Our Daily Thread 1-31-14

Good Morning!

It’s finally Friday!

On this day in 1865 the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on December 6, 1865.  The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

Also in 1865, General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies. 

In 1876 all Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.

In 1940 the first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government.

And in 1950 President Truman announced that he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.


Quote of the Day

“It helps if the hitter thinks you’re a little crazy.”

Nolan Ryan


Today is Franz Schubert’s birthday.

It’s also Peter Dawson’s.


Anyone have a QoD?

Prayer Requests 1-31-14

Who would like to share a request or praise with us today?

Psalm 11

¹In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

News/Politics 1-31-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. Holder played dumb on the questions from Congress on executive privilege. He’s pulling the same line with questions about the IRS investigation. You know, the “totally non-partisan, we’ll get to the bottom of this” one being run by an Obama donor.

From CNSNews  “At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder denied knowing that a top Democratic donor is leading the internal investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups.”

““I must tell you I find it astonishing that the Department of Justice appointed a major Obama donor to head this investigation, so the first question I want to ask is did you know that the lawyer in charge of this investigation was a major Obama donor?” Cruz asked Holder.”

“General Holder, with all due respect, you did not answer the question I asked, which is did you know that this lawyer was a major Obama donor,” Cruz said. After Holder denied knowing the “political activities” of anyone involved in the investigation, Cruz noted that the DOJ ethics guidelines instruct lawyers who believe their “impartiality might be questioned” must either “disqualify” themselves or “see an ethics officer.”

Does anyone in the administration ever give a straight answer?


2. Oh look, another Obama admin foreign policy success story. 🙄

From TheTimesofIsrael  “Iran now has all the technical infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons should it make the political decision to do, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in a report to a Senate intelligence committee published Wednesday. However, he added, it could not break out to the bomb without being detected.

In the “US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper reported that Tehran has made significant advances recently in its nuclear program to the point where it could produce and deliver nuclear bombs should it be so inclined. “


3. Democrats are busy with the important issues that matter to Americans.

Or not. OK, mostly not.

From TheHill  “Three House Democrats have proposed a resolution that criticizes the teaching of creationism and the denial of man-made global warming as anti-science.

The resolution from Reps. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.), H.Res. 467, proposes the designation of Feb. 12 as “Darwin Day” to recognize Charles Darwin’s contributions to science. The resolution says Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection “provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.” It also says teachings to the contrary go against established science.

“[T]he teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems,” it reads. It adds that the validity of Darwin’s theory of natural selection is “strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics.”

The resolution also takes a shot at global warming skeptics, by saying the advancement of science “must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.”

Dissent will not be tolerated.


4. ICE union officials continue to oppose the administration’s, and now Republican, plans for amnesty, saying it would overload the system. This will make the Cloward/Piven fans very happy. First the borders, then the whole system.

From TheWashingtonTimes  “The officers who would be charged with approving millions of applications from illegal immigrants for legal status warned Congress this week that they can’t handle the workload, and said the change would guarantee criminals and others would be approved to remain in the country.

In a letter to House Republicans, who are planning to announce principles Thursday that would include legal status for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S., the labor union that represents U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers and adjudicators predicted it would be a disaster.

“There is no quality here, only quantity,” said Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council. “USCIS is not equipped to handle this workload, and due to political interference in its mission, is not empowered to deny admission to all those who should be denied due to ineligibility. We have become a visa clearinghouse for the world, rather than the first line of defense for a secure immigration system.”

Mr. Palinkas went on to say that any proposal that pushes millions of applications through would “overload the system.””


5. Ted Cruz is warning the GOP that their Amnesty push will cost them.

From Breitbart  “Cruz questioned how establishment Republicans unilaterally caving to Democrats on everything from the farm bill to the budget to the debt ceiling and more could think amnesty is a good idea at this time.

“Right now, Republican leadership in both chambers is aggressively urging members to stand down on virtually every front: on the continuing resolution, on the budget, on the farm bill, on the debt ceiling,” Cruz said in a statement provided exclusively to Breitbart News on Thursday.

He continued:

They may or may not be right, but their argument is that we should focus exclusively on Obamacare and on jobs. In that context, why on earth would the House dive into immigration right now? It makes no sense, unless you’re Harry Reid. Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall–a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill–or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill–that demoralized voters going into November. Rather than responding to the big-money lobbying on K Street, we need to make sure working-class Americans show up by the millions to reject Obamacare and vote out the Democrats. Amnesty will ensure they stay home.


