Our Watcher’s Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!” – Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth , Act V, Scene 1

“Character is destiny.” – Attributed to Greek philosopher Hereclitus, 500 BC

“There’s hostility to lying, and there should be.” -Bob Woodward

“”Painful as the task is to describe the dark side of our affairs, it sometimes becomes a matter of indispensable necessity.” -George Washington

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This week’s winning essay,Joshuapundit’s #Hillary Lied About Her E-Mails, Broke The Law And What It Really Means is my take on the scandal concerning Hillary Clinton’s private server during her tenure as Secretary of State, the serious issues actually involved and ultimately, what’s behind the curtain. Here’s a slice:


Once again, Mrs. Clinton has revealed to us that if she tells you the sun is shining, you’d better make sure you have an umbrella handy.

Most polls show that the majority of Americans, for some odd reason consider her untrustworthy and an out and out liar.CNN’s national poll shows that 57% of Americans see her that way, and ABC News and the Wall Street Journal put that number at 52%.

She’s continued to sing the old Right Wing Conspiracy song, and to claim, as she did in an interview with CNN’s servile Diane Keillor, “When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system,” she said. “Now I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.”

There are enough outright lies in that small paragraph to warrant a serious trial.

Even storing Federal records on a private server is a serious violation of the Federal Records Act for reasons that should be obvious, and a violation of the agreement Mrs. Clinton signed when she started at the State Department. Mrs. Clinton was likewise required to turn over any and all records in her possession to government, which she quite obviously did not do.

Not only did Mrs. Clinton fail to turn over work-related emails, but she and her staff also edited some of those emails before submitting them, as the Examiner’s Sarah Westwood reported.

In legalese, this shows intent. Mrs, Clinton intended to deceive congress.Not only that, but the committee obtained a number of e-mails that were work related and were either edited or somehow missing from the 55,000 Mrs. Clinton turned in:

The missing materials, which the State Department says it does not have, came to Congress by other means. They include writings about the jockeying for oil contracts in Libya after President Obama engaging in a war without congressional approval to overthrow Moammar Gaddafi. This comes among her back-and-forth emails with Sidney Blumenthal, a former staffer who had been barred from employment in the Obama administration, to continue offering his insight and advice on Libya. […]

But the proof of intent to deceive comes in the fact that Clinton or her staff actually edited some of the emails and turned over censored versions to State before destroying her copy of the originals.

I think we can reasonably be certain that cash donations to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for an inside track on oil deals or for Federal contracts involving Libya and other areas were the subject of some of these communications, but what’s already known is damaging enough.

Another, much more serious problem than the usual lies and corruption is the fact that Mrs. Clinton’s private server was almost certainly hacked by foreign agents. Her server lacked the normal security given to classified information within the government’s official system. Professionals who have examined the security of Hillary private e-mail account have said that the question is not whether the account was hacked, but to what degree.

Not only were classified communications almost certainly compromised, but there’s not telling what kind of personal, perhaps even indictable messages might have been scooped up. Imagine a president in the midst of negotiations with a foreign power like China, Russia or Iran suddenly confronted discretely with an ultimatum that unless she made certain far reaching concessions, certain information she desperately didn’t want revealed would be made public.

Federal Law(36 CFR 1234.24) requires agencies to collect all records from “external electronic mail systems” so that they can be stored inside government archives. There’s also a federal law (44 USC 3106) that authorizes legal action through the Attorney General and the Justice Department “for the recovery of records” that are threatened by destruction, deletion or erasure. Willfully destroying a federal record is a felony, punishable by fine and imprisonment. Mrs. Clinton is already guilty of that crime as well by admitting she destroyed her server.

Like I said, a lot of lies in one paragraph.

Mrs. Clinton felt free to destroy her private server and laugh at the subpoenas from congress because she knew that President Obama’s Attorney General and the DOJ were not going to take any action against her, again for obvious reasons. Among them is that there’s no longer a requirement to do so.

To find out why,and what’s really behind this go to the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Rueben Navarette Jr. with a moving piece, I Don’t Know if I’m Pro-Choice After Planned Parenthood Videos submitted by The Watcher.

This took courage and some obvious soul searching to write. It’s always a threshold moment when person realizes that a belief they’ve held for some time might be a grave error.

Recommended.

Here are this week’s full results. Great Satan’s Girlfriend, Ask Marion and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but none were affected by the normal 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Yes, once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all particularly slimy and despicable, but the votes are in and we have our winner…the envelope please…

 
Obama’s Soviet-Style EPA!

JoshuaPundit : When they’re not killing jobs and raising energy prices by killing coal or driving businesses overseas because of insane, arcane regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency does  a pretty good job of polluting….and breaking the law by trying to cover it up.

The Animas River in Southwestern Colorado in not only a major source of water and the aquifer in the area, but a wonderful recreation area and a prime environment for fish and wild life. Now, thanks to the EPA, its a polluted mess.

Obama’s environmental commissars were nosing around and ‘accidentally’ – it’s been difficult to get a straight answer on exactly what happened – broke into an abandoned mine and released a huge amount of chemical-laced water…that flowed right into the Animas River.

It appears that someone, believe it or not, used a backhoe to move some debris out of the way rather than removing it more carefully, since it was known there was water in the abandoned gold mine.

Even worse was that the EPA attempted to cover it up, at first saying it was just a minor spill and then finally admitting it amounted to over 3 million gallons. There have also been no answers about why the EPA took so long to repair the breech.

Fortunately the local authorities were able to keep the polluted mess, which contains
arsenic, lead and other metals out of the city of Durango’s main reservoir, but wells and groundwater will definitely be affected.The polluted water has traveled down to New Mexico and to the Navajo Nation’s reservation.

