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O’Malley Calls for Protest Outside DNC Headquarters During GOP Debate

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling for protests outside of the Democratic National Committee headquarters on the day of the second Republican debate.

O’Malley slammed the DNC’s paltry debate schedule — only six sanctioned debates, with the only Iowa debate two months before the caucus and only one debate scheduled in New Hampshire – at the DNC’s summer meeting last week.

Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) gave O’Malley a quick handshake and a dirty look after his remarks. Afterwards, she needled him: “I just said thank you. I have more class than that,” she told CNN. “He chose to use that 15 minutes to focus on debates as opposed to his candidacy. That was certainly his right.”

The first Dem debate is Oct. 13 in Nevada.

But in an email to supporters today, O’Malley’s camp said “it’s time to take it up a notch.”

“Over the last few weeks we’ve asked you to take action to call for more debates: you’ve signed our petition, you’ve tweeted at the DNC and Senator Sanders—you’ve worked hard with us to keep this important issue at the front of the national dialogue and we’ve seen these efforts pay off. Since then, there have been countless op-eds in Iowa and New Hampshire papers, and a delegate at the DNC summer meeting even called for a resolution for more debates,” O’Malley’s digital director, Madeleine Ellis, wrote.

“Recently, we caught wind of a protest happening at Democratic Party headquarters in just two weeks. It’s being organized by a group called ‘Allow Debate’ and we want to join forces with them to make this big.”

O’Malley’s camp is now collecting RSVPs for the Sept. 16 protest at 430 South Capitol Street in Washington. They’ve promised a GOP debate-watching party at a nearby bar afterward.

“It’s important that we bring our call for more debates directly to the group that is restricting candidates’ ability to debate. It’s, frankly, undemocratic. Enough tweeting. Let’s take action.”

Bernie Sanders said Sunday that O’Malley used a “strong word” when he accused the DNC of “rigging” the election with the debate schedule.

Still, Sanders agrees that the DNC schedule “is dead wrong, and I have let the leadership of the Democrats know that.”

“Again, I think this country benefits — all people benefits — democracy benefits when we have debates,” he said. “And I want to see more of them.”

Posted at 11:12 am on September 2nd, 2015 by

Anthony Weiner Lashes Out at Trump for ‘Impugning’ Huma Abedin

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Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is hitting back at Donald Trump for comments made about his wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, on the campaign trail.

“And who is Huma married to?” Trump said while addressing an audience last week in Boston. “One of the great sleazebags of our time — Anthony Weiner. She’s married to Anthony Weiner, who’s a perv.”

“And he was a bad guy then; it turns out that he was a really bad guy. So Huma is getting classified secrets…. Do you think there’s even a five percent chance that she’s not telling Anthony Weiner … what the hell is coming across?”

Weiner and Abedin were married in 2010, the year that Trump gave $2,000 to his congressional campaign. The next year he resigned from Congress in the heat of a sexting scandal. Huma was pregnant with their first child at the time.

When Weiner was trying to re-enter politics in the New York mayoral race, another sex scandal broke in July 2013. He stayed in the race but crashed and burned in the primary.

Last night, Weiner told NY1 that “the idea to take someone who’s served in government for 20 years and impugn her in that way is outrageous.”

“I mean, he wants to make me a campaign issue. I’m not going to indulge that,” Weiner said of Trump. “He didn’t offer any evidence of this or information about this. He just impugned someone who worked in government for a long time and anyone who’s ever worked with her knows that not only is she eminently qualified, but she does her job with skill and with grace and has done it for a very long time making enormous sacrifices for our country.”

Posted at 10:24 am on September 2nd, 2015 by

Some Food Companies Cave to Michelle Obama’s School-Lunch Standards

Some of the companies victimized by Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch guidelines have “quietly backed away” from their opposition to the regulations, reports Politico.  The reason? They’ve “done a bang up business since the requirements took effect by adapting their products for the $10 billion market.

What kind of market are we talking about? It’s certainly not a free market, as schools are forced to serve products that conform to government “nutritional guidelines” and to purchase products from companies that are forced to make them. So yes, businesses do well when the government forces entities to purchase their products.

Some of the revamped recipes include “whole-grain rich Pillsbury breakfast cinnamon rolls, reduced-sodium Schwan’s Big Daddy’s pizza and reduced-fat Doritos.”  Congress is set to re-authorize the food law as it expires Sept. 30. Let’s hope they don’t.

A photo of one of the government-mandated, healthy school lunches. Yum.

michelle-obama-lunch

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act set the first new nutritional guidelines “in decades” and Politico reports that it “created fury among congressional Republicans who called it a government overreach.”

It is government overreach. The government has no business mandating what kind of food you or your children eat. None.

What is this?

lunch guidelines

But, the USDA says that students are eating healthier now.  Perhaps they mean the students who haven’t dropped out of the program.  Politico reports that ”more than a million students have dropped out of the National School Lunch Program since nutrition changes kicked in.”

Some groups are backing a rider to the new appropriation bill that stops future “adjustments” to the guidelines until there is some science to back up the changes.  The groups cite “high costs and increased plate waste.”

How can these guidelines be considered successful if there is increased “plate waste” and 1 million fewer kids in the program?

There are still problems with the government-mandated food guidelines, namely with regard to sodium content. If you remove or reduce the sodium content you have a real problem on your hands and it’s not just regarding the taste of the food.

Removing more sodium from the food runs the risk of more kids getting out of the program — and that jeopardizes the entire program, said Gary Vonck, vice president of the education division at KeyImpact Sales & Systems.

Good. It’s time to end this nutritional aberration.

Chicken Wings and Chips for Lunch at Sidwell Friends

Are Michelle Obama’s Skimpy School Lunches Going to Make Kids Dumb?

 

 

Posted at 8:47 am on September 2nd, 2015 by

Retiring Mikulski Becomes Final Vote Obama Needs to Override Iran Deal Veto

The morning after Maryland’s Jewish community rallied against the Iran nuclear deal as dangerous and threatening the existence of Israel, one of the state’s senators became the last vote President Obama needed to override a veto.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who is retiring at the end of her term next year,  issued her statement just after 10 a.m. AIPAC had encouraged Marylanders to get on the phones when Senate offices opened at 9 a.m. to discourage her from supporting the deal. Several Democrats are still undecided.

Her statement comes conveniently for the administration as Secretary of State John Kerry planned 11 a.m. remarks to try to convince the American public of the deal’s merits. A new Quinnipiac poll shows just 25 percent of Americans supporting the Iran deal, with 55 percent opposing it. Majorities among males, females, whites, blacks and Hispanics said the deal would make the world less safe.

