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Canadian Police Offer New Details About Ottawa Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Canadian police just held a press conference to detail Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa. The police also showed several surveillance videos taken from various cameras that allow them to trace the shooter’s path around the city.

The details reveal that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Canadian immigration bureau worker and a man who fought in Libya in 2011 (on which side he fought is unclear). Bibeau had converted to Islam about three years ago. He was also known to be in contact with a person who is currently on Canada’s terrorism watch list. Bibeau was not on a terrorism watch list himself, but was known to publicly espouse radical views.

He also reportedly had a couple of friends at the Ottawa mission he stayed at.

Another man, who said his initials were P.M., said Zehaf-Bibeau was close with two younger anglophone Caucasian men, roughly 20 years of age, who would speak with him often about Islam.

“There was three of them all the time going around with each other,” P.M said. “He was teaching them about Islam and stuff. He had them doing the Islamic prayer. They were in the hallways here doing it.”

All three men disappeared from the Mission on Wednesday morning shortly after a fire alarm was pulled just after 8 a.m., said P.M.

Police say that Bibeau had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship. He traveled to Ottawa earlier in October to obtain a passport. He intended to use that passport to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. He bought the first car that he used in the attack on Tuesday. He abandoned that car and stole a second one, which he used to drive to the Centre Block, where he opened fire and was killed.

Bibeau had a long rap sheet and may have been mentally ill.

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Vile Videos Exploit Children But Sell a Lot of T-Shirts

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Michelle Horstman

 

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Multiple news outlets were talking about a video today titled “F-Bombs for Feminism”, which features an array of cute little girls, all dressed up in their princess outfits, throwing out the f-bomb left and right. In this “feminist” presentation, the children tell us how exploited women are in every way, count which one of them is going to get raped, etc. It is impossible to imagine what kind of parent would allow their children to be featured in a video like this. The most disgusting part of it all is that it is disguised as a “movement”….a “cause” by the site FCKH8.com. In reality, it is an opportunity for them to capitalize on any cause they grab onto to sell a boatload of t-shirts.

The owner, Luke Montgomery, has quite a history of exploiting children and every cause that comes along to sell t-shirts. Using young children and teens in most of his videos with similar language, he promotes all the wonderful organizations that a portion of sales will go to. Among his many causes, Luke has also done videos promoting anti-gay bullying in school, pro-gay marriage, hating on Chik-fil-A and the Gulf oil spill. Of course, there are t-shirt designs for each and every cause and the F-bomb seems to be an intregal part of every campaign. Many of the older sites set up for various causes seem to have disappeared as soon as the next cause comes along. He seems quite willing to continue to use children and teens as the spewers of vile propaganda whenever it results in some new t-shirt sales.

The Better Business Bureau does not seem impressed with his business model, where he rates an “F”.

Disgusting as it is, what is just as disturbing is the celebrity kudos he claims to have gotten. They proudly share some of this on their “About” page:

T-shirts emblazoned with bold messages like “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It,” “Straight Against Hate,” and ”Legalize Love” have been publicly talked about by celebrities including Jane Lynch, Adam Lambert, Perez Hilton, and Zac Efron – who’s raved about his own “Some Dudes Marry Dudes, Get Over It” shirt in the press. Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi even have their own pink “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It” buttons.

Be Young and Shut Up expands on this:

It emerged out of the controversy following California’s Proposition 8, which was on the ballot in 2008 to repeal same sex marriage. Now some years later, with over 300,000 likes on Facebook, over 40,000 Twitter followers, and endorsements from Jane Lynch, Dan Savage, and the eighth horcrux Zefron, the organization has become fairly recognizable for its mainstream progressive stance on LGBT issues.

It does not appear that some of the recipients have any idea they are being associated with his “movement”, but many seem ready to accept the money. However, his recent attempt at exploiting the Ferguson situation didn’t go over well with one of his intended beneficiaries. In fact, a site was set up just to try to stop him in these efforts.

Be Young and Shut Up also touches on one of the more disgruntled recipients of his charity:

FCKH8 insists that $5 from each shirt sold will go to “charities working in communities to fight racism,” and expressly named Race Forward as one of the recipients. Race Forward is an excellent non-profit organization with work in research, media, and community organizing. It is also the official publisher of Colorlines. Recently, Race Forward responded:

    It has been brought to our attention that outlets have been reporting our affiliation with Synergy Media and FCKH8.com. Race Forward has never received any money from Synergy Media nor do we have an agreement with the company or FCKH8.com campaign. To be clear, Race Forward would not accept any proceeds from this effort.

It is good to see that some organizations are willing to put ethics ahead of donations from an outfit like this one. What are we to think of any celebrity or organization that is willing to endorse the actions of this business disguised as social good? And there seem to be plenty of them. FCKH8.com identifies these organizations as recipients of their Ferguson t-shirt extravaganza:

Fundraising for the fight: With every T-shirt, Hoodie and tank sold, FCKH8.com will donate $5 to the cause divided between four important organizations working in communities to fight racism. These include Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis , NAACP, Brown Memorial Fund , Crossroads Anti-racism Organizing & Training. FCKH8.com is not associated with any of these organizations, but we love their work and we will be making a financial donation to their cause. Check our News section weekly to follow the progress with screenshots of our weekly online donations.

Another site also expressed concerns with Luke’s work. The Bilerico site discussed his 2011 pro-gay marriage video with concern. Again, he used the same formula, having little children cussing along with gay men, a drag queen, etc. against the “Haters” (or in his terms, H8′ers) who are against gay marriage.

The Bilerico blog says:


And FCKH8 is raising money through T-shirt sales and giving it to The Trevor Project and Courage Campaign to name just a few organizations. I spoke with the media spokesperson for Trevor Project and asked about their affiliation with FCKH8. She said that they are not affiliated with FCKH8, but are accepting their donations. What kinds of donations do you not accept? I asked. She said “They don’t accept donations that exploit children.” So my question again is “having children yell ‘F**k you’ to people who are against gay marriage on recorded video exploitative of children?”

Let’s hope that this latest video, exploiting little children who should be enjoying their young years instead of memorizing and spewing radical propaganda, might finally be the one that gives these groups and celebrity endorsers pause, if anything will.

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VIDEO: Emotional Standing Ovation for Canadian Hero Kevin Vickers

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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The sergeant-at-arms in Canada’s House of Commons, Kevin Vickers, is one tough guy. The 58-year-old New Brunswick native spent nearly three decades in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was appointed to his current post in 2006. The mountie got his man yesterday when he shot and killed terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as the gunman stormed through the parliament building.

Today was the emotional opening of parliament with an extended standing ovation for Vickers, who will assuredly never have to buy a drink again.

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Obama Admits: Crisis Management is Beyond Me

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Jennifer Hanin

Ebola is stateside and its still putting Americans at risk, and that’s exactly why president Obama finally acknowledged it (albeit to save his own skin) and his defeat against it on October 17, 2014, when he appointed an Ebola Czar. Not sure about you but the title “Ebola Czar” is not one I would readily wear. I worked for Honeywell and KBR and always claimed the one similar corporate badge I would never wear is Siemens. Not because of their business, but because of the image the name created in my head brought me front and center with Fertility 101. Yet think of all the undesirable names most would not like to be associated with like Aids Czar, Diarrhea Czar, or Phlegm Czar. So much for words and their associated images, right?

Yet once again Obama admitted there was something bigger than himself that he couldn’t contain easily, so he had to step out of his comfort zone and appoint a czar he could control and conveniently blame if necessary. Not too different than ruining Hillary Clinton’s chance of ever holding the highest office in the land twice. One word should keep Hillary from ever becoming our 45th POTUS: Benghazi. Becoming the fall guy (well really gal) for the murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty will come up when she runs for Obama’s job. So much for campaigning for his own party.

Actually, Obama has done more to bolster himself and Michelle Obama’s status (think literary royalties, endorsements, celebrity elbowing, online followers, and cash flow) than every promoting eligible candidates’ from his own party. Just ask Bruce Braley how he feels about the way FLOTUS flubbed his name and fibbed about his military service in Iowa. Let’s just say, it only helped the Republican, Joni Ernst.

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Loyalty and Enmity: Parallels between Islam and the Mafia

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Editor’s note: The following is Part Two of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia following Bill Maher’s recent exclamation that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”  Click here for Part One.

