— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 17, 2014
Who is ultimately responsible for the ongoing attacks on Christians and their churches throughout the Islamic world?
Focusing on one of the most obvious nations where Christians are regularly targeted—Egypt’s Coptic Christians—one finds that the “mob” is the most visible and obvious culprit. One Copt accused of some transgression against Muslim sensibilities—from having relations with a Muslim woman, to ruining a Muslim man’s shirt—is often enough to prompt Muslim mobs to destroy entire Christian villages and their churches.
Recently, for example, after her cross identified Mary Sameh George as a Christian, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood mob attacked, beat, and slaughtered her.
However, a recent Arabic op-ed titled “Find the True Killer of Mary” looks beyond the mob to identify the true persecutor of Christians in Egypt. According to it:
Those who killed the young and vulnerable Mary Sameh George, for hanging a cross in her car, are not criminals, but rather wretches who follow those who legalized for them murder, lynching, dismemberment, and the stripping bare of young Christian girls—without every saying “kill.” [Islamic cleric] Yassir Burhami and his colleagues who announce their hate for Christians throughout satellite channels and in mosques—claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God—they are the true killers who need to be tried and prosecuted… The slayers of Mary Sameh are simply a wretched mob, with the body of a bull but the brain of a worm. It’s not the puppets on the string who need punishing, but rather the mastermind who moves the puppets with his bloody fingers behind closed curtains that needs punishing.
One fact certainly validates this Arabic op-ed’s assertions: the overwhelming majority of attacks on Christians in Egypt and other Muslim nations—including the slaughter of Mary Sameh George—occur on Friday, the one day of the week that Muslims congregate in mosques for communal prayers and to hear sermons.
The significance of this fact can easily be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially and consistently violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church? What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?
What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?
The Arabic op-ed also does well to name Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami as one of those who “announce their hate for Christians throughout the satellite channels and in mosques, claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God.”
For example, Dr. Burhami—the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement—once issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, forbidding Muslim taxi- and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”
As for hating non-Muslim “infidels,” many Islamic clerics, especially Salafis, believe that the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity” (or wala’ wa bara’) commands Muslims never to befriend or be loyal to non-Muslims.
Burhami himself appears on video asserting that if a Muslim man marries a Christian or Jewish woman (known in Islamic parlance as “People of the Book”)—even he must still hate his wife, because she is an infidel… Keep reading
Barack Obama still does not understand that when you insult people in public, they’re unlikely to work with you in private. Rep. Eric Cantor reminded him of that in a statement this afternoon.
“Today, President Obama called me to discuss his desire for comprehensive immigration reform. The President called me hours after he issued a partisan statement which attacked me and my fellow House Republicans and which indicated no sincere desire to work together. After five years, President Obama still has not learned how to effectively work with Congress to get things done. You do not attack the very people you hope to engage in a serious dialogue. I told the President the same thing I told him the last time we spoke. House Republicans do not support Senate Democrats’ immigration bill and amnesty efforts, and it will not be considered in the House. I also reiterated to the President there are other issues where we can find common ground, build trust and get America working again. I hope the President can stop his partisan messaging, and begin to seriously work with Congress to address the issues facing working middle class Americans that are struggling to make ends meet in this economy.”
Well, maybe Obama does understand the impact of his public insults. In that case, he just wants to pick a fight. That’s not what a leader does, but it’s what a community organizer does.
Francis Cardinal George of Chicago has written a Lent letter to his parishioners that lays out the stark choices facing the church in the age of Obamacare. The president’s signature law was not written to include abortifacient mandates. Those came with the regulations written by the bureaucracy and signed off on by Kathleen Sebelius and ultimately, Barack Obama. They could be lifted with the stroke of a pen, without Obama behaving in any lawless way. Yet they remain in full effect despite years of protest and lawsuits.
Why? The immediate political point of them, generating backlash and a phony “war on women” for the 2012 election, has already been served.
The mandate forces Catholic institutions — hospitals, adoption agencies, schools, and so forth — into an array of bad options.
So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society. The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.
What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.
It’s that fourth option that the regulations are probably intended to bring about: close down. Leave the government in charge of “charity,” and push the church out of public life altogether. Christians would maintain a “freedom of worship,” but not the freedom to act on their faith. That’s false freedom.
This has already happened in the case of Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts. Gay marriage legalization paved the way for destroying those agencies. They closed. So forcing Christian charities to close down to satisfy current political trends is not hypothetical. It has been happening for years. The precedent has been set.
The “freedom of worship” has found recent favor on the left. That’s little more than a trick, writes the cardinal.
Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.
If churches are not free to act out the faith of their believers, then what are they for? What is worship for? What is worship? That’s not a peripheral question, it’s at the very heart of what the Obama administration is doing. In a very real way, it is setting up government as a false god, an idol.
Many Americans, I suspect, will not object as long as they continue to get their stream of free stuff from somewhere.
There will be consequences if these mandates are not lifted.
If you haven’t already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir. On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.
Catholic leaders bear some responsibility for chasing their own false god, “social justice,” when they should have been preaching the unvarnished Gospel. The “social justice” strains have empowered the likes of Obama, whose agenda goes far beyond what most saw coming. When he threatened to fundamentally transform the country, he meant it. Five years on, we have the IRS weaponized against dissent, and we have Obamacare kicking Christians out of public life and depriving them of the freedom to act on their faith, among other disturbing facets of the new America.
h/t Hot Air
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he’s “begging” the Obama administration to not give Iran the right to enrich uranium in the ongoing P5+1 talks to arrive at a final agreement.
“I’m sure they will probably continue to negotiate, but here’s what you need to understand about the negotiations. The Obama administration is about to give the ayatollahs in Iran the right to enrich uranium,” Graham told Fox. “This is what they did with North Korea. They allowed the North Koreans a small enrichment program and they were gonna monitor it with the U.N. weapons inspectors. Well, guess what? And that sanctions. The North Koreans have nuclear weapons.”
