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Stephen Kruiser

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.
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Taking a Cue From Harry Reid, Pelosi Orders Boehner Around (VIDEO)

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Get a grip.” I examined earlier the way Harry Reid is making Mitch McConnell dance, now it seems that Grandma Nan is hoping to achieve similar results with Boehner. My dream world involves Republicans who win elections then act like it after they do.

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Stretched Thin, Air Force Seeks More Money

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

The U.S. Air Force has a quarter of the number of fighter squadrons it did 25 years ago and two-thirds of the active duty airmen, a drop that threatens U.S. air superiority, defense officials told lawmakers on Friday.

“Enough is enough,” Air Force Secretary Deborah James told lawmakers in the House of Representatives as she defended a Pentagon budget request that exceeds federal spending caps. “Given the state of the world … the number one thing we have to stop is this downsizing.”

But members of the defense appropriations subcommittee said President Barack Obama’s 2016 Pentagon base budget of $534 billion exceeded spending caps by nearly $35 billion and would have to be cut. Some $10 billion of that would have to come from the Air Force request, they said.

“The budget he (Obama) submitted … frankly is politically … a fantasy,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma. “It’s not going to pass, and he knows that.”

Cole said he hoped lawmakers ultimately would be able to reach a bipartisan deal to provide some relief from the spending limits.

The problem is that the Pentagon budget is treated as an equal to the other departments that are federally funded and it probably shouldn’t be. We’re not sending park rangers from Interior over to bomb ISIS, after all. Under the current plan that involves escalating air raids, the Air Force should be an obvious recipient of a budgetary bump and not be fighting to avoid cuts.

It might also help if the alleged adults in charge would admit to the protracted nature of this battle and stop acting as if it is a controlled skirmish that will be wrapped up on a predetermined date.

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Is One-Eyed Harry Still the De Facto Senate Majority Leader?

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Magic 8-ball says, “Yes!”

He only controls 46 seats, but Harry Reid is acting like he has 60.

Reid’s uncompromising posture during the flap over homeland security funding and his emerging plans for an upcoming fight over immigration make clear he’s doing little to change the hardball style that defined his tenure as majority leader. This despite losing control of the chamber after last fall’s Democratic debacle and tamping down a coup among centrists seeking his ouster.

The 75-year-old Reid, who may seek reelection next year and is in his second stint as minority leader, is betting that Republicans are so nervous about being blamed for a crisis in Washington — as they have been repeatedly before — that they will capitulate again.

Naturally, his unyielding stance has maddened Republicans.

The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, wanted to initiate a lengthy floor debate on a House-passed Department of Homeland Security funding bill. But Reid surprised Republicans by rallying his caucus on four separate occasions to block the measure from even coming forward — demanding McConnell drop contentious immigration provisions. After a month of inaction in the Senate and up against Friday’s funding deadline, McConnell ultimately bent to Reid’s demands.

As Ace of Spades HQ put it yesterday, McConnell is only Majority Leader “when Reid let’s him play the part”.

This is the problem with the “Ted Cruz is a hothead” crowd, which is led by McConnell: they worry more about how things will play out in the media than doing what is actually right for the American people. That is precisely why McConnell’s victory speech after November’s election immediately took a dig at Cruz and not the Democrats.

My PJTV colleague Scott Ott stated it brilliantly earlier this week: Republicans love to play defense even when they are on offense.

The GOP gets savaged in the press not just because the MSM is biased, but also because it is so awful at getting out in front of something or counter-punching. The messaging is forever muddled or nonexistent, and letting Admiral Ackbar’s mushmouthed cousin McConnell drone his way through an explanation that’s really designed to curry favor with the New York Times is never anything short of disastrous.

Freeze this moment in your minds for the next time conservatives mount a primary challenge to an entrenched candidate and the establishment starts babbling about “experience” or “knowing how to get things done”.

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Key Player From McCain 2008 Shipwreck Calls Scott Walker a ‘Dumb Ass’

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Chuckles all around

Mark Salter, who was a top adviser on the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R), is not a fan of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

On Thursday, Salter went on Facebook and posted an article criticizing a comment Walker made about the Islamic State jihadist group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Salter added a colorful comment.

“I want to like him but Scott Walker is kind of a dumb ass,” Salter wrote.

I was asked during a radio interview this morning how long it would be before more mainstream, establishment Republicans started going after Walker now that he’s in “locomotive at full steam” mode. I replied that they’re probably already sending opposition research to the New York Times.

When the various players in the McCain ’08 unmitigated disaster (their fault, not Sarah Palin’s, by the way) weigh in on Republican matters these days, it is stunning that they aren’t laughed out of the country. It’s also the reason that the GOP has such a hard time seizing momentum.

In the coming months pay attention to how eerily in sync the MSM and establishment GOP complaints about Walker are and you will understand why the Republican Party may very well find a way to lose to a grandmother who almost no one genuinely likes.

