Saturday, October 25, 2014
Op-ed: US secretary of state keeps saying Israeli-Palestinian issue cannot remain unchanged. What about the situation in Syria, Iraq, Russia, China and Turkey?
Like a regular mantra, US Secretary of State John Kerry has a habit of saying that the Israeli-Palestinian issue cannot remain unchanged.
Strangely enough, he isn't saying that about the conflict in Syria, where the death toll has already crossed the 200,000 mark with people being slaughtered, beheaded and dying in different ways, on its way to the 250,000 mark; he isn't saying that about four million refugees from Syria and 10 million displaced people; he isn't saying that about the Islamic State, which is beheading people and butchering minorities; he isn't saying that about Iraq, which has been torn into pieces, or about Baghdad's airport which is about to fall into the hands of jihadist terror.
He isn't saying that about Libya either, a country controlled by a coalition of insane jihad organizations, on the verge of Europe. He isn't saying that about Yemen, which has died and is controlled by wild tribes navigated from behind the scenes by the "smiling" Iran; he isn't saying that about the intolerable uranium enrichment in Tehran, which has him and the West wrapped around its little finger.
He isn't saying that about Russia either, which not only conquered eastern Ukraine, but also annexed the huge Crimea region. It isn't an "occupation," after all; that only exists in Israel.
He isn't saying that about Turkey, which brutally conquered one-third of the island of Cyprus, and still controls the area; he isn't saying that about China either, which is slowly turning Tibet into a region inhabited by Chinese; he isn't saying that about Hezbollah, which is piling up tens of thousands of missiles on Israel's border; he isn't saying that about his Qatari friends, who are cunningly funding the terror that the United States is fighting against; he isn't saying that about Hamas either, which proudly announced that it is rebuilding its network of terror tunnels targeting Israeli territory.
He is only saying that about Israel – the only safe, stable, democratic place one can rely on in the Middle East. Only in Israel, the situation cannot remain unchanged.
I would just like to mention that it was John Kerry who was Syrian President Bashar Assad's personal friend and sat down with him many times for intimate meetings. It was John Kerry, in his former position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, who worked to return the American ambassador to Damascus and pressure Israel, with the price being the Golan Heights of course. Then too, the situation could not remain unchanged, and aren’t we lucky that it did remain unchanged.
The question is why is he always singling out Israel of all the nations in the world? Could it be that it pains him to see Israel secure and thriving, and that's why he has such an urge to weaken it? To sell it to a Palestinian gang whose only goal is to weaken Israel, and then resume the fighting against it after it crumbles?
Can't he hear the leader of this gang, Mahmoud Abbas, referring to the Jews as "impure," as they are defiling the Temple Mount when they visit it? Can't he see the law sentencing a Palestinian to death for daring to sell a house to a Jew? Abbas even added that he would step up the punishment for selling homes to Jews, but how can a death sentence be stepped up?
The situation cannot remain unchanged. Perhaps the foreign minister of the United States would care to explain to us why he only uses this expression here. Why is he singling Israel and the Jews out of all the nations?
Friday, October 24, 2014
Chart Of The Day: 8 Years A Slave
Today’s Chart comes from J.D. Power, showing the growth of long term loans in the Canadian car market. While 96 month loans are just starting to hit American consumers, the 8 year loan terms have been present in the Great White North for some time. A friend was recently looking at a modestly equipped Big Three Pickup, which would be used for work. The truck, with an MSRP of $35,000 CAD (plus 13 percent sales tax), was offered at 96 months for 3.99%. That would have added up to $6,000 in interest payments over the loan term.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Still miffed over negative comments that Israel's defense minister made about Secretary of State John Kerry's Mideast peace efforts and nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Obama administration this week refused his requests to meet several top national security aides, U.S. officials said Friday.
While Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Kerry on his five-day trip to the United States. The administration had sought to stop Ya'alon from seeing Power but the objections were made too late to cancel the meeting, according to the officials.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the snubs, which were first reported by several Israeli media outlets.
