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The PJ Tatler

White House Says Strike Killed al-Qaeda’s Favorite American Twit

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

In addition to the announcement that an American contractor and Italian aid worker held by al-Qaeda were killed in a January drone strike, President Obama announced that officials think two other Americans were killed as they fought for al-Qaeda.

One wasn’t killed in the same strikes as those that killed Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, but in “recent” counterterrorism operations, the White House said.

“We have concluded that Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qaeda leader, was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto. We have also concluded that Adam Gadahn, an American who became a prominent member of al-Qaeda, was killed in January, likely in a separate U.S. Government counterterrorism operation,” said press secretary Josh Earnest, subsequently admitting, like the deaths of the hostages, the terrorists’ deaths were an accident: “While both Farouq and Gadahn were al-Qaeda members, neither was specifically targeted, and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations.”

Rumors of the death of Gadahn, a convert who ran off to Pakistan before 9/11 and was the English-language mouthpiece for al-Qaeda, have swirled for years.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said “Gadahn and Farouq, two American citizens who joined al-Qaeda, got what they deserved.”

“Gadahn served as a chief spokesman for al-Qaeda while Farouq was a top-level operative in the organization,” Graham said.

“Based upon their direct and material support for al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, both men were subject to being killed or captured under the Law of War. Any American citizen who joins al-Qaeda or affiliated terrorist groups are subject to being killed under the Law of War. A decision to join groups like al-Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organizations is made at one’s own peril.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) noted that Gadahn was “raised in California with every possible opportunity and freedom.”

“And in the end, he spent years trying to destroy our freedoms and encouraging others with hate-filled speech after betraying our country,” Royce said.

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‘Outraged’ Dem Congressman Lashes Out at ‘Sobering Failure’ in Weinstein Death

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democratic congressman lashed out at the Obama administration for its “sobering national security and government failure” in the wake of contractor Warren Weinstein’s death.

President Obama emerged in the White House briefing room today to admit that a January drone strike killed Weinstein, kidnapped in Pakistan in 2011, and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto.

Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) wasn’t yet in office when Weinstein was kidnapped while working for Arlington contractor J.E. Austin Associates, but picked up the case and got to know the Weinstein family well.

A year ago, Delaney told PJM that the understandable feeling of helplessness over al-Qaeda’s only American hostage was coupled with “thinking about how to put pressure on the various resources and assets we have as a nation” and trying to ensure that the contractor remains a “top priority.”

In a statement today, Delaney said, “I wish I would have had an opportunity to meet Warren.”

“People in his life all say Warren was a warm friend to people around the world, a man who served our country as a member of the Peace Corps and at USAID. Warren represented the very best of our country; he was a gentle and loving man who dedicated his career to building a better world. We need more Warren Weinsteins in the world,” he said.

At the same time, Delaney is “saddened, disappointed and outraged that our government was not able to bring Warren home.”

“Today’s news is a personal tragedy for Warren’s family but also a sobering national security and government failure. As Warren’s representative, I feel like his country failed him in his greatest time of need,” the congressman said. “I’m determined to ensure that Warren’s story is not forgotten, that we get to the bottom of why Warren wasn’t found and how he was killed, and that we drive tangible improvements to our hostage response process from an intelligence and resources coordination perspective.”

“I have been working on legislation to reform, streamline and upgrade our ability to respond to hostage taking, which I plan to introduce soon, in the hope that more families don’t suffer the same fate. It is essential that the review of this tragic accident be a true investigation that focuses on the events surrounding Warren’s death and the intelligence efforts that were deployed to locate him. Our national security and intelligence response to hostages must improve and improve quickly.”

Delaney suggested on CNN that there should be one person, akin to a “hostage czar,” who can bring together all the departments of government when Americans are seized instead of the scattered response that happens now.

“This doesn’t end with Warren,” Delaney said, stressing there are “other hostages over there too” and efforts must be “redoubled” to prioritize their safe return.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said the “manner in which Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto were killed makes this situation all the more difficult to process.”

“The United States and our allies must work to ensure that the men and women who dedicate their lives to international development are properly safeguarded against threats….I will do all in my power to ensure that Warren Weinstein, his family, and fellow aid workers see justice for his needless suffering at the hands of al-Qaeda,” he said.

Cardin added that he’d received a preliminary briefing from CIA Director John Brennan and “requested a full account of the events that led to Dr. Weinstein’s and Mr. Lo Porto’s deaths.”

Weinstein’s other home-state senator, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), says she has “many questions about how this tragedy occurred, and I urge a comprehensive U.S. Government review of the case as soon as possible.”

Elaine Weinstein thanked the lawmakers for helping with her husband’s case. “Unfortunately, the assistance we received from other elements of the U.S. Government was inconsistent and disappointing over the course of three and a half years. We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. Government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” she said in a statement.

“I am disappointed in the government and military in Pakistan. Warren’s safe return should have been a priority for them based on his contributions to their country, but they failed to take action earlier in his captivity when opportunity presented itself, instead treating Warren’s captivity as more of an annoyance than a priority. I hope the nature of our future relationship with Pakistan is reflective of how they prioritize situations such as these.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said everyone “cannot lose sight of who is truly to blame for the deaths of Weinsten and Lo Porto — the al-Qaeda terrorists who kidnapped them.”

“Al-Qaeda intentionally puts hostages and civilians in harm’s way in hopes of pressuring us to curtail our efforts,” Thornberry said. “We cannot let our regret over this tragic incident dampen our resolve to end the terrorist threat to all Americans.”

“I firmly believe the dedicated Americans engaged in those efforts take very seriously the need to prevent collateral damage and limit the risk to innocent people, and they, too, share in the grief being felt by the Weinstein and Lo Porto families,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

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Ezra Levant Gets a Makeover — Texas Style

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

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Since he literally wrote the book on fracking and “ethical oil,” TheRebel.media‘s Ezra Levant gets invited to talk about the energy industry all over North America.

Not surprisingly, the people of Texas are especially eager to hear what this boy from Alberta (that is, the Texas of Canada) has to say, since he’s an expert on debunking environmentalist talking points about the evils of oil and gas extraction.

Levant’s first stop in Fort Worth this week was to Ryon’s Western Wear, where they’ve been outfitting cowboys since 1919.

What do you think, Texas readers and viewers?

Is this Canadian city boy missing anything in terms of “Lone Star” fashion and accessories?

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Obama Takes Cheap Shot at FL Gov. Rick Scott During Sparsely Attended Everglades Speech

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Debra Heine

President Barack Obama could not resist taking a cheap shot at Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) while he was visiting the governor’s state Wednesday afternoon.

The thinly veiled insult came during the president’s speech at the Florida Everglades, which only a small handful of Floridians attended.

The speech was televised by Al Jazeera America but none of the major cable news networks, according to Mediaite.

As the president made his case for taking action on climate change, he scoffed at one denier in particular who supposedly refuses to even allow the words “climate change” to be said in his state. A key component of the left’s strategy to impose their policies on the populace is to mock and ridicule those who don’t go along with the program. The idea is to force everyone into accepting their hard- left agenda through peer pressure. So it was important for Obama to isolate and  mock a powerful governor who doesn’t buy their hysterical claims about global warming. It’s Alinsky 101:

Describing climate change as a “bipartisan” issue, Obama said that people all over the country know “simply refusing to say the words ‘climate change’ doesn’t mean that climate change isn’t happening,” laughing as he made the remarks and drawing applause. “If you’ve got a coming storm, you don’t stick your head in the sand, you prepare for the storm.”

“Protecting the one planet we’ve got is what we have to do for the next generation,” Obama continued, saying he wants his grandchildren — “a long time from now” — to enjoy the Everglades just like those who lived before them.

Obama’s  audience understood that the reference was meant for Governor Scott, who has allegedly banned the words “climate change” from being used by state workers in any official correspondence — which is kinda funny, if true.  (Those of us who don’t live in Florida, and/or don’t watch MSNBC, had to Google that stunning Chris Hayes scoop because it hasn’t exactly gone viral.)

Gov. Scott, who is one of many Republicans to remind the world he’s “not a scientist,” has denied that there is any written policy banning the words “climate change,” but others who worked in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said that is was expressed verbally.

Meanwhile, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham had the best come-back line for the trash-talking president:

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How Much More Can Hillary! Take? The New York Times Strikes Another Blow at the Dowager Empress

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

As I’ve been saying for months now, she’s toast:

The headline in Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when the newspaper served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.” The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one. At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

A criminal organization masquerading as a political party; even the Daily Beast has had it with the Clintons. It’s over.

Get your bets down now: Hillary!s last day as a presidential candidate. Bonus: Hillary!s first day as a federal inmate.

 

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Obamacare: the Issue the GOP Needs to Be Ready for in 2016

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

I’m not a big David Frum fan, but he’s right about this one:

“Will you take away my health insurance?” That question does not get asked often at Republican presidential forums. Yet it will be the most decisive question in the 2016 presidential election.

