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The PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.
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Reeling Detroit Residents Hit with 62,000 Tax Foreclosure Notices

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via NPR:

In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline tomorrow that could cost some of them their homes. That’s when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes — or risk losing their home at a county auction.

When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.

Earlier this year, county officials sent out 72,000 foreclosure notices to homeowners behind on property taxes — 62,000 of them in Detroit alone. They say about 18,000 of these properties are occupied, but fewer than half of those homeowners have paid all of their tax.

A tax moratorium has been discussed by some politicians but those pending “revenues” are already budgeted:

We pledge all the penalties and fees in our bond pledges to borrow money,” he says. “We can’t do a moratorium on police protection or fire protection.

The Democrats who drove Detroit off of the cliff for half a century probably planned on get some grand scale federal assistance, much like New York received in the mid 1970s. A slightly more fiscally responsible approach was taken, however, and the city is far from being out of the woods.

According to this piece, a thriving slumlord market is opening up.

The glitch here is obvious: kicking these people out and taking over the properties for nonpayment doesn’t solve the revenue problem. Can the city really expect to quickly sell over 60,000 properties for back taxes in time to take care of budgetary needs?

Is that Donald Trump at the door?

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California: No Room at the Death Penalty Inn

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

What if they gave a death penalty and no one was killed?

The country’s largest death row has run out of room.

As NPR member station KCRW reports, that’s because a legal fight has meant that the state has not put an inmate to death in nearly a decade, leaving more than 750 of them on death row in the state.

Can it really be called a “death penalty” if they don’t really put criminals to death? California taxpayers suffer from the double whammy of funding automatic appeals for death sentences which then aren’t even carried out if upheld, so we get to pay for life imprisonment too. Add to all of that the need for additional funding to expand death rows in prisons and these murderers are getting pretty expensive.

Also, where are the supposed deterrent effects of the death penalty if criminals know the “death” part isn’t in play?

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GAME CHANGER: Hillary’s Campaign Is More Tech Savvy than in ’08

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

IT’S NEWS BECAUSE IT’S HILLARY, YOU SEE.

Hillary Clinton is assembling a technology team that signals a significant departure from her 2008 presidential run, led by Obama veterans and geared toward recasting her analog-era image.

With the hiring of 2012 Obama campaign alumni Teddy Goff as chief digital strategist, Elan Kriegel as analytics director and Andrew Bleeker as a top outside adviser, the campaign is indicating a greater emphasis on the kinds of cutting-edge techniques that both parties now routinely use to tap into every possible fundraising dollar and seek out every available voter. Just as important, the new hires point to a candidate who’s learned from a 2008 campaign marked by its inability to harness technology to its advantage.

It is adorable that they are trying to make it seem as if a shift in approach to technology after eight years is a big deal. In an arena that changes by the second, only the Democratic front-runner could get this many words devoted to the fact that she will be doing something every other major candidate has been doing in recent years: focusing greater resources on tech.

It’s doubly adorable for the lapdogs to pretend this is completely new, given that she already had people on staff who were smart enough to get her private servers to skirt the law while she was secretary of State.

So she’s not really doing something that can be called markedly new when compared either to other campaigns or a recent professional incarnation of herself.

Yet Politico gave it a thousand words.

No bias to see here, move along…

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One FCC Commissioner Has A Suggestion for Stopping Net Neutrality

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

It’s not every day that a federal official goes to Congress and tells them not to fund some of his agency’s functions. But that’s what FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai did at a House FCC budget hearing:

Congress should forbid the Commission from using any appropriated funds to implement or enforce the plan the FCC just adopted to regulate the Internet. Not only is this plan bad policy; absent outside intervention, the Commission will expend substantial resources implementing and enforcing regulations that are wasteful, unnecessary, and affirmatively detrimental to the American public.

This, of course, would be dependent upon the Republicans getting a little more fortitude when it comes to exercising the “power of the purse”. Thus far, that’s something they have been a little timid about. Even when they try (executive amnesty), they don’t commit.

One thing is for certain: nothing in the president’s overreach plans will be free, it all needs to be funded. Maybe if he gets the cookie jar lid slammed on his fingers a few times some of his enthusiasm will diminish.

It’s worth a try.

And now I want cookies.

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Obama’s Yemen Foreign Policy ‘Success’ Continues: President May Have Fled the Country

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is going swimmingly.

Gunfire could be heard around the city centre, and security forces allied to the Houthis have taken over the international airport.

The rebels have made rapid gains since seizing a key airbase only 60km (37 miles) from Aden on Wednesday morning.

Government officials deny reports that the president has fled the country, and say he remains in Aden.

The US State Department says it was in touch with President Hadi earlier in the day. It said he is no longer at the compound but could not confirm any “additional details” about his location.

