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Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Scrap Upcoming Season, Analysts Suggest Team May Want To Do The Same

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

I may have made the second part up.

Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year.

Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has suspended operations through at least the end of the season. The decision was made two days after five former Jills filed a lawsuit complaining they worked hundreds of hours for free, and were subjected to groping and sexual comments.

I can’t imagine the horror of having to endure winters in Buffalo and attend Bills games.

Also, what kind of human being objectifies cheerleaders?!?

Well, at least they all have health insurance now or something.

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Postal Workers Freaking Out Because America Is About To Find Out Anyone Can Do Their Jobs

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Toto is about to pull back the curtain.

U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers’ grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service lay claim to be fighting for the same cause: safeguarding the long-term future of one of the largest employers in the country.

The sharp disagreement comes over how to go about it.

Speaking at a protest in Washington, D.C., postal union President Mark Dimondstein says it’s fine that the Postal Service wants to open counters in retail outlets, as it began to last year in Staples stores. The problem, he says, are the terms.

“Our demand on the question of the USPS-Staples deal was to put postal employees in those postal units,” Dimondstein says.

Instead, the counters are staffed by Staples employees. And the Postal Service has made clear it hopes to keep expanding within the Staples chain and with other similar partners.

They should be upset-it’s not going to be pretty for them when Americans find out that they can pay someone half the money to do twice the work. (I am not saying that all postal workers are deserving of complaints, the ones by my place are actually pretty good.)

Honestly, these hybrid public/private sector ventures might be what saves the USPS from itself by breathing new life into a system that has been a financial sink hole for decades.

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A Personal Association to the CURE Hospital Attack in Kabul, Afghanistan

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
cure-hospital

CURE Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan is sponsored by CURE International an American faith-based organization that builds hospitals in developing nations.

 

This morning’s news of an attack at the CURE International Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan was especially upsetting because my husband, David Adams is an executive with an international Christian/Catholic charity that helps support the hospital and he has visited this Christian faith-based hospital in the past.

Thus, I asked him to shed some light on this incident for PJ Media.

It was with great sadness that I learned today of the horrible incident that just occurred in Kabul, Afghanistan where a security guard or policeman murdered three American medical personnel and wounded a fourth at CURE Int’l Hospital.  In my capacity as VP for Missions with Cross International, I visited the hospital several years ago to evaluate their use of assistance we provided CURE to build an Intensive Care Unit.  What I observed was an extraordinary group of American and Afghan individuals dedicated to providing the best health care in the country to sick, injured and dying Afghanis.  Even President Karzai’s niece was serving on the medical staff.  CURE personnel were keenly aware of their vulnerability, particularly the foreign Christian staff there to serve both Our Lord and the Afghan people.

The thoughts and prayers of all Cross International employees are with the families and friends of these brave individuals who selflessly gave everything to this noble cause.

David Adams, VP Missions - Cross International and Cross Catholic Outreach

 

 

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Is Andrew Cuomo Scared to Debate Rick Perry?

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is in New York, hoping to lure some of that state’s businesses to Texas, and causing trouble. He challenged New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a debate.

ALBANY – Texas Gov. Rick Perry got his business-poaching trip to New York underway Tuesday with a Texas-sized challenge to Cuomo.

Perry, during an Albany radio appearance, challenged Cuomo to a public debate on which state – New York or Texas – had the better business climate.

“I’d be more than happy to sit down and have a thoughtful conversation, a debate with Gov. Cuomo over the issues that face us as a state and talk about the economic policies and compare New York to Texas,” Perry said.

The comparison would be very one-sided. Texas has been the nation’s economic engine over the past decade, where about 30% of the nation’s jobs have been created. Texas’ small-government model stands in sharp contrast to New York’s big-government approach. But lately New York has taken to imitating Texas, with ads running nationally, and Cuomo himself making moves like this one.

YouTube Preview Image

Proposing no taxes on new businesses is fine, but New York still imposes a hefty state income tax. While Texans enjoy one of the nation’s lowest tax burdens, and the state consistently ranks at or near the top for best states in which to do business, New York consistently ranks as one of the worst states to do business, because of its high tax burden and intense regulatory environment. In fact, Chief Executive magazine ranked Texas the best state for business in 2013, while New York came in at 49th, only beating out California.

It doesn’t help New York’s anti-freedom image when even its local officials try their hand at policing the speech of companies located not even in that state, but in Texas. And no one else in New York steps up to tell said official to knock it off and just leave people alone.

Progressives like Cuomo do not even believe in leaving people alone. That’s part of their problem. They come off like equal parts gangsters and bullies, mostly because that’s what they are.

Perry may or may not be running for president in 2016 (he probably is, as he’s done as governor after this fall’s elections, and still has designs on exporting Texas’ economic and regulatory model to Washington). If he does, expect people like Cuomo to hide from his record and focus on a debate flub. They will dismiss him with glib soundbites that avoid their own failures and Texas’ simultaneous achievements. Expect establishment Republicans to sneer at him while they promote yet another uninspiring middle of the roader who has little chance of winning. Some things never change.

Rick Perry isn’t perfect — one debate flub haunts him more than Hillary Clinton’s career of cover-ups and lies will ever hurt her, and his “you don’t have a heart” comment still rankles the base, as it should — but Texas has done pretty well under his leadership. Much better than New York and California have done under the leftwing, big-government, blue state model. I would think that a Perry-Walker, Walker-Perry, or versions of Perry-Jindal, Perry-Martinez etc. ticket could do well. The GOP governors have actual records of actual, tangible accomplishments. But what do I know? I keep thinking that the national GOP might look to the Texas GOP to figure out how it’s doing better with Hispanic voters than the national GOP does, and that keeps not happening year after year.

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Conservative Group Launches Ads to Oppose Senators’ Fannie-Freddie ‘Reform’

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

60 Plus is up with new ads in five states that take the proposed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform bill to task. The ads point out one of the “reform’s” deepest flaws — that legislators are allowing a former Countrywide official to write the bill. The reform is being crafted by Democrat Sen. Tim Johnson (SD) and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo (ID).

Countrywide was once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, but its bad loans played a large role in the housing collapse. The federal government fined big banks billions for their misconduct, but now a couple of senators are putting big banks back in charge, according to the ads.

YouTube Preview Image

“We cannot afford to experiment with one-sixth of our economy, as the Johnson-Crapo legislation does, on the backs of average Americans including retirees and pensioners,” 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin said in a press release accompanying the ads. “Any reform or liquidation of Fannie and Freddie must respect the rule of law and protect taxpayers. This proposed legislation does the complete opposite by codifying the Obama Treasury Department’s abuse of property rights. Instead of giving more advantages to the big banks, the Senate banking Committee should craft reform that puts taxpayers and pensioners first.”

