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Study: People Less Likely To Discuss Controversial Issues On Social Media

On what planet?

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he designed it to be a nicer place than the real world. People you barely know are “friends”; people you have drinks with now and then, “close friends.” You get a notification if someone deems you a friend, but if they later think better of it and delete you, you’ll never know about it. You can approve of anything anyone does with the click of a button, but to register disapproval, you need to resort to words. And so on.

Sanding away the spiky bits of human interaction was a canny way of getting people to do all sorts of things online that they might feel uncomfortable doing in a non-virtual crowd — sharing baby photos, talking about surgeries and deaths in the family, bragging about their charitable work. But it appears not to have been a good method of getting them to have hard conversations about politics.

Earlier this week, the Pew Research Internet Project published a study about the so-called “spiral of silence” as it applies in social media. That terms describes the tendency people have to keep their opinions to themselves when they believe listeners are likely to disagree with them.

This is some alternative universe stuff here. I’m pretty sure the first MySpace user after Tom posted, “The president sucks!” as soon as he or she could. If anything, social media seems to encourage people who have never paid attention to politics between election days to weigh in on everything from the tax code to complex foreign policy issues. True, when I say “weigh in” I mean “belch up a talking point heard on television,” but, still, they’re definitely not shy about it. Actually, I’m still waiting to meet the one person on Twitter or Facebook who shuts up about controversial issues. It’s sort of a personal quest. I may quit the Internet when I do.

Also, the fact that Zuckerberg wanted social media to be nicer than the real world shows that one can become a billionaire even while completely failing at one’s objective.

Because it’s nasty out there.

Posted at 6:35 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

NFL: ‘OK, Maybe Knocking A Woman Out Is Worse Than Smoking Pot’

Oops.

In the wake of criticism over a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the NFL has established a six-game unpaid ban for personnel who violate the league’s policy on domestic violence, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday.

A second incident would be punished by a lifetime ban from the league, Goodell said in a letter and memo to the owners of the league’s 32 teams.

Without referring to Rice by name, he acknowledged in his letter that he made the wrong decision in that case.

“I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will,” he wrote.

Goodell has been trying to destroy football with an almost missionary zeal. While busy attempting to remove almost all on-field violence from an inherently violent game, he’s pretty much ignored the off-field variety. When Rice received a two game joke of a suspension in the midst of the league doling out much harsher punishments for substance abuse, even the most devout football fans (“Present.”) were appalled.

Hopefully, the threat of a lifetime ban for a second violation will give this policy some teeth.

Posted at 6:07 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

The Islamic State Is Building a Capital

While President Obama dithers over a strategy and considers cobbling a coalition together to implement it, the Islamist State in Syria is entrenching and enforcing its barbaric law on the local inhabitants, reports Bloomberg.

In the Syrian city of Raqqah on the banks of the Euphrates River, Islamic State militants are busy building a capital fit for their followers.

Human rights observers say they have stoned women to death for adultery, while residents report that religious textbooks have been imported for schools and the market flooded with black cloaks for girls as young as 6 years old. Even as it wages war on multiple fronts, the group has had time to focus on the details, recruit thousands into its forces and celebrate victories by parading the heads of its enemies.

This is not a passage in a history book about some band of savages who pillaged their way across territory a thousand years ago. It’s happening right now.

The local victims mostly dislike the Islamic State’s hyperviolence and radicalism. The Islamic State and its leaders and street thugs don’t care. There is no force nearby that’s capable of overthrowing them.

Mohammad, a Raqqah resident who declined to give his full name because of fear of reprisals, said people are unhappy with the strict social codes imposed by the Islamic State.

Women cannot leave home without a male guardian, shops have to close five times for prayer and people accused of theft have their hands cut off in public, he said. “People yearn for the pre-war days,” he said after arriving in Beirut. “But they’re too intimidated to speak out.”

President Obama and his national security advisers keep insisting that the Islamic State doesn’t have any ideology beyond violence. That’s not correct. The Islamic State has an ideology, based on the Muslim Brotherhood’s desire to return Islam to its roots and the Koran. They are an expression of the Islamic revival that has been underway for about 30 to 40 years now, across the Islamic world. They’re the most radical expression of that revival so far, but they are an expression of it.

By “revival,” I’m using Christian terminology but this is nothing like a Christian revival, except in one sense. Christian revivals are efforts to bring believers back to what the New Testament actually says, about sin, about grace, about living the Christian life, about the Revelation. The New Testament never teaches war against anyone (the Old Testament does in some passages, but Christians revivals are almost always about the New Testament). It teaches peace, submission to even ungodly authorities, and many other things, but not violence.

The Koran teaches violence against non-Muslims, mainly Jews and Christians, in the portions thought to have been written after Mohammed had won secular power in warfare. Therefore an Islamic revival will not bear many similarities with a Christian revival. If both faiths have revivals aimed at getting them back to what their written teachings say, it matters a great deal what those teachings actually say. Contrary to soft beliefs that all religions basically teach the same things, they don’t.

If the Obama administration’s rhetoric that ISIS has no ideology is aimed at creating a split between IS and other Muslims, then it might be worthwhile as public relations. But this administration has had a cozy relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood for years. The Muslim Brotherhood started the Islamic revival. Even if the administration views the IS as too radical to have an ideology, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology seems to be seeping into the administration’s strategic thinking — to the extent that there is any.

The strongest public relations with the most impact would be to destroy IS root and branch and therefore discredit them. But that doesn’t appear to be the goal, at least not in any meaningful way.

I’ll end this post with this shoutfest between Sean Hannity and terrorist imam Anjem Choudary from Fox Wednesday night. Choudary is an Islamic supremacist who supports terrorism and any other means to further what he sees as Islam’s war against the rest of the world.

Most of the discussion is useless shouting, but near the end, Hannity gets Choudary to admit that the end game for him and al Qaeda and ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood is the same — to impose Islamic sharia law on the whole world.

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That’s an ideology, as extreme an ideology as the world has ever seen. Sharia is the Islamic law behind everything from forcing women to cover themselves head to toe, to forcing all non-Muslims to pay a tax and live under repression, to beheading journalists and selling non-Muslim women into sex slavery. ISIS believes that its actions are in accord with sharia.

