President Barack Obama visits Texas later this week. As will also be the case when he visits Colorado this week, local Democrats will run from being photographed with him. Wendy Davis avoided being seen with the president the last time he visited the state.
The president is taking some heat for his decision not to visit the Texas-Mexico border while he is in Texas. That border is in chaos, thanks in no small part to Obama’s lax policies. A leaked DHS memo makes it clear that the Obama administration has slowed down deportations, and that policy is driving much of the surge in illegal crossings. More than 50,000 unaccompanied children have reportedly crossed into Texas over the past few months, and are currently being held in camps around the state and increasingly around the country. One Border Patrol agent has reportedly come down with scabies as a direct result of the illegal influx.
Rather than visit the border, the president is attending fundraisers with his wealthy backers, and one of those who will attend is raising eyebrows. The president is set to raise money for the Democratic Party with film director Robert Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is probably best known for the Spy Kids film series, but he has also directed a number of hyper-violent “grindhouse” exploitation films. President Obama routinely uses mass shootings to criticize Americans’ Second Amendment rights, but does not take on Hollywood for its violent movies that show guns and, in Rodriguez’s case, showcase violence as a means to exact revenge.
Robert Rodriguez directed one of 2010′s most controversial films, Machete. Here’s IMDB’s synopsis of its plot.
After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.
The cartoonish Texas senator, played by Robert DeNiro, was targeted because he delivered speeches calling for more border security. In the same film, a Border Patrol agent played by Jessica Alba switches sides and becomes a violent immigration radical who screams “We didn’t cross the border! The border crossed us!”
Sure, if you lived in the American southwest and you’ve been alive for about 150 years, you could make the case that the border crossed you.
Because prog women hate them dirty nuns…
The National Organization of Women (NOW) has compiled a list of what they’re calling the “Dirty 100” — organizations who have filed suit against the HHS Contraception Mandate. One of the “Dirty 100″ organizations that NOW claims is simply “using religion” to discriminate against women, is, in fact, a group of Catholic religious sisters called the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Little Sisters of the Poor take vows to tend to the needs of the elderly poor. They are opposed to providing contraception to their employees as contraception violates the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The Little Sisters of the Poor are not considered to be a “religious employer” and exempt from the mandate as they employ and care for people of all faith backgrounds.
That’s Townhall reporting, which notes that NOW takes itself so seriously that it’s using its “Dirty 100″ list to nag the entire Catholic Church.
Fox’s Todd Starnes pierces the veil of secrecy that the Obama government has placed over the camps where illegal alien kids are being held in Texas.
Several of my sources tell me that tuberculosis has become a dangerous issue at both the border and the camps.
“The amount of tuberculosis is astonishing,” one health care provider told me. “The nurses are telling us the kids are really sick. The tuberculosis is definitely there.”
Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey, M.D. says state health officials have seen only three cases of tuberculosis, the Associated Press reports. One of my sources with close ties to the Texas HHS tells me all three cases were reported in Austin.
However, nurses at Lackland in San Antonio, said they know of at least four teenagers in their camp who have tuberculosis.
“The nurses are telling us the kids are really sick,” the source told me. “The tuberculosis is definitely there.”
My source said there are children showing classic tuberculosis symptoms — spitting up blood, a constant cough and chest pain.
Add that to the scabies, swine flu and other diseases that have turned up in the camps.
Here’s a good question about all this, from Ace: Why doesn’t Obama just ignore the law that he is blaming for having to get all the unaccompanied kids processed through courts?
While stewing on that question, take a look at what the Obama government is reportedly whipping up to fight Americans who protest against putting these camps in their communities.
House Speaker John Boehner is drafting legislation that will enable the U.S. House of Representatives to sue President Barack Obama in federal court. Boehner lays out the case for such a lawsuit in this column for CNN. Boehner seeks to sue to halt Obama’s unilateral rewriting of laws, most notably Obamacare and immigration law.
There must be accountability. We have a system of government outlined in our Constitution with the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Congress has its job to do, and so does the President. When there are conflicts like this — between the legislative branch and the executive branch — it is my view that it is our responsibility to stand up for this institution in which we serve, and for the Constitution.
If you look back over American history, there has always been a tension between the inherent powers of the executive branch versus the inherent powers of the legislative branch. This issue is as old as Marbury vs. Madison and as fresh as the unanimous Supreme Court ruling last week that the President overstepped his authority on recess appointments.
Over the last five years, starting — not coincidentally — when his political party lost the majority in the House of Representatives, the President has consistently overstepped his authority under the Constitution, and in so doing eroded the power of the legislative branch.
The legislative branch has an obligation to defend the rights and responsibilities of the American people, and America’s constitutional balance of powers — before it is too late.
Obama himself, as a senator and candidate for the presidency, repeatedly criticized President George W. Bush for unilateral uses of executive power. As president, Obama has gone much farther than Bush did. Obama has used fewer executive orders than Bush, but his have been more sweeping and have rewritten laws that were drafted by Congress. The president is not allowed to do this.
Boehner and the Republicans controlling the House have four options to counter Obama’s move. They could 1) do nothing; 2) impeach Obama; 3) cut off funding for some or all of the federal government to get Obama’s attention; or 4) sue him.
Conservatives aren’t united on which path Boehner should take. Pat Buchanan wants impeachment off the table. Erick Erickson thinks the lawsuit is just theater, and wants the House to cut federal funding instead. Erickson accuses Boehner of lacking “testicular fortitude” to fight Obama, which ignores the fact that the House has passed dozens of bills to repeal Obamacare and to rein in his executive overreaches. The House cannot pass bills into laws by itself. Without control of the Senate, Republicans’ options to stop the president are limited. Erickson admits as much when he says that the House GOP’s one “victory” over Obama — cut, cap and balance — did not succeed, except as a public relations move. A divided Congress just isn’t much of a threat to an ambitious president.
Buchanan is right, that impeaching the president will open up the GOP to accusations of racism for trying to remove the nation’s first black president. Any talk of impeachment before the mid-terms threatens to change the subject of the elections from Obamacare, the economy, and other issues to that single issue, which is sure to bring the president’s demoralized base back to vote for him one more time. Any talk of another government shutdown, or cutting off federal funding, also poses the risk of changing the mid-term election subject from Obama’s acts to Republicans’ acts.
Maybe that’s a risk worth taking. The results of the last government shutdown aren’t conclusive. Republicans were divided going into that one and spent as much time firing at each other as they spent noting that the Obama administration used the shutdown to punish veterans and national park users. Democrats and the media were united in painting it as a disaster for the country, even though it wasn’t. Most Americans didn’t really notice the so-called shutdown at all. There is little prospect that Republicans would be much more united in cutting off federal funds than it was during the shutdown. The GOP establishment just defended big-spending Sen. Thad Cochran against a conservative challenger.
Democrat Wendy Davis trails badly in the polls to Republican Greg Abbott, the current attorney general. Today, Davis and her Harry Reid-powered attack machine tweeted this.
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) July 7, 2014
Abbott’s ruling is one that we wrote about last week, when Davis first launched her ill-advised attack on it. The ruling interprets a 2003 law, passed overwhelmingly by the Texas legislature in its first session after the 9-11 attacks. The law concerns information regarding dangerous chemicals that can be used in terrorist attacks. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that law. If so, that’s the legislature’s job. The fact remains, every Democrat who was in the Texas Senate at the time voted in favor of that law.
Since last week, Davis has had the time to reconsider her first attack. She is doubling down instead. Or, to be accurate, Zac Petkanas, the operative Davis hired from Harry Reid’s smear machine, is doubling down. The media, which badly wants a real statewide race in Texas for the first time in ages, is helping out via the gambit of one-sided reporting.
Davis’ campaign gets a curious assist from Wayne Slater at the Dallas Morning News, who mentions a spurious connection to the “chemical industry” but fails to mention that every single Democrat who was in the Texas Senate in 2003 voted for the law that Abbott’s office is interpreting.
I’m not suggesting bias here — Slater exposed the holes in Davis’ origins story. I’m just suggesting incomplete reporting. Democrats passed that law. Shouldn’t they be asked about it? Or if they’re not responding to inquiries, print that. But you have to ask first, even to get a non-response.
