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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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OCTOBER 19,  2014

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE –  AT 11:58 P.M. ET: 

OH PLEASE HELP HER, PLEASE – From Hollywood Reporter:  "Barbra Streisand sent out an email Saturday asking Democrats to donate money immediately to candidates facing stiff opposition in the November midterm elections.  'Have you seen Congress lately? It’s a mess,' Streisand wrote. 'And it’s only going to get worse if people like Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers continue to treat corporations better than people.'  Streisand, who teamed up with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in sending out the email, urged donors to contribute at least $5 immediately. 'We have to act now,' Streisand wrote. 'We’re running out of time and money.'"  I'm so saddened by Barbra's stress.  Please try to help.  Oh, and maybe someone should tell her that when she says Congress is a mess, we assume that includes the Senate, which is under Democratic control.

THE HYPOCRISY OF THE MIDEAST – It's been confirmed that the daughter of Ismail Haniyeh was recently treated in an Israeli hospital.  Who is Ismail Haniyeh?  He's the head of Hamas, Israel's fiercest enemy.  Guess blood is thicker than politics.  Oh, it's also reported that Israel just signed a deal to supply natural gas to Egypt.  A great advancement for peace.  Of course, the U.S. Government and, a few days ago, Jimmy Carter, have been trying to discredit the Egyptian government.  I guess it's too cooperative with Israel, and too pro-American.  Unbelievable. 

OBAMA FLOPS AGAIN – From Reuters:  "(Reuters) - President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.  With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.  Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity."  I've never seen a president lose popularity to the extent that Obama has.  He was completely oversold from the very start, and never lived up to his billing. 

October 19, 2014       Permalink

 

WE HOPE IT'S ACCURATE, AND A TREND – AT 11:32 A.M. ET:  The Republican electoral position appears to be improving.  From the Washington Examiner: 

When the new Congress reconvenes in January, voters increasingly want it to be a Republican-led one.

With approximately two weeks to go until the 2014 midterm elections, likely voters prefer them to produce a GOP-led Congress over a Democratic one, 49 percent to 44 percent, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg poll.

Registered voters — a larger group than likely voters — also said they’d prefer Congress to become led by Republicans, 45 percent to 43 percent, the poll found.

This favoring of Republicans is a first since the poll began asking about it five weeks ago.

Though Democrats carry a 10-point lead among low-interest voters, Republicans carry a 10-point lead among high-interest voters, the poll also found.

The poll of 1,172 registered voters — 484 of them likely voters — was conducted Oct. 10-16 with an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.56 percentage points.

COMMENT:  Good.  I hope it translates into real votes.  I expect the Dems to throw a curve in the next few weeks.  We have to be ready to handle it.  Or, there can be a convenient three-days-before-election news story, generated by the Obama press. 

I'm hoping for a celebration.  Already bought the hot fudge.

October 19, 2014       Permalink

 

OUTRAGEOUS – WHY ARE OUR TROOPS IN THIS POSITION? – AT 11:21 A.M. ET:  It hasn't gotten much attention in the Obama media, but American troops are being dispatched to Africa to help fight Ebola.  Is this what they enlisted for?  Is this right?  From Breitbart: 

If any American soldiers in Liberia contract the deadly Ebola virus, they will be quarantined, stabilized, and evacuated to a medical facility for treatment, said the Ebola mission commander, adding that the U.S. military hospitals that will admit potentially infected troops have not yet been identified.

“If, God forbid, one of these soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marine contracted this disease, as I mentioned, they would be stabilized, they would be quarantined, we would go through the appropriate protocols,” Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, commander of U.S. Army Africa, said on October 16 while briefing reporters in the Pentagon by telephone from Liberia. “People would be attending to them in the appropriate PPE [personal protective equipment]."

"As of today, no one has shown those symptoms. ... I’ve been here 30 days as of today,” he added. "And so they would be quarantined and then we would synchronize and work those actions so they would go back to the appropriate medical facility.”

