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As Iraq Falls to ISIS, Whose Side Is Obama On?

Friday, May 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

I think we all know the answer to that question. Eli Lake reports:

The U.S. watched Islamic State fighters, vehicles and heavy equipment gather on the outskirts of Ramadi before the group retook the city in mid-May. But the U.S. did not order airstrikes against the convoys before the battle started. It left the fighting to Iraqi troops, who ultimately abandoned their positions.

U.S. intelligence and military officials told me recently, on the condition of anonymity, that the U.S. had significant intelligence about the pending Islamic State offensive in Ramadi. For the U.S. military, it was an open secret even at the time.

The Islamic State had been contesting territory in and around Ramadi for more than a year and had spoken of the importance of recapturing the city. The U.S. intelligence community had good warning that the Islamic State intended a new and bolder offensive on Ramadi because it was able to identify the convoys of heavy artillery, vehicle bombs and reinforcements through overhead imagery and eavesdropping on chatter from local Islamic State commanders. It surprised no one, one U.S. intelligence official told me.

Other observers were willing to speak on the record about how many had seen the Islamic State’s assault on Ramadi coming. “The operations on Ramadi have been ongoing for 16 months,” said Derek Harvey, a former intelligence adviser to David Petraeus when he commanded the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq. Harvey said many observers had seen the Islamic State’s series of probing attacks and psychological operations aimed at the Iraqi army and local tribes: “Everyone knew that Ramadi for some reason was a major focus.” He conceded that he did not know the exact timing of the Ramadi offensive beforehand and acknowledged that he was surprised at how effective the operations were.

He’s not even trying to hide his contempt for America any more, is he?

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In NYC, Democrat-Commie Coalition Starting to Fracture

Friday, May 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

When thieves fall out:

There’s a revolt brewing in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political base. Black church leaders are so furious at some of de Blasio’s policies that they’re actively looking for a candidate to run against him in 2017 — and leading their list is popular Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Pastors told The Post on Thursday they’re steamed over de Blasio’s handling of the NYPD, for not providing enough city contracts to minority-run businesses and for tilting affordable-housing policies toward developers.

“There’s a lot of displeasure with de Blasio,” said the Rev. Johnnie Green of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. “In all of the political circles in the black community, there is a constant discussion about the failures of the de Blasio administration.” He added, “We are looking for a suitable candidate to run against de Blasio next time around.”

Since the days of Tammany Hall, it’s all about the swag.

A May 12 Quinnipiac University poll found 44 percent of voters citywide thought de Blasio was doing a good job. But among black voters, the figure was 68 percent — precisely double that of white voters. Political analysts say a challenge from a credible, liberal black candidate such as Jeffries would be a ­political nightmare for de Blasio.

“The biggest threat the mayor could face is a progressive African-American in a Democratic primary,” said political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “His problem is the left — not the right or the center.”

Enjoy it, New Yorkers — you voted for it, you’ve earned it and you deserve it.

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From Vox, of Course, the Dumbest Idea for a Holiday Yet

Friday, May 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Really must be read to be believed:

Memorial Day and Veterans Day often get equated, but there is an essential distinction between the two. Veterans Day honors all who have served the American military in wars. Memorial Day honors those who’ve perished. It’s an annual reminder that wars have grave human costs, which must be both recognized and minimized.

Those costs are not inevitable. We ought to also set aside time to remember those throughout American history who have tried hardest to reduce them, to prevent unnecessary loss of life both American and foreign: war resisters.

World War I, Vietnam, the Mexican War… you know the drill. We need statues honoring such noble figures as Eugene V. Debs, Emma Goldman and other socialist-anarchists! In conclusion:

The US is a long way away from accepting, say, a memorial for those who deserted the military or dodged the draft during Vietnam. Merely deciding to spare them prosecution was controversial enough — and their counterparts from Iraq and Afghanistan still face the possibility of jail time for refusing to kill. Even the more modest step of honoring those who tried to stop war through peaceful means — organized protest, tax evasion, other forms of civil disobedience —would likely be a tall order. The Vietnam War Memorial faced tremendous opposition upon its unveiling for not being an uncritical celebration of the conflict.

But some wars aren’t worth fighting. Some causes aren’t worth sacrificing American lives for. Those who’ve fought to remind the government of those basic facts deserve our respect and our thanks.

I give up. It’s time to stop resisting the arc of history and turn the country completely over to the Barry Husseins and Ezra Kleins of the world and see how well they run it. Or how long it lasts.

 

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News You Can Use: No Longer Open Season on Basques in Iceland

Friday, May 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

It’s okay now, all you euskaldunak, you can visit Reykjavik again:

In late April, one of the world’s strangest laws was quietly revoked. Authorities in Iceland’s Westfjords district, the scenic northwestern corner of the Scandinavian island nation, repealed a 400-year-old decree ordering the death on sight of any Basque person found in the region.

What???

This old grudge stems from a grisly incident in 1615, when misunderstandings and suspicions between locals and a group of shipwrecked whalers from what’s now the northern coast of Spain led to the slaughter of 32 Basques. The decree was ordered by the district’s bloodthirsty magistrate. Of course, newer laws have since been put in place, and no person from the Basque country has been in actual danger for a very long time.

Good to know!

“The decision to do away with the decree was more symbolic than anything else,” Westfjords district commissioner Jonas Gudmundsson told reporters last month. “We have laws, of course, and killing anyone — including Basques — is forbidden these days.”

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Cell Phone? Ankle Bracelet? What’s the Difference?

Friday, May 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Time was when a fella could light out for the territories, drop off the grid, hit the road and be gone. No more. Today, your mobile phone broadcasts your whereabouts constantly, so good luck with holing up in the Painted Desert and waiting for the fuss to blow over. Even the messenger aps rat you out:

If you use Facebook Messenger on an Android phone you might want to check your settings. The app tracks and sends your location to everyone you chat with — by default. You can turn off location tracking and sharing by clicking the compass icon above the Like button in your chat threads. If the icon is blue, the feature is on.

A Facebook spokesman told CNNMoney the app only tracks you if the app is open, and if you’re in a specific conversation thread. He said the app does not track location if Messenger is running in the background.

No, the phone itself does that all by itself, as long as it’s on. But why make it easier for snoops and stalkers?

If you want to be safe, open the Settings tab within the Android app and disable location completely. Though the default is “off” on an iPhone, you can also disable location tracking in iOS by going into Settings>Privacy>Location>Services, and set the option to “Never.”

