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Legal Analysis: Perry Indictment Will Get Thrown Out by a Judge, or Rejected by a Jury

Rick Reed is a Democratic attorney in Austin, TX. A criminal defense attorney, he has analyzed the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry.

Reed knocks out one misconception about the indictment right off the bat. According to Reed, it does not allege two felonies. Rather, it alleges that Gov. Perry committed one felony and one misdemeanor.

I won’t quote the analysis, as it suffers if any part is taken out of context. It’s brief at just four pages, and it’s a good read for a legal analysis. You can read the entire analysis here.

The final paragraph deserves a quote, though:

“Whether this indictment will die a quick death from a judicial ruling granting a motion to quash or one prolonged by a jury trial ending in acquittal, only time will tell. One thing, however, is certain: it cannot survive both judicial and juror scrutiny.”

My only quibble with that is, if the indictment gets past a judge, a jury made of Travis County’s finest is literally capable of anything. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison escaped the Travis County DA’s flimsy charges against her in 1993 by getting her trial moved to Fort Worth. The jury took about 30 minutes to acquit her. Rep. Tom Delay’s trial stayed in Austin, and he lost — even though the law and the facts were clearly on his side. A judge later agreed and threw the convictions out on appeal. By then, Delay’s career was destroyed and the Democrats had flogged him hard enough that they took over control of the US House of Representatives.

Some disclosure on this analysis is probably in order. After Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s arrest for drunk driving, Rick Reed filed charges against her for abusing her power. The charges alleged, correctly, that Lehmberg threatened the processing officers when she tried to get Sheriff Greg Hamilton involved. The evidence of abuse of power was crystal clear. Yet a grand jury refused to indict Lehmberg, despite the clear and unambiguous evidence of her abuse of power, which was captured on video tape.

So Reed is not new to any of this. The grand jury’s failure to indict Lehmberg, and another grand jury’s evident eagerness to indict Perry, provide ample evidence that Rick Perry cannot get a fair trial in that county. The jury pool is beyond tainted against him. It is poisoned against him.

More: While we’re on the subject of the indictment and the Public Integrity Unit, the question has come up several times — How did a county DA get such widespread jurisdiction over elected political figures all over the state?

The answer: Former DA Ronnie Earle asserted jurisdiction on his own. Earle is no longer there, having retired in 2008. Lehmberg is his successor. After indicting Perry, the PIU’s days in Travis County may be numbered. There will be a strong push in the next session of the legislature to disband it or move it to the state attorney general’s office. The incoming lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick, sponsored a bill to do just that in the last session, but it failed due to some political games in the state House.

Posted at 5:33 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

Legendary NFL Superstar Jim Brown Says He is Not Emphasizing Violence — or Nonviolence

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NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown was asked by ESPN Cleveland’s “The Really Big Show” last Friday about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Though he admitted he didn’t know anything about the circumstances of the shooting, Brown said, “A young man had to die that wasn’t a weapons threat to anyone. That’s the most unfortunate thing. ” While Brown said that looting was wrong as a form of protest and “it’s an excuse to do something that’s incorrect,” he said there there was an upside to the shooting. “Now, the good thing is that it calls attention to law enforcement and it tells law enforcement you need better training so that your officers can be heroes of the community and not enemies of the community. If your pattern is always that it’s a young black male being killed, that’s not right,” Brown said.

 

Asked about Dr. Martin Luther King’s nonviolent protest tactics, the legendary former Cleveland Browns player said, “Dr. King was a fine man with a flawed philosophy. He said ‘nonviolence.’ What is a non? That’s inactive. So if you’re inactive, what are you going to change?” Nonviolence won’t bring about anything, Brown said. “Gandhi — it didn’t really work. It only got the good people killed.”

 

Brown said the solution for the problems plaguing communities like Ferguson is education, self-determination, and personal responsibility. “Understanding how to protect your community rather than being a predator in your community,” is key said Brown.  But then he added, “I mean, when you say non-violence or violence, obviously you don’t want violence. But obviously I’m not emphasizing non-violence because what does that do?”

 

Obviously.

 

Listen to the full interview here.
Posted at 4:51 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

State Department Doesn’t Believe that ISIS is at War with the United States

There’s no question that ISIS believes that it as at war with the US. It keeps saying so.

And the US has launched several dozen airstrikes against them, while we are also arming and advising the Kurds who are fighting them on the ground. We’re also advising the Iraqi security forces. ISIS just beheaded an American journalist and is threatening to murder another one.

But the State Department, represented here by Marie Harf, doesn’t believe that those facts constitute “war.”

At a briefing Thursday, a reporter brought up anti-American comments from ISIL leaders: “I mean, even they are announcing, ISIL people in their message, whatever, the recorded message, other messages, that now we are in a war with America.”

“This is not about ISIL versus the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf objected. “They are killing anyone who gets in their way: Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians, anyone who gets in their way — and now an American.”

“So this is not about what the United States is or isn’t doing,” Harf continued. “This is about ISIL stated a commitment to murder, rape, enslave people who don’t agree with their ideology and who get in their way.”

“But they are announcing that it’s a war against America,” the reporter pressed. “Right or wrong, that’s what they are saying.”

Harf maintained, “Well, they can say whatever they’d like, but what I am making clear is that’s not what ISIL represents. And they don’t represent any religion. They are at war with everybody they come into contact with.”

They’re not at war with the westerners they keep recruiting. They have about 1500 British citizens they have come into contact with, who have joined ISIS.

What’s the game here that State is playing?

I’m on the record that Harf is cute, but that she’s a terrible spokesperson for the US. Terrible. She gets snarky and defensive when reporters ask her legitimate questions, and she is of a mind that hashtags have replaced tanks and airplanes in modern warfare.

It would be nice if that were true. But it’s a fantasy to believe that it is. Hashtags won’t even get you through a game of Risk.

Here, Harf is not speaking on her own. She is delivering the official message. She is representing what Secretary of State John Kerry believes, who is supposed to be in sync with what President Obama believes. But he may not be. Obama isn’t exactly fully on task these days, unless the task is working on his putting game.

So Kerry believes that it’s not in our interests not to admit that we’re at war with ISIS — the worst thing to hit the world since al Qaeda.

Kerry also tweeted yesterday that ISIS should be “crushed.”

