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Netanyahu: ‘No Restrictions’ on Israeli Security Forces to Crush Terrorists After Hamas Kills Couple

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given the green light to security forces to unleash fury on terrorists who are striking at Israelis.

Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama, both in their 30s, were driving with their family in the West Bank last week when a car containing at least two Palestinian gunmen pulled up and shot the couple to death. Their children, ranging from 4 months to 9 years old, were in the backseat, uninjured, perhaps because one of the gunmen accidentally shot another gunman and they fled the scene after that.

A five-member cell consisting of Hamas members from Nablus was arrested in the attack. Shin Bet said they admitted their involvement in the murders.

The cell leader, Ragheb Ahmad Muhammad Aliwi, is a Hamas fighter who had served time behind bars and recruited and trained the other members. Zir Ziad Jamal Amar cleared the path for the Hamas car to get next to the Jewish couple and start firing. Yahia Muhammad Naif Abdullah Hajj Hamad reportedly shot the couple and accidentally hit the other gunman, Karem Lufti Fatahi Razek (who was arrested at a hospital when he sought treatment for that bullet wound). Samir Zahir Ibrahim Kusah was driving the car.

Netanyahu this evening commended those who worked quickly to solve the “terrible murder” of the couple.

“We are acting with a strong hand against terrorism and against inciters. We are operating on all fronts. We have brought an additional four IDF battalions into Judea and Samaria, and thousands of police into Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “The police are going deeply into the Arab neighborhoods, which has not been done in the past. We will demolish terrorists’ homes. We are allowing our forces to take strong action against those who throw rocks and firebombs.”

The prime minister stressed that these moves are “necessary in order to safeguard the security of Israeli citizens on the roads and everywhere.”

“We are not prepared to give immunity to any rioter, inciter or terrorist anywhere; therefore, there are no restrictions on the action of our security forces,” he said. “We will also lift restrictions regarding action against inciters. We will act against the Islamic Movement which, together with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, is the main source of incitement.”

Netanyahu reiterated that security forces have “full backing from me and from the government.”

“We are in a difficult struggle but one thing should be clear – we will win,” he added. “Just as we defeated previous waves of terrorism, we will defeat this one as well.”

On Saturday, State Department press secretary John Kirby said in a statement, “We are very concerned about mounting tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, and call on all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and avoid escalating the situation.”

Standing next to Netanyahu the day after the West Bank couple was murdered, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that the peace process being pushed by the administration could end all of these slayings. “I hope we can share also the efforts going forward that can reduce and maybe ultimately one day even eliminate any families having to go through these kinds of losses,” Kerry said.

Netanayhu then jumped back in, stressing that “any path forward requires one thing: you have to fight terror.”

“And the terrorists are there; the fanaticism, the zealotry is there; and we have no choice but to fight them,” the prime minister said. “But when we hear incitement that — worse, when we hear praise for the terrorists from our supposed peace partners, we say cut that out, start fighting terrorism. If you won’t, we will.

Posted at 2:46 pm on October 5th, 2015 by

Florida Senate Candidate Once Sacrificed a Goat and Drank Its Blood

Augustus Sol Invictus, a candidate running for Senate under the Libertarian Party label, should be a poster boy for 2016 politics.

I mean, really, can it get any weirder than this?

New York Daily News:

Augustus Sol Invictus is the Florida Libertarian Party’s candidate and has faced other accusations ranging from his support of eugenics, prophesizing a “great war” within America’s borders and drawing support of neo-Nazis.

Invictus, who declines to reveal his given name, is the only Libertarian candidate looking to fill the vacant seat left by presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. His position as the only representative of the party led now-former party chairman Adrian Wyllie to resign in protest.

Wyllie lobbed these claims publicly in a Facebook post on Thursday that included the accusation of Invictus sacrificing a goat, which Invictus denied to Politico.

Invictus, an avowed pagan, sang a different tune on Friday when pressed further on some of his beliefs and practices.

“I did sacrifice a goat. I know that’s probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans,” he told the Associated Press.

“I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness…Yes, I drank the goat’s blood.”

In a Facebook post from September trying to refute the claims that Wyllie and others had placed on Invictus privately, he chose to argue the semantics of the accusations saying that he had never advocated for a “race-based civil war” but did not dispute his prediction of a civil war.

When asked by the AP if he still believed in a war that would alter the course of the world, Invictus claimed the government was already at war with its people and that he was not the only person to foresee a revolution.

Invictus has not been asked further about his campaign receiving support from neo-Nazis. Because in the same September Facebook post, instead of attempting to disassociate himself from hate groups, Invictus doubled down when describing a case he had worked on where 14 neo-Nazis were arrested on charges of paramilitary training.

“It has been said that I associate with neo-Nazis and skinheads. You’re goddamn right I do. I am a criminal defense lawyer, and I am proud of the work I have done for the American Front,” Invictus wrote.

“Every Libertarian in America should be supporting them as victims of an overreaching Government, and for the record, I am proud to call them my friends.”

I like this guy. I really do. He’s honest in a Trumpish sort of way, and what’s not to like about sacrificing a goat to the god of the wilderness? Goats are hideous creatures and if I didn’t like feta cheese so much, I would advocate for their extinction.

Of course, he’s bat guano crazy, but hey! Have you ever listened closely to Bernie Sanders? And how about crazy Todd Akin and his belief in a woman’s magic uterus? There are politicians aplenty who are a couple of shakes short of a real martini.

In a year of unorthodox candidates, Mr. Invictus barely stands out at all. Not with a bona fide socialist, a radical Harvard professor, a celebrity real estate tycoon, a retired neurosurgeon, a couple of ex lawmakers who haven’t held office for a decade or more, and other various and sundry gadflies, hangers on, and wannabe carnival barkers already running for high office.

It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

Posted at 1:44 pm on October 5th, 2015 by

ISIS Is Using Ancient Churches As Slaughterhouses And Torture Chambers

The Washington-based advocacy organization International Christian Concern is reporting that Islamic State militants used several historic churches in Mosul as stations for animal sacrifice during a recent Islamic festival. One of those churches was the famous St. Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church, which ISIS took over in June and reopened as a “mosque of the mujahideen.”

Mosul was once Iraq’s center of Christian influence, but since the Islamic State took over in June, most Christians have either fled or been killed by terrorist forces. A priest formerly based out of Mosul has also reported that ISIS militants have used churches in Qaraqosh, another formerly majority-Christian city in Iraq, as torture chambers, while a monastery north of Mosul has become a women’s prison in ISIS hands.

“Most inside are Christians and they are being forced to convert to Islam,” Abu Aasi said. “ISIS have been breaking all the crosses and statues of Mary.”

