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Jerusalem Mayor: City ‘Will Never Function as, God Forbid, a Divided City’

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The mayor of Jerusalem told CNN that “God forbid” the city be carved up in a peace plan to give the Palestinians East Jerusalem as the capital of a state.

“Let me take you back 3,000 years. Jerusalem is the capital of the world, the temple of the middle, and it was never divided to the tribes. But everyone was welcome to come to the city of Jerusalem. The DNA of Jerusalem is a united city respecting all people, residents, visitors, and Jerusalem has a role to play,” Mayor Nir Barkat said.

“And that DNA of the past, that’s how Jerusalem functioned for a thousand years, is our future. By definition it cannot be divided. Our role is to open up and to enable people that come peacefully to the city of Jerusalem to have freedom of religion that did not existed for 2,000 years. Today you go to walk the streets of Jerusalem, you’ll find that the churches are managed by the Christians, the mosques are managed by the Muslims, and the Jews manage the Jewish sites. It was not like that.”

The Palestinians have said that any deal which doesn’t give them East Jerusalem is a non-starter, and the plan being pushed by Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly includes half of the city in return for the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

“There are solutions to that, but there is not a solution of, God forbid, dividing the city of Jerusalem. It will never function. It’s against the DNA of the city. And by the way, there is not one example of a city in the world that ever got split and became functional,” Barkat said.

“…You can call Ramallah, the center of the Palestinian people, they can bring their embassy to Jerusalem. They today have freedom of movement, freedom of religion. Today Jerusalem is an open international city, and by the way it’s doing extremely well. Jerusalem, if you look at the trends in the city of Jerusalem, our economy has been growing 8 percent from year to year.”

Barkat stressed that “satisfaction of all residents — Muslims, Christians, Orthodox, secular, is otherwise, our crime rates are .1 an average of any American city. When I fly to the States I pray because I know I’m 10 times more exposed to crimes in the United States than I am back home in Jerusalem. And all of that, the economy going north, crime rates going south, all of that, we must be doing something right.”

And giving half of that to Palestinians, he added, is “a very clear no.”

“I’m committed to serve all my residents, the Muslim, the Christian, the Jewish residents. For me they’re all the same. That’s what the Jewish tradition, that’s what the Jewish Bible says. You’ve got to treat everyone equally, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. And there are gaps to close on the Arab neighborhoods, and the Jewish neighborhoods, and I’m committed to closing those gaps,” Barkat said.

“I think it’s a demand that has to be off the table, because whoever raises such a demand doesn’t understand the importance of the city of Jerusalem as a united city. And unfortunately, sometimes I feel that Israel does not have a partner to negotiate with because the charter of, unfortunately, many of the Palestinians and our neighbors is to destroy Israel. And when somebody wants to destroy Israel, sometimes we feel that this is a salami-style negotiations,” he continued. “Let’s take a piece now and then we’ll argue about the rest. It’s — the whole concept of negotiating with the Palestinians has to take another route. They have to understand that Jerusalem will never function as, God forbid, a divided city.”

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Intel Dem: Putin ‘Questions Whether We Have the Will to Step Up to the Plate’

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said that the sanctions against Russia need to be far more biting than some travel bans on high-ranking officials.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CNN that he was in Ukraine a couple of weeks ago and “Ukrainians were worried about exactly what’s happening — that the Russians would provoke violent confrontations on the streets of Ukraine and use it as a justification to invade.”

“And I think the U.S. really needs to do a few things. We need to step up our sanctions, and that means really trying to get Europe together around sector wide sanctions if the Russians further incur into Ukraine,” he said. “Sanctions on their energy industry, on their mining industry, on their banking industry, things that would really cripple Russia’s economy. And now this is going to be hurtful to Europe as well. It won’t be great for us either, but if Europe and the United States are serious about deterring further Russian aggression, we’re really going to have to go with sector-wide sanctions.”

Schiff also advocated deploying “NATO assets to our NATO allies in the region to give them some level of confidence that we’re going to stand behind Article V of the NATO treaty, that says an attack on any of the NATO countries is an attack on all of the NATO countries.”

The White House said President Obama called Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday and “expressed grave concern about Russian government support for the actions of armed, pro-Russian separatists who threaten to undermine and destabilize the government of Ukraine.”

“The President emphasized that all irregular forces in the country need to lay down their arms, and he urged President Putin to use his influence with these armed, pro-Russian groups to convince them to depart the buildings they have seized. The President reiterated the importance of Russia withdrawing its troops from Ukraine’s border in order to defuse tensions,” said the readout from the administration. “…The President noted Russia’s growing political and economic isolation as a result of its actions in Ukraine and made clear that the costs Russia already has incurred will increase if those actions persist.”

“The President noted the upcoming contact group meeting in Geneva and said that while he continues to believe that a diplomatic solution is still possible, it cannot succeed in an environment of Russian military intimidation on Ukraine’s borders, armed provocation within Ukraine, and escalatory rhetoric by Kremlin officials.”

The EU, U.S., Russia and Ukraine are scheduled to hold talks in Geneva on Thursday.

Schiff said “the problem has been the sanctions have been too mild, too target-specific, going after a few of the oligarchs that really haven’t hurt the Russian government or the Russian people.”

“Sector-wide sanctions, on the other hand, would really cripple Russia’s economy. It would make Putin pay a real price and it will take a little of the luster off of his bellicose foreign policy,” he added. “Right now the Russians applaud what Putin is doing. If the Russians got to feel the economic impacts they might decide this is not such a great course for Russia after all. But I think the only thing Putin is going to respect is strength and I don’t think we’ve shown it significantly in the response we’ve had yet.”

“…And I think if we want to prevent a third kind of territorial invasion, you know, after Georgia, now Ukraine, we’re going to have to really get serious about imposing substantial costs and repercussions. We have the power to do it. We and Europe have the power to do it. The question is, do we have the will to do it? I think Putin right now questions whether we have the will to step up to the plate.”

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Boehner Challenger Accuses Speaker of ‘Electile Dysfunction’

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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A primary challenger of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is hitting at his challenger by using, well, the mispronunciation of the Speaker’s name.

In the campaign ad meant to resemble a Cialis commercial, teacher and Tea Party candidate J.D. Winteregg accuses Boehner of having a “electile dysfunction.”

“It could be a question of blood flow. Sometimes when a politician has been in D.C. too long, it goes to his head and he just can’t seem to get the job done,” the ad states, advising “if you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention.”

Boehner has held Ohio’s 8th Congressional District since 1991.

He faces three challengers in the May 6 primary: Winteregg, Matthew Ashworth, and Eric Gurr. Winteregg filed a campaign finance report at the end of last year reporting nearly $1,600 in his campaign war chest; Boehner had more than $2.8 million on hand.

The only congressional leader ever known to admit electile dysfunction, of course, was Bob Dole.

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The Real Meaning of Soviet Agitprop in Jay Carney’s Kitchen

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Oleg Atbashian

As soon as the photograph of Soviet propaganda posters in Jay Carney’s kitchen hit the Internet, right-wing pundits began to draw conclusions about White House Press Secretary’s ideology, morals, and political leanings. It was as if things that a man merely places on his walls and looks at day after day can be any indication of his life choices.

If that were so, the meals in Carney’s kitchen would also probably match the menu of the place and time of the posters. His family would be living on a diet of beets, gruel, occasional rat, and thinly sliced boiled jackboots, which is what many Soviets ate at the time these posters were produced.

One poster was made in 1918, calling men to join the Red Army in the civil war against the anti-communist opposition, while the country lay in ruins due to the economic mismanagement as much as due to  intense fighting. The other poster was made during WWII, calling women to replace men at the factories, as the country lay in ruins, once again, due to intense fighting as much as due to the economic mismanagement.

The diet of the Carney family, however, does not include any of the food that the impoverished and starving Soviet people ate during the above wars. They eat more like the members of the Soviet Politburo and even better than that. They feast on fresh organic produce, succulent meat, delicious seafood, and tropical fruit delivered to the United States from all over the world. And as they enjoy the abundance of the American way of life in their kitchen, the Carneys like to stare at the two propaganda posters made for starving people. It never fails to improve their feeling of self-worth and digestion.

It is beyond imagination that anyone could misconstrue the Soviet agitprop in Jay Carney’s kitchen as an indication that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his wife somehow share the same ideas as the perpetrators of a brutal regime that starved its own citizens while the political elites lived in luxury, abused power, prosecuted the opposition, and ruled the country by means of executive orders.

Next, they would claim that that a neat stack of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Books in Valery Jarrett’s bathroom is not there merely to serve as an elegant accent to complement the shower curtains;  or that the Black Panther Party insignia on Michelle Obama’s pajamas isn’t merely a bold decorative pattern; or that the black flag of holy Jihad in Huma Abedin’s bedroom is somehow indicative of her sympathies towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

Following such flawed right-wing logic, one might even speculate that Saul Alinsky’s books on Hillary Clinton’s living room mean anything other than an effort to disguise an obscure dried spot that had mysteriously appeared on the coffee table in the last year of her husband’s presidency.

We invite our readers to take virtual tours of America’s other prominent political and cultural leaders and see what potentially “compromising” items they may have in their houses, so that we can pre-emptively debunk any accusations and witch hunts, such as the one to which the unfortunate White House Press Secretary is exposed today.

