Democratic Rifts Surface in Wake of Midterm Election Defeat Leaders Dispute Wisdom of Health-Care Overhaul, Delaying Move on Immigration-By Peter Nicholas, Siobhan Hughes and Byron Tau

Long-muted tensions within the Democratic Party over policy and strategy are beginning to surface publicly, a sign of leaders looking beyond President Barack Obama ’s tenure in the aftermath of the party’s midterm election defeat.

A prominent example came this week, when Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), a member of the Senate leadership, gave a rare public rebuke to Mr. Obama over the centerpiece of his presidency: the health-care overhaul of 2010. Mr. Schumer said the party should have focused on helping a broader swath of the middle class than the uninsured, whom he called “a small percentage of the electorate.’’

On the same day, the White House surprised Democratic leaders in the Senate by threatening to veto a tax package negotiated by both parties. The White House said the deal would help “well-connected corporations while neglecting working families.’’

The twin developments were among fissures within the party that, at their broadest level, show Democrats at odds over what economic message to present to voters ahead of the 2016 presidential race. Worried that they lacked a compelling position in the midterms, Democrats are split over whether to advance a centrist message or a more populist economic argument that casts everyday families as victims of overly powerful corporations and benighted government policies.

“You’re going to get a fight within the Democratic Party,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.), as the progressive wing of the party splits from centrists, who fear that liberal economic policy proposals are unpalatable to most voters. “There is a substantial disagreement coming up.”

Democratic infighting has largely been out of public view for the last half-dozen years. Since Mr. Obama took office, Republicans have been the ones dealing with rifts. A conservative Tea Party wing clashed with mainstream Republicans in primary contests this year, jockeying for sway over the party’s ideological compass. That debate remains unsettled and is likely to play out in the 2016 Republican primaries.

Turkey and the Kurds by Uzay Bulut

For decades Turkey’s official policy was: There are no Kurds — so there is no problem.

“They wanted to send us a message through a beheading, a throat-cutting. This was an organized attack against our party. The [Turkish] state wanted to behead our party administrator in our party building. Behind this attack was the state itself.” — Selahattin Demirtas, co-Chairman of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Turkey: A Laboratory of Various Methods of Oppressing the Kurds

In Turkey, the approximately 20 million Kurds do not have any national rights, autonomy, or even primary schools where they can be educated in the Kurdish language.

The real population of Kurds in Turkey is not known; the Turkish state has not carried out a census of Kurds.

That policy may be deliberate: the Turkish regime seems to prefer to deny everything that is related to Kurdish existence. Turkey’s state authorities, before the AKP came to power in 2002, said that when the Turkish republic was established, there were no Kurds – just “mountain Turks,” and that Kurdish is not a “real” language. Since then, however, thanks to pro-Kurdish parties, the Turkish government can no longer refer to them that way. The problem remains, however, that the government still does not officially recognize the Kurds and still keeps denying them the autonomy they feel is their right.

For decades, that was Turkey’s official policy: There are no Kurds – so there is no problem.

Political Landslides Shake Europe by Peter Martino

All along the Mediterranean and to the north, parties opposing the EU-mandated austerity policies are growing spectacularly.

The rise of tax-and-spend parties (or rather tax-other-countries-and-spend parties) reinforces the rise of parties such as UKIP in the north.

In the Netherlands, the anti-establishment Party for Freedom (PVV), of Geert Wilders, is currently the biggest party in the polls. Wilders has consistently opposed the bailing out of countries such as Greece and Spain with Dutch taxpayers’ money.

Last week, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) won a landmark victory in the Rochester & Strood by-election. With this win, UKIP secured its second Member of Parliament. The UKIP candidate, Mark Reckless, won 42.1% of the votes, thrashing the Conservatives (34.8%), Labour (16.8%) and the Liberal Democrats (0.9%). It was the first time ever that UKIP stood in Rochester & Strood. The party won votes from all the major parties. The Conservatives lost 14.4% of the votes, Labour 11.7% and the Liberal Democrats a whopping 15.5%.

UKIP is expected to do very well in the British general elections next May. Last month, a poll predicted the party could win up to 25% of the vote in these elections. In the 2010 general elections, the party had only 3.1%.

