At our expense, of course. It’s great to be king:
President Obama is fleeing the chilly, damp nation’s capital this weekend for the warmer climes of South Florida. Obama will travel to Palm City, Fla., on Saturday and return to Washington on Sunday. The White House has not revealed details of his trip, but local news reports say the president is expected to stay at the Floridian National Golf Club where he will hit the links…
Obama’s trip comes just days before a March 31 deadline for negotiators from the U.S. and five other world powers to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday the president receives updates on the talks at least once daily and could speak with world leaders in the coming days.
“It’s certainly possible that the president could telephone other world leaders, either over the course of today or even over the course of the weekend,” he said.
Good to know. Great job, Mr. President.
Well, they’re certainly handing to the right guy: the most un-American and anti-American president in the nation’s history:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is readying a gift for President Barack Obama when the two leaders cross paths at a regional summit next month: a petition containing millions of signatures denouncing U.S. aggression.
For the past week, Venezuelans have been lining up in plazas, government offices and even prisons to add their signatures to a manifesto against the Obama administration’s recent decision to sanction seven Venezuelan officials over human rights abuses during anti-government protests.
To date more than 4 million signatures calling on Obama to reverse the order have been collected, and Maduro has set a goal of gathering 10 million ahead of the Summit of the Americas taking place April 10-11 in Panama. On Friday, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said the signatures would be presented at the summit.
Wait ’til Barry finds out about the sanctions! He’ll be furious. Meanwhile: ”U.S. aggression” — if I hadn’t watched the Berlin Wall fall under my own sledgehammer, I could swear the Communists won the Cold War. Wonder if Hussein will give Maduro a bro handshake like he did Hugo Chavez?
A Wichita woman claims her special needs son was asked to remove his letter jacket at school. The student, Michael Kelley, has Down Syndrome and autism. Kelley is not a varsity athlete but participates in extra-curricular special needs basketball. His family bought him a varsity letter like the other kids wear, but recently, his mother says he was asked to not wear the jacket.
Turns out, the letter is an official Wichita East High School varsity letter, and East High says he is not supposed to have that letter. KSN talked to his mother Jolinda Kelley. She says Michael, her adopted son, is one of a kind and loves to play basketball. When he was recognized for participating, Jolinda bought a varsity letter and put that letter on the jacket.
She was shocked when she says he was asked at school to take the jacket off. “Another parent, from what I am told, was upset that my son was wearing his letter jacket.” The mother claims her son was asked to take that jacket off and was given a sweat shirt to wear instead. The family says it was told only varsity teams can wear the letter according to East High’s policy.
East High Principal Ken Thiessen says, “Teachers told the parents they would prefer he not wear the letter on his jacket.”
I am no fan of the Alice in Wonderland school of athletic achievement: “Everybody has won and all must have prizes.” But for crying out loud…
Yes, it’s an accomplishment, but it’s not like all the modern climbers, with their state-of-the-art equipment, are Sir Edmund Hillary or Tenzing Norgay. And what a mess they’re necessarily leaving behind:
When Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top of Mount Everest in 1953, it was arguably the loneliest place on Earth — an oxygen-deprived desert perched atop an icy, 29,000-foot ladder of death. Over the last 62 years, more than 4,000 climbers have replicated the pair’s feat, with hundreds more attempting to do so during the two-month climbing season each spring, according to the Associated Press.
Along the way, people have left oxygen canisters, broken climbing equipment, trash, human waste and even dead bodies in their wake, transforming the once pristine peak into a literal pile of … well, you get the idea. “The two standard routes, the Northeast Ridge and the Southeast Ridge, are not only dangerously crowded but also disgustingly polluted, with garbage leaking out of the glaciers and pyramids of human excrement befouling the high camps,” mountaineer Mark Jenkins wrote in a 2013 National Geographic article on Everest.
Dawa Steven Sherpa, who has been leading Everest cleanup expeditions since 2008, told the AP that some climbers carry disposable toilet bags with them at higher altitudes. A group of Nepali artists has collected 1.5 tons of Everest trash — including remnants of a crashed helicopter — brought down by climbers and transformed it into 74 pieces of art, according to CNN.
Perhaps it’s time to leave the mountain alone — because it’s there — and go find something else to do. A cure for cancer would be nice.
Don’t you wish that once – just once — someone would actually stand up and say something that everybody knows to be true: that Harry Reid, who apparently has been talked into retirement by a couple of thugs — excuse me! an exercise machine! — is a no-account, corrupt, nasty, petty, lying scumbag who enabled Barry Hussein to impose his anti-constitutional agenda on a big-hearted but soft-headed American public? But no:
The Senate majority leader had kind words for his Democratic counterpart, who announced Friday he would be retiring in 2016. ”Nothing has ever come easily to this son of Searchlight. Underestimated often, his distinctive grit and determined focus nevertheless saw him through many challenges,” McConnell said in a statement. “They continue to make him a formidable opponent today.”
The Kentucky Republican took over the Senate leadership from Reid, a Nevada Democrat, when Republicans won the majority in 2014 midterm elections. Though they have often butted heads politically, they are known to respect one another and be friends outside of Capitol Hill.
Friends? Why wouldn’t they be? As George Washington Plunkitt famously said in Chapter Nine of Plunkitt of Tammany Hall:
Me and the Republicans are enemies just one day in the year—election day. Then we fight tooth and nail The rest of the time it’s live and let live with us.
On election day I try to pile up as big a majority as I can against George Wanmaker, the Republican leader of the Fifteenth. Any other day George and I are the best of friends. I can go to him and say: “George, I want you to place this friend of mine.” He says: “Mi right, Senator.” Or vice versa.
You see, we differ on tariffs and currencies and all them things, but we agree on the main proposition that when a man works in politics, he should get something out of it. The politicians have got to stand together this way or there wouldn’t be any political parties in a short time.
And you thought the Democrats and the Republicans were on opposite sides. Suckers!
The tiresome Lena Dunham is back again, this time with a “quiz” in the new issue of the New Yorker: “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?”
Do the following statements refer to (a) my dog or (b) my Jewish boyfriend?
- The first thing I noticed about him was his eyes.
- We love to spend hours in bed together on Sunday mornings.
- He’s crazy for cream cheese.
- It hasn’t always been easy, but we currently live together and it’s going O.K.
And so on in an utterly witless piece that seems about on par with Ms. Dunham’s other talents. Yes, the woman who has a naked body like poorly mashed potatoes and doesn’t care who knows it is writing for the once-august New Yorker. And not just writing, but serving up a heaping helping of Upper West Side Jewish stereotypes that have to make anti-Semites everywhere smile with satisfaction:
15. He came with me to therapy once and was restless and unexpressive.
16. When I go out of town on a business trip, he sleeps with a pair of my underwear.
17. When I get home from the business trip, he ignores me for hours, sometimes days, forcing me to wonder whether he would be better off with a woman who has a less demanding career. “Why don’t you find some catalogue model who just sits around all day and rubs your back? I bet you’d like that,” I hiss. “I apologize for my many accomplishments. I’m sorry they mean nothing to you.”