“Without question, this vote is among the most serious I’ve taken,” Mikulski said in her decision. “This vote has monumental and enduring consequences.”

The senator otherwise has a strong pro-Israel record, which left constituents hopeful that she would reject the deal.

“For all my time in both the House and Senate, I have been an unabashed and unwavering supporter of Israel. I have persistently supported the sanctions that brought Iran to the table. I have been insistent on foreign aid and military assistance to Israel that maintains its qualitative military edge on missile defense,” she said. “With the horrors of the Holocaust in mind, I have been deeply committed to the need for a Jewish homeland, the State of Israel, and its inherent ability to defend itself. And for the United States to be an unwavering partner in Israel’s defense. I have been and always will be committed to those principles.”

Mikulski said she took a “workman-like approach, covering every aspect of the deal: military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic.”

“I actually read the deal, both the classified and the unclassified annex. I met the U.S. diplomats, nuclear experts and the national security staff who negotiated the deal. I actively participated in every classified and unclassified briefing available to me,” she said. “I took the additional step of traveling to Vienna to meet with the Director General of the IAEA and his technical staff to evaluate for myself, first hand, the inspection and verification requirements. I have listened to my constituents, including leaders in the Jewish community. I did my homework.”

The confidential agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have still not been made available to Congress, expect for partial leaked text of a draft published by the Associated Press. That detailed Iran taking its own evidence — photos, videos, samples — for IAEA inspectors at controversial military site Parchin.

Mikulski said she thinks the deal “sufficiently blocks the four pathways to get to a bomb.”

“I have found that this deal provides sufficient verification and inspection mechanisms. The IAEA has extensive access to Iran’s declared nuclear sites, making the detection of violations and a covert program more likely,” she said. “…Does the IAEA have the capacity to implement the agreement? – I would say, yes… But all nations involved in its funding, including but not limited to the United States, have to be aggressively involved in monitoring the resources of the organization.”

As far as sanctions relief, Mikulski said she “would have preferred a glidepath over a three-year period, or longer, for sanctions relief.”

“The sanctions are lifted, not terminated, and can be snapped back, per the agreement,” she said. Her Senate colleague Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has protested that sanctions “snapback” is not possible, especially when the Obama administration shows no support for reauthorizing current sanctions law — nevermind getting countries that stand to reap cash windfalls from business with Iran agreeing to snap back.

“Russia, China, India and our European partners were very active members of the negotiations with a common interest in Iran not having a nuclear weapon,” Mikulski insisted. “I believe they would support a snapback in sanctions if a violation was identified and verified. But the snapback sanctions mechanism, while innovative, is untested.”

“I’ve considered the alternatives very closely. But in the end, they don’t present a more viable option to this deal. The two alternatives are more sanctions, or military action… If you don’t think snapback works, enhanced sanctions won’t work either.”

Mikulski concluded by noting “no deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime.”

“I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal,” she said. “However, Congress must also reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.”

Posted at 8:01 am on September 2nd, 2015 by

WATCH: Tramp for President

Former PJ Media contributor Sunny Lohmann has emerged from her new mommy cloister to produce satire again. The latest takes aim at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Sunny presents a female version of the candidate named Tramp.

“Make American mine,” Tramp exhorts, “or you’re going to get Jeb Bush.”

For more compelling arguments, watch above.

Posted at 6:00 am on September 2nd, 2015 by

Disturbing Graffiti of Police Officer at Gunpoint Appears Around Houston

disturbing graffiti

There have been eight police officers killed by gunfire in just the past month, 24 total killed since the beginning of the year, counting yesterday’s shooting death of Lieutenant Charles Joseph “Joe” Gliniewicz of the Fox Lake Police Department in Illinois.

Last week, two Louisiana officers were killed by gunfire in separate incidents, and two officers in Mississippi were shot to death during a traffic stop in May. Police all across the nation are understandably on edge.

Amidst this unsettling atmosphere, someone in the Houston area thought it would be a good idea to stencil some graffiti of a police officer with a gun to his head.

ABC News 13 reports that they’ve seen the anti-cop graffiti in at least four spots in the Washington Ave. area, and have gotten reports of more than that.

As you might imagine, those in uniform say it’s incredibly disturbing to see this just days after a deputy was killed while pumping gas.

HPD Union President Ray Hunt said, “I can’t believe that there are people out there so heartless and so ruthless to put something on there before this deputy is even buried. It does nothing to help to help morale in the police department and does nothing to help the Goforth family.”

The police union has ordered 10,000 bracelets printed with the words ‘Pray for police.’ Officials are hoping to distribute the bracelets to the community next week.

ThePoliceNews, a website for police in Texas, reports that although ”dozens of police officers are slain on duty in any given year, active and retired police officers across the country said the recent bloodshed feels different.”

As the nation has been roiled by strong currents of distrust and fear of police that surfaced after last year’s killing of Michael Brown by a cop in Ferguson, Mo., an ugly byproduct of the turmoil has been a newfound willingness to do harm to those in uniform, many police officers say.

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“Day to day, you’re a little more aware of your surroundings, you’re a little more skeptical of people,” said Rick Perine, a 17-year veteran of the Mesa, Ariz., Police Department.

Perine said he has found himself being “hyper-vigilant” since the killings in December of two New York City police officers, who were ambushed in their patrol car. Their killer had boasted on social media that he planned to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Brown and Eric Garner, who died during an arrest by officers in Staten Island, N.Y. Garner’s and Brown’s deaths — coming three weeks apart in 2014 — became part of a growing public outrage toward law enforcement.

“These days, if I don’t know you, I’m going to be extra guarded around you,” Perine said. “It is a different world.”

As of Tuesday night, the hunt was still on for three of the suspects wanted in the fatal shooting of Lt. Gliniewicz in Fox Lake, IL.

9:45 p.m.

Authorities scoured a northern Illinois county after night fell in the search for three people wanted in the fatal shooting of a police officer.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli says helicopters will fly overnight and about 100 officers will search in and around Fox Lake for the suspects in Tuesday morning’s shooting of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.

Authorities say the 52-year-old Gliniewicz radioed in to tell dispatchers he was chasing three men on foot in the village of Fox Lake, 55 miles north of Chicago. Covell says communication with him was lost soon after.

Authorities say the 30-year veteran was married with four children.

 

LAPD Urges Officers to Be Community Guardians, Not Warriors on Crime

Posted at 11:11 pm on September 1st, 2015 by

Obama’s Odd Take on Critics of Iran Deal

Critics of the Obama administration’s deal with Iran claim that it endangers Israel. Many question the motives of those supporting it. President Obama takes offense to such criticism, spinning it on its head in a recent interview with the Jewish newspaper The Forward, summarized at the New York Times:

President Barack Obama said people who attack Jews who support the Iran nuclear deal are like African-Americans who differ with him on policy and then conclude he’s “not black enough.”

