“America was founded on the principle of inalienable rights, not dictated duties. The Declaration of Independence states that every human being has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not state that he is born a slave to the needs of others.”
Alex Epstein, American writer
Their portrayal of the 2008 financial collapse and the shambles of its aftermath — as being caused by greedy Wall Street bankers who got rich by foisting deceptive loan underwriting practices on ordinary people — reinforces this narrative. Now, another side of the story is crystallizing in the public mind due to serious investigative reporting. The latest new insights are from Jay Richards in his just-released book, “Infiltrated.”
What’s increasingly clear is that it wasn’t the free market, but rather Washington’s socialized housing policies and crony capitalism, that failed and brought on the worst recession since the Great Depression…
Dumbing down mortgage lending standards started in the 1980s with no borrower income documentation “liar loans” pioneered at Golden West Financial, founded by progressives Herb and Marion Sandler. The Sandlers would later donate millions from their lavish mortgage lending profits to Acorn, presumably to provide political cover while staying on the gravy train of exploiting the poor…
Meanwhile, a new financial bubble has been creeping up, with President Obama calling the high cost of college tuition and student loan debt “a crisis.” What most probably don’t see is that Washington’s efforts to socialize education have done to tuition costs what they did to housing prices. Washington’s ever-expanding government-guaranteed student loan programs have enabled colleges to ignore costs and raise tuition prices well above the (also government-induced) inflation rate.
The problem now is that, under the Obama economy, students can’t find jobs to let them pay back their loans after graduating. Forbes recently reported that “more than half of student loans are in deferral or delinquent.” Increasing defaults in the $1 trillion of student loans may well trigger the next financial crisis and bailout.
The other side of the story is vital because it explains how government intervention to promote and socialize access to housing and education has created two debt bubbles. The first ended in disaster — massive bailouts, trillion-dollar deficits and regulatory overreach that has piled sand into the gears of the private economy. We don’t yet know what the second will bring.
But coming so soon after the 2008 collapse from which the nation has yet to fully recover, this crisis may well arouse voters to connect the dots and make the 2014 midterm elections a referendum for smaller government and the repeal of bad laws that socialize rather than fix problems.
Scott S. Powell, Investor’s Business Daily
August 30, 2013
All patriotic Americans should watch this video. You will be cheering!
Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee: I’m not backing down! This is the type flag officer that the troops rally behind. He is also the type military officer that should run for the US House or the US Senate!New Shooters Are Young, Women And Living In Urban Areas
Shooting sports have become even more popular in recent years and according to a new study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, new participants are younger, women and living in urban areas. The demographics of new shooters show they are . . .
•• Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.
•• Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.
•• Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.
•• The report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years.
Katie Pavlich, News Editor, TownHall
August 30, 2013
Barack Obama’s presidency has not been about restraining the powers of the presidency. On major issues both domestic and international — immigration, environmental regulation, the war in Libya, and more — Obama has shown no hesitation to act unilaterally in areas that properly lie within the purview of Congress. But now, the president says that even though he has decided the U.S. should attack the Syrian regime over its use of chemical weapons, he will ask Congress to give him permission to do so.
It’s not entirely clear why Obama has decided to exercise restraint now when he has not done so in the past. Has he experienced a sudden conversion in which he gained new respect for the Constitution’s limits on executive authority? Does he really want to do nothing, and secretly hopes Congress will reject his proposal? Or has he made an essentially political decision to make sure Congress shares the blame for any calamity that might result from his lack of a clear Syrian policy?
Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: Obama has set up a potentially critical confrontation between the executive and the legislative branches. It won’t be about the substance of what he proposes to do, that is, whether is it a good idea to attack Bashar al-Assad’s forces or not. Instead, it will be about whether a president is bound to follow the will of lawmakers who have the ultimate constitutional authority over whether the nation goes to war.