18. He respects my father but is intimidated by his Waspy, buttoned-up demeanor, flat cadence, and inability to express physical affection toward other men. The tension between them takes the form of passive-aggressive pissing matches and hostile silences.
Others, btw, have noticed as well:
Anti-Semitism has raised its ugly face again Friday – this time, in a quiz published in the New Yorker. The quiz, entitled “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz” was written by controversial Girls actress Lena Dunham. In the article, Dunham – who is herself Jewish – makes a number of comparisons between Jewish men and her dog that are apparently meant to be humorous.
The questions play up a number of stereotypes about American Jewish men, including having asthma, being “cheap” (he leaves his wallet at home and never tips, she claims), and being “intimidated” by her father’s “Waspy” (i.e. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) demeanor. Several of the “questions” are downright attacks on what she claims are Jewish culture…
Its publication immediately sparked backlash. Kveller author Jordana Horn penned a response Thursday, in an article titled “Lena Dunham Equated Jews to Dogs & That’s Not OK,” noting that statements like hers are a slippery slope into blatant anti-Semitism given a free pass in respectable press.
“To dehumanize people, one of the first steps is to call them non-people or animals,” she noted, adding that anti-Semites have been comparing Jews to dogs for hundreds of years. She also challenged readers to imagine what the response would be if the title was “Dog or Black Boyfriend?: A Quiz.”
Oy, and may I add, vey. Plus, who knew Lena Dunham was Jewish?
Here’s the link to the Kveller article, if you care. And, yes, I know what a Kveller is.
Don’t take it from me, take it from one of the major Democrat Party house organs, Politico:
Barack Obama faces a slew of Middle East crises that some call the worst in a generation, as new chaos from Yemen to Iraq — along with deteriorating U.S.-Israeli relations — is confounding the president’s efforts to stabilize the region and strike a nuclear deal with Iran. The meltdown has Obama officials defending their management of a region that some call impossible to control, even as critics say U.S. policies there are partly to blame for the spreading anarchy.
“If there’s one lesson this administration has learned, from President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech through the Arab Spring, it’s that when it comes to this region, nothing happens in a linear way — and precious little is actually about us, which is a hard reality to accept,” said a senior State Department official.
I imagine it is hard for the Barry Hussein administration to understand that not everything is about Barry Hussein. But wait — it gets worse:
Not everyone is so forgiving. “We’re in a goddamn free fall here,” said James Jeffrey, who served as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq and was a top national security aide in the George W. Bush White House.
For years, members of the Obama team has grappled with the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring. But of late they have been repeatedly caught off-guard, raising new questions about America’s ability to manage the dangerous region.
Obama officials were surprised earlier this month, for instance, when the Iraqi government joined with Iranian-backed militias to mount a sudden offensive aimed at freeing the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Nor did they foresee the swift rise of the Iranian-backed rebels who toppled Yemen’s U.S.-friendly government and disrupted a crucial U.S. counterterrorism mission against Al Qaeda there.
Both situations took dramatic new turns this week. The U.S. announced its support for a Saudi-led coalition of 10 Sunni Arab nations that began bombing the Houthis, while Egypt threatened to send ground troops — a move that could initiate the worst intra-Arab war in decades.
Meanwhile, the U.S. launched airstrikes against ISIL in Tikrit after originally insisting it would sit out that offensive. U.S. officials had hoped to avoid coordination with Shiite militias under the direct control of Iranian commanders in the country. Now the U.S. is in the strange position of fighting ISIL alongside Iran at the same time it backs the Sunni campaign against Iran’s allies in Yemen — even as Secretary of State John Kerry hopes to seal a nuclear deal with Iran in Switzerland within days.
These people are the worst kind of amateurs: simultaneously cocksure and malevolent. Terrible things are coming our way, and, in the rubble, Obama will look around and find nobody left standing to blame but himself. Alas, we are all prisoners of L’il Barry’s coming of age.
Over at the Washington Times, Sean Parnell certainly thinks so, no matter which way the Burwell case goes in the Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the Obama administration’s decision to award tax credits for health insurance sold through federally established exchanges, could turn on the question of whether a ruling that ends the tax credits on federal exchanges might cause something known as a “death spiral” in health insurance markets.
The good news is the answer is probably no, but the bad news is that’s only because the death spiral has probably already started. A death spiral generally occurs when insurers are forced to raise premiums sharply to pay promised benefits. Higher premiums cause many of the healthiest policyholders, who already pay far more in premiums than they receive in benefits, to drop coverage.
When healthy policyholders drop coverage, it leaves the insurer with little choice but to raise premiums again because they now have a risk pool that is less healthy than before. But another premium increase means many of the healthy people who remained now drop their policies, too, and this continues until the only people willing to pay the now-very-high premiums are those with serious medical conditions.
This, of course, was all evident from the start of this wretched fraud of a Democrat program. You can’t mandate insurance-on-demand, and you can’t extend it to cover healthy young adults without demolishing the entire concept of “insurance” in the first place. But then Obamacare was never an insurance program; it’s simply a tax increase on the middle class imposed via the individual mandate.
The other sign health insurance markets are in the early stages of a death spiral is the age mix of those buying policies through Obamacare. Originally it was estimated that around 40 percent of enrollees had to be in the relatively healthy 18 to 34-year-old age segment, so their premiums could be used to pay for the health expenses of older, less-healthy enrollees. So far it appears only some 28 percent of enrollees are in that coveted age group, which also comprises around half of the uninsured.
All of this means insurers are getting a risk pool that is less healthy than expected, and more premium hikes are around the corner. While subsidies hide some from the full impact, others in the middle class will not be shielded.
It will undoubtedly take a few years to know for sure, but for anybody concerned about setting off a death spiral or thinking Congress surely didn’t intend to do so, don’t worry. It looks like it’s already here, whether Congress intended it or not.
John Roberts should have killed this misbegotten beast the first time when he had the chance, but he was right about seeing it as a tax. Now, with Obamacare’s ultimate doom written on the wall, the chief justice has a chance to rectify his cowardice and do the right thing.
The rookie dad in question is Matt Yglesias, a charter member of the Juicebox Mafia, small children who think their political pontifications should be of interest to us all — and what is Vox except that philosophy writ large? — so you know something profoundly stupid is coming your way. But this one retires the Stupid Trophy:
Major life-changing events have a way of bringing things into focus. On March 5, my first child — a healthy baby boy by the name of Jose — was born, and I’ve been off work since then, only returning this week. Jose has changed my life already, and while it’s far too soon to say he’s changed my ideas about public policy, I will say that the reality of parenting does a great job of shifting priorities and highlighting certain key points.
Lots of parents (and non-parents!) no doubt will disagree with me about the points below. But for me, these are seven key political insights that the past 10 months have brought into focus.
