Mitt and Ann Romney invited presidential candidates Chris Christie and Marco Rubio to their lake house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, ahead of the Wolfeboro Fourth of July Parade in the key primary state on Saturday. Christie posted this picture of the disheveled-looking Republicans on his Facebook page after Friday night’s sleepover — and it’s begging for a new caption. Leave your ideas in the comments section below.
We celebrate the 4th of July as the day we overtook the South. And the Declaration of Independence was signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1964. Or was it 1984? Those were some of the things media analyst Mark Dice learned when he asked San Diego beachgoers about the holiday.
One woman didn’t bat an eye when she was asked what year founding fathers Jesse Ventura and John Wilkes Booth wrote the Declaration of Independence. She said she thought it was sometime in the 1700s.
Fortunately, there was an Italian vacationer who was able to answer some basic questions about American history. At least we know they’re teaching our history somewhere.
I wish Mark had asked the beachgoers if they were the products of government schools. I’m guessing it would be somewhere in the 100% range.
If you’re a parent or grandparent, Maggie Hamilton has some great resources for teaching kids about the meaning of Independence Day on PJ Parenting’s Real Life Parenting Weekly Link Roundup.
She also make a great case for Why It Is Still Important for Your Family to Watch Fireworks.
A series of Associated Press photos from a 2nd Amendment event in Iowa on Saturday appear to show Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Texas) with a gun pointed at his head. Cruz, who was speaking at a “Celebrate the 2nd Amendment Event” in Iowa, was photographed next to a poster of a gun, which looked like it was pointed right between the Texas senator’s eyes.
Remember that whole media freakout about Sarah Palin being to blame for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords because her SarahPAC used a crosshairs graphic to single out “targeted” districts? In case you’ve forgotten, ABC News wrote at the time:
Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg said many people on the social networking site are asking whether Sarah Palin is to blame.
According to Zuckerberg that is the #1 question on the social network behemoth following the Tucson shooting.
Like so much with Palin, the roots are on Facebook. On her Facebook page last year when she posted the a map of 20 congressional districts targeted by SarahPac, the headline of the map: “It’s time to take a stand.”
At the time Giffords reacted to the map in an interview on a cable news program.
“When people do that, they’ve got to realize there are consequences to that action,” Giffords said.
After Twitter lit up with complaints about the photos of Cruz — none of them from the left that I could find — the Associated Press issued a statement Sunday night:
“Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was shown in a series of 14 photos taken by an Associated Press photographer at a ‘Celebrate the 2nd Amendment’ event Saturday afternoon, held at a shooting range in Johnston, Iowa,” the statement said. “Five of the photos published by AP included images of guns seen on a wall in the background so that it appeared a pistol was pointed at Sen. Cruz’s head.”
“The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light,” the statement added.
No, of course not. The photographer had no idea what he had there when he lined up that shot (no pun intended) and then clicked the shutter. And the editor who approved the images for AP use also had no idea that there might be a problem with a picture of a gun pointed at a Republican presidential candidate’s head. They’d have done the same to a Democrat, right?
— Douglas Lee (@twitta_D) June 22, 2015
On the one hand, we’re told that things like crosshair graphics and Confederate flags incite violence. These images are so menacing– so inherently dangerous — they must be scrubbed from the public square because those images are the reason crazed lunatics kill. On the other hand, if the target is a Republican, then we’re supposed to believe that it’s harmless “art” or “journalism.”
They say you can’t have it both ways, but liberals always manage to find a way to do just that.
On the next page are some reactions to the hypocrisy on Twitter.
If the Republicans make the mistake of nominating a pro-Common Core candidate to run for president in 2016, they’ll be positioning themselves to lose. It will be disastrous for the Republican Party and for the country, because we could very likely end up with Hillary Clinton as our next president. Both Jeb Bush and John Kasich – enthusiastic supporters of the top-down, federally influenced state education standards – are destined to go down with the Common Core ship and they’ll take the GOP with them if either one is at the top of the ticket in 2016.
Does that sound extreme? I think the numbers and the anecdotal evidence are on my side. Consider that there are some 50 million children enrolled in public schools in the United States, plus another 5 million who attend private schools, most of which are following the Common Core standards. A Gallup survey of parents with kids in public schools found that 35% view the standards unfavorably — and 18% have a “very negative” view of them. Even allowing that many families have more than one child in school, it’s still likely that a million parents think the standards are bad and probably at least half a million think they’re really bad. Add to that the grandparents and friends of the family who are hearing about it second hand and you’ve got a giant pool of Americans — all potential voters — who don’t like Common Core.
How many of those are swing voters who don’t normally care about politics — individuals who don’t identify themselves with Rs or Ds but will show up to the polls to vote for a particular issue or for the candidate who says he or she will stand up for their kids? According to a University of Connecticut poll conducted last year, two-thirds of independents think national standards are a bad policy. Worse (if you’re a pro-Common Core candidate), 43% of voters in Ohio (the swing state on steroids) oppose the standards while only 60% of Democrats like it. And the numbers are going in the wrong direction for supporters of Common Core.
Artificial trans fat will be removed from the U.S. food supply over the next three years under a ruling by regulators that the products pose health risks that contribute to heart disease.
There’s no longer a scientific consensus that partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat, are generally recognized as safe, according to a final decisionreleased Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration. The oils are used for frying and in baked goods as well as in confections.
Food companies will be able to petition the FDA to gain approval of specific uses of partially hydrogenated oils if they have data proving the use isn’t harmful. Companies will have until June 2018 to comply with the FDA’s determination, either by removing trans fat or gaining a waiver. The FDA said it hasn’t seen any data to prove that even low levels of partially hydrogenated oils are safe.
The ban will likely cost food companies $6.2 billion over 20 years, according to FDA estimates. Many companies began phasing out trans fats years ago.
“I don’t know how many lives will be saved, but probably in the thousands per year when all the companies are in compliance,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
McDonald’s french fries have been white, limp, and virtually tasteless since the company stopped frying their foods in trans fats in 2008, voluntarily bowing to pressure from government agencies and “consumer advocates.” Now, the government is stepping in to make sure that everything we eat is just as bland and tasteless because, as is the case with most government edicts, the “science is settled” that trans fat is killing thousands of Americans.
Until they discover a decade from now that whatever replaces trans fat in 2018 is killing even more Americans — and then science will have to be resettled.
During a segment with Brian Kilmeade on The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly unloaded on the PC gender-language bullies who are trying to impose gender-neutral — or in some cases, feminist-supremacist — language on Americans. The latest is an effort by a tech startup to ban the term “you guys” because it represents “creeping sexism.”
Kelly had one message for those folks:
As a woman, I can say this: YOUGUYSYOUGUYSYOUGUYSYOUGUYSYOUGUYSYOUGUYSYOUGUYS!
I like former Texas Governor Rick Perry. In fact, I would have voted for him in the Ohio primary last time around had he not dropped out of the race before Super Tuesday. I thought he had a stellar campaign launch last week and it seems like he’s done a lot of hard work to prepare for a second presidential run.
But his appearance on Wednesday night’s The Kelly File was Exhibit A for “How Republicans Fail When Talking About Abortion.” Perry didn’t say anything wrong. In fact, if anything, he was too careful — too scripted — when he defended the Texas law designed to protect women from filthy, unregulated abortion clinics.