The simple question: If Congress rejects Obama’s proposal, will he abide by its decision, or will he use his powers as commander-in-chief to attack Syria anyway?… If Obama decides to go ahead in the face of a congressional refusal to authorize force, what will Congress do? Nobody knows. But it will likely lead to an ugly and protracted fight. And it will certainly lead to talk, and perhaps more than just talk, of impeachment…
Byron York, The Washington Examiner
September 1, 2013
In the history of our nation this occurrence seemed exclusive to the healthy friction between Federal and State laws per the supremacy clause and the 14th amendment. States might have contested a Federal Law which they deemed harmful to their citizenry. Yet in today’s world, we are getting the reverse. States such as Arizona wish the federal government to enforce the immigration laws that are on the federal books and the federal government seems disinterested and lax. It is as if they are opting not to enforce federal law. Immigration officers are told to “stand down“.
Sanctuary cities are encouraged do disregard federal law by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and that while serving as Speaker of the House. This is essentially the “third in line” for the Presidency telling people to disregard the law.
Now we learn the federal government chooses not to contest the State laws that allow marijuana usage. Personally, I don’t care either way. But one must wonder who decides not to enforce federal law. Is this another Executive Order event? Is it an agreement between Holder and Obama to disregard yet more laws on the books?
And what of the oath of office, where promises are made to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the nation? It didn’t phase Harry Reid’s disregard for a Senate Budget. We have come to an era where the enforcement of laws on the books seems a “choice” by the administration in power. Can there be a more lucid portrayal of a system in decline? Next lawmakers will be passing laws to which they are not subject, and will pick and choose who must obey and who is released from the legal obligation. From where do these new powers emanate?
When Liberals and Progressives declare the Constitution is a “living and breathing” document, brace yourself for an event that disregards or ignores the Constitution. The “old guys in powdered wigs” saw this coming, but expected more resolve from the representatives of the People. However, that was before money imbedded itself in our political system. The starting point for these antics is a breach of the oath of office which apparently has morphed into a mere formality. Right…. Nancy, Eric and Barack?
Bruce Johnson, American Thinker
September 1, 2013
An estimated one-fifth of a subset of all applicants for Central Intelligence Agency positions had significant ties to the terror groups Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda, a newly released document from NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s collection revealed Monday. The document — released by Mr. Snowden as part of his National Security Agency intelligence dump — said the terrorist groups worked hard to infiltrate America’s top security agencies. CIA officials uncovered thousands of applicants, roughly one in five of a subset, with “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” the document states, as Ynet News reported.
The NSA, in response, launched investigations into 4,000 instances of suspected abnormal staff activity, Ynet News said. Those investigations included the tracking of employee keystrokes on agency computers and the recording of document downloads. “Over the last several years, a small subset of CIA’s total job applicants were flagged due to various problems or issues,” one unnamed agency official said, as Ynet News reported. “During this period, one in five of that small subset was found to have significant connections to hostile intelligence services and-or terrorist groups.”
Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times
September 2, 2013
One Jihadist is one too many! Don O’Nesky
Obama Indicts Obama
One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy. The hypocrisy is so stunning that it infuriates his critics and stuns his supporters.
Deriding the Iraq war was Obama’s signature selling point. He used it to great effect against both Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war) in the Democratic primaries and John McCain in the general election. For the last five years, disparagement of “Iraq” and “Bush” has seemed to intrude into almost every sentence the president utters…
Obama is the first president who genuinely feels U.S. exceptionalism and power were not ethically earned and should be in an ethical sense ended. As a candidate, he consistently undermined current U.S. foreign policy at a time of two critical wars; as president, he has systematically forfeited U.S. authority and prestige. There is no inconsistency: whatever makes the traditional idea of the U.S as a superpower weaker, Obama promotes; whatever enhances our profile, he opposes.
Victor Davis Hanson, PJMedia
September 1, 2013
Are These Senators Regretting Their Export-Import Bank Votes?
For some lawmakers, corporate welfare is okay, unless it hurts someone in their district. Four lawmakers from Minnesota and Michigan are up in arms over a proposed $650 million financing deal for Roy Hill, an Australian mining company. The deal, backed by the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. government’s export credit agency, is for the purchase of Caterpillar mining equipment manufactured in the U.S.