Many people were not aware of the default setting until this week, when a Harvard computer science student launched a Chrome extension that can plot Messenger location data on a map.

“The latitude and longitude coordinates of the message locations have more than 5 decimal places of precision, making it possible to pinpoint the sender’s location to less than a meter,” Aran Khanna wrote on his Medium blog.

Here’s what Khanna has to say:

As you may know, when you send a message from the Messenger app there is an option to send your location with it. What I realized was that almost every other message in my chats had a location attached to it, so I decided to have some fun with this data. I wrote a Chrome extension for the Facebook Messenger page (https://www.facebook.com/messages/) that scrapes all this location data and plots it on a map.

Go ahead and see how many messages in your chats have locations attached. I’m guessing it’s a lot of them. And if this isn’t already starting to get a bit weird, the first thing I noticed when I started to write my code was that the latitude and longitude coordinates of the message locations have more than 5 decimal places of precision, making it possible to pinpoint the sender’s location to less than a meter. Once the extension was written I naturally started seeing what kind of things I could discover about my Facebook friends.

Read the whole thing; it’s fascinating. And it may make you think twice about Facebook.

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In Days of Old, When Knights Were Bold

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Our image of medieval knights is one of slow, ponderous, clunky men in heavy armor, whaling away at each other with broadswords. Au contraire!

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Cool, huh?

 

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Why You Should Care About Evenwel v. Abbott

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

One of the ways the Left seizes and controls political power in the United States is by capturing the big cities in states like California, New York and Illinois, thus delivering the entire state to the Democrats when it comes to the Electoral College and rendering the hapless residents upstate, downstate or in the 99 percent of the Golden State not located in San Francisco and West Los Angeles effectively disenfranchised. But a case from Texas, which the Supreme Court just agreed to hear, could change all that:

The case — known as Evenwel v. Abbott — is arising from Texas. It’s about whether voting power has to be apportioned equally by general population or by eligible voters. The impact could extend way beyond the Lone Star State, shifting political power away from cities. Particularly cities with relatively high, non-voting immigrant populations like — oh, say — New York. The case has the potential to require authorities to strip away during the redistricting process population that isn’t eligible to vote — undocumented aliens, felons, children.

Edward Blum is the conservative constitutional sage who heads the Project on Fair Representation, which provided counsel in this case. He tells me the Nine could force redistricting. The court could, he said, “help upstate New York districts dramatically…” Slate.com is already suggesting that a victory by Mr. Blum’s clients — two Texas voters who feel under-represented — could mean “more Republican districts.” This is because most states apportion districts based on total population, which, Slate says, “includes noncitizens, children, felons and others ineligible to vote.”

What a good idea: make the Left eat its “one man, one vote” fetish — oh, how they hate the fact that the states are equally represented in the U.S. Senate, no matter how large or small they are. Soon enough, we will hear the predictable howls. In the meantime, let’s all thank Justice Clarence Thomas:

The Justices’ move into the Texas Senate redistricting case comes fourteen years after Justice Clarence Thomas, in Chen v. City of Houston in May 2001, was the sole member of the Court who went on record in favor of sorting out “what measure of population should be used for determining whether the population is equally distributed among the districts.”

The usual choice considered by legislatures is to make districts more or less equal by dividing up shares of the state’s total population, or, as an alternative, to draw lines based upon some measure of the voting members of the population — such as the numbers actually registered to vote.

Two Texas voters, who wound up in state senate districts where they say their votes will count less than the votes in another district even though each of those districts has about the same total number of people, argued that this contradicts the “one-person, one-vote” guarantee of voter equality. Their votes would have counted equally, they contended, if the legislature instead had used voting-age population as the measure.

Given that Obama is intent with flooding the country with non-citizens, this could be big — a real chance for the American people to take back their country again.

 

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Sid Vicious and Hillary! — Together Again

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Hillary! really must be wishing right about now that she had tabled her presidential aspirations and just run off with the swag:

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned about $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the arrangement.

Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.

While Blumenthal’s foundation job focused on highlighting the legacy of Clinton’s presidency, some officials at the charity questioned his value and grumbled that his hiring was a favor from the Clintons, according to people familiar with the foundation. They say that, during a 2013 reform push, Blumenthal was moved to a consulting contract that came with a similar pay rate but without benefits — an arrangement that endured until March.

Everything with these people is a racket — hardly surprising given Bill Clinton’s upbringing in the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization town of Hot Springs, Ark.

A Clinton loyalist who first earned the family’s trust as an aggressive combatant in the political battles of the 1990s, Blumenthal continues to work as a paid consultant to two groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign — American Bridge and Media Matters — both of which are run by David Brock, a close ally of both Clinton and Blumenthal.

Yet Blumenthal’s financial and personal connections to the Clintons and their allies have emerged as subjects of intense scrutiny as Clinton seeks to gain momentum for her presidential campaign. The memos — and Blumenthal’s concurrent work for the foundation, the Brock groups and a pair of businesses seeking potentially lucrative contracts in Libya — underscore the blurred lines between her State Department work and that of her family’s charitable and political enterprises.

“Blurred lines.” Yeah, right. They couldn’t be clearer if they were marked in Day-Glo chartreuse.

Blumenthal has been subpoenaed by the U.S. House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and Clinton’s handling of it. He is expected to testify next week about a series of memos containing sometimes specious intelligence on the situation in Libya, which he sent to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account.

The committee is said to be interested in exploring Blumenthal’s connections to any entity that may have stood to benefit from Clinton’s decisions in Libya. Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) also wants to probe how seriously the State Department took Blumenthal’s advice, which recently released emails show were met with skepticism at times.

This won’t stop until the American people finally rise up and stop it.

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Obama’s Lawless Immigration ‘Overhaul’ in Legal Limbo

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Good:

President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, which he announced in a prime-time speech to the nation last November, may remain under a cloud of legal uncertainty until months before he leaves office in 2017, legal experts and administration officials said Wednesday.

Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they would not ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs — which seek to provide work permits and deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants — while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts. That legal battle may extend for a year or more, officials said, undermining any hope of putting the president’s plan into effect until right before the 2016 election.

Well, the whole point of the plan is to Cloward-Piven the electoral system and flood the nation with illegals from Mexico and elsewhere under the false flag of “compassion” while de facto legalizing those who are already here, thus affording the Democrats even more shock troops in their war on the nation as founded.