Or, media could print what state Rep. Joe Pickett (D) says about Abbott’s ruling:
“The media has contacted myself, they’ve contacted (inaudidble), they’ve contacted the Attorney General’s office. They want information, they want it now, we know how that is. I started off by thanking them, and I still do for the coverage that they have given this issue. I do have a personal problem with wholesale giving out addresses to locations where there is a potential terrorist threat. And in the same breath, they said, ‘Well didn’t you ask TDI, Texas Department Insurance to put it in a website?’ I did and that website is up and copied this from DPS on their sex offenders. If you put in a zip code anywhere in the state of Texas it will say yes or no whether there’s ammonium nitrate in that zip code and then it will give you the information for the first responder. I think that’s sufficient to protect the public. If the public under federal statute believes that the community right to know is more than that they still have the ability, they being that individual. Mr. Lavender, you know of a facility, you can contact that facility.”
There may or may not be a difference of opinion on this among Democrats. Texans don’t know. Media have chased down the Davis line linking the ruling to Koch, but have not interviewed any Democrats who voted on the 2003 law for their thoughts on the AG office’s ruling.
One of those Democrats is Davis’ running mate, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. She voted for the 2003 law. That’s a pretty obvious route to go for information, yet no one in the Texas media is looking into it so far.
This morning on MSNBC, USA Today reporter Susan Page said that President Barack Obama’s decision to attend fundraisers in Texas this week while neglecting to visit the border is a “Katrina moment” for him. That would have a chance of being true if the likes of Shepard Smith ran around on the border shouting “Where is the security?” but everyone knows that that will never happen. The media can make the border crisis a Katrina moment. They’re not going to.
Chuck Todd kicks off the discussion asking if there is any Democrat in the country who wants to talk about immigration. Answer: No. Even though the Democrats keep goading Republicans on immigration and President Obama himself made that big statement about it last week. Obviously they do want to talk about it, to such an extent that it’s practically an obsession.
Apparently, the Beltway press corps has its own version of reality.
Democrats talk about immigration to the point, and with such dishonest ferocity, that one could get the impression that while they claim Republicans need it to survive, it’s the Democrats who need “comprehensive reform” in the form of legalizing millions of illegal aliens, and putting them on a path to citizenship, to survive.
Why would Democrats really care about the survival of the Republican Party? Why would a party that thrives on secrecy and lies suddenly start telling the truth?
Page calls Obama’s decision to neglect the border while he’s in Texas a lose-lose — the security-minded will hate the neglect, while the open borders lobbies will be angered that he isn’t doing more to open the border even more.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been speaking out on the border situation for years. The Obama administration has been rebuffing him for years, both over the phone and in person. Perry now posits three possibilities behind the president’s inattention to the current crisis: Either President Obama is incompetent, he is apathetic, or he has ulterior motives.
If you’re anything like me, you may have avoided most hard news over the holiday weekend. So you may have missed this:
President Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.
But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.
The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.
Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America — five times more than two years earlier — began pouring across the Southwest border.
The LA Times accompanies the story with a chart showing that deportations of under-18 illegal aliens peaked in 2008 and has gone down rapidly every year since, to less than a quarter of deportations in 2013 versus 2008. Deportations down, then, while the numbers of illegal border crossings is way up.
The LAT then moves over into a discussion of a 2008 law that some are not blaming for the influx of underage illegal aliens — the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. That passed by bipartisan voice vote in 2008 and President George W. Bush signed it into law. While very well-intentioned, that law has evidently created a hole for the cartels and human smugglers to exploit. They are selling pathways into the US, telling their customers that all kids need to do is claim that they’re under threat of violence or trafficking back home and they will get to stay in the US. In some cases, parents are reportedly selling everything they own to pay the smugglers to get their kids to the US, on the hope that their kids will get to stay, and then through chain migration, the parents can follow in a year or a few years.
The factual problem with blaming the Wilberforce law is that the flood of illegal aliens didn’t really begin at the US-Mexico border until 2013, after President Obama announced two major changes to US immigration law that favored minors brought illegally to the US by their parents.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) is introducing a fix to the Wilberforce law as Congress gets back from the holiday this week. It would allow Border Patrol to send kids from countries other than Mexico and Canada quickly back to their countries of origin. Prediction: It will pass the House, and get no vote at all in the Senate. After that, immigration activists will denounce it as “racist.” That’s how these things usually go. Scratch that, it’s how they always go. Any attempt to bring some security to the border, or resist the Obama administration’s machinations, is denounced by some on the left as “racist” when race has very very little if anything to do with what’s happening. The fact is, it’s just not fair to demand American taxpayers and communities pick up the bill for these kids. Cities on the border are having holes blown in their budgets, and even cities far from the border are starting to recognize that if the government sets up a holding camp in their vicinity, they will end up paying — these kids will have to attend schools, and will end up utilizing other social services, before long.
Some pressure is mounting on the Obama administration from within the Democratic Party, but not much, and so far it’s not effective. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is voicing dissatisfaction with how Obama is handling the border. But he is in the House, he’s from Texas, and he’s not Harry Reid.
Obama is visiting Texas this week, but the border isn’t on his itinerary. He will not even visit it or any of the sites around the state where the children are being housed and cared for.
They’re not all from Mexico, according to KGBT.
Texans have noticed over the past few weeks that trucks and large SUVs and cars are being pulled over more frequently by law enforcement and searched, especially at night.
One such search occurred at the Falfurrias Checkpoint in south Texas early this morning. Border Patrol looked into the back of an 18-wheeler and found a mixed cargo of vegetables and humans. There were 11 people hiding among the pallets of carrots in the back.
Border Patrol found four more hiding in the cab’s sleeping area.
Most were from Mexico, but several were from El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
Quoting dead white men after a bunch of live white men (Clarence Thomas doesn’t count!) ruled that women cannot get contraception of any form, ever, forever and ever, anywhere!
(Other than anytime they want, at just about any pharmacy, Walmart, and thousands of other places, for not very much money. And most of them are covered on your health plan. But other than that!!!!!!)
Who are these terrible people? Why are they still allowed to have a website? Where, by the way, they have put a bunch of items on sale.
That’s how they get you. They’re like crack dealers, but with fake flowers, scrapbook supplies and that artsy craftsy smell.
It’s dastardly stuff.
The former head of Homeland Security made an astounding prediction. Back in December 2011, Janet Napolitano asked for some very interesting stuff.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has requested that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) develop a strategy for how to provide “health care, sheltering” and other services to immigrants in the event of a significant increase in immigration to the United States.
“DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, according to a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recently directed ICE to develop a national-level mass migration plan,” Government Services News reports. “The plan will outline how to address the health care, sheltering, processing, transition and disposition of large numbers of undocumented individuals who may arrive in the U.S. as the result of mass migration.”
That’s from the Washington Examiner, date December 14, 2011.
And here we are. In the middle of a national migration effort thanks to the flood of illegal aliens crossing the border. Map by NumbersUSA.
Let’s discuss something for a bit.
The Obama administration had three years to get Healthcare.gov right before launch. It was President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. The whole world was watching.
They epically botched that launch. It was shocking.
They’ve had years to fix the Veterans Administration, which Obama promised to do. They didn’t lift a finger to do that until media coverage has forced them too.
But has anyone noticed how orderly the effort to move the flood of illegal aliens from the border has been? Smooth as silk, isn’t it. Almost invisible. If you’re not actively following the story online, you’re probably not even hearing that much about it. We’re talking about moving and caring for more than 50,000 people, and counting. The flood is not slowing down.
Look at how many sites they’re using.
They didn’t execute this, they didn’t hire the Baptist “brown shirts,” they haven’t gathered up the food and contracted the transportation, medical care, etc without having had a plan in place. Government tends to move very slowly. But things seem to be rolling along without a hitch. That’s remarkable, coming from a gang that can’t shoot straight most of the time.
Another soccer post. Give in to your anger, soccer h8terz. Let the hate flow through you.
If you don’t really care one way or another, bear with me. Or bare with me if your grasp on language is a little loose or you’re into that sort of thing.
Landon Donovan is the leading scorer in US soccer World Cup history. He has scored more World Cup goals than Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi. If you know much about soccer, you know that that’s a big deal.
Donovan is 32 years old, not in his prime but still has a lot of gas in the tank, but was left off the US roster for this year’s World Cup. He isn’t shy and does have an arrogant streak. He is a player who already has a coach’s view of the game. He’s also probably the best that the United States has ever produced. So he has some credibility. I’ve seen him play in person once. He’s exceptional. He knows what he’s talking about, as long as he’s talking about soccer.