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Jindal’s Obamacare ‘Fix’ Is a Bad Idea

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, likely 2016 GOP hopeful, has a couple of ideas for “improving” Obamacare according to a Bloomberg editorial. One of them will expose Americans to substandard medical treatment.

Jindal’s plan includes two excellent ideas. The first is to let nurse practitioners and other medical professionals practice to the full extent of their abilities.

Jindal’s second idea involves giving tax breaks for purchasing insurance plans. But it’s the one above that’s troubling, and I say that as an admirer of Jindal. We’ve looked at it before here at Tatler.

Obamacare is creating a doctor shortage in a couple of ways. One, it’s driving doctors straight out of practice over growing frustration with the new systems mandated by the law. Two, over the long term it’s expected to create more demand by insuring more people (supposing that it actually ends up insuring more people).

The idea of allowing medical practitioners who are not physicians to perform tasks, including diagnosis and some surgeries, limited to physicians is not a new idea. Two groups, optometrists and nurse practitioners, have been trying to increase the number of kind of treatments they are allowed to perform for a few years, to add to the scope of their practices and increase revenue. Neither are MDs and therefore do not have the years of training that MDs have. Most Americans probably don’t realize it, but optometrists do not receive anything close to the kind, scope and length of training that ophthalmologists receive. The latter graduate medical and are specialists in their field. Some optometry schools do not even require a college degree.

Allowing non-MDs to do tasks reserved for doctors has already caused problems.

Jindal’s plan would do at least two bad things. The first is that it would expose unsuspecting Americans to substandard treatment at the hands of people who are professionals, but are not fully trained medical doctors. The second is that it might contribute to saving Obamacare, a bad policy that needs to be repealed in full and replaced with a thoughtful market-based reform.

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Burwell’s Confirmation Hearings to Run Obamacare Just Got a Little More Difficult

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Sylvia Burwell is President Obama’s pick to replace Kathleen Sebelius atop the Department of Health and Human Services, despite her having no experience in the healthcare industry. This administration’s motto seems to be “no experience required.” Burwell’s main claims to fame up to now aren’t terribly impressive. She ran the Gates Foundation, which never had any money troubles, and she ran the Walmart Foundation, which also never had any money troubles. Foundations tend to be easier to run when they’re flush with cash and can do whatever they want.

She has also headed the Office of Management and Budget, at a time when the US government is spending money at insane rates. OMB doesn’t just work on budgets, though, according to Marc Thiessen.

When speechwriters finish a draft presidential address, it is circulated to the White House senior staff and top cabinet officials in what is known as the “staffing process.” As part of that process, nonpartisan career policy experts at OMB review the speech and are responsible for attesting to the factual accuracy of everything the president says.

So thanks to Burwell’s nomination, Americans may finally get to the bottom of how the biggest presidential lie in recent memory made it though OMB’s fact-checking process — not once but dozens of times.

The first time the lie surfaced — when Obama told the American Medical Association on June 15, 2009, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what” — it wasn’t on Burwell’s watch.

But Burwell was OMB director when Obama declared on Sept. 26, 2013: “Now, let’s start with the fact that even before the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, about 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance — either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market. So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health-care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you — especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.”

Burwell should explain to Congress and the American people how her office allowed blatant falsehoods to get into presidential speeches, including whether political aides overruled career policy advisers who warned that the president’s claims were untrue.

Indeed.

Too bad OMB wasn’t involved in briefing Susan Rice…

Burwell will still get confirmed, only this time there will be harder questions and maybe a handful of votes against her.

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FBI Warns Students Against Being Recruited as Foreign Spies

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Federal Bureau of Investigation today warned American students abroad to be mindful of other countries trying to recruit them for intelligence purposes.

More than 280,000 American students studied abroad last year, the FBI said, gaining language and cultural skill that “makes these students tempting and vulnerable targets for recruitment by foreign intelligence officers whose long-term goal is to gain access to sensitive or classified U.S. information.”

The bureau stressed the case of Glenn Duffie Shriver, sentenced to four years in federal prison three years ago for taking $70,000 from the Chinese government to apply for U.S. government jobs.

The FBI said students leaving for study abroad should view a video on the case before leaving the country.

“Foreign intelligence officers don’t normally say they work for intelligence services when developing relationships with students—they claim other lines of work,” the agency warned. “Intelligence officers develop initial relationships with students under seemingly innocuous pretexts such as job or internship opportunities, paid paper-writing engagements, language exchanges, and cultural immersion programs.”

“As relationships are developed, the student might be asked to perform a task and provide information—not necessarily sensitive or classified—in exchange for payment or other rewards, but these demands grow over time. Intelligence officers might suggest that students—upon completion of their schooling—apply for U.S. government jobs (particularly for national security-related agencies).”

The FBI specifically warns students to “minimize your contact with people who have questionable government affiliations.”

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Obama ‘Sub Par’ Posters Blanket Augusta Masters

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Oleg Atbashian

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According to the American Thinker, the Masters Golf tournament in Augusta, GA (April 10-13) was marked by a plethora of anti-Obama posters, making fun of Obama’s golf presidency with clever captions like “Sub Par” and “If you like your handicap, you can keep your handicap.”

We have already written about this type of conservative counter-culture in February, when dozens of posters of golfing Obama captioned “Sub Par” had been spotted inside and outside the PGA’s golf tournament near the upscale and liberal Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

The same mysterious artist, apparently, is determined to travel from one golf tournament to another, challenging the rich and connected Obama supporters who shell out thousands of dollars for the tickets, and urging them to take a better look at Barack Obama’s disastrous presidency in a symbolic language they can understand.

Here’s the latest crop of pictures from Augusta. More can be found here: Obama Posters at The Masters Augusta 2014.

Additionally, it appears that this time this anonymous artist has a Zazzle store where you can buy “Sub Par” posters, t-shirts, mugs, and other merchandize to support his future operations.

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Notice how the cropped “Guest Parking” sign in the last picture has become “Jest Parking.”

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BREAKING: Border Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino (D) — he stepped down a couple of weeks ago — has pleaded guilty today to federal charges of money laundering, according to the McAllen Monitor.

Just 17 days after stepping down as sheriff and three days after his former chief of staff entered a related plea, Treviño stood before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez and pleaded guilty for his part in laundering campaign contributions that were tied to a convicted drug trafficker.

Testimony in court this morning suggested that the amount of money laundered could be anywhere between $70,000 and $120,000.

Treviño was composed as he entered his guilty plea. After the hearing with Judge Alvarez, Treviño appeared before US Magistrate Peter Ornsby, who set the former sheriff’s bond at $30,000 unsecured, which means that Treviño could bond out with a simple signature.

Trevino presided over a sheriff’s department that has been accused of a wide range of corruption. As the PJ Tatler and PJTV reported in 2012, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s department falsified crime statistics to serve both Trevino’s and the Obama administration’s political interests. In an exclusive hidden-camera video, a crime analyst with the Hidaldo County Sheriff’s Department admitted that she and others within the department including Trevino himself change the way in which crimes are classified in order to improve the overall statistics.

Deputy: Hey what’s up? (unintelligible question)

Analyst: No, I can do it for you.

Deputy: Cool. (unintelligible, but he asks about changing a code)

Analyst: Huh?

Deputy: (unintelligible)

Analyst: I guess. Cause he’s the one changing everything.

Deputy: Changing the stats?

Analyst: (nods) He’s the one…

Deputy: Well how is he changing them?

Analyst: He reads the reports and fiddles with you if it’s not linking. Like, with a robbery, he redrizzles it down to a simple, like an, if it’s like uh, aggravated assault (looks away to see if anyone can hear), he orders a downgrade to assault. Or if…

Deputy: It’s real simple to do because most people are gonna, think you’re gonna have more.

(Analyst tilts head skeptically)

Deputy: You can justify it both ways.

Analyst:  Yeah, but some of them, no. (crosstalk) Like, as far as the standards go, from the UCR, yeah.

Deputy: So. You can get in trouble.

Analyst: Hm?

Deputy: You can get in trouble?

Analyst: Not us, but…yeah the sheriff.

Deputy: Him (points in the direction of the sheriff’s office).

Analyst: Yeah. Not me.

The department’s anti-narcotics Panama Unit, in which Trevino’s son was an officer, has been the subject of half a dozen indictments. Ten of its officers, including Jonathan Trevino, have been charged with a range of crimes including stealing drugs with intent to distribute them.

Trevino’s department remains accused not only of falsifying crime statistics to attract and hold federal COPS grants, but also of pressuring deputies into supporting him politically or face losing their jobs.

Trevino has been Hidalgo County Sheriff since 2005. He now faces the possibility of 20 years in prison and fines.

Hidalgo County is one of the most important counties along the US-Mexico border. Its county seat, McAllen, is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. It also has the most border crossing points of any county along the Texas-Mexico border. Across the border from McAllen is Reynosa, which has been among Mexico’s most violence-plagued cities in that country’s drug war.

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New Ethics Questions Rise in Wendy Davis’ Political/Legal Career

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

As a state senator, Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) has promised to never use her political office for personal gain. But a new Dallas Morning News story provides evidence that Davis has broken that promise, and used her career in the Texas Senate to enrich herself. Davis is the Texas Democratic Party’s nominee for governor.

