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Grandpa Bill and Grandma Hill: Chelsea Expecting First Child

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Clintons announced today that they’re adding a new member to their clan:

 

 

Chelsea, 34, married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, son of former Dem Rep. Ed Mezvinsky (Iowa), in 2010. She said last October that 2014 would be their “year of the baby.”

“And please, call my mother and tell her that. She asks us about it every single day,” Chelsea added then.

She bought a $10 million condo in Manhattan last year and works at her family’s foundation.

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Even Hillary Clinton Isn’t Sure What We Should Like About Hillary Clinton

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The first step is admitting…

It was a simple question to someone accustomed to much tougher ones: What was her proudest achievement as secretary of state? But for a moment, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing recently before a friendly audience at a women’s forum in Manhattan, seemed flustered.

Mrs. Clinton played an energetic role in virtually every foreign policy issue of President Obama’s first term, advocating generally hawkish views internally while using her celebrity to try to restore America’s global standing after the hit it took during the George W. Bush administration.

But her halting answer suggests a problem that Mrs. Clinton could confront as she recounts her record in Mr. Obama’s cabinet before a possible run for president in 2016: Much of what she labored over so conscientiously is either unfinished business or has gone awry in his second term.

So…no definitive successes and some clear-cut failures. And that’s the generous New York Times assessment.

The Democrat fantasy story about Mrs. Clinton paints her as strong and accomplished on her own. In reality, this is a woman who is professionally defined almost entirely by two men in her life, both of whom happen to have been two term presidents. Throw into the mix the fact that her relationship with both is uneasy at best and some vulnerabilities which can be exploited by opponents begin to appear.

The Hillary that both Republicans and Democrats talk about as being dynamic, formidable and inevitable doesn’t really seem to exist in the real world under close examination. She got where she is seemingly by making some uncomfortable compromises with two men she doesn’t seem to like very much. Her greatest electoral victory came because her opponent got cancer.

This Times piece tries to portray her as rather hawkish. Where does that fit in with a constituency that twice propelled President Obama to victory. Does she get a gender free pass from the hopeychangeys?

I know that she is supposed to be a juggernaut because pretty much everyone who isn’t me says she is, but I still don’t see it.

Apparently, neither does she.

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Obama: No Fixes to Obamacare Until GOP has ‘Change in Attitude’

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama stepped out at the White House daily briefing today to again berate Republicans for challenging Obamacare — in what appeared to be an attempt to get politicians to stop talking about the law’s negative effects before midterm elections.

Obama announced “as more data comes in, we now know that the number of Americans who’ve signed up for private insurance in the marketplaces has grown to 8 million people.”

“Before this law added new transparency and competition to the individual market, folks who’ve bought insurance on their own regularly saw double-digit increases in their premiums. That was the norm. And while we suspect that premiums will keep rising, as they have for decades, we also know that, since the law took effect, health care spending has risen more slowly than at any time in the past 50 years,” he said.

“…And this thing is working. I’ve said before, this law won’t solve all the problems in our healthcare system. We know we’ve got more work to do. But we now know for a fact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would increase the deficit, raise premiums for millions of Americans, and take insurance away from millions more, which is why, as I’ve said before, I find it strange that the Republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been.”

Republicans, he charged, “still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working. They said nobody would sign up; they were wrong about that. They said it would be unaffordable for the country; they were wrong about that. They were wrong to keep trying to repeal a law that is working when they have no alternative answer for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who’d be denied coverage again or every woman who’d be charged more for just being a woman again.”

“I know every American isn’t going to agree with this law, but I think we can agree that it’s well past time to move on as a country and refocus our energy on the issues that the American people are most concerned about, and that continues to be the economy, because these endless, fruitless repeal efforts come at a cost.”

Instead of taking dozens of votes to repeal, replace or otherwise fix Obamacare, Obama said, lawmakers could have taken votes “to create jobs by investing in things like infrastructure or innovation, or 50 votes to make it easier for middle-class families to send their kids to college, or 50 votes to raise the minimum wage or restore unemployment insurance that they let expire for folks working hard to find a new job.”

“The point is, the repeal debate is and should be over,” he added. “The Affordable Care Act is working. And I know the American people don’t want us spending the next two-and-a-half years re-fighting the settled political battles of the last five years. They sent us here to repair our economy, to rebuild our middle class, and to restore our founding promise of opportunity, not just for a few, but for all. And as president, that’s exactly what I intend to keep doing as long as I’m in this office.”

On House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) charge that Obama is without cause attacking the GOP on immigration reform, the president slightly smirked and said he “actually had a very pleasant conversation with Mr. Cantor yesterday.”

“I wished him happy Passover. And what I said to him privately is something that I would share with him — that I’ve said publicly, which is, there is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama added. “…I know there are Republicans in the House, as there are Republicans in the Senate, who know this is the right thing to do. I also know it’s hard politics for Republicans, because there are some in their base that are very opposed to this.”

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Rick Hasen’s Pitiful Request for Notes of Praise

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

Today I had this post about the IRS scandal.  It had this lede:

Yesterday was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal. The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison.

But it also singled out the role of law professor Rick Hasen’s blog in giving the speech regulators a forum to move their regulatory narrative.  Dissenting views are often ignored at his blog and listserve or given very short attention.

So who are the speech regulators seeking to impose government limits on the exercise of the First Amendment? Like bats in the belfry, they tend to congregate online at University of California at Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen’s election blog. Hasen runs an online meeting hall for all the would-be speech totalitarians. They post, bluster, and kibitz about the latest news on their effort to erode the First Amendment and increase federal power

Hasen obviously felt uncomfortable with the PJ piece.  This afternoon he made a pitiful request for notes of praise from conservatives.

I have a favor to ask those who self-identify as conservatives or libertarians.
If you have expressed your support for the listserv (and/or my moderation of it) in a post to the listserv or if you are willing to  write a public message about it, please let me know (by sending an email that I can publish your remarks). I will likely include some of them in a post on the Election Law Blog. I only want to post from those persons who are willing to have their names included.
Thanks!

PJ Media will be sure to cross post here any notes of support from conservatives that he receives.

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Kerry: ‘In the Year 2014,’ Fliers Telling Jews to Register are ‘Grotesque’

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed that Donetsk Jews received fliers ordering them to register with pro-Russian authorities, calling the news “grotesque.”

