You remember how the average family was going to save $2,500 a year on “health-care,” and how if you liked your plan and your doctor, you could keep them, right? After all, the president of these United States looked us right in the eye and told us so. Well, that was then — the baited hook to get us to fall for the scheme — and this is now:
State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states.
Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million and enrolled 8,200 customers for individual coverage in 2015. Unable to sustain itself, the state marketplace is turning over sign-ups to the federal HealthCare.gov for 2016.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Experts estimate about half face financial difficulties. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states, expecting that state markets would become self-sustaining. Most of the federal money has been spent, and states have to face the consequences.
“The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents,” said a statement from the office of Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige, announcing last month that his state’s sign-ups were being turned over to the federal government.
Obamacare never had anything to do with “affordability” or even “health care.” It was merely Hussein’s camel’s nose under the tent, in order to seize control of the insurance industry by forcing the citizens to buy their products, then offer substandard, expensive plans and provide taxpayer subsidies for those who — surprise! — couldn’t afford the new mandates. And now you know what the plan really was all along.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the Obama administration can keep subsidizing premiums in all 50 states through HealthCare.gov, no longer is there a downside for states turning to Washington. If the decision had gone the opposite way, state exchanges would have been a leaky lifeboat for preserving a major expansion of taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the law. With the pressure gone, “I think you are going to see much more of a hybrid across the nation,” said Peter Lee, who heads California’s state-run marketplace. Covered California fell short of its sign-up projections this year by nearly 20 percent, but Lee says it remains “a solid business proposition.”
Obama knew it, the Democrats knew it, some of us knew it. The Supreme Court knew it, too, and twice the justices could have put this unconscionable fraud to sleep, and twice they failed. Thank you, Chief Justice John Roberts.
The betting windows are now open: Hillary! Clinton’s Last Day As a Presidential Candidate. Get your markers down:
Recent surveys suggest that Hillary Clinton may be more reliant on the non-white vote in November 2016 than you might have assumed. A poll released Sunday from NBC/Marist reinforces one from last week by Quinnipiac University that found her to be as unpopular as Donald Trump in key swing states. In Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton’s net favorability — those who view her positively minus those who don’t — was negative-23 and negative-20, respectively.
Among Democrats, we’ll point out, the numbers were much, much higher, which comports with her first-place position in caucus/primary polling in those states. But among all voters? It sinks, matching what Quinnipiac found in Colorado, Iowa and, to a lesser extent, Virginia. Part of this, as we’ve explained before, is that Clinton’s favorability tends to swell when she’s not running for office and dip when she is… notice, too, that her net favorability now is lower than at any point over the last 10 years.
Now there’s a heckuva candidate: the more you see of her, the less you like her. But it all makes sense. Hillary!’s poll numbers were always high based on sheer name-recognition alone; she’s the Kim Kardashian of politicians, and you can’t avoid her even if you wanted to. But when she waddles into your town, looking for your vote, you check to make sure your wallet is secure and your children are safely at home.
A procedural vote Sunday to repeal Obamacare couldn’t win over a majority of the GOP-led Senate, while a bid to revive an obscure exports agency succeeded, delivering twin blows to conservatives as they navigated a thorny path toward a highway bill that’s raised questions about civility and Republican discord in the august chamber.
Allies of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off a kooky weekend session by scolding Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, for flouting the Senate’s rules of comity. The 2016 presidential candidate accused Mr. McConnell on Friday of lying about whether he’d struck a deal to revive the federal Export-Import Bank, which faces a slow death after its charter expired June 30.
“We’re not here on some frolic or to pursue personal ambitions,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, said, adding he worries about the future of the institution.
As I wrote just before the last election, the ideal outcome for conservatives would have been a GOP retaking of the Senate and a loss of McConnell’s seat in Kentucky to Alison Lundergan Grimes. As for Orrin Hatch, I stand by what I wrote over at National Review back in 2012:
Most Republican eyes are on the upcoming Wisconsin June recall election and the fates of Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch, but two other races to watch carefully are the primaries of Senators Dick Lugar of Indiana and Orrin Hatch of Utah. Both men were born in the 1930s and have been in the Senate since 1976. If the GOP is to have a future as a conservative party, it’s time for them to go.
Hatch is the worst kind of Republican establishment figure, who feints to his right when he needs to placate the people he “hates” and then, once safely ensconced in the comfy chair for six more years, resumes pursuit of his first love: Senate “comity.”
Besides, who cares about the “future of the institution,” so aptly characterized by P.J. O’Rourke as a Parliament of Whores? The Senate was changed irrevocably by the passage of the 17th Amendment, one of the disastrous “Progressive-Era” amendments that also gave us Prohibition and the income tax. Now the Senate is controlled by a bunch of time-serving, bum-kissing, arse-protective hacks determined to squelch any views that run afoul of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party.
As many predicted, the procedural vote to repeal Obamacare received only a 49-43 plurality, well short of the 60-vote supermajority needed to limit debate and advance to an up-down vote. The Ex-Im vote easily surmounted that hurdle, 67 votes to 26, clearing the way for it to be added to the bill later on. Twenty-four Republicans and every Democrat who cast a vote Sunday backed the Export-Import Bank measure, while the Obamacare measure fell short on a party-line vote.
It was the first time the Senate voted on Obamacare repeal in this Congress, although its budget assumed the law’s repeal. While the GOP holds the majority, eight lawmakers — five of them Republicans — missed the weekend vote.
The next time you’re tempted to vote Republican because the Democrats are even worse, stop and ask yourself this: in what way?
What began as rumors of state meddling in the food-distribution market in Venezuela were finally confirmed on Monday. The Nicolás Maduro government is compelling the country’s food producers to send up to 100 percent of their output to state-owned distribution centers and stores, in an attempt to solve the nation’s shortage problems.
This according to Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber (CAVIDEA), who explained that the National Agro-Food Superintendency — a governmental entity in charge of managing food distribution in the country — has ordered affiliated firms to send the majority of their products to PDVAL, MERCAL, Bicentenario supermarkets, and other establishments of the state-run network. In Venezuela, the national government manages the distribution of food. It’s the executive, through the ministries, who decides which stores in what part of the country will get the products.
Oil-rich Venezuela should be among the strongest and most civilized nations in Latin America, but of course it’s not: it’s a devolving hellhole of a socialist basket case. Meanwhile, Tim Worstall at Forbes writes to remind the Venezuelans what happened when the Soviets tried the same scheme:
My predicted outcome from this is that Venezuela is now one harvest away from serious starvation.
The point of this history stuff is to see what didn’t work and then not repeat it. Yet Maduro appears to be selecting the very worst public policies of the past as those that he will impose today. Confiscating the food off the farmers is just going to lead to no farmers and no food.
