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Republicans Lead in the Polls, and in the Early Voting

According to most polls, Republicans have owned the “enthusiasm gap” for months. They also lead on the generic ballot on the question of which party the voters want to control Congress. President Obama has tended to dismiss his party’s concerns by promising that the Democrats’ turnout machine will save them

The Washington Post is tracking early voting trends. The president may be just as accurate on turnout as he was when he predicted that Ebola wouldn’t come to America.

Two weeks ago, we looked at initial early voting data compiled by the U.S. Election Project with the aim of sussing out how campaigns were doing at putting votes in the bank. At that point, it seemed like Democrats were doing particularly well in Iowa and North Carolina compared to voter registration numbers. Republicans were doing well in other battleground states.

Now, that’s changed. Compared to overall voter registration, Iowa and North Carolina Democrats are doing much worse than earlier in the month, and Republicans in those states much better. We’ve also added new states that recently began early voting: Nevada, California and Colorado. In each, Republicans are outperforming Democrats.

The news that Republicans are outperforming Democrats even in California early voting is bad enough for Democrats. But add in that the Democrats are even underperforming versus independents, who are even being targeted much by either party, and you have the makings of a disaster. For Democrats.

Posted at 1:16 pm on October 21st, 2014 by

Pentagon Confirms One Bundle of Arms to Kurds ‘Didn’t Make It’ as ISIS Claims Airdrop Seizure

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ISIS released video of what it says is a seized airdrop of arms and supplies that the U.S. intended for Kurdish forces trying to keep the Syrian border town of Kobane.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that out of 28 bundles dropped ”we know of at least one that didn’t make it.”

The video includes an ISIS fighter rifling through a chest of grenades.

Kirby just told reporters that ”one bundle did not make it into the right hands,” but as the video was just released “we just don’t know” if U.S. arms were dropped into the hands of ISIS.

“We don’t know whether it’s authentic; you’ve got to give us a bit of time to figure it out,” he said.

The bundles included small arms and medical supplies.

When asked if they should be dropping aid rather than pressuring Turkey to simply let supplies come across the border crossing, Kirby replied, “Was there a better way?”

Kirby stressed that even if ISIS got one bundle they got 27 through to the Kurds. “I think that’s a pretty good record of success from the air.”

“I think we’re going to keep our options open to use that delivery mechanism in the future,” he added.

Posted at 11:57 am on October 21st, 2014 by

Change: No Ebola West Africa Travel Ban, But New Airport Restrictions

Starting Wednesday, all travelers to the US coming from the three Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa will have to go through one of the five airports that will be enhanced screening sites.

But the enhanced screening is a joke. It consists of answering more questions on a form, and having your temperature taken by a laser-infrared thermometer.

That screening would not have stopped Thomas Duncan from entering the US from his native Liberia.

The new restriction does mean that all travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will have to go through the new screening, and not just the 94% who were already set to undergo the screening.

So, this isn’t really much of a change at all. It’s theater.

Meanwhile, because the United States still accepts travelers from the Ebola hot zone, Rwanda is set to begin screening travelers who travel there from the US.

Posted at 10:14 am on October 21st, 2014 by

So…Obama’s New Ebola Czar is Really Worried About Overpopulation

Cue the conspiracy theories! President Obama has not just put Ron Klain, a political hack and crony with no medical experience whatsoever, in charge of his Ebola response. That hack and crony hasn’t just been involved in everything from the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas to the Gore recount to Solyndra.

That hack and crony, Ron Klain, the man who is charged with defending Americans from a deadly disease, thinks we have too darn many people around.

Say, isn’t there a conflict of interests lurking here somewhere?

Take a look.

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Posted at 9:44 am on October 21st, 2014 by

White House Now Says ‘Unpaid Bills’ Remark Scrubbed from Transcript Was ‘Inaudible’

The press pool flagged the White House for scrubbing the transcript of President Obama’s remarks at a DNC fundraiser in Chicago last night.

The original transcript released by the White House contained this quote: “One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff.”

The White House reporter covering the event for the print pool transcribed the quote as this: ”One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills (laughter) – I think eventually they got paid — but they’re sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff.”

The pool report was sent out before the official White House transcript. The discrepancy was noticed by the Associated Press.

This morning, the White House sent out a “corrected” transcript from the event.

“One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some — *(inaudible) — newspapers and all kinds of stuff,” the transcript now says, the asterisk marking the change.

Posted at 8:39 am on October 21st, 2014 by

Holder Calls Panetta Criticism of Obama ‘Unfortunate’

Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently announced that he’ll retire from the Obama administration, criticized former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for criticizing the president.

Panetta’s new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peacecame out earlier this month. In the text and a series of interviews around the book’s release, the retired secretary decried foreign policy that’s “damaging” U.S. credibility.

“I have to really disagree with his characterization of the president,” Holder told CNN. “The president is a deliberate person in an appropriate way. But he’s also resolute once he makes up his mind.”

“So I think that what Leon said in the book is unfortunate, and frankly I don’t think it’s something that a former cabinet member should do while the president you served is still in office,” the attorney general added. “That’s not something that I would even consider doing.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told CNN on Monday that he’d add to Holder’s comments on Panetta by noting “the president has shown that he’s willing to use military force, not just against Osama bin Laden but against terrorist targets in Yemen and Somalia and Libya.”

“He’ll use force when it’s necessary. But we make no apologies for being deliberate about the use of force, particularly when it engages the United States in conflicts like in the Middle East,” Rhodes said. “After the last decade, I think the American people want a president who’s going to think hard before making those decisions, who’s going to ask the hard questions and then, when he does pursue a strategy, he makes sure he’s drawing from the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan so that we’re not putting our men and women at the same risks that they’ve been in this last decade.”

Holder has said he’ll stay on the job until his replacement, whom Obama has not yet nominated, is confirmed.

When asked about his biggest failure on the job, Holder replied, “I think the inability to pass reasonable gun safety laws after the Newtown massacre is, for me, something that I take personally as a failure and something that I think we as a society should take as a failure.”

His greatest success? “I’m happy with where we are with regard to our criminal justice reform issues, the stands that we’ve taken against voter suppression efforts, the attempts to include the LGBT community in ways that it has not been before and to knock down those final vestiges of discrimination,” he said. “It’s a whole variety of things I’m really proud of the people of this Justice Department and the way they’ve done them over the past six years.”

