Yes, yes, Scott Walker doesn’t have enough pizazz or excitement for some Republicans. Let’s just toss out this bold agenda while we’re at it. . .
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September 15, 2015
Morning Jolt
... with Jim Geraghty
Hey, Could We Spend a Little Bit of Primary Season Talking about Policy?

Yes, yes, Scott Walker doesn’t have enough pizazz or excitement for some Republicans. Let’s just toss out this bold agenda while we’re at it.

Walker will propose eliminating the National Labor Relations Board, which he will say has “become a one-sided proxy for the big union bosses — often at the expense of taxpayers and workers.” He will also propose eliminating “big-government federal unions,” saying the time members of those unions spend on union efforts takes away from the time they spend doing their jobs serving the American people.

Walker’s plan would also make Right to Work nationwide, giving employees in both the public and private sector the choice of whether or not to join a union. Federal unions would be required to disclose the amount of money devoted to political activity, and unions would be prohibited from withholding those funds from members’ salaries. Walker would also force unions to disclose compensation paid to union officials, among other expenditures.

Yes, yes, Republican primary voters, I know you want a non-politician who’s never spent time in office, and who’s never attempted to pass a far-reaching, ground-breaking, deeply consequential bill through a legislature in the face of fierce opposition. Why would we want somebody who’s done that sort of thing before, right?

At least Republicans are unified about . . . oh.

One of Walker’s Republican rivals challenged the plan, too, saying it is the wrong message for the GOP to send to unionized workers. “Instead of treating all union members like they are the enemy, it’s time we invite them to give some of us in our party a try,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.

Earlier this year, Rod Dreher wrote in The American Conservative about Bobby Jindal’s budget decisions: “The governor and the GOP state legislature really have balanced the budget on the back of higher education. Under Jindal’s leadership, the state has cut its spending on higher education to the bone. Now they’re sucking marrow.”

Do you know why we don’t get conservative policies enacted? Because a good chunk of self-identified conservatives don’t actually want them, and fight them when they’re proposed.

Europe’s Refugee Crisis Will End When the Middle East Empties Out

At 7:02 this morning:

Hungarian authorities say they detained 60 migrants for attempting to illegally enter the country’s southern border with Serbia by breaching a razor-wire fence, AP reports.

Gyorgy Bakondi, homeland security adviser to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said the authorities caught 45 people trying to cross at the southern border and 15 deeper in the country.

They got across by damaging the fence and are now in police custody and are being charged with committing offenses under the new laws. The authorities are repairing the spots where the fence was damaged, Bakondi told a news conference.

At 7:09 this morning:

Serbia has warned it would not accept anyone turned back from Hungarian territory.

“That’s no longer our responsibility,” Aleksandar Vulin, the minister in charge of policy on migrants, told the Tanjug state news agency, according to Reuters.

“They are on Hungarian territory and I expect the Hungarian state to behave accordingly towards them.”

These poor folks are going to be walking in circles between two sets of border guards telling them “turn around and go back.”

Maybe, just maybe, European leaders are starting to wake up and realize that quasi-pacifist isolationism doesn’t build a safer world. Instead, the problems show up, right at your door. Clemens Wergen, the Washington bureau chief for the German newspaper Die Welt, writing in the New York Times:

After World War II, Europeans grew accustomed to the United States’ taking the lead in addressing security threats in and around Europe. That has nurtured a complacency in Europe’s foreign and security posture, the dangers of which have now been fully exposed. With Washington unwilling to act, Europe could no longer pretend that someone else would step in, as happened so often in the past.

The Syrian conflict, and the resulting refugee crisis, should serve as a reminder that Germany’s foreign policy doctrine of recent decades, a much softer version of the Obama doctrine, urgently needs a reassessment. It would be too much to expect Berlin to become a confident military power in the foreseeable future. Even limited intervention in Syria to enforce a no-fly zone and thereby push for a political settlement always was a tall order, given Germany’s limited capabilities . . .

This probably won’t be the last time that Germany will be called upon to show more proactive leadership. President Obama’s past reluctance to act in the Middle East might only be the first phase in a long-term American withdrawal from the region because of its growing energy independence.

And given political volatility in this part of the world, Syria might not be the last country to slide into a brutal civil war. Indeed, today Central and Western Europe is surrounded by a belt of insecurity ranging from Ukraine in the east to Libya and parts of sub-Saharan Africa in the south. 

The mess with the refugees stems from the mess in Syria . . . which stems from the West’s determination to not intervene during the uprising against Assad. That crisis got worse because everyone, including the U.S., was eager to leave Iraq and not deal with rebuilding that country or the Arab world as a whole.

Shut Up, Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson: A couple terms in Congress, and suddenly he’s convinced he’s the biggest expert in the government on a country he’s never been to, doesn’t speak the language of, never met any of the major players in, has no special sources for, and so on. Alan Grayson alone can get to the bottom of sarin-gas use in Syria. He’s the gumshoe who, sitting at a computer, can get answers that show the entire U.S. intelligence community is wrong in their assessment. Forget the CIA, we’ve got the GIA, Grayson’s Intelligence Assessment:

Alan Grayson, Florida’s most outspoken congressman, has found a new target to insult: the “stupid” U.S. intelligence community, which he accuses of “faking” reports about Syria.

Grayson’s mockery of the nation’s spymasters, the Obama administration and the generals who brief Congress was captured on an undercover video shot during a fundraiser in California, where the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate spoke to the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, which gave him an award.

In the two minute, 43-second video snippet, the anti-war liberal swipes at the “administration” for pressing for “another dumb war” by giving Congress questionable evidence concerning Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons in 2013. Grayson, without disclosing classified information, suggested the secret briefings Congress received had more pomp and circumstance than real evidence.

“When they started to give us the military briefings, the generals walk in with all that salad on their uniforms in front,” Grayson said, laughing, as he used military jargon to describe the medals and ribbons worn on a service member’s dress uniform. “You quickly realize that they literally don’t know what they’re talking about. The so-called intelligence community is the stupid community. They’re the worst ones of all. I mean, these people pretend to know everything that they pretend to know. They don’t know it at all.”

Right, right. No, you’re right, Congressman, we should trust the guy who accused his opponent of being a member of the Taliban. The guy who said Dick Cheney has “blood that drips from his teeth while he’s talking” and called the pre-Obamacare U.S. health-care system a “holocaust.” Yeah, those guys in the Joint Chiefs, they don’t know what they’re talking about; it’s that level-headed congressman who’s got the real scoop.

ADDENDA: Mark Levin, Friday, discussing this piece: “Very good man, over at National Review Online, piling on Donald Trump.” Hey, I’ll take it.

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By Mark R. Levin
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