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The PJ Tatler

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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Steady Ted Cruz Raises $12.2 Million for Third Quarter

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz raised $12.2 million in the third quarter, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing a campaign aide.

The Texas senator has raised a total of $26.5 million since entering the race in late March for the 2016 Republican nomination, AP said.

Cruz’s total for the three months ended Sept. 30 was more than double that of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, another contender in the crowded Republican field. Rubio’s campaign raised $6 million in the third quarter, a source said earlier on Thursday, citing campaign officials.

Largely because he has opted to avoid the almost hourly Trump drama that other candidates get sucked into despite an almost complete lack of upside, Cruz hasn’t been grabbing headlines. He’s obviously still grabbing cash though, and that is probably all he intends to do at the moment.

As we have mentioned here before, Cruz is playing the long game here, and is focused on next March 1st, when he hopes the southerns states’ primaries will boost him to the front of what still may be a crowded GOP pack.

This strategy might not seem as plausible if his “I’ll just be over here while you guys scream at Trump” approach wasn’t bringing in any campaign money. If this keeps up, he should hit March well-funded, rested and ready.

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NBC Developing Dramedy Inspired by Wendy Davis

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Set your calendars to “YAWN”.

Texas Democratic politician Wendy Davis made national headlines in 2013, filibustering anti-abortion legislation in the local Senate. Now the former Texas Senator is poised for more national attention as the inspiration for a dramedy series in development at NBC.

Written by Jennifer Cecil, the untitled project centers on a female Democratic Senator who, after losing the Texas governor’s race, gets her world turned upside down. In the vein of The Good Wife, while she pieces her pride back together, she goes to work in the law firm of her best friend — a black, male Republican — and discovers that with no political future to protect, she can unshackle her inner badass.

This is where the entertainment industry provides far more value for Democrats than the big cash fundraisers ever could. In the real world, a gold-digging loser like Davis would be quickly, and rightfully, forgotten. But because she championed the number one pet issue of the left, she “inspires” the production of a television series. They’ll be invoking her name for decades to come, much like they find a reason to trot out Anita Hill every few years. She will become ingrained in leftist lore simply because she thinks any abortion laws are “restrictive”.

But she will still be a loser.

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(VIDEO) Wolf Blitzer Skeptical in Carson Interview that Armed Jews Would’ve Fared Better than Unarmed Jews Against Nazis

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Carson may as well have suggested the moon was made of green cheese. Blitzer is so invested in liberal talking points about guns that he can’t grasp the value of an armed populace in the face of evil tyranny.

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Nanny State ‘Mini Me’ Berkeley Tries to Tax Away Obesity, NPR Gushes

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

First, they came for Coca Cola…

Public health advocates have argued that one of the best ways to fight obesity would be to tax the sugary drinks that science has implicated as a big part of the problem.

While many states and cities have tried to find ways to tax sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages, only Berkeley, Calif., has succeeded. A grass-roots coalition, funded in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies, managed to get 76 percent of voters to support a soda tax, which passed in November 2014 and was the first of its kind in the U.S.

Now, researchers say the tax seems to be working in one important way: From May through June — the first three months of its implementation — soda prices in Berkeley increased seven-tenths of a cent per ounce more than in other cities, the researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found. That means that retailers are passing about 70 percent of the extra cost from the 1-cent-per-ounce tax on to consumers.

That’s the way excise taxes are supposed to work — they make it more likely that consumers will see and feel the extra cost for a specific product.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when American liberals only wanted to tax much of the stuff, not all of the stuff. That was before Americans made it clear that we’re still fans of liberty, the pursuit of happiness and all the other “Hey, we fought a revolution over this” things that the progressives who have hijacked American liberalism loathe. Now they want to use the state and its powers of taxation to ideologically and physically engineer people to adhere to principles which free people instinctively find distasteful (reverse pun intended).

Berkeley serves as a good place to see what will be happening in other progressive cities, as it is the mothership for commies in America. In just half a century, the city known for its free-loving, free-living hippies is now being run by those hippies, and they’re all bitter fans of oppressive government.

We don’t have enough time to wait for their kids to rebel against them, the poor dears will probably be too hungry fight back.

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WWIII Update: Russian Missiles Aimed at Syria Crash in Iran

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Meanwhile, in non-Kevin McCarthy news…

Cruise missiles fired by Russia from warships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria crashed in a rural area of Iran, senior United States officials said on Thursday.

It was unclear exactly where in Iran the missiles had landed, or whether there were any casualties. The officials said the flight path of the Russian cruise missiles would have taken them across northern sections of Iran and Iraq on the way to Syria. But not all of them made it there, one official said.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss military intelligence.

While the saner among us continue to simply nod and say some version of, “Duh” whenever there is any news about Russia’s military actions anywhere, the Obama administration and the MSM (I know, I know, redundant) keep being surprised. Bless their hearts for being able to completely block out all recent memory about Obama policy failures and the results of his weakness.

Worry not, however, Team Lightbringer is still in the business of serious finger-wagging in times like this:

News of the crashes, which were reported by CNN, came as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter sharply criticized what he called Russia’s “unprofessional” conduct in its incursion into Syria. Speaking at a NATO news conference in Brussels, Mr. Carter said that Moscow had fired the barrage of cruise missiles with no advance notice.

Unprofessional! That should get Vlad back in line. If he keeps doing whatever he wants “with no advance notice” he may very well be subjected to another stern Twitter hashtagging.

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Feel Better About Yourself Reading About People Who Thought ‘The Martian’ was Based on a True Story

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is how Obama happens twice.