But Senators Amy Klobuchar (D–MN), Al Franken (D–MN), Carl Levin (D–MI), and Debbie Stabenow (D–MI) don’t like this deal because Roy Hill competes with American iron ore producers, the majority of which operate in the Senators’ home states of Minnesota and Michigan. In a letter to the Export-Import Bank, the Senators claim that they are “concerned the proposed Ex-Im Bank financing and the large amount of iron capacity that it would subsidize will…substantially injure American iron ore and steel producers and their employees that are competing in the same global marketplace.”
The Senators are essentially arguing that the Export-Import Bank shouldn’t be subsidizing the purchase of U.S. mining equipment because it might hurt miners in the U.S. How ironic, considering all four of them voted for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank just over three months ago. In reality, the Export-Import Bank is just bad policy, embodying corporate welfare and encouraging cronyism. The bank essentially subsidizes large business and U.S. exporters using taxpayer loans and loan guarantees to finance the purchase of U.S. exports.
The U.S. government should get out of the export financing market altogether. Doing so would save everyone a lot of time and money. Not only would taxpayers save the money going to these huge corporations, but Members of Congress could get back to solving some of the country’s serious issues, such as the debt. But until then, these lawmakers will continue to be for corporate welfare before they were against it.
Ryan Olson, The Heritage Foundation
September 3, 2013
It’s reported that President Obama was ready to order a military strike against Syria, with or without Congress’s blessing, but “on Friday night, he suddenly changed his mind.”…
This latest volte-face by the president is evidence of a man who is completely overmatched by events, weak and confused, and deeply ambivalent about using force. Yet he’s also desperate to get out of the corner he painted himself into by declaring that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would constitute a “red line.” As a result he’s gone all Hamlet on us. Not surprisingly, Obama’s actions are being mocked by America’s enemies and sowing doubt among our allies. (Read this New York Times story for more.)…
Obama’s proposal to invite Congress dominated the Friday discussion in the Oval Office. He had consulted almost no one about his idea. In the end, the president made clear he wanted Congress to share in the responsibility for what happens in Syria. As one aide put it, “We don’t want them to have their cake and eat it, too.”
Get it? The president of the United States is preparing in advance to shift the blame if his strike on Syria proves to be unpopular and ineffective. He’s furious about the box he’s placed himself in, he hates the ridicule he’s (rightly) incurring, but he doesn’t see any way out.
What he does see is a political (and geopolitical) disaster in the making. And so what is emerging is what comes most naturally to Mr. Obama: Blame shifting and blame sharing. Remember: the president doesn’t believe he needs congressional authorization to act. He’s ignored it before. He wants it now. For reasons of political survival. To put it another way: He wants the fingerprints of others on the failure in Syria.
Rarely has an American president joined so much cynicism with so much ineptitude.
Peter Wehner, Commentary Magazine
September 2, 2013
In an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show Friday, hosted by fill-in host Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, the head of the union representing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents called on Congress to investigate the administration’s immigration policies.
“With regard to our government in general, I mean right now, that’s our problem with our immigration system,” National ICE Council President Chris Crane said. “[The problem] is not our immigration system, it’s our government, and it’s the ability of a president of the United States to ignore the laws enacted by Congress.”
“And it doesn’t matter what type of legislation we pass, until we address that problem, we will never have an immigration system that works,” he added. “As long as one person can act like a dictator and ignore the law and make his own laws through policy, we will never have a system that works.”…
“There is no more of a clear cut case in our country of the president overstepping his authority, ignoring the law, ignoring the Constitution, than the president’s ordering of ICE agents not to enforce U.S. immigration law,” he said. “Yet we have no investigations from Congress into this whatsoever.”
