This is almost a carbon copy I’ve seen of this story on several other media sites today but, for reasons we may never know, it took three CNN correspondents to file and post it.
I am sure that this loving, stable couple will thrive with media attention as things are crumbling around them.
Meanwhile, Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo Sports is worried about the other least sympathetic male in this story.
Actor From Country That Coddles Muslim Rape Gangs Whines About Homophobic ‘Christian Far Right’ in America
(h/t The Truth Revolt)
There’s still a lot of homophobia in the U.S., as well.
Oh, the Christian far right? Yes. Very homophobic. You need to have a female president next, and then after that, a gay president. That’s the full journey from Obama’s legacy onwards. There’s a great Morrissey lyric from “America Is Not the World” from You Are the Quarry that goes, “In America, the land of the free, they said / And of opportunity, in a just and truthful way / But where the president is never black, female or gay, and until that day / You’ve got nothing to say to me, to help me believe.” It’s quite an old song from before Obama took office, but you’ve done black, then you need to do female, then the next, gay.
Of course, that’s the mature, intellectual approach to picking a leader: based on a quota checklist from Morrissey.
I will wager good money that Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn’t be satisfied with a conservative gay or female (or gay female) POTUS. In the narrow-minded, limited reference world of the average entertainer, such a combination can’t possibly exist. In fact, your average high-profile liberal is basically a savage animal when dealing with powerful conservative females.
So he doesn’t really mean what he is saying.
Or he doesn’t understand it.
Which is why he should stick to scripts.
Forty percent of all pilots killed in noncommercial airplane crashes in recent years have medication in their systems — a marked increase over previous decades, according to a draft government study obtained by CNN.
The most common drugs: antihistamines, which can cause drowsiness, and heart medications.
The most worrisome: illicit drugs found in nearly 4% of the deceased pilots.
All told, pilots tested positive for some sort of drug — be it over-the-counter, prescription or illicit — in 40% of fatal accidents in 2011, up from 10% in 1990, according to the study.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which conducted the study, called the jump “significant,” saying it mirrors medicine use in society as a whole.
It cautioned that the mere presence of drugs does not necessarily mean drugs contributed to the accident. Indeed, investigators say drugs contribute to about 3% of all fatal plane crashes — a level that has remained constant for two decades.
This brings up a question about just how superhuman we expect pilots to be. It seems that the only real solution would be individual assessment of side effects on every pilot, hardly a practical approach.
The antihistamines are worrisome, though. The sleep-inducing ingredient in many over the counter sleep aids is an antihistamine (diphenhydramine) and can really have powerful effects. I’d much rather a pilot be sneezing a lot than dozing off.
Members of the 9/11 Commission are criticizing Congress for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), arguing lawmakers have not taken the threat seriously enough.
In interviews with The Hill, veterans of the blue-ribbon panel rebuked lawmakers for a generally lax approach toward oversight and said Congress fell down on the job by not implementing the recommendations they made 10 years ago.
“Nobody can be very impressed by the congressional record here. You don’t go on a five-week vacation if you think the threat to the United States is imminent. Or, at least, I hope you don’t,” said former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
Hamilton ripped Congress for failing to fulfill President Obama’s request for $500 million, made in late June, to train and equip moderate opposition forces in Syria. Obama said the money would help build up a rebel alternative to ISIS while helping to keep the conflict in Syria from spilling over into Iraq.
Hamilton was giving some partisan cover to the president by implying that the belated request is a huge difference maker, but he was right about the vacation. If we’re going to beat up on the president for golfing during all of this, Congress should be held accountable too.
Another member of the panel, Tim Roemer, got to the real heart of the problem (albeit while still running some interference for President Obama) when he said this threat should have been identified long ago.
Most of us in the real world don’t really care which American leaders ID the threat and take it seriously, just as long as somebody does. That we’re at this point a mere thirteen years later is surreal. It’s as if those charged with protecting the country have an MTV generation attention span on matters of national security.
Can we just get an adult in the room?
The Arkansas race for a seat in the U.S. Senate is nearly a dead heat and almost certain to be the most expensive in the state’s history as Democrats and Republicans pour money into a battle that could help determine the balance of power in the body.
Apart from the spending, a tipping point in the campaign could be whether distaste for President Barack Obama outweighs reverence for the Pryor family, a state political power for decades, analysts say.
The contest pits two-term Democrat Mark Pryor, an ally of the state’s favorite political son, Bill Clinton, against Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican who returned to Arkansas only two years ago to win a seat in the House of Representatives.
Frankly, many Republicans were hoping this race wouldn’t still be this close but here we are. That’s a subtle “carpetbagger” dig at Cotton, even if not in the strictest definition. Remember, things like that only matter if the candidate is a Republican.
Near the end of the article, Reuters dug up a political science professor to do some partisan cheerleading for Pryor, who called him a “centrist”. When a Poli Sci prof uses that term, he or she generally means, “To the left of Fidel Castro.”