How and why should we crush an entity that we’re not even at war with?

h/t Ace

Posted at 4:49 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

Teamsters Hurl Misogynistic, Racist and Homophobic Abuse at ‘Top Chef’s’ Padma Lakshmi

The phrase “union thugs” was invented for people like the Teamsters, who have been threatening TV star Padma Lakshmi and her Top Chef crew.

The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you fucking whore!”

“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident, which occurred in June while filming an episode for the upcoming 12th season of Bravo’s popular skein, which premieres October 15. “He was screaming at her aggressively and violently.”

“As any employee of our show walked on or off set, the picketers verbally attacked us, calling the gays ‘fags,’ the blacks ‘niggers’ and most of the women ‘sluts and whores,’ ” the crewmember said. “It got worse as the day went on. They chased us down the sidewalk when we had to run from one end of the location to the next in the middle of our busy work day. They threatened to kill us, beat us, and said that they would find us and force us out of the city. Needless to say, we were terrified. I’m a strong person, but being called names and yelled at and harassed for 12 hours while working, I started to crumble. I was scared and worried for my safety.”

More at the link.

One obvious solution to all this presents itself. Ms. Lakshmi should move production to a right-to-work state, like, just spitballin’ here, Texas. She and the jobs the show brings would be more than welcome here, and the Teamsters…not so much.

 

Posted at 3:00 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

Federal Judge Orders Holder’s DOJ to Hand Fast and Furious Doc to Congress

You lose, Eric Holder. And Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON –  A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Justice Department says the documents should remain confidential and President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege in an effort to protect them from public disclosure.

It would be nice to see this investigation go somewhere. It’s not at all clear how, assuming their side of the story is correct, the government could have tracked firearms in Mexico’s drug war without actually tracking them.

It is clear that while Fast and Furious was in full swing, Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were blaming that war on our Second Amendment. Coincidence? That doesn’t seem likely.

Posted at 2:44 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

Presidentin’ — Just Something that Barack Obama Does Between Rounds of Golf

The Daily Mail rounds up media reaction to President Obama’s habit of interrupting his golf rounds with the occasional foray into being President of the United States.

It’s not pretty.

President Barack Obama teed off again on Thursday, just 24 hours after pictures of his wide grin on the golf course drew condemnation in the wake of the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley.

‘Admit it,’ a White House pool reporter emailed the press corps. ‘You all made small-dollar bets that POTUS would be playing golf today. And … you would be right!’

‘We are at the Farm Neck Golf Club at 1:13 pm. and POTUS is hitting the links again.’

The president drew fire Wednesday after reacting to Foley’s on-camera slaying for just five minutes, and then gripping his driver.

He had told a global audience minutes earlier that ‘when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.’

Then he was seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck on Martha’s Vineyard.

ABC News political director Rick Klein told Fox host Greta van Susteren three hours earlier that the White House is ‘well past the point of caring about the so-called “optics” of things like this. And the president himself clearly doesn’t … care about the way it looks.’

‘Golfing today is in bad taste,’ tweeted Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein, a long-time Obama backer.

Even little Ezra Klein gets it.

The president has been breaking speed records for getting to the golf course after commenting on some serious issue. He made the trip in just 7 minutes the other day.

It would be one thing is this was a typical August, but August 2014 is anything but. Ferguson MO has been embroiled in race riots, the Middle East is swarming with ISIS, who just beheaded an American, and there’s a shooting war brewing between Ukraine and Russia.

The president is supposed to set the tone. He just doesn’t care about that, or about the country that he’s supposed to lead.

Posted at 2:08 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

Hagel: Mission to Rescue IS Hostages was ‘Flawless.’ Omits Most Glaring Flaw.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took questions from the media today regarding the mission that the US military mounted to rescue hostages captured by the Islamic State.

Word of that mission leaked after IS terrorists beheaded American journalist James Foley.

Hagel described the mission as “flawless” despite the fact that it failed to rescue any hostages.

CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: As to your question as to whether this was a failure of intelligence. No. The fact is you all know intelligence doesn’t come wrapped in a package with a bow. It is a mosaic of many pictures of many factors. Te enemy always has a say in everything. The fact is, you have to work that reality in to any decision you make, but the underlying objective was to do everything we could as the president has said to rescue these hostages, knowing their lives were in danger, clearly in danger. It’s the responsibility of our government and our leaders to do all we can to take action when we believe there might a good possibility or chance to make a rescue effort successful. This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation but the hostages were not there.

As many pointed out on Twitter, the fact that the terrorists had already moved the hostages is a pretty large flaw in the operation. The intelligence was behind events on the ground.

Posted at 1:08 pm on August 21st, 2014 by

Armed Services Chairman: Leak on Unsuccessful Rescue Op Puts Hostages, Informants, Troops at Risk

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee today called for an investigation into the leak that led the Obama administration to say that it attempted a rescue of ISIS hostages earlier this summer.

The Pentagon and White House released details of the operation reportedly to beat some news stories that were expected on it.

“Earlier this summer the president authorized an operation to attempt the rescue of American citizens who were kidnapped and held by ISIL against their will in Syria,” Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “The president authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody.”

“The U.S. Government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the president authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” Monaco said in the statement. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.”

Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said in a statement this afternoon that he, “like all Americans,” continues to be “shocked and outraged at the brutal execution of James Foley at the hands of ISIS terrorists.”

“I commend the bravery of our forces who attempted to rescue him and other American captives earlier this summer. They put their lives on the line for people they’d probably never met, and we are forever blessed to have such men and women in service to our country,” McKeon said.

“Successful or not, such operations are incredibly sensitive, even after they have concluded. Disclosure of these missions puts our troops at risk, reduces the likelihood that future missions will succeed, and risks the lives of hostages and informants alike.”

The chairman said while he found it “unwise for the White House and Department of Defense to formally acknowledge this operation, it is outrageous that someone would be so selfish and short sighted to leak it to the media.”

“Secretary Hagel should investigate this matter immediately and thoroughly to determine who, if anyone, at the Department of Defense was the source of this damaging leak,” McKeon said. “Likewise, the heads of the other agencies involved should take similar steps.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to address the media at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Posted at 11:55 am on August 21st, 2014 by

GAO: Obama Broke the Law in Bergdahl Swap

The Government Accountability Office has handed down its verdict over whether the swap of terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl was legal. The question centers on whether the administration was in the right, legally, when it failed to give Congress 30 days notice that terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay would be released.

It wasn’t.

