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Stephen Kruiser

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.
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Predictably, 9th Circuit Court Grants Planned Parenthood Motion On Arizona’s Morning After Pill Law

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Temporarily.

A federal appeals court has granted a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the country’s most stringent restrictions on the use of abortion drugs.

In the latest in a series of court fights over Arizona abortion laws, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted Planned Parenthood Arizona’s motion Wednesday.

The court is expected to decide whether to continue or lift the stay as early as Monday.

The prominent U.S. women’s health organization filed an appeal after a federal judge in Tucson refused to stop the new rules, just hours before they were to take effect Tuesday.

The rules banned women from taking the most common abortion-inducing drug — RU-486 — after the seventh week of pregnancy.

Existing rules allow women to take the abortion pill through nine weeks.

Abortion activists are just like the alleged “voting rights” crowd-they see any restrictions as bad. These people aren’t going to be happy until there are no time limitations. They are actually the extremists in this debate, even when compared to most of the European countries that leftists hold so dear.

And wasn’t RU-486 first sold to the public as a solution for dealing with the consequences of unwise sexual encounters? Does it really take a couple of months to regret a one-night stand?

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Progress: A Wind Turbine That Provides Power And WiFi

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Wind power finally takes off.

We might be seeing wind turbines in the skies instead of fields soon. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup has come up with a new type of floating turbine that’s more efficient — and can deliver power and WiFi connectivity to remote areas.

The invention could have a major impact in places like Alaska, with vast swaths of land that are off the grid, and without traditional sources of power and internet access.

The startup, Altaeros Energies, developed the BAT-Buoyant Airborne Turbine, which is filled with helium and can rise to 1,000 to 2,000 feet to generate power from strong, high-altitude winds. Because the turbines can access these high-altitude winds, they generate roughly double the energy of standard turbines.

It took all this time for someone to decide to bring the turbine to the wind rather than vice-versa. Anything that gets me closer to my dream of having a shack in the middle of the desert where I can still get online gets tacit preliminary approval from me. Here is a video about the thing:

YouTube Preview Image

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Forty Percent Of Harry Reid’s YouTube Vids In Past 5 Weeks Are About Koch Brothers

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Is that boiling rabbit I smell?

The Capitol City Project discovered that four of the ten videos Harry Reid’s staff has posted on his YouTube channel since the end of February have been part of his Koch brothers fatal attraction.

Reid is a simple creature and can only be taught to parrot so many talking points at once, so it is understandable that he is sticking to one with so few syllables. Apparently, all the Democrats have for 2014 is income inequality and the Koch brothers. I don’t know if that is going to be enough to scare their core constituency to the polls in November. Look for Republican opposition to Obamacare to be the direct cause of every grandmother’s death in America to make a big comeback as a fabricated horror story for them.

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Obamacare’s Magic 7 Million Doesn’t Have Enough Young, Healthy People In It So Premiums Will Rise Again

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Lowered expectations, higher insurance rates.

The Obama administration declared victory on Tuesday over signing up more than 7 million people for this year, overcoming technology failures that stymied enrollment in the program’s early weeks and Republican efforts to discredit it in the eyes of consumers.

But insurers have already said that the first group of new enrollees under Obamacare, as the law is widely known, represent a higher rate of older and costlier members than hoped. To keep their health plans from losing money in the coming years, many expect monthly premium rates to rise by double-digit percentages in some parts of the country.

So, despite having spent over $50 million on advertising down the home stretch, using celebrities, sports leagues and sports franchises to sell this thing to America’s youth, they still ended up with the wrong mix of healthy-to-sick.

It really doesn’t take much to get The Idiot King to do a victory lap, does it?

By the way, he says they didn’t give it the hard sell. No, really.

Even Jimmy Fallon is mocking Team Lightbringer’s definition of success.

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Think Progress Upset That FNC And CNN Didn’t Freak Out Over UN Climate Report

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Dance, monkeys, dance!

The Floating Polar Bear Hand-wringing Brigade was so upset over the sane world’s lack of reaction to the latest extortion attempt from the United Nations that they even put someone from the graphics department on it and made a chart.
IPCC-coverage

Wrap your heads around that: they are actually showing the amount of coverage by MSNBC to make the point that it’s a serious issue. The fact that Maddow and Co. were able to pull themselves off of Christie’s bridge long enough to talk about something else is the only thing worth noting here.

This is what we are up against when trying to court younger voters. These prog blogs may seem like outliers but they’re pretty indicative of what sadly passes for mainstream in academia. College kids are being pumped full of far left ideology every day and sites like Think Progress are viewed as serious sources for news.