On the eventual outcome of the investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., Holder said he hopes “people will understand that certainly with regard to the federal government, that we looked at the facts, looked at the law, had to deal with that high standard and came to an appropriate conclusion.”

“I think what we’ll have to do as we always do in civil rights investigations from the federal perspective is look at what the state has done and then make a determination as to whether or not the state investigation was adequate,” he added.

Posted at 7:44 am on October 21st, 2014 by

Jindal Mocks Four Stages of Obama’s ‘School of Crisis Management’

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal mocked President Obama’s “School of Crisis Management” stages including feigning anger, demanding more money from Congress and declaring that Republicans are standing in the way.

Jindal tweeted the stages on Saturday, and elaborated on them yesterday on Fox.

“First he tells us he’s got this, his second step is he pretends madness. His third step, and now you see we’re actually getting to that third step now, he and his surrogates say they simply need more of our money. His fourth step finds a way to blame the Republicans,” the governor said. “We have seen this before. We saw it with the oil spill. Time and time again this president has shown his incompetence.”

“He told us the virus wasn’t going to come here, then it did. He told us it wasn’t going to spread and then it did. He feigns anger, he says he needs more money, the next step, it’s coming, it’s going to be the republicans fault. I guarantee you, it’s predictable, it’s going to happen.”

Jindal said the stages are ”all about managing the 24-hour news cycle.”

“It’s all about politics. It’s all about appearances and perception. The problem is we’ve got a commander in chief, we’ve got a president who’s never run anything before,” he said. “We see his incompetence on display here. This is malpractice now but it’s not the first time. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the failures domestically.”

“We saw it up close here in Louisiana with the oil spill. We saw it overseas with a failed red line. You just heard this nurse say — unfortunately, we saw this during the oil spill — they don’t want to listen to the people on the front lines. The so-called experts they don’t want to display common sense,” Jindal continued.

“Why not, for example, why not implement this travel ban? I called for it several days ago — a couple weeks ago. So, now you’re beginning to see elected officials, both Democrat and Republican, join in for this call. They’re not making common-sense decisions. Sometimes the so-called smartest guys in government are sometimes the dumbest guys. Why not use common sense?”

Last week, Jindal, a potential 2016 candidate, unloaded on Obama in a string of tweets about the president’s incompetence.

 

 

Posted at 7:26 am on October 21st, 2014 by

Earnest Says He’s Prepared to Not Get Angry When Reporter Asks ‘Unfair Question’

White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to concerns that President Obama isn’t facing direct questions from the press enough by noting that he recently took one question from a reporter.

This morning on MSNBC, it was noted to Earnest that Obama hasn’t done a full Q&A with members of the media since Sept. 5.

“Well, you know, the president does have this foreign trip that’s coming up where I would anticipate the president will typically do Q&A sessions with reporters when he’s traveling. The president was just in the Oval Office on Thursday where he did a meeting with his team to talk about the Ebola response and he took a question from the pool who asked him about appointing a czar,” Earnest replied.

The press secretary said one question isn’t the standard now, “but it is an example of the president having a regular interchange with the reporters who cover the White House.”

Obama flew to a DNC event yesterday in Chicago. Deputy press secretary Eric Schultz answered questions on the plane.

Earnest told MSNBC that taking over from former press secretary Jay Carney has been “a genuine thrill.”

“I’m not going to say it is easy, but it’s a heck of a good time,” he said.

“I think some of it is temperament, and not getting angry when someone asks you an unfair question is part of it… It happens very rarely but you have to be prepared when it happens.”

Earnest said the press secretary must learn about “not taking it personally, because the other thing is this, when they show the clip on your show, you never show the clip of somebody asking the question.”

“…If you can walk in and keep your cool and understand that’s what’s going to happen — then — that’s going to help you get — that’s going to help you succeed a little bit.”

He maintained that Obama can help instead of hurt Democrats in the midterms, but “ultimately it’s up to the individual candidates to learn lessons, right? They’re running their own campaigns.”

“In 2012 we applied a lot of lessons from 2010 and it involves a better organizing some communities. Some of that involved using technology. There’s been a lot of people who have written about Facebook and some of the efforts we did to engage voters that way,” Earnest said.

“Ultimately what we’re trying to share those lessons learned, those best practices, with the individual campaigns. That means giving them access to our volunteers, giving them access to people who were strongly supportive on the ground of our campaign during in ’08 and in 2012. And hopefully Democratic candidates, and I’m confident they will benefit from that.”

Posted at 7:12 am on October 21st, 2014 by

Liberia Loses Track of Ebola Patients

The Washington Post must be chock full of racists. Why else is that paper running such a negative story about the state of the healthcare system in Liberia?

MONROVIA, Liberia — For the 29th day, Linda Wilson came to the gates of the Ebola treatment center looking for her best friend, the woman whose picture she carried in her purse, so she could show it to guards or nurses or anyone else who might be able to help.

“Have you seen her?” Wilson asked them.

For the 29th day, the answer was no. Barbara Bai’s name was not on any list, even though she was admitted to a hospital one month earlier. There was no record of her death or her survival at any hospital in Monrovia. She was one of the many people who have simply vanished as Ebola tears through the city.

Ebola ravaged this capital so quickly that some patients passed through an already broken medical system with hardly any paper trail. Others were admitted to one clinic and transferred to another without notice. Hundreds were cremated long before their families were notified that they had died.

That sounds uncomfortably like the Veterans Administration under Obama. Which makes me a racist for pointing that out.

Relatives and friends spend hours each day outside the city’s four Ebola clinics. Some come to pray. Many are not sure if they’re in the right place.

They wait for visiting hours, held in special partitioned spaces, even though the loved ones they are looking for never show up. They check patient lists, even though they’re almost always incomplete.

As long as there remain open flights from the Ebola-stricken countries to the United States, we are depending on those countries’ record-keeping systems to keep us safe. It’s not like our own government has any interest in doing that job.

 

Posted at 5:19 am on October 21st, 2014 by

To MSNBC, It’s Racism All the Way Down

Howard Fineman fancies himself a courageous soul. Because no one brings up race in America anymore.

Well, other than Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, every single mainstream media columnist and pundit, every single Democrat candidate, officeholder, consultant, Twitter warrior, every single day on every network…

It’s just not talked about.