Let me voxsplain some of them so you won’t have to slog through them: the U.S. health-care system sucks, mandates are bad if you don’t give the stuff you’ve just mandated to people for cheap or free, the feds should subsidize parenting through higher tax credits and force employers (yes, force) to give paid parenting leave — or, better yet, establish a federal Parenting Leave program financed by taxpayers — immigrants are great (what?) and “collective action” just can’t be beat. Right, I know: Zzzzzzzzz.
But here’s No. 4. Read it and weep:
After watching my wife gestate my son for nine months, I am 100 percent certain people who go into pregnancy with anti-abortion ethical priors come out of it with the strength of their convictions increased tenfold. I went into it with different priors and have come out with my own pro-choice convictions increased tenfold.
A beloved baby is a miraculous thing, but pregnancy is at times a truly agonizing and awful one. It’s a small price to pay for something a woman truly wants, but an enormous amount to pay for other people’s questionable metaphysical notions about personhood. In a decent society it would be both safe and convenient for women of all socioeconomic backgrounds to terminate an early stage pregnancy on demand without facing judgment and hassles.
No judgement, no hassles — and no morals. That’s the Juicebox Jeneration for you.
But not before boasting about how the bits he contributed are a resounding success, of course:
President Obama slammed Republicans Wednesday for continuing to war against his signature healthcare law five years in. ”It’s working, despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law,” Obama said in a speech commemorating the Affordable Care Act’s anniversary of passage.
“We’ve made our share of mistakes since we passed this law, but we also know beyond a shred of doubt the law has worked,” he said. “Deficits have been slashed, lives have been saved.”
Since emergency rooms must, by law, treat the indigent, I doubt that a single life was saved under Obamacare that wouldn’t have been saved otherwise, so there’s a typically meaningless Barry boast. (Why does Obama always sound like he’s running for high school president? The man has not matured a whit after six years in office.)
It’s been half a decade since Democrats in Congress passed the healthcare law and it remains arguably the most controversial piece of legislation passed during Obama’s tenure. Democrats spent this week touting its provisions extending coverage to millions of Americans, while Republicans aired their many ongoing complaints about the law. There’s one thing members of both parties agree on: Major reforms are still needed in how healthcare is delivered and paid for…
[Obama]reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act — most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage — were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.
“The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it,” he said.
The audacity of a dope strikes again.
It’s no surprise that the Obama administration is populated with nasty, petulant, arrogant creeps; how could be it be otherwise given the “I won” nature of their boss? Still, it looks like even President Precious has finally had it with one of his appointees:
The White House is expected to ask the embattled chairman of the Chemical Safety Board to step down Wednesday, congressional sources tell CNN.
Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso has been accused by members of Congress of malfeasance, hostility towards his staff and retaliation against whistleblowers. And an inspector general report found he used personal email to conduct government business, which contradicted his sworn congressional testimony.
The use of personal email has come under scrutiny since revelations that Hillary Clinton used her personal email to conduct official business while she was secretary of state.
What a reeking cesspool of opportunistic, vengeful morons Washington has become under Obama. And why the hell do we have a “Chemical Safety Board,” anyway? Is everything the province of the federal government and, if so, where does it say that in the Constitution?
The chairman of the Senate Environment Committee wrote Obama on March 12 requesting the President ask for Moure-Eraso’s resignation. In the letter, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe cited a congressional investigation that found leadership under the chairman engaged in a “pattern of hostility toward career staff and whistleblowers.”
“He has violated his oath of office. He has violated the law. The [Chemical Safety Board] can no longer continue to operate credibly under this leadership, and it is therefore our recommendation that you ask for Chairman Moure-Eraso’s immediate resignation,” Inhofe wrote.
“Violated the law”? Since when has that been a problem with this bunch?
Yes, I know: hard to believe that a Clinton could be involved in scandal.
Many of the key figures cited in a scathing inspector general’s report this week are allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, marking the latest in a series of stumbles for the former first lady and secretary of state that likely forced her to delay her planned presidential campaign announcement.
A Democratic strategist familiar with her team’s thinking said they are scrambling to limit the damage and readjust the campaign rollout schedule after the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general revealed an apparent cronyism scandal that ensnared Mrs. Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, and two of her political confidants, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell.
The accusation that a top Obama administration official did favors for the three politically connected Democrats follows other damaging revelations swirling around Mrs. Clinton, including that the Clinton Foundation pocketed foreign donations while she was secretary of state and that she exclusively used a private email account that concealed official business while she was in office.
Let me make this simple for the media: there isn’t going to be a Clinton campaign, not if you guys do your job. Hillary Clinton is as corrupt as they come, and if you think she’s got scandal problems now, just wait until Lady Macbeth is back in the White House. Finish her now and do your country a service.
The conservative group Freedom Watch has filed a racketeering lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that accuses her of failing to produce documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The civil suit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, argues that Clinton used her private emails to sell access to other officials in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation.
It alleges that, during her tenure, Clinton withheld documents requested under FOIA regarding State Department waivers given to businesses or individuals doing business with Iran, possibly undermining U.S.-imposed sanctions.
The complaint, which lists Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation as defendants, alleges the Clintons sold access to other U.S. government officials in return for donations to their organization, which they concealed, allegedly, by using a private computer server for her emails operated from their home in Chappaqua, New York.
Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, launched dozens of lawsuits against former President Bill Clinton’s administration… In a statement, Klayman cast his lawsuit as “the first and only hard-hitting case to address the growing email scandal.”
Good for Larry Klayman. Use lawfare against them. Aside from brute force, it’s the only thing these miscreants understand.
Yemen’s descent into political chaos makes it the latest Mideast nation too dangerous for U.S. officials to operate in — a development intelligence sources say will dangerously limit America’s ability to track and target al Qaeda and other extremist terror movements in the region.
While some Obama administration critics see the military triumphs of Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels in Yemen as a victory by the region’s Shiite powerhouse, Iran, others say the more dangerous fallout will be the loss of real-time intelligence and on-the-ground assets following the withdrawal of U.S. special forces from a Yemeni air base that has long played a key role in the battle against Sunni extremist al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Yemen is the home base of the Sunni terrorist group, which U.S. intelligence officials have described as the most likely among jihadi organizations around the world to “attempt transnational attacks against the United States.” Despite the value of the base, the administration ordered the pullout of all U.S. forces from Yemen’s Al Anad air base on March 20 after AQAP forces and aligned tribal fighters briefly took control of the nearby city of Houta.
While military and intelligence officials are mum on the role the base has played in hundreds of drone strikes carried out against AQAP operatives during recent years, the sudden American pullout underscores the extent to which the administration’s counterterrorism strategy has collapsed in the region. A year ago, President Obama pointed to Yemen as a model for his strategy and a success story in the counterterrorism fight.
A few more successes like this and we’ll be in real trouble. But just another’s day work for the most anti-American president in American history. Hey! Maybe Obama’s middle name, “Hussein,” should have been a dead giveaway.
