President Obama and his foreign-policy admirers—a dwindling lot—hoped that the nuclear deal would make Iran more open to cooperation in the Middle East and with the U.S. Mark this down as another case in which the world is disappointing the American President.What a magnificent achievement for the Obama administration - it will achieve none of its goals and is already being defied. And they get all those billions to spend on their support of terrorists and to build extra weapons. But what does reality matter as long as Obama can make fatuous claims about what it achieved?
Iran’s judiciary on Monday announced that Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post’s Tehran correspondent, has been convicted. He was on trial for “espionage.” Security forces arrested Mr. Rezaian and his wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, in July 2014. Ms. Salehi was later released, but the regime has held Mr. Rezaian “in a black hole for 14 months,” as his brother, Ali, told us. Mr. Rezaian, a U.S. citizen, has been denied even the basic rights the regime sometimes affords political prisoners, including bail and phone calls.
The timing of the conviction won’t escape students of history. Friday was the 444th day of his captivity. That was the number of days U.S. diplomats in Iran spent as hostages following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Mr. Rezaian’s conviction three days later is the mullah equivalent of mailing a dead fish to an adversary.
Mr. Rezaian’s brother also told us that “I’d like the U.S. government to say [about Jason’s detention]: This kind of behavior has consequences. Up to now this has had no consequences. What have been the consequences? It hasn’t stopped them from getting their nuclear deal. And it hasn’t stopped them from getting over half a billion a month in sanctions relief since we started talking to them.”
....On Sunday the regime tested a new long-range, guided ballistic missile code-named Emad (“Pillar”) in violation of the nuclear deal. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231—which passed shortly after the agreement to harmonize its provisions with international law—prohibits Iran from conducting ballistic-missile work for eight years.
But the mullahs are nothing if not impatient, and the Islamic Republic has already made clear that it doesn’t intend to abide by the provisions of Resolution 2231 it dislikes. Testifying before the Senate over the summer, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly vowed to sanction Iran if it cheated on missiles. Well, here’s an early test case, Mr. Secretary.
The more likely outcome is that the Obama Administration will find a way to explain that the missile test doesn’t violate the nuclear accord that Mr. Obama considers a crowning achievement. Meanwhile, Iran’s government will bank up to $150 billion that it can deploy to back its militia proxies in the Middle East. Add the new Iran-Russia offensive in Syria, and Tehran would appear to have taken the nuclear deal as a signal that it can now do whatever it wants without consequence.
Peter Berkowitz examines "Obama's Tattered Middle East Policy."
By any reasonable measure, the Obama administration’s Middle East foreign policy is in disarray. Despite President Obama’s determination to rebuild America’s relationship with the Muslim world—dramatically manifested in his June 2009 Cairo speech—his administration’s empty promises, gross miscalculations, and sudden reversals suggest that he and his team have substituted their wishes about how the Muslim Middle East ought to be for the realities of how the Muslim Middle East really is.The Syrian civil war has expanded after a quarter million people have been killed and produced a refugee crisis that is causing problems now throughout Turkey, the Middle East, and Europe. Libya is a mess. He removed our troops from what he said was a stable Iraq and now ISIS controls a good part of the country. We've seen what a joke the Iran deal. And his treatment of Israel has been almost hostile.
While the president steadfastly refuses to mention jihadism, wars fueled by Islamic extremism rage throughout the region. Time and again, Obama administration policies have made matters worse.
Viewed from this illuminating altitude, the Obama administration’s failures come into better focus. If the current president and his team are more culpable than their post-World War II predecessors, it’s because they had the benefit of their accumulated experience—but didn’t use it. Their inability to learn from history has come at great cost to the people of the Middle East, regional stability, international order, and America’s vital national security interests.
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Just what conservatives want - a candidate who brags about believing in the "No Labels" movement so he can ally himself with Joe Lieberman and Jon Huntsman. This might sound like John Kasich, but actually it is the one Republican candidate who was once a Democrat.
Indeed, Trump, whom many Republicans accuse of not being a Republican, would seem to be the perfect No Labels candidate.