ISIS has systematically destroyed Christian and Jewish relics in Iraq and Syria. Most recently, the terrorist organization blew up the ancient Arch of Triumph monument in Palmyra. ISIS forces have also destroyed Christian statues and paintings throughout the region.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Victor Maschek

Posted at 1:22 pm on October 5th, 2015 by

Missing Cargo Ship Has Sunk, According to Coast Guard

Four days after an American cargo ship vanished in the Atlantic Ocean, the Coast Guard has confirmed that El Faro sank after a mechanical failure left her in the throes of Hurricane Joaquin.

The captain of the ship attempted to chart a path around the storm, but apparently the engines failed, leaving the ship and a crew of 33 vulnerable as the devastating hurricane bore down just off the Eastern seaboard.

Coast Guard crews have recovered one body and are continuing to search for others. Captain Mark Fedor noted that the crew had survival suits that are designed to help in these circumstances, but even in 85-degree waters, hypothermia is a concern, and the conditions in the storm made survival even more difficult. According to WSB Radio:

“These are trained mariners. They know how to abandon ship,” Fedor said. But “those are challenging conditions to survive.”


“We are still looking for survivors or any sign of life,” he said.

The ship had two lifeboats and five life rafts, along with life jackets and rings, but so far, authorities have only recovered one lifeboat and a partially submerged raft, neither of which had anyone aboard. Coast Guard and Navy vessels have searched a 300 square mile area looking for the cargo ship, which was bound for Puerto Rico after originating out of Jacksonville.

Tote Services, the company who owned the ship, last heard from the captain on Thursday morning, as El Faro began to take on water.

Steven Werse, a ship captain unaffiliated with Tote Services or El Faro, described the dangers facing a ship with no engine power in a hurricane like Joaquin:

“The ship really is at the mercy of the sea. You have no means of maneuvering the ship. You would be rolling with the seas,” said Werse.


“Sometimes circumstances overwhelm you. You can do all the planning you want.”

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the sinking, according to Captain Fedor.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / 3dmotus

Posted at 1:01 pm on October 5th, 2015 by

Hillary Clinton Is a Nasty Piece of Work, Part 632

When is this sad farce going to end? Since she began her campaign for the presidency last spring, we’ve seen defiant Hillary, aloof Hillaryregretful Hillary, warm and fuzzy Hillarycomedienne Hillary and now this very morning, “visibly angry” Hillary.

Via Business Insider:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unloaded on Congress’ Benghazi investigation during a Monday morning interview on the “Today” show.

A visibly angry Clinton tore into the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi when she was asked how she would react to hypothetical GOP leaders facing scrutiny over their own government email use.

“Look at the situation they chose to exploit, to go after me for political reasons: the death of four Americans in Benghazi. I knew the ambassador. I identified him. I asked him to go there. I asked the president to nominate him,” she said.

A casual glance at the BI comment section shows that even the readers of that left-leaning website are not impressed or fooled by her latest contrived performance.

I’ve been saying since March that Hillary Clinton is finished as a presidential candidate because the torpedoing of her campaign is so obviously coming from the White House, aided and abetted by the mainstream media.

While the Washington Post and the New York Times have been dropping bombshell after bombshell on Hillary’s corrupt email arrangement, the New York Post has taken the lead on publishing major anti-Hillary hit jobs based on claims of Ronald Kessler, Ed Klein and Roger Stone.

In his new book, “The First Family Detail,” Ronald Kessler wrote about the personnel who protect America’s presidents and their families — and those whom they guard.

One legendary exchange, described by Kessler, went like this:

“Good morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton.

“F— off,” she replied.

According to the New York Post:

Kessler writes flatteringly and critically about people in both parties. Regarding the Clintons, Kessler presents Chelsea as a model protectee who respected and appreciated her agents. He describes Bill as a difficult chief executive but an easygoing ex-president. And Kessler exposes Hillary as an epically abusive Arctic monster.

“When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.”


“Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military,” former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman recalls. “She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

Political strategist Roger Stone’s new book, “The Clintons’ War on Women,” details Hillary’s abusive behavior toward Bill, going back to their days in Arkansas.

The New York Post splashed this juicy headline on their front page: “Hillary has long history of beating up Bill behind closed doors: book.”

“Hillary Clinton has a long history of being domestically violent with Bill,” Stone writes. “Hillary has beaten Bill, hit him with hard objects, scratched and clawed him, and made him bleed.”

Stone describes the time when Hillary supposedly scratched Bill on the neck because he had entertained Barbra Streisand at the White House while she was out of town.

Clinton told curious reporters that he cut himself shaving, but according to his former press secretary Dee Dee Myers, ”it was a big scratch, clearly not a shaving cut.”

Other accounts of her abusive behavior involve screaming, “shattering glass and slamming doors,” and flying “yellow legal pads, files, briefing books, car keys” — basically, whatever was nearby when Hillary flew into one of her violent rages.

In Ed Klein’s new book, “Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary,” a meeting between Clinton and Obama at the White House to address her “persecution” over her email arrangement is described.

Posted at 10:23 am on October 5th, 2015 by

WATCH: Hillary’s Effort at Hip Rebranding on SNL

YouTube Preview Image

Hillary Clinton continued her effort to rebrand her candidacy as more hip with fewer hard edges with an appearance on Saturday Night Live — playing a bartender who gives advice to her doppelganger, played by Kate McKinnon.

The deep postgame analysis of Clinton’s skit included an NPR breakdown of how she addressed her problems with authenticity and elitism, the timing of her verdicts on Keystone XL and same-sex marriage, her onetime perceived nomination inevitability and her age. “You give off such a young, cool vibe,” real Clinton tells faux Clinton in the skit.

There were no jokes about her email scandal and no references to her challengers — the Democratic ones, that is.

The skit opened with bar patrons talking about how Carly Fiorina could be the first woman president, as over at the counter Hillary and Huma nurse their liquor. McKinnon has portrayed Fiorina in other sketches.

The morning after the skit aired, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s campaign sent out a Philadelphia Enquirer piece noting that their candidate seems like “the only presidential contender having any fun in a campaign of insults, the drip-drip-drip of Hillary Clinton’s email problems, and warnings of doom from the left and the right.”


Posted at 8:22 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Senator Goes on Twitter Rant About Next Speaker of the House, Endorses Non-Lawmaker Pick

A freshman Republican senator went on a Twitter rant Sunday about the state of the Speaker’s race in the lower chamber, offering his own solution for a candidate off Capitol Hill.

“Have been thinking on House Speaker race. Boehner quitting has prompted some remarkably boring/lazy analysis on where we’re at as a nation,” began Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). “New to politics & in deference to tradition I’ve spent first 9mos in Senate keeping head down, interviewing older members/listening/learning.”