UKIP stands for the preservation of the Britain’s national identity. It opposes the European Union (EU) and wants Britain to remain a sovereign nation rather than become a state of a federal Europe. The party is also critical of mass immigration, in particular from Eastern Europe. Though Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, carefully avoids the issue of Islam, the party has also become the refuge of voters who worry about Islamization. Above all, however, the party embodies the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the traditional political establishment.

DR. MORDECHAI KEDAR: A WESTERN TOURIST HAS NO CHANCE IN A PERSIAN BAZAAR

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.

There are two kinds of markets in the world today: the Western store and the Eastern bazaar. In the West, stores have fixed prices for merchandise, with the cost visible on each item by law. Everyone pays the same amount for his purchases, whether he really wants what is for sale or can manage perfectly well without it. Westerners are used to this kind of shopping, which is why many of them spend a good deal of time and effort to find the stores with the best prices. The price is objective and based on the merchandise, not on the personality of the seller or the identity of the buyer. You will not find someone arguing about a price in a store in the United States and anyone who dares to do so is regarded like a creature from Mars, a barbarian from another culture.

In contrast, in the Middle East, bazaar culture is the rule and the relationship between buyer and seller is based on totally different cultural norms. The price varies from minute to minute depending on various factors: how badly the seller needs the money he can get from the sale; how much the buyer wants the merchandise; whether the seller is afraid the buyer will leave him and look for another seller; how many other traders are offering the same item. When the seller needs cash and the buyer can live without the merchandise, when there are other traders with similar items and the buyer can get to them easily – the price goes down. If the seller is not in need of the money, the buyer really wants the merchandise and especially if he says he is willing to pay anything for it, and if there are no others selling the same thing or it is hard to get to them – the price will be high. This is where market forces play a central role in determining the price of merchandise.

‘To Serve and Protect:’ Who Is Served, Protected in Sanctuary Cities and States? Michael Cutler

Many police departments around the United States have adopted the motto, “To Serve and Protect,” to describe their primary missions. Police departments are almost always underfunded, suffer severe shortages in staffing and often face overwhelming challenges. The phrase, “Thin Blue Line,” sums up just how tenuous their ability is to overcome myriad challenges and protect the people who are present in their jurisdictions.

It should be a “no brainer” that our nation must do as effective a job as possible to prevent criminals and terrorists from entering the U.S. and embedding themselves in communities here. The 9/11 Commission cited the failures of the immigration system to prevent terrorists (and not only the terrorists who carried out the attacks on September 11, 2001, but others) from entering the U.S. and then hiding in plain sight as they went about their deadly preparations.

It should similarly be understood that effective border security and immigration law enforcement can prevent the entry and continued presence of transnational criminals in towns and cities across the U.S.

Incredibly, where immigration is concerned, the (false) narrative about foreign workers doing the work Americans won’t do and the need to treat illegal aliens with compassion has trumped common sense and facts.

Not unlike the slogans that for decades convinced people to take up smoking, causing so many of them to suffer and ultimately succumb to lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and other terrible illnesses, the current campaign being mounted by individuals, corporations and special interest groups deceives the majority of our fellow citizens by promoting the idea that it is unfair to enforce our immigration laws. At their foundation, these laws were enacted to protect the lives and jobs of American workers.

BORDER PATROL STRIPPING AGENTS OF RIFLES: MICHAEL CUTLER

On November 9, television station News 4 KVOA in Tucson, Arizona, reported that some Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Tucson Sector had their M4 Carbines taken from them, purportedly to carry out a “safety inspection” of the weapons, but that the weapons have neither been returned nor replaced.

The consequence of this action is that agents are now sharing rifles. This means that the custom settings for the weapons, such as the sights, may cause agents pooling these weapons to not be as accurate if they need to use those weapons to defend themselves or their colleagues.

Customs and Border Protection issued the following statement when contacted by the reporters from the television station:

CBP’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are jointly inspecting the serviceability of M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol Sectors nationwide. Some of (the) inspected M4 carbines were deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns. Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field. No further information is available at this time.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: GIVING THANKS FOR THE LEFT ****

When we celebrate Thanksgiving, after being thankful for family and friends, for health and comfort, for food and shelter; we shouldn’t forget to be thankful for the left.