State television, which is controlled by the rebels, announced a reward of 20m Yemeni riyals ($93,000; £62,500) for anyone who captures the “fugitive” president.

Is there anything more comforting in these troubled times than assurances from our State Dept. that all is not as bad as it seems in a conflict-ridden region (pick one)?

If this were a Republican adminstration, the MSM would be competing to see how many “He called this a SUCCESS!” stories they could get out there each day. With this president, it’s like they’re all given daily hits of the memory zapper from the “Men In Black” series.

Oh, in case you need a real world barometer to counter the official news from our government, the rebels running roughshod over Yemen are backed by Iran.

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Flashback: President Poor Choices Says ‘Absolutely No Apologies’ for Bergdahl Swap

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Hill:

President Obama said Thursday he would make “absolutely no apologies” for ordering the controversial prisoner swap to rescue Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

Obama said he was never surprised by “controversies that are whipped up in Washington,” but deflected criticism from members of Congress and the military over the trade of five Guantánamo prisoners for Bergdahl, who has been accused of abandoning his post in Afghanistan before his capture.

We see that Obama went with his standard “it’s all made up” dismissal. One really couldn’t blame him –the press has been letting him get away with it for the entire time he’s been in office.

Thankfully, the military is too busy protecting us to watch much cable news, so they proceeded with the investigation into Bergdahl despite the president’s assurance that it was all a Beltway fabrication.

If you ever have time to kill and want a brain teaser, try to remember any time President Obama staged a media op to address criminal activity and didn’t come down on the side of the criminal.

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Surprise! Taliban Opposed to U.S. Troops Remaining in Afghanistan

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Wonder why.

A Taliban spokesman says the U.S. decision to delay the reduction of troops in Afghanistan will badly undermine the chances for peace.

Meeting with Aghan President Ashraf Ghani at the White House on March 24, President Barack Obama said the United States would leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan though the end of 2015 instead of cutting the number to 5,500, and would decide on plans for 2016 later this year.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on March 25 that Obama’s announcement “damages all prospects for peace.”

Mujahid said the U.S. decision “means the war will go on until they are all defeated.”

It really doesn’t take a hyperactive imagination to draw a mental picture of what a peace negotiation on the part of the Taliban looks like when they are not held in check militarily. There are people who can remember fifteen years ago, after all.

If the bad guys are in a hurry for you to get out of town, it generally isn’t because they just want to relax in your absence. The Unites States shouldn’t be there forever, obviously, but troops may need to be there longer than what is necessary for President Obama’s legacy-building plan.

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Canadian PM Harper Vows to Fight ISIS ‘as Long as It Is There’

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Well that’s different.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday that Canada intends to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham for as long as the militant group poses a threat.

The government introduced a motion to extend the current six-month mission in Iraq for up to a year, ending in March 2016. But the expiry date is apparently flexible.

In one of their terse exchanges in question period, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asked the prime minister if the military campaign had an exit strategy. Mr. Harper did not provide one.

What’s that? A leader not telling the enemy when he will stop fighting? What kind of madness is this?!?

This guy has obviously not read Obama’s “Cut and Run” playbook:

“Our goal here is to deal with the threat to [Canada],” Mr. Harper said, “and we will deal with it for as long as it is there and we will not stop dealing with it before that.”

Some may say that I am making an apples and oranges comparison here, but it’s the differences in focus between Obama and Harper that are interesting. Obama is in it for as long as he deems necessary, and Harper realizes that things like this have a messiness and fluidity about them.

In other words, he’s a grown-up. One who has perhaps read a history book or two, rather than gobble up the words of Alinsky and Bill Ayers.

They’ve got good beer up there…road trip, maybe?

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Report: DHS Deputy Chief Created Appearance of Politically Motivated Favoritism

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Another day, another corrupt government official.

The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department improperly intervened on behalf of foreign investors seeking U.S. visas in three cases involving prominent Democrats, including a company run by the youngest brother of likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, the agency’s inspector general said Tuesday.

Investigators said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas helped efforts to secure the visas in ways that created the appearance of favoritism and special access and caused resentment among career government employees, managers and lawyers.

The agency’s inspector general, John Roth, said he could not suggest a motive for Mayorkas, a longtime Democrat who served on President Barack Obama’s transition team after his 2008 election and was U.S. attorney in California under President Bill Clinton. Roth did not accuse Mayorkas of violating any laws and acknowledged that Mayorkas sometimes declined to become involved in cases because he said he did not think it would be appropriate.

Maybe it was just an oversight and this is all much ado about nothing, right?

Could be plausible, until you find out that Terry McAuliffe was involved.

Not long before he became governor of Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe received special treatment on behalf of his electric-car company from a top official at the Department of Homeland Security, according to a new report from the department’s inspector general.

