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MY SAY: FOR OBAMA “POLITICS DOES NOT STOP AT THE WATER’S EDGE”

Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884-1951) was a respected Republican Senator from Michigan from 1928 to 1951. In 1945 he was the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Harry Truman, formerly a Democratic Senator from Missouri, became Vice President of the United States when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a fourth term in 1944.

In his excellent book “Harry and Arthur: Truman, Vandenberg and the Partnership That Created the Free World” Lawrence J. Haas describes their cooperation and how they navigated post war policies through Congress.

You can read a review here: http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/harry-and-arthur-truman-vandenberg-and-the-partnership-that-created-the-free-world-by-lawrence-j-haas

Vandenberg’s most memorable line was stated in 1948 “”We must stop politics at the water’s edge.” The wording may not be exact but the meaning was. In times of international turmoil our leaders must present a united front to the rest of the world and leave political rancor and partisanship at home.

Obama’s criticism of Donald Trump during his tour abroad was petty and nasty. But, he’s no Truman and never had the stature as a Senator that Vandenberg had. rsk

MY SAY: PAY TRIBUTE TO THE VETERANS IN THE 114TH CONGRESS

From the FSM National Security Team

Monday May 30, 2016 is Memorial Day when we honor veterans.

In this season of political partisanship and rancor we at Family Security Matters would like to pay tribute to members of the 114th Congress who have served in the military.

All legislators are willing to take a ballot for America. That’s democracy.

The following is a list of legislators in the Senate and the House of Representatives who were willing to take a bullet for our great nation.

Democrats are in italics for purposes of identification. To all we offer our gratitude for their service.

War wounds are not the stuff of Mickey and Minnie Dr. Robin McFee

Comparing the disastrous, dysfunctional and damaged Veterans Administration (VA) to Disneyland only makes sense in Fantasyland. Such was a key component of the message conveyed by, and that apparently was important to the latest Secretary of the VA – Bob McDonald. He was speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, DC just days ago when he tried to downplay wait times veterans must endure to obtain medical care from the VA, using a comparison with Disney. To everyone’s horror, except apparently the Secretary or his speechwriters and supporters (Daffy, Daisy, Pluto, Dopey and Grumpy), the blow back has been swift and loud, as it should be. Let me allow you to decide. Here is his full statement:

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important?” “What’s important is what’s your satisfaction with the experience.” “And that’s really the kind of measure I want to move to”, he said.”The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring”. “What really counts is how does the veteran feel about their encounter with the VA”, he said. McDonald continued to say that the “create date” metric, which measures how long a veteran has to wait from the moment they first ask for care, is not a “valid measure” of wait time. In March, the Government Accounting Office released a report citing delays in treatment for newly enrolled veterans.

Days to an appointment DO matter if you have a time critical illness. Call me crazy, but that’s kind of a basic thing we learn in med school. Just sayin!

One has to wonder what on earth the Secretary been doing these last 2 years in terms of revamping the VA. One has to hope he is not resting all the hopes and fears of wounded and damaged veterans on how a veteran “feels” about his or her encounter, on the off chance they can obtain medical care before the coroner is called. OK that was maybe a tad harsh. But seriously – 2 years on the job, with tons of cash at his disposal, and still the VA fails too many veterans on a daily basis. And these are people who NEED help. Secretary McDonald – this isn’t rocket science. Come on…three guys with slide rules and prehistoric computers brought back Apollo 13 from over 100,000 miles in space in less than a week. You had 2 years to institute change that would matter. Yet you are still relying on more studies? Give me a 100 billion dollar budget, and I would wager 10 of my best med students could come up with serious, effective solutions quicker.

Although not a newsflash to readers at FSM, the VA has been fraught with problems for years, with cover ups galore, and a government only too happy to toss more money at the issues instead of insisting upon real change. In recent times the dysfunction has become all too deadly for far too many veterans. Yet we continue to toss money at the VA without better outcomes. Consider for a moment that the annual budget for the VA is over $160,000,000,000. That’s the equivalent of 16 Donald Trumps, or several US states combined. But what has this largesse purchased for our vets? According to the NY Times and other sources, estimates as high as 100,000 veterans are denied critical services in a timely manner. And when anyone has the temerity to put restrictions or expectations for better outcomes as conditions for funding, the usual suspects cry injustice (government unions, politicians).

MY SAY: HILLARY CLINTON’S 1969 COMMENCEMENT SPEECH AT WELLESLEY

From the candidate that a majority of Americans- including Democrats- do not consider trustworthy….her words:

‘Trust. This is one word that when I asked the class at our rehearsal what it was they wanted me to say for them, everyone came up to me and said “Talk about trust, talk about the lack of trust both for us and the way we feel about others. Talk about the trust bust.” What can you say about it? What can you say about a feeling that permeates a generation and that perhaps is not even understood by those who are distrusted?”

