There is no question that President Obama’s executive amnesty violates the Constitution. Even the president acknowledged back in September that he would be “ignoring the law” to carry out such an action.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) raised a constitutional point of order against the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending that, if sustained, would have sent the bill back to the House to remove amnesty funding.

Unfortunately, a group of Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to reject Cruz’s point of order and to ignore the serious constitutional problems with the president’s executive amnesty.

These 20 Republicans voted to waive the Constitution.

Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
John Barrasso (R-WY) Dean Heller (R-NV)
Dan Coats (R-IN) Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Thad Cochran (R-MS) Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Susan Collins (R-ME) John McCain (R-AZ)
Bob Corker (R-TN) Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
John Cornyn (R-TX) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Mike Enzi (R-WY) Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Roger Wicker (R-MS)

CR #353, 12/13/14


After waiving the constitutional point of order, the Senate passed the omnibus bill, which fully funds Obamacare, does nothing to stop the president’s amnesty, and includes an earmark to help the DC establishment defeat conservative challengers.

These 24 Republicans voted for the bill.

Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
John Barrasso (R-WY) John Hoeven (R-ND)
Roy Blunt (R-MO) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
John Boozman (R-AR) Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Richard Burr (R-NC) Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Dan Coats (R-IN) Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Thad Cochran (R-MS) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Susan Collins (R-ME) Pat Roberts (R-KS)
John Cornyn (R-TX) John Thune (R-SD)
Mike Enzi (R-WY) Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Deb Fischer (R-NE) Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Eliana Johnson: Ted Cruz Will Bank on the Base ..Is he More Goldwater Than Reagan?….see note please

Goldwater ignited a conservative revival and without him there would not have been a subsequent Reagan victory against an incumbent in 1980…..rsk

To hell with the independents. That’s not usually the animating principle of a presidential campaign, but for Ted Cruz’s, it just might be.

His strategists aren’t planning to make a big play for so-called independent voters in the general election if Cruz wins the Republican nomination. According to several of the senator’s top advisers, Cruz sees a path to victory that relies instead on increasing conservative turnout; attracting votes from groups — including Jews, Hispanics, and Millennials — that have tended to favor Democrats; and, in the words of one Cruz strategist, “not getting killed with independents.”

Twenty-three months from the presidential election, it seems all but a given that the freshman senator, who has been in Congress just two years, will mount a bid for the White House. “He’s looking at the race very seriously,” says a senior adviser, who confirms that Cruz’s campaign headquarters would be based in Houston. Cruz strategists see a way to win both the nomination and the general election. They are assiduously cultivating the party’s top-dollar donors, almost all of whom remain uncommitted. Internally, the senator has shaken up his staff to address problems and to set the stage for a presidential bid. All that’s left, it seems, is an official announcement.

It’s almost conventional wisdom now that presidential candidates woo the party faithful in primary contests and tack to the middle in the general election to attract more-moderate voters. Not Cruz. As one of his advisers puts it, “winning independents has meant not winning.” The adviser says the moderate fiscal- and social-policy positions that candidates need to adopt to win independent voters have dampened base turnout.

He points to the examples of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Bush won independents in 2000 but lost the popular vote, while both John Kerry in 2004 and Mitt Romney in 2012 won them and, of course, still lost. Beyond that, the strategist explains, conservative turnout peaked in 2004, declined in 2008, and declined again in 2012. Recapturing those votes, he says, is the key to a potential Cruz victory. The senator’s advisers believe they can increase turnout to between 2004 and 2008 levels, at least, by energizing the grassroots and recapturing Reagan Democrats.


Dianne should be working for Rolling Stone.

If you’re at all knowledgeable of the CIA’s actions since the 9-11 attacks, and if you read the “torture report” released Tuesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, you’ll have to conclude that it is as much a work of fiction as the Rolling Stone article condemning fraternity life at the University of Virginia for condoning a culture of rape.

The SSCI report was written with Jonathan Gruber’s philosophy in mind, that Americans are so ill-informed, stupid, and gullible that they’ll buy any well-crafted narrative.

