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Bryan Preston

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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Wendy Davis Now Seen as a Drag on Other Democrats

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This Washington Post story opens with a scene from a church. A Democrat politician who is there angling to get votes takes the pulpit, despite the fact that she is not an ordained minister. She is there and given a speaking role expressly for political purposes.

We’re sure that this scene, and the hundreds like it that will take place in many churches across the country this weekend and next, will not trigger subpoenas from Democrat mayors like Houston’s Annise Parker. They wage open war on one kind of church, but not another.

The Post’s Karen Tumulty was there and saw the electioneering from the pulpit. Why isn’t she using her press platform to ask questions about it?

Americans should ask why that is, at some point. Why would the likes of Mayor Parker harass one kind of church for taking a place in politics, but not another kind? Why don’t the media raise this issue whenever Democrats just take over churches and use them as adjunct campaign centers?

DALLAS — At St. Paul United Methodist Church, one of this city’s oldest African American churches, fiery young pastor Richie Butler delivered a message last Sunday that hit home with the white woman sitting at the center of the second pew.

“Don’t get confused between success and significance,” Butler said. “This day! This is your moment! Don’t miss your moment!”

When Wendy Davis’s turn came to give her own testimony, she began: “Very fitting with your sermon today, pastor.”

No subpoena from the Dallas mayor’s office.

Anyway, that’s not the gist of this post. The gist is that Davis has proven herself to be such a spectacularly bad candidate for Texas governor that she’s being accused of poisoning other Democrats’ chances.

The question that remains to be answered on Election Day is more about significance: How much will Davis’s candidacy have done, along with other Democratic efforts, toward making their party truly competitive in Texas?

Texas has 38 electoral votes — second only to California’s 55 — and putting it into play would change the balance of the nation’s politics.

The media really really want Democrats to become competitive in Texas. They pine for that every four years. Does anyone in media pine for the Republicans to become competitive again in California? Anyone? Why or why not?

Some Democrats grouse that Davis has become a drag on other party candidates — including Van de Putte, a Hispanic lawmaker who is popular with the business community.

Van de Putte is quoted earlier in the story, which means the Post’s Karen Tumulty or someone else from the paper spoke with her for this story. Van de Putte is probably the lead Democrat grouser against Davis, already prepared to blame her loss to Dan Patrick on Wendy Davis.

Which is delicious, actually.

The Democrats run nakedly, openly and brazenly racist strategies in Texas. They claim that demographic changes alone will eventually hand them power, which puts everyone in racial boxes and dismisses individual choice and freedom. It throws competence right out the window.

The Texas Democrats pay no attention at all to local attitudes on huge issues in Texas. They want whatever the Beltway and California Democrats want: More taxes, more social spending, less freedom, bigger government, gut the Second Amendment, unfettered and taxpayer-funded abortion, full Obamacare, the whole Democrat agenda. That stuff just doesn’t fly in Texas. As long as the Democrats are content to run their racist strategies and blame each other when they lose, they will continue to lose — and Texas will therefore continue to win.

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‘Think’ Progress: Global Warming Causes Mountain Goats to Suffer Significant Shrinkage

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Humans have only been able to keep accurate track of temperatures fairly globally for about 100 years now. Considering the age of the earth, which is billions of years, 100 years of temperature readings is not a statistically significant sample size to assess massive climate trends and changes. It’s all we have, but it’s not enough.

And it’s nowhere near as conclusive and “settled” as the warmists and alarmists claim that it is. In fact, the globe hasn’t even been warming for the past 18 years or so (hence the switch to “climate change”), a fact left out of pieces like this one, which blames global warming for a supposed shrinkage in the size of mountain goats.

New research has found that climate change is causing mountain goats living in the Alps to shrink. The study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, found that adolescent Alpine chamois mountain goats are significantly smaller than their peers were 30 years ago, weighing about 25 percent less than goats in the 1980s did. The researchers called this change in body mass over 3 decades “striking.” They also said the shrinking “appears to be strongly linked” with increased temperatures in the growing season of the goats’ Alpine habitats.

25% in 30 years? At that rate, they’ll become trendy pocket pets in another year or two.

The researchers note that in ungulates, a group of mammals that includes goats, cows, horses and other hoofed animals (though whales and dolphins are also sometimes included), “behavioural changes, such as allocating less time to foraging, play an important role in thermoregulation.” This means that, to avoid getting too hot, the chamois goats don’t forage for food as much during the hottest parts of the day, and don’t forage as much in general when the temperature remains high throughout the day. If chamois eat less during warmer growing seasons, they aren’t likely to reach the same body mass as goats who lived through cooler growing seasons.

Smaller goats? Even if that’s true I’m struggling to see an actual problem here. So surely we must modify our entire economic system and put it into the hands of wizened central planners. Let us all sacrifice human self-determinism for the sake of the body mass of a bunch of goats.

The same “Think” Progress article makes all kinds of other questionable claims.

As the study notes, this isn’t the first time that scientists have discovered climate change to be behind changes in animal body mass. Six species of salamander in the Appalachian Mountains have been growing shorter over the last 50 or so years, with salamanders living in the southernmost sites that researchers visited showing the most shrinkage. And shrinking sea ice is in turn leading to smaller polar bears — the lack of sea ice means polar bears can’t hunt like they used to, and end up spending less time eating and gaining weight.

Still struggling to see an actual problem, even if all of that is true.

Polar bears may or may not actually be shrinking, and but polar ice is not. The fact is, all polar bear population figures and statistics are educated guesses — according to pro-polar bear activist scientists. That’s fine; educated guesses are part of science. Dogma claiming to be science that happens to support a given political platform and blasts all skeptics and critics with the open-mindedness and tolerance of the Spanish Inquisition is not.

Polar ice grows and shrinks seasonally and over longer timescales, and currently Antarctic ice is growing at a record rate while Arctic ice is shrinking somewhat. That’s subject to change as the climate does in fact change, as it has done for literally billions of years (therefore, well before the invention of the eeevil internal combustion engine). That’s a whole lot less sexy to say than “We’re losing all the ice and all the animals are shrinking and New York is gonna be underwater!” but it’s the truth.

As for the mountain goats? Who knows? The goats might have been bigger or smaller prior to the onset of climate alarmism. The data are incomplete. Animals adapt. We need data, not dogma.

I’ll take an educated guess that “Think” Progress is full of political hot air, though.

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Obama Just Nationalized the Georgia Senate Race

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue remain in a statistical tie in Georgia’s nailbiter Senate race. Nunn leads slightly, banking mostly on the fact that she is the daughter of longtime Sen. Sam Nunn, a hawkish conservative Democrat who would be drummed out of today’s Democratic Party by its hard left netroots activists.

