Scene above: Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
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APRIL 24, 2014
BUSH HAS PROBLEMS WITH THE BASE – AT 8:32 A.M. ET: Some political observers believe that Jeb Bush would be the most electable of the potential Republican candidates for president. Problem is, Bush does not shine with the GOP base. He clearly has work to do. From the Washington Examiner:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, considering a 2016 presidential bid, does not have the support of his party's base, with just one in four Republicans eager for him to run and an even worse 18 percent of self-identified conservatives backing his bid.
With the GOP considering a slew of conservative potential candidates, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, a new Economist/YouGov poll found that among the right, Bush is considered too moderate.
A word bubble produced by the poll showed the hurdles he faces entering the presidential race. The acronym RINO, or “Republican in name only,” is prominent, as is “legacy” and “Bush,” and the polling firm said that the public isn’t keen on having a third Bush presidency.
It is the latest from the polling duo that sizes up the standing of key 2016 candidates. It is a general poll of 1,000 Americans that included about 340 self-identified conservatives and 223 Republicans. While not a huge number, the pollster indicated that it was large enough to size up the candidates among the party faithful.
The key Bush findings:
-- 26 percent of Republicans want Bush to run. That puts him behind Paul, at 36 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 30 percent. Some 35 percent of Republicans do not want Bush to run.
— 43 percent of conservatives do not want Bush to run, while 18 percent do.
— Republicans are split on his ideology, with 33 percent saying he is a moderate and 32 percent a conservative. Among conservatives, 36 percent said that Bush is moderate, and 28 percent a conservative.
COMMENT: If Jeb wants to run, he has to take his case directly to the primary voters, who are hungry for a presidential victory. He has to do a Reagan, and go over the heads of the "experts" and "advisers." His most effective argument is that he can appeal to the great American middle, where elections are actually won. For movement conservatives, though, that's also his weakest argument. They want a true believer.
The party is split. But it was split when Reagan ran, and he unified it through pure power of personality and persuasion. Hard to think of Jeb filling that slot, but you never know...if he feels that fire in the belly.
WE POINT WITH PRIDE – AT 8:23 A.M. ET: Will anything save Chicago? The slaughter continues, and the "authorities" just keep demanding more gun control. From Breitbart:
During the first two weeks of nice temperatures in Chicago this year--which included Easter weekend--the city was beset with some 100 shootings with nearly a dozen dead. This intense violence has earned the Windy City a brand new nickname bestowed by its own citizens: "Chiraq."
Over Easter weekend, there were 45 separate shooting victims in Chicago, four of whom died. The previous weekend saw 35 shootings in only 36 hours that resulted in several more deaths. There were even more shootings and deaths during the intervening days between the weekends, as well. All this violence has turned Chicago into a war zone.
Many of those killed were teens and preteens. In one incident, four girls between 11 and 15 years of age and one teen boy were shot by gang members at a city playground.
On top of the ingrained gang violence, a "rapper" war of sorts is also raging. One rapper, Mario "Big Glo" Hess was gunned down a week ago, hit by ten bullets. Big Glo joined two other rappers who were killed by rivals on the streets of the city.
But the "rapper war" is only a minor part of "Chiraq," as gangs continue their warfare as they attempt to take over each other’s drug territories.
Meanwhile, not a single American solider died in either Iraq or Afghanistan in March, and only 13 died in the previous two months. On the other hand, 76 Chicagoans have been murdered thus far in 2014.
COMMENT: And yet, the excuses flow. It's all because of unemployment, the gun manufacturers, even BUSH!!! It's culture, but nobody wants to talk about it. After all, who are we privileged folk to question someone's culture?
New York lowered its murder rate by 80% under Rudy and Mike. What is the problem in Chicago? It's that Rudy and Mike didn't take their orders from local "leaders," whose only concern was getting a slice of the pie, and Rudy and Mike didn't worship at the altar of "multiculturalism." They got the job done, and the greatest beneficiaries were minorities, but their leaders would never admit it. Nothing in it for Al Sharpton.