Appearing with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton after a Geneva meeting on the Ukraine crisis, Kerry said “the parties agreed today that all sides must refrain from the use of violence, intimidation, or provocative actions. And we strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism, and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism.”

“Let me say a quick word about that. Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews. And obviously, the accompanying threat implied is – or threatened – or suffer the consequences, one way or the other,” Kerry continued.

“In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable; it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable. And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities, from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of, there is no place for that. And unanimously, every party today joined in this condemnation of that kind of behavior.”

The U.S., Russia, Ukraine and EU agreed “all illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.”

“Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes,” continues their statement.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters today that the U.S. is still looking into who was behind the fliers.

“As we said in the joint statement, all four parties very clearly condemn anti-Semitism. So again, I don’t have more details on where the reports are coming from, but I know we’re looking into it,” Harf said. “I think the Secretary made very clear that we take this very seriously.”

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Media Matters, Union Buster?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The irony in this DC Examiner story is so luxurious and rich I’d like to bathe in it.

Media Matters for America is apparently resisting an effort by Service Employees International Union Local 500 to unionize its staff.

Last week, the union filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board, indicating that the nonprofit media watchdog organization rejected an effort by the union to organize MMFA’s staff through a Card Check election.

[T]he filing does indicate that MMFA is not automatically accepting Local 500′s attempt to represent it’s staff. The nonprofit media watchdog group has hired the law firm Perkins Coie, which specializes in representing management in labor disputes, to represent it before the board.

Media Matters: Big Labor for thee, and thee, and thee…but not for me.

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Obama Suggests Republican Successor Would Continue Some of his Policies

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Vice President Joe Biden said he wouldn’t do a thing differently if he decides to shoot for the White House, while President Obama suggested that a Republican victor would continue some of his policies.

Obama and Biden went on the road together yesterday to promote job training at a New York community college.

When CBS asked whether a 2016 run would alter what Biden is doing for the president, the veep responded, “There is nothing I would do differently.”

“If I absolutely knew I wasn’t going to run or I absolutely knew I was, there’s nothing I’d do differently over the next seven, eight, ten months. We have a very important job to do. The president and his agenda is one I strongly believe in, and we have upcoming elections in 2014,” Biden said.

“If I decide to run, believe me, this would be the first guy I talk to. But that decision hasn’t been made, for real. And there’s plenty of time to make that. We have a lot of work to do between now and November.”

Obama lauded Biden as “somebody who I think will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history,” while also giving some kudos to Hillary Clinton.

“He has been, as I said earlier, a great partner in everything that I do. I suspect that there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies. I know that we’ve got an extraordinary secretary of State who did great service for us and worked with me and Joe to help make the country safer,” he said.

“Whoever the Democratic standard bearer is is going to continuing to focus on jobs, making sure that our kids are getting a great education, making sure that we’re rebuilding prosperity from the middle class out in this country. And I am very much interested in making sure that some of the stuff that we’ve gotten started continues.”

When asked if that meant supporting someone who would essentially continue a third term for the Obama presidency, Obama interjected, “Oh, I don’t want to start — I don’t want to necessarily jam them up.”

“We all are a part of this relay race, whether we’re vice presidents, presidents. You know, the truth is that we build off of what folks have done previously. And in some cases that includes, by the way, Republican presidents. That’s the beauty of democracy. It keeps on evolving,” he continued.

“And I’m sure that there are going to be some things that, whoever the next president is, want to continue. There are going to be some things I’m sure they want to do differently. But the trajectory, hopefully, is going to continue to be one in which we’re broadening opportunity for every American.”

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Obama: Putin’s Invasions Really Come from a Place of Weakness, Not Strength

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama told CBS that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine is really done out of weakness, not strength.

“Contrary to all the rhetoric that you’re hearing from Russia, there’s no excuse for not only Russian troops being massed along the borders of Ukraine, but also, there’s no excuse for the covert support and certainly the rhetorical support that you’re seeing for these militias that are taking over government buildings and causing chaos,” Obama said.

“What I’m saying is, is that the Russians generally have not been respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And that’s not simply my opinion. That’s world opinion,” he continued. “The question now becomes whether or not this can be de-escalated and resolved in a way that gives Ukrainians a chance to make their own decisions about their own lives.”

“What I’ve said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going consequences. Mr. Putin’s decisions are not just bad for Ukraine. Over the long term, they’re going to be bad for Russia.”

The president stressed, though, “we want to give diplomacy a chance as long, ultimately, the decisions are being made by Ukrainians, not by Russians, not by Americans, not by other European nations, but by Ukrainians themselves.”

“None of us think that somehow Ukraine can ignore Russia, should be hostile towards Russia, but we also don’t think that Ukraine should be a vassal state. Now, what we have said consistently is, is that we’re not going to see a military resolution to this problem,” he said.

“What Mr. Putin has been doing he does out of sense of weakness, not strength. The fact that he’s willing to endanger his economy and lose all credibility all around the world the way he has is indicative of the fact that Ukrainians are unsatisfied with a relationship in which you’ve got another country trying to dictate their foreign policy and their economy, and they want to move forward.”

When asked about this week’s tauntin of a U.S. warship in the Black Sea with repeated passes by a Russian fighter jet, Obama brushed off the assertion that it could have been a mocking gesture.

“I have to tell you that everybody around the world understands the superiority of our military. And as commander in chief, I don’t make decisions based on perceived signals. We make decisions very deliberately based on what’s required for our security and for the security of the allies,” he said. “The Russians understand that. They’re not interested in any kind of military confrontation with us, understanding that our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians. We don’t need a war.”

During a four-hour television interview today, Putin was asked by a small child if Obama would save him from drowning.

“I don’t want to be drowning!” Putin said, laughing. “… I don’t think I have a close personal relationship with Obama. I think Obama is courageous and a good person, and for sure he would save me.”

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U.S., South Korean Defense Officials Huddle in Washington About Stopping Kim Jong-un

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Department of Defense and South Korean Ministry of National Defense wrapped up their fifth defense dialogue in Washington this week with an agreement to “substantively” increase cooperation against North Korean aggression.

Over the course of the two-day meeting, ROK Deputy Minister for Defense Policy Yoo Jeh Seung met with the U.S. Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense Mark Lippert, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Helvey, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Elaine Bunn, the Pentagon said.