Death to Traitors (AKA “Apostates”)

Once a Mafioso takes the oath of loyalty to the mafia—including the Omertà code of silence and secrecy—trying to leave the “family” is instantaneously seen as a betrayal and therefore punishable by death.   Any family member, great or small, is given authority to kill the traitor, the “turncoat.”

Compare this to Islam.  To be born to a Muslim father immediately makes the newborn a Muslim—there are no oaths to be taken, much less an option in the matter.   And, according to Islamic law, if born Muslims at any point in their lives choose to leave Islam, they are deemed “apostates”—traitors—and punished including by death.   Any zealous Muslim, not just the authorities, is justified in killing the apostate (hence why Muslim families that kill apostate children are rarely if ever prosecuted).

In the words of Muhammad—the messenger (underboss) of Allah (godfather):  “Whoever leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.”

The charge of “traitor” is especially applicable when the Muslim converts to another religion—most frequently Islam’s historic competitor, Christianity—as opposed to simply losing faith in their hearts.  Put differently, the very recent plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a Sudanese Christian wife and mother who, while pregnant, was imprisoned and sentenced to death for “apostasy”—is the tip of the iceberg of the plight of apostates under Islam.

Loyalty and Enmity

Loyalty is an absolute prerequisite of the mafia.  Following elaborate rituals of blood oaths, mafia members are expected to maintain absolute loyalty to the family, on pain of death.

Compare this with Islam’s “Loyalty and Enmity” doctrine, which calls on Muslims to be loyal to each other and their appointed emirs, even if they dislike them.

For example, Koran 9:71 declares that “The believing [Muslim] men and believing [Muslim] women are allies of one another” (see also 8:72-75).  And according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him…. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor”—precisely those three things of a Mafioso that are inviolable for his mafia “brother.”  (This is why Muslims like U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, whose “worst nightmare” was to be deployed to fight fellow Muslims, often lash out.)

Aside from loyalty to the family, mafia members are also expected not to befriend or associate with too many “outsiders”—who by nature are not to be trusted, as they are not of the “family”—unless such a “friendship” helps advance the family’s position.

Similarly, the second half of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity—the enmity—calls on Muslims to maintain distance from and have hate for all non-Muslim “infidels.”

Thus Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them.” According to the mainstream Islamic exegesis of al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” that is, an outsider and enemy.

Similar scriptures include Koran 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” Koran 60:1 declares, “O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?”… Keep reading

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Lefty Gets Vapors Because Republican Says Something Obvious and True About Gun Rights

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Despite what the left believes and wants low-information voters to believe, the Second Amendment is not primarily* about hunting. It is about the human right of self-defense.

That misunderstanding leads to noise like this, from Daniel Strauss at Talking Points Memo.

During an National Rifle Association event in Iowa in 2012, state Sen. Joni Ernst, now the Republican nominee for Senate in the state, said she carries a 9-millimeter gun around everywhere and believes in the right to use it even if it’s against the government if they disregard her rights.

“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere,” Ernst said during a speech at the NRA’s Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa, as flagged by The Huffington Post on Thursday. “But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

And the problem with that is…?

That it doesn’t comport with the left’s worldview? That doesn’t make it incorrect.

If the last century or two have taught us anything, they should have taught us that government can turn feral quite quickly on the one hand, and that government can let its guard down against crime and other actual threats to its citizens on the other. It isn’t as though problems of corrupt and brutal government always stay outside America’s borders. Just look at Chicago. Or cast your eyes farther south. Thanks to Mexico’s endemic corruption and its violent drug war, corruption and worse have spilled right into the border states. Our own government refuses to defend Americans from that. Americans have the right and I’d argue the duty to defend themselves.

Our own government unleashed the IRS as a thought-police. That’s a short step from government going full rogue, shorter than many on the left want to admit since their own did the unleashing.

Ernst has done nothing more than recognize that a free person must make choices to remain free, or they will soon find themselves subjugated. We need Joni Ernst and more like her in Washington.

*I was being sloppy. The Second Amendment isn’t actually about hunting at all, of course.

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Canada Gets It Right

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis

It is not just that Canada is willing to call an act of terrorism by its name: terrorism. That is certainly refreshing clarity in these troubled times, clarity which will help Canada decide how to prevent future attacks. But Canada isn’t just calling terrorism by its name. Based upon Andrew Cohen’s letter posted to CNN, Canada is engaging in some self-reflection. In what I bet will be the Canadian equivalent of Leonard Pitts Jr.’s “We’ll Go Forward from This Moment” letter on September 12, 2001, Cohen wrote a very self-aware post “This is not supposed to happen in Canada“. Just a snippet:

It is too much a cliché to say — as many surely will — that Canada has lost its innocence today. Canada is surely not innocent; a nation that marched into the maw of two world wars and left 100,000 of its sons in Europe understands a few things. That’s particularly true at this time of year, when Canadians wear red poppies in their lapels until November 11, Remembrance Day.

What we might say, though, is that Canada has lost its ignorance today — and, perhaps, a good part of its complacency, too.

It is difficult to engage in that kind of self analysis, much less to have the courage to admit what you find. Compliments to Cohen, though he does seem to be struggling with “we were asking for it” and “we may not be interested in war, but war is interested in us” arguments. Perhaps that is why he failed to mention one other thing that Canada got right over the US.

There is a reason that the terrorist only managed to kill one victim. It won’t surprise readers here to learn that the limiting force was an honorable man with a gun. I doubt that truth will get much play in the US, but it should. On a whim, I did a news search this morning for “Canada Kevin Vickers Sargent at Arms” and all but three hits on the first few Google results pages were non-US news. Canada might be coming to terms with its security illusions. Would that the US did as well.

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Latest White House Jumper Taken Down by Dogs, Hurts the Dogs

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations said that the latest White House fence jumper shows the need to “take down” anyone who tries to break into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, of Bel Air, Md., had previously been detained outside the White House, and jumped the fence last night.

Two Secret Service dogs ran after the jumper, who kicked one pup and punched another, according to CNN.

The dogs were treated for injuries and have returned to duty. Adesanya faces charges for assaulting the dogs, unlawful entry and making threats. He was reportedly unarmed and his father told media that he’s mentally ill.

“The United States capital, it’s one of the highly targeted terrorist facilities in the world, as is the White House,” Chaffetz told Fox on a day when the Canadian parliament was attacked and the White House got its second jumper in two months.

“You have got some jumper… these attacks, they are out there. And the men and women who perform the intelligence to try to prevent them and then the men and women who actually have to respond to those with dogs and other assets, they’ve just got to smother this as quickly as possible. So it’s something that we have been deal with for a long period of time,” the congressman continued. “But when you see, you know, an honor guard killed, murdered, you have got to think this is terrorism, not just, hey, let’s down play this. You have to think, is this part of a bigger, broader terrorist effort? We are in a fight and we have to win this fight.”

Chaffetz acknowledged “we can’t give up every liberty in the name of security.”

“At the same time, when we know there is a threat, there is a clear-and-present danger to the United States of America, then you go take out that threat,” he said. “We can’t be so politically correct as to say, well, let’s not just pretend that this particular thing — let’s just smooth that over. No, you can’t be talking about workplace violence when clearly it’s terrorism. Let’s get real about it and get aggressive about it. People need to know, for instance, in the fence jumping, I spent a lot of time looking at the Secret Service, and most every one of those men and women do awesome work. Awesome work.”

“But when somebody does jump the fence, they need to know that they are going to be taken down. Those men and women who are there, they can’t hesitate. They need to know we got their back, that nobody gets to the president, nobody gets in the White House, no one gets in that Canadian parliament. If that’s the message we continue to send, then I think they will think twice about making those types of attempts.”

The jumper reportedly got 20 yards or so across the lawn before the dogs got him.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said the latest incident shows that the height of design of the fence needs to be changed.

“The Secret Service has learned from the most serious breach in its history that dogs need to be on the job on the ground where the fence-jumpers want to be, not at an off-site location,” Norton said. “However, last night’s jumper scaled the fence when the president was in the residence. When will the Department of Homeland Security or the Secret Service seek a historically authentic, secure wrought-iron fence to thwart fence jumpers?”

“The potential effectiveness of such measures is clear, unlike the overreach of keeping the public farther away from the White House,” Norton added. “These two steps – updating the fence and keeping dogs close to the fence – show that what we need is common sense and attentiveness to every security detail at the perimeter.”

