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Sid Vicious and Hillary! — Together Again

Hillary! really must be wishing right about now that she had tabled her presidential aspirations and just run off with the swag:

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned about $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the arrangement.

Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.

While Blumenthal’s foundation job focused on highlighting the legacy of Clinton’s presidency, some officials at the charity questioned his value and grumbled that his hiring was a favor from the Clintons, according to people familiar with the foundation. They say that, during a 2013 reform push, Blumenthal was moved to a consulting contract that came with a similar pay rate but without benefits — an arrangement that endured until March.

Everything with these people is a racket — hardly surprising given Bill Clinton’s upbringing in the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization town of Hot Springs, Ark.

A Clinton loyalist who first earned the family’s trust as an aggressive combatant in the political battles of the 1990s, Blumenthal continues to work as a paid consultant to two groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign — American Bridge and Media Matters — both of which are run by David Brock, a close ally of both Clinton and Blumenthal.

Yet Blumenthal’s financial and personal connections to the Clintons and their allies have emerged as subjects of intense scrutiny as Clinton seeks to gain momentum for her presidential campaign. The memos — and Blumenthal’s concurrent work for the foundation, the Brock groups and a pair of businesses seeking potentially lucrative contracts in Libya — underscore the blurred lines between her State Department work and that of her family’s charitable and political enterprises.

“Blurred lines.” Yeah, right. They couldn’t be clearer if they were marked in Day-Glo chartreuse.

Blumenthal has been subpoenaed by the U.S. House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and Clinton’s handling of it. He is expected to testify next week about a series of memos containing sometimes specious intelligence on the situation in Libya, which he sent to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account.

The committee is said to be interested in exploring Blumenthal’s connections to any entity that may have stood to benefit from Clinton’s decisions in Libya. Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) also wants to probe how seriously the State Department took Blumenthal’s advice, which recently released emails show were met with skepticism at times.

This won’t stop until the American people finally rise up and stop it.

Posted at 3:33 am on May 28th, 2015 by

Obama’s Lawless Immigration ‘Overhaul’ In Legal Limbo

Good:

President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, which he announced in a prime-time speech to the nation last November, may remain under a cloud of legal uncertainty until months before he leaves office in 2017, legal experts and administration officials said Wednesday.

Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they would not ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs — which seek to provide work permits and deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants — while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts. That legal battle may extend for a year or more, officials said, undermining any hope of putting the president’s plan into effect until right before the 2016 election.

Well, the whole point of the plan is to Cloward-Piven the electoral system and flood the nation with illegals from Mexico and elsewhere under the false flag of “compassion” while de facto legalizing those who are already here, thus affording the Democrats even more shock troops in their war on the nation as founded.

“The timing is critical,” said Stephen H. Legomsky, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “If the process drags on until the summer of 2016, then implementation becomes very difficult.” The inability to quickly put into effect the president’s reforms is another severe blow to Hispanic activists, who had successfully lobbied Mr. Obama to take bold executive action in the face of Republican opposition to comprehensive changes in immigration law.

In a statement, officials from the Justice Department said they disagreed with a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that continues to block the president’s immigration actions. But they said the government will fight on the merits of the program, rather than push for permission to carry it out immediately.

“The department believes the best way to achieve this goal is to focus on the ongoing appeal on the merits of the preliminary injunction itself,” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

Somehow I doubt this will be the last Obama action “under a cloud of legal uncertainty” before this wretched administration ends.  Meanwhile, let’s hope the lower courts stick to their guns.

 

Posted at 3:17 am on May 28th, 2015 by

Bill and Hillary! Learn the Meaning of RICO

Leave it to Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch to finally connect the dots regarding Clinton Inc.

Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have been hit with a racketeering lawsuit in Florida court. The lawsuit, filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, includes a legal request to have the Florida judge seize the private server on which Hillary Clinton and her aides hosted their emails while she served as secretary of state. Klayman has filed dozens of lawsuits against the Clintons and other prominent politicians.

The racketeering, influenced and corrupt organizations, or RICO, case alleges the former first couple and their family philanthropy traded political favors for donations or generous speaking fees for Bill Clinton while his wife was the nation’s chief diplomat.

Honestly, the pretzels into which the media has tied itself trying not to see a clear pattern of criminal behavior — and instead fretting about “the appearance of impropriety,” to use the current cliche — is truly amazing. It’s obvious what’s going on here:

“Negotiations by email about influencing U.S. foreign policy or U.S. Government actions to benefit donors to … The Clinton Foundation or sponsors of speaking engagements would not be captured on a U.S. Government email account because her emails would not be with a U.S. Government official,” Klayman said in court documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.

“Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 email messages from her email server that included her communications arranging, negotiating, and agreeing upon speaking engagements by Bill Clinton in return for large speaking fees and donations to The Clinton Foundation,” the documents, dated May 20, said.

Klayman pushed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order a “neutral forensic expert … to take custody and control of the private email server and reconstruct and preserve the official U.S. Government records relating to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy during Defendant Secretary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State.”

If the destruction of Hillary!’s server doesn’t indicate a guilty conscience, I don’t know what does.

Posted at 3:07 am on May 28th, 2015 by

Taliban 5 Could Be Free to Return to the Battlefield Within Days (Video)

Because of the Obama administration’s badly advised prisoner swap a year ago,  five dangerous and unreformed Taliban leaders could soon be returning to the battlefield.

The five were traded for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl and unless a deal is made with Qatar to extend their monitoring, they could be free to travel as early as Monday.

Via Fox News: 

The five former Guantanamo detainees have been under close monitoring in Qatar and subject to a travel ban since their release last year. The agreement with Qatar is set to expire June 1.

While the Washington Post reported earlier this month that the administration was in talks with Qatari officials about potentially extending security measures for the group, it’s unclear if any restrictions will remain in place after the end of the month.

Asked this week if the talks produced any agreement, a State Department official told FoxNews.com, “We don’t have any updates.”

Congressional lawmakers have grown anxious.

Joe Kasper, spokesman for House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter R-Calif., said his office has gotten “radio silence” from the administration in asking about the issue.

“They have to be concerned with what happens to the five Taliban because they made every effort to portray the trade as a good deal,” Kasper said in an email. “The nightmare scenario for the Administration is if any of these guys show up again within the global battlespace, be it in some kind of leadership position or just as messengers of threats or propaganda.”

Members of Congress have repeatedly expressed concern about what will happen after the travel ban expires. They have asked the Obama administration to try to persuade Qatar to extend the monitoring.

“This is one of the biggest mistakes President Obama has ever made,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) told Greta Van Susteren Wednesday evening. “Because there are men, women – somebody’s child – is going to have to get back into that fight and engage with them again. They are dangerous people. The president continues to have no enemy combatant strategy – he doesn’t have a strategy in the middle east, and we’re putting five known terrorists back into the fight – it’s just so outrageous.”

Greta Van Susteren noted that Bergdhal – an alleged Army deserter –  was swapped for five Taliban leaders without the Obama administration notifying Congress 30 days in advance as required — making it “all the more appalling.”

“It was found by the GAO that the Obama administration – the president –  was in violation of the law,” Chaffetz pointed out.

“I want to hear from Susan Rice. How is it that she stood before the American people and sold us a lie?  She went out there and said that he served with honor and distinction.” He added, “I’m sorry, Greta, but he did not. He deserted, and people died trying to find him.”

Chaffetz went on to explain why Obama blew past Congress without giving them the required 30 day notice.