6. Democrats have their own problems as well. A toxic president….


7. It’s bad enough that they’ve given up on the idea of reclaiming the House.

From Politico  “With Democrats’ grasp on the Senate increasingly tenuous — and the House all but beyond reach — some top party donors and strategists are moving to do something in the midterm election as painful as it is coldblooded: Admit the House can’t be won and go all in to save the Senate.

Their calculation is uncomplicated. With only so much money to go around in an election year that is tilting the GOP’s way, Democrats need to concentrate resources on preserving the chamber they have now. Losing the Senate, they know, could doom whatever hopes Barack Obama has of salvaging the final years of his presidency.

The triage idea is taking hold in phone conversations among donors and in strategy sessions between party operatives. Even some of the people who have invested the most to get House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi back into the speaker’s chair are moving in that direction.”


8. Look for more stories like this one when the employer mandate hits after the elections. This is why the president illegally delayed it. This getting out before the elections would ensure a crushing defeat. Best to keep the reality of ObamaCare hidden for as long as possible.


Our Daily Thread 1-30-14

Good Morning!

On this day in 1798 the first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives took place. Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold fought on the House floor.

In 1847 the town of Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco.

In 1862 the U.S. Navy’s first ironclad warship, the “Monitor”, was launched.

In 1911 the first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer “Terry.” Pilot James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.

In 1933 “The Lone Ranger” was heard on radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.

And in 1972, in Northern Ireland, British soldiers shot and killed thirteen Roman Catholic civil rights marchers. The day is known as “Bloody Sunday.”


Quote of the Day

“I have come to the conclusion that none of us in our generation feels as guilty about sin as we should, or as our forefathers did.”

Francis Schaeffer


Today is the birthday of Johann Joachim Quantz. A very nicely done “Trio Sonata in C Minor”

Today is also Phil Collins’ birthday. I always preferred him on drums more than when he was singing, so I found both.


Anyone have a QoD?

Prayer Requests 1-30-14

Anyone have a request or praise they’d like to share?

Psalm 10

¹Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.

He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.

He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.

10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.

11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.

12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.

13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.

14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

17 Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

News/Politics 1-30-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

Lot’s to cover today, and in no particular order…

1. First, some good news. Kim posted it yesterday, but I’m reposting it.

From FoxNews  “A number of motorists who had to abandon their vehicles in the snow on Highway 280 outside of Birmingham, Ala. were able to find shelter in the storm thanks to the kindness and generosity of Chick-fil-A restaurant employees and the restaurant’s owner, Mark Meadows.

Once the snow started accumulating, Meadows closed the restaurant and sent his staff home. But a few hours later, many of them returned – unable to get to their homes.”

“Some of the drivers had been stuck in their cars for nearly seven hours without any food or water. So the staff of the Chick-fil-A decided to lend a helping hand.

“We cooked several hundred sandwiches and stood out on both sides of 280 and handed out the sandwiches to anyone we could get to – as long as we had food to give out.”


2. In other storm news, the blame game has begun. People want to know why this happened and how authorities could be taken by surprise.

From NBCNews  “Under fire from Georgia government officials caught flat-footed by the winter storm that socked the South this week, weather forecasters are mad as heck and want them know: They’re not going to take it anymore.

With the capital city, Atlanta, paralyzed by less than 3 inches of snow, Georgia officials complained that they weren’t warned what was on the way Tuesday:”

“In a post on a blog he set up Wednesday specifically to defend the performance of forecasting services this week, Shepherd pointed out that the weather service issued watches and warnings well before the storm arrived, providing plenty of time for Georgia officials to make the right decisions.

“Yet, as soon as I saw what was unfolding with kids being stranded in schools, 6+ hour commutes, and other horror stories, I knew it was coming, I knew it. Some in the public, social medial or decision-making positions would ‘blame’ the  meteorologists,” Shepherd wrote in a post titled “An Open Thank You to Meteorologists in Atlanta.”

Officials in Atlanta and the state of Georgia all seem to have come from the Ray Nagin school of government. Don’t do your job, and then blame someone else for your failure to act even though you had plenty of warning the storm was coming. So it’s probably Bush’s fault.