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Holder’s Justice Department Isn’t Interested in the Facts in Ferguson

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The official autopsy of Michael Brown leaked Wednesday. It strongly suggests that there was an altercation between Brown and Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson before the 18-year-old man was shot dead on August 9. The autopsy also revealed that Brown had been using marijuana, and had enough THC in his system to trigger hallucinations.

The Justice Department is angry — with the leak.

The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

That’s rich coming from a Justice Department that bigfooted its way into Ferguson with the express intent to impact public opinion, after the media did its best/worst to turn what might have been an ordinary if tragic police shooting incident into a nationwide race case.

Supposing the leaker does want to influence public opinion, why might that be the case? Could it be because the rioters who menaced Ferguson for weeks after the shooting continue to demand that Wilson not only be indicted, but convicted, no matter what the facts say? Could the leak be an attempt to start slowly draining the story’s controversy away? Could it be because the leaker is aware that the grand jury’s failure to indict Wilson, if that’s what happens, could trigger a whole new round of riots and violence if it comes without some warning?

Here’s what we’re getting, in what looks like an effort to start pulling some of the rage out of the situation ahead of any grand jury decision.

The New York Times reported that investigators found Brown’s blood on Wilson’s gun, on the interior door panel of Wilson’s car and on Wilson’s uniform.

The Washington Post reported that several black witnesses had provided details in secret grand jury testimony that supported Wilson’s account.

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John Kerry’s Peace Partners: Fatah Facebook Page Honors Yesterday’s Murder of Israeli Infant

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by David Steinberg

As reported here yesterday, the State Department’s Jen Psaki was unable to use the word “murdered” in the administration’s official response to yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem that ended the life of three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun. Then, outrageously, she urged “all sides to maintain calm” in the wake of the infanticide.

Imagine being a member of the baby’s family and receiving that message.

Today, one of those “sides,” the evil one, posted this outrageous image sanctifying as courageous the act of infanticide. It reads:

The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

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Fatah. Not Hamas, the supposedly more extremist member of the joint Palestinian Authority ruling coalition, but Fatah, the “moderates” who have had the honor of frequent audiences with our secretary of State, and who have batted out around the U.S. like a cat toy for some 25 years now with this “moderate” charade.

I expect the State Department to do nothing, or to request Fatah remove the image as a “gesture of goodwill,” and dismiss it as some sort of necessary, realpolitik pandering to their extremist base.

Don’t stand for it this time. Make Kerry answer for his useful idiocy. Force him to represent the U.S. as a country which actually upholds humanity in some regard.

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Dallas Nurse Amber Joy Vinson is Now Ebola-Free

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola from Thomas Duncan has tested Ebola-free.

One week after Dallas nurse Amber Vinson had been diagnosed with Ebola, we learned Wednesday the CDC declared her to be Ebola-free.

A just-released photo of Vinson speaks volumes. She’s smiling, taking a “selfie” from her hospital bed in Atlanta. Her mother Debra Berry issued a statement. It reads, in part:

“We all know that further treatment will be necessary as Amber continues to regain strength, but these latest developments have truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home.”

The first Ebola nurse, Nina Pham, has been upgraded to “good” condition. Her dog has tested Ebola-free but remains in quarantine.

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Obama Admin Misled Congress, American People on Release of Violent Illegal Aliens

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In just about any other election year, a story like this one from USA Today could scramble everything. It’s that explosive.

But this year…the Democrats are poised to lose anyway. President Obama is hellbent on granting unilateral amnesty to several million illegal aliens anyway. He is also intent on sparking as many constitutional disputes with the new Congress as he can.

And by now, we have the measure of the man himself. Every issue, crisis or problem that comes up is handled by him and his administration not on its own merits, but as a political problem for him, personally. He might, if forced to, say something about “protecting the American people” after he has chosen to endanger us. He might even fake outrage and appoint another czar to “get to the bottom of this.” But since Obama himself is at the bottom of this, that czar would be another political fixer, who will not get to the bottom of anything at all.

Two more years of this…

So this story won’t scramble the election. It will play a prominent role in the new Congress, though. Which is probably perfectly fine with the Divider in Chief.

New records contradict the Obama administration’s assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.

The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress.

The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed.

ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen acknowledged the discrepancy. She said “discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency’s control.”

“…outside the agency’s control.” Isn’t that interesting?

A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge.

These people are still on our streets. It took a FOIA to get that out of the Obama government.

Oh, and this should go without saying, but you’re a racist for even being concerned about any of this.

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Dem Congressman: ‘Everybody’s Hair on Fire’ That ‘Somehow the Muslim Hordes are Going to Come Get Us’

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democratic congressman decried reactions to this week’s terrorist attacks in Canada, arguing people shouldn’t get worked up about “Muslim hordes” coming to get the U.S.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told MSNBC yesterday that President Obama was “very measured in his response.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the killing of a soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa followed by shots fired at the parliament building the work of a “terrorist” in his address to the nation. Obama stressed “we don’t yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting,” adding “it emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism.”

“Usually people — the information we get immediately after one of this incident turns out to be partial or incorrect or wrong direction all together. I mean you have to look back to Timothy McVeigh when he blew up the building in Oklahoma City, or we had two guards killed in the Congress since I’ve been there by a young man who was trying to bring a gun in who was mentally not balanced,” McDermott said.

“You have to wait and get the information, and I think the president, by not getting his hair on fire is doing exactly the right thing. We don’t know who did this, we don’t know if there’s a conspiracy or anything else. All the speculation you’re seeing in the press is done by irresponsible people in my view.”

The shooter, killed by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vicker, has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Reuters cited U.S. officials saying Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam, and the Globe and Mail said his passport had been taken away by the Canadian government after he was designated a “high-risk traveler” who was planning to go fight overseas.

NORAD was put on high-alert posture after the Canadian attack. McDermott said that wasn’t necessary.

“You know, we’ve just gone through the Ebola virus. That was the crisis of last week. Everybody’s hair was on fire about Ebola and suddenly a shooting occurs in Canada and suddenly our hair is on fire that somehow the Muslim hordes are going to come and get us; there’s no evidence for that,” he said.

“And to me it sends the wrong message to the people, especially to those people who are inclined to do these kinds of things, it gives them ammunition to say, well I’d better do something now before — that kind of stuff encourages this kind of stuff.”

The congressman said he feels “very comfortable” with security on Capitol Hill.

“Walking around the campus as I have for the last few years, you occasionally suddenly see another layer of police, and you see people being directed away from certain areas. And you see things happening and you know that they’ve changed something because they’re concerned about something. I think that’s prudent, that’s what we create the police for, to do the things to protect us,” McDermott said.

“They don’t necessarily have to tell us everything that they’ve heard or worried about. They simply have to do their job. And I think that, sometimes the government official like President Obama doesn’t need to tell everybody everything he knows. He needs to deal with it in an appropriate way using the instruments of government. And so far I’ve seen him do a good job. I really think he’s handled this very well.”

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U.S. Offering ‘Blind Support’ to UN Agency Despite Attacks from Gaza, Argue Senators

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Republican senators have let Secretary of State John Kerry know that they won’t support further aid to Gaza residents until the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency can assure that it isn’t complicit in attacks on Israel.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked Kerry in August to launch a State Department investigation into ”the role played by UNRWA in the recent conflict in Gaza.”

“As you know, during the conflict, rockets were found on UNRWA property on three separate occasions, and rockets were fired into Israel from the vicinity of UNRWA facilities on multiple occasions. Information has also emerged regarding the potential exploitation of UNRWA’s distribution network inside Gaza to by Hamas and other terrorist groups.”

The State Department replied in September, telling the senators that the U.S. is “awaiting the findings of UNRWA’s ongoing internal investigation before considering further action.”

“It is unclear when that investigation will be completed or how truly independent it will be,” Kirk and Rubio wrote Kerry on Wednesday.

“Given UNRWA’s record and the absence of an independent investigation into its actions during the conflict, we were dumbfounded when, on October 12th, you reiterated, without any qualification, that the United States would provide more than $150 million to UNRWA programs in Gaza,” they wrote.

“This blind support sends the wrong message to an institution that has already become far too dependent on the largesse of the American taxpayer and repeatedly failed to ensure that its facilities and resources are not used by terrorists who wish to sow chaos and instability rather than aid the Palestinian people.”