It’s said to be the closest any Hollywood space movie has come to being scientifically accurate.

But it appears that The Martian, starring Matt Damon, is being taken a little too seriously by some, with scores of people believing the sci-fi flick was based on a true story.

Tweets from people who watched the Ridley Scott film, which came out on Friday, reveal that a surprisingly large number of people are unaware that humankind has never set foot on Mars.

If you’ve had a bad day, enjoy reading the tweets in the article. Try not to be disturbed by the fact that so many people believe that NASA didn’t actually land on the moon but did somehow make it to Mars.

Then weep for humanity.

6 Movies on Our Love-Hate Affair with Mars

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L.A. Charter School Expansion Could Lead to ‘Huge’ Drop in Union Teaching Jobs

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

They say it like it’s a bad thing.

If a proposal for a massive expansion of charter schools in Los Angeles moves forward, the casualties would likely include the jobs of thousands of teachers who currently work in the city’s traditional public schools.

As new charters open, regular schools would face declining enrollment — and would need fewer teachers.

Under the $490-million plan being spearheaded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, 260 new charters would be opened in the city in eight years. The goal is to more than double the number of students attending these schools, which are independently run and mostly non-union.

Somewhere along the way, sainthood was conferred upon America’s school teachers, and stories were told about all they sacrifice for the children. In reality, union teachers only care about union teachers. That’s why their labor representatives vehemently lobby (the “poor” teachers have millions in lobbying money) against anything that might actually improve education, like charter schools or vouchers.

The reason that so many public schools would face declining enrollment is that they offer an inferior product, plain and simple. The public school districts that still offer quality education aren’t worried about kids fleeing to charter schools, only perennial dropout pits like LAUSD have such concerns.

This is one issue where Republicans could be doing some organic outreach to non-traditional voting constituencies without pandering, but they seem to have let it fall by the wayside in recent years.

There’s probably not enough time to get around to it once all of the complaining about Ted Cruz is over.

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Senate to Vote on Bill Punishing Sanctuary Cities

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Politico:

Senate Republicans are planning a vote on a controversial immigration bill later this month punishing so-called sanctuary cities that give safe harbor to immigrants here illegally — months after authorities say an undocumented immigrant shot and killed a young woman on a San Francisco pier.

The legislation from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) would target sanctuary cities — localities where local law enforcement officials decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities — by withholding key federal grants and increasing prison sentences for those who try to re-enter the United States after being deported.

Classic bit of media bias with the “authorities say” nonsense, as if there is still some debate about Kate Steinle’s death. It’s the media’s job, however, to toe the line for the Democrats and it does in bold and subtle ways, this being the latter.

As with all things pertaining to illegal immigration, the GOP is chasing its tail even when it tries to do something:

The sanctuary cities issue, which exploded in the public sphere after the July 1 death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, had been kicked to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Republicans struggled to come to a consensus on legislation. The suspect in the slaying, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, had been deported from the United States five times before he returned and allegedly killed Steinle.

That month, Vitter has repeatedly called for attaching sanctuary cities legislation to a sweeping rewrite of No Child Left Behind, a move that could have threatened the prospects of the largely bipartisan education reform bill. Vitter ultimately struck a deal with Senate GOP leaders to take up the immigration measure in the Judiciary Committee instead — a move that saved the education bill but became an unresolved headache for Judiciary Committee Republicans that has persisted for nearly three months because of intraparty rifts on the issue.

Many Republicans — including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination — lobbied for a bill that would implement a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years for an illegal re-entry offense as a key part of the party’s response on sanctuary cities. Cruz had been highlighting his efforts to pass that provision on the campaign trail, which Republicans named “Kate’s Law” after Steinle.

But other GOP senators, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, opposed that idea. The split increased the likelihood that a tough-on-immigration proposal would not be able to pass a Republican-led panel. The committee’s chairman, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, had to delay marking up the bill multiple times.

And some Republicans could also defect during the Senate floor battle. In an interview Wednesday, Flake — a longtime GOP advocate of comprehensive immigration reform — said he would oppose the sanctuary cities legislation on the floor if the mandatory minimum provisions weren’t “fixed.”

“I won’t vote for it unless there is some adjustment on the mandatory minimums,” Flake said.

Flake has been a monumental disappointment since his arrival in the Senate. He’s a less imaginative John McCain who has even fewer redeeming qualities for conservatives.

The sad thing is that Republicans will almost always find something to quibble about when it comes to getting tough on immigration because most of them are operating under the delusion that pandering will lead to votes in some fantasy-story future.

Education Secretary: Provide Financial Aid for Illegal Immigrants

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McCarthy Doesn’t Yet Have Full Majority Locked Up in Speaker’s Race

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to have locked up enough support among his fellow Republicans to be nominated for speaker, but has not nailed down the 218 votes needed to be elected by the full chamber, Republican lawmakers said on Wednesday.

House of Representatives Republicans are scheduled to cast secret ballots on Thursday on their choice to replace House Speaker John Boehner, who is resigning from Congress on Oct. 30.

McCarthy, currently the No. 2 House Republican, and the front-runner in the race, has two announced Republican opponents for the job – House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Representative Daniel Webster of Florida.

A group of around 40 of the most conservative House Republicans – enough to keep him from being elected speaker in a public vote – were largely still non-committal after a candidate forum on Tuesday.

The Freedom Caucus is expected to meet on Wednesday to decide which candidate to support.

“We have every intention of voting together tomorrow and on the house floor,” said Representative Jim Jordan, the group’s leader.

Some Freedom Caucus members said they would not support McCarthy, including Representative Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, who said he would likely vote for Webster.