Cramer is hemming and hawing here, which is unusual for him. The point about the smaller companies will sadly become less vague in the very near future.
Democratic Senate investigators criticized a watchdog for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Friday for “inaccurately and unfairly” damaging public confidence in the tax agency’s political impartiality.
Republican investigators disagreed, defending the job done by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) last year in reviewing the IRS’ handling of tax-exemption applications received from political groups.
A starkly split, 222-page report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations displayed continued partisan discord over an affair that burst into view in May 2013 and quickly enmeshed the IRS in its worst scandal in decades.
Hmmm…this is “its worst scandal in decades”? I was told by the Leader of the Free World that it is a fake scandal. IT’S ALL SO CONFUSING.
Except that it isn’t.
Democrats are beyond frustrated that they can’t just wish this away. A lot of that has to do with all of this happening in the social media era (see, it does have some value), which means they don’t have the the Soviet-like control over the narrative anymore.
The rest of it has to do with the fact that, despite the Democrats’ protestations to the contrary, there is, and was, definitely something fishy going on.
Unless, of course, you believe in a lot of coincidence.
A hacker broke into part of the HealthCare.gov insurance portal this summer but federal authorities said the intruder did not seem to have taken consumer data. Millions of Americas registered on the site to purchase insurance.
“Today, we briefed key congressional staff about an intrusion on a test server that supports HealthCare.gov. Our review indicates that the server did not contain consumer personal information; data was not transmitted outside the agency, and the website was not specifically targeted. We have taken measures to further strengthen security,” a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services statement said.
The hacker appears to have accessed a server and uploaded harmful software, which can be used to launch other attacks, although a CMS spokesman said those attacks were not in fact carried out. Still, it is believed to be the first time a hacker has entered the federal health insurance website.
Hey, if the government says it’s ok, it’s ok, got it?
Now we can all just look forward to our incompetent, non-medical professional overlords making life or death decisions.
Calif. Governor Jerry Brown to debate long-shot challenger Kashkari
California Governor Jerry Brown, a popular Democrat, will debate his long-shot Republican opponent Thursday night, kicking off the state’s election season early with anticipated scuffles over education, high-speed rail and the state’s economy.
Brown, who served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983, returned to the state’s highest office four years ago, and now seeks his fourth term at the helm of the most populous U.S. state with high approval ratings and a rapidly recovering economy.
Get it kids? Kashkari’s a long-shot! They should say that a few more times to make it clear.
Forget the biased “rapidly recovering economy” nonsense-there are some unfunded pension liabilities looming on the horizon that could swallow this economy whole. To his credit, Brown has kinda/sorta tried to address them but the California legislature is comprised mostly of Titanic captains and nobody wants to see that iceberg.
What struck me here was the tone of the article, as if a candidate in a race who enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls shouldn’t deign to acknowledge his or her challenger.
If Kashkari does well in the debate and doesn’t implode before November, this could merely be a tune-up for a run in four years, when that iceberg is getting closer.
A federal judge on Thursday ordered Ohio to restore a week to its early voting period before the November general election, ruling that a state law that cut the days violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
Ohio must reinstate a full 35 days of early in-person voting, which includes what is called a “golden week” where residents can register to vote and cast early ballots on the same day, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus ruled.
Ohio established the early voting period in 2005 in response to lengthy waiting times at the polls during the 2004 general election, especially in urban areas. Ohio is expected to be a pivotal state again in the 2016 presidential election.
The Republican-controlled state legislature in February approved a law that truncated the period to 28 days from 35, eliminating the early part of the period that had allowed people to register and cast ballots the same day.
Note that Republicans didn’t seek to eliminate early voting, they didn’t even significantly reduce it. They just got rid of the sketchy “Register here and vote here…” week. Had they tried to eliminate it, the judge’s rationale would have made a bit more sense, but still would have been a stretch:
“African Americans in Ohio are more likely than other groups to utilize EIP voting in general and to rely on evening and Sunday voting hours,” Economus wrote.
As such, he found, plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood the legislation and directive from the secretary of state would “result in fewer opportunities for African Americans to participate in the electoral process.”
First, the fact that African Americans are “more likely” to take advantage of the law doesn’t completely presuppose that it is the only chance they have to vote. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that various leftist activist groups, as well as unions, exhorted people to get to the polls early, especially for “Register here and vote here…”
Even if that is not the case, then the judge’s logic only holds if African Americans overwhelmingly voted in the “Golden Week” and were largely absent from the other FULL MONTH that people were given to vote in person early.
So this really isn’t about the number of days. Four weeks is plenty of early voting time, even with the restrictions, and anyone claiming otherwise is insane. Anyone who absolutely, positively needs to vote early can.