Oh, and they are all fairly well funded.

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To The Delight Of CNN, Chuck Hagel To Keep Missing Plane Story Front And Center

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Apparently, Malaysia has a defense minister.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with Malaysia’s defense minister this week, amid ongoing criticism about how well the search for missing Flight 370 has been conducted and coordinated with other nations.

The defense leaders will come together at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations hosted by Hagel in Honolulu. And a key topic will be how all the countries can better work together during disasters like the missing Malaysian Airlines plane and Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the Philippines late last year.

“There’s always lessons to be learned,” Hagel said when asked Tuesday about the search for the plane by reporters traveling with him en route to Hawaii. “We’re going to go back, the Malaysians will go back, all the ASEAN nations will go back and walk through this. What could have been done, maybe what should have been done, what needs to be done better. But coordination is a key part of this.”

How much can be gleaned from, “We never had, and still don’t have, any clues…”? I think the Malaysian government probably thinks there is some kind of face saving to be had by pretending to learn so they will be better “next time” but…no.

Meanwhile, I’m kind of worried about what will happen to Wolf Blitzer once when CNN has finally interviewed the last living relative of every passenger on the flight.

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Head Of Secret Service Promises Senate Her Agents Aren’t All Drunk

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Tough gig.

The latest embarrassing episode involving a drunken Secret Service agent overseas for a presidential trip was an isolated incident, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said Tuesday.

Pierson and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson met with senators from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to talk about the incident involving an agent found drunk in a hotel in the Netherlands last month.

This doesn’t have the full blown scandal vibe that her predecessor had to deal with and I certainly don’t begrudge anybody for getting hammered in the Netherlands but it is more comforting when we aren’t aware of the Secret Service.

OK, I would like to not be aware of the current president too.

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Caterpillar Execs Tell Carl Levin To Stuff His Taxes Witch Hunt

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

His retirement can’t come soon enough.

Caterpillar Inc defended itself on Tuesday against accusations of offshore tax-dodging, telling a U.S. Senate panel that a low-tax unit the company set up years ago in Switzerland has not been challenged by U.S. tax authorities.

Executives from the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment were hauled in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to answer to allegations made by the panel in a 99-page report.

Released on Monday, it said Caterpillar avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes from 2000 through 2012 by moving profits from sales of replacement parts through the Swiss unit, a strategy sharply criticized by the panel’s chairman.

Democratic Senator Carl Levin said the Swiss arrangement had no business purpose other than to dodge taxes. “The documents couldn’t be clearer, it’s a tax deal,” Levin said at the hearing, the latest in a series on corporate tax avoidance.

Caterpillar executives said its tax strategies, related to a complex corporate restructuring that began in 1999, were legal and in the best interest of its shareholders.

Longtime Democrat (and many big government Republican) legislators like Levin will always be mad if you move your head away from the gun they’re pointing at you during the stickup. It is no big secret that lefties are resentful of any person or company that is successful in the private sector and believe that success should be punished.

The Dream World of Levin and his ilk doesn’t have any place for hard working people and corporations to legally protect their own money. Give them enough time working with the UN and they’ll get that.

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Jonathan Pollard Prosecutor Says Releasing Him Would Be ‘Literally Insane’

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Because we have The Idiot King and the Easter Island Head in charge of diplomacy for this great nation, a spy who did a lot of damage may be released just to keep some talks going.

Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. intelligence agent who was convicted of spying for Israel, could be released before the Jewish holiday of Passover as part of efforts to save Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, an Israeli official involved in the talks told CNN.

Suggestions for deals for Pollard’s release have been floated over the years but have not materialized. Passover starts on April 14.

Talk of Pollard’s possible release came as Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Israel on Monday to try to mediate a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians over the release of Palestinian prisoners. Kerry was in Belgium on Tuesday.

The prosecutor who put Pollard in prison is not amused by the speculation.

“My first reaction was that it doesn’t make any sense because it’s literally insane,” diGenova told Business Insider in a phone interview Tuesday. “In the midst of the Edward Snowden scandal, this administration is proposing to release a spy who has done some of the gravest damage ever done to the United States.”

DiGenova repeatedly drew the connection between Pollard and Snowden. He said it would inspire Snowden copycats, who would get the hint the federal government would always be ready to cave under the right circumstances. He even said CIA Director John Brennan should threaten to resign if Pollard is freed, much like former CIA Director George Tenet threatened to do in 1998 amid President Bill Clinton’s consideration of the move.