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Obama’s America: Holder Warns Malls to Beef Up Security After Islamoterrorist Threats

Friday, February 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Friday news dump of importance

Shopping mall operators need to increase security through more staff, cameras and other techniques in light of threats made against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping centers by Somali-based Islamist militants this week, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

“I certainly think we have to step up our sensitivities to what goes on in these commercial enterprises,” Holder said in an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. “It would be the responsible thing for operators of these malls to increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives.”

In a separate interview with Politico, also published on Friday, Holder said he would push in his final weeks in office to lower the standard of proof for civil-rights offenses that would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in future cases.

The Justice Department recently closed its investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, without filing charges against gunman George Zimmerman because of “insufficient evidence.”

With almost no due respect, Mr. Attorney General, I think stepping up our “sensitivities” is what got us to this place. The benign, academic way Holder and The Idiot King talk about terrorist threats is almost as chilling as the threats themselves. It’s like a thought experiment that they have been given in a freshman International Politics class. We’re dealing with people obsessed with killing anyone who disagrees with them and this administration is talking security cameras and mall cops.

Contrast that with the laser-like focus on George Zimmerman, who may be a minor train wreck of a human being but was exonerated in court and, as of today, hasn’t threaten to blow up any malls.

Perhaps a little more focus on ISIS, and a lot less on stories that MSNBC finds important.

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CNN Concern Trolls Scott Walker’s ‘Momentum’

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

They’re worried, don’t you know.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the fastest-rising star in conservative politics.

He’s rocketing to the top-tier of potential 2016 GOP contenders following a strong appearance in Iowa last month and surging to the front of the pack in a handful of polls.

But coming off a 2012 cycle that saw Republican candidates rise and fall with the regularity of a finely-made Swiss watch, Walker’s challenge now is figuring out a way to sustain the momentum.

The writer is being coy here: Walker isn’t just the fastest rising star, he has become the 800 lb. gorilla of the GOP almost overnight. CNN’s sudden concern about his ability to sustain momentum is basically its way of saying that Walker hasn’t really made any missteps yet, even though the more unhinged among the MSM have just spent a week trying unsuccessfully to prove otherwise.

The article’s allusion to the 2012 elections ignores the fact that Walker has won three elections in four years. He’s campaign-ready and unlikely to provide the left with the Todd Akin moment it is so desperately hoping for at this time. The way he handled the manufactured drama over his refusal to play “Gotcha!” with the press about President Obama proves that.

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Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber Reportedly Resigning

Friday, February 13th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Tick-tock.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber submitted his resignation Friday.

He met with his senior staff and administration officials before the official announcement, sources with direct knowledge told KOIN 6 News.

The resignation will take effect as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown will become the next governor.

One aspect of this that the MSM has rather predictably been ignoring is that lefty billionaire Tom Steyer’s money is involved in this scandal.

Let’s play another round of “What if a Republican had done this?” Imagine a GOP governor using Koch brothers money in a corruption scandal. Rachel Maddow might pass out on air and HuffPo would cease writing about anything else for days.

The mere mention of the Koch brothers by any member of the media should be met with repeated mentions of Steyer, who spends far more to influence elections than the left’s favorite bogeymen.

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Christie’s Approval Rating in New Jersey Tanks

Friday, February 13th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

That Jerry Jones hug has been ruining him.

A majority of New Jersey registered voters view Governor Chris Christie unfavorably, a poll showed on Friday, underscoring the headwinds the outspoken Republican could face in securing his party’s nomination for the 2016 presidential election.

The poll by Rutgers-Eagleton noted that “for the first time” a majority, 53 percent, were unfavorably inclined toward the governor, according to a statement.

It said 37 percent of registered voters in the state felt favorably toward the governor, down 7 percentage points in two months.

After Mitt’s exit, most of the catheterized octogenarian Republican establishment money was already probably starting to move Jebber’s way and this will certainly help. Christie is burdened by having to fight on two fronts. He wants to be the establishment’s guy but he also has to run on his governor’s résumé, which opens him up for head-to-head comparisons with Scott Walker. Both appear to be increasingly uphill battles and Christie could very well end up with Lindsey Graham levels of support for a presidential run.

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Wendy Davis Wants to Make a Killing on the Abortion Speakers Circuit

Friday, February 13th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Loathsome woman.

Jill Stanek from Life News highlights some points from a Houston Chronicle article on the subject. What is sickening is that there is probably a market for a woman whose only claim to fame is being a champion for extremely late term abortions and that she is obviously thrilled with making that her legacy. Here’s the YouTube vid from her new speakers bureau:

YouTube Preview Image

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Heh-Bolton: Bad News Is That Yemen Is a Foreign Policy Success for Obama

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A lot of this would be funny if it weren’t true. We’re all sharing a bad dream and no one is going to wake us up for another year and a half.

