Saturday ~ The Front Page Cover

 The Front Page Cover 
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened"
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Featuring:
2016 Contest Begins to Take Shape
Peggy Noonan
 
 
"Rise up together as one voice"
"Be careful where you stand"
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 HILLY CALLS PLANNED PARENTHOOD SCANDAL ‘DISTURBING’   Hilly Clinton was asked by a New Hampshire newspaper about the scandal surrounding her longtime political benefactor, Planned Parenthood. Clinton allowed that she had “seen pictures” from the videos that depict officials from America’s leading abortion provider talking in ghoulish terms about harvesting the organs of aborted babies. Clinton said what she saw was “disturbing” and touted her own efforts in her prior White House stint to reduce the number of elective abortions conducted each year. But Clinton, who is under pressure to return donations from Planned Parenthood, stopped short of criticizing the group. She suggested that her longtime ally was a victim of circumstance, saying that “the whole process” of how aborted babies’ body parts are harvested ought to be scrutinized.
          Two-month gap in Hilly’s emails - Fox News: “A reported two-month gap in emails from Hilly Clinton’s private account during 2012 coincides with a period of escalating violence in Libya and the obtaining of a special exemption by her top aide, Huma Abedin, to work for both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. The Daily Beast reported late Tuesday that no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff for the months of May and June 2012 are among the estimated 2,000 messages that have been released from the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s account. … If true, that means neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via e-mail during a period that saw three attacks on international outposts in Benghazi, including one on the consulate itself.”
          Taunts Keystone questioners - USA Today: “Hilly Clinton again declined to take a position on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline on Tuesday, saying that decision currently belongs to President nObama and Secretary of State hanoi John Kerry. ‘If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question,’ Clinton said during a town hall in New Hampshire. Environmentalists oppose the Keystone project, which would move oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast.  -Fox News
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 Who better than loose lips Joe? -  Josh Kraushaar explains how the shifting rationale behind Clinton’s candidacy – from a “warm purple space” to a nObamian slap-chop approach to a base-versus-base election – has opened wide the door to the candidacy of President nObama’s wing man, Vice President loose lips Joe Biden.   -Fox News
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 CONGRESS GETS CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF 
With the August break looming and flights home beckoning lawmakers, a view from the control tower shows some hot button issues jockeying on the tarmac. The traffic: A vote to cut off federal funding for  Planned Parenthood, sparked by videos of the abortion provider hawking fetal body parts, looks likely in the Senate, but not in the House. A 3-month patch appears destined to keep transportation projects running this summer. While the Senate continues to work on six-year highway bill that House leadership has refused to take up, the lower chamber is melding the 3-month fix with “must pass” VA hospital funding before heading for their districts this week. The tactic is expected to result in Senate passage before it leaves next week. The 60-day clock continues to tick on Congressional review of the administration’s Iran nuclear deal, which was met with considerable skepticism by House and Senate panels in testimony this week. Bottom line: and already full pattern faces Congress on their return flights.    -Fox News
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 Senate deep freeze -  Confrontation between Senate Republicans appears to be easing following days of strife over the highway bill The Hill reports“[L]awmakers insisted that the conflict between conservatives and party leaders was not evidence of a splintering caucus, and they predicted they will unify for the fiscal battles that loom on the legislative calendar. The most public peace offering came from Sen.Mike Lee (R-Utah), who issued a joint statement on Tuesday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McCon-nell (R-Ky.) about repealing nObamaCare, following a combative conference meeting late Monday.”    -Fox News
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 U.S.-Trained Anti-ISIS Commander Kidnapped in Syria  
{Anne Barnard and Karam Shoumali} ~ The commander of a group of Syrian fighters trained by the United States has been kidnapped by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, his group said in a statement Thursday... The commander, Nadeem Hassan, and seven of his fighters were taken by the Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State in Syria, as they were returning from a meeting in Turkey. A contingent of 54 fighters from Mr. Hassan’s group, known as Division 30, are the only ones who have graduated from a Pentagon program to train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Syria. One the fighters taken with Mr. Hassan was his deputy, Farhan Al-Jasem, who commands the fighters who graduated from the American training program.        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/world/middleeast/us-trained-islamic-state-opponents-reported-kidnapped-in-syria.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&_r=1
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 IT'S A MIRACLE! Lois Lerner Emails Reappear  
{Jeff Dunetz} ~ This may be the biggest miracle since the 1969 Mets those missing Lois Lerner emails which were destroyed, dissipated because of a lousy broken hard drive... shot through a cannon and locked in a room with Rosie O' Donnell, have been rescued. Well either that or when a federal judge got angry the IRS finally got off their butts and found the emails. Judicial Watch, which sued to force the miracle production of the Lerner emails,  reported that the emails confirm that Ms. Lerner and her colleagues were aware of the sensitive nature of the cases but appeared to hide details of the massive backlog they were amassing as they held up hundreds of tea party and conservative group applications for nonprofit status.