Yet some in the audience didn't seem to agree. "In the spirit of problem-solving, I'm wondering if you're at all concerned that some of the divisive language that you use on the campaign trail undermines your ability to solve problems," asked one woman. (Trump wasn't.)
"Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that you're a friend to women," said another questioner. Yet another doubted Trump's commitment to compromise.
By the end of the session, some present appeared to draw the conclusion that Trump does not belong in the No Labels world. A Politico account was headlined, "Donald Trump strikes sour note at No Labels; Trump's seemingly out-of-step appearance raises questions about his broader appeal."
Perhaps. But here was a man with a bipartisan background who praised cooperation and offered actual examples of his work with officials of both parties. He is an authentic No Labels man, even if No Labels fails to recognize that.
Matt Lewis talks to Fred Barnes and MOrton Kondracke who have just published Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America. They argue that Donald Trump is the antithesis of Jack Kemp.
Ryan may or may not be heir to Kemp’s legacy (I was one of the first to call out his pattern of unconservative votes), but the attacks on him only serve to illustrate how far today’s populist strain has shifted from Kemp’s conservative philosophy to an angry, protectionist (borderline nativist) style of populism in which Donald Trump is considered a conservative hero.
Along those lines, has a book ever been timed better than the one written by Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes about Jack Kemp? The duo are taking advantage of the opportunity, too:
“[Kemp] was the antithesis of Donald Trump in practically every way except high energy,” Kondracke told Newsmax TV. “So I think he would be perfectly appalled. He would want the Republican Party to be concentrating on ideas that would make life better for ordinary Americans.”
Kemp would disagree with Trump on “many, many things,” Fred Barnes continued. “Starting with immigration and particularly deportation and things like that, eminent domain, I can think of many things. But the difference between Jack Kemp and other Republicans today — and certainly with Donald Trump — is that Kemp was a uniter.”
I’ve long had a theory that a lot of folks in this populist camp (not all, but many) became involved in politics fairly recently — as a reaction to 9-11, or to Obama’s election and/or the rise of the tea party (which technically began before Obama’s election). My point here is that these are not typically folks who have a coherent conservative worldview, but rather, frustrated Americans who are reacting to some recent event.
Few of these people were active in politics when Kemp was helping invent Reaganomics — or when he was working (perhaps in vain) to prevent the GOP from becoming a sort of European-style right populist party.
Why would they have any reverence for them now?b
Ah, Chicago - where corruption continues to thrive.
The former head of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was indicted Thursday for allegedly participating in a bribery scheme that illegally influenced more than $20 million in city spending.Government workers continue to prosper in Chicago while ordinary citizens suffer under their corrupt rule.
According to the charges against her, ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett steered a no-bid $20.5 million contract to the consulting company SUPES Academy in return for bribes and the promise of a job after she left her post. Prosecutors claim that Byrd-Bennett’s corrupt dealings began in April 2012, when she first arrived in Chicago to work as chief education adviser, and continued for the next three years.
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So what is behind this bit of timing?
The U.S. is moving forward with plans to remove its Patriot missile defense systems from Turkey despite recent escalations in the region, including Iran testing a new long-range ballistic missile over the weekend.
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan announced on Sunday the successful test of the newest Iran-made long-range missile, dubbed the "Emad," or Pillar, that could likely reach Turkey. In addition, the Russians are playing a greater role in the Syrian civil war, raging along Turkey's border.
Despite that, the U.S. is continuing with plans made in August to remove all Patriot missile defense systems from Turkey, a defense official said Monday.
Bret Stephens cuts through the anti-Israeli portrayal of attacks on Israeli civilians to explain what is really going on there. Somehow, some American journalists have chosen to portray what is going on there as Israeli attacks on Palestinians instead of blaming the Palestinian assaults on Israelis.
If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”Stephens explain why these attacks have happened in recent weeks.
Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.
Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back.
Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month: “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”Exactly. Any journalists who ignore that truth is dishonest and betraying their own prejudices
Then there is the goading of the Muslim clergy. “Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”
Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”
Imagine if a white minister in, say, South Carolina preached this way about African-Americans, knife and all: Would the news media be supine in reporting it? Would we get “both sides” journalism of the kind that is pro forma when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, with lengthy pieces explaining—and implicitly justifying—the minister’s sundry grievances, his sense that his country has been stolen from him?