FINEMAN: “Can I mention race here?”
MATTHEWS: “You may.”
FINEMAN: “Let’s put the cards on the table here.”
MATTHEWS: “You mean the word Africa?”
FINEMAN: “No. The brown people coming from the South, the Arab people coming from the East, the black people coming from Africa, nobody’s saying that in so many words. Nobody’s saying it at all, but it’s in the background of this whole discussion, and anybody who would deny that doesn’t know how this country operates. It’s not the only way this country operates. We’re bigger than that in the end, but that’s definitely a subtext of a lot of what’s going on here. There’s just no question about it. And I’ll say it if other people won’t.”
MATTHEWS: “It is the arrival of them, even though African-Americans, hint hint, have been here before we got here.”

See there. Your concern about drug war violence spilling over the border is all really about racism. Your concern about terrorists chopping people’s heads off and filming it for the Internet — racism. Your concern about contracting an infectious disease that kills 70% of its victims, extremely painfully — racism. Your hope that you haven’t sent your kid off to school only to have it either blown up by terrorists, shot up by drug cartel operatives, or swept through by a deadly virus — all of which the government could have stopped, but for political reasons chose not to — racism.

Howard Fineman thinks you’re just a horrible person. Racist.

Posted at 4:38 am on October 21st, 2014 by

Monica Lewinsky’s First Big Speech: Shaming the Internet into Stopping the Shame Game

Monica LewinskyYou’ve just been chastised for nearly 25 minutes by Monica Lewinsky — chastised for reading and writing on the internet about Ms. Lewinsky’s “intimate moments” with former President Bill Clinton nearly two decades ago. [See Lewinsky speech video on the next page.]

You see the genuinely immoral aspect of her adulterous affair with Hillary Clinton’s husband cannot be found in anything she did — unless loving too much is a crime — nor in anything he did, because she imputes no impropriety to him. Rather, here’s how she broaches the topic…

Fresh out of college, a 22-year-old intern in the White House, and more than averagely romantic, I fell in love with my boss, in a 22-year-old sort of way. It happens. But my boss was the President of the United States. That probably happens less often.

This, of course, is calculated to draw laughter and sympathy. But Lewinsky is quick to add a note of contrition — not a whole note, but perhaps a quarter note.

Now, I deeply regret it for many reasons, not the least of which is because people were hurt, and that’s never OK.

Observe the skillful use of the passive voice (“people were hurt“) and the stern consequences she accepts (“that’s never ok“).

But before she can rend her garment and fling dust on her head, she rapidly moves on to the real breach of morality in this saga.

No, it’s not that she was diddled by a man old enough to be her father. It’s not that the imbalance of power between them was perhaps the greatest since Mohammed took 9-year-old Aisha as his wife, making it prima facie sexual harassment in every corporation in the land.

You see, she wasn’t sexually harassed, she was in love. Her two-year affair with 15-year-old Chelsea Clinton’s Daddy was what Lewinsky calls “my everything.” That was “the golden bubble part for me,” Lewinsky said. “The nice part.”

The nasty part was that it became public — public with a vengeance.

So, nearly 20 years after she and the president jeopardized national security by conducting a clandestine sexual relationship in the White House, making the commander in chief vulnerable to blackmail, it’s time for the perpetrators to be called out — starting with Matt Drudge and you.

Overnight, I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one.

She goes on to recount her depression and suicidal thoughts, and falls just short of launching a crusade to “Save the Love-Struck Presidential Interns from Internet Shaming.”

For just 73 cents a day — that’s less than a cup of coffee — you can rescue a “more than averagely romantic” young woman from the savagery of social media slut-shaming and help her to live a quiet life of secret trysts with leader of the free world.

Personally, after watching Monica Lewinsky’s entire speech, I’m as chastened as she was chaste.

[See Lewinsky speech video on the next page.]

Posted at 3:16 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

U.S. Lauds ‘Significant Contribution’ of Cuba to Battle Ebola; Castro Says Let’s Do More

The State Department is lauding Cuba for sending resources to help fight Ebola in West Africa, with spokeswoman Marie Harf not ruling out further cooperation with the communist island in the future.

“Cuba, a country of just 11 million people, has sent 165 health professionals and it plans to send nearly 300 more,” Kerry said in Washington on Friday while noting “nations large and small stepping up in impressive ways to make a contribution on the front lines.”

Granma reported that Raul Castro said today Cuba ”is ready to work shoulder to shoulder with all nations, including the United States” to stop the spread of Ebola “and that urgently needed is the will to integrate, organize and plan, as well as articulate efforts – not only for assistance and treatment, but for prevention and strict adherence to medical protocols, as well.”

Today, Harf was asked if the U.S. welcomes Castro’s remarks.

“Well, you heard Secretary Kerry last Friday in his comments about Ebola recognize that Cuba dispatched hundreds of health care workers to the region as part of the U.N. mission for the emergency response here and said that this is a significant contribution to the overall international response,” she said.

“We have recognized and appreciate this contribution, as we do from other countries, as well. But the fact that such a small country is providing so many resources — more than many other countries, quite frankly — is a significant contribution.”

Harf said she “saw some of those comments,” but doesn’t have “more analysis of how we might have discussions with them in the future”

“You know we do have discussions with them from time to time on certain issues, but I don’t have anything to preview for you,” she said.

“In recognizing what they’ve done, that doesn’t seem the same thing as saying you’re willing to cooperate?” a reporter asked.

“I’m not saying we’re not,” Harf replied. “I’m just saying I don’t have any more for you on those comments, and I can check with our folks and see if we have more to say tomorrow.”

She added that Cuba is “absolutely” helping by “pulling their weight.”

“The secretary very publicly and openly said that we thought this is a significant contribution by the Cubans… And I would of course welcome additional support and resources and contributions from the Cubans. The question, I think, was about whether we will work together, and I just don’t know the facts. But, of course, we would welcome them doing more, absolutely.”

Posted at 3:12 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

Al Gore: America’s Unofficial Climate Czar

Former vice president turned unofficial environmental czar Al Gore pitched climate control to a packed house at Dreamforce 2014 with some 150,000 registrants and 5 million online via Salesforce Live. But what caught my eye most wasn’t what Gore said (as we’ve all heard these alarming stats before), it was the barrage of disparaging comments I received online after posting highlights from his speech (read on for those).