Someone really should tell the President about 1930s Ukraine.
But remember: socialism and communism have never really been tried yet!
Since the end of the war, Germany has had one of the most liberal asylum regimens in Europe. But what was meant as partial atonement for the sins of the Third Reich has now morphed into something increasingly ugly:
Two people were wounded when far-right protesters against the expansion of refugee accommodation in the east German city of Frankfurt an der Oder clashed with counter-demonstrators on Saturday, police said. The evening before, three people were wounded and one person arrested in Dresden, about 190 km (118 miles) away, when around 100 supporters of the right-wing party NPD had an altercation with opponents, police said.
Germany is having to accommodate a record-breaking number of asylum-seekers this year as ever greater numbers flee conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The country expects to receive about 450,000 asylum applications in 2015, more than double from 2014 when around 200,000 people applied.
The government is worried about growing hostility towards immigrants, which has led to demonstrations and some violence towards refugees, including attacks on refugee accommodation. Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 200 assaults on refugee shelters — already more than in the whole of 2014.
“Asylum” was meant to shelter innocent victims of political or religious persecution, not people fleeing their own countries’ econoic or social dysfunction, and was certainly never designed to accommodate cultural aliens arriving in these kinds of numbers.
“As a state, we are swamped with the sheer number of people,” Matthias Kahl, deputy interior minister in the east German state of Brandenburg, home to Frankfurt an der Oder, told Reuters in the city of Eisenhuettenstadt. ”The authorities are overwhelmed with building shelters and housing the people and the communities are overwhelmed with accommodating the children in kindergartens and schools.”
Meanwhile, in Finland, a member of Parliament is in hot water for daring to call for an end to “multiculturalism”:
The leader of the populist Finns Party has so far remained silent after a prominent MP called on his followers to “fight until the end” against the “nightmare called multiculturalism.” Olli Immonen, member of parliament for the northern Finnish town of Oulu, posted his remarks in English on Friday night on Facebook and on the website of the nationalist organisation Suomen Sisu, of which he is the chair.
The MP, an outspoken opponent of immigration who on his website describes the need to fight the “Islamification” of Finland, predicted in his post “’The ugly bubble that our enemies live in will soon enough burst into a million little pieces.” He added that “We will fight until the end for our homeland and one true Finnish nation.”
This is not going to end well.
The remarks drew widespread condemnation from other politicians, who accused him of inciting hatred. However the 29-year-old’s own party leader, Timo Soini, who is also the country’s foreign minister, has so far been unavailable for comment.
That’s what the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank thinks:
Walker then went on to celebrate his triumphs over the demonstrators who objected to his dismantling of Wisconsin’s public-sector unions, portraying the pro-union forces as violent thugs. “Those big government interests — they believe they can win by intimidating elected officials,” he said. “There were amazing things they did to try to intimidate us. The good news is we didn’t back down. We remembered the reason we were elected was not to serve the few in our state capitol, but to serve the masses.”
This is the essence of Walker’s appeal — and why he is so dangerous. He is not as outrageous as Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), but his technique of scapegoating unions for the nation’s ills is no less demagogic. Sixty-five years ago, another man from Wisconsin made himself a national reputation by frightening the country about the menace of communists, though the actual danger they represented was negligible. Scott Walker is not Joe McCarthy, but his technique is similar: He suggests that the nation’s ills can be cured by fighting labor unions (foremost among the “big government special interests” hurting the United States), even though unions represent just 11 percent of the U.S. workforce and have been at a low ebb.
“Dangerous” to a big-government, partisan Democrat like Milbank, maybe. Encouraging to the rest of us.
This year, Walker likened the union protesters in Madison, Wis., to the murderous Islamic State: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” Before that, he described public-sector union members as the “haves” taking advantage of the “have-nots” — the taxpayers.
He denounced the protests against his efforts to undo the unions as “thuggery.” He described collective bargaining as a “corrupt system” and diagnosed union leaders as having a “sense of entitlement.” After beating public-sector unions and surviving recall, Walker this year signed anti-union right-to-work legislation. He has said he doesn’t think the minimum wage serves a purpose, and he has opposed prevailing-wage and living-wage requirements.
Gee, Milbank says this like it’s a bad thing.
President Obama’s plea for gay rights didn’t go over big in his father’s birthplace of Kenya:
President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta sparred over support for gay rights here Saturday, with Obama urging fast changes and Kenyatta saying it was not something Kenyan culture or society would “accept.” Linking LGBT discrimination in Africa to the history of Jim Crow laws in America, Obama said ensuring gay rights must be a priority on a continent — and in a country — where bias against gays is accepted, and violence against gays is common.
Standing by Obama’s side at a joint press conference here in front of the Kenyan state house, Kenyatta repeated what he has said before about gay rights: it’s “a non-issue.” Kenyatta’s remarks were the ones that drew applause among the Kenyan audience.
“For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue. We want to focus on other issues that really are day-to-day issues for our people,” Kenyatta said.
Why an American president should make this “non-issue” a cornerstone of his foreign policy in Africa is open to speculation. Especially given his late conversion to the cause:
Hillary Clinton told reporters Saturday that she never sent or received classified information using her private e-mail server when she served as secretary of state, and that the facts on the issue “are pretty clear.” The Democratic presidential hopeful spoke briefly about the growing controversy surrounding her use of the server after a Democratic gathering at the Madison County Historical Complex in Iowa. Reporters raised the issue during a news conference that followed the event.
“I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” Clinton said. “What I think you’re seeing here is a very typical kind of discussion, to some extent disagreement among various parts of the government, over what should or should not be publicly released.” Clinton reiterated that she wanted the emails in question to be made public as soon as possible, and expressed no opinion as to whether the Department of Justice should investigate.
I realize there’s a whole generation that’s been born and grown up since the first-run of this horror thriller, but do we really want to read headlines about denials, investigations, allegations of criminal wrongdoing, etc. for the next four to eight years? Because with these two, that’s all your going to get.
Clinton reiterated that she wanted the emails in question to be made public as soon as possible, and expressed no opinion as to whether the Department of Justice should investigate. ”They can fight over it or argue over it. That’s up to them. I can tell you what the facts are,” she said.
Thus speaks the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, waddling into history.
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money has been siphoned through charities linked to Hillary Clinton, it emerged last night. British politicians – including Gordon Brown – stand accused of diverting huge amounts of cash through the organisations after falling under the spell of the US presidential candidate and her husband Bill.