“This is something we see that is a pattern with this president. He’s so desperate to close Guantanamo Bay at all costs – even at the cost of American lives,” he said.  ”That’s why so many people are disgusted – in a very bipartisan way.”

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Yes yes –  we’re all so outraged and disgusted, but not enough to actually do anything about it. It’s just another instance where Obama violated the law –  putting American and/or our allies’ lives in danger  - but as usual,  no one wants to mention the congressional remedy to deal with his serial abuses of power.

 

 

Posted at 8:21 pm on May 27th, 2015 by

Hillary’s Hokey, Fake Southern Accent Makes an Appearance in South Carolina

Good Gad, why does she do this to us?

Don’t we all have better things to do than sit around making fun of Hillary Clinton’s ”agonizingly contrived and hokey” southern accent?

There are certainly more important issues to talk about than Hillary’s cringe-inducing attempts to connect with “regular folks” in South Carolina.

But here it is — people are talking about it:

 

 

I know — it’s a trick to get people talking about something other than her dang emails.

Posted at 3:25 pm on May 27th, 2015 by

The 7 Reasons Scott Walker Should Get the Republican Nomination for President

Scott Walker hugs Tonette upon winning primary

Then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker hugs his wife, Tonette, on the night he won the special election primary. Walker went on to win three gubernatorial elections in four years, including one that made him the first governor in America to survive a recall election.

[Note from Scott Ott: The presidential primary process doesn't help us to decide who's qualified to bear the party standard, and to serve as chief executive, but rather who’s disqualified. It’s just our way of crushing the hopes and dreams of anyone who dares poke head from hole. Because you already know all of the reasons why every candidate, and potential candidate, has no right to expect the nomination, I'm going to write an utterly one-sided series on why each one should get it. If you’re concerned that I’m not providing fair and balanced analysis, I’m sure the folks in the comment section will compensate for my deficiency. So far, I've done this for Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio.]

Today’s nominee: Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Scott Walker has not yet announced his candidacy for president.

He should.

I just finished reading his 2013 book, Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge, co-written with Marc Thiessen. It’s a page-turner, and believe it or not, a tearjerker…at least if you’re as passionate about good governance as I am.

For most of the book, Walker recounts the struggle to pass Act 10 in Wisconsin, a law which limited government unions’ collective bargaining rights, freeing municipalities and school districts from expensive healthcare and pension plans, and a host of other union demands that drove costs up and quality down. The law also released employees from mandatory union membership, freeing up cash so they could contribute more to their own health insurance and pensions.

Unintimidated, by Scott WalkerYou may recall that massive crowds of union supporters took over the capitol building in Madison for weeks (the genesis of the Occupy movement), shouting, banging drums, blasting horns and even spitting on GOP legislators who came within range. The union bosses then staged a series of costly recall elections, all of which resulted in Walker’s reelection (twice) by a larger margin, with a stronger majority in the state legislature. The Act 10 reforms worked, allowing governments and schools to increase their effectiveness, yet cutting taxes for Wisconsinites, and turning a $3.6 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus, all while growing jobs.

Why Scott Walker Should Be the Republican Nominee

1. Tested Courage: They urinated on his office door, trespassed on his property, threatened him (and his wife and sons), wrote his political obituary, and marshaled national resources in an attempt to destroy him. But Scott Walker knew that he was right about Act 10, and if his reforms were given a chance, the voters would know it too.

“I wanted to win, but I also wasn’t afraid to lose. I cared more about getting things done than getting reelected. That liberated me to take bold actions I might never have taken if my first priority had been political survival. Too many people in politics today spend their time trying not to lose instead of trying to do the right thing. I often say that politicians need to spend more time worrying about the next generation than the next election. The irony is that politicians who spend more time worrying about the next generation than the next election often tend to win the next election because voters are starved for leadership.”
— Scott Walker, “Unintimidated,” 2013, pg. 226

The vicious attacks by union bosses and their street minions provided him innumerable opportunities to back down. But he stood firm. As Ronald Reagan firing 11,000 air traffic controllers showed his steel to our enemies and allies alike, Scott Walker’s courage in the face of political, and physical, assault will send a signal to the world.

2. Practical Politics: Walker initially wanted to eliminate all collective bargaining by government workers, but his advisors suggested that if police and firefighters walked out, it would jeopardize public safety, so Walker compromised, exempting them. The Wisconsin governor devoted months, and even years, to studying public policy questions, directing his staff to generate as many options as possible. He understood that pure ideas rarely survive a trip down the septic pipe of politics. He knows when to persuade, and when to compromise, and he manages to do the latter without sacrificing core principles.

His Act 10 solution was nothing short of politically brilliant:

  •  Cut more than a billion in state funding to schools and local governments, but
  •  Eliminate the unions’ stranglehold, freeing local boards to save more money than they lost, and
  •  Require government employees to pay a bit for their health insurance and pensions, but
  •  Free those same employees from the mandate to join a union, so they’d have cash to do it.

No mass layoffs during tough economic times. No increase in class sizes. Fairness all around, unless you were a union boss accustomed to owning politicians.

Posted at 1:49 pm on May 27th, 2015 by

ISIS Militants Publicly Execute 20 Men in Ancient Roman Theater in Palmyra

palmyra theater2

 

After ISIS seized the ancient town of Palmyra in central Syria, it was widely feared that the terrorists would destroy the Roman-era ruins. Now the Guardian is reporting that the terrorists have no plans to destroy the city’s archaeological treasures.

Islamic State has released new footage depicting unscathed ruins in the Syrian city of Palmyra, and activists say the group has promised to spare much of the ancient site and only destroy statues deemed polytheistic – raising hopes that some of the most magnificent surviving ruins of antiquity may remain intact.

Unfortunately, according to multiple reports today, they are instead putting the ruins to use. 

Islamic State militants have executed 20 men at the ancient Roman Theater in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra, a group monitoring the conflict said Wednesday.

The men were shot after accusations of collaborating with the Syrian government, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

According to the AP,  the militants actually gathered people into the theater to watch the gruesome proceedings.

Reuters reported that more than 400 soldiers and civilians —  including women and children — have been killed by ISIS since they took control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

“The terrorists have killed more than 400 people including women and children and mutilated their bodies, under the pretext that they cooperated with the government and did not follow orders,” Syria’s state news agency said, citing residents inside the city.

It added that dozens of those killed were state employees, including the head of the nursing department at the hospital and all her family members.

Islamic State supporters have posted videos on the Internet they say show fighters going room to room in government buildings, searching for government troops and pulling down pictures of President Bashar al-Assad and his father.

Activists have said on social media that hundreds of bodies, believed to be government loyalists, were in the streets.

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On a brighter note, Voice of America reports that Kurdish YPG forces are continuing to make gains in Northern Syria, where they have taken control of the strategic town of al-Mabrouka and its surrounding areas.

Posted at 1:23 pm on May 27th, 2015 by

RNC Puts Nail in Coffin of Unbound National Delegates

For many years, the national conventions of the two major political parties have served less as true conventions and more as coronations of presumptive nominees. While state, congressional, and local conventions frequently deal with contested races for party endorsement, they do not attract the same level of media attention as national conventions. Perhaps for that reason, the national conventions have increasingly become prolonged television commercials for the parties’ presumptive nominees.