McAuliffe was among several politically powerful individuals from both parties, including Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), seeking special visas for foreign investors through a program administered by the department. But intervention on behalf of McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive company by Alejandro Mayorkas, now the department’s No. 2 official, “was unprecedented,” according to the report.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with any appearance of impropriety in which a Clintonista is involved is “guilty until proven much guiltier than you could possibly imagine.”

Alas, when the Clinton folk are involved they always find a way to not make anything criminal stick, largely because they are such practiced criminals.

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Rick Perry More of a ‘Netanyahu Guy’ than an ‘Obama Guy’ (VIDEO)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Here’s the Texan who hasn’t declared he is running yet, but has been making a lot of moves that would seem to indicate he is thinking about it. Perry is also a fan of the fact that Bibi is critical of Team Lightbringer’s footsie negotiations with Iran.

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George Zimmerman: Blame Obama for Racial Tension

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sounds good to me.

George Zimmerman, the man acquitted in the 2012 shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, blamed President Obama for inflaming racial tensions after the 17-year-old’s death, saying in a videotaped statement that Obama “overstretched, overreached, even broke the law” by allowing the Justice Department to pursue a civil rights investigation of him.

Zimmerman also criticized Obama’s public response to the shooting, in which he said a month after the shooting, “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” and for the president’s holding a ceremony marking the anniversary of Martin’s death with the boy’s parents.

“For him to make incendiary comments as he did and direct the Department of Justice to pursue a baseless prosecution, he by far overstretched, overreached, even broke the law in certain aspects to where you have an innocent American being prosecuted by the federal government which should never happen,” Zimmerman said.

While George Zimmerman may not be the poster boy for Neighborhood Watch, he is certainly right about this. Obama to jump in and ratchet up racial tensions in high-profile stories, often before the police have had a chance to weigh in. We all know the pattern now, too. He pretends to be concerned while either damning the suspect, the police, or both. Then his henchman Eric Holder would launch a very public DOJ investigation yet not find cause to file charges against the individual who was maligned by the president of the United States.

That’s how we end up with cops being targeted by deranged gunmen.

Can’t you just feel the post-racial hope and change calm all over the land?

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ISIS Has Big Plans for Afghanistan in 2016

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A date was given…

President Barack Obama is delaying the pace of his planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan but has not changed his commitment to remove nearly all U.S. troops by the time he leaves office.

The White House cited a newly productive relationship with Afghanistan’s new co-leaders, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, as one key reason why Obama agreed to grant what they called “flexibility” in the planned departure.
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Another reason, Obama suggested to reporters Tuesday at the White House, are the lessons learned from the collapse of security in Iraq following his withdrawal of U.S. forces in 2011, which ultimately necessitated the return of nearly 3,000 American troops this year to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, along with an air war costing $8.5 million a day.

“We’re doing everything we can to help the Afghan Security Forces succeed, so we don’t have to go back,” Obama said, “so we don’t have to respond in an emergency because terrorist activities are being launched out of Afghanistan.”

You read that correctly. He learned so much from the Iraq debacle that he is going to do exactly the same thing in Afghanistan, he’s just going to take longer to do it.

Naturally, the press is treating this like a measured response on the part of the president. The problem, however, wasn’t just with how quickly troops were removed from Iraq, but that the enemy knew exactly when they would do so.

ISIS has proven to be patient and savvy, and they have been co-opting some Taliban warriors to gain a foothold in Afghanistan.

And now they know just how long they have to hang around.

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Even Barney Frank Thinks Joe Biden Is Embarrassing

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

That thing in the attic…

Vice President Joe Biden is his own worst enemy, former Rep. Barney Frank said in a recent interview with Larry King, calling the veep “talented” but also “someone who lacks discipline.”

“Joe is his own worst enemy,” Frank said on “PoliticKING with Larry King” on Ora.tv. “He’s a very bright guy, very good values,” Frank said, noting the vice president’s years-old plan to divide Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish sections. “But he just — he can’t keep his mouth shut or his hands to himself.”

I’m always baffled when avowed Obama detractors on the right give Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep a pass because he’s “entertaining.” Hey, if the thought of having a guy with zero self control in charge of the launch codes amuses you, yours is a sense of humor that is even darker than mine.

I’ve always thought that Biden was the perfect companion piece to this horribly inept president. It’s like a bad vaudeville act: The Idiot King and The Wonder Veep. The scary thing is that even they won’t be laughing once all their damage is done.

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Welfare Reform Was Working to Reduce Dependency… Until Recently

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

From the Foundation for Government Accountability:

The results are clear: states that have embraced the spirit of welfare reform, including lifetime benefit limits, work requirements, short-term cash diversion programs and service integration, have seen the greatest reduction in welfare dependency. The states that have failed to implement these reforms continue to see generational poverty and dependence on state programs, along with dismal results in returning able-bodied adults to the workforce.