Let’s cut to the chase: no one can defend those rogue CIA interrogators who caused two deaths of detainees or who did things such as force-feed detainees anally or stuff a man into a small box for ten days. But the vast majority who didn’t — especially those who conducted interrogations under the “enhanced interrogation techniques” program — deserve to be defended against the charges Feinstein’s report levies against them.

Her report had three objectives.

First, to prevent the United States from using coercive interrogation methods on terrorist prisoners, by equating all of those methods with torture regardless of their legality and acceptability under international standards.

Second, to convince us that coercive interrogation failed to obtain intelligence useful in capturing or killing other terrorists or thwarting terrorist attacks.

Third, to prevent us from holding terrorist prisoners indefinitely — sometimes in secret — without charging them with crimes. Those three are all intended to support the fourth goal, which is to support Obama’s policies of closing the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba terrorist detention facility on the basis that it is both unnecessary and a bane to international relations, particularly with the Islamic world.

To do that, Feinstein’s Democratic staff never interviewed any CIA officers or interrogators to find out what they did. All the Democratic staff did was to select the facts that would support Feinstein’s conclusions from the millions of documents made available to them.


Remember the famous Karl Marx quote, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”? In 1920 the leading figure of the Bolshevik revolution, Leon Trotsky, published a book called “The Defense of Terrorism.” Just last week the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report on the torture of terrorist detainees in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack that, given its content, earned the same title. While Trotsky justified the ugliness of Bolshevism that began with a tragedy and ended as farce, Dianne Feinstein’s report is a farce that will end up as tragedy.
“So we submit this study on behalf of the committee, to the public, in the belief that it will stand the test of time. And with it, the report will carry the message “Never again,” Senator Feinstein announced.
Amalgamating ideology with opportunistic appeal, Feinstein and her Democratic allies delivered a report full of factual and intellectual errors. The superficiality of this report is evident in her statement, which sends two ideological messages-one to the Islamists and the other to Americans, with distinctive political calculations.
The message to the Islamists: To all of those who are torturing, murdering Muslims and infidels, raping schoolgirls and killing parents before the eyes of their children, beheading men, women and children, to all deranged minds who so passionately hate America that they are willing to kill themselves in order to kill us, America promises that we will “never again” mistreat you. We will “try to understand you,” “empathize” and “show respect” for you, as prospective candidate for president of the United States Hillary Clinton lectured us recently. And you do not have to be afraid of us. Your comrades captured on the battlefield fighting the infidels have been placed in a multimillion-dollar resort built specially for them in the Caribbean with amenities that include a modern kitchen designed to provide the halāl (حَلَال “lawful”) food cooked to order, a mosque available for prayer five times a day, a well-equipped hospital with experienced doctors who are taking good care of their health, including teeth that have never been touched by a toothbrush, a team of lawyers to protect their rights under the Geneva Conventions that most of you have never heard of, a soccer field and a range of recreational facilities that none of your buddies have ever seen in their homelands.

Christmas Clarity: Palestinian Christy Anastas on Islam and Sharia-Based Persecution of Christians in the Holy Land ****

Christmas Clarity: Palestinian Christy Anastas on Islam and Sharia-Based Persecution of Christians in the Holy Land

“As Christmas approaches, and the usual Jew-hating calumnies against Israel, holding her responsible for the plight of Christians in the Holy Land, are leveled, Christy Anastas’ honest, uncompromised observations identifying the Sharia-based source of Christian persecution in Gaza, Judea-Samaria, and throughout the Muslim-dominated Middle East, must be reverberated widely.”

**Open Doors, founded during 1955 in response to the plight of Eastern European Christians under the yoke of Communist anti-religious fanaticism, is a non-profit organization working to document and counteract Christian persecution. Its yearly “catalogue” of global Christian oppression declares ruefully that 2014, “has seen more global persecution of Christians than any other year in recent history.”

