The Front Page Cover 
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened"
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Featuring:
Rich and Poor
Tom Mclaughlin
 
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"Rise up together as one voice"
"Be careful where you stand"
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 What Does nObama Aim to Accomplish in Afghanistan?  
On Thursday, Barack nObama announced a major revision to his plan to withdraw virtually all American troops from Afghanistan by the end of his presidency. Instead, he will keep 5,500 troops there into 2017 and maintain the current force of 9,800 through "most of 2016." But for a man who clearly doesn't believe in American leadership in the world or defending our interests abroad, what does he intend to accomplish by leaving our men and women in harm's way?
          If the U.S. has interests in securing victory in Afghanistan — and it does — nObama's move is at least a step back in the right direction. It appears he at least (partially) listened to his generals, which might be a first. nObama is not known for being persuaded by evidence. And perhaps he learned a little something from his disastrous choices in Iraq.
          On the other hand, if his move is as half-hearted as we think it is, he's putting American lives on the line in a political concession meant to leave the problem for the next president. Remember that nObama's primary concern is always himself, and the only reason for any of his decisions is his own political benefit.
          “As you are all well aware," he declared, "I do not support the idea of endless war.” Again, he offers the false choice between his way or "endless war." There are other options.  -Fox News  
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 Second Republican Throws Clinton a Lifeline  
Can it be this hard to provide a consistent rationale for the formation of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the subsequent uncovering of Hilly Clinton's malfeasance? Evidently it is for some Republicans. Just two weeks after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy torched his own bid for the speakership with boneheaded remarks about the effect the committee was having on Clinton's poll numbers, another Republican gave an in-kind donation to the next Clinton campaign ad. "This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hilly Clinton," said Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY). "After what Kevin McCarthy said, it's difficult to accept at least a part of it was not. I think that's the way Washington works. But you'd like to expect more from a committee that's spent millions of dollars and tons of time."
          Is there a political angle to the committee's work? Of course. But it's definitely not the primary angle, and Republicans have a far better rationale to present to the public. Hilly Clinton denied security requests for Americans serving in Benghazi, blamed the whole episode on a YouTube video to bolster Barack nObama's "al-Qaida is on the run" political narrative before the 2012 election — practically spitting on the graves of four dead Americans — and covered it all up in part with her private email server. In other words, it's political because she made it so. Has it hurt her poll numbers? Yes, but that's because she's a liar, and because voters can tell the difference between real malfeasance on her part and a political witch hunt.
          And yet the net effect of McCarthy's and now Hanna's comments is to give credence to Clinton's cries of victim hood. As she declared in the debate Tuesday, "[The Benghazi] committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee. It is a partisan vehicle ... to drive down my poll numbers." Look for Hanna's comments to show up alongside McCarthy's in another campaign ad for the Democrat frontrunner.   -Fox News  
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 World-Renowned Physicist Breaks With nObama on Climate  
Freeman Dyson, one of the world's foremost astrophysicists, doesn't always see eye to eye with his fellow liberals when it comes to global warming. He's been studying the climate for a quarter of a century, so his prodigious experience has helped shape his views on the environment. In a forward to a new paper by former IPCC member Indur Goklany, titled "Carbon Dioxide: The good news," Dyson reiterated his evidence-based belief that "carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does far more good than harm." He added, "I consider myself an unprejudiced person and to me these facts are obvious. But the same facts are not obvious to the majority of scientists and politicians who consider carbon dioxide to be evil and dangerous. The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence."
          The veteran physicist expounded on these views in a subsequent interview with The Register. On the issue of climate models, Dyson observes, "What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what's observed and what's predicted have become much stronger." He then chided the opposition's inclination to silence dissenters, even bluntly opining, "I'm 100 percent Democrat myself, and I like nObama. But he took the wrong side on this issue, and the Republicans took the right side." Dyson says "coal is very unpleasant stuff" — something most everyone can agree on — but that doesn't mean it's a climate hazard. "Pollution is quite separate to the climate problem: one can be solved, and the other cannot, and the public doesn't understand that." We don't agree with everything Dyson advocates, but on this issue, he's spot on. Those who question the mainstream view shouldn't be placed on leave or, even worse, imprisoned. Such concrete, homogeneous mantras wouldn't have allowed Dyson to become the acclaimed physicist he is today. What we're seeing today is a Big Brotherly crackdown on "thought crime" — and a scientific scandal.   -Fox News  
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 In Syria, a Cold War Redux  
Remember when Barack nObama poked fun at Mitt Romney for saying Russia is our number one geopolitical foe? "You said Russia. Not al-Qaida. You said Russia," nObama taunted during the 2012 presidential debates. "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War's been over for 20 years." Today, nObama looks more childish than ever, having invited the return of the Cold War through his refusal to acknowledge the Russian threat. Days into their air campaign in Syria, Vladimir Putin's forces have killed about 150 CIA-trained rebels. Russians killing soldiers linked to the CIA? Gee, when have we heard this before? The news comes as Head of the Cuban Armed Forces Gen. Leopoldo Cintras Frias traveled to Syria with a group of Cuban soldiers — not to help defeat the Islamic State as nObama might hope, but to help drive tanks Russia gave to Syrian dictator Basher al-Assad. Just whose interests are being furthered in Syria? The 1980s are indeed calling, but repeating that era now is a bad proposition. The Russians long ago took the measure of nObama, and our nation's leadership just isn't what it used to be.    -Fox News  
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 Washington Post Gives Hilly Three Pinocchios for Gun Sales Claims  
{Don Irvine} ~ Clinton made her statement during a Town Hall meeting, using the recent shootings in Oregon and South Carolina to decry what she called the “gun show loophole” that permits “person-to-person” sales by people who are not engaged in the business of selling firearms... The problem, as Kessler points out, is that the 40 percent figure is out of date and includes all gun transactions, not just sales. That change in results would give Clinton far less ammunition to use against the NRA and other pro-gun groups, as it would show that non-background check sales at gun shows aren’t nearly as high as she has been claiming, which virtually destroys her plea for stricter gun control measures.
