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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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Cruz for the Win: White House Denies Visa for Iranian Hostage-Taker

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Once Congress had voted to keep Iranian hostage-taker Hamid Aboutalebi from visiting the US as Iran’s ambassador to the UN, the Obama White House had a choice: Bow to the Iranians anyway, or accede to the wishes of Republicans and Democrats who went on the record to oppose Aboutalebi.

Congress went on the record under the leadership of one Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The state’s junior senator crafted a bill that sailed through Congress with impressive bipartisan support. That bill landed on Obama’s desk.

The president did not sign that bill, at least not yet. The White House is simply refusing to grant Aboutalebi’s visa.

Why act in concert with Congress and in harmony with the Constitution, when it can get away with yet another unilateral action?

 

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Jeffrey Herf Writes the President of Brandeis

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Ron Radosh

My friend Jeffrey Herf, a brilliant historian and prize-winning author, has written a most powerful letter to the president or Brandeis University. He writes the following:

 I have had occasion to address the role of Islam and Islamism in fanning the flames of Jew-hatred. In publishing work that documents the role of the Islamist interpretation of the Koran in promulgating the most absurd and idiotic ideas about the Jews, I have faced intolerance from scholars working on the Middle East. They have denounced well-founded scholarship as “Islamophobia” or “Zionist propaganda” and denied that the Koran or Islamism could possibly have anything to do with anti-Semitism. Like Tony Kushner and Desmond Tutu, to whom Brandeis has given honorary degrees, they have erroneously argued that Arab and Islamist antagonism to Israel is exclusively the result of the alleged sins of Israel. As far as I know, neither has had anything of substance to say about the role of Islam and Islamism in fanning the flames of hatred of the Jews and of Israel. These critics have said that those of us who point to the anti-Jewish elements of the Koran and the Jew-hatred of modern Islamists are guilty of intolerance towards Muslims. I have seen this up close for years now. The last place I expected to find groveling, embarrassing appeasement of this rubbish was from the president of Brandeis University.

Read his entire letter at The Weekly Standard.

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New York Times Gives Harry Reid’s ‘SCARY KOCH BROTHERS!’ Story A Subtle Hand

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

It is no secret by now that Harry Reid spends his work hours in a semi-waking state, drooling and muttering “Koch brothers” whenever he senses a camera nearby. And, as the Democrats can’t really point to any accomplishments this election year, they desperately need to make the electorate focus on various nonsensical distractions, like the Koch brothers taking over American politics or “income inequality”.

As it is difficult for most Americans to take the Senate Majority Leader seriously, a little help is in order. Enter the official publication of the Democratic National Committee, aka the New York Times.

Democrats in races that will help determine control of the Senate are rapidly burning through their campaign cash, whittling away their financial advantage over Republican opponents as they fend off attacks from conservative groups, according to figures released through Friday.

The spending on both sides underscores the critical role that outside conservative groups are playing as Republicans try to retake the Senate. In state after state, organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the nonprofit linked to David and Charles Koch, have kept Democrats on the defensive with a barrage of negative ads while establishment-backed Republican candidates raise money and navigate their way through primaries.

In yet another piece lamenting money in politics (the Republican kind), the Times takes all of three sentences to drop in a Koch brothers reference. Coincidence? Sure, just like a diet of Twinkies, beer and pizza and obesity are a coincidence.

It is somewhat telling that the “BIG REPUBLICAN MONEY” stories are starting this early in the year. The Democrats usually only get this canard going when they know they’re about to get their clocks cleaned. They can’t ever admit that the GOP might be appealing to people with ideas, it has to be the money. Of course, Big Labor’s infusion of cash and bodies for get out the vote efforts is never mentioned.

For the record, Americans for Prosperity (which is only partially funded by the Kochs) and all of the other Republican stalwarts when it comes to contributions were spending just as much, if not more, money in 2012 and we know how that turned out. So much for the Moneybags Illuminati buying an election whenever they want to.

This entire piece in the Times was written just to get in the Koch brothers mention. It’s how they work. Some media entities like MSNBC are heavy-handed with their biases. The Grey Lady, however, has been doing this longer than any of the others and knows how to slip it right by people.

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WATCH Sebelius Get a ‘Page Missing Error’ On Her Way Out of HHS

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Healthcare.gov is best known for not working. During the first months of its rollout, the Obamacare website has sent users millions of “Page Not Found” errors.

So resigning HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius meeting up with a missing page error during her exit speech is about as appropriate an exit as there could have been.

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Think Progress Upset To Find Out That Intrusive Government Regulations Harm Everyone

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Tough day in the real world.

A pastor determined to live out the Bible’s dictate that we feed the poor was shut down by local police because he didn’t have a permit to serve food.

Twice a month, Rick Wood, a pastor at The Lord’s House of Prayer in Oneonta, Alabama, gets in his truck and drives around Birmingham with more than a hundred hot dogs and bottles of water, handing them out to the homeless. Wood has been serving those in need for the past six years because he wants to put Matthew 25:35-40 — “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,” a scripture verse he has plastered on the side of his truck — into action.

But last month, Wood was stopped from handing out food by local police because he was in violation of a new city ordinance, passed in December, that regulates food trucks. The new regulation requires food trucks to get a permit, which can cost as much as $500. Though the ordinance is specifically targeted at retail food vendors, rather than charities, the city nevertheless used it to block Wood.

True, this won’t bring about an epiphany to the progs but it does provide an illustration to maybe begin a conversation with one or two of them.

Bureaucracies need cash flow to provide the big government utopias that leftists crave and they never quite get that the approach to getting this money is rather heartless. If you have any money at all, the government is spending all of its waking hours trying to figure out ways to get to it. Regulatory burdens hurt everyone, whether directly or indirectly, and regulation is the heart of the big dreams of modern American liberalism.

It’s such an unfair way to treat people that the Think Progress folk seem to know in their hearts it’s wrong, even if their little proggy brains can’t figure out why.

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Cut the Clitoral Relativism: Islam, Sharia, and Female Genital Mutilation/“Circumcision”

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Andrew G. Bostom

Despite their ongoing antagonisms—played out, prominently, on Fox News—a bizarre, shared apologetic has emerged which denies the irrefragable sanctioning of female genital mutilation/“circumcision” (FGM/C) by canonical Islamic tradition (“hadith”), and over 1100 years of authoritative, mainstream Islamic jurisprudence. The strange bedfellow antagonists engaged in these overlapping apologetics about FGM/C are the Clarion Foundation and its film “Honor Diaries,” allied with the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation (Ms. Ali is also listed as the film’s executive producer), “versus” the Hamas-linked cultural jihadist organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Fox News has served as overseer of this “conflict” cum consensus, while also reinforcing the fallacy that FGM/C is simply a tragic manifestation of misogynistic patriarchal trends that are generic, and have “no basis” in Islam and the Sharia, Islamic law.

Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR issued the following statement (which Fox News host Megyn Kelly aired on her broadcast), that melds Islamic negationism (in bold, below), with vitriol against the Clarion Foundation-produced film:

American Muslims join people of conscience of all faiths in condemning female genital mutilation, forced marriages, “honor killings” and any other form of domestic violence or gender inequality as violations of Islamic beliefs. If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam. The real concern in this case is that the producers of the film, who have a track record of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, are hijacking a legitimate issue to push their hate-filled agenda.

Notwithstanding the obsessive focus on Hooper/CAIR’s predictably gratuitous attack against the producers of “Honor Diaries,” what has been deliberately obfuscated by conservative supporters of the film are mirror image statements denying the centrality of Islamic doctrine such as this blatantly false Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation website pronouncement:

FGM has no foundation in Islamic scripture or law.