Not surprisingly, given our era’s rampant, worldwide Islamic jihadism, nine out of the ten countries persecuting Christians most egregiously, are Islamic societies, where Sharia, Islamic law-based discrimination, is the source of what Open Doors euphemistically dubs “Islamic extremism.” Although, understandably, the horrific, jihad-sanctioned exploits of ISIS and Boko Haram targeting Christians—beheadings, eviscerations, torture, rape, and enslavement—have garnered the most attention, and condemnation, as the Open Doors reports make plain, chronic, grinding persecution of Christians in Muslim societies is a global phenomenon.

For example, Open Doors describes in rather anodyne terms these conditions for Christians in the very birthplace of Christianity, the Holy Land (i.e., Israel, and the disputed territories of Gaza, and Judea-Samaria), specifically, the areas under Palestinian Muslim rule, ranked 34th among the top 50 most persecuted Christian populations.

Random Thoughts — or Provocations: In Many Ways, the Public is On Our Side. By Quin Hillyer

Here are some fairly random things that, it is safe to say, a large majority of Americans would agree with:

Al Sharpton is not in any way a legitimate spokesman for racial “justice,” much less racial healing.

Wendy Davis does not speak for most American women.

Sandra Fluke does not speak for most American women.

Lena Dunham does not even come close to speaking for most American women.

Barack Obama comes across as arrogant — and there are no racial connotations in that statement.

Obama has made a habit of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who don’t agree with him. George W. Bush almost never did so.

The practice of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who disagree creates a tone that, to say the least, is anything but “presidential.”

The idea of EPA agents swooping in on businesses or municipal installments while armed to the gills — which they do, repeatedly — is outrageous, frightening, and completely contrary to American values.

North Korea Does Hollywood; What’s Washington Going to Do About It? By Claudia Rosett

Hollywood comedy slams into North Korea, and yes, the result sounds like an over-the-top movie plot — about a movie, about a plot. Except it’s real, which is the problem with a lot of the threats out there that America in its virtual slumber has been failing to take seriously for some time now. Credit Hollywood, that our entertainers — whether they meant to or not — have triggered a big wakeup call.

The plot: Two comedians decide to make a film that mocks the most bizarre dictatorship on earth — totalitarian North Korea, ruled by 31-year-old Kim Jong Un, a hereditary tyrant with a taste for Mickey Mouse and nuclear bombs. The movie, The Interview, features these two comedians as a pair of TV-tabloid journalists who are sick of doing Hollywood fluff and want to do some serious reporting. Opportunity knocks: it turns out that young tyrant Kim is a fan of their TV show, and is offering them an exclusive interview with him in Pyongyang. That turns rather more serious than they had planned, when the CIA turns up on their doorstep and tasks them to take advantage of the interview with Kim to do him in: “Take him out.” [1] And so, two slapstick dudes with a mission, off they go to assassinate the tyrant of North Korea.

Cut to the real world, in which it turns out North Korean officialdom has no sense of humor, and is particularly touchy about its big boss (whose leadership style is such that he was warned earlier this year by United Nations human rights investigators that he could be held responsible for “crimes against humanity”). The emperor cannot afford to allow the story to spread that he has no clothes. Pyongyang’s totalitarian regime is built around the requirements of complete loyalty, adulation and obedience rendered unto the supreme leader — a system that Kim underscored last year by executing his own allegedly wayward uncle-in-law.

When the trailer for The Interview is released, in June, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry — in lingo that itself invites lampooning — declares that distribution of the film would be “the most undisguised terrorism and a war action to deprive the service personnel and people of the DPRK of their mental mainstay and bring down its social system.” Pyongyang threatens that “if the U.S. administration connives at and patronizes the screening of the film, it will invite a strong and merciless countermeasure.” At the UN, where North Korea’s membership is itself a sorry joke, the North Korean ambassador writes a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, demanding that the U.S. government ban this Hollywood comedy, or else the U.S. “will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism.”

4 Ways the World Changed for Me When I Learned Hebrew By P. David Hornik

I decided to move to Israel (make aliyah) when I was 28, and came to live here with my family when I was 30. At the age of 28, I knew zero Hebrew; by the time we made aliyah I had learned just a little from a cassette-tape course. (Yes, there were things called cassette tapes back then.)

