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Ryan Says He’s Learned Lessons About ‘Slighting People Who are Depending Upon Government’

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is out with a new book on his 2012 vice presidential run and beyond, says he’s “learned a lot” from the experiences of the past few years.

“I made some mistakes. And I think you need to own up. That’s the other thing. People in public life, for some reason they don’t think it is right to own up to mistakes,” Ryan told PBS. “In private lives we are supposed to, I mean as adults. So I made some mistakes and I own up to those mistakes. I can learn from that.”

That includes using the phrase “makers and takers” to describe those using public assistance programs.

“What I meant when I said it was that we have a system where too many people are becoming dependent upon the government, and there won’t be enough people paying for the government to keep that kind of a system going,” Ryan said. “And what I meant to say is we need to focus on getting people off of welfare into work. We need to focus on getting people to where they want to get in life so that they can be upwardly mobile, so they can be self-sufficient. So they can reach their dreams. Because the whole American idea as I describe here is that the condition of your birth in this country doesn’t determine the outcome of your life.”

“And the role and goal of government is to protect our natural rights and promote equality of opportunity so we can make the most of our lives. And I was trying to articulate the fact that our system, our federal government has gotten too big, has gotten to top down, too coercive and a lot of people aren’t seeing this. A lot of people aren’t getting this opportunity.”

What it sounded like, the congressman said, ”is I was slighting people who are depending upon government who earned benefits.”

“And so that was not what I meant to say but it is — it took a liberal Democrat at the Rock County Fair in Janesville, Wisconsin, to come up to me and tell me really what it sounded like. And I realized after this guy kind of laid into me, you know, he is right,” Ryan continued.

“I think it does come across that way so I need to change the way I talked, and the thinking behind it, so that I can communicate more effectively, which is we want a system where everybody can make the most of their lives. Those of us who are conservatives, that doesn’t mean we are for no government. We want government to be effective and limited so that it can do what it is supposed to do well to help get people where they need to be.”

Ryan admitted that his running mate on the GOP ticket, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had the same problem with his 47 percent comments.

“What I am trying to say is in this hyperpolarized time we are in, I would like to think that there is a majority in this country that if given a very clear mandate, a very clear choice, built upon a clear governing philosophy that we can recapture that spirit in this country and get these reforms passed,” he said. ”…What I think is prevailing is a government-centered view of American life that is based on collaboration, that is more top- down, that is not respecting people in communities, that is not respecting local control.”

Posted at 7:25 am on September 30th, 2014 by

Hong Kong v China – Less Government Is So Obviously Better

Perhaps lost in the incessant, rolling bad news shuffle that is the Barack Obama Administration are the ongoing Hong Kong protests of rising Chinese domestic interference.

This is exactly the sort of thing we freedom lovers and free marketeers feared when in 1984 the British agreed to in 1997 hand over control of the island to the mainland Communists.

To alleviate the concern, the Chinese Communists pledged non-interventionism.

(T)he Chinese government in Beijing promised to let Hong Kong keep its special rights and its autonomy — a deal known as “one country, two systems.”

But we knew the Chinese Communist Party couldn’t forever resist assaulting the golden goose.

(S)tudent groups led peaceful marches to protest China’s new plan for Hong Kong’s 2017 election, which looked like China reneging on its promise to grant the autonomous region full democracy….

Crackdown on Protests by Hong Kong Police Draws More to the Streets

Downtown Hong Kong turned into a battlefield of tear gas and seething crowds on Sunday after the police moved against a student democracy protest, inciting public fury that brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets of a city long known as a stable financial center.

Sound familiar?

Chaos In Hong Kong Rivals Tiananmen Square Crackdown 25 Years Ago

And there is no question Hong Kong is a golden goose.  Left to its autonomous, less-government ways Hong Kong has become a free speech-free market Xanadu.

As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong’s service-oriented economy is characterized by low taxation, near free port trade and well established international financial market….

According to Index of Economic Freedom since the inception of the index in 1995, Hong Kong has remained the world’s freest economy. 

The economy is governed under positive non-interventionism, and is highly dependent on international trade and finance….

Hong Kong’s gross domestic product, between 1961 and 1997, has grown 180 times. Also, the GDP rose by 87 times per capita….

This policy has often been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as an example of the benefits of laissez-faire capitalism.

Is the golden goose threatened?  The entire flock is.

Hong Kong Unrest May Shake World Economy

The Chinese Communists should understand this.  They have over the last couple of decades loosened ever so slightly their internal economic restrictions.  Which has allowed for some selective, amazing growthAlibaba, anyone? – of which those under the authoritarians could previously only dream.

So here we have perfect, evolutionary compares-and-contrasts.

Decades of on-all-fours, Huge Government China – resulting in horrendous human condition, tens of millions of deaths and abject destitution.

Slightly loosened Chinese government shackles – resulting in limited economic explosion.

And walking upright – sprinting forward, actually?  Minimalist regulation Hong Kong – whose free markets and free trade have resulted in the freest and best economy on Earth.

Which would you choose?

We here have the opportunity to learn these lessons – and make the right choices.  In sectors throughout our economy.

A horrendous example of de-evolutionary, destructive, China-esque domestic policy?