“The two sides reaffirmed the shared view that recent North Korean provocations, including recent missile launches, artillery fire in the Yellow Sea, the infiltration of small unmanned aerial vehicles, and the looming threat of a fourth nuclear test undermine stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region. The two sides also addressed ways to strengthen coordinated actions and the importance of continued close collaboration within the alliance to enable better deterrence of and response to North Korean provocations,” the DoD described the meeting.

“The two sides discussed ways to strengthen the combined defense posture to defend the Republic of Korea and to deter North Korean aggression by enhancing combined Alliance capabilities, and continuing combined exercises. The ROK and U.S. also discussed the ROK proposed conditions-based approach to wartime OPCON transition. The ROK and the U.S. will continue cooperating to develop the future command structure, combined operational plans, ROK critical military capabilities, and U.S. bridging and enduring capabilities.”

Particularly welcome was the South Korean National Assembly’s recent ratification of more cost-sharing support to “offset costs associated with stationing U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula.”

“The 2014-2018 agreement will provide for continued ROK support in logistics, labor, and construction and will help ensure that we have the resources necessary for the combined defense of the Korean Peninsula,” the Pentagon said.

“The two sides also addressed various areas of alliance cooperation, including regional and global cooperation, and efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction and interdiction, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence interoperability, and cyber and space cooperation.”

That included a “continued U.S. commitment to provide and strengthen extended deterrence for the ROK using the full range of military capabilities, including the U.S. nuclear umbrella, conventional strike, and missile defense capabilities.”

“The two countries discussed implementation of the tailored deterrence strategy to include combined exercises to ensure that deterrence and extended deterrence remains credible, capable, and enduring,” the Pentagon continued. “Both sides also discussed efforts to counter North Korean missile threats, including the continued combined development of comprehensive counter-missile capabilities to detect, defend against, disrupt, and destroy North Korean missile threats, in particular strengthened missile defense interoperability, including the ROK ‘Kill Chain’ and Korean air and missile defense systems.”

A sixth round of talks is scheduled in Seoul this July.

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Schumer Lobbies Pentagon for Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans’ Parade

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is lobbying the Defense Department to host an official welcome-home ticker-tape parade for Iraq and Afghanistan vets down Broadway in Manhattan.

Schumer said former Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to get this after President Obama announced an end to the Iraq war, but was told by the Pentagon that the conflicts are interrelated and “because many people who served in Iraq went to serve in Afghanistan and vice versa, that they shouldn’t do it.”

“Now, the president called for combat to end by the end of 2014. Hagel seconded this. So, now is the time to get moving and prepare and do the great parade that New York can do down the Canyon of Heroes. I talked to DoD. And — they, you know, they’re the bureaucracy of bureaucracies, and they’re jumping through 100 hoops. But they have been very positive,” the senator told MSNBC.

It can be done without the Pentagon, he added, but with cooperation “we can have the top military brass come. We can have flyovers. We can have all kind of military bands and everything else. It will be a grand, grand parade.”

“So, the other parades were good. But to give these women and men who served us and risked their lives for us, the recognition they deserve, there is nothing like a parade in the Canyon of Heroes with the full support of our nation’s Defense Department and all extra things that that entails.”

Schumer, who says he cut his “political teeth” protesting the Vietnam war back in the day, stressed it was “wrong” that those veterans didn’t get a parade for a decade.

“There was just so much anger at the establishment in Vietnam that it boiled over unfortunately into the veterans as almost symbols of the establishment,” he said. “In Iraq, people thought the war was wrong. But there wasn’t the same hostility to the whole way America was going. Vietnam was sort of an awakening to a lot of people.”

He conceded “it will take some money,” but said the city of New York is willing to chip in as are many veterans organizations.

“I think paying for it won’t be the hard part. It’s getting it organized. And we’ll have to figure out when we can do it,” Schumer said, adding Veterans Day would be a “great” day to hold the parade.

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Snowden Plays With Putin, and Just Might be a Foreign Spy

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

So, how did this happen?

NSA leaker Edward Snowden asked Russian President Vladimir Putin about whether Russia uses its own mass surveillance system, in a video during a question-and-answer session on Russian television.

“Does Russia, intercept, store or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?” Snowden asked, according to a video clip posted by Russia Today.

The question, which Snowden asked via video from an undisclosed location (not to Putin), afforded Putin the opportunity to set himself up as a greater champion of individual liberty than the American government. Putin took that opportunity and ran with it.

Our intelligence efforts are strictly regulated by our law, so how special forces can use this kind of special equipment to intercept phone calls or follow someone online, and you have to get court permission to stalk a particular person,” Putin said, according to an English translation by Russia Today.

“We don’t have a mass system of such interception and according with our law, it cannot exist,” Putin said.

However, Putin added that “criminals and terrorists” use technology and “of course” Russia’s special services have to use the same means in response.

See, Russia is just a big ol’ Teddy bear!

USA Today is asking whether Snowden was/is a foreign intelligence asset.

Western intelligence services must assume that Snowden – either on purpose or inadvertently – has leaked to the Chinese and Russian governments the totality of the information with which he fled the U.S., says Fox, adding it would be “utterly inappropriate and irresponsible” to assume that Snowden had been to those countries and they had been unable to intercept the data.

Other senior intelligence officials share the same concern over Snowden’s allegiances. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the outgoing chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, believes Snowden is likely connected with Russian spies.

“We know today no counterintelligence official in the United States does not believe that Mr. Snowden, the NSA contractor, is not under the influence of Russian intelligence services,” he said March 23 on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ”He is actually supporting in an odd way this very activity of brazen brutality and expansionism of Russia. He needs to understand that. And I think Americans need to understand that. We need to put it in proper context.

After today’s public exchange with Putin, the support looks a whole lot more direct. Russian intelligence was notorious for spying on foreign journalists during the Socchi Olympics. Given Putin’s deep history with the KGB, it’s unreasonable to assume that Russia doesn’t spy on its own citizens every day.

Snowden’s last major public address came via video conference, to SXSW in Austin back in March. During that conference, he had very little to say about Russia, other than to claim that neither Russia nor China had been able to break the encryption he had put on the data he took from the US. But supposing he is telling the truth, there is no way that he can know that with certainty. The safe way to bet is that both China and Russia have what he has.

Exit question: Will the recent Pulitzers based on Snowden’s disclosures turn out, years from now, to look just as foolish as the Pulitzer bestowed on Soviet apologist Walter Duranty?