Durango and and La Plata County have declared states of emergency, and there’s now a potential water shortage.

The Weaselness comes from the EPA’s attempt to cover up what happened and shift the blame to the owner of the long abandoned mine for a catastrophe the EPA caused. Particularly odious was the E.P.A.’s regional director, Shaun McGrath, who led the charge, but he was just a Good German following orders. We all know that had a private company done something like this, the Obama Regime would be calling for their heads.

Yes, the EPA under Obama remind a lot of Soviet apparatchniks. Causing a major toxic waste spill through clumsy use of a backhoe, trying to cover it up and blame others for it and lying about the extent of it…it all reeks of Big Government run amuck. There’s even a story out there about how one of the EPA spokespeople lied to the local ranchers and farmers about a large shipment of clean water coming their way that never arrived..except in the case of one rancher who had a personal connection with Colorado Senator Michael Bennett and had the brains to call him about it. He ended up with a 1,600-gallon tank and clean water for it. So far, few other deliveries have surfaced.

And the EPA, in an effort to avoid their responsibility are now claiming that most of the metals and chemicals are either safely buried in river sediment (!) or washed away, something the locals aren’t buying at all. The City of Durango and and La Plata County are doing their own testing and continuing to insist the EPA clean up after itself.

The real Weaselness comes from the cover up, and from what the EPA would do to a private company whom behaved in this fashion…not to mention the headlines in the ObamaMedia.

  Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Classified Edition

“OK, so some of the stuff was classified. So my server was hacked by foreign governments. What difference does it make now anyway at this point?”

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Gates Of Vienna and The People’s Cube earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!

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It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ nominees….

 
RedState’s Talking Head Erick Erickson!!

Puma By Design : I nominate RedState, Erik Erickson, for Weasel of the Week.

Late Friday night, Eric Erickson, disinvited Donald Trump from RedState Gathering supposedly because of disparaging remarks Trump made about Megyn Kelly. In turn, Erickson invited Megyn Kelly to speak in the Donald’s place.

His actions led to an uproar on social media and beneath the comment section of his post.

Erickson in his post laid out his rationale for disinviting Trump, alluding to the fact that Trump is a “non-professional politician” and a “blunt talker” only to expose himself later in the post:

The other day, we sent out the agenda for the RedState Gathering. The file had been saved with the “final” tag and the Washington sent it out. But it still had Governor Deal on the agenda and it did not have Donald Trump on it. Obviously, it wasn’t the final.

So then Erickson never really invited Trump? Trump was not invited. Or he was invited and Redstate just waited anticipating moment and opportunity to disinvite?

As time went on and RedState found itself inundated with comments from an endless wave of outraged voters.

How did RedState, a so-called Conservative website respond? They responded by deleting comments and when that didn’t slow down the wave is displeased readers directing their comments to Erickson, the moderator closed the comments section.

Throughout the RedState Gathering, a snarky Erickson read angry tweets that were directed at RedState. In addition, Erickson responded to tweets on social media but the tone of Erickson’s tweets gave one the impression that Eric Erickson was working overtime to cover himself.

Then we learn a day and a half later that Eric Erickson intentionally failed to extend an invitation to Dr. Benjamin Carson. Again, the rationale for not inviting Carson, seen by Erickson as another “non-professional politician” much like the excuse for disinviting Trump does not hold water.

According to Breitbart, Erickson allegedly attended two events where Carson was speaking before a group of veterans. According to Erickson, Carson spoke only of himself and Barack Obama failing to acknowledge the concerns or struggles of our vets. Then he went on to blame failure to invite Carson to the RedState Gather on the fact that there were limited slots available.

“I was at two different events for military non-profits in the last year,” Erickson stated. “They were non-profits that had asked Dr. Carson to speak about military veterans and the work he did with the disabled and both times he spent the entire time talking about himself and his battle with the president and it just struck me wrong. And when we were putting together a list of RedState speakers we had a limited selection and I chose not to put Dr. Carson on the list unless the other spots didn’t fill up. The other spots filled up so I didn’t ask him. I was impressed with his debate performance the other night and his closing statement but I just, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Okay, if the reason for not inviting Ben Carson had to do with limited slots being available, Erickson could have very well remedied that situation after disinviting Trump but he made no effort to because he had no intention of inviting Carson in the first place.

Erickson is obviously overlooking the fact that “professional politicians” is how this country got so screwed up in the first place.

Erickson is colluding with the media (Fox) and the GOP leadership to bring out long-term results unfavorable to the American people and for that, I nominate Erick Erickson for Weasel of the Week.

The Right Planet :While there were plenty of candidates for Weasel this week, I’m going to have to give the crown to RedState’s Erick Erickson; who rescinded invitations to speak at a RedState event for GOP presidential candidates to both Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Now, let me just say that I’m not on the Trump bandwagon. I’m not trying to defend Trump. I have some serious reservations about Donald Trump. With that being said, Erickson apparently took umbrage with Trump’s comments about Megyn Kelly as “a bridge too far.” This is coming from the same guy who was praising Trump’s retorts to Rosie O’Donnell not too long ago. It’s also the same guy who once tweeted, that with the retirement of Justice David Souter,  America had lost “the only goat-f*cking child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court.” Some of Erickson’s own views on women have left a bad taste in few people’s mouths as well. Furthermore, Trump’s “on her knees” comment that Megyn Kelly grilled him on at the GOP debate appears to have been taken completely out of context, from what I can gather. This really smacks of gross hypocrisy.