Martin also notes that the Johnson-Crapo legislation has Washington and big Wall Street banks working together to further their own interests, not the interests of citizens.

The Heritage Foundation took a look at the Johnson-Crapo bill and found serious problems with it, enough to call for its rejection.

60 Plus is a non-partisan seniors advocacy group that emphasizes free enterprise and less government.

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Why Shouldn’t These Three Ladies Be Allowed to Marry Each Other if They Want?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Doll, Brynn and Kitten (their real names as far as I know) live in Massachusetts. Despite the fact that Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage via court edict years ago, it still oppresses those who wish for something more.

Brynn and Doll dated for eight months before moving in together. Two years later, they purchased a house together. 

Having both enjoyed polygamous relationships before, Doll and Brynn looked for a third woman to join them. After a few failed liaisons, Doll and Brynn created an OKCupid couple’s profile. Eventually, they received a message from Kitten.

Good ol’ OkCupid, flinging the arrows of love hither and yon. Except when it’s flinging hate at Brendan Eich, anyway.

Doll, Brynn and Kitten went for dinner at a Chinese Restaurant for their first date and immediately liked each other. 

Doll says: ‘There was an instant attraction with Kitten but I think we all really bonded when we baked cookies together on our fourth date. I didn’t know what love was until the three of us clicked like that.’

Brynn adds: ‘With Doll and Kitten, things finally made sense. It was as if the puzzle was finally complete with all three pieces.’

Within a few months, Kitten moved in with Doll and Brynn. Two years later, they decided to get married after Kitten proposed the idea to them.

Kitten says: ‘I had always wanted to get married and I guess Doll and Brynn indulged my wishes! I had a very traditional upbringing and marriage had always been an important symbol of commitment for me. We wanted to celebrate our love in a wedding like everyone else.’

Well, of course. The heart wants what the heart wants.

The threesome spent several date nights planning their dream wedding – making decorations and shopping for matching traditional, white gowns.

Brynn says: ‘Planning our wedding was hectic. It took a lot more organizing because there were three brides involved. 

Kitten, Brynn and Doll had to work with the legalities of the state to get married to each other. As being married to more than one person is not currently legal, they had to combine handfasting, legally binding documents and legal marriage.

Well, why isn’t being married to more than one person legal? What’s the rationale behind that? They’re consenting adults, so what’s the big deal? It must be equal parts hatred and intolerance. That’s what the courts keep saying in their rulings on marriage. You may have a problem with the throuple, but who are you to draw the line?

They should sue. They’ll win.

Read the rest. The trio plan to use science and/or adoption to obtain children. It’s a good thing no Catholic will be involved if they go the adoption route.

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Man Plans Obnoxious ‘BundyFest’ to Mock the Nevada Rancher

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Raw Story reports that Sean Sealy plans to put a 24-hour music festival just outside the Cliven Bundy ranch in Nevada in September. The anarchic “BundyFest” will be a pro-government, anti-individualist snark-fest aimed at annoying and unsettling the Nevada rancher, who remains in a stand-off with the federal Bureau of Land Management.

“For years, we paid permitting fees to hold Burning Man on the beautiful Playa in Northern Nevada,” said the event’s organizers on a Facebook page. “But now, Cliven Bundy has shown us a NEW WAY! ABSOLUTE FREEDOM! Bundy has declared the entire area surrounding Bundy Ranch as a TOTALLY RULES-FREE ZONE! ANYTHING GOES! WOO-HOO!!!”

Progressive activist Sean Shealy said Bundyfest, which will be held across the road from Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, for one month starting on Sept. 5.

“Some people have asked me, where will we camp, where will we park?” Shealy said. “Anywhere, really. It’s f*cking anarchy.”

The Facebook page for the event promises no permits will be required, full nudity will be permitted, and the atmosphere will be gay-friendly.

However, Shealy warned, no bathroom facilities would be provided.

“You’re free to let it all hang out right there, just like Bundy’s cattle, right there in the Virgin River, if you want to,” Shealy said.

Organizers also plan a “penis erection contest,” where participants will be awarded prizes for the largest phallic structure built in the desert.

Raw Story reported that Shealy is the organizer behind the Burning Man festival, which will take place this year just a few days before the BundyFest, but on the event’s Facebook page, Shealy says that he is not affiliated with organizing Burning Man.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has consistently criticized Bundy and his supporters, even calling them “domestic terrorists” several times during a recent interview. Reid also darkly warned that “something will happen” to them. “BundyFest” might be that something, and given the provocative nature in which Shealy is announcing that event, it could turn ugly and even violent. Reid himself is mixed up in issues related to using the disputed land.

Bundy’s issues with the BLM go back a couple of decades, and he and his family have grazed cattle on the disputed land since at least the end of World War II. The Daily Caller reported that environmentalists pushed the BLM to act against Bundy over a species of endangered tortoise, the Mojave desert tortoise. “BundyFest” stands a chance of increasing the danger to that tortoise.

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What’s More Popular: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Trip to Meet President Barack Obama, or a Pair of Edible Breadshoes?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In the left corner, we have the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world, Barack Obama. He’s a youthful 52 years old, clearly up on the latest music and cultural trends, does his NCAA March Madness brackets with an amazing consistency, and weighs in on just about every issue there is. The man knows Beyoncé, fercryinoutloud.

In the right corner, a pair of size 12 (approximate) hand-made, sesame Italian loaf breadshoes. They’re edible, so I suppose you could stuff condiments and lunch meat into them and turn them into a sammich. Or wear them around the house, as long as you don’t have cats or dogs around.

This (minus the celebrity soccer player on the right).

showbiz_obama_beckham

Versus this.

breadshoe

 

Well, the team behind a secretive but cool-sounding, yet-to-be-launched app called Ratify is running a contest.

On the first day of the contest, the team announced that it was giving away a trip for two to Silicon Valley to meet President Barack Obama on May 8th.

On the second day, the team announced that it was throwing a curve: The winner could pick the trip to meet the president, or they could opt for a pair of breadshoes.

Promo for the contest has been minimal, according to an insider at Ratify: “I paid a guy $5 to tweet about it yesterday,” the insider told me in email.

Our source’s numbers reveal a couple of bad omens for Obama and the Democrats. Day one of the contest saw little interest and very few sign-ups — just 20 sign-ups to meet POTUS from 500 visitors.

Day two, though, after breadshoes became a possible prize, traffic took off. Of the approximately 2,000 visitors who took at look at the contest on the second day, 100 signed up.

“That gives us 5x conversions and 4x audience multipliers, due solely to breadshoes!” our insider noted.

The insider also notes that Ratify has seen a 300% increase in sign-ups from San Francisco, not exactly GOP territory. They’re going for the breadshoes, too.