Sasse served in the George W. Bush administration at the Department of Health and Human Services; before being elected to the Senate he was president of Midland University, a Lutheran school in Fremont, Neb.

“Amazing how much conventional wisdom gets wrong. Throughout our campaign, all we heard from DC press (but not Nebr voters) was The Dynamic: Media: everything is Tea Party vs Establishment; Leadership vs Outsiders. Voters: Yawn. No; real question is vision–who has it; who doesn’t,” he kept tweeting.

“Press obsesses over bickering / student council races / who slighted whom. Voters barely care. They care where their country is headed. Media framing of Speaker’s race is reductionistic choice: small-ball Establishment vs wild-eyed Visigoths who want to burn govt to ground. It’s a 24hr newscycle of this junk that never ends. The American people look at DC & think, ‘We want to fire every single one of you people.’”

Sasse that dynamic “misses the larger point” — “it aint A vs B. We need Option C: the Vision thing. The ‘Go Big or Go Home’ thing.”

“Which brings us back to this moment: Founding Fathers put House closest to the people so it would reflect the nation’s (not Beltway’s) will. HouseSpeaker should be Congress’ chief STORYTELLER -cast the big vision of American exceptionalism; remind nation who we are/what we’re about,” he wrote.

“The next Speaker must be someone who fights FOR people, not merely against bad or inefficient Washington programs. The next Speaker must be a happy warrior. We have to sell a vision and win an argument before squabbling about particular policies. The next Speaker must celebrate earned success & empowering our friends / neighbors to live full lives of opportunity. The next Speaker must cut through the media’s 4th-grade portrayal of Rs vs Ds. The choice here is NOT #GOP numbers vs Dems’ compassion. The next Speaker must go places Republicans don’t usually go. Need more venturing beyond country clubs and chambers of commerce,” Sasse continued.

“The Speaker’s chief job is not policy bickering but lifting high / passing on a Constitutional sense of the American idea. Next speaker needs to have the ideas of Jack Kemp, work ethic of Mike Rowe, resolve of Margaret Thatcher, & wit of Larry the Cable Guy.”

And who is that perfect candidate?

“Therefore… I’m endorsing Arthur Brooks for Speaker of the House,” Sasse announced, adding that he bought the domain name to build “momentum” for the president of the American Enterprise Institute.

Brooks, an avowed independent, has been at the think tank since 2009. His most recent book is The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America.

“Who’s the best communicator in our movement? He/she might not be in Congress today. So what? Why wld we not pick that person –for ‘SPEAKER’?” Sasse tweeted. “I’m not saying @arthurbrooks is definitely the best communicator in America; I’m just saying: If you know of a better one…Tell me. I’ll wait.”

Posted at 7:54 am on October 5th, 2015 by

TPP Agreement Reached; Obama Vows Congress Will Have ‘Months to Read Every Word’

President Obama this morning lauded the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, vowing that once the 12 nations involved “have finalized the text of this partnership, Congress and the American people will have months to read every word before I sign it.”

“When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment,” Obama said in a statement.

“This partnership levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers by eliminating more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on our products. It includes the strongest commitments on labor and the environment of any trade agreement in history, and those commitments are enforceable, unlike in past agreements. It promotes a free and open Internet. It strengthens our strategic relationships with our partners and allies in a region that will be vital to the 21st century. It’s an agreement that puts American workers first and will help middle-class families get ahead.”

The president added that “if we can get this agreement to my desk, then we can help our businesses sell more Made in America goods and services around the world, and we can help more American workers compete and win.”

The White House released an extensive fact sheet saying that the TPP nixes more than 18,000 taxes that various countries impose on Made in America exports and “will result in the largest expansion of fully-enforceable labor rights in history, including renegotiating NAFTA.”

But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) blasted the TPP agreement as “disastrous.”

“This agreement follows failed trade deals with Mexico, China and other low-wage countries that have cost millions of jobs and shuttered tens of thousands of factories across the United States,” Sanders said.

“In the Senate, I will do all that I can to defeat this agreement. We need trade policies that benefit American workers and consumers, not just the CEOs of large multi-national corporations.”

Obama’s trade agenda including “fast-track” authority passed Congress in June after a contentious battle that defied party lines.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is opposed to the TPP because of what the group calls a copyright trap.

“Since the public domain ought to provide a rich and diverse pool of works that constitutes our shared cultural heritage, every year that is stolen from it tightens the straightjacket of those who depend upon accessing it,” the EFF said last month, vowing to defeat a TPP that includes “a costly extension to their copyright term.” The administration wasn’t forthcoming on those specifics of the negotiated deal.

“It’s not just about protecting the interests of users and creativity, either. It’s also a dollars-and-cents argument for the countries concerned. Do the math: in a country like Malaysia, where less than 20% of music consumed is locally produced, that means that over 80% of the music royalties paid during the extended copyright term will be headed overseas with a negligible amount received in return. Similar figures apply to other countries and other cultural sectors.”

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), who sits on the President’s Export Council, said the TPP “holds significant promise for America’s future as a leader in the world’s economy.”

“Here in my home state of Washington, our farmers, businesses, and workers heavily rely on international trade,” Reichert said. “Trade with TPP countries supports over 341,000 jobs in Washington and this is important because we know that jobs tied to trade on average pay 15-20% more.”

Posted at 7:19 am on October 5th, 2015 by

5 Top Victories for Putin in Syria

It’s no surprise that Putin waited till Congress failed to stop the Iran deal (Tehran is an important ally for Moscow) before beginning to visibly ramp up military support for the Assad regime in Syria.

Now, Putin is all in.

But it’s not clear how far the Kremlin is going to take its new war.

What does seem pretty obvious is what Putin hopes to get out of his latest military adventure.

#5. Buffer with ISIS. Both Moscow and Tehran have every reason to prop up Assad, Syria’s strongman who is no longer so strong. Most vitally right now is that Assad serves as a buffer with ISIS. That said, there is little evidence Russia is planning a campaign to crush the caliphate. Much more likely, Putin seems perfectly content if ISIS just turns its efforts elsewhere, threatening the Arab states to the south, Israel, the Europeans and the Americans. Pretending to care about ISIS seems mostly an attempt by Putin to turn the attention of Washington and the European capitals away from his meddling in places like the Ukraine and Georgia.

#4. Destabilize and Distract Europe. Russian military operations in Syria are likely to drive more refugees to undertake the trek north. More refugees means more problems for Western Europe. That’s fine with Putin.

#3. Higher Oil Prices. The more the Middle East gets messy, the more the price of oil is likely to stop going down and start heading back up. Moscow would like nothing more than higher energy prices; Putin’s economy is running on fumes. Only a significant spike in energy exports can stave off another serious economic downturn.

