PJ Tatler

The PJ Tatler

VIDEO: Defense Secretary Doesn’t Know If Ayatollah’s Religion Compels Him to Destroy Israel

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday to answer questions about the Iran nuclear deal, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said he couldn’t determine whether Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had religious motivations to destroy the Great Satan and the Little Satan.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) first asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, “Do you believe the Iranians have been trying to build a bomb or a nuclear power program for peaceful purposes all these years?”

“I believe they have a militarization aspiration,” Dempsey carefully replied.

Then:

GRAHAM: Who’s the commander in chief of the Iranian armed forces, Secretary Carter? Who calls the shots?

CARTER: The supreme leader.

GRAHAM: Who decides if Iran goes to war? The supreme leader, right?

CARTER: I believe so, yes.

GRAHAM: Who decides if they try to break out, the supreme leader?

CARTER: Yes.

GRAHAM: Does the supreme leader’s religious views compel him over time to destroy Israel and attack America?

CARTER: I — I — I don’t know. I don’t know the man, I only…

GRAHAM: I can tell you, I do.

CARTER: … read what he says.

GRAHAM: I know the man.

CARTER: I don’t.

GRAHAM: I know what he wants, and if you don’t know that, this is not a good deal. Could we win a war with Iran? Who wins the war between us and Iran? Who wins? Do you have any doubt who wins?

CARTER: No, the United States wins the war.

GRAHAM: We win.

Graham then pressed Carter about Saudi Arabia’s real thoughts about the deal, to which the Defense secretary replied, “This is a little bit like what is the Ayatollah thinking. I only read what he says and I take at face value.”

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‘It’s Another Boy!’: Pro-Life Group Releases 4th Video

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Last night, a California court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing any more footage of leaders from StemExpress, the company that provides fetal tissue to researchers.

The 4th video, released Thursday, exposes the organ-harvesting operations at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM), but does not contain footage with anyone from StemExpress.

As awful as the grisly footage of unwanted baby body parts being picked apart in a petri dish is, it’s Dr. Ginde’s macabre announcement at the end that truly assaults the senses.

 

The Center for Medical Progress reports that PPRM  does over 10,000 abortions per year and has a contract to supply aborted fetal tissue to Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM’s abortion practice, “Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.

Since PPRM does not use digoxin or other feticide in its 2nd trimester procedures, any intact deliveries before an abortion are potentially born-alive infants under federal law (1 USC 8).

We’d have to do a little bit of training with the providers or something to make sure that they don’t crush” fetal organs during 2nd trimester abortions, says Ginde, brainstorming ways to ensure the abortion doctors at PPRM provide usable fetal organs.

Digoxin is a cardiotoxic drug that is injected into the baby’s heart before dismembering or delivering it.  It is considered to be a more humane abortion method than literally tearing a live baby apart in the womb.

Unfortunately, as The Federalist points out, that’s not what happens during Planned Parenthood’s “fetal tissue donation” abortions.

In the second video, we find out explicitly from Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter that abortions performed with feticides aren’t viable for fetal-tissue donation. If digoxin is used, it renders the fetal stem cells unusable. (See the footage and the transcript.) Knowing this, Nucatola’s graphic explanation of how to “crush” unborn babies to maximize organ retrieval requires a clarifier. These babies are being strategically maneuvered, crushed, and dismembered under ultrasound guidance—while still alive.

 

 

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Sean Hannity: Three Senators Confirm that Mitch McConnell Lied to Ted Cruz

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Sean Hannity says that three senators confirmed Ted Cruz’s account of a conversation he had with Senate Majority Liar Leader Mitch McConnell about a possible deal with Democrats about the Export-Import Bank. You may recall that Cruz blasted McConnell on the Senate floor for saying there was no deal, while there clearly was one.

Although other Republicans have attacked Cruz for telling the truth — without denying his account of the conversation, by the way — a few have come out in support of him. Senator Mike Lee has been willing to go on record to confirm Cruz’s account.

Sadly, he’s the only one. Hannity says that two others confirmed the story, but they wish to remain anonymous. This is what he said when Cruz appeared on his radio show recently:

I got to be honest, I stood up and cheered when you did all this because I feel that the Republican Party in Congress, I think Republican governors have been far more bold, the Republican Congress has been weak, and timid and unwilling to fight on very key issues… Here’s the question that nobody in the media wants to ask but I’ve been asking and that is, did Mitch McConnell make you the promise that you said he made? Now, Mike Lee says he did, and two senators, two of your fellow senators told me privately that, in fact, yes they heard three times Mitch McConnell say that to you. That there was no deal made but they don’t want so say it publicly.

This leaves little doubt about the truth of Cruz’s statements. What’s more important, though, is the utter lack of courage from his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. Think about this: 50 senators don’t have the courage to speak out about this issue, and of the four (including Cruz) who do, two are so afraid of McConnell’s leadership team that they don’t dare do so publicly.

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Bernie to Hillary: Your Excuses for Dodging Keystone Question Are Lame

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) chided Hillary Clinton for ducking a question on the Keystone XL pipeline, stressing that voters have to know where she stands on the project.

Asked Tuesday in New Hampshire about Keystone, Clinton said it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to answer the question because she “was in a position to set this in motion” as secretary of State. The project is caught up in the State Department review process as it crosses into the United States from Canada.

“I am not going to second guess [President Obama],” she replied. “I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide. If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

After the townhall event, Clinton told reporters, “I’ve been very clear: I will not express an opinion until [Obama and John Kerry] have made a decision, and then I will do so. If this is the number one issue on people’s minds, then they’re going to have to wait to see what Secretary Kerry and President Obama decide to do about it.”

Sanders told MSNBC last night that “if we are serious about combating climate change, which the scientists tell us is the major environmental crisis facing our planet, we have got to do everything we can to prevent the excavation and transportation of the some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on earth.”

“I think this Keystone pipeline idea is a terrible idea. I’m against it and frankly I think Secretary Clinton should be speaking out on this issue,” he said.

The senator said there’s not “merit to that answer” that she can’t speak on it now because of a secretary of State conflict.

“She’s a candidate for president of the United States. Climate change is one of the great issues that all of us have got to deal with and I think the people are entitled to know her opinion on the issue,” he added.

“…She’s not secretary of State now. She’s a candidate for the president of the United States. This is enormously important issue. You could say you are for it. You could say you are against it but I think should have an opinion on that issue.”

Sanders, who has been steadily climbing in the polls since entering the race, heads to New Hampshire this weekend for several town meetings, kicking off with a Friends of the Earth Action press conference in Concord.

“I think there is a feeling that people should at least have an opinion on the most important trade agreement ever entered into why the United States of America. I happen to think TPP is the continuation of disastrous trade policies which have cost us millions of jobs. I’m against it. Secretary should have a position on it,” he said.

“I think that the Keystone pipeline is excavating and transporting some of the dirtiest fuel on earth. I think if we’re serious about addressing climate change, the secretary should have an opinion on that as well… It’s not a question of loyalty. She is a candidate. You can agree with the President. You can disagree with the President. But when running for office and these are two of the monumental issues that we’re facing, I think it is obligatory for you to speak out and tell the American people what your view is.”

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Boehner Coup Attempt Fails

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

That didn’t take long. An effort by North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows to oust House Speaker John Boehner went nowhere fast. The move was unexpected, befuddling even some of Boehner’s staunchest critics. From The Hill:

Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.), who was booted off the House Rules Committee for voting against Boehner for Speaker in January, said the resolution was a “distraction” from issues such as the Iran deal.

“If you’re voting to try to take down a Speaker, then you need to have a game plan for an alternative,” added Brooks, pointing out the lack of a viable candidate to replace Boehner.