“We’re on the path to repeating Iran the same mistakes we had in North Korea. I am begging the Obama administration if the Iranians have a nuclear power program, fine, just control the fuel cycle. Do not allow them to enrich uranium. You’ll have a North Korean result on your hand and in the Mideast if the Iranians get a nuclear capability, Sunni Arabs are gonna want one of their own and you are on the road to Armageddon.”
A senior administration official said on background last week that “on some issues, if you can move forward, you may open up trade space on another issue.”
“When we’ve talked about enrichment before, that has many, many pieces to it – from stockpiles to facilities to enrichment levels to centrifuge production,” the official said. “I mean, it’s just a myriad of subsets. And that’s true of every issue.”
Graham said Iran’s recent attempt to send a 1979 hostage-taker to New York as its UN ambassador raises questions about their motives and sincerity.
“If they are really sincere about wanting to reach a peaceful resolution, that nuclear program, why would they do this to begin with? This really tells you all you need to know about this Iranian regime. They are a bunch of thugs,” he said.
“The largest state sponsor of terrorism for the last 30 years. They killed our American soldiers in Iraq providing weapons to people in Iraq to kill American soldiers. They are trying to develop a nuclear weapon, not a peaceful power program. And this is just — tells you all you need to know about the Iranians.”
July 20 has been set by the negotiating parties as the deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran.
If you’re familiar with The Onion, you’ll love the military version: The Duffel Blog. This satire site counts generals to privates among its readers, and today angered Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) with a satire claiming he introduced a bill that would require vets to knock on neighbors’ doors and warn they could snap as a high-risk “powder keg of post traumatic stress.”
Contributors include “disgruntled Marines, annoyed Army guys and sickened sailors,” Duffel Blog founder and former Marine Sgt. Paul Szoldra once quipped. And their coverage since the first Fort Hood shooting has been telling.
From “President Obama Says Latest Fort Hood Shooting ‘Definitely’ A Terrorist Attack,” published Saturday:
Following the speech, many of the president’s supporters hailed Obama as a strong wartime leader, citing his declaration that a ‘red line’ had been drawn and that any further attacks from terrorists on U.S. soil would draw a firm rebuke and censure in the United Nations.
While determined to bring the terrorists — and terror groups that supported this latest attack — to justice, some have raised questions on the differences between the latest attack and the tragic workplace violence incident that happened in 2009, where then-Maj. Nidal Hasan accidentally tripped over his beard and shot more than 40 people.
“There are absolutely no similarities in these two cases aside from the application of violence against our servicemen and women,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney to reporters. “Maj. Hasan had never deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, so he was obviously unable to absorb any sort of extremist message, and he targeted soldiers in a single location, which meant he clearly had issues relevant to that specific location or population.”
When asked if Hasan’s Muslim faith had any bearing on the decision to label that incident ‘workplace violence’ instead of a terror attack, Carney was adamant that it did not.
…The military had already begun planning overseas contingency operations to rout terrorist networks in Killeen, Texas, Pentagon sources said.
At press time, witnesses had apparently overheard Carney later instructing a nearby aide to double-check the shooter’s DD214 document to ensure he had ties to radical Army terror networks.”
Previous Fort Hood coverage has included “Nidal Hasan Says He’s Amish In Last Ditch Effort To Save Beard”:
Most outsiders assumed from Hasan’s name, his parents’ Palestinian background, and his business card tagline of “Soldier of Allah”, that he was Muslim. The judge, Col. Jeffrey Tribley, pressed Hasan for more information on this discrepancy.
“Yes sir. I am Muslim and Amish,” Hasan responded. “This of course means that my beard is two-times as important to my religion, and under religious exceptions in the UCMJ, it is required.”
Democrat Sean Eldridge is running for the House in New York’s 9th District, against Republican Rep. Chris Gibson. Eldridge has spent nearly a million dollars of his own money and his campaign has been plagued with problems. Of course, he’s also one of those liberals who decry the pernicious influence of money in politics. He’s fine with using his own money, which mostly comes from his wife, the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes — it’s Republican money that he has a problem with.
Eldridge is now seeking a new communications director who will be tasked with righting a sinking ship. He posted the job notice online, which isn’t how campaigns typically hire staff. That’s usually done through political networking. Rookie mistake.
Ian Prior has written himself into the history books with this reply to Eldridge’s job notice.
I am writing to apply for the recently posted position of “Communications Director – Sean Eldridge for Congress.”
I know that we have had our differences, but I really think I could help out Eldridge for Congress as your Communication Director. As you probably know, I have a very firm understanding of your campaign strategy of (1) self-funding your campaign account with your $700 million fortune, and (2) trying to buy friends and headlines by utilizing your Hudson River Ventures Super PAC, also funded with your $700 million fortune.
I am confident that my aggressive approach and willingness to actually speak to reporters will greatly help your cause. Moreover, my skills and experience certainly line up with what you are seeking in a Communications Director and I could provide to you the perspective of someone who has not been aiming for a Congressional seat since the age of 15, as you have.
Should you choose to hire me, I would advise that you do a few things. First, unlock your campaign doors. While I understand that you may be concerned about volunteers stealing your Cartier watch or other valuable items, this makes you look like an out-of-touch aristocrat.
Second, stop buying so many houses. While most people struggle to pay a rent or a mortgage, you are dropping $5 million for a house here, $2 million for a house there, etc. If you must buy another house, can you get something a little less expensive? Maybe something without an Infinity pool?
Third, stop talking about campaign finance reform. You have spent a million dollars of your own money on your campaign and have spent far more than that through your Hudson River Ventures Super PAC. You also just rejected an offer from your opponent to cap spending in your race. So the more you talk about campaign finance the more you look like a phony. Stop. Please!