See what I did there? I led with an emotional appeal that brings to mind the image of unsanitary surgical equipment and a vulnerable young woman lying on a blood-stained exam table with germ-encrusted stirrups. Oops! I just did it again. You’re picturing that frightened teenager in your mind right now, aren’t you?
Unfortunately, that’s not what Perry did. When Megyn Kelly led the story by describing “a tough new Texas law that may close all but seven abortion clinics in the nation’s second most populous state” and then quoted critics who claim it threatens a woman’s right to have an abortion, Perry recited dry talking points about the bill raising “ambulatory surgical center care standards” and noted that the law requires physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
It was a huge missed opportunity and one that Republicans — terrified they’ll accidentally bump into the War on Women and get Todd Akin-ed — seem to miss at every opportunity.
NEWSFLASH: This ain’t rocket science.
All Rick Perry had to do — all any Republican has to do — is tell the true stories of real women who have been injured or have died as a result of substandard care in poorly regulated abortion clinics. Every Republican candidate should have one or two — or ten — stories at the ready when they’re asked why they want to close abortion clinics. They should be able to describe — in every horrific detail — just what goes on behind the closed doors of those dirty clinics, where women are anaesthetized and vulnerable, often at the lowest point in their lives.
Instead, Perry droned on with the risk-averse-consultant-approved talking points. “The people of Texas — we discussed this at length after a lengthy debate and this is really getting down to about women’s health. The idea that you don’t want a a facility to have the same standards that the ambulatory surgical center, I think really goes counter to women’s health,” Perry said.
It’s not like these things are anything other than giant coronations anyway.
Cuyahoga County bars and restaurants catering to Republican National Convention delegates next summer would be allowed to serve beer and alcohol until 4 a.m., under language added to the Ohio Senate’s budget plan.
The provision, still under debate, would allow local officials to issue waivers for businesses to continue booze sales past the usual 2:30 a.m. cutoff time during the convention, scheduled for July 18-21 of 2016…
…Sen. Tom Patton, a Strongsville Republican who inserted the provision in the Ohio Senate’s budget plan, said he wants to make sure that local establishments can remain open late to serve convention attendees who may not leave the Quicken Loans Arena until after midnight.
“We’re trying to show Cleveland in its best light, and we have a lot of great restaurants downtown,” Patton said.
Some prescient Ohio Republican senators probably figure that plenty of RNC attendees will either be drowning their sorrows or basking in the glow of a John Kasich nomination. There will either be dancing in the streets or weeping and gnashing of teeth well into the wee hours of the night. Why not let the bar owners make a few bucks off of the ecstasy/misery, they figure.
What this has to do with the state budget? Who knows.
Also, (and I don’t know if this is related to the anticipated alcohol consumption):
A pair of Democratic senators from Ohio and Pennsylvania — the states holding 2016′s major political conventions — have requested $100 million in security funding to be evenly split between the two events.
In a Tuesday letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Robert P. Casey asked that the security funding be tacked onto a federal program that provides money for local law enforcement agencies.
Brown’s and Casey’s letter says the funding is “critical to the host cities’ efforts to obtain extra law enforcement personnel necessary to ensure a safe and secure environment” for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Sen. Rob Portman sent his own convention funding-related letter on Tuesday to Sen. Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate banking committee and a member of the appropriations committee.
In an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly that ran on Friday, two of the Duggar daughters who were victims of their brother’s inappropriate sexual touching called out the magazine that illegally released the records that not only revealed the identity of their brother Josh (who was a juvenile at the time), but also indirectly identified the victims.
Jill Dillard, the second daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, told Kelly that she suspected there might be an agenda behind the story. “I mean, I know that the tabloids that released this, even have — you know, they’re used to exploiting women. They have the parent company –”
“Well, Bauer…they’re a major porn provider…” her sister Jessa Seewald interrupted.
“So I don’t know if they are — maybe their mindset, they’re just used to making objects out of women and maybe we just didn’t seem any different,” Seewald continued.
Jill and Jessa are members of the conservative Christian family that has been featured in the reality TV series 19 Kids and Counting, and the young women are spot on about the background of the company that publishes In Touch magazine.
Bauer Media Group, based in Hamburg, Germany, publishes 600 magazines, over 400 digital products, and 50 radio and TV stations around the world, including In Touch magazine, the publication that uncovered the story of the abuse in the Duggar home. They also traffic in porn — some of it Nazi-themed., as you’ll see on the next page.
OK, it’s actually a parody, in the vein of those Hitler videos with the hilarious subtitles. But alas, a humorous video depicting the Muslim world mocking President Obama for obsessing over climate change while the world is being overrun by terrorists (predictably) brought out the outrage cops. So many that iPhoneConservative, producer of the video, had to post an explanation beneath the YouTube video after a barrage of negative comments:
I must admit I find it fascinating that so many people commenting here are voicing their outrage at my editing of the subtitles in this clip from MEMRI. For those that don’t know who they are………..they are an invaluable site that documents and translates much of what goes on in Middle East media. This clip was from their site. Every day they post videos with leading Islamic figures and personalities making hideous statements about Jews and Christians. About killing gays and beating women. I wonder how many of those outraged by my use of the clip in this way are equally outraged by the real sentiments expressed on these program’s? Not enough I would guess.
In other words, Muslim leaders and media figures can say the most vile things about Americans, Jews, Christians, women, and gays nearly every day (as documented by MEMRI — the Middle East Media Research Institute) and nobody gets worked up about it. But suddenly, these same people who willfully ignore truly offensive — and even dangerous — rhetoric coming out of the Middle East are incensed because of a video that mocks their beloved POTUS with lines like, ”Did you see that video of him working out? My eight-year-old daughter has bigger biceps than him!” That is worthy of vociferous concern trolling. The Jews, women, Christians, and gays who actually do stand in the crosshairs of these groups and individuals? They can fend for themselves. Besides, the concern trolls have at least 20 more Duggars to investigate.
UPDATE: Left-leaning Snopes has now weighed in, letting us know that after a thorough investigation, they can assure us that the Muslim world is not actually making fun of Obama.
(Pfft. At least not in this video. )
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews thinks Ohio Governor John Kasich should be Hillary’s running mate. Seriously, he said that with a straight face:
You know what I would like to see? I would like Hillary Clinton…I’d like to see her up about, five or ten points after her convention…er…going into her convention, which is the second convention, and picking John Kasich, and blowing everybody’s mind. Because that would just blow everybody’s mind. They’d say, you know, McCain talked about doing it, picking Joe Lieberman. The first person that comes along and says, you know what? I’m going to pick somebody of quality on the other side. We’re going to change this system, make it work. Just a thought. It probably won’t happen, but maybe it will stir something just by saying it.
Kasich continues to be the left’s favorite Republican — and why wouldn’t he be? He expanded Medicaid in Obama-esque fashion — circumventing his own legislature by using an obscure board to authorize the spending. Ohio’s governor put his tail between his legs and gave up on union reform and right-to-work when his polling numbers tanked after his blundered first attempt at it failed, and while Kasich boasts about cutting the personal income tax in the state, he has simultaneously raised a host of other taxes on things like fracking, e-cigarettes, and commercial activity — counterintuitively taxing things the state should be encouraging.
Opportunity Ohio recently reported some troubling statistics about Kasich’s exploding budgets:
- From Governor Kasich’s first year to his proposed sixth year, Ohio’s budget will grow by 40.14%.
