Sunday, September 18, 2016

Takers And Obama's Encouragement. Chelsea Explosion Not An Act Of International Terrorism Because ISIS is ISIS Just As Is, Is, Is Once Was!.

Bombs going off in streets and ax attacks in malls are not related to terrorists because we are overly concerned about PC'ism. Initially we assume they are simply the actions of angry people engaged in work place violence until such time as we learn otherwise. Then, when we learn otherwise we do everything we can to soften our more harsh comments and conclusions because we do not want to offend.

But what difference does it make whether it is foreign or domestic to the leg that was blown off, eye that was lost etc?

AH, but we must not incite!

I have two beautiful very young granddaughters - Stella right and Dagny's new Facebook picture, left. Re-posting because, apparently, the photos did not come through in a previous memo.

I also have two older granddaughters who are also beautiful - Emily and Emma. Alas, no current pictures.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++In the next several weeks Trump will be confronted by and must overcome the following:

a) First, the debate interrogators will do their utmost  to show Trump is unprepared to run our government.

b) Second, Hillary will do her best to attack his character and qualifications so as to get under his thin skin and cause him to burst out with something the mass media folks can run with that proves why he is unfit and does not have the right temperament, as if she does.

c) Third, Trump must convince undecided voters, who know we need to change from the disastrous change Obama brought about, they can place their faith in and cast a vote for a person less presidentially qualified than even Obama was when he ran the first time.

If these undecided are of the view things are as bad as they truly are and as former Sec. Gates articulated, then the next hurdle is can/will they swallow hard and vote for Trump. Hillary as his opponent , perhaps, makes the act easier.

I believe, as I have consistently maintained, the debate will prove critical and can be icing on the cake for Trump or cause him to self destruct. Time will tell.  So much will depend upon the outcome, including the future of our Republic.
When it comes to economic conservatism, I tend to be simplistic.  Those who believe they are entitled to what they want/need and expect others to pay for their wants/needs are, in my mind, takers.  By turning their wants/needs into entitlements they believe this justifies their cupidity and allows them to feel resentful of conservatives who they describe as Scrooges and more recently were told they are basket case deplorable's.

I find an America of increased takers hard to contemplate.

Next, along comes those with causes to which these takers are susceptible. Why? Because they easily fall into the trap of believing they are the one's being taken advantage of since they have needs from birth control pills to free college and everything in between.  Takers seem always to have time for protests and many feel obliged to go beyond protesting and some go so far as to engage in destructive behavior eventually joining radical terrorist organizations ultimately engaging in atrocious and wanton acts of killing.

Politically, our current president has spent almost eight years exacerbating and stimulating these attitudes by encouraging and sponsoring wedge issues which have set various segments of our population against each other. Blacks against police, have nots against haves, the anti Wall Street Crowd against Capitalists and so on.

Consequently,  prior to the '60's what was once  a generally united nation has become a disunited one. This disunity has now manifested itself in the selection of two candidates whose main appeal is to the angry and disaffected.  One has been around for over 30 years, claims a record of significant achievements but lacks proof and the other is a neophyte, when it comes to government, but has a visible  record of success in commerce. Both are unwanted for various reasons; Hillary because she is deemed untrustworthy and a corrupt liar and Trump because he is crude,  has his own issues when it comes to veracity and is deemed a loose cannon.

Regardless of who wins, the issues and challenges the next president and our nation will face , in my opinion, could prove overwhelming because of our weakened political and military status.  These conditions are something I believe Obama purposely intended.  Though I was ambivalent regarding the  "birther" issue, I never was in doubt about the radicals Obama associated with and who influenced his thinking and helped cultivate his angst against how he viewed America and its history. His speech in Cairo was the first serious evidence of what he thought about our nation and set the basis for all his future courses of action from wanting to close Guantanamo to his treatment of allies, most particularly Netanyahu and Israel, to premature withdrawal of forces, to abdication of our Middle East position, to cow towing to Putin's actions toward The Ukraine, Syria, The Iran Deal  and you , by now, should know the rest without my having to regurgitate. (See 1 below Peter no relationship that I know..)

Obama's personality and temperament, his aggressiveness when it comes to disregarding our Constitution, his narcissistic personality and conviction that he is the smartest person in the room and puerile desire to surround himself with yes persons only adds to the mix of defeats our nation has endured during his presidency.

He can articulate his accomplishments and manipulate the statistics all he wants but the evidence is mostly contrary to his pronouncements.  We are more in debt, more divided, more challenged and less militarily prepared  against the array of challenges emanating from N Korea, China, Russia and ISIS than he will admit. Though I do not fully accept Sec. Gate's characterization of Trump, I do believe he is 'right on' in identifying the pressure points which our adversaries will continue to employ to test our vulnerabilities.