Wows Some, Nauseates Others

Nearly all the replies on Twitter were aimed at giving Gore a new bunghole. Really. Plenty pockmark Gore carte blanche and rubberstamp him as a political-has-been, fraud and profiteer. Here are screen captures of these digs (I omitted any with four-letter unmentionables:

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Just the mere mention of Gore’s name either wows those who hang on his every word as gospel or nauseates others who would rather eat a dirt sandwich then sit through his lecture. There seems to be no middle ground either. Some attendees were psychologically pumped by his seemingly vast knowledge of our eroding ozone layer noticeable by their cheers, applause and standing ovation.

One slide Gore presented, interestingly enough, was dated two days before his keynote on October 13, 2014, from the U.S. Department of Defense 2014 Climate Change Roadmap:

“Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty and conflict.”

Another slide featured insight from Jason Box, a Lead Researcher with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Yet another covered the 10 cities at risk from sea level rise in 2070 (which most of us won’t be around to dispute): Calcutta, Mumbai, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Rangoon, Miami, and Haiphong. 

Another shared this less-known insight:

“In 2014 the ice sheet is precisely 5.6 percent darker, producing additional absorption of energy equivalent to roughly twice the US annual electricity consumption.”

Gore spent a good 20 minutes on the nuances of every monster storm of the last decade. One of the proof points environmentalists offer while making their case is the increased frequency of colossal storms and single out global warming as the culprit.

Oops. He Did It Again.

Gore ramped up the wattage of his speech by bringing legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young on stage. Young was already at Dreamforce stumping his new digital-download music service and dedicated high-quality music player, Pono (I tried it out and easily give it two thumbs up).

Yet Gore couldn’t quite get to his end game on the evil-ways-we’re-polluting-our-planet-diatribe on fact-based evidence alone. He relied on mammoth monitors displaying a serene image of Earth from space and a few dry jokes. One poked fun at former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in reference to dissing anyone who talks about space colonies. His next zinger fell sideways yet was as expected as Hillary’s pantsuit jests: his “election win” that lost.

How Did Gore Fare?         

I give Gore’s a C- on his controversial climate research, a D on his lengthy delivery and need to add A-list glitter with a legendary musician yet still have one overriding question: “Shouldn’t you let that loss go already?” That was 14 years, one separation, one girlfriend, two presidents and four terms ago.

Posted at 2:43 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

DHS Beginning Program Next Year to Expedite Haitian Relocation to U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security will begin early next year a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program to “expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States.”

The program will allow those already approved under family-based immigrant visa petitions to come to the U.S. up to two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.

“Due to annual caps, more than 100,000 Haitians with approved family-based petitions remain on waiting lists of up to more than 12 years in Haiti. In creating a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program next year, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to reuniting Haitian families, saving lives, and accelerating Haiti’s recovery efforts following the devastating 2010 earthquake,” Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said. “This will not only help ensure that migration from Haiti is safe and legal, but strengthen Haitian families and provide them with greater opportunities to succeed.”

Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas called “the rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States.”

“The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification.  It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States,” Mayorkas said in a statement Friday.

“The United States strongly discourages individuals in Haiti from undertaking life-threatening and illegal maritime journeys to the United States. Such individuals will not qualify for the HFRP program and if located at sea may be returned to Haiti.”

Secretary of State John Kerry met earlier this month with Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. “The government has worked hard and we have worked hard and the international community has worked hard to make a difference to the lives of the people of Haiti,” Kerry said.

Lamothe said Haiti “has tremendous challenges ahead of it,” but is recovering from the 2010 earthquake that took 250,000 lives and caused $14 billion in damages.

“The country is progressing very much, and that’s thanks very much to the U.S. support of Haiti’s growth, Haiti’s progress. We have a thriving industrial park in the northern part of Haiti,” the prime minister said.

DHS said legal authority for the reunification program “is provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act which authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole into the United States certain individuals, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

“This is the same legal authority used to establish the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program in 2007.”

Hastings said it’s his “sincere hope” that the program “will be expanded, so that all Haitians with approved petitions may join their families in the United States as soon as possible.”

Posted at 2:38 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

BREAKING: Possible Terror Attack in Canada by Reported ISIS Sympathizer, Dead Suspect Is Martin ‘Ahmad’ Rouleau

NOTE: Updates below this post

According to multiple reports, Canadian authorities are investigating a hit-and-run and subsequent high-speed car chase this morning in St. Jean sur Richelieu in Quebec province as a possible terror attack. (HT: Stewart Bell)

CBC reports:

A man in his 30s was shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., earlier this afternoon after he hit two members of the Canadian Forces with his car and led police on a dramatic high-speed chase.

The soldiers were hit in a parking lot of a commercial plaza at around 11:30 a.m. ET. Both were injured, one critically.

The incident was raised in the House of Commons this afternoon by Conservative MP Randy Hoback, who questioned Prime Minister Stephen Harper about “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack” targeting members of the Canadian Forces.

Harper, reading from a piece of paper, would only say he was ”aware of these reports” and that they are troubling.

Police have not named the soldiers but confirmed at an afternoon news conference that they were members of the armed forces.

Another report indicates that the suspect was inside the military office beforehand talking about ISIS and may be an ISIS sympathizer.

This incident comes weeks after ISIS called for Western supporters to attack and “slaughter soldiers” in their homes. The message made suggestions for such an attack:

“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

“If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face.”

If this is a confirmed attack, it may be a copycat attack based off of the May 2013 killing of British Army drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich.

UPDATE: Stewart Bell directs to this report that the suspect (who has died from his wounds) is Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, who was known to Canadian counterterrorism authorities.

UPDATE2: Rouleau’s Facebook page is filled with caliphate imagery.

UPDATE3: Here’s a picture of Rouleau from his Ummaland (Muslim social networking site) page, where is user name was “Ahmad the Convert”:

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UPDATE4: Canadian Prime Minister’s Office says that Rouleau “had become radicalized”:

“The individual who struck the two CAF members with his car is known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team,” said the statement from Jason MacDonald, the prime minister’s spokesman.

“Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized. As Canada’s national security agencies have said, Canadians should remain vigilant.”

