» Politics

The PJ Tatler

Good Papal Intentions, and God’s Choices

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - by Lionel Chetwynd

Allow me to stand corrected: both Stephen Kruiser and Tom Gross are certain Pope Francis’ reference to “angel of peace” in connection to Mahmoud Abbas was a hopeful suggestion, rather than a proclamation of fact. So stipulated.

That such a turnabout by Mr. Abbas, ally of Hamas, would be a miracle should not discourage the pontiff from wishful optimism; popes are the business of miracles. Besides, one can argue, it would have been a lost opportunity for him not to have spoken as he did. After all, how often have much lesser public figures lamented that if they had but the opportunity to sit down and reason with that nice Mr. Hitler (or bin Laden, Stalin, Tojo, Abdulhamit, etc.) then (World War Two, the Soviet deportations, the Nanking massacre, the Armenian Genocide, etc.) would have been avoided?

Great leaders must grasp the doors opportunity opens for them, muster their best intentions, and march through. This, we are told, is the case here.

But good intentions are not policy.

Pope Francis’ plea, if that’s what it was, to the chairman of the PA — whose component parts are dedicated to the destruction of a neighboring state because of the religious faith of its inhabitants, and to the subsequent genocide of those people — is defined as kindly as possibly as only that: good intention.

But Papal State recognition of Abbas’ “state,” co-governed with the sin-ridden, murderous Hamas, is policy.

The Vatican assures us the instrument of recognition will contain guarantees of religious freedom. If Mahmoud Abbas agrees those guarantees shall extend to all faiths — including Jews — then the pope’s dream will have become concrete reality. (Assuming the PA is good to its word.) If, on the other hand, the guarantee extends only to religious groups favored by the pope, then the pope’s dream has been made a nightmare — a horrid relic of the European hatred of the 1930s, now in glorious redux both there and throughout the extreme precincts of Islam.

The hypocrisy of such a treaty would be a triumph for moral relativists everywhere: liberation theologists, Alinskyites, “progressives,” Leftists, Fascists, Communists, and of course, anti-Semites.

As God instructed Moses to tell the assembly ay Mt. Sinai: “I have today set before you a choice … ”

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

Governor Blames Republicans for Education Bill That Democrats Voted For

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

It’s been clear for weeks now that Minnesota’s Democrat governor Mark Dayton wants a government shutdown. He’s been openly pining for it, not bothering to mask his naked partisan desire to blame Republicans going into next year’s election season.

The regular legislative session concluded late Monday night. As the deadline for the session approached, Governor Dayton repeatedly moved the goal posts on education funding, demanding ever more spending and full funding of universal preschool for four-year-olds.

The preschool piece has been a “priority” for Dayton despite widespread bipartisan opposition to the idea. Officials in the school district in which I live, which already deals with challenging fiscal issues, have told me they wouldn’t know where to put the new students if preschool were mandated by the state. But practical issues like that don’t concern Dayton, who sees universal preschool as a chance to both define a personal legacy in his second term and stick a thumb in the eye of House Republicans.

Tuesday, Dayton indicated he would make good on a threat to veto an education bill passed by the legislature because it does not include universal preschool. His veto will necessitate a special session during a time when capitol renovations leave the legislature with nowhere to meet. But Dayton says the inevitable special session was triggered by Republicans for not including his “priority.”

There’s only one problem with that narrative. Dayton’s fellow Democrats control the State Senate, and passed the same bill he’s about to veto. The Senate’s passage has been spun by some as a reaction to pressure to end the regular session on time. However, the reality is that many Democrats stand as skeptical of universal preschool as most Republicans.

The drama indicates that Dayton thinks voters will ignore the facts and buy his manufactured narrative of partisan intransigence. Even liberal allies in local media remain skeptical of that strategy’s chances.

Read bullet | Comments »

#BlackLivesMatters Protesters Protest Soros Group After Getting Stiffed

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Protesting injustice is as American as apple pie, but left-wing rent-a mobs have a long, shabby history of exploiting the First Amendment to push an unAmerican collectivist agenda. They do this by distorting the issues, disrupting lives and creating chaos until the American people cry uncle. People will bend to the will of the mob just so the constant hectoring will stop.

Do you ever wonder why folks on the left have a weird, unhinged obsession with the Koch brothers, the wealthy billionaires who contribute to conservative/libertarian causes? They think the Koch brothers are the puppet masters behind the conservative movement. Where do they get this idea? It’s called liberal projection. They know the activist left is controlled and financed by a  New York hedge fund manager who has a personal fortune of about $13 billion.

His company, Soros Fund Management, controls at least another $25 billion in investor assets. Since 1979, Soros’s foundation network — whose flagship is the Open Society Institute (OSI) — has dispensed more than $5 billion to a multitude of organizations whose objectives are consistent with those of Soros. With assets of $1.93 billion as of 2008, OSI alone donates scores of millions of dollars annually to these various groups.

According to the January tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups to organize on-the-ground activists in Ferguson. Two of those organizations, MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and OBS (Organization for Black Struggle), have been financing #BlackLivesMatter protests in Ferguson and elsewhere. Those organizations actually pay people to show up at venues to do their clapping, chanting, and sign-waving routines.

(No, we have nothing like this on the right.) In the video below, a #BlackLivesMatter rent a mob  harassed a Whole Foods store to protest the fact that a Baltimore store donated food and supplies to the National Guard while they were there protecting the city from violent protesters. This gives you a good idea of the sort of activity Soros is financing.

YouTube Preview Image

After the #BlackLivesMatters rent-a-mobs worked so hard in venues like Baltimore, Selma, and Ferguson, raising awareness about the racist white power structure, they wanted their promised paychecks, but apparently a bunch of them got stiffed.

 0

The protesters “occupied” MORE’s office in St. Louis over allegations that the ACORN spinoff had embezzled money from the movement check. After the May 14th protest, MORE allegedly distributed a list of people who were paid to protest in Ferguson and elsewhere, to show where the money had been going. Included on the list was  Lisa Fithian, who received $1,127.75 for “visit expenses.”

For those who do not know, Lisa Fithian is an infamous leftist organizer. She organized at Occupy, but has been used as a training organizer for many years before that. She spent time in Ferguson in 2014 training people to ‘simulate chaos’.

There are also big payouts to Jeff Ordower, who appears to be disburser of the checks.

Jeff Ordower is a bit like a male Lisa Fithian, he was an organizer for the SEIU and ACORN. He founded MORE and his stated goal is “welcoming co-conspirators in attempts to scale up numbers of radical organizers who can financially support themselves in the work”.

There’s much more on this at Weasel Zippers.    

Read bullet | Comments »

‘Over the Hill Gang’ Arrested in Huge Jewel Heist in Britain

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

It seemed like the perfect crime. Thieves broke into the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Box company and spent the entire Easter weekend leisurely going through the boxes, making off with an estimated $300 million.

The complicated plan worked to perfection. The thieves cut through the roof to gain access to Hatton Garden offices, rappelled down an elevator shaft to the basement, disabled a state-of-the-art security system, stole the hard drive of the CCTV system, and cut through an 18-inch thick metal wall.

Everything worked — except the part where they get away scot free. More than 200 Scotland Yard officers swooped down on the 9 thieves and arrested them, along with at least part of their booty. The crooks were between the ages of 43-76 — three of them were ages 67, 74, and 76 — which makes them something of an “Over the Hill” gang.

The police had come under withering criticism in the tabloids for first, missing an alarm tripped by the thieves on Good Friday, and second, for the halting, unsure manner in which the investigation seemed to be carried out.

BBC:

During a press conference, the Met said it felt officers had been portrayed as the Keystone Kops, while a relative of a victim said finding some of the haul could actually make things worse for those affected, as it could delay insurance pay-outs.

Thieves used heavy cutting equipment to break into a vault at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd, where they ransacked about 70 boxes.

The men were arrested in Enfield, east London and Dartford.

Police said bags containing a significant amount of high-value property were recovered at one of the addresses and they were confident some were items stolen during the burglary.

Head of the Met’s Flying Squad, Det Supt Craig Turner, urged victims of the crime to “stay patient”, adding police officers would be in contact with them in order “to restore this property back to its rightful owners”.

He said the investigation had been “complex and exceptional”.

In response to questions about why police did not respond to an alarm that went off at the premises during the time of the heist, Det Supt Turner, said: “We are now in a position to confirm that on this occasion our call handling system and procedures for working with the alarm monitoring companies were not followed.

“Our normal procedures would have resulted in police attending the scene and we apologise that this did not happen.”

There has been no official detail of what was stolen but it is believed jewellery worth up to £200m was taken during the raid.