Erickson also calls Ben Carson a “non-professional politician”; and defended his un-invite by claiming Carson “spent the entire time talking about himself and his battle with the president” during a veteran’s event he attended. Apparently, Erick Erickson and the Fox News moderators have decided to act as the gatekeepers. Are we going to let the media or the voters pick our candidates?

 
Target Stores!

The Noisy Room: My nomination this week is Target. More political correctness insanity rears its hoary head. This time Target has claimed that there has been a massive outcry that they remove gender references from toys and bedding. I just don’t believe there are millions of Americans crying out for this. If they are under pressure, it is a small radical, vocal minority. More likely it is a combination of pressure from the Obama Administration and Liberals among the upper echelons of their internal leadership. Kid’s clothing will still be separated and labeled by gender for the simple reason that sizing dictates it. But they’ll find a way around that before long and go to some stupid universal sizing code. You watch. This is just ridiculous. Little girls can no longer just be girls and God forbid that a little boy would just be a boy growing into a man. No – we are all transgenders now.

Our culture is not evolving – it’s twisting and disappearing. Home and entertainment is also being ‘de-genderized.’ I’m literally running out of places to shop these days over all this political correctness crap. I find myself shopping more and more through Amazon.com where at least I’m not subjected to this PC torture. I don’t want all of society to be the same, bland vanilla stereotype. We are allowing Progressive tyrants to paint us all with the same brush and herd us into one big controllable corral. People will ditch Target over this. I’m one of them. They can take their gender-neutral society and stuff it. This will not end well. For pushing Marxist propaganda for the Obama Administration, Target gets the nod for Golden Weasel this week.

 
Obama’s Soviet-Style EPA

JoshuaPundit : When they’re not killing jobs and raising energy prices by killing coal or driving businesses overseas because of insane, arcane regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency does  a pretty good job of polluting….and breaking the law by trying to cover it up.

The Animas River in Southwestern Colorado in not only a major source of water and the aquifer in the area, but a wonderful recreation area and a prime environment for fish and wild life. Now, thanks to the EPA, its a polluted mess.

Obama’s environmental commissars were nosing around and ‘accidentally’ – it’s been difficult to get a straight answer on exactly what happened – broke into an abandoned mine and released a huge amount of chemical-laced water…that flowed right into the Animas River.

It appears that someone, believe it or not, used a backhoe to move some debris out of the way rather than removing it more carefully, since it was known there was water in the abandoned gold mine.

Even worse was that the EPA attempted to cover it up, at first saying it was just a minor spill and then finally admitting it amounted to over 3 million gallons. There have also been no answers about why the EPA took so long to repair the breech.

Fortunately the local authorities were able to keep the polluted mess, which contains
arsenic, lead and other metals out of the city of Durango’s main reservoir, but wells and groundwater will definitely be affected.The polluted water has traveled down to New Mexico and to the Navajo Nation’s reservation.

Durango and and La Plata County have declared states of emergency, and there’s now a potential water shortage.

The Weaselness comes from the EPA’s attempt to cover up what happened and shift the blame to the owner of the long abandoned mine for a catastrophe the EPA caused. Particularly odious was the E.P.A.’s regional director, Shaun McGrath, who led the charge, but he was just a Good German following orders. We all know that had a private company done something like this, the Obama Regime would be calling for their heads.

 Well, there it is. What a despicable group of  Weasels…ANY OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Forum: What Did You Take Away From The GOP Debates?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:What Did You Take Away From The GOP Debates?

Don Surber : Only women bleed?

Seriously, Carly won. Kasich took the nightcap by co-opting the message of The Other Donald (my phrase for him). Next day comments by Donald Trump about Megyn Kelly may have ended his campaign.

My main takeaway was that it was good TV. Sharp, well-researched questions followed by good answers. No Coke or Pepsi bullshit. The bar is raised by Fox News.

The Independent Sentinel : Carly Florina won both debates. She was quick, knowledgeable, strong. she wants to bring America back and I believe she can do it.

The evening debate was a ruined after the intro and the second question which was worthy of a debate on TMZ since it was taken out of context and only meant to take Trump down.

An article by the hill called Trump teflon and they wondered how he could be taken down. The obvious answer is to stop trying to take him down with tactics unbefitting Fox News. People resent being manipulated and they don’t like unfair attacks.

Of course the left loved it. The three-person Fox team took up one-third of the time and asked candidates questions at the start that addressed the worst criticisms against them. Everything the candidates said afterwards hardly mattered to those not on the right.

Hello, Fox, Hillary is the enemy, not our candidates!

And why did they go after the pro-life issues when we have Planned Parenthood selling infants parts from their baby chop shop. They’re probably committing infanticide. Why all the social issues questions?

The afternoon debate wasn’t the ratings-getter but it was so well-done. All our candidates could do their best in that atmosphere.

Did Fox switch teams to get ratings?

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD:I pretty much decided yours truly doesn’t give a rat’s assets over anything GOV Christe, SEN Paul or GOV Kasich has to say. Personally rather see Carly Fiorina and GOV Perry get into the top ten.

All in all – a big phat field to choose from!

 JoshuaPundit : Much of what I had to say about the debate can be seen here. But I think a few points need to be emphasized, and definitely amplified in few of the events of the last few days.

While few questions could have been better off not asked, overall I thought FOX did a fine job, especially given the amount of people involved. They kept things moving and asked exactly the tough questions needed. FOX News is not an organ of the GOP. That, after all is what the Left says,isn’t it? They are a news organization and their job is to ask the tough questions. Considering Trump’s history of Twitter insults towards women I didn’t find Megan Kelly’s question to be at all out of line as it will be a major Democrat talking point.I found his obvious reference to her menstrual cycle to be odious, one men have used for years when faced with strong women they disapprove of.