The GOP senators said the United States “should assist the people of Gaza as they rebuild after yet another Hamas-caused conflict.”

“But this support cannot come at the expense of Israel’s security. We will not support the provision of future U.S. assistance to entities or projects in Gaza unless the State Department assures Congress that UNRWA or the relevant recipient entity has imposed independently audited accountability measures to verifiably prevent any U.S. assistance from aiding, directly or indirectly, extremists’ efforts to rearm or lay the groundwork for future attacks against Israel,” Rubio and Kirk added.

“Without greater scrutiny of all U.S. funds being provided to entities in Gaza, it will be difficult to truly diminish Hamas’ and other terrorist groups’ influence in Gaza and will only make a resumption of violence more likely.”

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Wendy Davis: Sure, I’d Welcome Obama to Come to Texas and Campaign With Me!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Early voting is currently underway in Texas. Democrat Wendy Davis is tanking in the polls in the governor race as Greg Abbott looks to be cruising to a win.

The Davis campaign has become so desperate that it has attacked Abbott over interracial marriage — despite the fact that he’s half of one — and it swiped a photo of Republican kids to claim its support is building and burgeoning. And that was just this week.

But finally, Wendy Davis may have just thrown in the towel.

Democrat Wendy Davis says she would welcome President Barack Obama campaigning for her in Texas in the final days of her underdog bid for governor.

Davis says she would be “thrilled” if Obama or the Clintons wanted to help with her campaign. Obama has campaigned for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in other states and will continue doing so next week in Wisconsin.

But most Democrats — including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair — are running as far away from Obama as they can these days. Obama is about as welcome in most campaigns as Ebola. Because most Democrats have clued into the fact that however much they might love his brand of disinterested international leadership and domestic attack dog nonsense, most Americans have tuned him right out.

The math for Davis is not good. She’s running as an Obama Democrat in Texas, a state that Obama lost twice and that Bill Clinton lost twice. No Democrat has won anything of note here in 20 years.

She has run a humorless, drab, terrible campaign that has one setting — ATTACK! — and which has been equal parts low comedy and repulsive dishonesty. Davis herself got off the blocks stating her belief that ships taking on water is a good thing, and has never really improved from there.

Now she wants Barack Obama, the president who is even tanking in the blue states, to come and campaign with her in bright red Texas.

Well, why not? It’s not like she has anything to lose at this point.

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State Dept. Urges ‘All Sides’ to ‘Avoid Escalating Tensions’ After Terrorist Kills American Baby

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department condemned yesterday’s terrorist attack in which the assailant rammed his car into a group of people waiting at a light-rail station, killing a 3-month-old.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a brief statement. “We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured.”

“We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident,” Psaki added.

The Times of Israel reported that the attacker, Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, 21, is the nephew of late Hamas chief bomb-maker Mohiyedine Sharif. Shaludi was shot while trying to flee the scene.

The victim, Chaya Zissel Braun, had just been taken on her first trip to see the Western Wall, the Jerusalem Post reported.

In statements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad welcomed the baby girl’s murder, as reported by the Post:

“The attack in Jerusalem is an act of heroism and a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against our people and our holy places,” said Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas spokesperson.

“The attack in Jerusalem is a natural response to what is taking place in the city, given the harassment and overall attacks of Judaization affecting our holy places and Muslims,” said another Hamas official, Salah Baradwil.

Hamas warned that the latest developments may augur the next “Palestinian intifada in Jerusalem.”

Islamic Jihad released an official statement on Thursday through its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigade, saying: “There is Zionist aggression against all of our people, and today the resistance responded to this attack. This is a natural right.”

“This attack is a strong response to the Israeli occupation, whose crimes are unable to break the resistance,” the organization said.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad called on the Palestinian Authority to “halt its security coordination with Israel and to act in resistance in the West Bank.”

The two groups also praised the residents of east Jerusalem “for their fierce stance against the crimes of the occupation.”

“This is how Abu Mazen’s partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Seven were wounded in the attack.

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Missouri Democrat: My Biggest Enemy Is the President of the United States

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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The Missouri Torch reports that Democrat state Representative Ed Schieffer, a candidate for the Missouri state Senate, met with the Lincoln County Tea Party this week to ease any fears they might have that he would be taking orders from President Obama:

My biggest enemy in my election is not Jeanie Riddle. My biggest enemy is the President of the United States. My great, educated father knew that. He said, “Eddie, you don’t have to worry too much about the lady running against you. You need to worry about the liberal, overly liberal, President and Congress we have. That’s what you have to worry about.”

Almost sounds like you’re not talking to a Democrat, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the president gave away the game when he explained to Al Sharpton’s radio listeners how this whole election season conversion switcheroo works:

The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress. So this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me…I tell them…you do what you need to do to win.  I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.

Though Mr. Schieffer won’t get a vote in Congress in the upcoming term, only time will tell if he goes back to sounding — and voting — like an Obama Democrat if he’s elected to the Missouri state senate.

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Canadian PM Calls Attacker ‘Terrorist,’ Vows ‘We Will Not be Intimidated’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Speaking for the first time since a gunman attacked parliament earlier today, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the week’s multiple assaults “a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist serving in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was shot and killed while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Minutes later, a gunman opened fire inside the halls of parliament before he was shot to death by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vicker.

The CBC reported that police confirmed a photo tweeted by an ISIS-associated account does depict gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. The Twitter account was suspended soon after the photo was posted.

His mother, Susan Bibeau, is deputy chairperson of the immigration division at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. His father is reportedly Libyan.

The Canada-born shooter was raised near Montreal and had brushes with the law on drug charges, robbery and making threats. Reuters cited U.S. officials saying Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam, and the Globe and Mail said his passport had been taken away by the Canadian government after he was designated a “high-risk traveler.”

Addressing the nation, Harper noted that “for the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.”

On Monday, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run over and killed “by an ISIL-inspired terrorist”: Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau.

“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” Harper said of Zehaf-Bibeau. “…We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.”

“But let there be no misunderstanding: We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” the prime minister continued. “In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.”

“While today has been without question a difficult day, I have no doubt Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.”

President Obama called Harper earlier in the day, and the White House said it wouldn’t jump to conclusions on the motive behind the attack.

At a media availability when he sat down with new Ebola czar Ron Klain in the Oval Office today, Obama said, “Obviously, the situation there is tragic.”

“We don’t yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting. We don’t yet have all the information about whether this was part of a broader network or plan or whether this was an individual or series of individuals who decided to take these actions,” he said. “But it emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism.”

Obama added that the U.S. and Canada are “entirely in sync” when it comes to “dealing with terrorist activity.”

“You know, every single day, we have a whole lot of really smart, really dedicated, really hardworking people, including a couple in this room, who are monitoring risks and making sure that we’re doing everything we need to do to protect the American people,” he said.

“And they don’t get a lot of fanfare. They don’t get a lot of attention. There are a lot of possible threats that are foiled or disrupted that don’t always get reported on.”

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on the attacks: “The United States has faced this kind of violence firsthand on our own soil, and we grieve with Canada, seared by the memory of our own painful experiences.”

“I spoke tonight with Canadian Foreign Minister Baird to express our deepest condolences on this tragic day, and to pledge the full support of the United States to Canada as it works to determine the facts and to hold those accountable responsible,” Kerry said, adding the two countries would continue to work “together to counter violent extremism in North America and elsewhere around the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said he was “deeply troubled” by the attack.

“Even though many facts surrounding today’s attack remain unknown, it’s clear that those who cherish free and open societies must be constantly vigilant,” Royce said. “The U.S. and Canada must increase our already substantial counterterrorism cooperation.”

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Fresh Out of Real Support in Texas, Wendy Davis Tweeps Steal Pic of College Republicans

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Well, this is curious. Take a look at this tweet.

It’s a retweet of a Wendy Davis retweet, in which the Democrats’ fading hope to take Texas retweets a fan claiming that she and her friends all just turned out to vote for Wendy Davis

 

Only, they didn’t. The photo is actually of a bunch of College Republicans. In Virginia. They didn’t vote for Wendy Davis.

Funny thing, Wendy Davis has raised much of her campaign money outside Texas. Maybe her campaign staff think voters outside the state can make her governor?