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While Obama Plays with Selfie Stick for BuzzFeed, ISIS Closes In on U.S. Marines in Iraq

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Another Obama foreign policy success.

Islamic State insurgents took control on Thursday of large parts of the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, threatening an air base where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops, officials said.

Al-Baghdadi, about 85 km (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province, has been besieged for months by the radical Sunni Islamist militants who captured vast swathes of northern and western Iraq last year.

Militants attacked al-Baghdadi from two directions earlier in the day and then advanced on the town, intelligence sources and officials in the Jazeera and Badiya operations commands said.

The officials said another group of insurgents then attacked the heavily-guarded Ain al-Asad air base five km southwest of the town, but were unable to break into it.

About 320 U.S. Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division at the base, which has been struck by mortar fire on at least one previous occasion since December.

Here’s a little perspective on just how quickly the world is spinning out of order.

Five years ago this month (maybe even this week), I was at al-Asad air base with four other comics doing a show. The place was still a war zone but the Americans and Iraqis were very much in charge. The show was packed, the troops were ready to go home and leave things in what seemed to be capable hands. Heck, the other comics and I hit the base store for souvenirs before we choppered out of there.

Now ISIS is trying to overrun some Americans there.

One can debate all that went wrong in Iraq in the last five years, but there has been one constant in this equation that entire time: the Americans have had the same commander in chief since 2010.

This guy:
selfiestickpotus

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Oregon Governor Now Being Pressured by Members of His Own Party to Resign

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

That’s gotta hurt.

Top Oregon Democrats and the state treasurer on Thursday called on Governor John Kitzhaber to resign in response to conflict-of-interest allegations involving his fiancee, and Oregon’s secretary of state said she is ready to step into the job.

Kitzhaber, a Democrat, faces mounting pressure to resign amid a criminal corruption probe launched last week by the state attorney general over a possible conflict of interest between the role of his fiancee as an unpaid adviser and her consulting contracts.

“Oregon deserves a governor who is fully focused on the duties of state,” Treasurer Ted Wheeler said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the current situation has become untenable, and I cannot imagine any scenario by which things improve.”

House of Representatives Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, both Democrats, met with Kitzhaber on Thursday and urged him to resign. A Courtney spokesman said the governor, in response, was “upset” and “defiant.”

The Democrat Borg in Oregon just elected this clown to a fourth term so it’s no wonder he’s being kind of arrogant and defiant. It’s also not surprising that things got crony-riffic after a while. The longer a politician stays in one office, especially a powerful office, the opportunities for wrongdoing increase exponentially. Democrats run around practically unchecked in Oregon and probably have a feeling of invincibility after the first re-election because they know they’ve pretty much just gotten political tenure.

Maybe the Oregon Democrats will learn from this.

Probably not.

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Des Moines Register Reports that Scott Walker Has Opened an Iowa Office

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the New York Daily News:

Wisconsin’s Republican governor, widely expected to launch a bid for President, has opened an office one state over in the early-voting state of Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported Tuesday.

Walker’s political action committee, Our American Revival, has rented office space in Urbandale, Iowa, just west of the capital city of Des Moines.

The move makes Walker, who many say is a front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination, the first likely candidate to put roots down in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses next February.

Walker is certainly moving swiftly and in a rather orderly fashion. While he may never have run for president before, he has been through three grueling campaigns in four years and has people he trusts in place. Yes, it is still early, but if you are looking for the guy who much of the base likes and can win over the Harumph wing of the GOP that prefers its candidates to have been around for decades, Walker is probably the best shot at this point.

If you are looking for an ideal candidate, now might be a good time to grow up.

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Because It Worked So Well The First Time…Obama Seeks Another Specific Exit Date From Iraq

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Painfully stupid president is painfully stupid

U.S. President Barack Obama will propose to Congress on Wednesday a new three-year authorization for the use of force against Islamic State with limits on U.S. combat troops’ involvement, lawmakers and congressional aides said.

Obama has defended his authority to lead an international coalition against Islamic State since Aug. 8 when U.S. fighter jets began attacking the jihadists in Iraq. But he has faced criticism for failing to seek the backing of Congress, where some accuse him of breaching his constitutional authority.

Facing pressure to let lawmakers weigh in on an issue as important as the deployment of troops and chastened by elections that handed power in Congress to Republicans, he said in November he would request formal authorization for the use of military force (AUMF).

An outline of that request, expected to be handed to Congress on Wednesday, could stir debate over how U.S. troops should be deployed and the extent of U.S. engagement in Iraq and Syria.

The proposal would allow the use of special forces and advisors for defensive purposes but bar “enduring offensive ground forces,” lawmakers and aides said. It would not, however, set geographic limits for the campaign against the group.

This administration is beginning to make me understand why warning labels are put on hot coffee and toys with small parts that might cause choking. One also wonders whether anyone on Team Lightbringer has ever read a history book.