Over 500 American troops are in West Africa, and according to Williams, none will directly be treating Ebola patients. However, he said that a select group of sailors will be handling mobile labs that contain bodily fluids of Ebola patients.

"I'm not an epidemiologist, but it's been shown that this disease is most manifest when handling bodily fluids--blood, other sorts of fluids, and there is no plan right now for U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to do that,” said the general. “Now, the exception is the mobile labs that were here, and they are triple-protective.”

“The sailors that are in there performing the confirm-or-deny on the Ebola virus, they are wearing PPE, and they are testing for this virus,” said Williams, later adding, “They are handling specimens of people who have been inflicted with the Ebola virus.”

Nevertheless, he indicated that the risk of infection is “relatively low.”

“As long as you exercise basic sanitation and cleanliness sort of protocols using the chlorine wash on your hands and your feet, get your temperature taken, limiting the exposure, the--no handshaking, those sorts of protocols, I think the risk is relatively low,” explained the general.

Regarding American soldiers whose duty stations are overseas, William said it is uncertain whether they will have to be quarantined before returning to those stations.

COMMENT:  I really think Congress should look into this, and determine why it is necessary for American troops to be doing this.  Aren't there African troops available?  They seem to fight a lot of wars there. 

If I were a parent of any of those American soldiers, I'd be outraged...and on the phone to my congressman and senators.

October 19, 2014       Permalink

 

UNHEALTHY POLITICS – AT 10:41 A.M. ET:  The Democratic Party divides the American public into ethnic and interest groups.  We're not Americans, we're hyphenated Americans, to the Dems.  There is a price to be paid for this cynical practice of politics.  From The New York Times: 

WASHINGTON — The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls.

“African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.”

Mr. Belcher’s assessment points to an urgent imperative for Democrats: To keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, as many are predicting, they need black voters in at least four key states. Yet the one politician guaranteed to generate enthusiasm among African Americans is the same man many Democratic candidates want to avoid: Mr. Obama.

Now, Democrats are deploying other prominent black elected officials and other surrogates, buttressed by sophisticated voter targeting efforts, to stoke black turnout. At the White House, the president is waging an under-the-radar campaign, recording video advertisements, radio interviews and telephone calls specifically targeting his loyal African-American base.

COMMENT:  What a sad commentary.  The fact is that the Democratic Party can't win a national election without the black vote.  African Americans are the most loyal bloc in the party, sometimes giving as much as 95% of their vote to Dem candidates.  And what have they gotten back?  Maybe it's time for them to ask.

The problem for us is that scare campaigns within minority communities often work.  This election is by no means won.  Candidates in many key races are separated by only a few points.  If the Dems can bring out their "loyal" voters, and if Republicans don't run an effective ground game, we can find on election night that we still have a Democratic Senate.

October 19,  2014     Permalink

 

 

 

OCTOBER 18,  2014

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:55 P.M. ET:

HOMETOWN STAB – From Breitbart:  "AUSTIN, Texas -- The good news keeps coming for Greg Abbott, Texas' Attorney General and the heavy favorite to be the state's next governor. After a week of negative backlash against an attack ad run by his Democratic opponent, State Senator Wendy Davis, Abbott enjoyed a bump in fundraising, website traffic, and volunteer sign-ups, and now has the endorsement of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Davis's hometown paper.  The Star-Telegram described their endorsement as one that 'must hinge on leadership,' naming Abbott as '[t]he candidate best able to outline and articulate an inclusive vision for all Texans and then lead the state in that direction.' The Fort Worth editorial board also praised Abbott's detailed policy proposals that are 'far more robust' than Davis's, mentioning the 'series of thoughtful and thorough policy prescriptions for education, transportation and healthcare, among other topics' on Abbott's website."  Wendy is right out of the 1960s – a one-issue candidate, and the issue is abortion.