Godwin’s Law: ”As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” Or, as it’s commonly misunderstood: no comparison of anything today may ever be made with what happened in Germany under the National Socialist German Workers Party. But that’s bunk, and here’s a good example why:
Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers. A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.
“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”
Corporate philanthropy… hmmm, lemme think… they couldn’t be talking about… could they? They could indeed:
The letter does not mention specific companies, but it does name David H. Koch, who sits on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has given tens of millions of dollars to those institutions. Koch Industries is a privately held corporation with subsidiaries in energy and other industries. Mr. Koch and his family have funded conservative causes, including scientists and organizations that contest the role of humans in climate change.
Public records show that many fossil-fuel companies have made similar contributions to such organizations and scientists over the years.
Free speech? Right to peaceable, if virtual, assembly? Petition the government for redress of grievances? Hah!
The letter is a project of the Natural History Museum, a mobile museum that draws attention to “social and political forces that shape nature yet are left out of traditional natural history museums,” said its co-founder and director, Beka Economopoulos. A petition drive, also released on Tuesday and sponsored by environmental organizations including Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, urges the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History to “Kick Koch off the board!”
Juden raus! or something like that. Meanwhile, in related news of coercion and thuggery:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change.
“If a state has a climate denier governor that doesn’t want to accept a plan, that would risk mitigation work not getting done because of politics,” said Becky Hammer, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program. “The governor would be increasing the risk to citizens in that state” because of his climate beliefs.
Representative democracy: it was fun while it lasted.
It’s a racket, plain and simple. Two related news items of note. First:
Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tainted the image and integrity of the immigration program he oversaw by fostering “an appearance of favoritism and special access” in how the agency treated projects that would bring visas and Green Cards to wealthy foreign investors, a new report from the agency’s Inspector General says.
“The juxtaposition of Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits, created an appearance of favoritism and special access,” the Inspector General’s report concluded.
The DHS IG report specifically focused on allegations of special treatment afforded to a Las Vegas casino project championed by Sen. Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader, and an electric car enterprise led by Terry McAuliffe, who is now Virginia governor, and involving Anthony Rodham, the brother of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And second: did somebody say Terry McAuliffe?
Not long before he became governor of Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe received special treatment on behalf of his electric-car company from a top official at the Department of Homeland Security, according to a new report from the department’s inspector general.
McAuliffe was among several politically powerful individuals from both parties, including Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), seeking special visas for foreign investors through a program administered by the department. But intervention on behalf of McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive company by Alejandro Mayorkas, now the department’s No. 2 official, “was unprecedented,” according to the report.
The long-anticipated report found no evidence of law-breaking. But members of the department’s staff perceived Mayorkas’s actions as “politically motivated,” and the report concluded that he had “created an appearance of favoritism and special access.”
“No evidence of law-breaking.” Ha ha ha ha! Of course not: that’s how these people, the Clintons and the Obamas, roll: right up to the edge and hope nobody notices that, every once in a while, they might put a foot over. At root is something called the EB-5 Visa program:
The report is likely to stir up renewed scrutiny of the department’s management of the EB-5 visa program, which allows foreign nationals who create jobs in the United States to obtain green cards. And it is likely to rekindle examination of McAuliffe and GreenTech, which at the time of Mayorkas’s actions was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its conduct in soliciting foreign investors. Initially popular with lawmakers from both parties, the visa program has prompted accusations from detractors that it puts visas up for sale — and doesn’t provide sufficient oversight to ensure that the promised jobs materialize.
How about that! What the program is, of course, is another opportunity for graft and corruption, something Democrats in particular have been specializing in for more than a century at the big-city, state and federal level. And nobody gives a damn; this report will be filed and forgotten, and the rich will get richer… thanks to the federal government and its extra-constitutional functions.
Who will finally stop this?
The end is near. Well, near-ish:
Scientists claim an ‘imminent’ collapse of the universe will take place sooner than expected. According to a new study, galaxies could rip themselves to shreds in tens of billions of years – a relatively short time in cosmological terms. If the scientists are right about their theory, it may help explain the presence of dark energy and why the rate of expansion in the universe has accelerated.
Nemanja Kaloper at the University of California, Davis, and Antonio Padilla at the University of Nottingham say clues for a collapse can be found in dark energy. Dark energy is a mysterious force that can be observed in models that show how the universe expands – but no one known exactly what it is.
‘The fact that we are seeing dark energy now could be taken as an indication of impending doom, and we are trying to look at the data to put some figures on the end date,’ Padilla told Lisa Zyga at Phys.org. ‘Early indications suggest the collapse will kick in in a few tens of billions of years, but we have yet to properly verify this.’
Darn! That little “verification” thingummy strikes again. But look on the bright side: a few more visits to the pub are all in the interests of science.
You may recall that a federal judge, Andrew Hanen, has blocked president Obama’s unilateral “immigration” decision to “temporarily” defer deportation proceedings against possibly millions of people who are in this country illegally. Now, in a sign that the courts are finally beginning to understand the extent of the Constitution threat Obama poses while in the White House, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal has decided to take up the case on an expedited basis:
A federal appellate court Tuesday agreed to hear an expedited appeal of a ruling by a federal judge in Texas that blocked President Barack Obama’s immigration actions. Granting the Obama administration’s request for an expedited appeal, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a hearing on April 17 to consider the administration’s challenge to a ruling last month that temporarily blocked it from implementing a sweeping program to defer deportations and grant other benefits for people in the country illegally. The court will consider whether to stay the injunction at the hearing.
In a ruling last month, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, sided with officials from 26 largely Republican states who contend the president overstepped his authority when he took the action in November without congressional approval.
In appellate briefs filed with the Fifth Circuit court in New Orleans, the Obama administration has claimed Judge Hanen’s injunction undermined the federal government’s authority to prioritize which undocumented immigrants to deport. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the suit by the states, said the states “will vigorously oppose the president’s illegal amnesty plan in court.”
One could possibly interpret this move as favorable to the administration, which otherwise would be forced to choose between obeying the judge’s order or telling him to go pound sand, which is the preferred Obama Way. But the administration’s brazen concealment of material information from the judge is something that most judges, no matter what their political stripe, frown mightily upon. So moving the appeals process along might indicate that the Fifth Circuit intends to hand the administration another, more powerful, rebuke.
Not that Obama or his cronies will pay any attention to it, of course. He’s on a collision course with the Constitution and the American people, and doesn’t care who knows it.
Cross Barry, pay the price via his buddy at Justice, Eric Holder:
Federal investigators could file criminal corruption charges against Sen. Robert Mendendez of New Jersey as early as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the investigation. Mendendez, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been under investigation for possible corruption and has denied wrongdoing, the paper reported Sunday.
Specific charges weren’t immediately clear, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating Mendendez for more than two years. Menendez is accused of using his political position to boost the business interests of a friend and Democratic Party donor, in exchange for gifts. Sources cited by the Wall Street Journal said Mendendez would be charged in his home state of New Jersey.