If such reasoning sounds familiar, it’s likely because it was offered in defense of votes for Boehner in January. Then, as now, there were no viable candidates to challenge Boehner for his position as speaker.

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#BringBackOurRebels: Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

(Be sure to see the update below for new details and Associated Press confirmation.)

Earlier this week, I reported at PJ Media that the first class of Obama’s U.S.-trained, “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels — 50 in all — had left Turkey for Syria and had not been heard from since, based on a McClatchy report.

Yesterday, I posted a follow-up report claiming that 18 of the newly trained U.S. rebels, including some of the leaders, had been arrested/kidnapped by Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith denied the claim:

Reports have claimed that the al-Qaida linked Al-Nusra Front has detained 18 opposition members, including Syrian Turkmen Colonel Nedim Hassan, -who is the leader of the U.S train-and-equip program-, and field commander Farhan Jasim near the Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, which was refuted by the Pentagon. “While we will not disclose the names of specific groups involved with the Syria Train and Equip program I can confirm that there have been no New Syrian Force personnel captured or detained.” Pentagon spokeswoman or Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Daily Sabah. It was claimed that the opposition members who were returning from the train-and-equip program from Turkey were cut in by the Nusra militants, and were allegedly detained on the grounds that they are cooperating with the U.S.

The flat-out denial by the Pentagon is being refuted this morning, both by a Reuters report and a statement issued by the group itself.

From the Reuters report:

The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front has abducted the leader of a U.S.-backed rebel group in north Syria, opposition sources and a monitoring group said, in a blow to Washington’s efforts to train and equip fighters to combat Islamic State. A statement issued in the name of the group, “Division 30″, accused the Nusra Front of abducting Nadim al-Hassan and a number of his companions in a rural area north of Aleppo. It urged Nusra to release them. A Syrian activist and a second opposition source said most of the 54 fighters who have so far completed a U.S.-led train and equip programmed in neighboring Turkey were from Division 30. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that reports on the war, said the men were abducted while returning from a meeting in Azaz, north of Aleppo, to coordinate efforts with other factions. The opposition source said they were abducted on Tuesday night.

The Telegraph is also reporting:

Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists kidnapped the commanders of a US-trained rebel faction operating in northern Syria on Wednesday, sources said, in another blow for the Pentagon’s train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Division 30 Infantry group accused the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, of taking the Division’s commander, Colonel Nadim Al-Hassan, and his companions in the northern countryside of Aleppo province.

“[The Division] demands that the brothers in the Nusra Front release the colonel… and his companions with the utmost speed so as to preserve the blood of the Muslims and… so as not to weaken the frontlines with side disputes between the brothers of one side,” said the statement, which was released on Division 30′s official page on social media.

This development embarrasses both the Obama administration and the GOP leadership that pushed for the $500 million in funding for the program on multiple levels:

  • The program was supposed to train 5,000 rebels to fight the Islamic State this year, but Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted to Congress earlier this month that only 60 had completed the program.
  • To train those 60 fighters, the Pentagon has burned one half of the funds allocated for the training, with $4 million spent per fighter so far.
  • No sooner had that first class of 54 been sent off to Syria on July 12 than the Pentagon reportedly lost contact with them.
  • Then yesterday the initial reports were that 18 of those members had been arrested by Jabhat al-Nusra, prompting the Pentagon denial.
  • Now, the Division 30 statement and the Reuters report flatly contradict the Pentagon denial yesterday, meaning they did not know or they lied about the embarrassing report.

As I stated yesterday, it’s become clear which side actually fits the description of “JV team.”

UPDATE: The Associated Press confirms the report that the Pentagon denied yesterday:

Syrian activists say a leader and six members of a U.S.-backed rebel group have been abducted in northern Syria, most likely by the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a Turkey-based Syrian activist said Thursday that Col. Nadim al-Hassan, who heads a brigade known as “Division 30,” was picked up near the border town of Azaz along with the other six.

Dubai-based reporter Jenan Moussa has additional details:

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L.A. Superior Court Bars Pro-Life Group from Releasing New #PP Videos

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

StemExpress, the company that contracts with Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics for fetal tissue, has asked a California court for a temporary restraining order to prevent a pro-life group from releasing any more videos about Planned Parenthood’s baby organ harvesting operations. And the court agreed to issue the injunction.

Via Fox News:

The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization.

The Center for Medical Progress has released three surreptitiously recorded videos to date that have riled anti-abortion activists. The Senate is expected to vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the videos’ release.

In a statement Wednesday, center leader David Daleiden said StemExpress was using “meritless litigation” to cover up an “illegal baby parts trade.”

“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work,” he said.

Daleiden told Sean Hannity on Fox News Tuesday night that there are  twelve investigative videos in all.

“Planned Parenthood is getting increasingly desperate to distract from the issue of how they sell the body parts of the babies that they abort,” Daleiden explained. “So, they’re going to be making increasingly outlandish claims about myself, personal attacks against me and really outrageous, fictitious statements about The Center for Medical Progress, in order to avoid addressing that real issue.”

Daleiden added that they have released three videos so far, and there will be a grand total of 12.

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N.Y. ISIS Suspect Got All He Needed for Jihad on eBay

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Charges filed against a New York man for “attempting to provide material support and resources” to ISIS show that he stocked up on everything needed for a terror attack, including Shahada flags, on eBay.

Arafat M. Nagi, 44, a U.S. citizen who lived in Lackawanna, N.Y., made his first appearance in court today on the charges that could bring up to 15 years in prison.

A person “previously convicted of terrorism offenses” from Nagi’s home city was interviewed by the FBI in August 2014 and told agents that the unemployed, divorced father of two adult children was talking about jihad around the community and it was “common for Nagi to get into verbal altercations over his jihadi beliefs.”

The complaint says his terror activities began around August 2012. He flew to Turkey for one day in October 2012, flying home because of a gallbladder infection. He traveled to Turkey for 10 days in July 2014 and then went to Yemen, where he stayed until returning to the United States in September. He was interviewed at the time by Customs and Border Protection officials about his travels.

Nagi claimed that while in Turkey he was holed up at the Holiday Inn in Istanbul, and that he only went to Yemen to see an uncle. He returned with two cell phones and an iPad, and told officials he didn’t support any jihadist groups.

He began his eBay stock-up in August 2012, with a tactical vest with armor plates and an army combat shirt. In September of that year, he snatched up body armor with side trauma plates, a Shahada flag and combat boots.

In January 2013, Nagi bought a “Hamas-style” Islamic headband, followed the next few months by camouflage pants, Kevlar tactical gloves, a combat face mask, military-style backpack, and combat hunting knife.

That fall, he bought a burn kit, another large black Shahada flag, night vision goggles and a camouflage long-sleeved T-shirt.

Nagi’s Twitter account was deactivated by the suspect last September, but a quick search of interactions he had with other users goes back to December 2013. The FBI logged more than 7,000 “potentially relevant” tweets from his account, mostly in Arabic.

Before his 2014 trip to Turkey, he tweeted “my pledge to hear and obey Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

The FBI informant told agents in December 2014 that the oath made Nagi “compelled to act on behalf of ISIL” and he “expressed concern that Nagi may do something in the United States.”

The complaint describes a few more contacts between the informant and FBI, including a March conversation about Nagi’s plans to go back to Turkey and cross into the Islamic State after receiving some insurance settlement money.

Special Agent in Charge Brian Boetig of the Buffalo FBI office said today that the Joint Terrorism Task Force “relies on community engagement to gain perspectives on radicalization and to deter recruitment and the spread of radicalization messages.”

“We continue to call upon people to contact law enforcement if they know of someone who has been influenced by ISIL rhetoric on social media – powerful propaganda that calls for followers to commit quick and unpredictable violent acts,” Boetig said.