After the US crashed out by losing to Belgium, Donovan gave up some quotes that Yahoo! Sports is describing as a “bitter slam” on coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I think we’re all disappointed in what happened yesterday, Donovan told MLS Soccer on Wednesday. “I think the most disappointing is we didn’t seem like we gave it a real effort, from a tactical standpoint. I thought the guys did everything they could, they did everything that was asked of them, but I don’t think we were set up to succeed yesterday, and that was tough to watch.”
Cut from the World Cup squad in late May in a surprise move that prevented him from playing in his fourth World Cup, Donovan has never been one to mince words, but his detailed assault on the U.S. World Cup team’s flaws, and Klinsmann’s role in the developing of those flaws, was still pretty shocking.
“If you really look at the performances, there were some good performances by guys, some not-so-good performances by guys. As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed,” Donovan said. “They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking — trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in the World Cup, none of us will know.”
“Michael was put in the wrong position,” Donovan said. “He was put in a position that he’s not used to playing. He does a better job, as you saw with Julian Green‘s goal, being in a deeper position. And having someone in a front of him, someone to help Clint also, makes him that much better because he’s got more opportunity to pick out different passes, more attacking options ahead of him. I think that was clearly an error.”
Whether driven by anger at seeing his friends, and his national team, miss a golden opportunity to make a deep World Cup run, or driven by continued resentment at being denied his chance at playing in a fourth World Cup, and playing on the sport’s biggest stage one final time, Donovan decided to join the folks bashing Klinsmann rather than taking the high road and letting the court of public opinion cast a verdict on Klinsmann’s performance as coach.
it may have felt like something Donovan had to do, but in the end it smacked of petulance and bitterness and not the actions of someone who once said that he would be the U.S. team’s biggest fan even if he were left off the World Cup team.
I can’t agree with that. Donovan was asked questions and he answered them. He’s a soccer player, not a politician. If you don’t want his actual opinion, don’t ask for it.
A little perspective is in order. The USA looked great in qualifying but drew the worst group at the World Cup — Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Hardly anyone expected them to get out of that group. I didn’t expect them to get out of that group, with or without Donovan. Germany and Portugal were the favorites, but the latter got hammered by the former and never recovered.
The US did get out of that ghastly group, and that was a huge achievement, and Klinsmann deserves huge credit for that. His tactics mostly worked, even against Belgium. Very few defenses have been able to stop Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku even when they’re not tired. He came on when the US defense was already haggard and had stopped Belgium’s talented group, and he made the difference. That’s what great players do, and Lukaku is on track to become great.
Klinsmann rolled the dice by taking only one real big-body striker to Brazil, Jozy Altidore. Altidore has had a very off year at Sunderland. His selection was a bit of a surprise given how poorly he has played over the last year, when Eddie Johnson was available and they’re very similar players. Johnson was not selected for Brazil either. So the USA went into Brazil too thin at a very important position.
Altidore’s hamstring injury in the first game versus Ghana forced Klinsmann’s hand. He had to refigure the team. He had to push Dempsey into more of a lone striker role, and he chose to push Bradley, who is usually more of a deep-lying midfielder, farther forward into more of a center attacking role. Bradley is a very good player and has experience in Europe, but that position shift didn’t suit Bradley, and it showed — he was the guy giving the ball away all the time. His giveaway in the closing seconds against Portugal led directly to the tying goal, which cost the US two points and sent it into the knockout round against a tougher opponent. That’s what Donovan observes in the quotes above. He’s right.
Had Donovan been available — had Klinsmann taken him to Brazil, that is — Altidore’s injury probably would have hurt less. Donovan is not the same kind of player as Jozy Altidore. Altidore is a big, bullying striker. He’s a wrecking ball. Donovan is a creative midfielder who can score from just about anywhere. He pulls the strings. He unlocks defenses. He has loads of experience. He can change a game at any moment with the killer pass or an unexpected shot. He can carry a team that is struggling. He can be the creative outlet for a team under siege, as the US was for most of its games, because the US still isn’t a world power in soccer. But we’re getting there.
Klinsmann left Donovan out of Brazil. That had to hurt.
It’s hard not to have some sympathy for Donovan. He is better than almost every player that Klinsmann ended up taking to Brazil. Dempsey can claim to be better, maybe, on his best days. He is certainly very good. Tim Howard is definitely a world class keeper, but you can’t really compare a keeper to a creative midfielder like Donovan. Howard just seems to get better every year. But Donovan is a unique talent, not terribly big, not the fastest man out there, but he is extremely skilled, very elusive, and hyper aware of the game around him. He makes any team a little better, and sometimes a lot better. I mentioned his arrogance, which is real, but there is a selflessness about him too. He is a team player. Donovan could have played in Europe, and has at times, but he has chosen to play most of his career in the US to help grow soccer here by being the face of the sport. Playing in Europe pays more and offers the big trophies and endorsements. Donovan basically left those opportunities on the table to keep playing here.
And Klinsmann left him out of Brazil.
So I don’t read Donovan’s comments as bitter. They’re honest. He’s an athlete, not a politician.
Klinsmann probably won’t like them, mostly because they’re coming from Landon Donovan. But Klinsmann knows better than anyone else that Donovan is right, and he also knows why Donovan is right. He knows that not all of that has to do with Donovan, but some of it does.
Jurgen Klinsmann is a great coach and he’ll be great for American soccer. He’ll learn from this and build a better team for the next cup. And he will build it without Landon Donovan, unfortunately. It’s a shame that two of America’s top soccer brains will probably never end up working together again.
Barack Obama’s official Twitter feed has this to say today.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 3, 2014
I know, I know, Obama doesn’t even write his own tweets. That one isn’t signed by him, so his allegedly independent PAC workers wrote it for him. But they wrote it in his name and he won’t take it down, even though it’s a full blown lie.
Women have the same choices today that they had last week. A small fraction just can’t force their bosses to pay for their choices now. Because their rights don’t necessarily reach into other people’s wallets.
If you don’t want you boss involved in your decisions, don’t force your boss to pay. Right, Sandra?
Let’s just lay this out about Barack Obama. This man hates Christian values, he hates private property, he hates any and all challenges to his power, and he is as dishonest as they come. No lie is too small or too audacious. He lives to provoke. It’s in his nature. It’s what community organizers do. They don’t lead, they don’t unify, they agitate and they aggravate.
Get ready for two more years of this garbage. And get ready for his prog base to love him even more for it.
The Assad regime was an enemy of the United States for decades. The gangsters sided with Saddam, they sided with Iran, they helped out Hizballah, they fomented violence in Lebanon, they have been an enemy of Israel. Nasty people.
Until Hillary Clinton came along. When she was Secretary of State of the United States, she labeled baby Assad a “reformer.”
That was too ridiculous for the Washington Post to swallow.
“There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”
–Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on “Face the Nation,” March 27, 2011
It was also too ridiculous for Clinton to defend.
“I referenced opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the administration.”
–Clinton, two days later
If you didn’t agree with those opinions, why did you tout them? Why give them a bipartisan veneer?
Time goes by, Assad the “reformer” dictator faces an Arab Spring uprising, and pretty soon he’s a gas-spewing monster who must go.
President Obama and European leaders called Thursday for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign, after months of his violent crackdown on protesters. The rhetorical escalation was backed by new U.S. sanctions designed to undermine Assad’s ability to finance his military operation.
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” Obama said in a written statement. “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”
Time goes by, ISIS rises up in Syria and Iraq, establishes a caliphate, chops off some heads, threatens the world, shows off some captured SCUDs, does what Islamists do — and now the Obama government has a strange new respect for one Bashar Assad.
As President Obama slowly but surely increases the U.S. military presence on the ground in Iraq, his administration is grappling with the immediate need to stop the ISIS advance and push for a political solution in Baghdad. The 3 1/2-year grinding civil war is Syria has been put on a back burner for now. Some officials inside the administration are proposing that the drive to remove Assad from power, which Obama announced as U.S. policy in 2012, be set aside, too. The focus, these officials argue, should instead be on the region’s security and stability. Governments fighting for survival against extremists should be shored up, not undermined.
“Anyone calling for regime change in Syria is frankly blind to the past decade; and the collapse of eastern Syria, and growth of Jihadistan, leading to 30 to 50 suicide attacks a month in Iraq,” one senior Obama administration official who works on Iraq policy told The Daily Beast.