As you can see, the original tweeter is a @Lisa_In_Austin.

Or, was.

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Soldier, Murderer in Ottawa Shooting ID’d (Update: ISIS Posts Photo)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The soldier who was killed in today’s shooting rampage in Ottawa, Canada has been identified. He was Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. He was 24 years old.

The soldier that was killed was identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, according to his aunt. Cpl. Cirillo, who was a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a regiment of Reserve Forces based in Hamilton, was training to join the Canada Border Services Agency, his aunt told The Globe and Mail.

“We’re still in the process of an active operation right now. We’re treating this very seriously with the RCMP in identifying and clearing Parliament Hill to render it safe,” Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau told a mid-afternoon media briefing.

The shooter who was killed has also been identified. His name was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32. Witnesses report that he was wearing a black jump suit and a white scarf during the attack. According to reports, he drove up to the National War Memorial of Canada and shot Cirillo in the chest. He then made his way into the parliament building nearby and opened fire inside, where the sergeant-at-arms killed him. Reports of a third shooting at a nearby mall turned out not to be true.

Canadian police continue to search for other gunmen.

Update: Zehaf-Bibeau is reportedly of Algerian descent, and was recently designated a “high-risk” traveler by Candada’s government. His passport had reportedly been seized. Canada recently announced that it would revoke passports of anyone found to be trying to support ISIS.

Update: And then there’s this — ISIS has posted what it claims is a photo of the murderer during the attack.

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Why Is President Obama Running Around the Country Kissing Women?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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CNN reported on Tuesday:

The woman who voted next to President Barack Obama on Monday says she was “embarrassed and just shocked,” after her fiancé jokingly told him “Mr. President, don’t touch my girlfriend.”

Casting his ballot in Chicago on Monday, Obama stood at a voting booth next to Aia Cooper, whose fiancé, Mike Jones, decided to crack wise with the president, which prompted Obama to reply with “I really wasn’t planning on it,” before adding that Jones was “an example of a brother just embarrassing you for no reason.”

In an interview with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin Tuesday afternoon, Cooper said she was “embarrassed and just shocked” after hearing her fiancé comments. “I was just shaking,” she said.

CNN reported that Obama “got back at Jones” when he finished voting, “with a hug and a kiss for his fiancée.”

“On the cheek, just the cheek — please, Michelle, don’t come after me — just the cheek!” Cooper told CNN affiliate WLS-TV after voting.

“Now, he’s really jealous,” Obama told Cooper.

All these years we thought ogling the women was supposed to be Joe Biden’s gig.

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If this was just a one-off, we might be tempted to ignore it because ISIS is advancing, midterm elections are right around the corner, and everyone is stockpiling hand sanitizer and hazmat suits in the event of an Ebola outbreak in their area. But this wasn’t a one-off.

Which brings us to the second presidential kissing incident.

Last week when talking about the potential of an Ebola epidemic in the United States, President Obama tried to reassure the folks by saying that he had visited the hospital in Atlanta where Ebola patient Amber Vinson was being treated.

“I shook hands with, hugged, and kissed, not the doctors, but a couple of the nurses at Emory because of the valiant work that they did,” Obama said. “In treating one of the patients, they followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing, and I felt perfectly safe doing so.”

Before we move on to the kissing part, it’s worth mentioning that Obama was not actually at Emory when Amber Vincent was being treated there. In fact, he visited on September 16, a full 26 days after the second American missionary being treated for Ebola had been discharged from the hospital and nearly a week after any medical personnel who had treated her would have been at risk of contracting the deadly disease.

Besides the fact that Obama went out of his way to say that he kissed only the nurses and not the doctors (is that sexist or homophobic or both?), the whole notion of the president bragging about kissing people while talking about a deadly infectious virus seems not only ill-advised, but very strange.

Have you been to a hospital lately? Nobody should be kissing anybody there. Everywhere you look there are vats of hand sanitizer and warnings about washing hands and disinfection protocols. The places are crawling with germs — staph infections, MRSA, C. diff and, especially this time of year, the flu.

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Ferguson: Autopsy Consistent With Struggle, Not Surrender (Update: Hallucinations?)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Minutes before he was killed by Ferguson, MO police Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown stole about $43 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars from a convenience store.

As Tatler reported at the time, an examination of Brown’s social media strongly hinted that the teenager was a marijuana user and that he stole the cigars in order to use them to smoke pot.

An official autopsy of Brown confirms that he was a pot user. He had THC in his system at the time of his altercation with Wilson. The autopsy also suggests that Brown was fighting with, or attacking, Officer Wilson when he was shot.

The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case.

The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.

Those documents, prepared by the St. Louis County medical examiner and obtained by the Post-Dispatch, provide the most detailed description to date of the wounds Brown sustained in a confrontation Aug. 9 with Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

The St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation, reviewed the autopsy report for the newspaper. He said Tuesday that it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.”

If Brown had had has hands up in surrender, as some witnesses claimed, how could he have gotten shot in the hand?

Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

Reaching for an officer’s firearm, not surrendering. And acting under the influence of drugs, not a choirboy headed to college as some have portrayed him.

In addition, blood may have been found on Wilson’s gun, another indication that that there was a close-up fight.

The autopsy’s findings support theories that Brown believed that Wilson intended to arrest him for the convenience store theft when the officer came upon Brown and a friend walking down the middle of a street, disrupting traffic. If Brown believed his arrest was imminent, and he was on marijuana which impaired his judgement, he may have lashed out at Wilson to resist arrest and get away. If so, that was a fatal mistake.

Update: This is huge, from the Washington Post.

Jurors have also been provided with the St. Louis County autopsy report, including toxicology test results for Brown that show he had levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The Post’s sources said the levels in Brown’s body may have been high enough to trigger hallucinations.

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Little Girls F-Bomb the Internet, Social Media Goes Wild

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Serious content warning. Serious enough that the original video was pulled from YouTube.

There’s a great episode of Modern Family in which Cam and Mitchell have to explain to their four year old daughter Lily that she can’t use the f-word. Every time Lily drops the f-bomb, Cam starts compulsively laughing, making it very hard to convince the child that using the f-word is inappropriate. Horrified, Mitchell rebukes Cam throughout the episode until Lily drops a big, fat f-bomb while standing in front of a church full of people, dressed as a flower girl in a wedding party. At that point everyone laughs. Point being: Adults get a perverse kick out of watching innocent little kids use bad words.

It’s probably why Will Ferrell made a series of videos for Funny or Die featuring his creative partner Adam McKay’s toddler daughter repeating loads of foul, inappropriate language in adult-like scenarios. Commenting on his child’s foul-mouthed role, McKay remarked:

“Fortunately she is in this great stage now where she repeats anything you say to her and then forgets it right away, which is key,” says McKay, who has two daughters by his wife of 11 years, actress Shira Piven (Jeremy’s sister).

Adds McKay, “She has not said the B-word since we shot the thing.”

Rumor had it that the videos ceased production once the toddler was old enough to realize what she was saying and repeat it.

Adults find kids cursing to be funny. The younger the kid, the better. So, when FCKH8 decided to have a load of little girls dress up as princesses and drop the f-bomb all over the Internet, they basically decided to give adults everywhere (except those with some sense of moral fiber) a laugh.

And mock feminism at the same time.

I laugh at the War on Women mythology quite frequently. The idea that beauty is somehow associated with helplessness, that abortion translates to career equality, and the whole 77 cents-to-a-dollar thing all really tickle my funny bone. But I do take feminism seriously. And I wonder, if the folks at FCKH8 really took feminism seriously, would they have chosen to market it by employing one of the gags that makes adults laugh the most?

Apparently, FCKH8′s real goal is to say American Feminism, with it’s slavish attachment to the War on Women is a complete joke best understood by those with the intellect of a 5 year old. Which is a shame, both for FCKH8 and American feminism, because, for the women facing real issues of inequality and gender-based persecution, feminism is no laughing matter.

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White House Trying to Determine If Canada Attack was Terrorism

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House said it’s “in close touch” with Canadian counterparts after today’s deadly shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and at parliament.

Most of the member of the House of Commons and the Senate were on Parliament Hill for caucus day. The buildings went into lockdown and were slowly being cleared as authorities tried to determine if there were any more shooters.