“I don’t think Kevin convinced anybody that he would be much different than John Boehner,” Huelskamp said. “Right now it’s just ‘Trust me.’”

This really isn’t the time for the Freedom Caucus to fall in line just to make things smooth, as that is really not their function right now.

Falling in line is precisely what made Kevin McCarthy unpopular with many conservatives. McCarthy and Eric Cantor were seen as fresh-faced agents of change when they got to Congress but quickly became boring keepers of the status quo.

Look how well that worked out for Cantor.

As for McCarthy, it’s tempting to ask, “Can he really be any worse than Boehner?”

If there’s one big lesson I’ve learned in the last six years, it’s to never ask if things can get worse in Washington.

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Bern Notice: Socialist Venezuela Has World’s Worst Economic Forecast

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Bloomberg:

Venezuela will see its economy shrink more than any other country in the world this year as lower oil prices drain government coffers, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“Venezuela is projected to experience a deep recession in 2015 and 2016,” the IMF said Tuesday in its World Economic Outlook. The country’s real gross domestic product probably will contract 10 percent this year and 6 percent in 2016, it said.

Obama’s hugging buddy Hugo Chávez is chuckling from his grave right now, knowing that he lived large while helping to bankrupt an oil-rich country.

The Venezuelan government has stepped in to make prices on staple goods “fair.” The problem is that stores keep running out of them, which is a familiar refrain for those old enough to remember stories from the Soviet Union’s heyday.

Meanwhile, a guy who proudly espouses the same kind of economic system is closing in on Hillary Clinton even in the state where her wealthiest supporters reside.

Feel the Berning bread lines!

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Happy Halloween! Feds to Release 6000 Prisoners at End of Month

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via CNN:

In a move to reduce prison overcrowding and provide relief to inmates given harsh sentences in drug cases, the federal Bureau of Prisons will grant early release to about 6,000 inmates beginning later this month, officials confirmed to CNN.

The mass release is the largest in the Bureau of Prisons history and the first wave of what could be tens of thousands of early releases, officials said.

The mass release was triggered by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which lowered maximum sentences for drug offenders last year and made the change retroactive.

Even with the Sentencing Commission’s reductions, drug offenders will have served substantial prison sentences, said Sally Quillian Yates, a deputy attorney general with the Justice Department.

If there is one thing we have learned after almost seven years of the Obama administration being in charge, it’s that people on the wrong side of the law tend to get the fairest treatment. The same administration that uses various government agencies to target people who have the audacity to disagree with them politically has a warm, gooey soft spot for law breakers.

Some of these sentence reductions may very well be justified. It just seems a bit off how much priority The Idiot King has given this in his waning days in the Oval Office.

It’s not like nothing else is going on in the world.

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Panicky Team Hillary Begins Oppo Research on Biden

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Somebody is hearing footsteps.

Researchers working on behalf of Hillary Clinton are searching for dirt on vice president Joe Biden in case he decides to enter the race to become the Democratic nominee for president.

A team of “opposition researchers” was reportedly set up last month to comb through Mr Biden’s long record in office and come up with unsavoury revelations.

The operation is being conducted by pro-Hillary group Correct the Records, accoring to New York Magazine.

With rumors that even her own people think New Hampshire is lost to Comrade Bernie, and the White House publicly saying they’re totally down with Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep running for president, it probably wasn’t a pleasant day to be close to the Duchess of Sour.

Biden first went to the Senate when our military still used muskets and has been one heartbeat away from the presidency for seven years. Throw in the fact that he has already run for the top job and it’s likely that all the dirt there is to dig up on him has done been dug.

The vice president has also been very careful about this, and probably wouldn’t even get into the race unless he was reasonably assured that a lot of Hillary supporters were going to come his way. It’s not as if they’re fighting for different constituencies in the Democratic Party after all.

This is about the time in the 2008 cycle when Hillary’s “inevitability” started to crack.

And there was only one guy in that race who could beat her.

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WaPo: Trump Has Only Spent $2 Million on Campaign So Far

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

As the kids say, whoa, if true.

MSNBC reported Tuesday morning that aides to Donald Trump estimate that the real estate mogul has spent roughly $2 million on his 2016 presidential campaign to date. That’s consistent with a Wall Street Journal report from over the summer that Trump had loaned his campaign $1.8 million and raised another $100,000 for the effort.

That’s stunning. And brilliant.

This is the rarest of occasions: Chris Cillizza is right about something. Trump’s manipulation of media and social media has been brilliant. The fact that he’s constantly on television without having to pay for television time is something that is rather unprecedented for a non-incumbent.

No matter how this campaign turns out, Trump’s use of social media will probably one day be talked about in political science classes. He is using the various platforms in the way they were meant to be used: personally. Rather than tweeting a campaign talking point in a third-person voice from an account that bears the candidate’s name (as most do), he’s talking to people. No matter how unhinged he may be, speaking directly to the voters as himself on social media resonates infinitely more than “Candidate X wants to, RT if you agree.”

The media landscape has changed drastically since the Bush/Rove days and the GOP has been less than nimble in adapting. If establishment types and other candidates can turn off their Trump hate for a moment, maybe they can learn something, like how to run a more financially efficient campaign.

Republicans are still into fiscal responsibility, right?


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In Desperate Last Grasp for Relevance, O’Malley Calls for Overturn of Citizens United

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

America yawns.

Martin O’Malley called Thursday for public financing of congressional campaigns and strengthening the Federal Election Commission to help fight abuses.

Mr. O’Malley unveiled the campaign finance reform plan on a day when many campaigns put out their totals of money raised for the quarter.

