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Special Report

The Biggest Loser of Them All

By 11.12.14

Andrew Romano, a California-based writer for Yahoo News, spilled a lot of ink in recent weeks explaining why Latinos were not ditching the Democrats in this election (they moved toward the GOP by six percent overall, and more in some tight key races), why Mark Udall might “still have a shot in Colorado” (he didn’t), and why Republican governors were “flailing” in their quests for re-election (four of the five he named won, and the one who lost, the extremely unpopular Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, had long been a fifteen to twenty point underdog).

So he’s not exactly a credible pundit when he pens his newest morsel of Democratic hope-over-reality naïveté: that the big winner of the 2014 midterms was Hillary Clinton.

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The Obama Watch

The Silent Majority?

By 11.12.14

Last week President Obama consoled himself after his party suffered heavy losses by noting that “two-thirds” of voters didn’t show up to the polls. Obama presented himself as the voice of this nonvoting silent majority. He had “heard” them. Through telepathy apparently, he knows that they want him to continue his failed progressive agenda.

Richard Nixon once claimed a “silent majority” for himself too. But he never had the audacity to suggest its members didn’t vote. Nixon’s silent majority voted but didn’t protest. Obama’s apparently protests but doesn’t vote.

Obama may have set a new precedent for politicians on the losing side of an election. They can now poison the results by suggesting all the people who didn’t vote disapprove of them. Almost four out of ten voters didn’t vote in Obama’s election in 2008. But back then he wasn’t in the mood to listen to nonvoters. He was too busy promising a “fundamental” transformation of the country. As the most inspirational politician of his generation, he was going to usher in an era of maximum political participation.

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Politics

Run, Rubio, Run!

By 11.12.14

The word is that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will decide “within weeks” whether or not to seek the presidency. The dynamic young senator has been talked up as a potential presidential candidate ever since Florida voters sent him to Washington. However, if prominent pundits are to be believed, his White House prospects have been on a roller coaster: down when he voted for an immigration reform bill that angered some conservatives, up when he outlined an innovative new approach to dealing with poverty, and so on. Yet Rubio remains what he always has been: a top-tier candidate with a few vulnerabilities but numerous strengths that could make him the best candidate in 2016.

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A Further Perspective

$6.2 Billion for Ebolacare

By 11.12.14

When the Senate Appropriations Committee meets today, the Obama administration will mount a full-court press to foist its whopping $6.2 billion “emergency” Ebolacare spending plan on taxpayers. That’s $6.2 billion with a “b” — six times what the UN said it needs to end the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The White House is labeling it “emergency” funding. Not so fast. Read the fine print. Most of the money will be going to Africa, but not just to treat Ebola patients or for Ebola research. It’s a typical Obama administration spread-the-wealth scheme kicked up a notch to redistribute American resources to poor countries.

On August 28, the World Health Organization presented a plan to stop Ebola with a $1 billion price tag. The Obama proposal costs more because it would pay for a permanent healthcare infrastructure in African countries — constructing hospitals and laboratories and training healthcare workers and public health officials. That’s a massive transfer of wealth — literally twice the GDP of Liberia.

It is also a radical shift in foreign aid priorities that demands scrutiny. $6.2 billion is twice what we give Israel.

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Special Report

IRS Didn’t Find Missing Emails Because They Didn’t Look

By 11.12.14

In June, the IRS announced that a critical two-year segment of Lois Lerner’s emails were lost in a hard drive crash. Conveniently, these emails perfectly corresponded with the time when Tea Party groups were being targeted for extra scrutiny and possible criminal prosecution.

Since the IRS is a government agency, many reasonable people were convinced there had to be other places to look for records. Especially since the IRS expects us to live like hoarders, meticulously keeping every receipt to avoid running afoul of their agency. Now, five months later, the IRS admits that it still hasn’t searched any of its backup systems.