The attack came two days after two Canadian Armed Forces members from Canadian Forces Base Saint-Jean Garrison were run down in a car driven by, in the words of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “a man who, according to our national security services, had become radicalized.”

Harper was scheduled to host a Q&A session today at a school in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who lives under constant threat from the Taliban. He was also going to grant honorary Canadian citizenship to the Pakistani teen.

President Obama called Harper today to “express the American people’s solidarity with Canada” in both Monday’s attack and today’s attack.

“President Obama condemned these outrageous attacks, and reaffirmed the close friendship and alliance between our people,” said a White House readout of the phone call. “The president offered any assistance Canada needed in responding to these attacks. Prime Minister Harper thanked the president and the two leaders discussed the assault and agreed to continue coordination between our governments moving forward.”

In the latest issue of its magazine Dabiq, ISIS faulted “crusader” media for making lone wolf attacks “appear to be random killings” and encouraged attacks on citizens from “crusader” countries.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” stated the magazine article. “Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.”

The attacks also came as al-Qaeda released a new 117-page slick English-language magazine, Resurgence, which is largely geared toward its new southeast Asia chapter.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama was briefed earlier today in the Oval Office by his top homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco.

“The details about the nature of this event are still sketchy, which is not unusual in a chaotic situation like this one,” Earnest said.

“Canada is one of the closest friends and allies of the United States. And from issues ranging from the strength of our NATO alliance to the Ebola response to dealing with ISIL, there’s a strong partnership and friendship and alliance between the United States and Canada. The United States strongly values that relationship, and that relationship makes the citizens of this country safer.”

Earnest said he was “not in a position to render a judgment… at this point” on whether Canada was the victim of a terrorist attack.

“There’s no conclusion like that that I’m able to share with you at this point, but we’re obviously in the very early stages of determining what exactly happened here. And as I mentioned, a number of U.S. officials in this government have been in touch with their Canadian counterparts to offer some assistance as they respond to and deal with this tragic situation,” he said, adding he was “not aware” of any change to the threat status in the U.S.

“The United States has been in touch with Canadian counterparts over the last several months to talk about this issue of countering violent extremism and trying to deter foreign fighters who could be radicalized by ISIL. ISIL has demonstrated a capacity to use social media and other aspects of modern technology to try to radicalize citizens in other countries,” Earnest continued.

“…The circumstances around today’s tragic events in Canada are still unknown, but that is a concern that the United States has been focused on for quite some time. We’ve been talking to other countries about steps that we can take in coordination to mitigate that threat, and Canada is one of the countries that has been robustly engaged in those efforts.”

Though Capitol Police are said to be monitoring the developments in Canada, U.S. lawmakers are out of town until after midterm elections.

The State Department said the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa was under lockdown and “restricting the movement of embassy personnel as a precautionary measure.”

Secretary of State John Kerry was briefed on the attack while flying, spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

When asked if there was a tie to the Islamic State, Harf interjected, “I don’t even want to speculate. It’s way too early.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN “there’s been chatter for some time.”

“ISIS encouraging people to undertake self-radicalized attacks, low-tech or high-tech, they don’t care as long as western targets are gone after. We don’t know yet… whether this was a terrorist-inspired attack. But if it was, it’s certainly consistent with what ISIS has been urging,” Schiff said. “So I think FBI taking some prudent steps today to raise alert among the FBI offices and make sure either from a copycat attack perspective or because of this chatter it’s a very prudent step.”

“…Intelligence is really our best defense against something like this, but even intel, obviously, isn’t perfect.”

UPDATE 5:30 p.m. EST: An ISIS-associated account tweeted a purported photo of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, reportedly the shooter killed by parliament Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers. It’s not a new account and tweets an extensive amount of jihadi news, yet didn’t elaborate when pressed for more information about the photo — particularly who took it. The account was suspended minutes after PJM took this screenshot.

The photo is not verified, yet does not conflict with witness accounts:

An Ottawa Citizen reporter inside the Parliament building, Jordan Press, wrote on Twitter that a suspect was ’5’9-5’10, overweight & wearing a dark jacket’. 

Witnesses also told the Citizen that they saw a man wearing an ‘Arabic scarf’ and carrying a long rifle, while others said the suspect looked South American. 

Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, told CBC that he saw a man running with a shotgun, wearing a scarf and blue jeans.

…Those who saw the shooter at the War Memorial say that he had dark hair, a dark complexion and a scarf on his head and was armed with a rifle.

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NBC Cameraman Beats Ebola

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is now Ebola-free.

 

It’s still not clear how Mukpo came with with the virus. He may have contracted it when he was cleaning a car in which a person infected with the virus had ridden.

Mukpo received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, the American missionary who also survived the disease thanks in part to a blood transfusion that he received from a fellow Ebola survivor. Brantly has also donated blood to Dallas nurse Nina Pham, one of the two nurses who got Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan.

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Another Senator Accuses Democrat-Led Senate of Sexism

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

First it was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, using her book to describe sexist behavior aimed at her in the US Senate. Gillibrand failed to name names, leading to the obvious conclusion that the Democratic senator was talking about fellow Democrats. If the perps were Republicans, Gillibrand would have named them, shamed them, and maybe even Bob Packwooded them.

In the end, Gillibrand blamed a dead Democrat, the late Sen. Daniel Inoue. Whether that was true or not, it certainly took a difficult story for Democrats off the media’s radar.  Try as they might, the media can’t credibly blame anything Inoue did or didn’t do on any Republican, or even the Democrats who currently run the Senate.

Today it’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), accusing unnamed senators of behaving boorishly, according to CNN.

During a wide-ranging interview on the Colorado campaign trail—where she was stumping for endangered incumbent Sen. Mark Udall—CNN asked Warren whether she had experienced any different treatment as a woman. “Yes,” she said. Would she elaborate? “Nope.” But was it surprising? “Not really, I wish it were,” she told CNN. “But it’s hard to change these big, male dominated institutions. What I am very happy about is that there are now enough women in the United States Senate to bring change to that place and I think that’s just powerfully important.” There are now 20 women in the senate.

Warren didn’t want to talk specifics, or how the different treatment manifested itself. “I’ve said all I am going to say,” ending that part of the conversation.

Well, we can all infer what’s going on here. If the culprit or culprits were Republicans, Warren, false Indian and darling of the far left, would not hesitate to name them and call them out. No doubt about it. Her accusation would resurrect the phony “war on women” with less than two weeks to go before the election.

So the culprits must be Warren’s fellow Democrats. That’s why she has said all she’ll say about it.

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‘Anti-Hate’ Group Unleashes Hateful Video in the Name of Stopping Hate

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Mediaite:

You know how elderly white people trying to rap is off-putting? Well, multiply that by 100 and you’ll understand how jarring it is to hear little girls in a new ad repeatedly dropping f-bombs in the name of feminism. Yeah, in this video by FCKH8.com, little girls dressed up as princesses explain how unfair the world is to women with a crapload of words far worse than crapload.

For example, choice phrases include “I’m not some pretty fucking hopeless princess in distress!”, “Pay up, motherfucker!”, and “Start teaching boys not to fucking rape!”

Mediaite has the video. It’s appalling.

The left likes to say that hate has to be taught. Fair enough. Those girls had to be taught and directed by adults to act so profane and hateful.

It’s no exaggeration to call the girls in the video “little,” as they’re definitely pre-teens. It’s also no exaggeration to call the video itself borderline child abuse. Plus, thoroughly hateful, devoid of thought, and ultimately counterproductive.

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Islam: More ‘Like the Mafia’ than Bill Maher Knows (Part 1)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Editor’s note: The following is Part One of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia.

During a recent debate on HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher declared that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

Maher was apparently referring to Islam’s “blasphemy” laws, which ban on pain of death any “insult”—as found in a statement, a picture, a book—to Islam and especially its prophet, Muhammad.

While Maher has been criticized for his “Islamophobic” assertion, he and others may be surprised to learn that the similarities between Islam and the mafia far exceed punishing those who say, draw, or write “the wrong thing.”

In the following three part article, we will examine a number of these similarities.

In this article, Part One, we will look at the relationship between Allah, his messenger Muhammad, and the Muslims, and note several parallels with the relationship between the godfather, his underboss, and the mafia.

In Part Two (forthcoming), we will examine the clannish nature of the mafia and compare it to Islam’s concept of “Loyalty and Enmity”—including how in both Islam and the mafia, those members who wish to break away, to “apostatize,” are killed.

