News/Politics 3-19-15

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. Sore losers.

From TheWeeklyStandard  “In a comment unprompted by any question from the media, White House press secretary lashed into some of the rhetoric Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used in his reelection campaign. The White House even suggested it had hurt Israel’s democracy and America’s relationship with its greatest ally in the Middle East.

“There’s one other thing that I anticipated might come up that I just did want to mention as it relates to the Israeli elections.  Specifically, there has been a lot of coverage in the media about some of the rhetoric that emerged yesterday that was propagated by the Likud Party to encourage turnout of their supporters that sought to, frankly, marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens.  The United States and this administration is deeply concerned by divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told the media aboard Air Force One today. 

It undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.  We’ve talked a lot about how our shared values are an important part of what binds our two countries together, and rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning and it is divisive.  And I can tell you that these are views that the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.””

Awwww….. You mad bro? 😆

From HotAir  “David Axelrod- “Tightness of exits in Israel suggests Bibi’s shameful 11th hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost?”

First Twitter response: “You mad bro?” Yup. Keep in mind that this lamenter of demagoguery is the same guy who ran a campaign that accused Mitt Romney of giving a woman cancer, blessing scurrilous charges of tax evasion, and darkly warning Ohio voters that Obama’s opponent wasn’t “one of us.” You’d think he’d respect a ruthless, win-at-all-costs (successful) strategy. Instead, he’s moaning about tactics and civility. Heal thyself, Axe. As for Lefties’ rapidly-congealing narrative that Bibi’s upset victory was the product of last-minute ugliness, read Commentary’s Jon Tabin:

Within moments of the announcement of the exit polls, some of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s critics were claiming his likely win in today’s Knesset election was the result of a crude, racist appeal to voters. The justification for this charge was a speech made by Netanyahu and released only on social media because of restrictions on campaign appeals in the media, telling the country that left-wing groups funded by foreign money were busing Arab voters to the polls in order to elect a left-wing government led by his Zionist Union rival Isaac Herzog. Netanyahu’s opponents interpreted this as an appeal to racism. The statement was unfortunate because it made it seem as if the prime minister viewed Arab voters as somehow illegitimate. But the voters likely saw it in a different light. The prospect of a left-wing government that depended on the Joint Arab List was always unlikely. But a critical mass of voters viewed the prospect with alarm not because they’re racists but because a government that relied on the votes of anti-Zionists that favor Israel’s dissolution was something they considered a danger to the future of their country…Though Western journalists mocked Netanyahu’s comments about wanting to prevent a “Hamasistan” in the West Bank, the voters in Israel largely agreed. That doesn’t make them racist or extreme. It means they are, like most Americans, realists. They may not like Netanyahu but today’s results demonstrates that there is little support for a government that would make the sort of concessions to the Palestinians that President Obama would like. They rightly believe that even if Israel did make more concessions it would only lead to more violence, not peace. Israel’s foreign critics and friends need to understand that in the end, it was those convictions have, for all intents and purposes, re-elected Netanyahu.”

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2. Most transparent administration… Oh never mind.  🙄

From TheAP  “The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.

Its backlog of unanswered requests at year’s end grew remarkably by 55 percent to more than 200,000. It also cut by 375, or about 9 percent, the number of full-time employees across government paid to look for records. That was the fewest number of employees working on the issue in five years.”

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3. Why was the CIA director forced to sign, but Hillary wasn’t?

From NationalReview In my column on the plea agreement the Obama Justice Department allowed David Petreaus to enter after it was discovered that he mishandled classified information, I noted that he had been required to sign a separation agreement when he left the CIA. It is called a “Security Exit Form” and is obviously the CIA version of the State Department departure form described in Jim’s post (and linked in Shannen’s column) that Secretary Clinton should have signed upon leaving government service.

The prosecutors’ outline of the evidence against Petraeus includes the following (at pages 11-12, paragraph 27):

[O]n or about November 26, 2012, defendant DAVID HOWELL PETRAEUS executed … a Security Exit Form. The Security Exit Form included seven provisions regarding his continuing duty to protect classified information from disclosure. Among other things, by signing the Security Exit Form, DAVID HOWELL PETRAEUS adopted the following provision: “I give my assurance that there is no classified material in my possession, custody, or control at this time.”

Petraeus was also required to sign at least three other forms dealing with his obligations not to retain government records and to keep secret information secret.”