The story details the complex relationship that Davis has with the North Texas Tollway Authority, both in her career in the senate and as a partner in the Newby Davis law firm. That firm, which she formed with Bryan Newby, has come up previously in Davis’ work on public debt. Davis and Newby, who is Gov. Rick Perry’s former chief counsel, formed their partnership as a minority-owned business. Such businesses tend to receive favorable treatment in government contracting, in the name of assisting underserved populations. Both Newby and Davis are far from underserved, by any reasonable definition.

The tollway story looks like straightforward trading support and votes for contracts that enrich Davis personally. The DMN has published a timeline to explain how Davis worked legislation to her personal favor.

Nov. 5, 2008: Wendy Davis is elected to the Texas Senate.

April 6, 2009: Davis opposes a North Texas Tollway Authority-backed bill to give local tollway authorities right of first refusal to build toll projects.

Feb. 25, 2010: Davis’ Senate office asks the Texas Department of Transportation for information about qualifications for certification of minority-owned businesses for highway contracts.

March 2, 2010: Fort Worth-based Cantey Hanger law firm announces it has hired Davis.

March 22, 2010: Davis and Bryan Newby, a former chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, form a minority-owned law firm, Newby Davis.

June 10, 2010: Davis writes to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking federal funding for the Chisholm Trail Parkway project. The law firm handling the project is Cantey Hanger.

Feb. 1, 2011: Sen. Jane Nelson introduces a bill to cap fees charged to drivers with unpaid tolls.

March 17, 2011: NTTA’s legal services committee approves hiring Newby Davis to do land-condemnation work for the Chisholm Trail Parkway project.

March 23, 2011: Davis drops her version of a fee-cap bill and signs onto Nelson’s bill, which has NTTA support. The bill sets the fees regimen that would be the starting point that law firms subsequently hired by NTTA would use to seek settlements.

March 29, 2011: The Senate approves a measure supported by NTTA to give local tollway authorities right of first refusal to build toll projects. Davis votes for it, saying it’s better than the version she opposed in 2009.

May 27, 2011: Newby Davis begins billing NTTA for work on the Chisholm Trail project. In the Senate, Davis votes for Nelson’s fee-cap collection bill, which goes to the governor, who later signs it.

Aug. 15, 2012: NTTA chooses Newby Davis as one of six litigation firms to collect fees and delinquent tolls.

Aug. 30, 2012: Davis subcontracts with a Chicago collection agency to handle delinquent toll and fee settlements.

The author of the story is veteran Texas political reporter Wayne Slater. He broke the story of Davis embellishing her own origins story in January.

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Obama Finds a Victim He Won’t Meet With

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

President Obama has hosted numerous celebrities, sports champions, foreign leaders and supporters and lobbyists at the White House. Last week he hosted the Boston Red Sox. He has also hosted the LA Galaxy soccer team, the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks, the Green Bay Packers, the Baltimore Ravens, even the 1972 Miami Dolphins, all at the White House.

Not all of Obama’s meetings have been celebrations of celebrity or championships.

He met with victims of a hurricane.

He met with victims of the 2012 Colorado theater shooting.

But for nearly five years now, Barack Obama has declined to meet with victims of the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. Even though the president appeared at Fort Hood on April 9, for a ceremony to mark the second shooting at the base.

Alonzo Lunsford is among the nearly three dozen who were wounded when jihadist Nidal Hasan shouted “Allahu Ackbar!” and opened fire on the base, which is a designated gun-free zone. Hasan shot Lunsford seven times. The Obama White House denied Lunsford’s request to meet with the president for just 10 minutes.

Why? “In all honesty, they refuse to face the truth,” Lunsford tells Tucker Carlson. Lunsford has questioned President Obama’s response to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and he says that he believes that is behind the president’s refusal to meet with him now.

The Obama administration is very aware of Hasan’s jihadist beliefs, and killed his online mentor, Anwar al-Awlaki, in a drone strike in September 2011. But it classifies the 2009 Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence,” placing it on a par with incidents in which disgruntled workers open fire on their co-workers, and denying combat-related benefits to Lunsford and the other survivors.

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What if the President’s Press Secretary Had Nazi Propaganda On His Walls?

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Nazism is an evil ideology, but in a pound-for-pound battle of which ideology was more murderous, Communism has to be the clear winner over Nazism. For one thing, Communism has had a longer run in more countries. Wherever it has reigned, Communism has killed. The Soviets murdered about 20 million of their own countrymen, starving millions of Ukrainians to death intentionally. The Khmer Rouge — Communists, again — murdered millions in Cambodia. Mao’s Communists murdered about 65 million in China. The Communists who won the Vietnam war murdered millions.

President Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, has Soviet propaganda hanging on the walls of his home. The one ideology that’s more murderous than Nazism. It occupies places of prominence in the home of a major American official, whose job is to deliver the administration’s propaganda, er, message.

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The story in which that photo appears, in Washingtonian Magazine, has its own fawning, propagandist tone. It’s worshipful of the presidential mouthpiece. The photo itself is staged propaganda worthy of the Soviets: Look how beautiful and perfect our hearty and prosperous leader’s family is! The huge pile of pancakes on the table in the background (presumably for a family of four?), the entire loaf of bread laid out as if they’re catering continental breakfast at the local Hampton Inn, the unnecessarily air-flipped egg (which would break the sunny side, no?), and the actual propaganda on the walls behind the action — they all send out a message: Look how perfect your life can be if you find favor with the regime.

It’s lovely stagecraft. If you like propaganda.

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Kansas Congressman Says Jewish Center Victims Attended his Church

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Kansas Republican congressman said two members of his church were teenage boy and grandfather shot and killed outside of the Jewish community center in Overland Park yesterday.

“I didn’t know them personally, but our entire community feels connected to this family,” Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) told CNN. “This is a suburban area of Kansas City. This is an area of lots of schools and families. And yesterday afternoon when this news came out that this killing had occurred right here in Overland Park just about 12 blocks from my house, it struck all of us personally.”

“I attended church services later in the day about 5:00 where our pastor, Adam Hamilton, at the United Methodist Church of Resurrection informed us that the people who had been killed had not been identified at that time were members of the congregation, usually attend that service, were volunteers in the church and were really just upstanding community members.”

Yoder said not much is known about the third victim, a woman shot outside an assisted living center.

“I will say, standing in front of the Jewish community center, which is a center that serves the entire community. We’ve got a very active Jewish community here with a very active community that attends the center and is involved. The first shooting occurred here, but the second shooting occurred almost eight blocks away at a village for a retirement community that also serves people of many denominations,” he said. “And so we don’t know much about the victim there yet, but we do know that the rampage started here and moved on down the road and took another victim. We’re still trying to learn about what occurred there. But, obviously, it’s something that stunned a lot of us.”

Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, of Aurora, Mo., who also goes by the last name Cross, was arrested in the shootings and was filmed yelling “Heil Hitler” as he was led away. Miller is a former KKK leader.

“We don’t know enough about what his motives are but, boy, his history tells us a lot about what his motives probably were,” Yoder said. “This is an individual that we’re learning this morning had a long history of anti-Semitism, racism, had been the head of several white supremacy groups. He is a Missouri resident, we understand, from several hours away that, as far as we can tell, had no connection to our community here in suburban Kansas City, who drove, apparently, into our community yesterday to commit these acts.”

“Now, to pick the Jewish community center and to pick the Village Shalom, given his background, really tells us these are probably targeted killings and that he had anti-Semitism as his driving force as he arrived here yesterday.”

The congressman said the Christianity of the two Jewish center victims proves “his anti-Semitism hit home to our entire community, no matter what religion you’re from.”

“But it appears to be driven by hate. And I know the FBI is investigating this today… And so we’ll hopefully learn much more in the hours and days to come.”

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Kerry: ‘Climate Science Is Unambiguous’ with ‘Wake-Up Call After Wake-Up Call’

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Marking the release of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group 3 report over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry said the document “makes very clear we face an issue of global willpower, not capacity.”

The report warned that greenhouse gases have built up at an unprecedented rate and said switches to clean energy are needed immediately to avert catastrophic global warming. The scientists involved said it’s not a matter of phasing out fossil fuels but phasing out plants that don’t use carbon-capture technology.

“We’ve already had wake-up call after wake-up call about climate science. This report is a wake-up call about global economic opportunity we can seize today as we lead on climate change,” Kerry said in a statement Sunday. “So many of the technologies that will help us fight climate change are far cheaper, more readily available, and better performing than they were when the last IPCC assessment was released less than a decade ago. Good energy solutions are climate solutions and this report shines a light on energy technologies available right now to substantially reduce global emissions.”

“These technologies can cut carbon pollution while growing economic opportunity at the same time. The global energy market represents a $6 trillion opportunity, with 6 billion users around the world. By 2035, investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $17 trillion,” he continued.

“We already know that climate science is unambiguous and that every year the world defers action, the costs only grow. But focusing only on grim realities misses promising realities staring us right in the face.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who gives a weekly speech warning about climate change on the Senate floor, is using this week’s recess to go on a climate-change tour along the country’s southeast coast from the Carolinas to Miami.

“Climate change is among the most serious issues facing Rhode Island. It affects our economy, our homes and businesses, and our very way of life,” said Whitehouse. “We’re doing what we can in Rhode Island to limit the damage of climate change, but this is a worldwide problem that we can’t address alone. We need other states – and ultimately other nations – to join us in reducing emissions, investing in clean energy, and taking steps to adapt to the changes that are already occurring.”

