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August 2015


My e-mails are crowded with columns on Charles Schumer…some praise and some doubt about his motives, and lots of reminders that he is a liberal.

When he ran for office Schumer had no middle ground pretensions…he was always a liberal and he gratified those who elected him by remaining a liberal. And, he did support and campaign for Obama in 2008. So did the majority of voters in New York state.

Now, he has defied the party line- an act of courage- and here is something you may not know. The late Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, Harb Zweibon and I visited Congressman Schumer’s office on a number of occasions and we were always welcome. We always pressed the case for the “settlements” in Israel and he was so friendly that he spoke at an early AFSI conference. Furthermore, although he supports the liberal line of a two state solution, he has never, not once, joined the chorus of invective against Israel and vociferously defended Israel’s blockade and actions in Gaza.

He was elected by liberals and now he has taken a stance which they oppose. Being angry at him for being an uber liberal is akin to being mad at a zebra because it is not a horse….rsk

Hillary’s College Plan: A Jigger’s Worth of Good Ideas, a Keg’s Worth of Bad Ones By The Editors of NRO

It is oft-remarked that the Democratic party is less an ideological enterprise than a mere coalition of interest groups. This is certainly true when it comes to higher-education reform, which Democrats reliably approach from the perspective of giving more money to college students, more money to college graduates, and more money to colleges themselves — all three groups, of course, leaning to the left.

The college plan Hillary Clinton announced today is not quite as bad as typical attempts, since it incorporates a few decent ideas from the right and center that did not make it into President Obama’s community-college plan. But it’s not much better.

Clinton’s offer is less aggressive than that offered by her opponents Senator Bernie Sanders and Governor Martin O’Malley: It promises, instead of their four years of free college, two free years of community college and four debt-free years at an in-state public university. But the fundamental structure is the same, and it is the same structure that has helped push college costs to the incredible levels where they are today.

Hillary’s plan is almost entirely silent on controlling the total cost of college.

Donald Trump’s Amnesty By The Editors of NRO

That Donald Trump has said something incoherent is not remarkable. But even for a campaign that has largely substituted adjectives for ideas, Trump’s recent incoherent comments on immigration were remarkable, coming as they do from a candidate who has made immigration the keystone of his platform. His intellectual failure is instructive, and the other candidates should learn from it.

Trump’s original proposal was to build a wall and force the government of Mexico to pay for it. The latter half of that proposition is too silly to merit much criticism and may be dismissed as bluster. The first half is a little more complicated: The actual geography of the U.S.–Mexico border ensures that there will not be a wall, though a series of barriers is desirable. But that is only a small part of the solution: Walls can be ascended or tunneled under, and must be patrolled; recent research suggests that more than half of new illegals do not sneak cross any border but simply enter legally and overstay their visas; no effective national system is in place to enforce our immigration laws at the critical place: the work site. “Build a wall” is at most a part of the broader solution.

In the Crosshairs of the Assault on Religious Liberty : Jonathan Last

The threat is not just to individuals but to religious institutions, and the latter are remarkably vulnerable.

In “The Decline—and Fall?—of Religious Freedom in America,” Bruce Abramson does an admirable job of presenting the historical and legal background of the current assault on religious liberty and, in particular, on the protections afforded by federal and state laws under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). His essay is especially poignant for its appeal to Abramson’s fellow Jews to rally to the aid of those (mainly, so far, my fellow Christians) caught in the crosshairs of an ideological movement on the march.

Given the essay’s compelling virtues, I only wish I shared Abramson’s faith in the enduring ability of the RFRA framework to withstand the forces arrayed against it. Although it has proved efficacious in protecting the free exercise of religion on the part of individual businessmen and women who dissent from today’s progressivist orthodoxies, the larger threat is not just personal but institutional, and it is accelerating.

Let’s take the most salient front, namely, gay marriage. At issue in the Obergefell decision handed down by the Supreme Court in June was not gay marriage as such; it was whether, in the name of non-discrimination and equal treatment under law, the state should confer the trappings, rights, and obligations of a millennia-old arrangement between men and women on couples who happened to be of the same sex. It was in these terms—that is, the terms of equality—that the gay-marriage movement had waged its campaign, and in those terms that it achieved its remarkable success.

Compromised John Kerry Has Much to Hide on His Ties to Iran. Kenneth R. Timmerman

Secretary of State John Kerry is becoming increasingly frantic as he takes his case for the deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal around the country.

His latest argument, that congressional disapproval of the deal will be the “ultimate screwing” of Iran’s clerical Supremo – and that we should care – verges on hysteria.

Whether it’s hysterically funny or a psychotic condition would be a tough call, if only the stakes weren’t so high for our security and the security of our friends and allies, starting with the Iranian people.

John Kerry has much to hide on his ties to Iran. As I revealed more than ten years ago, Mr. Kerry has long been sympathetic to the Islamist regime in Tehran.

