Archive for December, 2015

The editors of the Mesabi Daily News didn’t pull their punches with Al Franken in this editorial. First, a little background is in order. After the terrorists murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, MDN sent emails to Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Nolan.

Apparently, Sen. Franken’s letter was the only letter that caught their attention. That’s because Sen. Franken said “As the FBI and other law enforcement officials continue to investigate a crime where 14 innocent people lost their lives only days ago, there are still a lot of questions that need answers. There are now reports that one of the suspects pledged allegiance to ISIS, and I believe that this, and all other investigative leads, must be vigorously and fully pursued.”

The editors didn’t treat Sen. Franken gently, saying “Suspects? They were mass murderers who died in a shootout with law enforcement; and they had a pipe bomb factory in their garage. Crime? This was no Bonnie and Clyde bank robbery couple. Franken’s response was so off base from the question, that another email was sent to his staff providing an opportunity to give a direct answer or at least call it terrorism.”

Sen. Franken’s response is predictable. He’s trying to spin things so people won’t notice that President Obama’s policies failed to protect those employees from ISIS-inspired terrorists. You remember ISIS, right? They’re the JV team. Wait. That’s so 2014. They’re “contained.” That won’t work. That’s too Novemberish. They’re the terrorists that didn’t pose an “imminent threat” to the homeland.

Seriously, as upset as the editors have a right to be about Sen. Franken’s response, it’s important to maintain perspective. Sen. Franken is just the politician who’s getting sent out to spin a mess. It’s President Obama that created the mess by pretending that ISIS wasn’t really a threat. The question now is whether ISIS will carry out another successful attack or not.

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In Rush’s attempt to defend Donald Trump’s indefensible statements about banning Muslims from entering the country, he argued that Trump’s ‘policy’ has historical precedent. Specifically, he said “Here is number eight US Code 1182, inadmissible aliens. This law was written in 1952. It was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress, House and Senate, and signed by a Democrat president. ‘Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by president. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.'”

Jimmy Carter did indeed use this law in 1980. It also doesn’t have a thing to do with Trump’s asinine statements because Trump didn’t call for banning people from a specific nation. Mr. Trump called for banning Muslims from the US. That’s illegal, according to Kimberly Guilfoyle, because we “are signatories to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” which prohibits banning “people based on their religious beliefs.”

Some people are scratching their heads, saying that whether you ban Iranians or whether you ban Muslims, the end result is the same. Actually, it isn’t. It’s permissible to ban people from specific countries based on the nation’s national security situation. It would’ve been perfectly legitimate if President Bush had banned granting visas to people from Afghanistan right after 9/11 because he could make a substantive case that they posed a significant threat to the nation.

Indiscriminately banning all Muslims, whether they’re from Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon or Jordan, isn’t legal because we signed onto the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prohibits that.

If you want to argue that we should get out of that Declaration, knock yourself out. I’m likely to agree with that. If we opted out of that Declaration, then Trump’s ban would be legal. Until we opt out, though, Trump’s hands would be tied.

As for Rush, he should practice what he preaches. He’s constantly lecturing people that “words have meanings.” Banning people based on their religious faith is prohibited. Banning people because they’re from a specific country because they pose a national security risk is permissible.

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Readers of LFR know that I’ve criticized the Agenda Media for almost 10 years. I especially criticized them when they didn’t do their due diligence on then-Candidate Obama. What’s happening now with GOP-leaning commentators is just as disgusting as what lefty pundits and reporters did in 2008. One of the biggest offenders this year is Andrea Tantaros, a co-host on Outnumbered.

Each time that Outnumbered talks about Trump, her eyes glaze over and she starts rattling off utter nonsense. Normally, I don’t have much use for Media Matters but I appreciate them highlighting what Ms. Tantaros said during Tuesday’s show. Particularly disgusting is Ms. Tantaros’ statement that “He has been front runner despite these controversial comments. Republicans criticizing him but again they’re saying to a problem “nope,” even though he’s coming up with a solution, even though they don’t like it.”

Tantaros said this about Trump’s ban-all-Muslims diatribe. Calling Trump’s childish diatribe a solution is insulting. The primary definition of solution is “the act of solving a problem, question, etc.” Ms. Tantaros, how does Trump’s diatribe solve the problem of stopping Middle Eastern terrorists entering the United States when it isn’t enforceable?