Supporters of Ron Paul shook up the status quo during the former congressman’s two bids for the Republican nomination. In 2012, a significant delegation of Paul supporters made their way to Tampa. In particular, Minnesota sent a delegation of unbound delegates who overwhelmingly supported Paul. Coincidentally, the RNC made changes to their rules affecting future conventions that would restrict states like Minnesota from sending unbound delegates.

The Republican Party of Minnesota has sought a waiver from the rule change. A final decision has been made, as reported at MinnPost:

The Republican National Committee has ruled that the Minnesota Republican Party’s presidential preference poll — scheduled for March 1, 2016— must bind its national delegates proportionately to the winners.

This bit of intra-party arcana is important because it could help the state GOP’s efforts to be a bigger player in 2016 presidential politics, though it has also served to dismay activists who believe the rule imposes national control over grass-roots activities.

State Republican Party Chair Keith Downey says that conducting a binding poll at the Republican precinct caucuses will put the national spotlight on Minnesota along with other states holding caucuses that day – “a mini-Super Tuesday,” he calls it.

And since the ballot is binding proportionately, Downey believes, “it protects the upstart candidates who can sustain their candidacy without having to win outright.  My opinion is that this is actually a better situation for grass-roots activists … who may prefer an outlier.”

“All the Republican presidential candidates will take Minnesota more seriously,” he said.

It remains unclear how bound delegates will be disposed if the candidate they are bound to drops out of the race. There may still be unbound delegates at the national convention in that event. But how delegates will be bound and to which candidates remains a mystery, at least until the state party figures out the details.

 

Posted at 12:00 pm on May 27th, 2015 by

‘Massive Expansion of Federal Power’: EPA Issues New Rules Over Waters Near Rivers

The Environmental Protection Agency moved ahead with its controversial rule to “clarify” the definition of protected waters in what Republicans have branded a massive power grab.

In March 2014, the EPA began a “robust” 90-day “outreach effort” to gather input in shaping a final rule, maintaining that the directive is simply a clarification effort needed to define streams and wetlands protection after Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. The final rule was expected around this time.

Critics, though, charged that the administration embarked on an unprecedented breach of private property rights without scientific basis.

The EPA wants to cover “most” seasonal and rain-dependent streams, which account for about 60 percent of stream miles in the country, arguing they have “a considerable impact on the downstream waters.”

Wetlands “near rivers and streams” would be protected under the CWA, and “other types of waters [that] may have more uncertain connections with downstream water and protection will be evaluated through a case specific analysis of whether the connection is or is not significant.” Critics say this could be construed to even include ponds and ditches on private property.

Overall, the EPA stated, a third of waters in the U.S. don’t meet Clean Water Act standards.

“For the water in the rivers and lakes in our communities that flow to our drinking water to be clean, the streams and wetlands that feed them need to be clean too,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Protecting our water sources is a critical component of adapting to climate change impacts like drought, sea level rise, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures – which is why EPA and the Army [Corps of Engineers] have finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect these important waters, so we can strengthen our economy and provide certainty to American businesses.”

The EPA said that ditches “not constructed in streams and that flow only when it rains” are not covered under the rule, but does cover “prairie potholes, Carolina and Delmarva bays, pocosins, western vernal pools in California, and Texas coastal prairie wetlands when they impact downstream waters.”

“The rule protects waters that are next to rivers and lakes and their tributaries because science shows that they impact downstream waters,” the EPA said. “The rule sets boundaries on covering nearby waters for the first time that are physical and measurable.”

Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.), whose panel has scrutinized the rulemaking in several hearings, said that the EPA didn’t narrow the definitions, but made them broader.

“This makes it more important than ever for Congress to act,” Inhofe said, referring to the legislation he introduced with a bipartisan group of senators last month to rein in the water rules.

“It’s clear that the EPA would rather skew public comments in its favor than acknowledge the real concerns Americans and Congress have with this overreaching rule,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said. “Instead of moving forward with a rule that fails to represent the interests of many Americans, we should act immediately to pass the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act.”

President Obama, though, praised the EPA action “to clear up the confusion and uphold our basic duty to protect these vital resources.”

“This rule will provide the clarity and certainty businesses and industry need about which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, and it will ensure polluters who knowingly threaten our waters can be held accountable,” Obama said in a statement. “My administration has made historic commitments to clean water, from restoring iconic watersheds like the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes to preserving more than a thousand miles of rivers and other waters for future generations. With today’s rule, we take another step towards protecting the waters that belong to all of us.”

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) lashed out at the rule as “a massive expansion of federal power” that “puts the EPA in the ludicrous position of acting as the main regulator of ponds, ditches, and even intermittent streams across the country.”

“Generations of state and local officials have crafted water rules that take community needs into account while ensuring that water is kept clean,” he said. “Now, this rule threatens to wash all those years of state water law away and drown communities and businesses in federal red tape.”

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) noted that the rule was unveiled alongside “a new PR campaign attempting to rebrand the rule’s tarnished image.”

“But cosmetic updates cannot hide the fact that it’s still a massive power grab of private property. America’s farmers, landowners and small businesses are right to be concerned,” Smith said. “The rule expands the EPA’s jurisdiction, giving the agency the power to restrict Americans from making decisions about their own property.”

Industry groups also ripped the new rule, with American Energy Alliance president Thomas Pyle calling it “an attack on individuals’ private property rights under the guise of protecting our country’s waterways.”

“In reality, the rule isn’t about protecting waterways or wetlands,” Pyle said. “It’s about increasing the size and scope of the federal government and giving Washington bureaucrats more control over what American citizens do on their own property.”

Posted at 11:35 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Video: Marco Rubio Warns of Clear and Present Danger to Mainstream Christian Teaching

In an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network Tuesday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio warned that Christians in the United States are facing “a clear and present danger” because of the left’s efforts to turn mainstream Christian teachings into “hate speech.”

Rubio, who announced his 2016 presidential candidacy back in April, spoke to CBN Chief Political Correspondent David Brody about his Catholic faith and how it drives his public policy positions on social issues such as traditional marriage.

“If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” Rubio told CBN News. “Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

“So what’s the next step after that?” he asked.

“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger,” he warned.

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Although Rubio personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, he has said that he would attend a friend’s gay wedding if asked.

“How you treat a person that you care for and love is different from what your opinion is or what your faith teaches marriage should be,” he told Univision’s Jorge Ramos in a recent interview.

What Rubio objects to — and what many same sex marriage supporters object to — is the totalitarian left’s attempt to delegitimize and criminalize traditional Christian values.

Even the United States military is not immune to the left’s assault on Christianity.

In April of 2013, an Army instructor in Pennsylvania labeled evangelical Christians, Catholics, Orthodox Jews and Mormons as “religious extremists” alongside Hamas and al Qaeda during an Army Reserve Equal Employment Opportunity training brief on extremism. Later that month, an Army officer at Ft. Campbell, KY, sent an email to subordinates using similar descriptions to describe two mainstream Christian ministries, putting them in the same category as Neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, white nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan.

A U.S. Army officer sent an email to dozens of subordinates listing the American Family Association and Family Research Council as “domestic hate groups” because they oppose homosexuality — and warned officers to monitor soldiers who might be supporters of the groups.

“Just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values,” read an email from LTC Jack Rich to three dozen subordinates at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. “When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values, don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.”

Whenever and wherever liberals hold power, traditional Christian values come under assault.

Another example of this can be found in deep blue New York state where the term “choose life” was recently deemed “patently offensive” by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that New York was within its rights to ban the phrase from license plates on the grounds that they are “patently offensive” and could provoke incidents of road rage.