The Journal story is behind the pay wall, so this is from Fox News. But to put what’s happening in context, this story from the New York Times last month may be helpful:
When Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said last week that he would give President Obama two months before defying a veto threat and voting for new sanctions on Iran, he made it clear that the delay was not out of loyalty to his fellow Democrat in the Oval Office.
“I don’t get calls from the White House,” Mr. Menendez said when asked whether the president or his team had lobbied him for the reprieve. It was a frank acknowledgment of the rifts that exist between Mr. Obama and Mr. Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The divisions have burst into public view in recent weeks as Mr. Menendez, a second-term senator, has taken on Mr. Obama over Cuba and Iran.
Mr. Obama’s advisers say they speak with Mr. Menendez regularly, and the senator described his relationship with the White House as excellent. But deep policy and political divisions remain between Mr. Obama and the senator, one of the Democrats best positioned to defend the administration’s foreign policy in Congress.
Adios, Bob. It was nice knowin’ ya.
V.S. Naipaul Says It All About the Islamic State: It’s Islamic, It’s Evil and It Needs to be Destroyed
Don’t take it from some pasty-faced white guy. Take it from a Nobel Prize-winning British author of Indian extraction from Trinidad. Here’s the teaser from the Daily Mail:
The Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul has warned that Islamic State are the most potent threat to the world since the Nazis. In a hard-hitting article in today’s Mail on Sunday, the revered novelist brands the extremist Muslim organisation as the Fourth Reich, saying it is comparable to Adolf Hitler’s regime in its fanaticism and barbarity.
Calling for its ‘military annihilation,’ the Trinidadian-born British writer says IS is ‘dedicated to a contemporary holocaust’, has a belief in its own ‘racial superiority,’ and produces propaganda that Goebbels would be proud of.
And here’s what Naipaul has to say about the rise of fanatical barbarians:
My first book [on the subject of Islam] was called Among The Believers and the second, perhaps prophetically, Beyond Belief. Since those books were written, the word ‘fundamentalism’ has taken on new meanings. As the word suggests, it means going back to the groundings, to the foundations and perhaps to first principles. It is used to characterise the interpretation given to passages of the Koran, to the Hadith, which is a collection of the acts in the life of the Prophet Mohammed and to an interpretation of sharia law.
However, the particular fundamentalist ideology of ‘Islamist’ groups that have dedicated themselves to terror – such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and now in its most vicious, barbaric and threatening form the Islamic Caliphate, Isis or the Islamic State (IS) – interprets the foundation and the beginning as dating from the birth of the Prophet Mohammed in the 6th Century. This fundamentalism denies the value and even the existence of civilisations that preceded the revelations of the Koran. It was an article of 6th and 7th Century Arab faith that everything before it was wrong, heretical. There was no room for the pre-Islamic past.
Naipaul’s warning is important: Islam does not simply seek the forced conversion or death of every single “unbeliever” on the planet. It also — and this is the part that should interest anyone in western civilization — the eradication of everything non-Islamic. No more Mozart, no more Goethe, no more Shakespeare, no more Chartres Cathedral. It is a deadly pestilence that must be eliminated if the West is ever to survive in anything like its current form.
The idea that faith abolishes history has been revived as the central creed of the Islamists and of Isis. Their determination to deny, eliminate and erase the past manifests itself in the destruction of the art, artefacts and archaeological sites of the great empires, the Persian, the Assyrian and Roman that constitute the histories of Mesopotamia and Syria.
They have bulldozed landmarks in the ancient city of Dur Sharukkin and smashed Assyrian statues in the Mosul museum. Destroying the winged bull outside the fortifications of Nineveh satisfies the same reductive impulse behind the destruction by the Taliban of the Bhumiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has described this destruction of art, artefacts, inscriptions and of the museums that house them not only as a butchery of civilisational memory but as a war crime.
After we bombed Germany and Japan into submission, in response to their war crimes we hanged their leaders, outlawed their former systems of government and forcibly imposed democracy upon them. Something similar is going to have to happen to an expansionist Islamic world, and soon:
Though the appeal of Isis can be challenged by other strands of Islam, its murderous presence persists in the failed states of Iraq and war-torn Syria and threatens to spread through northern Africa.
The crippled Iraqi government has launched its reluctant armies against Isis. The Iranians, being Shias opposed to Sunni Caliphates, are supporting the Iraqi army and the Shia militias, who are a considerable force independent of the Iraqi government, are in a coalition to fight Isis on the ground. With air support from the West, they may manage to push Isis back.
Such an offensive, with the immediate objective of regaining Iraqi territory has to be urgently expanded. Isis has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich. Its military annihilation as an anti-civilisational force has to now be the objective of a world that wants its ideological and material freedoms.
Is the West’s current leadership up to the task? Don’t make me laugh.
President Obama’s role during the Israeli elections was larger than reported, according to a pollster for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.
“What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu,” John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist, said in an interview on John Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” radio show broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York. ”There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu,” McLaughlin said.
He noted an effort to oust Netanyahu was guided by former Obama political operative Jeremy Bird and that V15, or Victory 15, ads hurt Netanyahu in the polls. McLaughlin said the Israeli leader rebounded after delivering a speech to Congress early this month, prompting more critical ads. 15 was viewed as part of a broader campaign to oust Netanyahu. The group was linked to Washington-based nonprofit OneVoice Movement, which reportedly received $350,000 in State Department grants. Money to OneVoice stopped flowing in November, officials said, before the Israeli elections.
For Hillary Clinton, the personal was political; for Barry Hussein the political is always personal. It was said of Mrs. Clinton’s husband by George Will that Bubba may not have been the worst president in history, but was certainly the worst man ever to become president. Obama has retired both titles.
The idea was to ban the construction of new fast-food outlets in South Central Los Angeles, in order to save the local inhabitants from their own worst culinary impulses. So how did that work out?
The South Los Angeles fast-food ban did not decrease obesity in poor neighborhoods because residents found unhealthy food at restaurants in strip malls and convenience stores instead, a new study has found. In 2008, a dietary ordinance targeted a 32-square-mile area south of Interstate 10 that struggles with high obesity rates and other health problems. The ban went into effect in South Los Angeles and restricted the opening or expansion of standalone fast-food restaurants.
However, the law, believed to be the first effort of its kind by a major city to improve public health, did not ban new fast food restaurants in strip malls. This made it possible for unhealthy food to continue making its way into the low-income neighborhoods.
Roland Sturm, a senior economist at RAND Corporation and lead author of the study, said findings should not come as a surprise, as most food outlets in the area are small food stores or restaurants that have limited seating and were not affected by the policy.
In the study, which was published in the Social Science and Medicine journal, Sturm found that in the targeted area, free-standing restaurants were rare to begin with and no new ones have opened since the ordinance took effect. These standalone fast-food restaurants are outnumbered by restaurants in strip malls and small food stores, such as convenience stores, which were not restricted by the ban, according to NPR.