In June 2002 – just nine months after the 9/11 attacks on America – Mr. Kerry headlined a fund-raising gala for the American-Iranian Council, a pro-regime lobbying group seeking to roll back U.S. sanctions and promote U.S. investment in Iran.

Obama vs. The Jews “You’d Think They’d be Nicer to Me on my Birthday.” By Daniel Greenfield

It was his birthday and Obama was grouchy.

“It’s my birthday and I’m going to be blunt,” Obama told the Jewish leaders meeting with him. When they complained that, “Words have consequences, and when they come from official sources, they can be even more dangerous,” he was unapologetic. “If you guys would back down, I would back down from some of the things I’m doing,” he warned.

By that he meant that if they stopped objecting to the Iran deal, he would stop accusing critics of his nuclear sellout to Iran of being money-grubbing warmongers.

Obama complained, “It’s been a really busy day. You’d think they’d be nicer to me on my birthday.”

His busy day had consisted of a meeting with the ineffectual UN Secretary General, lunch with Biden and a photo op in the East Room. But he also had reservations at Rose’s Luxury, an expensive Capitol Hill restaurant where ordinary people wait for hours to get in.

Hillary Clinton and the Benefits of Silence By Georgy Gounev

Hillary Clinton was wrong about radical Islam and she is wrong in her lack of understanding the immense complexity of the American- Russian relations

Let’s clear up a potential misunderstanding from the very beginning: the uniqueness of the strategy behind the election campaign 2016 of the former Secretary of State Clinton involves two layers of silence.

The first one is practiced by Ms. Clinton who for the first time in the history of presidential elections rejects any form of contact with the press. As far as the second layer is concerned, it involves deliberate silence of the sycophantic press with regard to the problem areas plaguing the record of the Senator or Secretary of State Clinton.

Similarly to her approach from 2008, she expects 2016 to be the year not of her election but rather of her coronation. In 2008, it was Barack Obama who prevented the coronation. In 2016, there is a chance for the Republican candidate to perform the same function.

In Dubai, Father Keeps Lifeguards from Rescuing Drowning Daughter to ‘Save Her Honor’ By Rick Moran

A father in Dubai took his family to the beach for a picnic and some fun in the sun, only to have the day turn into needless tragedy.

The father’s daughter began to drown a short distance from shore when lifeguards began the attempt to rescue her. But the father — who is apparently very strong — restrained the lifeguards from doing their job because “he prefers his daughter being dead than being touched by a strange man.”

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Lt. Col Ahmed Burqibah, Deputy Director of Dubai Police’s Search and Rescue Department said that this incident took place at a beach in Dubai.

“This is one of the incidents which I cannot forget.

“It shocked me and many others who were involved in the case.

Hillary’s Path to Greatness — a Guest Essay by Lisa Schiffren Posted by David “Spengler” Goldman

(New York Observer columnist Lisa Schiffren is one of the smartest journalists I know. A one-time Republican speechwriter, Lisa has written widely for conservative publications. I’m honored to offer this gem as a guest essay — DG).

Scene: A wood paneled room, no windows, the late hour at which posh N.Y. fund raising dinners end. Hillary Clinton enters to find three middle aged, intelligent looking women seated at a long table. Tea and cookies are proffered.

Good evening Secretary Clinton. May we call you Hillary? Thank you for coming to see us. You are wondering why we have summoned you. We dislike intervening in domestic politics. But…things are a bit dire at the moment. We believe that we can help you, and you can help us.

We see that your support is down. Voters don’t trust you. They don’t think you understand their problems. That nasty piece of work, the Grand Vizier Valerie Jarrett, has leaked information about forthcoming indictments for your transgressions at the State Department. She has boxes of evidence. The accusations of financial corruption are piling high.

We know this is upsetting. But you must be coming to understand that you are not going to be President of the United States. It is possible that you will not even win your primary.

For the record, it was always going to be an uphill struggle. Your presidency seems to cycle between your two parties every eight years. We wanted you to have it in ‘08. We expected you to win your primary and the general. We were shocked to see a great party nominate someone whose disdain for America was on full display.

Clinton Takes Taxpayers to School

To adapt BuzzFeed, 10 ways Hillary tried to buy young voters.

Hillary Clinton has something for everyone in President Obama’s political coalition, and this week her target is millennial voters. On Monday the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee, er, candidate rolled out a $350 billion proposal that she says will make college more affordable. The irony is that she plans to ramp up the federal subsidies that have for decades driven up the cost of a higher education.

Her campaign is selling the New College Compact as ground-breaking, but you’ll recognize the path: debt-free public education for all as a taxpayer entitlement. The plan would ladle federal money on states whose public universities guarantee loan-free education and community college. Mrs. Clinton would also expand a program that allows borrowers to cap repayments based on what they earn, among other ideas. She’ll pay for this frat party the only way Democrats know: taxing the wealthy.