The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay unless the Secretary of Defense notifies certain congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act.

Open and shut. Where’s the indictment?

Posted at 11:49 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Wendy Davis is Dodging Big Questions About the Perry Indictment

Is the political indictment of Gov. Rick Perry already backfiring on Democrat governor hopeful Wendy Davis?

Gov. Perry’s official courthouse portrait immediately became the Mugshot Seen ‘Round the World. Instead of becoming a liability, it became a badge of honor. It will probably be on campaign T-shirts, mugs and shot glasses (the Rick Perry “MugShot” is irresistible) before long.

Perry followed that visit up with a trip for ice cream, sealing the win on what the Democrats hoped would be a terrible day for him and the beginning of the end of the Perry era.

The case itself is already ripping the heart out of what’s left of the Texas Democratic Party. The lead investigator has destroyed, as in burned to the ground and salted the earth, the TDP’s narrative that Perry battled Travis County drunk driving DA Rosemary Lehmberg in order to scuttle an investigation into a Texas anti-cancer agency, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Not true, says Chris Walling, lead investigator on that case. So, that’s done and dusted.

The CPRIT allegations have been swirling for a while. Back in May, Democrat governor hopeful Wendy Davis was trying to tie the CPRIT investigation around the neck of Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republicans’ nominee for governor. The leftwing Texas Observer dutifully transcribed her attack.

On Tuesday, Davis appeared at the Austin Tex-Mex restaurant Juan in a Million to level some of the same criticisms. “Greg Abbott allowed our cancer institute to become a piggy bank and allowed his donors to siphon off millions of tax dollars from cancer patients and from taxpayers,” she told a crowd of supporters. “When Abbott served on the oversight board of our state’s cancer research institute, he wasn’t looking out for cancer patients. He was looking out for his political donors.”

That was an appalling misuse of a fine restaurant and an Austin institution. Juan in a Million has even been featured on Man Vs. Food. Davis is without excuse for using it as a platform for such a scurrilous attack. A reliable witness tells the Tatler that Davis didn’t even eat the restaurant’s world famous fare during the stop. That’s practically a crime by itself.

Abbott, like Perry, was never tied to the CPRIT investigation and was not a target of it. Never. Despite what Davis said.

Now that the indictment has become a fiasco for the Democrats, Wendy Davis is dodging questions about it, reports the Dallas Morning News Trailblazers blog.

Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth and Democratic nominee for governor, even avoided answering a question about Perry’s link to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, an agency embroiled in scandal.

Davis wants some distance now, but it’s too late for that. Perry’s indictment is world news, and even the likes of the New York Times think that it’s bogus. Liberal professor Alan Dershowitz even compared it to show trials in the Soviet Union.

Davis undoubtedly took her cue to launch the CPRIT attack from Matt Angle’s Lone Star Project. He posted a hit piece on CPRIT the day after Davis’ comments at Juan in a Million.

Here’s how this works. Matt Angle is the out-of-state operative who controls the Democrats’ shadow party in Texas. He lives in Washington, operating off of millions of dollars left to him by the late Fred Barron, the Dallas lawyer who helped John Edwards hide his awful behavior.

 

Posted at 11:11 am on August 21st, 2014 by

‘Dating Naked’ Cast Member is Really Upset Because…People Saw Her Naked

Let’s push the pause button on politics, to note the decline and fall of what was a great civilization.

Have you seen this show, Dating Naked? It follows similar cable fare such as Discovery’s Naked and Afraid. These shows have “naked” in the title, which is a dead giveaway of what they’re about.

They’re about regular people getting naked for basic cable. Duh. That ought to be clear. It’s censored but still R rated stuff.

Dating Naked is a twist on earlier highbrow fare like Love Connection. Only, the daters are naked together on the first date. And they have a full crew around them shooting every word and every move in every contrived situation. And there are editors who will go over every frame of footage to condense hours of nakedness into a 30-minute show, with the naughty bits blurred out to keep the show’s maturity rating below the Hustler level.

When a person signs on to appear on Dating Naked, they’re taking enormous risks. But those risks are pretty obvious.

For one, a whole lotta people are gonna see you naked. If there’s even one mistake, one innocent error, a whole lot more people are gonna see you naked.

And what if any of the raw footage leaks onto the forever Internet? Game over for whatever might be left of your privacy and dignity.

The risks weren’t obvious to Jessie Nizewitz, 28. Her naughty bits weren’t blurred for a couple of seconds that aired. So she wants an apology, and by the way, millions of dollars. Because of all the hurt it caused her.

Jessie Nizewitz, 28, says she was repeatedly promised by the producers that her private parts would be “blurred out” during the show’s third episode in May.

So she stripped down to her birthday suit with wet beach sand covering parts of her body and performed a WWE-style wrestling move on her date while the producers egged her on, according to the $10 million suit filed in Manhattan by her high- powered lawyer, Matthew Blit.

“I felt lied to, manipulated and used. I was horrified,” Nizewitz told The Post, explaining that she was brought to tears.

When the episode aired on July 31, Nizewitz became the butt of jokes on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr, the papers state.

“…butt of jokes…” We see what you did there, New York Post.

Even the runway model’s family caught an eyeful.

“My grandma saw it. I saw her this week and she didn’t have much to say to me. She’s probably mad. My parents are just annoyed,” Nizewitz lamented.

She says that the seconds of accidental clarity cost her a budding relationship with a boyfriend. Seeing her prancing around butt naked but mostly blurred on national TV — not a problem!

“He never called me again after the show aired. I would have hoped we could have had a long-term relationship. He was employed, Jewish, in his 30s and that’s pretty much ideal,” Nizewitz said.

You know what’s not ideal? Starting off a relationship with a lovely young woman who you really like, only to turn on the TV and see that she’s willing to romp around naked in front of her grandma and your family and everyone else, for a few thousand bucks.

To some people — horrible prudes stuck in the Victorian era, no doubt — that might even be a deal-breaker.

Posted at 9:55 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Cheney Rips Obama: ‘It’s Hard to Believe That This President Is as Ineffective as He Clearly Is’

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Americans need to take the “terrible development” of the beheading of journalist James Foley and “magnify that a million times over because that’s what’s in store for the rest of the world if we don’t deal effectively with this crisis.”

“There’s no question what with the developments of Iraq and Syria, the development of a caliphate, that the ISIS organization in charge is very much a threat to the United States, to our friends and allies not only in the Middle East but in Europe,” Cheney told Fox last night.

