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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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VIDEO Montage: Even MSNBC and the Democrats Hate Obama’s ISIS Plan

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Chris Matthews is skeptical. Tom Friedman wonders where the Chinese are.

And that’s just a start. Others in the mix include Chuck Todd, Ed Schultz, Tom Brokaw, and Jim McDermott.

For a mind-bender on a par with that Bill Maher clip we posted yesterday, some of the Democrats’ criticisms sound like some of ours — that the strategy that the president laid out is too wimpy, and is very unlikely to work.

Take a look.

h/t Grabien

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Does Wendy Davis’ Book Tour Violate Campaign Finance Law?

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Thursday, the Greg Abbott campaign filed a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission. The complaint asks the Commission to look into state Sen. Davis’ (D) book tour, which she is running simultaneously with her campaign for governor against Abbott.

The complaint concerns a trip that Davis took to New York earlier this week, to launch her book. Her campaign paid for that trip, but Davis says the book was not launched now, timed to help her campaign.

Then why did her campaign pay for the trip? That’s what the TEC is being asked to look into.

Davis has dismissed the complaint as “frivolous.” Charges do tend to fly, and the TEC can find itself in the crosshairs, as elections draw near and we’re within two months of the Abbott-Davis showdown.

But do the charges have some merit? The Abbott campaign is forwarding comments by a trio of Texas election law specialists, which strongly suggests that the charge do have merit.

The first is from Tripp Davenport, a former TEC chairman. He says ”There’s definitely questions to be raised,” Davenport said. “The appearance of it, based upon what I know — I think there is some merit to it.” He even added that either Davis’ lawyers don’t know what they’re doing, or they let her “push the envelope,” knowing that any TEC action will not come until after the election.

The second is from another former TEC commissioner, Ross Fischer. He told reporter Karina Kling, “In Texas law you can’t use campaign funds and convert them to personal use.” He added that Davis may end up having to pay for the trip out of her own pocket.

The third is from election lawyer Roger Borgelt. He says that the violation is clear: “Given the facts and how things appear, with this trip being 95 percent about the book tour, I don’t know how it could be anything but a personal trip.” But her campaign picked up the bill.

The Davis campaign says that they were careful to follow the law, but the quotes above cast doubt on that. Davis, a Harvard-educated attorney herself, has already come under fire, and an FBI investigation, for other alleged ethical lapses.

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Who’s Behind the Push to Give Illegal Aliens Driver’s Licenses…in Texas?

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Earlier this week, the left-leaning Austin American-Statesman editorialized that it’s time that Texas establish driver’s licences for illegal aliens.

In the editorial, the paper calls for Texas to join the 11 states plus the District of Columbia in granting driver’s licenses to those who are in the state illegally. This issue cost California Gov. Gray Davis his job a few years back, in that Democratic state. It’s fair to say that it would be a very controversial move in Texas as the Republican-controlled legislature gets set for its 2015 session, and presumed Gov. Greg Abbott (R) presides over his first session. Presumed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) would also be presiding over his first session, in the Texas Senate.

The Statesman avoids the politics and pitches a case for road safety.

While not everyone who drives without insurance is living in the U.S. illegally, allowing undocumented immigrants the option to drive legally would make Texas roads that much safer.

A bipartisan bill recognized that in 2013. HD 3206 would have allowed undocumented immigrants to drive legally in Texas and addressed concerns about voting, security and other rights reserved for legal residents.

Under that measure, undocumented immigrants living in Texas would have been issued a special “Texas resident driver’s permit” that looked different from a regular driver’s license. The permits wouldn’t have been used for any federal purposes, such as going through airport security. It would have allowed undocumented drivers, who are already on Texas roads, to drive legally and get quality auto insurance, a huge problem when you consider that currently more than 2.5 million, or 14.3 percent, of vehicles in Texas lack coverage. In Travis County, 120,125 vehicles (more than 13 percent) are not insured.

Not all of those uninsured cars belong to illegal aliens, of course, in Travis County or statewide.

HD 3206 did not fare well in the last legislative session. It got out of committee but died on the calendar. But its backers intend on bringing it forward again next year, even though the state legislature is likely to be even more Republican than the 2013 edition.

There is much to unpack in what the bill proposes, and the Statesman endorses.

The mere fact that the driver’s license for illegal aliens would look different from other state driver’s licenses and would not be used “for any federal purpose” means that the state will end up creating a database of all illegal alien drivers in the state, or at least of those who apply for this particular license. The federal government might become interested in that data, if it ever gets around to securing the border. Would the state of Texas refuse to provide that information to the federal government, if it is ever asked to?

It also means that any illegal alien holding such a license would still have a reason to flee the scene of an accident in many non-sanctuary jurisdictions. Police will recognize the license and might arrest the holder to process for deportation. The fact that it could not be used for “any federal purpose” is meant to assure Texans that they will not be used in voter registration. It also means that the license cannot be used as a form of ID for entering federal buildings, boarding aircraft or writing checks.

Illegal aliens will know all of this. They will also know that in order to obtain the special license, they will have to take a driver’s ed class. They will have to either fill out a special form identifying themselves as present in the country illegally, or they will have to check a box on a form that everyone fills out, that does the same thing. Along the way of getting this special license, they will have to identify themselves to government officials as breaking immigration law.

Or they could buy a fake license on the black market, as many have done for decades. Or they could take their chances and drive without a license at all, as many have done for decades.

The special new illegal alien license would also, according to the editorial, enable them to purchase car insurance to comply with state law. In that process, they will identify themselves to the insurers as illegal aliens. Insurers will be knowingly selling products to people who are breaking the law and who might pose flight risks. Besides that, illegal aliens can already purchase car insurance, if they choose to.

The Statesman gets into none of these weaknesses in the plan it supports. Neither do any of the plan’s persistent backers.

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Jim McClain is the Name, Letting Famous Domestic Abusers Off While Prosecuting Moms Is His Game

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

New Jersey prosecutor Jim McClain deserves to have his name publicized from coast to coast. According to the DC Examiner, McClain is turning the power of the state against a law-abiding mom, 27-year-old Shaneen Allen, and he is trying to throw her in prison for more than three years.

Her crime?

The mother of two drove into New Jersey from Pennsylvania, where she lives and holds a concealed handgun carry permit for her family’s protection. She was stopped by police in New Jersey for a minor traffic offense, and voluntarily disclosed that she had a handgun in her glove compartment. She showed her concealed carry permit to the officer.

The officer arrested Allen, and she faces prison time for “unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.” They appear to be prosecuting her for having the gun accessible to the passenger compartment, and not in the trunk.

