Boris Nemtsov, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot down crossing a bridge in Moscow not far from the Kremlin.
Nemtsov was shot seven or eight times from a car, according to authorities. He was killed just two days before he was to lead a massive opposition rally in Moscow.
Naturally, Putin condemned the killing — as he has condemned all the murders of politicians, journalists, and artists who have criticized him over the years.
Police cars sealed off the bridge close to the red walls of the Kremlin and Red Square, and an ambulance was on the scene.
“Nemtsov B.E. died at 2340 hours as a result of four shots in the back,” an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said by telephone.
A police spokesman on the scene said Nemtsov had been shot at from a passing white car that fled the scene. The woman was being interviewed by police.
Mikhail Kasyanov, a fellow opposition leader, told reporters at the bridge: “That a leader of the opposition could be shot beside the walls of the Kremlin is beyond imagination. There can be only one version: that he was shot for telling the truth.”
Kasyanov, a former prime minister under Putin, called Nemtsov a “fighter for the truth”.
Nemtsov had been quoted as saying he was concerned that the president might want him dead over his opposition to the conflict in Ukraine. Sunday’s opposition march is intended as a protest against the war in east Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels have seized a swathe of territory.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian news agencies that the president had expressed his condolences and ordered the security agencies to investigate. He said Putin had called it a “brutal murder”.
Another opposition figure, Ksenia Sobchak, said Nemtsov had been preparing a report on the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine. The Kremlin strongly denies allegations by Kiev and Western capitals that it has sent troops and advanced weaponry to back the rebels.
Peskov said Putin had called it a “brutal murder”.
Like other opposition leaders, Nemtsov was a fighter against corruption. In other reports, he condemned massive overspending on the Sochi Winter Olympics by the Russian authorities and listed the many state buildings, helicopters and planes that Putin has at his disposal.
Nemtsov was also one of the leaders of mass rallies in the winter of 2011-12 that became the biggest protests against Putin since the former KGB spy rose to power in 2000.
A leading opposition politician is killed while walking along a busy Moscow street. It’s clear that Putin doesn’t care who knows he’s a murderous thug. His position is so strong and his supporters so enamored of his leadership that even large protests won’t come close to weakening his grip on power.
The protest scheduled for Sunday was to be the biggest Moscow has seen since the protests of 2011-12 following the sham election that brought Putin back to power. But Nemtsov’s murder is an act of intimidation designed to show the protestors the fate of those who oppose the Russian dictator. Will the Russian opposition be bullied by Putin’s murderous acts?
We shouldn’t blame them if they are.
Since Lisa Lerer works for Bloomberg.com — a serious news outlet — you’d think she’d make sure that her articles are factually correct. Sadly, not so. Case in point: her description of Senator Ted Cruz’s views on the legalization of marijuana:
Cruz expressed his support for marijuana legalization in Colorado, confirmed that he is, indeed, an American citizen, and compared himself to the online taxi company Uber.
No, Lisa, Cruz did not express his support for legalizing weed, he merely said Colorado has the right to do so. He expressly noted that he’s against it, but believes it’s a matter of states’ rights. In case you aren’t familiar with that concept, here’s some reading material for you. Hint: it has something to do with the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. You know, that old document that played a minor role in the creation of your great nation?
Just in case Madam Journalist didn’t actually pay attention to Cruz when he was speaking, here’s the video of his response to Sean Hannity’s Colorado-question.
Look, I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the laboratories of democracy. If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Lisa.
“Get a grip.” I examined earlier the way Harry Reid is making Mitch McConnell dance, now it seems that Grandma Nan is hoping to achieve similar results with Boehner. My dream world involves Republicans who win elections then act like it after they do.
The U.S. Air Force has a quarter of the number of fighter squadrons it did 25 years ago and two-thirds of the active duty airmen, a drop that threatens U.S. air superiority, defense officials told lawmakers on Friday.
“Enough is enough,” Air Force Secretary Deborah James told lawmakers in the House of Representatives as she defended a Pentagon budget request that exceeds federal spending caps. “Given the state of the world … the number one thing we have to stop is this downsizing.”
But members of the defense appropriations subcommittee said President Barack Obama’s 2016 Pentagon base budget of $534 billion exceeded spending caps by nearly $35 billion and would have to be cut. Some $10 billion of that would have to come from the Air Force request, they said.
“The budget he (Obama) submitted … frankly is politically … a fantasy,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma. “It’s not going to pass, and he knows that.”
Cole said he hoped lawmakers ultimately would be able to reach a bipartisan deal to provide some relief from the spending limits.
The problem is that the Pentagon budget is treated as an equal to the other departments that are federally funded and it probably shouldn’t be. We’re not sending park rangers from Interior over to bomb ISIS, after all. Under the current plan that involves escalating air raids, the Air Force should be an obvious recipient of a budgetary bump and not be fighting to avoid cuts.
It might also help if the alleged adults in charge would admit to the protracted nature of this battle and stop acting as if it is a controlled skirmish that will be wrapped up on a predetermined date.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush knew he would face a firing squad of sorts at the Conservative Political Action Conference today, and did so describing himself as a “practicing reform-minded conservative.”
Some walked out at the beginning of the speech, led by a Tea Party supporter carrying a Gadsden flag, but the house was still packed as his detractors stayed to boo or heckle the governor.
Bush had just as many supporters, who frequently jumped to their feet to applaud the governor. Love him or hate him, the CPAC crowd was hanging on his every word.
With no opening remarks, Bush conducted the interview Q&A style with Sean Hannity, standing instead of seated as some previous speakers were.
Bush quipped that he used to be mad at his mom for saying the White House had seen enough Bushes, but “since that time she’s had a change of heart and that’s all right by me.”
“I have to show what’s in my heart. I have to show I care about people and their future. It can’t be about the past,” he said of the family legacy.
Conservatives in Washington, he said, “have been principled in opposing the overreach” of the Obama administration, but “need to start being for things again.”
“It’s good to oppose the bad things but we need to start being for things.”
Being for the right policies that stimulate economic growth will bring out voters who “don’t know they’re conservative,” Bush argued. “We will be able to get Latinos and young people and other people you need to get to get 50.”
Responding to boos over his immigration policy, Bush said his critics should read his book, Immigration Wars, before casting an opinion on his positions.
“A great country needs to enforce its borders,” he said, adding that he also wants to “narrow family petitioning” to a spouse and minor children “so it’s the same as every other country.”
“There is no plan to deport 11 million people. We should give them a path to legal citizenship” where they work and make a contribution to society, he said.
The division in the crowd was most evident at this point, with some booing and heckling while others were standing and applauding.