In effect, the American government has been in a limited partnership with the Assad regime for almost a year. The U.S., Russian, and Syrian governments made a deal last September to destroy Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons—and relied on Damascus to account for and transport those weapons, in effect legitimizing his claim to continued power.
Indeed. That legitimized Putin in the same stroke. It enhanced his standing in the Middle East too.
So here we are now, allying with a reformer gas-weapons using monster who must go, but who also must stay, at least for now.
Supposing that ISIS is defeated and Assad hangs on, which is a big leap at this point, do we then go and invoke the “responsibility to protect” that got us involved in Libya and topple the gas-spewing-reformist-monster-who-must-go-except-when-we-need-him-to-stay?
Patrick Ruffini is a very smart man. He posted this on Facebook last night.
While there’s rightfully talk about making them smarter and more data-driven and efficient, this is meaningless without creating a real emotional connection with voters and getting the relationship with the supporter right. We can’t be all brain and no heart.
That’s exactly, 100% right. It’s something I’ve come to accept over the past few years, especially the Obama years. While issues do matter to some extent, and campaigns and tactics surely matter too, the emotional connection that a candidate makes with potential voters can make or break their career. Especially at the presidential level, where many voters vote symbolically rather than on qualifications, character or issues.
Barack Obama has understood this more deeply, and longer, than most of us. Well, either he understands it or his advisers like David Axelrod understand it. Either way, or probably both, explain quite a bit about why he has won two presidential elections despite being unqualified the first time around, and an obvious failure the second. He had established an emotional bond with enough voters that they didn’t care about the details. They liked him, and that was enough. Plus his IRS had suppressed conservative groups.
Ever since he began his presidency, Obama has tended to avoid specifics in his speeches, while pursuing policies mostly through regulations. Regulations don’t need congressional input. The regulatory state is harder to track. Obama can defer to the EPA, DHS, HHS, whatever, whenever one of his regulations causes him any political problems. Or he can blame Bush, one of the progressives’ Emmanuel Goldsteins. The Koch brothers serve that role now, too, as the Bush presidency fades from memory and more Americans are realizing that compared to Barack Obama, W wasn’t so bad after all.
Back to the emotional connection. Barack Obama has been making some odd moves as his world burns seems to be burning down around him. He is sliding badly in the polls. America is getting a case of buyer’s remorse over electing him. His presidency is a rump of what it was up to 2011. Even many of the congressional Democrats don’t really trust him. Candidates like Wendy Davis won’t even be seen with him.
While Putin and ISIS march forward, Obamacare remains a mess, the economy remains stagnant, etc etc, Barack Obama pops out for lunch at Chipotle. And makes a point to let everyone know about it.
It backfired on him, a little, because Barack Obama is a cad.
That was a week ago, during a parenting summit. As a parent, I’ll state categorically that Barack Obama has been the worst president for parents since Bill Clinton turned cigars into sex toys. Clinton hauled politics into the gutter and polluted the meaning of “is.” Obama’s assault has been against our ability to make a living, and against the churches we belong to to teach our children our faith, and against our property and religious rights. Plus Obama just can’t get enough of Planned Parenthood, the industry/lobbyist/special interest built upon abortion.
The parenting summit was obviously a play for suburban vote, the soccer mom vote, the middle class vote. It was mostly to blunt charges that his policies are subversive and anti-family. See here, he’s having a whole summit on families!
What he was actually doing was creating more anger among some women voters over equal pay, an issue he supposedly resolved with the stroke of a pen years ago.
But for lunch, why Chipotle?
Companies and restaurants are now especially feeling the Millennial affect because the population dines out and purposefully spends in ways more different than ever, and now that their spending power has increased, companies have no choice but to follow suit and appeal to them the best way they know how.
If you think the Millenials’ influence can’t be that dramatic yet, just ask McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) if its business has been affected by the maturation of the huge generation. The world’s largest fast food chain once had drive-thru lines spiraling out of parking lots, but now the restaurant is faced with a new generation that is focused on health and fresh ingredients to such a degree that consumers have never been before. Barkley reports that 26 percent of the generation considers themselves health fanatics, and thus, the likelihood of those Generation Y’ers visiting McDonald’s every night is lower than ever, and that reality is only expected to continue.
McDonald’s is still in the top ten restaurants for millennials. But look which chain comes in at numero uno.
1. Chipotle (NYSE:CMG)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s favorite Mexican grill. Almost half of all those Millennials surveyed byGlobalHue noted Chipotle as their favorite fast food brand, and the company boasts an impressive 46 percent figure. Generation Y’ers are drawn to the Denver, Colorado-based company’s fresh salads, meaty burritos, and infamous guacamole, and colleges are even noticing the trend as more and more campuses recruit the Mexican restaurant to set up shop on their grounds.
Chipotle’s stock has risen significantly within the past few quarters as it continues gaining popularity and new consumers, and its latest earnings still even managed to live up to lofty expectations.
Along the same lines, he has made a very grand show of paying attention to the US run in the World Cup. He crashed a watch party, led a chant on camera, and called up Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard after the US loss to Belgium.
Because millennials rate the World Cup as the top story that they’re paying attention to. More than the IRS scandal, more than the VA scandal, more than any scandal, more than the Middle East and even the economy.
That will probably change now that the US is out.
If I’m right about this, that Obama’s choice of lunch and sports comes down to his attempt to hold onto the millennial vote by keeping their emotional connection with him, even while his economic policies are screwing them over, then watch for him to pop out to a Panera, a Subway, or a Taco Bell before long. He’s one of us! He cares about what we care about! He listens to the music we listen to! He eats where we eat! He likes the five dollar — five dollar footlong!
And I’m still jobless and living in my parents’ basement!
Taco Bell would give him a two-fer — it’s #4 with millennials and probably #1 with stoners. Taco Bell is also climbing with Hispanic customers.
Japan politician Ryutaro Nonomura got caught misusing campaign funds for personal trips. He is accused of going to places like Japanese spas, which actually are pretty awesome. Highly recommended, if you’ve never been.
But you shouldn’t use other people’s money that they gave you for campaign purposes. If you do, you might end up like Mr. Nonomura, sobbing in a video that has gone viral all over the world. He already has become a meme. He hasn’t been autotuned yet, but surely that’s coming any minute now.
The politician had faced criticism last week after it was reported he had claimed for 195 long-distance return tickets but failed to provide receipts for the journeys or even evidence he was carrying out official work,Rocket News 24 reports.
During Tuesday’s press conference, in between sobbing, drawing deep breaths and then wailing again, Nonomura insisted, “I went to all the places [claimed for].” He also made a number of bizarre outbursts, at one point yelling:“Ageing population isn’t only a problem in our prefecture!”
For decades, rural fire departments have been able to buy surplus vehicles from the US military. Obama’s EPA has ended that.
An agreement between the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency, aimed at reducing emissions, will stop the sale of defense vehicles that don’t meet the EPA’s emission standards, the [Oklahoma] state forestry service reports.
“This action will ultimately result in increased exposure of communities to loss of life and property associated with wildfire, as well as increased fire suppression costs,” said George Geissler, state forester and director for Oklahoma Forestry Services. “The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the vehicles are marginal at best compared to emissions of an uncontrolled wildfire.”
Good point, about the emissions. Wildfires have very large carbon footprints. They also burn people, homes, and businesses. And trees. Surely the EPA cares about trees.
Rural fire departments depend on volunteers to fight fires, donations to fund their gear and infrastructure, and a federal government that isn’t run by destructive idiots.
A Colorado woman was arrested in April for attempting to join up with ISIS, according to CNN.
Shannon Maureen Conley, 19, allegedly told FBI agents before her arrest that she was going to be with a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, that she had met through the Internet.
“It’s a difficult time for us,” her mother, Ana Conley, told CNN on Wednesday.
Conley’s attorney, Robert William Pepin, said he had no comment.
His client was arrested on a jetway while trying to board a flight to Germany on April 8, according to a criminal complaint. She told investigators she was going to Turkey to await word from her suitor.
Conley, a certified nurse aide, had told FBI agents she was going to be the man’s wife and a nurse in a ISIS camp near the Turkish border, documents showed.
Conley is the second American known to have been arrested in the course of attempting to leave the country to go aid ISIS. The other is Michael Todd Wolfe of Austin, TX. The FBI arrested him in June as he attempted to leave the country to join up with ISIS in Syria.
The Daily Mail adds a wealth of detail about Conley. She apparently told investigators that she favors guerilla warfare “because she could do it alone.” She has also told investigators that she converted to Islam.