Sadly, Obama can be as weak as he wants on a host of international issues and the press lapdogs will still make up an angle to make it appear the opposite. And he believes all of his positive press.

Hope. Change. Get us out of here.

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Leftmedia Celebrating Meaningless, Movable O-Care Goalposts

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s like deciding half-way through a semester that getting a D+ will be OK then pretending you’re Einstein reincarnate when you do. Through the miracle of almost no memory whatsoever, the lefty cheerleaders are celebrating the “OMG-SEVEN MILLION!” number like the parents of the paste-eating kid who finally wrote his name legibly for the first time in the fourth grade.

Eric Boehlert at Media Matters is beside himself, dreaming of extra lap time with Uncle George.

Just three weeks ago the Associated Press reported the Obama administration needed “something close to a miracle” in order to “meet its goal” of enrolling six million people into private health care plans via the Affordable Care Act before the looming April 1 deadline arrived.

The article’s premise was telling in that it focused on what the political fallout would be if Obamacare sign-ups fell short. Noticeably absent was any analysis of what an Obamacare deadline success would look like or what the political implications would be. The scenario of success simply wasn’t considered plausible or worth addressing.

Of course, we now know that as many as seven million people enrolled for private coverage through the exchanges established by Obama’s health care law. Thanks to an amazing consumer surge in the month of March, the seven million mark, routinely thought of last year as completely unattainable, and often dismissed this year as not possible, was met.

Think Progress is less emo about the whole affair than Boehlert, but then most teenage girls are less emo than Boehlert.

Ben Domenech at The Federalist reminds us that this celebrated seven million figure is merely around half of what the CBO predicted after the Supreme Court decision.

Byron York explains how a couple of modest tweaks could have achieved pretty much the same thing without screwing up the entire American health care system.

Now everybody get out there and tell your bosses that you’ve exceeded your revised work goals for the week but expect to get paid the same and praised in the process.

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Brit Sniper Offs Six Taliban Terrorists With One Shot

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Feel-good story of the year?

A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.

The incident in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan happened in December but has only now been disclosed as Britain moves towards the withdrawal of all combat soldiers by the end of the year.

Fingers crossed that the Afghan security forces can keep the Taliban at bay once they are completely in charge. One British captain interviewed for this article is optimistic:

The country has its first round of presidential elections this Saturday, with an upsurge in violence expected as voters go to the polls.

“I am an optimist,” said Capt Ed Challis. “There are lots of things that have changed for the better. You would be a fool to think you can change a hundred years of culture fast, but have things improved? Yes. I believe they are able to take it forward.”

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UN Climate Panel Goes Full Stephen King To Extort More Money From Wealthy Countries

Monday, March 31st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Scaaaaaary.

Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found.

This is the same group that has been peddling the hysteria snake oil for years and threatening the imminent floating of polar bears all about the place. That it comes from the United Nations should be enough cause for healthy skepticism, but too many still take that international clown car seriously.

What the UN is really all about is global welfare and draining cash and influence from the better developed countries:

The poorest people in the world, who have had virtually nothing to do with causing global warming, will be high on the list of victims as climatic disruptions intensify, the report said. It cited a World Bank estimate that poor countries need as much as $100 billion a year to try to offset the effects of climate change; they are now getting, at best, a few billion dollars a year in such aid from rich countries.

There you have it. They feel that they’re not bleeding the rich countries enough, so the story has to get scarier.

Somebody needs to shut this global socialism factory down.

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Adorable: Think Progress Is Still Pretending Wendy Davis Is A Thing

Friday, March 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

I kept hearing Hopelessly Devoted To You in the back of my head while reading this.

It’s one thing to cover Wendy Davis because she’s a train wreck but it’s just kind of sad to watch the Leftmedia babble on about her. The poor dears spend all of their time in the Manhattan/DC media bubble and don’t understand that this Texas gubernatorial election is going to happen on Planet Earth. It’s difficult to tell if the following quote is wishful thinking or evidence of head trauma:

Women voters could very well mean the difference in who wins the Texas election, since Texas women make up a majority of the Texas electorate, are more likely to vote Democratic, and are steadily abandoning Republicans.

It’s as if they truly believe that if they wish really, really hard the Texas electorate will morph into something completely different over night.

This piece goes on and on about the “wage gap” while completely ignoring the gap in the polls, all of which consistently give Abbott a double-digit lead.

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GOP Security Stalwart Rogers Leaving Congress For Radio

Friday, March 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Can you blame him?