HIS SAY: ON TRUMP BY VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

FROM Hillary Agonistes Facing a free-wheeling Trump, she is weighted down by tons of baggage. By Victor Davis Hanson **** posted below

“Trump is many things. But he is not the fascist that neo-cons now rail against (their warnings of constitutional usurpation ironically far better apply to the concrete record of the last eight years, in which Obama has simply suspended enforcement of federal law whenever he found it politically convenient to do so, and either has turned government agencies — IRS, ICE, EPA, NSA, VA, NASA, the Secret Service — into rogue extensions of the White House or staffed them with partisan incompetents). In truth, Trump has no delineated agenda, nor is he doctrinaire in the fashion of a 20th-century European demagogue. Instead, his message is unscripted bombast, and it runs on emotion, not ideology, geared not to some grand autocratic vision but to how to stay ahead of the 24-hour news cycle and channel and exploit the venom Americans feel for Washington elites. Trump has tossed a ball and chain into the wide screen of the political establishment and shattered the glass. No one — not his 16 former Republican rivals nor Hillary Clinton — knows quite how to handle him, since he can say or do anything on any given day that no other candidate would even contemplate.

Older than Clinton, Trump comes across as far more vigorous and vital; he’s a loudmouth, but his voice is not shrill and screeching as is Clinton’s; his political incorrectness both offends and attracts, while her political correctness merely bores and has rendered her a caricature of an opportunistic toady. A wheeler-dealer roguish businessman, Trump is not yet facing criminal indictment; a lifelong government apparatchik, Clinton is courting a rendezvous with the law. Clinton still fakes regional accents; oddly, the orange-haired, combed-over Trump never does. When Trump is caught lying he often just shrugs and says without shame that he has changed his opinions; when Clinton is caught lying, she denies the lying and usually attacks the questioner. In the end, Trump makes it appear that hosting The Apprentice leads to far better political instincts than Yale Law School and the subsequent establishment CV.”

His and Her Clintonomics Hillary says she’ll use Bill on the economy, but her policies are to the left of Obama’s.

In his 1992 campaign Bill Clinton liked to tell voters they’d be getting two for the price of one, and now Hillary Clinton is dusting off the same promise. She said this weekend in Kentucky that she’d put the First Husband “in charge of revitalizing the economy,” and she’s since added that “he’s got to come out of retirement” to raise incomes and put people back to work.

Mrs. Clinton’s remarks are a revealing turn, not least because so far she’s been running for President Obama’s third term. But since Democrats seem to agree that the economic status quo is dismal, and thus they can’t run on Mr. Obama’s record, the presumptive nominee is trying to confuse voters with halcyon memories of the 1990s boom.

The Clinton gang has since “clarified” that Mr. Clinton’s ministrations will be confined to distressed U.S. regions like inner cities or coal country. Maybe they realized that vowing to outsource one of her most important jobs might diminish her as a candidate.

Her larger problem is that the Obama-era Democratic Party has repudiated the Democratic Party’s Bill-era centrist agenda. They now call themselves progressives, not New Democrats, and they take their marching orders from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, not Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan. Mrs. Clinton has accommodated this trend to the pre-Bill left.

The Clinton contradiction is that she claims she’ll produce economic results like her husband did with economic policies like Mr. Obama’s. For the record, let’s lay out the differences between the agenda that helped drive the prosperity of 1993-2001, when the U.S. economy expanded by 3.8% annually on average, and what Mrs. Clinton is proposing to close out the 2010s, when GDP growth has failed to exceed 2.5% in a single year.

• Taxes. Bill Clinton raised income taxes in 1993 to a top rate of 39.6%, but Democrats lost Congress in 1994 and he never did that again. In 1997 Mr. Clinton even compromised with the Newt Gingrich Republicans and cut the top capital gains tax rate to 20% from 28%. His wife wants to nearly double the top tax rate on long-term cap gains to 43.4% from 23.8%, in the name of ending “quarterly capitalism.” That’s higher than the 40% rate under Jimmy Carter, and she’d also impose a minimum tax on millionaires and above, details to come. CONTINUE AT SITE

MY SAY: THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE? THIRD RATE STRATEGY

The high dudgeon of the Never Trumpsters is so ridiculous. The best they can offer is a sad list of also rans who lost. Do conservatives really want to subvert the popular, democratically chosen candidate when the mother of political evils is the other choice? Puleez! I like and respect Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse. He has a great future in the GOP? Why squander resources on a quixotic quest when he has so much to bring to the Senate?

Andy McCarthy and Roger Kimball are among some conservatives whose disdain for Trump was known. They have both come around to conceding that Hillary Clinton is worse. …Far worse…..rsk

DAVID HOROWITZ ON THE DESTRUCTIVE PUSH FOR A THIRD PART CANDIDATE

Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew
While millions of Republican primary voters have chosen Donald Trump as the party’s nominee, Bill Kristol and a small but well-heeled group of Washington insiders are preparing a third party effort to block Trump’s path to the White House.

Their plan is to run a candidate who could win three states and enough votes in the electoral college to deny both parties the needed majority. This would throw the election into the House of Representatives, which would then elect a candidate the Kristol group found acceptable. The fact that this would nullify the largest vote ever registered for a Republican primary candidate, the fact that it would jeopardize the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, and more than likely make Hillary Clinton president, apparently doesn’t faze Kristol and company at all. This is to give elitism a bad name.