FBI agents have become aware of Conley’s communication with the foreign national and reached out to the 19-year-old and her parents, John and Ana Conley, urging her not to go to Syria, NBC reported.
But according to a federal official, Conley could not be dissuaded. He added that the 19-year-old suffers from mental problems.
Mr Conley told agents that his daughter described jihad to him as a struggle to help the poor and the downtrodden, but she herself had been plagued by doubts about what was expected of her as a Muslim woman.
‘She conceded her knowledge of Islam was based solely on her own research that she conducted on the Internet,’ the affidavit said.
She had reportedly changed her name to “Halima” and started wearing Islamic dress.
Investigators found CDs in her luggage that were labeled “Anwar al-Awlaki.” He was the cleric who exorted Americans to attack within the United States. Nidal Hassan took Awlaki up on that, and went on a murderous rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. The Obama administration continues to label Hassan’s massacre as “workplace violence,” not terrorism.
If you listen to progressives these days, the Supreme Court has granted corporations the power to compel their employees to go to church. It has empowered corporations to tell women to throw away their contraceptives. Five of the men on the court have declared full jihad against all of the women of America. Next stop, subjugation, revocation of the right to vote, and the end of women’s rights in America.
All of that is absurd, of course. The Hobby Lobby case was a too-narrow win for religious freedom and private property rights. But it’s making for amusing theatrics around the country as Democrats grapple with the fact that the man atop their party is an incompetent buffoon, and the American people have figured that out, and the Democrats are stuck with him.
Two years ago, I coined a phrase that stuck. In June of 2012, President Obama suspended the federal government’s immigration law enforcement agreements with the state of Arizona. He did this to retaliate for that state passing a modest law with the aim of getting a handle on the growing chaos on its border with Mexico. Obama was “going Soviet” on Arizona, I wrote, and Rush Limbaugh and others quickly picked up the phrase to describe what was going on. What I meant by “going Soviet” was that Obama was clearly punishing Arizona and singling it out to make an example of it for other states, especially red states. The phrase reaches back into the history that they no longer teach in our schools, to a time when the Soviet Union existed and was as brutal to its own people as it attempted to be to the rest of the world. People who stepped out of line would find themselves subjected to abuse by their own government. On the extreme end, the USSR literally starved millions of Ukrainians to death. The American press, led by the New York Times, helped the Soviets cover up their ghastly crimes. The US media has served a similar function during Obama’s reign.
In June of 2012, Obama punished Arizona for its attempt to enforce immigration law. In those days, none of us had any idea that the Obama IRS was also systematically punishing Tea Party groups by dragging out their tax-exempt application processes and subjecting them to invasive and abusive questioning. Most of us had no idea that True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht was being subjected to abuse from a litany of executive branch agencies. “Going Soviet” was more applicable than we knew, two years ago. We did not know that the IRS was criminally releasing conservative groups’ donor information to their leftwing enemies. AG Eric Holder’s refusal to investigate that was still in the future.
Fast forward two years, and Obama has been re-elected but he is already a lame duck when it comes to getting anything done in Congress. No one there trusts him. The Democrats have no relationship with him. The Republicans have been burned and, even if they wanted to strike a deal with him, sentient ones know that he will re-write whatever deal is crafted before the ink on his signature is dry. Pass a full immigration reform deal, and he will strip out all of the enforcement components and grant sweeping amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. He may even do what President Clinton did once, and speed up citizenship for millions of illegal aliens ahead of an election — so they can register and vote.
The polls show where Obama’s actions and untrustworthiness have led. He is rated the worst president since World War II. His personal popularity has crashed. Americans now say that we would all have been better off if Mitt Romney had been elected president in 2012. Obama has failed to help veterans, despite his explicit promises to reform the Veterans Administration. His foreign policy is a flop, and now Russia is on the march from one direction and the Islamic State, a new caliphate, is on the march in another. American influence is at such a low ebb that Russian pilots will soon be flying over Iraq to help that country and Iran push back against the Islamists. Either out of cluelessness or malice, Obama still wants to arm Syrian rebels, many of whom are Islamist radicals too.
And then there’s the Texas-Mexico border. Two years ago, Arizona’s border was in crisis mode, and Obama responded by punishing that state. Today, Texas is being flooded by illegal aliens.
Clueless Democrats — sorry for the redundancy there — are passing this meme around on social media and saying how great and insightful it is.
Just because a guy who pushed buttons and encountered unconvincing aliens on a 1960s TV show says something, doesn’t make it true.
Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to be a church for its owners to have religious and private property rights. Corporations are made up of humans who form a legal entity for a purpose, in this case, to sell picture frames and nick-nacks. The owners of this particular corporation are a family. They have rights. They do not surrender those rights because they formed a business. Anyone who thinks that they did surrender those rights when they formed their family business is a moron.
The Greens — they own Hobby Lobby — were literally minding their own business when the Obama administration slammed them with a mandate forcing them to use their property to pay for something that violates their religious beliefs. The Greens acted on their beliefs and took the mandate to court. They won. That’s how it works in this country.
The scary part is that we were one Anthony Kennedy away from losing serious ground in both the private property and religious freedom spheres. Even scarier — people like George Takei spout off without having the first clue what they’re even talking about. And others just think he’s a genius.
The Obamacare mandate in question here is not a “neutrally crafted law.” It’s a regulation that the Department of Health and Human Services attached to a law that is itself of dubious legitimacy. The Obama administration could unwrite that regulation at any time. It could amend it. It has chosen not to, and chose to take the Greens all the way to the Supreme Court to defend it. The Obama administration are the aggressor in this fight. The Greens’ case is entirely defensive.
Obamacare’s dubious legitimacy is based on a couple of things. It’s a revenue bill, essentially. Or a tax, if you’re John Roberts. The House is supposed to kick off such bills, but in Obamacare’s case, the version that passed originated in the Senate. This is not a game, it’s how the Constitution works. The House and Senate had to engage in legislative chicanery to pass the thing. They passed it along hard party lines, over holidays and in the dead of night. The Democrats passed it against the will of the majority of the American people. Obamacare has never been popular. Had the abortifacient mandate been a part of the actual bill that passed, it might not have even passed. There remain enough Catholic Democrats in Congress who would have objected to it. As fragile as the passage process was, and as many kickbacks and buyoffs as it took to get it over the line, including that mandate in the actual bill might have killed the whole thing.
We are a nation that has enshrined respect for religious beliefs into our Constitution. That’s not some feel-good thing. It’s the bedrock of our system. The Supreme Court found that the Obamacare mandate puts an undue burden on religious people. They based that decision in part on the First Amendment, and in part on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Private property and religious freedom are rights hard won over hundreds of years. Takei and his ilk would roll those rights back. They must be stopped, and they deserve to be mocked.
The bottom line here is that George Takei is an idiot and has surrendered the right to be taken seriously. Anyone who passes the above meme around on social media in an approving way is even more of an idiot than he is.
I know I’m a day late getting to this story, but it’s still worth flagging. FIRE — the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education — is taking on speech codes at four universities. Speech codes are those draconian, arbitrary means of squelching debate and policing thoughts that leftists have imposed on university campuses across the country. They will impose them off campuses if they’re ever given enough power. It’s a totalitarian move made allegedly in the name of tolerance, but mostly in the name of people wanting and gaining power over other people.
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014—This morning, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) coordinated the filing of lawsuits against Ohio University, Chicago State University, Iowa State University, and Citrus College (Calif.). The filings launch FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes through targeted First Amendment lawsuits. The project and lawsuits were announced today at a press conference at the National Press Club.
FIRE has retained preeminent First Amendment attorney Robert Corn-Revere of the national law firm Davis Wright Tremaine as counsel for students and faculty members participating in the Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project.
“Unconstitutional campus speech codes have been a national scandal for decades. But today, 25 years after the first of the modern generation of speech codes was defeated in court, 58% of public campuses still hold onto shockingly illiberal codes,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “For 15 years, FIRE has fought for free speech on campus using public awareness as our main weapon, but more is needed. Today, we announce the launch of the Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, an expansive new campaign to eliminate speech codes nationwide. We have already coordinated two lawsuits in the past nine months, and this morning we brought four more. The lawsuits will continue until campuses understand that time is finally up for unconstitutional speech codes in academia.”
Read the rest at FIRE’s site. They say they won’t stop until speech codes are eradicated from all US college campuses. Anyone who has a problem with FIRE over these lawsuits has a problem with freedom.
Soccer haters, you’ve had your fun. You’ve mocked kicky ball, you’ve said it’s socialist, you’ve tarred it as communist. You’ve bragged that you don’t know anything about soccer, and that you don’t want to know anything about soccer, and you’ve smeared anyone who does know anything about soccer as either a socialist, a communist, or a pantywaist.
Tell that to Tim Howard. If you have the guts.
So here’s the deal. Soccer is not only not any of the things that you haters claim, it’s actually much more of a capitalist sport than you realize. Because you don’t know anything about it. Here are five reasons that soccer is actually capitalist and ruthlessly American.
1. Soccer rewards success and punishes failure ruthlessly.
The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB are mostly static leagues. Regardless of their win-loss records, the leagues keep the same teams around year in and year out. Franchises like the Detroit Lions become embarrassments that go on for years on end, yet they are never booted out of the NFL. Loser teams stick around in all of the US top sports leagues. That’s also true of US Major League Soccer. Teams move from town to town every once in a while, but they’re still the same team nearly all the time. Even if they get a new name.
But in the world’s soccer leagues, if you suck, you get kicked out of the league. And if you’re good and finish at the top of your league and you’re in a league that’s lower than the top league, you get promoted up to the big league. Of the 20 teams that make up England’s Premiere League every year, three have been promoted because of their accomplishments in the second-tier Championship League the season before. And the worst three Premiere League teams got relegated down to that second-tier league. If they want to get back to the top league, they have to earn it by finishing high enough to either earn automatic promotion or go into a playoff to earn it. Any EPL team can get relegated if they have a bad enough season. The same is true for leagues all across Europe, wherever there are enough teams to have multiple leagues with tiered systems.
One year of suckitude and you and your club get sent down to a lower league. That’s hard core. US sports could learn a thing or two from the creative churn of soccer’s relegation-promotion system.
And by the way, a good player in a lower league team can find himself scooped up directly into a top team in a top league if his play is good enough. It’s all about how well he plays as an individual. If you shine even on a horrible team, you’ll move to a good team.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the GOP nominee for governor, recently issued a ruling on information regarding the storage of hazardous chemicals in the state. The ruling has generated a little controversy, mostly because it has been spun out of shape.
The actual ruling is that government entities can withhold state records on where dangerous chemicals are stored around the state. The ruling does not prevent citizens from calling facilities and asking them what is stored around their communities. Under state law citizens have the right to find that out on their own. Abbott’s ruling does say that the state doesn’t have to proactively publish where such chemicals are stored. That’s not the same thing as “hiding” information, an accusation that a certain Democrat is now hurling.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor against Abbott, fired off a couple of testy tweets about the issue on Tuesday and again today.
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) July 1, 2014
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) July 2, 2014
The Koch brothers? Really?
Ever since Davis imported staff from Harry Reid’s shop in Nevada, her campaign has had one setting: Attack! That’s what they’re doing here. The Koch brothers bone is a nice touch, though I’d bet that most Texans don’t know who they are, nor do they care, nor do they have any reason to. Texas Democrats can talk credibly about getting big money out of politics as soon as they stop taking money from Steve Mostyn, the Fred Barron estate, and George Soros’ various entities. Davis herself could stop using her government access to create sweetheart deals for herself too.
As is usually the case, Davis’ team attacks without thinking or doing the barest research at all. The storage of hazardous chemicals is a very serious issue, requiring careful thought to balance out the needs of the public to know versus the dangers posed by disclosing too much to those who wish us harm. There are actually good arguments to be had on both sides of it. Davis’ campaign elected to draw a big cartoon Koch brother and fling finger paints at it.
As a sitting senator in the Texas Senate, Davis ought to be familiar with legislation that dealt with this very issue. It came up in the 2003 session, H.B. 9. That was five years before Davis was elected to the state Senate, but Sen. Davis’ running mate, Sen. Leticia Van De Putte — and every other Democrat in the state Senate at the time — voted for that bill. It says:
Sec. 418.178. CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN INFORMATION RELATING TO CONSTRUCTION OR ASSEMBLY OF WEAPONS. (a) In this section, ‘explosive weapon’ has the meaning assigned by Section 46.01, Penal Code. (b) Information is confidential if it is information collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental entity and: (1) is more than likely to assist in the construction or assembly of an explosive weapon or a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon of mass destruction; or (2) indicates the specific location of: (A) a chemical, biological agent, toxin, or radioactive material that is more than likely to be used in the construction or assembly of such a weapon; or (B) unpublished information relating to a potential vaccine or to a device that detects biological agents or toxins.
What does that have to do with the storage of dangerous chemicals and terrorists? Everything. The reason that Abbott ruled that the state does not publish this information proactively is that it could become a map for terrorists, to either attack or to steal and then use those stolen chemicals in attacks.
We’re talking about the kinds of chemicals that were used in the Oklahoma City bombing.
We’re talking about the kinds of chemicals that were used, along with instructions downloaded from the Internet, in the 2011 Norway terrorist attack.
We’re talking about very dangerous stuff. Should we put it all on a scavenger hunt map, Sen. Davis?
Terrorism is not an idle threat here or anywhere else in the United States. Two accused Islamic terrorists were arrested in the Austin area just last week. One of them reportedly wanted to get training with ISIS in the Middle East and then return here to conduct attacks against Americans. In addition to those two, we have a dangerously porous border with Mexico right now. If children and smugglers can slip across, and they are by the thousands right now, then so can terrorists. Davis says that she sees that as a crisis that demands action. But she hasn’t made the security connection yet, evidently.
Rep. Joe Pickett, head of the Texas House Homeland Security Committee, and a Democrat, has this to say about the issue: “Another issue that has come up is not in this legislation per se, but going to try. I’m going to make a feeble attempt probably, but try to explain a little bit of the community’s right to know and open record request, and the public, especially the media. The media has contacted myself, they’ve contacted (inaudidble), they’ve contacted the Attorney General’s office. They want information, they want it now, we know how that is. I started off by thanking them, and I still do for the coverage that they have given this issue. I do have a personal problem with wholesale giving out addresses to locations where there is a potential terrorist threat. And in the same breath, they said, ‘Well didn’t you ask TDI, Texas Department Insurance to put it in a website?’ I did and that website is up and copied this from DPS on their sex offenders. If you put in a zip code anywhere in the state of Texas it will say yes or no whether there’s ammonium nitrate in that zip code and then it will give you the information for the first responder. I think that’s sufficient to protect the public. If the public under federal statute believes that the community right to know is more than that they still have the ability, they being that individual. Mr. Lavender, you know of a facility, you can contact that facility.”
Pickett’s comments didn’t come during discussion on the 2003 bill. They’re from July 1, 2014. Supporting Abbott’s ruling.
Some of the press to whom Davis will actually speak — there aren’t many, other than maybe the lefty Burnt Orange Report and the Texas Tribune — ought to ask Sen. Davis if Rep. Pickett is in cahoots with Greg Abbott and the Koch brothers to go around hiding dangerous chemicals from everybody. They might also ask whether Davis has spoken with Sen. Van De Putte on the issue. Or any other Democrat who was actually in the Senate when they passed that bill. They all voted for it, so they might have some words of wisdom for Davis.
If you’ve discussed the Hobby Lobby decision on social media with someone who opposes it, you probably want to stab yourself in the eye with a spork. That’s about where I am today. Just done with trying to get facts across to people who stubbornly refuse to hear them.
If you still want to read an an excellent argument on the subject, I can’t recommend Emily Zanotti’s take highly enough.
But if you’re like me and you’ve lost patience with the whole, sorry episode, make a meme. Like this.
Here’s the raw photo. Or Google image search something that you like better.
Here’s a handy meme generator. Use your irritation at this whole, stupid debate productively.
Late Tuesday, the Obama administration released the indictment of Ahmed Abu Khattalah. He is the only suspect arrested for the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, and only the second person arrested at all in connection with that attack. The first, Nakoula Nakoula, was arrested and jailed for a year on parole violations for producing the “Innocence of Muslims” video that the president and top officials in his administration blamed for the attack.
Rowan Scarborough reports that the indictment of Khattalah does some damage to the movie narrative.
The unsealed June 26 indictment, coinciding with Khatallah’s U.S. District Court appearance in Washington, states that the grand jury does not know when the conspiracy began. It says Khatallah “did knowingly and intentionally conspire and agree with other conspirators, known and unknown to provide material support and resources to terrorists, that is personnel including himself and others.”
The indictment says Khatallah intended the material support and resources “to be used in preparation for and in carrying out” the attacks that killed the ambassador, his aide and two ex-Navy SEALs protecting a CIA base that came under precision mortar attack.
Khatallah is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a full detention hearing.
If it was a conspiracy, as the Obama government now alleges, then it wasn’t a spontaneous reaction to a movie that was supposedly offensive.
The Obama administration began pushing that narrative on the night of the attack, in a State Department statement condemning the movie and distancing the United States from it. The president and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton produced a public service announcement that aired in Pakistan in the days after the assault. In that PSA, Clinton “absolutely rejects” the movie and insists that the US government had nothing to do with producing it.
Intelligence from the scene of the attack, during the attack, stated that there was no demonstration, no riot that got out of control, that the attack was a premeditated and planned assault using coordinated forces. The indictment of Khattalah backs that up.
The Benghazi assault came just weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and days after President Obama and the Democrats used their party convention to declare that “GM is alive and al Qaeda is on the run” and variations on that theme.
GM has since recalled more vehicles than it has sold due to safety issues, and al Qaeda offshoot ISIS is swiftly taking over large portions of Iraq.
In a couple of days, Americans will fire off fireworks, drink beer, grill meats and celebrate the Fourth of July — America’s birthday.
What is the Fourth of July all about? It’s not the date on which the United States actually won its freedom. It’s Independence Day, right? But independence from whom?
Fourth of July is the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document in which the United States of America declared itself independent from King George III and the Britain that he ruled. Prior to that, we were British colonies. The Declaration of Independence declares America’s independence from Britain — July 4, 1776.
Hillary Clinton is expected to run for the office of President of the United States in 2016. She’s being coy about it, but…she’s running.
But on Independence Day 2014, Clinton prefers the company of the British. She’s sitting for an interview with the Guardian — one of Britain’s largest (and most unabashedly leftwing, and more than occasional America-bashing) newspapers.
What one thing should we ask Hillary Clinton? Ahead of an exclusive video interview with former US secretary of state, Guardian readers have the opportunity to get involved. The former first lady won’t speculate on whether she will run for president in 2016, but maybe you want to know more about her position on the situation in Iraq? Or the US military’s use of drone strikes?
The interview will take place on 4 July 2014 and will appear on theguardian.com
Hillary couldn’t sit for the interview on the 3rd? Or the 5th? Any other day? She just had to talk to the bloody British on the Fourth of July?
Religious freedom runs headlong into identity and sexual politics. The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision wasn’t as narrow as it seemed at first. The Associate Press reports that in the wake of that decision, SCOTUS has acted in a couple of handfuls of similar cases.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.
Tuesday’s orders apply to companies owned by Catholics who oppose all contraception. Cases involving Colorado-based Hercules Industries Inc., Illinois-based Korte & Luitjohan Contractors Inc. and Indiana-based Grote Industries Inc. were awaiting action pending resolution of the Hobby Lobby case.
There’s an important point to be made here. Prior to the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, these companies had the right to cover or not cover contraception in their health plans. The mandate, which was not part of the actual Obamacare law, forced them to cover contraception — in violation of their religious rights. They were, literally, minding their own business until the Department of Health and Human Services invented the mandate and wrote it into regulations.
Those who have a problem with the ruling really ought to take up their objections with the Clintons. It was President Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law in 1993. That law passed Congress with only a handful of dissenting votes. The majority of Democrats in Congress voted for the RFRA.
Today’s Democrats have become so radicalized that most of them evidently have no problem with violating that law, along with other Americans’ religious and private property rights, just to get some free stuff. Gone are the days when pluralism was a viable thing in American life. Today’s progressives believe they have the right to confiscate other Americans’ property, and they believe that it’s not inconsistent to yell “Stay outta my bedroom!” while they try forcing others to pay for what they’re doing in the bedroom.
I’m not sure that it’s possible to have a reasonable conversation on this issue with people who don’t see the glaring, bright-as-the-sun contradiction there.
SCOTUSBlog is in for another day of trolling fun on Twitter after these decisions.
And the Democrats are in for several more months of “war on women” nonsense. Barack Obama must be rubbing his hands together in delight — there probably has never been a more useful SCOTUS defeat than the ones he has seen this week on the contraception mandate.
Todd Starnes reports that “Brown Shirts” who have been hired by the federal government are actively silencing medical personnel who are dealing with the flood of illegal aliens on the Texas-Mexico border. Medical personnel are under threat of arrest if they talk, but some are talking anyway.
“There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told me. “We were under orders not to say anything.”
The sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the Baptist Family & Children’s Services, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp.
The sources say security forces called themselves the “Brown Shirts.”
“It was a very submissive atmosphere,” the counselor said. “Once you stepped onto the grounds, you abided by their laws – the Brown Shirt laws.”
Let’s unpack some of that. The Baptist Family & Children’s Services has a branch in San Antonio, Texas, so the “Brown Shirts” are likely coming from that group. The government has contracted with BFCS’ Emergency Management Division. Here’s how they dress on duty, in this stock photo from the group’s website.
As for those brown shirts, the BFCS said they are “incident management team personnel” – who happen to wear tan shirts.
The San Antonio branch is hiring…
Their website confirms that they are working on the border crisis.
They are acting under the orders specified in their government contract with the Department of Health and Human Services — the Obamacare bunch. So, obviously, it’s ultimately the federal government that is silencing the doctors and nurses who are dealing with the illegal aliens. The Baptist “Brown Shirts” are just the means.
She and her family will not be safe until they are out of Sudan for good.
“There are new charges relating to her relationship to her father,” said the source. “Possibly to prove that she is Muslim, but nothing has been served so it’s unclear.”
Muslim relatives intend to take her to court to prove that she belongs to their family, according to Ibrahim’s supporters. The new charges were filed in a Sudanese family court, with a trial date set for Thursday, according to her attorneys.
Ibrahim’s case first came to the attention of Sudanese authorities back in August, after members of her father’s family complained that she was born a Muslim but married a Christian man. The relatives—including her brother– claimed her birth name was “Afdal” before she changed it to Meriam and produced a document that indicated she was given a Muslim name at birth. Her attorney has alleged the document was a fake.
Ibrahim says her mother was an Ethiopian Christian and her father a Muslim who abandoned the family when she was a child.
“I was never a Muslim,” she told the Sudanese high court during her apostasy trial. “I was raised a Christian from the start.”
Ibrahim’s loving, tolerant Muslim family are using loving, tolerant sharia law to try to kill her. There are claims of a property dispute tied up in all this, but the fact remains that sharia is available as a weapon, and her relatives are using it.
It may take a squad of Marines to get her and her family out of there. If that’s the case, then that’s the case. Get on with it. Her husband, Daniel, is an American citizen.
Presented without comment, because it speaks for itself.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State stretching across Iraq and Syria, has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe.
Interesting timing. With the Muslim prayer recently held at the Vatican and all.
Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims were being targetted and killed from China to Indonesia. Speaking as the first Caliph, or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, he called on Muslims to rally to his pan-Islamic state.
“Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty,” he said in an audio recording released on a website used by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
“Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims.
“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”
They’re jihadists without borders.
Hassan Hassan, an analyst at Abu Dhabi’s Delma Institute, wrote that Baghdadi provided the most radical challenge since the emergence of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. “The whispers of support to a caliph in Afghanistan are now replaced by clear words and acts, amplified by social media,” he said. “Jihadism has evolved significantly. It is no longer limited to narrow “elitists” who travel to distant countries to wage jihad. Today’s jihad is more sophisticated and individualised and can be waged everywhere.”
I suppose the post title is a bit of a spoiler. It’s hard to go the Upworthy vague headline route when we have what amounts to a death machine overseeing what is supposed to be veterans’ healthcare.
ACTON (CBS) – “He was steadfast. He took care of us, all of these years.”
Suzanne Chase of Acton was talking about her husband, Doug, a Vietnam veteran who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011.
In 2012, she tried to move his medical care to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Bedford.
“It was so difficult for him to take the ambulance ride into Boston, we wanted to be closer.”
They waited about four months and never heard anything. Then Douglas Chase died in August 2012.
But two weeks ago, he got a letter, from the VA in Bedford, saying he could now call to make an appointment to see a primary care doctor.