Rep. Mike Rogers, the brash-talking Republican security hawk who has criticized the Obama administration yet commanded uncommon bipartisan support as chairman of the House intelligence committee, said Friday he was retiring from Congress next year.

The 50-year-old from Michigan made the surprising announcement in a radio interview, saying he’d leave Washington when his seventh term expires to begin a career in broadcasting. Rogers’ departure comes despite a sharp climb in his national profile, as he considered a Senate run and his name was floated as a possible candidate for FBI director. He has been among the GOP’s best fundraisers.

Rogers vowed in a statement to continue championing stronger national security strategy, a regular motif for one of Congress’ loudest proponents of a more muscular approach for U.S. action around the world.

It is refreshing to see a member of Congress from the state that gave us the almost never-ending tenures of John Dingell and Carl Levin opt to exit politics before all of his arteries harden. Capitol Hill would be a far more functional (and representative) place if more politicians did the same.

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Poll: O-Care Support Lowest Since Law Was Passed

Friday, March 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh well.

Despite a late surge in sign-ups, support for President Barack Obama’s health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press-GfK survey finds that 26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. Yet even fewer — 13 percent — think it will be completely repealed. A narrow majority expects the law to be further implemented with minor changes, or as passed.

“To get something repealed that has been passed is pretty impossible,” said Gwen Sliger of Dallas. “At this point, I don’t see that happening.”

Sliger illustrates the prevailing national mood. Although a Democrat, she’s strongly opposed to Obama’s signature legislation. Yet she thinks “Obamacare” is here to stay.

Completely repealing comprehensive legislation is difficult, which is why so many of us are now working to get people elected who will put up a fight beforehand.

Sometimes pictures tell the story better, and this one tells the Obamacare popularity story well:
ocarechart

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Even the NY Times Isn’t Getting Warm Fuzzies About O-Care’s ’6 Million’ Milestone

Friday, March 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Tough times in Team Lightbringer Land.

The White House said on Thursday that more than six million people have signed up for private plans, a significant political milestone for the Obama administration. Independent analysts estimate that an additional 3.5 million Americans are newly insured under Medicaid — figures the law’s backers hail as a success.

The emphasis is mine on that last line. For most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act‘s troubled sojourn, the New York Times has donned cheerleader skirts whenever discussing it. Now they’re flinging skepticism about like a clown throwing out creepy at an adult’s birthday party. Now it’s not a lot of dreamy eyed, “Mr. Obama said…” reporting but, “the law’s backers”.

Distance yourselves much?

But those numbers may not reveal much. Federal officials do not know how many of those who selected plans were previously uninsured, or how many actually paid their premiums. Independent experts warn that the intense focus on national numbers is misguided, and that it will take years to fully assess the law’s impact, much less deem it a success or a failure.

“The whole narrative about Obamacare — ‘Will they get to six million? What is the percentage of young adults going to be?’ — has almost nothing to do with whether the law is working or not, whether the premiums are affordable or not, whether people think they are getting a good deal or not,” said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, whose analysts are closely tracking the measure.

This is anecdotal, but I do know a number of people who have families and were pretty much forced onto the exchanges because their policies were cancelled and the new options were too expensive. That’s not “success”, that’s heavy-handed federal force.

I’m pretty sure those people don’t feel as if they got a “good deal”.

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VIDEO: New Ted Cruz Ad- ‘Yes, We Can’

Friday, March 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Another winner from Ben Howe. Also, I LOVE that Cruz is bringing back Jack Kemp’s cry to “abolish the IRS”. This is why the Dems spend so much time excoriating him. They’re frightened. And with good reason.

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UC Santa Barbara Sort Of Apologizes For Psycho Prof Who Attacked Teenage Pro-Life Demonstrator

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Maybe.

The California school that employs a professor accused of attacking a teen-aged pro-life demonstrator has issued an apology…sort of.

In a long-winded 1,000-word letter that reads more like a diatribe than a mea culpa, University of California at Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor Michael Young eventually conceded that women’s studies professor Mireille Miller-Young should not have snatched a pro-life sign from 16-year-old Thrin Short, giving backhanded praise to the framers of the Constitution.

“Our Founding Fathers – all white men of privilege, some even slave owners – got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Young wrote in an open memo to the student body.

The price of freedom of speech, Young was enlightened enough to acknowledge, is that students, staff and faculty must tolerate “outside groups and individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord that furthers a certain personal agenda.”

“Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims,” Young added, mentioning “evangelical types.”

Leftists (especially academics) are rarely sorry for their un-American behavior, they’re just sorry when they get caught with bad optics. Like an alleged grown-up ripping a sign from a 16 year-old girl’s hand while berating her as she exercises a Constitutional right.