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What Kind of an Idiot Names His PAC ‘Boats ‘N Hoes’?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This kind.

Political consulting firm employee Shaun Nowacki registered the political action committee, “Boats ‘N Hoes PAC,” with the Texas Ethics Commission on April 1, according to state records.

Nowacki is listed as comptroller for Blakemore and Associates Consulting Firm, whose namesake, Allen Blakemore, is the “senior strategist” for Republican Dan Patrick’s lieutenant governor campaign. The firm also advised Greg Abbott, the GOP nominee for governor, during eight previous campaigns from 1991 to 2004, according to Blakemore’s website.

The distance from that dope to major Texas GOP candidates is considerable, but not enough to keep Democrats from squawking about it. That’s politics. Republicans quickly distanced themselves from the idiotically named PAC, which seems to be named after a comedic, and probably offensive to many, rap in the 2008 movie Step Brothers, which starred Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

Perhaps registering it on April 1 is supposed to make it some sort of prank, but whether that’s the case or not, it backfired. The Democrats pounced and commenced with the usual “war on women” bits.

That name constitutes a war on taste and good sense. It’s fair to seriously question the judgement of the individual who registered it, even as a joke.

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There’s a New Obama Selfie in the House

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

 

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The Ultimate Source of Islamic Hate for Infidels

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Who is ultimately responsible for the ongoing attacks on Christians and their churches throughout the Islamic world?

Focusing on one of the most obvious nations where Christians are regularly targeted—Egypt’s Coptic Christians—one finds that the “mob” is the most visible and obvious culprit.  One Copt accused of some transgression against Muslim sensibilities—from having relations with a Muslim woman, to ruining a Muslim man’s shirt—is often enough to prompt Muslim mobs to destroy entire Christian villages and their churches.

Recently, for example, after her cross identified Mary Sameh George as a Christian, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood mob attacked, beat, and slaughtered her.

However, a recent Arabic op-ed titled “Find the True Killer of Mary” looks beyond the mob to identify the true persecutor of Christians in Egypt. According to it:

Those who killed the young and vulnerable Mary Sameh George, for hanging a cross in her car, are not criminals, but rather wretches who follow those who legalized for them murder, lynching, dismemberment, and the stripping bare of young Christian girls—without every saying “kill.”  [Islamic cleric] Yassir Burhami and his colleagues who announce their hate for Christians throughout satellite channels and in mosques—claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God—they are the true killers who need to be tried and prosecuted…  The slayers of Mary Sameh are simply a wretched mob, with the body of a bull but the brain of a worm.  It’s not the puppets on the string who need punishing, but rather the mastermind who moves the puppets with his bloody fingers behind closed curtains that needs punishing.

One fact certainly validates this Arabic op-ed’s assertions: the overwhelming majority of attacks on Christians in Egypt and other Muslim nations—including the slaughter of Mary Sameh George—occur on Friday, the one day of the week that Muslims congregate in mosques for communal prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can easily be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially and consistently violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

The Arabic op-ed also does well to name Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami as one of those who “announce their hate for Christians throughout the satellite channels and in mosques, claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God.”

For example, Dr. Burhami—the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement—once issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, forbidding Muslim taxi- and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

As for hating non-Muslim “infidels,” many Islamic clerics, especially Salafis, believe that the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity” (or wala’ wa bara’) commands Muslims never to befriend or be loyal to non-Muslims.

Burhami himself appears on video asserting that if a Muslim man marries a Christian or Jewish woman (known in Islamic parlance as “People of the Book”)—even he must still hate his wife, because she is an infidel… Keep reading

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Cantor Rips Obama after Presidential Phone Call on Immigration

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Barack Obama still does not understand that when you insult people in public, they’re unlikely to work with you in private. Rep. Eric Cantor reminded him of that in a statement this afternoon.

“Today, President Obama called me to discuss his desire for comprehensive immigration reform. The President called me hours after he issued a partisan statement which attacked me and my fellow House Republicans and which indicated no sincere desire to work together. After five years, President Obama still has not learned how to effectively work with Congress to get things done. You do not attack the very people you hope to engage in a serious dialogue. I told the President the same thing I told him the last time we spoke. House Republicans do not support Senate Democrats’ immigration bill and amnesty efforts, and it will not be considered in the House. I also reiterated to the President there are other issues where we can find common ground, build trust and get America working again. I hope the President can stop his partisan messaging, and begin to seriously work with Congress to address the issues facing working middle class Americans that are struggling to make ends meet in this economy.”

Well, maybe Obama does understand the impact of his public insults. In that case, he just wants to pick a fight. That’s not what a leader does, but it’s what a community organizer does.

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Catholic Cardinal: Obamacare Forces Charities to Make One of Four Choices, None of Which Are Good

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Francis Cardinal George of Chicago has written a Lent letter to his parishioners that lays out the stark choices facing the church in the age of Obamacare. The president’s signature law was not written to include abortifacient mandates. Those came with the regulations written by the bureaucracy and signed off on by Kathleen Sebelius and ultimately, Barack Obama. They could be lifted with the stroke of a pen, without Obama behaving in any lawless way. Yet they remain in full effect despite years of protest and lawsuits.

Why? The immediate political point of them, generating backlash and a phony “war on women” for the 2012 election, has already been served.

The mandate forces Catholic institutions — hospitals, adoption agencies, schools, and so forth — into an array of bad options.

So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society. The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.

It’s that fourth option that the regulations are probably intended to bring about: close down. Leave the government in charge of “charity,” and push the church out of public life altogether. Christians would maintain a “freedom of worship,” but not the freedom to act on their faith. That’s false freedom.

This has already happened in the case of Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts. Gay marriage legalization paved the way for destroying those agencies. They closed. So forcing Christian charities to close down to satisfy current political trends is not hypothetical. It has been happening for years. The precedent has been set.

The “freedom of worship” has found recent favor on the left. That’s little more than a trick, writes the cardinal.

Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.

If churches are not free to act out the faith of their believers, then what are they for? What is worship for? What is worship? That’s not a peripheral question, it’s at the very heart of what the Obama administration is doing. In a very real way, it is setting up government as a false god, an idol.

Many Americans, I suspect, will not object as long as they continue to get their stream of free stuff from somewhere.

There will be consequences if these mandates are not lifted.

If you haven’t already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir. On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.

Catholic leaders bear some responsibility for chasing their own false god, “social justice,” when they should have been preaching the unvarnished Gospel. The “social justice” strains have empowered the likes of Obama, whose agenda goes far beyond what most saw coming. When he threatened to fundamentally transform the country, he meant it. Five years on, we have the IRS weaponized against dissent, and we have Obamacare kicking Christians out of public life and depriving them of the freedom to act on their faith, among other disturbing facets of the new America.

h/t Hot Air

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Graham: Allowing Enrichement Puts Iran Nuclear Deal ‘on the Road to Armageddon’

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he’s “begging” the Obama administration to not give Iran the right to enrich uranium in the ongoing P5+1 talks to arrive at a final agreement.

“I’m sure they will probably continue to negotiate, but here’s what you need to understand about the negotiations. The Obama administration is about to give the ayatollahs in Iran the right to enrich uranium,” Graham told Fox. “This is what they did with North Korea. They allowed the North Koreans a small enrichment program and they were gonna monitor it with the U.N. weapons inspectors. Well, guess what? And that sanctions. The North Koreans have nuclear weapons.”

“We’re on the path to repeating Iran the same mistakes we had in North Korea. I am begging the Obama administration if the Iranians have a nuclear power program, fine, just control the fuel cycle. Do not allow them to enrich uranium. You’ll have a North Korean result on your hand and in the Mideast if the Iranians get a nuclear capability, Sunni Arabs are gonna want one of their own and you are on the road to Armageddon.”

A senior administration official said on background last week that “on some issues, if you can move forward, you may open up trade space on another issue.”

“When we’ve talked about enrichment before, that has many, many pieces to it – from stockpiles to facilities to enrichment levels to centrifuge production,” the official said. “I mean, it’s just a myriad of subsets. And that’s true of every issue.”

Graham said Iran’s recent attempt to send a 1979 hostage-taker to New York as its UN ambassador raises questions about their motives and sincerity.

“If they are really sincere about wanting to reach a peaceful resolution, that nuclear program, why would they do this to begin with? This really tells you all you need to know about this Iranian regime. They are a bunch of thugs,” he said.

“The largest state sponsor of terrorism for the last 30 years. They killed our American soldiers in Iraq providing weapons to people in Iraq to kill American soldiers. They are trying to develop a nuclear weapon, not a peaceful power program. And this is just — tells you all you need to know about the Iranians.”

July 20 has been set by the negotiating parties as the deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran.

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Military Satire Site Rips at Fort Hood ‘Workplace Violence’ Designation

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

If you’re familiar with The Onion, you’ll love the military version: The Duffel Blog. This satire site counts generals to privates among its readers, and today angered Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) with a satire claiming he introduced a bill that would require vets to knock on neighbors’ doors and warn they could snap as a high-risk “powder keg of post traumatic stress.”

Contributors include “disgruntled Marines, annoyed Army guys and sickened sailors,” Duffel Blog founder and former Marine Sgt. Paul Szoldra once quipped. And their coverage since the first Fort Hood shooting has been telling.

From “President Obama Says Latest Fort Hood Shooting ‘Definitely’ A Terrorist Attack,” published Saturday:

Following the speech, many of the president’s supporters hailed Obama as a strong wartime leader, citing his declaration that a ‘red line’ had been drawn and that any further attacks from terrorists on U.S. soil would draw a firm rebuke and censure in the United Nations.

While determined to bring the terrorists — and terror groups that supported this latest attack — to justice, some have raised questions on the differences between the latest attack and the tragic workplace violence incident that happened in 2009, where then-Maj. Nidal Hasan accidentally tripped over his beard and shot more than 40 people.

“There are absolutely no similarities in these two cases aside from the application of violence against our servicemen and women,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney to reporters. “Maj. Hasan had never deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, so he was obviously unable to absorb any sort of extremist message, and he targeted soldiers in a single location, which meant he clearly had issues relevant to that specific location or population.”

When asked if Hasan’s Muslim faith had any bearing on the decision to label that incident ‘workplace violence’ instead of a terror attack, Carney was adamant that it did not.

…The military had already begun planning overseas contingency operations to rout terrorist networks in Killeen, Texas, Pentagon sources said.

At press time, witnesses had apparently overheard Carney later instructing a nearby aide to double-check the shooter’s DD214 document to ensure he had ties to radical Army terror networks.”

Previous Fort Hood coverage has included “Nidal Hasan Says He’s Amish In Last Ditch Effort To Save Beard”:

Most outsiders assumed from Hasan’s name, his parents’ Palestinian background, and his business card tagline of “Soldier of Allah”, that he was Muslim. The judge, Col. Jeffrey Tribley, pressed Hasan for more information on this discrepancy.

“Yes sir. I am Muslim and Amish,” Hasan responded. “This of course means that my beard is two-times as important to my religion, and under religious exceptions in the UCMJ, it is required.”

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Democrat Candidate Seeks Communications Director. Republican Sends Him an Epic Application Letter.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Democrat Sean Eldridge is running for the House in New York’s 9th District, against Republican Rep. Chris Gibson. Eldridge has spent nearly a million dollars of his own money and his campaign has been plagued with problems. Of course, he’s also one of those liberals who decry the pernicious influence of money in politics. He’s fine with using his own money, which mostly comes from his wife, the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes — it’s Republican money that he has a problem with.

Eldridge is now seeking a new communications director who will be tasked with righting a sinking ship. He posted the job notice online, which isn’t how campaigns typically hire staff. That’s usually done through political networking. Rookie mistake.

Ian Prior has written himself into the history books with this reply to Eldridge’s job notice.

Dear Sean,

I am writing to apply for the recently posted position of “Communications Director –  Sean Eldridge for Congress.”

I know that we have had our differences, but I really think I could help out Eldridge for Congress as your Communication Director. As you probably know, I have a very firm understanding of your campaign strategy of (1) self-funding your campaign account with your $700 million fortune, and (2) trying to buy friends and headlines by utilizing your Hudson River Ventures Super PAC, also funded with your $700 million fortune.

I am confident that my aggressive approach and willingness to actually speak to reporters will greatly help your cause. Moreover, my skills and experience certainly line up with what you are seeking in a Communications Director and I could provide to you the perspective of someone who has not been aiming for a Congressional seat since the age of 15, as you have.