Allen was recommended for a pre-trial intervention program that would have allowed her to avoid jail time as a first-time offender. But no, Jim McClain rejected that idea. He is putting her through the ordeal of trial, and if convicted, she faces a minimum 3.5 years in prison.

Jim McClain doesn’t prosecute all first-time offenders equally. He is the same prosecutor who let former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice off the hook for domestic abuse, despite clear video evidence that Rice punched his then fiancee and knocked her out cold.

McClain blames the state’s domestic abuse law for the leniency on Rice. What’s his excuse in the Allen case? He could have been lenient with her but he chose not to be.

 

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CIA: Islamic State Now Has About 31,500 Fighters

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Drudge is fronting this major story from CNN. The thrust: ISIS is even bigger than previously believed.

A CIA assessment puts the number of ISIS fighters at possibly more than three times the previous estimates.

The terror group that calls itself the Islamic State “can muster between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria,” a CIA spokesman told CNN on Thursday.

Analysts and U.S. officials initially estimated there were as many as 10,000 fighters, including those who were freed from prisons by ISIS, and Sunni loyalists who have joined the fight as the group advanced across Iraq.

“This new total reflects an increase in members because of stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity and additional intelligence,” the spokesman said.

To put that into some perspective, a division in the US military ranges from 10,000 to 18,000. So ISIS’ numbers equal a couple of US divisions, or a corps. With the proper combined arms strategy and decisive command, the US military could wipe ISIS off the battlefield fairly quickly.

That would require a decision to put those troops in the field to do the job, of course.

ISIS doesn’t respect any secular national boundaries, and it recruits globally. Its recruitment efforts are slick and apparently effective.

A simple way to assess the strategy that President Obama outlined Wednesday is to ask, will it kill ISIS fighters faster than the group is able to recruit new ones? So far, the answer is obviously no. Their numbers may be triple the previous estimate.

Since the president touted Yemen and Somalia as models of effective counterterrorism, have we been able to kill al Qaeda and al-Shabab recruits in those countries faster than the groups find new recruits?

It doesn’t seem likely, does it? We drone kill terrorist leaders in both countries with some regularity, but the groups survive, elevate new leaders, and go on holding territory and staging attacks — and recruiting new terrorists.

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So, Just What Is Obama Doing Against ISIS? Whatever It Is, Don’t Mention the War!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Don’t call it a war, says Marie Harf at the State Department.

Don’t look for any definition of “victory,” says Josh Earnest at the White House.

It’s…whatever John Kerry means here.

Whatever it is, we’re losing potential coalition partners.

When did our foreign policy get lined up like a running Fawlty Towers gag?

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Update: According to a “Senior Administration Official,” Saudia Arabia shares an “extensive border with Syria.”

ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region. They view it as an existential threat to them. Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria. The Jordanians are experiencing a destabilizing impact of over a million refugees from the Syrian conflict, and are profoundly concerned that ISIL, who has stated that their ambitions are not confined to Iraq and Syria, but rather to expand to the broader region.

Maps disagree.

Saudi_Arabia_2003_CIA_map

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Syria Changes Tune on US Airstrikes Against IS: From No Way to ‘Call Me, Maybe?’

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Syrians had taken the stance that any US airstrike on IS on Syrian land would be an act of war against Syria.

But now, the Assad regime might consider itself a part of the anti-IS coalition.

[Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal] Mekdad openly expressed support for airstrikes on Syria — an option detailed by President Barack Obama in an overnight speech — by saying his administration has “no reservations whatsoever.”

But he said cited the need for logistical coordination with the U.S. before any airstrikes so “there should be no mistakes,” and said “it is a must” for Obama to call Assad.

He even suggested that Syria could join the US in a coalition against IS that includes Russia, China and Iran.

Mekkad doesn’t want the US working with the Free Syrian Army, though.

When it came down to international law, Mekdad was most concerned about Obama’s plan to arm rebel groups in Syria.

“Betting on other forces in Syria is a very big mistake,” he warned.

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Expose Government Waste, Win a Nice Chunk of Cash

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Public Policy Action has announced the Texas Government Waste Contest. The contest runs from September 3 through November 14, 2014.

“Even in Texas there is an incredible amount of wasteful spending, political favoritism, and crony capitalism.  This contest will help to expose waste and cronyism,” said TPPA Executive Director Nathanael Ferguson. “By creating a compendium of government waste we will arm taxpayers with the information they need to focus elected officials on solving problems and working to affect change.”

According to TPPA’s press release, contestants will submit their story of government waste in an essay or a original creative video. Entries should be submitted here: www.TexWaste.com. You can also find out more about the contest at that link.

Winners in each category will get $4,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third.

All entries are limited to Texas, either state or local government.

Ahem.

Where’s my prize?

 

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Obama White House Refuses to Define Victory Over ISIS, Makes a Joke Out of It All

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

During today’s White House press briefing, a reporter asks spokesman Josh Earnest a simple question: “What does victory (over ISIS) look like here?”

Earnest turns the serious question into a joke: “I didn’t bring my Webster’s Dictionary with me.”

Har har.

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Let’s briefly go over what we’ve learned recently.

The president does not believe that the Islamic State is Islamic.

The president claimed that national security is his highest priority, yet he has not secured the border and has no intention of doing so.

The president has replaced “Don’t do stupid sh*t,” his previous foreign policy guidestar, with “If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.” That’s hardly a new principle to American foreign policy, though it is evidently new to Barack Obama.

The president believes that Yemen and Somalia are models for effective counterterrorism against Islamic State. Terrorists freely operate in both countries, though they are subject to the occasional setback via US drone strike. Drone operations in both countries, using that term loosely, show no signs of actually destroying the terrorist groups operating in them.

The president who accused Bush of “going it alone” in Iraq refuses to consult Congress, and is going into his non-war versus Islamic State with a much smaller coalition than Bush had going into Iraq.

Among the coalition he has assembled is the Free Syrian Army, which is known to be in alliance with IS — the enemy.

The president, through his spokesman, has not even defined what victory over IS will look like.

Oh yeah, this is going to work out real well.

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VIDEO: Bill Maher Defends Christians, Demolishes Charlie Rose on Islam

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This video feels like it might have come from a parallel universe. Only, it’s not, it’s our universe, which 13 years after 9-11 still has not come to grips with the nature and origins of the people who attacked us.

Who are they? What motivates them? Why can they raise such incredible amounts of money and recruit fighters from all over the world? What ideas do they believe in? President Obama himself declared, last night, that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is not, in fact, Islamic. Obama says this at the same time he uses the group’s chosen name, which recognizes that their territorial aims are far greater than the huge territory that they currently hold.