“The simple fact is this nation needs to start growing again … we need to change the subject to high sustained economic growth,” Bush said. Of the argument that U.S. citizens should get jobs before immigrants, he replied, “You either believe that the pie is static, that’s the left’s point of view… someone’s benefit is someone else’s detriment” or growing the economy “at a rate that looks more like the ’80s.” His target? Four percent.
“There’s going to be opportunities for all. We don’t believe in the government divvying it up to get our crumbs.”
Bush stressed that he doesn’t agree with President Obama’s executive actions. “The Congress ought to pass a bill that does not allow him to use that authority.”
On Common Core, he said “our standards have to be high enough… our students need to be career-ready.”
“In this Department of Education there is a risk they will intrude” on the states and localities, he said. “…The federal government role, if any, is to provide incentives for more school choice.”
Bush, who eliminated the affirmative action system in Florida, said there are now more minorities in the college system there than in the previous “discriminatory” one.
On fighting ISIS, he stressed that “we can’t disengage in the world and have a good results.”
“We’ve managed to mess up every relationship in the world” under Obama, “even Canada, which is hard to do.”
By restoring trust between critical coalition countries such as Egypt and the White House, Bush said such power could put a “noose” on ISIS and “take them out.”
He endorsed Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) idea of creating a safe zone for the Free Syrian Army and said he didn’t want conditions on boots on the ground in order to allow intelligence and special forces capability to “make a difference.”
He panned the Iran nuclear negotiations, adding “there should be no light between us and Israel” and calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress “very important.”
Bush was also asked about his “Terry’s Law” efforts in the Schiavo case. “I acted on my core belief that the most vulnerable in society should be at the front of the line,” he said.
When Hannity said he was going to pose a question he was asking of all the politicians who joined him on stage during the conference, Bush quipped, “Boxers.”
The end of Bush’s Q&A session differed from the other 2016 hopefuls in that he shook hands and took selfies with the crowd.
He only controls 46 seats, but Harry Reid is acting like he has 60.
Reid’s uncompromising posture during the flap over homeland security funding and his emerging plans for an upcoming fight over immigration make clear he’s doing little to change the hardball style that defined his tenure as majority leader. This despite losing control of the chamber after last fall’s Democratic debacle and tamping down a coup among centrists seeking his ouster.
The 75-year-old Reid, who may seek reelection next year and is in his second stint as minority leader, is betting that Republicans are so nervous about being blamed for a crisis in Washington — as they have been repeatedly before — that they will capitulate again.
Naturally, his unyielding stance has maddened Republicans.
The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, wanted to initiate a lengthy floor debate on a House-passed Department of Homeland Security funding bill. But Reid surprised Republicans by rallying his caucus on four separate occasions to block the measure from even coming forward — demanding McConnell drop contentious immigration provisions. After a month of inaction in the Senate and up against Friday’s funding deadline, McConnell ultimately bent to Reid’s demands.
As Ace of Spades HQ put it yesterday, McConnell is only Majority Leader “when Reid let’s him play the part”.
This is the problem with the “Ted Cruz is a hothead” crowd, which is led by McConnell: they worry more about how things will play out in the media than doing what is actually right for the American people. That is precisely why McConnell’s victory speech after November’s election immediately took a dig at Cruz and not the Democrats.
My PJTV colleague Scott Ott stated it brilliantly earlier this week: Republicans love to play defense even when they are on offense.
The GOP gets savaged in the press not just because the MSM is biased, but also because it is so awful at getting out in front of something or counter-punching. The messaging is forever muddled or nonexistent, and letting Admiral Ackbar’s mushmouthed cousin McConnell drone his way through an explanation that’s really designed to curry favor with the New York Times is never anything short of disastrous.
Freeze this moment in your minds for the next time conservatives mount a primary challenge to an entrenched candidate and the establishment starts babbling about “experience” or “knowing how to get things done”.
The CPAC audience was packed to hear the winner of the confab’s straw poll the previous two years, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) didn’t disappoint his faithful.
Paul’s address was delayed by Senate votes, and he showed up in jeans with rolled-up shirt sleeves to ask, “Will you, lovers of liberty, rise to the occasion?”
They did rise to their feet, waving “stand with Rand” signs distributed outside the ballroom.
“When politicians accept censorship, when politicians accept imprisonment without trial, when politicians accept torture, even of the innocent, as necessary, then lovers of liberty must rise,” the senator said. “We must rise and stand with our forefathers who stared down the king. We must rise as free men and women and reclaim our birthright. We must protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies — foreign and domestic!”
Paul declared “our freedom is at risk from a Supreme Court that fails to protect our liberty.”
“In the mistake of the century, Justice Roberts affirmed the power of government to force you to buy insurance. Justice Roberts argued that we must presume Obamacare constitutional,” he said. “I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t we presume liberty? Just as we are presumed innocent, so too we should be presumed free!”
The ophthalmologist vowed to “make it my mission” to repeal “every last bit” of Obamacare.
“To defend our country, we need to gather intelligence on the enemy. But when the Intelligence Director lies to Congress, how are we to trust them?” Paul said. “Are we to trust them to collect and hold every American’s phone records? I say, that your phone records are yours. I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business!”
Paul took plenty of shots at presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, arguing the former secretary of State’s “abdication of responsibility, her refusal to provide an adequate defense for Benghazi, her dereliction of duty should forever preclude her from higher office.”
“It’s time for Hillary Clinton to permanently retire,” he added.
Paul said he envisions the perfect national defense as “unparalleled, undefeatable, and unencumbered by nation building.”
“We must realize, though, that we do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan. It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting ‘death to America’ in countries that receive our foreign aid. I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America.”
Chants of “President Paul” interrupted the senator’s speech.
He talked about the “two Americas” described by Martin Luther King Jr. and the “undercurrent of unease” he found on his trips to “trips to Ferguson, Detroit, Atlanta, and Chicago. “…Those of us who have enjoyed the American Dream must break down the wall that separates us from ‘the other America.’”
Paul brought up the case of Kalief Browder, a Bronx teen who spent three years at Rikers Island without charge after being accused of taking a backpack.
“It is not the desire for wealth that drives us — what drives us is the desire for freedom,” he said. “The history of man is a history of men and women striving to restrain the power of government and expand the realm of freedom.”
Among the field of potential presidential hopefuls speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference today, Donald Trump touched on foreign policy while pitching his business cred to do a better job negotiating than diplomats do.
Someone in the audience yelled “you’re fired!” at The Apprentice host at the beginning of the speech, which Trump brushed off.
“A lot people think I’m doing this for fun. I’m not doing this for fun… Washington is totally broken and it’s not going to get fixed until we put the right person in that top position,” Trump said.