And here’s an article about the dire consequences for not signing the form. Well, if your name isn’t Clinton they’re the dire consequences.

From TheDaily Caller

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4. Glenn Beck is saying what a lot of people are thinking, myself included.

From TheHill/MSN  “Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck on Wednesday announced he is leaving the Republican Party.

“I’ve made my decision — I’m out,” Beck said Wednesday on “The Glenn Beck Program,” his broadcast on TheBlaze.com. “I’m out of the Republican Party. I am not a Republican. I will not give a dime to the Republican Party. I’m out.” The host said Republicans lost him with their inaction on both ObamaCare and illegal immigration.

“All this stuff that they said and they ran and they said they were doing all of these great things and they were going to stand against ObamaCare and illegal immigration — they set us up,” Beck added. “They set us up. Enough is enough. They’re torpedoing the Constitution and they’re doing it knowingly.”

The former Fox News pundit also took issue with the GOP’s treatment of Tea Party lawmakers. Beck said that establishment Republicans had disrespected Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate.

“They’re taking on people like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz and they’re torpedoing them,” Beck said. “And these guys are standing for the Constitution.””

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5. A new study says breastfeeding leads to higher IQ and earnings later.

From MSNHealth  “People breastfed as infants have higher intelligence scores in adulthood, and higher earnings, according to a study published Wednesday that tracked the development of 3,500 newborns over 30 years.

And, critically, the socioeconomic status of mothers appeared to have little impact on breastfeeding results, according to a paper published by The Lancet medical journal.

“The effect of breastfeeding on brain development and child intelligence is well established,” lead author Bernardo Lessa Horta of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil said in a statement.

What has been less clear, is whether the effects persist into adulthood, and whether a mother’s socioeconomic status or education level played a bigger role in the outcome of previous studies than her choice to breastfeed or not.

“Our study provides the first evidence that prolonged breastfeeding not only increases intelligence until at least the age of 30 years but also has an impact both at an individual and societal level by improving educational attainment and earning ability,” said Horta.”

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19 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-19-15

  1. 3. There may be a legitimate reason for this. When my security clearance was “tabled” (because I was no longer working with a client that required it) I had to sign that type of form. So if Petraeus is giving up his clearance but Hillary isn’t, this makes sense.

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  2. #4. I too am agitated with the Republican Party. However, in politics, you have to take the best you have. We got Bill Clinton because Ross Perot didn’t like George Bush.
    People went through eight years of Clinton saying, “Well, I did my best.”

    😦

    We got Barry because John McCain and Mitt Romney weren’t conservative enough.
    The Obama presidency is the fault of everyone who didn’t vote for McCain.
    One time, in the fall of 2008, I was having breakfast with some guys in the community. One asked, “Who do you like for president?” I said, “I don’t like any of them, but I’m voting for McCain.”
    Neither Romney nor McCain would have taken the country where it is now.
    Glenn Beck and his sort will give us Hillary.

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  3. I too am disappointed with Boehner and McConnell. I am not seeing what I want from the Republican leadership. Until i read how none of the news organizations (not even Fox News) told how the Homeland Security funding fight was about Obama’s spending money on making illegal aliens legal. Republicans were being made to look like they were holding up the entire Homeland Security budget.

    “The Kaus Case” http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/03/the-kaus-case.php

    “Fox makes it easy for amnesty” http://www.kausfile.com/2015/03/18/fox-makes-it-easy-for-amnesty/

    I wonder just how many other times the Republican leadership has been hung out to dry by others? Just how they are made to look like they are not “conservative” enough.

    Again, Democrats and Liberals lie. How do I know? I see their lips move.

    News people are mostly Democrats and Liberals.

    Therefore…

    “The Vision of the Annointed” Thomas Sowell

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As for Hillary, do you remember what she sounds like?

    Do you remember when Hillary was running against Barack for the nomination she went up in the polls when she said less and went down when she said more.