And now, I’m hungry.

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Reporter Asks State Dept for One Accomplishment from Hillary Clinton’s Big Review Process. Let’s See What Happens.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

When she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton instituted a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. The first one was completed in December 2010.

Nearly four years later, AP reporter Matt Lee asked State Department Jen Psaki to name one thing that Clinton’s QDDR accomplished. Just one.

She can’t.

LEE: “Off the top of your head, can you name one tangible achievement that the last QDDR resulted in?”
PSAKI: “Well Matt, obviously it’s in an extensive, expansive process.”
LEE: “So no.”
PSAKI: “We’re looking at how it was done last time.”
LEE: “Just one.”
PSAKI: “I know, I’m making an important point here.”
LEE: “OK.”
PSAKI: “The secretary wants it to be focused on a more narrow range of issues. It’s always looking at how we can improve things and we’ll see where we come out at the end.”
LEE: “So off the top of your head can you identify one tangible achievement that resulted from the last QDDR?”
PSAKI: “I am certain that those who were here at the time, who worked hard on that effort –”
LEE: “One –”
[CROSSTALK]
PSAKI: “Could point out one.”
LEE: “Since you’ve come on board that you’ve noticed that you can point back to and say wow, the first QDDR identified this as a problem and dealt with it?”
PSAKI: “Well as you know, I’ve only been here since it concluded.”
LEE: “OK”
PSAKI: “So I’m sure there were a range of things that were put into place that I’m not even sure were a result.”
LEE: “I won’t hold my breath.”
PSAKI: “OK.”

Psaki has been at the State Department since February 2013. She’s part of the revolving door from lobbying and campaigns to government — Psaki came to State from the 2012 Obama campaign, a perch from which she attacked Mitt Romney’s foreign policy chops.

Romney turns out to have been right when he called Russia America’s number one geostrategic foe, while Psaki’s boss, Obama, has been proved wrong.

Unfortunately, to most Democrat voters, accomplishments don’t matter and they will support Hillary in 2016 anyway.

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This Is An Actual, Serious CNN Headline

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It’s nice to see that the Clinton News Network has taken a break from Ancient Aliens Meets Flight 370 to cover Justin Bieber and the urgent stories of our day.

cnn-bieber

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The Shameful Hypocrisy of the Modern Green Movement

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Pierre-Guy Veer

There are two types of green movements. The first one, embodied by Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, sees nature and humans as a whole and thereby believes there can be constructive solutions to problems like pollution. The second believes that humans are a cancer destroying the planet and a radical shift in consumer behavior is needed lest we’re doomed.

This latter breed of green has been back in the news again, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s fifth report released last week. Using this climate “Bible,” green fanatics will undoubtedly look at the splinter in “deniers’” eyes while forgetting the planks in their own.

Green fanatics often dismiss “deniers” like Christopher Monkton, a prominent British politician, since he is not a qualified climatologist. But if such is a science degree is a prerequisite for commenting on global warming, why is Al Gore and David Suzuki such respected scholars on the matter? In fact, at least one-third of IPCC  members have no hard science schooling whatsoever. Why are they considered more qualified to comment on climate policy than Monkton, an actual politician?

Furthermore, if the person speaking is indeed an expert like climatologist Robert Bailing, who “denies” global warming, he will be belittled because he received funding from Big Oil. While some scientists have indeed been paid by “deniers,” climate change fanatics conveniently forget that the WWF, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club have also all received money from companies like Shell Oil and BP. Green energy companies also lobby much harder than Big Oil. As a result, solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources receive immensely more taxpayer subsidies per megawatt than fossil fuels.

For all the vitriol climate fanatics spew at so-called “deniers,” they themselves have a serious denial problem. Greenies like Al Gore often downplay the Climategate scandal in which very compromising emails from climate scientists were leaked suggesting data manipulation. Gore himself has called the scandal “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

But, would Climategate really get the pass that it did in the media if it were an analogous scandal in another industry? Imagine for a moment that Climategate was actually Pharmagate, where a hacker or whistleblower extracted tons of information from Big Pharma. Let’s say he discovered that scientists exchanged emails that asked for information inconsistent with their theories be deleted, acknowledged that their theories are false so a “trick” must be used to “hide the decline.”

Now, imagine that investigations are initiated to shine the light on this scandal. One is conducted by a university that has an employee sunk deep in the scandal. He is completely cleared, and the university claims to have looked at all sides of the debate while completely forgetting about another scientist who found severe flaws in his colleague’s theories.

Another one is financed by an institution also sunk deep in the scandal, and the investigating panel is headed by people favoring the accused scientists. A last investigation,  headed by a country’s national legislature, states that the information was stolen without proof, meets no dissenting scientist and was favoring the scientists by ignoring their questionable actions.

Had such a scenario happened, the media would have cried foul with reason because the investigation were riddled with conflicts of interest and completely lacked objectivity. Yet, Climategate matched the exact same facts.

As you can see, modern greens get their color from their blatant hypocrisy. They are free to take Big Oil money, they are free to lobby for taxpayer dollars and they are free to lie about their data. Fortunately, interest in their cause is constantly waning in public opinion despite recent resurgence of interest in the media, pointing to a coming triumph of reason in environmental policy.

Pierre-Guy Veer is a Young Voices Advocate and researcher based out of Washington, D.C.

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GOP Candidate Comes Up with Fantastic One-Word Response to Dems’ ‘War on Women’ Nonsense

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Terri Lynn Land is running for US Senate in Michigan. She has a one-word response for her Democrat opponent and his “war on women” schtick.

This is perfect. I don’t know anything about Land on the issues yet, but based on this ad, I like her and I suspect most viewers will too. She comes off as charming, yet no-nonsense at the same time. Land’s response taps right into how real people actually talk about the absurd, and it leaves the Democrats nowhere to go. Land is set to “Really?” them every time they claim “war on women” or any other ridiculous accusation that Democrats tend to toss out.

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Wendy Davis Campaign Morphs Into Clown Show

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

What do you do if you’re falling behind and you’re wrong about, well, everything? If you’re Wendy Davis, you hire a castoff from Harry Reid’s house of lies and you just lie about whatever comes up.

The example is in today’s Dallas Morning News, via editorial writer Rodger Jones.

Fact No. 1: Texas public school districts that offer Pre-K already assess them for effectiveness.
Fact No. 2: The Davis campaign has been ridiculing the idea of assessing Pre-K kids, calling it “standardized testing for four-year-olds” and imposition of “Baby STAAR” tests.
Fact No. 3: The Davis campaign has been mum on whether she would ban Pre-K assessments that districts now administer.