With an eye toward lawmakers in Congress, he declared “the Republicans have to toughen up.”
“If I decide to run and win, nobody would be tougher” on ISIS, Trump vowed. “…I’d just hit them really hard.”
One of the foreign policy problems, he said, is “we have diplomats doing our negotiating” and diplomats “know nothing about negotiating.”
Asked where he was on deciding to run for president on a scale of 1 to 100, Trump replied, “75 to 80 — I am really inclined. I want to do it so badly.”
Declaring that “we have two more years of peril to go,” former UN Ambassador John Bolton focused his Conservative Political Action Conference speech on a searing criticism of Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary and her husband were a year ahead of me in law school,” Bolton told the crowd. “I have been burdened with them 20 years longer than the rest of the country… in short, I am ready for Hillary.”
“Her four years at the State Department demonstrate that she is not fit to be the president of the United States…. On national security issues Hillary’s record is indistinguishable from Barack Obama’s.”
To a conference renowned for putting foreign policy on the back burner, Bolton stressed “why national security issues must be at the center of the issues” in 2016. “I fully expect to play a role in that debate one way or the other.”
He called an impending nuclear deal with Iran “the biggest act of American appeasement in contemporary history.”
“President Obama has the worst relationship with Israel since the state of Israel was created in 1948.”
Mark Salter, who was a top adviser on the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R), is not a fan of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).
On Thursday, Salter went on Facebook and posted an article criticizing a comment Walker made about the Islamic State jihadist group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Salter added a colorful comment.
“I want to like him but Scott Walker is kind of a dumb ass,” Salter wrote.
I was asked during a radio interview this morning how long it would be before more mainstream, establishment Republicans started going after Walker now that he’s in “locomotive at full steam” mode. I replied that they’re probably already sending opposition research to the New York Times.
When the various players in the McCain ’08 unmitigated disaster (their fault, not Sarah Palin’s, by the way) weigh in on Republican matters these days, it is stunning that they aren’t laughed out of the country. It’s also the reason that the GOP has such a hard time seizing momentum.
In the coming months pay attention to how eerily in sync the MSM and establishment GOP complaints about Walker are and you will understand why the Republican Party may very well find a way to lose to a grandmother who almost no one genuinely likes.
Shopping mall operators need to increase security through more staff, cameras and other techniques in light of threats made against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping centers by Somali-based Islamist militants this week, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.
“I certainly think we have to step up our sensitivities to what goes on in these commercial enterprises,” Holder said in an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. “It would be the responsible thing for operators of these malls to increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives.”
In a separate interview with Politico, also published on Friday, Holder said he would push in his final weeks in office to lower the standard of proof for civil-rights offenses that would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in future cases.
The Justice Department recently closed its investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, without filing charges against gunman George Zimmerman because of “insufficient evidence.”
With almost no due respect, Mr. Attorney General, I think stepping up our “sensitivities” is what got us to this place. The benign, academic way Holder and The Idiot King talk about terrorist threats is almost as chilling as the threats themselves. It’s like a thought experiment that they have been given in a freshman International Politics class. We’re dealing with people obsessed with killing anyone who disagrees with them and this administration is talking security cameras and mall cops.
Contrast that with the laser-like focus on George Zimmerman, who may be a minor train wreck of a human being but was exonerated in court and, as of today, hasn’t threaten to blow up any malls.
Perhaps a little more focus on ISIS, and a lot less on stories that MSNBC finds important.
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.
His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.
His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).
Emmett McGroarty from American Principles Project predicted that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will oppose Common Core in the 2016 presidential election. He also said that a pro-Common Core Republican nominee would lose to her.
During a panel discussion at CPAC on Thursday, McGroarty said the movement to eliminate the Common Core standards, which dictate what children should should know at each grade level in math and English, is growing very quickly.
If Republicans are unable to unite behind a nominee who opposes Common Core, the vote could be “fractured” and a pro-Common Core Republican would face Hillary Clinton, “who does not really have Common Core baggage” in the general election, said McGroarty.
“And that is going to make the Republican candidate, I think, unelectable at that time because the conservative voters will be disappointed,” he said. “Their turnout will be suppressed and low. I think you’ll have the moderate votes or apolitical votes will vote for the other candidate — for the one who doesn’t have the Common Core baggage.”
Among Republicans rumored to be considering presidential runs, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been an enthusiastic supporter of Common Core, as has Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has openly mocked those who disagree with him on the issue. Other Republican governors have either changed course on the standards (Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal) or expressed some concerns about the implementation (Chris Christie).
McGroarty described Clinton as “very smart, very shrewd” and said if the eventual Republican nominee supports Common Core in the general election, she will oppose it. “It’ll almost sound like a Republican criticizing it for the decision-making. She’ll criticize it for the heavy-handedness of the federal government. She’ll criticize it because all these leaders signed onto the standards and committed to the standards before they were drafted — on and on and on,” he said. “It will be very embarrassing for the Republican nominee.”
McGroarty said voters will be asking not whether candidates are “against” Common Core, but “are you fighting for change in the federal government that will prevent a travesty like this from ever happening again?”
He said voters want acknowledgement that Common Core is of poor quality and it was forced upon them. “Because if candidates don’t acknowledge that, then they’re not facing the truth and the fear will be that they’re not going to fight this,” he said.
According to McGroarty, people are beginning to realize that the federal government is dictating education decisions.
“So there’s this conversation going on between the federal government, which has the conditional money, so the states look to the federal executive and they are doing what the federal executive wants — they adopt their policies,” he said.
That’s how that 10% of the education budget really controls policy, according to McGroarty. “People now realize they’re being cut out…they and their desires and their needs and their children are being cut out of the decision-making and so I think this represents a very profound change in America,” he said. “People are realizing that that division of powers is very personal thing…a very personal concept, meant to protect their rights and their liberties.”
Luckily, our crack secretary of state, the Vietnam-era turncoat John Kerry, has assured us that Americans have never been safer, so this just must be one of those right-wing scare tactics we’re hearing so much about lately:
The Transportation Security Administration said it is unlikely to detect and unable to extinguish what an FBI report called “the greatest potential incendiary threat to aviation,” according to a classified document obtained by The Intercept. Yet despite that warning, sources said TSA is not adequately preparing to respond to the threat.
Thermite — a mixture of rust and aluminum powder — could be used against a commercial aircraft, TSA warned in a Dec. 2014 document, marked secret [PDF here]. “The ignition of a thermite-based incendiary device on an aircraft at altitude could result in catastrophic damage and the death of every person onboard,” the advisory said.
