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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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Hamas Threat to Israel’s Airport Demands a New Strategy: Let Israel Win

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Hamas launched a powerful rocket that landed within a mile of Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Israel has opened an alternative airport in Negev.

The US Federal Aviation Administration overreacted to the Hamas rocket, by banning American carriers from landing at Ben Gurion, temporarily. Secretary of State John Kerry has flown to the Middle East to try and arrange a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Michael Bloomberg, of all people, showed stronger leadership by flying into Ben Gurion and publicizing his flight, to show that it is still safe.

Hamas is believed to possess from 10,000 to 20,000 rockets. The terrorist group has used that arsenal to start the current round of fighting by firing those rockets at Israeli civilian population centers.

Israel has responded by going after Hamas in as precise a manner as possible, to avoid civilian casualties. That is no easy feat when Hamas deliberately hides its weapons in schools and when its fighters do not wear uniforms and who themselves hide among civilians, using them as human shields. When those civilians are inevitably killed, Hamas then uses them for propaganda against Israel.

At this point, what would a cease-fire achieve?

For Israel, a temporary and untenable “peace.” For Hamas, it would achieve quite a lot. A cease-fire would leave its rocket arsenal intact. It would also leave the threat that Hamas could shut down Israel’s main international airport, at any moment, intact.

For Israel, that is an intolerable threat. Hamas could cut Israel off from the rest of the world, or at least from its strongest ally, any time it wants, just by firing one of its thousands and thousands of rockets near the airport.

Kerry should not have gone to Israel to mindlessly try to broker another cease-fire.

He should have gone to Israel to tell Hamas unambiguously that the United State supports Israel’s right to self-defense, and that if Hamas does not turn over all of its rockets immediately, that the United States supports Israel’s right to destroy the entire arsenal by means and methods of its choosing.

In other words, Kerry should have gone to Israel to tell Hamas and the world that the United States supports Israel and its right to defeat Hamas once and for all.

Negotiating with Hamas has proven to be futile. It’s time to let Israel win.

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Go Home, United Nations, You’re Drunk

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Detroit has a water crisis.

Actually, no, it doesn’t. Detroit has a deadbeat crisis.

The broke down Motor City has announced that it is suspending shutting off water to those who don’t pay their water bills, for 15 days. Just about half of the city’s residents are actually paying their water bills.

Detroit, which by the way is bankrupt, made that decision because the United Nations pressured it to.

How did Detroit get to be bankrupt? Well, it has a deadbeat problem. And a corruption problem.

The United Nations claims that access to clean water is now a “human right.” And because of that, the city should not cut off the water to people who are using the city’s water service, but are refusing to pay for it.

Most of the same people who are refusing to pay for the water they use are on taxpayer-supported public assistance. Public assistance is meant to help them pay for food, shelter, and of course, water.

But instead, many of them are paying for cell phones and satellite or cable TV service.

They are making choices in what they pay for. If they prize other things over clean water, well, there ought to be consequences for that. The United Nations, which itself lives off of the public assistance of member states including the United States, disagrees.

Potable water doesn’t clean itself and, for the most part, doesn’t exist in nature in the quantities that we need to support our cities. Humans have to process water to make it drinkable. That processing costs money. Somebody has to pay for it. If that somebody is not the people who are actually using the water, then who ought to pay for it?

The United Nations has taken the position that it doesn’t care, and it doesn’t matter, who pays for water.

They’re not going far enough.

Food is just as important to our health as water. If clean water is a human right, why isn’t food? And if food is a human right, why should anyone ever have to pay for food?

Why shouldn’t farmers just give away all of the crops, beef, milk, and other products that they generate? Why shouldn’t all restaurants serve everyone whatever food they want, free of charge? Aren’t they violating our human rights if they force us to pay for the food that we eat? Steak and lobster for everyone, every day, whenever they want — since it’s a human right. Why shouldn’t the United Nations make this happen?

Then no one would have to choose between food and their smartphone.

Because having to make choices isn’t fair. Or something.


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IRS IT: Lerner’s Hard Drive Was Merely ‘Scratched,’ Data Was Recoverable

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The House Ways and Means Committee’s IRS targeting scandal investigators have tracked down some IRS information technology specialists who contradict the agency’s official line regarding the spoiled hard drive of Lois Lerner.

According to the IRS, Lerner’s hard drive “crashed” and the data on it was not recovered. That data, according to the IRS, included all of Lerner’s emails to and from people outside the IRS itself. Those so-called lost emails could shed light on who Lerner was communicating with outside the IRS and who outside the agency may have been aware of the targeting of conservative groups, and what the purpose of the targeting was.

But the IRS says that those emails are “lost,” and Lerner’s “crashed” hard drive was later “recycled,” meaning it was destroyed entirely.

But the IRS IT specialists tracked down by Ways and Means tell a different story.

According to them, Lerner’s hard drive was merely “scratched,” and most of the data on it was recoverable. The IT specialists tell the Committee’s investigators that they recommended the IRS seek outside assistance to recover the data on Lerner’s drive. Forensic experts consulted by the Committee agree that most of the data would have been recoverable.

The IRS apparently never followed that advice to seek outside experts for help with the drive.

But the IRS’ record-keeping on Lerner’s hard drive may not be complete or accurate itself. Paperwork discovered by the committee says that at one point, Lerner’s computer was described as “recovered.” The IRS has also failed to provide a paper trail for the destruction of the hard drive. To date, IRS officials have testified that it was destroyed. But the agency systematically tracks the disposition of hard drives. There ought to be paperwork tracking Lerner’s hard drive to its demise, but there is no such paperwork.

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President Obama Casts Himself as Champeen News Reader in the World, or Something

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

President Barack Obama is spending three of this week’s five work days fundraising for the Democratic Party. At a fundraiser last night, he contradicted everything he has ever said about how he learns about scandals in his own government.

POLITICO reports that Obama said he’s fighting however he can to combat cynicism from becoming a dominant theme in the upcoming midterm elections. And when the president brought up the media as partly to blame, he remarked, “Whatever they’re reporting about, usually I know.”

That’s a funny thing to say for a guy who claims that he learned about Fast and Furious, the Veterans Administration secret waiting lists, the NSA spying on foreign leaders, the terrorist capture of much of Iraq, Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the IRS targeting scandal and the failure of from the news media.

Or maybe he was just lying about not knowing about any of that beforehand…

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The Criminalization of All The Things

Monday, July 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Radley Balko highlights this charming story from South Carolina, among others.

