Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hardly. But according to one left-leaning PPP poll -- with a D/R/I split of 39/36/26 -- Mike Huckabee does lead the Republican pack heading into 2016. Curiously, his recent “offensive” comments seem only to have bolstered his appeal with the GOP electorate:
Following the controversy over his 'Uncle Sugar' speech Mike Huckabee has...taken the lead in the Republican primary race for 2016. He's at 16% to 14% for Jeb Bush, 13% for Chris Christie, 11% for Rand Paul, 8% each for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan, 6% for Scott Walker, and 5% for Bobby Jindal. 
There's been more movement than usual over the last month, with Huckabee and Bush each gaining 3-4 points, and Chris Christie and Ted Cruz each falling by 6 points. Cruz had been leading the field among 'very conservative' voters for months but in the wake of Huckabee's press attention last week he's taken the top spot with that group. He's at 20% to 15% for Paul, 11% for Cruz, and 10% for Bush. In the wake of Bridgegate Christie's supremacy with moderate voters is being challenged- a month ago he led Bush by 23 points with them, but now his advantage is down to 3 points at 28/25.
Fully 43 percent of respondents described themselves as either “somewhat conservative” or “very conservative.” By contrast, only 31 percent described themselves as “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” The rest were “moderates.” So while the D/R/I split seems to benefit Democrats, those who self-identified as conservatives out-sampled those who self-identified as liberals by double digits. Is this why Huckabee is the frontrunner? But if so this doesn’t really explain why conservatives are drawn to Mike Huckabee of all people and not, say, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio or Scott Walker. One possible explanation is name recognition. Unlike Huck, none of these candidates have run for president before; plus, candidates like Christie who are well-known are damaged goods at the moment. Another is that 61 percent of the population surveyed was 46 years old or older; therefore, the majority of conservative Republicans surveyed were perhaps middle-aged/elderly social cons who are attracted to Huck’s continued and explicit defense of Christian moral values. The sheer demographics of the survey could have given him the edge. Maybe?

But far more interesting, perhaps, is how much Democrats are utterly banking on Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016. Look at these numbers:
Clinton's leads might be modest but there's not much doubt Democrats would be in a far, far better position with her than any of their other potential candidates. Even with Christie's declining popularity he would still lead Elizabeth Warren by 9 points (43/34) and Joe Biden by 11 points (46/35) in hypothetical contests. 
Clinton continues to be as dominant as ever when it comes to the Democratic primary. 67% want her to be the candidate to 7% each for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, 2% each for Cory Booker and Andrew Cuomo, and 1% each for Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O'Malley, Brian Schweitzer, and Mark Warner. Clinton continues to have the strong support of every Democratic constituency- she's over 60% with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, and Hispanics alike.
If Clinton sits it out Joe Biden is the favorite, getting 32% to 16% for Warren, and 7% each for Booker and Cuomo. And if Biden doesn't run either it's Warren 24%, Cuomo 13%, and Booker at 11% with no one else over 4%.
There’s always the fleeting chance that an Obama-esque candidate emerges out of left field to win the nomination. I’m not ruling that out. But of all the candidates rumored to be running for president, no one even comes close to challenging Hillary for the nomination at this stage in the game. Granted, it’s early. But if she doesn’t run Democrats' electoral hopes and dreams fall to…Joe Biden. By contrast, the Republican bench is stacked with conservative reformers, many of whom have executive experience. So no matter who wins the Republican nomination, Republicans will presumably be well situated to recapture the White House in 2016. But if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run, Democrats could be in deep, deep trouble.

One of the many differences between advocates of freedom and supporters of statism is how they view “rights.”

Libertarians, along with many conservatives, believe in the right to be left alone and not molested by government. This is sometimes referred to in the literature as “negative liberty,” which is just another way of saying “the absence of coercive constraint on the individual.”

Statists, by contrast, believe in “positive liberty.” This means that you have a “right” to things that the government will give you (as explained here by America’s second-worst President). Which means, of course, that the government has an obligation to take things from somebody else.

How else, after all, will the government satisfy your supposed right to a job, education, healthcare, housing, etc.

Sometimes, the statists become very creative in their definition of rights.
You may laugh at these examples, particularly the ones that focus on seemingly trivial issues.

But don’t laugh too hard, because our friends on the left are busy with very grandiose plans for more “positive liberty.” 