Cdr Peter Spindler said: “At times we have been portrayed as if we’ve acted like Keystone Kops.

“But I want to reassure you that in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard, these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice for the victims of this callous crime.”

I guess the “finest traditions of Scotland Yard” now include failing to following procedures when an alarm is tripped. Tally Ho!

It would be easy to admire the crooks for their audacity, until you realize there were genuine victims of their crime who lost everything:

A relative of one of the victims said those affected were “probably worse off after this morning’s raids”.

“With the stolen goods vanished, there was pressure on insurance companies to settle quickly to enable holders to trade again,” the relative, who did not want to be identified, said.

“But now, with a whole mess of stuff to sort out, it may drag on for months.

“If batches of the stones were mixed up, it may be impossible to reunite them with their owners.”

Many of the boxes belonged to pensioners who lost their life savings in the heist. Most didn’t carry insurance.

The thieves are apparently non-descript working class types with no known skills in high end robberies. But with a decent plan and a little luck, they managed to carry out what will probably end up being the largest heist in British history.

Read bullet | Comments »

See How Bernie Sanders Pays for Free College for Everyone in New Bill

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Senator and Hillary Clinton presidential challenger Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation to make four-year public universities totally free.

The 35-page College for All Act would give states $47 billion each year in federal grants to operate. These schools currently rake in about $70 billion in tuition each year, so states would be left to pick up a third of the tab.

“To qualify for federal funding, states must meet a number of requirements designed to protect students, ensure quality, and reduce ballooning costs. States will need to maintain spending on their higher education systems, on academic instruction, and on need-based financial aid. In addition, colleges and universities must reduce their reliance on low-paid adjunct faculty,” Sanders’ office said in a description of the bill. “States would be able to use funding to increase academic opportunities for students, hire new faculty, and provide professional development opportunities for professors. No funding under this program may be used to fund administrator salaries, merit-based financial aid, or the construction of non-academic buildings like stadiums and student centers.”

What’s the pay-for? A “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street.

“This legislation is offset by imposing a Wall Street speculation fee on investment houses, hedge funds, and other speculators of 0.5% on stock trades (50 cents for every $100 worth of stock), a 0.1% fee on bonds, and a 0.005% fee on derivatives. It has been estimated that this provision could raise hundreds of billions a year which could be used not only to make tuition free at public colleges and universities in this country, it could also be used to create millions of jobs and rebuild the middle class of this country.”

Sanders said today that it’s “a national disgrace that hundreds of thousands of young Americans today do not go to college, not because they are unqualified, but because they cannot afford it.”

He noted that free college would be like stepping back in time, since the University of California system didn’t begin charging tuition until the 1980s and in 1965 average tuition at a four-year public university was just $243.

Sanders stressed that his bill means “any student, regardless of his or her background or income, who has the ability and desire, will be able to get the education they need and the education they deserve. This legislation opens the door for a middle class life to millions of young Americans and will make our economy stronger and more productive.”

He also defended his pay-for: “More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and today some 40 countries throughout the world have imposed a financial transactions tax including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, China, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Brazil.”

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

Boehner to Obama: Rip Up Your AUMF Request and Start Over

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that President Obama needs to trash his weak authorization for use of military force (AUMF) request.

In February, Obama submitted his plan to Congress for an AUMF against “the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”

Obama’s AUMF plan specifically “does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.”

His proposal repeals the 2002 Iraq AUMF and limits the new one to three years. “I do not believe America’s interests are served by endless war or by remaining on a perpetual war footing,” Obama said back at the plan’s introduction, adding that it’s “not a timetable” but “it’s conceivable that the mission is completed earlier.”

It drew both Republican and Democratic opposition, from lawmakers who saw it as weak and handcuffing the administration’s abilities and those who saw it as dragging the U.S. into another war.

In short, the AUMF has gone nowhere in Congress — and Boehner indicated that’s not going to change.

“The president’s request for an authorization of the use of military force calls for less authority than he has today. I just think, given the fight that we’re in, it’s irresponsible. This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the authorization of use of military force and start over,” he told reporters.

“We don’t have a strategy. And for those of you that come to these regularly, for over two years now, I’ve been calling on the president to develop an over-arching strategy to deal with this growing terrorist threat,” Boehner continued. “We don’t have one.”

“And the fact is, the threat is growing faster than what we and our allies can do to stop it.”

Asked why Congress just doesn’t draft an AUMF, Boehner replied, “We have one commander in chief at a time.”

“It’s the president’s responsibility to wage this battle. And the president, in my view, is not taking this threat seriously as it should. When a major city in Iraq, Ramadi, gets overrun by ISIL and the administration says, ‘Well, it’s just a temporary setback’ — it’s 70 miles from Baghdad,” he said.

“It’s time for the president to get serious about this threat to Americans and our allies all around the world.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Cloward-Piven in Action: ‘Traumatized’ Students Claim ‘Disability’

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Thank you, George Herbert Walker Bush:

Students with violent and traumatic pasts sued the Compton Unified School District on Monday, alleging they are legally disabled and the school has failed to meet their educational needs. The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, contends that under federal educational rules and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the district should establish special mental health and other services to help students with “complex trauma.”

That would include methods used by other districts such as San Francisco’s, including special training for teachers and staff; teaching children “skills to cope with their anxiety and emotions”; and “restorative” discipline strategies that don’t rely on suspending or expelling the students, according to the suit.

Trauma “stems from such causes as exposure to violence and loss, family disruptions related to deportation, incarceration and/or the foster system, systemic racism and discrimination, and the extreme stress of lacking basic necessities, such as not knowing where the next meal will come from or where to sleep that night,” according to the lawsuit.

Studies have shown that such trauma can affect a child’s developing brain and psychology and such children do worse in school and have more absences and poorer graduation rates, the lawsuit said.

So now cultural social dysfunction is a “disability.” Is a low IQ a “disability”? What about a low family income? Once you make having a “disability” into a monetary proposition, you are sure to get lots more “disabilities.”

The ADA was one of the dumbest laws ever passed by a Republican president and now it’s predictably being used as a cudgel with which to bankrupt the system. Where does this stop?

Don’t answer that question.

 

Read bullet | Comments »

Not ‘The Onion’: Deluded Feminists Head to North Korea

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Ron Radosh

This headline and story is real, and is from Politico:

Gloria Steinem to lead women’s march in North Korea

Gloria Steinem is among 30 women activists marching from Beijing through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea in a call for peace next Sunday. The event marks the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.

The 81-year-old activist told Reuters that “it seems to me that the past of no contact has not worked,” invoking former President Ronald Reagan’s call to tear down the Berlin Wall.

“We are saying: ‘Take down this isolation,’” she said, according to the report, which also notes that the organizers will meet with North Korean women and tour a maternity hospital, a women’s factory in Pyongyang and a preschool.

Both countries have approved the rare crossing of the DMZ, a rare event that has generated criticism among those who say the event could be used as propaganda by the North.

 

Read bullet | 10 Comments »

Taliban Launch ‘Free Morsi’ Movement After Former Muslim Brotherhood President Sentenced to Death

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Taliban is calling upon every “influential” Muslim to try to save Mohamed Morsi from the death penalty in Egypt.

The former president, along with 105 other defendants, was sentenced for the bloody Natroun jailbreak after the 2011 revolution, which allowed Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah prisoners to escape — one of those was Morsi. After he was overthrown in 2013, a fresh investigation was launched into the prison break.

The verdict goes to the grand mufti for non-binding review before final sentencing on June 2. If his death sentence in the jailbreak case stands, he will be put to death by hanging. He’ll also be the first Egyptian president ever to face capital punishment.

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was sentenced to death along with Morsi.

The Taliban statement today said they “strongly condemning this cruel decision” and call “on all international and local human right organizations, the United Nations, especially Muslim countries and Islamic Conference as well as all influential individuals of the Islamic world to fulfill their humane and Islamic duties from the point of human sympathy and Islamic brotherhood in order to challenge this harrowing ruling and prevent the coup d’é·tat regime of Egypt from carrying out such illegal unethical and inhumane actions.”

“It is absolutely astonishing that the western world and those that shout equity, justice, human rights and even animal rights have either adopted complete silence in this issue or are indifferent to the extent of only limiting their response to mere condemnation without feeling any other sense of responsibility. Would the western world especially America have ever tolerated such barbarism towards any of its own citizens? No they would have never. It is from here that the hypocrisy of claimants and thespians of ‘Rights’ and ‘Justice’ is being further exposed to the world and nations.”

The Taliban, operating under the name the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said “fair-minded nations especially people of the Islamic Ummah and Muslims must take to the streets to force the power bearers of feeling responsibility towards this and other such inhumane decrees and take practical preventative steps.”