- The projected budgetary growth under Governor Kasich would outstrip every gubernatorial tenure since 1991 by 15 percentage points.
- Unless spending slows and/or revenues exceed the average growth since 2001, Ohio will begin running deficits in 2016.
In Thursday’s Wall Street Journal Peggyn Noonan said of Kasich, “I don’t know if he knows where the base is, but he seems to know where America is.” If Noonan thinks America is going to defy the results of the last two presidential elections and suddenly vote Democrat-lite, then Kasich is the GOP’s guy. Or the Democrats’ guy. Either way.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 26, 2015
And women everywhere said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Also, “Um…no.”
On Memorial Day, a day that we remember and honor our fallen heroes, those who gave the “last full measure of devotion” for their country and for the cause of freedom, President Obama took a few minutes out of his busy day (which no doubt will include some time on the golf course) to make sure all Americans know that this whole business we’re caught up in over in Afghanistan is not a real war — because he was the Great War Hero who ended that war.
“Hi, everybody!” Obama breezily begins his solemn tribute to our fallen heroes. “This year, the holiday is especially meaningful. It’s the first Memorial Day since our war ended in Afghanistan.”
The president paid tribute to Specialist Wyatt Martin and Sergeant First Class Ramon Morris, who were “the final two Americans to give their lives during our combat mission in Afghanistan.” He then drew a contrast between the service of those who died before Obama unilaterally ended the war in Afghanistan in December and those who have given their lives since that date, noting that Army combat medic Corporal John Dawson was “the first American to give his life in this new mission.”
We still have 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, some of whom may not make it home to their families. Are those who die in Afghanistan from here on out going to have “this new mission” (or “this new ambiguous and convoluted mission”) engraved on their headstones at Arlington National Cemetery? Because of Obama’s ego and his fear of the left wing of his party, the families of American soldiers who die in combat will be denied the honor of saying their loved one died in a real war. Instead, they’ll have to mumble something about them dying in Obama’s Debacle in Afghanistan.
Because, you know, everything after December doesn’t count as a real war because Obama declared “game over” and turned his attention to global warming. Meanwhile, our soldiers in Afghanistan daily risk their lives so Obama has the luxury of hob-knobbing with his celebrity friends who sit around fretting about global warming and boasting about whose toilet uses the least amount of water.
Cleveland police were taking no chances in the wake of the acquittal of police officer Michael Brelo, going to great lengths to ensure that Saturday afternoon’s peaceful protests didn’t evolve into violent riots like Baltimore and Ferguson have experienced in recent months.
In addition to having the National Guard on standby, police followed protesters through the streets and arrested anyone who acted violently or refused to obey police orders to disperse. A total of 71 people were arrested, including one journalist who left his press pass at home.
“We only moved into make arrests when things got violent and protesters refused to disperse,” [Police Chief Calvin] Williams said. “We wanted to make sure people understand we are going to help you in this process, but if things turn violent, we will take action to preserve safety.”
While most of the protests were peaceful throughout the day, Williams said, “things got more aggressive” in the early afternoon hours.
The first incident happened on Huron Avenue outside Quicken Loans Arena. Three people were arrested there.
Williams said that one of the protesters picked up a restaurant sign and threw it at a bar patron walking into the building. The sign hit that person in the head. Williams said two others tried to fight with police while that person who threw the sign was being arrested.
Another fight broke out between protesters and patrons of Greenhouse Tavern after demonstrators went to the East 4th Street restaurant strip. Four others were arrested there.
Two more were arrested about a half-hour later on Euclid Avenue near East 8th Street. Williams said some protesters there used pepper spray on bar patrons who were standing outside.
The final clash came after protesters ended up blocked into Johnson Court between West 6th Street and West 9th Street.
Williams said police reported seeing “random acts of violence” between protesters and patrons of the popular nightlife area. Williams said police made dozens of commands for the protesters to disperse.
He said they then decided the situation became dangerous for the bystanders, protesters and police officers. Dozens were arrested there, including Northeast Ohio Media Group crime editor Kris Wernowsky, who was later released.
“When people are given a command to disperse from what started off as a lawful protest and degenerated into random acts of violence against people just standing on the street, we have to move in and enforce our laws,” Williams said. “And that’s what we did.”
Williams said that police will not be in riot gear “unless i’ts appropriate” but added that officers will continue to escort protesters throughout the city.
The Cavaliers will play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night. LeBron James has called for peace. ”For the city of Cleveland, let’s use our excitement or whatever passion that we have for our sport tomorrow, for the game tomorrow night, bring it tomorrow night … our team we’ll try to do our best to give it back to them,” James said following the Cavaliers’ light workout on Saturday.
The approach the city of Cleveland is taking seems to be working. No businesses were looted or destroyed on Saturday and there were no reports of injuries. The streets have thus far been calm on Sunday as well.
Word came down there'd be a protest around here on Cleveland's far east side. Media here, police here. No protesters. pic.twitter.com/LovQSrxSsS
— Nick Castele (@NickCastele) May 24, 2015
Heard from folks around here amused and puzzled at the media & police presence. One woman asks, Is this about that thing yesterday?
— Nick Castele (@NickCastele) May 24, 2015
"Ain't no story here," one man says as he passes reporters and activist on CLE east side. Adds: Nobody's going to tear up my neighborhood.
— Nick Castele (@NickCastele) May 24, 2015
Small protest walking east on St. Clair in Cleveland. Police clearing traffic for them. Neighbors watch as they pass. pic.twitter.com/IIL2NaWfPI
— Nick Castele (@NickCastele) May 24, 2015
Indians attendance 27,000 plus. Protesters 150 most from out of town and paid. Nobody cares. No major news coverage at all. #BreloVerdict
— Truth Hurts (@bbterps03) May 24, 2015
— Mark Froelich – C-N (@cnmarkfroelich) May 24, 2015
Also, this is insane. Someone needs to get these babies out of traffic and explain to this father that putting your children in danger in order to make them props for your cause is not cool:
— Alyssa Raymond (@AlyssaRaymond) May 24, 2015
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 23, 2015
A man protesting the verdict in the Michael Brelo case in Cleveland walked the streets on Saturday in slave garb. His hands were shackled with chains, he wore torn clothing, and he had a hand-written sign taped to his back that read “NEW SLAVES.”
State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) had a strong reaction when she saw video of the protester during her appearance on local station WEWS. “That visual disturbs me a bit,” Turner said. “And I hope that the understanding of the history…that African Americans were shackled and chained and brought over to this country for 400 years…. I want to make sure they’re not minimizing the struggle of the ancestors.”
“Okay, we are enduring our own type of struggle, but my God!” said Turner, who teaches African American history at the local community college.
“While I respect our young people and their bringing this out in a very powerful way, let’s understand that for 400 years this country was built on the blood, sweat and tears of African Americans who were brought here on ships and chained and shackled and sold on auction blocks,” Turner continued. “Now we’ve gotta understand this. And I want to make sure we’re not minimizing what happened to our ancestors in our frustration to get our story out today. So as a historian …. I’m troubled by this visual.”
Oddly enough, Turner didn’t shy away from using Jim Crow imagery in 2012 when she used it to describe our voting laws. Appearing on CNN’s Newsroom Turner, who unsuccessfully ran for secretary of state last year, said that “Jim Crow has been resurrected” Ohio, referring to what she called voter suppression happening in “Democratic areas and also areas that are predominantly African-American.”