Quanta Ahmed, a protagonist in “Honor Diaries,” appearing in one of Megyn Kelly’s Fox News segments on the “CAIR vs. bold filmmakers controversy,” made a Goebbel’s-like inversion of morality. Ahmed not only denied Islam’s sanctioning of FGM in “Honor Diaries,” claiming, falsely, “Female genital mutilation is not advocated in Islam in any way shape or form,” during her March 31, 2014 interview with Megyn Kelly she compounded her mendacity with the morally perverse observation that,

the most Islamic act is to expose this injustice

This shared mendacity by current antagonists CAIR, Clarion, the Ayaan Hirsi Foundation, and Dr. Quanta Ahmed, deliberately obfuscates, as but one salient example, the following canonical hadith (“tradition” of Muhammad) which sanctions FGM/C:

Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah said: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: “Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Chapter 1888, “Circumcision of Girls”, Number 5251, from Sunan Abu Dawud, one of the six canonical hadith collections, English translation with Explanatory notes by Prof. Ahmad Hasan, 2007, Volume III, p. 1451; this hadith is also available online here, as Book 41, Number 5251]

Professor Hasan’s note adds the following observations:

Some Shafii scholars hold that circumcision of girls is obligatory, but others think that it is recommended. Ahmad b. Hanbal and some Maliki jurists hold that it is obligatory. Abu Hanifah maintains that it is recommended and not obligatory. Mali holds that it is recommended and not obligatory.

The great Muslim theologian and polymath al-Jahiz (d. 869), citing the canonical tradition of Muhammad, noted that female circumcision was specifically employed as a means to reduce female “concupiscence,” unbridled lust—or mere sexual pleasure, derived from a fully intact clitoris:

A woman with a clitoris has more pleasure than a woman without a clitoris. The pleasure depends on the quantity which was cut from the clitoris. Muhammad said, “If you cut, cut the slightest part and do not exaggerate because it makes the face more beautiful and it is more pleasing for the husband.” It seems Muhammad wanted to reduce the concupiscence of the women to moderate it. If concupiscence is reduced, the pleasure is also reduced…The love of the husband is an impediment against debauchery. Judge Janab Al-Khaskhash contends that he counted in one village the number of women who were circumcised and those who were not, and he found that the circumcised were chaste and the majority of the debauched were uncircumcised. Indian, Byzantine, and Persian women often commit adultery and run after men because their concupiscence towards men is greater. For this reason, India created brothels. This happened because of the massive presence of their clitorises and their hoods. [Al-Jahiz, Kitab al-hayawan, Vol. 7, pp. 27-29]

This argument is repeatedly invoked by classical Muslim jurists, and remains at present the most commonly cited rationale for circumcision of Muslim women. For example, here are two opinions from respected Al-Azhar clerics/“Professors,” Al Azhar University and its mosque representing the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic religious education, the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam. The first observation was by the late Jad al-Haq (d. 1996) who served as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and as such was a Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent.

Al-Haq insisted the present era makes female circumcision requisite,

because of mixing of the sexes at public gatherings. If the girl is not circumcised, she subjects herself to multiple causes of excitation leading her to vice and perdition. [Jad al-Haq, 1983, Khitan al-banat, in: Al-fatawi al-islamiyyah min dar al-ifta al-masriyyah, Vol. 9, p. 3124, translated here]

Abd al-Rahman Al-Adawi, al-Azhar Professor, writing in 1989, noted that female circumcision is makrumah—a meritorious action. He further claimed the procedure helped the woman,

remain shy and virtuous. In the Orient, where the climate is hot, a girl gets easily aroused if she is not circumcised. It makes her shameless and prey to her sexual instincts except those to whom Allah shows compassion. [from Al-khitan, ra’y al-din wal-‘ilm fi khitan al-awlad wal-banat, 1989, pp 81-2, translated here]

The classical Iraqi jurist Ibn Mawdud al-Musili (d. 1284), in his major Islamic law treatise [Al-ikhtiyar, vol. 4, p. 167, translated here] declared,

If a region stops, of common agreement, to practice male and female circumcision, the chief of the state declares war [jihad] against that region because circumcision is a part of the rituals of Islam and its specificities

Former Al-Azhar Grand Imam Jad al-Haq also insisted repeatedly (twice in a 1981 fatwa, and three times in a fatwa published during 1994; [see Sami A. Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh, Male and Female Circumcision—Religious, medical, social, and legal debate, 2012, p. 173]) that the attempt to prevent female (or male) circumcision was grounds for waging jihad against those renouncing and abrogating the procedures. The October 1994 issue of the magazine Al-Azhar included a booklet distributed as a free appendix. The booklet contained Grand Imam al-Haq’s fatwa whose main elements had already been published in 1981. In this “updated” 1994 fatwa, al-Haq affirmed the call for jihad thrice, reiterating verbatim the opinion of the 13th century jurist al-Musili, and adding his own gloss about the obligatory nature of female and male circumcision (translation, p. 347),

If a region stops, of common agreement, to practice male and female circumcision, the chief of the state declares war [jihad] against that region because circumcision is a part of the rituals of Islam and its specificities. This means that male and female circumcisions are obligatory.

Given such authoritative and adamant Islamic endorsement, it is unsurprising that Egypt’s FGM/C rate persisted at 91% as reported in a July, 2013 UNICEF analysis. Indeed UNICEF’s own attempt to obfuscate the association between Islam and FGM/C was thwarted by the data adduced within the report which underscored the overwhelming predominance of this practice in Islamic societies (such as Somalia, FGM/C rate of 98%; Sudan FGM/C rate of 88%), and even Muslim minority populations within multi-religious societies. Moreover, the UNICEF survey curiously omitted the largest Muslim nation (and population) altogether: Indonesia.

The origins, rationale (i.e., notably a predominance of the Shafi’ite school of Sunni Islamic law—as in Egypt, with its 91% rate of FGM/C), and apparent near universal present extent of FGM/C among young Indonesian Muslim woman by age 18 is a case study which puts the lie to the apologetic—and corrosive—mindset that seeks to willfully dissociate FGM/C from Islam.

Returning to the Islamic law basis for FGM/C, al-Nawawi (d.1277), the seminal Shafi’ite Sunni legist, in his authoritative Al-majmu sharh al-muhadhdhab [translated here; and also here], maintained:

Circumcision is obligatory for our men and women.

Mohamad Atho Mudzhar’s 1990 PhD dissertation, “Fatwas of the Council of Indonesian Ulama: A study of Islamic legal thought in Indonesia, 1975-1988,” includes this relevant observation about his native country:

Indonesian Muslims have always claimed themselves to be Shafi’is…. At the theologico-doctrinal level, Indonesian Muslims are the followers of the Shafi’i school of Islamic law…most of them are aware of their adherence to the Shafi’i school of Islamic law.

The rigorous analyses of Dutch ethnographer G.A. Wilken (1847-1891), and Dutch historian B.J.O. Schrieke (writing in 1921/1922), concluded a century (or more) ago that female circumcision was introduced by Islam to the vast Indonesian archipelago, because the practice was present only in Islamized regions. They further noted female circumcision was absent in the regions not yet (i.e., as of the late 19th and early 20th centuries) penetrated by Islam or, at that time, only superficially Islamized.

Wilken’s article entitled : “De besnijdenis bij de volken van den Indischen Archipel,” (“Circumcision in the nations of the Indonesian Archipelago”) was first published in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch- Indie, (Contributions to Lingusitics, Lands, and Ethnology of the Dutch East Indies), 34 (1885), pp. 165-206. B. Schrieke, published a two-part essay on the subject, nearly four decades later, whose findings concurred: “Allerlei over de besnijdenis in den Indischen Archipel,” (“Miscellaneous circumcision in the Indonesian Archipelago,” in Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, (Journal of East Indian Linguistics, Lands, and Ethnology), 60 (1921), 373-578 ; 61 (1922), 1-94.)

Schrieke (1921, pp. 549-551). reported that when queried about the meaning of this circumcision, the Indonesian Muslim parents replied that it’s purpose was for their daughters to become Muslims (eerst Mohammedanen worden).

Just over eighty years, by 2003, a comprehensive survey “updated” and confirmed the Schrieke’s findings, adding critical data on the astonishing modern prevalence of FGM/C within Indonesia.