TSA said it is unlikely to spot an easy-to-assemble thermite-based incendiary device during security screening procedures, and the use of currently available extinguishers carried on aircrafts would create a violent reaction. The TSA warning is based on FBI testing done in 2011, and a subsequent report.
A thermite device, though difficult to ignite, would “produce toxic gasses, which can act as nerve poison, as well as a thick black smoke that will significantly inhibit any potential for in-flight safety officers to address the burn.”
No, really, John Kerry just said… oh, wait a minute. What’s that again, Mr. Clapper?
When the final accounting is done. 2014 will be the most lethal year in global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled. About half of all attacks including fatalities in 2014 occurred in just three countries, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Despite the Federal Communications Commission’s historic vote Thursday in favor of net neutrality, the fate of the Internet is far from settled. The FCC’s action triggered jubilation among open Internet enthusiasts, but the powerful telecom industry is poised for a legal challenge to the new rules. And Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would supersede the FCC’s approach.
In a 3-2 vote along party lines, the FCC acted to implement net neutrality rules designed to ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all legal content equally, eliciting howls of protest from the ISPs.
Responding to the outcome with mockery and defiance, Verizon dismissed the new guidelines, which are based on a 1934 law, as a set of rules “written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph.” And in a clever PR gambit that was shared widely on social media, the company issued statements opposing the FCC action written with a typewriter in Morse code.
Remember that the FCC is a creature of Congress and Congress could abolish it tomorrow should it wish to. Of course, it won’t. Because what is more permanent than the legacy of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration? For Democrats, the New Deal is far more important than the Mosaic Law.
AT&T raised the prospect of court challenges that would block the FCC from enforcing the rules. “We once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over — again — in the future,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president external and legislative affairs, in a statement.The FCC’s previous net neutrality rules were thrown out by a federal court last year.
That won’t stop these devils from trying until they get what they want, however.
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld will be developing a new weekend program for the cable news network with a bit of an edge to it, with a “whimsical nature and political satire.”
Fox announced the new show for Gutfeld, currently in development, in a press release today. Fox News EVP of Programming Bill Shine said, “We are confident that Gutfeld’s distinct perspective and knack for humor will start a valuable dialogue and be a refreshing addition to the weekend line-up.” The show, Fox says, will “focus on his strong libertarian values and social commentary.”
However, this new role for Gutfeld means he will be leaving Red Eye, the late night Fox show he’s hosted since 2007. Fox News says “a variety of rotating guest hosts” will fill in during the transition period. Gutfeld will continue to co-host The Five and regularly appear on The O’Reilly Factor.
Good for Greg. He’s a good guy and deserves the widest possible audience.
The nuns warned us it would eventually come to this. Welcome to the world the satanic Left is building for your children:
Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.
And in case sadism and masochism aren’t dangerous enough, the university, located in central Connecticut, offers this warning:
Lead Paint Disclosure: Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose health hazards if not taken care of properly. Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women.
Glad we got that, er, straight.
Who doesn’t love a love story like this? But remember, while you’re reading it, that these are the faces of a vanishing America, demonized at every turn by the satanic Left as exemplars of “white privilege.” For this, they fought for their country?
A California couple, married 67 years, died hours apart while holding hands this month, their daughter said on Thursday. Floyd Hartwig, 90, and wife Violet, 89, died on Feb. 11 in their home in Easton, California, outside Fresno, their family said.
The couple had known each other since they were children and married in 1947 while Floyd was on leave from the Navy, going on to settle in a ranch in Easton.”They enjoyed working side by side their entire lives,” said daughter Donna Scharton. “They were very loving. Very hard-working. Not into materialistic things.”
Each had battled illnesses in recent years. Violet had dementia and had suffered strokes. Floyd, who survived bladder and colon cancer, had been diagnosed with kidney failure, family said. Floyd and Violet had been given hospice care in the last weeks of their lives, and with the end near, family members pushed their beds together, Scharton said.
Floyd died first, holding Violet’s hand. She passed away five hours later, she said.
God bless these two. The world of “fundamental transformation” they’ve just departed will be a meaner, poorer, nastier place.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) indicated at this morning’s Conservative Political Action Conference that if he decides to run for president he’ll focus squarely on that instead of a backup plan to stay in the Senate.
But he demurred on where he is in the decision-making process, refusing to answer Sean Hannity’s question on where that decision is on a scale of 1-100.
The senator did stress why he would run for the highest office in the land.
“America doesn’t owe me anything, but I have a debt to America that I will never be able to repay,” Rubio told the CPAC crowd, elaborating on the history of his parents’ immigration from Cuba. “For me, America isn’t just a country, it’s the place that literally changed the history of my family.”
Now, he asked, “What kind of country we are going to be?”
“Sometimes you wouldn’t know we’re an exceptional nation by listening to the left… by listening to the president,” Rubio said. “When was the last time you heard about a boatload of American refugees arriving on the shores of another country?”
“God is still blessing America,” he said, but “our allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us” as President Obama “treats the ayatollah in Iran with more respect than the prime minister of Israel.”
“Today our nation is on the road to decline,” but “we are one election away from triggering another American century.”
Rubio stressed the need for regulatory reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and placing a focus not just on college but vocational training. “We shouldn’t be stigmatizing those vocational careers,” he said. “…Not everyone should be forced to get a four-year degree in order to find a job.”
He advocated a Sunni force including Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and other nations in the region to take the fight to the Islamic State, “and you will wipe ISIS out.”
“Imagine if we had a president who understood that the way to defeat ISIS is not to find them a job,” the senator said.
On President Obama’s immigration executive actions, Rubio stressed that it’s not a question of policy but of constitutional authority. Noting that he wants to cut taxes but wouldn’t approve of doing it unilaterally, he said, “I don’t know where [Obama] suddenly found the constitutional power to do this.”
Rubio also addressed critics of his participation in the Senate Group of Eight that forged an immigration reform compromise.
“It wasn’t very popular; I don’t know if you know that from some of the folks here,” he quipped.
He said the comprehensive agreement addressed problems that must by tackled, including visa overstays, more fencing needed along the border, and an immigration system that “can’t continue to be based on family alone” but brings in more highly skilled workers.
Rubio said he learned from the process. “What I’ve learned is you can’t even have a conversation” about legalizing those currently in the country illegally “until future immigration is brought under control.”
The only way people will agree to a step-by-step immigration reform is if the government follows through on the first steps, he said. “The only way forward … you can’t just tell people we’re going to secure the border, we’re going to get e-Verify, you have to do it.”
Asked about how the GOP caucus is performing in the Senate, Rubio cited a “dispute” between those who think the job is about managing the government rather than improving the system.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has addressed the conference in past years, is not a speaker at this CPAC.