The veep said he’s still wrestling with the question of whether Obama is operating from “naivete or lack of experience or because that’s the way he wants things to work.”

“I’ve just about reached the point where I’ve concluded that what he is discovering fairly late in his administration is that his basic world view is fundamentally flawed, that the world is a mean, nasty place on occasion, that you need a very strong America, you need superior American military forces to deal with it,” Cheney said.

“And I think every single day that goes by, he’s finding that there’s a bigger and bigger gulf between his hoped-for view of the world and reality. He’s not up to speed and does not want to believe all that’s going on out there. But every day, we find new evidence that he’d rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with the crisis that’s developing rapidly in the Middle East.”

Obama headed straight for a game with Alonzo Mourning and others after yesterday’s statement at Martha’s Vineyard about Foley’s murder.

Cheney compared this with the reaction of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Foley’s killer had a Londoner accent.

“He wanted to immediately leave his vacation spot, head back to London and go to work, trying to deal with the problems that that represents. And of course, our president headed for the golf course as soon as he made his relatively, I thought, ineffective statement,” he said.

“I think the danger is enormous. I don’t think the president understands it… The intelligence is there for all to see. There’s no question about what’s happening. But this president and the people around him refuse to recognize it and certainly refuse to deal with it.”

Cheney maintained that Obama is making the situation even worse with military cuts.

“They’re taking our Army down below levels we haven’t seen since Pearl Harbor. They’ve made major reductions in the Air Force and the Navy. There was a recent excellent study done by a commission, bipartisan commission, Republican and Democrat alike, studying the long-term trends of the defense budget that basically concludes that there’s no way under current circumstances we can execute the national strategy,” he said. “So it’s a train wreck. And there’s one more train wreck every day. It’s hard to believe that this president is as ineffective as he clearly is.”

The former VP acknowledged the “lack of appetite” among many Americans to declare war on ISIS after Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Of course, it’s difficult to persuade the American people that we ought to send our sons and daughters off to fight a war. But sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. And that’s why we have presidents. And that’s why they have the authority as commander-in-chief to make those decisions and why those of us who are involved need to do everything we can to support them and support our troops in the field,” Cheney said.

“Now, is there a great threat coming? Absolutely. Remember what happened on 9/11, when 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters came here and killed 3,000 of us, took down the World Trade Center, blew a big hole in the Pentagon. I’m absolutely certain that some day, there will be another mass casualty attack against the United States. Only next time, they’ll have far deadlier weapons.”

Posted at 9:52 am on August 21st, 2014 by

McCain: ‘Failures of Policies Have Consequences, and We’re Paying Those in Human Blood’

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) stressed that “failures of policies have consequences, and we’re paying those consequences in enormous… cost of human blood.”

“The president wanted out of Iraq. We predicted — many of us predicted that this chaos would ensue. We did not predict the rapidity of the collapse of collapse of the Iraqi military, but certainly this was all predictable when the president of the United States — and he — he’s not telling the truth when he says that he wanted to leave a residual force behind. He did not. And that’s a huge mistake,” McCain said this morning on Fox.

“These things are not like earthquakes or hurricanes… And he still doesn’t get it.”

“He gave a very moving statement about Mr. Foley which all touched us. And then what? He said we have to contain ISIS. We don’t have to contain ISIS. We have to defeat ISIS. And we have to do whatever is necessary. And ISIS is in Syria. And they have obliterated the — the boundary between Iraq and Syria. And we have to go in, and it’s more than pinprick air strikes. And we’re going to need more boots on the ground. And that does not mean combat troops, but it does mean a significant increase,” McCain continued.

“And rather the incrementalism that we are — that they are now practicing, we need a comprehensive strategy that can be explained to the American people, which is designed to defeat ISIS wherever they are. And I hope that this tragic thing that happened with — with Foley will serve to — as a — as a strong message to the United States of America that these people are going to attack us, and they’re going to attack us in the United States of America.”

He reminded all of the words Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — now the self-styled caliph — said when he left U.S. custody at Camp Bucca in 2004: “See you in New York.”

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued their first statement on the execution of journalist James Foley after President Obama’s statement yesterday.

“We agree with the President that America must take the necessary actions against ISIS to protect our people, but ISIS is not just a threat to our personnel serving in Iraq. It is a threat to our nation, as all of our top military, national security, and intelligence leaders have clearly stated. America and our allies and partners will only be secure when ISIS is defeated. That means we must get beyond half-measures, tactical responses, and defensive actions. We need to develop a comprehensive strategy – political, economic, and military – to go on the offensive against ISIS, both in Iraq and Syria,” they said.

The senators noted that Obama “did not articulate a commitment to the comprehensive strategy necessary to defeat ISIS.”

“We cannot allow the darkness to spread, and we must accept our share of the responsibility to stop it, for the sake of our people and the entire civilized world,” McCain and Graham added.

McCain reminded viewers on Fox that Obama previously said, ”It’s not a question of whether Bashar Assad will go, it’s a matter of when.”

“Another debacle, which is the 170,000 dead, 150,000 Syrians still in Bashar Assad’s prison. And the barrel bombs that are so horrendous are continuing to be dropped on innocent men, women and children,” the senator said. “This is an abject failure. And I get emotional about it, because I know these people, and what they’re going through is horrendous.”

Posted at 9:28 am on August 21st, 2014 by

‘War Is Deceit’: Tipsheet Tells Jihadists How to Shake Off Intel Agencies During Online Ops

ISIS members and supporters took over not just land in Syria and Iraq but a lot of Internet territory in their push to expand the Islamic State, advertise their operations, threaten the West and recruit new members.

Many of the accounts that spread like wildfire across Twitter, though, came under suspension Tuesday for tweeting photos or video of the beheading of journalist James Foley. Other Islamic State tweeters announced that they were voluntarily turning off their accounts for a few days until the storm passed, or resurfaced with altered account names.

A document posted on JustPaste.it, where ISIS has placed previous announcements such as photos posted Wednesday of its presence dangerously close to Aleppo, tells supporters and jihadists how to lay low online for the most effectiveness — including deceptively tweeting that they don’t support the bloody jihad of ISIS.