This broad-based Indonesian survey canvassed 1,694 households in eight different sites, representing eight different major ethnic groups of Indonesia, and including both rural and urban locations. Key background findings were as follows (verbatim):

  • Almost all mothers at all sites gave consent for the practice of FC [FGM/C] to be performed on their daughters. When asked whether FC [FGM/C] has beneficial effects on women, 69% responded “yes,” and mentioned benefits including successful completion of religious duty, health and hygiene. Only a very small proportion of mothers felt that there were no benefits of FC [FGM/C] and 26% said they “do not know”.
  • When mothers were asked about their view regarding the future of the practice of FC [FGM/C], the majority supported its continuation and objected to any proposed ban on FC [FGM/C]. Only small proportion of mothers (7%) said that they would support the ban. Even among those who would support the ban, they would support only if reasons for banning are rational, understandable, and not against religion.
  • A significant proportion of mothers (20%) even suggested social sanctions should be imposed on uncircumcised girls. Larger proportions of mothers with this view were found in Padang Pariaman and Gorontalo. Across the study sites, 30 to 96% of mothers held the opinion that FC [FGM/C] is “a must,” even for girls who have already reached the age of 10 or over.

Among all the children aged 15 to 18, 86-100% of the girls were already circumcised, with a mean overall rate of 97.5%. Thus the authors concluded aptly their survey had demonstrated,

that circumcision among girls is a universal practice in the study sites.

During March of 2010, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, issued an edict reinforcing its religious support for FGM/C, albeit with anappeal by a leading Islamic cleric to the NU’s estimated 40 million followers “not to cut too much.” By September of 2011 “medical guidelines” on how to perform female genital mutilation/cutting were issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, ostensibly to reduce of the extent of damage to the clitoris when the procedure was performed by traditional non-medical personnel. However an Indonesia-wide survey of FGM/C practices in 2009, revealed that when medical practitioners performed the procedure, there was a trend toward more extensive cutting of the clitoris!

Finally, here in the U.S. (and Canada), surely CAIR, The Clarion Project/The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation, and Quanta Ahmed, who even in their rancor against each other, all oppose FGM/C, and claim it is has “no basis in Islam,” will confront the fatwas sanctioning FGM/C for North American Muslims by the mainstream Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA)?

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America’s (AMJA’s) mission statement maintains the organization was,

founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…

A report in The Muslim Observer published October 21, 2010 highlighting AMJA’s “seventh annual American conference of imams,” confirmed that the organization is accepted as such by the mainstream American Muslim community. AMJA and its “training” conference for American imams were described in these banal terms:

The organization AMJA (Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America) has a list of scholars associated with it which stretches from Al-Azhar University to Virginia’s Open University, and back across the ocean to the professors at Saudi universities.  Its website, amjaonline.com, provides fatawa on many issues and promises 24-hour access to scholars who can give legal opinions on the issues people face. AMJA focuses on providing fatwas to Americans, and believes it is able to provide culturally appropriate fatwas although many of their scholars are not American–because they have some American scholars and because of the technological ties that bind AMJA’s American scholars with those abroad. AMJA just had, in Houston, its seventh annual American conference of imams, and two local Michigan imams attended, namely Imam Musa of Bloomfield’s Muslim Unity Center, and Imam Ali of MCWS. Mr. Sadiqul Hassan of AMJA explained that “the event was the 7th annual imam workshop…”  Mr. Hassan said that AMJA is “a fiqh council basically,” with “scholars who live abroad and inside the US; we have experts in different fields to educate about life in the US–fatawa are based on life in the US.”

AMJA rulings clearly support the practice of FGM/C (which, appropriately, the United Nations has called “a dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure that causes unspeakable pain and suffering.”). Fatwa #1639 from Dr. Hatem al-Haj justified the horrific practice, by citing the canonical hadith in which Islam’s prophet Muhammad endorsed its practice, stating:

[…] Some extremists from the west and their devout followers in the Muslim world like to brand all circumcision as female genital mutilation (FGM). For those, we say, why is male circumcision not MGM? Male circumcision is widely practiced in the west. Yet it would be considered by the Chinese MGM (Male Genital Mutilation). The benefits of male circumcision are beginning to be more recognized in the medical societies, even though still contested by a few. Fifty years ago, no one knew that male circumcision has medical benefits. The same could be true with female circumcision. They may figure out the benefits of the practice in fifty or five hundred years. […]

Al-Haj then went on to implicitly sanction the practice of taking a Muslim female outside of her American milieu to have the procedure performed—in violation of the US “TRANSPORT FOR FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION” act.

The question is not to ban female circumcision because of the position of certain nations, but How do we regulate it as Muslims? What should we -western Muslims- do? For Muslims who live in the west, since it is not mandatory and it is at the same time illegal in the west, and would bring about harm to the people who practice it, I wouldn`t advise having it done, as long as you are a resident/citizen of the west. We however should never doubt anything in our religion because of the bad publicity the media creates about it

A concordant fatwa issued in Arabic (translation by Al-Mutarjim) on the website of the Secretary-General of AMJA and the chief member of its Resident Fatwa Committee, Dr. Salah Al-Sawy, declares that FGM is “an honor” for women, Al-Sawy also acknowledges that the procedure—in accord with a continuum of Islamic rationale from al-Jahiz in the mid-9th century, to former Muslim Papal equivalent, i.e.,  Al-Azhar University Grand Imam Jad al-Haq through 1996—is explicitly implemented to reduce a woman’s otherwise unbridled “concupiscence,” i.e., lust:

But for the woman, the purpose [of circumcision] is the benefit that it has in lessening her lust, which is a wholesome request. There is no harm in removing it. In short, female circumcision is an honor (which) does not rise to the level of a duty, in clear language. Stated another way, it is neither forbidden nor required.

Having thus far refused to honestly acknowledge, let alone confront the clear, authoritative Islamic imprimatur for FGM-C—from Muhammad’s alleged utterance, to classical and modern jurists, across a millennium, till today—in Islamic societies, perhaps all these strange bedfellows, The Clarion Project/The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation, Quanta Ahmed, and CAIR, will, pardon the reference, gird their loins within the security of the U.S., remonstrate against AMJA’s apparent “distortion” of Islam, and explain to AMJA’s clerics why they are wrong. Better still, invite all the parties—AMJA’s clerics and any of The Clarion Project/The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation, Quanta Ahmed, and CAIR to debate whether Islam sanctions FGM/C on Fox News’ The Kelly File.

 

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Liberals Are Miserable Creatures, NY Times ‘Draft Day’ Review Edition

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Lately I have been collecting examples of the liberal love affair with misery (especially in the media) for a future project of mine. They are, as most things about modern American leftists are, generally absurd and laughable but worth sharing just to remind ourselves that we don’t want the world run by cranky grade school principals.

This morning, I happened upon this review of the new Kevin Costner movie Draft Day by the New York Times veteran reviewer A.O. Scott. Now, I don’t know for sure what Scott’s politics are, but given the fact that he has risen to the top of the heap at the Times, it is pretty easy to make a guess.

Scott has a lot of nice things to say about Costner, director Ivan Reitman and the movie, ultimately offering that “it sells itself beautifully.”

As if all of the casual enjoyment of what is obviously meant to be a fluff sports movie, Scott has to offer this in the middle of the review:

“Draft Day,” made with what appears to be the very enthusiastic — not to say domineering — cooperation of the N.F.L., is less a football movie than a promotional film. You will see sweeping aerial shots of skylines and stadiums in franchise cities. You will see the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, and a bunch of players and executives, past and present, gamely portraying themselves. You will not hear anything about concussions or sexual assault or the exploitation of college athletes, though you may notice that this is a story of (mostly) white men buying and selling the labor of (mostly) African-Americans.

I guess suspension of disbelief is only a thing for leftists when they listen to their political heroes speaking about policy.

This paragraph is so out of place with the rest of the review that it almost appears as if an editor scribbled it in at the last minute. A veteran movie critic knows the difference between mindless entertainment and gritty documentary movies. Why would he lament that the former isn’t the latter in a review?

Because it’s the New York Times, and it just wouldn’t be right to celebrate an easygoing flick about an American institution that is beloved in flyover country without getting in a dig about racism.

They have rules there, you know.

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Someone Tucked an Obscure Line into the Farm Bill That Allows the Treasury Department to Destroy Due Process

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Post has an outrageous story about how the Treasury Department is going after thousands of Americans to collect on debts — which may not have ever been real debts — it says deceased family members owed the government.

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.

Treasury says it is acting now because it can. The statute of limitations was lifted in 2011. Who lifted it? No one will admit it.