Trump’s statement barely qualifies as a coherent thought. (That’s still debatable.) It certainly doesn’t qualify as a solution. If Ms. Tantaros’ blather wasn’t enough, she continued with this exchange with Fox Business’s Sandra Smith:

TANTAROS: But, Sandra, from a messaging perspective, again we see Trump, though he says something that is inflammatory perhaps, right? Discriminating based on religion, right?
SANDRA SMITH (HOST): It helps him in the polls.
TANTAROS: It helps him in the polls because it’s a solution to a problem that no one will tackle.

I don’t know if Ms. Tantaros is that stupid or that dishonest. Sen. Rubio, Mrs. Fiorina and Gov. Christie have stepped forward with plans to fix the problem. Their plans include no-fly zones so displaced Syrians don’t leave the Middle East. Trump’s blather is based on isolationism that doesn’t attack the root cause of the problem.

If Ms. Tantaros can’t figure that out, she shouldn’t be on national TV.

Other repeat offenders are Charlie Gasparino and Eric Bolling. They sing Trump’s praises constantly, too. Yesterday on The Five, Bolling praised Trump before mentioning that there were hundreds of people at his campaign rally. Greg Gutfeld interrupted, saying that you don’t have to mention numbers if you’re right, the point being that Bolling tried using numbers of supporters at a campaign event to prove Trump was right.

In 2008, tens of thousands of people showed up for President Obama’s campaign events. We’ve suffered through 7 years of economic malaise and several years of apprehension about stopping terrorist attacks. Simply put, Bolling’s argument is flimsy at best.

This trio’s critical thinking abilities don’t exist when it comes to Mr. Trump. Rather than turning this post into a rant, though, let’s provide solutions to this trio of wayward souls.

Mentioning something in that day’s news isn’t a solution. Presenting a half-baked idea that’s been modified several times in the following 24 hours isn’t a proposal, either. Here’s a hint to this clueless trio: if a candidate has to constantly modify what he said, it’s safe to say that he didn’t think things through.

Here’s another hint: I’m not looking for a candidate that mentions a timely topic but doesn’t provide a thoughtful solution. Any idiot can mention things. The United States is in terrible shape because we’ve got a president who hasn’t provided a solution to the challenges facing this nation. We don’t need another narcissist who doesn’t think in terms of thoughtful, detailed solutions.

Finally, Trump’s supporters say that he’d “get things done.” I’d challenge that because it’s impossible to solve problems when the candidate can’t put a coherent sentence together, much less provide a solution.

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Daniel Greenfield’s article provides a worthwhile teaching moment on what’s constitutional and what isn’t. Greenfield’s article starts with him saying “Trump is a monster, a madman and a vile racist. He’s just like Hitler. Or Jimmy Carter. During the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter issued a number of orders to put pressure on Iran. Among these, Iranians were banned from entering the United States unless they oppose the Shiite Islamist regime or had a medical emergency.”

Later in the article, Greenfield wrote “Now unlike Muslims, Iranians were not necessarily supportive of Islamic terrorism. Many were and are opponents of it. Khomeini didn’t represent Iran as a country, but his Islamist allies. So Trump’s proposal is far more legitimate than Carter’s action.” That’s a non sequitur defense of Trump’s bombastic statement. It’s illegal to exclude people based on their religious beliefs.

Kimberly Guilfoyle explained, saying that “[we] are signatories to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there are international laws and treaties that we are bound by. You can not ban people based on their religious beliefs.”

Treaties that the president signs and that Congress approves in its advise and consent responsibilities are then treated as equal in legal strength as a US statute passed by Congress and signed by the president. Further, treaties that’ve been signed by the president, then ratified by Congress, can’t be repealed by executive order. Just like repealing statutes, Congress has to pass a bill calling for repeal of the law.

The repeal isn’t complete until the president signs the bill calling for withdrawing from the treaty.

Greenfield finishes by saying “Maybe the professional conservatives running around shrieking their heads off can calm down now long enough to have a rational conversation on the subject.” I’d prefer Mr. Greenfield taking a closer look at the laws that apply to banning people based on their religious beliefs. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights says signatories can’t deny people rights based on their religious beliefs. It doesn’t say that the US can’t ban people from specific nations, presumably because of the United States’ right to defend itself.

Josh Kraushaar’s article highlights a subject Democrats would rather forget. At minimum, they wish national security would just go away.

Kraushaar hit it right when he wrote “The signs of a pres­id­ent in deni­al over the threat of ter­ror­ism keep pil­ing up. Obama be­latedly ad­dressed the pub­lic’s fears in his Oval Of­fice ad­dress on Sunday even­ing, but he offered no new policies to deal with crisis. That it took four days for the pres­id­ent to un­equi­voc­ally call the San Bern­ardino at­tacks “ter­ror­ism” un­der­scored how his own in­stincts are at odds with the Amer­ic­an pub­lic’s.”