At least £50 million of taxpayer-funded foreign aid money has gone to Clinton charities, which are at the centre of allegations in the US that foreign governments used donations to buy influence. The UK is one of the biggest donors, handing over more than £20 million last year alone to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), an organisation chaired by former President Bill, 68, and whose board includes the couple’s daughter Chelsea, 35. Since 2011, a total of £48.9 million has gone into the coffers of this charity alone.
Tory backbenchers say the revelation is symptomatic of the fact that the Department for International Development has so much money to spend that large amounts have to be simply handed to global charities, often leading to huge amounts of waste.
Alas for the Brits, as Hillary!’s sham campaign sputters to a halt, this was not money well-spent. A bright new day in American history is finally dawning, and it doesn’t include either of the Clintons.
Of course they do. In this case, it’s a no-brainer, two-fer: the Times can kick America in the teeth and blame it on the Republicans:
The Army’s plan to cut 40,000 troops, as well as 17,000 civilian employees, over the next two years is unsettling many American communities. Congressmen and senators in the affected districts are railing against the reductions and insisting they will fight to reverse them. But the cutbacks are a sensible and necessary move, and they should not come as a surprise since it was Congress that approved big cuts in federal defense spending.
Plans to shrink the active duty force to 450,000 troops from 490,000 have been known since February 2014 when Chuck Hagel, then the secretary of defense, made the proposal as part of his 2015 military budget. By 2017, the Army, which had 490,000 troops before the Sept 11 attacks and reached 570,000 troops during the Afghan and Iraq wars, will decline to its lowest level since World War II.
Good thing there’s nothing going on the world that might require, you know, an army or anything. And, naturally, the cutbacks will be tough for all those poor morons who were not smart enough to become psychiatrists or Wall Street traders or writers for The Simpsons.
The reductions in troops and civilian staffing will be difficult for those who lose their jobs and for the communities that depend on military bases. The Army has programs that can help ease the transition, including special incentives for troops to retire early. Christopher Preble, a vice president of the Cato Institute, a think tank, says his research shows that many communities where bases are closed and troop levels are reduced “do adapt and recover,” and many eventually emerge with “a robust and more diversified economic base.”
President Obama and Congress need to make sure the Army is well positioned to do its job, but that does not mean maintaining bases and a level of troops that go beyond what the country needs and can afford.
Because, in the “Progressive” world view, that money we waste on national defense could be spent so much more effectively elsewhere.
It’s no longer a question of whether Hillary! Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016; it’s only a question of when she will drop out of the race rather than face humiliation a second time:
Democrats are seeing warning signs after a new poll showed Hillary Clinton losing three swing states and deep in negative territory on questions of character. One Democratic strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity described the poll results as “the canary in the coal mine.” The poll, from Quinnipiac University, surveyed voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. President Obama won all three states in both of his presidential election victories, but they went for former President George W. Bush almost as uniformly in 2004 and 2000. When the pollsters tested Clinton against leading Republican contenders Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, she lost every state to every opponent. Among the most alarming findings, from a Democratic perspective, was the indication that Clinton, widely considered the party’s front-runner, would lose Colorado by 9 points to Walker and would lose by at least 6 points to any of the three candidates in Iowa. Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic consultant who has worked with Clinton in the past but is not involved with her current campaign, described the findings as “absolutely dangerous” for the party.
Losing a state like Colorado by nine points to Scott Walker (who will be the GOP standard-bearer in 2016) would mean an electoral disaster for the Democrats is in the offing. If it’s not close in Colorado or Iowa, it means the Democrats would likely lose every swing state, including Walker’s own Wisconsin, and be confined to their electoral ghettos in New England and on the West Coast.
But it is not just the head-to-head match-ups where Clinton struggles. Other findings are also poor for her, including on the question of whether voters trust her. Those results seem ominous given that the former first lady has been in the public eye for around a quarter-century, making impressions of her more difficult to change. She has also struggled on questions of honesty before. The Quinnipiac poll showed Coloradans asserting by an almost 2-1 margin that Clinton was not honest or trustworthy: 62 percent said she was not, whereas only 34 percent she was. The findings were not much better in either Iowa or Virginia. Respondents distrusted Clinton 59 percent to 33 percent in the former, and 55 percent to 39 percent in latter.
A succession of American presidents have adamantly refused to release Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American spy for Israel who did tremendous damage to the American intelligence community during the late phase of the Cold War and has been in prison since 1987. Now the Obama administration is considering releasing him:
The Obama administration is preparing to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison, according to U.S. officials, some of whom hope the move will smooth relations with Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.
Such a decision would end a decades long fight over Mr. Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. The case has long been a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel, which has argued that a life sentence for spying on behalf of a close U.S. partner is too harsh. Israel has for years sought Mr. Pollard’s early release, only to be rejected by the U.S. Now, some U.S. officials are pushing for Mr. Pollard’s release in a matter of weeks. Others expect it could take months, possibly until his parole consideration date in November.
A parole hearing for Mr. Pollard was held in early July. Mr. Pollard’s lawyer, Eliot Lauer, said he hasn’t heard from the parole commission “and I would expect that either I or my client would be the ones who would be notified.’’ That hearing would have been the moment for the U.S. to object to Mr. Pollard’s pending release. Mr. Lauer wouldn’t say if the government raised objections.
Some U.S. officials strongly denied Friday there was any link between the Iran deal and Mr. Pollard’s prospective release, saying that any decision would be made by the U.S. Parole Commission. A White House spokesman referred questions to the Justice Department, where a spokesman declined to comment on a matter which may be before the Parole Commission. Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declined to comment.
Vox, of all places, has a useful primer on Pollard here:
It’s important to be clear here: There is zero doubt that Pollard stole secret US intelligence and passed it on to Israeli officials. His motivation, however, is a little less clear — which is part of why Pollard has become something of a cause célèbre among Israelis.
If the administration actually does release him, there’s a decent chance it’s about the Iran deal. The administration could be trying to mend frayed ties with Israel in the deal’s wake. It also could be trying to woo pro-Israel lawmakers not to kill the Iran deal.
Prior to the current administration, this would have caused a (very quiet) justifiable furor in the IC –Pollard’s crimes were far more serious, and consequential, than merely “spying for an ally.” But now, with most U.S. “secrets” safely in the hands of the Chinese and other enemies, one might well quote Hillary! Clinton and ask what difference, at this point, does it make?
American officials are concerned that the Chinese government could use the stolen records of millions of federal workers and contractors to piece together the identities of intelligence officers secretly posted in China over the years. The potential exposure of the intelligence officers could prevent a large cadre of American spies from ever being posted abroad again, current and former intelligence officials said. It would be a significant setback for intelligence agencies already concerned that a recent data breach at the Office of Personnel Management is a major windfall for Chinese espionage efforts.