The Republicans need to pick up six Senate seats to take control of the Senate. Georgia’s race could therefore determine control.

Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Democrat, was famous for saying that “all politics is local,” meaning that whatever is going on nationally, good or bad for a particular party, a good candidate who pays attention to issues in their state or district and connects with the voters there can win. Even if their president is an unpopular incompetent, like Barack Obama. That’s among the reasons that Democrats like Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky are trying to run as far away from Obama as possible.

In a time when a candidate’s party leader/president is widely seen as a failure by the majority, and is unpopular and pushes unpopular policies, and in a state in which Democrats have mostly fallen apart over the past few years, O’Neill’s “All politics is local” ought to be the candidate’s and the party’s mantra. Keep the unpopular president out of it and you have a chance of winning.

But what if the unpopular president is also an egomaniac who thinks and says that literally every race in the country is really about him?

Obama did that a month before the mid-terms, when he reminded everyone that all of his policies — unpopular as they are — are on the ballot, with Democrats attached to them.

And now he has done it again, specifically to Michelle Nunn in Georgia. The president appeared on V-103 radio and reminded Georgia voters that a vote for Nunn is really a vote for both Barack Obama and Harry Reid.

“Michelle Nunn will win the Senate if there is high turnout among Democrats,” Obama said. “And if there is low turnout or just ordinary turnout, then she won’t win. And if Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate, and that means that we can keep on doing some good work.”

That “good work” includes passing Obamacare, and then the Senate stifling every effort to repeal Obamacare, among other unpopular legislative atrocities. It includes Obama using the Democrat-controlled Senate to ram through more radical court nominees, and the Senate failing to serve as any kind of check on his abuses of power.

We’re less than two weeks away from the election now. The bolded sentence above is likely to appear in Perdue’s ads in the home stretch, and should help him eke out a win. Perdue might consider thanking the president for his gaffes in his victory speech.

Or, are they gaffes at all? The president’s comments are obviously about rallying the Democrat base. But there is a school of thought in which Obama wants Democrats to lose the Senate, so that he can provoke disputes with the GOP-controlled Congress for the last two years of his presidency. Community organizers such as Obama thrive on division and conflict. Unity and peace deprive them of leverage. Obama might use two years of conflict to race-bait, engineer constitutional crises, and inflame the Democrat base going into the 2016 elections. If that school of thought is right, then Obama’s recent comments that nationalize the election have a Machiavellian twist.

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Is the CDC Bucking Obama’s Refusal to Halt Travel from the Ebola Zone?

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Obama administration continues to refuse to halt travel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, even as the Ebola outbreak in those three countries continues to worsen. The administration backs that refusal with the absurd reasoning that a temporary travel ban might cause some in those countries to skip across the nearest border and fly to the US anyway, despite the fact that countries bordering the Ebola-stricken countries have closed their borders, and credit those closures with helping contain the disease. In fact, across Africa, countries have closed borders and stepped up security to stop Ebola in its tracks. The United States, however, continues to allow about 150 travelers to arrive here every day.

After 33-year-old doctor Craig Spencer, who had been in Guinea treating Ebola victims with Doctors Without Borders, tested positive for Ebola Thursday in New York, the Centers for Disease Control issued a series of tweets.

Both of those tweets back up what critics have charged — that the “enhanced screening” implemented at five US airports where travelers from the Ebola zone arrive has every chance of missing Ebola-exposed people arriving in the United States.

The enhanced screening consists of answering questions on a form, and having travelers’ temperature read by a laser-infrared thermometer. As long as an Ebola-exposed person is not yet symptomatic, they can get past that screening. Dr. Spencer underwent that screening, according to the CDC, yet he managed to carry Ebola around during a subway ride, an Uber ride, and a night out bowling.

Obviously, the “enhanced screening” did not catch him, stop him from entering the country or flag him for quarantine. And the CDC appears to be pointing that out for everyone to see.

President Obama’s Ebola czar, Ron Klain, is set to miss a House hearing on the disease today. The president appointed the career Democrat operative to head up his administration’s response to Ebola a week ago. Klain has failed to make any Ebola meetings since his appointment.

h/t Gateway Pundit

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Department of Homeland Security Runs a Royals Panty Raid

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Did you know that the war on terrorism is over, there are no threats to us whatsoever, and peace has broken out across the entire world?

I didn’t either, but if that hasn’t happened, I’m at a loss to explain this.

Emily Zanotti reports that the Department of Homeland Security recently conducted a heavily armed raid on panties to enforce copyright law.

Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

“…what size he needed.” Cheeky.

She thought that since the underwear featured her hand-drawn design that she was safe. But the officers explained that by connecting the “K” and the “C,” she infringed on major league baseball copyright. (The officials involved could not be immediately reached for comment.)

They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.

Sometimes it seems like our government cares more about MLB and the NFL than pretty much anything else. They’ll hide the budget and ignore the Constitution, but they’re all over the Redskins team name and somebody somewhere morphed the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to be to the security of the homeland what the Centers to Disease Control is supposed to be to disease (but clearly isn’t), into the federal copyright enforcement agency.

When did that happen? Will we start seeing the DHS logo replace the FBI logo at the front of DVDs?

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New York May Have Its First Ebola Case

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

He is a doctor who just arrived after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

A 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders physician who recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea was rushed in an ambulance with police escorts from his Harlem home to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, sources said.

Craig Spencer was suffering from Ebola-like symptoms — a 103-degree fever and nausea, sources said.

According to reports, the doctor not only did not self-quarantine after returning to the US from the Ebola zone, he mixed and mingled and partied in a way that could have endangered a whole lot of other people.

So that’s good.

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Obama Asserts Executive Privilege Over Communications Between Eric Holder and His Wife

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Judicial Watch sued the Obama administration to obtain documents relating to the Fast and Furious scandal. Despite the Freedom of Information Act, the Justice Department declined to produce the documents. Judicial Watch obtained a federal court order forcing DoJ to produce a Vaughn index of all of the covered documents.

On Wednesday, just hours before the court-imposed deadline, DoJ produced the Vaughn index.

While Judicial Watch says that even the Vaughn index that DoJ did produce is incomplete, it still includes a great deal of interesting information about the dangerous gun running scandal, which has been connected to the murders of two American agents and numerous innocent Mexican civilians.

The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal.  Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act.  The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.

Judicial Watch has not had ample time to review the index, which describes more than 15,000 documents. Here is a summary of what the watchdog group has learned so far.

