Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Put-in" Does What He Does Best. He Presents PP With reality!

Elliot Abrams will be the 2017, SIRC President Day Dinner Speaker. He writes about Obama's surreal UN address.

Even Jimmy Carter , who attended The Naval Academy, lived more in the real world than Obama, who is a dreamer and whose foreign policy initiatives have turned into nightmares. (See 1 below.)

Obama needs to call "The Plumber" and have him explain how to reset Hillary's reset button. 

You see President Obama, "Put-in" seems to have a different interpretation of what you were trying to convey.  Though he heard  Hillarious , he then took your measure, found you confused,weak and then he  laughed and  disregarded your message. 

"Put-in" loves sticking it to you and America because he understands power and its use.

Dershowitz also rakes Obama over the coals regarding The Iran Deal and accuses him of breaking the law. (See 1a below.)

A Pakistani's take on The Iran Deal. (See 1b below.)


Sowell takes a harsh view of Boehner and writes he was his own worst problem and cites why. (See 1c below.)
Comment from long time friend and fellow memo reader about recent posting: "Had completely forgot, but, yes, that was the Republican promise after winning majority status.  Good memory of your friend.  Worthy post in your epistles. S------+
It should be evident to most anyone that Obama is stumbling his way to another disaster. In time, it is also possible that "Put-in" may over reach but until he does,  America will be dancing to Russian music.

We have no strategy, we have few options to thwart "Put-in's" military take over of Syria and his desire to link his actions with Iran and Iraq places him a position to dictate foreign policy in and control over The Middle East.

Russia's bombing of those opposed to Syria's Assad has nothing to do with "Put-in's" desire to destroy ISIS and his  demand that we withdraw our flights is simply another challenge by "Put-in" that caught Obama and The Pentagon off guard, which seems to be a matter of increasing frequency.

In doing so, "Put-in" is making a mockery of his recent understanding with Obama. "Put-in" seems willing to escalate his challenge knowing Obama will do nothing and even if O wanted to he is not in a position to do so.

Obama gave his options up over the last four years as he dithered back and forth.

Not only has "Put-in" increased his influence in The Middle East but he has taken all eyes off his 'rape'  of The Ukraine. As noted above, "Put-in" may not succeed over the long term but he is committed to a strategy that is clear and  he is willing to execute. 

"Put-in" has to be laughing as he continues to rub Obama's nose in the Syrian sand!

In just a few weeks "Put-in" has elevated himself to be the 'go to' guy and Egypt's Sisi and Israel's Netanyahu got the message.
Democracy in the 21st Century. Malleability is its key. (See 3 below.)
We are leaving for Edisto Beach, S.C on Friday and will be gone for two weeks.  We have always wanted to try this area along the coast.

Another long reprieve for my memo readers.
1)Obama’s Surreal U.N. Speech
By Elliott Abrams              

President Obama’s U.N. speech today is filled with nice lines that unfortunately bear no relationship to his seven years of foreign policy — and in some cases, no relationship to reality.
The speech had several strong paragraphs about freedom, human rights, and democracy. For example, Obama said: “I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength. It is showing weakness, and it is showing fear. History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble.” But his administration has in fact steadily reduced American programs supporting human rights and democracy, and reached out to tyrannies such as Iran and Cuba — delaying the day when they will “eventually crumble.”
He spoke of the nuclear non-proliferation regime as one of the “principal achievements” of the United Nations, but of course that regime has been endangered by his awful Iran deal more than by any other development in decades. (And in what sense were nuclear non-proliferation agreements negotiated by the United States an achievement of the U.N., anyway?)
Obama spoke harshly of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, “who drops barrel bombs on innocent children” and uses chemical weapons, and he called for “a managed transition away from Assad.” But it is Barack Obama who has led the way for three years in doing absolutely nothing about Assad’s terror. When in 2012 even Hillary Clinton advised that the United States had to do more, Obama rejected that advice and stood firmly for inaction. On Libya, he said: “Even as we helped the Libyan people bring an end to the reign of a tyrant, our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind.” But why did the coalition not do more? Because Barack Obama rushed for the exits, not because “our coalition” got it wrong.
Similarly on Ukraine, Obama spoke of Russia’s “aggression” and said: “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today.” But except for mild sanctions on Russia, what Obama is doing is precisely “standing by” — and denying the Ukrainians the weapons they have repeatedly begged from us, weapons they need to defend their country.
Then came Cuba, perhaps the most offensive part of Obama’s speech. Here is what he said:
“In this new era, we have to be strong enough to acknowledge when what you are doing is not working. For 50 years, the United States pursued a Cuban policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. We changed that. We continue to have differences with the Cuban government, we will continue to stand up for human rights, but we address these issues through diplomatic relations and increased commerce. And people-to-people ties. As these contacts yield progress, I am confident that our Congress will inevitably lift an embargo that should not be in place anymore. Change won’t come overnight to Cuba, but I am confident that openness, not coercion, will support reforms and better the life the Cuban people.”
Nowhere in all of this did he call for democracy in Cuba. Nowhere did he call upon the regime to free political prisoners; instead he said “change won’t come overnight,” as if the regime had not been resisting change through executions and jailings for more than 50 years. His only actual demand was made not to Castro but to the U.S. Congress, to fully end the embargo of Cuba. Now, human-rights conditions in Cuba have actually deteriorated in Cuba since his policy of embracing the regime was announced last year, giving the lie to the claim that “we will continue to stand up for human rights.” In fact, if President Obama wanted to stand up for human rights in Cuba, today’s address to the United Nations was a perfect opportunity. He blew it.
Some of the tougher language here, like that against the Assad regime, is welcome. But as with the talk about Ukraine, it won’t scare Putin or Assad or the Iranians. They’ve heard it all before and watched as Obama failed to act when American interests were on the line. They listened again today when he said he would never hesitate to use military force, but they recall the chemical-weapons red line in Syria that disappeared and the refusal to act forcefully on Ukraine or Syria, and they see Obama presiding over a steady decline in American military strength. It’s hard to believe they will wince and withdraw after hearing U.N. General Assembly speech number seven from Obama.
Obama concluded this speech by saying: “We are called upon to offer a different type of leadership. Leadership strong enough to recognize that nations share common interests, and people share a common humanity.” That’s a nice summation of Obama’s approach, and as we look at the global mess he has created, those words should stick in our minds. Our next president will also have to offer a “different kind of leadership,” one that realizes that the conduct of vicious regimes in China or Russia or Iran or Cuba won’t be affected by warm words about “common interests.” Today was vintage Obama, and one can only be thankful that his next U.N. speech will be his last.
— Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict


Dershowitz: Obama 'Committing a Crime' with Iran Deal

Obama 'tricked' Republicans into supporting the Corker Amendment, which guaranteed Iran deal, says law professor.