“The intelligence agencies specifically monitor the internet with the intention of dismantling anti-colonial narratives and attacking those who postulate them. Whether Muslim, radical socialist, anarchist, or anti-government activist, they want you. They want to know what you send, when you send it, to whom you send it to, why, and how to use it against you. They monitor your social media. Even if you never use your real name, post a picture, or leave any hints, they can track your IP address, know your identity, and jail you for a few online posts. They search for keywords such as ‘kafir’ in order to find specific individuals,” warns the paper, which begins with the verse, ”And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows.”

It stresses that the dangers posed online for jihadists aren’t a big deal in “South Africa or Sham [Syria],” but in the West, where the terror group wants to quietly maintain and grow its influence, “kafir intelligence agencies are particularly interested in entrapping young Muslims.”

“Is it lying to trick the kufar into thinking we live in different locations than we actually do, through words or otherwise, even if other Muslims may hear or see this?” the paper asks as a “minor issue,” before stressing that “war is deceit.”

“The people we are fooling are ones who have an open war with Allah, his messenger, our khilafah, and just about every sincere Muslim on this planet. You are engaging in war tactics so that you can spread the true dawah and discuss matters of jihad, to uncover news about your mujahid brothers, to dismiss lies. You are entering into a sort of psychological warfare with them, they do not take it lightly, and we do not take it lightly. Therefore, we can trick them and it is totally permissible.”

The paper was posted and pinned in a tweet by a user named Amreeki Witness, who is “dedicated to raising awareness about the upcoming conquest of the Americas, and the benefits it has upon the American people.” His avatar uses a State Department symbol and his Twitter cover photo is the White House with an Islamic State flag perched on top. He also posted the tips on remaining anonymous on a WordPress blog.

First, the tipsheet advises using a ghost VPN so “if the agencies attempt to track you, their search will lead them to a dead end,” and an Internet browser named TOR so “instead of simply placing you in one location, it sends you internet signal through nodes, or servers, across dozens of countries. That way, any searches will come up inconclusive.”

Users are then walked through how to create an encrypted email address “to confuse any spies who wish to uncover who sent what email to who” and install a TAILS operating system that runs off a flash drive instead of a hard drive. Instant messaging is encouraged only on Cryptocat or ChatSecure.

“One might be asking themselves if they can continue using their old social media on these. The answer is yes, but I do not recommend it whatsoever,” the paper continues. “If one feels they post things in which they would need this security, which is most Muslims upon haqq who are active online, then they should make a disclaimer saying something similar to, ‘I recant all opinions deemed dangerous or violent expressed on this page. This page was run for educational and analytic purposes only, to study the radical Muslim community for recreational purposes. I invite all those who follow this page to leave such corrupt ideology. I am not affiliated with any groups or organizations deemed terrorist or dangerous otherwise by any Western government or union of governments. I am a law abiding citizen in every regard.’”

“And then proceed to delete all other tweets/posts on the page and after leaving this up for a few minutes, simply delete the page. Make no indication that you have done this based on instructions. You are in a war with these people, we have discussed this earlier. Now, once you are on either TOR with a VPN, TOR, and/or TAILS OS, make a new bitmessage email. Make an alias. Sign-up for Twitter on TOR. Do not post pictures or any indication of who you are explicitly. If you feel the need to alter your writing style a bit, if you were a popular page, do so. You can make subtle indications that this is so and so, however, nothing that can be proven in a court of law. Allah’u must’a'n, may we never see inside one of those rooms for such a purpose.”

The writer asks Allah ”to hasten our venturing to the lands of jihad and hijrah, the lands in which there is no worry about people spying on private matters, in which the justice of Allah is supreme over the paranoia of men.”

A new Twitter account named @KhilafaHackers — Caliphate Hackers — also appeared online today, indicating that the Islamic State doesn’t plan on just playing defense against intelligence agencies trying to track them down.

“When it comes to Muslims in America i Quote Yasser Fazaga: The Less you Talk the more you Walk,” tweeted a user called @TheArabWitness today. “Too many informants. Keep it down.”

Posted at 8:53 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Lead Investigator: Perry Was Not Under Investigation When He Tried to Get Travis County’s Drunk DA to Resign

The Texas Democratic Party and its operatives have tried to build a defense of their indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

According to that narrative, Perry tried to get Lehmberg removed because the Travis County Public Integrity Unit was circling around the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. There were allegations of crony corruption in CPRIT. According to the Democrat narrative, the suspicion of crony corruption had the PIU looking into Perry and several close associates. So, according to this narrative, Perry wanted to push Lehmberg out as Travis County district attorney, so he could appoint her successor and get that investigation killed off.

The Austin American-Statesman, no friend of Gov. Perry, already shattered that narrative earlier this week. The timeline of the CPRIT investigation does not match the timeline of Perry’s effort to rid Travis County of its drunk-driving, abusive DA.

Now one of the Travis County DA’s investigators has given a sworn statement in the case that ought to kill the Democrats’ narrative with fire.

Chris Walling was a criminal investigator with the Public Integrity Unit. Not only that, he was the primary investigator who was looking into the CPRIT case.

Walling submitted an affidavit on Wednesday, and in that affidavit he says:

“At no time in CPRIT investigation was Governor Rick Perry or anyone from the Governor’s office a target. At no time did I ever obtain evidence that suggested any wrongdoing on behalf of Governor Rick Perry or the Governor’s office. At no time did the evidence that I obtained as investigator ever suggest any wrongdoing on the part of any appointed Board Member of CPRIT. Any suggestion that Governor Rick Perry or anyone associated with him was being investigated is untrue; and, based on my investigation, there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever that suggests wrongdoing on the part of any individual other than the individual ultimately indicted by a grand jury.”

It’s obvious, but probably worth clarifying anyway, that Walling is not referring to the indictment of Perry there. He is referring to the lone indictment of a staffer in the CPRIT case.

Walling’s statement not only destroys the Democrats’ partisan narrative of the case, it destroys the indictment of Perry itself.

Walling’s affidavit addresses what he told the special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, about CPRIT.

“Special prosecutor Michael McCrum contacted me to interview me about the CPRIT investigation. During the interview, Mr. McCrum questioned me about Governor Rick Perry’s potential involvement in the CPRIT situation. I made it clear to him that there was absolutely no evidence even suggesting wrongdoing on the part of Governor Perry and in no uncertain terms that, after a lengthy investigation, no evidence was found to suggest wrong doing on the part of the Governor, the Governor’s office, nor any Board Member of CPRIT.”