Yet as Eugene Volokh noted in the Washington Post,  the DMV has allowed a “Union Yes” plate in their specialty license plate program.

It will be interesting to see how many other 2016 GOP contenders dip their feet into the swirling waters of the culture wars. With the Democrat media complex and organized left on one side ready to pounce the minute a candidate says something they can denounce as “hate speech,” the conversation is not for the faint of heart. But it is a conversation we need to have.

 

 

Posted at 11:16 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Rand: The Republican Brand ‘Sucks’

Senator Rand Paul is the only presidential candidate marketing a liberty agenda beyond the traditional GOP constituent groups.  In his new book released yesterday, Senator Paul reveals some things about himself not usually associated with “being a Republican.” It’s refreshing to hear someone make the case for issues that are traditionally accepted as the domain of the left and do it from a perspective of liberty. After all, one probably isn’t going to win the presidency just giving some speeches in Spanish and calling it outreach.

Paul describes himself as a tree-hugger who believes in clean air and clean water. “Paul notes that he has planted giant sequoias in his yard and repurposed old trees used for a fort to build compost bins.”

“None of this is at odds with wanting out government to be smaller, with wanting our regulatory bodies to protect both our land and water,” Paul wrote in his third book, “Taking a Stand: Moving beyond partisan politics to unite America.”

“It boggles my mind to think that somehow Republicans have been branded as a party that doesn’t like the environment,” he said, pointing to avowed conservationist Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

The Kentucky Senator says the Republican party is “broken” and scares away minority voters.

“Right now, the Republican brand sucks. I promised Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, that I would stop saying the GOP sucks, and I will (except for this last time),” Paul writes. “I believe the Republican Party and minorities have common ground.”

And Paul has walked the walk, speaking at historically black colleges like Howard University and taken on the issue of criminal justice reform.

Will Paul’s efforts work? Are people outside the usual reach of the GOP ready to listen to some alternatives beyond a check from the government? It remains to be seen. But in a time when the GOP continues to move toward bigger and bigger government, it’s good to have someone keeping an eye on liberty among the line-up of presidential contenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted at 11:07 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Houston Man Charged With Supporting ISIS, Helping Friend Travel To Syria To Join Terror Group

Following up on my report earlier today on the 40 terror-related arrests so far this year — nearly double the number for 2013 and 2014 combined — the FBI arrested yesterday another Houston-area man for conspiring to support ISIS.

Asher Abid Khan, a 20-year-old from Spring, Texas, planned to travel to Syria through Turkey to join ISIS, but was lured back home by his family who lied and told him that his mother was dying.

According to the FBI press release:

The criminal complaint alleges Khan and a friend devised a plan to travel to Turkey and on to Syria for the purpose of joining and waging jihad on behalf of ISIL. Khan had allegedly asked a Turkish-based foreign terrorist fighter facilitator that “I wana join ISIS can you help?” He also told someone else that “I wana die as a Shaheed [martyr],” according to the allegations.

Khan’s friend allegedly made it to Syria and ISIL with the assistance of Khan and the foreign terrorist fighter facilitator. Khan had been living in Australia with a relative and made it to Istanbul, Turkey, where he was to meet up with his friend in their quest to join ISIL, according to the complaint. However, Khan’s family sent him false information regarding his mother’s health and he was deceived into returning home to Texas.

Khan apparently made it onto the FBI’s radar when his social media messages turned up in another investigation.

Heavy reports on his friend who did make it to Syria and joined with ISIS:

According to the press release, a friend of Khan’s who he conspired with was able to successfully travel to Syria and joined ISIS. He was not named in the release and was identified in the criminal complaint only as “S.R.G.”

The FBI alleges that Khan put his friend in contact with the Turkish-based ISIS facilitator so that the friend could join the terror group in Syria.

The complaint states that the friend goes by the name Abdullah Ali, and is a Mexican convert to Islam.

He is also from Texas, the FBI says. Ali’s Facebook page states that he is a Houston resident.

The FBI says his Facebook page included photos of S.R.G dressed in camouflage and holding what appeared to be an AK-47-style rifle. He told Khan he had gone through an ISIS boot camp, shot the rifle and “even fought a ‘(l)il bit,’” the FBI said in the complaint.

As I noted in my previous article today, the Islamic terror threat in the American homeland is metastasizing rapidly, due mainly to the recruiting and propaganda efforts of the Islamic State and the sheer number of thousands of foreign fighters pouring into the conflict in Syria.

But with many countries now actively preventing would-be jihadists from traveling to Turkey to link up with the ISIS and other terror groups in Syria, many are now looking for alternative fields of jihad. Reuters reports today on video they obtained of foreign fighters now having joined up with Boko Haram in Nigeria.

And, of course, would-be jihadists frustrated in their attempts to travel abroad are also looking to conduct terror attacks at home with the encouragement of ISIS and other terror groups.

Here’s the full complaint in Khan’s case:

Khan Criminal Complaint by Julian Hattem

Posted at 10:51 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Bill Clinton Formed His Shell Company Two Days After Hillary Was Picked As Top Diplomat

I just thought I’d contribute a detail to the latest news about the Clintons’ byzantine financial arrangements, specifically the limited-liability company Bill Clinton used to channel his “consulting” profits.

The original Associated Press story said that WJC, LLC, the “shell company” in question, was formed in Delaware in 2008.

It’s more interesting when you find out the specific date. I searched the database of the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Corporations. There is one listing for WJC, LLC. According to the information on file, the company was formed December 3, 2008. President Obama had confirmed Hillary Clinton as his choice for secretary of state just two days earlier, on December 1, 2008.

I am not supplying any conclusions here. I’ll simply note that this is a pattern in the ongoing Clinton controversy. For instance, the domain name for clintonemail.com, Hillary’s private email system, was registered on January 13, 2009, eight days before the Senate confirmed Clinton as the country’s top diplomat. Why the rush to arrange all these complex and secretive business affairs immediately after Clinton’s future as the most powerful  Cabinet member was set in motion?

Posted at 10:49 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Chairman: What If Iran Takes Nuclear Inspectors Hostage, Too?

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee mused what would happen if the U.S. inks a nuke deal with Iran and takes the nuclear inspectors hostage — just like the Americans held for years now.

The families of Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini and Bob Levinson will for the first time all testify before Congress on their families’ ordeals at a June 2 hearing.

Rezaian is a Washington Post reporter who was taken into custody last summer. Hekmati is a Marine veteran who was seized in 2011 while visiting extended family for the first time. Abedini was convicted in 2013 on charges that the Idaho pastor was trying to spread Christianity. Levinson was kidnapped eight years ago off the coast of Iran while working as a private investigator on a cigarette smuggling case.

Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) spoke with CNN yesterday as news came in that Rezaian’s trial proceedings on espionage charges would be extended to an undisclosed date.

“We should make it very clear to the Iranian government that if their intelligence community and their judicial system can’t protect someone, a journalist like Jason — and three other Americans, by the way, are being held there — if their intent is to duplicate, replicate what they did in 1979 by taking Americans hostages, then what guarantee do we have that, when inspectors, international inspectors go in there, that they’re not going to be taken captive?” Royce said.

“This needs to end now. And that is an old pattern. But to have the possibility of a death sentence for a journalist, this is nothing new in Iran either.”

Hekmati was originally sentenced to death in a closed-door trial, then given a prison sentence on charges that he conspired to commit espionage.