The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.

No one seems eager to take credit for reopening all these long-closed cases. A Social Security spokeswoman says the agency didn’t seek the change; ask Treasury. Treasury says it wasn’t us; try Congress. Congressional staffers say the request probably came from the bureaucracy.

The only explanation the government provides for suddenly going after decades-old debts comes from Social Security spokeswoman Dorothy Clark: “We have an obligation to current and future Social Security beneficiaries to attempt to recoup money that people received when it was not due.”

Except, it’s illegal. Debts owed by the dead do not transfer to their children, to be paid out of their own assets. Tax refunds are money refunded to Americans because of tax overpayments. That money belongs to citizens, not the government.

These cases come with no notice, just a letter that the government has intercepted the tax refunds, along with threats that failure to comply may be reported negatively to credit rating agencies. In Grice’s case, the government seems to have gone out of its way not to notify her at all.

Grice, who works for the Food and Drug Administration and lives in Takoma Park, in the same apartment she’s resided in since 1984, never got any notice about a debt.

Social Security officials told her they had sent their notice to her post office box in Roxboro, N.C. Grice rented that box from 1977 to 1979 and never since. And Social Security has Grice’s current address: Every year, it sends her a statement about her benefits.

“Their record-keeping seems to be very spotty,” she said.

That’s being generous.

Treasury officials say that before they will take someone’s refund, the agency owed the money must certify the debt, meaning there must be evidence of the overpayment. But Social Security officials told Grice they had no records explaining the debt.

“The craziest part of this whole thing is the way the government seizes a child’s money to satisfy a debt that child never even knew about,” says Robert Vogel, Grice’s attorney. “They’ll say that somebody got paid for that child’s benefit, but the child had no control over the money and there’s no way to know if the parent ever used the money for the benefit of that kid.”

Yes, the irony is obvious. As a government bureaucrat who lives in leftwing Tacoma Park, Grice is probably a big fan of big government. That doesn’t take away from the injustice that’s being done to her and thousands of others — $1.9 billion dollars worth this year.

There is no recourse for Americans who have had their money taken. They can file a claim, but it will probably go nowhere. Only 10% of appeals have been successful so far, even though the government can’t even prove that the debts ever existed in most cases.

The farm bill that enabled Treasury to torch due process is always notoriously long and full of obscure subsidies and other things that the congresspeople who pass it never bother to read. No one will even own up to lifting the statute of limitations, but clearly Treasury got wind of the change very quickly and acted on it.

If your tax refund is smaller than you expected this year, you may be a victim of this criminal government theft spree.

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Rep. Lewis Says ‘History Will Not be Kind’ to America If One Bill Not Passed

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), while stressing that those who think nothing has changed in terms of civil rights should rethink that and walk in his shoes, said “history will not be kind” to the country if Congress fails to pass immigration reform.

Lewis, 74, was one of the original Freedom Riders and famously made peace in 2009 with a former Klansman who beat him at a 1965 march.

MSNBC’s first questions to the congressman, though, were about how he would equate gay rights with the civil rights movement.

“If two women or two men want to fall in love and get married, it’s their business. You cannot have equality for African-Americans or for Latinos or Asian-American, Native-American, white American, and not have equality for gay individuals,” Lewis said.

“…In the final analysis, we are one people and it doesn’t matter whether we are black or white, or whether we are Latino or Asian- American, Native-American, or whether we are gay or straight. As Dr. King said, we have to learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we’re going to perish as fools.”

The civil rights movement of the MLK era, he stressed, “changed America forever.”

“Our country, our people. Our country is so much better. The American people are better. People woke up and said Congressman John, I want to ask you to forgive me for what we did. I hear it in Alabama and Georgia and Mississippi, all across America. There’s a greater sense of community. There’s a greater sense of family in our country today,” Lewis said.

“And people ask me now that — tell me, where is the next step? Where is the next movement? I was not old enough to be with you, but I’m with you now. And then I hear some people saying nothing has changed. I just say come and walk in my shoes and I will show you change.”

When asked what’s left “undone” from the 1960s, he said immigration reform.

“We have millions of people standing and living in the shadow. People need to come out and state them on a path to citizenship. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not just. It’s immoral to have millions of our citizens — some of these young people, the only place they know is America,” he continued. “And I’m convinced that history will not be kind to us if we fail, as a nation and as a people, to pass comprehensive immigration reform. And we should do it now and not delay.”

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Will Independent Maine Senator Bolt to Caucus with GOP?

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Independent Maine Sen. Angus King votes with the Democrats 94 percent of the time, but if the Republicans take control of the upper chamber in the fall he might switch his caucus affiliation.

King made the suggestion after his surprise vote to support the Republican filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“I’ll make my decision at the time based on what I think is best for Maine,” he told The Hill.

“Sen. King only told The Hill newspaper what he’s always said – that his guiding principle is, and always will be, to do what is right for Maine,” his spokeswoman, Kathleen Connery Dawe, said Thursday, according to The Kennebec Journal. “He’s a proven consensus builder and will continue to work with members on both sides of the aisle, regardless of who’s in charge. He believes the people of Maine sent him here to find solutions, and that’s all he’s focused on.”

King, who replaced retired Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after his 2012 victory, saying he wanted an independence guarantee before caucusing.

“I ran on the platform of trying to call them as I see them, not be able — not be locked into a party position one way or the other. And that’s what I want to try to maintain,” he said back then.

But he also acknowledged that it’s about power: getting committee assignments from the ruling party.

King vowed to be a “bridge” between the two parties, but has been a reliable vote for Reid even as moderate Dems such as Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) have fallen away on key votes.

In September, King accused Republicans who were trying to repeal Obamacare of trying to kill people.

“That’s a scandal — those people are guilty of murder in my opinion,” King told Salon. “Some of those people they persuade are going to end up dying because they don’t have health insurance. For people who do that to other people in the name of some obscure political ideology is one of the grossest violations of our humanity I can think of. This absolutely drives me crazy.”

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Operation ‘Cynthia’ — Was the Woman Who Threw a Shoe at Hillary Clinton a Hardcore Leftist?

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Someone threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton yesterday during a speech.

After the shoe whizzed past, several feet away from Clinton, a blond woman raised her hands above her head and walked to the back of the room. Security quickly grabbed her and she’ll apparently face criminal charges.

The Wall Street Journal picks up an interesting bit from the moment: The shoe-thrower also threw something else.

An attendee later handed a reporter a piece of paper that was apparently also thrown by the woman. It appeared to be a copy of a Department of Defense document labeled confidential and dated August 1967; it referred to an operation “Cynthia” in Bolivia. There was a Bolivian army operation of that name in 1967 to capture revolutionary Che Guevara.

Global Security has a brief bit on Operation Cynthia.

The Samaipata raid on July 6 by Che’s men shocked the army into launching two offensives against the guerrillas. The first, “Operation Cynthia”, directed the Fourth Army Division from Camiri to conduct operations south of the Rio Grande River (see map #3, page 108). In early August the second offensive, “Operation Parabano”, was initiated by the Eighth Army Division in the area north of the river. The Fourth Division soldiers pursued Joaquin’s group northward throughout the months of July and August, periodically clashing with the guerrillas. The “Cynthia” soldiers, however, were denied the final victory when Joaquin’s band crossed the imposed boundary at the Rio Grande. Their counterparts of the Eighth Division, waiting at the river, destroyed their prey at the El Vado
del Yeso ford.

Che’s face adorns T-shirts on countless college campuses all over the world today, despite the fact that he was a racist, murderous Communist thug. People who are likely to support OkCupid’s and Mozilla’s ouster of Brendan Eich over “tolerance” are likely to wear or have worn Che shirts at some point in their lives.

Operation Cynthia doesn’t appear to have anything at all to do with Hillary Clinton. The shoe throwing must have been, well, crazy, but also an attempt to use Clinton to draw attention to Che Guevara.

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The First GOP Woman in the 2016 Ring?

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A trip by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to early primary state New Hampshire this weekend will be about more than just a speech at a Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity rally.