It’s certainly true that if in the extremely unlikely event a denizen of Beverly Hills or the West Side were to drive through the intersection of Florence and Normandie (the epicenter of the Rodney King riots), the frightened white person would see fast-food joints as far as the eye can go, with nary a Whole Foods or a Starbucks (the nearest one appears to be at Slauson and Western) in sight.
But it’s also typical of lefty “do-gooderism” that a law purportedly meant to ban more occasions of gustatory sin was so poorly written that it had no ameliorating effect whatsoever; in fact, it probably made things worse. Kind of like Obamacare, although far less malevolent.
Findings showed that before the dietary ordinance went into effect in 2008, 63 per cent of residents in the area reported being overweight or obese compared to 57 per cent in other parts of the county. But three years on, instead of the law curbing weight gain, the opposite trend took force as obesity rates grew by 12 per cent in South Los Angeles.
‘The South Los Angeles fast food ban may have symbolic value, but it has had no measurable impact in improving diets or reducing obesity,’ said Sturm.
Nice work, everybody.
Alas, at the Times, even the public editor — the reader’s representative whose job is to keep the Newspaper of Record of the Upper West Side honest — is a partisan hack. As even she had to admit today:
In the heat of a very hot news moment last summer, I criticized a Times story about the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I want to acknowledge that I misjudged an important element of that story.
In my post, I found fault with what I saw as “dubious equivalency” and the vaguely described anonymous sourcing in an article that led the paper on Aug. 20. Giving implicit credence to the named sources who described Michael Brown as having his hands up as he was fired on by Officer Darren Wilson, I criticized the use of unnamed sources who offered opposing information: They said that the officer had reason to fear Mr. Brown. I even went so far as to call those unnamed sources “ghosts” because readers had so little ability to evaluate their identity and credibility.
Now that the Justice Department has cleared Mr. Wilson in an 86-page report that included the testimony of more than 40 witnesses, it’s obvious to me that it was important to get that side of the story into the paper.
No kidding! Alas, the Times and other liberal news outlets all too often let the Narrative cloud their news judgment, as they did in the Duke “rape” case (which was nothing of the sort) in Ferguson and just about any other event in which whites and blacks are on opposite sides. In the case of Ferguson, there could be no doubt, after the publication of the autopsy sketches and examination of the bullet wounds, that Michael Brown was rushing toward the police officer, and did not have his hands up. It was an obvious lie from the beginning, told by one who had a vested interest in blaming the police. And the media instantly fell for it.
I still believe, as I did then, that the description of the sourcing was confusing. But that’s a relatively minor issue, and understandable in the rush of breaking news. The main thing is that The Times did its job in describing what were indeed “conflicting reports,” and getting them on the record in whatever way was possible at the time. That served readers well.
I noted once before, in a very low-key way, that my criticism of this story was too harsh. But I want to go further now and say that what I wrote was substantially flawed.
As I’ve mentioned before, in the completely unlikely event that was ever again approached to run a major school of journalism, I would make mandatory courses in firearms and forensics.
I don’t drink coffee — never have, never will — so neither do I patronize Starbucks or any other overpriced java joint filled with hipsters. Still, their absurd “Race Together” campaign would keep me from ever even ordering a cup of tea. And now it’s over. Phase One, at least:
The company announced in a memo that it would stop having its employees write those words on its coffee cups as a way to spark a national conversation about race. In a news release, the company described the rationale behind the campaign:
As racially-charged tragedies unfolded in communities across the country, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks didn’t remain a silent bystander. Howard Schultz voiced his concerns with partners (employees) in the company’s Seattle headquarters and started a discussion about race in America. Despite raw emotion around racial unrest from Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Oakland, “we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America,” Schultz said. “Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”
The plan did get people talking about race, but perhaps not in the way that Starbucks intended.
Has it ever occurred to these soft-headed, guilt-ridden do-gooders that maybe, just maybe, we’ve been having a “conversation about race” for half a century and, after electing Barack Hussein Obama twice, America is not in the mood for another one? The fact that the campaign was widely mocked on Twitter and elsewhere was, in fact, a healthy sign that Americans simply don’t want to be lectured to on the subject anymore, especially by some barista armed with corporate talking points. Still, they’re not giving up:
The memo from Schultz called the Race Together initiative “just the catalyst” for what the company hopes will be a larger dialog on race, and said that Starbucks will continue to try and further that conversation with special sections in USA Today, and by opening more stores in minority communities, the Associated Press reported.
Here’s what the AP had to say:
Starbucks baristas will no longer write “Race Together” on customers’ cups starting Sunday, ending as planned a visible component of the company’s diversity and racial inequality campaign that had sparked widespread criticism in the week since it took effect. The coffee chain’s initiative will continue more broadly without the handwritten messages, Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson said.
The cups were always “just the catalyst” for a larger conversation and Starbucks will still hold forum discussions, co-produce special sections in USA TODAY and put more stores in minority communities as part of the Race Together initiative, according to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz said.
The campaign has been criticized as opportunistic and inappropriate, coming in the wake of racially charged events such as national protests over police killings of black males. Others questioned whether Starbucks workers could spark productive conversations about race while serving drinks.
The phase-out is not a reaction to that pushback, Olson said. “Nothing is changing. It’s all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned.” He echoed the company memo, saying of the Race Together initiative, “We’re leaning into it hard.”
Yeah, right. Goodbye and good riddance, Starbucks: the backlash is going to be a bitch.
This piece, by Times writer Judith Shulevitz, has got to be read in full to be believed. The opening will give you a (dis)taste:
KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.
So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”
Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
And just what sort of “safe space” could the poor dears repair to?
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
And these are the best and brightest who will make up America’s next generation of “leaders.” A toxic combination of Viennese Voodoo, Leftist whining, emotional immaturity and an overly politicized upbringing has given them to us. Be sure to read the whole thing, including the writer’s obvious scorn for the ninnies she’s writing about:
It’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals — mental health counselors, student-life deans and the like. This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization,” as Judith Shapiro, the former president of Barnard College, suggested in an essay for Inside Higher Ed.
But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”
Back when coeducation was being introduced into American colleges and universityies, there were many who predicted adverse consequences:
Certain male doctors argued that extended education was dangerous for women, who could be harmed by overexertion caused by competition with male students. Other opponents of coeducation protested on religious and moral grounds, maintaining that the hazards of impropriety were higher when young men and women were placed in such close proximity for long periods.
Our president is either a fool or a knave:
Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for “Death to America” on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord.
Khamenei told a crowd in Tehran that Iran would not capitulate to Western demands. When the crowd started shouting, “Death to America,” the ayatollah responded: “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.
“They insist on putting pressure on our dear people’s economy,” he said, referring to economic sanctions aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear program. “What is their goal? Their goal is to put the people against the system,” he said. “The politics of America is to create insecurity,” he added, referring both to US pressure on Iran and elsewhere in the region.
The Iranians have been cruising for a serious bruising since 1979, when “students” seized the American embassy in Tehran and held our diplomats hostage in defiance of international law for 444 days. They deserve to be treated with the utmost contempt. Payback is long over due. The first GOP candidate who promises to give it to them, good and hard, before they can get the bomb, will be the next president. Who’s it going to be?