Over those seventy or so years, our anti-free-market farm policy warped the emerging global farm market.  The world’s growers saw our bad moves – and matched them.  Subsidy-for-subsidy, tax-for-tax, protectionism-for-protectionism.

Seven decades later, we have a worldwide Crony Socialist nightmare mess.

All of which can be simply fixed.

The world’s crop-producing nations need to sit down together, each with a copy of everyone else’s lists of protectionist policies. And start horse trading.

“Brazil – how about if you get rid of this subsidy, we’ll each get rid of one.”

“Mexico – if you get rid of this tariff, we’ll each get rid of one.”

Let the subsequent discussions ensue. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And then we do the same with iPhone parts.  And cars.  And tires.  And….

China has slowly, selectively learned these lessons – and has begun crawling towards the triumphant Hong Kong free market model.  Even as they now look to rein in the visual aide.

We have spent the last decades too often assuming the Chinese-model fetal positions.

There’s an old joke:

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

Doctor: “Don’t do that.”

It hurts when China does it.  It hurts when China does it to Hong Kong.

Why are we doing it to ourselves?  And thus the rest of the world?

Posted at 6:53 am on September 30th, 2014 by

Ben Carson Lends Name to NRSC Fundraising Effort

With the end-of-month fundraising deadline upon us, Republicans and Democrats have been lobbying supporters hard for campaign cash.

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who piqued conservatives’ interest with his speech at the February 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, lent his name to a fundraising letter emailed Monday by the campaign arm of the Senate GOP.

“Replacing Obamacare starts with taking back the Senate from Harry Reid and the Democrats,” states the Carson email for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “We, as a country, need to have a real conversation about how to reform our healthcare system in a way that improves quality, reduces costs, expands access, and honors America’s legacy.”

“Instead of having that conversation, Democrats have been raising millions of dollars to spread their false attacks on conservatives….We need your help to set the record straight.”

The email links to a donation page asking for supporters to chip in $20.14 to the NRSC.

“Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance this year, but the Democrats are currently outspending Republicans in the most competitive states,” Carson continues. “Election Day is getting closer and closer. We need supporters like you to win back the Senate and reform our healthcare system.”

Carson’s endorsements this election cycle have favored the Tea Party challenger in some instances and the NRSC-favored candidate in others.

In the Oklahoma Senate race, Carson endorsed Tea Party favorite T.W. Shannon over the eventual primary winner, Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.). In Louisiana, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Tea Party challenger Rob Maness are vying to oust Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.); Carson has endorsed Cassidy. He’s also endorsed Scott Brown in the New Hampshire Senate race and Monica Wehby in Oregon, the latter drawing the ire of former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) because of Wehby’s stance on abortion.

Carson argued that Wehby is “personally… pro-life,” but “she’s pragmatic also and she knows that there’s no way you’re going to win in Oregon with that stance.”

Recently he launched his own political action committee, the USA First PAC.

It’s part of his consideration of a presidential run in 2016.

“It would be much more pleasant to put my feet up, to relax. You know, I’ve made plenty of money, I can live a very comfortable life, and that would be my preference,” Carson told Fox News Sunday. “However, given the state of our nation, looking at what’s going on, and understanding that sometimes we’re called to do things that we don’t want to do because we have to do them, and we look at the future of our children, our grandchildren, all the people who come behind us, if we all run for the hills, if we all run for the most comfortable place and just allow whatever to happen happen, then we get what we deserve.”

Carson said a lack of political experience wouldn’t affect how he would perform in the Oval Office.

“I think what is required for leadership is wisdom and the ability to assemble an appropriate team, ability to listen and an ability to make wise decisions,” he said.

A peek at just a bit of the avalanche of fundraising begs on Monday:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 9.42.06 PM

Posted at 6:41 am on September 30th, 2014 by

Is the DOJ Correct to Ban Religious and Racial Profiling?

Race seems to be a major theme of the moment. The events in Ferguson, Missouri have brought race relations to the surface of the political and cultural discourse.

Now, among his final acts as outgoing Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder stands poised to expand a ban on racial and religious profiling in federal investigations, eliminating a national security exemption. The news hits immediately after the Council on American-Islamic Relations called upon Holder to do so. Fox News reports:

The expected ban comes amid heightened concerns of Islamic militant groups executing a terror attack on U.S. soil and was reportedly opposed by national security officials.

A Justice Department official told Fox News on Monday that outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder will announce the policy change in the coming weeks and that it will also put an end to profiling based on ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Holder intended to announce the policy change several months ago, but the White House ordered a last-minute hold so the Department of Homeland Security could review the national security implications, a congressional aide told The Los Angeles Times, which on Saturday first reported the story.

Either the DHS review concluded that policy change would make sense in the midst of an ongoing investigation into the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma by an apparent Islamic militant, or the administration doesn’t care what its national security experts think. Either way, the feds stand set to consider white Catholic nuns as no less likely to commit acts of terrorism than Arab Muslim totalitarians.

The practice of profiling bears an unfair negative connotation. Profiling has been an integral part of law enforcement and national security operations for as long as such endeavors have existed, and for good reason. When a crime is committed, investigators could proceed randomly. Or they could proceed based upon the trends evident in past cases. The latter method does not model an irrational prejudice.