Our first residence in Israel was an absorption center in the town of Hadera on the coastal plain. There we had to take an intensive Hebrew course—meaning I immediately started learning this difficult language more seriously. And right away, even with only a few words and phrases at my disposal, I started to feel connected to my new environment in ways I couldn’t have if English had still been the only language residing in my brain.
1. I felt deeply linked to the ancient past.

The more biblical term for where we were, rather than “coastal plain,” is “Sharon plain” (Sha-rone). As in what is possibly the most beautiful Hebrew poem ever written, the biblical Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon, 2:1):

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

It was early September when we arrived. The absorption center was on the outskirts of the town, and the “plain” around us was lush and beautiful. And I thought: “This is the Sharon plain. When someone wrote ‘rose of Sharon,’ this is what they meant. Ancient Jews lived here and saw the same things, used the same Hebrew words that I’m now learning.”

It came upon me more and more as I took walks in the nearby park and orchard. Until then—having been in Israel only once for a short time—that distant past had been an abstraction to me. Now I had an almost mystical sense of its nearness. Those people, my ancestors, had really been here.
2. I could really converse with Israelis and find out what their inner worlds are like.


Campuses are becoming the haunts of the very wealthy and the poor, with little regard for any in-between — sort of like California.

Let me explain. Lately lots of strange things have been in the news about college campuses — from the Rolling Stone’s mythography [1] of the University of Virginia fraternities to Lena Dunham’s invented charges [2] of rape against a supposed Oberlin College Republican to courses on “white privilege” to “hands up; don’t shoot” demonstrations protesting the police shooting of Michael Brown.

Tuition and Debt

But there are lots of campus topics that garner little publicity. Take tuition costs. Aggregate student debt is reaching $1 trillion [3] — a result of an insidious relationship between federally guaranteed loans (many of which cost over 5% annually to service) and tuition spikes that habitually exceed the rate of inflation.

As a result, in a logical universe, there would be widespread student protests against the lack of transparency in university budgeting. There would anger at paying Hillary Clinton nearly a third of a million dollars [4] for a boilerplate 30-minute chat. There would be grassroots complaints about the costly epidemic of new administrative positions and federal mandates that have nothing to do with in-class instruction. There would be inquiries about why teaching loads have declined as tuition skyrocketed.

Instead, there is mostly silence on campus. Why? Perhaps the answer reflects the fact that the campus bookends the trajectory of California — in that elite and wealthy students do not really care that much whether their combined tuition, room, and board tab goes from $55,000 a year to $60,000, given their parents’ ample resources. At the other end, poorer and often minority students are more likely to have access to college grants and scholarships. The working classes in between, who often lack familial capital and are not designated as disadvantaged in ethnic or class terms, more often pay the full bill. Do universities count on such dichotomies — that the most influential in terms of race, class, and gender issues are the most likely not to have to pay themselves the spiraling tab?


The details are still sketchy, but this is what is apparently confirmed as of this writing (8PM EST Sunday night): as many as 50 people have been taken hostage in the Lindt Chocolat Café in Sydney, Australia’s central pedestrian mall, Martin Place. Some of the hostages have been forced at gunpoint to hold up the black flag of Islamic jihad against a window of the café.

The flag says in Arabic, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet” – the Islamic confession of faith. It will thus be hard to claim this one was workplace violence, but the mainstream media and Western leaders are no doubt already strategizing on ways to do so. Falling quickly into politically correct lockstep and ignoring the jihad flag in the window, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott insisted that “we don’t know the motivation” of the gunmen.

Meanwhile, police have evacuated the area, as well as the Sydney Opera House, where apparently a suspicious package has been found. Abbott issued a statement declaring that while “this is obviously a deeply concerning incident but all Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner.”

That is no doubt true, but this is an unprecedented event in the West. There have been jihad attacks, and hostage situations, but this is the first jihadist hostage event in a Western country since the Islamic State issued this threat in a September video: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”