We can certainly talk more about some other strategies that would make you seem more likable and less like the hypocrite that you are. I can forward my resume, references, and salary request on demand and look forward to speaking with you soon.
Northeast Regional Press Secretary
National Republican Congressional Committee
A federal grand jury handed down an indictment Tuesday against a 49-year-old West Virginia man for threatening to kill Sen. Joe Manchin (D).
Steven Anthony Major of Barboursville, W.Va., was arrested March 21 after making four calls to the senator’s Charleston and D.C. office from March 17-20. He reportedly left his real name while making threats against Manchin and his family.
“During these calls, Mr. Major told Senator Manchin to stay out of the State of West Virginia and made several violent threats including, but not limited to, the following: ‘You a dead man, you don’t f*** with me [sic];’ ‘Your kids and your wife are done;’ ‘[Senator Manchin] and his family going to have bullets in their brain [sic],’” states the affidavit filed last month.
Major faces four counts in the threats, each carrying up to 10 years in prison.
Last April, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) was the target of a poisoning attempt when a ricin-laced letter was sent to his office. It was intercepted at a mail-sorting facility before reaching the senator.
James Everett Dutschke, 42, also sent a ricin letter to President Obama, then tried to frame an Elvis impersonator. He pleaded guilty and will be sentenced May 14, with a 25-year sentence possible.
It’s called Outnumbered, because female panelists will always outnumber the lone male panelist. They’ll talk about issues, etc. It’s kind of an anti-View from the sound of it.
Outnumbered’s engaging dynamic, guided by four savvy women and one man, is designed to provide viewers with a fresh take on the latest news. During each segment, the panelists will examine the top news of the hour, and deliberate the leading pop culture and relationship issues dominating the headlines that day.
FOX Report Weekend anchor Harris Faulkner and FOX Business Network’s Sandra Smith will serve as two of the rotating members who will lead the program’s news coverage. The solo male panelist will vary each day, sometimes serving as a notable figure in the national dialogue that week.
Additional personalities to be featured include co-hosts of “The Five,” Kimberly Guilfoyle and Andrea Tantaros along with FNC contributors Jedediah Bila, Katie Pavlich and Kirsten Powers.
An interesting list, both for who is included and who is not. Some former rising stars seem to have done themselves permanent damage with FNC.
Outnumbered launches April 28 at 12 PM eastern.
Thank God for Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. His investigation of what turned out to be the IRS abuse scandal may well have saved the Constitution and the nation.
For his fair and impartial investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of Americans who dissent from President Obama’s agenda, Democrats have called for an investigation of him. George should not be investigated, but perhaps the Democrats who want him investigated — Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) — should be. Their call for an investigation of the investigator might constitute interference with the ongoing investigation of the IRS abuse scandal. That would be obstruction of justice, in what may turn out to be the most widespread and damaging scandal in American history.
The implications of today’s email disclosure are stunning and terrifying.
Lois Lerner intended to use her position atop the IRS’ tax exempt approval office to coordinate the prosecution of political speech. The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder had at least tentatively bought into that. The Federal Elections Commission was being roped in as well. Lerner’s emails prove that beyond doubt.
Democrats in Congress were involved. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) appears to have led the anti-constitutional attack on free speech in the House. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led it from the Senate.
Two days before Lerner was forced to publicly disclose the scandal, she was moving forward with an insidious plan to stamp out conservatives and Tea Party activists’ ability to organize and raise money, by working with the IRS commissioner’s office and the Department of Justice. At the same time, there was no plan for any government crackdown on groups who agreed with President Obama. The traffic was entirely one-way. It was nakedly political, and everyone involved knew it. They also had reason to believe that they would succeed, or they would not have engaged in it. DOJ would serve two roles: Prosecute conservatives, and protect the bureaucrats who were pushing those prosecutions.
Was there a full-fledged plan to use the full power of the federal government to take the abuse, delay and invasive questioning of conservatives to a new level after President Obama’s re-election? Was there a plan to criminalize the mere act of being a conservative activist? Was there a plan to drum up false charges of “lying” on applications in order to put conservatives in jail?
Self-awareness is not the mainstream media’s strong suit. Just a couple of weeks after NBC lamented the presence and impact of there being too much money in politics, its own Savannah Guthrie conducted a glowing interview with Michael Bloomberg. That interview centered on his plan to pour $50 million into his latest anti-gun crusade.
h/t CNS News
Fox’s Tod Starnes noticed a curious, deliberate omission in President Obama’s statement on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. See if you can spot it.
“A year ago, tragedy struck at the 117th Boston Marathon. Four innocent people were killed that week, and hundreds more were wounded. Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.
We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.
One year later, we also stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us – learning to stand, walk, dance and run again. With each new step our country is moved by the resilience of a community and a city. And when the sun rises over Boylston Street next Monday – Patriot’s Day – hundreds of thousands will come together to show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again.”
It’s a curious thing. Leftist like Obama are nanosecond quick to ascribe “hate” as a motivator among their political opponents. But he refuses to speak the word “terrorism” when Islamic radicals kill Americans, unless circumstances leave him absolutely no choice.
Tuesday night, a barefoot, black-veiled figure dropped off two backpacks near the Boston Marathon finish line. The backpacks contained pressure cookers filled with confetti. Authorities detonated both in controlled explosions. No one was injured.
The alleged perpetrator of the hoax, one year to the day after the Tsarneav brothers detonated real bombs that killed three and injured hundreds, turns out to be Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, 25.
Mediaite picks up the bizarre story from there.
NECN identified the bomber as 25-year-old Bostonian Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, the founder of a “eco-aware and ethical” fashion company called Natural Selection. Edson was discovered yesterday running barefoot on Boylston Avenue, wearing a black mesh veil and shouting “Boston Strong” over and over again, before dropping two backpack(s), one containing a rice cooker filled with confetti, at the Marathon finish line. (The backpacks were eventually detonated.)