That the Vice Chancellor had to get in a dig at the Founding Fathers before he could say anything nice about them show just what a pathetic bunch of pukes are running higher education in this country.

Quick question for the readers: are there any feminist studies professors who aren’t angry all the time?!?

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Papa Bush To Get Kennedy Library Foundation ‘Courage’ Award For Raising Taxes In 1990

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Okaaaaay

Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush was pilloried in 1990 when he broke his “Read my lips: no new taxes” campaign pledge, and may have lost his chance at re-election as a result. But this year he is getting an award for the decision.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation on Thursday announced the 41st U.S. president, father of former President George W. Bush, is co-recipient of the 2014 Profile in Courage Award for making the politically difficult choice to raise taxes two years into his first term.

Apparently, “courage” as defined by the Kennedy Library Foundation means, “Republicans doing stuff that Democrats want them to”. Bush’s co-recipient was a Republican mayor in Georgia who fought to make it easier for illegal immigrants to work and avoid the law.

Now we know what Mitch McConnell has been working towards all these years.

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Scott Walker Signs Bill Ending Early Weekend Voting

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

I like the guy’s style.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Thursday signed a measure into law that eliminates absentee voting on weekends ahead of elections but vetoed a provision that restricted weekday voting hours across the state.

Wisconsin law allows voters to cast absentee ballots by mail or hand them in to their polling places before election day. Supporters have said the new law creates uniform and fair rules, while critics have said it disenfranchises voters.

As I wrote here last week, Democrats are against any rules whatsoever for voting.

I have been travelling out of town for a living since Ronald Reagan was in office and have always managed to be around on election days to vote so I have never really been moved by people who can’t seem to get to the polls from the same city. This isn’t about making it easier to vote, it’s about making it easier to cheat, as are all of the relaxed voting rules. Richard Nixon’s reelection had a higher percentage turnout (60.7%) than Barack Obama’s (57.5%), even with all of its supposedly disenfranchising election rules. If Democrats had their way all the time, you would be able to pantomime a vote for a presumptive candidate up to ten years in advance.

I probably shouldn’t even kid about things like that. Every time we think they can’t be any more absurd they seem determined to prove us wrong.

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VIDEO: Missouri Teacher Tearfully Describes Being Harassed For Opposition To Common Core

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

From Duane Lester at The Missouri Torch.

Thou shalt not question your union or federal overlords.

YouTube Preview Image

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Open Thread: MLB Gets Ready For Its First Big Replay Season

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sign of the times.

The baseball purists will be losing it over this one, but that’s what they do. I’m only a purist when it comes to the designated hitter, a loathsome rule designed simply to give fat guys another five years of playing time and American League managers the opportunity to nap during the part of the game where National League managers have to earn a living.

Baseball is already a slow game and there is some justified trepidation about replay making it even slower. That’s mostly based on the fact that the NFL replay officials take an average of seventeen hours to see what everyone else with the same video feed can see in fourteen seconds. The NFL, however, is working with a couple of guys and and a couple of small monitors. MLB has gone all NASA for its replay purposes.
replay

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Train Operator In Chicago Wreck ‘Dozed Off’, Union Makes Excuses

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Why I work from home.

The operator of a Chicago commuter train that crashed at O’Hare International Airport acknowledged she dozed off before the accident and had also done so last month when she overshot a station platform, a federal investigator said Wednesday.

Before the crash, the operator had been running trains on the nation’s second-largest public transportation system for just two months. In Monday’s accident, which injured more than 30 people, she woke up only as the eight-car train jolted onto the platform and barreled up an escalator leading into the airport. The accident occurred around 3 a.m., as the driver was nearing the end of her shift. The woman had an erratic work schedule and investigators were looking to see if that played a role in her evident fatigue.

“She did admit that she dozed off prior to entering the station. She did not awake again until the train hit,” National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ted Turpin said at a final on-site briefing at the airport.

She’s been on the job for only two months and this is the second time it’s happened. Her supposedly “erratic work schedule” hadn’t even had time to take a toll yet.

Her labor union weighed in with its defense:

The union representing the operator has said she was working a lot of overtime recently and was exhausted. The CTA said she had more than the eight-hour off-duty time required before starting her shift.

Gosh, she was tired. Had her job already worn her out during her first month when this last happened?

Maybe someone who has a hard time staying awake at work shouldn’t have a job that puts the lives of others in her hands. She sounds more suited to a DMV gig.

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TSA: ‘Uh…Maybe We Could Use Some Cops Here’

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya think?