Since the last presidential election, the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act have taken effect. Millions of people are now enrolled in Medicaid, or are receiving health insurance subsidies through state exchanges, who were not enrolled or subsidized in November of 2012. Obamacare skeptics may disparage these benefits as inefficient, counter-productive, and excessively costly. Fine. Those who receive them won’t cherish them any less. The mortgage-interest deduction is not exactly a model of economic rationality. Try taking it away. Go ahead. Try.

It doesn’t matter than the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act is a complete sham, a welfare program funded by a tax on the middle class that nobody needed and nobody asked for. What matters is that the Dependency Brigades vote every four years to keep the gravy flowing:

Exact numbers of Obamacare beneficiaries are difficult to compute. However, healthcare economists estimate 11.2 million added to the Medicaid program since open enrollment under ACA began, and 10 million receiving subsidies through exchanges. And, since 2010, an estimated 5.7 million young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 gained coverage, mostly through their parents’ plans. If the ACA were repealed without a replacement, one would expect most or all of these people to lose their coverage.

“Coverage” they likely didn’t have before. But these days, “entitlements” are apparently engraved in stone, unrepealable from the moment of issue from the Great White Father in Washington. That’s why the upcoming Supreme Court decision in the Burwell case is so important:

Unless the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies in the federal exchange in the pending case of King v. Burwell, ACA insurance subsidies are paid everywhere in the country. As the next map shows, eligibility for subsidy is concentrated in the red states. Not all of those eligible claim the subsidy. Many of those who do receive subsidies might be expected to vote Democratic in 2016 even if healthcare were not an issue. But some Republican-leaning voters will feel the hit—and especially in a tightly balanced state like Florida, that hit could have real consequences.

The Court would be doing everybody a favor by torpedoing the “subsidies,” so that the nation might be able to soberly re-assess the nasty present the Democrats and Obama foisted on the country during the administration’s early days. Otherwise, we will have to live with this lie forever.

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Cornered, Clinton Crime Family to Prepare New Tax Returns for Family ‘Charities’

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The media is begging Hillary to get out before they have to really hurt her and their beloved Bubba. Reuters has the scoop:

Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money.

What a difference is makes who’s the head of the crime syndicate.

For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period. Those governments were identified on the foundation’s annually updated donor list, along with broad indications of how much each had cumulatively given since they began donating.

If you’re a “progressive,” it’s always an “oversight,” a “misstatement” or an “error.” But we all know what it really is, and who these people really are. See also: “For Clintons, speech income shows how their wealth is intertwined with charity.”

 

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Dog Bites Man: Lefty Senator Just Makes Stuff Up. Man Bites Dog: WaPo Busts Him

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The Leftoid in question is Ohio’s Sherrod Brown; the Post writer is Glenn Kessler:

“President Bush, who I don`t quote that much — the first President Bush said a billion dollars in trade surplus or deficit turns into 13,000 jobs. So, if you have a billion dollar trade deficit, it means 13,000 lost jobs. Multiply that times 5 and 600, and you get a huge number of lost jobs.” –Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), interview on MSNBC, April 21, 2015

President Obama’s request for enhanced congressional authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal for the Pacific Rim, has divided Democrats in Congress. Appearing on MSNBC, Sen. Sherrod Brown argued the case against the deal by quoting a Republican, former President George H. W. Bush, as saying that a $1 billion trade deficit would mean 13,000 lost jobs.

Given that Bush was an avid promoter of free-trade deals, that did not sound like anything that George H.W. Bush would say. So we decided to investigate.

The answer, of course, is that Brown is full of it.

In our research, we found no evidence that Bush had ever made this remark. In fact, we found that there was only one person who ever quoted Bush as saying this—and that was Sherrod Brown.

This is an excellent example of how Washington politicians live in their own invented reality, with a self-perpetuating feedback loop. Even if Brown had quoted Bush accurately on exports, rather than trade surpluses, the numbers would have been woefully out of date. Given that Bush was president about a quarter-century ago, you’d think Brown would have checked to see if the ratio of jobs to exports had remained the same. You can’t “do the math” with ancient information.

Brown earns Four Pinocchios.

Remember: with the Left, every single word out of their mouths is a lie, and that includes “and” and “the.” And we have nearly two more years of this…

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With Executive ‘Orders,’ Emperor Hussein Puts Pedal to Metal

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Please, America, never, ever, ever vote for a presidential candidate again solely because of the color of his skin, or the fact that the leftist media tells you it’s “time” for one of their in-groups to occupy the White House:

“Since the election, the president has had a pretty explicit strategy,” said Brian Deese, a senior Obama adviser. “And it has consisted of trying to stay on offense, trying to push where he can to move the agenda through executive action. You’re going to keep seeing the president in that posture going forward.”

“Executive action” — a phrase Obama never uttered publicly in the first two and a half years of his presidency — has now become so routine that new announcements come several times a week. The actions can take many forms, from formal executive orders and presidential memoranda to more routine reports, meetings and internal bureaucratic changes. That makes any definitive count of lower-level executive actions difficult.

But by one measure, such policy rollouts are actually increasing in pace. The White House often announces executive actions with a fact sheet from the press office, and those spiked last year during what Obama called the “Year of Action.” The White House issued 228 fact sheets in 2014, more than the first three years of his presidency combined.This year, the White House has already issued three more fact sheets than last year at the same time.

The Obama strategy on executive actions closely parallels that of the Clinton White House. In Bill Clinton’s last two years in office, chief of staff John Podesta launched what would become known as “Project Podesta.” In an effort to flex presidential authority, Podesta canvassed executive agencies for actions Clinton could take without going to Congress.

Remember: like all Leftists, Obama won’t stop until he’s stopped. There is no appeasing them, no waiting them out, no appeal to the lesser devils of their natures. There is only victory or defeat. Congress and the courts must act immediately.

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Remember That Stupid (Racist, Misogynist, Threatening) Thing You Tweeted Five Years Ago?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

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A former aide to Jeb Bush who was fired after posting offensive tweets has created Clear, an app that will clean up social media posts that could result in negative consequences at work, with potential employers, or with your new romantic interest.

Ethan Czahor, Bush’s former chief technology officer, was fired in February after some offensive tweets he posted were uncovered. In one tweet Czahor called female students “sluts.” In another he said, “When I burp in the gym I feel like it’s my way of saying, ‘sorry guys, but I’m not gay.’” Czahor said he launched “Clear“ to ensure what happened to him won’t happen to others.

“Clear” searches for keywords like “gay,” “black,” or swear words in your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram updates that might indicate offensive content. Posts that include those words are flagged and you’re given the option to keep or delete them.

Czahor told Time magazine: “Why wasn’t I smart enough to take care of this before it happens?”

download

 

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Hillary Camp Blasts Timing of Benghazi Report as Proof Probe ‘Solely’ a 2016 Game

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign charged that the delay of the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s report into the 2012 terrorist attack is proof that the probe is purely politicized.

Bloomberg first reported that the release of the findings of Chairman Trey Gowdy’s (R-S.C.) committee would be pushed into campaign season, but Republicans contest that’s because of uncooperative figures in the investigation.

Asked today if that “reeked” of politics, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Gowdy is doing “fine work” and “they’ve got a lot more work to do.”

“They could clean this up a whole lot quicker if the administration and Secretary — former Secretary Clinton were in a position to actually cooperate with the committee and turn over the kind of information that we’ve been seeking for some time. But the administration has made it virtually impossible to get to the facts surrounding Benghazi,” Boehner told reporters. “And so when we have the facts, we’ll have a report.”

Boehner said he sees Gowdy “from time to time to get a little update on how they’re doing. That’s close enough.”

But in a statement moments ago, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta charged that “sadly, Republicans are determined to continue to exploit this tragedy in an effort to try and hurt her campaign.”

“The Gowdy Committee’s admission today that it will not finish its investigation until 2016 is the most telling evidence yet that their investigation is solely about playing politics in the 2016 presidential campaign. This action is the latest example in a broad concerted effort by Republicans and their allies to launch false attacks against Hillary Clinton’s record and deep experience on foreign affairs and national security,” Podesta said.

“There have already been 21 congressional hearings, five independent or bipartisan reports, and millions of tax dollars spent in the process of investigating this three year old tragedy. This investigation would now be longer than the investigations of Iran-Contra, the Kennedy Assassination, Watergate and 9/11,” he added.

“Hillary Clinton has already spent five hours testifying at two congressional committee hearings but, as she’s been saying since last year, she’s happy to do it again. Unfortunately, Republicans insist her testimony is done behind closed doors, where the American public is unable to see their true, politically motivated intentions.”

Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which came during the final weeks of the last presidential campaign. Much of the recent committee activity has been around Clinton’s missing emails.

A month ago, Gowdy requested that Clinton turn over to a neutral third party for analysis the home server she used for work and personal emails.