Factors such as race and religion may prove critical to an investigation. The Fox News article cites “the monitoring of some religious groups and surveillance on mosques without evidence of suspected criminal activity” as being of particular concern to Holder and the DOJ. But what if criminal activity proves part and parcel of your religious beliefs? If you adhere to a religion which preaches the killing of non-believers, doesn’t that make you suspect in and of itself?

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 10:43 minutes long; 10.36 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

Posted at 11:58 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Voice Hacking: Is Siri A Little Too Friendly?

Comforting.

Voice-activated technology is so vulnerable to attack that users should immediately disable speech recognition on all their devices, a security researcher at AVG has warned.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at the anti-virus company, has carried out several experiments which revealed the new techniques hackers might use to gain control of voice-controlled devices.

He made the ominous prediction that a “thief outside the door” could take control of gadgets such as smart televisions or laptops from outside a target’s home, potentially burgling them without even smashing a window.

The vulnerability of technology which uses voice commands is likely to become an important issue in the coming years, as smartwatches and connected home devices grow in popularity and the technology becomes commonplace.

Just when you thought technology was making everything easier, now comes the potential for some creeper outside your window to give you a really embarrassing Netflix search history.

I admit, I love the new stuff and try everything when it first comes out, with very little thought about what new nightmare scenarios hackers might be working up. Voice activation was the sci-fi thing we all just expected to be a fact of life. Now I am ready to go to a stationery store and start writing letters to people again.

Still gonna need IMDB when I’m watching a movie though.

Posted at 5:47 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Religion of Peace Iranian Government to Execute Woman for Fighting Off Rapist

Hope. Change.

An Iranian woman sentenced to death for killing a man who tried to rape her told her mother goodbye and prepared to die, even as the Islamic republic’s president was meeting with world leaders at the United Nations.

Rayhaneh Jabbari, 26, is set to be executed Tuesday, according to reports from Iran. On Monday, her mother, Shole Paravan, recounted on her Facebook page an emotional farewell call her daughter made when a sympathetic guard loaned her a cellphone before she was taken to Rajaiy Shahr Prison to be hanged.

Gosh, it seems like just last year that the American media was hailing the election of a “moderate Muslim cleric” as president of Iran as a sign that the times they were a changin’.

Of course, anyone in the United States who possesses an IQ above forty knows that the notion of “moderate” in Islam is quite relative and in Iran it simply means, “Takes longer to kill you.”

The MSM here continues to pretend that the Islamists who want to blow you up are the fringe and that moderates are the norm.

Perhaps they should have found a better description for Rouhani, because he isn’t really helping their case.

Posted at 5:25 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

‘UN Human Rights Council Is Oxymoron’-Bibi’s Full UN Address (VIDEO)

He came to chew gum and kick you-know-what. And he never even brought any gum.

Posted at 5:02 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Germany Reduces Military Spending, Now Can’t Meet Long-Term NATO Commitments

No kidding.

Germany’s defense minister warns that her country currently can’t meet its long-term NATO commitments because of a widespread grounding of German military planes and helicopters.

“At the moment, we are below the target numbers announced a year ago on airborne systems we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in cases of emergency,” Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag over the weekend. “The reason is the delays in getting replacement parts” for planes and a recent grounding of German navy helicopters.

Scores of German military aircraft have been grounded, according to confidential reports recently leaked to the German media. Only 42 of 109 Eurofighters are considered airworthy, as are 38 of 89 Tornado fighters. Of Germany’s C-160 military transport planes, only 24 of 43 are in service and a delivery of replacement Airbus transportation planes is behind schedule.

And:

This year, Germany reduced defense spending by more than $1 million, to $41.3 billion, which is far below NATO’s recommended level of 2 percent of the GDP.

Hmmm…I wonder if there is anywhere else that this kind of stuff is going on.

Posted at 4:52 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

30 Second Vid Of Chuck Schumer Epitomizes Dems’ Climate Demagoguery

Step 1: Posit something that is demonstrably false.

Step 2: Run away before anyone can question it.

Blather, rinse, repeat.

Posted at 3:55 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Disturbing: White House Fence Jumper Went Farther Than Originally Reported

This is unsettling.

The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.

An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds, often through the alarm boxes posted around the property, they must immediately lock the front door.

After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.

The Secret Service hasn’t been getting press notices for favorable reasons in the last year or so and this incident raises all kinds of questions. Obviously, the biggest question is, “Why weren’t we told this from the beginning?”

The public obviously doesn’t need to know the details of presidential security but it has a right to know when something goes horribly awry like this. It’s terrifying to think that any random loon can get into the White House.

Any random loon who isn’t Vice President, that is.

Posted at 3:07 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

MSNBC Ignores Major Fact in Oklahoma Beheading

See if you can figure out what MSNBC leaves out of this report.

Posted at 2:47 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Report: ISIS to Open Its First Consulate?

According to a report in Another Western Dawn News, the Islamic State is set to open its first foreign consulate.

The report says that the Islamic State’s facility will be in Istanbul, Turkey.