“I really need exposure,” Edson said in a video bio for his company bearing his name, in which he also claimed that that he was bipolar. “I really need to build this world that I’ve already started creating.”
He earlier described himself as a “fashion designer, entrepreneur, performance artist, mental patient, blogger bloggerist, a jailbird, a college dropout, and a drag queen.”
Edson posted this on his Facebook page Tuesday.
Edson is going to get exposure…to lawyers, courtrooms, and prison. He may not have hurt anyone, but his actions caused real terror.
And it’s not even about the plane. Thoughts to follow the video:
OK, how does John King manage to work in a Mitt Romney dig? Oh yeah, because the Leftmedia monkeys can’t criticize a Democrat without throwing in some nonsensical random reference to a Republican who isn’t even on the national stage right now as a palate cleanser.
Then there is Jonathan Martin’s perfunctory, “Hey it’s no big deal when a Democrat does something stupid like this…” response. He says the folks in Louisiana “probably will never know” that the ad is faked, which is most likely his way of saying, “Yeah…no one is watching us talk about this right now.”
The IRS Tea Party scandal has all the characteristics of abusive government – from lies to threats to jail political opponents.
Remember when Lois Lerner and the Obama administration were blaming the IRS targeting scandal on “low level employees in the Cincinnati office?” It turns out those employees weren’t very happy about it.
New emails obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act reveal angry IRS employees who were getting the blame for the targeting of Tea Party groups. The emails reveal a deceptive public relations strategy cooked up in Washington D.C. that the “low level” employees would have no part of.
Cindy Thomas wrote Lerner an email directly.
“Joseph Grant and others who came to Cincinnati last year specifically told the low level workers in Cincinnati that no one would be ‘thrown under the bus.’ Based on articles, Cincinnati wasn’t publically ‘thrown under the bus’ instead it was hit by a convoy of Mack trucks.”
Lerner, realizing by now that email might not be the best way to manage damage control responds “I will be back shortly and will give you a call.” Telephones work better than emails in avoiding Judicial Watch FOIA requests.
The emails also reveal a desire to jail conservative activists working for non-profits. From one IRS email:
As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.
Larry Noble is a speech regulator and heads the First Amendment-hostile organization Americans for Campaign Reform which seeks to limit the reach of the First Amendment. He is also a professor at George Washington University School of Law where he teaches law students his limited views of the First Amendment.
You can read the whole stack of documents Judicial Watch obtained here. Feel free to post other gems you find in the comments below.
Katie Pavlich reports that newly released IRS emails prove that former IRS honcho Lois Lerner contacted the U.S. Department of Justice about prosecuting some tax exempt groups in May 2013. The emails have been released per a Judicial Watch FOIA.
Lerner wrote the email shortly before an inspector general’s report would make the IRS abuse of conservative groups public. Lerner got ahead of that by apologizing for the abuse via a planted question in a conference call with the American Bar Association.
Lerner emailed the IRS commissioner’s office about the DOJ on May 8, 2013 — just two days before she disclosed the abuse scandal — asking DOJ whether groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” on their tax exempt request forms.
“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ,” Lerner wrote on May 8 to Nikole Flax, chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. “He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS.”
Flax responded in email: ”I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?”
Flax worked for acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. Miller would testify under oath on May 17, 2013 that an “increased workload” was to blame for the abuse. His own chief of staff, at least, knew that that was not true.
By the time of Lerner and Flax’s emails, the abuse had been going on since 2012. Lerner, at least, knew all about it. In these emails, Lerner was seeking to escalate it into criminal prosecutions, based on the wishes of a Democrat senator, and on her communications with the Department of Justice.
Let’s back up to March 27, 2013. Lerner emailed staff about an upcoming Senate hearing.
“As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff,” she wrote to IRS staff. “So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”
On April 9, 2013, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse used a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to ask DOJ witnesses why some conservative groups were not being prosecuted. He accused those groups of “lying” on their tax exempt status forms.
After that, Lerner and DOJ communicated about going forward with prosecutions. Only the impending disclosure of the scheme by the IRS inspector general put a stop to that, and got Lerner to disclose the scandal ahead of the IG. If the IG had not been about to go public, the abuse would not only have continued, it would have gone criminal.
We now have a sitting Democrat congressman, Elijah Cummings, a sitting Democrat senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, the Federal Elections Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Internal Revenue Service all implicated in the scandal. Flax’s involvement puts the abuse squarely into the IRS commissioner’s office. But it takes an entity above all of those agencies to coordinate their actions. That entity can only be the White House.
Democrats are courting former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to challenge Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) in the 2014 election cycle, according to The New York Times.
Sebelius has increasingly been mentioned as a strong Democratic challenger against Roberts and, according to the Times, one Democrat who spoke directly with her said she is “thinking about it.”
But a Sebelius Senate run wouldn’t ensure Democrats took control of Roberts’ seat. Not only does her resume include serving as the top healthcare official in the Obama administration for overseeing the Affordable Care Act but Democrats have also not controlled a Senate seat in Kansas since 1939.
Well, now we know what the shelf life for feigned shame over a job poorly done is for them. She’s been gone all of…wait, is she even really gone yet?
Just a few days after the left media tried to-wink, wink, nudge, nudge-pretend that she was the fall gal for the nightmarish Obamacare rollout, they are now touting her troubled tenure as a résumé builder.
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind party never really punishes anyone from the ranks for not performing well. Just look at what Anthony Weiner had to do to finally get shunned.
Once you’ve turned a guy who drowned an intern into a lion of your party there isn’t much in the way of embarrassment to go around anyway.
Mike Bloomberg just doesn’t get it. He thinks the NRA is successful because of money. He doesn’t understand that the NRA has money because it consistently defends a civil right.
Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.
“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”
The NRA doesn’t do that. It doesn’t threaten children and grandchildren. But Bloomberg intends to.