By Mark Langfan, A7 UN Reporter

During a blistering attack on Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, Prof. Alan Dershowitz made the stunning accusation that Obama “realizes that what the United States is doing [with the Iran deal] today amounts essentially to a crime.”

“What is that crime? That crime is providing material support to terrorism. And, what does this deal do? It provides tens of billions, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars of material support for terrorism,” he intoned, at a demonstration by Iranian opponents of the Rouhani regime, held outside UN Headquarters in New York Monday .

In an later exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva, Dershowitz also stated he believed that the Republicans were “tricked” by President Obama into passing the Corker Iran Nuclear Review Amendment which, while framed as a bipartisan compromise, guaranteed in effect that the Iran deal would be approved.
We asked specifically if the Republicans are not as complicit as Obama in passing the Iranian deal, because it was the Corker Amendment made it possible for Obama to get the deal through Congress despite the majority's objection.

Prof. Dershowitz agreed: “I think it was a terrible mistake that the Corker Amendment was passed. I think the Republicans were tricked into doing it. I don’t think they thought through the implications of how this would allow the President to get the deal through with a majority against it, both the House and the Senate, and a majority against them among the American people. The big victims, though, are the American people, the people of Israel, the people of the Middle East, and people in the world who want to see Iran without a nuclear weapon.”
Prof. Dershowitz opened by stating he was speaking out “for the wonderful people of Iran who are oppressed by terrible leaders of Iran.” He added that “the UN has become a podium and a lectern for the most oppressive and the most reactionary forces” in the world.

Today, Dershowitz explained, “Rouhani is the propaganda President of Iran... Because he the smiling face of a puppet of the tyrannical leadership of the Ayatollah Khamenei.”

Earlier in the speech, focusing on Rouhani, Dershowitz informed the thronging crowd that Rouhani “has presided over the brutal execution of more innocent people than even what [the previous president, Mahmoud] Ahmedinjihad presided over. But, at least Ahmedinjihad was totally honest. Ahmedinjihad presented himself as a bigot, as a Holocaust denier, as a defender of repression, as a hater of the United States, as a hater of all things decent. He was replaced by a smiling face, a propaganda expert who actually presents a moderate image to the world, but it’s a false moderate image.”

Dershowitz then rhetorically wished he could summon all the witnesses to the barbarity, falsehood and lies of Rouhani’s face “smiling face.” He asked for “the hundreds of thousands of people who have been murdered in cold blood by this regime in the name of its reactionary and repressive philosophy; the wonderful Iranian homosexuals who were hanged to death for being homosexuals; the Bahias that were murdered, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews, who were murdered by this regime.” But, unfortunately, Dershowitz stated, “The one thing the Rouhani / Ahmedinjihad / Khamenei / Khomeini regime specializes in is killing off witnesses. The last 
thing this regime wants is truth.”

Then Dershowitz attacked the Obama-Iran nuclear deal on the grounds that he explained in his latest book, “The Case Against the Iran Deal.”

Critically, he added that the deal would enable “Hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran to enable them to increase their repression everywhere in the world, most especially in Iran, but also the power to export terror to Lebanon and Syria in support for the terrorist leader Assad, to Yemen, to Iraq.”


Article In Pakistani Urdu Daily On Iran Nuclear Deal: 'American History Also Indicates That Its Record Of Implementing Agreements Is Not Good'; 'America Has A Pre-Existing Military Plan Against Iran'