This is really about the leftists’ overwhelming desire to make sure people can register late and vote the second they do.
With some…help, of course.
Industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch and “their cronies” are “enemies of progress” in developing green energy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday at the start of his annual energy conference.
“We must repel the negative forces seeking to undermine support for clean energy,” said Reid, who has spent much of the past year denouncing the Kochs. “Huge amounts of money is being spent in misleading American consumers through a sophisticated and dishonest public relations campaign.”
He added: “These enemies of progress and their cronies are spending massive amounts of money to mislead every level of government.”
Reid didn’t refer to the Kochs by name but told the National Clean Energy Summit 7.0 audience, “I think each of you know who I’m talking about.”
That’s right, Reid is so pathetic with his Koch whining that he doesn’t even have to mention them. Everyone is well-aware of his almost pathological obsession at this point.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if Democrat leaders could be more willing to use the word “enemies” for, you know, our actual enemies, rather than Republicans?
They’d have to undergo a fundamental philosophical shift and actually see the threats from abroad more dangerous than political dissent at home and that’s just not the way the modern, progressive-dominated Democrats work.
Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.
Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.
Joan Rivers carved a niche for herself in stand-up at a time when it wasn’t just difficult-it was unheard of. It was still pretty brutal for women in the business by the time I got to it decades later so I can’t even imagine what it was like when there weren’t any other women doing it.
I remember watching her guest-host on The Tonight Show back in the halcyon days before her legendary falling out with Johnny Carson. She was fearless on stage. In fact, were she starting out today doing the same kind of humor, being female wouldn’t be as much of an obstacle but the PC Speech Police would be apoplectic about her material (she frequently did “Liz Taylor is so fat…” jokes when subbing for Carson).
She had killer timing, which was still on display when doing her fashion critiques of red carpet celebs in recent years. While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the genre, I would still watch on occasion to hear the old girl being effortlessly, humorously and brilliantly caustic.
Some of my closest friends after thirty years in stand-up are female comics I’ve worked with. I know I would never had met them if it weren’t for Joan Rivers.
Rest in peace, dear lady.
And say hi to Liz Taylor.
The search is over. Final details are still being worked out but I’ve learned that actress Rosie Perez and political commentator Nicolle Wallace are expected to take the vacant seats on The View when the ABC daytime talk show returns for a new season September 15. They would join Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg. Perez and Wallace would succeed co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who exited last month.
It’s as if the producers got together and said, “Is there any way we can possibly make this show more shrill and irritating? Hey-ROSIE PEREZ!”
The real point I’m posting this at all though is the clever trickery of the Nicolle Wallace hire. The View has been forced in recent months to try out some real conservative women (Dana Loesch and Mary Katherine Ham, to name a couple) as guest hosts in what seemed like a sincere effort by producers to reach out to the political half of America usually ignored by television. They get some political cover by going to an old media playbook and hiring a useful idiot Republican who became popular as a pundit largely by bashing other Republicans. The press reports are all dutifully saying that Wallace is a “conservative” so the show’s higher-ups can say, “See, DIVERSITY!” She’s a conservative in the New York Times/Washington Post mold which, again, means being a Republican who will speak ill of other Republicans.
The upside to all of this is that as long as Wallace remains on TV she won’t be yet another losing consultant who is recycled by the party.
When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he designed it to be a nicer place than the real world. People you barely know are “friends”; people you have drinks with now and then, “close friends.” You get a notification if someone deems you a friend, but if they later think better of it and delete you, you’ll never know about it. You can approve of anything anyone does with the click of a button, but to register disapproval, you need to resort to words. And so on.
Sanding away the spiky bits of human interaction was a canny way of getting people to do all sorts of things online that they might feel uncomfortable doing in a non-virtual crowd — sharing baby photos, talking about surgeries and deaths in the family, bragging about their charitable work. But it appears not to have been a good method of getting them to have hard conversations about politics.
Earlier this week, the Pew Research Internet Project published a study about the so-called “spiral of silence” as it applies in social media. That terms describes the tendency people have to keep their opinions to themselves when they believe listeners are likely to disagree with them.
This is some alternative universe stuff here. I’m pretty sure the first MySpace user after Tom posted, “The president sucks!” as soon as he or she could. If anything, social media seems to encourage people who have never paid attention to politics between election days to weigh in on everything from the tax code to complex foreign policy issues. True, when I say “weigh in” I mean “belch up a talking point heard on television,” but, still, they’re definitely not shy about it. Actually, I’m still waiting to meet the one person on Twitter or Facebook who shuts up about controversial issues. It’s sort of a personal quest. I may quit the Internet when I do.
Also, the fact that Zuckerberg wanted social media to be nicer than the real world shows that one can become a billionaire even while completely failing at one’s objective.
Because it’s nasty out there.
In the wake of criticism over a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the NFL has established a six-game unpaid ban for personnel who violate the league’s policy on domestic violence, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday.