On 2016, Rubio said he hasn’t “made that decision yet” and must “decide through careful prayer.” He added “I don’t want to be in politics my whole life” — quipping he’d like to do other things like maybe own an NFL team.
The senator even got in his standard water joke, a self-deprecating reference to his notorious sip in his 2013 State of the Union response. Hannity noted that some of the sleepy morning crowd may have stayed up too late last night drinking. “There’s nothing wrong with drinking, Sean,” Rubio said as he took a swig of water.
Rubio faced a lightning round for his quick reaction to a few names:
Hillary Clinton? “Yesterday.”
Bill Clinton? “Really yesterday.”
At the moment Senator Ted Cruz gave his well-received speech at CPAC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a proposal “granting the federal government the authority to regulate Internet broadband providers under the same law as public utilities.” The Blaze explains what this means:
Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will have to act in the “public interest” when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone, under new rules approved by the FCC. The rules put the Internet in the same regulatory camp now as the telephone, banning providers from “unjust or unreasonable” business practices.
That’s the official line, at least. The unofficial truth is that the Internet will be less free than it currently is; the president will suddenly have the authority to regulate it as he pleases. What do you think that means for conservatives websites if the president is a Democrat? President Obama in charge of your Internet? If that doesn’t cause you nightmares I don’t know what will.
As Glenn Beck said shortly before the proposal was approved:
So they’ll say, “Well, we need something. We need some sort of regulation.” And you morons, you morons on the left, do you realize what you’ve just done? The next president that gets in — you put me into the Oval Office, you want me running your Internet?
Here’s the video of Beck’s radio show this morning. Watch it: there’s nobody else who understands as well as he does what this actually means. In short: we’re screwed.
The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wielded a snowball on the Senate floor today to counter statements by the Obama administration that have ranked climate change as the greatest global threat.
“Despite a long list of unsubstantiated global warming claims, climate activists and environmental groups will cling to any extreme-weather related headline to support their case for global warming and to instill the fear of global warming in the American people,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said.
“President Obama is using a similar tactic in order to scare Americans into supporting his extreme climate change agenda. In a recent interview, President Obama agreed that the media overstates the dangers of terrorism while downplaying the risks of climate change. His press secretary, Josh Earnest, later reiterated that President Obama believes climate change affects far more Americans than terrorism,” he continued. “According to the President, the biggest challenge we face IS NOT the spread of Muslim extremists in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen or Nigeria.”
“It is not Russia aggression against NATO and the US as well as its invasion of Georgia and the Ukraine. It is not the expansion of Iranian influence and sponsorship of terrorism throughout the Middle East, or its pursuit of a nuclear weapon and a system to deliver it. It is not North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapon stockpile and improving their delivery systems to include the January 23 launch of a submarine launched ballistic missile called the KN-11. It is not the continued capture and killing of reporters, missionaries, businessmen, Christians, and other non-Muslims, in what has clearly been a religious confrontation being pursued by Islamic extremists.”
Obama’s position “that global warming is our biggest problem is underscored by the fact that he won’t even publicly state that the 21 Egyptians executed by ISIL were Coptic Christians,” Inhofe said. “And he goes out of his way to downplay the actions and dangers of ISIS, even though the group continues to terrorize the world.”
“…According to the president, our biggest threat is not the continued threats made by extremists against the United States and its citizens. It is not the successful attacks carried out in the United States in places such as New York, Boston, and Fort Hood or potential attacks of lone-wolves or sleeper cells against soft targets like the Mall of America, which is the most recent subject of an ISIL threat.”
Inhofe said that “even as these atrocities are taking place, President Obama is telling the world that climate change is a greater threat to our nation than terrorism.”
“This is just another illustration that this president and his administration is detached from the realities we are facing today and into the future.”
The snowball was allowed on the floor as a prop by unanimous consent. It was eventually chucked at Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who was presiding over the Senate, and caught by a page.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had an offer for President Obama at today’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
“I’ve got a deal for you,” Jindal said in his early evening speech while talking about Obama’s references to the Crusades. “I’ll keep an eye out for the medieval Christians. Why don’t you do your job and go after the Islamic terrorists?”
The potential 2016 candidate referenced his recent trip to London, where he irked critics by citing no-go zones in Muslim neighborhoods and called out clerics for not doing enough to stop extremism. “They didn’t like it,” the governor said, adding that he stressed Islamic extremists aren’t martyrs but “these individuals are going to go straight to hell exactly where they belong.”
Jindal also took issue with recent words from the State Department about the nature of the ISIS fight. “How have we won victory in any war other than killing our way to victory?” he said.
“We don’t need a war on international poverty; we need a war on the evil that is radical Islamic terrorism,” he said.
Jindal spoke of his parents’ immigration from India and how others must assimilate too. “We used to be a melting pot; now the politically correct crowd says we’re a salad bowl,” he said.
“By the way, I am tired of hyphenated Americans …we are all Americans.”
Jindal spent considerable time hammering at domestic policy as well as terrorism.
“We must repeal every single word of Obamacare — not a little bit, all of it,” he said. “While Republicans in Washington are about to wave the white flag of surrender on amnesty they’re about to wave the white flag of surrender on Obamacare.”
“This election wasn’t about getting a nicer office for Sen. Mitch McConnell … this election was about taking our country back and that starts by repealing Obamacare .”
The governor also stressed the “need to remove Common Core from every classroom.”
Asked about his plans for the next presidential election, Jindal said regardless of whether he is the candidate “in 2016 it is not an option for us to not win this election.”
“Anyone thinking about running for president… they need to think about what they would do if they were elected president,” he said. “I want a leader that remembers what they promised us when they asked us to vote for them.”
“There will be a price” all right – and Americans will pay it.
Elliott Abrams hits the nail on the head with his Weekly Standard piece “U.S. and Israel: The Manufactured Crisis“. In it he succinctly details the reasons why Obama has absolutely no problem creating a crisis in order to foment hatred of Israel among the American electorate:
Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.
Hopefully Abrams is correct in his observation that Obama’s attempts may backfire big time in Israel:
Historically, an Israeli prime minister loses domestic support when he cannot manage relations with Washington. This year may be the exception, the time when Israelis want a prime minister to oppose U.S. policies they view as dangerous. They may also believe that the Obama administration is simply so hostile that no prime minister could avoid confrontations.
Now, for the truly horrifying reason as to why it is imperative that Netanyahu win the elections in Israel:
The administration is desperately seeking a deal with Iran on terms that until recently were unacceptable to a broad swath of Democrats as well as Republicans. One after another, American demands or “red lines” have been abandoned. Clearly the administration worries that Israeli (not just Netanyahu, but Israeli) criticisms of the possible Iran nuclear deal might begin to reverberate. So it has adopted the tactic of personalizing the Israeli critique.