Here are the facts: Debra Harrell works at McDonald’s in North Augusta, South Carolina. For most of the summer, her daughter had stayed there with her, playing on a laptop that Harrell had scrounged up the money to purchase. (McDonald’s has free WiFi.) Sadly, the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop stolen, so the girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play instead.

Harrell said yes. She gave her daughter a cell phone. The girl went to the park—a place so popular that at any given time there are about 40 kids frolicking—two days in a row. There were swings, a “splash pad,” and shade. On her third day at the park, an adult asked the girl where her mother was. At work, the daughter replied.

The shocked adult called the cops. Authorities declared the girl “abandoned” and proceeded to arrest the mother.

The state has taken the nine-year-old girl away from her mother. Which is abusive, if you ask me.

So if you let your kid play unsupervised at a park for any length of time, you’re subject to arrest by the minions of the state now?

Can we really describe ourselves as the “land of the free” anymore?


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Dad Thrashes Man Who Was Sexually Assaulting His Son. Sanity Breaks Out.

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Father does what fathers are supposed to do.

A Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his 11-year-old son early Friday morning, police said.

The father called 911 around 1 a.m. after he walked in on the alleged abuse, police said. When officers arrived, they found Raymond Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth.

“He is nice and knocked out on the floor for you,” the father told the 911 dispatcher. “I drug him out to the living room.”

The father used no weapons, other than “my foot and my fist.”

The child told investigators that he was playing video games with friends but after the friends left, Frolander asked the boy to sit in his lap and then took him to a back room, the report states.

Frolander then pulled the boy’s pants down and started sexually battering him, the boy told police, adding that Frolander had been abusing him since he was 8 years old, investigators said.

He told police that “I got him in a bloody puddle for you officer.”

The father had stepped out of the house for a moment, came back, and discovered that the house was “too quiet.” So he looked around and found out what was happening to his son and did what he had to do.

The police are not going to charge him with anything.

“Dad was acting like a dad. I don’t see anything we should charge the dad with,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said. “You have an 18-year-old who has clearly picked his target, groomed his target and had sex with the victim multiple times.”

The beaten perp admitted his guilt and faces serious charges.

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Michelle Obama Wants Your Shopping Cart to Nag You

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

You’ve got to be kidding me. FLOTUS wants to turn grocery stores into little food police states.

While the feds’ plan deals mostly with the 47 million Americans who participate in the government’s food stamp program, it would indirectly affect all consumers.

According to, the federal busybodies want to provide food-stamp shoppers with “incentives” for making healthy food choices – such as discounts or free movie tickets – and even talking shopping carts that will notify them when they’ve selected enough healthy items.

RELATED: School board slams Michelle O’s lunch rules: ‘Nanny state interference’

The high-tech carts – which would cost every grocery store about $30,000 to provide – would be physically divided and color coded to help consumers select approved food items. It would also “have a system installed so that when the shopping cart reaches its healthy ‘threshold’ it would congratulate the customer,” reports.

In case that’s not creepy enough, the feds want grocery store employees to serve as government “ambassadors” who can “redirect” food stampers toward healthy items by explaining the various incentive programs and nutritional information.

Does Michelle Obama even believe that people have the right to choose to do things that she disapproves? Can she just stick to bossing her own man and stay out of everyone else’s business? Is that too much to ask?

Do the feds even realize who works in the checkout lines at grocery stores? It’s mostly high school and college kids. The government would be deputizing them to pester the rest of us over what we’re eating.

While the feds could easily ensure healthier purchases for food stamp participants by clamping down on which products are available to them, the government busybodies want consumers to think they’re making these choices all by themselves.

They’re not going to do that. That would be racist or something. So they’ll nag everyone and irritate everyone equally.

I’ll just lay this marker out right now. Do not turn my Trader Joe’s into a pest zone. Ditto for my Whole Foods and my HEB.

Just don’t do it.

I’ll start ordering more junk food online and sell it on the black market just to be spiteful.

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Rand Paul’s Little Problem, Which Is Actually A Very Big Problem, Resurfaces

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Pauls have a longstanding strain of anti-Semitism in their libertarian politics. Sen. Paul has tried his hand at scrubbing some of that as he gears up for a presidential run. The WFB has the details.

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R., Ky.) office deleted a “student reading list” that promoted anti-Israel books from his official Senate website this week, shortly after the Weekly Standard published an article last Friday highlighting the controversial recommendations.

Paul’s Senate website has advertised the list of 17 books as “suggested titles for a student, or anyone else interested in learning more about freedom and the role of government in a free society” under a “students” section since 2011.

While most of the recommended titles focus on economic policy, the list also included books that claim the “Israel Lobby” controls U.S. foreign policy, call for the United States to cut ties with the Jewish state, and argue that support for Israel is anti-Christian and anti-American.

One of the recommended titles, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency by Patrick Buchanan, has been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for containing “anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

In the book, Buchanan accused “the Beltway Likud” of plotting the war in Iraq “long before 9/11.”

“President Bush no longer sits at the head of the negotiating table, but directly behind [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon,” Buchanan wrote.

Buchanan also compared former Bush adviser Richard Perle with “Fagin,” the villainous, anti-Semitic caricature in Oliver Twist.

And so forth.

I’d like to like Rand Paul, for his small government, libertarian principles. I share those, and the fact is, we will go bankrupt as a country if we do not get spending under control. But Paul’s foreign policy instincts have too much of the far left, Dennis Kucinich, blame-America-and-Israel-first detritus to make him a serious commander in chief. This reading list is a symptom of that. It suggests that Paul sees Israel as the prime problem in the Middle East, and Jews the prime problem in the world.

If that’s what he thinks, there isn’t a whole lot left to talk about.

We already have a president whose tendency is to blame America for the world’s ills and does not step up forcefully to defend American citizens or US global interests. That’s not working out very well at all. Today, Obama put himself even to the left of his own Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. She spoke far more clearly on the Ukraine crisis today than he did. She called Putin out. Obama backed Putin’s call for a cease-fire and delayed any action he would have to take by hiding behind an investigation that stands no chance of being seriously and fairly conducted, not with Putin’s proxies in control of the crash site.

The best name you can put on that is “incoherence.” It’s also weakness, and it tells our enemies that we have no plan and no strong leadership. Commit a heinous act, give Obama a way to escape having to deal with it, and he’ll take it.