“It’s tragic that in the 21st century, 2012, we have voter suppression going on,” Turner said. ”You know, Jim Crow has been resurrected, making repeat performances in the South and has packed his bags and moved north, in Ohio in particular.”
Pot, meet kettle.
Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell ruled on Saturday that white Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo is not guilty of two charges of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of two black individuals after a police chase in November of 2012. O’Donnell, a Democrat who lost his election for a spot on the Ohio Supreme Court last year, ruled that although Brelo did fire lethal shots at Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams other officers also fired fatal shots, so he could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that Brelo’s bullets — and no others — killed Williams and Russell. Police officers fired 137 rounds at the car, including 49 by Officer Brelo. O’Donnell, who spent nearly an hour methodically explaining his 35-page opinion, also found Brelo not guilty of the charge of felonious assault, ruling that Brelo’s decision to use force was “constitutionally reasonable,” despite the fact that there was no gun found in the vehicle. His “perceptions were objectively reasonable,” said O’Donnell, who found Brelo not guilty on all charges. The police chase that ended in the fatal shootings involved 62 police cruisers and 100 officers. More than 70 officers and supervisors were disciplined for their roles in the chase. Brelo was charged with voluntary manslaughter because prosecutors said his actions went beyond the use of reasonable force when he jumped onto the hood of Russell’s car and shot straight down at Russell and Williams, violating police protocols. The defense argued that Brelo feared for his life, believing that Russell and Williams had a gun and had fired shots. There has been much discussion in the Cleveland media in recent weeks about when the verdict would be released, anticipating that a not guilty verdict could spark potentially violent protests in the area. The city is also awaiting the results of the investigation into the shooting death of teenager Tamir Rice, who was shot by police after he was seen waving a pellet gun at a public park. Unlike the city of Ferguson, which released the results of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting on a Monday night, just before dark, Cleveland chose a Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. on a holiday weekend when downtown is relatively empty to make this announcement. The Cavaliers, who are in the midst of a playoff run, have a home game tomorrow night and the Indians have afternoon games Saturday and Sunday, which the city certainly took into consideration when making this decision. The 4:10 p.m. Indians game is scheduled to go on as planned. The city seems to be preparing for the worst with the National Guard on standby. My husband works for a major employer in downtown Cleveland and we just received a call from the emergency response center informing us about the outcome of the trial and saying that for now, all offices remain open, but employees should be prepared for changes. In the 15 years my husband has been employed there, the only time I recall receiving a call through this system was when the company closed for extreme weather. One high school that had its prom planned at the Cleveland Convention Center has moved the event to another location. There are scattered protests around the city, and police have closed some roads near the Justice Center. The protests have thus far been peaceful, though larger crowds are beginning to gather and block roads in the area. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who is black, said in a press conference this afternoon, ”My expectation… was that it would be a very difficult, uphill battle to get a conviction.” Asked if he was disappointed in the verdict Jackson said, “I’m the mayor, so I will maintain mayoral posture regarding whether I’m disappointed or not.” Police Chief Calvin Williams, also black, announced that ”Officer Brelo will remain on unpaid suspension from Cleveland police,” pending internal review. Jackson said, “We fully expect that people will express their dissatisfaction with the verdict.” Former state representative Nina Turner responded on Twitter, expressing her disappointment and calling for protests:
Ohio State Representative Andy Thompson noticed something ironic about the new Thomas Edison statue that was unveiled in Columbus on Wednesday:
Surrounded by school children wearing orange “We Are Edison” t-shirts, the 6-feet, 10-inch tall bronze statue of Thomas Alva Edison was put on display in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse, where it will remain until October. After that it will be shipped to Washington, D.C., to replace the statue of Gov. William Allen that currently represents the state in National Statuary Hall. Ohio lawmakers have been trying to replace the statute of the former Democratic governor, congressman, and U.S. senator because of his support for slavery and opposition to the Civil War.
The Edison statue has its right arm raised and in his hand Edison clutches the (now-practically illegal) incandescent light bulb he helped to perfect.
Dairy Queen has announced it will remove sodas from its kids’ menu effective September 1 of this year. The company made the announcement earlier this week in a letter addressed to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
“Under our recommendation, drinks such as milk and bottled water would solely be listed as menu options at DQ locations. I am pleased to inform you that during our most recent meeting, the FAC (Franchise Advisory Council) voted unanimously to remove soft drinks from our kids’ menu,” William Barrier, executive vice president of product development and quality, wrote in the letter.
Instead of soda, children will be offered water or milk. The restaurant joins McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle, Wendy’s, and Panera in removing soda from their children’s menus.
Dairy Queen i as subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, which happens to be Coca Cola’s largest shareholder and the largest beverage supplier to U.S. restaurants. Restaurants have been feeling pressure from public interest groups focused on reducing childhood obesity, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Drink Up’’ campaign, which encourages Americans to drink more water. As a result, soda sales have been tanking in recent years.
But soda will have a tougher time winning over the next generation if it can’t reach it easily, with some data suggesting U.S. consumption is falling faster among youth than adults.
Some 63.7% of Americans younger than 18 had a carbonated soft drink at least once in two weeks in early 2014, down from 77.3% a decade earlier, according to market researcher NPD Group. Over the same period consumption dropped to 74.3% from 81.7% among adult men and to 70.2% from 78.6% among adult women.
Outside the home, annual per capita soda servings for children between six and 12 years dropped to 33.5 in 2014 from 44.8 in 2009. For children younger than six, servings fell to 19.9 from 27.7 over the same period, according to NPD. It estimates children consume about 40% of their soda away from home.
According to Food World News, soda manufacturers are complicit in this movement to keep their products out of the hands of children:
Back in 2006, the three major soda companies in the world (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper) agreed to take soft drinks off schools, and now they claim they don’t target children in marketing their products – they’ve also agreed to lower the sugar amounts in the drinks.
What we’re seeing here is the soda industry voluntarily participating in its own demise. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper — and even shareholders like Berkshire Hathaway — are cheerfully going along with the systematic, selective removal of their products from key markets. Will they allow this to continue until sugary soft drinks are banned altogether? These companies are so frightened of the backlash from these health-conscious, anti-sugar bullies that they are willing to stand by as their profitable sugary sodas are deleted from restaurant menus and banned from vending machines. I’ve never heard of a business model like this working, but maybe that 280,000% markup they get on bottled water will make up the difference. That, or they’re planning on a government bailout when their industry goes belly up in a few years. (That’s where I’d put my money.)
Actor and comedian Ed Helms spoke at the University of Virginia’s commencement this weekend and didn’t hold back in his criticism of Rolling Stone’s coverage of the now-debunked rape scandal.
“Now, I know that the UVA community has some experience being defined by outsiders,” Helms told students. “It has been said that a rolling stone gathers no moss. I would add that sometimes a Rolling Stone gathers no verifiable facts or even the tiniest morsels of journalistic integrity.”
“Rolling Stone tried to define you this year,” he added. “As a result, not only was this community thrown deep into turmoil, but the incredibly important struggle to address sexual violence on campuses nationwide is suddenly more confusing than ever and needlessly set back.”
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges went ballistic this week after state treasurer Josh Mandel went off script and publicly endorsed Marco Rubio for president.