“…when I hear members of my administration who themselves are Jewish being attacked. You saw this historically sometimes in the African-American community, where there’s a difference on policy and somebody starts talking about, ‘Well, you’re not black enough,’ or ‘You’re selling out.’ And that, I think, is always a dangerous place to go.”

Obama should try being a black conservative, or a Jewish one for that matter. It’s odd to hear a “progressive” president complain about the unfairness of identity politics.

 

Posted at 8:00 pm on September 1st, 2015 by

CNN Amending Debate Criteria, Benefiting Carly Fiorina

CNN decided today to amend the criteria for its Republican presidential debate on September 16, giving Carly Fiorina a greater chance to join the other top-tier candidates on the stage.

The cause: a lack of national public polling following the August 6 debate has so far provided only three new polls to determine the lineup for the Reagan Presidential Debate, according to a CNN statement.

As a result, CNN reevaluated its criteria and decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first Republican presidential debate in August, the network announced Tuesday.

Now, any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between August 7 and September 10 will be included.

Fiorina reacted to the good news on the Hugh Hewitt Show this afternoon. Hewitt asked Carly if the new criteria would change how she is preparing for the debate.

“Well obviously, now we know who we’re going to be on the stage with — that’s helpful,” she laughed. “And I really look forward to the debate.  I look forward to having a substantive conversation that I know that’s what we will have because you, Hugh, are one of the moderators.  I look forward to having a substantive conversation about the issues that face our nation with the other front-runners.  Which we would have more of, not less of.”

“Does this instantly become a Trump-Fiorina showdown?” Hewitt wondered.
 
“I don’t know about that, but certainly Trump is the front-runner,” the former Hewlett Packard CEO answered. “He is someone that I look forward to discussing and debating with.”  
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Posted at 4:42 pm on September 1st, 2015 by

Kentucky County Clerk Defies Supreme Court Order to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

Abraham Lincoln was supposed to have said on the occasion of meeting Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Kim Davis, a lowly county clerk in Kentucky, has singlehandedly reignited the debate over same sex marriage. She is invoking “God’s authority” in justifying her continued denial of marriage licenses to same sex couples. And now, a federal judge has called her and her entire staff into court to explain themselves.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning moved swiftly Tuesday after a lesbian couple asked him to find Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt. Davis told several couples and a crowd of supporters and protesters that her religious beliefs prevent her from sanctioning gay marriage, and then retreated again, closing her office door and blinds to the raucous scene outside.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene Monday night, leaving Davis no legal ground for her continued refusal Tuesday morning. Lawyers for the two gay couples who originally sued her asked the judge Tuesday to find her in contempt, but punish her with only financial penalties, not jail time.

“Since Defendant Davis continues to collect compensation from the Commonwealth for duties she fails to perform,” they asked Bunning to “impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous” to compel her immediate compliance without delay.

Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins says the federal court alerted him that a hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday in Ashland.

As an elected official, Davis can’t be fired; her impeachment would have to wait until the Legislature’s regular session next year or a costly special session.

Davis rejected David Moore and David Ermold’s license request for a fourth time, and then told them to leave.

“We’re not leaving until we have a license,” Ermold said as reporters and cameras surrounded them.

“Then you’re going to have a long day,” Davis told him, and then retreated into her inner office.

From the back of the room, Davis’ supporters said: “Praise the Lord! … Stand your ground.”

Other activists shouted that Davis is a bigot and told her: “Do your job.”

The sheriff then moved everyone out to the courthouse lawn, where James Yates and Will Smith Jr., who were denied a license for a fifth time, left red-eyed and shaking.

“It’s just too hard right now,” Yates said, choking back tears and holding hands as they rushed to their car.

Devout Christians will no doubt find inspiration in Mrs. Davis’s stand. But if you care a whit about the law and the Constitution, you should be upset and angry. She says her religious beliefs prevent her from carrying out her defined duties. When that kind of conflict occurs, her only recourse is to resign. And when confronted by a court order telling her to issue the licenses, she should either comply or resign.

This is not the same as a baker or a florist refusing to take part in a gay wedding. It’s a matter of a legally binding court order being flouted. You can sympathize, even admire, Mrs. Davis for her stand. But she can’t pick and choose which laws she will obey, and which she will ignore.

Davis is allowing her personal religious beliefs to interfere in the performance of her public duties. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,” Jesus said. A very wise man, he. And Mrs. Mills would do well to recall those words when trying to justify her stance.

Posted at 1:57 pm on September 1st, 2015 by

Hillary Emails: Here’s a Proposed Mission Statement for Hillary Rodham Clinton University

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The email was one of several from ad guru Roy Spence, who’s been working with Hillary to sharpen her brand. From the Washington Post in February:

Spence, who got to know Bill and Hillary Clinton when they worked in Texas on George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, tried to steer Clinton out of a rough patch in 2008 after her early losses to Obama. He is credited with soft-focus initiatives to reveal what he called “Hillary’s heart.”

Spence’s emails to Hillary in last night’s email dump, which included correspondence from 2010, are quite affectionate.

“Hi Sis. My name is Roy Spence and I love you and I miss you a lot. And I have no idea how you keep on keeping on doing whatever it takes to lift people-everywhere up-championing your Core Purpose of Fighting and digging deep for the opportunity for each person to be able to live up to their God Given Potential. Here and Around the world,” he wrote on April 6, 2010.

“The struggle for an Iran that is more concerned about its people than false power. The relentless quest to stabilize the un-stable. The never give up journey to inspire and empower women and young girls to have a seat at the table of full opportunity. The pursuit for opening doors of happiness for those who struggle with the unimaginable. The steady. The Steadfast. The unwavering commitment to the dream-not the hope-but the dream of a better USA and world for all. The tough and uncompromising ‘pretend leaders’ whom you have negotiate with. The opinion rich and caring poor arrogance of the mean spirited. The stuff that is on the news but is not really the real news,” Spence continued.

“The love and respect you give freely to all whom love life and liberty and opportunity for all. The raw respect that you have earned in the trenches of real fears, real love and real longing for a village that is dedicated to raising a village and its children. So I say to a beloved and dear love one-that be you-I love you. I respect you. I miss you. I cherish every moment of our remarkable journey together.”

Hillary forwarded that email to an aide with the direction “Pls print.”