THE TRUTH COMES OUT – From IBD:  "ObamaCare shoppers in search of the lowest-cost plan may come down with a mild case of rate shock when 2015 exchange enrollment begins next month.  An examination of next year's rates in the biggest city in 15 states and Washington, D.C., reveals that the cost of the cheapest bronze plan will jump an average of 13.9% for 40-year-old non-smokers earning 225% of the poverty level ($26,260).  In Seattle, the cost of the cheapest bronze plan, after subsidies, will soar 64%, from $60 to $98 per month, for individuals at this income level. Some other cities seeing notable gains include Providence (up 38%, from $72 to $99 per month); Los Angeles (up 27%, from $88 to $111); Las Vegas (up 22%, from $100 to $122); and New York (up 18%, from $97 to $114)."  May not seem like much compared to more expensive plans, but, for those on the financial edge, increases like that are damaging.  If the increases continue, it won't take long for the monthly costs to be prohibitive.  Weren't these the people the Dems were most worried about?  And these are the bronze plans.

SUPREMES OKAY TEXAS I.D. – From the Washington Times:  "The Supreme Court allowed Texas to enforce its strict voter identification laws in the upcoming midterms early Saturday morning. The decision, which came at 5 a.m., was unsigned and contained no reasoning.  The court rejected requests from the Obama administration and civil rights groups, refusing to re-impose an injunction against the law that was granted by a district court judge but lifted by the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday.  The law requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls before casting their ballot. Acceptable forms of ID include a Texas drivers license, a military ID, passport, or Texas gun license."  Voters must meet qualifications to vote, which usually include age, citizenship, and residency in a particular jurisdiction.  States must be able to verify those qualifications.  And yet, voter I.D. laws are vigorously opposed on grounds that they disqualify minorities.  How so?  Anyone who's legit can get a valid I.D.  I suspect the real reason for opposing voter I.D. laws is that they prevent the voter fraud that infects elections in some areas, especially some large cities.  Overwhelmingly, Americans favor those laws, minorities among them.

October 18,  2014     Permalink

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AND TO SHOW YOU JUST HOW CRAZY JOHN KERRY IS (SEE POST JUST BELOW) – AT 11:31 A.M:  Consider this from Haaretz, an Israeli left-wing paper that usually doesn't publish stuff like this.  We publish it as a public service, in case you know some young girls who seek a life of adventure:

The Islamic State group has established a women's institute, offering classes in everything from sewing to weapons training, according to the vocative website.

Called Al-Zawra, the jihadi finishing school is for women who are “interested in explosive belt and suicide bombing more than a white dress or a castle or clothing or furniture,” according to its mission statement.

The institute's goal is to “prepare sisters for the battlefields for jihad,” and equip them with the necessary skills to support Islamic State fighters.

The institute is also a recruitment tool to lure impressionable young girls to the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

The first post in a forum dedicated to the group tells the story of Nusaybah bint Ka’ab, a Muslim woman who joined her husband and sons in the Battle of Uhud in the year 625, after cowardly soldiers began retreating. Bearing a shield and sword, she sustained 12 wounds, but still managed to chop off the leg of the man who hurt her son, Ka’ab, according to the post.

Al-Zawra provides training in five disciplines: sewing and cooking, first aid, Islam and Sharia law, weaponry, and training in social media and computer programs for editing and design.

For women who want to train for jihad on their own, the institute offers advice on its website.

Trainee female jihadists are reportedly advised to get fit - “Take a half hour every day to go jogging. Keep adding distance every day in order not to be a burden on your jihadi brothers,” – learn first aid – “Watch videos of first aid operations on the Internet and try to apply them on your young sister,” – and to learn how to sew – “You are going to sew the clothes of Allah’s soldiers. Go to your mother and ask her to teach you about the sewing machine.”

COMMENT:  Isn't cultural development wonderful?  And remember, who are we to question someone else's culture?  All cultures have their own validity.

And John Kerry (see below) tells us this is related to global warming.

October 18, 2014       Permalink

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CRAZY JOHN – AT 11:14 A.M. ET:  If you have any doubts that American foreign policy is being fun from an insane asylum,  this should eliminate them.  From CNS: 

CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday night rejected any link between Islam and extremism practiced by the likes of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh), pointing instead to factors such as poverty among youthful Mideast populations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and climate change.

