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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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OCTOBER 23,  2014

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:52 P.M. ET: 

EBOLA BITES THE APPLE – New York City has its first confirmed Ebola case, a doctor who returned from treating Ebola patients in Africa.  He is now at Bellevue Hospital.  We're being told that thousands of people are coming into the United States each day, either directly from west Africa or indirectly from west Africa by way of European cities.  We certainly don't have an epidemic, but New York has a bad case of nerves tonight. 

MORE FROM NEW YORK – Two New York City police officers were attacked today by a seemingly deranged man, who critically injured one of the cops with a hatchet.  Sources say that a check of the alleged assailant's social media page indicates that he may have had political motives.  He was shot dead at the scene.  If this is a terror attack, it will have been the third in North America this week, following the two in Canada.  Targeting soldiers and police officers is a tactic taught by ISIS and other terror groups.

A SLIGHT VOTING ERROR IN ILLINOIS – Reader Jacqueline Reckseit sends us this, from Fox:  "CHICAGO — Early voting in Illinois got off to a rocky start Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats.  Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to vote Monday at the Schaumburg Public Library.  'I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,' Moynihan said. 'You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.'  The conservative website Illinois Review reported that 'while using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race."  I'm shocked because Illinois has such a reputation for clean elections.  It's so inclusive that even the dear departed are encouraged to vote.

APPROPRIATE APOLOGY – From The Politico:  "CNN’s Carol Costello apologized on Thursday for joking about a police recording of Bristol Palin.  'Over the past few days I have been roundly criticized for joking about a brawl involving the Palin family. In retrospect, I deserve such criticism and would like to apologize,' Costello said in a statement to POLITICO.  On Wednesday, before playing a tape in which Bristol Palin describes an alleged altercation at a party in Wasilla, Alaska, Costello said, 'This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across. Well, come across in a long time anyway.'  In the tape, Palin is heard describing what happened to her after she confronted someone she accused of pushing her sister."   At least Costello apologized, as did, apparently, some other journalists.  The incident was serious, and Bristol was defending her family.  Give her credit for that. 

October 23, 2014       Permalink

 

ELECTION LATEST – AT 10:32 A.M. ET:  Three items dominate today's election news:

First, a new poll shows Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen only two points ahead of Scott Brown in the race for a Senate seat in New Hampshire.  That's a statistical tie.

Another new poll shows Republican Joni Ernst two points ahead of Republican Bruce Braley for the Iowa Senate seat.

In perhaps the most surprising news, the Democrats are starting to spend money again in Kentucky, in light of a new poll showing gaffe-ridden challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes closing on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  However, many experts discount the poll as an outlier, and point to others showing McConnell well ahead. 

Overall, with a week and a half to go before election day, Republicans are guardedly optimistic about taking the Senate, but many races are close.  This will be a turnout election.  The ground game, getting voters to the polls, now comes into play.  That will decide it.

October 23, 2014     Permalink



STUNNING – AT 9:57 A.M. ET:  Obama is waiting until after the election to unveil his immigration program because he knows that program will be intensely unpopular.  Early information shows why.  From The Hill: 

Angst over President Obama's post-election plans on immigration is growing amid revelations that the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued a procurement request for as many as 34 million work permits and green cards.

The solicitation, discovered by Breitbart News, says bidders must be able to produce at least 4 million cards annually over a five year contract, and “surge” to provide as many as 9 million documents in the early years of the contract.

That would far exceed current levels at which both documents are issued by the federal government, prompting Republicans to speculate the Obama administration is readying a sprawling executive order that could offer legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

“This revelation provides startling confirmation of the crisis facing our Republic,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) “The president is preparing to issue work authorization and ‘legal’ status to millions of individuals illegally present in the country, in violation of plain statute.”

The Alabama lawmaker added that the executive action looked poised to “nullify the immigration laws of the United States and its sovereign people.”

COMMENT:  This is very serious stuff.  Please note Senator Sessions's phraseology.  Is he preparing a bill of impeachment?  The president can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.  The House, which votes a bill of impeachment, will be in Republican hands.  The Senate then acquits or convicts, conviction requiring a two thirds majority.

And yet, Republicans know the risks of impeachment.  The last time they impeached a president it was Bill Clinton, who was acquitted and became more popular.  And impeaching Obama would mean attempting to remove the first black president.  What chance is there to get two thirds of the Senate to go along?