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 Social Security Defaults Again on Its Promises: No COLA for 2016  
{Bob Adelmann} ~ On Thursday the Social Security Administration announced that for the third time in six years there will be no COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) to beneficiaries’ checks next year... There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011, thanks to the government index used to determine whether an “adjustment” (increase) was justified, to offset inflation. This year’s culprit was the price of gasoline, which fell 23 percent, wiping out any chance for an increase in the checks going to more than 60 million recipients. Heroic and often invisible measures have been undertaken in recent years to cover up the program’s insolvency: raising retirement ages, increasing deductibles and co-pays in Social Security’s Medicare program, and forcing recipients to make do with less. According to the Senior Citizens League, those recipients have lost nearly a fourth of their buying power over the last 15 years, thanks to the rising cost of housing and medical expenses. Since 2000, housing costs for seniors have increased by 44 percent, heating oil by 159 percent, eggs by 117 percent, and gasoline by 76 percent. Since then, however, Social Security’s COLAs have averaged just 2.2 percent per year.        http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/21780-social-sec...
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 16 States Now Looking to Ban Sharia Law  
{Tim Brown} ~ The threat is very real to impose Islamic Sharia law in America and thankfully at least sixteen states realize the threat and are seeking to squash it before it can gain any more momentum... Back in September, Texas stood up against any foreign law being implemented, including Sharia, and cries of the Muslims were heard across the nation, including those from designated terror group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). But Texas wouldn't back down and have determined that they won't have Sharia enforcement in their state. Alabama banned Sharia after voters passed a measure to add an amendment to their state constitution. We hope they'll stand for that a little better than they did their marriage amendment.        http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/10/16-states-now-looking-to-ban-shar...
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 Canada election: networks call victory for Liberals and Trudeau  
{Robert Spencer} ~ That’s it for freedom, worldwide. Justin Trudeau is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Islamic supremacists... Harper’s Canada was the last outpost, the last place where government was reasonably sane regarding the jihad threat. Now it is up to individuals to stand, no matter how much it costs them, against the forces of oppression and authoritarianism that will become increasingly aggressive, and soon. Many who were thought to be true have already been proven false, and this will continue: these are and will increasingly be the times that try men’s souls. The cowardice of many will be exposed, and it will surprise those who thought they were standing tall. But the human spirit, the spirit of freedom, will never be wholly extinguished — despite the best efforts of the forces of authoritarianism and oppression. We can thank nObama getting involved in the Canadian election.        http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/10/canada-election-networks-call-vic...
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 China Continues Cyber Espionage Despite Summit Accord  
{Bill Gertz} ~ China’s government continued economic cyber espionage attacks against businesses despite a pledge to halt the practice last month, a cyber security firm revealed on Monday... The security company CrowdStrike stated in a blog post that seven companies were hit by hackers that “we have affiliated with the Chinese government.” The hacker group includes Deep Panda, a code name used by security researchers for Chinese military-affiliated hackers who have been linked to numerous covert information network intrusions. nObama is not going to act upon this espionage attacks.        http://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-continues-cyber-espio...
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 hanoi-Kerry, Israeli Arabs and the separation delusion  
{Caroline Glick} ~ Israel’s political leaders have rightly expressed anger at the US State Department’s hostile characterizations of the Palestinian terrorist onslaught... Secretary of State hanoi-John Kerry’s claims, parroted by his spokesmen, that Israel is either entirely to blame for Palestinian terrorism or shares the blame equally with the Palestinians, are baseless lies. hanoi-Kerry and his spokesmen have alleged that the current Palestinian convulsion of murderous violence is a product of “a massive increase in settlements.” Yet as Haaretz reported this week, Israel has built fewer homes for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria since 2009, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (and President Barack nObama) entered office, than it had since 1995. The steep increase in the Jewish population in the areas is almost entirely the result of Jewish women having babies.
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 Senate Dems block anti-sanctuary city bill  
{foxnews.com} ~ Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a Republican-backed bill that would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities by threatening to withhold funds to local governments that don't cooperate with federal immigration officials... The bill failed on a 54-45 vote. It needed 60 to advance. The Stop Sanctuary Cities Act became a lightning rod issue ahead of the vote, as GOP sponsors tried to peel off just a few Democrats to support it while Democratic leaders blasted the legislation as counterproductive. The White House issued a formal veto threat Tuesday morning, while the chamber's top Democrat tried to discredit the measure by calling it "The Donald Trump Act." Now you all know who not to vote for or vote out of the Senate. Pass it on.
Video at the site.
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 nObama’s shameful Afghanistan retreat...  
{Frederick W. Kagan} ~ The headlines should read: “nObama to slash U.S. troops in Afghanistan by over 40% weeks before he hands over responsibility to a new President.”... Instead they say: “nObama extends U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.” Talk about controlling the narrative. We’re missing the plot here. The President announced on Thursday the most irresponsible decision he could have made about Afghanistan — second only to the promise he had made earlier to pull almost all U.S. troops. The right decision would have been to keep forces at current levels, or, better, send reinforcements. For we are losing in Afghanistan, again. Security is deteriorating. The Taliban seized and briefly held the capital of an important province north of Kabul. They are threatening another one a short drive southwest of Kabul. U.S. forces destroyed two Al Qaeda training camps in Kandahar, one very large. The Islamic State controls part of Nangarhar Province, east of Kabul. Afghan security forces cannot hold what they have, let alone regain what they have lost.