Ya'alon met with Hagel at the Pentagon on Tuesday. Kerry himself was out of the country until late Wednesday, but the officials said pointedly that a meeting with the secretary of state could have been arranged before Ya'alon departs the U.S.
The White House and State Department declined to comment on internal deliberations about who Ya'alon should see.
"I can't speak to any meetings that didn't occur," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted that the Ya'alon's meeting with his counterpart Hagel was "a natural, standard procedure."
Visiting Israeli defense ministers, including Ya'alon's immediate predecessor Ehud Barak, have in the past been granted meetings with senior U.S. officials other than their direct counterparts. This week's refusals come amid increasingly strained U.S.-Israel relations, particularly over criticism of Kerry by several members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, including Ya'alon.
Earlier this year, Ya'alon infuriated officials in Washington with comments accusing the administration of being weak on Iran and questioning the U.S. commitment to Israel's security. That followed reports that Ya'alon had criticized Kerry for being unrealistic and naive in trying to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Do you think that 20 years sitting the Rev. Wright's church listening to anti white, Jew demeaning rants had no impact on Obama?
WaPo acknowledges that there is vote fraud that can effect an election and that they're just okay with it.
"Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study(CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.
How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.
|Estimated Voter Turnout by Non-Citizens|
|Self reported and/or verified||38 (11.3%)||13 (3.5%)|
|Self reported and verified||5 (1.5%)||N.A.|
|Adjusted estimate||21 (6.4%)||8 (2.2%)|
Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin."
"We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted."
The dismissive tone of this paragraph says a lot about the mindset of these people. It's not the back handed slam on conservatives. It's the fact that they never consider that there may be and should be effective controls on voting. So, if ID's are ineffective, they are probably quite happy. Remember, when everybody is citizen then nobody is a citizen.
What the first paragraph shows is that even a small amount of vote fraud can have a dramatic impact on the vote.
Appearing at a Boston rally for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley on Friday, Hillary Clinton told the crowd gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel not to listen to anybody who says that “businesses create jobs.”
Follow link in headline for video
Note how the Democrats/Left are all around restricting free speech whether verbal or monetary. This is important for everybody
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that the Left wants to regulate conservative political sites and even news outlets like the Drudge Report.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.
The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads.
Ravel’s statement suggests that she would regulate right-leaning groups like America Risingthat posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.
FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” shown above, and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.
“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.
Ravel plans to hold meetings next year to discuss regulating the Internet. She charged that groups placing regulated paid TV ads use the FEC exemption to run the same campaigns on the Internet, regulation free.
Blasting the exemption, she said, “Since its inception this effort to protect individual bloggers and online commentators has been stretched to cover slickly-produced ads aired solely on the Internet but paid for by the same organizations and the same large contributors as the actual ads aired on TV,” Ravel argued.
Goodman and the two other Republicans on the evenly split agency argued in a statement that regulations would chill politics on the Internet.
The trio noted that the goal of setting aside regulations to let the Internet blossom is working and shouldn’t be tampered with.
“This freedom has gained wide acceptance, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of political videos, websites, blogs and other social media posted on the Internet without so much as an inquiry by the Commission,” they wrote.
“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet's virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate,” they concluded.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obama's Treasury Department won't let witness testify about Lois Lerner's 'lost' emails until AFTER the election
Outrage in Congress as Obama's Treasury Department won't let witness testify about Lois Lerner's 'lost' emails until AFTER the election
- House Ways and Means chairman angrily demanded that Treasury Secretary make lawyer Hannah Stott-Bumsted available next week
- Stott-Bumsted was the first Treasury aide who learned from the IRS about disgraced former official Lois Lerner's now-famous 'lost' emails
- She was told by her friend Catherine Duval, an IRS lawyer she had worked with in private law practice
- Congress never learned about the emails, or the computer crash that destroyed them, until two months later
- Now the Obama Treasury Department has stonewalled Congress, Republicans say, refusing to let Stott-Bumsted testify until next month
PUBLISHED: 19:11 EST, 23 October 2014 | UPDATED: 03:04 EST, 24 October 2014
The chairman of a powerful committee in Congress is demanding access 'without delay' to a key witness in the Lois Lerner email saga that has engulfed the IRS, but the Treasury Department insists she can't testify until after the midterm congressional elections.