Granted, I tend to be a pessimist and continue to have a very concerned outlook because I believe expanded military challenges and confrontations are inevitable and I doubt Hillary will respond effectively based on her failed record and who knows with Trump.
George Will is an Establishment type and left The Republican Party when Trump became the nominee. Is he trying to "creep" back in with his op ed supporting Tomey,  who is a decent Senator? (See 2 below.)
Bombs are going off as well as stabbings.  I knew it would be only a matter of time before a "work place episode" took place in The Mall of America. Those pesky JV'ers are not to blame though because the Mayor and Governor of New York have assured us they are certain. Oh, they might have changed their minds. Stay tuned.  Probably just some of those "takers" I spoke about above engaged in pranks. (Explosion Rocks New York City, Police Suspect IED.)
P.S: Just paid our Southside Fire Department Bill - A 4% increase, but of course. no inflation!
1) How the Iran Deal Aids Hezbollah, Imperils Israel
TEL AVIV -- In April, Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) entered into with the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2015 was “pragmatic and minimalist.”

“The aim,” Rice said, “was very simply to make a dangerous country substantially less dangerous.”

One year later, the Israeli national security establishment continues to debate the Iran deal’s merits. Although the debate no longer garners headlines, behind the scenes experts are divided over the reliability of the deal’s oversight mechanisms and whether, even if Iran were to scrupulously honor its obligations, the JCPOA would place the Shiite theocracy intolerably close to the production of nuclear weapons.

One aspect of the agreement, however, is subject to little dispute in Israel. By decoupling negotiations over its nuclear program from Iran’s funding of terrorism and export of Islamic revolution, most here concur, the agreement has fortified Iran’s short-term capacity to destabilize the region. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was not comprehensive.

Although President Obama regularly maintained that the only serious choice the United States confronted was between war with Iran and the deal struck by his team, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued for a third option.

A better deal, Netanyahu insisted in his controversial March 2015 address to Congress, would have forced Iran to make much deeper cuts in its nuclear infrastructure. It would have required Iran to cease its threats to annihilate Israel. And it would have compelled Iran to end its aggression throughout the Middle East—at the moment Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is backing Islamists in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip.

Of special concern to Israel is that under the cover of the JCPOA, Iran has continued to arm Hezbollah—Shiite Islamist militants headquartered in the south of Lebanon who constitute Israel’s largest conventional threat.

Since the 2006 Lebanon War, Hezbollah has increased tenfold its massive arsenal of rockets and missiles targeting Israel. This Iranian proxy now possesses more than 100,000 short-range rockets, some with advanced guidance systems recently shipped from Iran, and thousands of precision missiles that can strike all of Israel’s major cities and inflict significant damage on Israeli military bases. Hezbollah also boasts a considerable supply of anti-aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-tank missiles.
By basing its rockets and missiles in towns and villages throughout southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has ensured that effective Israel defensive measures will result in thousands of Lebanese civilian casualties and appalling damage to civilian infrastructure. “Both legally and morally,” notes international laws of war scholar Geoff Corn, “the cause of these tragic consequences will lie solely at the feet of Hezbollah.” Nevertheless, if recent history is a guide, the international community will absolve Hezbollah of guilt while heaping blame on Israel for the likely carnage in Lebanon.

So what is Hezbollah waiting for? Why hasn’t it already attacked Israel? Eran Lerman, who stepped down last year as deputy national security adviser to Netanyahu, told me that multiple factors are restraining Hezbollah—at least for now.

First, the high cost Hezbollah paid 10 years ago in the Second Lebanon War established “straightforward deterrence.” Although much of the media portrayed the 34-day military conflict as a draw (and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hailed it as a “divine victory”), Hezbollah sustained heavy casualties and saw its rocket and missile arsenal severely degraded. A measure of the price Hezbollah paid is the quiet that has prevailed on Israel’s northern border for the last decade.
Second, Iran exercises “a derivative deterrence” over Hezbollah, according to Lerman, who is a fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University and teaches at Shalem College in Jerusalem. Iran considers the Islamist militant group’s fearsome stock of rockets and missiles as essential to its ability to deter an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. To deter Israel, Iran must rein in Hezbollah.

Third, Hezbollah is also derivatively deterred by the Syrian civil war. While thousands of Hezbollah combatants in Syria have gained invaluable battlefield experience with sophisticated weapons systems, Hezbollah has also incurred serious losses in the Syrian killing fields. The organization’s leaders know that their Sunni adversaries would leap at the opportunity to wipe out a Hezbollah fighting force weakened by war with Israel and, in the process, would exact brutal revenge on a thoroughly exposed Shiite civilian population in southern Lebanon.

These multiple levels of deterrence fall far short of ensuring that ordinary misunderstanding and miscalculation, Hezbollah’s Islamist fanaticism, and the tumult spread throughout the Gulf and the Levant by fighters loyal to Iran will not in the near term trigger an unintended, ruinous full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah.