The EU Observer reports on efforts in Europe to create expanded rights to other people’s money.
Austerity programmes agreed with the troika of international lenders (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are in breach of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to a German legal expert. …under the EU charter of fundamental rights, a legal text which became binding for member states in 2009, several austerity measures enshrined in the MoUs can be fought in courts. 
…His study highlights that the MoUs “have seriously limited the autonomy of employers and trade unions to negotiate wages.”
…Education and health care reforms prescribed in the memorandums are also questionable because they are focusing too much on cutting budgets, he said.
…He noted that the concept of “financial stability” was put above all other considerations. “But financial stability cannot be achieved without social stability,” he said.
But it’s not just one oddball academic making these claims.
…the Council of Europe’s social rights committee noted that public policies since 2009 have been unable to stem a generalised increase in poverty on the continent. The committee identified some 180 violations of European Social Charter provisions on access to health and social protection across 38 European countries. In the bailed-out countries, the committee found several breaches – particularly in terms of wages and social benefits. Ireland was found in breach of the social charter for not ensuring the minimum levels of sickness, unemployment, survivor’s, employment injury and invalidity benefits. Greece and Cyprus have “inadequate” minimum unemployment, sickness, maternity and old age benefits, as well as a restrictive social security system. Spain also pays too little to workers on sick leave.
This crazy thinking also exists in the United States. A former Carter Administration official, now a law professor at Georgetown, has written thatcountries with good policy must change their systems in order to enable more tax revenue in nations with bad policy.
Do states like Switzerland, which provide a tax haven for wealthy citizens of developing countries, violate internationally recognized human rights? …bank secrecy has a significant human rights impact if governments of developing countries are deprived of resources needed to meet basic economic rights guaranteed by the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. …The Covenant explicitly recognizes individual rights to adequate food, clothing, and housing (Article 11); health care, clean water, and sanitation (Article 12); and education (Article 13). The Covenant also imposes obligations on member states to implement these rights.
And the right to redistribution isn’t just part of the U.N. mission.

There’s also a European set of Maastricht Principles which supposedly obligates nations to help each expand the burden of government.
Articles 19 and 20 of The Maastricht Principles call on states to “refrain from conduct which nullifies or impairs the enjoyment and exercise of economic . . . rights of persons outside their territories . . . or which impairs the ability of another State to comply with that State’s . . . obligations as regards economic rights.” …recognizing the fact that secrecy for offshore accounts makes it difficult for developing countries to implement Covenant obligations. It therefore seems indisputable that offshore accounts impede the fulfillment of internationally recognized human rights.
You may be thinking that all this sounds crazy. And you’re right.

You may be thinking that it’s insane to push global schemes for bigger government at the very point when the welfare state is collapsing. And you’re right.

You may be thinking that it’s absurd to trample national sovereignty in pursuit of bad policy. And you’re right.

And you may be thinking this is a complete bastardization of what America’s Founding Fathers had in mind. And you’re right.

But you probably don’t understand that this already is happening. The IRS’s awful FATCA legislation, for instance, is basically designed for exactly the purpose of coercing other nations into enforcing bad American tax policy.

Even more worrisome is the OECD’s Orwellian Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which is best viewed as a poisonous acorn that will grow into a deadly World Tax Organization oak tree.

P.S. And the Obama Administration already is pushing policies to satisfy the OECD’s statist regime. The IRS recently pushed through a regulation that says American banks have to put foreign tax law above U.S. tax law.

P.P.S. Statists may be evil, but they’re not stupid. They understand that tax havens and tax competition are a threat to big government.

“170,000 rockets aimed at Israel”

/ Jihad Watch


israel-gaza-rocket_2399203b“What’s this fear that’s struck us suddenly? They’ll kill Jews? Today?” — Shimon Peres

No, those rockets are to send origami floating peacefully in the Israeli skies.