Let us examine Mr. Trump. His speeches consist of obvious applause lines and zero real policy. Yet no one questions that. There’s talk of the ‘Teflon Trump’ and insults to ethnic groups and women that would normally have the media in a howling frenzy get passed by, just like questions about aspects of his previous record. This sort of license is unheard of for Republican candidates. Ever wonder why?

I got my answers Thursday night. When he was asked straight questions about his 180 degree pivots on issues like abortion, his sudden change from being a lifelong Democrat to a Republican, and his relations with crony capitalism and the Clintons, he came out with obviously rehearsed and bogus sounding answers. And to top it off, he refused to commit to not running as a third party candidate.

Let’s go back to 1992. Another billionaire named Ross Perot ran for president. He had the same formula…lots of applause lines and little meat, the ability to glom onto an angry electorate and a fair amount of media savvy; He did exactly what Trump is doing know, except he had the honesty to run as a third party from day one. He got just enough votes to allow Bill Clinton to slither into the Oval Office. You see, I fell for Perot’s nonsense too so I know exactly what Trump’s appeal is. Of all the votes I ever cast, that’s the only one I wish I had back – it would likely have prevented 9/11, because George HW Bush would have had Osama bin-Laden in custody somewhere singing like a canary, North Korea wouldn’t have the bomb and China would be at least 29 years behind militarily from where she is now.

Trump is this year’s Perot, and being that he is so personally close to the Clintons, the idea might very well be for the Donald to help her get elected. It’s exactly the sort of scheme I could see Bill Clinton coming up with. It also explains the ‘Teflon Trump.’ Why else would the ObamaMedia not be tearing his head off?

I urge people not to fall for this scam. If you really want an anti-establishment Republican, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee fill that space admirably. And with consistency without any last minute conversions.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : The first GOP debate was disappointing. The format did not give each of the candidates enough time to leave an impression with the viewers. For the most part it was The Trump Show, and he spent more time bloviating than actually giving any substantial answers to any of the questions.

The good news is that over 24 million viewers watched the debate, which hopefully means people are truly looking for a change from the last six and a half years of President Obama’s destruction and fundamental transformation of our country.

The biggest problem the GOP faces is not Donald Trump, it is all of the disaffected voters who are tired of the GOP establishment turning their backs on the issues they promised to fix if only we gave them majorities in the House (which we did in 2010) and the Senate (delivered to them in 2014). We no longer have a Congress truly representative of we the people.

There were some good moments had by Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee. It will be interesting to see how the voters reacted to them and how their numbers do in the post debate polls.

One thing we need to see the Republican candidates do going forward is convey the fact that Hillary Clinton is just another Barack Obama and electing her would only bring us more of the same. In addition, they need to explain clearly what our country stands for and how that differs from the direction progressive policy makers and educators have taken us over the last century. This election is not just about whether an R or D becomes president. It is about restoring our country to the Constitutional Republic our founders intended.

The Right Planet : I was left scratching my head. Some believe Fox News was aiming to take down Donald Trump. But Fox has also given more airtime to Trump than any other candidate. I find that rather “interesting.” The Washington Post (insert grain of salt here) reported Bill Clinton had called Donald Trump and encouraged him to play a larger role in the Republican Party. If these reports are true, why would Clinton want Trump more involved in Republican politics?

What is at play here, in my opinion, is what I call the “Trump Factor.” Trump is tapping into the vast reservoir of frustration and anger many Republicans and right-leaning voters feel when it comes to the GOP’s rather nasty habit of caving to the Left on just about everything. It is certainly something that has caused me endless exasperation and frustration. But I just can’t take Trump serious as a viable candidate for president. I don’t want a narcissistic hothead for leader. We already have one of those, albeit a passive-aggressive one. Yeah, Trump is good for a vicarious thrill. I get it. But that’s about it for me. And I have some serious questions about Trump’s motives.

It was interesting, too, to note that the Fox News moderators gave Trump more than double the amount of time (11:14 min.) as some of the other candidates. Jeb Bush came in second with 8:48 min. Rand Paul and Scott Walker spoke the least amount of time.

I think Cruz and Walker sounded the most presidential, and echoed a lot my own beliefs. Both Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee did surprisingly well. Although their responses seemed over-rehearsed and canned to me. Ben Carson seemed a bit overwhelmed at the beginning of the debate. But, as the debate got going, I really liked what Carson had to say. He certainly provided the best quote of the debate: “I’m the only one to take out half a brain, but if you went to Washington you would think someone had beat me to it.” John Kasich’s and Jeb Bush’s brand of neocon, big government politics just does not appeal to me. I thought Jeb Bush did the worst overall, as expected.

 Puma By Design : I watched both debates, Tier 1 and Tier 2.

To be honest, I favored the Tier 1 debate over the second.

While there was no audience present at the Tier 1 debate referred to by the media as the “undercard”, it did little to stifle the energy and performance of Carly Fiorina.

Finally, Americans would hear directly from the candidates instead of a biased media acting as the intermediary, framing, sabotaging and misinterpreting what these candidates have to offer.

Enter the Tier 2 debate, which from my perch in the window came off as a well-orchestrated dog and pony show put into play by the GOP leadership. Primary agenda: Take out Donald Trump.

Acknowledging that time was limited with so many candidates on stage, right out of the gate, moderators and a few others seemed to set their sights on Trump. In so doing, the pace was set for the rest of the evening to the point of chaos prevailing and dominating the news cycle for two days after instead of the debate.