A second incident would be punished by a lifetime ban from the league, Goodell said in a letter and memo to the owners of the league’s 32 teams.
Without referring to Rice by name, he acknowledged in his letter that he made the wrong decision in that case.
“I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will,” he wrote.
Goodell has been trying to destroy football with an almost missionary zeal. While busy attempting to remove almost all on-field violence from an inherently violent game, he’s pretty much ignored the off-field variety. When Rice received a two game joke of a suspension in the midst of the league doling out much harsher punishments for substance abuse, even the most devout football fans (“Present.”) were appalled.
Hopefully, the threat of a lifetime ban for a second violation will give this policy some teeth.
Dare I say…hope?
It’s payback time for the Golden State, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed off Wednesday on blockbuster legislation that super-sizes California’s TV and film tax credit bill.
“This will send a message to the entertainment industry and all of the other states and countries that California is open for business, and in a big way,” one of the bill’s authors, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, told TheWrap. “We hope they’ll realize the folly of trying to create artificial competition to try to steal our jobs, and that this will return the industry for good.”
The measure calls for $330 million in incentives to be allocated to TV and movie producers — more than tripling the current $100 million that’s available — and means that the state can strike back at the numerous states and countries that have gutted one of California’s signature industries by luring projects with juicy tax breaks over the past decade. Funding would begin in fiscal year 2015-2016 and run through fiscal year 2018-2019.
Yes, there is a larger conversation to be had about the business climate that forced the state’s signature industry to flee (much of it to Canada) in the first place but…baby steps. Some may see this as a band-aid but it is more like pressure on a hemorrhaging artery. Let’s get this done first and take the necessary steps after.
New York City was in a similar predicament in the early 1990s, for pretty much the same reason. Film and television production had almost completely stopped. City officials and labor unions worked together to bring business back and had great success.
California has been doing things poorly for so long, it will be a relief to one day get it back to doing the thing it’s best at.
The day after Mitt Romney opened the door to another possible presidential run, a new poll shows he has a huge lead among likely 2016 Iowa Republican caucus voters.
According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday, 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for the 2012 GOP nominee in 2016. When Romney’s name was added to the pool, no other candidate received double-digit votes.
The survey comes as rumors have begun to swirl about a potential Romney bid for president in 2016. After months of insisting that he will not run again, the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday acknowledged that “circumstances can change.”
When I talk to Republicans who aren’t opposed to the idea of Romney 3.0, their arguments are usually that “he’s a nice guy” and “he would have done a much better job than Obama is doing now.”
Both are true. Both are also irrelevant.
We’re voting for the leader of the free world and a commander in chief when we vote for president, not a drinking buddy. Whether he or she is “nice” shouldn’t play into the decision.
As to the second point, there is a hummingbird who is often outside my window when I write that would have done a better job than Obama is doing. In fact, the list of people who fit that description is overwhelmingly lengthy.
There was, however, one thing Romney couldn’t do better than Barack Obama: run for president.
Maybe it’s because he was a nice guy, but Romney was a lousy candidate. He had one good debate, and that was due more to Obama’s arrogance and lack of preparation. The press was caught rather flat-footed for that one too. Both the president and his MSM minions made sure that didn’t happen again and Mitt was pretty much defeated by Candy Crowley.
The press would love to see Mitt run again because they know he’ll seem invincible all through the primaries and then nice guy his way to a drubbing in the general by Fauxcahontas.
Republicans never seem to be able to resist the candidates that the MSM won’t stop talking about. It’s their “Lucy promising she won’t pull the football away this time” and, bless their Charlie Brown hearts, they keep falling for it.
Democrats hear only one thing when Republicans talk about fighting President Barack Obama’s immigration agenda or GOP plans for controlling Congress: government shutdown.
In fundraising requests, media appearances and conference calls, Democrats are painting Republicans as the “shutdown party” just in time for the midterm elections that coincidentally hit right after the one-year anniversary of last year’s October shutdown.
Democrats hope this emerging strategy persuades voters that if Republicans win both the House and Senate in November, there will be more unpopular shutdowns and Obama will have to fight hard against the GOP to simply preserve the policy legacy of his first six years in office.
Because most of their policy ideas can’t be discussed honestly, Democrats forever resort to the “THIS IS WHAT THE SCARY REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO DO IF YOU VOTE FOR THEM!” strategy that has worked so well for them ever since they started saying the GOP wanted to “cut Medicare” way back when. There were never any cuts on the table, just reductions in the rate of increase but, hey, it stuck.
One of the reasons these things stick is because the average establishment Republican in Congress is too weak and/or stupid to refute the lies. In the case of the shutdown, the McCains and Boehners of the world have spent so much time whining about it in the last year that they have practically written this script for the Democrats.