He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”
Would you settle for people despising you? Because you’ve already achieved that.
Let’s flash back to note what a towering hypocrite Bloomberg is. He knows it’s a dangerous world out there. And he wants people with guns walking around him to protect him. He just doesn’t want you and I to have the same rights.
Bloomberg is setting up a new anti-constitution brand name that we’ll all have to watch out for.
Women, and mothers in particular, will be the focus of the organizing and outreach, a path that he and his advisers have modeled after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.
He’s also enlisting a high-profile Republican to help him curb our self-defense rights.
Bloomberg is bringing on a new advisory board with prominent Republican and Democratic figures. Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush; Eli Broad, the philanthropist; Warren Buffett, the investor; and Michael G. Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Mr. Bush and President Obama, will all be board members.
Bloomberg’s arrogance truly knows no bounds at all.
Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
It’s not what you’ve done or what you know that gets you into Heaven. It’s Who you know.
There is no such thing as a “Quidditch World Cup.” I repeat, there is no such things as a “Quidditch World Cup.”
Harry Potter fans will be able to read regular updates from the Quidditch tournament via the Pottermore website.
Characters from the books will feature in the reports, which will be credited to Harry’s wife Ginny.
Ginny is billed as “the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch Correspondent in the Patagonian desert” where the tournament is said to be staged.
The first installment of Rowling’s History of the Quidditch World Cup was posted on the digital platform last month, with the second part following shortly afterwards.
The Daily Beast Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report that CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev to work up a plan to share US intelligence on Russian troop position with Ukraine.
Over the weekend, CIA Director John Brennan met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema to discuss the formation of new, more secure channels for sharing U.S. intelligence with the country now fighting pro-Russian secessionists in its eastern cities, according to U.S. and Western officials briefed on the meeting.
It’s a vitally important issue because the Ukrainians are badly outmatched by the Russian forces massed on their border and infiltrating their cities. If Kiev is going to have a hope of withstanding the pressure from Moscow, their intelligence on the Russian military’s activities will have to be exquisite.
The military and several members of Congress have pushed for the US to share data on Russian troop positions with Ukraine. Sharing intel with Ukraine is tricky, though, because the Russians have thoroughly penetrated Ukraine’s military and intelligence. Whatever we tell Ukraine is bound to get to Moscow in short order.
The Ukrainian government is said to be requesting advanced secure communications equipment from the United States, one on a long list of items the U.S. government has not yet agreed to provide. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to say what if any non-lethal military equipment the U.S. might provide the Ukrainian armed forces, beyond the military rations that were delivered earlier this month.
Happy Meals aren’t going to help very much.
CNN reports that rumors of al Qaeda’s demise — which have been spread by President Obama and the Democrats — have been greatly exaggerated.
Washington (CNN) – A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn’t know about it or couldn’t get a drone there in time to strike.
U.S. officials won’t comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.
In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda’s crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.
All the US domestic spying and electronic monitoring did not help.
Here is the video. It was recently taken in Yemen, where US drones have taken out several al Qaeda terrorists over the past few years.
The short version of the story: Kid gets bullied at his school in Pennsylvania, school pays no attention and fails to help him. So he records audio of the bully bullying him, to provide proof to his mother. His mother tells the school and lets them hear the audio. The school administrators do the absolute stupidest possible thing. They tell the boy to delete the audio, and call the cops. The responding officer then does the dumbest thing he can do, and charges the kid with a crime.
By the way, the kid who now has a conviction on his record has a learning disability.
The student didn’t even truly commit “wiretapping,” which is what the police officer initially thought to charge him with, despite the fact that there was no longer any audio recording at all. The boy used a school-issued iPad to record the audio. How is that “wiretapping?” I realize that in legalese it may be, but the law is often an ass. The boy was convicted of disorderly conduct last month and removed from the class in which the bullying took place. The bullies are still there, unmolested.
The 15-year-old is being punished harshly for defending himself nonviolently.
The incident and ongoing criminal case happened in Fayette Township, PA. South Fayette High School is the guilty educational establishment.
Everyone involved in the decision to slap the boy with criminal charges should be fired and they should face child abuse charges themselves. The administrator who called the police, the police officer, the judge, everyone — fire them all and slap them with civil lawsuits.
They make these idiotic decisions based on “zero tolerance” policies. It’s past time to hit the adults in these cases with zero tolerance policies as well.
The Obama administration is just fraud all the way down.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is concerned that a crucial United Nations report on climate science may be too harsh in assessing the cost of fighting global warming.
Such a finding may lower the incentive for the world to reduce fossil fuel pollution and feed the arguments of those skeptical about whether it’s worth spending money to curtail rising temperatures.
Global temperatures haven’t risen in 15 years, but never mind that. Pay no attention to the Sun’s role in our climate.
The UN report is set for release next week. Plenty of time to inject some happy math.
“The discussion of the economic costs of mitigation is too narrow and does not incorporate co-benefits of action,” U.S. officials wrote in a submission to the UN, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg. They said including only one side of the equation “unnecessarily skews the information.”
Well, the “side” that the administration wants included isn’t real. It’s conjecture. Made-up.
The comment refers to “global consumption losses” identified in the report of as much as 4 percent in 2030, 6 percent in 2050 and 12 percent in 2100 as a result of action to protect the climate, according to a draft leaked in January.
State Department officials are pressing to factor in improvements to public health and lower energy costs from increased efficiency that would happen if fossil fuels were limited. Those would offset the price to be paid for switching over to cleaner forms of energy such as wind and solar and paring back on lower-cost fuels such as coal.
This is the math on which Solyndra was built. And Obamacare.
Nowhere will the Obama administration ever acknowledge Climate Gate.
President Obama sent Vice President Biden up to Boston to mark the one-year anniversary of the marathon bombings while he stayed in Washington for an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform.