A Blackburn aide confirmed to RealClearPolitics that she’s flirting with the idea of a presidential run:

“If there’s a door to kick down, she’s willing to kick it down,” the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. “These are the kinds of events you go to — test the waters, and see what the reaction is.”

…“There is kind of a void to fill there,” the Blackburn aide said of the likely GOP presidential field. “Whenever there’s been a need for leadership or someone to get out there and fight the fight, she’s always been the first in line and she’s not afraid of it. She’s not afraid to go toe to toe with anybody.”

Both a social and fiscal conservative, the 61-year-old congresswoman has served in the House since 2003 and ran unopposed in 2012. She serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and was formerly communications chair for the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was the only woman who ran for the GOP nomination in 2012. She won the Ames Straw poll, but placed sixth in the Iowa caucuses, eventually dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney.

Bachmann has expressed no interest in a 2016 try.

Other women who could possibly seek the nomination are Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the highest ranking GOP woman in Congress and chair of the House Republican Conference who gave the official party response to the State of the Union address this years, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and governors Susana Martinez (N.M.), Nikki Haley (S.C.) or Mary Fallin (Okla.).

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If You Only Watch One Clip of a Democrat Getting Destroyed on National TV Today, It Should Be This One

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

At nearly 6 minutes, the following clip of Democrat Mike Dickinson losing, badly and repeatedly and embarrassingly, to Fox’s Greta Van Sustern last night is on the longish side. But it’s awesome.

Mike Dickinson is a Democrat running for Rep. Eric Cantor’s seat in Congress. In his campaign materials, Dickinson claims that he’s the CEO of a chain of strip clubs. A dubious credential, and yet it’s fake. Greta gets him to admit that he’s a fraud.

Dicksinon claims that he just wants politicians to stop all the “partisan bickering,” yet his Twitter account got suspended because he uses it to engage in nothing but bickering. The man who wants everyone to stop all the bickering already has declared “war” on Fox, the Tea Party and the NRA.

He recently promised that if elected, he would use his office to go after the NRA, the Tea Party, and “other trash,” effectively promising he would abuse his power as a member of Congress to go after millions of Americans he disagrees with.

Basically, he’s promising to be a damagogue, corrupt the government and turn it against citizens.

“If elected I promise WAR on the tea party, @FoxNews, @NRA and other trash,” he tweeted.

“When I am elected I will go to war with these groups. I will pursue the @nra & destroy them. I will get the IRS to audit the tea party,” he said later.

Dickinson has also said the Tea Party is a terrorist group, and compared it to al-Qaeda. In another tweet, he compared Sarah Palin to Osama bin Laden.

An article at Red Knuckle Politics said Dickinson has used various alternate identities on Twitter to allegedly send tweets to porn stars and harass others.

So, he’s a mainstream, Anthony Weiner wannabe Democrat.

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Wendy Davis Voted for WHAT in Texas Classrooms?

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Parents of children in Texas public schools need to pay attention to this one.

In the 2011 session of the Texas legislature, lawmakers considered a bill that made it easier for school districts to fire teachers who had been convicted of felony crimes. The need for such legislation, in an age when teachers have been caught having sex with underage students and other terrible misdeeds, is obvious.

The Texas House considered HB 1610 to make it easier for school districts to get felons out of classrooms. Sen. Wendy Davis was among a handful of Democrats who voted against the bill. The bill passed easily, without Davis’ vote. Davis then voted for a loophole that would have allowed felons to continue teaching if their crimes were unrelated to teaching.

A convicted felon is a convicted felon.

HB 1610 passed the Texas Senate and then passed the Texas House almost unanimously. Just one member voted against it in the House. It was one of the most bipartisan bills of the session.

But Wendy Davis voted against it.

Why would she do that? Why would Wendy Davis vote repeatedly to keep felons in our public school classrooms?

The Real Wendy (which is a political attack site — it also gets its facts right, though) speculates that she was voting to satisfy the teachers unions. Davis is the union candidate — teachers unions have donated more to her campaign than all of the three previous Democratic governor candidates combined.

Whatever the reason, Davis’ votes to keep felons in Texas public school classrooms is disturbing and appalling. There’s no way around that.

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Vowing to be ‘True Independent Voice,’ Scott Brown Jumps in the Ring

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) formally kicked off his campaign Thursday to oust Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on a strong anti-Obamacare platform.

Introduced by former Gov. John Sununu (R-N.H.), Brown told a crowd in Portsmouth that a fixture of the Senate campaign in which he filled late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) seat would be around for this campaign as well: his truck.

“I’m pretty proud of that old GMC Canyon. It’s got close to 300,000 miles on the odometer, and it’s sure looking good with those license plates that say, ‘Live Free or Die,’” Brown said, noting how he used it on his “listening tour” through the state after launching his exploratory committee a few weeks ago, going to “bakeries, candy stores, gun shops and outfitters, homes, offices – and, OK, maybe a few pubs in between.”

“As you know, I worked with Senator Shaheen in the U.S. Senate for three years. She is a nice person, but wrong on the issues facing the people of New Hampshire. She made that clear when she cast the deciding vote that forced Obamacare on this state and our country. A lot of people aren’t aware of that vote to pass Obamacare,” he continued. “But it’s important to know if we are ever going to get past Obamacare and get America moving in the right direction. I am running to be a true independent voice for New Hampshire. I am running to hold Senator Shaheen accountable. And I will need your strength, help and votes to succeed.”

“…These days, Senator Shaheen wants to change the subject to anything other than Obamacare. The only problem is, when we turn to other issues, it’s the same story. This is a senator who last year voted with President Obama 99 percent of the time. Whenever President Obama needs her, she’s there, and apparently he needs her a lot.  Is a rubber stamp what the people of New Hampshire want and expect in a senator? … I didn’t think so.”

It’s no secret that Brown’s entrance into the race is causing Shaheen a lot of heartburn.

Shaheen tried without success to get Brown to sign a “people’s pledge” to bar outside money from the race, as Brown signed in his unsuccessful 2012 campaign against Elizabeth Warren.

Shaheen campaign manager Mike Vlacich said Brown is “counting on the big banks to buy him New Hampshire’s Senate seat.”

“The people of New Hampshire know Jeanne Shaheen. They know they can depend on her to fight for them and make a difference for New Hampshire,” he added.

Polls show Brown gaining on Shaheen, who has a 47 percent approval rating.

After his campaign announcement, Brown launched an “Obamacare Isn’t Working” tour at Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics in Manchester.

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Sebelius’ Replacement? The Person Who Shut Down the Veterans Memorials Last Year.

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Never let it be said that Barack Obama doesn’t reward loyalty. Loyalty to himself, of course.

Within seconds of the announcement that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was resigning Thursday, news broke about who her replacement would be: Sylvia Burwell of OMB.

Burwell is famous for something that she did last year. NBC News:

A single person shut down the entire U.S. government for the first time in 17 years.

Not a congressman, but an unelected woman named Sylvia Burwell who, as the relatively new director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent the email that initiated the process that has closed national parks, visitors’ centers and even the “panda-cam” at the National Zoo.

“Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations,” Burwell wrote in a memo to heads of executive departments and agencies Monday night as it became clear lawmakers had failed to agree on a budget deal. “We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

And with that email, veterans got locked out of their memorials, federal parks got shut down, even the National Zoo’s Panda Cam went dark. Burwell was Obama’s point person for punishing the American people in ways that the federal government had not contemplated during any of the previous shutdowns.

Burwell will have to be confirmed by the Senate before she takes the reins of Obamacare. Thanks to Harry Reid’s filibuster rule change last November, she’ll only need 51 votes. She is likely to get them, the Senate confirmed her 96-0 to head OMB just last year. The Democrats will portray any criticism of her now as a battle in the phony “war on women.” Her role in the shutdown will come up, in fact Obama is surely counting on it and hoping that the hearings are contentious and generate headlines and soundbites useful to him for the mid-terms. But some red state Democrats might be on the spot as to whether they’ll support the person who locked veterans — some who traveled hundreds or even thousands of miles from their homes to Washington — out of the memorials dedicated to their friends and comrades.

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GOP: Changing Captain at HHS Won’t Right Obamacare’s Sinking Ship

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Congressional Republicans pounced on the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after five years at the helm of the agency, with one senator noting that changing the leadership at the agency won’t fix the “disaster” of Obamacare.