Now, however, many of the states that had implemented successful welfare reforms are applying for federal waivers in the food stamp program for the time limits and work requirements. Here at FGA, we’re documenting an alarming spike in spending on food stamps (SNAP). In some states, such as Nevada, food stamp dependency has risen as much as 219% in the last decade. Ironically, the same reforms that have created so many successes in the TANF program are being reversed in the SNAP program, with a corresponding explosion in spending.

There’s quite a snapshot of the federal government: create a problem for the citizens, decades later get around to somewhat undoing the problem, then blow it all out of the water with more “helping.”

This could be an interesting thing for the GOP to bring up to Hillary. She’ll be busy painting the Republicans as heartless haters of the poor, yet welfare reform was her husband’s biggest legislative success, even if the GOP did all the work he’s been taking credit for. It will be tempting to her to want to praise the “help” people are getting now, although it would undercut Bubba’s pride and joy.

And we all know that she’s really running on Bill’s record. Fun times.

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The Taxi Driver on Uber Driver Wars Have Begun

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh, the Belgians.

Brussels police on Monday arrested a taxi driver who confessed to taking part in several incidents of intimidation against drivers using the Uber ride-sharing app, in the latest controversy over the U.S. tech company in Europe.

Public prosecutors in the Belgian capital said the 35-year-old licensed cabbie, identified only as N.C., admitted to being among several colleagues who had ordered rides on the Uber app on Sunday evening and then intimidated drivers who arrived at the rendezvous. Police said four such cases have been reported, some involving the throwing of eggs or flour. An Uber driver’s smartphone was stolen in one case.

No one was hurt in the four incidents. But with tensions mounting between licensed taxi firms and users of the services of California-based Uber, Brussels police called a crisis meeting with cabbies’ representatives on Tuesday.

Honestly, I was surprised when I found out that this happened in Brussels and not some American city. Then I remembered that municipalities here have been in cahoots with the cab drivers they bleed to death for licensing to shut down Uber. Thankfully, they have been failing thus far.

Perhaps cab companies might want take their eyes off of legal action and compete by cleaning up the cabs and providing better service.

I swear I’m sober.

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Falsely Accused UVA Fraternity Considers Legal Options Against Rolling Stone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s on.

The president of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia says the organization is considering legal options against Rolling Stone for the erroneous “A Rape on Campus” story.

“These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault,” Stephen Scipione told ABC News in a story published Monday.

The audacity of the magazine to run such heinous allegations without fact checking should not go unpunished. The average Rolling Stone reader isn’t going to flee because of this, but there should be some consequences.

Liberals have gotten rather casual with rape allegations in the last couple of years, mostly in the form of redefining many things that aren’t rape as being rape. This, however, was just plain old lying that was intended to destroy lives.

I believe there are still laws against such things.

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Family Feud? Cornyn Declines to Support Cruz Candidacy

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A thing, or not a thing?

Sen. Rand Paul may have fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell’s support for his likely 2016 presidential bid. But Sen. Ted Cruz won’t have his senior senator from Texas, John Cornyn, behind him.

Cornyn, the Senate majority whip, said in an interview Monday that he would stay neutral in the Republican primary, declining to endorse Cruz just hours after he became the first candidate to officially declare his presidential run.

“You know, we’ve got a lot of Texans who are running for president, so I’m going to watch from the sidelines,” Cornyn said when asked if he would back Cruz. (Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is considering a run as well.)

Cornyn denied his position was retribution for Cruz’s refusal to back him during his Senate primary last year.

Cornyn’s position does not come as much of a surprise. The tea party freshman refused to back Cornyn during the senator’s crowded primary race last year, unlike in Kentucky where Paul aggressively campaigned for McConnell last year and backed him during his primary bid. But Cruz insisted he would stay neutral in Cornyn’s primary race, which he easily won.

While I am sure that Cruz and Cornyn probably aren’t on Snapchat with each other late at night, the tenor of this post is probably a bit much.

If Rick Perry decides to run, which seems likely, it would make more sense for Cornyn to back him, even if they all got along famously. Politico kicks this piece off with a false equivalency: McConnell hasn’t supported Rand Paul’s candidacy because Rand Paul is not yet a candidate. That may seem like quibbling, but it is true.

The media needs to create REPUBLICAN CIVIL WAR stories where there aren’t any.

But Valerie Jarrett’s machinations about Hillary’s emails are a non-story.

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Supreme Court Leaves Wisconsin Voter I.D. Law Intact

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Wisconsin’s Republican-backed law requiring voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot, a measure Democrats contend is aimed at keeping their supporters from voting.

The justices declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law. The ACLU said it then filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court to try to keep the law from taking effect immediately.

Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the law cannot be implemented for the state’s April 7 election because absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters but would be in place for future elections. “This decision is final,” Schimel said.

Naturally, the ACLU’s suit was based on the canard that requiring ID disenfranchises the poor, minorities, students and any other groups Democrats feel they have a good shot as manipulating votes for.

These same people who don’t think voters should have official identification are now calling for mandatory voting. Pretty sweet little fraud setup if you are legally required to produce bodies at the polls but they can’t be legally identified, no?

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Hillary Clinton Leaves Her Millions for an Hour to Pontificate on Income Inequality

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Down with the struggle.

Hillary Clinton made an appearance with labor leaders Monday, calling for a non-partisan struggle against economic inequality in one of her last speeches before formally launching her expected bid for the White House.

Clinton returned to a theme she has sounded frequently in recent months, lamenting the “ideological bunkers” that she said have prevented solutions from being found to the nation’s problems.

“It’s really nice to get back into an evidence-based discussion, about what works and what doesn’t work, and to try and learn from examples,” she told the audience at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

One hundred words, and there is enough hypocrisy there to last her entire campaign, both from her and the reporting.

Clinton returned to a theme she has sounded frequently in recent months

Note how the dutiful press helps Team Mrs. Bill maintain the illusion that she’s been out there working hard for America. Her book tour reminded everyone of how awful she is in front of people and they’ve managed her more tightly than the way Tony LaRussa handled a pitching staff back in the day. The only thing she has done “frequently in recent months” is avoid the commoners she professes to be oh-so-concerned about.

When she’s not scrubbing her emails, of course.

The pitch about wanting to be “non-partisan” and have a “discussion” is where this narrative becomes a train on icy mountain tracks that’s just lost its brakes.

Politics in America have certainly always been divisive, but the Clintons redefined bitter partisanship in the 1990s. In fact, Hillary’s only solo accomplishment may be that she introduced the phrase “politics of personal destruction” into the vernacular all the while engaged in those very same politics. Add to that the fact that she doesn’t really have discussions, she issues edicts and gives orders.

Her Madameship and the press can keep trying to paint a portrait of her that is awash in warm fuzziness, but she’s going to be out in public a lot soon.

If the Republicans are smart they’ll send someone with a camera to try and have a “discussion” with her about how to earn money.

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Jay Leno Says College Kids Too PC, Ageist Salon Calls Him a ‘Grumpy Old Man’

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

He’s right, of course.

Meyers asked Leno how colleges have changed since he played them decades ago. Leno said, “College kids now are so politically correct.”

He gave an example of a Tonight Show intern who said he sounded racist for not liking Mexican food. Leno said, “Being anti-guacamole is not racist, okay? You have no idea what racism is. That’s not racism, you idiot, you moron!”

A cursory glance at campus protests on any given day will prove that Leno is correct. What should be the segment of the population that is carefree and enjoying life has been turned into a bunch of perpetually aggrieved shrews by their commie masters in academia.

The single-digit IQ brain trust at Salon, which loves to write stories decrying ageism, by the way, responded with this:

Leno

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Dems Wearing Out Race Card Over Lynch Nomination

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

We begin with a video sampling:

As we know, Dick Durbin got the ball rolling on this particular talking point. As has always been the case in the Obama era, the race card is played to cover up something else, not actually make a point about race. The Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberley Strassel says this particular snit is really about the fact that Mitch McConnell is finally acting like Republicans won last November.

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(VIDEO) Josh Earnest Confirms that Obama was a Petulant Scold to Netanyahu

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Has there ever been a more thin-skinned, toddler-like man occupying the White House? Obama makes Nixon look self-assured and emotionally balanced.

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Why is Journalist Marc Ambinder Apologizing for Hurting the Feelings of a Government Agency?

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Obama’s America.

Marc Ambinder, The Week’s editor-at-large, is apologizing for a POLITICO Magazine article he wrote about the Secret Service in an essay published on Friday.

Ambinder wrote that his article, which looked into the problems with substance abuse within the Secret Service, “unfairly maligned” the agency.

Earlier this month, two Secret Service agents reportedly bumped some kind of plastic traffic barrel while driving onto White House grounds in the midst of an security incident investigating a suspicious package. The first reports cited the incident as a car crash caused by agents, who some said, had been drinking at a party, but later reports put a much milder gloss on the incident.

On Thursday, Secret Service director Joseph Clancy said the agents were driving “one to two miles per hour” and barely grazed an orange traffic barrel. The incident has been referred to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General for further investigation.

What is disturbing here is that this wasn’t a deep investigative piece that got a lot of facts wrong. Ambinder is apologizing for saying something offensive and his wording of the apology borders on creepy if you’re a First Amendment fan:

In his essay for The Week, Ambinder wrote that he’s “embarrassed’ that he suggested the incident “smacks of the behavior of ‘high function alcoholics.”