And yet, if a new immigration program is overwhelmingly unpopular, even among blacks, the GOP might risk it if it feels there is a solid legal foundation.  We may have very dramatic times ahead.

October 23, 2014       Permalink

 

CANADA – AT 9:28 A.M. ET:  More is known about the terrorist who killed a Canadian soldier yesterday and tried to attack the Canadian parliament.  From Fox: 

The man who stormed Canada’s government complex Wednesday, killing a soldier and sending Ottawa into an all-out panic, was a small-time criminal who recently converted to Islam and desperately wanted to move to the Middle East, according to reports.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old whose morning raid on Parliament Hill ended when a sergeant-at-arms gunned him down as he was unleashing a fusillade of bullets in the halls of Canada’s federal government, had recently undergone a religious awakening that left at least one friend alarmed, the Globe and Mail reported.

“We were having a conversation in a kitchen, and I don’t know how he worded it: He said the devil is after him,” Dave Bathurst told the newspaper. “I think he must have been mentally ill.”

Witnesses said an armed Zehaf-Bibeau drove to the Ottawa complex just before 10 a.m Wednesday, jumped out of a Toyota with no license plates and ran to the National War Memorial, where he shot a soldier later identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. The 25-year-old father of a 6-year-old boy, who was a member of Canada's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment, died later at Civic Hospital.

COMMENT:  I'm sure some will use the "mental illness" defense.  But, if it's true, there seem to be an awfully large number of "mentally ill" people shooting up people and buildings around the world while shouting the slogans of radical Islam.

Canadian leaders were blunt in calling this terrorism.   In America, the Department of Defense still calls the Fort Hood massacre "workplace violence."

October 23, 2014       Permalink

 

SIGN OF OUR CULTURE – AT 8:52 A.M. ET:  A new report fully describes the scandal of academic corruption at the "prestigious" University of North Carolina, allowing thousands of students, mostly athletes, to be given credit for phantom courses.   From Reuters: 

(Reuters) - More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein is the latest of several attempts to unravel allegations of academic fraud involving student-athletes at a university known for both its academic rigor and athletics.

"This is a very complex organization that needed oversight at every step of the way, and it didn't exist," Wainstein said at a news conference following the report's release. "It's pretty shocking that it didn't exist."

The report does not incriminate any coaches or athletic administrators in the scheme, which it said was carried out by a former department head and former office administrator within the African and Afro-American Studies department.

Pretty bad.  And what is the reaction of the university's chief honcho?

"Mr. Wainstein has found that the wrongdoing at Carolina lasted much longer and affected more students than previously known," UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt said in a statement.

"The bad actions of a few and the inaction of others failed the University's students, faculty and alumni, and undermined the institution as a whole.

"This conduct could and should have been stopped much earlier by individuals in positions of influence and oversight, and others could have sounded the alarm more forcefully."

COMMENT:  Remarkable.  What does the chancellor of the university leave out in her statement?  She leaves out the responsibility of students.  There are thousands of UNC graduates running around with false degrees.  Presumably, all or almost all are African American.  (Thousands of other black students worked their heads off to get honest degrees.)  Yet, the chancellor does not condemn students who accepted these academic bribes.

Is the chancellor prepared to revoke the false degrees?  Is she prepared to order a review of every affected transcript?  Is she prepared to demand that "graduates" with tainted degrees do further work to insure that they have met UNC's standards?   

I doubt that anything will be done.  Folt has a reputation for political correctness. 

Must make the honest students feel like suckers. 

October 23,  2014     Permalink

 

 

OCTOBER 22,  2014

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:56 P.M. ET: 

CANADA – Some people express surprise that Canada has had two terror attacks, resulting in the deaths of two soldiers, within a few days.  In fact, Canada is a stalwart ally of the United States, and thus a logical target.  Preliminary reports say that both attacks were committed by converts to Islam.  Don't be shocked, by the way, if some Canadian leftists blame the attacks on pro-American Prime Minister Steve Harper, and demand that Canada distance itself from us.  The leftist line never changes.