This “plan” not only avoids committing to the only thing that will work, it once again lets ISIS know exactly how long it has to hang on until the next fanfare-laden exit of the troops keeping them in check. In a more sane world, it would be nice to think that there was some deep thinking behind the three year number but with this group it’s more than likely they merely plucked it out of the air because it sounded good.

Everyone’s fingers should be crossed and hoping that the American people elect an adult in 2016.

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Oops-White House Forgot To Tell Intelligence Committee About New Cyber Intelligence Center

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Awkward.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee were not briefed on the plans the White House announced today for a new cyber integration center modeled on the National Counterterrorism Center, a source with knowledge of the discussions told POLITICO.

And they’re not happy about it.

The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, projected to have a staff of 50 when it is fully operational next year, is funded by a $35 million line item in the “black budget” request for intelligence funding.

Representatives from the Office of the Director for National Intelligence briefed committee members on the budget last week, the source said, but did not provide any details about the new line item.

“When they were specifically asked for details on their cyber plans, they said there was nothing else they could share at this time,” the source said, adding they were told more information would be made available in more detailed budget documents that have not yet been sent to the committee.

That was the last committee members heard of the issue before today’s announcement was trailed with an official leak to The Washington Post, the source said.

What a comfort it is to know that President Hope and Change has made things in Washington so toxic that the branches of government can’t communicate on matters of terrorism-related national security. This isn’t really surprising given that this president treats the Legislative branch with almost blatant contempt these days.

Here is hoping that his petulance doesn’t lead to something catastrophic happening, it’s already doing enough damage to the budget.

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Pentagon Defends Need To Exceed Spending Caps

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Will anyone listen?

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work on Tuesday defended the Pentagon’s decision to ask Congress for a 2016 budget that far exceeds federal spending caps, saying several years of cuts have hurt the military’s ability to modernize to meet future threats.

“The stark reality is that the military modernization programs of our potential competitors are in hyper-drive,” Work told a Navy convention. “We see nations, as well as non-state actors, developing capabilities that threaten the technological overmatch we rely on … as we fight our nation’s wars.”

Work, the Pentagon’s chief operating officer, said heavy use of U.S. forces overseas even as the department was being forced to cut spending in recent years had eroded the military’s current readiness and limited its ability to invest in new technologies.

This is a direct result of Team Lightbringer not really paying attention to the real world. After they convinced themselves that the ill-advised withdrawal from Iraq meant all was right with the world, they decided that they could slash the defense budget to free up money for more important things, like “free” health care websites and Big Green subsidies. Now as the ISIS threat continues to grow, rename itself and show up seemingly anywhere, it turns out we may need more weapons than electric cars for this fight.

True, the Pentagon can quite often be just another wasteful cog in the bureaucratic machine but its mission can’t be viewed as co-equal with other budgetary concerns. The technological capabilities of the U.S forces are what keep us a step or two ahead of an enemy with an almost endless supply of bodies willing to be sacrificed and this is not the time to fall behind in that area.

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Now Anti-Vaxxers Have To Be Warned About Intentionally Exposing Kids Through ‘Measles Parties’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Just STOP.

California health officials on Monday warned parents against intentionally exposing their children to measles, which could worsen an outbreak in the state.

In response to media inquiries about so-called measles parties, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said it did not have information on the parties or their frequency.

But it added that the disease, of which 107 cases have been confirmed since an outbreak began late last year, was serious.

“CDPH strongly recommends against the intentional exposure of children to measles as it unnecessarily places the exposed children at potentially grave risk and could contribute to further spread,” said department spokeswoman Anita Gore.

In 2011, federal authorities issued stern warnings following media reports that vaccine-wary parents were trading chicken pox-laced lollipops by mail, in misguided efforts to build children’s immunity through exposure to the virus.

“Don’t forget to wear your new dress, Sienna, mommy is taking you to a measles party after school!”

Every time I think I’ve heard the most absurd thing I can about the hippie folk doctors they prove me wrong. If The Idiot King does release everyone from Gitmo I propose turning it into an anti-vaxxer compound. They can blissfully live and serve as many chicken pox lollipops as they want without being a danger to people who enjoy living in the 21st Century.

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(VIDEO) O’Reilly Still Wants The Internet To Get Off His Lawn, Defends Brian Williams

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

O’Reilly has always hated the Internet, bloggers and new media, so this isn’t surprising. However, cable news isn’t exactly viewing the world from lofty moral high ground. What’s interesting is his rationale for Williams’ behavior-essentially that news people want to look cool when they come on talk shows so they embellish.

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Politico: Obama ‘Drones on Like a Slow Leak from a Monster Truck Tire’ in Vox Interview

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Harsh but entertaining.