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 Undermining the military  
{Adm. James A. Lyons} ~ When President nObama announced that he was going to “fundamentally transform” America, not many Americans understood the full depth of that statement... Based on an assessment of his policies over the last six and half years, clearly one of Mr. nObama’s objectives has been to diminish America’s standing and leadership role throughout the world. One result has been that our allies now don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us — the worst possible combination. The humiliation of the United States resulting from Mr. nObama’s total capitulation on all our key objectives on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is merely another manifestation of that objective. He went beyond our stated objectives and conceded our national honor. He humiliated this great country before our friends, allies and most importantly, our enemies. This is unconscionable. He has strengthened our sworn enemy, one which has vowed to destroy us. Furthermore, he has not only guaranteed Iran will achieve a nuclear weapons capability, it will also receive the most modern conventional weapons, seriously jeopardizing our position in the Persian Gulf — an area that even President Carter deemed of vital interest to the United States. The silence coming from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this agreement is deafening. That says it all.        http://www.aim.org/guest-column/undermining-the-military/?utm_source=AIM+-+Daily+Email&utm_campaign=email073115&utm_medium=emai
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 Gitmo Prisoners Could Be Set Free on U.S. Streets  
{Morgan Chalfant} ~ A retired Navy commander says that if the nObama administration’s plan to bring Guantanamo inmates to the  United States succeeds, “activist” judges could set those prisoners free on American streets... J.D. Gordon, who worked as Pentagon spokesman from 2005 to 2009, penned an op-ed for the Hill during which he pointed out the details of the prison’s impending closure. First, Gordon argued that the current 116 detainees–half of whom are designated with indefinite detention status and a third of whom are confirmed or believed to be returning to terrorism–could go free in the United States. nObama is a worthiness SOB.      http://freebeacon.com/national-security/retired-navy-commander-obama-extends-olive-branches-to-terrorists/
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 Congress Knew Better Than To Confirm...  
{rickwells.us} ~ In the introduction at the 2015 Aspen Security Forum, interviewer Ryan Lizza of the liberal “New Yorker” magazine gives a brief rundown of the current Homeland “Security” Secretary Jeh Johnson’s recent work history, which includes pushing nObama’s grand liberal agenda... Two items that should have screamed “rejection” during his confirmation process were his fundamental roles in eliminating the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy as well as his critical work in advancing the closing of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Obviously his resume was well-known to Republicans in the Senate during the confirmation process, they knew what kind of individual we were being saddled with and yet they still voted to confirm. Now, with every sneer and evasive half-truth, with every foreign invader that is not only allowed to remain in this country but which does so at our expense, with every job that is lost to an illegal granted a work permit or life lost to a foreign criminal, we the American people pay the price for their complacency.
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 Mosques and massacres: Western leaders need to pay attention  
{Ralph Sdiway} ~ “In many Muslim countries … the mosques are monitored by the police on Friday. There is a simple reason for this: many political decisions start from the mosque during the Friday khutba [sermon]... Historians of Islam know that many riots and revolutions were launched from the mosques and that jihad is often proclaimed during the khutba.” On June 26, Saif Rezgui walked on to a beach in Tunisia and opened fire on German, British, and Irish sunbathers in front of the Imperial Marhaba resort hotel, killing 39 and wounding dozens more. If various world leaders are to be believed, the massacre had nothing to do with Islam. In response to the attack which left thirty British citizens dead, Prime Minister David Cameron said the terrorism “is not in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.” A day later, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott assured the world that “what’s being done by Daesh [the Islamic State] has nothing to do with God, it has nothing to do with religion. There was one notable exception to the usual nothing-to-do-with-Islam mantra. Immediately after the attack, Tunisia’s prime minister, Habib Essid, ordered the closing of 80 mosques.        http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/mosques-and-massacres-western-leaders-need-to-start-paying-attention
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 Latinos Target Wayward Democrat Senators With Petition...  