Abu-Omar Al-Tunisi, the ISIS de facto head of foreign relations issued a statement, saying that the Islamic Caliphate is determined to launch its first diplomatic mission in a friendly and Muslim country. He further noted that the ISIS hopes that the bilateral relations with Ankara will witness more developments under the aegis of newly-elected president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

ISIS also claims that its consulate in Istanbul will pay the hospital bills of all wounded Islamist militants who traveled to turkey [sic] to receive medical treatment.

Under President Recep Erdogan, Turkey has gone in an increasingly Islamist direction. Turkey now tilts toward Hamas rather than Israel.

If the above report is correct, Turkey may be playing both sides in the ISIS war. Erdogan speculated today that the Turkish army could be used to protect its territory and to fight ISIS in it neighbor Syria.

Erdogan said negotiations are underway to determine how and by which countries the air strikes and a potential ground operation would be undertaken and that Turkey is ready to take part.

“In the distribution of responsibilities, every country will have a certain duty. Whatever is Turkey’s role, Turkey will play it,” he said, adding that an air operation alone was not sufficient.

“You can’t finish off such a terrorist organisation only with air strikes. Ground forces are complementary … You have to look at it as a whole. Obviously I’m not a soldier but the air (operations) are logistical. If there’s no ground force, it would not be permanent,” he said.

He is certainly right about that. He added that a nation should protect its borders. Fancy that.

Posted at 2:00 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Rich Big-Name Democrat Donna Brazile Wants to Scrap the Constitution

It’s always worth keeping an eye on Donna Brazile’s Twitter feed. It offers a revealing look into the mind of a big-name leftwinger who has the Democratic Party’s ear.

Brazile is the Obamacare supporter who tweeted her surprise that after that law passed, her insurance rate went up.

Brazile had no idea what Margaret Thatcher had done as British prime minister.

Brazile wants to love-bomb ISIS rather than take them on militarily. Because “hate is not a family value,” or something.

Now, this towering ignoramus wants to shred the Constitution to shut down “loudmouths” along with some of her fellow one-percenters.

Brazile doesn’t follow that up with any concrete proposals. She links to a Salon.com article — they’re over on the far left. So the idea of scrapping the Constitution isn’t a case of Brazile just mouthing off. Leftist are talking about it among themselves. As is typical when they’re having a team dialogue, Tea Partiers, Antonin Scalia and Citizens United serve as monsters. Those are “tells” — they want a leftwing Constitution to stifle speech and thought from the right.

As Powerline notes, scrapping the Constitution has been a goal of many on the left in the “progressive” movement since the days of Woodrow Wilson. The racist progressive president and KKK supporter consistently argued for replacing the Constitution.

Brazile, who managed Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, gives us a trio of targets that serve as “tells” — “charlatans,” loudmouths and the one-percent.” “Charlatans” and “loudmouths” are subjective terms in politics. One person’s loudmouth is another person’s hero for speaking truth to power. She probably means people like Sen. Ted Cruz, the Koch brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, the left’s usual targets of hate.

Donna Brazile wants to rewrite the Constitution so that it serves her own political interests and gives her more power and makes her richer. This is not reform. Greed and lust are really at the heart of that tweet.

Posted at 1:33 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

VIDEO — ABC’s Jon Karl Grills White House Spokesman for Underestimating ISIS

In an exchange that is sure not to make it on ABC’s evening newscast tonight, reporter Jon Karl went through several warnings regarding the rise of ISIS with White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Karl grilled Earnest, and Earnest’s response is that “everyone” underestimated ISIS and was surprised at their ability to sweep across from Syria into Iraq and take and hold a huge amount of territory.

Earnest brings up DNI James Clapper, and Karl hits back that Clapper is not the only person who deals with intelligence in the US government. Karl brings up Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk’s warning from November 14, 2013, and a military warning from February 2014. In between both warnings, President Obama gave his infamous “ISIS are JV” interview.

Karl lists three times that President Obama was warned, or should have been, about the rise of ISIS. They include McGurk’s warning, US Ambassador to Iraq Robert Beecroft’s warning on January 23, 2014, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s warning on February 11, 2014.

Obama ignored them all. Now he claims that the intelligence community got it wrong.

The president clearly doesn’t care about the truth, which is that he missed clear warnings as ISIS rose. He chose to downplay the threat.

The next question that needs to be asked is why did he miss them? Or did he choose to ignore them?

Posted at 12:55 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

White House ‘Closely Watching’ Hong Kong Protests; China Says Butt Out

The White House said Monday it supports “the aspirations of the Hong Kong people” as thousands have filled the streets in defiance of the Chinese government to demand democracy.

The Occupy Central movement is protesting law that requires Beijing to approve chief executive candidates, and the PRC today warned other countries against siding with the demonstrators.

“I have read the news reports about this. I can tell you that the U.S. government is closely watching the situation in Hong Kong,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said today when asked about the protests. “Around the world — so this is true in Hong Kong and other places — the United States supports internationally recognized fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of peaceful assembly and the freedom of expression. The United States urges the Hong Kong authorities to exercise restraint and for protesters to express their views peacefully.”

Protesters have been using a sea of colorful umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas and pepper spray being fired at crowds, thus earning the movement the nickname “Umbrella Revolution.”