Eight years of that look like they’ll leave America economically and diplomatically weakened and more isolated than before, and Putin and his axis and every other bad actor out there emboldened.

It’s hard to see Rand Paul being an antidote to any of that.

Eight years of Obama stand to leave Israel also more isolated, as Islamists take over more territory around it.

It’s impossible to see Rand Paul being an antidote to that.


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Obama’s Statement on MH17 Was Even Worse Than I Thought

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

When he called for a cease-fire in Ukraine today, President Obama was not merely calling for something that inadvertently helps Putin cement his control on the “Donetsk Republic” through his proxies. Obama was calling for the exact same thing that Putin had already called for.

Check it out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling for a ceasefire between  pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces following the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane.

“Direct talks between the opposing sides must be established as soon as possible. All sides in the conflict must swiftly halt fighting and begin peace negotiations,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian Orthodox Church leaders, Reuters reported.

That went out several hours before Obama’s call for a cease-fire. President Obama followed it by calling for the exact same thing Putin had already called for.

Putin ought to be the man on the defensive here, not the man offering a policy that helps himself, and is then supported by the President of the United States.

I guess I’ll make the obligatory reference to “flexibility” at this point. Here’s the Russia Today clip of that moment. Russia Today is Putin’s mouthpiece in the West.

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Either Obama knew that Putin had already called for a cease-fire, or he didn’t. Either Obama understood that a cease-fire helps Putin’s proxies keep the Ukrainian territory that they currently hold, or he didn’t.

Which would be worse? It’s hard to say.

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Perry: If the Feds Don’t Secure Texas’ Border, Then Texas Will

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry appeared on Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV Thursday to discuss the border crisis.

The governor said that increased state operations have “shut down” illegal activities in some border sectors, but not all. But what has been accomplished is not enough. Clearly.

“But I think there’s a point in time where you say, ‘You know what? This 1,200 mile border has to be secured.’ And if there is a people and if there is a place that it can happen, it will be Texas,” Perry said.

Perry also noted that for all the press that the unaccompanied children who have crossed the border are getting, they are far from the whole story. The UAC’s only comprise 20% of the total number who have crossed since the surge in illegal crossings began.

“80 percent of those coming across, we don’t know who they are,” Gov. Perry told Beck. “In Katy, Texas yesterday an individual was apprehended who had murdered an individual in Louisiana.”

Perry will not return as governor of Texas in January 2015. He may run for president again. Republican Greg Abbott is the odds-on favorite to replace Perry in Austin.

The international border is primarily a federal responsibility, but the state government and local governments along the border also share that responsibility. For Texans, securing the border is one of the few things that we want the federal government to do. And it clearly is not getting the job done.

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Putin’s Proxies Aren’t Listening to Obama

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In his statement today, President Obama called for a cease-fire in Ukraine, and for the MH17 crash site to be open to international investigators.

How’s that working out?

About as well as can be expected.

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Obama’s MH17 Statement Betrays Incoherence

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

President Barack Obama paused between party fundraisers and his close vacation today to deliver a statement on the shootdown of MH17. Russian proxies are the prime suspects, having used Russian missiles to blast the civilian airliner out of the sky.

The president noted that one American is believed to have died in the disaster. He described MH17′s demise as a “global disaster” because an Asian airliner carrying citizens of many countries was shot down over Ukraine. He also noted that over 100 of the flight’s passengers were flying to a conference on the fight against AIDS. Calling MH17 a “global disaster” tugs at the entire world outside Russia to be outraged, but America will still have to lead.

Obama called for a cease-fire in the war in Ukraine. He also called for the crash site to be left intact so that evidence is not tampered with.

The latter is already a dead letter. The site is already contaminated as far as its evidence value goes. The Russian proxies have controlled the crash site from the beginning and have reportedly already found the black boxes and sent them to Russia for investigation. The proxies have been combing through the wreckage, moving it and tampering with it. They are very likely combing the wreckage for any remains of the missile that brought the aircraft down. That evidence could be used to determine whether the missile was fired by the proxies or by the Russians themselves.

The former, a cease-fire in Ukraine, is probably the worst idea that President Obama could have proffered.

Russian President Vladimir Putin started the conflict in Ukraine. The “separatists” there are his minions, his proxies. Russia’s proxies, the so-called separatists, are commanded by current and former officers in Russian intelligence. They have carved off part of eastern Ukraine and are calling it the Donetsk Republic. They are using Russian weaponry. They are backed by Moscow.

Ukraine’s government is fighting to defeat them and reclaim its territory. A cease-fire would stop Ukraine from protecting its sovereignty when it is winning the war against Russia’s puppets. It would hand Russia de facto control of another chunk of Ukraine’s territory, to go along with the Crimean Peninsula which Russia seized by force months ago.

A cease-fire helps Putin. Calling for the crash site to be uncontaminated makes no sense.

At least Barack Obama strongly defended Israel’s right and duty to launch its military operations against Hamas. The world got that from the president’s statement, and it was needed and it was clear.

But we didn’t get much else.

Update: Obama’s Statement on MH17 Was Even Worse Than I Thought

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School Fools Punish Innocent Kid Because They Think He’s a Racist

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The parents are threatening to sue.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — An outstanding athlete and student at Marshalltown High School has been suspended from playing three football games in the fall because his parents say the school misinterpreted a symbol of school pride — as a symbol of white pride.

Now, the principal is accusing the student, Blair Van Staalduine, of being a racist. “We were appalled,” Blair’s mother, Cathy Van Staalduine, said, “We were appalled and so was he. Absolutely. Because the furthest thing from Blair is being racist”

“The actual school chose the colors that each grade would be wearing. Juniors wore white. So Blair of course being active in the school dressed from head to toe in white,” she explains, “Somebody took a picture of him with his white doing a ‘W’ sign because they were wearing white. Blair says if they were wearing orange they would have done an ‘O’”.

The mom tried to talk to the principal. The principal accused the mom of racism too. Now she fears that the racist label will haunt her son for years if not forever.

So yes, since the school won’t listen, the parents should sue. They should sue not just the school itself but every school employee who had any role in this decision, personally.

Too many of our educators need to be educated. If it takes bankrupting them to make them learn, then it takes bankrupting them.

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Europe Doesn’t Want to Lead Against Russia

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Yesterday Hillary Clinton gave more of a response to the shootdown of MH17 than President Obama did, but it wasn’t much of a response. Asked what America ought to do about Russian hardware and perhaps more being used to shoot down a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Clinton shrugged it off. “Europeans should be the ones to take the lead on this,” she said.