3. Now that everyone has had time to digest the SofU speech, more reactions are out as well, as the next few will show.

First they blame Bush for everything, now they’re plagiarizing him?


I’ve been waiting for the chance to use that. 🙂


4. Some folks seemed to really like the speech though. 🙂


5. Somebody’s gettin’ audited.

From TheHill “Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said Tuesday night he left President Obama’s State of the Union speech early after “hearing how the president is further abusing his Constitutional powers.”

“Stockman said Obama was promising to “break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree.”

“This is a wholesale violation of his oath of office and a disqualifying offense,” the Texas congressman said.

Stockman also criticized Obama for refusing to admit “his policies have failed,” and for advancing a plan for more taxes and spending that is a “blueprint for perpetual poverty.”


6. With the President’s talk of ruling by executive order, some have questioned where he thinks he gets this authority. Even his own Attorney General can’t answer that question, and he’s the one who would defend those actions in court.

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “Attorney General Eric Holder couldn’t explain the constitutional basis for executive orders such as President Obama’s delay of the employer mandate because he hasn’t read the legal analysis — or at least, hasn’t seen it in a long time.

“I’ll be honest with you, I have not seen — I don’t remember looking at or having seen the analysis in some time, so I’m not sure where along the spectrum that would come,” Holder replied when Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, asked him to explain the nature of Obama’s constitutional power to delay the mandate.”

“”When you look at the quality, not just the quantity but the quality, the nature of the executive orders that he has issued, he has usurped an extraordinary amount of authority within the executive branch,” Lee countered. “This is not precedented, and I point to the delay — the unilateral delay, lawless delay, in my opinion — of the employer mandate as an example of this. And so, at a minimum, I think he owes us an explanation as to what his legal analysis was.”


7. ICE union officials have taken the opportunity to point out the President’s violation of, and failure to enforce other laws, as well as his hypocrisy.

From NationalReview  “Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, the union representing officers of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, issued a statement Tuesday ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address. Crane blasted the president for his repeated refusal to meet with ICE officers at the White House, and asked House Republican leaders to consult with ICE personnel as they work to outline their immigration reform “principles”:

According to news accounts, the President has once again invited illegal immigrants to the State of the Union – and yet the President still refuses to meet with ICE officers. We have a President who will provide those illegally in the US with the seat of honor at one of the most important events of the year, but ICE officers who serve under him are unwelcome in the White House. This is symptomatic of the President’s continued demonstration of contempt for immigration officers and his blatant disregard for Congressionally-enacted law. ICE officers are forced every day to release violent offenders back into the streets; we are prohibited from enforcing immigration violations and document fraud and from cracking down on illegal employment; we are prohibited from enforcing public charge law to protect taxpayers; and we are forced to catch-and-release illegal aliens who are not ‘priorities’ even when officers’ believe there is a threat to public safety.”


8. I could use a triple face palm for this one. Another Obama admin foreign policy success.

From Reuters  “- Syria has given up less than 5 percent of its chemical weapons arsenal and will miss next week’s deadline to send all toxic agents abroad for destruction, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The deliveries, in two shipments this month to the northern Syrian port of Latakia, totaled 4.1 percent of the roughly 1,300 tonnes of toxic agents reported by Damascus to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It’s not enough and there is no sign of more,” one source briefed on the situation said. 

Our Daily Thread 1-29-14

Good Morning!

On this day in 1802 John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress.

In 1820 Britain’s King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.

In 1845 Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was published for the first time in the “New York Evening Mirror.”

In 1936 the first members of major league baseball’s Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY.

In 1949 “The Newport News” was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship in Virginia.

And in 1990 Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage, AK, on charges that stemmed from (what was at the time) America’s worst oil spill.  Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor.


Quote of the Day

“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

Thomas Paine


Today is the birthday of Frederick Delius. Given the weather most of us are having, a reminder of what’s to come seems appropriate. So here’s Delius’ “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” From George Morton, who I believe is the conductor. It’s the Sheffield University Orchestra, and they do a very nice rendition. 🙂

And this one makes me feel a little better about the weather. Kings College Choir, who never disappoints, with “In the Bleak Midwinter”. From Suila2007


Anyone have a QoD?

Prayer Requests 1-29-14

Who would like to share a request or praise today?

And as always on Wednesdays, please remember The Gambia.