As has often been noted of Barack Obama: if he were working for the other side, what, exactly, would he be doing differently?
The “Progressive” overreach is now heading straight off the cliff — have a nice ride:
Centrist Democrats were wiped out in the 2014 elections and in their absence emerged a resurgent liberal movement, embodied most recently by the surprisingly competitive presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But the suddenly ascendant left — its populist overtones becoming part of the mainstream Democratic pitch — is worrying Democrats who want to compete on Republican-leaning turf. The party lost every competitive gubernatorial and Senate race in the South last year. And Democrats didn’t fare much better in the heartland.
Now, as Bernie Sanders’ surge foreshadows a new burst of progressivism, moderate Democrats are looking to their counterparts in Washington with a plea: Don’t freeze us out. “The national Democratic Party’s brand makes it challenging for Democrats in red states oftentimes and I hope that going forward, the leaders at the national level will be mindful of that and they will understand that they can’t govern the country without Democrats being able to win races in red states,” said Paul Davis, who narrowly failed to unseat Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback last year.
I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen, Mr. Davis. The Democrats are in the grip of a mania that can only end in total victory over the country as founded or their electoral destruction. Given their abysmal track record as the party of slavery, segregation, secularism and sedition, we can only hope it’s the latter.
Britain’s fighter aircraft fleet is set to shrink to its smallest in the RAF’s history as ageing jets retire by the end of the decade, a new analysis warns. Numbers will be squeezed to only around 127 front line combat jets at best under current plans to retire Britain’s Tornado GR4s and early model Typhoons in 2019, before new F-35 stealth fighters arrive.
Defence chiefs have already warned that the RAF’s fast jet fleet is stretched to the limit and the new analysis from IHS Jane’s warns it is “perverse” to cut numbers further. The RAF’s 87 remaining Tornados and 53 tranche 1 Typhoons are scheduled to retire in 2019. By then, only 15 to 20 of the new F-35B jump jets will have arrived according to the analysis. The resulting fleet will be “the lowest number that the RAF will have fielded since its creation in 1918”.
The RAF’s reduced fighter fleet will be made up of technically advanced planes but “no aircraft, no matter how capable, can be in more than one place at any time”, said Gareth Jennings, aviation desk editor at Jane’s. RAF chiefs have already told David Cameron they are struggling to provide enough fast jets to protect UK airspace, patrol the Falklands, bolster Nato flights in Eastern Europe and fly strike missions over Iraq.The analysis says that with those threats unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, “the further loss of UK air power at such a precarious time as this seems somewhat perverse”.
You can say that again. But the current European and American consensus seems to be that the maintenance and expansion of the Welfare State is far more important than the preservation of the State itself. And in any case, what good are RAF fighter jets against an enemy that arrives every day at Heathrow, having flown commercial?
Long-suffering Italians, whose country is bearing the brunt of the “migrant” crisis, have had it:
Migrants arriving at a new shelter outside Rome needed riot police to protect them from far-right activists and furious residents. In the north, locals vandalized a home to keep asylum seekers from moving in. Traditionally a nation of emigrants, Italy is now struggling to absorb a ceaseless influx of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is under pressure to stem the flow and his government is fighting to calm tensions.
Migrant arrivals have already exceeded 85,000 this year, following 170,000 in all of 2014. While many of the newcomers look to move swiftly to wealthier northern Europe, some 85,000 are housed in Italian shelters – up from 60,000 last year… Not a day goes by without reports on the Italian news of rescues, shipwrecks, drownings or crimes by immigrants. EU solidarity has been limited – this week the European Union failed to agree to divvy up 40,000 asylum seekers in Greece in Italy among its members.
Highlighting the friction, residents in the northern town of Quinto di Treviso last week raided neighboring apartments where about 100 migrants were housed, throwing furniture and mattresses into the street and setting them on fire.
Well, when you refuse to conceive the next generation of Italians (Italy’s birthrate is mortally low), the space is going to get occupied by somebody else.
Matthew Continetti at the Free Beacon gets it exactly right about the appeal of The Donald:
A brash showboat and celebrity, self-promoter and controversialist, silly and mocking, a caricature of a caricature, Donald Trump is no one’s idea of a serious presidential candidate. Which is exactly why the radical middle finds him refreshing. Not an iota of him is politically correct, he plays by no rules of comity or civility, he genuflects to no party or institution, he is unafraid of and antagonistic toward the media, and he challenges the conventional wisdom of both parties, which holds that there is no real cost to illegal immigration and to trade with China.
Trump’s foreign policy, such as it is, is like Perot’s directed not toward Eurasia but our southern border. Unlike Perot, whose campaign emphasized the twin deficits of budget and trade, Trump has taken on illegal immigration from Mexico, fighting with both the identity politics left and the cheap labor right, with both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Like Perot too he has seized the public imagination, masterfully exploiting the media’s craving for ratings and for negative portrayals of Republicans, turning CNN into TNN, the Trump News Network, the finest and most exclusive cable channel on air.
Trump would enjoy press coverage no matter what he ran on. But the fact that he has chosen, perhaps unwittingly, illegal immigration to be his cause makes the coverage all the more polarizing, visceral, contentious, spiteful. He dared say what no one of his wealth and prominence ever says—that illegal immigration is not limited to DREAMERs and laborers and aspirational Americans, that it is not always, as Jeb Bush put it, an “act of love,” that also traversing our southern border are criminals, rapists and narcotics traffickers and human smugglers, displaced souls from illiberal cultures who carry with them not only dreams but nightmares, bad habits, and other costly baggage. That his poor phrasing was sickeningly confirmed in early July, when an illegal immigrant who had been deported several times shot Kathryn Steinle dead in broad daylight on a San Francisco pier, only strengthened Trump’s connection to the radical middle. So did the drug lord El Chapo’s escape from prison soon after Mexico received an extradition request from the United States.
Donald Trump will never be president of the United States; conservatives understand that. Nor is he a conservative; conservatives understand that as well. But he is a battering ram, whose crockery smashing can have a salubrious outcome if only conservatives understood that, too.
“60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon was responsible for his own death, the limousine company being sued for the crash that killed him insists in galling new court papers. Simon, 73, understood “all risks and dangers” and “assumed the risk” when he climbed into the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car last February, Skyline Credit Ride says in the Manhattan Supreme Court filing.
Once inside, the legendary newsman “failed to use or misused available seat belts, and thereby contributed to the alleged injuries,” the company claims — an allegation Simon’s side flatly disputes. His behavior constituted “culpable conduct of the plaintiff,” according to the court papers, which claim — without elaborating — that Simon’s injuries were made worse by his “failure to mitigate such injury.”