“The United States supports universal suffrage — universal suffrage in Hong Kong in accordance with the basic law. And we support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people,” Earnest continued. “We believe that an open society with the highest possible degree of autonomy, and governed by the rule of law is essential for Hong Kong stability and prosperity. Indeed, this is what has made Hong Kong such a successful and truly global city to this point.”

“But we have consistently made our position known to Beijing, and will continue to do so. We believe that the basic legitimacy of the chief executive in Hong Kong will be greatly enhanced if the basic law’s ultimate aim of selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage is fulfilled. We also believe that the legitimacy of the chief executive will be enhanced if the election provides the people of Hong Kong a genuine choice of candidates that are representative of the peoples’ and the voters’ will.”

When asked if the White House would like to see Hong Kong demonstrators’ demands of free speech and democracy extended to mainland China as well, Earnest replied  ”the short answer to that is yes.”

“The longer answer is that we make a point out of every interaction with Chinese — senior Chinese Government officials that respect for basic universal human rights is critically important. There’s no question that it’s the foundation of our democracy,” he continued. “We believe that it should be the foundation of any government and that that respect for an protection of basic universal human rights is an important principle and it’s a principle that is raised every time that a senior member of this administration is dealing with a senior member of the Chinese Government.”

President Obama travels to Beijing in November, and Earnest said “the president will certainly raise that the protection of basic universal human rights is critically important.”

“That’s something that the president has done in every interaction that he’s had with the Chinese leadership and I’m confident that that will be part of the conversation that he is looking forward to having in November.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stressed at a press conference today that the “central government firmly opposes all kinds of illegal acts in Hong Kong that undermine the rule of law and sabotage social security and fully believes and strongly supports the lawful handling of the case by the Hong Kong SAR government.”

“We have noticed remarks made by certain countries. I’d like to reiterate that Hong Kong is China’s Kong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China,” Hua said. “Hong Kong affairs fully fall within China’s domestic affairs. We hope that relevant countries can be prudent in their words and deeds, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong in any way, stay away from supporting the illegal acts such as ‘Occupy Central,’ and do not send out wrong signals.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) noted that he wrote Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago about China’s undermining Hong Kong’s autonomous status.

“The people of Hong Kong want nothing more than what those in free countries around the globe have: the right to peacefully assemble, speak freely and choose their own leaders. The protesters have taken to the streets peacefully, with nothing more than umbrellas in hand. The security forces use tear gas and threaten greater force,” Rubio said today in a statement.

“They use police investigative powers to intimidate free press and those who support rights of free association. Meanwhile, the government in Beijing censors news and information about developments in Hong Kong to those on the mainland, going so far as to block social media sites such as Instagram.”

Rubio said the Obama administration “must make clear that any violence against peaceful protesters will have significant consequences for U.S.-China relations.”

The senator added he was “disheartened” by the reaction of the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong: “We do not take sides in the discussion of Hong Kong’s political development, nor do we support any particular individuals or groups involved in it.”

“It is longstanding U.S. policy, enshrined in the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, to support democratization in Hong Kong and to support the human rights of the people of Hong Kong,” Rubio said. “America should be on the side of those in the street peacefully protesting for their fundamental freedoms.”

 

 

 

Posted at 12:45 pm on September 29th, 2014 by

Netanyahu: ‘The Nazis Believed in a Master Race; the Militant Islamists Believe in a Master Faith’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United Nations General Assembly today about “militant Islam” and chided those who don’t see the connections between ISIS and Hamas or Iran.

“Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, same countries that now support confronting ISIS opposed Israel for confronting Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control. Listen to ISIS self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” he continued. “This is what he said two months ago. ‘A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master. The Muslims who caused the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism and destroy the idol of democracy.’”

“Now listen to Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future. ‘We say this to the west: by Allah, you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world.’”

Netanyahu stressed that even if these groups operate in different lands, “they all seek to create ever-expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance; where women are treated as cattle; Christians are decimated; and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die.”

“The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith,” he said. “They just disagree who among them will be the master of the master faith.”

The prime minister said “the Islamic State of Iran” is where militant Islam could soon “have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions.”

“Iran’s president, Rouhani, stood here last week and shed crocodile tears over what he called the globalization of terrorism. Maybe he should spare us those phony tears and have a word instead with the commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. He could ask them to call off Iran’s global terror campaign, which has included attacks in two dozen countries, on five continents since 2011 alone,” Netanyahu said.

“You know, to say that Iran doesn’t practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees.”

Netanyahu, who will meet with President Obama on Wednesday at the White House, warned everyone to not “be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive.”

“It’s designed for one purpose and for one purpose, only, to lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran’s path to the bomb,” he said.

“…It’s one thing to confront militant Islamists on pickup trucks armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It’s another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weapons of mass destruction.”

The Israeli leader presented a stark comparison with the terror group that has captured Washington’s attention as of late.

“Would you let ISIS enrich uranium? Would you let ISIS build a heavy-water reactor? Would you let ISIS develop inter-continental ballistic missiles? Of course you wouldn’t. Then you mustn’t let the Islamic state of Iran do those things either, because here’s what’ll happen,” Netanyahu said. “Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charms and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. And it’s then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.”

“Make no mistake, ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.”

Netanyahu also defended Israel from attacks from the UN Human Rights Council — he dubbed it the “Terrorist Rights Council” — and stressed that “Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.”