“This road trip will be an opportunity for me to see how climate change is affecting other areas of our country; to hear about what these states are doing to address climate threats; and to bring new ideas back to Washington as I continue working to get Congress to wake up and take action on this issue.”

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Woodward on the IRS Scandal: ‘There’s obviously something here.’

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In the past week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has been implicated in the IRS abuse scandal. Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the main body investigating the IRS for abusing conservative groups. Emails show that he was seeking the same information from Texas-based True the Vote that the IRS sought, and that his staff was communicating directly with Lois Lerner at the agency.

Other emails suggest that Lerner acted on Cummings’ orders/requests by pestering subordinate Holly Paz to obtain the information that Cummings wanted. And other emails put the abuse in the hands of President Obama’s own deputy assistant, Jeanne Lambrew.

Evidence uncovered earlier in the scandal links the abuse to Obama political appointees at the IRS and within the White House counsel’s office. Cummings unilaterally declared the scandal “over” in June of 2013, before any of these revelations came out.

Reporter Bob Woodward of Watergate fame appeared on Fox News Sunday. The legendary investigative reporter told host Chris Wallace “There’s obviously something here” in the IRS scandal despite President Obama’s declaration that there “isn’t a smidgen of corruption” in it.

“For the president to take that position is very, very unusual,” Woodward said.

He added that reporters should “dig into it — there should be answers.” He did not explain why reporters have not done that.

One reporter who did look into the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals, Sharyl Attkisson, lost her job at CBS News.

Woodward also questioned whether the House committee investigating the scandal is capable of properly carrying the investigation out.

Woodward has a strong point. Cummings’ position on the committee and the implication that he is involved with the abuse, and his own history with the IRS, plus President Obama’s “smidgen” statement and how that implicates the president himself in an ongoing coverup, show that the committee is compromised and the White House will never cooperate. Congress needs to appoint a select committee to investigate.

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State Department Catches on to Russia’s Nefarious Intentions in Ukraine

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Several weeks after Russia invaded Crimea and annexed the peninsula, the State Department says it has evidence of Russian support for the “destabilization” of Ukraine.

“On April 12, armed pro-Russian militants seized government buildings in a coordinated and professional operation conducted in six cities in eastern Ukraine. Many of the militants were outfitted in bullet-proof vests and camouflage uniforms with insignia removed and carrying Russian-origin weapons. These armed units, some wearing black and orange St. George’s ribbons associated with Russian Victory Day celebrations, have raised Russian and separatist flags over the buildings they seized, and called for referendums and union with Russia,” the department said in a note to media on Sunday.

“Even more so than the seizure of main government buildings in Ukrainian regional capitals Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv last weekend, these operations bear many similarities to those that were carried out in Crimea in late February and culminated in Russia’s illegal military intervention and purported annexation of Crimea. In the earlier Crimean case, highly organized, well-equipped, and professional forces wearing Russian military uniforms, balaclavas, and military gear without identifying insignia moved in first to take control of Crimean government and security facilities before being later replaced by regular Russian military forces.”

The State Department said simultaneous takeovers in Donetsk, Slavyansk, Krasnyi Liman, Kramatorsk, Chervonoarmiysk, and Druzhkovka are an indication that the April 12 operations were planned in advance.

“There are reports that additional attempts to seize buildings in other eastern Ukrainian towns failed. Inconsistent with political, grassroots protests, these seizures bear the same defining features and tactics across diverse locations, including takeover of government administration buildings and security headquarters, seizure of weapons in the targeted buildings, forced removal of local officials, rapid establishment of roadblocks and barricades, attacks against communications towers, and deployment of well-organized forces. In Slavyansk, armed units have now also moved beyond the seized buildings to establish roadblocks and checkpoints in the nearby area,” the note said.

“The Ukrainian Government has reporting indicating that Russian intelligence officers are directly involved in orchestrating the activities of pro-Russian armed resistance groups in eastern Ukraine. In addition, the Ukrainian Government detained an individual who said that he was recruited by the Russian security services and instructed to carry out subversive operations in eastern and southern Ukraine, including seizing administrative buildings. All of this evidence undercuts the Russian Government’s claims that Ukraine is on the brink of ‘civil war.’”

In a statement to European leaders last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Gazprom “is compelled to switch over to advance payment for gas deliveries, and in the event of further violation of the conditions of payment, will completely or partially cease gas deliveries.”

“In other words, only the volume of natural gas will be delivered to Ukraine as was paid for one month in advance of delivery,” Putin said. “Undoubtedly, this is an extreme measure… However, the fact that our European partners have unilaterally withdrawn from the concerted efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, and even from holding consultations with the Russian side, leaves Russia no alternative.”

The State Department noted that the “events of April 12 strongly suggest that in eastern Ukraine Russia is now using the same tactics that it used in Crimea in order to foment separatism, undermine Ukrainian sovereignty, and exercise control over its neighbor in contravention of Russia’s obligations under international law.”

“In the face of these provocations, the legitimate government of Ukraine in Kyiv continues to show restraint and has only used force when public safety was at risk and attempts to resolve the situation through dialogue failed. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk was in the region on Friday, April 11, to discuss the central government’s willingness to work with regions on decentralization – including such issues as local elections, local control of budgets and finances and education, and enshrining Russian as an official language – in advance of the May 25 presidential elections.”

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DCCC Chairman: ‘Significant’ Number of GOPs ‘Animated by Racism’

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said that a “significant” part of the GOP base is overwhelmed by racist beliefs that are stalling immigration reform.

On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) was asked about a recent quote from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “I think race has something to do with the fact that they’re not bringing up an immigration bill,” she said. “I’ve heard them say to the Irish, if it were just you this would be easy.”

“The American people want solutions in Congress. They want people to oppose certain policies for the right reasons,” Israel responded before being pressed on whether he believed Republicans in Congress are racist.

“Not all of them, no, of course not. But to a significant extent the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism and that’s unfortunate,” Israel said.

“Well look, we don’t need to get our base out because frankly we’re ready to pass an immigration bill. And we’d rather pass an immigration bill than worry about the election. We have got 190 Democrats ready to vote on a comprehensive immigration bill today. We can do it today. And we know that not every Republican is going to agree with us on that. It passed the Senate with 67 bipartisan votes. All we need is 20 Republicans, just 20 to vote for that bill and it will be law and we don’t have to have this debate anymore,” he continued.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, called Pelosi’s assertion “both wrong and unfortunate.”

“You know, there have been a lot of executive overreaches by this administration. We see the latest with Lois Lerner and the whole IRS scandal. We’re now finally getting to see the email traffic back and forth. The American people just want to know the truth. They want to know the truth about what really happened and the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. They want to know what happened in Benghazi. They want to know answers and that’s all that we’re trying to do. Just give us — just cooperate with the Congress. Cooperate with the investigations. Give us the information we’ve requested so our constituents can know the truth,” Walden said.

“Fewer witch hunts, more solutions would be good for America right now,” Israel interjected.

“This is not a witch hunt when you’re trying to find out why the IRS — whether it’s Republican or Democrat, I don’t want the IRS targeting any group, whether it’s liberal or conservative,” Walden said. “And if they have, somebody should be held accountable, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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SPLC Says Kansas Shooter a ‘Raging Anti-Semite’ Who Plotted Assassination of Center’s Founder

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Southern Poverty Law Center said the suspect in the deadly shootings at a Kansas Jewish center and assisted living facility is a “raging anti-Semite” who has been on their radar for a while.

Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, of Aurora, Mo., who also goes by the last name Cross, allegedly drove to Overland Park, Kansas, and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove to the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood, where a woman was shot to death.

The SPLC sued Miller, the former “grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, in the 1980s for “operating an illegal paramilitary organization and using intimidation tactics against African Americans.”

“After subsequently forming another Klan group, the White Patriot Party, he was found in criminal contempt and sentenced to six months in prison for violating the court settlement. He went underground while his conviction was under appeal but was caught by the FBI with a weapons cache in Missouri. He served three years in federal prison after being indicted on weapons charges and for plotting robberies and the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees. As part of a plea bargain, Miller testified against other Klan leaders in a 1988 sedition trial,” the SPLC said.

“Miller is a raging anti-Semite who has posted more than 12,000 times on Vanguard News Network (VNN), whose slogan is ‘No Jews, Just Right.’ VNN founder Alex Linder has openly advocated ‘exterminating Jews since December 2009. Miller, a close partner to Linder, has called Jews ‘swarthy, hairy, bow-legged, beady-eyed, parasitic midgets.’ Miller is also one of VNN’s largest donors and he printed and distributed thousands of copies of VNN’s newsletter, The Aryan Alternative.”

The SPLC said it spoke with Miller’s wife, Marge, “who has apparently never been active in the white supremacist movement,” and confirmed that Miller had gone to a casino in Missouri.

In a statement late last night, President Obama said he had his team “to stay in close touch with our federal, state and local partners and provide the necessary resources to support the ongoing investigation” in this “horrific shooting.”

“While we do not know all of the details surrounding today’s shooting, the initial reports are heartbreaking,” Obama said.
“I want to offer my condolences to all the families trying to make sense of this difficult situation and pledge the full support from the federal government as we heal and cope during this trying time.”

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) said he was “shocked and sickened” by the slayings.