Just this afternoon, the campaign put out an email that starts with this headline: “DAVIS CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN RESPONDS TO DMN EDITOR RODGER JONES”

Never mind that I’m not editor of the DMN, or an editor of any kind. The release continued this way:

FORT WORTH – Wendy Davis campaign communications director Zac Petkanas responded to editorial board editor Rodger Jones’ defense of Greg Abbott’s plan to impose standardized testing onto four year olds.

“Greg Abbott’s so-called education plan does something that Texas currently does not do: impose a top down mandate tying additional state resources for pre-K classrooms with how well four year olds do on standardized test assessments.

“Under Abbott’s plan, school districts with pre-K students who don’t meet the mark have their resources slashed.

“To say that this currently takes place in Texas today is just plain wrong.”

I’m saying one simple thing: Pre-K assessments happen today, a reality that may have caught the Davis campaign by surprise as they set out to criticize the very idea of making sure tax money is used properly.

This is aside from any comparison of the Abbott and Davis Pre-K plans. This is a reality check for the Davis folks. A sample of what they put out last week:

“Four-year-olds should be coloring with crayons, not filling in bubbles with No. 2 pencils,” Davis told a crowd of about 80 people at the Texas State Teachers Association.

It’s a distortion for effect, and they know it.

It’s cute, how Wendy Davis and Zac Petkanas think they can just make up whatever reality they want.

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EXCLUSIVE: How One Brave Woman and Her Group of Patriots Took a Corrupt Border Sheriff Down

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

For nearly two years I’ve worked with a source who I couldn’t identify, but who deserved a great deal of credit and applause. This person is a business owner, a mom, an investigator, and as it turns out a courageous fighter for honest government.

Faced with a corrupt sheriff in a Texas border county across the Rio Grande from a drug war, she patiently gathered up evidence of corruption and crime. Despite credible threats to herself and her family, she persevered — and the sheriff is now among more than a dozen who have or soon will stand trial.

Meet her here.

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Snowden Reportedly Dismayed to Learn that He Now Looks Like Vlad Putin’s Toy

Monday, April 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In which the NSA leaker does damage control from the neo-USSR.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden instantly regretted asking Russian President Vladimir Putin a softball question on live television about the Kremlin’s mass surveillance effort, two sources close to the leaker tell The Daily Beast.

“It certainly didn’t go as he would’ve hoped,” one of these sources said. “I don’t think there’s any shame in saying that he made an error in judgment.”

“He basically viewed the question as his first foray into criticizing Russia. He was genuinely surprised that in reasonable corridors it was seen as the opposite,” added Ben Wizner, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who serves as one of Snowden’s closest advisers.

According to Wizner and others, Snowden hadn’t realized how much last week’s Q&A—with Putin blithely assuring Snowden that Moscow had no such eavesdropping programs—would appear to be a Kremlin propaganda victory to Western eyes. And so the leaker quickly decided to write an op-ed for the Guardian to explain his actions and to all but label Putin a liar for his televised response.

It isn’t just Snowden’s public softball game with Putin that has raised suspicions of him. Snowden is suspect because, first, he chose to run to Hong Kong and then to Russia after he leaked the NSA’s surveillance programs to a leftwing journalist.

Following that, he had nothing to say about Russia’s mass surveillance of journalists and presumably athletes and visitors during the Socchi Olympics.

Following that, Snowden appeared at SXSW via video conference from Russia. During that talk, he again had nothing to say about Russia’s surveillance programs, its suspected assassinations of journalists, its recent clampdown on the last of Russia’s free press, nothing.

Everything about that SXSW talk carried bad optics. Snowden spoke from Russia shortly after Putin had invaded and taken Crimea. Snowden had nothing to say about that. Snowden assailed US domestic spying policies — fair enough — but from Russia at a time when his very appearance made the US appear impotent against Russia, and when Russian forces are menacing Ukraine and the stability of Europe.

Neither of Snowden’s two 2014 appearances can possibly have happened without Kremlin approval.

Ever since Snowden landed in Moscow under the watchful eye of the Russian surveillance state, he’s been represented in Russia by a man deeply connected to the Kremlin in addition to his American counsel. It’s one of many reasons why critics have accused the leaker of being a Putin patsy. That criticism has been accompanied by a whisper campaign from both the American and Russian governments alleging that Snowden was under the thumb of Putin’s intelligence services, a claim Snowden and his camp have strongly denied.

He can deny it all he wants. The fact is, the Russian government knows where he is and has total control over whether it extends his asylum in August or not. Russia could have shut down Snowden’s SXSW talk, but didn’t, because it presented the images that Putin wanted presented. Russia could have shut off Snowden’s direct question to Putin, but again, it didn’t, because it provided invaluable domestic and international propaganda for the Putin regime.

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Caption Contest: ‘Hard Choices’ is the name of Hillary’s new book but it needs a subtitle

Friday, April 18th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Hillary book cover

Photo Credit: Simon & Schuster

 

To be released on June 10,  Hillary’s new book entitled Hard Choices is crying out for a subtitle.

Here is the opening paragraph from the promo page:

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON’S INSIDE ACCOUNT OF THE CRISES, CHOICES, AND CHALLENGES SHE FACED DURING HER FOUR YEARS AS AMERICA’S 67TH SECRETARY OF STATE, AND HOW THOSE EXPERIENCES DRIVE HER VIEW OF THE FUTURE.

Since our readers did such a terrific job with our last contest  suggesting titles for Hillary’s then untitled book (all ignored however) here is your chance to write a subtitle.

To start things off here is mine:

Hard Choices: Does Bill use Viagra or Cialis?  

Have fun but PLEASE keep it clean on this Holy Friday.

 

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Wendy Davis Deals Are the Subject of an FBI Corruption Investigation

Friday, April 18th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Texas Democrats’ great hyped hope has another, very large, problem on her hands. Travis County officials have revealed that state Sen. Davis’ lawyer work with the North Texas Tollway Authority is part of FBI investigation.

The Dallas Morning News has the bombshell.

The Travis County district attorney’s office said last month that details from its review of a 2012 complaint that a rival filed about Davis’ legal and political activities were “the subject of an open investigation” by the FBI. The district attorney’s office closed its review last year without taking any action.

Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, has said her legal work for the agency posed no conflicts with her legislative duties.

Zac Petkanas, a Davis spokesman, said the FBI has not questioned her. He said Davis was told in August by her legal counsel that others were interested in the information gathered in the Travis County investigation, but she didn’t know it was the FBI until this month when contacted by The Dallas Morning News.

“We are not aware that Wendy Davis is the subject or target of any investigation,” he said.

Travis County is notoriously political, biased toward Democrats since the days of District Attorney Ronnie Earle. That’s not my opinion. It’s a fact.