“As I have said many times, we have no interest in Secretary Clinton’s personal emails, but the American people have a clear right to the public records from her time as secretary of State,” Gowdy said then. He had suggested perhaps a retired judge or an archivist to comb through the server that Clinton said her staff sorted into emails that should be turned over to the State Department and those which should be deleted.

Today, Gowdy said he received a response from Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall.

“I appreciate Mr. Kendall’s timely response to our letter but respectfully disagree with his assertion former Secretary Clinton has answered all questions surrounding the unusual email arrangement she had with herself,” Gowdy said in a statement. “The press conference held by former Secretary Clinton and the subsequent efforts at clarifying her remarks served to create more questions than answers. I also would note that if the Committee had called former Secretary Clinton when Democrats and her attorney first encouraged us to, the committee would not have had possession of the 300 emails we now have or known about her exclusive use of a personal server and email account to conduct official business.”

Gowdy said the committee “is now in possession of thousands of pages of documents from the [Accountability Review Board] review no other committee has had access to and the committee expects more ARB documents to be produced by the Department of State in the days ahead.”

“These documents, as well as other documents never before produced to any committee of Congress and transcribed interviews with witnesses never before questioned by any committee of Congress, will aid the committee as it prepares to invite Secretary Clinton to appear,” he added.

“Beyond that, the committee has Mr. Kendall’s letter under advisement and will issue a response tomorrow setting out a reasonable path forward with respect to Secretary Clinton’s appearances to discuss both Benghazi as well as congressional efforts to ensure the public record is complete with respect to her tenure as Secretary of State.”

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Here Are Some Doomsday Predictions from the First Earth Day that Didn’t Quite Pan Out

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Mark Perry at AEI has dug up some doomsday predictions from the very first Earth Day in 1970 that never quite lived up to their billing.

Here are a few of my favorites (remember, this is from April, 1970):

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in his 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

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‘Critical Role’ of Video ‘Undeniable’: Scott Asks for Hearing on Police Body Cameras

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

As protests unfolded in Baltimore after a young man suffered a fatal injury in police custody, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is requesting a hearing on the use of police body cameras.

Freddie Gray, 25, died Sunday, a week after his arrest. He reportedly fled on foot after making eye contact with officers who were patrolling the high-crime neighborhood, and was taken to a police van after being apprehended by officers. That part of the arrest was captured on video, but officials say no video was rolling inside the police wagon. An hour later, Gray was in a coma.

An autopsy found that Gray’s spinal cord had been severed, but there were no outward signs of injuries. Court documents say Gray was carrying a knife, but “was arrested without force or incident.”

The Justice Department is probing the case for potential civil rights violations, and the mayor of Baltimore has questioned whether there was probable cause for the officers to go after Gray.

Scott called for widespread use of police body cameras after the shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina by a police officer during a foot pursuit.

In a letter today to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Scott noticed that they recently discussed “the need for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement.”

“The critical role that video of the tragic and unnecessary April 4 shooting of Walter Scott, a resident of my hometown of North Charleston, SC, has played in the subsequent investigation is undeniable,” Scott wrote.

“I believe that the deployment of body-worn cameras will provide increased protections for both law enforcement officers and those they serve. At least one study shows that public complaints against officers wearing body cameras fell by almost 90% and that officers’ use of force decreased by 60%. At a minimum, we owe it to our communities and law enforcement officers to consider this study and other evidence to explore the wisdom of widespread deployment of body-worn cameras. The vast majority of our nation’s police officers are honest, hardworking professionals, and these cameras can positively impact their mission to protect and serve,” the senator continued.

“I understand that there are multiple and complex questions surrounding the use of body cameras, including privacy concerns, data retention and disclosure issues, and the effects of recording on community relationships. It is essential that we explore these and other concerns as we foster a national discussion on body-worn cameras at a public hearing in Congress.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who for decades lived just minutes from the scene of Gray’s arrest, told CNN that he believes the police report that says no force was used is “ridiculous.”

“It’s insulting to the intelligence of anybody who hears it… to neighbors and people who may have seen it, I say you don’t have the right to remain silent. You must come forward and tell what happened,” Cummings stressed. “I’m saying to the police somebody knows what happened here. They do not have the right to remain silent. We’ve got to restore trust in this city between the police and the community. We’ve got to do even more than that. We’ve got to have total transparency.”

Six officers have been suspended with pay in the Gray investigation.

“These police officers are now in a defensive mode. I’m sure by now they all have lawyers. They know that it’s quite possible that they may be charged criminally. So it’s hard to get answers from them,” added Cummings, who practiced criminal law for many years. “There are probably system-wide problems that have been going on for many years and hopefully with DOJ involved, we’ll be able to find out what they are and do a Ferguson type study to come up with exactly how the policemen operated and what the systemic problems have been and are and try to address them.”

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A Win for the First Amendment: Judge Rules in Favor of ‘Killing Jews’ Bus Ads

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Here you go New York City — you asked for it:

New Yorkers are used to aggressive advertising. Banners for breast implants. Billboards for condoms. But a federal judge’s ruling has opened the door for far more controversial posters on buses and subways across the city. “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” reads one such ad next to the image of a young man in a checkered headscarf. “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?”

The poster is at the center of heated legal debate over public safety and free speech. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl ruled that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) cannot stop the controversial ad from running on scores of subway cars and buses. The MTA has argued that the ad could incite violence against Jews, but Koeltl rejected that idea.

MTA officials “underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements,” he ruled. “Moreover, there is no evidence that seeing one of these advertisements on the back of a bus would be sufficient to trigger a violent reaction. Therefore, these ads — offensive as they may be — are still entitled to First Amendment protection.”

Here’s the twist: the ads are the work not of Muslim faithful, but of Pamela Geller, a fearless Jewish anti-Muslim activist and proprietor of the new-look Atlas Shrugs website:

Making the case all the stranger is that the posters are not the work of an Islamist group, but rather a pro-Israel organization. “This is a triumph for liberty and free speech,” tweeted Pamela Geller, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), the group that purchased the ads and sued the MTA to run them. “#freedom #victory #shariafail.”

These posters have put AFDI on a crash course with both the MTA and Muslim advocacy groups. In 2011, the MTA refused to run the “savage” ad because it was demeaning to Muslims and Palestinians. AFDI sued, and a federal judge later ruled that MTA’s non-demeaning standard violated the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. The “savage” ads soon went up all over New York City.

AFDI’s ads have also drawn objections from Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil liberties group that promotes the rights of Muslims and better relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, launched its own public relations campaign to combat AFDI. In 2012 and 2013, CAIR ran posters in several U.S. cities promoting peaceful versions of Islam. “‘#MyJihad is to build friendships across the aisle.’ What’s yours?” But the ads never ran in New York due to a disagreement between CAIR and MTA.

Anything that frosts CAIR, a real fifth column viper in the American breast, is okay by me.

After AFDI’s victory, Geller posed for photos outside the federal courthouse while holding the “Killing Jews” advertisement. “With our NY win, our ads will make their debut on New York buses in the coming weeks,” AFDI’s Web site promises above a “donate” button. “We want to run 100. Help us make that happen.”

But even if the ads don’t incite violence in New York City, they could overseas. Earlier this month, Egypt’s top religious authority called AFDI’s posters “racist” and issued a fatwa, or official edict, against them. “This hazardous campaign will leave the gate of confrontation and clashes wide open instead of exerting efforts towards peaceful coexistence and harmony,” according to the edict.

To which I say: so what? The American First Amendment is not dependent on whether a bunch of savages takes umbrage at our concept of free speech. “Peaceful coxistence”? Please. Fourteen years after 9/11, how’s that “coexistence” thing working out? They plotted to attack Catholic churchgoers in Paris on Sunday.

 

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GOP Wing of Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party Wants to Continue Post-9/11 Police State

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Led by Mitch McConnell, of course:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill Tuesday night to extend through 2020 a controversial surveillance authority under the Patriot Act.

The move comes as a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers is preparing legislation to scale back the government’s spying powers under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It puts McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the bill’s co-sponsor, squarely on the side of advocates of the National Security Agency’s continued ability to collect millions of Americans’ phone records each day in the hunt for clues of terrorist activity.

That NSA program was revealed publicly almost two years ago by a former agency contractor, Edward Snowden. The disclosure touched off a global debate over the proper scope of surveillance by U.S. spy agencies and led President Obama to call for an end to the NSA’s collection of the records.

No point atomizing the heart of the Muslim world, thus taking the fight out of them, and cutting off immigration from a culturally alien and hostile world when you can treat Americans like suspects, is there?

In filing the bill, McConnell and Burr invoked a Senate rule that enabled them to bypass the traditional committee vetting process and take the bill straight to the floor. No date has been set for such consideration. The move provoked a swift response from Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who has been working with other panel members on legislation to end the government’s mass collection of phone and other records for national security purposes.