Fair enough. But we’re still on the hook. Most of the victims on the flight were Dutch citizens. The Netherlands is a charter member of NATO, joining it when it was formed in 1949. An attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all NATO allies.

Germany is a NATO member, has the largest economy in Europe and thus, it’s the leader of Europe. But its chancellor doesn’t want to lead against Russia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the shooting down of a passenger plane over rebel-held territory in Ukraine will not on its own trigger additional European sanctions against Russia.

Merkel called for an impartial probe of the downing of the Malaysian plane and put the onus on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the pro-Kremlin uprising in eastern Ukraine.

“Events have shown that the priority has to be on a political solution and that it is especially Russia’s responsibility for what is going on in Ukraine right now,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin today.

The black boxes from MH17 went to Russia. The Russian proxies who shot it down are reportedly keeping press and investigators away from the site. The intent of both actions is obvious: Scrub the site of any remains of the missile that brought the plane down, and create confusion over what actually destroyed the plane in the air.

Unless massive pressure is brought to bear on Russia by the United States, Germany, the UK and our other allies especially NATO, along with Malaysia, there will be no impartial investigation of MH17. Ever.


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A Snotnosed Punk Left America’s Cheese Out in the Wind

Friday, July 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

For more than a decade now, Democrats and assorted other progs have excoriated George W. Bush for what he did for a few minutes after he learned of the 9-11 attacks. He was visiting a school that day and at the moment he learned that terrorists had launched an act of war against the United States, he took in the news calmly, and then kept reading a book to those kids.

My Pet Goat became the most infamous children’s book of the time, because Bush finished reading it to those kids.

Had Bush done just about anything else at that moment, he would have caused a panic.

Thursday morning, rebels backed by the Russian government in Ukraine shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 with 298 civilians on board. They all died. Three of them were infants. 23 of them may have been Americans. The State Department either doesn’t know, which is disturbing, or won’t say, which is also disturbing.

President Obama had scheduled the day for partisan speeches, photo ops and fundraisers.

He learned of the downing of MH17 from Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Putin probably did not tell Obama all of the details.

Obama spent all of 38 seconds addressing the shootdown of MH17, saying that it “may have been a terrible tragedy.” At that point, the known knowns included the fact that nearly 300 innocent civilians had been killed over a war zone, people who had no connection to Putin’s machinations in Ukraine at all.

And then he went back to being the partisan fundraiser in chief.

Later in the day, Israel launched a ground, air and sea offensive in Gaza. Hamas terrorists there had been using tunnels and schools to launch missiles — hundreds of missiles — on civilians in Israel. Israel launched the offensive to stop those terrorists and remove their ability to attack Israelis.

Obama said nothing about that.

On the same day, the Misrata militia launched a new offensive against Tripoli, Libya. That Islamist militia threatens to take control of the Libyan capital, and could put another country in radical control.

Obama said nothing about that.

Instead of addressing his job, Obama posed for photos at a barbecue joint, he had a burger, he attended two Democratic Party fundraisers, and he delivered barbed remarks at the Republicans. He taunted them to sue him, again. He accused them of doing nothing, again.

While he was doing nothing useful himself.

The Saturday Night Live skit based on yesterday practically writes itself.

It could start with an alarm clock going off and Obama waking up. He gives the camera brief monologue about the stresses of the presidency and how he just doesn’t feel like doing anything today. He fakes being sick.

“They bought it,” he says after convincing Michelle and Biden that he’s too sick today to be president today.

He sings in the shower after she’s gone.

He calls up a friend and convinces him to play hooky.

They go running off away from work for the day. They have a nice lunch. Cut to MH17 crashing in a fireball. They take in a Cubs game. Cut to Hamas rockets raining down on Israeli neighborhoods. Obama lip syncs “Twist and Shout” at the head of a parade. Cut to Putin blaming MH17 on Ukraine.

There’s a chase scene. Sarah Palin is convinced that Obama isn’t sick and he’s scamming everyone. She’s determined to catch him. Obama leads Palin on a merry chase through Washington’s neighborhoods. Past the National Mall. Around the Air and Space Museum. Past the fountain in Lafayette Square.

Obama escapes Palin and sneaks back into the White House just in the nick of time. Cut to terrorists marching on Tripoli. Cut to Putin handing off more weapons to the Ukraine rebels. Cut to Obama crashing a White House party and dancing with Beyonce.

You can see where I’m going with this. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, only not.

Barack Obama took the day off from the presidency yesterday, while wars were breaking out pretty much everywhere and we may have seen a dangerous new threat to civilian aviation emerge.

But hey, America, relax. The Obamas have a big vacation coming up soon.

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How Much Money Did Wendy Davis Really Raise? Not As Much As She Claims.

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Another campaign fundraising deadline has come and gone.

Wendy Davis took the opportunity of the latest one to crow that she has raised more money than any previous Democratic nominee for governor. The Davis campaign claimed before the deadline that she and her committees have $13.1 million on hand.

Ok, fine, but Texas is deep red. As a Democrat, Davis will have to do better than the last loser, or the loser before him. Especially when Greg Abbott has $35.6 million on hand, leads in the polls, is a known foe of very unpopular President Obama, is already known and popular statewide…and we’re in deep red Texas.

As it turns out, Davis’ claim didn’t stand up to scrutiny. Once the campaigns revealed the real totals, Davis has less cash on hand than she claimed, plus she is claiming the value of some donations as if they were cash. She is claiming the value of Willie Nelson appearing at one of her fundraisers at $250,000, for instance. The Texas Tribune charitably calls this a “non-traditional accounting method.” Also, “unorthodox.” The reporter on the Trib’s story is Jay Root. He has seen more than one campaign come and go. He knows his way around a campaign finance report. The fact that Davis’ accounting looks sketchy to Root suggests that it’s sketchy bookkeeping.

Once you get past all the account combining and “non-traditional” accounting and look at how much money the Wendy Davis Campaign itself has on hand, as reported by the Texas Ethics Commission, you get to a whopping $5 million.

That’s about half of what’s needed to win a Senate election in an average state. Texas is a lot of things, but average, it is not.

And Greg Abbott actually does have $35.6 million cash on hand.

And Davis’ campaign hired someone who tried to commit identity theft in the name of politics.