Most Muslims do not support the likes of ISIS or Choudary. But millions do support the global imposition of sharia, as part of the overall Islamic revival.

Anjem Choudary doesn’t live in Syria and isn’t taking up a gun to fight for the cause. He lives in London on welfare. He encourages other Muslims to live on welfare in the West and turn it into a “jihadi allowance.” His weapon is his mouth. He may have radicalized the British Muslim rapper who joined ISIS and is believed to have beheaded James Foley.

Does Anjem Choudary have an ideology?

Posted at 3:51 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

Man Loses Half His Skull. 3D Printing Gives Him the Lost Half Back

3D printing is incredibly disruptive technology. It has already impacted the debate over guns. Researchers are using it to recreate antique musical instruments.

At 3DPrint.com, they have the story of a Chinese man who lost half of his skull in a fall. 3D printing will give him that half of his skull back.

The 46-year-old was working at his construction job one day when he fall three stories to the ground. The fall left him disfigured, as if he had a large dent in the side of his head.

Surgion [sic] MaoGuo Shu, of Xijing Hospital, who has seen a vast array of head and skull injuries, says that cases like Hu’s are very rare, and finding a solution to fix the damaged skull is very complex and difficult. To try and come up with a solution, the hospital brought in dozens of experts in the field. What they came up with was an idea for a 3D printed titanium mesh which would cover Hu’s brain and help make his skull look normal again. Thankfully for Hu, he won’t have to pay a dime for the surgery, as the hospital is covering the cost, and an American company, Stryker has agreed to pay for the 3D printing and materials used in the printing process.

The titanium printed mesh should return his skull to his normal shape over time. His brain, which was badly damaged in the fall leaving Hu unable to talk and write, might regenerate itself, according to the doctors.

Posted at 3:17 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

VIDEO — Obama on ISIS: ‘We don’t have a strategy yet.’

President Barack Obama delivered a press conference on foreign policy crises this afternoon. While the president apparently did not have an overarching message in mind for either the crisis in Ukraine or ISIS’ rise in the Middle East, he did make one admission that is bound to be the headline.

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Obama said. “We don’t have a strategy yet [for dealing with ISIS].”

Obama did allow that he may consult with Congress at some point, and the United States might “cobble together” some kind of coalition to combat ISIS.

Posted at 1:39 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

Is There a ‘Debate’ Now Over Handing 9-Year-Olds Fully Automatic Firearms?

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is a new “debate” over firearms, in the wake of a terrible fatal accident at a gun range this week.

The death of a shooting instructor at an Arizona gun range when a 9-year-old girl lost control of a powerful automatic weapon has raised the issue of age limits at such operations.

The girl, on vacation with her parents at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Ariz., accidentally shot and killed the instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca, while firing an Uzi submachine gun Monday, officials said. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said the gun’s recoil sent the weapon over the girl’s head, its bullets striking Mr. Vacca, who stood next to her.

Mr. Vacca, who was shot in the head, was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he died from his injuries Monday evening, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Video of the incident released by the sheriff’s office shows Mr. Vacca adjusting the girl’s stance and then saying, “All right, now go ahead and give me one shot,” apparently before the gun was set on fully automatic. With her back to the camera, the girl successfully fires a single round at a target.

“All right, full auto,” Mr. Vacca then says before the girl releases a series of shots, apparently losing control of the gun before the video ends.

The shooting touched off a debate on social media among gun-control advocates, parents and gun-rights supporters, with many questioning why the girl’s parents would let her fire such a powerful weapon.

I’m about as pro-Second Amendment as one can get, but this was irresponsible. The instructor evidently had the girl fire a single shot from the Uzi before telling her to go full auto. If that’s standard practice, then the practice needs to change.

I was an adult male when I joined the Air Force, and received training on the M-16 at full auto during basic training.

In that training, the instructors did not allow us to fire on full auto until we had fired several rounds on semi. I don’t recall the exact number or rounds we fired, it was probably around 10. We had to get used to the weapon’s weight and feel, and get accustomed to the recoil, and we had to get used to using the weapon to put lead on target downrange. Then we were instructed to fire on full auto, but only in three-round bursts. Anyone who fired more in a burst got the classic military training instructor hair dryer treatment.

Firing on full auto is a different experience from firing a single round on semi. Weapons on full auto can have a tendency to “climb,” or go up at the muzzle end the longer you hold the trigger down to fire. If the operator is not prepared for that, it can surprise the operator and a loss of control can occur.

The last thing you want is surprise, when you’re handling a fully automatic weapon. Or any firearm.

This firearm in this terrible case clearly climbed, and the girl was totally unprepared for it.

Can a 9-year-old safely fire a gun on full auto? Probably, with the proper instruction. Is it a good idea? I don’t think so. It would depend heavily on the child and their previous experience with firearms. A child who has never fired a gun before should not start, under any circumstances, with a fully automatic weapon.

When you introduce kids or anyone else to firearms, you have to drill them on safety first, safety last, safety always. If they’re not familiar with the firearm, then they need information on how they can expect the gun to behave. How to load it, how the safety works, how to tell if you have a round chambered or it’s clear, everything relevant to keeping things safe.

I don’t see a debate to be had here. It’s not a good idea to hand fully automatic firearms to kids. It’s a terrible failure to not prepare them for how the gun will behave.

The instructor failed and a fatal tragedy occurred. The girl has to live with what happened for the rest of her life. It all could have been avoided.

Posted at 1:21 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

The Muslim Rape of Christian Nuns

Despite how unsavory and barbaric Islamic groups and persons around the world have been behaving—whether Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Mesopotamia’s Islamic State, Somalia’s Shabaab—perhaps few things are as disgusting and cowardly as the Muslim rape of nuns: defenseless Christian women who sacrifice much of their lives to help sick and needy Muslims.

The latest such attack comes from Bangladesh, which is over 90% Muslim in population.  In early July, dozens of men armed with machetes, knives and iron rods attacked the convent of PIME (Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku), a village mission in north Bangladesh.

“The nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived,” reported Bishop Sebastian Tudu.