{rickwells.us} ~ We’re regularly reminded by the pro-amnesty, pro-invasion operatives such as the infamous Rep Luis “the Roach” Gutierrez (D-IL), of their position that most of the illegals presently residing in the United States are from all around the world... It is a misconception, they argue, to believe that they are primarily border-crashers from Mexico and Latin America. Gutierrez needs to add the illegal invader activist group Presente.org to his mailing list. They seem to be laboring under the same “distorted” viewpoint as most American citizens; that the invaders are largely of Latino origin. The group has launched a petition drive targeting Senate Democrats they perceive as being soft on the issue of sanctuary cities, singling out three in particular, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). It’s curious that they are wasting their efforts on Boxer, as she is retiring after her current term and will never again face the voters. Then again, if they want to waste their money and time who are we mere citizens to get in their way?
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 Rep Louie Gohmert On Iran Nukes And Potentially Worse EMP Threat  
{rickwells.us} ~ On Wednesday’s edition of Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) commented on Hussein nObama’s Iranian nuclear giveaway and the consequences for the United States and the world if it is approved... Rep Gohmert believes that the reason Iran continued to work towards a nuclear weapon was “because they knew that as soon as they had nuclear weapons, then they could use those to blackmail the rest of the world into removing the sanctions.” He remarks that in the wake of the nObama regimes actions, including the release of over one hundred billion dollars, “And now they’ll be able to buy nukes.” Gohmert says, “This is the worst possible deal for Israel, it is the worst possible deal for the people of the United States, it’s far worse than the deal that Neville Chamberlain made with Hitler. This is far worse because Hitler wasn’t on the verge of developing nuclear weapons and actually this is going to help Iran develop nuclear weapons.”        http://rickwells.us/rep-louie-gohmert-on-iran-nukes-and-potentially-worse-emp-threat-resulting-from-obamas-deal/
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 Benghazi details found in Hilly Clinton's emails  
{Bob Unruh} ~ More details have emerged about emails from former Secretary of State Hilly Clinton’s private server, including that there was classified material from five different agencies..and among the information were discussions about the situation in Benghazi, in which terrorists attacked a U.S. facility and killed four Americans. The new details were released by McClatchy, which found that the Benghazi email was among those released to the public in May by the State Department. It’s just the latest development in the scandal surrounding Hilly Clinton’s setup that used her own private server, instead of a government computer, for all her emails while she was secretary of state. She turned over emails to the government after her tenure that she thought appropriate, and deleted those she wanted to delete.   http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/benghazi-details-found-in-hillary-clintons-emails/
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 Info in Clinton emails came from multiple intelligence agencies  
{foxnews.com} ~ Classified emails stored on former Secretary of State Hilly Clinton’s private server contained information from multiple intelligence agencies in addition to data connected to the 2012 Benghazi attack, a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News... The information came from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National-Geospatial Agency, as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, the source said. A random sampling of emails by the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General has identified five emails containing classified information. One of the classified emails was released in full by the State Department on its “reading room”public website for Clinton’s emails.       http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/31/information-in-classified-clinton-emails-came-from-multiple-intelligence/?intcmp=hpbt1
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2016 Contest Begins to Take Shape
Peggy Noonan
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     {peggynoonan.com} ~ The weekend will be dominated by back-and-forth on the Iran deal. The administration will argue that some agreement was necessary and this was the best that could be got. They will continue their almost childlike insistence that it proves President nObama is either Ronald Reagan (he negotiates with foes) or Richard Nixon (he reaches out to adversaries).
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     There will be plenty of serious criticism of the deal, accompanied by a generalized sense that the U.S. probably got taken—because Mr. nObama always wants it too much. As with the opening to Cuba, Mr. nObama put his face on it too early, put his name on it too hard, talked about it too much in public, let his aides give background interviews saying this is a crucial effort, a historic gambit, part of the president’s visionary legacy. The adversary sees this, the need and the want—they watch the news too!—and proceeds accordingly.
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     Mr. nObama is an odd one in that when there are rivals close by, in Congress for instance, with whom he could negotiate deals, he disses them in public, attacks their motives, yanks them around with executive orders, crushes them when possible. But when negotiating with actual tyrants he signals deference, hunger. I leave it to others to explain what it means when a man is bullying toward essentially good people and supplicating toward bad ones. But the sense is he always wants it too much and is consequently a poor negotiator, and this will have some impact on U.S. and world reaction.