  • Numerous emails that detail Attorney General Holder’s direct involvement in crafting talking points, the timing of public disclosures, and handling Congressional inquiries in the Fast and Furious matter.
  • President Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone. The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the “deliberative process” exemption. This exemption ordinarily exempts from public disclosure records that could chill internal government deliberations.
  • Numerous entries detail DOJ’s communications (including those of Eric Holder) concerning the White House about Fast and Furious.
  • The scandal required the attention of virtually every top official of the DOJ and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Communications to and from the United States Ambassador to Mexico about the Fast and Furious matter are also described.
  • Many of the records are already publicly available such as letters from Congress, press clips, and typical agency communications. Ordinarily, these records would, in whole or part, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.  Few of the records seem to even implicate presidential decision-making and advice that might be subject to President Obama’s broad and unprecedented executive privilege claim.

 

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Canadian Police Offer New Details About Ottawa Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Canadian police just held a press conference to detail Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa. The police also showed several surveillance videos taken from various cameras that allow them to trace the shooter’s path around the city.

The details reveal that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Canadian immigration bureau worker and a man who fought in Libya in 2011 (on which side he fought is unclear). Bibeau had converted to Islam about three years ago. He was also known to be in contact with a person who is currently on Canada’s terrorism watch list. Bibeau was not on a terrorism watch list himself, but was known to publicly espouse radical views.

He also reportedly had a couple of friends at the Ottawa mission he stayed at.

Another man, who said his initials were P.M., said Zehaf-Bibeau was close with two younger anglophone Caucasian men, roughly 20 years of age, who would speak with him often about Islam.

“There was three of them all the time going around with each other,” P.M said. “He was teaching them about Islam and stuff. He had them doing the Islamic prayer. They were in the hallways here doing it.”

All three men disappeared from the Mission on Wednesday morning shortly after a fire alarm was pulled just after 8 a.m., said P.M.

Police say that Bibeau had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship. He traveled to Ottawa earlier in October to obtain a passport. He intended to use that passport to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. He bought the first car that he used in the attack on Tuesday. He abandoned that car and stole a second one, which he used to drive to the Centre Block, where he opened fire and was killed.

Bibeau had a long rap sheet and may have been mentally ill.

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Lefty Gets Vapors Because Republican Says Something Obvious and True About Gun Rights

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Despite what the left believes and wants low-information voters to believe, the Second Amendment is not primarily* about hunting. It is about the human right of self-defense.

That misunderstanding leads to noise like this, from Daniel Strauss at Talking Points Memo.

During an National Rifle Association event in Iowa in 2012, state Sen. Joni Ernst, now the Republican nominee for Senate in the state, said she carries a 9-millimeter gun around everywhere and believes in the right to use it even if it’s against the government if they disregard her rights.

“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere,” Ernst said during a speech at the NRA’s Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa, as flagged by The Huffington Post on Thursday. “But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

And the problem with that is…?

That it doesn’t comport with the left’s worldview? That doesn’t make it incorrect.

If the last century or two have taught us anything, they should have taught us that government can turn feral quite quickly on the one hand, and that government can let its guard down against crime and other actual threats to its citizens on the other. It isn’t as though problems of corrupt and brutal government always stay outside America’s borders. Just look at Chicago. Or cast your eyes farther south. Thanks to Mexico’s endemic corruption and its violent drug war, corruption and worse have spilled right into the border states. Our own government refuses to defend Americans from that. Americans have the right and I’d argue the duty to defend themselves.

Our own government unleashed the IRS as a thought-police. That’s a short step from government going full rogue, shorter than many on the left want to admit since their own did the unleashing.

Ernst has done nothing more than recognize that a free person must make choices to remain free, or they will soon find themselves subjugated. We need Joni Ernst and more like her in Washington.

*I was being sloppy. The Second Amendment isn’t actually about hunting at all, of course.

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Holder’s Justice Department Isn’t Interested in the Facts in Ferguson

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The official autopsy of Michael Brown leaked Wednesday. It strongly suggests that there was an altercation between Brown and Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson before the 18-year-old man was shot dead on August 9. The autopsy also revealed that Brown had been using marijuana, and had enough THC in his system to trigger hallucinations.

The Justice Department is angry — with the leak.

The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

That’s rich coming from a Justice Department that bigfooted its way into Ferguson with the express intent to impact public opinion, after the media did its best/worst to turn what might have been an ordinary if tragic police shooting incident into a nationwide race case.

Supposing the leaker does want to influence public opinion, why might that be the case? Could it be because the rioters who menaced Ferguson for weeks after the shooting continue to demand that Wilson not only be indicted, but convicted, no matter what the facts say? Could the leak be an attempt to start slowly draining the story’s controversy away? Could it be because the leaker is aware that the grand jury’s failure to indict Wilson, if that’s what happens, could trigger a whole new round of riots and violence if it comes without some warning?

Here’s what we’re getting, in what looks like an effort to start pulling some of the rage out of the situation ahead of any grand jury decision.

The New York Times reported that investigators found Brown’s blood on Wilson’s gun, on the interior door panel of Wilson’s car and on Wilson’s uniform.

The Washington Post reported that several black witnesses had provided details in secret grand jury testimony that supported Wilson’s account.

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Dallas Nurse Amber Joy Vinson is Now Ebola-Free

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola from Thomas Duncan has tested Ebola-free.

One week after Dallas nurse Amber Vinson had been diagnosed with Ebola, we learned Wednesday the CDC declared her to be Ebola-free.

A just-released photo of Vinson speaks volumes. She’s smiling, taking a “selfie” from her hospital bed in Atlanta. Her mother Debra Berry issued a statement. It reads, in part:

“We all know that further treatment will be necessary as Amber continues to regain strength, but these latest developments have truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home.”

The first Ebola nurse, Nina Pham, has been upgraded to “good” condition. Her dog has tested Ebola-free but remains in quarantine.

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Obama Admin Misled Congress, American People on Release of Violent Illegal Aliens

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In just about any other election year, a story like this one from USA Today could scramble everything. It’s that explosive.

But this year…the Democrats are poised to lose anyway. President Obama is hellbent on granting unilateral amnesty to several million illegal aliens anyway. He is also intent on sparking as many constitutional disputes with the new Congress as he can.

And by now, we have the measure of the man himself. Every issue, crisis or problem that comes up is handled by him and his administration not on its own merits, but as a political problem for him, personally. He might, if forced to, say something about “protecting the American people” after he has chosen to endanger us. He might even fake outrage and appoint another czar to “get to the bottom of this.” But since Obama himself is at the bottom of this, that czar would be another political fixer, who will not get to the bottom of anything at all.