Catholic Online has the complete story:

[S]ome 60 men attempted to loot the building and rape the nuns… The attackers first tied the hands and legs of the mission’s two night watchmen and gagged them in the early morning hours. They then broke down the door of the room where the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy was sleeping. They then raided the convent located in the mission campus…. Three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in Dhaka, the national capital where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering.  “It’s very sad that the sisters cannot continue to work for the people, but our sisters are no longer safe,” Rosaline Costa, a Catholic human rights activist lamented.  Local Christians are currently living in fear since the attack. Christians form only 0.8 percent of Dinajpur district’s three million people.

Although some of those quoted in the Catholic Online report portray this attack is “unprecedented,” the fact is, nuns raped by Muslims is a phenomenon that goes back centuries.   According to Muslim historian Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi (1364-1442), during his raids on then Christian-majority Egypt, Caliph Marwan II (r.744–50) “made captive a number of women from among the nuns of several convents. And he tried to seduce one of them.”

The account describes how the enslaved nun tricked him into killing her, by claiming she had a magic oil that make skin impenetrable: “She then took some oil and anointed herself with it; then stretched out her neck, which he smote with the sword, and made her head fly.  He then understood that she preferred death to defilement.”

Writing in the tenth century, the Coptic chronicler Severus ibn Muqaffa records that “the Arabs [i.e., Muslims] in the land of Egypt had ruined the country….  They burnt the fortresses and pillaged the provinces, and killed a multitude of the saintly monks who were in them [monasteries] and they violated a multitude of the virgin nuns and killed some of them with the sword.”

After the Islamic conquest of Constantinople in 1453, according to eyewitness accounts, “Monasteries and Convents were broken in. Their tenants were killed, nuns were raped, many, to avoid dishonor, killed themselves. Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on according to tradition.”

Such is history—expunged as it is in the modern West—even as it repeats itself today. Thus, in August 2013, after torching a Franciscan school in Egypt, “Islamists,” in the words of the AP, “paraded three nuns on the streets like ‘prisoners of war’” and “Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.”

Indeed, the rise in attacks on Christian nuns throughout the Islamic world further demonstrates that they are no more inviolable than other “infidel” women:

  • Somalia: In response to Pope Benedict’s historical quotes which, like so many other things so enraged the Islamic world, Muslims in Somalia shot Leonella Sgarbati—a 66-year-old nun who had devoted 30 years of her life working in Africa—in her back.  Her last words before dying in hospital were: “I forgive; I forgive.”
  • Pakistan: In September 2012, gunmen on motorbikes dressed in green (Islam’s color) opened fire on the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral in Hyderabad, murdering at least 28 people.  Their immediate target was a nun, Mother Christina.
  • Libya: In February 2013, after the fall of Col. Gaddafi, Islamic rebels threatened nuns into fleeing the nation. They had been there since 1921, focused primarily on helping the sick and needy.
  • Palestinian Authority: Last year, nuns of the Greek-Orthodox monastery in Bethany sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to respond to the escalation of attacks on the Christian house, including the throwing of stones, broken glass, theft and looting of the monastery property.
  • Philippines: In an article discussing a Christmas Day church bombing in a Muslim-majority region, we learn that the jihadi group responsible “has been blamed for several bomb attacks on the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo since the early 2000s and for kidnapping priests and nuns.”
  • Guinea: In June 2013, during a mob-led frenzy, Christians and their churches were savagely attacked in the Muslim-majority nation—with some 95 Christians slain and 130 wounded—including “the quarters of the nuns, [which] was looted before being torched.”
  • Syria: Islamic rebels forcibly abducted 13 Christian nuns and three maids, holding them captive for three months.  They were finally released after the Bashar government agreed to release some 150 female criminals in exchange.

The above examples come from several countries that have little in common with one another—neither race, language, culture, nor economics—only Islam.

That alone should say something.

But no matter.  Far from discussing Islamic history and doctrine, and how they tie to current events—especially the subhuman treatment of non-Muslim “infidels”—the predominant Western mentality simply dismisses Muslim violence as the West’s fault, or, in the words of ex-nun Karen Armstrong and Islamic apologist extraordinaire, “We did this.”   Armstrong—who quit the nunnery only to engage in pro-Islamic mummery—insists that what’s needed is for us to focus more on “Muslim pain, Muslim suffering.”

Such, according to the leftist mentality, are the “real” reasons why, wherever Muslim-majorities live near non-Muslim minorities, from the dawn of Islam till today, the latter are being attacked into extinction.

Posted at 12:43 pm on August 28th, 2014 by

Bloomberg Deputy Managing Editor Jeanne Cummings Mimics Democrat Birth Control Talking Points

Bloomberg News Deputy Managing Editor Jeanne Cummings needs to apologize or find another line of work.

In an MSNBC segment on a recent poll detailing women’s impressions of both political parties, Bloomberg News Deputy Managing Editor Jeanne Cummings said this:

Cummings said that the GOP has “moved the debate over abortion into birth control.”

That is categorically false.

The Obama administration moved the debate into birth control, by mandating abortion-causing drug coverage under Obamacare. That’s how the debate got moved into birth control.

Cummings continued: “This is a huge step where women — that’s a threshold issue for women. That’s about birth control, controlling your life. This is being in control of your life. And they want to talk about taking that away? That’s a whole different conversation than abortion.”

That conversation, again, was spurred by the Obama administration, not any Republican. It is not and never was about “taking away” anyone’s birth control.

The Obama administration used Obamacare regulations to force abortion-causing drugs to be covered, even over the religious objections of many Americans. That coverage is not written into Obamacare. The Obama-Sebelius Department of Health and Human Services forced it.

The Hobby Lobby case, which the administration lost at the Supreme Court, only dealt with four abortion-causing drugs — not the 16 other types of birth control that the company covered and still covers without objection.

Bloomberg News Deputy Managing Editor Jeanne Cummings is ill suited to reporting facts. Perhaps writing DNC talking points is more in her wheelhouse. She is clearly good at reciting them.

Posted at 10:27 am on August 28th, 2014 by

Banning God in One Part of Texas, Going ‘Gender-Free’ In Another

In Midlothian, Texas (conservative Ellis County, south of Dallas), atheists have forced the local school district to remove plaques outside its schools that mention God.

Folks around Midlothian, Texas are raising a ruckus after the school district boarded up a pair of dedication plaques at two local elementary schools.

“Because of the plaque’s questionable constitutional nature, it has been covered,” said Jerome Stewart, the superintendent of the Midlothian Independent School District.

