NEWS AND OPINION:
ALIENS FROM ELSEWHERE
While Congress and the White House argue over illegal aliens, Stephen Bassett, founder of Paradigm Research Group and a registered lobbyist, continues to demand that lawmakers and officials tell what they know about aliens - as in extraterrestrials. The determined Mr. Bassett already organized a “Citizen Hearing on Disclosure” last year at the National Press Club. A DVD of the 30-hour-long close encounter between witnesses, six former congressmen, law enforcement, experts and assorted journalists was sent to all members of Congress on Nov. 5, as a matter of fact.
Mr. Basset now says he will “renew direct engagement” with lawmakers, and has organized an aggressive social media campaign among like-minded voters who also want answers about UFO sightings, alien technology and other matters. Congress last addressed the issue in 1968. He offers a dozen sample tweets for interested folk, a #disclosure hashtag and a mission statement: “Dedicated to ending the government imposed truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.” Congress last addressed the issue formally in 1968, Mr. Bassett says.
There is some transparency afoot, though. In 2011, the FBI released a limited number of documents - immediately deemed the “X-Files” by the eager press - still found in what the agency deemed its online “vault.” In 2009, the NSA also declassified some historical information and made it public online, right alongside material related to POWs and the Kennedy assassination.
Other governments have embraced transparency even further; Britain’s defense agency released 52,000 pages of formerly classified material simply titled “UFOS” to the public in 2013. Millions of curious viewers from 160 nations promptly visited the archives site online.
Mr. Bassett, meanwhile, is ready to rumble.
“This will be a concentrated three-month effort accompanied by substantial media coverage. If congressional hearings are held, it is quite likely the truth embargo will collapse,” he predicts.
GOP HONEYMOON IS OVER
Warnings to Republicans to display backbone and purpose after their midterm election victories are many. But alas, predictions that the “Republican honeymoon” is over have already surfaced, notably from a new Economist/YouGov poll that found House Speaker John A. Boehner‘s approval fell from 60 percent after the election to 48 percent a week later, while Sen. Mitch McConnell‘s numbers fell from 56 percent to 42 percent. Though the entire GOP agrees it must be on a unified message, the press is ready to offer evidence to the contrary. On Sunday, NBC’s Chuck Todd called Republicans “toxic and confused,” while Politico also cited “Republican confusion” and anxiety, all of it aggravated by President Obama‘s provocative amnesty plans. This irks longtime conservative maven Richard A. Viguerie, who says amnesty in particular now demands more than reactionary postures. “The response of Capitol Hill’s Republican leaders was predictably weak — it is obvious that their hearts and heads are not in the fight,” he says, declaring that the lawmakers have “a moral obligation” to oppose the plan.
“It is idiocy for Republican leaders to constantly repeat that they are taking the power of the purse and impeachment off the table — those are the very tools the Constitution bestows upon Congress to rein in a lawless president. If Republicans go on offense to unite the country behind them, the millions of voters who just handed the GOP a historic victory in the 2014 election will support them,” Mr. Viguerie predicts, recommending that House Republicans immediately pass legislation that directs Mr. Obama not to spend any money on “these illegal acts.”
There’s risk in not drawing a line in the sand, he suggests, describing Mr. McConnell as “missing in action” after the president’s amnesty revelations. Mr. Viguerie cautions that a tardy response could grant Democrats many weeks to plan their strategy and countermeasures.
“If McConnell won’t use the votes he has in the Senate, and John Boehner won’t use the majority he has in the House to stop Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty, then they should get out of the way and let conservatives organize the opposition and unite Republicans to use all the tools the Constitution gives them, including defying Obama to shut down the government and impeaching the president if he commits any act that meets the constitutional test,” Mr. Viguerie concludes.
SMILING DEMOCRATS LIE IN WAIT
Show us what you got. That is the challenge from Democrats to Republicans unhappy about the amnesty plan.
“It is clear that they can complain, they can threaten, they can talk about lawsuits, cutting off funding, shutting down the government — in the extreme, even impeachment. But the real question is: Can they govern? Can they govern?” demanded Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, during an appearance on CBS on Sunday.
The proverbial “keep calm and carry on” motto could be a viable GOP tactic.
“We can’t take the bait from the Democrats. We can’t say we’re not going to do immigration reform. We need to tell the American people what we’re for, and we need to show them the step-by-step approach that we have been doing in the House,” countered Rep. Raul R. Labrador. And about that amnesty proposal, the Idaho Republican also advised, “We should censure the president of the United States. I think it’s unfortunate that he did this. I think we need to lay out clearly why this is unlawful. I think we need to pass a funding bill that separates homeland security from that funding bill.”
“We petition the Obama administration to refund the fees to legal immigrants who have applied for citizenship over the past six years. Given that illegal immigrants did not pay the fees and did not spend the time legal immigrants did in trying to follow the rules, legal immigrants should be compensated the same way. They followed the rules to come into this country and waited in line.”
— From a new public online petition filed Sunday at the White House “We the People” site.
NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT
“Small Business Saturday” is approaching, emphasizing the retail appeal of smaller local merchants during the commercial melee of holiday mall shopping. The Small Business Administration has issued a quiet reminder: “Small starts with Thanksgiving dinner,” says administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, who advises Americans to support their local groceries and shops this week while assembling Thursdays feast — particularly those owned by military veterans, families and immigrants.
Vets, incidentally, run 10 percent of the nation’s small businesses and generate $1.2 trillion in receipts each year, the federal agency says.
FOLLOWING THE SCRIPTURE SCRIPT
Mike Huckabee is annoyed at President Obama for alluding to the Bible during his recent prime-time immigration speech, telling the viewing audience, “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once too.” Pastor Huckabee is not buying it.
“This is a president that uses the Bible when it suits him, but he’s not exactly a biblical scholar,” he said during an appearance on Fox News on Saturday, adding that Mr. Obama is “utterly inept when it comes to the art of governing. He’d rather go make a speech. He’d rather go poke his fingers in the eyes like Moe going after Curly. He is not willing to sit down and build relationships and govern, and that’s what he was elected to do.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 38 percent of Americans “strongly disapprove” of the job Congress is doing; 27 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 43 percent of Democrats agree.
• 22 percent overall “somewhat disapprove” of the job Congress does; 30 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree.
• 20 percent neither approve or disapprove of their job performance; 21 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.
• 9 percent “somewhat approve” of their performance; 11 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.
• 1 percent “strongly approve”; 2 percent of Republicans, 0 percent of independents and 1 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 15-17.
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