“For 50 days this past summer, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, many of them supplied by Iran,” he said. “…Israel justly defended itself against both rocket attacks and terror tunnels… Israel was doing everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and Palestinian civilian casualties.”

“Israel’s soldiers deserve not condemnation but admiration, admiration from decent people everywhere.”

Netanyahu held aloft a photo of Hamas rocket launchers nestled in a civilian neighborhood, images captured by French journalists.

“I say to President Abbas, these are the crimes, the war crimes, committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for,” he added. “And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated or spoken out against from this podium last week.”

“…Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians, that’s a double war crime, Hamas is given a pass. The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: Use civilians as a human shield. Use them again and again and again. And you know why? Because, sadly, it works.”

Posted at 10:55 am on September 29th, 2014 by

NBC Report: Kurds Frustrated Because US Airstrikes Are Not Hitting ISIS Hard Enough (Update: ISIS Agrees)

NBC’s Richard Engel is embedded with Kurdish fighters on the ground in the Iraq-Syria-Turkey border region. He reports that the Kurds are becoming frustrated with the lack of power that the US is showing in the fight against ISIS.

Engel appeared with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today. He said that Kurds in Syria are “very eager” to get into the fight. He also described what he is seeing.

“Right now i’m on a hill overlooking an ongoing battle between ISIS fighters and Syrian Kurds,” Engel said. “The ISIS fighters are operating in the open. They have an open field and they are dressed in black and have been exchanging gunfire and we are watching the battle unfold and we have been talking to other Kurds who have been watching the same thing and they are very frustrated because they say if the US wants to carry out air strikes and wants to attack ISIS, there they are. They are operating not in a hidden way. They are easy to find. Obviously the US is carrying out air strikes, just not on a scale that the Kurdish fighters would like to see.”

Engel said that many of the Kurdish fighters decided that they couldn’t wait for US airstrikes any longer, so they charged the ISIS fighters despite the fact that the Kurds didn’t have any weapons to fight with.

Update: CNN interviewed an ISIS fighter who agrees — the US-led airstrikes are not hitting the group very hard. They were prepared for the strikes, and hid themselves and their equipment ahead of time.

Posted at 10:27 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Poll: Huge Majority Really Don’t Believe it When Obama Promises ‘No Boots On the Ground’ Vs ISIS

President Obama keeps promising that there will be no American boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS. Hardly anyone believes him, according to a new poll.

More than seven in 10 Americans say the United States will end up using its own combat troops against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, despite President Barack Obama’s assertion that U.S. combat troops won’t be on the ground there.

This finding comes from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll, which also shows that Americans are divided over the merits of using U.S. combat troops – 45 percent are in favor of using them if military commanders think they’re the best way to defeat the ISIS army, while 37 percent are opposed.

[A]ccording to the poll, 72 percent of Americans believe the United States will still use its ground troops anyway against ISIS, versus just 20 percent who think it won’t.

I believe that Obama will not insert more Americans on the ground to fight ISIS until and unless he absolutely has to. He has tipped his hand repeatedly, by calling out Yemen and Somalia as counterterrorism successes — the Islamic State is here to stay.

Posted at 9:41 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Fired Oklahoma Muslim Threatened to Behead Co-Worker

More “workplace violence?”

In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off.

Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on a terrorism complaint. His bail is set at $1 million.

The woman was not identified.

She said Muriithi identified himself as a Muslim and said he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians,” the detective told a judge in the affidavit. The two had not worked together before.

The woman said she asked him why they kill Christians and he replied, “This is just what we do,” the detective reported.

“The victim said Jacob asked her what time she got off work and she replied by asking him in a joking manner if he was going to kill her,’ the detective wrote. “Jacob told the victim, ‘Yes,’ he was going to cut her head off. The victim asked Jacob what he was going to cut her head off with and he said, ‘A blade,’ then told her after he did it he was going to post it on Facebook.

“The victim said Jacob was serious when speaking and never made any statements that he was joking or playing around.”

Posted at 9:29 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Admin Lauds ‘Key Outcomes’ of UN Human Rights Council, Including LGBT Discrimination Resolution

President Obama reversed President George W. Bush’s decision to boycott the UN Human Rights Council, and the State Department said the 27th session last week “underscored the importance of robust U.S. engagement at the Council, where the United States continues to work with countries from all regions to address urgent human rights concerns.”

“U.S. leadership helped to keep the Council at the forefront of international efforts to promote and protect human rights, including by underscoring the critical role of civil society,” the department said in a fact sheet detailing “key outcomes” at the session:

LGBT: The Council adopted the second-ever UN resolution on violence and discrimination facing LGBT persons world-wide. Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay led the resolution, with the United States co-sponsoring and lobbying heavily. Countries from every geographic region joined its supporters. The resolution will lead to further UN reporting on this critical human rights issue.

Civil Society Space: The United States proudly supported the HRC’s second resolution urging states to create and maintain, in law and in practice, a safe and enabling environment for civil society. The Ireland-led resolution underscored the importance for civil society to be able to seek, receive, and use resources and affirmed freedom of expression

Syria: The HRC’s 15th resolution on Syria focused on torture and the situation in Syrian prisons, and reiterated the international community’s demand for unfettered humanitarian access in Syria.