“We’re going have Jason’s brother testify in my committee next week and other family members representing the other three families that are held there. But can you imagine being held for 10 months in Evin prison, which is where some of the worst torturing has gone on, you know, against religious leaders, against students in Iran?” Royce continued.

“Our hearts go out here to the family members. And we hope we can secure his release.”

On Iran and the fight against ISIS, Royce said that “because Baghdad is perceived as being so close to Iran, the Iranian influence has been such that the weapons have not gone to the Sunni tribes.”

“The weapons have not gone to the Kurds,” he said. “In the National Defense Authorization Act, in the legislation we just passed, we addressed that issue by mandating that some of the aid that we put through Baghdad go directly to the Kurdish forces and to the Sunni tribes that are working there, because we know that the Shia-led government at this point has not only provided woefully inadequate officers, but have not provided the resources, the equipment necessary for the tribesmen.”

“…I have met with the leadership of the Sunni tribes when they came to Washington. They want to take back that province, but they say they need the equipment and support from Baghdad to do it.”

Posted at 10:05 am on May 27th, 2015 by

(VIDEO) Rand Paul ‘Absolutely’ Would Abolish Dept. of Education

If I were a political Dr. Frankenstein and plucking ideas from each GOP candidate to build my unstoppable presidency-winning monster, here’s one I would take from Senator Paul. This is an issue that Democrats obfuscate with their emotional tripe very effectively. There is so much evidence to support nuking the DoE that even a kid educated in an American public school in the last twenty years could easily understand it.

Posted at 9:09 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Paul: ‘ISIS Exists Because of the Hawks in Our Party’

GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said today that ISIS essentially exists because of his colleagues.

Paul was responding on MSNBC to comments by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that ISIS exists because of the party’s noninterventionists who didn’t want to intervene in Syria early on.

“I would say it’s exactly the opposite. ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb Assad, which would have made ISIS’ job even easier,” he said. “They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved — they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in — in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

“But Libya’s a failed state, and it’s a disaster. Iraq really is a failed state or a vassal state now of Iran. So everything that they have talked about in foreign policy, they’ve been wrong about for 20 years, and yet they have, somehow, the gall to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise.”

Paul also predicted that Jeb Bush would have problems because “the Bush legacy on war will destroy any hope we have of getting independent vote.”

“I’m asking some difficult questions of Republicans. Do you think the invasion of Iraq made it more stable or us more safe? We now have ISIS to contend with. Do you think the invasion of Libya made us more safe?” he said. “The interesting thing is people want to paint me as out of step with the Republican Party, but when you get outside the Beltway and go to America, the rest of America, I think is more in line with what I’m saying, because I think we do have to defend ourselves. I’m all for doing something to stop ISIS. I was all for going after 9/11 to go after bin Laden.”

“You know, I think the ultimate answer is getting Arab coalitions and boots on the ground that will stop them. You need Turks fighting. Turks need to have their army up on the board, and they need to fight… Also, Assad does really need to leave. When Assad leaves, there needs to be a government that we could support. Right now there are 1,500 groups, many of them bad people, including ISIS that hawks in our party have been arming.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a statement calling Paul’s comments “a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander in chief.”

“We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,” Jindal said. “It’s one thing for Senator Paul to take an outlandish position as a Senator at Washington cocktail parties, but being commander in chief is an entirely different job. We should all be clear that evil and radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.”

The governor, who is contemplating a presidential run, said the senator’s “illogical argument clouds a situation that should provide pure moral clarity.”

“Islam has a problem. ISIS is its current manifestation. And the next president’s job is to have the discipline and strength to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth,” he added. “It has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating radical Islam and it’s time for the rest of us to say it.”

Posted at 8:45 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Crocker: Iran Meddling in Iraq ‘About the Worst Thing I Could Imagine’

The former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan warned that Iran’s involvement in Iraq “would be about the worst thing I could imagine, from the point of view of U.S. interest.”

Iran is insisting that it’s the only country serious about going after ISIS, backing Shiite militias to move in on ISIS strongholds.

“This is a thrust into the heart of Sunni Iraq, Anbar Province, the citadel of Sunniism in Iraq, if you will,” Ryan Crocker told CNN. “I cannot imagine anything more carefully calculated to permanently split this country apart, the country of Iraq apart, than a Shia-led military effort into a completely Sunni area.”

Iran even named their operation after Imam Hussein, a venerated Shiite figure, to spite the Sunnis.

Crocker said the key question to ask after the fall of Ramadi is where is the United States.

“I would simply note that Iraqi forces have been fighting out there for the last 16 months, since the beginning of last year. The city is almost fallen on a number of occasions. They’ve held on with their fingernails,” the ambassador said. “And I think we need to take that into account.”

“I think there are real questions about leadership and generalship in the Iraqi security forces. And I would ask, where are we? We used to be able to make a difference in decisions on command and control. I would suggest that part of the problem that Iraq is facing today is because we have been missing in action,” the continued.

“There is a very complex situation out there. What I am saying is that we have shown we can make a difference when we bring our influence together. This is ultimately a political situation, a political struggle. The politics are pretty badly messed up right now. We can make a difference in that. We’re not making that difference.”

Crocker stressed that “sustained engagement is what we need.”

“We have not had that for the last few years. We need it now. You know, a phone call is important. A visit is even more important,” he said. “And a string of visits and phone calls to demonstrate that this is of critical importance to the U.S., that we are going to make a difference, we are going to use our influence is what we need to demonstrate now.”

Posted at 8:22 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Psaki: ‘If We Spent Every Day Worrying About What Iran Said, That’s All We Would Focus On’

White House communications director Jen Psaki said they’re just brushing off Iranian criticism about the fall of Ramadi, as they do most rhetoric from Tehran.

Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, said Sunday that the U.S. did nothing to stop the sacking of Ramadi and “there is no will to fight the ISIL” in Washington.

“If we spent every day worrying about what Iranians said about the United States, that’s all we would focus on,” Psaki told CNN this morning. “The fact is the proof is in the pudding. We have done thousands of air strikes along with our coalition forces. We’ve trained, we’ve equipped the Iraqi Security Forces, and we have taken steps to support them and their needs on the ground, and we are going to stay at that.”

“But the actions speak louder than words there. So we are not going to worry about the Iranian accusations. We’re going to focus on what more we need to do to help support the Iraqi Security Forces on the ground.”

Psaki said the situation is “more complicated than a line” — namely, the line from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter about Iraqis not having the will to fight in Ramadi.

“We have a terrorist organization that intends to do harm to the Iraqi forces and intends to do harm to the region, and even more broadly than that,” she said. “…Let me first say that what Secretary Carter said was consistent with what he was seeing and hearing from the ground. But also the Iraqi themselves acknowledge that there were some command issues, there were some issues on the ground, and it’s something they want to adapt to as well.”

“…But this is a case where the training began late last year. It wasn’t applicable or wasn’t, the Iraqi Security Forces who were fighting back in Ramadi didn’t have access to that. That’s something we need to continue. But then also I think it’s important for people to remember, the Iraqi security forces have also retaken 25 percent of populated areas from ISIL. There are going to be ups and downs here. We need to continue to adapt and we need to continue to prepare them and equipped them with what they need as does the international coalition.”

Psaki said President Obama has been “very clear” about boots on the ground in Iraq to counter ISIS.

“Of course as commander in chief he is constantly talking to his military advisers. We’re talking to our coalition partners. As I noted earlier, we just rushed 2,000 A-24s to the ground,” she said. “So of course we’re constantly making decisions and taking steps to make sure we’re adapting to the tactics that ISIL and others are using on the ground.”