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Police Go Undercover to Nab Distracted Drivers

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

As distracted drivers become a greater threat to public safety, police on both coasts are resorting to unusual measures to catch drivers using their phones at the wrong times.

In San Bernadino, California, cops are posing as panhandlers – sort of — in order to go after distracted drivers.

…plain clothes officers stood on highway off-ramps earlier this week holding cardboard signs that read “I am NOT homeless. SB Police looking for seatbelt/cell phone violations.” Unassuming drivers likely didn’t take notice and kept on texting or playing Candy Crush.

“During this detail, our undercover officers walked up to the windows of many vehicles unnoticed
by the drivers that were either talking or texting on their cell phones,” Chief Jarrod Burguan wrote in a press release.

The department says 33 citations were issued for drivers using their phones. So next time you think the person outside your window is looking for a ride or panhandling, maybe check before you return a text.

Nearly 3,000 miles away, officers in Marietta, Georgia, have disguised themselves as construction workers to spot drivers texting, tweeting, and playing games.

Most drivers paid no attention to the road crew working at Cobb Parkway at Roswell Road, but the crew wasn’t radioing in survey readings — they were busting distracted drivers.

“What we’ve done here is we’re able to put officers in the roads so we’re able to get close enough almost inside their cars so we can look down and see exactly what they’re doing on their phones,” said Marietta police Officer Nick Serkedakis.

Police say making good distracted driving cases are tough because it is often challenging to figure out exactly what the driver is doing in the car. This way, their cases are much stronger.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re stopped at a light, if you’re on a public thoroughfare and facing the phone we’re going to have a conversation with you,” Serkedakis said.

Many pulled over couldn’t believe they were getting busted while sitting at a light, so police had to spend time explaining the law to some skeptics.

“Anytime you’re in the road, in the roadway, you’re in gear and in control of the roadway. Even reading it falls under the code section as well,” one officer told a driver.

How effective are unorthodox methods like these? Are they worth the risk and extra effort? Would they stand up to a court challenge? Time will tell.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Blazej Lyjak

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Three UVA Phi Kappa Psi Members Sue Rolling Stone Over Fake Rape Article

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via UPI:

Three former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia filed a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone on Wednesday for a now-retracted article the magazine published about a gang rape.

In April, Rolling Stone officially retracted an article written by Sabrina Erdely which told of the rape of a UVA student identified as “Jackie” at a party at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. Fraternity members denied any wrongdoing and Charlottesville, Va., police said there was no evidence to support the story.

But months passed between the story was published and when it was officially walked back. During that time, three former members of the fraternity said people identified them as being involved in the fictitious rape based on details in the story.

The only way to get the irresponsible, leftist agenda-driven media to stop trying to ruin lives is to hit them in the wallets. Boycotts are not always effective, and often only provide fleeting financial discomfort. The mere threat of prolonged legal action and its attendant costs, however, can often be enough to change even the most rabid ideologues.

Liberty-loving Americans should get behind the funding of some deep-pocketed legal advocates (some of which already exist, but more are needed) to enable vigilance regarding the relentless Constitution trampling antics of the Left.

Thus far, Rolling Stone and Sabrina Erdely have been pretty unapologetic about making this heinous story up, which makes the entire incident all the more galling.

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Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Rising in United Kingdom

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sadly predictable.

The number of anti-semitic hate crimes reported to police has soared in parts of the UK, police figures reveal.

A number of the largest forces in the country are recording rising numbers of offences against Jewish people and property, figures from police forces show.

In London and Greater Manchester the total more than doubled in a year, while there were also increases in Merseyside, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.

Crimes included assault, harassment, arson and criminal damage.

The UK has been continually gracious to radical Islamic elements in its midst, even going so far as to formally embrace some aspects of Sharia law. Last year, the fevered crazies gathered for a “Free Palestine” protest that police said was “largely peaceful” but was filled with plenty of seed sowing for the future.

As long as Israel is painted as an aggressor because it wants to protect itself, the hatred for it will grow among those easily manipulated by the growing class of professional agitators here and abroad. When leaders explicitly pretend Islamic violence isn’t really Islamic violence all the while implicitly agreeing with the “Israel is a bully!” crowd, it’s just more fuel on an already burning fire.

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University Language Guide Says Not to Use the Word ‘American’

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

I had a revelatory moment when reading this story. Someone was actually paid to write this “language guide” that recommends not using certain words because they aren’t “inclusive” enough, or don’t reflect “diversity.” Someone sat around dreaming up reasons why some words that were historically innocuous, or even generated pride, had suddenly become objectionable.

What kind of loon would apply for a job like that?

No matter. The University of New Hampshire’s “Bias Free Language Guide” reinforces the notion that the elites at our universities have gone stark, raving mad, with the promise that their insanity will only get worse.

Campus Reform:

“American,” “illegal alien,” “foreigners,” “mothering,” and “fathering” are just a handful of words deemed “problematic” by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.

According to the university’s website, the guide “is meant to invite inclusive excellence in [the] campus community.”

Terms also considered problematic include: “elders,” “senior citizen,” “overweight,” “speech impediment,” “dumb,” “sexual preference,” “manpower,” “freshmen,” “mailman,” and “chairman,” in addition to many others.

The guide defines words such as “homosexual” as “problematic,” offering “Same Gender Loving” as a more inclusive substitute. Similarly, a lack of gender-neutral bathrooms is, according to the university, “ciscentrism.”

The university defines “ciscentrism” as “[a] pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ‘other’ category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people.”

“Ciscentrism,” according to the university, “includes the lack of gender-neutral restrooms, locker rooms, and residences.”

Saying “American” to reference Americans is also problematic. The guide encourages the use of the more inclusive substitutes “U.S. citizen” or “Resident of the U.S.”

The guide notes that “American” is problematic because it “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside [the continents of North and South America].” (The guide doesn’t address whether or not the terms “Canadians” and “Mexicans” should be abandoned in favor of “Residents of Canada” and “Residents of Mexico,” respectively.)

The guide clarifies that saying “illegal alien” is also problematic. While “undocumented immigrant” is acceptable, the guide recommends saying “person seeking asylum,” or “refugee,” instead. Even saying “foreigners” is problematic; the preferred term is “international people.”

Using the word “Caucasian” is considered problematic as well, and should be discontinued in favor of “European-American individuals.” The guide also states that the notion of race is “a social construct…that was designed to maintain slavery.”

The guide also discourages the use of “mothering” or “fathering,” so as to “avoid gendering a non-gendered activity.”

Even saying the word “healthy” is problematic, the university says. The “preferred term for people without disabilities,” the university says, is “non-disabled.” Similarly, saying “handicapped” or “physically-challenged” is also problematic. Instead, the university wants people to use the more inclusive “wheelchair user,” or “person who is wheelchair mobile.”

Using the words “rich” or “poor” is also frowned upon. Instead of saying “rich,” the university encourages people to say “person of material wealth.” Rather than saying a person is “poor,” the university encourages its members to substitute “person who lacks advantages that others have” or “low economic status related to a person’s education, occupation and income.”

Creating an entirely new vocabulary that makes communication far more difficult than it need be just to assuage the supposed “offended” feelings of anyone except white male Christians would be hysterically funny — if the authors had any sort of a sense of humor.

But they don’t. They live their lives examining language under a microscope, burrowing ever deeper into meaning and intent, looking for microagressions and transgressions against their rigid, formulaic codes of speech, while slaying imaginary dragons of racism, sexism, and all the other evil “isms” out there.

If there goal is to make it impossible to have a rational discussion about anything, they are almost there.

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Day After Kerry Lobbied Her Committee, House Dem Says No to Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The day after Secretary of State John Kerry tried to convince the House Foreign Affairs Committee to back the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, a Democrat on the panel said she wouldn’t be voting for the accord.