Walling also says that he did not have any active investigation during or after the veto of PIU that targeted Gov. Perry or anyone from his office.

Walling’s affidavit raises a huge question: Did McCrum take his testimony to the grand jury? Did the grand jury ever hear this obviously exculpatory testimony?

Posted at 8:51 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Hamas Admits Kidnapping and Killing Three Israeli Teens (and Therefore Starting the War)

Early on in the latest Israel-Hamas war, which was started by the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, many on the medialeft tried their best to exonerate Hamas of that crime.

Hamas itself has now debunked that.

“There was much speculation about this operation, some said it was a conspiracy,” [senior Hamas leader] Saleh al-Arouri told delegates at the International Union of Islamic Scholars in Istanbul on Wednesday, according to a recording of the meeting posted online by organizers.

“The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron,” he said, referring to Hamas’s armed wing.

“This was an operation from your brothers in Qassam undertaken to aid their brothers on hunger strike in (Israeli) prisons,” he added.

Jewish seminary students Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, were abducted while hitchhiking in the Israeli occupied West Bank on June 12 and killed.

So they did it. Case closed.

Posted at 7:51 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Caption Contest Winners: Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned, Obama Dances While the World Burns

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Credit: Photo from the event tweeted by Elliott Schwartz

Thanks to everyone who entered our latest caption contest.

Contest participants were asked to answer several questions, write an overall photo caption or provide “thought bubbles” from the white circle lights. If you are confused, or are a low information voter, please refer back to the original contest.

We had a problem in that there were too many hilarious and clever entries compared to the space available for this winner’s post. Thus, since most of you provided numerous answers to our many contest questions, the winners below are announced by name rather than by your snappy answers to our contest questions.  Got all that? OK, so now let’s enter the winner’s circle.

Kuce had two winners: 

Song, Dance, and Dance Partner – Well, as a narcissist, it could only be “Dancing with Myself.”

From Barack to the lady on the left –  ”Hey! It’s my favorite song – Iran, (so far away)”

rbj with four winners:

Dance: The Hustle

Laughter: Because there are no peasants on Martha’s Vineyard, except for the ones used for trap shooting.

Dance partner: Himself, as he’s the only one worthy.

A good time was had by all after Obama joked: those voters actually thought I cared about the 99%.

RelayerM31: Song: Bohemian Rhapsody. “Nothing really matters, anyone can see. Nothing really matters to me.”

Zipcode had two winners:

Light globe thought bubble,—We might as well shut down, that guy brought a halo with him.

Name of song,—[ I did it my way]—Frank Sinatra

Chris Henderson with two winners:

Three of the lights partially powered by Solyndra.

The completely unbiased Nobel Committee just added a “Dancing” category.

RockThisTown had two winners:

“Hey, look everybody! I’m doing the pen & phone polka!”

Night of the Living Dead, The Sequel: Trance the Night Away

Allen Crowson had three winners:

Of course an overall photo caption is also needed. Dancing President Leads…From Behind

What is the woman to the left of Obama laughing about? BHO just said, “I am the greatest bridge builder in this neighborhood since Teddy Kennedy.”

Who is Obama’s dance partner? No partner. The One Dances Alone.

MeridianMan had one overall caption winner:

America, Barack’s dance partner, trips and falls over his two left feet.

And guess who had the most winners?  Cfbleachers of course!

Song: If I Ruled The World

Laughing: Working on improving GDP. Golfing, Dancing and Partying!

Lights: Doesn’t matter how many of us they turn on, it’s nothing but darkness here

Woman Laughing: “and I thought his bowling was bad”

Lights: “so this is what they mean when they say that we are on… but nobody’s home”

Laughing: “Even both his feet are leftists!”

Overall: I’m partying with an 80-year-old woman, practicing for a Hillary presidency.

Lights: “They’re indoctrinated leftists, you can’t illuminate them”

Overall: Why’s Everybody Always Picking On Me

Lights: if something goes wrong, we’ll be blamed. We’re white.

Song: Eve of Destruction

Then, the one and only Cfbleachers wrote this clever description of Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard where our hard working president is STILL vacationing.

You might be in Farm Neck if:

You might be in Farm Neck if you celebrate the Fourth of July by lighting the flag on fire.

You might be in Farm Neck if you flew in on your private jet to complain about carbon footprints.

You might be in Farm Neck if your foursome are all billionaires who give speeches about the evils of the 1%.

You might be in Farm Neck if the women have higher testosterone levels than the men.

You might be in Farm Neck if the New York Times is gospel and the Bible is fantasy.

You might be in Farm Neck if the men incessantly ride pink Barbie bikes and the women incessantly ride men.

You might be in Farm Neck if you believe ISIS and Iran need outreach and Israel needs to be slapped down.

You might be in Farm Neck if you advocate open borders from behind your high security gated community walls.

You might be in Farm Neck if every hand is manicured and the only calluses are from bad golf grips.

See you all next time a photo is worthy of a Tatler photo caption contest and the purveyor of this contest is back from vacation.

 

Posted at 7:34 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Holder Drags His Own Personal Bitterness Into Ferguson

USA Today reports on AG Eric Holder’s trip to Ferguson, MO. Holder offered comments that, like Gov. Jay Nixon’s comments calling for a “vigorous prosecution” before there has even been an investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown, will probably end up inflaming rather than calming.

“I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man,” Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. “I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. … ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”

As the attorney general, Holder is supposed to set aside his own prejudices and biases and act solely based on evidence and the law. But as attorney general, Eric Holder has shown a stubbornness and a bitterness over the years that have contributed to his politicization of the entire Justice Department.

“The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now,” Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. “The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”

What about this case? What about the robbery that Brown did before the shooting? What about how that may have impacted his state of mind when Officer Wilson approached him? What about the reports that Brown attacked Officer Wilson?

What about the facts of this case?

Bringing evidence and prejudice — there’s that word again — from other cases will not stand up in a fair trail in a court of law. But it doesn’t sound like Eric Holder is interested in a fair trial.

Posted at 7:29 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Holder’s Soros-Sponsored Police Sensitivity ‘Training’

The vice president’s Boeing 757 delivered Eric Holder to St. Louis yesterday. In Ferguson, Holder announced that he was “a black man” and therefore had the power to heal Ferguson in ways that no other law enforcement official could. Yet his comments were sure to throw gasoline on fire burning hot with racial division.