The White House was expected to formally announce Sebelius’ resignation today. She was notably not at President Obama’s side when he recently touted signup numbers in the Rose Garden.

“Kathleen Sebelius had a supremely difficult job implementing a law as unpopular and unwieldy as ObamaCare,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement. “Her tenure as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services may be at an end, but Americans will be dealing with the repercussions of the president’s health law for a very long time.”

“Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius’ resignation does not really hold the Obama Administration accountable for the failed law,” said Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who is challenging Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in the fall on an anti-Obamacare platform. “Thousands of Louisiana families lost the healthcare plans they liked. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted trying to implement, and then fix, a broken website. It does not matter who is in charge of HHS, we still need to repeal Obamacare and replace it with solutions that put the patient in charge, not Washington.”

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) noted that “even though Secretary Sebelius will be gone, every promise the President made about Obamacare – if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; health care costs will be lowered; and if you like your health plan you can keep it – will remain broken.”

“Changing the Secretary won’t change the problem – a disaster is still a disaster,” Moran added.

Obama is expected to nominate Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to fill the job.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he was “so pleased” that his fellow West Virginian was picked. “Sylvia’s experience in both the public and private sector, matched with the bipartisan relationships she has built over the years, shows that she is a public servant ready to take on this country’s challenges,” Manchin said. “I am confident that her leadership will ensure that we enact commonsense fixes to the Affordable Care Act to help improve the lives of millions of Americans.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, said he’s also happy with the choice.

“This is the right decision,” Alexander said. “The challenge for Ms. Burwell, or any other successor, is to help Congress find the right way to repair the damage Obamacare has done to American families.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus warned that Sebelius’ replacement will “inherit a mess.”

“No matter who is in charge of HHS, ObamaCare will continue to be a disaster and will continue to hurt hardworking Americans,” Priebus said. “It’s time for President Obama to admit that Democrats’ signature law is a failure and heed Republican calls for patient-centered healthcare reform.”

“We are now left with so many questions and so few answers after witnessing endless delays, glitches, excessive costs and cancellations because of this misguided and dangerous law,” said Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.). “I look forward to a thorough investigation of what has transpired and how it related to her management of Obamacare’s implementation. The American people deserve accountability and answers.”

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Taqiyya about Taqiyya

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

I was recently involved in an interesting exercise—examining taqiyya about taqiyya—and believe readers might profit from the same exercise, as it exposes all the subtle apologetics made in defense of the Islamic doctrine, which permits Muslims to lie to non-Muslims, or “infidels.”

Context: Khurrum Awan, a lawyer, is suing Ezra Levant, a Canadian media personality and author, for defamation and $100,000.  Back in 2009 and on his own website, Levant had accused Awan of taqiyya in the context of Awan’s and the Canadian Islamic Congress’ earlier attempts to sue Mark Steyn.

For more on Levant’s court case, go to www.StandWithEzra.ca.

On behalf of Awan, Mohammad Fadel—professor of Islamic Law at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law—provided an expert report to the court on the nature of taqiyya, the significance of which he portrayed as “a staple of right-wing Islamophobia in North America.”

In response, Levant asked me (back in 2013) to write an expert report on taqiyya, including by responding to Fadel’s findings.

I did.  And it had the desired effect.  As Levant put it in an email to me:

It was an outstanding report, very authoritative and persuasive. Of course, we don’t know what the plaintiff’s [Awan’s] private thoughts about it were, but we do know that after receiving the report, he decided to cancel calling his own expert witness [Dr. Fadel]—who happens to be a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer. After reading your rebuttal, he decided he would rather not engage in that debate.

My expert report follows.  In it, I quote relevant portions of Fadel’s expert report (which can be read in its entirety here).  Most intriguing about the professor’s report is that it’s a perfect example of taqiyya about taqiyya.  By presenting partial truths throughout the report, Fadel appears to have even employed taqiyya’s more liberal sister, tawriya.

Accordingly, readers interested in learning more about the role of deception in Islam—and how to respond to those trying to dismiss it as an “Islamophobic fantasy”—are encouraged to read on…  Keep reading

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Breaking: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is Resigning

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

AP and Fox are reporting that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning. No date has been given yet.

Sebelius presided over the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov, and has been caught breaking federal laws against engaging in political activity on government time. More recently, she was caught disowning her own claim that 7 million Obamacare enrollees would constitute success, before the Obama administration claimed to have reached that magical number.

While it would be nice to think that failure and dishonesty have caught up with Sebelius, the reality is that she is probably leaving government for more lucrative reasons.

As Sebelius leaves, OMB Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell has been nominated to replace her.

Update: Yep.

 

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MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Just Broke Punditry

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Honestly, I don’t even know where we go from here.

The IRS and several other executive branch agencies came down on True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht like the proverbial ton of bricks after she founded her organization. The agency delayed her tax-exempt application for years. There is no debate that the IRS targeted her and many other Americans, and that the targeting was political. The Daily Caller even has emails suggesting who within the White House may have been responsible. It’s no one most of us have ever heard of, one of President Obama’s direct assistants. So, close enough to the president to start asking what he knew and when he knew it.

But none of that has gotten past the cute ears of one Alex Wagner. She believes that targeting did happen. She just has a novel theory on who targeted whom.

“There is a controversy here,” Wagner conceded. She said, however, that the true controversy in the IRS scandal involves the influence of outside money.

After detailing some of the revelations released this week involving how the IRS tried to draft a letter denying Karl Rove‘s Crossroads GPS its tax-exempt status was agonized over, Wagner said it was striking how little oversight there was of the new post-Citizens United rules.

“In my mind, the IRS, who was trying to get this out, they were the ones that have been actually targeted in this whole investigation,” Wagner asserted.

Like I said, I don’t know where we go from here.

The targeting happened. Emails released yesterday show that Rep. Elijah Cummings was involved. He was involved at the same time he was supposedly investigating the abuse. With the Daily Caller’s story added, the scandal looks more and more like it touches many major Democrat figures and goes to the White House. Jeanne Lambrew, the person highlighted by the DC, works directly for President Obama. She’s one of his major assistants. Previous disclosures have suggested involvement by other Obama appointees.

So where do we go if that’s the case? I don’t recall a party-wide scandal of this importance in American history up to now.

It’s a given that Obama and Holder will never ever ever appoint a special counsel to investigate. Ever. They are beyond ordinary political pressure. They have no respect for the rule of law. They do not respond to public opinion. They will always have the likes of Alex Wagner to carry their ever more preposterous defenses.

With no special counsel, that leaves Congress to appoint a select committee in one or both houses. That will not happen in the Senate before the mid-terms. It could happen in the House, but such a committee will necessarily have Democrats on it. Cummings’ emails show the fatal problem there — he already abused his position on the Oversight Committee to thwart the investigation, of which he now ought to be a target. If he becomes a target, he will play the race card, Holder and Obama will play the race card, and most of the media will play the race card too. What, you think Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank, ABCNBCCBS and the rest of them are above dropping the race card?

Besides, how do we know which Democrats weren’t involved? Most of them had the motivation, they had the hatred of the Tea Party and the lesson of 2010, and they harbored the hatred of the Citizens United decision that apparently animated Democrats to take action, from Obama on down. Show me the Democrat who would have had a moral or ethical problem with using the IRS as a weapon to suppress dissent. Does such a Democrat roam the halls of Congress? Even one?

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Dems Tell Two Completely Different Tales Of Race At Civil Rights Summit

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

It has long been recognized that “liberal” and “progressive” are misnomers when it comes to describing American leftists in the 21st Century. They may fancy themselves as forward-thinking but they go back eighty or so years whenever it’s time to craft economic policy and their racial politics gaze backward a half century.

Most of the time.

At the Civil Rights Summit in Austin this week, there were some prominent Democrats who surveyed the landscape and admitted that things are, in fact, much different now than they were in the early 1960s.

Things have changed.

That was the message delivered during a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act on Wednesday.

Rep. John Lewis, a prominent figure in the civil rights struggle, said there is probably no greater symbol of that change than the fact that he was introducing Barack Obama, the country’s first black president.