It is more than understandable that the Democrats are going back to last fall for a talking point, what can they point to in 2014 that’s gone well for them? Obamacare? Foreign policy? The president’s approval ratings? This Halloween shutdown straw man is their best desperate shot.
Don’t be surprised if it works.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal filed suit on Wednesday against the Obama administration, arguing that it has coerced states into adopting Common Core education standards.
The move by the Republican governor, who is widely viewed as holding presidential aspirations, comes amid a backlash against the multistate standards that aim to boost critical-thinking skills and apply consistency to a patchwork of state guidelines.
“Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything,” Jindal said in a statement.
Jindal was a supporter of the standards when his state was among 45 to enact them in 2010, but he has since characterized them as a federal attempt to control the curriculum taught in the nation’s schools.
While the standards were developed and implemented by states, the Obama administration encouraged their adoption through a competitive-grant program called Race to the Top, which gave money to cash-strapped states.
State programs incentivized by federal dollars aren’t state programs. Public education has become the biggest federal boondoggle masquerading as a collection of state programs in America. Common Core is a ruse to cement the states’ lips to the federal financial teat. It’s good to see that Jindal has not only come around on this but is seeing it for what it is.
North Carolina County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood blocked the state’s new school voucher program, saying it unconstitutionally diverted money from public education to private schools, some of them religious schools.
The state’s Opportunity Scholarship program, expands school choice in North Carolina by providing education scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per year for eligible children who choose to attend private school. The program is designed to give low-income families public funds to help pay private school tuition. It was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year and had already begun operating.
About 5,500 students applied for the annual grants of up to $4,200 per child. More than 1,800 students were chosen by lottery have already accepted Opportunity Scholarships, but not all have enrolled in private schools.
Those supporting the so-called voucher program, say it offers low-income children a choice for a private-school education that better meets their individual needs after the public schools failed to do so. To be eligible, parents had to have their children enrolled in a public school and meet federal income requirements for their children to receive subsidized lunches.
The program was challenged in lawsuits by the N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C. Justice Center, a left-wing advocacy group, and the N.C. School Boards Association, which was joined by 71 of the state’s 115 school districts.
This is essentially a fight to keep doing an awful job and trap poor students in difficult situations. Of course, trapping the poor forever is the cornerstone of liberal politics so that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The leftist response on all matters of education is the one-note, “MORE MONEY!” cry.
There is no moral, or even economic, argument to be made to keep perennially under-performing schools as the only education options for poverty-stricken or at-risk youth.
Unless you’re a school administrator who needs some vacation money, right?
All schoolchildren from the age of seven should be offered sex education lessons to help them make “informed decisions” as they grow up, the Liberal Democrats have said.
David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, said that both primary and secondary schools should be required to provide sex and relationship education.
The Liberal Democrats want to lower the age at which children are given sex education lessons from 11 to seven, while extending the requirement to hold the classes to all free schools and academies. At present academies and free schools are exempt from having to hold the lessons, which Mr Laws warned is “depriving children of important life lessons”.
It is always worth watching what the socialist freaks are up to in Europe because American liberals slobber over all things Leftist across the pond.
This is one of those issues where I find myself completely overcome with incredulity over the fact that it even came up in the first place. Yes, children need to learn “important life lessons” but sex isn’t one of them at age seven. There is a reason that these things are phased in throughout childhood.
There is a disturbing tendency to hyper-sexualize children in society now. We frown upon cultures that marry kids off in arrangements all the while watching “Toddlers and Tiaras” and little girls painted up like Mardi Gras hookers. It’s time for people to resoundingly scream, “NO!”
The U.S. chief technology officer who oversaw the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov is stepping down and moving into a new role recruiting top Silicon Valley talent into government, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.
Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top advisor to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast as part of a White House team at the end of the month, the source said on condition of anonymity because the news has not been made public.
In his new role, Park will help channel ideas from the tech community, as well as keep government updated on how technology is evolving, the source added.
They do all of this with straight faces too. He is responsible for one of the more high profile screw-ups in the history of bureaucracy, which is quite an accomplishment. As a reward for being unable to marshal the vast resources of the federal government to execute a task the average college nerd to do for a few hundred bucks, Park will now be the guy looking for people who hopefully have more talent than he does.
What could go wrong?
Morocco said on Friday it had arrested two Islamic State jihadists who had been planning to leave for IS training camps in Syria and Iraq to prepare attacks at home.
The two, whose identities were not disclosed, “planned to receive military training” before taking action in Morocco, “under the Islamic State’s plans to expand its field of operations,” an interior ministry statement said.
While the world mostly twiddles its thumbs or completely buries its head in the sand, ISIS proceeds apace with its expansion plans. Thankfully, some officials are still working to thwart them.
Meanwhile, here is an interesting read on why Team Lightbringer insists on using “ISIL” instead of “ISIS”.