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 Academic Stalinism and its Dangerous Crackpots  
{David Limbaugh} ~ There are many opinionated people on each side of the political spectrum, including me, but I haven’t heard of any conservatives trying to muzzle leftists. Liberals on the other hand? Ha... Man-made global warming liberals ridicule skeptics as corrupt or brain-dead deniers, and their advocate in chief, President nObama, habitually derides conservatives for rejecting his hysterical narrative on climate change. Don’t assume they do this solely for political advantage. It can be far more serious than that. A claque of 20 climate scientists, in an open letter, urged nObama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch to use the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to criminally investigate “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”         http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/academic-stalinism-and-its-dangerous-cra...
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 Clinton State Depart approved weapons shipment to Libya despite ban 
{ John Solomon and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro} ~ The State Department initially approved a weapons shipment from a California company to Libyans seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 even though a United Nations arms ban was in place... according to memos recovered from the burned-out compound in Benghazi. The documents, obtained by The Washington Times, show U.S. diplomats at the Benghazi compound were keeping track of several potential U.S.-sanctioned shipments to allies, one or more of which were destined for the Transitional National Council, the Libyan movement that was seeking to oust Gadhafi and form a new government. At least one of those shipments, kept in a file marked “arms deal,” was supposed to come from Dolarian Capital Inc. of Fresno, California, according to an end use certificate from the State Department’s office of defense trade controls licensing that was contained in the file.       http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/20/hillary-clinton-sta...
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Rich and Poor
Tom Mclaughlin
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{tommclaughlin.blogspot.com} ~ Our federal government classified me as poor when I moved to Maine in August, 1977. My family of four was “under the poverty line” according to their way of measuring things. I had just taken a job as Director of Special Education for Maine School Administrative District #72 in Fryeburg, Maine at an annual salary of $9200. With four individuals to feed, clothe, and house, our federal government said I was poor and eligible for lots of programs which we didn’t use. That our daughter, Annie, was still in utero portended deeper “poverty” when she was to be born in December. Then our son, Ryan, came along five years later when my salary was still about the same. As a family of six, we must have gone from poor to very poor in the eyes of government.
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Rather than take assistance from taxpayers, I chose to take on additional work. For most of my teaching career, I carried two or three part-time jobs as a caretaker, a writer, and a ski instructor — working all four simultaneously during several of those years. After all the kids were in school, my wife took on various part time jobs as well. She waitressed, cleaned houses, and drove a school bus before going back to school herself to become a therapist. She’s been doing that for almost twenty years, the last five or so part time. Each of us now works the equivalent of a half time job — roughly twenty hours a week. Now our federal government considers me rich because our combined household income is in the top quintile according the census statistics. I don’t worry about bills because my wife and I made it a priority to pay them off some time ago.
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Ours is a common story. The “poor” don’t remain poor unless they stay on government programs. If they work, they often become “rich.”
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Angus Deaton
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Why tell you all this? Because it was announced last week that Princeton University’s Angus Deaton was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics, in part because of his work measuring poverty. I didn’t expect to agree with Deaton on much considering the Nobel committee awarded a previous economics prize to Paul Krugman, but I looked him up anyway and found his observations quite reasonable. The first thing I came to was a 2003 essay he wrote called “Measuring Poverty.” In it, Deaton writes:
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“Everyone has some idea what poverty is, and most people have little difficulty answering the question, ‘Do you consider yourself poor?’ although some people need a moment or two to think about it. Nor do people find it hard to answer the same question about their neighbors or other people that they know. Yet these simple ideas turn out to be hard to extend to countries, and harder still to the world as a whole.”
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International agencies like the United Nations and the World Bank work mainly to mitigate poverty rather than spur economic development. Doing so, they allow local people to self-identify according to Deaton and that’s a problem, he says:  “…It is not possible to push this local poverty identification too far. If the sums to be distributed are large enough, they become worth misappropriating, and there is an incentive for people to identify their friends and relatives (or themselves) as poor. Similarly, some NGOs have discovered that, if they use the poverty identification to enroll people into employment or training schemes, then after a few visits everyone is reported to be poor.”
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I would point out here that in local school districts there is a similar phenomenon — applications for free and reduced lunches sent to each family each September are not vetted. I’ve asked people in at least three Maine districts and none vet the applications. They don’t check to see if families fudge their income/assets because the district qualifies for lots of additional federal and state aid based on percentage “qualifying” for free or reduced lunch.
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When I was teaching economics, we found it necessary to define poverty. Students and I agreed that one is poor if he lacks sufficient funds to purchase food, clothing, shelter, and medical care to sustain life. We also agreed that someone is rich if he has enough for those basic needs — and some left over. He’s a little rich if he has a little left, and very rich if he has a lot left.
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There’s another definition on which my wife and I agree: We’re rich, not just because we have everything we need and some left over, but also because we have everything we want — everything that money can buy, at least. Some may say our wants are modest and maybe they are, but they’re ours. They were established during lean times when our family was young and they haven’t changed much. We learned to live on less and haven’t forgotten how. We learned to be happy with what we have, and that became the habit of a lifetime.
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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Joe Biden Vows: Give Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare To All Illegal Aliens In U.S.