“The timing is critical,” said Stephen H. Legomsky, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “If the process drags on until the summer of 2016, then implementation becomes very difficult.” The inability to quickly put into effect the president’s reforms is another severe blow to Hispanic activists, who had successfully lobbied Mr. Obama to take bold executive action in the face of Republican opposition to comprehensive changes in immigration law.

In a statement, officials from the Justice Department said they disagreed with a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that continues to block the president’s immigration actions. But they said the government will fight on the merits of the program, rather than push for permission to carry it out immediately.

“The department believes the best way to achieve this goal is to focus on the ongoing appeal on the merits of the preliminary injunction itself,” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

Somehow I doubt this will be the last Obama action “under a cloud of legal uncertainty” before this wretched administration ends.  Meanwhile, let’s hope the lower courts stick to their guns.

 

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Bill and Hillary! Learn the Meaning of RICO

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Leave it to Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch to finally connect the dots regarding Clinton Inc.

Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have been hit with a racketeering lawsuit in Florida court. The lawsuit, filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, includes a legal request to have the Florida judge seize the private server on which Hillary Clinton and her aides hosted their emails while she served as secretary of state. Klayman has filed dozens of lawsuits against the Clintons and other prominent politicians.

The racketeering, influenced and corrupt organizations, or RICO, case alleges the former first couple and their family philanthropy traded political favors for donations or generous speaking fees for Bill Clinton while his wife was the nation’s chief diplomat.

Honestly, the pretzels into which the media has tied itself trying not to see a clear pattern of criminal behavior — and instead fretting about “the appearance of impropriety,” to use the current cliche — is truly amazing. It’s obvious what’s going on here:

“Negotiations by email about influencing U.S. foreign policy or U.S. Government actions to benefit donors to … The Clinton Foundation or sponsors of speaking engagements would not be captured on a U.S. Government email account because her emails would not be with a U.S. Government official,” Klayman said in court documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.

“Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 email messages from her email server that included her communications arranging, negotiating, and agreeing upon speaking engagements by Bill Clinton in return for large speaking fees and donations to The Clinton Foundation,” the documents, dated May 20, said.

Klayman pushed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order a “neutral forensic expert … to take custody and control of the private email server and reconstruct and preserve the official U.S. Government records relating to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy during Defendant Secretary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State.”

If the destruction of Hillary!’s server doesn’t indicate a guilty conscience, I don’t know what does.

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Obama ‘Legacy’ in Legal Trouble; Media Frets

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

This constitutional republic stuff sure is a pain in the tush:

President Obama’s second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts. Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny.

The latest blow to Obama’s second-term plans came Tuesday when a federal appeals court in New Orleans denied the administration’s request to move forward with implementing his expanded executive action on immigration to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Texas and 25 other states have sued to have it shelved. The drama is sure to ensue for months, writes the Post’s David Nakamura, and throw into doubt whether the fight over all of Obama’s executive actions on immigration will be settled before he leaves office in January 2017.

Here’s a look at other Obama agenda items that are now in the court’s hands, and where they stand.

Click on the link above for the full rundown. Funny how a guy who famously boasts that if Congress won’t act on his pet program then he will go it alone should somehow wind up in the courts. Bad luck, I guess.

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Well, It’s Certainly Better Than UMP

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
Delacroix said it best

Delacroix said it best

In France, anyway:

Former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy won a court fight on Tuesday for the right to rename his conservative party “The Républicains”, a prelude to an expected attempt to win back the presidency in 2017. A French court dismissed demands for an emergency ban on Sarkozy’s plan to change his party’s name from the clunkier Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Dozens of people had filed an emergency complaint to stop the rebranding, arguing that the name, by alluding to France’s Fifth Republic, founded 57 years ago, was an attempt by the political right to usurp the values of the entire nation.But a Paris judge ruled there was no justification for an emergency ban. The plaintiffs can appeal the ruling and can also file a regular complaint, but that would take months to be processed.

“Freedom won! We’ll be able to call ourselves The Républicains!” lawmaker Daniel Fasquelle said on Twitter.

Of course, the French Left is in high dudgeon:

The complaint against the name change was filed by left-wing officials and organisations including the National Federation of Socialists and Republicans, according to a press release issued by lawyers for the group earlier this month.

“Our clients believe that it is unthinkable to privatise the republican ideal. We are thrilled that the justice has recognised the urgent need for a summary judgement on this question of principle,” they said. ”By deciding that they will henceforth be known as ‘Les Républicains’, the UMP has deliberately stirred up major civil, social and political strife in France,” the lawyers said.

V ive la France!

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Was the Iraq War a Mistake? Let’s Ask the Democrats, Too!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

I happen to think it was. But not because “Bush lied,” as Bob Woodward has noted, but because Bush neither finished the job nor ensured a plausible successor to do so. But just for the hell of it — and as long as the Democrat Media is peppering GOP candidates to call the game after it is over — let’s hop in the Wayback Machine and see what the Dems were saying at the time:

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There.  Feel better now, media?

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Where Would You Rather Live? Minneapolis or San Angelo?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Bloomberg News has a good piece on those idiotic “best places to live” articles that pop up constantly on the internet. You know, the ones that try to tell you the place to go is Oregon, Iowa or Aroostook County in Maine. Patrick Clark calls BS:

Earlier this month, real estate brokerage Redfin published a list of America’s most bicycle-friendly cities, slotting Minneapolis first. That should seem a little ridiculous to anyone who has spent a winter in the North Star metropolis. Then again, hilliness and the number of bike commuters were part of the study’s methodology. The number of days cold enough to freeze snot to your upper lip was not.

Let’s not single out Redfin, though. A quick scan of “best cities” lists offers plenty that don’t pass the sniff test. There’s the list of best places to launch a startup that touts San Diego above noted tech economies like San Francisco and Seattle. There are the 10 most livable cities for the 50-and-over crowd, as ranked by AARP, none of which are south of Washington, D.C.—despite decades’ worth of evidence that older Americans prefer shuffleboard to curling1.

The point isn’t to excoriate the list makers, who are, after all, simply responding to demand from people like you and me (and virtually every news outlet, including Bloomberg). Producing lists requires researchers to lean on subjectively selected methodology, which may overlook things like soul-shaking cold, or otherwise miss the forest for the trees. If high housing costs make San Francisco less livable, why do so many people want to live there?