And would this be supplemented by the usual fake math of moral opprobrium, which is the stock-in-trade of reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In the Middle East version, a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability. (Perhaps Israeli paramedics should stop treating stabbing victims to help even the score.) In a U.S. version, should the higher incidence of black-on-white crime be cited to “balance” stories about white supremacists?
Didn’t think so.
Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.
Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.
Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.
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It's a shame that the President didn't tell us that when he was urging support for his actions in Syria to train a proxy army there.
President Barack Obama: Steve, this is why I've been skeptical from the get go about the notion that we were going to effectively create this proxy army inside of Syria. My goal has been to try to test the proposition, can we be able to train and equip a moderate opposition that's willing to fight ISIL? And what we've learned is that as long as Assad remains in power, it is very difficult to get those folks to focus their attention on ISIL.Noah Rothman writes,
Steve Kroft: If you were skeptical of the program to find and identify, train and equip moderate Syrians, why did you go through the program?
President Barack Obama: Well, because part of what we have to do here, Steve, is to try different things. Because we also have partners on the ground that are invested and interested in seeing some sort of resolution to this problem. And--
Steve Kroft: And they wanted you to do it.
President Barack Obama: Well, no. That's not what I said. I think it is important for us to make sure that we explore all the various options that are available.
It’s a safe bet that the congressional appropriators who assigned half of a billion dollars of taxpayer funds to this overt program (to say nothing of the covert programs to arm and train Syrian rebels exposed only amid their destruction by Russian forces) would have displayed more skepticism if the president had confessed his doubts at the time. Obama’s criticism of this program is rooted in his desire to pursue exculpation. In criticizing the rebel training program, he was also issuing the veiled condemnation of that program’s early advocates: former administration officials like Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Hillary Clinton. The president wasn’t offering a cogent alternative to this proposal for the perfectly good reason that it doesn’t exist.Rothman goes on to dissect the President's delusions about Vladimir Putin.
“When I came into office, Ukraine was governed by a corrupt ruler who was a stooge of Mr. Putin,” the president averred. Wrong. When the president entered office, Viktor Yushchenko, the de facto leader of the anti-Moscow Orange Revolution still served as the president of Ukraine. For his consistent opposition to Russian domination, Yushchenko was rewarded with a series of energy crises inaugurated by the Kremlin and was eventually disfigured as a result of acute dioxin poisoning. Some “stooge” he turned out to be.The buck stops anywhere but on his desk.
“He’s challenging your leadership, Mr. President,” Kroft reiterated as though he was trying to snap an addlepated mind out of a hallucination. “He’s challenging your leadership.”
“My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change, an international accord that potentially we’ll get in Paris,” the president replied. Allow that to sink in.
Even if you’re of the opinion that the amorphous threat of climate change, which exists forever just over the horizon, is of a greater danger to American national security than a nuclear power engaging in kinetic warfare against American-backed forces in a strategically vital part the world – thus rendering you an unserious person — this answer should disturb you. If only because it took the president almost seven years to secure this accomplishment. Following his personal humiliation at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, progress on the left’s chief substitute for a national security policy has been halting at best.
The president continued to steal from Americans their peace of mind when he revealed that his administration was aware that something like Russian intervention in Syria was imminent even as he was meeting with Vladimir Putin in New York City in September. “We knew that he was planning to provide the military assistance that Assad was needing because they were nervous about a potential imminent collapse of the regime,” Obama averred incautiously.
The president did not seem to note how his contention contradicted an earlier pronouncement. When diagnosing the fatal flaw that led to the implosion of his rebel training program, the president noted that it was Assad’s persistent clinging to power that prevented the program’s success. Questions remain: Was the Russian assessment of the viability of Assad’s regime accurate? If not, why did the Syrian president himself admit that manpower shortages were hindering the regime’s military operations in August? Does the president’s belief that Assad must be removed if there is to be an effective anti-ISIS ground force mean that American and Russian objectives in the region are fundamentally at odds?