DETROIT GETS A TASTE OF THE UN – And doesn't like it.  From Fox:  "Detroit officials are fuming after two visiting United Nations lawyers scolded the city for cutting off water to delinquent customers and described the shut-offs as a 'human rights' violation.  The response follows a three-day visit to Detroit -- which desperately is trying to bail itself out of bankruptcy -- from two representatives with the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  'It is contrary to human rights to disconnect water from people who simply do not have the means to pay their bills,' Catarina de Albuquerque, one of the two representatives, said Monday at the conclusion of their visit.  'I heard testimonies from poor, African American residents of Detroit who were forced to make impossible choices -- to pay the water bill or to pay their rent.'  But the mayor's office blasted the U.N. review as one-sided. Alexis Wiley, Mayor Mike Duggan’s top aide, said the city is 'very disappointed' with them.  'They weren't interested in the facts,' she said. 'They took a position and never once [before Monday] reached out to the city for data.'"  Ah, another wonderful experience with the UN.  Is anyone surprised?

GOP PROGRESS? – From The Hill:  "According to a memo provided by the Republican National Committee, registered Republicans have sent in 305 more absentee ballots or early votes than Democrats. At this point in the election cycle in 2010, the last election with an Iowa Senate seat up for election, the memo says Democrats led by 16,426 ballots.  'The momentum has been building for a long time, but this development means Republicans have crossed a major Democrat firewall that had given them a boost going into Election Day in previous election cycles,' Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said in a statement. 'Democrats are nowhere near where they need to be, and they are quickly running out of time.'"  From his mouth to you know whose ears.

HILLLARY'S PROBLEM? – From The Hill:  "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday said in a People magazine interview that she is focusing on her work in the Senate — for now.  Asked whether she was mulling a bid in 2016, Warren used language that made it sound like a run wasn't out of the question. 'I don’t think so,' she said at her Cambridge, Mass., home for this week’s issue. 'If there’s any lesson I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s don’t be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open.'  'Right now,' she said, 'I’m focused on figuring out what else I can do from this spot' in the U.S. Senate.  Ready For Warren campaign manager Erica Sagrans said that the People interview 'leaves more wiggle room' in Warren's answer about a presidential campaign.  'This opens the door to a possible run in 2016,' Sagrans said, 'and shows Warren's definitely thinking about it.'"  I'm sure she's tempted.  They all want to be president.  But facing down Hillary would be an enormous challenge, and would split the party.  Besides, Warren isn't known as a dynamic campaigner.  But, hey, you never know."  If Hillary doesn't run, I'd imagine Warren would jump in.

October 22, 2014        Permalink

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY – THIS SAYS IT ALL – AT 10:21 A.M. ET:  From Ed Rogers at WaPo: 

Yesterday, on Al Sharpton’s radio show, President Obama said that even though the most vulnerable Democratic candidates have actively avoided campaigning with him, “The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress. So this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me…I tell them…you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.”

The headache this quote has caused Democrats has been widely reported, but also take note of how Obama-esque this quote is. In five sentences he uses “I,” “my” and “me” a total of six times. The Democrats and the mainstream media certainly can’t blame Republicans for making this election about Obama.

Anyway, the president, who is fully aware that Democratic candidates like Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Begich in Alaska and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky – to name a few – have been running from him, can’t suppress his instinct to let voters know that they are all loyal followers of his. While the incumbent Democrats – most of whom have voted with him almost all the time, try to claim their independence, the president is actually the one calling them out and telling the truth. Democrats are going to have a hard time hiding behind their phony images for much longer, because President Obama has made it clear that most every Democrat running for office in 2014 will be pretty much in lockstep with the liberal Democratic leadership.

It is one thing for a president to have bad poll numbers six years into his term and be a drag on the ticket. It is another thing for a president to crush the messaging of the candidates in his party and be unable to hide his own vanity. Democratic candidates don’t want President Obama to campaign for them and now they don’t want him giving any interviews either. The Democratic candidates are running, but President Obama won’t let them hide.

COMMENT:  That nails it.  We've commented before on Obama's ego.  Dwight Eisenhower once said that he got to where he got by controlling his own ego.  Obama is incapable of that discipline.  In fact, lack of discipline has been a major, personal flaw in the way he runs things. 

Obama will even torpedo his own party to protect his love for himself.  Imagine what he'll do in the last two years of his presidency.

October 22, 2014       Permalink

 

SHAHEEN WOBBLY? – AT 9:40 A.M. ET:  Conventional wisdom has it that incumbent Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire will narrowly defeat former Republican Senator Scott Brown a week from Tuesday.  But Brown, who has been hit with a vicious media campaign, appears to be rallying.  Will it be enough?  Can't say, of course.  But, as Lincoln said of Grant, the man fights.  From Breitbart: 

CONCORD, New Hampshire — Former Sen. Scott Brown opened up the economic battlefield on immigration here Tuesday night with a little help from NBC’s Meet The Press host Chuck Todd.

