies have concluded that the Obama administration bomb campaign launched last year against the Islamic State has yielded no perceivable degradation of the terrorist organization's forces. US intelligence officials estimate that the Islamic State remains between 20,000 and 30,000 fighters strong. Nevertheless, Pres. Obama spoke earlier this month on the "progress" the United States has witnessed after hitting IS in Iraq and Syria with thousands of air strikes.
Obama Admin. Heavily Redacts Latest Batch of Clinton Emails
The Obama administration slapped a secret designation Friday on a number of Hillary Clinton's emails from her time as secretary of state, raising more questions about whether her controversial email arrangement led to classified information being left unsecured. A new tranche of Clinton emails, released by the State Department under a court order to impose transparency on the Obama administration, contains dozens of documents with information redacted and labeled either "confidential" or "sensitive."
US Wage Growth Plummets to Slowest Pace On Record
US employment costs posted the smallest increase on record in the second quarter of 2015. The Labor Dept. released the figures Friday. The Employment Cost Index, the general measure of labor costs that is used as an accurate indication of labor market slack, ticked up only 0.2% in the second quarter. Down from an 0.7% gain in the first quarter, this represents the smallest gain since the government started measuring the employment cost index in 1982...Comprising 70% of employment costs, wages and salaries endured their smallest gain on record.
Kerry: Iran's 'Death to America' Doesn't Mean They Want to Kill Us
Secretary of State John Kerry is still seeking a nuanced explanation for Iran's government saying, "Death to America". He called the Iranian government's cries of "Death to America" "not helpful" and suggested that the Supreme Leader might not really mean it. And now Kerry would like to emphasize that aside from the "Death to America" chants and the nuclear bombs and constant threats of war, at no time was he made aware of an Iranian plan to destroy America.
Obama Sequesters 17 Iranian Nuclear Agreement Docs from the Public
Scattered around the US Capitol complex are a series of Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facilities which are typically used to hold Top Secret information. But today in these deeply secure settings are a series of unclassified documents - items dealing with the Iran nuclear deal that are not secret, but that the Obama administration is nevertheless blocking the public from reading. Among the 17 unclassified documents is a document, titled "Elements of Iran's R&D Plan." It is based on the "safeguards confidential plan [between] Iran and the IAEA," a State Dept. official said, and so it can't be released publicly. The document describes how Iran's research and development on its nuclear program, including on its centrifuges, could progress over time.
Top French Official Contradicts Kerry on Iran Deal
Secretary of State John Kerry has been painting an apocalyptic picture of what would happen if Congress killed the Iran nuclear deal. Among other things, he has warned that "our friends in this effort will desert us." But the top national security official from one of those nations involved in the negotiations, France, has a totally different view: He told two senior US lawmakers that he thinks a Congressional no vote might actually be helpful. His analysis is already having an effect on how members of Congress, especially House Democrats, are thinking about the deal.
US Intel Fears Hundreds of Secrets Leaked in Hillary's Private Emails
The US intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton's private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday. The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton's private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.
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. In a SPOA article called The Great Housing Experiment That Failed, the author writes: "Starting back in 1977, families living in housing projects began to be relocated to middle-class suburban neighborhoods with good public schools. If these families could see a different way of life, the middle-class way of life, they could learn to live like the middle class – or so everyone thought...But then the crime rate started to go up in suburbia where they moved. As one former housing project tenant said: 'You move from one place to another and you bring the element with you. You got some [people] trying to make it just like the projects.'" Landlords in more affluent suburbs did not want to rent to Section 8 tenants.
EXTRA: Posse Comitatus
Why are soldiers at recruiting stations unarmed? Here is an analysis put out by Cato Institute that provides some justification for the practice. I believe it is time to reconsider, under the present circumstances. I don't think this is our only concern at this time. We should be worried about Iran, federal overreach, the blurring of powers between the branches, the erosion of our 1st amendment...some would even say this story is serving as a bright shiny thing because it has completely garnered national attention and so we've taken our eye off the other "balls" in the air. In any event, if you want to understand and take a position, at least understand the history.