Unrest in Ferguson, Mo., continues to dominate America’s attention more than 10 days after Michael Brown was shot and killed in what was a little-known St. Louis suburb. Unrelenting social media dispatches and shocking images of aggressive police force have only intensified the spotlight as officials seek calm. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the local FBI field office Wednesday to discuss the investigation and meet with community leaders — Washington’s strongest step yet toward de-escalating drama.
But social networks like Twitter highlight tensions in the moment rather than calm them, with tweets and photos detailing the scene as things unfold in real time. Social media has captured public violence and the detainment of two Washington journalists last week, and tweets, Instagram photos and Vine videos broadcast images of looting and police aggression to the world. Mini dispatches from those near skirmishes involving protesters and police have played a critical role in shaping the news: The #Ferguson hashtag has been tweeted almost 8 million times this month, according to figures from Topsy, a Twitter analytics service.
I have started to write about this perhaps ten times in the last week. While I agree that social media isn’t doing much to calm things down, I am not sure it should be looked at as much of an instigator. Cable news is still cranking up the tension more than anything else. Americans are TV people and all of the caterwauling on Twitter and Facebook is usually a response to something that was just seen on CNN, Fox News or MSNBC. Yes, social media helps spread the collective angst quicker but it is television that delivers that angst at Level 10 to the public in the first place. Let’s be honest-Al Sharpton was unnecessarily ratcheting up racial tension decades before Twitter even existed.
In a blow to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s move to withdraw his state from Common Core education standards, a state judge on Tuesday blocked Jindal’s plan to scrap a key set of standardized tests due to be introduced in the coming school year.
Jindal’s push to ditch Common Core, announced in June and given teeth by his orders to scrap the multistate tests, came amid a backlash against the English and math standards aimed at boosting critical-thinking skills and unifying state guidelines.
Judge Todd Hernandez, in issuing a preliminary injunction against the governor in a lawsuit filed by Common Core backers that is awaiting trial, said plans to drop the tests, slated to serve as a must-pass benchmark for fourth-graders, had sowed uncertainty.
“The evidence is clear that this state of the unknown has caused anxiety and other harm to the parents, teachers, administrators and students in Louisiana,” he wrote.
My opening line about Jeb Bush may have been snark, but it was probably his high profile backing of Common Core that got Republicans like Jindal to back it in the first place. It would be nice if self-described conservative politicians would proceed from a position of skepticism regarding any federal involvement in a state’s business.
Or anything Jeb Bush thinks is a good idea.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC), guided by statewide grassroots input from 99 Iowa counties, has made their ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designations for the 2014 elections. Support of candidates seeking statewide and national offices this fall have been selected based on their support of Farm Bureau policy, voting record and support for Iowa’s rural communities.
“Actions matter,” said Decatur County farmer and IFBF PAC Chair, Lance Bell. “Our PAC takes great care evaluating the candidates’ track records and survey responses to determine who will support issues that directly impact our family farms, businesses and rural communities. We are proud that our process emphasizes Farm Bureau policies, not partisan politics. The fact that 99 counties participated in this process shows our members stand together and believe in supporting the men and women who understand the significance of agriculture in this state.”
Governor Terry Branstad earned the 2014 ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation for supporting agriculture and rural Iowa. Governor Branstad is running for his sixth term as Governor of Iowa. Bill Northey, running for his third term as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, also earned the designation from the IFBF PAC. In the first open-seat Senate race in Iowa in 40 years, the ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation goes to Joni Ernst.
Every little bit helps. This is still a very, very close race and it would easily be the biggest pick up for the Republicans on election night. I’ve been saying for weeks that if this race goes to the GOP the whole night could have a landslide feel to it.
On paper, and in reality, this seems like the kind of race Ernst should win in a cakewalk. We do, however, live in an era when Barack Obama was easily elected twice and we’re still not allowed to drug test at the polls.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore sued Al Jazeera, the satellite network controlled by the Qatari royal family, over a $500 million deal to purchase his network, Current TV, according to filing in state court in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” David Boies, a lawyer for Gore, said in a statement today. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”
Buying Gore’s channel and rebranding it gave Al Jazeera America access to about 43 million U.S. homes.
It really is difficult to pick a side here. Both are anti-American and have way too much money. The only real difference is that Al Jazeera is more open about the anti-American thing.
Either way, the terrorists will win here.
The Tea Party-backed U.S. Senate candidate defeated in the June Mississippi Republican primary filed a legal challenge contesting his loss on Thursday, days after his own party declined to look into his allegations of electoral misdeeds.
State Senator Chris McDaniel’s judicial petition to take up his complaint marks a new stage in a contest against incumbent Thad Cochran – once viewed nationally as a key test of Tea Party clout in challenging the Republican establishment.
“This challenge is not about the candidates,” McDaniel said in a written statement. “It is about the integrity of Mississippi’s election process.”