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  5. I respectfully disagree, Chas. Why isn’t it the mainline Republican voters’ faults for supporting bad candidates? We got Barry because not enough so-called conservatives held out for a decent candidate–for the past 40 years! In the past ~8 years, we (so-called) conservatives have celebrated “victory” at the polls, supposedly ousting those no-good democrats for candidates who finally got the message. Within the last SIX MONTHS, the great Republican sweep of the last election has proven to be worthless. Nobody is getting the message. I’m truly at a loss for how this isn’t clear, and I even have to check myself from getting a little tiffed on this point, becuase…

    It should be said that many of those conservatives who did abstain from voting for a lousy candidate are ALSO very politically and socially active in other spheres besides the voting booth; they can and do still show up to vote for *good* candidates running for other offices; they call representative, campaign for causes, speak at local townhalls, etc.

    I’m not a huge Glenn Beck fan, but good on him in this case, and hopefully other prominent figures will follow suit. He and they have gotten the impetus from the “groundswell” of conservatives who still know what conservatism is and recognize the Republicans that have been voted into office for decades bear no resemblance to it anymore.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Guess I was surprised to hear the Beck ever was a Republican — I always thought he was a Libertarian and not part of the GOP. ? But then again, I never watched him much. 🙂 He was a character — he reminded me of one of those street art performers, he completely lost me at ‘hello.’

    Fact is, there is a genuine split among conservatives in this country right now that has been growing — whether it will keep all of us out of power or not remains to be seen. But it could. So be it. There may be little to salvage at this stage anyway (Yeah, I woke up cynical today). 🙂

    Sad about the mainline Presby’s, but no surprise. As I said a couple days ago, the liberal churches can always be relied upon to be last onboard for the latest sexual trend in the popular culture. They make themselves laughable.

    At least have the courage to be among the first, if you’re going to go apostate. To tag along at the tail end after everyone else has gone off the cliff just looks pathetic.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We have a couple of local conservative radio stations locally. One has Glenn Beck on at 6 AM. Then it repeats him at 3 PM only to have him interrupted for the Oakland “As.”

    As a Republican, Dodgers fanboy a replay of Glenn Beck followed by Oakland… Gag!

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  8. Bob,

    Then the R’s did a horrible job, as always, of getting that message out. And don’t think for a second that the establishment doesn’t support amnesty too. They do, as per the wishes of their funders in the Chamber of Commerce. They won’t stop it because the money men don’t really want them too. It’s all for show, it seems to me.

    Chas,

    I’ve been guilted into voting for “moderates” Romney and McCain using that same logic. They’ll need a new line to get me this time. I refuse to fall for that “candidate with electability and widespread appeal” nonsense again. Give me a true conservative, or I stay home. If that means Hillary, then so be it. Give me what I want, or look for a vote elsewhere.

    And I doubt I’ll get my wish. Just look and see how the establishment/RINO wing treats true conservatives. They minimize them, ridicule them, and undermine them at every opportunity. They’re the D party’s best friend because they do the dirty work for them.

    Either way, I’m done with it. Give us a good candidate if you want my vote. Or prepare for Bill Clinton as your next first lady/man.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I will vote for Walker, Cruise or Carson, in that order. I don’t want another Bush or Clinton. But I will not sit it out. I will vote for a Bush if I have to..

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  10. I respect that Chas. 🙂

    But they’re never gonna do the right thing if we keep allowing them to pull a Lucy on us every chance they get. I think they need to be taught a lesson if they try it a third time. The R party treats us much the same as D’s treat blacks, as guaranteed votes, even if their policies work against what’s best for us and our wishes. Really, they just say “what are you gonna do about it, vote Democrat?” because there’s really no other choice, and they know it. D’s do the same to blacks and minorities on the other side. It works, because we keep letting them do it.

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  11. But if enough Ds get elected back-to-back, what’s left to save? Seriously, the damage becomes irreversible.

    Even if it means sitting in neutral for the next 4-8 years,at least things won’t be going haywire-backward and a break-neck pace.

    Of course, leaders tend to reflect those being led so on that front we’re maybe in deeper trouble than we thought.

    But there’s no viable 3rd party as things stand. Only independent candidates who siphon off votes.

    I’d have a tough time voting for Rand Paul, for example, but I’d probably manage to do it if that were the best (least bad) choice there was. Going a little ways in the right direction is better than throwing everything in full-on reverse throttle.

    It’s politics, the city of man. And no one gets everything they want in an earthly “king.” Seriously, has anyone really loved a president? I know, in retrospect we come to regard some as having been pretty darn good. But in the election booth I rarely feel tingles going up my leg in voting for anyone.

    Among the issues I have concern about this time around is freedom of religion which seems now to be taking a series of hits. And that’s worrisome. Ground could seriously be lost there under some leadership.