#2. Become a Player in the Region. This is shaping up nicely for Moscow. Tehran, its ally, is getting at least a $150 billion cash infusion from the West. Assad won’t be thrown into the sea. The Arabs are pressed by ISIS. This leaves space for Russia to play a larger role in the region, expanding Putin’s capacity to command Russia’s “near abroad.”

Posted at 6:37 am on October 5th, 2015 by

San Francisco’s Last Gun Store Closing Up Shop

Can you blame them?

The last gun store in San Francisco is closing shop, according to ABC News, because “it can no longer operate in the city’s political climate of increased gun control regulations and vocal opposition to its business.”

“It’s with tremendous sadness and regret that I have to announce we are closing our shop,” High Bridge Arms manager Steve Alcairo announced in a Facebook post on Sept. 11. “It has been a long and difficult ride, but a great pleasure to be your last San Francisco gun shop.”

The last straw came when a local politician proposed a law that would require the store to VIDEO RECORD EVERY GUN SALE AND SUBMIT A WEEKLY REPORT OF AMMUNITION SALES to the police.

WHAT?!?!?! Can you imagine if a politician suggested that every sale of medical marijuana be video taped and reported to the police? There would be outrage.

“I’m not doing that to our customers. Enough is enough,” Alcairo said. “Buying a gun is a constitutionally protected right. Our customers shouldn’t be treated like they’re doing something wrong.”

Up until now, the gun store had persevered in face of idiot laws in San Francisco, but on October 31, the store will  finally give up.

The freak who proposed the surveillance on lawful gun consumers is Supervisor Mark Farrell. He said he introduced the latest bill to help combat police violence. “Anything that makes San Francisco safer, I support,” he said.

Mark Farrell, enemy of civil liberties:



What we need more than anything is to make citizens safe from politicians like Mark Farrell.

But it wasn’t just this proposed law that forced Alcairo out of business.  ABC News reports, “Alcairo said he and the High Bridge Arms owner tired of the continued opposition and mountains of paperwork required by the San Francisco Police Department, state Department of Justice and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

“This is the city that defended gay marriage and fights for unpopular causes like medical marijuana,” he said. “Where’s my support?”

That’s adorable. Issues like the Constitution and civil liberties are only protected when they serve the ends of the activist politicians with a leftist agenda. What a shame.

Did Trump Just Set Back the Gun-Rights Cause?







Posted at 6:03 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Did Trump Just Set Back the Gun-Rights Cause?

There are plenty of appropriate ways to respond to the irrational rantings of gun-grabbers. But this probably isn’t one of them, as reported by the New York Times:

[Donald Trump] sounded uncharacteristically resigned on Sunday when it came to last week’s mass shooting in Oregon, saying such shootings will continue in the United States “no matter what.”

In interviews on the Sunday morning talk shows, Trump rejected calls from President Obama to pass tougher gun laws, saying they would do nothing to stop an attack like the one that killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

“No matter what you do — guns, no guns, it doesn’t matter — you have people that are mentally ill, and they’re going to come through the cracks, and they’re going to do things that people will not even believe are possible,” Trump said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

His air of resignation sounded not unlike the reaction of Jeb Bush, a presidential rival Trump has often criticized, who said after the Oregon shooting that “stuff happens” in suggesting that government is not always the solution to such problems.

The substance of Trump’s point has merit. Laws don’t prevent criminal acts, clearly. However, the callousness with which the point was delivered provides an opening for gun-grabbers to claim that theirs is the sensitive and proactive position.

While it may be true that criminal attacks will occur “no matter what,” there are specific and proactive policies which could mitigate the risk. Instead of merely opposing restrictive gun legislation, gun-rights advocates should argue for enabling of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and others.

Generally, gun-rights activists do advocate such. However, when highly visible figures perceived to be representative of the movement offer only indifferent resignation, the proactive message gets lost.

San Francisco’s Last Gun Store Closing Up Shop

Posted at 6:00 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Brace Yourselves: Supes Make Sail for More Controversy

We seem to have reached the entropic endpoint of American democracy, one in which all matters of national importance will be decided by nine mostly elderly Ivy League lawyers:

The last Supreme Court term ended with liberal victories, conservative disarray and bruised relations among the justices. The new one, which opens on Monday, marks the start of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s second decade on the court and will reveal whether the last term’s leftward drift and acrimony were anomalies or something more lasting. The court will decide major cases on politically charged issues, including the fate of public unions and affirmative action in higher education. It will most probably hear its first major abortion case since 2007 and revisit the clash between religious liberty and contraception coverage.

It will consider three cases that could make it harder for workers and consumers to band together in class actions. And it will hear cases on the death penalty, a topic that twice led to unusually sharp and bitter exchanges on the bench last term, after Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. accused opponents of capital punishment of pursuing a “guerrilla war” against executions. Justice Sonia Sotomayor responded that supporters of the death penalty would be content to allow condemned inmates to be burned alive.

Nice liberal sentiments from the Standout Linebacker there…

Some of last term’s opinions were unusually barbed even by the standards of Justice Antonin Scalia. Dissenting from the decision establishing a right to same-sex marriage, Justice Scalia called Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion pretentious, egotistic and incoherent.

Which, of course, it was…

Chief Justice Roberts, who has said he hopes to guide his court toward modest and unanimous rulings, cannot have enjoyed the rancor. Nor was his summer brightened by attacks on him from Republican presidential candidates unhappy with his sustaining of the Affordable Care Act for the second time. The new term’s biggest rulings will land in June, as the 2016 presidential campaign enters its final stretch, and they will help shape the political debate.

“Unanimous rulings” in a pluralistic democracy? This Roberts is really a piece of work. Long past time for Congress to strip the Supreme Court of much of the jurisdiction it’s arrogated to itself post-Marbury and return it to its constitutional cage.

Posted at 5:52 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Islamic Savages Destroy More of World’s Heritage in Syria

The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is not only a threat to lives, but to the cultural heritage of the world — which is why the world ought to annihilate it. The latest savagery:

Syrian activists say the self-styled “Islamic State” (IS) militant group has demolished yet another treasured heritage site in Palmyra. The destruction of the near 2,000-year-old Arch of Triumph comes after the group destroyed the shrine of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel, regarded as Palmyra’s masterpiece.

The group seized the city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in May. IS has carried out a campaign of destruction against heritage sites in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq. It beheaded Palmyra’s 82-year-old former antiquities chief in mid-August.