Psalm 9

¹I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.

For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.

Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

13 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:

14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

19 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

News/Politics 1-29-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. In case you hadn’t heard, last night was the State of the Union address.

If you missed it, you didn’t miss much you hadn’t already heard.  

From TheHill  “The White House had foreshadowed that Obama’s address would emphasize a new willingness by the president to use executive action, and Obama promised a dozen actions in the next year, including the creation of new “starter” savings accounts and a hike in the minimum wage for federal contractors.

Throughout the speech, the president stressed that the government should work to provide “opportunity for all,” by addressing head-on the problems of income inequality and waning mobility.

Those proposals, along with other calls to Obama’s liberal base, were intended to embolden Democrats ahead of this year’s midterm elections but were delivered in a measured tone.

“What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you,” Obama said.”

That would be a first.


2. Here’s some excerpts from the Republican rebuttal. Again, if you missed it, you didn’t miss much.

From Speaker Boehner 


3. Ted Cruz and “The Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama.”

From TheWallStJournal  “Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat. On Monday, Mr. Obama acted unilaterally to raise the minimum wage paid by federal contracts, the first of many executive actions the White House promised would be a theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The president’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Yet rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying and waiving portions of the laws he is charged to enforce. When Mr. Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.”


4. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before….  “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”

Only this time, it’s Republicans. And even after they pledged to not do stuff like this.

From NationalJournal  “Congressional negotiators released a massive 959-page farm bill Monday night, giving House members less than 48 hours to dig through the bill before they’re expected to pass it Wednesday.

Sound familiar? Congress did the same thing two weeks ago with the omnibus spending bill, taking less than a week to pass a nearly 1,600-page tome (and that’s not even included the appendices!). The farm bill is expected to follow a similar route through Congress, potentially hitting the president’s desk by the end of this week.

That quickened pace breaks—at least in spirit—a House Republican transparency pledge from 2011, promising constituents that they would not vote on any legislation for at least three days after it has been released for public consumption. House Speaker John Boehner’s office argues that neither bill violates the three-day rule, though both were posted online on Monday evenings and scheduled for Wednesday votes.”

Yeah! Who you gonna believe? The Speaker’s office, or your lyin’ eyes?


5. Of course he will. Can’t be losin’ all those campaign dollars for Dems, now can we? It’s the reason they set ObamaCare up this way. It’s the bloodiest kind of cronyism.

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “The Obama administration is threatening a veto of legislation that would permanently ban federal funds for abortion.

In a statement on Monday, the administration said the measure would intrude on women’s reproductive rights and prohibit the ability of individuals to spend their own money on insurance coverage for abortion under President Barack Obama’s health care law.”

As we learned yesterday, everyone is already paying a surcharge for it.  This would fix that. But it’s obvious that the President doesn’t want it fixed.


6. Snow hits the South, millions lose their minds….. 🙄

Come on people, act like you’ve done this before. 🙂

From NBCNews  “On Tuesday, the city was ready to give them a workout for the first time in at least three years. A rare winter storm stretched from Texas to Virginia, grounding thousands of flights and making a snowy, icy mess of roads.

Traffic came to a complete stop in the Atlanta area, where a traffic officer delivered a baby late Tuesday afternoon in the back seat of the car for a couple who were stranded in icy conditions on Interstate 285 in the suburb of Sandy Springs. A spokesman for the Sandy Springs police said mom and baby, who weren’t identified, were doing fine.

Classes were canceled from Texas to the Carolinas, while some school districts that did open told parents it would be safer to simply let their kids stay at school overnight.”

😯 Poor kids.


Our Daily Thread 1-28-14

Good Morning!

On this day in 1521 the Diet of Worms began, at which Protestant reformer Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church.

In 1878 the first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, CT.  

In 1915 the Coast Guard was created by an act of Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea. 

In 1980 six Americans who had fled the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, left Iran using false Canadian diplomatic passports. The Americans had been hidden at the Canadian embassy in Tehran.

And in 1986 the U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff. All seven of its crew members were killed.


Quote of the Day

“Logic, sometimes has very little to do with political action.”

Alexander Mackenzie


Today is the birthday of composer Johann Ernst Bach. From Ria Brezova

It’s also Arthur Rubenstein’s. So here he is from 1964, in Moscow. via SProkofieff


Anyone have a QoD for us today?