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  12. I’m just a realist when it comes to politics. It ain’t ever going to be heaven on earth. And a small win is better than a loss on important issues that can make a difference in people’s real lives.

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  13. AJ, well said, except you may want to phrase one part differently. I suspect you really haven’t stayed at home, nor would you if we’re presented yet again with poor candidates. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but what I imagine you *would* do is: TALK and make your opinion known with your friends and neighbors and fellow website commenters, maybe do some work for a candidate or ballot measure you like, show up at the polls, vote for any *good* candidates, as well as good ballot initiatives (those things count, too!), pray, other stuff, then continue doing whatever else you do to make the world a better place. I suggest you don’t have to (or shouldn’t) use language that is often misconstrued to make it look like those who don’t vote for lousy candidates actually don’t do anything besides gripe and complain. To my knowledge, that’s definitely not true.

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  14. Hi Donna J. To me, it sounds like you could make the opposite case based on much of what you say. Much of what you voice there implies that the Repubs should act not only as a brake on, but as an opposing force to, the drunken Democrat juggernaut. I hardly see how anything like that has happened, even under circumstances favorable to the Rs, such as control of one or more branches of govt along with the will of at least a sizable portion of the populace. The Rs we’ve had have BLOWN IT. To me, that’s facing reality. But, if I may take the discussion to a “higher plane”…

    We Christians don’t walk that way, do we? We walk by faith, not by sight. We think and say and do and *vote* according to *God’s* standard, not what we perceive as realistic. And on that point, we should acknowledge that the Scriptures have much to say about good law and rulers and their effects on the land. In my opinion, we conservatives have compromised for long enough to be able to see whether it has had the effects we’ve wanted, and in my judgement, it clearly has not. I just don’t see what successes the “lesser of two evils” approach has brought us. Why not try a principled approach instead!?

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  15. I haven’t commented in a while but now I have some time — its March Break here.

    Interesting to see how the Democratic supporters handle Clinton’s email mess and Republicans handle the Senate’s letter to Iran. Both claim the simple defence — the other side does it too., not really much of a defence. Apparently Karl Rove used his personal email and the Bush admin lost emails related to the appointment of US attorneys. From what Ive read (admittedly not everything), it points more to Clinton’s incompetence than anything — who uses personal email for work and vice versa? Not to mention the lack of security on most personal email servers. Apparently the Senate wrote letters to undermine Reagan’s Nicaragua policy. However in that particular case it was bipartisan and was simply to tell the Sandinastas to hold open elections to blunt Reagan’s criticism. Not nearly the same as the Republican letter to Iran. Iran’s rebutal — a lecture on international law was pretty much on point.

    I think supporters of Likud and Bibi might want to wait before breaking out the champagne. Bibi won 30 out of 120 seats. He needs to find at least 31 more seats from minor parities in which case he would be a minority in his own government. The other option (favoured by the Israeli president) is a Likud-Zionist Union-Kulane coalition which would be far more moderate than Bibi’s campaign and more moderate than some Republicans in Congress. If a grand coalition is the result, it would make the Israeli Arab Joint List party the largest opposition party.

    Now that the Republicans are a governing party, its possible to see what the politics of anger brings you. Its far easier to be the party of anger and opposition than to be a party of ideas and governance. Beck and others may be saying it now but it was possible to see it coming. For all their criticism of Obama, it was hard to see what their alternative was and then their bungling of Homeland Security funding and the letter to Iran demonstrated inability to govern whatever you may have thought of their actual policies or ideas.

    However, I really don’t think Obama or McCain/Romney would have made a difference. Romney after all was the inspiration for Obamacare. Obama, although popular with some left of centrist for his social policies, has pretty much maintained Bush’s foreign policy — as his love affair with drones indicates. Now a contest between Paul/Cruz (or even Walker) vs Warren/Sanders might be a bit more contrasting than usual, but both parties and their corporate supporters would probably make sure it never happened.

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  16. Now that the Republicans are a governing party, its possible to see what the politics of anger brings you. Its far easier to be the party of anger and opposition than to be a party of ideas and governance.

    I honestly wonder a couple things about this: a) have these Republicans behaved differently than either party during other Congresses, and b) how do you measure “party of ideas and governance” and where is the data in support of the lack thereof?

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