“I strongly believe the world could and should have a better deal than that set forth in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which I will therefore oppose,” said Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), a second-term congresswoman from Queens.

“While I will continue to study the finer points of the deal, they will not be dispositive for me. I believe the inspections procedures set forth are flawed – leading nuclear experts assert that, pursuant to these procedures, inspectors would not necessarily know whether Iran is manufacturing uranium components for a nuclear weapon. This is unacceptable,” she said in a statement.

“Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that almost all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would remain intact; this leads me to believe Iran would simply resume its pursuit of a nuclear weapon at the conclusion of the deal in a decade’s time. Finally, the immediate sanctions relief provided Iran in the deal would incentivize the funding of terrorism and lessen Iran’s interest in restraining its nuclear ambitions over the long term.”

Meng commended President Obama and Kerry “for their efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but the deal before us now is simply too dangerous for the American people.”

“I have every confidence a better deal can be realized,” she added.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Meng asked Kerry why he believes Russia and China would “be there with us in any sort of snap-back scenario” with sanctions when Iran violates the deal.

“I think that Iran — that Russia and China are very, very serious about the nonproliferation component of this, as serious as we are,” Kerry replied. “Russia has agreed to export the spent fuel and process it in Russia in order to help make this work. China has accepted major responsibility to be the lead entity with our co-chairmanship on a committee that will work to redesign the Iraq reactor in a way that is acceptable to all of us. And they’ve taken on major responsibilities. So China has — they both have a huge interest in the nonproliferation piece of this, but they both believe that the other components of the resolution with respect to the arms and missiles was thrown in as an add-on, as punishment, in effect, not because it referred directly to the nuclear part of this — of the resolution or agreement.”

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Federal Judge Threatens to Hold IRS Commish, DOJ Lawyers in Contempt of Court

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

There are two new developments in the ongoing IRS scandal that do not bode well for current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Last week, House Republicans threatened to impeach him for “culpable misdemeanors,” and today District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold him, along with DOJ attorneys in contempt of court.

As I noted earlier this month, the IRS is skating on thin ice because Judge Sullivan is not a man to be trifled with.

Judicial Watch announced that U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan today threatened to hold the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and newly recovered emails of Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.

During the a status hearing today, Sullivan warned that the failure to follow his order was serious and the IRS and Justice Department’s excuses for not following his July 1 order were “indefensible, ridiculous, and absurd.”  He asked the IRS’ Justice Department lawyer Geoffrey Klimas, “Why didn’t the IRS comply” with his court order and “why shouldn’t the Court hold the Commissioner of the IRS in contempt.”  Judge Sullivan referenced his contempt findings against Justice Department prosecutors in the prosecution of late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and reminded the Justice Department attorney he had the ability to detain him for contempt.  Warning he would tolerate no further disregard of his orders, Judge Sullivan said, “I will haul into court the IRS Commissioner to hold him personally into contempt.”

The former chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee doesn’t see Koskinen going anywhere without an intervention.

“He’s not going anywhere because this president wants him just where he is – delaying, denying and complaining,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, appearing on Neil Cavuto show Wednesday. “Remember, the president has now gone from admitting that there was targeting of conservatives, to pretending that it was a bad law that was passed before he was born – in the 1950s – that is at fault for the confusion as the president would like to have you believe it was.”

He continued, “Lois Lerner,with malice and aforethought deliberately delayed and deterred a vast amount of conservative groups.”

Responding to Cavuto’s point that the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady has been penalized more than Lois Lerner, Issa quipped that he’d like to see the commissioner at least get a four-game suspension.

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Please Collect Your Winnings if You Had Jim Gilmore at 17th in the GOP Presidential Free-For-All Pool

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I blame Trump for this. Just because.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore filed the paperwork on Wednesday to join the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Gilmore becomes the 17th candidate to seek the 2016 nomination, a field that includes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, businessman Donald Trump and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Earlier this month, Gilmore, 65, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper that he planned to formally enter the race in the first week of August.

We have now gone from a former governor who some people still remember (Pataki) to one that no one outside of his home state knows exists. You may not be able to tell your kids that any American can grow up to be president, but you can assure them anyone can run for the office if he or she has one friend with money to spend.

The GOP field may yet fill to twenty candidates as there is speculation about formal announcements from a lost Bush brother, Caitlyn Jenner and the ghost of Warren G. Harding.

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Cruz Not Backing Down From Comment About Obama Sponsoring Terrorism

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

More of this, please.

According to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is essentially financing terrorism. And he’s not backing down after the president called his comments “outrageous.”

“If this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz said during a round table Tuesday. “Billions of dollars under control of this administration will flow into the hands of jihadists who will use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans.”

Mitch McConnell currently has all seventy of his chins flapping about in a fit over Cruz and his lack of willingness to be polite to people who don’t deserve it. You will not find many examples of Senator Cruz being impolite to people who don’t deserve it, by the way.

The prevailing sentiment among anti-Cruz Republicans is that he stirs things up simply because he has a big ego and likes the attention. In reality, he is bringing some Goldwater-esque swagger back to the Senate just in time to perhaps save the Republicans from themselves. Harry Reid wasn’t much for capitulation when he was majority leader, but Mitch McConnell’s memory seems to be nonexistent, as he wakes up every day already bent over backwards for the Democrats.

Cruz makes people uncomfortable, and that is his real sin in a city where those in the hometown industry are more interested in getting along at the next work-related happy hour than whatever the regular Americans are worried about.

Sometimes I wonder if it might be better for Cruz to remain in the Senate just to be a permanent thorn in the sides of idiots like McConnell, McCain and Hatch. He’s wildly popular with his constituents, because he keeps doing what they want, rather than what he wants, which is an almost unheard of modus operandi in D.C. these days.

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Boehner on Ouster Effort: A Few Lawmakers are ‘Off the Reservation; No Big Deal’

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today dismissed the effort by a North Carolina conservative to declare his seat vacant.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has no co-sponsors listed yet for H.Res. 385, which was introduced yesterday and referred to the House Rules Committee.

The resolution reads:

Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decisionmaking, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;

Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the executive and judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American people;

Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker;

Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present;

Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American people, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation;

Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that Members shall have three days to review legislation before voting;

Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Committee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward legislative process; and

Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved,

      That the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.

Rep. Walt Jones (R-N.C.), a Meadows supporter, told CNN this morning that Boehner “has used too much force to intimidate, and that is wrong.”

Meadows was temporarily removed as chairman of an Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee in June.

Many GOP lawmakers said Meadows’ bill came as a shock. “I’m sorry that they were caught by surprise. I’ve known this for three weeks,” Jones said.

“So therefore, in a situation like this, you don’t know who you can trust and not trust,” he added. “And when you’ve got a problem like we have with the speaker of the House being so coercive, then we need to do what is necessary for the good of the people and the good of this country.”

At his weekly press conference, Boehner predicted “pretty smooth sailing” going into fall.

“Listen, because America has essentially a two-party system, each of the parties represents a pretty wide, divergent set of views. And as a result, it requires a lot more effort on the part of the leaders to try to work in a — in a unified fashion. We just continue to work at it every day,” he said. “You’ve got a member here and a member there who are off the reservation. No big deal.”

“Listen, this is one member, all right? I’ve got broad support amongst my colleagues. And frankly, it isn’t even deserving of a vote,” the Speaker continued.

Asked if he’d spoken with Meadows, Boehner replied, “I have not. Why?”

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(VIDEO) Ohio Dem State Rep. Patmon: ‘Black Lives Matter’ Crowd Should Protest Planned Parenthood

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

“Five thousand, four hundred and ninety-nine abortions are in Cuyahoga County, which I happen to represent,” Patmon said in a speech Tuesday. “And 63 percent of them are black women,”

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Kerry: Maybe None of Us Have Even Read the IAEA-Iran Deals

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Secretary of State John Kerry admitted at the Senate Armed Services Committee today that not only does the U.S. not have a copy of the agreements between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, but he doesn’t know if anyone in our government has read them.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said he traveled to Vienna last weekend “to discover the existence of these side deals. The administration has now confirmed their existence. There’s still some lack of clarity about their content.”