The Transportation Security Administration recommended Wednesday that armed law enforcement officers be posted at airport security checkpoints and ticket counters during peak hours after a review of last year’s fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

The 25-page report to Congress obtained by The Associated Press makes 14 recommendations that do not carry a price tag and are somewhat dependent on local authorities who provide airport security.

While airport security has been beefed up since 9/11, the shooting exposed communication problems and gaps in police patrols that left an LAX terminal without an armed officer for nearly 3 1/2 minutes as a gunman targeted TSA officers with a rifle Nov. 1.

This is the federal machine at its bloated worst: it took a twenty-five page report to say, “TSA sucks!”

What the LAX shooting exposed was the obvious security-soft zone between the unloading curb and the first TSA agent. And the inability of the TSA agents to react to anything other than the flask I may have forgotten in my backpack.

As one who has been flying a lot for decades, I am still a big fan of not getting blown up on my way to work. I wouldn’t mind a more highly trained security force (or more of them) if I thought it helped. The problem almost everyone has with the TSA model is that we don’t think it does most of what it purports to do.

Except keep the airways free from oversized bottles of liquid, of course.

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CA Dems Kill Bill Requiring High Speed Rail Authority To Comply With The Law

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Financial train wreck.

It is very discouraging that something so clear-cut like the High-Speed Rail Authority’s misspending practices are embraced by state Democrats.

Assembly Bill 1501, by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, California High Speed Rail Funding Accountability Act, was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday, with the majority of Democrats voting in opposition.

The bill would have made the California High-Speed Rail Authority operate within the parameters of a 2008 proposition that allowed money to be borrowed under certain conditions.

Occasionally, Gov. Jerry Brown does something that isn’t financially reckless and is hailed by some as “fiscally moderate”. His obsession with taxpayer-funded high-speed rail undoes all of that, as far as I’m concerned. Let the private sector build a bullet train or let one not be built at all.

As with all egregiously expensive ripoffs of taxpayers, Big Labor is pulling the strings.

The State Building & Construction Trades Council of California appeared at the hearing in opposition to AB 1501. The labor union brags on its website, “We got it right. We elected the right governor and the right legislative leaders.”

“It is with that same sense of leadership and responsibility, that Governor Jerry Brown continues to move forward toward the construction of America’s first high speed rail system,” the labor union wrote in February. “Likewise, the State Building Trades’ advocacy in favor of the project remains as strong as ever.”

Project Vote Smart, supported by Follow the Money, reports transportation unions have made political contributions of $12,800 to the Assembly Transportation Committee Chairwoman, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. Lowenthal has received a total of $77,450 from labor unions.

Committee member Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, even received $14,799 from transportation unions, and $121,473 total from labor unions.

Committee member Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, did not have any transportation labor unions listed specifically, but received $26,200.00 from the transportation sector, and $217,600 in total from labor unions.

Committee member Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, received $203,400 from labor unions, and $16,500 from the transportation sector.

Committee Vice Chairman, Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, received no political contributions from transportation labor unions, and only $3,500 from the transportation sector.

Committee member Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, received $12,900 from the transportation sector.

Patterson received $2,500 from the transportation sector, and $21,450 from agriculture.

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The Atlantic: Republicans ‘Driving’ Same-Sex Marriage Momentum

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Bit of a narrative buster here.

Michigan’s gay-marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional last Friday, struck down by Bernard Friedman, a judge who was originally appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. A couple of days later, when Friedman’s decision was stayed pending an appeal, the state’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, didn’t speak out against it. Rather, he said he would go along with the court either way.

A Republican-appointed judge and a Republican governor easing the path for gay marriage: The Michigan case was just the latest example of the role Republicans are playing in the rapidly changing landscape of gay marriage in America. From Republican officeholders to the GOP rank and file, the party that once wielded antagonism to gay marriage as a wedge now is a major reason behind its increasing acceptance.

Since last year’s Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act—authored by another Reagan appointee, Justice Anthony Kennedy—federal judges have invalidated all or part of nine states’ gay-marriage bans. In addition to Friedman in Michigan, another Republican appointee, Judge John Heyburn, ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Heyburn had been recommended for the court by Senator Mitch McConnell and appointed by George H.W. Bush.

Nor is Snyder alone among swing-state GOP governors in declining to oppose the issue’s advance. In Nevada, Governor Brian Sandoval announced last month that he would no longer defend the state’s gay-marriage ban. In New Mexico, Governor Susana Martinez said in January she accepted gay marriage as “the law of the land.”