Former Vice President and 2020 Democrat presidential primary candidate Joe Biden is vowing to give Obamacare, funded by American taxpayers, to all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

During an interview with Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, Biden forgot that Obamacare technically bans illegal aliens from enrolling in healthcare plans — although illegal aliens are still able to obtain subsidized and free healthcare at Americans’ expense — and promised that under his plan, all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens would be able to get Obamacare.

The exchange went as follows:

DIAZ-BALART: When I … NBC moderated that first debate with you, I didn’t … I don’t recall a clear answer, under your plan should … would the 11, 12 million undocumented immigrants that live in the United States, that have been here many for generations, would they have access …

BIDEN: Yes.

DIAZ-BALART: — to health insurance.

BIDEN: Yes, they … if they can buy into the system like everybody else.

DIAZ-BALART: Because you know, in [Obamacare] they can’t.

BIDEN: Yeah. Yeah, I know. Well they can, that’s my point. They continue to be able to do that.

DIAN-BALART: They cannot under the ObamaCare.

BIDEN: Well and that’s my point, they will though. They will be able to buy into … [illegal aliens] would be able to buy in, just like anyone else could.

Biden joins Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — among other 2020 Democrats — in committing to forcing American taxpayers to pay for healthcare for illegal aliens who arrive in the U.S.

Already, due to loopholes, American taxpayers are spending nearly $20 billion every year to provide illegal aliens with subsidized healthcare, emergency room visits, and other health services.

Under the 2020 Democrats’ plan to provide taxpayer-funded healthcare to all illegal aliens living in the U.S., Americans would be billed potentially $660 billion every decade just to cover the costs. Other research has found that the plan would cost Americans at least $23 billion every year.

As Breitbart News has reported, experts have said that giving taxpayer-funded healthcare to effectively all foreign nationals who can make it to America’s borders would drive “strong incentives for people with serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care.”

Despite 2020 Democrats’ continued push for taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal aliens, American voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey revealed that the healthcare-for-illegal-aliens plan is the least popular policy position, with opposition from 62 percent of U.S. voters.

Similarly, a CNN poll from July discovered that 63 percent of likely swing voters oppose providing healthcare to illegal aliens, along with nearly 6-in-10 of all likely U.S. voters and 61 percent of moderates. A Rasmussen Reports survey also found that likely voters, by a majority of 55 percent, oppose giving healthcare to even the most low-income illegal aliens.

Infantilization of Popular Culture

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