Yemen, CAR, DRC, and Sudan: The United States co-sponsored resolutions on Yemen, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, highlighting our shared commitment to protecting human rights through assistance and enhanced dialogue. The Council extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan, through a resolution that criticized ongoing violations and abuses of human rights in Sudan.

Journalists, FGM, and Political Participation: The HRC’s Safety of Journalists resolution condemned recent violence against journalists and urged states to provide protection and prevent such actions. The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) resolution acknowledged progress toward the elimination of FGM but underlined ongoing concerns. The Equal Participation in Political and Public Affairs resolution urged all states to eliminate barriers to the full participation of all citizens in political and public affairs.

The LGBT resolution was singled out in a statement by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said the “historic” passage “marks yet another important chapter in UN efforts to stand united against the human rights abuses that LGBT individuals face around the world.”

The vote was 25 in favor and 14 against, with seven abstentions.

Countries voting against the measure, which “takes note with appreciation of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights entitled ‘Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity’” and commissions a major report on challenges facing gays worldwide, were Algeria, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan said “the wider connotations of sexual orientation could be detrimental” and “Muslims strongly believed that their religious and cultural values should be respected.”

“The United States will continue to promote human rights around the world for all people,” Kerry said. “Who you love, and who you are, must not be an excuse or cover for discrimination or abuse, period.”

Posted at 9:10 am on September 29th, 2014 by

McCain: Obama’s Plan to Train Syrians to Fight ISIS But Not Assad ‘Unworkable’ and ‘Immoral’

When asked on CBS 60 Minutes Sunday night if the battle against ISIS was really a war or not, President Obama called it ”assisting Iraq in a very real battle that’s taking place on their soil, with their troops, but we are providing air support.”

“And it is in our interests to do that because ISIL represents sort of a hybrid of not just a terrorist network but one with territorial ambitions and so some of the strategy and tactics of an army,” Obama continued. “This is not America against ISIL.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said this morning that Obama is framing it wrong: “This is ISIL against America.”

“When Mr. Baghdadi left our prison after spending four years, he walked out and said I’ll see you in America,” McCain said of the self-proclaimed caliph. “All you have to do is watch what they’re saying. And, again, I am just puzzled by the president, some of his statements, for example, he left behind a stable Iraq. We have predicted exactly what would happen.”

“…It is a direct result of our failure to leave a residual force behind. And when they say we couldn’t, they are not telling the truth, because I was over there with Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman and we know it for a fact. So — and this here idea that somehow we didn’t know that this was happening, of course we knew it. We saw it happening.”

McCain then turned to Obama’s strategy of training 5,000 Free Syrian Army in Saudi Arabia and sending them back, a process expected to take many months.

“But are we going to do anything about Bashar Assad’s air attack? Dropping these horrible air bombs on them? Are we going to ask young men to train and equip and we send them back to be slaughtered by Bashar Assad’s air power? We need a no-fly zone,” the senator said. If Assad breaches it, “we take on his air force.”

“Assad in my view has been responsible for 192,000 Syrians dead. There are 150,000 Syrians in his prison. He has used chemical weapons. He uses these barrel bombs. Yes. And he’s directly supported by the Iranians who sent in 5,000 Hezbollah and changed the whole momentum on the battlefield. Of course, are you going to ask these young people, by the way, we’re going to train and equip you, but you are going to fight against ISIS, but not against Assad? It’s not only unworkable. It’s immoral.”

McCain called the unwillingness of legislative leaders to come back and vote on the military action “an act of cowardice on the part of Congress.”

“They didn’t want to vote before the election,” he added. “…Air power alone does not win wars. I was in one when they tried that. So air power alone, we’re going to have to have boots on the ground if we’re really going to succeed.”

“ISIS has wiped out the boundary between Iraq and Syria. What is the difference between it now? They have a caliphate larger than the size of the state of Indiana. So for us to say, well, and our British friends, we’ll bomb them in Iraq but not in Syria. Why? There is no boundary anymore. ISIS goes back and forth between. In fact, now they will go into the populated areas.”

Posted at 8:14 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Caught on Tape: Battleground Texas Breaking Election Laws Again?

James O’Keefe goes undercover with Battleground Texas again. According to his investigation, Wendy Davis’ troops are still skirting Texas election laws. Take a look.

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The Emma Bauer who appears in the video is this Emma Bauer — confirmed as a Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas operative.

bgtx-bauer

Likewise Sam Kraus. Here’s a BGTX blog post by Kraus. His Facebook page is almost nothing but Wendy Davis boosterism. He likes taking selfies.

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Posted at 8:11 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Karzai Says Afghanistan ‘Deserves a Better Life’ as He Turns Over the Reins of Power

After 13 years in power, 10 of those as an elected president, President Hamid Karzai today handed the reins over to new leadership in Afghanistan.

Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president. His wife, Lebanese Christian Rula Ghani, promises to be a more visible first lady in Afghanistan than her predecessor, Dr. Zeenat Karzai, who was rarely seen in public.

The new chief executive officer, a newly created position with duties similar to a prime minister, will be filled by Abdullah Abdullah. He and Ghani worked out the power-sharing agreement after Abdullah contested the results of the presidential election runoff, citing widespread fraud.