As a result, candidates were deprived of a long awaited opportunity to introduce themselves to America thus shortchanging 24 million viewers. To be honest, I expected better of Fox.

Jeb Bush was far from impressive and on common core Bush stated, “I don’t believe the federal government should be involved in the creation of standards directly or indirectly, the creation of curriculum or content. It is clearly a state responsibility. I’m for higher standards…And if states want to opt out of Common Core, fine. Just make sure your standards are high.”

Twenty-four million viewers tuned into the debate, I cannot begin to imagine how many of those viewers nearly felt out of their seats on that one.

Common Core IS federally funded. Bush also said that it is fine for states to opt out of Common Core provided states make sure that their standards are high. So who sets the bar, governor?

Balderdash. Taking a swipe at opponents of Common Core while commending Ohio governor, John Kasich’s embrace of Common Core, Bush in an op-ed posted in The Columbia Dispatch on April 27, 2013 entitled, “Students need challenge of Common Core standards” stated the following:

Ohio joined 45 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting world-class academic standards, known as the Common Core State Standards. The initiative is state-driven, voluntary and truly bipartisan. Unfortunately, as full implementation of the new standards nears, myths and misinformation are threatening to derail this great progress.

Retreating from this bold education reform would be bad policy and bad politics and would jeopardize the college and career readiness of future generations of students and, ultimately, the quality of tomorrow’s work force. It also would render Ohio’s already significant taxpayer investment in the new standards worthless and without account. To understand the significance of this policy issue, it is important to review the facts and separate the truth from mendacity….

You want to separate the truth from mendacity, let us start with the fact that Common Core standards are pushed by the Department of Education, a federal agency.

Kudos to Marco Rubio for checking Jeb Bush on this and setting the record straight.

I expected better of Rand Paul…PERIOD.

Emeritus of Neurosurgery, Benjamin Carson is a patriot but I suspect in over his head.

So who would I say won the debate? Carly Fiorina hands down. I would, however, recommend Fiorina not allow the mainstream media to pull her into Trump/Kelly debacle.

Finally, I believe that it is clear that the GOP leadership is determined to put on these dog and pony shows only to force their chosen one down the throats of Americans.

After all, they did it in 2012 and got away with it. The Republican leadership is working from the same playbook.

 Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

The Council Has Spoken – Our Watcher’s Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” – PJ O’Rourke

“We now have the liberal playbook and we know what they are doing, and we are using it against them. Unlike the Democrats though, we aren’t out to destroy our society, we are out to save it.” – Mark Levin

“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.” – Ludwig Von Mises

“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15!” – President Ronald Reagan

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This week’s winning essay,Joshuapundit’s Donkey Kong Politics – The Democrat Field. In it, I chose to take an in depth look and the main Democrat candidates and analyze their records character, strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a slice:

It is early days yet, with 16 months until the election. But it’s interesting to assess the Democrat field as it is today from a horse race perspective and see where we are, especially as we’re starting to get a glimpse of future trends.

Hillary Rodham Clinton remains by far the Democrat frontrunner. She’s raised far more money than any of the other candidates, more than all of them combined. And she has far more name recognition than any of them. Mrs. Clinton has indeed been with us a long time. To add to these advantages, she has her own built in grievance group appeal because she possesses a vagina and can work the ‘first woman president’ angle for all it’s worth.

Unfortunately for her, she’s run into significant problems on the way to the coronation.

The biggest stumbling block to Hillary Clinton has been her own persona. When she first starting her obvious toying with announcing her candidacy after resigning her job as Secretary of State, she had record high approval ratings. At that time, I wrote on these pages that as soon as she began to run, people would remember all the things they disliked about her. And I put her chances at getting the nomination at no more than 50/50, about which more later.

As Secretary of State, Hillary was mostly cut out of the loop. President Obama assigned all of the juicy diplomatic roles to ‘special presidential envoys’ and Mrs. Clinton was reduced to administrative tasks and a role as messenger girl when needed. Even the UN was taken away from her, as President Obama made it a Cabinet post reporting directly to him and put Obama loyalist Susan Rice in the slot.

The public has a notoriously short memory, especially with Clinton minions like George Stephanopoulos in the media talking her up while making sure nothing problematic really made the news. So Secretary Clinton was largely seen as benign, a reminder of the supposed Good Old Days of the Clinton presidency.

The first reminder of the real Hillary came out in the wake of the Benghazi scandal when it was revealed that she and the Obama regime collaborated on blatantly phoney talking points to blame a totally unknown video and an out of hand ‘protest’ for a well planned terrorist attack in which a US ambassador and three others were murdered. That one was too big for her media allies to contain, especially after America saw her temper tantrum on national TV when she was confronted with her lies by congress and revealed her hideously amoral core by screaming that it made no difference.

Still, she was protected by the Obama regime for its own reasons. They classified all records of the attack including drone and on ground videos of what happened, threatened the eyewitnesses whom survived so they wouldn’t testify to congress and stonewalled the requests of congress for information. And as time went on, the media cooperated by burying the story. So people tired of hearing about it and many, especially the True Believers moved on and as she announced her candidacy, she was still very much the Queen in waiting.

The next shoe that dropped was our finding out that while she had no major foreign policy accomplishments, Secretary Clinton wasn’t nearly so benign and idle as we supposed. She used her time in office to enrich herself and her husband through the corrupt Clinton Foundation, selling influence and access as a well-researched best seller “The Clinton Cash Machine” documented. Not only that, but it came out that $6 billion from the State Department budget Mrs. Clinton was responsible for allocating mysteriously went missing.No one to this day knows what happened to the money.