Mandel, a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq, wrote this week at the Daily Caller:
I originally got to know Marco through hours of windshield time criss-crossing Ohio, discussing family, football and foreign policy. I was impressed by his strategic and decisive approach to the complicated foreign policy challenges we face as well as his sound judgment and clear vision on how to protect America and advance American values. As a United States Senator serving on the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Marco has been a strong and thoughtful leader on the foreign policy and national security challenges facing our nation.
Plain Dealer reporter Henry Gomez, who generally treats Kasich with the
deference pandering due someone to whom one wants access on the presidential campaign trail, wrote this week:
Matt Borges was steaming…Borges, a top Kasich booster, couldn’t help himself. He texted one reporter airborne for Phoenix for the RNC meetings and called another back home to vent.
“The smart political move would be to wait and see if [Kasich] decides to get in,” Borges said. He added, in a sharp elbow at Mandel: “I don’t think that not having the support of a bit player is going to impact that decision one way or the other.”
Currently Ohio’s state treasurer, Mandel unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. senate against Democrat incumbent Sherrod Brown in 2012 and is popular with conservatives in the state. Though he endorsed Borges for chairman and Kasich for governor (and campaigned for him), this isn’t the first time Mandel has veered from the party line. He opposed Governor Kasich’s Medicaid expansion and has been a vocal opponent of Common Core, a policy that Kasich enthusiastically supports. Mandel, who may try again to run for senate, has also held the state’s feet to the fire by placing the state’s checkbook online with his Transparency Project. In retaliation for Mandel’s disloyalty, Kasich line-item vetoed technology funding for Mandel’s office. One doesn’t disagree with Ohio’s thin-skinned governor with impunity.
Though he’s still the chairman of the Ohio GOP, Matt Borges has been wearing a lot of different hats lately. In addition to his duties as chairman, Borges is a member of the RNC Debate Committee. He’s also a top cheerleader for Kasich’s presidential aspirations. ”I hope he runs. He would make a great candidate; he would make a great president,” Borges said during an Ohio Newspaper Association conference event in Columbus earlier this year.
Borges’s reaction to Mandel’s endorsement of Rubio this week not only demonstrated how easy it is to ruffle Team Kasich’s feathers, but it also served as a shot across the bow to other Ohio Republicans. The Ohio Republican Party represents Kasich now, not the rest of the state’s Republican elected leaders. They’ve been warned that if they don’t endorse Kasich’s impending presidential campaign, they will be attacked publicly. This governor demands allegiance.
Borges recently told a group of Republican women that the Fox News debate in Cleveland in August would be the first opportunity to start to pare down the field. He said candidates like Donald Trump and John Bolton would be easy cuts, but others, like Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson would be more difficult. “Is it good for our party to cut out the one woman and the one minority candidate and then have ten white guys standing up on stage? I don’t think so,” Borges said at a recent Ohio Federation of Republican Women meeting. (Hispanic = white according to the debate committee? Interesting.)
Borges and others on the debate committee are going to have a difficult time justifying the Ohio governor’s inclusion in the debate, should he decide to run, but you can bet they are going to try. The argument will be that Ohio is the most important swing state in the nation and the party would be committing political suicide by excluding the only candidate who can win Ohio. Or something. But according to the RCP average, Kasich is currently polling at 2%, far behind “the one minority candidate” Ben Carson, who is at 7.8% (Fiorna is trailing both at 1.3%).
In the end, the decision about whom to include in the debates will not be made based on mathematical calculations, but on RNC machinations — or so it seems. Kasich has a powerful ally on the debate committee in Borges. And in the meantime, woe to any Ohio Republicans who don’t fall in line and kiss the ring of King John.
Britain is too “passively tolerant” and should not leave people to live their lives as they please just because they obey the law, David Cameron has said.
At the National Security Council today Mr Cameron unveiled a series of measures that he said would crack down on people holding minority “extremist” views that differed from Britain’s consensus.
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’,” he said.
“It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”
Britain is trying to figure out how to to deal with the ongoing threat of Muslim extremism and fears about what exactly is going on in those segregated Muslim communities that practice Sharia law and reject Western values. David Cameron thinks the best way to calm the fears of Brits and alleviate the threat is to crack down on free speech. The measures Cameron is proposing would attempt to track down individuals thought to be “extremists.” Courts would be allowed to force them to send their tweets and Facebook posts to the police for approval and they would be banned from telling their friends that their communications are being monitored. They would also be banned from the airwaves.
FLASHBACK: Obama’s federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database to track hate speech and “misinformation” on Twitter. In addition, the National Science Foundation has received nearly $1 million in funding to create the “Truthy” database to rack “political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution,” the Washington Times reported last year.
ANOTHER FLASHBACK: Daily Mail headline: “Brotherly love: Obama gives his ‘bro’ Cameron an extraordinary pre-election endorsement as his ‘outstanding partner.’”
Two peas in a pod. Birds of a feather. Soviet soulmates.
Megyn Kelly interviewed former Governor Jeb Bush on Monday and took the opportunity to ask him about his support for the Common Core education standards. Unfortunately, she asked the wrong questions and didn’t follow up when Bush gave a glib and weaselly little speech about how he’s a firm believer that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in education standards.
Kelly noted that Common Core is wildly unpopular with Republican voters. According to the latest Gallup poll, 58% of Republican parents have a negative view of it and only 19% favor it. “They say it makes no sense. It forces teaching to the test. They say kids are in tears over it. Are they wrong?” Kelly asked.
Common Core means a lot of things to different people, so they could be right based on what’s in front of them. I respect people having a view, but the simple fact is we need higher standards. They need to be state driven. The federal government should play no role in this, either in the creation of standards, content or curriculum. That’s what I believe. And if we don’t have high standards and assess to them faithfully, we get what we have today which is about a third of our kids being college and/or career ready. And by the way, we spend more per student than any other country in the world other than two or three countries.
But the federal government does play a role — a huge role — in the Common Core standards and Bush knows it.
The next logical questions should have been, “You say you don’t believe the federal government should have a role in education standards, but it’s been well-documented that the federal government has been an integral driver of the adoption of the Common Common standards and we know they are playing a significant role in driving the testing which has caused considerable consternation to parents and teachers across the country. Some say your position on this doesn’t square with the facts about Common Core. How do you respond?”
But Kelly didn’t press Bush on his inconsistency. She didn’t ask him how the federal coercion that resulted in near-national standards aligns with his view that the feds shouldn’t be involved in standards. Instead, she asked him about those confusing math lessons.
“It sounds good. Like higher standards sound good. But what they seem to be complaining about is that in practice, it’s irritating,” Kelly said. “The kids don’t like it, the parents don’t like it, the teachers don’t like it.”
Bush responded, “I hear legitimate complaints about it changing, which is a dramatic change as it relates to math, where you’re not just memorizing a multiplication table or an addition table, but you’re also…in the classroom, you’re challenging kids to explain why you got to — “
“You’ve got to understand it now,” Kelly interrupted.
Bush went on to explain that the standards would enable kids to eventually take “higher order math.”
Kelly asked him how he expected to get the GOP base to support him when they disagree with him on this issue. Bush said that he would stand on his record of success as governor of Florida — ending social promotion, expanding school choice, and increasing graduation rates.
But that was all before Common Core. Everything changed in 2009 when 46 states agreed to implement common standards in exchange for a chance to compete for federal Race to the Top funding.