Yeah! And if the crime rate is falling, why are so many people in jail? (The famous “Fox Butterfield effect.”)

I mention those other lists because there’s a better list out today, the Census Bureau’s most recent city-level population estimates, based on a very straightforward methodology: These are the places where people are actually moving. That doesn’t mean you should move to these places, too. But if they’re good enough for others, you might want to give them a look.

Unsurprisingly, most of them are in Texas.

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Hillary! Clinton, White Gurl

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
Hillary Rodham Clinton

White like you

She’s old, she’s crooked, she’s mean — and she’s as white as all get out. The Free Beacon has the scoop:

There is a stunning lack of racial diversity among the pre-screened “everyday Americans” at Hillary Clinton’s campaign events, a Free Beacon analysis found. Clinton plans to meet with minority women small business owners in South Carolina on Wednesday, but the roundtable events she has hosted since announcing for president on April 12 have been, for the most part, excruciatingly white. These photos, according to our analysis, speak for themselves:

Clink on the link for  a series of photos that show just how pallorous Hillary! supporters really are. And old. What, does she hate young people of color?

 

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Kicking Off the Summer: A Brief History of the Bikini

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Offered as a public service as the U.S. marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and for historical purposes only:

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God Bless America.

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True Grit, Singapore-Style

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Some guys just won’t quit, especially when it comes to money:

A man who drove to a police post with a friend he owed money to clinging to his windscreen was fined $2,000 and banned from the road for nine months on Thursday.  Mr Haresh Govindaraju, 46, and two other friends went to see Murali Krishnan Naidu, 44, at his King Albert Park condo to discuss some money he owed them.

While waiting outside they saw Naidu drive in with his wife and teenage son and ran towards his car but he drove away to avoid confrontation. The trio shouted vulgarities at Naidu’s wife and banged his vehicle, and at some point Mr Harish leapt onto the bonnet and held onto the sides of the windscreen. The couple tried to persuade Mr Haresh to get off the bonnet – but he refused and threatened to “break their heads”

Worried for the safety of his family, Naidu decided to drive to the nearest Neighbourhood Police Post. Mr Haresh was still on the bonnet when they arrived at Bukit Batok NPP. He eventually got off the car after several warnings from the police.

More details here, reported at the time of the original incident.

 

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The Departed, Japanese-Style

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

When you gotta go, you gotta go:

A Japanese man turned himself in to authorities after trying to flush the ashes of his “hated” dead wife down a supermarket toilet, reports and police said today. The 68-year-old man told police he dumped his wife’s ashes into the toilet bowl at a Tokyo supermarket immediately after she was cremated last month. Police were alerted after the ashes, and bone fragments including a human chin, were discovered, but were at a loss to explain them until the man handed himself in, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Apparently, the flushing was the climax of a long-simmering resentment:

He had felt growing resentment towards his spouse over the years of their unhappy marriage, according to the daily. “I had hatred mounting against her,” the man, whose name was not disclosed, was quoted as saying. “Life was such a pain before she died.” His wife had died at the age of 64, following an illness. Prosecutors are now considering whether to lay charges of abandoning a human body, as ashes can only be scattered in approved locations, a Tokyo police spokesman told AFP

I wonder if he feels relieved.

 

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Puerto Rico, You Lovely Island…

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Obama economy still in the tank, Latino people of color hardest hit:

The posh boutiques that once lined cobbled Calle Fortaleza are gone now, replaced by T-shirt and souvenir shops grasping for dollars from passengers swarming down the gangways of the Carnival cruise ships that dock here most mornings. Bars advertise “happy hours” lasting from noon till night, while old men pushing tatty ice-cream carts go mostly unnoticed.

Old San Juan, the colonial gem of Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, is tired but clinging on. Elsewhere on the island, the story is graver. Exhausted by a recession that has lasted for most of the past eight years and by talk of a possible default on government debt, Puerto Ricans are leaving in droves. Many who stay are jobless; doctors who haven’t been paid in months are downing their stethoscopes.

The pain that is Puerto Rico’s – and could soon be Wall Street’s if the debt crisis isn’t resolved – is poignant. Some blame its step-child relationship with America, neither a fully-fledged US state nor an independent nation. It hardly helps that Washington barely seems to care while at the same time it is suddenly lavishing attention on Cuba, its near neighbour to the west. The island has lost 20 per cent of its jobs since 2006. The unemployment rate stands at over 13 per cent. It’s no wonder people want to get out.

If you’ve been to old San Juan lately, you know it’s a dingy, sad-sack place in serious disrepair.

“People who graduate from the university go straight to the airport and never come back,” lamented Christopher Torres, 25, an activist studying computer engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, who recently led a student protest against proposed spending cuts. Some 144,000 Puerto Ricans decamped for the US last year and a higher number may depart in 2015. A White House official privately described it as the biggest population displacement ever seen outside of a war.

Population displacement seems to be one thing Barack Hussein Obama is very good at it. Also, nation-swallowing debt:

The next big payment on debt, of $655m, is due on 1 July. Meanwhile, the current administration of Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has publicly warned it may run out of cash by 30 September. In its latest report, the Government Development Bank, its lending arm, which faces its own liquidity crisis, raised the possibility of a “moratorium” on debt servicing to maintain at least essential government services – an opaque way of saying default.

Wake me when this nightmare is over.

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The Perils of Selfie-ness: Man Overboard

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Don’t try this at home, kids:

A Singaporean man died after falling off a cliff and into the sea while attempting to take a selfie photograph on Nusa Lembongan Island, off the southeast coast of Bali. Mohamed Aslam Bin Shahul, 21, died on Thursday afternoon after falling into the ocean from a two-meter high cliff during a holiday with eight friends at the Sandi Bay Beach.

“He could not control his balance when he was hit by a wave. He slipped and fell into the ocean. He apparently couldn’t swim,” said Nusa Penida Police chief Adj. Comr. Gede Arianta. Arianta said Shahul’s body was found at a depth of five-meters. Local residents brought him to Jungut Batu community health center where doctors declared him dead.

Possible Darwin Award nominee, although I suspect this does not qualify him for the 72 virgin raisins of Paradise.

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This Is What Memorial Day Means to Barack Hussein Obama

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

A picture is worth a million words. Because, deep down, you know he means it:

Let the good times roll

Let the good times roll

To see the original tweet, check out @TheDemocrats twitter feed.