Terrorist attacks have already increased in the restive Sinai peninsula since Morsi’s sentencing.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters Monday that they are “deeply concerned by yet another mass death sentence handed down by an Egyptian court to more than 100 defendants, including former President Morsi.”

“We have consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences which are conducted in a manner that’s inconsistent with Egypt’s international obligations and which are frequently used against members of the opposition and nonviolent activists. This practice, which in this instance was directed against, among others, a former elected president, is unjust and undermines confidence in the rule of law,” he added.

The U.S. has lobbied for an “inclusive” Egyptian government that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, and protested Morsi’s overthrow.

“We have made our views and we continue to make our views clear to the Egyptian Government. We believe that all Egyptians, regardless of their political affiliation, are entitled to equal and fair treatment before the law,” Rathke said. “That includes full respect for their rights to due process, and we remain opposed to politicized arrests and detentions.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Conservative Nebraska Could Dump Death Penalty

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

Nebraska might be the last place you would expect to overturn the death penalty. A highly conservative state where Republicans dominate, Nebraska may nonetheless join a growing list of states which have abandoned capital punishment.

The trend has emerged from a shift in the application of philosophical principles. An increasing number of conservatives have come to regard capital punishment as antithetical to their vision for government. From the New York Times:

Sen. Colby Coash, a conservative who is a sponsor of the bill [to eliminate the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment], said he had come to believe that opposing capital punishment aligned with his values as a Republican and a Christian conservative.

“I’m a conservative guy — I’ve been a Republican my whole life,” he said. “… Some people see this as a pro-life issue. Other people see it as a good-government issue. But the support that this bill is getting from conservative members is evidence that you can get justice through eliminating the death penalty, and you can get efficient government through eliminating the death penalty.”

The point about efficiency seems to get much traction these days. The cost of running a death row convict through an appeals process is cited as wasteful. Procuring the drugs necessary for lethal injection is considered difficult.

This new way of thinking about the death penalty reflects a larger flaw in modern conservative/libertarian thinking, which emphasizes the size and cost of government without regard to its purpose.  But we can’t talk about government waste outside the context of government’s purpose. First, we must determine what government is for. Only then can we evaluate whether its cost and scope proves excessive.

We have government to protect individual rights and administer justice. That is its end. Whatever cost that purpose requires, we should pay it. Whatever size government needs to maintain liberty, we should happily sustain it.

Opposition to the death penalty is not pro-life. One does not support life by tolerating its degradation and destruction. Rather, it’s the death penalty that’s pro-life. The death penalty affirms the value of life by eliminating those who show no regard for it. Opposing the death penalty conveys a lower regard for the value of life, a tolerance of unmitigated evil. There’s nothing conservative about that.

It’s one thing to take an abstract stance against the death penalty in a hypothetical laboratory. However, as the recent death sentence doled out to the Boston Marathon bomber in liberal Massachusetts indicates, the appropriateness of executing heinous murderers becomes clear when you see one.

Read bullet | Comments »

Huge ISIS Convoy Parades Out in the Open in West Anbar Province in Iraq, Providing Target-Rich Environment for Coalition

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

According to a Twitter account that explores  ”the domestic and regional challenges facing Iraq’s security,” a massive convoy of ISIS fighters paraded out in the open desert in Western Anbar on Monday, providing a target rich environment for the U.S.-led coalition. But where was the coalition? 

That is what you call a perfect target for some serious air power — B-52s or warthogs doing area saturation bombing — but it looks it was another missed opportunity for the coalition.

@IraqiSecurity later tweeted that the coalition destroyed 12 vehicles near Habbaniyah, E. of Ramadi — which is on the Eastern side of Anbar.

#Iraq; Reports that coalition airstrikes destroyed targeted a Da’ish convoy trying to enter Habbaniyah, E. of Ramadi. 12 vehicles destroyed.

— حيدر سومري (@IraqiSecurity) May 19, 2015

A coalition spokesman said Monday afternoon that the U.S.-led coalition  ”has conducted 19 air strikes in the vicinity of the Iraqi city of Ramadi over the past 72 hours.”

The strikes targeted Islamic State fighting positions, armoured and technical vehicles, and buildings they control.

Obama allegedly has a coalition of 60 nations fighting ISIS with us and they only managed 19 airstrikes in a three-day period.

During the Gulf War’s “Shock and Awe” campaign, the U.S. rained down 300 to 400 cruise missiles a day on Iraq for two consecutive days. At the beginning of the Iraq War, the U.S. unleashed 800 cruise missiles in two days.

After ISIS took over Ramadi, the Obama coalition of the willing could only squeak out a paltry 6.33 missiles a day at some buildings and vehicles. And they completely missed the huge convoy parading out in the open desert on the other side of the province.

The reason for this failure was explored by the Daily Beast last October.

Within the U.S. Air Force, there’s mounting frustration that the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is moving far more slowly than expected. Instead of a fast-moving operation with hundreds of sorties flown in a single day—the kind favored by many in the air service—American warplanes are hitting small numbers of targets after a painstaking and cumbersome process.

The single biggest problem, current and former Air Force officers say, is the so-called kill-chain of properly identifying and making sure the right target is being attacked. At the moment, that process is very complicated and painfully slow.

“The kill-chain is very convoluted,” one combat-experienced Air Force A-10 Warthog pilot told The Daily Beast. “Nobody really has the control in the tactical environment.”

A major reason why: the lack of U.S. ground forces to direct American air power against ISIS positions.

These problems don’t seem to have improved at all since last fall.

As the Islamic State takes over more territory and advances toward Baghdad, I’m afraid we’ll continue seeing  more of this weak and ineffective air campaign.

Read bullet | 9 Comments »

Even the Washington Post Isn’t Buying Hillary’s Spin on Ducking Press

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Awkward family time…

With Hillary Clinton rapidly approaching a month since she answered a question from a reporter, her allies are working to push back on the idea that she is ducking the press.

“PUTTING THE VOTERS FIRST, HILLARY ASKS THE QUESTIONS THAT REALLY MATTER,” read the subject line of an e-mail — ALL CAPS in the original! — that arrived in my inbox this morning courtesy of Correct The Record, a pro-Clinton super PAC directly coordinating with the presidential campaign on rapid response.

The missive lays out the facts aimed at putting lie to the “she won’t answer questions” narrative.

First, Correct The Record notes that Clinton has answered 20 questions from “everyday Americans”: seven during her first trip to Iowa (she’s back in the state today), five during her New Hampshire excursion and a whopping eight when she visited Nevada.

Cillizza (with whom I often don’t agree) then proceeds to expose just how awfully lame this little story by Team Mrs. Bill is. A sampling:

It makes zero difference how many questions Clinton has asked average Americans. Like, none. If those people were running for president, then I would be super-interested to know how they responded to some (or maybe all) of Clinton’s 117 questions. But, they aren’t. She is. Citing the number of questions Clinton has asked of people to rebut the idea that she isn’t taking enough (or any) questions from reporters is sort of like saying you aced a job interview because you answered every question asked of you with another question. That wouldn’t make sense, would it?

It may not be anything that Hillary Clinton does that derails her inevitability parade, but what she doesn’t do. The same media types who are completely incurious about her various legally questionable activities are also upset that Grandma isn’t giving them any cookies.

This makes two things very clear:

1) Her staff knows she’s horrible when interacting with people and are keeping her distant and in controlled situations.

2) The Clintons haven’t entirely grasped the overwhelming changes in media since the 1990s or even since 2008.

When Hillary’s meal ticket was POTUS, the media were at the beginning of their evolutionary leap from journalists to ego-centric personalities. Yes, they are all leftists willing to play along for the agenda but the emotional little dears simply will not be ignored.

There is a growing feeling that the MSM is along for the ride because this is the only train running right now but they can’t wait for the next Barack Obama to show up out of practically nowhere so they can ditch the imperious Mrs. C. for someone who doesn’t scare the crap out of them.

Meanwhile, the Granny probably thinks she can get away with this for another year and a half.

Read bullet | 25 Comments »

Boston University Professor Cited for Racist Tweets Accused of Bashing White Rape Victim

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

A recently hired Boston University professor, whose racist tweets were defended by the school’s administration, is now being accused of going off on and taunting a white rape victim on Facebook.

Saida Grundy eventually apologized for tweeting that she deliberately avoided white businesses and thought that white males were “THE problem” on campuses. The tweets were made last January, soon after she was hired, but didn’t come to light until earlier this month.