The president himself mostly used the occasion of his speech to make a case for the Executive Branch doing whatever it wants. As he is surrounded by nothing but yes-men, no one bothered to point out that he was making the case for unilateral executive action by praising LBJ’s skills as a legislator, but that’s for another post.

Getting back to the subject at hand, this was President Obama’s assessment:

However flawed our leaders, however flawed our politics, Obama said, “the story of America is the story of progress.”

Yeah, it can be a hot mess much of the time, but we make it work. It’s never perfect but it’s always better than the alternatives offered elsewhere around the globe.

An African-American civil rights legend praised the progress we have made as he introduced an African-American president who did the same.

Contrast that with a white ex-POTUS at the same event a day earlier.

Restrictions on voting rights in conservative states endanger the core of the U.S. civil rights movement and force Americans to recreate “a yesterday we’re better off done with,” former President Bill Clinton said on Wednesday.

Speaking to a crowd of students and activists in Austin, Texas, Clinton slammed new voting laws that require photo IDs, make voting harder for students, or otherwise tighten up access to the polls.

“We all know what this is about,” Clinton said at a gathering called the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential library. “This is a way of restricting the franchise after 50 years of expanding it.”

The complaints about the Supreme Court decision from last year make sense only if you believe that we have made no progress whatsoever on race in the last fifty years and that only the strong arm of the law, rather than a monumental shift in attitudes, enabled Barack Obama to ascend to the Oval Office.

In Bubba’s version of the story, America is a festering bed of racism that is only being saved from 24/7 Klan rides by some fragile legislation. If there are any changes to that legislation then-POOF!-a time machine instantly transports you to 1964.

It’s sheer insanity. And it is a lie.

Bill Clinton is an elder of the Democratic establishment so he doesn’t see people, he sees voting blocs labeled by race and ethnicity that need to be frightened in order to be properly manipulated for electoral purposes. It’s his job to tell the faceless demographic blocs he sees that the Republicans are just one election away from rolling back the history of everything. It’s a story so riddled with logical inconsistencies that one wonders how anybody with an IQ over 7 would believe it.

The Democrats, however, have gotten so good at storytelling the past twenty five years or so that they can hold an entire summit to celebrate something and feature a beloved ex-president telling them it’s all an illusion.

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Rep. Frank Wolf to Withhold Funds from Lawless Eric Holder

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by J. Christian Adams

At last, one House Republican is ready to use the Constitutional power of the purse to reign in Attorney General Eric Holder’s lawlessness.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees Eric Holder’s Justice Department will utilize the power of the purse to withhold funds from the Justice Department.

Eric Holder has been lobbying the Republican controlled House for a larger budget.  Wolf says he will withhold $1,000,000 for every instance of failure for Eric Holder to respond to Wolf’s demands for information.

The Constitution vests the House of Representatives with the power of the purse, an enormously effective tool for reigning in abuses by the executive branch.  If the House does not allocate money to Obama’s Justice Department, then Holder cannot function.

Wolf has sought dozens of reports required from the DOJ under the FY 2013 Omnibus Act.  The reporting requirement was an effort to shine a light on the behavior of the Justice Department.  It was an exercise of Congressional oversight. The law required Holder to provide Congress and Wolf’s committee 66 separate reports about DOJ activity.
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Not surprisingly, Holder has ignored the law and is in default of the reporting requirement.  Wolf vows to withhold $1,000,000 to the DOJ budget for each overdue report.  From Wolf’s opening statement to an Appropriations hearing last week:

“There are still 25 outstanding reports and briefings from the FY 2013 bill, and that doesn’t include any of the additional reports directed in the FY 2014 bill, which was subsequently signed into law earlier this year. There are already 18 reports in the FY 2014 bill that are overdue to the committee.

“With a workforce of more than 100,000 employees, I know that the department certainly has the capacity to provide the directed reports. What is lacking is the will to be responsive to the Congress on the part of the department’s leadership. That is what I find particularly disappointing.

“Today, I am announcing a new policy that these overdue reports will no longer be tolerated by the committee. When our FY 2015 bill is marked up this spring, I intend to withhold $1 million for every overdue report from the FY 2013 and FY 2014 bills. The funds will be provided instead to agencies in this bill that comply with reporting requirements. With the current backlog of 43 reports, this could be a significant reduction in funds for the department. But you have now been given fair warning that these overdue reports will now be taken into account when the subcommittee determines your budget.

“For the record, I find it extremely unfortunate that I have to take this action, but I know no other way to encourage the department to follow through on its required obligations to this Committee.”

Wolf might start with the particularly out-of-control Civil Rights Division.

 

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British Peer Suggests Regulating Emissions from the ‘Musical Fruit’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Today is one of those days when I reconsider my my life choices and wonder if I shouldn’t have gone into a more serious profession. Like, I don’t know, clowning.

I mean, how does one take politics seriously when the President of the United States just trots out discredited lies all the time?

You can debunk him all day long, and that number has been debunked over and over again including this week. His own spokesman pretty much admitted that it’s bogus. You can’t shame him or his people out of lying, because they don’t feel shame. It’s as alien to them as being able to breath in a sea of molten gummy bears.

At any rate, at least we can look to good old England to provide some serious policy discussion. Their country is older than ours. Wiser. Better.

Labour peer Viscount Simon, 73, raised concerns about the “smelly emissions” resulting from the UK’s unusually high consumption of baked beans.

He put energy and climate change minister Baroness Verma on the spot during the government’s daily question session in the upper chamber.

She said his question was “different”.

His comments came as energy minister Baroness Verma answered questions in the House of Lords on how the government was tackling climate change.

Lord Simon said: “In a programme some months ago on the BBC it was stated that this country has the largest production of baked beans and the largest consumption of baked beans in the world.”

To laughter from peers, he added: “Could the noble baroness say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the government as a result of the smelly emission resulting there from?”

A Shakespearean ode to the “musical fruit.”

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But the question remains, which end should government regulate, the intake of the beans, or the output of the fumes? The beans would be easier to tax, but the farmers will protest, and beans are supposedly good for the heart. The output is more nebulous, yet more offensive. It’s quite a quandary.

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Wendy Davis Shuts Out the Press AGAIN

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Democrat who wants to be governor of Texas got herself in hot water when she shut the press out of one of her major speeches a few months back. The anger that that move generated evidently has not taught Davis anything. Oops — she did it again!

President Obama met today in private with Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D), who is running this year to replace retiring Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Reporters who are in Texas with the president today did not get to witness the meeting, and learned about it from the White House press office, which provided them with the following readout:

“This afternoon, following his remarks at the LBJ Library, the President visited briefly with Texas state senator Wendy Davis.”

Pool reporter Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News had this to say about the meeting:

“This took place with the pool in the vans so obviously we didn’t witness it. Davis is the Democratic nominee for governor, facing Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who had publicly dared her to be seen with Obama.”

It’s Bill White all over again. He was the Democrats’ nominee in 2010. Every time President Obama would show up in Texas, White managed to be clear on the other side of the state. He just wouldn’t be seen with the president and leader of his own party.

Wendy Davis agrees with Barack Obama’s policies — Obamacare, the EPA, radicalism on abortion, all of it. Why won’t she be seen with him?

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Report: US to Let Spy Go Free In Swap for Palestinian Terrorists

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Sen. John McCain and Secretary of State John Kerry got into a heated stare-off over the apparent death of the Israel-Palestinian peace talks earlier this week. Kerry blamed the Israelis for, essentially, the Palestinian desire to destroy their country.

If reports coming out of Israel are true, today, Kerry has sweetened the pot and struck a deal. But it’s a deal that would set some bad precedents.

As teams met in Jerusalem, source tells Al Arabiya Israel agrees to free prisoners, freeze West Bank construction, while Palestinian will backtrack UN bid and US will release Pollard in final bid to save peace talks. US, Palestinians, Israel sources claim report ‘premature’.

An unnamed source told Al Arabiya that a deal has been reached to extend peace talks, but all three parties have since downplayed the claim as premature, but the US did say “gaps were narrowing” in talks.

Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying on the US and sentence to life in prison. He has served 27 years of that sentence. He was spying for the Israelis, and has remained a sore spot in US-Israel relations ever since. Releasing him would ignite a firestorm in Congress. If Kerry thought McCain gave him the hair-dryer treatment earlier, he hasn’t seen anything yet.

The firestorm may not come, though. Politico says that the State Department is quashing the exchange story.

Administration officials moved quickly Thursday to shoot down reports that a deal had been struck to keep open negotiations over a framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that would include releasing the former Navy intelligence officer and convicted spy from a North Carolina prison.

“Nothing has changed. No decision has been made about Jonathan Pollard,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

Special envoy Martin Indyk, who remained in the region meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials after a frustrated Secretary of State John Kerry left last week, ended his talks Thursday without a deal.

“There is no breakthrough. All of the current rumors that a deal has been reached are false,” a senior administration official said.

That’s pretty definitive.

Releasing Pollard in exchange for promises and an extended talks deadline could put a whole lot of people who are currently held in US prisons in play in Israel-Palestinian negotiations. First among them, the Blind Sheikh who masterminded the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. It was actually a demand to release Omar Abdel-Rahman, not a YouTube movie, that sparked the Cairo riot in September 2011 that culminated with terrorists jumping the walls of the US embassy there and replacing the American flag with the black flag of Islam. It’s unwise for the US to put anyone in our prisons in play.

What Kerry stands to gain by releasing Pollard is, from the Israelis, the release of over 100 Palestinians along with a halt to settlement construction, and from the Palestinians, a promise not to engage in the unilateral statehood moves that they’re not supposed to be involved in anyway, and from both, an extension in the talks.

Is that enough to set such a dangerous precedent?

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Obama: Making Lives Better Is ‘What The Hell The Presidency Is For’ (Video)

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

This happened during a speech honoring LBJ, perhaps the last president to be as focused on personal power as the present occupier of the Oval Office is. This is just another attempt to justify the slew of executive orders he knows he will unleash if the GOP takes the Senate back in the fall.

In summation: according to his oath of office, he is sworn to protect the Constitution, which he is willing to circumvent unilaterally to advance his personal agenda.

Bring it.

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IRS Employee Busted for Pro-Obama Chant

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

According to the Office of Special Counsel, an IRS employee may face “significant disciplinary action” for promoting the re-election of Barack Obama on work time. The employee is accused of “repeatedly greeting taxpayers calling a help-line with a chant urging President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.”

The IRS employee is not named in the compliant.

Other IRS employees are attracting scrutiny for their pro-Obama activism at work. One faced a 14-day suspension for telling a taxpayer she assisted that “Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and…they’re going to take women back 40 years.”

The employee knew that what she was doing was wrong and illegal at the time: She told the taxpayer “I’m not supposed to voice my opinion, so you didn’t hear me saying that.” The employee had been briefed on the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from politicking on the job, just weeks before she violated it.

The OSC has also looked into complaints that the Dallas IRS office had staff who made pro-Obama stickers, screensavers and other political imagery and speech “commonplace.”

Former IRS official Lois Lerner, who is now on track to be held in contempt of Congress and possibly jailed for refusing to answer question regarding the agency’s abuse of Tea Party and conservative groups, said in an email released this week that she wanted to leave the agency and work for Obama’s campaign group, Organizing for Action.

All of these complaints feature IRS agents promoting the Democratic Party or its presidential candidate.

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Flailing CNN To Replace Piers Morgan Failure With Documentaries

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Nowhere to go but up.

CNN is getting out of the host business in its 9 p.m. time slot, at least for now.

The network announced on Thursday that it would insert a wide range of documentary series to play in the 9 o’clock hour lately vacated by the cancellation of the show hosted by Piers Morgan.

CNN made the announcement at its upfront presentation for advertisers on Thursday in Manhattan. One series is about jobs, “Somebody’s Got to Do It,” from Mike Rowe, the producer of “Dirty Jobs.” The network will also show “The Jesus Code,” a forensic search through the Bible.

CNN is also adding a criminal hunt series hosted by John Walsh, of the former long-running Fox show “America’s Most Wanted,” and a documentary series on the 1960s from Tom Hanks’s production company. It also has renewed series from Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain — Mr. Bourdain’s for two seasons.

All the shows are slated to fill the 9 p.m. hour, which has been especially problematic for CNN since Larry King departed in 2010.

This seems like a safer bet than putting all of their money on a longer contract with a new host. The network really doesn’t have an identity now and it would be difficult to find someone who “fits” when it is unclear exactly why kind of programming mindset he or she should fit into.

This also puts to bed any speculation that CNN would keep covering the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 as long as the plane remained missing.

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Intolerant, Bigoted Libs Now Targeting Dropbox For Adding African-American Woman To Its Board

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Thought Purity Now!!!!!!

This is deeply disturbing, and anyone — or any business — who values ethics should be concerned.

Why is this? Because she was a part of the Bush administration? Because she is a Republican and we should hate Republicans? I mean, come on, isn’t Al Gore on Apple’s Board? He’s no saint!

No. This is not an issue of partisanship. It makes sense that Dropbox would want an accomplished, high-level, well-connected individual on their Board of Directors as they prepare for their IPO. There is no doubt that Condoleezza Rice is an extremely brilliant and accomplished individual, having obtained her Masters degree at only age 20 (and a number of other impressive accomplishments).

Choosing Condoleezza Rice for Dropbox’s Board is problematic on a number of deeper levels, and invites serious concerns about Drew Houston and the senior leadership at Dropbox’s commitment to freedom, openness, and ethics. When a company quite literally has access to all of your data, ethics become more than a fun thought experiment.

GENDER PAY GAP!

RACISM!

So we should celebrate a successful African-American woman being added to a big corporate Board of Directors, right? RIGHT?!?

Oh, she’s a Republican…never mind.

Remember, any opposition to a successful black American is rooted in #racism. We’re just using their playbook here.

As John Ekdahl points out in the above linked post, the prog fascists go out of their way to say this isn’t about partisanship then provide a laundry list of partisan reasons for their latest head hunt.

This is why we can’t play nice with these idiots anymore. They are intolerant bigots who will not stop until all are brought into line.

And they gotta go.

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Well, Well…Income Inequality Worse In Dem Districts

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

My fake shocked face is being overworked lately.

According to census data crunched by Atlantic Cities, Bachmann’s district has the lowest level of income inequality in the country. Meanwhile, inequality is highest in the New York City district of Representative Jerry Nadler, a liberal Democrat. Those extremes reflect a broader partisan divide: Across the country, inequality is lower in Republican districts than in Democratic ones.

That’s not surprising, given that high levels of wealth and poverty — and thus inequality — tend to be concentrated in cities, which are dominated by Democrats. But it does call into question the political wisdom of the Democratic Party’s effort to make income inequality the centerpiece of its national economic agenda.

That last part is the key. The Democrats have largely gotten a free pass on the fact that they are run by very wealthy people. And they represent very wealthy people. And the people they get to do their bidding from Hollywood are very wealthy.

But rich white Republicans or something.

They are so good at this ruse that during the 2012 Democratic National Convention they kept portraying Mitt Romney as a rich, white, out of touch Republican from Massachusetts while trotting out John Kerry and Caroline Kennedy on stage.

Timid, don’t-rock-the-boat Republicans have let them get away with this for far too long.

There is no real hope of shifting perceptions if we continually let the economically destructive Kabuki Pander Theater (think: Paycheck Fairness Act) perform unchallenged. The press certainly isn’t going to question the disconnect. We will have to keep working on that ourselves all the while working on getting people elected who can do it as well.

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CBS Reveals that Stephen Colbert Will Replace Letterman

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It’s an odd choice, but CBS has made it official: Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show once Letterman retires.

I say it’s an odd choice because Colbert plays a character on his Comedy Central show. He’s parodying Bill O’Reilly. Does he bring that schtick to a full talk show at CBS, or does he leave it behind and re-invent himself?

The safe bet would be to stick with what brought him success so far, but the safe bet would not have been to bring Colbert to The Late Show in the first place. Craig Ferguson would have made a good replacement, as he already has a talk show on CBS. He just would have had to move forward an hour, and probably polish up a thing or two. His show carries forward with the wackiness that Letterman had, a long time ago.

Colbert…I don’t know.

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