Charlie Rose agrees with Obama on all that, even in the face of a barrage of facts put on the table by Bill Maher.

Rose plays the moral equivalency game at one point, suggesting that Christians are just as prone to violence as Muslims. Maher attempts to set him straight on that, too.

Show this video to your liberal friends. It will cause great confusion, hopefully leading to a breakthrough at some point. If it’s acceptable for Bill Maher to say the same things that Robert Spencer has been writing about on Jihad Watch (and PJ Media) for ages now, then just maybe an understanding of jihad can go mainstream.

Don’t miss the video on the next page.

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Putin Weighs in on the Fight Against ISIS

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia, where he announced that 10 Arab nations including Iraq have signed on to support the fight against the Islamic State. Kerry’s announcement comes a day after President Obama announced that the US would build a coalition for the fight, but would not seek congressional approval and apparently will not seek any authorization from the United Nations.

President George W. Bush sought both congressional and UN approval, and won both, and built a coalition of some 40 nations for the war to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Kerry and Obama, then in the Senate, described Bush’s actions as “going it alone.”

Russia has reacted to Obama’s speech, with a warning, according to the BBC.

Russia has warned that US air strikes against militants in Syria would be a “gross violation” of international law.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman said any such action, without the backing of the UN, would be “an act of aggression”.

“The US president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the US armed forces against Isil (IS) positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was quoted as saying.

“This step, in the absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.”

Syria also repeated its warning that the US had to co-ordinate with the Syrian government before launching air strikes on its territory.

“Any action of any kind without the consent of the Syrian government would be an attack on Syria,” National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar said on Thursday.

If anyone knows about acts of aggression and violations of international law, it would be Russia.

Russia’s announced position all but forecloses any UN Security Council action on ISIS, as Russia holds a permanent seat and veto power. Russia is one of Syrian dictator Assad’s few allies.

China has yet to weigh in one way or the other.

Kerry is working on plans to train the Free Syrian Army rebels on Saudi soil, despite the fact that the FSA is working with ISIS.

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Did President Obama Signal that the Islamic State Is Here to Stay?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

President Barack Obama delivered his strategy to defeat ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State — choose the name you prefer — Wednesday night. The four-pronged strategy includes the use of American and allied air power; partnering with the Iraqis, the Kurds and the Free Syrian Army; counterterrorism operations; and humanitarian aid.

The Free Syrian Army alliance is problematic for two reasons. The FSA is weakened by years of war against both Syrian dictator Assad and against ISIS. It is also infiltrated with Islamists who are more sympathetic to radicals, and who may have sold American hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff to ISIS. Patrick Poole reports that the FSA is working with ISIS.

The president’s speech included this strange passage. The president touted two nations in which he believes counterterrorism has worked against al Qaeda, and similar strategies can be deployed against IS.

“This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order,” the president said.

Successful? Al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab controls territory in Somalia and regularly launches attacks.

Counterterrorism in Somalia, essentially, is Whack-A-Mole. It works to some extent against terrorist leaders and cells, but IS is a very different prospect. It is a terrorist army numbering in the thousands, powered by stolen oil and robbed banks, mechanized by abandoned American tanks and HUMVEES, which is now building a capital city and gunning to bring about Armageddon. It has carved out a large territory and it is recruiting fighters from all over the world, including American and European citizens. Whack-A-Terrorist, as the Obama administration has done in Yemen, is unlikely to make much of an impact on IS.

The U.S. effort in Somalia is a particularly disturbing one for Obama to turn to. The United States has been involved in one way or another in Somalia since December of 1992.

President George H. W. Bush ordered U.S. forces into that chaotic failed east African territory as the main component of an international force dispatched to restore its government and provide food to the impoverished people there. The American military made shore along Somalia’s coast in a nighttime operation made bright by the glare of media TV lights. The cable news networks were tipped and were literally waiting onshore for the Americans to land and walk up the beach.

Not a shot was fired that night, and the Somalis initially greeted America as liberators. Operation RESTORE HOPE looked like it would be a peaceful humanitarian mission, and nothing more. The warlords who had replaced Somalia’s central dictatorship with feudal local power centers even cooperated with the international force and each other, at first. I was in the Air Force, stationed in Japan, when Somalia operations got into full swing. One of my co-workers volunteered and deployed there. Many of us, including myself, considered volunteering. I ended up staying put in Tokyo.

This is not ancient history. We all know what happened eventually. Mission creep. The hunt for Aidid. The Battle of Mogadishu. Black Hawk Down. American troops killed in a hyperviolent urban battle, and their bodies dragged through the streets of Mogadishu for all the world to see.

Americans quickly lost interest in the Somalia mission and President Bill Clinton was not inclined to continue it. Our swift exit encouraged Obama bin Laden to see us as a paper tiger. He attacked us on our soil 13 years ago today.

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Obama vs. the Islamic State: The Speech

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Look, I have to be honest here. I had about as much interest in watching a Barack Obama foreign policy speech as I’d have in watching a 48-hour Young and the Restless marathon hosted by Rosanne Bahr and Carrot Top.

It’s not that Barack Obama has lost me on foreign policy. He never had me. He has always come off as the worst combination of rank opportunist and clownish amateur on foreign affairs. This is a man who went to Berlin and declared himself a citizen of the world, and he is the same man who sincerely believed that his mere election would sate the jihadists’ thirst for American blood.

When it comes to dealing with the Islamic State, I believe that we have to be swift, overwhelming and ruthless. But in Barack Obama we have a man who fills his gassy speeches with “Let me be clear, it’s all Bush’s fault,” and who believes that American power is more a force of bad than good. Any action he orders is unlikely to get the job done.

And so we arrive at the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. 9-11 is a twin mile marker now. There’s the original al Qaeda attack of 9-11-2001, and the follow-on attack in Benghazi on 9-11-12. About the second, we still do not know where Barack Obama was that night and what he was doing. We do know that he blamed a movie and refused, for weeks, to blame the terrorists. Most of the animals who attacked and killed four Americans that night are still at large.

On this eve of 9-11 memorials and remembrances, Barack Obama asked for network time to explain his strategy to defeat the Islamic State.

President Obama laid out a strategy that does the bare minimum. He wants to combine American air power with Iraqi boots and Free Syrian Army sandals on the ground, along with the courageous Kurds. IS probably laughed at two of those. It has defeated the Iraqi military already and has infiltrated the so-called “moderate” FSA. The Kurds are fighting IS bravely and have acquitted themselves well.

That leaves us with American air power, perhaps combined with the air forces of the British and the French.