And now its been revealed that Hillary egregiously broke the law (and endangered America’s national security) by storing classified documents on a private server located in her home that was almost certainly hacked by foreign governments, refusing to release those documents to the US Department of State and destroying the server. Given who’s in the White House she likely won’t be prosecuted for that, but again, this sort of thing reminds people of whom Hillary Clinton is and why they dislike her.

Aside from her cold, secretive and imperious personality, she’s a corrupt serial liar whose tall tales are so easily found out that it outrages many of the intended recipients that she apparently thinks they’re stupid enough to swallow them. There is simply not a truthful bone in her body and again, you have a lot of people recalling why they dislike her…just as I predicted.

She reminds me of an old girl friend of mine who likewise lied in that particularly manic fashion. After catching her out the first couple of times and getting that deer in the headlights look, I learned never to take her seriously or believe a word she said and to just enjoy the carnal aspects of the relationship. But then, she wasn’t running for president.Hillary Clinton is.

Another problem Hillary Clinton has to deal with in her march to the White House is one beyond her control. The party’s base has simply moved far to the Left of her…or at least far to the Left of what she would like the American people to perceive. Hillary Clinton and her husband have always been a lot more radical in reality than they projected to the American voting public. They are what Emmett J. Tyrrell Jr. famously called ‘coat and tie radicals.’ They were willing to drop the obvious trappings and positions of the Left to a certain extent to infiltrate the System they despised from within for power and profit.

They largely succeeded, thanks to Bill Clinton’s undeniable skill as a politician in ‘triangulating’ – running ever so carefully to the Left to get the nomination and back towards the center in the general election to capture the flag. Hillary’s problem is that the Democrat Party George Soros and Barack Obama have created is simply too far Left to allow her to do that easily. She will either have to run hard to the Left to capture her party’s base or to the center, hoping that a combination of her gender and the fact that the alternative is one of the Hated Republicans will be enough.

While I still say that the nomination is largely hers for the taking, the chances of her getting it are only 50/50/. Her health is poor, and she is already polling equal or behind some of the GOP clown show, a trend that’s likely to continue. The Democrat’s system of super delegates – party movers and shakers unelected by any particular state – gives us at least the possibility that at some point, if her poll numbers keep dropping, they’ll have a little talk with her. And she’ll drop out and someone like Elizabeth Warren will drop in. Again, I see this as at least a 50/50 possibility.

Profiles of the other candidates at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was David P. Goldman’s Will Israel Save America? submitted by Joshuapundit. Goldman, of course, was the brilliant ‘Spengler’ of Asia Times fame. As always, Goldman deals with the larger issues and points out some fascinating ties and some interesting similarities between the inner nature of Israel and America that might not have occurred to you.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week but was not subject to the 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Yes, once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all particularly slimy and despicable, but the votes are in and we have our winner…the envelope please…

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 City Councilman and illegal migrant enabler Jhonny Pineda!

 Puma By Design : My WOTW nomination this week goes to Jhonny Pineda, City Councilman of Huntington Park, (southeast Los Angeles), California.

Pineda just announced the appointment of two illegal immigrants to serve as commissioners on the city’s advisory boards.

Francisco Medina was appointed as Commissioner of the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain will laud over the parks and recreation commission.

This action reeks of pay to play. Medina interned for fellow council member, Gil Cedillo and Zatarain has only been in the country eight years and yes, both are in the country illegally.

What part of ILLEGAL does this newly elected obviously corrupt council member not get and who cares if the City’s legal counsel said that the appointments are legal, illegal is just that. ILLEGAL!

Pineda’s actions is a kick in the gut of every American and legal immigrant.

 One of the things Barack Obama and his willing helpers are doing that is going to reverberate long after he packs up his golf clubs and leaves is to change the very meaning of what it means to be an American. For instance he recently changed the Oath of Citizenship to eliminate the provisions about defending America.

This only makes sense, of course, if you’re dealing primarily with economic migrants whom have no real loyalty to the United States, or Muslim immigrants whose first loyalty is to the Ummah. And by coincidence, that’s primarily whom Barack Obama and Jeh Johnson are flooding the country with. It’s particularly disgusting and insulting when you reflect that American Hispanics are the majority of Medal of Honor winners.

In California, I would almost say there’s little if any benefit from citizenship any more, Illegal aliens vote with impunity, employers are generally not stopped in any way from employing them, they have driver’s licenses, can apply and collect social welfare benefits freely, and most of the major cities in California are sanctuary cities that will not cooperate in deportations, even if they have criminal records. The logical next step is to have them hold public office and help run the state. Why not?

Jhonny Pineda is simply the first of many Weasels to use this trend to their advantage…because we are allowing it to happen. As such, he richly deserves his Golden Weasel. Tiene frijoles y arroz con esto? No problemo Amigo. We aim to please.

  Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Parts And Service Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

Debra Heine over at Nice Deb penned a superb article at PJ Media reporting on how the Obama Administration has sided with the Palestinians, working to try to stop US citizens from collecting judgments they won in court as victims of PLO terrorist attacks. It’s a must read.

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Maggie’s Notebook and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!

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It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ nominees….

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GOP RINO Heir Apparent Governor Jeb Bush!

Don Surber : Mustela Bushus Trey is my nominee. Jeb! helped found a charity that gave millions to Planned Parenthood while publicly professing to be pro-life. He is to the left of Donald Trump (Mustela Bad Hairus) on this issue. From Life Site News:

Until the eve of his presidential campaign, Jeb Bush was director of a philanthropy that gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and financed its advocacy of “unrestricted access to abortion” around the world. The charity also approved money to global abortion providers while he sat on its board.