UPDATE5: Stewart Bell of the National Post reports on Rouleau’s online activity:

A Twitter account under the name Ahmad Rouleau featured the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, the terrorist group that last month called on its followers to kill Canadians because of Ottawa’s role in the anti-ISIS military coalition.

“Islam is the only true religion. Anyone who want scientific proof of God that your terrorist Zionism Rothschild media hide, contact me or add me if you re open minded,” he commented beneath an online Time magazine article last May.

On a Facebook page under the same name, French and English posts — the last one on Friday — denounced Christianity and Judaism. “Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. And Allah has cursed them, and for them is an enduring punishment,” he wrote.

UPDATE6: The Toronto Sun adds this interesting tidbit:

A source says the suspect called 911 during the chase to say that he carried out his acts in the name of Allah.

And also reports:

Couture-Rouleau became known to the RCMP after a relative alerted police to the man’s terrorist leanings, a police source told QMI Agency.

A neighbor told QMI that Couture-Rouleau had grown out his beard and started wearing a turban after converting to Islam a year ago.

UPDATE7: National Post reports that one of the soldiers run down by Rouleau has died.

Posted at 2:21 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

Pentagon Plans to Begin Training Ebola Strike Team This Week

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the 30-person Ebola strike team ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will likely begin training this week.

Kirby told Fox that the idea was developed out of discussions between Hagel and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

“We have some unique capabilities in the United States military and our medical health professionals, and we wanted to be able to lend this capability to the government if needed, to civilian medical authorities if needed,” the press secretary said.

“They’re going to start their training probably this week. The training will take place for about a week long session, and then they’ll be on this 30 days prepare-to-deploy ready status where they could be ready to go within 72 hours. And we think we have some expertise that could be of help, again, only if needed and if required.”

The strike team would be limited to use within the United States. Kirby said there’s no significance to the fact that they’ll be training in Texas, where the first Ebola cases in the country occurred.

“It just so happens that that’s where the training, the U.S. Army training that they’re going to go through, that’s where it is. And the training that they’re going to be going through is really about Ebola protocols, to help them take the right precautions, to teach them how it wear the protective personal equipment, and to get them a little bit more up to speed on the latest on the virus,” he continued. “But that’s where the training really is, and that’s why it’s going to Texas. It has nothing to do with the issues in Dallas.”

Kirby told CNN none of the troops currently deployed in Liberia have contracted the Ebola virus.

“None of them have shown any symptoms. It’s going OK. And OK I mean that we’re on track to get those first emergency treatment units up. The first one will be done by the end of this month. The second one probably the first week of November. We’re building the training site,” he said.

“It’s going OK. But the weather and the infrastructure still a problem. I mean, it still rains much of the day and it just slows us down a little bit. But our troops are working really, really hard and they’re very proud of the contributions that they’re making.”

Kirby stressed that ”it’s still going to be quite a lift.”

“This disease is very, very deadly and it’s spreading down there, there’s no question about that. “

Posted at 1:58 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

Nigeria Declared ‘Ebola-Free’

The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria “Ebola-free” after 42 days elapsed without a new case being diagnosed.

WHO announced that Senegal was Ebola-free on Friday.

Neither country experienced the kind of outbreak of the disease seen in other West African countries. But the reason for that has a lot to do with how they handled the crisis in the first few days after diagnosing the first patient.

In the case of Nigeria, the country immediately declared an emergency, and set out to identify all the people who had come in contact with the patient. The early detection of the disease, the swift emergency response, and a massive public education effort all combined to limit the spread of the virus to 20 people, eight of whom died.

“This is a spectacular success story that shows to the world that Ebola can be contained but we must be clear that we have only won a battle, the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola.”

The outbreak there began when Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian citizen, was diagnosed with the illness in July.

Nigeria declared a national public health emergency and Mr Sawyer later died of the disease, followed by seven Nigerians.

These included Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, who diagnosed Mr Sawyer and is credited with helping to contain the outbreak at its source.

Dr Adadevoh’s son, Bankole Cardoso, told the BBC that because Mr Sawyer had been so quickly diagnosed, Nigeria was able to trace all those who could possibly have contracted the disease from him.

“That was probably the difference between us and our West African neighbours,” he said.

John Vertefeuille, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that Nigeria had taken the right steps to contain the outbreak.

“Nigeria acted quickly and early and on a large scale,” he told AFP news agency.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., authorities have released 43 people from quarantine when they failed to show symptoms of the disease after 21 days. All 43 had come in contact with the first Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan. Authorities say that 120 people who came in contact with the other two Ebola patients are still being monitored in Texas with dozens more in Ohio, and up to 800 more across the country who had flown on the plane taken by Amber Vinson, the third Ebola patient.

Vinson’s family is pushing back from the CDC’s contention that the nurse was told not to use public transportation, including flying in commercial aircraft, prior to her trip to Cleveland.

LA Times:

Health officials gave Texas nurse Amber Vinson permission to fly to Ohio and back even though she voiced concern about Ebola, her relatives said Sunday, adding that they have retained a high-profile attorney.

Their statement contradicted a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention account of what took place before the nurse was diagnosed with the virus.

CDC officials said last week that Vinson had been told to avoid public transportation, including commercial airlines, while monitoring herself for symptoms. CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said her trip to Ohio, which began before fellow nurse Nina Pham had been diagnosed with Ebola, violated that restriction. The agency has acknowledged approving Vinson’s return flight.

“In no way was Amber careless prior to or after her exposure to Mr. Thomas Eric Duncan,” the Ebola patient she treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Vinson’s family said Sunday in a statement detailing her interactions with health officials.

The family also said they have retained attorney Billy Martin, a veteran of numerous high-profile cases. He represented NFL star Michael Vick during his dogfighting case, actor Wesley Snipes during his tax case, the parents of federal intern Chandra Levy after her disappearance and the mother of former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky during the sex-and-perjury investigation of President Clinton.

Vinson’s family said that before the nurse flew to Cleveland on Oct. 10, she contacted the CDC through her work supervisor “and was fully cleared for travel.”

Say it isn’t so! The CDC tried to blame the victim for the agency’s own stupidity? I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that a government agency would lie to cover its own behind.