Given enough time, air power might knock IS loose and might even defeat them. That’s not the way to bet, but air power did work in Bosnia during the Clinton years. IS is a different enemy, though, the best funded terrorist force in history, we’re told, and the most savvy social media terrorists around. They can fight air power with digital propaganda, with kidnappings, with beheadings, and with those attacks across the Texas-Mexico border that they’re threatening.

Syrian dictator Assad has already said that he views American airstrikes in his country as an act of war. That might complicate the picture.

President Obama had nothing to say about the US-Mexico border tonight, despite opening his speech with a claim that our national security is his “highest priority.” Skepticism of that claim, with an unsecured border and a president who downplayed the IS threat for months, is well justified.

“ISIL is not Islamic,” Obama claimed, despite the long history of Islamic terrorism and the fact that the first I in the name stands for “Islamic.”

Strange claim, that. ISIL ultimately derives its ideology from the Muslim Brotherhood. Perhaps they’re not Islamic too.

Stranger still, Obama touted Somalia and Yemen as models for the action to destroy IS. Somalia is a chaotic failed state, where the occasional droning of a terrorist leader seldom makes much strategic difference. Yemen is a longstanding haven of al Qaeda’s, where also, the occasional droning makes some, but not a great deal, of strategic difference.

The president was more energetic in tonight’s delivery than in his previous several speeches on terrorism. But his tone still contrasts with the passion, even power, he shows when speaking at party fundraisers and attacking Republicans. This is a president for whom foreign policy is a foreign language.

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US Government Confirms: ISIS Is Planning to Infiltrate the Southern Border

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Well, the border is largely unguarded, to the point that children can walk across. If they can, and if coyotes and drug cartel operatives can (and they can, and do), so can ISIS. The Free Beacon reports that ISIS has figured this out.

A senior Homeland Security (DHS) official confirmed to Congress on Wednesday that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border.

Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the border.

“There have been Twitter, social media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility,” Taylor told Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in response to a question about “recent reports on Twitter and Facebook of messages that would urge infiltration into the U.S. across our southwestern border.”

“Certainly any infiltration across our border would be a threat,” Taylor said, explaining that border security agents are working to tighten measures that would prevent this from taking place.

Such as? The flood of illegal aliens across the border has slowed, but every time President Obama talks about amnesty or even speaks on the subject of “comprehensive immigration reform,” he attracts more people to cross illegally.

Prediction: Obama will ignore this reality in tonight’s speech. What will it take for him to recognize the border not as a political football, but as a serious national security issue that he as commander-in-chief must deal with?

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Did the NFL Really Not See the Ray Rice Punch Video Until This Week? (Update: NFL Denies)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The AP reports that the NFL had this week’s “new” video of Ray Rice punching his then girlfriend five months ago.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive five months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until this week.

The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”

The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can’t confirm anyone watched the video. The person said he was unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.

The NFL has repeatedly said it asked for but could not obtain the video of Rice hitting Janay Palmer — who is now his wife — at an Atlantic City casino in February.

Did the NFL not take the Rice situation seriously at the beginning, or did the league engage in a cover-up?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has even more questions to answer now. This will end up defining his time at the NFL helm.

Update: The NFL denies:

 

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Will Obama Finally Promote ISIS from Jayvee to Varsity Tonight?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

NBC phrases the question in the title a little differently:

ISIS Speech Offers Obama One Chance to Turn Bad Polls Around

I’m not so sure that they’re right. The Islamic State threat is not primarily a poll-driven problem. It’s a real-world security threat. Words and speeches will not solve it. Leadership and action are needed.

The situation that President Obama finds himself in is an uneviable one, but one that he could have avoided.

He called ISIS “jayvee,” and ignored their threat until it metastasized.

He ran for the presidency promising to end — but not win — the war in Iraq. He ended that war, so he thought, by withdrawing American troops prematurely. President Bush had warned him and others, explicitly, what would happen if U.S. troops were removed from Iraq too soon.  In 2007, Bush warned the following would happen if American troops were removed from Iraq too soon.

  1. Leaving too soon would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region, and for the United States.
  2. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda.
  3. We would risk mass killings on a horrific scale.
  4. It would allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq, to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.
  5. Leaving too soon would make it more likely that American troops would have to return to Iraq, to face an even more dangerous enemy.

And here we are. ISIS has carved out a territory the size of the United Kingdom. It is a threat worse than the one our troops faced the first time around in Iraq. ISIS has perpetrated mass killings. Its existence does put Iraq’s immediate future in the hands of a group that’s arguably worse than Iraq.

According to NBC, Obama’s new plan for dealing with ISIS will involve U.S. air power, the Iraqi military, and “moderate” Syrian rebels, but no more American boots on the ground than the 1000+ who are already there.

Of those three, U.S. air power is obviously far and away the most effective. U.S. air power alone can achieve a great deal, but probably cannot eliminate ISIS.

The Iraqi military melted in the face of ISIS months ago, which allowed them to gather up territory and scoop up the American weapons we had provided the Iraqi military. The “moderate” Syrian rebels may have sold the American hostages to ISIS that the terrorists beheaded recently. The extent to which they were ever moderate is debatable, but they are infiltrated with Islamists now.

This moment is a moment for an American president to lead — lead the American people in battling a threat, and lead the world in building a coalition to eliminate the threat. So far, Obama has shown no ability to do either. Tellingly, he has already told Congress that he doesn’t need them. That is a recognition that Congress does not trust him, and he has no ability to change that. It also puts the success or failure of the effort to remove ISIS entirely on his shoulders, even though most in Congress have been ahead of him in recognizing the ISIS threat.

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Millions of Gmail Account Passwords Were Released Online

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

I checked, and one of my gmail accounts had been compromised. If you use gmail it’s a good idea to check after this happened.

Time to change your password again. A database containing nearly 5 million Gmail user accounts and passwords was leaked on Bitcoin Security, a popular Russian website devoted to the cryptocurrency.

The text file was published on Tuesday night by user tvskit, according to CNews, the Russian news outlet that first broke the story. The leaker claimed that the majority of the accounts belong to users who speak English, Russian, or Spanish, and that approximately 60 percent are active. The passwords not only give access to Gmail, but a slew of other Google services such as Drive and the mobile payment system Google Wallet.

You can check your gmail account(s) here. You might have to be patient — people are flocking to the site to check their accounts.

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Former Obama Spokesmodel Jay Carney Joins CNN

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Here’s what we have to look forward to in the next couple of years. Jay Carney opining on politics at CNN, where he will be joined for foreign policy commentary by Jen Psaki and Marie Harf.