In 2010, Jeb was named one of the founding directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, established as a tax-exempt foundation to advance the vision of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He resigned from the board at the end of 2014 to prepare his presidential campaign.

While a Bush spokesman has responded to concerns by saying that Bush would not have voted on every initiative of the foundation, a pro-life leader told LifeSiteNews it “stretches credibility” that Bush was unaware of the foundation’s pro-abortion work, given the centrality of such work to the foundation’s mission, and its scope.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Bush for comment, but did not hear back by press time.

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DNC Head,Obama Groupie And Walking Blonde Joke Debbie Wasserman-Schultz!

The Noisy Room: Debbie Wasserman Schultz gets the nod for my nomination this week. Wasserman Schultz is just the gift that keeps on giving for the Republicans. She’s a weapon of mass destruction for the Socialists… er, Democrats. She didn’t just screw up once when asked if she could tell the media the difference between Socialists and Democrats, she did it twice. Once with Chris Wallace last week and she just did it again with Chuck Todd. What a moron. It’s not just that she can’t answer a question, it’s that she’s so very bad at it. Then she lumped Hillary Clinton in with right-wing Republicans when she attacked the GOP. That one may have been on purpose. With the likes of brain trusts like Joe Biden and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, you can see why the Democrats have fallen to the Marxists. The stupid are easily infiltrated and overthrown from within. As Charles Payne said, the Debster couldn’t answer the question because there is no difference between the Democrats and Socialists. None.

You say pig, I say swine. For Debbie’s incompetence, she has been mercilessly pounded on by social media. Good. Some have commented that you are spelling ‘communist’ wrong. Heh. That’s actually more correct than you know. This all came about because Socialist Bernie Sanders is leading the race for the Democratic nomination. And the jackasses are going wild for him (that’s a party pun). Gee, I thought the media was on the side of the Marxists. What I think Wallace was trying to get her to do was defend Hillary somehow, but she’s just too dense to even do her job as the DNC Chairwoman. Either that or they have written the Hildebeast off, which I highly doubt. At any rate, their whole party is literally falling apart. It’s almost humorous. If the Republicans can’t beat these numbskulls, we deserve whatever we get. For being an incoherent, Socialist moron, Debbie should be the proud recipient of a golden weasel.

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City Councilman and illegal migrant enabler Jhonny Pineda!

Puma By Design : My WOTW nomination this week goes to Jhonny Pineda, City Councilman of Huntington Park, (southeast Los Angeles), California.

Pineda just announced the appointment of two illegal immigrants to serve as commissioners on the city’s advisory boards.

Francisco Medina was appointed as Commissioner of the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain will laud over the parks and recreation commission.

This action reeks of pay to play. Medina interned for fellow council member, Gil Cedillo and Zatarain has only been in the country eight years and yes, both are in the country illegally.

What part of ILLEGAL does this newly elected obviously corrupt council member not get and who cares if the City’s legal counsel said that the appointments are legal, illegal is just that. ILLEGAL!

Pineda’s actions is a kick in the gut of every American and legal immigrant.

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The ICE Otay Detention Center

Ask Marion :My nominee for Weasel of the Week is the ICE Otay Detention Center who are still detaining 27 Iraqi Christian refugees in the San Diego area. The 27 men, women and children fled Iraq earlier this year after ISIS took over the territory where they used to live. Members of the local Iraqi Christian community said that the government knows full well that the people being held are not criminals.

Just like we all know that the border in San Diego is open to everyone, except is you are an Iraqi Christian.

The pressure is building at the border in San Diego.

“These are people that have escaped ISIS, escaped slavery and refused to convert, only to be imprisoned by ICE with no explanation,” said local Iraqi Chaldean Christian leader Mark Arabo who appeared on Hannity on 8/3/15.

But so far end as cold as ice for religious refugees.

 Well, there it is. What a despicable group of  Weasels…ANY OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Forum:What Are The 5 Most Important Issues To You In The Coming Election?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Are The 5 Most Important Issues To You In The Coming Election?

Don Surber : 1. Electing a Republican not named Jeb! Bush.

The Independent Sentinel : We need a president who will vacate all executive orders, memos, guidance issuances and every other misery Barack Obama put into place.

The new president needs to declaw the government agencies starting with the firing of the left-wingers fundamentally transforming us.

It’s in a way too late, but the nuclear deal needs to go. Treaty powers need to be restored and perhaps legislation needs to be passed that prevents these abuses by another Imperial President.

The military needs to be brought back up to par and the new president has to try to repair relations with allies and dump the communists and Fascists.

We need a president with an economic plan that doesn’t involve redistribution and over-investment in the exaggerated so-called science of climate change. We need to shrink the welfare state and get people back to work via the free market.

That is more than five but there are so many things wrong. Mostly we need a president who can restore our self-respect and unite us again. My concern isn’t what the socialists in the EU or what the fascists in the UN think of us, I care what we think of ourselves.

 Puma By Design :

1. Illegal immigration

2. Rebuilding our Defenses, Military. Thanks to Barack Obama, who has weakened our defenses, those who would have thought twice about attacking us eight years ago, no longer fear or respect us.

3. Reigning in the government PERIOD. From overreach, regulations to spending

4. Jobs, jobs, jobs

5. Education – parental control. Let the parents make the decisions, not bureaucrats and unions.

JoshuaPundit : My issues are as follows…and I’m fully aware that few politicians will be honest enough to actually discuss them in real terms with voters.