In a Politico poll concluded before the 3rd case of Ebola was diagnosed, just 22% of voters in swing states said they had a lot of confidence that the government could contain the disease while 33% said they didn’t. Those numbers may change as days pass and no more new cases of Ebola are diagnosed in the U.S. But the glaring, nearly incomprehensible missteps made by the government in their efforts to contain the virus in the first days of the crisis is a warning that in the months ahead, as the outbreak worsens in West Africa, the U.S. may again be challenged and found wanting in its response. No “czar,” no smooth assurances from health bureaucrats can mask the fundamental truth that we’re not ready to face an outbreak here.

Posted at 1:28 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

Rubio, Ross Draft Ebola Travel Legislation, But There’s No Congress Yet to Debate Bills

With leaders in both chambers coming under increased pressure to call Congress back into session to address the Ebola crisis, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today said he’s preparing to introduce legislation to put a temporary ban on new visas from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

That follows last week’s announcement by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) that he’s preparing a bill to restrict flights to and from Ebola-affected countries “until the virus is declared to be contained and no longer a threat.”

In a Friday letter, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) reached out to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), arguing that Congress can’t wait until after Election Day to reconvene.

“Without improvements to border control, our nation runs the risk of additional Ebola cases reaching our shores. This is simply unacceptable,” Vitter and Garrett wrote.

“The Obama administration has failed to recognize this public health threat.… The House and Senate must reconvene to direct the administration on what steps must be taken to protect the American people.”

There are no signs yet that Congress will be coming off the campaign trail to return to Washington, though, so Rubio is planning for a November unveiling of his legislation.

The ban would go into effect as soon as the bill is signed and would remain in effect until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have decided the outbreak in West Africa is contained.

If the disease spread in “significant levels” to another country, that would be added to the visa ban as well.

The bill will include an exemption for “individuals who are approved to come to the U.S. for training related to the Ebola outbreak.”

Dozens of Republicans and Democrats have come out in favor of a travel ban, though it’s clear that the extent of a ban and whether or not it extends to incoming flights, visas or both would be debated in both chambers.

“While Ebola’s deadly reach has proven to be a complex and unique international challenge, the many uncertainties surrounding this virus continue to threaten U.S. national security,” Rubio said in a statement. “Our biggest priority is ensuring that sufficient safeguards are in place to limit the spread of Ebola, contain it at the source, and protect Americans.”

“We must take any and all necessary precautions to contain this virus – and common sense restrictions on travel from countries now confronting this epidemic is an important step,” added Rubio. “The most effective way to combat this deadly virus is to address it at its source.”

Ross’ bill, the Contain Ebola and Stop the Epidemic (CEASE) Act, would “ban the arrival of any commercial aircraft from a country in which the Ebola virus disease has reached epidemic proportions as determined by the Director of the Center for Disease Control and to deny a visa to any individual whose travel itinerary includes a departure from such a country.”

“Now that two of our health care workers have contracted the virus I am putting my foot down. This legislation is a more serious approach to preventing Ebola from further infiltrating our homeland,” Ross said. “Airport security screening is a complete smoke and mirror approach to the virus and Americans aren’t buying it. I urge my colleagues to sign onto this legislation and hope Speaker Boehner will quickly call Congress back into session to debate my legislation.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Sunday on CNN that the administration’s assertion a travel ban would hamper relief flights is “very different from saying commercial airliners should fly day after day after day with hundreds of passengers connecting with thousands of passengers coming all throughout the country.”

“The arguments they’re giving don’t make sense,” Cruz said. “And what is unfortunate is watching the Obama administration treat this as yet another political issue rather than as a public health crisis; for the same reason, you’ve seen virtually no attention from the administration on the need to secure the southern border.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told MSNBC today that “there’s no ideology” in their Ebola strategy and signaled the administration’s resistance to calls for blocking travel from the hot zone.

“Frankly, the judgment of the professionals who know how to deal with these issues is that if you have a travel ban in place, it drives people underground. Instead of traveling through existing protocols that allows us to screen for Ebola, they seek to evade detection,” Rhodes said. “And, the fact of the matter is what we’ve been focused on, therefore, is screening. If people are trying to travel from West Africa into the United States, how can we screen them to make sure that they’re not posing a risk?”

“We believe that a travel ban could actually endanger people more by driving them underground and having people seeking to find ways into the United States that are outside the existing travel protocols.”

Rubio stressed that his bill banning the issuance of new visas “does not mean we will be completely cutting off the affected countries from the outside world.”

“We must continue to increase our assistance to those countries as they struggle to contain this outbreak,” the senator said. “That is, ultimately, the only way we will be able to stop this outbreak and keep Americans safe from this horrible disease.”

Posted at 1:11 pm on October 20th, 2014 by

New Photo Caption Contest: Hollywood’s Flying Monkeys Are Supporting Hillary in 2016

Credit: SABO

Credit: SABO in Hollywood Reporter

 

I can not wait until the day after the midterm elections when the 2016 presidential campaign “officially” begins. But in the meantime, our latest contest photo is an indication of the high-quality entertainment that awaits us on the campaign trail.

This photo and news appeared on October 17 in the Hollywood Reporter (so it must be true) with the headline:

Hillary Clinton Flying Monkey Signs Deface Brentwood Ahead of L.A. Fundraiser

Guerrilla street artist SABO, who made headlines with his Gwyneth Paltrow” Obama Drone” poster, has struck again — this time ahead of Hillary Clinton‘s upcoming Democratic fundraiser at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood. The Los Angeles artist early Friday hung signs depicting Wizard of Oz flying monkeys holding “Hillary 2016″ signs from traffic lights and pasted them on utility boxes near the San Vicente Boulevard restaurant. Although, as SABO told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, one poster near a Whole Foods had been “violently” torn down.

“All these leftists, I’m tired of their s—,” SABO said via email.

There is nothing I can add to that report except reveal your contest mission which is to answer the following questions:

What is the flying monkey’s name?

What is the monkey saying?

What is the monkey thinking but afraid to say?

Extra credit:  On the sign under “Hillary 2016,” add another pithy phrase.

The only rule for this contest is “be nice,” PLEASE be nice.

Now, here are the winners from our last photo caption contest which asked the question, “Is this Obama’s JV Team?”

Credit: Drudge Report

Credit: Drudge Report

The grand prize winner went to Chris Henderson for:

Never in the field of  human conflict has so much been botched by so few endangering so many.