Since McDaniel’s loss to the six-term incumbent by roughly 7,700 votes in a June 24 runoff, his camp has insisted that he was done in largely by a cynical campaign to turn out black Democrats to vote against him.
McDaniel is asking a state court judge to review his complaint, which includes allegations of improper voting in the runoff by those who cast ballots in the Democratic primary earlier in June as well as the mishandling of election records by poll workers.
Anyone who has read more than three posts of mine know that I am not a huge fan of the Republican establishment. I wanted McDaniel to win this without going to a runoff because it would just wake up the Barbour/Cochran machine in Mississippi, which it did.
Most of what is going on now, however, seems to be so much flailing. Every time someone in the McDaniel camp says there is going to be a bombshell revelation it turns out to be varying degrees of nothingburger.
Most of the dismantling of the GOP hierarchy that needs to be done has to start at the party officials and money movers end of things, not so much with the elected officials. Neuter the Haley Barbours pulling strings behind the scenes and it becomes much easier to elect higher quality people to Congress.
This fight may end up making a point but I don’t know if anyone is putting money on McDaniel ending up on the ballot. He just seems to be caught up in something that he can’t stop.
A senior U.S. senator said on Thursday he has written to Hospira Inc and urged the drug and medical device maker not to move its tax domicile abroad to save on U.S. taxes.
Citing recent reports that Hospira plans to buy the medical nutrition unit of France’s Danone SA, Dick Durbin said in a statement he told Chief Executive Officer Michael Ball that Hospira should not “turn its back on American taxpayers and consumers by taking advantage of a tax loophole called ‘inversion.’”
The statement from the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate came amid growing concern in Washington with inversion transactions, which allow U.S. corporations to shift their tax home-base to a different country and cut their U.S. tax bills.
Of 52 inversions and similar deals done since 1983, 22 have occurred just since 2008, with 10 more being finalized and many more said to be in the works.
Hospira is based in Lake Forest, Illinois, Durbin’s home state. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dickie D. was joined by Comrades Wyden, Levin and Schumer in expressing horror over the fact that U.S. companies will do whatever they legally can to minimize their tax burdens.
It’s pathetically amusing to see Big Tax advocates attempting to make a moral case for their backbreaking treatment of businesses and individuals. Sadly, until average Americans understand that these same lawmakers who want to bury big corporations with tax obligations will also do the same to individuals nothing will change.
The rematch between a career Air Force pilot and career bureaucrat in Arizona is shaping up to be a key opportunity for a GOP pick-up in the House of Representatives.
Republican challenger, retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, is poised to unseat Democratic Representative Ron Barber in the all-important Arizona Congressional District Two race, a seat formerly held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
McSally is the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, and the first to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States History. She’s tough — in 2001 – 2002, she sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in an effort to overturn a military policy requiring all U.S. servicewomen to wear a Muslim Abaya and headscarf when off base in Saudi Arabia.
She’s running with a focus the economy, government overreach, national security and leadership.
Congressman Barber worked for 30 years with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities. In 2006 he began working for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and was later named her district director.
In January of 2012, Giffords resigned from office after being seriously wounded in a shooting that claimed the lives of six people and wounded 13 others. Barber ran to fill Giffords seat, facing off against McSally in November of 2012.
Barber edged out McSally by less than 1% in a race that received little national attention. Given the current state of politics, conservatives see this as a race to invest time and money in this year.
Arizona is a Red state. Mitt Romney won it in 2014 by 9%, John McCain won it in 2008 by 8.5%, and George Bush won it by 10.5% in 2004. The Second Congressional district is not quite as red, with Romney narrowly winning the district in 2012.
That being said, the numbers are trending positive for McSally. Real Clear Politics showed the district as “Leaning Dem” in 2012 and now shows it a “Toss Up” in 2014.
I know the Senate is still the big prize for this year’s midterms but this is a race near and dear to my heart, as I am originally from southern Arizona. That part of the state has been drifting leftward for quite some time but this district isn’t really populated with progressives. Gabby Giffords used to be a Republican and was a relatively moderate Democrat. Barber rode a lot of sentiment into office but isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s just a tool. This would be a wonderful GOP pick-up. Arizona’s House delegation is all it has as far as real conservative representation goes these days. John McCain is, well, John McCain and Jeff Flake has inexplicably been nothing but a “Mini Maverick” since succeeding Jon Kyl.
When Al Gore ran for president in 2000, he was battered continuously by the media for “not being comfortable in his own skin.”
But is Hillary any more comfortable in hers? Will she not do an appearance that might make her look candid, warm and appealing because she is not candid, warm and appealing?
We do not know. But give the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate this, she did stay for the entire five minutes and 14 seconds of her bit last week. Which is more than can be said for one of the possible Republican candidates in 2016, Rand Paul.
While Paul has been getting some serious publicity recently, this also means he has been getting some serious scrutiny.