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Donald Trump, American Clown, Pops Off Again

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

If you ever needed an example of the provincialism of the New York-based media, Donald Trump is it. A perennial clown who periodically threatens to run for president but somehow never does, Trump commands an inordinate amount of attention from the Manhattan media. No matter how stupid his utterances, they insist on treating him seriously, even as they know they are being played:

Billionaire Donald Trump continues to tease a potential presidential run. Appearing on Fox News Wednesday evening, Trump reiterated he will announce in June what his intentions are in regards to 2016. “I’m gearing up and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said on “The Kelly File.”

The “Apprentice” star said he wants to make America “great again.” “I want to make the country great again,” he said. “This country is a hellhole. We are going down fast.”

To read some of The Donald’s other brilliant political insights and policy prescriptions, click on the link above. And don’t miss this as well. The late humor magazine Spy was right when it habitually referred to him as a “short-fingered vulgarian.”

 

 

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Meanwhile, Back on the Home Front…

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

A couple of ISIS recruits have been arrested near Los Angeles:

Two men arrested by the FBI on suspicion of terrorism in Southern California were charged Friday with conspiring to support ISIS after agents tapping their phones heard them saying it would be “a blessing to fight for the cause of Allah,” according to prosecutors. Nader Elhuzayel, 24, from Anaheim, was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport with a one-way ticket to Tel Aviv, with a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Central District of California.

Elhuzayel admitted to agents after his arrest that he had no intention to continue to Israel but planned to “travel to the Islamic State, pledge allegiance to ISIL (ISIS), and defend ISIL against attackers,” according to the complaint. Investigators have also found that Elhuzayel expressed his support on social media for Elton Simpson, one of the two men killed in a shootout with police after trying to attack an event in Garland, Texas, earlier this month, the complaint said. Elhuzayel lauded the attempted attack on Twitter and said Simpson was a martyr, according to the complaint. Neither suspect is accused of plotting attacks in the U.S.

In the meantime, the borders remain open, “immigrants” continue to flock in, etc.

 

 

 

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Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Ever get the feeing that somebody in Washington does not wish us well?

Alarmed about the growing threat from Islamic State, the Obama administration has dramatically stepped up warnings of potential terrorist attacks on American soil after several years of relative calm. Behind the scenes, U.S. authorities have raised defenses at U.S. military bases, put local police forces on alert and increased surveillance at the nation’s airports, railroads, shopping malls, energy plants and other potential targets.

Driving the unease are FBI arrests of at least 30 Americans on terrorism-related charges this year in an array of “lone wolf” plots, none successful, but nearly all purportedly inspired by Islamic State propaganda or appeals. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr Baghdadi, drove home the danger in a 34-minute audio recording released online Thursday. He urged Muslims everywhere to “migrate to the Islamic State or fight in his land, wherever that may be.”

Recall, this is the jayvee.

U.S. counter-terrorism officials initially viewed Islamic State as primarily a regional security threat, focused on expanding and protecting its self-proclaimed Islamist caliphate in Syria and Iraq, rather than launching attacks abroad. But the analysis has shifted sharply as gunmen inspired by the group, but not controlled or assisted by them, opened fire at the Parliament in Ottawa; at a cafe in Sydney, Australia; at a kosher grocery in Paris; and, on May 3, in Garland, Texas.

Meanwhile, brave Sir Barry launches pinprick strikes on ISIS and thinks he’s winning the war. Not that his minions entirely agree with him:

The United States has entered a “new phase, in my view, in the global terrorist threat,” Jeh Johnson, director of Homeland Security, said Friday on MSNBC. ”We have to be concerned about the independent actor, and the independent actor who is here in the homeland who may strike with little or no warning,” he said. “The nature of the global terrorist threat has evolved.”

And yet, the borders stay open, the “migrants” continue to flock in, innocent Americans are spied upon by their government, and the president hasn’t missed a round of golf in years.

 

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In Praise of Rand Paul (for Now)

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Senator Rand Paul is not my first choice for the GOP nomination next year, but you have to give the man props for sticking it to his fellow Kentuckian, the loathsome Mitch McConnell:

The sleepy United States senators thought they were done voting. But then, around 1 a.m. on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and presidential candidate, marched spryly to the Senate floor to let it be known that, no, he would not agree to extend the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records program. Not even for one day.

With that, Senator Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentucky Republican who only a few hours before was ebullient with the passage of a major trade package, was reduced to ordering his colleagues back to Washington next Sunday to try again to prevent the act from expiring.

The unexpected legislative collapse on the Senate floor, and Mr. McConnell’s morose departure, pointed up the quandary that has emerged since Republicans took control. They have had successes, like passage of the hard-fought bill that could pave the way to the largest trade agreement in a generation and a bill to give Congress a voice in the Iran nuclear negotiations. And more senators are allowed to try to influence legislation through amendments, which Mr. McConnell’s Democratic predecessor as majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, prevented.

But as senators raced for the airport on Saturday after a six-week session that ended in disarray, they left behind a wreck of promises made by Mr. McConnell on how a renewed Senate would operate. Mr. McConnell has found himself vexed by Democratic delaying tactics he honed in the minority, five presidential aspirants with their own agendas and a new crop of conservative firebrands demanding their say.

Gee, that’s too damn bad. The odious McConnell, whose defeat everyone should have been rooting for in his re-election bid last fall, has double-crossed conservatives time and again, and if Sen. Paul is making his life miserable, good for Sen. Paul. But, hey — it’s not like the loathsome McConnell doesn’t have some friends and allies. Here’s one now:

With another Republican presidential aspirant, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, visibly rolling his eyes, Mr. Paul and his allies took to the Senate floor around 1 a.m. Saturday to object to a series of brief extensions proposed for the Patriot Act: seven days, four days, two days, even one day. That bit of theatrics came in large part because Mr. McConnell’s vaunted restoration of the committee process had so badly broken down.

Translation from New York Times-speak into English: the Republicans can’t govern!

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Dear GOP: Don’t Work with Obama — Stop Him

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

GOP hacks like the loathsome Mitch McConnell and Weepy John Boehner seem to think the GOP needs to show it can “govern” — by which they mean push various pieces of crappy legislation through their respective chambers — before voters will trust them with the keys to the White House. Meanwhile, the public keep screaming: STOP OBAMA!