Here are the three runners- up.

Allan Crowson:

Obama: “Just look at these water glasses. Did I not promise you the most transparent administration ever?”

Cfbleachers:

Obama: Just because the secret service puts on a Kobe jersey doesn’t mean the sex is consensual.

And finally, Chris Henderson won again for:

Obama: “The buck never got here!”

Thanks to all who played along and thanks in advance to our loyal contest goers who will fly along and help the monkey become an influential opinion leader in the 2016 presidential campaign.

 

 

Posted at 11:26 am on October 20th, 2014 by

Wendy Davis Campaign Launches Its Most Absurd Attack on Greg Abbott Yet

San Antonio Express-News reporter Peggy Fikac runs a story in which she attempts to tie Texas Republican governor nominee Greg Abbott to a little misstep made by a fellow Republican who is several states away.

The subject is state-level bans on interracial marriage, which were struck down by courts decades ago. They are not relevant today, but reporters like Fikac are attempting to equate them with the current trend of courts striking down bans on same-sex marriage. And Wendy Davis’ campaign is running with that.

 

That’s the spokesman Davis imported from Harry Reid’s smear shop, demonstrating his total lack of honesty, facts and sense.

It didn’t take Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott any time at all to decide that not answering that question was the best course during a meeting with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board.

“Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” Abbott pointed out. “And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me … The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.”

When I said I wasn’t clear if he was saying he would have defended a ban on interracial marriage, he said, “Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that.”

Asked about the similarities some see between the ban on gay marriage and past prohibitions on interracial marriage, Abbott said, “Well, the Supreme Court has disagreed with that” by holding that sexual orientation isn’t due protected-class status in the way that race is.

What Abbott is doing there is staying away from hypotheticals, in this case, one set up by the media to help Democrats who favor gay marriage and who want some issue to use against their Republican opponents. It’s a gotcha, and everyone — the media, Abbott, everyone — knew that.

Why is it a “gotcha”? Because there’s no way to answer it and satisfy the press, and the media hardly ever uses the same technique against Democrats. Go one way and you get the report above, go another and you get “Abbott disagrees with fellow Republicans,” go another and you get the media putting him on the defensive in some other way.

In this case, Wendy Davis admitted that she would violate current state law, but media evidently did not follow up or chase her down on that, so she is not being forced to defend that.

“I do,” she said in her meeting with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board. “I think it’s a very fair comparison in that the time has … come for us to move forward in understanding that we’ve been kind of stuck in the same place that our country was stuck when it had the ban on interracial marriage. And I’m pleased to see the rapid advancement that is happening around the country in us accepting that and moving forward in a more productive way.”

Davis has called on Abbott to stop defending both Texas’ gay marriage ban and its public education finance system, which is being challenged in court by school districts.

Wendy Davis wants the Texas attorney general to violate his official duties under state law.

Posted at 8:45 am on October 20th, 2014 by

College Students Can Now Get Schooled in ‘Rihanna Womanism’

UTAustinBeyonceRhianna

Chicks on the Right, women working to take back feminism from the pro-choice crowd, discovered yet another way for parents and students to flush the cost of three college credits down the drain. Last spring, it was Rutgers University’s “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé.” This coming spring, it’s UT Austin’s “Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism.”

The course description reads:

By comparison, this class has a very eye-catching title. Whether or not you are a Beyoncé Bey or part of the Rihanna Navy, it will cause you to do a double take while scrolling through electives. The one downside, students may not realize the type of academic inquiry or material that will be covered in the course.

Students in this class will learn that there is far more than catchy melodies to Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s music. They will not be simply listening to Beyoncé and Rihanna for fun or even comparing the roles of Beyoncé and Rihanna in popular culture, rather, students will be studying how the lyrics, music videos, and actions of these women express various aspects of black feminism such as violence, economic opportunity, sexuality, standards of beauty, and creative self-expression. The instructor hopes for students to understand the role black feminism plays in popular culture as well as everyday life.

For any student interested in women’s and gender studies or how popular culture reflects social studies, this is a class that will make them fall crazy in love.

Posted at 8:22 am on October 20th, 2014 by

Houston Mayor Annise Parker Lies, Renews Assault on City Pastors

Houston Mayor Annise Parker initially defended her decision to subpoena the sermons of several pastors who lead churches in the city. Parker defended that decision publicly, on Twitter.

 

Blowback was national, immediate and fierce (though, not from Wendy Davis, Barack Obama or any other of Parker’s fellow Democrats. They stayed quiet as Parker launched lawfare against churches.).

Parker backtracked and lied, claiming that she isn’t interested in the sermons.

Now she is lying again, claiming that the pastors knew that she wasn’t ever interested in their sermons.

“‘We don’t need to intrude on matters of faith to have equal rights in Houston, and it was never the intention of the city of Houston to intrude on any matters of faith or to get between a pastor and their parishioners,’ Parker said. ‘We don’t want their sermons, we want the instructions on the petition process. That’s always what we wanted and, again, they knew that’s what we wanted because that’s the subject of the lawsuit.’”

That is not what the original subpoenas said, and it is not what Parker defended demanding in the tweet above. In the tweet above, Parker admitted that she is interested in putting anything that the pastors might have said that can be construed as any way political under scrutiny. She wants to use discovery in the lawsuits against her to put the pastors and their tax-exempt status on trial.

As we and others have reported previously, the pastors who find themselves targeted by Parker’s subpoenas are not even party to the lawsuit in question. The lawsuit is over the Parker administration’s decision to throw out a petition that more than met the threshold to get a question on the ballot for Houston voters to decide.

That referendum would have put Parker’s “bathroom ordinance” up to a vote of the people. It needed a little over 17,000 signatures. It got 50,000, but Parker’s administration threw it out, citing “irregularities.”

That’s what the lawsuit is about — getting that petition re-instated, and putting Parker’s controversial “bathroom ordinance” up for a vote of the people.

Posted at 8:11 am on October 20th, 2014 by

Ebola Crisis is So Urgent that Obama’s New Czar Doesn’t Even Start the Job for a Week

Barack Obama likes to use the phrase “We can’t wait!” when it comes to granting amnesty to illegal aliens, along with many of his other pet causes.

But apparently, the Ebola outbreak can wait.

