Obama's tough talk on ISIS won't make a political difference because it still shows no strategy, and, so far, none of his alleged coalition (which lost Turkey yesterday) is willing to put boots on the ground. The other problem is if you look closely, it seems Obama wants us to be the Shiite Air Force.
Obama political impact for November: None.
Wendy Davis' Book Tour: shows that her New York publisher is selling her chances to win in November short and wants to sell books while they can.
Where is the vaunted Democratic Joint Campaign we were promised? Nowhere so far except for some minor league bloggers looking for any excuse to make a mountain out of a mole hill to generate so-called earned media and attack Republicans. Notice also very little from them on their vision for Texas, maybe because Texas by and large is working.
Turnout for GOP is still key, so don't get cocky and make sure you and your friends vote. It is easier than ever.
RIP: Tom Neumann, American Patriot
Tom Neumann passed on September 9, 2014, in Houston at the age of 69. We extend our deepest condolences to Tom's beloved wife Agnes and his sons Spencer and Russell.
Tom has a fascinating history. He escaped communist Romania as a child, and came to America.
Tom was a leader in the ADL, B'nai B'rith International as Executive Vice President, and then JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) as Executive Director from 1991 until his retirement in 2012. During his leadership of JINSA, Tom developed one of the key pro-defense organizations in America with a board composed of a cross-section of leaders from politics and business and from both political parties. Your Editor saw firsthand Tom's importance in a high level military civilian exchange with China in the mid 80's. Tom was an international go-to leader, always working tirelessly to advance the interests of the USA and Israel.
Today as a result of his leadership, JINSA is a leading voice on U.S. national security and U.S.-Israel security ties, one that is highly respected in Washington, Jerusalem, and beyond.
Tom was a giant who cannot be replaced by anyone, many need to step up to fill the vacuum of his loss.
Bill O'Reilly Fox News, Factor Tip Of The Day (9/03/14) - Important Reading
TCR Comment: Bill O'Reilly nails this one. The moral, be careful who you trust when reading on the internet.
The dangers of partisan driven programs (websites):
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart mocked the O'Reilly Factor for returning from vacation to cover the Michael Brown shooting, but as usual, he distorted our coverage. Here is the tip: when you hear (or read something) on a partisan driven program like the Daily Show (or insert your most un-favorite partisan program or blog) - don't believe it.
Open Letter To UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon By The Parents Of The Late Daniel Tregerman, Age 4 1/2
By Gila and Doron Tregerman
TCR Comment: Reading this brings home the hypocrisy and uselessness of the U.N.
"Dear Sir: My name is Gila, I am an Israeli citizen, and I am a resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, near the border with Gaza. A week ago, we lost our eldest son, Daniel, age 4 1/2, when he was killed by a mortar shell fired from Gaza into Israel. I address you after your announcement of an international investigation of 'Israel's crimes' in the recent fighting in Gaza.
"We found ourselves constantly debating whether to move to another location, quieter, safer, far from rocket fire from Gaza. Then came the threat of terrorist tunnels, which Hamas members dug from Gaza to Israel under our home to hurt us. At night we heard noises and voices digging beneath us. Thus, in the last six months our children slept with the window closed and locked. We were afraid that they would be kidnapped. Can you imagine our life? How do you live in constant fear of mortar shell and terrorists emerging from tunnels?
"Then on August 22, Daniel was killed. All the precautions we had taken failed. Daniel was killed in our house, while playing indoors and not outside, because it's dangerous. Daniel died in our hands, killed from a mortar shell that was fired by Hamas members from an elementary school for boys in Gaza City. Daniel was killed almost immediately. Daniel's father, Doron, covered him with a blanket and we escaped from our home with two small children, leaving our precious son behind, in order to protect them from bombs that continued to explode around the house.
"Your investigation committee will examine the 'crimes of Israel' during the fighting. The investigation committee is not asked to investigate how terrorists shoot out of UN buildings and schools. It won't investigate how Hamas abuses the Palestinian people, and how its members force residents of Gaza, even children, to dig tunnels aimed only for terrorism against Israel. It won't investigate how after these excavations, Hamas murdered the diggers, just to be sure they won't be able to pass information to Israel.
"The terrorists, fully equipped and full of hatred, that attacked us in our homes, are the same as those who kidnapped 43 UN observers in Syria. They are the same as those who decapitated innocent people in Syria and Iraq. They are the same as those who crashed aircraft into crowded buildings in 2001 in New York.
"My husband's parents also live near the border fence and three and a half years ago a Qassam rocket exploded and destroyed their home. Up until a few years ago they had good relations with the residents of Gaza. They hired workers from Gaza and Paulina, Daniel's grandmother, drove them home - to Rafah, every evening after work. They used to invite each other for weddings and other celebrations and often traveled to Rafah or Gaza. All that ended when Hamas rose to power and ordered the civilians who worked in Israel to kill their Israeli employers.
Immigration Problems Don't Stop at the Border
"It is our hope that our neighbors, the people of Gaza, will be able to live peacefully in their homes and build and develop their beautiful country. We believe that the vast majority of the people on this planet do not want to see the sights of blood, tears and fire of the radical Islam movement, but to live peacefully, enjoy kid's laughter, wait for a better tomorrow. We do not seek the people responsible for our Daniel's death. We only wish your response and your voice against this crime and the crime Hamas has committed against their own people."