“Secretary Kerry, have you read either of these two side deals between the IAEA and Iran?” Cotton asked.

“No, I haven’t read it,” Kerry replied, confirming he also hadn’t read any of the drafts. “I’ve been briefed through our team that met with the IAEA.”

But did anyone on that team read the agreements?

“I believe one person may have read it at the — at the facility, but doesn’t have it, they don’t possess it,” Kerry said. “It’s possible, I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible Wendy Sherman may have, but I don’t know that for sure.”

“If Undersecretary Sherman has read the text of these agreements, even if they are not in her possession, does that not undercut the claims of confidentiality between the IAEA and Iran?” Cotton asked.

“I don’t know whether she read a summary or a draft, or I have no idea. I said, I think, and I’m not sure,” Kerry said.

He added that “we respect the process of the IAEA and we don’t have their authorization to reveal what is a confidential agreement between them and another country.”

Kerry was also pressed again on why the Iran agreement isn’t a treaty, and gave a different answer than he gave the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday.

“There are many reasons why… not the least of which is we don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran. This is a situation with a multilateral agreement with many countries and you don’t normally negotiate a treaty in that kind of context. So it’s a political agreement,” he said. “We believe the leverages that are in it through the snap-back of sanctions, through the oversight and inspections are very powerful incentives for Iran’s compliance.”

“I would note that there’s nothing in article two, section two, that limits the definition of treaty along the lines of what you described. And, in fact, nothing in your definition of the term treaty on the State Department’s own web site limits it that way,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who recently wrote a book on the Constitution, countered.

“It defines treaty as a formal written agreement between sovereign states or between states and international organizations,” Lee added. “Doesn’t limit it to the fact it has to be between two. I don’t think that’s an adequate answer.”

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Pennsylvania Dem Fattah Indicted on Lengthy List of Criminal Charges

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Busy guy.

A federal grand jury has indicted Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah and four other individuals on a slew of criminal charges related to a long-running probe into his 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia.

Fattah, who was first elected to the House in 1994, has been charged with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud, mail and wire fraud, and filing false statements. The 58-year-old congressman faces as long as 30 years in prison.

Fattah has been the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee panel that oversees funding for the Justice Department and other federal agencies. He has now stepped down from that post, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

Of course the Democrats would put a guy with money laundering and racketeering skills on the Appropriations Committee. Heck, it’s probably a prerequisite for even being considered.

Rather than comment on the overwhelming scope of the charges, Grandma Nan Pelosi could only belch up tired Democrat talking points:

“Congressman Fattah has been a tireless and effective advocate for America’s hard-working families across more than 20 years of distinguished service in the House,” she said in a statement.

When he isn’t ripping those hard-working families off through a fake charity he set up, that is.

At least the congressman has a strong sense of family and tries to pass along what he’s learned to his son:

Wednesday’s indictment comes almost a year after his son, Chaka Fattah, Jr., was charged with bank fraud theft. The younger Fattah also faces charges of filing false tax returns. He allegedly stole government money slated for city schools to pay personal expenses.

The government we deserve, indeed.

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The Hill Finds Romney Connection to Lion-Killer Story

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

The Hill published a Pulitzer-worthy scoop Wednesday, with the revelation of political donations made by the Minnesota dentist who killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe.

The Minnesota dentist who authorities say killed a beloved Zimbabwe lion named Cecil donated to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Federal Elections Commission (FEC) forms show Walter James Palmer, a dentist in Eden Prairie, Minn., donated $5,000 to the Romney campaign in 2012.

Palmer also donated $250 to former Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) in 1990 and $250 to Ramstad in 1992.

Reaction on Twitter to this “breaking news” was swift and severe:

We anxiously await The Hill’s expose on Democrat candidates who receive donations from employees of the taxpayer-funded organization that trafficks in the body parts of aborted fetuses. That would seem to be a bit more relevant to 2016.

As others have pointed out, this is a pointless story, as Mitt Romney is not currently running for anything, but it does establish that this week’s “Emmanuel Goldstein” is a Republican.

“Emmanuel Goldstein” is a character in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four – an enemy of the State who must be subjected to two minutes of hate every day.

A modern-day Emmanuel Goldstein is given the business until the left finds another unfortunate schlub to take his place. The lion-slayer story allows the media to focus on something other than the Planned Parenthood scandal.

Past Emmanuel Goldsteins have been Memories Pizza, Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, George Zimmerman, Officer Darren Wilson,  and Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

 

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Does Mark Cuban Speak for Most Trump Supporters?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

The spectacular production which has been Donald Trump’s campaign for president has prompted no shortage of commentary. Supporters tout his unconventional rhetoric and willingness to address third-rail political issues like immigration as a refreshing change from politics-as-usual.

Add Mark Cuban to that list. The billionaire, who has in other contexts been a rival of Trump’s, recently took to social media singing the Donald’s praises. From The Blaze:

“I don’t care what his actual positions are,” Cuban wrote. “I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”

Cuban suggested that politics as usual does not appeal to the average voter.

“Up until Trump announced his candidacy the conventional wisdom was that you had to be a professional politician in order to run,” Cuban wrote. “You had to have a background that was politically scrubbed. In other words smart people who didn’t live perfect lives could never run. Smart people who didn’t want their [family] put under the media spotlight wouldn’t run.”

Does this speak for the majority of Trump supporters? Does it speak for you? Does it matter what Trump’s actual positions are? Does it matter whether what Trump has expressed most recently jives with things said before? Or does his willingness to “tell it like it is” transcend such considerations?

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ISIS World Tour Taking Off

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by James Jay Carafano
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Recently, FBI Director James Comey made news when he declared ISIS in Iraq is a bigger threat than al Qaeda.  Much of the focus on the expanding reach of ISIS has been on how much of a threat the global Islamist insurgency is to us.

There is, however, increasing evidence that the appeal of the ISIS agenda is making new inroads in unexpected places. South Asia might be the next front.  Like other parts of the world, foreign fighter volunteers from South Asia are making their way to Iraq/Syria. And, no surprise, writes security analyst Joseph Chinyong Liow for the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, “the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore consider returnees from the civil wars in Syria and Iraq to be a potential source of insecurity in their respective countries.” But what really has the attention of counterterrorism experts is how extremists are networking across South Asia in support of ISIS, including “Katibah Nusantara, the Southeast Asian unit within IS, ostensibly created to improve communication with recruits from Indonesia and Malaysia….”

Developments in South Asia are just another warning sign that the global terrorist threat is resurgent. Whatever strides the U.S. administration has argued it has made over the last six years—increasingly the evidence is it has just not been working.

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Dempsey on ‘at Least Five Other Malign Activities’ That Raise Concern on Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Gen. Martin Dempsey is soon stepping down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was candid with the Senate Armed Services Committee today about the nuclear deal and threats that remain with Iran.

Dempsey was sitting next to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew showed up uninvited to testify about the Iran deal.

The Joint Chiefs chairman was brief in his opening remarks. “If followed, the deal addresses one critical and the most dangerous point of friction with the Iranian regime. But as I’ve stated repeatedly, there are at least five other malign activities which give us and our regional partners concern,” Dempsey said.

“These run the gamut from ballistic missile technology to weapons trafficking, to the use of surrogates and proxies to naval mines and undersea activity, and last but not least to malicious activity in cyberspace,” he said. “The negotiating deal does not alleviate our concerns in those five areas. The negotiated deal does not change the military options at our disposal, and in our efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s malign activities, we will continue to engage our partners in the region to reassure them and to address these areas.”