“This morning, the President met with faith leaders in the Oval Office to discuss the importance of taking action to pass commonsense immigration reform,” the White House said in a statement. “The faith leaders shared with the President stories about the impact the failure to fix the immigration system has on families in their congregations and communities. The President expressed deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system. He emphasized that while his Administration can take steps to better enforce and administer immigration laws, nothing can replace the certainty of legislative reform and this permanent solution can only be achieved by Congress.”
“The President and the religious leaders expressed their longstanding commitment to immigration reform as a moral imperative and pledged to continue to urge Congress to act on reform as soon as possible. The President thanked the faith leaders for their leadership on this issue and their tireless efforts to encourage Congress to finish the job.”
Congress is out on spring break. In the meeting were senior adviser Valerie Jarrett; Dr. Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association in Chicago; Luis Cortes, president, Esperanza in Philadelphia; JoAnne Lyon, general superintendent, The Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis; Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville; Suzii Paynter, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta; and Dieter Uchtdorf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in North Salt Lake City.
The White House said Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon attack with a closed-press moment of silence while meeting with senior advisers in the Oval Office.
In the afternoon, he had a meeting scheduled with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. In the evening, the president and the first lady planned to mark the beginning of Passover with a closed-press Seder with friends and staff in the Old Family Dining Room.
Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at the daily briefing that “without reading out private conversations that the president has had, I think the president believes that there is an opportunity that still exists for House Republicans to follow the lead of the Senate, including Republicans in the Senate, and take up and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
“And, today’s meeting, that the president had with faith leaders, demonstrates and reinforces the fact that there is a broad, unusually broad coalition that supports that effort, that supports comprehensive immigration reform, and all the benefits that making reform the law would provide to the country, to our security, to our economy, to our businesses,” he added.
The first question Carney received was a request to open Obama’s observation of the Boston Marathon bombings to the White House press pool.
“Well, the president’s going to have a moment of silence in the Oval Office. There’ll be some senior advisers there. It’s during the course of a meeting. We certainly think that the — the moment is important but it is mostly important in Boston, and I appreciate the request,” Carney replied, arguing that if they let one independent media photographer inside other news organizations may feel at a “competitive disadvantage.”
“So, that goes to one side of the argument, but not the one that has to do with access of the free press,” he said.
Big things have small beginnings.
Oleh Tsarev, who has backed Ukraine’s membership of the Moscow-led customs union rather than European integration, was attacked after giving an interview to Ukraine’s ICTV channel in which his critics said he appeared to back an intervention by Russian troops in Ukraine’s rebellious eastern regions.
He later denied saying this and said he was categorically against Russian forces being sent into Ukraine.
Tsarev tends to go around wearing a “Born in the USSR” shirt.
The 44-year-old Tsarev, whose presidential bid has only the tiniest support, waited two hours at the studios before stepping out into the crowd where, despite some protection from his bodyguards, he was engulfed by a mob who threw eggs at him and then beat him.
He was hustled into a waiting ambulance but members of a far-right nationalist group Right Sector seized him and drove him first to the headquarters of the state security service and then to the prosecutor’s office.
Standing bare to the waist and with a black eye and scratches to his face, Tsarev told journalists: “I did not ask for Russian troops to be sent in. I am categorically against this. I am against a third party interfering in the affairs of Ukraine. Until we learn to listen to each other, Ukraine will stand no chance.”
Tsarev has little support within Ukraine, but may have serious support over the border in Moscow.
The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday praised a shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded his wife and son as they drove through the West Bank the previous evening en route to a Passover meal.
Speaking in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said the attack outside the city of Hebron “brought back life to the path of resistance” against Israel and warned of more attacks in the Palestinian territory.
The slain man’s wife is reportedly pregnant. There were several children in the car. One of them was wounded in the same attack.
Poor Barry. It must be hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way, and only have other people’s best interests in your dear heart.
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson says the White House wanted him to apologize for “offending” President Obama after he famously delivered a conservative message at the National Prayer Breakfast last year.
Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recalls the events surrounding his 2013 speech in his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future. The Daily Caller obtained an advance copy of the book, which is set for release May 20.
“He did not appear to be hostile or angry,” Carson writes of Obama, “but within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him. I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”
We should all bow down and apologize to Barry. We’re just not good enough for him.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once earned plaudits from liberals for his tough talk on gun control and success in legalizing gay marriage in the state. But, lately, he’s found no shortage of frenemies to his left.
In the past month, liberal protesters outside Cuomo’s office have dubbed him “Governor 1 Percent”; a prominent progressive activist has suggested that he run for reelection as a Republican; the head of a major labor union has called for someone to challenge the governor in the Democratic primary; and a series of behind-the-scenes feuds between Cuomo and other top Democratic officials have spilled out into public view.
The proximal cause for the infighting during an election year, when parties typically put aside their internal differences, is the state’s recently concluded, highly contentious budget process, which ended many Democrats’ hopes for sweeping ethics reforms this year. On fiscal policy, Cuomo aides insist the budget is “very progressive,” but the labor-backed Working Families Party, which endorsed the governor in 2010, is reconsidering its support this year, saying that Cuomo “chose inequality over progress.”
Progressives have been involved in a deliberate, decades-long takeover of the Democratic Party that has mostly been hallmarked by patience. The current occupier of the Oval Office has increased their expectations, however. Any Democrat who won’t smash the tax piggy bank and give them ALL THE THINGS will be found wanting and, dare I say, targeted.
One of Cuomo’s sins is that he doesn’t worship at the altar of Big Labor all of the time.
“This is not a minor shift, but it comes after a slow burn that started in 2010 … and finally just exploded in the past week and a half,” says Bill Samuels, a New York City Democratic fundraiser and activist. “There was probably no one who liked Andrew better than me.…. He lost most of us permanently. And I mean permanently. I don’t have one friend who is a Cuomo supporter.”