Two more years of this…

So this story won’t scramble the election. It will play a prominent role in the new Congress, though. Which is probably perfectly fine with the Divider in Chief.

New records contradict the Obama administration’s assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.

The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress.

The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed.

ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen acknowledged the discrepancy. She said “discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency’s control.”

“…outside the agency’s control.” Isn’t that interesting?

A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge.

These people are still on our streets. It took a FOIA to get that out of the Obama government.

Oh, and this should go without saying, but you’re a racist for even being concerned about any of this.

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Wendy Davis: Sure, I’d Welcome Obama to Come to Texas and Campaign With Me!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Early voting is currently underway in Texas. Democrat Wendy Davis is tanking in the polls in the governor race as Greg Abbott looks to be cruising to a win.

The Davis campaign has become so desperate that it has attacked Abbott over interracial marriage — despite the fact that he’s half of one — and it swiped a photo of Republican kids to claim its support is building and burgeoning. And that was just this week.

But finally, Wendy Davis may have just thrown in the towel.

Democrat Wendy Davis says she would welcome President Barack Obama campaigning for her in Texas in the final days of her underdog bid for governor.

Davis says she would be “thrilled” if Obama or the Clintons wanted to help with her campaign. Obama has campaigned for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in other states and will continue doing so next week in Wisconsin.

But most Democrats — including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair — are running as far away from Obama as they can these days. Obama is about as welcome in most campaigns as Ebola. Because most Democrats have clued into the fact that however much they might love his brand of disinterested international leadership and domestic attack dog nonsense, most Americans have tuned him right out.

The math for Davis is not good. She’s running as an Obama Democrat in Texas, a state that Obama lost twice and that Bill Clinton lost twice. No Democrat has won anything of note here in 20 years.

She has run a humorless, drab, terrible campaign that has one setting — ATTACK! — and which has been equal parts low comedy and repulsive dishonesty. Davis herself got off the blocks stating her belief that ships taking on water is a good thing, and has never really improved from there.

Now she wants Barack Obama, the president who is even tanking in the blue states, to come and campaign with her in bright red Texas.

Well, why not? It’s not like she has anything to lose at this point.

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Fresh Out of Real Support in Texas, Wendy Davis Tweeps Steal Pic of College Republicans

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Well, this is curious. Take a look at this tweet.

It’s a retweet of a Wendy Davis retweet, in which the Democrats’ fading hope to take Texas retweets a fan claiming that she and her friends all just turned out to vote for Wendy Davis

 

Only, they didn’t. The photo is actually of a bunch of College Republicans. In Virginia. They didn’t vote for Wendy Davis.

Funny thing, Wendy Davis has raised much of her campaign money outside Texas. Maybe her campaign staff think voters outside the state can make her governor?

As you can see, the original tweeter is a @Lisa_In_Austin.

Or, was.

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Soldier, Murderer in Ottawa Shooting ID’d (Update: ISIS Posts Photo)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The soldier who was killed in today’s shooting rampage in Ottawa, Canada has been identified. He was Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. He was 24 years old.

The soldier that was killed was identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, according to his aunt. Cpl. Cirillo, who was a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a regiment of Reserve Forces based in Hamilton, was training to join the Canada Border Services Agency, his aunt told The Globe and Mail.

“We’re still in the process of an active operation right now. We’re treating this very seriously with the RCMP in identifying and clearing Parliament Hill to render it safe,” Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau told a mid-afternoon media briefing.

The shooter who was killed has also been identified. His name was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32. Witnesses report that he was wearing a black jump suit and a white scarf during the attack. According to reports, he drove up to the National War Memorial of Canada and shot Cirillo in the chest. He then made his way into the parliament building nearby and opened fire inside, where the sergeant-at-arms killed him. Reports of a third shooting at a nearby mall turned out not to be true.

Canadian police continue to search for other gunmen.

Update: Zehaf-Bibeau is reportedly of Algerian descent, and was recently designated a “high-risk” traveler by Candada’s government. His passport had reportedly been seized. Canada recently announced that it would revoke passports of anyone found to be trying to support ISIS.

Update: And then there’s this — ISIS has posted what it claims is a photo of the murderer during the attack.

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Ferguson: Autopsy Consistent With Struggle, Not Surrender (Update: Hallucinations?)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Minutes before he was killed by Ferguson, MO police Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown stole about $43 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars from a convenience store.

As Tatler reported at the time, an examination of Brown’s social media strongly hinted that the teenager was a marijuana user and that he stole the cigars in order to use them to smoke pot.

An official autopsy of Brown confirms that he was a pot user. He had THC in his system at the time of his altercation with Wilson. The autopsy also suggests that Brown was fighting with, or attacking, Officer Wilson when he was shot.

The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case.

The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.

Those documents, prepared by the St. Louis County medical examiner and obtained by the Post-Dispatch, provide the most detailed description to date of the wounds Brown sustained in a confrontation Aug. 9 with Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

The St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation, reviewed the autopsy report for the newspaper. He said Tuesday that it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.”

If Brown had had has hands up in surrender, as some witnesses claimed, how could he have gotten shot in the hand?

Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

Reaching for an officer’s firearm, not surrendering. And acting under the influence of drugs, not a choirboy headed to college as some have portrayed him.

In addition, blood may have been found on Wilson’s gun, another indication that that there was a close-up fight.

The autopsy’s findings support theories that Brown believed that Wilson intended to arrest him for the convenience store theft when the officer came upon Brown and a friend walking down the middle of a street, disrupting traffic. If Brown believed his arrest was imminent, and he was on marijuana which impaired his judgement, he may have lashed out at Wilson to resist arrest and get away. If so, that was a fatal mistake.

Update: This is huge, from the Washington Post.

Jurors have also been provided with the St. Louis County autopsy report, including toxicology test results for Brown that show he had levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The Post’s sources said the levels in Brown’s body may have been high enough to trigger hallucinations.

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NBC Cameraman Beats Ebola

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is now Ebola-free.

 

It’s still not clear how Mukpo came with with the virus. He may have contracted it when he was cleaning a car in which a person infected with the virus had ridden.

Mukpo received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, the American missionary who also survived the disease thanks in part to a blood transfusion that he received from a fellow Ebola survivor. Brantly has also donated blood to Dallas nurse Nina Pham, one of the two nurses who got Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan.