In Part Three (forthcoming), we will examine how both the mafia and Islam have both historically profited from the “protection” racket.

Allah as Godfather; Muhammad as Underboss

The padrino of larger mafia organizations and families—literally, the godfather or “boss of bosses”—has absolute control over his subordinates and is often greatly feared by them for his ruthlessness.  He has an “underboss,” a right-hand man who issues his orders and enforces his will.  The godfather himself is often inaccessible; mafia members need to go through the underboss or other high ranking associates.

Compare this with the relationship between Allah and his “messenger” Muhammad (in Arabic, Muhammad is most commonly referred to as al-rasul, “the messenger”). Unlike the Judeo-Christian God—a personal God, a Father, that according to Christ is to be communed with directly (Matt 6:9)—Islam’s god, Allah, is unreachable, unknowable, untouchable.  Like the godfather, he is inaccessible.   His will is enforced by his messenger, Muhammad.

If the Judeo-Christian God calls on the faithful to “come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), Allah says “Do not ask questions about things that, if made known to you, would only pain you” (Koran 5:101).  Just follow orders.

Though largely invisible and operating behind the scenes, the godfather and his underboss get a “piece of the action”—a “cut”—of all spoils acquired by their subordinates, the mafia.

So do Allah and his messenger Muhammad.  Koran 8:41 informs Muslims that “one-fifth [a “cut”] of all plunder you acquire goes to Allah and the messenger” (followed by Muhammad’s family and finally the needy).

The godfather, through his underboss, regularly sends his followers to make “hits”—to assassinate—those deemed enemies of the family.

So did Allah and his messenger. .. Keep reading

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Wasserman Schultz’s ‘Best’ Election Day Prediction? ‘We Have an Opportunity to Pick Up Seats’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said close races have her feeling better about the party’s prospects in this midterm election than in the Tea Party rout of four years ago.

“I think we are still really in a neck- and-neck situation in terms of whether or not we see pickups for Democrats or pickups for Republicans,” Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC this morning. “This is an election where, in every single competitive race, it’s coming down to the wire. Just an example, four years ago in 2010, the DCCC had cut loose a whole bunch of incumbents and there’s not a single incumbent Democrat that today you would predict would be losing.”

“And we’re doing well, because Republicans are so extreme,” she added.

The DNC leader cautiously said “the best thing” she could predict “is that we have an opportunity to pick up seats.”

“And beyond that, I wouldn’t make any other prediction.”

Wasserman Schultz said political observers need to be asking, “Why are Republicans doing so badly?”

“They’re do so badly in a second term midterm with a, you know, a Democratic president, where the president’s party loses, on average, 29 seats. And you know, there’s even a question mark whether the Republicans will pick up any seats at all,” she said.

“In fact, they could still lose seats, and that’s because they are extreme. They’ve put suing the president for doing his job at the top of agenda. They’ve put investigating Benghazi 13 times at the top of the agenda. And Democrats all across the country have put creating jobs, getting the economy turned around, fighting for the middle class by supporting an increase in the minimum wage. And so, that’s why the Republicans are not trending with history and why there’s still competitive races all over the country and Democrats are well-positioned, for governors, for the House and the Senate.”

Politico is predicting a loss of 10 seats for Democrats, with 14 toss-up races not included. Larry Sabato is predicting a “strong and increasing chance” for the GOP to gain control of the Senate, but a House map that “isn’t really expanding to a great degree.” The Washington Post is predicting a gain of 8 seats in the House for Republicans and seven seats in the Senate.

Wasserman Schultz framed the news for Democrats like so: “There’s not going to be historic gains in the House.”

“If you vote for Democrats, you are voting for candidates who are focused on creating jobs, getting the economy turned around and continuing to move us forward, creating more opportunities for people to succeed,” she said. “If you vote for a Republican, you’re voting for someone who has embraced that Tea Party agenda, who would double down on obstruction and who would stop us from moving forward.”

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Christie Chides Politicians for ‘Stoking the Hysteria’ About Ebola

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a series of tweets moments ago urging parents to talk to their children about Ebola and “calm their nerves,” and taking a dig at “people in public office” who have added to “hysteria” about the virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newark is one of the five airports accepting travelers from the Ebola “hot zone” of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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‘Simply Doesn’t Go Far Enough’: DHS Travel Restrictions Unlikely to Stop Congressional Ebola Efforts

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Lawmakers who wanted a travel ban from the three West African countries hardest hit by Ebola aren’t satisfied with the Department of Homeland Security’s new travel restrictions announced Tuesday.

The new measures, which go into effect today, require travelers originating from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to land at New York’s JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta or Chicago.

Those airports implemented last week implemented “secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States.”

“We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

“We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days… We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the new procedures “strengthen the measures that are in place to protect the American public because it ensures that individuals who are traveling on commercial airlines to the United States are funneled to these five airports where there is personnel available to pull them aside and ensure that they get proper screening before entering this country.”

“You’ll recall that there are other measures that are in place, too,” Earnest added. “They are given information about Ebola — what signs they should be on the lookout for in terms of symptoms; their contact information is also collected so that if there’s a need to reach them on short notice, that that can be done as well.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said the DHS plan “simply doesn’t go far enough.”

“I continue to believe that the best approach is a temporary suspension on all travel visas for those traveling to the United States from Ebola-stricken countries,” Blunt said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) maintained that the new rules are “not going to protect us.”

“What this policy does, what it provides is what we call the hospital gown coverage. Their goal at the White House is just to make you think you are covered, when actually you’re exposed from areas you don’t see,” Gohmert told Fox.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), though, said what the administration is doing is “still the best solution, because if you go to a travel ban, as some are advocating, then you get people really going to ground, really trying to evade any kind of testing.”

“And then I think you get people coming into the country surreptitiously and potentially spreading the virus if they have it,” Schiff told MSNBC. “So I think it’s the best option, it’s the one that I think uniformly health care experts are advising the president to undertake. And we should want the president to listen to the experts rather than listen to some hyperbole. So I think this is the right step.”

“But the White House also is sensibly saying they’re gonna keep an eye on things, and if things need to change, they’ll be prepared to do it.”

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Gunman Opens Fire in Canada’s Capital (Updates: Lockdown in Ottawa)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In the second shocking violent episode in Canada this week, a gunman reportedly exited a car near Canada’s parliament building in Ottawa. He shot one soldier standing guard in the chest.

Witnesses reported seeing a gunman firing at the Ottawa War Memorial and then running toward the government buildings, where more shots were heard.

A soldier has been wounded in the attack, Canadian media report.

The incident came hours after Canada raised its terror threat level following a fatal hit-and-run attack on two soldiers earlier in the week.

“Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52am today; one person injured,” Ottawa Police tweeted on Wednesday as a witness reported seeing authorities search from room to room for the suspect.

Police have told those in the vicinity to stay away from windows and roofs as they search for the suspect.

The gunman – said to be carrying a rifle – fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and then ran into the parliament.

Whether this incident has any connection to Islamist terrorism or not is not yet clear, but Canada had just raised its terror threat from low to medium following a clear instance of Islamist terrorism.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was not near the scene of the shootings, and is reported safe.

There are reports that more than one gunman remains active in the area around the parliament and Canada’s National War Memorial. Police also report that there have been at least three shooting incidents in Ottawa today.

Update: The Mirror has video of the moment that the gunman opened fire inside the parliament building.

Update: The attacks come on the same day that Canada is set to bestow honorary citizenship on Malala Yousafazi. She won the Nobel Peace Prize last week, for advocating for women’s rights and education in her native Pakistan. That ceremony is to take place in Toronto.

Yousafzai’s activism on behalf of girls in her region in Pakistan made her a target of the Taliban at the age of 15, when a would-be assassin shot her in the head. Since recovering, she has become known worldwide as a spokesperson on the importance of access to education.

Update: The American embassy in Ottawa is on lockdown. One of the gunmen has reportedly been killed but others remain at large.

Update: The soldier who was shot at the beginning of today’s events has died.

Update: Reports now say that the first gunman was dressed all in black and was wearing a scarf over his face. He carjacked a car near the parliament and drove that car on the way to the first shooting.