The unfolding of events seems to have vindicated Netanyahu’s warning that Obama’s top foreign policy priority would exacerbate regional instability. Because America’s Sunni Arab allies largely agree with Netanyahu’s assessment, the deal has also diminished American prestige in the Middle East.

This was a foreseeable consequence of Obama’s unconventional version of balance-of-power politics: Instead of strengthening American allies—Israel and friendly Arab states—to restrain a tenacious adversary, the president devoted enormous effort to striking an agreement with Iran that strengthened Washington’s principal regional adversary at the expense of America’s local allies. In the effort to strike a “pragmatic and minimalist” deal, the administration has, contrary to Susan Rice’s assertion, made Iran—in the short run, at least—more dangerous.

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His writings are posted at and he can be followed on Twitter @BerkowitzPeter.

This year’s most consequential Senate race


From Erie in the west to Scranton in the east, Pennsylvania is flecked with casualties the stubborn economic sluggishness and relentless globalization have inflicted on industrial communities. But in this middle-class Philadelphia suburb, Tom Danzi knows that the economy is denting even his business repairing damaged cars.
His Suburban Collision Specialists once had 27 employees kept busy by drivers stimulating the economy by producing fender benders. Now he has only 17. Many cash-strapped motorists keep driving cars with unrepaired scars. So, Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, a Republican seeking a second term, recently came here to commiserate and to warn that if his Democratic opponent wins she will make matters worse.

Which she probably will if she gets to the Senate. There Katie McGinty, a creature of the public sector who began her government-centric life giving then-Sen. Al Gore environmental policy tips, probably would be a reliable member of an unleashed, and perhaps unhinged, Democratic majority: As Toomey’s seat goes, so, probably, goes the Senate.

If he loses, Republicans probably will lose control of the Senate, and that body probably will lose its character: Senate Democrats, who are situational ethicists regarding Senate rules, might further dilute the ability of the minority to require a 60-vote majority for, among many other things, confirmation of Supreme Court justices.
Toomey recited for a smattering of supporters here McGinty’s policy enthusiasms, which encompass Democratic orthodoxy and have a cumulative price tag, he says, of $980 billion. While Toomey talked, on the sidewalk in front of Danzi’s shop a small gaggle of McGinty supporters held signs to explain their prop, which needed an explanation: It was a large — the size of an ironing board — replica of the “friendship” bracelets children make at summer camps. This was the gaggle’s labored way of saying that Toomey is Donald Trump’s friend. Not exactly. Toomey supported Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) for the Republican nomination, then Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), and has not yet said he will vote for Trump. But the fiction could be fatal where this election probably will be decided — here among moderate voters in the “collar” counties surrounding Philadelphia. Trump probably will carry some Pennsylvania counties with at least 75 percent, so Toomey must sail between the Scylla of endorsing Trump and thereby offending all non-Trumpkins, and the Charybdis of not endorsing and fueling the Trumpkins’ constant rage.

In June, Toomey had a high-single-digit lead. Today, he is tied. He says that by Nov. 8 more money will have been spent against him than against any other senator. And for him, some Republican good news is problematic: In Ohio, the weakness of Ted Strickland, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Rob Portman, might cause Democrats to redirect money to McGinty. And some bad Republican news elsewhere is bad for Toomey: Because two Republican incumbent senators — Missouri’s Roy Blunt and North Carolina’s Richard Burr — are having more difficult races than anticipated, Toomey faces intensified competition for Republican funds.
Toomey surfed into office on the Republican wave of 2010, which was largely a result of a recoil against the Affordable Care Act. But even in that favorable environment he won by only 51 percent to 49 percent. He could, however, wind up owing two Senate terms to the ACA, which is unraveling in Pennsylvania, too: The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that by next year, only 28 counties will have three or more health insurers selling through the ACA exchanges, down from all 67 counties this year.

Toomey grew up in a union household in Rhode Island, earned a Harvard University scholarship, did well on Wall Street, then joined his brothers in Allentown, Pa., to start what became a successful chain of restaurants. He successfully ran for Congress in 1998 and in 2004 did something eccentric: He kept his promise not to run for a fourth term. After losing a Senate contest that year, he became head of the free-market advocacy group Club for Growth. Today he is among the most important Republicans regarding the most important issue, tax reform, relating to the nation’s most important challenge, the restoration of robust economic growth.

There is no really happy ending for Republicans in 2016. If Trump wins, the party’s rupture with its past is complete and irreparable. If he loses narrowly, there will be an orgy of intramural recriminations, and the GOP’s 2016-2019 will be like Spain’s 1936-1939, an exceptionally uncivil civil war. If Trump loses emphatically, Democrats probably take the Senate. Unless Toomey wins this year’s most consequential Senate race.


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