See what they did there? The headline seemed to be negative about Hillary (sometimes it seems as if these media hacks are meeting her for the first time), then they sneak in a little praise and-BOOM-it’s on to the Rand Paul bashing, kids!
In fact, a good chunk of the post is about Rand Paul. It’s almost as if Hillary is mentioned just so they can prop her up a bit.
As Paul has been more obvious about his 2016 intentions than any other Republican thus far, he has become the focus of the “Hillary Is Inevitable” press/PR machine. They’ve taken a break from explaining why the lunch meat Ted Cruz chooses for his sandwiches is a disruptive force in American politics to nitpicking Senator Paul’s every waking moment.
That still doesn’t take away from the fact that Hillary Clinton creeps a lot of people out. Many of them Democrats.
Robin Williams, who died Monday of an apparent suicide, was a brilliant comedian who had a progressive bent.
He was not known for being an activist environmentalist the way some in Hollywood are — but he appeared in a lot of movies with ecological themes, including “Happy Feet” 1 and 2 and “FernGully: The Last Rainforest.”
Williams took global warming seriously in the way only a great comic can. Back in 2002, he did this riff:
… And they say there is no global warming, but right now the North Pole is a pool. There’s things just floating away….
It is beyond global warming at this point. It is cooking.
It is 105 in the middle of the country and people come up going “Is it hot enough for you?”
“No I like sweat to be rolling down the crack of my ass like Niagara. I like my old man titties to lactate.”
And you see people in shorts and you’re going, “Please don’t wear those…. Oh please don’t put those on.”
A rational, compassionate human being doesn’t use a tragedy like this to make a political point. As many of us have pointed out over the years, climate change is a religious cult. These people know nothing but preaching their warped gospel.
I tweeted the following in response to something stupid that the Minnesota deputy GOP chair said last night, but it applies here as well:
Everything doesn’t have to be politicized.
— SteveK (@stephenkruiser) August 12, 2014
Leaders of a voter coalition contesting Florida’s congressional district boundaries are vowing to continue a court battle claiming that a new map approved on Monday fails to meet the state’s anti-gerrymandering rules.
“They’ve done this in a crafty way, to make sure the political result is not changed,” Tom Zehnder, an attorney for Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Florida and some voters who challenged the current congressional districts, said of boundaries approved by state lawmakers along party lines on Monday.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, who threw out the existing map last month, has a hearing set for Aug. 20 to consider the new boundaries.
The Republican-run legislature made relatively minor adjustments to the districts of U.S. Representatives Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat, and Daniel Webster, a Republican from Winter Garden, whose districts Lewis ruled were in violation of the state’s constitutional ban on gerrymandering to protect incumbents or favor either party.
The leadership ignored a much different map submitted by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, which would have reduced minority voter concentration in Brown’s Jacksonville-Orlando district, while adding many more Hispanic and black voters to Webster’s district in the Orlando area.
What they are really unhappy with is that the map wasn’t redrawn exactly to their specifications. This will probably go on until it does get done, which is ridiculous. However, in the age of judicial activism, what say do the people or their representatives really have in anything.
I’ll be in Iceland.
A panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization has unanimously endorsed the idea of offering unproven vaccines or treatments to help combat the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
This outbreak is unusual not just because it has spread to four countries and involves so many people, says Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General at the World Health Organization. It is also the first Ebola outbreak that could possibly benefit from a range of potential experimental treatments and vaccines.
“If these treatments can save lives, as the animal studies suggest, should we not use them to save lives?” Kieny asked.
Many caution against panicking but this isn’t really a panicky response given the fact that there is an outbreak in the part of the world where this will be offered. There are times when standing on procedure needs to get tossed out of the window. If people are willing to consent to the treatment after thoroughly being briefed about its experimental nature they should be allowed to proceed.
This is the world capital of adult video production. And the porn industry hasn’t given up on L.A. just yet.
But it has certainly abandoned attempting to film scenes legitimately in the county. Under a law approved by voters and enacted at the end of 2012, film permits for adult video productions require filmmakers to commit to having male performers use condoms.
It’s widely believed that, as a result of the mandatory condom rule in L.A., porn producers have simply stopped pulling permits and moved their shoots to places that don’t have prophylactic police. New data from the regional permit organization known as FilmLA seems to back that theory:
A spokesman for FilmLA says there were an estimated 480 adult permits issued in 2012. Last year there were 40, he said. And so far this year there have been about 20.
Steven Hirsch, founder of what is perhaps the world’s largest porn studio, Vivid Entertainment, says the reason for the reduction is clear: Mandatory condoms.
Television and film production long ago fled Los Angeles, mostly for Canada. That’s right, taxation and regulation became so onerous in L.A. that the industry it was built on fled for a socialist country.
Now they’re driving away the only real backup plan actors and actresses have when they get here.