That shouldn’t shock anyone. It’s the community organizing model of running the Justice Department. What is shocking is who is fueling the Justice Department’s “training” of police departments around the country: radicals, communist-affiliated organizations, and George Soros. I stumbled across this section of my book Injustice this morning. It notes:

A stable of academics serving as paid consultants help to fuel the DOJ’s fixation on racial profiling by the police. One such consultant, Dr. Jack McDevitt of Northeastern University, heads the Institute on Race and Justice (IRJ). Past collaborators with the IRJ include Angela Davis, a former member of both the Communist Party USA and the original Black Panther Party. The IRJ receives at least $440,448 in DOJ funds to teach department lawyers about racial profiling by police departments. But the IRJ’s reports on this issue have another deep pocket benefactor—George Soros and his Open Society Institute. Soros sponsored the IRJ’s project “Confronting Racial Profiling in the 21st Century: Implications for Racial Justice,” the very same work that IRJ is doing for the DOJ. Thus, police departments are subjected not only to DOJ muscle, but DOJ muscle with the financial backing of George Soros.

The DOJ training is basically sensitivity training for local cops. It is DOJ’s way to let them know what is and is not acceptable in Washington, D.C. If you behave in a way DOJ does not approve of, expect a visit from the Civil Rights Division.

But police training with even one degree of separation from Angela Davis is totally unacceptable. She is the perhaps the most toxic symbol of radical, violent, murderous opposition to the police and the legal system. In a sane government, the Justice Department wouldn’t have anything to do with any organization that has anything to do with her. But under Eric Holder, at least half a million dollars of your money goes to an organization she has collaborated with.

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Posted at 5:52 am on August 21st, 2014 by

Terrorist-Supporting Kent State Professor’s Incendiary, Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts

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Kent State University associate professor of history Julio Pino is well known for his anti-Semitic, jihad-supporting views. In 2002 the Cuban-born convert to Islam wrote a poem published in the Kent Stater that praised a female suicide bomber in Israel, saying her actions should be “pronounced ‘justice’ and spelled C-O-U-R-A-G-E.” In 2007, at the same time he was on the payroll of Ohio taxpayers as a tenured professor, he was also writing for Global War, a now defunct blog that supported violent global jihad. In 2011, Pino made news after he shouted ”Death to Israel” when an Israeli diplomat spoke at a campus event sponsored by the Jewish Hillel organization.

In early August of this year, Pina wrote an open letter to his fellow academics who support Israel, holding them “directly responsible for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women and elderly civilians over the past month.” Pino said, “Your names are scrawled on every bullet fired, bomb dropped, body buried and burnt forehead in Gaza. May your names become a curse word on the lips of every justice-loving person on earth, along with ‘Obama’ and ‘Netanyahu.’” He accused his fellow academics of being fascist collaborators and ended with a veiled threat saying, “We both know the fate of collaborators.” Pino signed the letter with a Che Guevara slogan: “Hasta la victoria siempre!” (“Until Victory, Always!”), and added, “Jihad until victory!”

While Kent State has, over the years, condemned Pino’s actions and violent rhetoric, it has not announced any official disciplinary actions against Pino for his incendiary rhetoric and attacks on Jewish and pro-Israel members of the campus community. The university called his most recent statements “reprehensible” and irresponsible” and said that “at Kent State, we value collegiality and mutual respect. Assailing the public with broad statements of culpability violates these principles.”

The toothless condemnations from the university have done little to quell Pino’s zeal for terrorist causes and the destruction of Israel, if his recent Facebook posts are any indication.

Pino’s profile picture shows protesters draped in Hamas flags.

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Posted at 2:59 am on August 21st, 2014 by

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

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.

Posted at 7:00 pm on August 20th, 2014 by

Obama Admin Says It Tried to Rescue Americans from ISIS ‘Earlier This Summer’

The White House said that it attempted to rescue U.S. hostages held by ISIS, including James Foley, who was beheaded in a video distributed by the terror group yesterday.

“Earlier this summer the president authorized an operation to attempt the rescue of American citizens who were kidnapped and held by ISIL against their will in Syria,” Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco said in a statement. “The president authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody.”

“The U.S. Government had what we believed was sufficient intelligence, and when the opportunity presented itself, the president authorized the Department of Defense to move aggressively to recover our citizens,” Monaco said in the statement. “Unfortunately, that mission was ultimately not successful because the hostages were not present.”

She added that “given the need to protect our military’s operational capabilities, we will not be able to reveal the details of this operation.”

“But the president could not be prouder of the U.S. forces who carried out this mission and the dedicated intelligence and diplomatic professionals who supported their efforts. Their effort should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that  the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

Foley’s news outlet, the Global Post, received an email a week ago from ISIS stating their intentions to execute the photojournalist.

“We received an email from the captors on Wednesday night of last week stating their intention to execute Jim,” Philip Balboni, president of the online news service, told a Boston Fox affiliate.

“The email was full of rage. We pleaded (to his captors) for mercy, but to no avail,” he added.

The White House knew of the email. It released the statement about the attempted rescue op hours after the news that ISIS gave warning of Foley’s execution.

In a Pentagon statement, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the operation “involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL.”

“As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home,” Kirby said.

“The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

It has not been revealed exactly how many Western hostages are being held by ISIS, including journalists and aid workers.

At the end of the gruesome video of Foley’s murder, his executioner held journalist Steve Sotloff by the shirt and threatened to kill him next if Obama didn’t stop airstrikes against the caliphate.

At the State Department today, spokeswoman Marie Harf said they ”remain very deeply concerned” about Sotloff’s “safety and whereabouts.”

“Obviously, the intelligence community is looking to get anything they can to possibly use from this video,” Harf said. “Obviously I’m not going to outline what tactical military or intelligence options are at our disposal to respond here and don’t want to get ahead of any discussions in that regard. But we have the ability to hold people accountable for what they’ve done. We have reserved the right to take action to protect our people, including when our people have been harmed. The principle will guide what we do going forward.”

The U.S. military conducted an additional 14 strikes around Mosul dam today, she said.

When asked if any sort of rescue operation was in the works to get Sotloff, Harf replied, “I’m not ruling anything in or out specifically. I don’t — I’m not going to have more specifics to share with you right now on that.”

“But I just want to be very clear that we — no effort is spared in trying to bring our people home. While we can’t always talk about it publicly for obvious security and safety reasons of the remaining people being held, I just want to make very clear that we are taking and will continue taking steps.”