New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez co-sponsored a bill that would apply sanctions against Iran. He was one of many Dems warned by Obama not to “bow to [Jewish] donors” earlier this year. Obama’s crafted his marching orders for more than just party bigwigs. The P.R. campaign began with the War on Muslims tagline followed by a useless conference on the extremism that has no name. In classic disinformation style, Obama not-so-subtly painted Netanyahu as the extremist holding the anti-Iran card in a trumped up war against the Ayatollah’s moderate minions.
Here is Abrams’ imperative statement, emphasis my own:
The third Obama administration reason for building up this crisis is also deadly serious: it is to use the current tension to harm Israel’s support in the United States permanently. All opinion polls in the last several years show a partisan edge in support: overall support for Israel is steady and high, but its composition is changing. More and more Republicans support Israel, and the gap between Democratic and Republican support levels is growing. President Obama acts as if he sees this as a terrific development, one that should be enlarged as much as possible before he leaves office. That way he would leave behind not just an Iran deal, but weakened support for Israel on Iran and everything else. Support for Israel would become less of a bipartisan matter and more a divisive issue between the two parties.
Forget the pandering about patriotism. This is pure evil at work.
With a raised voice and rolled-up shirtsleeves, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker vowed to create more jobs and opportunity to a standing-room only crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference today.
He also fielded a handful of questions from the audience, including one on how he’d handle the threat of ISIS.
“Sometimes people in the media don’t understand that as a governor I get a threat assessment from FBI,” Walker replied, adding, “I want a commander in chief who will do everything in their power” to ensure that the threats posed by radical Islamists “do not wash up on American shores.”
“If I can take on 100,000 protesters I can do the same across the world,” Walker said, without offering specifics.
One of those opponents interrupted the speech, yelling “you suck” and something about American workers. “They come from Wisconsin as well,” Walker quipped, shouting down the protester and bringing the crowd to its feet.
His speech hinged largely on his successes as governor, but he touched briefly on foreign policy.
“We have a president…whose former secretary of State actually gave a reset button to the Russians! To the Russians!” Walker exclaimed.
“We need a president, a leader who will stand up and say we will take the fight to them and not wait” for ISIS to attack, he said. “…We need a leader who will stand with Israel.” Referencing next Tuesday’s address to a joint session of Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Walker said the country needs a leader who “understands” that when a prime minister visits to make a case on Iran’s nuclear threat “we should show him our respect.”
“We need to show the world that in America you have no greater ally and no greater enemy,” the governor said before reverting to domestic policy.
That was largely a message of liberation from government control.
“In America we celebrate our independence from the government, not our dependence on it,” Walker said, touting his accomplishments in Wisconsin on concealed carry, castle doctrine, and voter ID.
“Our school scores are better … because we put the power back in the hands of the hard-working taxpayers.”
In reference to a 2016 run — he stressed that his lawyers said he needed to note they’re still in the exploratory stage, something followed by chants of “run, Scott, run” — Walker said “we need to go back to look at the great founding principles of this country.”
“Not to go back in time… but to use that as a guide,” he said.
“They tried to recall me. They made me their No. 1 target,” Walker said of his electoral experience, adding that it would help “should we choose to run for the highest office in the land.”
“I’ve been running three times in the last four years.”
As ISIS suffered a couple of setbacks in their conquest in the Middle East and as leaders in the region gear up to fight them, the terrorist group captured at least 90 Assyrian Christians, and many people in that part of the world are wondering the same thing many Americans are: where is a response from the West?
Juliana Taimoorazy, with the Assyrian Philos Project, described the situation.
“These women were sobbing, saying, ‘What is our fault? Why is the West silent? Why is the Church not talking about our persecution?’” Taimoorazy said.
“And they’re asking, they’re questioning the foreign policy of America and also other world powers and Europe, saying, ‘Why is it that there’s nothing; there’s no agenda.’ There’s really nothing being done to help the persecuted in the Middle East,” she continued.
Arab Americans are getting involved in the act, questioning their leaders as to why their response has been so tepid.
On Tuesday, a group of Egyptian-American Coptics gathered near the White House, demanding the Obama administration do more to protect Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraqi Christians.
“Obama, Obama, did you see? Christian blood in the sea,” they chanted.
Featured image is a modified image courtesy of Shutterstock / Steve Allen
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) got both cheeky and testy with the media today when pressed on what his caucus will do with a “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding bill that breaks off the de-funding of President Obama’s immigration executive actions.
The Senate let the “clean” appropriations bill proceed on a 98-2 cloture vote yesterday. The two “nays” came from Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
But the caucus is already splitting further on the bill. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the GOP leadership, said he won’t vote for a bill that doesn’t block the immigration funding.
“At least 22 times, President Obama said he didn’t have this authority. At least half a dozen of my Senate Democrat colleagues publicly agreed and objected to the president’s executive amnesty. We must uphold the Constitution and the law,” Blunt said.
“President Obama is more likely to sign legislation that is attached to funding the department, which is why I still believe the House-passed bill was the right approach to addressing this problem.”
Boehner battled back against the White House characterizing the rifts as a Republican fight. “All Republicans agree that we want to fund the Department of Homeland Security and we want to stop the president’s executive actions with regard to immigration,” he said.
Still, the speaker is noncommittal about what the House will do with the scaled-back version of their bill.
“House passed a bill six weeks ago. It’s time for the Senate to do their work,” Boehner said. “I don’t know what the Senate can produce or what they can’t produce. If they produce something, we’ll decide what we’re going to do after we see it.”
Will he be able to persuade his caucus to vote for the bill? “When I see what the Senate actually passes, then I’ll know,” he replied.
Does he feel that this is challenging his speakership? “No. Heaven sakes, no. Not at all.”
“The courts have stopped the president’s executive action, at least temporarily. But having said that, I think there’s a role for Congress to play in defending the Constitution and upholding the rule of law. And we intend to do that,” he added.
At the next question, Boehner replied, “If ands and buts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas.”
Pressed further about the DHS funding expiring this weekend: “We passed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security six weeks ago — six weeks ago. It’s time for the Senate to act. We passed a bill to fund the department six weeks ago. How many times do I have to say it?”
Reporters were frustrated that he kept answering the questions the same way. Boehner responded to the next one with air kisses toward a male reporter.
“That’s just a kiss, that’s all,” he quipped.
“Several,” the reporter replied.
On the other side of the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a joint presser to accuse Republicans of seeking a DHS shutdown.
If House Republicans “send over a bill with all the riders in it” after the Senate passes a clean version, Reid said, “they’ve shut down the government.”