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MSNBC’s Krystal Ball Can’t Even Tell When She’s Being Punked On the Air

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

With a name like Krystal Ball, you’d think you’d get someone who can, you know, see things.

Today, on her MSNBC show, Ball got pranked by a man with an identifiable East Coast accent claiming to have been an eye witness to the Ukraine airplane shootdown.

The accent should have been Ball’s first clue that the caller was bogus. The caller blaming the crash on “a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s a**” should’ve been the second. The man calling Ball stupid, more or less, should have been her third.


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Exit question: When does announce that they’re hiring Krystal Ball to write their explanatory journalism on how callers get screened for low-rated cable tv shows?

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Putin Directly Blames Ukraine for MH17 Shootdown, Because It Crashed In Ukraine

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama has met his match for shameless blame-shifting.


By the logic of the first statement, then, the actions of Islamist terrorists against Russians in Moscow are Putin’s fault.

h/t The Interpreter

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US Official Confirms that a Missile Brought MH17 Down

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Post has a source who says, yes, a missile brought that civilian airplane down.

Obama said U.S. national security officials are in close contact with the Ukrainian government. “The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why,” he said. Vice President Biden called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to extend that offer, the White House said.

Hours later, a U.S. official said American intelligence agencies had confirmed that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about an early intelligence assessment, said government analysts were scrambling to determine who fired the missile.

“This is a contested area,” the official said. “It’s going to take time to get some information on the intentions of whoever was involved.”

Rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine denied possessing the Buk missile launcher, but journalists reported seeing a similar weapon in the region earlier Thursday.

The rebels began bragging about capturing Buk missiles around June 29. Russian-controlled media reported that the rebels had “captured” Buk missiles this week, in what looks like a cover story designed to protect Russian from any culpability for what the rebels do with those missiles.

So that cat is out of the bag. The rebels have the missiles. But who trained them how to use them? When? Where?

photo credit Loskutnikov /

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Pro-Russian Rebels Admit Downing MH17 in Intercepted Phone Call

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The outlines of what happened today in Ukraine are starting to emerge.

Pro-Russian rebels recently obtained Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missiles. These missiles have a vertical range of 72,000 feet, making them more than capable of shooting down a civilian airliner, and also of shooting down most military aircraft.

The rebels have in fact shot down two Ukrainian military aircraft this week, a cargo transport and a fighter jet.

Today, they fired on another aircraft and brought it down. They bragged about it on social media, and warned Ukraine not to fly in that area again.

They had a video crew on hand to capture their moment of triumph.

Then they arrived at the scene, expecting to find trophies of war.

Instead, they found horror. The rebels had used Russian gear to shoot down a civilian airliner.

The rebels called Russia to report what happened. That phone call and a subsequent one between two rebels was intercepted by Ukraine. Kyiv Post has translated both.

One phone call apparently was made at 4:40 p.m. Kyiv time, or 20 minutes after the plane crash, by Igor Bezler, who the SBU says is a Russian military intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. He reports to a person identified by Ukraine’s SBU as a colonel in the main intelligence department of the general headquarters of the armed forces of the Russian Federation Vasili Geranin regarding the shot down plane, which is about to be examined by the militants.

The second intercepted conversation released by the Security Service of Ukraine was apparently between militants nicknamed “Major” and “Greek” immediately upon inspection of the crash site.

“It’s 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft,” Major is recorded as saying, as he admitted to seeing no weapons on site. “Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.”

In the transcript, one of the rebels appears to hope that there are no Russian fingerprints on the shootdown.

“Major”: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.

“Greek”: Well, what do you have there?

“Major”: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.

“Greek”: Are many people there?

“Major”: Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).

“Greek”: What kind of aircraft?

“Major”: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight [sic]. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

“Greek”: Is there anything left of the weapon?

If there are no traces of the weapon left, Russia can claim that someone else shot the aircraft down, to create confusion if nothing else.

That’s just what Russia is doing. Russia’s western mouthpiece, Russia Today, reports that Ukraine deployed BUK systems in the region recently, suggesting that Ukraine fired the missile.

Fox reported earlier that the Russians are saying that the missile was a Ukrainian fire aimed at Putin himself. Obviously that would absolve Russia and become a causus belli for Russia to fully invade Ukraine. If it was true, which it isn’t.

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Israel Launches Air, Ground and Sea Operations Against Hamas in Gaza

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Jerusalem Post reports that “IDF ground forces began to move into the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening at around 10:30, according to Palestinian news sources and Al-Jazeera.”

The Israeli Defense Forces haven’t confirmed the operation, but haven’t denied it either.

The IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night, in a possible signal that Israel may be on the verge of a ground offensive against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the
Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources said strikes occurred up and down the Strip, adding that one strike targeted a motorcycle apparently carrying members of a rocket launching cell on their way to an attack on

At around 10:00 p.m. rocket sirens sounded in the Tel Aviv area, and in the Shfela. Iron Dome made a number of interceptions in the Tel Aviv area.

Hamas bombarded Israel on Thursday with rockets after the end of the humanitarian truce, firing over 100 projectiles after 3 p.m. Eighty one rockets landed in open areas, two fell inside villages, damaging two homes, and 20 were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.

Update — confirmed.

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Did Pro-Russian Rebels Shoot This Video of the MH17 Impact?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This video, purported to be of the moment that MH17 crashes, has been making the rounds.

YouTube Preview Image

On it, Russians speakers can be heard conversing about the crash.

Our man in Ukraine, Oleg Atbashian, interpreted it for us.

The title of the video is “17.7.14 Plane Crash,” so what’s the point of editing out the plane? The plane in the sky probably just wasn’t picked up by the cheap cell phone camera. The dialogue is also about the crash, in both Russian and Ukrainian. The discussion is about whether anyone had been able to jump out before the crash, and also mentioning that the debris were still falling down as they watched the smoke. Then someone else asks them what’s going on and they explain that a plane has just crashed.

The video is posted by the separatist “Novorossy” channel. “Novorossy” is how the separatists call themselves now, as opposed to “Ukrainians.”
At 0:47 they were speculating if the plane was being shot at and that someone had hit it. At that point a loud voice says, laughing, “So it was worth bringing it in,” possibly referring to the Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher that was seen around the area earlier in the morning.