ANOTHER KEYSTONE, WITH THE USUAL SUSPECTS? – AT 8:14 A.M. ET: There's a new environmental controversy brewing, and we can't wait for the "activists" to fly in by private jet. From Fox:
A liquefied natural gas facility in southern Maryland is generating intense criticism from environmental groups, in a fight that echoes the protracted battle over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Energy company Dominion Resources is hoping to invest up to $3.8 billion to upgrade the Cove Point LNG facility as an export terminal.
If successful, it could become the East Coast's chief LNG export facility, sending billions of cubic feet of natural gas to Japan, India, and elsewhere.
Growing the economy? Creating jobs? Who needs it?
Dominion stresses that the project would have a huge economic impact close to home as well.
"The local area of Calvert County gets a huge benefit: $40 million dollars in additional taxes, property taxes, and the whole area of Maryland gets a benefit as well ... not to mention the U.S., from an export perspective," Mike Frederick, Dominion's VP of liquefied natural gas operations, told Fox News in an interview.
The Department of Energy has given Dominion conditional permission to export gas. The company is awaiting an environmental assessment from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), due May 15.
As with the proposed Canada-to-Texas Keystone oil pipeline, organized labor is on board with the LNG project, wanting the roughly 3,000 jobs it is projected to create during construction.
The left has no use for organized labor. Maybe organized labor should find out.
But some environmental groups are fighting it, complaining it's being oversold.
"Everybody in the U.S. economy will suffer from gas exports according to the U.S. Department of Energy, except for one industry -- and that's the gas industry, which will make lots and lots of money," Chesapeake Climate Action Network's Mike Tidwell told Fox News in an interview.
He was referring to concerns that, if the U.S. starts exporting natural gas, prices could increase domestically.
But Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer, whose district includes Cove Point, is a supporter, noting the project would bring new, well-paying jobs to the community.
COMMENT: Hoyer is the Dem whip in the House, a heavy hitter. Like Keystone, this is kind of a no brainer, unless you're a president beholden to wealthy environmental fanatics. Then the brain stops working.
OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK – AT 8:05 A.M. ET: It is hard to believe that this is the real world, and that our government is part of it. From UN Watch via Canada Free Press:
GENEVA, - The United Nations today elected the Islamic Republic of Iran and more than a dozen other repressive regimes to top committees charged with protecting women’s rights and with overseeing the work of human rights organizations, according to an exclusive report by UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva-based human rights group.
Human rights activists are expressing outrage.
“Today is a black day for human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “By empowering the perpetrators over the victims, the UN harms the cause of human rights, betrays its founding principles, and undermines its own credibility.”
“Civil society loses as repressive states win election,” said the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR).
Despite the sharp condemnation of Iran’s human rights record by UN chief Ban Ki-moon—who recently reported how women in Iran are “subject to discrimination, entrenched both in law and in practice” and how “women’s rights activists continue to face arrest and persecution”— the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York today elected Iran to a four-year term on its 45-nation Commission on the Status of Women, the principal intergovernmental body dedicated to protecting women’s rights. Equitorial Guinea was among other dictatorships also named to the global gender equality panel.
COMMENT: The corruption at the UN is hopeless. It reflects the corruption in individual governments. And yet, the Obama administration takes the UN seriously, and has made it a centerpiece of its foreign policy. That's like making the Edsel the centerpiece of auto racing.
I have long favored the establishment of a league of democracies, made up only of countries that clearly meet certain criteria. Not a chance, though. Too many power centers around the world have a vested interest in dictatorships, and the ugly fact is that a disturbing number of "intellectual leaders," including those who teach your children, have no great problem with them.
SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 6:09 P.M. ET:
CULINARY REPORT – From Business Insider: "On the first day of President Barack Obama's trip to Asia, he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dined at a legendary sushi restaurant made famous by a 2011 documentary. The restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, earned a rare three-star Michelin rating, which means it has 'exceptional cuisine' and is 'worth a special journey.' It is one of 13 three-star restaurants in Tokyo, and there are only 10 seats. That combination makes it especially hard to secure reservations. In early April the restaurant was already fully booked until the beginning of May. Chef Jiro Ono, 87, is considered to be one of the top sushi chefs in the world. Ono prepares the sushi himself. His recommended special course — which features a rare, endangered species of bluefin tuna — starts at about $300. It includes more than a dozen courses served in about 20 minutes. Obama and Abe's dinner lasted about an hour and a half." I prefer hamburgers and fries.