The new Republican-led Congress is drawing harsh reviews from the public – including most Republicans. Just 23% of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall’s campaign, while 65% say they are not. Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say the new Congress has accomplished less than they expected, while 4% say it has accomplished more than expected. About half (53%) say its accomplishments are in line with what they expected.

On both measures, the public’s views are far more negative than they were of the Democratic-led Congress in March 2007, after the Democrats regained control of both chambers following several years of Republican control. Views are also much more negative than they were in April 1995, shortly after the GOP had gained control of the House and Senate for the first time in four decades.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 12-18 among 2,002 adults, finds that just 22% approve of the job performance of Republican congressional leaders, little changed since the summer of 2011. Ratings for Democratic congressional leaders are somewhat better (33% approve).

Ha ha ha ha ha! Suckers! The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party doesn’t care. And certainly not the wing led by the twin dullards, McConnell and Boehner, men of limited intelligence and zero imagination. But then, that’s what happens when politics becomes a profession: it becomes all about process.

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Annals of the One Percent: Fauxcahontas Warren, ‘Expert Witness’

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

From Politico: “The senator who wants to keep an investor dispute process out of the Pacific trade deal was an expert witness in the same kind of case 15 years ago.”

Elizabeth Warren is trying to kill President Barack Obama’s trade agenda by raising the specter that foreign companies could use an investor-friendly arbitration system to circumvent the U.S. court system. But she hasn’t discussed her own role 15 years ago in the arbitration system she opposes — as a paid expert witness earning as much as $90,000 from the U.S. government. 

The Massachusetts senator is waging her fight against Obama’s free-trade deals by seizing on a legal procedure, commonly contained in such trade pacts, that lets companies demand damages when their investments suffer because of a foreign government’s actions. She and other critics say the process undermines the rights of governments to regulate, besides enriching a small group of corporate lawyers who specialize in the disputes at taxpayers’ expense.

It’s a process she knows from the inside: In 1999 and 2000, the Justice Department paid Warren between $200 to $400 an hour to serve as an expert witness against a Canadian funeral home operator called Loewen Group that was seeking $725 million from the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Her role in the case, NAFTA’s first major test of the procedure known as investor-state dispute settlement, has gotten little public attention — even as Warren has made ISDS her main line of attack against the sprawling Asia-Pacific trade deal that Obama is seeking.

“She was paid and took money to be an expert for the U.S. government,” said Andrea Bjorklund, then a lawyer on the case for the State Department, “and did not appear to have any qualms about participating in this process that she now finds appalling.”

Incorrigible, shameless and disgusting. But somehow we knew that already, right?

 

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While the World Does Nothing, Islam Ravages On In Palmyra

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
Palmyra

It wasn’t always Arab, you know

Who cares what’s happening in Syria? You should:

e fate of one of the world’s most important archaeological treasures hangs in the balance after the Islamist militant group ISIS overwhelmed the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur. The city contains the ruins of what, according to UNESCO, “was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world” — an important Silk Road hub where East met West more 2,000 years ago. A World Heritage Site, Palmyra is heralded by experts as having some of the finest Roman-era ruins in existence.

“It makes Rome blush,” says Stephennie Mulder, an archaeologist and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “When you approach the site, it rises out of the desert like some sort of a mirage out of a fairy tale.”

The ancient city, which flourished in the 1st and 2nd centuries, has numerous historic structures. Among them: a 3,600-foot long colonnade, an agora (or marketplace), an amphitheater, an urban quarter, a series of tombs, a hilltop castle and the Temple of Bel (also spelled Ba’al), an important, cross-cultural religious site pagan site.

In addition to executing 17 people in the area, according to some accounts — including, quite possibly, children — the fear now is that ISIS, which has wreaked destruction on other important ruins sites, will now get around to tumbling a crown jewel.

Well, if past is prologue, of course they will. Islam cannot abide anything that came before it. What do the French think will happen to Chartres and Notre Dame? What do the Brits think will happen to St. Paul’s? Forget “religion” — expansionist Islam is a plague that must be stopped dead unless the world wants to lose its culture, its heritage and its soul.

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Media Cops Closing In On Notorious Gangland Family

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

That would be the Clintons, of course, who daily have to endure more and more stories about their bogus “charity,” aka the Clinton Family Enrichment Fund:

The Clinton Foundation reported Thursday that it has received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups. The disclosure came as the foundation faced questions over whether it fully complied with a 2008 ethics agreement to reveal its donors and whether any of its funding sources present conflicts of interest for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins her presidential campaign.

The money was paid as fees for speeches by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Foundation officials said the funds were tallied internally as “revenue” rather than donations, which is why they had not been included in the public listings of its contributors published as part of the 2008 agreement.

Isn’t it amazing how many Ivy League-educated Democrats can somehow make so many “mistakes” and “errors” out of “sloppiness”?

According to the new information, the Clintons have delivered 97 speeches to benefit the charity since 2002. Colleges and universities sponsored more than two dozen of these speeches, along with U.S. and overseas corporations and at least one foreign government, Thailand.

The payments were disclosed late Thursday on the organization’s Web site, with speech payments listed in ranges rather than specific amounts. In total, the payments ranged between $12 million and $26.4 million.

The paid appearances included speeches by former president Bill Clinton to the Ni­ger­ian ThisDay newspaper group for at least $500,000 and to the Beijing Huaduo Enterprise Consulting Company Ltd., an investment holding company that specializes in the natural gas market, for at least $250,000. Citibank paid at least $250,000 for a speech by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The disclosures underscore how much the Clintons have leveraged their star power to draw more money not just for their personal enrichment but also for the benefit of their philanthropic work.

“Star power” — that’s one way to put it. Another way is that these grifters have leveraged Bill Clinton’s presidency into a source of infinite wealth at the American taxpayer’s expense. No White House, no money. No wonder candidates spend billions trying to win a job that pays a measly $400,000 a year: the fringe benefits are incredible. Meanwhile:

As first lady in the final year of the Clinton administration, Hillary Rodham Clinton endorsed a White House plan to give tax breaks to private foundations and wealthy charity donors at the same time the William J. Clinton Foundation was soliciting donations for her husband’s presidential library, recently released Clinton-era documents show. The blurred lines between the tax reductions proposed by the Clinton administration in 2000 and the Clinton Library’s fundraising were an early foreshadowing of the potential ethics concerns that have flared around the Clintons’ courting of corporate and foreign donors for their family charity before she launched her campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

White House documents in the Clinton Library reviewed by The Associated Press show Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton were kept apprised about a tax reduction package that would have benefited donors, including those to his presidential library, by reducing their tax burden. An interagency task force set up by Bill Clinton’s executive order proposed those breaks along with deductions to middle-class taxpayers who did not itemize their returns. Federal officials estimated the plan would cost the U.S. government $14 billion in lost tax payments over a decade.