At its root, much of the animosity lies in some Democrats’ suspicion that Cuomo is not really one of them. Richard Brodsky, a former Democratic state senator who is now a senior fellow at the think tank Demos, has dubbed Cuomo’s worldview “progractionary”—a mix of “progressive” and “reactionary.” On social issues, the governor is a textbook liberal, but on economics, he’s embraced tax cuts and is skeptical of labor unions.
Perhaps Cuomo is skeptical because Big Labor gets rejected in every place it isn’t forced upon workers by mandate. Labor proponents will have us believe that every workplace in America will immediately morph into a sweatshop from 1894 if Big Labor has any of its power diminished or if people are allowed-wait for it-the right to choose whether they want to join a union.
The reality is that Big Labor’s fairy tale isn’t working anymore and people know that most labor unions (especially public sector unions) are all about political lobbying for things that will line the bosses’ pockets and have nothing to do with workers. And, as we have seen in Wisconsin, they can’t always win by throwing all of the money they have at an election.
It’s not that Cuomo is actually moving towards the center, his psychotic gun grab alone should prove his leftist bona fides. He is merely centrist compared to someone from the “leans commie” end of the spectrum, like Bill de Blasio:
Against this backdrop, there was bound to be conflict between Cuomo and New York City’s new mayor, who struck an emphatically populist tone in his campaign. Days after Bill de Blasio’s inauguration, an education-policy battle erupted that typifies the opposing wings of the party the two men represent. De Blasio wanted to fund a universal prekindergarten program with tax increases on the wealthy and to rein in some of the city’s charter schools; Cuomo vociferously opposes tax hikes and is a staunch defender of alternative public education.
You know who hates alternative public education?
The ideological battle for the soul of the party that the MSM loves to say is happening in the GOP is actually happening on the other side of the aisle. Like all things MSM and Democrat, it’s merely projection for what is happening with them. Yes, Republican moderates and conservatives are in the midst of a very necessary fight for some direction, but we are used to such infighting and this squabble isn’t quite as new as many would believe. It does get heated but nobody is really going with a scorched earth approach…yet.
The hive mind on the other side brooks no dissent however. One or the other has to win because that like-mindedness is what the Democrats have been using to win elections lately and the whole thing hits one of their planet saving low-flush toilets in a hurry if there’s a family fight.
There is no level of government spending on phantom issues that satisfies progressives. They are economically challenged non-thinkers who are fueled by mutually exclusive beliefs. On the one hand, they think there is a finite amount of capital in the world and any financial success in the private sector comes at the expense of someone else. On the other, they believe that these same rich people who are stealing from the poor have an infinite amount of wealth which can be taxed to support government largesse. Once those are reconciled in someone’s head, the brain short-circuits and renders any future logical thought impossible.
One side has to win this battle outright. If Hillary Clinton does end up being the nominee for 2016 it will definitely escalate the fighting, as she is practically a Reagan Republican from the leftist perspective of the progressives. Elizabeth Warren is their Golden Girl and many progressives are murmuring about her seeking the presidency, even if Fauxcahontas herself denies that she wants to.
The academics who have been indoctrinating college youth for decades are all on the whacko left and sowing seeds that could very easily blossom into a mobilized electorate. We’ve already seen the first glimpse of that with the Occupy crowd. Those weren’t poor, oppressed American youth fighting to get to the middle class. They were college kids with iPhones who thought their education should be “free”.
There is no level of taxpayer gouging that satisfies progressives. They always want more. When one of their schemes predictably fails, the excuse is always that it was because there wasn’t enough money spent on it.
More, more more.
No, no, no.
I’ve been on several Southwest flights that had flight attendant stand-up comedy routines. But this is probably the best one in the fleet.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said today that Ukraine is in a state of “civil war.”
That’s the pre-text upon which Russia is expected to launch military action against Ukraine — to “protect” ethnic Russians living in eastern Ukraine, as it “protected” ethnic Russians in Crimea.
The “civil war” is actually the government of Ukraine cracking down on pro-Russian groups that have been causing unrest over the past few days. Ukraine’s action, while necessary, falls right along with Russia’s plans.
Meanwhile, forces have been battling over an airport in eastern Ukraine, according to the AP.
KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, special forces on Tuesday recaptured a small airport that had been occupied by militiamen, the government said.
Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, had earlier announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against the insurgents who have seized control of numerous buildings in the east of the country.
Heavy gunfire rang out at the airport near the town Kramatorsk. Russian state television reported four to 11 people had been killed, but there was no independent confirmation of any casualties. Much of the shooting appeared to have been warning shots into the air.
The armed pro-Russian militias are occupying government, police and other administrative buildings in at least nine cities in the Russian-speaking east of the country around the major industrial city of Donetsk. They are demanding broader autonomy and closer ties with Russia.
The “militiamen” who seized the buildings might or might not be Russian troops. When Russia invaded Ukraine, its troops wore uniforms without any national markings. Obscuring the identity of the “militiamen” could well be another of Russia’s gambits to create confusion, and some degree of deniability if that turns out to be useful.
The only word I can use to describe our latest contest is AMAHZING!
Thanks to all who made this contest one of the best in the glorious history of PJM Photo Caption Contests. Our judges had a very difficult time selecting the winners and the criteria they used was, “Does it sound like a book title?” That is important to note because there were so many fabulous entries.
Our grand prize winner (of a future IRS investigation if SHE wins in 2016) goes to Booger2.0 for this gem:
I Slept With Bill Clinton and All I Got Was This Lousy Pantsuit
Booger2.0 also had an honorable mention for: It Takes an Intern
Our second grand prize winner is Fail Burton with:
The Beverly BillHillaries.
FromNJ was our third grand prize winner with:
Am I President Yet?