But in February, the good professor may have committed an act so egregiously offensive that even the academic-freedom stalwarts at BU might be forced into action. A young woman had a Facebook encounter with Grundy so jarringly inappropriate and insensitive that the professor’s basic humanity can be called into question.

Fox News:

Saida Grundy, a newly hired professor at Boston University who recently said she regrets tweeting that white males are a “problem population,” and other racially charged comments, is now accused of Facebook posts in which she appeared to taunt a white rape victim. That victim, Meghan Chamberlin, told FoxNews.com that the posts, made in a February public chat, felt “like a kick in the stomach.”

The woman who identified herself as Grundy posted the comments after Chamberlin took issue with a controversial article on race that the Facebook thread had linked to.

“I LITERALLY cry and lose sleep over this,” Chamberlin wrote, adding she had been raped as a child and felt that: “what this article did was tell me that I’m not aloud (sic) to ask for help… Because I am a WHITE woman… So when I read this article… you do understand what that does to me, right? It kills me…”

The woman, who identified herself as Sai Grundy in the Feb. 25 thread and uses the same photo the professor uses on tweets she acknowledged last week, responded by making fun of the victim’s crying.

“’I literally cry’…. While we literally die,” she said before adding, “try this article. A white woman explaining this issue to other white women… who manages NOT to cry while doing it!”

Chamberlin, the rape survivor, responded: “No really. I got it. You can take your claws out, thanks.”

To which Grundy exploded:

“^^THIS IS THE S**T I AM TALKING ABOUT. WHY DO YOU GET TO PLAY THE VICTIM EVERY TIME PEOPLE OF COLOR AND OUR ALLIES WANT TO POINT OUT RACISM. my CLAWS?? Do you see how you just took an issue that WASNT about you, MADE it about you, and NOW want to play the victim when I take the time to explain to you some s**t that is literally $82,000 below my pay grade? And then you promote your #whitegirltears like that’s some badge you get to wear… YOU BENEFIT FROM RACISM. WE’RE EXPLAINING THAT TO YOU and you’re vilifying my act of intellectual altruism by saying i stuck my “claws” into you?”

Whoa. I don’t know what’s more outrageous. Her massive insensitivity to a rape victim or the fact that a university is willing to pay this racist nutcase $82,000 a year.

It gets better/worse:

Chamberlin responded by trying to leave the discussion. “I am choosing to “exit” this conversation,” she wrote.

But Grundy posted again, finishing with: “go cry somewhere. since that’s what you do.”

Chamberlin responded: “Will do.”

Grundy then responded to others: “am I mocking her tears or am I saying that her tears are meaningless displays of emotions because they don’t reflect at ALL an intention to understand the issue from the prospective (sic) of women of color or queer women.”

She added, “my name is *Sai*, but you can call me Dr. Grundy.”

You will be forced to care. Even if you’re a rape victim.

Once Grundy discovered the jig was up, she began a mad dash to delete all the offending entries. Finally, she simply took down her Facebook page — but not before screen shots of the postings were taken by several sources.

Some people have a dead spot in their souls where empathy resides in the rest of us. In most walks of life, an individual so afflicted can function like a normal human being. But a teacher? Boston University would do well to withdraw their invitation to her to teach and allow her to gravitate to some other organization more suited to her beliefs and temperament.

Read bullet | 45 Comments »

Obama to Ban Some Military Equipment from Police So They Won’t ‘Alienate and Intimidate’

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama announced in New Jersey today that he’s going to “prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments.”

The new policies on surplus military equipment that is donated by the federal government to state and local law enforcement agencies came after the riots and complaints about militarized police in Ferguson, Mo.

“You know, we’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them. It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message,” Obama said.

“…Now, there is other equipment that may be needed in certain cases but only with proper training. So we’re going to ensure that departments have what they need but also that they have the training to use it.”

Obama added that the “overwhelming majority of police officers are good and honest and fair.”

“They care deeply about their communities, they put their lives on the line every day to keep them safe,” he said. “Their loved ones wait and worry until they come through the door at the end of their shift. So we should do everything in our power to make sure they are safe and help them do the job the best they can.”

On the banned list: .50 caliber weapons and ammo, grenade launchers, tanks, bayonets and camouflage uniforms excluding woodland or desert patterns.

Allowed with training protocols will be drones, manned aircraft, armored vehicles, explosives, battering rams and riot gear.

Rules on equipment not listed won’t change, the order says. “For example, nuclear weapons will remain on DOD’s restricted (i.e., prohibited) list even though they were not specifically included in the Working Group’s prohibited list.”

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who has introduced legislation to demilitarize police, praised Obama’s “bold action.”

Elements of the bill are in Obama’s executive order, including “banning the free transfer of certain military-grade equipment, and imposing strict oversight and transparency measures to ensure the equipment that is transferred is used properly,” Johnson said.

“I’m going to continue fighting to see these and other ideas passed into law and made permanent. Just last week, House Republicans stonewalled my efforts to restrict free transfer of weaponry under the 1033 program. Instead, they voted to expand the program that transfers free military surplus to local police departments under the guise of border security, proving that this Congress and a future Republican president cannot be trusted to rein in this program,” he said.

“I appreciate the president’s leadership on this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues to rein in the Pentagon’s weapons pipeline – we must remember that military equipment fundamentally changes the relationship between police and the communities they serve, and is the opposite of what should be happening on our main streets.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said city streets shouldn’t “be filled with tear gas, sound cannons, MRAPs, or other weapons of war.”

“I witnessed first-hand, high-powered sniper rifles with night scopes being pointed at my constituents who were peacefully exercising their constitutional rights,” said Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.). “That kind of police militarization is harmful and it deepens the already wide gulf of mistrust that exists between communities of color and some local law enforcement agencies.”

Read bullet | 31 Comments »

Too Little Too Late? Loretta Sanchez Apologizes For Being Loretta Sanchez

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

What I meant by the headline is that this latest incident isn’t really anomalous for Rep. Sanchez, she’s just kind of like this. In the apology video here, the Sacramento CBS affiliate speculates that Sanchez not only nuked her Senate bid, but may have jeopardized her House seat as well.

Fingers crossed…

Read bullet | Comments »

The 7 Reasons Marco Rubio Should Get the Republican Nomination for President

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Scott Ott

Sen. Marco Rubio

[Note from Scott Ott: The presidential primary process doesn't help us to decide who's qualified to bear the party standard, and to serve as chief executive. It's just our way of crushing the hopes and dreams of anyone who dares poke head from hole. Because you already know all of the reasons why every candidate, and potential candidate, has no right to expect the nomination, I'm going to write an utterly one-sided series on why each one should get it.]

Today’s nominee: Senator Marco Rubio. (If you’re concerned that I’m not providing fair and balanced analysis, I’m sure the folks in the comment section will compensate for my deficiency.)

I just read Sen. Marco Rubio’s American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, which combines stories of struggling Americans with often-innovative proposals to address our most besetting challenges in education, social welfare, health care, immigration, Social Security, Medicare and more. The book is worth the brief time it takes to read, even if you favor some other candidate for president.

Why Marco Rubio Should Be the Republican Nominee

1. Positive Vision for “A New American Century”: Republicans should not underestimate the value of a voice that stirs the human heart and reminds us of what we’re all about, and what we can be.

Rubio clearly loves this country, and what it stands for, and conveys that with infectious optimism. Perhaps as importantly, he has applied a lot of time and effort to learning how to craft creative, but workable, solutions to her most challenging problems. He presents these in a forward-looking way. Rubio ends his American Dreams with a flourish…

“There is no time in our history I would rather live in than right here, right now. For we are on the eve of a new American Century. The most prosperous and secure era in our nation’s history is within our reach. All that is required of us has to do what those who came before us did: confront our challenges and embrace our opportunities. And when we do, we will leave for our children what our parents left for us: the most exceptional nation in all of human history.” — “American Dreams,” by Marco Rubio, p. 191

American Dreams, by Marco Rubio2. A family story that personifies the American Dream: A child of immigrant parents, Rubio speaks passionately of how his Mom and Dad worked low-wage jobs to provide a better future for their children. They did it in the nation that invented the idea that your status at birth is no limitation on your ultimate altitude or potential for accomplishment. His devotion to “equality of opportunity” is the proper antidote for Leftist “equality of outcome” venom. The American story, in a very real sense, is his family’s story, and he never forgets, nor allows others to forget it.

Read bullet | 58 Comments »

Kerry: Don’t Worry About Fall of Ramadi, ‘Daesh Has Been Driven Back’

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
isisiraqramadi

One of the photos released by ISIS of vehicles abandoned or seized from Iraqi security forces in Ramadi

Secretary of State John Kerry said today not to worry, we’ll probably get Ramadi back from ISIS.