Federal law does not prevent fundraising by a presidential library during a president’s term. But in directly pushing the legislation while the Clinton Library was aggressively seeking donations, Hillary and Bill Clinton’s altruistic support for philanthropy overlapped with their interests promoting their White House years and knitting ties with philanthropic leaders. Hundreds of pages of documents contain no evidence that anyone in the Clinton administration warned anyone about potential ethics concerns or sought to minimize the White House’s active role in the legislation.

Hey, as long as they’re just “potential” ethics concerns, we’re good! And if you think the Clintons are bad, wait until you get a load of the Obamas after Hussein leaves office.

 

 

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As ISIS Sacks Palmyra, Where Is the UN?

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Probably fretting about global warming, or something equally useless:

Palmyra holds a dual significance to Syrians as being home to some of the world’s most celebrated ruins and one of the Assad regime’s most feared detention and torture facilities. Both, as it happens, will gain new prominence in the days ahead, as ISIS has just swept through the desert tableland, sacking its second city in the course of a week in which a few hundreds of its militants stormed Ramadi, the provincial capital of al-Anbar, largely uncontested by skedaddling Iraqi Security Forces. That sacking put ISIS in firm control of strategic foothold some 70 miles west of Baghdad, and well within striking distance of the Iraqi capital, where suicide and car bombings have spiked recently.

Similarly, the taking of Palmyra puts ISIS on a theoretically straight trajectory for mounting an incursion into Homs—once the cradle of Syria’s revolution and now mostly retaken by the Assad regime—and then possibly onto Damascus, where the terror organization had briefly conquered the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp last month. The loss of Palmyra is a clear threat to Syria’s cultural patrimony, consisting as it does of the standing remnants of 2,000 year-old temples and tombs, because of ISIS’s designation of “idolatrous” pre-Islamic art and architecture—or anything too big for ISIS to hawk on the black market—as worthy only of powdering.

Islam in action. But since Islamic “countries” — there are no Islamic countries, only member “states” of the ummah — make up a large percentage of the UN’s membership, absolutely nothing will be done about this latest act of Islamic cultural vandalism. 

For now, Palmyra remains “calm,” but the mood is undeniable anxious. The departing army destroyed the electrical transformers, Omran said, bathing the ancient city in darkness. Batteries are being used to power computers, but Internet access is spotty. Another source of concern is regime propaganda after the withdrawal: State television has made false claims that Damascus evacuated all of Palmyra’s civilians before its men withdrew. “We’re worried that this was to lay the groundwork for an imminent bombing raid that will make no distinction between Daesh and us,” Omran said, using the derogatory Arabic word for ISIS.

Word on the street is that ISIS has already begun its barbarous counterintelligence work, claiming to have compiled a list of regime agents and sympathizers—a number that, in its view, includes opposition activists opposed to both Assad and ISIS. “The search is on for them,” Omran said.

How were the city’s some 50,000 residents coping, less than 24 hours into ISIS rule? “There’s almost no movement inside the city itself,” he said. “ISIS didn’t introduce a curfew yet, but there’s no one on the street, so you’d think there was one.” And the mood? “Some people have resigned to their fate,” Omran said. “Most of the key services have been shut down. The bakery has run out of flour. The regime shut the lights. People are fearful. They’re not sure what tomorrow holds.”

Death and more destruction is my guess.

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Why Is the Trade Deal Top Secret? And Why Is the GOP Helping Obama? UPDATED

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

And you thought the election of 2014 was about putting a stop to Obama’s rule! Suckers:

u need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.

I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what’s hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice.

The text of the TPP, like all trade deals, is a closely guarded secret. That fact makes a genuine public debate impossible and should make robust debate behind closed doors all the more essential. But the ability of TPP critics like me to point out the deal’s many failings is limited by the government’s surprising and unprecedented refusal to make revisions to the language in the TPP fully available to cleared advisors…

Bill Clinton didn’t operate like this. During the debate on NAFTA, as a cleared advisor for the Democratic leadership, I had a copy of the entire text in a safe next to my desk and regularly was briefed on the specifics of the negotiations, including counterproposals made by Mexico and Canada. During the TPP negotiations, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has never shared proposals being advanced by other TPP partners. Today’s consultations are, in many ways, much more restrictive than those under past administrations.

All advisors, and any liaisons, are required to have security clearances, which entail extensive paperwork and background investigations, before they are able to review text and participate in briefings. But, despite clearances, and a statutory duty to provide advice, advisors do not have access to all the materials that a reasonable person would need to do the job. The negotiators provide us with “proposals” but those are merely initial proposals to trading partners. We are not allowed to see counter-proposals from our trading partners. Often, advisors are provided with updates indicating that the final text will balance all appropriate stakeholder interests but we frequently receive few additional details beyond that flimsy assurance.

Meanwhile, of course, the loathsome Mitch McConnell and the other GOP collaborationists in Congress are doing their best to push this un-American beast through; that he’s joined by Paul Ryan, who once had a bright political future, is both saddening and puzzling.

Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday the Senate will pass “fast-track” authority to negotiate major trade deals this week, despite opposition to the measure from many of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats. “Yes, we’ll pass it. We’ll pass it later this week,” McConnell said in an interview with ABC.

The trade issue has made unlikely allies of the Republican majority leader and the Democratic president. McConnell said on Sunday that Obama has “done an excellent job” on the trade issue. The Senate voted last week to consider the fast-track measure, two days after Democrats had blocked debate on the bill, which would clear the way for a 12-nation Pacific trade agreement.

The Republican representative Paul Ryan said on CNN that he was confident the measure would pass the House. “We will have the votes,” said Ryan, who is chairman of the House ways and means committee. “We’re doing very well. We’re gaining a lot of steam and momentum.”

Sickening.

UPDATE: the bill just passed a “key hurdle” in the Senate, thanks to Mitch and his cronies.

President Barack Obama’s signature Asian trade push cleared another hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Thursday after a knife-edge vote moved the White House closer to gaining the power to speed trade deals through Congress. Senators voted 62-38 to give Obama a major victory and set up a speedy decision on the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority the president needs to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. TPP is seen as central to U.S. efforts to counter China’s increasing economic muscle.