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Another Senator Accuses Democrat-Led Senate of Sexism

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

First it was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, using her book to describe sexist behavior aimed at her in the US Senate. Gillibrand failed to name names, leading to the obvious conclusion that the Democratic senator was talking about fellow Democrats. If the perps were Republicans, Gillibrand would have named them, shamed them, and maybe even Bob Packwooded them.

In the end, Gillibrand blamed a dead Democrat, the late Sen. Daniel Inoue. Whether that was true or not, it certainly took a difficult story for Democrats off the media’s radar.  Try as they might, the media can’t credibly blame anything Inoue did or didn’t do on any Republican, or even the Democrats who currently run the Senate.

Today it’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), accusing unnamed senators of behaving boorishly, according to CNN.

During a wide-ranging interview on the Colorado campaign trail—where she was stumping for endangered incumbent Sen. Mark Udall—CNN asked Warren whether she had experienced any different treatment as a woman. “Yes,” she said. Would she elaborate? “Nope.” But was it surprising? “Not really, I wish it were,” she told CNN. “But it’s hard to change these big, male dominated institutions. What I am very happy about is that there are now enough women in the United States Senate to bring change to that place and I think that’s just powerfully important.” There are now 20 women in the senate.

Warren didn’t want to talk specifics, or how the different treatment manifested itself. “I’ve said all I am going to say,” ending that part of the conversation.

Well, we can all infer what’s going on here. If the culprit or culprits were Republicans, Warren, false Indian and darling of the far left, would not hesitate to name them and call them out. No doubt about it. Her accusation would resurrect the phony “war on women” with less than two weeks to go before the election.

So the culprits must be Warren’s fellow Democrats. That’s why she has said all she’ll say about it.

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‘Anti-Hate’ Group Unleashes Hateful Video in the Name of Stopping Hate

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Mediaite:

You know how elderly white people trying to rap is off-putting? Well, multiply that by 100 and you’ll understand how jarring it is to hear little girls in a new ad repeatedly dropping f-bombs in the name of feminism. Yeah, in this video by FCKH8.com, little girls dressed up as princesses explain how unfair the world is to women with a crapload of words far worse than crapload.

For example, choice phrases include “I’m not some pretty fucking hopeless princess in distress!”, “Pay up, motherfucker!”, and “Start teaching boys not to fucking rape!”

Mediaite has the video. It’s appalling.

The left likes to say that hate has to be taught. Fair enough. Those girls had to be taught and directed by adults to act so profane and hateful.

It’s no exaggeration to call the girls in the video “little,” as they’re definitely pre-teens. It’s also no exaggeration to call the video itself borderline child abuse. Plus, thoroughly hateful, devoid of thought, and ultimately counterproductive.

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Gunman Opens Fire in Canada’s Capital (Updates: Lockdown in Ottawa)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In the second shocking violent episode in Canada this week, a gunman reportedly exited a car near Canada’s parliament building in Ottawa. He shot one soldier standing guard in the chest.

Witnesses reported seeing a gunman firing at the Ottawa War Memorial and then running toward the government buildings, where more shots were heard.

A soldier has been wounded in the attack, Canadian media report.

The incident came hours after Canada raised its terror threat level following a fatal hit-and-run attack on two soldiers earlier in the week.

“Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52am today; one person injured,” Ottawa Police tweeted on Wednesday as a witness reported seeing authorities search from room to room for the suspect.

Police have told those in the vicinity to stay away from windows and roofs as they search for the suspect.

The gunman – said to be carrying a rifle – fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and then ran into the parliament.

Whether this incident has any connection to Islamist terrorism or not is not yet clear, but Canada had just raised its terror threat from low to medium following a clear instance of Islamist terrorism.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was not near the scene of the shootings, and is reported safe.

There are reports that more than one gunman remains active in the area around the parliament and Canada’s National War Memorial. Police also report that there have been at least three shooting incidents in Ottawa today.

Update: The Mirror has video of the moment that the gunman opened fire inside the parliament building.

Update: The attacks come on the same day that Canada is set to bestow honorary citizenship on Malala Yousafazi. She won the Nobel Peace Prize last week, for advocating for women’s rights and education in her native Pakistan. That ceremony is to take place in Toronto.

Yousafzai’s activism on behalf of girls in her region in Pakistan made her a target of the Taliban at the age of 15, when a would-be assassin shot her in the head. Since recovering, she has become known worldwide as a spokesperson on the importance of access to education.

Update: The American embassy in Ottawa is on lockdown. One of the gunmen has reportedly been killed but others remain at large.

Update: The soldier who was shot at the beginning of today’s events has died.

Update: Reports now say that the first gunman was dressed all in black and was wearing a scarf over his face. He carjacked a car near the parliament and drove that car on the way to the first shooting.

Update: Canada’s government is tracking today’s violence as a terrorist incident, and will reportedly continue treating it as such until evidence suggesting that it is not terrorism comes to light. That is in sharp contrast to how the Obama administration handles suspected terrorist attacks in the US. The FBI and other government agencies in the US default to something other than terrorism first, and still considers Nidal Hasan’s 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hoot, Texas an incident of “workplace violence.”

Update (1:23 PM Central): The Canadian authorities are holding a press conference on the shootings. Canada’s capital remains in lockdown as suspects are sought. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson described the day as a “sad and tragic day for our city and our country.” Authorities confirmed that a Canadian soldier and one gunman were killed.

The motive behind the attack has still not been determined, but it comes on the heels of one Islamist attack on Canadian soldiers, and ISIS chatter that western military personnel and their families should be targeted.

Update: A good guy with a gun stopped one of the bad guys with a gun. The good guy’s name is Kevin Vickers, and he is the sergeant-at-arms of the Canadian legislature.

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California Forces Churches to Fund Surgical Abortion

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Just passing this along, from the Federalist. Not alleging that if you add this plus Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s subpoenas of pastors’ sermons, mix in what’s happening to various Christian business owners, you get a leftwing-driven war on the church.

Nah.

California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.

At the insistence of the American Civil Liberties Union, the DMHC concluded that a 40-year-old state law requiring health plans to cover “basic health services” had been misinterpreted all these decades. Every plan in the state was immediately ordered, effective August 22, to cover elective abortion. California had not even applied this test to its own state employee health plans (which covered only “medically necessary” abortions). But this novel reading was nevertheless quietly imposed on every plan in the state by fiat.

The news has slowly leaked out as insurers grappling with this change have begun quietly informing employers of this sudden change in the terms of their policy.

 

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Has the Democrats’ Fear Game Failed in Colorado?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In a time of war, plague and economic upheaval, Sen. Mark Udall (D) chose to base his re-election campaign on fear. Not fear of any of those things, but the irrational fear that the Republican nominee — whoever that turned out to be — was gunning for women’s birth control.

The Republican nominee turned out to be Rep. Cory Gardner, and he pre-empted the birth control fear game by advocating over-the-counter birth control.

Udall went so far all-in on the phony “war on women” schtick that he morphed into “Mark Uterus.” And he’s now tanking in the polls.

[O]bservers also say that Udall hasn’t helped matters by running a campaign that seems to be designed as a replay of the campaign that helped Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet eke out a win in 2010, despite lagging in the polls until the end. Back then Senator Bennet won, in large part, by focusing on women voters as well as reproductive rights. His opponent, Ken Buck, was a cultural conservative who believed abortion should be banned in all instances, and he made tone-deaf statements, once telling an audience they should vote for him “because I don’t wear high heels.”

In the end, women voted for Bennet by a margin of 16 percent, according to the exit polls, and were a big reason behind his victory.

Udall’s advisers have clearly wanted to re-create that victory, and reproductive rights have been such a focus of Udall’s campaign that his critics began calling him “Mark Uterus.” Unlike with Bennet, the focus has turned into a negative for Udall.

“It’s a case of the Democrats fighting the last war,” says Peter Hanson, a political science professor at the University of Denver. “The Republicans have seen this strategy and were prepared for it.”

Along with that, voters have seen reality. Udall has tried stoking phony fears, while he has either ignored or embodied real fears. He is a leftist prog Democrat who participated in the attack on Second Amendment rights, and who helped Obama foist Obamacare and his other disastrous policies on Colorado. Gardner just has to point that out, and he has.

The fear game has a shelf life, and it’s less likely to work for you when you’ve proven yourself to be scarier than the other guy, and oblivious to real threats at the same time.

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US Accidentally Airdrops Weapons to ISIS

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This will go down as a moment in the war with ISIS that has little strategic meaning, but may have significant psychological meaning.

The US airdropped a cache of weapons, intended for our Kurish allies in Syria, on territory that the Islamic State controls.

The terrorists have published video showing the weapons while they brag about having them.

The weapons, in the grand scheme of a war that already has ISIS driving around in American tanks and using Howitzers made by the American defense industry, don’t amount to all that much. A grenade kit for making lots of those, and a few boxes of rocket launcher rounds. That cache by itself won’t turn the tide of the war.

But the Obama government is already reeling from its pitiful response to the Ebola outbreak on one hand, and has earned distrust for its handling of the US border and for quietly planning to issue tens of millions of guest worker cards after the elections on the other.

At home Obama’s government is either ridiculed, disliked, distrusted or dismissed. Now it’s dropping weapons into a war zone and hurting our allies there twice — by misplacing the weapons themselves, and by showing America’s unreliability as an ally.

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Republicans Lead in the Polls, and in the Early Voting

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

According to most polls, Republicans have owned the “enthusiasm gap” for months. They also lead on the generic ballot on the question of which party the voters want to control Congress. President Obama has tended to dismiss his party’s concerns by promising that the Democrats’ turnout machine will save them

The Washington Post is tracking early voting trends. The president may be just as accurate on turnout as he was when he predicted that Ebola wouldn’t come to America.

Two weeks ago, we looked at initial early voting data compiled by the U.S. Election Project with the aim of sussing out how campaigns were doing at putting votes in the bank. At that point, it seemed like Democrats were doing particularly well in Iowa and North Carolina compared to voter registration numbers. Republicans were doing well in other battleground states.

Now, that’s changed. Compared to overall voter registration, Iowa and North Carolina Democrats are doing much worse than earlier in the month, and Republicans in those states much better. We’ve also added new states that recently began early voting: Nevada, California and Colorado. In each, Republicans are outperforming Democrats.

The news that Republicans are outperforming Democrats even in California early voting is bad enough for Democrats. But add in that the Democrats are even underperforming versus independents, who are even being targeted much by either party, and you have the makings of a disaster. For Democrats.

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Change: No Ebola West Africa Travel Ban, But New Airport Restrictions

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Starting Wednesday, all travelers to the US coming from the three Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa will have to go through one of the five airports that will be enhanced screening sites.

But the enhanced screening is a joke. It consists of answering more questions on a form, and having your temperature taken by a laser-infrared thermometer.

That screening would not have stopped Thomas Duncan from entering the US from his native Liberia.

The new restriction does mean that all travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will have to go through the new screening, and not just the 94% who were already set to undergo the screening.

So, this isn’t really much of a change at all. It’s theater.

Meanwhile, because the United States still accepts travelers from the Ebola hot zone, Rwanda is set to begin screening travelers who travel there from the US.

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So…Obama’s New Ebola Czar is Really Worried About Overpopulation

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Cue the conspiracy theories! President Obama has not just put Ron Klain, a political hack and crony with no medical experience whatsoever, in charge of his Ebola response. That hack and crony hasn’t just been involved in everything from the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas to the Gore recount to Solyndra.

That hack and crony, Ron Klain, the man who is charged with defending Americans from a deadly disease, thinks we have too darn many people around.

Say, isn’t there a conflict of interests lurking here somewhere?

Take a look.

YouTube Preview Image

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Liberia Loses Track of Ebola Patients

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Post must be chock full of racists. Why else is that paper running such a negative story about the state of the healthcare system in Liberia?

MONROVIA, Liberia — For the 29th day, Linda Wilson came to the gates of the Ebola treatment center looking for her best friend, the woman whose picture she carried in her purse, so she could show it to guards or nurses or anyone else who might be able to help.

“Have you seen her?” Wilson asked them.

For the 29th day, the answer was no. Barbara Bai’s name was not on any list, even though she was admitted to a hospital one month earlier. There was no record of her death or her survival at any hospital in Monrovia. She was one of the many people who have simply vanished as Ebola tears through the city.

Ebola ravaged this capital so quickly that some patients passed through an already broken medical system with hardly any paper trail. Others were admitted to one clinic and transferred to another without notice. Hundreds were cremated long before their families were notified that they had died.

That sounds uncomfortably like the Veterans Administration under Obama. Which makes me a racist for pointing that out.

Relatives and friends spend hours each day outside the city’s four Ebola clinics. Some come to pray. Many are not sure if they’re in the right place.

They wait for visiting hours, held in special partitioned spaces, even though the loved ones they are looking for never show up. They check patient lists, even though they’re almost always incomplete.

As long as there remain open flights from the Ebola-stricken countries to the United States, we are depending on those countries’ record-keeping systems to keep us safe. It’s not like our own government has any interest in doing that job.

 

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To MSNBC, It’s Racism All the Way Down

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Howard Fineman fancies himself a courageous soul. Because no one brings up race in America anymore.

Well, other than Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, every single mainstream media columnist and pundit, every single Democrat candidate, officeholder, consultant, Twitter warrior, every single day on every network…

It’s just not talked about.

FINEMAN: “Can I mention race here?”
MATTHEWS: “You may.”
FINEMAN: “Let’s put the cards on the table here.”
MATTHEWS: “You mean the word Africa?”
FINEMAN: “No. The brown people coming from the South, the Arab people coming from the East, the black people coming from Africa, nobody’s saying that in so many words. Nobody’s saying it at all, but it’s in the background of this whole discussion, and anybody who would deny that doesn’t know how this country operates. It’s not the only way this country operates. We’re bigger than that in the end, but that’s definitely a subtext of a lot of what’s going on here. There’s just no question about it. And I’ll say it if other people won’t.”
MATTHEWS: “It is the arrival of them, even though African-Americans, hint hint, have been here before we got here.”

See there. Your concern about drug war violence spilling over the border is all really about racism. Your concern about terrorists chopping people’s heads off and filming it for the Internet — racism. Your concern about contracting an infectious disease that kills 70% of its victims, extremely painfully — racism. Your hope that you haven’t sent your kid off to school only to have it either blown up by terrorists, shot up by drug cartel operatives, or swept through by a deadly virus — all of which the government could have stopped, but for political reasons chose not to — racism.

Howard Fineman thinks you’re just a horrible person. Racist.

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Wendy Davis Campaign Launches Its Most Absurd Attack on Greg Abbott Yet

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

San Antonio Express-News reporter Peggy Fikac runs a story in which she attempts to tie Texas Republican governor nominee Greg Abbott to a little misstep made by a fellow Republican who is several states away.

The subject is state-level bans on interracial marriage, which were struck down by courts decades ago. They are not relevant today, but reporters like Fikac are attempting to equate them with the current trend of courts striking down bans on same-sex marriage. And Wendy Davis’ campaign is running with that.

 

That’s the spokesman Davis imported from Harry Reid’s smear shop, demonstrating his total lack of honesty, facts and sense.

It didn’t take Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott any time at all to decide that not answering that question was the best course during a meeting with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board.

“Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” Abbott pointed out. “And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me … The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.”

When I said I wasn’t clear if he was saying he would have defended a ban on interracial marriage, he said, “Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that.”

Asked about the similarities some see between the ban on gay marriage and past prohibitions on interracial marriage, Abbott said, “Well, the Supreme Court has disagreed with that” by holding that sexual orientation isn’t due protected-class status in the way that race is.

What Abbott is doing there is staying away from hypotheticals, in this case, one set up by the media to help Democrats who favor gay marriage and who want some issue to use against their Republican opponents. It’s a gotcha, and everyone — the media, Abbott, everyone — knew that.

Why is it a “gotcha”? Because there’s no way to answer it and satisfy the press, and the media hardly ever uses the same technique against Democrats. Go one way and you get the report above, go another and you get “Abbott disagrees with fellow Republicans,” go another and you get the media putting him on the defensive in some other way.

In this case, Wendy Davis admitted that she would violate current state law, but media evidently did not follow up or chase her down on that, so she is not being forced to defend that.

“I do,” she said in her meeting with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board. “I think it’s a very fair comparison in that the time has … come for us to move forward in understanding that we’ve been kind of stuck in the same place that our country was stuck when it had the ban on interracial marriage. And I’m pleased to see the rapid advancement that is happening around the country in us accepting that and moving forward in a more productive way.”

Davis has called on Abbott to stop defending both Texas’ gay marriage ban and its public education finance system, which is being challenged in court by school districts.

Wendy Davis wants the Texas attorney general to violate his official duties under state law.

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker Lies, Renews Assault on City Pastors

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Houston Mayor Annise Parker initially defended her decision to subpoena the sermons of several pastors who lead churches in the city. Parker defended that decision publicly, on Twitter.

 

Blowback was national, immediate and fierce (though, not from Wendy Davis, Barack Obama or any other of Parker’s fellow Democrats. They stayed quiet as Parker launched lawfare against churches.).

Parker backtracked and lied, claiming that she isn’t interested in the sermons.

Now she is lying again, claiming that the pastors knew that she wasn’t ever interested in their sermons.

“‘We don’t need to intrude on matters of faith to have equal rights in Houston, and it was never the intention of the city of Houston to intrude on any matters of faith or to get between a pastor and their parishioners,’ Parker said. ‘We don’t want their sermons, we want the instructions on the petition process. That’s always what we wanted and, again, they knew that’s what we wanted because that’s the subject of the lawsuit.’”

That is not what the original subpoenas said, and it is not what Parker defended demanding in the tweet above. In the tweet above, Parker admitted that she is interested in putting anything that the pastors might have said that can be construed as any way political under scrutiny. She wants to use discovery in the lawsuits against her to put the pastors and their tax-exempt status on trial.

As we and others have reported previously, the pastors who find themselves targeted by Parker’s subpoenas are not even party to the lawsuit in question. The lawsuit is over the Parker administration’s decision to throw out a petition that more than met the threshold to get a question on the ballot for Houston voters to decide.

That referendum would have put Parker’s “bathroom ordinance” up to a vote of the people. It needed a little over 17,000 signatures. It got 50,000, but Parker’s administration threw it out, citing “irregularities.”

That’s what the lawsuit is about — getting that petition re-instated, and putting Parker’s controversial “bathroom ordinance” up for a vote of the people.

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Ebola Crisis is So Urgent that Obama’s New Czar Doesn’t Even Start the Job for a Week

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Barack Obama likes to use the phrase “We can’t wait!” when it comes to granting amnesty to illegal aliens, along with many of his other pet causes.

But apparently, the Ebola outbreak can wait.

The Daily Caller reports that Ron Klain, President Obama’s new Solyndra Ebola PR czar, hasn’t even started the job yet.

After a day of golfing, President Barack Obama convened a meeting with the task force [Friday] to apprise him of any developments in the treatment of the two domestic Ebola cases and to discuss emergency preparedness nationwide, according to a White House pool report. Attendees included Vice President Joe Biden, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden, several cabinet members and other White House aides. Klain was not there.

Perhaps Klain, a Democrat operative going back to the Joe Biden’s smear of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will spend this week brushing up on Ebola with the same intensity that Obama brings to those Daily Intelligence Briefings that he routinely skips. Or perhaps he will brush up on getting things spectacularly wrong by politically helpful, from his new boss Susan Rice.