Update: Canada’s government is tracking today’s violence as a terrorist incident, and will reportedly continue treating it as such until evidence suggesting that it is not terrorism comes to light. That is in sharp contrast to how the Obama administration handles suspected terrorist attacks in the US. The FBI and other government agencies in the US default to something other than terrorism first, and still considers Nidal Hasan’s 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hoot, Texas an incident of “workplace violence.”

Update (1:23 PM Central): The Canadian authorities are holding a press conference on the shootings. Canada’s capital remains in lockdown as suspects are sought. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson described the day as a “sad and tragic day for our city and our country.” Authorities confirmed that a Canadian soldier and one gunman were killed.

The motive behind the attack has still not been determined, but it comes on the heels of one Islamist attack on Canadian soldiers, and ISIS chatter that western military personnel and their families should be targeted.

Update: A good guy with a gun stopped one of the bad guys with a gun. The good guy’s name is Kevin Vickers, and he is the sergeant-at-arms of the Canadian legislature.

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Why Did North Korea Free American Tourist?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department is staying tight-lipped about why North Korea freed an Ohio father of three before he was supposed to go on trial.

Jeffrey Fowle was seized April 29 after entering the country as a tourist and acting “in violation of the DPRK law, contrary to the purpose of tourism during his stay,” the official Korean Central News Agency reported on June 6.

Reports have indicated that Fowle was arrested after a Bible was discovered in his hotel room.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters yesterday that the U.S. government sent a DoD aircraft flown by military personnel based out of Hawaii to pick up Fowle.

“What I can tell you is that, at the request of the State Department, we did provide an aircraft to effect the transportation of Mr. Fowle out of North Korea,” Kirby said.

The Korea Herald said Pyongyang’s motive for releasing Fowle was unclear.

“When it comes to the release of Fowle, it seems that there had been no consultations in advance between North Korea and the U.S.,” the paper quoted a high-ranking official at Seoul’s Foreign Ministry. “It is hard to gauge the North’s intention for the move, and it remains to be seen how the North deals with the two other American detainees.”

Those are Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in April 2013, and  Matthew Miller, arrested April 10 while trying to enter the country and recently sentenced to six years of hard labor.

Sources told the paper that Washington had alerted South Korea before it sent a plane into the North to pick up Fowle.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told CNN that they had ”a time window where the DPRK asked for us to facilitate his travel home.” The plane stopped in Guam before bringing Fowle back to the U.S.

“We’re not going to get into the details of how these activities — how we work with the North Koreans or others that are trying to get these people back home with their families,” Harf said. “There are two Americans still there. We want to preserve our space to be able to bring them home, as well.”

North Korea curiously released Fowle without the apparent visit of any high-profile American to lead negotiations, such as when Bill Clinton went to Pyongyang in 2009 to secure the release of two American journalists.

“Well, you know, every case is different. You remember Merrill Newman, an American who returned home from the DPRK just a few months ago. I don’t want to speculate on how they make decisions in Pyongyang or how they decide when to release these Americans,” Harf said. “But what we are focused on is doing everything in our power, again, not always being able to talk about it publicly, to reunite these Americans with their families.”

The release comes after an extended disappearance of Kim Jong-un off the national stage, leading to speculation about whether he was gravely ill or had been deposed.

Harf said their assessment on Kim still being in power “hasn’t changed.”

“We have nothing to indicate otherwise. I know senior officials have talked about this before,” she said. “Obviously, it’s a very opaque society and we pay very close attention to it. But, again, our assessment of that has not changed.”

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BREAKING: Reports Say ISIS Hits U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with Mortars

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

RIA Novosti is confirming reports seen on Twitter in the past few hours that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has been hit by rockets/mortars by ISIS:

The report:

BAGHDAD, October 22 (RIA Novosti) – The US Embassy in Iraq located in central Baghdad has been shelled with rockets, Al-Mustakillah news agency reported Wednesday citing a security source.

“On Tuesday night the US Embassy was hit with three rockets. They were fired from a park area in the Dora district [in southern Baghdad],” the agency’s source said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Al-Sumaria TV channel reported a mortar shelling of the so-called “green zone” in the center of the capital, housing government buildings and foreign missions. Security forces surrounded the area to repel a potential attack.

In my article last week on possible implications of ISIS taking Baghdad, I raised the issue of the problem of evacuating the thousands of U.S. military, diplomatic personnel, and American citizens from Iraq if Baghdad fell.

Reports yesterday indicated that ISIS had been walking rounds into the International Zone, presumably to sight in their rounds.

And the Washington Post reported last Thursday that ISIS had been lobbing rounds into the International Zone since early this month:

On Oct. 1, four mortar shells struck inside the Green Zone, a fortified area in central Baghdad filled with foreign embassies and government buildings, according to a U.S. Embassy security official, who declined to be identified. The rounds fell a few hundred yards from the U.S. Embassy and followed another mortar attack a week earlier, he said.

Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, spokesman for Baghdad Operations Command, confirmed that mortar fire had hit inside the Green Zone but said the shells landed on “empty space without any buildings.” He declined to give further details but said an investigation was underway to determine its source. He stressed that there have been no further incidents.

Consider today’s attack by ISIS a “further incident.”

Will the D.C. foreign policy establishment tell us, again, that ISIS attacking our embassy in Baghdad is a “sign of desperation” and an indication of their weakness?

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Obama Lauds Ben Bradlee for Setting ‘Standard for Honest, Objective, Meticulous Reporting’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate scandal, died at his home in D.C. yesterday. He was 93.

President Obama released a statement in the evening praising the man who presided over the newsroom for 26 years as managing editor then executive editor.

“For Benjamin Bradlee, journalism was more than a profession – it was a public good vital to our democracy,” Obama said. “A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country’s finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told – stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better.”

“The standard he set – a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting – encouraged so many others to enter the profession,” he added. “And that standard is why, last year, I was proud to honor Ben with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, we offer our thoughts and prayers to Ben’s family, and all who were fortunate to share in what truly was a good life.”

At the November 2013 Medal of Freedom ceremony, Obama noted that Bradlee was a veteran of World War II and more than a dozen Pacific battles.

“Ben Bradlee brought the same intensity and dedication to journalism,” Obama said then. “When Ben retired, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan put the admiration of many into a poem: ‘O rare Ben Bradlee/His reign has ceased/But his nation stands/Its strength increased.’”

“As editor of our hometown newspaper, Benjamin Bradlee defined an era of reporting that gave birth to investigative journalism as we now know it,” D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said. “He will be remembered for his fearless journalism, for building a team of pathbreaking journalists, and for giving them the freedom to do what seemed to be the impossible.”

“Bradlee, his publisher Katharine Graham, and his reporters lived among the powerful in Washington, but were completely undaunted by them, including the president,” Norton stressed. “Outside of the newsroom, Bradlee did not forget our community, raising millions of dollars for the District’s Children’s National Medical Center.”

The Washington Post obituary stressed that the paper won 17 Pulitzer prizes during Bradlee’s reign.

Bradlee was portrayed by Jason Robards in All the President’s Men.

“Mr. Bradlee’s patrician good looks, gravelly voice, profane vocabulary and zest for journalism and for life all contributed to the charismatic personality that dominated and shaped The Post. Modern American newspaper editors rarely achieve much fame, but Mr. Bradlee became a celebrity and loved the status,” reads the WaPo article:

“He was a presence, a force,” [Bob] Woodward recalled of Mr. Bradlee’s role during the Watergate period, 1972 to 1974. “And he was a doubter, a skeptic — ‘Do we have it yet?’ ‘Have we proved it?’ ” Decades later, Woodward remembered the words that he most hated to hear from Mr. Bradlee then: “You don’t have it yet, kid.”

Mr. Bradlee loved the Watergate story, not least because it gave the newspaper “impact,” his favorite word in his first years as editor. He wanted the paper to be noticed. In his personal vernacular — a vivid, blasphemous argot that combined the swearwords he mastered in the Navy during World War II with the impeccable enunciation of a blue-blooded Bostonian — a great story was “a real tube-ripper.”

This meant a story was so hot that Post readers would rip the paper out of the tubes into which the paperboy delivered it. A bad story was “mego” — the acronym for “my eyes glaze over” — applied to anything that bored him. Maximizing the number of tube-rippers and minimizing mego was the Bradlee strategy.

Mr. Bradlee’s tactics were also simple: “Hire people smarter than you are” and encourage them to bloom. His energy and his mystique were infectious.

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