“I had no right to say that, at all,” he wrote.

I am fairly certain that we all have the right to be offensive. Ambinder didn’t go after the agents themselves, but the agency, an agency that has had no shortage of embarrassments in recent years, by the way.

It does nothing to dispel the idea that the media are functioning as publicity arms of the government now that we media bias watchers worry about. The press in this country was supposed to be a fierce opposition voice to the powers that be and and watching it act like a whipped puppy and talking about not having a right to offend is a bit un-American.

If that offends anyone don’t bother asking me for an apology.

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Feds Release New Fracking Regulations Based on Debunked Studies

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh-oh, the government is “helping” again.

“This updated and strengthened rule provides a framework of safeguards and disclosure protocols that will allow for the continued responsible development of our federal oil and gas resources,” she said in a statement.

The Interior Department said more than 100,000 oil and gas wells exist currently on land managed by the federal government. Of those, more than 90 percent use hydraulic fracturing.

Rules that go into force in 90 days call for higher standards to mitigate environmental risks, increased transparency about the chemicals used during the hydraulic fracturing process and provisions to ensure groundwater supplies are protected.

This is the administration responding directly to anti-fracking enviroloons whose entire movement is based upon studies that are routinely proven to be flawed and/or flat-out wrong. Fracking is ushering in an era of energy independence that the greenies desperately wanted to save for themselves. They’re appalled that something might undermine their incessant pleas for federal money to explore alternative energy sources that haven’t had any large-scale viability, for the most part.

They’ve gotten a blank check from Team Lightbringer but that gravy train will hopefully be completely derailed if the “right” Republican is elected president in 2016.

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Comedy Gold? Veep Creator Developing Stalin Comedy Flick

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Armando Iannucci, the British comic and satirist behind Emmy-winning HBO show Veep and its U.K. predecessor The Thick of It, has revealed that his next project will see him move into previously unchartered cinematic territories.

“It’s a sort of comedy about the death of Stalin,” he told an audience at London’s British Film Institute, where he introduced Woody Allen’s 1980 comedy-drama Starlight Memories as part of a series in which filmmakers discuss films that have inspired them.

Without going into detail on the upcoming comedy, Iannucci — who directed and co-wrote 2009’s political comedy In the Loop — added that the Stalin “sort of comedy” would be a film rather than a TV project, and that it was still very much in the planning stages.

At first blush, this might seem to add to the “Hollywood is out of ideas…” conversation but at least this isn’t the seventieth reboot of a Marvel franchise.

Any subject matter can be made humorous if deftly handled by a skilled comedy writer, even the death of a mass murderer. The older readers will remember that Hogan’s Heroes was a sitcom about a Nazi POW camp. That show ran in an era where people were still capable of suspension of disbelief and not as easily offended as the delicate souls of the digital age, however.

Kudos to Iannucci for thinking outside the box and really, really putting his skills to the test. Until we get to see if he was successful or not, here’s a little something from the mind of Mel Brooks to hold you over:

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Customs Testing Biometric Scanners at Airports and Border

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Verge:

The United States’ Customs and Border Patrol is testing out an ambitious new set of biometric programs, according to a pair of reports in Motherboard. The first leg of the program is a facial recognition system to be used in airport security checks, and is already being tested at Washington’s Dulles airport. The system is designed to check passport photos against a person’s actual face as they pass through customs, producing a result in just five to seven seconds. The system is still experimental and it’s planned with limited data storage, but there are already concerns about privacy issues if the system were ever connected to a larger database.

The other legs of the program are more experimental and potentially far more far-reaching in their effects. As part of the Biometric Entry and Exit program, Customs is testing fingerprint and iris scanners along the Mexican border that would verify when a certain person had left the country. First tested in Iraq and Afghanistan, iris scanning technology has become increasingly common in border crossings, and companies are already marketing the scanners to domestic police. Customs is still gauging how effective the devices will be and deciding whether to deploy them more broadly, but if the system is adopted, it could have troubling implications for citizens’ biometric privacy as they cross the border.

Gotta love the obligatory mention of privacy concerns at the end. I am most definitely not against questions of privacy (see my immediately previous post), I am just not certain that we can adequately police our borders and keep everyone’s feelings unhurt and identities private. In fact, the border is one of the few places that people like me who aren’t huge fans of the federal government wish it would have a more severe and active presence. I would much rather it be harsh at the border than generous with citizens’ tax dollars to the people it let in because it wasn’t.

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FAA Green-Lights Testing for Amazon Delivery Drones

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

“My package crashed?!?”

Amazon finally got the federal greenlight Thursday to send its drones into the skies — but only as a test.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has granted Amazon Logistics, a subsidiary of the Internet retail giant, approval for a drone design that the company plans to use for research, development and training.