“We are not going to play games. We’ve been working for a month to come up with a clear funding proposal the president can sign, so they can — they can put all the riders on it they want, we will not allow that to take place,” he said.
“I think what they’re demonstrating, though, is that immigration is not the reason they’re shutting down the government, it was the excuse they were using. Because now, they have an out from what the judge did — said in Texas, and now they still want to shut down government,” Pelosi said. “So understand, shutting down government is their motive, and that’s what they have to be held accountable for.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the fastest-rising star in conservative politics.
He’s rocketing to the top-tier of potential 2016 GOP contenders following a strong appearance in Iowa last month and surging to the front of the pack in a handful of polls.
But coming off a 2012 cycle that saw Republican candidates rise and fall with the regularity of a finely-made Swiss watch, Walker’s challenge now is figuring out a way to sustain the momentum.
The writer is being coy here: Walker isn’t just the fastest rising star, he has become the 800 lb. gorilla of the GOP almost overnight. CNN’s sudden concern about his ability to sustain momentum is basically its way of saying that Walker hasn’t really made any missteps yet, even though the more unhinged among the MSM have just spent a week trying unsuccessfully to prove otherwise.
The article’s allusion to the 2012 elections ignores the fact that Walker has won three elections in four years. He’s campaign-ready and unlikely to provide the left with the Todd Akin moment it is so desperately hoping for at this time. The way he handled the manufactured drama over his refusal to play “Gotcha!” with the press about President Obama proves that.
After receiving a hero’s welcome at CPAC today, Senator Ted Cruz proved to the assembled conservatives that he is at least as passionate as they are. In his speech, the senator from Texas lashed out at Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Washington D.C., his own party included:
Washington wants power over the Internet, the people want freedom online! And don’t believe President Obama when he promises that if you like your Internet, you can keep it.
He went on to lambast Obama for failing to call ISIS what they are: a radical islamist organization. Oh, and about those Christian Egyptians? They weren’t slaughtered because they happened to be Egyptian citizens, Mr. President, they were killed because they were Christians.
And Hillary Clinton? She “embodies the corruption of Washington.” That’s that. Goodbye, Hillary — good luck trying to convince the American people that you didn’t cover up what happened in Benghazi.
Tellingly, Cruz used the opportunity to explain what he believes has to be done to put America back on track.
“We need to take the power out of Washington and bring it back to the American people,” Cruz said. And then he went after his fellow Republicans. “Every single person here,” Cruz said, pretends to be ultra conservative now, but how did they actually vote in the past? “When have you stood and fought? If a candidate says they oppose a nuclear Iran, fantastic! When have you actually fought?” Cruz continued:
If a candidate says they oppose the debt ceiling and the debt that’s crushing our kids and grandkids, we should ask show me where you’ve stood up to stop it. If a candidate says they support the First Amendment or free speech or liberty, if a candidate says they support the Second Amendment—the right to keep and bear arms—we should say show me where you’ve stood up and fought to protect them.”
And then came the death blow: the question isn’t whether there are any Republican candidates for president who have stood up to Democrats, but “when have you stood up to Republicans?”
To finish it off, Cruz quoted his father, the well-known Christian preacher who escaped from Cuba and built a new life for himself in America:
I saw freedom taken away once, and I’ll die before I let it happen again.
The response from the audience, conservatives on Facebook (“he’s killing it!”) and on Twitter, clearly showed Cruz hit a nerve — well, more than one, actually. He received a roaring standing ovation and was immediately approached by everyone in the room.
All of this proves once again that conservatives are hungry for a Republican candidate who takes the fight to Democrats and his (or her!) own leadership.
Here’s the video! Enjoy!
The Pew Research Center has released a report on the “Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities,” which found that harassment of Jews is growing worldwide despite a downward trend of harassment of other religions. Writes Pew:
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of countries where Jews were harassed. In 2013, harassment of Jews, either by government or social groups, was found in 77 countries (39%) — a seven-year high. Jews are much more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society than by governments. In Europe, for example, Jews were harassed by individuals or social groups in 34 of the region’s 45 countries (76%).
Yet more evidence that Europe is on a trend mirroring the social change of the 1930s.
Barry is not about to let a little pissant federal judge in Texas stop him from “fundamental transformation” of the American ethnic makeup, nos
A confident President Obama said Wednesday he won’t be stopped by “one federal judge,” telling a Miami crowd he’ll move ahead with his controversial executive action on immigration and vowing his administration will become even more aggressive in the weeks and months to come.
At a town hall meeting hosted by Telemundo and MSNBC, the president also threatened to veto GOP-backed legislation that would undo his immigration action. That measure is expected to come up for a vote later this week.
Mr. Obama took executive steps last year to halt deportations for millions of illegal immigrants, but a federal judge last week blocked the amnesty program, ruling that the president overstepped his authority. The administration is appealing that decision, and, in the meantime, Mr. Obama gave no indication that he intends to slow his unilateral immigration-reform agenda because of the court ruling.
These last two years of the Obama administration are going to be hell on earth.
Obamacare: the gift that keeps on spreading misery wherever it goes:
Taxpayers are already telling their accountants they plan to stiff the IRS on the Obamacare tax, saying they figure the chances the agency comes after them for a few hundred bucks are pretty slim, and it makes sense to take the risk. Still other taxpayers are recoiling when they find out they owe far more than the $95 minimum penalty for not having insurance in 2014, said Christopher Wittich, an accountant in Minnesota.
“And that’s a big problem for them,” he said. “They don’t have 200 bucks.”
Taxpayers are facing the first round of penalties under Obamacare’s “individual mandate,” which requires most Americans to prove they have health insurance coverage or else pay the tax that the Supreme Court ruled made the law constitutional. But Indiana accountant Scott Frick said one of his clients, told he would have to fork over $850 for going without insurance last year, thought about the IRS and decided not to pay, just to “see what happens.”
The episodes raise questions for the revenue agency, which is trying to figure out just how far it’s prepared to go to collect the Obamacare tax — and if future administrations will enforce it at all.
This kluge is such a monstrous, deliberate evil — fraudulently conceived and fraudulently perpetrated — that every Democrat who had anything to do with it belongs in jail. You can bet millions of Americans will be telling the IRS to take their penalty and shove it come tax time.
The biggest showman in America, Donald Trump, is making his usual quadrennial noises about running for president:
This time, Donald J. Trump says, he really means it. The billionaire real-estate mogul, who has long amounted to a one-man sideshow in GOP presidential politics, said in an interview Wednesday that he is “more serious” than ever about pursuing a run for the White House in 2016.