To be fair to Vox, even the most experienced White House reporters can be undone by the president in interviews. Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Channel, for one, has failed to puncture the White House shield in his “exclusive” Obama interviews. Presidents, after all, are playing on their home courts, where they set the rules and control the shot clock. A president is too well-briefed by his staff to be caught off guard by ingenious questions. No president will allow news to be made in an interview unless he wants to make news. Also, etiquette dictates that reporters not interrupt the president whenever he drones on like a slow leak out of a monster truck tire, which Obama does with Vox, at one point filibustering for 750 words—almost as long as this column!—in response to a shapeless labor question posed by Yglesias. An interview with the president may add to a journalist’s prestige, but, like White House briefings, it’s an empty ritual.

But that’s not what bothers me about the Vox interview. Here, for me, is the real rub:

In the example of Klein and Yglesias, they’re less interested in interviewing Obama than they are in explaining his policies. Again and again, they serve him softball—no, make that Nerf ball—questions and then insert infographics and footnotes that help advance White House positions. Vox has lavished such spectacular production values on the video version of the Obama interview—swirling graphics and illustrations, background music (background music!?), aggressive editing, multiple camera angles—that the clips end up looking and sounding like extended commercials for the Obama-in-2016 campaign. I’ve seen subtler Scientology recruitment films.

This, of course, is not surprising as Klein and Yglesias are two of the president’s biggest new media fan boys, although the former has had some lucid moments regarding the realities of Obamacare. This was more like a Tiger Beat interview with Leif Garrett in 1978 than any attempt at real journalism. The YouTube interview with the woman who eats cereal from the bathtub wasn’t any less silly than this fawning effort from Klein and Yglesias.

In the months leading up to the 2012 election, President Obama only granted interviews to local outlets or variety show hosts. He was mocked for this by many Republicans but it turned out to have been a pretty sound strategy. The casual voters who don’t consume political news 24/7 are found watching talk shows, not cable news. He doesn’t need the votes now, yet he still is going for appearances with puppy-eyed hero worshipers. It seems as if he is attempting to pre-game the eventual writing of his legacy, hence the “explaining” that Shafer talks about in the article.

He may get some short-term mileage out of this approach, but we have to hope that historians of the future won’t be using Matt Yglesias for much source material.

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Commies, Meet Ross and Rachel: Netflix Expands To Cuba

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Outreach.

Internet movie and television streaming service Netflix has launched in Cuba, as diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba continue to thaw.

Netflix said its content, such as series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, will be available to anyone with international payment cards.

On 15 January, the US announced new rules that ease long-running sanctions against Cuba.

A trade embargo has been in place since 1962.

Nothing else has worked since Castro took over, let’s see if bombarding them with American pop culture will do the trick. Of course, there are probably on about fourteen people who can afford $7.99 a month there right now. If all goes according to plan, we can soon get the commie elite binge-watching old American shows and simply turn the island into a resort while they’re distracted.

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NBC’s Guthrie Helps Axelrod Keep the ‘Obama Critics Are Racists’ Myth Alive

Monday, February 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A news division that’s reeling might want to get out of the low-info leftist opinion pimping business and work a bit on some actual reporting. This is nothing more than Savannah Guthrie earning her good little lapdog cred by keeping a tired lie alive. Let us also remember that David Axelrod couldn’t tell the truth if the lives of everyone he loved were on the line.

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Wyoming Turns Back Governor’s Attempt At Medicaid Expansion

Friday, February 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

#TGIF!

Wyoming has become yet another state where a Republican governor’s effort to expand Medicaid has been defeated by his own Legislature.

On Friday, the Wyoming Senate shot down Gov. Matt Mead’s expansion plan, and a House committee then pulled its bill. The double whammy effectively killed the state’s chances of enacting the Obamacare option this year.

Lawmakers there acted just days after the Tennessee Legislature shot down an expansion proposal by Gov. Bill Haslam. Together, the two rejections diminish the momentum that Medicaid expansion supporters were enjoying last month, when Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won federal approval of his particular plan and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson agreed to extend that state’s “private option” program for 18 months. Both Pence and Hutchinson are also Republicans.

Few things in politics are more irritating than a Republican who plays into the “free federal money” canard. This Obamacare-induced expansion is progressive politics at its worst and any Republican going along with it should be excoriated. The party is already polluted with big government fetishists in Washington and the only saving grace in recent years has been the work many of its governors have been doing. Unfortunately, a lot of good work can be undone by foisting this expansion upon the people.

The Foundation For Government Accountability has been educating voters about the dangers of Medicaid expansion and deserves a lot of credit for helping to influence legislators in both Tennessee and Wyoming. FGA Senior Coalitions Director Kristina Ribali is currently in Montana doing the same and hoping to score another win.

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(VIDEO) Rick Perry: Alcee Hastings Is Right: Texas Is Crazy

Friday, February 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Heh.