ISIS took the city 80 miles east of Baghdad on Sunday despite a campaign of coalition airstrikes.

Kerry said at a joint press conference with South Korea’s foreign minister today that the administration has “always said from day one that the campaign against Daesh is a long one.”

“It’s going to take a long time. We’ve always said that. And particularly in Anbar, where you don’t yet have the presence of the Iraqi Security Forces in the full numbers necessary to take the fight to Daesh everywhere yet — I underscore yet — there are targets of opportunity like or somewhere else where Daesh has the ability to inflict great damage,” he said. “Notice what they’ve done. They’ve destroyed. They’ve sent in huge numbers of vehicle-borne IEDs, big trucks, massive amounts of explosion, and they’ve destroyed the place. That’s hardly a future.”

ISIS reportedly seized an untold amount of U.S. military equipment when it overran the Iraqi 8th Army Brigade in Ramadi.

“And I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead, that’s going to change, because overall in Iraq, Daesh has been driven back,” Kerry claimed. “As much as 30 to 30-plus percent of the area they once controlled they no longer control.”

As government struggle to keep with up ISIS’ domination of the social media sphere, Kerry added “their communications have been reduced, their funding and financial mechanisms have been reduced, and their movements by and large, and most certainly where there are air patrols and other capacities, have been reduced.”

“But that’s not everywhere,” he then admitted. “And so it is possible to have the kind of attack we’ve seen in , but I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed. Large numbers of Daesh were killed in the last few days and will be in the next days, because that seems to be the only thing they understand. There is no negotiation. There is no proposal whatsoever to educate a child or build a school or a hospital or do something positive. And I think the people of Iraq and the people of the region understand that, which is why every single country in the region, bar none, is opposed to Daesh and is engaged in fighting them.”

Kerry added that he’s “confident about the longer road.”

“But yes, there will be moments like yesterday in Ramadi and there will be some difficult challenges ahead,” he added. “Part of the challenge is also dealing with Anbar and the tribes, which need more resources, more training, more initial cover from the Iraq Security Forces. And that will be, I am sure, the subject of much conversation over the course of the next few days.”

Read bullet | 28 Comments »

Graham Running for President ‘Because the World Is Falling Apart’

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Graham said on CBS this morning that he will make an announcement in South Carolina on June 1. “You’re all invited to come; spend money when you do, and I will tell you what I’m going to do about running for president.”

Graham was asked if he’s running because he sees a current GOP field without enough foreign policy cred.

“That’s a really good question,” he replied. “I’ve got the best job in the world as a senator from South Carolina. I’ve got a very comfortable life. I’m running because of what you see on television. I’m running because I think the world is falling apart… it’s not the fault of others or the lack of this or that that makes me want to run. It’s my ability, in my own mind, to be a good commander in chief and to make Washington work.”

“The reason I had six primary opponents in my last election is because I’ve been accused of working with Democrats too much — in my view, Democrats and Republicans work together too little, and I will try to change that if I came to be president,” Graham continued.

“And when it came to radical Islam, I would go after them before they came back here again.”

Graham, 59, brings extensive military experience to the race, with more than three decades in the Air Force both active duty and as a current reservist. His current rank is colonel.

He’s been in the Senate for 12 years, and has already won an endorsement from his best friend there: 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Read bullet | Comments »

McConnell: Obama Has Done ‘Excellent Job’ Whipping His Party on Trade Bill

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised President Obama as doing good for the country as he takes on the wing of the Democratic Party blocking his fast-track free trade agreement.

Senate Democrats blocked the trade legislation last week on a procedural vote, keeping the bill from coming to the floor for debate. The vote was 52-45.

McConnell declared Sunday on ABC that the bill would be passed this week, before lawmakers leave for the Memorial Day break.

“The president has done an excellent job on this. I point out to my members who are somewhat squeamish, as you can imagine, giving the president the power of any issue, given his expansive view of his powers on so many other issues,” McConnell said. “But this is a trade promotion authority not just for President Obama, but for the next president as well. This is a six-year trade promotion authority bill that will give the next president an opportunity to enter into additional trade agreements with other countries around the world. We know America is a big winner when we lower barriers to our products abroad. It also has a foreign policy and defense component.”

“A lot of the countries in Asia are a little apprehensive, as you can imagine, about not only Chinese economic domination, but potential Chinese military domination,” he added. “And so they would like to get closer to us. And this is a great opportunity to do that, as well as to benefit America and to create more jobs here in our country.”

Many Democrats aren’t buying that argument. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he voted against cloture “because trade promotion must go hand-in-hand with worker protections and trade enforcement.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) argued that those who says free-trade agreements create jobs “have been proven wrong time after time after time.”

McConnell declared that under his leadership “the Senate is getting back to work, and what I’m doing is focusing on things upon which there’s some bipartisan agreement.”

“We passed an excellent Iran nuclear review bill overwhelmingly, Democrats and Republicans. The president is going to sign it. We have a cyber security bill coming forward that came out of the Intelligence Committee overwhelmingly. Elementary and secondary education came out of that committee overwhelmingly. We’re trying to focus on the things that we can agree on that will make progress for the country, even though we know there are many things we do not agree with the president on, and all of those will probably come to the fore on spending bills. We want to spend more on defense; they want to spend more on everything,” he continued.

McConnell said he’d be “happy” to have a bourbon with the president, but “we don’t have a personality problem; we just had differences on issues.”

“But there are some things we agree on, and I try to focus on the things that we do agree on, and where we can make progress for the country,” he said.

Read bullet | Comments »

CAIR Asks Administration to Levy Terrorism Charges Against Man Who Plotted to Destroy Islamberg

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Council on American-Islamic Relations wants terrorism charges levied against a former Tennessee congressional candidate after his arrest for allegedly planning a violent attack on a Muslim community.

Robert Doggart, 63, agreed to plead guilty to one count of interstate communication of threats after his April 10 arrest. According to federal court documents, the FBI intercepted calls detailing a plan that included burning down a school, a mosque and a cafeteria in a Muslim enclave in the Catskills.

That enclave, Islamberg, is a 70-acre compound of The Muslims of America, Inc.

“In a call intercepted on March 17 pursuant to the wiretap, Doggart told a female, ‘When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings (and) if anyone attempts to, uh, harm us in any way, our stand gunner will take them down from 350 yards away. The standoff gunner would be me,’” the complaint stated.

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.” According to feds, Doggart added, “I actually think we can get in and out of there without getting caught. There’s only four policemen in town. The fire department is a volunteer department, so it’ll take them 35 minutes to get there while that building will be burned down already. And we’ll be long gone by then.”

Doggart ran as an independent last fall for the seat of Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.). He got about 9,000 votes.

CAIR said it is calling upon the Obama administration to levy terrorism charges against Doggart.

“If a Muslim had planned to carry out such a religiously-motivated deadly attack, he would certainly have been labeled a terrorist and charged accordingly,” CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement. “We ask the Obama administration to rescind the plea agreement, which – as it stands – could see this individual free in the community.”

Read bullet | 18 Comments »

Evangelicals to Bring Christian College Students to Israel

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Christian? In college? Want to go to Israel for $500? Haaretz reports:

Conservative Jewish funders and Christian donors of Hobby Lobby fame have joined forces to launch a Christian Birthright trip, modeled after the successful program that has taken thousands of Jewish young adults to Israel for the past 16 years.

Covenant Journey, a subsidized evangelical 11-day trip to Israel that was officially announced May 8, will bring 250 students to the Holy Land by the end of the summer. It aims to bring thousands more in the upcoming years.

Just like the Taglit-Birthright Israel program it is modeled after, Covenant Journey seeks to strengthen American students’ love for Israel. But instead of having them mingle with young Jewish soldiers, participants walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and visit Christian holy sites. According to the program’s founder, the results from a recently launched pilot tour were encouraging. Participants in the trip were transformed into enthusiastic pro-Israel advocacy messengers.

…The Philos Project, a pro-Israel group with a stated mission of promoting “positive Christian engagement in the Middle East,” offered its backing early on. The group’s board includes Richard Lang, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary; Mark Tooley, president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, which is a conservative religious think tank, and Republican Jewish activist Dan Senor, who served as spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, in Iraq, during the administration of George W. Bush. The group’s main funder is Paul Singer, a Jewish hedge fund billionaire who is also one of the single largest donors to Republican politics.