“Kansas is a place where every person of every kind should be safe from violence or persecution,” Moran said. “My deepest regrets are with the victims’ loved ones and my thoughts are with the entire community, which has had its sense of comfort and safety threatened by today’s events. I join all Kansans in proclaiming that these horrific acts of violence have absolutely no place in our communities, our state or our country.”

Miller has run for public office three times: as a Democrat for North Carolina governor in 1984, as a Republican for the Senate in North Carolina in 1986, and as an independent write-in candidate in 2006 for the House seat held by now-Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

The SPLC said it is preparing to release a two-year study showing that “nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users on another prominent racist website, Stormfront.org.”

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Breaking: Three Dead in Shootings at Two Kansas City Jewish Centers

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

This is absolutely ghastly — and on the eve of Passover.

A gunmen is in police custody after shootings at two Jewish Community Centers resulted in at least 3 dead and one teenage boy critically injured.

Kansas City Star:

Three people were killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire at the Jewish Community Center and a senior living facility in Johnson County.

Police arrested the suspected shooter outside Valley Park Elementary nearby by 2:45 p.m. He smiled and reportedly made anti-semitic statements as he was led away.

The victims were killed in gunfire at the center at 5801 W. 115th Street and the Village Shalom senior living facility 5500 W. 123rd St. about 1 p.m.

The gunfire at the west side of the Jewish Community Center came as hundreds of high school singers from across the metro area were expected to audition for the KC SuperStar contest and actors were rehearsing for a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“There were tons of kids because this was about to start at 1 o’clock,” said Ruth Bigus, the publicist for KC SuperStar.

Parents were gathered at a nearby fast food restaurant waiting for word while the campus was locked down.

Matt Davis was shopping for bar mitzvah suits with his son when he heard about the shooting at the Jewish Community Center, where his daughter was dancing. He headed to the center and saw the suspect, a heavyset man in handcuffs, being arrested at the school nearby. The man was smiling.

“I was wondering why is the guy smiling when he’s being arrested,” Davis said.

The unidentified suspect shouted “Heil Hitler” to reporters as he was led away by police.

What’s impressive is that there appeared to be well planned, perhaps even rehearsed emergency procedures for just such an eventuality:

With urgency — “Let’s go, let’s go!” — staff hustled about 60 people into a room where they were preparing to hold the SuperStars auditions, Nessel said.

“They did a great job,” he said. “It was not a panic, it was ‘We have a procedure here, let’s follow it,’ ” he said.

The community center staff kept the group informed as best they could. After about 15 minutes in the room, a worker came in and told them, “There’s been a shooting in the parking lot between here and Sprint. We’ll keep you on lockdown. You’re safe here. The police are on top of the situation,” Nessel recounted.

“That’s what you want to hear, that we’re safe,” he said.

Later, someone explained to them that the situation had been cleared up but said they had to stay a while longer while invesigators combed the area for evidence. In all, they were locked down for about an hour and a half.

It will be a melancholy Passover across the land this week.

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Obama Administration Files Brief Supporting Placement of Mount Soledad Cross

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The Department of Justice filed a brief with the Supreme Court indicating that it would support advocates who are fighting to keep the Mount Soledad Cross on federal land outside of San Diego. But Justice stopped short of endorsing a ruling by SCOTUS at the present time. Instead, they urged the high court to send the case back to the 9th circuit for further review.

However, if the lower court rules against the cross and the case ends up in the Supreme Court, the administration indicated that it would side with cross advocates.

At issue is whether the cross violates the separation between church and state because it sits on federal land. That land, purchased by Congress when the cross first came under threat, was designated a war memorial and the administration argues that for that reason, it is not an unconstitutional promotion of religion.

LA Times:

The administration’s position, sent to the court this week, means the high court will likely have to decide the fate of the San Diego cross, but not this year.

The cross atop Mount Soledad was erected in 1954, but it has been under legal attack since 1989. A decade ago, Congress tried to resolve the matter by taking possession of the land and declaring it a national memorial to honor veterans.

But several vets, including the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, sued, contending the Christian cross was a religious symbol.

The 9th Circuit agreed, and last year U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled the cross must come down. But he also put his ruling on hold while the government appeals.

Recently, several groups urged the Supreme Court to allow them to skip the 9th Circuit appeal. The high court has rejected similar requests in the past to intervene in the matter.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. advised against this procedural shortcut, noting there is no great urgency because the judge put his ruling on hold.

But he added the 9th Circuit’s earlier ruling was “wrong” and needs to be overturned, either by the appeals court or by the Supreme Court.

“The United States remains fully committed to preserving the Mount Soledad cross as an appropriate memorial to our nation’s veterans,” he said.

This is one of those happy circumstances where political calculation goes hand in hand with doing what’s right. It will please veterans groups as well as religious liberty advocates while putting some subtle pressure on the 9th circuit if SCOTUS, as expected, sends it back to the lower court.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year.

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For Unproven Theory, Scientists Propose Unproven Solutions

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

What’s even more dubious than claims of catastrophic warming? Claims that scientists know what to do about it.

The IPCC released a report warning that unless a “rapid shift” to green energy is undertaken, we’re all going to die…or, something.

And even that may not be enough. The group is saying that we “might even need to enlist controversial technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

We’ll get started right away on those gigantic atmospheric scoops to remove all those offensive greenhouse gases.

It’s more of the same from the IPCC, with a little more hysteria to get our juices flowing.

USA Today:

“There is a clear message from science: To avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual,” said Germany’s Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-chaired the IPCC report, the third in a series released in the past year. The Working Group III report, written by 235 scientists from 57 countries, looks at myriad ways to fight climate change and serves as a potential road map for policymakers who plan to negotiate a new climate treaty next year in Paris.

“If we do nothing, temperatures will continue to rise,” co-author Leon Clarke, a scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said from Berlin after wrapping up a week of discussions there to finalize the report’s wording. “It’s not necessarily a phaseout of fossil fuels,” he said, but rather “a phaseout” of power plants and other facilities that don’t capture the carbon they emit.

Holding emission increases to 3.6 degree Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels — a goal sought in international agreements — will require “heroic efforts” and a “massive” shift in the energy sector, says another U.S. co-author, David Victor, professor of international relations at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s doable in theory … but it will be extremely difficult.”

Despite efforts to mitigate climate change, the report says global greenhouse gas emissions rose 2.2% annually in the past decade — nearly twice the annual rate of 1.3% from 1970 to 2000. It says fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes, which rose as the global population and economy grew, accounted for 78% of the emissions’ increase between 1970 and 2010. It says about half of cumulative man-made carbon emissions since 1750 has occurred in the last 40 years.

The IPCC report says delaying action will only escalate the costs of transitioning to energy that emits less or zero greenhouse gases. It doesn’t endorse any single approach but cites the value of planting forests, boosting energy efficiency and — by 2050 — at least tripling the share of energy from zero-carbon sources such as nuclear, solar and wind.

It also points to more ambitious measures such as “bio-energy with carbon capture and storage” or BECCS, in which power plants produce fuel by burning biomass — trees, plant waste, wood chips — then capture and store the CO2 emissions underground. Victor says BECCS holds appeal for the future because it produces energy while actually reducing emissions.

So we denude the planet of trees to save us from global warming? What’s not to like?

In truth, there is no proof — experimental proof, mathematical proof, or proof via any known scientific process — that any of these “solutions” will work. Models may be suggestive that reducing emissions will mitigate climate change, but do we invest trillions of dollars into marginal technologies based on modelling? Given the IPCC’s track record of models predicting temperature rise, perhaps we ought to try a little harder to gather hard evidence of possible success before going off half-cocked.

Besides, reducing man’s imprint on the climate may not be enough. Perhaps the scientists could invent a machine that shuts down volcanoes. It would probably be easier than trying to run a modern economy on solar and wind power.

But this is not about the economy. It’s about control — and enriching people like IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri who is massively invested in green energy schemes.

All in a day’s work for the IPCC.

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Firefight Between Ukraine Government Forces and Pro-Russian Rebels

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

There has been a firefight in the Eastern Ukraine city of Slaviansk as pro-government forces sought to dislodge pro-Moscow militias from a police station. Groups of armed men sympathetic to Russia have taken over government buildings throughout the Eastern Ukraine in an attempt to force an overreaction by Ukraine’s government that would give Vladimir Putin an excuse to invade.

The Kiev government reports dead on both sides in Slaviansk.

Reuters:

One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five wounded on the government side in what interior minister Arsen Avakov called Sunday’s “anti-terrorist” operation.

“There were dead and wounded on both sides,” Avakov said on his Facebook page, adding that about 1,000 people were supporting the separatists.

The Russian news agency RIA reported that one pro-Moscow activist was killed in Slaviansk in clashes with forces loyal to the Kiev government. “On our side, another two were injured,” RIA quoted pro-Russian militant Nikolai Solntsev as adding.

The separatists are holed up in the local headquarters of the police and of the state security service, while others have erected road blocks around Slaviansk, which lies about 150 km (90 miles) from the Russian border.

However, details of the fighting remain sketchy. A statement from the administration of the eastern Donetsk region indicated the security officer may have been killed between Slaviansk and the nearby town of Artemivsk. Putting the number of wounded at nine, it said “an armed confrontation” was going on in the area.