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Did the Russians Plant a Cover Story to Hand Separatists the BUK Missile System? (Updated)

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The missile system suspected of being used in the suspected shootdown of MH17 over Ukraine is the Russian-made BUK surface-to-air system. Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine are suspected of firing the missile. Fox has reported that the rebels even bragged about the downing on the Russian version of Facebook, before deleting the post. In that post, the rebels wrote about shooting down a Ukrainian military cargo plane. Now they deny shooting it down.

The Interpreter lays out how the rebels may have gotten their hands on such a powerful missile system.

Several weapons, including the Buk, are capable of hitting aircraft at this height. But so far, none of those weapons have been documented as being in the hands of separatists. Not only had it never been filmed or photographer, there were never any reports of the Ukrainian military losing such a weapon.

However, on July 14th we ran a story that one news agency, TV Zvezda, had run a report that a Buk was captured by separatists who stole it from the Ukrainian military. The problem, however, is that TV Zvezda is the official news agency for the Russian Ministry of Defense, and they are the only source for this story. In other words, if the Russian military were going to give the separatists a Buk, they would need to plant a story about how the separatists got the Buk in the first place, and they’d likely use TV Zvezda to do it.

Today, AP reporters did see a Buk in eastern Ukraine — the first time one has been seen.

The timing makes sense. The Malaysian airliner is the third aircraft to crash in the region in the past couple of days. The first was a Ukrainian military cargo transport. The second was a fighter jet. Both of those were shot down by the pro-Russian rebels. The third would be MH17.

The tactic of handing the rebels such a system but using a cover story alleging that it was stolen makes sense as well, for the very reasons that we are seeing today. If the Russians directly gave those weapons to the rebels, and they turn and kill 23 Americans and more than 200 others either by mistake or intentionally, the Russians are directly linked to the murder of Americans and in civilian aviation. But a cover story gives them a fig leaf to hide behind, and an angle for the US to escape taking any retaliatory action if it so chooses. A cover story is practically standard KGB craft.

Longstanding American policy has been to defend the world’s seas and skies for free navigation and trade. That alone could cause a serious crisis over this crash/shootdown. But it may or may not be true of the Obama administration, of course, lack of clarity being its chief principle, with abandonment of longstanding American policy following closely behind. The US also once defended its own citizens first, but that principle no longer applies.

There is, at the moment, a dispute over how and when President Obama even learned of the crash. The Russians are saying that Putin told Obama of the crash during a phone call this morning to discuss a new round of sanctions against Russia. That would suggest a Russian openness that may not exist. The White House is not confirming that or saying how and when exactly Obama learned of the crash.

There also remains a question regarding why the plane crossed the Ukraine war zone. The US FAA ordered American carriers to avoid that region back in May. So did the British government.

The black boxes from the downed aircraft have reportedly been found.


The Donetsk Militia — that would be the pro-Russian rebels — say they have found the black boxes, and are sending them somewhere for “expert analysis.”

Anyone want to bet that those experts are in Moscow?

Read bullet | 23 Comments » Sure, Hamas Commits War Crimes. So What?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston is now unofficially Hamas’ foremost apologist among juiceboxers in the West.

I’m not making that up. Check out today’s offering.


Do we even need to read the rest?

The “militants” are Hamas terrorists who are hiding weapons in schools, near children and families, to provide the Israelis with a terrible choice: Bomb the schools to get the rockets and maybe kill children, or leave the rockets alone knowing that they will eventually rain down on Israel’s cities and kill Israeli children.

Hamas forces Israel into that choice for the propaganda value gained with every civilian death. Or, to destabilize Israel’s government if it chooses not to strike those targets.

Hamas is still designated a terrorist group, even by the Obama-Kerry State Department. Vox is thus knowingly setting itself up as an apologist for terrorists.

Hiding weapons of war in schools is a war crime, straight up. Targeting civilians intentionally, as Hamas does, is also a war crime. Thus, Hamas quite deliberately commits war crimes, and quite deliberately poses impossible choices for the democratically-elected Israeli government, for strategic and propaganda reasons.

Here’s how Vox’s Max Fischer treats that.

Both Hamas’s use of civilian Palestinian buildings and Israel’s strikes against those buildings are highly controversial, and rightly so. It would be understating things pretty dramatically to say that this an aspect of the Israel-Hamas conflict where both sides are behaving badly. But that does not make them equivalent.

“…both sides are behaving badly.” Moral equivalency between the terrorists who are choosing to put their own people in peril, and the democratically elected government that is acting to protect its own people.

Only the people responsible can know for sure why Palestinian militants would use civilian buildings, but any real possibility is bad. Maybe militant groups use civilian buildings like this UN school simply because they don’t mind the danger this creates for the Palestinians they claim to protect. Maybe it’s because they are hoping that the rockets will be safer in a UN school because Israel won’t want to bomb it, which means using Palestinians kids and teachers as human shields. An argument you hear from Hamas’s harshest critics is that they are hoping Israel will target the schools, thus rallying people to their side.

Hamas’ “harshest critics” have it right.

None of these speaks well of militant groups or the effects of their rocket campaigns on Palestinian civilians. It is not a great secret that “resistance” campaigns by groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad bring far greater harm to Palestinian civilians than they do anything resembling liberation, but this incident is a small glimpse of how, and of the effects of militant groups firing hundreds of rockets into Israel from densely populated neighborhoods in Gaza.

Hey, he got something right. Have a cookie.

Here’s the thing, though: while incidents like this force Israel to decide between bombing civilian structures or allowing Hamas to use those structures as rocket storage depots, it does not actually force Israel to choose to bomb civilian buildings. It is entirely within Israel’s power to not bomb civilian buildings.

Did a 10-year-old write that? Certainly someone with no moral foundation at all, no understanding of the laws of war, and no understanding at all of military strategy or the purpose of propaganda, wrote it.

In all seriousness, it’s C level work for a decent middle school. Or it’s expert trolling, getting people to click just to gawk at the stupidity. Hey, Slate makes a decent living off that tactic.

If this is “explanatory journalism,” then the genre needs to die, and quickly.


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Former Democratic Hidalgo County Sheriff Gets More Jail Time

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino, Democrat, faces more time in prison now.

He pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a Mexican drug lord. Today a judge has sentenced him to five years in prison for that crime. Trevino also must pay a $60,000 fine and will be supervised for two years after serving the five-year sentence.

Trevino’s rein at the Hidaldo County Sheriff’s Department has been one of extraordinary crime and corruption.