My goodness! I can’t imagine what was written on the plaques that would cause such a kerfuffle. Were the plaques adorned with naughty words or dancing girls?

No, my good readers – they were not.

It seems the questionable content to which the superintendent referred includes a pair of Latin crosses along with the words “God” and “Holy Christian Church.”

The plaques were erected in the dark ages of 1997. They were approved by school district attorneys at the time. They have been covered up and will be removed, under threat from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. TheFFRF didn’t even have to sue this time.

“FFRF believes that the district is in violation of the U.S. Constitution in its display of this plaque,” Stewart said. “Although MISD has not been threatened with a lawsuit, the school district’s attorney advised that it would not prevail in court if it refused FFRF’s request and a lawsuit followed.”

Midlothian’s residents were not consulted on any of this. It just happened, an outside agitation group imposing itself on a medium-sized, unsuspecting town. There was a prayer protest to save the plaques this morning.

In Austin, Texas, seat of the county that recently indicted the state’s governor for trying to get a drunk district attorney to leave and restore credibility to her office, there’s an ordinance under discussion that will create “gender-free” bathrooms in the city.

It’s good to see that the high-tax, road-needy city council has its priorities in order.

City Council today (Thursday, Aug. 28) could make Austin the first city in Texas to pass a resolution (Item 84) requiring single-stall public restrooms to be gender-neutral. Sponsored by Council Member Chris Rileyand co-sponsored by Bill Spelman and Sheryl Cole, the draft resolution directs the city manager to “process any necessary code amendments to require gender-neutral signage for single-occupancy restrooms, to create an implementation plan, and to report back to Council by September 25.”

The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT civil rights organization, has led the call for gender-neutral restroom requirements across the country. Members of the transgender community may face harassment and even violence when using gender-segregated restrooms, when suspicious onlookers decide they’ve entered the “wrong” restroom. According to a statement from Riley’s office, “Austin has demonstrated leadership on LGBTQ issues, and gender-free restrooms are one more way that we can lead. This change will make our city safer and more inclusive, which is better for all Austinites.”

That’s from the leftwing alt Austin Chronicle. KEYE-TV has a story about it as well.

The people we spoke to against the ordinance, wouldn’t go on camera, but raised the question: what’s next? Could this ordinance lead to unisex multi stall restrooms or unisex locker rooms?  We brought that question to Chris riley and to Lisa Scheps to get an answer.

“I haven’t been hearing an argument for that, so no.  I would have no idea what the future would bring but I have no reason to believe we would go down that road,” Riley said.

“We’re not talking about opening up places that have lots of people to be unisex, that’s not what this ordinance even suggests,” Scheps said.

Yet.

Posted at 9:56 am on August 28th, 2014 by

The Only Things Andrea Tantaros Needs to Apologize for Are Being Whip Smart and Distractingly Gorgeous

The other day on Outnumbered, Fox commentator Andrea Tantaros said this about ISIS and the possibility of “dialogue” with them.

Remarking about the brutality of the ISIS terrorists who beheaded journalist James Foley, Tantaros said, “You can’t solve it with a dialogue. You can’t solve it with a summit. You solve it with a bullet to the head. It’s the only thing these people understand.”

Is any part of that wrong?

The Asian American Journalists Association has a problem with it, though. They want an apology from Tantaros.

 

For journalists, the Association sure missed a huge fact. I saw the segment. Tantaros was clearly talking extemporaneously about ISIS and jihadists, not all Muslims everywhere for all time (too many of whom fail to stand up and denounce the jihadists in their midst and in their pulpits, out of a mix of fear and tacit support). She noted that historically, going back to the days of President Jefferson and the Barbary pirates, Muslim raiders have attacked Americans. That’s simply a fact. It’s not in our politically correct history books anymore, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Again, though, Tantaros was talking about jihadists and radicals in the wake of the Foley beheading.

Question: Why is an ethnic journalist association even defending a religion?

Are they playing a race card in the name of a religion?

If you go over to the AAJA apology demand page (the URL of which includes the politically correct smear “islamophobic”), take a look at the video clip they have embedded. It bears the MMFA logo in the upper right corner. That’s the leftwing Media Matters outfit, which exists to bother Fox and defend the left. AAJA captions the video as “Video Source: Media Matters” without ever identifying what MMFA really is. MMFA is an anti-Fox News, hard left, unfair and totally biased vipers’ nest.

Question: Why is the Asian American Journalists Association carrying water for a hard-left agitprop outfit?

Is there some undisclosed background arrangement? What’s going on here?

The AAJA seems to have taken its cue to attack Tantaros from Media Matters. The Association needs to apologize for that and disclose any relationship that it has with MMFA, if there is one. If they don’t, they have no credibility.

Posted at 8:51 am on August 28th, 2014 by

Emanuel, Gutierrez Team Up to Get Immigrants Hooked on Government Services

The Hill reports that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, both Democrats, want to make Chicago the “model” for getting immigrants enrolled in whatever services the government offers, as quickly as possible.

The Windy City is already the “model” for gun control, albeit in a negative way. The city with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country is also persistently one of the most violent cities in America.

But this story is all about how Democrats intend to take advantage of Obama’s lawless amnesty, and turn illegal aliens into welfare recipients.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) joined forces Wednesday with roughly 50 civic leaders to launch a comprehensive strategy for signing up those immigrants who might become newly eligible for any new benefits coming out of the administration.

“When an announcement comes, we will make sure Chicago is ready, that the community institutions in our neighborhoods are ready, and that we can efficiently inform our community about what is being announced and can help our neighbors sign up,” Gutierrez said in a statement after the meeting.

The Democrats are hoping to prevent the enrollment bottleneck that followed Obama’s 2012 launch of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted work permits to certain qualified illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Thousands of applicants lined up on Chicago’s Navy Pier, surprising advocates and leading to some delays in processing.

The community leaders attending Wednesday’s meeting at Chicago’s City Hall included immigrant rights advocates, clergy members, education leaders and legal services experts.

This alliance is all about fleecing American taxpayers to get immigrants, legal and mostly illegal, hooked on big government, forever, so they and their descendants will be Democrats on the dole, forever. In a saner time, this announcement alone would be enough to get both junked from office forever.