“We have received news from the site that the Arch of Triumph was destroyed yesterday [Sunday]. IS booby-trapped it several weeks ago,” Maamun Abdulkarim, Syria’s head of antiquities, told AFP news agency. ”This is a systematic destruction of the city. They want to raze it completely,” he said. The arch sat atop the famed colonnaded streets to the ancient city, which linked the Roman Empire to Persia.

IS has set about destroying pre-Islamic monuments, tombs and statues it considers idolatrous, but experts say it is funding its “caliphate” by selling artifacts on the black market.

The Obama administration’s inaction against ISIS tells you all you need to know about which side it’s on in the battle between civilization and barbarism.

Posted at 5:34 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Mad Merkel Losing Political Allies in Ongoing ‘Refugee’ Onslaught

Really, what is wrong with this woman?

In an interview broadcast on German radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sunday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that while the refugee crisis was a “very big task,” Germany would be able to cope. During the “Interview of the Week,” Merkel said that asylum procedures needed to be sped up and that borders should be better protected. The chancellor also said it was essential to deal with the reasons people were fleeing at the source, and ensure that refugees were fairly distributed around Europe.

Building fences along borders was “pointless,” Merkel said, as refugees would find another way of entering Europe. “I don’t think that fences help. We saw that in Hungary,” she added.

Ochsenscheiss. I just returned from a week in Hungary and one thing that’s immediately apparent is that fences do work. The masses teeming around the central train station in Budapest are gone, and now the Hungarians simply detain the “migrants” at the border, bundle them onto buses and trains and ship them straight to Austria and onward to Germany. Frau Merkel is getting exactly what she asked for.

Top-selling German newspaper “Bild” on Monday reported that as many as 1.5 million asylum seekers could arrive in the country this year. The paper cited an “internal prognosis” that it said was classified as secret, without providing further details. The paper reported a likely rate of between 6,000 and 10,000 “illegal border crossings” per day in the fourth quarter of the year.

Wolfgang Schäuble, Merkel’s finance minister, said in an interview with broadcaster ZDF on Sunday that Europe needed to restrict the number of people coming to the continent. “We need to limit the influx to Europe,” he said. “We can’t manage this task at a national level anymore.”

“The EU will do that very quickly now, above all with Turkey,” Schäuble added. The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” and public broadcaster ARD reported on Sunday that the European Commission and the Turkish government had tentatively agreed to set up six new refugee camps for up to 2 million people, along with increased Greek-Turkish border patrols. On Saturday, Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer also criticized the refugee policy, calling Merkel’s handling of the crisis a mistake.

Meanwhile, ugliness is starting to rear its head:

The political statements came as right-wing activists with the anti-Islam PEGIDA group gathered to form what they called a “living border” against refugees coming into Germany. The demonstration on Sunday attracted 2,500 people in the town of Sebnitz, on the border with the Czech Republic.

On Saturday, around 1,000 people turned out for a “march of silence” in the city of Chemnitz to protest plans to adapt a former military base in the east of the country into housing for refugees. In the town of Görlitz on Saturday, a further 1,000 anti-immigrant protesters marched behind the slogan of “Görlitz defends itself” while 500 people held a rally with the opposite sentiment: “Görlitz cosmopolitan.”

Sebnitz, Chemnitz and Görlitz are all located in the old East Germany; those people have already had a bellyful of living under an alien, totalitarian regime and know exactly what’s coming if Merkel’s madness isn’t stopped. And so apparently do the Viennese:

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) has drawn nearly even with the ruling Social Democrats (SPÖ) in Vienna ahead of October 11 elections in the capital city state, according to a poll published Saturday. According to the survey, the FPÖ would win some 35 percent of the vote, just one point short of the SPÖ, which has controlled the Austrian capital since 1945.

The FPÖ, led by 46-year-old Heinz-Christian Strache, has gained steadily in the polls since the spring, thanks in part to the migrant crisis, like other far-right parties across Europe. In recent months Austria has become a major transit country for tens of thousands of migrants entering from Hungary — having travelled up through the western Balkans — bound for northern Europe, in particular Germany.

Posted at 5:04 am on October 5th, 2015 by

As If You Needed Another Reason to Vote Against Hillary Clinton

The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, seeking to “energize” her doomed campaign, keeps sliding ever-harder to the Left:

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will outline specific steps she would take to curb gun violence if elected during scheduled campaign stops in New Hampshire on Monday. Mrs Clinton spoke out forcefully in favor of new gun control measures after a shooting last week on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, which killed nine people and wounded another nine.

In appearances after the shooting, Mrs Clinton said she wants to begin a “national movement” to counter the influence of the National Rife Association, the nation’s top gun-rights advocacy group, but she has still to say what specific measures she would take if elected to the White House in November 2016.

Among the steps that she will outline later on Monday, her campaign said, is the use of presidential executive authority to close a “loophole” to ensure people buying firearms at gun shows and on the Internet undergo the same background checks and pay the same sales tax as when buying from traditional retailers.

Yeah, that will really help stop “gun violence,” won’t it? But wait — it gets worse:

During a day-long campaign swing through New Hampshire, Clinton’s campaign said she plans to propose a repeal of legislation that shields gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers from most liability suits, even in the case of mass shootings like the one that killed nine students and teachers at a community college on Thursday.

The proposal marks an effort by Clinton to stake out liberal ground against her closest rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. While Sanders has wooed the Democratic base with his liberal positions on issues like income inequality and college debt, he’s struggled to defend a more mixed record on gun legislation – a reflection, he says, of his rural, gun-friendly home-state.

“What is wrong with us, that we cannot stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby, and the gun manufacturers they represent?” Clinton said on Friday in Florida. “This is not just tragic. We don’t just need to pray for people. We need to act and we need to build a movement. It’s infuriating.”

No, Mrs. Clinton — you and your anti-constitutional ilk are infuriating. The Unholy Left wants confiscation, plain and simple, and each “common-sense” abridgment of Americans’ Second Amendment rights is designed to hasten that day.


Posted at 4:40 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Israel Approaches Its Moment of Truth

Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech before a hostile UN was, to my ears, basically a declaration of war against Iran. In response, the mullahs and their stooges have launched street attacks against Israelis in the streets of Jerusalem, which has led to closing the Old City to “Palestinians” over the weekend. Now, the Israeli prime minister has vowed a “fight to the death”:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged “a fight to the death against Palestinian terror” as clashes spread after two deadly attacks, while Jerusalem’s Old City was closed to Palestinians for a second day Monday. The Israeli premier’s comments late on Sunday came as he convened security chiefs immediately after landing back from the United States to discuss the clashes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs have faced off against Israeli security forces using both live rounds and rubber bullets. Jewish settlers have also clashed with Palestinians. The rioting has followed three attacks in recent days that have killed four Israelis and wounded several others, including a two-year-old child.