Ultimately, the buck stops at the tests. Testing drives everything from publishing, to local hiring decisions, to the way math is taught in kindergarten. Advocates of the Common Core standards claim there will be no erosion of local control and deny there will be any federal influence on state and local decision-making. But it won’t be local teachers and school board members — or even states — deciding what will be on the high-stakes tests, and within a few years those tests will be the primary driver of what is taught in most of the classrooms across the country.
The Common Core standards will eventually lead to a one-size-fits all, top-down education with little opportunity for individual choice or state innovation because all children will have to pass the same tests. As Common Core takes root in local districts and classrooms nationwide, local control and state innovation will be abandoned as schools move increasingly toward a nationally directed approach to education with decisions overseen by officials at the Department of Education.
It’s a shame Kelly didn’t ask Bush about that. In fact, after the interview aired, she discussed the subject with Mark Theisen and seemed to defend Bush’s positions.
“It’s seen as a federal takeover of the education system,” Theisen said.
Sigh. I hope the next time Bush sits down for an interview someone thinks to ask him about something more substantive than those irritating math lessons, because the most serious charges Common Core opponents levy against the standards are not about individual math problems, but about the federal takeover of our education system.
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz introduced his mother to the world in a touching video tribute timed to coincide with the Mother’s Day holiday. We’ve heard a lot about — and from — Cruz’s father, Raphael Cruz, but until now, his mother has remained out of the spotlight.
“I always knew I was loved,” Cruz says in the video. “Whatever I did, there was nothing I could do to change that.” He clutched his mother’s hand and added, “My mom’s always been a best friend to me.”
“This is just overwhelming,” Eleanor Darragh confesses. “I look at him and think, ‘This is my son! I can’t believe it!’” She said that Ted was always an overachiever, “but this is somewhat beyond that.”
Darragh said that she has a prayer partner and teared up when she explained, “We pray for his safety continually.”
Ted’s wife, Heidi, also makes an appearance in the video, receiving high praise from her husband.
Asked what life was like with Heidi as the mother of his children, Heidi interrupted and said, “Dramatic!”
The Cruz’s laughed and Sen. Cruz said, “Heidi is an incredible mom. There is no one on the planet that our daughters adore more than their mom.”
The video was a very sweet way for Cruz to honor the two most important women in his life on Mother’s Day.
Former New York Governor George Pataki told the crowd at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday that he would reduce the federal workforce by “at least 15%.” Sounding very much like a presidential candidate (or like someone who is vying for the VP spot), Pataki said that the federal government is too big with too many bureaucrats and federal workers and it needs to be scaled back. But unlike other presidential candidates (Ted Cruz and Rand Paul for example) who have said we need to get rid of entire departments like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education, Pataki just thinks they need to be scaled back a bit.
And by the way, when we repeal ObamaCare, we won’t need as many bureaucrats in the health department; when we get rid of Common Core, we won’t need as many workers in the education department; when we stop the EPA trying to shut down American energy, we won’t need as many bureaucrats in the EPA; and when we end the political use of government bureaucrats, we can have a much smaller IRS and get rid of every one of them involved in those political scandals.
Pataki added, “We can reduce the size of the federal workforce by at least 15 percent.”
Woo hoo. Now that’s what you aspirational leadership!
Pardon me if I look elsewhere for some glimmer of hope that we can save this country.
From a recent report by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP):
Three-quarters of emergency physicians report that emergency visits are going up, according to a new poll. This represents a significant increase from just one year ago when less than half reported increases…
…Most of the respondents to the poll report little or no reductions in the volume of emergency visits due to the availability of urgent care centers, retail clinics and telephone triage lines. About 90 percent of more than 2,000 respondents also say the severity of illness or injury among emergency patients has either increased (44 percent) or remained the same (42 percent).
Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to solve the problem of people going to the ER for routine medical problems? We were told that if everyone had “healthcare” — either through the ACA exchanges or through Medicaid expansion — people would be able to go to their family doctors for routine care and emergency rooms would no longer be overrun by individuals who aren’t actually experiencing emergencies.
As it turns out, Medicaid patients can’t get appointments with physicians.
“America has severe primary care physician shortages, and many physicians will not accept Medicaid patients because Medicaid pays so inadequately,” said Michael Gerardi, MD, FAAP, FACEP, president of the ACEP.
The report — commissioned by the Emergency Medicine Action Fund — found that the median wait time to see a physician in the Medicaid managed care plan is two weeks but over one-quarter of the providers had a wait time of more than a month for an appointment.
As predicted, adding millions of able-bodied, working adults (most of whom who don’t have children) to the already overburdened Medicaid rolls is putting the most vulnerable in our society at risk — and it hasn’t even fixed most of the problems it promised to solve.
“Just because people have health insurance does not mean they have access to timely medical care,” Gerardi said.
That’s what we’ve been saying. Obamacare ≠ health care. It simply gave the nanny state do-gooders a reason to pat themselves on the backs for doing something to “fix health care,” when in reality all they did was generate thousands of pages of regulations that are decimating our nation’s health care system from the ground up.
The city that regulates and taxes basically everything — and bans what isn’t taxed and regulated — is upset because the Obama administration has told them to remove billboards in iconic Times Square or face a $90 million loss in federal funding.
According to CBS New York:
The feds say many of Times Square’s huge and neon-lit billboards must come down or the city will lose about $90 million in federal highway money. The edict comes from a 2012 law that makes Times Square an arterial route to the national highway system. And that puts it under the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which limits signs to 1,200 square feet. It took the feds until now to realize that Times Square was included, Kramer reported.
Flushing resident Kevin Watson was upset to hear that signs might disappear: ”We’re going to let outsiders who sit in a cramped room that have nothing to do with our city as far as partaking in it on an everyday basis change something that means something to the entire world?” said Watson. “That makes total sense, just like everything else the federal government does,” he said sarcastically.
City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told CBS New York that the signs will stay.
“We’re not going to be taking down the billboards in Times Square. We’re going to work with the federal government and the state and find a solution,” Trottenberg said.
“The signs in Times Square are wonderful. They’re iconic. They’re not only a global tourist attraction, they’re important to the economy,” Trottenberg said.
The outrage is adorable, considering all the things New York City banned just during Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure as mayor. From Gizmodo:
- Smoking in commercial establishments like bars and restaurants (2003)
- Smoking in public spaces (2011)
- Cigarette sales to those under 21 (2013)
- Sales of “flavored” tobacco products (2009)
- Smoking e-cigarettes in public spaces (2013) ***
- Cigarette in-store displays (2013)
- Cars in Times Square (2009)
- Cars from driving in newly created bike lanes (2007-2013)
- Cars causing congestion below 60th Street in Manhattan (2007) *
- Speeding on residential “slow zones” (2013)
- Illegal guns (2006-2013) **
- Sodium levels in processed foods (2010) **
- Trans-fats in restaurants (2006)
- Loud headphones (2013) **
- Styrofoam packaging in single-service food items (2013)
- Sodas larger than 16 ounces (2012) *
- Collection of yard waste and grass clippings during certain times of year (2003-2013)
- Organic food waste from landfills (2013) **
- Commercial music over 45 decibels (2013)
- Chain restaurant menus without calorie counts (2008)
- The posting of signs in “city-owned grassy areas” (2013)
- Non-fuel-efficient cabs (2007)
- New cabs that aren’t Nissan NV200s (2013) *
- Greenhouse gas emissions (2007)
- Government buildings that aren’t LEED-certified (2005)
- Non-hurricane-proof buildings in coastal areas (2013)
- Black roofs (2009) **
- Construction cranes over 25 years old (2013)
- No. 6 and No. 4 “heavy” heating oils (2011)
- Less than a 2-1 ratio of female and male restrooms in new public buildings (2005)
- Cell phones in schools (2006)
- Two-term limits for city elected officials (2008) *
This fight with the Obama administration is some sort of bureaucratic karma, if you ask me. I say any city that oozes government control out of every pore and sidewalk crack — and that voted in overwhelming numbers for President Obama (twice) — ought to quit whining and welcome its federal overlords with open arms.