Unfortunately, the answer to these questions was revealed in a cryptic response the president gave to a question about the efficacy of the multi-nation campaign targeting ISIS. “Over time, the community of nations will all get rid of them, and we will be leading getting rid of them,” the president said. “But we are not going to be able to get rid of them unless there is an environment inside of Syria and in portions of Iraq in which local populations, local Sunni populations, are working in a concerted way with us to get rid of them.” And there will be no second Anbar Awakening unless the United States once again serves, to borrow Bing West’s invaluable analysis, as “the strongest tribe” in Western Iraq. In other words, don’t hold your breath.
The inescapable impression that the president gave viewers last night was that his highest priority is not the advancement of American national security priorities but political damage control and face-saving.
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Meanwhile, these are sorts of people who are running rampant in parts of Iraq and Syria.
Sitting on a shabby green sofa somewhere in the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul, Iraq, the militants laugh and joke as one of them films their excited chatter.
"Today is the female sex slave market day, which has been ordained," explains a skinny, black-clad Jihadi, gesturing at the camera.
"With Allah's permission, each will get a share," promises another of the fighters.
"Where is my Yazidi girl?" asks the first, a wide grin splitting his straggly-bearded face.
The Yazidis are an ancient people, followers of a unique religion that blends elements of Islam, Judaism and Christianity with even more ancient practices, including sun worship.
They believe in a single god who created the Earth and left it in the care of a peacock angel, Malak Ta'us.
But this belief -- decried as "devil worship" by ISIS -- has been used by the Islamic extremists to justify murder, enslavement and rape.
"They took our girls, our homes and our families," says Yazidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh. "They took all of them. We say our fruitful generation is our children, but they took them all, young and old."
Noor (not her real name) was sold into slavery after ISIS overran her village in the Iraqi province of Sinjar. The 22-year-old says the militant who picked her out raped her -- but not before trying to justify himself.
"He showed me a letter and said, 'This shows any captured women will become Muslim if 10 ISIS fighters rape her.' There was a flag of ISIS and a picture of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi."
After abusing her, he passed her on to 11 of his friends, who also raped her.
Hillary Clinton certainly had an elastic notion of conflicts of interest when it came to her pals when she was Secretary of State. She accepted Sidney Blumenthal's advice on Libya even while Blumenthal was being paid by a group with an economic interest in Libya and now we learn about what Cheryl D. Mills, her aide, was doing while at Clinton was at the State Department.
During her first four months at the State Department, Mills also held another high-profile job: She worked part time at New York University, negotiating with officials in Abu Dhabi to build a campus in that Persian Gulf city.Why would Hillary have been bothered by this when her own husband was getting paid by foreign governments while she was in charge at State. Just imagine the opportunities for similar conflicts of interest among her cronies if she were in the White House.
At the State Department, she was unpaid in those first months, officially designated as a temporary expert-consultant — a status that allowed her to continue to collect outside income while serving as chief of staff. She reported that NYU paid her $198,000 in 2009, when her university work overlapped with her time at the State Department, and that she collected an additional $330,000 in vacation and severance payments when she left the school’s payroll in May 2009.
The arrangement, which Mills discussed publicly for the first time in an interview with The Washington Post, is another example of how Clinton as secretary allowed close aides to conduct their public work even as they performed jobs benefiting private interests. Another key Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, spent her last six months as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff in 2012 simultaneously employed by the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global charity, and a consulting company with close Clinton connections. Similarly, Mills remained on the Clinton Foundation’s unpaid board for a short time after joining the State Department.
Mills’s situation raises questions about how one of the State Department’s top employees set boundaries between her public role and a private job that involved work on a project funded by a foreign government. The arrangement appears to fall within federal ethics rules, but Republican lawmakers have accused Clinton of allowing potential conflicts of interest at the State Department.
Vanity Fair worries about how Hillary's "Praetorian Guard" could be a liability for her presidential hopes.