Given the nature of the society we live in today, but outrageous and entirely believable. From the White House to the outhouse wherein dwell the nation’s lawyers, the Blame Game is the only game in town.
Yet the filing ignores the issue of the black-car driver’s ability — or lack thereof. The driver, Abdul Reshad Fedahi, 44, had nine license suspensions and two speeding convictions on his record — and was driving with one hand because his right arm had been rendered useless due to a suicide attempt.
I hope Simon’s widow takes these guys to the cleaners.
The New York Times fires yet another warning shot over the sinking ship USS Hillary!‘s bow. Apparently, the flat-footed “front-runner” is just not getting the message yet:
Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday. The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton’s private account contained “hundreds of potentially classified emails.” The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.
It is not clear if any of the information in the emails was marked as classified by the State Department when Mrs. Clinton sent or received them. But since her use of a private email account for official State Department business was revealed in March, she has repeatedly said that she had no classified information on the account.
Well, if Herself said so, then what’s the problem? Meanwhile, the Times evinces a bit of frustration that the former first lady’s stately waddle toward the Democrat nomination is still underway:
The initial revelation has been an issue in the early stages of her presidential campaign.
The Justice Department has not decided if it will open an investigation, senior officials said. A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign declined to comment. At issue are thousands of pages of State Department emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private account. Mrs. Clinton has said she used the account because it was more convenient, but it also shielded her correspondence from congressional and Freedom of Information Act requests. She faced sharp criticism after her use of the account became public, and subsequently said she would ask the State Department to release her emails.
The department is now reviewing some 55,000 pages of emails. A first batch of 3,000 pages was made public on June 30. In the course of the email review, State Department officials determined that some information in the messages should be retroactively classified.
The Times understands something about Hillary the rest of the media, which generally has the attention span of a dog, does not: there is no end to the amount of mischief she can get up to, and get away with, if she lies through her teeth, appears to “cooperate” and then drowns the investigators in an ocean of legalisms and “process.”
The New York Times made small but significant changes to an exclusive report about a potential criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s State Department email account late Thursday night, but provided no notification of or explanation for of the changes. The paper initially reported that two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation “into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state.”
That clause, which cast Clinton as the target of the potential criminal probe, was later changed: the inspectors general now were asking for an inquiry “into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.” The Times also changed the headline of the story, from “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email” to “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” reflecting a similar recasting of Clinton’s possible role. The article’s URL was also changed to reflect the new headline.
One of the reporters of the story, Michael Schmidt, explained early Friday that the Clinton campaign had complained about the story to the Times. “It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them,” Schmidt said.
The passive voice is always safer when dealing with the “You can’t prove it!” Clintons, even for the New York Times.
The Daily Signal offers a handy guide to the various companies and charities who help keep the butchery at Planned “Parenthood” well-funded.
In the wake of two videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts, Republicans in Congress are working to ensure that Planned Parenthood is stripped of its federal funding. However, it’s not only the government that fills Planned Parenthood’s coffers. According to 2nd Vote, a website and app that tracks the flow of money from consumers to political causes, more than 25 percent of Planned Parenthood’s $1.3-billion annual revenue comes from private donations, which includes corporate contributions.
2nd Vote researched the corporations and organizations to find which supported Planned Parenthood and found that more than three dozen donated to the group. Some companies donated directly, while others matched employee gifts. Forty-one corporations and organizations directly contribute to the group.
Among the companies are American Express, the Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Ford, Levi Strauss, Macy’s Morgan Stanley and Xerox. Full list at the link. Act accordingly.
UPDATE: Kirsten Powers slams PP here. The New York Times defends selling baby parts — in the name of “research” — here.
As if there were any doubts that Florida is the worst state in the union (although New Jersey does have its partisans), this story in the Daily Beast should put them to rest:
A leprosy outbreak in Florida is being attributed to an unlikely source: armadillos. Nine cases of the disease have been reported thus far in 2015—almost double the usual state rate, which sees an average of 10 diagnoses per year—with the most recent victim citing exposure to the New World mammals.
Armadillos are believed to be the only animal able to carry leprosy—which some scientists believe they contracted from humans hundreds of years ago—and are common across Florida. “We catch more armadillos than we do any other species,” wildlife trapper Kyle Waltz told Action News Jacksonville. “If they’re trying to get out of a cage they can spit on you.” Residents have raised concerns that the critters may bite domestic pets, resulting in bacterial infections akin to those transmitted by rodent bites.
A new case reported in Flagler County, Fla., is the first to be declared in the region for at least 15 years, which has led to fears that contact with the creatures may see infection rates rise even further.
I’ll stick to California.
We know that basically nobody remembers a guy named Barry Obama during his days at Columbia University; now along come some of The Donald’s classmates at Wharton to say the same thing about him:
Donald Trump styles himself a natural-born genius with the academic credentials and business savvy to save the nation. He regularly touts his diploma from the prestigious Wharton business school at the University of Pennsylvania. Profiles in the 1970s and ’80s claimed he ranked No. 1 in his Ivy League class — and Trump has apparently never denied it.
But some former classmates were scratching their heads Tuesday. “He was not first in the class. He was not known on campus for any reason at all,” Wharton classmate Nancy Hano said. “I was one of only five or seven girls in the whole school. Only the smart guys would sit next to the girls because they knew the girls were bright. We never knew about him,” said Hano, now 68 and living in Riverdale in the Bronx. “And there was no ranking,” she said. “If he tries to claim he was first in the class, he should show his transcript.”
Trump, 69, attended Wharton for two years as an undergraduate after transferring from Fordham and graduated in 1968.
“I have no memory of him whatsoever,” Stanton Koppel, another Wharton classmate, said. “If he’s so proud of his accomplishments in school, he should back up his claims. Let’s see the record,” Koppel said. Trump is listed in the 1968 yearbook only as a student from Jamaica Estates, Queens, who didn’t have a senior photo.
Somebody please tell us when our long national nightmare is going to be over.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s economic agenda targets companies that focus on short-term profits and high-speed trading instead of investing in workers. The Democratic presidential candidate’s finance operation is going after their executives for another purpose — donations. A day after proposing higher capital gains taxes on short-term investors, Clinton raised at least $450,000 Tuesday night at the Chicago home of Raj Fernando, a longtime donor. His firm, Chopper Trading, specializes in high-frequency transactions and was recently purchased by Chicago-based competitor DRW.
Clinton’s summertime fundraising circuit highlights a central tension of her campaign: how to encourage financial executives to open their wallets for her presidential effort even as she comes out with plans aimed at reining multimillion-dollar paychecks. Since her first presidential campaign in 2008, income inequality has become a bigger force in Democratic politics, with liberal voters clamoring for candidates who will take a sharply populist turn and enforce tough new regulations on Wall Street.