“’170,000 Rockets Aimed at Israel,’” by Tova Dvorin for Israel National News, January 29:
Israel’s Chief of Military Intelligence, Major General Aviv Kohavi, painted a clear and graphic picture of what Israel faces on a daily basis on Wednesday: a constant barrage of terrorist threats.
“Israel is surrounded by 360 degrees of actual enemies,” Kohavi stated, in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) quoted by Walla!.
“We call this period in time the “Era of Fire”, in light of the amount of missiles and rockets we face as a constant threat. There are about 170,000 rockets and missiles that threaten Israel,” Kochavi said.
“The fighting in Syria, as well as operation ‘Pillar of Defense’, has resulted in a slight decrease. However, it will increase again,” he added.
“For the first time the enemy now has the ability to hit Israeli cities hard.”
Kohavi issued a new term to describe Israel’s enemies: “paramilitary terrorist groups.”
“We cannot continue to call Hezbollah a terror group,” Kohavi maintained. “They have over 100,000 rockets and missiles, some of them advanced. The same can be said of Hamas. The line between a terror organization and a military organization continues to blur.”
“Today, Israel is threatened with warheads that contain half a ton of explosives – but also warheads that contain 900 kilograms of explosives,” Kohavi explained. “Our enemies are working on procuring weapons systems in the air and on the sea to break through our Air Force and Navy. IAF pilots can no longer move freely toward their targets and have to dodge missiles that threaten them.”
Kohavi also related to Syria, which has been caught in an all-out Islamic holy war since 2011. According to the Major General, the security threat is enormous: over 30,000 global jihad terrorists are concentrated there, and many are in training camps to bring terrorism abroad.
“Syria has become a magnet for terrorists in Europe, America, Asia and North Africa,” he noted. “The terror will not stay there, but will spill over into sleeper camps in Lebanon and Sinai and infect the entire region.”
Jihadists have been slowly crossing the border into Turkey, Kohavi stated, “where they are a threat to Europe. The distance between Syria and Turkey is not far.”
“We are talking about extremists clinging to extremist ideologies – anti-Western and anti-Modern ideologies,” he continued. “We are talking about exceptional cruelty and brutality close to our borders.”
In addition, Kohavi warned that Iran’s nuclear program remains an imminent threat.
“Iran’s nuclear program continues,” he stated. “It is just waiting on Iranian leaders to decide whether or not to produce one bomb, or more.”
Kohavi does remain slightly optimistic, however, about threats closer to Israel’s borders.
“The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in Gaza are under great distress right now,” he said. “This is a serious opportunity for the State of Israel.”…
Indeed. If the U.S. doesn’t bail the jihadis out.
Op-ed: 
The State of the (Dis)Union Speech
By: Diane Sori

We all know that Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a narcissistic LIAR of the first degree who will do any and everything to fundamentally change our beloved America into something totally unrecognizable to 'We the People.' And so on Tuesday, true to form, the man who is a traitor to everything America stands for stood before Congress and the America people, looked straight into the cameras and said he "would go it alone" if Congress did NOT work with him. In other words, the President of the United States...for all to hear...threatened Congress to either do his bidding or else his word and his word alone will be the law of the land...period.

"Whenever and wherever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that is what I am going to do," a blatant in-our-face abuse of his executive power...of our Constitutional declared system of checks and balances...and a clear violation of his oath of office, as in “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Gives new meaning to his previous threat to 'use his phone and his pen' to issue Executive Order after Executive Order to force the American people to accept and live by his socialist agenda. And when he spoke the words that "every mayor, governor and state legislator in America...you don't have to wait for Congress to act," he basically was saying to Congress that they were now politically impotent to do the job they were elected to do...as in to represent and do the people's bidding.

Hopefully these words...threatening and fighting words...will finally open Congress' eyes to see the blatant misuse of power with its overstepping of presidential bounds this man now speaks of...and will finally force those in Congress to grow a spine and call for the immediate arrest of Barack HUSSEIN Obama for refusing to uphold the very Constitution he swore to protect and defend...but I'm NOT holding my breath for it.

And the media...even FOX News...gave either NO or but cursory coverage to this most grievous of acts any president can perpetrate on the American people.

And there's more...focusing a majority of this speech on his intended policies...and using rude and snide rhetoric to describe what he can and will do without Congressional approval, Obama said he will start by issuing an Executive Order post-haste to raise the minimum wage for certain government contract workers. While this would affect less than half a million people, he strongly "urged" (as in threatened) Congress to follow suit for all low-wage workers in America...translating into having low-wage workers NO longer striving to improve their lot in life as in it's easier for them to just get by and rely on government handouts for the rest, for even with this raise in wage they would still qualify for his government handouts and freebies...thus remaining loyal to the Democratic party.

Clever little socialist isn't he...

And more highlights of note of this most grievous yet at the same time most boring rehash of his previous State of the (Dis)Union addresses and failed to implement policies, Obama included his discourse on early education with a focus on pre-K for minorities. Wanting universal pre-school for all 4-year olds especially those in the inner-city...something that would cost we taxpayers a NOT so pretty penny...what this man and his liberal bleeding heart cronies do NOT understand is that the best investment in America's children is NOT early education...the best investment in our children is a loving two-parent household that raises their own children until they are of school age. Parents should be their children's first teacher NOT the (freakin') federal government.