Here are all the honorable mentions:
David77: Stand by Your Man – How Hillary Clinton Failed as a Feminist
WWM: Hillary: The Difference She Doesn’t Make
SoIncredulous: It’s All President Obama’s Fault
Allan Crowson: It Fakes a Village (with apologies to Potemkin)
JRSWINE: How to Succeed in Politics without Doing Anything (Honest)
RockThisTown had four great entries: The Feminist’s Guide to Dodging Sniper Fire
How I Learned to Forgive Bill . . . & Monica, & Paula, & Gennifer, & Elizabeth, & the vast right-wing conspiracy. Wait . . . scratch those last 5.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling . . . One Bimbo Eruption at a time
Clinton Impeachment: The Sequel
Anna Beatriz: “Better than the Previous Occupant”
loveamerica: Smoke and Mirrors- How to tell lies and make people believe it
ISOaPBR: I’ll Get You, My Pretty (and Your Little Dog, Too)
Physics Geek had two clever titles: What To Expect When You’re Ruling and
The Liar, the Witch and the War Room
Kuce: Vast Right Wing Conspiracies for Dummies
Gbone: If You Fly Around A Lot, People Will Think You Are Doing Something
Fail Burton: Please Leave An Alibi At the Sound of the Beep
cfbleachers (The Great and Powerful) had these hilarious titles: I Don’t Bake Cookies, But I Helped Cook The Books
and It Takes A Villain To Raze A Country
Now speaking of the Clintons:
Below is “contest worthy” photo in need of a caption (but this is NOT an official contest.) The photo was from an article on a liberal-leaning website with the title and subtitle: “Send in General Bubba” and “Send In Bill Clinton to Save the Democrat Midterm Campaign.”
One can only imagine from his grave the real General Patton is swinging his famous pistols in disgust.
Finally, the above photo prompted me to tell you this worthless tibbit: In 1977 I had the opportunity to shake the hand of one of the men in this photo. Can you figure out which one? See you all next time a photo is worthy of a PJM photo caption contest and Happy Easter everyone!
People in Colorado may soon have an ultra-convenient option to buy their pot: a vending machine that dispenses medical marijuana and THC-laden snacks.
The machine, called the ZaZZZ, was unveiled at an event in Avon, Colo., over the weekend. Its creators told NPR that the machine uses biometrics to verify a customer’s age. It’s also climate-controlled to keep the products fresh.
These things are going to need more security than an ATM just to keep the delinquent teens at bay. And please, remember, don’t enjoy your “prescription” past its freshness date.
The upside here: the first person who can place a snack vending machine next to one of these will be able to buy an island with the revenue.
In which a shamelessly dishonest administration gets ready to be even more shamelessly dishonest.
WASHINGTON — The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.
The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.
An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.
“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau.
So watch the bouncing ball here. The changes will force a “break in trend” in healthcare uninsured numbers and how the government reports them. The Census Bureau says, now, that the new methods will make comparing the pre- and post-Obamacare numbers an apples and oranges comparison. But when the numbers do come out this fall, the Democrat from Obama on down will crow about them. They will say that Obamacare has reduced the number of uninsured. And the media, including the New York Times that is reporting on the change, will be right there to fail to acknowledge the impact of the change.
What will the low-info voter do with the new, shiny lower numbers?
Over at JuiceVox, late-term abortion filibuster cheerleader Sarah Kliff has already sent up the Media Bias Signal. Nothing to see here, move along.
So it turns out that filibustering again a popular bill and being an ethically challenged leftist aren’t enough to get any traction in Texas. Who knew? Other than everyone who knows anything about Texas, that is…
PPP’s newest Texas poll finds Republicans leading by double digits in all of the state’s major races for 2014.
In the Governor’s race Greg Abbott’s at 51% to 37% for Wendy Davis. Those numbers are largely unchanged from our last poll of the state in early November when Abbott had a 50/35 advantage. Davis had a 39/29 favorability rating right after her famous filibuster last June, but since then voters in the state have mostly moved toward having negative opinions about her and now she’s at a 33/47 spread. Davis’ name recognition is actually 12 points higher than Abbott’s, but his reviews break down favorably with 40% having a positive view of him to 27% with a negative one.
Democrats aren’t doing any better below the governor level.
There’s been some thought that Democratic prospects might be better in the race for Lieutenant Governor but Leticia Van de Putte actually trails by slightly more than Davis, regardless of who her Republican opponent ends up being. Dan Patrick leads her by 16 points at 51/35 and incumbent David Dewhurst leads her by 18 points at 50/32. Even with a divisive Republican nomination fight between Patrick and Dewhurst there doesn’t appear to be much risk of the party failing to unify before the fall- they lead 83/9 and 82/5 respectively with GOP voters in the general election.
I’d put that risk around zero. If Dewhurst is the nominee, he will win the general. If Patrick is the nominee, he will win the general.
The government says it has stopped one of its illegal activities, according to the Washington Post.
The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.
The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to the Social Security agency. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.
“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.
Hm. That “discretion under current law” may be a major caveat. The confiscations without warning that were taking place were allowed because someone — we still don’t know who — snuck a change of the statute of limitations into the 2008 farm bill. So from that perspective, “current law” allowed Treasury to do what it was doing.
But children are not obligated to pay their parents’ debts from their own assets, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Treasury was violating that in taking the children’s tax refunds. And there’s the matter of due process, which the federal government was just ignoring outright. Someone should face prosecution for violating Americans’ rights.
Along with the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher, who deserves credit for reporting the government’s actions in the first place, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley deserves credit for taking the issue on from Congress.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that government agencies were apparently “not properly notifying individuals or allowing them to inspect records of the debt they supposedly owe, which are violations of the law.”
Grassley said that although Congress did authorize the government to seek payment on old debts, the law “says nothing about allowing the government to offset payments from an individual to pay debts not in his or her name. It is unclear where the government has that authority.”
The senator said that Congress created a rigorous system to ensure that debt collection is handled transparently but that “it appears that agencies are abusing this system.”
Well, we have an abusive government that beats up on law-abiding citizens.