There is no light without darkness and without evil, the good often fails to find their own voice. It is in the presence of slavery that we remember the worth of freedom. Men and nations are forged in war; not only the war of shell and shot, but the war of ideas. War teaches us to fight for what we have. Wars of ideas teach us to stand up for what we believe.

It is because conservatives are basically hopeful and confident that we are also prone to extremes of despair. Too many us were shocked at the decline of our society because of our great confidence in it. The faith that conservatives have in America makes them vulnerable to being crushed by the latest victory of the left.

I have seen far too much despair and defeatism, too many comments that suggest there is no hope for America and the only thing left to do is pour a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. But those comments testify to how sheltered Americans are from the struggles against tyranny around the world.

Eight years of Obama is bad, but try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That’s what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they’ve given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean death, whether they’ve given up hope.

There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting, who did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They continue today in Europe, Asia and South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight, where we can protest without being shot or sent to prison, where we can have a shot at winning elections if we try hard enough.

Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.

We face a hard fight, not only for our freedom, but the freedom of the world. The international left has made America its special project. It knows that if it can extinguish the hope of liberty in this land then it will drive the rest of those who hope for freedom across the ocean deeper into despair. And it wants your despair. It wants you to give up so that the rest of the world gives up too and bows under its chains.

And yet this fight is a glorious one. This fight is our birthright. And we should be thankful for the fight.

MY SAY: A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE ON THANKSGIVING DAY

In France: The Reign of Terror (5 September 1793 – 28 July 1794)

In America: May 25 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Constitutional Convention to address governing the United States of America.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON:A TRIBUTE TO OUR FOUNDING FATHERS

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393580/those-ungovernable-colonists-kevin-d-williamson Those Ungovernable Colonists
Our founding fathers knew when to build, and when to fight — and what to build, and what to fight.

The American colonies must have been an unruly place, full as they were of religious fanatics and slave traders, second sons and fortune hunters, criminals and former political prisoners, and all manner of people in between. The first settlements hugged the coast, where one set of adventurers looked seaward while another looked to the interior wilderness. It was, in retrospect, almost inevitable that North America would quickly become the wealthiest place in the world by the 17th century.

Why? Because those seditionists, fanatics, and gamblers were impossible to rule. While we are counting our blessings this Thanksgiving, let’s not forget to count that one: Our ancestors did not much like being told what to do, and we — and the world — are immeasurably richer and happier for that.
Edmund Burke called the Crown’s attitude toward the colonies “wise and salutary neglect,” but it was as much pragmatism as it was policy. There were many colonies and colonists, they were not of a uniformly obedient type, they were far away — and, most important, they were extraordinarily productive. By the latter half of the 18th century, there were more iron forges in the American colonies than in Britain, the colonies were exporting millions of barrels of flour and tons of other agriculture products, and one out of three ships in the British merchant fleet was American-built. The economy was booming, and most of the population still lived in rural or semi-rural areas, far from the amusements of urban life, which may explain why the ratio of colonists to subjects back in England went from 1:20 to 1:3 in the course of just a few decades.

One of the reasons why the Industrial Revolution — which is to say, modern civilization — first rumbled to life in Britain rather than in Spain or Germany was the secret unruliness of the English, seemingly one of the world’s ruliest peoples. A combination of happy historical accidents and cultural predisposition meant that Englishmen were relatively free to pursue their own economic ends; even in the late medieval period, England did not have anything so strict as the German guild system or serfdom as intensely enforced as French villeinage. The American colonists regularly flouted laws purporting to regulate trade and manufacturing, and the Crown wisely looked the other way. (Until it didn’t, at which point it got a fight and lost.)

Not Just Hagel: Navy Captain Fired for Questioning Obama Foreign Policy By Seth Cropsey

http://pjmedia.com/blog/not-just-hagel-navy-captain-fired-for-questioning-obama-foreign-policy/?print=1 Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s resignation under pressure from the White House is a drama largely written of Navy Captain James Fanell’s firing early in November. Hagel told interviewer Charlie Rose in the third week of November that budget cuts are threatening American military capability. In August, Hagel said publicly that ISIL is “beyond a […]