So, plucky little Israel defends itself against a sea of hostile Islamic savages, right? Of course not:

Threatening to further stoke the flames, Israeli troops shot dead an 18-year-old Palestinian during clashes in Tulkarem in the West Bank on Sunday, Palestinian police and medics said. Dozens of others have been wounded. There have been fears that the sporadic violence could spin out of control, with some warning of the risk of a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Netanyahu, facing pressure from right-wing members of his governing coalition to respond forcefully, announced a package of new measures “to prevent terror and deter and punish the attackers.” They included swifter demolition of the homes of those accused of attacks, broader use of detention without trial for suspects, and police and troop reinforcements for Jerusalem and the West Bank.

He also spoke of using restraining orders to keep “inciters” away from the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the site of repeated clashes in recent weeks. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who said in a UN speech last week that he was no longer bound by previous accords with Israel, accused the Israeli government of escalating tensions. It was not clear what Abbas’s UN declaration would mean in practice, including whether he would act to end security cooperation with Israel.

I think it’s pretty clear what Abbas meant,and I think Netanyahu does too. This will get much, much worse before it gets even worse.


Posted at 3:58 am on October 5th, 2015 by

Roseburg Newspaper Publisher: An Obama Visit Would Be ‘Very Inappropriate’ After He Politicized Shooting

The publisher of the conservative newspaper the Roseburg Beacon told Breitbart News reporter Lee Stranahan that Barack Obama would not be welcome in town after politicizing the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College on October 1.

Asked what he thought of the rumors that the president might be visiting Roseburg, David Jaques said that he thought it would be “very inappropriate” and “disrespectful to the families.”

As PJ Media reported on Friday, Roseburg is a politically conservative town that has a history of being very pro-2nd Amendment, and that hasn’t changed in the wake of the UCC massacre that left nine dead and nine injured.

“The fact is, the president has no connection with this community, he has no connection with any of the families,” he said.

Jaques argued that Obama made that “abundantly clear” when he rushed to a microphone to pontificate about gun control before all of the bodies had been identified, and before authorities had contained the scene.

“And he’s holding a press conference 3,000 miles away from here…almost implying that he could have singlehandedly prevented this from happening if Congress had listened to him.”

Because the president openly admitted that he was “politicizing” the tragedy, Jaques said he considered a potential visit from him nothing more than a campaign stop to further his agenda of disarming Americans.

“It shows not only a total disdain and disregard for our constitution, but for our very citizens — especially those of us here in Douglas County,” said Jaques. He added that “we believe in the Second Amendment. We believe in the whole Constitution.”

Jaques said he was proud of Sheriff John Hanlin, who, he said, “put the administration on notice that if you pass any laws, edicts or executive actions that are either unconstitutional or extra-constitutional, they will not be enforced in Douglas County.”

Although the liberal media has been busy savaging Hanlin for his pro-gun views, Jaques said that “we’re proud of him. That’s the kind of sheriff we elected overwhelmingly.” He added, “I think he’ll get higher numbers on this re-elect.”

“This is the heart of this country,” Jaques declared. “We love America, and we believe in the foundational principles that made this country great.”


Posted at 7:46 pm on October 4th, 2015 by

Was Jack the Ripper a Mason?

“Ripperology” is a popular pastime among amateur sleuths and armchair Sherlock Holmeses the world over. Now along comes actor, writer and director Bruce Robinson (The Killing FieldsWithnail and I) with an entirely new suspect:

For much of the past 15 years he has been absorbed in an extraordinary – and, frankly, improbable – quest. The identity of the man who was responsible for the horrific murders of five women in the East End of London over a nine-week period in 1888 remains one of the great mysteries in British criminal history. Robinson would dispute the use of the word ‘mystery’ – the word he prefers is ‘scandal’. But he is convinced he has solved it.

Next week sees the publication of They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper. More than 800 pages in length, it is the fruit of intense, one might say obsessive, dedication. ‘I thought it would take me two years – a year to research and a year to write,’ Robinson sighs. ‘Had I known – truly known – then what I know now, I would never have started.’

On the night of September 30, 1888, two women, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, were murdered within hours of each other on the streets of Whitechapel. They were the third and fourth women to have been murdered, and horribly mutilated, in the course of four weeks. The case of Jack the Ripper was already a cause of public alarm. But Charles Warren had not yet bestirred himself to visit the scene of the crimes. On that night, however, he rushed to the East End in the early hours of the morning – his priority, it seems, not to examine the bodies, but to inspect some graffiti scrawled on a wall in Goulston Street, close to where a bloodied apron belonging to Catherine Eddowes had been found. The graffiti read: ‘The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing.’

Warren immediately ordered the words be washed off the wall. ‘It was a light-bulb moment,’ Robinson remembers. ‘We’ve got this rampaging maniac in the East End, but it suddenly occurred to me – what if they didn’t want to catch him? Is there any mileage there? Let’s go down that street.

‘Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood – and that’s what happened. They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper was threatening. And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.’

I don’t want to give the solution or the name of the alleged culprit away, so please do read the whole thing, It’s ingenious and, given the prevalence of Masons among the British ruling class, far from implausible.



Posted at 12:45 pm on October 4th, 2015 by

Like America in 2015? Thank the Ted Kennedy of 1965

That was the year the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed, under the primary sponsorship of young Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy. Few laws have ever had such an effect on the nation:

In the subsequent half century, the pattern of U.S. immigration changed dramatically. The share of the U.S. population born outside the country tripled and became far more diverse. Seven out of every eight immigrants in 1960 were from Europe; by 2010, nine out of ten were coming from other parts of the world. The 1965 Immigration Act was largely responsible for that shift. No law passed in the 20th century altered the country’s demographic character quite so thoroughly. But its effects were largely inadvertent. The law’s biggest impact on immigration patterns resulted from provisions meant to thwart its ability to change much at all.

A part of the ongoing civil-rights movement, the Act — signed by president Johnson fifty years ago this weekend — essentially reversed the tide of European immigration in favor of underrepresented cultures. When some objected to changing the essential nature of the country by inviting the Third World to come in en masse, Teddy said:

Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area…  In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think…. The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.

Like so much of what the Democrat Party has done since then, the joke’s on us.



Posted at 12:22 pm on October 4th, 2015 by

Rand Paul Insists He Isn’t Going to Drop Out of the Race

Senator Rand Paul told Fox News’ Media Buzz thatreports to the contrary, he has no intention of dropping out of the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Paul also took some more shots at Senator Ted Cruz, after saying last week that the Texas senator was “pretty much done for” in the Senate.

“I think the rumors of my demise are somewhat exaggerated, to say the least,” Paul said Sunday on Fox News’ “Media Buzz.”