Other elements of Mr. O’Malley’s plan include tougher disclosure rules for campaigns and, as he has said in the past, overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that helped pave the way for the current big-money era in political finance.

“This week marks the end of another campaign fund-raising quarter. I’m not naïve: Campaign resources are important,” Mr. O’Malley said. “But the staggering figures required to run for the highest office in the land aren’t as much a sign of muscle as they are an indication just how broken our democracy is.”

Poor little Marty, he so desperately wanted to be the shiny progressive alternative to Mrs. Bill. Instead, the progs have opted for an old VW hippie van of a socialist candidate. One who can raise money with the greatest of ease, by the way.

As we mentioned here last week, the whole “Citizens United will allow Super PACs to buy elections” scare could be permanently filed under “Nonsense” with the early exits of Rick Perry and Scott Walker from the GOP race. Both were awash in Super PAC money but couldn’t connect with voters and, as a result, didn’t have any hard cash in their wallets for day-to-day campaign expenses.

O’Malley wants to stake out some territory left of Hillary Clinton that Bernie Sanders hasn’t yet, so he’s released a plan on an issue that even lefties aren’t talking about right now.

Go home, Marty, your elders are embarrassing you.

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Obama Confident in Secret Service in Wake of Targeting Chaffetz

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Of course he is.

President Barack Obama has not lost confidence in leadership of the U.S. Secret Service despite an investigation that revealed 45 employees accessed the personal information of a lawmaker investigating a string of security lapses, the White House said on Thursday.

This latest in the “string of security lapses” really wasn’t that at all though, however. It was blatant, authoritarian targeting, something that this administration has been known for. The White House isn’t likely to be too upset with orders that more than likely originated in the White House.

The next president is going to have quite a mess to clean up when he or she arrives in January, 2017. There are only a few who have the temerity to undo the stink that The Idiot King is going to leave behind, none of them Democrats.

If what’s been done isn’t undone, the stink will become permanent and we could be looking at an America that’s “Soviet Lite”.

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Local Live Stream From Oregon Community College Shooting

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

There are varying reports on the number of dead and injured, so it’s best not to speculate. Here is the link to the local news live stream:


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Taliban Takeover of Kunduz Picks Up Strength

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh boy.

Taliban fighters seized a military hilltop site in Kunduz, tightening their grip on the northern Afghan city on Wednesday.

NATO special forces joined Afghan troops Kunduz to try to push back Taliban insurgents, repelled a counter-offensive and advanced on the airport to shore up their biggest victory in 14 years.

Heavy fighting was underway near the northern city’s airport where government forces are holed up, highlighting the potent challenge the militants pose after their lightning capture of Kunduz.

The Taliban’s occupation — now in its third day — raises troubling questions about the capabilities of Afghan forces as they battle the militants largely on their own after NATO’s combat mission ended last December.

Will the last enemy to take back territory won by Western (specifically American) military men and women during the Obama years turn the light off when he leaves?

You get what I mean.

President Peace Prize is leaving a trail of telegraphed exit carnage as a legacy. Why, it’s almost as if the various enemies knew exactly how long they had to rebuild and be patient because someone in a position of authority let them know.

Anything for a couple of applause lines in a speech, right Mr. President?

Remember, this is all happening at a time when The Idiot King is threatening to veto extra funding for the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, despite the fact that the world he’s helped create is quite the contingency-rich environment.

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Bern Money: Sanders Raises $24 Million, Outpacing 2008 Obama Campaign

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

More bad news for Hillary.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised more than $24 million for his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in the last three months, a significant sum that was fueled by a torrid pace of online donations: more than a million so far.

Sanders advisers, in announcing the fund-raising tally on Wednesday night, also said that the senator had more than $25 million in cash on hand.

Sure, the numbers that Hillary is going to report soon will probably (although it’s not safe to bet on anything in this election cycle anymore) be bigger, but all she has been doing is kissing up to big-money Democrat donors. Sanders has been getting his donations from the little folk.

This is exactly how Mrs. Bill’s 2008 run began to unravel. What’s worse now is that Barack Obama was a rising, youthful star in the Democratic Party back then. His ascent could be somewhat explained. Sanders is a twenty-four-year Washington mainstay who wasn’t even supposed to be able to make a run at Martin O’Malley this year.

On the Republican side, the big establishment money is already nervous about Jeb! and threatening to bail. How much longer will the Hillary backers refrain from calling the vice president’s office?

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Associated Press: Russia-Linked Hackers Went After Hillary’s Private Server

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

As Trump would say, YUGE.

Newly released emails show Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account while she was secretary of state. It is unclear if she clicked on any attachment and exposed her account.

We’ve certainly come a long way from the halcyon days of “emails about Chelsea’s wedding” for “convenience” now, haven’t we?

It matters not whether she was actually hacked, all that is relevant is that she exposed herself to being hacked. Since no one in the MSM is saying it, it needs to be repeated everywhere in alternative media: if this were anyone else, he or she would already be worried about jail time.

This comes shortly after she and her minions were insisting (with almost the exact same wording in each case) that it’s “time to move on” from this “phony scandal”.

That sound you hear in the background is Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep calling his potential campaign staff.

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Dems Once Again Prove Fiscal Responsibility Only Concerns Them When Dealing with DoD

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sure, now they want to pinch pennies.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday he expected President Barack Obama to veto the annual defense policy bill currently making its way through Congress because it seeks to avoid budget caps by padding the war-funding account.

Carter told a Pentagon news briefing that he and other presidential advisers had already recommended that Obama veto the National Defense Authorization Act if it remains in its current form.