* Overruled/appealed ban
** Suggested/voluntary ban
*** Proposed/pending ban
Samaria Rice, the mother of a Cleveland teenager who was shot and killed by police last November, has “been forced to move to a homeless shelter because she could no longer live next door to the killing field of her son,” according to a court motion filed on Monday. The estate of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police in a Cleveland park after he was seen branding a realistic-looking pellet gun, has filed a civil suit against the city of Cleveland and the two officers involved in the shooting. Attorneys for the estate are asking the court to deny a motion to hold off the civil suit while the criminal investigation continues.
Citing delays in the investigation, lawyers for Rice say the court must allow the case to proceed before the investigation is complete because of the important symbolic nature of the case. “The shooting of unarmed African-American males (in this case child) by police officers has become the leading social justice issue of international concern.” They add that “peaceful protestations” have developed in major cities across the county and therefore “there is paramount public concern about this proceedings as opposed to any other excessive force type case.”
Asked by NPR for his response to reports that Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Nikki Haley of South Carolina had accused him of “hiding behind Jesus” for why he expanded Medicaid through Obamacare, Kasich fired back.
“I’m really not hiding behind anybody,” Kasich said, adding, “The last Republican I can think of who expanded Medicaid was Ronald Reagan. OK? People tend to forget that. … If other people don’t want to take the money, that’s up to them, but I got money I can bring home to Ohio. It’s my money. There’s no money in Washington. It’s my money. It’s the money of the people who live in my state.”
Anytime Gov. Kasich opens his mouth to talk about Medicaid expansions, you can be sure either an absurd canard or an outright falsehood will spew forth. Ohio’s governor, who is positioning himself to run for president, brags incessantly about his history as a budget hawk during his time in Congress in the ’90s, but apparently sees no contradiction between claiming to be a fiscal conservative and expanding Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of able-bodied working, childless adults. Nevermind that he did so by circumventing the state legislature, adding to the federal debt and imperiling the benefits of the most vulnerable Ohioans — because it’s his money.
Jason Hart at Watchdog.org recently reported:
Americans’ tax burden is already $3 billion heavier because of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare…
…After Kasich expanded Medicaid unilaterally, a state panel approved $2.56 billion in Obamacare spending for the expansion’s first 18 months. The money was meant to last until July, but it ran out in February.
Kasich’s Obamacare expansion cost $323 million in March — 84 percent greater than estimates revised just six months earlier.
In media appearances Kasich has repeated — over and over again — that Medicaid expansion brings “Ohio money” back to Ohio, as if there’s a special pot of unclaimed “Ohio money” just sitting in Washington waiting for a savvy governor to claim it. Now he’s taken that false claim to a new level by arrogantly boasting, “It’s my money.” The truth? Medicaid expansion is paid for with new federal spending from a government that is $18 trillion in debt. If those Kasich apologists at Fox News (who seem to be giving him more air time than Karl Rove these days) could stop swooning over the Republican moderate for just a few minutes, perhaps they’d ask Mr. “I-was-in-the-Tea-party-before-there-was-a-Tea-party” about these contradictions in his narrative. I’m not holding my breath.
And while we’re on the subject of falsehoods, let’s just dispel with this notion that Kasich is “just like Ronald Reagan” because they both expanded Medicaid. Hogwash. Reagan gave states the option of expanding Medicaid to include pregnant women and children and didn’t coerce states into signing up with the perverse economic incentives included with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Reagan’s former chief of staff Edwin Meese III wrote at National Review that the expansion was about a lot more than just adding people to the welfare rolls:
In an era when there were perpetual fights over using public funds for abortion, the expansion assured that pregnant women would not be financially worse off carrying their children to term than they would be if they chose to have an abortion.
In contrast, Kasich’s new budget re-prioritizes Medicaid spending, removing pregnant women at the top end of the federal poverty level (FPL) from the rolls. Programs now available to women at 200 percent of the FPL will only be offered to women at or below 138 percent of the FPL. Those in the gap will be told to sign up for Obamacare.
I don’t know if Kasich knew President Reagan, but it seems a fitting time to say, “Governor, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”
A group of Republican lawmakers in Ohio will introduce a bill in the Ohio House next week that will require a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or military ID in order to cast a ballot in person in the state.
“This is a bill which I believe is very important for the state of Ohio for the sanctity of our election system, for the sanctity of making sure that it is one person, one vote and they are in fact residents and citizens of the United States,” said Andrew Brenner (R-Powell), the primary sponsor of the bill, in a press conference this week.
The bill is similar to one that was introduced last year that died in committee. Under current law Ohioans can show a variety of forms of ID when voting that do not include a photo including utility bills, bank statements, or government checks.
Under the proposed legislation, the state would provide, at no charge, a state ID to anyone who cannot afford one. Rep. Brenner told PJ Media that even though there could be 40,000 people a year who qualify for free ID cards, “The most it would cost the state is $150,000, according to the [Legislative Service Commission] analysis. That’s really a drop in the bucket to secure our elections.”
Brenner said they’re also considering adding a provision that would pay for birth certificates for those who cannot afford them. “If someone needs a birth certificate and they’re indigent, we may also have the state pay for that so there will be absolutely no excuse for anybody not getting a photo ID,” he said.
He disputed claims by critics who say voter fraud is non-existent in the state and pointed to a report released earlier this year by Secretary of State Jon Husted that identified more than 400 non-citizens who were registered to vote in Ohio, 44 of whom had cast ballots. In addition, several instances of voter fraud have led to indictments in Hamilton County, while nearly 100 cases of double voting were discovered in the Columbus area in recent years.
Brenner also said that the photo ID law will help to address the problem of non-resident college students voting in Ohio. “They’re impacting some local governments and local decision making on either levies or other issues and yet they’re not going to live there permanently,” said Brenner. “And we don’t know if these college students are voting in both locations because there’s no way to track them. They could theoretically be voting absentee in their home state and living here in Ohio and voting here as well.”
Gov. Kasich recently used his line-item veto to eliminate an item in the highway budget that would have made it harder for out-of-state students to vote in Ohio. Kasich, who is contemplating a presidential run, suggested in 2011 that he might sign a photo ID bill, but has since rebranded himself as a centrist who avoids contentious fights with Democrats, so it would be difficult to imagine him wading into a battle over voter ID with the distraction of a presidential campaign on his mind (even though he would stand to benefit from greater integrity in Ohio’s elections). Secretary of State Husted opposed a photo ID requirement in previous legislative sessions, but since that time has been an outspoken advocate of identifying illegal voters.
Brenner said the bill currently has 23 co-sponsors and he expects a few more to sign on before the bill is filed next week.