Posted at 7:56 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Police Officer Assists World War II Veteran in Honoring His Fallen Comrades on Memorial Day

It seems like lately all we hear about are complaints against police officers, but most officers go about their day without incident. For one officer in metro Atlanta, Memorial Day gave him an experience he will never forget.

In Dunwoody, a suburb of Atlanta, Sergeant Robert Parsons noticed an elderly man who had pulled off the road. He stopped to help 92-year-old Ernest Jett.

“He looked a little lost,” says Parsons. “Then he approached my car and saluted, while wearing that hat.”

The hat said World War Veteran.

“I was shocked,” Parsons tells WSB.  “I was speechless.”

It turns out Jett wasn’t just any veteran.

“He was one of the men who landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day,” says Parsons.  “He told me how the bullets were whizzing just over his head.”

Jett told Parsons he was looking for some Memorial Day ceremony, but the Sergeant knew most had already finished.  So he escorted the 92 year old to Brook Run Park and the War Memorial there.

“At that point I was not going just leave,” says Parsons.   “I wanted to just listen to his stories and honor the man for his service.”

Parsons led Jett to the park and to the memorial.

“I wanted to walk him along every path and every part of the park,” says Parsons.  “To introduce him to every child and adult who was there and let them know who this man is.”

At the Memorial Day event, Jett saluted the flags and, as a crowd began to gather, the veteran shared tales of his experiences in World War II with everyone who would listen.

“All I kept thinking was why wasn’t his man the center of some event somewhere,” says Parsons.  “He should have been speaking at one of the events.”

Jett expressed his gratefulness to everyone at Brook Run Park and told Parsons that the city had treated him like a king. Parsons admitted that the experienced meant something to him as well.

World War II veterans are passing away at the rate of 462 per day, taking with them the living history of that war and their sacrifice.

It’s something Parsons is very aware of and, in a quiet moment, Jett spoke about.

“He said that he was getting older and that he didn’t know how many more of these Memorial Days he had left.”

Featured image courtesy of Dunwoody Police Department

Posted at 7:20 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Kenyan Lawyer Offers Obama 50 Cows, 70 Sheep, 30 Goats for Malia’s Hand

A Kenyan lawyer is offering President Obama quite the livestock dowry to marry first daughter Malia.

Felix Kiprono wants to have a meeting with Obama when the president visits his ancestral homeland in July, and offer him 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats for Malia’s hand, The Nairobian reports.

“I got interested in her in 2008. As a matter of fact, I haven’t dated anyone since and promise to be faithful to her. I have shared this with my family and they are willing to help me raise the bride price,” Kiprono told the newspaper. 16-year-old Malia was only 10 years old during her dad’s first presidential campaign.

“People might say I am after the family’s money, which is not the case. My love is real,” the lawyer continued. “I am currently drafting a letter to Obama asking him to please have Malia accompany him for this trip. I hope the embassy will pass the letter to him. I will hand it over to the US Ambassador with whom we have interacted several times.”

“If my request is granted, I will not resort to the cliché of popping champagne. Instead, I will surprise her with mursik, the traditional Kalenjin sour milk. As an indication that she is my queen, I will tie sinendet, which is a sacred plant, around her head.”

In fact, Kiprono left none of the details a surprise.

“I will propose to her on a popular hill in Bureti near my father’s land where leaders and warriors are usually crowned. The place is called Kapkatet, which means ‘victory’,” he said. “Ours will be a simple life. I will teach Malia how to milk a cow, cook ugali and prepare mursik like any other Kalenjin woman.”

While the labor force participation rate for women is higher in Kenya than in the United States, an article in The African Executive noted that some men in the country still “believe that it is a waste of time and money to educate a girl, as her only role will be that of a wife.”

“When young women are forced to marry men old enough to be their fathers, they lose their independence. They have to abide by the wishes of their husbands, even if those edicts are oppressive. Such women hardly exercise their freedom of movement or association and as a result cannot participate in the nation building process. Among the Loita Maasai, for example, women are not allowed to address men at a public baraza. Some women must even adopt subservient positions when speaking to their own spouses.”

Kiprono has been getting some advice on his proposal from Nairobian commenters, including: “Modern marriage is not based on bride price and in fact whites do not care about bride price. No modern parent care how many goats or sheep you have, they leave their children to choose their lives and what make them happy. You just privately approach the girl and let her know how you feel about her. If she reciprocate your love then we all do not need to know until you invite us for the wedding. She has a life and maybe a love life, she may be tied up in a relationship or she may be free but not interested in you. The choice is hers, not Obama’s. In fact your poor approach can be repelling to even other girls if you approach their fathers instead approaching them, so try to polish up despite the fact that you are in a third world country.”

Malia should be as excited about this offer as she was about her dad pardoning that other turkey.

maliapoed

Posted at 7:18 am on May 27th, 2015 by

While D.C. Downplays Risk, U.S. Sees Shocking Rise in Terror Arrests This Year

The arrest of two southern California men last week who were planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State brings the number of U.S.-based individuals involved in international terror-related cases this year to 40. (UPDATE: with the arrest of Houston-area Asher Abid Khan late Monday for supporting ISIS, the tally is now 41.)

This number highlights the metastasizing Islamic terror threat in the American homeland. At the current pace, by the end of June — halfway through 2015 — the number of cases will exceed the number from the past two years combined (48).

The Islamic State, as well as al-Qaeda affiliates and other Islamic terror groups, have repeatedly called for supporters to conduct attacks inside the American homeland:

Recent evidence gives cause for concern. As I noted here at PJ Media, FBI Director Comey downplayed the number of Americans who had traveled to Syria to fight with ISIS and other terror groups before the midterm elections. He stated on 60 Minutes that “roughly a dozen” were fighting in Syria. But in February, senior officials corrected that number. They admitted that 180 had traveled to Syria. They also admitted that 40 had returned to the U.S. and posed a potential threat. FBI Director Comey then said they were investigating ISIS suspects in all 50 states.

Underscoring the failure to alert the public regarding the threat, concerned citizens have not been able to find a list of the 40 individuals arrested this year. Until now, a public list simply didn’t exist.

Here they are: the 40 U.S.-based individuals charged in Islamic terror-related cases in 2015.

(This list will undoubtedly grow. I will update with new information as it becomes available.)

May 22: Muhanad Badawi, 24, and Nader Elhuzayel, 24, both of Anaheim, California, were arrested on Thursday for planning to travel to join ISIS. Elhuzayel was arrested at Los Angeles International airport trying to board a flight that included a stopover in Istanbul, presumably where he would have left the flight and tried to cross the Turkey/Syria border. Both were active on social media praising ISIS. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

May 14: Bilal Abood, 37, of Mesquite, Texas, an Iraqi-born naturalized U.S. citizen who migrated to the United States in 2009, was arrested for lying to the FBI about his travel to Syria, where he planned to fight against the Assad regime. In March 2013 he was prevented from boarding a flight at Dallas Fort Worth International airport and was questioned by the FBI. The following month he transited to Mexico and flew to Turkey, returning in September 2013, when he was questioned again by the FBI. A July 2014 search of his computer found a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

May 3: Elton Simpson, 30, and Nadir Soofi, 37, both of Phoenix, Arizona, were killed in a gunfight with law enforcement outside a Garland, Texas community center where a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest was being held. As I noted here at PJ Media, Simpson had been communicating with known ISIS operatives on Twitter, and had been known to the FBI since 2006 due to his association with convicted terror operative Hassan Abu Jihaad. Soofi grew up in Pakistan and moved to the U.S. as a teenager. The pair attended a Phoenix mosque with previous terror connections. (PJ Media live blog.)