The bill, which is written by the Armed Services Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, sets defense policy and authorizes new programs and spending. Appropriation of money is done through spending bills written by the Appropriations Committees.

“(Obama) has already indicated that if it were presented to him in the form in which it now appears it is going to be presented to him, it is going to be vetoed,” Carter said. “So, yes, that is unchanged.”

Carter said he had a number of objections to the compromise bill unveiled on Tuesday. The measure would authorize $612 billion in defense spending, including $90 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), or war funds.

Obama had sought a base Pentagon budget of $534 billion, well in excess of the $499 billion federal spending cap for 2016. He also sought $51 billion in war funds.

To avoid breaking the spending caps while still giving the president the level of funding he sought, Republicans on Capitol Hill reduced the base budget and added extra money to the war fund, which is not restricted by federal spending limits.

“It attempts to evade the question of overall fiscal responsibility with the so-called OCO gimmick, which is objectionable to me and to others in other agencies,” Carter told reporters.

While fiscal responsibility is a noble goal for any part of the government, it ruffles the feathers of common decency that Democrats tend to be truly interested in it only when we are talking about making sure those who are defending the nation are involved.

Sure, there is fat to be trimmed in the DoD, but we’re also dealing with an administration that has a new mistake which needs to be dealt with militarily quite frequently. It would seem that the OCO might deserve some padding precisely because of this.

And we haven’t even gotten to the havoc the Iranian “peace” deal is going to wreak.

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Eternally Clueless, Jeb! Sees Himself as the John McCain of 2016

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via ABCNews.com:

As polls show Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush slipping, and though his donors may be worried, he’s certainly not, at least visibly.

Speaking to ABC News today, Bush offered an anecdote about a previous GOP candidate whose chances seemed slim.

“This time, eight years ago, John McCain was traveling through the Atlanta airport. I saw him and he had no aide, no person, [he was] by himself because his campaign was supposed to be ended,” Bush said of the Arizona senator. “He won the Republican primary that year. This is how the process works; you have to go earn it.”

Again, it is absolutely stunning to think that all he’s had to do for eight years is prepare for this. Why he would want to evoke McCain 2008 memories baffles the mind. One thing it proves is that he is completely unaware of how the conservative base thinks or feels. John McCain is one of the most reviled turncoat Republicans in Congress, as far as the base is concerned.

This also indicates that Jeb! has no clue about what his unshakable flaw is: we see him as the John McCain of 2016 too.

So will the voters in the general election.

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It’s Not Just al-Qaeda Anymore: ISIS Now Targeting West at Rate of More than 2 Attacks Per Month

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Telegraph:

Islamic State-linked terror plots are increasing with attacks on the West foiled or taking place at a rate of more than two a month, according to a new study.

Since the declaration of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (Isil) “caliphate” last year, nine attacks unfolded out of a total of 32 Isil-inspired plots, or 2.3 a month, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) said.

The think tank’s latest study of Isil-related terror found that the extremist group’s slick media operation is contributing to the radicalisation and inspiring attacks in Europe and elsewhere.

Although the US is under greater threat of attacks, countries in Europe have seen a higher number of deaths resulting from attacks.

According to the report author, Robin Simcox, there are likely to be many more attacks planned that the public is not aware of.

For a long time, we have been told that it’s al-Qaeda who is more focused on operating internationally while ISIS is more concerned with home-wrecking for now.

One thing al-Qaeda never had that ISIS does, however, is a social media savvy recruiting apparatus. This makes them more nimble abroad. It’s much easier to find a recruit or two a couple hundred miles away from a place they want to attack than use the old al-Qaeda sleeper cell export model.

Now that al-Qaeda has the refugee crisis to hide its exports in, they’ll both be more dangerous.

Heckuva job, Barack.

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Edward Snowden Joins Twitter and Neil deGrasse Tyson is a Drooling Fan

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

To the delight of libertarians everywhere and perhaps the most bone-headed astrophysicist ever, traitor or whistleblower (depends on your political preference and, oh, your level of HEY MAYBE DON’T DO SOMETHING TO THE U.S THAT ONLY THE RUSSIANS LIKE) Edward Snowden tore himself away from what I’m sure is a never ending supply of vodka to join Twitter.


Let this welcome tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson be your guide if you ever find yourself drunk enough to take him seriously (I’m willing to start a crowdfunding page to raise the money to help him join his “patriot” friend in Russia):


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Trump and Fox News End Their Third Fake Fight of the Primary

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Hollywood marriages last longer.

Donald Trump says his self-described boycott of Fox News is over after only one week.

The Republican presidential hopeful is scheduled to appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday evening.

The billionaire businessman has been angry with the network since the first GOP debate. Trump tweeted Sept. 23 he wouldn’t be doing any Fox shows “for the foreseeable future” because he felt the network had been treating him unfairly.

Fox said Trump had only announced his boycott after the channel canceled a scheduled Trump appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s show.

For a guy who supporters are banking on to fight, he sure gives in to Roger Ailes rather quickly.

Here and on PJTV I’ve been saying that I never bought any of this Trump/Ailes feud nonsense. There is no broadcast entity on cable that loves giving Trump more free air time. FNC was basically his advance promo team in the weeks leading up to his announcement.

These fights have been ratings kabuki theater, designed only to do what both Trump and Ailes do best: keep people talking about their brands.