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University Of California System Will Require Measles Vaccinations For Incoming Students

Friday, February 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

From the LA Times:

“The University of California will require incoming students to be screened for tuberculosis and vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, meningococcus, tetanus and whooping cough, under a plan set to take effect in 2017,” the UC said in a statement. “Currently, the UC system only requires students to be vaccinated against hepatitis B, though several campuses have additional requirements.”

It will be interesting to see if the recent outbreaks prompt other institutions to adopt stricter vaccination policies. This change has purportedly been in the works for a while, however. Perhaps UC officials were aware of the fact that some of the largest un-vaccinated communities are in California.

Public health shouldn’t be held hostage by some wealthy, kombucha tea-swilling bored hippie housewives. We can’t outlaw hippies (At least I don’t think we can-has it ever been tried?) but we can vaccinate against them.

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Oregon AG: Allegations Against Governor Are ‘Troubling’ And ‘Very Serious’

Friday, February 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

No Dem-on-Dem love here.

Oregon’s attorney general has labeled as “troubling” allegations against the state’s Democratic governor and his fiancée linked to a potential conflict of interest over his future wife’s consulting work and her role as an unpaid adviser.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s remarks late on Thursday added to woes facing Governor John Kitzhaber, who was re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term last year but has faced months of criticism over a string of revelations surrounding his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.

“Recent allegations relating to Governor Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes are very serious – and troubling. My office is considering all of our legal options to ensure that we are best serving the state,” Rosenblum said in a statement.

This comes just a couple of days after Portland’s — yes, that Portland — largest newspaper called for the governor to resign.

You know it’s a real problem when the other Democrats aren’t providing cover. It’s also pretty standard fare for a politician who is allowed to hang around in one office seemingly forever. The feeling of electoral invincibility often brings with it a sense of general invincibility (see: Anthony Weiner) and arrogance that makes things go awry in a hurry. Kitzhaber, naturally, is refusing to step down. He’s probably convinced himself that he genuinely hasn’t done anything wrong.

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‘Surplus of Unskilled Labor’ Holding Back Blue Collar Wage Gains

Friday, February 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

America has added more than a million jobs in the space of three months but wages, especially for blue-collar workers, are showing few signs of gains.

The Federal Reserve is following wage increases as well as employment numbers as it weighs whether to raise interest rates this year, and strong job creation data released on Friday shifted Wall Street bets on the timing of a hike to September from October.

Hourly wage rates rose a sturdy 12 cents last month, but wages were up only 2.2 percent from a year earlier, a historically slow pace. Employment agencies, which play an increasingly large role in supplying workers to America’s companies, say a surplus of labor is holding back wage gains, particularly for blue-collar workers.

“The supply of unskilled labor is still pretty plentiful,” said George Corona, chief operations officer at Kelly Services (KELYA.O), one of the country’s largest providers of temporary employees for light assembly plants and distribution centers.

This is notable because the most of the MSM is in party mode after the jobs report today. Kudos to Reuters for digging just a bit deeper and finding the kernels of not-so-great news that always seem to be lurking in any positive economic news these days.

The media cheerleaders for the Obama economy take everything on faith, however, and spin the day away for their messiah. CNBC‘s Ben White glosses over the “historically slow pace” of wages growth that Reuters is reporting because it’s “moving in the right direction” and “economists expect” things to get better soon.

You can bet the farm that Ben White would immediately find the pace of the wage growth exceedingly problematic if White House were occupied by a Republican.

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Tom Brokaw Denies Reports About Calling for Brian Williams’ Firing But…

Friday, February 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

(h/t Hot Air)

Clearing the air

Former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw pushed back Friday against reports that he wants his embattled successor, Brian Williams, to be fired for falsely claiming to have been aboard a helicopter that came under rocket-propelled grenade fire in Iraq.

“I have neither demanded nor suggested Brian be fired,” Brokaw said in an email to The Huffington Post. “His future is up to Brian and NBC News executives.”

The New York Post on Thursday quoted an NBC source who said Brokaw wanted Williams’ “head on a platter” and had suggested a more junior employee would have been fired or suspended.

CNN’s Brian Stelter said his reporting inside NBC had backed up the Post’s assertion that Brokaw is “furious” over the incident.

While Brokaw may not have asked for Williams to be punished over the incident, he didn’t defend his colleague in his statement to HuffPost the way former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather did a day earlier.

Rather, who was embroiled in his own media scandal, said Thursday that Williams “is an honest, decent man, an excellent reporter and anchor — and a brave one. I can attest that — like his predecessor Tom Brokaw — he is a superb pro, and a gutsy one.”

When the “sources” reports hit the news last night many were speculating whether NBC brass were behind them and providing cover for themselves should they move against Williams. As is always the case with reporting based entirely upon anonymous sources, however, the stories are easy to deny. That Brokaw didn’t take the opportunity give even a tepid endorsement to Williams is probably a sign that things are shaky for the news anchor.