The headline on this
op-ed piece blog post in the Washington Post says it all:
College applicant: I got in! But I can’t afford it. Was all my hard work for nothing?
The author of the piece, Crysten Price, is a high-school senior in Louisiana who just got admitted to Tulane, so let’s cut her some slack here. But what does it say about the success of President Obama’s constant yammering about how college should be “free” (incrementally, of course, beginning with community college, but we’ve all seen this leftist movie before and know where it’s going)? A lot, is what:
I am one of the top two prospects for valedictorian at Riverside, the opposing student is an African-American female and scholarship student as well. With silent fervor and diligence, together we worked to rise to become the top senior ranks. History will be made graduation day; our high school has yet to rear an African-American valedictorian or salutatorian since its opening in 1970. I believe this to be an extraordinary achievement, considering the politics of our community, the region we live in, the current year, and the odds stacked against us…
To my dismay, I was denied the full scholarship to Tulane. Although being accepted is a pretty astounding achievement, somehow I feel the point I’m desperately trying to prove disintegrated completely. Yes, the middle and lower classes have a place at universities such as this, but when it comes to funding we are on our own. It’s almost as if being let in the door to take a brief look around, but shooed off outright.
One might suggest to Ms.
Svrluga Price that millions of students have faced similar circumstances over the years, and many have found a way around or through them: loans, part-time jobs, scholarships (both from the school and elsewhere). Government need not be the first and last resort. Here comes the kicker, though, and it’s unutterably sad:
I want a voice. I want to prove that I am not a product of my hometown’s low expectations.
I want the college education that I worked so hard for yet cannot afford.
I want the rest of the students within my community to leave, to branch out, and to thrive.
I want the destructive system crippling my community to fall.
I want equality of outcome.
And there you have it.
UPDATED: The name of the high-school student has been corrected. Susan Svrluga is a blogger on the Washington Post website who posted Ms. Price’s piece.
Unlike the Democrats, the GOP really does have a strong bench this electoral season, especially once you get past a hopeless Rinosaur like Jeb Bush, fringe candidates like Rand Paul and no-hoper retreads like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker has already made an impressive splash; now Texas conservative firebrand Ted Cruz may be ready to throw his hat into the ring:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is set to deliver a speech on Monday at Liberty University that is stirring speculation about a possible presidential announcement. Allies to the likely GOP 2016 hopeful are reaching out to political reporters and encouraging them to attend what they’re billing as a major address at the evangelical school about 150 miles from D.C.
The conservative college founded by the late Jerry Falwell has often played a major role in the Republican fight for the White House, with hopefuls frequently making stops to speak to the evangelical base of the party. If Cruz does launch a bid, as expected, those evangelical voters will be crucial to separating himself in a crowded likely GOP field.
The country needs fresh faces, not exhausted familial dynasties like the Clintons and the Bushes. So run, Ted, run.
One thing Barack Hussein Obama definitely learned from the Clintons: that if you are utterly brazen and shameless about your lawlessness, you can get away with it. For a while, anyway:
Haitian activists protested outside of the Clinton Foundation in New York over the loss of “billions of dollars” that was meant to help rebuild after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
The activists are claiming the money was stolen through the Haiti Reconstruction Comm ssion that was headed by Bill Clinton. In January 2015, the Clinton Foundation was the target of protests for wasting more than $10 billion and awarding contracts to non-Haitian companies. The activists also said Haiti as a cover for foreign governments to funnel kickbacks of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. They believe that this was done for favors that Hillary was doing for the foreign governments while she was Secretary of State.
Mrs. Clinton is going to rue the day, if she hasn’t already, that she took Barry’s poisoned chalice in Foggy Bottom: between Benghazi and the aggrieved, exploited Haitians — Democrats using black people as props again, in order to make themselves look and feel good, while costing them nothing — these scandals have the capacity to finally finish her long reign of terror in American politics. It can’t happen fast enough.
Everything about the Obama administration always works so smoothly and works out so well:
The first Senate-confirmed director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is leaving the post after less than two years, the agency announced Friday. B. Todd Jones’ resignation is effective March 31. After that, Deputy Director Thomas Brandon will become acting director.
“I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF’s unique law enforcement and regulatory mission,” Jones said in a statement Friday. President Barack Obama nominated Jones in January 2013, and he was approved by the Senate about six months later.
Interesting timing regarding Jones’s appointment:
Jones was nominated to the post in the aftermath of the December 2012 mass shooting at a Connecticut school where 26 people, including 20 children, were killed. The appointment was part of the Obama administration’s efforts to push for tougher gun control laws. Multiple bills failed in Congress, but Jones’ approval was considered a rare victory in the gun control debate.
Under Jones’ tenure, the agency faced renewed criticism about its investigative tactics, including the use of so-called storefront and sting operations to pursue violent criminals. Most recently, the agency came under fire for proposing the elimination of an exemption that allowed the sale and manufacture of certain types of bullets, used in the popular AR-15-style rifles, that could pierce a police officer’s protective vest when fired from a handgun.
In other words, Jones was appointed, in classic Obama fashion, not to protect the constitutional rights of the American public or even get to the bottom of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, but to go around the Constitution and impose “gun control” via bureaucratic methods. What a surprise.
The proposed change would have effectively outlawed “M855 green tip” or “SS109″ rounds with certain types of metal core projectiles. Most of the more than 310,000 public comments about the proposal were critical of the plan, and nearly 300 members of Congress — majorities in both the House and Senate — also complained. The effort was abandoned earlier this month.
Remember: they never stop, they never sleep, they never quit. Don’t expect the new guy to be much better.
Sometimes I mistrust the guys on our side more than I mistrust the guys on their side:
The Justice Department has launched a formal criminal investigation into the office and campaign expenses of resigning Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock, as well as his personal business dealings with political donors, a person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Friday.
The government was convening a federal grand jury in Springfield, Illinois, and the FBI has begun issuing subpoenas to compel people close to the Republican congressman to testify, the person said. The person spoke only on grounds of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the case. The grand jury was hearing testimony in early April, according to the subpoenas.
Schock abruptly resigned on Tuesday, citing a “heavy heart,” following six weeks of revelations about his business deals and lavish spending on trips, mileage reimbursements and office decor in the style of “Downton Abbey.”
Naturally, the “Justice” Department — which apparently exists to stonewall Congress and punish Obama’s enemies, especially if they’re white — has gotten into the act.
Schock abruptly resigned on Tuesday, citing a “heavy heart,” following six weeks of revelations about his business deals and lavish spending on trips, mileage reimbursements and office decor in the style of “Downton Abbey.” Schock, 33, a young, media-savvy Republican, said in a statement earlier this week that the constant questions about his spending and business dealings made it impossible to serve effectively as congressman.