“Despite overwhelming consensus that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act must end, Senate Republican leaders are proposing to extend that authority without change,” he said in a statement Tuesday night. “This tone deaf attempt to pave the way for five and a half more years of unchecked surveillance will not succeed. I will oppose any reauthorization of Section 215 that does not contain meaningful reforms.”

This is where we are after the smashing conservative victory of Nov. 2014: rooting for the Democrats to do the right thing. Suckers!

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No, Newt Gingrich, We Should Not Double the NIH Budget

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

Anyone who places themselves on the right side of the political spectrum has no business advocating for the blind expansion of a government agency. But that’s exactly what former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich did in an op-ed for the New York Times on April 22, 2015, and he calls himself a conservative while doing it.

Titled “Double the NIH Budget,” Gingrich’s piece glorifies the bipartisan era of NIH expansion in 1994, when both Democrats and Republicans doubled the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget. The result: a welfare program for government workers along with the researchers and university system that pays for decade-long “science” involving macabre animal experimentation yielding little in useful results, all at taxpayer expense.

No thank you, sir.

This opinion piece is quite a switch from just last November – six months ago — when Gingrich posted on his Facebook page: “Perhaps the Left should take a look at how the #NIH is spending their current budget—funding projects like rabbit massages—before making another claim that budget cuts have prevented NIH scientists from discovering a cure for #Ebola”

Perhaps you should too. What changed, Mr. Speaker?

gingrichNIHtesting

Now, let’s get back to the current position Mr. Gingrich is advocating.

A key argument Gingrich makes is that the cost of healthcare for the government has skyrocketed and so, consequently, should the cost to the taxpayers to find cures for the diseases draining the government bank account. But the idea that government needs to pick up the tab for healthcare simply goes unchallenged here. What kind of conservative idea champions expanding the responsibility of a government-operated healthcare system?

The government is a bloated, monstrous entity that wastes millions if not billions of taxpayer dollars each year. The NIH is certainly no exception and it should not be allocated a single cent more until a full external audit of its activities is completed.

Many people believe that the NIH is doing the noble work of finding cures for AIDS, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Maybe in some cases, but certainly not in all. At least $12B (47 cents on the dollar) is spent a year on perpetual, hideous animal experiments that yield virtually no useful results for the taxpayers subsidizing them. We are underwriting “science for its own sake.”

Don’t believe me about the success of such endeavors? The government’s own FDA reports that 92% of the animal-based drug experiments on animals don’t work in humans.

The example Gingrich gives is AIDS research. “The N.I.H. recently discovered a vaccine that appears to cure an AIDS-like virus in monkeys,” he writes.

Appears? Aids-Like?

Here’s how many times the NIH has said it is approaching some kind of breakthrough on AIDS (2013, 2000, 1999, 1994) — and that’s just a cursory search.  We’ve been experimenting on animals while doing AIDS research since the ‘80s. Where is our AIDS vaccine? All we have is a lot of dead monkeys.

googleaidsvax

Here are some of the ways the NIH is currently spending the money it gets from taxpayers in the name of science:

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Rep. Royce: ‘Not Confident’ if Iran is Caught Cheating that Sanctions will ‘Snap Back’

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, held a hearing today on the difficulties in verifying the proposed Iran nuclear deal.

In his opening statement, Royce nailed the reasons why it’s folly to enter into an agreement without the world community fully prepared to punish Iran if it cheats.

Now, Iran’s long history of clandestine activity and intransigence prevents the U.S. from holding any trust whatsoever in the clerics who run Iran. Indeed, deception has been a cornerstone of their nuclear program since its inception. So when it comes to negotiating and inspections regime over the next two months, the U.S. must gain ground, not retreat, keep a key piece of verification which includes Iran coming clean on its past bomb work. We recall that the IAEA asked those 12 questions about their testing. They got an answer back of half of the first question and none of the others were were responded to.

That still has not happened despite long-overdue commitments on the part of Iran to international inspectors. The IAEA remains concerned about about signs of Iran’s military related activities, including designing a nuclear payload for a missile, a new killer weapon, an ICBM missile. Iran hasn’t even begun to address these concerns and last fall 350 members wrote to the secretary of state expressing deep concerns about this lack of cooperation. Yet the framework agreement is vague on this critical verification step. Intrusive inspections are even more critical when you consider a recent Department of Defense study. It points out that the U.S. capabilities to locate undeclared nuclear facilities or convert nuclear programs are either —in the words of the Department of Defense study —inadequate or more often do not exist.

And critically, that study also reminds us that verification is principally the political judgment in the words of the study to which monitoring and other means contribute. The IAEA and its inspectors will play an essential role in monitoring Iran but it will ultimately be up to the administration and its negotiating partners, which includes Russia and China, likely acting through the UN Security Council or another international body to decide whether Iran is complying with its commitments, and this is another weak link.

If Iran is caught cheating, will this or the next administration be prepared to call them out? I’m not confident. Why? Because during the interim negotiations when Iran was caught testing advanced supersonic centrifuge, it faced no consequences. As one witness will testify, international inspectors can be no tougher than the countries that back them. The history of arms control inspections is that they are easy for political leaders to tout as a solution, but are difficult to fully implement. What looks good on the chalkboard often fails in the real world. (Emphasis mine)

Couple that with the propensity of the IAEA to give the subjects of their inspections the benefit of the doubt when it comes to violations and you can immediately see the problem. Iran’s cheating must be so clear-cut, so obvious that no leader — including and especially President Obama — can spin their way out of re-imposing sanctions.

But, in the “real world” as Royce points out, things are rarely black and white. Even if the IAEA is able to confirm Iranian cheating — by no means a certainty given statements from Tehran regarding access to all their nuclear sites — the government will no doubt throw up a lot of smoke, trying their best to give western leaders the opportunity to ignore the transgressions and continue their work toward a bomb.

So in this case, it’s not only a question of trusting the Iranians. It’s also a matter of trusting western leaders to take a firm stand against Iranian cheating and reimpose sanctions if necessary. At this point, and with President Obama as desperate for a deal as he apparently is, trust is a commodity in short supply.

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Steve King Legislation Aims to Block Federal Courts from Hearing Any Marriage Cases

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a bill today to block federal courts from hearing cases on same-sex marriage in an effort to “stop the court from destroying traditional marriage and preserve the votes of millions of voters in states that have passed bans on same-sex marriage.”

King’s Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act amends U.S. Code to say “no court created by an Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage, section 1738C, or this section.”

“No Federal funds may be used for any litigation in, or the enforcement of any order or judgment by, any court created by an Act of Congress, on any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage, section 1738C, or this section,” the bill continues.

King said in a statement that “for too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution.”

“Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control, and abortion. These unenumerated, so-called constitutionally protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers,” the congressman said.

“I urge the House to bring this bill to the Floor.”

Earlier this month, Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jim Lankford (R-Okla.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) along with 51 House members filed an amicus brief on four same-sex marriage state bans the Supreme Court is set to weigh with arguments on April 28.

“As Members of Congress, amici have a compelling interest in defending the principles of federalism and the separation of powers implicated in these cases. Federalism and the separation of powers provide critical structural guarantees of the liberty of all American citizens, including amici’s constituents. Amici thus have an interest in defending the division of authority between the federal government and the States, and in preserving the separation of powers between this Court and the political branches,” the brief states.

“Amici believe that a judgment of this Court imposing a judicially mandated revision of state laws defining marriage would circumvent the proper resolution of these profound and divisive issues through state democratic processes. Such a decision could damage the rights of a self-governing people. It would set an unwarranted precedent, with effects far beyond this case, of federal encroachment into a traditional area of state concern, and of judicial pre-emption of an area that the Constitution allots to democratic process.”

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FORTY-THREE U.S. States Recognize Armenian Genocide … But Obama Won’t

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by David Steinberg

The Los Angeles Times reported this morning, in an article titled “Armenian Hopes Crushed as Obama Decides Not To Use the Word ‘Genocide’“, that Obama was in fact breaking a campaign pledge with his decision.

His 2008 promise could not have left less wiggle room:

The decision, revealed Tuesday in a meeting with Armenian American groups, backs down from a previous Obama pledge.

As president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide,” Obama said while running for president in 2008.

Obama’s decision is a continuation of federal policy, though no prior U.S. president had made a specific promise of recognition.

The federal refusal to recognize is certainly not in step with the states. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, 43 U.S. states, by “legislation or proclamation,” have recognized the 1915 genocide since New York and New Jersey first did in 1975:

Untitled

More on Obama’s campaign promise, from the LA Times article:

Obama, as a senator and a candidate for president, supported using the term to describe the killings and criticized the George W. Bush administration for not doing so.

“Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence,” Obama said in 2008. “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.”

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Defense Secretary: ‘Stamp Out’ Dirty Jokes to Fight Sexual Assault in Ranks

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Georgetown University students today that dirty jokes are among the military behaviors that need to be corrected to stop sexual assault in the ranks.