RAF ON THE CASE – From Sky News: "Two Russian bombers which flew close to UK airspace have been chased away by an RAF jet fighter. The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev 95s, were spotted off the coast of northeast Scotland. They were turned away from Britain when an RAF Typhoon was scrambled from Leuchars airbase, near Dundee. Crews stationed there are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment's notice. The incident comes amid heightened international tensions over the situation in Ukraine, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia last month." Nice to see the legendary RAF up there, but, if truth be told, it is today a shell of a force, constantly downsized by the British drift toward a nanny state. The Royal Navy is in far worse shape. The force sent by Maggie Thatcher to secure the Falklands in the 1980s was larger than today's entire Royal Navy.
AL GORE WILL BE THRILLED – From Reuters: "LONDON (Reuters) - Sun seekers who leave northern Europe for warmer climes are marginally less happy than those left behind, a study found. A sample of more than 300 migrants from Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain who resettled in Mediterranean countries found that they were slightly less satisfied with life than a much larger sample of 56,000 people living in northern countries. The sun lovers scored 7.3 out of a possible 10 on average on a 'happiness' scale while the stay-at-homes came in at an average of 7.5 percent, according to the study released on Wednesday by Dr David Bartram, a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at England's University of Leicester." Obviously true. Al Gore always told us that the sun is evil.
WELL, I GUESS YOU NEVER KNOW – From the New York Post: "The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane may return to the possibility that the jet landed somewhere, according to the latest media reports. The New Strait Times quoted sources close to the investigation as saying that the failure to turn up any debris at the current southern Indian Ocean search site was causing a rethink among investigators.
The sources said they were considering revisiting the scenario that the plane had landed at an unknown location." There has been so much overreporting, so many false leads, and such an avalanche of speculation, that almost anything becomes believable. If the plane landed somewhere, how explain the pinging, consistent with an airliner's black box, that was heard only last week in the current search area? This is one of the great aviation mysteries, and will result in fortunes earned from books and documentaries if it is not solved.
STARTLING – AT 10:16 A.M. ET: Sometimes trial testimony can reveal truths that otherwise go unnoticed, either accidentally, because of press behavior, or intentionally. This, on Al Qaeda in America, is instructive. From the New York Post:
An Oregon woman says she thought she was opening up her family’s ranch to local Muslims to teach them how to grow and can veggies — and that her husband was even expecting a tax write-off.
But US-born Muslim convert Eva Hatley testified in Manhattan federal court Tuesday that after the “carloads’’ of fellow Muslims she met through her mosque arrived at the 160-acre ranch in Bly in 1999, the couple watched helplessly as their home was turned into an al Qaeda training camp.
“It wasn’t anything like I envisioned for the property,” insisted Hatley, testifying at the trial of one-eyed, hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri.
Hatley, a two-time witness-protection-program flunky who prefers going by her Muslim name, Ayat Hakimah, said other Muslims from London would soon arrive on al-Masri’s orders.
Hatley’s then-husband, Ivan Rule, was temporarily out of town “shepherding” while his longtime ranch was being overrun with terrorists-in-training, she said.
According to al-Masri’s lawyer last week, the camp was similar to being in the “Cub Scouts,’’ with the men riding horses, tending to little lambs and telling campfire stories.
But Hatley said one of the arrivals, militant Oussama Kassir, boasted about previously running training camps in Afghanistan and being a “hit man” for Osama bin Laden.
She said Kassir told her that al-Masri was his “leader” and that al-Masri sent him and others to the Bly ranch to create a “training camp” where men would learn to shoot guns, throw knives and do calisthenics along open, spacious fields abutting a ravine and desolate dirt roads.
“He said he was there to train men for jihad,” she said. “He said that Abu Hamza sent him. He intended to train them to fight.”