Kiev accuses Moscow of trying to deepen violence and chaos in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic it once ruled. The Kremlin, it says, wants to undermine the legitimacy of presidential elections on May 25 which aim to set the country back onto a normal path after months of turmoil.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Kiev was “demonstrating its inability to take responsibility for the fate of the country” and warned that any use of force against Russian speakers “would undermine the potential for cooperation”, including talks due to be held on Thursday between Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union.

With Russian troops still massed on Ukraine’s border, President Obama has once again warned the Russians against military action. Vice President Biden will visit Ukraine for the second time in 3 months later in April.

As pro-Russian activity rose in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, the White House voiced concerns that Russia might once again advance past Ukrainian borders.

Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Kiev on April 22, the White House announced, to meet with leaders in and outside of the government to reinforce American support and talk about Ukrainian security. Last month, Biden traveled to Europe and met with leaders of NATO members Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to reassure them after Russia’s initial incursion into Crimea.

President Obama’s National Security Council warned that similar developments were seen in Crimea before Russian forces moved in — and warned Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade.

“We are very concerned by the concerted campaign we see underway in eastern Ukraine today by pro-Russian separatists, apparently with support from Russia, who are inciting violence and sabotage and seeking to undermine and destabilize the Ukrainian state,” NSC spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson said in an e-mail. “We saw similar so-called protest activities in Crimea before Russia’s purported annexation. We call on President Putin and his government to cease all efforts to destabilize Ukraine, and we caution against further military intervention. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Multiple news outlets reported pro-Russian demonstrations in eastern Ukraine, and ABC’s Dragana Jovanovic and Alexander Marquardt reported a number of government buildings were taken over by apparent militiamen wearing mismatched camouflage in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

Putin would prefer to gobble up a few more Ukrainian provinces by forcing the Kiev government to hold plebiscites in several Russian majority regions. But putting pressure on the Ukraine government by unleashing the pro-Russian militias could easily backfire if Kiev overreacts or goes too far in their effort to regain control of the restive eastern provinces. Putin could “justify” his military intervention if that were to occur, but the Ukraine government appears not to be rising to the bait.

What seems clear is that Putin appears willing to play the long game — waiting out the Kiev government who will eventually be forced into capitulation.

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Obama’s America: Children Liable for the Government Debts of Their Parents

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Hit and Run’s J.D. Tuccille calls the practice “feudal” — requiring the children of parents who owe money to the federal government to pay the bill years later. If so, don’t be surprised if the Obama administration brings back the rack. Or perhaps they won’t go all Medieval on us and just reinstall the stocks as corporal punishment.

One of the truly unique and exceptional things about America in the late 18th century was that the sins of the father could not be visited on the son. That tradition stood — until now. And as Tuccille explains, it was a two step policy change that brought this stinkburger about:

The new multi-generational debt collection practice required a two-step policy change. One was the elimination of the 10-year statute of limitations on debts to the federal government. The other involves the Social Security Administration insisting that if tiny tots indirectly benefited from public assistance collected by adults decades ago those now-grown ex-tots are responsible for any overpayments the feds may claim.

The elimination of the statute of limitations may, on its face, allow the government to go after individuals responsible for incurring debt, but the longer time horizon means accurate records can be hard to come by. According to Fisher, “Social Security officials told Grice they had no records explaining the debt.”

How do you collect a debt that you can’t prove exists? Through the sheer grinding weight of the state, of course.

Going after the next generation—which never made the decision to incur a debt to begin with—really is a massive break from previous policy.

Most financial websites advise heirs that they are responsible for parents’ debt only if they cosigned loans, held joint accounts, or shared community property with the deceased. Beyond that, the debt adheres to the debtor’s estate and may devour any inheritance. The estate belonged to the debtor and passes to heirs only after bills are paid. But the debt stops there.

What’s interesting about this policy is that other federal agencies aren’t following it; only the Social Security Administration and Treasury Department seem to be engaged in this generational theft. Others, like the FTC, aren’t enforcing the change.

In a Washington Post article, one victim of this astonishing policy tells her story:

A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.

When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery.

Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters like the one Grice got, informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check.

I couldn’t find anything on this issue published before today. And yet, it’s apparently been a rule for 3 years. Why hasn’t this issue been challenged in court?

Grice found a lawyer willing to take her case without charge. Vogel is exercised about the constitutional violations he sees in the retroactive lifting of the 10-year limit on debt collection. “Can the government really bring back to life a case that was long dead?” the lawyer asked. “Can it really be right to seize a child’s money to satisfy a parent’s debt?”

But many other taxpayers whose refunds have been taken say they’ve been unable to contest the confiscations because of the cost, because Social Security cannot provide records detailing the original overpayment, and because the citizens, following advice from the IRS to keep financial documents for just three years, had long since trashed their own records.

In Glenarm, Ill., Brenda and Mike Samonds have spent the past year trying to figure out how to get back the $189.10 tax refund the government seized, claiming that Mike’s mother, who died 33 years ago, had been overpaid on survivor’s benefits after Mike’s father died in 1969.

“It was never Mike’s money, it was his mother’s,” Brenda Samonds said. “The government took the money first and then they sent us the letter. We could never get one sentence from them explaining why the money was taken.” The government mailed its notice about the debt to the house Mike’s mother lived in 40 years ago.

Are you getting the feeling that we’re living in Venezuela or some other banana republic rather than America? No due process. No explanation. Just intimidation and the realization that you would probably spend your life savings to fight for a couple of hundred or thousand dollars.

Welcome to the Transformed United States of America.

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Breaking: Bureau of Land Management Won’t Enforce Court Order Against Bundy Cows

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

The Bureau of Land Management announced that it would not enforce a court order to round up cows owned by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, effectively ending the siege at the southern Nevada ranch.

Associated Press:

“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” BLM Director Neil Kornze said.

“We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner,” he said.

The roundup began April 5, following lengthy court proceedings dating back to 1993, federal officials said. Federal officers began impounding the first lot of cows last weekend, and Bundy responded by inviting supporters onto his land to protest the action.

“It’s not about cows, it’s about freedom,” Utah resident Yonna Winget told ABC News affiliate KTNV in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power,” Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy told ABC News.

By Sunday, April 6, one of Bundy’s sons, Dave Bundy, was taken into custody for refusing to disperse and resisting arrest, while hundreds of other protesters, some venturing from interstate, gathered along the road few miles from Bundy’s property in solidarity. Dave Bundy was later released.

A spokesman for the Bundy encampment told ABC News roughly 300 protesters had assembled for the protest, while a BLM representative estimated there were around 100 people.

“We want a peaceful protest, but we also want our voices heard,” said Cliven Bundy’s sister, Chrisie Marshall Bundy.

Victory for Bundy? Not exactly. Perhaps the government will now do what they should have done in the first place instead of descending on an American citizen’s property with 200 armed agents.

If the issue is monetary — Bundy not paying grazing fees — then there is absolutely no reason the government can’t sit down with Bundy’s lawyer at a neutral site and negotiate while not under threat of a gun. Even if the issue is that poor, picked upon Desert Tortoise, accommodations can be made as well. The turtles don’t need 600,000 acres to thrive — but neither does Bundy need 600,000 acres to feed his cows.

When government chooses to intimidate instead of negotiate in good faith, they should expect this kind of resistance. I’m not sure it’s necessarily a good thing for citizens to threaten government officials, but the situation would never have gotten to this point if the government had treated its people as citizens instead of subjects to be bullied and pushed around.

The BLM may wait for things to die down and then return to enforce the court order. If they try the same tactics, it’s likely they’ll meet the same resistance. “It’s about the freedom of America,” said another of Bundy’s sisters, Margaret Houston. “We have to stand up and fight.” If the only thing they accomplish in the end is put the government on notice that citizens won’t sit still for this kind of bullying, something positive will have come out of this mess.

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Beyond Soviet: Some Decorating Tips for Jay Carney and Claire Shipman

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

Drudge linked to this story which revealed that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his wife (CBS News reporter) Claire Shipman adorn the walls of their home with Soviet propaganda posters.  a

No home decorated in mid-century modern totalitarianism is complete without some German themed posters.  Why stop at the 20 million killed by the Soviets that Clarie and Jay like to display while they cook up a Sunday morning brunch of muffins, toast and OJ? (The Carney’s note their favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning is sleep in.)  To round out their decorative theme, I’ve got some suggestions.

Here’s one that looks like the Red Army poster in the Carney’s kitchen.  Not as colorful, but it has that woodblock feel that Claire must be striving for:

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The Carneys seem to like feminine themes, albeit totalitarian ones.  Here’s a wonderful poster showing the tenderness of motherhood in 1930′s Germany they might hang in their den:

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Here’s an end table that might work perfectly in the Carney’s living room:

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Why not thrown in some sculpture? This piece next to the Red Army poster could create a delightful contrast, sort of like Stalingrad.

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Naturally, the Carney/Shipman household will not sport images and art representing bloody Nazi totalitarianism.  That the White House press secretary doesn’t recognize the moral equivalence of hanging art representing the bloody Soviet version of totalitarianism says a great deal.

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We’re Number One…Again…Sorta

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Gee…I guess that “smart diplomacy is beginning to show dividends after all.

According to Gallup, we’ve regained our position as the least hated world power in, well, the world. Bragging rights for being the most despised world power in the world goes to Russia, with China a close second.

Of course, none of the five entities — US, Russia, China, Germany, and the EU — get more than 46% approval in the annual survey, which makes the honor of leading the pack somewhat dubious. Still, what with the Ukraine, Syria, Obamacare, the economy, and all the other problems facing the administration, a little bit of not-so-bad-news can’t hurt.

The world felt a little better about U.S. leadership last year, giving it the highest global approval ratings out of five global powers, including Germany, China, the European Union, and Russia. For the seventh straight year, Russia had the lowest median approval ratings in the world.

Disapproval ratings of the world leaders essentially mirror the approval ratings, with the U.S. (24%) and Germany (20%) garnering the lowest median disapproval and China (29%) and Russia (31%) earning the highest disapproval. The leadership of the EU falls in the middle (26%).

Gallup asked residents in as many as 137 countries last year to say whether they approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the U.S., the EU, Germany, China, and Russia. Gallup has been tracking how the world feels about each of these international leaders since 2007, with the exception of the EU, which Gallup first measured in 2008. The image of U.S. leadership was the only one that improved between 2012 and 2013.

High Approval Ratings for All in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nearly all global powers evaluated receive their highest approval ratings from residents of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The exception is Russia, which gets its highest marks from its neighbors (formerly Soviet Union countries). The high ratings in sub-Saharan Africa may at least be partly related to the amount of foreign aid that countries, such as the U.S., send to Africa. Researchers Benjamin Goldsmith, Yusaku Horiuchi, and Terence Wood found in a recent paper that certain types of foreign aid “positively affect[s] how publics in recipient countries regard the U.S.” The commercial foothold that countries like China are getting in the region might also help explain some of these high ratings.

But despite the overall high approval ratings, some global powers are losing ground in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S., for example, saw its ratings in the region return to their lowest level since Gallup started tracking this in 2007.

The U.S. and Germany receive their highest approval ratings in the world from the same country — Guinea. Guinea also ranks among the top five highest scores for each of the five global powers. On the opposite end, the country that expresses the highest disapproval for nearly all global powers measured is the Palestinian Territories. Palestinians hold the highest disapproval rating in the world for the U.S., the EU, and Germany.

Maybe we should make the “Made in USA” designation on those aid containers a lot bigger.

The curious case of Germany, who appears on this list both as a single country and as part of the EU, raises some questions. When people give their opinion of the EU, are they told to forget that Germany is a part of it? Since some people believe the EU is Germany, why have a separate designation at all? Just one of the oddities of this poll.

With the anti-American propaganda machine working 24-7 all over the world, it’s surprising we garner as much approval as we do in this poll. Most of the thug regimes in the world use America as a whipping boy and scapegoat the US to account for their citizens’ miserable lives. And, of course, there’s a lot of envy of America and fear — both real and imagined — of our military and what it might do.

Ultimately, only some liberals and 13-year old girls care what other nations, caught in the grip of an unreasoning and illogical anti-Americanism, think about the US. That’s the price we pay for being a (declining) superpower.

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Iran Continues to Rub America’s Nose in 1979 Hostage Drama

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Rick Moran

Iran would never come out and say openly, “Here’s a reminder of how we humiliated you 35 years ago by seizing your embassy and holding your people hostage.” Even for the cloistered leadership of Iran, that would be too obvious.

But neither are they basking in subtlety when they name a participant in that terrorist act as UN ambassador.

On Friday, the US State Department denied a visa to Hamid Abutalebi, an admitted member of the group of students who masterminded the taking of our embassy in Tehran in 1979. Mr. Abutalebi was destined to become the new Iranian ambassador to the UN.

Now the Iranians are saying that there isn’t anyone else who can do the job and they plan on taking the denial of the diplomat’s visa to the UN.

Reuters:

“We have no replacement for Mr. Abutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms envisioned at the United Nations,” Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official, was quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency as saying.

“Based on an agreement with the United Nations, America is bound to act according to its international commitments,” Araghchi said, as quoted by IRNA. The United Nations said it had no comment at this time on the U.S. decision.

American law allows the Washington government to bar U.N. diplomats who are considered national security threats. But Obama’s potentially precedent-setting step could open the United States to criticism that it is wielding its position as host nation to improperly exert political influence.

Araghchi is also a top negotiator in Iran’s talks with big powers on defusing a stand-off over its disputed nuclear activity. Iran has said Washington’s rejection of Abutalebi will not affect the talks, whose next round is set for May 13.

Abutalebi says he served solely as a periodic translator for the Islamist students who seized the U.S. embassy hostages, and he has since evolved into a moderate figure favoring, like President Hassan Rouhani, a thaw in Iran’s ties with the West.

Since an uproar among former U.S. hostages and U.S. lawmakers over Abutalebi broke out, Tehran has steadfastly stuck by its choice, describing him as a seasoned diplomat who has served in various capacities in Western countries.

“Dr. Abutalebi is one of the most capable, experienced and rational diplomats in Iran,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told IRNA. He served as Iran’s U.N. envoy for eight years before taking his current job last year following Rouhani’s election on a pledge to ease Iran’s international isolation.

In comments posted on Facebook late on Friday, Abutalebi said the U.S. move against him set a “wrong new precedent.”

Vahi Ahmadiah, a hardline conservative cleric who heads the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, said: “America has no right to inject its issues into an international matter. It has shown (here) its hostile nature again. It uses every chance to hit out at the Islamic Republic.”

It was unclear whether the matter might play into the hands of hardliners in Iran’s unwieldy power structure. They are keen to discredit Rouhani’s campaign to improve long-hostile relations with the West, especially Washington, but have been held in check for now by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Get that? It’s America’s fault if nuclear talks blow up because so-called “hardliners” in Iran will gain the upper hand if Abutalebi is denied his UN seat. If the imaginary “moderates” in the Iranian leadership came up with this clear, deliberate insult by sending a hostage taker back to America in triumph, how much worse can the hardliners be?

Does anyone really believe that the Iranians weren’t fully cognizant of the ruckus that would ensue by naming Abutalebi to a post in America? This is a government that, 35 years after the event, still requires its citizens to scream “Death to America” after Friday prayers. The hostage taking has been raised to mythical heights by the leadership, making it the seminal event in the creation of the Islamic state.

But the Iranians are surprised at our attitude?

I call bullcrap on that. Subsequently, no nation should be forced to endure such a deliberate and calculated insult as that being offered by the Iranians. How would they like it if we named William Rogers, captain of the USS Vincennes that mistakenly shot down an Iranian passenger aircraft in 1988, as our ambassador to Tehran if relations are ever restored?

The Obama administration should ignore whatever diktat comes from the UN about granting this hostage taker a visa. Most of the UN would like to see the US humiliated anyway, so rather than play into their hands, the administration should send a message that such insults will not be tolerated.

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Obama Lies about Voter Fraud and DOJ Investigations Before Paranoid Audience

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

A tragic phenomenon has affected President Obama since he became President.  The more radical his audience, the more outrageous his lies.

At his appearance before Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Obama called voter fraud claims “bogus” and said his Justice Department has “taken on more than 100 voting rights cases since 2009.

This is a bald faced lie.  One need merely click this link at the Justice Department’s own website to see it is a lie.  The truth is that 39 cases have been brought, not 100, and only 13 relate to protecting minority voting rights – usually foreign language ballot issues.  The rest of the cases involve states sending out military ballots (an effort only begun after blistering coverage at PJ Media and elsewhere in 2010).

Thirty-nine does not equal 100, and 13 even less so.  Will Stephanie Condon at CBS News correct the false numbers which she so willingly reported?  Of course not.  She isn’t just biased.  She’s part of the administration’s public relations team, even if the federal government doesn’t sign her paycheck.

Here’s the dirty secret no sycophantic reporter will mention: the Bush Justice Department had a significantly more robust enforcement record in voting rights than the Obama Justice Department.

Regarding Obama’s lie that voter fraud is “bogus,” (impressive insightful language from a Harvard man), PJ Media has covered voter fraud so extensively that it is hardly worth rehashing the hundreds of cases of fraud reported over the last few years.  If you haven’t been paying attention, Google Melowese Richardson.  Her “bogus” case of voting six times for President Obama remains uncharged by Mr. Holder’s Justice Department.  President Obama is back to giving cover to criminal behavior in American elections.

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But you can forgive President Obama if he felt comfortable lying to Al Sharpton’s audience.  They’d believe anything.  Remember, Sharpton is a man who blamed the Jews in New York for all manner of conspiracies.  Riots he inspired led to chants of “kill the Jew.”  The “No Justice, No Peace” mantra emerged out of this violence as a not-so-subtle racial threat to New York Jews and the NYPD that had to deal with the Sharpton-motivated chaos.  Both Holder and Obama appeared before a wall containing the same slogan this week.  The audience Obama spoke to was already primed to believe outlandish fantasy and racially soaked paranoia.  That the President of the United States set foot in the room tells you everything you need to know about the man.

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Obama Admin: Fighting Terrorism but Supporting Terrorists?

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

News recently emerged that “the Obama administration is imposing sanctions on an Egypt-based group that has claimed responsibility for attacks against Egyptian officials, Israeli interests and foreign tourists in Cairo and the Sinai peninsula. The State Department said Wednesday [4/9/14] it has designated Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’”

While ostensibly a laudable move, some—many in Egypt—think this announcement is a ruse to portray the Obama administration as committed to combating terrorism, even as it supports the head of the terrorist-snake, the Muslim Brotherhood.