Foley’s parents appeared outside of their Rochester, N.H., home today to speak of their son — and the cruelty of his death.

“It’s horrific,” said John Foley. “People can die in lots of different ways but this was the most horrific and it haunts me how much pain he was in and how cruel this method of execution is.”

His parents learned of their son’s beheading at the same time everyone else did — when ISIS posted the video on YouTube and distributed the link widely on social media.

“It testified to his courage. He was courageous to the end and I think he accepted his situation and I think he accepted God’s faith in him and his faith in God,” John Foley said.

James Foley’s mother, Diane, stressed that her son was ”a great American and he believed in the very best of this country.”

She said they pleaded with Obama to rescue Sotloff, and she asked people to pray for the president.

“How long are we going to tolerate this?” John Foley said of the terrorists’ crimes.

Posted at 4:01 pm on August 20th, 2014 by

Texas Democrats Are Pretty Happy About Depriving Gov. Perry of Some of His Firearm Rights

Democrats even in Texas hate guns, and they really really hate Rick Perry, so the malicious indictment of him is a win-win. Anyone under felony indictment is deprived of certain gun rights, and that now includes the governor of Texas.

As an indictee, Perry’s state-issued Concealed Handgun License, assuming he still has one — his office didn’t know as of Tuesday afternoon — will be suspended until the case against him is decided. (Cue the cheering coyotes.)

The indictment’s impact on Perry’s gun rights was brought to my attention by a former Democratic state legislator who seemed happy to point it out.

“I’m surprised that you haven’t analyzed the most significant and immediate impact of the governor’s indictment,” ex-state Sen. Steve Carriker, D-Roby, told me in an email including the applicable federal law.

Carriker also was most helpful in providing the official federal “Firearms Transaction Record Part 1” form, which must be filled in by firearms purchasers. Question 11b asks “Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year?” (An information is a formal accusation of a crime by a prosecutor.)

For Perry that’s now a big ol’ yes. And yes means no new guns or ammo.

Gov. Perry is a victim of this prosecution but he isn’t exactly defenseless here. He has state-provided body guards most of the time. He does like to jog on his own, though, and can no longer carry the gun that commemorates his duel with a coyote. I once ran into him ambling about by himself at a little function in downtown Austin, no bodyguards to be seen anywhere. He just walked in as if he were an average guy. But I never doubted that he was packing. You can always count on him, Jerry Patterson and, well, most other prominent Texas Republicans to have their CCL up to date and in use.

You can see from the tone of the Austin American-Statesman story above, and the comments within it, that some in the media and the Texas Democrats are happy about depriving the governor of his rights. They like it.

Don’t think they would be any less happy about depriving you of yours, if you happen to disagree with them. The Democrats would indict every single Republican in the entire state if they thought they could get away with it.

Posted at 3:23 pm on August 20th, 2014 by

Liberal Goddess Maureen Dowd Dethrones Obama

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Maureen Dowd has finally cast her trademark dowdful eye on Barack Obama. In her latest New York Times op-ed, Dowd reflects on how the President’s admitted desire to be left alone is now leaving him lonely among political colleagues and voters alike.

First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.

His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.

The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.

Acknowledging the conservatives in the room, Dowd remarks on America’s political climate, which has “only gotten worse” since Obama took office, noting:

The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment.

Dowd’s complaints about Obama’s complete failure to address the racial tensions in Ferguson are hardly new observances. What makes her commentary notable, even intriguing, is the fact that she’s willing to use her platform as an unabashed liberal to criticize the President her party crafted into a god. For that reason alone, her commentary is strikingly refreshing, deserving more than a quick file into the “better late than never” column.

With her quick wit, the writer asks, “Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling?” Her suggestion is priceless:

  Talk to someone besides Valerie Jarrett?

Tactical strikes are for military battles. This, Dowd acknowledges, is an ideological war in which taking prisoners is no option, leaving the entire Obama pantheon up for grabs. It starts to get ugly when the mob realizes their leader has let them down.

To be sure, there are still, and always will be, die-hard adherents. But apparently even they are no longer immune from the wrath of the disappointed liberal:

His boosters argue that we spurned his gift of healing, so healing is the one thing that must not be expected of him. We ingrates won’t let him be the redeemer he could have been.

Gorgeous. In two brief sentences Dowd manages to destroy the image of the messianic Supreme Leader the Obamaniacs have worked so hard to build. Dowd clearly defined Obama’s political, media, and voter following into a cult group fueled by the blind passion of idol worship. Sobered up, the dyed-in-the-wool liberal declares,  let those still drunk on the Kool Aid be damned. 

If you’re a fastidious pol who deigns to heal and deal only in a holistic, romantic, unified utopia, the Oval Office is the wrong job for you.

The right job? After reading this piece, I’m thinking something involving shoe sales and seminars on Hale-Bopp might be more appropriate. Or, perhaps, a retail job at the local golf shop just might do.

Posted at 1:45 pm on August 20th, 2014 by

John Kerry Calls for Disproportionate Response to ISIS Beheading an American

Secretary of State John Kerry offered remarks in reaction to the Islamic State’s murder of American journalist James Foley today. The State Department tweeted the highlights.

For the record, yes, IS/ISIS/ISIL should be crushed. Tellingly, neither Kerry nor President Obama has offered a plan and they are not gathering a coalition of the willing to get the job done. Obama went back to golf this afternoon.

Crushing IS would be right. But it’s not a proportional response to the murder of one American.

Hamas routinely kidnaps Israeli citizens, murders them and leaves their bodies by the side of the road. Hamas launches rockets into Israel with the purpose of killing Israelis and creating the feeling of dread and terror among them.

The international community, of which Kerry and Obama are members in good standing, always calls on Israel to respond “proportionally” to Hamas terrorism and rocket attacks.

Responding proportionally to terrorism is…what, exactly? So far, it’s destroying tunnels and perhaps airstriking a few terrorist leaders, but the group itself is left intact enough to come back and wage terror war another day. It’s not effective in getting rid of the problem of terrorism.

In fact, if we take “proportional’ literally, Israel should respond to Hamas by kidnapping innocent Palestinians and by launching random bombs on houses, schools and hospitals in Gaza. But that’s not what the “international community” means.

No one in the “international community” is calling on the United States to respond to IS beheading an American “proportionally.” At least not yet.

Why not? Hm.

Posted at 1:21 pm on August 20th, 2014 by