His paltry $2.5 million third quarter fundraising haul had sparked expectations that Paul might soon drop out. But he insisted Sunday that he doesn’t need much money to keep up his campaign efforts.

“We run a tight ship around here,” Paul said. “We plan on being in for the long hall, and I think ultimately celebrity will sort of filter out of this.”

Paul also took a shot at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of his GOP rivals for the 2016 presidential nomination.

Five days earlier, he’d said Cruz is “pretty much done for” in the Senate because he’s failed to form personal relationships with his colleagues. Paul repeated that criticism Sunday.

“I think we do have different styles. My style is when I disagree with someone, not to call them a name or be very inflammatory,” Paul said.

“I can be very strong in what I believe in and I’m willing to stand up for that,” he said. “But even (Senate Democratic leader) Harry Reid — who’s on the opposite side — I have pretty good relations with him, even though he’s a Democrat, and I wouldn’t call him a liar or I wouldn’t call him dishonest because I don’t think that furthers the debate, even with people you disagree with.”

Paul may not have much of a chance, but for a major candidate, it’s far too early to drop out. His fund-raising haul may not have been impressive, but he doesn’t need much to compete in the retail-politics states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Trump is finally showing signs of vulnerability, so the next debate is going to be crucial — especially for candidates in the lower tier. Lightning could strike any of them at the debate, propelling them back into the race.

Stranger things have happened, and Paul just needs to be ready if the spotlight shines in his direction.

Posted at 12:05 pm on October 4th, 2015 by

Should Christians Arm Themselves?

In the wake of the latest instance of an evil man opening fire upon helpless, unarmed people — in which Christians were singled out for instant death — the lieutenant governor of Tennessee has an idea:

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said in a Facebook posting Friday that “fellow Christians” should consider getting a handgun carry permit after the mass shooting in Oregon. Survivors told authorities the gunman demanded at least some of the victims state their religion before shooting them at a community college.

In his posting, Ramsey, also the Tennessee state Senate speaker, called recent U.S. mass shootings “truly troubling.” “I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit,” Ramsey wrote. “I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.”

As the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves.

Do Civilians with Guns Ever Stop Mass Shootings?


Posted at 11:36 am on October 4th, 2015 by

Chick-fil-A Arrives in New York, Gays, Animal-Rights Nuts Hardest Hit

Can you imagine this happening even ten years ago? This is the pace of “social change” in the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Hussein:

A highly adored and highly controversial fast food chain satisfied cravings and ruffled a few feathers Saturday with the grand opening of its first official Manhattan outpost. Chick-Fil-A, the massively popular Southern staple owned by a conservative Christian family known for their anti-gay marriage views, hatched a 5,000-square-foot store in Herald Square to mixed reviews from fervent devotees and activists.

“This is the best chicken in the world, in my opinion.” said Dana Kelly, 25, after devouring an original chicken sandwich with waffle fries. “It was completely worth it. It’s like nothing else.” Thousands of hungry, and soggy, fast food fanatics braved the bad weather to get a taste of the chain’s signature sandwiches. A few hundred even camped out overnight. Hours after the doors opened, a 20-minute-long line still stretched down W. 37th St. from the front doors on Sixth Ave.

But not everyone outside the new sandwich shop Saturday was there for a taste of chicken. “I was very shocked by the amount of people lining up to support this company,” said Lila Trenkova, a founder of Collectively Free, an animal and gay rights activist group. “I think that it’s ignorance rather than people actually not caring.” Trenkova and about two dozen others staged a demonstration outside the three-story behemoth to protest Chick-Fil-A’s history as a conservative-owned chicken palace.

Ha ha ha. But please note how the dying New York Daily News characterized the chain: “known for their anti-gay marriage views.” In fact, the views of the religiously conservative owners are “pro-traditional marriage.” But these days, to be on the same side of the issue that President Obama was until about five minutes ago is construed as “hate.”

The 10 Best Fast Food Restaurants

Posted at 11:22 am on October 4th, 2015 by

Trump: Middle East Would Be More Stable if Saddam, Gaddafi Were Still in Power

Donald Trump flashed his non-interventionist foreign policy credentials on Sunday, staking out a firm position against establishment candidates who favor a more active role for the U.S. military in the Middle East.

On Meet the Press, Trump said that the Middle East would be a more stable place today if the dictators Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power.

Trump mentioned the countries in comparison to current efforts to drive Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power.

“You can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there, it’s a mess,” Trump said on NBC.

“If you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there, it’s a mess. It’s going to be the same thing” in Syria, he said.

Asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd if the Middle East would be more stable with Gaddafi and Saddam in power, Trump replied, “Of course it would be.”

Trump, who leads the field of Republicans seeking the presidency in the November 2016 election in public opinion polls, has said he supports Russian efforts to fight Islamic State militants, even though Russia has backed Assad.

Trump said last week Assad might be replaced by someone worse if he were ousted.

Trump’s statement is one legitimate argument about “stability” in the Middle East — an ill-defined concept in a turbulent region. One can also make the argument that Hussein and Gaddafi were destabilizing influences in the Middle East by themselves and the difference between them being in power or out of power is the body count. They were murdering plenty of their own people while they were in power and Saddam threatened his neighbors, so the notion that “stability” would have been served if they remained is seductive but hardly probative.

Both arguments are academic. Arguing counterfactual outcomes to history is an exercise in futility. No one knows what would have happened if we didn’t fight a war with either Libya or Iraq. One or both leaders could have been assassinated. They might have been overthrown. The ingredients for civil war were present in both countries, making arguments of the type made by Trump interesting, but impossible to prove.

More to the point, Trump’s arguments go against the grain of Republican orthodoxy. In fact, Trump sounds positively Rand Paulian in his argument for non-intervention. Is this really the temper of Republican voters?

Perhaps not a majority of Republicans, but the American people are far warier of committing the military to adventures — especially in the Middle East. In this way, Trump has accurately taken the temperature of the voters and will no doubt benefit from the contrast with interventionist Republicans like Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush.

Posted at 9:54 am on October 4th, 2015 by

Chaffetz Running for Speaker of the House, Says He Can Unite Caucus

The race for speaker of the House got a shakeup today as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he will run for the post being vacated by retiring John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was critical of presumed front-runner Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) comments linking the Benghazi investigation to Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

“I am running for Speaker of the House of Representatives because I want to lead the way on tackling the toughest issues facing the United States of America,” Chaffetz said in a statement this morning.

“The American people have entrusted Republicans with the largest majority since the 1920’s, but with that majority comes a responsibility to get the job done that we were elected to do,” he added. “I came to Congress to help fix problems, and as Speaker I will fight every day to make that happen. I look forward to sharing my vision for the Speakership with my colleagues and the American people.”