As you can imagine, his widow wasn’t happy to see the Veterans Administration finally get around to granting him an appointment. It’s a bit late for that.
Reminder: Progressives really like the VA and tout it as a single payer healthcare model for everyone else. So they get control over who lives and dies, one supposes.
Ezra Klein '07: VA "unquestioned leader in American health care… short wait times and high consumer satisfaction." http://t.co/0gw1gxn5UR
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) May 22, 2014
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, successfully. President Barack Obama has not. He has never argued a case at the Supreme Court at all. That didn’t stop his spokesmen from playing the constitutional lawyer credential card when reacting to the Hobby Lobby defeat on Monday.
Sen. Cruz is also an excellent troll, very much a match for Obama on that score. Obama treats matters of law as opportunities to troll — see both his handling of the border and his Obamacare abortifacient mandate. Obama is trolling everyone on one thing or another.
Cruz is trolling Obama on his record of getting his backside handed to him by SCOTUS. The president has lost 20 cases by unanimous decision since January 2009 according to Sen. Cruz. In some of those cases, the president’s administration argued for some sweeping, disturbing powers.
- Attach GPSs to a citizen’s vehicle to monitor his movements, without having any cause to believe that a person has committed a crime (United States v. Jones);
- Deprive landowners of the right to challenge potential government fines as high as
$75,000 per day and take away their ability have a hearing to challenge those fines (Sackett v. EPA);
- Interfere with a church’s selection of its own ministers (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC);
- Override state law through the Presidential fiat (Arizona v. United States);
- Dramatically extend statutes of limitations to impose penalties for acts committed decades ago (Gabelli v. SEC);
- Destroy private property without paying just compensation (Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. United States);
- Impose double income taxation (PPL Corp. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue);
- Limit property owner’s constitutional defenses (Horne v. USDA); and
- Drastically expand federal criminal law (Sekhar v. United States).
Obama wasn’t done, as you’ll see on the next page.
This is Barack Obama’s humanitarian problem. His lawlessness turned on the magnets that are attracting illegal aliens. Not all of those illegal aliens are fresh-faced kids sent here for a better life.
[Rep. Henry] Cuellar says that as he was speaking to Customs and Border Patrol agents he was also discovering a disturbing trend of adults “renting” children in Central America in order to increase their chances of being able to stay in the U.S. once they cross over.
“I was talking to somebody that worked for Border Patrol, and he said that in the late 80′s there were a lot of kids from El Salvador coming in and what they were doing is they had a ‘rent-a-kid’ program.” says Cuellar “In other words they said ‘oh if I come in and I have a kid with me they’ll let me go.” And the Border Agent told him “Henry, I’m seeing this again, I cannot believe it.”
“This is a phenomenon that has gone on for years if not decades,” says George Grayson a Professor of Latin American Politics at William & Mary “As far as I know they pay the families (and remember these economies are in sad shape) and therefore to get maybe a few hundred dollars you’re willing to give up your 7th or 8th child.”
Grayson says that coyotes (smugglers) will often use children as a distraction, “Because your heart goes out to children. If the same group of organized criminals is trying to move drugs you can distract them by having a group of children moving into one part of the McAllen corridor into Texas and then you have your drugs moving in a few miles away.”
Obama had the chance last week to start turning the magnets off, which would have been the humane choice. He chose not to do that.
SCOTUS’ Hobby Lobby case came down to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That law passed Congress by overwhelming majorities and was signed by President Bill Clinton in November 1993.
But the way that the court decided the case, with five men in the majority and the court’s women in dissent, probably couldn’t have broken better politically for Democrats than it did. The decision has no effect on the vast majority of Americans at all. Not one single person will be denied access to contraceptives. Hobby Lobby itself covers 16 types of contraception in its employee health coverage. The company’s owners just refused to cover four specific drugs because they act after conception.
But Democrats like Hillary Clinton get to use the decision as a wedge issue to fire up the party base through the summer. Which is the main thing that the mandate was actually set up to achieve. It’s not about “access,” over which there is no crisis. It’s about creating a wedge issue to make people angry, grow government and fire up the progressive base — which brook absolutely no dissent from their worldview.
Hillary Clinton on Monday called the Supreme Court’s ruling in the contraception-related Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing.”
The former secretary of state and possible Democratic front-runner skewered the decision during an appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, hours after the Supreme Court ruled that for-profit employers don’t have to provide contraception coverage, mandated under Obamacare, if they have religious objections.
“It’s the first time that our court has said that a closely held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom, which means the corporation’s … [‘closely held’] employers can impose their religious beliefs on their employees, and, of course, denying women the right to contraceptives as part of a health care plan is exactly that,” she said. “I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction.”
“It’s very troubling that a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who need contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception,” Clinton said. Her remarks came during a Facebook Live session at Aspen.
None of that is correct. Not even close. The Green family object to four specific abortifacient drugs. If Hillary’s clerk wants to use one of those, she may pay for it herself. She just cannot demand that the Greens cover it, against their religious beliefs. The Greens do cover 16 other contraceptives. They were not even required to do that, until the Obamacare mandate was invented by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The so-called “smartest woman in the world” cannot be so wrong about this by accident. So she must be choosing to lie. She’s a Clinton, so that’s hardly a wild claim to make. Hillary herself was even fired from the Watergate investigation for being a liar, when she was a budding young feminist.
Clinton did address the RFRA’s relevance to the Hobby Lobby decision.
Asked about a measure signed by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, tied to protecting religious beliefs under federal law, Clinton said it was authorized “because, at that point, there were legitimate cases of discrimination against religions. The people who wanted to build a church, or a synagogue, or a mosque in a community and they fit into the zoning, but the community was saying, ‘We don’t want one of those in our community’.”
This really gets at the progressive worldview. Exercising a right collectively is fine, just as progressives claim to support the right to “worship” while they chip away at the right of Christians to act on faith in their daily lives. But exercising that same right individually, over your own property (the Greens own Hobby Lobby as their family business) is not allowed.
It’s totalitarian, and all the more glaringly hypocritical when it comes from people who claim to hold individual rights above all else.
The Hobby Lobby case should never have been a case at all. A government that respects religious freedom would not have fought it all the way to the highest court. The Obama government, progressive to its core, doesn’t respect any rights of anyone who stand in the way of creating a useful, cynical wedge issue.
The United States can make some history today. A win over Belgium would send the US into the quarterfinals of the World Cup for only the second time ever in the current World Cup tournament structure. The last time it happened was 12 years ago. The farthest the USA ever got in a World Cup is the semifinals in 1930. That was the very first World Cup, and it only included 13 teams. The USA defeated Belgium in the first round of that tournament, 3-0.
ESPN is cranking up the hype machine for today’s match with this gritty video. Take a look.
Team news for today — the USA may have striker Jozy Altidore available from his opening match hamstring injury, while the Belgians may be without both of their center backs, Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany and Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen. If all of that comes to pass, the USA have a very good shot. The USA have decent shot anyway. The Belgians have a great collection of individual players, but the US have played as a strong team so far.
Texan Clint Dempsey, broken nose and all, leads the Yanks as captain.
No Matter How Good A Troll You Think You Are, You Cannot Troll Like SCOTUSBlog Trolls Dumb Progressives
SCOTUSBlog is not affiliated with the United States Supreme Court. It’s an independent blog that reports on the court’s decisions.
Progressives have had ample time to find this out, and it’s not hard to, as SCOTUSBlog spells out its independence in plain language right on its front page — it’s the “Sponsored by Bloomberg Law” part. It’s also on their Twitter page: “A private blog about the Supreme Court of the U.S.”
Can’t get much clearer than that.
Many progressives clearly have not looked into that. Maybe they’re just blind with rage that SCOTUS — not SCOTUSBlog — ruled in favor of private property and religious freedom rights. Maybe their totalitarian instincts don’t allow for contrary facts to get in the way. Whatever is the case, as progressives keep heaping abuse on SCOTUSBlog for SCOTUS’ Hobby Lobby decision, SCOTUSBlog just keeps trolling away.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
Fee fie fo… fum you @SCOTUSblog There is no respect for these male dunderheads! Fie on your ignorance!
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
This is some world class trolling.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014
Keep it up, progs. SCOTUSBlog’s trolling tweets are a tonic in what’s shaping up to be a miserable summer in politics.
Note that we favorited most of these throughout this morning, and the authors apparently believed the S. Ct. appreciated them.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) July 1, 2014