In a May 30, 2010, email, Spence sends her a link to a liberal blog with the subject line, “Hillary Clinton is now the most popular politician in America who has held elected office.”

“Well,” Hillary replied, followed by a line of redacted text. “When will come in so we can catch up?”

In his reply noting that he was setting up a time with Clinton’s assistant, Spence added, “Love you so.”

Posted at 10:20 am on September 1st, 2015 by

Ninth Planned Parenthood Video: Baby Parts Vendor Pays Off Clinics

The ninth installment of the Center for Medical Progress series exposing Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue harvesting activities focuses on the oldest baby parts vendor in the United States, Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR).

ABR was established in 1989, and has harvested fetal body parts at Planned Parenthood clinics longer than any other company:

The video features undercover conversations with Dr. Katharine Sheehan, the long-time medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest until 2013; Perrin Larton, the Procurement Manager for ABR; and Cate Dyer, the CEO of rival fetal tissue procurement company StemExpress.

Sheehan tells actors posing as a new human biologics company that at Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, “We have already a relationship with ABR.” Sheehan explains, “We’ve been using them for over 10 years, really a long time, just kind of renegotiated the contract. They’re doing the big collections for government-level collections and things like that.” When one of the actors negotiates, “We return a portion of our fees to the clinics,” Sheehan responds eagerly, “Right, get a toe in and make it, make a pro–alright.”

In an August 27 letter to Congress, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards referenced a California Planned Parenthood affiliate that currently receives $60 “per tissue specimen” from a tissue procurement organization. The Center for Medical Progress, the group producing the videos, identified Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest and ABR as the affiliate and TPO referred to in Richards’ letter, based on process of elimination.

“We now know from Cecile Richards’ letter that $60 per collected tissue specimen is what will ‘get a toe in’ to harvest baby parts at Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest,” wrote CMP Project Lead David Daleiden. As multiple tissue specimens often come from a single fetus, $60/specimen can quickly add up to hundreds of extra dollars in revenue per abortion. The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).

Perrin Larton, the procurement manager at ABR, explains to CMP the loophole that allowed them to get away with harvesting baby parts while there was a ban on embryonic research:

It was never outlawed. … Where during the Bush administration — Bush 1 — no federal funding could go to … embryonic cell research. But fetal tissue was taken out of that. So we continued to send tissue to people like NIH (National Institute of Health) even though the government was paying for it.

All this time, the pro-life community had been unaware these ghoulish practices were being funded by the government.

Posted at 9:28 am on September 1st, 2015 by

Ted Cruz Calls Out Obama Administration for ‘Black Lives Matter’

The “Black Lives Matter” movement is taking over America’s streets. The group marched this past weekend in Minnesota, chanting: “Pigs in a blanket, fry’em like bacon!”

Darren H. Goforth, a sheriff’s deputy, was gunned down execution style by a black man who was found “mentally incompetent” back in 2012. Sheriff David  Clarke of Milwaukee County believes that Obama has fueled the fire, saying, “President Obama has breathed life into the ugly movement.” Senator Ted Cruz couldn’t agree more. While campaigning in New Hampshire, the senator called upon leadership to address the violence taking place against law enforcement officers.

Cruz put the blame upon Obama and his deplorable administration: “Cops across this country are feeling the assault. They’re feeling the assault from the President, from the top on down as we see, whether it’s in Ferguson or Baltimore, the response of senior officials of the President, of the Attorney General, is to vilify law enforcement. That is fundamentally wrong, and it is endangering the safety and security of us all.”

Looks like the “Black Lives Matter” agitators took Obama’s advice and will “stay the course.

 

Posted at 9:22 am on September 1st, 2015 by

Defense Secretary: Half of Guantanamo Population Should Never Be Released

In a worldwide troop talk today broadcast from Fort Meade, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged that about half of the Guantanamo population should never be set free.

Taking questions from troops via video and Twitter, Carter was asked about the future of the naval station in Cuba by a petty officer stationed there.

“Guantanamo Bay is a military installation that is strategically located that we have been operating for a long time, and that’s going to stay important, and I don’t see us changing that,” Carter said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday that President Obama is still “eager” to close the prison. Cuba has also demanded that the U.S. give them Gitmo.

“My view is that it would be good, if possible, to close Guantanamo Bay, if it can be done safely,” Carter said. “And the reason I say that is that it ends up being part of jihadi recruiting and so forth, and I’d just assume not leave that to future presidents.”

“Now, why is it tricky to do that? The reason it’s tricky to do that is this: Some of the people who are there at Guantanamo Bay have to be detained indefinitely, OK? They just gotta be locked up. So if they’re not locked up in Guantanamo Bay, they need to be locked up somewhere. So we are looking at places in the United States — prisons and other places — to which these people can be moved.”

The Defense secretary estimated “there are some, maybe half or so, of the population at Guantanamo Bay that, under conditions that are safe, that is, where we can mitigate the risk that they’ll ever return to the battlefield, we may be able to transfer them to some other country.”

“But there’s another roughly half of them that are not safe to release, period. So they need to be detained somewhere,” Carter continued.  “If they’re detained at Guantanamo, fine. I would prefer to find a different place for them, and right now, we’re working with the Congress, because the Congress has to agree to this, because there’re laws restricting what we do with — with respect to Guantanamo Bay.”

“So we’ll try to come up with a plan and work with Congress to see if we can do that or not. It would be a — it would be a nice thing to do and an important thing to do if we — if we can do it. But we gotta be realistic about the people who are in Guantanamo Bay. They’re there for a reason.”

Earnest was asked at Monday’s press briefing if the administration, frustrated with the transfer restrictions put in place by Congress, was intending to run around lawmakers with unilateral action on Guantanamo.

“I think we’ve been pretty blunt about the fact that Congress — members of Congress in both parties, to be fair — have put in place significant obstacles that have prevented the administration from making nearly as much progress as we would like to make in closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. And Congress has been effective in thwarting that effort,” Earnest said.

“…I think it is fair to say that we have taken a number of steps to try to reduce the prison population there so we can get closer to closing the prison. The president and his team are always considering a wide array of options.”

Posted at 8:44 am on September 1st, 2015 by

Sid Blumenthal: Boehner Is ‘Alcoholic,’ ‘Lazy’

New emails released by the State Department between presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and confidant Sidney Blumenthal reveal that Blumenthal was looking to target incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference,” Blumenthal wrote to Clinton. “They are repelled by his personal behavior.”

“He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle,” he described.

“He is not Gingrich, the natural leader of a ‘revolution,’ riding the crest into power,” Blumenthal said of Boehner. “He is careworn and threadbare, banal and hollow, holding nobody’s enduring loyalty.”