“Hypocrisy” is a term much beloved on the Left, where they accuse conservatives of it all the time. Their own, however, bothers them not in the slightest. Everybody, and I do mean everybody, knew that Obama didn’t mean when he said he was against gay marriage, or that he couldn’t unilaterally order amnesty for illegal aliens. Like partners in a fixed poker game, the Left sends signals to each other while they fleece the rubes. Who, by the way, are us.
The New York Times has never met a thugocracy opposed to American and Western civilization it didn’t want to find at least one thing good about, whether it was the plethora of opera houses in East Germany or “health care” in Soviet Russia and communist Cuba. So it was just a matter of time before they found something to admire about ISIS:
The Islamic State uses terror to force obedience and frighten enemies. It has seized territory, destroyed antiquities, slaughtered minorities, forced women into sexual slavery and turned children into killers.
You do know there’s a “but” coming, right?
But its officials are apparently resistant to bribes, and in that way, at least, it has outdone the corrupt Syrian and Iraqi governments it routed, residents and experts say. “You can travel from Raqqa to Mosul, and no one will dare to stop you even if you carry $1 million,” said Bilal, who lives in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, and, out of fear, insisted on being identified only by his first name. “No one would dare to take even one dollar.”
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, initially functioned solely as a terrorist organization, if one more coldblooded even than Al Qaeda. Then it went on to seize land. But increasingly, as it holds that territory and builds a capacity to govern, the group is transforming into a functioning state that uses extreme violence — terror — as a tool.
And there you have the Leftist world view in a nutshell.
A second shocking video in as many weeks has been released showing a top Planned Parenthood official discussing and arranging the sale of body parts of aborted babies. The first video shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted unborn children and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.
In this video, Mary Gatter, the Medical director at Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley in Calfiornia, discusses selling aborted baby body parts with undercover investigators posing as officials with a biotech company that acts as a middleman to sell aborted baby body parts to universities and other places that conduct such research. Gatter is a senior official within Planned Parenthood and is President of the Medical Directors’ Council, the central committee of all Planned Parenthood affiliate medical directors.
Gatter discusses the pricing of aborted baby body parts — telling the biotech company officials that the prices for such things as a baby’s liver, head or heart are negotiable. She also tells the officials that she could talk with the Planned Parenthood abortion practitioners to potentially alter the abortion procedure to kill the baby in a way that would best preserve those body parts after the unborn child is killed in the abortion.
The video shows Gatter haggling over payments for intact fetal specimens and offering to use a “less crunchy technique” to get more intact body parts.
Satan’s greatest triumph has been in convincing women it’s a positive good for them to kill their own babies. But selling them for parts? When you have to use euphemisms for murder and dismemberment, you’re in Dr. Mengele/Unit 731 territory. So it goes in a “fundamentally transformed” America these days.
In a large and varied Republican field, there may be no more confounding presidential candidate than John Kasich. In the 1990s, he was part of the conservative revolution on Capitol Hill. As Ohio governor, he has cut income taxes and government regulation, battled organized labor and approved new restrictions on abortion and voting rights. He also spared several inmates facing execution, supported higher taxes on cigarettes and fracking and horrified conservatives by expanding healthcare access under the Affordable Care Act, throwing in a lecture on what it means to be a good Christian.
“When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich said. “But he’s going to ask what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.”
Speak for yourself, John. Jesus wasn’t talking about Big Government when he advocated for the poor.
His political unpredictability, late start and relatively meager fundraising make Kasich a distinct underdog in the GOP contest. He may not even qualify for the first presidential debate next month in Cleveland. But as the two-term governor prepares to formally launch his White House bid Tuesday, one of the largest questions surrounding his candidacy is a personal one: Is Kasich too abrasive to be elected president?
Stories abound of his gruff persona, of a prickly meeting with local reporters in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary; of lashing out at a wealthy GOP donor who questioned his embrace of Obamacare; of threatening lobbyists in Columbus, the state capital, if they obstructed his efforts. “If you’re not on the bus, we’ll run over you with the bus,” he told them two days after he was elected governor. “And I’m not kidding.”
Kasich’s willingness to break with conservatives, by, among other things, defending the federal education standards known as Common Core and backing a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, ensure he will, at the least, stand out.
What it ensures is that he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell. And, in any case, don’t we already have enough GOP pols “willing to break with conservatives,” starting with John McCain and Jeb Bush?
On Thursday, the Australian Federal Government announced a very new kind of war – one against cats. Gregory Andrews, the country’s Threatened Species Commissioner, claims that feral cats are the “single biggest threat” to Australia’s mammals. ”Of the 29 mammals that we’ve lost to extinction, feral cats are implicated in 28 out of those 29 extinctions,” Andrews told an Australian radio program of the new initiative. “It has been a problem that’s been neglected. So feral cats have spread across our country over the last 200 years.”
At the Melbourne Zoo on Thursday, Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt unveiled the five-year plan, which is aimed at protecting the country’s native bird and mammal populations, many faced with imminent extinction.
According to People, at least two million of the beasts are marked for death by 2020. Cat lovers are. predictably, outraged, but it’s about time somebody did something about the disgusting invasive species, which is responsible for the mass destruction of native birds and other wildlife in Australia (and everywhere else, for that matter), as well carrying a brain parasite that infects humans and makes them nuts.
“Cat ownership in childhood has now been reported in three studies to be significantly more common in families in which the child is later diagnosed with schizophrenia or another serious mental illness,” E. Fuller Torrey, of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, and Dr. Robert Yolken, of Stanley Laboratory of Developmental Neurovirology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a news release.
Okay, that viral video is apparently a parody, but you get the idea. As a piece in Vox recently put it:
Compared to dogs, scientists have found, cats don’t seem to have the same sort of emotional attachment to their owners, and show genuine affection far less often than you might think. Further, they’re an environmental disaster, killing literally billions of birds in the US every year — many of them from endangered species.Most alarmingly (and as explained in this 2012 Atlantic article), there’s compelling evidence that a parasite often found in cat feces can subtly change people’s personalities over time, increasing rates of neuroticism, schizophrenia, and perhaps even suicide.In other words, research is telling us that cats are selfish, unfeeling, environmentally devastating creatures.
Plus, should you die suddenly at home, your cat will eat you in a heartbeat.
Friends don’t let friends get cats.
Everybody knows the end game for Obamacare is a “single-payer” — i.e., taxpayer — system in which all medical issues are controlled by the federal government. Bonus side effect: bankrupting state governments along the way! Read it and weep:
More than a dozen states that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act have seen enrollments surge way beyond projections, raising concerns that the added costs will strain their budgets when federal aid is scaled back starting in two years. Some lawmakers warn the price of expanding the health care program for poor and lower-income Americans could mean less money available for other state services, including education.