A recent article titled "Challenges and Perils Facing the Iran Nuclear Deal" in the Pakistani Urdu dailyRoznama Ummat argued that Iran has sacrificed much in order to reach a nuclear deal, but that there are still challenges ahead in the implementation of the agreement.
The widely circulated Roznama Ummat is a staunch supporter of Islamist political parties. The article, by S. Anjum Asif, states that Israel is making great efforts to thwart this deal, including trying to mislead the American public through opinion polls.
Following are excerpts from the article:
"America Is Making Efforts To Assure Israel That Despite The Agreement With Iran, America Will Not Trust Iran"
"Doubts about the nuclear deal between Iran and the international powers, which was reached after two years of lengthy and patience-testing negotiations, still persist. The forces that are opposed to this agreement, including Israel, the American Congress and some Middle Eastern countries, are making efforts to somehow stop the implementation of this agreement. Israel has opposed any agreement with Iran from day one and is still firm in its stance. The Israeli prime minister has openly acknowledged that Israel would never accept this agreement.
"American history also indicates that its record of implementing agreements is not good; so there are chances that America would maintain its aggressive approach to keep Iran under pressure. With regard to the American record of honoring agreements, a European expert said, on condition of anonymity: 'The American record of abiding by the spirit of agreements is very bad and disgusting because America always dilly-dallies. So accepting these agreements as set in stone would not be right.'
"Three weeks after this agreement [was reached] in Vienna, an Iranian representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) lodged a complaint against America and took the stance that America is violating this agreement. In the complaint, the Iranian representative drew attention to White House spokesman Josh Earnest's statement that 'despite the agreement with Iran, the military option against Iran will remain [on the table]. America has gathered information about the Iranian nuclear program over the years; so if needed, the use of the military option is still possible.'
"What is the purpose of this provocative statement by America? In fact, America is making efforts to assure Israel that despite the agreement with Iran, America will not trust Iran and keep a strict watch on its nuclear program and, if needed, will not hesitate to pursue military action.
"Military action against Iran is Israel's heartfelt desire. But the problem is that Israel is not in a position to take military action against Iran, especially against Iran's nuclear installations. It knows full well that it does not have the capability to destroy Iran's nuclear installations. So Israel's heartfelt desire is either that America should be made to act against Iran or that both of them should do it together.
"The Iranian representative to the IAEA further said that America has begun violating the agreement, whose ink has not yet dried. He made it clear that America cannot run away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, under which there is no room for clandestinely collecting information about Iran's nuclear program."
"Another Incident Could Further Endanger This Agreement; Obama Has Assured America's Gulf Allies That [The U.S.] Will Help Them If Their Security Is In Danger... [And] Supply The Latest Weapons"
"The reality is that international inspectors, who inspected Iran's nuclear facilities in the past, handed over the sensitive information provided to them by Iran itself to America and Israel, on the basis of which massive propaganda was conducted against Iran. The international inspectors, exceeding their mandate, provided secret and sensitive information on Iran to Israel and America, endangering its national security. So if the IAEA inspectors, under the new agreement, adopted a similar attitude that put the national security of Iran at risk, then the future of this agreement will be in danger.
"America will have to understand that Iran has sacrificed much to reach this agreement, and if its sacrifices are wasted due to American action, it will be dangerous for the whole region. The IAEA will have to fulfil its international responsibilities and must make sure that its inspectors do not share information gathered during visits to Iran with any other country – because Iran should not get the impression that international inspectors are committing an injustice towards it. This time, the situation is different. Iran has accepted international sanctions on its nuclear program, especially on its capability to enrich uranium, and it would like to act according to the spirit of the agreement.
"Another incident could further endanger this agreement. Barack Obama has assured America's Gulf allies that [America] will help them if their security is in danger, clearly meaning that America will supply the latest weapons to its Arab and Gulf allies, while it has already provided billions of dollars in weapons to those countries."
"Obama Wants This Agreement Passed By Congress Because He Knows That If Congress Rejects This Agreement Then There Will Be War With Iran"
"Despite Israel's open opposition to the agreement and announcement that it will never accept it, America is providing more lethal weapons to Israel. The presence of such large quantities of lethal weapons in the Middle Eastern and the Gulf states is not a positive sign. This will increase chances of a large scale war. A former American undersecretary of defense, Eric Edelman, has demanded that the American president increase American military presence in the Middle East, when America already has a large number of troops in the region, and any increase in those would result in increased tension in the region. A massive propaganda campaign is continuing in America and Israel against Iran. In this regard, Israel is trying to mislead the American people regarding the Iran deal.
"According to a poll by Quinnipiac University, 57 percent of Americans are opposed to the nuclear deal signed with Iran, whereas 28 percent are in favor of it. Similarly, in a poll conducted by NBC News andThe Wall Street Journal, 35 percent of Americans are opposed to the Iran deal, whereas 33 percent support it, and 32 percent did not express their opinion. In a July 2015 poll conducted by CNN/ORC, 52 percent of Americans were opposed to the possible deal with Iran, whereas 44 percent supported it.
"Such polls in America are conducted by sections which are under the influence of Israel, and those results are being played up. Its purpose is to get it [the nuclear deal] rejected by the American Congress. Such poll results directly affect opposition in the American Congress because if the American Congress rejects it with a two-thirds majority, then it would create a difficult situation for America, and to get out of the difficult situation, U.S. President Barack Obama can veto the Congressional decision. Barack Obama wants this agreement passed by Congress because he knows that if Congress rejects this agreement, then there will be war with Iran, with dire consequences.
"America has a pre-existing military plan against Iran, which starts with an attack on Iran's nuclear installations. Obviously, Iran will not sit idly by, and will launch missile attacks against Israel and America, which will destroy the peace in the region. But Israel will not refrain from its conspiracies, and is constantly working against the agreement, so that by wrecking the agreement with Iran, the ground will be prepared for joint military action by America and Israel against Iran. But is Israel ready to put its security at stake?"
Source: Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), August 31, 2015.


Good Riddance!

By Thomas Sowell 

Good Riddance!
The impending departure of Speaker of the House John Boehner gives the House Republicans a real opportunity to accomplish something. But an opportunity is not a guarantee. It is a little like a football team being first down and goal at the ten-yard line.
You have a good chance of scoring a touchdown from there -- if you can get your act together. But you could also find yourself having to settle for a field goal. Or for a missed field goal.
And of course you can also fumble the ball and have the other team grab it -- and run it all the way back across the field to score a touchdown against you. With Republicans, it would be chancy to make a bet as to which of these scenarios is most likely.
Speaker Boehner had a tough hand to play, given the internal splits among House Republicans. But Boehner's biggest problem was Boehner. And it is a recurring Republican problem.
Nothing epitomized Boehner's wrong-headedness like an occasion when he emerged from the White House, after a conference with President Obama and others, to face a vast battery of microphones and television cameras.
Here was a golden opportunity for Speaker Boehner to make his case directly to the American people, unfiltered by the media. Instead, he just walked over to the microphones and cameras, briefly expressed his disgust with the conference he had just come from, and then walked on away.
Surely Boehner knew, going into this White House conference, that it could fail. And, surely, he knew that there would be an opportunity immediately afterwards to present his case to the public. But, like so many Republican leaders over the years, he seemed to have no sense of the importance of doing so -- or for the time and efforts needed to prepare for such an opportunity beforehand.
Whoever the next Speaker of the House is, someone should have a plaque made up to put on his desk -- a plaque reading: TALK, DAMMIT!
If the political situation in Washington is such that many of the expectations of Republican voters cannot be met, then at least take the time and trouble to spell that out in plain language to the public.
Maybe the smug consultants in Washington don't think the public can understand. But Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections by doing what subsequent Republican leaders disdained to do.
In between, he accomplished what was called "the Reagan revolution" without ever having a majority in both Houses of Congress. He could go over the heads of Congressional Democrats and explain to the public why certain legislation was needed -- and once he won over the voters, Democrats in Congress were not about to jeopardize their reelection chances by going against them.
One of the secrets of Reagan's political success was a segment of the population that was called "Reagan Democrats." These were voters who traditionally voted for Democrats but who had been won over to Reagan's agenda.
Contrary to the thinking -- or lack of thinking -- among today's Republican leaders, Reagan did not go to these Democratic voters and pander to them by offering them a watered-down version of what the Democrats were offering. He took his case to them and talked -- yes, TALKED -- to let them know what his own agenda offered to them and to the country.
Today's Republicans who proclaim a need to "reach out" to a wider constituency almost invariably mean pandering to those groups' current beliefs, not showing them how your agenda and your principles -- if you have any -- apply to their situation and to the good of the country.
You won't swing a whole constituency of Democrats your way, and neither did Ronald Reagan. But he swung enough of them to win elections and to force Congressional Democrats to respect the "Reagan Democrats" he had won over.
There are issues on which Republicans can appeal to blacks -- school choice being just one obvious and important issue. And it is unlikely that all Hispanic voters want open borders, through which criminals can come in and settle in their communities.
But unspoken words will never tap these sources of votes, nor perhaps even convince Congressional Republicans. And if the quarterback is unsure what to do, being first and goal on the ten-yard line may not mean much.