“Boehner is neither feared nor loved,” he goes on. “He’s a would-be DeLay without the whip. He’s the one at the end of a lash.”

And the harsh words weren’t reserved just for Boehner. Blumenthal said then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was “relatively in the same position in the Senate.”

Hillary Clinton was thankful for Blumenthal’s “observations,” saying, “Needless to say, I’m so distressed over all of this,” referring to the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.

 

 

 

 

Posted at 8:03 am on September 1st, 2015 by

Obama: Climate Change Deniers ‘on Their Own Shrinking Island’

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President Obama told a conference in Alaska that people don’t want to take action against climate change because “we don’t want our lifestyles disrupted,” but argued that “few things will disrupt our lives as profoundly as climate change.”

“We know that human activity is changing the climate. That is beyond dispute,” Obama told the GLACIER Conference on his trip to Anchorage. “Everything else is politics if people are denying the facts of climate change. We can have a legitimate debate about how we are going to address this problem; we cannot deny the science.”

“We also know the devastating consequences if the current trend lines continue. That is not deniable. And we are going to have to do some adaptation, and we are going to have to help communities be resilient, because of these trend lines we are not going to be able to stop on a dime. We’re not going to be able to stop tomorrow.”

But, the president argued, “if those trend lines continue the way they are, there’s not going to be a nation on this Earth that’s not impacted negatively.”

“People will suffer. Economies will suffer. Entire nations will find themselves under severe, severe problems. More drought; more floods; rising sea levels; greater migration; more refugees; more scarcity; more conflict,” he said.

Addressing the conference before Obama arrived from Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry compared climate change to World War II: “different in character,” but with the same “potential to do harm.”

Obama said “we’re starting to see that enough consensus is being built internationally and within each of our own body politics that we may have the political will — finally — to get moving.”

“So the time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past. The time to plead ignorance is surely past. Those who want to ignore the science, they are increasingly alone. They’re on their own shrinking island,” he declared. “…We are gradually powering a planet on its way to 9 billion humans in a more sustainable way. These are good things. This is not simply a danger to be avoided; this is an opportunity to be seized. But we have to keep going. We’re making a difference, but we have to keep going. We are not moving fast enough.”

“If we were to abandon our course of action, if we stop trying to build a clean-energy economy and reduce carbon pollution, if we do nothing to keep the glaciers from melting faster, and oceans from rising faster, and forests from burning faster, and storms from growing stronger, we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair: Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields no longer growing. Indigenous peoples who can’t carry out traditions that stretch back millennia. Entire industries of people who can’t practice their livelihoods. Desperate refugees seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own. Political disruptions that could trigger multiple conflicts around the globe.”

Obama added that the moment of being “too late… is almost upon us.”

“I am not trying to suggest that there are not going to be difficult transitions that we all have to make,” he said. “…Let’s prove that we care about them and their long-term futures, not just short-term political expediency.”

Posted at 7:56 am on September 1st, 2015 by

Hillary Emails: Sid Blumenthal Rips Netanyahu as One Who ‘Can Never Equal His Dead Brother,’ Hillary Responds with ‘I Told You So’

A new trove of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department tonight includes scathing opinions about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from close confidante Sidney Blumenthal — and an agreement in internet slang from Hillary.

Blumenthal was an aide to President Clinton and has been a longtime loyalist of the Clinton family, so fiercely loyal that he wasn’t welcome in any State Department position in the Obama administration. He went to work for the Clinton Foundation and has been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee on Benghazi to testify about his communication with Clinton in his time period.

His analysis, suggestions and advice show up regularly in the official State Department correspondence conducted on Clinton’s private email server.

A number of the latest emails from 2010 center on the Gaza flotilla raid. Israeli commandos boarded the “Freedom Flotilla” to force the ships to port for inspection. A few dozen of the hundreds on board fought the commandos; 10 activists were killed and 10 of the Israeli commandos were wounded.

In an email to Clinton that day — May 31, 2010 — Blumenthal called the incident “Bibi’s Entebbe in reverse.”

“The father, Benzion Netanyahu; 100 years old, secretary to Jabotinsky, and denounced as too radical by Begin, adored his son Yoni, heroically killed at Entebbe. Benyamin has never measured up,” Blumenthal wrote. “Benzion has constantly criticized him in public for his deviations from the doctrine of Greater Israel. Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother. See Benzion’s most recent scathing undermining of his son Bibi and Bibi’s tearful tribute to his brother just last month.”

“The raid on the ship to Gaza resembles the raid on Entebbe, except that there are no hostages, no guns, it’s not in Africa, and it’s a fiasco; otherwise, it’s Entebbe. (Then, there’s Ehud Barak reliving his youth as a raider killing Palestinians in Lebanon, a feat memorialized in Spielberg’s film, Munich. Ultimately, it didn’t work out well that time either. The film captures the moral quandaries, which appear to have escaped the participants.)”

Blumenthal goes on to write, “The international press will inquire whether the Obama administration gave a wink or nod as the Bush administration did for the Lebanon and Gaza incursions. Be prepared.”

“Further: Of course, the consequences for US foreign policy and national security are negative across the board: from the analogy of the North Korean ship sinking and the Chinese posture to support for Iranian sanctions, etc., etc. Did the Israelis not hear Petraeus’s testimony?”

Blumenthal added that “of course, whatever the outcome of such a raid, one of the inevitable ones would be the death of the peace process, such as it is, on the very eve of Bibi’s scheduled visit to Obama, which would have been, under any circumstance, in light of the raid, profoundly humiliating for the president. Or are the Israelis bone stupid? I don’t think so.”

Hillary forwarded the email 35 minutes later to Jake Sullivan, her deputy chief of staff at the State Department and director of policy planning. He is believed to be Clinton’s pick for national security advisor.

“Fyi and itys,” Clinton tells Sullivan. The latter is Internet slang for “I told you so.”

Blumenthal sent other messages to Clinton after the flotilla raid, including a Max Blumenthal column on “deconstruction of propaganda” by Israel, a Center for Strategic and International Studies piece titled “Israel as a Strategic Liability?” and “leaked” Netanyahu poll numbers.

Much of the internal State Department correspondence about the flotilla is redacted.

Posted at 7:42 pm on August 31st, 2015 by

Obama Calls Deputy’s Widow, Promises to ‘Continue to Highlight Uncommon Bravery’ of Cops

President Obama said he called the widow of a Texas deputy who was shot 15 times in an ambush attack while fueling up his car.