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     Hilly Clinton has given her tentative support. The day before the deal was announced she gave a big economic speech, at the New School in New York.
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     I wanted to think along with it, but Mrs. Clinton doesn’t give you much to think to. She offers policy clumps wrapped in general sentiments. There was policy jargon—“consumer economy,” “quality, affordable child care,” “paid family leave,” “our fiscal outlook is sustainable.” In the tired rhetoric department there were “currents of change” and getting “our country moving.” There were a few fleeting shots at Republican candidates, which provided the speech with a kind of leavening cynicism.
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     She seemed at times to knock Mr. nObama, or at least distance herself from him. Wall Streeters who tanked the economy in the late 2000s got off with “limited consequences—or none at all.” Who’s been in charge since 2008? She made two references to rising health-care costs. I thought we took care of that.
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     There was a thought worthy of unpacking, which had to do with the “short-termism” that dominates CEOs’ thinking; they are enslaved to a “quarterly capitalism” that leaves them focused on the share price and the next earnings report at the expense of longer-term investment. This is true: They’re all squeezing too tight and missing the big picture because in the general rush of demands they can’t afford to see it. I’m not sure what a president can do about it, but it’s not bad to talk about such things.
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     Along the way she smuggled in a campaign theme: “I want to have principled and pragmatic and progressive policies.” I suspect we’ll be hearing more of the three P’s.
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     There was a nice thought nicely expressed: At its best, “public service is planting trees under whose shade you’ll never sit.” That was pretty.
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     It was a pointillist policy-dot speech meant to add up to a portrait of meaning. The meaning was clear: More progressivism, please. Also: There’s little substantial difference between Bernie Sanders and me other than that Goldman Sachs likes me, which only proves my range. The left doesn’t have to bolt away.
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     A concern for her campaign has to be Mrs. Clinton’s robotic delivery, as if she’s never there in the moment but distanced from herself. As if she’s thinking: I don’t fully believe this, but more important, do I seem to believe it? She seems to be overcoached by people who keep telling her to be natural. But why would someone in public life for more than 30 years need to be instructed in naturalness? I don’t understand her discomfort and wonder what it suggests or portends. You can argue she’s a strong leader; she may be the next president, she may be the acknowledged head of her party, but she is a poor campaigner—a poor giver of interviews and speeches, which is now most of what campaigning is. At the end of the day this will mean something. .
     Meanwhile, Scott Walker announced in Waukesha, Wis. There is still something fresh and awake about him. He’s not all dinged up and slump-shouldered, even though he’s been a target for so long. His subliminal message—actually, it’s liminal—has two parts: I wasn’t born into it, I’m normal like you—but I’ve achieved a great deal, maintained my seriousness, and been a brave governor.
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     He made his announcement in the increasingly popular casual manner, in shirt sleeves with an open collar and casual slacks. They’re all trying to express intimacy by removing barriers—podiums, teleprompters. But that’s superficial. You can make a connection in a suit behind a podium if you sound as if you’re thinking and speaking honestly and with depth. All this physical symbolism has gotten carried away. John Kasich is next. I’m hoping he won’t announce in a T-shirt and underpants.
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     What is most interesting about Mr. Walker is that he has remained in the top tier, often in the top three, while being less in the public eye recently than other candidates. His years as embattled Wisconsin governor have given him a hold on the Republican imagination. As he spoke I thought: He’s from the Republican wing of the Republican Party—blunt, direct, unadorned, Midwestern. His message was workmanlike: “I know how to fight and win.” He is a reform conservative, believes in federalism, is hard-line on foreign policy: Mr. nObama says climate change is the greatest threat to future generations, but “the greatest threat to future generations is radical Islamic terrorism.” Vladimir Putin, like Lenin, probes his adversaries with bayonets: “If you encounter mush, push; if you encounter steel, stop.” Mr. Walker will run hard on his Wisconsin record: “We lowered taxes by $2 billion. In fact we lowered taxes on individuals, employers and property. In fact, property taxes are lower today than they were four years ago. . . . How many governors can say that?”
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     All this will make him highly competitive for the nomination. Is it suited to the mood of the nation in the general election?
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     Mr. Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, soon John Kasich: They are going to be flooding the hustings very soon, and they’re going to hit Republicans on the ground as an embarrassment of riches—interesting, accomplished figures, all with a case to make. They’ll have the money to last because they pretty much all have rich backers. It is going to be hard for Republicans to make up their minds. This primary is going to go longer and end later than anyone knows.
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