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“Terrorism on our Doorstep: Senator Graham may be more right than he knows”: By Clark S. Judge

Tuesday, June 9, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The weekly column from Clark Judge:

Terrorism on our Doorstep: Senator Graham may be more right than he knows
By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute.

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Friday, Senator Lindsey Graham spoke of the threat of “lone wolf” terrorists in the United States. He cited the recent incident of a young Boston man of Middle Eastern origin, reportedly radicalized via a website, who was shot dead when he attacked police with a hunting knife. We will be lucky if such amateurs are all ISIS can throw at us?

After fourteen years, one of the as yet unlearned – or not fully learned – lessons of 9/11 is that there are forces around the world at war with us even if we do not consider ourselves at war with them. This is nothing new. Continue Reading

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The State GOP Attorneys General And The EPA, Mid-Decade Redistrciting

Monday, June 8, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My Monday Washington Examiner column reports from my trip to meet with a dozen of the GOP’s state attorneys generals.

I focused my remarks on how they have the best chance of checking the massive power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency, even as they did the president’s unconstitutional attempt to suspend the immigration laws.  They also face a perfect storm of mid-decade redistricting cases (see here for one example), with another set for next term at the Supreme Court that could rewrite the boundaries of every state and federal legislative district in the land, which itself will be following the Court’s soon-to-arrive decision on whether state legislatures themselves must draw these lines or whether they or the people can adding the task to an “independent” commission.

The GOP’s AG bench is deep and full of future party leaders at the state and federal levels, but their immediate task will be to push back hard on the EPA and to try and maintain some measure of transparency and fairness to voters and incumbents alike as districts get redrawn.

Politics – The Camel With Its Nose In The Tent?

Friday, June 5, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

Over at Larry Sabato’s newsletter, Alan I. Abramowitz and Steven Webster of Emory University write of the rise of “negative partisanship.”  Here is the most interesting sentence:

Over the past several decades, partisan identities in the United States have become increasingly aligned with other salient social, cultural, and political divisions in American society.

Amber Phillips writing about the piece at The Fix puts it a bit more colorfully:

According to the professors, part of the reason for this polarization is that in American society, being Republican or Democrat is increasingly reflected in people’s social characteristics and values. A person who does yoga and orders almond milk lattes and says they value LGBT rights? We could probably all assume that person is a Democrat, even if they don’t publicly identify with the Democratic Party, and very often be correct.

It is both fascinating and troubling that our party affiliation is that closely aligned with our social and cultural preferences.  That may be the single biggest piece of evidence of government having grown too big that I have yet to encounter. Continue Reading

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell On Defense Approps And Judicial Nominees The Rest Of Obama’s Term

Friday, June 5, 2015  |  posted by Duane Patterson

The audio

06-04hhs-mcconnell

The Transcript:

HH: So pleased to welcome back the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Senator McConnell, welcome, it’s great to have you on, Mr. Leader.

MM: Hey, Hugh, glad to be with you.

HH: Now let’s begin by talking about the sunset of the Patriot Act and the passage of the USA Freedom Act. I was disappointed. I thought you had the high ground. I wanted the straight reauthorization. Is the country less safe today than it was a week ago?

MM: Yeah, I think so. There were pretty broad differences of opinion. My view was that there’d been a lot of misrepresentation, and certainly misunderstanding about what the Patriot Act did with regard to what’s called bulk data collection. And I always started the debate by saying look, nobody’s listening to your phone calls. So nobody’s interested in you calling your mother on Mother’s Day. What did happen under the previous law was the NSA was able to look at the information that does not belong to each of us individually anyway, which is our phone bills, even without names, and look for patterns of calls between Americans and identified foreign terrorists overseas. Only after that was established did they then have an opportunity to go to what’s called the FISA court, which is a special court of federal judges. And they have to convince them that there’s enough evidence here to actually listen in to the calls. So I thought the safeguards were in place. There was not a single example of abuse of the system. But the House passed a modified version of the Patriot Act that in my view essentially ends the bulk data collection program. I think that’s giving up a tool in the toolkit. It’s not giving up every tool we’ve got, but it certainly gave up, I think, an important tool. But look, the majority rules. And I didn’t have the votes for an extension of the Patriot Act, and the President signed the modification, and we move on. Continue Reading

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