In recent days, Trump said, he has hired staffers in key primary states, retained an election attorney and delayed signing on for another season as host of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” because of his political projects. “Everybody feels I’m doing this just to have fun or because it’s good for the brand,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Well, it’s not fun. I’m not doing this for enjoyment. I’m doing this because the country is in serious trouble.”
The moves are the most significant steps yet by Trump, 68, toward a bona fide presidential bid, which he considered briefly and flamboyantly in 2011 before deciding against a run. The looming question, however, is whether he can convince Republicans that he is more than a celebrity bomb-thrower and instead is sincere in his consideration of a campaign.
I think we already know the answer to that. Meanwhile, here’s some exclusive kampaign video:
Hillary Clinton’s Charity Took Major Donations from Dirt-Poor Nations That Received U.S. Taxpayer Aid
Embattled presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is taking some rhetorical sniper fire for her charitable foundation, which received large contributions from several nations while she was secretary of State.
1) A potential presidential candidate becomes beholden to certain foreign nations.
2) A Secretary of State whose private foundation grows in prestige from foreign donations, while those same nations lobby the State Department for special treatment on human rights.
Both questions merit vigorous exploration, but for two of the Clinton Foundation’s “donor nations” there’s a third, perhaps more troubling, specter: taxpayer money laundering.
Algeria and the Dominican Republican each contributed to the Clinton Foundation, and both are recipients of U.S. development aid.
In the year 2010, Secretary Clinton’s foundation received $500,000 from Algeria designated to help Haiti in the aftermath of an earthquake. But the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) reports that Algeria received from U.S. taxpayers a total of $8.58 million in development assistance that same year — three-quarters of it as “emergency response” money.
At the same time, as the Post reports, Algeria spent another $422,097 lobbying the U.S. government, largely to take the heat off for human rights abuses in the 99% Sunni Islamic North African country.
So, in effect, U.S. taxpayers gave Algeria money to pressure us to stop hassling it about human rights, and we also gave Algeria money to curry favor with Madame Secretary by buffing the global reputation of Hillary Clinton’s private foundation. (This is not to minimize any good work that the Clinton Foundation may have done in Haiti. That’s irrelevant to this question.)
The real issue: Should needy nations like Algeria make contributions to other needy nations, channeled through the charitable foundation of the sitting U.S. secretary of State, while needy nation #1 is also lobbying us over human rights abuses — all with U.S. taxpayer dollars?
Meanwhile, the perennially impoverished Dominican Republic (DR) also donated to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s stint at State. Meanwhile in 2010 the DR received $35.52 million in U.S. development aid.
No matter what kind of accounting gymnastics one might perform, the fact of the matter is that U.S. taxpayers gave the DR and Algeria money that they then channelled to, or through, the Clinton Foundation.
There are, certainly, more troubles soon to emerge for a presidential hopeful with a foundation laid on such shifting sands of geostrategic relationships.
For example, Ukraine’s second-richest billionaire, Victor Pinchuk, a steel king whose wealth flows from trade with Russia, is also a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. When President Hillary Clinton takes the 3 a.m. phone call from Mr. Pinchuk, how will she tell him that the United States stands with those who want an independent Ukraine, rather than a Russian puppet?
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stood by his temper in a Q&A at the Conservative Political Action Conference today, noting that the White House should be told to shut up.
Fielding questions before the audience of conservative activists from radio host Laura Ingraham, Christie was asked about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s seesaws on social issues and asked how he would be as a socially conservative candidate.
“I just stand on my record. I’m pro-life. I ran as a pro-life candidate,” he said, adding that he was the first New Jersey governor ever to speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of statehouse.
“People make certain assumptions because … you’re a Republican from New Jersey. Don’t believe what the media will tell you that you can’t get elected as a pro-life candidate.”
Ingraham asked him about some of the descriptors that even his friends use about him: “explosive,” “short-tempered,” “hot-headed.”
“Here’s the word they miss: the word they miss is passionate. I’m the son of a Sicilian mother and an Irish father which means in my household I got to learn about dispute resolution really early,” Christie said. “…I care about fighting for the people I represent. I care about the fights worth fighting.”
He stressed that he has no political consultant in his ear “like Charlie Brown’s teacher.”
And of his October comments to a heckler at a press conference? “Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up… there’s so much ridiculous stuff being spewed out of the White House someone should say just shut up.”
Christie also answered questions about education and focusing on the middle class as far as job creation.
He was also asked about his deep polling deficit among potential 2016 candidates.
“Is the election next week?” Christie quipped, citing his big totals in gubernatorial races. “I’m not worried about what polls say 21 months before.”
If he runs, the governor said, he’ll wage a “hard-fighting” campaign. “I’ll take my chances on me,” he said. “I’ve done pretty well so far.”
Christie cited early polls for the 2008 election that showed a race between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
He also said he’s not concerned about Jeb Bush’s fundraising power. “Sometimes those special interests, more than anything they hate the truth,” he said.
Yesterday Christie held his 128th townhall meeting with no screened questions. “That the kind of interaction we should have with the people we’re working for.”
Asked what he gave up for Lent, Christie quipped he told his priest he was giving up the New York Times — but was told to give up something he’d actually miss instead.
This can’t be true, can it?
Earlier this month, New Yorkers watched an inferno tear through a warehouse full of old government records from the bygone paper era. Many probably felt relief in thinking that such records are now often digitized and therefore not at risk of being accidentally incinerated. Yet as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is showing this week, many records are vulnerable to another form of destruction: deliberate deletion.
In a memo obtained by Capital New York, Cuomo officials announced that mass purging of email records is beginning across several state government agencies. The timing of the announcement, which followed through on a 2013 proposal, is worth noting: The large-scale destruction of state documents will be happening in the middle of a sprawling federal investigation of public corruption in Albany. That investigation has been looking at state legislators and the Cuomo administration.
Cuomo’s move to purge state emails follows a similar move he made as state Attorney General. International Business Times confirmed that in 2007, he put in place a mass deletion policy for emails in the New York Attorney General’s office that were more than 90 days old, making it difficult for the public to know how — or whether — his office investigated bank fraud in the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008. In the Cuomo administration’s announcement this week, the governor’s chief information officer, Maggie Miller, justified the new email purge as a cost-saving measure aimed at “making government work better.”
But former prosecutors and open-government advocates interviewed by IBTimes say the move seems designed to hide information.
No kidding! But it’s all par for the course for America’s most brazenly thuggish governor. His presidential hopes may be going up in smoke, and the U.S. attorney is hot on his heels, but by God this gangster isn’t going down without a fight. You can practically hear him snarling, “Come and get me, coppers!”
Here’s how Hollywood imaged the last days of the Cuomo administration inside the governor’s mansion in Albany: