Nevada congressman responds to Obama mockery

Rep. Mark Amodei is not taking Obama’s chiding of those in Congress who are calling for a pause in the rush to bring Syrian refugees to America in stride, but is instead giving as well as he is getting.

While in the Philippines Obama angrily accused Republicans of being most “potent recruitment tool” for Islamic State.

“I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate,” Obama said.

“When candidates say we should not admit 3-year-old orphans, that’s political posturing,” Obama continued in his belittling tone. “When individuals say we should have religious tests, and only Christians, proven Christians, should be allowed, that’s offensive and contrary to American values.”


Amodei released the following statement:

“Americans are compassionate people, but it is not unreasonable to ask the Administration to take measures to ensure our compassion is not exploited. Protecting Americans is paramount and this is an obvious vulnerability. It is not xenophobic to say so and I resent the implication.


“With all due respect, when the President has regularly downplayed the threat of ISIS and Al Qaeda, only to be proven wrong time and again, what has he done to warrant the benefit of the doubt? Congress has the obligation to provide oversight and halt these plans until the necessary security precautions are in place.

“While it is not my preference to engage in political wordsmithing, frankly, given his comments over the past few days, it seems the President reserves greater disdain for his political opponents than he does those responsible for the deaths of thousands at home and abroad, the atrocities in Paris, beheadings, burnings, and the enslavement of women and minors. To suggest that Members of Congress and other American citizens who express concern over a legitimate threat are somehow a recruiting tool for ISIS is disgusting and about the least Presidential thing I’ve seen out of an already disappointing, JV Administration.”

JV Administration … nice touch.

Amodei and Nevada Rep. Joe Heck were among the signers of a letter to Obama on this topic.

10,000 Syrian refugees? How about 15,000 vetted by the U.N.?

Today’s lede Investor’s Business Daily editorial, explains why all the administration bluster about adequately vetting Syrian refugees being brought to this country by explaining who really is picking your future neighbors — the United Nations.

Syrian refugees off Greece (AP photo)

“In fact, Washington has no role in selecting the thousands of Syrian refugees coming to your hometown. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is really behind the effort, and he’s referred an additional 5,000-plus Syrian nationals here,” the editorial states. “A new State Department report reveals that the U.S. already has accepted at least 15,000 Syrian refugee referrals from the UNHCR.”

And how are they being screened? Why, they are fingerprinted, but there is no fingerprint data in Syria against which to screen those fingerprints. The fingerprints from one of the Paris suicide bombers were matched to fingerprints taken when he came ashore in Greece, reportedly carrying a fake Syrian passport.

But Obama continues to mock those who suggest we go slow in importing potential future terrorists to our shore. “They’ve been playing on fear to score political points or to advance their campaigns and it’s irresponsible. It needs to stop because the world is watching,” Obama said.

Yes, the world is watching and determining just how vulnerable and gullible we really are.


Sandoval asks Obama to check out refugees first

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval got around Monday evening to sending a letter to President Obama politely asking him to please not send any Syrian refugees to Nevada until it has reviewed the vetting process — joining more than half of all American governors in saying Syrian refugees are not welcome in their states.

The main problem with Sandoval’s request is that there is no vetting process that will work. There are no records to vet.

“I am writing today to request that you direct a comprehensive review of the refugee eligibility, security oversight, and resettlement process in our nation,” Sandoval writes. “My staff has reviewed current guidelines form the U.S. State Department but I am encouraging you to make a further review and consider necessary refinements to these policies and practices given the recent tragedy in France. I am specifically concerned about background checks performed for Syrian refugees sent to Nevada for resettlement, and I would appreciate further guidance on the benefits eligibility of such persons while they reside here.”

He apparently doesn’t want to put any terrorists on the dole.

Sandoval concludes by asking that no Syrian refugees be admitted for resettlement in Nevada until the requested review is completed.

About 1,500 Syrian refugees entered the U.S. in recent years and Obama said in September that 10,000 Syrians will be allowed entry next year.

After the backlash since the Paris attack that killed about 130, Obama has doubled down and called those who oppose his plan unAmerican.

But last month FBI director James Comey said at a House Committee on Homeland Security, “We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.”

Obama instead lashed out at GOP presidential candidates who questioned bringing in refugees that might include jihadists. “When some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” Obama said. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

Investor’s Business Daily notes that we’ve already failed to catch some would-be terrorists who did have records.

“In 2011 two Iraqi refugees were arrested for trying to buy stinger missiles for al-Qaida. “It turned out that their fingerprints matched those linked to roadside bombs in Iraq,” the newspaper said. “It was a major red flag that should have barred their entry, but U.S. screeners failed to take note. And the terrorists slipped into the U.S.”

ISIS claims it has sent out 4,000 “warriors” among the 4 million Syrian refugees.

Compassion is one thing. Foolish risk taking with American lives is not acceptable.

Of course the governors have no authority whatsoever to stop Obama from doing whatever he wants, but, since he is always concerned about legacy and politics, he might pause and consider how this will affect Democrat candidates.


sandoval letter

Earlier, Sen. Dean Heller wrote to Sandoval saying:

While I recognize the merits of assisting refugees during a time of crisis, I also need assurances that the safety of Nevadans will not be compromised as a result of accepting refugees. Unfortunately, at this time, there are too many unanswered questions about the effectiveness of this program and ultimately the number of Syrian refugees who may have come to our state after being resettled elsewhere in the U.S. Until my questions have been sufficiently answered by DHS and the State Department and I believe that this program no longer presents a threat to Nevadans, I encourage you to reject any further acceptance of Syrian refugees in the State of Nevada. The safety of Nevadans should be our top priority, and the Administration must prove to Congress and the American public that the USRAP process is working in Nevadans’ best interests before committing to bringing in additional Syrian refugees.


Be of good cheer and selectively report those stats

Sometimes you have to dig a little harder for good news.

The front page of the Las Vegas newspaper today cheers the fact that “average weekly wages for Nevada rose 2.5 percent from $833 to a record $854 for the second quarter, the most recent period available, according to the state’s Research & Analysis Bureau.”

The story doesn’t mention that 2.5 percent increase is from the second quarter of 2014. Though it later mentions in passing that fourth quarter average pay in the state was $899, it doesn’t report the second quarter pay is down 5 percent from that level, nor that the second quarter is off more than a percent from the first quarter and down a couple of bucks from the 2014 annual average.


Editorial: Residents must have more say on what happens in their communities

Protesters oppose wind project near Searchlight two years ago.

A  federal judge has handed the residents of Searchlight a major victory in their fight to challenge a federal land agency’s attempt to ramrod approval of a massive wind farm by ignoring the law, science and the facts.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du granted the plaintiffs’ request that the Interior Department’s Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement, and the Biological Opinion be vacated because they failed to adequately address concerns about impacts on bald eagles, golden eagles, desert tortoises and migrating bats.

She refused to grant a permanent injunction, and the government has 60 days to appeal.

Searchlight Wind, now a division of Apex Clean Energy, has been trying for at least seven years to gain government approval to place wind turbines on 9,000 acres of federal land east of Searchlight. The $300 million proposal is to erect 87 industrial-scale wind turbines that would be more than 400 feet tall and generate 200 megawatts of power.

Basin and Range Watch, one of the plaintiffs in the case, pointed out one of the more damning examples of lax oversight by the BLM uncovered by Judge Du. The BLM Environmental Impact Statement on the eagle population relied on the wind farm developer’s survey, which found only three golden eagle nests in the vicinity of the proposed wind turbines. Yet a 2011 survey by the BLM itself found 28 golden eagle nests within 10 miles of the site, but this was not included in the final BLM review.

Du also told the BLM to re-evaluate its conclusions about the impact of the project on desert tortoises, especially the effects of blasting and noises of the turbines during operation.

The original suit accused the Interior Department of acting in “a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law.” The plaintiffs also include Friends of Searchlight Desert and individuals Judy Bundorf, Ellen Ross and Ronald Van Fleet Sr.

Though Judge Du did not address it in this ruling, the plaintiffs also say studies have found property values near wind farms decline by as much as 60 percent, constituting a regulatory taking of private property rights under the Fifth Amendment. Interior, of course, could find no negative impact on property values due to wind farms.

No buyer has yet contracted for the power the wind farm would produce. Without a contracted buyer it is questionable whether the company will find it practical to continue to sink money into a project that might never get approved due to the environmental hurdles. Also the wind production tax credit expired at the end of 2014 and Congress has yet to extend it.

Plaintiff Bundorf reacted to the ruling by saying, “I’m thrilled that the people who live in and around Searchlight won’t have to deal with the impact of such a huge construction project and the noise and flashing lights 24/7 for 25 or 30 years after the project is built.”

Basin and Range Watch said the ruling “effectively requires Apex Clean Energy and the agencies to go back to the drawing board if Apex chooses to pursue the project.”

“The high desert surrounding Searchlight supports a high diversity of flora and fauna including rich avian fauna and very old Joshua tree forests. The location’s close proximity to the Colorado River allows it to have a large number of terrestrial and avian species deserving of protection” said Kevin Emmerich, co-founder of Basin and Range Watch. “The Searchlight area is a very scenic region that has a great potential to expand its tourism economy. The area should be managed to maintain open space. There are limitless opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, backcountry 4-wheel driving, wildlife viewing, boating, rock hounding and photography. The Bureau of Land Management has a unique opportunity to manage the area for its scenic, cultural, wildlife and recreational values. Rooftop solar and other distributed generation alternatives should be considered as a more environmentally friendly clean energy alternative.”

Du’s ruling may also offer a ray of hope for the state, counties and businesses suing the Interior Department over land use restrictions intended to protect the greater sage grouse. She is hearing that case, too.

We hope there are more rulings in the near future giving residents more say over what happens in their communities instead of being ignored by federal agencies pushing a green energy agenda.

A version of this editorial appears this past week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Du’s ruling: 13-616 Order Granting Vacatur 10-30-15

When you boast about something, be sure to deliver

Knockout photo the Las Vegas newspaper does not have. Rousey is in black. (USA Today photo)

Sometimes you need to be careful about being boastful.

Ultimate Fighting Championship undefeated fighter Ronda Rousey talked about making history with her match in Australia.

The Las Vegas newspaper bragged about its increased coverage of the “sport” and sending a reporter down under to cover the match. It created a website called

But the fighter and the newspaper forgot something. She forgot to win. The paper forgot to arrange for a photo.

On Saturday the Review-Journal had an advance story on the Rousey match, along with a column comparing her to invincible Mike Tyson and a pre-match photo taken by the reporter in Australia.

Today the headline screams “Rousey Routed,” but the USA Today photo beneath it is of another match. Online USA Today has a photo of the knockout kick, as well as one of Rousey on the canvas and a video. The story mentions that the Las Vegas sports books took a bath. AP also has photos, but the paper does not subscribe to that expensive wire service any more.

Even online the paper has only a file photo of Rousey.

Be careful when you boast.

Front page of R-J sports page sans photo of Rousey bout.

Front page of R-J sports page sans photo of Rousey bout.







Obama says the darnedest things

Remember how al Qaeda was on the run and that attack in Benghazi was due to Youtube video?

Now, Obama says ISIS is contained on the day before a ISIS-instigated bloodbath in Paris that kills more than 100.

French President Francois Hollande vows, “Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action. …  France will be merciless towards these barbarians from Daesh” — an Arab acronym for Islamic State.

Meanwhile, Obama goes on the radio today and talks about veteran benefits.