Democracy In The 21ST Century

Western democracy always seems to be in crisis — which may be its greatest strength. When the dizzying velocity of change seems the only constant in the world, democracy has proved supple and stable enough to respond, adapt and evolve and, thereby, endure.
Among the challenges Western democracies face today, none are more surprising and complex than that posed by their steadfast bedfellow: freedom.
Unlike authoritarian & repressive forces, the problems posed by freedom are especially tricky because they stem from democracy’s deepest values and highest expression. They represent a bottom-up revolution led by the choices people are allowed to make rather than those they are forced to.Thanks to powerful and plentiful new technologies as well as deepening commitments to universal human rights, individuals around the world are enjoying an explosion of freedom.This phenomenon is apparent across the landscape, but nowhere more profoundly than in the far freer flows of people (immigration), goods (the global economy) and information (social media and the Internet).
The popular tools and ideas empowering individuals to chart their own course, however, are weakening the ties that have long bound democratic communities together. In myriad ways they are rattling the foundation upon which Western democracy has long stood — the common purpose and identity that has inspired what John Stuart Mill called the necessary sense of “fellow feeling.”
“Something has fundamentally changed at the foundation of society, in how we relate to one another,” said Marc J. Dunkelman of Brown University, whose books include “The Vanishing Neighbor.” “The truth is that you can’t expect the institutions that existed and worked well in one context of community to continue to operate as effectively when the ground is shifting beneath them.”
Start with immigration — a timeless phenomenon that presents new and contemporary problems. It is easy to forget that until the 1960s Europe was a source, rather than a recipient, of immigrants. And although the United States has long been known as a nation of immigrants, restrictive policies limited the flow until 1965, when policy changes helped introduce a new era of legal and illegal immigration.
The challenge of absorbing these newcomers has increased in recent years because of the increased ability of people once trapped in poor and distant lands to seek a better life in the West. “For all its hardships, migration is an enormous exercise of freedom by people to have better lives,” said Peter H. Schuck, a professor at Yale Law School who has written extensively on immigration.
“Managing that flow is increasingly difficult because governments are rightly sensitive to human rights concerns, so that they cannot simply turn these people away without affording them some procedural rights.”
As advances in transportation have helped make migration less expensive, new communication technologies are giving people a greater ability to stay in touch with their homelands and maintain their cultural distinctiveness. This, combined with larger critiques of assimilationist pressures and a greater respect for multiculturalism, diminishes the pressure on immigrants to adopt the beliefs, values and assumptions of their adopted countries.
Numerous studies have found that, instead of bringing people together, diversity can alienate people from one another, leading to breakdowns in social trust. Robert D. Putnam, a professor of political science at Harvard, has argued that diversity often leads people toward “hunkering down,” or self-segregation.
So too does the freer flow of goods and ideas represented by globalization. That is what Gal Ariely of the University of Haifa in Israel found in a study of data from 63 countries. “On average, in those countries that benefit from a more relatively free spread of ideas and information, flow of goods and capital, people are less likely to be very proud of their country, less willing to fight for their country and less likely to support ethnic criteria for national membership,” Mr. Ariely wrote. “Therefore, these results support the argument that globalization is related to the decline of national identity.”
Even as new technologies are empowering some people to see themselves as parts of larger communities, the Internet provides others with the freedom to create their own identities.
As a result, society is becoming more compartmentalized, said Francis Fukuyama, a political scientist whose books include “The End of History and the Last Man.” He noted that “technology allows people to organize better and share so that you have, for instance, many online communities that did not exist 20 years ago. You used to have to share things with people you didn’t have much in common with, except that they lived on your street.”
Mr. Fukuyama said this belied the notion that we are witnessing the wholesale breakdown of community and the social fabric. Instead, our social ties are evolving into new types of relationships and associations.
Because it represents profound change, this trend poses threats to the traditional foundations of democratic societies. Dovetailing with other powerful forces emphasizing individualism and anti-authority stances, it has been linked to remarkable declines in trust — in most major institutions as well as in fellow citizens — throughout much of the West, and especially in the United States, since the 1970s.
Advancing freedom is far from the only challenge to Western democracies, and its effects are amplified by other forces. Chief among these are the perceived failure of European and American leaders to respond effectively to various crises, including income inequality and economic stagnation.
The irony is that bonds that tie citizens to their communities, the shared sense of purpose and identity that greases the wheels of collective action in democracies, are fraying at a time when people are increasingly dependent upon ever more powerful states to solve difficult problems.
In the short run, this could have anti-democratic effects, especially through the rise of reactionary political groups that seek to limit freedom or the continued efforts of entrenched elites to impose their policies on a recalcitrant or tuned-out public.
If the past is prologue, however, democratic societies will evolve to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. “I think we’re in a period of epic lag where the foundation of democracy has shifted and the institutions haven’t shifted to reflect that new reality,” Mr. Dunkelman said. “The miracle of democracy isn’t that it somehow solves all the challenges facing the people that it governs but that it has proven malleable enough to develop new institutions calibrated to new norms.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Uranium Plants Go Poof!

Sent to me by my learned legal friend of long standing, a fellow memo reader and overall great person as well as his wife and son.  He always has excellent recall that is relevant and on point.

Sounded good at the time. Did they over speak?  Did they fail to implement because their rhetoric was empty from the start?  Did they lack the talent to accomplish their specified goals?

No one pushed them into this.  They spoke out of  conviction and then mostly fell on their face.

No wonder members of their own Party are ticked.and no wonder this is the year for the outsider. to make hay.  (See 1 below.)
An important city has fallen to The Taliban, "Put-in" continues to stick it to Obama in Syria, Americas's image shrinks and we remain without a strategy and impotent and yet, were this incompetent to run again I suspect voters would re-elect him.

While this has been happening, Obama is prepared to close our last uranium facility and this after Hillarious agreed to the sale of our other uranium plants to a Russian company.