“Ultimately, time and Iranian behavior will determine if the nuclear agreement is effective and sustainable. In the interim, I will continue to provide my best military advice and present military options.”

Dempsey did tell committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) that he ultimately supported the administration’s deal, though stressed to Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) that it “will require us to strengthen our relationships and our collaboration in that part of the world.”

“This does cause us to have to increase our military — we have to pay more attention to the malign activities,” he said.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) noted, “It would seem to me that your brief nine-sentence opening statement to this committee today amounts to damning disagreement with fainted praise.”

“That, sir, does not give me a confidence level. And I just have to tell you that based upon your very brief and I think tepid endorsement of this — of this agreement,” the senator added.

Dempsey replied that his attitude toward the deal was not “tepid, nor enthusiastic, but rather, pragmatic.”

“I’ve said from the start that relieving the risk of a nuclear conflict with Iran diplomatically is superior to trying to do that militarily. But I will sustain the military options in case that becomes necessary,” he said.

The general said military action would “disrupt the program by several years.”

“But there’s nothing to say we couldn’t repeat it if necessary,” he added.

Asked by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) if he advised Obama “that we either take this deal or we go to war,” Dempsey replied, “No, at no time did that come up in our conversation nor did I make that comment.”

“I can tell you that we have a range of options and I always present them.”

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#BringBackOurRebels Part 2: Al-Qaeda Arrests 18 U.S.-Trained Rebels On Their First Day in Syria

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Patrick Poole

On Monday, I reported here at PJ Media that the first 50 graduates of Obama’s U.S.-trained “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel army had left Turkey for Syria two weeks ago — and haven’t been heard from since.

But today comes a new report that a fresh class of U.S.-trained recruits were arrested today upon entering Syria.

Tanir links to this Turkish Sputnik News report that says Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, arrested the 18 U.S.-trained members of Obama’s “vetted moderate” rebel army for being American agents.

This is just the latest embarrassing episode for Obama’s $500 million anti-ISIS army approved by congressional Republicans back in September.

Despite having spent half of those funds already, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter revealed to Congress earlier this month that only 60 fighters had been trained so far. This amounts to $4 million per fighter.

We know from the McClatchy report earlier this week that 50 members of that first class are MIA. Now 18 members of the next class are in the custody of al-Qaeda.

Anyone want to talk about a JV team?

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Hillary: Planned Parenthood Videos ‘Obviously… Disturbing’

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Hillary Clinton called the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood brokering aborted body parts “disturbing,” but the Republican National Committee pounced on her remarks as too little, too late.

Clinton told the New Hampshire Union-Leader that she’s “seen pictures” from the videos “and obviously find them disturbing.”

“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make,” Clinton said. “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”

“And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization).”

That could be a reference to some congressional Democrats’ call to investigate the Center for Medical Progress, which shot the undercover footage and has been releasing the videos.

Clinton told the New Hampshire paper that she’s “well aware that passions are very high.”

“I have said for more than 22 years that abortion should be legal, safe and rare,” she said. “As first lady, I led an effort to try to lower the number of teenage pregnancies and we succeeded, and as president I will continue to work toward that so that women are fully empowered, they can afford to make responsible decisions, and I hope we will be successful at that.”

RNC press secretary Allison Moore said “it should not have taken a third video showcasing Planned Parenthood’s barbaric side business of selling fetal body parts for Hillary Clinton to change her tune.”

“Instead of condemning these horrific revelations, Hillary Clinton has stood by Planned Parenthood despite weeks of unsettling headlines,” Moore said. “Rather than lead, Hillary Clinton has once again shown herself to be someone who will do or say anything to get elected. Perhaps that’s also why she has yet to spell out what limits, if any, she supports on abortion.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) focused his comments on criticizing Senate Republicans to cut off support for Planned Parenthood, calling it “an attack on women’s health.”

“The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies,” Sanders said.

“Let’s be clear: Federal funding for Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortions. The vast majority of government funding that Planned Parenthood receives is through Medicaid reimbursements. Cutting that funding will be devastating to the health needs of millions of women who desperately need the quality services Planned Parenthood provides.”

Not everyone in the Democratic caucus is on board with that view.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed on to a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood to determine if they’re breaking organ trafficking laws.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called the videos “very troubling.”

“Look, there are laws against sale of fetal tissue,” Kaine told radio host John Fredericks. “This is the kind of thing that is extremely troubling. The only cautionary note that I would throw into the mix here, is that there has been some prehistory of people going into Planned Parenthood offices, and taping interchanges, and then editing them favorably to make a point. And in fact, the reason I know this is one of these happened in Richmond a couple of years ago where somebody went and tried to tape an interchange with a Planned Parenthood staffer and kind of edited it to make it seem pretty scurrilous. You’ve got to get the full facts if this video was, as is, or, whether there’s been some nefarious editing to it”.

“But certainly, kind of a discussion about sale of fetal tissue issue in that way post-abortion would be highly troubling and it ought to be looked at,” the senator added.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), an anti-abortion Dem who has only a 20 percent rating with NARAL, told CBS affiliate WSBT-22 that he “found the comments made in the video disgraceful and disturbing and he fully supports an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices.”

Senate GOP leaders were to hold a press conference this afternoon on a new bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

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Cotton Stands by Characterization of John Kerry as Pontius Pilate

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is standing by his comparison of Secretary of State John Kerry to Pontius Pilate.

Cotton originally made the comments last week on MSNBC. “So John Kerry acted like Pontius Pilate,” he said. “He washed his hands, kicked it to the IAEA, knowing that Congress would not get this information unless someone went out to find it.”

Last night on CNN, Cotton noted that “for 2,000 years, Pilate has been a parable for someone who washed his hands of his responsibility.”

“And at the end of these negotiations, it appears that John Kerry washed his hands of his responsibility to reach an agreement on all of the critical issues. Two of those critical issues are where Iran tested allegedly detonators for nuclear weapons at a military base and their other past weaponization work,” the senator said.

“Apparently, we couldn’t reach an agreement on the central issues and we kicked it to the IAEA to have these two secret side deals with Iran. We don’t know what is in those deals. We don’t know if it is going to provide adequate inspections and verifications of Iran’s obligations. I don’t see how Congress can go forward without knowing the details of those two central agreements.”

Pressed on whether he tone down the “name-calling,” Cotton refused to amend or retract his statement.

“Secretary Kerry had a responsibility to represent America’s interests and to reach an agreement on every single point. He did not. He apparently washed his hands and kicked it to the IAEA, even though Iran has thwarted the IAEA for years on this very issue,” he said.

Cotton is facing Kerry at this morning’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, where Kerry wasn’t on the witness list but showed up uninvited to testify with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in tow.

The Arkansas freshman also sits on the Intelligence Committee.

“I can tell you there is virtually no clarity from the administration about these secret side agreements. At first, the existence was secret, but the contents are still secret. There’s been published reports, for instance, just earlier today that we are going to allow Iran to take samples of soil or other environmental elements themselves and send it to the IAEA,” Cotton continued.

“That would be like the NFL letting football players take their own urine samples for drug testing and mail to it Roger Goodell. The American people wouldn’t accept that as a credible system. I don’t see how Congress can accept this as a credible inspection system until we know the exact details that are in those two secret side agreements.”

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Harf: The More We Tell People About Iran Deal, ‘The More They Like It’

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

State Department senior advisor Marie Harf said the administration is confident that polls will swing in their favor on the Iran deal because “when the questions are asked, the more information you give people about the deal, the more they like it.”

“And I think that that’s an important trajectory that we certainly find heartening when it comes to some of these polls. I also think that there is a general mistrust in the United States that’s not unfounded based on the history here that just doesn’t trust Iran,” Harf told CNN.

