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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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Press Still Desperately Trying to Make Wendy Davis A Thing

Monday, September 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“A” for effort?

Here is the headline:

Texas governor’s race heats up over new book

The race for Texas governor entered a new chapter this week with the release of a memoir from Democratic candidate Wendy Davis that rekindled attention on abortion and led to an ethics complaint from her opponent, Republican Greg Abbott.

Abbott, currently the state’s attorney general, is accusing Davis of misusing campaign contributions to promote the book called “Forgetting to Be Afraid,” in which Davis, a state senator, reveals she had terminated two pregnancies.

“Senator Davis’ book promotion has gone from ethically questionable to outright unlawful,” Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said.

The gubernatorial race, which is set to be the most expensive in the state’s history, has heated up this month with both campaigns reaching into their war chests to start spending heavily on TV advertisements.

Davis campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas called the complaint frivolous and said it shows “how worried Greg Abbott is about the power of her story.”

The most recent RealClearPolitics polling average on this race has Abbott up by double digits, so “the power of her story” had better come with a wizard.

Wendy Davis is a creation of the abortion-on-demand obsession of the MSM. They created a gubernatorial candidacy out of whole cloth for her because she spent several hours championing their pet issue during a filibuster. Can you imagine this kind of breathless reporting about any Republican candidate who spent an entire race trailing so badly in the polls?

No.

The purpose Wendy Davis serves is to prove that the Democrats will go to any lengths to lie about their abortion goals and that the press will dutifully aid them in doing so.

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At Least One Indicted CA Democrat Won’t Be Getting Elected Again

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Um…justice?

A California state senator convicted on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Friday in one of three ethics scandals involving Democratic lawmakers in the most populous U.S. state.

Senator Roderick Wright of Los Angeles was convicted in January of lying about whether he lived in the district he sought to represent, the first in a string of criminal proceedings against three state senators this year that effectively cost Democrats their two-thirds majority in the California Senate.

“This is not what I call a victimless crime,” said Judge Kathleen Kennedy, who denied Wright’s request for a new trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.

She said Wright was no longer eligible to hold elective office in California.

It has been a rough year for California Democrats but you’d hardly know it if you kept to mainstream news sources. If three Republicans in a GOP controlled state had been indicted for voter fraud and/or public corruption the press would have nonstop, breathless “CULTURE OF CORRUPTION” coverage.

That’s good news about no being able to hold future elective office. At the moment, Wright is still employed, but leadership has asked him to step down.

Meanwhile, Richard Alarcon, the L.A. city councilman convicted of voter fraud and perjury (along with his wife-ah…family), has found a judge to buy him a little time.

Lastly, Leland Yee, who did pretty much everything but start his own al Qaeda cell, merely remains on suspension while the FBI investigates him.

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Dear Hillary: Press Is Now Telling Us What’s Awesome About Elizabeth Warren

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

But she’s not running or something.

Chances are, Elizabeth Warren has already answered your question.

The freshman Massachusetts Democratic senator has been everywhere the past few months, appearing on an impressive list of Sunday shows and cable news programs, chatting up late night talk show hosts and crisscrossing the country on a book tour to promote her latest biography, “A Fighting Chance.”

But if you thought the media blitz may have loosened up the popular liberal — famous on Capitol Hill for her strictly-on-message persona and her aversion to making small talk with the D.C. press corps — think again.

Drinking-game keywords for this piece are “discipline” and variations of “focus.” If you do a shot each time one comes up, you’ll be hammered before you’re through reading it.

There is no real reason for this post beyond giving some free PR to Fauxcahontas and subtly embarrassing Hillary Clinton by stepping away from the “inevitable” conversation. This is more of a love letter than a political opinion piece. Even when the writer brings up what could be considered a “negative,” the point is followed up by more praise.

Despite all of the “inevitable” chatter elsewhere, the Warren contingent among the Democrats grows stronger every day. She’s already far more well-known and liked than a certain senator from Illinois was this far out from the 2008 election, the last time Hillary Clinton was “inevitable.”

If the MSM shifts too much more of its affection away from Hillary, she’ll fall apart in a hurry. She’s just not very good under pressure.

Hard choices for the Democrats indeed.

More:  MSM Continues 6-Year Long Obsession with Supposedly ‘Irrelevant’ Sarah Palin

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MSM Continues 6-Year Long Obsession with Supposedly ‘Irrelevant’ Sarah Palin

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The woman they love to hate.

It’s not the latest reality television show but real life for the Palin clan, at least according to reports from bloggers.

A vaguely worded police report is less specific about what actually happened at a weekend social gathering in Alaska.

The facts seem to go something like this: Members of the Palin family, including Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, attended a party Saturday night in Anchorage, where a large brawl broke out. It was also Todd Palin’s 50th birthday.
Anchorage police confirmed they “responded to a report of a verbal and physical altercation” near a home in Anchorage where a party was taking place.

I grew up in a small town, where Saturday night fights are more common than winter colds. Yet this story is everywhere today. This isn’t news, it’s a stalker-like obsession. My theory for why it continues is this: liberal women secretly wish they could be as attractive and feminine as Sarah Palin, while liberal men wish they could be as tough as she is.

It is rather enjoyable to watch the way she still haunts them.

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America Can Heal Now: Chris Brown Weighs In on Ray Rice Situation

Friday, September 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

What we’ve all been waiting for.

On Thursday, CBS pulled the use of a Rihanna song from the opening of its Thursday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, avoiding starting the broadcast with the voice of someone who’s been the victim of domestic violence days after a shocking video surfaced of former Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee.

Many have pointed out that Rihanna’s involvement in the broadcast was an unfortunate choice in light of the scandal over the Rice incident and the NFL’s treatment thereof, which was the focus of most of the pre-game show. Now Chris Brown has linked his 2009 pre-Grammys Rihanna attack to the Ray Rice scandal.

On Thursday, MTV News’ Sway Calloway asked Brown, who was sentenced to five years of probation and one year of counseling after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna, what advice he had for Rice.

Brown, who has a history of violent behavior, said it’s all about anger management.

“I think it’s all about the choices you make. With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past — not knowing how to express myself verbally but at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they were,” he said. “For me, dealing with my anger issues and understanding myself and the life I’ve been through, where I’m headed and where I want to be has helped me focus on what’s really important and not F up. For anybody who’s going through that situation or anybody who’s dealing with it — it’s all about the choices. Every situation is different but it’s all about the choices you make and how you control your anger.”

In the never-ending tale of people making stupid decisions during this Rice story, the executive who thought, “Hey-let’s see what Chris Brown thinks…” just jockeyed him or herself into the top ten.

Presumably, MTV was unable to get clearance for an in-cell interview with OJ Simpson to see what sage advice he had for Ray Rice.

Here’s an idea: let’s not give serial abusers a public forum to cover their you-know-whats.

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In Other News: Chuck Schumer Is Still An Idiot

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

SURPRISE!

One of the main incentives driving a surge in U.S. corporations’ tax-driven overseas inversion deals would be pared back under a plan unveiled on Wednesday by two top Senate Democrats.

Though the plan was seen by analysts as unlikely to become law anytime soon, it draws further attention to the rising number of U.S. businesses moving abroad for tax reasons.

Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer, the No. 2 and No. 3 Democrats in the U.S. Senate, said their plan would deter a practice known as earnings stripping, in which companies avoid U.S. taxes by shifting U.S. profits to jurisdictions with lower tax rates.

“This bill curtails the incentive for companies to use shady accounting gimmicks to avoid paying their U.S. tax obligations,” Schumer said in a statement.

This has been a hot topic lately. Almost every conversation I have had with someone from the Left on this subject has gone the same way: I talk about the taxes and the need to look at that burden, they talk about the greedy companies who take legal steps to minimize said burden, which Schumer refers to as “shady accounting gimmicks”. It is always an argument about policy and economics versus an emotional argument.

Schumer and Durbin would rather spend every waking hour thinking of ways to make people pay more taxes than even consider ways to have them pay less, because that would require a conversation about spending.

And we know people who are spending money that isn’t theirs don’t care about such things.

Also, I’m fairly certain the Chuckster’s math skills aren’t top shelf.

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Airlines Slowly Switching From Paper To Tablets Because…IT’S THE 21st CENTURY

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Financial incentives work.

American Airlines has won regulatory approval to swap flight attendants’ paper manuals for lighter Samsung tablets in a change that will save nearly $1 million a year, the company said on Wednesday.

The move, which does not yet affect attendants at American Airlines Group Inc’s (AAL.O) subsidiary US Airways, comes little more than a year after American’s cockpit went paperless, and is one of many strategies that airlines have pursued to reduce weight and fuel costs.

Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and United Airlines (UAL.N) have also distributed smart devices to their pilots, and Delta plans to roll out an e-manual for flight attendants starting in October.

American said its attendants already have the tablets, and those at US Airways will receive them after the combined company receives a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. The timing of that is uncertain.

Few technological advancements exemplify progress more than our ability to make journeys that used to take days, weeks or even months, in a matter of hours now. Yet even as the planes and the way we book travel have kept evolving, much of the airline industry has kept a lot of its business practices rooted in the 1960s, for a variety of reasons.

As someone who has been flying to work for a couple of decades, here is the change I would most like now: frequently travelers can take a test (annually, if need be) to prove that we understand the intricacies of the safety announcement, like how to use a seat belt buckle or recognize a door in a vehicle that doesn’t have many of them. Once we do, we’re given something that we can use to show the flight attendant that we have been cleared to listen to music during the announcements and spare ourselves one of the most tedious experiences known to modern man.

Sweet, sweet freedom.

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For Reasons Unknown To Sane People, McCain Is In Demand On GOP Campaign Trail

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ugh.

It’s general election season — and John McCain is back in demand.

With Republican primaries are over and Senate hopefuls in tough races no longer vying to outflank opponents on their right flank, the 2008 Republican nominee and infamous Senate “maverick” is being sought out on the campaign trail. He’s already stopped by purple Virginia and New Hampshire to stump for the GOP campaigns of Ed Gillespie and Scott Brown, and now the Arizona Republican is ready to go farther afield.

Nothing says, “We’ve learned our lessons!” like trotting out the fossil who is loathed more by the conservative Republican base than he is by Democrats these days. This is just another indication that the establishment GOP is woefully out of touch. Sadly, they probably won’t learn anything this year because the base will more than likely turn out and give them a big night in November because we don’t want President Obama running around completely unchecked during his last two years. That will have the unfortunate side effect of letting the old guard delude itself into thinking it can keep giving the finger to the base as it heads into the all important 2016 presidential election.

Get ready for President Warren if that ends up being the case.

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Robert Gibbs Offers Subtle Blame Bush Excuse For Obama’s ISIS Inaction (VIDEO)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

But of course. He’s being cautious because “BUT BOOOOOOOOSH!” Gibbs also mentions a “decade” of the policy that’s driving The Idiot King’s caution. Um…Bush was president for eight years and Obama has almost a full six under his belt now so it’s unclear which ten Gibbsy is referring to here.

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Will Roger Goodell’s Mishandling Of Ray Rice Incident Cost Him His Job?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The chorus has begun.

As an uproar grows over a video showing star player Ray Rice’s ferocious blow on his now-wife, calls for the firing of the NFL’s leader are getting louder.

An increasing number of critics think National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, the man in charge of disciplining the star player, should be next.

“The NFL has lost its way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem; it has a violence against women problem,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs. And the example it is setting right now is simply unacceptable. New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL.”

Goodell told CBS News on Tuesday that he was sickened by what he saw on a newly released video that showed Rice knocking out his now-wife with a ferocious punch.

Goodell’s bumbling on this was mystifying. He’s been micromanaging the league and obsessed with optics and image so it’s difficult to figure out how he was caught so off guard by this. For a man who has been trying to remove so much of the violence from an inherently violent game (much to the chagrin of many devoted fans) to not grasp the import of illegal real world violence seems problematic. The whole, “We hadn’t seen the newest video yet…” excuse is nonsense. The first video showed Rice dragging Janay Palmer out of the elevator after he knocked her out. Does anyone really need to see further video evidence to know that the knocking out part was bad? Do we really need pictures at all to know that a man knocking a woman out is bad? The league and the Ravens management still sound pretty tone deaf.

Still, the league did institute a new, much harsher policy to deal with domestic violence once Goodell realized that his initial response was weak. He also admitted he’d screwed up, which you don’t get from big ego higher-ups a lot.

As a hardcore fan, I have a number of football-specific reasons I don’t like Roger Goodell and I do think he has been mostly awful in his handling of the Rice situation. Would it be better for someone new to come in and deal with this or might there be more progress if a chastened, contrite Goodell were still in charge?

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Wisconsin Dem Prosecutors Desperate For Another Chance To Be Embarrassed By Scott Walker

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

If at the ballot box you can’t succeed

Wisconsin prosecutors asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday for approval to restart an investigation into possible illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and special interest groups during elections in 2011 and 2012.

A federal judge in May halted the investigation after a lawsuit by the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative organization, accusing investigators of sidelining it from political activities, violating its rights to free speech, association and equal protection.

Prosecutors appealed the judge’s ruling shutting down the probe launched in 2012 by Milwaukee County Democratic District Attorney John Chisholm.

After Walker’s thorough running-over of Big Labor in Wisconsin, Democrats may very well harass him for the rest of his days, even long after he is out of office. One simply does not challenge the entrenched 1900′s order of things that, um, progressives, long for and get away with it.

When angry Democrats are in the mix, there is always a very good chance that they will eventually find a judge or a court that’s willing to fight their battles for them, no matter how far they have to overstep their boundaries to do so. Even if (BIG “if”) they manage to eventually wound Walker, his legacy is secure after what he’s accomplished the past few years and should remain a beacon of hope for conservatives in other blue-ish states.

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Press Dutifully Checking In on Ray Rice

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

I don’t get it.

This is almost a carbon copy I’ve seen of this story on several other media sites today but, for reasons we may never know, it took three CNN correspondents to file and post it.

I am sure that this loving, stable couple will thrive with media attention as things are crumbling around them.

Meanwhile, Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo Sports is worried about the other least sympathetic male in this story.

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Actor From Country That Coddles Muslim Rape Gangs Whines About Homophobic ‘Christian Far Right’ in America

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

(h/t The Truth Revolt)

Shut up and read your lines.

There’s still a lot of homophobia in the U.S., as well.

Oh, the Christian far right? Yes. Very homophobic. You need to have a female president next, and then after that, a gay president. That’s the full journey from Obama’s legacy onwards. There’s a great Morrissey lyric from “America Is Not the World” from You Are the Quarry that goes, “In America, the land of the free, they said / And of opportunity, in a just and truthful way / But where the president is never black, female or gay, and until that day / You’ve got nothing to say to me, to help me believe.” It’s quite an old song from before Obama took office, but you’ve done black, then you need to do female, then the next, gay.

Of course, that’s the mature, intellectual approach to picking a leader: based on a quota checklist from Morrissey.

I will wager good money that Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn’t be satisfied with a conservative gay or female (or gay female) POTUS. In the narrow-minded, limited reference world of the average entertainer, such a combination can’t possibly exist. In fact, your average high-profile liberal is basically a savage animal when dealing with powerful conservative females.

So he doesn’t really mean what he is saying.

Or he doesn’t understand it.

Which is why he should stick to scripts.

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Comforting: Growing Number Of Pilots Are On Meds

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The captain is napping…”

Forty percent of all pilots killed in noncommercial airplane crashes in recent years have medication in their systems — a marked increase over previous decades, according to a draft government study obtained by CNN.

The most common drugs: antihistamines, which can cause drowsiness, and heart medications.

The most worrisome: illicit drugs found in nearly 4% of the deceased pilots.

All told, pilots tested positive for some sort of drug — be it over-the-counter, prescription or illicit — in 40% of fatal accidents in 2011, up from 10% in 1990, according to the study.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which conducted the study, called the jump “significant,” saying it mirrors medicine use in society as a whole.

It cautioned that the mere presence of drugs does not necessarily mean drugs contributed to the accident. Indeed, investigators say drugs contribute to about 3% of all fatal plane crashes — a level that has remained constant for two decades.

This brings up a question about just how superhuman we expect pilots to be. It seems that the only real solution would be individual assessment of side effects on every pilot, hardly a practical approach.

The antihistamines are worrisome, though. The sleep-inducing ingredient in many over the counter sleep aids is an antihistamine (diphenhydramine) and can really have powerful effects. I’d much rather a pilot be sneezing a lot than dozing off.

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9/11 Commission Members Tear Into Congress Over Inaction on ISIS

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Is anybody in charge?

Members of the 9/11 Commission are criticizing Congress for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), arguing lawmakers have not taken the threat seriously enough.

In interviews with The Hill, veterans of the blue-ribbon panel rebuked lawmakers for a generally lax approach toward oversight and said Congress fell down on the job by not implementing the recommendations they made 10 years ago.

“Nobody can be very impressed by the congressional record here. You don’t go on a five-week vacation if you think the threat to the United States is imminent. Or, at least, I hope you don’t,” said former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission.

Hamilton ripped Congress for failing to fulfill President Obama’s request for $500 million, made in late June, to train and equip moderate opposition forces in Syria. Obama said the money would help build up a rebel alternative to ISIS while helping to keep the conflict in Syria from spilling over into Iraq.

Hamilton was giving some partisan cover to the president by implying that the belated request is a huge difference maker, but he was right about the vacation. If we’re going to beat up on the president for golfing during all of this, Congress should be held accountable too.

Another member of the panel, Tim Roemer, got to the real heart of the problem (albeit while still running some interference for President Obama) when he said this threat should have been identified long ago.

Most of us in the real world don’t really care which American leaders ID the threat and take it seriously, just as long as somebody does. That we’re at this point a mere thirteen years later is surreal. It’s as if those charged with protecting the country have an MTV generation attention span on matters of national security.

Can we just get an adult in the room?

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Arkansas Senate Race Heating Up, Getting Expensive

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The little state that might.

The Arkansas race for a seat in the U.S. Senate is nearly a dead heat and almost certain to be the most expensive in the state’s history as Democrats and Republicans pour money into a battle that could help determine the balance of power in the body.

Apart from the spending, a tipping point in the campaign could be whether distaste for President Barack Obama outweighs reverence for the Pryor family, a state political power for decades, analysts say.

The contest pits two-term Democrat Mark Pryor, an ally of the state’s favorite political son, Bill Clinton, against Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican who returned to Arkansas only two years ago to win a seat in the House of Representatives.

Frankly, many Republicans were hoping this race wouldn’t still be this close but here we are. That’s a subtle “carpetbagger” dig at Cotton, even if not in the strictest definition. Remember, things like that only matter if the candidate is a Republican.

Near the end of the article, Reuters dug up a political science professor to do some partisan cheerleading for Pryor, who called him a “centrist”. When a Poli Sci prof uses that term, he or she generally means, “To the left of Fidel Castro.”

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Jim Cramer on CNBC: Obamacare Could Have Something to Do with Jobs Report (VIDEO)

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Cramer is hemming and hawing here, which is unusual for him. The point about the smaller companies will sadly become less vague in the very near future.

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Dems Rally Around Fave Corrupt Agency: IRS

Friday, September 5th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

True love.

Democratic Senate investigators criticized a watchdog for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Friday for “inaccurately and unfairly” damaging public confidence in the tax agency’s political impartiality.

Republican investigators disagreed, defending the job done by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) last year in reviewing the IRS’ handling of tax-exemption applications received from political groups.

A starkly split, 222-page report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations displayed continued partisan discord over an affair that burst into view in May 2013 and quickly enmeshed the IRS in its worst scandal in decades.

Hmmm…this is “its worst scandal in decades”? I was told by the Leader of the Free World that it is a fake scandal. IT’S ALL SO CONFUSING.

Except that it isn’t.

Democrats are beyond frustrated that they can’t just wish this away. A lot of that has to do with all of this happening in the social media era (see, it does have some value), which means they don’t have the the Soviet-like control over the narrative anymore.

The rest of it has to do with the fact that, despite the Democrats’ protestations to the contrary, there is, and was, definitely something fishy going on.

Unless, of course, you believe in a lot of coincidence.

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Healthcare.gov Hacked But They Swear It’s Totally No Big Deal

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The little website that couldn’t.

A hacker broke into part of the HealthCare.gov insurance portal this summer but federal authorities said the intruder did not seem to have taken consumer data. Millions of Americas registered on the site to purchase insurance.

“Today, we briefed key congressional staff about an intrusion on a test server that supports HealthCare.gov. Our review indicates that the server did not contain consumer personal information; data was not transmitted outside the agency, and the website was not specifically targeted. We have taken measures to further strengthen security,” a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services statement said.

The hacker appears to have accessed a server and uploaded harmful software, which can be used to launch other attacks, although a CMS spokesman said those attacks were not in fact carried out. Still, it is believed to be the first time a hacker has entered the federal health insurance website.

Hey, if the government says it’s ok, it’s ok, got it?

Now we can all just look forward to our incompetent, non-medical professional overlords making life or death decisions.

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Reuters Seems Stunned That Jerry Brown Is Participating In A Debate

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The headline:

Calif. Governor Jerry Brown to debate long-shot challenger Kashkari

Then:

California Governor Jerry Brown, a popular Democrat, will debate his long-shot Republican opponent Thursday night, kicking off the state’s election season early with anticipated scuffles over education, high-speed rail and the state’s economy.

Brown, who served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983, returned to the state’s highest office four years ago, and now seeks his fourth term at the helm of the most populous U.S. state with high approval ratings and a rapidly recovering economy.

Get it kids? Kashkari’s a long-shot! They should say that a few more times to make it clear.

Forget the biased “rapidly recovering economy” nonsense-there are some unfunded pension liabilities looming on the horizon that could swallow this economy whole. To his credit, Brown has kinda/sorta tried to address them but the California legislature is comprised mostly of Titanic captains and nobody wants to see that iceberg.

What struck me here was the tone of the article, as if a candidate in a race who enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls shouldn’t deign to acknowledge his or her challenger.

If Kashkari does well in the debate and doesn’t implode before November, this could merely be a tune-up for a run in four years, when that iceberg is getting closer.

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Clinton-Appointed Judge Restores Ohio’s ‘Golden Week’ Voting Trickery

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Judges Gone Wild, Vol. 1 Zillion

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Ohio to restore a week to its early voting period before the November general election, ruling that a state law that cut the days violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

Ohio must reinstate a full 35 days of early in-person voting, which includes what is called a “golden week” where residents can register to vote and cast early ballots on the same day, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus ruled.

Ohio established the early voting period in 2005 in response to lengthy waiting times at the polls during the 2004 general election, especially in urban areas. Ohio is expected to be a pivotal state again in the 2016 presidential election.

The Republican-controlled state legislature in February approved a law that truncated the period to 28 days from 35, eliminating the early part of the period that had allowed people to register and cast ballots the same day.

Note that Republicans didn’t seek to eliminate early voting, they didn’t even significantly reduce it. They just got rid of the sketchy “Register here and vote here…” week. Had they tried to eliminate it, the judge’s rationale would have made a bit more sense, but still would have been a stretch:

“African Americans in Ohio are more likely than other groups to utilize EIP voting in general and to rely on evening and Sunday voting hours,” Economus wrote.

As such, he found, plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood the legislation and directive from the secretary of state would “result in fewer opportunities for African Americans to participate in the electoral process.”

First, the fact that African Americans are “more likely” to take advantage of the law doesn’t completely presuppose that it is the only chance they have to vote. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that various leftist activist groups, as well as unions, exhorted people to get to the polls early, especially for “Register here and vote here…”

Even if that is not the case, then the judge’s logic only holds if African Americans overwhelmingly voted in the “Golden Week” and were largely absent from the other FULL MONTH that people were given to vote in person early.

So this really isn’t about the number of days. Four weeks is plenty of early voting time, even with the restrictions, and anyone claiming otherwise is insane. Anyone who absolutely, positively needs to vote early can.

This is really about the leftists’ overwhelming desire to make sure people can register late and vote the second they do.

With some…help, of course.

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Forget ‘Rent Free’-Koch Brothers Now Building High Rise Condos In Harry Reid’s Head

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Enemies.”

Industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch and “their cronies” are “enemies of progress” in developing green energy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday at the start of his annual energy conference.

“We must repel the negative forces seeking to undermine support for clean energy,” said Reid, who has spent much of the past year denouncing the Kochs. “Huge amounts of money is being spent in misleading American consumers through a sophisticated and dishonest public relations campaign.”

He added: “These enemies of progress and their cronies are spending massive amounts of money to mislead every level of government.”

Reid didn’t refer to the Kochs by name but told the National Clean Energy Summit 7.0 audience, “I think each of you know who I’m talking about.”

That’s right, Reid is so pathetic with his Koch whining that he doesn’t even have to mention them. Everyone is well-aware of his almost pathological obsession at this point.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if Democrat leaders could be more willing to use the word “enemies” for, you know, our actual enemies, rather than Republicans?

They’d have to undergo a fundamental philosophical shift and actually see the threats from abroad more dangerous than political dissent at home and that’s just not the way the modern, progressive-dominated Democrats work.

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A True Comedy Pioneer Passes: Joan Rivers Is Dead At 81

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

RIP.

Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.

Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends.

Joan Rivers carved a niche for herself in stand-up at a time when it wasn’t just difficult-it was unheard of. It was still pretty brutal for women in the business by the time I got to it decades later so I can’t even imagine what it was like when there weren’t any other women doing it.

I remember watching her guest-host on The Tonight Show back in the halcyon days before her legendary falling out with Johnny Carson. She was fearless on stage. In fact, were she starting out today doing the same kind of humor, being female wouldn’t be as much of an obstacle but the PC Speech Police would be apoplectic about her material (she frequently did “Liz Taylor is so fat…” jokes when subbing for Carson).

She had killer timing, which was still on display when doing her fashion critiques of red carpet celebs in recent years. While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the genre, I would still watch on occasion to hear the old girl being effortlessly, humorously and brilliantly caustic.

Some of my closest friends after thirty years in stand-up are female comics I’ve worked with. I know I would never had met them if it weren’t for Joan Rivers.

Rest in peace, dear lady.

And say hi to Liz Taylor.

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On A Lighter Note: The View Just Got Worse

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

No, really.

The search is over. Final details are still being worked out but I’ve learned that actress Rosie Perez and political commentator Nicolle Wallace are expected to take the vacant seats on The View when the ABC daytime talk show returns for a new season September 15. They would join Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg. Perez and Wallace would succeed co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who exited last month.

It’s as if the producers got together and said, “Is there any way we can possibly make this show more shrill and irritating? Hey-ROSIE PEREZ!”

The real point I’m posting this at all though is the clever trickery of the Nicolle Wallace hire. The View has been forced in recent months to try out some real conservative women (Dana Loesch and Mary Katherine Ham, to name a couple) as guest hosts in what seemed like a sincere effort by producers to reach out to the political half of America usually ignored by television. They get some political cover by going to an old media playbook and hiring a useful idiot Republican who became popular as a pundit largely by bashing other Republicans. The press reports are all dutifully saying that Wallace is a “conservative” so the show’s higher-ups can say, “See, DIVERSITY!” She’s a conservative in the New York Times/Washington Post mold which, again, means being a Republican who will speak ill of other Republicans.

The upside to all of this is that as long as Wallace remains on TV she won’t be yet another losing consultant who is recycled by the party.

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Study: People Less Likely To Discuss Controversial Issues On Social Media

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

On what planet?

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he designed it to be a nicer place than the real world. People you barely know are “friends”; people you have drinks with now and then, “close friends.” You get a notification if someone deems you a friend, but if they later think better of it and delete you, you’ll never know about it. You can approve of anything anyone does with the click of a button, but to register disapproval, you need to resort to words. And so on.

Sanding away the spiky bits of human interaction was a canny way of getting people to do all sorts of things online that they might feel uncomfortable doing in a non-virtual crowd — sharing baby photos, talking about surgeries and deaths in the family, bragging about their charitable work. But it appears not to have been a good method of getting them to have hard conversations about politics.

Earlier this week, the Pew Research Internet Project published a study about the so-called “spiral of silence” as it applies in social media. That terms describes the tendency people have to keep their opinions to themselves when they believe listeners are likely to disagree with them.

This is some alternative universe stuff here. I’m pretty sure the first MySpace user after Tom posted, “The president sucks!” as soon as he or she could. If anything, social media seems to encourage people who have never paid attention to politics between election days to weigh in on everything from the tax code to complex foreign policy issues. True, when I say “weigh in” I mean “belch up a talking point heard on television,” but, still, they’re definitely not shy about it. Actually, I’m still waiting to meet the one person on Twitter or Facebook who shuts up about controversial issues. It’s sort of a personal quest. I may quit the Internet when I do.

Also, the fact that Zuckerberg wanted social media to be nicer than the real world shows that one can become a billionaire even while completely failing at one’s objective.

Because it’s nasty out there.

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NFL: ‘OK, Maybe Knocking A Woman Out Is Worse Than Smoking Pot’

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oops.

In the wake of criticism over a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the NFL has established a six-game unpaid ban for personnel who violate the league’s policy on domestic violence, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday.

A second incident would be punished by a lifetime ban from the league, Goodell said in a letter and memo to the owners of the league’s 32 teams.

Without referring to Rice by name, he acknowledged in his letter that he made the wrong decision in that case.

“I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will,” he wrote.

Goodell has been trying to destroy football with an almost missionary zeal. While busy attempting to remove almost all on-field violence from an inherently violent game, he’s pretty much ignored the off-field variety. When Rice received a two game joke of a suspension in the midst of the league doling out much harsher punishments for substance abuse, even the most devout football fans (“Present.”) were appalled.

Hopefully, the threat of a lifetime ban for a second violation will give this policy some teeth.

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California Finally Tries To Do Something About Wooing Back Lost Film And TV Production

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Dare I say…hope?

It’s payback time for the Golden State, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed off Wednesday on blockbuster legislation that super-sizes California’s TV and film tax credit bill.

“This will send a message to the entertainment industry and all of the other states and countries that California is open for business, and in a big way,” one of the bill’s authors, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, told TheWrap. “We hope they’ll realize the folly of trying to create artificial competition to try to steal our jobs, and that this will return the industry for good.”

The measure calls for $330 million in incentives to be allocated to TV and movie producers — more than tripling the current $100 million that’s available — and means that the state can strike back at the numerous states and countries that have gutted one of California’s signature industries by luring projects with juicy tax breaks over the past decade. Funding would begin in fiscal year 2015-2016 and run through fiscal year 2018-2019.

Yes, there is a larger conversation to be had about the business climate that forced the state’s signature industry to flee (much of it to Canada) in the first place but…baby steps. Some may see this as a band-aid but it is more like pressure on a hemorrhaging artery. Let’s get this done first and take the necessary steps after.

New York City was in a similar predicament in the early 1990s, for pretty much the same reason. Film and television production had almost completely stopped. City officials and labor unions worked together to bring business back and had great success.

California has been doing things poorly for so long, it will be a relief to one day get it back to doing the thing it’s best at.

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MSM Loves a Good ‘Romney 2016′ Story

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Run Mitt, run!

The day after Mitt Romney opened the door to another possible presidential run, a new poll shows he has a huge lead among likely 2016 Iowa Republican caucus voters.

According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday, 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for the 2012 GOP nominee in 2016. When Romney’s name was added to the pool, no other candidate received double-digit votes.

The survey comes as rumors have begun to swirl about a potential Romney bid for president in 2016. After months of insisting that he will not run again, the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday acknowledged that “circumstances can change.”

When I talk to Republicans who aren’t opposed to the idea of Romney 3.0, their arguments are usually that “he’s a nice guy” and “he would have done a much better job than Obama is doing now.”

Both are true. Both are also irrelevant.

We’re voting for the leader of the free world and a commander in chief when we vote for president, not a drinking buddy. Whether he or she is “nice” shouldn’t play into the decision.

As to the second point, there is a hummingbird who is often outside my window when I write that would have done a better job than Obama is doing. In fact, the list of people who fit that description is overwhelmingly lengthy.

There was, however, one thing Romney couldn’t do better than Barack Obama: run for president.

Maybe it’s because he was a nice guy, but Romney was a lousy candidate. He had one good debate, and that was due more to Obama’s arrogance and lack of preparation. The press was caught rather flat-footed for that one too. Both the president and his MSM minions made sure that didn’t happen again and Mitt was pretty much defeated by Candy Crowley.

The press would love to see Mitt run again because they know he’ll seem invincible all through the primaries and then nice guy his way to a drubbing in the general by Fauxcahontas.

Republicans never seem to be able to resist the candidates that the MSM won’t stop talking about. It’s their “Lucy promising she won’t pull the football away this time” and, bless their Charlie Brown hearts, they keep falling for it.

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Democrats New Strategy: Pretend Most Of 2014 Hasn’t Happened

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Goin’ old school.

Democrats hear only one thing when Republicans talk about fighting President Barack Obama’s immigration agenda or GOP plans for controlling Congress: government shutdown.

In fundraising requests, media appearances and conference calls, Democrats are painting Republicans as the “shutdown party” just in time for the midterm elections that coincidentally hit right after the one-year anniversary of last year’s October shutdown.

Democrats hope this emerging strategy persuades voters that if Republicans win both the House and Senate in November, there will be more unpopular shutdowns and Obama will have to fight hard against the GOP to simply preserve the policy legacy of his first six years in office.

Because most of their policy ideas can’t be discussed honestly, Democrats forever resort to the “THIS IS WHAT THE SCARY REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO DO IF YOU VOTE FOR THEM!” strategy that has worked so well for them ever since they started saying the GOP wanted to “cut Medicare” way back when. There were never any cuts on the table, just reductions in the rate of increase but, hey, it stuck.

One of the reasons these things stick is because the average establishment Republican in Congress is too weak and/or stupid to refute the lies. In the case of the shutdown, the McCains and Boehners of the world have spent so much time whining about it in the last year that they have practically written this script for the Democrats.

It is more than understandable that the Democrats are going back to last fall for a talking point, what can they point to in 2014 that’s gone well for them? Obamacare? Foreign policy? The president’s approval ratings? This Halloween shutdown straw man is their best desperate shot.

Don’t be surprised if it works.

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Jindal Swings Back On Common Core, Sues Administration

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s on, kids.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal filed suit on Wednesday against the Obama administration, arguing that it has coerced states into adopting Common Core education standards.

The move by the Republican governor, who is widely viewed as holding presidential aspirations, comes amid a backlash against the multistate standards that aim to boost critical-thinking skills and apply consistency to a patchwork of state guidelines.

“Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything,” Jindal said in a statement.

Jindal was a supporter of the standards when his state was among 45 to enact them in 2010, but he has since characterized them as a federal attempt to control the curriculum taught in the nation’s schools.

While the standards were developed and implemented by states, the Obama administration encouraged their adoption through a competitive-grant program called Race to the Top, which gave money to cash-strapped states.

State programs incentivized by federal dollars aren’t state programs. Public education has become the biggest federal boondoggle masquerading as a collection of state programs in America. Common Core is a ruse to cement the states’ lips to the federal financial teat. It’s good to see that Jindal has not only come around on this but is seeing it for what it is.

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NC Teachers Win Battle To Keep Poor Kids In Lousy Schools

Monday, August 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

With a judge’s help, of course.

North Carolina County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood blocked the state’s new school voucher program, saying it unconstitutionally diverted money from public education to private schools, some of them religious schools.

The state’s Opportunity Scholarship program, expands school choice in North Carolina by providing education scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per year for eligible children who choose to attend private school. The program is designed to give low-income families public funds to help pay private school tuition. It was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year and had already begun operating.

About 5,500 students applied for the annual grants of up to $4,200 per child. More than 1,800 students were chosen by lottery have already accepted Opportunity Scholarships, but not all have enrolled in private schools.

Those supporting the so-called voucher program, say it offers low-income children a choice for a private-school education that better meets their individual needs after the public schools failed to do so. To be eligible, parents had to have their children enrolled in a public school and meet federal income requirements for their children to receive subsidized lunches.

The program was challenged in lawsuits by the N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C. Justice Center, a left-wing advocacy group, and the N.C. School Boards Association, which was joined by 71 of the state’s 115 school districts.

This is essentially a fight to keep doing an awful job and trap poor students in difficult situations. Of course, trapping the poor forever is the cornerstone of liberal politics so that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The leftist response on all matters of education is the one-note, “MORE MONEY!” cry.

There is no moral, or even economic, argument to be made to keep perennially under-performing schools as the only education options for poverty-stricken or at-risk youth.

Unless you’re a school administrator who needs some vacation money, right?

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British Libs: Start Sex-Ed At Age 7

Monday, August 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Just creepy.

All schoolchildren from the age of seven should be offered sex education lessons to help them make “informed decisions” as they grow up, the Liberal Democrats have said.

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, said that both primary and secondary schools should be required to provide sex and relationship education.

The Liberal Democrats want to lower the age at which children are given sex education lessons from 11 to seven, while extending the requirement to hold the classes to all free schools and academies. At present academies and free schools are exempt from having to hold the lessons, which Mr Laws warned is “depriving children of important life lessons”.

It is always worth watching what the socialist freaks are up to in Europe because American liberals slobber over all things Leftist across the pond.

This is one of those issues where I find myself completely overcome with incredulity over the fact that it even came up in the first place. Yes, children need to learn “important life lessons” but sex isn’t one of them at age seven. There is a reason that these things are phased in throughout childhood.

There is a disturbing tendency to hyper-sexualize children in society now. We frown upon cultures that marry kids off in arrangements all the while watching “Toddlers and Tiaras” and little girls painted up like Mardi Gras hookers. It’s time for people to resoundingly scream, “NO!”

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Bureaucratic Incompetence Rewarded: HealthCare.gov Overseer Gets New Gig

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The wheels on the failure bus go round and round

The U.S. chief technology officer who oversaw the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov is stepping down and moving into a new role recruiting top Silicon Valley talent into government, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Todd Park, a successful tech entrepreneur who became a top advisor to President Barack Obama, will move to the West Coast as part of a White House team at the end of the month, the source said on condition of anonymity because the news has not been made public.

In his new role, Park will help channel ideas from the tech community, as well as keep government updated on how technology is evolving, the source added.

They do all of this with straight faces too. He is responsible for one of the more high profile screw-ups in the history of bureaucracy, which is quite an accomplishment. As a reward for being unable to marshal the vast resources of the federal government to execute a task the average college nerd to do for a few hundred bucks, Park will now be the guy looking for people who hopefully have more talent than he does.

What could go wrong?

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Morocco Claims To Have Arrested Two ISIS Jihadists

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Home grown, apparently.

Morocco said on Friday it had arrested two Islamic State jihadists who had been planning to leave for IS training camps in Syria and Iraq to prepare attacks at home.

The two, whose identities were not disclosed, “planned to receive military training” before taking action in Morocco, “under the Islamic State’s plans to expand its field of operations,” an interior ministry statement said.

While the world mostly twiddles its thumbs or completely buries its head in the sand, ISIS proceeds apace with its expansion plans. Thankfully, some officials are still working to thwart them.

Meanwhile, here is an interesting read on why Team Lightbringer insists on using “ISIL” instead of “ISIS”.

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Politico Notices That Social Media Really Isn’t Helping the Ferguson Situation

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Duh.

Unrest in Ferguson, Mo., continues to dominate America’s attention more than 10 days after Michael Brown was shot and killed in what was a little-known St. Louis suburb. Unrelenting social media dispatches and shocking images of aggressive police force have only intensified the spotlight as officials seek calm. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the local FBI field office Wednesday to discuss the investigation and meet with community leaders — Washington’s strongest step yet toward de-escalating drama.

But social networks like Twitter highlight tensions in the moment rather than calm them, with tweets and photos detailing the scene as things unfold in real time. Social media has captured public violence and the detainment of two Washington journalists last week, and tweets, Instagram photos and Vine videos broadcast images of looting and police aggression to the world. Mini dispatches from those near skirmishes involving protesters and police have played a critical role in shaping the news: The #Ferguson hashtag has been tweeted almost 8 million times this month, according to figures from Topsy, a Twitter analytics service.

I have started to write about this perhaps ten times in the last week. While I agree that social media isn’t doing much to calm things down, I am not sure it should be looked at as much of an instigator. Cable news is still cranking up the tension more than anything else. Americans are TV people and all of the caterwauling on Twitter and Facebook is usually a response to something that was just seen on CNN, Fox News or MSNBC. Yes, social media helps spread the collective angst quicker but it is television that delivers that angst at Level 10 to the public in the first place. Let’s be honest-Al Sharpton was unnecessarily ratcheting up racial tension decades before Twitter even existed.

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