First, we need actual reform on both legal and illegal migration. This issue affects many of the others. I see it as encompassing real control of our borders, both physically and legally, and a return to the realization that immigration is a privilege extended by a sovereign state, not a ‘right.’ The diversity visas need to be ended and simple points system evolved for legal migration that applies to everyone…and because of the abuses of the last 8 years, criteria for rescinding the green cards of those whom do not meet this criteria. Illegal migrants likewise need to be compelled to register so that individual cases can be evaluated and a decision made on their continued legal residence based on criteria such as crime records, knowledge of English, employment, family members or employers willingness to be guarantors so the illegal migrants do not become public charges, etc.

Abuse of the H1B visas that have kept wages static for years in many industries needs to be stopped, and all decisions on new immigration subject to the effect on American workers already here. To my knowledge, the only presidential candidates whom have addressed this sensibly are Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Jim Webb.

Second, we need major reform of the tax code and a downsizing of the IRS. The entire tax code, in my opinion, needs to be rewritten so that all Americans pay taxes. I favor a design that simplifies the laws substantially, provides for perhaps 3 brackets for both personal and corporate income taxes,  eliminates most deductions and lowers rates. This approach would have enormous benefits. 

The lower rates would actually increase revenues, as the increased money available to be spent or invested would generate other financial activity which could then be taxed. Most Americans whom work for wages wouldn’t even have to bother filing taxes, as they would be automatically deducted as they are now. Self employed persons could pay quarterly as many do now, simply providing 1099’s and a check, or those employed by corporations or doing work for hire like actors or musicians could have their taxes deducted by these corporations on their behalf.

A lowering of corporate taxation and a simplified tax code would also encourage domestic and (along with a genteel hint about possible tariffs)  foreign investment. You would once again see good paying blue collar jobs in America, and a far better balance of trade. This is exactly what happened with Japan in the1980’s and is why many ‘Japanese’ cars are now built by American workers in places like Kentucky and Ohio.

Third, we need to revamp the Civil Service rules. It’s all very well to rant about Big Government and the elimination of whole departments, but while that kind of bolshoi is a nifty applause line, reality is a different matter. For one thing, our courts in their wisdom have ruled that government employees have a property right to their jobs and it costs a large amount of time and money to fire anyone. Massive layoffs result in decreased  economic activity. While it might be nice to imagine that arrogant Uncivil Servant flipping burgers instead of sneering at you, the reality is that, multiplied by hundreds of thousands, his or her new salary as opposed to the $60K he  or she used to make affects everybody’s bottom line. And the byzantine regs of the civil service rules with their minutiae of job classifications limits what jobs people may do and where they can be transferred.Change that, and you can transfer workers where they’re needed and gradually shut down or even change the mission of various government departments and gradually downsize government by attrition.

Fourth, we to deal with our youth and our culture. America is full of kids with no fathers and no future beyond immediate gratification or maybe lucking into a coveted corner to sell crack on. They have no skills and no jobs, and even more importantly, many of them have no clue how to behave if they did. We need a wide spread government program to get these kids out of their environment and into better things. For some of them, this might mean apprenticeship programs involving private industry or even the military to teach them a trade. For others, it might mean jobs combined with room and board working at building up America’s infrastructure, and things like helping to fight fires or similar projects. In all cases, part of the game would be instructing them in America’s history and culture and teaching them to take pride in it.

For the same reason, school choice is absolutely essential. So is eliminating public employee unions or at least open shopping them.

Fifth, we need a president who understands strategic thinking and our military.This year, the Army failed to meet its recruiting goals. After all, with the involuntary mass layoffs, unsafe recruiting stations, the VA scandals, the current war on Christianity, the PC uber alles atmosphere and the likes of Barack Hussein Obama as commander in chief, is it any wonder?

This all needs to change. It isn’t enough to simply rebuild our military in manpower and equipment. We need to rebuild our military culture.

We once had a Federal office known as the Director Of Civilian Marksmanship. His job? Working with the NRA and similar groups to ensure that America’s youth were taught gun safety and shooting skills. He also saw to it that surplus military rifles were sold and distributed to them, as well as to ROTC programs around the nation. This was back in the days when kids received that first .22 from Dad and early lessons on how to use it safely…back when Dad still lived at home.

The result was that kids learned early about respect for  guns, and you didn’t see the mass shootings we have now. Plus, if America needed them, they were ready to go and a lot of them already knew how to shoot pretty well, I’d love to see that happen again, through the NRA and Jr. military programs like the Marine Corp’s Devil Pups. That’s how you rebuild a military culture.

For the past eight years, aside from having a president with little respect for our military except as  props and photo-ops, we have also had one whom has been an utter failure at strategic thinking. What that means is that you nurture and support alliances in strategic areas and horse trade with the bad guys from a position of strength, not weakness. Or, as Ronald Reagan once said, “We win, they lose.”

Our next president will have to be someone like that – whether we like it or not.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : The five most important issues to me in the coming election are, in order from fifth to first:

5. Budget

4. Reining in overreaching and unconstitutional regulatory agencies such as the EPA and the CFPB

3. National Defense

2. National Security, encompassing immigration and border protection

And the number one issue most important to me:

EDUCATION. It is imperative that we, as a people and nation, understand the damage already done by progressives who infiltrated our education system. It began in the 1960s at the university level, but today the indoctrination begins in pre-K and continues through elementary, middle, and high school. You see it in our youth who have already accepted the socialist doctrine as preferable to our republican form of government.

Ask Marion :

1.Stop Illegal immigration and securing the borders.

2. Repairing the U.S. economy which includes everything from nullifying illegal trade agreements to creating jobs, jobs, jobs…;

3. Help Americans believe in a future which includes a great America after rebuilding our military strength around the world.

4.Fixing American Healthcare with an actual plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

5. Overhaul the Education system and restore the power of parents, states and the U.S. Constitution.

   Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?