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
Immigration has been a raging issue in America for at least 30 years. The 1986 Immigration Act solved little since we are still confronting problems. Along our southern borders, a flood of children continue attempting to come here because of loose interpretation of the William Wilberforce Act of 2008. That is just the tip of the iceberg of problems we need to remedy in the immigration arena. These challenges were defined to me by an expert in the field.
Warren Winston has been a client of mine for 30 years. That was five years after he became an immigration attorney in 1979. That year he joined a law firm specializing in entertainment and immigration law. He was eyeing a career as an entertainment lawyer. When the hostages were taken in Iran in November 1979, his firm was flooded with immigration cases and his fate was sealed. Thirty-five years later he knows first-hand every aspect of the challenges that exist within the system.
We cannot have a legal immigration system without the assets and personnel to be able to efficiently approve the immigrants allowed under the current law. Winston described the decrepit court facilities, overcrowded courts without sufficient personnel to handle the workload, and inadequate systems to process the immigrants we do allow. Immigration Judges are often forced to postpone cases because government lawyers either don't have the immigrant's files or are not prepared to complete the cases. Requests for short continuances are often granted, but for years instead of months because of overwhelmed court calendars.
Winston described a system not set up to function successfully. Exemplifying this is that judges must use translators through telephone speakers whenever a court-approved translator is not available or otherwise continue the case. In Los Angeles, there are sizable ethnic communities that speak all the different dialects that the court encounters who could help immigrants present their case to the judge. Yet the court, when a translator is not available, must use a translator in Washington via the telephone. Instead they could utilize local retirees who speak the applicant's dialect for minor daily fees. The immigrants often cannot discern the translator's accent over the phone. Winston tells me that frequently, when he walks out of a short hearing, his client tells him that the translator has made a mistake and incorrectly translated an important statement to the judge. Winston stated "The translator needs to understand the applicant so the lawyers and the judge are told exactly what was said. If the translator is not in court, he cannot properly communicate with the applicant, who can't correct the translation to the judge."
Congress established a program administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to encourage foreign investors by giving them lawful permanent resident status -- green cards. This happens when they create new businesses by investing at least $500,000 and hire ten full-time American employees. These initial investor petitions, which were targeted for processing within six months, are now backlogged over 13 months. That does not include the eight-month average period at U.S. consulates to obtain immigrant visas after the petition is approved. Winston said "That means that an investor who has committed their investment capital to a new American enterprise designed to create ten new permanent full time jobs must wait almost two years to arrive as an immigrant. That has caused some of these investors to take their capital to other countries like Canada without these delays."
There has been a well-known struggle regarding hi-tech workers applying for H-1B visas. A lot of these applicants are academically-qualified professionals, most of whom obtain graduate degrees from U.S. universities. They can't get visas for years because Congress drastically reduced the number of H-1B visas. Winston stated he agreed with what Mitt Romney had said, "If you get an advanced degree we want you to stay here, so I'd staple a green card to the diploma of anyone that gets an advanced degree here." We should say "Welcome to the United States of America! We want those people in our country." Unfortunately, the opposite is happening as they have to participate in an annual lottery for an H-1B, a temporary work visa, not a green card. Winston said "this is because Congress has reduced the annual allocation of H-1B visas and, more importantly, the visas are not going to the intended graduates."
The lottery opens on April 1st of each year for jobs starting on October 1st, and companies like Facebook, Oracle, and Intel file boxes of applicants. The time for processing the petitions picked in the lottery, then approved and processed for the H-1B visa takes six months minimum even when the companies would gladly pay higher fees to expedite the process. Last year, there were about 172,500 applications made with just 85,000 accepted. Many people have advocated a change in the system to lift the cap on these visas.
I asked Winston how much of these deficiencies were addressed in the Immigration bill that passed the Senate. He stated that most of them were. The bill provides for a significant increase in resources, initially at the border. But as we all know, Republicans are concerned that President Obama will not abide by the border enforcement first provisions in the Senate bill. They are also concerned about The Undertaker railroading the process in a Conference Committee. Senator Reid threatened to attach the comprehensive Senate bill to the House bill being passed to deal with the current child immigrant crisis on the southern border. As I have stated previously, I am confident if the Republicans take control of the Senate next year, they will pass multiple bills dealing with the various deficiencies in the current system.
I asked Winston to address his overall concerns regarding the system. "The legal immigration system is broken. First, because of the backlogs for immigrant visas for people who have played by the rules and filed petitions for their families and employees many years ago. They have been waiting decades for quotas that have not been adjusted to meet current conditions. Second, because the backlogs in employer-based cases are an insult to a company that follows the rules and applies for both temporary and permanent foreign professionals."
Our immigration system is a mess, but you know that. Come January, Republicans will hopefully start to right this chaotic system. Then the President will have to work with Congress to the benefit of all involved.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
Coming soon, 14th season begins:
Harris County Debate: A joint appearance with incumbent GOP District Attorney Devon Anderson and Democratic opponent Kim Ogg.
Lieutenant Governor Candidates Dan Patrick (R) and Leticia Van de Putte (D).
The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last thirteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 11 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.