Travis County prosecutors, in a March 24 letter, told the attorney general’s office that the FBI had informed them that release of files from the district attorney’s now-completed 2013 review of Davis’ legal work for the agency “would interfere with the FBI’s prosecution of the crime underlying the information.”

The county’s letter came in response to The News’ open-records request for the files. The county cited several potential justifications for withholding the files, including the ongoing federal inquiry.

Read the rest.

The complaint against Davis stems from her 2012 run for re-election to the Texas Senate. Her Republican opponent, state Rep. Mark Shelton, filed a complaint with Travis County, which looked into the matter but concluded that since Davis’ actions mostly took place in Tarrant County, Travis authorities lacked jurisdiction. That did not stop them from going after Tom DeLay a few years back, even charging him with actions that were not illegal when they occurred (DeLay’s convictions were overturned on appeal in 2013 — he was fully acquitted). So it’s no surprise that Travis decided not to prosecute Davis, a Democrat.

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IRS Scandal Spreads to DOJ

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Katie Pavlich reports that newly released IRS emails prove that former IRS honcho Lois Lerner contacted the U.S. Department of Justice about prosecuting some tax exempt groups in May 2013. The emails have been released per a Judicial Watch FOIA.

Lerner wrote the email shortly before an inspector general’s report would make the IRS abuse of conservative groups public. Lerner got ahead of that by apologizing for the abuse via a planted question in a conference call with the American Bar Association.

Lerner emailed the IRS commissioner’s office about the DOJ on May 8, 2013 — just two days before she disclosed the abuse scandal — asking DOJ whether groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” on their tax exempt request forms.

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ,” Lerner wrote on May 8 to Nikole Flax, chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. “He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS.”

Flax responded in email: ”I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?”

Flax worked for acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. Miller would testify under oath on May 17, 2013 that an “increased workload” was to blame for the abuse. His own chief of staff, at least, knew that that was not true.

By the time of Lerner and Flax’s emails, the abuse had been going on since 2012. Lerner, at least, knew all about it. In these emails, Lerner was seeking to escalate it into criminal prosecutions, based on the wishes of a Democrat senator, and on her communications with the Department of Justice.

Let’s back up to March 27, 2013. Lerner emailed staff about an upcoming Senate hearing.

“As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff,” she wrote to IRS staff. “So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”

On April 9, 2013, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse used a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to ask DOJ witnesses why some conservative groups were not being prosecuted. He accused those groups of “lying” on their tax exempt status forms.

After that, Lerner and DOJ communicated about going forward with prosecutions. Only the impending disclosure of the scheme by the IRS inspector general put a stop to that, and got Lerner to disclose the scandal ahead of the IG. If the IG had not been about to go public, the abuse would not only have continued, it would have gone criminal.

We now have a sitting Democrat congressman, Elijah Cummings, a sitting Democrat senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, the Federal Elections Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Internal Revenue Service all implicated in the scandal. Flax’s involvement puts the abuse squarely into the IRS commissioner’s office. But it takes an entity above all of those agencies to coordinate their actions. That entity can only be the White House.

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Priceless: Dems Want Sebelius To Follow Epic Fail With Senate Run

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

I’m sober, I swear.

Democrats are courting former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to challenge Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) in the 2014 election cycle, according to The New York Times.

Sebelius has increasingly been mentioned as a strong Democratic challenger against Roberts and, according to the Times, one Democrat who spoke directly with her said she is “thinking about it.”

But a Sebelius Senate run wouldn’t ensure Democrats took control of Roberts’ seat. Not only does her resume include serving as the top healthcare official in the Obama administration for overseeing the Affordable Care Act but Democrats have also not controlled a Senate seat in Kansas since 1939.

Well, now we know what the shelf life for feigned shame over a job poorly done is for them. She’s been gone all of…wait, is she even really gone yet?

Just a few days after the left media tried to-wink, wink, nudge, nudge-pretend that she was the fall gal for the nightmarish Obamacare rollout, they are now touting her troubled tenure as a résumé builder.

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind party never really punishes anyone from the ranks for not performing well. Just look at what Anthony Weiner had to do to finally get shunned.

Once you’ve turned a guy who drowned an intern into a lion of your party there isn’t much in the way of embarrassment to go around anyway.

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Bloomberg Plans to Use $50 Million, and Naked Fear, to Attack Gun Rights

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Mike Bloomberg just doesn’t get it. He thinks the NRA is successful because of money. He doesn’t understand that the NRA has money because it consistently defends a civil right.

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.

“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”

The NRA doesn’t do that. It doesn’t threaten children and grandchildren. But Bloomberg intends to.

He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”

Would you settle for people despising you? Because you’ve already achieved that.

Let’s flash back to note what a towering hypocrite Bloomberg is. He knows it’s a dangerous world out there. And he wants people with guns walking around him to protect him. He just doesn’t want you and I to have the same rights.

YouTube Preview Image

Bloomberg is setting up a new anti-constitution brand name that we’ll all have to watch out for.

Women, and mothers in particular, will be the focus of the organizing and outreach, a path that he and his advisers have modeled after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.

He’s also enlisting a high-profile Republican to help him curb our self-defense rights.

Bloomberg is bringing on a new advisory board with prominent Republican and Democratic figures. Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush; Eli Broad, the philanthropist; Warren Buffett, the investor; and Michael G. Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Mr. Bush and President Obama, will all be board members.

Bloomberg’s arrogance truly knows no bounds at all.

Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

It’s not what you’ve done or what you know that gets you into Heaven. It’s Who you know.

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The CIA Director Turned Up in Kiev. Here’s Why.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Daily Beast Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report that CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev to work up a plan to share US intelligence on Russian troop position with Ukraine.

Over the weekend, CIA Director John Brennan met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema to discuss the formation of new, more secure channels for sharing U.S. intelligence with the country now fighting pro-Russian secessionists in its eastern cities, according to U.S. and Western officials briefed on the meeting.

It’s a vitally important issue because the Ukrainians are badly outmatched by the Russian forces massed on their border and infiltrating their cities. If Kiev is going to have a hope of withstanding the pressure from Moscow, their intelligence on the Russian military’s activities will have to be exquisite.

The military and several members of Congress have pushed for the US to share data on Russian troop positions with Ukraine. Sharing intel with Ukraine is tricky, though, because the Russians have thoroughly penetrated Ukraine’s military and intelligence. Whatever we tell Ukraine is bound to get to Moscow in short order.

So…

The Ukrainian government is said to be requesting advanced secure communications equipment from the United States, one on a long list of items the U.S. government has not yet agreed to provide. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to say what if any non-lethal military equipment the U.S. might provide the Ukrainian armed forces, beyond the military rations that were delivered earlier this month.