Opposition to same-sex marriage from Republicans has never been as virulent, or even widespread, as the Left has portrayed it. I’ve also encountered quite a few people opposed to it on religious grounds who didn’t think it needed to be a legislative priority. Progressives, however, have to keep vociferously asserting that we want to be in everyone’s bedrooms to distract from the fact that there isn’t a part of our lives they actually want the government out of.

Don’t expect any Republicans who see their positions on the matter “evolve” receive the kind of effusive praise the president did when he finally came around to having the same thoughts on same-sex marriage as Dick Cheney. The 11th Commandment of the MSM is “Never Say Anything Nice About A Republican”.

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Sad Donkey: Dem Pollster Sees ‘Huge Turnout Disadvantage’ for 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Hope and change.

A leading Democratic pollster predicted a “sobering” turnout disadvantage for her party in this year’s midterm elections and called on Democrats to articulate “a bigger economic agenda” this fall.

“There is a huge turnout disadvantage and challenge,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said Tuesday at a breakfast with reporters. “There is always a challenge in turnout in an off year, but it’s really dramatic this time.”

Haven’t they been trying to articulate an economic agenda for six years now? So far it seems that all they’ve got is “More money for burger flippers.” That’s not exactly going to help the middle class people who have been out of work seemingly forever.

As I have said so many times in the past-never underestimate the ability of the GOP to completely screw up an election. The party looks fairly focused on hammering the Democrats on Obamacare so far. If it ignores the “income inequality” nonsense that the Dems are floating merely as a diversion, all should be well.

Should.

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SHOCKER! MTV’s 16 and Pregnant May Not Help Reduce Teen Pregnancy

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Flabbergasted.

This show has always seemed to be one of the more horrifying offerings in the scripted reality genre, especially to this father of a teenage daughter. MTV has always rationalized the show by saying that publicizing the negative consequences will impact young girls and keep them from getting pregnant. Apparently, no one at MTV has ever met a teenager and seen the effects television can have on them.

The idea behind “16 and Pregnant” is that viewers will see the negative consequences that come from having a baby as a teenager. A content analysis of the show conducted by one of Aubrey’s graduate student collaborators at the University of Missouri does show more negative than positive consequences of pregnancy.

Aubrey claims, however, that the show is filled with mixed messages about pregnancy.

“There’s this semi-scripted moment in every show where the girls say things like, ‘If I had the opportunity, I would do things differently.’ But, then there’s also this adorable newborn, and the teen moms are getting all this attention from the people in their lives.”

Aubrey says that one of the “myths of teen pregnancy” that is measured in the study is that most teenage fathers stay involved with the young woman they have made pregnant. In reality, most teenage fathers do not stay involved, Aubrey said, citing National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy data. In the show, however, the teenage fathers typically do stay, she said.

“Romantic relationships are really important to many teenage girls,” said Aubrey. “And when you just look at those romantic relationships in the show, there are more positive consequences that the teen pregnancy brings than negative consequences.”

The researchers also note that the money and celebrity that the teenage moms receive may also be appealing to teenage girls.

The last part is one I have often discussed with people who like watching the show. The teenage mind isn’t known for its ability to weigh consequences or delay gratification. All the kids know when watching this is, “Hey-she got pregnant and got on TV!” Like it or not, they’re making it appealing to the adolescent mind.

If we could just get this show and 60 Minutes off the air, America would be a far better place.

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Bipartisan Effort To Export Natural Gas To Europe

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

No-brainer.

Calls to begin U.S. natural gas exports to Europe to counter Russian influence across the continent grew louder Tuesday amid concerns that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine.

Lithuania’s energy minister, Jaroslav Neverovic, pleaded in emotional terms for U.S. help, saying his country is “100 percent” dependent on Russia for natural gas and has to pay 30 percent higher prices for it than other countries in Europe.

“This is not just unfair, this is abuse,” Neverovic told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Lawmakers from both parties used the hearing to urge the Obama administration to speed up natural gas exports as a hedge against the possibility that Russia could cut off its supply of gas to Ukraine and other countries.

Team Lightbringer is always slow to move on anything involving natural gas because it is beholden to the insane hippies from Big Green and their misinformation campaign about fracking.

It should be noted that the president was a big fan of natural gas production during the 2012 election whenever he campaigned in a state that benefited financially from it. You would have thought he invented fracking then.

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Report: Target Ignored Multiple Warning Signs About Security Breach

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Well, that’s comforting.

Target Corp missed multiple opportunities to thwart the hackers responsible for the unprecedented holiday shopping season data breach, U.S. Senate staffers charged in a committee report released on Tuesday.