The Tatler first reported his activities ahead of any other media in the Border Conspiracy series in 2012. At that time, Sheriff Trevino was falsifying crime statistics that the Obama administration uses to portray the Texas-Mexico border as “secure.” Sheriff Trevino was systematically downgrading violent crimes including kidnapping and murder, to maintain his office, keep federal grants coming to the department, and to assist the administration’s border claims. Deputies also accuse Trevino of forcing them to support his political campaigns, in violation of the law, and that those who refused were fired. Lawsuits are still pending in several cases.

In April 2014, Trevino pleaded guilty to money laundering. His son Jonathan Trevino has also been sent to prison on corruption charges. The younger Trevino was part of the federally-funded Panama anti-narcotics unit. It instead engaged in home invasions and drug trafficking.

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Poll: What Do Most Americans Want to Do with the Illegal Aliens Flooding the Border?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Most Americans don’t find that the kids flooding the border tug their heartstrings, and they’re not lining up to back Obama’s “comprehensive immigration reform.” According to a new Rasmussen poll, most Americans want the kids to be sent back home.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the primary focus of any new immigration legislation passed by Congress should be to send the young illegal immigrants back home as quickly as possible. Just 27% say it should focus instead on making it easier for these illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Advocates for the illegal immigrants argue that they are flooding into the country to escape violent situations in their home countries, but just 31% of U.S. voters think they are coming here now for their own safety. Most voters (52%) believe they are coming here for economic reasons. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

Democrats are showing that most of them are entirely out of touch with the majority of Americans on this. The latest Democrat to reveal that strange blend of prog thinking and moral stupidity is Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. David Axelrod’s pre-Obama protege thinks that sending the kids back is just like sending Jews to their deaths in the Holocaust. No kidding.


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Border Flood is Causing a ‘Medical Breakdown’

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Cloward and Piven couldn’t have planned it better themselves. According to ABC News, the federal government finds itself overwhelmed at the border and is not even medically screening all of the people who are illegally crossing in.

The director of refugee health in the federal Health and Human Services Department “has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility,” according to an internal Department of Defense memo reviewed by ABC News. The “breakdown” a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between CBP and HHS.

Inside the government, officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu.

Two unaccompanied children were flown from Nogales to California despite having 101-degree fevers and flu-like symptoms, according to the Department of Defense memo. Those children had to be hospitalized.

The memo said pointedly that officials in charge of moving the immigrants from Border Patrol processing centers to Health and Human Services facilities are “putting sick [fevers and coughing] unaccompanied children on airplanes inbound for [Naval Base Ventura County] in addition to the chicken pox and coxsackie virus cases.”

But, according to the memo ABC News reviewed, “Curi Kim [the HHS director of the Division of Refugee Health] has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility.  The  [unaccompanied children] were initially screened and cleared upon entry into that facility with no fever or significant symptoms.  They were not however re-screened and cleared for travel and placement at a temporary shelter.”

While confirming to ABC News the outbreak occurred, HHS would not respond to inquiries about the DOD memo showing sick children were knowingly sent to Naval Base Ventura prior to the outbreak.

While the border is being Cloward and Pivened, so is the constitutional order. So I’ll just leave this here. It’s from Megyn Kelly’s show last night. Her guest, liberal constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley. Turley is doing his best Paul Revere, warning America that the tyrant is coming — thanks to Barack Obama’s disregard for the Constitution and its system of checks and balances.

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Detroit Police Chief Credits Armed Homeowners with Reducing Crime

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Detroit Police Chief James Craig doesn’t sound like most other big city police chiefs.

Most union-heavy police bosses tout gun control despite the fact that the cities with the strictest gun laws also tend to have the most gun-related crime. Chief Craig sees things very differently.

According to the Detroit News, the city has suffered 37% fewer robberies in 2014 versus 2013, 22% fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30% fewer carjackings. Chief Craig believes that armed citizens are at least part of the answer.

“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” Chief Craig told the News. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.

This is not the first time that Chief Craig has touted armed citizens as an answer to crime. Back in January Craig praised citizens who have concealed firearm carry permits help deter crime, based on his own professional experience.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at the time.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”


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Archie Andrews of Archie Comics Shot Dead Saving Gay Gun-Control Friend!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

If political correctness was sugar this story would give all of Archie Comics’ readers diabetes.

Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie” tells the story of the icon’s final moments. Archie dies heroically taking a bullet meant for fictional Sen. Kevin Keller, the series’ first openly gay character. Keller is pushing for stricter gun control before the fatal shot is fired.

Why did a series that for so long revolved around malt shops and the virtues of blondes versus brunettes take such a dark and political turn? Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, told the Associated Press they “wanted to do something that was impactful” and that would “resonate with the world.”

“That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin,” Goldwater said. “He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

He could have saved birth control! He could have raised the minimum wage!

Let’s take a poll.

What other politically correct death should Archie have suffered?

View Results

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Former WH Lawyer: Obama Can Change Obamacare Because He Agrees With It

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Walter Dellinger was assistant attorney general during the Clinton administration. He’s billed as an authority on constitutional law.

Today, he testified before Congress on President Obama’s various delays of parts of Obamacare, delays that were not part of the original law and were not approved by Congress.

Under questioning from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) Dellinger came up with a novel way to explain why Barack Obama can change Obamacare but a hypothetical President Ted Cruz, who has said that he wants to repeal Obamacare, could not.

Take a look.

Burgess opens the segment explaining that President Cruz announces that he will suspend the individual mandate immediately after taking the oath of office. “Is it okay for him to do that, just as the president did?” Burgess asks.

“That’s actually a very good question,” Dellinger begins. “What should inform the judgement is is the president acting because he just disagrees as a matter of policy with the law the Congress enacted? And that should lead us to think that we should be wary about that kind of delaying capacity if it’s a policy disagreement. The president actually agrees with the act as a whole of course.” Dellinger goes on to say that Obama only enacted the delay to make it easier for businesses to apply it, which isn’t entirely true. Obama delayed it to push its impact past the presidential election.

Question for Mr. Dellinger: What to make of Obama’s scuttling of the Defense of Marriage Act? He clearly did not do that because he agreed with its ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, he declined to defend it in court expressly because he disagrees with it.

One could be forgiven for seeing in Mr. Dellinger’s answer on Obamacare no principle in play at all, save for the principle that whatever a Democrat does is fine with him.

No future Republicans president should feel themselves constrained by the opinion of a partisan former White House lawyer.