Posted at 8:18 am on August 28th, 2014 by

California Finally Tries To Do Something About Wooing Back Lost Film And TV Production

Dare I say…hope?

It’s payback time for the Golden State, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed off Wednesday on blockbuster legislation that super-sizes California’s TV and film tax credit bill.

“This will send a message to the entertainment industry and all of the other states and countries that California is open for business, and in a big way,” one of the bill’s authors, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, told TheWrap. “We hope they’ll realize the folly of trying to create artificial competition to try to steal our jobs, and that this will return the industry for good.”

The measure calls for $330 million in incentives to be allocated to TV and movie producers — more than tripling the current $100 million that’s available — and means that the state can strike back at the numerous states and countries that have gutted one of California’s signature industries by luring projects with juicy tax breaks over the past decade. Funding would begin in fiscal year 2015-2016 and run through fiscal year 2018-2019.

Yes, there is a larger conversation to be had about the business climate that forced the state’s signature industry to flee (much of it to Canada) in the first place but…baby steps. Some may see this as a band-aid but it is more like pressure on a hemorrhaging artery. Let’s get this done first and take the necessary steps after.

New York City was in a similar predicament in the early 1990s, for pretty much the same reason. Film and television production had almost completely stopped. City officials and labor unions worked together to bring business back and had great success.

California has been doing things poorly for so long, it will be a relief to one day get it back to doing the thing it’s best at.

Posted at 8:12 am on August 28th, 2014 by

Ukraine: Russia Has Invaded Our Territory

CNN reports that Ukraine says Russia has mounted a “full-scale” invasion and is fighting alongside its proxy/separatist rebels. US officials agree; Russia is invading Ukraine.

U.S. officials said Russian troops were directly involved in the latest fighting, despite Moscow’s denials.

Rebels backed by Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers fought Ukrainian forces on two fronts Thursday: southeast of rebel-held Donetsk, and along the nation’s southern coast in the town of Novoazovsk, about 12 miles (20 km) from the Russian border, according to Mykhailo Lysenko, the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Donbas battalion.

“This is a full-scale invasion,” Lysenko said, referring to the fighting in the south.

Intelligence now indicates that up to 1,000 Russian troops have moved into southern Ukraine with heavy weapons and are fighting there, a U.S. official told CNN Thursday.

Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council said that Russian forces were in full control of Novoazovsk as of Wednesday afternoon.

The UN Security Council is set to meet on the invasion this afternoon. But the Russians have a veto there, so any tough action against Russia won’t come out of the UNSC.

The theory that Putin’s true aim is to use ethnic tensions to seize Ukraine’s eastern energy production regions is still holding up.

Posted at 7:55 am on August 28th, 2014 by

Al Qaeda Magazine Hints at Future Lone-Wolf Attacks in the U.S.

Al Qaeda reminds the United States and the world that just because one “jayvee” terrorist group has gone varsity, doesn’t mean another  one isn’t still gunning to top the table.

The online publication, called “Palestine-Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem” and put out by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, calls for Muslims around the world to follow “the recipe” provided to set off car bombs in crowded venues. It includes a timeline of “selected jihadi operations” that the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first flagged the slickly-produced latest edition of the terror publication, finds chilling.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack — implying that it is coming soon.” said MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky.

There is a suggested list of targets for lone-wolf, or individually executed, terror attacks, including New York’s Times Square, casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas, oil tankers and trains, the Georgia Military College, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and General Atomics defense contractor in San Diego.

The magazine also includes a list of targets in Britain, and a guide, “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.” That’s a guide to make a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones that the Tsarnaev brothers used in Boston.

A second American is reported to have died fighting for ISIS in Syria. That’s the kind of publicity that even al Qaeda’s own magazine can’t buy these days.

Posted at 7:27 am on August 28th, 2014 by

Some of the Illegal Alien ‘Kids’ Enrolling in U.S. Schools Have Gray Hair

The Department of Justice sent out a memo to local schools in the U.S. a few weeks back. That memo ordered schools to take in illegal aliens without verifying anything about them — not their legal status, not their residential addresses, anything.

U.S. citizens cannot get away with that. When citizens move into a new school district and enroll their kids at school, they usually have to provide some form of proof of address, to ensure that their children are in the right school in the correct district. Much school money depends on enrollment and attendance.

But with illegal aliens, it’s a different story.

CNS reports that that different story is having a bizarre outcome.

The mayor of Lynn, Mass. says that some of the illegal aliens from Guatemala who are enrolled in her city’s public schools are adults with graying hair and “more wrinkles than I have.”

“They are not all children,” Judith Flanagan Kennedy told reporters at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

“One of the things that we did notice when we were processing some of these students coming in was that they were adults,” she said.

One of these “kids” turned out to be 35 years old.

Kennedy said that the majority of those from Guatemala who are enrolling in the Lynn Public Schools claim to be between 14 and 17 years of age.

“But there were people with graying temples, hair around the temples,” said Kennedy, adding that although she did not see these individuals in person, she saw photographs of them in registration paperwork. “There were people with more wrinkles than I have around their eyes.”

However, the school district was directed by the federal government not to verify the age of the foreign enrollees, Kennedy said.

Enrolling adults as “kids” in public schools full of actual kids. No, surely, nothing can go wrong from this.

Posted at 6:58 am on August 28th, 2014 by

Reporter Thinks Posters Warning Women About Date Rape Drugs Are ‘Victim Blaming’

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Put-in-Bay, a popular Lake Erie island resort in Ohio, is well-known for its party scene and this summer, has earned the unfortunate nickname, “Roofie Island,” after more than a dozen women reported being drugged and at least three were raped. On weekend nights, island police regularly transport young women who suspect they’ve been slipped date rape drugs to the hospital — some tourists, others island employees.

To combat the problem, the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS)  has posted signs around the island warning women, ”Do You Know Where Your Drink Is? Don’t Turn Your Back — ACT!” The poster shows a woman seated at the bar next to a man who is slipping something into her drink behind her back.

“We want friends to look out for their friends, fellow bar-goers to look out for fellow bar-goers and bar staff
to look out for their patrons,” said Agent-in-Charge Eric Wolf from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. “We want everyone to be safe. If you see someone tampering with another person’s drink – don’t turn your back on them, don’t be afraid to step up and act.”