And they and the network will get a big laugh pretending that none of them are partisan apologists. We’ll be seeing these people shilling and spinning on cable news for the rest of our natural lives.

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will join CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.

He will start Wednesday night as President Barack Obama makes a prime-time statement about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief said in a statement.

“Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama Administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” Feist said. “We’re fortunate to have Jay on our air tonight to provide analysis and insight surrounding the President’s address to the nation.”

Perfect timing.

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America’s Most Infamous Drunk Driving DA Sets Up to Persecute Another Republican

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall is a hero. He ought to be given a medal and there ought to be a parade through downtown Austin in his honor.

Hall was appointed regent by Gov. Rick Perry, and he soon found serious corruption in the admissions process at the UT Law School. He also found a slush fund and some large off-the-books sweetheart loans to faculty, which is a whole other story.

In the corrupt admissions case, politicians in both parties were using their clout to get their unqualified family members and others admitted to the school. Hall has fought against the university’s administration, against politicians and against the state media — who have repeatedly called for him to resign or for Perry to fire him or for the legislature to impeach him — to get the facts.

A week ago, the Dallas Observer published this thorough take on Hall’s exploits. Hall comes off as the hero that he truly is, and nearly everyone else in Texas who was involved comes off as corrupt or wagon-circling around the network of the powerful and connected. The university’s administration comes off as whiny and dishonest, along with shady and corrupt.

To his credit, Gov. Perry never once wavered in supporting Hall, even in the face of the university’s drive to impeach Hall via the legislature.

To their shame, just about every major newspaper in the state called for Hall to step down at some point. His crime, according to them, was that he asked for too much paperwork and information. This was the media lobbing that accusation — that Hall wanted too much information. Apparently the media can find a reason to oppose the freedom of information.

Their ears were being tickled by politicians who had things to hide, that Hall was bound to uncover. Meanwhile, Watchdog.org’s Jon Cassidy owned the story. That surely annoyed the drive-by media even more. He ran circles around the media, as they circled around and nuzzled up to the powerful.

Cassidy is back with another doozy. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, the nation’s most infamous drunk-driving DA, has convened a grand jury to criminalize Hall’s actions as regent. Actions, it’s worth pointing out again, that have uncovered real corruption at UT — and which were not illegal.

Lehmberg has found that Section 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code has a magic property. It turns the rest of state law— property code, education code, water code, etc.—into a vast extension of the criminal code. So long as Lehmberg can claim that the Republican was trying to “harm” someone, then just about anything can be turned into a crime. That’s how Perry’s exercise of his veto power became a crime (you can supply the air quotes). And that’s how a regent of the University of Texas System is facing actual jail time for supposed failure to “enhance the public image” of the university, or “nurture” it, or “achieve the maximum operating efficiency.”

If those don’t sound like crimes, it’s because they’re not. They’re bits of boilerplate from the state Education Code on the duties of a regent. But the magic paragraph makes a knowing violation of any “law relating to the public servant’s office” a crime if it’s done “with intent to harm or defraud another.”

The same law makes it a crime to knowingly misuse government property with intent to harm, which is the farfetched theory being employed against Perry’s veto of funding for Lehmberg’s office.

Read the rest. The potential indictment turns on some emails.

Hall found some emails between [UT President Bill] Powers’s office and the dean of the law school discussing whether or not to admit the son of the state House Appropriations Committee chairman, despite his poor scores on the Law School Admissions Test. (They admitted him; he’s flunked the bar three times since.) Hall showed the email to an official investigator from the state attorney general’s office, and to his defense attorney, who cited it in a letter to the legislative committee, naming no names. The name came out when a reporter bluffed the chairman into outing his son.

Those emails are the proverbial smoking gun in the corrupt admissions investigation. But –

The persecutors and prosecutors contend that the emails are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and by nearly identical state law as well, and that Hall committed some sort of crime in showing it to his attorney or the investigator. One theory is that this “leak” is the real “abuse of office,” rather than the whole non-enhancement of the public image theory. But that would involve proving that Hall “intentionally or knowingly” leaked FERPA-protected information, when the emails are almost certainly not FERPA-protected “education records” in the first place. The Supreme Court has ruled that “FERPA implies that education records are institutional records kept by a single central custodian, such as a registrar,” or that they’re “kept in a filing cabinet in a records room at the school or on a permanent secure database.” That wouldn’t include every last email or assignment that might include the student’s name. But that’s the sort of thing a motivated prosecutor never tells a grand jury.

Travis County grand juries don’t seem to be bothered with the implications of granting full felony indictments for, in Perry’s case, saying what he intended to do and then doing it using the constitutional power of his office, and in Hall’s case, seeking information from the university that he had every right to seek as regent. That the information Hall uncovered did point directly to actual corruption doesn’t seem to bother Lehmberg. She has not convened any grand juries to look into that. She is investigating Hall for investigating UT.

Perry’s speech and actions, both legal and protected, do not become a crime because he combined them. Hall’s actions, seeking information in accord with his duties as regent and consulting with investigators and his own lawyer, are not crimes either. Not separately, and not together. They just aren’t. And Lehmberg surely knows that, just as she surely knew that driving around with an open bottle of vodka in her car was, in fact, a crime.

The s0-called Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County DA is going to have to be removed from the county. Drunk-driving Rosemary Lehmberg is on a war path against the rule of law and common sense. In attacking Hall, Lehmberg is defending corruption at one of Texas’ most prestigious public universities. Indicting Hall is another way of attacking Perry and escalating the Democrats’ lawfare against Republicans.

The Texas legislature is going to have to take action, but it does not return to session until 2015. By that time, Lehmberg’s office may well have indicted every single Republican of note in the state.

Let’s take one last look at the media here, too.

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Chuck Todd: Obama May Do ‘Jimmy Carter-Like Damage’ to the Democrats

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today and said that President Obama is on the brink of doing long-term damage to the Democratic Party brand — damage on a scale not seen since 1980.

For years up to the election of President Bill Clinton, most Americans saw the Democratic Party as too weak to be trusted on foreign policy. That mistrust stemmed from three things: the Democrats’ hardline anti-war stance in Vietnam and afterward, their indecision and weakness in the face of the Soviet Union after they nominated liberal George McGovern for president in 1972, and Jimmy Carter’s terrible presidency which culminated in the loss of Iran as an ally and the hostage crisis. Carter’s weakness in particular hurt the Democrat brand so badly that Bill Clinton had to run as a “new Democrat” in 1992 — meaning he explicitly rejected progressive big government policies and offered himself as someone who would be stronger in foreign affairs than Jimmy Carter. When President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over,” he was rejecting the Democrats’ left flank, including former President Carter and, though he did not know it at the time, President Barack Obama.