House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, demanded late Wednesday in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that he must make Treasury counsel Hannah Stott-Bumsted available before that Nov. 4 political milestone date.
Stott-Bumsted was the first Treasury aide to learn that the IRS was unable to locate two years' worth of disgraced official Lois Lerner's emails because of a hard drive crash.
Her former private law practice colleague Catherine Duval told her in April, according to reports of closed-door testimony Duval gave the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
That disclosure, Duval reportedly told the committee, led to the White House finding out about the email losses two months before Congress was notified.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO AND TO READ THE LETTER
Former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner has refused to answer lawmakers' questions about the tea party targeting scandal; she was held in Contempt of Congress this year
House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp is trying to force the Treasury Department's hand so he can hear testimony from a Treasury lawyer who was the first official outside the IRS to learn that Lerner'shard drive crash had wiped out two years' worth of emails
Lerner, who took a retirement package late last year and refused to answer questions in two separate congressional hearings, remains at the center of a scandal involving alleged political targeting of conservative nonprofit groups when they sought tax-exempt status.
Camp has sought Stott-Bumsted's testimony since mid-September, he wrote, but Teasury has stonewalled him and ignored his requests.'Treasury officials ignored this committee's phone and email inquiries about Ms. Stott-Bumsted's availability,' Camp wrote to Lew.
'On the morning of October 14, a month from the initial request, the same Treasury officials told staff that Ms. Stott-Bumsted was not available until sometime in November.'
Camp added that Treasury insisted interviewing a Treasury Department lawyer would introduce 'Constitutional and practical concerns' – even though Ways and Means has already questioned more than a dozen of them.
'Why the sudden change in protocol?' he asked.
His demands include a list of everyone at Treasury who learned about the email problems before Congress was notified. He also wants to know who told the White House, which White House officials were informed, and when.
'Your office is now refusing to make available until after the election the very person that could unlock that mystery. This is completely unacceptable, especially for an administration that once pledged to be the most open and transparent ever.'
Hot seat: Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew's agency wants to hold off providing Hannah Stott-Bumsted for testimony until after the midterm elections, when more bad news could hurt Democrats' already waning hope of gaining seats in Congress
The scandal broke wide open in May 2013 when Lerner, then director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, answered a planted question during a tax lawyers' conference about how her agency decided which nonprofit groups to scrutinize carefully.
Lerner knew what Congress did not: that an internal Inspector General report on the matter would be issued soon, thrusting it into the public spotlight.
Republicans howled at the admission that organizations were selected for intrusive questions and long delays based on words like 'patriots' and 'tea party' in their names.
Days later, President Barack Obama accepted the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner and promised in a statement from the White House that his administration would 'work with Congress as it performs its oversight role' and work 'hand in hand with Congress to get this thing fixed.'
Many of the Lerner emails sought by Congress have been recovered by searching the archives of other IRS employees who sent or received them. But countless more, including any between Lerner and officials at the White House or other agencies, are likely gone for good.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has testified repeatedly on Capitol Hill that his employees did everything possible to recover data from Lerner's hard drive, including sending it to forensic experts at the FBI.
Ultimately, he has said, no data was recoverable – and the hard drive was destroyed by a recycling contractor.
Congressional Republicans including Camp are skeptical since the time period covered by the email losses overlaps with the months when the IRS has already conceded it was targeting right-wing tax-exemption applicants.