Politically it’s a smart move. With anti-Semitism on the rise on college campuses and Obama stacking the decks against the Democrats when it comes to the pro-Israel vote, subsidized Israel trips are yet another great way to solidify bonds with Israel’s Christian supporters who vote in America. Targeting the millennial generation is more than a wise idea. These young adults are the ones who have been the most exposed to an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist agenda in the history of public education. What’s more, whether it is in the form of BDS, Christ at the Checkpoint, the Soros-backed Telos Group, or Palestinian Liberation Theology, the Christian community is far from immune to anti-Zionist influences.

Read bullet | Comments »

Why Are Government Shutdowns Even a Thing?

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

It’s become a perennial drama. Divided government, at either the state or federal level, reaches an impasse in legislative negotiations which triggers a shutdown of government operations. Nobody claims to want it. Yet everyone seems to shape their strategy around it, with each party hoping the other will take the brunt of the blame from frustrated constituents.

Minnesota’s regular legislative session will end tonight at midnight. The chances of Democrat governor Mark Dayton reaching agreement with House Republicans stands next to nil. From all accounts, Dayton wants it that way. As the session deadline has loomed closer, the billionaire department store heir has moved the goal posts on education funding again and again. Most recently, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Dayton will veto an education bill “if it only includes $400 million in new money for schools.”

Dayton’s banking on a hunch that Republicans will take the blame for a contentious special session and potential government shutdown. He’s “vowing that House Republicans would pay the biggest political cost” in that scenario. That’s what passes for leadership in Minnesota at the moment, triggering shutdowns on the belief political opponents will be blamed.

Why is this even a thing? You might think, with the amount of frustration that these standoffs cause for all parties concerned, there would be some proposal to reform how the budget process works so that negotiations never take place under the specter of a shutdown. If or how that would work legally, I leave to the experts. But such a proposal would quickly sort the disingenuous partisan operatives from the statesmen.

Read bullet | Comments »

EU Finally Getting Serious About Stopping ‘Migrant’ Invaders, Sort Of

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Slowly, Europe is waking up to the slow-motion invasion of its territory and its culture by an alien civilization bent on its destruction:

The European Union’s foreign and defense ministers were scheduled to convene in Brussels on Monday morning to finalize the new mission, which will include a formidable naval force to combat human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea after a spate of shipwrecks that killed hundreds of would-be migrants.

Beginning in June, the ambitious program will deploy surveillance aircraft and warships off the coast of Libya, where most of the ill-fated vessels have set sail. Ahead of the meeting, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that “the highest priority is to rescue the migrants in peril at sea,” and that she expected there to be significant progress in addressing the problem after Monday’s meeting.

It’s an unusual step for an organization that often prefers political and financial solutions, but the EU hopes to identify, intercept and possibly sabotage the traffickers’ ships in an effort to quash this particular “business model.” However, the program approval may be pointless unless the EU is successful in winning a UN resolution backing military action against the smugglers.

Ah, the U.N., you remember them: a goo-goo organization set up by the Western powers after World War II and now completely taken over by a collection of rag-tag Third World imaginary countries untied in animus against the very same West that builds them guns and flush toilets.

The plan has also met with some opposition in Germany despite the fact that German boats have already been sent to rescue the migrants and then sink the traffickers’ vessels. Some say the sunken vessels present a maritime hazard, and others, like Development Minister Gerd Müller, say that the whole plan presents “too many risks and doesn’t solve the actual problem” of migrants trying to reach Europe by any means available. In a rare moment of agreement with Christian Social Union (CSU) lawmaker Müller, the opposition Green and Left parties said a military mission was the “absolutely wrong way,” to handle the crisis, according to Green leader Simone Peter.

Ah, the Germans. Having had the bejesus beaten out of them in WWII, they’ve reverted to their pre-Bismarckian stereotype of cowardly drunkards. In war, you shoot spies, saboteurs and infiltrators; in peace, you put them on welfare.

The problem with this “solution” is that it begins to address the symptom — human smuggling — but not the disease. And we all know what the disease is.

Read bullet | Comments »

French Mayor Calls for Banning Islam, Deporting Muslims

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

And promptly gets suspended from his political party:

A French mayor has been suspended from his party after calling for the country to ban Islam. Robert Chardon, the UMP mayor of Venelles in southern France, tweeted: “The Muslim religion must be banned in France” and added that anyone practising the religion must be “immediately escorted to the border”. He also claimed Islam will be banned in France by 2027.

The tweet was part of a discussion former president Nicolas Sarkozy began with the public, using the hashtag #NSDirect. Sarkozy, who is leader of the UMP party and is likely to run for president again in 2017, immediately distanced himself from the comments, writing: “I condemn this proposal even if secularism also means fixing limits. Rights and limits go together.”

Au contraire! Rights, by definition, have no limit; to limit a right is to make it subject to the whim of the state. But this is what passes for “conservatism” in French and mainstream European politics these days.

 UMP Vice-president Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet announced the party was suspending Mr Chardon pending a procedure to remove him from the UMP. Recently the mayor has been treated for cancer of the mouth and came to his radical proposals during this period.

“During my treatment, I’ve been thinking and I came to this conclusion. Islam should be banned in France, but also a Marshall Plan should be established to allow those who want to practice the Muslim religion to do so in their home country,” he told Le Monde. Mr Chardon became mayor of the small town of Venelles in 2012 after the death of his predecessor.

He’s right of course — assuming that France wants to stay, in any meaningful sense, “French,” and not simply become the husk of a state with a passport but no civilization worth the name. But oo-la-la, those falafel stands!

Read bullet | Comments »

[WATCH] No Models in this Fashion Show, Clothes Hit the Runway Carried by Drones at Silicon Valley Fashion Week

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by The Tatler

San Francisco’s “Betabrand” passed on the traditional catwalk models for its Silicon Valley fashion show. The company has a cult-like following among the tech crowd, and what could be more appropriate than having drones run (or fly) down the catwalk with the company’s fashions?

betabrand fashion week

“Many of our ideas are coming from this community and we’re then creating clothing for them,” said founder Chris Lindland.

Writes CNN, “Betabrand’s ‘executive hoodie’ — a bastardized blend of a suit jacket and hoodie — even got a nod from Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi. She famously tweeted a suggestion (circa 2012) that the pinstripe hoodie might’ve been ‘Opening bell worthy? ;)’ just before Facebook (FB, Tech30) went public that year.”

“Some of the fashion is futuristic, and some of it is ready for the world now,” said Lindland. “Even everyday start up wear incorporates technology is some way.”

Here’s a picture of one of their fashion items called the “suity,” which is described as “the idea, as many start-up founders are probably familiar with, is to look professional but feel like you’re in pajamas. You pretty much step into it and zip it up to the collar. Voila, you’re ready to go to your investor meeting. Added perks: it’s machine washable and wrinkle-resistant.”

Betabrand Suity

 

 

Read bullet | Comments »

Al Sharpton’s Daughter Sues New York City $5 Million for Sprained Ankle

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The daughter of racialist Al Sharpton is suing the city of New York for a sprained ankle she suffered on a city street.

Dominique Sharpton is asking for $5 million from New York city taxpayers because she was “severely injured, bruised and wounded” after stumbling over her own feet at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year.

Wish I had the balls to do this.

New York Post:

Currently on vacation in Bali, the membership director for her gadfly dad’s National Action Network claims she “still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries,” according to the suit filed against the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.

“I sprained my ankle real bad lol,” she wrote in a post to Instagram after the Oct. 2 fall.

She was pictured in a walking boot in the weeks following the tumble, but by December, Dominique was good to go for NAN’s Justice for All march in Washington, DC, and for a New Year’s Eve jaunt to Miami Beach.

And despite claiming “permanent physical pain” in a breathless notice of claim, there are social-media shots of her in high heels, and another of her climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree.

The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook.

Al Sharpton has used threats of protests and boycotts against large companies as a way to generate huge corporate donations, his critics charge.

Everyone from McDonald’s, Verizon, Macy’s, General Motors, Chrysler and Pfizer have forked over cash to the elder Sharpton.

The Rev on Saturday said he didn’t know the status of his daughter’s legal claim. “She’s 29 years old. Why would she have to talk to me about that?” he said of Dominique, whose mother is Sharpton’s ex-wife, Kathy. “I just know that she was hurt and that she got a lawyer and she’s a grown woman. [Where] she goes from there, I have no idea.”

Suing the city can be a hugely profitable endeavor for citizens. While you can see where it’s justified when cops beat a confession out of someone, or frame them for a crime they didn’t commit, there are dozens of lawsuits every year against cities for accidents involving buses and trains, icy pavement, as well as even more lawsuits where the city is named as a co-defendant.

Of course, you aren’t suing the city as much as you are suing taxpayers — your friends, neighbors, and family members. If Ms. Sharpton had suffered a serious injury, it might be justifiable to sue for medical bills and lost wages.