In Kentucky, for example, enrollments during the 2014 fiscal year were more than double the number projected, with almost 311,000 newly eligible residents signing up. That’s greater than what was initially predicted through 2021. As a result, the state revised its Medicaid cost estimate from $33 million to $74 million for the 2017 fiscal year. By 2021, those costs could climb to a projected $363 million.
“That is a monstrous hole that we have got to figure out how to plug, and we don’t know how to do it,” said Kentucky state Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Republican who leads the Senate budget committee and opposed expansion. “The two biggest things that keep me up at night are state pensions and the cost of expanded Medicaid.”
For patients who have only recently gained access to health care, the program is about far more than dollars and cents. And supporters downplay the budget concerns, pointing to studies that indicate the economic benefits of expanding health care will result in significant savings over time.
Yeah, right. Isn’t that what the statist Left always says?
Supporters of the expansion, including Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, predict their states will save money in the long run because Medicaid will allow some state-run services to be eliminated and will stimulate the economy through new revenues and job creation. Beshear, a Democrat, released a study earlier this year touting the creation of 12,000 jobs and nearly $1.2 billion in new revenue to health care providers as a result of expansion.
Thirty states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid, or plan to do so, to include all adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, currently $16,243 for an individual.
So the bean counters and the nose counters have now merged and nerds with pocket protectors will be calculating the exact level of your federal benefits based upon scientific mathematical formulas while the supply of doctors shrinks and…
In states where ongoing discussions over Medicaid expansion have yet to be resolved, opponents are quick to cite the surging enrollments and costs. Last month, Republicans in the Florida House repeatedly warned about the costs before soundly defeating an expansion bill. ”Every piece of metrics and data we have seen has showed the Medicaid rolls have exploded,” said state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia. “And it’s putting taxpayers and future prosperity at risk.”
Well, that’s the whole idea.
At some point, the country is going to snap. We may be getting very close to that point now:
Paula Proxmire was surrounded by screaming street preachers, angry protesters and unsettled mourners who had just arrived from Sunday church. Her son, Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, had died Saturday from wounds suffered in a shooting rampage here. The attacker was an aimless, depressed 24-year-old Muslim man whose online postings suggest he may have been motivated by radical Islamist movements.
Proxmire stood across from the bullet-riddled Armed Forces Recruiting Center, one of two military sites attacked by the gunman last week. She brushed back a strand of sweat-soaked hair and sobbed. Her son had been dead for barely one day. Around her people were screaming.
“I can’t believe these people even come here to this country!” one woman yelled. “Why do they come here?”
“Because they want to kill us,” a man answered.
“How many more mothers have to go through this before we finally do something about it?” yelled Darrell Gibbs, 55, pastor at Highways and Hedges Ministries. “How many mothers have to suffer like this, having cameras shoved down their throats?”
The attack in Chattanooga, and the raw anger it has provoked here, illustrate the increasingly daunting odds that U.S. counterterrorism agencies face in an era marked by surging Islamist propaganda and a proliferation of disparate, self-radicalized, one-off threats.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the truth. Forget the usual media psycho-blather about “depression.” And forget the willful blindness of the “one-off threat” remark. The shooter in Chattanooga was simply a holy Muslim, a member of the ummah falsely hiding behind U.S. “citizenship,” following the dictates of his “faith” — a faith that is posing a clear and present danger to the United States right here at home.
We’ve now lost 34 people serving in uniform on Barack Obama’s watch, and there are 54 other servicemen and women carrying wounds from attacks on domestic military facilities. Several of the top Republican Presidential candidates are calling to rescind that policy. While some are incorrectly blaming Bill Clinton for the policy, the current version of the regulation most accurately dates to George H.W. Bush, and variations of it date back to Nixon. All of that is irrelevant, however.
What matters is that we’ve now had five mass shootings on military facilities during Barack Obama’s presidency. The policies, originally designed to mitigate the risk of negligent discharges, may have worked from the time of Nixon up until the time we started seeing credible threats of attacks on domestic military facilities.
Now that we have almost 90 casualties (not including a dozen more injured attempting to flee these attacks), it is long past time for President Obama to direct the Department of Defense to adopt a new policy that strikes a balance between force protection and mitigating accidents. The Los Angeles Times asked me to propose a solution and so I have. We need to protect those who protect us.
A good place to start would be to curtail all Muslim immigration until further notice and to instantly deport the families of those “soldiers of Allah” who engage in acts of war. The philo-Islamic Obama administration — hey, maybe that middle name, “Hussein,” should have been a dead giveaway — won’t do it, so it’s up to Congress. Which means it’s up to us to regain control of our borders and our nation before it’s too late.
Norway’s a wonderful country with a population about the size of Brooklyn and Queens combined, filled with gorgeous landscapes and even more gorgeous women. But, seriously…
Anders Behring Breivik, the convicted Norwegian killer, has been admitted to the University of Oslo’s political science program, the university’s rector said Friday. Breivik, 36, is a right-wing extremist serving 21 years in prison for killing 77 people in a politically motivated bomb-and-gun attacks in 2011. The sentence can be extended when it expires.
“All inmates in Norwegian prisons are entitled to higher education in Norway if they meet the admission requirements,” university rector Ole Petter Ottersen said Friday in an email to The Associated Press. Breivik’s application was rejected two years ago after the university said his qualifications were insufficient. That submission stirred a debate in Norway over whether someone convicted of such a horrific crime should be considered for higher education. Breivik will remain in his cell to study.
No, really –
Norway has a rehabilitation-focused justice system aimed at helping inmates prepare for life after they get out, which includes giving them the right to higher education. Prior to the 2011 massacres, Breivik attended high schools in Norway and took an online course in small business management. He didn’t complete secondary education, but has been working on it since his 2012 conviction. ”He then didn’t meet the admission requirements. Now his grades live up to what is expected,” university spokeswoman Marina Tofting said.
As Norway’s ethnic composition changes, let’s see how long this sort of “rehabilitation” lasts.