The approval comes with restrictions similar to those the agency has already imposed on drones’ use by Hollywood studios: Amazon’s drones must stay below 400 feet and can fly only during daylight hours, with the pilot maintaining a visual line-of-sight. Drone operators must have at least a private pilot’s license.

Those limits are probably much tougher than what the company would want when it eventually seeks to use drones to deliver packages around the country — a concept that generated much hype after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled it on “60 Minutes” in 2013.

I love technology and I love Amazon, but I have to admit that these mini drones freak me out a little.

First, it seems like a logistical nightmare to get these things humming around large cities where Amazon does a lot of deliveries.

Second, there seem to be a creepy downside or two, especially when it comes to surveillance. I am not exactly sure who will make it creepy, I am just convinced that someone eventually will.

You’ll remember I said that when one of these is hovering outside your bathroom window twenty years from now.

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Marco Rubio Shreds Obama’s Treatment of Israel (VIDEO)

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Whatever misgivings some have about him, Rubio’s foreign policy chops are strong and getting stronger.

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Today’s Best Fiction: ‘How Hillary Can Win Big’

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I know I laughed.

What Clinton can do in her conversation with America is broaden this bond by trusting the voters and taking them into her confidence, telling them the stories of her life, listening to their stories and explaining her dream of lifting their lives by serving as their president.

She can do this in town meetings and living rooms, with humor and charm, with sincerity and compassion. She can say what it was like to be partnered with a president while they created tens of millions of jobs, lifted millions out of poverty and steered the economy to heights of prosperity — the bedrock of a living American dream.

Clinton can bring to life her conversation with America by creating, and participating in, the largest social media site in history to organize an unprecedented mobilization of women and men, to deluge Congress and demand it enact equal pay for women, a higher minimum wage for workers, a program to create high-wage jobs to rebuild America and make government work the way it did during the Bill Clinton presidency.

The former secretary of State can bring alive again the public spirit of the Kennedy years by reaching out to find a new generation of citizens from all walks of life to staff her government with new people, bringing new ideas from business, academia, philanthropy and faith-based services.

This story is more riddled with holes than Bonnie and Clyde’s car at the end of their final ride.

The most obvious is that the author is describing a Hillary Clinton who simply doesn’t exist. The presumption that Mrs. Bill can ooze humor and charm is about as reality based as my chances for making the U.S. Olympic Track Team. As for sincerity and compassion, we’re just plain wandering into The Onion territory there.

She can promise to replicate the economy as it was during her-ahem-husband’s tenure, and if the GOP has a worthy candidate it will be pointed out that the likelihood of a second dot com boom is unlikely.

Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate while there were still a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings for Bill Clinton floating around in the Democratic electorate. That was fifteen years ago. Bubba is still well liked but there are a lot of new voters who have never fallen under his snake-oil-salesman charm. Hillary won’t get a lot of help from that.

She possesses none of Bill’s people skills, and the more she gets out in public, the more that will become apparent to younger voters. As soon as she became snippy in her press conference last week, her handlers pulled her away from the mic. That won’t work once she’s an official candidate doing more events and town halls.

So good luck with this one winning hearts and minds, unless she’s just going to be an anti-feminist and let her man do all the work for her.

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Poll: Many Democrats Want Independent Probe of Hillary’s Email Scandal

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I guess Carville isn’t helping that much.

Democrats’ support is softening for Hillary Clinton, their party’s presumed 2016 presidential front-runner, with many favoring an independent review of her personal email use when she was secretary of state.

Support for Clinton’s candidacy has dropped about 15 percentage points since mid-February among Democrats, with as few as 45 percent saying they would support her in the last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll. Support from Democrats likely to vote in the party nominating contests has dropped only slightly less, to a low in the mid-50s over the same period.

Even Democrats who said they were not personally swayed one way or another by the email flap said that Clinton could fare worse because of it, if and when she launches her presidential campaign, a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

The polling showed that nearly half of Democratic respondents – 46 percent – agreed there should be an independent review of all of Clinton’s emails to ensure she turned over everything that is work-related.

While this whole thing hasn’t exactly blown up in Mrs. Bill’s face the way most Republicans wish it would, it certainly does show that the 1990s Clinton damage-control model is dated and not the well-oiled machine it used to be.

Perhaps her camp should explore the idea that the public might simply be experiencing Lanny Davis fatigue.

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(VIDEO) McCain Unloads on Durbin’s ‘Back of the Bus’ Comment

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Here’s the story from yesterday.

He none-too-politely reminds the idiot from Illinois about his own stalling of the confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown.

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Gas Bag In-Chief Signs Order for Government to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

PRIORITIES!