Thirteen of 44 Democrats supported the legislation through the second Senate vote. Some supported moving ahead with fast track after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, assured them he would set a vote next month on a bill to renew the Export-Import Bank’s charter, according to leading Democratic senators. The charter is due to expire at the end of June. They were joined by 49 of 54 Republicans, giving supporters of the legislation more than the 60 votes needed to proceed in the 100-member Senate.

In other words, a complete cave. Kentucky voters, you should have elected Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The pact is the biggest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement freed up trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than two decades later, many blame that deal for factory closures and job losses and see the TPP as producing more of the same.

Remember: Obama sees this as another power grab; the McConnell Republicans see it as a way of serving their Chamber of Commerce masters. When you lose your job down the road, you’ll know whom to blame. Your freedom? That’s already gone.

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Shame at Ground Zero

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The site of the worst atrocity on American soil, perpetrated by devout Muslims acting according to the dictates of their “faith.” And this is what is happening there now. The expression is, I believe, adding insult to injury:

A vendor near Ground Zero is being investigated after he was caught charging unsuspecting tourists up to $30 for a hot dog, At least five fights have broken out in the past week over the exorbitant prices Ahmed Mohammed attempted to make customers pay for hot dogs, pretzels, soda and water, NBCNewYork.com reported.

The television station recorded Mohamed repeatedly overcharging customers, often arbitrarily making up a price for food and drink. He was also observed not giving enough change. Mohammed doesn’t have prices posted on his cart, which is against the law and drew the attention of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

When confronted by a reporter for NBC New York, Mohamed said he didn’t speak English even though footage shows him conversing in English with customers.

Taqiyya in action. Video at the link.

 

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Under Warren Wilhelm, Jr., the Return of ‘Fun City’

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

For those of you who missed the days of The French Connection in New York, the good times are rolling once more (and the media is worse than ever):

Police are investigating the fourth mugging in Central Park in the past two weeks, while also making arrests in one of the attacks. Authorities say a 68 year old man was robbed of his watch. The victim was approached by another man while walking through the wooded area of the Ramble at around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

“Do you have anything of value? Give me your watch!” the suspect demanded after grabbing his victim, police say. The suspect stole the victim’s watch and then fled the location. He was described as an adult male with a slim build. The victim, who lives in the city, was not injured.

How this story could be less informative is beyond me; one has to read between the lines to glean any sore of useful, real-world information, including “walking in the Ramble at 1 a.m,” and the anodyne description of the suspect. Time was when reporters could use race as a helpful descriptor, but obviously no longer; pretty soon, they won’t even be able to use names. Meanwhile:

The robbery came just hours after police made arrests in the first of a string of muggings that has focused increased police attention on the park. 17 year old Jeffrey Valdez and a 14-year-old girl were charged with holding up two people – a 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man — near the Heckscher Playground on May 9 at around 9:30 p.m. The suspects were part of a group of about 15 teens who yelled obscenities at the victims before the 14-year-old girl pulled out a Taser and punched the 17-year-old girl in the face.

It was one of three unrelated muggings that had park-goers on edge. The NYPD vowed additional patrols and officers in the park to reassure concerns, but insisted the park is safe. No arrests have been made in the other two incidents, police said.

Socialism: it curdles and kills everything it touches.

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They’re Not ‘Minnesotans,’ They’re Somali Muslims, Working for the Enemy

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

It’s become a quaint fiction among the feel-gooders of the MSM that nationality and citizenship are nothing more than which passport you hold. Thus, we read about “Swedish” rapists, “French” terrorists and “Minnesotan” members of ISIS. This is the result:

Two of the Twin Cities men accused of trying to join ISIS are now charged with student loan fraud. Investigators say both Hamza Ahmed, 19, and Hanad Musse, 19, used more than $1,000 from federal student loan accounts for plane tickets to Turkey and Greece. Prosecutors say they were really going to Syria to join ISIS.

On Tuesday, prosecutors combined two separate cases, meaning that seven young Minnesota friends will eventually be tried together for allegedly trying to join the terror group. Prosecutors combined the case of Ahmed, who was arrested and charged in February, with that of six young men who were arrested in April. Prosecutors say Ahmed’s arrest should have served as a warning to the others.

Yeah, right: more like a how-to manual. Step one: obtain American asylum from your rathole “country” (where, by the way, American soldiers were murdered and desecrated). Step two: Cash in. Step three: use the suckers’ money to finance your personal jihad against the very civilization that rescued you. Oh, yes — one more:

Also on Tuesday, Abdurahman Daud, one of the two members of the group who the government says went to California to pick up fake passports, made his first court appearance in Minnesota. Supporters of the young men argue that the fake passports were the idea of a confidential informant, and that all of the men are victims of government entrapment. The informant was a close friend of all of the accused. Prosecutors say the informant was once part of the plot and at one point tried to join ISIS, too.

Step four: blame the cops. Ain’t “multiculturalism” grand?

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Cloward-Piven in Action: ‘Traumatized’ Students Claim ‘Disability’

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Thank you, George Herbert Walker Bush:

Students with violent and traumatic pasts sued the Compton Unified School District on Monday, alleging they are legally disabled and the school has failed to meet their educational needs. The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, contends that under federal educational rules and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the district should establish special mental health and other services to help students with “complex trauma.”

That would include methods used by other districts such as San Francisco’s, including special training for teachers and staff; teaching children “skills to cope with their anxiety and emotions”; and “restorative” discipline strategies that don’t rely on suspending or expelling the students, according to the suit.

Trauma “stems from such causes as exposure to violence and loss, family disruptions related to deportation, incarceration and/or the foster system, systemic racism and discrimination, and the extreme stress of lacking basic necessities, such as not knowing where the next meal will come from or where to sleep that night,” according to the lawsuit.

Studies have shown that such trauma can affect a child’s developing brain and psychology and such children do worse in school and have more absences and poorer graduation rates, the lawsuit said.

So now cultural social dysfunction is a “disability.” Is a low IQ a “disability”? What about a low family income? Once you make having a “disability” into a monetary proposition, you are sure to get lots more “disabilities.”

The ADA was one of the dumbest laws ever passed by a Republican president and now it’s predictably being used as a cudgel with which to bankrupt the system. Where does this stop?

Don’t answer that question.

 

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