An August 15th ODPS advisory said that bystanders and bar staff should let the person know their drink may have been compromised, get the individual out of the situation and call 9-1-1 immediately, and contain the evidence if possible. “According to the Ohio Incident Based Reporting System (OIBERS), nine forcible rapes with
drugs as a weapon were reported in 2013.”

But Alissa Widman Neese, a reporter for the Sandusky Register thinks something is missing. “Where is the poster telling men — or whoever is allegedly drugging individuals in Put-in-Bay — to stop distributing drugs?” Neese asks.

“If officials are going to advocate individuals protecting themselves from a potential problem, perhaps they should also acknowledge the source of the problem is at fault,” Neese added.  ”The victim or careless bystander is not to blame.” She added via Twitter:

Is warning a woman that her drink could be tampered with any more “victim blaming” than warning someone to look both ways before she crosses the street? Anyone who walks out into traffic without looking both ways is taking unnecessary risks. A woman in a bar who is falling-down drunk has to know that it’s risky to leave her drink unattended when there are men on the prowl with roofies at the ready. Warning someone of a very real danger is not blaming someone for a crime that has yet to be committed.

Neese thinks that the perpetrators need to be warned.

Does anyone seriously think that a violent pervert who is willing to drug a girl, drag her to an alley or a hotel room, and force her to have sex without her knowledge or consent is going to be swayed by a poster or a public service campaign?

Ladies, heed the posters and protect yourselves (and your girlfriends) from these sex offenders. Better yet, steer clear of situations where you could have your drink compromised and never put yourself in a position where you are not in control of your mental faculties.  This is not “victim blaming,” this is common sense advice that could save your life. There are some guys that are creeps — violent losers who are bigger and stronger than you and who will take advantage of you and hurt you if given the opportunity.

A poster warning the perpetrator to leave you alone is not going to help you if you encounter this guy. Being and alert — and sober — and having a friend watch your back will. So will a gun, if you’re planning to stay sober.

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Posted at 6:00 am on August 28th, 2014 by

It’s Getting So Bad that You Can’t Believe Anything You Read on the Internet

Do you want to know why I tend not to post the Hero of the Day story that everyone else on the Internet runs with? Because these days, they usually fall apart within 48 to 72 hours. I just skip their arc from fame to infamy to the dustbin of pop culture history.

USC football player Josh Shaw admitted to USC officials that his story about heroically rescuing his nephew is a lie.

In a statement, USC says … “Shaw came to USC athletic department officials this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 27) and admitted that he had lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend.”

“He said that the story he told of rescuing his nephew in a pool in Palmdale, Calif., was a complete fabrication. He apologized for misleading his coaches, teammates, athletic department officials and the public.”

I guess we’ll get one of these cynicism-building college football scandals every year or two from now on. Last year it was Manti Te’o and the fake dead girlfriend. This year it’s a guy who lies about saving his drowning nephew. Plus the usual assorted shoplifting and alumni gift stories.

Anyway, Miley Cyrus stunned America, with her touching tribute to homelessness. But it turns out that “Jesse” is a wanted man. His choices led to his being domicile challenged.

Tuesday, the world learned a little about “Jesse” and how he ended up on the streets of Los Angeles. Here’s a synopsis via Billboard:

Not long after the VMAs, his mother confirmed to The Oregonian that Miley’s Jesse was her son, Jesse Helt, a native of Salem, Oregon. And on Tuesday, Inside Edition spoke with an Oregon court official who revealed that Jesse Helt was arrested for attempting to break into an apartment four years ago. Billboard contacted the Salem police department and confirmed the 2010 incident.

Courts documents obtained by Inside Edition and shared with Billboard detail Helt’s attempt to break into a Salem apartment in Oct. 2010. Helt was charged with criminal trespassing and criminal mischief. According to the AP, a warrant is currently out for his arrest.

Months later, Helt’s probation officer filed documents stating that Helt skipped a probation check-in appointment and failed a drug test. Helt admitted to smoking marijuana, writing and signing a statement in March 2011 concerning his probation violation. The statement ended with the following promise: “For the sake of my freedom I have chosen to stop smoking weed and from now on I will not violate my probation.”

Since then, Spin reports that he briefly attended community college and worked at the Oregon State Fair. While attempting to start a modeling career in Los Angeles, the AP reports that Helt lived on the streets.

So Jesse has a criminal record, an open warrant for his arrest, a drug problem, and is homeless because he took the brilliant career path into the safe and secure world of modeling.

The intended lesson of Miley’s charity, there but for the grace of God goes you, eh, isn’t all that.

Want another lie exposed? Another downer for the day? Ok, try this: Hello Kitty isn’t even a cat.

Or, if it’s a cat, since it owns a pet cat, Hello Kitty is really Hello Slavery. But it’s not a cat.

According to Sanrio, Hello Kitty — whom you have seen on literally every consumer product at an increasing rate over the past 40 years — is in fact a human child.

“Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”

Thank goodness that Hello Kitty is not in fact a cat. Because that would be awk-ward.

Let’s end on something a little less shocking, a little more predictable.

Remember the Boston bomber brothers? Their sister got picked up for…prepare not to be shocked…making a bomb threat.

Posted at 9:19 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

Senator to Clapper: Contractors with Unpaid Taxes and Security Clearances Pose Risk

A Democratic senator has asked the director of national intelligence to investigate the high number of  defense employees who have failed to pay their taxes, arguing that giving them security clearances poses a national security risk.

Financial health is supposed to be assessed in the security clearance process to determine, for example, whether someone with access to classified information can be bought by a hostile party. Federal law, though, doesn’t prohibit someone with unpaid taxes from holding a security clearance.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report recently finding that, as of June 2012, out of 83,000 Defense Department employees and contractors owing $730 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS, about a quarter of those were still deemed eligible for a TS/SCI clearance — top secret/sensitive compartmented information.

Together, those with unpaid taxes who received the high clearance owed $83 million, according to the GAO. Forty-seven percent of those debt holders were contractors, who accounted for about $25 million of the delinquent taxes.

The median debt amount owed was about $3,700, according to the report, and “tax debts ranged from a minimum of about $100 to millions of dollars.”

About 40 percent of the total number of DoD employees with tax troubles had a repayment plan in place with the IRS.