Crane continued, saying that while his union applauds congressional investigations into the IRS and Benghazi, lawmakers have failed to investigate what has been going on at his agency and “that’s got to stop.”…
Caroline May, The Daily Caller
September 2, 2013
If Boehner Passes Amnesty, Will Be ‘Final Thing He Does As Speaker’
Rand Paul is quickly becoming a true conservative hero. Check it out:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Laura Ingraham’s radio program that House Speaker John Boehner’s speakership is in jeopardy if any form of amnesty, such as the Senate’s immigration reform bill, becomes law. “I’m worried about conference,” Paul said Friday, according to Roll Call. “The only way to avoid a problem with conference is for the speaker of the House to say we are not going to conference, and we will not allow a vote on anything coming out of conference that resembles the Senate bill, and if there were a much more limited bill that emphasizes border security first, that we would do that.”…
Matthew Boyle, Breitbart
August 30, 2013
Even The Washington Post
Even The Washington Post editorial board finds one Obama administration policy unconscionably stupid: “NINE OF 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools are black. All are poor and, if not for the state assistance, would be consigned to low-performing or failing schools with little chance of learning the skills they will need to succeed as adults. So it’s bewildering, if not downright perverse, for the Obama administration to use the banner of civil rights to bring a misguided suit that would block these disadvantaged students from getting the better educational opportunities they are due.”
There’s more. Read the whole thing. And hope that black America starts waking up.
Thomas Lifson, American Thinker
September 2, 2013
…Liberating Syria isn’t like liberating the Netherlands: In the Mideast, the enemy of our enemy is also our enemy. Yes, BBC images of schoolchildren with burning flesh are heart-rending. So we’ll get rid of Assad and install the local branch of al-Qaida or Muslim Brotherhood or whatever plucky neophyte democrat makes it to the presidential palace first — and then, instead of napalmed schoolyards, there will be, as in Egypt, burning Christian churches and women raped for going uncovered.
So what do we want in Syria? Obama can’t say, other than for him to look muscular without being mocked, like a camp bodybuilder admiring himself in the gym mirror.
Oh, well. If the British won’t be along for the ride, the French are apparently still in. What was the old gag from a decade ago during those interminable U.N. resolutions with Chirac saying “Non!” every time? Ah, yes: “Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.”
Oddly enough, the worst setback for the Islamic imperialists in recent years has been President Hollande’s intervention in Mali, where, unlike the money-no-object Pentagon, the French troops had such undernourished supply lines that they had to hitch a ride to the war on C-17 transports from the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force. And yet they won — insofar as anyone ever really wins on that benighted sod.
Meanwhile, the hyperpower is going to war because Obama wandered off prompter and accidentally made a threat. So he has to make good on it, or America will lose its credibility. But he only wants to make good on it in a perfunctory and ineffectual way. So America will lose its credibility anyway.
Maybe it’s time to learn the accordion …
Mark Steyn, Investor’s Business Daily
August 30, 2013
Originally, the US Navy said that there were no missile launches by US ships in the Med, but the IDF later confirmed that it was a joint test of the Arrow II missile defense system. Haaretz:
“Israel and the U.S. carried out a missile test in the Mediterranean sea on Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, amid rising tensions in the region over the crisis in Syria. The confirmation came after morning reports indicated that Russia had detected two ballistic “objects” launched toward the eastern Mediterranean from the central part of the same and a U.S. denial that its navy had been involved.
“The Arrow III missile defense system was tested with a “sparrow” missile, which simulates a ballistic missile, and is launched from a plane, during the exercise. The exercise was carried out from an Israel Air Force base in central Israel, the Defense Ministry said in the statement… “The projectiles fell into the sea, a sources in Damascus was quoted as saying by the state-run Russian news agency RIA…”
There may have been more to this test than meets the eye. Syria is on edge waiting for a US strike. Launching a few missiles may have been a test of Syrian air defenses. An AWAC would have been able to detect any radar activity that tracked the missiles., thus revealing Syrian capabilities – and targets for our cruise missiles. Lots of nervous people in Syria.
Rick Moran, American Thinker
September 3, 2013