Should you choose to hire me, I would advise that you do a few things. First, unlock your campaign doors. While I understand that you may be concerned about volunteers stealing your Cartier watch or other valuable items, this makes you look like an out-of-touch aristocrat.

Second, stop buying so many houses. While most people struggle to pay a rent or a mortgage, you are dropping $5 million for a house here, $2 million for a house there, etc. If you must buy another house, can you get something a little less expensive? Maybe something without an Infinity pool?

Third, stop talking about campaign finance reform. You have spent a million dollars of your own money on your campaign and have spent far more than that through your Hudson River Ventures Super PAC. You also just rejected an offer from your opponent to cap spending in your race. So the more you talk about campaign finance the more you look like a phony. Stop. Please!

We can certainly talk more about some other strategies that would make you seem more likable and less like the hypocrite that you are. I can forward my resume, references, and salary request on demand and look forward to speaking with you soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ian Prior

Northeast Regional Press Secretary

National Republican Congressional Committee

Office: 202-646-6419

Cell: 617-584-3345

Twitter: @iprior1177

 

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West Virginia Man Indicted for Threatening to Kill Sen. Manchin

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A federal grand jury handed down an indictment Tuesday against a 49-year-old West Virginia man for threatening to kill Sen. Joe Manchin (D).

Steven Anthony Major of Barboursville, W.Va., was arrested March 21 after making four calls to the senator’s Charleston and D.C. office from March 17-20. He reportedly left his real name while making threats against Manchin and his family.

“During these calls, Mr. Major told Senator Manchin to stay out of the State of West Virginia and made several violent threats including, but not limited to, the following: ‘You a dead man, you don’t f*** with me [sic];’ ‘Your kids and your wife are done;’ ‘[Senator Manchin] and his family going to have bullets in their brain [sic],’” states the affidavit filed last month.

Major faces four counts in the threats, each carrying up to 10 years in prison.

Last April, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) was the target of a poisoning attempt when a ricin-laced letter was sent to his office. It was intercepted at a mail-sorting facility before reaching the senator.

James Everett Dutschke, 42, also sent a ricin letter to President Obama, then tried to frame an Elvis impersonator. He pleaded guilty and will be sentenced May 14, with a 25-year sentence possible.

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The Terrifying Implications of the IRS Abuse-DOJ Connection

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Thank God for Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. His investigation of what turned out to be the IRS abuse scandal may well have saved the Constitution and the nation.

For his fair and impartial investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of Americans who dissent from President Obama’s agenda, Democrats have called for an investigation of him. George should not be investigated, but perhaps the Democrats who want him investigated — Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) — should be. Their call for an investigation of the investigator might constitute interference with the ongoing investigation of the IRS abuse scandal. That would be obstruction of justice, in what may turn out to be the most widespread and damaging scandal in American history.

The implications of today’s email disclosure are stunning and terrifying.

Lois Lerner intended to use her position atop the IRS’ tax exempt approval office to coordinate the prosecution of political speech. The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder had at least tentatively bought into that. The Federal Elections Commission was being roped in as well. Lerner’s emails prove that beyond doubt.

Democrats in Congress were involved. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) appears to have led the anti-constitutional attack on free speech in the House. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led it from the Senate.

Two days before Lerner was forced to publicly disclose the scandal, she was moving forward with an insidious plan to stamp out conservatives and Tea Party activists’ ability to organize and raise money, by working with the IRS commissioner’s office and the Department of Justice. At the same time, there was no plan for any government crackdown on groups who agreed with President Obama. The traffic was entirely one-way. It was nakedly political, and everyone involved knew it. They also had reason to believe that they would succeed, or they would not have engaged in it. DOJ would serve two roles: Prosecute conservatives, and protect the bureaucrats who were pushing those prosecutions.

Was there a full-fledged plan to use the full power of the federal government to take the abuse, delay and invasive questioning of conservatives to a new level after President Obama’s re-election? Was there a plan to criminalize the mere act of being a conservative activist? Was there a plan to drum up false charges of “lying” on applications in order to put conservatives in jail?

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NBC Frets About Too Much Money in Politics, then Praises Bloomberg’s Massive-Money Anti-Gun Crusade

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Self-awareness is not the mainstream media’s strong suit. Just a couple of weeks after NBC lamented the presence and impact of there being too much money in politics, its own Savannah Guthrie conducted a glowing interview with Michael Bloomberg. That interview centered on his plan to pour $50 million into his latest anti-gun crusade.

h/t CNS News

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To Obama, was the Boston Bombing Just an Instance of ‘Workout Place Violence?’

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fox’s Tod Starnes noticed a curious, deliberate omission in President Obama’s statement on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. See if you can spot it.

“A year ago, tragedy struck at the 117th Boston Marathon. Four innocent people were killed that week, and hundreds more were wounded. Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.

We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.

One year later, we also stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us – learning to stand, walk, dance and run again. With each new step our country is moved by the resilience of a community and a city. And when the sun rises over Boylston Street next Monday – Patriot’s Day – hundreds of thousands will come together to show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again.”

It’s a curious thing. Leftist like Obama are nanosecond quick to ascribe “hate” as a motivator among their political opponents. But he refuses to speak the word “terrorism” when Islamic radicals kill Americans, unless circumstances leave him absolutely no choice.

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Boston Marathon Hoaxer Turns Out to be Attention-Seeking Drag Queen

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Tuesday night, a barefoot, black-veiled figure dropped off two backpacks near the Boston Marathon finish line. The backpacks contained pressure cookers filled with confetti. Authorities detonated both in controlled explosions. No one was injured.

The alleged perpetrator of the hoax, one year to the day after the Tsarneav brothers detonated real bombs that killed three and injured hundreds, turns out to be Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, 25.

Mediaite picks up the bizarre story from there.

NECN identified the bomber as 25-year-old Bostonian Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, the founder of a “eco-aware and ethical” fashion company called Natural Selection. Edson was discovered yesterday running barefoot on Boylston Avenue, wearing a black mesh veil and shouting “Boston Strong” over and over again, before dropping two backpack(s), one containing a rice cooker filled with confetti, at the Marathon finish line. (The backpacks were eventually detonated.)

“I really need exposure,” Edson said in a video bio for his company bearing his name, in which he also claimed that that he was bipolar. “I really need to build this world that I’ve already started creating.”

He earlier described himself as a “fashion designer, entrepreneur, performance artist, mental patient, blogger bloggerist, a jailbird, a college dropout, and a drag queen.”