“And so I think that people are naturally inclined to be skeptical. And that’s why this deal isn’t based on trust. It’s based on verification of all these nuclear steps Iran has.”

According to the latest CNN poll, 52 percent of Americans surveyed think it’s a bad deal and just 44 percent said Congress should approve the nuclear accord.

Harf also insisted that the agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, which the Obama administration doesn’t have a copy of, wasn’t a “secret” agreement.

“Members of Congress are going to be briefed in detail. Some already have been briefed in detail,” she said. “Every aspect of the safeguards confidential to use a technical term, agreement between the IAEA and Iran. They are referenced in the joint comprehensive plan of action. So these aren’t secret. They are there. The existence of them is widely known publicly, has been since we announced the deal.”

Every member of Congress, she said, is “entitled to be briefed” on the provisions.

“Now, the IAEA does business in a certain way. With every country it has these kinds of agreements, including us, including the U.S. They keep some information out of the public domain for very good reasons in terms of how you protect nuclear technology secrets, in order, basically, to not let this information get out,” Harf added.

“…Our experts are comfortable with that arrangement, and they can brief Congress on that, and they will.”

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Congresswoman Ignores Planned Parenthood, But Outraged Over Shot Lion

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

Democrat Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who serves the St. Paul area in Minnesota, responded promptly to news that a local dentist shot a popular lion in Zimbabwe. From MPR News:

“To bait and kill a threatened animal, like this African lion, for sport cannot be called hunting, but rather a disgraceful display of callous cruelty,” McCollum wrote in a statement. “For those of us committed to ending poaching of iconic African species I strongly believe the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should investigate whether U.S. laws were violated related to conspiracy, bribery of foreign officials, and the illegal hunting of a protected species or animal.”

The man believed to have killed the lion has claimed that his hunt was “legal and properly handled and conducted.” Critics, including McCollum, dispute that characterization.

Minnesota state Representative Nick Zerwas, a Republican, took to social media to question why McCollum was so responsive to the killing of a lion while completely ignoring troubling revelations about Planned Parenthood. He wrote:

So…. Let me get this straight. After weeks of information and after the release of three videos showing Planned Parenthood ppl bargaining the sale of baby organs.

Pretty much SILENCE from the left…

Now the SAME DAY of news of a lion hunt, and she is calling for an investigation into the LION HUNT… IN AFRICA…

WHERE HAS SHE BEEN? And why not investigate the sale of human organs!!!!

Others in the state have leveled similar criticism at McCollum. How morally confused most one be to prioritize the hunting of a lion over the systematic slaughter of unborn children for profit?

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Would Cat-Lovers Give Up Their ‘Pets’ to Save the Earth?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

I think we all know the answer to that question. But don’t take it from me — take it from the New York Times:

Jennifer L. McDonald is an ecologist by profession and a cat person by avocation. Some years ago, Tiggy, her ginger-and-white shorthair, would bring home freshly killed mice and shrews for her consideration. Dr. McDonald, now an associate research fellow at the Center for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter in England, was curious about the impact of pet cats like Tiggy on wildlife. Fewer mice might be nice. But cats, natural hunters, pounce on birds and rabbits, too.

“You can’t pick and choose a cat’s prey,” Dr. McDonald said. If owners realized how much prey their pets killed, she wondered, would they be willing to contain their cats to protect wildlife? She and her associates studied the question. The answer, published recently in the journal Ecology and Evolution was unequivocal and emphatic.

No.

And not just “no,” but “hell no.”

Dr. McDonald surveyed owners in two British villages about cats they allowed to roam outdoors. Owners were asked to predict the amount of prey taken by their cats and document the actual killings. Owners in one village were then asked whether they believed pet cats had an ecological impact.

Researchers also asked owners about their willingness to keep cats indoors during prime hunting time, from dusk to dawn. The idea was flatly rejected, with some owners providing unsolicited commentary: “My cat chooses for herself whether to stay in or go out,” one wrote. Pointing to “a dissociation between actual and perceived predatory behavior,” the researchers concluded that “the cat owners in this study reject the proposition that cats are a threat to wildlife.”

Of course they do. Because this is what your brain looks like on toxoplasmosis, the parasite that lives in cat feces and can affect the brains of cat-owners, especially women, turning them into cat-hoarders.

Since 1992, a series of studies have been carried out in the Czech Republic comparing the personality characteristics of individuals who have anamnestic antibodies to T. gondii, and are thus assumed to have a latent infection, and those without such antibodies. The personality questionnaires used in these studies have been Cattell’s 16-personality factor (16PF) questionnaire2–6 and Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) personality test.7,8

Consistent and significant differences in Cattell’s personality factors were found between Toxoplasma-infected and -uninfected subjects in 9 of 11 studies, and these differences were not the same for men and women. After using the Bonferroni correction for multiple tests, the personality of infected men showed lower superego strength (rule consciousness) and higher vigilance (factors G and L on Cattell’s 16PF). Thus, the men were more likely to disregard rules and were more expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic. The personality of infected women, by contrast, showed higher warmth and higher superego strength (factors A and G on Cattell’s 16PF), suggesting that they were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic. Both men and women had significantly higher apprehension (factor O) compared with the uninfected controls.

See also: “How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy,” As the article notes, it’s not simply Krazy Kat Ladies who are risk; we all are:

After an infected cat defecates, Flegr learned, the parasite is typically picked up from the soil by scavenging or grazing animals—notably rodents, pigs, and cattle—all of which then harbor it in their brain and other body tissues. Humans, on the other hand, are exposed not only by coming into contact with litter boxes, but also, he found, by drinking water contaminated with cat feces, eating unwashed vegetables, or, especially in Europe, by consuming raw or undercooked meat. Hence the French, according to Flegr, with their love of steak prepared saignant—literally, “bleeding”—can have infection rates as high as 55 percent. (Americans will be happy to hear that the parasite resides in far fewer of them, though a still substantial portion: 10 to 20 percent.) Once inside an animal or human host, the parasite then needs to get back into the cat, the only place where it can sexually reproduce—and this is when, Flegr believed, behavioral manipulation might come into play.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has the right idea.

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Men Arrested in String of Pizza Delivery Robberies

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

In DeKalb County, a suburban area east of Atlanta, at least ten pizza delivery drivers became robbery victims. Callers posing as customers would order pizzas, lure drivers to a fake address, and rob and beat them.

One of those drivers was Equeill Williams, who told his story to WSB-TV reporter Liz Artz.

“Four guys came around the corner. They had guns. They told me to drop to the ground,” Williams said. “I didn’t know what to think. I just laid there, I blacked out.”

Police say in all the cases the suspects took the pizza, cash, wallets and in several cases the delivery driver’s car.

Williams told Artz he thought he was going to die as he lie on the ground at the Marquis Chase Apartments.

“This is the end. I mean it was really scary,” Williams said.

According to Dekalb County Police Department Detective Chastity Cantrell, authorities have arrested four men in conjunction with the robberies, but one is still at large. Police are on the hunt for 33-year-old James Coley, who may have fled to Oakland, California, though some sources say he is still in Georgia.

Cantrell said it’s unusual to have one group commit so many similar type robberies.

“They do a couple, they stop, go to something else, one after the other after the other,” Cantrell said.

Williams told Artz he’s out of the delivery business. He was one of the first victim’s. Artz showed him a picture of victim No. 7, who we are not identifying. The man spent days in the hospital.

“I feel like compared to that, I feel like I’m blessed,” Williams said.

Police told Artz as for the driver’s safety, they should call before going to the door. If no one answers, don’t go to the door and if your gut tells you something is wrong, listen to it and leave.