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Flip-Flop: Obama’s Anti-Travel-Ban Wall Cracks

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Endangered Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) was against a West Africa travel ban earlier this week. Hagan agreed with President Obama and most Democrats at the time, in rejecting calls for a temporary travel ban to halt the spread of Ebola, which has now infected at least two Americans.

“The CDC and the World Health Organization is certainly giving us great guidance, but we’ve got to make sure the implementation is perfect,” said the first-term senator. Hagan also declined to endorse the policy of temporarily banning passengers from entering the U.S. if they’re traveling from West African countries experiencing the Ebola outbreak.

“That’s not going to help solve this problem,” said Hagan of the proposed ban. “That’s not going to contain the epidemic that we see happening in Africa.”

Hagan changed her tune today. The senator released an about-face statement this afternoon.

Greensboro, NC – U.S. Senator Kay Hagan issued the following statement about the ongoing Ebola crisis:

“I have said for weeks that travel restrictions should be one part of a broad strategy to prevent Ebola from spreading in the U.S. and fighting it in Africa. I am calling on the Administration to temporarily ban the travel of non-U.S. citizens from the affected countries in West Africa. Although stopping the spread of this virus overseas will require a large, coordinated effort with the international community, a temporary travel ban is a prudent step the President can take to protect the American people, and I believe he should do so immediately.”

Her challenger, Republican Thom Tillis, already called for a temporary travel ban more than two weeks ago.

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Obama’s New Ebola Czar Was Deeply Involved in Solyndra Scandal

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Bridget Johnson reported earlier that President Obama has appointed Ron Klain to become Ebola czar.

Klain’s career is not in medicine, epidemiology, or any field related to disease control or prevention.

Klain is a laywer, a K Street lobbyist, and a career Democrat party operative. Klain is not a doctor. He is a Democrat loyalist.

Not only was he involved in Al Gore’s 2000 election recount as Bridget reported, Klain was involved in the Obama administration’s Solyndra debacle.

In January 2012, ABC News reported that Klain, then Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, was right in the middle of the administration’s poor and controversial handling of Solyndra’s bankruptcy.

Senior White House officials knew in late October 2010 that government-backed Solyndra was planning to lay off nearly 20 percent of its workforce just prior to the congressional elections the next month, recently released e-mails show.

E-mails released by the White House last week showed that Heather Zichal, an energy aide to President Barack Obama, relayed the news about the Fremont-based solar firm’s planned layoffs to top White House officials, including Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

Later in the same story…

Obama visited Solyndra in May 2010, as e-mails showed his top advisers, including Jarrett and Klain, knew about Solyndra’s precarious financial condition. During his visit, Obama hailed Solyndra, telling factory workers, “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”

In another story, ABC details Klain’s role:

On May 24, 2010 — two days before the president’s visit — California businessman Steve Westley emailed senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, referencing the audit and saying the visit might “haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc.”

Jarrett reached out to Ron Klain, then the chief of staff to Vice President Biden, saying that “we clearly need to make sure that they are stable and solid.”

Klain contacted Energy Department officials and then wrote back to Jarrett, saying “Sounds like there are some risk factors here – but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit. It looks like it is OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.”

“I’m comfortable if you’re comfortable,” Jarrett wrote back.

Responded Klain: “The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few would be belly-up by election day 2012 – but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting edge, new economy industries.”

By October, Summers, Klain, and director of the Office of Energy and Climate Policy Carol Browner wrote a six-page memorandum to the President about the loan guarantee program, detailing the fights between the Department of Energy and OMB and giving the president four options to deal with the program, one of which would have terminated it altogether, seeking congressional approval to move the funds into a Department of Energy grant program.

The Washington Post reports that Klain “dismissed auditor’s concerns about Solyndra’s solvency” in 2010, “reasoning that all innovative companies come with risk.” In Solyndra’s case, the risk was borne by the US taxpayer in the form of government-backed loans.

Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in August 2011, just over a year after Klain dismissed concerns about its viability, and failed to warn President Obama about its financial condition.

More: Obama on Ebola: ‘I don’t have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban.’

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Obama on Ebola: ‘I don’t have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban.’

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

President Obama has begun to explain why he is making sure that the United States does not impose a travel ban on people coming from the three Ebola-stricken countries to here.

Those countries are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. A Liberian man flew to the United States in September, bringing Ebola with him. He infected two nurses, and as many as 1,000 people are now being sought or monitored for having contact either with him or with the two nurses.

In a White House photo-op, Obama explained “I don’t have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban if that is the thing that is gonna keep the American people safe.”

Obama claimed that in all discussions that he has had with experts in the field, those experts have told him that if there is a travel ban, some people might slip across borders to travel from another, non-Ebola country. Because that possibility even exists, there should be no travel ban at all.

Watch his remarks here.

Obama did not name any of the experts who he claims have told him of this scenario — a scenario that has become increasingly unlikely after several African countries closed their borders with the Ebola-stricken countries.

The president’s use of “necessarily” to qualify his thoughts indicates that he does have a philosophical objection to a travel ban. His default position will be to keep travel open to roughly 150 people per day coming to the United States from West Africa, unless circumstances force his hand. Today the president gave the first hint that that could happen.

Africa itself is less hesitant about imposing travel bans, closing borders and making other moves to keep Ebola from spreading. Morocco hosts the Africa Cup of Nations international soccer tournament in January. That country is now reportedly lobbying to get the tournament delayed until the Ebola outbreak is over. Some reports say that Morocco has already withdrawn from hosting. The Sierra Leone team no longer plays any qualifying games in its home country.

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Vice President Biden’s Son Booted from the Navy: Cocaine

Friday, October 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hunter Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, has been kicked out of the US Navy Reserve.

The son of Vice President Joe Biden says he is “embarrassed” after being discharged from the Navy Reserve earlier this year — reportedly after testing positive for cocaine.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Thursday that Hunter Biden’s short-lived military career ended because he failed a drug test after reporting to his unit in 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Navy discharged him in February of this year.

Biden said in a statement to Fox News that he respects the Navy’s decision but did not specify why he was discharged.

“It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” he said. “I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”

The 44-year-old was given a commission as an ensign in the Navy Reserve in 2013. He was kicked out earlier this year, yet the story is just now getting into the media. Was it covered up?

Drug use seems to run in Joe Biden’s family, though the media have never made as much of that as they attempted to make of everything that the Bush daughters did or didn’t do.

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