U.S. President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday that sets a goal for the U.S. government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025, the White House said on Thursday.

The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the United States, the White House said in a statement. Meeting the goal would cut 21 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels, it said.

Several large private-sector partners, including IBM, General Electric and Honeywell, also committed to cutting a combined 5 million metric tons.

Obama has made fighting climate change a top priority in his final two years in office. The White House sees it as critical to his legacy.

The progressive obsession with their climate control fantasy is disturbing. It diverts attention from actual man-made problems like terrorism. It’s also expensive:

Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2015 released last month called for a 7 percent boost in funding for clean energy and a $4 billion fund to encourage U.S. states to make faster and deeper cuts to emissions from power plants. It also called for the permanent extension of tax credits used by the wind and solar power industries.

While Congress is fighting over how much to spend on defending the nation, The Idiot King is throwing cash at windmills.

At this rate, President Obama’s real legacy will probably be inextricably linked to Iran’s first day out with its new nukes.

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Scott Walker Takes Heat for Letting Iowa GOP Push Him Around

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

As he should.

After news of her resignation broke, Erickson said Walker’s team blew it, condemning “the voices who decided to stir this pot.”
“Given Liz’s work history, I will put it to you this way — Team Walker has botched this,” he wrote, adding that it adds fuel to the fire of the “‘not ready for prime-time’ theme already developing” around Walker’s potential campaign.

In a column for the Washington Examiner, Tim Carney remarked that Mair’s departure fits a pattern for the Wisconsin Republican in that he will fight special interests only if he is already enemies with them.

“But when he gets pushed around by a political power broker, or a well-heeled lobby group that’s ‘on our side,’ Walker rolls over,” Carney wrote.

“It is evident Walker needs to win Iowa and staffers aren’t more important than the candidate,” Jonah Goldberg wrote for National Review. “But principles are. If Walker didn’t want a critic of the Iowa caucuses on his payroll he shouldn’t have hired one. But he did.”

As I wrote yesterday, Liz Mair is someone I have known for quite a while and for whom I have great respect. We don’t always agree on issues but she was absolutely correct about Iowa. Walker should have shown some spine and not let the arcane caucus mongers in Iowa dictate who should and should not be working for him. What most people who support Walker at the moment like about him are the steel nerves he exhibited dealing with Big Labor opposition in three elections. This episode isn’t a deal breaker for most supporters, but it does allow doubt to creep in. The governor had been on a roll and didn’t need a self-inflicted wound, however minor.

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Rand Paul to Make Presidential Bid Official Next Month

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s on.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul will declare his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on April 7, MSNBC reported, citing multiple sources inside the Kentucky lawmaker’s camp.

“This will be an official announcement, not an exploratory committee,” MSNBC quoted an unnamed source close to Paul as saying. The network said the announcement would take place in Louisville, Kentucky.

Paul would be the first major candidate to formally jump into next year’s White House race. Republican Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has set up a committee to explore a possible 2016 candidacy.

Paul and Scott Walker have been going through most of the unofficial motions in preparation for 2016 so far. Jeb Bush has finally been acting like serious consideration is something that he will have to earn, rather than have it conferred upon him through some faux-imperial line of succession.

Another player not mentioned at all, but who seems to be seriously considering a run is Rick Perry, whose PAC has been hyperactive lately.

Al that is certain is that even the second tier Republicans are better than whatever is sitting on the Democrat’s bench.

Unless, of course, that candidate is named Jeb.

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Utterly Moronic: Dick Durbin Says Loretta Lynch ‘Forced to the Back of the Bus’

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is one seriously stupid human being.

The Senate’s second-ranking Democrat accused Republicans of putting African-American attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch at “the back of the bus” when it comes to a Senate confirmation vote.

Dick Durbin of Illinois called it “unjust” and “beneath the decorum and dignity” of the Senate to not take up Lynch’s nomination more quickly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will hold a vote on Lynch only after the Senate passes a human trafficking bill caught up in a dispute over abortion.

Durbin is doing a couple of things here that are so stale they can be smelled from space.

First, he’s pretending that procedural stalling tactics aren’t quite common on both sides. It is a most tedious game that even people who don’t follow politics closely are aware is nonsense. Maybe it’s time that politicians stop pretending we’re is dumb as they are.

He is also absolutely wearing out the tired liberal shtick of invoking racial injustices from several decades ago and equating them to anything they feel they need to make a point about today. Double, “Oh, just shut up!” points are applied when a white liberal does this.

Loretta Lynch having her nomination is not institutionalized racism, it’s just politics. Actually, the fact that she has reached a point where she can be subject to stalling on a vote for her nomination as the Attorney General of the United States of America speaks volumes to how much progress women and minorities have made in America. Durbin’s pathetic whining makes it appear to be the opposite.

As usual, he’s wrong.

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