Happy Meals aren’t going to help very much.

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New Video Shows Largest Al Qaeda Gathering in Years

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

CNN reports that rumors of al Qaeda’s demise — which have been spread by President Obama and the Democrats — have been greatly exaggerated.

Washington (CNN) – A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won’t comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

All the US domestic spying and electronic monitoring did not help.

Here is the video. It was recently taken in Yemen, where US drones have taken out several al Qaeda terrorists over the past few years.

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Zero Tolerance: Another Public School Decides to Wreck a Kid’s Life

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The short version of the story: Kid gets bullied at his school in Pennsylvania, school pays no attention and fails to help him. So he records audio of the bully bullying him, to provide proof to his mother. His mother tells the school and lets them hear the audio. The school administrators do the absolute stupidest possible thing. They tell the boy to delete the audio, and call the cops. The responding officer then does the dumbest thing he can do, and charges the kid with a crime.

By the way, the kid who now has a conviction on his record has a learning disability.

The student didn’t even truly commit “wiretapping,” which is what the police officer initially thought to charge him with, despite the fact that there was no longer any audio recording at all. The boy used a school-issued iPad to record the audio. How is that “wiretapping?” I realize that in legalese it may be, but the law is often an ass. The boy was convicted of disorderly conduct last month and removed from the class in which the bullying took place. The bullies are still there, unmolested.

The 15-year-old is being punished harshly for defending himself nonviolently.

The incident and ongoing criminal case happened in Fayette Township, PA. South Fayette High School is the guilty educational establishment.

Everyone involved in the decision to slap the boy with criminal charges should be fired and they should face child abuse charges themselves. The administrator who called the police, the police officer, the judge, everyone — fire them all and slap them with civil lawsuits.

They make these idiotic decisions based on “zero tolerance” policies. It’s past time to hit the adults in these cases with zero tolerance policies as well.

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Pro-Russian Politician Mobbed, Beaten in Ukraine

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Big things have small beginnings.

Oleh Tsarev, who has backed Ukraine’s membership of the Moscow-led customs union rather than European integration, was attacked after giving an interview to Ukraine’s ICTV channel in which his critics said he appeared to back an intervention by Russian troops in Ukraine’s rebellious eastern regions.

He later denied saying this and said he was categorically against Russian forces being sent into Ukraine.

Tsarev tends to go around wearing a “Born in the USSR” shirt.

The 44-year-old Tsarev, whose presidential bid has only the tiniest support, waited two hours at the studios before stepping out into the crowd where, despite some protection from his bodyguards, he was engulfed by a mob who threw eggs at him and then beat him.

He was hustled into a waiting ambulance but members of a far-right nationalist group Right Sector seized him and drove him first to the headquarters of the state security service and then to the prosecutor’s office.

Standing bare to the waist and with a black eye and scratches to his face, Tsarev told journalists: “I did not ask for Russian troops to be sent in. I am categorically against this. I am against a third party interfering in the affairs of Ukraine. Until we learn to listen to each other, Ukraine will stand no chance.”

Tsarev has little support within Ukraine, but may have serious support over the border in Moscow.

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Caption Contest Winner: Hillary’s New Book Needs A Title (and now it has one!)

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Credit: Drudge Report

Credit: Drudge Report

The only word I can use to describe our latest contest is AMAHZING!

Thanks to all who made this contest one of the best in the glorious history of PJM Photo Caption Contests.  Our judges had a very difficult time selecting the winners and the criteria they used was, “Does it sound like a book title?” That is important to note because there were so many fabulous entries.

Our grand prize winner (of a future IRS investigation if SHE wins in 2016) goes to Booger2.0 for this gem:

I Slept With Bill Clinton and All I Got Was This Lousy Pantsuit

Booger2.0 also had an honorable mention for: It Takes an Intern

Our second grand prize winner is Fail Burton with:

The Beverly BillHillaries.  

FromNJ was our third grand prize winner with: 

Am I President Yet?

Here are all the honorable mentions:

David77:  Stand by Your Man – How Hillary Clinton Failed as a Feminist

WWM: Hillary: The Difference She Doesn’t Make

SoIncredulous:  It’s All President Obama’s Fault

Allan Crowson: It Fakes a Village (with apologies to Potemkin)

JRSWINE: How to Succeed in Politics without Doing Anything (Honest)

RockThisTown had four great entries: The Feminist’s Guide to Dodging Sniper Fire

How I Learned to Forgive Bill . . . & Monica, & Paula, & Gennifer, & Elizabeth, & the vast right-wing conspiracy. Wait . . . scratch those last 5.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling . . . One Bimbo Eruption at a time

Clinton Impeachment: The Sequel

Anna Beatriz: “Better than the Previous Occupant” 

loveamerica: Smoke and Mirrors- How to tell lies and make people believe it

ISOaPBR: I’ll Get You, My Pretty (and Your Little Dog, Too)

Physics Geek had two clever titles: What To Expect When You’re Ruling and

The Liar, the Witch and the War Room

Kuce: Vast Right Wing Conspiracies for Dummies

Gbone: If You Fly Around A Lot, People Will Think You Are Doing Something

Fail Burton: Please Leave An Alibi At the Sound of the Beep

cfbleachers (The Great and Powerful) had these hilarious titles: I Don’t Bake Cookies, But I Helped Cook The Books

and   It Takes A Villain To Raze A Country

Now speaking of the Clintons:

Below is “contest worthy” photo in need of a caption (but this is NOT an official contest.) The photo was from an article on a liberal-leaning website with the title and subtitle: “Send in General Bubba” and “Send In Bill Clinton to Save the Democrat Midterm Campaign.”  

Credit: The Daily Beast

Credit: The Daily Beast

One can only imagine from his grave the real General Patton is swinging his famous pistols in disgust.

General Patton and some other notables

General Patton and his revolver chatting with some other notables.

Finally, the above photo prompted me to tell you this worthless tibbit:  In 1977 I had the opportunity to shake the hand of one of the men in this photo. Can you figure out which one?  See you all next time a photo is worthy of a PJM photo caption contest and Happy Easter everyone!

 

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Colorado ‘Patients’ May Soon Get Marijuana From Vending Machines

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

This should end well.

People in Colorado may soon have an ultra-convenient option to buy their pot: a vending machine that dispenses medical marijuana and THC-laden snacks.

The machine, called the ZaZZZ, was unveiled at an event in Avon, Colo., over the weekend. Its creators told NPR that the machine uses biometrics to verify a customer’s age. It’s also climate-controlled to keep the products fresh.

These things are going to need more security than an ATM just to keep the delinquent teens at bay. And please, remember, don’t enjoy your “prescription” past its freshness date.