And Obama waited 45 minutes into his address to even mention his so-called 'legacy' achievement (gag)...the monstrosity known as ObamaCare. ObamaCare... flawed from its conception to its roll out...had Obama saying, "Let's not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that's already helping millions of Americans," forgetting completely the to-date five million+ Americans forced off policies they liked and could afford...forced off through cancellation...simply because those policies did NOT cover what now Dr. Barack HUSSEIN Obama has deemed as necessary medical coverage. And let's NOT forget all the 'verbal props' he used...stories of previously uninsured folks who now are just happy as clams that they're covered by ObamaCare...NOT saying that those same folks were actually 'covered' for treatment before ObamaCare by simply walking into any emergency room in this country as they could NOT be turned away.

Climate change...global warming and cooling...a fraud perpetrated and pushed by former vice-president Al Bore...I mean Gore...was given the Obama touch ad-nausem. Still NOT understanding that there is NO such thing as climate change...it's simply naturally occurring weather cycles that have happened since the Earth first formed and will continue until the Earth is NO more...Obama introduced emissions limits on power plants to cut pollution, and wants to cut through the red tape to help states build factories that use natural gas. He also "urged" (translation: threatened) Congress to end tax benefits for the oil industry and use revenues to invest in advanced vehicles that use cleaner fuels. He then spoke of eliminating $4 billion in tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industries "that don't need it" and instead "invest more in fuels of the future." But what he did NOT touch upon is the only source of true 'green' energy that leaves NO carbon footprint and would create millions of jobs in the process...nuclear energy. But Obama dare NOT upset the sensibilities and money flow to the party coffers of the environmentalists by even considering or mentioning this.

And of course he bloviated his usual blah-blah nonsense about income inequality...formally known as redistribution of wealth...and his so-wanted bi-partisan support on amnesty for ILLEGALS...NO need for me to repeat his usual rhetoric concerning both...for focus needs to be put upon Obama's trying to silence his critics who claim...and rightly so...that he is soft on terrorism and has done NOTHING to fight to win in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And so Obama reserved a major amount of time to address foreign policy where he, unfortunately, has more leeway to act without Congressional approval. As he spoke of ending a war instead of finishing...as in fighting to win...a war, Obama completely forgets that it's his announcing to the enemy our timetable for withdrawal that has allowed al-Qaeda and the Taliban to just sit back and wait until we've reduced troops and/or left completely and then walk-in and take back what American blood was shed to free. And this has already been done in Fallujah and Rimaldi.

And speaking of al-Qaeda, the terrorist group Obama once claimed was "decimated and on the run" he now has done a sort of about-face for the cameras and said, "Even as we aggressively pursue terrorist networks - through more targeted efforts and by building the capacity of our foreign partners - America must move off a permanent war footing." 

Only a 'sort of about-face' because Obama still refuses to admit that he was WRONG...totally and completely WRONG about al-Qaeda being decimated but hey, this is the man who is sending our taxpayer dollars and sending American guns and weapons to aid the al-Qaeda backed Syrian rebels in their fight against Bashir Assad's government. Can't outwardly condemn the very terrorists he is actually funding now can he....grrrrrrrr....

And another major foreign policy issue Obama spewed his true intentions on was Iran. This most miserable of presidents actually threatened to veto any new sanctions that Congress passes during ongoing Iranian nuclear disarmament talks adding that, "for the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed." Give diplomacy a chance...NO...we've given diplomacy too much of a chance as it is while Iran uses that time to complete their nuclear weapons quest and then try to wipe Israel off the map. Good going Obama...more proof of whose side you really are on.

And while Obama did address other issues, the one thing that irked me to my core occurred as he was wrapping up his address, and that was his use of one of our wounded warriors (Cory Remsburg) as a 'prop' to push his socialist agenda. Shameful beyond mere words as our wounded warriors, returning troops, and veterans are those that this man's policies have hurt the most...as he cuts their medical coverage, retirement benefits, and adds even more red tape for them to wade through to secure what's rightly theirs. These most brave amongst us who lay their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe and free at home deserve better than to be used as props by a man who dishonors and defames them every chance he gets.

And so the bottom line of Barack HUSSEIN Obama's State of the (Dis)Union address is that he will continue on with his destruction of our beloved America as he sees fit as our gutless, spineless Congress will most likely continue to sit back and do NOTHING even after being threatened and dishonored by a man who hates this country as much as we patriots love her.