But $5 million? It’s partly a legal maneuver, hoping the city will settle for a lot less. But it still rankles when someone makes such outrageous claims of injury when you know they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Read bullet | 9 Comments »

Ramadi Falls, More U.S. Weapons Seized: See the Gains ISIS Made in Just Two Days

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

ramadi051515

Via Islamic World News, this was Ramadi on Friday. The red represents Iraqi forces, the dark gray ISIS, and the magenta areas, including bridges, were contested.

On Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey was asked about Ramadi’s imminent fall. “The city itself is — it’s not symbolic in any way. It’s not been declared, you know, part of the caliphate, on the one hand, or central to the future of Iraq. But we want to get it back. I mean, the issue here is not — is not brick and mortar. It’s about defeating ISIL. So, as I said, this — I — you know, I would much rather that Ramadi not fall, but it won’t be the end of the campaign should it fall. We got to get it back. And that’s tragic for the people, as have — as we’ve seen along the way,” Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon.

In a Friday teleconference, Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley (USMC), chief of staff for Operation Inherent Resolve, said the coalition has conducted 420 airstrikes total in the Fallujah-Ramadi area, including 165 in support of Iraqi Security Forces in Ramadi just over the past month, “which have destroyed operational resources and facilities such as Daesh-controlled buildings, fighting positions, armored and technical vehicles.”

“After a period of relative stability in the tactical situation, Daesh executed a complex attack on Iraqi Security Forces today. These forces were able to repel most of these attacks, but some gains were made by Daesh in previously contested areas,” Weidley said. “At this point, areas of Ramadi remain contested as Daesh terrorists attempt to consolidate and defend some of their recent temporary gains in the east and south of the city. Iraqi Security Forces, as well as federal and local police, continue to control most of the key facilities, infrastructure and lines of communication in the area. Ramadi is a major population center, the provincial capital of Iraq’s largest province, and a location where Iraqi Security Forces, police and local tribes have been working together for nearly a year to defend.”

Today, two days after the commander’s statements, Ramadi, 80 miles west of Baghdad, fell.

Here’s the updated map via Islamic World News:

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 4.50.25 PM

The red area bearing the Iraqi flag, home of the 8th Army Brigade, was stormed by ISIS fighters today. Within the compound they reportedly captured more U.S. military equipment, including missile launchers and tanks.

As one ISIS supporter tweeted, they found enough arms inside the base to “take 3 more Mosuls and about 10 Ramadis.” ISIS members also tweeted rough video of celebrations in Mosul.

On Friday, Weidley also dismissed ISIS gains as “episodic temporary successes” and maintained “Daesh does remain on the defensive.”

“These typically don’t materialize into long-term gains. We’ve seen similar attacks in Ramadi over the last several months of which the ISF has been able to repel. And we see this one being similar to those, where the ISF will eventually take back the terrain that’s been lost at this point,” he said.

A tribal leader who had fled to Baghdad told the New York Times today that “men, women, kids and fighters’ bodies are scattered on the ground” in Ramadi, and “all security forces and tribal leaders have either retreated or been killed in battle. It is a big loss.”

Read bullet | 29 Comments »

Homeland Security’s ‘The Dog Ate My Homework’ Excuse for Violating Amnesty Injunction

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The Department of Homeland Security is blaming a “technology glitch” for approving thousands of work authorization permits, allowing illegal aliens the right to hold a job in the US for three years, despite an injunction issued by a federal judge that prevented them from doing so.

A “technology glitch”? Yeah, right. And the dog ate my homework.

Washington Times:

The Obama administration blamed a technology glitch for why it continued to approve new amnesty applications in February, even after a federal judge issued an injunction, telling the court late Friday that they are now begging about 2,000 illegal immigrants to tear up their three-year work authorizations.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Homeland Security agency that approved the deportation amnesty applications for Dreamers despite the judge’s order, insisted it’s corrected the immigrants’ records at headquarters, but said it’s also asking the immigrants themselves to send back their three-year documents and accept two-year papers instead.

The agency also told Judge Andrew S. Hanen that more botched cases could still be found as employees dig through tens of thousands of applications.

President Obama’s lawyers are desperately trying to head off punishment by Judge Hanen after several embarrassing missteps.

First, the lawyers misled the court as to more than 100,000 three-year amnesty applications that were approved between Nov. 20 and Feb. 16, when Judge Hanen issued his injunction. The lawyers said they didn’t intend to mislead, and they assumed the judge knew those applications were being approved.

Then the Homeland Security Department announced it had approved the 2,000 or so three-year applications even after the injunction — a clear violation of the judge’s order, and raising questions about the lawyers’ excuses for the first 100,000 botched applications.

“As the director of USCIS, I accept full responsibility,” agency chief Leon Rodriguez said in an affidavit filed with Judge Hanen. “In retrospect, I believe that USCIS should have exercised greater management oversight of the efforts to halt the production and issuance of three-year notices and [Employment Authorization Documents] once the court issued its injunction.”

Judge Hanen has halted Mr. Obama’s expanded deportation amnesty, announced in November, that would grant tentative legal status and work permits, or Employment Authorization Documents, to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. The amnesty expands an earlier 2012 program Mr. Obama announced that covers so-called Dreamers, or young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

You are not going to believe — and neither should the judge — this explanation for the administration’s violation of the injunction:

Donald Neufeld, the agency employee who is overseeing the deportation amnesty, said when the inunction came down, they stopped all amnesty applications. A few days later they began processing two-year approvals again, but didn’t catch thousands of three-year cases that were in the pipeline.

“The February 20 instruction to resume production of EADs led to the issuance of three-year EADs for the previously held EAD-pending cases, although the intention had been for only the two-year EADs to proceed to production,” Mr. Neufeld said in an affidavit. “IT personnel had implemented a system-wide pause on the production of all DACA-related EAD requests in the queue. They had not removed production requests for three-year EADs from the queue.”

Blah, blah, blah…it’s double talk. The only question I have is, are we really to believe no one was watching as these 3 year authorizations were being spit out by the thousands? Who cares if they were already in the pipeline when the process was suspended? They didn’t just magically appear in the mailboxes of illegal aliens. The lawyers are trying to convince the judge that the authorizations went from being buried in the pipeline directly to the recipient with no human intervention.

Sheesh.

The judge should throw the book at the lawyers and the administration. Too bad the rack has gone out of style.

Read bullet | Comments »

Valerie Jarrett Declares a Mother’s Place Is…with Her Kids?

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

At a Women Employed luncheon in Chicago last week, senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett declared:

Every single day in our country, moms are not at the Halloween parade, they’re not at the check-up, they’re not at the parent-teacher conference. They’re not doing what they need to be doing at home and that needs to stop.

What does the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls suggest businesses do? Offer more “paid leave and schedule flexibility.”

The question becomes, how will businesses afford to offer these perks in the wake of required minimum wage hikes and Obamacare regulations? You can’t exactly tax a business on one hand and slap them with the other. Jarrett’s White House doesn’t exactly support stay-at-home moms, either. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is only applicable to those who use daycare facilities; a spouse who sacrifices their salary to stay at home with their child winds up footing the bill. The president also called for a “second-earner tax credit” for households in which both parents work.

Bottom line: Jarrett cares about your children inasmuch as their existence forwards her White House’s “class warfare” agenda. Don’t count on Obama supporting businesses in their efforts to support working mothers any time soon.

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama to Arab World: Negotiations With Iran Are Useless

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

In the wake of this past week’s summit with Arab States at Camp David, President Obama granted his first-ever interview to an Arabic language newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, a pan-Arab daily headquartered in London that publishes in 14 locations worldwide. In his attempt to pander to his Arab audience, Obama reveals the inefficacy of negotiations with Iran:

…President Obama concurred that “the countries in the region are right to be deeply concerned about Iran’s activities, especially its support for violent proxies inside the borders of other nations.”

…He explains his reasoning for extending an invitation to the leaders of the GCC, saying it is part of an effort to “further strengthen our close partnerships, including our security cooperation, and to discuss how we can meet common challenges together. That includes working to resolve the conflicts across the Middle East that have taken so many innocent lives and caused so much suffering for the people of the region.”

…”When it comes to Iran’s future, I cannot predict Iran’s internal dynamics. Within Iran, there are leaders and groups that for decades have defined themselves in opposition to both the United States and our regional partners. I’m not counting on any nuclear deal to change that.”

In other words, what is the point of negotiating with Iran? Especially in light of the fact that America’s Arab allies in the region reject the idea of negotiations to the point of forming a United Arab Army? Given that the conclusion of the appeasement summit was a statement assuring US financial and military backing in order to defend these nations, it would appear that Obama is negotiating the next Arab (or worse, Arab-Israeli) war in the Middle East.