Kraushaar is right when he opines “The de­cision to give a na­tion­ally tele­vised speech without out­lining a change of course sug­ges­ted that ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials were wor­ried about de­clin­ing poll numbers and that he was try­ing to lim­it the polit­ic­al dam­age.” President Obama’s highest priorities since taking office have been to transform America to fit his rigid ideology and to worry first about the political impact of his policies rather than the impact his policies have on individuals’ and families’ lives.

That’s a major reason why Americans don’t trust President Obama’s national security policies. Another reason why people don’t trust President Obama’s national security policies is because he seems indifferent to national security most of the time. He’s shown more emotion fighting Republicans than he’s shown fighting ISIS. Still another reason why people don’t trust President Obama’s national security policies is because, in Kraushaar’s words, “the pres­id­ent’s as­sur­ances are be­ing con­tra­dicted by events around him.”

Mouthing the same BS is getting old. The people get the impression that President Obama’s lines remain the same, irrespective of what’s happening. If a terrorist gets captures, President Obama is likely to say “our home­land has nev­er been more pro­tec­ted by more ef­fect­ive in­tel­li­gence and law-en­force­ment pro­fes­sion­als at every level than they are now.” The truth is that President Obama said that hours after the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

I’ve frequently criticized President Obama for his use of straw man arguments. Ditto with Hillary Clinton. If I want to maintain credibility, I can’t sit and listen to Rush Limbaugh’s straw man argument. During his monologue on how Trump plays the media, Rush mentioned that Harry Reid criticized Republicans after Trump’s speech. Reid said “Donald Trump is standing on the platform of hate, and, I’m sorry to say, hate that the Republican Party has built for him.”

Rush’s knee-jerk reaction was disgusting and foolish. He criticized Republicans, saying “You Republicans, you can denounce Trump all day, all week, all month, and the Democrat Party and the media are still gonna say you laid the table for it. You can condemn Trump all you want, but it is not going to buy you any love or respect or admiration from the Drive-By Media and the Democrats.”

That’s breathtaking. When I’ve criticized Trump, it’s been substantively. I’ve never done it to win a Democrat’s admiration. Period. Apparently, Rush hasn’t learned the first rule of holes because he kept digging:

Now, folks, the conventional wisdom is that Trump is scum, that Trump is a reprobate, that Trump is dangerous, that Trump is obscene, Trump’s insane, Trump’s a lunatic, Trump’s dangerous, Trump’s got to go. Why join in with that phrase? Why join that crowd? We never fall in with conventional wisdom here.

If Rush thinks that it’s “conventional wisdom” to think that Trump’s a lunatic or a reprobate or that he’s dangerous, then Rush’s brain isn’t what it used to be. The definition for lunatic is “a person whose actions and manner are marked by extreme eccentricity or recklessness.” The definition for reprobate is “a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person.”

It wouldn’t require Einstein to defend the notion that Trump is a reprobate or a lunatic. Therefore, it isn’t conventional wisdom that Trump is a reprobate or a lunatic. It’s just the indisputable truth.

It’s time for someone to tell Limbaugh that his arguments about Mr. Trump are embarrassingly stupid. He used to be smart. While it’s possible that he’s still smart, it isn’t showing lately.

Back in August, Donald Trump criticized Erick Erickson for banning him from the RedState Gathering for Trump’s disgusting misogynistic statements about Megyn Kelly. It’s December and Erickson is suddenly he’s Trump’s biggest fan.

Erickson’s ‘proof’ that Trump is brilliant is that “Trump demanded we bar any Muslims from entering this country and bar any American citizen who is Muslim from re-entering the United States.” Erickson then said that we should set “aside the merits of what amounts to at least, in part, an unconstitutional position.”

First, let’s not set aside the Constitution to judge the merits of Trump’s political genius. Next, let’s see Erickson’s ‘logic’:

Donald Trump not only got himself to the right of all the other candidates, but also got every single one of them save for Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-TX), to align themselves with Barack Obama.

That’s chilling thinking, if it can be called that. Last night, when Carly Fiorina said that Americans wouldn’t “set aside the Constitution” just because Mr. Trump says so, Erickson apparently thinks that that’s aligning with President Obama. Here’s a little hint for Erickson. That’s putting yourself in a position of strength.