“This data indicates that there are tens of thousands of federal employees and contractors with the highest levels of clearance who, because of extreme financial overextension, may no longer be relied upon to put our country’s interests before his or her own,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) wrote to DNI James Clapper.

“This unacceptable situation raises national security concerns and sends the message to taxpayers that some folks don’t have to play by the rules, but can still be trusted with access to our nation’s most sensitive information,” the senator said. “Given the scope of this problem and the amount of debt involved, I urge you to address this matter comprehensively and promptly.”

Tester heads the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce and has been critical of security clearance oversight. Clapper has been working with the Office of Personnel Management to improve the standards for background investigations and clearances.

Tester said in a statement that “some of these individuals with delinquent tax debt are jeopardizing our national security because of poor judgment and decision-making.”

“Potentially harmful financial behaviors should not be ignored after an individual is granted or deemed eligible to have a security clearance,” he said.

Posted at 5:13 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

MSM Loves a Good ‘Romney 2016′ Story

Run Mitt, run!

The day after Mitt Romney opened the door to another possible presidential run, a new poll shows he has a huge lead among likely 2016 Iowa Republican caucus voters.

According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday, 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for the 2012 GOP nominee in 2016. When Romney’s name was added to the pool, no other candidate received double-digit votes.

The survey comes as rumors have begun to swirl about a potential Romney bid for president in 2016. After months of insisting that he will not run again, the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday acknowledged that “circumstances can change.”

When I talk to Republicans who aren’t opposed to the idea of Romney 3.0, their arguments are usually that “he’s a nice guy” and “he would have done a much better job than Obama is doing now.”

Both are true. Both are also irrelevant.

We’re voting for the leader of the free world and a commander in chief when we vote for president, not a drinking buddy. Whether he or she is “nice” shouldn’t play into the decision.

As to the second point, there is a hummingbird who is often outside my window when I write that would have done a better job than Obama is doing. In fact, the list of people who fit that description is overwhelmingly lengthy.

There was, however, one thing Romney couldn’t do better than Barack Obama: run for president.

Maybe it’s because he was a nice guy, but Romney was a lousy candidate. He had one good debate, and that was due more to Obama’s arrogance and lack of preparation. The press was caught rather flat-footed for that one too. Both the president and his MSM minions made sure that didn’t happen again and Mitt was pretty much defeated by Candy Crowley.

The press would love to see Mitt run again because they know he’ll seem invincible all through the primaries and then nice guy his way to a drubbing in the general by Fauxcahontas.

Republicans never seem to be able to resist the candidates that the MSM won’t stop talking about. It’s their “Lucy promising she won’t pull the football away this time” and, bless their Charlie Brown hearts, they keep falling for it.

Posted at 3:58 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

Peshmerga Getting ‘Some’ Help with U.S. Arms, But ‘It’s Not Enough’

A spokesman for the Peshmerga told CNN today that the Kurdish forces had received “some weapons from the United States,” but “it’s not enough, very little” to be able to defeat ISIS.

Brig. Gen. Hazhar Ismail said they are now “gaining ground” again versus the Islamic State in part thanks to U.S. airstrikes intended to protect Irbil.

“It’s very little, but it helped us a lot. So now, day by day, we are gaining ground, and we have a plan to re-control and defeat our enemy, our common enemy, the international enemy, is, and all the area, to save the area from is. You know they are threatening the civilian people,” Ismail said. “They killed many peoples in Sinjar, in Sinjar Mountain. They kill Christian, Yazidi, Kurd, Arab. There is no difference. So we have a plan with help and support with our friend, the U.S., and some countries.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that “in addition to support from the U.S., and the central government of Iraq in Baghdad, seven additional nations – Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom – have committed to helping provide Kurdish forces urgently needed arms and equipment.”

“Operations have already begun and will accelerate in the coming days with more nations also expected to contribute,” Hagel said in a statement. “…This multinational effort, which is being coordinated with the Government of Iraq in Baghdad, will greatly assist Kurdish forces in repelling the brutal terrorist threat they face from ISIL.”

Ismail said Baghdad is stalling shipments, saying it wants to check everything going to the Kurds first.

“For a week, we did not receive anything from U.S. or from other countries. The problem, Baghdad. So we need U.S. and other countries to tell Baghdad, you have to solve some bad policies you’re created in the past. It is a good chance to solve the problems now,” he said.

He stressed that the U.S. arms that did get through “helped us a lot to stop ISIS and to re-control the area.”

“But believe me, it’s not enough, because we have a very long border with ISIS. We have 1,050 kilometer border with ISIS. We’re fighting terrorist country, not terrorist organization or small group. So we need to have weapons, ammunition, equipment, everything as army,” Ismail said. “We are part of Iraqi defense system, but unfortunately, they did nothing for us, with budget, with training, with weapons, with ammunition, with everything. So even for eight years, they did not pay the Peshmerga forces even $1.”

Posted at 3:30 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

No, Texas Taxpayers Are Not Paying for Gov. Rick Perry’s Legal Defense

There is a smear going around on the interwebs, to the effect that Gov. Rick Perry is using state taxpayer funds to pay for his defense against the August 15 indictment of him by a Travis County grand jury.

Headlines such as this one, on FitsNews (which describes itself as “Unfair. Imbalanced.”) are giving the tale some legs.

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They did say they’re “unfair” and “imbalanced.” The pic and the headline prove it.

Let’s cut this story’s legs off well above the knee.

The very same story headlined above contains this nugget:

According to Perry, the taxpayers of Texas [should pay for his defense].  In fact in an interview with the Associated Press prior to embarking on a pre-campaign swing to early-voting South Carolina, Perry said taxpayers should cover the bill – but he’s instructed his campaign accountants to pay it “to keep from having folks grouse about it.” (emphasis added)

So the taxpayers of Texas are not actually paying for it. Yet the grousing continues.

Here’s Perry again, this time after an interview with Dallas radio host Mark Davis. Perry tells Davis who is paying for his legal defense.

He calls the decision to pay his attorneys with campaign funds rather than taxpayer funds “a straight-up judgment call, rather than having to defend every day” against disapproving voters and political writers who would gladly harp on who’s paying the legal fees. (emphasis added)

So the taxpayers of Texas are not paying for Perry’s defense from the political indictment of him. His judgment certainly seems sound. The media would carp endlessly about the conservative who is milking taxpayers to fight off his indictment. That’s a given. They would get louder and louder the closer the case drags to Perry making a decision about running for president.