Clinton has since backslidden into supporting big government, after Obama’s nomination in 2008.

Chuck Todd’s comments on MSNBC today may have another Clinton wondering what outrageous declaration she will have to make to win the presidency in 2016.

Todd tells host Joe Scarborough that thanks to President Obama’s weakness, Republicans now lead by 38 points on national defense.

“He’s on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to the Democratic band on foreign policy,” Todd said, to the shock of the Morning Joe hosts.

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Welfare Recipients Can Use Their EBT Cards at Pot Stores

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Six years ago, if anyone had made a campaign issue out of the potential for welfare users to buy pot with their food stamps, the media would have made great sport and mockery of that.

Yet here we are, six years later, with more Americans than ever on SNAP and various forms of welfare, and pot stores going up in a couple of states. The Washington Times reports  that the two things have been connected.

Welfare recipients can’t use their EBT cards at liquor stores but they can at marijuana dispensaries in states such as Colorado that have legalized pot, Sen. Jeff Sessions revealed Tuesday.

The Alabama Republican announced that he was drafting legislation to close the welfare-for-weed loophole after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to him that marijuana shops were not off limits to EBT cards, which replaced food stamps, or other federal benefits.

There’s no word on how many welfare users actually have used their EBT cards at pot stores.

Under current law, HHS claims that it has no power to stop welfare recipients from using their EBT cards at pot stores.

This is the same HHS that believes it does have the power to force nuns and everyone else to pay for other people’s birth control and abortion-inducing drugs.

 

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Seeking Foreign Policy Advice, Obama Turns to a Roster of MSNBC Regulars

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

I’m partially stealing the title from the folks a Grabien for this post.

Ahead of announcing that he finally does have a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (maybe?), President Obama dined with a group that included Sandy “Docs in Socks” Berger and other foreign policy experts. Let’s hope Democrat strategist Donna Brazile wasn’t there, or if she was, someone explained what a caliphate is. Hey, we’re only 13 years into the war on terrorism…

As for the other guests, even MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell couldn’t help notice that she talks to Obama’s big foreign policy guest on her show nearly every day.

MITCHELL: “Reaching out: Widely criticized for ignoring outside advice in the past, President Obama had a wide-ranging dinner last night with foreign experts from both sides of the aisle. He and Joe Biden brought in Sandy Berger, Zbigniew Brzesinsky, Tom Donilon, Michelle Flournoy, Richard Haas, Steve Hadley, Jane Harman, Strobe Talbot — looks like a review of our guest list here at Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Unfortunately, Mitchell is correct. Obama did turn to frequent guests on cable’s most ridiculous news network for advice.

We’re in the very best of hands…

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First Lady Michelle Obama Finds the Perfect Side Job. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Look out, Clickhole, you have some competition. First Lady Michelle Obama has joined the original annoying viral content site, Upworthy. I’m not even kidding.

It’s not quite the gig that Chelsea Clinton had at NBC, but it’s something. A start.

The first lady is “guest curating” content at the site that perfected those cliffhanger headlines that even Facebook hates so much.

The first lady has already “curated” her first piece, with a very Upworthy title: “I Really Hope the Parents Of These People Get To See What They Said Here. They’d Probably Cry.”

If I saw what people say, I might cry too, and I’m a guy who has lived through the Jerry Jones Cowboys era without shedding a tear. Or I might run away. Or I might seek psychiatric help. It’s not common to see what people say. Visible words floating around while people are talking to me? That would freak me right out.

In her inaugural piece, Mrs. Obama allows that she is thankful for her three-week orientation at college.

Question: Three weeks? How long does it take to figure out where your classes are and which classes are the most skippable? That’s a week, tops. If you’re a little slow to catch things. Or if you’re distracted by seeing words floating around everybody’s heads.

The first lady’s first conclusion doesn’t really break any new ground.

Because our young people need to know that no matter where you come from or how much money your family has, you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on to build a better life for yourself.

And the sky is blue. Sherlock would be impressed!

Anyway, the First Lady of Irritating Crap Writing That Has Ruined Blogging Forever still has a mountain of cliches and cliffhangers to climb if she wants to stay ahead of Clickhole. They have a stunning video piece up today. You won’t believe what happens next.

Seriously. You won’t.

My jaw…dropped.

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Obama Still Wants Poor Catholic Nuns to Pay for Others’ Birth Control

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The so-called “war on women” isn’t going away anytime soon. The Obama administration is renewing its war, in fact, to force some women who have taken lifetime vows of chastity to pay for birth control for the likes of Sandra Fluke.

LifeNews reports that the Obama administration today announced that it is continuing its legal battle to force the Little Sisters of the Poor — a group of Catholic nuns who devote themselves to charity — to either pay for birth control through the Obamacare mandate, or face paying ruinous fines. Paying for birth control violates the nuns’ religious beliefs. Never mind that, as nuns, they have no need of birth control themselves.

The government filed a supplemental brief in the case today. The government’s brief specifies that it believes the Little Sisters of the Poor should not be granted an exception from the Obamacare birth control mandate.

The Little Sisters of the Poor serve about 10,000 elderly poor in the United States. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is defending the Sisters from the Obamacare mandate.

The Obama administration granted numerous waivers and exemptions from various aspects of its unpopular law, and President Obama has delayed parts of the law unilaterally when it was to his political advantage to do so.

Yet he still has his administration lawyers working to force a group of nuns to obey the birth control mandate. The Supreme Court has previously allowed the Little Sisters to escape the mandate by notifying the government of its objections. The Obama administration issued new regulations in August 2014 to circumvent the Supreme Court’s order, according to LifeNews.

 

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Rothenberg: Democrats Can ‘Wave’ the Senate Bye-Bye

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It’s doom for the Senate Democrats, according to pollster Stu Rothenberg.

Of the seven Romney Democratic seats up this cycle, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia are gone, and Arkansas and Louisiana look difficult to hold. Alaska and North Carolina, on the other hand, remain very competitive, and Democrats rightly point out that they have a chance to hold both seats.

But I’ve witnessed 17 general elections from my perch in D.C., including eight midterms, and I sometimes develop a sense of where the cycle is going before survey data lead me there. Since my expectations constitute little more than an informed guess, I generally keep them to myself.

This year is different. I am sharing them with you.

After looking at recent national, state and congressional survey data and comparing this election cycle to previous ones, I am currently expecting a sizable Republican Senate wave.

The combination of an unpopular president and a midterm election (indeed, a second midterm) can produce disastrous results for the president’s party. President Barack Obama’s numbers could rally, of course, and that would change my expectations in the blink of an eye. But as long as his approval sits in the 40-percent range (the August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), the signs are ominous for Democrats.