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Bernie Sanders Isn’t Very Familiar with American Political Process

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Kind of makes you miss Elizabeth Warren

Sanders said that after a “brilliant campaign” Obama made a mistake by expecting that he could easily negotiate with the other party.
“He thought he could walk into Capitol Hill and the Oval Office and sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans and say, ‘I can’t get it all. You can’t get it all. Let’s work out something that’s reasonable,’ because he’s a reasonable guy. He’s a pretty rational guy,” Sanders said. “These guys never had any intention of doing [serious] negotiating and compromising … I think it took the president too long to fully appreciate that.”

But Sanders didn’t have a firm answer for how he would more successfully broker deals, saying the only way things will actually get done with a divided Congress is if the general population stays engaged in the political process and demand it.

“I don’t have any illusion that I’m going to walk in, and I certainly hope it is not the case but if there is a Republican House, and a Republican Senate that I’m going to walk in there and say, ‘Hey guys, listen. I’d like you to work with me on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,’” he said. “It ain’t gonna happen, I have no illusion about that. The only way that I believe that change takes place … is that tens of millions of people are going to have to stand up and be involved in the political process the day after the election.”

Conventional wisdom during the decades I have been involved in American politics is that it is easier to implement an agenda if tens of millions of people stand up and get involved in your cause the day of the election.

Maybe the Left’s favorite slobbering socialist grandpa knows of a secret loophole in the Constitution.

What’s most pathetic is that this isn’t a departure for Sanders, it’s pretty much on the same level of illogic as most of what he says. Even sadder is that this is precisely the kind of nonsensical populist rhetoric that deeply resonates with Democrats, particularly progressives. This man is a serious candidate for president on the Democrat side and he’s essentially saying, “I have no plan whatsoever, but if you all just yell loud, I can get my way.”

Sort of like Occupy Congress.

Obviously, the Sanders approach would be an executive-order frenzy that would make Barack Obama’s look restrained. There’s really nothing else that can be inferred from his statements.

It’s also quite ridiculous that anyone on the left is still asserting that the current occupant of the Oval Office spent even a moment interested in compromise.

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You GUYS…Mean Republicans Are Costing Taxpayers Money by Just Talking About Government Shutdown

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Proof that modern journalism has an IQ ceiling of less than twenty.

Congressional Republicans’ threatened federal government shutdown is already costing U.S. taxpayers money and it has not even happened yet, budget experts said on Tuesday.

Whether or not the party’s conservative Tea Party faction forces a shutdown this week, there are real costs to discussing and preparing for the possibility of one, they said.

Making shutdown plans during the workday diverts federal workers from other tasks that then have to be put off, which costs time and money, said Yvonne Jones, a director at the Government Accountability Office, a non-partisan congressional watchdog. Jones wrote a report on the 2013 shutdown’s costs.

The Office of Management and Budget last week said “prudent management” meant federal agencies would be planning ahead for a possible Sept. 30 shutdown deadline by identifying which programs should be kept open and how to fund them.

The prolonged threat of a shutdown hurts staff morale, Jones said, further decreasing worker productivity. She said agencies have expressed concern over how much negativity the threat of a shutdown brought, even if it never happened.

I’ll give you a minute or three thousand to stop laughing about the idea that federal agencies engage in “prudent management” practices. That line alone should discredit this post and its author.

By the way, Republicans aren’t threatening a government shutdown, Ted Cruz is. The jellyfish floating atop the GOP leadership pool have been pretty clear that they are against it happening, so we once again have the liberal bias in the MSM in sync with the Republican establishment.

Still, they wonder where all of this anti-politician fever is coming from regarding the presidential hopefuls.

Rest peacefully, liberal America: Mitch McConnell has your backs.

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Even as McConnell Gives Planned Parenthood a Pass, MSM Continues to Cover for Group

Thursday, September 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The Bad Ship Failure continues to sail.

The U.S. Senate, racing against a Sept. 30 deadline, has scheduled a procedural vote on Monday for legislation that would temporarily fund the federal government and avoid agency shutdowns on Oct. 1.

The legislation would not contain a provision that would defund women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood.

Those of us not suffering from amnesia knew that Mitch McConnell (aka “The Greatest Senate Majority Leader the Democrats Have Ever Had) would cave on this, but this little part of the short article caught my eye:

Congressional Republicans had been targeting the must-pass spending bill as a way to end Planned Parenthood’s federal funds after allegations, which it denies, that it improperly sold fetal tissue from abortions.

Classic media you-know-what covering for liberals. Instead of mentioning the series of videos in which Planned Parenthood was caught red-handed, it mentions “allegations.” That reinforces the leftist narrative that this is something that’s being inferred from the videos rather than it being something that everyone can plainly see for themselves.

Then, as the MSM always do, the denial by Planned Parenthood is left unchallenged. Were the situation reversed and a conservative individual or organization on the receiving end of allegations, two paragraphs of rebuttals to the denial would have followed.

This is the double-whammy conservatives face: media complicit in maintaining false liberal narratives and Republican leadership unwilling to ever fight back.

Remember that the next time someone calls Ted Cruz “arrogant” for daring to push back against Ol’ Blubberneck.

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New CNN Poll: Sanders Up by 16% Over Hillary in New Hampshire

Thursday, September 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Bernie Sanders

Bern notice:

Hillary Clinton trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination for president in New Hampshire, even if Vice President Joe Biden decides not to make a run for the White House, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.

Sanders has the backing of nearly half of those who say they plan to vote in the first-in-the-nation Democratic primary next year — 46% support him — while just 30% say they back Clinton. Another 14% say they would support Biden, 2% former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, 1% former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and less than half of 1% back former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee or Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig.

The worst presidential candidate in the history of ever is having a rough go of it now. This poll was probably done before the FBI announced they’d recovered some of her erased emails.