“Our military is based on an ethos of honor, and this is dishonorable,” Carter said of the military’s sexual assault problem. “And second, we’re based on trust. We have to have trust. You have to trust in the soldier in the foxhole next to you. You have to trust in the sailor you’re underway with. You have to trust in the airmen on your wing. And you have to trust in the Marine on your flank. And these violations and these assaults are not just violations of the law, they are violations of that trust, which is essential to our mission.”

“Next, we, of course, have to put people in situations that are unlike any other. You serve all serve in a rigid chain of command, and for good reasons. You’ll likely be separated from your families for extended periods of time. And you’ll probably, at some point, live and work in austere conditions. Those types of environments are essential. But unfortunately, they present opportunities for predators to put our people at risk and compromise our missions and our values. And so, our institution has a particular reason to combat sexual assault.”

Carter cited the Pentagon’s 2014 estimates: at least 18,900 service members, including 10,400 men and 8,500 women, experienced “unwanted sexual contact.”

“Too few of them, particularly men, reported these incidents as assaults,” he said, adding that “prevention requires us not just to stop assaults, but also to stamp out permissive behaviors like tolerance for degrading language, inappropriate behavior, and sexual harassment that too often contribute to and lead to sexual assaults.”

“…One key to prevention is to understand that sexual assaults often occur in environments where crude and offensive behavior, unwanted sexual attention, coercion, and sexual harassment are tolerated, ignored, or condoned. These behaviors detract from our mission and put our people at risk, and you have to be a part of the solution.”

Carter challenged the students, which included ROTC cadets from Georgetown, the University of Maryland, Howard University, George Mason, and George Washington University, “to say ‘enough’…enough to dirty jokes, to excessive drinking, to hazing, to sexual advances, and to any suggestion that coercion is appropriate.”

“I need you to intervene when you think an assault may occur.  And, if for some reason you’re concerned about taking action, I need you to get help… from a friend, law enforcement, a chaplain, or from a more senior officer. Sadly, for too many of those assaulted, the crime is made worse by how he or she is treated after the attack…after they’ve reported it,” he said.

“When victims are most vulnerable, their leadership and their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines need to stand by them in solidarity, not turn their back or turn away. We need those assaulted to have people they can count on.  It may not be easy, but I need you to be one of them…in person and also online.”

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High Court Mulls Federal Power to Steal Your Stuff: All Your Raisin Are Belong to Us

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Scott Ott
Raisins U.S. Govt. Property

Should the federal government have power to take a farmer’s raisin crop without just compensation?
The Supreme Court faces that question today.

I had a bowl of delicious Raisin Bran Crunch for breakfast today, but those two scoops of raisins cost me dearly, thanks in part to a federal price-fixing scheme dating back to the Great Depression. That could all change soon.

Today (4/22), the U.S. Supreme Court is called upon to decide, in Horne v. USDA, whether a farmer’s raisin crop belongs to her, or if the federal government may seize it “for public use without just compensation.”

Constitution geeks (a remnant surely remains of what used to be called simply “American citizens”) will recognize the snippet in quotations drawn from the 5th Amendment, which says, in part:

No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board notes that according to the Raisin Administrative Committee, created in 1949 under the authority of the 1937 Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act, Marvin and Laura Horne, of Fresno, California, must surrender large chunks of their crop to the government each season.

In 2002, their “offering” on the altar of Uncle Sam amounted to 47 percent of their bounty, for which they received less money than it cost to produce the raisins. They refused to submit to what they viewed as a violation of rights ostensibly secured by the 5th Amendment.

The Horne case is one of the most significant property rights cases in years—probably since the Court’s infamous 5-4 ruling in 2005 in Kelo v. New London, which allowed the government to take Susette Kelo’s home so a developer could replace it with condos and stores near a Pfizer Corp. office. The majority Justices in Kelo have a lot to answer for. This is a chance to make partial amends.
– The Wall Street Journal, 4/20/2015

It’s anyone’s guess how the court will rule.

Why should you care? What if the federal government decided to treat smartphones the same way?

For my part, I think I’ll start stockpiling Raisin Bran Crunch.

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Pucker Up: Boehner, Pelosi Get Bipartisan in Rose Garden

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Republicans and Democrats came together on Tuesday for the Rose Garden signing of the Medicare “doc fix,” a bipartisan bill that raised reimbursements for physicians while creating new payments models.

The bill passed 92-8 in the Senate, and was passed in the House 392-37.

President Obama quipped during the ceremony, “I shouldn’t say this with John Boehner here, but that’s one way that this legislation builds on the Affordable Care Act. But let’s put that aside for a second.”

Obama thanked “everyone for showing that Republicans and Democrats can come together, put aside partisanship, not just on must-dos, but on things that actually make the country work better.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said lawmakers have “shown there is common ground for entitlement reform without tax increases on hardworking Americans.”

“Now we have to build on this common ground to do what needs to be done to save our entitlement programs and solve our spending problem. There is certainly a long way to go, but this is a good step in the right direction,” Boehner said. “It will help seniors have better access to their doctors, encourage patients to think more like consumers, and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars for decades to come.”

But nobody was paying as much attention to what was being said in the Rose Garden as they were The Kiss:

 

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Kerry: ‘Only Thing Our Generation’ May Be Remembered for Is Not Acting on Climate Change

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Secretary of State John Kerry asked Americans to “crank up the volume” today on Earth Day, arguing “we still have time to make a difference” on climate change, “but it’s fast running out.”

“Make no mistake: If we let this opportunity pass us by, that may be the only thing our generation is remembered for,” Kerry warned in a statement.

He used California’s current water crisis as a model of climate change devastation. “America is once again on a dangerous path – along with the rest of the world. Climate change, if unchecked, is an urgent threat to health, food supplies, biodiversity and livelihoods across the globe,” he said.

“The solution to climate change is staring us in the face. It’s energy policy. If we pursue a global clean energy economy, we can cut dramatically the amount of carbon pollution we emit into the atmosphere and prevent the worst impacts of climate change.”

Kerry said the only question is whether “national and local leaders will summon the political will to do it effectively and soon.”

“It’s difficult to determine whether one specific storm or drought is solely caused by climate change, but the growing intensity of storms and changing weather patterns should be a clear signal. Here in the United States, California is enduring the fourth year of its worst drought in recorded history,” he said.

“This is just the beginning. If we don’t make significant changes – quickly – scientists say we can expect sea levels to continue rising to dangerous levels, more intense and frequent extreme weather events, severe disruptions to food supplies and prolonged resource shortages.”

President Obama is visiting the Florida Everglades today. The White House marked Earth Day with a fact sheet of “new steps to protect the people and places climate change puts at risk.” Most of the initiatives consisted of reports, national parks restoration, and helping communities map flood risks.

On Thursday, the Department of Agriculture “will announce new voluntary actions it will take in partnership with farmers, ranchers and forest land owners to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and support President Obama’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.”

Today a group of East Coast Democratic senators will introduce a bill that “prohibits the U.S. Department of Interior from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas in the North, Mid-, or South Atlantic Ocean.”

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Babies, Just Another ‘Temporary Disability’

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

London-based Goldman Sachs exec Sonia Pereiro-Mendez just won a hefty $1.5 million in an out-of-court settlement simply by claiming that her employer discriminated against her pregnant and lactating body:

Pereiro-Mendez said senior management made sexist comments about her childcare arrangements and underpaid her by £1.4m ($2.1m) over a four year period following her pregnancy. At one point, she breastfed in a car when returning for a meeting whilst still on maternity leave. Such was the sexism that Pereiro-Mendez was allegedly able to make covert films of Goldman staff incriminating themselves.

There’s a reason the financial firm settled out of court for the ghastly sum. Firstly, the fees associated with taking the case to court would have cost far more in the long run. Secondly, some boss was stupid enough to allow her to attend a meeting while on leave (a huge HR no-no) and thirdly, she caught someone on tape essentially calling her a bad mother.

And therein lies the rub. Thanks to contemporary “choice” feminism, as in “because I’m a woman, any choice I make is a feminist choice subject to judgment based on my gender,” it can be just as sexist to assume a woman will have a child as it is to mock her mothering skills. Not that feminists are huge advocates of child-bearing. Praised as a huge victory for pregnant career women, the Supreme Court is now firmly defining pregnancy as a “temporary disability” that should be accommodated as such in the workplace. Just as babies have become fetuses, pregnancy is just a temporary medical setback akin to an off-the-job injury. Orwellian enough for you?

 

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Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

News reports this morning indicate that France averted a major terror attack in Paris over the weekend after the suspect inadvertently shot himself in the leg. Police discovered plans in the suspect’s car to attack churchgoers leaving church on Sunday.

The unnamed suspect was already known to French intelligence agencies and had previously been subject to police surveillance, making this yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism. [The suspect has now been identified as Sid Ahmed Ghlam. See update below.]

The New York Times reports:

A 24-year-old computer science student suspected of planning an imminent attack on at least one church and of involvement in the murder of a woman was taken into custody in Paris over the weekend, the French authorities said on Wednesday.