Obama is opposed to nuclear weapons and yet, is not convinced Iran is building any.  (See 2 below.)
1)This was an article by John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in November 2014, promising that they were going to "get Congress going" and saying they would prove the skeptics wrong.

There's no crying in Hardball, either. 

Now We Can Get Congress Going

Reform the tax code, redefine ‘full time’ as working 40 hours a week, move on the Keystone XL pipeline—there are plenty of tasks ahead.

Americans have entrusted Republicans with control of both the House and Senate. We are humbled by this opportunity to help struggling middle-class Americans who are clearly frustrated by an increasing lack of opportunity, the stagnation of wages, and a government that seems incapable of performing even basic tasks.

Looking ahead to the next Congress, we will honor the voters’ trust by focusing, first, on jobs and the economy. Among other things, that means a renewed effort to debate and vote on the many bills that passed the Republican-led House in recent years with bipartisan support, but were never even brought to a vote by the Democratic Senate majority. It also means renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans’ health care.

For years, the House did its job and produced a steady stream of bills that would remove barriers to job creation and lower energy costs for families. Many passed with bipartisan support—only to gather dust in a Democratic-controlled Senate that kept them from ever reaching the president’s desk. Senate Republicans also offered legislation that was denied consideration despite bipartisan support and benefits for American families and jobs.
These bills provide an obvious and potentially bipartisan starting point for the new Congress—and, for President Obama, a chance to begin the final years of his presidency by taking some steps toward a stronger economy.

These bills include measures authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will mean lower energy costs for families and more jobs for American workers; the Hire More Heroes Act, legislation encouraging employers to hire more of our nation’s veterans; and a proposal to restore the traditional 40-hour definition of full-time employment, removing an arbitrary and destructive government barrier to more hours and better pay created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

We’ll also consider legislation to help protect and expand America’s emerging energy boom and to support innovative charter schools around the country.

Enacting such measures early in the new session will signal that the logjam in Washington has been broken, and help to establish a foundation of certainty and stability that both parties can build upon.

At a time of growing anxiety for the American people, with household incomes stubbornly flat and the nation facing rising threats on multiple fronts, this is vital work.
Will these bills single-handedly turn around the economy? No. But taking up bipartisan bills aimed at helping the economy that have already passed the House is a sensible and obvious first step.

More good ideas aimed at helping the American middle class will follow. And as we work to persuade others of their merit, we won’t repeat the mistakes made when a different majority ran Congress in the first years of Barack Obama’s presidency, attempting to reshape large chunks of the nation’s economy with massive bills that few Americans have read and fewer understand.

Instead, we will restore an era in which committees in both the House and Senate conduct meaningful oversight of federal agencies and develop and debate legislation; and where members of the minority party in both chambers are given the opportunity to participate in the process of governing.

We will oversee a legislature in which “bigger” isn’t automatically equated with “better” when it comes to writing and passing bills.

Our priorities in the 114th Congress will be your priorities. That means addressing head-on many of the most pressing challenges facing the country, including:

• The insanely complex tax code that is driving American jobs overseas;

• Health costs that continue to rise under a hopelessly flawed law that Americans have never supported;

• A savage global terrorist threat that seeks to wage war on every American;

• An education system that denies choice to parents and denies a good education to too many children;

• Excessive regulations and frivolous lawsuits that are driving up costs for families and preventing the economy from growing;

• An antiquated government bureaucracy ill-equipped to serve a citizenry facing 21st-century challenges, from disease control to caring for veterans;

• A national debt that has Americans stealing from their children and grandchildren, robbing them of benefits that they will never see and leaving them with burdens that will be nearly impossible to repay.

January will bring the opportunity to begin anew. Republicans will return the focus to the issues at the top of your priority list. Your concerns will be our concerns. That’s our pledge.
The skeptics say nothing will be accomplished in the next two years. As elected servants of the people, we will make it our job to prove the skeptics wrong.

Mr. Boehner (R., Ohio), is the House speaker; Mr. McConnell (R., Ky.) is currently the Senate minority leader.
2)This is a story of Obama shutting down our last centrifuges … after Hillary approved the sale of the lion’s share of our uranium to the Canadian firm that sold it to Russia, it all seems so complete now …We gave control of our uranium to Russia and now we have shut down our ability to make enriched uranium here in the US. Not only do our enemies have control of atomic means of defense, we have no ability to make any more even if we wanted to , which we don’t … not as long as there is one more illegal to feed, house clothe educate and make healthy.  Seems like it should be treason doesn’t it: to make ourselves defenseless in the face of grave danger; selling our means of defense to our enemy.  But it’s not … only I don’t understand why not --- oh yeah … the President has broad authority … ain’t that wonderful.

The reason this hits home is: this is from home.  When I was in the 7th grade, this atomic facility was being built at Piketon, about 25 miles or less from Portsmouth.  Not only was America still in the post war boom, this was a massive facility and my town went from a population of about 25K to 35K almost overnight.  You couldn’t go see it; it was all hush-hush.  We just knew it was an atomic energy plant.  I have seen photos of the site during construction just recently and it is big … really big.  Workers and supporting industries moved into town and Portsmouth just boomed.  Now, it has shrunk and has been in decline for decades, known now more its population of oxycontin addicts than anything else --- it is now a town of about 20K with much of it being boarded up.  Gone is the Detroit Steel mill, Selby Shoe factory, Williams Shoe factory, the largest singly owned RR yards in the US (N& W), a swimming pool the size of a football field, colorful train station and CCC murals, etc.  All that you can see now is plywood across old buildings downtown.


'Beyond Belief': Obama Moves to Close Last US Uranium Plant

Image: 'Beyond Belief': Obama Moves to Close Last US Uranium PlantThe American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio. (AP)
By David A. Patten   
The Obama administration plans to close the last remaining American-owned uranium enrichment facility in the United States, even as it moves forward on a controversial nuclear deal with Iran that permits the Islamic Republic to conduct ongoing and significant uranium enrichment.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has informed Centrus Energy it will end the American Centrifuge project in Piketon, Ohio, on Sept. 30. Notices have been issued to some 235 workers that their jobs are in jeopardy.

"We have concluded that continued support from the federal government for additional data from Piketon operations has limited remaining value," a joint DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration statement said, reports the Chillicothe Gazette.