Edson posted this on his Facebook page Tuesday.

Screen-Shot-2014-04-16-at-10.24.35-AM

 

Edson is going to get exposure…to lawyers, courtrooms, and prison. He may not have hurt anyone, but his actions caused real terror.

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Video Illustration Of The Pure Clownishness Of CNN

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

And it’s not even about the plane. Thoughts to follow the video:

OK, how does John King manage to work in a Mitt Romney dig? Oh yeah, because the Leftmedia monkeys can’t criticize a Democrat without throwing in some nonsensical random reference to a Republican who isn’t even on the national stage right now as a palate cleanser.

Then there is Jonathan Martin’s perfunctory, “Hey it’s no big deal when a Democrat does something stupid like this…” response. He says the folks in Louisiana “probably will never know” that the ad is faked, which is most likely his way of saying, “Yeah…no one is watching us talk about this right now.”

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IRS Emails: Jail for Conservatives and IRS Employees Unload on Lerner

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

The IRS Tea Party scandal has all the characteristics of abusive government  – from lies to threats to jail political opponents.

Remember when Lois Lerner and the Obama administration were blaming the IRS targeting scandal on “low level employees in the Cincinnati office?”  It turns out those employees weren’t very happy about it.

New emails obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act reveal angry IRS employees who were getting the blame for the targeting of Tea Party groups.  The emails reveal a deceptive public relations strategy cooked up in Washington D.C. that the “low level” employees would have no part of.

Cindy Thomas wrote Lerner an email directly.

“Joseph Grant and others who came to Cincinnati last year specifically told the low level workers in Cincinnati that no one would be ‘thrown under the bus.’  Based on articles, Cincinnati wasn’t publically ‘thrown under the bus’ instead it was hit by a convoy of Mack trucks.”

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Lerner, realizing by now that email might not be the best way to manage damage control responds “I will be back shortly and will give you a call.”  Telephones work better than emails in avoiding Judicial Watch FOIA requests.

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The emails also reveal a desire to jail conservative activists working for non-profits.  From one IRS email:

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.

Larry Noble is a speech regulator and heads the First Amendment-hostile organization Americans for Campaign Reform which seeks to limit the reach of the First Amendment. He is also a professor at George Washington University School of Law where he teaches law students his limited views of the First Amendment.

Noble

Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read the whole stack of documents Judicial Watch obtained here.  Feel free to post other gems you find in the comments below.

 

 

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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.

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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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Obama Administration Wants UN to Come Up With Fake Numbers to Back ‘Climate Change’ Legislation

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Obama administration is just fraud all the way down.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is concerned that a crucial United Nations report on climate science may be too harsh in assessing the cost of fighting global warming.

Such a finding may lower the incentive for the world to reduce fossil fuel pollution and feed the arguments of those skeptical about whether it’s worth spending money to curtail rising temperatures.

Global temperatures haven’t risen in 15 years, but never mind that. Pay no attention to the Sun’s role in our climate.

The UN report is set for release next week. Plenty of time to inject some happy math.

“The discussion of the economic costs of mitigation is too narrow and does not incorporate co-benefits of action,” U.S. officials wrote in a submission to the UN, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg. They said including only one side of the equation “unnecessarily skews the information.”

Well, the “side” that the administration wants included isn’t real. It’s conjecture. Made-up.

The comment refers to “global consumption losses” identified in the report of as much as 4 percent in 2030, 6 percent in 2050 and 12 percent in 2100 as a result of action to protect the climate, according to a draft leaked in January.

State Department officials are pressing to factor in improvements to public health and lower energy costs from increased efficiency that would happen if fossil fuels were limited. Those would offset the price to be paid for switching over to cleaner forms of energy such as wind and solar and paring back on lower-cost fuels such as coal.

This is the math on which Solyndra was built. And Obamacare.

Nowhere will the Obama administration ever acknowledge Climate Gate.

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Biden Sent to Boston as Obama Holds Immigration Meeting; Press Denied ‘Moment of Silence’ Access

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama sent Vice President Biden up to Boston to mark the one-year anniversary of the marathon bombings while he stayed in Washington for an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform.

“This morning, the President met with faith leaders in the Oval Office to discuss the importance of taking action to pass commonsense immigration reform,” the White House said in a statement. “The faith leaders shared with the President stories about the impact the failure to fix the immigration system has on families in their congregations and communities. The President expressed deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system. He emphasized that while his Administration can take steps to better enforce and administer immigration laws, nothing can replace the certainty of legislative reform and this permanent solution can only be achieved by Congress.”

“The President and the religious leaders expressed their longstanding commitment to immigration reform as a moral imperative and pledged to continue to urge Congress to act on reform as soon as possible. The President thanked the faith leaders for their leadership on this issue and their tireless efforts to encourage Congress to finish the job.”

Congress is out on spring break. In the meeting were senior adviser Valerie Jarrett; Dr. Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association in Chicago; Luis Cortes, president, Esperanza in Philadelphia; JoAnne Lyon, general superintendent, The Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis; Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville; Suzii Paynter, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta; and Dieter Uchtdorf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in North Salt Lake City.

The White House said Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon attack with a closed-press moment of silence while meeting with senior advisers in the Oval Office.

In the afternoon, he had a meeting scheduled with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. In the evening, the president and the first lady planned to mark the beginning of Passover with a closed-press Seder with friends and staff in the Old Family Dining Room.

Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at the daily briefing that “without reading out private conversations that the president has had, I think the president believes that there is an opportunity that still exists for House Republicans to follow the lead of the Senate, including Republicans in the Senate, and take up and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

“And, today’s meeting, that the president had with faith leaders, demonstrates and reinforces the fact that there is a broad, unusually broad coalition that supports that effort, that supports comprehensive immigration reform, and all the benefits that making reform the law would provide to the country, to our security, to our economy, to our businesses,” he added.

The first question Carney received was a request to open Obama’s observation of the Boston Marathon bombings to the White House press pool.

“Well, the president’s going to have a moment of silence in the Oval Office. There’ll be some senior advisers there. It’s during the course of a meeting. We certainly think that the — the moment is important but it is mostly important in Boston, and I appreciate the request,” Carney replied, arguing that if they let one independent media photographer inside other news organizations may feel at a “competitive disadvantage.”

“So, that goes to one side of the argument, but not the one that has to do with access of the free press,” he said.