COMMENT: Nothing to see here, nothing to see. The war on terror is over. Our president, come to save us, has told us that.
In fact, Al Qaeda is probably more active than ever, and depending on useful idiots like Eva Hatley, to ease the way.
I'd love to know what other training facilities are being used, right under our noses, by our enemies.
And I'd love to write a sitcom based on Eva Hatley and her husband.
QUOTE OF THE DAY – AT 9:46 A.M. ET: From Investor's Business Daily, after noting a Fox News poll reporting that 61% of Americans believe Obama lies some or most of the time on matters of national importance:
Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney, interviewed at George Washington University, remarked that during 2012 "probably the toughest interview" Obama was subjected to was the one conducted by funnyman Jon Stewart.
"Probably the most substantive, challenging interview Barack Obama had in the election year was with the anchor of 'The Daily Show,' " Carney said.
Not "serious" TV interviewers such as Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes," whose questions of Obama in the heat of the 2012 campaign included:
"Where do you go to kind of sort things out on your own? And when do you find time to just be alone with your own thoughts?"
Not "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts, who in May of that election year, while using her interview to provide a nationally televised forum for Obama's big switch on same-sex marriage — another broken promise — threw this hardball:
"Mother's Day. Sasha and Malia. Do you have plans for Mrs. Obama?"
It is disgraceful enough for the most prominent journalists to refuse to ask real questions of the most powerful politician in the country because they share his left-wing ideology.
But when a large majority of the public recognizes a president as a habitual liar, it is outrageous and entirely un-American for the most powerful within the nation's press to let him get away with his lies, and betray what they claim to stand for.
COMMENT: Right on the head. It is the press that is sustaining this deceitful and incompetent administration. Obama's approval rating has fallen, but it would fall much further if the media asked the tough questions it refuses to ask.
And it will get worse, not better. Republicans are floating on air right now, believing they have this year's midterm elections in the bag. They don't. New polling shows many vulnerable Democrats actually doing quite well. I think gaining control of the Senate for our side will be a painful slog, with no guarantees, not a cakewalk. Remember the growing number of Americans who are receiving government help. They're not going to rush to the polls to elect Republicans. And the press will be beating the bushes for anything negative to say about Republican candidates.
It's a battle ahead. Fight as if we're 20 points behind.
SERIOUS? – AT 8:58 A.M. ET: Obama, always dedicated to doing the minimum, has sent U.S. troops to Eastern Europe in what used to be called a show of force. From Fox:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland on Wednesday as part of a wave of U.S. troops heading to shore up America's Eastern European allies in the face of Russian meddling in Ukraine.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to four countries across Eastern Europe for military exercises over the next month.
First, about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, are arriving in Poland.
Additional Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and are expected to arrive by Monday for similar land-based exercises in those countries.
The show of strength comes as the United States, European allies and Ukraine try to ease tensions with Russia and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. All sides struck a diplomatic agreement last week, but it remains unclear whether pro-Russian demonstrators, who took over a series of government buildings in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, will back down.
Under the current plan, U.S. troops would rotate in and out of the four Eastern European countries for additional exercises on a recurring basis.
"We're looking at trying to keep this rotational presence persistent throughout the rest of this year," Kirby told reporters, adding that over time the exercises could expand to other countries.
The exercises are part of an effort announced last week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel aimed at reassuring NATO allies of America's commitment to the region's defense.
Kirby said the U.S. will likely plan other exercises and will continue to work through NATO on joint measures that could be scheduled in the future.
COMMENT: Eisenhower used to say that if you need a regiment, send a division. We defeated the Soviet attempt to seal off Berlin in 1948 with the massive Berlin Airlift – plane after plane, thousands of men and women.
This looks like a typical Obama token response. It will be seen as such. An opponent like Putin must have the sense that we are truly serious, maybe even a little irrational, certainly furious. A token deployment of troops is like sending a year's supply of boots.
"What you see is news. What you know is background. What you feel is opinion."
- Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
of The New York Times.
"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
- Jacques Barzun
"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
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