A ringing endorsement from Rather about honesty is laughable, of course, but it shows that he still doesn’t think he did anything wrong.

That’s really the problem here.

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Holder’s Farewell Tour: Telling Cops to ‘Earn Trust’ of Communities

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Because it’s all the cops’ fault, right?

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that law enforcement and other leaders should use the national debate over the use of force to improve relations with the communities they serve.

Holder called for the dialogue at a meeting with politicians, law enforcement officials and community leaders in Oakland, California, a city that has seen tumultuous demonstrations against police.

It was the sixth and final city where Holder has convened such a meeting since President Obama asked him to organize the discussions.

“Recent events have cast a stark light on rifts that have emerged throughout the country,” Holder said. “And that’s why I’ve been traveling the nation in recent months to hold roundtable discussions — like this one — aimed at bringing people of all backgrounds and perspectives together to restore trust where it has been eroded, and to build trust where it never existed.”

Holder said the debate about police relations is an opportunity that shouldn’t be squandered.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told the group earlier, “We have got to do more to win back the trust of the community.”

Didn’t this guy retire about a year ago? This has got to be the longest farewell tour in the history of presidential administrations.

Holder and his boss have been on the wrong side of almost every high publicity law enforcement story since they’ve been in office. They are quick to blame the police and give a free pass to criminals. One wonders how he can give speeches like this without getting a chair thrown at him.

Oakland is a criminal cesspool and has been for quite a long time. Maybe city officials should be thanking the police rather than admonishing them.

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(VIDEO) Former Awful Governor Howard Dean Thinks Scott Walker Has Been an Awful Governor

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Given that Scott Walker won three elections in four years with Big Labor throwing everything they had at him, it would seem that the people of Wisconsin disagree with Dr. ScreamyPants. As we pointed out yesterday, MSNBC’s ratings are in the midst of a Titanic impression. This clip is indicative of why. Dean is, and always has been, a screeching loon. He often says things that obviously aren’t reality-based.

And he’s revered at MSNBC.

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Infant Measles Outbreak Hits Chicago Day Care Center

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Here we go

There’s officially a measles outbreak in Chicago: Five babies who attend a local day care have been diagnosed with the measles, Illinois health officials announced on Thursday.

All five children are under the age of 1, and attended KinderCare Learning Center. Two of the measles cases have been confirmed with lab testing, officials said, while the other three diagnoses are pending test results.

Officials added that it’s too early to know whether the Chicago measles outbreak is linked with the Disneyland outbreak.

Measles is incredibly contagious; nearly anyone who’s unvaccinated will contract the disease after exposure, and a small number of people who were vaccinated end up contracting the disease, too.

The good news is…well there really isn’t any. Newborn children are facing a health risk because the yoga mat moms are bored with life and all of the health we’ve been enjoying as a civilized nation. Build them a quarantined compound in Antarctica and let them and their little bundles of contagion live there.

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Romney Staffer: Axelrod Is Lying About Election Night Phone Call

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Say it ain’t so!

Garrett Jackson, Mitt Romney’s body man throughout the 2012 campaign, tells POLITICO that he believes David Axelrod “concocted” a phone call recounted in his memoir coming out Tuesday, “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics.”

Axelrod writes in a passage revealed by the N.Y. Daily News that Obama was “slightly irritated” by Romney’s concession call on election night.

When Obama hung up, he told Axelrod and others who were present that Romney had said: “You really did a great job of getting the vote out in places like Cleveland and Milwaukee.” Axelrod writes that the president added: “In other words, black people. That’s what he thinks this was all about.”

Jackson, 28, said in a phone call from Houston, where he now works as a private-equity analyst: “When I read that, I was furious. … It didn’t happen. … I was right next to the Gov. Hell, it was my phone. I was the one who called [Obama aide] Marvin Nicholson. … Mitt goes: ‘Mr. President, I just wanted to call and congratulate you and your team on a well-fought race, and congratulate you on your victory.’ Then there was a silence on Mitt’s end — we weren’t on speaker.

When asked about this by my colleague John Phillips on PJTV‘s “The Rundown” yesterday, I noted that all of what Axelrod wrote was plausible but, since he wrote it, I didn’t believe a word of it.

Axelrod was Team Lightbringer’s message guru for a very long time. He lies in order to smear Republicans as reflexively as you and I breathe. President Obama and his inner circle know that Romney was right about most of the big things in 2012. They also know that the American public is catching on to that fact. As a result, it’s still a priority for them to bad mouth Romney in an effort to put some heavy gloss on Obama’s legacy.

Good luck with that…

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Politico: Now That Dems Are Being Obstructionists It’s…Still the Republicans’ Fault

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Wow, couldn’t see this coming.

Senate Democrats again blocked Republicans’ attempt Wednesday to bring up a funding bill for the
Department of Homeland Security — filibustering the legislation over provisions that would unravel President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The vote was 53-47.