The student was arrested on Sunday, and the police found heavy weapons, handguns, ammunition and bulletproof vests in his home and car, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Mr. Cazeneuve did not identify the student, nor the church or churches that he was believed to be targeting.

“Detailed documents were also found, establishing without any doubt that the individual was planning an imminent attack, most likely against one or two churches,” Mr. Cazeneuve said. “That attack was avoided on Sunday morning.”

The Guardian adds, based on a Le Monde article, that the subject was already on the French intelligence radar:

Le Monde said the man had settled in France in 2009. Cazeneuve said he had been under surveillance since 2014 when he made it known he wished to go to Syria to join jihadis there. He disappeared in February this year and was found to have spent a week in Turkey. He was arrested, briefly held, and given a warning on his return, but his profile was not thought to justify further action beyond circulating a security warning.

“Our country, like other European countries, is facing a terrorist threat that is unusual in its nature and size. Our vigilance and our determination are absolute and constant,” the minister added.

Events just of the past month have shown that their vigilance is far from “absolute and constant.” As I reported here at PJ Media back in January, the Kouachi brothers — who massacred 11 people and wounded another 11 in an attack on the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper — were already known to French authorities.

Cherif Kouachi had been arrested and sentenced to prison back in 2005 for his role in helping send fighters to Iraq to attack coalition soldiers. At the time of the attack, he was on both the U.S. and UK terror watch lists. It was later reported that Said Kouachi had been subject to surveillance orders since 2011 after he had returned from terror training in Yemen, but that the surveillance on Said had been stopped in June 2014 – just six months before the attack — because he was deemed to no longer be dangerous by security services. Similarly, surveillance had been stopped at the end of 2013 on Cherif because authorities believed he had disengaged from “violent extremism.”

As I I reported here in February, a man who stabbed three French police officers standing guard outside a synagogue in Nice had just been deported from Turkey to France a week before the attack because he was believed to be en route to join ISIS in Syria.

French authorities are not alone in these “known wolf” failures.

When I I first identified the “known wolf terrorism” phenomenon back in October, it was after two separate terror attacks in Canada in less than a week by two individuals already known to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Both had their passports revoked for fear they would leave the country for Syria to join terror groups there.

I noted at the time that virtually all of the American Islamic terror cases since 9/11 involved “known wolf” attackers.

Here’s my reporting on “known wolf terrorism” syndrome:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

In January, I gave a briefing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) on “Known Wolf” terrorism:

YouTube Preview Image

In February, I conducted an interview with my friend and colleague Erick Stakelbeck on the phenomenon:

Even the New York Times picked up the term in March, if only to explain away the failures of law enforcement. The term was also used when London Mayor Boris Johnson slammed the UK Home Secretary for dropping surveillance orders on Mohammed Emwazi, who has been featured in ISIS videos beheading Western prisoners.

Even well-paid U.S. terrorism consultants are trying to cash in by suddenly discovering the “known wolf” terrorism problem:

The Soufan Group, a New York think tank, said a better term for “lone wolves” would be “known wolves”, given how many are already known to Western intelligence agencies before they strike.

“These individuals, acting alone or in small groups … have been on the radar of various agencies and organisations, highlighting the difficulty of effectively monitoring and managing people at the nexus of criminality and terrorism,” it said in a report this week.

For the Soufan Group, the most serious threat came from people with known associations with radicals and a string of past offenses.

What makes these many instances of “known wolf” terrorism so tragic is that it is never a case of the subject falling off the radar of authorities or escaping surveillance. In each and every case, they have either been deliberately removed from the radar after mistakenly being judged as not a threat, or, more amazingly, authorities were aware of the threat yet did nothing out of indifference or incompetence.

As the case in Paris on Sunday shows, we can expect the “known wolf” terror problem by Western intelligence and law enforcement authorities to continue.

UPDATE: The suspect has been identified as Sid Ahmed Ghlam.

cc84912e352d24a1c902d67fa2dda30d0bf4fd7b8f1a4a2a9c54a69df81176d3The Local has more information on his background and previous contacts with French authorities.

Further searches of his student lodgings in the 13th arrondissement unearthed several more automatic weapons, described as a “real arsenal of military weapons” according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Cazeneuve said evidence on his Facebook account suggested he was planning to target “one or two churches” in the Villejuif suburb to the south of Paris on that Sunday.

French prosecutor François Mollins said on Wednesday that Al Qaeda and Isis documents were also found in his flat and that he was in contact with an individual in Syria who is believed to have instructed him to attack churches.

The suspect was born in Algeria but came to France in 2009 to join up with other members of his family who were already in the country.

The suspect was a student from 2010 to 2012 at the IT college SUPINFO in Paris where an unnamed source told the French daily Le Figaro that he came across as a normal student.

French authorities deemed him not dangerous enough to open a judicial case against him, even though he was implicated in a violent attack two years ago:

Cazeneuve said that intelligence services were aware of the individual and had placed him under surveillance for several months in 2014 and 2015.

However according to reports the suspect did nothing to raise their suspicions or to prompt counter-terror police to open a case against him.

Whilst he is reported to have spent a week in Turkey, he is not believed to have followed the route of many jihadists by crossing into Syria.

No links were established between him and established networks that help jihadists reach Syria. However the DGSI did create a special file on the subject titled “S” meaning “state security”, so if any authority checked his identity they would know he had been surveyed and the level of danger he was ranked at.

He came to their attention after expressing his desire to fight alongside jihadists in Syria. Some members of his family and his partner have also been taken into custody for questioning, including his sister who was reportedly recently radicalised.

He was also known to the police after being implicated in a violent attack two years ago.

Reports indicate he planned an attack on the Catholic church of Saint-Cyr Sainte-Julitte in Villejuif. Ghlam is also being investigated in the murder of a 32-year-old Aurélie Châtelain, mother of a 5-year-old girl, who authorities believe was shot as Ghlam attempted to steal her car on Sunday morning.

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Rat Finks: Pansy Media Tips Off D.C. Cops to Bust Gowdy, Buck on Gun Possession

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

As if you needed further proof that the lickspittle media was in the employ of the Democrat Party:

A Republican member of Congress who posed for a photo with an assault rifle in his office could face investigation for violating the District of Columbia’s gun laws, the city’s attorney general’s office said on Tuesday. Representative Ken Buck, of Colorado, on Thursday tweeted a picture of himself and Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, holding an AR-15 rifle.

Reporters alerted the office of District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine to the photo, and the information was passed on to the city’s Metropolitan Police Department to investigate, said spokesman Robert Marus. “It is illegal to possess an assault rifle in the District of Columbia,” he said.

Naturally, the pansy press had no idea what it was looking at:

In a statement, Buck said he received permission from the U.S. Capitol Police to bring the inoperable rifle to the office, where it hangs in a locked case. “It is a beautiful, patriotic paperweight,” Buck said of the rifle, which is painted to look like the U.S. flag. Marus said that determining whether Buck’s AR-15 was legal or not would be up to police. A Metropolitan Police spokesman referred questions to Capitol Police.

A spokesman for the Capitol Police said rules allowed lawmakers to keep firearms inside their offices. Lawmakers and their employees also can transport guns on Capitol grounds if they are unloaded and securely wrapped, he said.

This is the same group of presstitutes, remember, who defended the now-vanished David Gregory when he brandished — brandished! — an unloaded magazine on Meet the Press – a crime for which he got off scot-free.

 

 

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White House Summons Armenian Leaders to Tell Them Obama Won’t Honor Genocide Pledge

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House pulled together Armenian leaders Tuesday to placate the community in advance of their latest ball-dropping on President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to recognize the Armenian genocide.

But activists who have long been asking Obama to keep his word were not placated.

Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes confirmed to Armenian-American leaders that Obama will once again not recognize the genocide in his annual statement for this week’s genocide remembrance day.

“President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace. It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust,” said Armenian National Committee of America chairman Ken Hachikian.

“With the world’s attention drawn this April 24th to worldwide Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorations, President Obama will, tragically, use the moral standing of our nation not to defend the truth, but rather to enforce of a foreign power’s gag-rule,” Hachikian added. “He has effectively outsourced America’s policy on the Armenian Genocide to Recep Erdogan.”

The other group in the room with McDonough and Rhodes was the Armenian Assembly of America. Executive Director Bryan Ardouny said in a statement afterward that Obama’s “unwillingness to speak truthfully about the Armenian Genocide is not what we expect from a world leader on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.”

“His failure to use the term genocide represents a major blow for human rights advocates and sets the clock back on genocide prevention.”

In a readout of the White House meeting, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said, “Recalling the deep ties between the Armenian and American peoples, they discussed the significance of this occasion for honoring the 1.5 million lives extinguished during that horrific period, and welcomed the principled advocacy of the Armenian American community on behalf of justice.”