During oral arguments made in the same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday (Obergefell v. Hodges), Justices Roberts and Alito questioned Solicitor General Donald Verrilli about the rights of religious schools if the Court decides to impose same-sex marriage on the states.
Justice Roberts asked if religious schools that provide housing to married students would be required to offer such housing to same-sex couples. Verrilli demurred, saying there is currently no federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Those issues are going to have to be worked out,” he said.
Not satisfied with that answer, Justice Alito brought up the Bob Jones case, where the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. He asked if the same would apply to a college or university that opposed same-sex marriage.
“You know, I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verrilli said. “I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It’s going to be an issue.”
Suddenly we have a clear, unambiguous answer for those who have been bleating, “Yeah, but how would gay marriage affect you personally?” It’s not that proponents of traditional marriage haven’t been saying this all along, but now we have it on the record — from the lips of Obama’s lawyer to the ears of the masses: We’re coming for your Christian schools.
Update: the board member in the video is Michael Jones, not John Martin as stated originally. The post has been updated to reflect the correct information.
At a recent hearing conducted by the Missouri State Board of Education, board member Michael Jones defended Common Core by telling a parent that the “war of northern aggression” resulted in a national government that ended state sovereignty.
Jones: The presumption of this question is that this is a single country made up of a whole lot of different people. The question is if there ought to be some objective to education, whatever that is, I am not stipulating what it is for the purpose of this question. How do you establish for a country, what all children need to know? What is the vehicle for teaching them that?
Parent: Your question seems to be set around the premise of us being a democratic society instead of being a Republic. I think that is where education may have went wrong. Maybe even in yours. Education should be handled right here at the state level without federal involvement.
Jones: Well, I would, you know, when I went to school I did take that part of history.
Parent: Sure, but the premise of the question was nationally.
Jones: I would argue that the war of northern aggression settled the issue about whether you are 50 different states or one national government. The fact that we have got a federalized system of government is totally different than the issue of 50 sovereign states. So, that got resolved in 1864. So, my question is, given the fact (inaudible) how do you create in an inclusive way, generally speaking, how do you create an educational system that assures that all children, no matter where they come from, have the ability to know what they need to know to be productive human beings for the 21st Century.
Parent: That is where you and I would completely disagree. Sounds like you are more of a globalist and I am more of a localist. I think education should come from the local level.
Jones: Okay, we disagree.
According to Duane Lester at the Missouri Torch, the video was shot in an overflow room “where opponents of Common Core were funneled into, despite the fact they were there first and were testifying.”
Parents in the audience were clearly shocked by what they were hearing, responding with “Seriously?” and “What?”
Jones, whose biography says he has “more than 30 years of experience specializing in public policy development and implementation” has no problem with a federal takeover of his state’s education policies because he truly believes they have the right to do so — and he probably thinks the feds should do a lot more — seemingly ignorant of the past abuses of powerful centralized governments of the past.
And the worst part? He’s been using his revisionist history views to influence public policy in St. Louis for decades.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, appearing at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Spring Kickoff on Saturday, made it clear that he will not allow religious liberty bullies to run rampant in his state.
Referring to the recent events surrounding Indiana’s Religious Liberty Restoration Act, Jindal said corporate America teamed up with the radical left “to come after our religious liberty rights.” Jindal warned, “Corporate America needs to be careful because the same radical left that doesn’t want us to have religious liberty rights does not want us to have economic liberty rights. The same radical left that doesn’t want us to have religious liberty rights wants to tax and regulate these companies out of existence. They think profit is a dirty word.”
An impassioned Jindal acknowledged that activists and corporate interests were successful in bullying Indiana leaders, “But I’ve got news for them,” he said. “We’ve got legislation in Louisiana. We’ve already got a Religious Freedom Act. We’ve got legislation this session to protect people of faith and of conscience who hold the traditional view of marriage and they might as well save their breath because corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana when it comes to religious liberty.” The crowd at the conservative event erupted in applause.
“They need to understand there is no freedom of speech or freedom of association without religious liberty,” Jindal continued.” He said he believes it is possible to both have religious liberty and end discrimination but it’s important to understand that “religious liberty means being able to live our lives, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week according to our faith, according to our conscience, according to our beliefs.”
Here’s what CNN was reporting while angry mobs were rampaging in the streets of Baltimore Saturday night:
Meanwhile, at least a dozen protesters were arrested in Baltimore as violence erputed and thousands took to the streets protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody earlier this month.
But the so-called Nerd Prom was calling and celebrity-obsessed CNN came running, sounding like a bunch of squealing teeny boppers reporting on a One Direction concert as they tweeted out “breaking news” about the event:
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 25, 2015
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 25, 2015
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 25, 2015
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 26, 2015
CNN correspondent Errol Louis admitted that the star-studded media schmooze-fest had taken priority over the actual news, advising viewers to head over to Twitter to search for a live feed if they wanted to know what was happening in Baltimore. “If people want to know…yes, twelve people were arrested…the Baltimore police have tweeted that. You can find that now. You can find the live feed if you actually wanna watch what’s going on — it sounds like complete chaos,” Louis said during CNN’s coverage of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But he defended the network’s decision saying, “The most powerful man in the world is going to tell some jokes.”
Journalism may be in its death throes at CNN, but at least it looks like Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, and senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta had a great time, so it wasn’t a complete loss.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 26, 2015
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 25, 2015
From the Washington Times:
A crowdfunding campaign that had raised more than $109,000 for the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was removed Saturday after complaints from gay-rights advocates.
The website GoFundMe said in a statement Saturday that it took down the page because the campaign violated the policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
On Friday the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries fined the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa $135,000 for violating the state’s anti-discrimination law. In 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein declined to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.
These totalitarians are not satisfied with publicly shaming their enemies or forcing conscientious objectors out of business — or with the crippling fines that private business owners have no way of paying. It’s not even enough that the Christian faith has been criminalized in Oregon. Instead, drunk with power, the jackbooted fascists roam the streets, celebrating their conquests as they search for new victims and invent new ways to take them out. Everyone who refuses to sing from the erotic liberty choirbook must be purged from public life and forcibly relocated to the margins of society because the radical left can’t even tolerate breathing the same air as those with whom they disagree.
UPDATE: A reader pointed out that Samaritan’s Purse is now collecting donations to help the Kleins pay their fines and and meet other expenses. Click here to contribute.
On Friday, Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge that if they’re elected president they will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.
“My record supporting tax cuts is clear,” Cruz said in a statement. “I am pleased to be able to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge again as a candidate for president so taxpayers can be assured that I will do what I say I will do.”
“Senator Ted Cruz is a strong and consistent advocate for taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “He signed the pledge as a candidate for the Senate in 2012. He has kept that commitment to the people of Texas and in the Senate has fought to reduce federal spending and the nation’s tax burden.”
Paul was the first 2016 presidential candidate to sign the pledge. “Senator Rand Paul has been a taxpayer leader for more than 20 years,” Norquist said. “He has led taxpayer activists at the state and local level long before he became a U.S. Senator. As Senator he signed and kept the pledge to the people of Kentucky that he would oppose and vote against higher taxes. Today, Paul continues that leadership and commitment.”
Senator Marco Rubio and Governors Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry have all signed ATF’s pledge in the past, but have not yet indicated whether they will do so as presidential candidates. Jeb Bush, who refused to sign the pledge as governor, vowed earlier this year that he will not sign any pledges if he decides to run for president.