Throughout her many years in public life—through all the disappointments and triumphs, the scandals real or alleged—Clinton has surrounded herself with protectors: a tightly knit Praetorian Guard, mute and loyal. The result has been the opposite of what was intended. When troubles arise—sometimes of Clinton’s own making, sometimes not—she retreats into a defensive crouch, shielding herself inside a cocoon of secrecy, with a small circle of intimates standing watch. With each new round of trouble and scandal, the circle seems to draw tighter. The penchant for secrecy—for all operations to be closely and privately held—increases by yet another increment. But this never proves to be a solution. The secrecy and the closed nature of her dealings generate problems of their own, which in turn prompt efforts to restrict information and draw even more tightly inside a group of intimates. It is a vicious circle. The current controversy over Clinton’s State Department e-mails—the use of a private “clintonemail.com” account for government business—is a classic case in point.Ah, the sign of a strong leader - one who surrounds herself with sycophants.
Clinton’s way of doing business is by now so entrenched that it is hard to imagine she could ever behave differently. And the people around her have their own interests to consider. There certainly are many who believe in Clinton. But, for some, she is also the world’s most high-maintenance and high-profile meal ticket. To get into her circle, one must behave with extraordinary loyalty. Once you’re in, it’s like Fight Club. The first rule is to never talk about it. The State Department e-mails provide ample evidence of the hermetic circle that exists around Clinton—a world of gatekeepers and advisers, but favor seekers too. “I consider you to be the best friend and the best person I have met in my long life,” wrote Lanny Davis, a Washington lawyer and longtime Clinton associate, who went on in the e-mail to ask Hillary for some help. A top aide, after a television appearance by Clinton, wrote to her of the public reaction: “Three people even told me they teared up.” Another top aide sent Clinton an e-mail, linking to a video of Hillary dancing, with the subject line “Secretary of Awesome.”
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The State Department still hasn't fulfilled all the recommended reforms after Benghazi to improve security at our embassies abroad.
But the many post-action reviews that followed the Benghazi incident also identified systemic weaknesses that allowed employees to work in high-risk posts without adequate safety evaluations as well as too much reliance on security support from foreign contractors and governments.Really? Three years after Benghazi, we're still depending on security from the local governments?
The ARB after-action report, for instance, specifically recommended that State’s Diplomatic Security (DS) office “implement a plan to strengthen security beyond reliance on host government security support” for high-risk, high-threat (HRHT) posts.
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The Clintons are so charming when they accidentally say what they really think.
Bill Clinton privately boasted to a close friend that he had “never had more money in his life” less than two months after leaving the White House in 2001, contradicting a claim by Hillary Clinton that the former first couple was “dead broke” and struggling financially at the time.You can listen to the tape.
The former president made the comments just weeks after he left office, according to a contemporaneous audio diary recorded by his long-time friend Taylor Branch and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Branch recounted one conversation that he had with Bill Clinton on March 7, 2001 at his home in Chappaqua, New York.
“[Clinton] is doing these speeches,” said Branch. “He said he’s never had more money in his life. He’s made more money in the past month than he has in previous years, giving these speeches.”
News like this one from the Associated Press will thwart Hillary's efforts to portray any story about her personal server as an irrelevant story being propped up by Republican partisans.
The private email server running in Hillary Rodham Clinton's home basement when she was secretary of state was connected to the Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers, according to data and documents reviewed by The Associated Press.You know, that might be one of the reasons that such an operation was against the law.
Clinton's server, which handled her personal and State Department correspondence, appeared to allow users to connect openly over the Internet to control it remotely, according to detailed records compiled in 2012. Experts said the Microsoft remote desktop service wasn't intended for such use without additional protective measures, and was the subject of U.S. government and industry warnings at the time over attacks from even low-skilled intruders.
Records show that Clinton additionally operated two more devices on her home network in Chappaqua, New York, that also were directly accessible from the Internet. One contained similar remote-control software that also has suffered from security vulnerabilities, known as Virtual Network Computing, and the other appeared to be configured to run websites.
"That's total amateur hour," said Marc Maiffret, who has founded two cyber security companies. He said permitting remote-access connections directly over the Internet would be the result of someone choosing convenience over security or failing to understand the risks. "Real enterprise-class security, with teams dedicated to these things, would not do this," he said.