Shannon Miles, 30, appeared shackled in court today and did not enter a plea in the murder of Deputy Darren Goforth,  a 47-year-old father of two and 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. Miles’ priors include disorderly conduct with a firearm and resisting arrest. He was charged in a 2012 fight at a homeless shelter and was initially found to be mentally incompetent before that was reversed and the charge was dropped.

Miles is accused of shooting Goforth once in the back of the head with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, then firing 14 more bullets into the deputy, according to prosecutors.

“We’ve heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So why don’t we just drop the qualifier and just say ‘lives matter’?,” said Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman on Saturday, stressing that he believes Goforth “was a target because he wore a uniform.”

“This afternoon, on my way to Alaska, I called Kathleen Goforth, the widow of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth – a veteran law enforcement officer who was contemptibly shot and killed over the weekend,” Obama said in a statement issued by the White House after the president arrived in Anchorage.

“On behalf of the American people, I offered Mrs. Goforth my condolences, and told her that Michelle and I would keep her and her family in our prayers. I also promised that I would continue to highlight the uncommon bravery that police officers show in our communities every single day,” Obama continued.

“They put their lives on the line for our safety. Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable – an affront to civilized society.”

Obama referenced his State of the Union Address, stating “we’ve got to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the door at the end of his shift.”

“That comfort has been taken from Mrs. Goforth,” he said. “So we must offer her our comfort — and continue to stand up for the safety of police officers wherever they serve.”

Obama did not say anything about Black Lives Matter or the sheriff’s comments.

Posted at 6:12 pm on August 31st, 2015 by

Kerry Compares Climate Change to WWII: ‘Different in Character,’ But Same ‘Potential to Do Harm’

Secretary of State John Kerry said today at an Arctic conference in Anchorage that “anybody running for any high office in any nation in the world” should visit a place where the “seismic challenge” of climate change is happening “and inform themselves about this.”

“And we as leaders of countries will begin to witness what we call climate refugees moving – you think migration is a challenge to Europe today because of extremism, wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, an absence of food, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” Kerry told the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) Conference.

“We are hardly the first generation in human history to face uncertainty about the future. Seventy-five years ago, our predecessors faced a world that was literally engulfed by strife, where seemingly all of Europe was overrun by evil, and civilization itself seemed to be in peril. We had leaders then who rose to that occasion, and we have all seen a world that is better for what came out of it with the United Nations and multilateralism and commitments to humanitarian and other missions,” he said.

“The threat posed by climate change is obviously entirely different in character. But it is not different in its global reach or its potential to do harm. And the urgent need for global cooperation, for global commitment, for global choices is exactly the same as it was in the 1930s and ’40s and ’50s. If only we fully grasp that, if we commit ourselves to climbing this mountain together, then I am absolutely convinced that we will meet the obligation that we have to future generations, we will meet it here in the Arctic, and we will meet it for the rest of the world.”

Kerry noted that “villages in Alaska are already being battered by the storms and some have had to move, or will. As the permafrost continues to thaw, the infrastructure is beginning to be challenged. Houses and other buildings are literally collapsing into rubble. Already this is happening.”

The conference coincided with President Obama’s visit to Alaska, which the White House intends to focus on climate change.

The United States joined with France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in a joint statement today agreeing that “the rapid warming of the Arctic is profoundly affecting communities both in the Arctic region and beyond.”

“We take seriously warnings by scientists: temperatures in the Arctic are increasing at more than twice the average global rate. Loss of Arctic snow and ice is accelerating the warming of the planet as a whole by exposing darker surfaces that absorb more sunlight and heat. Sea ice, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and nearly all glaciers in the Arctic have shrunk over the past 100 years; indeed, glaciers that have endured since the last Ice Age are shrinking, in most cases at a very rapid rate. Arctic sea ice decline has been faster during the past ten years than in the previous 20 years, with summer sea ice extent reduced by 40% since 1979. Loss of ice from Arctic glaciers and ice sheets contributes to rising sea levels worldwide, which put coastal communities everywhere at increased risk of coastal erosion and persistent flooding. And emerging science suggests that rapid warming of the Arctic may disrupt weather patterns across the globe,” the statement continues.

“…As change continues at an unprecedented rate in the Arctic – increasing the stresses on communities and ecosystems in already harsh environments – we are committed more than ever to protecting both terrestrial and marine areas in this unique region, and our shared planet, for generations to come.”

Kerry said the U.S. is “proposing an international agreement to prevent unregulated fishing for the time being” in the Arctic before commercial operations take advantage of “increasingly open” Arctic seas.

“As more and more people begin to take advantage of the new shipping lanes and the potential of exploration of resources, there is obviously a heightened need to be able to expand open water search and rescue responsibilities and capabilities and also to define the rules of the road,” he said.

He called the Anchorage meeting a “stepping stone” to further action at the UN General Assembly in September and the “critical” Paris climate summit in December.

Posted at 3:57 pm on August 31st, 2015 by

WATCH: Putin Releases New Manly-Stuff Video with Pumping Iron and Tea

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Because Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t shot any tigers or judo-flipped people lately, the Kremlin had to release a new installment of Vlad doing manly-man things.

There’s no shirtless fishing and horseback riding in Siberia, just a Sunday in Sochi with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pumping iron and grilling big hearty steaks, which they then enjoy with gentle cups of tea. Mashable fittingly dubbed the day “Putin’s perfect man date with Medvedev.”

Putin, 62, might be dating Natalia “Sledgehammer” Ragozina, a 39-year-old blonde retired boxer who has posed for Penthouse.

The Kremlin said he followed his iron-pumping day with a meeting today with Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova “to discuss the healthcare situation, including development prospects, current issues and possible solutions.”

“I’ve obtained additional footage of my friends Vlad & Dmitry pumping iron!” tweeted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), linking to old Saturday Night Live footage of Hans and Franz.

And another contribution from country singer and gay-rights activist Chely Wright:

 

Posted at 1:28 pm on August 31st, 2015 by

What’s the Big Deal About Restoring the Correct Name of Mount McKinley?

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President Obama has created a controversy by renaming Mount McKinley back to its original Native American name Denali.

I suppose if I were an Ohioan, I wouldn’t be pleased either. You don’t like to see a native son dissed.

Speaker John Boehner seems a bit miffed:

“McKinley served our country with distinction during the Civil War as a member of the Army. He made a difference for his constituents and his state as a member of the House of Representatives and as Governor of the great state of Ohio,” the speaker said in a statement. “And he led this nation to prosperity and victory in the Spanish-American War as the 25th President of the United States. I’m deeply disappointed in this decision.”