Look, I’ve raised a question about Perry’s defense team. Right here.

But this case over who is paying for his defense should be closed. It won’t be, of course. Political axes don’t grind themselves.

Posted at 3:05 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

Democrats New Strategy: Pretend Most Of 2014 Hasn’t Happened

Goin’ old school.

Democrats hear only one thing when Republicans talk about fighting President Barack Obama’s immigration agenda or GOP plans for controlling Congress: government shutdown.

In fundraising requests, media appearances and conference calls, Democrats are painting Republicans as the “shutdown party” just in time for the midterm elections that coincidentally hit right after the one-year anniversary of last year’s October shutdown.

Democrats hope this emerging strategy persuades voters that if Republicans win both the House and Senate in November, there will be more unpopular shutdowns and Obama will have to fight hard against the GOP to simply preserve the policy legacy of his first six years in office.

Because most of their policy ideas can’t be discussed honestly, Democrats forever resort to the “THIS IS WHAT THE SCARY REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO DO IF YOU VOTE FOR THEM!” strategy that has worked so well for them ever since they started saying the GOP wanted to “cut Medicare” way back when. There were never any cuts on the table, just reductions in the rate of increase but, hey, it stuck.

One of the reasons these things stick is because the average establishment Republican in Congress is too weak and/or stupid to refute the lies. In the case of the shutdown, the McCains and Boehners of the world have spent so much time whining about it in the last year that they have practically written this script for the Democrats.

It is more than understandable that the Democrats are going back to last fall for a talking point, what can they point to in 2014 that’s gone well for them? Obamacare? Foreign policy? The president’s approval ratings? This Halloween shutdown straw man is their best desperate shot.

Don’t be surprised if it works.

Posted at 3:03 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

Senators to Latin American Nations: Return Your Ambassadors to Israel

Four senators this week called on the presidents of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru to restore diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Latin American countries yanked their ambassadors from the Jewish state in protest of the operations in Gaza, with Brazil calling the IDF action a “disproportionate use of force.”

“This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in return. “The moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions.”

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) sent letters Monday to each of the countries involved in the diplomatic spats, saying they were “deeply disappointed by your government’s decision to recall your Ambassador to Israel ‘in protest’ against Israel’s legitimate military operations to restore deterrence against rocket attacks and terrorist tunnels designed by Hamas to kill Israeli civilians.”

“Hamas is a terrorist organization committed to using violence as a political tool and denying Israel’s right to exist. Hamas leaders have violated international law by promoting the use of civilians as human shields, and have rejected multiple cease fire offers that could save lives on both sides of this conflict,” they wrote. “All loss of innocent lives during this conflict is tragic, but your government’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with Israel at this critical time will only embolden Hamas leaders to continue on the current course of indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians rather than working with the Israeli government to achieve a sustainable cease fire arrangement.”

“Your actions send a troubling message to the United States about your government’s commitment to long-lasting peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.”

The bipartisan group encouraged each president to “return your Ambassador to Israel, as a symbol of your country’s steadfast commitment to achieving an enduring peace in the Middle East and the fight against the scourge of international terrorism.”

Posted at 2:55 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

Well, a Constitutional Crisis Over Immigration It Will Be

Here’s the current state of play on President Obama’s threat to break immigration law in three steps.

Step One: The threat. Here’s Josh Earnest, saying that yes, Obama will go it alone on immigration.

Step Two: Sen. Marco Rubio sends Obama a letter advising him against this heinous act.

As if Obama is listening to Rubio anyway. Rubio presents an existential threat to the Democrats, or did before he waffled on immigration. He still presents a threat. Obama is likely to trash the letter, or read it and do the opposite purely out of spite.

Rubio’s letter advises Obama that granting amnesty to five million by fiat will wreck “comprehensive immigration reform” for the foreseeable future.

As if Obama cares about that. In his strategy, he gets credit from the left over his sweeping and unilateral amnesty, and if Congress doesn’t pass the law he wants, he gets to blame that on Republicans and shore up the Hispanic vote for the Democrats.

Posted at 2:25 pm on August 27th, 2014 by

Armed Services Chairman to Obama: Come to Congress with a Strategy Against ISIS, and We’ll Talk

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Congress can’t even begin to speculate what it can do to aid the fight against ISIS until President Obama comes up with a strategy to “destroy” the Islamic State.

“ISIS is a clear and present threat to our allies across the Middle East and to the United States. There is no negotiating with ISIS or deterring it. It must be defeated and destroyed,” chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said in a statement today. “Doing so demands a comprehensive strategy combining diplomatic, political, and military efforts, and the contributions from a broad coalition of countries. Such a strategy will require time, commitment, and leadership that America is uniquely suited to provide.”

“This comprehensive approach may well require additional authorities from Congress, but speculation about that before the president has even offered a strategy is putting the cart before the horse,” he continued. “We need the president to explain to the American people what is at stake, what our objectives are, and the strategy for how to achieve them. Only after we understand all this can we contemplate what new authorities might be needed.”

McKeon, who is retiring at the end of this term, challenged Obama “to engage Congress.”

“I’m willing to work with him, and I would offer a few factors for him to keep in mind,” the chairman continued. “First, ISIS is an urgent threat and a minimalist approach, that depends solely on FY15 funding or pinprick strikes that leave fragile forces in Iraq and Syria to do the hard fighting, is insufficient to protect our interests and guarantee our safety in time.”

“Second, good strategies keep options on the table and keep an adversary guessing, instead of telegraphing what we won’t do. No leader ever won a conflict by first declaring what steps he was unwilling to take – or, for that matter, leaking details about steps he actually is taking.”

Third, McKeon stressed, “the ISIS threat was allowed to build and fester over a period of time.”

“They are not likely to be decisively defeated quickly, but will have to be faced by this president and his successors,” he said. “Therefore, strategy and decisions made by the president now should preserve future options, not foreclose them. Finally, this enemy must be defeated, but if we are not going to adequately resource our effort, we will only make a very complex security situation worse.”

Posted at 2:22 pm on August 27th, 2014 by