Attention America's Suburbs:
You Have Just Been Annexed
It's difficult to say what's more striking about President Obama's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation: its breathtaking radicalism, the refusal of the press to cover it, or its potential political ramifications. The danger AFFH poses to Democrats explains why the press barely mentions it. This lack of curiosity, in turn, explains why the revolutionary nature of the rule has not been properly understood. Ultimately, the regulation amounts to back-door annexation, a way of turning America's suburbs into tributaries of nearby cities. This has been Obama's purpose from the start. In Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, I explain how a young Barack Obama turned against the suburbs and threw in his lot with a group of Alinsky-style community organizers who blamed suburban tax-flight for urban decay. Their bible was Cities Without Suburbs, by former Albuquerque mayor David Rusk. Rusk, who works closely with Obama's Alinskyite mentors and now advises the Obama administration, initially called on cities to annex their surrounding suburbs. When it became clear that outright annexation was a political non-starter, Rusk and his followers settled on a series of measures designed to achieve de facto annexation over time. The plan has three elements: 1) Inhibit suburban growth, and when possible encourage suburban re-migration to cities. This can be achieved, for example, through regional growth boundaries (as in Portland), or by relative neglect of highway-building and repair in favor of public transportation. 2) Force the urban poor into the suburbs through the imposition of low-income housing quotas. 3) Institute "regional tax-base sharing," where a state forces upper-middle-class suburbs to transfer tax revenue to nearby cities and less-well-off inner-ring suburbs (as in Minneapolis/St. Paul). If you press suburbanites into cities, transfer urbanites to the suburbs, and redistribute suburban tax money to cities, you have effectively abolished the suburbs.
Hillary Clinton Sold Out Honduras
Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, considered by some to be the only real threat to Hillary Clinton, has joined Sen. Bernie Sanders to be the only two challengers to the former secretary of state. Republicans, whose seemingly limitless field seems poised for a "Hunger Games"-esque cage match, worry that a Clinton cakewalk through the primaries will leave her relatively unscathed in the general election against a beaten and beleaguered GOP nominee whose every foible will have been exposed. And yet for some reason, GOP candidates lob tired Benghazi charges at the presumptive Democrat nominee during the short breaks in infighting. The issue only really excites the GOP base, and it's highly unlikely that after almost three years of pounding the issue the tactic will work. Plus, House Republicans' own two-year investigation into the attack absolved Clinton's State Dept. of the worst GOP allegations, giving her something of her own "please proceed, Governor" arrow in the quiver if she is attacked from that angle. It's the SCUD missile of political attacks when there are laser-guided Tomahawks in the arsenal. Republicans really hit on something when they started making noise about the Clintons' relationship with foreign governments, CEOs and corporations, following the lead set by Peter Schweizer's bestselling "Clinton Cash." Cross-ideological ears perked up to rumored quid pro quos arranged while Hillary was atop State and Bill was out glad-handing global elites. Even liberals and progressives paid attention when the discussion turned to the Clintons and international elites making backroom, under-the-table deals at what Schweizer calls "the 'wild west' fringe of the global economy." Though it's less sexy than Benghazi, the crisis following a coup in Honduras in 2009 has Hillary Clinton's fingerprints all over it, and her alleged cooperation with oligarchic elites during the affair does much to expose Clinton's newfound, campaign-season progressive rhetoric as hollow.
Demand the Documents
HAYES & KRISTOL
To paraphrase Lincoln, if we could first know where Iran is and whither Iran is tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. To evaluate the Iran deal, we need, to the degree possible, to understand the Iranian regime, its nature and its history, its past and present behavior. The bad news is that the Obama administration doesn't want us to have all the information available to judge that regime and its behavior. The good news is that Congress can insist the information be provided. Here's an important instance. We have been told by six current or former intelligence officials that the collection of documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound includes explosive information on Iran's relationship with al Qaeda over the past two decades, including details of Iran's support for al Qaeda's attacks on Americans. Some of these officials believe this information alone could derail the deal. We haven't seen it. But the American people should see it all before Congress votes on the deal in September. "There are letters about Iran's role, influence, and acknowledgment of enabling al Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al Qaeda did their dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan," Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tells The Weekly Standard. "What Congress should demand is to see all the UBL [Osama bin Laden] documents related to Iran and all the documents related to intentions of AQ into the future—they are very telling."
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"At a time when most movements that are thought to be progressive advocate further encroachments on individual liberty, those who cherish freedom are likely to expend their energies in opposition. In this they find themselves much of the time on the same side as those who habitually resist change."
~ John Stuart Mill