As Mrs. Bill hails from New York these days, it will be hard for her to spin this as a mere regional preference. At least she still has the women’s vote, right?

Not so much (italics added):

Clinton trails Sanders across most demographic groups, with broad gender and ideology divides bolstering Sanders’ run. He holds 56% of male Democratic voters compared with just 20% who back her, while the two are much closer among women, 39% back Sanders, 37% Clinton.

This is the point in these extended presidential campaigns when the early headlines-grabbing, non-establishment favorites are supposed to fade. As we have seen once already, however, no “inevitable” candidate is better at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than Hillary Clinton.

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Liberalism in a Nutshell: Public Union Pension Obligations About to Sink Chicago’s Credit Rating

Thursday, September 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Chickens…roost…you know the drill.

Chicago is poised to issue more than $2.7 billion of debt amid warnings that its core credit ratings could be downgraded depending on the outcome of the city’s fiscal 2016 budget.

Both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings said this week they could downgrade Chicago’s BBB-plus general obligation ratings if the city does not adequately address escalating pension payments.

“If the final budget that is adopted by the end of the calendar year fails to cover the larger pension payments with an identifiable and reliable revenue source, it would likely strain the rating, potentially resulting in the rating being lowered by multiple notches,” S&P said in a report.

Fitch Ratings said Chicago risks a downgrade if it fails to put pension payments on a solid funding path or raids budget reserves. Moody’s Investors Service, which dropped Chicago’s rating to junk in May, withheld comment until a final budget is enacted.

Crazy credit ratings people, of course Super Lib Hizzoner Emanuel has an identifiable revenue source:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a budget on Tuesday that includes the biggest-ever city property tax hike to cover increased contributions to public safety worker pensions.

In every liberal city or state that’s facing ongoing financial problems there aren’t a variety of factors at play, it’s always the pension obligations for the public employee unions. Many of these are legally mandated which leaves lawmakers no option but to keep raising taxes. That drives people away, shrinking the tax base. That leaves fewer people to pay more taxes (WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA!).

Sounds fun, no?


At times I feel like becoming a single-issue voter on pension reform, at least until that problem is fixed.

If only the Republicans had a presidential candidate with a history of successfully battling public employee unions over pension reform…

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Vox.com Headline: ‘Pope Francis isn’t as progressive on LGBTQ issues as you think’

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Pope Francis

(h/t Twitchy.com)

No, really:

Pope Francis has been widely praised as a progressive figure on LGBTQ issues. Fueled by some of the pope’s comments on gay people (“Who am I to judge?”), some Democrats have praised Francis for his liberal views — with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example, stating that Francis has led him to rethink his views on the Catholic Church.

As with everything about Pope Francis, the progressives and the MSM (same thing?) cherry pick to help craft their “Dream Pope,” who doesn’t (and mostly likely will never) exist.

The above “Who am I to judge?” line is a favorite of theirs and is almost always presented without the full quote, which is this:

If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

The “searches for the Lord and has good will” part of the sentiment is obviously the qualifier for “Who am I to judge?” When only the latter is quoted, it has a “live and let live” feel to it that’s just not what Francis said or meant.

Here’s a line from his White House speech that isn’t getting much play in the press, although it was given a position of priority near the beginning of the remarks (emphasis added):

I will also travel to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this, a critical moment in the history of our civilization.

Liberals seem to forever be surprised when the pope acts like the pope. They should relax — the church won’t be changing to their liking any time… in forever probably.

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Ted Cruz Unloads on GOP’s ‘Surrender Politics’ in Op-Ed

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser
Courtesy AP Images

Courtesy AP Images

If you’re looking for a fighter…

What happens in politics when one side is absolutely committed to its principles, willing to fight for them no matter the cost, and the other side reflexively surrenders on every issue? We have modern-day Washington.

Today, President Barack Obama fights relentlessly for his liberal priorities. Like the Terminator, he never gives up, he never stops. And Republican leadership responds to every challenge by surrendering at the outset.

President Obama demands of Congress: fund all of Obamacare, with no changes to help the millions being hurt by that failed law, or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down. President Obama demands: fund his unconstitutional executive amnesty—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down. President Obama demands: give $500 million in taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, a private organization under criminal investigation—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down.

The core of this capitulation comes from Republican leadership’s promise that “There will be no government shutdown.” On its face, the promise sounds reasonable. Except, in practice, it means that Republicans never stand for anything.

At this point, it is probably safe to say that Cruz and Mitch McConnell won’t be inviting each other over for dinner any time soon. Or ever.

The Republican leadership’s “go along to get along” strategy of the past several years is almost solely responsible for Donald Trump. They won’t admit it, of course, because recognition of reality isn’t their strong suit.

Cruz has been excoriated by Republicans since his arrival in Washington simply because he believes that they should be discernibly different from Democrats. This year, he’s operating under the notion that they should act like they control Congress. Despite all the wailing from both sides about his arrogance and lack of decorum, those are his only real political sins.

The GOP has gotten away with this for so long because the base they think they’re duping with show votes takes pity come election time and exasperatedly votes Republican.

It would seem that model is about to come to a much-needed end. If it does, perhaps a non-establishment candidate can prevail and change the party’s abysmal record in presidential elections since 1988. If it doesn’t, the Republican Party will more than likely go the way of the Whigs all on its own.

Either way, the Republican Party is doomed as long as the Republican Senate majority leader is only willing to fight a Republican senator and let the Democrat in the Oval Office do whatever he wants.

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Rubio’s Strategy: Be Steady, Let Everyone Else ‘Fizzle’

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser
Courtesy AP Images

Courtesy AP Images

Stranger things are already happening in this cycle:

Shining debate performances. Good press. Better poll numbers. And the implosion of a rival candidate.