The questions raised have included Associated Press investigations of his real estate transactions, air travel and Instagram use. On Monday, the AP confirmed that the Office of Congressional Ethics had reached out to Schock’s associates as it apparently began an investigation.
House Speaker John Boehner was not informed of Schock’s resignation before it was announced but has said he supports the decision.
I’m sure he does; after all, Weepy John supports pretty much everything the Obama administration does, says or thinks. This guy Schock, however, really does seem like a piece of work, and the GOP is better off without him.
A little bit of dangerously soft-headed Scandinavia, right in the American heartland, Minnesota must just be bursting with multicultural, non-judgmental pride over its Muslim representative in Congress, Keith Ellison:
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said on Wednesday that the Islamic State is “as Islamic as the Ku Klux Klan is Christian.”
CNSNews.com asked Ellison: “The Atlantic magazine’s Graeme Wood recently wrote that ‘the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic’ and that ‘the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.’ Do you agree that the Islamic State is Islamic?”
Rep. Ellison said: “I do not agree. It’s as Islamic as the Ku Klux Klan is Christian, right. It is, of course, you know, the Ku Klux Klan uses Christian rhetoric. They throw crosses around. But what person going to church on any given Sunday recognizes that as their faith? And so, that’s the same way that I believe that ISIS is Islamic.”
“I can tell you that I go to Mosque every Friday and I go all over this country and meet Muslims every day, and all of them look at ISIS with tremendous horror,” said Ellison, who is a Sunni Muslim. “And, by the way, ISIS kills Muslims more than anybody else.”
Who knew that KKK stood for Ku Klux Khristian? And as far as ISIS killing Muslims, that’s only because they haven’t arrived in the West in full numbers yet. They’re just practicing in Syria and “Iraq,” honing their edge and sharpening their knives. Ellison knows this, and yet he takes a seat in Congress. Disgraceful.
In Japan, you bow. You don’t try to shake hands, curtsey, lurch for a hug, and bow simultaneously, especially when you tower over the Emperor of Nihon. But hey, FLOTUS gonna do what FLOTUS gonna do:
Michelle Obama has had an awkward start to her visit to Japan as she was pictured towering over Emperor Akihito and stumbling as she tried to bow, shake his hand and curtsey at once.
The First Lady, dressed in a florid combination of a blazer and skirt, dwarfed the Emperor in her silver stilettos, while he maintained his composure and smiled politely. She then squatted slightly while shaking his hand, seemingly trying to disguise the difference of height between them.
Mrs Obama, who is 5ft 9in tall, also caused embarrassment earlier in the day when she grabbed Akie Abe, wife of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a hug-and-handshake combination while the Japanese First Lady was trying to bow.
Democrats seems to have an especially tough time in Asia, although let’s not forget the immortal moment when George H.W. Bush hurled on the Japanese prime minister during a state visit.
Excessive physical contact is frowned upon in Japan, and strict traditions govern the practice of bowing. Despite intensive etiquette coaching, successive U.S. officials have famously got it wrong. In 2009, President Barack Obama was was photographed bending to nearly a 90 degree angle when he greeted the Japanese Emperor at the Imperial Palace. His efforts were widely mocked. In another example of over-enthusiastic bowing, the President was pictured bowing to a robot in 2014 while the Japanese people around him remained upright.
In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton went to the other extreme, causing offence by inclining his head and shoulders forward and mysteriously pressing his hands together when he met the Emperor.
Awkwardness and tension underpins much of the First Lady’s visit. Her three-day trip is being described as a ‘makeup call’ after she ‘snubbed’ the Japanese by failing to accompany her husband during his state visit to Japan last year.
What an embarrassment to the United States of America the Obamas are. And to think there’s another two years of this ahead of us:
None other than Monica Lewinsky, who obviously figures that if Hillary! can resurrect the nineties, so can she, via the pages of the increasingly anti-Hillary New York Times:
Monica Lewinsky was sitting in a Manhattan auditorium last month, watching teenage girls perform a play called “Slut.” Ms. Lewinsky was in blue jeans and a blazer, her hair pulled out of her face with a small clip. She was wiping away tears.
In the scene, a young woman was seated in an interrogation room. She had been asked to describe, repeatedly, what had happened on the night in question — when, she said, on their way to a party, a group of guy friends had pinned her down in a taxi and sexually assaulted her. She had reported them. Now everyone at school knew, everyone had chosen a side.
“My life has just completely fallen apart,” the girl said, her voice shaking. Her parents were in the next room. “Now I’m that girl.” The play concluded, and Ms. Lewinsky fumbled through her purse for a tissue. A woman came and whisked her to the stage. “Hi, I’m Monica Lewinsky,” she said, visibly nervous.
The Girl in the Blue Dress gets the full, sympathetic, gauzy-photo treatment from the Paper of Record of the Democrat National Committee; instead of the hot intern who seduced an easily persuaded our horn dog of a president, she’s now the Wronged Woman, standing up for Womyn Everywhere.
A lot is different for Monica Lewinsky these days, starting with the fact that, until last year, she had hardly appeared publicly for a decade. Now 41, the former White House intern once famously dismissed by the president as “that woman” holds a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics. She splits time between New York and Los Angeles, where she grew up, and London, and said it’s been hard to find work. Mostly she has embraced a quiet existence: doing meditation and therapy, volunteering, spending time with friends.
But the quiet ended last May, when she wrote an essay for Vanity Fair about the aftermath of her affair with Bill Clinton — the story a result of a years-long relationship with the magazine and its editor, Graydon Carter. (She was first photographed in its pages by Herb Ritts in 1998.) In the essay, which was a finalist for a 2015 National Magazine Award, she declared that the time had come to “burn the beret and bury the blue dress” and “give a purpose to my past…”
She is likable, funny and self-deprecating. She is also acutely intelligent, something for which she doesn’t get much credit. But she is also stuck in a kind of time warp over which she has little control.
Read the whole thing, especially if you’re nostalgic for pre-9/11 America. And then remember why there’s no way in hell we want a choice between Hillary! and Jeb Bush.
Four men have been charged with the murder of a man who was stabbed at a Coventry nightclub. They are accused of killing Daniel Kirkwood, 18, who had knife wounds to the neck and was found outside the Society Club early on Sunday. Along with Mr Kirkwood, who died in hospital, another 18-year-old man was stabbed in the back and a teenager, 17, was slashed on the arm with a knife. The four charged are due to appear before Coventry magistrates, later.
You’re going to be stunned when you learn the names of the “Britons” who killed the unforgivably white Kirkwood:
Saker Shireen Khan, 24, of Belchers Lane, Small Heath, Hasham Muqtaz Ali, 18, of Amberley Green, Great Barr, Ramez Murtaza, 20, of Bordesley Green East, Bordesley Green – all Birmingham – and Tobijah Thompson, 24, of no fixed address, are charged with murder and wounding.
The two other victims did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
According to British newspapers accounts, “Revellers took pics of a teen dying after being knifed in the throat — then posted them on Snapchat.”
Isn’t muliculturalism grand?