“They  pledged that the United States will use the occasion to urge a full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts that we believe is in the interest of all parties,” Meehan said. “They also noted that the President has asked Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to lead a Presidential Delegation to Yerevan on April 24, to stand in solidarity with the Armenian people as they commemorate this most solemn of anniversaries.”

Obama has been called out by Armenian groups every year of his presidency for not using the G-word.

“The facts are undeniable,” Obama said in a Jan. 19, 2008, statement. “An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Meanwhile, Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a resolution Monday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

“It is past time for this atrocity to be recognized for what it was: a targeted ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population. This resolution makes clear that it is unacceptable to deny the facts and history of the Armenian Genocide and continue to silence the voices of those who perished,” Menendez said. “As the world gathers to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th, the United States must commit itself to recognizing the full meaning, magnitude and history of this genocide in order to both honor the innocent victims and prevent similar tragedies from happening again.”

“More than 20 countries, 43 U.S. states and Pope Francis have unequivocally affirmed the Armenian Genocide and it is time for the United States to join them,” Boxer said.

Kirk stressed that “100 years is far too long not to call the murder of 1.5 million Armenians what it was: genocide.”

Turkey has paid D.C. lobbyists handsomely over the years to work against the Armenian Genocide resolutions that surface each Congress. Turkey has recalled its ambassador in a huff whenever the bill has made it out of committee.

A large Turkey caucus in Congress — the Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations & Turkish Americans — also helps derail genocide legislation.

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Earnest: Iran Has Already ‘Suffered’ for Holding U.S. Hostages Because They Don’t Get to Be as Cozy with Washington

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said today that Iran has already “suffered consequences” for holding Americans hostages — not having warmer relations with Washington.

At today’s press briefing, Earnest responded to a letter sent by Marine vet Amir Hekmati, held by Iran since 2011 on trumped-up charges of conspiracy to commit espionage, to congressional leaders.

“While I am thankful that the State Department and the Obama administration has called for my release and that of my fellow Americans, there has been no serious response to this blatant and ongoing mistreatment of Americans by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and they continue on with impunity,” Hekmati wrote, noting that “Secretary Kerry sits politely with the Iranians, shaking hands and offering large economic concessions” as they charged another American, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, with espionage.

“As a war veteran who defended our nation in its time of need, I ask that you also work to defend my dignity and that of my fellow Americans by putting in place serious consequences for this serial hostage-taking and mistreatment of Americans by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence for clearly illegal purposes.”

The administration has repeatedly said it brings up the cases of Hekmati, Rezaian, Saeed Abedini and Bob Levinson on the sidelines of Iran nuclear talks, but refuses to link the hostages to the nuke deal.

“I don’t want to speculate about any possible future action, but I will say something that’s similar to what I said before, which is that we continue to be very concerned about the unjust detention of a number of Americans inside of Iran,” Earnest vaguely answered after being read the “serious consequences” passage of Hekmati’s letter.

“We have made those concerns known in quite public fashion. We’ve also made those concerns known privately, directly with the Iranian leadership. As recently as a month or two ago, Secretary of State John Kerry, on the sidelines of his nuclear negotiations with his Iranian counterpart, raised his concerns about this unjust detention. So we’ve made very clear to the Iranians that we’re concerned about the treatment of Americans inside of Iran, and that this continues to be a high priority for U.S. foreign policy.”

Still, Earnest was pressed on whether the administration believes there should be “serious consequences” for the four American hostages.

“There is no doubt that the unjust detention of Americans in Iran has continued to serve as an impediment to better relations between the United States and Iran. There’s no doubt about that,” Earnest replied. “So there already have been consequences that Iran has suffered as a result of this. But, again, I’m not going to speculate about any sort of future actions that we may take to further compel the Iranians to release those Americans who are being unjustly detained inside their country.”

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said in a joint statement yesterday that Rezaian, who was arrested in July, “is being persecuted because of his profession as a reporter and his American citizenship” and the case “is just the latest example of the true nature of the Iranian regime.”

“The Obama administration should demand Mr. Rezaian’s immediate release along with all other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran prior to concluding a nuclear deal with this brutal regime,” Rubio and Kirk said.

But House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CNN today that there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo.

“I think they’re trying to maintain the solidity of the nuclear negotiations and not have it disrupted by bringing in other issues in the region, as vital as they are,” Schiff said. “And also while they want to continue raising these hostage issues, they don’t want it to be a chip the Iranians can play. And I think the harder we press them in some respects, the harder the pushback and more the Iranians think this is really valuable, these hostages are valuable, we should keep them because we can exact more from the Americans.”

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Podesta Drops in on Senate Dems’ Meeting to ‘Introduce’ Hillary’s Campaign

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman addressed his caucus at a closed-door policy luncheon today.

John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton and counselor to Obama, was also president of the Center for American Progress think-tank. He left the Obama administration in February and is no stranger on Capitol Hill.

Reid said Podesta and Amanda Renteria, Hillary’s national political director, “came to our caucus to introduce us in a very broad, quick fashion to Secretary Clinton’s campaign for president of the United States.”

“We know Amanda. We know John. Amanda was Debbie Stabenow’s chief of staff. John Podesta has been everybody’s chief of staff,” Reid added. “It has worked out — they were very, very informative to us. I appreciate their coming there. And we look forward to a number of other opportunities to be able to show the profile we have for the next president of the United States.”

Podesta told PBS that they’re aiming for a “tight and disciplined campaign,” with the ground game being run by Robby Mook, who “worked in the campaign in 2008 in the states” and managed Terry McAuliffe’s successful gubernatorial campaign. “He’s built a fabulous team. I think we’ll have the most diverse campaign in presidential history.”

“And we have a set of values in this campaign that means that people who remember what we’re about which is to improve the lives of every day Americans will succeed. People who are tight and disciplined will succeed. And if people are not that, then there will be no place for them in the campaign,” Podesta added.

Hillary’s chairman acknowledged he’s “confident we’ll have primary opposition.”

“And one of the things we’re going to do is fight for every vote. We don’t take any of this for granted,” she said.

“I said she will debate her primary opponent, you know. And of course, she’ll do that. We expect to be challenged and we will run a campaign in all 50 states and the territories to get the nomination and then we will run a national campaign if we are lucky enough to be the nominee of the party.”

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McConnell: ‘Significant Number’ of Democrats Love My Senate

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said today that Democrats are loving the post-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) era.

“I think the way the Senate is being run is very popular with a significant number of Democrats who have come over to me frequently and say thank you for changing the way the Senate is operating,” McConnell told reporters on the Hill today after a closed policy luncheon. “So we’ve given them an opportunity, and they’ve taken that opportunity. And so I think they do deserve some credit for it.”

McConnell pointed out that the GOP majority has held 100 roll call votes on amendments in the 114th Congress alone, while Reid allowed 15 roll call votes on amendments last year.

“The difference is I’m taking up bills and they’re open for amendment. They took up bills and they weren’t open for amendment. They’d take up a bill, fill up the tree, file cloture, score a point and move on,” he said.

“The majority gets to set the agenda…the majority leader gets to decide how the bill is going to be conducted. I don’t see any equivalency at all. And the majority sets the tone. The opportunities have been given to the minority to participate and I’m glad they’re taking advantage of that.”

McConnell promised to make progress on bills that have passed out of committee on a bipartisan basis between now and Memorial Day.

“We’re going to move to the Lynch nomination. Then we’ll go to the Iraq nuclear bill that came out of the Foreign Relations Committee unanimously. We have in the queue an elementary and secondary education bill that came out of that committee unanimously,” he said. “We have a cybersecurity bill that came out of Interior 14-1. And we believe tomorrow the Senate Finance Committee will report out an important trade promotion authority bill which will give us the opportunity — give the administration the opportunity to wrap up the Trans-Pacific agreement which has been under negotiation.”

“And I think particularly important for Republicans is we’re hoping there might be a president of a different party a year-and-a- half from now, and this is a TPA that goes for five or six years, thereby providing an opportunity for the next president should he or she want to be an active free-trader to send agreements up to us and get them approved.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Reid pick to succeed him as Democratic leader when he retires, had a different view on the dynamic when speaking to reporters today.

“I think Senator McConnell is learning a lesson: When he tries to divide us, he fails. It’s happened now on three different issues, and we hope, instead of him spending his time trying to divide us, that he works with us,” Schumer said.

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Ohio Terror Suspect Was Caught Lying to FBI Two Days After Becoming Naturalized U.S. Citizen

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

An Ohio man indicted by a federal grand jury on terrorism support charges last week, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, was questioned by the FBI two days after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.

During that questioning, he was caught lying about his identity.

Several days later, Mohamud applied for a U.S. passport and was allowed to travel to Syria. There, he fought and trained with Jabhat al-Nusra — an official al-Qaeda affiliate — and then was allowed to return to the U.S. where he planned to launch terror attacks inside the U.S.

These remarkable revelations of FBI failure emerged from documents unsealed by the federal court and from last week’s indictment.