Judicial Watch published last week an update of its pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency:

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Politics

Twilight for Louisiana Democrats

By 11.12.14

It was a packed crowd at Huey’s, the downtown Baton Rouge watering hole named for the state’s most notable, if notorious, Democratic governor and senator, on Monday. But few in the crowd would have had much positive to say about the bar’s namesake. This was a Republican Unity Rally, and many of the state’s most prominent GOP politicians were gathered to show solidarity with Senate hopeful Bill Cassidy — who earned 41 percent of the vote in last week’s election, forcing Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu (42 percent) into a runoff.

The bar’s small stage was crowded with large personages: Sen. David Vitter and Gov. Bobby Jindal, leaders of the state’s two most prominent (and warring) factions; former congressman Jeff Landry, who will be running for Louisiana attorney general next year; state Sen. Elbert Guillory, a prominent black Republican now known for a very aggressive commercial opposing Landrieu.

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Special Report

The Downfall of the Muscular Christian Pastor Mark Driscoll

By 11.12.14

Famous Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll’s recent resignation from his Mars Hill megachurch and empire of church satellites is maybe vindicating to some of his many critics, who denounced his brash, hyper-masculine Calvinism. He was accused of plagiarism and inflating his book sales, but his downfall seems more related to a brusque, often obnoxious demeanor that ultimately turned many associates against him.

Driscoll, age 44, has been a successful pastor and religious celebrity for 18 years, and perhaps he rose too far too fast, without sufficient time to mature into his fame and responsibility. He is a dynamic preacher with an artful stage presence. And his creation of a robustly conservative and once thriving evangelical church network in the secular northwest, especially appealing to much vaunted hipster, often tattooed Millennials, showcased both his own skill and the Gospel’s capacity to appeal even in difficult terrain.

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At Large

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

By 11.11.14

November 9 marked the 25th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall cracked and Communist East Germany and its Kremlin overseers silently acknowledged Cold War defeat. As East and West Berliners began tearing the Wall to pieces, they began the dicey process of post-World War II German reunification.

Twenty-first century Germans believe that process is complete. Or at least they did. Current events may have tempered celebrations in Germany and throughout what was Communist-controlled Eastern Europe. On that same day in 1989 the dangerous and now demonstrably incomplete process of USSR dissolution commenced. The Kremlin’s current czar, Russian president Vladimir Putin, regards the Soviet Union’s dissolution as a historical tragedy. Many Eastern Europeans see Putin’s March 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula as a signal that the Kremlin intends to regain military control of Ukraine and the Baltic States.

NATO nations whose troops for some four decades defended Western Europe from Communist Russian attack also commemorated the Wall’s demise, as a moment of joy and immense relief more than victory.

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Political Hay

Ted Cruz Wins: The Shutdown Worked

By 11.11.14

“There is no possibility of a government shutdown. Remember me? I’m the guy that gets us out of government shutdowns,”
— Soon-to-be-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Time magazine

The lefties over at Think Progress were elated.

It was September 30, 2013, and they thought they had the GOP right where they wanted it as Texas Senator Ted Cruz plowed ahead with the idea of defunding Obamacare — an action that caused Democrats to promptly shut down the government — and blame not just Cruz but the Republican Party. The whole event was giving prominent Republicans in and out of office the political willies. 

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A Further Perspective

What Happened Last Week?

By 11.11.14

Just what happened last week on election day? And what is going to happen in the years ahead?

The most important thing that happened last week was that the country dodged a bullet. Had the Democrats retained control of the Senate, President Obama could have spent his last two years in office loading the federal judiciary with judges who share his contempt for the Constitution of the United States.

Such judges — perhaps including Supreme Court justices — would have been confirmed by Senate Democrats, and could spend the rest of their lifetime appointments ruling in favor of expansions of federal government power that would make the freedom of “we the people” only a distant memory and a painful mockery.

We dodged that bullet. But what about the rest of Barack Obama’s term?

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