"This is beyond belief," Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, responded in a statement. "While this administration is greenlighting uranium enrichment in Iran and legitimizing 6,000 Iranian centrifuges, they're shutting down domestic production here in America."

Wenstrup called the closure decision "a dangerous threat to our national security."

In its announcement that it will shutter American Centrifuge, the DOE announced the enrichment technologies developed at Piketon may be transferred to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

As recently as 20 years ago, the United States produced nearly 50 percent of the global supply of enriched uranium. Today, however, U.S. production accounts for only about 10 percent of the global supply, with Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Holland producing the bulk of the world's enriched uranium.

One Centrus Energy fact sheet warns: "The United States is at risk of losing its only future capability to enrich uranium to meet key national security needs."

Urenco USA, owned by a consortium of European firms, operates another uranium-enrichment facility in New Mexico.

Noting that Congress has provided full funding for the project, Wenstrup called the DOE's decision, which was announced on Sept 11, "a shameful and unilateral move." Centrus Vice President Steve Penrod reacted to the DOE announcement, saying "obviously we are disappointed."

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he was "stunned" by the administration's announcement. He met with workers at the plant this weekend to discuss their options.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the plant is "important to keeping our nation safe and secure for generations to come." He expressed hope the administration could be persuaded to reverse course on a decision that he termed "shortsighted."

Without the American Centrifuge Plant, the United States will have to rely on existing supplies of tritium, a radioactive material that about 12.5 years before it decays to the point where it is no longer effective.

Tritium can be used to boost or modulate the yield of a nuclear warhead. Tritium can also be produced by nuclear reactors.

A Centrus Energy fact sheet warns that cuts in U.S. enrichment capability are "potentially causing" U.S. nuclear plants to become dependent on foreign fuel sources. U.S. enriched uranium also plays an important role in powering U.S. Navy submarines and aircraft carriers.

You Have To Be A Masochist To Validate Obama's Legacy!

This from a very dear friend, a true patriot and fellow memo reader: "

Please forgive me for the long silence: I certainly find myself in full agreement with you on virtually all issues, especially regarding our hopeless foreign policy  and our lack of support for Israel. I also enjoy the photos of your family. It is in fact a shame that you really didn't run for president!... B--"
I understand the philosophical schism within the Republican Party plays to the advantage of the Demwits.

 I also understand that, regardless of philosophy, in order to get re-elected and enjoy the fruits and power of office it is far easier and more preferable to dispense goodies, run deficits and patronize constituents with government largess than to restrain oneself and to be fiscally conservative because you are playing with other people's money . The temptation to spend  "OPM" is a powerful magnet. Denial does not equate with favoritism and garnering votes.

Withdrawal from the government's udder requires a degree of patriotism and sacrifice that lends itself  to feelings of being disadvantaged, of victim hood.  Particularly is this so when you have traded a work ethic, self-respect for living on the dole. Then there are those truly in need of assistance and making Solomonic  decisions of who should receive versus those who should not causes great tremors in the Halls of Congress.  After all, the perks and power of political office are, themselves, most comforting.  It is not everyone who can vote themselves foreign of the impact of the laws reserved only for the governed.

However, what I cannot understand is why would any rational, red blooded American want to continue the legacy of Obama.  His domestic policies have failed, his shovel ready and energy programs were boondoggle bound from the start, his foreign policies have been unmitigated disasters, our military has been weakened to the point where we can and are being challenged and defeat by our enemies, who have risen in power and represent legitimate threats, is no longer an unimaginable dream. Yes, our very freedoms are at risk, our allies justifiably no longer trust us,  believe in our word or self-proclaimed commitments and our abdication of leadership has created vacuums which have made the entire world less secure. 

Every day America is being dissed.

What we face once again is the battle between aggression and passivity. As long as Obama is president expect passivity because he believes morality is on our side and retreat will eventually triumph!  (See 1 and 1a below.)

Meanwhile, elect Bernie, Hillarious or Doofus, should he run, and you will get an adherence to Obama's legacy which only a masochist would tolerate and/or embrace.

For the first time in several campaigns, Republicans have a slate of truly qualified candidates who are capable of running meritorious campaigns unlike McCain and Romney, who, had he been elected, would have probably been an outstanding leader but proved incapable of bringing himself to fight for the prize.

The American voter finally is being given a real choice between leadership and nonsense ,between the perpetuation of our Republic and all the virtues Norman Rockwell's so aptly portrayed in his historical illustrations of  "The Four Freedoms" versus Socialism's dark prospects, Hillarious' constant lies and deception and Doofus' likability but inability to ever be right on major issues.

Hopefully the eventual Republican nominee will offer legitimate hope born out of rational solutions that take our nation back to its Constitutional roots which have served us well for centuries. If voters are incapable of renouncing their attachment and embrace of failure and dependency then we deserve what we get for "the enemy is us."

Though God may Bless America, God cannot save us from ourselves.  That is the task before us in 2016 and whether we can rise to the occasion remains to be seen.

This from a dear and long standing friend and fellow memo reader who is not a butterfly:

The Butterfly Effect
"In Chaos Theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic, nonlinear system can result in large differences in a larger state."     
In other words, a butterfly flapping its wings in Texas can cause a typhoon in the Japanese Sea later. 
Think about it, in mid-20th Century America , an 18 year old hippie, freshman slut in a Honolulu college had sex with an older, alcoholic Kenyan politician on a student visa, who had a wife and child back in Africa.   
And from this "roll in the hay" comes the collapse and dissolution of the United States of America in the 21st Century.
Interesting isn't it.   
It makes you a firm believer in the "butterfly effect."
Tom Sowell's simple lesson in basic economics. (See 2 below.)
Another  argument in support of why the bottom is below where we are. (See 2a below.)
Hillarious opposes building a pipeline while ignoring the fact that America is already  covered in pipelines.

I guess she would oppose building new railroad routes as well.

Obviously her decision is not based on economic logic but is a bribing payoff to Obama and his love affair with anyone Green.

Hillarious has concluded union votes and energy independence does not matter.

This is further proof  why her election  would validate a continuance of Obama's miserable legacy.

Hillarious finds herself trapped between needing The White House and keeping Biden out while trying to create a distinction between herself and Obama's failed presidency.

In a recent interview Hillarious , three times, could not respond to how she would be different.
Humorous ads:

"I can usually remember Monday through Thursday.
If you can remember FridaySaturday and Sunday,
let's put our two heads together."