The upside here: the first person who can place a snack vending machine next to one of these will be able to buy an island with the revenue.

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Feds Stop Snatching Tax Refunds — Because They Got Caught

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The government says it has stopped one of its illegal activities, according to the Washington Post.

The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.

The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to the Social Security agency. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.

Hm. That “discretion under current law” may be a major caveat. The confiscations without warning that were taking place were allowed because someone — we still don’t know who — snuck a change of the statute of limitations into the 2008 farm bill. So from that perspective, “current law” allowed Treasury to do what it was doing.

But children are not obligated to pay their parents’ debts from their own assets, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Treasury was violating that in taking the children’s tax refunds. And there’s the matter of due process, which the federal government was just ignoring outright. Someone should face prosecution for violating Americans’ rights.

Along with the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher, who deserves credit for reporting the government’s actions in the first place, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley deserves credit for taking the issue on from Congress.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that government agencies were apparently “not properly notifying individuals or allowing them to inspect records of the debt they supposedly owe, which are violations of the law.”

Grassley said that although Congress did authorize the government to seek payment on old debts, the law “says nothing about allowing the government to offset payments from an individual to pay debts not in his or her name. It is unclear where the government has that authority.”

The senator said that Congress created a rigorous system to ensure that debt collection is handled transparently but that “it appears that agencies are abusing this system.”

Well, we have an abusive government that beats up on law-abiding citizens.

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Harry Reid: Cattle Battle Is ‘Not Over’

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

What does Dingy Harry mean by this?

Reid tells News4′s Samantha Boatman his take on the so-called cattle battle in southern Las Vegas. “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid said.

Reid isn’t happy if Americans walk away from “violating the law,” but he’s just giddy if illegal aliens walk around violating the law 24/7.

I’m ambivalent about the cattle battle. The Bundys “don’t have a leg to stand on” legally, according to PowerLine, yet deserve sympathy because of federal land ownership in the western states and how political agendas get mixed into what ought to be ordinary and fair decision making. We’ve all heard about the “war on coal.” It looks like the feds have been waging a quiet war on cattle ranching, too.

BLM coming in with heavily armed troops and snipers to deal with a senior citizen rancher is more evidence that our government treats citizens far worse than it treats non-citizens. This is unacceptable. It has to stop, and it was good to see the feds finally back down over the weekend.  BLM and the militia folks who showed up to support the Bundys ran the risk of turning the standoff into another Waco. Hopefully no one wants that, though the feds’ behavior sometimes suggests otherwise.

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Burwell’s Confirmation Hearings to Run Obamacare Just Got a Little More Difficult

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Sylvia Burwell is President Obama’s pick to replace Kathleen Sebelius atop the Department of Health and Human Services, despite her having no experience in the healthcare industry. This administration’s motto seems to be “no experience required.” Burwell’s main claims to fame up to now aren’t terribly impressive. She ran the Gates Foundation, which never had any money troubles, and she ran the Walmart Foundation, which also never had any money troubles. Foundations tend to be easier to run when they’re flush with cash and can do whatever they want.

She has also headed the Office of Management and Budget, at a time when the US government is spending money at insane rates. OMB doesn’t just work on budgets, though, according to Marc Thiessen.

When speechwriters finish a draft presidential address, it is circulated to the White House senior staff and top cabinet officials in what is known as the “staffing process.” As part of that process, nonpartisan career policy experts at OMB review the speech and are responsible for attesting to the factual accuracy of everything the president says.

So thanks to Burwell’s nomination, Americans may finally get to the bottom of how the biggest presidential lie in recent memory made it though OMB’s fact-checking process — not once but dozens of times.

The first time the lie surfaced — when Obama told the American Medical Association on June 15, 2009, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what” — it wasn’t on Burwell’s watch.

But Burwell was OMB director when Obama declared on Sept. 26, 2013: “Now, let’s start with the fact that even before the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, about 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance — either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market. So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health-care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you — especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.”

Burwell should explain to Congress and the American people how her office allowed blatant falsehoods to get into presidential speeches, including whether political aides overruled career policy advisers who warned that the president’s claims were untrue.

Indeed.

Too bad OMB wasn’t involved in briefing Susan Rice…

Burwell will still get confirmed, only this time there will be harder questions and maybe a handful of votes against her.

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German Retailer: Yeah, Maybe The Hitler Mugs Were A Bad Idea

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya think?!?!?

A German furniture store chain has apologised for selling mugs with Adolf Hitler’s face on them.

The ceramic cups feature a faint image of a Nazi-era postage stamp with Hitler’s profile on it, postmarked with a swastika stamp.

The mug also features a rose and handwriting in English.

The Zurbrueggen furniture chain apologised for the “terrible” mistake, which it blamed on “a stupid chain of unfortunate circumstances”.

The cups’ Chinese designer had mistakenly chosen the image of the former dictator, it said, which the chain then ordered in error – 5,000 of them.

Sure, blame it on the Chinese.

I’m pretty sure they know who Hitler is too.

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Think Progress Upset To Find Out That Intrusive Government Regulations Harm Everyone

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Tough day in the real world.

A pastor determined to live out the Bible’s dictate that we feed the poor was shut down by local police because he didn’t have a permit to serve food.

Twice a month, Rick Wood, a pastor at The Lord’s House of Prayer in Oneonta, Alabama, gets in his truck and drives around Birmingham with more than a hundred hot dogs and bottles of water, handing them out to the homeless. Wood has been serving those in need for the past six years because he wants to put Matthew 25:35-40 — “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,” a scripture verse he has plastered on the side of his truck — into action.

But last month, Wood was stopped from handing out food by local police because he was in violation of a new city ordinance, passed in December, that regulates food trucks. The new regulation requires food trucks to get a permit, which can cost as much as $500. Though the ordinance is specifically targeted at retail food vendors, rather than charities, the city nevertheless used it to block Wood.

True, this won’t bring about an epiphany to the progs but it does provide an illustration to maybe begin a conversation with one or two of them.

Bureaucracies need cash flow to provide the big government utopias that leftists crave and they never quite get that the approach to getting this money is rather heartless. If you have any money at all, the government is spending all of its waking hours trying to figure out ways to get to it. Regulatory burdens hurt everyone, whether directly or indirectly, and regulation is the heart of the big dreams of modern American liberalism.

It’s such an unfair way to treat people that the Think Progress folk seem to know in their hearts it’s wrong, even if their little proggy brains can’t figure out why.

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Someone Tucked an Obscure Line into the Farm Bill That Allows the Treasury Department to Destroy Due Process

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Post has an outrageous story about how the Treasury Department is going after thousands of Americans to collect on debts — which may not have ever been real debts — it says deceased family members owed the government.

A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.

When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery.

Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters like the one Grice got, informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check.

Treasury says it is acting now because it can. The statute of limitations was lifted in 2011. Who lifted it? No one will admit it.

The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.

No one seems eager to take credit for reopening all these long-closed cases. A Social Security spokeswoman says the agency didn’t seek the change; ask Treasury. Treasury says it wasn’t us; try Congress. Congressional staffers say the request probably came from the bureaucracy.

The only explanation the government provides for suddenly going after decades-old debts comes from Social Security spokeswoman Dorothy Clark: “We have an obligation to current and future Social Security beneficiaries to attempt to recoup money that people received when it was not due.”

Except, it’s illegal. Debts owed by the dead do not transfer to their children, to be paid out of their own assets. Tax refunds are money refunded to Americans because of tax overpayments. That money belongs to citizens, not the government.

These cases come with no notice, just a letter that the government has intercepted the tax refunds, along with threats that failure to comply may be reported negatively to credit rating agencies. In Grice’s case, the government seems to have gone out of its way not to notify her at all.

Grice, who works for the Food and Drug Administration and lives in Takoma Park, in the same apartment she’s resided in since 1984, never got any notice about a debt.

Social Security officials told her they had sent their notice to her post office box in Roxboro, N.C. Grice rented that box from 1977 to 1979 and never since. And Social Security has Grice’s current address: Every year, it sends her a statement about her benefits.

“Their record-keeping seems to be very spotty,” she said.

That’s being generous.

Treasury officials say that before they will take someone’s refund, the agency owed the money must certify the debt, meaning there must be evidence of the overpayment. But Social Security officials told Grice they had no records explaining the debt.

“The craziest part of this whole thing is the way the government seizes a child’s money to satisfy a debt that child never even knew about,” says Robert Vogel, Grice’s attorney. “They’ll say that somebody got paid for that child’s benefit, but the child had no control over the money and there’s no way to know if the parent ever used the money for the benefit of that kid.”

Yes, the irony is obvious. As a government bureaucrat who lives in leftwing Tacoma Park, Grice is probably a big fan of big government. That doesn’t take away from the injustice that’s being done to her and thousands of others — $1.9 billion dollars worth this year.

There is no recourse for Americans who have had their money taken. They can file a claim, but it will probably go nowhere. Only 10% of appeals have been successful so far, even though the government can’t even prove that the debts ever existed in most cases.

The farm bill that enabled Treasury to torch due process is always notoriously long and full of obscure subsidies and other things that the congresspeople who pass it never bother to read. No one will even own up to lifting the statute of limitations, but clearly Treasury got wind of the change very quickly and acted on it.

If your tax refund is smaller than you expected this year, you may be a victim of this criminal government theft spree.

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Wendy Davis Shuts Out the Press AGAIN

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Democrat who wants to be governor of Texas got herself in hot water when she shut the press out of one of her major speeches a few months back. The anger that that move generated evidently has not taught Davis anything. Oops — she did it again!

President Obama met today in private with Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D), who is running this year to replace retiring Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Reporters who are in Texas with the president today did not get to witness the meeting, and learned about it from the White House press office, which provided them with the following readout:

“This afternoon, following his remarks at the LBJ Library, the President visited briefly with Texas state senator Wendy Davis.”

Pool reporter Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News had this to say about the meeting:

“This took place with the pool in the vans so obviously we didn’t witness it. Davis is the Democratic nominee for governor, facing Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who had publicly dared her to be seen with Obama.”

It’s Bill White all over again. He was the Democrats’ nominee in 2010. Every time President Obama would show up in Texas, White managed to be clear on the other side of the state. He just wouldn’t be seen with the president and leader of his own party.

Wendy Davis agrees with Barack Obama’s policies — Obamacare, the EPA, radicalism on abortion, all of it. Why won’t she be seen with him?

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Flailing CNN To Replace Piers Morgan Failure With Documentaries

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Nowhere to go but up.

CNN is getting out of the host business in its 9 p.m. time slot, at least for now.

The network announced on Thursday that it would insert a wide range of documentary series to play in the 9 o’clock hour lately vacated by the cancellation of the show hosted by Piers Morgan.

CNN made the announcement at its upfront presentation for advertisers on Thursday in Manhattan. One series is about jobs, “Somebody’s Got to Do It,” from Mike Rowe, the producer of “Dirty Jobs.” The network will also show “The Jesus Code,” a forensic search through the Bible.

CNN is also adding a criminal hunt series hosted by John Walsh, of the former long-running Fox show “America’s Most Wanted,” and a documentary series on the 1960s from Tom Hanks’s production company. It also has renewed series from Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain — Mr. Bourdain’s for two seasons.

All the shows are slated to fill the 9 p.m. hour, which has been especially problematic for CNN since Larry King departed in 2010.

This seems like a safer bet than putting all of their money on a longer contract with a new host. The network really doesn’t have an identity now and it would be difficult to find someone who “fits” when it is unclear exactly why kind of programming mindset he or she should fit into.

This also puts to bed any speculation that CNN would keep covering the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 as long as the plane remained missing.

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When Even Ruth Marcus is Slamming the Democrats’ ‘Equal Pay Demagoguery’…

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

…you know that the Democrats have stirred up a backlash.

Here’s a radical notion: It is simultaneously possible to believe that women are entitled to equal pay and to not support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Not that you’d know it from the rhetoric President Obama and fellow Democrat are happily flinging at Republicans who dare to oppose the measure.

“I don’t know why you would resist the idea that women should be paid the same as men and then deny that that’s not always happening out there,” Obama said Tuesday. “If Republicans in Congress… want to show that they do care about women being paid the same as men, then show me…They can join us, in this, the 21st century and vote yes on the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

Oh come on.

Before you start checking the byline at the top of this piece and emailing the editor that there’s been a terrible mistake, let me be clear: I support ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work — I have a bit of a vested stake in that issue myself. Unequal pay remains a problem, although not at the women-earn-77-cents-on-the-dollar level of Democrats’ sloganeering. Most relevantly, I’d vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act in the unlikely event that someone elected me to Congress.

Marcus, unlike any Democrat in Congress, allows that there are problems with the Democrats’ “Paycheck Fairness” gambit. It’s a purely cynical political ploy, and as policy it’s more of a gift to trial lawyers than an actual equal pay measure. Marcus also calls Obama and the Democrats out for being the shameless shills that they have become. It really is shocking that the party of Jefferson has become the intellectual wasteland that it is now.

And then there’s the shameless hypocrisy. Every Democrat office that has been checked — Barack Obama’s, Wendy Davis’, Mark Begich’s, Mary Landrieu’s, all of them — show pay gaps for women too. There’s an old saying that applies here — if you want to change the world, start with changing yourself.

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