There is no sign yet of Obama’s popularity recovering.

A majority of Americans now rate him a failure, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll.

The poll shows Americans say 52-42 that Obama has been more of a failure than a success. Among registered voters, the gap is even bigger — at 55-39 — with four in 10 (41 percent) saying they “strongly” believe Obama has been a failure.

Those saying Obama has been a failure include one in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent). Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel “strongly” that Obama has been a failure.

They disagree on why he is a failure, of course, but still rate the man a failure.

My own analysis tracks with Rothenberg’s, by the way. I have the GOP at +7 in the Senate at the moment, which is enough to take control. That’s without picking up both Colorado and Alaska. The latter has become more competitive recently, as has New Hampshire. Hagan is showing signs of fading in North Carolina. Landrieu is all but a goner in Louisiana. Her residency issues are just piling on the misery going into the home stretch.

So, yes, a wave is looking likely to wash Harry Reid right off his perch. Republicans shouldn’t get cocky, though. Challengers like Rep. Cory Gardner in Colorado still have work to do to unseat the incumbent Democrats.

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Texas Sheriff Has a Strong Message for Terrorists Who May Have Crossed the Border

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Midland County, Texas, Sheriff Gary Painter appeared on CNN the other night. Host Don Lemon accused the sheriff of trying to “scare people,” by warning that IS and other terrorists may have already crossed the border into Texas.

Sheriff Painter dismissed Lemon’s accusation, noting evidence that IS has stated its intent to attack the US here, and noted that the federal government has failed to secure the border. Painter also told the CNN audience about an intelligence briefing he has received on terrorism and the border. Specifically, the briefing warned law enforcement officers that IS terrorist cells are active in Juarez, Mexico and are moving into the US. The briefing warned law enforcement to be on the lookout for these terrorists.

That briefing might have been one referenced by Judicial Watch in its report on IS terrorists in Juarez.

Lemon asks Sheriff Painter if he has a message for the terrorists.

The sheriff is quick to reply: “If they rear their ugly heads, we’ll send ‘em to hell.”

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h/t Conservative Tribune

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VIDEOS: Has Obama Lost the Late Night Comics?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

For years, President Obama has enjoyed the protection of the network’s late night talk show hosts. They wouldn’t mock him. Jay Leno would rip on him now and then, but the rest wouldn’t touch him.

That’s changed. Both Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon nailed Obama in their monologues Monday night.

Meyers gigged Obama for not having a plan to confront IS.

Meyers: “Turning to political news, this week, President Obama will announce his plans for addressing the threat posed by ISIS extremists in Iraq. It’s an incredibly difficult situation. I think at this point, you just tell Liam Neeson that they have his daughter. I think it’s ‘Code Neeson.’”

In other words, to get Obama’s attention on a crisis you have to relate it to pop culture. Or get someone else to do the job.

Fallon zinged Obama for spending so much time away from the White House, and popped VP Joe Biden’s habit of being an idiot at the same time.

Fallon: “On Friday, President Obama made a surprise visit to Stonehenge on his way back from the NATO summit in Wales. And even crazier, today he made a surprise visit to the White House. “What are you doing here, man?” Really exciting. That’s right, President Obama visited Stonehenge. It was going well until Biden was like, “Look at the size of these dominoes.” No Biden!”

Speaking of Stonehenge, here’s an Obama moment that the comics missed.

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Obama Wants a $5 Billion Slush Fund to Fight ISIS

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Hill reports that President Obama wants Congress to give him a $5 billion fund, but does not want to go to Congress to get explicit authorization to fight the Islamic State.

President Obama is pushing congressional leaders to authorize a $5 billion counterterrorism fund that could be used to support operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The president first suggested the fund during a foreign policy address earlier this year at the West Point military academy, but it went nowhere in Congress.

The idea was revisited on Monday by White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who floated it as something that “would strengthen the hand of this president and future presidents for dealing with urgent situations like this.”

“This is a core component of the president’s strategy for dealing with this and other issues like it around the globe — that is, additional resources that can be used by the United States to build up effective partners so that when the United States has to confront threats like this, that we have well-trained, well-equipped, effective partners that we can work with to confront these problems,” Earnest said Monday.

Did you see the part that I put in bold letters there?

That’s some tricksy maneuvering by the White House. The imminent threat, the one that the president is resisting going to Congress over, is IS. But Earnest made sure to include “and other issues like it around the globe.”

Now, what might those be? What else might constitute a looming “threat,” in the eyes of this administration?

If you ask Secretary of State John Kerry, it’s “climate change.”

Former Secretary of State and presumed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says climate change is “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.”

Not IS or similar Islamic terrorism. Not Putin, with his designs on rebuilding the Soviet empire.

President Barack Obama: climate change is a “direct threat” to the United States.

Now the president resists consulting Congress on IS, but wants Congress to hand him a check for $5 billion to deal with IS “and other threats like it around the globe.” He wants the money, but no oversight on how it gets spent.

Congress should not write the president a blank check.

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What Did Dr. Ben Carson Say About Ray Rice?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This won’t do.

The Baltimore Ravens fired running back Ray Rice after a second video surfaced — this one showing him punching his then fiancee, Janay. The NFL also suspended Rice indefinitely so that no other team could sign him.

Carson, a former professor and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, said that he hoped the league would get some help for Rice. Then he added:

“Let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy. He obviously has some real problems. And his wife obviously knows that because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help.”

Mediaite has more, but it doesn’t help Carson’s case.

Rice obviously does have some problems. But it’s not “demonizing” to recognize that the horrific videos of him punching a woman out are in fact horrific. He punches her out cold and drags her out of the elevator. That’s domestic abuse. Yes, he needs help, and so may she. He also does not need to be representing the Ravens or the NFL while he gets help.

While we’re in the demonizing business, it’s worth taking a look at the Ravens and the NFL too. There are reports out — that the NFL deny — that the league already had the second video before it was made public yesterday.

If the team and the NFL already had the second video, and still only gave Rice that initial two-game suspension, then, what? They only fired Rice because he became an even bigger public relations problem for them?

The Ravens had Janay come out and apologize alongside Ray Rice, after the first video surfaced. If they had the full video at that time, or any other time between then and this week…

The “demonization” is only getting started.

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Democrat Senator: Beheaded Americans Would Agree with a ‘Cautious’ Approach to ISIS

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (D) has invoked the names of James Foley and Steve Sotloff to argue for a more cautious approach to dealing with the Islamic State — which he says is not an imminent threat to the United States.