Anybody who knew anything about the Balkans knew that Bill Clinton’s extra-legal intervention on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims against the Orthodox Christian Serbs was a terrible idea; the area’s ancient, tripartite (the western Christian Croats are also part of the mix) religious divisions date back to the schism within Christianity and the invasion of large swaths of eastern and central Europe by Muslim Turks. The Turks were eventually thrown back and out of almost everywhere in Europe, with the exception of what became Albania and in Kosovo. To this day, Bulgarians, Romanians and Hungarians celebrate their deliverance from Islam — and know exactly why it must be resisited, tooth and nail. Allowing the Serbs to crush the Muslims of Yugoslavia — especially Muslims occupying one of Orthodox Christianity’s holiest sites — would have been merely the final touches on a long war against darkness and brutality. So, thanks, Bill Clinton, for leaving this dagger in the heart of Europe:
Islamic State have established a stronghold in mainland Europe, a Sunday Mirror investigation reveals. Terrorists are secretly buying land in an isolated village, surrounded by deep woodland. Security services think the area in Bosnia is used for ISIS training camps and could be a base for devastating terror attacks on the West. Crucially, the location gives IS a key strategic position due to its proximity to the Mediterranean which is used by extremists from Syria, Iraq and North Africa.
At least 12 ISIS fighters trained in the village of Osve have left for Syria in recent months and five are reported to be dead. Terror expert Dzevad Galijasevic said: “From this village a large number of people went to Syria and are going constantly. It is understood that notorious ISIS supporter Harun Mehicevic is among fanatics who bought land in the area. He has purchased two hectares. Mehicevic fled Bosnia during the 1990s Balkan wars and settled in Melbourne, Australia, where he is considered one of the country’s most dangerous men.
In one ranting sermon, he reportedly told an audience of potential recruits: “Allah will help the mujahideen (holy warriors) establish an Islamic State where Muslims can live with dignity and honour.” Other known terrorists believed to have bought land in the village include Jasin Rizvic and Osman Kekic, who are both now fighting with ISIS in Syria.
Muslim leader Izet Hadzic – arrested by Bosnia’ and Herzegovina’s security service Sipa in a raid – is also understood to have property in the village, as have many others who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. One villager told our investigators that locals fear the area is a “nest for terrorists”.
All utterly predictable.
UPDATE: a few commenters below seem to think I am “advocating genocide” by putting the Bosnia War into the historically complex context of the Balkans and the front-line battle that has been waged there — and is still being waged there — between the West and Islam. I am not. You can read all about the 14th-century Battle of Kosovo here, which provides the background for what, believe it or not, happened half a millennium later. Memories are very long in the Balkans, tribal loyalty is fierce, and the borders keep shifting around.
My larger points are two 1) we should have stayed out of the conflict — as was official American policy for four years following the breakup of Yugoslavia — just as we did in the horrific civil war in Rwanda, and 2) an Islamic terrorist enclave in the heart of Europe is not a good thing.
Scott Walker, along with Ted Cruz and perhaps a handful of others on the Right, understands the pernicious nature of the kind of “bipartisanship” that has give us the likes of Poppy and W. Bush, and is currently exemplified in the current entitled scion, Jeb. It’s a terrible, undemocratic idea:
The town hall attendee asked for the microphone to pose this question to newly announced presidential candidate Scott Walker: Americans are fed up with the partisan gridlock in Washington, so what would he do as president to “end the partisanship and parochialism that is really stifling this great country”?
Walker is best-known for fighting Democrats, labor unions and liberal activists in Wisconsin, where he is the purple state’s polarizing governor. Many Democrats feel like Walker has bulldozed over them and ignored their concerns in pushing his conservative agenda. Many Democratic lawmakers in Madison are so angered by the governor that they have difficulty making it through a budget hearing, press conference or even a casual coffee without launching into a frustrated tirade about everything he has done wrong in their state. Walker’s announcement immediately prompted criticism from prominent Democrats, something he has bragged about on the campaign trail.
So here’s how Walker answered that town hall question: “As I talk to people across this country — not just the Republican caucus voters and primary voters but to people in general — what people are frustrated with more so than that, I think it’s elevated higher, is they’re frustrated particularly with Washington not being able to get anything done.”
Walker said his secret to winning three elections in four years, including a controversial recall election, is that he not only carried nearly all Republicans, but he also won over independent voters. Elsewhere, Walker has also said that he won over some “discerning Democrats.”
“What I think people are hungry for from their leaders in Washington — or the lack of leadership in Washington — is they want people who just tell them what they’re going to do and then they go off and do it,” Walker said.
The Trump boomlet (which eventually will peter out) speaks exactly to that sense of frustration, just as the Buchanan and Perot boomlets did before it. Still, every normal American feels these days like he is living in an insane asylum of shadow over substance; of words and gestures and “nuance,” in which just about every politician turns out to be a self-aggrandizing, lying weasel. And they’re right. Maybe Walker will turn out to be one as well. But up to this point, his track record speaks for itself. Which is more than can be said of just about every other candidate in the race so far.
Meghan McCain, the political scion who has won public fame as a blogger, commentator and TV-show host, will join Fox News Channel as a contributor, Variety has learned. A spokesperson for the network confirmed the hire. McCain is expected to contribute to the network’s primetime and daytime programming.
McCain, the oldest daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain, a Republican, joins as Fox News Channel, like other news outlets, heads into a frenzied pre-season for the 2016 election for U.S. President. Already, more than a dozen different candidates for the Republican nomination have thrown their hat into the ring.
McCain, who has identified as a Republican in the past, could well offer the viewpoint of a different member of that political party: one hailing from the millennial generation. She has in the past championed gay rights and come out against anti-immigration legislation, and has publicly challenged commentators like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. She has in her writings expressed ambivalence about Sarah Palin, the former Fox News contributor who ran for U.S. Vice President alongside her father, and admiration for Hillary Clinton, who is now vying for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President.
McCain most recently was a host for “TakePart Live,” a talk-show on cable’s Pivot network that urged viewers to get involved with various social causes. She was also the focus of “Raising McCain,” a Pivot talk show that took her on the road. Both were cancelled.
Look for the “political scion” to meet the same fate on Fox, but enough with the nepotism, already. On both sides.
Remind me again who’s winning the “War on Terror.”
Did I miss something? Was the world clamoring for self-driving cars? Which moron thought this up?
Google revealed that one of its self-driving car prototypes was involved in an injury accident for the first time. In the collision, a Lexus sport utility vehicle that the tech giant outfitted with sensors and cameras was rear-ended in Google’s home city of Mountain View, where more than 20 prototypes have been self-maneuvering through traffic.
The three Google employees on board complained of minor whiplash, were checked out at a hospital and cleared to go back to work after the July 1 collision, Google said. The driver of the other car also complained of neck and back pain.
In California, a person must be behind the wheel of a self-driving car being tested on public roads to take control in an emergency. Google typically sends another employee in the front passenger seat to record details of the ride on a laptop. In this case, there was also a back seat passenger.
Google has invested heavily as a pioneer of self-driving cars, technology it believes will be safer and more efficient than human drivers.
What could possibly go wrong?