So much for “peace in our time”.

Read bullet | Comments »

Vox: Hillary Personally Enriched by Pay-for-Play Scheme

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

The left-wing newsite Vox is reporting that even prior to running for president and while she was seeking a Senate seat, Hillary Clinton granted favors to huge corporations, which then invited Clinton to speak — often for fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company’s interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm’s mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign.

During Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family’s foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.

In the laundry-whirl of stories about Clinton buck-raking, it might be easy for that last part to get lost in the wash. But it’s the part that matters most. The $225,500 speaking fee didn’t go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.

As this chart shows, there were several other companies that paid Clinton to speak and whose donations went to both the foundation and to Clinton personally.

hil

The entities that paid a Clinton for a speech, lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department and donated to the Clinton Foundation

That’s not the end of it:

There’s a solid set of companies and associations that had nothing to do with the foundation but lobbied State while Clinton was there and then paid for her to speak to them. Xerox, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, in addition to Corning, all lobbied Clinton’s department on trade matters and then invited her to earn an easy check.

Indeed, the long list of companies that were seeking favors suggests that Clinton hung out a shingle that all but announced her office was for sale for the right amount.

The fact that this story appeared on a reliable Democratic Party organ is interesting, but not surprising. As more and more revelations emerge about Clinton, Inc., the left is getting more antsy about the “inevitability” of Hillary. It’s also why there is a mini-boomlet for Martin O’Malley. Nervous Democrats fear that the cumulative effect of these revelations will damage Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Not too many voters can understand the ins and outs of the Clinton Foundation finances. But just about everyone can see the cynical corruption of companies paying Clinton for favors. This is exactly the sort of thing voters hate about the Clintons — and reminding them of how they operate could inflict significant damage on her.

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

Did the U.S. Just Agree to Support Arab Forces in a War Against Israel?

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

On Thursday, the White House released the rather long-winded “U.S.- Gulf Cooperation Council Camp David Joint Statement” as an appeasement to our Arab allies in the region in the wake of negotiations with Iran. Mainstream outlets reported the statement using the following language:

President Barack Obama has vowed to back Gulf allies against any “external attack,” seeking to reassure them of Washington’s commitment to their security amid Arab anxiety over US-led efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama, hosting the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for a rare summit at the Camp David presidential retreat, pledged that the US would cooperate with them to address what he called Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the region.”

While the American press largely ignored the entire event, the Washington Post did declare the summit to have an “upbeat ending,” with David Ignatius concluding:

For once, in the theater of the Middle East, the Arabs have opted to be the good guys, compared to an unyielding Israeli government. And Obama has responded with the sentiment conveyed by the Arabic expression, “Ahlan wa Sahlan.” You are welcome.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, of Israel’s Independent Media Review Analysis, begs to differ. Publishing the entire text of the statement, Lerner notes the following language [emphasis mine]:

In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners to determineurgently what action may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force, for the defense of our GCC partners.

As with Operation Decisive Storm, GCC states will consult with the United States when planning to take military action beyond GCC borders, in particular when U.S. assistance is requested for such action.

…The United States and GCC member states strongly affirmed the necessity of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a just,
lasting, comprehensive peace agreement that results in an independent and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.

Lerner then says what American and Arab media sources dare not:

 So the US doesn’t exactly commit to using force - just discussing the possibility.

There is a CALL FOR ISRAEL TO BE SPLIT IN TWO so that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are “contiguous Palestinian state”.

Also in the call to Israel and the Palestinians “urgent need for the parties to demonstrate—through policies and actions—genuine advancement of a two-state solution” we have missing any explicit call for the Palestinians to HONOR THEIR EXISTING COMMITMENTS. What commitments? Well, for starters, The thousands of rockets in the Gaza Strip are in complete and total violation of the agreements signed already! So are the Fatah armed militias in the West Bank!]

The reality of the language of this latest agreement is simple: It paves the way for a US-backed military war against Israel in order to create a Palestinian state. Whether or not that language will ever be realized will hopefully not be a story for another day.

Read bullet | 28 Comments »

[VIDEO] Watch Actor Ed Helms’ Glorious 1-Minute Takedown of Rolling Stone During UVA’s Graduation

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Actor and comedian Ed Helms spoke at the University of Virginia’s commencement this weekend and didn’t hold back in his criticism of Rolling Stone’s coverage of the now-debunked rape scandal.

“Now, I know that the UVA community has some experience being defined by outsiders,” Helms told students. “It has been said that a rolling stone gathers no moss. I would add that sometimes a Rolling Stone gathers no verifiable facts or even the tiniest morsels of journalistic integrity.”

“Rolling Stone tried to define you this year,” he added. “As a result, not only was this community thrown deep into turmoil, but the incredibly important struggle to address sexual violence on campuses nationwide is suddenly more confusing than ever and needlessly set back.”

Read bullet | 21 Comments »

Egyptian Court Sentences Morsi to Death

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Cairo’s Criminal Court has decided that former President Mohamed Morsi, along with 105 other defendants, should die for setting free thousands of Islamists after the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

The bloody Natroun jailbreak allowed Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah prisoners to escape — one of those was Morsi. After he was overthrown in 2013, a fresh investigation was launched into the prison break.

Al-Ahram reported that the verdict goes to the grand mufti for non-binding review before final sentencing on June 2.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed El-Beltagy and Khairat El-Shater, along with 14 others, also received death sentences for spying for Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Morsi was also charged in that case, but his sentence won’t be announced until June 2.

If his death sentence in the jailbreak case stands, he will be put to death by hanging. He’ll also be the first Egyptian president ever to face capital punishment.

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was sentenced to death along with Morsi.

Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the ruling shows “Egypt is turning into ancient Egypt.”

“[Abdel Fatah al-Sisi] cannot be confronted. The West does not display a stance against Sisi the coup-maker,” Erdoğan said today.

The White House, which was displeased by the 2013 overthrow, had no immediate reaction.

After Morsi received a 20-year sentence last month for torturing protesters against his rule, press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration was “concerned” by the sentence.

“Mr. Morsi, like all other defendants, must be afforded the basic legal right of due process. And the United States continues to be strongly opposed to politicized arrests and detentions,” Earnest said. “The United States will also continue to engage the Egyptian government on its political trajectory, and to raise human rights and political reform issues. There should be no doubt that these issues remain significant bilateral priorities for the United States.”

Read bullet | Comments »

White House Slams ‘Unconscionable’ Remarks by Gambian President About Killing Gays

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House said Saturday that LGBT rights around the world are a “government priority” and slammed the president of Gambia for threats made against gays in his country.

Yahya Jammeh told a crowd in the Gambian town of Farafeni last week, “If you do it I will slit your throat — if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”

“The recent unconscionable comments by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh underscore why we must continue to seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement. “We condemn his comments, and note these threats come amid an alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation in The Gambia. We are deeply concerned about credible reports of torture, suspicious disappearances – including of two American citizens – and arbitrary detention at the government’s hands.”

Late last year, the U.S. stopped trade preferences with Gambia because of its “crackdown against its LGBT community and wider human rights violations,” Rice noted, and “we are reviewing what additional actions are appropriate to respond to this worsening situation.”

“We repeat our call for the Gambian government, and all governments, to lead inclusively, repudiate intolerance, and promote respect for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms of all people,” she added.

Tomorrow is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

President Obama issued a statement today stressing “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are human rights, to celebrate the dignity of every person, and to underscore that all people deserve to live free from fear, violence, and discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.”

“We work toward this goal every day. Here at home, we are working to end bias-motivated violence, combat discrimination in the workplace, and address the specific needs of transgender persons. Overseas, I am proud of the steps that the United States has taken to prioritize the protection and promotion of LGBT rights in our diplomacy and global outreach,” the president said.

“There is much more to do, and this fight for equality will not be won in a day. But we will keep working, at home and abroad, and we will keep fighting, for however long it takes until we are all able to live free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The administration also released a fact sheet detailing what it’s done to promote LGBT rights, including reviewing passport rules so couples in states with same-sex marriage can use married names on international travel documents and diplomats marching in gay pride parades. This past February, Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Randy Berry as the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, and there are six openly gay U.S. ambassadors.

“The U.S. Government has pushed back publicly and privately against discriminatory legislation, including in Uganda and The Gambia,” the White House said. “And senior U.S. officials continue to speak in support of LGBT persons around the world, as President Obama has done in trips to Russia, Senegal and, most recently, Jamaica.”

Read bullet | 14 Comments »