Marco Rubio is having a moment in the GOP presidential campaign. Again.

But if it’s like Rubio’s other moments — rising to second in May after his official campaign announcement, wall-to-wall press criticizing President Barack Obama’s new Cuba policy in December — the confluence of his rise in the polls and the luck of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s early exit from the race probably won’t produce much more than a modest dose of momentum and a few favorable headlines.

Due to Rubio’s relentlessly on-message, penny-pinching campaign style, he’s reluctant to boast about his turn of fortune — or to spend freely targeting his rivals now.

Terry Sullivan, Rubio’s campaign manager, said he expects plenty of other candidates won’t last.

“We need everybody not named Marco to fizzle. That is the plan. We need everybody to slowly fizzle out, and we think they will,” Sullivan said Monday, just as the news of Walker’s withdrawal broke, during a “Meet the Campaign Managers” event sponsored by Google, National Review and YouTube.

In a primary where much of the rule book seems to have been thrown out, it’s probably tough to stay calm and run a “normal” campaign. But both Rubio and Ted Cruz have been doing just that, focusing on the long game and not getting caught up in the Trump-induced panic du jour like, say, Jeb Bush has.

There’s a very realistic possibility that this approach will work, especially if the other top-tier candidates keep playing the scorched-earth game.

The upside to either Cruz or Rubio prevailing is that the “Harumph Wing” of the GOP will not have been served.

That’s good for the party and America.

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ICE Agents Allowed Back in L.A. Jails to do Their Jobs… Sort Of

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser
Courtesy AP Images

Courtesy AP Images

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Federal immigration agents have returned to Los Angeles County jails to seek out deportable inmates under a new policy by Sheriff Jim McDonnell that has prompted criticism from immigrant advocates who say it could lead to racial profiling.

The new Sheriff’s Department policy, made public Tuesday, comes after county lawmakers voted this year to end a controversial program that allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to work inside the jails to assess the immigration status of inmates.

Now ICE agents are being allowed back inside, but only to interview inmates who have committed serious crimes and are not protected by the California Trust Act. That 2013 law limits when local law enforcement officials can collaborate with federal immigration authorities.

Note that the program which previously allowed them to do their jobs is referred to as “controversial.”

This is the madness we’re dealing with here in border states. There are plenty of laws on the books to deal with the criminal element that moves freely from Mexico into the United States, but they’re not enforced. Not only are they not enforced, it’s “controversial” if the feds even attempt to do their job.

Guess who has been undermining the federal government the most in recent years?

The federal government.

This administration kowtows to the pro-illegal immigration lobby like no other. Republicans don’t get a pass though, as evidenced by the current state of the GOP presidential race, and leadership has long been weak on this issue.

What we’re left with are laws that are only laws when random elected officials decide they want to pay attention to them. That, of course, means they aren’t actually laws, merely occasional rules.

It took the murder of a young woman by an illegal who should have been sent back to Mexico long before he had a chance to kill her to even make it palatable to the Democrats to revisit existing laws. Sadly, the short attention span of the politicians and much of the electorate will probably allow the dangerous status quo to remain more or less intact.

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While McConnell Goes the Nerf Route, Cruz Still Wants to Play Hardball on Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

He came to chew bubble gum and, well, you know…

Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said on Tuesday that Congress should use legislation funding the government to force President Barack Obama’s administration to hand over more information about the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Days after a deadline passed for Congress to vote on the nuclear pact, the 2016 presidential hopeful said any legislation to fund the government after Sept. 30 must require the administration to hand over information about “secret side deals” involving inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

On Sept. 17, the deadline for reviewing the agreement, Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate for a third and last time blocked Republican legislation meant to kill the Iran nuclear deal. The vote conserved perhaps the greatest foreign policy win of his presidency.

Congress has until Sept. 30 either to pass a bill funding the government in the new fiscal year that starts the following day, or force federal agencies to shut down or curtail major operations.

Cruz has tried in the past to use must-pass spending bills, like the one coming due on Oct. 1, as vehicles to kill Obama initiatives, like his healthcare overhaul and immigration policy changes. The strategy has failed, but has forced temporary shutdowns.

The strategy failed in the past because GOP leadership blinked. It always blinks. In fact, many establishment Republicans will tell you that the last shutdown damaged the Republican brand. All that damage led to the landslide last November.

Maybe they need a dictionary.

Boehner and McConnell have shown time and again that they’re too frightened of bad press to do anything remotely worthwhile for their constituents, the Republican base, or America.

Ted Cruz doesn’t care about their timidity.

Cruz’s former communications director hit Twitter to mock the leadership jellyfish:

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Even NPR Calls Out Hillary’s Hide-Behind-the-Pope Timing on Keystone Announcement

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s only stealthy if you don’t get caught. Here was the headline:

As Pope Lands, Hillary Clinton Says She Opposes Keystone XL Pipeline

They continued:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. It’s something she has spent months avoiding taking a position on — and her announcement coincided with the mass media event of Pope Francis’ landing at Andrews Air Force Base.

After spending months saying that taking a stand on the issue would be inappropriate, Mrs. Bill realized that she didn’t really know what “inappropriate” meant and decided she’d better get busy making Tom Steyer happy.

Team Hillary probably thought they were oh-so-clever by trying to dump the news as everyone was paying attention to the arrival of Pope Francis. Grandma is really having a tough go of it with the press this time around, however, and they all noticed.

If it weren’t for all the stumbling, this campaign wouldn’t be moving at all.

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