April 23: Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati, 24, of San Diego, California, was arrested on charges of lying to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Customs and Border Protection, and the FBI about his travels to Syria. As I reported here at PJ Media, Kodaimati was caught in a series of lies related to his work on behalf of a sharia court operated by Jabhat al-Nusra — al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria and a U.S. designated terrorist organization — and also about his role in mediating between Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS in northern Syria. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

April 19: Six men from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota were arrested in Minneapolis and San Diego for conspiracy and material support for terrorism for their plans to travel to join ISIS. Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 21, Adnan Abdihamid Farah, 19, Abdurahman Yasin Daud, 21, Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, 19, Hanad Mustafe Musse, 19, and Guled Ali Omar, 20, had been planning to travel to Syria for more than 10 months, and continued their plan even after several of their associates had been arrested. On May 19, federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment with additional charges, including a previously arrested associate. It also stated that one of the men, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, had threatened to kill FBI agents if they tried to stop him. As I reported here at PJ Media, the federal judge in the case has said that he is considering releasing some or all of the men to a halfway house to participate in a local “deradicalization” program. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

April 24: Related to the previous case, an associate of the defendants, Mahamed Abukar Said, 19, was arrested for threatening to kill the U.S. attorney general, warning of a “massacre” if the Feds didn’t release his friends, and intimidating an informant in the case on Twitter.

April 10: John T. Booker (aka Muhammad Abdullah Hassan), 20, of Topeka, Kansas was arrested in a plot to detonate a car bomb targeting soldiers at the U.S. Army base at Fort Riley. As I reported here at PJ Media, in April 2014 the FBI publicly dismissed Booker as a terror threat after Fox News published an alert by military authorities warning that Booker intended to conduct an attack on U.S. military personnel. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

April 10: Related to the Booker case, Alexander E. Blair, 28, also of Topeka, Kansas, was charged with failing to report a felony for not informing authorities of Booker’s plans when he had advance knowledge of the plot. The FBI alleged that Blair, who shared Booker’s Islamic extremist views, had loaned Booker money to rent a storage unit to store bomb components. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

April 9: Joshua Van Haften, 34, of Madison, Wisconsin, was charged with trying to provide material support to ISIS by traveling to Syria to join the terror group. He was arrested by Turkish immigration officials in October, and arrested upon his return at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

April 7: Dilkhayot Kasimov, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, was charged for assisting others in traveling overseas to join the Islamic State. (DOJ press release. Complaint.)

April 4: Miguel Moran Diaz (aka Azizi al-Hariri), 46, of Miami, Florida was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the federal complaint, Diaz was an ISIS supporter who described himself as a “lone wolf” who intended to kill people and engrave the bullet shell casings so that law enforcement would “know there was a sniper in town.” (Complaint.)

April 3: Keonna Thomas (aka Fatayat Al Khilafah), 30, of Philadephia, Pennsylvania was arrested for planning to travel to Syria and martyr herself for ISIS. Thomas had applied for a passport and purchased an electronic visa for Turkey. Prosecutors claimed that she had been voicing support for ISIS on social media since at least August 2013. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

April 2: Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, 29, originally from Texas, was returned from Pakistan and charged with recruiting others to kill U.S. military personnel. Leaving for Pakistan from Canada in 2007 and serving in a senior position within al-Qaeda, the Obama administration had discussed using a drone to kill Al-Farekh. (DOJ press release. Complaint.)

April 2: Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, both of Queens, New York, were arrested for plotting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction, and even discussed targeting a police funeral. When they were arrested, authorities found bomb-building materials including propane gas tanks, soldering tools, pipes, a pressure cooker, and fertilizer. The pair had previously been roommates, and Siddiqui had been in regular contact with al-Qaeda officials in Yemen, most notably with U.S. al-Qaeda propagandist Samir Khan. In 2009, one of her poems was published in al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

March 26: Hasan Rasheed Edmonds, 22, of Aurora, Illinois — a U.S. Army National Guard specialist –was arrested at Chicago’s Midway airport on a trip with the eventual destination of Syria to join ISIS. Also arrested was his cousin, Jonas “Yunus” Edmonds, 29, also of Aurora, Illinois, who was charged with planning a terror attack on an Illinois National Guard facility with AK-47s and grenades. He intended to use Hasan’s uniform to enter the facility after his departure. (DOJ press release. Complaint.)

March 18: Tairod Pugh, 47, of Neptune, New Jersey, was charged with material support for a terrorist organization following his attempt to travel to Syria to join ISIS. In January, he flew to Turkey from Egypt, but was sent back by Turkish authorities. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Pugh had expressed on his Facebook page and elsewhere his dislike for America and his allegiance to the jihadi cause. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

February 27: An unnamed 17-year-old from Woodbridge, Virginia was arrested and charged with assisting others trying to join ISIS. As the suspect is a juvenile, the indictment is sealed. However, federal prosecutors have said they intend to charge him as an adult. The teen reportedly wrote for several websites, and published articles in defense of slavery in Islam.

February 24: Three men living in Brooklyn, New York, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, and Abror Habibov, 30, were arrested for planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Juraboev and Habibov are from Uzbekistan, and Saidakhmetov is from Kazakhistan. Two other individuals – one in Brooklyn, the other in Norfolk, Virginia – were arrested on immigration charges related to the case. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

February 11: An unnamed 16-year-old inspired by ISIS was arrested in York, South Carolina on gun charges. Prosecutors claimed that the teen conspired with another unnamed North Carolina resident to rob a Raleigh gun store, and then use the weapons to shoot up a U.S. military base. In April, he was sentenced to serve five years in juvenile prison until he is 21. Because of the suspect’s age and the lack of a state terrorism statute, he could only be charged with weapons-related offenses. His accomplice in North Carolina has not been named or apparently charged. Local officials claimed they kept the case quiet for “public safety” concerns.

February 6: Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis, Missouri, Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, N.Y., Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34, of Schiller Park, Ill., and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford, Illinois — all Bosnian immigrants — were indicted following a two-year investigation for funneling money, guns, and military hardware to ISIS operatives in Syria. Their support included aiding Abdullah Ramo Pazara, also of St. Louis, who traveled to Syria in 2013 just months after becoming a U.S. citizen, and became a top deputy to ISIS commander Omar al-Shishani and was reportedly killed last year. Rosic was arrested on his way to Syria. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

February 5: Hamza Ahmed, 19, of Minneapolis, Minnesota was charged with lying to the FBI after being stopped from boarding a flight in New York intending to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Ahmed was part of a group of four men who traveled by bus to New York in November. He denied knowing the men he traveled with in an interview with FBI agents. Ahmed had been active on Twitter supporting ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, which kept him in jail following his arrest. Earlier this month, he was charged in a superseding indictment in the case of six other Minneapolis men who were planning to join ISIS. He and another suspect are charged with fraud for using federal student loans to finance their trip. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

February 2: Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 26, of Columbus, Ohio, was arrested on state terror charges for traveling to Syria and fighting with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. In April, Mohamud was indicted on federal charges for plotting terror attacks in the U.S. targeting military and police officials. His brother was reported killed fighting with Jabhat al-Nusra in June 2014. Mohamud reportedly had been conducting weapons training with others after his return from Syria at a local Ohio gun range. As I noted here at PJ Media, he applied for his passport to travel to Syria just a week after becoming a U.S. citizen and days after being caught lying to the FBI. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

January 14: Christopher Lee Cornell (aka  Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah), 20, of Green Township, Ohio, was arrested leaving a Cincinnati-area gun store, where he had purchased two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition. Federal prosecutors allege that Cornell planned to set off pipe bombs around the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and then to shoot fleeing government workers. During a jailhouse interview with a local TV station, Cornell said that he would have also attacked the Israeli embassy and put a gun to President Obama’s head. Earlier this month he was also charged with material support for ISIS. (FBI press release. Complaint.)