Senator Portman isn’t pleased either:

 

But really now, why is everyone getting upset? Mountains, lakes, rivers, big rocks, and tiny streams have all been named by those that first saw them. And I hate to break it to my friends who are throwing a fit over this name change, but the ancestors of the Athabascan Indians have been in Alaska since the end of the last ice age — about 12,000 years ago. For at least the last several thousand years, the Athabascans have called the mountain Denali. This, compared to about 100 years of calling it Mount McKinley.

It looks like hypocrisy to claim the right to name a mountain when you’re about 5,000 years too late to do so.

Think of the tens of thousands of cities, towns, villages, counties, and townships that use a Native American name to identify them or, more likely, the western bastardization of the Native American word.(The official origin of “Chicago” is that it is the French version of the Miami-Illinois word “shikaakwa” [“Stinky Onion”], named for the garlic plant [not onion] Allium tricoccum common along the Chicago River.)

Even states have been named using indian names. Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and many more carry the names of tribes that populated the Midwest at the time the white man first arrived.

So what’s the big deal about restoring the proper place name to a mountain? Oh sure, it’s pure pandering by Obama as he looks to bribe another constituency. But in this case, with so many Alaskans agreeing with him, it’s hard to argue against it.

Posted at 12:48 pm on August 31st, 2015 by

#BlackLivesMatter Protesters Taunt Police with ‘Disgusting Chant’ While Being Protected by Them (Video)

On Saturday, while 20,000 “All Lives Matter” supporters marched in Birmingham, Alabama, hundreds of “Black Lives Matter” protesters were disrupting the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, marching and chanting slogans about racial injustice to the throngs of fairgoers.

One of the chants incensed the police officers who were at the fair to protect the protesters.

They chanted, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”

Via WCCO, CBS Minnesota: 

 Police Federation President Dave Titus says the threatening refrain is divisive, dangerous and won’t lead to improved police relations.

***

What officers and many others find offensive is also protected free speech.  But in this particular case what is ironic is that those voicing the chant were also being protected by very officers targeted.

“Statements and chants like that are just ignorant – I find it absolutely disgusting,” Officer Titus said.

Titus called the protester’s chant both dangerous and outrageous. All the more so Titus says, because it came just hours after a Texas deputy was gunned down in cold blood.

“I don’t think chanting or singing what’s basically promoting killing police officers is peaceful,” Titus said.

According to WCCO, march organizers say “they are not about to apologize.”

“I don’t think any cop cares if there’s an apology,” Titus responded. ”Just knock it off.”

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Posted at 12:43 pm on August 31st, 2015 by

Ben Carson Now Tied with Trump in Iowa Poll; Carly Fiorina in 2nd

Ben Carson and Donald Trump are now tied for first at 23% according to the Monmouth University Poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus goers. Carly Fiorina comes in second with 10% and Ted Cruz is in third place with 9%.

Lagging behind in 4th, 5th and 6th place, respectively, are Scott Walker (7%), Jeb Bush (5%), and John Kasich (4%)

Bringing up the rear are Marco Rubio (4%), Rand Paul (3%), Mike Huckabee (2%), and Rick Santorum (2%).

None of the other six candidates included in the poll registered more than 1%.

The Monmouth University Poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus goers finds Ben Carson and Donald Trump tied for the top spot. This marks the first time since July 26 that a poll in any of the first four nominating states has not shown Trump with a nominal lead. Not surprisingly, given the top two contenders in the poll, most Iowa Republicans prefer someone without a traditional political pedigree.

At this early stage, though, the vast majority of voters say their eventual support could go to one of several other candidates in spite of their current preference.

***

 

“These results mark a significant shake-up in the leaderboard from Monmouth’s Iowa poll taken before the first debate,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ. “Carson and, to a lesser extent, Fiorina have surged, while Walker has faded into the background.”

2015 will go down in history as the year of the political outsider, with voters rejecting the establishment candidates on both sides of the aisle. Whether or not this trend will continue into 2016 remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina is fighting to make it to the main stage for the Sept. 16 debate hosted by CNN at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA.

In national polls and surveys of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire since the Aug. 6 debate, Fiorina regularly places in the top third among the 17 GOP candidates. In some surveys, Fiorina bests former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, all of whom appeared in the prime-time debate.

Unfortunately, CNN will use averaging of polls going back to July 16 — weeks before Fiorina’s successful Fox News debate, which helped her improve her standing.

 

Posted at 10:46 am on August 31st, 2015 by

Study: Blind People Can Be Racist

There’s no escaping a charge of racism, even if you are blind and literally cannot see someone’s skin color.

CNN reports on a new study that claims some blind people “make judgments about others based on their race.”

The findings come from interviews conducted in person and over the phone with 25 people who were either born blind or severely visually impaired, or who lost their sight as children or adults. A researcher asked the participants, most of whom lived in the northeast United States, about whether they thought about race and also how it affected their feelings about a person.

Twenty-five people? This is more like a large focus group than any sort of quantitative endeavor. It makes a good headline but this is hardly scientific.

The “study” finds that blind people can be racist but it takes them longer to figure out what race they will inevitably discriminate against. “In all cases it takes them longer to categorize people by race and there is more ambiguity,” said Asia M. Friedman, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at University of Delaware, who conducted the study.

“I think blind people are inculturated into ideas about class and race,” just like anybody else, Friedman said, and the ideas can come from a whole range of places, including news, family, teachers and peer groups.

CNN writes, “Research on how blind people understand racism could lead to better insights into how blind people make judgments about other aspects of life that usually involve visual cues, such as eating a meal or shopping for clothes. Respondents in Friedman’s study described being very aware of sounds and voices when they meet people, and sounds could influence how blind people choose a restaurant or clothing store, Friedman said, along with sensory inputs such as textures and smells.”

I don’t think they are studying blind people to figure out anything other than blind people are racist, too. The cultural elites are the most race-obsessed people in the world.

Another professor who studies blind people and racism says: “Blind people understand race the same way as sighted people.” Osagie K. Obasogie, a professor of law at University of Hastings, has written a book called “Blinded by Sight.”

“I would push back against the idea that blind people somehow enter every social interaction with a blank slate,” he said.

Obasogie conducted a study of around 100 people (better than 25 but still…more qualitative than not)  and some said they might ask another person about someone’s race.  “And even if they don’t know a person’s race beforehand, they might try to figure it out during the interaction, rather than keeping an open mind.”

“If race is such a strong and deep part of our social order that blind people who have never seen anything can see and pay attention to race … it shows how deep the problem is,” he said.

Said Obasogie, “Race is a disease of society and the idea that the disease will go away by ignoring it is not the most sophisticated and proper way to deal with the problem.”

I’ll bet this garbage is funded with tax dollars.