According to the indictment (p.2), Mohamud became a naturalized U.S. citizen on February 18 last year, and applied for a U.S. passport a week later:

On or about February 18, 2014, MOHAMUD became a naturalized U.S. citizen. On or about February 25, 2014, MOHAMUD submitted his U.S. passport application.

But as the Wall Street Journal reports today, the FBI interviewed Mohamud on Feb. 20th — two days after his naturalization ceremony — during which FBI agents caught him lying about his identity:

The FBI first spoke to Mr. Mohamud more than a year ago, but that intervention didn’t appear to prevent the native of Somalia from traveling overseas. During the Feb. 20, 2014, interview, federal agents said Mr. Mohamud tried to lie about his identity. He first told investigators he was his older brother, Abdifatah Aden, who had already left the U.S. in 2013 and was believed to be fighting in Syria on behalf of Nusra Front and raising money for the cause, according to court documents.

“When challenged about his truthfulness, he admitted his true identity,” Mr. Flowers of the FBI wrote in a court affidavit. It wasn’t clear from court documents how agents reacted to Mr. Mohamud’s reversal.

And yet, Mohamud was allowed to obtain a U.S. passport and travel to Turkey six weeks later, where he joined up with terror operatives after crossing the border into Syria.

After Mohamud returned to the U.S. last June, the newly unsealed court documents claim that he then began weapons training with others in the Columbus area. The Wall Street Journal article continues:

Three months after he returned from training with violent extremists in Syria, a 23-year-old Ohio man hosted a shooting group at a local gun range, federal authorities allege in newly unsealed court papers.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud rented a shooting lane in the Columbus area last September, court papers say. When a range officer offered to instruct him and his two associates how to use their borrowed pistol, Mr. Mohamud allegedly declined, implying he could teach the others.

“Organizing weapons training is consistent with individuals who previously obtained training from … training camps to, upon return to their homeland, seek to recruit a group of young male adults in order to lead them to be like-minded jihadist believers prepared to fight,” Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Stephen Flowers wrote in court documents.

For eight months until his arrest in late February this year, Mohamud was allowed to roam freely within the U.S. and train others in handling firearms.

Here is a timeline of events:

Feb. 18, 2014: Mohamud becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Feb. 20, 2014: The FBI interviews Mohamud, during which time he is caught lying about his identity. The same day he communicates with his brother already in Syria about his travel plans to join him.

Feb. 25, 2014: Mohamud applies for a U.S. passport.

April 8, 2014: He purchases a one-way airline ticket with a stopover in Istanbul, Turkey.

April 18, 2014: He departs the U.S. and arrives in Turkey the following day.

June 3, 2014: His older brother, Aden, is reported killed fighting in Syria.

June 8, 2014: He returns to the U.S.

Approx. Sept 2014: He trains others in handling weapons at a Columbus firing range.

Feb. 25, 2015: Mohamud is arrested on state terrorism support charges.

April 16, 2015: He is indicted by a federal grand jury.

Even with an FBI informant among Mohamud’s associates, it would be hard to paint this as the Bureau’s finest hour. As I noted here at PJ Media last week, the FBI has been less than forthcoming to the public about the scope of the threat of U.S. persons who have traveled to fight in Syria and the number of those who have returned.

As additional details become available, it may become even more clear how the FBI botched the handling of this potential threat.

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Here’s a Video of Ted and Heidi Cruz Shooting a Full Auto Tommy Gun

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

 

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi stopped by the Londonderry Fish & Game Club in New Hampshire on Saturday to talk about the Second Amendment and to shoot a few rounds. The Texas senator is no slouch with a Thompson submachine gun (nicknamed the Tommy Gun). He confidently picked up and fired two guns at the range and didn’t appear to flinch at the powerful recoil. His aim must have been pretty good because someone at the range shouted, “He’s got my vote!” after his first rounds and another cried, “Woah!” after Cruz’s second round.

 

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Heidi Cruz, who was sporting a baseball hat that said, “Armed and Dangerous,” also got in on the shooting action after her husband gave her some basic instructions.

 

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Intelligent, beautiful, and not afraid of a powerful firearm. Senator Cruz is indeed a blessed man!

 

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Hillary! Clinton: World’s Worst Political Candidate

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
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She was warned. The MSM, as I’ve chronicled here over the past couple of months, has been trying to tell the former First Lady that — owing to her extreme unlikability — her candidacy was on shaky ground and that if they could find another plausible candidate to keep their grip on political power intact, they’d switch in a heartbeat. I still think Granny Warren remains their One True Love at this point and that Hillary’s exit from her sham campaign is just a matter of time.

In my Unexamined Premises column the other day, I mentioned Hillary’s annoying collection of tics and mannerisms: the robotic nodding of the head and muttering “mm-hmm” constantly, as if to prove to people she could not care a fig about that she is actually listening to them. Have a gander:

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Holy cow.

 

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Podesta: Hillary Campaign Successfully Telling America ‘This Is Not About Her’

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s new presidential campaign says he thinks it kicked off with the right message: “that this is not about her.”

John Podesta told PBS that her announcement video and subsequent road trip to Iowa served their purpose of underscoring that the campaign is “about every day Americans and what she wants to do to be their champion.”

“Look, we are on week one of a 19-month campaign. So I think that the press will have plenty of time to ask her questions. But right now she wants to have a dialogue with the voters and I think she doesn’t want that necessarily intermediated with just through reporters’ questions. She wants to go directly to voters to listen to their stories, to understand what the challenges of their lives are,” he said when the lack of press access to the candidate was noted.

Clinton, who got back in the van and headed to New Hampshire, is “in a ramp-up phase,” Podesta stressed.

“I think at this point she wants to have — she laid down the challenges that she thinks that are facing America starting with building a new economy for the future. That’s going to reward people for hard work. And she is definitely going to put specifics on it. But again, this is going to be a long campaign and we are in a phase where we’re building out the campaign organization. She’s talking to voters,” he said.

“Sometime next month when we have a more official, if you will, launch of the campaign she’ll explain to the American public what she wants to do. And that’s the appropriate moment where she will begin to put specific policy proposals out. But that’s not going to be a one-shot only deal. I know you want to see the whole platform today. But we have 19 months and we’re going to build up to a position where people really understand what — why she wants to be a champion for every day Americans, what she’s going to do and why she thinks she’s the best candidate to do it.”

Podesta said he’s “sure” Clinton will have some ideas about “tough regulation” and “fighting against dark money” in campaigns.

“I think the first thing that she will do in quite frankly, and that this will set her apart from her Republican opponents, is that she’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who protect the right of every American to vote not every corporation to buy an election. So you know, that is, I think, going in position for her. And I think that we need campaign finance reform. There’s too much dark money in politics and she would like to see it out,” he said.

“…We will take money if it’s legal, obviously. And if it’s from, you know, we’re just going to have to have the resources to — to compete in this election, which is going to be supercharged with special interest money coming at any Democratic candidate but particularly Hillary Clinton.”

Podesta said the campaigns is going to be “asking people to raise money from their friends and neighbors,” but “we’re not going to cut off resources from people who have participated in the political system and have a right to.”

He added that Clinton will release her health records “at an appropriate time.”

“There will be reassurance from her doctors that — when it’s appropriate. And if there is anything to see in there, you’ll see it.”

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State Department Goes After Domestic Greek Terrorists

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department announced today that it’s designated two Greeks who are members of domestic rebel groups as terrorists.

Christodoulos Xiros and Nikolaos Maziotis were given their terrorist designations under Executive Order 13224, which “targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.”

“As a result of these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Xiros and Maziotis have any interest is blocked and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Xiros and Maziotis, or to their benefit,” the State Department said.

Until his 2002 arrest, Xiros was a chief assassins of 17 November, a domestic Greek terrorist group that had staged attacks since the 1970s.

“After his escape, he publicized a manifesto focusing on his discontent with the Greek government. Xiros was re-arrested by Greek police in January 2015 while planning to carry out armed assaults in Greece, possibly with the intent to free other prisoners. At the time of his arrest, Xiros was likely coordinating with members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, a group designated by the State Department under E.O. 13224 in 2011,” the State Department release continued.

Nikolaos Maziotis leads the Greek terrorist organization Revolutionary Struggle.

“He was arrested with six other alleged members of Revolutionary Struggle in 2010, but went missing in the middle of his trial. In April 2014, under the leadership of Maziotis, Revolutionary Struggle claimed responsibility for a bomb blast in central Athens outside the branch offices of the Greek central bank. On July 16, 2014, Maziotis was re-arrested by Greek police after a shootout in Athens’ central tourist district, which left four people wounded. Revolutionary Struggle was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State on May 18, 2009 and is most well-known for a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the U.S. Embassy in Athens in 2007.”

The State Department, in conjunction with the Justice and Treasury departments, vowed to “take such actions against terrorists and terrorist groups in Greece and elsewhere.”

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