Udall made the comments during a recent debate with his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner, reports Eliana Johnson at NRO. Udall says he stands by invoking the Islamic State’s victims to argue for a slower approach to them.

“I can tell you,” Udall said during the debate, “Steve Sotloff and James Foley would tell us, don’t be impulsive. Horrible and barbarous as those executions were, don’t be impulsive, come up with a plan to knock ISIL back.”

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Udall’s use of the dead brings up memories of former Democrat Sen. John Edwards, who invoked a dead child in a courtroom during one of his cases as a trial lawyer. Edwards also told a rehearsed story about his dead son that his running mate, then Sen. John Kerry, found “chilling.”

Gardner, the Republican challenger, has issued a statement on Udall’s comments: “Americans have watched in horror in recent weeks as two of our fellow countrymen have been brutally executed by terrorists, and it’s outrageous that Senator Udall would put words into the mouths of dead Americans. Furthermore, it’s deeply troubling that he views a terrorist organization like ISIL as not an imminent threat to America.”

 

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Treasury Inspector General Called Lois Lerner’s ‘Pre-Emptive Strike’ ‘Brilliant’

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

USA Today reports on the latest IRS emails to see the light of day. In them, IRS officials gloat that they may have headed off the investigation into the agency’s illegal targeting of conservative groups.

Most disturbing, the inspector general’s office — which had been investigating the targeting — approves of how Lerner made the scandal public in the first place.

Remember, the scandal came to light when Lerner used a planted question on a conference call to apologize for it, May 2013. Up to then, some in Congress had been asking questions and the Treasury Inspector General had been investigating. Lerner issued the “apology” to get out ahead of the IG report.

The IG was fine with that, even calling the tactic “brilliant.”

The apology sparked an avalanche of questions from reporters and members of Congress.

The IRS wanted to tell The Washington Post‘s editorial page that “organizations from all parts of the political spectrum received the same, evenhanded treatment.” Lerner insisted that line come out of a draft statement because that would imply that the IRS kept track of the ideology of groups applying for exemptions. “It sounds like we track it, and we don’t,” she said.

Over at the inspector general’s office, officials were annoyed that Lerner had “jumped the gun” with the apology, spinning the contents of the audit report before it was released.

“This is a brilliant pre-emptive strike by the IRS,” wrote David Holmgren, the deputy inspector general for Inspections and Evaluations. “When we release next week, it will be old news.”

In response, the inspector general worked to move up the release of the audit.

This raises so many questions with regard to the IG and its own investigation. Were they colluding with the scandal’s central figures during the active investigation? Why did the IG’s Holmgren cheer Lerner on? She has emerged as the central figure in the scandal.

This is like the FBI tipping and working with mob figures it’s working to bring down.

Congress should expand the investigation, but even that is unlikely to get anywhere until a special prosecutor is appointed.

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VIDEO: CBS’ Major Garrett Exposes Obama’s Excuse for Delaying Immigration Action

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Our friends at RCP caught this exchange between CBS’ Major Garrett and White House spokesman Josh Earnest today.

On Sunday, President Obama announced that he will delay taking unilateral action on immigration until after the election. Obama’s announcement followed stories about vulnerable Senate Democrats fretting that Obama’s action would be unpopular and hurt their re-election chances.

Obama’s action followed those stories, leading to reasonable inferences that Dem worries forced Obama’s hand.

But the White House denies that. Obama says that he is delaying action because he doesn’t want to inject it into the election, or something.

Major Garrett isn’t buying that for a second.

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Shocking Video: Over 100 Teens Rampage in Memphis Shopping Center, Knocking Out Shoppers

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

WREG-TV reports that scores of teenagers ran riot across a Memphis, TN shopping center and injured at least three. Two of those injured were black, one was white.

The video shows the white victim, a young man, being beaten and kicked while he lies on the ground. The woman capturing the wilding on video laughs at first, and continues to laugh that “they have a white dude,” but later seems to be disgusted by the violence she sees. She calls for security, and a security guard arrives and disperses the crowd.

So far just one person, a juvenile, has been arrested in connection with the crime.

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PolitiFact: Obama Lied About that Whole ‘Jayvee’ Thing

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Sunday, President Obama appeared on Meet the Press and denied calling ISIS “jayvee” terrorists.

On Monday, PolitiFact rates that claim a lie.

Todd then remarked that Obama’s response was a “long way from when you described them as a JV team.”

“Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?” Todd asked.

“Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to (Islamic State),” Obama replied. “I’ve said that, regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally, weren’t focused on homeland, because I think a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama bin Laden and 9/11.”

Is Obama editing his remarks or did Todd misrepresent what Obama said? We decided to take a look.

Yada yada yada. Here’s the transcript of the interview in which Obama used the “jayvee” analogy.

Remnick:  ”You know where this is going, though. Even in the period that you’ve been on vacation in the last couple of weeks, in Iraq, in Syria, of course, in Africa, al-Qaeda is resurgent.”

Obama:  ”Yes, but, David, I think the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

Remnick: “But that JV team just took over Fallujah.”

Obama:  ”I understand.  But when you say took over Fallujah –”

Remnick:  ”And I don’t know for how long.”

Obama:  ”But let’s just keep in mind, Fallujah is a profoundly conservative Sunni city in a country that, independent of anything we do, is deeply divided along sectarian lines. And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn’t lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology is a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”

It’s obvious that Remnick asks about ISIS, and Obama answers about ISIS. We now know that Obama’s Presidential Daily Briefings had kept up to date on the growing ISIS threat for at least a year — if he had been reading those briefings.

Rating, both from PolitiFact and Glenn Kessler at the WaPo: False. Lots of Pinocchios. Obama is lying to the nation about his own take on national security and terrorism.

 

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BREAKING: Baltimore Ravens Terminate Contract with Ray Rice (NFL Acts)

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Baltimore Ravens have severed ties with running back Ray Rice today, after new video surfaced that shows him punching his then fiancee in an elevator.

The NFL had suspended Rice for two games, the first of which was Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

At the time the first domestic violence video surfaced, back in May, the Ravens struck a note that struck many as far off-key.

 

The Ravens have scheduled an announcement for later today. Word is that Rice is finished.

 

 

Terminating him now does raise more questions about the NFL’s lenient treatment of him in the first place. In the first video, it was clear that he had been hitting his fiancee.

 

Rice has married Janay, the woman he is seen punching in the video.

Update: The NFL has suspended Rice indefinitely, so no other NFL team can sign him.

Update: ESPN’s Adam Schefter goes weapons free, blasts the NFL for claiming that today is the first time the league has seen the new tape.

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