For instance, according to Mustafa Zayid, the Coordinator of the Sufi Coalition Forces in Egypt, “The expectation was for the United States of America to announce its designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization—as opposed to Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis, which takes its lead from it [Brotherhood].”

The Sufi leader further added in published comments to Watan “that Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is a pseudonym for the terrorist Brotherhood organization, clarifying that what the U.S. State Department did was one of the administration’s tricks to deceive the world, mocking it into believing that the U.S. is combating terrorism.”

He further added that “the U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood and sponsors its terrorist activities throughout Egypt.”

Nor is the Sufi the only one making such charges.  According to Nabil Na’im, a Salafi, former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and confidante of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is funded by Khairat al-Shatter, the currently imprisoned, multi-millionaire Brotherhood leader.

Of note is the fact that, although al-Shatter was never part of the Morsi government, U.S. diplomats often met with him, including Ambassador Anne Patterson and Sen. John McCain.

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Texas Governor Candidate Slaps White House with a FOIA

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is pretty good.

AUSTIN – Texans for Greg Abbott sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the White House today requesting they release any photos of Sen. Wendy Davis and President Obama taken by the White House during their meeting on Thursday, a meeting closed to press and photographers. Communications Director Matt Hirsch issued the following statement about Sen. Davis’ troubling lack of transparency:

“Despite stating unequivocally just last month that she would not avoid having her photo taken with President Obama, this week Sen. Davis did just that. Instead, she met with the President behind closed doors and did not allow any press coverage. We’re hoping that a White House that claims an ‘unprecedented’ commitment to transparency will hold itself to a higher standard than Sen. Davis apparently does.”

To view the request, click here.

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CAIR Attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali Because They are Islamic Supremacists with Links to Terrorists

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Bob Beckel just went on a rant against CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, on Fox’s The Five. Beckel accused CAIR of lacking “guts” in not standing up for Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s rights after Brandeis University shamefully rescinded an honorary degree that it had planned to give her. Brandeis made that decision under pressure from Muslim students, and ultimately CAIR itself, after those groups accused Ali of being anti-Muslim.

Ali is anti-Muslim, but with good reason. She was mutilated as a young girl, and then forced into marrying a close relative by her family in Somalia. She escaped to Europe, has spoken out against Islam, and faces death threats because of that. Ali left Islam, adding to the “crimes” for which some Muslims would like to see her dead. The Dutch government could not even guarantee Ali’s safety, despite her career in parliament. So she had to move to the United States and still faces credible death threats.

CAIR’s problem is not that it lacks “guts.” CAIR’s problem is that it exists to attack people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. CAIR has been linked in a federal court trial with Hamas.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been connected to the terrorist organization Hamas, a federal judge said in a July 2009 rulingunsealed last week.

“The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas,” U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis said in the July 1, 2009, ruling.

CAIR was named as a co-conspirator in the landmark Holy Land Foundation Trial. Despite the fact that Hamas is the government of Gaza, it is still a terrorist group according to the United States government.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s overall strategy for conquering the United States through propaganda was exposed in the HFL trial.

“CAIR’s status as a co-conspirator is a matter of public record,” Solis explained. Examining the trial proceedings, he recounted the numerous ties between ISNA, NAIT, and CAIR.

During the trial, the government introduced documents detailing the Muslim Brotherhood’s beginnings in the United States. Amongst those was the May 22, 1991, “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” authored by Mohamed Akram. The memorandum includes a section titled “Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America” which states that the work of the Ikhwan in the United States is a “kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all religions.”

Also contained in the document was a list of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “organizations and the organizations of our friends,” which includes ISNA, NAIT, the Occupied Land Fund (HLFs former name, and others.

In another exhibit, titled “Preliminary vision for preparing future leadership,” dated Dec. 18, 1998, ISNA is listed as an “apparatus” of the Brotherhood. When the Holy Land Foundation first began, it raised money and supported Hamas through a bank account it held with ISNA and NAIT. ISNA checks deposited into the account were often payable to “the Palestinian Mujahiden.”

In addition to the financial connections, the trial also revealed cooperation between the organizations and their respective leadership. During the trial, the government introduced documents relating to the creation of the “Palestine Committee,” which was established to support Hamas. The Committee was run by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, and included representatives from the Islamic Association of Palestine, the Holy Land Foundation, and CAIRrepresented by founder Omar Ahmad.

Ahmad also attended the 1993 Philadelphia conference, where leaders of the organizations under the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella met to discuss the future of the Brotherhood in the United States. The Philadelphia conference was attended by several members of the Palestine Committee, which supported and collected money for Hamas.

The above was compiled by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

When you understand what CAIR really is — not a civil rights group, but a Muslim Brotherhood front — then its actions against Ayaan Hirsi Ali make perfect sense. She criticizes Islam from a position of absolute moral authority. She was mutilated. She saw Islam’s mistreatment of women up close. She faces death threats to this day.

CAIR exists to discredit and marginalize people like Ali. That’s why CAIR’s top man, Ibrahim Hooper, did this.

For much more about Ibrahim Hooper, look him up on Discover the Networks. I’ll leave with an ironic quote from CAIR’s founder.

When the Washington Post in November 2001 asked Hooper if he would disavow the terrorist activities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he responded, “It’s not our job to go around denouncing.”

Right. Then why is he attacking Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

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That Terrible, No Good, Horrible Internet Security Flaw You’ve been Hearing About? The NSA Exploited it.

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Well, this is just great. The Heartbleed security flaw impacts a whole lot of web sites that everyone believed were secure. The NSA knew about it at least two years ago, but rather than alert Americans (and the rest of the world, of course) about it so that we could protect ourselves, No Such Agency decided that the flaw was a feature, and not a bug.

Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest glitches in the Internet’s history, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites. Its discovery and the creation of a fix by researchers five days ago prompted consumers to change their passwords, the Canadian government to suspend electronic tax filing and computer companies including Cisco Systems Inc. to Juniper Networks Inc. to provide patches for their systems.

Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers.

What’s our government supposed to do? Oh right, provide for the common defense of its citizens. One would think that defending citizens against criminal hackers and who knows who internationally would have been part of that. Apparently not.

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Conor Friedersdorf Offers Some Clarity To Those Who Equate SSM Opponents To White Supremacists

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Nuance in a gay marriage debate?!? Is that even allowed?

Friedersdorf is one of those writers I agree with once in every twelfth blue moon or so, and I found myself nodding in agreement with much of this article.

He takes apart the fallacious comparison of religious opposition to same sex marriage to white supremacists’ opposition to interracial marriage (emphasis mine):

A narrow point we disagree on is the comparison of opposing interracial marriage to opposing gay marriage. Opposition to interracial marriage was all but synonymous with a belief in the superiority of one race and the inferiority of another. (In fact, it was inextricably tied to a singularly insidious ideology of white supremacy and black subjugation that has done more damage to America and its people than anything else, and that ranks among the most obscene crimes in history.)

Opposition to gay marriage can be rooted in the insidious belief that gays are inferior, but it’s also commonly rooted in the much-less-problematic belief that marriage is a procreative institution, not one meant to join couples for love and companionship alone.

This is largely because most leftists don’t get outside of the hive mind much, something that is sort of alluded to in a footnote at the end of the piece.

It is important to keep countering the reflexive leftist “BIGOT!” tactic with nuance, facts and whatever other interjections of reality apply. Their stranglehold on social narratives won’t disappear overnight, but they can be undermined over time.

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Unhinged, Resentful San Francisco Progs Targeting Individuals Who Are Successful

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

The frothing animals will soon be at your doorstep.

Demonstrations against the grip on San Francisco held by wealthy technology workers took a personal turn on Friday with protesters taking aim at a Google lawyer they say personifies the tensions being stirred by abundant tech money.

Jack Halprin, a landlord in the city’s gentrifying Mission district, became the focus of the latest blockade of a tech company commuter bus, with protesters demanding Google ask Halprin to rescind eviction notices he has sent his tenants.

Protesters told Reuters they will increasingly target individuals as part of a strategy to draw attention to the growing divide between rich and poor in San Francisco, a rift widened by a tech industry boom that is inflating rents and exacerbating social problems such as evictions.

This isn’t an anomaly, it is the endgame for progressive redistribution. There is some delicious irony in the fact that the income inequality angst is bubbling over in the city that also serves as the leftist mothership. But it is a dangerous precedent. They are going after individuals and, as we have seen with almost all prog protests, it will eventually turn violent.

The sad thing is that most of the Democrats who like to stir the class warfare pot are too stupid to know they are advocating for precisely this kind of behavior. It is all part of the consequence-free dreamland they live in.

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German Retailer: Yeah, Maybe The Hitler Mugs Were A Bad Idea

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya think?!?!?

A German furniture store chain has apologised for selling mugs with Adolf Hitler’s face on them.

The ceramic cups feature a faint image of a Nazi-era postage stamp with Hitler’s profile on it, postmarked with a swastika stamp.

The mug also features a rose and handwriting in English.

The Zurbrueggen furniture chain apologised for the “terrible” mistake, which it blamed on “a stupid chain of unfortunate circumstances”.

The cups’ Chinese designer had mistakenly chosen the image of the former dictator, it said, which the chain then ordered in error – 5,000 of them.

Sure, blame it on the Chinese.

I’m pretty sure they know who Hitler is too.

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