Yeah, people crash planes into buildings because the hometown temperature went up a degree in 50 years.  No doubt that's a cause.

Addressing a reception at the State Department in honor of the recent Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, Kerry told an audience of Muslim community representatives, diplomats and others that the world was facing “a very complex time, and there are many currents that are loose out there that have brought us to this moment.”

“The extremism that we see, the radical exploitation of religion which is translated into violence, has no basis in any of the real religions,” he said. “There’s nothing Islamic about what ISIL/Daesh stands for, or is doing to people.”

The situation was “complicated, and for other reasons,” Kerry said. “We’re living at a point in time where there are just more young people demanding what they see the rest of the world having than at any time in modern history.”

He said with large youthful populations in some countries in the Middle East, South-Central Asia and the Horn of Africa, “you are going to have a governance problem unless your governance is really addressing the demands and needs of that part of the population.”

Kerry said extremist violence was just a symptom of underlying causes that needed to be addressed. He spoke in that context of a need for a partnership – to pursue peace, shared prosperity and the ability to get an education and a job, as well as “sustainability of the planet itself.”

COMMENT:  This is like denying that the Nazi scourge in Europe had anything to do with Hitler's beliefs and teachings.  Just old grievances, that's all.  Nothing to see, nothing to see.

Some 13 years after 9-11, the leaders of the Obama administration still can't accept that we are fighting an ideology that exists independently of "grievances."  Many terrorist leaders turn out to be educated people from the middle- or even upper classes. 

Oscar Hammerstein II once wrote, in "South Pacific," that "you've got to be taught to hate.."  Now we're being told by John Kerry, undoubtedly echoing his insular and egotistical boss, that it just isn't so.  The teaching doesn't matter.  It's climate, and, of course, the Arab-Israeli conflict.

No wonder we're losing.

October 18, 2014       Permalink

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GOP RAPS EBOLA CZAR CHOICE – AT 10:46 A.M. ET:  With polls showing Americans rejecting President Obama's handling of the Ebola situation, Republicans are correctly jumping on the bandwagon in calling attention to Obama's blatantly political choice of an Ebola czar.  From Fox: 

Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill Friday criticized Ron Klain, President Obama’s choice to be “Ebola czar,” as a figurehead with no health background.

“Given the mounting failings in the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak, it is right that the president has sought to task a single individual to coordinate its response, “said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “But I have to ask why the president didn’t pick an individual with a noteworthy infectious disease or public health background?”

Klain, a longtime political hand, served as chief of staff to Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden but has no apparent medical or health care background.

A White House official said Friday that Klain comes to the job with "strong management credentials, extensive federal government experience overseeing complex operations and good working relationships with leading members of Congress, as well as senior Obama administration officials, including the president."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called him an "excellent choice."

But criticism came swiftly from the Republicans.

“The United States’ handling of the Ebola virus here at home has left Americans across the country petrified about the preparedness and response efforts, said House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.” The public is desperate to believe that we will be safe from Ebola’s spread. I was glad the president got off the campaign trail to finally focus on Ebola, but with this appointment of a 'czar' with no health background, he just got right back on.”

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, added, “This appointment is both shocking and frankly tone deaf to what the American people are concerned about. Installing yet another political appointee who has no medical background or infectious disease control experience will do little to reassure Americans who are increasingly losing confidence with the administration’s Ebola strategy.”

Both Upton and Murphy called for immediate travel restrictions to halt the spread of the disease.

COMMENT:  I'd love to hear what Democratic Senate candidates are saying about this defective appointment.  Probably nothing, as they don't want their names linked with Obama's.  (Contrast that with the almost religious welcoming of Obama in 2008.)  There certainly were better appointees available.  When the space shuttle Challenger went down during the Reagan administration, a star-studded panel was appointed to investigate.  It did an outstanding job.  The Obama administration is strictly Chicago politics.

October 18,  2014     Permalink

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Part I of The Angel's Corner
was sent Wednesday night.

Part II will be sent tonight.


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