Blind Canine Becomes Amazing Therapy Dog

 

 

 

 

 

Posted at 8:53 am on August 31st, 2015 by

Alaska’s GOP Members of Congress Back Obama on Mount McKinley Name Change

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President Obama faces lawmakers bitter about his energy policy in Alaska, but has the support of Republican senators in changing the name of Mount McKinley to Denali.

Obama left the White House for Anchorage this morning, putting a visit to the Arctic region on his schedule to focus the visit on climate change.

The mountain renaming was a gesture to Alaskan natives before he left on his trip. Denali means “the great one” or “the high one” in the tradition of the state’s Koyukon Athabascans. Alaska has officially recognized the mountain as Denali since 1975.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) filmed a video welcoming the name change while standing on the mountain’s Ruth Glacier. The chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has long lobbied for the name change and had introduced legislation to scrap McKinley.

“For centuries, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as the ‘Great One.’ Today we are honored to be able to officially recognize the mountain as Denali,” Murkowski said. “I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect, and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”

Murkowksi wrote Obama a letter last week stressing “climate change must not be used as an excuse to deprive Alaskans of our best economic prospects.”

“Many renewable energy projects in our state were made possible with State revenues derived from oil production,” she said. “As you will see, Alaska has developed institutions and programs that maximize the benefits of resource production to improve the lives of our people.”

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) tweeted, “Today, the nation recognizes what AK’ns have known for generations #Denali is rightful name 4 NAmerica’s tallest mtn.”

In a message to constituents days ago, Young said that while some have called Obama’s Arctic “visit historic – a moment to be celebrated and embraced – I, however, am far less optimistic, especially given the president’s recent track record in Alaska.”

“Over the past six-and-a-half-years, President Obama and his Administration have aggressively pushed to make good on a 2008 campaign promise to ‘fundamentally change the United States of America.’ Sadly, that attitude and mission has made a complete mockery out of the principals of federalism and the 10th Amendment. Their efforts continue to ignore states like Alaska that rely on our lands, waters and abundant natural resources to provide for our communities and local economies,” Young wrote.

“…Since the president announced his travels to Alaska last month, my message has been clear:  this visit must not be used as a platform to pander to the nation’s most extreme interests groups, but as an opportunity to see the many challenges and hurdles Alaskans face each and every day. With more than 80% of our communities off the road system, we face some of the most basic and fundamental obstacles: high energy and food costs, extreme poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, limited access to basic goods and services like medical care, internet, and even running water. At a time when much of the nation has the luxury to sit back and discuss our problems, many Alaskans are living them. By using our state as a poster child for a reckless environmental agenda, the president fails to recognize the harsh realities facing numerous Alaskans.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) simply tweeted, “#Denali, the ‘Great One’ comes home.”

That followed a series of tweets over the past few days critical of Obama’s agenda. “#Alaska is not a snow globe to be put on a shelf and shaken occasionally for a feel-good moment,” Sullivan tweeted. “.@POTUS has said economic opp. ensures common good, gives power 2 powerless. This is as true in Alaska as anywhere else in country. But in #Alaska, economic opportunity is stymied by federal efforts to lock up our resources. Creates hardship for our people.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), from the home state of President McKinley, said Obama ran around Congress again on the name change.

“Pres McKinley was a proud Ohioan, and the mountain was named after him, as a way to remember his rich legacy after his assassination,” Portman tweeted. “The naming of the mountain has been a topic of discussion in Congress for many years. This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress.”

Portman added that he hopes the administration will work with him to “find alternative ways” to “preserve McKinley’s legacy somewhere else in the natl park that once bore his name.”

Congress changed the name of Mount McKinley National Park to Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980.

Posted at 8:17 am on August 31st, 2015 by

Bernie Heading Back to Iowa as He Closes in on Hillary

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is heading back to Iowa for a three-day swing through the early caucus state after a poll showed Hillary Clinton badly hemorrhaging support.

The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll showed Sanders, who has held on to his lead over Clinton in New Hampshire, within striking distance of Clinton in the Midwest. Clinton is the first pick among 37 of likely Dem caucusgoers, while Sanders has risen to 30 percent.

Clinton has lost a third of her supporters since May, the poll revealed.

Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs said Saturday that the the poll shows “the more Iowans get to know Bernie the better they like him and what he stands for.”

“We’ve seen the same thing in New Hampshire and across the country,” Briggs said. “At a time when the middle class continues to disappear and almost all new wealth and income is going to the top 1 percent, the American people want leadership that is prepared to fight for working families and take on the greed of a billionaire class that has enormous control over our economy, our political life and the media.”

On CNN Sunday, Sanders contrasted his positions with Hillary’s on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Keystone XL, Social Security and minimum wage expansion, and campaign finance.

“I speak about a political revolution. No president, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else, can do it unless millions of people say, you know what? This country belongs to all of us. Our government must represent all of us, and not just a handful of billionaires,” he said.

“It can’t be done within the Beltway itself. We need a mass movement, and that’s what we are trying to create, and are succeeding in creating right now.”

Sanders told ABC, “I don’t know if her campaign is in trouble, but our campaign is doing great.”

“The polls that I saw said that there was massive enthusiasm for the message that we’re delivering and that the vast majority of the people who are voting for me in that Iowa poll — and I think it’s true all over this country — are not necessarily anti-Hillary Clinton, they’re pro-Bernie Sanders,” the senator said, adding those voters are “pro a message that says enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of very wealthy people.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a Clinton supporter, brushed off the poll on ABC.

“Being that we’re in Minnesota and we can see Iowa from our porch and I’ve been down there for Secretary Clinton, I have to tell you her campaign is so much different than 2008. It has energy. It is organized. It is a grassroots campaign. And when I look at those numbers I think about races like one of our Minnesotans Michelle Bachmann in 2012 was surging at this point. We’ve got back in 2004 Dick Gephardt was surging. It’s six months ahead,” Klobuchar said.

“And she is still ahead in these polls. I think she’s running a strong campaign. She was just in Minnesota. And I was in the room and saw these delegates from all over the country inspired and enthusiastic and cheering. And so I think you have to look at her energy, how she is responding to these 17 opponents that, you know, basically are attacking her daily.”

The senator said the former secretary of State acknowledges “you can’t just waltz in and win a Democratic primary.”

“We’ve seen many people in the past think they could do that, and that’s not what happened,” Klobuchar said. “I think she approached this with a vigor from the beginning, having been through this before, that she was going to be scrappy, that she was going to be out there meeting people, talking to people in a grassroots way.”

Posted at 7:40 am on August 31st, 2015 by