Chaffetz, 48, was first elected in 2008, giving him two fewer years of congressional experience than McCarthy. He slept on a cot in his office when he came to the Hill to convey a message of fiscal responsibility.

“I’m very supportive of Kevin McCarthy, but those statements are just absolutely inappropriate, they should be withdrawn, Mr. McCarthy should apologize,” Chaffetz slammed McCarthy last week on MSNBC. “I just — I think it was absolutely wrong. It’s not — once upon a time it was myself and Trey Gowdy that were working on the Benghazi effort. It’s grown and expanded because we want to get to truth.”

“But to suggest that there was any sort of political motivation is absolutely — it’s not fair to Mr. Gowdy, it’s not fair to myself. And most importantly it’s not fair to those four families who lost those loved ones. That’s not why we’re doing this.”

McCarthy did backtrack his comments, telling Fox, “I did not imply in any way that that work is political, of course it is not. Look at the way they have carried themselves out.”

Chaffetz told Fox News Sunday this morning that his support for McCarthy dissipated because “things have changed and there’s really a math problem.”

“You need 218 votes on the floor of the House. There’s 246 Republicans that will vote, but there are nearly 50 people and a growing number that will not and cannot vote for Kevin McCarthy as the speaker on the floor. He’s going to fall short of the 218 votes on the floor of House,” Chaffetz said.

He stressed that McCarthy has majority of the conference support to win the closed-door secret ballot on Thursday. “But in many ways it doesn’t matter because the real vote is when you call that name out in front of everybody on the floor of the House.”

“But I just don’t believe that the nominee, if it’s Kevin McCarthy can actually get to 218,” Chaffetz continued. “That’s why I’ve offer myself as a candidate to try to bridge that divide. I think those 50-plus people find I’m a fair, even-balanced person, that I can bridge that divide between — there are more centrist members and some of the more far right-wing members. That’s why I’ve entered this race.”

Over the summer, Chaffetz stripped Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the insurgency against Boehner, of his Oversight subcommittee chairmanship as punishment for defying House leadership on fast-track trade authority.

“I think I learned from that lesson. That you’re not going to do things by cutting people off at the knees. I think I was a good leader and that I listened for an hour and 40 minds with my committee and reconsidered that decision,” he said this morning.

“We’ve got to win the argument and make case, not just knock people over the head if they don’t what we want to do. So, it’s a lesson learned. I think I’m better for it, and I think Mark is better for it, and we’re certainly good friends on this day.”

Chaffetz also responded to critics who charged he spent more time at the Planned Parenthood hearing talking about the organization’s finances with not enough questions about body-parts trafficking.

“We don’t have all the videos yet, but I do think it’s legitimate for a not-for-profit organization to question how they spend money. Exorbitant salaries, first class travel, charter airplane, they’re sending money overseas. These are not things that a not-for-profit needs,” he said.

“$127 million more in revenues than expenses and they want more federal money? I think we can tackle it both on trafficking in fetal body parts, but also about the finances.”

The only other name in the ring for speaker of the House is Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who unsuccessfully challenged Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) earlier this year and received the support of 11 colleagues.

The full House vote will be at the end of this month.

Posted at 9:08 am on October 4th, 2015 by

Confusion Surrounding U.S. Attack on Kunduz Hospital Run by Aid Group

There are conflicting reports about a tragic incident in Kunduz, Afghanistan, where a hospital run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders was bombed early Saturday morning.

The Afghan government claims that there were Taliban fighters in the hospital firing on their troops. DWB says the facility had been secured earlier in the evening and there was no way any of the Taliban could have used the hospital for cover.

Then there’s this NBC News video that appears to show automatic weapons in the windows of the burned-out hospital.

Twelve Doctors Without Borders staff along with seven patients, including three children, were killed after an apparent U.S. airstrike hit the international charity’s hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz.

Another 37 others were injured in the strike: 19 staff members, including five in critical condition, and 18 patients and caretakers, according to Jason Cone, the executive director for Doctors Without Borders in the U.S. The organization didn’t comment on the identities of the victims, but said all international staffers were alive and accounted for.

Coalition spokesman Col. Brian Tribus confirmed that a U.S. airstrike conducted at around 2:15 a.m. local time on Saturday (5:45 p.m. ET Friday) “may have caused collateral damage to a nearby health facility.” The incident was being investigated, he added.

Tribus said the bombing was targeting “individuals threatening the force.” The U.S. Embassy later described it as a “tragic incident.”

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a statement that U.S. forces, Afghan Security Force and Taliban fighters have all been active in the area surrounding the hospital, and “we are still trying to determine exactly what happened.”

Doctors Without Borders wants an independent inquiry into the tragedy:

“(The bombing) constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian law,” said Doctors Without Borders, which is known internationally as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF.

The bombardments continued even after U.S. and Afghan military officials were notified the hospital was being attacked, the charity said.

The White House released a statement from President Barack Obama offering condolences to the charity from Americans.

“The Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances of this tragedy,” the President said. “I … expect a full accounting of the facts and circumstances.”

But Christopher Stokes, MSF’s general director, told CNN that an independent inquiry was needed.

“We need an investigation that’s as independent and as transparent as possible, and we don’t only want the findings to be shared, we want — as well — to be able to read the full report,” he said.

“(T)he results of this investigation are I think important for us but also for the ability of humanitarian actors to continue working and provide lifesaving assistance in Afghanistan.”

The NATO mission in Afghanistan issued a statement saying it had directed a “preliminary multinational investigation known as a Casualty Assessment Team.”

“We anticipate having the results of this initial assessment in a matter of days. Additionally, the U.S. military has opened a formal investigation, headed by a General Officer, to conduct a thorough and comprehensive inquiry,” it said.

Does anyone think the U.S. deliberately targeted a hospital regardless of whether the Taliban was present or not? Apparently, the UN Human Rights chief is entertaining that notion:

“This deeply shocking event should be promptly, thoroughly and independently investigated and the results should be made public,” he said, according to a U.N. statement issued Saturday. “The seriousness of the incident is underlined by the fact that, if established as deliberate in a court of law, an airstrike on a hospital may amount to a war crime.”

Meanwhile, in Syria, Russia is, indeed, deliberately targeting civilians, using unguided ordnance (“dumb bombs”) on urban centers guaranteed to inflict maximum casualties on innocents. And in Yemen, the Saudis recently broke up a wedding party by dropping a few bombs on the festivities, killing at least 131 civilians.

The outrage directed at Russia and the Saudis has been pretty much pro-forma to this point, highlighting the appalling double standard when it comes to blaming America when unintended civilian casualties occur.

Posted at 7:36 am on October 4th, 2015 by