A Conservative’s View of American Domestic Policy: Some Thoughts

It’s out.

This is the first of a pair of publications on American policy; the other is concerned with National Policy, which consists of foreign and defense policy.

Domestic Policy both is necessary in its own right and must come before National Policy since a sound policy domestically is absolutely required both for the health of the nation within our borders and to facilitate—indeed, to enable—any form of outward-facing policy at the national level.

Who Should Run For What?

Of the Republican candidates, likely and unlikely, for President, who should run for what (I’m ignoring term limits in this little exercise)? I’m also doubling up on some positions because, primaries. Here’s my thumb nailed early list, alphabetically sorted.

Jeb Bush—President

Effective conservative governor. Regardless of his views on Common Core, the race should not be about one issue. Regardless of his views on legalization of illegal immigrants, immigration is a thing that needs to be settled—all three legs. Bush reduced taxes, while balancing Florida’s budgets, by some $19 billion over his time in office. That ain’t peanuts.

National Security and Terrorists

More than a dozen Islamic State fighters from Iraq and Syria—some with direct ties to the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—are now in Libya, according to US and European sources.

And the US has no authority to take them out.

And

The nation’s most senior intelligence officer, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that Libya is not only a safe haven for ISIS but at least six other terror groups, including Ansar al-Sharia, which paraded police vehicles through Benghazi last month.

State’s Cynical Distortion

The State Department accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of taking congressional testimony by Secretary of State John Kerry out of context in Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday.

What Kerry said in Congressional testimony:

[I]f you have a civilian power plant that’s producing power legitimately and not a threat to proliferation, you could have as many as 190,000 or more centrifuges[.]

What Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

Rule By Law—Spying Edition

The People’s Republic of China is on the verge of enacting a law that would make legal corporate spying by the PRC government. Of course, the Chinese are couching this as a wholly innocent effort at countering terrorism.

The draft law requires both foreign and domestic telecommunications and Internet service providers to create backdoors in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access, hand over copies of their encryption codes and assist government agencies with decryption when asked, among other provisions. Also, companies would be required to store Chinese users’ data on servers in the Chinese mainland; otherwise, they wouldn’t be allowed to operate in the country.

The Mosul Campaign

A couple of things.

Regarding the well-publicized upcoming Mosul, Iraq, campaign (remember the ability of WWI allied general staffs to predict German army movements by reading Berlin newspaper society pages? President Barack Obama plainly does not), a carefully unnamed “military official” had this to say:

When we feel that the Iraqi forces are ready to go and win decisively, we will go and advise the Iraqis to begin the operation.

Hmm….

“Missing” IRS Emails

Investigators said Thursday they have recovered 32,000 emails in backup tapes related to the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative organizations.

But they don’t know how many of them are new, and told a congressional oversight committee that IRS employees had not asked computer technicians for the tapes, as directed by a subpoena from House oversight and other investigating committees.

That admission was in direct contradiction to earlier testimony of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Of particular interest, other than Koskinen’s apparent lie, is that

The emails were to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

Mulling Things Over

The US military is considering a months-long campaign of airstrikes to squeeze Islamic State fighters in Mosul before inserting Iraqi ground forces to retake the city, officials said Friday.

The on-the-ground fight to retake Mosul isn’t likely to start until the fall at the earliest, after an intensified air campaign to target Islamic State leaders and cut off supply lines in and around the city, the officials said.

The emerging plan is at odds with a briefing by a US military’s Central Command official in February in which he said the US and Iraq were looking at starting a campaign to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, by April or May.

This is Pretty Clear

Regarding DHS’ potential shutdown, here’s Speaker John Boehner (R, OH):

We want to get a conference with the Senate. Now, they’ve made clear that they don’t want to go to conference. But they’re going to have a vote.

And

A spokesman for [Senator Harry (D, NV)] Reid said Sunday there will be no negotiations with the House over Homeland Security funding and immigration.

That spokesman, Adam Jentleson, added:

Senator Reid has been clear for days on the fact that there will be no conference[.]

Finally, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA):

Non-neutrality of Net “Neutrality”

The Federal Communications Commission set aside two decades of laissez-faire policy Thursday to assert broad authority over the Internet, voting to regulate broadband providers as public utilities and overruling laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service.

And

The commission pledged to use a light touch….

The FCC’s “rule” violates express Congressional instruction not to do this. With the FCC’s lawlessness made manifest, how can their pledge be believed?