The Senate had reached the same outcome on a procedural vote on the same bill Tuesday, and the situation is expected to play out again this week — quite apropos in the days after Groundhog Day.

Senate Republicans plan to force the minority to block the bill multiple times, and they slammed Democrats for refusing to let the chamber even take up the DHS funding measure so changes more to their liking could be considered.

The pathetically predictable MSM isn’t wasting any time running interference for the Democrats. In the years that the Dems had the Senate majority, it was always the fault of the Republicans if they blocked a bill. No mention whatsoever was made of what language the majority may have added to a bill to make it objectionable to the GOP. In fact, the Harry Reid brigade would often simply not let things come up for a vote and the Republicans were blamed for that too.

Here is hoping that leadership remains aware of the fact that they’ll never get a break in the media and act accordingly.

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MSNBC’s Ratings Free-Fall Prompts Discussions of a Shakeup

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

They miss Olbermann.

When President Obama was reelected in 2012, MSNBC was “leaning forward” and smiling wide as Obama 2.0 propelled it to record ratings and a firm grasp on the No. 2 spot in cable news.

Over two years later, the network has fallen backwards. January ratings revealed double-digit declines compared with January, 2014 in all ratings measurements. During the day, MSNBC was down 20 percent in viewers and 37 percent in the advertising-coveted 25-54 demo. In primetime, it fell 23 percent in viewers and 39 percent in demo.

Network President Phil Griffin knows MSNBC needs to turn those numbers around quickly, and multiple insiders tell TheWrap Griffin is in the process of deciding what potential changes to make, including tinkering with primetime.

One well-placed insider told TheWrap that the ratings-challenged “All In” with Chris Hayes — airing in the cable news sweet spot of 8 p.m. ET — might get uprooted for a different timeslot. It’s not clear who will replace Hayes in the event that he gets yanked from 8 p.m., but since Keith Olbermann’s 2011 exit, MSNBC has filled the all-important timeslot with internal talent rather than seeking hosts from the outside.

MSNBC is a lot like the current administration it so admires: every time someone awful leaves, someone worse is found as a replacement.

A key component in its struggle is the fact that the network’s executives and on-air talent are blissfully unaware of the fact that progressivism is still a fringe ideology in America. The little bump they enjoyed was due to a combination of the unsustainable emotional high of the early Obama years and the CNN’s floundering. CNN may not be what it was twenty years ago, but it has made some slight improvements in the past couple of years.

Jeff Zucker seems genuinely interested in restoring the CNN brand, while Phil Griffin seems to be merely creating programming that he and his friends enjoy:

MSNBC’s other programming problem appears to be Griffin himself, whom multiple insiders told TheWrap is too attached to the hosts he’s selected and the shows they’ve developed, including Farrow, Reid, Hayes and Alex Wagner, who hosts “Now” at 4 p.m. ET.

That this niche network is still supported by the parent company is also indicative of just how left-leaning NBC as a whole is.

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Uh-Oh: FCC Chairman Wants To Regulate Broadband Like A Utility

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A bad idea made worse…

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed Wednesday he’s seeking strong net neutrality rules that regulate broadband service like a utility, matching a vision laid out by President Barack Obama and setting up a high-stakes standoff with the telecom industry and congressional Republicans.

The move, which Wheeler announced in an online op-ed in Wired magazine, is expected to meet heavy resistance from the GOP Congress and Internet-service providers, which warn it will lead to burdensome regulation and hinder investment. AT&T has already said it will challenge such rules in court.

Wheeler’s plan would prevent broadband providers from engaging in pay-for-play deals with companies for faster delivery of their content to consumers. It would also extend net neutrality rules to mobile devices. The full five-member commission is slated to vote on Wheeler’s plan on Feb. 26.

“I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” the chairman wrote. “These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband.”

We can only hope that the anticipated standoff with Republicans will actually happen. If there is a line in the sand to be drawn by this majority I can’t think of a better one than keeping the un-elected regulatory agencies in check. I would obviously prefer that they have their powers stripped but let’s take this one step at a time.

The Idiot King knows that he isn’t going to get any assists from Congress in the next couple of years so he is going to let the EPA and FCC run crazy, unleashing a regulatory zombie apocalypse on the American people. This battle in particular should be an easy fight for even the Republicans to get the messaging right. Not too many regular people have warm and fuzzy feelings about dealing with utilities. I waited ten days for the gas company to turn my gas on when I moved into my current home. I’ve got nothing nice to say about them.

Also, if you have been exasperated at any time with your mobile provider, imagine how much worse it will be with our heavy-handed overlords upping their regulatory stake in the process.

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(VIDEO) Jon Stewart Mocks Anti-Vaxxer ‘Science-Denying Affluent CA Liberals’

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The Marin County rich hippie mom’s comments here practically mock themselves, but Stewart does a great job of piling on:

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