The Daily Caller reports that Ron Klain, President Obama’s new Solyndra Ebola PR czar, hasn’t even started the job yet.

After a day of golfing, President Barack Obama convened a meeting with the task force [Friday] to apprise him of any developments in the treatment of the two domestic Ebola cases and to discuss emergency preparedness nationwide, according to a White House pool report. Attendees included Vice President Joe Biden, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden, several cabinet members and other White House aides. Klain was not there.

Perhaps Klain, a Democrat operative going back to the Joe Biden’s smear of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will spend this week brushing up on Ebola with the same intensity that Obama brings to those Daily Intelligence Briefings that he routinely skips. Or perhaps he will brush up on getting things spectacularly wrong by politically helpful, from his new boss Susan Rice.

Posted at 7:51 am on October 20th, 2014 by

If You Like How the Government is Handling Ebola…

…you’ll love how they’ll handle the Internet.

The late, inordinately great Ronald Reagan rightly observed:

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

So when the federal government says about Ebola “We’ve got this” – people have a problem believing it.

Obama Underwater on Ebola Response

Ah, the Barack Obama Administration – which has been caught lying over and over and over again.

Many Voters Say Obama Lies to the Country on Important Matters

81 percent of Americans believe that Obama lies to them at least “now and then” on “important matters.”

The Obama Administration has again and again offered Ebola assertions and assurances that Reality has subsequently demonstrated were…wanting.

The President has asserted Ebola isn’t transmittable beyond direct body fluid contact.  That’s not true.

In one of the most breathtakingly on-its-face anti-Reality statements ever, the Administration asserted a flight ban from afflicted countries would INCREASE the spread of the disease.

The American people think otherwise.

67% of Americans Support a Travel Ban From Ebola Affected Countries

Democrats are blaming the Administration’s Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s serial Ebola incompetence – the CDC being the government’s alleged “expert agency” on, well…disease control – on budget cuts.  That’s not true either.

At $7 billion, the Centers for Disease Control 2014 budget is nearly 200 percent bigger now than it was in 2000. Those evil, stingy Republicans actually approved CDC funding increases in January larger than what President Obama requested.

The CDC has spent their titanic tally on just about everythingexcept disease control.

So the American people can be forgiven for arriving here:

Trust in Government at All-Time Low

Trust In Government Problem-Solving Reaches New Low

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is gearing up to unilaterally commandeer control of the Internet.

On Ebola, the allegedly Disease Controlling Administration – in fine Kevin Bacon “Animal House” fashion – has been repeatedly proclaiming “All is well” as things continue to get worse and worse.

Conversely, the Internet has been since just about its inception a government-free zone.  And has a result become an ever-expanding free speech-free market Xanadu.

The Administration has been the Chicken Little of the World Wide Web.  Running around decrying a “problem” that does not exist – and demanding a Huge Government “solution.”

The fake “problem?”  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may – one day, someday, maybe – block you from websites.  Only they haven’t.  And they won’t.  Because they are in the customer service business – but won’t be for long if they refuse to serve their customers what they want.

The fake “solution?”

What’s Even Worse than Net Neutrality? Government Internet Reclassification to Do It

Reclassification will give the government the same regulatory stranglehold on the Web that it has had for seventy-plus years on landline phone lines.  Which is why landline phone lines have remained just about undeveloped since FDR.

Oh – and this:

Reclassification Net Neutrality Could Be a 16.1% Internet Tax

Now we know why the government has created a faux Web crisis – so as to not let it go to waste.

But fret not, the government tells us. They will wield just some – and not all – of their massive new powers. They will practice “forbearance.”

“(F)orbearance” refers to a special magic power that Congress gave the FCC…which gives the FCC the power to say “you know that specific provision of law that Congress passed? We decide it really doesn’t make sense for us to enforce it in some particular case, so we will “forbear” (hence the term ‘forbearance’) from enforcing it.”

Sure.  Because we can take the government at its word – right?

Like the CDC on disease control, the FCC is the government’s alleged “expert agency” on all things Internet.  Except:

Government Commission That Wants to Commandeer Control of the Internet Just Had Their Website Crash – Twice

So the FCC is just about as honest and competent as the rest of the government.

How about, then, they not take over the Web?

Posted at 7:27 am on October 20th, 2014 by

U.S. Attorney General Blocked Aid to Israel, Cost Soldier’s Life

YouTube Preview Image

When Israeli Sergeant Oron Shaul was captured by Hamas terrorists in the thick of this past summer’s Operation Protective Sheild, the Palestinian terror organization used the sergeant’s Facebook page to broadcast their sick achievement to his family and friends. It should have been easy for the IDF to electronically trace the gloating terrorists, but it wasn’t. Why not? Apparently the U.S. attorney general got in the way.

Israel issued a request for Facebook to turn over IP address information, and the Justice Department got to work. In the meantime, the FBI got the bureaucratic wheels rolling with the U.S. Attorney’s office in what should have been a cut and dry procedure that, in a few short hours, was inexplicably shut down. The Jewish Press reports:

Suddenly, and to the shock of the prosecutors working feverishly to obtain the information that possibly could reveal where Shaul (or his body) was being held, a shocking email arrived from the FBI. An email that spelled a death sentence for what many believed to be the best chance of finding Shaul and his kidnappers.

Thank you for your effort, input and assistance. I regret to inform you we have been denied approval to move forward with legal process.We were told by our management we need a MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty] in order to continue to assist our partner with the request in question.

The MLAT requires a standardized process to wind its way through legal and diplomatic protocols and usually take weeks to process. They are used, [Steve] Emerson explained, for non-pressing legal matters in which the United States or another country is carrying out some legal process, such as a prosecution of a citizen in another country. They are not used in urgent, life-or-death or counter-terrorism scenarios, “especially with a close ally such as Israel,” Emerson was told.

…Three days after the stand down email was sent, the IDF concluded that Oron Shaul was dead. His body has never been recovered. Hamas is interested in using whatever parts of Shaul’s body they claim to have to swap for terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

According to Emerson’s investigation, those involved in the legal procedures in the U.S. believe the stop order was given by the attorney general’s office.

Add this to the list of reasons why Eric Holder stepped down just in time. It may also be on the list of reasons why Israel is choosing to wean itself from its strong dependency on American military aid.

Posted at 12:01 am on October 20th, 2014 by