There was no indication the No. 3 U.S. retailer responded to warnings that malware was being installed on Target’s system. Other automated warnings the company ignored revealed how the attackers would carry data out of Target’s network, according to the report.

“This analysis suggests that Target missed a number of opportunities along the kill chain to stop the attackers and prevent the massive data breach,” according to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee report.

There is a Target I shop at frequently, almost always paying in cash. Twice during the security breach I used my card. This, combined with an identity theft attempt last year (someone hijacked my card and ordered stuff from Victoria’s Secret-I get catalogs now) has me overhauling my use of debit and credit cards. If Amazon screws up, I’m going to the barter system.

Target’s stock price began to recover from the security breach news last month. This news could send it in the other direction.

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VIDEO: Mother of 5 Says Obamacare ‘a Kick in the Gut’

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

New ad from Americans For Prosperity.

Keep up this steady drumbeat of regular Americans telling off their representatives who voted for Obamacare.

YouTube Preview Image

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Boehner Spokesman Calls Reid’s GOP/Crimea Comments ‘Unhinged’

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Somebody had to say it.

“The Senate Majority Leader sounds completely unhinged,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Business Insider in an email. “The House has acted, and is continuing to act, in a reasonable and responsible way to give the White House the tools it needs to hold President Putin accountable.”

Every time Reid opens his mouth something remarkably ignorant comes out of it. Nancy Pelosi may be devious and an awful person, but she’s not stupid (she does dumb it down for the cameras, I believe). Reid, however, seems to actually be a paste-eating moron.

So…perfect for a leadership role in Washington.

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Grandma Nan And House Dems Resort To Procedural Trickery To Resurrect Immigration Reform

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Instant Democrats!

House Democrats are hoping to reignite the debate over a comprehensive immigration reform bill this week through a procedural stunt meant to force a vote or, at the very least, create a pressure point for Republicans who are stalling on the issue.

A senior Democratic aide said Monday that the procedural move, known as a discharge petition, will be unveiled at a Wednesday morning press event, followed by members signing onto the document on the House floor.

Faced with a minority in the House and a majority conference that largely opposes their efforts, Democrats have turned to the discharge petition maneuver this year on issues such as unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage and now immigration. If a petition receives 218 signatures, it will force a vote on the House floor, even if the legislation in question is opposed by the majority party leadership that controls the House calendar.

Democrats hope to pressure Republicans to hold a vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which they argue could pass if it went up for a vote before the entire House. A GOP leadership aide said it’s unlikely the petition will get the required signatures, and if it does not, there is no chance the bill will go for a vote.

Thankfully, this is probably just a distraction from the looming Obamacare open enrollment deadline (expect a lot of them this week). That’s a good thing, because John Boehner loves him some comprehensive immigration reform talk, even though he was persuaded to lay off of it until the election. This is precisely the kind of squirrel that the Dems know Boehner will chase in most cases so they will keep this up.

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Five More Madoff Associates Found Guilty Of Fraud

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Nice bunch.

Five former aides to investment manager Bernard Madoff were convicted on Monday of charges that they helped their boss conceal his massive Ponzi scheme for years.

A federal jury in New York found back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi,

and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez guilty on all counts, including securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud clients.

That’s fourteen total who have either been found or pleaded guilty in aiding the thoroughly execrable Madoff.

If only we could make that sort of activity illegal in the government sector.

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Enviro Whackos’ Lies Led To Fracking Bans

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The science of no science.

Environmental activists ginned up false fears about flood-induced contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations in Colorado shortly before voters in the state weighed in on moratoria on the practice, a new report from state regulators shows.

According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), flooding in the state last year did not contaminate water in the area by damaging oil and gas drilling equipment.

“Early on, there were widespread fears that public safety was threatened by damaged oil and gas equipment,” the commission said in a report released last week.

“Those fears later proved to be unfounded, but they attracted nationwide attention nevertheless,” the report found.

‪Environmental activists in the state sought to highlight the supposed environmental dangers posed by fracking ahead of referenda in four Colorado towns that had proposed fracking bans. Three of the bans passed.

Almost every talking point an anti-fracking activist will throw at you has been proven false one or more times. But that doesn’t really slow them down.

The same environmental activists are now gearing up for a statewide ballot initiative to ban fracking in Colorado, and are still touting environmental dangers that the COGCC says never existed.

The crazy hippies were merely a fringe annoyance for decades. Now they influence policy and elections.

Maybe the legal pot will distract them.

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