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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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Hamas Leader Praises Shooting that Left Israeli Father Dead, Pregnant Wife Wounded

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

But…Hamas just wants peace!

The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday praised a shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded his wife and son as they drove through the West Bank the previous evening en route to a Passover meal.

Speaking in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said the attack outside the city of Hebron “brought back life to the path of resistance” against Israel and warned of more attacks in the Palestinian territory.

The slain man’s wife is reportedly pregnant. There were several children in the car. One of them was wounded in the same attack.

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White House Wanted Apology Because Barry Got His Feelings Hurt

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Poor Barry. It must be hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way, and only have other people’s best interests in your dear heart.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson says the White House wanted him to apologize for “offending” President Obama after he famously delivered a conservative message at the National Prayer Breakfast last year.

Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recalls the events surrounding his 2013 speech in his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future. The Daily Caller obtained an advance copy of the book, which is set for release May 20.

“He did not appear to be hostile or angry,” Carson writes of Obama, “but within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him. I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

We should all bow down and apologize to Barry. We’re just not good enough for him.

 

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The Coming Great Rift Between Progressives And Democrats May Be Beginning In New York

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Shots fired.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once earned plaudits from liberals for his tough talk on gun control and success in legalizing gay marriage in the state. But, lately, he’s found no shortage of frenemies to his left.

In the past month, liberal protesters outside Cuomo’s office have dubbed him “Governor 1 Percent”; a prominent progressive activist has suggested that he run for reelection as a Republican; the head of a major labor union has called for someone to challenge the governor in the Democratic primary; and a series of behind-the-scenes feuds between Cuomo and other top Democratic officials have spilled out into public view.

The proximal cause for the infighting during an election year, when parties typically put aside their internal differences, is the state’s recently concluded, highly contentious budget process, which ended many Democrats’ hopes for sweeping ethics reforms this year. On fiscal policy, Cuomo aides insist the budget is “very progressive,” but the labor-backed Working Families Party, which endorsed the governor in 2010, is reconsidering its support this year, saying that Cuomo “chose inequality over progress.”

Progressives have been involved in a deliberate, decades-long takeover of the Democratic Party that has mostly been hallmarked by patience. The current occupier of the Oval Office has increased their expectations, however. Any Democrat who won’t smash the tax piggy bank and give them ALL THE THINGS will be found wanting and, dare I say, targeted.

One of Cuomo’s sins is that he doesn’t worship at the altar of Big Labor all of the time.

“This is not a minor shift, but it comes after a slow burn that started in 2010 … and finally just exploded in the past week and a half,” says Bill Samuels, a New York City Democratic fundraiser and activist. “There was probably no one who liked Andrew better than me.…. He lost most of us permanently. And I mean permanently. I don’t have one friend who is a Cuomo supporter.”

At its root, much of the animosity lies in some Democrats’ suspicion that Cuomo is not really one of them. Richard Brodsky, a former Democratic state senator who is now a senior fellow at the think tank Demos, has dubbed Cuomo’s worldview “progractionary”—a mix of “progressive” and “reactionary.” On social issues, the governor is a textbook liberal, but on economics, he’s embraced tax cuts and is skeptical of labor unions.

Perhaps Cuomo is skeptical because Big Labor gets rejected in every place it isn’t forced upon workers by mandate. Labor proponents will have us believe that every workplace in America will immediately morph into a sweatshop from 1894 if Big Labor has any of its power diminished or if people are allowed-wait for it-the right to choose whether they want to join a union.

The reality is that Big Labor’s fairy tale isn’t working anymore and people know that most labor unions (especially public sector unions) are all about political lobbying for things that will line the bosses’ pockets and have nothing to do with workers. And, as we have seen in Wisconsin, they can’t always win by throwing all of the money they have at an election.

It’s not that Cuomo is actually moving towards the center, his psychotic gun grab alone should prove his leftist bona fides. He is merely centrist compared to someone from the “leans commie” end of the spectrum, like Bill de Blasio:

Against this backdrop, there was bound to be conflict between Cuomo and New York City’s new mayor, who struck an emphatically populist tone in his campaign. Days after Bill de Blasio’s inauguration, an education-policy battle erupted that typifies the opposing wings of the party the two men represent. De Blasio wanted to fund a universal prekindergarten program with tax increases on the wealthy and to rein in some of the city’s charter schools; Cuomo vociferously opposes tax hikes and is a staunch defender of alternative public education.

You know who hates alternative public education?

Big Labor.

The ideological battle for the soul of the party that the MSM loves to say is happening in the GOP is actually happening on the other side of the aisle. Like all things MSM and Democrat, it’s merely projection for what is happening with them. Yes, Republican moderates and conservatives are in the midst of a very necessary fight for some direction, but we are used to such infighting and this squabble isn’t quite as new as many would believe. It does get heated but nobody is really going with a scorched earth approach…yet.

The hive mind on the other side brooks no dissent however. One or the other has to win because that like-mindedness is what the Democrats have been using to win elections lately and the whole thing hits one of their planet saving low-flush toilets in a hurry if there’s a family fight.

There is no level of government spending on phantom issues that satisfies progressives. They are economically challenged non-thinkers who are fueled by mutually exclusive beliefs. On the one hand, they think there is a finite amount of capital in the world and any financial success in the private sector comes at the expense of someone else. On the other, they believe that these same rich people who are stealing from the poor have an infinite amount of wealth which can be taxed to support government largesse. Once those are reconciled in someone’s head, the brain short-circuits and renders any future logical thought impossible.

One side has to win this battle outright. If Hillary Clinton does end up being the nominee for 2016 it will definitely escalate the fighting, as she is practically a Reagan Republican from the leftist perspective of the progressives. Elizabeth Warren is their Golden Girl and many progressives are murmuring about her seeking the presidency, even if Fauxcahontas herself denies that she wants to.

The academics who have been indoctrinating college youth for decades are all on the whacko left and sowing seeds that could very easily blossom into a mobilized electorate. We’ve already seen the first glimpse of that with the Occupy crowd. Those weren’t poor, oppressed American youth fighting to get to the middle class. They were college kids with iPhones who thought their education should be “free”.

There is no level of taxpayer gouging that satisfies progressives. They always want more. When one of their schemes predictably fails, the excuse is always that it was because there wasn’t enough money spent on it.

More, more more.

No, no, no.

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