DeKalb police said they reached out to all the business affected by the robberies and offered a safety seminar. Only one business has responded.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Yuriy Rudyy

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Left Arguing Over How Many More Entry-Level Jobs to Destroy

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Ho-hum; another day, another “minimum wage” argument, as if there were a giant pot of money hidden away somewhere that could be tapped in the name of “fairness.”  Isn’t there?

Democrats are divided on how much to lift the nation’s minimum wage, an issue that has long united the party. Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is pushing to raise the federal wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $15. But budget experts warn such a hike could eliminate millions of U.S. jobs. Many liberals on and off Capitol Hill have embraced the $15 figure, seeing it as an important remedy for addressing the nation’s growing income disparity. Democratic leaders, however, have been reluctant to back it, rallying instead around smaller increases.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) want to push the minimum wage to $12 per hour. President Obama has edged his support to higher levels in recent years, from $9 to $10.10 and now $12. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, backed $15 per hour for New York fast-food workers on Friday but hasn’t specified a wage floor for the nation. The various positions underscore the tightrope party leaders are walking on the minimum wage increase, a concept highly popular among voters.

As anybody with even a rudimentary understanding of economics knows, the real “minimum wage” is $0.00, which the amount I’m willing to pay in a free economy for work that I don’t really need or care to have done. To force me to pay more than that is the mark of a command economy, which means that I am forced to subsidize works that is of little or no real value.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Congress’s official score-keeper, issued a report last year estimating that, while an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 would hike incomes for roughly 16.5 million workers, it would leave another 500,000 unemployed. A former CBO director said this week that a hike to $15 per hour would eliminate “many more jobs … because it would cut much further into the distribution of wages.”

“The effect is not linear, it rises much faster,” said the ex-CBO chief, who requested anonymity.

I bet he did. Let’s cut to the chase. The Left doesn’t care how many jobs are lost to minimum-wage hikes; in fact, they’re a feature, not a bug. Because the real push here is for a guaranteed minimum income — something, believe it or not, floated in 1969 by the Nixon administration — provided by the dwindling ranks of suckers private-industry taxpayers who will be forced at gunpoint to pay until the entire country collapses.

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Unhappy McConnell Dresses Down Fractious GOP Senators, Then Fobs Them Off

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Mighty Mitch, having bamboozled not only Kentuckians but the entire nation into returning him as Senate majority “leader,” is displeased with his caucus:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got his hands on something he believed to be damning: An email from Sen. Mike Lee’s aide to conservative activists plotting to use an Obamacare vote as a political weapon. So McConnell quickly summoned the GOP to a closed-door session in the Senate’s Mansfield Room Monday night. And he made sure his caucus read the email, placing a copy on every Republican senator’s chair before they arrived. A lawmaker in the room described the mood as “combative.”

One GOP senator after another objected to the Lee aide’s tactic and called for GOP unity, including party leaders like John Thune of South Dakota and the retiring Dan Coats of Indiana. Two senators in tough reelection races — Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — were vocal, as was Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), sources said. The email, Republican leaders believed, was what they needed to marginalize conservative hardliners who had thrown their plans into disarray the last several days.

Let’s go down the list. Coats is a time-serving non-entity who’s shuffling off to the old folks’ home. Thune had promise, but that seems to have vanished in the windswept wasteland of whichever Dakota he’s from. Johnson of Wisconsin is actually a good guy and a good conservative with a good chance of losing his seat, but Ms. Ayotte flashed her true colors by aligning with the McCain-Graham axis and has disqualified herself from future consideration on a national ticket. In short, who cares what they think?

The sitdown appeared to be an effort by McConnell to impose order in his caucus after days of infighting, initiated by Cruz, who accused McConnell of “lying” in a hard-charging series of floor speeches and public statements. Cruz, along with Lee, have sought to use arcane Senate procedures to force through simple majority votes on a range of conservative causes — to take a hard line on Iran, defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare.

But Lee, extending an olive branch of sorts, decided not to push the matter Monday night. And GOP senators said during the session that using the filibuster-proof reconciliation process remained the best bet to move a repeal of Obamacare this year, attendees said.

Well, no rush, guys. Here’s McConnell’s super-awesome plan to repeal Obamacare with just 51 votes, coincidentally announced after the Monday night -come-to-Jesus Senate confab:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell championed a renewed push to bypass a filibuster and repeal Obamacare with 51 votes on Tuesday, he announced in a joint statement with Utah Senator Mike Lee, one of the most conservative Republicans in the chamber. ”Republicans are united in working to repeal the broken promises of Obamacare,” McConnell said in the statement, adding that the Senate will “continue our effort to use reconciliation … to fulfill the promise we made to our constituents.”

Lee, who has often been at odds with McConnell, has long advocated using Senate procedures to try and kill the president’s health care law. “A Senate vote to repeal Obamacare on a simple majority basis through reconciliation is the best way to pursue that goal,” Lee said in the statement. “The Majority Leader and I are committed to using reconciliation to repeal Obamacare in the 114th Congress.”

Yeah, right. And here’s why it won’t work:

McConnell does not have the authority to decide unilaterally that a given law can be repealed through reconciliation; instead, parliamentarians, the umpires of Senate procedure, interpret the relevant rules and precedents whenever a disagreement arises. Much of Obamacare does not qualify for reconciliation under the Byrd rule, the regulation that governs the process. Some Republicans believe that McConnell has done more to deter colleagues from pushing for a full repeal than he did to convince the parliamentarians that it would be possible under the Byrd rule. “Internally, they’ve been aggressive in terms of, whenever this subject comes up, saying we can only do so much,” says one senior GOP Senate aide.

We’re being played. Again.

 

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Billionaire Steyer Latest to Give Hillary a Pass for Not Taking a Stand

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Be nice to her, she’s a girl.

Tom Steyer’s hard green line is turning soft when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

The billionaire climate activist has spent more than $100 million of his personal fortune to support green-minded candidates and ballot initiatives in the past five years, ruffling the Washington establishment while threatening to torpedo even fellow Democrats who don’t hew the line on controversies like the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But he declined repeatedly Tuesday to criticize Clinton, who still refuses to take a stand on Keystone, and whose just-released initial climate proposal is notably short on specifics about issues like fracking and Arctic drilling.

There are two reasons that Mrs. Bill’s handlers keep her on a short leash. The first is that she is incapable of not being off-putting to any human with an IQ over 40. The second is that this allegedly accomplished politician who would be the most powerful woman in the world doesn’t have a lot of opinions on anything other than that she really wants to be President.

Liberals are so desperate to get their first female POTUS (I don’t know why, since gender is a social construct or something) that they’re willing to keep giving this strong feminist icon special treatment.

Those of you who read up a lot on the TPP/TPA brouhaha will remember that Her Madameship is very adept at having strong non-opinions on policy issues.

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North Korea Upgrades Missile Launch Site

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Remember these guys?

Fresh satellite images suggest North Korea has completed upgrades at its main satellite launch site, fuelling speculation of a long-range rocket launch to coincide with a major political anniversary in October.

The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on Wednesday that analysis of the new pictures showed that construction begun in spring 2015 at the Sohae launch centre had been concluded.

As a result, space launch vehicle (SLV) stages – and payload – can be prepared horizontally in a new launch support building, then transferred to a movable support structure and conveyed to the launch pad.

The analysis, posted on the institute’s closely-watched 38North website, will reinforce predictions that the North is preparing a long-range rocket launch to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party on October 10.

There is so much going on in the world that is worthy of daily worry that it is easy to overlook the workers paradise up in northern Asia. If Iran getting a nuke doesn’t keep you up at night, imagine a world where NoKo becomes militarily competent. It may seem unthinkable right now, but the unthinkable seems to be happening on a weekly basis right now.

For the moment we’re probably safe. Unless, of course, Obama decides he needs another foreign policy “victory” for his legacy.

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