—————————

As the Heritage Foundation notes, since 9/11 there have been 68 Islamic domestic terror plots; 57 involved homegrown operatives.

The attempted terror attack this month in Garland, Texas was only averted due to luck and the work of local law enforcement authorities who took the potential threat seriously.

With the number of homegrown Islamic terror operatives increasing rapidly and the calls by Islamic terror groups overseas for attacks on the American homeland coming more regularly, it seems to be only a matter of time before we see another successful attack on American soil in the manner of the Boston bombing, the Fort Hood massacre, and the Little Rock Army recruiting center killing. Or perhaps a larger scale attack, as in Mumbai in November 2008.

When that future attack happens, it will come at a time when the credibility of our counter-terrorism and national security apparatus in speaking honestly about the nature and scope of the threat is at its lowest.

If the jihadist terror attacks in the West over the past year are any indicator, the next domestic terror attack will most likely be by what I have termed a “known wolf” – someone who is already known to law enforcement authorities.

It’s only a question of who, where, and when, and of how many Americans will die.

Posted at 6:36 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Supreme Court to Take Up Redistricting Based on Voters Rather Than Population

Do elected representatives serve the interests of every person in their district, including illegal aliens and others ineligible to vote? That’s the question to be considered by the United States Supreme Court later this year. The Minneapolis Star Tribune describes the potential policy change as “a major shift in how political districts are drawn nationwide.”

Since the 1960s, the high court has enforced the “one person, one vote” rule to require that election districts be roughly equal in population. This rule is based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and it is applied to all election districts, whether for members of Congress, state legislators, county supervisors or local school boards.

At least once a decade, these districts may be redrawn based on new census data. The U.S. Census Bureau seeks to count the total population, including noncitizens and immigrants in the country illegally.

In its appeal, the Project on Fair Representation based in Austin, Texas, says the districts should be balanced based on the number of eligible voters. The group sued on behalf of Sue Evenwel, a leader of the Texas Republican Party. She lives in Titus County in east Texas, where her state Senate district had 533,010 citizens of voting age in 2011. However, another Senate district had 372,000 citizens of voting age.

The appeal in Evenwel vs. Abbott argues that her right to an equal vote is being denied because Texas officials relied on the census data to balance the districts.

Critics predictably portray the effort as voter suppression, though it remains unclear how the drawing of a political district keeps anyone from voting. The real question is whether those who are eligible to vote have equal representation under the status quo, or whether that matters.

 

Posted at 6:00 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Sultan Erdogan Wants to Give Turkey’s Head Imam a Private Jet

Turkey’s President Erdogan is up to his usual Islamist antics. He said yesterday that he will ask the Turkish government to give the head of the country’s religious directorate, the Diyanet, a private jet.

The reason?

The pope has one, so Turkey’s religious leader deserves one too. After all, he’s just as important as the pope, isn’t he?

“[Religious Affairs Directorate President] Mr. Mehmet Görmez is not only the religious leader of Turkey. In fact, he is the respected religious leader of this geographical area in the Islamic world,” Erdoğan said.

The president also stressed that Görmez is a respected Islamic religious leader who deserved the same conveniences as the pope. Slamming critics while comparing the situation to that in Christian parts of the world, Erdoğan claimed the pope “has a private jet, private cars and armored vehicles.” “That’s the situation at the Vatican and our religious leader will take scheduled [commercial] flights?” he asked.

Of course there’s one minor difference. The head of the Diyanet is not supposed to be the official leader of Sunni Islam. In fact, the religious directorate was created by Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to make sure that there would never be a new caliph. He wanted to separate religion from politics and push it back to where it belongs; in people’s private lives, not in public life.

Erdogan has dedicated his life to undoing everything Atatürk has done – he created the Republic of Turkey out of the ashes of the Islamist Ottoman Empire – so it’s no surprise that he wants to build up the position of Mr. Görmez, but the timing is shocking nonetheless. He’s taking quite a risk: the elections for parliament are coming up in Turkey and if the polls are to be believed, Erdogan’s Islamist AK Parti is set to lose a significant amount of seats. Some experts even suggest a coalition government may have to be formed; quite a change from the current situation in which the AKP controls two-thirds of parliament.

Although this possibility scares the living daylights out of the AKP, everybody else can only hope (and, ironically, pray) that this is exactly what happens. If the AKP can go on governing Turkey by itself, next month’s elections may very well be the last free elections in Turkey, because Erdogan is determined to change the secular republic into an Islamic sultanate.

Posted at 5:44 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Obama ‘Legacy’ in Legal Trouble; Media Frets

This constitutional republic stuff sure is a pain in the tush:

President Obama’s second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts. Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny.

The latest blow to Obama’s second-term plans came Tuesday when a federal appeals court in New Orleans denied the administration’s request to move forward with implementing his expanded executive action on immigration to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Texas and 25 other states have sued to have it shelved. The drama is sure to ensue for months, writes the Post’s David Nakamura, and throw into doubt whether the fight over all of Obama’s executive actions on immigration will be settled before he leaves office in January 2017.

Here’s a look at other Obama agenda items that are now in the court’s hands, and where they stand.

Click on the link above for the full rundown. Funny how a guy who famously boasts that if Congress won’t act on his pet program then he will go it alone should somehow wind up in the courts. Bad luck, I guess.

Posted at 4:25 am on May 27th, 2015 by

Well, It’s Certainly Better Than UMP

Delacroix said it best

Delacroix said it best

In France, anyway:

Former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy won a court fight on Tuesday for the right to rename his conservative party “The Républicains”, a prelude to an expected attempt to win back the presidency in 2017. A French court dismissed demands for an emergency ban on Sarkozy’s plan to change his party’s name from the clunkier Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Dozens of people had filed an emergency complaint to stop the rebranding, arguing that the name, by alluding to France’s Fifth Republic, founded 57 years ago, was an attempt by the political right to usurp the values of the entire nation.But a Paris judge ruled there was no justification for an emergency ban. The plaintiffs can appeal the ruling and can also file a regular complaint, but that would take months to be processed.

“Freedom won! We’ll be able to call ourselves The Républicains!” lawmaker Daniel Fasquelle said on Twitter.

Of course, the French Left is in high dudgeon:

The complaint against the name change was filed by left-wing officials and organisations including the National Federation of Socialists and Republicans, according to a press release issued by lawyers for the group earlier this month.

“Our clients believe that it is unthinkable to privatise the republican ideal. We are thrilled that the justice has recognised the urgent need for a summary judgement on this question of principle,” they said. ”By deciding that they will henceforth be known as ‘Les Républicains’, the UMP has deliberately stirred up major civil, social and political strife in France,” the lawyers said.

V ive la France!

Posted at 4:15 am on May 27th, 2015 by