SERENITY NOW :"I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and
meditation. If you are the silent type, let's get together,
take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times."----------------------------------------------------


An Unteachable President

For Obama, it isn’t the man in the arena who counts. It’s the speaker on the stage.

Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping during the 70th annual U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 28, 2015 in New York City. ENLARGE
Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping during the 70th annual U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 28, 2015 in New York City. PHOTO: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES
Barack Obama told the U.N.’s General Assembly on Monday he’s concerned that “dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.” It’s nice of the president to notice, just don’t expect him to do much about it.

Recall that it wasn’t long ago that Mr. Obama took a sunnier view of world affairs. The tide of war was receding. Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. ISIS was “a jayvee team” in “Lakers uniforms.” Iraq was an Obama administration success story. Bashar Assad’s days were numbered. The Arab Spring was a rejoinder to, rather than an opportunity for, Islamist violence. The intervention in Libya was vindication for the “lead from behind” approach to intervention. The reset with Russia was a success, a position he maintained as late as September 2013. In Latin America, the “trend lines are good.”

“Overall,” as he told Tom Friedman in August 2014—shortly after ISIS had seized control of Mosul and as Vladimir Putin was muscling his way into eastern Ukraine—“I think there’s still cause for optimism.”

It’s a remarkable record of prediction. One hundred percent wrong. The professor president who loves to talk about teachable moments is himself unteachable. Why is that?
Some of the explanations are ordinary and almost forgivable. All politicians like to boast. The predictions seemed reasonably well-founded at the time they were made. Mr. Obama wasn’t really making predictions: He was choosing optimism, placing a bet on hope. His successes were of his own making; the failures owed to forces beyond his control. And so on.

But there’s a deeper logic to the president’s thinking, starting with ideological necessity. The president had to declare our foreign policy dilemmas solved so he could focus on his favorite task of “nation-building at home.” A strategy of retreat and accommodation, a bias against intervention, a preference for minimal responses—all this was about getting America off the hook, doing away with the distraction of other people’s tragedies.

When you’ve defined your political task as “fundamentally transforming the United States of America”—as Mr. Obama did on the eve of his election in 2008—then your hands are full. Let other people sort out their own problems.

But that isn’t all. The president also has an overarching moral theory about American power, expressed in his 2009 contention in Prague that “moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon.”

At the time, Mr. Obama was speaking about the end of the Cold War—which, he claimed, came about as a result of “peaceful protest”—and of his desire to see a world without nuclear weapons. It didn’t seem to occur to him that the possession of such weapons by the U.S. also had a hand in winning the Cold War. Nor did he seem to contemplate the idea that moral leadership can never safely be a substitute for weapons unless those leaders are willing to throw themselves at the mercy of their enemies’ capacity for shame.

In late-era South Africa and the Soviet Union, where men like F.W. de Klerk and Mikhail Gorbachev had a sense of shame, the Obama theory had a chance to work. In Iran in 2009, or in Syria today, it doesn’t.

Then again, that distinction doesn’t much matter to this president, since he seems to think that seizing the moral high ground is victory enough. Under Mr. Obama, the U.S. is on “the right side of history” when it comes to the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine, or the killing fields in Syria, or the importance of keeping Afghan girls in school.

Having declared our good intentions, why muck it up with the raw and compromising exercise of power? In Mr. Obama’s view, it isn’t the man in the arena who counts. It’s the speaker on the stage.
Finally, Mr. Obama believes history is going his way. “What? Me worry?” says the immortal Alfred E. Neuman, and that seems to be the president’s attitude toward Mr. Putin’s interventions in Syria (“doomed to fail”) and Ukraine (“not so smart”), to say nothing of his sang-froid when it comes to the rest of his foreign-policy debacles.

In this cheapened Hegelian world view, the U.S. can relax because History is on our side, and the arc of history bends toward justice. Why waste your energies to fulfill a destiny that is already inevitable? And why get in the way of your adversary’s certain doom?

It’s easy to accept this view of life if you owe your accelerated good fortune to a superficial charm and understanding of the way the world works. It’s also easier to lecture than to learn, to preach than to act. History will remember Barack Obama as the president who conducted foreign policy less as a principled exercise in the application of American power than as an extended attempt to justify the evasion of it.

From Aleppo to Donetsk to Kunduz, people are living with the consequences of that evasion.


Obama’s ‘Dangerous Currents’

Putin and Iran corner the U.S. on Syria, as world disorder spreads.

Russian President Valdimir Putin (L) and US President Barack Obama at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on September 28, 2015.ENLARGE
Russian President Valdimir Putin (L) and US President Barack Obama at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on September 28, 2015. PHOTO: CHIP SOMODEVILLA / POOL/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
One sotto voce argument the Obama Administration made for its nuclear deal with Iran is that Russia and Iran would return the favor by cooperating to settle the Syrian civil war. As so often in this Presidency, the opposite is turning out to be true.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. departure from Iraq in 2011 would reduce “the tide of war,” but war has returned with a vengeance. He said a “reset” would improve relations with Russia, but tensions are far worse than when he took office. He said the U.S. could safely wind down its military operations in Afghanistan, but on Monday the Taliban took control of the city of Kunduz from the Afghan government.

Even Mr. Obama, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, had little choice but to acknowledge the rising tide of disorder. “We come together today knowing that the march of human progress never travels in a straight line,” he said. “Dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.” In particular, he added, “we see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law.”


Nowhere is that clearer now than in Syria, the catastrophe that has killed more than 220,000, nurtured the Islamic State caliphate, and is now flooding Turkey, Jordan, Europe and the U.S. with millions of refugees. Far from cooperating with the U.S.-led Syria strategy,Mr. Putin and Iran are moving to replace the U.S. coalition and strategy with their own.

Mr. Putin said Monday that he will soon introduce a resolution at the U.N. Security Council calling for a coalition against Islamic State in Syria on Russian and Iranian terms. This means supporting Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus against all opponents, including those few trained and armed by the U.S.

This follows the weekend news that Iraq’s government, supposedly allied with the U.S. coalition, will share intelligence with Russia, Syria and Iran. It’s hard to fault Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for the decision. He’s watched for a year while the U.S. coalition has made little progress against Islamic State. His decision risks putting Baghdad further under Tehran’s sway, and pushing more Iraqi Sunnis into Islamic State’s arms. But desperate leaders will act in desperate ways.