Further, Trump looks like a third-world dictator, not a presidential candidate. If this is a negotiation and I’m one of the negotiators, I’d start by telling Mr. Trump that his view of the Constitution is disgusting and that it’s time he stopped ignoring the foundation that the United States was built on. Then I’d tell him that his anti-constitutional policy is a nonstarter. Next, I’d tell Mr. Trump that his bombastic rant sounds suspiciously similar to President Obama’s disgust with the Constitution.

Once I’d demolished Trump’s conservative credibility, then I’d tell him that protecting the United States while obeying the Constitution is possible.

Idiots like Erickson are Trump enablers. Their message essentially is ‘Who cares if Trump ignores the Constitution like Obama? Who cares that his ideas don’t work?’ If ignoring the law and pushing policies that don’t work are all that’s required to make the GOP base happy, then they should be thrilled with President Obama.

With Donald Trump riding high in national polling, it’s almost foolish to think that he could finish third in Iowa. Still, that’s what this Monmouth Poll shows:

Since August, Trump has dropped 4 points while Dr. Carson’s support has essentially cratered. Sen. Cruz has seen his support almost triple, going from 9% in August to 24% in December.

The sub-headline, though, is Marco Rubio’s rise. He’s gone from 4% in August to 17% in this poll. He’s now essentially in a statistical tie with Trump in this poll. It’s important to note that this is just one poll so it’s foolish to read too much into it. It isn’t wrong to question whether it’s the start of a trend in Iowa.

Iowa has always been the tougher win for Trump because of the evangelical Christian vote as compared with New Hampshire. That part isn’t surprising. It isn’t essential for Trump to win there. It isn’t a stretch to think, though, that Trump finishing third in Iowa might stop Trump’s momentum.

Finally, with Sen. Rubio now gaining traction, will Jeb’s donors abandon Jeb! for Sen. Rubio in the hopes of pulling off the upset victory in Iowa? I’ve said for months that Jeb’s got an Iowa problem. It’s apparent that Iowa isn’t his only problem. If Jeb’s donors abandon him, they could push Sen. Rubio to a surprising victory in Iowa, which would give him momentum heading into the first primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Even a strong second-place finish in Iowa to Cruz would give him momentum going forward because New Hampshire usually rejects Iowa’s winner.

During his speech from the Oval Office Sunday night, President Obama called on Congress to trample innocent people’s civil rights in the name of national security, saying “To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”

That’s interesting since the Washington Free Beacon reported that 72 employees of the Department of Homeland Security are on the Terrorist Watch List. Either there are lots of terrorists working at DHS or that list isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. I suspect it’s the latter. Either way, using that list to deny people the right to protect themselves would be a great injustice to the law-abiding people on that list.

That doesn’t mean I think everyone on the list is innocent and should have the right to purchase weapons. What I’m saying is that the TWL isn’t airtight and shouldn’t be used to determine a person’s civil rights status. Sen. Rubio explains it perfectly during this interview:

Hillary Clinton insists that the United States must up their game to defeat ISIS. That’s true in one extent. Hours before the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama insisted that ISIS was contained. Hours before the San Bernardino terrorist attack, President Obama insisted that ISIS didn’t pose a threat to the United States.

Considering how frequently his administration hasn’t caught terrorists before they hit, there’s plenty of room for improvement from this administration.

It isn’t fair, though, to say that the Obama administration isn’t the only group of Democrats that need to pull their head out of their butts. It’s certainly fair to tell Hillary that she’s been almost as worthless at fighting terrorism as President Obama has been. Hillary’s statement that Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism” is frighteningly stupid. That’s one of the dumbest statements I’ve heard a politician make.

Hillary said “What happened in San Bernardino was a terror attack. No one is arguing that.” Except Democrat senators like Feinstein and Boxer from California, Murphy and Whitehouse from Connecticut and Schumer from New York. They’re the ones who introduced a gun control bill before law enforcement determined what had happened in San Bernardino.

Hillary herself brought up the issue of gun control in the minutes after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Mrs. Clinton didn’t ponder the possibility that terrorists had attacked. Instead, Mrs. Clinton played the role of lead ideologue instead of finding a solution to this crisis.

As long as Mrs. Clinton, President Obama and the Democrats put a higher priority on playing politics than they put on fighting terrorism with all of the weapons in the United States’ arsenal, they’ll rightly be seen as being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

President Obama has the opportunity of starting fresh with the right strategy of defeating ISIS when he addresses the nation tonight from the Oval Office. It’s a shame he won’t use that opportunity to make America safe again.