Karzai delivered his final address to the nation Sunday night, vowing that “sooner or later, there will certainly be peace in the country.”

“When I first came to office, we didn’t have a flag, or a currency. We were the object of foreign agendas. We were homeless in our own country,” he said. “I am proud to have worked toward bringing the nation together to live under one flag in their shared homeland. I am proud to have worked toward rebuilding the nation that our ancestors had built. I am proud to see kids going to school all over the country and singing the national anthem with pride and joy every day.”

Afghanistan, he stressed, “deserves a better life.”

“Today we are working as one united team for a better Afghanistan,” Abdullah, a longtime political rival of Karzai, said after being sworn in today. “Afghanistan today is in need of cooperation, brotherhood, unity and partnership more than ever.”

The White House sent counselor John Podesta to lead the American delegation at the inaugural.

The U.S. delegation also included Marine Sgt. Miroslav Kazimir, who was badly wounded by a roadside bomb in 2011.

“Today we congratulate President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on this historic inauguration. I have known both of them for many years, and they are both patriots committed to the success of their country. Never has that been more evident than in the spirit of cooperation and partnership that united them in establishing a government of national unity to fulfill Afghan aspirations for peace, prosperity and stability,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

“Afghans have taken a moment of challenge and turned it into a moment of real opportunity.”

Kerry also lauded Karzai’s “contributions to the cause of democracy, development and security.”

“It’s no secret that our relationship with President Karzai has been punctuated by disagreements,” he said. “But always, always, the world has recognized that he is a nationalist, a patriot, and an important figure who stepped forward when his country needed him, and helped profoundly shape one of the most challenging periods in Afghan history that has seen remarkable progress.”

Notably, Karzai refused to sign a bilateral security agreement that Ghani will now sign.

“If I learned anything from my recent visits to Kabul, it’s that the Afghan people are determined to choose unity over division and ensure that the first peaceful democratic transition in the history of their country will not be its last,” Kerry continued.

“This is a beginning not an ending, and with all beginnings the toughest decisions are still ahead. As Afghanistan enters this new chapter in its history, the United States looks forward to deepening its enduring partnership with a sovereign, unified and democratic Afghanistan.”

Posted at 7:49 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Valerie Jarrett Takes Adviser Role to Prime Time

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When she’s not busy playing third wheel on Barack and Michelle’s date night, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett is dishing out advice to TV lawyers in prime time:

Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s top advisers, made an appearance on another kind of Sunday show — the prime-time drama “The Good Wife,” which trucks in steamy affairs, dirty politics, and courtroom fireworks.

Playing herself, Jarrett appeared in several scenes trying to convince the show’s main character, a Chicago lawyer named Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) who also happens to be married to the governor, to run for state’s attorney. Alicia, who’s been battered by the political life and the scrutiny that comes with it, is insisting that she won’t run (she will), and Jarrett makes the case. More women, she says, need “to step up” if they want to change the world.

Alicia insists that she detests politics, and Jarrett agrees with her, saying she wouldn’t want a candidate who liked it. “We need leaders who understand what it means to be a public servant,” she says.

The Good Wife airs back-to-back with Madam Secretary, a drama following Tea Leoni’s attempt to imitate Hillary Clinton during her stint as Secretary of State. Think Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, only less mocky-mocky and more lovey-dovey.

This isn’t the first time Jarrett has appeared opposite Margulies. The pair hosted a cocktail fundraiser for President Obama in NYC in 2012.

Posted at 7:41 am on September 29th, 2014 by

Obama on ISIS: It’s James Clapper’s Fault!

During his appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday, President Barack Obama had the chance to admit that he got a whole lot about Iraq wrong.

He could have admitted that he got the surge wrong in 2007, when he denounced it and declared that there is no military solution to the problems in Iraq and never was. That was wrong. Obama opposed that surge, which worked and bequeathed a quiescent Iraq to him in 2009. He later implemented a surge of his own in Afghanistan — half-hearted though it was.

Obama could also have admitted that he withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq too soon, a decision made for politics that ended up creating the conditions for ISIS to swallow up a large chunk of Iraq and Syria.

Obama could have also admitted that he got ISIS wrong, when he called them the “JV” of terrorism. They are in fact an offshoot of al Qaeda, just as the so-called Khorasan group is an offshoot of al Qaeda — the jihadist group that he claims to have “decimated” and sent scurrying “on the run.” He could have admitted that none of that was true, that al Qaeda is mestasizing from the border regions in Pakistan-Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria to Yemen to Somalia to Boko Haram in Nigeria. And possibly to Oklahoma and New Jersey and Portland.

Instead of admitting any of that, Obama blamed one of his subordinates.

Steve Kroft: I understand all the caveats about these regional groups. But this is what an army of 40,000 people, according to some of the military estimates I heard the other day, very well-trained, very motivated.

President Obama: Well, part of it was that…

Steve Kroft: What? How did they end up where they are in control of so much territory? Was that a complete surprise to you?

President Obama: Well I think, our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.

“They” work for you, Mr. President.

This isn’t the first time that James Clapper has made a monumental, deadly screw-up, as you’ll see on the next page.

Posted at 7:31 am on September 29th, 2014 by