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Military Veteran Builds a Parade Float. Now the Department of Justice is Coming Down On Him.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

We had a good run, America. A good run indeed. But the constitutional order and the mutual respect for the freedoms of assembly, religion and speech is coming to a swift end.

This, my friends, is fundamental transformation.

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the discussions over a controversial float in the Norfolk Independence Day parade.

The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The Odd Fellows organized the parade. One of the floats included a zombie-like mannequin standing near an outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library.”

The float’s creator, Dale Remmich, has said the mannequin depicted himself, not President Barack Obama. He said he is upset with the president’s handling of the Veterans Affairs Department.

The float says, without words, that Obama treats veterans who need the Veterans Administration like excrement.


AG Eric Holder has his troops looking into this obviously protected political speech, while he pointedly has them not looking into the IRS scandal or the Obama administration’s serial violations of the Hatch Act.

Those are at least possible crimes in play. Making a float to protest a scandal most definitely is not.

Or it wasn’t, until the thin-skinned Barack Obama and race-baiter Eric Holder came along.

h/t Hot Air

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There’s What the Media Say Happened, and Then There’s What Really Happened.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Sen. Harry Reid voted against the Senate Democrats’ contraception bill, which is nothing more than a ploy to use the Hobby Lobby decision as an electoral wedge issue. That bill won a majority vote, but did not get the 60 votes it would need to actually pass the Senate.

None of that really matters though, because even if it did pass the Senate, the House won’t take it up. It’s a dead letter.

The bill isn’t even intended to pass and become law. Its entire point is to use the Hobby Lobby decision as a wedge issue this fall. It’s not serious legislation. It’s legislative abuse.

If if did pass, the Supreme Court would probably strike it down, since they just ruled on the matter.

Here’s a sample of how the media are reporting this. Note that most people won’t drill down past the headline. The headlines themselves, therefore, are what most people are likely to base their opinion on.



The “Senate GOP blocks” headline is a creature from the Associated Press’s Donna Cassata.

It’s a lie. The Senate GOP didn’t “block” anything. In fact, three of the GOP’s senators are such weak-minded fools that they voted for the Democrats’ partisan bill. They are Sens. Susan Collins (of course), Lisa Murkowski and Mark Kirk. A jedi would have a field day with those three.

The final vote was 56-43. The bill wasn’t “blocked,” it got a vote. It just failed to pass the Senate based on its rules. The bill has no chance of even getting  a vote in the House. Because it’s a partisan bill engineered by Democrats to help Democrats.

Reid’s no vote keeps the bill — the issue — alive so that he can bring it up again closer to the election. The AP story points that out, actually. What it doesn’t point out is how cynical that is.

It doesn’t point out how idiotic this quote is.

“A woman’s health care decision should be made with her doctor, with her family, with her faith, not by her employer with her employer’s faith,” [Dem. Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen said in a Senate speech.

Right. When you force employers to pay for something, you make it their business. When you force employers to have to choose between their faith and their business, as Sen. Chuck Schumer explicitly said last week, you force them to make decisions. If you don’t give them any say, you’re more or less stealing their property and giving it to someone else in the hope that they will vote for you. If you don’t give them any say about the matter, and smear them after the fact, you’re  a tyrant.

The entire exercise of this bill is a game to divide Americans and drive the low-information voters who still support Obama out to vote in November. It’s the Democrats’ only shot at retaining the Senate, and it’s a long shot. It depends on Democrats lying shamelessly (check!) and their voters being clueless (check!) and the media enabling dishonesty (in the case of the AP’s Donna Cassata, check!).

Here’s how the AP’s Cassata delves into the “issue” at hand. Watch for the sleight of hand. It’s not subtle.

National statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 99 percent of women ages 15 to 44 who have had sexual intercourse have used at least one form of contraception.

And your point is? As the AP’s Donna Cassata ought to know and likely does know, the Hobby Lobby case only deals with four specific types of abortifacients. Hobby Lobby covers 16 types of actual contraception in its insurance plans. The decision only deals with a narrow set of business owners. Throwing that contraception statistic out in the way Cassata did is a red herring. She ought to be writing the DNC’s talking points for them.

Well, actually, she is. The DNC ought to report Cassata’s work as an in-kind donations.

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Is the Border Secure? Don’t Ask the Obama White House.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fox’s Ed Henry asked White House spokesman Josh Earnest a simple yes or no question today: Is the border secure?

For the next two minutes, Earnest does everything that he can to not answer that question and blame Republicans for his decision not to answer it.

YouTube Preview Image

Despite the fact that an estimated 57,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into Texas illegally, along with assorted others, over the past several months, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Twilight Zone) is at least more forthcoming than the Obama White House. Reid says that the border is secure…despite all those illegal crossings.

Too bad that he’s also insane.


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This is the Pitiful State of Our Public Discourse

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is a real tweet from Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat, Oregon. He is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

The SCOTUS decision does no such thing. It doesn’t even impact the vast majority of women working hourly wage jobs at all.

At all.

Hobby Lobby only employs about 13,000 people, and not even all of them are impacted by the decision in any way.

Sen. Wyden knows this. He just doesn’t care.

Wyden also surely knows that the following tweet is illogical. If you want bosses out of your health care choices, don’t force your boss to pay for those choices.


Wyden also knows that the law that he is supporting has zero chance of passing. He just doesn’t care.

The same man is pushing for an increase in the national minimum wage.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that raising the minimum wage could cost 500,000 jobs.

That’s far more than the number of employees that Hobby Lobby has.

Wyden surely knows that if he gets what he wants on the minimum wage, hundreds of thousand of Americans will lose their jobs.

He just doesn’t care.

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Russia Resets Its Massive Cuban Spy Post

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Great news: The Cold War is back on.

Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.

Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal ‘in principle’ after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.

Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: ’The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday.

The Castro brothers’ patience has been rewarded. They now have alliances with Venezuela, Iran, and their old chum Russia is back with a KGB man at the helm.

The signals intelligence facility near Havana at Torrens, also known as Lourdes, was the largest Russian SIGINT site abroad, but has been mothballed since 2001.

It covered a 28 square-mile area with 1,000-1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base. 

Russia had closed the Lourdes spy base south of Havana on Putin’s orders to save money and due to a warming of relations with the U.S. after the September 11 attacks.

So much for that.

Reminder: Civil liberties hero and SXSW keynoter Edward Snowden fled the US on account of its spying, to the country that is now re-opening that Cuban base on account of spying.

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