The Putin-Tehran goal in Syria is part of a strategy to build an arc of influence that extends from Western Afghanistan through the Eastern Mediterranean. It seeks to diminish U.S. influence in the region, pushing on the open door of Mr. Obama’s desire to leave. The goal is to isolate U.S. allies in Kurdish Iraq and Israel, while forcing the Sunni Arabs to accommodate the Shiite-Russian alliance or face internal agitation and perhaps external conflict.

The White House knows all this but so far is doing little more than protest. Mr. Obama told the U.N. Monday that “there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo” in Syria. He added that “realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader.”

But how is Mr. Obama going to achieve that result? Mr. Putin is establishing facts on the ground each day as he builds up Russian air and tank deployments in Syria. While claiming to target Islamic State, Russian planes can target anyone Assad deems an enemy, creating tens of thousands more refugees. And Mr. Putin publicly laughs at the feeble U.S. efforts to build a pro-Western anti-Islamic State coalition.

Secretary of State John Kerry hopes to convene a new Geneva dialogue on Syria, but Mr. Assad has less reason than ever to compromise. He knows Russia and Iran, aided by Hezbollah’s footsoldiers, will at a minimum establish an Alawite protectorate in western and southern Syria. And even if Mr. Assad were to step into some other role in a diplomatic gesture, what prominent Sunni Syrian is going to serve in an Alawite successor government knowing it will effectively be run out of Tehran?
While Mr. Obama may keep harrumphing, Mr. Putin no doubt believes the U.S. President lacks the will to challenge Russia and Tehran. Even if the U.S. vetoes Mr. Putin’s U.N. resolution, Mr. Obama is likely to accept Russia’s presence in Syria and thus eventually the survival of Mr. Assad or some other Tehran-Moscow factotum in Damascus. By the time he leaves office Mr. Obama may claim it was all his idea.


Even as he concedes the growing world disorder, Mr. Obama still won’t admit that his policy of American retreat has created a vacuum for rogues to fill. He exhorted the U.N. on Monday that “I stand before you today believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backwards.”

Oh, yes we can, as the once promising world order deteriorates on Mr. Obama’s watch.


The 'Affordable Housing' Fraud

By Thomas Sowell

Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of "affordable housing," as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters.
A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just over $3,500. Some people are paying $1,800 a month just to rent a bunk bed in a San Francisco apartment.
It is not just in San Francisco that putting a roof over your head can take a big chunk out of your pay check. The whole Bay Area is like that. Thirty miles away, Palo Alto home prices are similarly unbelievable.
One house in Palo Alto, built more than 70 years ago, and just over one thousand square feet in size, was offered for sale at $1.5 million. And most asking prices are bid up further in such places.
Another city in the Bay Area with astronomical housing prices, San Mateo, recently held a public meeting and appointed a task force to look into the issue of "affordable housing."
Public meetings, task forces and political hand-wringing about a need for "affordable housing" occur all up and down the San Francisco peninsula, because this is supposed to be such a "complex" issue.
Someone once told President Ronald Reagan that a solution to some controversial issue was "complex." President Reagan replied that the issue was in fact simple, "but it is not easy."
Is the solution to unaffordable housing prices in parts of California simple? Yes. It is as simple as supply and demand. What gets complicated is evading the obvious, because it is politically painful.
One of the first things taught in an introductory economics course is supply and demand. When a growing population creates a growing demand for housing, and the government blocks housing from being built, the price of existing housing goes up.
This is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge. Economists have understood supply and demand for centuries -- and so have many other people who never studied economics.
Housing prices in San Francisco, and in many other communities for miles around, were once no higher than in the rest of the United States. But, beginning in the 1970s, housing prices in these communities skyrocketed to three or four times the national average.
Why? Because local government laws and policies severely restricted, or banned outright, the building of anything on vast areas of land. This is called preserving "open space," and "open space" has become almost a cult obsession among self-righteous environmental activists, many of whom are sufficiently affluent that they don't have to worry about housing prices.
Some others have bought the argument that there is just very little land left in coastal California, on which to build homes. But anyone who drives down Highway 280 for thirty miles or so from San Francisco to Palo Alto, will see mile after mile of vast areas of land with not a building or a house in sight.
How "complex" is it to figure out that letting people build homes in some of that vast expanse of "open space" would keep housing from becoming "unaffordable"?
Was it just a big coincidence that housing prices in coastal California began skyrocketing in the 1970s, when building bans spread like wildfire under the banner of "open space," "saving farmland," or whatever other slogans would impress the gullible?
When more than half the land in San Mateo County is legally off-limits to building, how surprised should we be that housing prices in the city of San Mateo are now so high that politically appointed task forces have to be formed to solve the "complex" question of how things got to be the way they are and what to do about it?
However simple the answer, it will not be easy to go against the organized, self-righteous activists for whom "open space" is a sacred cause, automatically overriding the interests of everybody else.
Was it just a coincidence that some other parts of the country saw skyrocketing housing prices when similar severe restrictions on building went into effect? Or that similar policies in other countries have had the same effect? How "complex" is that?
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

2a)Why This Isn't the Bottom 

Kevin Cook here for Steve... 

Stocks took a pounding Monday as the Healthcare sector acted like it wanted to steal the Energy sector's title as Most-Hated. That's what happens when the strongest stocks of the bull market suddenly surrender to political headwinds. There are lots of profits -- and lots of margin calls -- to get wrung out of the exuberance.

And the odds are good that we haven't seen the worst yet. Last Wednesday, I presented a "top ten" list to Zacks insiders of the catalysts for new lows in this correction. I'll share the Cliff's Notes of my 4 most controversial negative catalysts...

1) Recession fear & "valuation re-set" brings 14X next year's $125 EPS = S&P 1750

2) Flash Correction of Aug 24 is "a crime that the market will return to the scene of"

3) Q3 earnings decline of 6% is not yet priced-in to market until S&P 1875

4) Buybacks have exceeded free cash-flow for first time since 2009.

Bottom line: While I am nibbling on select stocks that look like great bargains right now, I am still mighty cautious given how far this correction can extend. So I am saving lots of dry powder. My bet is that a great big "buyable" low is coming to an October near you.

Kevin Cook
Senior Stock Strategist, Zacks Investment Research