One would think that the Trump opponents would have substantial reasons for pursuing such a destructive course. But examination of their expressed reasons shows that one would be wrong. Their chief justification for opposing Trump is that he is not a “constitutional conservative” and in fact is “without principles” and therefore dangerous. The evidence offered is that he has supported Democrats in the past and changed his positions on important issues.

Yet in seeking a candidate to carry their standard, the Kristol group has approached billionaire investor Mark Cuban, a figure uncannily similar to Trump. During the presidential election year 2012, the Hollywood Reporter noted that, “in February, billionaire sports and media mogul Mark Cuban was seen hugging Barack Obama at a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser for the president’s re-election bid.” Cuban was also a visible campaigner for Obama four years earlier. A fan of Obamacare, Cuban wrote a column for Huffington Post just before the 2012 election titled, “I would vote for Gov. Romney if he were a Democrat.”

Now it is true that Mark Cuban eventually had second thoughts about Obama, and perhaps even about Democrats. But what these facts show is that Kristol and his allies are willing to elect anyone but Trump, even if they have even fewer principles than the man they hate.

A second charge against Trump is that his character is so bad (worse than Hillary’s or Bill’s?) that no right-thinking Republican could regard him as White House worthy. “I just don’t think he has the character to be president of the United States,” Kristol declared in a recent interview:

It’s beyond any particular issue I disagree with him on, or who he picks as VP or something. The man in the last five days has embraced Mike Tyson, the endorsement of a convicted rapist in Indiana… He likes toughness, Donald Trump, that’s great, he likes rapists.

This would be fairly damning if the facts were as black and white as Kristol presents them. But as anyone familiar with the sports world would know, Mike Tyson had a dramatic change of heart following his release from prison — rejected the life he had led, repented his past, and committed himself to a course of humility and service to others.

Here is an online news summary of the transformation: “Former boxing champ Mike Tyson has dedicated the rest of his life to caring for others – because he considers himself a ‘pig’ who has ‘wasted’ so many years of his life.”

Does US News Degrade Law Schools? By Richard Baehr

Engines of Anxiety: Academic Rankings, Reputation and Accountability by Wendy Nelson Espeland and Michael Sauder, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 2016

The three weekly news magazines, Time, Newsweek and US News and World Report, at one time printed and sold around ten million copies combined each week. All have been greatly reduced in scope and circulation, unable to compete as weekly new journals with rapid-fire instant news feeds available from online sources or 24-hour cable news channels. One of the three, US News, under the direction of its owner Mortimer Zuckerman, chose a different course a quarter century back: becoming the bible of annual higher education rankings. This venture has proven to be a great success, whatever the profitability of the enterprise for the company. Today, US News rankings of undergraduate universities and colleges, top high schools, and graduate and professional programs, have become a primary source of information for applicants, faculty, school staffs, employers, and alumni, and an important measure of status and achievement for the various schools and programs.
The ratings have always been controversial. How do you assess the quality of a program? Are the annual surveys measuring the right things? Are the weightings of various factors which produce a rating score and a ranking reflective of what should matter most in evaluating schools or programs? Do the ratings capture the student experience and the value of a college or graduate program? Are the distinctions among schools real, or just a factor of a need to rank order? Can the ratings be gamed? Do the ratings themselves influence some of the scores that are measured in the next ratings cycle, rather than just neutrally present a status report on a school or program?

Wendy Nelson Espeland and Michael Sauder’s new book, Engines of Anxiety, focuses on the US News rankings for one particular professional program, law schools. The authors argue that whereas there are alternative rankings for other professional schools or graduate programs, such as business schools, which provide alternatives to the US News survey, and there are many books which try to evaluate and score undergraduate programs, there is no real alternative to the US News rankings of law schools. US News divides undergraduate colleges and universities into national universities, and national small colleges, as well as regional universities and colleges. A business school can pick and choose one of the surveys which ranks its program, or components of its program highly, and sell that to prospective students. But US News has no real competition for its law school rankings (latest rankings here), for which one ranking system is applied to all law schools, virtually all of whom comply with the “system” and submit their data to the magazine each year.

The authors argue that the high compliance rate relates to the fact that US News will estimate a law school’s data for each factor measured when it does not submit its own. This would include data on job placement, admissions rates, LSAT scores, and GPAs for entering students, and the US News“estimates” are designed to be conservative — lower rather than higher than what might be the real experience. Why not get ranked 89th with your own data, than 116th when US News fills in the blanks?

Germany: Christian Refugees Persecuted by Muslims “Incidents are deliberately downplayed and even covered up.” by Soeren Kern

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8043/germany-christians-persecuted Thousands of Christians in German refugee shelters are being persecuted by Muslims, sometimes even by their security guards, according to a new report by the NGO Open Doors. “A major obstacle to the survey was that many victims were afraid to participate. … Their concern was not only on the possible consequences for them […]