The government and security firms have published warnings about allowing this kind of remote access to Clinton's server. The same software was targeted by an infectious Internet worm, known as Morta, which exploited weak passwords to break into servers. The software also was known to be vulnerable to brute-force attacks that tried password combinations until hackers broke in, and in some cases it could be tricked into revealing sensitive details about a server to help hackers formulate attacks.
"An attacker with a low skill level would be able to exploit this vulnerability," said the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team in 2012, the same year Clinton's server was scanned.
Also in 2012, the State Department had outlawed use of remote-access software for its technology officials to maintain unclassified servers without a waiver. It had banned all instances of remotely connecting to classified servers or servers located overseas.
The findings suggest Clinton's server "violates the most basic network-perimeter security tenets: Don't expose insecure services to the Internet," said Justin Harvey, the chief security officer for Fidelis Cybersecurity.
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Governor Jerry Brown of California is instituting a new law that will very likely increase voter fraud in his state by automatically every driver to vote without any check that they are indeed citizens.
"The New Motor Voter Act will make our democracy stronger by removing a key barrier to voting for millions of California citizens. I applaud Governor Brown for his leadership and bold action to increase voter participation in our state," said the bill's sponsor, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who also counts the votes.The Democrats have such firm control of California that they can pass what they want to. Are they really so concerned about losing control that they need to pad the rolls with more Democrats even if they're not actually citizens?
Note his use of the words "California citizens," not U.S. citizens. The Los Angeles Times has reported that state officials have openly moved at full speed to create a de facto "California citizenship" for illegals to get around the absence of amnesty.
Don't think for a minute that this isn't about to include extending voting rights. California has one of the most abysmal databases of registered voters in the nation, according to Logan Churchwell, spokesman for True The Vote, an electoral integrity watchdog.
Thirteen years after the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which required every state to maintain a proper voter-identification database, California is one of the few that still hasn't done it.
The Department of Motor Vehicles is just as bad, Churchwell noted. Police departments from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Long Beach won't touch it when searching for someone because the records are so disorderly and out of date, his organization found in a poll of police agencies.
More to the point, illegals can do most of their paperwork over the Internet on the honor system and then obtain licenses by presenting a foreign passport or other recognized identification — including, ironically, a Mexican voting card — to a local DMV.
After that, the same-day license will follow and from there, voter registration. The California database is explicitly not searchable for non-citizens, Churchwell notes. What's more, a rider was slipped into the bill to exempt illegals who vote from prosecution.
Wesley Smith notes this bit of Moonbeam action by Governor Brown.
This makes zero sense. Last week, Jerry Brown signed assisted suicide into law in California.
This week, he vetoed a bill that would have allowed dying patients to access experimental drugs in an attempt to live.
Chris Cillizza explains why calling himself a Democratic Socialist is going to keep Bernie Sanders from ever becoming president. Too many Americans say they would never vote for a socialist. He might be appealing to a certain sector of the Democratic electorate, but couldn't win the general election unless the Republicans totally implode. Hillary Clinton has her own deep problems. No wonder Joe Biden is being pressured by many Democrats to join the race.
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This might be a surprise to those who only know what the media tell them, but it wouldn't surprise those who get news beyond the MSM.
At least since the 2010 midterms, it’s been a liberal talking point that Republican extremism is to blame for political polarization and gridlock. In the old days, the argument goes, Republicans were a moderate party, but over the past generation the GOP has been gradually taken over by its far-right wing. Before the last GOP debate, for example, the Center for American Progress launched a “Right of Reagan” campaign to supposedly show “how the extremism of today’s Republican presidential candidates sets them apart from their conservative idol.”
But as the debates over issues like the $15 minimum wage, healthcare, and universal preschool have already shown, the Democrats have moved to the left at least as quickly as the Republicans have moved to the right. After all, Hillary Clinton has to renounce a good chunk of her husband’s positions to be competitive in the 2016 primary.
Now, a paper on polarization and inequality released in August by political scientists from Princeton, Georgetown, and the University of Oregon (and highlighted this week in a Washington Post article) provides some empirical evidence that Democratic Party’s leftward drift is more pronounced than the GOP’s rightward drift, at least at the state level.
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