“When you’re looking at that bill, what it also does is it immediately gives an opportunity for the president to authorize upwards of 11 million people to get jobs,” Brown said when talking about the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. “I want to fight for jobs for New Hampshire. Here’s another thing about immigration. I voted to secure the border on two occasions. I voted to send troops to the border. We need to absolutely secure the border. The president through his executive order what he’s proposing to do is actively expand the definition of refugee to somebody who’s here [illegally] to work.”

Brown’s answer on this came after Shaheen dodged a question from Todd, the debate’s moderator, on the economic effects of a massive increase in immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“Is there any part of this Senate bill, and I know it’s a compromise and compromises mean you’re not going to like some things, but specifically on the idea of H1B visas when they come in, do you think it is pro-American worker enough or not pro-American worker enough when it comes to importing guest workers into the country?” Todd asked Shaheen.

Shaheen completely avoided the question, instead opting to tout the “Gang of Eight" bill’s GOP support. 

COMMENT:  The immigration issue is critical in New Hampshire, which has a number of workers who will be displaced by a liberalized immigration policy.  I'd love to see Brown win this one.  Shaheen is a potted plant for Obama, and needs to retire.

October 22, 2014       Permalink




PRETTY MUCH WHAT WE'D THOUGHT – AT 9:21 A.M. ET:  Liberals fancy themselves as tolerant and oh, so, so broad-minded.  A new survey says the opposite, which is what we see every day.  From Andrew Malcolm at IBD:   

How do you stack up in a national sampling of political news consumers -- your sources, habits and friends?

A fascinating, major new survey by the Pew Research Journalism Project is examining political polarization in the United States of 2014. The report comes just two weeks before a crucial midterm election that will be widely read as a six-year verdict on Barack Obama's performance and agenda, whatever that is today.

Here are just some of the project's numerous intriguing findings:

* Conservatives tend to flock around one major news source for their news of government and politics -- Fox News -- perhaps because the list of known conservative media consists of Fox News and Fox News. Also Fox News.

* Liberals draw information from a wider variety of media and express far more trust in more major media than do conservatives. Perhaps because there are more liberal-oriented media to trust.

* Liberals are much less tolerant than conservatives of political opinions differing from their own, especially on social media, more consistently choosing to Unfriend, Block, Mute or sever friendships with those whose politics they disagree with.

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.  It's fascinating, if sometimes depressing.  The childlike behavior of liberals is constantly seen.  They reflect what they've created, an immature society.

Some of the choices in the survey are odd – such as the prestige given to the BBC, which is at best a second-rate news organization.  I guess that if you sound good, people think you are good.  Never buy that argument.

October 22, 2014       Permalink

 

FERGUSON SHOWDOWN – AT 8:52 A.M. ET:  There seems to be controlled leakage from the grand jury probing the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, which touched off weeks of protest, some of it violent.  Pundits speculate that the leaks are designed to inform the citizenry bit by bit that there won't be an indictment of the officer involved, thus trying to reduce shock and anger after an official announcement.   From the New York Daily News: 

Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson's account of the confrontation in which Michael Brown was fatally shot has reportedly been leaked, with an independent medical examiner's report backing up his version of events.

Brown had marijuana in his system and was shot at close range in the hand, backing up claims by a police officer that that there was a violent struggle between the Ferguson, Mo. teen and the cop, an independent medical examiner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The report supports Wilson's account, given after he shot and killed the 18-year-old on Aug. 9. Witnesses claimed the teen was surrendering when the cop fired. Police maintained Wilson only used his gun after Brown tried to take it – a life-and-death fight inside a police SUV.

A source familiar with Wilson’s version of events, as told to investigators, said the "incredibly strong" teen punched Wilson and then pressed the barrel of the cop’s gun against the officer’s hip and fought for control of the trigger, the Post-Dispatch said.

Once Wilson finally had the gun, he fired. But Brown’s hand blocked the mechanism, according to the St. Louis newspaper.

COMMENT:  Brown's side is trying to argue that the battle inside the police car is irrelevant, that only the shooting of Brown outside the car, moments later, counts.  But any reasonable grand jury will take into account Wilson's state of mind after being attacked by Brown, who tried to seize Wilson's gun. 

If there's no indictment, you may be sure Eric Holder's Justice Department will try to intervene, and make it into a civil rights case. 

October 22,  2014     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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